Newcomer in NYC: What You’ve Missed

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Today’s post is going to be a recap of places I’ve been in Manhattan throughout the past few weeks. Anywhere I went throughout the semester was lost (given that I wasn’t posting at all) and I’ve been easing into posting recently, so I figured combining them all together could work well. Re-reading this intro now after having written the post, I realize it’s really just a list of places I would recommend checking out and less content based than I had originally planned – my bad!

Since I haven’t been blogging recently, I haven’t been as on top of always taking photos so you’ll notice some of these blurbs have no graphics along with them. I apologize for that! Sometimes it’s not about staging the food or getting the perfect shot, right?

I’d also lastly like to apologize for the amount of times the words “fun” and “delicious” are used. When I went back to read this post, I was so disappointed in the amount of times I used those two words to describe things but nevertheless, they are my go to for ambience and food. Oops! Working on shaking it up (blogging goals for this summer). For now, please stick with me!

Restaurants…

Sadelle’s

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Pure heaven. This place was everything I wanted in a brunch restaurant and more. My friend and I came home for one weekend from school and before catching our bus at Port Authority on Sunday we decided to go to Sadelle’s. Such a good decision. The lox was as good as it looks (if not better) and as much as I love the Breads Bakery Babka, I think this is better (this one has chocolate frosting!). I could not recommend this place more. Definitely make a reservation though – it was super crowded and if we hadn’t, I’m not so sure we would’ve gotten a table. A few hours after we left, I saw on Instagram that Leo DiCaprio was at Sadelle’s. We just missed him…

Two Hands

To continue missed celebrity encounters, at Two Hands, I sat in Dave Franco’s seat… right after he left. It was so disappointing that we just missed him, but still cool to have been there. This small Australian place gets a ton of attention on Instagram and was worth the hype. There was a decent wait, but Two Hands allows you to give your cell number and walk away – they’ll text you when your table is ready, so you don’t have to stand outside the restaurant. I got a sandwich and added an egg – delicious and fresh. I was so hungry I took no pictures (so unlike me) but I’m sure I’ll be back.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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The first time I was at Nom Wah Tea Parlor was for dim sum in the morning and it was absolutely delicious. The food was fresh and the portions were extremely generous. I went for a second time after Escape the Room (read more on that below) because it was literally one block away but at night it wasn’t as good. However, given that it was a group of 6 of us, we were able to get a table right away which was extremely convenient and easy!

10 Below

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What can I say… I buy into food trends way too easily. 10 Below has been everywhere and it’s really not a shocker that I decided to try it, right? Although it was good, I can’t say I would go again – was glad to try it but definitely not my new favorite Ice Cream.

Pizza Beach

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Delicious pizza. There are two locations, one on the Upper East Side and one on the Lower East Side. I went to the one on the UES, and it was in such a nice area – very quiet. We were able to get a table outside which I would definitely recommend. The interior of the restaurant is beautiful, but the sidewalk seating they had was very calming and not super claustrophobic, which I think is hard to find. I could only finish half of my pizza because the crust is so thick and extremely filling, but it was really good. Above is what it looks like outside next to the tables!

Baz Bagel

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Baz Bagel is the cutest bagel shop – super tiny, but that adds to the ambience of the whole place. Plastered with pictures of Barbara Streistand on the wall, it’s quaint and fun, plus there is a huge menu with tons of different options. I got a bagel with lox and beet cream cheese (hence the pink color) which was extremely filling and delicious. Plus, at the end of the meal, they gave us a complimentary plate of treats – rugelach and macaroons – the only thing we didn’t get to try were the black and white cookies!

Activities…

Mini Golf at Pier 25

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Mini Golf at the Pier was such a fun activity. Although the course itself was fairly bland and unexciting, the view was spectacular – as you can see, we were there at sunset and it was absolutely stunning. The weather was beautiful so just being outside was a plus! If you are looking for a inexpensive activity this is good – $5 a person for Manhattan Mini Golf is reasonable. It was a little crowded but not crazy, and the course is open until 10pm during the summer which is a bonus.

Mission Escape Games

Mission Escape Games is one of the Escape the Room places in New York City. This one was located in Chinatown (as mentioned above, we went to Nom Wah Tea Parlor after we finished!). Our room was called “Escape the Initiation”. The background was fairly simple: our group was in the final stages of being hired by a man for his company, but he wanted to observe how we all worked before giving us the job. There was no start or end point (except for leaving the room) so it was fun to guide ourselves and just play with everything to figure a way out. We were able to solve the code and left the room with 3 minutes left!

Met Rooftop & PsychoBarn

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Literally unreal. I could not recommend this more. First of all, the views from the Rooftop are breathtaking. I was so surprised I hadn’t been up there sooner because truly, it is beautiful and something not to miss if you’ll be visiting the city for a short period of time. Currently, there is an exhibition on the roof: the PsychoBarn. I’ve never seen the movie, but this is a replica of the red barn from Hitchcock’s Psycho. Unfortunately, there is no interior – just two walls that make up a facade. It was honestly so cool and again – worth visiting to get a picture (… if we are being completely honest).

Shopping…

American Two Shot, Kith, The Vintage Twin

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I didn’t buy anything at any of these stores, so I don’t have too much to report, but they are all extremely interesting concepts. If you happen to be near any of them, worth looking into! I went to American Two Shot entirely in search of Baron Von Fancy stuff, but the selection when we went was disappointing. Kith is a men’s sneaker store that is absolutely beautiful – there is a smaller women’s store across the street (like, really small). It was too hard to shop there because it was such a tiny space, and to be honest, the shoe selection in the women’s store wasn’t spectacular.  The men’s store is worth going into just to marvel at – didn’t take any pictures (missed opportunity) but seriously it is incredible. As for Vintage Twin, again, worth going into. This is a pop up shop that switches locations every few weeks (I believe). They repurpose garments and print on them, which is awesome. If you are lucky enough to find one you like that is your size, the sayings are really fun. They often use lyrics – we went in search of the “Work work work work work” print, courtesy of Rihanna.

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At This Moment…

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Trying to get back into the swing of things so here we are with another post just a few days after that last one was published (better than a month later, right?).

I used to think these types of posts were just cheap tricks that bloggers resort to when they are in a crunch to post a certain amount per week. However, when Nicole posed the idea, I realized it’s a great way to catch you guys up on what’s currently inside my head. Given that I’ve been MIA for so long and my last post didn’t give much clarity to what’s been going on in my life, I thought this would bridge the gap a little bit.

For those who haven’t seen these types of posts before, a “At This Moment…” post simply just lists out a few prompts to which you answer with what’s been going on in your life lately.

Make sure to go read Nicole’s too!

Enjoying…  the fact that it is acceptable to wear Essie’s Bikini So Teeny on my nails! It’s my favorite nail color for the summer – I naturally gravitate to it when I go into the nail salon. During the other seasons I feel like it’s too bright, but for summer, it is perfect. I’m usually impartial to dark colors so these few summer weeks are really the only time I change it up!

Excited About… Hamilton (the Broadway show). My parents got tickets all the way back in October for a show in a few weeks (!!!!!!!). From everything I’ve read, we’ll make it right before the original cast leaves (*knock on wood*). I’m thrilled to see what all the hype is about (my mom and I tried to get tickets last year when it was at the end of its run at the Public Theater and couldn’t… over a year later here we are!!).

Drinking… Iced Coffee. (This habit has not changed since being away at school; if anything, it got worse.)

Listening… to more Drake than I’d like to admit to, only because it’s everywhere. I use Spotify to make playlists but since I’ve been home and able to use a car, I just rely on the radio when I’m driving around. I swear, every other song played is Drake but I’m just embracing it!

Loving… Manhattan day trips. Since home, I’ve been in a few times to see friends from school. It’s always exciting to get out of the suburbs! Unfortunately Nicole and I just missed Shelby while she was briefly in the city but hopefully the three of us will be able to plan a city get together for later in the summer.

Needing… A new phone case. I’m a klutz so I frequently drop my phone; its last tumble led to in a few too many cracks in my current case. If you have any suggestions, I have a 6S in Space Gray!

Wanting… Baron Von Fancy products (I’d like to think of him as the more inappropriate Pamela Barsky). I love Barsky pouches but there’s some Von Fancy sayings that take the cake (one of my favorites: my anxieties have anxieties). While in the city, my friend and I went in pursuit of his stuff, only to find none, and then went after this sign which was already (sadly) replaced with an advertisement.

Watching… American Horror Story. I was pretty skeptical of the show, even though my mom has watched most seasons and loved them all. I blew through the first season in just a few days and it was incredible. Very creepy but so different than anything I’ve watched recently so I really enjoyed it. For those who don’t know, AHS is an anthology series so each season is a different theme. Often, a lot of actors come back but they have different roles. I’m onto the second season now!

Wearing… Adidas Stan Smiths. I’ve been sitting on a post draft about these sneakers since at least April but it never materialized. These shoes are so comfortable and go with pretty much everything! Lately I’ve preferred them to sandals simply because they are so easy to wear. I still own a pair of white converse, but I’ve been totally impartial to these particular kicks.

One quick bonus regarding food (because dessert is an important part of my life): I went to a local place near me called Milkcraft that serves the waffle ice cream cones that have been all over Instagram lately. I waited for over an hour but the Smores creation I had was absolutely delicious and worth the hype. (Ps – can you spot the Bikini So Teeny on my nails?)

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Long Time, No Speak

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Everytime I try to write this post, I get bored. I’ve written it before, and I know I’ll write it again. The “it” I’m referring to simply my go-to excuse post, the “sorry I haven’t been around” or “my bad for not writing” and it’s literally the same shit every. single. time.

I feel an inherent need to always be apologizing, but the thing is, I’m not really sorry I haven’t blogged in over a month. And considering the lack of engagement this blog typically has, I’m pretty sure no one is that upset I wasn’t present.

There is nothing motivating me to blog – I read other posts and I think they are often irrelevant, I read back my own old posts that are (for the most part) a load of BS, and I go on Twitter and see everyone’s fake thoughts just to be “accepted” and it’s made me stop caring.

Nicole and I finally got to catch up after awhile and we had a lot of the same thoughts. What is next for our blogs? Is there anything we can do to change the nature of the current blogging system? How can we compare to the increased amount of full time bloggers? And worst of all: should we just quit?

I like to write, but in today’s “blog culture” you must be writing a certain way, mentioning specific products, tweeting out cutesy little thoughts about really nothing at all, and maintaining a perfectly curated Instagram but passing it off as entirely effortless. Those extra steps were once something I enjoyed, but now it just annoys me. It’s a lot of work just to seem “present”, and it is all pretty gimmick-y. Links to your last blog post are to get more views, and links to products are probably through an affiliate program are to make money. I get it, it makes sense, but to be honest, I hate it.

I don’t think I want to stop blogging entirely, I just need to find a new rhythm, embrace a true voice, and stop caring what everyone else is doing because it doesn’t really matter. (Way easier said than done.)

I can’t promise consistency – I can’t really promise anything – all I can hope is that if you like my perspective, you’ll continue to read in some capacity. If I’m not tweeting, just know it is because Twitter bores me sometimes. If I’m not using my blog instagram, then just follow my personal one – even if it’s not perfect, at least it is being updated.

If there’s something you want to see, let me know. If you think I’m totally wrong, please – speak up! The blog world is way too agreeable – sometimes, you just want the truth. Any sort of dialogue we could have about this is something I want to be a part of so feel free to reach out.

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Influencing

Hello!

Long time no talk. Sorry about that. Still figuring out this thing called balance – it’s really difficult. I had a huge project I’ll talk about later because it culminates in a Newcomer in NYC that I think you guys would like! But until then…

I wanted to update you on an awesome (and 100% free) service called Influenster. You fill out some easy information about yourself, connect your social media networks, and gain points all to receive cute boxes containing entirely free products for you to try and review online.

What I love the most about it is that it provides a platform in which bloggers (or anyone – you don’t have to have a blog) can try products and provide an honest review. Not to mention the fact it’s totally free – you don’t even have to pay for shipping.

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Yes, the whole thing is hit or miss. This box was great exclusively because of the Snickers Crisper bars, which I’ve had before and absolutely love (I’m a big fan of Buncha Crunch so it was a logical step for me to think these were incredible).

As for the rest, there was a tea sample, but I don’t like tea, some wipes, and also an NYC Lip/Cheek tint. Nothing incredible, but entirely free – so sifting through the unnecessary to get to the good doesn’t hurt.

As a college student, I find these a fun way to add to my package count throughout the year. I love getting mail, and this is no exception. When I went to go pick it up in the mailroom, I saw a bunch of a tiny blue boxes – clearly many people are on board with this service trend.

Essentially, it’s like Birchbox or PopSugar without having to pay – this way you can’t get disappointed if you don’t like what is provided.

What do you think of Influenster? Have you tried it?

Sign up here.

Let me know!

xoxo, Jamie

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Let’s Have Coffee

Happy April! Remember me?

…April 1: a clean slate. Yes, I am aware that it’s April Fool’s Day but I swear, I’m not pulling anything over on you this time around

Grab a coffee, a snack – whatever it is you’d like, and lets pretend we are talking to one another, similarly to this post from what feels like ages ago.

I have had a lot to say for awhile now, and I haven’t even known where to start. Couple that with a complete lack of time and instead of putting out content that’s not complete, I haven’t put up too much at all. It makes me sad because blogging brings me so much joy, but I’m hoping to get all of my thoughts (no matter how harsh and bitter they happen to be) off my chest to proceed. Everything might be a little jumbled and I’m not sure if anything will transition from my brain to the computer well, but bear with me…

First, I’d like to start off with the fact that I have acknowledged that being busy is never an excuse. And I’m still sticking to that; although I do have a lot going on, if I wanted to blog, I definitely could’ve made time (as I did to publish this one post). However, not to push the blame onto others, I feel that the blogging community has been so uninspiring. Somedays, I don’t even click on my Bloglovin notification because I know it’s going to be more of the same.

Brief pictures of outfits just don’t do it for me. I’d much rather prefer lengthy discussions of trends, happenings, even what you did yesterday. I admire bloggers like Jessica and Hallie because they can tell a story with their outfits – instead of letting the photos do the talking (or not talk, as has been happening more often than not). It’s boring, and with the little time I have to read articles or surf the web, scrolling through uninteresting posts is not on the top of my list.

Blogging in general has not been on the top of my list. The joy I once got out of producing content and working hard has faded a little bit, which is disappointing because it wasn’t a conscious choice. I think that what started as a passion project has been clouded by the surrounding environment, and with everyone writing the same things, and other people only wanting to read very specific, niche things, it limits creativity on a high level.

I sometimes come up with ideas only to not execute them due to 1. my complete laziness as mentioned above, and 2. a predicted disregard from the general audience. The way our blogging community has formed is extremely strange; the only people who comment on blog posts are other bloggers, and often (at least in my own experience), no comments at all. We’re in a very tech-savvy time, yet personally I’ve found it hard to spread my blog to others who are not in the throes of the blogging world.

After all, sometimes posts aren’t supposed to be geared towards other bloggers – when I started blogging, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’ve fed into the hype, but all these posts about what bloggers do and say doesn’t mean anything in real life. It’s not necessarily a problem in the grand scheme of things, and it doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing them, it’s just confusing. How do all the big name bloggers attract bloggers and non-bloggers as readers? How does someone like me, trapped in a relatively small, tight-knit blogging community attract new people to visit my website?

And in the midst of all these thoughts, just as I attempt to come back to the blogging world, there is the big Instagram debacle. Am I the only one that really does not care? I understand that Instagram is HUGE, but I’m sorry, it truly is not the end of the world. If you step up your game, you’ll naturally attract back the same number of followers you had. Although not seeing everyone’s post is an inconvenience, this happens naturally – sometimes people post on the app when you are not active – and won’t be for a few hours. Getting so worked up about an application (even if it is a supplement to your personal brand) isn’t enough.

And that’s all (for now).

I can’t make any promises just yet – I just wanted to update you all in some capacity.

Let me know what you think and don’t be afraid to disagree – I’m open to all/any thoughts!

xo, Jamie

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Light LeSportsac

LeSportsac has reformulated their classic products in favor of a lighter, chic-er, and easier model. I caught a glimpse of it way back in December when the SoHo pop-up was selling all the products, but now that it is up on the online shop as well, I had to share on the blog!

Here are some photos from the shop when the line was doing it’s pre-release showing:IMG_0733 IMG_0735The new LeSportsac is reimagined to be better for the user, aka, just when I thought the brand couldn’t get any better it did. The major new elements are…

New fabric – LeSportsac is now using micro ripstop fabrics that are incredibly light, while still maintaining the same strength as the slightly heavier fabrics from before.

New hardware – The hardware is now aluminum and the zippers are redefined in a more classic, futuristic way.

New logo – The logo has been re-colored to a sleek silver.

New inside innovation – The inside of the bags is lined with a metallic interior in either silver or pearl to match the bag’s pattern but still continue the quality control the brand aims to include.

The four elements combine to create a new round of effortless products that round out the LeSportsac mission – and I could not be more excited!

As for my product pick…

I love the Functional Backpack in Full Moon. This is slightly smaller than my other LeSportsac backpack on the outset, but don’t be fooled: it can still hold a ton.The pockets are incredibly functional: two zippered in the front and two side pockets for a water bottle or an umbrella.

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Cardigan: Don’t Ask Why, Jeans: Design Lab, Shirt: Dor L Dor, Shoes: Steve Madden, Backpack: Lesportsac, Sunglasses: Warby Parker, Jewelry: David Yurman, Apple Watch, Lokai Bracelet

We’ve had a random streak of sunny, warm days – so I decided it was the perfect time to snap pictures of the backpack. Versions of this outfit have also become a go to in these recently brighter days; although they aren’t super often, having shoes similar to these on hand and cardigans to throw on are extremely important! (I’m thinking of writing a post though about what I wear when the weather isn’t like this – which is more often than not)

Shop this new collection and specifically my backpack!

And before I end this post, I just wanted to acknowledge that yesterday was my FOUR year blog anniversary! To be honest, I thought it today (3/12) and went back and checked my first post (it is very embarrassing) to find it was March 11, 2012.

This day completely snuck up on me and I can’t believe The Fashion Newcomer has been existence for this long! Another post to come on this, but thank you everyone for being patient with me.

xoxo, Jamie

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Sport of Choice: Snacking

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Snacking is one of my favorite things to do, and although not necessarily the healthiest, when it comes to dining hall food in college – snacks are a necessity.

I’ve talked about Nourish Snacks before which are an awesome way to have clean, portioned snacks on hand to grab and go before leaving your dorm room. However, as I’ve progressed, I’ve noticed a few other things I have to have on hand to ensure I’m never hungry.

If we are getting really technical here – as I sometimes do when it comes the world of snacking – it’s good to have a variety of snacks – ones with more sustenance, some that can substitute a meal if need be, others to curb that persistent chocolate craving, and then just some pure junk to get you through the day.

My campus is fairly isolated in that there’s no grocery store we can walk to – everything is driving distance. However, since freshman aren’t allowed to have cars, to get to Wegmans (the local supermarket that is, by the way, incredible) we have to take the bus. This is totally fine, but it definitely limits the amount in which I buy considering I can only take back what I can carry.

Thus, I try to pick up light, easy to transport items that don’t go bad too easily so I can have them on hand for awhile before I get a chance to go to Wegmans again.

Some (as of late – and this is always shifting) must haves…

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Luna Bars | Wheat Thins | Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Light Cheese Wheel Pretzel Crisps | Pretzel Goldfish | Goldfish | Hummus | Peeled Peas Pleas | Krave | Some Chocolate | Trail Mix | Popcorn

And if you’re really adventurous and want to splurge on yourself, ordering from an online macaron or cupcake boutique is always a fun choice…

Baked by Melissa

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Dana’s Macarons

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Other potential food posts to come: alternatives to dining hall food and how to manipulate dining hall food into something semi desirable. (Only sort of kidding… problem is I am trying to figure these things out as well – please let me know if anyone else has these sorts of tips!)

xoxo, Jamie

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Newcomer in NYC: Meatpacking with Empire Styles

Nicole and I had another blogger date in the city before I had to head back to school for second semester (note: I’m back now, although no consistency guaranteed, hence the dry spell of posts/tweets/instagrams yet again). We had a fabulous time – we set a few destinations, and otherwise wandered and caught up – some much needed girl time!

I broke up some of our destinations so if you are planning a trip to the city you could pick and choose some interesting places to go to – and if that truly is the case, make sure to check out this other post with Nicole here!

To reiterate: yes, Nicole and I met through blogging and despite weird, I am so lucky to have her in my life. We mesh so well and just get each other – and I am so thankful for the blogging world that has connected us!

Onto the day…

Chelsea Market // Artists and FleasIMG_0992

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Chelsea Market is a great food hall with a plethora of options – we went a little bit before lunchtime, so we decided to browse around Anthropologie and Artists & Fleas, an extension of the market focused on small businesses. Particularly, we went in pursuit of Pamela Barksy pouches – there was a sale going on, but we both decided to pass. There are so many great vendors and it was fun just perusing – and I got to check off going back on my NYC to-do list!

Dos Caminos

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We decided we wanted more of a sit down meal, so we headed across the street to Dos Caminos. I’ve been a few times before and we thought it would be a safe bet to check it out and indulge in Mexican food. I was leaving for school a few days later so any chance I had while home to eat normal non Sodexo food I’ll gladly take! We ended up getting these power protein bowls and guacamole – so delicious. I totally recommend, especially with the chicken – whatever the sauce was, it was incredible and just right amount of spice.

Gansevoort Market // Dana’s Bakery and Crepe Sucre

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Other Snapshots // City Life, Story, and Filicori

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe rest of the day was just spent wandering around – we set off first in search of Story (yes, also on the to-do list…) which is a retail store that changes themes every so often in pursuit of another concept to benefit the consumer. The current theme is wellness in collaboration with Cigna Healthcare. Although we didn’t buy anything, it was still fun to peruse and see the space that adapts so quickly to new concepts.

After, we decided to keep walking up as Nicole had to get back to Penn Station to catch her train. We passed through FIT territory (and can’t wait to go back to visit Shelby sometime soon hopefully!) and noticed we had time, so we decided to plop down at Filicori to warm up with lattes (1. it was freezing and 2. we had seen from some FIT bloggers we follow that the latte art there is killer!).

Although we didn’t get grand designs this time around, it was nice to take in a different environment – less mainstream then Starbucks, people going about their everyday lives… we tried to blend in as best as possible.

Nicole took classes at FIT while in high school on weekends, so as we walked out she pointed out the dorms, buildings, etc. – so interesting to take in a college environment that is so different from mine currently!

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’ll try to be more consistent here on out – hoping for the best…

Blog Signature

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In Pursuit of…

It’s important to look up. But also sometimes to look down, because you never quite know the gems you’ll spot as you stroll through the streets…
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I was walking through a small Connecticut town near me and saw this “In pursuit of magic” stamped into a brick in the sidewalk. Of course I had to snap a picture – I am a blogger, after all. Sitting on this snap for a few days, I realized it was a great way to introduce a discussion about some thoughts I’ve had in regards to The Fashion Newcomer lately.

(That and the fact that it’s still the beginning of 2016, so I can still do some reflecting…right?)

I want to start with this: I’m essentially in pursuit of passion and balance.

Let’s back up – I am extremely passionate about this blog, but I occasionally feel like I hit dead ends. While I was gone from blogging, I felt guilty – but I was (at times) very devoid of relevant ideas, so in some regard, I was able to excuse myself from working on it.

I believe in quality over quantity 100%, but lately it’s feeling like if I’m not frequently posting, I’m not staying in-the-know, which means I’m momentarily disappearing from mattering to people who once clicked on my webpage and liked my (hopefully) unique voice.

I’m home on Winter Break now and I wanted to do another take on The Scheduling Project (a successful one this time) – I thought because I was home and rejuvenated that suddenly the ideas would come rushing back and I could actually execute out a decent amount of these ideas.

But I’ve come to realize that no one person – especially a person that isn’t a full time blogger – should write seven to eight blog posts (or even more) for the next month a month in advance, in addition to keeping up with content for the current month. It’s way too much. It’s not conducive to living life to the fullest, doesn’t allow for any spontaneity, and creates a circulation of stale posts.

I want to maintain the passion I have for this blog but also have a balance going forward – sporadically posting doesn’t cut it, but posting boring, uninspired content doesn’t work either.

So.

I am in pursuit of passion and balance. And will be for awhile. Doing both is a stretch – so maybe I too am in pursuit of magic and making what has previous been undoable happen.

You’ll see posts from me – I promise – but the schedule in which you do see them might be a little all over the place – this is so I can get the passion part down first and only write about what I truly believe in.

As I develop on that path, I’m hoping to find some sense of balance as well, and simultaneously master both.

Thank you to all who are sticking with me – I just can’t bear to publish posts I don’t believe in just to post. I know I’ve said this before and I know I’ll say it again, but I felt it had to be said again.

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Stream of Consciousness: First Semester

At first I was going to structure this post as a “Top Five Tips From First Semester” – but as I started brainstorming what those tips would be, I realized I had more rambling to do versus just a straight list of advice – because honestly, what I have to say about school can’t be applied to everyone; it’s just what I have learned through my first time being away from home for a very significant length of time!

As the title says, this is going to be a total stream of consciousness so I’m not sure what direction this is heading in but here we go…

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I picked my roommate online, which I know there’s a lot of debate about but it worked out super well. We found each other on the Facebook group which is somewhat laughable but actually ended up having mutual friends. When orientation started, she was the only person I knew there. We are both in special programs at the school, just two different ones that correspond with the professional schools we are in.

Although it’s not common, I happened to meet girls at orientation who would end up becoming my really good friends. At my school, orientation is in the summer before first semester starts, not attached to the beginning of the semester. My roommate met other people who were in her program, and I met them later in the day after all the orientation groups were combined. We hung out for the night, not knowing that we would get back to school in the fall only to be living on the same floor of the same dorm. I think it’s important to note that besides my roommate, none of us kept in touch after orientation – not even friending each other on Facebook.

But we all remembered each other by face, and when we got back to school, knowing some extra people – who then developed into my close friends – was so great. From them, I met who they knew and within the first few days, already had a “group” even if everyone told us that group wouldn’t last beyond those first few days (but it did!!). Takeaway: Keep an open mind during orientation, you never know who you’ll meet and what kind of friends they will develop into! It’s a rarity, but you could be reunited with those friends upon the start of school.

There were only a few days in between move-in and the start of classes – enough to get to know people and have flexibility without being bored and (probably) homesick. Those few days were fun – first frat party, first encounter with dining hall food, first (and really only) time being at school with little to no responsibilities. Takeaway: If your campus affords you time in between move-in and classes, explore campus, find out where your classes are, and always keep your door open!

On the Monday that classes began, I was actually really nervous. I had an 8:30am and I was so nervous I was going to oversleep – I don’t think I slept much that night anyways. Once the day started going (I had 3 classes that day), it was a lot better – I found out my 8:30 was an optional class (woo!) and my other classes were much shorter than the allotted time, used simply just to go over the syllabus. Takeaways: Avoid 8:30ams at all costs (trust me, waking up in college is way different than high school), print the syllabus out for classes where it was released online already (if you can, no big deal if you can’t), and know that during first week, classes will (most likely) be shorter.

At first, the food seemed great because everything was new – I was choosing whatever I wanted for each meal, and over the first week I saw what the daily rotation was at the dining hall. Unfortunately, after the new-ness of it all faded away, I was not the biggest fan of the dining hall food – and due to a lack of overeating, I loss weight instead of gained. This is an anomaly!! I also think the fact that I’m walking a lot more than ever before (3 to 4 miles a day, according to my phone) and occasionally going to the gym (it’s so close I don’t have much of an excuse) contributes. Takeaway: Dining hall food can be iffy, but be smart, make sure you eat, and find what you like!

From there, getting adjusted even more required discovering the little nuances of campus –   particularly how to get into a rhythm of studying and at that, where to study. There’s tons of study spaces but finding what is best for you – and then probably switching it up every now and then, is best. Takeaways: Try out different spots to see what noise level you like for studying, what location is best for you, and whether you can or can’t be around friends. 

I’m going to cut off this post here – I know its a semi-abrupt ending – but I have a lot more to say and putting it all into one post would be super long – way longer than anyone would want to read.

Look out for more on this (that is – if you want more – if so tweet me so I know!).
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