Friday, November 28, 2014

What I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Over the past year, so much has happened in my life, and I really feel like I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

My family


Good friends all over the country and around the world

I was even lucky enough to reconnect with some of my international friends when I went to England and France a couple months ago!

My first post-grad job at one of my dream companies

I'm working on the Garnier brand at L'Oréal USA, and I have loved it so far!


Having the opportunity to move to New York City

In October, I moved to one of my favourite cities, New York City, for my job and have absolutely loved it!

All of the travel opportunities I've had in the past year

In the past year, I have been to New York City 4 times (before moving there of course!), Washington DC, Atlanta, North Carolina, Prince Edward Island, Boston, Provincetown, London, Bath, Cardiff, Weston-Super-Mare, and Paris :)  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend in NYC with my Mom!

A little over a month ago, I made a big move to New York City. Two weekends ago, my mom came to visit me, and we had such a fun time! We did some shopping, ate a lot of good food, explored, and went to see the show This Is Our Youth on Broadway! She was my first visitor since I arrived in NYC and it was so nice having her here! 

She arrived on Friday night just as I was getting out of work, and we decided to hit up a few happy hours! We went to a couple places for drinks, and then found a restaurant called Tony's near Times Square. It's a family-style Italian place and was so good! We got a big serving of spaghetti and meatballs that was delicious!

On Saturday, we did quite a lot of exploring! We started off the day at the Bryant Park Christmas Market. It was so cool and there were so many cute little shops! There was ice skating too, which we didn't do, but it was cool to see. There was a chocolate shop that was giving out samples of chocolate covered almonds that were so delicious! I think I may make a couple detours there after work soon to get some more samples :)
ice skating in Bryant Park
a cute vintage shop in Bryant Park
Next, we did some shopping and walked through Rockefeller Center. We saw the ice skating and we even saw the famous Christmas tree being put up! Then we took the subway up to the Upper West Side/southeast Harlem because that is one of the areas I want to look when I start searching for a new apartment. The area was even nicer than I expected and actually had kind of a Parisian feel to it! There were a bunch of cafes and outdoor fruit/vegetable stands, and the architecture was really pretty. We also saw the Columbia University campus which was amazing! It looked like it was taken out of a painting.
Columbia University
On our walk back to the subway, we came across Tom's Restaurant...aka Monk's Cafe from Seinfeld! Me and my entire family are huge Seinfeld fans, so we were so excited to see this! We had already had lunch a few hours earlier, but we stopped in for some hot chocolate. coffee, and cheesecake. It was delicious and all the other food we saw people eating looked so good too! There was Seinfeld memorabilia all over the walls and some of the waiters even called customers by the Seinfeld characters' names! It was such a cool experience and we definitely want to go back next time my dad is here too because we know he would absolutely love it!
Tom's Restaurant, aka Monk's Cafe!
After our awesome Seinfeld experience, we headed downtown to the Financial District. That is another area where I want to look in my apartment search. I have been to this area a bunch of times, and I already know I love it! We saw the Freedom Tower, went into some shops, and then walked to Soho and Little Italy where we found an amazing restaurant called Bianca's. It was such a cute restaurant and had a great atmosphere! My mom and I both ordered lasagna, and it was probably the best lasagna I've ever had! I definitely want to go back there at some point!
the Freedom Tower
delicious lasagna from Bianca's
Fast forward to day 2 of my mom's visit... we started off the day by heading to Times Square to get discounted broadway tickets! We originally got tickets for the Idina Menzel show If/Then and we were so excited because everyone in the ticket line was raving about it. So we bought our tickets, got lunch, did a little shopping, and headed to the theatre. We found our seats and they were in such a perfect spot! But then, less than 5 minutes before the show was due to start, we heard people complaining near us about how Idina Menzel was sick that day and wasn't going to be performing. A lot of people were leaving and getting their tickets refunded, so we decided to do that too, because Idina was the main reason we had wanted to see the show. We brought our tickets back to the TKTS office in Times Square and got a refund and were able to get tickets for the other show we had really wanted to see...This Is Our Youth starring Michael Cera!

That show wasn't starting until a few hours later, so we had some more time to explore. We walked around and came across another iconic Seinfeld attraction—the Soup Nazi stand! We got a butternut squash soup to split and walked to nearby Central Park to eat it. It was so delicious! The stand is famous on the show for having the best soup in New York, and I can see why! Unlike on the show though, the people working there were really friendly. I gotta say I was a little disappointed about that because I wanted them to be rude like the Soup Nazi and say "no soup for you!" That is another place we want to take my dad next time he visits because he would love it! I can picture him ordering his soup in the exact structured way that people order it on the show :)
No soup for you!
Thanks for the delicious soup, Soup Nazi!
After eating our soup, we walked around Central Park. The foliage was looking so pretty that weekend so I really enjoyed it and got so many nice pictures!
Central Park
Then, it was almost time for the show! We wanted to get some food before, so we stopped at Junior's. We got some Thai chicken wings which were delicious and of course we had to try some of what Junior's is famous for—their cheesecake! The cheesecake was so good and I will definitely being going back there at some point to get another piece!
our tickets for This Is Our Youth
And then it was time for the show! It took place in the 80s in New York and starred Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Tavi Gevinson. It's a coming-of-age story about a boy (Michael Cera's character) who gets kicked out of his dad's house for smoking weed all the time. He then steals thousands of dollars from his dad and goes to his friend's house where he looks for help to solve his dilemma. The play takes place over that night and the next morning and involves friends, disfunctional families, and romance. I'm not very good at explaining plots, but it was a really good show, and the actors were all so amazing! I would definitely recommend seeing this if you are in New York.
Michael Cera!
I got to meet Michael Cera after the show! He's one of my favourite
actors so I was really excited, and he was such a nice guy!
My weekend with my mom was so amazing and I was so happy to have her here! I was sad for her to leave, but on the bright side, I am going home for Thanksgiving in a couple of days so I will get to see my family again soon! 

If you're interested, I also tried my hand at vlogging for the first time while my mom was here, so if you'd like to check out what our weekend was like in video form, you can check it out below :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Settling into Life in New York City

A little over a month ago, I made a big change in my life and moved to New York City. I was a little nervous about moving to the biggest city in the country after spending the summer in my tiny New England town, but I was beyond excited about starting the next chapter of my life! I had started to feel a little depressed over the summer while I was home, but after accepting a job in New York, my mood completely changed and I finally felt happy again!

I am currently working at one of my dream companies—L'Oréal! When I applied to some internships and jobs at the company, I definitely didn't expect to be offered the positions, since it is the world's biggest company in the beauty industry and I knew it was super competitive. But when I heard back from them offering me a Customer Marketing position within the Maybelline-Garnier-Essie brand, I was so happy! I have been there a little over a month now, and I can confirm that it was the perfect choice for me, and I really love it. It is a lot of hard work and stressful at times, but it is such a fun industry to be in and everyone that I work with is so friendly and super helpful with me as I'm still learning everything. I am in a 12-month position for now, but I'm really hoping that when the 12 months is up next October, they are able to find a permanent spot for me somewhere in the company!

Before coming to New York, I was having trouble figuring out where to live. As I'm sure you know, New York is so expensive, so my options were kind of limited. I did meet a few people through different Facebook groups who were looking for roommates to sign a lease with, but after thinking about it, I was a little afraid to sign a year-long lease with girls I never met for an apartment that I probably wouldn't see until moving in. So instead, I found a short-term option in Brooklyn where I am paying month-to-month. I'm living with another girl who is nice and the apartment is pretty good, but I am starting to look for other apartments as well! My commute to work now is about an hour each way, so I really want to be somewhere more central. I'm also really hoping to be in an area where there is a lot going on, because the part of Brooklyn I am in isn't super nice and there aren't really any good restaurants or shops nearby. After being in the city and knowing the neighbourhoods a little better, I think I am going to focus my search in the Financial District, the part of the Upper West Side/Harlem near Columbia University, Long Island City, Astoria, and Downtown Brooklyn.

I've had a lot of fun since being here too! I have a friend from Elon who lives one subway stop away from me, so I have been seeing her a lot. I have also met some great people through work as well! After being in my boring town all summer, being in New York is a complete 180 and there are always so many things to do here! I have done lots of exploring, shopping, going out to bars, and I've been to so many great restaurants!

I will definitely be posting lots more about my time in New York really soon! My mom recently visited for a weekend, so I am going to dedicate an entire post to that. It's also starting to get so Christmasy and festive here in the city, so I have been absolutely loving that, and will be getting as many pictures of the decorations as possible. Thanks so much for reading! If you have any New York recommendations for shops, restaurants, attractions, etc that I should check out, I would really appreciate if you could let me know in a comment! :)

xo Christie

One of the perks of working in the beauty industry:
company scavenger hunts around the city to check out the latest beauty trends! This is in Saks Fifth Avenue.
the view walking across the Manhattan Bridge
the Brooklyn Bridge
the view of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge
some street art in Downtown Brooklyn...poor Mickey
I saw something being filmed next to the Brooklyn Bridge.
If you have any idea what this is, please let me know!
Autumn in New York was so pretty!
an amazing view from a bar on the Chelsea High Line
celebrating Halloween with my friends Kirsten and Ashley (and this pumkin-headed man!)
the Radio City Music Hall Christmas tree is up!
Christie's :)