On Thursday, I’m off to London! (again!)
Something about a really clean city, buttoned up service and some of the most beautiful hotels has me excited to hop the pond. My past two trips have been tourist heavy, but with most of those sites checked off the list, I’m excited to explore a bit more. Places like Aspinal of London, Chiltern Firehouse and a Chelsea FC match are already on the itinerary but if you have some not to miss recommendations my ears are open!
As I put finishing touches on my itinerary it actually got me thinking more about the getting there than actually being there. There’s a fine art to mastering the overnight flight with the goal of having all the essentials without over packing your carry-on. And, there’s even more finesse in waking up on the other end feeling and looking mildly refreshed to make the most of your day. So should you be planning a trip yourself – I’d thought I’d share a few must-haves so you get off the plane looking a little more Rose Byrne and a little less Kristin Wiig.
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT ESSENTIALS
Drew Barrymore is a genius.
We’ll get to my “genius” here in a minute but she said the one thing I’ve been thinking for three months. “Sometimes you can’t have it all and shit just falls through the cracks.”
Well – PRBlonde did.
Today marks a new day, one that white jeans a new blue and white everything top and sandals with a pedicure deserve.
WELCOME TO THE NEWLY MINTED LIFE OF LAUREN!
I took the plunge and I rebranded. Honestly, PRBlonde was amazing. So many memories, exciting times and moments and stories but she didn’t seem to fit anymore. Anyone that is a blogger, a post 3-5+ times a week blogger will tell you, it’s f-ing hard. So imagine, keeping up with a vision you no longer believed in. Writing on PRBlonde just got that much harder. The site needed excitement, energy and a little bit of a spring in its step.
A stint in creative rehab and here we are! A new look and feel, some new content and hopefully a site that makes it easier for you to experience some of the best of my travels, New York City living and the dish on being a career gal in NYC. Don’t worry there will also be cocktails. Always cocktails.
So, to get you started here’s the TOP 10 things you need to know about Life of Lauren.
The site will be a work in progress so if you’re super sleuthing and find something that doesn’t work, doesn’t look right or needs some TLC – e-mail me! So for those that gave up on me after a few months I get it, but I’m asking for a second chance. Like that Bumble guy you’re going on a second date with, it will be better the second time around – I hope. If not, all the cocktails!
Cheers and welcome home!
Here’s the outfit details:
I liken my last three months to my own little Eat, Pray, Love blog story. Don’t worry – this one isn’t 300+ pages.
There was a lot of stress, wine, travel and trying to find solace among crazy work deadlines. My tiny New York apartment looked nothing like an ashram and India and the sounds of the city weren’t exotic birds they were loud and horrible sirens.
I had lost my “genius.” The voice inside my head that used to be able to pen quick witted blog posts and share fun anecdotes of being a 20-something in New York City had taken a vacation and I had no idea when she was coming back. She didn’t even leave a note!
So what was I to do? My genius was on hiatus and I sat there with a blog that wasn’t “me” and what felt like nothing to say. So, I walked out. Put down wordpress, put down instagram(-ish) and took a step back from a space that I had cozied up to for five years (I know – five!)
I talked to a few other blog friends and the funny part was – I wasn’t alone. The blog world had changed. You needed a photographer boyfriend, the time of a full-time job, a revolving door of new clothes and the eye stamina to stare at a screen for hours on end. No thanks! I was running with a crowd I couldn’t keep up with trying to compete in a world that I never meant to compete in from the start. I wanted a change.
So I like my genius, walked out. Determined to take time to reassess, I read books, blog posts about how you go through the creative stages of life but even at the end of all my thinking, I’d be writing a blog headline and the first two lines of a post in my head. She, that little genius, was back in town and lurking…
Then somewhere around February 20th I revisited some pages on PRBlonde. I missed writing. I missed reliving trips and penning city guides and sharing career insights so I decided to wipe the slate clean.
ABOUT THE NAME CHANGE
PRBlonde came to me in the car on the way home from my job in Dallas one day. It was a quippy take on my sometimes “blondeness” both a personal and physical trait and the exciting career I had just embarked on.
But what fit at 23 no longer fit at 28. (shocker!) My sartorial logic was screaming “time to clean house!” So I did. I found a name I felt comfortable in. Sure, it may be vanilla, but vanilla is the baseline, it’s something you can build on and like a white t-shirt, will never go out of style.
So with that – WELCOME, to Life of Lauren.
ABOUT THE CONTENT
Now like making a vanilla sundae, the toppings are just as strategic. In my case the vanilla name came with rich travel adventures, crunchy and juicy career and New York life stories about the concrete jungle and colorful and bespoke style posts that felt more like storytelling than sharing my latest purchases.
Not much will change – you’ll just get a more refined, candid and hopefully more quippy version of me going forward. At least that’s what the goal was coming out of this little stint in creative rehab.
ABOUT THE BESPOKE AESTHETIC
FINALLY right?! Well after months of what felt like auditioning developers and designers, there was no one I really truly jived with. There was this one design but around the “fifth date” we decided it wasn’t working and parted ways. So, like Carrie post-Mr. Big, I pulled up my bootstraps and designed this site myself! What took hours, days and weeks was entirely worth it to see what I had felt had been living in my brain for so long come alive on a webpage. From clicking around to check out where I’ve traveled to posts on all categories, my content cup runneth over and I couldn’t be more excited to share more with you.
In the coming week’s I’ll talk about my design process – a long and arduous one but with the right team and a stick to your guns vision you can seriously GSD.
So welcome! It’s awesome to be back – genius in tow, rebranded, reimagined and revived. So to get this party started head over here to read up on the Top 10 things you need to know about Life of Lauren – (LOL!) see what I did there?!
If last week’s post was a springboard into a new year – this one is all about moving forward and upward!
Between tons of end of year 2016 celebrations, navigating the crazy streets of New York to shop for presents and see the lights. and spend family filled holidays regaling my travels – I was pooped! (more…)
Wow. All I can say is – it’s been a minute. One of sheer denial that we’re in a new year and more that it’s January again!
January is likely my least favorite month. January’s past included grappling with the winter blues, nursing broken hearts, lamenting the holidays and all around trying to get a handle on a whole new year ahead.
So instead of waxing poetic about all the thoughts in my brain for the past almost month – I wanted to turn my thoughts into more of a list of reflection and action – 17 thoughts on 17 dedicated to a new year, new resolutions and new goals. A listicle organized.
The past 17 days:
On the Blog:
On LIfe/Resolutions: While the last 5 may seem quick and dirty. I find myself finding comfort in waking up and quickly resetting priorities with the simplest of mantras.
On my last resolution it took me a minute to get here but I firmly believe happiness is a choice and you are fully capable of turning things around whenever you please. All that matters is picking yourself up by the boots and doing the work to get there!
Here’s to a great year ahead!
Contrary to what seems to be the general public – it was a great year. One that will be hard to top in 2017. I’ve never worked so hard or traveled so much but the time-off paid off in spades. 11 countries of passport stamps later – it was a great year.
One of my favorite itineraries was my second trip to Europe. We recapped the last one here. But now it’s time to share my video diary of trip #2! I have a pretty cool job working with some amazing brands that expose me to some pretty unforgettable things. Like the CMA Awards, a trip to the UK and France and two music festivals.
About this trip: Last October (1-12) I travelled with a press trip group to Rome, Italy. 9 bloggers that “knew” each other but didn’t really know each other – boarded Jewel of The Seas to sail the Mediterranean visiting 7 ports all with their own hopes for what this trip would be. Some just pictures, others – a fresh start, and a few just looking for an escape. I got to know all of them their stories and am proud to call them friends.
So as I take the next few days to reflect on 2016, check out my visits to Italy, Greece and Turkey!
Ship sailed on: Jewel of The Seas
Till next year!
| 1. Leonard and Church Watch | 2. Charles Tyrwhitt Button Down Shirt | 3. Copper Hammered Bar Tool Set | 4. Rustic Leather Card Set | 5. Misc. Goods Underhill Cologne | 6. J.Crew Pacer Boots | 7. Leather Tech Envelope Carrier | 8. Leather Sunday Golf Shoes Bag | 9. Hard Stuff Decanter | 10. Charles Tyrwhitt Sweater | 11. Shinola Shoe Shine Kit | 12. Ray-Ban Caravan Sunglasses | 13. Bulleit Bourbon | 14. Dakine Party Bucket | 15. Mistletoe Socks | 16. Michael Kors Bifold Wallet | 17. Anthropologie Food and Beer Book | 18. Areaware Key Target |
It’s official! We’re in the throws of the 12 days of Christmas and Fifth Ave in NYC is certainly showing it.
NYC definitely has the Christmas bug and my hunt for presents for the guys is on. From Dads to brothers to significant others I take pride in finding the perfect and most personalized guys gift. It’s no secret that men are hard to buy generic gifts for – but simply leaning into their interests can even make giving a Darth Vader mug seem cool.
So I’ve rounded up some gifts inspired by the PRB guys from fine leather goods to bespoke bar necessities. A quick reminder – dates for free shipping, last day shipping, etc. are coming up soon. Here’s a cheat sheet that’s worth bookmarking:
December 18 – Last Day for STANDARD SHIPPING
December 16 – FREE SHIPPING
December 19 – Last Day to RUSH SHIP
December 21 – Last Day for SECOND DAY AIR
December 23 – Last Day NEXT DAY AIR
SHOP THE POST
7 parties down – three to go then my own on Saturday night! Pardon me while I take a Christmas filled, silver birch candle scented breath – I need cranberry champagne and stat!
I am so off this week as my schedule seems to have gone upside down. Workdays are manageable (do you know about the PR EOY slump?) and post-5PM is when things seem to heat up with client happy hours, blog events and friend holiday parties. I feel like a super-elf in a holiday cape.
So to match the busy schedule I’ve opted for a more “on-the-go” festive style this week. Low booties or flats make subway running easier and a warm cape or topper coat are festive layers that can be easily slipped on an off are crucial. Subway sweaty – NYC girls I feel you…
This week I’ve also loved taking part in #WreathWitherspoon week sharing some of my favorite Draper James outfits like this killer cape. I’d say it earns me a “super-elf’ title don’t you? Think Santa would hire me? Pair with a cozy sweater, pair of jeans and flats and you’re good to go! Parties 8 and 9 tonight. Follow me on Insta-stories to see where I end up! (…now about that champagne!).
SHOP THE POST:
I don’t know about you but last week’s Christmas shopping and this week’s festive fêtes have me wanting some R&R (and cocktails) bad…Does anyone feel like their schedule cup runneth over?
In truth I can’t complain too much as each event seems to “out-holiday” the last and if there’s one thing I love is this time of year in New York City and celebrating every step towards Dec. 25. While my plans this weekend will be continuing the festive fun (ugly sweaters!) – I did want to share my events from a few weeks back as Krista, Lauren and I spent a festive day of pampering at the Plaza.
During the holidays – there’s nothing like Christmas at The Plaza Hotel. With tons of trees, wreaths in every window, Gramercy Flowers with insatiable New York at Christmas ornaments and kicking back to enjoy tea and cocktails among the decked halls at Palm Court was the best way to get in the holiday spirit!
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Thanks to our friends at The Plaza we also had access to one of their Legacy Suites. There are 29 in the hotel and all are newly renovated, elegant and timeless and my favorite sunlit with views of the park. I mean… yes please! So if you find yourself in NYC this holiday season and make it to The Plaza Hotel here’s a few not to miss hotel to-do’s:
Brunching/Lunching in Todd English Food Hall
Opening at 11:30 AM on weekends – make sure to make a reservation. Located on the lower level the marble tables, Bellinis and chicken and waffles are not to be missed.
The Shops at The Plaza
Located in the basement of the hotel – I spent a good 2 hours walking and perusing the shops at The Plaza. From an Assouline bookstore to the Gramercy Flower shop with beautiful Christmas ornaments there are tons of baubles and gift ideas. Krigler fragrance, MCM and a shop just for Eloise are all must-shop-stops. If you’re feeling fancy Armarium in the Beauty Shoppe provides members with borrowed pieces off the runway!
Afternoon Tea and Cocktails at The Palm Court
I first had tea at the Plaza for my 10th birthday mere steps from Eloise and her wall hung portrait. The tradition of tea at the hotel goes back decades and The Palm Court setting is romantic and timeless. With varietals to try and finger sandwich towers and desserts to be had – it’s an absolute must-schedule.
The cocktails at the Palm Court are one of a kind – and while our day didn’t take us back downstairs for a libation (we put on robes and watched Christmas movies!) we are going back because there’s a Chartreusian Velvet Sling with my name on it! The tribute cocktails on the menu are a nod to Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr.’s famous Polynesian-themed restaurant Trader Vic’s, which was located in the basement of The Plaza for 30 years. The two to try – the Chartreusian Velvet Sling or other signature drink Leche Dolce.
Thanks to our friends at The Plaza Hotel for hosting us for a great day!
P.S. Fun fact – The Plaza was featured in Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York and in the 2013 remake of The Great Gatsby!
This is it!
The mouse has had a rest for the first half of our cyber sales and now – we’re in the second half ready to score. Can you tell I watched too much football on Thanksgiving?
We’ll consider my latte doubled and wish list ready (below!) to take on the best of the best Cyber Monday sales. I’ve got holiday gifts investment pieces and all holiday occasion outfits on the brain and I’ve scoured the internet (and my inbox – was yours overflowing like mine this morning!) for the not to miss sales the match. If you were poking around here Friday, some are the same savings (new codes!) and many just got a whole lot better! I’ve scheduled a few “very important” laptop required meetings (*wink!) on my calendar and plan on some lunch time clicking with the goal of adding closet and present equity by 200%! (That’s something the financial boys should understand right?! So, break out that wish list to maximize your budget and to buy smart and quick! Let Cyber Monday 2016 begin!
PRB PICKS – CYBER MONDAY FINDS
ALL THE SALES YOU NEED (AND WANT TO KNOW!)
Henri Bendel // 30% off sitewide // DATE 11.28
Lord and Taylor // Up to 75% off storewide // 11.28
Tibi // Up to 50% off + free ground shipping
Expedia // 50% – 75% select hotels (and they are really good) // DATE: 11.25 – 11.28
Starwood Hotels // Up to 30% off hotels with + 5% for SPG rewards members
Make sure to check back later today for updates to the list! #HappyHunting