48 Hours in New York City | My Favorite Finds, Sights, Stays, and Eats

Hi readers!
Over fall break, I had the amazing opportunity to go up to New York City to do some exploring and to meet with my friends up at Mogul, one of the largest media platforms for women worldwide. I vlogged my trip on my YouTube channel (go check it out here), but for this blog post I’m going to go into detail of everything we ate, where we stayed, and all about my visit to Mogul!


My aunt Judy was gracious enough to host my best friend Gillian and I in her breathtaking Upper West Side apartment, and we had the best time. It’s always a great time visiting Judy, who is one of the most fabulous women I have ever met. Her style is eclectic, but chic, and in a simple statement, her apartment is my DREAM! Staying in this apartment brings out my passion and appreciation for interior design, as well as my appreciation for beautiful art. My favorite fixture in Judy’s apartment, aside from all the beautiful plant life, has to be a hand-painted divider from 1929 displayed in her dining area right off of the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, Judy whipped up the most incredible cappuccinos for us in the morning, and there is no better way to kick off a day in the city than a bomb-as-heck cappuccino.


Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 4.29.15 PM

We spent most of our time exploring the city, from Central Park to the East Village and Soho (which has to be my favorite neighborhood). I called this my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip, because it came at a time when I was feeling majorly uninspired and I needed to be back in my city, and we did just that. We ate…and ate…and ate. We stumbled upon what is my new favorite brunch spot, called BoCaphe. This funky, French-girl hotspot with a Vietnamese twist located on Lafayette Street offers everything from fluffy, fruit donned pancakes to the best avocado toast you’ll ever have (on cranberry bread, with an over easy egg on top…I mean, come on). Not only is it super delicious and affordable considering the location, it’s totally aesthetically pleasing. You’ll be sure to leave this sweet spot with a full belly and an even fresher Instagram feed.

Another must-eat stop in the same area as BoCaphe is the Chelsea Market. If you want endless options and amazing cultural exposure, be sure to put this stop on the top of your itinerary. I heard that a must-visit spot in the Chelsea Market is Mok Bar. I didn’t know I had a special spot in my soul for Korean barbecue until eating here, and it was a magical experience. If you go, I highly recommend getting the Bibimbap sliders. They’re filling, not too heavy, and I’ve been craving them ever since I ate them for the first time.

We found ourselves on Lafeyette, which is actually where the shopping is POPPIN’ (but seriously). On this street are some of my favorite stores to go to for funky pieces, which is all I wear anymore. We made sure to stop by & Other Stories and Uniqlo, which I highly recommend checking out! These two stores are ~cool girl~ hot spots, and I actually got some super cool pieces which I’ll be posting a styling video on, so stay tuned! Another must-visit spot for thrifting addicts like myself is The Vintage Twin. This locally owned vintage store is what thrifted dreams are made of, with racks full of carefully curated pieces that are made for one-of-a-kind looks…I thought I had died and went to vintage heaven.

On the topic of clothes and street style, here are some shots of what I wore on my trip and all the details of my look!



Shades – Steve Madden

Jumpsuit – Urban Outfitters

Belt – Urban Outfitters

Bucket Bag – J. Crew

Sneakers – Comme des Garçons x Converse

Bodysuit – Forever 21



Turtleneck – J. Crew

Lace Bralette – Free People

Trousers – Thrifted*

Chain – Thrifted*

Bucket Bag – J. Crew

Sneakers – Vans

I also had an incredible time visiting my Mogul family in the Hearst Tower! I intern with Mogul (onmogul.com), the largest social media & networking platform for women worldwide, as a President of the hub at my university. I was able to tour the offices, meet the founder and CEO, Tiffany Pham, and meet with the Marketing Manager, Danica Daniels. You can see the details of this trip and my visit with Mogul all on my YouTube channel (linked here)! I am so grateful to Mogul for this opportunity and I absolutely loved getting to take a peek at what goes on in the headquarters!

Until next time, NYC…



My Murad | Nightly Skincare Routine

My Murad | Nightly Skincare Routine

Hey readers!

I’m back YET AGAIN with another BOMB-AS-HECK blog post (Stella is working on consistency…and it’s working!) and this is one that I’ve been really excited to share with you all. My friends at Influenster and Murad sent me their acne skincare line with a cult following. This amazing gift from Influenster and Murad consisted of Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser which you can purchase here (also from your local Sephora or their online website), Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++, and Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment. Readers, this gift came at literally the perfect time. I’m midway through my first semester as a college student, and that means less sleep, stress through the roof, and being out with friends all the time! While this is an amazing time in my life and I wouldn’t change a thing, it means my skin is a little more irritable than normal. After trying out Murad for the past month, my skin is in the best condition it has been in months, and my acne was cleared up so quickly. I was so blessed to be able to partner up with this amazing brand through Influenster, and while this is sponsored, I will always give an extremely honest review of the product. I TRULY LOVE what these skincare items have done for my skin! So without further adieu, here’s how I use my Murad!

IMG_1773Of course, I start with my favorite part of my day, how I know that it’s time to relax and unwind, I take my makeup off! Once my face is totally free of makeup, I put a dime-sized amount of Murad’s Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser onto my hands, lather it up, and wash my face. This cleanser is instantly cooling on contact, and it gives such a deep clean. I love using cleansers with Salicylic Acid, a) because it’s the next best thing to Benzoyl Peroxide (which I happen to be highly allergic to), and b) it’s a miracle worker for clearing up acne! I have noticed a significant difference in the quality of my skin since using this cleanser! Not kidding, guys, my skin has never looked and felt cleaner.

Once I’ve washed my face, I pat it dry gently and then prep for a good night’s sleep. FUN FACT: Getting more sleep can result in better skin health! When you are sleep deprived, your body makes more of the stress hormone Cortisol, which results in skin irritation and acne. Sleep is your skin’s time to rejuvenate and heal itself, and I love to give my skin a helping hand by using Murad’s Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment. I put this in little dots on my problem areas, which tend to be on my cheeks, my temples, and my forehead. Honestly, I put this on my blemishes and the next day, there is no swelling, and barely any redness. I’m seriously impressed and kind of hooked on this product.


Good morning! It’s been a good night’s sleep (for me, just a couple scrolls down the page for you), and I’m ready to prep my face for makeup! So, when I use concentrated Salicylic Acid on my blemishes, it tends to make the area a little dry, so I exfoliate and moisturize to remove any remaining Spot Treatment. I don’t like to use setting powder when I do my makeup because it settles weird on my face, so I’ve just gotten used to dealing with the occasional blotting to control any shine that I accumulate during the day…until Murad gifted me with probably my favorite skincare item in this blog post. The Murad Oil Control Mattifier is the coolest product I have ever used on my skin. I apply my normal moisturizer on my skin, and then apply the Oil Control Mattifier on top, and let it dry before putting my BB Cream on top. It has the texture of Elmer’s Glue (for real though) and then it settles so smoothly on the skin. NO. JOKE. This kept me completely matte ALL DAY LONG. Without setting powder. Truly the trippiest and best product I have ever used and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it. 11/10, would hecka recommend.

That’s all for my current nightly routine! I want to send a huge hug and major thanks to my friends at Influenster and Murad for seriously hooking a skincare junkie up with some really incredible products! Make sure you head to their site to check it out, and let me know what you think of the products!




Hey readers!

Okay, so this post is all about something that I have been doing once a week for the last year or so, and I’m kind of obsessed with this little trick in my beauty routine. My not-so-secret secret is called dermaplaning – and it’s taking over the beauty world by storm. So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What the actual heck is dermaplaning?” Skininc.com defines dermaplaning as “a simple and safe procedure for exfoliating the epidermis and ridding the skin of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz). It has been used for many years, but most estheticians don’t even know it exists…” hence my not-so-secret secret. Basically, dermaplaning is shaving the skin on the face to get rid of any dead skin cells and those small, nearly invisible baby hairs that can sometimes make foundation look cakey on application. This simple trick has been known to even the skin tone, diminish the appearance of acne scarring overtime, and enhances the texture of the skin. On top of these amazing perks, dermaplaning also allows skincare products to sink deeper into the skin and prevents pores from filling up with dead skin cells or left behind makeup remnants. Dermaplaning professionally done can cost upwards of $100.00, and a broke college girl with a shopping addiction can’t swing that once a week, so I found an easy, affordable, at home hack to share with you!

But first, let’s de-bunk a few myths. I love sharing this underground beauty trick with others, and the first thing almost everyone asks is, “Doesn’t your hair grow back thicker and darker?” And the answer is: NO! Dermaplaning is simply grazing the surface of the skin and ridding the skin of peach fuzz and dead skin cells. I have been doing this for well over a year now, and if anything, I have noticed less growth of peach fuzz on my face.

So how do I perform my very own dermaplaning at home? I found these super high quality Professional Eyebrow & Hair Razors from cosmetic company The Crème Shop for just $10.00! They came in a pack of three super cute pastel colored razors, with a mega sharp blade (be careful!). If you want to order these for yourself, which I highly recommend, you can find them here!


So first I just prep my skin by removing any makeup I had on that day (which is almost always a full face) by using makeup remover wipes. Right now my favorite wipes are the Say Yes to Carrots Nourishing Gentle Cleansing Wipes and I just make sure to really clean up as much as I can. Next, to remove any remaining makeup, I use a gentle cleanser to ensure a clean canvas. Now for the fun part: dermaplaning! The best way that I have found to do this is to pull the skin just slightly so that it is nice and taut, but not too much to wear it will stretch out your skin. This ensures that the blade will get precise contact with the skin and a nice, close shave. Carefully, in small, quick, downward strokes, scrape the edge of the razor while keeping away from the lips and eyes (and be careful not to knick your eyebrows in the process! Been there done that!). Once you’re all done with this step, you should already notice a slight glow in your skin and your skin will be INSANELY smooth, let me just tell you. Once I’ve done this, I go ahead with my usual skincare routine, which is centered around calming products and skin tone evening products. Here are some of my favorites to use after a dermaplaning sesh!

1. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask & Cucumber De-Tox Balancing Essence Water Mist


2. Ole Henriksen Balancing Cucumber Face Mist & Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Mask


3. Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb


And that’s my super secret, but also not a secret at all beauty hack for this year! This has SAVED my acne-prone skin and it’s my favorite aspect of my skincare routine! Make sure you try it out and let me know in the comments what you think! Happy shaving!


“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” | From the Blogger’s Desk

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” | From the Blogger’s Desk


My lovely, amazing, loyal readers! I am so sorry for the lack of posts as of late, life has gotten totally hectic, but these changes have inspired me to dive even deeper into this epic chance that we like to call The Stella Files. I’ve just finished my second week of my freshman year of college, and I have felt every emotion on the spectrum. Insane growth, deep love, excitement, freedom, a new sense of self, anxiety, and grieving painful loss. After scrambling to get my brain and heart to match up, and after lots of time (literally on my knees) in prayer, I’ve come to the realization that my world isn’t coming unraveled, it’s being woven into the most beautiful and intricate quilt of adventures. These are just growing pains. There are stretch marks on my heart, wrinkles in my brain and my furrowed brow, but along with those are laughter lines from late nights on campus and grass stains on my jeans.

Throughout all of the drastic change that I have experienced in the past two weeks, there has been one constant in my life, and that is Jesus. Never before in my life have I felt the hand of God moving in my life, and I am thankful for the growing pains that He has sent my way. I read an article the other day (can’t remember, honestly, but I will try to go back and find it!) about “divine redirection” in our lives. In my eighteen years, I feel that I have always been kept on my toes, and for that I am thankful, as it’s come in handy. I sort of pride myself in being adaptable and flexible; able to take the shape of any container that I am placed in, but lately I have been put in a container that I just couldn’t fill. The empty spaces, the nooks and crannies that I was not able to fill, Christ filled for me, and then some. I am learning that God does not take things that we love or have become comfortable with away from us to hurt us. He makes all things work together for those who love Him. I am learning day in and day out that God is intervening in my life with divine redirection, and after prayer for clarity, I feel a deep and inexplainable peace about this divine redirection in my life.

I was laying in bed tonight after a long day of catching up on homework (I’m actively trying to break my procrastination habits…) with a mind unable to stop running. I was turned on my side, eyes closed, and in my mind I was just asking God for peace and for instructions on what my next steps should be. My mind (as it often does) wandered to Instagram and all of the saved posts I have for inspiration. One of my boards is titled, “WISDOM”, for those days when you just need a #FPWriteThisDown type of post to pick you up. Almost instantly, a post captioned, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way” ran across the inside of my eyelids. I couldn’t even help myself or wait till morning, so I actually jumped out of bed and said, “I have to write.” Do I think this is a coincidence? Absolutely not. Funny, God knows He can reach me with His divine redirection through Instagram, of all things. I’ve spent days thinking to myself how I could have done things differently; maybe if I had then the outcome would have been different. But no, this is not about me. This is nothing that I did, there is nothing I could have done. This is Christ’s divine redirection in my life, and it’s time to keep my gaze forward, because THAT is where He is leading me.

Readers, I am extremely flawed. I am not a perfect Christ follower, I mess up multiple times daily, but this I can tell you is true: whatever it is that you are dealing with, there is a greater plan drawn out a very long time ago by a Creator that loves YOU. Embrace His divine redirection, take epic chances, and don’t look back, because you sure as heck aren’t going that way.


“You’re Allowed to be Unqualified”

“You’re Allowed to be Unqualified”

Today I was sitting in my first class of the day…

It’s a communications class (an elective for my Business Marketing major) and my professor was basically breaking down the class and getting rid of any anxieties we might have. The class is focused on media and culture, and as we were discussing how media truly influences us and how we appear on social media, my professor said something that I think we all seem to forget in this day and age. My professor said

“It’s okay to be unqualified. You can’t do everything, God gifted you with certain things, and we all have certain strengths and weaknesses. You don’t have to know it all. You’re allowed to be unqualified.”

As a blogger and a passionate advocate for social media business, I more often than not feel like I have to overcompensate for my weaknesses; where I lack in certain skills and areas. This field is an extremely visual field and is heavily centered around networking. To network is to display your qualifications and, really, sell yourself to the audience. The deeper you dig into blogging and the more growth your social media platform gets, the easier it is to feel like you’re juggling. Juggling your image, your social media following, blog analytics, outreach, collaborations, pressure to be “yourself”, but also to be socially accepted and relatable. Today I was reminded that it’s okay to not do everything. It’s more important to step back and look at your qualifications, your skills, what you’re good at, and build upon those and use those unique strengths to reach someone that maybe has been searching to connect with a blog just like yours.

So, bloggers, fellow creatives, influencers, there is no need to size up. Let’s all just be real for a second and acknowledge that it’s okay that you can’t do it all. What you can do, though, be great at it and master your craft. What you can’t do, observe others and learn from it, or collaborate with others and build on your combined skills. Today’s class was refreshing, eye opening, and real. I freaking love college.






And there’s no better look to transition into the fall season than classic monochrome. Monochrome looks are the easiest, quickest, and most fool-proof way to look über chic without any hassle. I teamed up with Los Angeles based retailer, Tobi, to bring you my take on the ultimate Summer-to-Fall monochrome look. I paired my Tobi Diem Skort Romper with some classic Chanel Butterfly shades, my go-to Madewell hoops, a super cool layered choker that I actually thrifted, and some oldie-but-goodie Madewell woven wrap-around d’orsay flats! To take this look from Summer to Fall, I threw on my favorite thrifted denim jacket (it’s clearly been loved a lot!).



  • Diem Skort Romper – here

  • Gold Hoops – here

  • Gold Choker – thrifted

  • Denim Jacket – thrifted

  • Chanel Signature Butterfly Sunglasses – here

  • Madewell Woven D’orsay Flat – similar




With, I would say, some of my favorite trends of all time. This season was all about experimental silhouettes, dreamy, flowy fabrics, and an edgy twist on your favorite tee shirt dress. I teamed up with Tobi, a super chic fast-fashion retailer serving major looks to over 1.5 million babes internationally. Tobi is all about bringing West Coast style to you for any occasion, whether it be prom, special occasions, that one vacation look you’ve been searching for, you name it. With the help of Tobi, I pulled together my top two favorite trends of the summer and styled them for you! 

I’ve seen loads of stunning, flowy florals this season and this look has to be my favorite take on the trend. This floral two-piece from Tobi is not only super on-trend, but its wearable, too. The wrap top gives me major Santorini vibes, and the ruffle shorts add a feminine flair. I styled this look with some classic sunnies from H&M, and my go-to Comme des Garçons x Converse sneakers. I wore this look during my trip to D.C. and it kept me cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

shop the look

  • addison floral ruffle shorts – here

  • melanie floral print wrap top – here

  • comme des garçons x converse sneakers – here

  • h&m sunnies – here

Another one of my favorite trends from this season has to be the corset/tee shirt combination. This trend is one that has been worn by basically every single fashion girl ever, and there’s no doubt that this trend will carry over into the fall and winter seasons, just because of how wearable and versatile it truly is. This corseted tee shirt DRESS (yes, believe it or not, its a dress) from Tobi has quickly become one of my favorite pieces in my closet. Despite it being a dress, I actually loved how it looked tucked in to some distressed high-rise jeans and sneakers. I also just want to take a second to obsess over the quality of this tee shirt dress. The fabric is unbelievably soft and the corset detailing is super flattering on every shape.

shop the look

  • all about that lace up shift dress – here

  • h&m sunnies – here

  • the perfect vintage jean – here

  • superga sneakers – here

I had such a great time exploring D.C. in these looks, and I absolutely loved looking on Tobi and picking out some of my favorite pieces for this season! I hope you enjoyed these looks and I hope they can help you style some of YOUR favorite pieces of the summer! Make sure you share your favorite trends and tag me @stellalizabeth! And a big thanks to my favorite photographer and boyfriend Sawyer for taking all of my photos! Photos taken on a Canon Rebel SL1.

A huge thanks to Tobi.com for providing me with these pieces, they are truly an amazing company and I definitely recommend taking a look at their website! You can find them at their website linked here, and on Instagram @shoptobi! Make sure to give them a follow and tell a friend!