Silver Lining . . .

If you're ever feeling down about being stuck in the city on a summer weekend -  not going to lie, I'm in major Montauk withdraw - fear not! I have a wonderful silver lining for you. Summer weekends are the absolute best time to reserve a table at an "impossible to get into" hotspot. With half of the city emptied out, it's amazing how many so-hard-to-get tables open up. My cure for Montauk withdraw? Dinner with Scott at NoMad tonight. One of my all-time favorites (ah... the chicken), I usually have to call a month in advance to get a table. Not in the summer, made the reservation last week and couldn't be more excited. Book a dinner at some of they must-tries to cure your beach-longing blues: 

La Esquina
Minetta Tavern
ABC Kitchen
Brooklyn Fare
Lacanda Verde

Here's what I get to look forward to tonight... 

Images via thenomadehotel.com


Bouchon Bakery for lunch . . .

There's nothing better than a long lunch midweek to break up the routine. Yesterday I got together with one of my best childhood friends for a life catch-up at Bouchon Bakery, a favorite meeting spot for lunch, dessert, coffee or tea. With two NY locations (also in CA and LV), one at the Time Warner Center (preferred) and another at Rockefeller Center, Bouchon is my ideal midtown spot for tasty bites and good chats. The menu is simple and fresh, the setting is light and bright, the food never disappoints, and of course there's the added bonus of a bakery on-site so that after your soup and salad you can treat yourself to a vanilla macaron ... which I obviously did. 


NYC for Free . . .

Image via Pinterest
I was playing around on Pinterest (my favorite procrastination tool, follow me HERE) and came across this pic, laughed to myself, and immediately repinned. It's hard to go a day in this city without wondering where your money is disappearing to. Those of you living in or visiting NYC know exactly what I'm talking about. But the truth is there are actually loads of fun things to do in New York without spending a cent, the key is just knowing about them! So here are five summer activities to try in NYC for free: 

Movie screenings in the park for free, all you need is a blanket and a shoulder to lean on, picnic basket optional. 

Shape Up NYC
Complimentary workout classes throughout the city, from yoga to zumba to kickboxing. Why pay gym fees when you can get your cardio in for free?

Tour of Brooklyn Brewery
Saturdays and Sundays BK Brewery offers free tours open to the public, no reservation necessary. I bet if you're extra interested and super nice your tour guide might even give you a free taste.

Fridays at MoMA
Friday evenings from 4pm to 8pm you can visit one of New York's premiere museums completely free of charge with access to all the galleries, exhibitions, and films. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Free concert in September of all the biggest hits on the Broadway stage. This is the perfect way to get a glimpse of Broadway's best without paying a dime. 


Montauk Photo Journal . . .

I'm officially in love with Montauk, and especially The Crow's Nest Inn & Restaurant, our home base for the weekend. It's so perfectly rustic, beachy-chic, overall just picturesque. And even though it was only two nights, we managed to fit quite a bit in: oysters by the bay and drinks at The Surf Lodge, sunning on the sand and blueberry lavender lemonade at Sweet'Tauk, dancing at Memory Motel and lobster rolls at Red Hook Lobster Pound, bike rides into town and morning coffee with a view ... I'm already plotting my return.


Eating in the Hamptons . . .

Montauk, specifically, since that's where we'll be this weekend.

Image via Ruschmeyer's
Typically I'm all about hitting the local farm stands and bakeries, grilling out and eating in. But since we're staying at a hotel this weekend we'll be testing out the new hotspots. Try these great eats your next time in Montauk:

New on the Scene

The team from Manhattan's The Smile has taken over the restaurant at Ruschmeyer's hotel this summer, serving up local produce and fresh seafood paired with ecofriendly wines.

La Brisa
New taco joint from the people that brought you Tacombi in the city. Hand-made tortillas and fish tacos, even banana pancakes in the morning for breakfast.

Sweet 'Tauk & Red Hook Lobster Pound
Our favorite lemonade spot has scootched over for our favorite lobster truck - the two will be sharing a space for the perfect combo. Now after your lobster roll you can cool off with a Raspberry Hibiscus ice pop.

Old Favorites

The Surf Lodge
On everybody's hit-list, cool and trendy, super surfer-style. Best for local seafood and killer cocktails, don't miss the Ginger-Mint Lemonade.

The Restaurant at the Crow's Nest
Hipster and rustic-chic with great views of the water. Tasty organic fare, be sure to order the seafood tower. There's also a fire pit outside, for after-dinner drinks.

Navy Beach
Super casual, right on the sand, it's the ultimate beach eat. Go for lunch (excellent ceviche menu) or at sunset for small bites and drinks.


Packing for the Hamptons . . .

I tend to think that the best accessories for the beach are tanned skin, salty hair, and bare feet. So for a Hamptons weekend I suggest packing light and easy. Here's my quick list for our weekend in Montauk. 

Basic Tee and Cutoff Shorts for bike rides into town
Breezy Dress for sunset dinner, drinks, etc.
Straw Tote to carry all your beach necessities
Sweet Sunglasses for reading on the sand
Small Clutch for evenings out
Cute Suit for sunning and pool time
Button-Down Shirt as a simple cover-up
Pretty Necklace to dress up your tee
Cozy Sweater for chilly nights on the water
Gold Sandals as your footwear staple 

Getting to the Hamptons . . .

I'm slightly shocked this weekend will be my first of the season out East. How the summer has flown! I'm sure you know the feeling. But after millions of emails about where to go (Montauk), where to stay (The Crow's Nest Inn), how to get there (LIRR), what to pack (light) and where to eat (still deciding), a few of my besties and I were finally able to plan a weekend getaway out to East End. Thought it might be helpful to share a series of tid-bits from our planning process. 

Image via New York Times
How to Get to the Hamptons

Ride the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to avoid traffic delays and save some extra cash. Beware: Seats fill up quick on Fridays, so get there early to fight for your spot. 

Take the Hampton Jitney, Hampton Luxury Liner, or Hampton Ambassador for a reserved and more comfortable seat as well as comp treats, aka muffins on the Jitney, snack bar/fridge on the Luxury Liner, and wine on the Ambassador. Beware: No bus lane so traffic is unavoidable. 

Drive along Route 27 if you want to put down the top, blast the music, and enjoy a little road trip with friends. Beware: Traffic will be bad, but if you leave at off hours you may trim some time off your drive.  

Fly StndAIRFly The Whale, or New York Helicopter for a quick trip east, completely traffic free. Beware: Air travel comes at a price, especially if you choose to fly private. 

Look out for Packing for the Hamptons and Eating in the Hamptons posts tomorrow and Friday. 


Weekend Must: Manhattanhenge . . .

If you're in the city and not jetting/training off this weekend for a country escape, 
make sure you don't miss this year's Manhattanhenge! It's happening tonight at 8:23pm & tomorrow at 8:24pm. 

If you don't know, Manhattanhenge is this incredible phenomenon when the sun perfectly aligns with the Manhattan grid creating a glow of light that radiates along the cement and steel of the city streets. So beautiful and so worth seeing! I'm on my way to Dallas right now (thank you, gogo), but will certainly be checking Instagram for your Manhattanhenge pics. If I'm not following you already follow me @tinibeltran, and I'll follow back! 

Images via Pinterest


Smart Sipping . . .

Image via Inspiration Station 
As the temps have been shooting up, I find myself reaching for a drink of water more often than usual. I know hydration is an important part of good health but am never quite certain how much I'm supposed to drink. I've heard the eight glasses a day rule, but have also read that it's a myth. On a particularly warm and thirsty Tuesday I set out to find the truth about smart sipping and how to increase water intake. 

After a chat with my doctor, a few online searches, and a read through Women's Health mag, I found that it's more important to listen to your body, keeping it hydrated, than it is to count a certain number of glasses. Here are my new rules:

Carry a Water Bottle
The best way to maintain water intake is to always have water on hand. In your bag, on your desk, by your bed. If you see it, you'll remember to drink it. If you're worried about the environment, invest in a cool looking bottle that can also act as an even bigger visual boost. I just bought a Water Bobble. It's great. 

Don't Get Thirsty
Thirst is a warning sign that your body has lost too much water (unless you just indulged in a handful of popcorn or salted peanuts). After thirst comes a headache, muscle cramps, concentration loss, and even an elevated heartbeat. So rule of thumb, don't let yourself feel thirst. And if you do, grab that bottle and get to it. 

Sip Don't Chug
It's better to sip slowly throughout the day than to chug a bottle in one. This is mostly for comfort, but if you quickly gulp down a bottle of water you'll feel full (almost sick) which will deter you from further drinking. Small sips won't cause the full feeling and keep you hydrated longer. 

Hope these come in handy, especially during these warm summer months. 

Happy sipping!


Dean & DeLuca . . .

Remember that line from The Devil Wears Prada (a NYC movie favorite!) when Nate thinks Andy quit working for Miranda, "I went to Dean & DeLuca. Man, they charge like five dollars a strawberry there. But I figured since you quit your job, we should celebrate." Yesterday was my sister's first day of work so I took a little tip from Nate, welcoming her to the city and congratulating her on her new job with a selection of tasty treats from Dean & DeLuca.

Image via Luxist
I spent a nice part of the afternoon enjoying wandering around the store, picking out a collection of color-coordinated practical snacks:

Natural Spring Water for hydration, Dipping Pretzels for something salty, Raw Almonds for something healthy, Original Mints for fresh breath, Cookies & Cream Bar for something sweet, Milk Chocolate Bar for something chocolate, Dean & DeLuca Blend Tea for something soothing, New York Chocolate Espresso Beans for an afternoon pick-me-up. 

And a little note, for something to remember... 


Santa Barbara Round Up . . .

How was everybody's 4th of July? Fun and festive I hope! 
The weekend in Santa Barbara was splendid, packed full of all my summer favorites: 
a beach bonfire with family and friends, pool time, a few games of tennis, tasty meals, sunset drinks, a BBQ at the Coral Casino, afternoons spent reading, and sailing on a friend's beautiful boat ... sigh.