Exploring the World of NYC Coffee Shops

They say that New York never sleeps, and this might as well be totally the case given that every street is lined with at least two artisan over-priced small scale coffee shops, a Starbucks and a Dunkin’. Finding caffeine in the Big Apple is no challenge. In my two months there this summer, I have attempted to try as many independent cafes (although I will never give up my tired and true Starbucks chai) as I could during my commute, lunch breaks and lazy Sunday mornings. There is a whole world out there of coffee ambiances and gourmet creations to explore in the mega city.

Bluestone Lane: An Australian offshoot, Bluestone is located all over the city and specializes in gourmet drinks and “toasties” which are perfect for a quick light lunch. The locations tend to be smaller, making it more of a grab and go type of place. *Over a dozen locations all over the city.

Chacha Matcha: My favorite New York cafe, Chacha Matcha quickly became my go-to beverage pick-me-up everyday on my commute to work. As the name suggests, they specialize in matcha green tea, but create funky takes on the classic matcha latte with matcha chais, turmeric lattes and matcha lemonades. They also have a delicious assortment of matcha flavored pastries and chilled breakfast items. The crowd, along with the decor, is trendy and instagram obsessed. *Locations in Noho, Nomad, and Nolita.

Birch Coffee: Birch coffee has one of the best chais I have ever tasted. A bit of a unique place, they discourage technology by not having wifi or any outlets. Instead, they have a whole wall of books for customers to cozy up to and little conversation starter cards that attempt to create a hospitable and friendly unplugged atmosphere. Ideal for non-electronic studying! *10 locations across the city.

Think Coffee: A classy and spacious cafe, Think Coffee is a place a study. Standard coffee menu with breakfast and sandwiches, the environment at Think is extremely pleasant. They have outlets at every table, plush leather seats and play a calming mix of classical music which makes you even want to study. In a crazy city like New York, Think Coffee offers a reprieve from all the hustle and bustle outside. *About 8 locations across the city.

Joe’s Coffee: Joe’s has been a New York favorite for a while serving up a quality cup of “Joe” to many neighborhoods for years. They are simple coffee counter stores, but simple does the trick. If you need a quick coffee on the go, Joe’s is the place to go. *Over a dozen locations throughout New York.

Gregory’s Coffee: Another favorite, Gregory’s coffee is kind of like a local Starbucks. They have a large menu of drink options, food, and juices in there spacious cafes. What makes Gregory’s great is that they have a lot of vegan and gluten free food and drinks, making it a place for everyone. *23 locations in Manhattan.

Ralph’s Coffee: The Ralph Lauren Corporation, already pioneers in creating a truly immersive shopping experience, recently opened Ralph’s Coffee Shop inside select offshoot stores. I visited one inside the Flatiron Club Monaco and was delighted to get a delicious iced mocha within the stylish green tiled walls of the coffee outpost and the pleasantly light and airy atmosphere of the store. The coffee is all hand crafted, and the store is perfect for pictures. *Located at the Flatiron Club Monaco, Rockefeller Center, and the Upper East Side Ralph Lauren.

Maman: Maman is a favorite of the stylish Instagram crowd and it’s easy to see why. Besides having great coffee, a decadent lavender hot chocolate drink, and cute pastries, the cafe makes you feel as though you have been transported to the South of France with its cute decor and blue and white color scheme. The cups and plates are all super cute and photogenic too! *Locations in Soho, Tribeca, Nomad and Chelsea.

Citizens Of (Gramercy, Chelsea): While more of a popular brunch place, the trendy cafe has a barista bar serving up an array of exceptional drinks. The Australian styled spot has a refreshingly light interior that feels especially cool on a hot summer day. Come for the avocado toast and stay for the dirty chai (it’s seriously one of the best I’ve had). *Locations in Gramercy and Chelsea.

Everywhere to Shop in NYC

As the fashion capital of America and a worldwide fashion hub, New York City is overflowing with a crazy range of flagship shops, small boutiques and mega department stores. This summer, I have had the opportunity to explore many different shopping areas. Here are some of my favorite neighborhoods and streets ideal for any fashion lover or avid shopper.

Soho

Soho is the designated “cool” tourist neighborhood with every imaginable “cool” store you can think of.  While it might be busy, the area is vibrant and has some great destination stores such as Reformation, Opening Ceremony, Off-White, etc.  There are also a lot of pop-up stores and concept places such as the Glossier Flagship.  For window shopping, nearly every major design house has a location around Soho.

Flatiron District

The area around the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park has a lot of major flagships found inside cool Gilded Age era Neo-classical style buildings lining the avenues and streets.  Many mid-range stores such as Club Monaco, J Crew, Madewell, Anthropology, Intermix, Tory Burch and Brooks Brothers have huge flagships in this area.  The crowds are less around this area too which is a huge plus. 

Upper West Side

The Upper West Side area around Lincoln Center and along Central Park boasts an array of slightly trendier and more reasonably priced stores than its east side counterpart.  European favorites such as Joie and Maje have large flagships here, along with popular American jean companies Paige and AG.  The area is also super cute and quiet.  

Chelsea

Around the High Line are some of the nicest streets in the city.  They are lined with luxury apartment buildings and designer stores.  A lot of New York contemporary designers such as Rebecca Taylor, Alice and Olivia and DVF have their flagships in this area, and Chelsea market is full of all sorts of local goodies and artisan crafts.  Seek out bargains, window shop and admire the street art in the popular urban revival neighborhood.

Hudson Yards

The newest and coolest complex of Manhattan, Hudson Yards’ epicenter includes a giant 5 level luxury mall that is unlike any mall I have ever been to.  The stores range from high-end designer shops to fast fashion places like Zara and popular places like Aritzia and Lululemon.  What’s great is that the ac is blowing and the cool marble interior makes for a fun indoor experience on a hot summer day.  The 5th floor holds New York’s first and only Neiman Marcus.  They give it their all to give shoppers a modern retail experience.  

 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue

Throughout Midtown, 5th Avenue to Lex Ave are for the most part very touristy and not very worthwhile in terms of shops.  However, the general area that borders central park is home to many of New York’s iconic department stores.  Window shop at the massive Bergdorf Goodman, experience the newly reopened accessories and shoe departments at Saks, and take advantage of the many boutique designers being featured at Bloomingdales.  Walk further uptown to Barney’s which is truly an experience for any fashion fan and admire the window displays of designer flagships along Madison Ave. 

Summer in the City

So I might have completely neglected blogging the last couple of months, but being a busy college student doesn’t always lend itself to an abundance of free time. A lot has happened since I last wrote. I managed to somehow survive a brutal finals period, pack up all of my stuff, move out, and work and prepare at home for a summer move to New York City. I am now finally settled in the city after a whirlwind first two weeks. So far, it has been an amazing experience, and I am absolutely loving the thrill and the freedom of living in the middle of a giant metropolis. I could write endlessly about everything that I have done so far, but I’ll leave that up to future blog posts that I’m anxiously waiting to post. Anyways, what am I doing and how am I living in this wild fast-paced city?

I admit that I was a little apprehensive about moving by myself to a large city. This is the first time I have lived in a city and it’s definitely a far cry from the isolated and sheltered rural college that I attend in Upstate New York. Here, I have to fend for myself. No more ordering everything on Amazon and marching myself 5 times a day to the unlimited dining hall. I even have to figure out “cooking” my meals which, although I’m a huge foodie, is definitely not my forte. Trying to prepare meals has probably been my biggest struggle, and I have resorted to a lot of dinners full of energy bars and bananas (I have some work to do). I’m also having to figure out transportation methods which is interesting enough since New York has a ton of options, none of which are completely ideal (rural college=clueless Uber newbie here). I seriously love walking around though, and my daily walks to and from work is actually quite invigorating. New Yorkers are intent on their commutes and they walk with such purpose which I can totally embrace and go along with. It’s fast paced and lively, giving me energy for my busy workday.

Talk about distractions, walking around is the worst for my wallet (and tight budget). There are so many great little cafes and restaurants to grab quicks meals or coffee. They all somehow seem much more appealing than my spinach and avocado “salad” waiting for me at home. Good food is so dangerous, please take caution. Everyday, I see somewhere new and make a mental note to try it out, pushing back my homemade oats further down my meal prep timeline. What might be even more exciting and even more dangerous are the sheer number of amazing stores dotting the whole city. Just on my commuting walk alone, I have probably ventured into 5 different stores and I have started a list in my head of all the shopping districts that I need to visit for my soul and not for my wallet’s sanity. My internship’s in fashion, so it’s all in the name of work, right?

Work itself is amazingly interesting and fun. Even being an intern and doing interning things is still somehow exciting. The environment is so creative and lively and the days go by quick. I feel so professional which sounds cheesy, but I get a rush when I walk into the elevator with all these fashion bigwigs at the beginning of each day. While the city can be overwhelming, it means that there is nonstop excitement, leaving me busy and curious. I could write on and on, but I’ll leave that up to next week. Yesterday, I went the Smorgasburg… so stay tuned!

Where I Write

Throughout my blogging journey, I realize that I’ve probably mentioned my love for quaint coffee shops quite a bit. I’m not shy to admit my very basic girl tendencies which are sort of ironic because I don’t even like the taste of coffee. I love the idea of a calm peaceful space dedicated to quality drinks. Small coffee shops are always a joy and I find that there is no other space where I can be at my productive peak. I go when I need to study, socialize, write and experience food and drink in such a pure and wholesome form. Given this love, I figured I’d share where it is that I settle down with a chai latte and write to my hearts content.

Whether it be for studying or blogging, I find that quaint coffee shops offer the perfect little escape from the world around me. There, I can fully focus on the task ahead while relaxing and enjoying my surroundings. Being in college, the library and other spots on campus can often be high stress suffocating environments that distract me from doing my best work. That is why I escape. I leave to relax, take a few deep breaths and get to completing what seems to be an always growing pile of work.

At home: Penny’s Coffee (Linden Hills, Minneapolis)

While I still stand loyal to my multiple local Starbucks, I was super excited when Penny’s Linden Hills opened last spring since I really wanted a perfect work space coffee shop near me. Their drinks are incredibly flavorful and unique with specials such as the pink spicy peppermint latte (perfect for the ‘gram). They serve up a menu of gourmet crêpes and sandwiches, along with breakfast items and pastries. I will literally just come for their avocado toast which is probably the best I’ve ever had. They just recently started baking their own pastries which is giving me major FOMO since I’m back at school.

At school: Rye Berry Cafe (Hamilton, NY)

I’m currently sitting at Rye Berry right now, writing this, and eating their amazing homemade extra-strained yogurt which is definitely my ideal way of spending a Tuesday morning. Everything is made fresh in-house every morning from the coffee and tea syrups to all of the breads and baked goods. I think that you seriously cannot go wrong with any of Rye Berry’s breakfast or lunch options which range from a daily quiche special to biscuit sandwiches and cinnamon buns. They had a mean pumpkin spice latte this fall which made me actually enjoy the very sweetened taste of coffee.

At school part 2: Fojo Beans (Hamilton, NY)

The Fojo Beans cafe just recently opened after having a local gourmet coffee business for years. The shop specializes in their special blends and fancy teas while selling a changing menu of baked goods from local CNY bakeries. They have a variety of grab and go items such as rice puddings and overnight oats which are delicious and (fairly) healthy. The atmosphere is very relaxed and casual making it a great space to get work done and hang with friends. It is great that Hamilton is expanding their cafe culture with another new place to come in and study.

5 Trendy Non-Teddy Bear Jackets to Buy this Winter

The tan fake-sherpa teddy bear coat is arguably the jacket of the year. You know the one I’m talking about, the one you see every young girl wearing around. Recently, while working at my local mall, a group of about 6 high schoolers walked into the store all wearing very similar variations of that same jacket. I wanted one before, but after seeing that, I decided to look elsewhere because do you really want to wear the same jacket of every trendy high schooler this winter? I am not saying the teddy bear coat isn’t cute, but it is probably the most basic trend around (no shame for a basic style though). So much else is out there right in terms of trendy jackets; make it fun! Statement layers are huge right now, making it the go-to investment for this winter. Here are some other ideas to look cute and trendy throughout the long cold season.

1.The understated faux fur bomber

Find it at Revolve.com

Trendy but not too over-the-top, this bomber will keep you cozy and comfortable all winter long. The light pink color (a personal favorite) keeps the jacket feminine and bright.

2. The gold standard puffer

Buy it on sale while supplies last

I am absolutely obsessed with this puffer jacket- the color, shine, it’s all there and it’s amazing. Perfect for skiing or hanging outside, this jacket is filled with down so it will keep you warm while making a bold statement.

3. Feathers galore

This fun and funky coat can be found here at Topshop

While fur and faux fur are still having a moment, feathers are emerging to be the next “it” layer material. Less warm but less bulky, feather coats are a fun and fresh way to spice up this winter season.

4. The Upgraded Teddy Bear

Another reasonably priced Topshop find

If you want to stick to the sherpa but want something a little different than the all too popular teddy bear, this corduroy lined coat is just as fluffy and comfy. Corduroy is having a moment, so you’ll really be on trend with a jacket like this.

5. The trendiest blazer

Buy it at Revolve.com

I love a good blazer, but it is usually not appropriate to wear one outside of a very formal workplace. This shimmery oversized blazer, however, can work perfectly anywhere. The shine makes it great to dress up, but having it oversized allows you to dress it down easily with jeans. Win-win and so trendy!

My Favorite Beauty Products for a Long Long Winter

I did my first beauty/wellness post this summer and surprisingly really enjoyed it (I mean it is pretty much just talking about yourself…!).  So, I’ve returned with a second post, an undeniably more important one since anyone who lives in a cold climate knows the struggle of that winter’s dryness can bring.  While the winter weather can take toll on hair and skin, these products help make the season more bearable and pleasant.  

  1. Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence
Find Tata Harper products here at Sephora
  • This all natural high-end brand is my new favorite skin care line.   Although pricey, Tata Harper uses quality ingredients that help to brighten and hydrate skin. The Floral Essence smells amazing and duplicates as both a toner and setting spray that allows lotions, creams and oils to work deeper into the skin. This amazing spray will not allow your face to dry out. It feels super refreshing too!

2. Lush Lip Scrub

Shop for it here through Lush.com
  • Lush, the niche natural brand, pioneered simple eco-friendly products years ago. Their OG sugar lip scrub remains a favorite today. The formula is seriously just sugar, oil and some flavoring, but the eatable mixture works wonders on dry flakey lips while helping to keep them plump and hydrated. I like the Mint Julips flavor since it tastes/smells nice and fresh, but the scrub comes in all sorts of sweeter flavors such as bubblegum and chocolate.

3. Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm

Find it at Sephora in many different colors
  • Sometimes, all you need is a nice sheer lip gloss to complete a look. This balm does just that and more, going beyond looks to moisturize and shine lips. Between the color and benefits, the lip balm is the ideal winter lip product. The packaging is also super cool. I’m a total stickler for labels, so I automatically loved this product.

4. Slip Silk Pillow Case

Find it here through Nordstrom’s
  • Turns out that cotton pillow cases aren’t all that great for your skin and hair, especially in dry climates. The material sucks oils out and can cause hair to break. A silk case minimizes those annoying lines you sometimes get on your face in the morning and keeps your hair overall more healthy. Slip cases are super popular and can literally be found anywhere with their cute labeling and portable cases. They come in all sorts of colors ranging from a pretty rose gold to a sleek black.

5. Patchology Perfect Weekend Face Masks

Shop Patchology at the Cosbar
  • If you’re going to do one face mask, you might as well do three. This set of three masks puts forth the ultimate “face care weekend”, each with a unique purpose in keeping your skin healthy. Start with the Exfoliant, follow with the Hydrate and end with the Illuminate sheet mask to recover your face from the winter blues. I usually love any mask I try, but this one truly has working benefits and makes a difference.

5 Trends to Look Out for in 2019

First off, I want to apologize for totally neglecting this blog the past month.  Finals are rough and I had about 100 other things on my mind (us college students have it hard).  But we are back in business and looking forward to this next year.  I’m hoping to dedicate more time to this blog in shaping a better layout, writing better content, and working on my photography skills.  I cannot wait for what is in store for me, so stay tuned for exciting content.

With that being said, I’m kicking off the new year with what we all should expect in fashion.  2018 saw the rise in popular street style, bold statements, big brands taking center stage and instagram influencers.  Designer fashion has gone mainstream thanks to social media promotions and the like.  2019 will follow all of this, but bigger and brighter.  I mean we are getting close to the roaring 20s, folks.

  • Smaller independent labels will take the spotlight thanks to Instagram influencers
        • The biggest general trend of last year and which will only grow this year is fashion’s influence over social media, specifically Instagram.  I have a lot to say over this matter (more on that at another time), but there is no point arguing that it is changing the fashion industry immensely.  Influencers (people on social media with lots of followers and who are considered to have an influence on their followers) gain their revenue and rewards usually (especially at first) through small brands who want advertising and an online presence for a cheaper price.  As marketing and PR companies continue to expand their dealings with influencers, smaller brands will hopefully continue to seek out advertisers online which will help the industry grow and stay healthy.  Keep an eye out for fun new brands on your Instagram feed!

        https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc8tpV2l7tG/

     

  • Fast Fashion, for better or for worse, will continue to dominate, bringing in celebrity and designer collaborations
    • Fast Fashion is also something that I have a lot to say about.  I am generally against the idea and try to limit my Fast Fashion purchases, but I accept the scarce benefits that it has.  There is no denying that Fast Fashion is huge and will stay huge.  H&M, considered the OG of global Fast Fashion dynasties, has been doing designer collaborations well before other brands even came to US malls.  Most recently, the Moschino collection seemed to seamlessly fuse the two brands together with Moschino’s trendy street style vibe.  Recently, other brands have followed suit (most recently, a scandal with Beyoncé’s Ivy Park and Topshop), but expect the collaborations to become more frequent and publicized due to a growing fascination with celebrity and designer brands. Screen Shot 2018-12-31 at 1.33.24 PM
  • Faux Vegan (otherwise known as fake) materials will continue their rise to power
      • I am not totally sure how I feel about this growing trend.  I love luxe faux fur coats and such, but find some faux materials to seem rather cheap and inferior.  Environmental and welfare concerns have erupted in fashion due to the growing vegan movement, and with that, brands are labeling fake materials “vegan” to attract the environmentally focused.  Major brands such as Gucci, Burberry, and Versace have all pledged within the last year to go fur-free by the next 5 years, so expect others to follow suit do to growing pressure from activists.  I seriously doubt that fur will totally go out of style since it is a luxury material, but we will continue to see lux faux fur everywhere.  Leather is another issue that is waiting to be explored and we can expect the focus to be on vegan leather in 2019 (umm).Screen Shot 2018-12-31 at 1.57.08 PM.png
  • Silver, Gold and Metallic prints and colors will be gracing our Instagram feeds
    • Bold and bright is on the rise, evoking 80s-like style, so why not fully embrace it this year with going all out metallic.  Starting with New Years Eve, metallic hues will be the statement of choose for party goers (including myself).  Runways of late have been sporting shiny attire, and Instagram influencers (or any of us) love a good statement.  I suspect this trend will explode in 2019 along with other bright colors and prints.
    • Screen Shot 2018-12-31 at 1.31.39 PM
  • Hopefully (so I wish), “dressing up” to go out will continue to gain momentum thanks to our growing concerns over our online self-images
    • This might be my perception or dream, but I think social media has made us more concerned with what we wear going out.  I have never been shy to share my opinions about dressing up, so it makes me truly happy that we are “caring” about our appearances again (or at least I think we are).  Some might argue that we should not worry what others think, but I think it is important to present our best selves both in person and on social media.  Expect Instagram to help fuel everybody’s individual styles that they are proud dress in (in order to “impress”).

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Inside My Dorm

Ah the college dorm, the dreaded small dingy confined space barely large enough to fit that twin XL bed, let alone a girl’s wardrobe.  Decorating a dorm proves to be an oddly exiting challenge that students look forward to, including myself, at the beginning of each year.  There is something strangely satisfying about figuring out how to fit everything and “hacking” the space you are given.  Thankfully, this year as a sophomore, I was able to get a single room that, while still small, gave me ample space to decorate and customize to my heart’s content.  Last year, I was cramped into a room with two other girls and, although hard, it helped me figure out how to make the most of my space.  I swear by companies like Pottery Barn (PB teen has a specific dorm brand), Bed Bath and Beyond, and Etsy to find solutions for storage that are cute and minimize the clutter because, as you probably can tell by this blog, I love clothes (and shoes and jewelry and accessories).  So how do I manage this year?  Read below to see how I transformed my space to be comfortable, personal and practical! 🙂

To stay organized, I separated by dorm into different sections based on purpose.  I have my mini fridge (and freezer!) near the entrance in the little foyer on top of a storage unit for my snacks and kitchen ware.  My kettle, cups and mugs are all on top of the fridge making what I like to call my “vertical kitchen”.  Further inside the room, I have my wardrobe across from my “little sitting area”, my bed area with storage underneath, and then my desk area where I store all of my toiletries, jewelry,  makeup, and school supplies.

My Bed:

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I tried to keep the decor neat around my bed and stuck with a constant color scheme throughout my room.  The base is all light soft pink, and then I have a lot of navy, gold (including rose gold), black and white which all come together to contrast each other.  The floral lights are from PB Teen.  The little pinup board and monogram are customized from Etsy which is the place to go for custom decor at a decent price.  The dog painting is actually my dog and she’s right below an art piece representing my state, letting me have a little piece of home on display.  I got the The Breakfast at Tiffany’s picture from Art.com which is a fabulous place to get art at a reasonable price.  I know it’s super cliché but I love Andrey Hepburn and classic movies, plus the picture goes well with my overall theme.  The rose gold dots are from Umbra, a company that specializes in sleek modern home decor all at a very cheap price.

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You can never have enough pillows, especially in college when your bed doesn’t have a headboard.  I have yet another monogram on a pillow from Etsy (I love the cursive look and the personalization of them).  Two of the other pillows are from Lily Home, another from Kate Spade (it’s a Jane Austen quote since I love classic english lit), and a fun sequined pillow that is more for my own entertainment than practicality.  My bedspread is called Whimsical Waves from PB Teen.  I made sure to have a neutral solid spread, so I could go all out with pillows and other fun patterned accessories.

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As a storage hack, I have a special rail (PB Teen) that hangs under my bed to store my vests and light jackets.  It also shields the junk that I have under my bed such as my suitcases and boxes, so nobody has to see the cluttered mess underneath.  The little ottoman is from Bed Bath and Beyond and it also stores clothes.  It doubles as both a seat and a step stole making it absolutely awesome.

My sitting area:

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My favorite part of the room is the little make shift seating area I created.  The tapestry, which takes up the majority of the wall, is from Society 6, a great site specializing in funky affordable decor specifically for young people.  Tapestries are great since they transform a space with little to no effort on your part.  I honestly couldn’t resist having a pink and purple Prada Marfa sign in my room!  The seat and lamp are both from target, while the truck is from PB Teen.  The truck was a bit of an investment, but is multi-purposeful as both stylish storage and furniture for my room.

My Desk:

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I admit that my desk is a bit cluttered, but that’s partly because it serves so many functions.  The acrylic makeup container stores all of my hair and makeup supplies, along with lotions and perfumes.  I separate that with my jewelry which I have stored with a hanger from The Container Store and a small pottery and wire earring holder.  I use my desk as a vanity, so I have a nice foldable mirror from PB Teen that takes up limited space.  I’m a total Harry Potter nerd, so yes I have all of the books lined on the shelf, and as extra decor, I have the leather-bound version of two of my favorite classic books which mount my piggy bank.  Yes, I have a Chanel inspired piggy bank, judge away.  I taped up perfume campaign ads that Sephora sent me to add a little something to the area’s wall, and because I honestly had no idea what to do with them…

My Curtains:

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Over my window, I put up a white and gold curtain that hides the ugly vent and window sill.  To make my bed look a little cozier, and honestly more bed-like because dorm beds are so basic, I draped layered curtains behind and above the bed with hooks.  The drapery creates a canopy illusion and makes the room much more colorful while serving as decor for the overall bed space.

So there, my little cozy temporary home…

Go Good Uncle!

Meet Good Uncle, the new food delivery start-up taking select colleges on the east coast by storm.   The company is more generous than any friendly relative, as they will become your new best friend- a bff that specializes in simply bringing you food, on demand.  Good Uncle started at Syracuse by two ambitious students who were determined on elevating the college dining scene.  Just this year, they launched on 5 different college campus while being headquartered in New York City.  The idea is similar to Uber Eats, but with no delivery fee since the food is all created by Good Uncle through their Michelin starred food mastermind, Erik Battes.  They then transport it to one of their many handy delivery spots around the campuses with their super cool fancy food truck-like trucks.  Magical- right?

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Currently, Good Uncle is only at Colgate, Syracuse, Cornell, Lehigh and UMaryland, but they hope to expand in the near future (that future is very near given their popularity).  While you might not be at one of those schools, or might not even be in school, Good Uncle could come to you, and you will then, thanks to me, be in the know (ahead of the game, on the next big thing!).  Their food is simply delicious, and definitely beats most food found in college dining halls.  It ranges from very healthy options of salad and rice bowls to hangover-cure like foods such as the BBQ plater and the bacon, egg, and cheese brunch sandwich.  There’s a wide range which makes it easy for everyone to find something to suit their every desire.  Their menu changes monthly, ensuring that nobody gets tired of their extensive menu.  With that absent delivery fee, the prices are very reasonable for “to-go”-like food.  For a college student’s budget, it is cheaper than eating out at most places with dinners ranging from 7-12 dollars.

So you go to Colgate or any of the other schools that have Good Uncle?  Here is what I most recommend.

Tofu and Mushroom Bowl with the Mediterranean Fresh Fix Toppings:

Healthy and trendy, you can’t go wrong with one of Good Uncle’s bowls.  The tofu bowl is great for vegetarians and vegans since good tofu is often hard to come by in college.  It’s all on a bed of quinoa, and you have the choice of what kind of toppings/salad you want with the bowl.  I’m obsessed with the Mediterranean toppings which I get for both the tofu and the chicken bowl.  It’s the classic fixings of hummus, tzatziki, pita chips, feta, cucumber and tomato, along with a serving of arugula salad.

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Pesto Parmasan Pasta:

Good Uncle really nails the pasta thing which we will all be thankful for when winter comes around (Aka comfort food season).  The pesto pasta really hits the spot since they throw in copious amounts of sauce along with a generous serving of melted parmesan cheese.  Tasty, yes, and comforting!

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Seasonal Açai Bowl:

Ahh the food of the moment (and of instagram), Good Uncle makes it easy to keep up with the trends.  Who wouldn’t want an açai bowl delivered on demand?  It’s simple, but delicious and makes for a great addition to brunch.  The vividly purple base is topped with fruit and granola, and has shredded coconut and almonds mixed into it.  Unfortunately, the açai bowl is only available on weekends, but that might be for the best (we probably don’t need an açai bowl everyday!).

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich:

A good buffalo chicken sandwich for me is the ultimate guilty pleasure, and Good Uncle doesn’t let me down with their October special.  The chicken is topped with oozy buffalo cheddar cheese and a blue cheese dressing.  The bun is a nice soft brioche bun that is sweet enough to pair perfectly with the spicy chicken.

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Grilled Chicken Tenders:

Probably Good Uncle’s smartest creation, these chicken tenders are both extremely tasty and healthy.  Instead of being deep fried, the chicken is seasoned in a mix of flavorful herbs and grilled to perfection, ready to be eaten with a delicious dipping sauce.  The sauces are a highlight since they have a variety to choose from, each unique and amazing.  I recommend getting a couple to dunk the chicken into although the chicken is good enough on its own.

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To read and find out more about Good Uncle, visit my article for Spoon University here!

5 Of My Favorite Products To Get You Through The End Of Summer

I have never really written a post about products and cosmetics, but I figured why not?  I’m a big Sephora fan, and I’m also always on the lookout to try new things, whether it be hair products, skin products, or makeup.  The summer heat and sun get to be rough on your body (that’s not to say that winter weather isn’t), so here are 5 new beauty products that I’ve been trying this summer that I totally 100% recommend.

*I am not being promoted for any of these suggestions

  1. Buddy Scrub Coffee Body Scrub

We all love drinking our morning coffee, but did you know that coffee, and to a larger extent caffeine, has skin health benefits when used externally.  In fact, coffee is proven to help reduce cellulite and promote smoother shinier skin.  This Buddy Scrub is the perfect product to use in order to get that “summer bod”.  Just lather and scrub your body a couple times a week and you’ll have yourself smooth and healthy skin.  The scrub is totally natural, vegan, and cruelty-free with no harmful products or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It smells amazing too!

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Buy it here through Anthropology for $18

2.  The Pocket Palette, one-use make-up kits

The Pocket Palette is a start-up company that created these mini makeup kits for on-the-go travel and disposal.  Each palette contains a single portion of BB cream or foundation, a single portion of lipstick that doubles as rouge, and a single-use mascara brush.  The palette is tiny and can easily fit inside any pocket, purse or container making them super easy to carry with you.  I have used my pocket palette for overnight trips when I don’t feel like lugging a large makeup kit around and for after events such as golf where I need to quickly cleanup and make myself look presentable before dinner.  After use, you simply throw the kit away, and the makeup is great quality and very versatile.

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Buy them here in sets of 3 or 10 ranging from $12 to $35

3.  Tarte Mermaid Glitter Gel

Glitter is having a major moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of music festivals and festival fashion.  This gel-like body glitter is just the thing to get you festival-ready for all those instagram pictures.  It isn’t an eye shadow like other glitter products.  Instead, the liquid gel dries on to the skin, keeping it in place anywhere on the body.  Not only does the glitter work great against skin, but the jar is super fun and aesthetic.

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You can find it here from Sephora for $18

4.  Too Faced Hangoverx Replenishing Face Primer

This primer doubles wonderfully as a face moisturizer since it restores and helps contain moisture in the skin.  As the name suggests, it’s ideal for hangovers, but also any activity where your skin looses moisture such as working out and sun exposure. For those long summer days outside, this works as the perfect remedy making skin supple, smooth and lively.  As a bonus, Hangoverx has no shine or oily effects which is much appreciated when it comes to a good everyday primer and “lotion”.

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Buy it here at Sephora for $34

5.  OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

Ever tried the old trick of squeezing lemon in your hair to make it lighter?  And it kind of works? Temporarily.  Well, OUAI has come up with a product based off of the classic lemon hack, but works stronger and stays longer.  Sun of a Beach Spray lightly bleaches the hair in a healthy way that doesn’t dry the hair out.  It smells nice and has little texture.  And, it actually really works!  The spray gives you a summer sun-kissed look which we all want while still looking very natural and healthy.

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Buy it here from Sephora for $24

*Pro Tip:  As I mentioned, I swear by Sephora.com since I love their loyalty program. Living in a rural area means that I need to order most of my products online, and Sephora is amazing for that.  I pay $10 a year to get free shipping which saves a lot of money in the long run, plus I get free samples which are great for travel, loyalty points for free awards, a birthday gift, and special deals that include a lot more free samples/minis.  It’s a fabulous program especially for college students.