LtoL Takes NYC

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Leading up to New York, I researched what we wanted to do for weeks. I’m talking weeks. I asked every person I knew that had been there recently and looked at probably a million NYC guides because I wanted to plan the perfect trip

As I have mentioned before, the last time I was in New York, I was with my family for Thanksgiving and Colton had never been, so I wanted to make sure this trip was everything we could imagine. I wanted us to go to every top “spot” and do as much as we could in a weekend. Well, before I get into the rest of this, our trip did not go 100% as planned. It was not the “perfect trip” but it was our kind of perfect. Things happen and reservations don’t work out, but it’s okay. 

In case you are planning a trip of your own, I want you to know that New York City is the most alive city in the world. Every restaurant is spectacular and every site is amazing, so if there is something that’s on your list that you do not make it too, it’s okay because I promise, if you just walk outside and look around, you will find something equally as fantastic! 

When I really look back on our trip, there’s no doubt that we definitely ate and drank a lot. We walked a lot, we saw a lot and we I definitely shopped a lot. It was one of the best trips we have taken together and I cannot wait to go back! 

LifetoLauren NYC City GuideThe Time New York

We decided to stay at The Time New York, and as accommodating and wonderful as they were, I am not sure I would stay there again. It is a really trendy little hotel, that is extremely affordable. They have a super cute bar and a snapchat worthy restaurant on site and it is in a very central location. They even upgraded our room without any hesitation, just because I was initially upset that our room was so incredibly tiny. They really were the kindest! I think the reason I wouldn’t stay there again is because it was a little too close to Time Square for me.

Time Square is kind of my least favorite part of NYC, so I hated being even the least bit near it. Another thing, was that one of the elevators wasn’t working. Meaning there was only one elevator available for 16 floors. We were on the 14th and it was awful. None-the-less, the hotel itself was amazing, the staff were great and like I said, if you are looking for something affordable and super trendy then I highly recommend it! 

Anyways. 

So yeah, we landed in New York super late Thursday night,  and were greeted in our room with flowers from my Dad and a bottle of Veuve Cliequot from my Best Friend Annie – which was the absolute sweetest! We then went down stairs to the hotels bar, grabbed a glass of champagne to cheers the night and went to bed to prepare for the next day. 

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Day One

Friday was my Birthday, so I woke up early to get a quick workout in before heading off to brunch at Sarabeth’s near Central Park. This was recommended to me by everyone I asked and supposedly it’s Taylor Swifts favorite spot, so of course we had to go! It was much more quaint and less bougie than I expected but it was perfect. 

When I made a reservation, I asked to be seated at a table right by the window (I wanted to people watch!) and told them it was my birthday. When walked in, Sarabeth’s was absolutely packed but they sat us immediately, and put us at the most gorgeous little window seat in the whole restaurant and told me Happy Birthday. Everything about it was amazing. 

LifetoLauren NYC City GuideOutfit Details – Coat: J Crew | Jeans: Articles of Society | Sweater: Goodnight Macaroon | Boots: Steeve Madden (on sale) | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff | Colton’s Leather Jacket: Steve Madden

After brunch we went right across the street to Central Park, to walk around and see the snow. Friday it was incredibly cold, and the snow was still there, so we wanted to take advantage of it. Plus, it was all too pretty not to look at! 

We then grabbed a few glasses of champagne at The Plaza and walked up and down all of the shops off of 5th Avenue until we made our way to Bloomingdales. I know it sounds crazy that this is something that would be on my list of things to do on my Birthday, but we don’t have one in Texas… and it’s like the mother of all department stores. So in my mind I had to go! Plus, the one off 5 Ave is BEAUTIFUL. I mean absolutely gorgeous. The sales were unreal too. ralph coffeeralphscoffeenycLifetoLauren NYC City Guide

Around 3 o’clock, since we were in the area, Colton and I both needed a little pick me up, so we headed to another highly suggested coffee spot, Ralph’s coffee. Next time you are in New York, or if you are going soon, you have to go to Ralph’s coffee. It was above and beyond the cutest coffee shop I have ever been in. Plus, it is literally inside Ralph Lauren, on the second floor and looks over the city. To say I was obsessed would be the understatement of the century. We really wanted to go to the Ralph Lauren Polo Bar afterwards, but it didn’t open until 5:00 and we had plans to go to the Top of The Rock

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The Top of The Rock was definitely one of our favorite things that we did. For anybody who doesn’t know, The Top of The Rock is an observation center at the top of the Rockefeller Plaza and has the most amazing views of New York City and the Empire State Building. Seriously phenomenal. Last time I was here, we actually went to the top of the Empire State Building and this was way better. It was way less expensive ($30 each) and had less of a wait time. I suggest buying your tickets a few hours before online so that you do not have to do it there! 

That night, we went to Hunt & Fish Club which I cannot say enough good things about (besides the fact that I may or may not have gotten food poisoning from there). It was incredibly bougie, the whole restaurant was white marble and the drinks were amazing. We had quite a ball there. At the end of our dinner, we ended up chatting with our server and the manager in one of the back rooms of the restaurant about all of the celebrities that come in and the stories that went along with them. 

After dinner we made our way too The Press Lounge which is a roof top bar that has AMAZING views of the city, the Hudson river and had all around great vibes. It was the best. It was busy, but the two of us had no problem finding a place to sit. It was the perfect place to end my Birthday. 

LifetoLauren NYC City Guide

Day Two

As you guys know and read on Tuesday, I woke up Saturday feeling less than okay. I mean so incredibly ill. We first thought it was just a really bad hangover and then realized hours later it definitely wasn’t….. Around 11:00 Colton took me to a clinic to get me medicine and finally around 1 o’clock -2ish I finally started feeling better! 

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Since I was feeling better, we knew we wanted to make our way to the 9/11 Memorial Fountains and to Battery park, but we had to put something in our stomachs first! By Saturday, the temperatures had definitely warmed up so we stopped on our way and had an outdoor super late brunch at Cafe Clover. On my Instagram, I told you all that if I were ever to open a restruant that it would be just like this one, and I wasn’t kidding. Cafe Clover was everything. I mean, so me. All white and blue walls with white marble. The cutest little outdoor patio, french chairs and everything was organic and healthy.  I mean, my pancakes were made out of quinoa for goodness sake! Literally perfect! 

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When then grabbed a cab and made our way to The 9/11 Memorial Fountains, which ended up being our favorite thing to see the entire trip. These fountains are by far, the most incredible and moving things I have ever seen. So moving to the point that just standing there left Colton and I in tears. Since it was so late in the day we ended up not doing the actual tour, but I have heard great things about it!

 

LifetoLauren NYC City GuideOutfit Details – Jeans: Paige | Cold Shoulder Sweater: Top Shop | Purse: Loeffler Randall | Pumps: Valentino (designer dupes)IMG_5994.jpg

Afterwards, we started walking to towards Battery Park so that we could see the Statue of Liberty. We made it about 1/2 a mile and then had to call a taxi-lol. I still wasn’t feeling well and….. my heels were killing me! So we called a grabbed a cab and then sat at Battery Park til the sun went down. We then tried to make it to Serendipty for a frozen hot chocolate but the wait was crazy, and the shop was a mad house, so we opted for a glass of wine down the street before heading to dinner. Serendipity was definitely my biggest let down of the trip. Growing up, it was one of my favorite movies and to see it be such a mess broke my heart. None-the-less, it was so cool to see it! Just definitely over rated. 

LifetoLauren NYC City GuideThat night, we went to by far the most romantic restaurant! It’s called Freemans, and it is a little house, tucked away in an ally. It wasn’t crazy upscale or a huge “scene”, but was amazing and we had the best dinner. We split a bottle of wine and the food was the amazing.  It was the perfect spot for a little date. Very, very  romantic!!  We had originally had reservations at Beauty & Essex but we were both feeling something a little more low key – I still wasn’t feeling 100%.

Afterwards, we went to a Speak Easy called the Blind Barber, which was really cool. We originally tried to make it to Please Don’t Tell, but the wait was four hours long, so a friend suggested the Blind Barber, so we went there loved it! You walk into what looks like a normal, but closed Barber Shop, once your inside they open a door in back that opens up into the bar. So cool, right?!

LifetoLauren NYC City GuidecentralparkOutfit Details – Jacket: Lululemon | White Top: Lululemon | Leggings: Lululemon | Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Pink Shoes: Nike

Day Three

Sunday Morning we woke up, grabbed coffee to go from our hotel and made our way to Central Park. It was only about a 10 minute walk from our hotel so it wasn’t bad at all. Sunday it was a high of 65 degrees and you could tell the city was in heaven. Literally everyone was walking/running central park, enjoying the weather. We walked Central Park for hours and I swear pet every Golden Retriever that passed us. As we walked around we ultimately decided we didn’t want to rush that day and made plans to stay the night. 

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Once we made all of our new plans final, we headed back to the hotel and changed for Brunch. Most of the places we had been were pretty girly, so I wanted to find a place that Colton would love too! We decided on La Birreria which was an enclosed, rooftop restaurant and micro brewery on top Eatley’s. We walked in and Colton goes “This place is so cool, I am so glad we came here.”! It was incredibly chill atmosphere and everyone was there to have a good time. The wait was only 20 minutes which was fine because there were plenty of seats at the bar for waiting.

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Outfit Details – Black Jeans: Paige | Leather Jacket: Halogen | White Slip On Loafers: Dolce Vita 

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Then last but not least, we ended the day walking around and shopping in Soho. Last time I was there, Soho was one of my favorite spots, so I had to show Colton! We dipped in and out of different stores and coffee shops and got one and final drink at Dos Caminos. We didn’t eat dinner there, but the queso looked bomb! Like so bomb and the whole restaurant was raging. We were just really tired from the weekend lol. 

Once the sun went down, we went back to our hotel to relax and pack. We grabbed a really relaxing dinner at a sushi place a block away from our hotel to just unwind. We were exhausted from the weekend and at that point ready to be home. The trip was all around a dream and I am so thankful for Colton, who went out of his way to make the trip as perfect as possible! Fingers crossed I will be back in September! 

xo,

Lauren

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Weekend Guide To Napa Valley

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We first got into Napa around 12:00 a.m. Friday morning, so to say we were exhausted upon arrival would be an understatement. We were so tired on our drive to the hotel that we could have stayed in a Motel on the side of the highway for all we cared, but the moment we checked in, and went to our room, we were so glad we didn’t. The first thing Colton did was turn on the fire place, because, why not? Lol – I mean we had one in our room! Plus, it was quite chilly.

We booked our trip very last minute, and with it being Labor Day weekend, a lot of our “first choice” hotels were sold out. So in my search, I found the Senza Boutique Hotel and I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed it. The rooms were huge, we had a great view of the vineyard, it was very tranquil, had a beautiful complimentary breakfast every morning and a complimentary wine and cheese spread every afternoon. I also loved that it was centrally located! 

What to wear when meeting with your wedding plannerWeekend Guide To Napa Valley

Outfit Details: skirt / top / denim jacket / heels / purse

The first morning, we had breakfast at our hotel before before a long morning filled with appointments. Which was actually very cool for us because we were able to see so many parts of Napa before all of the wine tastings took place. Colton was even able to sample a few grapes right off of the vines!

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For lunch, we headed to the highly recommended, Archetype in St. Helena. Moments after stepping in, it was very clear as to why so many people recommended it to us. It was divine!

The food was absolutely magnificent. You can’t tell by the photo, but under my salad was a piece of avocado toast and a grilled chicken breast. Umm, yum! Then Colton, of course, had an amazing pizza. I recommend sitting in their picture perfect, indoor patio and having a glass of their Rosé with your lunch. Next time, we decided we are going back for their breakfast, because it look mouthwatering! 

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After lunch, we headed to Meadowood for complimentary glasses of wine before heading to our grape stomping adventure. If it were up to Colton, we probably would have stayed here the whole trip because of the golf course-lol. 

Weekend Guide To Napa ValleyWeekend Guide To Napa ValleyWeekend Guide To Napa ValleyWeekend Guide To Napa ValleyIMG_5619.jpgOutfit Details: Anthropologie Peplum Top (on sale) (similar) // White J. Crew Shorts // Brown Mules (on sale for $29!)

Before heading out of town for our trip, we were told that Napa was in what they call, Harvest Season. Which means, grape stomping! Well, that’s not exactly what it means lol, but it is the season where they offer this activity! It basically means the grapes are ripe and  ready to be processed. We chose Grgich Hills Estate for this because, once again, it came highly recommended, and seemed to be less crowded then the others. 

I have to tell you, we had so much fun grape stomping! You walk up, and the first thing they do is give you a glass of wine and a tee shirt before getting in the barrel. I’m not sure how relevant our stomping was, but we had a blast either way! Afterwards we placed our feet on our shirts and hung them on the vines to dry. It was so much fun to check this off of my bucket list! 

 

Weekend Guide To Napa ValleyOutfit Details: Black Topshop Cami // White Jeans // Nordstrom’s Booties ($89) // Marc Jacob Purse // Similar Cardigan

That night we went to a restaurant called, Hurley’s, for dinner because Colton’s parents had been there a few weeks prior and just loved it! Very casual & relaxed but also very lively! We sat outside and just talked about our day. It gets pretty chilly in Napa at night, so I am glad I picked up these booties before the trip and brought along my favorite sweater. img_5721img_5719img_5717

Saturday morning, we woke up early to head to The Boon Fly Cafe for breakfast before a full day of wine tasting. I think out of all of our meals, this one was Colton’s favorite. The atmosphere of this place was so chill and the food was so good. I definitely recommend getting the donut holes and a cup of coffee to start! If you’re a Bloody Mary drinker, then that is at the top of the list too! 

Being one of the most popular breakfast places in the Valley, it can get pretty busy! So if you have a large group, try getting there before 10:00! If there are only two of you, I recommend sitting at the bar, which is first come first serve. 

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After breakfast, we made our way to the first winery of the day, Sterling Vineyards. I’m not going to lie, this was our least favorite of the trip, but it seemed to be very popular. Probably due to the familiarity of the name and the gondola ride.

If this is on your list for Napa, I highly suggest buying your tickets online ahead of time and getting there before noon. This place became a zoo on our way out and had lines out the wazoo. None-the-less, we still enjoyed our time!

img_5871img_5872img_5868-1img_5917img_5897img_5933img_5912Outfit Details: Floral Romper (so obsessed & only $48) // Nordstroms Booties // Red Lipstick (#302)

After Sterling, we went to Caymus and Frogsleap, both which we highly recommend! Caymus, is our absolute favorite wine. It’s kind of what we call our celebratory wine. It’s the one we get at nice restaurants on our anniversary and the wine we bring home for special occasions, so it only made sense to go there!

The grounds were beautiful, the experience was elegant, and I expected nothing less! We had our own little “reserved” area over looking the garden and it was really special. I would definitely suggest booking online before! 

Frogsleap was not originally on our list because it said everywhere that is was sold out. But since it was literally right down the street from Caymus, we stopped by just to see if we could get in, and we did!

For ambiance, I think this might have been our favorite! After grabbing your first tasting, you have the option to walk around the vineyard, their beautiful vegetable gardens, or relax and sit back until you’re ready for your next tasting. As you can see, we did all three! This is one that I will want to come back to, time and time again. 

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That night we were starving since we skipped lunch and were literally on an all wine diet for the day lol. 

Colton really wanted to go to a steak house, so we decided on Coles Chop House Downtown Napa. We hadn’t been downtown yet, so I was really excited to check it out. I loved Cole’s, mainly for the atmosphere and our service.  I walked in and immediately felt at home. Was the steak the best steak we ever had?! No -lol! But we did have the best time and the best wine. I truly know that we will go back just for that. 

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Outfits Details: Jeans // Sleeveless Turtleneck // Scarf // Purse 

The next morning, we woke up and immediately packed our bags to go downtown. After spending the evening downtown before, we knew we wanted to explore it during the day! I honestly think we could have spent the whole morning downtown it was so charming. 

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After exploring downtown for a little while, we started making our way back towards San Francisco, but not without stopping at The Fremont Diner for breakfast of course! Because we arrived there so late, there was quite the wait, but it was so worth it! They have a large patio area to hang out in until your table is ready. If you go, you have to get the milk shake! Actually, we ended up getting the french toast, a milk shake, and biscuits and gravy. I know, I’m shocked too! But hey, you have to indulge sometimes! 

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Then last but not least, we stopped by the Golden Gate bridge before heading to the air port. I have to say, it was quite the trip and one that I will remember forever. I always knew that I was going to love Napa, but I didn’t realize that I would fall in love with it lol.

 

Are you planning on going to Napa soon? Or have you been?? 

xo,

Lauren 

 

 

 

 

LA Tid Bits

LA TidBits - LA Travel Guide

First of all, can we talk about this view from the plane?? Literally breathtaking.

If Texas only had those hill…..

Any who, Hi Guys!! How are ya?

I thought I would take today to show you all a few tidbits from my most recent LA trip.

I told you all in this post how we recently just started doing these girls trips to LA and they have been just so much fun! You can catch our first one, here.

LA TidBits - LA Travel GuideOutfit Details: Ann’s Romper // Similar Romper // Haleys Romper (so cute!) // Purse

& yes, we keep going back to LA for a reason.

 Haley (far right) moved out there a year ago, so it’s been an easy destination for all of us to get together, without it being in Houston. We just got really lucky that she chose to move Los Angeles – lol

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Basically, the weekend was spent having lots (I mean lots) of wine, girl chat, shopping, happy hours and more girl chat. 

We also went to the most bougie places ever, like so chic, which is what I love! 

Put me on a patio, with great weather, palm trees and a bottle of Pinot Grigio and I am the happiest person in the world. My favorites places of the trip were The Kimpton Hotel Wilshire for roo top drinks, The Chateau  Maramont for a late lunch, Cecconi’s in West Hollywood for the best happy hour ever, and Ocean Prime for the best seafood dinner and atmosphere. 

LA TidBits - LA Travel GuideLA TidBits - LA Travel GuideOutfit Details: Mesh Leggings // Spanx Sports Bra (the best) // Haley’s Bright Pink Sports Bra // Ray Bans

Saturday morning, despite how we were all feeling from Cecconis happy hour. 

&&& yes, happy hour went that hard lol – don’t judge. 

We woke up, got dressed and hiked to the top of the Hollywood sign. Literally so cool, but so hard! Do not let anyone fool you, it was a lot harder than we expected haha but it was definitely worth it. The views were incredible. 

In general, California is just so freaking pretty. Like it’s honestly not fair how beautiful it is and how perfect their weather is. 

LA TidBits - LA Travel GuideLA TidBits - LA Travel GuideLA TidBits - LA Travel GuideLA TidBits - LA Travel GuideOutfit Details: Floral Romper // Similar Purse (almost sold out!) // Heels // Earrings //Ann’s crazy pants 

Sunday we made sure to head to Malibu. Originally we were planning on going to Nobu Malibu, but procrastinated in making reservations, so we went to The Malibu Cafe (seriously look check it out) instead! 

This place is so cute, so if you’re looking for something fun to do in Malibu, I highly recommend it! It’s just really chill, beautiful, has great food, a live band and is all outdoors. Literally my kind of place. 

But then again, that explains every place in LA – lol

xo,

Lauren

Lindos, Greece

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Shop Outfits: Blue shorts // Top // Swimsuit // Beach Bag (back in stock) // Flip Flops


Happy almost-weekend guys -lol! 

I don’t know about you all, but this week has been crawling for me. Especially on days like today when I am reminiscing on some of my favorite places from our trip. I just can’t help it….I miss it so much! For those of you who don’t know, we visited 10 cities and 4 countries in two weeks, which didn’t leave us a lot of time in each city. Colton’s parents thought this would be a good idea, because it would give us a chance to decide what we like, what we don’t like, and where we would come back to in the future. Which I agree, it really gave us a taste of everything!

Towards the end of the trip, we would all ask each other which city was our favorite, and I think hands down, we all agreed Lindos, Greece was on the top of everyones list. 

After being in Athens for a few days (errr), I think were all ready to see Greece. You know, the Greece we all see in the movies. The beautiful water, white houses, blue window panels. Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Greece -ha! 

When we first got into Rhodes (the largest of the Greek islands) we knew we immediately wanted to make our way to the town of Lindo’s, which was an hour away. Immediately we saw people riding on ATV’s and were like “ding! ding! ding!” that’s how were getting to Lindos! So we rented three ATV’s and drove them down the coast of Greece to most beautiful town I have ever seen. It was the Greece I had been searching for.

When we got into the town, most were parked at the top of the mountain and walked down to the beaches, but we continued to ride our ATV’s down the winding roads to the bottom. We ended up a the most charming restaurant right on the beach, where they let us pull right up to park. There we had traditional Greek food & lots of wine, over looking the water before heading to the beach ourselves.

Towards the end of lunch, I became like an antsy little kid, dying to go to the water. Seriously, I don’t know what happened to me! I was just so excited to be there. This was a place I thought was only real in the movies. It was the first time I had “swam” in the Mediterranean and I was just so happy. It turned into one of those perfect days, that would have never turned out that way if it were actually planned. Does that makes sense? 

I love days like that. 

Have a great Thursday friends! 

xo,

Lauren