The Best Places to Eat in New York City

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In New York eating out for every meal is essentially the only option, so throughout my 6 days in New York this year I was happily able to try many different restaurants and cafes and thought I would share some of my favourites. Read my New York Shopping Guide here.

SERENDIPITY 3, Upper East Side





Serendipity 3 has to be my favourite restaurant I visited in NY, famous for it's amazing frozen hot chocolates the restaurant also has a huge menu of savoury food and other desserts. The restaurant itself is small and quaint and also sells small kitsch novelty gifts. The portions are huge and the lemon chicken I ordered was the perfect mix of sweet and sour, and the frozen hot chocolate is so good that I drank the whole thing that judging by the amount of straws is definitely meant for more than one person! Serendipity is located on the Upper East Side, just off of Lexington Avenue and it was also frequented by Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol before he was known, so you certainly can't go wrong with a trip here! 

SPRINKLES CUPCAKES, Lexington Avenue


Sprinkles was definitely on my list of places to visit in NYC, not least because of it's amazing pink Cupcake ATM which allows you to buy and watch a cupcake be delivered to you at any time of day or night like a vending machine. The cupcakes are delicious (the red velvet I had was particularly good) and the flavours vary depending on the day you visit, and the store is also located close to some of my suggested shopping destinations. 

MAGNOLIA BAKERY


Another sickeningly sweet pick to visit is Magnolia bakery, which is mostly famous for its appearances on 'Sex and The City'. This means that there may be quite a queue to visit one of its several stores across NYC but it's definitely worth the wait! I visited the branch at Woodbury Common which was far less busy than the central New York locations, so if your visiting the outlets be sure to go here! 

LA NONNA, Little Italy

La Nonna in Little Italy is a classic Italian owned restaurant that has a variety of Italian dishes made the traditional way, and the prices are fairly reasonable for a quick lunch stop. It's also right near one of my favourite New York boutiques, Mulberry and Grand, on Mulberry Street which has some lovely gifts and stylish pieces. 

BUBBA GUMPS SHRIMP CO, Times Square


If you're a fan of Forrest Gump or shrimp then no trip to New York would be complete without a meal here! Right on Times Square it's a great place for dinner after a day of exploring Times Square, and we were lucky enough to sit right next to the window which looks right out over Times Squares bright lights. The portions are absolutely huge so I suggest sharing rather than making the same mistake we did of ordering a huge shrimp platter each!

HARD ROCK CAFE, Times Square

Again another classic American restaurant, the Hard Rock cafe may not be the most unique restaurant but we actually ended up here twice as it was the perfect central late night spot to eat after a long day out and about,  and it also has a great late night atmosphere. The food here is the typical variety of American dishes that are served in all Hard Rock cafes across the world, but for dessert I recommend the apple cobbler (again another one to share!).

DEAN & DELUCA, 8th Avenue

Lastly, Dean & Deluca is the perfect place for a quick coffee or lunch and this one is also located on the corner of the New York Times building so it's perfect if you want to catch a glimpse of that. 


That's it for my lengthy New York Eating guide (I can clearly talk about food for a long time!), let me know your favourite New York restaurants if you've been or which of these you would most like to visit. Also make sure to check out my New York Shopping Guide here, and keep an eye out for my last NY guide which will be my favourite things to see and do in the city.



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The Best Places to Shop in New York City

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In October this year I visited New York City for the first time and absolutely loved the city and it's never-ending list of things to see and do. So I've decided to create three travel guides including the best places to shop, eat and see, starting with this post featuring my favourite NYC shopping spots.

MACY'S

Macy's on West 34th Street is an absolute must visit, it's the largest department store in the world so I recommend either choosing certain departments to visit, or dedicating an afternoon to browsing if you really want to see everything. 



FIFTH AVENUE

The world famous Fifth Avenue is renowned for its countless number of designer shops and boutiques, you can't step a few feet without seeing a huge designer name like Yves Saint Laurent or Henri Bendel. One of my top picks to visit along 5th Avenue is Aritzia which is a slightly more affordable, although still pricey, fashion boutique filled with high quality on trend pieces. The other is without a doubt one of my favourite NY department stores, Bergdorf Goodman. Bergdorfs is split into two stores across the street from each other, one for womenswear and one for mens. The womenswear store is filled with amazing high end brands, although my favourite part of the store is the extensive beauty hall downstairs. The beauty hall has all the premium beauty brands you would expect including Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford and La Mer so if your planning to buy any premium beauty items this is definitely a lovely environment to do so in.








BIRCHBOX, SOHO

You probably know Birchbox as the monthly beauty subscription box, but their store in SoHo allows you try and purchase the products they send out without subscribing to the service. The store also has many brands that aren't available in Sephora, and this is the only place I saw certain brands like Jouer and Sigma in my whole time in NY. It's located in SoHo which has really interesting stores and art galleries to visit so it's certainly worth taking a trip there. 

LEXINGTON AVENUE

The main reason that this location is included in this list is for Bath & Body Works, the B&BW Store here is the only one reasonably near to central Manhattan so it's worth walking here, and I also recommend visiting Sprinkles Cupcakes which is also on Lexington Ave whilst your there. Bath and Body Works has a huge selection of scents and is unlike any store we have in the UK, it's also much more affordable than our main brands like Yankee Candle. Lexington Avenue also has a great Sephora that's a lot less busy than the ones dotted around Times Square so you can shop much more peacefully than in the crowded stores. 

WOODBURY COMMON PREMIUM OUTLETS

Woodbury Common is located around an hours coach journey from Manhattan, but it's worth the trip if you want some major discounts on designer brands. It has huge names from Dior to Jimmy Choo. I also picked up some amazing Kate Spade items that had a huge 60% discount, as well as Levi's t-shirts and a classic Tommy Hilfiger navy jumper. The coach departs from the Port Authority bus terminal, which was conveniently right near our hotel but if you have money to spare I would definitely recommend organising your own transport home.

Be sure to let me know your favourite New York shopping destinations so I know for my next visit, or if you're planning a trip to NYC soon! Keep an eye out for my other New York guides, which will include the best places to eat and the best things to see and do.


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Christmas Stocking Fillers For Her

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With just over a week left until Christmas Day I thought now would be the perfect time to post my last Christmas Guide, just in time for all the last minute presents you have left to buy! Be sure to check out my other gift guides including my Beauty and Fashion Lover's Gift guides. Follow my Pinterest for more gift ideas and let me know which of these is your favourite!
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Pampering Christmas Gift Guide

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The next of this years Christmas gift guides if full of some of this years best pampering gifts! This type of gift is perfect for someone in your life that deserves to treat themselves to a pampering session, perhaps your mum or even someone who you are stuck for ideas of what to buy them! Be sure to check out my Beauty and Fashion lovers gift guides posted below, and follow my Pinterest for more ideas!
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Fashion Lovers Christmas Gift Guide

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                       As today is Black Friday I thought it would be the perfect time to post this years fashion focused Christmas gift guide, featuring 20 of this years best gifts to receive. Many of the items are currently included in Black Friday deals so be sure to act quickly if you plan to purchase any of these gifts! As always let me know which of these gifts you would most like to receive and follow my Pinterest for more gift ideas!
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Beauty Lovers Christmas Gift Guide 2016

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This year the amount of beauty gifts on offer is almost endless, so to help you decide which to purchase I've picked some of my favourites from this years offerings. So far I have picked some amazing gifts that I'm sure any beauty lover would be thrilled to receive! I'll be adding more to the pinterest boards throughout the lead to up to Christmas so be sure to follow the board for more gifts! Let me know which of these gifts you would most like to receive and look out for my next gift guide to see some of this years best fashionable gifts!


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Rosie For Autograph Makeup Review

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Rosie Huntington Whiteley has long been one of my favourite beauty and fashion inspirations, so I was excited to hear that she had launched her own makeup line for Autograph at Marks and Spencer's  at the end of January. I already loved her other ranges at M&S including her active wear and lingerie line, so I couldn't wait to pick up some of her beauty products if it meant there was a chance of achieving Rosie's classic and sophisticated signature makeup look! I was already sold on the range before seeing it, but the gorgeous rose gold packaging definitely gave me an extra nudge to buy more! I have had the products for a while now and have five items from the range to review for you. 



The first item I picked up was one of the products I was most excited about, as Rosie always seems to have the perfect nude lip. The shade I chose is 'Lady Rose' which is a lovely pink toned nude that's almost a 'my lips but better' colour, Rosie has also said that this is her favourite shade from the collection. As with all the products, the lipstick is priced at £14 which I see as being mid way between the pricier end of drugstore makeup and high end premium makeup. The lipsticks are very pigmented and creamy, so they feel nourishing and hydrating on the lips whilst also having a fairly impressive lasting power for a non matte lipstick.


I love cream blush, I feel like it gives a more natural and subtle look than using a powder so I was happy to see that Rosie had included cream blushes in the range for such a reasonable price as I honestly believe these are on par with the Nars cream blushes. I chose the shade 'Camisole Blush' which is the most brown toned of the four shades, as I prefer to go for a more natural blush look. The blush has a great pigment and applies smoothly so it's definitely worth the £14 price tag. For such a reasonable price you receive a lot of product and the blush also has a great mirror which really comes in handy for on the go application!


The next product from the range is the 'Get The Glow' highlighter, I only picked this one up a few days ago so I'm yet to try it out. However from swatching it, it has a great creamy consistency and is a lovely almost rose gold shade. This one retails for £15 and is reminiscent of the Nars multiple sticks, and I can't wait to use it to highlight!


The only eye product I have from the collection is one of the cream eyeshadow sticks in the shade 'Sparkle and Magic'. I'm a big fan of the Laura Mercier caviar sticks, but none of the ones I have are anything like this shade. Sparkle and Magic is a truly unique metallic shade with a khaki undertone that looks lovely and shimmery on the eyes. It applies smoothly and the wind up application makes it really easy for anyone to use. These are priced at £12.50, which really is a great price for such a high quality product that can only usually be found with premium makeup brands.


Lastly, as I purchased some of the products soon after they were released I received this rose gold makeup bag for free although it is still available to buy for £16. The cosmetic bag is a lovely rose gold colour which the camera doesn't do justice, complete with matching rose gold hardware. I honestly believe that this range is well worth trying out, particularly as for such a reasonable price neither the quality of the products or the packaging has been compromised. Be sure to let me know which is your favourite and if you have any items from the range!

Nicole x








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Nivea Men Post Shave Balm Review

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If you're an avid watcher of NikkieTutorials then you will know exactly what this post is about. If not then you will probably be surprised to know that this unexpected product is the latest primer craze for beauty lovers. The main reason for this is that one of the balms main ingredients is glycerin which is often used in makeup primers to ensure makeup sticks to your face.

I purchased this product from Boots for £5.35, which makes it by far the most affordable primer I have ever tried. So how does this unusual product fare as a primer? As someone with combination skin I was unsure how the product with cope on different areas of the face. I have found that the balm works great on areas like my cheeks and chin area and makes my foundation go on smoothly. However on the slightly drier parts of my skin like my nose and forehead it really sticks to the skin which then makes any foundation applied emphasise dry patches.

The consistency of the product is watery and thin which makes it easy to apply and a little goes a long way. When applying the balm you should continue to pat it into the skin until it has a tacky consistency to ensure your makeup sticks to it. It's also slightly scented and has the typical scent used in mens toiletry products although it's definitely bearable.  As far as making my makeup last longer the product definitely works. I find my foundation stays on all day and my bronzer and blusher lasts for much longer than it usually does without a primer. For this alone I think I will continue to use this product to prime the less dry parts of my face, and I will continue my search for primer that will work well with drier skin for the other areas. So if you have normal or oily skin then this primer may well be perfect for you, although if you have dry skin unfortunately this product may not be so suitable.

Be sure to let me know if you've tried this product, and what your favourite makeup primer is!



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