2.18.20 1

New York City Travel Guide

This post has been a long time coming; other than DC, New York City is the city I’ve spent the most time in as an adult. There’s so much to do, so many places to eat, so many neighborhoods to cover that I’ve put off writing a travel guide on NYC for years and years because I was worried it wouldn’t be comprehensive enough or I didn’t have enough authority since I’ve never worked full time there. But I think one of the great things about New York is that everyone can have their own version of the city that’s shaped by their experiences and places they love to go. My New York probably looks so different than your New York, and that’s what I think makes New York the magical place it is.

NYC is unlike any other city I’ve ever been to, and I think once you can navigate yourself around it, every other city becomes much more manageable to explore. I absolutely love New York—its such a trend-setting place with amazing food and drink and no shortage of things to do. But after a few days in the hustle, schlepping it on the Subway, and paying a premium for everything, I’m always ready to get back to DC. It will, however, always be one of my favorite places to visit and is a town that holds a lot of my memories.

I first went to New York City on a school field trip in middle school, and was lucky to return a few times in high school on field trips through the yearbook program. In college, I spent one of the best summers of my life interning at Conde Nast and living in the NYU dorms with sorority sisters, and since then, have made it a point to visit friends in New York at least a couple of times a year. In my current role, I am lucky enough to get to go with work about every other month or so. My recommendations and the photos below are aggregates of my many trips to the city so nice they named it twice and are almost all in Manhattan since that’s the borough I’ve explored the most.

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Link Love #132

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you feel the love today no matter what your relationship status—and use today as an excuse to treat yourself!

I personally am very excited since today kicks off a three day weekend—nothing is better than not having to wake up bright and early on a Monday morning. This time last year, my sister and I were heading to Austin, Texas and we were reminiscing the other day about what a fun, taco-filled trip that was. This year, I decided to stay put since I am heading to Miami on Wednesday for work and am really trying to avoid back-to-back travel this year when possible—so I am really excited to have a low key weekend at home. I want to clean my apartment, read some books, do a little bit of blog work, and take a few Soul Cycle classes. I’m also grabbing dinner with one of my best friends from high school—she’s about to have her first baby and I wanted to take her to one last dinner before the big arrival! Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a great one! x

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2.12.20 2

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday! This time next week, I’ll be heading to Miami to work South Beach Wine & Food Festival with my day job. I’ve been to Miami once before—over Memorial Day 2017—and had a great time lounging by the beautiful pool you see above. (Funny enough, the hotel I am staying at for this upcoming trip is actually right next door!) You can read a recap of my trip here! I’m excited to be back in town, enjoy a few days of warm weather, and work a really rewarding event. While I am in town, I am 100% hitting up Soul Cycle and am also grabbing dinner with my cousin and her husband who live down there. I am really excited to see them and catch up—I visited them back in 2016 in Fort Lauderdale and have caught up with them on my trips to Miami and Palm Beach, and we always have a great time.

I really am hoping the sunshine does me well—my seasonal affective disorder is in full swing this year, and I just haven’t been as happy lately. It really hit me hard in 2018, too. Since I had just started my new job last year, I think I was distracted with trying to get onboarded at work because I don’t remember being in as much of a ~mood~ in 2019. Having fun things to look forward to always helps me, and I am glad there are several fun trips, dinners, and hangouts with friends on my calendar!

I had a smorgasbord of random things I wanted to share today, so I thought it would be fun to do a life lately post:


If you’ve followed me here for a while, you know that my old boss got me into doing my own gel manicures as a way to save money. I have a UV light and a ton of polish from CND and OPI I’ve bought over the years. Last fall, I was really craving a manicure from a salon and decided to treat myself and get one. Turns out, I am really good at treating myself, because one manicure turned into two, and then the next thing I knew, it was a bi-monthly thing. I went to my salon right before Christmas to get a fresh manicure—I went with OPI’s “Affair in Red Square” which is the perfect holiday color, so file that one away for December—and within a week, the gel was already chipping and my nails were breaking. I was so annoyed, but knew it was because the gel had made my nails really weak.

My sister had raved about the dip manicures at Aura Day Spa in Arlington in Virginia Square, so a couple of days into 2020, I went down there and got my first dip manicure—and y’all, I am HOOKED. I have seen the light! My dip manicure lasted for four weeks, didn’t chip or peel off, and my nails grew so much. I just got my second dip manicure done a week and a half ago and the results were just as good. Although my dip manicures are more expensive than the gel ones I was doing, they definitely have a better return on investment because they last twice as long. For example: if I did dip manicures once a month throughout 2020, I’d spend $720/year ($50 for service + $10 tip x 12 months). At the rate I was doing gel manicures, I would need to go every two weeks to have them be the same quality as my dip manicures, which would total $912 ($32 for service + $6 tip x 2 services/month x 12 months).

Getting manicures done monthly at a salon is definitely a luxury and will be something I cut back on when I am trying to save money at certain points throughout the year, but I love the results and would highly, highly recommend dip manicures!

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