June 2018 Lifestyle and Travel Favorites

The month of June flew by! I say this every month but I can’t believe it’s already over and now we are heading into July. It finally feels like summer in New York City. We have been suffering from major humidity and we’re about to have a heat wave but I’ll take both over the frigid cold and snow any day.

June has been my favorite month of the year so far. I celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday in Las Vegas, won tickets to a Luke Bryan concert in North Carolina and spent a little too much money shopping.

Listed below are a few of my favorite moments, books and products from the past month.

Ricky Martin, “All In” 

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My birthday was special this year because I got to celebrate it with Ricky Martin in Las Vegas. Well…maybe not with him but I did get to see him perform live at the MGM Theater.

The concert felt intimate because the venue is relatively new. It holds a significant number of seats but the way the space was created you don’t have to get up at all. Everyone can see from where they are sitting even if there’s a tall person in front of you.

Ricky’s opening act was, “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” The crowd went absolutely wild when he came out. He performed all of his hits, both the English and Spanish ones, and his special guest of the night was William Hung from American Idol. He came out during the middle of “She Bangs” and sang with Ricky.

I was beyond excited to get a chance to see Ricky. He still has his voice, can move his hips better than a twenty-year-old and is incredibly handsome. I couldn’t help but stare at him with a big smile on my face throughout the entire show.

His residency is over but hopefully he comes back next year because he’s definitely worth a trip!

Thunder From Down Under Las Vegas

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Errr…there’s not much I can say about this show without feeling incredibly awkward. I don’t know why I agreed to watch men strip and gyrate on stage with my mother sitting next to me. I sat through the entire show praying none of them would touch me–or her–because I would have died from embarrassment right then and there.

It was an experience to say the least getting to watch grown men shake it in thongs and hump women of all ages. Was I amused? Yes. Was I uncomfortable? Yes. Would I ever see such a show like this again? Yes.

I mean…Magic Mike is coming to New York, right? I’m a big believer in supporting the arts.

Finally Getting Tickets to See Shakespeare in the Park 

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For the past two years I have been trying every summer to win free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theatre offers free tickets three ways: borough distribution, a digital lottery through the app TodayTix and waiting by line in person at the theatre.

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I got my tickets through the borough distribution in Staten Island. I had to wait on a line in the hot sun for two hours but it was worth it. The reviews for ‘Othello’ have been less than stellar. Maybe because it was my first time but I enjoyed the show. I thought the actors were good in their delivery and brought the tragedy to life.

Buying My First Car

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When I was in high school I used to dream about buying my first car. I started working when I was a teenager and I was convinced at $6.50 per hour I would be able to afford a new car and insurance without any issues. Reality set in when I got my first paycheck and saw how little it was—and how many taxes the government took out! What’s up with that, right?

Suffice to say I was never able to afford a car but I kept saving up for the future. Right before my birthday I purchased a certified pre-owned 2016 Kia Soul. It was the first and only car I tested out. It was the car I wanted and exactly in my price range.

Winning Tickets to See Luke Bryan

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Thank you Verizon for the free tickets! I won two tickets to Luke Bryan in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s funny because at the beginning of the year I kept obsessively talking about how much I wanted to see Luke live. If I hadn’t gone to Vegas for my birthday I would have been seeing him in New Jersey instead.

Since I’m a Verizon member I have VerizonUp. It’s a rewards program that grants you a token after every three hundred dollars you spend on Verizon (re: paying your bill). I normally choose something small like a Starbucks gift card or one for Barnes and Nobles.

This time I was dead set on winning tickets to see Luke and won!

Trying Out Surfset NYC

Surfset NYC

I was lucky enough to get to stay in the city for a week. Living in the city completely opened my eyes to new opportunities! My commute is normally two hours there and back so I never get to do anything fun. For one week my commute was fifteen minutes maximum so after work I was able to go to bars, restaurants and new workout classes.

My favorite class I tried was Surfset NYC.You’ve probably seen this class surf inspired class on the news or on Shark Tank. I absolutely loved it! I was terrified at first because I couldn’t find my balance but by the end of the class I was jumping up and down on the board at the same speed as everyone else. Check out my full review on my last post here!

Celebrating My One Year Anniversary at Work


365 days later and I celebrated my one year anniversary at my job. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity that fell into my lap a year ago. I was depressed and ready to give up on my dream of working in TV and then I got an e-mail that changed my life forever.

Like with any job I have good days and bad days. I’m still learning the ropes but I’m proud of myself because I’ve come a long way. In true cheesy Alyssa fashion I bought a cake to work as a thank you to my bosses for taking the chance and hiring me.

And I showed up to work and took this photo of myself cause…you know…gotta do it for the ‘gram.

Please don’t unfollow my blog.

(Also–my hat says “MAKE TV GREAT AGAIN“)

Staycation on Roosevelt Island

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After my panic attack at work a few weeks ago staying alone at my Aunt’s apartment in Roosevelt Island didn’t seem like the ideal situation but I made a promise to her that I couldn’t break. She was going on vacation and needed someone to feed her cat.

It’s funny how things work out because after two days there I felt completely rejuvenated. I no longer felt depressed or anxious. For the first time in forever I finally felt free. I’m itching to move out now! I’m including Roosevelt Island here because even though I didn’t spend too much time on the island itself I would highly recommend taking a pit stop here if you’re visiting NYC. Take the tram from the city into the island (or vice versa) for a nice view of the waterfront and explore the island for a quick hour or two.

Visiting Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar

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I spent way too much money at Loopy Doopy Rooftop bar. You’ve definitely seen these prosecco pops all over Instagram if you’ve ever looked up bars in New York. For $24 a pop, you can get a glass of rosé or prosecco with your choice of People’s Pops. I chose strawberry for my first drink and then peach for my second mixed with rose. Their regular drinks are pricey but just as good.

The rooftop itself is extremely small even by New York standards. If you’re interested in going make sure to go during an off day during the week and early. My friend and I walked in and could barely make it to the bar.

Seats are first come first serve and require table service. I’d recommend getting a table because that’s the only way you’re going to get a good picture of the skyline and your drink. Plus, sitting down instead of sweating in a crowd is always better.

Seeing the Heavenly Bodies Exhibit

House of Dior Madonna Wedding Ensemble

This exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum is amazing! I have to go to the Met Cloisters now to see the second half but I was truly blown away by the sheer artistry of each dress that I saw.

Dresses from the Gap that are Perfect for Work

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After gaining sixteen pounds in less than one month (thanks PCOS and steroids) I have felt horrible about my body. My body feels unfamiliar and I feel completely uncomfortable in my skin. None of my jeans fit any more and I refuse to spend money sizing up because i am trying my hardest to slim down.

With that said I’ve had to purchase clothes still because of the warmer weather. Dresses have been my go-to because as I keep expanding they give me a little bit more leeway before I start to look like a sausage trying to escape its casing.

I’ve recently become obsessed with the Gap. My entire wardrobe is from here! I love this polka dot dress, this trapeze skirt dress and this denim dress from their current collection. All of their dresses are perfect for work, they have a good range of petite clothes and everything has been super affordable. Make sure to shop when they’re having 40% off online so you get the best bang for your buck.

The Size 12 Series by Meg Cabot 

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Since I’ve gained 16 pounds in less than a month I’ve been feeling really down about my body. Size 12 may not be fat but I’ve never had to go over a size eight so not being able to fit into my jeans has been a big deal for me.

This was the perfect series to make me feel better about myself. The books really aren’t focused on the weight of the main character, Heather Wells. She makes comments about being a size twelve but they’re never negative, which is refreshing. She’s also really funny and I love all the references to the 90’s and pop culture. Plus, her roommate and crush, Cooper, sounds like the ultimate dreamboat. The books are actually a crime series but they’re written in Meg Cabot’s laugh-out-loud way that make them a guilty pleasure.

BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote, $13.98 with Amazon Prime 

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This may seem random but I really needed a new lunch bag because using a plastic bag wasn’t cutting it any more. I am in LOVE with this bag by BALORAY.

The lunch bag is spacious enough so I can fit my Tupperware for lunch, dinner and snacks. The pouch on the outside fits my phone perfectly. If I felt inclined I could fit my wallet in the bag and use this as a purse. I got the white and blue striped version because it blends in with my everyday outfits.

I will say the one thing I’m not a fan of is the short handle. It would have been nice if it was longer so I could carry the bag on my shoulder or as a crossbody.

Jackson Street Melissa Small Crossbody by kate spade new york, $248

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I was shocked and devastated to hear about Kate Spade’s passing. I really love her brand from the elegant but fun polka dots to the sleek leather handbags. This bag holds a lot of sentiment value for me because I used it as my pillow when I stayed in a hostel in Milan, as my pillow when I went to the beach in Greece and as my everyday purse for three years.

It’s large enough to hold my shoes when I go to the club and everything under the sun when I’m traveling. I love the gold plated exterior hardware. It brings a little oomph to an otherwise plain bag. I would highly recommend this bag if you’re a frequent traveler and need something that’s going to be able to handle a lot of wear and tear.

Michael Kors Plate Sandals by MICHAEL Michael Kors, $79

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For every dress I wear I pair it with these black sandals from Michael Kors. They’re basic enough so they look good with everything but are extremely well-made so they look more expensive than they are and are comfortable for walking and regular use. I’m waiting for these wedges from Michael Kors to go on sale so I can switch it up. A long denim dress with these tan wedges? Look at me having a sense of style!

What do you think about my June Favorites? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!






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