Grand Banks on a Summer Saturday

When a fierce rainstorm decided to roll through to cancel our Pinknic plans, my friends and I last minute had to throw something together instead for our Saturday. We had been eyeing up Grand Banks at Pier 25 in Tribeca for awhile and decided this was the perfect savior plan for the day.

The atmosphere at this small but beautiful boat is top-notch. Grand Banks boasts amazing cocktails and soft island music. You almost feel that any minute the boat could take off for a tropical island, or even Nantucket. The menu is small but features really good oysters and upscale American summer fare. We all opted to go for the lobster roll which definitely did not disappoint. To drink, I recommend ordering the Skipper Key (made with rose, cucumber and strawberry).

We all left with a great buzz and some sunburns, but were overall really impressed with this place. As opposed to the party atmosphere of The Frying Pan this is definitely more of a date spot or a place to impress parents when they visit the city. I can only imagine how great it is at night when the sun is setting and it gets cooler on the water.

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Summer Nights at Citi Field

They call baseball “America’s Past-time” but most of the games I go to involve ice cream and beer rather than sport watching. Baseball games in the summer are undeniably fun. I’m slowly in the works of putting together a comprehensive guide to my favorite places in New York. Citi Field is bound to make this list.

Citi Field (where the Mets play) is super easy to get to by the 7 train on the NYC subway line and tickets are much cheaper than at the more touristy Yankee Stadium. Last summer, I purchased tickets in the lower level section for $30 each. After the games MTA offers express 7 trains back to Manhattan so you can easily get to the stops at Grand Central and Times Square without much difficulty. Express trains are also available on weekdays to the stadium.

The stadium feels brand-new and clean. They have all the food you could possibly want like Nathan’s and Mister Softee. My friends and I when we went recently were impressed at the beer selection they offer. Citi Field had everything from basic Bud Light to Shocktop to Brooklyn Summer Ale. They just so happened to also stock one of my favorite craft beers Victory’s Summer Love from a local PA based brewery.

Next time you are planning a trip to NYC in the summer, consider riding out to Citi Field.

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Wide Leg Jeans for Summer

As I’ve grown older I more frequently stay away from shorts even on the hottest days of summer. Being a 5’8″ human can make shorts seem inappropriate in some cases, and they don’t necessarily fit me well. When choosing jeans in the summer it’s important to buy pieces you feel comfortable in but can stay relatively cool in as well.

I’ve had my eye on the wide leg jean trend for awhile. You can find them at nearly every denim retailer these days. While I wasn’t ready to splurge on this pair of Madewell jeans, the pair I found from Uniqlo satisfied my craving and also are one of the most comfortable pieces in my closet. They fit like a glove and look fantastic with dressier tops or with tucked-in casual T shirts.

I know what you’re thinking: sure it looks cute, but wasn’t she sweating all day? The key is breathability. Uniqlo denim is made from a super soft lightweight fabric and the wide leg gives a breezy feel without being too constricting. They are super stretchy as well so you don’t feel like you are suffocating when sitting down. They check off nearly every criteria on my list, and being wallet-friendly isn’t a problem either!

Top is Anthropologie [Similar Here]. Bottoms are Uniqlo [Here]. Shoes are Steve Madden [Similar Here].

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How to Use Succulents to Dress up a Space

I am happy to say that I officially signed the lease on my new apartment! Could not be happier. Now that the first step is done, the next part is where the fun begins; decorating!

Especially in NYC, having green things inside your apartment can help a space feel like an oasis and home-y. It creates a welcoming respite to the chaos and concrete outside. Browsing through the Union Square Greenmarket recently I couldn’t help myself at one of the flower vendors who had an amazing array of succulents and cacti for the home. I thought it would be fitting to talk about a few tips to help pull off green in your home.

Quantity: When it comes to house plants, grouping them in places that make sense are key. Choose a few of each variety that you like, and style them together in groups of 3 around your home.

Placement: Because they don’t necessarily need much light there is no need to put them near a window, but I still recommend placing them around the outskirts of your living room rather than smack dab in the middle. On the work desk in the corner or around the TV on your TV stand are a couple of great places to start. This way it can help pull your eye out to the green, and make your space look bigger!

Maintain: I love the idea of having succulents or cacti in the kitchen for added style, but you don’t want any mess in your food! Using floating shelves can be super beneficial in any room to keep your plants away from your nice furniture and avoid messes. [Try this shelf from Ikea].

Do you have any other tips on using succulents in the home? More to come will be the reveal of the inside of the apartment (once it’s FINALLY done of course)!

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Brooklyn Heights Photo Essay

New York is one of those cities that just demands exploration, and some of the best ways to do it is with a walking tour! Free Tours on Foot has some of the best selection of tours that run every week and weekend and are completely free (unless you want to donate to your awesome tour guides!).

My friends and I picked the Brooklyn Heights one for a Saturday with no other plans and it turned out to be so fantastic. We learned a lot about the history of New York, and it’s cool to know that this place was not always the concrete jungle. Not to mention the photo sessions were top-notch. Even though I had explored on my own through Brooklyn Heights before, the tour made me see the brownstones and water-front views in a whole new way.

Shoutout to John for a funny and easy-going tour!

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Do-It-Yourself Headboard

While deep in the midst of apartment hunting, I can’t stop thinking about interior design options almost as obsessively as trying to find a place. Home decor has been a bittersweet topic for me ever since graduating and “becoming an adult”. Options are expensive and the amount of decor and furniture you need to fill a space can be overwhelming not just in price but also in finding that perfect piece.

I’ve been browsing West Elm and CB2 for inspiration lately, but figured I would talk about one of the most innovative and inexpensive home design moves I ever pulled: making my own headboard! Since I was bringing my old bed from home when moving into my first apartment, and it didn’t have a gorgeous headboard to elevate the style, my parents and I got creative and made our own.

Step 1

Form the base for the headboard with four 2×4’s and use a drill to combine them into a rectangle with extra hanging off the end pieces for the legs. [We had measured out the width of my full length bed before starting this endeavor]. We then added a flat piece of plywood to the top and bottom to solidify the “box” we had just made.

Step 2

Next hit the craft store. I picked up a couple yards of batting (like you use for quilt making) and some plain color fabric that would match my design ideas. Batting is basically the inside of the quilt that makes it puffy, so using it on my headboard made it soft and comfortable so that I could still lean up against it while sitting around in bed.

Step 3

Next we grabbed the staple gun and proceeded to stretch the batting first and fabric second around the headboard to secure it. The result was clean and chic and added the right pop of color to the apartment space. The whole project cost me around $30.

Would love to hear about more of your creative apartment DIY ideas!

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Thoughts of Gramercy

The summer is rapidly approaching, and with it is coming a huge new exciting change. Moving in with my boyfriend! One of the things we agreed on 100% was location. The Gramercy Park area has always been one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. It’s small enough to feel like an actual home, but close enough to the most exciting parts of the city that you don’t feel out of touch.

Though just getting into the beginning of our search, I almost dropped on the ground when I received a text from him; “the apartment has a key”. One of the oldest remaining private parks in New York State, Gramercy Park only has less than 400 keys circulating. Most of the buildings surrounding the park have keys as well as the Gramercy Park Hotel which has several for guests. You have to pay a decent chunk of change annually to have access. But the money is very well-spent [as you can see from these gorgeous photos].

A beautiful sunny warm day was the perfect backdrop for some photography [I know, MORE flowers]. From the ornate buildings to the gorgeous landscaping, I could have spent all day here. P.S. I see you Chrysler Building!

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Pulling off the Neck Tie Trend

I know, I know, more pictures of Spring flowers. But can you really see too much of this stuff? My friend and I snuck into Brooklyn Botanical Garden just before the annual Sakura Matsuri festival to check out the cherry blossoms before they got all trashed and trampled on. [Pro Tip: the Sakura Matsuri festival gets outrageously crowded and I really wouldn’t recommend going, in my opinion].

As far as this outfit goes, I saw this scarf at Zara and knew I couldn’t resist the tropical but sophisticated pattern. The other way I would love to wear this neck tie is with a simple striped sleeveless tank for a play with patterns. My glowy skin is courtesy of Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk. [This post talks about this amazing product]. Pairing the look with ripped denim shorts and Stan Smith’s kept the outfit not overly girly and comfortable for a day of exploring.

P.S. shoutout to my amazing and beautiful friend for her amazing photography skills.

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White Lace

While exploring near Washington Square Park I knew I had to make a stop into my favorite coffee shop in NYC, Stumptown. Coffee in hand, my friend and I are making our way over to the West Village when she exclaims “I made myself a promise to get my wedding dress from this store!” and there is no denying why. Spina Bride is one of those small non-flashy stores tucked away in the corner on MacDougal Street. The space is clean, refreshing and comfortable. But, best of all, the dresses are just a dream.

Even from the window you can see all of the styles. Princess tulle, bohemian floral, simple and elegant. The store is unique and beautiful without being tacky like some certain wedding traditions can be.

I think it’s natural for us as women to fantasize about our wedding once in a while, especially when we grow up with Disney princesses as our main form of inspiration. We all have a wedding Pinterest board even if we know marriage is 5 or even 10 years away. Even lately I seem to be obsessively scrolling through engagement rings though I really don’t want one quite yet. Even my friend proudly claimed it doesn’t matter where in the country she lives at that time, she is traveling back to this little store for her wedding dress when that day comes.

There are a few things I also have set in my mind for how I would like my wedding to be. Something not too formal. I want my dress to be simple with a slight bohemian flair. I want my guests to feel like they are coming to a family reunion. It should be comfortable and easy-going, and not stuffy. I want the color scheme to be light and fresh. I want plenty of green to pair with the colorful florals.

What does your dream wedding look like?

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Spring or Summer?

More spring! Can you believe this beautiful Easter day? Despite being so humid and hot, which brings back stifling memories of NYC in the dead of summer, the day was a much needed escape from jackets and umbrellas. Though you may be sick of my pictures of flowers and Spring foliage I couldn’t help myself yet again at Washington Square Park where everyone from NYU students to 80-year olds were enjoying the beauty. Even the piano man was out, but to my surprise it was a different guy than I normally catch there.

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