12 Free Things To Do On Your Next Visit to NYC

White Sweater (xxs) | Leather Skirt | Tights | Combat Boots

It’s true that New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the world, but OMG is it expensive. In an effort to try and offset the fact that I’m paying an arm and a leg for rent, food, ubers, etc. – I’m always on the lookout for free things to do in the city. Here’s a list of my favorite completely free things for you to do on your next trip to NYC!


1.Washington Square Park – one of New York’s most iconic parks, located in the heart of Greenwich Village. It’s a meeting place for students, sunbathing locals, a battleground for chess enthusiasts, a playground for dogs & kiddos, and a stage for street musicians to perform. Home to the majestic Washington Square Arch – named after George Washington.

2. Brooklyn Bridge – walk the Brooklyn Bridge (early morning is best – less people and a beautiful sunrise view) and spend a few hours exploring Brooklyn. Once you cross over, one of the most epic skyline views of NYC is right by Jane’s Carousel, where the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges meet.

3. MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art is located in Midtown on 53rd Street. MoMA is known for collecting modernist art, and is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. The museum offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm!

4. 9/11 Memorial Pools– I highly recommend anyone coming to NYC to visit the 9/11 memorial site and pay your respects to those who passed on this horrible day. While there’s a fee for the museum, the outdoor memorial is always free. White roses are placed next to the names of the deceased on their birthdays. I live right by the memorial pools and walk by them often, and always think this a beautiful touch and way to pay tribute.

5. Central Park – A must if you’re visiting NYC, New York City’s playground. You could get lost in here for hours wandering through the various lawns, fountains, walking paths, trees, waterfalls and picnic spots.

6. Grand Central Terminal – If there’s one place that captures the nostalgia of old world New York, it’s Grand Central Terminal. A visit to this 102-year-old train station is a must.

7. New York Public Library – a jaw dropper to walk through! We loved shooting in here too, it’s so incredibly beautiful, the ornate ceilings are mesmerizing. Free tours take place at 11am and 2pm Monday to Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday.

8. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum – Features rotating exhibits by students and a detailed collection of the country’s first gallery of fashion dating from the 18th century to today.

9. Times Square – you can’t visit New York City without getting a glimpse of Times Square. There’s really nothing like it! And it’s such an iconic spot to take photos 🙂

10. The Highline – A 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park created on a former New York Central Railroad on the west side of Manhattan with beautiful views of Manhattan’s west side with places to sit and people watch.

11. St. Patrick’s Cathedral – a breathtaking experience once you walk inside. Stop inside to light a candle & say a prayer for someone you love.

12. Bryant Park Ice Skating – New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink – open daily 8am-10pm through March 3rd.


Hope you can enjoy a few of these during your next visit to New York City. Pass this list along to a friend you’re traveling with or someone planning a visit 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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Behind The Scenes at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

If you guys have been following along on Instagram lately, you’ve probably seen me blowing up your feed with lots of pink, sparkles, and angelic 6 ft tall women. I was lucky enough to get invited to the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that returned to it’s hometown this year and took place at Pier 94 in New York City!

Pre-Show

The events started on Tuesday with wine & pizza making night at Obicà with angel Jasmine and a group of other influencers who were invited to the show. Wednesday morning started off with a private angel suite appointment on the top floor of the 5th Avenue store where I was outfitted for the week and had the chance to style some outfits for upcoming shoots (check out the VS collection here). Next up was my beauty suite appointment at the Plaza Hotel where we were pampered with hair styling by Conair, nail painting by LeChat, and makeup by Charlotte Tilbury. That night, we were all invited to the pre-party hosted by VS & Mary Katrantzou at the Plaza Hotel where Alicia and I hung out with some of our favorite blogger girls – Cara JourdanTezza, Jenny, and Samantha. I also ran into two of my favorite bachelor girls – Jojo & Becca!

Backstage

Besides the fact that I’ve never felt shorter in my life, going backstage to hang out with the models as they prepped for the show was amazing. Alicia and I were trying hard to act super casual, but easier said than done when you’re standing 3 feet away from Kendall Jenner. And yes, I can confirm that she does her own mascara (she’s just like us 😂).The room was filled with flashing cameras & video teams from E! News, ABC, and the hot pink carpeted floors were covered in extensions and hot tool cords. Of all the angels I’d have to say Gigi was my favorite – so well spoken, spunky, and just a natural beauty. Alicia and I happened to be in the right spot at the right time, and were standing right in front of her while she did an interview for ABC with Winnie Harlow. Adrianna Lima was the first angel I talked to backstage and she was so sweet and welcoming! It was her last time ever walking in the show after 19 years with the company. We saw Elsa Hosk show off the fantasy bra that we got to see up close and personal. It’s covered in over 2,100 diamonds and a 71-carat centerpiece and took over 930 hours to make. The cherry on top of this experience was meeting Olivia Palermo backstage before heading back to my apartment to get ready, she was so sweet!

 

The Show

We could see the hot pink lights outside of Pier 94 hundreds of yards away as we were pulling up to the venue. They actually film the show twice – once at 6:00 and then again at 8:00 – we attended the 8:00 show. The actual room where the how takes place is so much smaller and more intimate than it looks on tv! I was seated next to Pam Hetlinger (The Girl from Panama) and Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential and sitting directly behind Dylan Sprouse. So I experienced an up close and personal view of the sweet moment when he stood up and watched Barbara walk down the runway with his hand on his heart (peep the video below).

The room was filled with familiar celebrity faces – it was so cool being so close to these people I only ever see on TV! I loved watching the OG angels walk the runway like – Candace, Elsa, and Behati, but also loved seeing newbies like Winnie Harlowe – the first model with vitiligo to walk the runway, she looked incredible! We were were also just a couple rows away from Adam Levine who stood up with a group of 5 guys who clapped and yelled whenever Behati graced the runway! The special effects at the show were all pretty incredible (like rain falling from the ceiling!) but I’ll save the details until the show airs in December.

The Music

Not only was it amazing seeing the models & the VS costumes – the show was also like a private concert with some of today’s most talented artists. Halsey totally stole the show and was such an awesome performer, definitely my favorite from the night. But also loved Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes, Kelsea Ballerini, and The Chainsmokers. Each performers opened a new theme within the show with one of their top songs.

The After Party

Immediately after exiting the stage, we walked through double doors that lead to the ‘Pink Carpet’ and then the after party. The room was filled with pink and purple lights, bars surrounded by sparkling glasses and loud music & strobe lights. It was so cool to see the angels enter the part and walk the pink carpet in their after party dresses! Here are some pictures we snapped at the after party 💜

I can’t thank Victoria’s Secret enough for this entire experience! This was definitely one of the coolest opportunities I’ve been given since starting my career in the fashion industry. I’m so happy I could give you guys a little inside look at what goes on behind the scenes at the most watched fashion event in the world. The show will broadcast Sunday, December 2nd, at 10 PM EST on ABC!

Shop all of my outfits from the week here:

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My First Two Months Living in NYC

Nicole Miller Vintage Floral Dress | Suede Jacket | Black Suede Booties | Hoops


I’ve been living in New York for two months now, and it’s been a total whirlwind in this crazy city.  I had my first official “I’m a New Yorker” moment about a month ago walking out of my apartment to my first day of meetings. Surrounded by skyscrapers, close walkers, sirens, and some pretty weird smells – it was an exciting, but intimidating feeling. At that point I couldn’t tell how I felt about the NYC buzz, but over the last few weeks I’ve caught myself raving about living here to just about everyone I talk to.

As a blogger, there really isn’t a better place to live if you want to be in the heart of all the action. There’s nothing cooler than living in a city where so many fashion brands and creative agencies are headquartered. The main difference between NY and Chicago when it comes to my job is all of the in-person brand meetings I get to go to on a daily basis. It’s been so great to step out from behind my computer and meet with the brands I partner with in person. Last week on an ordinary Monday, I had breakfast with the Net-A-Porter team, lunch with Victoria’s Secret PR, tea with Moroccanoil, and drinks with Maybelline (!!). There’s just so much opportunity here – it really is a creative’s dream.

Aside from work, I couldn’t be happier finally getting to be in the same city as Conner. When you’re long distance and weekend visits/Face Time calls are all you know, you really don’t realize what you’re missing out on. I knew it was going to be so much better for it to finally feel like a “real” relationship when I got here, but I’m overwhelmed with how happy I am to finally just have my best friend with me at all times. Our favorite things to do together now are all the simple, non-exciting, every day things. We’re having so much fun here both working hard in our careers and I couldn’t think of a better way for us to spend this time in our lives together 😊

 Aside from all the Carrie Bradshaw moments, I’ve had PLENTY of not-so-glam experiences in the last two months – I’m sure I’ll eventually go into detail about all of the things they don’t tell you about living in New York 😂But just to give you a little preview – my first day learning to use the subway for back to back events/meetings ended in tears, blisters, elbows to the face, and an “I’m moving home immediately” text to my mom. I’m perpetually tired and spending way too much money, BUT New York is teaching me better than anything else what it means to thrive despite adversity. I know living here is going to teach me things I wouldn’t be able to learn any other way, and I’m so excited to see what this intoxicating city throws at me next.

Thanks for reading, talk to you guys soon!

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