Travel | New York City Take 2

This year Santa Claus (aka mum) bought me a trip to New York City with mum. I bought mum this trip last year so who know who will be buying a travel gift next year. Last year I had never been to New York, but mum had lived there for a short time. If you wanted to know what we got up to last time, you can read all about it here. This year, I feel more Carrie Bradshaw than carrying my head in the sand, honestly I didn’t have a clue, I hadn’t really done my research because I thought I’d seen enough movies.

*Beware this blog post is picture heavy

I started by making a list of all the things I wanted to do before we went, then on one piece of paper, wrote down all the days we were there and started looking at a map, what made sense and when. I should note at this stage we have 4 days in New York, but storm Emma had other ideas and we had to leave the next day on a much later flight that was also delayed for hours, not to worry, perfect time for mum and I to have a good catch. Plan in place, we used the delayed time to make some changes and also to note the things we wouldn’t be annoyed if we didn’t get to go.

Book before you go

This year by being more organised we were able to book things before we went. I booked the NYC Airporter bus from JFK Airport to Port Authority (it also makes a stop at Grand Central), this was $70 for two people return on a coach, depending on traffic its about an hour into Port Authority and honestly the cheapest (we paid $100 for one way trip to and easiest way to get from the airport to your hotel. We walked to our hotel (it was 5 blocks up, so super close) but you could get a taxi, it’s fairly easy to hail a cab.

Once we arrived it was late at night so we checked in and straight to bed. Annoyingly if we had got our original early morning flight we would have arrived at lunch and had the rest of the day but oh well nothing we can do about delays and a storm.

Sunday

I woke up so early on the Sunday morning, like 4am, what is there to do in New York at that time! I tossed and turned for a while and then got up about 6:30am, mum and I got ready at our leisure and got breakfast from Starbucks. When they say New York is the city that never sleeps I can’t say that’s right for Time Square at 8am, it was so quiet.

We grabbed our coffee to go and got the Subway from Time Square down to South Ferry. This is the closest subway stop to the Staten Island Ferry. We walked over and into the terminal. Last year we arrived in the afternoon and there were so many tour sales people there and they told us that the ferry was booked up, this is a load of rubbish and probably the one thing I’ve learned from my trip is don’t believe everything that they tell you there. The Staten Island Ferry is a free service run by the New York department of transport. It runs every 30 minutes to and from Staten Island and provides you with a great view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. When you arrive at the terminal, walk in, past all the tour sales people and straight up the escalator and you will see the glass doors which open when the boat is ready to board. Simple. It does feel like a bit of a cattle market getting on to the boat. The temptation is to walk the whole way to the back on the boat as your heading over to Staten Island but don’t, stay at the back as this is the perfect place to get a view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. You will also be able to go outside and take it all in, you are not able to go outside the boat in the direction that it is heading for safety reasons so be sure that you get outside on the way over to Staten Island as you won’t be able to get that gorgeous Manhattan skyline view on the way back as well. Once we arrived in Staten Island we walked off the boat, downstairs and straight back on to head back to Manhattan.

Once we arrived back in Manhattan we walked up to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway. This is the most delightful walk over to Brooklyn. I wanted to walk round to the pier when you can take a picture of the Manhattan but we ended up walking around an area called Dumbo.

Dumbo is an uber hipster place to go shopping and grab a coffee. We walked to the Brooklyn Park. If I had to move to New York this is exactly where I would love, lots of coffee shops, restaurant and the streets are really clean. There is a sense of tranquility here that was difficult to leave.

Then of course I had to go to West Elm, one of my favourite interior shops. We grabbed a coffee and planned our next stop.

We decided to walk back over the Manhattan Bridge, it is not as busy as the Brookly Bridge but there is a reason for that. One of the trains goes over the Manhattan Bridge so it is very noisy and a little wobbly at times, which to say the least made me feel nervous.

One the walk over we seen Chinatown. It looked amazing to see this community that was set in the middle of New York. The signs are all in English and Chinese and one Sunday they had fresh fruit and vegetables on sale on the streets.

We walked through Chinatown as I wanted to go to Glossier (I’ll write a little bit more about my purchases soon).

One thing about heading away with mum is she loves clocking up the miles when we go away, crazily this means we decided to walk to the Meat Packing District. I use the term crazy as mum was on the navigation with a paper map and we ended up walking about 10 blocks in the wrong direction. Luckily we walked around the Financial District, we seen the Federal Building, Wall Street and September 11th Memorial. Once I got Google maps on the go we started walking in the right direction. The weather was so beautiful it was a lovely walk to the Meat Packing District. We went to the Chelsea market and then walked the High Line. Once we finished the High Line we walked back to Time Square.

We wanted to see if we could see a show with some last minute tickets but unfortunately there wasn’t anything of interest so we headed to dinner. I got a recommendation to try the Burger Joint, a secret burger bar in the lobby of the Parker Meridian Hotel. You wouldn’t know it was there, in fact we walked past it in the beginning only the burger light indicated where we needed to go.

It’s behind a curtain and you walk along the curtain into a small room. When you initially walk in you wouldn’t know what to make of it, The menu is written on cardboard, there are random posters over the walls and the walls are written over. Its simple, just burgers and chips, you decide what you want on the burger, cheese, bacon, salad or sauce and how you want it cooked. There are 3 beers on tap so the choices are limited but that is what makes this place so good. We grabbed a table and waited for our food. It was a quick wait and it was so worth it! Easily the best burger I have ever had and I don’t say that lightly.

The atmosphere is amazing, it was surreal that this is in the lobby of a hotel. This is definitely one thing I would say you have to do if you head to New York. After walking 15 miles that day and an early start at 8.30pm, I was ready to head back to the hotel. We walked through Time Square and took in the sights but headed for an early night ready for the next day.

Monday

Monday we went to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet. Again we bought the tickets before we went on groupon. Shortline Coaches is the service that runs from Port Authority to Woodbury Common which is about 1 hour 15 minutes away. With this groupon deal you pay $25 dollars instead of the $42 you would pay if you just arrived at Port Authority, plus you will be able to redeem a saving passport when you arrive at Woodbury Common. As you can imagine, Port Authority is massive, so head up the escalator and round to the left and you will see the Shortline Coach desk where you redeem you groupon vouchers. Then walk to 110 depot and you can board the bus. The coaches are regular with the first one leaving at 8:30am. This is about perfect timing to get there on time for the shops opening. We grabbed breakfast and made a list of the places we wanted to go. I’ll bore you with everything I bought but this place is good for casual clothes and gym wear. I actually ended up buying more things for Chris as it’s great for mens clothes. There are also a number of designer shops, they don’t keep any core lines and usually the colours are quite elaborate so no bag purchases for me this time. We walked around all, stopped in a few shops before we took the plunge to buy anything then there was a shopping frenzy. Mum wanted to stop in Levis to see about a pair of jeans, an hour and $300 later we left the shop heavy ladened with bags. My one tip for outlet shopping is bring a 4-wheel suitcase. Its easy to pack everything in and also lots of the shops use paper bags and when you have so many they easily rip. Its also much easier to get back to your hotel without forgetting any bags if it’s all in the case. We got back pretty late, when to Walgreens for some sweets and a quick bite to eat then went to Sephora to pick up a few things and then back to the hotel. Another day of walking over 8 miles so its bed for us.

Tuesday

Last day and we have ticked off everything that we set out to do on this trip so this day is much more relaxed. We start the day with a run round Central Park, we ran over 3 miles and mum has run in years so it was amazing that she ran the whole way with me.

We went back to the hotel got shower, changed and packed up and checked out leaving our bags there for the day. By this stage we had done enough walking so today was definitely a little slower after the run. We walked to Anthropology then Rockafeller Centre and people watched really.

We then began to get peckish so we walked to Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. A small little bakery with the freshest cookies you will ever have. They are a small shop packed full of people. There cookies are made fresh and hot in the middle with the chocolate, plus they had Earl Grey Tea so I was happy. They have a lovely little bench outside where we enjoyed baguette with butter and jam (yeah!) and then our cookies! They are so rich, one between two is more than enough.

We walked back to Central Park for a walk around then back to Sephora for another quick purchase (I wouldn’t want shoppers regret) then back to the hotel to go to the airport.

So another trip to New York ticked off the list. I just love that city so much and could go back again but after I have a big long nap to recover from the lack of sleep from this trip. I enjoyed doing a few more of the non-tourist things attractions and there is so much more of New York that I still need to see.

Lashings of Love,

K xo

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Happy 2nd Birthday 

So today I’m celebrating the Little Lash Room turning 2, yes 2! The first year was filled with twists and turns and I learnt so much along the way. I suppose this year I feel like I’ve got my sh*t together and let’s face it, things come better in twos.

Why lashing? 

This is without a shadow of doubt the most frequently asked question. When girls first uncover that lashing is not my full time job they are immediately inquisitive, and understandably so. A couple of years ago I wanted to do something just for myself, prove to myself that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. I had just finished my masters degree which I had been studying part time for 3 years so I had a lot more time on my hands so couldn’t just sit down. I had been getting eyelash extensions for a while and became obsessed with them, never having them off. I wasn’t happy in my last job and really that was the push to make me go for it, something new. I took the plunge. I went for the training and quickly became addicted to my new craft. Looking back now, I needed a lot of practice but I was content with my progress. It took a long time but I pushed myself. Fast forward 2 years and I’m fully booked every evening forweeks and months in advance and couldn’t be more delighted with what we have achieved.

Sometimes I think it’s just me doing it on my own, but really it isn’t. There are lots of people in the background. I can’t go without mentioning my friends and family who have supported me along the way, I don’t know where I would have got to with out you. The likes, shares and telling all who listen. Mummy the eternal guinea pig who will let me try out any new product on her, so I knew exactly what I was offering. Chris, the receptionist and chief tea maker, many of you will meet Chris when he answers the door to tell you that I’m running late, usually because I’ve nattered on for much longer than I should, but hey, that’s all part of the experience. I’m so grateful for each and every girl who has ever crossed my door and given me your time, you girls are my therapy and when I’m asked how I do it, my answer really is you!

I now feel like I could do just about anything. This time 2 years ago I was sitting with no likes, followers and an appointment book with a lot of empty spaces. Honestly I didn’t really know what I was doing. This is my baby and I’ve watched it grow into something way more than even my expectations.

But there is more…Guess what, there is more than lashes, I’m no longer just the Little Lash Room. Along my journey you will have seen me reach some of my mile stones, I’ve bought a house, got engaged, planning my wedding, got a puppy and now celebrate 2 years of the Little Lash Room. Where did time go hey! Did I miss anything, probably yes, I spend very little time reflecting and look forward to whats ahead. But equally every day isn’t about milestones, some days it’s just having a good old moan about life, a walk in the park or a ginsecco with friends. Milestones are just a reference point on the road to show us how far we have come, but there is a big open road ahead and who knows where that can take us!

Looking back I can reflect on where I started and what I was and how I have evolved. I’ve become a real life adult, adulting all day long. The amazing girls I have met over the last 2 years and the friendships that have flourished! I’ve found my voice. It’s not just lashes, I’m so much more. I found my passion in so many other things than lashing and it’s honestly given me the confidence to try just about anything!

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Stars & Stripes (well more stripes)

A couple of weeks ago when I was in Orlando, for work not pleasure, I just happened to be staying a short distance from a premium outlet (YAY!). Of course after a long day, I just had to journey over. Premium Outlets in the US are ideal for people who love a bargain from a premium brand, like the idea of TK Maxx but who don’t like going through the rails. These shops are in pristine condition, very tidy, organised and there are lots of everything in each size. Some of the shops are huge and the entire outlet will definitely have you making your step count for the day. There are so many sales people in each shop, the cut throat world of sales in America is one which us Brits can feel a little intimidated by, if you have never experienced it, upon entry you’ll be greeted with “how are you today”, “that’s a really cute outfit” or “can I help you with anything” and these questions flow constantly throughout your time there. Some people love this, I am not one of those people. I enjoy isolated shopping, thinking on my own and when I need help I’ll ask, this culture is very different. The bargains make it all seem a little more tolerable.

Now with a limited amount of time, I had to be strategic, I first found a map at the information booth and marked out all the places I had to go to then others I wouldn’t mind visiting if I had time. This should be everyone’s first point of call, here you will receive a discount book, some outlets there will be a small charge for this, but it’s worth it.

Basically I went to all the shops that mum and I had enjoyed when we first went to a premium outlet in New York a few months ago. This one was slightly different but all the core shops I needed were there. I first went to Tommy Hilfiger. Nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy right? When in New York, I seen a pair of espadrilles and for some unknown reason I didn’t buy them, maybe I’d already spent too much money or maybe I wasn’t thinking about summer when I was freezing in New York, whatever the reason, I have thought about them ever since so I knew I had to try. I made a dart for the shoes and thankfully there they were, I couldn’t have been happier and despite it being 11pm at night in the UK, I called mum to confirm they were in my possession. I looked around and picked up a few things for others and moved on. No time to waste.

Next stop Ralph Lauren, I wasn’t here for myself as I think I have every colour shirt that you could find or I will ever need. I picked up a few things for Chris, mum and my brothers and went on my way. When I’m here I like to make use of gathering up some items for what I refer to as ‘The Buffer’, these are items which I gather throughout the year for Christmas and birthdays so I won’t feel the pinch, especially at Christmas.

Kate Spade was next on the list and what I needed was a light grey bag (I use the term ‘needed’ loosely). I love the leather of these bags which make them perfect for a night out. No spill is a problem. I found a cross body bag which had both a long and short strap and could be used as a clutch for only $60…now that’s a bargain no one can turn down. It isn’t as grey as I would like but for that price I almost ran out of the shop with it.

I made a few other stops, Nike, Adidas, Converse but nothing there that really interested me.

I finally stopped in J Crew and I never have been into this shop before (!) but it’s lovely, quiet a few things caught my eye. I ended up with two stripped tops. Yes you got it, I’ve added more to my breton collection. I’m a breton addict and I admit it. By this time it was 10pm and ready for me to head home and settle with all the shopping I had obtained.

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Stars & Stripes (well more stripes)

A couple of weeks ago when I was in Orlando, for work not pleasure, I just happened to be staying a short distance from a premium outlet (YAY!). Of course after a long day, I just had to journey over. Premium Outlets in the US are ideal for people who love a bargain from a premium brand, like the idea of TK Maxx but who don’t like going through the rails. These shops are in pristine condition, very tidy, organised and there are lots of everything in each size. Some of the shops are huge and the entire outlet will definitely have you making your step count for the day. There are so many sales people in each shop, the cut throat world of sales in America is one which us Brits can feel a little intimidated by, if you have never experienced it, upon entry you’ll be greeted with “how are you today”, “that’s a really cute outfit” or “can I help you with anything” and these questions flow constantly throughout your time there. Some people love this, I am not one of those people. I enjoy isolated shopping, thinking on my own and when I need help I’ll ask, this culture is very different. The bargains make it all seem a little more tolerable.

Now with a limited amount of time, I had to be strategic, I first found a map at the information booth and marked out all the places I had to go to then others I wouldn’t mind visiting if I had time. This should be everyone’s first point of call, here you will receive a discount book, some outlets there will be a small charge for this, but it’s worth it.

Basically I went to all the shops that mum and I had enjoyed when we first went to a premium outlet in New York a few months ago. This one was slightly different but all the core shops I needed were there. I first went to Tommy Hilfiger. Nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy right? When in New York, I seen a pair of espadrilles and for some unknown reason I didn’t buy them, maybe I’d already spent too much money or maybe I wasn’t thinking about summer when I was freezing in New York, whatever the reason, I have thought about them ever since so I knew I had to try. I made a dart for the shoes and thankfully there they were, I couldn’t have been happier and despite it being 11pm at night in the UK, I called mum to confirm they were in my possession. I looked around and picked up a few things for others and moved on. No time to waste.

Next stop Ralph Lauren, I wasn’t here for myself as I think I have every colour shirt that you could find or I will ever need. I picked up a few things for Chris, mum and my brothers and went on my way. When I’m here I like to make use of gathering up some items for what I refer to as ‘The Buffer’, these are items which I gather throughout the year for Christmas and birthdays so I won’t feel the pinch, especially at Christmas.

Kate Spade was next on the list and what I needed was a light grey bag (I use the term ‘needed’ loosely). I love the leather of these bags which make them perfect for a night out. No spill is a problem. I found a cross body bag which had both a long and short strap and could be used as a clutch for only $60…now that’s a bargain no one can turn down. It isn’t as grey as I would like but for that price I almost ran out of the shop with it.

I made a few other stops, Nike, Adidas, Converse but nothing there that really interested me.

I finally stopped in J Crew and I never have been into this shop before (!) but it’s lovely, quiet a few things caught my eye. I ended up with two stripped tops. Yes you got it, I’ve added more to my breton collection. I’m a breton addict and I admit it. By this time it was 10pm and ready for me to head home and settle with all the shopping I had obtained.

Lashings of Love,

K xo