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Stewart Hotel NYC Review 

Back in June, for my boyfriend Jeff's birthday, we decided to spend the weekend at a hotel in NYC called Stewart Hotel. I found a pretty nice deal on Groupon and we packed our bags for a weekend in the big apple! To be honest, we had a few moments there that left a little to be desired, but overall, I'd say we had a great experience! Today I'll be sharing my honest review of the hotel, talking you through the good and the bad, so you can make your own decision next time you come to New York! 

Girl standing on the street in front of Stewart Hotel NYC

OUTFIT:
Romper: River Island (seen on Asos, bought on Poshmark)
Shoes: Steve Madden 
Sunglasses: Aldo (similar)

WHY WE LOVED THE STEWART HOTEL-

THE LOCATION:
The first great thing that we loved about Stewart Hotel, was how close it was to the Penn Train Station! When we left the station, there was no need to call for a taxi or an Uber because the walk brought us there within minutes! That's a major plus when traveling, especially around New York where taxi's and Ubers can get pricey but the subway isn't always the most convenient. If I can walk somewhere, and quickly, I'm a happy girl! (especially when I'm wearing heels just as tall as the New York skyscrapers.)

The location was also great because it was minutes from Times Square, perfect if you like the real hustle and bustle of NYC. It was also a quick drive to the heart of the calmer Chelsea area, one of my personal favorite places in Manhattan! This made it easy to get to attractions like the High Line, the Flatiron Building or Bryant Park.

girl standing on the street in front of the strewart hotel NYC

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: 
The surrounding area of the Stewart was another win! There were plenty of delicious restaurants right around the block or just a short walk away. We personally fell in love with places like The Little Beet, by Chloe and OF COURSE Cha Cha Matcha which I recently featured in my blog post about finding jeans for a big booty! We got into the city on a Friday night and noticed that there was a really lively crowd out and about. I'm personally love going wherever the action is, so I liked that aspect! It wasn't the craziest of areas though, and it certainly felt safe where we were. 

girl standing on NYC street corner of New York

THE DECORATIONS & AMBIANCE:

One of the things that attracted me to the Stewart Hotel right off the bat was the amazing decorations! As you first walk into the hotel, the lobby is pretty stunning with grand, high ceilings and seating areas that look more like artwork than a place to sit down! And everything from the hallways to the elevators felt wonderfully luxurious.


Then we got into our room! Huge flowers covered one of the walls from floor to ceiling and that was an extra little touch that Jeff and I loved!

girl laughing on couch in a Stewart Hotel NYC room

OUR ROOM:

There were a few issues with our room to discuss but before we get to that, there was plenty we loved about it! First off, the size was pretty great for what we paid for! With the Groupon it came to about $150 a night, and in New York City, especially where we were, that's a pretty nice deal! With that said, often times you pay that price or more and get a bed crammed in so tightly to the room, you wonder how they even managed to get it in there. But this room was HUGE! We had a little kitchenette, a giant bed, 2 tv's (not that we used them) and a living room area!

man sitting on couch in Stewart Hotel NYC room
Jeffy being cute on our couch 

THE RESTAURANT & BAR:

We didn't get a great chance to experience the Stewart's restaurant but I think it's worth mentioning that they have one! We did, however, head over to the bar before we left just to relax a bit before leaving. It was a really cool set up with bright neon lights and great service! Again, we were so busy, I wish we had more time to check everything out, but from what we saw of it, we were impressed!

girl standing under Stewart Hotel NYC sign

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT STEWART HOTEL-

So, as much as we liked our room, there was one issue that we had to resolve. On our first night there, the window air conditioning unit started to make a really high pitched squeaking noise that woke us out of our sleep. It wasn't the biggest deal, but we asked for help resolving it the next day and a very sweet man came up to look into it. He played around with some buttons and though it didn't seem like he did much, the squeaking stopped and he offered us a bottle of wine for our troubles! We were very grateful!

And then not 10 minutes later, the noise started up again.

black and white photo of girl at Stewart Hotel NYC lobby

black and white photo of girl standing in Stewart Hotel NYC lobby

OUTFIT:
dress: Asos (similar)
shoes: Steve Madden 

We were about to hit the town for dinner so we decided to ask about it again later when we got back. That night, a different man came to help us out. This guy hardly did a thing. I'm not exaggerating when I say he hardly even touched it before saying basically there was nothing he could do about it. He offered us a bottle of wine as well and then promised he'd have someone call us within the hour. No one ever called.

By this point we were ready to leave and the issue had never truly been resolved. Not to mention, we were a little annoyed that we'd waited on someone calling us and never heard back. But in the end, after we explained our issues to the manager, we were given another free bottle of wine, and they took a bunch of fees off our bill, including the room service we ordered the morning before. I don't expect every situation to be perfect. Accidents and mistakes happen all the time, but how an establishment responds to such mistakes goes a long way in terms of how I feel about them ultimately!

In the end we were happy with the way they compensated for the mishaps and the pro's far outweighed the cons! The next time you're in NYC, I'd recommend giving the Stewart Hotel a shot! Just don't be afraid to politely speak up if something is going wrong!


So what do you think? Would you give the Stewart hotel a shot, or do you have another favorite place to stay in New York City? Let me know down below!

with peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica

Disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means that I get to continue making fabulous content for you by making a small commission off of anything you happen to purchase through me, at no extra cost to you! Thank you! 


a girl standing in the Stewart hotel NYC

5 Back to School Style Tips

Sure you get to see your friends again, and you won't deny that the smell of new pencils has you mildly giddy, but even so, the whole thing feels a lot like watching a naked clown run at you with your favorite cake in hand; it would be pretty exciting if it weren't so uncomfortably terrifying.

You're not sure where all of your classes are, you haven't heard the best things about your science teacher and you have at least two classes with the guy you've liked since second grade.

But have no fear! Today I have 5 style tips for you that will make going back to school a lot less nerve racking, and lot more fun!

And as always ladies, take all of this with a healthy grain of salt. Rules are meant to be broken! But here are some things that have worked for me:

1. Save the Heels for Week 3 
If you've got a flashier sense of style like myself, it might be tempting to bust out those new wedges or that new pair of heeled booties as soon as the back to school season is in full swing. But when you're already flustered, searching around for World History which is all the way on the OPPOSITE side of campus apparently, the last thing you want is to make things even harder for yourself by clomping around in heels. They might make your legs look bomb, but not at the expense of your sweaty pits. Let bold accessories do the talking and stick with sneakers or flats until you're well aquatinted with your new routine.
STYLE SOLUTION: pair sneakers with a cute sundress & a bandana around your neck for a look that's stylish and comfortable.
girl wearing sneakers and dress outfit for back to school
photo source: @natashandlovu
2. Hack the Dress Code 
Trust me. As someone who was forced to wear a uniform for a majority of my life, I know that dress codes are every fashion lovers personal hell. I was constantly in trouble for pushing the limits when I was younger and I couldn't wait to be able to truly wear whatever I wanted. But here's the thing: creativity actually flourishes within a little constraint! And there are plenty of ways to express your sense of style without landing in detention. Outfits often get a lot more interesting with some added layers anyway. So try playing with different combintations to create fabulous new looks that you might not have come up with otherwise!
STYLE SOLUTION: wear a cute tee underneath a top with thinner straps for a layered and dress-code friendly look.
Christian Vierig in a tank layered over a white top and jeans for Back to School
Source: Le Fashion 
3. Let Your Style Shine with Accessories
Over the years I made the mistake of trying to convey my style through outfits that just weren't practical for school and I often forgot about accessories all together. But when you have a varied collection of hats, scarves, jewelry, fun printed socks, etc. to choose from, this is what really ties a look together! And the best part of is, the base of your outfit can be super casual and comfortable while your accessories help you appear much more fashion forward.
STYLE SOLUTION: add a beret to a simple jeans and tee outfit for an added boost of style.
Girl wearing jeans, a tee & beret as a back to school outfit
source: Princess Polly 
4. Come Back to Basics
Like I previously mentioned, whenever back to school shopping season would roll around, I could hardly help myself from stocking my closet with a ton of unique and bold pieces. But inevitably, I would find myself unable to wear them because I had nothing to actually wear them with. I know it's really no fun to run out and buy a bunch of plain tank tops and simple tees, but these are truly the foundation of every great look, no matter how minimalist, or how extra.
STYLE SOLUTION: Make sure you fill your wardrobe with plenty of basics before buying the specialty pieces.
an outfit styling basic pieces of jeans and a tee shirt for back to school
source: Pinterest
5. Ditch the Backpack
A great way to stand out and make any outfit more refined is to avoid the back to school back pack attack and choose something more "grown up." Tote bags are often cheaper and can help you make more of a style statement while still being super practical! Honestly, I've always found back packs to be somewhat constraining anyway. I just prefer a bag that can hold everything from a back up outfit to the ancient blueprints to the long lost city of Atlantis at any given time.
STYLE SOLUTION: Buy a tote, (or a few!) that adds a bit of flare to the sea of backpacks flooding the hallway.
source: Pinterest
Remember, the world is your runway, so whatever you choose to wear, make sure you have fun with it! Have any other tips to share to make going back to school easier for everyone? Share them down below!

If you're looking for even more style inspiration, check out these 3 Back To School Outfit Ideas!


With peace, love & pixie dust,
-Veronica


A brunette girl wearing white sunglass and a pink blazer

OUTFIT:
blazer: Nordstrom 
sunglasses: Nordstrom 

How Did This Happen?

I royally screwed up, again.

This was now the second time I messed up my schedule and forgot to go to work. My boss called me up, reamed me out, and I was feeling like a flaming sack of dog poo.

I came home to watch Girlboss for about the hundredth time. Since it's creation, it's been my go-to show whenever I need a pick me up. Something about Sophia, (the main character based off real life Nasty Gal creator, Sophia Amoruso,) really spoke to me. She's so filled with passion, energy, determination and absolutely no clue what to do with all of it until she realizes she's a natural entrepreneur. I was dying to devour more of her story. How did she continue growing her business? How was she going to overcome all of her hardships? What would she do next? And what was she going to wear through it all? But as usual, I got to the end of season 1 and found myself desperately wishing for a season 2. And then, finally, something in my brain clicked.

If I couldn't watch more of her story, I'd just have to live it out.


The poster for the Netflix series Girlboss

A Little Backstory...or a lot.

In recent history, I've been feeling wildly out of alignment in terms of my destiny, a fact I've been alluding to in some recent blog posts. Since graduating High School, I've worked several jobs at once to afford traveling the world and put myself through college. I did everything from yoga instructing, answering phones as a receptionist, working at children's camps and retail stores, house sitting, dog walking, baby sitting, and any other gig I could find in between.

However, college never felt like the perfect path for me. I changed my major at least once a year because I had so many passions, and hated the idea of choosing between them! I wanted to learn everything, do everything, see everything, and the thought of picking just one thing to get stuck in forever was terrifying. I felt lost and directionless but I'd never really been educated on alternative roads to success, so I felt like a loser for not wanting to pursue more than just an Associates Degree. Especially whenever friends or family asked what I planned to do instead, and I had no clue what to tell them.

There had to be something more... but what?

When I got certified to teach yoga, I thought I finally found the thing I could do forever. Of course, it didn't fully pay the bills, so I kept working sporadic, unconventional jobs on the side too. My schedule was never the same and I lived paycheck to paycheck, but it was all worth it to me. Yoga allowed me to help and inspire people, make my own hours, explore my creativity and maybe even travel the world. And most importantly, it gave me plenty of time to pursue my favorite hobby; making YouTube videos.

a typography quote that says good things come to those who hustle


I had been enamored with the "Influencer" lifestyle from the moment YouTubers started taking the world by storm. I watched as my favorite content creators were going from making videos in their bedroom, to getting their own fashion lines, traveling the world and living the kind of life I had only imagined in my wildest dreams. I loved that it was such a free space, to live and explore anything you wanted to. Freedom. Creativity. Passion. That's what all of these Influencers had, and I wanted to be one of them.

I didn't dare tell anyone what my real ambition was because for such a long time I felt like an absolute impostor. I suppose I was waiting for something or someone to give me permission. I didn't want to talk about it until I was already a success. I was terrified of what people would think. I felt like I had to prove myself first. One day I'd have my own fashion line.

One day I'd start a business, write a book, travel the world, help people, become a girlboss! But not now, not until I "mattered."

I worked on my YouTube and Blog inconsistently for 6 years, stopping and starting because I'd get embarrassed, or unmotivated or busy. But finally, at long last, I was about to get my very first paycheck from YouTube and that would validate me! Now I'd have something to show for all my hard work and maybe one day soon, I could actually turn this into a career!

And then YouTube changed their Partner program and demonetized me.

Finding my Purpose

I had no idea how long it would be before I might become a Partner again. I took a long, hard look at everything I'd been working towards and the life I was living and realized, I didn't care. I wasn't giving up that easy. I still loved creating content and truthfully, I only had myself to blame. I hadn't been taking myself seriously. I was being too wishy-washy. I wasn't showing up to the world everyday like I was grateful to be there. I spent so much time feeling insecure, confused and shy that I didn't allow myself to truly pursue the destiny I knew I was meant for.

I had wasted too much precious time absorbing content when I should've been out their creating it. I knew one day I'd have a family, a home, major responsibilities, a "real job." That's what I was supposed to want right? So these were my years to really go for it, if it were ever going to happen. So much time had flown before my eyes since the first day I sat in front of a camera and introduced myself to the world.

I had so many bright visions on that day, of what my life would be like by this point, and I'd allowed fear, embarrassment and frustration to get in the way of all that. But not anymore.

I was getting exhausted, being pulled in so many different directions from a million different side hustles. I couldn't focus, and I was getting so stressed and forgetful that I was constantly late or in the wrong place at the wrong time and the worst part was, I felt I had no real direction or reason for doing it all. I was investing all of my time and energy into everyone else's businesses, and at long last, I was finally ready to invest in my own. It started to become clear that nothing I was doing was as fulfilling as the blogger world, not even yoga. I felt disappointed in myself for not wanting to pursue yoga as a career anymore, but yoga had helped me start listening to my heart again, and I finally knew what it was saying.

I realized I'd always been secretly hoping that my efforts on YouTube, Instagram or my blog would take off and then I'd finally be able to devote all my time and energy to doing that, and only that. 

Despite the fact that I wasn't making money, I wasn't ready to give up yet and that kind of passion is hard to tap into.

But I was stuck at a crossroads. I knew that if I was ever going to live my dream life, I needed to start devoting every last drop of time and attention into creating that life for myself. But I also needed to make money in the mean time to you know... survive? I didn't want to go back to the 9-5 working world because I knew that would eat up too much of my time for too little money, but I also didn't want to keep running around between side hustles that left me exhausted and unfocused. And that's when Girlboss changed my life.

Unleashing my Inner Girlboss

After watching Sophia walk off camera in the finale of Girlboss one last time, I noticed a beautifully brand new parallel in our stories. She'd been growing her business on Ebay with wild success until suddenly, she was kicked off and forced to take her career to the next level, on her own. I thought about how the paycheck I'd worked for for YEARS to get was ripped away from me by YouTube and wondered if, like Sophia, I could find a way to branch off on my own without being at the mercy of anyone other than myself.

Practically overnight, I made the decision to bring my passions to life. I stopped caring about what anyone thought and more importantly, I stopped waiting around for permission. I didn't need to wait for anyone to tell me I could start a business or change the world or do anything else I'd been waiting to do until I became "relevant." This is my life and I make the decisions! Little by little, slow and steady, this is how we grow. Not by hiding our gifts away and then revealing them when perhaps it's too late. And maybe it never goes anywhere! Maybe it never turns into the big, crazy fantasy we always imagined. But maybe it will. And maybe along the way, the lessons you learn, and the people you help are much more important than the end results anyway.

So while Sophia's story ends with a launch party, that's precisely where I wanted mine to begin.

On July 7, 2018, I announced the Official Wear is She Now online store to the world. A microscopic win at best in the eyes of many, but to me, this meant everything. This was my statement to the universe, I'm here, I'm excited and grateful to be alive and I'm ready now, more than ever to do what I've always been meant to do! To celebrate I hosted a launch party and Pop Up Shop right in my front yard! It was small, it wasn't perfect, but it was the first official step on my journey since fully embracing my purpose.

Look, I'm not a business expert, I'm not a fashion guru and most of the time, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. But for the first time in my whole career, because yes, this is my career, I feel I deserve to be on the playing field. I might not be the best player out there, but it's a hell of a lot more thrilling than being on the sidelines! (not sure why I randomly chose to use a sports analogy there... I hate sports, but I digress.)
I choose to show up in the world as a Girlboss, despite my lack of know how or experience or all the fears I still face on the daily. And you can too!

Whatever it is you want to do, whether you feel "ready" or not, it's time for you to start, because the only real thing standing in your way is yourself. 

Here's the thing, you've only got a little bit of time on this earth. I know everyone says that, but we need to hear it over and over until it sinks in because we take it for granted all too often. Sometimes it takes these giant setbacks in the road to wake us up, to make us realize that we should've started sooner or that we should've kept going. So take it from someone who spent too much time on all the wrong things, whatever your passion is, go out and start seeking it NOW. Not later today, not tomorrow, not in a week. What have you been putting off that you're afraid to face? What have you been dreaming of since you were little that you never wanted to admit? Follow that passion and let the world shape you into the girlboss you know you're supposed to be.

Where is She Now?

Currently, I'm still grinding it out with a few of my side hustles just to pay the bills but for the first time EVER I'm seeing the fruits of my labor in so many ways! My online boutique is growing little by little, I've been landing brand deals and I'm discovering countless ways every day to make money as a blogger and YouTuber, aside from the YouTube partnership program. That means I get to do what I love a little more everyday and for the first time in my life, I don't feel confused or scared. Most importantly though, my mindset has shifted. I no longer feel like an impostor. All the extra hustling is bearable, even enjoyable again because there's so much purpose fueling everything I do. I hope that by this time next year, I'll have so much more to update you on! From now on I know exactly who I am and what my purpose is.

I'm a girlboss, baby! And I can't wait to show you what comes next.

With peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica



Hello fabulous people of the interwebs. If you're reading this, you're an absolute gem. I recently spent some THAI-m in Thailand, a place I've wanted to visit for years. It was so surreal to actually achieve something that's been on my bucket list since I was a little girl and in so many moments, I had to stop and just take it all in. This was my first time to Asia and wow. I can't recommend it enough as the perfect country to start things off in such a foreign realm. Most everyone we spoke to could easily communicate with us in English and what an amazingly friendly culture! Thailand is called "the land of smiles" and they certainly live up to the name!

WHEN YOU SHOULD GO:

We were primarily there for the Yi Peng Lantern Festival and Loi Krathong Festival. These festivals happen all over Thailand and all over the world now but the one in Chiang Mai is arguably the most magical, and I've been patiently awaiting my ticket to becoming a real life Disney Princess so I needed my "Tangled" moment to be done right. The festivals generally happen sometime during the tail end of the year. We experienced the festival in early November but it often changes depending on a multitude of factors. As soon as they release the dates however, I highly recommend booking your trip!

November is an excellent time to go to Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai and not just because of festival season. The weather is fantastic and the price of plane tickets isn't terribly expensive if you're coming from America because this is a bit of an off season for us! It only cost us $600 each round trip from New York, and we paid almost double that when we'd gone to Europe in the high season the year before, and that was half the distance.

Old City Chiang Mai was one my favorite places I've ever visited. It's like the trendy sides of New York city speckled with palm trees and motorbikes. There are temples all over the place and we loved spending days wandering in and out of whichever ones we happened upon, each one prettier than the last. We also spent an ENTIRE day getting pampered at Spa called Fah Lanna. For five hours we were treated like royalty with massages, body scrubs, manicure, pedicures, the works! It was very clean and professional too (no issues of sex trafficking.)

Doi Inthanon National Park was another incredible day and a MUST SEE place while in Northern Thailand. The pagodas look like something out of a story book and when we reached the shrine at the highest point of Thailand, the sun burst through the trees in the most ethereal way. That place is pure magic.

WHERE TO STAY:

For the first part of our trip, we stayed in an elephant sanctuary called Chai Lai Orchid and got to have some wild experiences with them throughout our stay. Located right on the riverside in a town called Tambon Ban Kad, this is the perfect place for those who love glamping and falling asleep to the sound of rushing waves.
We also fell in love with Secret Garden Chiang Mai, a home stay slightly outside the city but very easily accessible by tuktuk or songtew. The family who runs it is the sweetest and MAN do they make a mean Pad Thai!

THINGS TO DO:
-definitely see the Lantern Festival (always hosted in November) if you can help it!
-take care of elephants
-visit Fah Lanna Spa if you're looking to be pampered like royalty
-visit Doi Inthanon National Park (like something out of a fairy tale!)
-go temple hunting, they're all over the place in Chiang Mai!


PLACES TO EAT:
-Ginger & Kafe for the appetizer platter
-Graph Cafe for the drinks (be warned, it's TINY but very instagramable)
-Villa Duang Champa for the BEST thai tea and delicious dinner! (part of a gorgeous hotel)
-Lemongrass (all the food is outstanding)

*wherever you go though try Khao Soi, it's frikin DOPE.





girl smiling wearing floral dress at East Main & Main doughnut shop
EAST MAIN & MAIN DOUGHNUT SHOP
As an avid Instagram fan, I'm constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest hotspots for insta-worthy pictures. Lately I've been on a mission to find some of the best places in and around Long Island, New York, and there's certainly no shortage! I've been turning my discoveries into a bit of a series here on my blog, and today I'm adding yet another to the list: this adorable little doughnut shop called East Main & Main.
Front sign of East Main & Main doughnut shop
Front counter of East Main & Main doughnut shop
girl smiling wearing floral dress at East Main & Main doughnut shop
Located in the loveliest little Long Island town of Port Jeff, this sweet eatery is fabulous for so many reasons. One look at their Instagram, and you'll be drooling more than you ever knew possible. And trust me... no one is judging you for it!

Their shop is filled daily with the most delicious concoctions including everything from Matcha Mint Chip to my personal favorite, Salted Caramel Nutella Cookie Dough. 

Yeah.
That's a thing.
And yeah, it's just as fantastically extra as it sounds.

a selection of doughnuts from East Main & Main
Source: eastmainandmain.com
They are totally delicious and everything from their packaging to the doughnuts themselves are ridiculously Instagrammable!

girl wearing pink dress at East Main & Main
girl wearing pink dress sitting in window at East Main & Main

If the doughnuts weren't enough though, East Main & Main's decor only sweetens the deal (pun intended.) 

The walls are filled with artistic renditions of doughnuts and happiness inducing typography. A little lounge sits tucked in the back of the place where books and strings lights hang from the ceiling like something out of Alice and Wonderland. Stop by to play a board game while you eat or just enjoy the crap out of an endless choice of premium doughnuts!

I've been noticing this very Pinterest worthy trend going around the internet of doughnut walls for weddings and other parties, and of course East Main & Main has jumped on the train! In fact, they were even featured in the The Knot! Not only do they offer the doughnut walls, but they also do custom orders, and drizzle and dip parties. To be honest I'm not entirely sure what exactly a "drizzle & dip party" is but it sounds heavenly so I won't question it.
white doughnut wall at a wedding
Source: Instagram
Oh yeah... and they deliver. Which means the next time your doorbell rings, it could be some hot dude with a box of steamy doughnuts just for you. 

I'll just let your mind run wild with that one as I wrap things up here...

So next time you're on Long Island, definitely take a stroll down to Port Jeff and check out East Main & Main! This place is sure to make both your day, and your Instagram account, just a little sweeter!
A girl wearing a pink dress in a red photo booth

Outfit:
Dress: Abercrombie*
Shoes: Charlotte Russe (similar)*
Hat: Urban Outfitters *

Have you discovered any Instagram hotspots the world should know about? Let me know down below!

Don't forget, the world is your runway.

Until next time!
-Veronica


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