Everything to Do in NY This Spring!!

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Spring has officially been here for a few weeks, but it’s finally starting to feel like it! The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, so it’s time to get out and start enjoying the new season. NYC is beautiful this time of year and the energy is so refreshing after what felt like a winter that would never end! Spring is a pretty short-lived season, so get out and make the most of it while you can! 

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Check out the Cherry Blossoms and all the Spring Blooms

Cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere right now! The ones in Central Park are full and fluffy, and the blooms at New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanical Garden are nearing peak bloom. Some people consider Sakura Matsuri the can’t miss cherry blossom moment of the season, but it’s insanely crowded. I prefer to visit on an off day when I can really take my time wandering the garden and enjoying the view, without the hundreds of people. 

NYBG is also home to stunning fields of daffodils and azaleas that are about halfway to peak bloom right now. Keep your eyes on their bloom tracker to best time your visit. And definitely don’t miss the Orchid Show, that is running until April 28th! 

 

Get Reservations at all the Rooftops and Gardens

Dining al fresco is so necessary but getting coveted tables for you and the squad can be tricky! I usually start booking reservations a few weeks in advance, then making plans with friends as I go. Waiting until the last-minute means missing out on prime outdoor seating during the most popular hours. A lot of places do take walk-ins, but I prefer not to be at the mercy of a wait list that can easily be an hour long! Plan a head or pick less popular times to make sure you can have the perfect Spring dining experience while the season lasts. My favorites are Lauduree, Public Kitchen, Jimmy for drinks and Serra at Eataly

 

Visit New Exhibits at all the City’s Museums

A museum day is one of my favorite things to do, especially on days where the weather is not quite nice enough to be outside. The iconic Costume Institute at the Met Museum opens May 9th and Brooklyn Museum has an incredible Frida Kahlo exhibit on now through May 12th. That one requires timed entry passes and they are selling out fast, so make sure you sign up asap! And on May 3rdthey open Nobody Promised You Tomorrow, a collection of work from 22 LGBTQ artists 50 years after Stonewall. 

 

Update Your Wardobe with Some Spring Shopping

Let your closet get a little taste of fresh air with some affordable fashion finds! Check out all your favorite retailers for Spring sales not to miss. You will need some new sundresses, flirty tops, comfy sandals, and standout accessories to get through the season! 

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4 Ways to Save on Summer Travel!

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Spring is the perfect time to plan a trip or take a last-minute getaway! Its early enough to catch a deal for a summer trip and the weather has warmed up in a lot of places so you'll have plenty of options. Here are my tips for planning a bucket list worthy trip on a budget!

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Be flexible on location

If you aren’t set on a specific destination you can easily find deals because you'll have so many options. You can look for flight deals or hotel specials and end up somewhere amazing for a bargain. It’s especially easy to save when you are going to a destination in the off season, which may be even more fun because it will be less flooded with tourists! You may have had your heart set on Paris in the summer but may be able to get that Parisian feel in another European destination. 

 

Look for deals in unexpected places 

If you are a seasoned traveler, you already are on the most popular deals and steals email lists. If you are looking for even more discounts or ways to sweeten the deal before buying, check out cash back sites like Ebates. Yes, you can earn cash back on your travel purchases! I’m also a big fan of browsing Amex Offers and members only deals in their travel section. They may not be big discounts, but you can often find things like free room upgrades or perks that will make your stay a special one. 

 

Plan based on a favorable currency exchange

Make your money go even farther by picking a destination with a favorable currency exchange! I recently went to Toronto for work and stayed at the super stylish Bisha Hotel, a boutique hotel with incredible ambiance. The exchange rate worked in my favor, saving on everything from the hotel, to meals, transportation and even shopping! If you really want to stretch your dollar, think about destinations in South America, Africa, or even Asia, and avoid Europe, especially Switzerland!

 

Go with a group

As much as I enjoy solo travel, costs can add up pretty quickly when you don’t have anyone to split things with. If you can round up 3 or 4 friends, you will save a ton sharing costs for accommodations, which is usually the biggest expense.  When I went to Colombia with a group of 8 we were able to get an incredible luxury villa that ended up costing around $100 a night each! Plus there were plenty of less fancy options for a fraction of that cost. Round up your squad and get to searching! 

 

Let me know what vacation destinations you have in mind this year! And follow me on Instagram to stay tuned to all my summer travel! 

 

4 Ways to Save on Summer Travel

How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2019!

Pink Tulle Dress

Ever since Instagram implemented the algorithm, there have been countless posts about how to beat it. From quick and easy hacks to complicated, time consuming strategies, everyone is trying to find a way to beat Instagram at its own game. As an influencer, part of your success depends on your reach and the engagement you get on your posts so performance is critical. I’m far from an Instagram expert, but I have learned a few things on my journey as a microinfluencer, so I’m sharing some of my tips for how I’ve managed to maintain my account, get decent engagement, and keep the algorithm from making me crazy!

Pink Tulle Dress
NYC Photo Shoot Locations
Fashion Photo Shoot Styling

Focus on Instagram Engagement

Engagement is everything! You can’t control who sees your posts anymore, and you definitely can’t control who likes or comments on them. Since this post focuses only on things you can control, when I speak of engagement I mean how you are active and engaging on the platform. You can’t just post once a day, disappear, then expect your account to get traction. I spend about an hour a day on Instagram, engaging with new accounts and people that follow me. Yes, I go through my followers list and like, comment, watch and Insta-story or something to let my followers know I pay attention to them! If you are engaging with their accounts they are also more likely to see your posts in their feed and engage on yours!

Create Compelling, High Quality Content

There are so many influencers and brands posting on Instagram these days it’s impossible to stand out if your content isn’t up to par. Focus on creating content that is in line with your aesthetic, is eye-catching enough to make someone pause on your pic not just scroll past, and has an interesting caption. I admit I am not the best at captioning! I typically schedule my images so the visual flow makes sense, but I don’t caption in advance so I usually end up posting on the fly. I’m challenging myself to work on better captions because I firmly believe they help with boosting engagement and beating the Instagram algorithm.

Collaborate with Other Bloggers in Your Niche

Collaborating with other influencers isn’t just for fun! It can help organically expose you to a new audience and help you create new types of content that engage and excite your followers! I had a blast shooting with some of the Exclusively Social babes around NYFW and I hope to do more partnerships with other bloggers to have fun and help each other grow!

Have Fun and Remember Why You Started

I started my influencer journey to have a creative outlet when my corporate job felt stifling. It became my personal passion project, a place for me to challenge my creativity, make new connections, and post about things that excited and inspired me. So whether I’m posting from far-flung destination or frolicking in a tulle dress in a Brooklyn studio that rivals a Victorian mansion, this is my place to create what I want. Think about what you want, and how you can find other people that want to see what you create!

Instagram can always change their algorithm, and probably has by the time you read this post! By remembering the things that motivate you, inspire you, and challenge you as an influencer will make the journey all worthwhile.

Tips to Beat the Algorithm

Let me know how you are surviving Instagram and your life as an influencer!

Curing the Winter Blues with Biore & John Frieda!

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

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I know I’m not the only one who is completely over winter! It’s been pretty freezing the past few weeks in NY and the weather is really putting a damper on my social life. I’ve been trying to make the most of spending more time indoors waiting until winter passes, so that means lots of Netflix and Hulu, a few new good reads, and of course, my at home beauty treatments. Relaxation time is so important, especially after the hectic holiday season. After all of those weeks taking care of everyone else, it’s time to turn your focus back to yourself. If you want to indulge in a little self-care when it’s too cold to be out doing anything else, here is my routine for a quick and easy cozy spa night at home.

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I start by cleansing my skin and doing a treatment mask. Biore® Charcoal Cleansing Micellar Water is a great way to take off makeup and deep cleanse your skin before you apply the mask. It’s an all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover, so there is no need for rinsing or rubbing. It removes even heavy make-up while refreshing and balancing your pores, and the charcoal formula is great for oily skin.
Biore Charcoal Mask
Once all my makeup is removed, I apply the Biore® Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask. A thermal mask is perfect for a night where you need to warm up and melt away your stress. It’s infused with natural charcoal, and opens pores and draws out dirt, then finishes with a cooling sensation for tingly-smooth skin in just one minute. I follow with my favorite moisturizer and eye cream, and then move onto hair!
John Freida Frizz Ease Serum
My curls can get insanely dry and frizzy, so keeping them strong and hydrated is essential. I’ve been loving the John Frieda® Frizz Ease® Extra Strength 6 Effects™+ Serum. This tiny bottle packs a powerhouse serum that eliminates frizz, prevents damage from heat styling, repels humidity, smooths strands, hydrates parched hair, and tames flyaways. I like to add a few drops to my hair after washing and deep conditioning to create a foundation for frizz free styling all week. You can also use a small amount of product on the ends of dry hair to refresh your look and help smooth away any frizz.

Now just grab a cozy knit throw blanket and turn on a movie for the perfect way to end a night of pampering. After nights like these I feel completely rejuvenated.

At Home Spa Tips
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If you are looking for the place to stock up on beauty and wellness items that are affordable and easy to find, check out your local Rite Aid. They make it easy to make smart choices while shopping so you can look great, feel great, and save! Make sure you try the above products or anything from Bior®e or John Frieda® with the discounts below! 

  • Starting 1/27 and 2/10, save 25% off any one Biore® item

  • Starting 2/10, look for BOGO 50% on John Frieda® products

  • From 1/27-3/2, save up to $11 with coupons via printed brochure in select stores and Load2Card coupons on riteaid.com


Let me know how you guys are surviving the rest of winter!

Budget Beauty Products

What to Do in Savannah (If you DGAF About Plantations & Trolleys)

Savannah Shopping Tips

I went on my second trip to Savannah a while ago and was once again enchanted by the beautiful city! If you have never been you seriously need to add it to your list! It’s full of charm, history, and fantastic food. A lot of the activities revolve around historic trolley rides, ghost tours and visiting plantations. I’ve heard great feedback about that kind of stuff, but it just isn’t how I’d like to spend my vacation. If you are thinking about going to Savannah but have no idea what to, here are a few ideas for how to spend a weekend, without once setting foot on a plantation! 

Savannah Nightlife Guide

Must-See Shopping in Savannah 

Savannah has some amazing shopping! There are so many cute boutiques for everything from fashion and accessories to honey. Check out Satchel, and if you are staying at the Perry Lane Hotel take advantage of the VIP experience. Hotel guests can have the concierge set up a meet and greet with the boutique’s owner and the chance to design your own leather bag or wallet. Also, be sure to stop in City Market, an open-air shopping center with boutiques, restaurants and art galleries. I also love The Paris Market for charming French goodies and the Savannah Bee Company for honey and honey infused beauty products. 

Explore the Tree-Lined Streets of Savannah 

The city is full of charm and is perfect to explore on foot. Wander aimlessly down River Street for scenic views and don’t miss Jones Street, which was voted one of the most beautiful streets in North America! 

Rooftop Parties in Savannah

Have a Beach Day

Tybee Island is just 20 minutes away and has a gorgeous coast and fresh seafood. If you’ve got time and are up for a longer drive, head down to Saint Simon Island, a gorgeous strip of beach about an hour South. There are also beaches on Hilton Head Island, if you aren’t up for the longer trek. 

Eat the Best Southern Food in Savannah 

Savannah is a great foodie destination! For fancy dinners check out the  Olde Pink House. Five Oaks Taproom or 700 Drayton. Don’t miss Café M or Two Cracked Eggs for a casual fun and yummy breakfast or lunch. And be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Leopold’s Ice Cream or Savannah Candy Kitchen!  

Get the VIP Experience with a Professional Photo Shoot

Commemorate your trip with a pro photo shoot! Destiny Creations Photography is an amazing husband and wife team that will get you unforgettable photos from your trip! If you want to take the experience up a notch, bring in Charisse Styles, a fantastic stylist that works with the team! I worked with them on my last trip and she did a great job putting together these fun looks so I could get great pics without overpacking. It’s definitely worth it if you want to make the trip extra special!

Where to Eat in Savannah
Savannah Travel Guide

Let me know if you guys have been to Savannah and your favorite ways to pass the time there! 

Secure the Bag! How to Make Money as a Small Blogger

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So this has been a highly requested post that I was saving for the end of the year! I am going over all my invoices and making sure my accounting dashboard is up to date, but so far it looks like it’s been a pretty good year for the blog! If you are a new blogger or have been struggling to monetize your blog here is what has worked for me as I’ve established myself. I’m still working on it, so please take all of this as inspiration or my personal tips. You should definitely develop your own strategies and test them as you go on your blogging journey.

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Have a professional media kit and rate card

Before you can start making money, you have to look legit! Make sure you have analytics for your blog set up, and all of your social networks are Business Accounts so you can get insights. Then design a stellar media kit and rate card. I use Canva since the templates are so easy to work with. You should also do your research on what is a reasonable rate for you to charge based on your following/blog traffic.

Join Every Blogger Agency/Network

There are dozens of influencer networks/agencies that you can opt into. Most of them require you to make a profile and connect/authenticate your social profiles. Then you will either be in their database so they can include you in lists when their brand clients request influencers for a campaign, and some even show you a list of sponsorship opportunities you can apply to. It makes getting your profile and pitch in front of brands so much easier, and they are usually clear about the deliverables and guidelines, so you know what will be expected and when.

Here are a few that I have signed up for:

Social Fabric

Activate

Hashtag Paid

Fohr

Collectively

Clever

StyleHaul

Some have different requirements to join so check out each website and get to applying! The beauty of these programs is they connect you to brands that are their clients, and are super streamlined and easy to work with. There are several brands and retailers that I’ve worked with through these platforms on multiple occasions, so it gives you a library of content that you can use to pitch the brand directly! I do a good amount of my business through Social Fabric and Clever and they are super easy to work with. There are some tips and tricks you’ll need for a successful application in these networks, so stay tuned for a follow up post on that!

Use Affiliate Networks to Drive Sales

 Affiliate networks are a great way to generate revenue from your blog. Companies like RewardStyle, ShopStyle and Amazon all have influencer affiliate networks. The process is pretty simple – once you join the network you can create trackable links to use for products you post about. If someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, you get a small commission on it. If the customer returns the item within a certain window, usually 30 days, your commission goes away. The commission you get on each sale is pretty small, around 3-15%, but the awesome thing is you get commission of their entire order, not just if they buy the one item you had in the post! So if you start out clicking on an eyeshadow palette I had in a Sephora beauty post, but end up buying $500 worth of skincare, I get commission on the $500 total! So when you have good traffic , spendy followers, and post regularly in can start to add up.

For example, here is a shopping gallery where you can see the items I’m wearing in the images above. When an item is sold out or no longer available, like the Manolo sandals I’m wearing, I link to something similar.

If you click the slip and go shop on Savage x Fenty, I will NOT get a commission because that brand is not in the affiliate network. But I still included it because I love the brand and think you guys should check it out! However the jacket and shoes are from in network retailers so I will get a commission. This is not a very big stream of income for me just because the payouts are quite low and I never link to things I don’t actually like. 

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Not Every #Ad is a Paid One, and That’s ok!

The fact is not every partnership is going to be a paid one, but free stuff is fun too! The fact is a lot of brands do not have influencer budgets, or only spend on bigger influencers or celebrities. However some companies do very generous gifting or products and experiences! I’ve gotten amazing skin care and beauty sets, clothing, complimentary salon and spa treatments, access to exclusive events, and even free travel! If you are new to brand partnerships, working in exchange for product is a great way to get experience creating branded content. It also really helps to offset the amount you spend on things you will use anyway. Plus there is always pressure on a blogger to have new items to post about or review, so having connections to brands that will gift will enrich your content and expand your reach and experience. If you are still struggling with pitching, here are some networks that specialize in getting you freebies!

Influenster

Octoly 

Bzz Agent

6 ways to make money blogging


Pitch Brands Yourself 

Once you have your banging media kit and successful examples of brand work from agencies or free collaborations you may feel ready to start hitting brands up yourself! The art of the pitch is really something that deserves its own post, so more to come. However, the best way to negotiate your projects and payment on your terms is to work with the brand directly. Typically when you get a gig through an agency, the brand went to that agency with a total campaign budget that also included agency fees. If a third-party isn’t taking a cut, you can definitely get a higher rate! I usually send an introductory email with my stats attached and a description of the project or concept and ask if they would like to work together. I usually pitch about 4 to 6 weeks out, so started holiday in October, Valentine’s Day right after New Year’s and am now working on ideas for Spring Fashion in March. The timing gives me time to get my pitch list and concepts organized and ready to go. Plus, you need to get in front of brands before budgets are allocated! Most brands have an influencer marketing budget that they break up seasonally, so you should get on their radar before plans are locked-up and other influencers cast. 

 Create a Product You Can Sell

A lot of bloggers and influencers also earn money selling products. The most common ones I’ve seen are presets for photo editing or e-courses. Some also do merch like mugs, t-shirts, etc. If you feel like you have a service to offer that your audience would be interested in think about selling it on your blog. I’m personally debating putting together an e-course, so let me know in the comments if you’d be interested! 

And Remember - It’s ok to Say No!

Just because you are new to the game and trying to secure more partnerships does not mean every opportunity is right for you. It could be a question of timing, deliverables, the pay being really low, or it not being a brand you vibe with. Personally, I say no to a lot of projects if the I feel what the brand is asking is taking advantage. Because of my background in marketing and my experience in campaign production, I can easily call bullshit when a brand asks for certain terms. I have said no to brands asking for an unfair exclusivity term, image usage rights I was uncomfortable with, and when they ask me to not disclose our partnership. Every influencer and brand knows the FTC requires disclosure so it’s a dishonest practice that will get you fined for not obliging. Evaluate every offer carefully, and do some research in blogger groups or influencer platforms to get a better idea of what is and is not standard to ask in a partnership.


If you are a new blogger or influencer reading this and are hoping to start cashing in, I hope these tips helped! I’ll be continuing this series with posts like the below: 

 

  • Contract Negotiations with Brands so you can get the most out of all the sponsorships that will be rolling in!

  •  Tax Tips You Need to Know for Your Blog

  •  Content Creation Strategy

  •  Double Duty – Managing a Blog and a Full Time Job

Making Money as an Influencer

 

 

2019 Travel Bucket List - 4 Can't Miss Destinations

2019 Travel Destinations
travel tips for 2019

Something highly unusual is happening for me right now. It’s almost the end of December, and I seriously have ZERO 2019 trips planned at this point. This time last year I had 4 trips planned between February and May, so this is definitely not my style! Granted, I did say I was going to prioritize my savings in an aggressive way, so cutting back on leisure travel is a big part of it. But I’m still completely itching to hop on a plane to somewhere for a few days! Hopefully I’ll drum up some business that takes me somewhere exciting, but in the meantime I’m fantasizing about a few places that are hot on my list this year.  Fingers crossed I make it to a few of these!

 

Bordeaux, France Wine Country

I love spending time in Europe in Spring and summer, and have been lucky enough to explore a lot of the continent since I lived in Italy. Yup, did you guys know I speak Italian? I’ve been to several cities in France, from Paris to the South, but have always skipped over wine country. I’ve been pretty inspired to go since one of my old friends bought a GORGEOUS villa there! It’s the Domaine de Montvert by Sitawi-Bottone in Saint Emilion Bordeaux wine country. It’s unbelievably charming and big enough for a family or group of friends. Bordeaux is supposed to be one of the most stunning regions in France, and since I already have the perfect place to stay in mind, I need to start planning a trip However, for the first trip on my 2019 Travel Bucket List, I'm considering a visit to my friends at JP Linguistics (www.jplinguistics.com) to help me brush up on my French before I go! They offer really fun language classes in French, Italian & Spanish in SOHO, NYC and it might be just the right time to pay them a visit as I prep for the first trip on my bucket list!. France can be a pretty tough country to travel if you don’t speak any French, so taking a few lessons will come in handy!

 Sri Lanka Beaches

 

Another region that has been on my radar all year is Sri Lanka. It’s quite a trip, but the scenery looks so stunning and it’s supposed to be pretty affordable once you are on the ground. 

 

All Over California

 

In 2018 I said I wanted to do more domestic travel, and I’ve had a blast in several new cities in the US. I went to Cali a few times this year, mostly for business, and every time I went I wished I had more time there. So in 2019 I owe myself a true California vacation experience – no work, just beaches, scenery and exploring!

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

I’ve been ready for another trip to Africa since my incredible journey to South Africa a few years ago. Zanzibar has been calling me loud and clear, so WHEN I can afford that long-haul sure to be pricey flight I will be on my way. 

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Let me know what is on your travel bucket list for next year any beyond, and shop this story below!

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Practice Self-Care During the Holidays

Cozy At Home Holiday Season

Is anyone else starting to feel the holiday stress? I’ve had a CRAZY couple of weeks between travel, my day job, wrapping up holiday campaigns, securing new business for Q1, and my social life, which these days includes catching up with friends and prepping to host this Christmas. I have a post planned for managing it all without losing it, so look out for that next month, because I’m seriously trying to figure it out! November and December are pretty much the time where we are all going out more, spending more, eating more (and usually less healthy stuff) and sleeping less.

My friends always say I am pretty good about taking care of myself, and being selfish when need be, so I’m trying to remind myself of how I do that. Self-care is pretty buzzy these days, but it’s crucial to stay balanced and centered. When it feels like the world is pulling you a hundred different directions, you need to find time to take care of yourself. I’m not sure about “having it all” but here are a few ways I practice self-care during the holiday season.

Self Care Guide

 

Stay on top of your daily routine

We all have little things we do to start and end our day, but when schedules get crazy it’s hard to let that fall to the wayside. But don’t! When you get out of your flow that only makes things more intense, and it’s harder to get back into it once you’ve been off for awhile. 

 

Know when to say no

Yes there are holiday parties every night, or friends or loved ones who want to catch up for dinner, or trips you could go, etc. It’s hard to RSVP no, but sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. Sleep in instead of going to brunch, catch a workout you love instead of a boozy night out, or just lay around in your coziest PJs as long as you need to. I have had days where getting out of bed was physically not an option, so I cancelled my day and took the time needed to rest. The next day I was infinitely better, and ready to get back on track. When you need to hit pause, just do it! Your loved ones will understand. 

 

Don’t give into FOMO

Millennials are plagued by FOMO! However I’ve realized that when you need to skip social plans to take care of yourself or prioritize your to-do list, the fear of missing out can easily fade away. Just remember that you chose to be exactly where you are for reasons that were important to you. Plus, if you were out doing whatever it was that’s in the back of your mind you’d be having FOMO about missing your couch! 

 

Take time for your health

Sometimes self-care means laying at home, taking a hot bath or indulging in some of your favorite comfort foods and a glass (or half-a bottle) of wine. Other times it means putting in work to get reenergized and ready to take on the challenges. One of the main ways I stay sane is my regular workouts. I get in at least 3, but usually 4 or 5 a week! No matter how busy I am or how gross the weather is, because I know that workout time is an investment in myself, my health, and my body. Of course there are days where dragging myself to the gym is the last thing I want to do, but when I get there I never regret it. But if I skip a workout I always have regret the next day. So whether it’s fitness, meditation, or just some gentle stretching while YouTube is on in the background, find something that will be your thing and make time for it on a regular basis. 

 

Respect your budget 

November and December are also times where there is increased pressure to spend, on shopping, gifts, and socializing. By October I pretty much know how much I’m going to spend between holiday shopping, stuff for myself, entertaining costs, and socializing. Then I FIRMLY stick to those numbers, and am never shy about saying I need to prioritize my budget when saying no to things. Keeping up with the Joneses needs to be a thing of the past and anyone in your life who cares about you would not pressure you to spend frivolously.  There should be absolutely no stigma about living within your means!

 

Protect Your Sleep

I can’t stress this enough! Protect your sleep as vigorously as you may need to, It is paramount to your overall health and well-being. I always make an effort to be in bed unwinding about 30 minutes before I need to actually be falling asleep. That means the alarm is set, phone silenced, and I’m reading a good book and finishing my nightcap (usually a bourbon neat – I’m not a tea person). If you can’t stand the thought of fully silencing your phone, at least dim your screen and turn on the blue-light fliter, which is easier on the eyes before you go to bed. 

 

Let me know how you guys practice self-care through the craziness this time of year!

All the Art Basel Events You Can Actually Get Into!

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I’m on my way to another Art Basel Miami! I pretty much go every year, mostly because I love the art but also because it’s a great excuse to get somewhere warm when NY is freezing cold. If you are planning on attending but not sure what to do when you get down there, here are a bunch of options. These events are all open to the public so you can buy tickets and have an amazing time on the scene, even if your VIP pass went missing AGAIN!

Art Basel Miami Art Fairs

Obviously if you are in town for Art Basel you need to see some art. All of the fairs are open to the public and you can buy tickets online. You also MUST pass through Wynwood and explore the incredible street art all over the neighborhood. I’m leaving links to my favorites below. If you plan on attending let me know in the comments and maybe we’ll bump into each other!

The Official Art Basel

Scope

Pulse

Art Miami

Untitled

Art Basel Parties & Events

Part of the fun of Art Basel Miami is the parties and events. Here are a few that are open to the public that you can buy tickets to. I will probably check some of these out myself.

Pigment International

Style Fashion Week Presents Fashion Basel

Pulse Young Collectors Cocktail

Art Basel Miami Hot Spots

And while you are in between shows and events, pop into these hot spots to grab a drink or app, and of course, see and be seen!

The Edition Hotel

Freehand Miami

News Cafe

The Standard Hotel

The 1 Hotel

If you’ve got time and patience, check out Eventbrite for hundreds of other events as well! The options really are endless. And if you can squeeze in some beach time. I know I’ll need it before flying back to frigid NYC!

Miami Art Basel Guide


3 Ways to Travel More in 2019!

San Diego Beaches

What are the things that keep you from traveling more? For most people it’s a combination of financial resources or not having people to travel with. Since this was requested in my last Instagram story survey, I’m sharing a few of my tips for affordable travel on your own!

Holy Matcha San Diego

 Save for It

In addition to my main savings account, I regularly stash away my coins in a travel fund. I’m never saving for a specific trip or destination, more just making sure I always have funds set aside for when the opportunity arises. I use a savings app called Digit which skims your checking account and quietly transfers small amounts of money into a separate bank account. The transfers are usually small -$5 here, $10 there and they include overdraft protection just in case one of their withdrawals accidentally causes you to into the negative.  I’ve saved thousands of dollars in the years I’ve been using them! Since transfers back to your back account typically only take a day, when I book a trip on my credit card I can immediately transfer money from my Digit account to pay it off.  I also loosely follow a great tip I read in one of R29’s Money Diaries – pop $20 a week into an envelope that you keep in a secure location in your apartment. At the end of the year that’s $1000! So when you see a super-cheap fare sale to an amazing destination, you can jump on it!

Old City San Diego
Aruba Renaissance Island

 Try a Travel Group

Instagram travel groups are pretty much everywhere, from Travel Noire to Sisters and Suitcases. If you don’t have a group of friends you can travel with but don’t necessarily want to go alone those are a great option, albeit not the most affordable. I do think it’s worth paying a bit extra since they are conveniently organized and include some great experiences, but there are also a ton of travel groups on Meetup that organize different trips, and usually have get togethers in their city so you can get to know the squad before hopping on a plane with them. 

 

Mallorca Spain

Choose Your Destination Differently

You may have your heart set on an adventure with your squad in Thailand or somewhere far-flung and exotic, but if you are on a budget and going solo you need to think about destinations that make sense for you. Think about destinations you’d like to visit and how you would spend your days there. If you’d be happy to lay on the beach with a good book, cocktail and seaside massage, the Caribbean or even Southern California would be perfect! If you are an art buff and love museum and gallery hopping, there are plenty of affordable cities that are art nerd friendly, like Philadelphia in the US and London abroad. It’s not the cheapest, but fare sales are plentiful if you are flexible on timing and all the museums are free. Start trip planning not by thinking about the destination, but activities you would like to do and would be comfortable doing alone. I made a New Year’s Resolution to do more domestic travel this year, and I’ve been enjoying fun little weekends to classic destinations like Savannah and random spots like Hawley, PA.  

 

And now that you’ve found your dream solo-trip, this post has everything you need to make sure you still get amazing travel photos! Also let me know in the comments or on Instagram if there are other topics you’d like to see me cover! 

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Fall Fun and Fashion with V8 +Hydrate™

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

Soho NYC Street Style

How is mid- October treating you? As much as I miss the balmy days of summer, I have to admit I love Fall! The weather gets crisp enough to really get creative with fashion and layering, and it is really nice being able to run around all day and not turn into a sweaty mess. Plus hello gorgeous leaves everywhere! In the spirit of the new season, I’m sharing some of my favorite Fall activities, a few tips on how you should dress for each one, and the one thing that you have to have in your bag for all of them - V8 +HYDRATE™!

V8 +HYDRATE™ is a plant-powered hydration beverage that offers superior hydration with a blend of natural electrolytes from vegetables and hints of fruit, so you can replenish quickly when you are on the go! Staying hydrated is probably the most important beauty or lifestyle tip I could ever give you guys and no matter how busy I am, I always make it a priority. V8 +HYDRATE™ makes it easy, with the great taste and travel-friendly can so you can always have one handy. Now you just have to figure out how you want to spend the perfect Fall Saturday.

Museum Hopping

Sometimes Fall weather calls for some indoor fun, and it’s a great time to catch up on exhibits you may have missed during summer when you were too busy on the beach or at the hottest rooftop bar. If your city has a great museum scene, make a list of the ones you can’t miss and plan a day to explore them all. Since that means you’ll be on your feet a lot, walking around and probably waiting in a few lines, the day calls for a stylish but comfortable look. I like the idea of a casual chic dress, lightweight blazer or jacket, and ballet flats or loafers. I usually keep my bag pretty small and light since carrying something heavy all day gets really tough on my shoulders, so you’ll catch me with a mini bag for the essentials! Being on your feet all day can dehydrate you faster than you think. This is why I carry my new favorite hydration beverage with me.

V8 Hydration Beverage

Apple/Pumpkin Picking

Sometimes nothing beats getting out of the city for a day! I love to round up the squad and drive up to the Hudson Valley area for a day of apple or pumpkin picking. You can find beautiful orchards just about an hour away from the city, and there are usually also adorable farms and markets that sell everything from locally made honey to fresh baked cider donuts. My go to look for this kind of day trip is comfy jeans or leggings, an oversized knit cardigan, and flat boots, and a bag big enough to hold my essentials for the day.

Fall Street Style NYC
Fall Trends Plaid Mini Dress

Concerts/Live Shows

TBH, I hate concerts in the summer, even though they are super popular then. Call me crazy but I’d prefer to not be surrounded by a jam-packed room of hot sweaty people. Fall lineups are usually more my thing! Some of my fave venues are Terminal 5 and Music Hall of Williamsburg for small acts and buzzworthy names. Check out their lineup or who is on tour and may be heading to your city! My go to concert look varies depending on what kind of band is going on, but pretty much always involves some combo of graphic T and jeans or skinny leather leggings. Since you typically can’t bring your own beverages into a venue, hydrate before the show and after you get home with V8 +HYDRATE™. You’ve gotta keep your energy up to get through the show! Plus it makes for the perfect morning recovery beverage after your night out.

Leather Moto Jacket
Fall Fun NYC.jpg
Make sure to get V8 +HYDRATE™ on Amazon or Amazon Pantry! You can place your order and have it before you know it thanks to Amazon Prime’s lightning fast shipping. And they have a great promo on site so you can take 30% off V8 +HYDRATE™ while supplies last. Just use the promo code 30V8Hydrate1 at checkout!
Amazon V8 Promo code.JPG

There are 3 flavors available: Strawberry Cucumber, Orange Grapefruit and Coconut Watermelon, so stock up and try them all while you can save! Be sure you and your girl or guy friends are staying hydrated! It’s clean, crisp, and has a delicious taste, and you can buy a 24 pack that’s perfect for sharing on Amazon!

Let me know what you are looking forward to most this Fall, and of course how you plan to dress!

The Perfect NYC Staycation at Nomo Soho

Images by Wini Lao

Images by Wini Lao

Sometimes you just need to escape from it all! When life gets way too crazy and you find yourself getting overwhelmed, the perfect way to check out and relax is to take a little staycation. We can’t always jet off to exotic destinations unless you just happen to have major bank and unlimited time off, so a staycation is the next best thing. You can find a deal at a great hotel in your city to hideaway for a few days and get some much needed peace and quiet.  

Nomo Soho Staycation
Staycation at Nomo Soho
Nomo Soho Staycation Destination
DIY Skin Care Treatments

Nomo Soho is one of my favorites. It has everything you need for the perfect solo staycation – beautiful modern décor, a stellar restaurant and bar, comfortable, luxurious linens, plenty of cute nooks for photo opps, and heavenly plush bathrobes you can cozy up in! If you are feeling a little social the bar and lobby lounge are always great to hang out in. Or you can just lock your door and indulge in some of your favorite beauty treatments while ordering room service. Just be sure to get a room with a view, because the city skyline is not to be missed. 

If you are looking for great last minute deals I love Hotel Tonight and TravelZoo. And old fashioned, I know, but sometimes just calling the hotel reception can get you a major discount or unpublished rate. They may have a ton of rooms open last minute that they would love to fill. I’ve done this several times, for last minute trips and ones being planned weeks in advance, and have gotten up to 25% off the published rate, just by asking! 

NYC Hotel Guide

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!

4 Things to Know About Life in NYC

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!

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

NYFW-Street-Style-NYC.jpg

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! 

 

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

Labor Day NYC Activities.jpg

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

Cocktails at Surf Lodge Montauk.jpg

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! 

 

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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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! 

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Best Period Ever! The Diva Cup vs Thinx Showdown

Summer Beach Days.jpg

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. 

Summer Beaches in New York.jpg

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
Lavender by the Bay North Fork Day Trip.jpg

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!

Everything You Need for the Best Summer ’18!

This post is sponsored by  BabbleBoxx.com .

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

Summer is the best season! The temps are high, days long and fun-filled, and everyone just has an amazing renewed energy to celebrate the new season! In collaboration with BabbleBoxx, I’m sharing a few of the essentials you need for the best summer ever!

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Summer is the season for iced tea, so of course we had to get a few bottles of Pure Leaf Tea House Collection! They are actually one of my go to iced tea brands so I was so happy to see this in my box. The Strawberry and Garden Mint is super refreshing and the Spiced Chai is perfectly balanced with the perfect amount of spice.
Pure Leaf Coney Island.jpg

This is a great drink to buy when you are out and about on a hot summer day and need a pick me up! And if you love at home mixology, I think either of these organic iced teas would go great in a bourbon based cocktail!

On the beauty and skincare front, they included the Beauty Water and Sheer Renewal Cream by Colleen Rothschild. I love a facial spritz for refreshing your skin on the fly and this will come in super handy after long days in the sun when your skin starts to look a hot mess. The team is also giving you guys 20% off all regular priced items with code BOXX20, so get to shopping!
Coobie Bra Post.jpg
One of my favorite things this box were the Coobie Bras. They fit perfectly and are sooooo soft and comfy! They sent me a Lace Back Scoopneck in a soft pin and a nude Lace Bralette. There is also another discount I can share with you guys for these babies! Take 30% off any order between now and June 2019 with code BAB30
And this wasn't in the box because it would melt, but they sent coupons to get a free box of My/Mo Mochi ice cream. Have you ever had Mochi? It's ice cream wrapped up in a sweet rice dough, so it's pillowy and soft on the outside and full of rich creamy ice cream on the inside. It comes in 8 flavors, and I tried the mango! If you like mochi ice cream, check out their site for where to get yours!
Cavit Flat Lay.jpg
And since no summer box would be complete without some rosé, they threw in 2 bottles of Cavit! I love a nice chilled glass, and my boyfriend figured out how to make the most amazing frosé, so I'll be trying to copy his technique.

Let me know what you guys think of the products and if you buy any with those codes make sure to share your pics with me!