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Corepower LIVE : Do or Don’t

As part of my 2021 goals, I wanted to get back into working out. With the weather being too cold to run and gyms and Corepower studios closed, I needed to find an alternative that worked for me. After being served 1000 Instagram ads, I decided to give Corepower at Home live a shot. And I am SO glad I did.

I think Corepower LIVE is totally worth it!

With their current deal due to COVID (I think), you get unlimited access to both their LIVE and on-demand (pre-recorded) classes, for 19.99/month. For someone who really loves Corepower, it is such a great deal!

LIVE – While you’re not in a heated studio and on Zoom, it feels almost feels like a real class! The instructors give you a playlist to listen to while you flow, they demonstrate each move and you can even see your other classmates. But you can definitely keep your camera off you want, which is a super nice to have the option!

On Demand – This is not my favorite part of the package BUT it does have a few perks. These classes are always available so you’re not tied to any schedules. They also have classes that are 20, 30 and 60 minutes, which is great if you’re looking for to squeeze in a quick class between meetings.

I’m always looking for other ways to stay active this winter. Know of other online workout classes? Drop them in the comments!

xx

sb

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The BEST Roasted Grape Tomatoes

If you can’t tell I love to eat and I love Half Baked Harvest. So naturally when I wanted to try out these roasted tomatoes I’ve been seeing all over TikTok, I checked her page for a recipe.

She didn’t have a recipe dedicated to these tomatoes specifically, but she did include it in one of her pasta recipes. Here’s it is:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice your grape or cherry tomatoes in half and put them into a glass baking dish
  • Mince garlic and add to the glass baking dish
  • Add some dried basil, salt and pepper
  • Mix everything together and pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool for a few minutes and then add to a salad or put on some toast and enjoy!

Let us know if you try this recipe and what you think!

xx

sb

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2021 Wardrobe Change

Like many people, I am looking for a total refresh after 2020. So one thing I really want to do this year is focus on creating a new wardrobe and look for myself.

I’ve never really been “stylish” or knew how to dress for my body type and honestly I have always been kind of afraid of buying clothes. But with the help of TikTok, I’ve started to figure out what looks good on me and what doesn’t and what I think I want my style to be.

To be honest, I don’t really know where to start but you can join me on my journey to figuring it out haha. Here’s my initial inspiration:

For my first new look, here is what I pulled together:)

Very excited to share my next look soon!

xx

sb

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Three Keys to my Three Year Relationship

January 14th marks three years with my boyfriend and as this anniversary approaches I can’t help but think back on what has made our relationship grow in love as each year passes. I am no relationship professional by any means, but I am sickeningly happy with my boyfriend and I can genuinely say we are more in love each day than the last, so maybe my two cents will help you or give you some hope. Again- not an expert, but whether you’re single or in a relationship, these are three keys to keeping my relationship happy and healthy. Maintain the Foundation of Friendship

  1. Maintain the Foundation of Friendship
  • I truly believe my relationship is so meaningful because we are best friends underneath it all. As life tests you, as it does to us all, continue to confide in your partner and lean on them when necessary. In good times, be sure to share those too. Invest in time and experiences together that will push and grow your friendship, in 2020 that meant officially moving in together and adopting a pet, but this looks different for everyone.

2. Continue to Communicate

  • The longer you are with someone, the easier it may become to assume they can read your mind or they should know what you’re thinking or how they feel. Realistically, they don’t and as close as you are, you should always let them know what’s going on and what’s on your mind. This is something I need to remind myself of sometimes too because there may be things I don’t want to discuss or think I don’t need to discuss but guess what? I’m always wrong. Always communicate no matter how long you’ve been together.

3. Don’t Let the Future Distract You From the Now

  • If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life will probably never turn out the way you might think. I won’t tell you and your partner to make zero future plans, but I will say that it’s super important to be really flexible and go where the wind takes you. If you have everything you want written in a detailed list with no wiggle room or back up plans, it will likely be extremely stressful for your relationship when things take a different turn for whatever reason. Be as present in the now as possible and give minimal thought to the distant future, I promise it will work out for the best.
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These boots are IT, sis.

I’ve had my eye on these Zara boots for a while and I finally bought them and I am OBSESSED.

These shoes instantly made my outfit look from looking okay to BAD BITCH for only $59.90. Plus they are a dupe of Prada’s black boot.

I can’t stress how comfy they are! I didn’t even have to break them in, they were just ready to go.

They are perfect to wear in the rain because they are pretty water proof and have a thick rubber sole. I haven’t tried them in the snow yet but I feel like they have a good grip. Also, I tend to scuff my shoes but all I had to do was give them a quick wipe and the marks went away instantly.

In terms of sizing, I’d definitely go down a half size. I’m usually a 8-8.5 and got the 8 and they are a touch big in the toe. But the ankle is stretchy so it doesn’t bother me.

BUY THE SHOES, you won’t regret it.

xx

sb

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New Year, New Goals

It’s that time of year again, a time to reflect on the shit show that we call 2020 and think about what we want in 2021. This year, we actually took the time to sit down and set some goals. Here’s what we got for you.

Sam’s 2021 Goals

  • School
    • To do really well in my online grad certificate classes and have a clearer vision of what I want to do with my life and of the next step in my career.
    • Finish up Foodtography school.
    • Complete Brand Camp for Two Girls.
  • Photography
    • To learn more about photography and become a more confident photographer.
    • To take my camera out at least once a week and capture some content.
    • To do at least 2 photoshoots (can be with friends!).
  • Working Out
    • Work out 3-4 times a week.
    • Go on a walk at least every other day.
  • Cooking
    • Learn to cook delicious, healthy food and become more creative and confident in the kitchen.
    • When safe, have 1 dinner party and cook for friends and family.
    • Learn more about meal prep/nutrition.
  • Two Girls
    • Write 3 blogs every two weeks.
    • Continue to build our social media following to 1K.
    • Record 5 podcast episodes.

Molly’s 2021 Goals

  • Travel
    • Travel safely to new and exciting places with my partner (and maybe my dog!)
    • Take photos and be present on these trips
  • Career
    • Continue to stay organized and motivated at work
    • Say yes to new professional development opportunities to expand my knowledge and my network in the PR industry
    • Get a promotion (maybe!)
  • Personal
    • Get more consistent with Instagram, Tik Tok and blog content creation
    • I’m working on a novel (for fun!) and I’d like to have it finished by mid-summer
    • Read one book a month
  • Fitness
    • Continue to stay active for myself and for my dog
    • Try one new workout every month
  • Financial
    • Set a savings goal and reach it by the end of the year
    • Invest in the stock market
    • Start a retirement fund
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Why you should be able to change your birthday

I love being an Aquarius. I love that I could bring cupcakes to school or celebrate during February break. I love that all of the Valentine’s day candy was 1/2 price on my birthday.

But I am a beach bum. I want to celebrate my birthday on the beach or at least have the option of being outside. Not when it’s zero degrees out and I’m wearing 4 layers, a massive jacket and winter boots.

I think we all deserve the opportunity to pick when we celebrate. It’s our birthday isn’t it? Shouldn’t we be able to pick when to celebrate just like we pick how to celebrate? While I’m not suggesting I need to legally change my birthday (which I don’t think you can lol), I think it could be a great way to make your day even more special.

Personally, I’d like to pick August 15th for my birthday, which is actually my half birthday. This way, I can be at the beach with friends, swimming in the ocean, sipping on a few Lover Boys. That sounds perfect to me.

And hey, if you love your birthday, you can keep it the same! Some people (like Luke) are lucky enough to already have a summer birthday. Or say you LOVE the fall, you can keep October birthday.

I think this this option would be especially nice for people with birthdays around the holidays. My birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day and I think Luke would feel much better if two major days were not next to one another. On the other hand, I do love the extra special treatment.

So what would you do? Let us know in the comments!

xx

sb

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What I’ve Been Binge-Watching

If you’re looking for a new series to start, you’ve (probably) come to the right place because if you’re anything like me- all you have been doing lately is watching TV. I work full time and my boyfriend travels for/ often is out of the house for work, which means I need to find ways to calm and entertain myself while we’re all stuck at home.

What to watch when: you want to chill out after a long day

  1. New Girl
  2. Gilmore Girls

What to watch when: you want something on in the background while you scroll on your phone

  1. Emily in Paris
  2. The Unicorn

What to watch when: you want some outlandish political drama

  1. Designated Survivor
  2. Scandal

What to watch when: you want to be nostalgic and watch some teenagers fall in love

  1. Dash and Lily
  2. Outer Banks

What to what when: you want to see something outside your usual comfort zone

  1. The Crown
  2. Big Little Lies
  3. The Undoing
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Why you can’t sleep on Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

I’m still very new to the coffee game – I only started drinking coffee at my first job out of coffee. But now it is very necessary and one of the best parts of my mornings.

Like most people in their twenties, I’m balling on a budget and can’t really afford to buy coffee everyday. In an attempt to make both myself and my wallet happy I tried out coffee concentrate and now I am addicted. Here’s why you should give it a try:

  • CHEAP! – This container runs you about $7.99 and makes 8-12 glasses of iced coffee (depending how much you use). If you want to go for the French Press version it is a few dollars more. I’ve tried both and didn’t notice a huge difference so I’d rather save a few dollars.
  • You Don’t Run Out – It takes you over a week to finish one of these! I end up buying one of these every other week.
  • Strong – I think this coffee is pretty strong without being too bitter, which is exactly what I need. This is usually the first thing I drink in the AM to get me going.
  • Taste – I usually add a bit of non-fat milk or TJ’s oat milk, or you could just have it black. I personally think adding a little milk makes it perfect 🙂

Anyone else tried this? Let me know your thoughts!

xx

sb

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Lover Boys; The Best Drink Ever.

I’ve had my fair share (or more) of White Claws over the past few years but I’m here to tell you about the best new drink on the market: Lover Boys. Here’s why:

  • Not a Hard Seltzer I think we’re all getting a bit sick of the hard seltzer trend. I was thrilled to see something new on the shelves and couldn’t believe how much I actually liked them.
  • No HANGOVER – You heard me. NO HANGOVER. Thank you no added sugar!! Your head will thank me later!
  • No Added Sugar – These guys are naturally sweetened and I’m here for it.
  • Only 90 Calories – Okay, so it’s only 10 calories less than White Claw BUT it’s better than none!
  • Unique Flavors – Hibiscus Pom kissed with Lime? Say no more. They also have white tea peach kissed with lavender and lemon iced tea kissed with ginger.
  • Branding – Tell me you aren’t loving their vibes.

If you’ve tried these before, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

xx

sb

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The Christmas Recipes You NEED

Thanksgiving has come and gone and even though it was a weird one, it was the first time I cooked for a holiday. I wanted to share some of the recipes I cooked, and LOVED, that you can use for this Christmas.

Mac and Cheese – All credit goes to my friend, JULZ, who made this a few weeks back. The recipe was from Mom on Timeout and it was incredible – also you could adjust the serving size which was amazing since we only had a few people! This was the first time I grated cheese for a recipe and it was worth it. Don’t forget the PANKO, it gives it that extra crunch, you’ll thank me later!

Crispy Brussel Sprout with Bacon – This is my go to for all holidays and parties. It is super simple and only uses a few ingredients, which is key for me. Since I always just wing this one, here’s my step-by-step guide:

  1. Buy 1-2 bags of while Brussel Sprouts and 1 pack of bacon.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Half all the Brussel Sprouts and chop up all the bacon.
  4. Throw everything on a cookie tray with some salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes and give them a quick mix around half way.
  6. If you like them extra crispy like me, check them at 40 minutes and let them roast for an additional 5-7 mins.
  7. ENJOY!

Apple Crisp – This is my mom’s specialty and is perfect for the holidays. I ended up using this recipe from The Chunky Chef and it came out so well. In terms of timing, I decided to prep everything before I started on the side dishes. I chopped all the apples, made the filling and topping, put them in separate containers and threw it in the fridge. In terms of timing, as soon as dinner hit the table we combined the filling and the topping and toss it in the over. This way, as soon as dinner was finished up, we had warm apple crisp right out of the over. This was the first, and only, time I was so on top of timing (s/o Luke’s uncle for writing out the schedule for us).

Cornbread Stuffing – OKAY, it was my first time doing a holiday so I couldn’t make everything from scratch so we ended up using Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing. Do not sleep on this! It was so easy to make and SO good. If you’re focused on some of the other dishes for a holiday don’t be afraid to opt for this stuffing and save some time.

Anyone else cooking their first holiday? Drop some recipes in the comments below – I definitely need some 🙂

xx

sb

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What to do Before Adopting a Pet

I want to start this off by saying you should imagine this as phase 2 of moving in with my boyfriend. A while ago I published a post here about questions you should ask your significant other before moving in together. Now that he and I are settled into our place and we’ve gotten into a rhythm with work and staying safe during the pandemic, we are taking on a new challenge together- owning a dog.

This was something we have always wanted and always talked about. We’ve been together for 3 years now and it was always such an exciting and fun idea. Before we could enjoy the fun and unconditional love of a pet, we had to have many serious conversations ahead of time and we had to put several plans in place. If you are planning to adopt a pet, cat or dog and you are single or doing this with someone else, I have outlined what we have considered in order to be successful and generous pet parents.

  1. Get real about your finances. I know this can be a hard conversation to have with your partner, or even yourself, but it’s completely necessary. Pets are fun and cute, but they are also living and breathing things that have needs and are completely dependent on you to survive. This is a big commitment, and something you have to be willing to consider for as long as the pet it alive. This might mean cutting out some personal luxuries in order to budget for your pet’s needs. My boyfriend and I literally sat down with pen and paper and went over our monthly income, our monthly expenses and our savings goals in order see if caring for a living thing was realistic right now. We realized that we could do it financially, so now we have to talk about if we could do it mentally.
  2. Caring for any pet requires energy and attention, which is something that can be daunting if you are used to only caring for yourself. My boyfriend and I both have full time jobs, but we have a unique opportunity to give the dog lots of attention for the foreseeable future given the work from home circumstances. I am home all day, every day, prepared to ensure the dog has the care it needs at all times. We also had to consider that this means early morning and post-work walks, which is a commitment you have to be willing to make.
  3. Our home might have it’s best days behind it. We had to seriously consider the fact that our cozy, adorable and clean apartment might never be the same with a dog running rampant through it. We decided to adopt a long-haired black lab so that means that shedding will occur, he might pee on the floor from time to time and he might get on the couch when we aren’t looking. We had to agree to commit to cleaning twice as much as we used to, and staying strict with our house rules with the dog in order to maintain our things.
  4. Prepare yourselves physically and mentally for the specific pet you are hoping to adopt. We took this dog for a walk, met him several times and even walked him around our home before deciding to get him. We then also purchased everything he would need to be comfortable here before picking him up. Understand how to prepare yourselves and your space for your new family member.
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Hair Chronicles: Easy Waves

Most days I let my hair air dry, whether it’s work, a date or just an outing I still usually just skip styling my hair. Why? Because I have naturally super curly hair and sometimes it’s hard to fight a force of nature that strong. On top of that I think my style has leaned more lazy-girl chic as we continue to stay home during quarantine. For the days that I want to do something different, I do my quick and easy waves – or loose curls.

  1. Wash and dry hair (of course) using the shampoo and conditioner of your choice. If you struggle with frizz like I do, I recommend using the Olaplex hair treatment at least once a week, especially before you style. That way you can ensure less frizz and more shine when style your hair.
  2. After washing my hair I towel dry it for about 10 minutes and then brush it out starting at the bottom of my hair and working my way to the top. I put some Moroccan oil throughout my ends and spray detangler all over for one last brush through.
  3. Then I take my Living Proof styling cream (which acts as my blow dry cream) and run a dime-sized amount of product through my ends.
  4. I then use the Revlon blow dry brush to dry my hair in sections, from bottom to top. As you brush, make sure to curl inwards towards your face at the ends to create a symmetrical look. The top layer should have some volume so I usually brush up. Finish off with a brush through on the cold setting to ward off any frizz.
  5. I then heat up my straightener to a medium-high heat. I go through and randomly curl sections on my hair using the straightener to create an effortless wave.
  6. Sometimes I spray with hairspray to hold, sometimes I don’t- do as you please and maintain with dry shampoo between washes!
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How to Spend 48 Hours on Martha’s Vineyard

From two girls who have spent some time there.

Congrats, if you’re reading this you are either on the vineyard or considering going there. It’s a great place to be and full of so many wonderful memories from time spent there with my family and of course, my best friend Sam. Sam has a beautiful home on the island and her family split their time between there and Boston as she grew up. This means she knows all the best spots and I was lucky enough to learn about most of them from her. Check out our suggestions below for the perfect vineyard weekend.

Saturday

  1. Grab a coffee at Toccopuro in Oak Bluffs and walk through the camp ground. It’s a hidden gem on the Main Street downtown that opens early and welcomes you with smiling faces behind the counter. The coffee machines there are top notch and so are the people, this is one local business we loved supporting during quarantine. We would pop in as soon as they opened, grab our coffees and take a walk through the camp ground (right behind the shop) to look at the gingerbread houses. The gingerbread houses are historic and iconic pieces of New England history and you have not been to the vineyard if you have not seen them.

2. After your walk, hop in the car to head to Edgartown for breakfast. You’ll want to head towards the harbor but stop before you get too close to the water. Hidden around the corner you’ll find my favorite restaurant on the island, Among the Flowers. Sit outside and order coffee (yes, another one) and the waffles. You won’t be sorry.

3. Prepare for a casual beach day – at least that’s how we liked it. Jump back in your car and head for Tony’s Market in Oak Bluffs. This small but mighty store has everything you need to camp out at the beach – alcohol, sandwiches and snacks.

4. Head for State Beach in Oak Bluffs and park along the street. Pick literally any spot and just relax for most of the day.

5. If you’re about ready to pack it up, head to Noman’s down the street for a quick afternoon snack and maybe a drink or two. Don’t be alarmed when you walk in and the interior seems huge, just order what you want at the counter and head to the left for the patio space. There is tons of outdoor seating in an adorable backyard area, it’s one of my favorite little places to hang out and there’s no way you won’t feel happy just being there.

6. This part is crucial – live like a European and make your dinner reservations for later in the night, like around 8pm or so. As you get ready for dinner you MUST put out a cheese platter, drink at least two cocktails and listen to Carly Simon songs on repeat. This is the most important step, it’s practically a rule.

7. Dinner at Jimmy Sea’s in Oak Bluffs. This restaurant is like going to your Italian grandmother’s house and bringing all your friends. The staff? So nice. The food? Amazing. The rooftop? Even better. The drinks? Just order a bottle of wine for the table. This is family style, Italian food to feed your family two times over. Whatever pasta you order it comes to you at the table in the pan it was cooked in and you just share (or you don’t). Don’t forget to talk to the other tables around you like you’re old friends and sing along to the music they play – that really makes the night.

8. Before you go home, head across the street to get a Backdoor Donuts – yes that is the actual name. It’s literally right across the street from Jimmy Sea’s. You won’t miss it because you will see a line of people in a parking lot, paying cash at the backdoor of this bakery specifically for late night doughnuts. Waiting in line is half the experience, talk to the other strangers also waiting, dance around, enjoy it.

Sunday

  1. Sleep in, there’s no rush to take on the day. You’re on vacation after all. But don’t sleep too late, you’ve gotta get up and hit the town. Edgartown, that is. I love Edgartown, it’s my happy place, truly. Jump in the car and head for Downton Edgartown and grab a coffee at Behind the Bookstore. It’s literally a cafe on the main street of downtown that is (you guessed it) behind a bookstore. You’ll see it.

2. Shop around, pop in and out of stores and see if anything catches your eye. We always peruse like this but rarely buy anything, it’s honestly an expensive area but it makes for the best window shopping.

3. Back to the car, you’re driving to the airport. Well, sort of. You’re driving to Right Fork Diner for brunch to sit outside at the picnic tables and watch vintage planes take off and land. You can pay about $300 for one ride. Although the planes are adorable, I haven’t worked up the courage to get in one yet, but they’re a nice view to eat next to.

4. Conveniently, Right Fork is just down the road from South Beach, which we sometimes go to if we’re in the mood for a good swim. The waves are pretty strong there so it can be fun, but if you’re looking for a good tan – Aquinnah is where you want to be. Gay Head beach (or the Aquinnah cliffs) is our beach our choice because the natural cliffs along the shore are os beautiful but also- it’s a nude beach. No tanlines, no one bothers you, you can just totally let go and enjoy nature.

5. Head to Menemsha closer to dinner time, this is where you will have a casual but amazing dinner. Find a parking spot and order take out from the Menemsha Fish Market and take it over to the beach right next to it. Settle in on the sand and face the water to eat dinner while watching the sunset. Don’t be surprised if you’re not the only ones there either. Last time we did this we brought a bottle of wine too and a sweet little girl was walking around selling rocks to everyone. There’s nothing better than moments like that.

There you have it, the perfect vineyard weekend, our way.

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I hated running.

Like MANY other people, I have always hated running. The “runners high” everyone always talks about, yeah, I don’t know her. But over the past few months with no gyms and no Corepower (you know that is my fav) I had to finally face it and start running.

It’s never comfortable or easy to start something, especially something you have always had a difficult relationship with. Even if your very supportive boyfriend says (and actually does) pace with you. But I did.

I have always been a sprinter so we started off with sprints but I knew eventually we would have to run a mile. The was dreading our first mile run and when it finally came, every single second seemed like it went on forever.

We did that one mile loop a few more times but we started grow a bit bored of it since it was a random neighborhood with nothing to see. So started to venture to downtown Oak Bluffs and run there.

Luke convinced me to download Nike Running Club and that, along with running downtown OB, I felt myself actually starting to enjoy running instead of seeing it as a chore.

The Nike Run Club app is my absolute favorite app. I used to use Track my Run but didn’t love it. On this app you can see where you ran, your avg. pace, splits etc. I have to say my two favorite features are:

1. The Guided RunsCoach Bennett is my hero! Having someone talk you through the run and distract me is exactly what I needed. You can also link to Spotify so when he stops talking, your music is still playing!

2. The Activity Page – The app stores all of your old runs and calculates your total milage, avg. pace and avg. distance. It was incredible to see how far I ran over the past few months, especially since I never thought I could be a runner.

Eventually, we headed back to Boston but my running didn’t stop there. Luke and I would start jogging around Southie and over to the Seaport. I even started running without Luke and saw running as my me-time.

Some of my motivation may have also been related to the fact that I signed up for the Falmouth Road Race in August…

Well August came and I completed the 7 mile run over 2 days! I ran 3.5 miles the first day and 3.5 the second. I was SO proud of myself and I could not believe that I RAN 7 WHOLE MILES.

After that I took a break from running for few weeks and have struggled being consistent. And you know what? That is FINE! If I run 3 times a week, great. If I don’t have a chance to get out there for 2 weeks, that is fine. I am just so glad I have overcome my hate of running, something I thought I would never do.

So maybe I would struggle to run 3.5 miles today or maybe I would crush it. All I know is that I proved to myself that I can do it and that is what matters,

For all those non-runners, I am always happy to chat! While I am not perfect, I know I’ve got this.

xx

sam

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What I Learned from My Personality Type

I always knew I was people person and ~ 100% extroverted but I didn’t know much beyond that. Back in high school and college we were asked to take the 16 Personalities quiz. It was only now, after chatting with Luke’s uncle who is certified in this, that I am really started to understand my results. BTW I am very clearly an ESFP – The Entertainer.

E – Extroverted

While this typically means someone is outgoing or likes people, this actually is more related to how you deal with things. For example, if I am having an issue with work or a friend, I need to talk it out in order to resolve it. I can’t come to a resolution by just working through things in my head.

S – Observant

Being observant means that I am someone who tends to “live in the moment”. While I don’t always give everything my entire attention (i.e. scrolling through IG while talking to Luke), I’m taking things in via my senses. For example, I love food, so I am thinking about how adding Panko crumbs will elevate my mac and cheese for Thanksgiving while Luke is thinking to the future like thinking about what time dinner is going to start or when he’ll get the mac and cheese again.

F – Feeling

I am about as F as they get. I make nearly all my decisions based on how that will impact those around me. I am always doing my best to make sure my friends and family (and honestly the person I just met at a party) as happy and/or comfortable as they can be. This is true for every decisions I make, both big and small.

P – Prospecting

Do I plan things? Yes! It is a key life skill. BUT, like my family, I am very much a P. I don’t tend to like structure and am usually very flexible.

Knowing these key insights abut myself has already helped me and my relationships immensely. Now, when I am stressed out, Luke asks me, “do you need to talk this out?” and it truly makes me feel understood.

I’d highly recommend taking this test and reading the results if you haven’t already! Knowing more about yourself and how you deal with things and perceive the world can really help you deal with life.

Here’s a link to the quiz and a quick summary of each of the type indicators.

xx

sb

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Alpaca. Yoga.

Two words for you: Alpaca. Yoga.

You HEARD me right! On Martha’s Vineyard, there is is a wonderful place called Island Alpaca. For a small price you can visit and see some ADORABLE alpacas and walk the grounds.

But if you’re into yoga (or just sitting on your mat and being close to alpacas) you’ll want to look for their Alpaca Yoga classes. This class is open to all levels (which was nice because I was very out or practice).

While I did find some of the movements kind of difficult, you’re not expected to be perfect! It was a picture perfect day so it was just amazing to just be outside in the fresh air, moving our bodies with some new alpaca pals.

In terms of COVID-19, they made us feel SUPER safe by spreading everyone out (6ft apart) on one of their outdoor pastures. Luckily Molly, my sister and I secured some spots in the back-corner so we were able to be next to each other.

Pro Tip: Sit next to one of the garbage pale lids. You may feel inclined to sit as far away as possible but those are actually used to hold the alpacas food. As one can imagine, the alpacas spend a lot of time near the food.

Last but not least, here is their LIVE Alpaca Cam – you’re welcome.

xx

sam

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How I Look Zoom-Ready in 10 Minutes

Working from home is a huge privilege, one that I do not take for granted at all, however some mornings are easier to face than others. Who hasn’t woken up on a Wednesday and felt that mid-week slump where maybe you don’t feel like washing your hair or getting ready? That happens to me often and yet I know I have external meetings on my calendar, so I turn to my trusty 10-minute routine to look zoom-ready and professional, ready to take on the day, from home of course. This post is not necessarily about the products, but more about the process itself. Feel free to use what you have on hand.

  1. I keep it really simple so I can make the most of my morning when I’m not feeling like doing the most. The first step is to exfoliate your face with the cleanser of your choosing. Getting rid of dead skin cells and circulating the blood in your face will help you look more awake.
  2. Since I am in a rush I sometimes skip my toner, to replace this I will usually spritz my face with a rose water from Garnier that has salicylic acid in it to kill any bacteria on my face.
  3. While my face is damp I put a rose oil or a vitamin c oil in my palm (3 to 4 drops) and mix it with a vitamin C face cream. I the, run that into my skin and pat my face to ensure it has soaked in.
  4. Next comes SPF, you should always wear SPF but the SuperGoop! Glow SPF is my go-to because it makes your entire face glow.
  5. Grab your concealer next and quickly cover any spots and dark circles, blend with a brush. Don’t worry about being too precious about this step, no one will be able to see pimples that clearly on zoom like they would in person.
  6. I then brush my eyebrows up with a clear brow gel to help lift the look of my eye area and sweep about two coats of mascara on my eyelashes.
  7. If I am feeling fancy I will reach for my Milk Makeup cream blush/ lip tint. I love this product because it is easy to apply and is dual-use. I put some on my hand to warm it up and then literally smear it on my cheeks to look rosy and alive. I will them slap some on my lips and boom, I am all set.
  8. No time to do your hair? I get it, I REALLY get it. In my experience, the best on the go chic hairstyle is a slicked low bun. Literally all I do it part my hair down the middle, tie it in a low bun at the nape of my neck and clip back any fly-aways. I throw in some earrings for that final touch and boom- ready for my meetings.

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You’ve Been Chopped.

After 24 long years of long hair, I chopped it all off.

If you’re looking for a sign to go for the short cut, here it is! For about a year or so, I’ve wanted to try out the short hair thing. And like most people, I am still WFH and not going out, so why not now?

I finally made the appointment back in October – I was excited and v nervous. That week was a bit crazy so all the sudden I was in the car on my way to the appointment. I frantically tried to pull up some photos of haircuts I kind of liked and found one that was the general vibe.

My mom REALLY didn’t want me to cut my hair. She is a huge fan of the long hair look on me, especially while I am young. But I felt like I really needed a change (and also that I looked like I was still 18 y/o).

Before the chop

With COVID restrictions, my mom was not allowed to come in to the salon with me. Yes, she still comes in with me at 24 years old… what of it! So I sat down with my hairstylist, Donna at Keldara Salon Spa, and said “My mom is going to kill me butttt please chop it all off.”

Donna is the absolute BEST. I showed her the hairstyle I was going for and some photos of what my hair currently looked like (it is a lot harder to tell when you’re wearing a mask). She saw that I typically wore my hair behind my shoulders and said that this meant I would be perfectly fine to go as short as my shoulder.

I agreed this was the move and then she proceeded to cut off my ponytail and said “well I guess we don’t even need to brush through this”. I won’t lie this was a super freeing moment.

She dried and styled my hair and I felt like a new person. I am still learning how to make it work, aka I bought a curling iron and have yet to turn it on, BUT it has been fun to have such a different look.

My mom has already tried to style it and I actually love it. Now I just need to learn how to do it like her…

I can’t say that I will keep short hair forever, but it was a really nice, and much needed, change. Who knew such a small thing like cutting your hair could feel like a new beginning?

I will say I also look slightly like Paul Revere but that is beside the point.

xx

sam

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Dating Myself

(Even though I’m in a happy relationship)

Lately work has been stressful on top of all of the other *obvious* stresses in the world these days. Currently I have been feeling like I’m slowly losing my sense of self. When my boyfriend calls I don’t have much to say other than complaints about whatever I can think of that day. I know that time is still passing even though in many ways it seems as though the world has stopped- so I wanted to keep growing and learning and living. There is no one else around to do it for, only me, but as Billie Eilish once said, “aren’t I someone?”

Think about what you really love, the little things that make you truly happy and prioritize them every single day. For me, it’s reading books on the beach, going for walks outside, buying an iced coffee or a smoothie once a week, making art and watching old rom coms at night. Don’t let yourself get lost in the grind of work and simply getting by day to day. Stay in touch with the complex human that you are.

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What I Bought Myself for My Birthday

  • L’Occitane Cleansing & Softening Almond Shower Oil
    • I have the world’s most dry skin, unsure why because I drink more water than I probably should but I have read that by applying this after a shower your skin stays hydrate all day so I treated myself to this.
  • Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40
    • I’ve been in need of an SPF without a white cast and I’ve read this gives you the protection you need as well as a glow so I plan to use this under makeup and for those glorious no makeup days.
  • Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer
    • I am all for anything that keeps makeup in place all day and this primer LOCKS your makeup in place for a nice full face that lasts all day long.
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
    • Doja Cat referred to this powder as her “zaddy” on a get ready with me video for Vogue so of course I picked it up! I mean, duh. I want a powder I love and that will last so I know the price tag is painful but if you want to look snatched, it’s worth every penny.
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
    • This is a cult favorite concealer loved by every beauty influencer I have ever watched. It’s great for under eye coverage without creasing which is something I am mindful of.
  • Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner
    • I have the oil control face wash from Ole Henriksen and I love it and I was looking for a quality toner to compliment that so this toner was perfect.
  • Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
    • I have acne prone skin and a huge concern of mine is clogged pores and dark spot so this cleanser is meant to refine and tone the texture of my skin.
  • Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre
    • This is moisturizer used as a makeup primer most of the time by makeup artists because it is so hydrating. I read in Vogue that makeup artists used to beg anyone they knew in France to send it to them because for a while it was only sold in France, it was an artist’s secret weapon because it perfects the skin that much.
  • Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil
    • This is the one vitamin C oil I can truly stand behind. Most are fickle but this never fails to give me that glow that I need (because I have very dull skin naturally) while not disrupting makeup.
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel
    • I have to admit, I saw this on Tik Tok and I was influenced to buy it from that. Some random girl said it makes you smell good and since I am treating myself for my birthday I am chalking this up to an act of self care. I want to smell like a tropical vacation, because why not?
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist
    • I was looking for a light fragrance, not as heavy as a perfume for the warmer months and I love the smell of this brand.  
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NYC: Birthday Edition Pt.3

After celebrating my birthday into the wee hours of the night, it was time to get up, get walking, and see more of the city!

High Line/The Vessel – I would highly recommend walking on the High Line. You get to see the city from a whole new perspective, there is a ton of art, places to sit and take photos, and not to mention you are walking past people’s actual apartments (some of them have SICK spots). I even saw a proposal here once. It can get pretty packed though! The High Line will bring you right to the Vessel at Hudson Yards. We did not end up walking it but is a very interesting looking structure and the tickets are free on-site starting at 9:30am.

the vessel ft. sam + luke

The Grey Dog – This spot hit the SPOT! As one can imagine, Sunday morning brunch in NYC can get CRAZY causing THICC lines, 1.5-2-hour waits and makes people a little RUDER than the should be (I won’t name places rn). Once again, Sofía came to the rescue and brought us to The Grey Dog. If you have ever been to The Paramount in Boston, it is very similar. While you wait in line to order, they reserve a table for you with a cute little bandana. Sof and I split the steak & egg sandwich with sliced steak with griddled onion & fried egg and on a toasted potato (pictured below) and the challah french toast with thick-cut home-baked challah with warm maple syrup & berry butter. I am not a huge sweets person but DAMN this french toast was good. If you are looking for a chiller spot for brunch (without the 2-hour wait) check out The Grey Dog.

steak & eggs sandwich from the grey dog

Chelsea Market – For a food lover like me, Chelsea Market is what I hope my heaven looks like (minus all of the tourists, including myself). We may or may not have gone two times on Sunday… but to be fair, the first time, we only walked around! In addition to the MILLIONS of food options, ranging from tacos to bagels to Jamaican jerk chicken, they have a bunch of shops and pop-up artist stalls. Also, I want to note, that this is where Sofía went to lunch every day in middle school. Let that sink in as I reflect on the bouncy hotdogs MY middle school used to serve…

challa french toast from the grey dog

Francesco’s Pizza – I mean did you go to NYC, if you didn’t get a NEW YORK SLICE?? While walking, we got hungry, again, and decided it was time for a piece of pizza. When deciding where to we go, Luke showed me that Barstool has an app, One Bite, that shows all of the pizza places Dave Portnoy has been to and it’s rating. I mean, that is GENIUS. So, we saw this one had about an 8.1 rating and that was it! It was overall pretty good. Luke really enjoyed the cheese and I thought the tomato and chicken (I know weird choice) was pretty good. I also added hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (I know I have zero chill).

tomato and chicken pizza from francesco’s pizza

Big Mozz – The second time we went on Sunday, we met up with Luke’s friend from home and his girlfriend (both great people) and decided to hit Big Mozz. TBH, you have not experienced a mozzarella stick like this in your life. Ever. To start, they are BIGGER than you average mozz stick, so already a huge win. They are served right out of the fryer so they are hot and READY. The cheese pull on these bad boys is out of hand. Also the marinara they came with was incredible. They do fall apart easily so I would recommend you use a fork to make sure you don’t lose any of this melty, gooey goodness. 10/10 would recommend you get these, even if you aren’t hungry. You will thank me (and the genius who created this place).

mozz sticks from big mozz

They also offer a bunch of different mozz options like sandwiches, mozz plates, and other sides. They even do some classes! We tried their Fresh Mozzarella Plate with Mozz Pops (3 Pieces of Fresh Mozzarella), Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Balsamic, Crispy Rosemary Potatoes, and Prosciutto. This was ALSO incredible but we were so full we could barely finish it. It would be a nice app to share with your friend or date! While pushing through the mobs of people try to snag a seat at the Big Mozz when visiting Chelsea Market.

fresh mozzarella plate from big mozz

After this day full of food and a HEARTY dinner of exclusively mozzarella cheese, we headed back to our hotel and hit the hay. At 7:30pm. In the “city that never sleeps”. And I do not regret it (except for not seeing Sof). On most vacations with my fam we are go, go, go the entire time. Typically, we are waking up early and staying out super late just exploring the area. And as much as I love doing that, it was nice to just relax with Luke in the hotel room.

Pt. 4, the final morning in NYC, is coming soon 🙂

sb

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What’s In My Fridge: WFH Edition

Working From Home. This is usually the phrase you search for in a job description or you use when you have a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day. Now that everyone seems to be WFH until further notice, I knew I needed to stock up my kitchen (I am usually the person who has 1 box of pasta and a tomato so it seemed necessary).

Below, I compiled a list of groceries I bought for my WFH week:

  1. Canned Soups – I got about 5-6 soups just to have in case we were here longer than expected. I personally love Campbell’s Condensed Chicken and Rice (smaller cans and you just add water) and I also got one Progresso Chicken Noodle (both are a little salty but hey who doesn’t love some salt). Even if life goes back to normal tomorrow, these are items that have a long shelf life and you can always bring them to work.
  2. Ramen – Again, I think soup is a good idea! They are quick and easy to make and they will last a long time if you don’t use them right away. Typically, I buy the Cup of Noodles (Chicken Flavor OBVI) but this time I got the packs that you heat up in a pot (I have never made them before but my roomie Ray has got my back). Tip: Since the packs don’t have veggies in it, I also got a few bags of frozen veggies to add to the ramen. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will keep you posted.
  3. Fresh Veggies – Though these won’t last as long as other food, I wanted to make sure I could incorporate some fresh veggies into my meals. I got a bag of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, string beans, and onions. I bought these veggies specifically because I know how to whip up something quick with them. So far I have roasted carrots and string beans and made pasta with stir-fried green peppers and onions. I also cut up the carrots for a snack.
  4. Fresh Fruit – I am not the biggest fruit person (I am more a savory person haha) but I bought some bananas and oranges to snack on. I typically have a banana with breakfast with an egg or toast or just with some PB. I also got some oranges because I know they are full of vitamin C. I think next time I head to the grocery store I might grab a few apples as well ( I love a good Granny Smith apple).
  5. Mac & Cheese – While, this may not be the MOST nutritional meal ever, I know that it will last on the shelf. Also, who doesn’t like Annies White Cheddar Shells, I mean come on. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to have some comfort food during such a chaotic time.
  6. Pasta – OBVI! This is the easiest food to make and it is so versatile. You can throw everything but the kitchen sink in some pasta and it will always be good. Some of my go-to’s sauces are red sauce or olive oil. I’ll also add some sauteed veggies and either chicken, chicken sausage, or some frozen meatballs! This also has a long shelf life and your life can always use some pasta 🙂
  7. Protein – I wanted to make sure I had some of my favorite proteins on hand, like chicken, chicken sausage, and meatballs. For me, I definitely wanted some variety because I know after having chicken 3 days in a row I would be sick of it. Tip: My meatballs were already frozen but I threw all of my chicken and chicken sausage into the freezer so it wouldn’t go bad. Since I am home all day, I can take it out and let it defrost and then throw some olive oil, salt & pepper, and some cajun seasoning in the bag to season it.
  8. Frozen Items – At a time like this, frozen items are always a good idea. I stocked up on some frozen veggies, frozen meatballs, and some frozen meals for those nights when I just can’t be bothered.

As important as it is to make sure you have soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, Lysol wipes, etc. PLEASE do not go crazy and buy every single pack left in the store. By all means, buy a pack or two of TP if you need it, but please be conscious that others need these items as well.

xx

sb

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How to Work Remote Without Losing Your Mind

Times are seemingly bleak at the moment. Does anyone else feel like the older we get, the crazier the world becomes? I don’t mean crazy like ‘hey, you’re all a bunch of wackos’ but more in the sense of like ‘bet none of us really saw this coming’ and by ‘this’ I mean things like the Australian wildfires, our world at war and of course- the Coronavirus lockdown.

If you’re like me, you are working from home until further notice. I am personally pretty bummed about the situation because the office I work in is beautiful and filled with kind and helpful coworkers that made me excited to come in every morning. I’m bummed I don’t get to see them, I’m bummed I need to be alone all day, every day, and I’m stressed about keeping up with Slack/gmail threads. Based on my personal experience, here are some tips to effectively work from home without losing your mind. Wash your hands. xx.

  1. Use your commute time to exercise (outdoors, if possible)
  • This is something I was not good at during the first few days of working from home, I was trying to adjust to the new normal of society and at one point I didn’t leave my house for three days. That’s not good. Leave your house! Especially before the work day starts because you might be working non stop until the sun goes down and making time for a little fresh air and body movement can make all the difference in your mood and wellness.
  • If you are able to, take a short stroll during lunch! My roommate and I both agreed to get outside during lunch for at least 15 mins. If you want to take a longer break, be sure to communicate that to your team and boss!
  • A ton of fitness brands and influencers, including my personal favorite @thecoastalyogi, are offering free at home, body weight workouts. While some of them are live classes at 7am (I can’t wake up that early haha), they will keep them on their story all day!

2. Treat yourself to good coffee (or tea) at home

  • If you had a morning routine of grabbing a coffee at the place around the corner from your office, swap that out for taking the time to make a nice cup of coffee at home. Invest in the higher end brand at the store and get a creamer you really love that you don’t usually splurge on or indulge in. It makes being home more appealing and your routine becomes more convenient.

3. Set up shop somewhere (and I mean ANYWHERE) at home and don’t move

  • What I mean by this is- you know how they say not to eat or work in your bed so that your mind only associates your bed with rest? Do that with an area of your home for your work, find a spot where you go and the only thing you do there is work (aka, stay away from your bed). I know most of us don’t have the luxury of a home office area, so pick a certain seat at your kitchen table or a corner of your living room that is your work zone and that’s it.

4. Do not neglect personal hygiene

  • Maybe you won’t physically see anyone else all day, but that’s no excuse to forgo your normal shower and skincare routine. Put on fresh clothes everyday too, working in your PJs might seem like the dream, but at least put on something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to leave the house in if the fire alarm went off. You’ll feel more ready to take on the day even from your home.

5. Meal prep

  • Don’t assume that just because you are working from home that you will have all the time in the world to do chores and cook. If your job is like mine, you have a schedule and deadlines and meetings to tend to throughout the day, yes I may be at home, but I don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to cooking during the day. Have lunch made and waiting for you in the fridge, prep it the night before to relieve the stress of wondering what you could throw together in 30 minutes between meetings.
  • If meal prep isn’t always your thing, make sure you stock up on some soups (Campbell’s and Ramen are my two cheap options), ready made salads, or some frozen meals that you can heat up in a pinch.

6. Schedule a virtual coffee break with a coworker

  • This could make all the difference in your day if you miss the social interaction aspect of your office. Block out 30 minutes with someone you work with to check in with each other over video chat. This gives you time to vent, chat, catch up and feel connected to another human being during these strange and possibly lonely times.

7. Communication at Work

  • While working from home it is super important to communicate with your team at work. With so many pieces moving, it can be easy to lose things in your emails, calls, and slacks. My team and I agreed that at a time like this, it is best to over communicate and make sure that you are clear on everything that is going on.

8. Relax!!

  • With all the stress of learning how to work remote, worrying about friends and family, and not having a normal routine, be sure to take make some time for yourself! Maybe you light some candles and read a book, do a face or hair mask, FaceTime your parents (group FT is the best things ever), or play some videos games (Just Dance and ToonTown are coming back into my life and I am LIT).

With everything going on, please PLEASE take care of yourself. Reach out if you have any additional tips that have helped you navigate WFH or if you just need someone to talk to. We will get through this!

xx

sb + mw

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NYC: Birthday Edition Pt.2

Waking up in the Arlo Soho, officially 24 years old, Italian sandwich in hand, was incredible. Luke and I called my parents and a few friends to discuss the past nights events, we took quick shower, and we were on our way for day number two in the big city.

good morning dad

Walking Around Soho – If you have not been to NYC before, you should definitely take some time to walk around Soho. This is the place to be for shopping. The streets are chock full of designer stores, your favorite brands, and unique boutiques waiting for you to discover. Even if you are not in the market to buy a designer bag, it is a cool neighbor to grab a coffee and people watch. 

soho

Walking around NYC – So we ended up walking a total of 11.5 miles on Saturday! We ended up walking from Soho to Lower East Side to the One World Trade and back up to Soho. If it is nice out (it was 30 degrees out haha) it is worth walking from neighborhood to neighborhood. We saw a movie being filmed, a shop with all different artist/fashion booths, and stumbled into an Off-White basement pop-up shop. They had a super cool neon sign so I obvi made Luke take a pic.

neon sign at off white pop-up

Bluestone Lane – Coffee and Avo toast , but make it Australian. This place is SUPER cute and has really great breakfast/brunch. I have been here a few times (s/o to Sofía for always taking me here) and every time I am obsessed. Of course, since it was my actual birthday, Luke and I shared a piece of Avo toast, iced coffee, and a latte. We went to the one between Little Italy and Lower East Side, but my favorite one is on Central Park in the Upper East Side. This one is in an old church, which is gorgeous, and they have a really nice outside seating area as well!

avo toast from bluestone lane

Blackseed Bagels- Okay, two things, 1. YES had two breakfasts and 2. I know I have a weird order BUT I swear it is amazing . So my typical order is an everything bagel, egg salad, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and capers. Basically a bagel with lox but for people who do not like fish – don’t knock it ’till you try it.

Olio e Piú – I cannot even CONVEY how much I loved celebrating my birthday here. Let me set the scene, Luke and I stroll (well walk quickly, it was freezing) up to this building covered in flowers and walk in the front door. As we enter they take our coats and bring us to our table in the back. We sit down and decide on 2 glasses of Sav Blanc, an order of buffalo mozzarella, the carbonara, and the bolognese. I am in my ELEMENT. The mozz was incredible and they brought out the main event. I start with the bolognese and Luke with the carbonara. While the bolognese was amazing, the carbonara was one of the best dishes I have ever had. I basically licked the plate clean, and the waiter noticed LOL. I would highly recommend giving this spot a visit on your next trip. Additionally, if you cannot find a res on Open Table, give them a call and they might have some tables available (that is what we did and thank god we did)! 

the best carbonara ever from Olio e Piú

Fiddlesticks Bar – I know, we went to the only real Irish bar in NYC when we have a million-and-one in Boston but it was a pretty fun spot for a bigger group.

To be totally honest, this was probably one of the best birthdays I have ever had! Basically food and walking – what else could I have asked for? Special thanks to Luke for responding to my every request with “Yes, it is YOUR BIRTHDAY” and making my day so special. Part 3 coming soon!

sb

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NYC: Birthday Edition Pt. 1

Well, it is official, I am in my “mid-twenties”. And as any girl in her mid-twenties does, I went to NYC to celebrate my oldness maturity.

I went back and forth for a while trying to decide if it was worth going to New York, knowing I would probably end up spending a good amount of money and I will be tired when I return. But in the end I decided, why not? You only turn 24 once!

For someone like me, likes to go with the flow but wants a touch of structure, I would suggest making a few reservations at some spots you know you want to go and then just explore! 

In this four part blog, I will share what I did each day and hopefully give you that sign you were looking for to get out to NYC.

After a little research, Instagram-stalking, and asking some friends where I should go and what I should do, here are the ways I celebrated the Valentine’s Day and the big 2-4 in NYC: 

Valentine’s Day in NYC

Friday 

Greyhound Bus to NYC (shout-out @onlyinbos for the free tickets) – The bus is a great option for a millennial/gen z, like myself, to get to the Big Apple without breaking the bank. Please be aware that no matter what time you leave, you will usually hit some traffic so plan accordingly. We left at 1pm on a Friday and were supposed to arrive at 5:45 and did not actually get in until 7:30. 

nothing but views from the Arlo Soho Hotel

Arlo Soho Hotel – This hotel is perfect for people in their 20’s, as we are always out and about. The rooms are gorgeous, with huge windows, a comfy bed, and a rainfall shower head. Since this is a micro hotel, the rooms are SMOL but they provide exactly what you need, a bed and a shower. Below are some of the amazing amenities they offer:

  • They have free drinks and food to hotel guests every single day from 5:30-7, which includes white wine, red wine, and Peroni on tap. 
  • My boyfriend and I missed happy hour due to our bus being late but they gave us free drink passes which was so nice! Also, the bartender, Razz (My GIRL), gave us a free Casamigos shot to celebrate Valentine’s Day. She was iconic. 
  • There is a gorgeous courtyard where you can relax and order food & drinks. The best part is that they change the courtyard according to the season. In the Spring they had a garden feel with a full-on flower wall, fountain, and cute seating. This trip they had 2 little log cabins that you could sit and relax. They called it Aprés Arlo and it was SO cute. 
  • There is no shortage of bars and food options here. They have a wonderful rooftop bar, a lobby bar, a cool restaurant in the back, and a 24/7 mini Dylan’s candy bar & food shop. You could stay in your whole trip and be fully stocked.
  • And to top it all off, they sometimes offer their rooms on AirBnB which made it slightly cheaper! 
Arlo Soho room ft. luke

The Smith Restaurant Nomad – Lucky for my boyfriend Luke, my birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day! Which means double the special treatment for ya girl. The Smith Restaurant was adorable and packed! It is a little pricey so we went for the fried calamari app and split the two burgers on the menu. They go heavy on the fries so I was a BIG fan. The calamari was super good because it also had some fried zucchini and peppers. The marinara had a kick to it. Though the burgers were pretty good, I wish I went for their mac and cheese because I heard it is BOMB. Well, just another excuse to go back. We ended the meal with their colossal chocolate chip cookies, with a candle in it (for me obvi), which we brought home and ate for breakfast haha. They also have some locations in Washington D.C. so be sure to try that one as well.

Fried Calamari from The Smith Restaurant Nomad

Even a 6.5 hour bus ride and Luke getting slapped on the subway (that story is for another time) was worth spending Valentine’s Day in NYC with my favorite boy. NYC: Birthday Edition Pt. 2 coming soon!

Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Smith Restaurant Nomad

sb

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Travel Hacks: Keep Your Skin Glowing and Hydrated

I have naturally dry skin, and even if you have oily, combo or sensitive skin – I’m sure you can relate to feeling like your skin is not living it’s best life after a long travel day. Airplanes especially will reek havoc on your skin, your body loses about 2 liters of water for every 10 hours on a plane, and with that recycled air going around I’m sure you feel a little dry by the time you land.

I have a specific skincare routine for keeping that hydrated glow for when you’re on the go.

  • My routine starts the night before a flight (or a train ride, what have you) where I begin my prep which starts with some exfoliation, a facial peel and some moisturizer. I use a peel by m-61 called the PowerGlow peel and it’s literally just a wipe that you swipe across your skin that just gives you a clean slate to get rid of dead skin cells and you wake up looking a little more fresh than normal.
  • The day of travel I like to be sure I’m feeling clean and hydrated. I drink at least three bottles of water before I leave my house and I wash my face with warm water using a gentle cleanser. After I pat dry, I use my Ole Henriksen Dark Spot Toner followed by a spritz on Mario Badescu Lavender facial spray and while my face is still wet with facial spray I apply a pea-sized amount of Pearl Apothecary Goji Glow Oil. I follow that up with Estee Lauder advanced time zone day cream that has SPF 15 in it because even inside a plane, train or car your skin is still exposed to UVF rays!
  • Eye cream is essential for me, I always reach for the Sunday Riley Auto-Correct eye cream during the day because it hydrates and combats wrinkles and dark spots which is helpful when you don’t feel like covering up with concealer.
  • Upon reaching your destination, it is important to cleanse and recover. I exfoliate gently to get rid of any toxins or oils that built up in my skin through the day due to pollution, sweat, etc.
  • Following cleansing, apply an even layer of Summer Fridays R+R mask and let sit for about 20-30 minutes. I LOVE this mask (it’s a holy grail product in my opinion) because the rose petals in it soothe your skin while the formula brings hydration back to your face. Wet a wash cloth with warm water and gently wipe the mask away. Pat the rest of your face dry and apply the Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask as your night cream. I love to use the Jet Lag mask at night because it really helps the skin to recover as you sleep. I always wake up looking well rested, smooth and fresh when I sleep with it on.
  • P.S.- Don’t forget chapstick!! Happy travels!
Featured

My Skincare Essentials

For a girl in her twenties with dry, acne prone skin – skincare can be quite the challenge. I struggle to find products that keep my skin hydrated without clogging my pores or causing me to look a little too shiny. I struggle to find products to help fade my acne scarring without drying my skin out more than it already is. I struggle to find products that are no b.s. and worth my money because I- much like everyone else- am on a budget

I’m not here to tell you that I’ve tried it all, truth be told I am a skincare junkie and obsessed with trying new products so I assure you that there are great things out there I haven’t tried yet. I also like to make sure my skin looks as radiant and youthful as possible. With that being said- my skin is the most even toned, clear and hydrated it has ever been and if by any chance you desire to get those results too, then this is the post for you.

I’ll break down my skin care routine at the bottom of this post in case you are confused about the order in which to use all of this. Let’s start with makeup removal products.

A good face wash is crucial to clean pores and creating a clean slate for these serums and moisturizers to sink into.

I was never a big believer in toner (I didn’t really get what it was for) until I watched Desi Perkins interview Ole Henriksen about the purpose of them and the benefits of a good toner.

The Ole Henriksen dark spot toner has been working wonders for my acne scarring. Just put some of this toner on a cotton pad and sweep it across your face once you’re done cleansing and then continue with the rest of your routine. It will take some time to see results but consistency is key when it comes to skin.

Serums can be oh so tricky and a little scary if skincare has never really been your jam. I totally understand- but hear me out. Serums can add a layer of moisture and glow that moisturizers alone just can’t, I swear by these two and these two only.

Moisturizers… I’m a sucker for them. The trick to clear skin though is to stay consistent with your moisturizer and the Laneige water bank moisturizer has become my ride or die.

Masking is serious business people, it’s imperative that you do not buy any mask at the store because it has pretty packaging or smear an avocado on your face because hey, it’s all natural right? Please, please, please understand that most sheet and clay masks have fragrances and coloring and preservatives in them that can break you out or leave your skin worse than before. Below are my tried and true masks that do what they say and don’t cause harm to my skin.

Eye masks are fickle as well, lots of them on the market don’t do what they promise to, which is so frustrating when you had a late night and desperately need to look well rested. These products really do the trick and erase dark circles and bags within twenty minutes. I love to use these when I have a full day ahead and concealer alone just won’t do the trick.

I know, that seems like a lot, and I guess it kind of is. These recommendations are coming from someone with problematic and sensitive skin so trust me when I say this stuff is worth the money. A skincare routine is something that you will thank yourself for today, tomorrow and twenty years from now so take some time to invest in what works for you.

My Routine:

  1. Remove Makeup you should use the cleansing jelly or balm as often as you can because it results in less pulling on the skin, but when I’m tired and in a rush I just reach for the wipes.
  2. Cleanse I try to alternate between exfoliation and moisture cleansing every day, AKA do not exfoliate every day because it will dry your skin out.
  3. Optional step : maskdepending on the day (if I have time or feel like my skin desperately needs it) I will do a mask after cleansing. If I had a particularly tough day I will reach for a sheet mask to revitalize and calm the skin, but if I was sweating or wearing makeup all day I will go for a cleansing clay mask.
  4. Toner Sweep the toner across your face with a cotton pad, don’t take too much time on this step- it really is as simple as it sounds.
  5. Serum a few drops is all you need, moisturize the serum into your skin gently until it has soaked in. Pro tip: an esthetician told me that you should spray your face with rose or spring water before applying serum in order to help it absorb better.
  6. MoisturizeI like to do my eye cream first, apply it gently all around your eye and above your eyebrow. Follow with overall moisturizer, do not forget your neck!
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