I'm back with a quick recap of what I was up to this weekend. I love reading what my favorite bloggers are up to, so I figured I'd start sharing more of my life in New York City with y'all, too! I'm truly blessed to live here, and I feel like I don't share my insights on this incredible city with you enough, so here we go. This weekend was VERY eventful for me, so buckle in, kids. This one's a long one.
My Friday was supposed to be like any other Friday -- get up, go to work, make it to the weekend -- but it turned out to be anything but.
I got up bright and early to head to Times Square (I know, why?), because my Dad was being featured on a Billboard! I sat out there for a good long while, which was very difficult being that A) I was in Times Square; B) It was 7am on a Friday; and C) I had no idea where I was supposed to be looking and when; but after a while I finally saw him and it was so worth it. I felt like I made his day when I sent him the pics/video I snapped.
I didn't have any solid plans for Friday night, so I decided to do something unexpected. I booked myself a spot in the Write-In at Gotham Writers, an organization that offers writing workshops + classes of all kinds in NYC. You can pay cash at the door, but I decided to pay + register online so that there could be no turning back, no matter how tired I told myself I was on the subway ride over.
I'd been wanting to get back into writing for quite some time (and by writing I mean really writing, not just the typical rambling I do over here on the blog), and this seemed like the perfect way to start. Their Write-Ins are super casual and take place every Friday night, and at only $20 a pop (or $45 for 3), they are super accessible, too. The Write-Ins last for 2 hours, and are essentially filled with two 15-minute free writes (based on random prompts given out by the instructors), with free food, wine and socializing stuck in the middle of them. The nice thing about the quick writes is that you can read your work aloud for non-critique-y feedback, or you can opt not to. It's basically a writer's paradise.
Because I'm feeling extra vulnerable today, I'm gong to share one of my quick writes from that night with you below. I haven't sat down to actually write write since college, so take it easy on me!!
"Why am I like this?" I'd ask myself for the umpteenth time after doing something even slightly embarrassing. It could be anything really -- an awkward intro, a trip on (or, more likely, down) the subway stairs, a text message sent before its prime. And while it would only take a second for that feeling to sink in, it'd take me an hour of sipping wine and searching through cheesy Pinterest quotes like "Don't try to be perfect, just be yourself!!!!!", with too many exclamation points added to the end for emphasis, to soothe me down to normalcy again. But what even really is "normal," anyway?
"I'll sure never know," I grimaced to myself as I pressed "send" on a half-baked reply: "Sorry, Jack, I can't make it tonight."
His name was James.
On my way home after class, my BFFs texted that they were heading out to one of our favorite local haunts, so (fresh off my regained writers' high), I switched directions and met them out for some much-needed drinks and catching-up. It was the perfect way to kick-start the weekend.
Once again, I went into my Saturday thinking it would be rather chill. You know, one of those sweet weekend days where you sleep in, and then lazily lounge around with Netflix and a bottle of wine in your PJs (or is that just me?). However, the universe had other plans for me.
I started the day off with lunch and errands uptown, as I needed to find a dress for a wedding I'm attending this coming weekend. I had some old clothes that I was able to take into H&M for a discount, and luckily enough, I was able to find the perfect dress there as well (score!). I had also intended to watch the new Incredibles 2 movie that day, but when we got there, it was sold out and running wild with children... which made me glad the stars weren't aligned for that one anyway.
After that, I headed home for a quick nap, before meeting friends out for dinner in Greenwich Village. Even though seafood isn't usually my vibe, we finally settled on this amazing little place called Mary's Fish Camp. I had the Cod sandwich, and it was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I might actually come back here sometime to try a more "fishy" meal, that's how good this place was. 10/10 would recommend.
After that, we had a bit of a sweet tooth, so we took a walk and ended up at Cookie DŌ, which never disappoints. The prices actually aren't bad for how popular and Instagrammable the place is (you can get a single scoop for $4), but keep in mind the scoops are RICH, so less really is more here. I don't think I made it through more than half of my single scoop before it became too sweet, but man, was it satisfying.
Still after that, I met one of my other best friends at a relatively new rooftop bar, The Roof at the PUBLIC Hotel. It was dark out so I didn't get any pictures, but trust me when I say it's one of the cutest, sexiest places to go for a night out in the city. Between the outdoor roof deck and bar, and the indoor restaurant, couches (with blankets!), bar games, and (you guessed it) more bars, there's a little something for every type of night here. I can't wait to go back.
Sunday was PRIDE day here in NYC, which means lots of people, lots of rainbows, and of course, lots of booze.
I met a group of friends for brunch at Barraca, which I don't know how I haven't been to before because their sangria menu is to die for. But what nothing could prepare me for, was the insanity that would be trying to navigate the lower Manhattan streets when literally every single sidewalk was shut off due to the parade route. But we eventually made it to brunch, and once the bottomless sangria started flowing, all was right with the world.
After brunch, we bar hopped around in the area, in what I can only assume was a myriad of rainbow jello shots and thematic cocktails. I wish I could tell you more, but I really don't remember much, if that tells you anything about how my Sunday went. Needless to say, my night ended with Taco Bell and Westworld in bed.
Whew, what a weekend! That's it for now, but I'm going to really try and keep up with these recaps every single weekend. Of course, that means I actually have to go out and do stuff instead of Netflixing in bed, so we'll see how that goes.
Until next time,
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, y'all!
I don't know about you guys, but to me long weekends should be filled with good people, good food, good music, and good vibes. To help with those last two at least, I've created a quick lil playlist for you to enjoy this weekend.
The playlist features a mix of my favorite easy, breezy, "I'm OOO"-vibey songs -- and it's a fun combo of EDM, R&B and more. Give it a listen while you do you this weekend -- whether that's practicing self-care with a bubble bath, jamming out with friends over a grill, or tanning away on your fire escape (guilty... outdoor space is highly coveted here in NYC), and let the worries of your work week melt away.
Random fun fact: My sister realized recently that she and I know Trevor Dahl, head Singer/DJ of the Cheat Codes trio -- he was the son of our middle school science teacher, and he even previewed some of his OG songs for us as he got his start with Plug In Stereo! The world is insane.
Let me know what songs you're currently loving in the comments, and have an amazing long weekend!
Happy Festival Season, Fam!!
If you've been following around on my Instagram this past weekend, you know that Elliott and I attended our first ever Coachella this year -- and it was a blast! I don't know if I can say it was my favorite festival that I've been to, but it was certainly an out of this world experience, and I can't believe I was able to see so many of my favorite artists in one place. And who doesn't love getting some much-needed sunshine in Palm Springs while you're at it?!
I was lucky enough to partner with the amazing Brooklyn Cloth while I was there, who outfitted Elliott and I with killer clothing and outerwear during our trip. The two denim jackets above came in clutch for those windy desert nights, and I got so many compliments on the super cool "Hold Your Breath" patchwork on the back of my jacket. It's funny because it works both ways at a music festival -- both playing tribute to the breathtaking music being played, and the insane amounts of dust covering the festival grounds (I never thought I would miss NYC's air quality, but life is full of surprises).
Elliott was able to cool off by the pool during our festival pregames in this amazing BRKLYN jersey, which is both lightweight and durable. You've gotta rep what you know, you know?
Once we were actually inside the festival, it was a whirlwind of wandering through beautiful artwork, electric stages, and a maze of food and beverage vendors. I always love trying new eats at festivals, and Coachella did not disappoint. I also love getting lost in the artwork, especially at night when it's all lit up, and just sitting back and letting the sights and sounds flood over you. I don't know if I can pick a favorite act, but Beyoncé (duh) and Odesza are definitely at the top of my list.
After the festival, we got to spend some much-needed downtime at our favorite hotel in the area -- which is probably one of the most Instagrammable places in the entire world. But let's take a second to talk about this incredible bomber jacket -- how cute is the embroidered map of the City?! I love how I'm able to bring a little piece of NYC with me wherever I go with this baby in tow, and I'll definitely be rocking this one for years to come.
Coachella might be officially over, but remember, it's only the start of Festival Season. Be sure to check out Brooklyn Cloth's latest drops here for all of your Summer needs!
This post is sponsored by Brooklyn Cloth, but all opinions are my own. Shout out to them for sending us so many amazing items for our trip!
Happy Monday, Babes!
I hope your week is off to a killer start.
As we begin a new week, I just wanted to pop-in and give you an inside look into how I give myself enough #SelfCare to make it through the week as cool, calm and collected as possible.
My first bit of advice? Never be afraid to treat yo 'self! From buying yourself flowers at the local market, to lighting a candle and unwinding with a nightly skincare routine, there are many ways to treat yourself -- and it doesn't have to break the bank. Personally, I love putting on a good face mask and letting my mind wander while I sit at my window (or on my fire escape when it's nice out... cliché New Yorker over here).
This week, I'm partnering with Bioré to keep the self-care love going all week long.
I've loved Bioré's nose pore strips for longer than I can remember (am I the only one who thinks it's cool/fun to see all of the gunk they pull out of your nose?!), so I was SUPER excited when I was asked to try out their new Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips. These innovative nose pore strips work like a grime magnet, lifting out deep-down oil and removing blackheads from even your most clogged pores.
And the best part? The black charcoal strips allow you to easily see all of the gross things that are no longer on your face -- what more could you ask for?! If diminishing your pores and removing grime is on the top of your skincare priority list, I recommend using these once a week for maximum stripping action.
While pore strips are great, my absolute f a v o r i t e way to de-stress and give myself some love is by putting on a face mask, turning on some music I love, lighting a nice candle, and just letting my mind run free. However, with this special Charcoal Self-Heating One-Minute Mask, no distractors are needed!
This mask is SO cool because it literally heats itself right on your face, delivering a spa-like treatment to your face, in your own home, in under one minute. And when I saw spa-like, YOU GUYS, I mean it -- this felt so good on my skin that I couldn't believe it came in a small little packet, and it only took 1 minute to complete. Plus, it's infused with natural charcoal, so you know it's going to be good for you.
As Winter ends and Spring (finally) gets closer and closer, I'm excited to use both of these amazing products to get my skin ready for warmer weather.
What are some of your favorite ways to take care of yourself? Let me know in the comments below, and get shopping for these babies on Amazon or your local drugstore!
Happy March, loves!
I hope your month is off to a great start! Is anyone else confused as to how we're already closing in on being a quarter of the way through the year?!
As you may have seen me mention on my Instagram, I'm a big believer that confidence starts from underneath -- both physically and mentally. That's why I'm stepping a bit outside of my comfort zone this week and partnering with BootayBag, the super cute underthings subscription service I'm sure you've seen all over IG.
At first, I was hesitant about taking this one on (what will my Mom/boss/etc. think?!), but then I remembered that if I were modeling a bikini, nobody would think twice, so I thought, "why the hell not?!". I'm all about encouraging others to feel comfortable in their own skin without the fear of what others may think, as it's a constant struggle I'm going through myself.
My favorite thing about BootayBag, aside from the general positivity the brand spreads, is that it helps you keep your undie game strong, so that you always feel ready for anything. They send you two cute pairs a month (you can choose always thong, never thong or a mix), for just $12/month. They are always switching things up with new colors and patterns, so check out their Instagram for a sample of past pairs!
So, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now and you'll have an adorable present to you, from you to look forward to every month!
This post is sponsored by BootayBag, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make laravlw.com possible!
IMHO, Valentine's Day should be a year-round mindset. Sending flowers, planning surprise date nights, spending time with those you love (including yourself)... count me in!
This year, my bae and I decided to share special experiences together -- from a dinner-and-movie night to an upcoming staycation in the city! While experiences truly are the best gift, I also love keeping his style in check from season to season.
Sprezza Box makes it easy to do just that for just $28/month. They feature a variety of stylish designers each moth, and send a curated box of goodies straight to your man whenever you'd like.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, my boyfriend received this perfect set of blue-hued goodies that fit his style perfectly. He wore the tie and tie clip out to our romantic dinner, and it was a hit!
How was your Valentine's Day -- and more importantly, how do you plan to keep the romance going? Let me know in the comments, and have a great weekend!
I can't believe it's already February! January seriously felt like it lasted a full 12 months, and I've been enjoying the change. It's been v cold here in New York, but with each passing month, we get closer and closer to those warm Summer days!
Valentine's Day is a very interesting time of year. Whether you're in a relationship or not, it always brings about a series of interesting emotions. But no matter who you're spending it with, it's the perfect time of year to show yourself some love!
If you've been following along with me this year, you know my #1 priority this year is taking care of myself. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is SO important, and it's one of the best ways to learn to love yourself (inside and out!). In my quest to love who I am, I've been starting to live more intentionally; I've been going to the gym regularly(ish), eating better, focusing on skincare, and getting more in-tune with my mental health.
Let me know how you're loving yourself this Valentine's Day in the comments, and go pour yourself a glass of wine.
Is anyone else absolutely D Y I N G to get out of this winter wasteland and into some sunshine and a cute new bikini, stat?
I don't know about you, but that's 100% how I've been feeling ever since #BombCyclone2018 hit here in NYC. I cannot wait to take some warm weather trips later on this year, but for now, all I have is my Pinterest dream board to hold me over!
'Tis the season for mood and vision boards, but since it's so cold out and I don't have a printer, I went with an all-digital one this year! I highly recommend making your own, even if it's just a compilation of pictures and quotes that make you happy. It's nice to have something to look at every once in a while to remind you of your goals, or even just to make you smile -- whether it's about upcoming travel plans, decor inspo, wellness goals, or whatever else. Mine is a combination of just about everything -- scroll through the widget below or click this link to check out some of the places + things that are inspiring me this year!
If you're making a Pinterest or blog-based mood board this year, leave me a link to check it out in the comments :).
Happy 2018, y'all!
I feel like I always get super excited to revamp my blog around this time of year, but for some reason, this year feels different.
Ever since moving to New York I've been eager to continue making fun content in this magical city, but as you all know, life can get in the way when you throw a full-time job into the mix! But I know how happy it makes me whenever I am able to share my POV with you all, so I really want to make this a priority this year.
When it comes to New Year's resolutions as a whole, I'm all about attainable goals that are actually achievable! Throw in a tiiiiny dash of aspiration, and you're sure to be set up for success :).
Read on for my top goals of 2018 (in no particular order):
To keep myself accountable, I'll be checking in with monthly and weekly goals via my daily planner -- but the most important thing to keep in mind for your own goals is that life is flexible, and you should be, too!
What are your top goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below, and stay tuned for all of the fun content I have planned for 2018!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own -- thank you Ami Clubwear for sending me the most adorable swimsuit for my trip!
If you follow me on Insta (which you totally should), you know that I was in Palm Springs a few weeks ago. All of this Coachella action has me missing the desert big time! If you're heading that way anytime soon, keep reading as I'm about to help you have the best Palm Springs vacay EVER.
Where To Stay: The Saguaro Palm Springs
I actually discovered this hotel on Instagram last year, and ever since that first visit I became obsessed. It has everything you need right on site, including a Taco & Tequila bar El Jefe! What more could a girl need?!?!?
From the mountainous desert backdrop to the extremely colorful property, this place is total blogger heaven. I could spend all day lounging by the pool, frozen margarita in hand without a complaint in the world... and they even have two hot tubs for nighttime.
PRO TIP: Be sure to purchase everyone's favorite reusable watermelon mug from the bar pool when you get there -- it's super cute AND gets you two drinks for the price of one every time you refill it!
What To Do: Explore the City
In between pool sessions, you definitely have to check out the downtown area. The Saguaro offers free bike rentals to hotel guests, so take advantage of them and go explore! Between all of the Midcentury Modern buildings and art, the boutique shops and desert eats, there's so much to see and do around town. If you're the adventurous type, Palm Spring's famous Aerial Tramway is a great way to view desert landscapes from two miles up. It's best right before sunset, but try and get up there before it gets dark! You can even eat dinner up there, too.
PRO TIP: If you're an Instagram addict like me, be sure to visit That Pink Door! Located at 1100 E Sierra Way, Palm Springs, CA 92264, it makes for the PERFECT Insta backdrop.
What To Wear: Swim, Swim & More Swim!
Of course you're going to want cute outfits for exploring and going out, but you'll most likely be spending LOTS of time by the pool, so plan accordingly. I was absolutely obsessed with this adorable mermaid top from AMI Clubwear -- they have the cutest swimsuits for summer at unbeatable prices! Stock up before they're gone.
I had a great time taking a break from my fast-paced city life in New York, but I'm happy to be back! I can't wait to visit Palm Springs and The Saguaro again soon.
Where are you headed this spring and summer? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to check out AMI Clubwear for all your spring/summer needs!