Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to have a successful one day trip to New York City

Ever since I got back from London, I have wanted to go back! Obviously that was out of the question this summer so I did the next best thing and ventured to New York City for a day! 

Now, you may be thinking...what can you really do in New York City if you are only there for a day...and I am here to say that you can do quite a lot!! With a decent amount of research, a portable phone charger, and knowing your feet are going to be sore for the days to follow, you can have a successful, exciting day! 

Here is the plan I followed for my day in New York City:

1. I arrived at 6:30am after taking the megabus overnight
2. I went to Doughnut Plant for breakfast (they open at 6:30am!!)
3. Flatiron Building
4. Subway to Iconic Cafe for my first soy latte 
5. Walked through Chinatown 
6. Walked to Dumbo over the Manhattan Bridge 

7. Explore Dumbo street art 
8. Photo-op with the Manhattan Bridge 
9. Pit Stop at One Girl Cookies
10. Thai lunch in Nolita 

11. Union Square Park (with a photo-op from the Burlington Coat Factory across the street)
12. Outfit change in the New York Public Library
13. Coffee break in Grand Central Station
14. Walked along 5th Avenue to Central Park

15. Dinner at The Pullman Kitchen
16. Times Square
17. Megabus back to Pittsburgh (overnight)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thank you, Emma.

Thank you for being a role model for everyone in our generation, especially us girls. Thank you for playing a strong, emotional, brave, loving, smart, funny, and supportive female character in a movie series that changed our generation. Thank you for not only doing that with grace but also graduating from one of the top universities in the U.S. Thank you for not letting anyone tell you what it means to be a girl and a woman. 

Lastly, thank you for making this speech (also written out in full here).

Some of my favorites quotes from the speech above are:

"For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes."
"When at 18, my males friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word."
"No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality. These rights, I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones."
"Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence, as a child, as much as my mother's."
"My mentors didn't assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day."
 "I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don't have the benefits of equality, either."
"We don't want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don't have to be aggressive, women won't be compelled to be submissive. If men don't need to control, women won't have to be controlled."
"If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Friday, September 19, 2014

High Five For Friday!!

1.) With Fall weather starting to set in, I was so glad to just sit by the river and enjoy one of the last warm days in Pittsburgh last Saturday at the Gourmet Burger Competition
2.) Along with Fall weather comes Fall television show premieres! Doctor Who has been so good this season! I have been watching every episode twice!
3.) My days with Jack are just getting better and better! I love seeing how much he learns everyday. This week we went and got breakfast and sat outside.
4.) Latte art is the best!!! Annie and I stopped by Espresso a Mano the other day and it was beautiful and delicious! 
5.) Job searching is getting the best of me! I am beginning to freak out but must remind myself that I am doing all that I can and that fate will bring me the job I was meant to have. 

Have a great weekend everyone!! Thanks for reading!! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Exploring: North Park

One day on my way home from work this summer, I found myself driving slower. I realized that although I was driving the same way I did all summer, everything just seemed more beautiful. The grass greener, the sky bluer, and the trees taller. 

To celebrate this extra gorgeous day, my mom and I decided to drive out to North Park instead of taking our usual spots in front of the television. And wow, am I glad we did! It was AH-MAZ-ING! I felt like we were on vacation exploring a whole new area and we were less than a half hour away. We just wandered around with no plan and found some incredible views (and got some amazing shots too)!  

I just love how much Instagram is challenging me to explore and look at my city in different ways. I saw a picture of North Park on my feed a few days before going and I realized I had never been there before so I just went. Instagram made it that easy to connect with Pittsburgh in a new way. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

High Five For Friday!!

1.) It has been a long four months, but Tiff and I are back to watching Doctor Who! She is finally on Donna and it is amazing! I have missed seeing David Tennant's beautiful face. 

2.) I made a salmon meal from my Blue Apron trial and it was so delicious! As I was making it, I thought that I may not like all the spices but in the end they were all perfect together! 

3.) Even with going back to school, I still get to see these two faces a lot and that makes me happy :) 

4.) Probably one of the only things I miss about Pitt when I study abroad is the Cathedral of Learning. It is just magical inside and out. 

5.) I am so lucky to have such a brilliant sister! She is getting old but I still love her ;) 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pittsburgh in Pictures

This summer I explored so many new places in Pittsburgh! It is crazy to think about how I have lived here since I was born and there are still parts that I'm not familiar with! I love it. Here are just a few of my latest Instagram shots that I captured around the city. 

Heinz Chapel in Oakland

A saturday morning in the Strip District

The County Courthouse

Gorgeous street art off of McKnight Road 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another hair transformation!

If you're a regular reader of Lovely Travels, you will have figured out by now that I love to change my hairstyle. Since the start of this blog, I have had red hair, blonde long hair, short blonde hair, and dyed the tips of my hair blue (my favorite so far!). Well, I now have another style to add to the list!

After a long debate on whether or not to dye my hair lilac (a la Kelly Osborne), I decided not to because it would need to be redyed EVERY-SINGLE-WEEK! I am not quite sure how anyone but celebrities have the time or money to do that!

With my first idea a definite no, I needed inspiration. I wanted something that was different but within budget! After watching the finale of Pretty Little Liars, I realized how much I loved Hanna's hair (pictured below)!

Image found on Google

I decided that it was exactly what I was looking for and I headed straight over to Charise's Salon (with a recommendation from a friend)! In about two hours, I left with exactly what I wanted and felt great!

I guess I still haven't lost my no reservations attitude, whether it is a new city, a new school year, or even a new hair style, I am always up for change (and usually welcome it)! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time changes everything and everyone.

"But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?"


I heard these lyrics a year and a half ago on a crowded bus in Italy on its way to Pompeii. My best friend, of just three months at that time, was obsessed with this song called 'Pompeii' and wanted me to hear it before we got to the actual city. I remember it like it was yesterday, I nodded my head along to it without really listening to the lyrics because I knew how much she liked it and I wanted to show her I cared...even though I didn't appreciate the song until much later.  

On that day, I was a sophomore in college. I was studying abroad in Rome, where I thought everything was perfect and nothing could go wrong. I had a brand-new group of friends and had a crush on one of these friends. I was nervous about what my new friends thought of me, I was trying to switch from wearing dresses to being 'edgy', and I still used Instagram filters. I was dreaming about the idea of becoming a Zia (Aunt) one day soon and thought that having a niece would be the best thing ever, but was satisfied with having two amazing dogs for the time being. I listened mostly to One Direction and had never seen a single episode of How I Met Your Mother. 

Flash forward approximately one year, the lyrics above rang through my ears everyday as I walked in towards the Farringdon Tube Station in London. I exchanged cobblestones for 'mind the gap' reminders, pasta for chips, and wine for strawberry lime cider. I have another brand new group of friends and only talk to a couple of my friends from Rome. I have replaced my dumb crush for a full-on romance with London. I am wearing boyfriend jeans, tennis shoes, and studded bracelets. I am becoming obsessed with mobile photography and street art. I have a nephew. A perfect nephew that I now can't imagine life without. I am trying to figure out how to only have one dog. And I am listening to these lyrics everyday. 

Flash forward another few months and I am writing a post about these lyrics. I am sitting in a room with my eyes closed imagining how it felt to walk down the streets of London to this song. I am thinking about how my nephew is nine months old and when I first heard this song he was just an idea. I am thinking about how maybe this song is wrong. 

When I close my eyes, I feel like everything has changed. 

Things I wanted to change, things I wanted to stay the same, things I didn't realize could change, even things I don't know have changed...have all changed. I am a different person than I was when I first heard this song in Italy and when I listened to it everyday in London and when I listen to it now.

I will be back to blogging as soon as my schedule lightens up! I love this blog and want to make sure it remains an outlet for me to document the changes in my life, good and bad.