10 New England Date Ideas for the Cold, Winter Months

As some of you may know, my boyfriend and I have a long distance relationship… if you can even call it “long distance.” We live about two hours away from each other depending on if he is spending time in Long Island or New Jersey. It really isn’t that far in comparison to when we dated while I studied abroad in Italy. Over the years, we’ve come up with some interesting things to do. For example, this past weekend when we randomly decided to go to the Norwalk Aquarium and eat ice cream at Milkcraft (something I’ve always wanted to try). If you’re an avid Pinterest lover like me, you come up with some fun date ideas for when you do see each other. Here are some of the ones we’ve come up with for the cold, winter months.

New England Date Ideas During in the Winter

 

Dress (Urban Outfitters, Sold out) | Necklace (Similar) | Boots (I’m obsessed)

Visit an aquarium or zoo.

The Norwalk Aquarium Robert and I visited this past weekend was a confusing mix of aquarium meets wildlife… and it was ahh-maz-ing. There were lizards, meerkats, otters, seals, sharks, sea turtles, and everything that makes the small child in my soul happy. If you want to see your date oooo and ahh over amazing creatures this is definitely a great date idea for you. Plus, some of the aquariums have giant Imax theaters so you get to see a movie and little critters all in one.

Try a cuisine you’ve never had before. 

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to travel far away without really traveling that far… welcome to study abroad via el’ stomach. Look up authentic restaurants near you and look up the menus online. If you don’t know what some of the food is on one of the menus, pick that restaurant. You’ll have fun trying out different things. If you want to try a bunch of items at once try a tapas restaurant. For example, Barcelona Wine Bar in New Haven is a great pick.

Take a hike after a light snowfall.

For New Year’s Eve, Robert and I visited Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania (okay, not New England but same idea). For someone who doesn’t go outside in the snow very often, it was one of my favorite trips I’ve been on. It snowed every night so we woke up to a winter wonderland. The trees were icy and we were bundled up like stuffed burritos. A date where you’re moving and grooving is always a great idea.

Visit a random town you both have never visited. 

Since Robert and I live two hours away from each other, we find towns that are half way in-between us to visit. For example, this summer we explored Mystic, CT because it is closer to the Long Island ferry and this past weekend we visited Norwalk because it is equal distance from the both of us. This actually allows us to meet up in different towns that we wouldn’t normally and explore like pesky tourists. Hey, you need to find the fun in the little things.

Go to a demolition derby. 

I find it hilarious that I included this while I wear this innocent, feminine dress. But every sweet dress has its tough side. Demolition derbies are very common in rural towns in New England. Most occur during the fall season but if you’re lucky some places have indoor performances. You might want to bring earplugs!

IMG_8972New England Date Ideas During in the Winter

Go to a local museum you’ve never been to. 

Most states have tons and tons of museums and some of them are even free! Connecticut is such a small state so if there are tons of museums here there must be quadruple museums in your state! Museums are a fun way to open your mind to different perspectives and maybe even learn a thing or to. I recently went to one of the Yale Art Museums with one of my friends and it was a blast.

Go see a magic show, comedy show, or a concert you normally would go see. 

My boss is awesome and offered me two free tickets to see a Chriss’ Angel show. Robert and I watched Chriss’ in amazement as he made people vanish in midair, swallow razor blades, and even detangle himself from a straightjacket. My mind is still blown. Most casinos and large venues have fun, out of this world shows that you can see like that one.

Bundle up and go to a parade, Winterfest, or ice sculpting show. 

If you follow me on Instagram or saw this post from 2016, you know the Siena College community means business when it comes to Saratoga Springs’ Chowderfest. We all get bundled up in countless layers just so we can trench through chowder lines. This year, I proudly consumed seven chowders. Most towns have festivals like this during the cold winter months. I think it’s some weird attempt to get people outside of the house. Hey, it works for me.

Go to a random antique or thrift store. 

Wild Bill’s Nostalgia is a time capsule that is ready to be opened. This wild thrift store is stuffed to the max with collectible baseball cards, vintage clothes, retro signs, and so much more. You can spend hours just looking through things in this tiny store. Although this is an odd date idea, it’s definitely a great way to find some weird things together and create unique memories.

Scroll on Instagram through GEOtags and find a gem like Milkcraft. 

I’m an Instagram fanatic and have “boards” in my library just like I have “boards” on Pinterest. I follow accounts like “ctfoodlovers”, “cteatsout”, “getseenct”, and “ctbloggerbabes” to see if there are some new and fun things to do in Connecticut. Most states have many accounts that are dedicated to finding gems like Milkcraft, Mystic Seaport, and so much more. Search random tags and you’ll find a few gems in no time.

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What are some of your favorite dates for the winter? Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s day? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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P.S. A big shout out to my Instagram followers for convincing me to buy this dress. I’m in love with it.

5 Eco-Friendly Products You Need in Your Travel Bag

As some of you already know from my Instagram stories, I’ve been traveling a little bit more for work. I recently went on a trip to Houston, Texas and I’m currently in Anaheim, California. I’m seriously living the dream. One of my goals this year was to find more products that are better for the environment and have fewer chemicals in them. I recently wandered to target to find a deodorant without aluminum and came across Target’s natural products aisle. I was floored to find so many natural products in one area. Here are some of the natural products I found for traveling.

Thayer’s Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner

I’ve been looking for a toner to put into my daily routine to tighten my pores without drying my already dry skin. I was super happy to find this alcohol-free toner from a family owned farm in Fairfield County, Connecticut. This toner is alcohol-free, paragon-free, pthalate-free, and cruelty-free. It also includes rose water to help soften and calm your skin. Since using it, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin’s quality. The directions recommend applying the toner with a cotton ball but I find that very wasteful because you constantly are throwing them out. Not to totally promote my company, but I’ve actually been applying it with a swab so I can reuse it instead of constantly throwing out in the trash.

Java Truly Skin Care Body Serum

This is actually the only product in my eco-friendly list that wasn’t purchased at Target. I talked about this product before and felt the need to bring it up again because of how much I love it. The delicious coffee grind oil has rejuvenated my skin in ways beyond belief. It has the power to improve the appearance of wrinkles, firmness, redness, and texture all while protecting against skin damage. And it does all that while smelling like drops of heaven. Plus, this company is cruelty-free and they exclusively import all of their green coffee from Smithsonian Certified Coffee Farms and then it is stone milled in Rhode Island.

Shea Moisture Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer 

I’m obsessed with not only this product but the mission behind this product. Every time you buy this facial moisturizer from Shea Moisture, they donate 10% of their profits to support empowerment in entrepreneurship, education, and equity. They do this by investing in communities through funding, infrastructure, and safety programs to sustainably source indigenous ingredients, grow local manufacturing of high-quality goods in their own villages, and provide fair prices for their goods and labor. They sum it up through their slogan, “It’s not a donation. It’s an investment in an equitable world.”  If that wasn’t enough to make you say “oh, heck yes” then let me talk about how it smells. Think about getting your favorite flowers and chocolate on a random Tuesday. Yes, it smells that good. It has a sweet, subtle rose fragrance with hints of palm and camellia extracts.

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner

In my quest to find products that were chemical free, I found a few duds. I recently tried Love Beauty and Planet shampoo and conditioner and I wanted to love it so much. I tried it for three days and it made my hair knotty, frizzy, and curlier than you can even imagine. Because of this, I was very hesitant to try Maui Moisture. Nonetheless, I persisted and bought travel sized bottles to try out on my business trip. After using it for a couple days, I absolutely love this product! It is made with aloe vera juice, shea butter, and coconut water so you know it smells amazing and makes your hair feel like a mermaid’s locks. If you’re looking for a product that is silicone free then definitely check it out! Plus, the plastic is all made from post-consumer plastic.

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser 

Yes to has been on my radar ever since I tried their face masks this past summer. All of their products contain at least 95% natural ingredients, are free of parabens, cruelty-free, and are made with recyclable materials (literally everything I want to hear). This is a very similar product to the chemical collector Boire. I love Boire, but I felt it was time to find something that wouldn’t be as harsh on my skin. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Yes to’s product line and face masks.

What eco-friendly products do you love? Let me know in the comments down below (I would love to try some out)!

As always,

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4 Ways to Transition Your Winter Clothes into Spring

Okay, so maybe the groundhog saw his shadow but that doesn’t stop me from wearing my spring colors proudly. I’ve been breaking my spring clothes out one by one in hopes that it will change the weather. I mean, a girl can only hope. Luckily, I’m actually in California escaping the brutal cold. But eventually, I’m going to have to go back to east coast and face the facts that it’s still pretty chilly. To prepare myself and you… here are four tips for transitioning your clothing into winter.

J.Crew Embroidered Daisy Pants

 

 

Jeans (Sale!)Shirt (Similar)|Bag (Similar) Jacket (Similar)

Brighten up your dark, winter clothes by sprinkling a few light pieces in. 

During the winter, I always get into a funk that is just waiting for the day where I can throw on all of my light colored pieces. I literally couldn’t handle the dark hues anymore so I broke out this awesome white, bucket bag to curve my craving. So pack up the dark hues and break out the light colors. If you think it’s too early, you can gradually do it one piece at a time.

Play with florals. 

Florals for spring? Groundbreaking. I know, you’ve heard this line a thousand times, but in reality, it makes sense. Flowers pop up all over the place during spring so it only makes sense to celebrate by wearing them. What you can do is wear florals in different ways in order to stand out. Wear a scrunchie, scarf, shoes, or embellished pants with florals to change it up in your spring wardrobe. Plus, you can mix and match these samples with some of your old winter wardrobe. Ahh, versatility in it’s finest. IMG_8101IMG_8152

Layer with a chunky sweater to keep you warm. 

Spring is very similar to fall in the idea that the temperatures drop all of the time. You can wake up in the morning and it’ll be below 10°F and then by mid lunch it will be 40°F. You never know what you’re going to get so that is why you should be prepared for anything. Throw on a t-shirt under a chunky sweater so that if it does get too hot you can instantly cool down. Plus, another way to layer a chunky sweater is to tuck it into a maxi skirt or belted over a maxi dress. The possibilities are endless.

Bare a little ankle. 

S-c-a-n-d-a-l-o-u-s! Be a little rebellious and show a little ankle. Okay, not quite rebellious but it’s a great way to ‘warm’ up an outfit. By showing a little ankle you’re practically screaming “go away winter!” Hey, maybe if we all do it winter will go away for good. Worth a shot. Cuffing up your pants or wearing a low bootie instantly makes your outfit look spring ready.

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What are some of your favorite ways to transition winter into spring? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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6 Tricks to Staying Positive During the Winter

This past weekend it was in the mid 50’s and I had to celebrate by wearing a light jacket (and even taking it off to take pictures of my awesome shirt). To some of you that live in warmer climates that might seem crazy, but this girl has been in negative degree weather for the past month so the 50’s felt like a serious heatwave. Too bad its back to the low 20’s now. A girl can only hope for an early spring…

Winter is one of the times of the year where everyone is sick, cold, and miserable (the trifecta of serious misery). For those who know me, I’m pretty obnoxiously positive. Literally, I think sometimes I’m too positive. But that hasn’t always been the case. In high school, there were a lot of things that I thought negatively about. Whether it was mental, physical, or emotional I was pretty negative back then. Eventually, I started to rethink what type of energy I was putting out into the world and tried to fix it. Here are some of the things I tried along the way.

Bow Tie Stripe Pants

Shirt (DIY) | Pants (Romeo and Juliett from Marshalls Very Similar)

Shoes (Sold Out) |Bag (Similar)

Write down 3+ things you’re thankful for in the morning and night. 

This is by far my favorite tip because this is what helps me remain so positive each day. It’s very easy to just come up with three things in your head that you’re positive about but it’s another thing to actually write down said things. By writing down these positive feelings, moods, or moments you’re creating a pattern that will help you remember these positive things in the long run. You can write them down on a small notepad and keep it in your purse or even a note section on your phone. Plus, you’ll have so much fun looking back on past entries on what made you happy. For example, I still have quotes from my freshman year of college from friends.

If you’re upset, mad, sad, or any other negative emotion write down how you feel, rip it up, and throw it away. 

The fact that I have a blog that you’re actually reading is pretty telling that I love to write. Now, sometimes it may not make sense, I may spell something wrong, and the grammar may be all over the place. That is totally fine. When I’m frustrated with something, I write it down. If it’s really stressing me out I throw it away or cross out things, but most of the time I just leave it in my journal. I like doing this because it helps me really think about why I’m upset and then most of the times I can just leave that negativity on that page.

Smile: Fake it until you make it.

There is some truth to the idea that you can fake it until you make it. There have been many studies that show a correlation between smiling and being happy. The idea is that if you smile each day you can actually trick your brain into believing you’re happy. If that isn’t a reason to smile I don’t know what is.

 

Bow Tie Stripe PantsBow Tie Stripe Pants

Workout. 

This one is a big one for me. Whenever I’m cranky or stressed out it’s probably because I haven’t been to the gym in a while. There is something about releasing a ton of sweat and breathing out my frustrations that calms me down. For some, high-intensity workouts like Tabata, Kick-Boxing, or Sprinting might help remove negativity while others might do better at mentally focused workouts like pilates or yoga. Personally, I like a mix of both. The work out will help you get your stress out while feeling better about yourself in general.

Surround yourself with positive people. 

Surrounding myself with positive influences wasn’t something I really thought about until recently and boy, did it make a difference. Removing yourself from a situation where someone is rude or sarcastic to you allows you to not directly place that negative energy into your life. This is definitely the hardest tip because you want to give everyone the benefit of doubt. The sad reality is sometimes you need to cut the cord when you’re in a toxic environment. I talk more about this here.

Lastly, remember that you’re living the beautiful life. 

If you speak Italian, you probably saw that coming. The shirt I made last week reads “The Beautiful Life” in Italian. This positive saying is a great reminder that you’re living an incredible life no matter what you’re going through. You can find happiness and positivity in the darkest times if you just turn on the light. By remembering that you’re truly fortunate really helps you put into perspective on what you should be positive about.

Bow Tie Stripe Pants

Don’t forget to check out how you can make this shirt here. 

 How do you remain positive in your day to day life? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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DIY Graphic T-Shirt in Less Than 15 Minutes

Are you ready for the easiest DIY ever? I actually did this DIY 15 minutes before I left for a shoot with a few local bloggers. It is that easy. All you need is a crew neck shirt, iron-on patches, scissors, an iron, and a sprinkle of creativity. Slap that all together and you get a boss babe shirt. Just in case you need a few pointers here and there… I’ll offer you my words of wisdom.

DIY Graphic Tee with Patches

If you have no idea what you want your graphic-tee to say, go on Pinterest. 

I’m a big fan of quotes. I even have my own little album on Pinterest you can check out for inspirational quotes. I actually asked one of my friends what I should put on my shirt and she gave me this idea. We studied abroad in Italy and had the most incredible time. This little Italian saying means “The beautiful life.” Something that I strive to have each and every day. You can easily make fun quirky sayings like “Boss Babe”, “Just Be Nice”, or “Gobble Till Yah Wobble” (perfect for Thanksgiving). I also like the idea of making a graphic tee that says “we are all connected” and iron on the letters in a big circle. The options are limitless!

Try on the shirt and mark where you want the letters to go with a safety pin. 

Before I started placing my letters to their assigned seats, I decided to put on the shirt and pin where exactly I want the letters to go. Since your fabric may stretch when you put on the shirt you want to make sure you mark it so that it is placed in the correct location it needs to be. I’m so glad I decided to do this because I was picturing the letters much higher than where they were supposed to go.

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Buy more than one pack of letters. 

I had no idea what I wanted to say on my shirt so I grabbed two packs of Horizon Transfermations from Michaels. They have a few different fonts online that are different from what I saw in the store (my brain is stewing with new possibilities now). If you know what you want to put on your shirt you may only need one package but I needed two because I used three “L”. Better to be safe than sorry! If you don’t want to drive to the store they have endless options on Amazon.

Lastly, be creative.

Place the words in different areas. Make the words descend downward like stairs, have them all scrunched up in the middle, iron them on your sleeve, iron them in the bottom right corner. You can do so much with different placements, colors, and fonts. I love this simple DIY just because it has so many different options. Plus, you get to show off your personality in a fun, new way.

Stay tuned for Thursday where I’ll show the full post on how to style a fun graphic like this. Plus, if you want some other wicked cool DIY inspiration click on here. I’m trying to come up with a few DIYs this year to spice up my wardrobe so stay tuned.

What kind of graphic t-shirt would you like to make? Any fun sayings? Let me know in the comments down below. Who knows… I might make that shirt next!

As always,

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5 Ways to Find New Things to do in Your Hometown

As some of you may already know, I’m currently living at home so that I can save money to eventually move out. There are a ton of upsides of living at home such as home cooked food, two loving puppies, no rent, and simply just going home to a loving atmosphere. I can’t complain… I have it good. The only downside I can really see is that nothing is really new to me. I grew up my whole life in the very small state of Connecticut where I’m half an hour to an hour from literally everything (unless you count Boston or New York City because then I’m two hours away). It’s the perfect location if you want to go and do something. I’ve made it my mission to look for new and exciting things to do while I’m spending the time home. Here are some of my tricks to making your hometown feel like a travel destination.

Yale Art Museum Outfit

Layered Top (On sale and 4 different colors) | Jeans (On Sale) | Shoes | Vest (Similar)

Look up your state on Pinterest and Yelp just as you would do if you were traveling somewhere new/special. You’d be surprised how much stuff you’ll find. 

One random Saturday, I wanted to do something but had no idea what. I started to look on Yelp, Only in Your State, and Pinterest for things to do in Connecticut. I came up with tons and tons of things to do that I never thought about doing. Thus, this ‘research’ was the exact reason why my friend and I visited Yale to see their incredible art museums. Sometimes you need to act like an unknowing tourist so that you get rid of your blinders.

Force yourself to go to a new town or city near your hometown. 

Growing up, I never ventured to New Haven because it just seemed so far away. In reality, it’s only thirty minutes away and I drive four times that in one day for work. Go a little further from your hometown so you feel like you’re “traveling” but in reality, you only have to cross a few bridges and highways. Even just walking down the street or “sightseeing” might be worth the little travel.

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Look up events near you on Yelp and Facebook.

I just recently found the tool on Facebook where you can search for events near you and let me tell you… it is pure genius. How else would I have known that there was a giant air balloon festival this past summer or a food truck event? My favorite part of this genius invention is that you can actually pick a date further in the week or last minute and it will tell you what events are going on based on categories. This is also perfect for finding something to do on a holiday. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner after all!

Once it’s warm again, go on a hike to see your town from a different perspective.

One of my favorite things this past summer was visiting Talcott Mountain State Park because I was able to see Connecticut from a completely different perspective. Once you hike up the mountain, there is a huge 360° viewing tower. These random gems are in almost every state you just need to look around for them. Plus, hiking gets you moving and grooving which is always a good thing.

Don’t forget about exploring new restaurants! 

If you read my last post you probably can tell that I’m a little bit of a foodie. So when you’re looking for new places in your state don’t leave out the food! There are always so many new and upcoming places you can visit to spice things up. Try a different cuisine or order something you never thought you would. It’s the perfect way to spice things up in your hometown.

Yale Art Museum Outfit

How do you make your hometown feel like a destination place? What is the best attraction near your home? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Places to Eat in New York’s Capital Region

The cat is finally out of the bag. When I went to school at Siena, I was the kid that always ventured out to find new places to eat. I was always up for an excuse to get away from crappy dining hall food. I ended up going to way more than just this list (sorry bank account). But these are the no-fail restaurants that your stomachs with thank me for and your bank accounts will hate me for.

Breakfast/Brunch

Iron Gate Café

Location: 182 Washington Ave, Albany, NY

You haven’t met brunch until you met Iron Gate Cafe. I’ve never posted so many Instagram pictures of the same exact sandwich. Although Iron Gate Café has many great options, I always get a Turkey B.L.A.T. (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) with home fries. It’s a no-fail order but one day I hope to get risky enough to try their cinnamon roll pancakes… it just screams heavenly. If you go to any of the places on this list visit this one.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

Uncommon Grounds

Location: 402 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

The bagel options are limited in upstate New York. That is coming from a girl who has been forced fed many New Jersey bagels in her lifetime. If you’re from New Jersey, Long Island, or New York City, I promise these bagels are more edible than Dunkin Donuts and Bruegger’s Bagels. You won’t be disappointed.

Other brunch options to try: B-Rads, The Shop, Iron Roost, and Madison Cafe.

Lunch/Dinner

Troy’s Kitchen

Location: 77 Congress St, Troy, NY

Troy’s Kitchen definitely is the most unique restaurant on this list because of the atmosphere. Troy’s Kitchen is set up like a food court with high-quality startup restaurants. Restaurants apply to be apart of Troy Kitchen and leave the food court once they have made enough money to start their own restaurant. This means new restaurants come and go very frequently. Troy’s Kitchen also organizes events like open karaoke, dress up nights, and live jazz shows. If you’re grabbing a bite to eat with people who like options, head over to Troy’s Kitchen.

Genoa

Location: 435 Loudon Rd, Albany, NY

I went here so many times that the employees knew my order. To some, that may be embarrassing or sad but man, am so I proud. Genoa is the best place to get sandwiches… dare I say ever? Every time I would go to their shop I would try and get something new but I would always end up with a toasted Mardi Gras. If you go to Siena or in the Latham area get your butt over to this sandwich shop right now! This is what I miss the most.

Sliding Dirty- Troy, NY

Slidin’ Dirty

Location: 9 1st St, Troy, NY

In the mood for tacos but also kind of want a burger? Well, at Sliding Dirty you can have it both! The restaurant is set up so that you can try a little of everything… a perfect restaurant for someone as indecisive as me. I’m a big fan of the simple sliders but they also have incredible mac and cheese bites. According to my brother, they also have a great selection of craft beer. A win-win.

Crave Burgers and Frozen Yogurt

Location: 217 Western Ave, Albany, NY

Hungover and want delicious, greasy food? Well, Crave Burger is here to serve your hungover dreams properly. This incredibly rich burger will have you full way past lunch and dinner. They have a variety of different burgers that will have you wanting it all. No worries, you can always come back for more. I highly recommend their fries as well as their burgers.

Garlic Lovers

Location: 235 N Greenbush Rd # 1, Troy, NY

This little hole in the wall will make you question everything. If you love Mediterranean food then this is the perfect spot for you. Everything they have is incredible but their calamari is one of my favorites. Try your hardest not to fill up on the pita bread before dinner because their main meals are something you’ll dream about.

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Crisp

Location: 594 New Loudon Rd, Latham, NY

I was a little hesitant about putting this on my list because most Siena college kids are sick of escaping to Crisp. However, their potato salad and complimentary mini red velvet cupcakes have earned a place in my heart. I would always get the Serra Nevada sandwich with potato salad.

Dinosaur Barbecue 

Location: 377 River St, Troy, NY

Whenever Rob and I went out to dinner, we would most likely end up at Dinosaur Barbecue. There is something about smoked food and barbecue sauce that can fix any bad grade or pesky assignment. They also do pick up for your convenience! Try the pulled pork and mash potatoes… you can thank me later!

Dessert

Cheesecake Machismo

Location: 293 Hamilton St, Albany, NY

All I wanted for my college graduation was a Green Tea slice from Cheesecake Machismo. I lucked out and received a monster cake (a cheesecake with 12-16 different cheesecake slices). After trying this cheesecake, you’ll never think Cheesecake Factory is good. Each slice is $6 and are all incredible. Plus, the little shop is adorable with little action figures decorating the walls.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

Cider Belly

Location: 25 N Pearl St, Albany, NY

I get my sweet-tooth from my mother. If you ever met my mother she is this tiny little woman who loves sweets. Her biggest weakness is ice cream and donuts. If you’re a big donut fan like her, I would rush over to Cider Belly and try their fresh donuts. They pride themselves on making wholesome donuts that are always fresh and not preserved. If you’re lucky, they’ll sneak in an extra donut later. Make sure you check their website though because they have the worst hours ever.

Emack and Bolio’s

Location: 366 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY

I know, I know, I know. This is a chain but hear me out. Coming from Connecticut, I had never been to an Emack and Bolio so I get to include it on my list. (I’m stubborn. I know). If you’re like me and have never heard of Emack and Bolio’s, this is the king of all ice cream cones. They have any cone you’ve ever dreamed of. Fruitloop, cocoa pebbles, s’mores… can you hear my stomach grumbling? If the cones aren’t enough to make you go then you need to try their incredible rich and cream ice cream.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

The Cookie Factory

Location: 520 Congress St, Troy, NY

Luckily for me, I realized a few months ago that I can actually purchase my favorite cookies right in Connecticut (thank God). These fudge fancies are some of the best cookies you’ll ever have and they’re filling enough for you to have one and be done. If you’re trying to celebrate something special the Cookie Factory also makes an extensive line of cakes and goodies for you to choose from. If you’re craving a good, Italian cookie the Cookie Factory is calling your name.

Grab a Good Drink

Nine Pin

Location: 929 Broadway, Albany, NY

Nine Pin is located in the heart of Albany and it tastes like the nectar from above. Two of my friends and I wandered to Nine Pin after we heard they were making a tequila cider. Two of my favorite things in one? Count me in. Be on the lookout for their unique ciders and grab a bite to eat.

Ama Cocina

Location: 4 Sheridan Ave, Albany, NY

I have this sick love for tequila. Ama Cocina offers every tequila your heart desires alongside incredible margaritas. If you’re obsessed with ice drink, check out this place and order a bunch of their appetizers. No worries, if tequila has done you dirty in the past there is always beer.

Brown Brewing Co and Druthers are also great options for drinking craft beer. Personally, I don’t drink beer but my brother is a brewer and loves both of these places. Plus, Druthers has mac and cheese that will warm your soul.

Have you been to any of these places or been to any other restaurants in the capital region? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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What Finding a Job After College is Really Like

Right now, I’m currently typing up this blog post waiting for my airplane to Houston, Texas… talk about a girl boss, am I right? I’ll be in Texas for a little under five hours for a printer convention and then flying back as soon as the convention is over. Houston in 24 hours really hit a new definition.

It’s been about eight months since I graduated college. It feels like yesterday I was cramming in all nighters, going out on Thursdays, and trying to figure out what to wear to the next themed party. Man, do I miss college. Since I graduated, I’ve surprisingly done a lot. I ended up getting a job that fits in what I eventually want to do, traveled to two new states (Virginia and now Texas), and wrote more blog content than I ever did during school. Since many seniors are just starting their last semester (shedding a tear for you), I decided to write a blog post about my journey to landing a job.

Shirt ($15 and comes in four colors) |Jeans |Similar Shoes | Similar Bag | Similar Vest

Apply, apply, and apply again.

After college, it was pretty hard getting into the groove of things. There is this immense pressure of finding a job right after you graduate. I applied to almost a hundred different jobs looking for something that would eventually help me land a job in fashion. I applied on LinkedIn, Job Recruiter, and Zip Recruiter. Whatever job site I could get my hands on, I applied to. It took me two months and almost a hundred different cover letters for me to get the job I have now. I highly recommend using LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter.

Sure, they may be interviewing you but make sure the company is a right fit for you.

I ended up going on three different interviews and they were all very different from one another. One of my interviews was at a marketing firm in Stratford, Connecticut. It took me two hours to get there and the interview only lasted 15 minutes. The second interview was an interview from the pit of hell. The interview process lasted two days and the second day was an eight-hour day filled with no breaks, no lunch, and they made me drive a stranger to a random job site. After the eight-hour day, I knew I really didn’t want the job. The woman offered me the job and I awkwardly turned it down. She was very upset, but I knew if I took that job I wouldn’t be happy. Plus, the interview process was like that then they would probably have treated me worse when I had the job. If I had to do it again, I would have left the job interview earlier once I knew in my gut it wasn’t the job for me.

The third job interview was for the job I have now. I went through a series of phone calls and in person interviews before I was offered the job. The head of the company interviewed me on the phone for an hour and he sold the company to me. He was so friendly and passionate about the company that I knew I wanted to work there. Plus, he laughed at my lame jokes.

 

 

Sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to get experience or the job you want.

If you’ve been reading my blog during this adult-transitioning period, you’re probably aware that I commute an hour to and from work each day. Sure, that may seem cruel and unusual punishment to some, but to me it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to get the experience from this job. Sacrifices you need to make may mean taking an unpaid internship (my brother did this and was offered a full time job from it), working a lower income job in a company you want to work for, or even moving to a far place. If you need to make the same commute sacrifice like I did, make sure you read this post and this post. It’ll save your sanity.

If you don’t know what you want to do, try out different positions.

We’re often directed to go to college to find out what we want to do, but sometimes you really don’t know what you want to do and that’s okay. I changed my major four different times. I wanted to be a teacher and then the other three times I wanted (and still want) to work for a company that knows what it is like to be excited with fabrics. What really helped me realize that I didn’t want to be a teacher was taking a summer job as a camp counselor I realized running fifteen screaming children wasn’t the job for me (shout out to the fearless teachers out there). Sometimes you need to act the part of the job to realize it’s definitely not the job for you.

If you’re lost in what career you want, write down everything you find important in a career.

Since I had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to do, I wrote down everything I wanted in a career. I want a job where I can be creative, work with others, make a difference, work with social media, possibly travel, and eventually work with fashion or textiles. Once I wrote down all of the different things I wanted out of my job I then mapped out what kind of skills I needed in order to achieve all of those things. Do I need more experience with social media? Do I know enough influencers do work in public relations? The more I thought about it the more questions I had. This is a great way to start mapping our your career if you don’t know where to go after you graduate.

It’s okay to set big dreams as long as you know how you’re going to work your way towards that goal.

I’m a dreamer. I don’t stop short of thinking of all the possibilities life has to offer and neither should you. You want to write for a magazine or online publications? You can do it. You want to start a company and become your own boss? You can do it. You want to become a travel agent and travel the world? You can do it. As long as you’re willing to put in the time, sacrifices, and commitment to landing your dream job you can do it. That may mean getting experience at other jobs and working your way up to that goal. It may mean working longer nights than you thought were possible. It may even mean giving up an opportunity to go somewhere with friends in order to focus on that goal. If you’re willing to make these sacrifices and work towards that goal you can achieve anything.

From one college grad to another, you got this.

If you already have graduated college what was it like finding a job? Do you have any tips for recent grads or someone still finding a job they love? If you’re still in college or starting college, what is your dream job?

As always,

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9 Incredible Beauty Products You Need Right Now

I’m going to start off this post with pointing out that I know nothing about beauty products. Wait, don’t click away just yet. Hear me out. This post is for girls like me who may like all of the glitter and the glam of Sephora but still waltzes down CVS like it’s no one’s business. Here is my truthful tale of my favorite products around.

Skin Care Haul 2018

Clinique: All About Eyes

This eye cream has been a lifesaver. I’ve always put lotion underneath my eyes every since high school. I’m pretty sure I was convinced it was going to help my dark eye circles. I finally suckered down and bought a cream that would actually help try and remove my dark circles and puffy eyes. Thus, the reason why Clinique’s All About Eyes entered my life. Although my dark circles are still there, I have seen a drastic improvement of my dark circles. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll be gone.

Bath And Body Work’s Aromatherapy: Comfort

Are you tired of me telling you how much I love this product? Well, too bad because here it is again! If you haven’t smelt this incredible lotion get in your car and drive to the mall. This lotion has been really helping my dry skin during these dry months. Plus, it’s my favorite smell in the whole wide world so go on and buy it already.

Quip

You may have seen Quip all over social media because this company may be more obsessed with social media than I am. Quip runs an electric toothbrush subscription service where you get a new toothbrush head and battery every three months. I always forget to change my toothbrush out so I decided to try out this subscription service. The vibrating toothbrushes also have a two-minute timer with 30-second warnings to switch sides. It also comes in the cutest, sleekest colors. For someone who had braces for six years (yeah, you read that right), I’m definitely loving this product.

Skin Care Haul 2018

Java Truly Skin Care

In December, I was given this the body serum and body scrub at a blogging event. It took one pump of the body serum to get me hooked. Seriously though, it’s like a magic pill in a bottle. I admit I was very nervous about putting an oil on my face because my skin breaks out pretty easily. Since my skin has been tortured with this wishy-washy New England weather, I decided to give it a try. The point of putting the oil on your sin is it is supposed to improve the appearance of wrinkles, firmness, redness, and texture all while protecting against skin damage. But what I really like about this product is that it fits in perfectly with my New Years Resolution of finding more socially sustainable/eco-friendly companies. This company is free from animal testing and they exclusively import all of their green coffee from Smithsonian Certified Coffee Farms and then it is stone milled in Rhode Island. It does all that while smelling like drops of heaven.

After Instastorying @JavaSkinCare in December, they contacted me to offer my blogging friends 20% their final purchase. Use the coupon code PORTER18 to get that 20% off. I’m definitely going to use it to get a full-sized bottle of Body Serum and maybe even the lip scrub.

Skin Care Haul 2018

Tartelette in Bloom

I really didn’t think I would ever love a makeup palette more than my Too Faced Natural Eye Palette but girl was I wrong. This palette actually smells like chocolate. I literally have been making people smell my eyelids because I’m still not over the fact that it smells like chocolate. These shades are the perfect colors paired next to my green eyes and fair skin. Plus, it has a perfect mix of sparkly colors like funny girl, firecracker, and rocker and matte colors. If you’re looking for an incredible, warm-toned palette this one is for you. Plus, c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e.

Naked Urban Decay Smoky

I admit, I traditionally don’t play with smoky eyes because it is so intimidating. I’m convinced I will end up with a hack job that looks like I’ve been punched in the face one too many times. But, sometimes in life, you need to take some risks. I absolutely love the beginning three colors and the final four colors in this palette. I’m slowly working myself towards the darkest colors in the palette. If you like wearing darker colors in the evening this is definitely the palette for you. Also, if any of you have blog posts or tips on how to get over my fear of the smoky eye let me know in the comments down below.

Marc Jacobs Nail polish in Evelyn and Louise

If my college roommates are reading my post right now they’re probably cringing at the fact that I’ve added yet another nail polish color to my selection. I’m gross when it comes to nail polish. I paint my nails 2-3 times a week. Yeah, you read that right. I’ve literally painted them so much that I barely notice the nail polish smell. I’m usually a strictly an OPI and Essie fan, but I decided to get daring and try something new. Marshalls and TJMaxx always have a huge selection of nail polish and if you dig just right you can find a good price for a color. I’m actually scared that I like these two Marc Jacob’s colors (especially Louise) so much that I might not go back to my other colors. If you find these colors or even Marc Jacob’s in the store buy them immediately. Take this from a nail-polish-hoarder.

Skin Care Haul 2018Skin Care Haul 2018IMG_7063

Clinique Eye Smoothing Concealer

The one thing I’m pretty self-conscious about are my dark circles. I have some pretty dark ones that I can’t seem to get rid of. Although they have improved in recent years, I still cover them up with some liquid gold… aka concealer. I am a huge fan of Tarte’s Shape Tape but it gets very yellow on me when I’m in my winter-pale-faze.  So I decided to rummage around Ulta to find a concealer that would fit me better. The first time I went, I tried to talk to a sales associate who was convinced that Benefit’s Airbrush Concealer was the right product for me. Boy, was she wrong. This blotchy mess was terrible on my skin. The cream clumped and wiped off my face within hours. So I decided to make a second trip to Ulta and this time run around trying every product I could get my grimy, clueless fingers on. I ended up trying this Clinique eye smoothing concealer in moderately fair and swooned over it. It matched my pink undertones and glued to my skin like hot glue and stayed in place for the rest of the day. If you’re a fan of Tarte’s Shape Tape but it doesn’t quite fit your coloring I would try out this product.

BareMinerals BarePro

During my wild goose chase to find a concealer that actually worked, I found a powder foundation that felt like velvet and stayed put. I’m a huge fan of powder foundation just because it’s a quick dab and you’re done. If you want to get ready quickly in the morning I would recommend a powder foundation like this one.

What beauty products are in your top 9? Have you ever tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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The Ultimate Schedule to Surviving Your Commute to Work

Now if you saw my last outfit post you’re probably wondering why there are leaves on the ground instead of two feet of snow. I must admit, these pictures were taken before we were pummeled with snow and the temperatures dropped to a staggering 5°F. So if I were to be dressed for the temperatures now I’d definitely be throwing on some boots, a hat, and a scarf. Luckily for me, the temperatures have been rising this week (50°F today and 56°F Friday) and this outfit seems like it almost fits in… okay, fine maybe I’m just crossing my fingers for an early spring. Nonetheless, let’s get into the real reason for this post.

As some of you already know because of this post, I commute an hour to and from work each day (sometimes longer). I constantly get asked how I survive this insane commute so I decided to come up with a day by day guide on how I survive.

light colors for winter style

Monday: Radio

Monday morning moods are a serious thing. After having a fun or relaxing weekend, I like to just not think in the morning. So I turn on the radio and start listening to the morning banter of the talk show hosts. If you live in Connecticut, my favorite radio stations are KISS 95.7, HOT 93.7, Country 92.5, STAR 99.9, and KC 101. STAR 99.9 is my favorite radio station to listen to in the morning because of the two radio hosts, Raven and Anna, do a segment called “couple’s court” where the audience picks who is right an who is wrong in a fight.

Tuesday: Singing in the Car

By Tuesday morning I’ll most likely take a break from the radio and listen to some of my favorite playlists on Spotify. I literally have my own playlist of “Singing in the Car.” Yeah, embarrassing I know… but if I ever go to karaoke with you be sure to bring your A-Game with you because I’ll know most of the words. If you want to survive the commute I suggest making a playlist for singing in the car. Trust me, it’s embarrassing but it’ll keep you entertained while you’re in traffic for two and a half hours. If you want a quick singing in the car playlist this is mine. Warning: you may get Adele or you may get ScHoolboy Q.

light colors for winter style

Coat | Sweater (Similar)| Jeans (Same Style Different color) |Necklace

Wednesday: Audio Books

I am a member of Audible that allows me to get a “free” audiobook every month. It’s not really free because you’re spending $14.95 on just that one book. Most audiobooks are pretty expensive due to the amount of time and editing it takes to actually make an audiobook so it is a pretty good deal in the end. So far the audiobooks I’ve listened to are “Content Inc.,” by Joe Pulizzi, “Tales from the Back Row” by Amy Odell,  “#GirlBoss” by Sophia Amoruso, “Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill it in Your Career, Rock Social Media,” by Aliza Licht, and “Over-Dressed The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion,” by Elizabeth L. Cline. I’ve loved each and every one of these books for different reasons. If you’re into fashion and blogging all five of these books would be a perfect match for you.

Thursday: Small Town Murder Podcast

Thursdays are my favorite day to commute because my favorite podcast releases a new episode every Thursday. Okay, I admit it’s a totally morbid and sometimes rude podcast, but I’m obsessed with Small Town Murder. James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman make an invincible team that goes into depth talking about murders that occur in small towns. Plot twist: they’re both comedians who make fun of the murderers while explaining the story. It sounds so morbid but after one episode you’ll be hooked.

Friday: Free for all

Friday really depends on my what is going on that upcoming weekend. Sometimes I’m in the mood to sing to songs and sometimes I’m ready to dive deeper into my audiobook. Fridays are usually the best days because sometimes people take a long weekend and take it off. This means the traffic is light and my tunes are tuning.

light colors for winter stylelight colors for winter style

Let me know how you survive your long commute in the comments down below.

As always,

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