Saturday, January 31, 2015

Falafel Hummus & Juice Bar in Fishtown

The sweetest man alive owns and operates this place. The food is wonderful and fresh, but it is the way the owner makes you feel that will keep you coming back. When Nicole and I first walked in, I made a point of saying it was our first time. I didn't want to feel rushed when looking over the menu. The owner left us to decide and then appeared with a small plate of samples for us to try - no charge. He just wanted us to get a feel for some of the options that his place of business offered. After we gave him our order, I asked if I paid now or after we ate. He said, "You pay after. If you don't like, you don't pay." This is a man that knows his food is fantastic enough to throw out a guarantee like that. I doubt anyone has ever taken him up on it.
 

I think what impressed me the most about this establishment was how unbelievably clean the kitchen was; the entire place was, but especially the kitchen. After watching one too many Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I tend to notice the cleanliness, or lack thereof, when dining out. The set up at Falafel Hummus is basically a re-purposed row home in Philly that was gutted and made into an open kitchen in the back half and the front half into a small seating area. While I was getting rung up at the register, I peered into the kitchen and you could, no lie, put food on the floor and eat off it. There were no clumps of gooey food that fell to the floor and wrapped themselves around the base of the fridge or the legs of the sink. No scuff marks on the tiled floor or dust collecting on the ceiling or around the exhaust fans. It was so comforting to know that there exists a small, independently run eatery that takes themselves seriously and maintains a clean and healthy establishment.

I tried to sneak a peek and watch as he prepared our food. It was as if we were guests in his home, except that he wore plastic gloves. He made each meal with precision and great care. He remembered that I was a vegan and left the cheese off of my side salad. He did the same for Nicole in regards to her dislike of tomatoes. It's so easy in the food industry to go into robot mode and forget what the customer mentioned and just make the food as you do time and time again. It's not on purpose; it just happens. Not this man. He seemed to genuinely place love and pride on each beautifully ornate dish he served. It was a delightful experience from start to finish and I can't friggin' wait to go back!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Kind of Goodbye

Wednesday night after work I picked Ashlee up at Miranda's (and got a great big hug from lil' Miss Ava!) and brought her back to my place for our last sleepover ever. Ashlee hasn't yet realised how many things will change now that she and her husband are moving to Virginia and in August will become parents. Once Ash has a child, she's not gonna stay over at Auntie Star's to watch movies and pig out on pizza. On our last night together, we stayed up late, as usual, and talked about all the random things that cross our silly minds.

Thursday at 4pm, we left for the airport to pick up Sean. Ya know, the more time I spend with my newest nephew, the more I learn to love him. He's so well mannered and funny and easy to talk to. The car ride from PHL to Sean's house was non-stop laughter and giggles. Once I arrived home I found that Ashlee "accidentally" left her purse in my backseat, so tonight I get to drive back across the bridge to return it and score more hugs from my favourite couple!

 
 
 
(The glare on the pic of Sean and Ashlee is because it was too frickin' cold to stand outside while Sean smoked so I took the pic from inside.)
(Since I last saw Sean, he got this tattoo since his wedding band was MIA. I think it's fantastic.)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sesame Place 1981

Sesame Place!! Oh what fun it was. I don't remember going back after this trip, but I do remember my mother being outraged that it was so expensive. Guess that answers that...

 
 
 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jax and Vintage Toys

Mum took a bunch of videos of Jackson going through more of our old toys. He was so excited and even at one point asked why none of the toys had batteries. Um, well...that's because these are super old and from a time where imagination was primarily used when playing. His reaction is so cute that I had to post it. Can't believe he's gonna be three years old next month!

video

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More 'za with Jaeden!

Jaeden and I have made a point of trying new pizza joints every time we hang out. This past weekend we went to the Art of Pizza on Girard. Jaeden loved his cheesy pie with sausage and bacon crumblies. Mine was just okay. I feel like ever since I went vegan it's impossible to find a truly great pizza at non-vegan pizza places. Except for that slice in Baltimore at Two Boots. Oh my goodness, that was spectacular! (Kayla and I are going there for her bday in April and frankly, I'm drooling already.) I think without cheese, a pizza needs something else and so many places don't have a sauce and crust that blow my mind. A good pizza should not solely depend on the combination of sauce and cheese. It should stand on its on if it's a red pie or a white pie. So few places are able to achieve this. Next time, I am definitely taking Jaeden to Blackbird because they have the best vegan pizza in the tri-state area. No lie. I mean, Art of Pizza was alright, but if I never went back, that'd be fine. But, my boy Jaeden was happy, so that's all that matters!

Conversation with boys can be a struggle for me sometimes. I'm not interested in video games and all the fun things that boys like. I think I'm gonna have Jaeden and I read the same book so when we get together we have something to really dive into. I love Jaeden and I have so much fun being around him because he is such a sweet and caring guy, but I don't want to pretend to be interested in what he's talking about. I want it to be for real. However, we will always have our love of pizza to hold us together!!

 
 
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Little Miss Kayla

This lady is just so stinkin' stylish and fun and warm and outrageously adorable. It's always a good time playing photo shoot in random locations around Philly and Kayla is such a good sport, even though I am completely embarrassing her. We had to make a mad dash back to the car when the scary lady with the Tom Waits voice came out of the building and caught us.

 
 
 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NYC with the Boys

Yesterday morning I picked up Bishop and Pax at 9:20. I drove us to the Hamilton train station and we took the 11:05 to Penn Station, arriving at 12:30.

 
 

Once we arrived in the city and reached the street, Pax told us his mother's advice to him as a young man, "If you have to walk more than two blocks, take a cab." So we marched right over to the taxi stand. Ten dollars later we were at The Circle in the Square Theatre and ready to see Hugh Jackman in The River. The theatre was small, intimate and charming, and not a bad seat in the house. The play was good. (Not great.) I thought Hugh was excellent and I think he's so underrated as an actor. He's extremely authentic and convincing and comes across as such a genuine and sweet man. I completely adore him. The first woman in the play, Cush Jumbo, was also good, but I still wasn't wrapped up in the show. The premise that Hugh is portraying a man looking for the perfect catch; the big fish that fits into his life and completes him, was interesting, but the dialogue didn't really wow me. What did impress me was leaving the theatre and seeing Mr. Jackman off to the side, signing autographs and smiling for photos. Still that classy guy I remember from outside The Imperial Theatre after The Boy from Oz over ten years ago.

 
 
 

The best part was spending the day with my bestie and his fab hubby. Pax and I rarely get much one on one time and so it was just really nice to hang out and chat. He's a great conversationalist and super easy to be around. Daddy Pax and I had such fun singing New York, New York from On the Town all day long. New York, New York, a helluva town, the Bronx is up, but the Battery's down! The people ride in a hole in the groun' - New York, New York!!!! Bishop just rolled his eyes at us.


None of us are big New York fans (Same York, as Bishop calls it), but it was still such fun to take a NYC cab - my first since 1986 - and go from the station to the theatre to the station and then home. No dealing with crowds and sidewalk traffic. Just get in to the city, see the play and then get the hell out. All in all, a pretty damn wonderful day.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Youth

This year I am trying to really focus on reading more. This month I started with John Waters' Crackpot and was in stitches through every page. I followed that up with The Yeti Files - Meet the Bigfeet by Kevin Sherry. Being that I am indeed a five year old girl, I obviously loved the story and all the pictures of the sweet and furry Sasquatches. And lastly, I read JM Coetzee's Youth. It was excellent. It read like a cool summer breeze against hot skin; each word placed together to form musical sentences. Just beautiful. Next up is Jim Gaffigan's Food: A Love Story!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flapperdoodle

Possibly my new favourite word. Definitely in my top five, along with Conshocken, attraversiamo, alsjeblieft, and snickerdoodle. Pretty much everything on Flapperdoodle's etsy site is divine and I really, really want those super cute sweater clips and also the set of Eloise as Audrey Hepburn notecards. So cute!!!

 
 
 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Random Statements

I kidnapped these statements from random blogs or tumblr's that I came across and wanted to re-share them. They made me think and I hope they do the same for you.



 
(judgments photo kidnapped from roseaposey)
(thanks rye, send my best to lil' esmeralda!)