AWESOME GIVEAWAY: $25 to Sweetery!

Traditions are great and NYC is chock full of them. An eight-year tradition that I've brought with me from LA to Boston and finally to New York is coming up this Saturday -- the MS Walk. I'll be walking with my team "Straight Shooters 2" six miles through lower Manhattan and Brooklyn to honor my mom who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was in high school. Every year I increase my fundraising goal and this year I'm aiming for $2500. The money goes to fund excellent programming and support initiatives for people with MS and to enable breakthrough research.

By viewing my personal fundraising page, you can learn more about my personal story, why I walk and the meaning behind the team name. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be sunny and warm as we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and through the gorgeous area of Brooklyn Heights with our poster held high.

Part of the Straight Shooters 2 in the 2010 Walk MS
Another addition to the NYC tradition roster, food trucks, more specifically Sweetery, will be featured this Saturday at the walk. They will be setting up shop at the MS Walk and will be donating 25% of their proceeds to the MS Society. Sweetery has also been generous enough to offer me a $25 gift card to give to one lucky person who donates to my team. You could use that dough to purchase delicious muffins, cookies, cupcakes or my personal favorites - macarellas!

Here's how you enter! Please include your email in any comments so I know how to contact you if you are the winner.

1) REQUIRED - Donate $5 or more on my fundraising page and comment back here to let me know you did so.

2) If you donate $10 or more, you will get an extra entry into the giveaway. Be sure to comment below with exactly how much you donated. 

I won't be doing extra entries for following me on Twitter, but I would really appreciate you telling your friends about this contest as an act of good will to help me raise $2500. Also, if you've already donated, you can still enter the contest. Just be sure to comment below with your name, email address and how much you donated. Lastly, if you're feeling like you'd like to do some fundraising of your own, I invite you to join my team! If you raise $100 by Saturday, you will get a swanky-danky T-shirt - ow, ow!

One winner will be chosen using Random.org on Saturday 4/30. You have until Saturday 4/30 at 12 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!


AWESOME ALERT: Half Off Housing Works on Groupon

Last summer, I told you about Housing Works Thrift Stores. If you haven't been there yet, there's really no excuse not to immediately.

Today, Groupon is offering a half-off deal good for $40 at any of the 12 Housing Works locations throughout NYC. What's even better is that the coupon can be used for sale items! Oh, the booty you could score with this! Unfortunately, it's limited to one per person, but your friends would think you the most fabulous fashionista if you surprised them with a gift of this as well.

Click here to get $40 for $20 at Housing Works!


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to The Normal Heart

I don't know if it's the fact that London's National Theater is calling this play "one of the greatest 100 plays of the 20th century" or if it's the limited engagement (supply and demand, people), but I'm excited to see Broadway's newest play, The Normal Heart.

New York City during the AIDS crisis was a hotspot of controversy and reticence, yet while sadness seemed inevitable, hope prevailed in so many places. The Normal Heart is advertised as a political thriller that tells the story of a close group of friends fighting to break down the wall of silence surrounding the AIDS epidemic. Starring Ellen Barkin (Emmy® Winner, Before Women Had Wings), Patrick Breen (Next Fall), John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C), Joe Mantello (Tony® nominee, Angels in America), Luke MacFarlane (Brothers and Sisters, Lee Pace (Golden Globe nominee, Pushing Daisies) and Jim Parsons (Emmy® Winner, The Big Bang Theory), I'm sure this will be a powerful night of theater you won't soon forget.

All my readers are in luck! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to see The Normal Heart on Broadway! The tickets must be picked up at the box office the day of the show. There are 4 easy ways to win and each comment counts as an entry. Please include your email in any comments so I know how to contact you if you are the winner.

1) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2) REQUIRED - Leave a comment below letting me know why you want to see this show.

3) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

4) Tweet or blog about this event and let me know with a link to your tweet or blog in a comment below.

One winner will be chosen using Random.org on Thursday 4/7. You have until Thursday 4/7 at 4 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!

Thank you to everyone who entered! There is some serious interest in this show! But there had to be a winner. Congratulations Amanda! You win two tickets to see The Normal Heart on Broadway! I hope you enjoy and come back and give us the recap!

For the rest of you who didn't win, you can find discounted tickets here.


Awesome Wafel

I still have no idea why I waited so long to try the Wafels & Dinges truck. That was some not so awesome decision making. If you're in the same waffle-less boat that I was at the beginning of last week, run, don't walk, to the truck when it's in your neighborhood next! Better yet, follow them on Twitter, and go to the truck.

In celebration of Belgian Restaurant Week (yes, I'm pretty sure every week is another nationality's shot at culinary publicity), I visited the truck when it was parked on Wall St. near my office. I was having a craving for chili and low and behold Wafels & Dinges' special of the day was chili on a corn waffle. Can it get much better?


The waffle tasted like fluffy cornbread, but of course waffle form. And the chili was heart-warming and flavorful. This was definitely worth the walk outside in the rain.

In addition to my meal, and since I mentioned Belgian Restaurant Week, I received a free "playground waffle." What's that might you ask? Well, in the words of the guy who helped me, "it's individually wrapped so that you can take it to the playground and eat it there." Cute. 

This waffle was in the traditional liege style, slightly sweet, but definitely fluffy. It made for a great snack the next day. Too bad I wasn't at a playground. I could have gone for some swing-set action.

I've heard wonderful things about their several varieties of sweet waffles, which you can load up with toppings (the dinges) from nutella to ice cream to their special spekuloos sauce. Every day they have a different password which you can mention for a free dinges. Once you visit, come back and tell us about your awesome creations. Happy waffle-ing!

Wafels & Dinges (MOBILE CART) on Urbanspoon


Vegetarians Have More Fun

Vegetables have made a resurgence in NY cuisine in the past few years. With several upscale restaurants participating in "Meatless Mondays," and the Greenmarkets being one of the cooler places to be on a Saturday, it's no wonder there hasn't been a whole food festival to celebrate them yet. 

Entrepreneurs with a food background, Nira Paliwoda and Sarah Gross decided to start the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this year to add to the eclectic mix of culinary celebrations in this city and promote a "cruelty free" message. Promising it will be fun for omnivores and vegetarians alike, the event (which is FREE to the general public) will feature samples and demonstrations from vendors and companies like Kombucha Brooklyn, Peeled Snacks, Peanut Butter and Co., Chicago Soy Dairy and Grab 'Em Snacks. 

The event organizers Nira and Sarah
The festival runs from 10-6 on Sunday 4/3 at The Altman Building (135 West 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues). I'll be there joining in the fun and snacking on some produce. VIP tickets, which include an uber-cool giftbag, quicker admission, access to the speakers series and a bottle of wine to enjoy) are sold out but Metromix is giving 2 away! You must enter today though so get on it!