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4 Days in NYC

Outfit details here

If you have seen any recent Instagram stories of mine, you may know I just took a trip to NYC! TJ is finishing out a two-week work trip and I went up to visit and see the city with him. We packed a lot in to 4 days! We saw a lot of the city, walked so many miles, managed to find a Panthers bar, and were even able to meet up with some friends! So I thought I would break down all of the activities in a recap post.

FRIDAY
The trip started off with a working breakfast at a Pret-A-Manger near the hotel (The Renwick), which was a grab-and-go spot that had some pretty good coffee! TJ went off to work, and I walked to Physique 57 for a barre class. I really enjoyed their method, I thought it was very similar to Xtend Barre that I have taken in Charlotte. I then walked down Fifth Ave to check out the Frick Collection museum. The collection was so beautiful, and there was a video with the history of the family and how the house became a museum. It was also conveniently located about a block away from Ladurée, so I had to stop in for some macarons! I have only been to that location once before, but it feels like reliving my trip to Paris from high school when I walk in. I then walked down Madison Ave for some window shopping on my way to meet back up with TJ. We stumbled upon Melt Shop for a late lunch that had a truffle grilled cheese sandwich, which may have been the best grilled cheese I have ever had. Then we headed back to the hotel for another bit of work, and got ready for dinner. We went to Rosa Mexicano at Union Square. I had been to the Lincoln Center location before and we both really enjoyed it, great margaritas and salsa! Then, we did the tourist thing and headed back to midtown to walk around Rockefeller Plaza and stopped into Magnolia Bakery for a late night cupcake. I had a cheesecake cupcake and I thought it lived up to the hype!

SATURDAY
We started Saturday off by heading towards downtown for bagel sandwiches from Black Seed. We had to wait in line a bit, but it was worth it! Then we went to the World Trade Center to see the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was a beautiful tribute, and definitely worth seeing. We also walked through the Oculus, and headed to Chelsea Market. By then it was mid-afternoon so we had a late lunch of burgers at the Cream Line. I also needed more coffee, and I found some great cold brew from Ninth Street Espresso! The market was right by the Highline that I have always wanted to see, but it was unfortunately closed early all week. After heading back from midtown, it was time for one of the highlights of the trip. We went to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, it was amazing! There were a lot of shows to choose from, and I'm glad we picked a classic. Also, we found a pretty great deal on tickets online via Broadway Box. Earlier in the day we noticed Blk Sq in Chelsea, and that it was going to be open very late. So instead of trying to figure out what else was open after the show, we went back to that part of town for delicious pizza and cocktails!

SUNDAY
We started my last full day in town with mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. We happened to walk into the Pulaski Day celebration, before the parade started down 5th Ave. Parts of the mass were said in Polish, so that was very interesting to see. Then we headed to the Upper West Side for the Hungarian Pastry Shop. It was recommended to me by a friend in Charlotte that lived in NYC for a few years, they had the best croissants and apple turnovers! As an added bonus, their menu also had the lowest prices I saw in the city.  Lincoln Center was on the way back to the hotel, so we stopped to walk around and grabbed some coffee at Épicerie Boulud. We then met up with a friend from Charlotte that had recently moved to the city at Eataly and had a Calzone pizza! Think of a pizza that was folded into a calzone, so it had the best of both in one meal. For our next stop, being a Sunday during football season, we put on our Panthers gear and caught the end of the game at Amity Hall in the West Village. It was so much fun to walk up to a bar in New York flying a Carolina Panthers flag out front, and full of Panthers fans! As the game was ending we met up with one of my former college roommates, and we walked around Washington Square Park and to Milk Bar. We tried the "crack pie" that was basically just a yummy butter cake. Next, we decided to head back to World Trade Center to see if we could do the One World Trade Observatory, but it was getting close to sunset and the tickets needed to be bought for a specific time. So we would not have been able to see it in daylight, and did not think it was worth it. So it is something to look forward to next time I make it up to NYC! After all of the walking/subwaying done earlier in the day, we decided to just stay at the hotel for drinks and dinner at Bedford and Co. which was great! For our last night, we did the most touristy things, which was walking the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square at night. Times Square is not my favorite, but I really enjoyed the views from the Brooklyn Bridge at night!

MONDAY
My last morning was very chill, TJ went off to work and I walked down to Zara on 5th Ave. I really wish they would open in Charlotte, so I always have to stop in whenever I see a Zara in another city. I found a really cute navy leather jacket! Then I walked down to Maison Kayser to get a little blog work done, and enjoyed a ham and cheese croissant. TJ only had to work for a few hours, so I met up with him at Grand Central. We grabbed quick snack from Elizabar on our way to the Guggenheim Museum. I have always wanted to see this museum, so I was a little disappointed to see several of the galleries were closed for installations. However, that worked out fine because we did not have much time before I had to leave for the airport. So we did get to see everything that was still open and I did not feel like we were skipping anything. On our way back to the hotel we got some more snacks from Murray's Cheese Shop in Grand Central Market. I had some truffle potato chips, that I need to see if I can find in Charlotte! Sadly, the trip was then over, as I got an Uber to Laguardia for my flight back to Charlotte.

It was a very quick 4 days, but we really got to see a lot of the city! We also had perfect weather on both Friday and Sunday. Saturday and Monday were not bad, just cloudy a little on the chillier side. Let me know if you like more travel re-caps like this one. I have also been thinking about doing some Charlotte guides!

Thanks for reading!

Rugby Shirt








Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

J. Crew 1984 rugby shirt (also available in a dress) | James Jeans white denim | Similar flats | Similar bag | Monogram necklace

I figured it was appropriate to post this outfit today, because I wore most of it to fly back from NYC yesterday! I had the best long weekend there, and I plan to do a re-cap post on the blog soon! Anyway, I used to  have a few rugby shirts in college and they were a go-to in my closet because they are so comfortable but look a little bit nicer than a t-shirt. So when I saw the  navy and pink marked way down a few weeks ago, I needed another one. These shirts are also perfect for this in-between seasons weather we have been having. It was a summer item in the store, but I don't think it looks too summery to wear into October.
Also, you may have seen from my recent Instagram stories, there is a HUGE Last Chance Sale going on at Lauren James! It lasts through Friday, and don't forget to use code "CaraLC" at checkout!



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NYC Packing List


Skinny jeans | Leather jeans | Statement necklace | Tiered sleeve top | Velvet top | OTK boots | Nikes | Trench | Stripe dress | Blazer

I am heading to New York City after work today and I am so excited about it! TJ is there for work for awhile, so I'm going up to explore the city with him for a few days. I have only been once before and it was in the spring, so I'm excited to see it in the fall. As much as I love Charlotte weather, it will be nice to feel some cooler temperatures, that will be great for walking around. Although if it ends up being a little warm for boots I have some backup flats as well! I plan on going to a workout or two and seeing a few museums while TJ is working. And together we have quite a few things planned, but I think I am most excited about our tickets to the Phantom of the Opera! So here are a few of the things I'll be bringing with me to wear in the city, follow along on Instagram!




Thanks for reading!

My Favorite Apps and Videos for Working Out At Home



Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

K-Deer set: Top and Leggings c/o

We all know I love making it to the studio for a workout class, but sometimes that isn't always possible. Life happens, class costs add up, some days your schedule just doesn't allow fitting in a full class. Or you can score a little extra sleep by simply rolling out of bed to get in a morning workout. Or, you are away from your home (and all of your favorite studios), but still want to get a workout in. A few of those circumstances have had me exploring possible solutions with workout videos and fitness apps. So I thought I would share my favorite ways to work out at home, they have been mentioned in my Fitness Friday workout lists in the past. And the best part is 2 of the 3 are free!

ClassPass: CPGo App and Partner Videos
I have a subscription to ClassPass where I buy credits each month to use on classes at studios in Charlotte, and I can also use them in other cities that also use CP. Included with that subscription are pre-recorded partner videos including Barre3, Xtend Barre, Laughing Lotus Yoga, and more. I think the barre videos in particular have great modifications to get a barre class (without a barre) at home. There are not too many options of classes if you want to use this regularly, but a great change of pace when you don't quite have the time (or funds) to get into a class.
ClassPass's newest release is the ClassPass Go app, which has audio based workouts, that are all FREE! I have not been using it for a very long time, but I have been very happy with the variety available on the app so far. They have yoga, treadmill, core, cycling, rowing, outdoor running, basically everything except for barre. It looks like they are frequently adding new workouts, and depending on what your schedule looks like, there are options from under 10 minutes to over an hour. One thing I really like about the app is that you can choose any music genre as the background music. Which may not be the best if you want to blast the music from your headphones, because it is lowered under the voice of the instructor. But I personally like the option to do slow flow yoga to a Drake playlist.

Obé Live Streaming and On-Demand Videos
I learned about Obé (Our Body Electric) because local Charlotte fitness boutique Fit Atelier brought one of their trainers to Charlotte to teach a class. I unfortunately was not in town to take the class, but I was really interested in taking Megan Roup's method, The Sculpt Society. So when I saw that her classes live streamed on Obé (and she had a promo code for the first month), I had to try it. There is a subscription cost, but you get access to SO many workouts. Their lineup of trainers is so great and you can reserve a spot to join in a live stream for sculpt, HIIT, cardio dance, yoga, and more. And if you can't catch a live stream, a few classes are recorded every day so you can watch a playback at any time.

PopSugar Fitness Videos
PopSugar Fitness has a Youtube channel full of FREE workouts. There is a lot of variety from cardio dance to yoga, with some workouts under 20 minutes and others close to an hour. A lot of these workouts showcase trainers and their methods, so you could sample something like CorePower yoga or Barre Belle, and so many more. One thing I really like about some of the newer videos is that there is a countdown clock with the amount of time left in the workout. They also always show a lot of modifications whether you want lower impact movements or do not have have the required equipment.

Although as convenient and home workouts can be, I definitely prefer the full class experience. For the social aspect, personal instruction to know I am doing the workout correctly, and everyone else in the class holding me accountable to complete the workout. I have found myself wanting to give up quicker, or not do the workout 100% if I am alone in my apartment, or even with few people around in my apartment gym. But I think those are also just some reasons as to why group fitness is so important to my workout routine!

Thanks for reading!

Unpopular Opinion: I Don't Like Fall









Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Lilly Pulitzer Nessa skirt | Similar stripe tee | Super similar heels | Similar bag | Baublebar for Target earrings c/o

I consider myself basic in many senses of the word. I feel the need to document when I am drinking coffee, or rosé, I eat a lot of avocados, I own a lot of leggings, etc. However, you will not be seeing a list of things I love about fall. I have just never been much of a fan of this time of year.  My favorite times of year are summer and Christmas, so for me, fall is a weird time between the two. I wish it was either still summer, or time for Christmas already. I do not really get excited at the thought of pumpkin spice everything, big sweaters, and cooler weather. Daylight Savings Time makes me sad, because I am always happiest when the sun is out. But, I have to say I do like the fall activities like apple picking, carving pumpkins, and corn maizes. And of course I do love watching the leaves change!
However, as a fashion blogger living in the south, the main reason I don't like fall comes down to the awkward "I should be wearing fall clothes but it is still 80 degrees out" or "it is still 80 degrees out, but no longer fashionably acceptable to still wear summer clothes" situation. Which leaves a few weeks of in-between clothes to avoid heat stroke. I love my summer wardrobe and bright colors so much, it makes me kinda sad to put it all away about time every year. This skirt in today's post is just so much fun to wear, I am hoping to maybe get one more wear out of it before I put it away for the season. Sure, I like that fall brings all of velvet, leather, and plaid. But I can't actually wear all of that comfortably until about November here! Maybe it is more that people (mostly on social media) have started to rush fall so much that I don't like? But then again, I'll probably be rushing Christmas in a matter of weeks, so maybe I'll just keep these thoughts to myself now...




Thanks for reading!

Fitness Friday VIII

*original post

Welcome back to Fitness Friday! This is my monthly roundup of workouts, new foods I have been trying, and activewear picks. This month I spent a lot of time at AIR Aerial Fitness participating in their Silk Sisters 2 week challenge. Everyone paired up in teams of 2 and we earned points every time we attended class, extra points if we attended together, tagged on social, etc. for some great prizes from a few businesses in Charlotte. You may have seen I partnered with fellow former dancer friend, Sophie (check out her Insta for some wonderful workout ideas) and we had a lot of fun with it! We did not win the challenge, but stay tuned to my Instagram for a fun giveaway coming up! And in case you missed them, here are my  Fitness Friday posts from July and August.

Workouts
Week of 9/2-9/8
Sweat Circuit and Define Sculpt on Obe Fitness
West Kept Secret at Fit Atelier
SCLPT MTHD at Fit Atelier
Barre at AIR Aerial Fitness

Week of 9/9-9/15
Week 1 of AIR Silk Sisters challenge, all at AIR:
Barre
Air Interval
Air Flow (aerial yoga)
Barre
SweatNET Charlotte workout as part of a shop night at Athleta (free)
"Open your hips and hamstrings" on ClassPass Go

Week of 9/16-9/22
Week 2 of AIR Silk Sisters challenge, all at AIR:
Air
Air Interval
Air Flow
Air
Air Flow
Power 45 at Flywheel Sports

Week of 9/23-yesteday
Barre pop-up class at Topgolf (free)
"Rise and Shine Flow" on ClassPass Go
Adult Open Ballet at Charlotte Ballet
Hilliard Studio Method at Fit Atelier
Air Interval at AIR
Blacklight Chakti Yoga with Essential Thrive and SweatNET (free)

I ended up with 22 workouts since my last Fitness Friday post! I also tried the new ClassPass Go app as I was stuck inside during the hurricane a few weeks ago. I really like the app so far, for a reasons: its free, there are many options of workouts, and you can pick your favorite genre of music for every workout. I'm doing quite a bit of traveling during October and I think I'll be making use of it when I'm away from my Charlotte studios.
The only new class I really tried was Chakti Yoga, which I just took a few hours ago as I am typing this post. It was a huge class held in a brewery and it was so much fun! The movements were all based in yoga but it turned into a lot of dancing, quite a bit of cardio, and even a core work section. It felt like a giant dance party with blacklights, neon paint, and loud music, and a great workout at the same time. If you're local to Charlotte, SweatNET has been hosting it monthly (free for members!) and I really hope I can make it to the next one!

Food
  1. I mentioned in my last post I started making salads, after 24 years of never eating salad. And I am happy to say I kept it up throughout the month! However I have just kept making the same one over and over. So I do need to find some new recipes soon, if you have any favorites that are quick and easy to make, please send them my way!
  2. I also have been making some progress in eating less dairy. I may save why I've been successful with it for another post, but cheese usually somehow made its way into most meals I ate. But I have done fairly well with limiting myself to much less of it lately! It is something I had been planning on fixing at some point, but I almost immediately saw improvement in my skin. I wish I tried it years ago!

Activewear


Thanks for reading!

Tailgate Thursday: Clemson Tigers






Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Asos dress | Stella and Dot sunglasses | Similar Kendra Scott bracelet | Jack Rogers sandals

I'm finishing out the Tailgate Thursday series with some orange for the Clemson Tigers! Florida Gator Gentry, and I are bringing double the orange this last week! I've mentioned this a few times before, but if you're new here, I did not go to Clemson.  My dad is a Clemson grad, so I've grown up wearing orange. A few of my cousins went there when I was younger, and my brother is a current student. We eat Thanksgiving dinner off of Clemson plates, the bonus room in my parents house is orange, football games become family gatherings, the whole deal. I joke that I'm the "black sheep" of the family because I went to a small school where the biggest sport was hockey. Anyway, I usually go to at least one football game per season, and this year it looks like I'll be making it down to Tiger Town twice. So I'm thinking this dress will be my first choice of outfit to cheer on another Tiger win!



Don't forget to check out Gentry's post! If you needed some extra orange in your lfie, doesn't that dress look like the perfect option for midseason game weather?!

Thanks for reading!

Lavender Elsa Top








Photos by Deeana Kourtney Photography

Lilly Pulitzer Elsa top | Similar skirt | Sam Edelman heels | Similar tassel earrings | Prada sunglasses | Similar bag

If you caught my Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale post, you may have already seen this top. I have collected quite a few of this style top over the years. This lavender one may be my fourth addition...two in solid colors and two in prints. But hey, if you like something, buy it in every color! They are just so versatile, I have worn these tops in so many different ways. From pairing with skirts like this one, jeans with heels, work pants with flats, to even shorts and sandals with the sleeves pushed up the elbows. However, I can only justify buying them during the After Party sales because they are usually about $50 off from the original price, so I jumped on this one when I saw it marked down $49 from $139. There's just something about a piece of clothing that makes you happy when you wear it, which I guess is why I felt the need to add to this top to my closet!




Thanks for reading!