NYC

MEET THE GIRL GANG

share-1 (3) copy.JPEG

My girls. My squad. My #GirlGang. From left to right: Nikki, myself, Brandy, Shay. I’m sure you guys might have seen this post floating on Instagram of us shutting DOWN the streets of Times Square during New York Fashion Week. We were there Thursday-Monday and definitely made the most of our experiences! While we did not attend any shows, we had quite a few brand meetings set up along with many events to attend. Safe to say we were making boss moves, not just trying to get into all of the shows. While we would have love to attend a few shows, we all agreed that creating and building relationships with the people who you need to know in the industry would be more beneficial for us in the long run. When you think of it that way, they will remember who you are and will keep you in mind for future opportunities like collaborations, and personally invite you to their shows, etc. Keep in mind that you have to do the work, too. Always always always follow up and thank them for their time no matter how big or small the opportunity is.

Meet the #GIRLGANG.

IMG_9614+2.jpg

SHAY of @shaymone

Shay and I have been only been hanging out since the early summer, but we have known each other/and following each other a few months before we started hanging out. We also have closer ties because her future sister-in-law and I have known each other since middle school pretty much. It feels like we’ve been friends for a decade even though we haven’t. That’s how strong our connection is. I don’t have too many girlfriends, but I would consider the beginning of this friendship TRUE, REAL, and I can tell that it will be long-lasting. Sometimes, you just know. Out of all 4 of us, Shay is the dominant planner and the organizer. *Insert praising hands emoji here* She definitely keeps us all in line and on our toes with our to-do’s and tasks for the week. Also, she’s a petite mother of 3 and a certified BOSS in everything that she does all while being a boss at her full-time job. www.shaymone.com

1.jpg

BRANDY of @authentically.b

Where do I start? Brandy’s Instagram handle is exactly what she IS! AUTHENTIC. She’s not afraid to be b o l d and fearless and her personal style reflects that as well. She has the attitude to back it up, all the while she is as nice as can be. Brandy is also the mother of her super handsome son, Grant! If you follow her on Instagram, her stories always reflect how her family brings out her soft side. I love that about her. She is also an elementary school teacher everyday and runs a kick-ass blog www.authenticallyb.com When B came into the picture, this was only in the summer time, too. We finally met in person when I agreed to be on a DIY news segment that she hosted on Houston Life TV. We clicked, and not too long after is when we all linked up!

IMG_4243.JPG

NIKKI of @newtexacali

Is she from New York? Nope. Is she from Cali? Nope. Her handle describes her well because she is a wanderlust and an absolute free spirit. Nikki and I met last year at a Create & Cultivate event here in Houston and have been connected ever since. Earlier this summer is when we really started to talk more and hang out. Nikki is also a mother of two gorgeous kids that I call “my fraaandsss” and knows how to balance everything so well! Not only does she talk the talk, but she walks that walk, too. She recently quit her full time job a few months ago to take on blogging full force. I’m so proud for her because all of us in the group aspire to blog full time! ha. (until then, we’re doing the work.) We recently had a conversation about aspirations, goals, and manifestation. It’s like, once she quit quit her job, things started to unfold for her. She’s featured in the LIKE.toKNOW.it book, she was nominated for Houston’s It girl of Instagram, and is/has been working on paid partnerships. www.newtexacaligal.com

thumbnail.jpeg

Our Driving FORCE: Each other

Considering that these friendships are new and flourishing, if you have been following along with us you can tell that we have a special bond. It’s like God had this ALL planned out. I was living in Austin with barely any friends that shared the same interest, let alone looked like me. Not saying that matters as much, but it just feels real when you can connect with likeminded people who are on the same level as you, and who just gets you. We love to celebrate each other’s WINS and accomplishments. Always rooting for each other, and helping out with anything when we can while being STRAIGHT UP HONEST. We get things DONE and take names. I’m very observant of behaviors and normally have a guard up when I sense something about someone that would turn off my interest. I don’t feel that when I’m with them. That’s how I knew that we would be the perfect #GirlGang. We all have different personalities, but at the same time we have a lot of similarities. A few of you asked about how we got to do some of the things that we did at NYFW. This is when we put all of our heads together and made those things happen. If one of us got an email from a brand, we responded and included WE and sent off one another’s names, handles, and media kits to everyone that contacted us and vice versa. Four is better than one! We always put things into perspective differently which is how we come up with “The Plan.” We did the dirty work on our own. WE contacted brands, WE contacted PR companies, WE did the following up and made it all happen. And when WE got the opportunities, WE made sure that WE created the hell out of some amazing content which got us noticed for MORE opportunities. The possibilities are truly endless when ideas are bounced around like basketballs. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have some of the connections that I currently have, and some of the knowledge that I have about the blogging game. We’re all still learning and growing in progress and WE are doing it together! I thank God for these ladies and I hope our stories inspire you all. Keep up with us on social because we have some amazing things brewing in the master pot! Thanks for reading <3

plimg.JPG

Shop my look below: ALL looks from ASOS

Not shown above: Saint Laurent ChYc bag in black patent from REBAG

Photos by Ahmad Sweeney @sweenshots

 

SUMMER TRAVELS: NEW YORK PHOTO DIARY

nycpd001 (1).png
pffd.png

Gosh I just love New York. Almost everything about it gives me the best feelings I can't explain. Every time I have visited, I left so inspired. New York truly is a city like no other. When I have visited New York previously, it has been for something specific; like a few conferences that I went to (Create & Cultivate) and (How To Make It In Fashion NYC) and NYFW when I interned with Giulietta NY LLC. This time around, we actually got to explore the boroughs and visit all the places I've been wanting to see. I can also say that this was the BEST trip EVER! If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you know why. If not, keep scrolling find out :)

CI.png
arlo.jpg

When we arrived in New York, (about 9:30am) we stayed at the Arlo Nomad hotel located just North of Madison Square Park and a short walk to the Empire State Building. I found out about this gem while searching through the net when looking for rooms with specific details for ideas I had in mind to do a shoot for the blog. Ding, ding, ding! Arlo Nomad was the winner. I really wanted the full New York City vibe; views of the city and floor to ceiling windows. The Arlo Hotel also has another location: Arlo Soho. I personally liked the Arlo Nomad better when doing my research. Not to mention every corner of the place is 'Gram worthy! *praising hands emoji* Also, we'll just ignore the fact that the taxi cab below is advertising a gentlemen's club.

IMG_2425.JPG
8.jpg

There are ONLY two things I didn't like about the Arlo Nomad hotel. The rooms are literally about 150 square feet, and there's no room service. Room service normally isn't a big deal for me but I had it specifically in mind for this breakfast in bed shoot. Luckily, there are two restaurants located in the lobby of the hotel - Massoni, and Nomad Bodega. I went there to get a few bites just for the photos - and coffee of course. There's also a super chill rooftop patio bar which is where we hung out at night just before ending our day. If you go, ask for the "watermelon drink."

FullSizeRender 12.jpg
totr.png
IMG_2434.JPG
cafeH.png
CH2.png

Cafe Henrie is one of the most aesthetically pleasing restaurants in my book. The owner - Andre Saraiva is a Rakish graffiti artist and international club owner who definitely takes pride in his work. "It's a cafe, but almost an art project." We came here for breakfast and I think I took photos of the interior and artwork the entire time. Des and I both had the breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, tomato jam, herb salad, and added bacon. 

Man - where do I begin with Egg Shop? The food is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. Egg Shop has two locations in New York: Nolita - 151 Elizabeth St. and in Brooklyn (Williamsburg) - 138 N 8th St. This spot has a pretty chill atmosphere (and obviously very picturesque) with a little bit of everything to offer as far as on the menu. Fresh juices, refreshing breakfast cocktails, organic wines, breakfast bowls, and of course the amaaaazing egg sandwiches! I would go back and eat the same thing over and over if I could. It kind of reminds me on one of my favorite breakfast spots in LA: Eggslut *drools*  Sadly, I'm the type of person to stick with what I really like on a menu because I always feel like I have the worse luck when I finally decide to try something else; I end up hating it! In Des' words: I always take L's (lol) I doubt I would regret ANYTHING on Egg Shop's menu though. 

MB.jpg

A lil dessert won't hurt! I've been sooo anxious to try Milk (Momofuku) Bar. There are quite a few locations in New York, Washington D.C., Toronto, and Las Vegas. While strolling around SoHo, we ended up stumbling across the Milk Nolita location - of course we had to stop....maybe twice ha. I heard about Milk a while before Glossier collaborated with them for their new Balm Dot Com Birthday cake edition. Love that stuff btw! I bought two tubes because it's that good. The first time, I tried the birthday cake truffles (and oh my God) *takes a moment of silence.* We couldn't resist so we went back again. The second time around I got the Birthday Cake flavored ice cream with sprinkles, and Des fell in love with the Cornflake-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow cookies. He's a cookie monster. 

city.png
nolita2.png
bk.png
CH.png
IMG_2477.jpg

Chillhouse is a brand new multipurpose space owned by Cyndi Ramirez. You can enjoy chill lattes, coffee, wine, beer, small bites, a massage, and even a nice manicure - all in one chill spot! Hence the name; you can feel free to just grab a drink and chill if you want. With the good vibes playing in the background, I took the opportunity to grab an iced coffee, cooled down, and chilled out for a bit since I easily walked miles and miles in New York and they weren't super busy at the time. Every inch of this place is also what I consider 'Gram worthy, so I snapped a few quick pics to show you guys how awesome Chillhouse really is. 

IMG_2476.jpg
 
ch3.png
Untitled-2.jpg
IMG_2228 (1).JPG

Where do I begin? This man never ceases to amaze me. From what I thought, we would just be headed to a nice dinner at Mercer Kitchen on the last night of our trip.  (I'll try to keep this short)  While on the way, we took a little detour. I was questioning where we were going because I knew Mercer Kitchen was not in the direction that we were headed. He just continued to play it off as if it were no big deal and that we were just going a different route. I just went with it like - hmm, okay cool. We ended up at this building that served as a hotel/restaurant with this super fancy rooftop. Okay, at this point I felt weird because Des wasn't saying much but seemed so confident that he knew where he was going. We got to the rooftop, and there it was...THE most gorgeous site. Rose petals shaped into a heart where he led me to the middle. Popped the question just like that. I look to my right, and there's a photographer. I was like what! You hired a photographer to be here?! It was the happiest moment ever. I said yes, we toasted with Moet, took hundreds of photos (of course) then headed to Mercer Kitchen for dinner.

newmk.jpg

I had the Rigatoni with meatballs, and it was the best pasta I've ever had in life! (seriously) We will be going back. The service was amazing, and the food/desserts were so delicious. The ambiance was very dark, yet welcoming and chill.  We are already thinking of when we'll be back to visit New York. I can confirm now that it has become one of my favorite cities for sure. Until next time, New York. You'll always hold a special place in my heart. xo