I've been doing this every weekend for the last month, and it's done miracles for my workweek.
Let's be real. $14 for a cocktail when what you really want to do is just catch up with a person is exhausting. It's exhausting, because it would cost $2 if you made it at home, and it's loud at the bar, and you're already thinking twice about your goal to wake up the next morning and go for a run before the sun comes up -- if GNI is any indication, I'm not the only one here.
Those nights can be capital F U N -- and I mean fun, because last Saturday I was sipping a cocktail and playing some (very bad) pool in the East Village. But, on the off chance you find yourself midweek drained emotionally, financially, maybe physically you might be looking for something that lifts your spirit.
I've started doing this thing once a week. It's simple, costs less than $5, and has helped me grow my network and improve my well-being immensely.
I've started going for coffee dates on Saturdays.
I've gone by myself to read, I've met a friend I hadn't seen in a little while to truly catch up, and I've used it as the perfect segue when establishing a new friend/connection after swapping information at a group event.
When I say it has been lovely, those aren't even the right words. I used to do this every so often but didn't make a concerted effort to keep up with it until now. Now that I'm making it a priority, it isn't daunting! They normally last between 30 and 45 minutes, are inexpensive, because hello drip coffee, you are a goddess, and I've found that the relaxed nature on the weekend is great fodder for conversation -- there was a dog who was so cute on the way! have you looked at this brunch crowd? how was work this week?
It's also an excellent reason to stay in on the weekend nights. My budget is a little tight right now. I've been wanting to still stay in touch with my best people but not at the expense of being unable to buy groceries for the week. This is the best of both worlds. I actually find that my network is growing and my friendships are strengthening, because, well, we're not drunk, and we're actually paying attention.
But what do I order.
Simple. Coffee! Or tea! Maybe a pastry or a more substantial bite depending on when/where you are catching up. I've been sticking to drip coffee (max $3) and splurged last weekend on an almond milk latte ($5).
You're meeting for coffee, woohoo! That means relaxed comfort and casual brunch vibes. Thankfully, athleisure is here to stay. I've included my favorite looks below.
Layers, Jeans, & Pop
Honestly, nothing is easier than a half up / half down hairstyle, a t-shirt (maybe the one you slept in? I'm not judging) underneath a crisp sweater, and a nice pair of jeans. The pop of color from the shoes is an unexpected surprise, and with everything else neutral, it really adds some great energy to the look. I might throw on a gold bracelet or a hoop earring for a little something extra.
Neutral Game Strong
First of all, those joggers are gorgeous -- and so are any athleisure style garb you might have in your closet. A cute sweatpant might work here too. I'm loving this look because of the camel colors, really. They play a nice wintry vibe on what could be a very summery outfit. The jacket and turtleneck for warmth, yet the crop keeps it interesting and plays well against the high-rise of the pant. This is a throw on and run out the door kind of outfit (but cute enough that you could have spent all morning putting it together). If heeled booties aren't your thing, try nude flats or white sneakers.
Here. For. This.
I will always celebrate leggings, a chic sweater, and an equally fabulous and over-sized scarf. It's my favorite look to fall back on and the best one, in my opinion, to rock on a Saturday. Simple rings and hair in either a top-knot or loose and flowy always pulls the look together.
I'm side hustling hard this Saturday for my coffee rendezvous. Can't wait. Cheers to calmer vibes and energized souls! Xx.
+ What do you think? Coffee dates yay or nay? Tell me in the comments below!
I went for a massage at Chillhouse. It was chill.
I first read about Chillhouse in a travel article on goop — yes, I’m pretty goopy most days, or rather, try to be. I thought it would be an outrageously priced, only-worth-it-for-my-birthday (if that) kind of place, but when I clicked over to their site, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was more than reasonable for the quality of service offered.
And when it came to the morning I booked it, if it was under $100, which it was, I was going to make it work. Sometimes, when the world gets a little too dark for me, I think an investment in myself is more necessary than anything else. Sometimes, I make it to the end of the month and kick myself for not sticking to my budget. Balance is a b****.
Last week, leading up to the weekend, I was an overwhelmed and undervalued human – which, in my opinion, is one of the worst set of feelings to tack on to general anxiety. I couldn’t seem to shake my overwhelm, no matter how many times I repeated, “All you can do is all you can do. And all you can do is enough.” So I booked myself a 10 AM Chill Pill with Holly, and let me just say, this place is worth every penny.
Recently, I found out they have a monthly massage subscription for the price of about three cocktails, so needless to say, subscriptions will continue to be the best death of me.
Fast forward to the Big Day. I hopped on the Q down to Delancey and walked over to Essex. The street art (see below) along the walk is magnificent — even the truck fits in. The whole block is like this; bright colors, explosions of personality on an otherwise dull street.
I've always loved street art.
Just look at this! The whole street is breathtaking. If anyone knows the artist(s), I would love to give due credit!
I walked in and was instantly charmed. I had woken up early to start running again, trying to get back into that self-care intention like I mentioned last week. I was also excited, still high on an endorphin rush, and a little nervous to unwind in the company of strangers.
When I entered the space, it was just as chill as I know it intended and just as much what I needed. The café was the only part of the shop open when I first arrived, so I checked in and sat down to absorb it all. From the perfectly bright and airy shelves with pastel colored pottery (see the top, first photo), to the cactus next to the counter (see below), everything was curated simply and intentionally, much like I try to make my own living space. The café is the first designated space; then, through a wall of glass windows and doors, there is a series of manicurists' tables; and then, beyond, a gorgeous seating area for the masseuse to greet you before the back area of private massage rooms.
I liked the café so much I stayed all day.
I started the morning sitting with this view, taking in all the greenery, the way the tables gleamed in the sunlight, and all the intricate leather detailing the shop owners added to make the space earthy and comfortable. When my massage was done, I sat at one of these tables and finished the book I was reading.
Can I get a cactus?
If ever there was a cactus I wanted to steal, this was it. Somehow, this gorgeous plant was flourishing in the midwinter chill, and it was stunning.
The massage I asked for, the Chill Pill, is supposed to help anxiety subside and bring a deep state of relaxed healing. The site says, "stress can put your stomach in knots and lead to a general sense of unease and a recurrent state of illness. Find your zen with a massage tailored to calm the body and heal the mind." I think it's safe to say we could all use a little chill pill.
The last time I had a massage, I couldn't relax a bit, and I was mortified. But Holly was lovely and really set the tone for a lovely morning. I told her about the 20 pound bag I lug around on my left shoulder every day, and shrugging my shoulders, admittedly holding back tears, I told her my stress levels seemed unbeatable lately. Her kindness, and also her professional, emotional distance, made the experience all the better. She led me to the massage room (see below) where I undressed and lay down on the table. Aside from one moment on my right arm where she had to tap on it repeatedly for me to loosen up, the 50-minute massage was the best kind of meditation. Every time I found myself tense, I slowly relaxed my muscles until I was drifting and at ease once again. I took a deep, full breath for the first time in months. I unwound and felt free.
The Massage Space
This was the private room for massages. The minimalist detailing was wonderful. It certainly felt remote and like my own little home. The light fixture cast this dreamy glow that made me want to curl up and nap. Also, can I get that cart in my life?