Food and the City

August 08, 2017

Best BUDGET FRIENDLY Stores For Chic Home Decor

I didn't go to college.

I didn't have a dorm, or a sorority house, or an off-campus apartment.

I remember every year, when the school semester rolled around, my friends would go on shopping trips to buy new decor to dress up their space with. Whether it was a place of their own or a tiny room that they shared with someone they hoped wouldn't be a serial killer, I was always slightly jealous at how much fun they would have decking out their bedrooms for the year.

I didn't live on my own until I was 25. I moved out when I was 22, but, I always had roommates in any apartment that I lived in. Welcome to New York City, kids. Where your hopes + dreams can surely happen, but you'll be spending $1,400 a month to share a tiny apartment with 3 people in the meantime. Hope you enjoy your stay!!!

In reality, I didn't mind this at all. I had my bedroom and I *feng shui'd* the fuck out of it. It was the only little corner of the city that I could call my own (quite literally since I had the corner bedroom), and I'll cherish all the time I spent in it.

When I did finally get my own place, I lost my mind when it came to decorating. You might have see bits and pieces of my living space on my Instagram here & there, and I've always gotten tons of questions as to where I like to shop for my decor. I figured since the school year is right around the corner, & errrbody looking to save some cash, what better time than to discuss my favorite shops to scope out items while still being $$ savvy!

Target: Okay, HONESTLY, who doesn't love Target? If I had to choose a ridiculous thing to judge somebody with, it would be whether or not they like Target. * "He who does not like Target is he who cannot be trusted." - Buddha * Anyway - it's no secret that Target is like, the mecca of home decor finds on the cheap. Not only is the quality good, they are always on trend and in the know of what's ~*happening*~ As soon as something becomes popular within the home decor scene (i.e; bar carts), Target will have one in stock within a week.

my picks:

2) Wayfair: Honestly, I don’t know what I was doing before I discovered Wayfair. It is, hands down, one of the largest online destinations for all things home. They literally have like a zillion things on their website (that’s actually their slogan – no joke), as well as inspiration boards to help inspire you if you’re not sure where to start. I’ve purchased so many things from them that I’ve lost count, and everything has always arrived exactly as described on their website. Not to mention, I’ve seen some of the same items on other websites priced much higher, so you know you’re also getting a good deal by shopping with them.

my picks:

3) Amazon: Believe it or not, you can get really lucky shopping for home pieces on Amazon. Aside from the fact that it’s a retail giant with a market place for pretty much anything you’d ever need, their “interesting finds” page is where I usually get the most lucky. It’s flooded with unconventional items that you wouldn’t normally find anywhere else, and I love that I can purchase unique things for my apartment in the same online order as something so opposite like protein bars or a curling wand. Also, I’ve found a ton of gifts for people in that section, so it’s definitely worth checking out for more categories apart from home décor. (ps, those “mom juice” wine glasses are everything.)

my picks:

4) Urban Outfitters: You may not think to go to clothing store for home décor finds, but Urban Outfitters was one of my go-to spots when I shared an apartment with roommates. They have such a great selection of quirky kitchen items that are perfect for small spaces, as well as unique/on trend accent pieces.

my picks:

5) Overstock: What I love about Overstock is that they ALWAYS have some sort of awesome sale going on. Whether it be 40% off rugs or 60% off candles, you’re almost guaranteed to run into some savings whenever you shop on there. I’ll admit it’s probably the one I use to least out of my 5 suggestions, but I’ve it to be such a good resource for things like sheets & pillow cases and cheap throw blankets/pillows. Did you ever realize how f*cuking expensive sheets & pillow cases are? That was probably one of the most annoying adult realizations, but ever since I started ordering them from Overstock, it’s become much less of an added aggravation.

my picks:


August 01, 2017

What's The Worst That Can Happen?

Hey there, you.

I don't think it's too far of a stretch to assume that you're reading this for a reason. In fact, I don't think it's that much of a stretch at all. I hope that's the case, though, because I'm writing this with purpose -- I'm writing this to ask you one simple question:

What's the worst that can happen?

What's the worst that can happen when you do something outside of your comfort zone? What's the worst that can happen when you wake up in the morning and decide to wear the white jeans after labor day or the dress you've deemed as "unflattering." What's the worst that can happen when you choose to eat the full-fat yogurt vs the low-fat stuff? What's the worst that can happen when your stomach is growling and you actually eat? What's the worst that can happen when you listen to your body and give it everything it needs?

What's the worst that can happen?

The worst that can happen is you'll learn a new trade or a new skill or discover a strength about yourself that you never knew you had. The worst that can happen is you'll wear those white jeans after Labor Day, because that's what the calendar says, and rock the shit out of them. That dress? It'll hang on your body like any dress of the past because that's all it is. It's just a dress.

The worst that can happen is you'll probably feel guilty for choosing the "less healthy" option, but right now, you'll probably feel guilty for choosing anything. Those feelings will eventually pass, and then they'll come back, and then they'll pass again and come back once more after another round of "why did I do that" that you play with yourself.

The worst that can happen is your body will do backflips of joy at how well it's being treated, and that may seem intolerable to you because your mind is telling you something else. The worst that can happen is that you'll feel full and upset and out of control, but you'll keep on pushing and doing these things because at some point you'll be proud that you're still pushing and doing these things. At some point those feelings will be nothing more than a whisper of a thought, that gets filed into the Nah Bruh file that you keep stored in your brain.

July 18, 2017


60 OF THE BEST SUMMER RECIPES, Summer Recipes, Summer Dinner Ideas, Summer Lunch Ideas, BBQ recipes, Healthy Summer Dinner, Healthy Summer Dinner Idea

OKAY - serious summertime food porn happening over here right now. Like, for real, helpppp me not run out and buy every tomato that I see. Also, did I reallllly roundup SIXTY of the best summer recipes for you ??


Yes I did.

60 OF THE BEST SUMMER RECIPES, Summer Recipes, Summer Dinner Ideas, Summer Lunch Ideas, BBQ recipes, Healthy Summer Dinner, Healthy Summer Dinner Idea

July 14, 2017

GIVEAWAY | Quest Cereal Protein Bars (+ mini review)

Quest Cereal Protein Bars, Quest Cereal Protein Bars review

If you follow me on Instagram, you're already well aware with my obsession for Quest bars. I've mentioned previously before how I was never a protein bar type of girl, as I used to think they were pointless and I could easily and willingly take my 100-250 calories elsewhere. *ahem.. ice cream*... also known as: my appetite is seriously that of a 6 year old child. 

Well, fast forward to current times of no longer being uneducated on nutrition (and maybe a slight jump in maturity) -- I've come to the realization that protein bars are like, really, really freaking good for you. And you should be eating them. All the time. The problem with that theory, though, is that protein bars ain't cheap, and if you're eating them as often as you should be, your pockets will not thank you. And with all these summer sales going on, I have shoes things to buy, cha feel me?

Quest Cereal Protein Bars, Quest Cereal Protein Bars review

There are 14 million different protein bars on the market, but these Quest bars in particular are my absolute favorite !!!!!! With 12g of protein and only 110 calories, you would never know you were eating a protein bar. They taste like a combination of rice crispy treats and those old school cereal bars that your mom used to buy in bulk from Costco when you were a kid. I know you know the ones. Everyone knows the ones.

I'll be the first to admit that the traditional Quest bars aren't my favorite (i have a thing with texture, okay?), but these -- these are a daily staple for me now. In fact, I probably eat too many of them (2 of them a day without fail) thus resulting in a very high protein intake, but hey, I could be on drugs or something and I'm not, so, matters could be worse.

That was a pretty dark comparison for a post about protein bars, I'm sorry.

The Quest Cereal Protein Bars come in 3 different flavors: Waffle, Cinnamon Roll + Chocolate, with Waffle being my #1. Just look at how beautiful it is. *salivates....*

Quest Cereal Protein Bars, Quest Cereal Protein Bars review

So, you've already sat here reading this post long enough to probably hate me, but I'm about to win you back over, promise.

How? By bribing you for your love, of course. 

THAT'S RIGHT! I'm giving away 3 BOXES of these babes to 3 different of you babes! All you have to do to enter is be an email subscriber of Food and the City, (which takes all of 2 seconds to sign up for if you haven't already, click here) + be a follower of my Instagram account! The winner will be announced via Monday's (7/17) newsletter, and contacted via the email you're signed up with -- so make sure it's valid! 

That's it!

Yay free stuff! Yay protein bars! Yay Quest! Yay life!

I'll stop now. Good luck!

Signed -

Mel who had too much coffee today

Quest Cereal Protein Bars, Quest Cereal Protein Bars review

BEST IN BEAUTY | Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

If you haven't heard, in which case -- welcome back to life! -- early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started yesterday exclusively for cardholders. Until July 21st, we (the cardholding people) have first pick at all that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has to offer. Which, in my case, translates to the: "that one time when I was 18 years old and thought it'd be cool to have a credit card so *signs up* for rando Nordstrom card" card. However, and much to how I usually excuse all of my questionable decisions, it sort of doesn't count as a bad decision since now I get to partake in early access every year. Right?


ANYWAY -- & much to my pleasant surprise, there has been a SHIT TONE of amazing beauty deals during this sale. I feel like beauty is always a hit or miss for me during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, however I'm crazy impressed with the lineup this time around!!

That being said, and without further ado, here are my top beauty picks for 2017! (just incase you need shopping plans for the weekend)

July 13, 2017

What To Buy During The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

IT'S HERE YA'LL!!!!! Early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has OFFICIALLY started! Yesterday, I published a post explaining the sale details and how you can participate and shop these amazing savings. Today -- I'm sharing my TOP PICKS of the sale, and all of the items I'm planning to purchase over the next 2 weeks. Remember, early access is for CARD HOLDERS ONLY, so if you're not currently a member, click here to sign up and get on that card holding game gurlfrand.

If not, the sale opens up to the public on July 21st, so make sure to mark that date on your calendar right now so you don't forget! To help you out, here's a quick little graphic to save to your computer or phone to keep up with all of the important sale dates that you'll want to keep handy!

So, shall we get to shopping already?? Here are my TOP A$$ PICKS for this years Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: