waking up in the city that never sleeps

summer has come & gone; fall quickly followed and soon after it passed … today marks the first day of winter, and as you can see, i’ve been straggling behind a bit with up-keeping of this precious blog … all for good reasons, of course🙂

as most of you may know by now, i moved to new york city a little over 2 months ago and couldn’t be happier. i love this city❤ after living in tel-aviv for over 3.5 years, it was time for a change. a BIG change! last year of my 20’s and its time to go out with a bang! new city, new beginnings, new york state of mind – now or never! after all, if i can make it there, ill make it anywhere

i am simply amazed by how much has happened and how much i have conquered in such  NYCa short time of living here. from hurricane sandy to a week with no power, to the nor’easter storm and no subway transit, to countless job interviews and couch surfing at friends’ apartments, i have had my fair share of amazing days & less than amazing days, i like to call them. it is remarkable how people i hardly know have reached out to help a person in need, trying to make it in a new city, and for that i am truly thankful. but overall, i am simply thankful to have been able to take on this amazing opportunity to make such a leap of faith in my life in the hopes of finding more happiness and the ability to explore a richer sense of self. with the love & support from my friends and family, i have remained strong and hopeful. a dear friend shared this quote with me a few weeks ago that really struck home, and has been my motto ever since … a bad day in new york city is still better than a good day anywhere else. enough said❤

i’ve compiled a few important “do’s & don’t’s” below – basically words of wisdom to go by – from the short (but meaningful) time i have lived in this city that has helped me get by, stay sane, and keep optimistic about the future.

  • DO scout websites like NYCGo (the “official NYC guide”) and Time Out NY in order to stay current on upcoming events, entertainment, new restaurants & bars and latest deals.
  • DO keep an eye out for local deals in the city that will help you save money and are meant for newbies in the city to take advantage of. example: free or discounted gym passes (crunch gym has a great free 7-day pass and ny sports club promotes their $30 for 30 days). look out for them; the deals are everywhere!
  • DO always keep a flashlight handy. you never know when a hurricane might hit (sandy was a nightmare …), the light bulb in the dark windy staircase goes out or when your roommates might be dead asleep and you can’t seem to find the path to your bedroom.
  • DO make sure to have your laptop, cell phone, and all other electronic devices you use on a regular charged to the max while you’re at home … you never know when the power may go out (again, one word: sandy) and you’re left with no power outlets, 10% battery life on your iphone and no sign of when you’ll be able to recharge.
  • DON’T buy perishable items the night before a storm or hurricane, like i did. yup, i restocked the fridge with plenty of milk, cheese & meats the night before the big hurricane … which all went to the dumpster the day the power went out.
  • DO hold onto all of the laundromat vending machine cards you buy. almost each rental building i have stayed at has used a different vendor for their laundromat services. each vending machine’s card costs $5, so do the math & hold onto them as you never know when you may need to use them again in the future. yes, i have compiled a little collection by now.
  • DO create simple business cards with the basics (name / email / phone number / linkedin link) and have them on you everywhere you go. vistaprint is a great company to use – you can order free cards (just pay for shipping). like vistaprint’s motto: make an impression. you just never know …
  • DO make sure to always have some cash on you and quarters … think: payphones (yes, i used one for the first time in years in order to call out to let everyone know i was alive). quarters are way underrated.
  • DO download tons of apps for your smartphone = they will help you get by when in a new city! when i arrived i had no apps; a friend basically said my phone was worthless without apps like yelp, embarkseamless – even a flashlight app! (see 3rd bullet point for importance of a flashlight) i now swear by these apps to get by … actually, more like addicted.
  • DON’T be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to people you don’t know in order to make new friends, network for new career opportunities and simply because you need it in order to grow. If you are feeling extra adventurous, then …
  • DO create an online dating profile and meet even more people. go out; have fun. you may learn a thing or two about yourself in the process. but ….
  • DON’T trust anyone’s sincere intentions if they have usernames that consist of sketchy meanings or intentions, like smoothoperator82 or PleaseDontBCrazy, or if  their main profile photo is one of them posed with holly the playboy bunny (ew, really guys?!). enough said. just don’t!

i think that about covers it for now … with that being said … we’re due for a name change for this blog: california girl in a tel-aviv world meets the “new york state of mind” … walking by the union square holiday market recently, i came across a vendor selling cool canvas bags with fun quotes on them. one in particular really stuck out: home is where i store my suitcase. which pretty much sums up my current situation in a nut shell! and hence, a new blog name is born …

so stay tuned for more insights to the new york city lifestyle, tips on making it in this city and of course, more reasons to love the city that never sleeps (in case you didn’t have enough already)🙂

XoXo – d

new york, here i come!

im so excited for my upcoming trip to nyc! i’ll be attending the enk accessorie circuit, located @ the javitz center, representing dori csengeri. eeek! after the show’s over, i’ll be staying in nyc for another week to venture the streets of the big apple & meet up with friends i haven’t seen in a while. business & pleasure – always🙂

although im excited for my trip, gosh, do i hate packing😦 i actually loathe it. it takes over my life. seriously. sleepless nights of “don’t forget your contacts!” and “oops, did i remember to pack a jacket?!” makes me go crazy. and its not unique to this trip, but every.single.trip. i take, i have dreams (more like nightmares, actually) that i sleep through my alarm and awake with 15 minutes to spare before i must jet out of my apartment & make it to the airport. FML. this time, im packing light! (or so i made a pact with myself that i would) so here goes …

  1. maps! yes, i have little sense of direction, nor do i know my way around nyc yet .. will need this!
  2. fedora: just got a new one from my best girlfriends in cali for my birthday, so will be taking this with me!
  3. crazy cat lady tote: oh yes! its real. i just ordered one online (see last post) & i will be strutting this tote around with pride!
  4. dori earrings: my fave pair, thanks to my besties here in tel-aviv. perfect for nights out on the town.
  5. lip gloss: never-leave-home-without-it. seriously. i hate dry lips. and this kind’s awesome.
  6. pillow: strictly for the plane, don’t worry …🙂
  7. sandals: love my steve madden sandals – wear them everywhere – this trip’s no different.
  8. granola bars: if you know me well, you know i always have one of these tasty treats in my bag at all times for quick energy & well, because they taste good!
  9. notebook: i’m always jotting things down, making lists of places i want to see & things i need to do, and well basically, so i can make lists of lists🙂
  10. umbrella: its been raining a bit over the last few weeks … but crossing fingers i won’t need to use it …

have i left out anything important? i’m sure i’ll think of a few more things to add (as i always do)🙂

do you have any trips planned this summer?

XoXo – d

crazy cat lady

i may, or may not have just ordered me & my roommate matching “crazy cat lady” tote bags …  so what?!

seriously, how could i have passed this up? first i blame polyvore, for bringing this bag to my attention … next, i blame theboldbanana, for making it possible for me to buy one online. or two …

SO excited to use my new bag! and yes, i know people like me are the reason they invented the “crazy cat lady” jokes … but i have no regrets over my purchase.

mimi will like it too🙂

XoXo – d

ღ eye-candy-friday ღ

its that time of week for some eye candy … and im feeling extra sweet today, as i just baked over 3 dozen cupcakes for my good friend’s birthday bash. i must say, my martha stewart skills have definitely improved over the last few months! its only my second time baking cupcakes & making the icing from scratch, and with a little help from a spicy perspective, these little babies came out simply ah-ma-zing …

what’s on this week’s eye-candy-friday menu?

anais earrings

laka nail polish (#08)

raspberry lemon cupcakes

as always, a close-up of the beautiful jewelry selection for the weekend …


and of course, a close up of my baking skills (along with a wonderful helper in the kitchen, my sister!) …

seriously, one of the easiest recipes by far … i ended up coming out with more cupcakes than the recipe had intended since my cupcake holders may have been smaller than the standard, however i feel that smaller cupcakes are more fun (and easier) to eat than large-sized cupcakes. the icing came out fluffy & oh-so-tasty … i suggest maybe making 1/2 the amount the recipe said for the icing, as i had a ton extra leftover icing since i didn’t overkill the cupcakes with it, but if you love to load it on, then don’t change a thing!🙂

XoXo – d

spending the day in old jaffa …

today was a good day🙂

a day well spent with amazing friends, delicious food & a beautiful view of the old jaffa port.

my girlfriends and i rode our bikes down to the harbor to have a tasty seafood brunch by the water, and we were pleasantly surprised to run into insta*art ~ the 2nd instagram exhibition in israel. a free exhibit, located @ one of the old jaffa port’s hangars (warehouses), runs from june 6-20. the insta*art event is put on by timeout israel & makes for a fun day with complimentary entertainment. instagram has gotten to be so big over the last few months, and how exciting to see a mix of photos from around the country, exhibited all in one venue.

more than 300 photographers participated in this event, taking part in 3 main themes: urban TLV, food porn and moments. obviously, food porn was my fave. c’mon, admit its fun to drool over other people’s photos of food they have just made or are about to eat. using my very own instagram & my new fave collage app, pic collage, here’s a taste of what’s to come …

check out the slideshow below for your virtual tour of insta*art through my eyes, and then a few from our beautiful afternoon at the port & our fabulous seafood brunch. enjoy!

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have a great weekend!

XoXo – dorine