Thursday, January 30, 2014

Coffee with a World Changer - Diane Rodriguez

THANK GOD MY INTERNET IS WORKING AGAIN! Major delay in posts this week due to that setback. 

It's time for another "Coffee with a World Changer" post (check out the first one here). I met my beautiful friend Diane at Starbucks on 3rd & E 15th for a little chat. She brought her amazing son Levi, who is literally the most incredible little person. He is a future professional drummer and takes after his father as a worship leader. 

Diane is incredible. She came from humble beginings and is now living a full beautiful life. She's a World Changer because she is embracing each day she has, living life to the fullest, and tackling challenges as they come with grace and wisdom. 

Diane is a photographer. Her company is called Spanglish Studios and specializes in wedding photography. Diane is an incredible photographer because she doesn't just take pictures. She gets to know her subjects and creates an environment for them to fully expereince their special moments. 

photo c/o Spanglish Studios

3 words to describe your life right now.
Stretched. Hopeful. Full-Speed-Ahead.

A goal you have for yourself for the next 6 months to a year.
Personal goal, have another baby. Professional goal, expand business, shoot weddings in other states.

Best advice you've received. 
Don't turn your world upside down because you have a baby. Just make them apart of your life. They are not your life, they are a beautiful addition to it. Don't let being a parent get in the way of what God has for you, they are apart of the bigger plan.   

What is one word to describe what you do for a living?

Tell me more. 
Everyone has such great stories. I really get a kick out of it. Stuff like, "3 years ago I was pumping gas and he came over and asked for my number. Who would have know he'd be the love of my life". Just crazy things. The ways people meet and fall in love are incredible, the stories are wild. 

What are some things that you value in life.
Family. God. Friends. 

How did you get into photography?
I grew up in foster homes and I did not have any pictures to document my life. So, I always wanted to get to know people through their pictures and their stories. Eventually, I realized that everyone has a story and I find people are sometimes more comfortable telling their story through a picture. It was a friend that pushed me into chasing my dream. I always had the fear of what if people wouldn't let me tell their story or want me to take their picture. God just opened the door for it. 

What is your favorite place to shop in NYC?
Thrift shops. I like Beacon's Closet and Crossroads Trading Co.

What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?
Milk & Roses. Rabbit Hole. Cafe Mogador (one of Naturally Ginger's favorites). Five Leaves.

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC? 
Go to Dumbo and lay in the grass between the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges. I also like to Google abandoned sites and explore them. 

What is your favorite place for Coffee or to edit photos?

Levi and I may or may not have decided to have a photoshoot. Thanks to his very talent Mommy, these shots turned out great. 

Thank you Diane and Spanglish Studios for taking time to chat with Naturally Ginger. Love you and the work you that you do. Looking forward to memories and beautiful life-stories to come.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Republic and a Frozen Sunday Funday

This past Sunday Funday was more like Sunday Freezing. I'm pretty sure temperatures did not reach 20 degrees. People were bundled up and braving fierce arctic winds. Since it was Sunday Funday, I decided that fabulousness outweighed freezing. When it is this cold in NYC, you need to layer, layer layer. You also can never go wrong with a fur stole, floppy hat, and big sunglasses. 

Here are some of the ways people stayed fabulous and warm this Sunday Funday. 

Kait is always a fashion inspiration to me. She works at Barney's and is flawless when it comes to fashion. I saw her skirt during church and knew I had to capture her fabulousness. 

The men of Hillsong NYC always bring the most. 

A few more lovely ladies.
Plaid shirt and print scarf, love the contrast!


Snuck a lunch a Republic with my dearest Natalie. Republic is an Asian-fusion restaurant off of Union Square. I love Republic because they cook with the freshest ingredients and the price is very reasonable.   

A little wrist frosting for this frosty day!

We both got one of their Broth Noodle dishes. I chose the Wonton while Natalie opted for the Spicy Seafood. My favorite dishes are the Fried Calamari and Peanut Noodle Salad, but on a cold day like Sunday, warm soup was the way to go. 

Where are some of your favorite places to eat near Union Square? I'd love to try somewhere new and feature it on the blog! Leave a comment below! 

Happy Sunday Funday!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Frozen Tundra & Spring Natural Kitchen

This past Tuesday it snowed in NYC...again. Unlike last time, when I got a snow day, I had to trudge through the cold to get to work. 

I decided I wasn't going to let below zero temperatures and snow keep me down. I texted a few girlfriends to meet for dinner and I was so excited when they agreed! We all live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so B recommended we go somewhere new. I suggested Spring Natural Kitchen. I have eaten here once, but was dying to return again. 

Spring Natural Kitchen is the sister restaurant to Spring Street Natural in Soho. The philosophy behind the restaurant is to serve wholesome, unprocessed, all-natural food made from scratch.

The inside decor is  clean, fresh, and natural. Brick walls, rustic wood floor, and pops of color in the chairs, dried flowers, and accent paintings gave it a sophisticated ambiance. They explain the space to have an American style that is both traditional and modern. 

The menu boast a variety of cuisines from around the world. They even serve entree salads and have a Vegan section. They have a selection of 4 different types of burgers as well. The menu is vegetable and fish heavy, but also has a number of interesting meat options like oxtail, baby-back ribs, and hanger steak. I promise there is something for every type of foodie on this menu.

Our small intimate dinner for 3 ended up becoming dinner for 8, but in the end the more the merrier.

They sell wine by the ounce so you have a choice of 9oz or 12oz which I love! They also have a variety of affordable wines by the bottle. I got the Chardonnay (my fav and go to vino) and N got a Malbec.

Once everyone arrived conversation was a buzz. It came to a halt when THIS burger was placed on the table. 

Do you see that!? I don't know how you are supposed to fit that in your mouth. Four people ordered some variation of a burger and they were all equally massive.  M ordered this beautiful Fresh Black Linguini with Seafood. It was packed with lump crab, jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, clams, calamari, zucchini and tomatoes. 

I can't resist seared Ahi-Tuna steak when it is on a menu. This was done perfectly. The tuna was not fishy and was complemented by sauteed baby bok choy, crispy golden leeks, wasabi mashed potatoes, and a yuzu tamari reduction that I definitely licked up with a piece of bread (no shame)

I may or may not have sneaked a few of these sweet potatoes fries...

Bellies full we prepared ourselves to go back out into the NYC tundra. I find it incredibly difficult to be fashionable when it is this cold out. Somehow, though, my friends managed to do so.

Stay Warm.