Lilly and Laduree: NYC Day 2

Today I saw many more sides of the city- from the crowded, bustling streets of Times Square to the cozy cafes in SoHo to the fancy shops of the Upper East Side. And of course, I loved them all and what set them apart from one another. I felt most comfortable and at ease in SoHo, but going out of my comfort zone in the huge crowds of Broadway was a rush!

So here's what happened during day 2:

7:00 AM: Wakey, wakey Upper East Siders :)

8:00 AM: Starbucks, of course.

8:30 AM: Hop on the double-decker bus and ride around a scenic loop to SoHo.

9: 15 AM: Exploring

10:00: Le Petit Cafe in SoHo (Pretty good, it made me feel less tourist-y)

10:30: Laduree
Basically, we had a post-breakfast dessert tea party on a gorgeous back patio at Laduree and it looked like we were in Paris. It was a total Blair Waldorf moment. I tried the chocolate, raspberry and vanilla macarons and sipped the citrus and ginger tea. I loved the macarons so much that I bought some to take home!

11:15: More exploring of SoHo including the Madewell sample sale! We also visited Kate Spade.

12:00 -3: The 9/11 Memorial and a little more sightseeing.

3:00: Headed to the Upper East Side to visit the Lilly Pulitzer store on Madison. The store was as big as a house and SO gorgeous. I tried on quite a few things and I ended up with a Skipper Popover in the new flamingo print called Pink Colony. I put it on right away because it was a chilly, rainy day!

4:30: Ellen Stardust diner for dinner

6:00: M&M world! Mint, crispy, dark, pink, peanut butter... everything.

8:00: Aladdin, which was super funny and the special effects were brilliant.


Meeting Manhattan: NYC Day 1

NYC Day One: Recap and a few photos-- more to come later!

People always told me leading up to the trip that New York is magical and that I would love it. "Yeah, ok cool." I thought to myself, doubtfully. I mean, how "magical" can a city really be? How do they know I would love it? How can it be different from other big cities? I tried to keep my expectations at ground level, so that way no matter what my expectations would be exceeded. But person after person I talked to, I heard of this "New York magic" and how wonderful the city was. My expectations skyrocketed. This place would have to be pretty darn great to "exceed my expectations" like everyone said it would. But sure enough, my expectations were far exceeded, but not in the way I had expected. This is truly the most interesting place I have ever been, just looking at it makes me giddy. And I've only been here for like eleven hours.

So, here's the deal. In the past, my two girl cousins closest in age to me (Grace & Ellie), our Aunt Jill, and our grandma have taken a trip to Chicago which is about 20 minutes from where they live. This year though, Grace had the idea to totally step up our game and take a trip to the Big Apple. That's right, A Sunny State of Mind would go Empire State of Mind for the first time ever. We were all counting down the days until today, and when it finally rolled around we were beyond excited. And here's how it went down.

4:30 A.M: Spring out of bed

4:33 A.M: Painting my nails (I like to procrastinate sometimes) & getting ready

5:00 A.M: Leave for the airport

6:38-7:30: Dayton, OH to Chicago flight with my Grandma

7:45: Necessary caramel macciatos and chocolate croissants at Starbucks

8:10: Meet up with Jill, Grace, and Ellie at the boarding gate (!!!)

8:25: Leaving Chicago for NYC!

11:36: Touch down in the concrete jungle

12:30 P.M.: Go to lunch at Landmarc overlooking Central Park. For lunch I had the tomato rosemary grilled cheese, blueberry lemonade, and complimentary cotton candy and caramels.

1:30: Arrive at the Plaza to look around because I am a huge fan of Eloise and have been since I was five. I watched the movie yesterday and I'm proud. :)

2:00-5:00ish: A tour of Central Park inside and out. Seriously, every little tidbit. And it was totally amazing.

Serena & Blair looking for their Dan & Chuck

5:30ish: My first subway ride to our hotel, it was really crazy but not as scary as I thought!

6:00 ish: Check in at the Westin. Ordering in New York style pizza from John's!

7:30: leave for Matilda. The show was amazing, my favorite show I had ever seen.

10:00: back at the Westin and hanging out. The best part of any trip is catching up with my cousins.

11:35: Done writing the blog post and ready for bed!


P.S. Come back tomorrow for more!

Splurge vs Save on Summer Styles

I'm a girl who loves a good deal. Before buying something expensive, I'll consider if it is worth the price or if I could find something like it for less money. While I wish I could buy every designer item on the market, purchasing "look-alikes" allows me to buy more of the season's latest styles, and get new items next season. These items, however, may not last as long. So, if the more expensive item in question is something I will get a lot of wear out of (for example, my Jack Rogers), I go ahead and splurge!

This summer, I am loving all of the new looks and popular items, but just not their price tags. So, I have scoured the internet for cheaper alternatives, just for you. Below you will find the designer item as well as the dupe or look alike!

Item 1: Jack Rogers "Lauren" Sandal



Item 2: Monogrammed Folding Tote



Item 3: Preppy Tunic

Item 4: Kendra Scott Earrings


$52, Kendra Scott  (I think these are worth it...)


$10, Boutique (I have these but I ended up getting the real ones!)

Item 5: Seersucker Bow Back Dress



Item 6: Karen Walker Super Duper 

Happy shopping!

Bright Shorts Link-up

I love parties. Of course, a virtual party where I get to invite some of my favorite bloggers to share their outfits is no exception! So, today I am hosting a Bright Shorts Link-up. All I asked those participating to do was create an outfit that featured their favorite pair of bright shorts for summer. Below, you will find a widget with the posts linked of all those who chose to participate! There are a variety of outfits to show all the different ways you can style this summery statement piece. I knew this was sure to be a fun collaboration!
For my outfit, I chose a blue printed linen top from Loft with some Jcrew pullover shorts. I accesorized with Kendra Scott earrings, Michael Kors sandals, a dainty necklace off Etsy, and Francesca's sunglasses.

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