New York Moments - 4 of My Favorite Things About Life in NYC

I’m a native New Yorker. I’m lucky to be able to call this city is and has been my home and I’ve lived here most of my life, except for a few years in Italy for work and grad school. Even though I’ve traveled a ton, New York is like no place I’ve ever been. I’m not sure I’ll be here forever, but I know how much I love it now and how lucky I am to call this place home. Here are some of my favorite things about life in the city!

Brooklyn Bridge NYC
Pink Hair Fall Beauty Looks
Sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge
Pink Hair Brooklyn Bridge

The Creative Scene

NYC is full of amazing creatives. One of the things I love the most about my journey as a blogger is how many incredible, talented people I’ve had the privilege of working with. I’ve been so lucky to meet amazing photographers and content creators, and have had a blast with every one of them.

The Romance

There is just something magical about the city. I still lose my breath when I catch sight of the skyline at sunset or all light up after dark. The view never has and never will get old.

The Access

Whether you want warm cookies at 2am or authentic Vietnamese dumplings for brunch, New York has you covered. The dining scene is one that will, quite frankly, spoil you rotten for choice. Granted, I do wish I took more advantage of all the goodies the city has to offer, but a girl has to stay in shape!

My Rent-Stabilized Apartment

Seriously though! This city is expensive and rents are skyrocketing. If you are able to get affordable housing, hold on to it for dear life! My apartment is basically a unicorn - large, comfy, in a trendy neighborhood, has a great view, and is subject to regulated rent thanks to the city’s rent guidelines board. Rent-stabilized apartments can be hard to come by, so if you are looking work with your realtor to find one and keep it as long as you can!

If you live here let me know what you love most about the city! And if you are planning to visit tell me what you are most excited about seeing here!

Meow! The Perfect Leopard Dress

Leopard Maxi Dress

Leopard is having a moment! From the runways to every street style post seen over NYFW, the print is suddenly back in fashion. I’ve always been a huge fan of leopard print clothing, so it’s nice to see it making a comeback in so many new ways. I love seeing new takes on this hot print on tops, dresses, skirts, jackets, and of course shoes and accessories!

Maxi dresses are another go to of mine! I got this amazing leopard maxi dress from Boutique Feel, after seeing it on Pinterest and I love the silhouette. It is a statement making one, with the semi low-cut neckline and sheer, flowing bottom.

Leopard Maxi Dress

I layered it with a black bralette just for a bit of coverage but you can definitely leave that out, especially if you are hitting the town for a night out. Just add a classic handbag and killer shades and you are all set. And when the temps cool off you can rock it with a jacket or cardi layered on top or a long sleeve knit underneath.

If you want to nail the look, shop some this look and some of my favorite dresses below!

The Perfect NYFW Look Featuring Upbra

 Images by Nigil Crawford

Images by Nigil Crawford

This post is sponsored by Upbra. All opinions are my own.

I love any excuse to turn up the sparkle! NYFW is the perfect time of year to stand out and wear looks that will keep all eyes on you. I was debating what to wear to Saturday’s Badgley Mishka show, and since they are known for bringing the glam I decided it was the perfect occasion for bling!

sequined tuxedo jacket nyfw

This sequined Zara jacket is a favorite of mine. The blush color is soft and romantic and the iridescent sequins are just gorgeous. I paired it with my billowy wide-leg satin trousers and a bandage crop top that you would swear is Herve Leger but is from H&M when I was in Paris!

The finishing touch for this look was my major cleavage, courtesy of Upbra!

Upbra Sculpting Bra

I’ve featured them on the blog before and I just can’t get enough of this bra! It lifts like no other but is still amazingly comfortable.

The bra features cleavage control straps that are the core of the Upbra ActiveLift® technology. After the bra is on, just pull the straps and rehook them in place!

That shifts your breasts upwards and center to maximize the cleavage. The farther away the loops are from the center, the greater your cleavage. For this look I had them pulled in a bit, but not even as far as they go! Even with pulling the straps to maximize cleavage, you don’t have to worry about compromising your comfort.

If you haven’t tried Upbra yet, head over to their site ASAP! Let me know how you would style this amazing bra!

NYFW Outfit Ideas: The New LBD

Fall Little Black Dress

Can you believe it’s already mid-September? Fashion Week is in full swing and the temps today are a chilly 60 something degrees. I was hoping for a few more weeks of nice weather, but I guess Fall is seriously ready to make its debut.

In the spirit of the new season, it’s time for a new take on a wardrobe staple – the LBD! A little black dress is never boring, and never goes out of style. There are so many different types and ways to wear them! This number is from Rue107.com and has the perfect eye-catching, feminine silhouette.  I love the exaggerated A-Line proportions and the ruffle detailing on the sleeves, but the neoprene fabric adds just a touch of edge. I paired the dress with leopard block kitten heels that I got in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

I usually hate kitten heels, but the block heel made a world of difference! Something about short, thin heels just feels matronly to me, but when they are short and blocky I find them pretty cool. Plus nothing is worse than being stuck in heels when you are racing between shows at NYFW! 

To finish the look, I had to throw in my classic Louis Vuitton tote that you guys have seen me wearing all over Instagram. It was a steal from a vintage store and I could wear it every day for years and not get sick of it! It works especially well with the retro vibes of this look. 

The Best LBD for Fall
Classic Fall Accessories
Fall Outfit Ideas

This dress is sold out in black, but still available in Olive. And you can shop similar styles of this look below!  

6 Open to the Public NYFW Events You Can't Miss!

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Fashion Month is kicking into high-gear! I have to admit, the Fall edition of NYFW is one of my favorites. The weather is warm, but still civilized so you can really bring it with the street style. If you have been dying to get into some Fashion Week events but aren't how to get on a coveted invite list, here are some of the best shows and events that are open to the public. Buy tickets, round-up your squad and get ready for a fun night of fashion inspo! 

Style Fashion Week

Style Fashion Week brings a host of designers together under one roof for a lineup of shows and after parties from September 6th-September 9th. Check out the full schedule here and register to attend! 

WWD x Samsung 837 Present Style Dimension

Editors from WWD give an inside look into the behind the scenes happenings at some of the major fashion houses  beauty brands through a series of discussions with designers, influencers and retailers. Guests to note include Caroline Maguire, fashion director of Shopbop, Torsten Hochstatter, the creative director of Puma, and Mark Badgley and James Mischka of Badly Mischka. Dates are September 6th & 7th.

Queens Fashion Week

This Queens native will definitely be stopping by the event celebrating the history of fashion in Queens! Queens is one of the birth places of amazing designers who have traveled all around the world and worked with some major players in the industry. The big day is Saturday September 8th, but it runs from the 2nd-15th. Tickets here

Essence Street Style Block Party

Day party season is almost over for the summer, so end it with the Essence Street Style Block Party! This event will feature performances by Teyana Taylor and Yemi Alade and is hosted by Actress and Comedienne Amanda Seales. Though it used to be free, it's well worth the ticket price! 

Street Style Photo Shoot

And if you want a taste of street style life for a day, some of my favorite photographers are throwing a free photo shoot meetup at Domino Park in Brooklyn from 5-9! Follow Wini Lao's Instagram for details and their updated location! 

Blogger and the Brand

Blogger and the Brand is a networking event for emerging and established bloggers and lifestyle brands. I went last year when I was starting to ramp up my content and I'm so happy to announce that I was asked to join as a Style Host this year! RSVP here, and hopefully I'll see some of your lovely faces! 

 

Seasonal-Skincare Remix - Taking Your Skincare Routine from Summer to Fall!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSWithPinkGrapefruit #CollectiveBias

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Well Labor Day has passed and summer is pretty much over! Even though we've got a few more weeks of warm weather, the summer vibe is over and it's time to start seriously thinking about Fall. I still haven't done much Fall shopping, but have been thinking about transitioning my skin care routine to get ready for the new season. I don't know about you guys, but my high-summer products can be pretty intense - deep cleansers, exfoliators and toners to keep pores clear. 

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But as temps and humidity settle down for Fall, I start going easier on my skin. My skin is on the oily, acne-prone side so I always have to keep that in mind when trying new products. One of my long-term go-to products is the NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Gel cleanser. Did you guys know that NEUTROGENA® is the #1 Dermatologist recommended Acne Brand? This cleanser smells amazing, cleanses thoroughly but doesn't leave my skin feeling harsh or stripped. Since cleansing is the base of any skincare routine, it's important to use one that can clean but keep your skin balanced! With Grapefruit Extract + Vitamin C, it clears breakouts and even the marks they leave behind, basically washing away the sins of your summer! 

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I also tend to go lighter on my foundation in the summer. However come Fall, I go back wearing a little bit more for the grown-up, put together vibe the new season calls for.   Double cleansing becomes an essential for the new season. I start with the NEUTROGENA® Cleansing Wipes, Pink Grapefruit, then go in with the cleanser. The wipes sweep away pore-clogging dirt and oil in one simple step, leaving skin clean with no greasy residue.  

As things cool off in late Fall/early Winter, make sure you are using a moisturizer that is more hydrating, and throw in a weekly sheet masks for good measure! 

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If you want to explore the entire NEUTROGENA® Pink Grapefruit Line, check it out here! There is also an Ibotta offer on NEUTROGENA® Acne products at CVS that will let you earn up to $2.00 cash back while supplies last.And the week of 9/9, You can buy 1 NEUTROGENA® Pink Grapefruit product at CVS and get 1 50% off!

I love shopping at CVS for most of my household needs, and their beauty department is seriously stepping it up! You can find classics like the NEUTROGENA® product line, and an impressive selection of color cosmetics, nail polish and nail art, hair care, and false eyelashes. Make sure you check it out, and let me know what you think of the NEUTROGENA® Pink Grapefruit Line! 

End of Summer! Everything to do this 2018 Labor Day Weekend

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And the last official weekend of summer is here! I'm so going to miss the season, but I'm also starting to get excited about Fall - dressing in stylish layers, not worrying about my makeup melting off, and keeping my curls curly, not a frizzy mass. If you want to make the most out of your long weekend, here are a few tips for how to spend it!

Events

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The Freesome Block Party by Fun With Friends is one of my favorites. I'm too old to be up in the club, but I still can't resist a good day party. Everyday People also has a great day party and Tiki Disco is always a great time! And conveniently they are all in Brooklyn, so hopping around will be easy. 

Day Trips

If you want to escape the city for a day, I posted some of my favorite day trips from the city a few weeks ago, so give it another read here if you missed it! But Fire Island, Jones Beach, North Fork and Hudson Valley are all a quick drive away if you want to sneak in one more trip before saying goodbye to summer. 

Shopping

Labor Day is a great time to do some retail therapy, and here are some that you should get your wallets ready for! Urban Outfitters is offering 30% off sale items, Yoox has 25% off already discounted items, and Forever21 has an amazing 50% off sale! For those of you that need chic workwear, Ann Taylor is also offering 40% off full-priced accessories and sale items, and Shopbop has a whole 70% off sale!  Also if you are randomly looking for a new mattress or appliance, Esquire has the whole roundup! 

Let me know what you guys get into, and definitely what you buy! 

 

My Fall VIB Sale Shopping List

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Sephora just announced their Fall VIB sale and I am so ready! As you guys know, Sephora sales are few and far between so they are a great time to stock up on your beauty faves and try some new things while they are discounted. Check out my shopping list below! 

Must-Haves

I'm stocking up on old favorites and trying out some new goodies. The Nars team sent me the new Orgasm Illuminating Powder and I'll definitely be buying a new jar while it's on sale! Plus I'm almost out of the Radiant Creamy concealer that is one of my go-tos so will definitely get one. And since my skin has been behaving so much better these days, I want to try a lighter, tinted moisturizer instead of my usual full-coverage liquid foundation. I may also throw in some of these cheap travel masks from Sephora collection, and test out the new gummy version of my go-to hair vitamins from Hum! 

Palettes

I've been stalking the ABH Norvina palette since it dropped so may finally pick it up! I'm also loving face/cheek palettes from Nars and ABH, and this lip palette that is full of more colors than I'd know what to do with! 

Sets

Gift sets are always a great deal, whether or not you actually gift them or keep them! Tatcha never disappoints, and these Stila liquid eyeshadows are incredible! You guys also know I love the Brazilian Bum Bum cream to keep the dimples away! Plus I just started using Beauty Blenders, and this set that combines some new and old faves is right up my alley! And can't forget some new Fall friendly lip colors and my go-to fragrance layering kit. 

Let me know if you guys try any of these or what else you add to cart! 

The Perfect Linen Dress

 this post contains affiliate links, hope you don't mind! 

this post contains affiliate links, hope you don't mind! 

Linen is basically the fabric of summer. It's cool, breezy, and has an undone sophisticated vibe that is perfect for the season. I usually go for lighter fabrics that don't tend to wrinkle as much but I caved when I saw this dress while shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Purple typically isn't a color I wear a lot, but for some reason when I saw it I was intrigued. It's a cool lilac that reminded me of a lavender field, and the shape and cutout details seemed to strike a balance between romantic and sexy. 

If you aren't super into plunging necklines and open sides you may not love this, but I thought the detailing was a nice balance, especially since the dress was pretty long and billowy on my petite frame. 

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Linen Dress Floral Shoes

I played up the feminine vibe of the dress with these floral detail sandals from Zara. They have a sexy cage upper and are adorned with colorful 3D flowers. I am absolutely in love with them, and even though they are a high, thin heel, it's just thick enough to make you feel a little bit more comfy than you would in a classic stiletto. And for a little pop of color, I finished the look with my bold vintage Louis Vuitton. 

NYC Street Style

If you are feeling this look shop the dress I'm wearing and similar styles below! I couldn't find the exact matches for the bag and shoes so also included similar items to pair with your perfect linen sundress. And in case you missed the post about my amazing braid, give it a read here! 

5 Skin Care Essentials I Can't Live Without

Skin Care Beauty Secrets

This summer has been a hot one! We've had several heat waves and the humidity feels like it's at an all time high. I try to make small tweaks to my beauty routine every season, based on the changes in temperature and what's going on in my life at the time. Since my summers tend to be super busy and full of weekend trips, I try to give my skin a little extra TLC! Here are some new products my skin has been loving. 

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Tula Beauty Probiotic Skin Care Line

Tula  is a skincare brand that combines probiotics with other skin friendly superfoods to naturally balance and boost the health of your skin.

The brand focused on using clean, clinically proven, high-quality ingredients to create cruelty free products that help women feel more confident. The brand gifted me some of their best selling products that are now available at Ulta. The Purifying Face Cleanser keeps my skin clean, refreshed, and balanced, their Eye Renewal Serum keeps puffy eyes at bay, and the Hydrating Day and Night Cream is moisturizing but not too heavy for my combination-oily skin. 

FIlorga OPTIM-EYES® Eye contour cream

This baby is an eye-cream power house, keeping wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness away. I recived this product through Octoly and have been loving the results. I especially notice a difference when I've spent long days out and about in the sun. It includes a high-tech blend of Filorga’s NCTF®, a polyrevitalization cocktail of 59 ingredients and Filorga’s own hyaluronic acid.

You can find the product here!
Luxury Spa Treatments at Home

Australian Pink Clay Mask - Urban Defence

I usually do a mask once or twice a week and a new one I've been trying is the Australian Pink Clay Mask - Urban Defence. I also recived this through Octoly, and the pretty pink hue begs to be Instagrammed! The mask is packed with unique ingredients, like  Kakadu plum – a tiny Australian fruit that holds the highest known natural source of vitamin C and helps stimulate collagen, reduce hyperpigmentation, and protect from harsh environmental aggressors. There is also vitamin E for reinforcement at blocking free radicals, age-fighting vitamin A, and old man weed – a traditional indigenous medicinal remedy which fights acne-causing bacteriaI. It leaves my pores looking tighter and skin feeling smooth and refreshed

Get your hands on it here! And if you are into multi-masking, check out the rest of their line!

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils are magic, even for oily skin! One of my go-to oils is by Shu Uemura. Can you believe 1 bottle sold every 7 seconds around the world! I love how it clears away makeup, oil and impurities without stripping/drying the skin.  

I love the Porefinist2 Sakura Fresh Cleansing Oil for my oily/combination skin. I also got this through Octoly and it is formulated with sakura and cinnamon bark extract to regulate oil, and keeps my pores clear and skin refreshed. 

InstaNatural Collagen Age Defense

Since beauty starts from within, vitamins and supplements are a major part of my beaut routine. I take a collagen supplement daily, and this time it's been the InstaNatural Collagen Age Defense. The formula is full of ingredients proven to improve the appearance of skin from the inside out; MicroActive® Resveratrol and BioCell Collagen® reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness while increasing collagen levels in the skin. Careless® Mango and Florabella® support circulation and improve skin tone and elasticity. With consistent use expect to see healthier, smoother more radiant skin over time. 

If you are curious about trying it, check it out here!

Let me know what new products you have in your rotation, or anything you are dying to try! 

All the Swimsuit Sales You Need Before Summer is Over!

 this post contains affiliate links

this post contains affiliate links

Summeri s pretty much flying by! We've only got a few more weeks of poolside lounging and beach hopping before it's time for Fall Fashion Week, sweater weather, and the leaves starting to change! If you aren't ready to let the season go, or just want to stock up on some new swimwear before it's too late, check out some of my favorites, all on sale! 

Bikinis

Cover Ups

One-Pieces

Pineapple Pool Float

And don't forget your pool float and accessories!

Floats

Let me know in the comments if you end up grabbing any new goodies before the season is over! 

3 Ways to See Flamingos in Aruba

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First things first – if you’ve never been to Aruba add it to your list immediately! The desert island is a quick 4 hour flight from NYC and is home to beautiful beaches, amazing food, and lots of rugged island terrain begging to be explored. You have probably seen lots of pictures of Aruba, and I bet some of the most iconic shots include flamingos on the beach. It’s one of the most well-known sites in Aruba, but there are a few things you need to know if you want to see the flamingo beach. I’ll be blogging more about the trip overall next week, but for now, here are 3 things you need to know if you want to see flamingos in Aruba!

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They are only on one private beach

‘Flamingo Island” as it is sometimes called, is actually Renaissance Private Island, a private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a beautiful private island with 2 strips of beach, a restaurant, bar, spa cove, and private beach front cabanas you can rent for the day. The flamingos, all 6 of them, live on one strip of beach on the island. There are also baby flamingoes that live on the other side, but we were told they like to hide from visitors so we didn’t get to see them. 

 

Swimming with Flamingos in Aruba

Access to the island is kind of a pain

If you are determined to see the flamingos, you either need to be a guest of the hotel or purchase a day pass. I was with a group of 8 so we had a villa instead of hotel rooms, but I did debate booking a room for one night just so we could go to the private island. However only one other person wanted to join so it wouldn’t have been as cost-effective. The hotel also sells a limited number of day passes to non-hotel guests. Those will cost you $100, and since they are so limited you will need to be up in line at the crack of dawn to make sure you get one. The hotel staff starts selling them at 7, and they are gone within minutes! The concierge said that typically there is a line wrapped around the lobby, with the first people arriving at 5! Some of you might be early birds, but for me, getting up that early on a vacation is out of the question, especially since you have no real guarantee you will walk away with tickets.

But I did some further digging and found out that the only other way to access the island without being a hotel guest or having a day pass is to book a spa appointment! The hotel operates a full service spa, and a beach front cove on the island that offers a few different massage packages. Me and my friend booked a couples massage with lunch (it was cheaper than doing 2 individuals!) and that was our way to definitely get in without sacrificing sleep! We booked appointments for 11, and rolled up to the hotel to catch the ferry around 9:30. That gave us plenty of time to wander the island, get to know the flamingos and get some great shots, then enjoy a relaxing massage before lunch.

Flamingos in Aruba

It's pricey but worth it

The spa package set us back about $200 each, which is in line with what you’ll pay for spa treatments at a high end hotel spa, but still was A LOT to spend in one day on a trip. But I do have to say it was worth it! The massage was great, scenery beautiful, and seeing flamingos up close and personal IRL is really a unique experience. 

 Pin me for later!

Pin me for later!

 

If you go to Aruba, let me know if you visit the island, and how you get in! 

The Perfect Summer Pinknic

 Images by Misso LLC

Images by Misso LLC

Can you believe how fast summer is flying by! Here we are in mid-August already, the peak of summer. Fall (then winter of course) will be here before you know it. I've been having a blast and doing a ton of travel this summer, but I'm also trying to make sure to find time to enjoy downtime in the city. There is nothing more classic for summer in NY than a Central Park picnic! Thanks to the girls at Exclusively Social, I was able to attend an amazing blogger Pinknic! The décor was beautiful and bohemian, with everything in shades of pink. The team also had product sampling by Gilly's Organics, rainbow bagels from The Bagel Store, and of course, plenty of rosé! 

Girls Summer Picnic Ideas
Summer Picnic Ideas NYC
Perfect Summer Picnic
Rainbow Bagels

Since it was a blogger picnic we spent most of the day networking and taking advantage of photo opps, but there was plenty of time to soak up the sun and gorgeous scenery.

If you want to have a picnic with your squad you definitely don’t have to be this elaborate, but why not do it in style! If you want to keep it simple and stylish, just plan a color scheme and keep your blankets, décor and outfits in the same family. Grab a few bouquets of fresh or silk flowers and some healthy, refreshing treats because it has been BLAZING hot these days.

Blogger Picnic Central Park
All Pink Summer Picnic

Let me know how your fabulous summer picnics turn out! And shop my look below!

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The Instagrammers Guide to San Diego

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Back from a fabulous weekend in San Diego! It was my second time in the city and I fell even more in love. It's absolutely beautiful, with amazing food, stunning beaches, and super friendly people. What's not to love! I'm more of a travel blogger now than I was when I went a few years ago so obviously I wanted to hit up as many Instagram worthy spots. Priorities,  I know! If you want to make the most of your San Diego trip while also getting as much #content as possible, here are my go to spots in the city!

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Wander around North Park

North Park is to San Diego what Brooklyn is to NYC - cute, trendy, and getting more and more buzzy. Start with a healthy bite at Communal Coffee, a coffee shop that sells classic hipster fare lie bowls and vegan baked goods. They also share a space with Native Poppy, the cutest florist, and next door is Pigment an adorable shop featuring a giant pink wall, a build your own succulent station and plenty of other social media bait. 

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A few blocks way is Holy Matcha, or the place of my dreams! The decor is all pink and green, and the menu is full of beautiful and refreshing drinks and snacks. When I was there pretty much everyone was taking advantage of all the photo opps, and the staff didn't mind at all.

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After you've gotten a healthy bite, wander across the street to Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream. All of their flavors are incredible, so get a tasting flight so you can sample them all! 

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Take the Ferry to Hotel del Coronado

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The Hotel del Coronado is a San Diego icon. It has a rich history, beautiful beach, and cute restaurants and bars with beachfront views.  If you are in a rush you can take a taxi or drive, but the ferry is also a great way to get to the island if you want to take in some views on the journey. 

Hang out in Pacific Beach

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Pacific Beach, or PB as the locals call it, is a laid-back surfer town near the beach. Grab an acai bowl from The Mad Beet to snack on while you catch some sun, and when you are ready to dig in, stop by Kono's, a low-key beach front restaurant serving breakfast all day.  

Explore the Old Town

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The Old Twn is the historic heart of San Diego. It was established in 1769 and was California's first settlement. There are lush gardens, great restaurants, and a charming, old world Mexican-American feel. 

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There is so much more to experience in San Diego, from Sunset Cliffs, to Balboa Park, and even day trips to Mexico. I only had a few days so had to choose carefully, but I will definitely be back to this charming city. Let me know your favorite places in San Diego for when I plan my next visit!

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At Home Hair Care with Yeluchi by Un-Ruly!

 This post is sponsored by Yeluchi by Un-Ruly. All opinions are my own

This post is sponsored by Yeluchi by Un-Ruly. All opinions are my own

This summer has been one of various hair styles for me! There has been the balayage color I did in Spring, then the Brazilian Blowout, the natural curls, and of course, various braided styles. I tend to rely on protective styles more in the winter, but braids are becoming a new go-to for summer. They are chic and stylish and let you hop out of bed with your hair done for weeks on end. What's not to love! 

I was researching hair braiders looking for a stylist and some inspiration for my next style when I found Yeluchi by Unruly.

Yeluchi is a at home hair styling service powered by Un-Ruly, the popular media hub dedicated to all things hair for Black women. They serve select areas of NYC and offer an array of services from various braided styles to weaves to blowouts. The Yeluchi team graciously comped my service for review, so check out my thoughts on the experience!

Booking

It was smooth and seamless! I already had ideas for the style I wanted and using the suggestions on their site I was easily able to select the appropriate service. You can also add links to images of what you want for reference so they know what you are looking for an can accurately match you to a stylist. I was hoping for an after work appointment but couldn't find one, so settled on a Sunday morning. I did ask my stylist if they offer evening appointments and she said they do, but they tend to fill up fast so you have to book early. For the sake of research I did some digging, randomly selecting various styles and neighborhoods and checking the calender on site through October. I found nothing later than 1pm. If you don't keep standard office hours during the week that's probably fine, but if you do, plan to keep your appointment for the weekend. 

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The Service

My stylist Roxy was prompt, friendly and professional! I had aleady prepped an area in my living room so she would have space on the table to set up, then tuned into my favorite YouTube channels while she got to work. The only issue we had was a technicality with the style I chose. The cornrows in the inspiration photo I sent were stitch cornrows, not regular ones. If you don't know the difference, here is an example of stitch vs regular! Both cute, just different details. 

They actually do not offer stitch braids, and Roxie let me know she told the company before taking the appointment but they didn't update me.  So I ended up with 6 regular cornrows that we then tied together into 1 chic bunch with gold thread. It was a little disappointing because the stitch effect was the main thing I wanted, and if they would have told me in advance they couldn't do it I would have just picked a totally different style. But I didn't have time to look for a new style in that moment, and also didn't even know if time or the amount of braiding hair I had purchased would allow. I let her practice a little just to see if she could try it, but it wasn't the exact look I had in mind. However I was still happy with the results and her technique, especially how she respected my edges! I also love that she didn't know I was blogging about the experience. Sometimes companies roll out the red carpet for bloggers and you never know if the experience you are getting is the treatment everyone gets. 

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Final Thoughts

Overall my style was cute, trendy and got me tons of compliments! She also braided carefully and attentively, checking in to make sure it wasn't too tight. You guys know it only takes 1 aggressive braider to permanently ruin your edges so I was very happy to feel like the health of my hair and scalp was priority. It's been about a week and a half since my appointment and the style still looks great. I expected to keep it for 2 to 2.5 weeks and I'm pretty much on track for that. I will probably take down the long threaded braid and wrap the cornrowed ends into a bun just to switch things up the last week. 

If you guys are curious about at home hair styling, definitely check out the services offered by Yeluchi! I'm already thinking about my next look for later in the summer!

3 Workouts You Need to Try This Summer!

Yoga on the Beach

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to stay in shape every year? IDK if it's my age, being in a relationship, my social life or what, but for some reason I keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds! In an attempt to diversify my workouts and keep the body snatched, I've been checking out new workout classes in the city every so often to keep my muscles guessing, build strength and stamina, and of course not get bored doing the same workout all the time! Here is my review of some of the new classes I've tried and a few that are on my list to review as a fitness and lifestyle blogger. 

Brrrn

Hands down the coolest workout I've tried this year! The new studio has a series of workout classes that take place in cooler temperatures - 60 degrees, 55 degrees, and 45 degrees. Check out the descriptions of their classes and the Infrared Sauna and take advantage of the BOGO deal they have on site for new students! 

Aerial Hoop

I've been a fan of Body & Pole for years, frequenting their pole and other dance and cross-training fitness classes. I did take a few lyra, or aerial hoop classes and was terribly awkward, but I've been feeling like I might give it another go. It's extremely difficult, and also a challenge because I struggle with motion sickness, but it is on my list for this summer or Fall! 

Y7 Yoga

Hot yoga in the summer is no fun, but come Fall I love the steamy hot workouts. I've heard amazing things about Y7 and their hip-hop inspired yoga classes. And since a new location just opened closer to my office I'll be able to finally fit them into my regular workout flow. 

And since I have been working on getting into my yoga practice again, my partnership with Gaiam came at the perfect time! Gaiam asked me to be one of their Gaiam Gurus, and I am so psyched to be working with them. The clothes are super comfy and stylish and the equipment is both stylish and functional. Check out my picks of the month below! 

Let me know what workouts are your go-tos or new ones you want to try! 

 pin me for later!

pin me for later!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Haul!

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It's every fashion blogger's favorite time of year - the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The annual sale is a great time to stock up on key pieces for Fall at great prices, before they go up in August. It's hard to think about sweaters and coats now, but if there are things you see that you love, click add to cart while you can! Sale inventory moves fast and the prices on whatever's left go up pretty sharrply after the sale is over. Here is everything on my list! I'm trying to be more financially responsible this year, so being more careful about spending, so I really shouldn't get EVERYTHING I want. But I will be thinking of things that can last multiple seasons, add some dynamite to my Fall wardrobe, and have the potential to be in heavy rotation.

Coats

I love a statement coat and they are becoming even more important since winter seems to last forever these days! From 70's inspired patent leather and leopard to cozy, classic, and white, I'm loving all of these and trying to narrow down which one or 2 I'll be buying! 

Skirts, Dresses & Jumpsuits

As you can see, I'm still feeling patent! And the 70's vibe! But I seriously love pajama inspired stripes and bold florals for Fall. Plus velvet is always a hit for the season!

Shoes & Accessories

I didn't see too many handbags I love, but plenty of shoes and classic accessories! I'm not really a hat person, but am living for this velvet cabbie hat, and the boots and booties in stock are all so good!

Let me know what you guys end up buying in the comments, and how you plan to style them for Fall! I've gotta start narrowing down my list before my babies sell out!

 

 

Best Period Ever! The Diva Cup vs Thinx Showdown

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Just a photo of me looking absolutely normal on the beach - as I'm surfing the crimson wave! Periods can be a total drag, especially during summer when all you want to do is live your best life, wear white and pastels, and ya know, lay on the beach all day. Since pads don't really align with that vision, I'm sharing about 2 of my go-tos for that time of the month - The Diva Cup and Thinx.

I reviewed The Diva Cup a while ago, but had some growing pains so put it down for awhile, but decided to give it another go. It took some practice and finesse, but I've gotten pretty decent at getting it in and out smoothly. Here's the good, bad, and downright ugly!

Good

It's safe, environmentally friendly, and has no toxic chemicals! Plus it requires you to get more familiar with your body, which some may count as a negative but I think is a perk. Another thing that most of you might hate but I don't really mind - the removal process. There is a stem, which you can trim to fit your body and make wearing it more comfortable, and the longer the stem the easier it is to pull out. However the long stem kept poking me when I walked, so  trimmed most of it off. That made the wear infinitely more comfortable, but a bit harder to get out since I have less to pull. To get it out you basically have to bear down a bit, as though you are delivering. So you use those muscles to push, while holding it by the base and pulling it out by the stem. It is a bit annoying, but I'm kind of welcoming the opportunity to warm up those muscles for when I need them, ya know! 

Bad

Their site says that most women only change it twice a day, but you should be aware of your flow and time how often you need to change it. Because of my fibroids,  my day 1 flow is red wedding heavy so I found myself changing it every 2 hours. That is about as often as I change a tampon on day 1, but those are way easier to remove and insert, so it really was a drag. If you have a lighter flow or save it for days toward the end of your cycle when the flow is less aggressive you may have more luck. 

Ugly

 DON'T DROP IT! 

Seriously don't! I take mine out sitting over the toilet just in case, because turning the bathroom into a crime scene is pretty much the worst that can happen when using the Diva Cup. 

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Another one of my go-to products are Thinx.  I've been using the period panties for years and they are basically my heros! I have 2 of pretty much every pair on the site, for day and night of each day of my cycle. On day 1 I wear them with a tampon or my Diva Cup as backup, but from day 2 on it's just me my Thinx, and freebleeding. 

Good

Honestly, they are kind of my favorite. They are soooo comfortable, and there is a shape for every day. The designs range from cute and sporty to downright sexy. The boyshort is absolutely life, and I can't wait to try the new bodysuit out. And now they are getting fancy with some new colors! 

Bad

There really is no yuck factor, until you have to wash them out. And even then, it's really only gross if you are squeamish. They do take some getting used to, and you'll be super paranoid wearing them the first time. But after you make it through one successful cycle you'll be hooked!  

Ugly

None really, you just have to know your flow. Only once did I come close to a situation, since my period started getting heavier when the fibroids grew in. Just be attentive to your body and use a backup if you aren't 100% sure, or if you plan on being out and about for a long day.

Have you guys tried either yet? Let me know your thoughts about Thinx, Diva Cups, tampons, pads, and all of the above! 

 

Summer Day Trip: Long Island's Lavender Farm

Summer Beauty Ideas

Nothing screams summer like a flower field! Of all the things I love about summer, mini escapes from the city are my fave. We took a little day trip out to Lavender By The Bay, a beautiful little lavender field in Long Island. 

Summer Hair and Makeup

The field starts to bloom in July and August, turning into a gorgeous sea of purple blooms. The English and French lavender bloom at different times in July and August, so check out their bloom tracker for an idea of when to visit. Try to time your visit as soon as they reach peak bloom because the farm does cut back the flowers as they  bloom, the field gets smaller and smaller.  And you don't want to miss out on views like this! 

Lavender by the Bay Farm
Lavender Field Day Trip
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After you've got your photo opps in, stop by the store for some dried lavender, cute little soaps and candles, and other pretty little souviners from the trip. You can also shop the goodies online if you can't make the trip. 

What are your fave spots to spend a day outside the city? Let me know in the comments, and shop the story below!

Vacation Countdown! The Beauty Routine to Get You Ready for Any Trip!

Garnier Facial Mist

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RAWellnessBeauty #July #CollectiveBias

Who loves summer weekends?! This season is the best season, especially when summer Fridays start and you can skip out of work early for fun with the squad! If you know you’ve got a weekend adventure coming up, here are a few steps to take the week before to make sure your skin stays glowing from head to toe!

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The first and most important step is keeping your skin clear! I wear makeup every day, and I do not skip a beat when it comes to cleansing. My first and final steps both include micellar water to make sure my makeup is thoroughly removed every day. Daylogic is Rite Aid’s Beauty Brand and their Micellar (pronounced my-sell-er) water is a combination of purified water; hydrating ingredients and low concentrations of molecules of mild surfactants that naturally group together to form microscopic spheres called micelles, which act like magnets for dirt and oil.  So it removes makeup, cleanses, and refreshes in one step! I use it with the Daylogic Premium Exfoliating Cotton Rounds to give my skin some gentle exfoliating action. The next step is to go in with my favorite face wash for an even deeper clean, especially when I’m wearing a lot of makeup. Then I give my skin a final swipe with the micellar water to make sure all the makeup and residue is clear!

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I also love giving my skin a refreshing spritz with the Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist. Just spray it on your face anytime your skins need to feel a little refreshed -  when you wake up, after a shower, right before you leave the house, or to refresh your makeup through the day! I especially love it after a long flight to refresh my skin or after gym or sauna for instant hydration.  You can even use it to moisten a blending sponge before applying foundation or concealer.

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Now onto the rest of your bod! You’ve got your skin refreshed, your bikini packed, but you cannot forget to wax!  Nad’s Body Wax Strips for Normal Skin are perfect for a quick at-home wax. Use as needed to get ready to hit the beach or pool in your favorite swimsuit. The Wax formula contains natural ingredients such as beeswax and calendula flower extracts and is suitable for all skin types. The strips are ready to use – just rub, peel & go!

Beach Essentials from Rite Aid
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If you want to add these products into your rotation, get them at Rite Aid! They’ve got a great wellness+beauty offer – get a total of up to $28 in coupons via printed brochure in select stores and Load2Card coupons on riteaid.com

Now all you need are a few extra cute outfits!