the weekend list no. 27

Toby's Estate Brooklyn

Toby's Estate Brooklyn

It's crazy to me that it's already the third weekend of 2018. Can time stop for one second? My best friend is back in town this weekend for her birthday, so we're going to do a cute birthday brunch and some other fun things I'd like to vlog. What are you up to? I have a ton of links this weekend, so here you go!

Caitlin shared a post showing how she organizes her fridge. It looks so neat and clean! This may seem like a silly topic, but what other people have in their refrigerator and how they organize it is a total internet phenomenon that I'm very much into.

Speaking of the kitchen, I'm always looking for healthy recipes that sound delicious. Jolene Hart shared this recipe for cranberry applesauce that looks amazing. It's called an 'anti-aging' recipe because it includes antioxidant rich cranberries as well as apples, ginger, and orange juice.

Mic did an article on 'Instagram butlers' at resorts that I thought was interesting and funny. I can see how some may find this silly or even depressing, but for those of us who love photography, I think it's a really helpful amenity that wisely caters to the social media generation...which by now is pretty much every generation, yeah?

I found Carly's guest post on The Stripe about meditation very interesting. I've tried meditation on multiple occasions and was never a fan. I'd either get too bored or my thought spirals would actually get worse because I had nothing to distract me from it. It's interesting that she started out the same way and recommends Headspace to get into the practice. I've actually done the free portion of Headspace, but might consider getting a membership.

I've seen a lot of lists about "things I wish I'd known before moving to New York", but this one from The Coveteur is the most accurate. Although, I'd probably re-title it "Things I Wish Other People Knew About New York in General". 

Can I please work at Camille Styles now? They're always doing the cutest things.

Love this ruched gray dress on Grace's blog. 

This living room makeover is amazing. It's crazy how a few changes can make a space look totally different.

Did you see The Coveteur's list of trends for 2018? My favorites were 'being yourself on Instagram' (I'm really not into accounts that only post flawless, editorial-style photography) and wearing no makeup because I've honestly only worn makeup like three times in the past month. 

I heard two really good podcast episodes recently: The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey's talk with Alisa Keeton (a really interesting take on fitness and wellness from a spiritual perspective) and then Katie Couric & Brian Goldsmith's interview with Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (super interesting thoughts about the current administration from an old-school Republican perspective).

dreaming about travel destinations

I've been seeing so many fun 'dream travel destination' posts since the beginning of the new year and thought doing my own would be a fun way to collect my thoughts on all of the trips I'd like to take. Since I moved recently, I'm currently not in the serious planning process for any big trips, but now is a good time to start daydreaming. Here are the places that have been on my mind the most:

CANADA
Specifically Montreal and Quebec City in the autumn. Both of these cities look like the perfect places to enjoy a cozy, magical fall trip. 

SOUTHEAST ASIA
I've been dying to visit several locations in Southeast Asia because they have so much to offer when it comes to relaxation, culture, and adventure. Specifically, I'd like to go to Bali, Bhutan, and Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam.

JAPAN
Japan is very, very high on my list and I know it will require quite a length of time to do it the way I'd like to. Of course, I'll go to Tokyo but I also want to visit Kyoto, stay in a traditional ryokan in the countryside, see the deer in Nara, and visit Hokkaido to pretend I'm in My Neighbor Totoro (and maybe even go to the Totoro house in Nagoya).

CHINA
I'd like to spend most of the time in Hong Kong at this point, visiting the Big Buddha and what not but I'd also love to see Shanghai for its futuristic architecture.

EUROPE
I obviously would like to go back to Paris again, but the biggest spots in Europe on my list are Edinburgh (one of my biggest dream destinations) and a couple of spots in central Europe like Switzerland, Germany, and Austria because I want to do---don't judge me---a fairytale castle tour.

UNITED STATES
I'm hoping to do a couple of weekend trips out of the city, perhaps around New York state, maybe to Boston or Vermont. But, I also need to go to Charleston because I can't believe I haven't already been. My college town was kind of like a mini-Charleston so I think it'd be fun. Also, would like to do a proper trip to Palm Beach (although I've already been since I'm from Florida) to stay at The Colony. I'd also love to get to Hawaii eventually.

AFRICA
The inevitable Africa trip in my life is one I'm really looking forward to. I obviously want to do Cape Town and maybe some other parts of South Africa, but I'd also love to see parts of Zambia and Tanzania, find an ethical safari, and dream of doing work in Uganda.

MIDDLE EAST
I'm dying to go to Dubai for the gorgeous hotels, shopping, and beaches but I'd also like to stopover at the airport in Doha, Qatar if possible (potentially en route to Bali).

What places have you been dying to visit?

high-low outfit ideas

Is it just me or is everyone's fashion secret using the 'high-low' principle? It's with good reason, really. Even Kate Middleton is known for pairing designer pieces with things you can find in high street stores like Zara and Whistles. 

Look 1: Swing Dress with Ankle Boots & Printed Scarf

Look 2: Cozy Sweater w/ Skinny Jeans & Belt

Look 3: Long Cardigan with Jeans & Ankle Boots

Look 4: Gray & White Basics with Black Jeans and Statement Boot

There's a ton of strategies you can take with high-low: buying expensive basics and cheaper trendy items or splurging on statement pieces and buying all of your basics at J.Crew. Here's four looks using the high-low formula. Each look has one splurge piece and three pieces under $100. Can you guess which are the designer pieces?

tips for your trip to new york city

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I often get asked for tips for traveling to New York and honestly, someone could write a book on tips to visit this city because there are tips and tricks for just about everything you do. But, I wanted to do a post with some of my biggest tips, ones that I would give to someone who might be traveling here for the first time.

While writing this, I realized I have so much to say that I should do a whole series, so I'm working on a couple of extra guides including one for the subway. In the meantime, here are my biggest tips for your trip to New York City. Warning, these tips might be a little snarky.

Take the subway
I know some people find it daunting, but with Google Maps, there's really no reason not to take the subway. It will save you so much money that it's worth the adventure and if you get confused or go the wrong way, mistakes can easily be fixed. I'll do a full, in-depth post on using the subway if you're interested but my biggest tips are simple: 

1. Utilize Google Maps
2. Know which direction you're going to make sure you enter on the correct side of the track.
3. Get a 7-Day Unlimited Pass if you're staying longer than a short weekend.

Eat dinner early to avoid crowds
If you're visiting from somewhere else (in America at least), you're probably used to eating dinner earlier and this can work to your advantage. For dinner, restaurants tend to start getting busy around 7-9 pm. So, going at an earlier dinner time like 5-6 pm will mean shorter wait times and smaller crowds, which is always a nice treat especially if you're in need of some quiet after a day surrounded by people.

Book a hotel in Brooklyn
If it's your first trip to the city, it's probably best to stay in Manhattan but for return trips, consider booking a room in Downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg. Whether you're in the Brooklyn Heights area or Williamsburg, there's a lot to do, they're cute areas, and both still very close to Manhattan by train. But, you're getting a nice room for less money than you would in Manhattan.

I recommend The Williamsburg Hotel, The Wythe Hotel, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, The Marriott Brooklyn Bridge (huge rooms), The William Vale, and the McCarren Hotel. Rooms at these hotels start at about $150 - $250 as opposed to $300 - $800 at comparable Manhattan hotels.

Stay to the right and keep moving
The most important rule to keep in mind is to always stick to the right when walking on the sidewalk or up and down stairs/escalators. This allows foot traffic to keep moving and provides space for people who want to walk up the escalator. 

And keep moving!
Please for the love of God, do not stop in the middle of the sidewalk, after going through the turnstile, and especially at the bottom of escalators. If you need to stop, move to the side to stay out of the way. I seriously have been behind someone who stopped at the bottom of the escalator, so I was trapped on the moving part and thought I was going to get sucked in. Was not pleasant!

Carry hand sanitizer and use frequently
I love this city but it can be very disgusting and with 8.5 million residents alone (not including tourists), germs are abundant. I've seen teenagers with their dirty shoes up on the handrails people use in the subway and all sorts of other unsanitary behavior. So yes, bring a travel hand sanitizer with you and use it before every meal and every time you exit the subway.

If someone tries to talk to you on the street or at the airport, just keep walking
Usually, if someone is trying to stop you in public, it's either sketchy or just not worth the time. When you arrive at the airport, someone hanging around baggage claim might ask if you need a cab. Look straight ahead, keep walking, and go to the taxi line or order an Uber. Legit drivers aren't going to be waiting inside to accost you.

On the street, it's more likely to just be a waste of time. If you stopped for every person who tried to reel you in, your entire trip would be spent trying to escape awkward conversations. Never lock eyes and if you do, look away and keep walking.

Don't eat at big, national chain restaurants
Because what's the point of spending so much money to travel to the city if you're going to have dinner at a place you can visit in any old mall in the U.S.? You'll have access to some of the best restaurants in the entire world and can get any cuisine you'd like, so take advantage and see below for combating decision fatigue.

Make a loose itinerary
This is my biggest travel tip in general. While I don't recommend planning your trip hour-by-hour, it is smart to make a loose itinerary to help ward off the decision fatigue that is very real in New York.

Determine which neighborhoods you'll be hanging around, then make a list of restaurants that sound good and keep it on hand. That way, when you're hungry, you know a good place to go and don't have to stand on the corner Googling places or end up somewhere that's not worth your money. 

Extra tip: If you really don't know where to go or are just looking for somewhere quick and affordable, here are some ideas (with multiple locations) that you still aren't likely to find in your hometown: Pret-a-Manger, Le Pain Quotidien, Dig Inn, Westville, Sweetgreen, and Hale & Hearty Soups. Chances are, you'll always be near one of these.

Know which attractions are worth your time
There really is so much to do here that it's good to determine which tourist attractions are worth your time and which are just taking away from time that could be spend doing something more "authentically New York". 

Here's my harsh opinion on the matter:
Worth Your Time: Central Park, The High Line, 9/11 Memorial, The Oculus, shopping on 5th Ave and Madison Ave, going to a live TV taping, taking the free Staten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty.

Take a Pass: Pretty much everything else. Top of the Rock provides a great photo op, but I'm not sure it's worth the entry price just for that, especially when you can just go to a rooftop bar or do the 9/11 Memorial tour. You definitely don't need to do a bus tour, especially when the price of one can get you a ticket to a show, a really good meal, or an Uber when you're tired. Times Square should honestly be avoided at all costs once you've seen it once, unless you're going to a Broadway show.

my healthy resolutions for 2018

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I'm one of those people who are going to feed you the cliché line that 'I don't believe in resolutions'. And that's partially true but only because resolutions have a stigma of being broken by mid-January (because they tend to be meaningless or un-measurable 'goals' centered around an arbitrary date), whereas I'm more interested in using the new year as a check-in point where I look back at how past intentions fared and set new intentions for the next twelve months. 

Last year, I achieved one of my biggest, most major life goals. So, this year my intention and 'resolutions' are going to be smaller in scale but still very important and primarily centered around health and wellness. Over the past few years, I had been partaking in solid, consistent wellness habits. But my move to the city meant I had to put that on pause for a quick second. Now that I'm getting a little more settled in (although still not entirely settled), I can pick back up with my wellness routine. Although, I'm still waiting to get my Vitamix up here so my smoothies will have to wait!

What are your wellness resolutions for the new year? Here are five of mine:

Swap to all natural skincare and makeup products
This is my biggest health/beauty resolution for the new year. I recently started using one of Juice Beauty's cleansers and have really seen a difference in my skin health. I have always tended to lean toward clean skincare products, but I'd like to make the full swap which includes makeup. I've never made clean makeup a priority, which is really contradictory to what I always preach which is that the skin is our largest organ and should be treated as such (usually what I tell people when chastising them for not using sunscreen). This year, I'm setting up an appointment at Credo Beauty to develop a plan and then I will only buy natural products as my others run out. 

Get in the habit of flossing
I know I'm not the only one who isn't good about flossing. I know how vital it is for good oral health but I just hate doing it for some reason. However, I'd like 2018 to be the year I start a habit of flossing. I recently bought coconut flavored floss from Cocofloss because I honestly think I'm so addicted to coconut and pretty packaging that it will make me want to floss. The girl who works at my local Credo store confirmed that using Cocofloss has really helped her to get in the habit! 

Be mindful of posture
I hold a lot of tension in my neck and face, which tends to cause a lot of pain as well as poor posture. Whenever I get a massage, they always point out the knots in my rhomboids and throughout the base of my neck. Also contributing to this is "tech neck", a common posture issue for people who look down at their phones or, in my case, books. I know that I have non-ideal neck and shoulder posture, so my goal is to be aware and correct it throughout the day. 

Practice dosha-based breathing techniques
If you don't know about your dosha, I'm actually working on a full post about them that will go up later this month. But, essentially, we all have an ayurvedic 'dosha' that is one of three energies that govern our bodies. I'm a pitta dosha, which means I'm associated with heat so one recommended way to relax is to use cooling breathing techniques called sitali and sitkari. Pitta doshas are encouraged to use these techniques in stressful situations to literally cool down your anger and anxiety. The resolution here is to practice the sitali and sitkari breathing techniques daily, even when I'm not feeling stressed or annoyed, so that I can be more aligned with my dosha. 

Drink more health tonics.
I'm already a huge fan of wellness drinks like cold-pressed juice, Moon Juice elixirs, and matcha tea but this year I'd like to try even more of the health tonics I've been interested in, such as Fountain's molecule drinks and products from The Beauty Chef. Overall, I just want to experiment more with ingestible beauty products.

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