Tokyo Travel Guide: Three-Day Itinerary

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Tokyo is such an amazing and dynamic city that has so many fun spots to explore. We were recently in Tokyo for three days and three nights and because it was my first time in Japan, I wanted to maximize our time and get to see all of the highlights and bucket list types of activities. (Note: There will be a separate blog post dedicated to everything we ate in Japan, so be sure to check back if you’re a foodie).

In terms with coming up with this itinerary, I literally spent months figuring out what we wanted to tackle, getting recommendations from friends and then mapping them by area so that we could see everything in one area/ward of Tokyo before moving onto another. This is a comprehensive 3-day guide to Tokyo, with all the must-sees. If you are only going for one or two days, stick to the first or first and second day of the guide we put forth.

We should note that we took the subway nearly everywhere during the day, which helped us get around faster and much cheaper than taxi. It is relatively easy to follow as a foreigner and we suggest that you take the subway as much as possible as well. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku, which we wrote about here.
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We took a redeye from New York to Tokyo, so by the time we got to our hotel and checked in, it was around 5pm. It was tempting to climb into bed and call it a night, since it was about 4am back at home and we barely slept on the flight, but luckily we had come up with a plan to combat any signs of jet lag. Months before getting to Japan, we booked tickets for the Robot Restaurant show, which is such a unique, Japanese experience. We had a 9:30pm reservation, so we dropped off our things at the hotel, changed and had a quick dinner near the Robot Show.

It’s impossible to accurately describe the Robot Show, but it should be a must-do. It is one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite things to do in Tokyo. Skip the food there and eat before you go. Essentially it is a light show with actors and robots and other very Japanese influences that is extremely entertaining and makes for some amazing Instagrams. Book it in advance online, and we do suggest booking it the night you land to force yourself to go out and get yourself into the right sleeping schedule. We were in bed by midnight that night and slept a good 7 hours which set us up for the rest of the trip.

Day 1: Shibuya, Shinjuku & Harajuku
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Tokyo is broken into 23 different wards and some are iconic. One our first day, we tackled three of the most famous areas for sightseeing, all by subway. We started in Shibuya, where we walked across the world’s busiest intersection, called the Shibuya Crossing. The best way to watch the crowds rush through the crosswalk is from he top floor of the Starbucks in the intersection.

After we checked that off of our list, we headed to Yoyogi Park, or Tokyo’s answer to Central Park. This park is massive and really serene for being in the middle of a thriving city. We timed our trip right because all of the leaves on the trees were brilliant shared of red and orange and yellow. Walking through the park we headed to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, which is a massive shrine in the middle of the woods dedicated to Japan’s former emperor Meiji and his wife. The shrine is a must-see and we loved that local families were visiting it with their children dressed up in traditional Japanese silk outfits. After spending about 45 minutes at the shrine, we used Google maps to walk over to Harajuku.
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Once we got to the Harajuku area, we were able to tackle a bunch of different things on our itinerary. First, we stopped by the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando mall, a detour that will take a total of 10 minutes, but worth it. Here, at the top of the first elevator bank, is a wacky mirror that reflects onto the street in every which way and makes for some fun Instagrams (see the photo I took above).

From here, we walked to Takeshita Street which is at the heart of Harajuku and one of my favorite bits of the day. This bustling, very crowded street is lined with clothing shops, restaurants, candy stores and other very Japanese types of stores. You can spend hours exploring Takeshita Street. Here are our favorite things we did while there.

If you go down this street, you must go to the insane photo booth shop that is called Purikura. Bring cash and have some fun in the crazy number of photo booths that will change your features, such as widening your eyes, slimming your face and giving you an airbrushed look. It makes for a fun and uniquely Japanese souvenir.
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There are a number of really cool sweet shops on Takeshita Street. The one I had been looking forward to for weeks in advance is called Totti Candy Factory, which is known for their giant, ombre cotton candy. Each color has a different flavor and it is insanely cute.

From here, we headed back to the hotel in Shinjuku but went to an insane discount store that is around Japan called Don Quixote, which has floors upon floors of goods. I bought tons of cheap paper face masks there, which was awesome.

That night, we had our much-anticipated dinner reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro, which we will fully chronicle in our food blog post to come. In the meantime, if you want to take a look at how we were able to miraculously get a reservation at Jiro, read this blog post here.
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After dinner, we went to a district in Shinjuku called Golden Gai which is an absolute must for a night out in Japan. This area has hundreds of tiny, little bars each with their own theme of sorts inside. They are super intimate and have tons of character and make for an epic night of bar hopping in tiny alleyways. Our favorite bars in Golden Gai were Albatross, pictured above, which has a chandelier hanging outside of it and has chandeliers and candelabras all over the inside and eclectic touches throughout. Their cocktails are amazing and I really loved the vibe and decor. Then, we found a bar with karaoke called Champion Bar which we did with a bunch of locals, which was so fun. We ended the night at Bar Bali, which became this giant party that included belting out Backstreet Boys songs with other travelers and an impromptu Japanese former rockstar. It was a completely epic night and probably the one we talk about most about the trip.

Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market, Ginza, Ramen Street
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The next day was an early start because we traveled about 45 minutes by train to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, which was one of my bucket list items on the trip. It is the oldest and biggest fish market in the world and where the sushi purveyors all over Japan come for fresh fish. It is such an amazing place to explore and it’s incredible how much access they give tourists given that we aren’t buying 500-pound tunas and are pretty much just ogling their goods. We didn’t get there early enough to have a chance to witness their famous fish auction (that required getting there at 3 am, no thanks), but we got there for around 9:30 am, which was perfect, because the main hall is open from 10 am until noon, so make sure to go in that window of time.

We walked u and down the aisles, watching as fish mongers broke down giant pieces of fish and looked at the hundreds of varieties of fish on display, some very exotic. It was a really memorable experience and the main floor was super busy with all sorts of workers rushing to and from with different fish. After seeing the goods, be sure to have a traditional sushi breakfast at the restaurants just outside the fish market, which have really fresh sushi at a fraction of the prices you will find around Tokyo. The most famous places near the fish market have really long lines. They are Sushi Dai, Torito and Nakaya. We didn’t have time to wait in line so we went into a random restaurant and had breakfast.

From here, we walked to the Ginza area, which kind of felt like Tokyo’s Fifth Avenue. There are loads of high-end shops and department stores. We stopped into Mitsukoshi, which is one of their oldest and most high-end department stores and explored their food hall in the basement, which could make a good spot for lunch or a snack. But, we were planning on ramen after so we looked and didn’t touch.
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From here, we walked dot Tokyo Station for their famous Ramen Street in the underground portion of the train station, This alleyway is home to a number of little ramen shops where you order your ramen dish from a vending machine of sorts. There are some old stalwarts such as Ippudo and Rokurinsha, which typically have extremely long lines. We ended up eating at Soranoiro Nippon, which was really great. It’s an inexpensive but really interesting and filling lunch. Editor’s note: I hadn’t really eaten ramen prior to coming to Japan because it’s heavy on carbs, but am really happy I let myself eat it while there because it was super flavorful and local. Also, it’s a quick meal, so you can get back out and sightsee.

From lunch, we took the train to a ward of Tokyo called Akihabara, which is the technology hub of Tokyo. It is firmly stuck in the 1980s with neon lights and towers filled with electronics, gamers, and nerd culture. The shops here are multi-levels and house everything from giant video game arcades to anime and manga shops to sex shops that specialize in nerd culture. The entire area was interesting if not a tiny bit seedy. We also went into a maid cafe, which was a strange experience.

That night, we had dinner at a tonkatsu restaurant which is a Japanese pork cutlet. It was called Kimukatsu and we had all sorts of pork cutlets and sake. After, we went out for drinks with a friend in town at a place in Shibuya called DJ Bar Bridge and then spent the rest of the night doing more karaoke.

The next day we got up, bought souvenirs and had a decadent lunch at the Park Hyatt’s restaurant called Kozue which has the most amazing views of Tokyo before hopping on a train to Kyoto.

Some practical tips for Tokyo: Be sure to always have Japanese yen, because many places are cash only. Subway is the best way to get around.

Check back later this week for more travel guides in Asia!

Tokyo Travel Guide: The Hyatt Regency

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I recently had a surreal vacation where I got to travel around Asia for two weeks (my first time on the continent!) and the trip started in Tokyo. This is the first of more than a dozen travel guides we have planned on where to stay, what to do, what to eat, etc. so be sure to check back over the course of the next few weeks for detailed itineraries and the like.

For the three nights that we were in Tokyo, we stayed at The Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku and we loved every minute of it. This hotel is beautiful and in an amazing part of town that will give you access to all the sightseeing you want to do. Just some matters of practicality — once you land at Narita airport, take the airport limousine shuttle as it is about $35/head for the two-hour drive into Tokyo and it will drop you off at The Hyatt Regency, which is one of the only hotels it stops at. (If you were to take a taxi, it would deb several hundred dollars per head.)

My great experience with the Hyatt started before we’d even landed in Tokyo. For weeks before our trip, I had been emailing with their concierge for planning help and they went above and beyond in scheduling everything from restaurant reservations — including Jiro (!!) chronicled in this blog post — to helping us figure out train schedules and the like. They were immediately responsive and always had amazing recommendations that helped us maximize our time in Tokyo.

When we walked into the Hyatt after a 13-hour flight and no sleep, my spirits were immediately lifted. The hotel was decked out in Christmas decorations and absolutely sparkled. They have these decadent chandeliers hanging from he ceiling that are the focal point and really set the tone for the stay. They hotel is truly grand with giant glass elevator banks and polished checkered floors and rich oak.
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We then went up to our room and I had heard from friends who had visited Tokyo and also read online that typically Japanese hotel rooms are very small. But, our room was the perfect size and we didn’t feel cramped at all. The bed was comfy and we had ample room for all of our luggage (we did not travel lightly).

From there, we headed out for the night and I loved that the hotel had a great proximity to each part of Tokyo we wanted to visit. They have a cab stand on premises, which was convenient. But even more importantly, they were walking distance to two major subway lines, which is primarily how we got around each day since the trains are clean, fast and efficient and the taxis are super expensive. Being so close to the train stations allowed us to see so much more of Tokyo than we would have from he backseat of a cab.

While we had most of our meals out, the food and drink we had on the premises were both great. One day after an eight-hour sightseeing whirlwind, we came back to the hotel to change and relax before dinner and we decided to unwind with a glass of wine at one of the restaurants. They had a great wine list with California and Australian wines (a bit hard to find in some places Japan). Also, one morning after a very long night of karaoke where we might have been over served, we ordered room service pizza at 10am to help us regain our strengths. Room service was nice enough to make pizza that early for us and it was truly our saving grace.

Between the amazing service and location (also the price was very reasonable for Tokyo) I would absolutely stay at The Hyatt again. It’s a wonderful launching pad to see the city. PS: up next are our Tokyo intermarries and food guides, so be sure to check back.

New Obsession: Fancy Sleeves

I’ve been loving the silhouette of structured sweaters with dramatic sleeves. Thinks extended bells and ruffles and other touches that really step up any sweater-jean combination. Here are some of our favorites:
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Confession time: I just ordered this sweater from Storets in two colors. Absolutely love everything about it. And, it’s just $68.
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I also ordered this pullover from Storets, $54. Love it paired with skinny jeans and heels.
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Loving the Victorian feel of this Overlay blouse with lacy ruffled sleeves, $72.
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The color-contrasting outline on these sleeves has me hooked.
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Bow-ties, oh my! Love this Mary Ribbon sweater.

Ultimate Guide to Brunch in New York City

New Yorkers take their brunches very seriously. And the options are seemingly endless, whether you’re in the mood for farm to table, to boozy, to the brunches where you need to make your reservation months in advance. Brunch is a social event for Manhattanites in and of itself, and can be hard for outsiders to navigate. Years of living here have made us connoisseurs of sorts. Here’s our ultimate guide to where to brunch in NYC. (PS: for most of these spots, you’ll want to make reservations in advance)
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Virginia’s in the East Village is an amazing light-filled brunch spot that is equal parts homey and cool. We went here for a recent brunch and immediately fell in love with the vibe as well as the delicious food.

The brunch menu has a Southern influence, but the dishes are elevated. We started with a stracciatella toast drizzled in honey and aleppo pepper that was delicious. If I were inclined to carbo-load, I would have ordered more of this and had it as my meal because it was so yummy. Then, I had the egg strata with mushrooms cheddar and chives which was satisfyingly salty and decadent. My boyfriend went for the burger, which did not disappoint.

We couldn’t do brunch without some bacon, so we ordered a side of brown sugar bacon that was amazing. A nice perk: during brunch, bottles of wine are half price, which makes it a great place to meet friends or have a brunch date. We also loved the setting with exposed brick and a big window letting sun into the entire restaurant. Virginia’s feels a bit like stepping outside of New York but not sacrificing the quality of food, especially brunch, New Yorkers have come accustomed to.
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Fat Radish: This Lower East Side spot is totally instagrammable and is a complete contrast to the surrounding gritty, graffitied neighborhood. You’ll step inside to a delightfully bright farm to table restaurant, complete with flower pots full of fresh flowers and long wooden community tables. Not only is the atmosphere delightful, but the food is amazing. This isn’t the type of place where you’ll want to stick to your diet. Just trust us and splurge on the lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry jam.

Upland: Located in the Gramercy neighborhood, this new spot has a great feel to it. Tons of natural sunlight and creative cocktails. The checkered runners down the wooden tables also make for a very instagrammable backdrop. The burger is a standout, as are the pizzas. The pastas looked great too, although we haven’t had a chance to try them just yet.
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Santina: This Meatpacking District hotspot is my go-to for lots of different meals, brunch being one of them. We love the Murano blown glass chandeliers throughout and the fun pineapple cups they serve cocktails in. Bonus points: it’s a great spot for a brunch date. Get the Aperol Spritz pitcher and definitely start with their famous Cecina (Mashed chickpea pancakes with your choice of a spread). From their egg dishes to the Swordfish Dogona (my personal fave dish on the menu) you can’t go wrong.

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Jeffrey’s Grocery: This West Village institution has a cozy atmosphere and farm-to-table feel. The food is well worth their no-reservations policy, which can be frustrating at times, but do yourself a favor and wait it out. We went this past weekend and feasted on their burger, which has racket cheese and brisket in the patty, and my friend said it was one of the best he’s had in all of New York City, which is high praise. The fries were awesome as well. I had their corn omelette, which was also delish. Their bloodys looked great, but I stuck to rosé. Go early, drink at the bar and wait for your table to be ready.

Bar Boulud: On the Upper West Side is Bar Boulud, where food is taken very seriously. This is one of my favorite places to go before a stroll through Central Park. The food here is truly impeccable, and this is a bold claim but their ham, gruyere and mushroom omelette is the best egg dish I’ve ever had, period. We also love their steak and eggs, duck confit with potato hash, and literally everything else on the menu.

The Clocktower: Located in an old clocktower (duh!) in the Flatiron District, we instantly fell in love with the feel of this restaurant. It’s set up with rooms of different sizes and lush décor, like their billiards room and the vintage-inspired bar. The whole restaurant feels distinctly vintage and a bit British, in a good way. The food is equally pleasing. We had the full English breakfast and the aged cheddar omelette, both delicious. Oh, and we had the brioche French toast for dessert (don’t judge!)

The Standard Grill: Located in the swanky Standard Hotel, the Standard Grill has a great brunch and even better brunch drinks. We love the outdoor garden seating on warm days and there’s always a good chance you’ll spot a celeb or two. Some of our favorite dishes: the burger, the soft scrambled eggs, fritata, and their waffle. Added bonus, after brunch head on out to their beer garden for drinks after.

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Estela:Two words – “ricotta dumplings.” Just get this dish and thank us later. The egg sandwich at this Nolita restaurant where President Obama has dined is a standout, too. The plates are small, so order a bunch and share them among friends. The restaurant is super cozy.

Locande Verde: This TriBeCa hotspot is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. It’s extremely chic and is simultaneously the best place for dinner, dates, meals with friends and brunch. That is, if you can get a reservation. The food is great. The drinks are strong. The atmosphere is equal parts rustic and sexy. I also appreciate that the menu has something literally for everyone. Feel like carboloading at brunch? Get the paccheri pasta with rock shrimp and calamari. Want something more healthy? There’s steak tartare or Zucchini frittata. Heck, there’s even cold-pressed juices if you’re on a liquid diet. There are also great desserts and sweet dished like lemon ricotta pancakes. You seriously cannot go wrong with Locande Verde.

Mercer Kitchen:In the heart of Soho is Mercer Kitchen which is a super swank restaurant great for a brunch date or brunch with girlfriends over drinks. It’s dark inside, which seems to promote drinking at all hours. The bar is awesome, the food is great. Start with the meatballs and then move on to their burger or egg dishes.

PS: We’ll be adding to this list, so if you have any suggestions, email styleblogger@gmail.com

Met Gala 2018 Theme: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination

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On Wednesday, the theme for 2018’s the Met Ball Gala was revealed and it is Fashion & The Catholic Imagination.

The unveiling served as a head scratcher for some when it first became known, but the Church has for decades been a constant source of fashion trends, from high collars, lace and other aspects that have been incorporated into the fashion cannon. (I see you, Madonna). As a former Catholic school girl, I’m psyched.

Each year, there is an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (one of my favorite museums in all of NYC) that accompanies the ball, and this one will pull items from the Vatican. This will be the largest exhibition to date.

Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace are hosting next year’s gala. We personally can’t wait to see where celebrities take the theme! And we’re hoping Jude Law shows up as Young Pope.

Skincare Secrets: Microneedling

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Lately, I’ve been poking teeny tiny holes in my face in the name of beauty. And before you think I’ve jumped the shark, hear me out. One of the biggest new trends in skincare and anti-aging is microneedling. While the concept of using a tool to poke holes in my face sounded intimidating to say the least when I first heard about it, the science behind it is pretty compelling, and I’ve seen some pretty great results in a short space of time.

Using my microneedle from Stacked Skincare, three to four times a week following my shower, I stand in front of my mirror and roll this tool all over my face. I start at my forehead and do three to four passes over it in different directions (Left to right, up to down and diagonal). I then move to each cheek and repeat the step and also do my chin, lip area and (gently) go around my eyes. After, I apply a serum and a moisturizer and go to sleep.

Now, to answer the why to all of this. The microneedle contains hundreds of tiny needles that will create really small punctures in the skin. When you puncture the skin, and it should be noted that the holes it creates are not visible to the eye and do not scab, it causes your skin to create collagen and elastin to repair those spots. The production of collagen and elastin is great for filling in wrinkles, plumping the skin and causing repair to scars and other imperfections.

The most common question I got from my girlfriends when I started dermarolling is whether it hurt. The answer is not really. Rolling results in little pricks of the skin, but it is totally bearable and way way less painful than Botox (plus, it’s natural). It’s also super cost effective. The Stacked Skincare microneedle is just $30, and you replace it every TK weeks. I pair it with my existing serums and moisturizers, but they also have their own range you can use.

I also like that it helps me get the most out of my expensive creams and moisturizers. Following a microneedle session, your skin absorbs product better, sending its agents into overdrive.

I’ve noticed some really great results below and around my eyes as a result of microneedling, even though I’ve only done it for about one month. It’s a quick and cost-effective way to take care of my skin and reduce the signs of aging.

New Obsession: Caviar Status

I love nothing more than when I come across a brand that hits on all cylinders: tailored fit, great quality and reasonably priced. So, when I came across English brand Caviar Status I was absolutely delighted. These luxurious pieces are crafted in Italy of the finest fabrics and I love the cut of their styles, which are form fitting and also have a custom quality to them.

Since launch, the brand has become a favorite among celebrities, such as Lucy Mecklenburgh Leanne Brown and my very favorite — Sophie Stanbury of Ladies of London who is also serving as their spokesperson (If you haven’t watched this show, it is totally must-see tv).
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After a unseasonably warm autumn in New York, the weather has finally begun to be more chilly and I’ve been getting to wear my new Caviar Status Lana coat. I can’t tell you the number of compliments I’ve gotten on this coat, which is a structured peacoat that has a wonderful silhouette that cinches in at the waist to create a lovely hourglass figure. It is embellished with faux fur (guilt-free!) cuffs around the wrists and a fur collar, that stylizes the coat in an on-trend way. The fur collar is detachable, giving you more ways to wear it. It’s currently on sale for $178.
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I’m really into bold prints so I instantly fell for this Annalisa leaf printed dress which looks a lot like banana leaf, one of my favorite patterns around right now. I love that it is super versatile, and can be dressed up with a pair of heels or dressed down with flats. The leaf design is really vibrant and on trend, and the perfect statement piece to add to your wardrobe.
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Jumpsuits are remaining hugely popular heading into the cold months, and I love how they have such a cohesive look without sacrificing silhouette. This Natalia khaki jumpsuit is perfect for a night out. The belt is key, helping achieve a great hourglass figure and we like the on-trend wide-leg trousers. I’ve been incorporating a lot of olive colors into my wardrobe because they pair well with neutral accessories, but also can be worn with blacks and grey.
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When I first came across this Jazmine dress, I immediately thought about how perfect it would be for holiday parties. I love the velvet texture and the midi length, that makes it perfect for a more professional setting. I adore velvets heading into the winter because they seem so festive and cozy.

Have a look at the Caviar Status collection here. It will be in heavy rotation in our wardrobes this fall and winter and can’t wait to see what designs they turn out next!

Winter Warmers: The Best Coat Styles for A/W 2017

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A good winter coat is a fashion essential. Without one, there are going to be days where you will have to stay in because it is too cold. Fortunately, this year is not difficult to find a coat that is perfect for winter. As you will see, there are some really good looking coats available in the shops. The great thing about them is that the majority are also very practical. They really will keep you both warm and dry.

An old school parka

For a several years now, parkas have been available, but only in a few shops. This year that has changed. Practically every retailer is stocking them.

Interestingly, they come in many different styles. Potentially, the whole family can wear them. If you liked wearing the snorkel parka in the 80s, you will be really pleased to know that they are back. Of course, they are not for everyone, but they are really good for walking the dog on a wet and windy day. Once zipped up the elongated hood really does keep the wind and rain out.
If you want something a bit more feminine, opt for a more modern and tailored parka coat. One in a bright colour or with a floral design is ideal. These tend to be cut a bit narrower and the internal pull cord at the waist makes it possible for you to create a more defined waistline.

Trendy biker jackets
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Another 80s favourite that is back in vogue is the biker jacket. If you want, you can buy one made from leather, but, this year, many designers have tried using a range of other fabrics. There is denim, embroidered, sequined, even Puffa style biker jackets available. You really are spoilt for choice, so you are bound to find something you like.

Knitted coats

If you are looking something that is a little different a coatigan or knitted coat is a great idea. These full length coats are really warm and comfortable to wear. The stretchy material means you can keep them buttoned or zipped up even when you sit down, so they are great for wearing if you are going on a long drive. Wool shawl coats are another option. They are also lovely and soft.

Classic fitted coats

If you like smart, tailored, coats the Crombie is a really good option. These simply cut, straight, three quarter length coats look nice whether you wear them over jeans or a suit.

Faux fur

There is also a lot of faux fur around this year, most of the time it has been used for decorative effect, for example, around the cuffs or hood. It looks really good and helps to make quite utilitarian coats, look a lot more feminine. There are also plenty of coats and jackets around that are made entirely out of faux fur. They come in a huge range of cuts, textures and designs including leopard skin.

Buying the right size coat

Regardless of the type of coat you choose, it is important to buy the right size. It is surprisingly easy to end up wearing one that is just that bit too tight for you, which can make it uncomfortable to wear and restrict your freedom of movement. Measuring yourself before you go shopping will help you to avoid making this mistake. This article shows you how to do it the right way. Using the advice found there, you will always buy the right size coat regardless of the style you want.

I Tried The Sleep Styler & Here’s What Happened

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Let me preface this post by saying that I am NOT one to buy items from infomercials. I barely even watch infomercials, but I do watch a lot of CNBC. And, a result of this CNBC bingeing is that when I get home late from work and put my television on, it’s almost always playing rerun episodes of Shark Tank.

Well, one of these re-reuns featured a perfectly put-together mom with great victoria’s Secret angel waves. I was immediately hooked to her story. She was an eye doctor, mom and budding entrepreneur and her business set out to solve one of my biggest pain points of my entire adult life — styling my hair.

Since I’m 15 years old, i’ve worn my hair in VS angel waves. I have long, thick hair that is disgusting when it dries naturally, so this requires blow drying my hair, straightening it and then laboring over it with a curling iron. I’ve literally spent years of my life on my hair and my schedule is such that I just don’t have the bandwidth to go through with that hour-long routine every day anymore.

So, when this woman said that all I would need to do is wash my hair and insert her miracle cloth rollers into it and sleep (without applying any heat to it), I was hooked. I shelled out $40 for the rollers with visions of reclaiming all of my hair time and putting it toward other things — like working out or sleeping in. Also, reducing the heat I apply to my hair would likely allow my hair to grow longer, which is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

I scoured the net after placing my order to watch Youtube videos to see if this really worked. The videos had mixed results. Some women took out their curlers and transformed into Gisele Bundchen. Others took them out to reveal a frizzy mess.

The day that my Sleep Styler arrived, I hopped into the shower afterg the gym and washed my hair. Directions call for letting your hair air dry about 80% before putting the curlers in, so I ate dinner, did some work and an hour and a half later I popped the stylers in. Now, I cheated a little bit. Because my hair is a frizz ball, I quickly blasted my roots with a blow dryer (no more than 2 minutes) just to make sure that the base was straight.

Then, I set about putting the 6 rollers in. It was a little tricky at first to get into a rhythm with getting these in, but once I got into the hang of twisting the rollers away from my face and attaching the velcro, it was pretty much smooth sailing. The only thing I wish is that the set came with two to three more rollers, because my hair is really long and thick and I rather not put too much hair on each one, but alas, it worked.

I did a few more hours of work and went to bed. I should say that the rollers are crazy soft, so sleeping with them was not an issue at all. I woke up around 7am and ran to my mirror for the great unveiling. As I unraveled them, some had really great body waves and some weren’t really curled. The roots of my hair looked great.

So the result was that if I wanted to, I could walk out of my house without doing anything else to my hair (Which is WAY better than if I just let them dry naturally). I was really happy that my hair was not at all in the least bit frizzy and had body to it, but it did not look like VS angel waves of the waves I make with my own curling iron.

As with all new toys, practice makes perfect, so I tried the Sleep Styler three more times, and each time, I’ve had to straighten and then curl my hair with a hot iron to achieve the look I want. As much as I wanted to brand this invention a cure all for our hair needs, I give it a C-.

Fun Fall Outings from New York City

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Fall is by far my favorite season and it’s truly a magical time in New York City. I love the changing of the leaves in Central Park, crisp air and going out to watch football. This fall we looked into some great seasonal activities that don’t require having a car.

We spent this past weekend in Westchester picking apples, pumpkins and taking hayrides. We were looking for a farm with a real country feel but not crazy far away. So, we settled on Outhouse Orchards in North Salem, New York. It takes about an hour and ten minutes by train from Grand Central to get there. Once you get to the train station there, call and Uber and it’s about another ten minutes by car. (There is also another orchard just down the block from it called Harvest Moon if you want to hit up two orchards in one day).
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Outhouse was sprawling and had so many different activities to do. We settled on a hayride, a walk through a corn maze (this was a must since neither of us had ever done it) and apple picking. There were still a ton of apples on the trees, so the timing was perfect.

We liked that Outhouse was really lax about allowing us to bring food and alcohol. Before we headed out in the morning we visited our local market and picked up sandwiches, snacks and a bottle of wine. If you prefer to eat there, they have pizza, barbecue and other food for purchase. It was a seriously perfect day and we were back in the city by 6:30pm. Pro tip: arrange in advance for an Uber to pick you up to take you to the train station because that was the one hiccup.
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After, I used my favorite apple crumble recipe here to cook the fruits of our labor.
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Want to have a fall experience without leaving the city? Head to the Standard Hotel in the East Village. I adore the Standard East Village for fully embracing every holiday and season, and Halloween does not disappoint. They have decorated their beautiful outdoor courtyard with a pumpkin patch and hay and other amazing touches that makes it a delight to sit out back amid the green and orange hues while sipping on fall cocktails such as cider, apple schnapps and hot toddies. We stopped in this past weekend for a drink and stayed longer than we anticipated because the ambiance was so spot on. Added bonus: it’s just a quick subway ride away and their food is spot on if you’re hungry.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and while I’m pretty much afraid of my own shadow, I also love being scared. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. So, on Friday night we went to Blood Manor haunted house.

It was super fun and each room in this warehouse has a different theme, like a scary meat market, a 3D maze, a doctor’s office etc. It clowns abound as do men with chainsaws and other characters that pop out at each and every turn.