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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Brooklyn Beauty

Let’s get real, even though I may have traveled to Brooklyn for this set of photos the truth is that I rarely find myself in the borough. Brooklyn at times can seem large and overwhelming especially when there are so many different neighborhoods to explore. My favorite ice cream shop in NYC just so happens to be Brooklyn based — Ample Hills Creamery is a stop you can’t pass up. Their 2-story rooftop deck Gowanus location is awesome but I stopped by their Prospect Heights location before heading to Prospect Park to enjoy some beautiful weather recently. Signs of springtime life are popping up everywhere!

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Shimmer and Glossier

Without realizing it, my Instagram account probably subconsciously made me hungry for Glossier’s products with all of the low-key advertising popping up in my feed lately. How could I not know they even had a showroom right here in NYC?! I couldn’t help myself.

Glossier has already prided itself for some time now as being a “beauty brand for real life” and providing high quality skincare basics with natural-looking and easy to apply makeup to go on top. It’s actually quite a shock I haven’t jumped into this brand sooner, considering that their core values align perfectly with my aesthetic. Simple, easy, natural, beautiful. What’s not to love? Plus they have an affordable price point (always a bonus).

I went to their showroom in search of the new Cloud Paint, a cream blush that got a huge seat in the spotlight when makeup artists put in on the celebrities at the 2017 Oscars. It looked too amazing to pass up, even for a girl who NEVER wears blush. I ended up walking out with several different products so I wanted to tell you about them!

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: I had heard great things about this cleanser months ago when I was doing research on the best products for my super dry skin. Turns out this cleanser is great for getting makeup off, especially eye makeup. It’s made with the same cleaning products as contact lens solution, so I don’t have to worry about irritating my eyes when I rub it all over to get that tricky mascara off!

Glossier Stretch Concealer: I don’t think I am ever going back to any other concealer; this stuff is fantastic. They design the product to blend in seamlessly with all skin colors even though the range of options is small. The formula has a thick consistency but rubs on lightweight, which provides super long lasting color that doesn’t look cakey.

Glossier Cloud Paint: Okay, do yourself a favor and try this stuff out. After the first day of wearing it to work, I got so many compliments on my skin on how glowing I looked, and when I let my BFF in on the secret she was shocked. The colors are so natural and blend in extremely well you just have to be careful to use only a tiny amount since it’s so concentrated. It dries into a beautiful texture and lasts all day. The Dusk color that I chose is the most amazing everyday skin enhancer/highlighter but the Haze would also be good for a bigger pop of color.

[If you live in NYC I suggest going to the showroom because I was completely off about what color I was going to order online for the Cloud Paint]

Have you already loved Glossier for years? New to their line? Tell me what you think!

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The Best New Orleans Restaurants

New Orleans is a notorious hot-spot destination for foodies. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina the city has been re-vitalizing in every way possible, including the food. This city is home to deep rooted cultural dishes but blended perfectly with trendy new spots to get some serious fare.

Here are some reviews on where we ate and what we chowed down on while we were there. This post will include only meals, but snacks and other excitements will come later (it’s so much to go over!)

Cafe Amelie: The first restaurant we ate at after our flight, we couldn’t pass up the romantic atmosphere or the amazing ratings on Yelp. With a beautiful courtyard full of lush trees, this spot is perfect for any meal of the day. For lunch my boyfriend ordered the shrimp and grits and I stuck with the amelie oysters. Both dishes were simple in idea (like most southern cuisine) but were extremely well-done.

Court of the Two Sisters: Though I heard amazing things about their endless brunch buffet, this place was simply amazing for dinner too. We went here the first night and even by the end of the trip we both knew it was still our favorite. It has an upscale and romantic vibe with a slightly pricey menu, but the food is to-die-for traditional creole cuisine. We both went for the 4-course prix fixe meal which includes soup (try the gumbo!), salad, an entree (I went for the veal topped with lump crab meat) and a dessert (bread pudding with rum sauce please).

Cochon Butcher: A trendy and casual spot perfect for lunch, not to be confused with it’s  sophisticated parent restaurant next door Cochon. It sit’s in the cool Arts District with warehouses galore. We both ordered the muffuletta sandwich which is a classic NOLA food and the mac and cheese as a side (don’t skip it – seriously). A muffuletta is basically an Italian meats sandwich topped with chopped peppers and olives.

Willa Jean: A well-known spot for bomb brunch, I was throughly impressed with how well the southerners pulled off my favorite meal of the week. Willa Jean is a bakery counter turned restaurant. This meal consisted of banana bread AND biscuits to start followed with avocado toast and chocolate chip cookies. Safe to say one it was also one of my favorite spots we visited.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern: This place is so famous for Po’ Boys that even Obama visited during his presidency. The atmosphere is quaint and has that small-town neighborhood feel. On a Sunday afternoon locals were lined up with their whole family to get a bite. I got the Surf and Turf which has roast beef with gravy topped with fried shrimp; and yes it was overwhelming but amazing.

Sylvain: One of the trendy hot-spots located in the heart of the French Quarter, we put our name in and waited 3 hours while exploring for a table at legendary Sylvain. The food did not disappoint. Really well done American fair with an upscale twist. For warmer nights they have a really cool back patio for dining as well.  [Photo Credit]

Stanley: The very last morning we got an early breakfast before heading to the airport. Located right on historic Jackson Square in the French Quarter, Stanley was chic and classic with an overly-greasy and perfect southern menu.

 

Is your mouth watering yet?

 

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Casual Fringes

When I first threw this outfit on I was worried about the amount of texture and if they clashed (lace bralette, lace top, fringed poncho), but the effect turned out sweet and fashion-forward. The shoes and skirt ground this outfit with an 80s style vibe. I have a feeling this Summer is going to be full of whites, creams, lace and light denim.

Sandals are Steve Madden. Skirt is H&M. Lace top from American Eagle.

P.S. All shot on my iPhone (I really need to start remembering my camera).

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Naples (FL)

There is no denying the power of warm weather, sun and the beach. It refreshes your skin, your hair, your attitude. A weekend away in Naples helped jump start me into the warm weather mentality (now that New York has finally decided to not be deadly cold).

A saturday morning farmers market on 3rd Avenue was small but fabulous. We ended up finding paleo belgian waffles for my gluten free and lactose free friend from Epiphany bakery.

All of the photos turned out blog worthy even though they were shot on my iPhone 5s (crazy right?).

 

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New Orleans Cemetery Walk

 

One of the most talked about spots in New Orleans, besides the food of course, are the above ground cemeteries that reside in the Garden District amongst sprawling southern mansions. We were super lucky when we arrived around 3pm, and not knowing that they close at that time, the gatekeeper offered to take us on one last walking tour with a small group before closing.

Despite being morbid, Lafayette Cemetery #1 sits right across from the famous Commander’s Palace restaurant and was such an interesting place to learn about. Many movies and TV shows have been shot at these cemeteries.

When you take the time to explore the Garden District on your next New Orleans trip I would definitely take the few minutes to stop into one of these cemeteries!

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