Food and the City

September 21, 2016

Fall Style ~ BEANIE HATS

Every year, right around this time, I tend to forget that it's still hot in New York City and start focusing more on my fall wardrobe. 85 degrees outside? "No problem" - I say to myself - "I'll just wear this here heavy flannel button-up top with daisy duke shorts to balance it out." The result? Getting 5 blocks from my apartment before the first salty drop of sweat drips down my forehead and then I'm all like "what is my life even"

But, just like the character of your ex-boyfriend, somethings never change, and here I am; September 21st, 2016 talking about beanie hats and fall attire. However, it must be noted that at least I waited until the day before fall (!!!omg!!!) to assault your faces with materials and fabrics that you probs don't want to see right now.

For starters, we need to talk about my new favorite brand, RELLA. If you know me personally, and I apologize if you do, you'll know that I show up to pretty much everywhere sporting a beanie hat the second a red leaf hits the grass of Central Park. When I got an eye-full (is that even a word?) of RELLA's new catalog, I knew I had just found the sole supplier of my 2016 headpiece collection.

I have a thing for pom-poms. I think they're cute, flirty, and just overall extremely cozy looking. I'm also really excited that we started clipping pom-poms onto our purses, because I like touching them and squeezing them and I will most certainly pet yours if you ever come in contact with me.

Anyway - when I saw the Softy hat, I knew it had to be mine. Equipped with two detachable poms, the fabric is so soft and the stitching is perfect for obtaining that slouchy look. I went with this chestnuty color, since I love the way that shade contrasts with my black hair. Plus, chestnut is the black of both fall and winter; it goes with everything.

Headbands are a new thing for me, but I think it's because I finally started to embrace my love for head pieces over the summer. Chains, crowns, you name it - I bough em' and I wore em'. Now that we're transitioning into a new season, it seemed only right to pick up a more suitable candidate for the changing weather. I went with the Lea.

Lastly, everyone needs a basic beanie in their wardrobe. Something without pom-poms, something without stripes. Just a basic, soft, solid color that will take you through the season and match with pretty much anything in your closet. The Cloud will be that staple for me. Unbelievably soft, you have to feel it to believe it. The fabric is sturdy enough to stick up, but light enough to achieve the slouch, which is everything you want in a beanie.

So yea, hats. I kind of love them, and if you do to, I highly recommend checking out RELLA for some new ones. The good news? Right now RELLA is running a deal where you can save 24% off your entire order just by signing up with your email address until September 30th! So treat yourself to a fall welcoming present, and go jump in a pile of leaves.


* Thank you to my friends at RELLA for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

September 15, 2016

#TBT: VMA's 2016

The date: Friday, August 26th
The location: My inbox
The subject: The 2016 VMA's 

It was Friday morning, and I had just woken up with a slight hangover from attending the NFL Fantasy Daft party at The Hard Rock Cafe the night before. I was dehydrated, ravenous, exhausted, and I was just about to give myself "the day off" to lay in bed and rethink why I thought it was *such* a good idea to take that last tequila shot.

While in between checking all of my *vvv* important social media accounts, I saw an email come through with the subject line "VMA's." Just as I was about to brush it off as someone needing a last minute favor to help get the word out about the award show happening that weekend, I decided to open it and see what it was all about.

Well, two days later, I was sitting in the VIP Verizon Suite at Madison Square Garden, sipping on champagne and watching the VMA's live and in person. 

With just two days to prepare for one of the coolest events I'd ever been invited to, I quickly jumped out of my hangover to find a dress, some shoes, and a fully charged social battery (lol). I picked up my tickets from the Verizon Herald Square location (which btw this store is oddly gorgeous?), and I was on my way to the VMA's baby!

While the entire show was absolute fire, I think we can all agree that two of the most noteworthy stage times were Kanye West and Beyonce. First of all, anytime an organization gives Kanye West a full 4 MINUTES to say or do whatever he wants on national TV, I'm allllll eyes and ears. He rambled a bit about going to the grocery store with his daughter, probably said the word "bro" at least 6 or 7 hundred times, and all the while I sat there completely fascinated by the eerie silence coming from a room that holds over 18,000 people. If anyone would of dropped and broken a glass at that moment, the entire arena would have heard it.

By the end of his speech (rant?), I really had no clue what had just happened, but I knew something did, and I'll always remember it. 

Beyonce, in true queen fashion, decided to pretend like she wasn't going to be performing this year, but ended up surprising us all with a superbowl worthy performance. There was fire, there were spotlights, there was a lot of screaming, and of course, there was #lemonade. 

Overall, the night was pretty enchanting, and I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Verizon for allowing me to experience such an awesome award show. It truly was a night to remember, and I'll be waiting for my invitation to the Oscars to come in any day now.

September 08, 2016

What's In My Bag *NYFW Edition*

The air seems misty, the skies have opened up, broken ankles everywhere, and Uber has a 7x surcharge to go 1/2 a mile. Is it the end of the world as we know it? No, it's New York Fashion Week. Twice a year, these ~*gLaMoRoUs*~ series of events take place in New York City to showcase next seasons must haves, or as I like to call them, "things I'll spend my rent money on." After 7 consecutive days of your Instagram feed being flooded with models alike, you start to ask yourself a few questions:

1) Why did I go to college to become a marine biologist when I can be getting paid to pop bottles with Chance The Rapper at an after party?

2) How exactly does she get her boobs to stay confined in a dress like that?

3) When did I start following inTouch Magazines Instagram account?

Aside from those hard-hitting questions that you sit there and ponder, you wonder how the hell do you survive a week straight of high-fashion, eyeshadow, and hangovers? After attending 6 years of New York Fashion Week, my only answer is this:

You don't. But since you kind of do, just make sure to PLAN PLAN PLAN. Literally, take the week beforehand (sorry, too late) and do absolutely nothing that way your body can fully prepare for the madness that's ahead. It may look like fun and games, but the mental torture of trying to get to every show on time, not to mention doing it while you're hungover (because lol after parties), is on a different level. I figured since New York Fashion Week has just started, I'd share the survival kit that I pack myself each and every go around.

The first step? Find yourself the perfect purse that is big enough to carry everything you'll need, but still chic enough that Karl Lagerfeld doesn't send you home crying. The bag I chose this year is the transport crossbody by Madewell. It's suede so it's *tote* in season, plus the fringe adds a fun notion that says "I'm here to party, but I also plan to be home by 9pm."

I think it's a solid choice, so at $159 you can't go wrong.

Now onto the important stuff, like, what's actually inside of it. Just recently someone told me that her friend carries around a tote bag filled with only cigarettes, sunglasses, and money, and I nearly died of laughter. We will not be carrying such limited things with us this week, so lets dive right into what you'll need in order to keep your body alive:

Cameras: If you're going to NYFW, you're obviously going to be taking a shit ton of photos. And if you're like me, your data plan hangs by a thread every month, so having backup options to take your shots is muy bueno. Aside from my iPhone, I usually pack my DSLR (Canon T3i, I desperately need to upgrade), as well as a good ol' fashion point and shoot cam because you just never know. And knowing before never knowing is always knowing, or something like that.

IZZE JUICES: It's no secret that I'm obsessed with IZZE everything. If you hang around Food and the City longer than 10 minutes you're bound to run into a post about my favorite juices. I'm currently crushing on Sparkling Grapefruit, because it's the perfect balance of bubbly and sweet and seriously helps me get through the day. No added sugars, no preservatives, and no caffeine, so it keeps me going without that unavoidable crash that you'll experience with most fruity drinks. It's an essential in my NYFW survival kit, and I think it should be apart of yours, too.

Chargers: This should honestly go without saying, but don't forget to pack your charger. If you're hitting up most of the shows, it's likely you'll be out of your apartment/hotel or out of the office for most of the day. It's also likely that you'll be editing and uploading photos in every cab ride that you take, and those apps take a serious shit on your battery life. If I was being perfectly honest, I rarely leave my place without my charger even if I'll only be gone for a few hours, but especially if I'll be gone all day.

Makeup for touchups: One of the biggest mistakes people make is stuffing their bags so tightly with makeup, they hardly have room for the other essentials. In truth, the only two things you absolutely need are blotting/translucent powders and lipstick. Powder for shine and lipstick to keep your pout on Kylie's level. My favorite powder for long days is the Makeup Forever HD Powder, which helps ensures everything still looks #fresh. For lipstick, I always choose a nude that's more on the pink side. They tend to just go with everything, and it's one less thing that I have to think about.

Miscellaneous stuff: Breath mints, Advil, stain remover, and Emergen-C are always always always in my purse, let alone for NYFW. Breath mints are good for all the networking you'll be doing, Advil for all the annoying people you'll have to talk to, stain remover for all the shit you're going to spill on yourself (i promise), and Emergen-C for when 6 hours have passed by and realized you haven't eaten yet. These are important. Pack them.

So in closing, NYFW can be a bit of a #betch, but only if you let it be. You can conquer the beast and make it through like the professional Instagram celeb that you are. I have faith in you bbby.

Also, since it's Thursday, I'd like to leave you with a #tbt from a show that I attended last year, Lauren Conrad. She absolutely killed it, and it still remains a favorite of mine to this day. That grapefruity-peachy skirt, I die. Die die die.

Happy New York Fashion Week!

September 07, 2016

Top 5 Restaurants For Fall Comfort Food in NYC

#SummerSixteen is now nothing more than a thing of a past, seeing as Labor Day Weekend is behind us, and Dunkin Donuts won't stop telling us that their Pumpkin Spice Latte is back in stores for the season. Furthermore, as the weather starts to lose its summer warmth and the evenings adopt a crispness that screams ~*sweater weather*~, we know our favorite comfort foods can't be much more far behind. From apple to pumpkin to maple #errthang, comfort food is suddenly the name of the game. If you're in New York City this fall, treat yourself to a decadent meal at one of these comfort foodie hotspots:

David Burke Fabrick | 47 W 38th Street
If you want to indulge in some classics while also staring at some beautifully plated food, David Burke Fabrick is hands down a spot that you need to hit up. Situated in the Archer Hotel on W 38th Street, DBF is most known for their shareable-sized plates, so you have little-to-no excuse to not try multiple things on their interesting menu. My favorite is their General Tso's Cauliflower, mainly because it's served in a traditional cardboard take-out box, and presentation gets me every time. Also, did I mention they serve strips of bacon on a clothesline? Because they do.

Hillstone | 387 Park Avenue South
On the menu at Hillstone in Gramercy, you'll find a wide variety of comfort food with a seasonal edge. Enjoy a slow-roasted lamb sandwich or melt-in-your-mouth five-nut brownie for a filling treat that's the perfect component for your stretchy pants. Hillstone is also widely known for their impeccable service, so it's a great option if you're trying to woo a date or convince your parents that you have your life together.

August 31, 2016

Labor Day Food Ideas/Recipes

Did someone hit me over the head 5 or 600 times that caused my brain to completely bypass summer and then wake up at the end of August wondering where. the hell. it went? Anybody? Nobody? Is this thing on?

Labor Day is this weekend, aka the end of summer, and wrapping my head around that is quite the strenuous task. Don't even bother asking me what I did over the summer, because I would have nothing more to say other then: ate, drank, slept, ran off hangovers, and maybe participated in 1 or 2 questionable activities. I guess it was fun, but uh.. I don't remember much.

ANYWAY - before I out my own party habits, lets talk about all of the god damn amazing EATS that are to be had over the next few days. Below are some great ideas that live on Food and the City, that I'm preeeettttay sure would make for some excellent choices no matter what your Labor Day plans involve. Even if it's just binge watching Shameless on Netflix, I'm not here to judge. You do you, booboo.

Happy Labor Day! Don't die.

August 30, 2016

Top 5 Places For Labor Day Brunch In NYC

Labor Day weekend may mean summer’s coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some relaxation with your friends and family before those long summer days are a thing of the past. This Labor Day weekend, hit up some of our favorite spots for a fun brunch as you get ready for ~*sweater weather*~. 

Prune | 54 East 1st Street
One of the city’s most celebrated eateries, Prune is more than just a charming place to host a birthday party or impress a date, it’s also one of Manhattan’s best brunch spots. Each weekend from 10 to 3:30, chef Gabrielle Hamilton serves up some of the city’s most creative new brunch classics, from fried oyster omelet’s to fruit salad served with ginger and mint. 

Jane | 100 West Houston Street
This charming West Village restaurant has consistently provided its loyal clientele one of the best array of brunch offerings since it opened its doors 15 years ago. On the brunch menu, you’ll find everything from shrimp and grits to eggs benedict with prime rib, in addition to an assortment of fresh pastries and brunch cocktails.

Balthazar | 80 Spring Street
This Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant is one of the few NYC eateries the never seems to go out of style. Elegant, vintage-inspired interiors and a menu of decadent French-influenced food, from steak tartare to moules frites, along with an entire menu of drinks that promise to relieve the pain of that other long weekend staple, the hangover. 

The Metrograph Commissary | 7 Ludlow Street
This popular Lower East Side eatery and film space has been serving up one of the best brunches in town for years and this Labor Day weekend is no exception. After enjoying some of the city’s finest brunch dishes, from steak and eggs to avocado toast, head into the bookstore or event space and spend the rest of the day lost in the magic of the movies. 

Le Coucou | 138 Lafayette Street
Daniel Rose’s downtown collaboration with restaurateur Stephen Starr has a reputation for being one of Manhattan’s best restaurants, and its eclectic brunch menu only proves the prolific chef’s range. Brunch at Le Coucou is clearly influenced by Rose’s time in Paris, with options like clafoutis with creme fraiche and saumon fumé gracing the menu.

This Labor Day, there’s no better way to celebrate the last long weekend of the summer than by meeting some of your inner circle for brunch. Hit up these hotspots for great food, great company, and a great way to celebrate the final fair weather days this year. Bon appetit!

- Candice Schaffer