Thursday, 26 March 2015

NYC Day 5: New York through Instagram

Day five in New York City has definitely come around far too quickly for us and I cannot believe we go home tonight. The weather was pretty miserable today with that annoying fine rain drizzling down all day so there was only one thing for it - a morning run and then an afternoon of light retail therapy before hitting Shake Shack in the evening. Well, it would have been rude to leave NYC without sampling the crinkle fries!

If you follow me on instagram (@pinkpixiedoll) then you would have seen some of my NYC photos of the bright lights and famous sights going up sporadically throughout our trip but if you happened to have missed them then I thought I would share a few of my snaps on here. From top to bottom: the beautiful flower show in Macy's. A spot of beauty shopping in Bloomingdales. The best pizzas in New York at Don Antonio. Catching up on some blogging and enjoying my new purchases: the iPhone 6+ and several EOS lip balms. The bright lights of Radio City Music Hall. Reese's cups or Hersheys Kisses? The Paris theatre outside The Plaza. The fantastic lobby area of our Citizen M hotel. Shake Shack - the strawberry milkshake was well worth the wait! A few New York purchases. Selfies at Grand Central Station.

Right, must dash and finish packing our bags before our Uber arrives to take us to the airport. The final few details from day six will be up tomorrow. See you back in England!
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

NYC Day 3+4: Basketball, Modern Art & the Skyline at Sunset

So we have had another couple of incredible days in New York and the past 48 hours have been such a hectic, fast-paced whirlwind of sight-seeing, exploring, soaking up some culture and of course eating I have decided to put day three and four together in one post so grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Day three started off with our, now what feels like, routine run around Central Park before getting ready to brave the icy winds and head out for another day in the Big Apple. First stop was the Museum of Modern Art which had been on my to do list ever since we arrived. We previously visited the Guggenheim on our last trip but the MoMA is a great thing to do if you fancy a leisurely morning of colourful culture and funky artwork and a reason to head indoors to warm your chilly fingers. In the afternoon we decided some retail therapy was in order so we spent a few hours diving in and out of shops, grabbing coffee as we went and getting lost in Macy's and Bloomingdales. That night we put on our foam fingers and went to cheer on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. It was such a fun evening with the half time entertainment being as flamboyant and over the top as you would imagine - cheerleaders in spangly leotards, the tee shirt toss and the half court shoot out!

After another dreamy sleep in the biggest beds ever our Citizen M hotel we decided to check out the much recommended Sara Beth's for breakfast and we were not disappointed. Possibly some of the fluffiest pancakes I have ever had I opted for the buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries whilst Rob had the cheddar and jalepeno omelette with pumpkin muffin. It was incredible and meant we were suitably fuelled for another day walking the city. We wandered south all the way down to the financial district to see the 9/11 memorial and gaze up in wonderment at the new Freedom Tower. It was a very moving and reflective moment of the day but something I would definitely recommend doing if you are visiting New York. On the way back we zigzagged through the West and East villages to check out a few boutique shops we had pinpointed to visit and just enjoyed a moment away from the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. That evening we took advantage of the beautiful clear skies and crisp night and went to see the sun set over New York from the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Plaza. As people skated on the ice rink below we whizzed up to the 67th floor and stepped out to this spectacular view. Personally I think the view from TOTR surpasses the sight from Empire State Building purely because you have the ability to see the natural beauty of Central Park to the north and then the concrete jungle of New York unfolding all the way South to the bottom of the island, with the Statue of Liberty standing proud in the distance. As the sun set and cast a warm amber glow over the New York skyline it was a breathtaking moment and one of my favourite memories of the trip so far.
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Monday, 23 March 2015

NYC Day 2: The High Line and Cupcakes on Bleeker St

So day two in the Big Apple started like every Sunday should begin - with a brisk 5km run up 5th Avenue and around Central Park followed by a saunter back to the hotel, Starbucks in hand. Despite being on holiday Rob and I still love to squeeze our daily fitness fix in and there is honestly nothing better than starting the day with a run together. If I had one tip for anyone travelling to New York then I would say ditch the taxi rides and subway tickets, pop on your comfiest shoes and walk. There is nothing better than exploring a city like New York on foot as every street and avenue has something new and interesting to take in and discover that you won't want to miss.

After we had warmed ourselves up after braving the icy temperatures in our finest lycra we headed out to walk the High Line which is a historic freight rail line elevated high above the streets of West Side Manhattan. The walk offers some spectacular views of the Hudson to your right and the Meatpacking District to your left and gives you the opportunity to hop off at various points which we did once we hit Chelsea Market. Despite being to NYC twice before I had never ventured to Chelsea Market before, and neither had Rob, so we were both really looking forward to seeing what this indoor urban food haven had to offer. Comprising of shop after shop of interesting food delis, stalls and restaurants, not to mention a section selling trinkets, flowers, jewellery, clothes and interesting homewares, it is a great place to visit if you are hungry and want to while away a hour or two. Every sweet and savoury treat is here for your delectation from crepes, waffles, cupcakes, artisan breads, Mexican tacos, hearty soups and fresh pastas. It even had a Anthropologie store at the very end. We also popped over to Gansevoort Market which is much smaller but equally as tantalising!

Suitably fed and watered we carried on heading south towards the West Village and then onto SoHo which are some of my favourite areas in the city for simply wandering around and doing a spot of window shopping. Cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker Street was a must (we shared a Red Velvet and Vanilla Buttercream and ate them on a bench in the sunshine) before paying Kate Spade Saturday a visit to see if any great bargains were to be had. Having been on our feet from 8am to 5pm now and feeling the need to counteract the sugary injection of cream cheese frosting from earlier we stopped off a The Butcher's Daughter which is a green, veggie-friendly cafe and juice bar that whips up a mean fruit smoothie. Colourful, fresh and nutrition it was just what we needed after pounding the pavements all day.

Finally back at our hotel we took to the internet to find us something light and relatively healthy to have for dinner and our radar landed on Bareburger which was only four streets down from our hotel. Organic, natural and eco-friendly, this burger joint really has it all with plenty of veggie choices, the option to design your own burger and mouthwatering sweet potato fries! I would definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area and craving a black bean burger in a brioche bun with handfuls of alfalfa and tomato fig jam (my personal creation!)
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Clarins Everlasting Foundation+

There is one thing that Clarins do very well and that is their skincare. There is a second thing they also do exceptionally well and that is their long list of base products, powders, foundations and concealers. Without fail I will always have one or two Clarins face bits on the go to help give me a even and as flawless as possible complexion and at the moment it is the Instant Concealer and their new Everlasting Foundation +* (£27.50)

When it comes to foundation I do like a medium to high coverage option with a matte/satin finish but without the feeling of heaviness or caking on the skin. Thankfully the new Everlasting Foundation+ from Clarins ticks all the right boxes for me. It is a medium coverage base product (SPF15) that has a new generated formula that provides impeccable coverage from morning to night, covers imperfections instantly whilst feeling comfortable and light on the skin. The mattifying bamboo powder delivers a long-lasting flawless finish whilst keeping any shine or oiliness at bay and the extract of organic quinoa (how fancy!) preserves the skin's suppleness and moisture levels so it doesn't feel drying at all. In fact I think despite the promise of a fairly matte foundation, the Everlasting Foundation+ gives the skin quite a nice glow and subtle dewiness which I like and the coverage is fantastic without masking the skin. Available in a crazy 16 or so different shades it is one of those fail-safe foundation options that can be used day or night, applied lightly or built up for a more flawless, higher coverage finish. It blends beautifully into the skin and doesn't need any powdering afterwards. Basically, it was love at the first application and is currently my base product of choice whilst away in New York.

Have you tried this newest addition to the Clarins foundation family?
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Saturday, 21 March 2015

NYC Day 1: Pancakes and Snowy Walks in Central Park

Eleven years ago when Rob and I were just young lovers wrapped up in a teenage romance we headed to New York for my 18th birthday which turned out to be the first of many holidays together and one that holds many many wonderful memories for us. Before we got married last year we vowed to return to NYC to celebrate our marriage and enjoy this very special city all over here we are for a whole week! We arrived last night at the Citizen M hotel and were met with a very warm welcome on what was an exceptionally chilly night in the Big Apple. Just off Times Square slap bang in the centre of midtown Manhattan our hotel could not be in a more ideal spot for walking and exploring the city on foot. The rooms are small but perfectly formed and everything is funky, modern and operated from the mere touch of a button. Every room has a tablet that controls all its inner workings from the tv, mood lights, curtains, temperature, music and even artwork - much to the excitement of Rob who wanted to play with it all when we checked in despite it being 2am in the morning! The hotel were so sweet when we checked in and bumped us up a few floors for an even more spectacular city view and delivered some prosecco to our door as we were celebrating our honeymoon. :)

We awoke early on our first morning in the city and we only had one thing on our minds - pancakes! After a quick twitter consultation Tanya recommended Norma's at Le Parker Meridien Hotel and boy oh boy were we in for a treat. After a hearty brunch of peach and walnut buttermilk pancakes (I was defeated after one!) we headed to Central Park to make the most of the fine, crisp yet sunny day with fresh snow underfoot. I honestly think Central Park is one of my favourite places in New York. Rob and I are a couple that love being active and enjoying the great outdoors. We are never happier than when we are walking around taking photos and soaking up all of the greatness that nature has to offer so an afternoon in Central Park was just want we craved on a sunny Saturday in New York. The sparkly white snow and cloudless skies made it even more magical and I loved heading over to see the Alice in Wonderland sculpture which I had never seen before on my previous visits to NYC and is a real secluded treat nestled in the heart of the park.

Quick blurb about my outfit: Trench coat is from River Island, ROMWE tartan scarf, Converse high-tops, Accessorize faux fur headband and my beloved Mulberry Bayswater tote.

Right must dash, off for some pizza at Don Antonio's tonight which has come highly recommended from a few friends and I cannot wait. I can practically smell the warm sourdough rising and melting mozzarella as I type. I hope you will enjoy these style of posts of the next few days and hopefully my New York diaries will give you some ideas and inspirations if you have a visit planned soon.
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