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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Five Things

img_1555-copyimg_1564-copyimg_1589-copyGoodnight MacaroonLoeffler RandallGoodnight MacaroonSteve Madden BootiesGoodnight MacaroonGoodnight MacaroonOutfit Details – Sweater: Goodnight Macaroon |  Paige Jeans: Nordstrom | Steve Madden Booties: Nordstrom | Loeffler Randall Handbag: Nordstrom | Hat: Nordstrom | Ray Bans: Nordstrom


Hi guys! 

My goodness, it feels good to be back! How was everyone’s Christmas?? Besides the fact that it was 85 degrees here in Houston, ours was really lovely. The entire weekend was spent with family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At Church on Christmas morning, the whole sermon focused on the importance of Presence over Presents during the holidays and, well, everyday. For some reason, this really hit home for me. Which is why, over the weekend, I just kind of really took a break from everything and focused on what was important to me, which was the people around me. 

Earlier in the week, before Christmas, it was actually freezing outside, which was when we were able to shoot this look! Now that I think about it, it was really cold for quite a few weeks because at one point, I definitely wore this sweater from Goodnight Macaroon at least 5 days in a row. Maybe more. I got it in early December and it quickly became one of those items that I wanted to wear all the time. It’s warm, it’s soft and the fringe gives it a little edge that separates it from other sweaters. This sweater is definitely my favorite piece in my closet right now! The weather man says that the temperatures will be dropping this week, so fingers crossed because I want to continue wearing this sweater everyday -lol! Also, really quick before I get into the rest of this, Goodnight Macaroon is having a site wide sale so everything is 40% off with code: XMAS40 !!

Okay, now onto my FIVE THINGS. These are random things that have either been on my mind, that I am loving or that I am wanting. 

(1) I’m First a Blogger, over everything 

I thought about writing a whole post on this, but I think for now, this will suffice. Recently, with growth on Instagram and constantly having to keep up with all of my social media channels, I feel like I have forgotten a little bit that I am a blogger first and everything else is second. This blog is what I put my heart and soul into everyday and what I produce content for. I produce blog posts everyday for you guys, not for likes on an Instagram post. 

(2) Kate Somerville Has Done Wonders For My Skin

I honestly cannot say enough good things about the Kate Somerville Skin Care Line. Like OMG. I will do a whole post on it this month, but until then, if you are looking for a new skin care line, I highly recommend it. I saw immediate results in my skin after one use – swear!

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(3) I’ve become completely and totally  obsessed with Podcasts

Podcasts have been filling my life recently and I can’t stop. I listen to them in the car, at the gym, at work, and on walks with Bentley. I’m literally obsessed with them. If you’re interested in a post featuring all of my favorites, let me know! 

(4) Taking Breaks Away From Social Media Is Vital 

Over the weekend, I really took a huge break from social media and absolutely loved it.I wasn’t on the computer, I wasn’t scrolling through Instagram and I wasn’t checking up on snapchat or anything. I pretty much put my phone away and didn’t know where it was half the weekend. I didn’t realize how much I needed this break until I had it. With the blog and with social media outlets, like Instagram, it is really easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Which is why it is so important to step away, and give yourself a break.

(5) I’m Absolutely Obsessing Over Swimsuits

I know, I know, Christmas was just two days ago!!! But in my defense, we leave for Cabo in less than 15 days so I am stocking up! So far, I am loving all high neck halters tops, one pieces, and even high waisted suits! Below are a few of my current favorites! 

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xo,

Lauren

Christmas Gift Guide For Your Mom

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See, I told you all there would be a Gift Guide today – lol! 

I’m not sure about you guys, but I am really really close to my mom. I know I have told you guys this a million times before but she is definitely my best friend. I love buying gifts for her, because she rarely buys gifts for herself. So I love getting to spoil her a little bit. 

When putting this list together, I definitely had my mother in mind. So hopefully all of our mothers are a like – ha! First things first, I thought about what she likes and what she has. My mother loves to entertain & cook, she loves to read and she loves her baths. She only wears night shirts like #1, she is obsessed with her Daniel Wellington Watch (check out post here!) and one thing I have learned over the years is that I can never go wrong with Kendra Scott

So if our moms are anything alike, then she will love anything from this list above too! I bought this electric wine bottle opener for my mom on her Birthday and she loved it! These slippers are honestly the softest thing ever and are perfect if your mom has hardwood floors. A Fitbit is a perfect gift if your mom is trying to get a little healthier for 2017 and I think that bath caddy’s are the coolest things ever! I mean, it literally combines all of my moms favorite things in one – lol! 

Last years Christmas Gift Guide for my Mom was pretty solid too and are still great gifts!

You can check that post out here!

xo,

Lauren 

5 Christmas Gifts From The Heart That Cost Almost Nothing

img_0986-3-copyimg_1038-copyimg_1023-copyimg_1054img_0994-copyimg_1062-copyimg_1048-copyimg_1019-2-copyOutfit Details – Sweater: Good Night Macaroon | Skirt: Urban Outfitters | Tights: Nordstrom | Burberry Jacket: Neiman Marcus | Steve Madden Booties: Nordstrom | Loeffler Randal Purse: Nordstrom (on sale!) | Lipstick: YSL Nordstrom


Good Morning & Happy Monday!

How was everyones weekend? Ours was really great and as busy as expected, but it all worked out perfectly. As Colton and I were driving to our friends Christmas party on Saturday, he told me that this was the first year in a long time, that it actually felt like Christmas to him and I couldn’t agree more. The past few years have just felt blah to me, but this year, things just feel different. Maybe it’s the cooler weather we’ve had in Texas or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had my Christmas tree up since before Thanksgiving. Either way, there’s not a grinch in sight in our household.

With that being said though, I did want to take the time to share with you guys some gifts that aren’t as materialistic as my usual suggestions and definitely won’t break the bank. As much as I am in the Christmas spirit, I couldn’t help but feel kind of suffocated over the weekend with everyone telling me to buy, buy, buy. Whether it be at the mall, on TV, on Instagram or on Facebook, I admit, it all gotten kind of overwhelming. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably have another gift guide for you all in the morning – lol, but for today, I just wanted to take a break and let everyone breath. Just a little bit 🙂

Photo Album 

Have you and your family gone on a family trip recently? Try making a sweet photo album of all of all of the photos you took from the trip to help relive the memories. I know we all have Facebook, Drop Box & Google Share, but there is just something different about making a photo album and holding the photos in your hand. Flipping the pages of the book with your family as opposed to clicking next on the computer screen.

Sweets & Treats  

Every year, I make a few sweets and treats to give away to family members. For example, my sweet & spicy pecans. Colton’s Dad and Papo love them, so I always make a batch, put them in a nice Christmas container and give them to them on Christmas Eve. Want something a little more sweet? I also love this as an idea.

Pass down an Heirloom

Has your little sister or daughter been eyeing a piece of jewelry of yours for years? What about a jacket. Be clear, this is not to be mistaken for a down Hand me downs. Hand me downs are items that you pass down because you no longer want them. I am talking about precious items that mean a lot to you, but will mean the world to them. They are the perfect gift that your loved one will remember forever. 

DIY Something

Make something that your loved one could use or love. This list from Country Living really is great. From homemade soaps, to mugs to Mason Jar Lid Coasters, everything on this list, really is great. I especially love the Cutting Board Tablet Holder (#31).

Gift Baskets

I understand that Gift Baskets may seem boring but try making a basket for someone and really having it cater to them. Try making a spa basket and fill it with fun little items. Example, bath bombs, face masks & sugar scrubs. To really save, try picking these items up at a places like Marshall’s or TJ Max. They have a great bath/spa section that won’t kill your bank account.

If it’s for a guy, like your Dad or Grandpa, buy him his favorite candy that he never has and add it to his basket. Or add his favorite brand of coffee, some golf balls if he likes to golf or just little things you know he likes. These baskets do not have to be extravagant, but do put thought into them to make them as special as possible.


Do you guys have any suggestions to add to this list? If so, I would love to hear them! 

xo, 

Lauren