July 31, 2015

Foodie Friday: Best Ice Cream Shops in New York

My husband makes fun of me because no matter what the weather is like I can always eat ice cream. It's by far my favorite indulgences...and it doesn't help that we are surrounded by plenty of a great ice cream places. I'm sure this will be a two, three, four parter. But we'll start with these favorites for now.

Van Leeuwen
Manhattan & Brooklyn

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I'm highly addicted to Van Leeuwen's artisan ice cream. No, I'm serious. It is the creamiest ice cream I have ever had. Once I started going here I never wanted anything else. Every time I go to their location in Cobble Hill  (81 Bergen St Brooklyn, NY) I get Vanilla and Espresso on a cone. I love that their flavors are nothing too crazy. They do have some funky stuff like ginger (which is my husband's favorite) and earl grey. The other cool thing about Van Leeuwen is that they do vegan friendly flavors! So there is literally something for everyone. Not only do I live close to their store front but their ice cream truck is parked outside of my office building every day. It takes some major will power not to get ice cream for lunch.
They have a couple of locations through out the city, 2 locations in LA and ice cream tucks. Checkout their website for all their locations.

Brooklyn Farmacy
513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

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If you love specialty themed places you need to checkout Farmacy in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Farmacy is a fun throwback to the 1950's soda fountain. The history behind this place is also pretty neat. Back in the 1920's, 513 Henry Street was a location of a apotherapy drugstore. The owners wanted to revive this location as a soda fountain. And they did just that! (read about their story here). This place is one of our favorite places to take friends and family too. They have a rotating seasonal menu with a huge selection of sundaes and homemade fountain sodas. Every time I come here I always try something new. But my husband is a huge fan of the Cookie Monster Sundae! I can eat one of their monster Sundae's on my own but do come prepared with an empty tummy. 

Ample Hills Creamery 
Manhattan & Brooklyn

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Ample Hills Creamery is an adult kids dream. They have crazy flavors, but are what you would have wanted as a kid (or an adult). How can you say no to a marshmallow ice cream with rice krispy clusters (one of my favorite flavors from here!) or to a pretzel-infused ice cream with clusters of Ritz crackers, pretzels, chips, and M&Ms. They even have cookie cones! Their Gowanus location even has an upstairs deck so you can sit outside and enjoy your ice-cream. PS this location is open till 11pm! So after you get your shuffleboard on (the Royal Palms Shufflboard Club is right next store!) head on over to get a little late night pick me up!

241 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

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Okay so maybe Snowdays isn't REALLY ice cream...but it's frozen and creamy and delicious so it's going on this list. Snowdays is a shaved cream place that is founded in Taiwanese and Korean roots. Shaved ice can be found mostly on the west coast, if you ever been to Hawaii it's the preferred frozen desert. Snowdays is unlike anything I ever had, it's this crazy light and fluffy ice. If you go there I insist that you try the Yeti Tracks...it's blueberry cookies and cream shaved ice. Yes blueberry cookies and cream shaved ice. You can NOT go wrong with this flavor.

July 29, 2015

Outfit Post: Little Red Dress

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Every girl should have three dresses in her closet: a LBD (Little Black Dress), LWD (Little White Dress), and LRD (Little Red Dress). For me a LRD is a summer staple. It's vibrant and saucy, and the right dress can take you from work to cocktails. Every time I wear this red dress from H&M I get so many compliments. It's a great work dress that is simple but the fiery red gives it the bold statement. Whenever I wear a solid color dress, I like to bring in prints by using a printed a heel. With high neckline dresses I look for layered pieces of necklaces, this breaks up the material and adds an extra little something.

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Dress: H&M | Shoes: J.Crew | Necklace: c/o Capwell + Co. | Bag: Coach | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters | 
Hat: NYC Street Vendor 

Would you rock a little red dress?

July 24, 2015

Fitness 101: Staying Motivated

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Top: ProjectX | Shorts: Reebok | Sneakers: Nike 

Can you believe that we are already half way through the year? It really amazes me how time seems to fly by! Maybe some of you already gave up on your New Years Resolutions...or slacked off a bit. Or are finding it hard to stay motivated. It's okay...it happens to the best of us. I have some fitness tricks that help keep me motivated through the slump.

1. Set REALISTIC Goals. Don't set goals up like "I want a booty like J-Lo" because when you've done two months of squats and notice your butt isn't as plump as J-Lo's rear you're going to be pretty bummed. Instead set goals like "I want to run a full mile without stopping" and then give yourself a deadline..."I want to run a full mile without stopping in one month."Setting up goals with time limits will make you more dedicated to try achieve your goal but also once you hit it you'll keep making new ones. Maybe it's that next mile or going up in weight.

2. Find Your Weakness and Work On It. We all love doing things we are great at and we hate admitted things that we are bad at. Work on something your not good at, whether its running or doing push-ups, throw it into your routine. I love seeing progress in my workouts and work on things that I'm not so great at whether it's working on my push-ups, pull-ups or even running. I notice that I keep getting better the more I work on those things. 

3. Switch Up Your Routine. If you're starting to feel bored with your routine throw in some new classes or new workouts. When working out by myself I like to use apps like NTC (Nike Training Center) for some new workouts and "classes." They have quick ones that are just 15 minutes or ones that run a little longer (30 to 45 minutes). I love that they have variety to chose from so you can always switch it up. I also recently added a boxing class to my schedule. Truth be told I get pretty frustrated sometimes because I'm not great at it...but it gives me a good workout and allows me to be able to work my way up at being better at it. It also has helped create a new variety of workout in my schedule, and workout new muscles. 
Read here for some of my favorite outdoor workouts. 

4. New Workout Clothes. Any reason to go shopping is a good one to me! But seriously sometimes a motivation is new workout clothes. This will motivate you to throw it on and tackle your workout. Read here on what workout clothes to invest in. 

5. Find a Workout Buddy. Find a friend, family member, or a partner that will help you get motivated. Sometimes workout by yourself can get lonely or boring, so find someone who wants to/likes to workout. My husband and I take a lot of classes together and sometimes outside of class we do workouts together. I like a little friendly competition, it's what keeps me focused and pushes me to do a little more.

6. Sign Up for a Race or Event. There's nothing like having to train for something. Sign up for a 5K or a mudder race or something else that you're interested in doing to get you motivated. Like I said before I love little friendly competition. So I want to be my best on game day, so I do my best to train for whatever the event maybe, My husband and I plan on for the second time competing in the CMC (Civilian Military Combine). This race includes not only an obstacle run but also includes a AMRAP workout before your run. I love it forces me to train outside of just running and really forces me to push myself.

7. Think Outside the Gym. You can stay fit and have fun outside of the gym. If your into sports why not try joining a local team. Companies like ZogSports makes it easy for you to join a team, make new friends, and stay active. If you don't have a Zogsports or something similar try different Meet-Up groups.

8. Buy a Fitness Tracker. There are some mixed feelings out there about fitness trackers like Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band, Garmain, etc.. I happen to think that these fitness trackers are great motivators to get up and get moving. Ever since I got my Fitbit I walk a lot more, wanting to hit that 10,000 daily step goal. I now opt to walk instead of hoping on the train, which also has allowed me to see some different parks of NYC that I haven't seen. It's a real eye opener on how stagnate you remain throughout the day. If I can't get to the gym or it's my "rest day" I still like to make sure I hit my step goal, it makes me feel like I achieved something that day.

9. Add New Music. Sometimes the best way to up yourself up is with a new soundtrack. A good song can always get you motivated and ready to take on a workout. When it comes to workout music I like to listen to Spotify's Top Hits and New Music Tuesday to find some new tunes to add to my workouts. Find what motivates you during your workouts and set up playlist. I have different playlist for different moods and workouts. I generally like to listen to hip-hop/pop music when running and rock music when doing weights and more general training workouts.

July 22, 2015

Wear the Trend to Work: Off the Shoulder Tops

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The off the shoulder trend is EVERYWHERE this season. I love how sexy yet very boho this look is. Of course, as I spend more hours in the office then I do outside of it I was hesitate on jumping on this fashion trend bandwagon right away. This was until I saw this Zara top in store. I love how it had the off the shoulder piece yet thick straps, which make it work appropriate. It's the perfect cross between tank top and off the shoulder. Pieces like this can transition in your closet from work to weekend. 

How I Wore the Look:
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Shirt: Zara | Pants: H&M | Shoes: c/o Ann Taylor | Bag: c/o Boohoo (similar styles here & here)
Sunglasses: Feathers Boutique 

To keep the look office appropriate and summer friendly, I paired it up with my favorite pair of culottes. Since culottes can make you look wide, pair with a stiletto heel for height and slimming effect. I'm generally a minimalist, so I kept the jewelry simple with stacked rings and a statement bag.

Would you wear an off the shoulder top to work?

July 20, 2015

Make-Up Monday: Everyday Summer Glow

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When it comes to my everyday beauty look for the summer I like to go for a shimmery summer glow. Working on a tan isn't really an option as I spend 90% of weekdays indoors, so I like to fake a little summer glow.

Products Used:

  1. Jergens BB Body 
  2. Real Technique Expert Face Brush 
  3.  Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Nude Glow
  4. Vincent Longo Blush in Desert Rose 
  5.  Benefit High Beam Highlighter
  6. Too Faced Shadow Primer in Candelight
  7. MAC Hip 'N Happy
  8. Too Faced Melted in Melted Marshmallow

STEP 1. Before applying any face products, use a face lotion or body lotion. This will help smooth your skin and help any of our foundations from looking caked on. I like to use Jergens BB Body Cream as it helps illuminate my skin.

STEP 2. To help get a summer glow apply a tinted BB cream with your face brush, Too Faced has ones that comes in different shades that will help you achieve your beach blow.

STEP 3. Apply a light shimmer to your eye lids. I like use eye primers that have a bit of color to them so I don't have to apply eyeshadow on and it will hold my cat.

STEP 4. Use a eyelash curler to give your lashes some length. I don't typically wear mascara as it always feels to heavy, so you can opt to add a touch of mascara to your look.

(OPTIONAL) I never leave home without my cat-eye. I use Kat Von D's Tattoo Eyeliner to achieve my cat eye.

STEP 5. Take a soft pink blush and apply on your cheeks. This will give your cheeks a soft rosey color.

STEP 6. Using Benefit's High Beam Highlighter apply three small dots on your cheek bones. Using your fingers blend into your check bone. If you desire more of a glow, add two more small dots and blend in.

STEP 7. Set with a finishing spray. My go to favorite is PurMinerals Miracle Mist.

STEP 8. When doing a light face I like to keep my lipstick light as well, either a nude lip or a pale lipstick. Apply a lipliner and then a lipstick or stain over it. This will help keep the color lasting longer.

What's your summer make-up?

July 17, 2015

Home Decor Inspiration with Fab.com

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A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to attend Fab.com's first ever press preview. I've attended a lot of press previews but I must say this was one of the most unique I have ever attended. They hosted the event at someone's actual Greenwich Village apartment! It was really cool to see Fab.com products staged in a actual home. The whole presentation was home decor inspiration overload...and exactly what I needed as my husband and I start to redecorate our own apartment.

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Besides the apartment itself being my New York City dream apartment, each room I went into I found something from Fab.com that I wanted...or an idea I wanted to steal for my own apartment. I loved the bar set up at the presentation, which gave me a lot of ideas on design for our own barcart. I'm in between this Copper Cocktail Shaker and this Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker Set. I've also recently become obsessed with Moscow Mule Cups, it's a must have for my bar cart. What I really loved were the display of the necklaces on the wooden and marble trays on the wood table. Not only did I love the way it looked but I loved the necklaces themselves (here, here, here and here)...and of course the marble trays. All are on my wishlist.

How would you redecorate your space?

July 15, 2015

Style Guide: How to Wear Chambray and Linen

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When I think summer fabrics linen is the first fabric to come to mind then chambray. But why not pair the two up for a easy breezy summer work day look? I love going casual on Fridays at work, especially a summer Friday. It gets me even more in the mood for the weekend while feeling comfortable at work.

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Shirt: LOFT | Shorts: LOFT (similar style here and here) | Shoes: Soludos | Hat: Artizia (similar styles here and here) | Necklace: Topshop | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

1. Pick a Print. Since linens and chambrays can look similar pick one in a print. This will break-up the look so that you can tell the fabrics apart. You can even pick a linen in a softer color.

2. Play with Lengths. Pick either a long sleeve top or a pair of shorts (learn how to wear to shorts here). I love doing a long sleeve top, with roll up sleeves, and a pair of shorts for a casual summer look. This especially helps balance the shorts out for a work day look.

3. Casual Shoes. Do a pair of slip on sneakers for a super casual look. Or go for a pair of espadrilles. Espadrilles are the must have shoe of the summer. Pick a flat pair of espadrilles. The best thing about this trend is that you don't need to drop a lot on them, you can find at H&M and even brands like Soludos have pairs for a reasonable price.

4. Accessorize. Mix dressy accessories with casual ones. I love playing with dressy accessories like long pearl necklaces in a casual look. These accessories always add an extra little element to the overall look. Mixing in a casual accessory like a straw hat will keep the look casual cool.

Would you pair chambray and linen up together?

July 13, 2015

Outfit Post: Brighter then Sunshine

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Top: T by Alexander Wang | Skirt: DVF (similar style here) | Shoes: J.Crew | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Sunglasses: Feather's Boutique   

I've had this DVF skirt and T by Alexander Wang top in my closet for awhile now...never did I think about pairing the two up until I saw them next to each other when I got my dry cleaning back! I had such a DUH moment, like "why haven't I thought about this before?" This outfit to me is the of what a summer outfit to work looks like. It's bright and playful, but sophisticated at the same time.

What do you guys think of when you think of summer office looks?

July 10, 2015

Foodie Friday: Quick & Easy Cone Cupcakes

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When it comes to hosting parties I like to "wow" my guest with fun treats. These special deserts don't have to be anything incredibility difficult to make. I love to keep my food prep pretty simple especially when I'm the one hosting the party. There's already so much to worry about that you don't want to spend most of our time making one dish. With that said, for me when it comes to throwing a party, I look for some boxed goods (cake mixes, etc) that I can make a presentation out of. I love these Cone Cupcakes because they are just that. They look like time was spent on them but the little secret is that not a lot of time really goes into it (unless you want to bake everything from scratch, which by all means go for it!). These Cone Cupcakes are perfect for summer BBQs or kids birthday parties. I made these for my husband and I's 4th of July Party and they were a total hit!

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What You'll Need:
- Ice Cream Cup Cones (used Keebler)
- Boxed Cake Mix ...of your choice (if you want to dye your batter choose a white cake mix)
- Frosting...of your choice (you can make your own if you so choose)
- Sprinkles

1. Pre-heat the oven to the temperature desired.
2. Follow the cake box instructions. Once you have your battered mixed, if doing two separate colors: separate the batter into two bowls. Add food dye into each bowl and mix. To achieve the desired color, add more dye if necessary.
3. Once your batter is all mixed...In a muffin pan lightly spray the pan with cooking spray, then place cones into the tray. Fill cones half way up.
4. After you fill our cones, carefully place them into the oven for about 14-20 minutes. Or until your toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let your cupcakes cool after baking. Once they are cooled you can begin to decorate them. The idea of these cupcakes are to make them sort of look like a soft served ice cream cone. If doing a can of frosting choose one that is light and fluffy. If you don't have a pastry bag don't worry! Take a ziplock bag, fill it with frosting, zip the bag, and push the frosting down to one edge of the bag. Clip the edge and you can now decorate. Create spirals starting from the edge of the cupcake working in towards the middle. Once your cupcakes are all frosted, add sprinkles!
6. Serve and enjoy!!

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I added food dye to my batter so that when you bit into the cone you got a nice surprise of red or blue. You can do this with any color that you like OR you can use red velvet or chocolate cake to get the same effect. You can even add maraschino cherry to top off the cupcakes!

Would you make these for your next party?
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