Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Glossier Showroom Experience in NYC

You must be living under a rock to not have heard of the brand Glossier. It's all over Instagram, YouTube and blogs and as curious as I am I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Luckily for me I went to New York -read about what I did there here- so of course I popped into their showroom in Soho.
Glossier is founded by Emily Weiss from the website Into The Gloss. Also remember Emily the super intern from The Hills? She was interning in New York and helped Lauren and Whitney in LA with a Teen Vogue event. She is the same Emily! I thought that was so funny!

Before going to the store I did some research online on what kind of products are worth it and which ones are not. Glossier is mainly focused on people with pretty good skin that is a bit dry. Hence the name Glossier aka glossy, glowy skin. Since my skin is more on the oily, acne-prone side most products are not targeted for me, but I still was like why not have a cheeky look and pop in for a lip balm? Because you can never have enough lip balms.

The Glossier Showroom is located on 23 Lafayette St. An elevator will take you up where you enter a room for beauty lovers. All products are displayed and you can try them out as much as you like. The concept is that you write down whatever you want on a Glossier sheet and then go up to the cashier or one of the Glossier ladies and order your goodies. A few minutes later someone calls for your name and there you have it: your own cute Glossier bag.

I had a look at the oh so popular Balm Dotcom ($12/15ml), a multipurpose lip balm, and tried them all out. In the end I went with the plain, unscented one, because I felt like I would use that the most. I also ordered Super Pure, one of the three Glossier serums. Super Glow and Super Bounce are more oriented on dry, dull skin and Super Pure has zinc and vitamin B3 and is supposed to calm redness and break-out prone skin. With $28 it's on the pricier side, especially since you only get 15 ml, but I wanted to give it a go to see if it would really cure my skin.

Overall I do like the Glossier shopping experience, it's a bit different than your usual Sephora run, but I liked it. The goodies that you buy are packed in this pink packaging and it gives you this luxury, cool gal feel. The store can be a bit small and is usually packed with other girls who love trying everything out. I went on the weekend too, so maybe try going there on a weekday to avoid crowds. Or order online if you live in the US, Canada or UK. 
I still need to test out the Balm Dotcom and Super Pure serum, but when I do a review of these babies will go up ASAP. Just in time for my next trip to the Glossier showroom in May!

Have you tried anything from Glossier?


Monday, January 22, 2018

My New York Trip

Last week was a real bucket list moment for me. I finally hopped on a plane and went to the city of all cities: New York. Visiting the Big Apple has always been a dream of mine and I still can't believe that I actually went there and saw the city that never sleeps in action.

Since I had never been there before I wanted enough time to see all the sights. I ended up being there for 9 days (including travel) and it was enough for all the things that I wanted to see and do (see my NYC prep post here). I will write a New York City guide soon with all the do's and don'ts and handy tips for when you are planning a trip to NYC, this post will be my personal experience and will have lots -and I mean lots- of pictures, since the city is so photogenic. Ughh please bring me back! -I have actually already looked up flights and stuff. The post NYC blues are real.

Day 1
A day of flying and travelling to the Big Apple. I was very nervous because this was my first long flight plus the fact that I was all by myself making the biggest trip of my life yet. I basically spent all the hours watching 'Friends' and other films and the time went fast. We landed in JFK within no time and although we had a few hours of delay -they found out the breaks didn't work just as we were about to go up in the air- I still felt quite okay. Customs went smoothly and after collecting my suitcase -does anyone else gets paranoid as well that your suitcase won't show up?- I hopped into a shuttle bus to my hotel on the Upper West Side. All I did was check-in, unpack my suitcase, showering and immediately went for a well-deserved nap.


Day 2
Normally I am not the kind of person that wakes up early. I can sleep for hours and hours, but my body decided to wake me up at 4AM and there was no way it was going back to sleep. Gotta love jetlag. I started my day bright and early at Top of the Rock and boy it was quiet at that time of the day. Perfect for those Instagram shots and since the weather was sunny I had the most amazing view of Manhattan. After those views I went to the hotel were Serena and her family lived in Gossip Girl -I was really fangirling there- and took some snaps at Radio City Music Hall and Times Square. I then ate the most amazing blueberry pancakes at IHOP and continued my sightseeing tour with the Flatiron Building, Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, Carnegie Hall and Columbia University.


Day 3
That day I woke up at 5AM -a bit of improvement- and had a lovely breakfast at Citizens of Chelsea before I headed to the Empire State Building. It was a cloudy and grey day but the views from there were still spectacular. I then went on to Brooklyn where I had an oatmeal bowl at Stonefruit Espresso + Kitchen and spent the rest of my afternoon in Target. There is a huge Target near Barclays Centre and oh my god, it's bloody amazing. As a European gal who has always heard of Target it was quite the experience and it's safe to say I spend way too many dollars in there. I dropped of all my stuff at the hotel, had a quick nap -because you know, shopping is hard- and headed to the Empire State Building again to see it at night time. Manhattan looks even more mesmerizing at this time of day. All the lights sparkle and it's very surreal to have a look at the city this way. Definitely one of my favourite moments of the trip. Despite almost losing my phone because of the wind.



Day 4
To start of my day I ate some cookie dough -yes you are reading that right- pancakes and a cotton candy milkshake at Big Daddy's. A heavy breakfast, but I thought when I eat at Big Daddy's I need to pick all the good things. I walked all the way to the other side of Central Park to go and have a look at The Met. Every Gossip Girl fan must know that those steps are sacred and I loved walking up the steps to have a look at some art. I probably spent about 2 hours in there before I walked outside again and it was raining like crazy. After hunting down an umbrella at H&M, I shopped some candy at Dylan's Candy Store and bought my own Sprinkles Cupcake at the pink ATM machine. In the evening I met up with a friend and went to Ellen's Stardust Diner. A cheesy, touristy diner where the staff sings. We had to wait outside for 45 minutes, but I think it was totally worth it. They can all sing so well and it wouldn't surprise me if they ended up in a Broadway show.


Day 5
On Saturday I had a yummy breakfast at Maman before walking to the 9/11 memorial and museum. The museum to me was a sad and emotional experience since you hear all the personal stories from people who have lost someone and from the police and fire department as well. It's one of the things I really recommend seeing if you ever go to New York. After my visit I walked around a bit before hopping on a boat to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was a cold day and I was not prepared for that -the day before it was 15°C and now -8°C- I loved seeing everything though. Especially on Ellis Island you have the most amazing view of the city skyline and I actually sat there near the water and took it all in. I ended the day with some Chipotle and Netflix. American Netflix is sooo good. We need those Disney Channel movies here ASAP!


Day 6
Another sunny, cold day in New York City! I had some pancakes at The Wild Son in Meatpacking District and visited the 'Friends' building -again fangirl moment- and Carrie's house from 'Sex & the City'. I also walked a bit on The High Line, which I think will be beautiful in the summer time. This was also my food day as I bought a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, some cookie dough at Do, a green croissant at Moonhouse Bakery and a rose donut at Doughnut Plant. The statue in Washington Square Park was also a ‘Friends’ moment for me as they show it so many times in the show. I also visited the Glossier store and may have bought a few bits and pieces. I will talk about that experience in another post. But yeah, mainly did a lot of walking in Chinatown, Nolita and East Village and ate a lot. What a perfect day!


Day 7
So this is the day where I met a celebrity. I kind of hoped beforehand that I would bump into someone and on that particular morning I did. I was just casually walking down the street when I see this guy walking towards me. One look at his face and hair and I was like OMG THAT’S COLE SPROUSE! All my 'Riverdale' and 'Sweet Life' dreams came true. No, I didn't talk to him, ask him for a photo or chased him down the street. -although that did pop into my head for a sec- He seemed to be in a rush -he was on Jimmy Fallon that evening, so it must have been him- and I freaked out by myself on the street. 
Enough fangirling and back to my NYC day where I picked up a tea from Happy Bones in Nolita and took the subway to the American Museum of National History. A true film moment for me again since 'Night at the Museum' was filmed here. The museum was nice but more oriented for kids. I walked around, used their restroom -like you do- and went to Brooklyn for a rainbow bagel. This was such a hype years ago, but I felt like I still had to do it. I also walked around Dumbo and went to Manhattan with a walk across Brooklyn Bridge. The views from there are amazing. Another pinch me, I'm in New York moment.

Day 8
My last full day in the city started with an acai bowl at The Butcher's Daughter. I feel this café is a must when visiting New York and I did like the interior and vibe there. To finish it off I ordered a chai matcha latte at Cha Cha Matcha -another NYC classic- and walked around Nolita. Now that bowl that I had earlier was delicious but not very filling so I had a burger at By Chloe. I wanted to go here a couple days earlier but it was so busy that I decided to eat there earlier in the day –to avoid the crowds-. The burger, fries and beet ketchup were good, but not as good as the Vegan Junk Food Bar in Amsterdam. I spent my whole afternoon being lost in Sephora and Target on 34th street and took a Shake Shack takeaway back to my hotel. Eating those cheesy fries while watching Camp Rock, Lemonade Mouth, Princess Protection Program and Starstruck.


Day 9
A sad day for me since I was finally getting used to the New York City life. I wanted to eat at Jack's Wife Freda, but they had a problem with the water so I ended up not eating breakfast because I was worried I wouldn't have enough time for all the other things I wanted to do. I took the subway to 34th street again, because my sister wanted a few more bits from Sephora -am I not the sweetest sister in the world?-. I walked all the way over to Central Park from 34th and had one last look at Times Square. I then finally had my first bite of food (a bagel) that day at Woops! on the Upper East Side. I also had a red velvet macaron -because why the heck not- and an almond chai latte. With my drink I walked through Central Park and as the snow drizzled down it really started to sink in that I absolutely bloody love this city and I don't want to leave. To complete the New York vibes I bought a hot dog and pretzel from a food cart and walked through Central Park towards my hotel. There was a Pressed Juicery near my hotel so I also picked up two healthy juices, since I basically only ate pancakes and Shake Shack takeaways that week. Save to say they tasted pretty good. The shuttle bus was right on time to pick me up and drop me off at JFK. A quick change to some comfier clothes, some Dunkin Donuts and a Jamba Juice later I was all boarded and ready to head back to Amsterdam. 

As I'm writing this post I can't help but smile over all the things that I have done in New York. At first I had to adjust and the surreal feeling just wouldn't go away, but once I felt more at ease I fell in love with everything the city has to offer. I really want to come back around September/October since it will be a bit warmer and the whole pumpkin pie Halloween festivities are going on. New York you have been amazing and I can't wait to return!

Have you ever been to New York? What is your favourite thing about the city?


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Amsterdam Food Hotspot: Vegan Junk Food Bar

I love me a burger and fries. Shake Shack is my bae -do we still use that word in 2018? I don't know but it fits in this particular situation- and whenever I go out for dinner I usually end up in a burger place -or sushi, looooove sushi-. I am all about trying new things and when I heard there was a vegan burger place in town I was all for that. I am not vegan but do like to whack out my vegan cooking skills from time to time and trying out vegan burgers and Dutch 'bitterballen' was something I just had to do.

Vegan Junk Food Bar is quite new to Amsterdam and already has two locations: a small burger bar near 'Vondelpark' and a proper restaurant in the neighbourhood 'De Pijp'. Due to a mix up I went to the restaurant and my friend was at the burger bar. So I hopped on a tram to go and meet her. I think I recommend the place in De Pijp, just for the fact it's a bit bigger. The burger bar was very light though so better for photos. It's just whatever you fancy really.

I ordered the normal VJFB burger and my friend had the double burger. The normal burger consists of: plant-based beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red, spring & fried onion mix, pickles and VJFB sauce. The double has an extra patty, jalapeños and fried onion rings. With that, we also ordered Parm Á San and Truffle fries and some Amsterdam Bitterballen. The food came fast and I have to say it was so freaking good! The burgers by itself looked totally Instagrammable and tasted even more amazing. The fries were to die for and the bitterballen actually tasted almost the same as the real deal. I have had some vegan burgers before -even tried to make one myself- but I have never tasted something like this. I think even a meat lover will like this place and that is saying something. 

A lot of people still think of vegan food as boring and I love that the Vegan Junk Food Bar is kicking ass to prove the opposite. Safe to say it was one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life. The sauce, lettuce and everything worked so well together. The only downside is that it's a bit pricier than your usual Shake Shack combo, but hey it's all worth it knowing that you are eating all the plant based goodness!

Have you ever tried a vegan burger? What are your thoughts on them?


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