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Monday, May 22, 2017 New York, NY

The Boss Jacket

Have you ever put on something and felt like you could do anything in it? That's what this AYR jacket is instantly doing for me. I guess they call it "The Boss Jacket" for a reason. Never in a million years did I think that I would be my own boss at the age of 26, making my own schedule, working for myself, doing exactly what it is that I love to do and being able to say that it is my full-time job. It's one of those pools you just need to dive into. Fresh out of college, I didn't know where I was heading, but I was creating a path that I seemed to have been on for much longer than I realized.

On days that I've got to tackle shooting, e-mails, meetings, and other appointments in between, this is the perfect piece to throw over even my simplest outfits and still get some attention. Shop this look below.

AYR Jacket | AYR Jeans | Aritzia Top | Gucci Belt | Céline Bag | Ahlem Sunglasses | Kenneth Cole Sneakers
Captured by: Allysha Y.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Garment District

I've lived in New York City since I was 8 years old. I grew up in the Philippines so the change from where I spent my early childhood years to where I have spent the past 18 years of my life was quite drastic. New York City is all kinds of wonderful, full of vibrant people, amazing architecture, and incredible neighborhoods. 

One of my favorites, a neighborhood I got quite familiar with because I went to college in the area, is the Garment District. While most people know it to just be about fabrics, fashion resources, it's so much more than that. The Garment District is home to some wonderful small businesses, offering fantastic views of the iconic Empire State Building from many rooftops, as well as some delicious restaurants and coffee shops. Read on to check out some of my favorite places to go in the neighborhood.
47 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

The first place I recommend checking out is Spyglass Rooftop Bar. It's got unobstructed views of the Empire State Building, a perfect place to grab drinks with your friends, enjoy the Manhattan skyline, etc. What's my go to? A glass of rosé to wind down after a long day. Let's not forget how great the photo possibilities are with a view like this. You can find Spyglass Rooftop Bar inside the Archer Hotel.
247 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018

What kind of guide would this be if I didn't share one of my favorite coffee shops? I can't tell you guys how much I love Culture 36, especially because of their freshly baked cookies. What I love about coffee shops in this area is how surprisingly roomy they are compared to other neighborhood coffee shops.  There's a beautiful marble bar table by the window, perfect for your latte-art photo ops. And of course, because I typically had a laptop with me during my college years, I found myself wandering over here since they had Wi-Fi available to get some work done while enjoying a good latte and chocolate chip cookie.
38 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018

I recently stopped by Trademark Taste + Grind for lunch to catch up with some girlfriends. The entrance opens up into a coffee shop but beyond the doorways towards the back, it leads to a restaurant with a menu filled with some incredible dishes. My friends and ordered the salad, some fries for the table, fried gnocchi, and the meatballs. If you're looking for a place to enjoy some great comfort food, be sure to check out Trademark Taste + Grind.

265 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

Tucked in on W37th is Ramini Espresso Bar, it's a beautiful coffee shop with a wide selection of pastries, beverages, with marble tables lining up the windows. Past the multiple fabric shops in the area, it's a great place to sit and talk. I spent a few moments in the afternoon catching up with my dear friend Chelsea over lattes and their sea-salt chocolate chip cookies.

I hope that this post was helpful in case you find yourself looking for some new places to check out. The Garment District is full of hidden gems that we can often walk past so don't forget to stop and look around every once in a while.

In Collaboration with The Garment District Alliance. All opinions expressed are my own.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Toronto, ON, Canada

Hello, Shangri-La Toronto

Another city to explore, another beautiful hotel to call home for a few days. On my recent trip to Toronto, I was welcomed by the Shangri-La family. Although my time in Toronto was mostly a rainy one, being at the Shangri-La definitely made staying in a lot better. From the luxe linens, to the views of the city, not to mention the most stunning bathtub set up I've ever experienced, it's a memorable stay that reminded me how much I love the Shangri-La Hotels. Growing up in Manila, Philippines, Shangri-La hotels were my favorites to stay in when my parents just wanted get out of our suburban area and stay within the city.

Shangri-La hotels perfectly capture the elegance of Asian design and I couldn't have stayed at a more perfect property in Toronto. My arrival to the property was instantly a warm welcome by the staff. When it was time to check into the room, I was stunned by the beautiful suite.

Welcomed with a bottle of champagne and gold chocolate dipped strawberries, getting settled into the room was made even better. Two doors opened to a beautiful marble bathroom with the room surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. I stayed in a Premier Queen Suite. It's a corner room with a great view of Downtown Toronto. Although most days were rainy, the location of the property is so centralized that it makes getting around really simple.
After a long day of walking and exploring, what better way than to settle into a bathtub I have not stopped dreaming of since the day I checked out? I loved everything about this bathroom from the tiles to the toiletries and I always looked forward to soaking in this tub with a view of the CN Tower at night as Toronto lit up as the sun went down.

The suite included two lush queen-sized beds. One for me, and one for my friend and fellow blogger, Allysha. We both loved to be in bed early, but loved to stay up late in bed as well. Being night-owls, we slept so well to the point where we could barely wake up in the morning. One morning, we decided to enjoy breakfast on one of our last mornings at Shangri-La. I enjoyed my go-to french toast with a side of bacon while Allysha had her colorful fruit bowl.

If you ever find yourself in Toronto, please check out the Shangri-La Hotel. I already can't wait to book another stay with them when I go back.

188 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3, Canada

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Miami Beach, FL

Finding Bliss

I have those days where I just question it. Am I doing okay? Am I doing enough? What if one day, I wake up, and it all goes away? Then what? Blogging as a full-time career is a dream to me. It's given me so many incredible opportunities that I've been blessed to have come my way and I couldn't be more thankful for that. However, it's also unbelievably scary at times. Terrifying. I've had those moments where I just wonder, "What would I do if it were to disappear?" And then you see people climb at this incredible rate and you can't help but compare yourself to that. Is it even real? How did that happen? Why isn't it happening to me? And after one too many days spent worrying about the numbers, overanalyzing my situation, even putting myself down, I realized how much it began to affect my work and how I was feeling about myself. I had to stop comparing myself to others, no matter how difficult that could be.

It's hard to maintain that kind of confidence in an industry that is so competitive and constantly changing. I'll have both my good days, and my bad ones. Sometimes I feel on top of the world, and other days, I'll feel like I've hit rock bottom. Like I just can't keep up and need to take a break from something that can easily feel so saturated. After years of blogging, in no way do I have this dialed in. I'm very much so still learning as I go and it's a never-ending process. The blogging world becomes very cut throat and there are definitely situations where it seems like faking it until you make it is the way to go. But that's not why I started my blog. And it's not how I ever want it to be.
I began writing and expressing my thoughts as a creative outlet, to share with those who cared enough to read and follow along. Over the years, it has helped me find myself, learn more about who I was, what mattered to me, and it also became very clear what I wanted out of life. I wrote for myself and in time, writing for myself turned into writing for others. To hear people tell me that I've inspired them, helped them, motivated them, it's been one of the most rewarding feelings this career path has ever given me. That's what helps me stay focused, it's a reminder of why I started in the first place.

This may apply to other career paths and not just blogging or social media. Whatever it is you do, I know what it feels like to lose that inspiration. To feel like you're lacking motivation because of what's happening around you. Comparing yourself to others is the first mistake. I'm sure majority of people have had an opportunity to take an easy route to the top. It's tempting, I know. But the second I give up that foundation of authenticity, an organic growth, and honesty, not only have I lost the trust of the people that support me, but I will have lost trust in myself.

I am learning to pay no mind to the numbers, at least, to an extent. Obsessing over anything is never a good look and rarely does obsession change a situation. It only causes me to lose my mind. I try not to compare myself to anyone else and just focus on what I'm doing and how can I do better. Not better than whoever it is you feel like you need to out-do. Be better than what you were yesterday, a week ago, a year ago. It's important to remember that progress is progress, no matter how little or small.

Traveling has definitely helped me find new inspirations, new ideas to share, more content to create. For a while, I've felt like I was stuck in this same routine and I've been trying to shake myself out of it. I have to stop being so hard on myself, being my own worst critic, not feeling like I'm doing enough. I have to believe that I'm doing my best and to continue to push to go beyond my own expectations. No more pity parties or feeling sorry for yourself. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day, but don't let one bad day convince you that what you're doing isn't right for you.
I've found bliss by learning to ignore the numbers, stop comparing myself to others, throw back in more personal thoughts and create something with a little more heart beneath it. I want to share my ideas, see more of the world, share more of how I see life. I want to continue to help people feel inspired, give a little extra motivation, use my platform for good, be a voice that has something to say and is worth listening to. Do I have a clear idea of where I want to be in a few years? Absolutely not. Is this what I'll be doing 10 years from now? Who knows. Is this what I'm supposed to do? I want to do it so it's just going to have to be. I'm going with the flow day by day, each day giving it my best and that is more than enough.

Dress by Lulus
Captured by: Allysha Y.

Monday, May 8, 2017 Miami, FL

Empty Space

It's easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, even uninspired. These lulls in life are normal and I try my best not to overthink it or allow it to consume me. When I feel like there's too much going on in my head, the ocean just seems to help me reset. Maybe it has something to do with looking out into the vastness of the sea,  the sounds of the ocean, this panoramic view, but it helps me clear my head and I can better find a way out of that rut or negative headspace.

I've always been an over-thinker. I've always over-analyzed situations. It's not something I can really change but I've learned how to better manage the way my mind works. When things begin to feel a little too heavy, the best thing I can do for myself is go to the ocean, even mentally if I can't be there physically. Take a break. Breathe. How do you reset? Shop this look below + some other favorite summer whites.

Tularosa Romper | Schutz Shoes | Gucci Bag | Ahlem Sunglasses
Captured by: Allysha Y.