Happy Labor Day Weekend . . .

Images via Pinterest
Plans for the long weekend? I'm off to East Hampton today with family and friends for a few days of beachy perfection. Can't imagine a better way to cap off the summer. I'm thinking a little tennis and Southsides by the pool, hammock reading and afternoon beach walks, late breakfasts and seafood dinners, white shorts and gold sandals (for the last time this year).

 Have a lovely Labor Day, see you on Tuesday!


2013 U.S. Open . . .

I love tennis (playing and watching), so I'm always excited when the U.S. Open starts. Even though it technically means the end of summer, it's a great time to be in the city. 

Monday night Scott surprised me with two box suite tickets to watch Djokovic in the first round of the Open. The match was a quick one (6-1, 6-2, 6-2), but the seats were amazing! We had such fun watching Novak run down every ball, sipping cocktails and munching on chocolate chip cookies. After the guys, we could see that it was going to be another blow out with the girls (6-0, 6-0 Azarenka), so we took a walk around Arthur Ashe Stadium, checking out the shops and stands. 

Taco Tuesday . . .

If you're in NYC I'm going to let you in on my latest happy hour obsession,

Images via Zagat, nyunews, and nycgo
Here's the scoop: Every Monday through Friday there's happy hour from 5pm to 7pm, half priced drinks and appetizers. This alone is great, but the trick is to go on a Tuesday so you can take advantage of Taco Tuesday, when all tacos are $5 all night long! Go for a half-price margarita and guacamole, stay for deliciously inexpensive tacos. What more can you ask for? It's fun and cute and some of my favorite Mexican fare in the city. So try it out next week. Go while the nights are still warm and you can enjoy their outdoor seating for the full effect. See you there! 


Morning Mix . . .

 Las Vegas was a blast, Santa Barbara was even better and sometimes, when vacation feels like utter perfection, it's hard to go back to city life - no matter how much you love it. Driving with the top down along the Pacific Coast (CA commute) is a tough trade for the tourist-packed 1 Train to Times Square (NYC commute).  

Images via Pinterest and WeHeartIt
What pushes me out the door every AM in the city?
Well, first a large skim latte, but next is a good morning mix. Those precious moments before walking into the office are only made better by a great soundtrack that really gets you going for the day. Here's what I'm listening to on my way to work this week...

Wake Me Up
Summertime Sadness
Sweater Weather
Safe and Sound
The Love Club
Young and Beautiful
We Can't Stop
Get Lucky
Holy Grail 

(Yep, I'm a Top 40 Junkie)
What's on your morning playlist?


Las Vegas Top Threes . . .

Image via LasVegas.com
Jetting off again - tonight I'm headed west to Las Vegas and then to Santa Barbara for one last week of California summer. Not sure if I'll get to posting in LV, but I will certainly have a slew of photos to share next week from SB. 

I've never been much of a gambler, but I still love going to Las Vegas (for a couple of days, max). The hotels, restaurants, pools, clubs, spas, shops, shows...  all such fun, and some of the best in the country! So I thought it might be helpful to share some of my Vegas Top Threes for the next time you're there. 








If you have some favorites that I've left out, do share in the comments below!


The Carlyle Photo Journal . . .

What a splendid weekend it was. 
Relaxation and family fun, it doesn't get much better than that. I'm missing it already. 


Staycation . . .

Images via Travel and Leisure

Yesterday was my sister's birthday and to celebrate we'll be keeping up with a longtime tradition enjoying a little "staycation" at one of our favorite hotels in the world, The Carlyle. Before I had my apartment in New York, The Carlyle was like a home away from home in the city, so it is always special to be back. Whether for afternoon tea, late night drinks, or a short weekend visit. Monica and I plan on fully committing ourselves to the staycation - lounging in robes, sipping Champagne, and munching croissants. 

Plans for the weekend? Why not have a little staycation of your own? 
No need to be at a hotel, you can go on vacation right in your own home. The key is disconnecting from your usual routine and creating that feeling of getting away. Try ordering breakfast in bed, an at-home spa day, fill the house with flowers, unplug your alarm, go media free, stay in a bathrobe well past noon, play music, read magazines, eat at a new restaurant, implement cocktail hour, dress up or dress down (if that feels more like vacation to you). Have fun, enjoy. 

Happy weekend, happy staycation! 


Weekend Must: Summer Streets . . .

Image via NYTimes
We all hate city traffic. Cars honking. Cabs running red lights. Buses always getting in the way. Well, this Saturday (and next) all your traffic terrors can be put to ease. Almost seven miles of New York City streets, from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge, will be closed off for pedestrians only. Switch up your morning run, take a leisurely stroll down Park Ave, ride your (or a Citi) bike to the bridge... all without the fear of oncoming traffic. Plus there will be rock-climbing, zip-lining, dancing, and an interactive art installation set up for some out-of-the-box active fun! Sounds like a pretty good alternative to the gym if you ask me. 

Summer Streets
August 17 & 10
7AM - 1PM
Click HERE for map and info


End of Summer List . . .

Image via Inspiration Lane
I cannot believe how fast summer has zoomed by. How are we already into August?! In order to treasure the final weeks of the season I've made an end-of-summer to do list, just to ensure that I don't let the days slip away without fully enjoying what summer is all about!

1. Read in the sun
2. Sip strawberry lemonade
3. Go for a night swim
4. Dine al fresco, as much as possible
5. Drive with the top down
6. Have sunset drinks with friends
7. Picnic in the park
8. Stay in a bathing suit all day
9. Nap on the sand
10. Eat peaches
11. Swing in a hammock
12. Chat around a fire pit
13. Ride bikes to the beach
14. Make s'mores
15. Wear wide brim hats

What's on your end-of-summer to do list?


New York Restaurant Week . . .

Loving food & restaurants as I do, NYRW is one of my favorite times in the city. When else can you dine at the best restaurants in New York for under $50 a person? There are ten days left of it, and I highly recommend you take advantage before it ends. 

The key to really enjoying Restaurant Week is going to the top spots in the city. My advice, skip your usual go-tos - you'll be disappointed by the limited menu especially at the price. But a three course meal at one of New York's finest dining options for $38 is a total deal! Last week I went to Le Cirque and Mr. Chow and am hoping to hit a few more hotspots before the fun ends. RT Tip: Be sure to ask for the RW menu. Many of the high end restaurants no longer bring them out unless you inquire. Visit HERE for a full list of restaurants participating. 

Images via GuiltCity Mr. Chow


Hot & Cold . . .

So sorry for the silence last week. I had a bit of blogger's block and a stubborn case of the sniffles, so I spent most of the week sipping tea and focusing on kicking the cold. 

Whenever I feel sick (especially with a sore throat), I always reach for a cup of chamomile tea with honey. It's fragrant, sweet, and (at least momentarily) soothing. But let's be honest, hot tea is never that appealing in the middle of summer. So on the extra warm days I tried a variation of my go-to over ice with a squeeze of fresh orange for flavor and little added Vitamin C. Delicious! A new summertime favorite. It's inspired me to experiment with other tea/fruit combos throughout the rest of the season. I'm thinking lemon verbena tea with muddled blueberries, green tea with lime and mint, or even ginger tea with peaches and agave nectar. Yum, right?

Give them a try, let me know what you think!