Everyfelt: My Etsy Store Got a Makeover!

Some of you may already know that I have an Etsy store that I work on when I’m not traveling, writing, YouTube video making, playing with Smiley and working at my 9 to 5. It’s been on the back burner for a while but I was still making sales, so I decided to refresh it and see what will happen!

Check out some of my new product pictures, either below or directly in my store:   https://etsy.me/2Xc5quv

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Free Coffee in NYC: Pret A Manger

In case you were wondering, yes, they do have pumpkin spice lattes that can be vegan or not! There’s nothing basic about enjoying some pumpkin spice in the fall time! *glares at haters*

New York City is known for being expensive! We have lived here since August and I can confirm this, however, there are ways to visit or live here on a budget. One thing that we have done, is traded in Starbucks for a much better coffee chain Pret a Manger.

Not only is the coffee here delicious and cheaper than at other chains. They give you a free first coffee and they had a great card that rewards you for your loyalty. This card is digital and you can use it through your their app. You can also save your payment information which allows you to pay by scanning your unique barcode directly from your phone.

Although you will often come in to Pret and see a long line of people, the line will move at lightning speed. This is because they only make fancy coffees for you and if you want a regular coffee, you can pour it yourself! They have a cute little coffee bar with four options: decaf and three different brews as well as several kinds of milk, including nut-based dairy-free milks! Of course there’s also sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.

So basically, you come in, scan your barcode, pick a size and you do the rest yourself. No one gets the chance to mess up your order and you are in an out as quickly as you need. Of course, you can also bring your own thermos to illuminate plastic waste and you are welcome to hang out in their seating area for as long as you want.

In case you were wondering, yes, they do have pumpkin spice lattes that can be vegan or not! There’s nothing basic about enjoying some pumpkin spice in the fall time! *glares at haters*

Check it out:

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Chinese New Year Parade in Manhattan, NYC

The highlight of the day for me was two dogs, a husky and a golden retriever dressed in traditional golden Chinese lion uniforms. Just like the ones that are worn for the lion dance!

Yesterday, on February 17th, we went to see the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown! As you may already know, Isaac and I lived in China for two years before moving to New York. We ended up going to the parade with a friend who we met in Shanghai! It was the first time we saw her since we had payday sushi and it was great to see her!

Our friend had actually been to this parade before so she convinced us to meet her for brunch at Jing Fong at 10:00. We thought it was ridiculous to meet so early when the parade didn’t start until 13:00, but she just said to trust her and we’re glad we did!

The brunch at Jing Fong was interesting. You need to keep in mind that we didn’t enjoy our time in China as much as our friend, so while she thrived in the chaos of Chinese waiters yelling and carts of mystery food rolling by, we felt like we were back in a place we didn’t love. Also, although the official menu had a lot of vegetarian and vegan options, this dim sum brunch did not.

So even though we were less than two blocks from our favorite vegan dim sum place, we were stuck eating the same two overpriced dishes, one of which was a dessert. It wasn’t the best experience but if you’re a meat eater and want to enjoy a new culture, I think you’d like this place!

The way ordering works, is that everyone gets a ticket – sometimes there will be several groups of people at one table if it’s crowded. We had two older Chinese gentlemen sitting with us which was interesting. When the carts come by, you can take plates of food and they will stamp your ticket in the correct category: small, medium, large, special, etc. Each category has a set price that is tallied up at the end.

Just like in China, not everyone at Jing Fong speak Chinese. It was really difficult for us to communicate with them to find out if things were vegan or not. Even though Isaac speaks basic Chinese! It also took 20 people to explain that we wanted two separate tickets for our group – even the two men sitting with us got involved in explaining what we want. This was a typical problem for us in China – simple things became a huge ordeal to explain and solve.

We left the restaurant after about an hour – when we first got there, it was only half full. On our way out, there were hordes of people standing in a line out the door. When we got out onto the street to find a spot to watch the parade, it was no different. There were already thousands of people standing and waiting for a parade that wouldn’t start for two more hours!

It was lucky we came early, although we did had another friend who came out at noon and he managed to find an ok spot to watch from as well. But if you want a guaranteed great spot to watch from, definitely come early. The earlier the better!

As for the parade itself, I wasn’t too impressed but I may be a little jaded. There were many impressive dragons that got better the later it got. Those and the lion dancers were amazing. But like all parades in New York, in between the cool performers were people campaigning and I hate that every parade is so political.

The police department performed too and that part was great, but I could have done without all the boring stuff in between! If you haven’t been to Chinatown or New York before, you may not know this, but most police officers in Chinatown are Chinese or of Chinese descent, which is really cool!

So this was our third parade in New York. The other two we had experienced were the Caribbean and Halloween parades and they both had similar boring political fillers in between the cool stuff. I guess they don’t get the necessary funds without agreeing to include these? I’m not really sure to be honest.

All in all, the Chinese New Year Parade was interesting to see. I definitely recommend seeing it at least once, especially if you haven’t been to China and want to experience the culture a little. The crowds to get in an out are also very authentic, and if you think being smushed by crowds of people is unique to New York, don’t be fooled and read about my description of my daily rush hour commutes in Shanghai!

The highlight of the day for me was two dogs, a husky and a golden retriever dressed in traditional golden Chinese lion uniforms. Just like the ones that are worn for the lion dance! Did you get to see the parade? Tell me about your favorite part in the comments below.

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I’m Running Behind – So Here’s Photos of Smiley

It’s been a really busy week and I’ve realized that I have nothing to write about today! I will be going to the Chinese New Year Parade in the afternoon so you’ll have an interesting post about that on Tuesday. But today, I have nothing to share with you except adorable photos of my rescue pibble Smiley!

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$2.75 Ferry Ride with a View: Rockaway Beach to Manhattan – NYC

Why overpay for a crowded cruise full of tourists when you can take a $2.75 (regular MTA fair) ferry ride!

Why overpay for a crowded cruise full of tourists when you can take a $2.75 (regular MTA fair) ferry ride! It takes about an hour and the views are spectacular. As you can see in the video below, it can get a little windy but sometimes there’s a rainbow waiting for you!

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Love as Blue as Hawaii – Published at Last

Stephanie lives on a beautiful campus in Hawaii, has the perfect group of friends, and can’t help but feel like life is about to begin. But try as she might, she can’t seem to figure out where her almost-fiance Kevin fits in the picture—or why she keeps seeing her friend Kai’s face instead.

Stephanie lives on a beautiful campus in Hawaii, has the perfect group of friends, and can’t help but feel like life is about to begin. But try as she might, she can’t seem to figure out where her almost-fiance Kevin fits in the picture—or why she keeps seeing her friend Kai’s face instead.

Love as Blue as Hawaii is a short romance story and it was published yesterday, February 12th in an anthology. Surrender to Passion includes three other steamy stories above love – perfect for Valentine’s Day!

You can buy Surrender to Passion on various platforms including Amazon and Barnes&Noble. If you read it and would like to help me get the word out, please leave a review either on Amazon,  B&N or Goodreads!

If you don’t already know, this story has been in the making for over 5 years! It would mean a lot to me if you took the time to buy the e-book, like my author Facebook page or subscribe to my author website!

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Make Up, Break Up – A Short Story About Betrayal

In this short romantic comedy, 22-year-old Helen faces one betrayal after another from the various men in her life. There’s her lying long-term boyfriend, inappropriate hostel boss, violent ex-boss and at least one condescending cop. Finally, there’s her dangerously sexy ex-boyfriend who has settled down with a vain skinny bitch and has forgotten all about Helen. Or has he?

Tomorrow, a lifelong dream is coming true for me. My fictional romance story is getting published in a steamy anthology! But I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow… today I’m here to tell you about another story.

In this short romantic comedy, 22-year-old Helen faces one betrayal after another from the various men in her life. There’s her lying long-term boyfriend, inappropriate hostel boss, violent ex-boss and at least one condescending cop. Finally, there’s her dangerously sexy ex-boyfriend who has settled down with a vain skinny bitch and has forgotten all about Helen. Or has he?

Make Up, Break Up is a short fictional comedy/romance story inspired by the crazy expats living in Prague. I came to Prague when I was almost 4 and spent 20 years being one of those crazy expats that all the locals complain about.

One thing that I have noticed living in Prague as an English-speaker is that there are very few if any, rom-com stories set there. So, I decided to write one. Writing my other story, the one that will finally be published tomorrow after years of puling teeth. This one, on the other hand, came out in a matter of days!

You can grab a free copy of it by clicking on the link below. If you chose to share your email address with me, I will occasionally (once a week tops) email you with updates about my future fictional writing!

https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/ivYyPZiI

Break Up, Make Up

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Last Firework Display of Summer 2018: Coney Island, NYC

In the summer you can experience fireworks on Coney Island every Friday as long as the weather is good. We only managed to go on the last day and we’re assuming these fireworks were extra special because they can’t be this good every Friday!

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New Year’s Fireworks on Charles Bridge, Prague – 2019

Do I recommend seeing the fireworks from Charle’s Bridge at least once in your lifetime? Yes, definitely! Will I be doing it again? Probably not.

While living in Prague for 20 years, I heard horror stories about being on the Charles Bridge at midnight on New Year’s Eve. After spending 2.5 years abroad, I decided to return and bite the bullet. Crossing this experience off my bucket list was different than expected. Being on the bridge felt extremely safe and the atmosphere was great.

There were police officers there to keep things in check but they didn’t stop anyone from drinking or setting off fireworks. The dangerous part came after, on our walk to our accommodation. The moment we stepped off the bridge, there was lots of chaos and drunken brawls. Do I recommend seeing the fireworks from Charle’s Bridge at least once in your lifetime? Yes, definitely! Will I be doing it again? Probably not.

It was so absolutely breathtaking though, see for yourself:

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I Published a Short Story – Free Giveaway

In this short romantic comedy, 22-year-old Helen faces one betrayal after another from the various men in her life. There’s her lying long-term boyfriend, inappropriate hostel boss, violent ex-boss and at least one condescending cop. Finally, there’s her dangerously sexy ex-boyfriend who has settled down with a vain skinny bitch and has forgotten all about Helen. Or has he?

I am absolutely terrified to even post about this. I’ve been writing articles and blog post for over 5 years and some of them reached hundreds of thousands of people. So why do I suddenly have the online version of stage fright? This will be my first time publishing a fictional story!

Writing a fictional story that comes out of your heart and mind is completely different from reporting on facts and writing down your thoughts. Characters in a story are as dear to a writer as children, because you create them with your blood, sweat and tears.

So what is my story about? Love as Blue as Hawaii is about a group of people who meet in Hilo on the Big Island. Some characters are exchange students from Europe, others are locals from the island or other US States. They immediately form a bond stronger than any friendship any of them has experienced. They are all so different but they are drawn together!

Stephanie, the protagonist, finds herself forgetting the place that she once called home and starts to fall for a muscular blonde surfer Kai! This guy is completely out of her league and the complete opposite of her boyfriend, Kevin. Love as Blue as Hawaii is a short story about falling: falling in love, falling into a brand new routine and falling (actually, jumping) off of cliffs. It will be published in a steamy romance anthology Surrender to Passion.

This book will be published on February 12th, although you can pre-order it today here: https://books2read.com/passion

But wait, I did say free giveaway and I wasn’t lying. What’s more terrifying that publishing one short fictional story? Publishing two! I wrote a second story to promote my first, and it could not be more different than my first story!

Break Up, Make Up:

In this short romantic comedy, 22-year-old Helen faces one betrayal after another from the various men in her life. There’s her lying long-term boyfriend, inappropriate hostel boss, violent ex-boss and at least one condescending cop. Finally, there’s her dangerously sexy ex-boyfriend who has settled down with a vain skinny bitch and has forgotten all about Helen. Or has he?

You can claim it for free using the link below. Download it as an ePub, mobi or PDF and choose to opt-in if you could like to receive occasional email updates: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/ivYyPZiI

To follow my fictional writing adventures, you can subscribe to my author’s website: https://www.olenakagui.com

Break Up, Make Up

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