Cuba with Surf Yoga Beer

best Cuba crew ever <3

Cuba has been on the top top top of my list for travels for as long as I can remember. There’s so many drawing factors – the time travel-y feel as the country is basically frozen in the 1960s, the stunning landscapes, the kind hearted, wonderful locals… and the mojitos, obvs. 😉

In front of one of Havana’s beautiful fountains

There’s an amazing company called Surf Yoga Beer based out of New York, created by Mantas Zvintas, that specializes in fitness retreats around the world – but they’re not your usual kind of detox/yoga/massage/juice cleanse kind of retreat (which are great in their own way). SYB focuses on adventuring and truly living to the absolute fullest on these retreats, combining daily fitness with massive amounts of daytime exploring and incredible nights out drinking and dancing. I mean, damn, our days were jam packed and we all slept probably only 4 hours a night but it was the best long weekend in Cuba I could imagine! I’ve been on the email list for a long time, but my schedule hadn’t allowed me to take any retreats with SYB… until I got the email about Cuba for end of March. I booked it the moment I saw it. #noragrets

tree pose-ing with Mantas at Baños de San Juan

Traveling to Cuba for us Americans only became possible on direct flights very recently, and I had been considering just going on my own because I had been dying to go for so long. It was such a relief at the time to get the email about the SYB trip to Cuba, because I wasn’t completely sold on doing it alone. I love solo travel but sometimes I prefer being with a group/guide – not on a slow, guided tour that drives me a little crazy, but a group adventure and/or a learning experience.

living to the fullest out here

Going forward though, now that I’ve been, I would totally go back to Cuba on my own. Seriously the people are some of the loveliest locals ever, and even though there’s hardly any wifi capability, it is totally do-able on your own! But going for the first time with such an awesome group of people – and now all new NYC friends – was an unforgettable experience 🙂 So! Lets get to it… Read More »

Adventures, Around the World

Winter Is (Still) Coming

Winter is still very much here in New York! It even flurried some more this morning, and we have tons of snow on the ground from a big snowstorm earlier in the week. Agh!

March is when I start getting really restless for spring. Some days temperatures hover around 65 degrees, but March can still be pretty dark and gloomy (and snowy). I’m so happy the time changed last weekend to give us that extra daylight hour!

While with spring I usher in a lot more color into my wardrobe, these last moments of winter allow me to indulge in my love of wearing all black everything. I got this blouse, coat, and boots recently and really liked them all together. Read More »

Staying Chic, Style

Dinner Party + My Favorite Mushrooms (Recipe)

Ashley’s incredible tablescape style

I spent this past weekend at one of my heart-homes, in Maryland with my best friends from college. I’m feeling sooo especially lucky this year, since I’ve already been seeing Ashley once a month, as it turns out! The girls visited me in NYC in January, Ash and I went on our ski trip in February, we just had this weekend in March, I just booked a flight down to Virginia for a weekend in April, and in May we have our annual Memorial Day camping trip.

never not dying laughing with these two

Like I’ve said before – long distance friendship isn’t easy but we all put in the work, and its so, so worth it to be as close as ever with the girls I spent my formative years with. They know every last bit of me, every piece of my soul, every weird quirk or wacky thing I’ve ever done, and they still love me to pieces, as I do them. I’ve made some pretty terrible choices in boys over the years, but my choices in girls couldn’t be better. 😉

I love their love <3

This weekend was special, as we planned out and executed an absolutely beautiful dinner party. Ashley and Kyle have a sous vide maker, and while I didn’t eat any of the chicken they made, I decided I wanted to just cut up a piece (yup, vegetarian weirdo, oh well) because they wouldn’t stop talking about how soft and perfectly cooked it was. Our friend Anthony ate the piece I went to town on, haha.

My contribution for the dinner party was this mushroom dish I love making. I found this recipe in a beautiful memoir called A Thousand Days In Venice, highly recommend. If you love mushrooms (they’re literally my favorite food) you’ve got to try this. Its simple enough, but absolutely incredible. My take on the recipe is below! Read More »

Decadent Treats, Kitchen + Bar

Colorado Stole My Heart <3

happiest scamp ever to be at the top of a mountain

last run of the day = perfect light

A few weeks ago I went on my very first ski/snowboard trip with my best friend Ashley, her husband and his best friends. Ugh, I can’t even express how wonderful the weekend was. I expected to have a great weekend because every weekend I spend with Ash is magical (long distance friendship makes any time you spend together the best ever), but this one was just extra magic, extra fun.

my ride or die for 9 years

Originally we thought we would do a day on the bunny slopes, and then a day exploring town, but after our first day I was so into it I couldn’t imagine skipping out on the second day. Skiing isn’t easy for me – I fall a LOT (so many bruises) but it didn’t matter, I still loved being out there. Read More »

Adventures, Around the World

The Mews: Up In The Air

(Photo from a previous west coast trip as I was sleeping and/or writing the whole trip this time 😂)

Currently flying over beautiful Midwest, from Chicago (had a layover) to DENVER, CO for the first ski trip of my life! Woo!

(Post landing selfie in CO)

Sidenote: I call my random update posts ‘the mews’ because I thought I was being cute/clever, as in it’s the news – but mews, like a meow – and then I found out while I was in London in November that Mews is what they call little side streets. So I hope my Mews titled posts aren’t confusing to some, lol!

I haven’t done a mews post in a while so I figured it was about time. Can’t believe a month and a half of 2017 has already flown by, but its been really good to me so far. Life in New York has stabilized after a very tumultuous last few months of 2016, and I’m way happier now than I was, say, five months ago. So thank goodness for that – nothing like feeling your whole life is unraveling before your eyes, but keeping faith that things will get better. They did. Better than I ever hoped or expected. 🙂 Read More »

The Mews

Kitten-esque in Las Vegas

views of mountains behind this little sparkly city really get me

Hello, hello!

I spent a week escaping winter in New York by visiting my girlfriend who lives out in Las Vegas in January. The weather is high in the 60s, low in the 40s, which is my favorite kind of cosy sweater weather – not like the snow coat weather back home, blegh.

There is obviously so much to see and do in Las Vegas, but especially with having a friend who lives out there, I wanted to share a few of my favorites kitten-y things to do, from coffee shops to my favorite hotels to insider secrets. 🙂

sharing my croissant with Monaaaa <3 Read More »

Adventures, Around the World

Sneak Peek: January Pearlesque Box

I received my January Pearlesque box just before Christmas, so I’ve had a few days to try to products in this box and I am in love. They are perfect, especially for the cold, dry season of winter.

Last winter I got my first (and well, only, so far) facial at Heyday in Manhattan. My concerns were my horribly dry skin, and what I perceived to be my first wrinkles setting in. My facialist introduced me to adding oils into my skincare routine, and believe me when I say I no longer have worries about the wrinkles I thought I was getting.

This months box has three products from Akar Skin, a brand created after the creator visited Tibet (considered to be the 3rd cleanest place on earth, in terms of pollution!). Akar means white crystal in Tibetan, and means purity. These products are as pure as they can be. They sent a facial toner spray, facial oil and lip butter (and a cute little travel bag, seriously I can never have enough!). Read More »

Skincare + Makeup, Wellness + Beauty

London Photo Diary + A Year In Review

gates of Buckingham Palace

By now its probably no secret how much I love London, so it probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m heading there yet again (!!) in a week – after having just returned from that beautiful city three weeks ago. I just cannot stay away.

I’ll be in my heart-home for just three days, to celebrate New Years Eve there. I actually rang in this past NYE in London too; I was with my friend Yasmine and her family at the Savoy Hotel. It was such a beautiful evening. Later we traipsed over to a house party where I hung out in the kitchen with new friends while sipping champagne out of a mug, all while still in my ball gown, til 7am. What a night! Very excited to start and end the year in the same city with my same friends.

We will get to that review of this year at the end of the post, but first I want to share some photos from this past trip to London. There is no place where I feel more… right… than this city. Something about it, man. Its my place. I know that I will live there someday, hopefully sooner rather than later.

roses and beautiful houses in Brixton

Charlotte Street Hotel being all sorts of lovely in this light Read More »

Adventures, Around the World

Reykjavik and Roadtrips: Iceland Part 2

taking in the spectacular view at Þingvellir National Park

Iceland is a lot of driving. They don’t have any trains there, so you basically have the option of spending a ton of money to sit on a bus and take a tour, or you can do some planning ahead and do self tours with a rental car. This is what I went for, except for the northern lights, which I’ll get to at the end!

Reykjavik is the biggest city in Iceland, but even it itself has such a lovely small town feel. It’s a great base from which to explore some parts of the country. Someday when I go to Iceland in the summer, I would love to have a camper and drive it around the ring road, exploring the entire country. But for now, in late fall/winter, smaller trips based out of Reykjavik is what I decided to stick with.

always making cat friends

Instead of going the hotel route, I booked us an entire apt Airbnb for our four nights there, ensuring we had a kitchen to ourselves. This was vital because food is SO EXPENSIVE in Iceland. No really, it’s crazy. That awesome lobster soup in Grindavik? Twenty bucks. Lobster soup in Reykjavik? Almost thirty. An entree at any of the lovely restaurants? Upwards of fifty dollars. So what we did was we went grocery shopping, loaded up and only spent about $50 total on that, and made breakfast and dinner at home and packed sandwiches for the road for when we would go exploring. My mum is an amazing cook and having that Airbnb really helped save us money in that department, and it was such a lovely apartment too. It was just beside Hallgrimskirkja, the massive church, on a quiet little street and only a few minutes walk to the cute main street Laugavegur in Reykjavik. Perfect.

colorful corners of the street Laugavegur Read More »

Adventures, Around the World

The Blue Lagoon, a Fishing Village and Glamping Under the Stars: Iceland Part 1

Iceland was such a crazy and beautiful experience – seriously unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the world. It’s been on my list forever, especially because one of my best friends has been twice now and of course its an amazing place to see the Northern Lights (more on that coming in the next post!). Originally when booking this trip, I was looking for flights to London, but as always, whenever I travel to Europe I try to make more than one destination out of it. So when I saw Iceland Air was doing stopovers – and the flight from New York, to Iceland for several days, to London for a few days, and back to New York came out to only $500 (seriously amazing!) I booked myself and my mum flights immediately. This was back in August, so about 3 months prior to the travel. The price was on point!

The flight from New York to Iceland is quite quick, about 4.5 hours. This also means that we landed in iceland at 7am their time – 2am our time. This also means I got barely any sleep, (I dozed for maybe about half an hour) and the jet lag was going to set in harrrrrd. Even with as much as I travel, I’m horrible at handling jet lag when it happens to me. If I manage to get a few hours of sleep on a red eye and have a bed waiting for me for a couple more hours of sleep at my destination, then I’m fine but when its a situation where I’m landing in the middle of the night my time I just know that first day will be tough. So I try to plan accordingly.

the landscape around Grindavik is all mossy lava fields, seriously like another planet

I booked us a room in an Airbnb in Grindavik, the cutest little fishing town on the south coast. It’s only about twenty minutes from the airport instead of 45 minutes like Reykjavik, and the magical Blue Lagoon is located just on the edge of town. What better way to fight jet lag than with a spa day at one of the most gorgeous geothermal pools in the world?! Read More »

Adventures, Around the World