My First Staycation (A Getaway Everyone Needs?)

Hey guys,

Happy Monday! I hope you guys all had a great start to your week. And although the weekends always seem to by a little TOO quick, I’m always grateful feeling like I an start fresh on Mondays.

For today’s post I wanted to answer some of your guys’ questions about the staycation I had about 2-3 weeks ago at this point. It’s taken me a while to finally get this up because there’s been a lot going with me, but here it finally is!

If you didn’t know, I planned a staycation for myself the weekend after Valentine’s Day and I got a lot of questions about why I decided to do it, where I stayed, how I felt, etc., and I’m going to be talking about all of that and more in this post, so let’s not waste time and just get right into it!

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Why I Did It?

I needed a break from everything and everyone. I know we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. I know a lot of people are still at risk. And I know I’m not the only one that is/was feeling trapped, but for my own mental state, I needed to get away…even if it wasn’t far or for long. I needed some type of escape for a little while, to just be by myself, do my own thing and stuff that made me happy.

When I told people I wanted to do this, a lot of them didn’t fully understand nor were they supportive of me doing this (for somewhat obvious reasons), which is okay because they don’t need to. I know and understand why I was doing it and that’s all that matters.

*Plus I was being 100% safe the entire time; keeping my distance from people, not going out a ton, etc. etc.*

I also think what some people weren’t understanding and/or was confused about was if the staycation was for me, why I was hanging out with some people throughout it? And the answer is simple, I didn’t want or plan on doing this with the intention of completely isolating myself from everything and everyone. I did it to get out and away from the environment that I was in for almost a year that was draining me mentally and emotionally. Again, I know I’m not the only one feeling this way and unfortunately other people that DO feel this way, don’t have the luxury of doing things like this, but that wasn’t going to stop me from doing this. I needed to lookout for myself and MY well-being which is what I did and why I decided to do this. There’s a LOT that goes on behind the scenes here that y’all don’t know the half about. So yes, it was taking a major toll on me and that’s why I decided to do it.

Where I Ended Up Staying?

The hotel was called INNSiDE New York NoMad. Located in West 27th Street near Penn Station and 34th Street. I REALLY loved this hotel. Everyone was so nice, helpful and accommodating and it was VERY clean. I felt safe being there. I definitely recommend this hotel if you’re coming to New York or are just looking to book a staycation for yourself. I requested a high room because the views from the hotel were amazing. It was overall a great, convenient and cozy hotel for me to choose for my first staycation and I definitely hope to come back again soon.

How I Felt Doing It?

In theory, I was so excited about being able to do it, and I’ve never done the “solo traveler” thing, so this was the closest thing I got to it. It was exciting, yet nerve-wrecking since it was my first time doing anything like this on my own. If I’m being honest, at night I would get hit with my anxiety and just be like “WTF?!”, but I guess thats just because I’m not used to doing things like that…and completely alone. I think it was fairly normal though. I also just always happen to feel anxious the few times/nights I’m not in my own room/bed. It feels weird and I think my mind and body are like ‘where the heck are we?!’ LOL. But the entire experience overall was pretty great, it just went by so fast, which is something I feel like always tends to when you’re really looking forward to something. Is that just me?! The days leading up to the event are always filled with excitement but drag on FOREVER, and then the trip/weekend itself FLIES by! Kind of unfortunate, but also makes you appreciate the time so much more (I think).

Would I Ever Do It Again?

I had so much fun doing all of the things that I wanted to do that weekend, in spite of dealing with minor anxiety at times. It was a great time and very much needed. I definitely recommend doing something like this at some point. It’s pretty therapeutic to be able to just spend time alone with yourself and your thoughts. Although it was bittersweet having to go back home after only 2 days being away, it was nonetheless a great experience and I can’t wait to hopefully do another “trip” like this in another month or 2.

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Check out my YouTube video showing everything I ended up doing throughout the weekend. I hope I answered all your major questions about the staycation and that you got something out of it!

Here’s the direct link for it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrvfB1-tIMY&t=1s

Don’t forget to like and share this post if you enjoyed it and follow the blog if you’re new. Thank you guys so much for reading, and I’ll catch you in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

Follow Me On Social Media!  :

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For Business Inquiries, email me at: emilyhernandez817@gmail.com

Best Restaurants to Dine at For Valentine’s Day (in NYC)

Hey guys,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great weekend and a good, productive start to the new week.

It is officially Valentine’s week and I am SO excited for it! I absolutely love this time of year and the feelings surrounding it. And while I agree and am a firm believer the your love for yourself, your significant other, etc. should not just be showcased that particular day, but everyday, I think it’s still really sweet to make that day special for yourself and/or someone else. I just love love and any sort of romantic gestures like that.

So, in light of Valentine’s Day being this weekend AND NYC getting the green light to open indoor dining at a 25% capacity, I wanted to create a post highlighting some of the best restaurants that I’ve been to with Diego that not only have great food, but also a cute, romantic-ish ambiance to it that could give you guys some suggestions for where to take someone on a date this weekend if you’re planning on it.

I also want to just mention quickly that I am well aware that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and am in no way, shape or form ENCOURAGING people to go out and gather/dine in restaurants, however, I know that people are going to do it regardless of this fact unfortunately. So, I do want to just encourage you all to do your research and if you are planning on going out this weekend, please take the necessary precautions to be safe and distant from other people that are not apart of your group(s).

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I have 6 different restaurant suggestions on my list that vary in price range, ambiance and food. While I’m going down the list, I will make brief suggestions for what we’ve gotten and I recommend you try, talk briefly about the prices and the service we received while there.

So, without further adieu, let’s get into it….

  1. NoMo Kitchen – SoHo
Image result for nomo kitchen soho
Image result for nomo kitchen soho

This restaurant was so cute. All of the greenery, the hearts designs and open feel to it. We’ve only ever come here for brunch, so that’s what I will recommend it for, but they also do lunch and dinner.

They have a bottomless brunch special here where for $29 per person, you choose an entree and get an unlimited specific drink (we usually do mimosas, but they also have Rose Royale, Bloody Marys, NoMo Pimm’s Cup and Virign Salty Dogs) for 90 minutes.

Some suggestions you guys should definitely try:

Avocado Toast
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
French Toast

Service: The first time we went, the service was pretty great and fast. We really enjoyed ourselves and even without having to call over the server, they kept refilling our glasses. The second time we went, however, the service wasn’t as great unfortunately. We did the bottomless brunch and the service was so much slower. There were times where we couldn’t even find our server for periods at a time, which considering we were paying for the unlimited mimosas for 90 minutes, was obviously annoying.

Price wise: $$

Overall, I would say to try it out if you’re really interested in it and come to your own conclusions. I know a bunch of people that went after we did and had a GREAT time.

Final thought & fun fact: There’s also a hotel attached to this restaurant, which Diego and I stood at once and really liked as well. Rooms were kind of small, but it’s cozy and in a great location in SoHo.

2. The Greens: Pier 17

Image result for the greens at pier 17
Image result for the greens at pier 17

Cabins have been all the rage recently since indoor dining was shut down again and the only way to be able to eat at restaurants in NYC were either outdoor dining or takeout. EVERYONE has been doing their own versions of cabins or igloos, which I actually think are really cute.

Diego and I came here for a random date night and I loved it. Not only did we have the cabin to ourselves, but it also had heaters within it (that we could control) and air purifiers. It was all contactless ordering and paying, and minimal contact with everyone.

Price: $$ – $$$ depending on what/how much you order.

I will say, the menu is pretty minimal. They don’t have TOO many options for food or drinks, but there was enough that we obviously both got something we liked.

Some of the items to consider trying:

The burger
The fried chicken
The grilled cheese
The bottle of rose

Something else to keep in mind: when making the reservation, you have to pay $50 to hold the reservation (it’s prepaid, and my only guess is because of how popular it’s been) AND each reservation is only 90 minutes (although I’m not sure if you’re able to extend your time because we didn’t try doing that).

3. PJ Clarke’s

Image result for pj clarkes on the hudson
Image result for pj clarkes on the hudson

When things were normal, Diego and I loved to go to this place. The food, service and location/views are AMAZING. They have 2 locations for this restaurant, but the specific one we love going to is in Brookfield Place, near the Freedom Tower. We’ve gone here for regular date nights, anniversary dates, and just because.

Price: $$ – $$$

Our favorites:

Prime Skirt Steak Frites
The Clarke Burger
Grilled Shrimp & Shishitos
Buffalo Wings
Berne Romance rosé
Chocolate cake

4. The Crooked Knife

Image result for the crooked knife nyc
Image result for crooked knife 14th street

This restaurant has like 2 different locations in the city as well, but the particular one we usually go to is in 14th street. This is actually where Diego and I went for our Valentine’s day date last year.

This is another great brunch spot that does a bottomless boozy brunch for $42 per person. You get any entree with unlimited bloody Mary’s or mimosas for 90 minutes.

The service was great and so was the food.

Diego loves his burgers so he usually gets that or the steak & eggs, and I get the Govn’r omelet which is SO bomb.

Price range: $$

5. Bowery Meat Company

Image result for bowery meat company
Image result for bowery meat company

This is actually the restaurant that Diego and one of my best friend’s took me for my birthday this past year. Located in downtown NYC, just off Bowery and 1st street. This is a bomb ass steak house. They have all kinds of steaks that you can possibly imagine, plus pastas and other things, but they are predominantly known for their steaks.

Now I will say that this is the MOST expensive place out of everything I am suggesting, so I 100% believe that it’s worth it, but just keep in mind that you will be spending a pretty penny here.

Some of the things we got and that I recommend:

Prime New York Strip
Whipped Potates
Kung Pao Chicken lollipops (weird name, but SO freakin’ good)
Spinach Sauteer
Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip cookies (with vanilla ice cream)

Price: $$$$$

6. Lola Taverna

Image result for lola taverna
Image result for lola taverna

This is a place that we have yet to try, but I/we saw this on TikTok recently and thought it looked so cute and it’s definitely something we hope to try soon. It’s a Greek cuisine themed restaurant. The floral decor outside looks so beautiful and the reviews are pretty great for the most part as well.

Price: $$

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That is basically it for my restaurant suggestions, BUT I wanted to throw in 2 dessert place recommendations as well, because why not, right?

  1. Dominique Ansel Bakery
Image result for dominique ansel bakery
Image result for dominique ansel bakery

I made an entire TikTok video about this about a month ago, but it’s definitely a must try if you haven’t already. It can be a little pricey, but again, I think it’s definitely worth it. They have great desserts here. It’s located in SoHo (Spring St.).

Some of my absolute favorites to have:

Cronuts
Chocolate chip cookie shots
Croissant
Chocolate chip cookies

Price: $$

2. Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Image result for little cupcake bakeshop nyc
Image result for little cupcake bakeshop nyc

This is a great bakery shop in SoHo as well (Prince St.). It isn’t too expensive and you can actually get a bunch of different things for like $50. They have everything from cookies to cupcakes to cheesecakes and regular full sized cakes.

Price: $-$$

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I hope that you guys enjoyed this post and it helped you in some way, shape or form!

If you end up going to any of these places, please hit me up and let me know what YOU end up thinking about it. I would LOVE to hear your guys thoughts on them.

If you liked this post, please be sure to drop a like and don’t forget to follow if you haven’t already.

Thank you guys so much for reading, and I’ll catch you in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

Follow Me On Social Media!  :

Instagram & Twitter: @Thatleogirlem

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For Business Inquiries, email me at: emilyhernandez817@gmail.com

What I’ve Learned From 2020

Hey guys,

Long time, no see. Happy New Year! Happy 2021!!

I HATE going this long without posting anything, and I’m really sorry about it, but life has been crazy the past few months for me, as I’m sure it’s been for everyone else as well.

BUT, regardless, it is a NEW year, new beginning and chance to reinvent your(my)self! How exciting is that to think about?! People always like to make the “new year, new me” jokes, but why can’t you change the way you are for the new year? Isn’t that always the point of getting excited for the new year to begin with? Creating new goals, new memories, new habits, etc. etc.? I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s definitely always MY mentality when the new year rolls around.

Because of this, I wanted to reflect a bit and have my first post of the year be about some of the things that I learned from 2020 and hope to change and/or build on for this year (since Lord knows there were a shit ton of things I think we can ALL take away from last year).

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So let’s get straight into it….in no particular order:

  1. Patience

    I think we all learned the hard way last year that patience really is a virtue. This was SO important all throughout 2020, for multiple reasons. Whether we liked it or not, we had to be patient with everything going on all throughout the pandemic. As frustrating as it was, and continues to be at times, we all had to trust and have patience that everything was going to workout, fall into place and go back to how it used to (and no I don’t mean that we’re going to go back exactly how we were before, but that’s besides the point).

Personally, I was also forced to learn a lot about patience professionally. I was at my last job for almost 4 years and DYING to get out and finally find something within the field I loved. And it was one of the MOST frustrating things for such a long time not being able to do anything about it. I was agitated every single day that I had to get up and go to work. Not because of the people or the work itself, just out of frustration for the fact that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Until November…when I least expected it, I got a call about an interview for my dream job at my dream company, and within 2 weeks, I had secured the position!! When you finally decide to release control and least expect it is usually when things really start to fall into place. Trust the process and realize that God’s got you, always!! He knows what He’s doing.

2. Gratitude

I don’t know about you guys, but gratitude was a major thing that I learned in 2020 as well, which is funny because I’ve always been grateful for the things and people that I have in my life, but I guess because I was always so ‘on the go’ pre-pandemic, it never really hit me HOW blessed I was and should be. The pandemic and everything else going on in the world at the time, and even now, really shows you that nothing is ever promised in life, so live like today’s your last day on earth and always be grateful for everything and everyone in your life whether big or small.

3. Health

This one is also kind of funny just because I’ve always strived to be healthy and fit (to some extent) when I was big into dieting and working out pre-pandemic, but throughout 2020 I really made myself buckle down and take my mental and physical health a lot more serious. I really made it a priority to recognize the type of things I take in mentally and emotionally via TV or social media, as well as the foods and what not that I put into my body. I’ve never been one for taking vitamins, but after everything that’s gone on, I’ve really realized how important it is, especially as a woman because of everything our bodies go through as it is. I may be slacking a bit on the working out part of physical health, but I do plan on getting back into that slowly but surely in the coming days/weeks.

4. Working smarter, not harder

This pandemic and being home for as long as I have has really put things into perspective as far as my content creation on all platforms. Since everything was shutdown and we were forced to stay home, it forced me (and everyone else that does the type of work I do obviously) to REALLY get creative. It can be difficult as it is sometimes to come up with content ideas in general, but add in the fact that we had to stay home for as long as we have been and feeling like there’s only so many things you can do and show within your home?? Geez, taking creativity to a whole other level. And it still can be challenging sometimes, but the key really is to just work smarter, not harder. Play to your own personal interests and pick the brains of your audience, and it’ll end up being simpler then you think.

5. Self care

This one also plays into the mental health part we were just talking about, but in 2020 more than EVER I realized how truly important it was to put down and step away from your phone/computer and practice self-care. Whether that’s pampering myself, doing the things I love or just being by myself, it’s so important to take care of yourself (in all ways). It really does wonders for your mental health. It gives your mind, body and soul a chance to relax and rejuvenate itself either for the rest of the day or the next day. Please please please prioritize your self-care treatments, whatever that may be for you.

And finally, 6. Surrounding yourself with good vibes

This is just as equally important as everything else I’ve mentioned. I know we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we really aren’t supposed to (or shouldn’t) be seeing other people, but if you are one of those people that are still doing this, please make sure that you are at least keeping good company and positive vibes around you; whether that’s family, friends, significant others, etc. There is enough negative and scary crap going on in/around the world without you adding on to it by keeping bad company around you. Nobody needs any sort of extra negativity lingering around them and it is SO important to keep good people and vibes around you. It helps keep your spirits up when things are rough, and this also doesn’t just apply to people; be sure to keep good/positive music, scents, etc. around you. When you surround yourself with good vibes and energy, it not only makes you feel good, but also ends up mirroring into your own life.

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I hope that you guys enjoyed this new post and took something away from it. I know that I say this A LOT, but I am officially back and my goal for this year is to post at LEAST once a week, twice if I can. So please don’t be shy in dropping any/all suggestions that you may want to see from me on here.

If you enjoyed it, please make sure to drop a like and hit that follow button if you’re new! 🙂 Also don’t forget to follow me on all of my other social media accounts to stay up to date with everything I’m up to and working on (they’re always mapped out below).

Thank you guys for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

Follow Me On Social Media!  :

Instagram & Twitter: @Thatleogirlem

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YouTube Channel: Emily C. Hernandez

For Business Inquiries, email me at: emilyhernandez817@gmail.com