New York in 3 days

New York in 3 days

If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen some insta stories or posts about our weekend in New York. Zach was there for two weeks for job training, and I decided to capitalize on that trip! I had three days in the city, and Zach was able to sneak away for two of them. This was my first time to New York, so please excuse my fascination with certain landmarks.



I arrived to our hotel about noon, and it was 38 degrees and raining. This NOLA/TX girl does NOT do cold or wet, but I was desperate to get started, so I threw on my barbour jacket and grabbed my umbrella. You can see how rainy and grey it was in these pictures of Times Square.

After walking the wrong direction three separate times, I finally got to fifth avenue. I figured this was a safe activity to do without Zach, because I’d surely want to take my time in each and every store. Around 2, my hunger caught up with me. Because I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, I was a little limited as far as the temptation to grab a slice of pizza or pop into any restaurant.

Ralph’s Coffee came through. I found warmth and peace inside this second-floor coffee shop inside Ralph Lauren on 5th and 55th street. It was so precious that I had to bring Zach back later in the weekend.

I joked on my Insta story that I was on  a quest to eat all the pastries in New York. I really did my best. The most enjoyable was the marble cupcake from Magnolia Bakery inside Bloomingdale’s. Yup, I was that girl standing alone at a countertop with a fork and a cupcake, as happy as could be! After shopping from about 1:30-6:30, I met Zach at the hotel to trek to dinner at Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant.


We had to stop in Times Square in the daylight to take a selfie, and thank goodness it was NOT raining on Saturday-just brutally cold : )

We hiked three miles down to Cafe Clover in West Village. This was by far the best meal I ate all weekend. I had sweet potato latkes with poached eggs & a kale/tomato side. It was the cutest atmosphere, and we loved all the windows.

After brunch, we headed down to the 9/11 fountains and museum. This was an experience to say the least. We found ourselves somber throughout the entire experience but saw/heard so many stories and recordings that we hadn’t heard before. We loved reading the stories of countless heroes during the entire situation.

We wandered right across the way to the shops in Brookfield Place and discovered Le District. WOW! This place is like a French Eataly. We were enamored and couldn’t get enough. We went straight to Eataly after that (for more food, obviously) and Century 21 and a bunch of shops in Soho.

Dinner on Saturday night was at The Little Beet Table. It’s an entirely gluten-free restaurant. The food was amazing. We stopped at the Flatiron Eataly just to round out the night and make sure we saw more than one.


After watching Eloise at the Plaza COUNTLESS times as a kid, I had to drag my husband to the Plaza Hotel for brunch. We ate at the Palm Court, and it lived up to my expectations.

After we went back to the hotel to change and pack up, we decided to revisit some of my favorites on Fifth Avenue on our way to Central Park. We stopped back in at Ralph’s Coffee, because Zach wanted to see it, and I wanted to actually order coffee! We made our way to Central Park, where the weather felt ten degrees warmer in the sun. It was such a beautiful oasis, and SO overpacked. We wish we could have spent more time exploring the whole park.



I keep saying that I could go back for three more days and do completely different activities. There were so many things that we wanted to accomplish but didn’t have the time for. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions on what should go on our list for our next trip to New York! You know I’m already working on a second trip!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites


For a while now, we’ve been searching for a new watch for Zach. He’s been looking for something comfortable but professional–something that he can wear with a suit OR with shorts and a t-shirt. We found this perfect option at Fossil.


I love that it has a blue face with the brown leather strap. Zach’s favorite suit is a unique blue (not quite navy) that I could not find online, so I linked similar ones here and here. This watch will pop so nicely with that blue. The cool thing about Fossil watches is that they have so many interchangeable bands. We had our eye on this one, which is on sale–how fun would this be for summer?



As for me, my favorite new item this week is these shoes! My mom asks me every day after school, “Are you going to Target?”, because I go almost every day. We’re always needing something–usually a jar of peanut butter or more eggs. I can never help myself when it comes to browsing the entire store. When I walked through the shoe section the other day, I was so surprised to see shoes that were total dupes of shoes I’ve been eyeing at Nordstrom!

Nordstrom  (Sam Edelman) // Target

Our last favorite is a restaurant in Plano called Sixty Vines. We watched this restaurant transition and waited anxiously for them to open. Once they did, we struggled to get in, because their reservations fill up so quickly. One of the reasons we love this restaurant so much is because you can go full-out #cheatmeal with pizza, pasta, charcuterie board, and dessert, or you can find some relatively clean options too!

Definitely check this place out if you’re in the Dallas area. It’s called Sixty Vines, because they have 60 different wines on tap. They have a cool iPad that describes each wine (bottle, glass, tap) or beer and what to pair it with. You can order by the half glass, glass, carafe, or bottle. I always get two or three half-glasses to taste different wines each time I go.

Lauren: Athleisure Favorites

Lauren: Athleisure Favorites

Am I the only who actually gets more motivated to workout right after I buy more workout clothes? Even though my drawer of leggings is overflowing and will barely close, I find myself constantly gravitating towards the athleisure section at Nordstrom, wandering towards Lululemon, and browsing Nike deals on Here are some of my current favorites.

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I am so into high waisted leggings right now. I love that they keep you feeling hugged, and they’re perfect for days when I’m doing overhead work–that way, I can work hard without worrying about pulling my shirt down. The first ones are from the Nordstrom brand Zella. These have a cute cut-out near the knees and are so comfortable. The pink ones in the middle are ON.SALE. from Lululemon. Sales are rare, but they currently have 6 different colors in this Wunder Under pant marked down. I own these in about 5 colors already, so do I really need more? Maybe… The last ones have the CUTEST wrap detail at the ankle. I can totally see myself wearing these to work with a longer flowy top and cute flats.

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For my birthday, I wanted a new pair of Nike tennis shoes. After browsing Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Finish Line, and just about every other shoe store, I walked away with a pair of TOMS and a pair of Adidas SuperStars. Not exactly my intention. I’m still searching for the perfect pair to add. I mentioned the Nike Metcons in an earlier post, but the ones I posted above are just a few more I’m considering. The Nike Juvenate shoe comes in so many different colors, but the oatmeal color would go with literally anything. I’ve never owned a pair of Nike Frees, but everyone who has says they’re super comfy. Black also makes a great neutral. And to break out of the “neutral” theme, these Flyknit Frees are SO fun! I love to wear all black outfits, so these would be a perfect pop of color. AND they’re marked down.


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Last but not least, these are the tops I’m loving right now. The first one is from GapFit. I bought this top on Black Friday for a great price, but it’s actually on sale now too. The cut is super flattering. The wrap top by Zella can be worn open or buttoned up like wrap. This would be the perfect option to bring to the gym for post-workout–when you don’t want to thrown on anything tight and constricting. The last top is from Forever 21. I’m shocked, too! I went in to look for 80s clothes for a themed party this weekend, and I LOVED what I saw in their activewear section. And for that price?! I’m definitely going to have to check more items out.

You can shop these Athleisure looks below, and I’ve linked my weekend wear favorites too! Enjoy.


Lauren: Weekend Wear

Lauren: Weekend Wear


Sunday was a pretty eventful day, and this outfit was the perfect choice. After our brutal workout, we ate breakfast and got ready for church. I knew the forecast said warmer weather later in the day, but it was 55 degrees when we left the apartment. I wasn’t going to risk being chilly inside and while walking around, so I went for an off-the-shoulder top and black jeans. This top is on sale in this muted lavender color (grey) and a gorgeous terra cotta (red) color too. Is it just my imagination or do website colors never match what they look like in real life?

top // jeans // shoes // earrings (similar)

I am seriously loving these new TOMS shoes. I will say it until I’m blue in the face–TOMS shoes are the MOST comfortable heels to wear all day. I wear my ‘desert’ wedge booties a few times a week during the winter, and I’ve been wearing these recently too. As a teacher, I spend the majority of my day on my feet and trying to get places quickly. I never think twice about my feet hurting when I wear TOMS.

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I am so loving these other off-the-shoulder tops from Anthropologie. The first one comes in white, blue, and pink. I can totally imagine all three of these with white jeans and wedges. The middle would be perfect with denim cut-offs too. And the one on the end…has an adorable white bow on the back that just adds an extra touch. I have a feeling I’ll be adding a few of these to my closet this spring.


Thanks for reading,


Lauren: January Favorites

Lauren: January Favorites


As January comes to a close, here are some of the things I have found myself LOVING all month long.

IMG_0396.jpgFresh flowers: We were gifted this stunning vase as a wedding gift, and I have not let it go empty since we received it. I have been finding roses at an amazing price at Trader Joe’s. This combo of pink and white may have been my favorite so far.

BaubleBar everything. Choosing which color for these tassel earrings might have been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a while. I may be adding more to my collection soon.

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I also picked up this adorable Bauble of the Day, and I can’t wait for these to arrive!

Adidas Superstars: My Nike Metcons have gotten a little ratty from all the use, so I wanted some comfortable athletic shoes to wear that look a little more polished. These run BIG…so big that the sweet people at Nordstrom sent me upstairs to the kids’ section. I bought mine in a kids 3.5 for reference. I love how comfortable they are–I’ve even paired them with jeans, colored denim, or leggings for work. They  make running back and forth to the copy machine a lot easier!



Concealer: Obviously I bought this in the shade “very fair”. Usually, I can find the shade I need easily just by choosing the lightest one. So far, this one seems to have the correct undertones to brighten my undereyes while concealing dark circles. I don’t know if it’ll be able to top the Kat Von D Lock-it concealer, but we’ll see!



What? More Bauble Bar? Yes. I think these Flouro Crispin Drops are the cutest statement earrings, even though my husband thinks they look ridiculous.


These Metcon 3s are SO.COOL. I’m unashamedly jealous of Zach’s brand new Metcons, and now I think I need my own. How does someone even choose what color combo?


Book 6 of the Penn Cage Series is available on March 21 of this year, and I’m already counting down the days. I mentioned this series in an earlier post. I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on this next installment. It’s titled Mississippi Blood, and it’s available for pre-order now.



Lauren: Long Weekend Recap

Lauren: Long Weekend Recap

Over the long weekend, we kept ourselves moving for the most part. My little sister is leaving to go back to Ole Miss today, so we had to try to fit in some of her “lasts” while she was still in town for Christmas break. One she’d been begging for was Cane Rosso. This was an easy one to agree to. I saved up my cheat meals (usually 2 per week) for this baby. It’s called the honey bastard, and it’s not featured on the menu. It has mozzarella, hot sopressata, bacon marmalade, and spicy honey. I wish I had a picture of the dessert pizza we had afterwards (I know–cheat meal extreme), but just think cookie butter, nutella, mascarpone, and marshmallows, all on the same huge pizza crust. And can we note the size of those things?



Scarf // Bracelet // Jacket

On Saturday, Zach had to work until 12, then stopped at the gym on the way home. I did some cleaning, a glute-focused workout, and got ready for the day. We celebrated my 26th birthday at Ocean Prime with my family and absolutely loved it! The flower arrangement at the Rosewood Court, which is connected to the restaurant, was absolutely stunning, so we had to take a photo in front.


L Top // L Jeans // Z Shirt // Z Sweater // Z Jeans

On Sunday morning, we went full-on Lolo birthday celebration day. After getting our normal Sunday routine down, we went to a 90s themed spin class. I have a write-up about our experience coming next week, but we absolutely loved it.

Post-spin, we fueled up at Breadwinners at North Park and walked a few laps at the mall. We went home to relax for a bit, then ended the night at Water Grill. It just opened last week, and we will be returning as soon as we can! We ordered the Cioppino and the Homemade Orecchiete. I think the Cioppino was the winner, because we left nothing in that giant bowl. We are definitely adding this restaurant to the list of Dallas favorites.

Monday, I forced Zach and my sister Sarah to watch The Bachelor while we ate homemade crockpot chili. Zach’s chili is to die for. This is one of the first seasons of The Bachelor I have not googled spoilers, and I’m trying to be good! Let me know in the comments who you’re rooting for!


Zach: Layering in Winter

Hey y’all,

Texas winters can usually cause quite a few dilemmas from traffic issues to planned activities to wardrobe confusion. One day it’ll be 75 degrees and sunny and the next day could be 19 degrees with falling snow (this happened this week). This can make it a real pain to figure out how to dress appropriately when going out. Not only can the ever-changing weather be a problem, but being bundled up outside in the cold, then walking into a store or restaurant that has the heat blasting can get uncomfortable very quickly.

This is where the miracle of layering comes in. When you can’t commit to a warm heavy outfit, start off with a light base and then just pile the extra warmth on top as much as needed. This weekend, Lauren and I were out shopping in Fort Worth where the temperature was 25 degrees and we kept our layers on the whole time, but we were going to a concert at Billy Bob’s and knew it was going to get very warm in there very quickly.

I started with a base layer–a classic Buffalo Plaid flannel by linked here. This shirt is currently down from $94.00 to $39.99. Next I put on the classic winter printed quarter zip heavy cotton sweater  and the olive green quilted jacket for the extra cold winds. The jacket can be found here. This product is on a great sale marked down from $90.00 to $39.99. Both of these are by Weatherproof Vintage. No trip to Fort Worth would be complete without a pair of Wrangler Jeans and cowboy boots.

Stay warm,



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Dallas Fitness Ambassadors
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1️⃣Fat is bad for you. 
2️⃣No, carbs are bad. Carbs make you fat. 
3️⃣Don't eat too many calories. 
How do we change our conversations about food from what NOT to eat ➡️ how certain foods can serve our bodies. I.E.:
1️⃣Fats promote hormone balance and brain function.
2️⃣Carbs are our primary source of energy.
3️⃣Let's focus on macro/micronutrients instead. 
If we can keep things this simple, we can start to focus on the benefits of food rather than the misconceptions.
  • ✨🍁CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GIVEAWAY WINNER @shellelizabeth1 🍁✨We hope you enjoy your $275 gift card to @Target! Have fun on your shopping trip! Please DM @lifestyledbyleena in order to claim your prize!
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1. KB Swing
2. KB Deadlift
3. Single Arm KB Push Press
4. KB Suitcase Carry
5. KB Goblet Squat
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