These Victory skirts are going to be EVERYWHERE this summer – if you haven’t seen them yet, you will very soon! I saw one photo on a streetwear inspo page and fell in love. They don’t sell them on Nike’s site anymore so I’ve gotten all of mine on Poshmark. I am somewhere between a small and medium. I like the medium because it’s a bit longer, but the waist is a little too big for me. If you’re tall, I’d recommend sizing up for sure.
Today, I went through ALL of Poshmark and found these links for you guys to get your own! They’re sorted by size. Some are NWT, vintage, exact matches or just similar styles. They sell REALLY fast so if you’re interested, put in an offer quickly!
As you may know, I am always trying new lash extension spots around the city. I’ve never had the patience to sit down and really learn how to do makeup elaborately so extensions have been my saving grace. This month, I tried out JJ Eyelashes. They have 5 locations around NYC and offer not only extensions, but also lash lifts, microblading, waxing and other services. I went to the Soho location because it’s the closest to my apartment and I was pleasantly surprised by the service and speed of the appointment. JJ Eyelashes really stood out to me as one of the most friendly and established lash extension salons in NYC.
NYC subways are always a mess (and I’m always running behind schedule) so I was 10 minutes late to my appointment, but I called the salon to let them know and they were super accommodating over the phone. They have a 15 minute late policy so thankfully I made it on time!
The Soho Location
When you enter the store, there is a reception desk and a seating area with water and magazines. They also have makeup removers and q-tips in case you forgot to take off your eye-makeup before your appointment! This was a nice touch that made it feel more welcoming. My technician, Jessica, came to greet me at the front and escorted me down a colorful hallway to my bed. It was very clean and private which stood out to me as one of the best things about JJ Eyelashes.
The first thing we did was discuss the style of lashes I wanted to get. I was booked for the Ruby set (80 lashes) and Jessica took a look at my natural lashes to see what would be possible given their shape and length. I do not have a lot of lashes, but they are pretty long and thin.
Jessica brought over a chart to show me the two different lash curls (j-curl or c-curl), lash shape (natural, cat-eye, and dramatic) and the lash lengths (a wide range from ~8mm – 15mm).
I went with the natural shape and 12mm length in a C-curl. I like my lash extensions to look a little more exaggerated as opposed to a more blended natural look.
Now I know this is sponsored, but I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true, the bed was SO much more comfortable than most beds at lash extension salons. They also provided a cozy blanket and I was drifting in and out of sleep with the spa music in the background.
For those of you who have never had lashes done before, it’s a very simple process. You spend an hour or so with your eyes closed while the technician applies an extension to each individual lash.
Before and After
I had a very good experience at JJ Eyelashes. Their locations are all in super convenient areas of the city and they have some later appointment slots which is perfect for any other ladies out there with 9-5s. Being in a clean space and knowing that your technician is highly trained at applying the extensions is an extreme comfort as well. Definitely looking forward to coming back for my two week refills and continuing to show off my new lashes around the city!
For Presidents Day weekend, a couple friends and I went to Miami to get a little sunshine, stress relief and the perfect ‘gram. It has been so snowy in NYC that it feels nearly impossible to get cute shots anymore without repeating the same jackets over and over again. Over the last few weeks, it seems like every single blogger is headed to South Beach for pool parties, margaritas, and endless swimsuit photos. Thankfully that gave us plenty of inspiration for shots and outfits. Here’s everything we did for our long weekend:
7:00PM – Arrive at Fort Lauderdale Airport
7:30PM – Uber to hotel
10:00PM – Dinner at Bird & Bone at The Confidante Hotel
11:00PM – Night out at LIV at the FontaineBleu – don’t go until 12 at the earliest.. You don’t want to see this place empty like it was at 11
10:00AM – Breakfast at OTL in the Miami Design District
10:45AM – Wander around the Design District & shop a little
11:00AM – Aubi & Ramsa 21+ gelato – This place is so amazing and is opening a location in NYC this summer! Can’t wait to go back ❤
12:00PM – Stop at the pop-up Dior Cafe for a $12 latte
I’m nothing if not a frugal traveler. I’ve always thought that the best experiences are had outside of your hotel room (not that I’d mind staying in a 5 star resort, it’s just not necessary to max out your credit cards in order to have your dream vacation). The real fun is outside of your room adventuring. For me, the cheaper the better, but you don’t have to squat in a dingy room in a sketchy motel to get a good deal!
3-Night Cruise to Nassau
Cruises have a bad stigma, but they are definitely the answer to a good time for cheap and require very little planning. My family used to do a lot of longer cruise trips so I’ve always been familiar with them, but after posting about my experience going on a cruise with Eugen, I realized that many of you have never been on one!
I’m personally a huge cruise fan, but for all of you first timers, make sure you set your expectation before you arrive. You should take into consideration the cruise line, destination, and read LOTS of reviews ahead of time.
So here’s how we made our super cheap vacation happen:
Flight – $120
Research what is going on in Miami and make sure you take this into consideration BEFORE you book the Cruise. If there is a festival or big convention going on, the plane ticket prices are going to sky rocket. The date of your cruise will likely be cheapest when there is a big event going on in Miami, but that is when plane tickets into Miami will be the most expensive. I’ve seen them as low as $95 round trip from NYC.
Rachel’s Savings Tips:
Fly out of a smaller local airport like ISP on Long Island and go to Ft Lauderdale instead of Miami (it’s only a 40 min Uber from the Miami Cruise Port). On another trip, I got a flight from ISP to Ft Lauderdale for $49 with Frontier.
Set a Google alert and look at all of the historical charts they have to find the best prices.
Book 2-3 months in advance. If you do it earlier than that, the prices are usually set around one rate that is higher. If you do it later, there may be surged pricing
Cruise – $203
If you want to go to The Bahamas, leave from Miami, not NYC. The cruises are cheaper and there will be less “Day at Sea” time where you are trapped on the boat.
Care more about the destination than the boat? Take Carnival! Larger/less fancy cruise lines tend to be cheaper. We opted for the cheapest room, but our reservation came with a free upgrade and we were able to get a room with a King bed and a sea-view window! The most affordable rooms do not have windows at all (I think I wou
ld have gotten seasick in those so thank goodness for the upgrade!) The cruise price is all-inclusive (we’re talking rooms, room service, all-hours buffets, sit-down dinners, coffee, juice, ICE CREAM, pools, hot tubs, entertainment, etc). It’s amazing to pay up front and not have to worry about paying again once you set foot on the boat.
Rachel’s Savings Tips:
Know what you’re going to spend on the cruise, don’t just go on the ticket price. Drinks, some foods, wifi, some entertainment, gambling, and other activities will be extra!
Check the deals different cruise lines offer. If you’re planning to drink a lot, Norwegian offers some all-inclusive alcohol cruises.
Check what upgrades come with different cruises! Ours had on-board and on-shore credit as well as a free room upgrade that all came with the ticket price.
Excursions – $20
These can get pretty pricey. Our cruise ticket came with a $50 gift certificate to Shore Excursions so we selected a $50 per person 3 hour Snorkeling and Sailing cruise that came with a free drink (sounded like a good deal to us!) When we docked in Nassau, the company let us know that our excursion had been cancelled due to high winds (sad). We ended up getting our $50 back.
We suddenly had a full 24 hours at port with zero plans and limited cash so we had to figure out what to do. Everyone wants to got to Atlantis on Paradise Island, but they also charge exorbitant fees for access to the beach, water slides, food, etc. To save money, we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner all aboard the ship at the inclusive sit down dinners and buffets
The public beaches I saw in Nassau were pretty dirty and unpleasant. If you have the opportunity, sneak your way into a private hotel beach. We went to the British Colonial Hilton just to have a look inside (we were that bored haha). If you walk straight through the lobby and past the bar at the back of the hotel, you’ll arrive at their gorgeous private beach with free towels, chairs and umbrellas and they don’t even ask for a room number. They also have a pool, a large chess set, a bar and restaurant and lounge beds. We hung out there for a few hours before heading back to the ship. If you act like you belong, nobody will question it.
Eat on the ship! You already paid for that food so why double pay for more.
Ask how much things cost before you assume they’ll be cheap! A lot of places charge $15 – $19 per drink when there are no signs listing prices. They know tourists will pay anything for drinks.
Walk to your destinations, don’t taxi! It might be the New Yorker in me, but I didn’t realize everyone else was taking taxis to the Queen’s Staircase until we got there. It was a 15 minute walk through residential neighborhoods and government buildings. We got to see a more authentic side of Nassau! This is one of our favorite things to do on trips.
Add Ons – $45
On a cruise, they will try to nickle and dime you for EVERYTHING. Watch what you are spending! Our cruise price included a $25 on-board credit that actually went a long way on board. Cocktails were $9 and beers were as low as $4 which was pretty crazy compared to NYC prices where it would not be shocking to see $25 for a tiny cocktail with crunchy ice and a flower.
Rachel’s Savings Tips:
Paying for wifi is not worth it! It is very slow and if you have certain providers, your data will honestly be faster. The wifi is really bad on Carnival ships. I would rather have not had signal than spend my time waiting for pages/ Instagram to load.
Don’t sign up for the drink package unless you plan on drinking 5+ cocktails a day. I did the math and that was our minimum number of daily drinks in order to get your money’s worth.
Check what you’re swiping for! The Sign and Sail Cards are attached to your credit card and it’s easy to swipe away without realizing what your tab is at the end of the ride. Check the app to keep an eye on your spending.
Overall, cruises are a TON of fun and are a nice, simple way to head on a tropical vacation without having to do a lot of planning. As long as you watch your spending and stay away from sneaky offerings with hidden charges, your vacation will be smooth sailing.
Have you ever been on a cruise? How was your experience?
Tokyo was hands down one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. Eugen and I impulsively decided to take our 8-day vacation in Tokyo because we wanted to go somewhere we’d never been before and somewhere totally foreign to us. Neither of us speak a work of Japanese, but we managed just fine and I already want to go back for longer! We spend the entire time in Tokyo. I wish we had planned to go to Kyoto, but I felt like there was so much to explore in Tokyo alone. The best things we did were the simplest things like wandering through residential neighborhoods, grocery shopping through isles of obscurely flavored item, and drinking “free flow” green soda and a bubbly water called “Pocari Sweat” haha. I’m a crazy type-A planner, but all the most memorable things that happened on our trip were unplanned and totally spontaneous! Can’t wait for more travels and more adventures together ❤
Not in the mood for reading? Check out my Tokyo Video filmed entirely on my Snap Spectacles 2.0!
8-Day Tokyo Itinerary
Flying out of JFK with a 7 hour layover in Taipei, Taiwan
Taxi to downtown and went to TAS (my elementary school then walked around the neighborhood
Go out for breakfast at St. Marc, a local chain with sugary baked goods. This was the only breakfasty food we could find so we loaded up on coffee and chocolate croissants here.
Wandered around the Shinjuku malls (there are so many and they all connect!) – Tokyu hands, Lumine, Lumine 2.0, Lumine 3, Takashimaya, NEWoMan
Made our way to the Shinjuku Gyo-en. Japanese gardens are nothing like ones in the West. Many of the ones we visited are all natural and very forest-like. It was cool to step out of the city and into the wild in just a few minutes.
Din Tai Fung for lunch. This was #1 on my Asia to-do list haha. There was an hour wait so we stopped at an empty Belgian restaurant that was only playing Taylor Swift’s Fearless album (love) for a quick beer.
Explored Golden Gai to kill time. This is a MUST in Tokyo. I’ve never seen anything like it! Rumor is that it’s all going to be shut down before the Olympics so if you’re heading to Tokyo, be sure to check it out!
Robot Restaurant…. I wish we had not gone. It was SO TACKY and shabby, but this was on every single Tokyo Must See list so we went. If you don’t go, you’re not missing out. It was a good way to keep us awake during our jetlag though.
We were so tired that we went back to the Airbnb to take a nap
Back out for Ramen at a place just around the corner from us: Machida-ya, a very local spot that was not super foreigner-friendly. The broth was amazing and the counter was filled with local businessmen on their way home from work.
We had planned to go back to Golden Gai, but we were too tired and just went to sleep!
Tried somewhere new for breakfast. On the other side of the NEWoMan mall was Boulange, which actually ended up having a similar sugary pastry selection as St Marc.
We needed more coffee so we stopped at Toraya Cafe in the same mall
That day, our goal was to head to the Google office – a 1.5 hour walk through residential areas, quiet back streets, and along a highway.
We hung out at Google and got lunch there. There was a Western food cafeteria and a Japanese food cafeteria.
Stopped at Zara to get a skirt – it was TOO HOT for skinny jeans
Then we took the train to Odaiba to explore
Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari – a bathing hot spring water park. I knew I wanted to go here, but the website was very unhelpful. You get to change into a traditional Yukata (keep your underwear on!) and then head to the pools. We did a fish foot pool where they eat off your dead skin. It was an extra fee and a VERY unsettling feeling.
Walked along the malls – Boardwalk Mall, Aqua City, VenusFort
At this point, everything we had done was very modern and we were ready to soak in some traditional architecture and nature so we headed to the Meji Shrine and the surrounding Yoyogi Park. This was another all-natural style park that is far different than anything I’ve seen in NYC or my travels. The park was Eugen’s favorite part of all of Tokyo. It was HUGE and you could spend hours just wandering down different paths. During our exploration, we stumbled upon a dojo (yes an actual dojo) and saw a traditional Kyūdō training taking place (archery).
There was little to no food in the surrounding area so we made our way towards Harajuku and got ramen at a random chain place
Shopping at Cat Street, Takeshita-dori, Omote-sandō
Then we walked to Shibuya Crossing which was a mad house. Definitely cool to see, but coming from NYC, it was not as awe-inspiring as expected. I’d defintiely recommend going up to the Starbucks at Shibuya crossing to get a view looking down at the pedestrians.
Went out for drinks at Golden Gai, the famous “tiny bar” neighborhood. After walking through the whole place, there were so many bars to choose from, but we ended up at the ‘Not Suspicous Bar‘ – you have to check this place out!
Day trip to Mount Fuji! There happened to be a storm the night before we went so a lot of the pieces of the trip had to be cancelled due to trees on the ground blocking the roads, but we still had a good time!
Dinner at Ichiran (our new favorite!) We go now in NYC, but it’s twice as expensive here
At night, we went back to Golden Gai to try some new bars.
Our best discovery: Jonathan’s. After 5 days of seeking a nice hearty breakfast, we finally found this gem. Think Denny’s but with some Japanese foods and “free flow” bottomless non-alcoholic beverages for less than $5! Who goes to Japan and eats at a place called Jonathan’s you may ask. Two hungry Americans in need of a big breakfast and LOTS of coffee!
Tea session in Hamarikyu Gardens. It was SWELTERING HOT that day and like a crazy person, I decided to get hot tea. There is NO AC at the tea house – beware.
Ramen lunch at another random place
We then walked to Senso-ji and people watched with pastries and shaved ice
I made Eugen stop at a dollar store to pick up some funny things with messed up English for my parents. See: Engrish
High Five Bar – The CLASSIEST bar I have ever been to. Don’t let the neighborhood, elevator bank, or entryway fool you. This place is CLASSY. Once you enter the small bar underground, you are given personal attention from an individual host who designs a cocktail for you with the help of the head mixologist (a mysterious and silent figure who never spoke or made eye contact with anyone). It was clear that all the hosts revered the mixologist and were at her command. Eugen and I each had two custom cocktails with liquors from the local region. This place is definitely in my top 3 recommendations for other visitors. Writing this up now, I just found out that it has been rated one of the top bars in the world multiple times. No surprise.
That night we headed to the club ALife at 10PM which we thought was reasonable, but was very early. We were some of the first people to arrive. We had read online about fees at the door and drink tickets, but they let us in for free with three drink tickets each! We had a really great time there. The vibe was VERY different than clubs in NYC and it was a good time, but girls beware of men there. I would not go back without Eugen with me. And even with him there, I was grabbed and treated inappropriately by other guests. The setting makes it impossible to catch your attackers so I highly recommend you go in fully prepared. I read this exact thing before I went in and I still didn’t believe it. So read up before you go out and prepare yourselves ladies!
We kicked off the day at Jonathans again for breakfast
Shinjuku is filled with shopping malls so we walked around and got gifts for friends and family
At the top floors of each mall, there is a food hall either with restaurants or food stalls. We grabbed some shaved ice and enjoyed people watching for a half hour.
Got our bus tickets to head to the airport
Ordered Din Tai Fung to go
Went back to Harajuku to get some more gifts
Dinner at Golden Brown – an American restaurant where we saw everyone eating their burgers with a FORK AND KNIFE. They were all giving us weird looks for using our hands hahaha.
Stocked up on plane snacks at 7/11
Last morning at Jonathan’s with free flow (never forget!)
Head to Shinjuku Station to meet our Airport bus to Narita
Said bye to Tokyo! Hope to be back soon ❤
We had another layover in Taiwan. Their airport is so amazing. There is a new wing with a gym, library and different themed seating areas (one of which is a soup dumpling room).