Browsing Category : Simple City

To bring or not to bring? Part One.

Packing for trips has always been a toughie for me.
I’m a girl who likes options but now I share a suitcase with someone whose clothes take up the space for me to have my options. Not to mention, we aren’t people who check bags, so the suitcase has to fit in the overhead compartment.  I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that I get to share a suitcase alongside my favorite traveler, and I love that we can spend the checking-the-bag money on not checking the bag.
One more cute new shirt for this girl!
This week I want to give you some tips on what to pack and what not to pack when adventuring over to NYC. We’ve been to the city in extreme summers and during one extreme winter. We’ve had some successes and have had some packing failures. May you learn from both like I did.

First things first. Remember this:
It’s New York City. If you forgot anything, it’s an excuse to get a nicer one that no one has back where you live. So, keep that in mind. 😉

Secondly, if you are intending to do a little shopping, bring less
so that:
A. You can wear whatever you bought on your trip
B. Your suitcase can be a little lighter and able to fit overhead

Thirdly, let’s get practical.
Here are some must-brings if you’re traveling to the Big Apple:

1. Tide Pen. I don’t leave home without it no matter where I am. This little pen packs a punch for my white pants and really anything I spill on. I’m 30 years old and still spill like I’m five. Whatcha gonna do?
{Bring the Tide Pen, that’s whatcha gonna do}
2. Band-Aids. I don’t care how comfortable your shoes are. You’re gonna do walking, and you’re gonna get blisters. We went out to sushi one night on our trip and I was about to walk barefoot around the city because my toes were in such pain in my heels. I failed to pack these and they are SO easy & light to pack. Not to mention non-intrustive. You can just slip ’em in any random pocket for those just-in-case moments.
3. Camera. Last time we were in NYC I just had my iPhone which works great and I recommend it. Aren’t those things such an awesome one-stop shop? This time I brought my DSLR camera and I didn’t regret it for a second. I got some really wonderful pictures. I brought it in it’s bag as one of my carry-ons and slipped it in my purse when we romped around NYC. #worthit
4. Cash. Bring cash with you wherever you go in that city. There are more cash-only places than I ever would have thought. Plus, you’ll tip more people than you think you would. The three times I have been to NYC, I’ve been glad when we have the cash and a little frustrated when we don’t and have to go to an ATM that charges a fee.
Stay tuned this week for more on more tips for surviving the to, from, and in between when adventuring in New York City.
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NYC Vaycay

Last week the hubs and I went on a little getaway to our favorite city
{other than Chicago}, NYC. Well, I’m 90% sure NYC is PK’s ultimate favorite city ever, but mine will always and forever be Chicago, so there’s that.
Have you heard of this website called
We’ve used it for all the places we’ve traveled and it is awesome. In NYC we stayed in a lovely little studio apartment tucked away in Murray Hill. Didn’t I just make it sound like that cottage in the movie The Holiday? Reality is, it was just as adorable, but smaller with more stairs.
Four glorious flights of them.
The week was filled with adventures.
Exploring neighborhoods, drinking cups upon cups of iced coffee from local coffee shops we discovered, riding the subway, hanging out with friends, marathon training in Central Park, eating at yummy restaurants, .99 cent NYC style pizza late at night, 4th of July fireworks, the Brooklyn Bridge, and I am 80% sure I saw Tim Gunn waiting for the train in the Subway.
“Carry On.”
My dad would’ve flipped because he loves Tim Gunn and Project Runway. I made sure to text him right away and his response was:
 “Definite wow factor! Carry on!”
When does my dad ever say “definite wow factor.”?? That made me laugh.
For the rest of this post, I want to share some pictures of our adventures and let you know I am going to be doing a series on all things New York City, so stay tuned for more Big Apple fun!

^ Waiting for the el to take us to the airport! ^

^ I fell in love with this little old lady ^

^ I get to be married to him. Hot-taaaay! ^

^ Oh, Brooklyn, stop showing off  ^

^ We love Birch Coffee just as much as they love us. ^

^ It was SO hot there. So hot that PK was sweating through his suedes. ^
There are more pictures and more adventures to come!
New York City, you have a special place in my heart.
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Chipotle Cultivate Festival

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Chipotle more, they do somethin’ like this and throw a festival. I heard about it on Spotify oddly enough and then PK researched it. That’s how it usually works with us.
 I hear about something and say “Hey, this sounds fun, we should go,” then, PK gets all the details on it. Plans it out. And we go. Works out quite well, because if it were just up to me, everything would be just some fun idea and we would never really go anywhere. I’ve got the ideas, he’s got the plans.
Watch out world.
As PK was doing his research, he found out that one of our favorite bands Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was playing, so we planned our weekend around them.
Free Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Concert
A Chipotle festival
Best afternoon ever
{and it was!}
Ask me anything now about sustainable farming and hormone free meats.
Here’s the band. They were SO fun and are awesome live. We danced the whole time.
I think the older I get, the less I care about how I dance.
Once again, watch out world.
Applegate meats represented at the festival. Learning about all this hormone free, organic meat actually made me want to re-think what we buy. Mission accomplished with your spectacular and convincing propaganda, Applegate and Chipotle.
Well, look who the cat dragged in? We ran into our friend Marcelo. And Trevor too, but Trevor saw someone else and peaced out. No offense taken, Trevor.
Teenagers with cool hightops and facepaint represented as well.
Both PK and I had a freakout moment thinking of our future children high school aged and roaming around Chicago. Lord Jesus, may it not be a fire.
Graham Elliot made an appearance and gave a cooking demonstration. Here’s the crowd. We didn’t stay. I was hungry and just saw that Chipotle had Gorditas. #gameover
He even looks good standing in line.
He surely was cultivating a burritoful world. Here he is making my Gordita.

PK’s favorite station.

Get. In. My. Belly.
Eeeeeeee! I’m in love!
We attained free burrito coupons and consumed our prize the next day. Is there ever such a thing as too much Chipotle? Answer = no.

And here we are. I’m loving that chevron summer dress behind me!
Also, do you like my hair’s “volume”?! True confessions:
I just got back from hot yoga aaaaaaaand didn’t wash it. Only the bangs.
All this to say…
Three cheers for Chipotle Cultivate Festival! It’s definitely on my top five favorite Chicago Summer festivals list. See you again next year?! Oh yeah, and Happy 20th birthday Chipotle!
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Hand-lettering tutorial & hand-lettered shop!

My friends, today is a big day. For two reasons.
Reason one:
My sweet friend Cammie over at Polka Dotted Peony asked me to do a little tutorial on how to do some fancy hand-lettering. It’s surprisingly simple. So, head on over to her blog, get tutored by the tutorial, hand-letter something pretty, put it on Instagram, tag me, and show the world your awesome new skillz.
Yes, skillz.
Reason two:
It’s been in the works for months now. I’ve put it on hold. Prayed. Continued. Put it on hold again. Prayed. And the cycle continued. With shaky knees and a heart that is stepping out in faith, I’d like to introduce you to my little hand-lettered shop.
The Simple City Shop is the name and hand-lettered everything is it’s game.
Custom-made prints.
And the like.
She’s still a work in progress {I mean, aren’t we all?}, and it has been quite a journey of the heart and mind to launch the shop. All this to say, please head on over there and check it out. I would love to make you something pretty to decorate your home, or hand-letter a piece that would speak straight to someone’s heart as a gift. I hope you enjoy what you find over at my lil’ shop!
I want to say a special thanks to my sweet friends who have been incredibly encouraging during this whole process of opening the shop. It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t have done it without you telling me to do it. Like, for real. You know who you are and you are some of my inspirations.
Thank you Cammie for helping this creative entrepreneur with your business mind and skills. These last stages of my shop needed your guidance. If you all have not read through Cammie’s series on Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs, it’s a must-read. It is a series I will go back to as I continue to learn the business side of The Simple City Shop.
Happy Friday to all and thanks for stopping by!
You are loved.
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