Part 1 of NYC in 2 Seasons here.
In December I went back to NYC with my friend Whitney to celebrate her birthday. It was her first time and I’m always down for a trip to New York. I was excited because I had never been during Christmas and I knew it was going to be magical.
Well, things didn’t start off so magical. I bought a new iPhone a couple days before specifically at this time so I could use it while we were there. On the first plane ride I discover that it was defected and the CAMERA DID NOT WORK. The front facing camera worked so… I could only take selfies. I tried not to see this as a bad omen but I’m afraid it set the tone. Things got worse.
We landed in Charlotte (at 12:30pm) and had about an hour before our final flight to Newark. Long story short, our flight was delayed. We somehow missed out delayed flight, was on standby for three flights when we finally got on a plane at 10:30pm to… wait for it… PHILADELPHIA. That’s right. The only plane we could get on that would get us anywhere close to NYC was to Philly. We stayed the night at a Microtel which had a heater that sounded like a plane was taking off in her room every five minutes ALL NIGHT LONG.
We finally made it to NYC the next day around 1pm. We had to take an Uber to downtown Philly to get on a train to Trenton, New Jersey to get on the NJ transit to take us to Newark Airport where Whitney’s baggage was (don’t check a bag for a weekend trip!). From there we got another Uber to our Airbnb (which was awesome btw).
Here’s what we did in our limited amount of time: (and here’s the detailed color coded Google Map I made)
Sites: Washington Square Park, 9/11 Memorial, Oculus, The Met, 5th Avenue Window Displays, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Chicago The Musical
Places: Harlem, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Lower East Side, Manhattan
We tried to make the most of our time despite snow and super cold temperatures (for two southerners). On the morning we were leaving, I go to check us in on our flights and our connecting flight from Chicago had be CANCELLED. All flights to Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, and Huntsville were full. After an hour and a half on the phone we were booked on a flight to Memphis where Greg had to drive 3.5 hours to pick us up. What a trip, am I right?!?
I freakishly remember most of my dreams. It’s been something I’ve noticed about myself since I was a little kid. I once read that if you start to remember your dreams you’re more likely to remember them more often… sounds ridiculous but I think it works. Some people write them down but I like to tell them detail by boring/vague./confusing detail to people. *Pro tip: No one really cares about your dreams anyway…*
With that being said… here’s my dream! JK! Nope, not kidding. Here’s my dream:
The other night I had a dream with a giant white swan in it. The swan made a nest and laid 71 eggs. In the dream I was trying to speculate at how many of the eggs would hatch. Random detail but the eggs were scattered around and were different sizes/shapes.
Usually, I’m not one to place meaning to dreams because I think dreams are (usually) random compilations of your life but in sci-fi mode. But…something about the swan man. So I looked it up.
Swans in dreams symbolize:
- Time of reflection to nurture new ideas and bring them forth
- Wealth and Happiness
- New pleasures and prosperity
- Satisfied with one’s personal life
After I had this swan dream I noticed swans appearing throughout the day. I saw or read something about a swan on the internet/Instagram. They were mentioned in a podcast. I turned on a paused episode of Gilmore Girls and the first sentence they spoke was something about a swan! Coincidences be crazy!
2017 is now the year of the swan!
Have you had any prophetic dreams? I WOULD SERIOUSLY LOVE TO KNOW. EMAIL ME/COMMENT/USE TELEPATHY.
*Billy Madison… remember? #90skid
In July, Greg and I decided we hadn’t traveled enough this summer (ha!) so we loaded up the car and drove 14 hours north to Brooklyn. Luckily, we always have a place to stay with his brother and sister-in-law – thanks Scott and Meredith!
The first two days we were there it was PERFECT weather. I wore jeans and a tank top and never sweated. Things then took a dramatic turn to HEAT and HUMIDITY.
Despite the weather conspiring against us we go out there and suffered I mean… had fun.
Sites: 9/11 Memorial, Washington Square Park, The Whitney, The Met, Chelsea Market, random art galleries, Prospect Park, Strand Bookstore, DUMBO, Transit Museum, Oculus, random pent house open house (G’s SIL had artwork in it)
Those are the exact places I could remember the names. We ate a super authentic ramen place in Chinatown that was a real experience. We went to a whiskey tasting and a chocolate tasting in Red Hook. And in between everything we had a lot of coffee, pizza, and bagels.
Now the pictures:
And if you made it all the way to here, bless you! You get a badge too! Stay tuned for part 2…
Remember in my New Year post and I mentioned using Instagram as a place of inspiration instead of jealousy? Well I went on a following spree of illustrators last year. I found a lot of good ones out there (later posts?). But the one I freaking love the most is Maria-Ines Gul.
I’ve always admired artists that are simple/minimal, clever, and interesting. I think it’s partly because those are my goals as an artist/illustrator/designer but I also know/appreciate how hard it is to do so. Simplicity is hard!
Maria-Ines Gul’s illustrations are perfection. They are perfectly quirky, understated, witty, interesting, and minimalistic. They are feminine but not girly. They are current but not trite. I basically want to be one of her illustrations.
I love the range she has in her work. Some pieces are super minimal while others are worked up a bit more with detail and whimsy.
All of her girls just seem so cool. Like I said… I want to be one of her illustrations (probably the least cool thing to say).
Who’s inspiring you these days?
I enjoy the New Year. It’s kind of a like a refresh button on life. The end of the year is always hectic with Christmas shopping, family obligations, and other weird stuff. Then January 1 hits and it’s like hello, new year who dis?
I’m not into resolutions because I’m bad at them. I can’t commit to doing anything daily except breathing (and often times too shallow). Last year I tried to resolve to not hitting my snooze button but that lasted less than two weeks… whoops. When I say I’m going to do something daily/completely new from my status quo it feels like I’m setting myself up for failure. So what does one hyper self aware realist to do?
Play the long game suckas!
First you have to know thy self. Recognize you’re tendencies and habits. It’s ok, it’s supposed to hurt a little. I’ll use myself (last year) as an example:
Me: I’m terrible AF at committing to doing anything daily. Also, I think about things to do and NEVER do them and then it stress me out!
2016 Long Game: Alright, cool. Don’t commit to doing anything daily even if you want to! Instead, let’s think about how you can grow in 2016 and not end up feeling like a failure. What do you think about doing?
Me: Making stuff.
2016 Long Game: Sounds super fun and specific. How are you going to encourage yourself to make stuff?
2016 Long Game: Geez you’re helpless. How about having art supplies out ready to use? Also, instead of being jealous of everyone on Instagram, why don’t you try using it as inspiration to stop THINKING and start DOING? You don’t get better by just thinking it into reality.
Me: *** mind explosion ***
Here’s the trick… talk to yourself like you’re another person. What would you tell your BFF if they came to you with your problem? Sometimes we need to be our own pep talking cheerleader, you know? Survive AND thrive. I would say it also helps to write it down somewhere. Just knowing your WROTE it down somehow gives it power.
Oh, and how did my 2016 of doing go? Pretty good! I left art supplies out with minimal set up, saved Instagram posts that I thought were inspirational, tried new things, and shared a lot more.
So 2017, upward and onward! Goals over resolutions for the win!
And if you need more inspiration for the year… have a look at this article.
Ho Ho HO! We are less than a week away from THE BIG DAY. Every year I can’t believe it and I’m not ready! We’re just that much closer to it being over and that makes me sad. Speaking of over… here are the last days of #Mollidays2016. If you missed it, here are days 1-4 and 5-8.
Day Nine :: The easiest and best gift there is, is wine. And if you’re taking my advice, here are some wine gift tags.
Day Ten :: Be sure to document the season… I made this handy photo checklist. Get your family involved and you’ll always remember Christmas 2016… even if you don’t want to.
Day Eleven :: Need some more Christmas decorations? How about this print of hand drawn snowflakes?
Day Twelve :: For the final day, I made a coloring sheet from all of this year’s illustrations. Enjoy!
Here’s what you’ve missed in the #Mollidays2016… Days 1-4 here.
Now check out days 5 to 8…
Day Five :: Need some baking ideas for the holidays.. check out these cookies and printable recipe.
Day Six :: Be like Santa and make a list and check it twice.
Day Seven :: Forgot to buy Christmas cards? I got you covered.
Day Eight :: Many time people act like scrooges this time of year… leave them a note to lift their spirits.
This is the last week of my daily emails… sign up in the side bar! I’ll send you other fun stuff throughout the year too 🙂
If you’ve been putting off signing up for #Mollidays2016 like you’ve been putting off Christmas shopping… Christmas is still coming! What are you waiting for? Here’s what you’ve missed:
Day Two :: I love making wallpapers (for your phones) so I made two again this year!
Day Three :: No present is complete without a
receipt recipient… Gift Tags!
Day Four :: I had an idea and I went with it… a textable gif(t)! Santa is really popular this year.
Sign up in the sidebar so you don’t have to wait for the next 8 days of FREE downloads made by me!
Ok, so here’s the deal. I love the “look” of fall. I love the light, the color of leaves, pumpkins on my door step. I also love the “lewk” of fall. In honor of my favorite season, I want to share some of my favorite fall related beauty things you might already have at home (and have forgotten about) or might want to try out because I say they’re awesome. Here goes…
:: SKINCARE :: I typically have normal to dry skin but when the seasons change I start leaning more to the dry side. Y’all know I’m all about taking care of my skin and that includes a thorough night time routine. To keep my epidermis looking it’s best in the new cooler season I exfoliate and moisturize with fancier masks than I use in warmer months. One has pumpkin in it for all you fanatics!
Exfoliating : Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask <<< Don’t be scared off by the price tag. This mask will last you over a year at least since you should only use it once or twice a week. It’s not too gentle, it’s not too harsh, it’s just right. And it smells like pumpkin!
Moisturizer : First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Overnight Mask <<< I’ve sung the praises of this mask before and I’ll sing them again and again. No other product visibly makes my skin look better in one use than this does… Radiance for real!
:: NAILS :: One of the first things that signifies “fall” to me is when I stop wearing my happy blue polish and switch to my muted and deep polishes. I always look forward to the fall nail polish launches. Something about those colors feel sophisticated and chic. This year I’m planning on experimenting with OPI’s matte top coat with a few nude/neutral tones. I feel like it will be awesome. I’ll keep you updated on that but these are my fail safe go-to’s:
Top pick : Essie’s For the Twill of it <<< I can’t recall a polish I’ve been more excited about buying than this one when it launched. This is probably one of my most worn polishes. It’s beautiful and different.
Runner up : OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark <<< This is a throw back but it’s sooo classic and flattering on all skin tones (and it’s on sale!). When in doubt, go dark.
:: EYES :: The past couple of years I’ve really honed my skills in the eyeshadow department (thanks youtube!). I tend to go with a similar look on a daily basis (neutral, duh). When fall hits, I like to pile it on a little bit more. I like to think it feels cozy? This season is going to be all about the red eyeshadow. If you’re not ready for the possibly disastrous pigment I have two solid picks in the neutral but awesome category:
Top pick : Burberry’s Pale Barley <<< If you’re up to spending $30 on a single eye shadow I can’t recommend this one enough! It builds beautifully and is a one shadow wonder. It looks nice with a matte brown in the crease and some brown liner.
Runner up : Maybelline’s Bad To The Bronze <<< No primer needed for this one. It’s a perfect silky bronze and for $5 why not?! I like to pair this one with dusty pink in the crease.
:: LIPS :: I wait all spring and summer to break out my dark lipsticks. I don’t go super dark but if it has “plum” in the name, here’s my debit card. This year I’m thinking it’s going to be all about the liquid matte lipsticks but I’m here to tell you there ain’t nothing wrong with a little bit of sheen. (DON’T BE FOOLED, I LOVE MATTE LIPS!) Here are my most worn fall shades:
Top pick : MAC’s Plumful <<< If there is a more perfect shade, PROVE IT. Pair this with a berry lipliner and you’re in business. I get the most compliments on this shade. It’s a creamy formula so it’s not drying at all and easy to apply.
Runner up : Maybelline’s Touch of Spice <<< Inexpensive and practically perfect. This color looks perfect with muted pink anything. It’s a matte lipstick but it’s easy and comfortable to wear. No liner needed.
:: PERFUME :: The idea of multiple and seasonal perfumes is a new concept to me. I always got a nice bottle for Christmas and used it all year until I ran out and got a new one the following Christmas. Recently I’ve been wanting to try different perfumes. If you’ve never noticed, perfume is expensive! So, I was doing a little research and found the company Scentbird. I think what they are doing is so genius! It’s a subscription based service that will send you a month’s supply of designer perfume that YOU PICK! That way you can easily change for the season and try out different scents before you commit to a larger bottle. You don’t get a rollerball, you actually get a reusable sprayer. They are not paying me to say any of this. I really think it’s a great idea and especially for only $15 a month. Here are my fall picks:
Top pick : Tom Ford’s Black Orchid <<< This scent has developed somewhat of a cult following and it’s on the higher end of the price scale. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time and hello, along came Scentbird and it’s miiinnnneeee. This scent is woodsy, warm, luxurious and perfect for fall.
Runner up : Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Black <<< I’m a sucker for anything and all things Olsen twins (and Elizabeth!). This is a strong scent so a little dab will do ya. But the vanilla with the sandalwood… heaven in my nose.
*** Because Scentbird is awesome they are offering you guys (my friends!) 15% off your first month with the code MJOY15 !!! ***
There are a ton of posts out there on travel tips and I’ve read a lot of them. This summer I did quite a bit of traveling and I thought of things that I haven’t read before but I think are useful and worth sharing.
1 :: Have a Goal ::
This is something I tried for the first time when we went to NYC this summer. I’ve been to New York a handful of times so I’ve done all the touristy things and this time I made it my goal to try a different ice cream shop every day. I love ice cream, I love trying something new, and I love ice cream. The beauty in the goal is that it can be anything and it’s just for F-U-N. Here are some ideas: See some art every day, Try something new every day, See how many dogs you can pet, Visit a different park every day, See how many strangers will talk to you, etc… I’m full of ideas if you need more.
2 :: Plan for Good Food ::
I’ve been on too many trips where we ate bad food. Food is life y’all. If you’re not eating good food, you’re not enjoying life! Plan out a few places in advance that either have been recommended to you or you would like to try and work them into your trip. The most miserable thing to me is being hangry, not knowing where to eat, and stumbling into the closest Cafe d’Disappointment. A bad meal can really put a damper on the day. If you’re feeling extra confident, make reservations. Eating is an activity.
3 :: Be an Ask-hole ::
Ok, not really but kind of. Wherever you are ask whoever is around… Where can I get the best bagel in town? Where can I hear live music? If I only have an hour what should I see at the Met? How do I ride the trolley? What’s the best flavor? You get the picture. Whenever I go somewhere new I always like to be in on what the locals know. I usually find places I wouldn’t have found otherwise and a lot of times it leads to other fun conversations and tips. People like to feel valued in their opinions. Why do you think I write this blog?
4 :: Bring a REAL Camera ::
I know iPhone’s camera keeps getting better and snapchat and all but I’ve never once regretted bringing my nice digital camera with me. Face it, phones can’t compete with the quality a real camera provides. I have a large framed photograph in my living room that I took of the Eiffel Tower with my camera. My iPhone could not have taken the same picture and be printed at the same size and kept it’s quality. It’s photography math you guys. Unfortunately I don’t have a tip for remembering to actually take pictures with the camera but I’m sure you’ll work it out.
5 :: Take the Free Version ::
This tip comes courtesy of Greg Robinson. We’ve traveled a lot together over the years and have somehow managed not to spend a lot of money. The one thing we do is take the free version or less expensive version of excursions. For example, the first time we went to NYC we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry that goes right past the Statue of Liberty for free instead of paying for a tour and spending hours to get a little closer view. That way you get a taste and don’t spend all day and your money on a negligible difference of experience. Spend more time in the rest of the museum instead of automatically paying for the paid exhibit, opt out of the brewery tour and just do a tasting instead, or just sneak past the ticket checkers.
!*!* BONUS *!*!
:: You Only Need Two Pairs of Shoes, Bandaids, & Advil ::
Ok, so you may have heard these before but they are worth repeating and all related. Unless you are going to a formal event, you really only need two pairs of shoes. Believe me. I
am used to be a habitual over-packer. This also applies to all my minimalists out there that think they only need one pair. YOU NEED TWO. This is where bandaids come in. Even shoes you’ve worn all day at work before can and will give you a blister. Thus you need to wear a different pair of shoes the next day AND bandaids. Keep those suckers in your purse, pocket, or wallet. Because you’ve been walking all day and over indulging in the adult bevs you or someone in your party will need Advil. Take it. Don’t try to be a hero and tough it out.
:: Trip Formula ::
SOMEWHERE TO DRINK + SOMETHING TO SEE + SOMEWHERE TO EAT (in any order)
This is great for short or long trips or even stay-cations. I’ve tested this formula out for many years now and I really think it’s a great starting off point for longer trips and perfect for day trips. If you have time and you’re being a travel ask-hole, you’ll find other things to do through the day. If you know you only have 4 hours in a place, you’ll feel like you’ve actually visited. The best part is you can make the formula fit your interests. My “somewhere to drink” is usually a local coffee shop but maybe yours is a brewery or an old timey soda fountain. I like to visit art museums but maybe you like historic landmarks. Your something to eat could range from dinner to the best doughnut in town. Try it!
Alright, do you have any secret travel tips? I’m always looking to make traveling less stressful and more fun.