The Battle of the (Açaí) Bowls!

Hey y’all! In this post, I am going to give my reviews on the açaí bowl places I’ve been to in Hoboken 🙂 Personally, I have been eating açaí bowls since my freshman year (so 2015), but recently I have become obsessed. When the first açaí bowl place, Shaka Bowl, opened in Hoboken I was so excited! I love smoothies and the fact that I could have a bowl version of a smoothie with extra fruit on top sounded amazing. From there, my love for açaí bowls started.

For those who don’t know what açaí is, açaí comes from a South American palm tree that produces small edible blackish-purple berries. The berries are considered a superfood because they are packed with antioxidants, fiber, healthy heart fats, and calcium. I am no health expert, but that sounds like a Christmas gift you can give to your body haha. On top of that it has the potential to help prevent heart disease and cancer, help you lose weight, can have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help ease arthritis symptoms, and has anti-aging agents. With that, I think everyone can see why açaí bowl places are popping up in communities around the country.

Now, I will do what y’all what have been waiting for….. THE REVIEW 🙂 This is my first review so don’t be too hard on me if it is not good, but I will try my best to give my honest review! So let’s get to it.

Shaka Bowl

A modern counter-serve cafe serving Hawaiian favorites like acai & poke bowls in rustic surrounds.

Location: 720 Monroe St e103, Hoboken, NJ 07030. I think it is good that there is an açaí bowl places in the back part of Hoboken so people that live far from Washington street don’t miss out on having a convenient açaí place. Also, there will be a new Shaka bowl place located on first and Washington!

Price: Base Price: Small 16oz – $9, Large 24oz – $11. From there you can choose 3 fruit (+.50 per extra fruit), unlimited toppings, some premium toppings (some are .25 to 1.00), then you can choose your sauce.

The açaí bowl: I think Shaka’s açaí base is liquidy and resembles a real smoothie consistency. Over the years the bowl that the açaí comes in has change many times. It was pretty large at first back in 2016, but like with all the açaí bowl places, it has gotten a little smaller since it has become very popular. Overall the taste is fresh, but to me it down’t taste like pure açaí. However, they have many food and drizzle topping options (Nutella is my fav :)), which I think is very important too.

Presentation:

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The picture is from November 2016. Everything is pretty much the same, but the actual bowl the açaí and fruit are in.

Service: I think the service is good. They are pretty quick if you don’t go during rush hour and if you do you will be waiting a bit; however, they have great music, Hawaiian vibes, and a good aesthetic so it will fly by. One of my lovely roommates also said the people were very friendly, so thats a plus!

Overall Experience: I give Shaka a 7/10. The main reason I give it this score is because I personally like a more thick açaí consistency. I do, however, like their aesthetic, the vibes and how they have in house and outside seating. I like when these types of places have both because it gives you the option.

Açaí ya later

Small, health conscious counter serve featuring açaí bowls & smoothies, plus grab-&-go sandwiches.

Location: 203 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Price: Açaí ya later has one size and it is $8.99 (price did raise $1). You can substitute out fruit and extras so they generally won’t charge you more unless you want more than 3 fruits/toppings.

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The açaí bowl: I have to admit when I first tried açaí ya later I hated the taste. I think one the reasons why is because I was so used to Shaka bowl’s açaí bowl and I was surprised how different it tasted. However, after I had it a few times I was hooked! It tastes the most like açaí and has a thicker consistency that I like. They mix their açaí with a secret ingredient (don’t know if I can say haha) but it makes it taste really fresh. Their menu is very limited, which some people might not like; however, you can ultimately substitute out things so it ends up being customizable.

Presentation:

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Service: The service is pretty good. Like Shaka, try avoid going in rush hour because you will spend around 20 mins waiting for a bowl. If you go outside of rush hour you will probably be one or two people in there and the employees will strike up a convo or ask how your day is and can be very personable, which I love.

Overall Experience: I give Açaí ya Later an 8.5/10. I love how personable they are and they remember their frequent customers. If your a loyal customer they will punch your loyalty card multiple times and you’ll end up getting a free bowl like every 5 times you go. So if you really like açaí bowls this is the place to go if you want to truly get rewarded for giving all of your money to them haha. The only bad thing about their store is that it is very small and only has one small table inside. They have 4 tables outside if you want to sit, but you have to come at the right time or else they will be taken, especially in the warmer months. Overall, if you haven’t caught on I freakin’ love this place.

Playa Bowls

Playa Bowls is a business that instills pride in handcrafting every playa bowl with the freshest, quality ingredients. #gobowlsdeep

Location: 100 Hudson St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Price: Playa bowls has one size and the price ranges from $9-$11, menu-style

The açaí bowl: Playa bowls have 5 options for açaí bowls and they are blended with 100% pure açaí. The açaí bowl is very fresh and has a good consistency. I would say that their açaí is more like Açaí ya later’s than Shaka. Their fruit and toppings are very fresh. Overall, they pretty much nail it.

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Presentation: 

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Service: Playa bowls is pretty quick and they are very friendly. The only problem, like with every other Açaí bowl place, try to avoid going in rush hour. It will be a little slower and I would always check your order before you leave because my roommate took another persons bowl that had her same name the first time we went lol.

Overall Experience: Overall, I give Playa Bowls a 8.5/10. They are one of the more expensive Açaí bowl places and that’s really the only reason I wouldn’t give them a perfect 10. They also have a lot 5 different bases you can choose from, so with that I don’t think I could ever get tired of this place. They are a chain so that had their shit together when they opened, which I loved because their aesthetic is on point. The have a lot of seating inside and outside, which is perfect. You definitely get a whole experience when you come to this place.

Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice is a family owned business, we provide healthy and great tasting juices, smoothies and more. Here at Jungle Juice we use fresh fruits and vegetables, and all natural ingredients to promote healthy lifestyles for our customers.

Location: 1016 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Price: $9-$10.75, menu-style

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The açaí bowl: This place is very very very organic. If you like organic foods this place is for you. Their bowl is the least like the “traditional” açaí bowl because they mix a lot different ingredients with it. This place is probably my least favorite because I do like a pure açaí bowl, but the bowl did taste really fresh. They also give a lot of fruit and the presentation was on point. Overall, it I think its more of a smoothie bowl than an açaí bowl.

Presentation:

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Service: The service was on point and they were very friendly. Since it is a fairly new place, they were very helpful and explained their menu very well. My bowl came out very fast, which I liked.

Overall Experience: I give Jungle Juice a 6.5/10. For a new place, I am very impressed. It is an organic place and you can tell by the menu. The service was really good and I am excited to try out their smoothies because I think I will like them more. They definitely will target more of the health conscience people, which is a very big community in Hoboken. They have limited seating outdoors, so it is more of a grab and go kind of place. I will definitely be back, but not for the açaí bowl.

 

 

Let’s Chat!

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Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here! I feel like over the summer I had time to write, post, and reflect over things that happened in my life, then fall semester hit and I had no time anymore. So as i’m sitting in my bed the other day pondering on what to write about, I stumbled upon these “lets chat” cards I got from the Dream Party (thanks Horacio Printing!) I went to last year and thought it was a good idea to do a Q & A. One very small goal I have for this year is to be more transparent/open about things that I feel and go on in my life. I felt like this was a great opportunity to start! So here we go:

Q: What risk are you happy that you took?

A: My first Co-op! I had to make a tough decision between two great companies, but I ended up choosing to work with The Walsh Group. To this day it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made because I could see myself working with them post-college, which is exciting. It came with many hardships and challenges, which you can read in my blog post Finding the “Good” in Goodbyes, but ultimately it gave me wonderful connections and knowledge that I will cherish forever.

Q: What could you do now that you could not do a year ago?

A: Hmmm this question is very interesting because there is honestly a lot I could do now that I couldn’t do a year ago. A year ago I was probably at one of the lowest points of my life due to my concussion, but comparatively also at one of the best parts of my life because I got my first job opportunity! It was a really weird time for me and I struggled with being truly happy. Today, I feel like I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve put a lot of things in perspective and noticed when I take care of my self and put myself first then I am generally more happy with the decisions I have to make and with the life I live. So to answer the question a year ago, I couldn’t blend my happiness with my life decisions. Now I am able to portray myself as happy without feeling the opposite on the inside even though it may seem like my life is how I want it (kinda deep right? haha).

Q: What makes you feel loved?

A: Oh what makes my feel loved… a lot of things! It doesn’t take a lot to make me feel loved, which could be a tragic flaw maybe? I don’t know, but I have a great friend group that knows exactly how to do it. So ask my friends Laura, Julie, Julia, or Ruthy if you are trying to get deep. Until then, generally when someone does anything for me that’s not expected like buy me food, listen to me vent, or celebrate my successes in life, it makes me feel loved. I think people think that it takes like a huge master plan to make someone happy, but 9/10 just make them feel important for 2 mins and there you go.

Q: What have you witnessed that has strengthened your faith in humanity?

A: This one is kind of hard because there are so many negative things happening in our world right now and it is hard to see the good in people or humanity when something bad happens. Luckily, I have wonder friends who are like minded and even friends who aren’t but are able to talk and reason about sensitive things, which is very important. I know personally all my friends and I have goals to make a positive impact in society, which is so inspiring. My best friend Laura is an aspiring Chemical Engineer who works so hard day in and day out to not only exceed academically, but to bring such a light to make a positive impact on society and is always there when you need someone. Julia is an aspiring business and technology student who finds beauty and happiness in what ever she lays her hands on which is an amazing attribute in my book. Julie an aspiring electrical engineer who loves to tinker around and has many side projects, which involve many electrical engineering attributes such as soldering and wiring various components to make many unique gifts. Ruthy, an aspiring computer scientist, plans to take over the world, which is perfectly fine with me, while solving world problems with her driven personality and infectious smile. So with all that, I think witnessing all my close friends have goals that potentially and will probably make the world a better place strengthens my faith in humanity because I think that all we need people that want to make the world a better place by doing the things they love.

Q: Who are your heroes?

A: Easy, my mom! She is the most hardworking woman I know and I hope to be half the woman she is one day. It’s funny, I always say I would never be like my mom because she is crazy, but she is crazy in the most beautiful ways. She loves like no other, she worked so hard so I could do the things I loved while sacrificing things she loved and no matter if we get in a fight or disagreement I know she is always their with open arms when I want her motherly love. I think thats is such a beautiful thing and that why she is my hero.

Q: What do you dream of achieving one day?

A: I love this question because there could be so many answers! We all have goals whether they may be career, relationship, personal, physical, financial, spiritual, which are all amazing and important to achieve a short/long term need, but I want to just be happy in what ever I do. What I mean by that is we can all have so many dreams and aspirations, but if we are not happy with ourself or our current situation then is it worth it? So I aspire to live a life full of happiness and surround myself with people that make me happy so if all of a sudden I was stripped of everything I have, I will still be content with the life I have in that moment.

Well thats it! Hopefully I kept it fairly short and you feel inspired to live this best life you can. I will leave you with this quote, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” -Denis Waitley

Love you guys and don’t forget to CYOB!

Whit 🙂

Finding the “Good” in Goodbyes

 

A goodbye is something I personally dread. I have said a lot of “goodbyes” in the last month or so and it’s kind of taking a toll. I never really thought of my myself as an emotional person, but ever since freshman year when my best friend Laura and I balled our eyes out leaving each other for the summer, it kind of stuck. Ever since then, every goodbye whether it’s to family, friends, or co-workers just sucks. It’s that simple.

Like I said earlier, I’ve had some tough goodbyes recently- one was soccer. After countless memories, friends and teams that turned into family, and 16 years of playing the game, I couldn’t fathom the fact that I had to let go of something I loved because of my concussion. It was a really hard decision because for a while I couldn’t see my life any other way. I have had countless injuries over the years, like many other athletes, but my last concussion just changed me emotionally, physically, and mentally. Even though I only had two more years of playing soccer, I just couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I got another concussion and what that would mean for my future. It seemed like the one thing that was supposed to give me joy, gave me anguish and confusion, which made me realize that my future well-being and recovery should be put first. With that, I am finally starting to feel like myself again and I am so happy. I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason and it’s okay to let go. Adjusting to my new life is taking some time, but I feel like I made the right decision and no matter what, life goes on and everything will always be okay.

Similar to soccer, I have been working with The Walsh Group (the best company ever!) for the last 8 months. This past week, my co-op came to an end. I have been immersed in the construction industry and have been able to learn an incredible amount, but I have also made some long-lasting relationships. I never knew how much work takes over your life. After a certain amount of time you start to get to know everyone and they begin to feel like family. There would be many weekends were I would wake up at 4am just to make it to work by 6am. Although at times it sucked, these were the hours I really got to know my crews and it seemed like I got paid to hang out with really great people. My co-op experience just confirmed my love for civil engineering and it just made it that much harder to leave. It’s crazy how time really flies and I think everyone would agree if there was anyway we could stop it when life was perfect, it would be amazing. Unfortunately that can’t happen. So, all we can do is enjoy every minute of every moment with a grateful heart. For all my friends that use faith to get through life, I found an excerpt in a blog post from Delight Ministries. It really stuck with me in regards to goodbyes.

“I am so thankful for a summer that is so hard to leave behind, for the people who have loved me and I have come to love. I am so thankful for all the ways this summer has challenged me, encouraged me, grown me, taught me, and brought me joy. 

But I am also thankful to be learning how to leave. Who knows what lies ahead? More places that will be hard to leave behind, more people to love and be loved by, more places that challenge, encourage, teach, grow, and bring joy? With God as the one guiding the movements of my heart and feet, I’d say the chances are good.”  – @jacquelinewinstead

With that, I just want to say it is okay to feel sad or upset when you have to say goodbye in any situation. In life, we are going to have many goodbyes, but you have to remember there will be many hellos in return. Trust your heart and realize that you have a purpose in life. You should always follow your dreams and don’t let anything get in your way. I hope everyone experiences things that make them happy and uses those things to create their own beauty!

Love,

Whit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds of the City

Sounds of the City

Music. When I envision music, I see how it heals, calms the soul, brings out joy, how it can mend any situation. In other words it’s simply amazing. My wonderful friend Julia and I set out on an conquest to see at least two small/lowkey concerts in NYC this summer that we could unleash our love for music on. When thinking about who I wanted to see, I immediately thought of my favorite music group, Thirdstory (insert heart eyes). They are a perfect trio of guys that harmonize so beautifully, your soul will cry tears of happiness. We saw them in late June at Warsaw in Brooklyn and it couldn’t have been more of a jam packed show. Two other amazing artist opened up for them and took us, the crowd, on a journey. It was filled with ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, and with a whole lot of fuck yous because who wouldn’t want to say fuck you to a horrible ex? Haha. Both artist held their ground with Thirdstory and made the night super enjoyable. I really am just glad we had a chance to see them again because Julia and I perviously saw them in December and still had post concert depression, so what better way to cure that then jammin’ out at their concert!

Juls picked an artist that did not disappoint either. His name is Jaymes Young and to be honest I have never heard of him before (just like Juls with Thirdstory the first time), but oh boy does he have some relatable songs! His opening act was a singer/songwriter also who did not let down. His music was raw and playful, which definitely started the show off right. Then Jaymes Young came on (insert heart eyes again). He is actually a very funny guy and was making the crowd laugh all night between songs. His songs are so fresh, fluid and fun. If you want to just feel the lyrics I would highly just sit and listen to his songs Habits Of My Heart, Feel Something, Stoned On You and We Won’t. I just gave you a solid jam sess so be grateful 🙂

Living in NYC this summer has been so much fun. I am so grateful to have a friend like Juls who shares a wonderful love for music like I do. These artist especially know how to speak to one’s soul and really show that music is just another form of expression. My love for music takes me back to day where it would be only reason I would get out of bed or some days the only thing that kept me smilin’ 🙂 I believe that music heals and that’s why I love having it in my crazy life. No matter what it will be there with no judgement and only welcoming arms. Music has made me into the person I am today and has definitely been my beauty in clouds of darkness. Use it to find your sunshine and to help you discover happiness because life is too short not to enjoy every moment! Remember, beauty can be in the ears of the beholder. CYOB friends 🙂 -Whit

~California Love~

 

I remember when I was a kid summer time was always a time of fun, relaxation, and hangin’ out with your best friends. As I got older it definitely wasn’t fun all the time, but it was still a time to get away from school. Now that I am a working woman, summer feels like just another day. I get up, go to work, work, come home, eat, then sleep (SO MUCH FUN RIGHT!?).

Getting in the routine can sometimes be daunting. I mean come on it’s summer! I should be partying it up on some tropical island (throwback to last summer:)) with my best friends! Well, we all know as we get older and start working we have to work hard and earn that money to be able to have the option of going places whenever we want. So after working my booty off I spontaneously went online, picked a flight and bam! I was off to LA to visit my lovely sister and mother 🙂

LA has been a summer vaca spot for me for the last few years and every time I go I still get an amazing feeling when I hop off the plane! I’m definitely more of a laid back person and would rather live on the beach (don’t ask me how I got on the east coast haha) but since I can’t have it all, I find my oasis in the City of Angels. Whether it’s being super touristy and going to Universal Studios or to walk along the stars or finding a super quaint museum hidden in the many mountains of LA, you will always feel at ease on your sweet adventure.

I don’t know what it is about LA (even though it can still be pretty fast paced) I find a beauty and charm in it’s cool breeze and sunny skies. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to get away and enjoy what you want to create your own happiness and that’s what I do. I find life in places I love and enjoy. That’s how I CMOB (create my own beauty)  🙂 -whit