Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It *was* my birthday.

About a week ago (precisely a week ago) on July 13th, I rang in my new year with a ton of events. It's what I like to call #CelebrateLaToyaWeek (it's a real hashtag with over 50 posts on Instagram because, La Toya).

A lot of people ask me how I do it each year, coordinating all my friends, choosing the locations, carving out the agenda etc.

What better way to begin my food/books/sometimes music blog than to review and go through my entire week with photos and critique?!

So stay tuned for daily posts, happy birthday to me, and thanks for checking out my blog!

The layout is a work in progress so don't be alarmed if it continues to improve the more you come back.

***Please note: this blog used to be LazyGirlReads, then the bookish La Toya, Literally blog. 

And now here we are - a culture blog with the same name that will now include primarily book and restaurant reviews with a dash of music and travel thrown in. Because that's all I know and BECAUSE SO MANY OF YOU ASKED FOR IT (yay!!)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I ate the Rainbow Bagel so you wouldn't have to.

Short answer: Eh.

Long answer: The Rainbow Bagel at The Bagel Store was sticky to the touch (not sure why), overpriced, entirely too pastry-like, and somehow lacking in flavor. The funfetti cream cheese was a great draw and I would actually have this again on a plain bagel. But only like once every 5 years.

Longer answer: OMG I'm blogging again! Anyway - so many people decided that these Rainbow Bagels were the new thing. Like the saving grace of Brooklyn, the holy grail even. But are they? ARE THEY?

I had been dying to head over to this place. I figured I could just hop on the bus and shoot over to Greenpoint or Williamsburg or whatever neighborhood in (not so) newly populated North Brooklyn this place was in...grab one, have my mind blown and take a super cute picture of it to make everyone's mouth water and think I was SO COOL and IN THE KNOW! Alas.

When I arrived at the Bagel Store, I couldn't help but notice it was a hole in the wall. "But it's always the hole in the wall places that have the delicious foods!", they said. "It's totally worth taking the G train!", they said. I digress.

There were 4 or 5 really excited, really loud young girls in the store, standing in the way, confusing me on where the heck the line started. I saw the "Rainbow" bagels (this is in quotes because today they were only green and yellow) chilling in a display box and was already unimpressed. You see, Native New Yorkers (and NNYs skip this part because you already know this) who like bagels can look at a bagel and be able to tell if it's both doughy, chewy, and naturally crispy enough for them to purchase. We also do this with Pizza slices btw. These bagels were, something other than.

I decided to go for it. But then I remembered that I needed to pick a cream cheese. The kid at the store sullenly suggested I go for the Funfetti Cream Cheese. Because that's totally a normal thing. And he eats it by the spoonful.

His accent led me to believe that he might be from here, so I said, "ok but like, would a New York person who likes bagels eat this...funfetti cream cheese? Because if I'm being honest, this sounds insane." He brought me over some to taste, on a knife (!?!) and I was sold. The cream cheese was cheesy and only slightly sweet despite its name and appearance.

Finally I asked for the bagel to be toasted. "Oh the toaster don't work."

::cue brain explosion::

I thought about a lot of things in this moment. Where was I? What kind of place is this with a broken toaster? Why am I here? Then I was angry, why do I ever listen to other people? What am I doing in Williamsburg? And finally, when all hope was lost he interjected with "But they just came out of the oven's like..."

Which brings me to the end of my tale folks. I ended up paying at least like 6+ dollars for this creation that was somewhere between a food you would find on Care Bears and/or Fraggle Rock and you know - that's usually a compliment in my world  but not today.

I do not suggest for adults. I probably won't go back. But if I were a kid, I would BEG my mom to buy me a zillion of these.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

31 Days to Better Blogging Day 4: Top Commenters

Okay now I'm all caught up! I've been back posting the days of this challenge for organizational purposes. This is a month long challenge by Rachel @ Parajunkee that I'm so excited to be digging into.

I don't think I ever did this! Even in the prime of my blogging days, I never thought to highlight people who comment. I look so forward to adding this element to my blog. It's nice to know who's checking for me!

Rachel also suggests to do this because you'll be able to comment on their blog in turn. How lovely. I would say at this very moment, it doesn't entirely make sense for me to post one until people notice I'm blogging again haha!

I am looking forward to "rewarding" commenters with books/ecards/features etc. Bring it on friends!

How do you acknowledge the people who comment on your blog on a daily basis?

I'm back - for real.

Welp - I haven't really got a valid reason for you folks! Back when I wasn't working and had all the time in the world, I hadn't realized how time consuming keeping up a blog would be!

It became more of a chore than a passion for a long while. I also switched names to La Toya Literally (from my humble beginnings as LazyGirl Reads, which I was more commonly known as) and re-introducing myself to you as that was becoming difficult to do as well.

So yeah, there are a bunch of first world excuses as to why I haven't been blogging. Bing bang boom.

What I intend to do, is to very slowly get back in the swing of things. Not overwhelm myself with writing a review or two per week (although, I really really could...I've read a LOT and haven't reported back to you all here).

If I'm popping up into your feed, please point me to the hippest blog out there as I gather my thoughts and get it all together again.

Expect lions and tigers and bears! Defying feats of gravity and clowns! Expect the unexpected!

Thanks for reading!

La Toya

PS: Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

31 Days to Better Blogging: Day 3 About Me Refresher

And now we've come upon the easiest thing for me to do which is talk about myself. HEHE!!

Rachel has a lot of great points on her original post. While I'm thinking that I can flaunt that beside having a passion for reading, I'm actually a pretty darn good singer - she points out that that might not be of interest to someone coming to your page to understand WHY they should read your blog.

There's also the challenge to post or highlight old entries you may have that could be of interest to a new reader. This has me thinking about my blog and it's existence in an entirely new way. There was a time that I was posting several posts a day on different subjects, loosely based around books. And there were also times that I took a break from posting about books and would gush over Halloween instead.

These posts are sort of lost (might not be if I poke around in the Help section a little). Lost because I changed my domain name altogether. I'm hoping I can re-activate that page so that I can include the cool posts I once had.

Anyway, I'm going to work on finding those old posts and getting a cool updated picture of myself for you all.

Do you have an about me page?