Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sailing on Cape Cod with Chatham Sailboat Rentals

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.*

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Despite growing up in San Francisco and living in Boston the past 5 years, I've actually never been sailing until recently. I love the water and have always wanted to try it out, so it was such a cool experience to head out on the Cape with Chatham Sailboat Rentals

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Gliding through the water, with sea salt in messing up your hair and laughing with friends is one of the best feelings and a must for summers in New England. 

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Our instructor Eric was a great teacher. We all got to take turns steering the catamaran and even saw a seal briefly poke his head above the waves! There wasn't too much wind the day we went, but if there was we could have reached a pretty lighthouse down the shore a bit.

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There's just something about being on the water that evokes a settled & relaxed feeling. Any stress you may have manages to stay on the shore where it belongs! 

I can definitely recommend trying out sailing with Chatham Sailboats & Rentals, it was such a smooth experience and made us feel like sailors while staying safe and learning a bit about boating at the same time.

Have you been sailing? How did you like it? 
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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Travel Guide: Weekend in NYC

*Note: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.*

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When you come to a city as vibrant as NYC, you have a pretty endless supply of options on what to do and see. You could spend weeks in a single neighborhood and still not see everything! Since moving to Boston 5 years ago, I've probably made 4-5 weekend trips out to the concrete jungle, so I figured I'd make a roundup of my favorite places to stay, eat and experience in the city - from the touristy (but worth it), to hidden local gems.

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Travel Guide: Weekend in NYC

Where to Stay: Hyatt Centric Times Square


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For better or for worse, I've started to realize that I'm getting a little addicted to just gazing out at new views - be it skylines, beaches or tree tops. There's something to be said for the endless possibilities that come with new horizons.

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That said, you can imagine why I fell for these floor-to-ceiling windows at the Hyatt Centric in Times Square, with their front-and-center views of Manhattan! Locals may shy away from Times Square since it's deemed touristy, but when you're not a local sometimes you just have to see and experience those popular areas for yourself! This central location was honestly bustling with so much energy, it's impossible not to have fun and get excited here. I can't even begin to tell you how delicious their room service food was too - it was definitely gourmet, on par with the great NYC restaurants this city is infamous for.

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"Free admission to those who dream"

Not gonna lie, it took us way too long to figure out what this sign said. But we were smitten with it once it clicked. Clearly they put some thought into the interior design of the room which is so important. Little touches like this that give you a smile, just make you feel a little more at home.

http://www.chowdownusa.com/2018/08/travel-guide-weekend-in-nyc.html

"Heads north, tails south"


As someone who loves to travel, this one speaks to me and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to take it home! Someone tell me if you see this in a Target or something somewhere! 

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The Hyatt Centric Times Square is also home to the highest rooftop bar in Times Square. Bar 54 is named for the floor it's on in the hotel, and offers epic views of lower Manhattan and the Chrysler building! Pro tip: the wait to get up here can be long, but you get to completely skip it if you're a hotel guest! They also have a chic restaurant on the 1st floor called T45 Restaurant, which is a fun bistro serving globally inspired shareable plates.

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Don't mind me, just searching for some good H&M deals while I'm up here.

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How inviting are these yellow pillows? I wanted to just curl up and take a nap!

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What to Do

 Walk the Brooklyn Bridge


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The Brooklyn Bridge is more than a great photo op (though it definitely is that). There really is a buzz of energy in NYC, whether it's from the multitude of people in a small area or centuries of incredible history and stories here. This bridge is a great way to feel that energy while stepping out of the heart of the city itself, not to mention getting a great view of that iconic skyline. Plus, when you get to the other side you're in Dumbo, Brooklyn which is the next NYC area I want to explore!

Pro tip: get there early to avoid the crowds. We got up at 5 AM to head over, and there were still some joggers out and about on a Saturday morning.

http://www.chowdownusa.com/2018/08/travel-guide-weekend-in-nyc.html

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Visit the Rosé Mansion


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I got to attend a kickoff party at the Rosé Mansion before attending the Her Conference on my recently NYC trip. This is the cutest pop-up in Manhattan right now, with tons of picturesque rosé-themed rooms and interesting wine facts (not to mention a tasting)!

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Hold my calls, it's rosé o'clock. 

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It's almost like they set up shop here with Instagram in mind...

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Concrete jungle where rosé dreams are made of.

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Swinging through life like...

Expand Your Horizons: Attend a Conference


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You'll see the full post on this soon, but I came out to NYC to attend Her Conference. This is a super inspiring event geared towards women interested in getting ahead in business, especially as entrepreneurs and in the media / marketing space. Being a blogger and someone who used to be in marketing, this was a really exciting event to cover. I came away energized, inspired, and full of fresh perspective and advice. I even got to meet girlboss Mae Karwowski, CEO of Obviously (who I worked with on my Uniqlo Campaign)!

Bottom line: don't forget that New York is also a hotspot for thought leaders, and attending a conference here is a great way to network and expand your horizons.

http://www.chowdownusa.com/2018/08/travel-guide-weekend-in-nyc.html

Take a Stroll (or Boat Ride) in Central Park


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Is Central Park touristy? Yes. But is it also still beautiful, iconic, great for people watching, and a brief nature respite from the big apple skyscrapers? Also yes. Bop around, take a boat out, go to the zoo, reenact your favorite sappy movie moments, have a picnic. So many possibilities here!

Pop in to the MET Museum


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Escape the heat in the summer or the snow in the winter by popping into the MET museum. It's huge, so don't expect to see it all in one afternoon, but it's fun to bop around and see some exhibits! 

Top of the Rock


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On a clear day you'll get a great bird's eye view of Manhattan and Central Park at the Top of the Rock. 

What to Eat


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The Milk Bar Store has everything from birthday cake shakes to cake truffles. 

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Beyoglu is a cute Turkish restaurant near the MET Museum, which is filled with super fresh, healthy dishes that are absolutely packed with flavor.

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Secret diners, intricate presentations, phenomenal flavors and creative textures - this is what great restaurants like Aldea are made of. In a city like NYC, a certain level of expertise is expected in fine dining, and Aldea absolutely steps up to the plate - with a Michelin Star to show for it!

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Tanner Smith's is a fun restaurant & bar. I'm a fan because they didn't bat an eye when I asked for an egg on my tacos.

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For a cozy Italian meal in the heart of Manhattan on Park Ave, Bread & Tulips is the perfect spot. They have outdoor seating which is perfect for people watching,  plus they offer gluten-free penne pasta.

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Bea is a fun, trendy brunch spot in Hell's Kitchen. They offer live jazz and some of the best small plates I've had! Each dish is $10, or you can have unlimited plates brought out for $45.

http://www.chowdownusa.com/2018/08/travel-guide-weekend-in-nyc.html

What's your favorite thing to do in NYC?


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Monday, July 23, 2018

Travel Guide: Weekend in Los Angeles, California

*Note: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.*

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Are you curious as to how to spend a weekend in Los Angeles, California? Most of you know that though I've been living in Boston the past 5 years, I'm originally from California and went to UCLA. You really can't help but enjoy a weekend in the city of angels, with its relaxing sunshine, beaches and palm trees as far as the eye can see!

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If you're following me on Instagram then you know that I recently made a trip back out to the West Coast, including going to LA to help my friend propose to his girlfriend with a surprise dance mob. Read on to see how we spent a weekend in Los Angeles, including where to stay, what to eat, and sights to see!

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Travel Guide: Weekend in Los Angeles, California

  

Where to Stay

 
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Between the views of Los Angeles and its epic Skybar pool, the Mondrian on Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, has got to be one of my favorite hotels EVER! I've been travelling since I was little, so this is saying a lot. 


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Look at that skyline! Such an invigorating way to wake up and start the day.

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Wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows give the room such an open feel. One side is Sunset Boulevard in WeHo, and the other overlooks the pool and epic city skylines. 



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Oh, and that mirror is also a TV! It doesn't get much more luxe than that.


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Feeling swanky with this chic couch - I loved the details of the room, from the mini chandelier to the beautifully designed coffee table.



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Only downside is I couldn't focus on my reading since I kept getting distracted by the stunning view!



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Even the pool has great views of Hollywood. In case you were wondering, yes I was living my best life here. I *very seriously* considered just moving in.




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The potted plants behind me aren't just for decoration - that's a strawberry wall! 

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What to Eat


In N Out


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If you don't think In-N-Out is the best burger out there, you're lying. Pro tip: get the animal style fries and burger for their special sauce (it's basically thousand island, only better).


Churros Calientes


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Churros Calientes near Sawtelle literally specializes in churros and has outdoor seating that's perfect for people watching. They come with everything from hot cocoa to ice cream to toppings like caramel. You're welcome!


DKs Donuts


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You can't tell without anything for scale but these are the biggest donuts! Head to DK's Donuts near Santa Monica to get the prettiest and most delicious donuts in LA.




Laurel Hardware 

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Previously a hardware shop, that's exactly what Laurel Hardware looks like on the outside. I'm pretty sure they literally didn't change a thing on the entrance which is fun, since you step inside to a swanky bar and outdoor patio, complete with white marble tables and string lights on the trees. We ordered one of everything on the menu and it was all delicious! The waitstaff was super sweet too which I love.

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What to See

 
LACMA






This LACMA art installation is especially illuminating at night. Created by Chris Burden in 2008, these ornate streetlamps are a "statement about what constitutes a sophisticated city, safe after dark and beautiful to behold."


Pacific Park



Pacific Park in Santa Monica is pretty touristy but still super fun to visit! It's a boardwalk with rides and great views of the Pacific Ocean.


Santa Monica Beach


Santa Monica beach is great for people watching and getting your tan on.


Third Street Promenade - Santa Monica



Strolling along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is a great way to soak up the sun, grab a bite, and get some shopping done. 

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The list of what to see and do in LA is pretty endless, but the above is a great start. The Grove is another good place to shop if you want to potentially get a celebrity sighting in on your trip, and you don't want to miss the views and art at The Getty if you have the time. We also visited the Best Friends animal shelter, which is a high-end no-kill shelter where even celebs go to rescue dogs and cats. The great thing about LA is that no matter where you go, you'll find great food and fun activities! 

Have you been to LA? 
What else would you add to this list? 

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