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ApollyCon 2019

Attending ApollyCon each year with Alexa and DJ has become one of my favorite traditions. Even though it means having to leave at the crack of dawn on Friday, I just enjoy everything about this weekend. From the train ride down, to the event itself, catching up with friends and making time to explore DC a bit–it's a fun mini-getaway that I genuinely look forward to. 

So for those of you that don't know, ApollyCon is an annual multi-day event hosted by Jennifer L. Armentrout and organized by the lovely Steph and Hannah. It features a mix of Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult authors that are available for signings and to buy books from, but also panels and social events to keep readers entertained throughout the long weekend. I've been involved since its inception as their graphic designer. I do the badges, banners, table cards and more. It's been so much fun to be a part of it, especially since I'm such a huge fan of Jen's (she's one of my favorite authors ever). 

Day 1 - Titan Signing at ApollyCon
left-right, top-bottom: our badges, one of the signing rooms, with DJ/Alexa, Danielle Pearl, Chanel Cleeton, Elise Kova, Christina Lauren, with Brigid Kemmerer, with Sarah J. Maas
The event starts on Thursday but we always go on Friday for the Titans-only signing session. It's amazing because we get to meet authors before the rush on Saturday and it tends to be a smaller crowd. So if you plan to go, I highly recommend going with this pass. I got to meet some of my new favorite authors for the first time, such as Danielle Pearl (Something More series), Chanel Cleeton (Next Year in Havana), and Elise Kova (Air Awakens series). Then we also saw our usual faves like Sarah J. Maas (wonderful as always), Christina Lauren (I adore these two) and Brigid Kemmerer (she's so sweet!). We basically got all the books we wanted signed and purchased on day, which worked out perfectly! Afterwards we went to dinner at Matchbox and stopped by the Berkley blogger event.

Day 2 - Exploring DC and more ApollyCon
top-bottom, left-right: breakfast at Bayou Bakery, the Capitol Building, Kramerbooks, inside Kramerbooks (photo c/o DJ!), Dolcezza Gelato, Jennifer L. Armentrout signing, with Tif Marcelo, with our buddy Mitali and my book haul.  
We were basically "done" on Friday, that meant our Saturday was free to do a bit of exploring! We went to Bayou Bakery for breakfast, which we did last year too. We loved their grits so much that we knew we'd be coming back and they didn't disappoint. Then we stopped by the Capitol Building and took a bunch of photos. We underestimated how cold it would be so we quickly headed over to Kramerbooks to warm up and shop. Of course the cold weather didn't stop us from getting ice cream and luckily Dolcezza was only a couple blocks away. At that point we still had a ton of time to kill so we went back to ApollyCon to see how the event was going. I'm really glad we did because we got to meet Tif Marcelo, a Filipino author with a romance novel called The Key to Happily Ever After coming out in May. She was so nice to talk to and I'm doubly excited to read her book. Then we caught up with Mitali, Estelle and Lizzy for a bit too. And finally, it was time to go home! We were all pretty exhausted by that point but happy with our books and that we got to hang out almost all weekend. I can't wait for next year!

Were you at ApollyCon this year? What did you think?

What I'm Listening To | March

Each month I'll share five songs I'm been loving all month and hopefully you'll find a song or two (or all of them!) to love as well.

Just press play to listen to all the songs!

Peer Pressure (ft. Julia Michaels)
 - James Bay | It feels like forever since James Bay released a new single and this one did not disappoint. It's so catchy and meaningful and can we please just have a new album already?

I Want You - Tayla Parx | We all need to take a moment to appreciate just how freaking catchy and fun the chorus is. Every time I hear it – whether it's on the bus, at home or at my desk at work – I have to fight the urge to dance and sing along to it.

I Can't Get Enough benny blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin | If Selena Gomez is in the song, there's a 99.9% chance I'm going to love it and this was no exception.

The Bones - Maren Morris | I'm so happy that Maren Morris has a new album! I've played Hero so many times (and it's admittedly still my fave) but I'm enjoying GIRL a lot too! I love the imagery this song evokes and as usual, her voice sounds fabulous on it.

Feels - Kehlani | In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm in the mood for catchy upbeat songs so here's another to add to the list. When she sings this line, "You give me feels and I know that I know, that I know that it's real" I sing along too (provided that I'm home or in my car alone).

Which song is your favorite?

Here's my full March playlist if you want to know what else I'm listening to!

Table for Two #27: KungFu Kitchen

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I have teamed up to bring you Table for Two, a collaboration that involves two of our favorite things - New York City and food. The two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself.

For this month's Table for Two, I'll be chatting about KungFu Kitchen and Alexa is featuring LROOM Cafe.

Where  |  KungFu Kitchen, 610 Eighth Avenue
Cuisine  |  Chinese
Price  |  $$ Moderate

What we ordered
  • Handmade xiao long bao/soup dumplings (pork and pork, shrimp & Chinese okra)
  • Pan-friend shrimp and pork dumplings
  • Scallion pancakes
  • Steamed buns with mushroom and bok choy
  • Rose milk bubble tea

What we thought
Alexa and I went to KungFu Kitchen twice in the span of one week! We went last Monday with friends and a few days ago when it was my turn to choose a restaurant, I realized I wanted two things: comfort and convenience. And what's more comforting than delicious soup dumplings on a cold day? Plus it's practically across the street from Port Authority which made it easy for both of us to head home afterwards. Needless to say, we were both very happy we ended up going back to this spot for Table for Two. The soup dumplings, rose milk bubble tea (!) and scallion pancakes are definitely must-orders. We liked the pan-fried ones too but we were so full on everything else that we only managed to eat a couple of these. Neither of us were huge fans of the steamed buns or the noodles we ordered the week before (in my opinion they were too oily). But I can definitely see us coming back again (and again) for the items on the menu we did love. It's not quite a new favorite but we really like this place!

Rating | 🥂🥂🥂 Really good 

Let us know if you check it out!