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The Perfect Weekend in New York City: What to See, Do, and Eat

As our girlfriend Taylor Swift once said: WELCOME TO NEW YORK, it's been waiting for you. New York City is truly one of a kind when it comes to cities and is just as iconic and amazing as its reputation is.

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I'm Katerina!

you can call me kat for short

I am so happy that we found each other and that you stumbled onto my little corner of the internet! I created this platform almost a decade ago as an outlet for me to share my love of fashion & food, and it has truly become so much more than I ever could have asked for. Ever since I was younger, I have always enjoyed sharing my favorite finds and inspo with others (share the wealth/knowledge ya know?), and it makes me so happy that I get to do that with you.

On my page, you will find easy, affordable fashion, my favorite new recipes, home decor finds (a new fave of mine!), candid real-life chat, and everything else in between. My hope and goal is that you leave my page happier than when you found it, and that you feel inspired, motivated, and empowered. I am honored to have you here & can’t wait to get to know you. XO!

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As our girlfriend Taylor Swift once said: WELCOME TO NEW YORK, it’s been waiting for you. New York City is truly one of a kind when it comes to cities and is just as iconic and amazing as its reputation is. Here in Philly, we are only about two hours away from NYC and I grew up always going to the city to visit my aunt and uncle in Manhattan. Those are some of my favorite memories because I always remember feeling so at home in the city and *vowing* that I would live in the city one day myself (now in Philly, dreams come true!). The hustle and bustle, crowds of people, endless restaurants, charming boutiques, and just the overall vibe of it all is something you have to experience at least once. New York is truly like no other which is why all of the locals say: New York or nowhere.

This past weekend, I took a girl’s trip to NYC with my family and it was absolutely incredible. If you have been thinking about planning one, this is your sign! We had so much fun exploring and eating our way through all of the different neighborhoods. Since I know New York City can be a bit overwhelming if you haven’t been before, I wanted to break it all down so planning your next trip is easy as can be. Let’s do it.

Where to stay:

This past weekend, we stayed at the Westgate (found this through (Westgate’s best NYC hotel specials) which is in Midtown Manhattan. and wow we LOVED it. When I first stumbled upon the Westgate New York Grand Central hotel, I was mesmerized by the gorgeous interiors, big rooms, and balcony views. Spacious rooms *with* balconies are honestly few and far between in New York and can typically be so expensive, so I was really excited when I found the Westgate at a killer price. Since its newly renovated, the hotel feels classically elegant, yet modern, and has luxury rooms at an affordable price. Love it.

The city can be a bit exhausting, especially when you’re out all day, so it was honestly so great to be able to go back somewhere at night and just relax in a beautiful space. One night after dinner, we sat on the balcony, had cocktails, and just hung out, and honestly, it was my favorite night. Having that space to unwind after a long day of exploring was exactly what we needed it was truly such a perk.

Another thing I loved about the hotel was the lobby and all of the amenities. There was a big open lounge area where you could work, hang out, and relax, and it was equipped with its very own bar and market. This was insanely convenient in the morning when we wanted to grab a coffee and some snacks before heading out for the day.

I would recommend the Westgate 100% and will definitely be heading back for my next New York trip. I booked/found my room deal here, if you’re interested!

So nice to have a market in the hotel! I grabbed protein bars every day.

What to do:

I am truly convinced that you could spend your entire life in New York City and still not see it all! That’s what makes it amazing, there is so much to do, and absolutely something for everyone. On this trip, we tried to do a bit of everything. Here are some fun ideas.

  • Explore Manhattan! – The great thing about staying at the Westgate is that it’s located in an amazing neighborhood, so you really don’t have to travel far to find awesome restaurants, shops, and everything else. One night, we walked over to Park Avenue, which has loads of awesome food spots, and is really beautiful. All of the other awesome neighborhoods are just a trainride away, and you can always grab a cab for a easy trip. Each neighborhood is a little different, so spend a little time researching to find the perfect one for you. If you’re a big shopper, check out Soho. If you love a quaint and beautiful neighborhood, visit the Upper West Side (gossip girl fans I see you!). The options are endless.
  • Take the ferry to Brooklyn – Taking a ferry is such a fun way to get around New York and honestly so affordable. Each ride was only about $3 and you can get almost anywhere depending what ferry you take. We took a ferry from Manhattan to Williamsburg & Dumbo, which are both neighborhoods in Brooklyn. I honestly loved them so much, and felt so at home there. They are a lot less fast paced then Manhattan, and really reminded me a lot of Philly. There are endless boutiques, restaurants, beautiful parks, gorgeous old brownstone architecture and more.
Going to the local boutiques in Brooklyn was so fun. This was called Pink Yoto and I bought so much jewelry!
Brooklyn has loads of thrift shops and second-hand stores, which are loads of fun.
  • Create your own food tour – Since I come from a family of foodies, it was our priority to make sure we visited some amazing restaurants on this trip. New York City is unmatched when it comes to the amount of vegan restaurants, so I knew we had to try as many as we could lol. Anyone else plan a trip around the food? One of the absolute highlights was a plant based mexican restuarant called Jajaja in Manhattan. Such amazing food, such a beautiful restaurant, and had awesome cocktails. It was a really fun experience and really delicious. Some other places we ate at and loved it were: Champs Diner, Franchia, Brooklyn Wild, and Van Leeuwen Icecream.
Van Leeuwan has tons of vegan/regular ice cream options and is always a must-go for me.

As you can tell, the options are endless and there is always something to do. I’ll link another list here with 51 Ideas of things to do in NYC too so you can start planning your trip! We had the most amazing time and I hope this inspires you to plan a trip to New York City soon. You will love it, I just *know* it.

Sincerely, Katerina. Xo!

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This post is written in partnership with Target. All opinions are my own.

Ever want to refresh your space when a new season rolls around? Me and you both! New seasons call for new needs, vibes, etc, and there is no better way to make yourself feel inspired then by loving the space you’re in. This month, I decided to do a little Bedroom Refresh. Our bedrooms often tend to be one of those rooms that get a little neglected since we think of them mainly for sleeping, not for hanging out. Everyone needs a little retreat of their own though, so I encourage you to spend a little time updating your bedroom for summer! A little decluttering and a few seasonal touches can totally transform it into your own summer paradise and be a total mood booster every single day.

In my decor search, I headed to my go-to Target. I have so many Target pieces throughout my home already, and I love how I can always find things that are on-trend, but oh so affordable. With loads of different lines for every vibe and style, you can seriously find everything you need. Here, I shopped mainly at the brands Threshold and Opalhouse. Threshold has a very classic, pretty & modern decor style, while Opalhouse is a bit more bohemian and funky. Since I typically tend to learn towards Modern Boho decor, I love pulling from both brands to create the perfect mix.

Today, I wanted to share 5 easy ways to refresh your bedroom for summer! These are simple, quick, and easy changes that don’t break the bank but really make your space feel brand new. Let’s jump in!

To shop the image, tap the products below.

5 Ways to Refresh your Bedroom for Summer

1. Swap out your comforter

Swapping out your comforter is a super simple way to completely transform your room! Since your bed most likely takes up the most space in a room, the way you decorate it typically dictates the vibe/or style of the room. You can go white or tan for a neutral, airy vibe, or bright and colorful for a more bold, inspired design. Here, I decided to go for a Space Dyed Linen Comforter from Threshold that really opens up the room. It’s so cosy & comes in lots of colors. Perfect for any space!

If you’re in the market for a new bed for your cute comforter, I also stumbled upon this comfy Memory Foam mattress in Target! Gel memory foam helps to keep you cool which is awesome in the summer, and can be shipped right to your door. Can check it out here.

2. Add some pillows!

Adding a few throw pillows to your bed can really change up the color scheme of the entire room! Try a few mixed shapes, colors, and patterns. Here, I used this Oblong Tufted Pillow from Opalhouse (love how these look on a bed!), a square white pillow, and a pretty tan pillow for a natural vibe. You can use colors, neutrals, or anything you like!

3. Change your wall decor

Using wall decor is a fun way to create a vibe for a space! There are plenty of options from wall hangings, to prints, to gallery walls, to pretty mirrors! Here, I decided to use a Rattan Wall Mirror. The update took me no less then 5 minutes to hang, and I love how it adds a focal point to the room.

4. Try a light fixture!

Similar to wall decor, light fixtures help to dictate a theme for your room. While they are a bit more involved then a comforter, or wall decor update, it is SO worth it the extra bit of effort to hang them! I found this really fun Seagrass Pendant Light (around $100 which is a STEAL) and love it! It gives me major Bali Resort vibes which i’m all above. You can do one above each side of your bed, or one in the center!

5. Add some plants

I love using plants all throughout my home while decorating. They add such a pretty, natural vibe to the space, and a touch of greenery always looks great. While real plants are most certainly an option (there are loads of houseplants like fiddle leaf fits, birds of paradise, etc), if you don’t have a green thumb faux options look just as good! Faux plants can be great when you want to add one to a space that typically doesn’t get a lot of light, and are amazing since you just set and forget them!

To shop the image below, tap the plus sign (+) at top of each product.

That’s it! Five easy swaps and you are officially an interior design professional 😉

The amazing thing about decorating is that even one change makes a huge difference in the overall feeling of your space. Little things truly go a long way. I hope this inspires you to mix it up and create a place that you absolutely love! I used to feel like decorating was a bit daunting, but I promise the more you do it, the more ideas you have / you really figure out what you like. My goal is to create a space that makes me feel calm, happy, and inspired, and I know that you can do the same for yourself! Thanks so much for reading, and i’m so excited to see what you try.

Sincerely, Katerina

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Haircare, makeup, skincare… the list goes on and on. Have you ever looked in your bathroom and realized just how many personal care products you use every single day? For someone like me who loves trying new things, it is a lot haha. I always love to try the latest and greatest, but unfortunately, a lot of times this comes with a cost to the environment. With more products comes more packaging, and most of the time: more plastic. Single use plastics like these contribute to a lot of waste that ends up in the environment, the oceans, and our waterways, so i’ve been trying to be more conscious on how I can eliminate them when possible. At the beginning of the new year, I decided I really wanted to try to make as many sustainable changes as I could, and one of those started with personal care.

For me, I’ve found that when trying to make sustainable changes, I end up sticking with the ones that allow me to do good by the earth without changing up my typical routines too much. I know sustainability can honestly be kind of intimidating since it’s hard to know how to help, but every little bit is a great step in the right direction. No one is perfect with this (trust me I know i’m not!) but we all get better by sharing new ideas and things that make a difference.

Over the past few months, I have been using the Peach line from Grove Collaborative. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about Grove before but if you haven’t, they are a plant-based, sustainable market place and might I say: my faveeee. What I love about Grove is that when I go onto their site, they have all of my favorite sustainable products in one place. It makes it really easy to shop and quite frankly, I always feel good about what I’m buying. Today, I am sharing a few tips on how you can *easily* shop more sustainable when it comes to self-care without any hassle! Let’s do it!

3 Simple Ways to Make Your Self Care More Sustainable

1) Find products that are going to last

When looking into new personal care products (haircare, skincare, all that good stuff), try to find products that will last for a lot of uses. This means products that work effectively enough to only use a small amount, so that they can be used again and again without needing to be replaced often.

2) Invest in plant based products

I feel like lately we hear about the benefits of plant based products all the time, and that is for good reason! Plant based self care products are more sustainable then their traditional counterparts due to their manufacturing, packaging, and selling processes. Simply put, they’re a lot easier to produce since the ingredients are found in nature (less production power), and break down easier once they’re used. Choosing plant based when you can severely reduces your carbon footprint which is something I know we can all get behind.

3) Buy plastic free products (aka no packaging!)

It’s so easy to forget but personal care products are almost always in single use plastic packaging, which isn’t the best for the environment since these things end up in landfills after they’re used (since they don’t break down). This is why i’ve started looking for plastic free options, like the Peach line from Grove Collaborative. It geniunely feels so good knowing that i’m not contributing to *any* waste when using their products. You can save over 4 lbs of plastic a year just by switching to Peach, LOVE IT.

The Peach line has everything you need for personal care all in convenient and might I add, CUTE little bars. They have hair care bars, body bars, facial bars (to act as your fave cleanser), refillable deodorant, and body lotion & balm, all in plastic free packaging. They truly have everything you need to feel clean and beautiful.

My current favorites in my self care rotation are the Shampoo and Conditioner bars. Each bar lasts up to 100 washes and is made with clean, nourishing ingredients that promote scalp and hair health. They even come in different varieties (strengthening, moisturizing, volumizing) so you can get *exactly* what you need depending on your hair type. I’ve been using the Moisturizing and I looove how silky my hair feels. Just because we’re choosing sustainable doesn’t mean we’re skimping on haircare goodness honey! Plus, they foam up so well, so you don’t need to use a lot to get the killer benefits.

I absolutely love how Peach has a product for every part of my routine, and honestly just how well they all work. They have made this switch so easy & I know they will do the same for you.

sustainable self care products

I hope this post encourages you to give the Peach line at Grove a try for a simple sustainability swap. The earth will thank you, and I think you will be hooked after seeing how well these products work. I know I am. I’ll link the Grove site here so you can check it out. First time Peach customers even receive a free gift with purchase, so there’s no reason not to try!

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modern bohemian living and dining room

This post is sponsored by Raymour & Flanigan. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Drum roll please…. WELCOME TO MY NEW LIVING & DINING ROOM. Y’all, I am so excited to finally share my new favorite living spaces. After months of mulling over each and every piece (is anyone else so indecisive?), it really feels sooo good to finally see it come together.

When decorating, I really wanted my space to feel bright and happy yet cozy and comfortable. Every time someone walks into this space, they say it feels “calm” and to me, that is the biggest compliment! I am really drawn to modern bohemian styles with some mid-century modern pieces. I absolutely love using patterns (give me a printed Moroccan rug, and I’m a happy girl), different textures, and earthy colors (with some pastels, too!). I always find myself trying to create a very laid-back, natural vibe by including elements like jute, rattan, and cane, while keeping it modern with velvet and marble accents. I love how boho decor allows you to do your own thing and just have fun with it!

If you can’t tell, I’m currently obsessed with marble, light oak wood, gold accents, loads of plants, fun textures, and pastel colors: aka my modern bohemian dream.

modern bohemian living and dining room
modern bohemian living and dining room

One thing I knew was a priority for me when looking into furniture was a big comfy couch. I’ve always been a fan of couches that look like you can just dive right into them for a movie night, so this sectional from Raymour & Flanigan sold me right away! I ended up choosing a really neutral light color which I am honestly so happy about since it makes everything feel really bright and airy.

I’ve also never had a couch with a chaise lounge, so that was also on my priority list! Let me tell you when I say that I end up taking naps on the chaise more than I would like to admit lol. If you’re between a couch with a chaise or without, I would definitely recommend the chaise if you have the space. I really love how this is a couch that everyone can sit on and have more than enough room to stretch out and get comfy!

While I knew I wanted to keep the big pieces (couch, chair, etc) fairly neutral and light, I added pops of color in with the rug, and an accent pink chair. I think it adds just the right amount of pastel tones without being overbearing. I know home trends right now are totally neutral, but if color makes you happy, I say go for it! I love my peachy accent tones, I feel like they make the space look happy.

modern bohemian living and dining room
modern bohemian living and dining room

For the dining area, I knew I wanted pops of blush and gold, like these incredible dining chairs, while still keeping the space really relaxed. I fell in love with the oval shape of this table the minute I saw it, it feels really unique and special. To tone down the *glam* elements of the blush and gold and make them a bit more bohemian, I decided to add a Moroccan rug, and a big bird of paradise plant to keep the natural vibes. Then, to tie it all together, I added a big floor mirror (my favorite piece in my home!) to make the space nice and open. If you’re working with smaller space, a floor mirror really helps to make it *look bigger*. It creates soo much depth!

The stars of these rooms (my dining set and couch) are both from Raymour & Flanigan and I honestly couldn’t be happier with them. The quality is awesome, the look is exactly what I wanted, and I love knowing that these pieces are going to hold up for years to come. Pro tip when looking at their site: make sure to use the “search” function to find specific pieces that might not show up right away! I searched “marble table” after not seeing any in the regular category, then stumbled upon this beauty. There many more options then you think!

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this post inspires you to have fun with decorating and really enjoy your space! I can’t wait to see what you create.

Xo, Kat

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