New Orleans City Guide

The city of New Orleans is like no other. With influences from the African American, French, Cajun and Creole cultures, as well as the Voodoo and Catholic religions, it’s become a melting pot robust with history and culture dating all the way back to the 1700s. The Big Easy is home to the kindest people you’ll ever meet, the most stunning architecture you’ll ever see and the most savory food you’ll ever taste. With no open container laws and delicious food around every corner, expect to gain at least five pounds while you’re here. And not to worry, the people of Nawlins won’t judge you, they’ll join you!

New Orleans is the only place where you’ll find a full-on live band right on the street corner.

Getting Around

New Orleans doesn’t have an intricate public transportation system, so traveling by car will be your best option. If you don’t want the hassle and responsibility of renting your own, car services like Lyft are always the best option. Rides cost anywhere from $5-$15 depending on where you are going, and all of the drivers are so nice! Here, you’ll actually want to make conversation with your driver and most of them have been living in NOLA all their lives, so they can provide great recommendations of things to do while you’re in town. There’s nothing better than living like the locals do!

Our most memorable Lyft driver gave us her phone number so we could call her up whenever we needed a ride.

For the most cost-effective method, the streetcars are worth trying out. I love this method of transportation because it can get you from one part of town to the other quickly, and for a steep price too. I wish the New York subways were this cute (and clean)! A one-way fare costs only $1.25, or you could purchase a day pass for $3 (note that you will need to have the exact fare ready when you board). There are four different lines that run across town – St. Charles, Canal Street, Riverfront and Rampart. Check out this map to help you plan your trip.

A fun way to get around in the evening or when the weather is nice out are the Bike Taxis. They’re perfect if you want to relax and do some quick sightseeing in a particular area. $35 took us from Frenchmen Street in Marigny to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter within 20 minutes. Not to mention, the views were so picturesque! You can find a Bike Taxi just about anywhere or you can visit their website to reserve one ahead of time.

Where to Stay

Chris and I stayed in the Central Business District, which is a quick 10-minute drive from the French Quarter and the rest of the action. We stayed at Hyatt House mainly because they have a pool (a luxury we don’t have in NYC) and they also have a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. Our room gave us stunning views of downtown New Orleans and we were right next to the Superdome. It’s the perfect place to stay in the fall if you’re in town for a Saints game! The hotel is also connected to the Hyatt Regency, which has a few delicious restaurants inside. We were craving sushi as soon as we got off the plane, so we popped into Vitascope Hall for a quick bite to eat. Here, we learned about the New Orleans tradition of pinning money to your shirts when it’s your birthday. When you do this, everyone from NOLA knows it’s your special day and will pin even more money to your shirt or give you free drinks at the bars. Throughout the trip, Chris probably made about $20! We still have no idea where this tradition came from, but wish it were known in every city.

#views from the hotel room at Hyatt House.

If you want to be in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, I highly recommend choosing a hotel in the French Quarter, which will put you within walking distance to all the best restaurants, bars and attractions. Some cute boutique hotels to consider are Hotel Monteleone (which is where the must-see Carousel Bar is located), Bienville House and the French Market Inn.

If you’re traveling with a larger group, I recommend checking out some of the deals available on Airbnb. For an affordable price, you could have an entire apartment or home to yourself! There are a ton of Airbnbs available in different neighborhoods, so you might find something very unexpected like this historic home in Bywater or this downtown penthouse.

What to Do

For a city so quaint, New Orleans is one hell of a beast. There’s so much to do in one small area! The city is actually comprised of 72 different neighborhoods, but the ones I recommend visiting during a quick trip are the French Quarter, Garden District, Central Business District and Bywater. Each area is unique and there is so much to uncover. The guide below can give you a head start to planning your visit accordingly.

French Quarter
The iconic St. Louis Cathedral located in Jackson Square in the French Quarter.

The French Quarter is where we spent most of our time, and even then, we didn’t get to see all of it. If you’re looking for a true New Orleans experience, take a ride on the Steamboat NATCHEZ for a relaxing trip along the Mississippi River. It is one of only two steam powered sternwheelers operating on the river today. The cruise features live jazz, musical performances and offers dining options too. The trip is approximately two hours long and there are a few different options to choose from – the Harbor Jazz Cruise, the Sunday Brunch Cruise and the Dinner Jazz Cruise. Click here to book your trip.

One thing about NOLA is that there is a tour for just about everything! You have voodoo toursghost tours, Mardi Gras tours, cemetery tours, plantation tours (Houmas House is beautiful to see if you can squeeze it in – it’s about a 45 minute drive from the French Quarter) and history tours. We had the chance to experience Gray Line’s Cocktail Walking Tour, which took us to four iconic bars in the city (Tujague’s, Manolito, Pirate’s Alley Café and Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub) where we could drink and learn about NOLA’s history along the way. We learned about the Sazerac, which was dubbed the official drink of New Orleans in 2008 – try it for the Nawlins experience, but I personally don’t recommend it because it’s actually terrible and really strong (comprised of absinthe, rye whiskey, cognac and some bitters), as well as the Grasshopper, which is an after-dinner drink that basically tastes and looks like a mint milkshake. Best part is, you can take all your drinks to go!

The bartender at Tujague’s serving up some Grasshoppers.

The French Quarter is also home to many different museums, but the most unique (and maybe a little morbid) is the Pharmacy Museum at 514 Chartres Street. Upon entering, you’re immediately whisked away to the 1800s, back to the beginning days of pharmacology. You get to see first-hand the different surgical instruments that were used on patients back then (very different from what we use today) as well as original apothecary bottles filled with crude drugs and potions that were meant to cure various diseases. The building was previously the site of the original apothecary owned by America’s first licensed pharmacist, Louis J. Dufilho Jr.

Lastly, you can’t forget about the world-famous Bourbon Street, which is an experience in and of itself. The bar-lined street is action-packed during the evenings, and if you’re traveling with kids, I don’t recommend bringing them with you past 5 p.m. While you’re on Bourbon, try out a Hand Grenade at Tropical Isle – there are three different locations spread out along the strip – it’s the perfect frozen drink to sip on in the brutal Louisiana heat. Some other spots to check out are Pat O’Brien’s, Cat’s MeowKrazy Korner and Bourbon Bandstand. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is another historical spot worth checking out – from 1771 – 1791, it was believed to have been a home base for brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte’s smuggling operations. Each of the bars have their own special quirks, and don’t forget you’re welcome to take your drinks to go as you continue to explore the city!

What happens on Bourbon Street stays on Bourbon Street.
Central Business District

The Central Business District is home to historic buildings, business offices and even more hidden gems waiting to be discovered in New Orleans. It’s also where the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is located, which is the Saints’ home football stadium. Since it’s off-season for football right now, your best bet to getting inside the Dome is to take a tour of the Saints Hall of Fame Museum. Upon entering, you’re taken back in time to the early humble beginnings of the Saints. Non-football fans alike will still find this compelling! Best part is, you’re taken into the Superdome right at the end of the tour to experience it in all its glory.

74,295 people can fit inside the Superdome. It’s also where thousands of people took refuge during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Some restaurants to check out in the area are Pythian Market, a new food hall filled with many different cuisines; Walk-Ons Bistreaux & Bar, which is owned by Saints Quarterback Drew Brees; and Mother’s Restaurant, which features classic New Orleans dishes like Seafood Gumbo, a Shrimp Po’Boy and Jambalaya. The CBD also features some great shopping – there are three levels of stores at Canal Place (check out the new MCM store!), and you can also get your menswear fix at Rubensteins, which has been around for over 90 years.

Garden District

The Garden District has the most scenic views in the city, with ancient oak trees lining the streets and flowers blooming everywhere you turn. You can take the St. Charles Streetcar to Washington Street, which will take you past the famous stretch of mansions that are featured in so many movies and television shows you see today. In the Garden District, be sure to check out Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, where you can take guided tours or walk the grounds yourself and Commander’s Palace, the best of the best Creole restaurants in the city. They also have 25-cent martinis, which are a rarity to find virtually anywhere. If you’re feeling adventurous, try an alligator hot dog at Dat Dog or visit The Columns Hotel, which is said to be one of New Orleans most haunted places.

Bywater

The Bywater area houses many little art galleries and coffee shops, but what stands out the most are the colorful Creole houses scattered throughout the neighborhood. Each house is unique, and the architecture is something you’ll find only in New Orleans. This neighborhood is where Frenchmen Street is located, where you’ll find live music in all the bars any day of the week. Our favorite spot was The Maison, where we discovered a funky band called Gene’s Music Machine that played California hip-hop beats and had everyone in the crowd on their feet and dancing.

Gene’s Music Machine threw it down on Frenchmen Street.

If you’re in Bywater during the day, you must pay a visit to The Country Club. It’s a private day club with a restaurant and pool where you can hang out, relax, have a drink and meet some new friends. We visited our last day in New Orleans and wished we came sooner! We were surrounded by all the good vibes and made friends with a ton of people from all over the U.S. It’s the perfect spot to visit if you’re celebrating a bachelor/bachelorette party or even a birthday. The day pass is super affordable too – only $15 and there is a full-service bar right by the pool. Bonus, if you’re there for your birthday, entry is free!

Where to Eat

New Orleans has some of the best southern cooking I have ever tasted. In true Nawlins fashion, we chose to eat at restaurants with more French, Creole and Cajun offerings because you can’t get this food anywhere else. #WhenInNOLA. Some staple NOLA dishes you must to try are their po’boys, jambalaya, gumbo and anything with crawfish and gator. I even took a walk on the wild side and tried turtle soup for the first time. Some of my favorite restaurants are linked below.

Kingfish

Kingfish is a contemporary restaurant that offers spins on classic Southern dishes located in the heart of the French Quarter. We happened to be in town during Tales of the Cocktail, which is the world’s premier cocktail festival and also an excuse for all of the best bartenders from all over to drink with one another in NOLA. Kingfish had a special cocktail their head bartender created just for the week called Rye Not, containing rye whiskey and egg white. It’s one of the best drinks I had throughout the entire trip, and I’m usually not too fond of whiskey.

For starters, we tried the Garlic Crab Claws (definitely ask for more French bread to dip in the sauce, it’s so tasty!) and the Crab Chop, which came with an amazing corn macque choux (a Louisiana specialty). As for entrees, we had the Shrimp and Grits (a personal favorite southern dish of mine that I haven’t been able to find in NY) and the Fried Chicken. The breading on the chicken was to die for! It’s so light and crispy and had a spicy kick to it. For dessert, we topped off the meal with the “Put Up” Mississippi Mud, made of pecan shortbread cookie crumble and topped with vanilla whipped cream.

Garlic Crab Claws with a side of Sazerac.

Kingfish is located at 337 Chartres Street. Click here to reserve your table.

The Court of Two Sisters

If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, one thing you must experience is a good old jazz brunch. Luckily, The Court of Two Sisters serves brunch every day of the week! They have a gorgeous courtyard with outdoor seating and tons of shade. It’s such a heartwarming experience to be around good company and listening to amazing live music! Brunch includes an all-you-can-eat buffet which features tons of classic New Orleans dishes. My favorites were the jambalaya and the crawfish pasta. I even had the chance to try out turtle soup for the first time, which was actually so delicious! You add sherry to your bowl to bring out all the flavors. Upon leaving The Court of Two Sisters, be sure to touch the gates right by the entrance – they were made especially for the restaurant and supposedly Queen Isabella of Spain had them blessed so their charm would be passed along to anyone who touched them.

Brunch is served from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily. The Court of Two Sisters is located at 613 Royal Street. Click here to make a reservation.

Antoine’s

Antoine’s is another New Orleans staple you must try. Tucked away on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter, the historic restaurant has an amazing story to tell. It first opened in 1840 and features some of the original French recipes created by its founder Antoine Alciatore. For starters, we had a sampler of the oysters – Rockefeller, Bienville and Thermidor (our favorite). We also tried them à la Foch – fried and served on toast with a Colbert sauce – so tasty and unlike any other oysters I have ever tried. Antoine’s is actually where the original recipe for Oysters Rockefeller originated. Their recipe does not contain spinach, despite its distinct green color. The chef let us in on his little secret, but we swore we wouldn’t tell anyone his recipe. We also tried the Bisque d’Ecrevisses (crawfish bisque) which was similar to lobster bisque, but with a New Orleans Creole twist. For our mains, we had the Pompano Pontchartrain, which our server claimed was the best dish in the house (I absolutely agree – this was my first time trying pompano and it just oozed buttery goodness in your mouth) and the Contre-Filet de Bœuf. If you’re able to stop in, ask for Boudreaux to be your server – he took such good care of us and even shared some facts and history about the restaurant. It has been visited by notables such as Brad Pitt, Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Vanna White, Kate Hudson and many others!

The Pompano Pontchartrain is claimed to be the best meal on the menu.

Antoine’s is located at 713 St. Louis Street. Click here for reservation information.

Galatoire’s

If you’re looking for peace and serenity on Bourbon Street, Galatoire’s is the only place you’ll be able to find it. Tucked in between Iberville Street and Bienville Street, it’s the perfect dinner spot to escape the madness (for a little while). The restaurant opened in 1905 by Jean Galatoire and still serves some of its original recipes from back in the day. Not much has changed with its interiors either – the same décor was kept intact, honing back to the restaurant’s history. There is a dress code at Galatoire’s too – men are required to wear jackets while dining in, but don’t fret if you don’t have one on you – they have a whole stock pile of blazers you can borrow right by the front door!

If you’re looking for something more casual, Galatoire’s 33 Bar and Steak is right next door. Stop in for a refreshing drink or one of their delicious appetizers. The Galatoire Goute was our favorite, which comes with crabmeat maison and shrimp remoulade. If you happen to wander in, ask for David and tell him Chris and Michelle sent you!

Stunning interiors of the dining room at Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak.

Galatoire’s Restaurant is located at 209 Bourbon Street. Click here to make your reservation at Galatoire’s and here for Galatoire’s 33 Bar and Steak.

Café Beignet

You can’t come to New Orleans without trying one of their world-famous beignets! The beignet is basically a deep-fried donut topped with lots of powdered sugar. I could eat these all day! Café Beignet has three locations in the French Quarter and for less than $5 for three beignets, it’s worth every penny. While you’re there, also try out their Chicory Coffee, which has been a New Orleans tradition from when the city was still a colony of France. I visited the Decatur location at the Jax Brewery, but the Royal Street location is the most Instagrammable!

#BEIGNETSALLDAY

Where to Shop

New Orleans is home to many amazing boutiques that reflect the city’s colorful fashions. For womenswear, Saint Claude Social Club at 1933 at Sophie Wright Place in the Garden District is where you can find many one-of-a-kind pieces. They have a blooming assortment of jewelry and accessories, but also have a gorgeous selection of vintage ready-to-wear, as well as some new pieces created by local and independent designers. Here, I discovered Nach, a French brand run by sisters Nadia and Nancy Koch. They make the most stunning kitschy-chic bags and jewelry!

Channeling all the New Orleans vibes with this gorgeous vintage dress from Saint Claude Social Club.

Another great shop in the area is Armoire Boutique located at 3102 Magazine Street. They have tons of adorable ready-to-wear and carry sizes 0-22, so there is literally something there for every body! You can shop some pieces directly from their site, but they have even more styles in-store like the gorgeous rose print dress below. You can use the code MMANCO for 20% off your purchase – they ship anywhere in the U.S.

If you’re looking for little knick-knacks and souvenirs to take home to your friends and family, the French Market is a great place to look. You can find almost anything New Orleans themed at a low cost. If you love sweets as much as I do and want to take a little taste of Nawlins home with you, I recommend grabbing a box of good old-fashioned pralines. They’re a southern tradition and are typically made with sugar, corn syrup, milk, butter and pecan halves. The creamy pralines from Aunt Sally’s on Decatur are to die for. I wish I stocked up on more because I’m craving them now!

There is so much to do and see in New Orleans and this little city guide doesn’t even cover half of it! Feel free to share some of your favorite recommendations that I might have missed in the comments below. New Orleans has become one of my favorite cities to visit and I hope to be back again soon!

A huge thank you to Lyft, Grey Line Tours, Steamboat NATCHEZ, Carousel Bar, The Country Club, Kingfish, The Court of Two Sisters, Antoine’s, Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak, Café Beignet, Saint Claude Social Club and Armoire Boutique for accommodating us and elevating our experience while we were in town!

All photos taken by Chris Hernandez and Michelle Manco.

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Baseball Chic: Game Day Trends

Tonight, the National League goes head-to-head against the American League in the MLB All-Star Game. The players chosen for this renowned game are voted by fans and each MLB team is represented by one member of the team.

I only know any of this because my boyfriend is obsessed with anything and everything baseball. We’ve been to countless Yankee’s games together and will also most likely be watching tonilght’s game simultaneously while I stream Sunday night’s Big Little Lies (aka compromise). Even if you have no idea how the game is played or what a grand slam is, you can still have a blast on game day. Who wouldn’t want to drink cold beer on a warm sunny day with some chicken fingers and french fries (pro tip: bring your own ranch dressing to Yankee Stadium because all they have is BBQ sauce)?!

You can still do sports and still look chic. Below are one, two three outfit ideas for your next ball game!

The MLB All-Star game starts at 7:30 PM on FOX.

Classic

You can never go wrong with a white tee and denim shorts. Warning: 75% of the other ladies at the stadium may or may not be wearing this same outfit. Elevate your look and stand out from the crowd with a designer baseball cap.

New York Yankees Embroidered Baseball Cap, Gucci, $222

Lo-Fi Shrunken Tee, Madewell, $30

Truckers Mid Waist Relaxed Short, One Teaspoon, $110

Disruptor II Sneaker, FILA, $65

 

Trendy

Really get in the spirt of the game with an actual baseball jersey (bonus points if you can steal your significant other’s). Pair this with some biker shorts for comfort during ALL nine innings.

Mesh Baseball Jersey, Champion, $50

Bike Shorts, Only Hearts, $38

Internationalist Sneaker, Nike, $90

Soho Disco Shoulder Bag, Gucci, $1,190

 

Date Night

First date at a baseball game? No problem! This denim dress is the perfect amount of sporty. Wear it with some funky sneakers and you’ll be the belle of the ball (game).

Deejay Denim Mini Dress, Ksubi, $240

Avalanche Sneaker, KOIO, $298

Shay Backpack, REVOLVE, $80

The MLB All-Star game starts at 7:30 PM on FOX.

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Patriotic Cookie Cake

Today, I found out my boyfriend has never had a cookie cake in his life. Just let that sink in. Cookie cakes were my absolute favorite growing up. My dad used to buy them on random occasions and since I was always home alone, I basically got to have them all to myself!

Each July 4th, we celebrate our freedom. We live in a world where cookies are free to be cakes and cakes are free to be cookies. So why not amplify that freedom with a patriotic cookie cake recipe?

Pair this with your favorite glass of rosé and let freedom ring!

Ingredients

  • 1 circular pizza tray
  • 1 package of chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough
  • vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blueberries

Directions

Prep time: 5 mins | Bake time: 13 mins

Preheat oven to 325°.

While oven is preheating, wash and prep fruit. Cut strawberries in circles.

Mold cookie dough to fit pizza pan. Bake for 13 minutes.

Let cookie stand for 10 minutes. Spread frosting all over cookie in a thick layer.

Arrange fruit on top of cookie cake. Feel free to design however you would like!

Cut and enjoy!

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Summer 2019 Bikini Style Guide

Bikini season is well underway, and what better way to celebrate our summer bodies than with a bikini round-up? Whether you’re heading to the beach or the pool this holiday weekend, there are styles in here for every body!

2019 brings with it a lot of retro vibes, which is why you will see a lot of high-cut bottoms and tube bandeaus this season. You can never go wrong with some leopard print in your life and throwing a belt on top always makes things just a little better. Check out the list below for some of the most on-trend bikinis on the market right now.

High-Rise Bottoms

Out with the thong bikini and in with the high-rise! This style is flattering on anyone, which is why you’ll be seeing it everywhere this summer. This cut gives you legs for days and who wouldn’t want that?!

The Divine Top, Same Swim, $100

The Divine High Rise Bottom, Same Swim, $100

Double Back Lace Bandeau, Victoria’s Secret, $48

High-Leg High-Waist Bottom, Victoria’s Secret, $32

Como Scrunch Bikini Top, Onia x WeWoreWhat, $95

Riviera High Waist Bikini Bottom, Onia x WeWoreWhat, $95

One Shoulder Bandage Buckle Bikini Top, PrettyLittleThing, $28

Super High Leg Bandage Buckle Waist Bikini Bottom, PrettyLittleThing, $28

 

Leopard

The only bikini to go hand-in-hand with your leopard silk skirt. This print is so versatile now, it’s basically a neutral. Get in touch with your wild side with one of these trendy and affordable styles below!

Ribbed Bralette Bikini Top, Xhilaration, $18

Ribbed Bikini Bottom, Xhilaration, $18

Dalia Printed Pique Top, Onia, $95

Ashley Printed Pique Bottom, Onia, $95

Low Scoop Bikini Top, PrettyLittleThing, $22

Bikini Bottom, PrettyLittleThing, $22

Back Mesh Insert Bandeau, Tori Praver Swimwear, $89

Low Rise Hipster, Tori Praver Swimwear, $79

 

Belted

Basically the most flattering trend to hit a bikini. Opt in for a style that already comes with a belt, or jazz up the bikinis you already own with this belt or this belt. If you like it then you better put a belt on it.

Crinkle Bikini Top, Topshop at Nordstrom, $26

Belted Bikini Bottoms, Topshop at Nordstrom, $30

Tie Bikini Bandeau Top, & Other Stories, $39

Belted High Waisted Bikini Bottoms, & Other Stories, $29

Ace Bikini Top, Onia x WeWoreWhat, $72

Emily Bikini Bottom, Onia x WeWoreWhat, $72

Rachel Bikini Top, Solid & Striped, $40

Rachel Belted Bikini Briefs, Solid & Striped, $40

 

Tube Bandeau

Tube tops are always a good idea, especially for those long days spent on the beach! Minimize those pesky tan lines by opting in for one of these styles. Best part is, they’re so easy to mix and match – pair a solid top with a printed bottom or vice versa for a whole new look!

Abigail Bandeau Bikini Top, Mara Hoffman, $115

Goldie Tie-Front Bikini Briefs, Mara Hoffman, $140

Bandeau Bikini Top, PrettyLittleThing, $10

String Bikini Bottom, PrettyLittleThing, $10

Asymmetric Stripe Bandeau, Onia, $66

High-Leg V-Cut Bottom, Onia, $66

Violet Bandeau Bikini Top, Solid & Striped, $84

Violet High Waist Bikini Bottoms, Solid & Striped, $84

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5 Shades of (Pantone) Pink

On June 23rd, we wear pink (yes I had to do it). Happy National Pink Day! To celebrate, throw on your best pink garb and crack open a bottle of ice-cold rosé. Raise your rose-colored glasses to all the things we know and love that are pink.

If you don’t own any pink (like me) or if you’re just in the mood to shop, I’ve rounded up five items you can cop now in the best shades of Pantone pink!

 

  1. Pantone 2446 C

Long Slip Dress, Zara, $49.90

I love a good dusty rose and Zara managed to nail it on the head with this one! This throw-on and go dress is so versatile and can be worn casually on the Amalfi Coast with a pair of flat sandals or dressed up for date night with some metallic heels.

 

2. Pantone 191 C

Printed Cotton Jersey T-Shirt, Versace, $350

This shirt just screams, “Look at me!” If all you want is attention, buy this shirt now and rock it with a chic leather skirt.

 

3. Pantone 705 C

Patricia Satchel in Grained Leather, MCM, $765

I love this bag because this shade of pink is so light you have to do a double take to actually realize it’s pink. The best part is it’s on sale right now for MCM’s summer sale! I have this bag in black and it’s such a great size.

 

4. Pantone 706 C

Oversized Linen Blend Blazer, & Other Stories, $129

I love all my blazers oversized, and this one would be fun to play around with! I’d love to see this paired with a white crop top and a pair of biker shorts in a similar shade.

 

5. Pantone 3519 C

Princetown Leather Slipper, Gucci, $695

This is hands-down my favorite item on the list and I may be a bit biased because I own these in white and would like to have them in every single shade possible. These slippers are definitely a great investment piece and this shade of pink is simply gorgeous!

How are you celebrating National Pink Day? Let me know in the comments below!

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Lamia’s Fish Market: East Village’s Newest Hidden Gem

The East Village is home to many trendy restaurants and bars, but nothing on the same scale and caliber as Lamia’s Fish Market. Tucked away on a quiet block along Avenue B, the new seafood restaurant, which officially opened its doors earlier this month, sits inconspicuously with its custom hand-made wooden façade. Upon entering the space, you’re immediately whisked away into a whimsical nautical world hand-crafted with the utmost detail.

The restaurant is the newest venture of Lamia Funti, who together with her husband Marcus Andrew previously owned and operated Moroccan restaurant and hot spot Le Souk in Greenwich Village.

Chris and I had the pleasure of dining next to the feature piece of the restaurant, a custom mural of a mermaid splayed across the entire back wall of the restaurant. It’s highlighted by a large skylight and serves as the focal point of the space. The artwork was custom-made for Lamia’s by New York based sculptor, Will Kurtz and is made entirely of paper maché.

Chris and I started off by ordering a sampler of the oysters – Easy Beach Blonds (RI), Blue Point (NY), Silver Fox (NY) and Summer Love (Canada). The platter comes with tinctures of chili and basil oils, as well as a house-made cocktail sauce and a spice green apple sauce that brought out all of the flavors of the oysters perfectly.

Of course, we had to try out some cocktails, so I selected the Pink Carpet, while Chris ordered the Beachfront Views. Both were made with sake, as Lamia’s is still working on obtaining their liquor license, which made them all the more delicious! The Beachfront Views ended up being my favorite because it has the perfect hint of cinnamon that warms your soul. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there are tons of different wines to choose from, housed in a gorgeous wine cellar in the basement.

     

We moved on to some appetizers, but with such a robust selection, it was hard to choose just one! We went with the crab cakes as a recommendation and the mizuna and salmon ceviche because we’re both obsessed with ceviche. The crab cakes were small, but hearty and came with a special spicy sauce on the side. They were also topped with one of my favorite herbs, dill, making them unlike any other crab cake I have ever had.

Next, we moved on to the main course, which consisted of seared scallops with a bagna càuda sauce for myself and a grilled prime ribeye with roasted potatoes for Chris. Words can’t describe how delicious these dishes were!

After our meal, we were given a private tour of the space by Dara Young, the designer who had conceptualized and designed the interiors of the entire restaurant from the beginning. She had been working with Lamia on this project for about a year and was even reluctant to open this month because there’s still so much to do. Nevertheless, the space is exceptional! She took us through each of the rooms and explained all of the little hidden details found throughout. I’m not going to go into too much detail – you will just have to visit Lamia’s to see for yourself!

     

Lamia’s Fish Market is located at 47 Avenue B in the East Village. Click here to make your reservation today!

A special thank you to Lamia, Dara and Lindsey at By Niche for this wonderful dining experience!

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Let’s Talk Business (Cards) Baby!

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the go – you have five different side hustles in addition to your full-time job and still somehow manage to maintain a (somewhat) social life. In a bustling city like New York, you never know who you may run into on the Subway, who’s sitting next to you at the cute coffee shop on the corner or who just hopped into your Uber Pool. You might score your next big deal or meet your most loyal customer just by talking to them. But how will you ever manage to stay in touch once you part ways? Lucky for you, it’s 2019 and we have things like technology and Instagram, but I love doing it the traditional way and whipping out a good old fancy business card.

I’ve teamed up with Basic Invite to share some of the custom business cards available on their site. You have the option to upload your own personalized design, or you can choose from one of the many templates they have to offer. The best part about using the templates is that they are completely customizable, meaning you can make them truly your own. The site offers over 180 different color options to choose from too, so you can perfectly align with your own branding.

The process of placing an order was so seamless. Designing a card took no more than 10 minutes. The most time consuming part was actually selecting the right templates since there are so many different options to choose from! It’s great if you’re a busy gal and want to get things done quick. My favorite is the clear card. It’s a timeless design that aligns with my personality and my branding. I also love that you can add foil (in gold, silver and rose gold) to any of the designs to give the business cards an elevated, luxe feel.

While designing, you’re able to view a live preview, so you can see exactly what your card will look like as you’re creating. You’re able to change fonts, sizes and placement on the card. You can also change the color of any element on the design and select your paper quality based on your preference too. Basic Invite is one of the few sites that gives you the option to order an exact sample of your design so you’ll know exactly what it will look like before placing a larger order.

Basic Invite is my new go-to for business cards, but they also do wedding invitations, graduation announcements, personalized stationary, website design and so much more! Their offerings are anything but basic.

Pick up your own cards at Basic Invite today and receive 15% off your first order using the code 15FF51! Don’t forget to like them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out these links for some ideas for retro business cards and personalized business cards.

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Buttoned Up

Buttons and micro-bags are having a major moment right now so what better way to create a look than by putting them both together? This linen midi dress is so perfect and the buttons only make it *that* much better. I love wearing this to work for a chic and easy look or for a relaxing Sunday brunch. The icing on the cake? I scored it at the Zara summer sale for just $40! It’s sold out now, unless you’re lucky and can snag one in store, but I’ve linked a very similar style (sans buttons) for $70 below.

I still don’t know how to feel about the micro-bag trend, but I just love this bag so much and haven’t used it in nearly 10 years (does that make it vintage?!). The only reason is because I’m so used to carrying everything around with me, and with this bag I can only tote the essentials. Luckily it’s roomy enough to hold my phone, wallet and keys, which is all I really need!

If you’re looking for a good Chanel slingback dupe, this pair from Zara is to die for. They’re not an exact replica and the vinyl makes them truly their own. They’re surprisingly comfy, and for $50 they’re a fraction of the price point and way more practical for walking around those city streets.

Top off the look with any delicate gold jewelry. I’m loving all the rings right now and this Starburst Signet from Mejuri is everything. It fits perfectly and always reminds me to keep my pinky up.

Petite Malle Monogram at Louis Vuitton, $5,200

Striped Tunic at Zara, $70

Starburst Signet at Mejuri, $59

Heeled Vinyl Slingbacks at Zara, $60

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The Hiatus is Over

Took a much needed hiatus from social media the past few weeks, but now I’m officially back in business! I just got back from a relaxing trip to Florida, but now that I’m back in the city, I’m ready to hit the ground running. I’m ready for some huge changes the second half of 2018, so from here on out it’s werk, werk, werk, werk, werk. Stay tuned.

This bag from the Shayne Oliver x Longchamp collab is perfect for a mini getaway. There’s two zip compartments and it’s just big enough to hold all the essentials and then some. Most of this collection is sold out (it launched back in April with a special pop up in Soho to go with it), but I’ve linked my favorite travel picks still available below.

“Realness” Backpack, $750

“Hiatus” Travel Bag, $450

“Realness” Garment Bag, $695

“Realness” Expandable Travel Bag, $550

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Red, White & Boo

Happy Independence Day! Today’s the day to pull out your best red, white and blue. And while you’ve probably been saving that *beloved* American flag bikini or your ‘MURICA graphic tee for this day, it’s time to retire all of the above. For good. Great news, you can still celebrate in style and you don’t even need to break the bank to do it.

I’ve worn this jumpsuit for many different occasions, but I’ve specifically repurposed it with white and red accessories for today. I’m obsessing over all-white everything for the summer, so my trusty Nico Giani tote (scored from the NET-A-PORTER sale) and my Gucci loafers were perfect for this outfit. I topped off the look with red fringe earrings from Topshop for the perfect pop of color. Side note: I’m only wearing one earring because I lost the other running after the subway last week. *oops*

This was definitely the most relaxing Fourth I’ve had in a very long time. I slept in (which was much needed) and only got dressed to hop over to the local diner for a super late breakfast. It’s so weird having this holiday in the middle of the week; not nearly enough time to get a way for a quick holiday jaunt. I’m going to continue taking it easy today and hopefully will be able to catch the annual Macy’s 4th of July fireworks from my new rooftop!

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