Lilly Pulitzer Love and Chaos

Confession: I woke up early to attend the NYC’s opening of the Lilly Pulitzer Target line at Bryant Park. Ok, not super early, just my normal 6:20 alarm but still.  Woke up to stand in line.  Some people arrived at 5am.

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Confession: I waited in line for 75 minutes with tons of girls who looked oh “so New York/East Coast”.  Most of them were dolled up and some decked out in Lilly gear head to toe (as if that helped you move up in line…not).  You had pearls, Sperrys, designer sunglasses (at 7:30am), Tory Burch flats, and Louis V purses.  (guilty on the Sperrys but not guilty on the vast amount of makeup some had on).   I felt a little out of place.

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~ It was actually more fun to see some of the artists painting Lilly prints than standing in line waiting for the mad dash into the store. ~

Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with brands.  I love Lilly and Tory Burch and Kate Spade.  I love the bright colors and unique patterns, but so many are one of a kind outfits and I never really have the forethought or desire to put all of it together.  Let’s just say style has never been my “thing”.  Honestly, I tend to roll in with the “California casual” as my go-to style.  That or relying on the “I just worked out” look.  Hence why all my pictures lately seem to be me running around (literally).

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Confession: We didn’t actually make it into the Lilly store.  By the time we would have crossed the threshold, it would have been 9am and about 30 minutes past the time I should be at my desk.  Rumor was that items were flying off the shelves and being snatched out of the assistant’s hands.  I have a strong feeling that people will be ready and armed with their credit cards on Sunday morning, grabbing every single item  and immediately re-selling them online for a profit.

IMG_9312Realization: the other side of Bryant Park is where the fun is really at.  They had/have (from 8am-6pm) a huge area filled with hammocks, chairs to relax in, free manicures with Lilly Pulitzer-Essie polish, and a free juice bar.  What we really should have done was just arrive to soak up that experience and leave the shopping to another time (or to people who don’t seem to have work and can stand in line all day).  But still glad I stopped by because only in New York.

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Confession: This dress is still on my mind.  Fingers crossed my mom is or I am able to find one at a Target and that it actually fits.  Rumor is that the sizing is a bit out of whack, but that’s what you get for cheaper material and cheaper prices.  First world problems.

Are you a Lilly Pulitzer fan?  Did you (would you?) brave the masses for Bryant Park?

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Family Time in NYC

IT’S OFFICIALLY THE HOLIDAYS!  No, I’m talking about full-blown Christmas cheer going on.  For some reason it just doesn’t make sense until Thanksgiving is finished.  So, now that it’s December 1st, let the games begin.  On another note, I’m sure I’ll get around to this posting thing again but for now, a little photo-dump of what’s been happening pre/during/post Thanksgiving.

My mom traveled out for a weekend at the beginning of Thanksgiving break (ah the good ‘ol days when we had a week off!!).  It was quite nice for me because I took Monday off in order to explore with her and as a result, only had 1.5 work days before the feasting festivities began.  With Thursday and Friday off, I could get used to the two-ish day work weeks.  Dream on 😉

We started the weekend lunching with our family friends at Alice’s Tea Cup

IMG_6298Everyone was drooling over the idea of chocolate chip salted caramel and of course blueberry lemon is also a classic combo.  Do the calories count if it’s vegan 😉 Just kidding, I would eat it all the same

alice tea cup sconesWe started off by splitting a chicken sandwich and finished up on the sweet side with a pot of tea + two scone combo.  The basil + goat cheese was thrown in by accident and while it wasn’t my favorite, it would be good alongside a winter soup (maybe just avoid the strawberry jam)

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Filling our time with walks through Central Park & the new extension of the Highline Park on the westside of the city

IMG_6314Splitting sandwiches & salads ~ If only they had Chop’t on the west coast …

IMG_6315I spy some holiday cheer

IMG_6320Sweet treat at Magnolia’s Bakery (Rockefeller Center) before our matinee musical.  My mom has yet to sample the banana pudding but of course our arrival at Magnolia’s was not great as all the small sizes were sold out by 2pm.

IMG_7186Quite possibly one of the best musicals I have seen.  Both “Kinky Boots” & “Book of Mormon” are on the top of my list, but the unexpected plot and humor of “A Gentleman’s Guide” surely wins out for the musicals I have seen with my mom.

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Later on Sunday night, we met up with my roommates and a couple friends for dinner at the Todd English Food Hall (basement of the Plaza Hotel)

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^^ Madre and me 🙂

Laura and I posing with Eloise for one year reunion.  She even thought ahead and wore the same coat as last year!

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I love comparing the two pictures and seeing how far we have come in one year.  On the left, we had only really known each other for a short time. Maybe I’m reading into it, but we look a bit more timid and not nearly as close as we do on the right.  That’s what countless hours of exploring and running will do to people.  A year later and we are much better acquainted and much better friends. 🙂

IMG_6322Tiffany’s looking mighty fine with its holiday decor

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We took a quick trip through Bloomingdales and while we did not leave with any shopping bags, we did leave with a scrumptious (and should I mention FREE) red velvet cookie. (Note: the wrapper is edible…mind blown)  Bloomingdales and Cool Haus were pairing up for some social media holiday cheer.  Yes, I do have quite a lot of food pictures but what can I say?  I like to walk, shop, and eat. 🙂

“The secret to being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day” – curiano.com

When One Lives in New York City

When one lives in New York City, there are endless opportunities.  This includes jobs, places to eat, things to see, places to go, etc.  Sure, we don’t have too much in terms of the “great outdoors”, but if you are creative and willing to try something new, I’m sure you will find something.

It has been so much fun having one of my friends live from home join me out in the Big Apple.  Lindsay and I have made some excellent memories by wandering the parks, shopping along 5th Ave, and testing out some of the top museums.

IMG_7008Always a classic.  Lucky for us, my work offers a corporate discount into the museum, so we can pretty much pop in and out whenever we please.  Although, I keep thinking that Ben Stiller or Robin Williams will show up at some point as if I’m in the “Night of the Museum” series.

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I really should snap a picture every season of this walkway in Central Park.  It’s yet another picturesque place to be when the leaves start to fall and people walk around all bundled up.

IMG_7018 Christmas has arrived at Macy’s!

IMG_7046Veteran’s Day cupcakes by one of the people at my work.  You can find her on Instagram @cupcakesbyjana and see all her mouth-watering and absolutely adorable creations.  I love that she has such a passion for these treats and it’s a fabulous hobby to have!

~ Blog ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest ~

IMG_7068 Nothing like celebrating a Thursday night with a little bit of bubbily (or a lot…).  This was a Champagne tasting class that my roommates and I decided to attend at Chelsea Market.  Champagne happens to be one of my favorite alcoholic beverages and who knew that there were so many different varieties?  From the brut to the rose, and even a Chardonnay 🙂

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Lindsay, Gaia, and I went to see “Intersteallar” in theaters last week and I have to say, it was amazing.  I can’t even remember the last time I went to an actual movie in the theater, but the expereince was long overdue.  Too often (such as now), I find myself popping in a movie in the background (“You’ve Got Mail” as I type this up) but end up distracted as I blog, clean, craft, or chat with my roommates.

I never was able to see Gravity, so I can’t really compare the two, but this was much better than any other world-ending, civilization at risk types of films.

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Yes, I understand that this (and sometimes all of November Project) is a bit intense, but it is awesome.   My mom told me that I looked like I was a part of “Orange is the New Black”.  Thanks but no.  She redeemed herself when she told me that she had watched a few of the NP videos and told me that she understood why I loved it so much – it’s so “me”.  I guess this statement only makes sense to those of you who know me in person, but the ability to put all your emotions and energy out there, to work out with people who enjoy it just as much (if not more) as you – it’s a dream come true.

 “Excellence is not an act but a habit. The things you do the most are the things you will do the best.” – Marva Collins

Marvelous Manhattan – September Edition

While my family is suffering back in California with temperatures over 100F, we’ve been lucky with some cooler temperatures.  Even Sunday morning brought some fall-like weather, catching us off-guard with a chill in the air.  Sure, the weather did warm up in the afternoon, but it was nice to catch a glimpse of what’s to come in the next few months.

Not too much has been on the books the past few weeks, some brunching, hiking, dodgeball, and oh yeah that thing called work that helps me pay the bills.  But since work isn’t the most exciting thing to discuss here, let’s move onto some of my favorites of late.

IMG_6034Brunching or lunching at the Waldorf Astoria.  Here we have THE Waldorf Salad (fresh apples, caramelized walnuts, grapes, celeriac) for $16.  Quite delicious for the experience.

The Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022

IMG_6060 Finding your new scent for 30% off.  Yes please!  I had spotted this time after time at Anthropologie but never had the courage to drop $68 on a perfume that may or may not work.  Well, with a such a discount, it was time to make a purchase.

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 What do you know, there’s now a Birchbox store in SOHO!  This is your stop for all those beautiful body, hair, and nail products.  I swear, it’s like the grown-up version of a candy store with rows and rows of goodies.

Birchbox
433 W Broadway – New York, NY 10012
(W Broadway + Prince St.)

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I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few Birchboxes and there are a few products I absolutely adore.  There’s one sunscreen that you put on underneath or instead of foundation and it is possibly the smoothest feeling lotion I have ever encountered. The entire store is a goldmine of beauty products, perfumes, and much much more.  But don’t take my word for it…check it out!

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Shopping and walking around town will help you work up an appetite.  Inevitably that means searching for something on Yelp because I still don’t know my way about restaurants in SOHO.  Well, finding this spot off of Yelp was an absolute win.

Burger & Barrel
25 West Houston, New York, NY 10012
*Highly recommend the Bash Burger (award winning)

As many note, “Notable burgers, upscale pub eats & wine on tap in a high-energy setting with a trendy crowd”  So, with this delicious looking picture, I leave you for the day.

For more things marvelous and wonderful, continue on here 🙂

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

So in the song, the Twelve Days of Christmas, is it counting December 1st-12th or more of a countdown until the 25th?  Just some of the random questions floating around in my head.  But that aside, I do declare that Christmas cheer is all around and I completely agree that Christmas in New York is simply the best.  We haven’t had any snow yet and surprisingly it was warmer on Thursday (around 60F) than it was in California.

Back to the holidays – I am in love with the lights, the store windows, and even the overplayed holiday music.  After work yesterday I decided to run a few errands in the adjoining mall and there was the most beautiful snowflake lights display.  I also decided to walk into Williams Sonoma and this wave of happiness rushed over my entire mind and body.  Sure it may be strange, but it’s just one of my happy places.  The dishes, the colors, the vast potential that such a store holds.

However, I was shocked by one thing or rather person.  I was wandering happily through WS, searching out every free sample possible, when I hear this uproar in the back.  Some woman had stormed in, grabbing two brownie bites, when the employee said one sample each please.  Oh my gosh, the reaction was insane.  The woman started yelling claiming the employee was completely rude and should be fired.  I would also like to mention that I saw this woman barrel into the store demanding the peppermint bark tray be refilled for her.  Some Christmas cheer that is.

“No act of kindness is too small.  The gift of kindness may start as a small ripple that over time can turn into a tidal wave affecting the lives of many.”
– Kevin Heath

 

I managed to keep it cheery and thanked the employee for the samples and continued to wander about.  It can take just one person to ruin the mood, but I didn’t want that to happen.  So, I headed down to Union Square where they were having the most fabulous Christmas market.  I could have easily walked around with my earbuds in, listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas music (or maybe just today’s country) 😉 but wanted to absorb the atmosphere in its entirety.

A good thing too because I managed to strike up two wonderful conversations with shop owners.  It started because I was wearing my Hulu sweatshirt and one thing led to another and I was just making friends left and right.  Engaging in random conversations is pretty high up on my list of hobbies or maybe you would call it an auxiliary skill.

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Something wonderful about the various Christmas markets is the wide variety of goodies one can pick up for the home or better yet, gifts for friends and family.  I planned to get in and out without spending anything, but that failed.  Looking on the positive side, I managed to finish half my Christmas shopping.  #success

I loved that I was supporting some of the smaller businesses and each of my gifts would be far more unique than something purchased in a department store.  It’s always fun to purchase something unique to that individual, maybe an inside joke, or something he or she can use every day.  I would have a ball if I could get crafty and make gifts for everyone, but sadly that’s not going to happen.

If you don’t have a chance to stop by one of these fabulous markets or shop locally check out these ideas:

  • Headbands of Hope – A student at North Carolina State University worked at Make-A-Wish Foundation and saw how girls loved wearing headbands after they lost their hair to chemotherapy.  She soon came up with this program and company and sells every type of headband possible.

For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.

  • Heifer International – An old favorite – they work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.  You decide which livestock you would like to send to families in need along with training of how to raise and use the animals. They share the training and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.

  • TOMS – I’m sure you are well familiar with this product.  The company has expanded far beyond what could have been imagined.  If you don’t end up with a pair of shoes for yourself or loved ones, check out their eyeglasses or even the book about how it all started.

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Some Chocolate with that Cheesecake?

Yesterday was an absolute success.  My grandma was a hoot up at the outlets.  She is always so much fun to be around because she can make us laugh at just about anything.  She has also been a huge supporter of me and my career decision.  I really have to thank my mom for being my personal shopper and finding a number of clutch outfits for work in the fall.  Basically JCREW = the best store ever but who in the world created skinny pants?  Obviously they didn’t consult us runners for what would look good, but that’s another story.

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