How to Style a Denim Romper for Hot, New York City Weather

Hi friend! This past weekend, two of my college friends and I took advantage of the incredible weather and traveled to good ol’ New York City. For someone who lives only two hours away, I’m shocked at how little I’ve seen of the city. We walked a total of eight miles roaming around Dumbo, voyaging to the Highline, popping in little boutiques, and going out until 4 am. I already can’t wait to go back again soon.

Brooklyn Bridge Romper- Current ElliotBrooklyn Bridge Romper- Current Elliot

Romper | Necklace | Shoes

The Brooklyn Bridge is something that I’ve wanted to see ever since I developed a little crush on Gossip Girl’s Dan Humprey back in 2009. I even was able to see the iconic Manhattan Bridge view that is shown in multiple scenes (keep scrolling) and act like a total tourist. Yes, I was being a total fangirl.

Since it was the first nice day of spring, everyone and their mother was out. Courtney, Mickey, and I puts around and didn’t mind the roaring crowd. We ended up walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at a snail’s pace to take in all of the scenery. The cool thing about the Brooklyn Bridge is that it was designed by a man but finished by a female engineer. Talk about a major girl boss.

Tip: There is no escaping the crowds in New York City so just accept the fact that you’ll be packed like a little sardine. 

Brooklyn Bridge Romper- Current Elliot

Brooklyn Bridge Romper- Current ElliotFor the first warm day of spring, I opted for this adorable romper from Current Elliott and some comfy slides. Current Elliott is a company based in California where 90% of their denim is made. In an interview with LA Times, Brett Ramey, Vice President of creative for Current/Elliott said, “We wanted everything in the store, every material, to get better with age — like our denim.” That was the only quote I needed to read in order to buy this adorable romper. It ended up being perfect for the sunny, cloudless day.

If you have a curvier build, I recommend finding rompers that sinch you in at the waist with a cute detail such as a bow or belt.  

Since I’m not someone who usually loves rompers, I was a little nervous about buying this one. After trying it on, I knew I had to have it.  It is made out of a soft denim that is breathable and lightweight without feeling cheap. The little bow belt and the adorable buttons going up the middle of the romper were the two things that sealed the deal. Plus, it definitely helps that this one wasn’t too short. I’m only 5’4″ and I find it close to impossible to find a romper that is actually an appropriate length.

If you’re walking 8+ miles in New York City opt for shoes that are comfy and lightweight. 

These shoes were a life changer because they are so versatile. I was able to wear them with jeans the next day and I even wore them out to a casual bar. New York City is all about walking so make sure you’re wearing shoes that you can put some steps on. Since these shoes are made with a pleather, they tend to not breathe as well as normal sneakers. Toms might be a great alternative to these cute, casual shoes once it gets warmer. I’ve been eying this slip on and this casual, white sneaker.

Brooklyn Bridge Romper- Current Elliot

Other than the Brooklyn Bridge and MOMA, I rarely pulled out my camera because I just wanted to enjoy being with my two friends. After seeing the Brooklyn Bridge, we walked around Dumbo and popped into little shops. We eventually made our way to the meatpacking district to see the Chelsea Market and the Highline.

The next day, the weather did a huge 360° and went from 70°F to a lame 40°F. We wrapped ourselves up in our thin jackets and traveled to MOMA, which was luckily right down the road from our hotel. It was surreal seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s Water Lilies. This is definitely something I would go back and see. You could spend hours in this six-floor art museum.

I already can’t wait to go back and explore more of New York City. I still need to explore the Top of the Rock, Williamsburg, Central Park, Metropolitan  Museum of Art, Empire State Building, China Town, Little Italy, and so much more. One day I’ll get there!

Have you ever walked across the Brooklyn Bridge? Is there a style item that you’ve always been scared to rock? 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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Her Campus: Her Conference 2017

Hello darling! Hope all your dreams are all coming true this week. My dreams really came true this past week at Her Conference hosted by Her Campus. I got to meet Brooke Kamenoff (J.Crew’s Senior Associate of Social Media and Digital Development) and Ann Shoket (Former Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen). Some people get excited about meeting athletes, I get excited about meeting successful writers/bosses.

Her Campus: Her ConferenceCourtney and I ended up getting to the conference late (typical), so we missed the first keynote speaker. It ended up working for us because we were able to wander around the conference center. There were stations where you can get your hair and makeup done so obviously we had to do that. I’ve never had my make up done by someone so it was really interesting to be pampered for the two days. After we were all dolled up, there was a section where you can work on post college skills such answering graduate school facts and interview questions. We also entered a plethora of raffles. Courtney ended up winning two very nice makeup palettes!

 

While I was wandering, I ran into one of my hometown friends, Abby! Her blog, C’est La Vive by Abigail Marie, is the cutest thing. I would definitely check it out if I were you.

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Okay, so now the main reason why I wanted to go to Her Campus: the speakers. I was blown away by how humble and down to earth each and every speaker was. The first day, I was lucky enough to see (and meet!) Brook Kamenoff (Senior Associate of Social Media and Digital Development for J.Crew). After reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a huge J.Crew fan. The first thing I do every morning is look at the Instastories from J.Crew. I’m actually mildly addicted. I was able to meet her and now we follow each other on Instagram. Life is g-o-o-d! Plus, she was just such a down to earth person so what could be better?

The keynote speakers Courtney and I were able to see on Saturday were Lisa Sugar (Founder and President of POPSUGAR) and Troian Bellisario (Actress, Writer, Producer, and Director). I’m a huge Pretty Little Liars fan so it was so wonderful seeing her as an actress and now as a producer. She was so funny and kind hearted.

Sunday, I nearly passed out from excitement. I was able to meet my childhood hero: Ann Shoket, the Former Editor-in-Cheif of Seventeen. When I was little, the first thing I did when I got home was look for a Seventeen magazine so I could devour each and every sentence. Honestly, as a 22-year-old I still do! She now has a book called The Big Life and I cannot wait to read it. Her speech was centered around her book and explaining on how you can build the big life. I hope one day to be as poised and confident as her.

The keynote speakers we saw on Sunday were Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (Founder and Editor-in-Chief of MuslimGirl.com) and Aja Naomi King (Actress). Going into the keynote, I didn’t know much about Amani. Her speech was so empowering because she talked about how girls should lift one another and support each other. That is definitely something young girls everywhere need to hear.

 

Her Campus: Her Conference

Her Campus also gave out all of these wonderful gifts in the beginning of each day. You can tell I’m a book nerd because I cannot wait to read Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar! Plus, they gave out an eyebrow pencil that I’m dumbfounded on how to use. If any of you have a good blog post on how to do your eyebrows I’d be all over that.

I hope this post gave you a little bit of insight to what Her Campus/Her Conference is all about. Bottom line: Her Campus is meant to empower women. They did an incredible job bringing in these powerful women who are making a huge difference in the world. If you’re still in college or high school, I would 100% recommend Her Campus. You’ll open so many different doors and create an unbreakable bond with the people around you.

As always,

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Why You Need Pointed Flats in Your Life

Hello darling! What are you doing on this lovely Thursday? Since I missed out on posting last week thanks to my crazy interviews, I decided to make this week a double post.

Spring Pattern

Before finals, senior week, and (eek) graduation all occurred, my two closest friends and I  decided to venture out to our favorite brunch place in Albany. The tears were edging off the tips of our eye lashes as we ordered our (dun..dun..dunnnnn) last brunch of senior year. If you haven’t already heard my heartfelt messages about brunch at Iron Gate Cafe… you’re missing out on a whole bunch. This quirky little shop is located in Albany, New York and is jam packed with spunk. The restaurant consists of four dining rooms that look as if they used to belong to an old 19th century owner who was obsessed with Elvis. I tastefully always get the Turkey B.L.A.T. with home fries. There is this incredible pesto mayo that just makes your heart quicken when you finally see the waiter bring out your food. Check out that picture on my old post about Iron Gate Cafe.

This is actually the second time my best friends and I ventured out a week before the Tulip Festival in Albany. Albany plants over 100,000 tulips and around the end of May, usually Mother’s day, they have a festival showcasing them. Luckily for us, the tulips are in full bloom the week before and we get to gawk at the rich colors.

Spring Pattern

As for my outfit, I decided sport this adorable cut out shirt from Marshall’s. Some of may older followers might remember this shirt from a quick little haul I did last summer. It was a pretty chilly day so I threw on my “Olivia Pope” cardigan over it. If you watch Scandal hopefully caught my reference. This cardigan is one of my favorite cardigans to throw on because it adds to much to an outfit just by putting it on. I’ve practically been living in these Garage jeans because of how comfy they are. I’ve actually never owned a pair before, but Garage was having a massive sale where most jeans were $15 each (originally $50). So naturally I bought three pairs. If you’re a fan of American Eagle jeans you’ll be equally as in love with Garage jeans.

Now, to get to why you might have clicked on this post. Why do you need pointed flats in your life? The real question is why don’t you. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, curvy, athletic, or skinny… pointed flats will do wonders for you. They instantly make your legs look fierce. When I put them on, I feel as if I can do no wrong. Trust me, I’ve been wearing pointed flats to all my interviews and they’ve been giving me a good confidence boost. Okay, I know that sounds like I’m stretching the truth… but I swear, it’s true. If that isn’t enough reasoning on why you need them in your life here is a list on why you need a pair:

  • They’re super versatile! You can wear them with dress pants, jeans, skirts, shorts… you name it you can wear them with it.
  • They make your legs look fiercely long and lean.
  • If they’re nude they make them look even longer!
  • They’re comfy! The point may be intimidating because it looks like your toes might be squished but most people who wear pointed shoes go up a size. Make sure you try them on before you purchase them.
  • If you’re attacked you can use them as a weapon… protection first!
  • They’re incredibly fashionable and unique.
  • The pair I’m wearing has studs!

I admit, I was shopping online earlier and saw even more pairs to my shoe collection. These ones are currently in my shopping cart:

Shoe 1 (100% need)| Shoe 2 | Shoe 3 (& this one is just too perfect for summer)

Spring Pattern

So have I sold you on pointy flats or do you already own a pair? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Senior Cruise

Hello darling! I wanted to highlight all of the fun I participated in during my last week at Siena College (tears falling quickly down the side of my face). After a jam packed day of bar hopping in Saratoga, the senior class of 2017 hopped on 9 buses to go on a Captain JP Cruise Line boat. The three-hour experience let us sight see Troy to Albany and then back again. We ate, danced, and slightly froze our butts off. Regardless of how cold it was, it was probably one of the most rememberable trips I had during my senior week.

Troy-Albany Cruise

The cruise ship consisted of three different floors. The third and second floors served food and the top floor had an opening to see the dance floor and exit outside the boat. There were also bars on each floor, which made many seniors very happy. During the cruise, we were given a buffet styled dinner that consisted of salted potatoes, salad, eggplant parmesan, bread rolls, and fried chicken. After people finished eating dinner, everyone gained enough courage to take pictures in the cold outdoors. We tried our hardest not to look as if we were freezing out butts off.

Boat Cruise Dress

Everyone was dressed to the nines but not dressed for the weather. Oh, well! Despite being cold, I was super happy wearing this dress. I’m actually slightly obsessed… I cannot wait to wear it again. The little cutouts made this soft floral pattern so edgy and unique. Plus, the cap sleeves were another reason I was sold. My dress is currently on sale if you want to check that out! It also comes in black.

Boat Cruise Dress

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After the cruise, Siena hosted a “late night dinner” at the dining hall. We blasted music and danced on tables. If you remember High School Musical then you know exactly how the scene looked. One of my friends danced so hard he ripped his pants. If that isn’t rememberable, I don’t know what is.

Looking at these pictures and writing this post is making me sad beyond belief. But I’ll get to that in my upcoming graduation post. Keep your eyes and ears peeled because it may be a tear jerker… or nah.

As always,

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Transforming a Summer Dress to Fall

Hello darling! Do you hear an alarm going off in your head or home? Yes, I am repeating not only one item but two items! I wanted to show you guys how you can transform a summer dress into a fall one by adding a few items. No really! All you need is a cardigan or poncho of some sort, tights, maybe a belt, and some booties. There you go! Your summer dress is now able to be paraded off as a fall dress.

This summery striped dress is the same one I wore in the 90° weather in this post. It has quickly become one of my favorite dresses because there are so many different things you can do with a simple black and white stripe item. A stripe dress has become a necessity in styling… almost as close to a necessity as a little black dress. You can throw on different color shirts over it, mix and match patterns with polkadots, or even throw on a simple blouse.

I then threw on the same poncho I was wearing in this fall post. If you’re not a fan of the olive green, the poncho also comes in black, maroon, and beige. If it was a little chillier than it was this day you can pile on a long sleeve shirt and tie a knot at your waist. It is a layer that makes you look as if you’re wearing a skirt instead of a dress.

Since the dress isn’t form fitting, I decided to belt the poncho and dress at my waist. As a result of belting in the dress and poncho at my waist, it automatically made this outfit more put together. I then threw on a pair of sheer tights and a pair of suede J.Crew booties. Botta-Bing-botta-bang. There are so many ways where you can transform a summer dress into a fall dress with the right accessories. If you’re super careful, sometimes you can even transform it into a winter dress. That is another day though!

 

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What are some of your favorite ways of transforming a summer dress into fall? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Saratoga Race Track

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to the Saratoga Race Track with some of my college friends. It was my first time ever going to a horse race and I thought it was such a thrilling experience.

We arrived to the track around 11 and made a big circle out of lawn chairs, coolers, and my lovely Siena blanket (I can’t go anywhere without that thing). After we set up shop, we decided to walk around and check out where everything is. In a weird way, it almost looks like it was set up like a classier warp tour. There are all these random concession stands everywhere and people scattered about.

While we were walking around, we got to see some jockeys walk by with their horses. I was shocked how close you could get to them. At other sporting events, you would be triple the length away from them and have to spend oodles of money in order to get that close.

 

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I decided to go all out and get a hat for the track. Some women wore these crazy elaborate hats that could be spotted from a mile away. Clearly, they loved going to the track. I was actually really surprised that not many women wore hats. I’m still glad I spent a solid $12 at Target on my hat.

As for the dress, I decided to get this navy, lace dress. Abercrombie and Fitch is actually having a sale on the dress. It’s $24, in stores, and it is such an easy dress to just throw on and do whatever in it. I would love wearing this dress to brunch or even to date night with some red heels. I’m in love with the lace detailing and the cut out on the back. I was actually wishing I was going to get a tan on my back from the weird cutout. Unfortunately, the day we went was a little cloudy. Maybe next time.

The earrings are from J.Crew and I fall head over heels for them every time I wear them. I think they add just the perfect about of color to this otherwise neutral outfit.

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Micky, Courtney, Sam, and I decided to all get matching camp chairs at Walmart. We want to iron patches all over them.

At the end of the day, I won $4 and lost about $10. The whole time I was there I was thinking about the betting as if I was at a concert. You would normally pay $60+ for a good concert. I only made dollar bets, but if I wanted to get risky I could have tried betting $10-$15. There were 11 races and I bet on 8 of them. I loved picking which horse was going to win. Trust me, it’s exciting when your horse actually wins.

As for my first time betting on something, I say it was a marvelous time. Have you ever went to a horse race? What is your opinion on horse races?

As always,

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Barn Weddings & Farmer’s Markets

Hello darlings! Some of you may know that I have family in a small town in New York. This past weekend, I decided to take the two hour drive and see my cousins. I haven’t seen some of my cousins since I was in high school! It was an incredible time filled with catching up and laughs.

Saturday morning, my cousin, Emily, and I got up early and decided to check out a barn wedding and a farmer’s market. She made me this delicious smoothie bowl and we were on our way. Honestly, she should sell these things they’re so good!

So for those of you who saw last year’s post, you know that my cioci (aunt) runs barn weddings. Emily and I were able to sneak into the barn and see all of the gorgeous decorations for a wedding later on in the day. I loved how warm the whole environment felt. The simple flowers and the little banners that were added to little nooks and crannies really tied the whole place together. Also, the flower girls were running around in these adorable, cream dresses. There wasn’t a hair out of place.

After we checked out the wedding decorations, we hurried our butts to the market. Everything at the market was amazing. Some of my family members were selling flowers and blueberries at their own stand. The flowers they create are some of the most beautiful creations I have every seen. Since my cousin started this flower business, I’ve become more aware of the different types of flowers. I’ve come to love wildflowers even more than I already had before. The pictures below are of their stand.

The following pictures are of other stands in the farmer’s market.

Later that evening, my cousins and I headed out to see a drive in movie. We watched Pets and the new Ghostbusters movie. I thought Pets was adorable. Every child should watch it before they try to convince their parents to get a pet. Ghostbusters was funny… well, for the part I was awake. I admit, I’ve been going to bed pretty early lately so staying up till 1 a.m. hasn’t been in my clock schedule.

There was one more thing I did Saturday, but I’ll leave you hanging until my next post…

The next morning, we slept in a little bit. When we finally woke up, we went fishing in one of the ponds my family owns. I ended up catching two bass.

That was my lovely weekend away. Sometimes it is just so refreshing seeing family you haven’t seen in a very long time. It was almost weird seeing my cousin’s who I haven’t seen since high school. It’s been so long and we’ve all grown up so much in those three years. Time may pass and we may change, but family is always family.

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: Hiking Thatcher

Hello, darlings! Hope you’ve been having a wonderful week! This past weekend was super warm out so it obviously needed to be spent outside.

Here is a wonderful picture of me reading by the fire.

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Rob and I ventured out to see the wonderful view from Thatcher state park. If you’re scared of heights I don’t recommend this location. It is very high up and there aren’t gates up in some areas. I personally loved it because I love exploring new territory. There are two different falls that you can walk to. There are also a couple of caves you can crawl inside of and feel like Indiana Jones.

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Afterwards, we wandered to Albany and tried some of Emack and Bolio’s ice cream. It was as wonderful as the last time I went. If you never heard of Emack and Bolio it is this adorable little ice cream shop that has a wide variety of ice cream cones ranging from smores cones to M&M cones. They also offer every candy you can think of and even some toys from the 90s. It’s like escaping to another world.

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I hope your weekend was filled with smiles and laughter like mine!

As always,

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Chowderfest 2016

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to Chowderfest in Saratoga with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. For those who don’t know what Chowderfest is, it’s an annual chowder competition. Restaurants in Saratoga compete to win the title of best chowder. This year, there were 80 competitors. The way it works is you run around Saratoga, pay a dollar for the chowder, then a large man has to roll you to your car because you’re so full. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get the point. My belly ended up being filled up with tons and tons of chowder… I’m not complaining. Although they were all good, I had some favorites…

We went to Durthers first. It was a clear winner in my book. There was everything imaginable inside the chowder. Pulled pork, clams, corn, croutons, cheese, and probably a few more things I’m forgetting to name. We loved it so much we actually went back and bought another before we left.


After Druthers, we hopped on the next line to get The Stadium Cafe’s chowder. Their chowder was made with smoked apple cheddar, chicken, and prosciutto. I really liked this one as well. They gave you little oyster crackers to go with it.

We then crossed the street to get chipotle crumbled chowder at Boca Bistro. There was a good amount of oysters in the chowder, which was different from all the other chowders. Next to Boca Bistro, was a little juice bar offering free juice samples. They were interesting to say the least… I’m more of a smoothie/water girl myself.

We then turned the corner and went to get a ruben chowder at Bailey’s Cafe. The line moved pretty slow compared to the other three. The line was moving so slow that there was even a window in the tent that was offering beer. This was probably my least favorite chowder. The ratio of ruben to chowder was a little off in my cup. I got a giant chunk of ruben that I gladly gave to my brother.

Across the street was Park Side Eatery that was serving a tequila chowder with cactus in it. Definitely the most creative chowder at Chowderfest. I couldn’t taste the tequila in the chowder, but I did get a little cactus in my bowl. There was also big chucks of chicken in it, which was fantastic addition to the chowder. However, there wasn’t much flavor so I’d rate this second to last but ranks first in portion and creativity.

My friends brought me a Seven Horse chowder that was really creamy. I would love to tell you what was in it, but I really have no idea. All I know was that it was delicious.

We then went up the street more and got a cup from Hatties. They had corn bread chowder which consisted of a soupy chowder with a little nugget of corn bread. This one had a lot of flavor. I would rate Hattie’s chowder as a little above average… I think third on my list.

 

So, I’m not a huge fan on buffalo sauce. I’m just a wimp with spices, I guess. I feel like my roommate, Courtney, is trying to bring me to the dark side. Aside from that, we waited in line at Dangos for almost an hour to get their chicken wing chowder. It was seasoned with buffalo sauce, but I LOVED it. Four days later and I’m still thinking about it.


Overall, Chowderfest was a lovely time. My rankings based on chowder we tried:

  1. Druthers
  2. Dangos
  3. Hatties
  4. The Stadium Cafe
  5. Seven Horse
  6. Park Side Eatery
  7. Bailey’s Cafe

I’m already excited for next year to see what new kinds they’ll all make. It was very cold so if you decide to ever go to Chowderfest at Saratoga you might want to read my article on HerCampus on how to stay warm.

The funny part was that only one of the chowders we had won (Druthers). Here are the contestants that won:

People’s Choice: Gaffneys Restaurant, Southwest Shrimp & Grilled Corn Chowder with a Crab Popper Wonton
People’s Choice under 1,000 bowls: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Most Chowder Served: Druthers, Southwest Chowder
Best On Broadway: Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden
Best Off Broadway: West Side Stadium, Seafood Chowder with Clams, Crab, Corn, Potato topped with Fried Cornbread Stick
Best Non Downtown: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Best Newcomer: Carson’s Woodside Tavern, Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Soup
Best Dessert Chowder: TC Paris, Mini Tirami-sea Cupcake

Next year I’ll just have to try Gaffneys!

I hope this post didn’t make you too hungry! Do you like Chowder? Let me know in the comments if this made your mouth water a little bit!

As always,

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