Bachelorette Party: Charleston SC

Like all bachelorette parties, we acted a fool in Charleston South Carolina, drank more than necessary and returned home 5-1o pounds heavier - no joke.  Before I continue though, shout out to my sister for planning. I got scolded last time I forgot to mention her in the Vegas Bachelorette Party. She knows how to throw a good one! charleston bachelorette Hotel: Lucky us, there were no hotels available, so we rented a house outside of Charleston in Folly Beach! It was about a half hour cab ride to downtown.  Drinking heavily and getting in the back of a taxi is extremely nauseating as some of us found out!  But whatever, it was worth it to stay at the beach and still enjoy the Charleston restaurants and bars.  We didn't make it out until 2AM, because we're lushes who love to day drink.  But locals warned us, that if you want to make it back to Folly Beach, you need to call a cab by 1:30 AM or they won't take you. We loved having a house because we were all together, blasting music and hanging 0ut.  The only draw back was they couldn't accommodate us for an early check-in. Lunch & Day Drinking Lunch @ Rita's - Take a walk up Center Street in Folly Beach and there's a row of restaurants. We grabbed lunch at an outdoor cafe, Rita's.  They had A-mazing macaroni and cheese... and fries.  Did I mention we all gained weight? Day Drinking @ the house - The benefit of renting a house is you have a giant refrigerator to fill just with booze.  Hello drinking on the beach! Late Lunch & Drinks @ Loggerheads  - Loggerheads sounded so appealing and promising.  Live music NEAR the beach.  But the music didn't start until 6 PM, so we missed that.  Gotta say, this is NOT the place to day drink for a bachelorette party.  The Manager told us to put our penis props away, and yelled at us a few more times for our loud obscenities.  It was a total buzzkill. What good is a bachelorette party without them?  We would have stayed there all night probably, but not after that!  My advice, skip it. Snapper Jacks Rooftop - I LOVED Snapper Jacks and you should definitely go there  for a bachelorette party.  Their happy hour is insane.  We're talking $2 beers and $3 vodka drinks. Everyone was having a great time.  Some hot guy (he worked there) serenaded the bar with his guitar and singing skills.  They didn't give us a hard time about drinking from our penis straws or throwing around penis shaped confetti either.  In fact, an older group of women were so amused by them, we gave them the pecker straws as a momento. Party Bus We took a party bus out to the boondocks to a winery/firefly distillery.  An event called Winestock was going on.  It was supposed to be like Woodstock with live music etc.  We parked our towels in the grass and sipped some vino, including frozen wine!  We also did a firefly tasting for $6.  OMG I have never done a vodka tasting.  Good thing their stuff is so good.  We tried lemonade vodka, moonshine, and all other types of deliciousness.  Most of them tasted divine.  However, you should have seen our faces after the moonshine, woof.  Needless to say, after that we all felt great.  Our ride home in the party bus was a lot livelier.  We took advantage of the bluetooth speakers, my Spotify booty playlist (yes, I did curate one of those) and pole. Dinner Husk - This is one of Charleston's top restaurants and it's tough to get a reservation here.  Luckily my sister called months in advance.  Husk is a great place for a girls dinner, but definitely not a sloppy bachelorette one.  They change their menu twice a day.  We all know I'm a picky eater by now, so I kept checking the menu to see what they had, but it wasn't posted til nearly 6.  But, phew... they had a banging chicken dish.  We arrived to Husk 15 minutes early so they couldn't accommodate us.  They sent us to the bar around back.  We walk in, and immediately the bartender can tell we're all feeling good and that we're from the north.  She told us there's no jager bombs or flavored vodkas... not that we asked. Then she tried to pass us off to the bar upstairs.  We checked it out, but it was a snoozefest and came back downstairs.  We were greeted with, "did they kick you out up there?" For the record... they did not.   Anyway, we acted a lot better during dinner at Husk.  My chicken dish might have been the best thing I ever ate.  No lie. Hominy Grill - If you want southern food, you must go to Hominy Grill.  Keep in mind though, they run on southern time.  They didn't seat us until nearly an hour after our reservation time.  Plus, they only had one bartender to serve the restaurant and the outdoor bar area.  He was SO slow, and the last member of the group got a drink a half hour after the first.  They should have comped us some biscuits...  If you're going to a bachelorette party in Charleston, wear your patient pants!! Their fried chicken was delicious though.  I didn't care too much for their mac and cheese which tasted like it had nutmeg on it. Nightlife Republic - We went to Republic on a Thursday night, where it was ladies night!  Can you say, $1 BOTTLES of champagne?!?!?!!?! You heard that correctly.  We couldn't believe it.  Anyway, there was hardly anyone there since it was 10 PM on a Thursday.  The DJ basically catered to us and played all of our requests.  He was AWESOME.  They also had a live band out back in their outdoor patio.  Not as awesome though.  We lasted until midnight. Trio - Everyone kept telling us great things about Trio, but it honestly didn't live up to the rave reviews.  Again, we arrived at 10 PM, because we're old and can't hang like we used to.  There was no one there.  I mean no one! The DJ didn't even start up until closer to 11 PM.  So we grabbed drinks and went to the outside area and sat patiently waiting to shake our booties.  The DJ finally came on, he was at least good.  So we started the dance party.  Creepy men quickly encircled us.  We lasted until 12:30 this night.  When we left the bar there was a giant line.  It was kind of funny though because the place was maybe 1/4 fill.  They were defintely trying to make it look like the place was the best time ever.  I think if you go here for a bachelorette party, you need to come a little later.  We did see like 5 other bachelorettes, so it's got some notoriety for it. While we had a great bachelorette party in Charleston, there is always an opportunity to botch and learn:
  • If you're planning a bachelorette party in May, make sure it's not a college town or plan around graduation!  Hotels were booked or absurdly priced.
  • Charleston is not exactly a walking town so plan to spend a good chunk on cabs
  • Charleston is appreciative of southern manners.  Leave those penis props at home.
bachelorette party penis straw

Bottomless Boozy Brunch in NYC

If you are a 20-something in New York City and say you don't like brunch, I'm calling your bluff right now.  It's one of the most magical things about this city.  There's hundreds of options, and I'm always looking to discover the next best brunch place.  I spend more hours salivating over pictures of french toast and  reading reviews about atmosphere than I do actually brunching.  You see, each of my friend groups like very different things.  Some are stingier than others, some like to rage more, some need a hamburger and fries, and some are like me... picky.  As the picky one, it is always bestowed upon me to pick a place, because they'll eat everything and "I'm the picky one."  Yet next thing I know they're saying, "It needs to be affordable."  "It needs to be easy to get to."  "I want a party atmosphere."  Suddenly there are always new criteria so I'm constantly going back to the drawing board.  To spare you the hours of research here is what I learned.  Consider this the boozy brunch special. bottomless boozy brunch nyc Bottomless Brunch Bottomless brunch most certainly does still exist in NYC.  And there's a myriad of places to get your fix of bubbly, bloodies, and breakfast... clever, I know. CROOKED KNIFE  - 29 E 30TH STREET There's two locations.  One on 14th, and one in the Murray Hill area.  Make sure you make a reservation.  They certainly don't take walk-ins after 2 PM (That was a total brunch fail).  For $34 you get unlimited bloodies and mimosas + an entre.  There's a variety of lunch foods and breakfast so there's something for everyone.  Expect loud music and a fun atmosphere but don't expect to hold a conversation with 8 of your closest girlfriends. CALLE OCHO - 45 W 81ST STREET (INSIDE EXCELSIOR HOTEL) It's traditional Cuban food with unlimited sangria!  The sangria packs a strong punch though so beware.  House rules proclaim you can only have one glass at a time.  So no double fisting or ordering before you're done.  There's nearly a dozen flavors to try, so you'll have to come back to try them all.  My favorite sangria - the Havana Banana.  I must say though that their sangria is sweet and headache inducing but so worth it! POCO - 33 AVENUE B $30 gets you bottomless sangria, bloody marys, or mimosas for 1.5 hours + an entre.  If you don't feel like drinking (preggo friends can join), you can pay $17.95.  Like all the other bottomless brunch places, make sure you make a reservation and tell your perpetually late friends to meet you there a half hour earlier (you know who you are!)  Also note, it's cash only.  Food is great but not worth the wait.  Hey, I rhymed there... TRIBECA GRAND- 2 SIXTH AVE This Buffet Brunch will cost you $35 pp and an extra $20 each if you want a bottomless brunch for 2 hours. So yeah, it's a little pricy.  But hello... look at that buffet picture above.  The brunch buffet has belgian waffles made to order, an omlette station etc. plus there's a live jazz band.  Also if you're bringing the kiddies, there's always a movie for them to watch. LIPS - E 56th STREET Enjoy an entertaining drag queen show as you sip on mimosas and consume menu items such as "Legally Blonde" and "Sister Act"  for just $21.95.  For an additional $6 you can consume unlimited mimosas and bloody marys. bottomless brunch

Hair Tutorial: Using the Perfector Heated Brush

One Christmas, my mom asked me for the Perfector.  A $99 heated styling brush.  I used a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and got it at Harmons for $80.  It was a bit pricier than any hair tool I ever bought, but it was for my mom.  My mom has shorter hair, and she wanted to use it to just curl the bottom pieces under and add some volume in the back. Anyway, I was home for winter break and decided to give it a whirl.  I immediately fell in love with it and went out and got myself one too. So what is the Perfector?  It's a heated styling brush.  Other heated brushes exist, and I'm sure they work the same way.  I particularly use mine for loose waves, and volume.  It smooths out an unruly blow dry and adds some shine to hair. Here's how to use this nifty gadget: If you're so inclined, it can be purchased here: Calista Tools Perfecter Fusion Hair Styler Heated Round Brush Plus Bonuses  

Foundation Reviews

Foundation is perhaps one of the most difficult makeup products to buy. Once you find one that actually matches your skintone, stays on all day, and doesn't settle in your creases it becomes an eternal piece of your beauty arsenal. But the makeup addict always loves to explore and find the next best thing. Yes, my name is Katie... and I am a makeup addict. I'm currently rotating between dozens of foundations. Here's what I've found: PS - if you like my hair in the video I did it with the Perfector. Tune in next week to find out what exactly the Perfector is, and how to use it.

Carry On Essentials

Carry On Essentials Tote: I've been eyeing the OG Bag by Lo & Sons.  It's the perfect woman's carry on.  There's hidden pockets everywhere, which will satisfy any organized nut on the go.  There's a slot for a 13" laptop, front pockets, and even side pockets. But here's why it's really the perfect travel tote - there's an adjustable sleeve at the back that allows you to attach it to your suitcase's handle.  Bye bye bag falling off my suitcase and dumping on the floor. It's slightly pricy at nearly $300, but I may just treat myself to it, and double it as a gym bag (when I finally get my butt going there again!) Entertainment: Airlines are getting stingy.  I can't tell you the last time there was a movie on during flight, or when the stewardess gave me a free set of headphones.  Delta charges $16 for a 24 hour wifi pass.  So on a 6 hour flight, you've got to entertain yourself.  Especially if you can't take a siesta on a plane (like me). I always bring a notebook when travelling.  Travel time can be productive brainstorming sessions or just time to get organized.  I find myself making to do lists, to buy lists, and blog post idea lists.  Ummm... so am I type A?? Headphones are mandatory.  I rarely listen to music on flight.  So why do I need headphones?
  1. In case that stingy airline decides to play a free movie
  2. To make it clear to the Chatty Cathy sitting next to me that I'm not interested in engaging in 5 hours of dialect
  3. To reduce the noise of crying babies around me
My iPad is also an essential.  I always purchase an ebook before the flight and download it to my kindle app while I'm still connected to wifi.  Airlines recently changed their policies which allow you to keep the ipad on from take-off to touch-down (provided it's on airplane mode).  Hello uninterrupted reading... bye bye bulky book. Just finished The Girl on the Train on a flight back from Florida. i highly reccommend it. So Fresh So Clean: I don't know what it is,  but flying makes me feel dirty and dried out.  I have a compulsive need to wash my face.  Meanwhile my face feels tighter than an unopened jar of artichokes. (Did that even make sense?! Totally not Simon Cowell with the analogies). I'm pretty sure I'm getting ripped off here, but I need my Evian Mineral Water Spray.  A quick mist rehydrates skin and/or refreshes makeup. I just paid $7.50 for 1.5oz of water, so I've convinced myself it's just as powerful as a face shower.  I'd also like to point out that over 10,000 people have given this a Sephora like, so I'm not that crazy. If you're really having the urge to wash your face, try a cleansing wipe.  One of my favorites is Simple.  I also use these to wipe down areas around me like my tray table and arm rest. Hand cream - does that need to be explained? Germs are rampant on flights.  You've got sick people flying (why can't they just stay home), tiny dirty bathrooms, and sneezing culprits. Use Purel as a precautionary measure so you're not arriving to paradise with the flu. There - now you can travel in style, entertain yourself for hours, and ward off dirt and germs making flying more appealing.

Where to Pee in NYC

Where to Pee in NYC New York City isn't exactly known for its cleanliness.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday piles of garbage grace the city sidewalks and the city air looms with the most unappealing scents, especially in the hot summer months.  Public restrooms also get a bad reputation.  One foot in a Port Authority restroom and it's easy to understand why.  But finding a clean place to go to the bano in NYC is easier than you think. By far, the cleanest public restroom in NYC is at Bryant Park.  Even with steady foot traffic all day, this is a reliable NYC lou.  For starters, there's pretty much always a staffer cleaning that bathroom.  Also, the toilet seats are covered with sanitary plastic which is brand spanking new for each patron.  No more hovering over toilets hoping it goes in rather than contribute to the drops already gracing the seat cover.  This is my tried and true bathroom and worth the wait... cause there's pretty much always a line.  Any other public restroom... avoid it. So what do I do when I'm strolling towards Central Park and have a sudden onset of "I'm going to burst"? I use a hotel restroom!!!  With like 50 million people visiting the city every year, there is no shortage of hotels and there's no way for them to keep track of the hundreds of faces that enter/exit their doors.  So act like you belong and strut directly to the lobby bathroom.  Sometimes these hotels are tricky though, and you'll have to take the elevator to a different floor for the bathroom.  When in doubt, ask the front desk. There you have it... my advice for you, always enter a hotel lobby and use their restroom!  

Spray Deodorant Review

Sometimes, you need to freshen up an old product.  No pun intended, but when have you seen a serious reshaping of everyday items like deodorant?  It's easy to settle for what's working fine and dandy.  But just about everything in this world could be improved in some shape or form.  Deodorant is no exception. I was hesitant to try spray deodorant since I was accustomed to the stick version.  Yet, it wasn't really working for me. Anyway, the Dove and Degree deodorant cans both tout up to 48 hour protection.  I love the little "up to" clause.  However, I have to say, the verdict is this stuff works!!! Initial impression, this is cold!  Seriously, you're spraying something on a sensitive area and this something is stored in an aluminum can.  The blast of frostiness was a little alarming at first to my delicate underarms.  However, there's some sort of miracle ingredient in there because it dried instantaneously. I am  officially hooked on spray deodorant.  I walked around the city for 8 hours, in a mint colored chiffon shirt.  The kind that usually shows sweat marks without a doubt.  I kept lifting my underarm to check it out... but never once did those marks show. Can't wait to try this on chub rub this summer. Who knew I could write that much about deodorant?!?!

Sephora Haul – Softer Makeup Look

As a treat to myself, I got a makeover at Sephora.  I had gotten in a rut with my makeup, relying on bright lips and winged liquid eyeliner to carry me through everyday.  I needed a softer and more sophisticated look that was appropriate in an office setting.  My makeup artist Dina recommended some fabulous products and tips to accompany them. Here's what I got, seriously a kid in a candy store. Sephora Haul   Products:
  • Smashbox Double Exposure Eyeshadow Kit
    • Can be used wet or dry
    • Has a range of colors, not just traditional neutrals
  • Smashbox Blush in Chiffon
    • Soft pink shade with flecks of gold
  • Bite Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather
    • Creamy consistency
    • Try pairing this Makeup Forever lip liner in shade 14C
  • Cover FX Contour Kit in Light
    • All the shades you'll possibly need for contouring
    • Cream contour kit as opposed to shadow
  • Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe
    • Mix the two shades for a more natural look
    • Use the darker shader on the outer corners and the lighter shade on the inner

Farewell Letters When Leaving a Job

I stared at my computer screen for days, wondering what to write to say goodbye to my colleagues after spending a quarter of my life working with them.  The only thing I knew was it was starting with "Hello HBO Friends", anything else seemed too impersonal. Prior to having to say goodbye to my coworkers, I had to write a letter to dozens of affiliates.  This was something I never experienced before since I've been with the company since college.  I quickly drafted one that was short and to the point.  I sent it to my boss for approval to send out.  Luckily, he had a few words of advice.  After talking with him, I learned to make it more personal, more about the people, and more detailed.  I had to make it clear they knew I was leaving the company, not just switching positions.  Also, make sure you leave information for who they can contact for issues related to work.  The end result was professional yet personal.  If you're having difficulty drafting a farewell to vendors or affiliates do a quick Google search.  It never fails. Obviously, writing the farewell email to coworkers was more difficult.  You should send this the last day of employment.  I wanted to draft it earlier, but that didn't happen.  So the day of, I just sat there and typed whatever came to mind.  I didn't formulate proper sentences, just a stream of consciousness.  This helped me realize what to write and I banged it out in just a few minutes. I think in your farewell letter it's important to establish A.) that you're leaving - duh, but also let your coworkers know what it meant to work with them.  Then end it with where you're going (if you're willing to tell) and leave contact information.  Pretty simple.  You don't want to burn any bridges so make sure what you say is courteous and from the heart. Alright, that's all I got. farewell1

Winter Skincare Must Haves

This winter, temperatures dropped below zero and it flurried practically every other day.  Texting while outdoors became unnecessarily painful.  Even the slightest exposure to the elements left my fingertips frozen, immobile, and dry.  Wind tunnels continuously knocked the hood off of my head and blasted my face with moisture sucking coldness.  My skin had never been more dry and aggravated.  Here's the arsenal of supplies I used to combat dull winter skin. winter skin savers 1.  Dehydration makes your skin drier, so make sure to drink at least 64 oz of water.  Healthy looking skin, begins with H2O. 2.  Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream came from the heavens.  My regular moisturizer wasn't cutting it.  My skin was breaking out because it lacked hydration.  I immediately saw and felt a difference after one use.  I could open my mouth without my whole face cracking! 3.  Use Vaseline anywhere.  Use it as a moisturizer, a lip balm, etc.  Before bed, put vaseline all over your feet and cover with a pair of socks.  Wake up in the morning to softened tootsies. 4.  Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil sinks into the skin quickly without making your face look greasy. 5.  Banish flaky lips with a lip exfoliator like this one by Elf. 6.  Unlike other chap sticks, ChapStick Total Hydration 3 in 1 created a shield from the elements and worked to replenish moisture.  I didn't need to keep applying lip balm every 3 minutes. 7.  Don't risk exposing your digits to the harsh winter elements to text your BFF.  Use texting gloves to protect those hands when outdoors.  The grips on the fingertips work perfectly on a touchscreen. 8.  Jergens lotion will leave your skin feeling hydrated for a full 24 hours.  Put it on as soon as you get out of the shower. 9.  Humidifiers put more moisture in the air replenishing what heating systems sucked out. 10.  Smother your body in baby oil.  It absorbs quickly and dramatically softens the skin. winter polaroid