What To Do in NYC!

Hey guys! I thought it would be fun to do a post about what to do if you’re looking to visit New York City! Now that I’ve lived here for about 8 months, I feel like I’ve found some slightly “under the radar” ways to go do things that not a ton of people may know about from a quick Google search. (Also included a lot of free/budget friendly ideas!) Here are some unexpected fun activities to do if you’re planning a visit:

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  1. Shows– One of my absolute favorite things to do in New York City is go to shows. Broadway, comedy, or live TV tapings are one thing that is super unique to New York, so I would highly recommend it if you’re visiting! For comedy shows, I have only been to New York Comedy club but it was excellent. I really want to go to the Comedy Cellar as well, it’s a club where a lot of big comedians got their start. OK, so for broadway shows here is a big tip. Go to Times Square (even though it’s super crowded and annoying) and go get your cute picture on the steps or whatever. Then go UNDER the steps to the TKTS booth and tell them what broadway show you want to go to (for the night of) and they will give you the best deal they can find. I’ve been to Phantom of the Opera and Chicago and they were both amazing, and I got great deals at that ticket booth. They also hold lotteries on a daily basis to win free broadway tickets, so maybe you’ll get lucky! As for live shows, they are TOTALLY FREE if you can snag tickets. I got tickets to Live with Kelly and Michael (rip) and Megan Kelly and it was so fun. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the show, it’s still so cool to see how filming a talk show goes into production. Sometimes you’ll even win free things! This website is where I always get my free tickets to live shows.

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2. Foods– I one thousand percent suggest eating your way around New York City as best you can. I wrote this blog post about some of my favorite NYC food spots that I would still totally recommend. Since then, some other places for a quick bite/snack that I’ve come to love include Pressed Juicery (I really like the juice and the pressed freeze) Georgetown Cupcake in Soho (name the flavor of the day from their website and get it for FREEEEEE!) and Cookie DO in West Village for a scoop of edible cookie dough (get a lot so you can save for later, it lasts days!) I also went to Junior’s Restaurant near Times Square for some incredible cheesecake with my family (We got the original with strawberries or something? I don’t even love cheesecake and it was to-die-for). Thought those would be some fun ideas for a quick fun bite around the city!

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3. Walking– This sounds silly, but I personally don’t think that you get the full “New York City experience” unless you just walk around and take it all in! One thing that I didn’t realize before moving to New York was how beautifully unique each part of this city is. There are little quirks to every area of even just Manhattan itself, and I swear you’ll feel like you’re in a different city just from walking through the different neighborhoods (see map below!) My favorite things to walk to in each part of town are: Wall Street & Southstreet Seaport in the Financial District (I live on Wall st. if you want to check out my apartment tour here!), World Trade Center/Brookfield Place in Battery Park, walk by Taylor Swift’s place in Tribeca don’t judge me, go to Washington Square Park & Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in West Village, shop everywhere in Soho, Glossier showroom in Chinatown, walk the streets of Little Italy, walk the High Line & through Chelsea Market in Chelsea, Bryant Park & Grand Central in Midtown, and walk along 5th Ave in the Upper East Side (I like starting at E 78th or so and walking down and then going through Central Park starting at the Loeb boathouse and then ending at Central Park South at the Plaza!) There is so much more but this is getting lengthy so I will leave it at that! ❤

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We’re An Official Domain!

Welcome to my blog with an official domain, OliviaTheBlog.com! I’m SO excited!! Coming up with an official domain name was super daunting and tricky. I have some tips for people trying to choose a domain name, and I’ll give some reasons why I chose this one too!

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I knew I wanted a simple domain name that would be easy for people to spell and remember. Olivia’s blog was taken, blog Olivia, etc. A domain with my last name would have been too tricky, since mine is so complicated. Finally, I randomly tried OliviaTheBlog.com and it was free!! I thought it was super cute, mostly because it reminded me of Olivia The Pig, which happened to be my favorite book growing up. I really resinated with her for some reason 😂

I also think that you should consider what the domain name sounds like when said out loud. I kept trying to think about what I wanted to say if someone walking by said “Do you have a blog? What is it?” I needed something simple, easy to say and easy to remember.

I also wanted to make sure the domain name was under 15 characters. This makes it easiest to remember, and less of a chance for people to misspell anything when typing it into the address bar!

This is my third blog I’ve ever made (third times a charm?) so I also wanted to make sure that this name was a brand that would fit me for a long time. You can’t go wrong with your own name, because I feel like you can never “outgrow” that. I can always change my color scheme, logo, etc. But I don’t want to have to deal with a whole new blog name and branding for a long time. So I figured that OliviaTheBlog.com kind of encompasses everything that I wanted in a name, and it’s hopefully something that will be around for awhile!

Thanks again to everyone out there who has read my blog and is supportive of it! This is truly one of my favorite things to do, so thanks for just being here and being you 

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The Perfect Cute & Comfy Brand

Hey guys! So lately I’ve been nannying and have found that it’s easiest to be comfy in leggings and a sweatshirt when I’m playing on the floor with kids during the day. But I want to be cute and comfy, and I think we can all agree that this can be super hard to accomplish. I don’t have the money for a bunch of Lululemon outfits, but also don’t really like just getting Target sweatpants. I finally found a happy medium! This brand just came out with a line for Macy’s and it is comfy, cute and best of all affordable. I linked some of my favorite looks below, just click the pictures. Enjoy!!

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Check out the rest of their line here!

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New York City Apartment Tour!!

Hey guys! I finally thought of a fun topic for my blog this week…a tour of my bedroom in New York City! I’m super weird and always think it’s so fun to watch videos of people’s bedrooms/apartments and see how they decorated, stay organized, etc. I thought it would be easiest to explain my bedroom situation in a video, so click below if you want to see a mini tour of my {mini} bedroom!

I hope you guys liked the video! If you’re interested in any of the pieces you saw in the video, click the links below 🙂 And as always, leave some comments and let me know what you thought/if you have any decorating advice!

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Side Table // Desk/Vanity // Ikea Wardrobe // Bed // Rug

 

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Fitness Update: Help, Stuck!

Hey guys! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything on here (oops!) but I wanted to update you guys on my fitness journey. I’ve still been trying to work out multiple times a week and eat healthy, but I have to say that I am stuck at about 149 lbs still! I need some advice and tips for getting over this hump.

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I will say that I don’t feel like I’ve been eating as healthy and I’ve been having way too many cheat days… It’s been hard for me to stay motivated when I’m not seeing the results as quickly as I was before. Do you guys have any tips for continuing to lose weight after you’ve lost the initial “easier” weight?

I’ve also been struggling with finding easy, healthy meals to make! The things that I was eating before I ended up getting so tired of, and I haven’t been going to the grocery as often as I need to be either. I’ve been eating Chopt and Sweetgreen salads a lot, but I don’t think that they are even as healthy as I’m thinking they are.

I have also thought about trying BBG Stronger by Kayla Itsines.  A few of my friends have tried it and have really loved it! I tried Kayla’s original BBG program and I’m not going to lie, I totally wanted to throw up afterward 😂 But I’ve heard that BBG Stronger is a lot slower and more about the weights than jumping around, so if you’ve tried that and would recommend it let me know.

I need some motivation and tips to keep going on this fitness journey, I just really don’t want to get back up to my initial weight. If anyone has any ideas or ways that they got through this, leave a comment or send a DM! Thanks guys 🙂

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How I Got a Boyfriend in NYC

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share how I met my boyfriend Mike here in New York and my top tips for dating in the city! I am definitely not a dating expert, but I can share what worked for me and what I think helped to lead us to where we are now in our relationship.

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sad but we only have snapchat selfies together

Dating in big cities is hard, it just is! It’s almost like there are too many people and options that it becomes overwhelming. And where do you even start? I don’t go out super often, and when I do it’s not like guys usually approach me or want to chat! A lot of people I’ve met here have said they met their significant other through mutual friends, but when you move to a new city like I did and don’t have many friends, that feels impossible too! My last option seemed to be online dating, but soo many dating apps are creepy (i.e. Tinder and Happn) which steered me away from using dating apps in the first place. But once I moved here I realized that New York City has its whole own array of dating apps, which is where I met my boyfriend! Here are my tips for online dating that my boyfriend and I did that totally worked for us.

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  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Send The First Message: This one is crucial in my opinion! I think when girls wait around for a guy to send the first message, they aren’t always going to get what they want. I say be bold and make the first move, I did and it worked out for me! I met Mike on an app called Hinge and I wrote a message to him commenting on something he wrote in his bio. (He wrote something about how he only likes baked cookies and not cookie dough and I sent a message asking how could he not like cookie dough because it’s the best, super cheesy but it worked out for me!)
  2. Get off of the app ASAP: This one is THE most important. You know those guys/girls you’ve chatted with on a dating app for weeks/months and never actually met up with? Yeah, I’m pretty sure the longer you stay on the app talking, the lesser of a chance you have at meeting in person and forming a real connection. (This is just my theory!) I want to say Mike and I only exchanged like 5-10 messages on the app before exchanging numbers, and then we planned to meet like that weekend. This also really helped me to not be so nervous going into the date, since there was less pressure because we didn’t know each other well so the expectations were low, lol!IMG_5795
  3. Meet in Public/Somewhere with Activities: I honestly think going to dinner or coffee can be so nerve-wracking because you are basically forced to keep up the conversation, and if there’s a silence it can be awkward! Obviously after awhile those are totally normal dates, but if you’re going into a first date with someone from an app, you may have a better chance for success in a public place with things to do/look at. We went to a food festival, which ended up being so fun because there were so many foods and drinks to try but we also walked around and chatted a lot. It was also busy enough where if we weren’t talking that it wasn’t awkward. (Quick shoutout to Mike for being an hour late to our first date and I was about to leave, glad I didn’t…definitely thought I was getting stood up!)
  4. Give It at Least Two Tries: Even if you aren’t totally sure that the date was awesome or perfect, maybe give it one or two more dates before you make a final decision! I had such a fun time with Mike on our first date but I still didn’t know if we had “chemistry” or could just be friends. He even tried to kiss me goodbye when he walked me to my train and I totally dodged him (awkward! 😂) but I decided to give it one more chance and thank god I did!
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he is also the man behind the camera for all of my blog pictures 😂

That is all for how I found a boyfriend in New York City! I will say I went on a few dates from different apps when I moved here, so don’t think the first guy is going to be a keeper! Just keep trying and don’t be discouraged, and also don’t take it too seriously! I had no expectations going into my date with Mike and had no idea how awesome he would be, and now I can’t imagine not knowing him! Sorry for the cheesy post/ if it was too much, just tryin’ to make some love connections happen 😂

Do you have any dating tips? Comment below! 🙂

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Losing Weight: The ONLY Way That Has Worked For Me!

I am aware that I am completely unqualified to post this, but I wanted to share with you guys how I have lost some weight for basically the first time in my life! The things I’ve done are small lifestyle changes that have been super easy so far. I will be the first to admit that I gained a ton of weight in college (my highest weight was 175, and being 5’4” that was rough!) But since then I am down to 149 and am feeling so good! It’s really hard to put myself out there with how much I weigh, but I think that posting it will hold me accountable to keep working to lose it! I have 3 main tips that I believe have helped me to lose weight recently:

  1. Walking– I truly believe this helps so much! I always try to get in 10,000 steps a day. This has been easier since I’ve moved to NYC and you basically have to walk and subway everywhere, but even just taking an extra 30 minutes to go on the treadmill or elliptical during the day really helps me to get in those extra steps. I just use the health app on my phone to track my steps (pro tip, you don’t even have to set it up! It’s been tracking you this whole time…go check it out!)

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2. Eating– I have made some small changes when it comes to my diet. I downloaded this app (which I feel like tons of people have anyway, no big secret) and for one week I just ate normally and kept track on the app. This really helped me to know where I was at. Now I try to stay around 1,200 calories a day. I DEFINITELY have cheat days, especially on the weekends with cookies, pizza, wine, etc. I don’t want to deprive myself! But during the weeknights I’ve been trying to stick to meat, fruit and veggies solely. I have almost cut out dairy (besides ice cream and chocolate, I can’t do it! Any dairy free dessert suggestions?) and I have tried to cut out gluten as well. For the most part I make salads with spinach, chicken and avocado, balsamic vinegar and olive oil! I have been liking peppers and hummus as a snack, or peppers dipped in the 100 calorie guac packets from Trader Joe’s. LOVE these. I like making thai lettuce wraps as well! But I also eat TJ’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups literally every day sooo…it’s all about balance? Lol

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3. Exercise– I absolutely hate exercising, I’m just gonna put that out there. Legit the worst. But for some reason I have been sticking to this routine and it seems to be working? I have a gym in my building which is easy when I’m being lazy lol. But basically I start off by doing 1 mile on the elliptical to get warmed up. Then I alternate between arm and leg day and just pick like 4-5 exercises. So on arm day I’ll use 10 or 15 lb weights and do 3 sets with 8-12 reps per set per exercise. I have a chart of exercises to do if anyone cares about the specifics lol. But yes just doing small weightlifting for like 20-30 min and then a do a couple of ab exercises and I’m done! It’s been easy so far which I think is good. Anything I’ve tried that is too fast paced or difficult I never stick with, so don’t be afraid to let yourself start off slow and easy, just give yourself credit for doing something!!

That’s all I have for how I’ve lost weight, hopefully this keeps working for me! Do you have any weight loss suggestions? Comment below! 🙂