NYC Travel Guide

Autumn in New York City is like living a weekend-long dream. The colors are so vibrant, the weather is crisp and the storefronts are beginning to look a lot like Christmas. There is something about New York and the energy in the city that makes you feel as though you can conquer anything; And by conquering anything, I’m talking food!

EAT
NYC is the ultimate foodie’s dream. Endless opportunity for adventurous bites, there is honestly something amazing on every street corner. Everything you can ever imagine is right at your fingertips… or right at the tip of your tongue. If you tend to keep up with my Instagram stories, you know that my primary activity when traveling anywhere is eating! New York City is the type of place that as your eating breakfast; you are already thinking about lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Below are some of the places that I visited which are mostly Asian or Italian influenced;

Drunken Dumpling – You must try the Pork soup dumpling. This is incredible and is unlike anything that I have ever tasted before. The service is really good and the prices are reasonable. The food came steaming hot and fresh, which is never something to complain about.

Momofuku Noodle Bar: I ordered the Chilled Spicy Noodles, which were so flavourful and enough for two people! This was my first time at Momofuku and even though I know that there is one in Toronto; I had to try the original in NYC. The noodles are coated in what I consider; an Asian version of pesto, Sichuan sausage, crunchy cashews. They are not portion shy here, I was as full as I have ever been in a while.  Although, I’m not sure if this was just my stomach giving up after a weekend full of eating 100x my body weight.

Milk Bar: The ever Instagram famous Birthday Cakes and Cereal Milk Softserve stole my heart. Recently I had seen Christina Tosi’s episode of Chefstable on Netflix and fell in love with her culinary style, and her “coloring outside of the lines” view on baking and creating. I was convinced, after watching that episode of Chefstable; Cereal Milk Softserve will be the greatest thing that I will ever try. After waiting in the longest line of my life, finally.. the holy grail of soft-serve ice cream was in my hands. My first bite and I was severely disappointed.  I forced myself to eat just over half of the serving, because of how long I waited in line and how much I paid for s o f t-s e r v e ice cream. I do not recommend trying this.. not worth the time, hype, calories or money.

Cacio e Pepe: Probably one of the greatest restaurants ever, just based off of the Homemade tonnarelli pasta, tossed in pecorino cheese & whole black peppercorns. This is a dish that I had been dying to try for years and finally, my food dreams came true. A truly simple yet incredible plate of fresh pasta. Who doesn’t wish for pasta served to you in a Parmesan wheel? I highly recommend giving this place a try and suggest that you make resos because of the limited space inside.

Ivan Ramen: This is my second time visiting Ivan Ramen and damn does it ever impress. To start, I ordered the Kabocha Squash Tempura which is glazed in miso maple brown butter and crusted in pecan. Then to follow all of that goodness, polished off a bowl of the Chicken Paitan with enoki mushroom. Ramen has got to be one of my faves, especially as the weather starts to cool up!

Boba Guys: My new found obsession. I literally went to every location in New York City because it was so good! I ordered the Strawberry Matcha Latte with boba every time and I have been missing since. The boba is so fresh and all of the ingredients taste so authentic and not artificial; I’m not kidding, I could actually taste the freshness. They also have the option of dairy-free kinds of milk here like; almond or oat for no additional cost!! If you are from Toronto, you know that this is practically unheard of to get dairy-free options for free99. I would head back to New York for Boba Guys any day.

Some other places to try would be; Eataly Serra Rooftop, Shake Shack, Magnolia Bakery, Little Tongs, Maman Coffee and Cha Cha Matcha.

SLEEP
There are a ton of stunning hotels and places to stay in the city and fortunately enough, a family friend let us stay with her in her amazing home. We stayed in Gramercy, which was gorgeous and felt super central to everywhere that I wanted to go. Gramercy is a quieter area with beautiful apartments on tree-lined streets. There are endless fun and happening restaurants and bars. In this area, there are some really nice hotels too. The Marcel and The Gramercy Park Hotel are both great options if you are looking for something in this area. When looking for a hotel or Air BnB, it is important to keep in mind that you most likely will not be spending too much time in the room; so I wouldn’t go overboard in terms of spending on that. Save your spending money for your food and shopping.

SHOP
Shopping may or may not be my middle name. New York City is home to some of the best shopping and makes you want to spend money. A word of advice, bring some comfortable shoes because if you did the city like I did, it was all about walking. I found that the best way to find the stores that you didn’t even know that you were looking for. I believe that the city really has something for everyone, in terms of fashion and shopping. I’d be sure to head back to Soho because the stores there are incredible, the scene is so fun and the architecture is literally made me stop and stare. From Stores like Aritzia, Topshop and Zara to Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Stella McCartney you can really find anything you are looking for. Be sure to visit and pop-ups while you are in the city too!

FUN
Aside from the obvious fun; Shopping and Eating.. there are a ton of other incredible things to do while visiting the city. Definitely going for a walk in Central Park is a must! I had never been to Central Park before and upon entering the park (which is a huge chunk of the city) I felt like I entered a dream. Have you ever seen the movie Enchanted? I sort of feeling like I was a princess and all of these talking animals were going to come out and be my friend. Maybe it is all of the sodium I had throughout the weekend getting to my head. I swear I’m not crazy.  It is such a magical place and it was nice to see greenery in such a busy city.

I can’t wait until my next trip back because I am missing Boba Guys like crazy. I hope this helped and always feel free to ask me any questions about my stay in New York. I love hearing from you guys and enjoy sending over recommendations.

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Halloween Costume ideas that you can style again.

Halloween; the one day out of the year that you can dress however you want, and get away with it. Ever since I was little, my parents never allowed me to wear those Halloween costumes that anyone and everyone goes to buy at your average-joe party store. I’m still not sure if it was the cheap material or high prices that made my parents feel this way but LUCKILY, I have a very crafty mom who can make anything something special. I must admit, I had some of the most amazing costumes as a kid.

As for me, I am not the craftiest in terms of sewing and actually building a costume from scratch. Over the past few years, I have built my costumes with statement pieces I either had in my closet or pieces seen online. Halloween for me is about building and elevating essentials while throwing in 1-2 statement pieces, that can still be worn time and time again. Its all about looking the part and doing a killer job of it. Being able to transform those leather pants into a cat woman suit and a month later, wear them to class with sneakers and simple crewneck. When looking for the perfect Halloween costume, look for main pieces that can be re-worn just styled in a totally different way. I have attached a variety of ideas down below to elevate simple costumes and re-wear them long after the occasion.CLICK HERE to shop Halloween 2018 costumes.  I can’t wait to see what you all come up with and hoped that this helped.

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Discovering new treasures with the 2018 Ford Escape

Lately, the weather has been so beautiful and I have been craving adventure more and more. Now that my vacations have officially come to an end, I have been having major summertime sadness. Sometimes, it is nice to change up routine and visit places that you have never been before. So last weekend, I did just that! I made a day trip to Aberfoyle Antique Market in Guelph. Just like an antique market, where you can find old treasures  or repurposed furnishings, Ford Canada is highlighting their commitment to the use of renewable materials in the Escape with soy foam, post-consumer cotton and post-consumer plastics. Soy foam has been used in seats by Ford Motors for 10 years now, which has saved more than 228 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Ford also uses detergent bottles, tires and battery casings used to make underbody systems, The latest example is the engine cam cover on the Ford Escape.

I drove the 2018 Ford Escape, which made the ride go by super quick; no sore backs and no getting lost. Ford Motors, has made it possible to adventure cost-effectively and cut your carbon emissions with the Auto Start-Stop Technology. This is great when you are stopped in traffic because it prevents the car from using unnecessary fuel. This is excellent when driving downtown.

A key component when going on a road trip is to make sure that you know where you are going. One of my favorite features of the vehicle is the SYNC3 and the voice-activated navigation system. This was super easy to use and I found it to be the best navigation than any I have used before. It’s amazing to have voice activated features because this allows you to remain hands-free. With the simple touch of one button on the steering wheel and your voice, you will be on your way to your destination in no time.

The feature that I found most desirable in the 2018 Ford Escape, was the self-park assist. I am really bad parallel parker…I’ve actually never met someone who was good. I have always found it tricky because when another car is waiting behind me, I end up turning my wheels 638291 million times then shifting from drive-reverse like a mad woman. By following a few simple steps that display on the screen, your car will have parked itself the perfect distance away from the curb and surrounding cars.

#FordFleaMarket

Ford Motors Canada lended me the vehicle. Although, all of my opinions are my own.

Denver Travel Guide

Every time I visit Denver, Colorado I feel so healthy and motivated. I try to travel to Denver once a year to visit family and always feel so at peace when I am there. Just spending a weekend here is incredible and so refreshing. I love traveling to hip, modern and fun cities and I find Denver so unique. Only 3-4 hours away from Toronto, the flight is a reasonable distance away for the perfect weekend getaway. I stayed at the AC Denver Downtown by Marriott and had the most incredible experience.

Downtown Denver is a fantastic spot for some of the best rooftop bars, hip healthy restaurants, and Instagram worthy hotels. Consider checking out a local market for a bite to eat, I love Denver’s Central Market for this. The freshly baked pastries and desserts at Izzio Bakery are to die for. Another one of my favorite spots is, Denver’s Union Station; it has the cutest esthetic and little shops! They have a little ice cream shop called Milkbox, a colorful flower boutique, and a delicious coffee shop all under one roof!

When finding a hotel in a city you are not familiar with, it can be a tricky and confusing process. Personally, I ask myself a few questions when searching for the right accommodations for me. Is the hotel Instagram worthy?, Is this a suitable location for a foodie? Is the hotel in a safe and exciting neighbourhood? Well…. I found all of the answers that I was looking for at The AC Denver Downtown by Marriott! This hotel was everything I wanted and more completely exceeded all of my expectations.

I stayed in the King Deluxe Suite and everything was amazing especially the view! The floor to ceiling windows stretched across one side of the room and had the most gorgeous view of the mountains from the comfort of my bed. The room and hotel decor were European and urban-influenced, very modern and chic. If you get hungry, try checking out the in hotel restaurants; Corinne, AC Kitchen and Bar AC. During my stay, I indulged at all of the in house eateries and would highly recommend trying one of the fresh juices at Corinne for breakfast. At the Bar AC, the Strawberry Fields cocktail was unlike any other; I highly recommend ordering it! Everytime I stay at a hotel, I love ordering room service because I find that it adds to the experience and breaks up the difference of your everyday routine. Make your stay a bit more special by requesting decadent macaron and chocolates.

I would highly reccomend visiting Denver this summer! There are endless possiblities in terms of shopping, culinary, nature, relaxation, and athletic adventures. Discover more on my Instagram @MelinaMagnatta_

AC DENVER DOWNTOWN BY MARRIOTT

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UNION STATION

 

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Denver Union Station’s Milkbox
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Denver Union Station; Flower Shop

 

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Denver Union Station

 

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Thank you again AC HOTEL DENVER for an excellent stay. I cant wait to check out other AC locations for my next travels.

Winter Skincare Routine

For months, I have really suffered with my skin and finally, I can write this post with confidence; in hopes of helping some of you. My relationship with my skin has been very off and on the last 6-8 months. Anywhere from a minor breakout to a cystic pimple and anywhere in between. I have fairly sensitive skin and have tried a lot of products through this journey to clearer skin. I wanted to avoid oral medication to treat my skin and try and fix things on my own.

A friend of mine had recommended trying products from Kiehl’s. I went to the location at Toronto Eaton’s Centre and was blown away by there helpful staff. I explained my skin concerns and they worked with me to pick out the best products for me. I use a variety of their products daily; in the morning and night. I really noticed a difference in the appearance and feeling of my face. As an everyday cleanser, I use the Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser. It is super gentle and you only need a small amount of this. Most of my everyday skincare products are from Kiehls because I find that they work best for my skin and they are fairly priced for the quality  I also really enjoy using the Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub by Kiehl’s. I did not include a photo of this because I actually need to replenish, but it leaves your body feeling smooth and radiant. My favorite scent is the Grapefruit!

After using my Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser in the evening, I use an additional makeup removing product. I use the Cleansing cloths by Consonant Skincare to help ensure all of the makeup is off of my skin before bed. They are super gentle on the skin and are 100% biodegradable!

Now…for what really changed the skincare game. I got the Luna Play brush by Foreo not too long ago and I can honestly say it has improved my skin so much. I never really paid much attention to these types of devices, but this one works! I use it with my Kiehl’s cleanser for one minute 2x a day.  This is my favorite part of my face washing routine.

Lastly, something that has drastcly helped my skin is making healthier dietary choices. I go to a lot of restuarants and try a lot of foods that are unfirmilliar to my skin. I try to limit the ammount of dairy I consume because I know that can cause flare ups sometimes…but I cant say no to icecream. Drinking more water has really helped with clearing up my skin too. Sometimes we forget to be good to our bodies, not oly from the outside but the inside too.

 

Winter Skincare Routine

 

 

Cleansing Cloths by Consonant Skincare
Clearly Corrective Skin Brightening Exfoliator by Kiehl’s

 

Luna Play; Electric Cleansing Brush by Foreo
Face and Body oil by Bio-Oil. This helps so mmuch with any scarring or discolouration on the skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink by Welo
Smoothie Bowl for breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

Make Valentines Day a Success

 

January is finally over…And the countdown to Valentines Day; is officially on. I believe that Valentines Day is an important time to focus on what is important to you, who and what you love. Personally, I like to celebrate by doing something together and spending money that way. This may be at a restaurant, spa, cafe, hotel or anything else that may capture that special moment. I have been dating my boyfriend Adam; for over 4 years and to me, Valentines Day is just another excuse to go out for dinner and order tons of yummy things.  Although, thats not where this post is going. I will actually be focusing on the material gift side of things. I know how challenging it can be for both men and women to pick out the perfect gift and sometimes you may even feel a bit lost. Whether you have been dating for months or years; it can be a procsess for present purchasing.

I have included some fun, romantic and sweet shoppable gift guides down below for both guys and girls. Hope this helped and feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

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WHAT TO WEAR 
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Shop my faves! 
WHAT TO WEAR ; FOR HER

GIFT IDEAS FOR HER

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Balloons; T.O. Balloons Bag; Bag Religion Flowers; Mia Luxe
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Flowers; Mia Luxe


Shop my faves!

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GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN
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Shop my faves!
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Tonic Blooms

Flower shops and florists have bloomed in every neighbourhood in Toronto. Giving Tonic Blooms is the perfect gift this holiday season and every day of the year. They select flowers of highest quality and freshness, so that your arrangement can last as long as it should. I highly recommend getting Tonic Blooms delivered to that special someone in your life.

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Gift Guide – Under $50 for Her

These are some cost-friendly gift ideas for that special woman in your life. Making the most out of a budget is something I personally really enjoy and look forward to. Just because the item is on sale or under a certain amount doesn’t mean it’s not as valuable.  How to score a gift for her under $50, without it looking under $50.

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