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.

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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.

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

As always,

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3 Workout Outfits That Will Motivate Your New Year’s Resolution

This is definitely a new kind of post for me because I never found a need to show my “gym style.” However, these outfits were just too cute to pass up an opportunity show you. Personally, I don’t really think one needs to dress up for the gym. I still wear the same Nike Frees I bought three years ago… I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or proud. I typically throw my hair up into a bobbled mess, slap a pair of leggings on, and call it a day. But, I admit there is something about wearing a new gym outfit that forces me to try my hardest at the gym. So for moments where your workout needs a little push or you’re dragging yourself to the gym… maybe you should try to add a flare to your workout wardrobe.

Keep your resolution with LuLu Lemon

Reebok | Leggings (Similar)

For trendy, cheap workout tops search TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ racks. 

I love searching TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ racks for everyday clothes and I don’t stop short when it comes to activewear. The only problem with shopping at these lovely stores is that I cannot link the items for you… ugh, the struggle is real. However, these tops are just so cute that I couldn’t not show you. The first and second top are from Reebok and the purple shirt is from a New York City based company called 90 Degree by Reflex. Marshalls’ has been stocking up this brand for quite some time and I hope they don’t stop. 90 Degree by Reflex makes the cutest yoga/pilates clothes that you’ll fall head over heals for. Plus, some of their long sleeves are perfect for lounging around the house in.

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90 Degrees by Reflex| Floral Leggings

Are LuLu Lemon’s worth the hefty price tag?

Short answer: yes. The amount of wears you’re going to get in one pair of LuLu Lemon leggings is going to be worth buying one cheap pair of leggings you’ll only wear five times. I’ve had one of my pairs of leggings for over four years and have no problems with the fabric wearing out or seams ripping. These pants are made out of a thick material that will not slide down when you’re bending over or doing 50 jumping jacks. I normally have a fear of wearing leggings that are see through but have never had a problem with  LuLu Lemon leggings. If you’re going to get a pair I would recommend the high rise because they will allow you to bend further during any physical activities. Also, be on the lookout for leggings with side pockets! They seriously are a gift sent from heaven. The first two pairs have side pockets that can easily hold a cell phone or car keys.

Keep your resolution with LuLu Lemon

Reebok | Leggings ( Similar)

If you’re losing motivation to get out there and work your butt off just drive yourself to the gym. I know that sounds bizarre and way too easy but the hardest part about going to the gym for me is actually getting there. As soon as I’m at the gym, I’m motivated to work out. So next time you’re really dreading going to the gym pick up a new outfit and just drive yourself to the gym. If you really don’t want to go after you drove there… I give you full permission to go get a smoothy.

What is your favorite store to buy work out clothes? What type of work outs do you like to do? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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5 Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year where we see these posts flooding into our feeds. I decided to join the bandwagon and share some of my easy to keep resolutions.

 

Get Outside More

It is so easy to get stuck underneath the covers watching Netflix during these cold months (especially now when there is a bomb cyclone going on). That is why I am trying to force myself to go outside more whether it be taking blog photos, playing with my pups, or simply just taking a walk. Now, if you’re in the New England area you may think I’m insane for even mentioning this because it’s been negative all week and we’re having this crazy snow storm. But it is possible to bundle up and go for a nice walk once the storm has stopped. I was able to do this past weekend in -14°F weather.

Learn How to Balance Social Media and Personal Life

This is definitely something all of us bloggers are very guilty of. I can’t seem to keep my hands off my phone and my eyes off Instagram, Facebook, WordPress and all of the guilty pleasure apps. This year, I’m trying figure out how to balance my time between playing on my phone and actually being a part of the world. It actually helped this past weekend when I was away. I hope to have more weekends where I forget I even have a phone. Simple tricks like leaving your phone upstairs or in your car when you have dinner, putting in on airplane mode, or just shoving it at the bottom of your purse can all help.

Be Healthier

It’s so easy to add to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or to fit into a certain size but it’s a self-damaging task. What really matters if you’re healthy and you feel good in your own skin. Which is why I’m this year I plan on working on my self-love and bringing that into perspective with who I want to be. I plan on not only working on my physical health but my mental health as well. I think pilates is something that really helps me with both so I plan on doing more pilates this year.

 

Find More Socially Sustainable/Eco-friendly Companies

You may have noticed that I’m slowly getting more and more into socially sustainable and eco-friendly companies. Companies like feed, the giving keys, and Half United have been some of my favorite companies of 2017. I hope to find more companies that I love and share them with you. One thing you can do for your New Year’s resolution is to buy more locally produced goods that will help your own community.

 

Be More Positive

I’m naturally a pretty positive person, but I’ve noticed my attitude can go a little south when I’m hungry or tired… I mean who doesn’t? This year I’m trying to be more positive by coming up with something to be positive every single morning. You can do the same by jotting down one thing that you’re positive about when you wake up and again before you go to bed. I used to do this when I was in high school and I love looking back on all the things that made me happy.

Bonus Resolution: Grow my blogging community.

This one is definitely one for the bloggers out there. In 2017 I nearly doubled my engagement and followers and I want to continue that trend in 2018. That is why this year I plan on writing more engaging content and engaging with more bloggers. In December, I went to my first blogger conference with 85 Connecticut based bloggers. It was so interesting and rewarding to hear what works and doesn’t work for them. This year I want to go to more events and meet with more bloggers to expand my knowledge. I also want to engage with more of your blogs and Instagrams to see what you have to say. Lastly, I would like to grow my audience on both this page and on my Instagram page.

What is your New Year’s Resolution? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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The Ultimate Styling Tricks to Staying Warm in Below Zero Weather

This past weekend, I endured the cold and ventured out the Skytop, Pennsylvania for every winter activity you can think of. I’m not one to go outside when it is actually cold out (bless your heart if you’re a cold weather lover), I’m more of a girl that runs from building to building when it is super cold. Instead of dodging the cold, I embraced the cold during tubing, hiking, and ice skating with Robert and his family. Each morning excursion was greeted by his family members teaching me how to prepare for the frigid, cold weather. I learned that neck warmers and fleece-lined leggings are my best friend. Here are some of the tips I learned on the way.

Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend… layers are.

Layers were my best friend this past weekend. I wore three pants, five shirts, a coat, and two pairs of socks all at once… and boy, was I warm. If you want to be a stuffed warm burrito like me pile up those clothes like it’s no one’s business. Underneath these green pants, I’m actually wearing fleece tights and the thickest smart wool socks you can imagine. Underneath my stripe turtleneck sweater, I’m wearing a fleece turtleneck long sleeve. Bundle up if you want to stay warm.

Winter boots may not be the cutest thing but sometimes you have to sacrifice style for survival.

This weather is brutal and it will knock you right off your bum into a blubbering, cold idiot. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you invest in a pair of boots that will keep your little piggies warm. These Sorel boots were actually borrowed for the weekend and they kept me so warm that I’m thinking about buying the same exact pair. The nice part about these boots is that they have a ton of room to stuff thick socks in and they’re waterproof. Plus, they’re probably the cutest, durable winter boots you’ll find. Going with one of my new years resolutions Sorel is a sustainable company that cares about who is working for them. You can read more about Sorel’s social responsibility here.

 

Stay warm by protecting your noggin and your ears from the brittle cold. 

The best part about being a girl is that our winter accessories are super cute. Throw on a big pompom hat to protect your ears and your head. If you don’t wear a hat you’re losing 95% of your body heat. If you’re going to wear an accessory definitely find a big knit hat like this one. Hats with fleece or wool lining will keep you the most warm in this insane cold weather.

Mittens will keep you warmer than gloves.

This isn’t something I knew until I was thrown into the cold with dazed eyes. Mittens keep your fingers together which lets them huddle together to stay warm. The best part about these mittens is that they have a strap where you can tighten them on your wrists to prevent cold air from reaching your hands. Here are a similar pair that has extra straps to block out the cold air.

Now all I need to know is how to fix my super dry hands… if you have any ideas please let me know in the comments down below. Also, let me know how you stay warm in this insane cold. It’s supposed to be -16°F on Saturday and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it…

Shout out to Robert who actually took pictures of me in the -14° weather. He really is a trooper. 

As always,

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Best of 2017

How is almost 2018? Honestly, I’m super excited because I hate sevens with a passion. Bring on lucky 18! Before I dive into thinking of resolutions and all that hocus pocus, I figured I’d reflect on all the madness that happened this year. After all, I graduated and become a “functioning” adult. Without further ado, here are my top six posts from 2017 that sum up how 2017 went.

 

 

What I’ll Remember Most About Siena College

Obviously, I had to get overly sappy when graduation was all over my mind. Now I’m eight months out of college and still miss it daily. Everything I talk in this tear-jerking post remains true eight months later. So… Siena College, can I go back now?

 

How to Make a Crop Top Appropriate 

It was so awkwardly hot and cold throughout this entire summer that I had no idea what to wear half the time. Luckily, a crop top and a suede jacket were able to save the day. This post has become one of my most read fashion advice posts and I totally get why. If you think you can’t pull off a crop top… definitely check out this post. You can rock anything, girlfriend.

 

DIY Blake Lively Jeans

This outfit was definitely my most risky outfit of all of 2017, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. This was my most visited post from Pinterest (hellooooooo DIYs). Check out how you can recreate these pants and awkwardly put them in the oven like I did. I am definitely planning some more possible DIYs for 2018.

 

What to Wear to a Summer Barn Wedding

My cousin got married this past summer and it was an amazing ceremony. Seriously, go check out this post just to see the decorations. I fell in love with this dress so much that I bought a similar one in blue. Hey, if it’s working don’t fix it!

 

The Ultimate Styling Trick to Stay Warm

This post is definitely something I need to revisit in 2018. Hello, it’s going to be -7°F on Saturday. I’m literally crazy enough to agree to go skiing for my first time Saturday… wish me luck! I’m definitely revisiting this post and coming up with some new tips for the negative degree weather. Also, I’m obsessed with this sweater. It’s like wearing a statement necklace without having to think about putting one on.

 

How I Maintain My Sanity During My Daily Commute

After graduating, I was able to land an awesome job that is an hour commute. I decided to share some of my best tricks to maintain my sanity (hint: podcasts are key). Check out podcasts and audiobooks I love so you can keep sane too.

What types of posts did you like in 2017 and what types of posts would you like to see in 2018? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Don’t forget to add me on Instagram to get updates on blog posts. Plus, I’m slightly obsessed with the app so I want to check out your life as well… is that weird?

12 Fall Outfits to Get Inspiration From

Happy first day of winter! I’m always so sad to say goodbye to fall because it is my favorite time of the year. Regardless, I’ll open my arms up wide for a little bit of snow. Before I do all that, let me recap my favorite outfits of this fall season. After all, a good outfit should be seen more than once hehe.

I finally got daring this year and purchased my first leather jacket. The quirky studs drew me into this jacket but the warm, buttery texture made me fall hard. This fall I loved pairing it with different patterns such as this striped outfit and this floral outfit. This jacket was finally one thing that really pushed me out of my style comfort zone. Check out more on that here.

Every day I commute an hour to and from work. I’ve figured out how to keep sane on my daily commute… and trust me it’s hard! Find out more about what podcasts and audiobooks I listen to keep alert on my drive here.  

Camouflage is such an underrated pattern and I want to drastically change that. Find out about the history of this awesome pattern and how you can include it in your outfits here. This is definitely a pattern that can be used for the winter season too!

Do you have a ton of items in your closet that you totally forgot about or just don’t know how to style? That is literally the definition of my life. I’ve decided to conjure up some of those items and create an outfit and tips that you can finally use some of those items. You can find out more about that here. 

Running for Rescues contacted me to write a review on their incredible non-profit. As an animal lover, I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Find out how you can help our furry friends by purchasing apparel or running for this great cause.

Embroidered pants were all the rage this past summer and it dipped into the fall season for me. These pants are currently my favorite pants to wear because I always feel like a bad ass in them. Something about the girly flowers paired with the studs makes a long-lasting impression on people. Check out more about this outfit here. 

For Thanksgiving, I wanted an outfit where I can eat and eat and eat and not worry about how big my stomach grew. That’s why I picked a large scarf to cover my food baby. A sweater dress is one of my go tos for the colder months because it makes you look put together even though you feel like you’re wearing a big blanket. Check out more about this outfit here. 

One of my favorite purchases this year was this necklace from Half United. For each purchase they donate seven meals to a child in need. Find out more about their awesome company here and find out more about this outfit and shoes here.

Ever wonder why I blog? Wonder no more, I talk about it in this post while wearing some pretty awesome camo pants. Let me know why you blog on this post. I’m very curious to hear your reasoning.

Something about borrowing your mom’s flannel without telling her feels so rebellious… and that is exactly what I did in this outfit. Find out how I styled it in this post… it might help you come up with some interesting layered outfits.

Lastly, my favorite outfit from the fall season. I’m obsessed with this skirt I found on sale in the summer. Ugh, can you blame me? I can hear my childhood self cringing at the fact that I’m wearing a turtleneck but who cares! Find out more about this outfit and some of my family traditions here.

What is your favorite outfit out of all these? What was your favorite outfit you wore this fall? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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9 Traditions My Family Celebrates During the Christmas Season

Christmas is less than one week away and I couldn’t be more excited! My family is big on Christmas… and that is an understatement. As soon as hits mid-November… yes, before Thanksgiving… my mother plops up all four of our Christmas trees and starts blaring the Christmas tunes. Personally, it is my favorite time of the year because it’s an excuse for the whole family to get together. Plus, it helps that everyone is in a great mood.

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Skirt (Similar), Turtleneck, Shoes (Similar Style)

Setting up Christmas trees

You would think setting up four Christmas trees would be very time consuming, but my mother does it very quickly. Each tree and decorations has a labeled box that we store in our attic and bomb shelter. When November comes around those boxes fly into their assigned rooms and the Christmas music starts to blare. Depending on the year, the trees go up one day at a time or sometimes multiple in one day. Each tree has a theme ranging from Snowman, Antique, Family, and Folk Art. There are two tiny trees one with mini ornaments and another with cardinals. We also have had an animal tree and a Disney tree in the past. The Snowman tree has a very special place in my heart.

Christmas tunes

Speaking of Christmas tunes… they are nonstop playing during this time of the year. If my mother is home the tunes are on. Doesn’t matter if she is downstairs watching a Christmas Hallmark movie… the tunes are on. It is the first thing that wakes everyone up on Christmas day.

Oplatek

On Christmas Eve, each family member is given a wafer called an oplatek. Each person goes up to a family member, breaks off a piece of that person’s oplatek, wishes them something for the new year, and then eats the other person’s piece of oplatek. The idea is to wish everyone something for the next year. It’s a great time way to tell your loved ones how much you love and care about them.

Wigilia – Meatless Christmas Eve Dinner

On Christmas Eve, we always have fish and the meal is typically a white meal. This meal usually includes handmade pierogies, swordfish, crab, rolls, and some add-ons. We tend to keep this meal very white, unlike Christmas day. On Christmas day we usually have ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, gravy, and some add-ons. After these two days are over, we’re stuffed to the max and can barely wabble into our new clothes.

PJs

Before Christmas mass, everyone opens up their Christmas eve/day PJs. We typically wear these PJs all the way into the afternoon on Christmas day. We are a very casual family on Christmas day because all we do is eat and play games. Last year, my brothers and I all received matching PJ shirts.

Midnight Mass

On Christmas Eve, my mother, brothers, and I go to Midnight mass at a Franciscan Catholic church. My dad is Protestant so he goes to his church around the same time. Some years he comes with us but he usually does sound for his Church. My favorite part of this mass is how cheerful everyone is. The last song sung on Christmas Eve is usually Joy to the World and we all sing it at the tops of our lungs. I’ll be wearing this outfit for Christmas Eve. I think the metallic skirt is perfect for fitting in with the cheerful music and bight poinsettias.

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Stockings

Personally, stocking are my favorite presents to open. There is always such random goodies in there. When we were little, Santa used to bring use Beanie Babies and stick them out of the tops of the sock along with sweets and random toys. We usually open these stockings before we have breakfast. After breakfast, we continue opening presents under our family tree. Even though we have multiple trees, we Santa only puts the presents under the family tree. We usually open presents in the order of oldest to youngest or vice versa.

French Toast 

Every year, my mother decides that she has found the “winning” french toast recipe. This usually ends up with some kind of messed up version of french toast. We’ve probably have had every french toast recipe known to man and every year it ends up being terrible. My dad then picks a spatula and starts frying french toast the old fashion way. This year mom is making a creme brûlée recipe…. wish us luck.

Pinochle

After we unwrap presents, we break out the Pinochle cards and play for hours. Pinochle is a game I was taught when I was little from my Babci and Dziadzui (Polish Grandmother and Grandfather). They would constantly throw signs out left and right and my cousins and I would just learn by watching. This game has thus trickled down and my family plays it every Christmas. The teams are usually girls vs. boys and they’re pretty even.  However, my mom is a card shark so we tend to win a little bit more often than the boys, but they’ll never admit it.

Metallic Skirt for the Holidays

How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you have any family traditions? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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