Tuesday, May 10, 2022

On Island Time - My Quick Visit To NYC!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of celebrating one of my oldest friends in her new city. Sofia, Taylor, and I have all been friends for almost 20 years! Sofia was turning 27 and tickets were cheap so we flew from Chicago to New York City to celebrate with her! 

We were lucky enough to stay with Sofia. Whenever I’ve gone to New York (I’ve only been with my mom before this trip!) I have had the pleasure of staying with locals - so I can’t be totally helpful there but I would recommend researching what you want to do, where it is, and then picking a neighborhood to stay in that is close to most of what you want to do and a subway station. 

The subway will be the quickest and most affordable way to get around in NYC. If you map our where you're going on your phone there should be an option for taking transit to get there and that will help you navigate the subway. If you're from a big city then riding the train or public transit may be normal to you but factor in the differences from city to city. For example, a CTA ride in Chicago is $2.25 but an MTA ride in Manhattan is $2.75. Try not to have headphones on and be aware of your surroundings. There are usually police officers and plenty of other commuters in subway stations at any hour of the day. 

We wore masks on all our subway rides because it's still encouraged but also it's a compact, shared space with a lot of people from different walks of life and it made us feel safer. 

Most of the time we took the subway and walked. You walk A LOT in New York. I think the least I walked in a day was 13,000 steps. I would I pack vans, dr. Martens, and other comfortable walking shoes. Even for going out, I planned to wear my Chelsea-styled boots because it was raining but also I knew my feet would be swollen from walking everywhere! 

The neighborhoods we spent the most time in were Murray Hill and SoHo but we also ventured to downtown, NoHo, Chinatown, Hell’s Kitchen, the Flat Iron district, Bowery, Gramercy, Tribeca, East Village, and Chelsea. In the past, I’ve stayed on the Upper East Side as well but we didn’t get around to it on this trip. 

The most notable moments of our trip (and my past trips) included: 



Most places sell pizza by the slice. The pizza place we went to a few times Murray Hill was Libretto's Pizza. We also stopped by Famous Ben's Pizza of SoHo. If we had, had more time we would've gone to Ray's as well. 


The reason we were able to hit so many bucket list locations was that we had a really good, local tour guide! Sofia knew where to take us, and we all have known each other so long that we trust each other and go with the flow. You have to be able to adapt to a city like New York! So be prepared to make plans and have them change based on the weather, capacity, and morale of your group. 

While we didn't go to any shows this trip, I have gone before with my mom on past trips. My advice is to try and get discounted tickets for shows or buy them in advance online! Look at all the times offered (usually matinees are less expensive) and make a realistic plan for coming and going. For any shopping, make sure that you factor in suitcase space and taxes! I totally get wanting to make a big purchase for a special memory, but factor in if buying it more locally may be easier on your wallet. 

Overall, this trip was amazing and I know we'll be back to visit our little buddy, Sofia. For now, I'm going to rest my feet and detox from all the cheese I consumed! Happy travels! 

Monday, May 2, 2022

April 2022 Amazon Best Sellers


Crazy to think that it's already May! I wanted to share last month's best sellers. These seem to be a little all over the place but that's how my life has felt leading up to the big announcement I shared over the weekend! I'm excited to share more moving and home decor over the next few months as I pack up and head on down to New Orleans!

I will be selling a majority of my furniture and starting over once I get there. Which is both exciting and intimidating for different reasons as I'm sure many of you can relate! So many updates to come! 

All items can be shopped for by clicking on the word(s) below the image. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Surprise: I'm Moving to the Big Easy!


It is surreal that I am even writing this blog post but I'm so ready to make this move! For those of you who are truly confused, let me give you some background. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. I am so lucky and fortunate to have grown up with most of my family in the same area, with the rest of my family being a quick drive to the suburbs of Milwaukee. Everyone was pretty much located in the midwest except for my grandma's brother. For as long as I can remember, my Uncle Jack has lived in New Orleans. We grew up visiting him and I always loved the city. I loved the atmosphere, the architecture, the people. I pictured living there a lot.

When I was a senior in high school and filling out college applications, I applied to Tulane. I wanted to live in New Orleans. My high school counselor knew I wanted to go away to school, and with the Illinois school system, it wouldn't be too much of a cost difference. She knew I was set on Tulane but offered up LSU to me. And to that, I said, "what's LSU?". This is funny now because it's basically a personality trait of mine. 

I had no idea, went home and asked my mom and brother and Jack told me it was a good football school. My mom said we could visit and away we went. From the moment I stepped onto the campus, I had a gut feeling this was where I was supposed to be. I had not even gone on the school tour when I decided I would be attending LSU. I luckily have a very supportive family, who knew that if there was an emergency I have family and close friends about an hour away from LSU in New Orleans. So I winged it. I personally did not know a single person on campus. I had a few family friends, friends, or friends, but no one I could pal around with. And the first two weeks I cried every day. I called my mom and told her I made a mistake and she told me that if I still hated it by Thanksgiving I could come home. But she tells me now that she knew I would love it once I got settled.

And I did. I met the right people who I bonded with and showed me the ropes. I got involved in activities, and I learned my way around the campus and Baton Rouge. That old saying, you get out of it what you put into it couldn't be more true. My brother ended up joining me there, I found people I loved and I loved Louisiana. 

Louisiana is where I learned about football, unconditional friendships near & far, trusting my gut, taking ownership for my mistakes, and correcting them. I was welcomed into the homes of my friends and fell in love with their families. I tailgated at football games and Mardi Gras parades and fell in love. And I always wanted to move back. And that was my goal.

After college, I moved home and I don't regret the time I've spent in Chicago but I also love Chicago. It's home. My family has lived in the same home for almost 27 years. My whole family is here. My memories are here. My friends from growing up are here. I started Mimosas & Lipstick here. I learned to love myself here. If my family needs me I'm not far from where I grew up or Milwaukee.  I learned to believe in myself across facets of my life and I'm comfortable here. 

But just because you're comfortable doesn't mean you shouldn't try, right? 

That's what I'm telling myself anyway.  

As excited as I am for this new chapter, I'm scared. It's hard because I also love Chicago. But I have a gut feeling that I need to try New Orleans. I need to follow my heart and try. So as excited as I get, I've also cried almost every day since I decided to move in January. Because having two places that you can call home that is so far apart can be tough. But I'm also so lucky.

So I hope you continue to follow along through this next chapter in my life. I'm still me, just about 900 miles south of Chicago. I'm still going to go on adventures, tell stories, share outfits, and crack a few jokes. I'm just going to try it somewhere new. 

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