3 Dec 2015

Tips For Your First Time In New York City


Travelling is by far one of my favourite things to do and for that reason, most people are surprised that I'd never visited New York City until just 4 weeks ago. With that said, I thought I'd put together a post full of tips for those of you that will be stepping into my boots and visiting The Big Apple for the first time. I'm no expert, but I know I would have found a few of these helpful when I was there!

Packing

One thing nobody ever tells you is how to pack for New York. Somehow they all manage to skip right over that subject somewhere in-between talking about The Empire State Building and shopping. Haha. Here are a few things to remember...


Footwear: IMPORTANT!!! You will be walking a hell of a lot. People laugh at you when you say you'll get a taxi here, there and everywhere because, guess what? You probably won't. Haha. We found walking to be the easiest way to get from place to place. I recommend it though, because you get to see more of the city. Most of the locations you'll want to visit are grouped into a small (well, small for New York) area. So, for that reason, you'll want to bring the most comfortable footwear you have! Don't fall into the trap that I did and take boots that you think are 'relatively' comfortable because you'll end up limping into a taxi to get back to the hotel as quick as possible because your boots have cut your feet to bits. TAKE COMFORTABLE SHOES!!

Hair Appliances: A very random tip. If, like me, you don't like to use straighteners because you ruined your hair with them in school and opt to use a hairdryer and brush to blow dry your hair instead, be aware that your adapter will cut the power of your hairdryer more or less in half. It will take 6 years (no exaggeration) to dry your hair. I'd suggest you use the hotel's hair dryer (if they have one) and deal with a pair of straighteners for a few days.

On that note: remember your adapters!

Touristy Things

For your first trip to NYC, you'll want to try and get in all of the sights... well as many as you possibly can!



The Empire State Building: Oooooh, that view! It really is something else. I guarantee you, if it's your first time in NYC, you'll spend a lot of time looking from the ground up saying 'wow, that's a big building' (we did. haha), so seeing the view from the top is really special. We bought our tickets for the Empire State inside (not from the guys on the street). You'll have the option of going to the 88th Floor, or paying an extra $20 to go to the very top (102nd Floor). The view is no different but it's kinda cool to say you done it!


Times Square: A bit of a 'Marmite' place, you'll either love it or you'll hate it. It's busy.. very busy, full of lights and a lot smaller than I had imagined to be honest. Haha. It is, however, one of those places you'll have to visit at least once while you're there. I found early in the morning to be the least hectic time to visit!


Central Park: One of my favourite places in the city. If you're there on a Sunday, I highly recommend you go take a stroll around the park and go for brunch in the Boathouse Restaurant. It's a really lovely experience. You can sit and watch people take row boats out on the pond. But get there early as the queues for tables get long.




Fifth Avenue: A given. You've gotta visit Fifth Avenue. To be honest, I didn't do a lot of shopping in New York (I wanted to be the ultimate tourist and just see the city), but popping in and out of Tiffany & Co, Saks and Bloomingdales was really fun!


The Rockefeller Centre: We didn't actually go to the top (which you can do for $30) because we'd already been to the top of the Empire State but if you're there in the Winter time, make sure to pay it a visit. If you're peckish, check out the cafe downstairs. The food is excellent and you can watch the ice-skaters from inside!


The Statue Of Liberty & Ground Zero: I put these two together because they're close by each other but a little further away from everything else, so I'd suggest trying to visit this area of the city at the one time. Unfortunately the weather was too bad to actually go out to the Statue of Liberty when we were there (much wind and rain - we didn't feel safe on a boat. haha), so we had to view from afar. Again, much smaller than you'd imagine. While you're there, you must give Ground Zero a visit to see the beautiful 9/11 memorial and basically take in how large the area actually is. It's pretty surreal.

Broadway

While you're in New York, take out one night to see a Broadway show... you have to, it's the law actually.


Tickets: We had no idea how to go about getting tickets for shows when we landed. We asked concierge at the hotel and got offered tickets for £200 each... No prizes for guessing we didn't take them up on that offer. Haha. I was completely lost until a few of my lovely snapchat followers (my username is grace.edenny) gave me this tip. You know the famous Red Steps in Times Square? Go directly to the back of them and there you will find a magical ticket booth with discounted tickets! Most people aren't too fussed with what they're going to see on Broadway (all the shows are fab anyway), so here you'll find a board with a list of shows that haven't sold out yet and for the most part the tickets 40% and 50% off. We managed to see two shows, Finding Neverland and School Of Rock. Two completely different shows but I would highly recommend both of them!

Other Things People Forget To Tell You About

Apart from the tourist attractions that I've mentioned above, there are a few other places to visit and things you should do while you're in NYC... and here they are:




Bryant Park: To be honest, we stumbled across this place by complete chance and again, it was one of my favourite places in the city. We visited in early November, so they had their Christmas Market and Ice Rink open. It is the perfect place to sit in the crisp Winter air with a warm cup of coffee (or tea) and people watch for awhile. You can also walk around the little shops and food stalls (which I wish we'd found earlier).


Waffles And Dinges: If you see a sign for this waffle stall, stop, get your wallet out and walk straight to it immediately. They serve the most amazing waffles (you know, the really sugary ones?) and because you're doing so much walking, it basically cancels the calories. Haha


Afternoon Tea At The Plaza Hotel: Possibly the thing I was most excited about doing when I found out I was going to New York. I was very lucky to have spent my 23rd birthday in the Big Apple and I knew that there was no better way to celebrate than to have afternoon tea in The Plaza. I absolutely adore the Eloise movies, so to enjoy the 'Eloise Tea' filled with Cotton Candy, PB&J Sandwiches, Funfetti Cupcakes & Brownies on my birthday with Brian was very special. The staff really go above and beyond to make your experience the best it can be and somehow they overheard it was my birthday and came out with lots of little macarons as a birthday cake! You should definitely put this on your list if you're celebrating a special occasion... or if you just want to feel like a princess for the day.





The Upper East Side: All my fellow Gossip Girl lovers, I got you covered. If you're a fan of the show, you'll definitely want to have a walk around the Upper East side. There are so many cute streets with the most amazing houses and cafe's. Honestly, I could have spent forever wandering around. (On a side note, you'll also want to visit the steps of The Met, The Bethesda Terrace in Central Park where Chuck & Blair got married and Grand Central Station).



So that post was a lot longer than I had anticipated. Haha. I think I've covered everything. So, there you have it, some tips and recommendations to help you on your first visit to New York City. If you're going soon, I hope you have the most amazing time! 

Grace






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10 Oct 2015

Get Ready With Me: Flirty Fall Date Night Makeup


What's better than the classic combo of a gold eye and berry lip for fall? If you're looking for a makeup look to wear for a date night or a night out with your friends, look no further! This is totally quick and easy to do! If you recreate it, make sure to tag me! Hope you enjoy!

What's your favourite makeup trend to rock for fall? Are you a bold lip kinda gal?

Grace x
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6 Oct 2015

Autumn




Days are getting cooler, evenings are getting shorter and the leaves are just beginning to fall. It can only mean one thing - Autumn is well and truly here. There's something about this time of the year that makes me ridiculously happy. Growing up, I always loved the anticipation of Halloween. Getting to dress up and go trick or treating was my favourite (still kinda wish it was acceptable for adults to trick or treat. Haha). Mam forever had us dressed in the best D.I.Y costumes possible - witches, vampires... basically anything that a black bin bag could transform you into. She'd pull out the Halloween Essentials Kit that stayed hidden away from the previous October and do her thing with face paints, fake blood, wigs and glitter and by the time she was finished with us, we were ready to terrorise the neighbours... all 4 feet of us. As I've gotten older, things haven't changed much. Although I haven't worn a bin bag as a costume since I was 10, I'm still as excited as ever about Halloween. Here are a few more things I'm looking forward to this season!

Pumpkins

Autumn Scented Candles 

Cosy Nights In

Horror Movies

A/W Style - Boots, Scarves, Chunky Knits

Fireworks

Baking

Christmas Is Coming!!!

Hocus Pocus

Crisp Autumn Mornings

Starting To Light The Fire (well, Dad staring to light the fire)

The Halloween Town Movies (Anyone else watch those 
on the Disney Channel as a child?)

Turtle Neck Jumpers

Lots And Lots Of Blankets

Reading Dracula

It's Almost My Birthday

Sparklers

Seasonal Drinks In Starbucks / Costa

Darker Evenings

Taking Bella For Walks In The Leaves



What are you looking forward to this Autumn?
XO, Grace.





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September Favourites | Face Masks, Hair Extensions, Scream Queens + More!


Seriously. Where are the months going this year? I feel like 2015, more than any other year, has just flown by. Now that we're at the start of another month it's time to look back at all the things I loved in September from face masks to hair extensions and television - there's a little bit of everything thrown in there! If you have time, I'd love if you gave it a watch (I suggest snuggling up with your favourite hot drink and a blanket, but it's not necessary. haha).

What have you all been loving lately?
Also, who else is ridiculously excited that it's Autumn?!

XO, Grace.
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7 Sep 2015

Drab To Fab: 5 Easy Ways To Transform Your College Room

Before I started College in Dublin one thing I couldn't wait to do was decorate my new room. Moving out of home was a little daunting for 18 year old me but I knew that with the help of a few simple additions, my college room would turn into my very own home away from home in no time. While my room didn't quite measure up to the standards of the Pinterest perfect rooms in this post, it was close. It was cozy, comfortable and most of all it felt like home. Since so many of you are starting back to college this month, I figured now was as good a time as any to share my idea of the dreamiest 'college dorm' decor!

Here are a few simple ways to transform your college room into your own personal paradise - you'll never want to leave!

1. Add Pillows... Lots And Lots Of Pillows. And while your at it, throw as many layers on to your bed as possible. Plush duvets, cable knit blankets, hot water bottles, you name it - throw it all on your bed. Every extra layer brings the comfort of your room to a whole new level.




2. Create An Inspiration Board. Most college's provide their campus accommodation with cork boards but don't just leave it sitting empty for the year, grab some sheets of coloured paper and chic push pins from a craft store and get pinning your favourite quotes, pictures from home, assessment deadlines and college momentos. This will keep you organised all whilst providing your room with a little personal element!


Photo: via Pinterest

3. All Of The Lights. You wouldn't believe the difference that lighting will make. Whether you go for a string of fairy lights or a bunch of candles, it totally transforms the ambience of your room.


Photo via Etsy


4. Get Crafty. Nothing adds a personal touch quite like a little DIY. Get your creative hat on and embellish your wall with a tassel garland (find out how to make one of those HERE). Glitter covered mason jars can turn into the storage of dreams - use them to hold your make-up brushes, pens or toiletries.

Photo: Popsugar

Photo via lilyshop.com

5. Decorate Your Workspace With Sassy Stationary. My favourite. Automatically transform your boring work desk with the addition of some kick ass stationary - whether you opt for chic gold accents or multi coloured madness, it makes a huge difference. My weakness? Kate Spade. (This is an appropriate time for the heart eyes emoji).


Photo via Pinterest

How have you decided to decorate your college room this year?
Have you got any tips for decorating a small space?

XO Grace


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