Happy 2 Year Blogiversary SimplyPamarie!

I had to turn on King Bey, aka Beyonce to start this celebration! Today I’m celebrating my 2 year Blogiversary! What is a blogiversary you ask? According to Urban Dictionary, it’s the yearly anniversary of someones web-log (blog.) So yes, simplypamarie.com has been providing you all the food, travel and entertainment knowledge you want to know for the past 2 years! This celebration is dear to me for so many reasons that were never shared before. I think right now is the perfect time to share them.

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Simplypamarie.com was started at a time when I was completely unhappy with my job. I was having one of those “woe is me” moments and my sister came to my room and completely went off on me. She said Pam “why are you sitting around feeling sorry for yourself? You have talent, you have drive, start that blog you’ve been talking about. Start it now!” So I wiped all my tears away and began formulating ideas for my blog. Thank you sister for being my muse and motivation.

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Now here we are 2 years later celebrating something that probably saved my life. It gave me a new outlook on life and honestly the motivation to fight some of the hardest battles ever. Very few people also know that I was recently unemployed for 10 months, after being laid off from a job. I know you’re thinking this girl been traveling, eating everywhere, and living luxuriously. Don’t let the Instagram pictures fool you, life was REAL. Really really real! Fortunately, I had great friends and family who supported and encouraged me. Moreso, simplypamarie.com was the light in my darkest days. Blogging and sharing my passions with my readers, and receiving comments and questions put a smile on my face when I really didn’t want to smile.

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But enough about that. I really want to thank my readers, my family and my friends for participating in simplypamarie.com I’ve experienced some amazing restaurants, built great connections, met some really cool fellow bloggers through @blackgirlswhoblog and also traveled places that people dream of. I thank you for experiencing all of that with me. I’m looking forward to bringing you more beneficial content. Remember that this blog is most importantly here to teach you how to “Live Life Simply.” It is here to give you all the details you need and also show you how to save money as well. (Groupon, LivingSocial, HotelTonight Uber and Restaurant Week are your friends.)

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Okay so in honor of today’s celebrating, I’m hosting another contest! This one is easy, so don’t worry. All you have to do is comment on this post about ANYTHING pertaining to my blog. For example, it can be a question for me, a comment about an experience you had from something I suggested on my blog, a suggestion on improving my blog or a restaurant you think I should try. All comments are welcome. I will select a winner on March 3. The winner will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card and a full one day of events planned by me.

Happy 2 Year Blogiversary SimplyPamarie!

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Top 5 Ways To Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day In NYC

This may have been my most awaited post ever. I have answered your wishes, here is your top 5 ways to enjoy your Valentine’s Day and it’s also your Valentine’s weekend bible. I’ve done all the work for you, romantic prix fixe dinner menus, fun outings for you and your boo and the best hotels for a night recap *wink wink*. Yes, All Star Weekend (and Fashion Week) is the same weekend and will probably outshine this special day but this list is catering to the lover in you.

If you would like me to plan your Valentine’s Day, need more options or want me to create your itinerary, contact me at simplypamarie@gmail.com! 

1. Restaurants

Manhattan

Spice Market is a Southeast Asian exquisite dining experience offering a special dining menu for $95 per person Here

Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is your go to place for romance and intimacy. They are offering a 3 course dinner menu at both locations for $68 per person Midtown Here and West Village Here. Date night packages on Groupon (not valid 2/14) Here

STK Midtown/Downtown Steakhouse offers steak specials for two and a DJ on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Further details on opentable.com

Buddakhan specializes in Modern Asian Cuisine and is a great option. They don’t have a specialized menu but I dined with them last year for Valentine’s day and had a wonderful experience. They are pricey and the portion size is small but the ambiance and the taste of the food is wonderful.

Serendipty 3 is a great dessert option. It is also romantic and playful. They aren’t offering a specialized menu but it’s still a great choice for dessert.

Clyde Frazier Wine and Dine is a sports themed restaurant and bar. Shoot hoops and have dinner with your boo. Pretend that you’re just as excited about All Star weekend as he is. (Email me for their special Valentine’s Day menu.)

Queens/Long Island

Blend on the Water‘s authentic Latin Fusion cuisine is your option if you want a little sas in your food and a view of the city. They’re offering a $140 per couple, 3 course menu plus a glass of Moscato for each.

Simply Fondue is very similar to Melting Pot. Think cabanas, chocolate fondue, intimacy and romance. They are offering a 4 course meal with wine/champagne for $65 per person and $85 which includes lobster.

Penthouse 808 is a rooftop Asian Pacific Bistro. They are offering a 3 course Prix Fixe Dinner Here

Brooklyn

Milk River combines Caribbean and Asian cuisine deliciously. They are offering a specialized menu that has not been released yet. Please check back for updates.

Bronx/New Rochelle/White Plains

Don Coqui specializes in Puerto Rican cuisine and has a beautiful ambiance. Eat and party the night away!

More of my favorite Valentine’s Day picks are HERE. For details on more restaurant options visit my Food page. For a list of all participating restaurants with Valentine’s Day specials visit opentable.com

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2. Couple’s Classes 

Paint Nite for two is a great idea. Put on your Picasso hat and book one of these 16 choices of paint nites all over NYC for $65 each Here (Use the code: creativenite for 40% off)

Butter Lane Bakery offers a cupcake making class for two Here Contact classes@butterlane.com for questions.

Cooking with Chef Jeff is a unique cooking experience where you’ll learn how to create 3 of his specialty dishes for $75 Here

Wine Tasting Tours includes 5 tastings, live music and a discount on wines (transportation included) for $79 for one and $149 for two Here

Couples Massages with a Jacuzzi and Champagne for two at Cynergy Spa, Tribeca Spa of Tranquility  and Body By Brooklyn

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3. Sightseeing Activities and Museums

Sign up for the Uber and use my code: 5EMKV for 1 FREE ride up to a value of $30.

Museum of Sex has spiced up their exhibits and offers an aphrodisiac cocktail “treatment.” Tickets prices are $17.50 on February 12 and 13, $20.00 on February 14th. More information Here

Tropical Paradise at the New York Botanical Gardens is a conservatory that brings the islands to NYC. Valentine’s Day is sold out but it’s still a beautiful exhibit to experience.

Celsius at Bryant Park offers VIP Ice Skating for two on groupon Here

Visit the top of the Empire State Building. If you’ve never been, this would be a fun date. Tickets Here

Manhattan Helicopter Tour for two at a price of $245 Here

For more couples activities visit my Holiday List and Dates.

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4. Hotels

Sign up for the Hotel Tonight App and use my code: PGIBBS11 for $25 off your first booking!

Andaz Hotels offer a Champagne and Chocolate Delight package that includes breakfast for two HERE

W Hotels offer a “In Love or Just Lust” package that wakes up al your senses with a special surprise in the room Here

The London offers The Modern Romance Package which includes a couples massage in your suite, martini’s and canapés Here

Dream Midtown Hotel offers a Valentine’s Day  Package of  two welcome glasses of champagne, bottle of champagne at turn down  and a romantic rose petal décor  Here

Conrad Hotel offers a Romance Retreat package of a floral arrangement, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a continental breakfast for two Here

Gansevoort Hotels offer the Get Intimate package of bottle of champagne and strawberries, a continental breakfast for two and couples monogrammed pillowcases Here

*Please note that due to the holiday, All Star Weekend and Fashion Week, MANY hotels are already booked this weekend. If your Valentine’s plans are flexible, you may have to choose another day for these hotels but they are great options nonetheless.

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5. Events and Shows

Valentine’s Day Weddings 2015 at the Empire State Building. Get married at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day Here

Burlesque Show with a 3 course Prix Fixe dinner for $95 at 9pm and $125 at 9:30 per person at Duane Park Here

The Slipper Room offers 3 burlesque shows on 2/14. Tickets range from $10 to $20 at the door Here

P. Diddy and Snoop Dog Concert Feb 12, Tickets Here

Chris Brown and Trey Songz Concert Feb 16, Tickets Here

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds with special guests 112 and Avery Sunshine Feb 14, Tickets Here

Valentine’s at Hotel Chantelle includes unlimited Rose Champagne for 2 from Feb 11-14 Here This fun French restaurant and lounge is great for an intimate Valentine’s day. They also have a Burlesque show every Friday.

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5 Ways To End Your Rainy Day Blues

Are you experiencing the rainy day blues? You probably have already seen every episode of Sex and the City, you’ve perused through Netflix and came up with nothing and the walls are slowly starting to move in on you. Maybe you don’t want to snuggle up in bed and eat everything inside of your refrigerator while waiting for the rain to end. I mean every once in a while these indoor plans seem fun but today is just not one of those days. If you feel this way, I’ve got a solution of five ways to end your rainy day blues.

1. Spa

Relax, unwind and escape the rain at Spa Castle. Call up a friend or family member and treat yourself to a day at the spa. For $40 weekdays or $50 on weekends you can spoil yourself by relaxing in the saunas, pools, jacuzzi’s and massage rooms. Cynergy Spa and Tribeca Spa of Tranquility are also great spas. For other spa options and deals visit livingsocial.

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2. Museums

There is a pretty cool panorama of the City of New York exhibit at the Queens Museum. The suggested admission for adults is $8, $4 for students and seniors and children under 12 years are free. (Suggested means it is not required.) Another option is the Sony Wonder Lab, a free technology and entertainment museum for children and adults. The Sony Wonder Lab also has free weekly weekend movie screenings. For a list of the movie screenings visit sonywondertechlab.com. There are many museum options in NYC that are perfect to stay dry and warm indoors. Click: Kids for children’s museum options and Adults for adult museum options.

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3. Indoor Shops

Don’t let the rain stop your show. You can still always go shopping! But, if the mall doesn’t excite you, you can still visit these indoor shops and have a all in one experience of food, shopping and fun. Five places that provide all this is the Chelsea Market, Grand Central Terminal, Brooklyn Night Bazaar, The Shops at Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center Shops.

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4. Gyms and Sports Center

Even though the rain normally makes everyone extremely lazy and not in the mood for anything, take the initiative and head to the gym. You’re not missing out on anything going on outdoors besides getting wet, so you mind as well break a sweat indoors. The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers has everything you’d want to do from sports, to work out classes to personal training options. It’s pretty much an all in one. For something closer to your house try LA Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, NY Sports Club or Equinox. For membership deals visit livingsocial.com.

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5. Be Productive!

You know those errands you had to run but you kept putting them off? Or the junk drawer that’s overflowing with nonsense that you keep ignoring? Or the fact that you haven’t packed away your summer clothes and it is now winter and you know you need to do some cleaning? Or maybe there’s a friend or family member that you’ve been meaning to call or go visit and you just didn’t have the time? Possibly there’s a book you wanted to read, or a really cool blog you wanted to check out and comment on *hint hint*. Well guess what? Now is your time to be productive!

 

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