Best Desserts of CNY: Sugar & Co.


Lemon meringue bar, flourless chocolate cake, and cookie-dough brownie layered dessert. Just a little taste of what Sugar & Co has to offer. The vibes are great — Modern upbeat music, especially attractive to a younger age group. Most dates these days are dinner and a movie, but I find this to be a more UNpopular way to get to know someone without the typical restaurant meal. PLUS there is an exquisite wine list, and we all know you can’t go wrong with wine. Appetizers & desserts are what they serve up at this prime downtown location in Syracuse, NY.

The pastry chef is definitely not one to be over looked. This well-known artistic creator is what separates Sugar & Co. from the rest. She goes by the name ‘the little cake artist’ on Instagram. Her talent is very evident — not just in the quality of the desserts, but the beautifully crafted presentation as well. Probably the reason she has gained 41k followers and counting! Wow, AMAZING. The service goes above and beyond expectations. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners who was working at the time and she just so happened to have the same name as me. Obviously the reason why they made the list. Kidding, the bar is perfectly stunning. I never would have known she was the owner had I not asked. GO see why they are one of THE best dessert places in CNY. Be sure to follow their sweet journey on Instagram. Did you my last dessert post?! Here it is “Best Desserts of CNY: The Sweet Praxis.”



Lemon meringue bar with graham cracker and hazelnut crust & Chambord macerated berries



Cookie dough brownie with edible cookie dough layers


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Flourless chocolate cake paired with a Bavarian cream & raspberry sauce



Sliced prosciutto, caramelized onion, goat cheese, & a drizzle of balsamic glaze


Macaron monday?

Best Desserts of CNY: The Sweet Praxis


Everything about this downtown Cuse spot is perfection. The moment you walk in, you know it’s something special. It is everything you would expect from a modern downtown cafe, and then some — if it can be put in any category. Everything about this place is beautiful. The simple, yet chic décor along with the display of sweets make you want to say “I’ll have one of everything please.” Always met with freshly made desserts and a variety of unique options daily. I sampled a cinnamon scone, a minty macaron, and a lemon-rose water donut topped with raspberry sugar. DIABEETUS, right? Not exactly — They actually offer healthier menu options such as porridge, yogurt and granola, soups, and more. If you go here and order yogurt though, you are my hero. LOL. I also could not leave without first trying the quiche. They offer a different intriguing quiche combination every day. I sampled the broccoli and kale quiche. SOO tasty. It is no surprise they made the list! If you missed the last post “Best Desserts of CNY: Dani’s Dessert & Wine Bar,” be sure to check it out. To read more about the amazing owners story, read their feature in Syracuse Woman Magazine! Be sure to follow their mouth-watering Instagram feed here.



Seriously, how cute is this place?!







Broccoli + Kale Quiche


THE perfect spot for morning coffee.







Best Desserts of CNY: Dani’s Dessert and Wine Bar

I am noticing a trend of modern-type restaurants popping up lately that have recently grabbed my full attention. Dessert & wine bars. Can I just say that I am 100% on board. Whoever came up with this idea deserves an award. I mean I love wine. I love dessert. Both in one place is almost overwhelming. It’s genius, a chick-magnet if you will.
So, I have visited a few different dessert and wine bars. I was ALL over that — There is nothing better than bonding with my girlfriends over a glass of cabernet. This specific dessert and wine bar stuck out to me in Baldwinsville, NY. Dani’s Dessert and Wine Bar is truly a hidden gem. Nice intimate feel with tasteful decor. The staff is full of local, friendly faces.


Chocolate Raspberry Cake


Soy Dumplings


On to the menu — Perfecto. They serve up more than just desserts. You pick any shareable Tapas 3 for $22 OR 4 for $30. A scrumptious dessert can be among one of your choices. I am typically not a sea-food person other than the fact that I see-food and I eat-food, BUT the Salmon Crostini with cream cheese, capers, and pears was something I couldn’t leave without at least trying. A unique combo that I had to dive right in to. OH my goodness so this is what heaven is like. One thing to know about me is that my love for food is unwavering, If only I were as dedicated to fitness. For dessert I chose the raspberry chocolate cake and you can guess that it tasted just as decadent as is sounds. Wine speaks for itself, sometimes it makes me speak to myself. Anyway, ATTENTION MEN: Just about every girl loves wine and chocolate, so if you’re looking for a special date — hint hint you will score some brownie points here, no pun intended. Seriously go check this place out, you’re missing out! Dani’s Dessert and Wine Bar Facebook Page. Love donuts? Check my last post “Best Desserts of CNY: JUST DONUTS”.


Honey Mustard Tenders



Enjoying a glass of Cab Sauv.



Tasteful Décor


Best Desserts of CNY: JUST DONUTS

To kick off the start of my “Best Desserts of CNY” Mini-Blog Series comes one of the finest donut places around! I will be releasing ONE new dessert location every day this week. Like the name says, they sell JUST DONUTS. Despite the name though, they are not just any donuts. They have fresh donuts daily. The best part? They dream up a different kind of donut every day! They gladly accept ideas from customers! One day they may have red-velvet and blueberry as the base, one day may be sour cream and banana bread. This is a small-town mom & pop shop, but far from typical. The presentation is incomparable, as you see in these blog-worthy photos. Some options include: Kit-Kat, Maple bacon, Fruity pebbles, Canoli, Peanut-butter Oreo, and almost any combination you can think of. What is even better than all of that? They are all made-to-order — freshly topped or glazed with whatever your heart desires. They even do catering for weddings or events, so if you want to be UNpopular, do donuts instead of cake for your wedding or event!! The donuts are cut into cute little pieces and again, pretty much any combination you can think of to please different tastes. They are the only one that exists thus far — and I personally hope it stays that way! Craving donuts and a road trip? Head to Phoenix, NY and I promise it will be well worth it. If you weren’t hungry, I bet you are now!




Click here to see JUST DONUTS Facebook page 



Ways To Adventure On A Budget

One of my favorite quotes is “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” And so I shall. Quarter of a century old and having the time of my life. Every day is a new adventure. What if the best vacation, or rather STAYcation was in your own backyard? Sometimes it doesn’t take a trip to the Bahamas to feel like you’re winning in life. I came up with this blog because not everybody (including me) have the funds to permanently vacay, so why not appreciate your own town as well as surrounding towns.

#1 Go for a drive

Sometimes when I have nothing better to do, I go for a drive in hopes to stumble across a new place to adventure. Thus far, I have had pretty good luck. I found an abandoned train and watched an EPIC sunset. Pink and blue skies and not a care in the world. They say the best things in life are free.



#2 Waterfallin’

As it turns out, NY has a ton of waterfalls to see. So, I packed a lunch with my boo, and had a picnic right in front of a 137-foot waterfall. This picnic included a sandwich, pasta salad, mini blueberry pie, and red wine which I happily drank out of my favorite “wine bitch” glass. Who says you can’t be fancy in the middle of the woods? If there were ever a statement to describe me better than the previous one, I don’t know what it would be. My family can attest.


Pratt Falls -Manlius, NY


Salmon River Falls -Pulaski, NY


#3 Run a 5k or 10k

I LOVE running and what better way to stay in shape than signing up for a 5K? It gives you an excuse to train and gives you something to look forward to. The feeling afterward is one of accomplishment, plus you usually get a free pint of beer. WIN-WIN. Getting a team of friends together like I did for the annual cider run was so much fun! If you’re not an avid runner, I almost encourage you to try it even more because you will feel so amazing afterwards. Scenic views and running for a good cause — practically spells adventure.


We were feeling amazing after this 5K


..Yay Free Cider, SUCCESS.


#4 Explore the outdoors & take lots of pics

Snapping a picture on a railroad track with an oncoming train? Checked that one off the bucket list. I enjoy walking around the closest downtown city and appreciating the architecture of the buildings, the graffiti, and the simple fact that there are homeless people out there playing saxophone on the streets. I also enjoy exploring the country-side just lying in a field of dandelions just for an epic picture. Leaning out on the top of a parking garage downtown? Been there, done that, and took some photos, OBV. Find happiness in all things.



#5 Try a new restaurant

New parks, new restaurants, new dessert locations, and new coffee shops as you will see in my future blogs. I’ve found some amazing restaurants in surrounding areas. I cannot wait to share them with the world. Every restaurant is unique in its own way. It is especially fun to speak with the owners just to get a taste of their different personalities. One restaurant I’ve recently discovered has a pasta man in his own little bubble cranking out fresh pasta right in front of you! It’s like they imported him straight from Italy. I will follow up with a detailed blog with that one. I. Love. Food. Exploring new restaurants every now and again is completely affordable and super fun as long as you appreciate the details of everything it takes to successfully run the place. Remember, you are paying for the environment and the service, not just the food! SO tip your servers!

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#6 Winery/Brewery

So many wineries and breweries to choose from. They are all a blast. Do some research in your surrounding area and go for it. Grab a group of friends, split a bus or limo, and prepare to have a hangover that will be well worth it — I promise. Just don’t be silly and think that you can drive just because it is just a few wine and beer samples. You cannot and should not. Some samples turn into full glasses for some reason. It is no surprise that I have an unhealthy obsession with wine. I recently bought a shirt that has a T-rex and it is holding two glasses of wine. The wording states “WINO-SAUR.” For a taste of my style, you can look forward to unique style blogs here. 💁🏼


Tailwater Lodge -Pulaski, NY




Ok, so there are so many things to see in Canada. If you want it to feel like a real vacation, what better way than technically being out of the U.S.? Niagra falls really is beautiful, especially if you walk over to the Canadian side when there is nicer weather. If you are close enough to go for the day, super cheap. If not, is a great option. I did that while visiting Toronto, check out my experiences in Toronto here.


Niagara Falls



Rooftop life -Toronto, Canada


Moral of the story: if your life is lacking adventure, make your own. While its more fun to venture out with another, it’s also fun now and again to venture out by your lonesome.   It takes me back to green beer Sunday and my cab ride home with Mr. Osirus (the amazing ninja cab driver), if you haven’t read it — here it is.. Cab Ride With the Man-Bun. Spark some of your creativity and E-mail me all of your favorite adventure spots!

Another day, another adventure.




Beef & Avocado Lettuce Wraps


QUICK & EASY meal for dinner tonight? Check. ✔️ This is a meal you can eat that you don’t feel incredibly guilty for eating, and it tastes amazing. There is something great about knowing exactly what is in the food that you’re eating. If you look at the back of taco seasoning packets, you’ll notice there are not many recognizable ingredients. Shout out to my sister for ruining that one for me. Either way, it’s a scary thought.. Lucky for you, I have a homemade taco seasoning recipe for these YUMMY lettuce wraps. I never thought I would like them because I am a carb-lover to the fullest. With these, I swear you won’t even miss the tortillas. Vegetarian? Substitute meat-free Morningstar brand. Also delicious.


1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Black pepper
1/4 tsp curry Powder
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 Dried oregano (optional)
1 1/2 Cumin (optional)
Romain lettuce, leaves
1 pound ground beef OR ground turkey

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet until brown and crumbly, stirring occasionally. Stir in all dry ingredients. Cook until beef is no longer pink.
2. Cut up 1 avocado into slices and set aside in a bowl.
3. Serve with 3-cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese, light sour cream, and salsa. Add Sriracha for a little extra spice.

Spring into Something Beautiful

As spring has finally arrived, so does my very first style blog! I can tell you’re as excited as I am. As nicer weather comes our way, so do brighter and more colorful styles. One store that I frequent always seems to get it right — EXPRESS. No matter what buy there, I am never disappointed. I am an A-list credit card holder. Whoops. Did I mention shopping is a hobby of mine?

This floral print Peek-a-boo sleeve blouse is simply AWH-mazing. There are so many styling options for this spring! This blouse is a flirty addition to any pair of jeans or shorts — weather permitting. Though if it is a breezy day, pair it with a jean jacket for a classic meets modern look. I know jean on jean, it works though — I promise. Check out the link here and join the floral craze.



How do you know what pants to wear?! There are leggings, jeggings, plain ole jeans, skirts, capris, shorts, skirts, distressed jeans, and now cropped jeans. I am a huge fan of cropped jeans. They are unique — plus you don’t have to worry about rolling them up! The best part you ask? They go perfect with heels or flats. These are also the comfiest pair of jeans I have ever owned, no competition. High-waisted = LOVE at first sight. Summary: high-waisted, distressed, AND cropped, what’s not to love? I told you, Express gets it right. Get them here 👉🏼 Express Life.  For a more casual look with these versatile cropped lovelies check out this “Champagne Problems” tank, also from Express. Yea, I can think of worse problems to have. Find this gem here.





Now, drumroll… My favorite part of this outfit. Two words — Floral. Heels. So as you may have guessed by now, I’m really into floral. Jean-Like texture all over, and floral detailing on the heel. By Jessica Simpson, oops she did it again. Oh right, wrong person. Anyway, these chunky heels I could literally run in. As a matter of fact, I have already tested their durability. You’re in good shoes, ladies. Hours of dancing approved. Gets these beauts right hurr… Lannah Pumps. If you think this outfit has too much floral, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. Kidding, don’t hate me. If you are not a fan of heels, no worries. I’ve also paired this look with suede flats by Calvin Klein. These aren’t the exact shoe pictured, but are very similar — and also by Calvin Klein 👉🏼 Suede ballet flats.

Try something different this spring! Get your style on. XOXO. Follow me @ Be UNpopular for more style tips/fashion inspo to come. ❤️

Erin Hartle Blog Images-Waterfall-0086.jpg