Sunday, June 30, 2013

Starfish Earrings

Normally, I'm a big fan of wearing simple pearl studs... but these C. Wonder Starfish earrings are my new go-tos!

These were gifted when we went to the Hamptons with C. Wonder and I practically wear them every other day!

Do you have a summery pair of earrings that you wear frequently?


PS Shop more C. Wonder starfish pretties below by scrolling:

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The Cronut Craze

A little bit ago, Cronut entered the lexicon of pretty much everybody in New York. Including myself.

What's a Cronut? A hybrid between a croissant and a doughnut. Dominique Ansel invented the pastry and it quickly gained popularity. This is one famous dessert!!! The Cronut (which is trademarked!) has the flakiness of a croissant and the shape and sweetness of a doughnut. As someone who is thoroughly enjoys a good croissant and cannot say no to a doughnut, I just had to try it out!

Gabbi was staying with me this week (I love having her as a pseudo-roommate!) and she wanted to try the Cronuts and got me excited to try it too! The one problem? They're so popular that people start lining up early for the little pastries. With a two-per-person limit, there's also a black market popping up for these too... which I find hilarious. (One person behind us said her boss was paying her $150 to get her one Cronut.)

Gabbi and I woke up early on Friday, got ready, popped downtown on the Subway, grabbed a coffee, and was in line at 6:30. We met up with friends who joined us! Even though the bakery wasn't open for another hour and a half, we were around the 60th/70th people in line. (It was hard to count since there were so many people!)

Would I normally wait in line for anything (an iPad, a roller coaster, a hybrid pastry)? Not really.

But pastry aside, it was actually really fun to hop on a bandwagon. Standing in line with other crazies was fun– we even made some friends! Being with fun friends definitely helped too. The Cronut may be a hybrid between a croissant and a doughnut, but standing in line is a hybrid between awesome and insanity.

But worth it.

I thought it should be noted that the Dominique Ansel Bakery has more than just Cronuts. SO MANY amazing treats. We sampled some things and Maxie naturally walked out with a whole bunch of great stuff, including some sort of warm lemon things that quite literally melted in your mouth. The garden out back? Lovely. If we hadn't been in a rush to get to the office, I would have loved to sit outside and enjoy the Cronut back there.

A whole bunch of Cronuts ready for customers!!!

Oh, Dominique Ansel is there handing out the Cronuts! How awesome is that? He was super sweet.

Some Levo friends and I outside of the bakery with our beautifully packaged Cronuts! 

Then I was totally filmed exclaiming just how excited I was... and I ate a Cronut on camera which is probably not the smartest thing I've ever decided to do. But it was funny and I was completely laughing the whole time.

This is what a Cronut looks like. One bite is certainly enough. The pastry itself was super great, but I think I could have done without the filling. It was just that... filling. Seriously enough sugar to last a week. But it was great. Totally worth the hype.

Would you be willing to wait in line for almost two hours for a Cronut? (Or have you ever waited in line for a "craze"?)


PS I will be trying this at home:

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bloody Mary Recipe

I had my first Bloody Mary today! I'm not sure why I've never tried one before, but it was super good! Definitely a fun option for brunch. Katie and I went to Prune in the East Village and they have an entire menu of Bloody Marys on the weekend.

I went with a classic Bloody Mary... because I really didn't know what I was getting myself into.

Martha Stewart has a great Bloody Mary recipe that I want to try sometime.

Are you a fan of Bloody Marys? Do you have a favorite mix or restaurant?

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Giveaway :: J. McLaughlin Monogrammed Duffle Bags

I'm so excited to be sharing this giveaway! J. McLaughlin and I are teaming up to give away my favorite favorite favorite duffle bag!

The monogrammed Sailcloth Sailcloth Duffle is just amazing and perfect for traveling.

But, oh. Not just one. TWO!

J. McLaughlin came out with a nantucket red version. So we're giving away one of the tan/navy bags and one of the red/navy bags!

How exciting!

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Meditation 30-Day Challenge

So my office is really obsessed with 30 and 100 day challenges. The 100 day challenges are definitely more on a more personal level, but we tend to group up for 30 day challenges.

The curl challenge was super fun and definitely an eye-opener. It also felt good to actually stick with it. I didn't even use our one "It's Okay to Straighten for New Year's Eve" cheat day.

I was really looking forward to our latest 30 day challenge. Maxie and I planned to meditate every day for 30 days. We were inspired when a career coach gave us a quick and easy 10-minute guided meditation. I've done mediations from time to time in the past, especially during extreme periods of stress.

I thought that committing to spending a month getting in the habit of meditating that I would be much happier, more relaxed, and generally feel better.

We both failed.

I tried to carve out the ten minutes every day to meditate, but it ultimately started to feel like a chore. And I simply began dreading it. It was a chore and I was absolutely horrible at it. I would sit down in a comfortable position, close my eyes, and follow the meditation guide.

Then the thoughts would start.... and they were loud, clear, and oh-so-annoying. I would ask myself how long had I been meditating. When was the ten minutes up? What should I wear in the morning. The tape tells you that it's okay to have wandering thoughts, but to try to pull them back in to be centered. And instead, I would start thinking how dumb I felt sitting in my room with my eyes closed.

Meditation certainly works for some people. I'm not going to write it off completely, but this 30 day challenge definitely didn't work for me. Three weeks in, I sent a text message to Maxie asking when this whole ordeal would be over... even admitting that I'd skipped a few days. I felt so guilty to let her down, but it turns out that she was similarly struggling as well.

What I did learn though was that it's important to figure out the best way to sit down and think or let go or be present.

For me, I find that true-zen-tuned-into-myself mode when I'm showering and when I'm working out. (SoulCycle was the best meditation I did this month, but even just walking through the park alone is wonderful.)

Have you ever meditated? What's your method or trick? Do you have any great apps or podcasts to recommend?


PS Read Maxie's interpretation on the "Meditation Meltdown."

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Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays are amazing. In the city, everyone basically lives for Friday. Some offices start an hour early and then people go home early... some end at lunch... some are off-site field trips for professional development or team building... some are completely off.

Levo doesn't technically have Summer Fridays... but I always start early because I just know that my brain walks right out of the door at 2pm. My brain walks right out on out. Seriously. See ya. 

Union Square is definitely not my most favorite part of the city... but I think it's a great place to work. The subway station has all the convenient trains. There's a Whole Foods, a Dunkin Donuts, two options for Starbucks, one hundred restaurants that serve margaritas within walking distance, Fifth Ave shopping right around the corner, and a super short walk to the Flatiron District (my favorite place)!

Oh... and the Union Square Greenmarket. The farmers market is literally so much fun to simply walk through. Walking through and seeing what the different vendors are selling after work on Friday is the perfect way to kick off the weekend. I love meeting up with friends who work in the area, walking around for a bit, and then grabbing dinner. The best.

Fresh fruits. Seasonal flowers. Fragrant lavender. Homemade soaps, pies, and jams. 

The Kate Spade Thelma dress is pretty much my new favorite dress. I knew that I had to get it and I'm already planning on wearing it to a million different places this summer. It's sweet, comfortable, and great for the heat. And the pockets and collar details? I die.

What are some of your favorite summer activities?


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