Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New York Anniversary | Biggest Lessons Learned

Today is my three year anniversary with New York! *Cue the confetti* I seriously can't believe that three years ago, I boarded a plane for a unknown new home. I cried at the airport as I hugged Joe goodbye. My mom and I landed in New York in the mid afternoon. We took a car to our motel in Long Island City. We dropped off our luggage and jumped on the subway, headed to Grand Central station. I showed my mom around some of parts I'd seen on my one and only trip to New York two years prior. 

We barely slept the first night. We were so excited to meet up with the broker and find my New York apartment. Our first day was a whirlwind. We saw five apartments and the last was, by the far, the best option. We jumped on the unit and I was able to take it off the market. We celebrated with acai bowls in my new neighborhood. This time in my life has been the most exciting, scary, fun, and life-changing. The list of changes/life events would make this post way too long.

Even with all the highs and lows, I've never once regretted moving here. I've become a completely different person and have learned a ton. While boarding that plane three years ago feels like it was yesterday, I also can't even relate to that girl who moved across the country. I'm really proud of the person I've become. I finally feel like a true adult [although I still have a lot of learn!]

In honor of my three year New York anniversary, I'm sharing the three biggest lessons I've learned while living here.

Closed Mouthes Don't Get Fed: My wise friend and coworker, Rana, said this and it's so true! She was born and raised in Brooklyn and has been working hard her entire life. She taught me to speak up and ask for what I want. I've become more vocal about my goals and aspirations. They are slowly but surely coming true - partially through hard work and partially because I'm finally asking for what I want and deserve.

Say Yes: Let me preface this by saying: I don't believe in burning yourself out or forcing yourself to say yes because you have a fear of missing out. I do believe in saying yes to new adventures. I believe in breaking out of your comfort zone. I believe in pushing yourself when great opportunities arise. I've said yes to blogging events that have allowed me to meet amazing people. I've networked and taken opportunities that have led my to my current job. I've made travel happen, even when it meant sleepy Mondays and a messy apartment. I try to keep my life balanced and don't take up every opportunity that comes my way but I do try my best to live my fullest life. 

Have Fun: While it's important to be conscious about the future, you also need to live in the moment and have fun. I'm always trying to seize the moment - whether it's trying a new restaurant or watching breath-taking sunset. Have fun and enjoy every moment.

Happy Three Years, New York!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Curvy Fashion Finds: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

 ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX 

I was debating even writing this post because the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is ending (August 5th is the last day to shop). I picked up some great plus size pieces and couldn't resist sharing. My order just arrived a couple days ago and I already love all of my purchases. I re-ordered some of my favorites from last year - these leggings are one of the best high waisted leggings I own. I made sure to order this tee in white and pink. I picked it up last year in white but (of course) promptly stained it.

One of the best items I picked up was these jeans. They come in standard and plus sizes. I already wore them to work on Friday. They are high waisted with a little stretch. I love that they maintain their shape throughout the day but don't dig in. I also adore dark wash jeans so these are perfect for me. I'm really glad that I got them while they were 33% off!

I always take advantage of this sale for good quality pieces. I grabbed this long sleeve tee in black for only $19! I can throw a scarf or vest over it in the fall for an easy work look. I also picked up a couple non-fashion items. I grabbed this lip set - I couldn't resist three luxury lip products for $60. I found several cute home decor items. I snagged this marble toothbrush holder for only $11! 

With the sale ending, I hope you were/are able to grab some great pieces for fall. Let me know your favorite finds in the comments!


Monday, July 30, 2018

4 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy

This is a sponsored guest post by Alex Berger, but all opinions are her own!

We run through the daily motions of life so quickly nowadays that we forget to take care of ourselves and this can lead to health issues, including the very common health issue of back pain. It seems like most Americans deal with some sort of back pain now and I believe that we need to focus on it more because if you are in pain, it can limit the activities that you are able to do. Life is all about living to the fullest and if you are not able to do so because of your pain, something needs to change.

Focus on posture
The Alternative Daily says, “Spinal problems can begin as early as the late twenties, and some unfortunately have problems even earlier due to sport injuries or bad posture.” “We have all been told by our parents to stand up straight, but many of us don’t do so regularly, and as a result suffer with back pain or stiffness from time to time. Eventually these problems can become permanent and develop into further strain and injury. Practicing good posture isn’t something you do only when standing. Many of us sit for long periods of time hunched over our desks. This isn’t good for our backs either.” Most people now do have poor posture and it is very hard to improve, but if you try to focus on it each day, it is possible. There are many ways to improve posture. For example, you can tuck your chin in, tuck your tailbone under, stand with your feet slightly apart, put weight in the balls of your feet, etc. but, these tips will not help you if you do not make the effort to actually work on your posture, so make sure you are actually focusing on it throughout the day.

Add yoga to your lifestyle
If you do not want to do a structured yoga class, that is okay, but the simple stretches of yoga can really help your spine. There is this saying that you are only as young as your spine is flexible and yoga or simple stretches will definitely help you take your spine through a full range of movement, increasing flexibility and ability to do things with ease.

Get adjusted
Chiropractic services are becoming increasingly popular as the general population seems to be dealing more and more with spine-related issues. Chiropractic services is a form of medicine that is widely known as “a science of healing without drugs,” which is always good, in my opinion. There are many benefits from getting adjusted such as, headache relief, reduced back pain and muscle tension, improved posture, and more. If you are in the New Jersey area, AllCure Spine & Sports Medicine is one of the best chiropractors in the Monroe Township (Middlesex County) New Jersey area and they specialize in not only chiropractic care, but all around pain relief and wellness. Other than chiropractic services, they also offer physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and more. Dr. Alfieri is a chiropractor committed to providing pain relief for many symptoms and conditions so that you can have a higher quality of life. He implements a formula that has proven to be immensely effective in alleviating all types of pain, by using a multidisciplinary approach all under one roof, which is not only convenient and time saving for you, but it will allow you to feel better a lot faster.

Know what you are eating
Spine-Health says, “Eating a balanced diet with the right amount and variety of vitamins and nutrients can reduce back problems by nourishing the bones, muscles, discs and other structures in the spine. While a healthy diet calls for many vitamins and nutrients, this partial list highlights a number of healthy choices that can be directly beneficial for back pain patients.” Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K2, Vitamin C, Protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Vitamin D3 are all essential when it comes to a healthy spine, so think about adding things like kale, Salmon, almonds, oranges, eggs, avocados, yogurt, bananas, lentils, beans, and more into your diet.

Monday, July 16, 2018

New York City Summer Guide

There is so much to do in the summer in New York City. I've already shared my summer bucket list and I wanted to follow up with some of my favorite activities. 

Today I shared a travel guide video with some of my recommendations. As per my video, I'm including a few more ideas here!

MOVIES IN THE PARK: Several parks in the city show movies on summer nights. The most well known is Bryant Park, offering movies every Monday through August. The NYC Parks Department lists all the options here.

ICE CREAM SHOPS: My summer guide video could have easily become a ice cream recommendations video so I decided to not share any options in the video but include them all here! My favorite ice cream shops (in no particular order) are Emack & Bolio's [two blocks from my old apartment on the UES!],  Milk & Cereal BarGelato & CoForty Carrots [froyo], and Chloe's Soft Serve [fruit based/non-dairy option].

YOGA: Bryant Park offers free yoga on Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights all summer. Mats included as long as you sign up!

ROOFTOP BARS: There are a plethora of rooftop options. I love 230 Fifth and Loopy Doopy [they serve prosecco with popsicles!]

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Joe and I finally got to attend one of these shows last summer. It was phenomenal! You can enter the lottery through TodayTix or wait in line at the park. Tickets are free for all!

PICNICS: Picnics in Central Park, Bryant Park and Prospect Park are one of my favorite ways to spend a summer evening.

Make sure to watch my summer guide video:

More fun summer ideas to share? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer 2018 Reading List

Last week I received an email in my [work] inbox sharing how important reading is. The e-mail referenced several different great minds and how much they regularly read. Did you know that Bill Gates reads 50 books every year?!

They challenged us to commit to reading 10, 11, or 12 books this quarter. I took the pledge and opted for 10 books. I love to read and listen to audiobooks [which totally counts for this goal!] but I struggle to make the time. I am   slowly incorporating more books in my commute, which is helping a lot.



I've already started a couple of these books and I'm excited to dive into the others. If you have any book recommendations and/or want to join my reading challenge, please leave me a comment!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

5 Tips For Weekend Travel

For the past two months, Joe and I have traveled every single weekend. It was so much fun and glad we did it but it was exhausting. We slowly found little crucial things to make our weekend travels smoother. With summer in full swing, I bet a lot of you will be going on some weekend adventures. Hopefully these tips will help you have better weekend trips!

1. Bring cash: always grab some cash before traveling - typically I take at least $40 out of the atm before every trip.
2. Pack an external charger: most of us probably already do this because let's face it - we're always draining our phone batteries. Joe and I have a couple external chargers and this one lasts for 4-5 full charges AND can charge multiple devices at once. It is a must for any weekend travel or even a day out in the city. 
3. Use Packing Cubes: I love these for any length trip but they are especially great for weekend vacations. I either categorize my clothing into separate cubes or divide it up by outfits. This makes packing so easy!
4. Set a routine for your return day: Joe and I always got home on Sunday nights. My routine includes washing my hair with my Sunday shampoo and conditioner followed by laying out my outfit and packing my workbag. This insures I feel refreshed and ready for work on Monday. 
5. Always unpack the day your return: we've found that when we unpack right after we return, it makes the transition easier. This is infinitely more important with weekend travel, which leaves you without downtime before returning to work. Joe and I generally pack one carry on piece so unpacking takes under 10 minutes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New York City Summer Bucketlist

Summer has arrived in New York City. Rooftop bars are in full swing and parks are packed. Every year I have a few things I love to do in the city in the summer. I always end up adding to that list. Let's take a peak at my list for this summer...

Sip cocktails on the Met rooftop bar: We discovered this spot at the end of our first summer. Every season, the Met opens up their rooftop bar, overlooking Central Park. They feature a few pieces on the rooftop so you can enjoy some art with your cocktail.

Picnic in Central Park: We received the cutest picnic basket as a wedding gift. It's perfect for Joe and I to take a park date. Unfortunately we no longer live walking distance to Central Park but we will definitely still visit this summer and we live down the street from another park.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge: This is a favorite activity and always something we take guests to do. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most beautiful structures in New York, in my opinion. I like taking the subway to Dumbo, wondering around by the water and then walking across the bridge to lower Manhattan. Fun fact: my great grandfather's company supplied the cables for the Brooklyn Bridge!

Take the ferry to Rockaway Beach: In my last job, I took the Rockaway ferry route every day. During the warmer months, I longed to stay on the boat and head to the beach. This summer I'm definitely making it happen. The ride is only one hour from the Wall Street pier and will only run you $2.75 [same as a subway ride].

Wine taste in the Hamptons: I still haven't managed to do the most classic summer activity for New Yorkers: visit the Hamptons. I'm changing that next month with a wine tasting day trip!

Watch a movie at Bryant Park: We have yet to do this but this summer - it's happening! All summer Bryant Park offers movies on the lawn every Monday night [through August]. 

See Manhattanhenge: This is my third summer in New York and each year, Joe and I vow to see Manhattanhege but never do it. This year we can't miss it. Manhattanhege is when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan. 

Wonder through a street fair: Manhattan is full of street fairs that span for several blocks. One of the first things Joe and I did the first time we visited New York. We bought spices and succulents. You'll never know what you'll find at these fairs.

What is on your summer bucket list?!

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