Rockafeller Center - NYC - Girlglobalising

NYC street - Girlglobalising

Writing a city guide for a place like New York is quite the feat. With a city so large and with so many different things to see, there is simply no way you can cover all the bases.

As this was both mine and Dom’s second trip to the city we decided to take things at a leisurely pace, ticking things off as we hopped between coffee shops and walks in the park. Since we were there for a good five days instead of our usual long weekend adventures we managed to see all the things we wanted and not be completely frazzled by the end of a day in the city.

NYC Night - Girlglobalising

Grand Central - NYC - Girlglobalising

Here are a few things I would highly recommend if you’re visiting NYC sometime soon.

Where to stay:

We had a little hiccup with our  Airbnb on this trip, so much so that we didn’t stay for the whole trip and decided to move to a hotel. I have since heard that Airbnb is now illegal in NYC and so for the first time ever on Girlglobalising I’m not going to recommend using it for your trip.

Hotels don’t come cheap in the city so shop around as much as you can to find a good deal. We almost opted for the Hudson Hotel which looked fairly reasonable (price wise) and very nice (interiors wise). We ended up in the Nu Hotel across the river in Brooklyn which has to be one of the nicest, most stylish hotels I’ve stayed in. After the debacle with our Airbnb it definitely turned our trip around once we were settled there.

NYC - Autumn - Girlglobalising

Twin Towers Memorial - NYC - Girlglobalising

Twin Towers Memorial - NYC - Girlglobalising

What to do: 

There doesn’t really need to be a list of what to do in NYC – I’m sure everyone has things they want to tick off their bucket list and don’t need me repeating myself over here. So I will give a brief overview of the things we did that are slightly less obvious than Liberty Island and the Empire State.

The High Line – This is one of my favourite things from our trip. The old highrise train line has been converted into a walkway and garden passing right down through Manhattan and ending in the Meatpacking District. A lovely way to see the city from a different angle and an unexpected garden in the concrete jungle.  And completely free of charge.

Central Park – A slightly more obvious choice, but I missed out on this on my first visit to the city, so made up for it this time. Enter in the bottom corner of the Upper East side and follow the park round to the Boating Lake for the express tour of the park. It was absolutely beautiful in the Autumn and clearly a favourite for all the couples having engagement photos taken. Also free of charge.

American Museum of Natural History – One for a rainy day. A huge museum that takes a while to get around, but have some great exhibitions, particularly the Mammals sections and the Gems and Minerals section. A bit pricey at $22 but the price is optional and you can pay less if you choose.

MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art is a popular choice again and one that we didn’t actually make it to. A top tip is to go on Friday between 4 – 8pm when entrance is completely free of charge. Make sure you don’t have a backpack though, as the queue to check it will be very long and this was our downfall on our trip.

Soho and Greenwich Village – Two places to just wander around and take in the sights and sounds of NYC. Not too far is West Village as well, perfect for a leisurely day of shopping!

Brooklyn Bridge – Heading across the water I highly recommend taking a scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge to take in the skyline of the financial district. Time it either in the early morning or at dusk as the sun is setting to make the most of the photo opportunities.

Brooklyn and Williamsburg – Explore the quieter side of NYC – as quiet as it gets anyway! Wander around the unique independent shops and maybe head to a flea market. We went to Brooklyn Flea which is hosted in an old bank and is worth it just to take in the setting.

Brooklyn Brewery – Another Brooklyn based attraction. The Brewery offer many tours to learn how the popular beer is produced, but if you head there between 12-6pm on a Saturday then it’s completely free. Be prepared to queue for a little bit though.

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM – Worth it for the Instagram opportunity, but that cake is pretty tasty too. It only takes card, but the shop just next to it will take cash.

NYC Night - Girlglobalising

NYC - French Toast - Girlglobalising

What to eat:

It’s hard to pinpoint good places to eat in a city so big and varied as NYC. But I have a few suggestions, mainly brunch, lunch and snack places but they’re everyone’s favourites, right?

Dough Donuts – Literally the size of your face. They come in all the flavours under the sun and you may be best to share these (only if you want to though…)

Jack’s Wife Frieda – A hugely popular choice, so much so that we couldn’t get a table. But everyone must go there for a reason, so try and squeeze in if you can.

Blue Stone Coffee –  Where we actually ended up after the Jack’s Wife Frieda debacle. We had massive chicken club sandwiches and coffee, so nothing bad to say here.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Found hidden away in Greenwich village, Stumptown came to the rescue when we were looking for somewhere to hide from the rain. Very nice coffee indeed.

Brooklyn Heights Cafe – In Brooklyn (duh) serving everything from burgers, to salads, to seafood and in very atmospheric surroundings. Make sure to wander down to the river front afterwards.

The Butchers Daughter – A recommendation you will have no doubt seen on Instagram. We popped in for breakfast on the first morning and had soft boiled eggs and coffee, but they also had some very nice (and healthy) looking juices.

Other places that we didn’t make it too but were noted on my list – Egg Shop, Buvette, Black Seed Bagels, By Chloe, Cafe Henrie, Meatball Shop, Union Fare.

NYC - Autumn - Girlglobalising

Central Park - NYC - Girlglobalising

Central Park - NYC - Girlglobalising

I think this may be the lengthiest of my city guides so far! But there is just so much to see and do in NYC that it was never going to be a short post. Feel free to add any more recommendations in the comments, in case anyone is heading off there soon – and for my next trip too!

Dom John - NYC - Girlglobalising

Rockefeller - NYC - Girlglobalising

Rockefeller - NYC - Girlglobalising

Travel Beauty - Girlglobalising

Travel Beauty 2 - Girlglobalising

There was a time when my travel makeup bag was basically my whole collection of beauty products stuffed into a bulging bag. To me travel beauty was about covering every single base that might crop up while you were away. Everyday makeup, eyeshadow palettes, a multitude of lipsticks and various other products that I don’t normal pick up on an everyday basis.

Since travelling on a more regular basis with Dom, booking cheap flights and opting for hand luggage only it has meant I’ve had to drastically look at what beauty products I’m packing and what ones I will actually use. There’s only so much you can squeeze into your airport liquids bag! I’ve streamlined my packing process so much so that while we were in New York a few weeks ago I managed to pack a very light travel beauty bag, despite actually having hold luggage for once.

I thought I’d share those items with you, for all those minimal beauty lovers out there (and for those short on space).

Travel Beauty - Bare Minerals - Girlglobalising

Travel Beauty - Charlotte Tilbury - Girlglobalising

It looks like all my travel beauty products can be neatly grouped into groups of two. First up is base and holding fast in my top favourites are the Bare Minerals tinted hydrating gel base and bareskin serum concealer. Still working well for me, so much so I’ve stopped the constant hunt for a suitable foundation.

Next up is my first Charlotte Tilbury purchase – the Instant Look in a Palette palette. Since the price of Charlotte Tilbury is a little (a lot) more than I usually pay for makeup, I thought I would go big or go home on this occasion. I have to admit it’s not the palette I thought I was buying. Having seen the Natural version make it’s way around all my favourite bloggers, when I saw a version on John Lewis complete with a miniature mascara I thought I’d hit the jackpot. What I was actually buying was the Seductive version. Still quite light and bright but not quite as natural.

Travel Beauty - Charlotte Tilbury 2 - Girlglobalising

It’s perfect to pack in your travel beauty bag as it really minimises the amount of products you’re taking away with you. I use the blush and eyeshadow pretty much every day and I imagine I’ll be using the bronzer a lot in the summer too. The only thing I’m not too keen on is the highlighter, which doesn’t seem all that pigmented or show up that well on my pale skin. It does make a great substitute eyeshadow though.

Travel Beauty 3 - Girlglobalising

The two most boring products of my travel beauty bag and ones that I’ve mentioned countless time before. The tinted brow gel from Rimmel that always serves me well, although is very much on it’s last legs now. And the Smashbox X-rated mascara that gives really great everyday lashes, or can be layered up for a more dramatic effect.

Travel Beauty 4 - Girlglobalising

And finally the lips. As you know I’m not one for piles of makeup on a daily basis so normally I’m quite happy to make do with a very natural lipstick or a lipbalm for the daytime. This Clinique lip balm and scrub pot gives a nice little sheen to the lips, and if I’m after something with a bit more oomph for the evening I’m still very attached to the Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Lolita II.

So there you have it, my very minimal travel beauty bag. The key thing here is to find items that are compact and multipurpose, like the Chalotte Tilbury palette, and also to embrace the natural look while you’re away. And remember, the less you take away with you, the more you can pick up to bring back with you (duty free and Sephora, hello there…).

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram as things get a lot more Christmassy around here, and on Bloglovin as I’ll hopefully be able to get some festive posts up before the holidays.

xx

Autumn - Bristol - Girlglobalising

Saving the money to travel can be a long and tiresome process. If, like me, you have rent and bills to pay and still want to have fun on the weekends it can get tricky when trying to put money aside for your next adventure. There are a few things that I like to keep a check on so that I’m still able to stash a little something away each month. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom while saving your pennies!

Budget weekly – I’m sure most people have a monthly budget that they stick to, but what I like to do is cut it down into weekly costs. Whilst at university I had a job that paid in cash and on a weekly basis, so it became very easy to keep back what I needed for the week, and put the rest away in the bank.

Once I moved on and started a full time job that paid a salary, once a month I suddenly had to make that money last the whole four weeks. With cards, and especially contactless cards it’s very east to fritter away money without really noticing. One of the best things you can do to keep on track is to head to a cash machine every Monday morning and take out a set amount to last you the whole week. If you have to use your card as well, then that’s absolutely fine of course, but make sure it’s not for multiple purchases of £1.99. They soon add up.

Check your bank account – It may be tempting to ignore what’s hiding in your account, especially if you’ve gone a little over budget, but it’s best to just get it over with. Have a look, reassess what you can realistically save and spend, then move on. I check my bank account pretty much everyday, mainly in the hope that a little fairly has deposited a surprise in there for me (no luck yet) but also so that I’m always aware of what’s going in and out.

Cut out unnecessary spending – When I started my full time job I was always slightly at a loss for what to do at lunch. Working in the centre of town, surrounded by all the high street shops may seem like a dream but it’s also a bit of a temptation nightmare. Most days I would find myself going to buy a coffee, until I realised just how much money you can rack up by that one habit. Let’s say a coffee costs, on average, £2.50. That’s £12.50 a week, or £50 a month depending on how you want to look at it. Overall though, if you cut out that one coffee on the weekdays it adds up to a yearly saving of £600!

Since realising this I now try to spend absolutely nothing on the weekdays. I walk to work, take my lunch with me and occupy myself at lunchtime to make sure I’m not tempted to pop into a shop or pick up a Pumpkin Spice latte.

Set up a Savings account that you can only access online – This was really the key for me. Keeping your savings separate from your main account can really help in the saving process. Not only can you see how much is adding up, which is an excellent incentive to keep going, but setting up an account that you can’t access by a card means it’s also quite tricky to spend. Having to log in to your account to transfer money around means that you really think twice about what your using it for. If you shop around as well you might be able to find one with a decent Interest Rate.

If you have anything left over save that as well! If you make it to the end of the month and have come in under budget it can be very tempting to spend that little leftover amount on whatever you fancy. But what I aim to do (aim to, because it rarely actually happens) is move any left over money to my savings account on payday. Of course it’s optional, you’ve already saved what you wanted to that month and maybe you want to spend the rest. But it can be really handy to start afresh with your next months salary by adding that little extra to your savings. The choice is yours!

These are a few things that I like to stand by each month to ensure that a little something is saved away each month. I get great satisfaction from seeing a little extra added into my savings account each month. What tricks do you use to save your money? Let me know in the comments below! I have also spoken a little about keeping on budget while your travelling in case your interested in that.

As always you can follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin – I’m off to the Big Apple next week so don’t miss out on any of that content! See you soon with some new travel posts.

 

Pink Doughnut

Does anyone really know?

I’ve been having a crisis of confidence about the tiny space of internet that Girlglobalising occupies – one that over the last few days has led me to think that actually I have no idea what I’m doing here, or really what my blog is here for.

It started with an Instagram photo. It was from Hannah Gale, one of my favourite bloggers, purely because I love her honesty and bravery for putting her emotions and personal thoughts on the internet for any old person to read. I highly recommend. The photo was from a press trip to Lanzarote, one which a fair few bloggers that I follow were all invited on. There was one person in the photo that I didn’t recognise, and after following the handy tag, I found it was Katie, blogger behind the Scarphelia blog.

So naturally, as anyone would on a lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon I perused her website and quickly realised that Katie is not just a blogger. She’s a writer. A true write who can weave stories and emotions and pictures into words and leave you thinking ‘yeah I totally get what you’re saying’. She’s a lifestyle blogger in the sense that her blog is a part of her life, as much as a diary would be to someone more private.

Both Hannah and Katie have blogs that connect with their readers. They are truthful, honest, brave and prove themselves to be more than just the photos in their posts, more than the sponsored content and affiliate links. Their blogs are a part of them like a novel is to an author.

Girlglobalising is only young, if you care to personify a blog, in the terms that I have really only been posting regular content for about a year and completely neglected it for the first year of it’s existence. It’s started with grand ideas of being a travel blog (and I still maintain that, with travel being one of my biggest passions, it is), before I thought maybe adding a bit of beauty here and there wouldn’t hurt. Then I had the over confident idea that I could make like all the best fashion blogs and have my boyfriend photograph my less than innovative outfits. Plus the odd more personal post thrown in.

I’ve spent the past year poking my fingers into all the different blogging pies, not really committing the any of them and calling myself a ‘lifestyle’ blogger. In the many ‘how to’ blog guides most tell you to find your niche and stick to it. I haven’t done that, hoping that anyone reading my blog will see the variety of topics and love it.

I suppose the key to this rambling slightly incoherent post is not comparing yourself to others. I love creating content and really what I should acknowledge is that my blog is young. A baby, really. It’s still developing and unfolding and finding it’s feet, like I am still. It’s okay if my content is not niche or completely glossy or as well written as some others. Or if I can’t transpose my feelings into beautiful sentences that touch peoples hearts. One day it will be. And that’s okay.

 

 

Trailhound

This handsome chap above, is Bob. He’s a trailhound and he joined my parents at my family home back at the end of November/December 2015.

Their decision to adopt a dog was a bit of a spur of the moment occurance, much like when we got our poor old dog Monty before, on a very rainy afternoon in Wales and neither me nor my brother expected to be leaving with a puppy in a cardboard box. Bob arrived in much the same fashion, albeit a much larger box, after my parents took a trip to the Canterbury branch of the Dogs Trust.

They claim it was just to ‘see what the process is’ but if I know my Dad, he wasn’t going to be leaving without a new canine friend. And so a few weeks later Bob joined the family and made his presence very much known – mainly by having a wee on the living room carpet.

Adopting and re-homing a dog has been quite the learning curve and, while there are similarities to when we brought Monty home all those years ago, it has also been quite different. Now, while I’m in no position to bring a dog home to my rented flat (that’s no way to make the landlord your friend) I do plan to bring my own little puppy home one day in the future, whether that’s an adoption or a brand new puppy. Preferably a pug. I just love pugs.

Here’s a list of things to think about or just to beaware of if you’re planning on bringing home a new best friend:

  1. House Training – Dogs are brought into the Dogs Trust from all over the place. Some are strays, as Bob was, some are puppies, some are brought in from owners who simply can’t look after them anymore. It’s important to be aware that they might be only partially house trained, or not at all! Be prepared for a few accidents here and there.
  2. Training in general – By this I mean all the usual ‘sit’, ‘wait’ but also training on a lead. Bob had clearly never been walked on a lead before so it’s literally been a case of starting from scratch. Make sure you know what you can handle and what you can’t – the last thing you want is to bring home your new dog and find that they are much more work than you are able to commit to.
  3. Location – For those living out in the countryside, this doesn’t apply as much, I’m sure any dog will be grateful of a nice green field to run in. But those living in a city should be aware of whether you’re rehoming a particularly nervous or scared dog. Cars and traffic might not be the best thing for him/her.
  4. Give it time – The Dogs Trust recommend that it takes a good six months to fully re-home a dog, so be prepared for some ups and downs. Sometimes it may seem like it’s a case of ‘two steps foward and one step back’, but a little bit of time and patience and your dog will settle in to their new life.

These are some of the points that I’ve gathered from seeing and hearing my parents experience of adopting Bob, and while there is still a way to go, I think Bob has settled in and will make a fine companion for them. You can find plenty more information on the Dogs Trust website, and by popping into your nearest branch. Although puppies are real cute, there are still many other dogs that needs homes and adopting could be the most rewarding way.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for many photos of Bob whenever I visit home, and on Bloglovin too for all the new content on Girlglobalising. Do you have any other pearls of wisdom or re-homing success stories? I’d love to hear them!

 

Trailhound