Life lately: Book Events, Tampa and Foodie Outings

My 2019 is off to a busy start! In January, I went to two book events, an almost week-long trip to Tampa for work, had family from Denver come visit and managed to squeeze in an ice cream date with two of my favorite ladies on the coldest day ever. (I also magically read 17 books in spite of all that!) 

The first book event I attended was for the book launch of Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (which I loved!). The panel included Melissa Albert, S.A. Chakraborty and was moderated by my dear friend Kristin. I'd never seen Roshani speak live before and she is so completely charming and funny. I thought all three authors spoke eloquently and with humor about each of their works and Kristin did a great job of keeping the conversation going. (Sidenote: Somehow Alexa, Kristin, DJ and I have been accidentally coordinating a lot lately ☺)

The day after being off for MLK (which I spent being lazy and productive at the same time), I flew out to Tampa for work. I had a 2.5 day workshop to attend which meant I was stuck in a single room all day with a group of people listening to them talk and most of it wasn't even relevant to me. So that part, not so fun. But on the upside: it was 70 degrees, I got to read by the pool, our office campus was surprisingly pretty, I had a $85 daily limit to spend on food and one of the girls who also attended (and works in the NYC office with me) said we should take advantage. I wasn't going to argue with that! The two restaurants we went to for dinner were amazing so if you're ever in Tampa, I highly recommend Columbia Restaurant and Shells Seafood

My cousin and her daughter visited New Jersey a couple weekends ago so we made plans to grab dinner and I suggested we go to Taste of Philippines. I very rarely crave Filipino food because it's what I grew up on and why am I going to spend money when I can just ask my mom to make it for me. But that being said, I love Taste of Philippines and this other restaurant called Mama Fina's because they make food my family usually doesn't. But my cousin is the opposite. She didn't grow up on Filipino food the way I did so whenever she visits, this is the cuisine she wants and luckily she loved this place as much as I do. We got tapsilog and halo-halo and just had a great time catching up. Plus my niece is the absolute cutest. 

Leigh Bardugo had a tour stop for King of Scars at The Strand so of course, Alexa, DJ, Kristin and I were there. I love going there for events because one of my favorite restaurants, Saigon Market, is right around the corner (we always go beforehand; get the bun xao noodles!). The event was packed which is unsurprising because it's Leigh. The format was a bit different in that she just did Q&A the entire time, mixing it up with live questions and others that had been pre-submitted in a bowl she kept up front with her. It was perfect because the audience just had so much to ask about her books new and old, the upcoming Netflix series and her writing in ge. I always say this but she's so inspiring and delightful to listen to. 

Now that I'm about to wrap up this post, I'm realizing I mentioned a lot food but #sorrynotsorry. On the coldest day of winter so far, Alexa, Kristin and I went to Natura Cafe to try their frozen hot chocolate which was only available from January 1-31. It was so good! It was slightly melted chocolate soft serve with toasted marshmallows, mini cookies, a stroopwafel, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. It was pretty sweet but Alexa and I balance it with chips and guac (aka most unhealthy dinner ever).

What have you been up to lately? 


  1. January was a good month! For how little we planned, it still looks like we did a ton in your post lol! The frozen hot chocolate was delicious and I will never get anything but bun xao noodles at Saigon Market ever again! Roshani really is the most charming person! I'm so thankful the event went well and it definitely helped having so many familiar faces in the front row!<3

  2. We did have a fun time in January, didn't we? I'm glad we had such great book events to attend so early on in the year!


with love,