Exciting Announcement!! Millie & Main x Let’s Jess Up!

Photography by Max Polito

Sweater: Intermix Jeans: Veronica Beard Heels: Something Navy Earrings: Blossom Box Vest: Lord and Taylor

I am beyond thrilled to announce my partnership with Millie and Main: an online wardrobe styling program! Millie and Main is designed to help you build out your wardrobe by personally styling you with items you already own and specifically curated new items hand selected for you through a digital experience. When the Millie and Main team approached me with the thought of partnering I was beyond excited. As most of you know, I have been a stylist and closet curator in NYC for a long time. You can read more about my in-person services here. I love working directly with clients, but found it frustrating that I am limited to my geography! Well by signing up for Millie and Main, you get to work one on one with ME from anywhere in the world! I will assist with simple styling and organization strategies based on your specific fashion goals, lifestyle, and budget.

The entire process is super cool and each “session” happens over a 4 week period. You start by looking into your closet, where I help you review and decide what to keep and what to throw away. From there, I’ll send you an entire shopping list of items that you should have in your closet for not only life, but each season. These items are hand selected by me! Once you decide to purchase something, I help you build a capsule wardrobe. I provide personal styling and I am always available for you to send me a pic via our private messaging system. Like if you are shopping and you can’t decide if something is worth the splurge, you can just text me and I’ll give you my input! There is so much more that goes into this experience, but I’ll just start there. It’s an amazing company, and I am thrilled to get to bring you my styling and closet curating in an effortless, digital experience.

As a special offer to my previous clients & Newsletter subscribers, we are offering a
10% discount using code letsjessup10 to sign up for the February session!

Hurry and sign up as the session starts February 11th!

I can’t wait to get started and to personally style and curate you and your closet!



My F-Factor Go to’s

Photography by Shadi Garman

If you guys have been following Let’s Jess Up for a while you probably know that I am an avid F-Factor follower. If you want to read about my journey through weight loss after baby, you can check that out here. In summary, I was able to lose all the baby weight from the F-Factor program, and I have really subscribed to the lifestyle. I have never thought of myself as “on a diet” and F-factor has just become a new lifestyle for me.

So many of you have shown interest in what I eat and the foods that I always have stocked in my pantry. I figured I would put together a post sharing a list of my go-to recipes and products. If there is anything I don’t mention in this post, please leave a comment and I’ll make sure to answer!

My Pantry Must-haves:


F-Factor 20/20 Belgian waffles:  I make these waffles a few times a week, and every Saturday and Sunday for the family. I LOVE these waffles and stay full for hours after. They taste delicious and I really can’t believe they are so good for you!

Healthy with Nedi’s Cheesy eggs: These are so delicious and filling.I love starting my day with this breakfast. I like to add chopped spinach and even sautéed mushrooms. The options are endless!

Low Carb everything bagel: I am so excited to have found these incredibly delicious low carb bagels. I buy them in bulk from amazon and keep them in my freezer. My favorite breakfast if I am feeling like something savory, is a toasted everything bagel covered in Greek cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and onion. These bagels have only 1.6 grams net carbs each and are DELISH!

Raw Rev Bar or No Cow Bar: During the week, I go into the office on Tuesday and Wednesdays. I always bring a Raw Rev bar or No Cow bar for breakfast on those days. They are easy to throw into my bag and have tons of fiber and protein keeping me surprisingly full until lunch.

20/20 Banana Bread: I bake this banana bread once or twice a week. Charlee and Matt both love it. I have it for breakfast or a snack.


Buffalo chicken GG Melts: I love making sandwiches for lunch using GG crackers. The options are really endless. Anything you would think to put on a sandwich, you can put on a GG! I love to make buffalo chicken GG melts. They are so yummy!



  • Take about 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken and shred it with a fork or with your hands.
  • Saute the chicken in a pan with a few tablespoons of franks red hot wings sauce. You can use as much as you want or as little. The more you use, the spicier.
  • Once the chicken is all mixed up with the hot sauce, evenly place on top of 4 gg crackers.
  • Add a few slices of red onion
  • Top with mozzarella cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve with 2 TBSP of Bolthouse blue cheese dressing
  • Enjoy!

*PS:I also love to enjoy a buffalo chicken wrap using Tumaro’s low carb wraps. Use the same steps from the directions above, but instead of baking in the oven, add the ingredients into the wrap. Wrap it up in a burrito-like roll and toast in a pan until the cheese is melted. Enjoy with a side of Bolthouse blue cheese dressing.

Turkey and cheese low carb wraps: I like to have wraps for lunch. I change it up with what’s inside the wrap but one of my go-to’s is turkey, light mayo and mustard with pickles.

Turkey and cheese melts on a low carb bagel: I made this yesterday for lunch and it was SO good. I put a little light mayo, mustard, sliced turkey and pickles on the low carb bagels. Then I added a slice of cheese and popped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. It was so good!

Turkey pepperoni pizza roll ups: I make these pizza roll ups either for lunch or my snack. They are SO easy to make. I spread pizza sauce on the low carb wraps and then add turkey pepperoni and low moisture mozzarella cheese. Then I just head them up on my griddle pan until the cheese is melted. I dip them into a tablespoon of bolthouse dressing. SO good.


Pizza:  I love pizza and am so thrilled that I found a pizza crust that is guilt free. I have tried a ton of different variations of pizza recipes using these Califlour pizza crusts. One of my recent favorites is my Red Pepper, goat cheese and chicken sausage pizza. It’s SO delish you guys!

Chicken Enchiladas: I make this one a week! It’s a hit with the fam.

Low-carb and chip-less Nachos:  Nachos are a must-eat for me to be a happy human. I love this recipe because all of the nacho flavors are there without the guilt!

Salmon: I make a lot of lean protein dishes for dinners. This is one of my favorite recipes. Another way I make salmon is in parchment paper. It’s so easy! You just place your salmon in a bed of spinach in parchment paper, top it with a little olive oil spray, tomatoes, sliced onion and salt and pepper. You wrap it in the parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. I usually top it with light feta. Easy, delicious, simple and healthy!

Low-carb lasagna: Need I say more?! This recipe is insanely delicious and I make this at least once a week. It’s another crowd favorite in the Q household.

Roasted Carrots with goat cheese: I made these the other night and replaced the syrup with high fiber Sukrin syrup. It was SO good. I peeled a bunch of rainbow carrots, cut them into pieces, sprayed them with olive oil spray and salt and pepper. Then I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Took them out of the oven, and put about a tablespoon of sukrin syrup on them. I made sure they were coated in the syrup and put them back in the oven until they were roasted. Once they were roasted, I put them all in a bowl and added a little bit of crumbled goat cheese and another little bit of the sukrin syrup. They were SO good!

I hope you all found this helpful. If I missed anything or you have any questions, please leave a message in the comments!




Delicious red pepper, goat cheese and chicken sausage pizza (F-Factor Approved)


Hi Friends and welcome back to the blog! I am super excited to share with you my new favorite pizza recipe that I put together the other night! The main ingredient in this recipe is the cauliflower pizza crust by Califlour Foods. I have limited time as a Mom and making my own pizza crust before making any pizza is just not going to happen ha! I purchase these pizza crusts in bulk and keep them in my freezer. Each pizza has only 1 net carb per serving making the entire crust only 3 grams net carbs. If you are making this pizza for more than one person, just double or triple the ingredients to make sure you have enough for your pizza toppings. You can take the crusts directly from the freezer and place them in the oven.  I had an overwhelming response to this recipe after I shared the step by step on Instagram, so I wanted to share the recipe with you guys! This is one of my favorite pizza recipes I have ever made and was a huge hit with my husband. I hope you all enjoy!



  • Start by roasting your tomatoes. Place your tomatoes in a glass casserole pan or baking tray. Spray with an olive oil cooking spray and bake at 250-300 degrees for however long you want. The longer you roast them, the more delicious they become. Spread them around a bit periodically while they cook. I learned this from @Julethebee
  • Start by baking your pizza crust according to the instructions on the box. I like a crispier crust and usually bake mine at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Be sure to bake your crust on top of parchment paper. This will keep the crust from sticking to your pan or pizza stone.
  • While the crust is baking, sauté your sliced onions and chicken sausage. Keep in mind the sausage is cooked so you are just heating it up. It should be browned just a little. By the time your onions are sautéed the sausage should be done. (3-4 minutes)
  • Once the pizza has finished baking, take it out of the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Keep in mind your pizza will be a little gooey in the middle.
  • Once the pizza has cooled down it is time to dress it!
  • Spread the pizza sauce in a thin layer on top of the pizza
  • Top with chicken sausage, tomatoes, red onion and goat cheese.
  • Squeeze out about 1 tbs of the sukrin syrup and cover it all over the pizza
  • Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or so. You just want to make the cheese melt and the syrup to carmelize a bit.
  • Take the pizza out of the oven and add your handful of arugula and another squeeze of the syrup on your pizza
  • ENJOY!


New Year, New Goals: What I hope to accomplish this year

Hi guys! I know we are already almost halfway through January but I figured it’s never too late to set some goals! I always set resolutions, but this year I decided to set some goals. Nineteen to be exact ;)! The list below is a bit random, but these are all goals I’d love to achieve this year. Do any of my goals resonate with you guys?!

  1. Wake up before Charlee and have time for myself! I have actually been doing this since the New Year and it has been a GAME CHANGER for me. I am lucky in that Charlee loves to sleep and has been sleeping until at least 7:30 or 8 most days. I try and wake up at 7 to have my coffee, tidy up and shower. I am in a much better head space when I get her out of her crib and I’m able to be more focused instead of running around like a crazy person!
  2. Complete 10 full push-ups in a row. I was able to lose the baby weight I gained in 2018, so my goal this year is to get stronger. I would love to be able to do a full 10 push ups in a row!
  3. Sign Charlee up for swimming lessons. We will be traveling a lot this summer and I want Charlee to feel comfortable in the water. I would love to get her into a swimming program. If you are NY based and have any suggestions please let me know!
  4. Invest in some nice bras. This is a weird goal but I just need to bite the bullet and invest in some nice bras and lingerie. I have always had a smaller chest, but after baby that all changed. I need to go get measured and actually wear the correct size bra. This may sound like a dumb goal but I had to add to my list haha!
  5. Meditate a few times a week. I’d like to eventually do this every day, but I figure I should start with a smaller goal and work my way up. I just downloaded the Simple Habit app and am going to start trying to meditate right after I wake up.
  6. Organize photo books. I have been printing family photos since Charlee was born but I haven’t gotten around to actually organizing them. I want to get all the printed photos into a photo book!
  7. Delete the “bad” photos on my iPhone. I am constantly taking photos of my daughter, my family, myself etc. The problem is that out of every 10 photos, I post only 1 and never delete the “bad” 9. Therefore my phone is filled with SO MANY PHOTOS. If I just kept the one I liked I’d have way more space on my phone.
  8. Sing more! I miss singing so much and I really want to incorporate singing back into my life.
  9. Declutter! Matt and I got rid of so much stuff when we moved into our newest apartment. We are in decent shape but I always feel like we just have so much STUFF. I want to continue to declutter and have everything that I own have a “place.” I am the kind of person that really needs to have a home for each thing I own or else it doesn’t get put away!
  10. Take a romantic trip with Matt. Matt and I did a few overnights just us last year but we really want to take a longer trip together in 2019. Somewhere tropical, just us. I am already excited!
  11. Spend time with my nephew. My sister had a baby boy in October of 2018. I really want him to know me and that means a lot of trips back and forth from NYC to NC. I am up for the challenge ;). Also thank goodness for Facetime!
  12. Spend less time on my phone. I run a blog and a huge part of that business is being engaged on social media. I want to start leaving my phone in another room for a few hours at night to disengage and just be present. I am so passionate about my platform and engaging with my followers (I LOVE you guys!) but I feel like I need to take a pause once a day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes!
  13. Take Charlee on more adventures. I have Charlee by myself everyday from 3-5:30 P.M. I love this time and really treasure making memories together. That said, we have gotten comfortable playing at home in our own space. I want to take Charlee to more classes and museums during this time in 2019.
  14. Create more video content. I’d love to provide more engaging content for you all and I feel like video would be my way of taking it to the next level.
  15. Drink more water. I drink a lot of water, but not as much as I should. My goal is to start getting used to drinking 3 L a day.
  16. Put myself first in regards to my health. I had a baby 17 months ago and I am still dealing with some residual health issues from birth. I have been lazy about following up with doctors etc. because life and other responsibilities (Charlee) tend to come first. This year I am going to take care of myself and my health. I know this is super important.
  17. Focus on one thing at a time. I am super high energy, and sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I have a difficult time focusing on one thing at a time. I can get overwhelmed with my to-do list and try and do a bit of each at the same time. This clearly doesn’t work! I want to start taking a breath and focusing, AKA be present.
  18. Write in my Mom journal every night. I have this amazing One line a day Journal that I rarely write in. I would love to write in it more often so I can remember the little things.
  19. Focus on how far I have come, not how far I have to go. 2018 was a year of incredible growth for me. I had my baby in August of 2017, and 2018 was spent trying to get not only my body back, but to get back to feeling like myself again. I worked really hard on getting to where I wanted to be, but not doing a great job of acknowledging where I had been and how hard I had worked to get there. I want to focus this year on being happy with where I am and honoring the work I have put in. It’s time to be a little less hard on myself. Any other Moms relate?

Share some of your resolutions in the comments!!

Evian-A spray to start your day

Photography by Shadi Garman

Sponsored by Evian

Hi Guys! Hope you are all having a great week so far. I am super excited to talk about this new beauty product, the Evian Facial Spray. To be honest, when Evian asked me to try this out and potentially post about it on my blog, I must say that I was super skeptical. I mean, it’s just a spray bottle with water so I couldn’t imagine it was going to be anything to write home about! I have been using this spray for about 6 weeks now, and I can honestly say that I am 100% obsessed. Evian markets this spray as a great hydrating tool for traveling, which it absolutely is. That said, I use this spray every morning after I apply my facial moisturizer as well as when I am traveling. My skin has never been this hydrated during the winter months and I know it is 100% because of this product.

The ultra-fine pure, natural, powered mist allows the skin to absorb a unique balance of beneficial minerals along with the water. It has a neutral 7.2 pH. and relieves dry, irritated skin caused by high altitude and poor air quality making it amazing for travel or dry areas like my apartment when the heat is blasting! I received this travel pack and I have one of these spray bottles in every bag at this point haha! It’s great if you feel like a refresh or that your skin is tight from being dry. I really love this product and I’m super excited to share it with you all!


Step-1 F-Factor Approved Banana Bread!


Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a great Sunday! I have been getting inundated with requests to share the F-factor banana bread recipe I make at least once a week! I got this recipe from Shana Pantirer of @Spantirer. You all should follow her if you are an F-factor devotee like me! Shana actually works as a Senior RD at F-factor’s headquarters in NYC! She shared this recipe a little while ago and it has become a weekly favorite of mine and my family’s! I love to have a slice for breakfast or snack or even for dessert if I am craving something sweet and delicious. This banana bread is so good, you would NEVER assume it was low carb. Check out the recipe and details below:

Nutrition per serving (recipe makes 10 slices): 110 calories, 2 g fat, 10 g fiber, 9.5g protein

Only 9 g net carbs!


  • 1 cup F-Factor 20/20 vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour ( I have used either and have no preference)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas broken into small chunks (this makes it easier to mix up)
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Baking spray with flour (I use Pam baking spray)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. You don’t have to separate dry and wet ingredients as they mix together well
  • Make sure all of your ingredients, including the bananas are well mixed. It’s ok to have a few chunks, but the creamier the better
  • spray your baking dish with baking spray so the banana bread doesn’t stick to the pan. (I use a Staud 10.5 x 7.5″ pan)
  • Pour your batter into the pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • ENJOY!


Tips for Traveling with Toddler!


Hi Guys! Welcome back to the blog! I got back from NC last weekend after a wonderful week spent with family over the Holidays. Matt unfortunately had to head back a few days earlier than Charlee and I, so I was solo traveling back with the babes. I have to say I was really nervous to travel with Charlee by myself. I have done it before, and I wrote about that experience here. Despite having traveled with Charlee by myself before, she is much older now and harder to wrangle than she was when she was a baby. I was so surprised that our solo trip back to NY went so much better than I anticipated. I never even brought out the ipad once for the entire flight. Granted, we were in the air for only two hours, but I was so happy with how much easier this fight was than I anticipated. I had a few tricks and back up plans that I brought along with me on this flight so I thought I would share with you all in case you have a solo flight booked with your littles!

  1. I highly recommend buying your toddler their own seat. I know this is a luxury and I understand that not everyone can afford to do this. Charlee is a true toddler: squirmy and independent. The idea of getting one seat and sitting next to a stranger gives me major anxiety. I knew that Charlee was going to most likely bother the heck out of our seat mate and just feel very trapped and unhappy, so Matt and I made the decision to purchase her a seat on the plane on the way back. It was a game changer!
  2. If your child has their own seat, then I can’t recommend enough the Kids Fly Safe Airplane Safety Harness. Charlee is wearing it in the photo above. This contraption essentially creates a harness that makes your child feel like they are riding in a car seat, without having to lug your enormous car seat onto the flight. It is small and compact and fits in a diaper bag. I was able to install it in under one minute and had her strapped in with no problems. She sat in her harness the entire flight and didn’t complain once. She is good in the car, and in her stroller so she is used to the experience of being harnessed in. It made my trip a breeze.
  3. Make sure to travel with your child’s lovey. Charlee has all of a sudden started to show major affection towards a specific stuffed bunny that she calls “Nana.” I made the last minute decision to pack her “Nana” with us on the flight down and back and it was a major help. She loves her “Nana” and snuggles it and sucks her thumb for comfort. If your child has a lovey, make sure to bring it on the flight to make them feel more comfortable.
  4. Bring surprise toys! I went to the local CVS in NC before we got on our flight and bought Charlee a brand new Lisa Frank Sticker book and a mess free coloring set to surprise her with if she got antsy on the flight. The sticker book gave me about an hour of engaged entertainment for Charlee. She LOVED it. I would ask her which sticker she wanted, she would point to one and then she would hold the sticker and place it on me or her “Nana” or on the seat. It seriously helped so much! It has about 1 million stickers in it haha so it is a great one to purchase. I also pulled out the mess free coloring pad and markers once she was over the stickers and that gave us another 30 minutes. I bought the mess free pad for obvious reasons!
  5. Bring your child’s favorite toys. Charlee loves this “My First Purse set “that I got her for Christmas. I brought it and she spent some time on her “cell phone” and putting on her “lipstick.” Whatever toy your child loves, bring it!
  6. Give your child one activity at a time. Charlee gets overwhelmed when surrounded by too many toys. I get more calm and focus from her if I offer her one thing at a time. I was able to really spread out the use of each toy by offering her a new one once she was bored of the one before.
  7. Invest in a great travel stroller. We own this great travel stroller by Mountain Buggy. It’s super lightweight and folds down compactly making it easy to take on to the plane and put into the overhead compartment. This time I had to gate check it since there wasn’t a ton of over head room on the plane, but I didn’t mind since I was able to bring it up to the gate and drop it before boarding.
  8. Bring snacks. If you are a Mom you’re probably saying, “well DUH!” I am the queen of snacks and stash them in every pocket of my diaper bag! I bring pouches, milk, water, cookies, crackers, cheese puffs, fruit bars etc. I will let her eat whenever and whatever she wants on planes and it definitely helps keep her entertained. Luckily now that she is a toddler, she drinks whole milk. They serve whole milk on flights so I always bring an empty bottle to pop it into. Makes it easier than worrying about bringing a cooler etc.
  9. Board first. I always take advantage of the option to board first when traveling with Charlee. This lessens the stress of getting her situated and in her flight harness.
  10. If you must offer an iPad for entertainment, do it last. I had this as my backup if my other toys and snack options weren’t enough for Charlee. I know if I had given it to her first, she would have watched it but then gotten board too quickly and less interested in her toys. That sounds weird, but she gets like that when we let her watch the Ipad.
  11. If you are traveling during nap time, bring nap props. Charlee sleeps in a sleep sack at night and for naps. (Size large for reference.) We didn’t travel during nap time this trip, but if we had, I would have put her in her sleep sack to help her realize it was time for a nap.
  12. Have fun!! You and your baby are on an adventure! I’ll never forget how nervous I was to take Charlee on our first flight just us. I had anxiety for weeks! It ended up being SO MUCH EASIER than I thought it would be and really fun! It was a Mommy and Charlee adventure and a memory I will always cherish.

I hope this is helpful to those of you who are traveling with your toddler! Good luck!


The World’s Best Low-carb Lasagna!

Ok, the WORLD’S best may be a stretch, but this low-carb lasagna is SO GOOD you won’t believe it only has 4 grams net carbs per serving! I made this dish for dinner and couldn’t get over how delicious it was, and neither could my husband :). I took a few different recipes and combined them to create this one. I hope you all enjoy!


  • 2 cans of Palmini lasagna noodles OR  Zanuzzo Hearts of Palm Lasagna
  • 1 Pound uncooked Italian Sausage (you can use chicken sausage for a leaner option!)
  • 8 oz Organic Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, (you can use part-skim fat for a healthier alternative!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups Marinara Sauce (I like to use Rao’s or the Trader Giotto’s Marinara since they are both low-carb)
  • 12 ounces Low moisture Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 medium sized baking dish (I used a 9×12 in)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Take the Zannuzo Hearts of Palm Lasagna noodles out of the cans and run them under cold water in a strainer for one minute.
  • Take the hearts of palm noodles from the colander and place them on paper towels. Pat with paper towels to dry them out. They won’t be 100% dried out, but you are just trying to get rid of any excess water before making the lasagna.
  • While the noodles dry, cook the Italian Sausage. While the sausage cooks, chop the sausage into super small pieces. It should take about 10 minutes or so for the sausage to cook.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the ricotta, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  • With the sausage cooked, noodles patted dry and your ricotta mixture mixed together you are ready to assemble the layers of the lasagna in your baking dish!
  • Start with spreading your first layer of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. This will keep your noodles from sticking.  Then assemble in any combination of layers that you choose making sure to complete the same pattern. After the last layer, the shredded cheese should be the last layer. This will ensure a cheesy baked topping.
  • Bake your lasagna, uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts per 1 serving (should make 10 pieces in all) : 320 calories per serving: 5 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber


A NYC stroll + 21 things you should do in NYC

Photography by Max Polito

Sweater: Zadig and Voltaire Jeans: 3×1 Coat: Something Navy Sneakers: Converse x Comme Des Garsons Bag: Gucci Socks: J.Crew

Hi Friends! I hope you’re all having a great weekend. I wanted to put together a list of things to do in NYC because I get asked for advice from my followers on this a lot. I put together a list of 21 things I recommend doing. The list is never ending because NYC has so much to offer. I hope you all enjoy!

  1. Top of the Rock: Everyone is Familiar with Rockefeller Center, but did you know that there are a few tours you can take there? The first is tickets to the top of the Rock. The 360 degree views will take your breath away. It’s definitely a must-do.
  2. Another really fun thing to do at Rock Center is to do the NBC Studios tour. I took this tour with Matt, my Mom and Papa a few years ago. It was SO COOL and actually really fun. We decided to do it last minute and really enjoyed it.
  3. The Campbell at Grand Central: Grand Central is of course a must-see when visiting NYC. One of my favorite parts of Grand Central is having a drink at Campbells. John W. Campbell was a very successful financier back in the early 1900’s. He leased an office and reception area out of Grand Central. He felt he needed to be in the heart of NYC but also close to the trains, hence renting a space at Grande Central. So cool, right?! Well they turned his office into a bar, restoring it to it’s glory day.
  4. Get a wine and Cheese plate at Nota Bene in Eataly. We are so lucky to live only 5 blocks from Eataly. Eataly is an Italian Market filled with different restaurants and curated Italian goods. They have fresh organic produce too. It’s a really cool place to visit. My favorite thing to do there is order a fresh cheese plate paired with some Rose at Nota Bene. It’s in the center of the market so you get to people watch and drink. Such a NYC thing to do.
  5. Have brunch at Tavern on the Green: I will never forget having lunch here when I was 13 years old. I felt like a celebrity! This place is such an iconic establishment and a must-visit. They have a beautiful outdoor bar and patio which I love to frequent over the summer months. That said, it’s so fun to visit over the Holidays. It’s decorated and cozy and charming, not to mention the food is delicious!
  6. Pier A: Matt and I actually had our rehearsal dinner at this incredible place. It’s located all the way at the end of the Island of Manhattan next to the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. It was built in 1884 to serve the New York City Department of Docks and Harbor Police. You can read all about the history of it on the website. Today, it’s a huge food hall and bar, and they do private events like weddings etc. on the top floor. I recommend going for an afternoon beer and sharing a large pretzel. My Papa would agree with you ;).
  7. Spend an afternoon in Battery Park City. Battery Park is such a gorgeous area. You can take the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, or you can walk the outskirts of the park along the Hudson River. I remember when I took my Mom down to this area when she came to visit. She said she didn’t even think we were still in NYC! It’s so gorgeous and fun to visit. Matt and I had our wedding reception at Battery Gardens which is a beautiful restaurant right on the water. We love grabbing a bite there and watching the sun set :).
  8. Order the burger at the Spotted Pig: Best burger I’ve ever had. Not much more to say than that!
  9. Grab a bite at Minetta Tavern: I went on a date with a guy who took me here on our first date. I think I ended up dating him for way longer than I should have because he clearly had incredible taste in restaurants! Minnetta tavern opened in 1937 and was named after the Minetta Brook — which ran southwest from 23rd Street to the Hudson River. The Tavern was frequented by various layabouts and hangers-on including Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Eugene O’Neill, E. E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, and Joe Gould, as well as by various writers, poets, and pugilists.
  10. Visit a Speak Easy: There are so many cool Speakeasies. One of my favorites is actually across the street from our apartment called Patent Coffee. During the day it’s a coffee shop. At night, you have to ring the doorbell outside and they let you in a secret door behind the counter. It’s a dark and cool bar! It’s so cool and they have a really great cocktail menu.
  11. Grab a drink at Lillie’s Bar. This bar is one of the coolest places to get a drink in NYC. The entire bar is decorated in crazy vintage finds. There is simply not a single empty space on the wall and the food and atmosphere can’t be beat. There are a few locations. I love going to the midtown location before or after seeing a Broadway show.
  12. Eat at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. First of all, Madison Square Park is my favorite NYC park. We had our first date there, got engaged there and have lived around the corner from this park since 20012! The Shake Shack in the park is actually the very first Shake Shack ever. It’s so fun to grab a bite and eat outside under the sparkling lights.
  13. Play Ping Pong at Spin. This is such a fun date-night idea. You can sign up to play ping pong and drink and eat at the same time. What a great idea, right!?
  14. Go to K-town for some Karaoke. I do this every birthday. I just love karaoke and some of the best Karaoke bars are in the heart of Korea Town in NYC. MK Kareoke is my favorite spot but you really can’t go wrong.
  15. Go to a NYC Comedy Club: My personal favorite is Comedy Cellar. I love comedy and I especially love live comedy. NYC is known for it’s undiscovered talent and it’s such a fun way to spend a night out. The last few times I have been to a Comedy Club there have been some famous people make surprise appearances! I almost lost my mind when Jim Gaffigan walked on stage! You never know who you will see ;).
  16. Spend an afternoon in Dumbo. There’s so much to do in Dumbo. Matt and I spent a whole day in Brooklyn Bridge Park when Charlee was 10 months old. We walked all around and took her to a public pool and splash pad. Then we went to lunch at the 1 Hotel and sat outside looking at the NYC skyline while she napped. It was a perfect day!
  17. Eat a bagel from Best Bagel and Coffee. Every New Yorker has their favorite bagel place. This is mine. HANDS DOWN the best bagel I’ve ever had. They have hand rolled and kettle boiled bagels and all the bagels are made on the premises. My go-to order is a plain bagel with veggie cream cheese, tomato and onion. DELICIOUS!
  18. Play Mini Golf overlooking the Hudson River: This is such a fun little place along the West Side Highway of NYC. Best part is, it’s only $5 to play!
  19. Go to the Frying Pan for a boozy afternoon. This is one of my favorite places to go during the summer. The Frying Pan is essentially a big boat with a restaurant and bar. When the weather is nice I love to go sit outside and eat and drink with Matt and friends.
  20. See a Broadway Show: This is an obvious one, but so necessary. The theater in NYC is amazing! Did you know that you can go to the box office same day to see if they have any rush seats? They are usually much cheaper! You can also buy tickets same day at the TKTS booth!
  21. Take a lunch cruise on the North River Lobster Company boat: Matt and I discovered this amazing lobster cruise this past summer! We absolutely love taking this little lobster cruise. It only lasts about 1 hour, you can drink wine and order seafood AND bring your baby. It’s a super fun thing to do in the summertime.

There are so many more things I could list out as must-do’s in NYC but I think i’ll start with this list ;).

Thanks for stopping by!


Let’s Jess Up x Meg Cusick Holiday Gift Guide for Toddler boys and girls!


Hi friends! I am so excited because I teamed up with my blogger bestie Meg Cusick of Alexander-Alexandra to share with you two holiday gift guides for toddlers! She put together the toddler boy gift guide with her adorable baby boy Jett in mind and I created the toddler girl guide with Miss Charlee Q in mind! Meg and I met via Instagram and have become such close friends. Our babies were born only two weeks apart so we have gone through motherhood on almost the exact same timeline. She’s such a wonderful friend and Momma! If you don’t follow her, you should! We hope you enjoy these gift guides!

  1. Mini Kitchenette: We bought this for Charlee as her big present from Santa. Not that she knows who Santa is, but I am SO excited to give it to her. They have a big plastic Little Tykes kitchen at her daycare that she loves and I just know she is going to lose her mind when she wakes up to this on Christmas morning!
  2. Toothbrush: We just had Charlee’s first dentist appointment! She is 16 months and has a total of 4 teeth! I wanted to get her her first toothbrush and this one has great reviews. It will be one of her stocking stuffers!
  3. Baby’s first Purse: I may or may not be the MOST excited about this gift. Charlee is absolutely obsessed with my purse and tries to carry it around all the time. I know she will just love this. It also comes with the cutest purse accessories. Too cute!
  4. Bath Pipes Toy: I love these bath pipes! Now that Charlee is older, she enjoys playing in the bath and I know she will love playing with these.
  5. Skip Hop Snack Bee:  This adorable snack case makes snacking fun! It’s a great stocking stuffer. Too cute!
  6. Winter Jacket:  I had to add this winter jacket to the gift guide! I bought this for Charlee back in October on Amazon for $30! It has become our go-to for cold winter days. It’s very warm and as a bonus it’s so chic! I had no expectations since it was inexpensive but have been presently surprised. I ordered her a size 12-18 month for reference and it fits great!
  7. Flash Cards:  Charlee is very verbal and basically tries to repeat anything we say. We have had to be careful hah! We wanted to start introducing flash cards to see if she can learn even more words. These came highly recommended.
  8. Toy Vacuum that works! : If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my child is obsessed with any type of cleaning appliance. Hence the reason behind this gift and the one listed below! This vacuum actually sucks which I think is the absolute coolest thing ever.
  9. Toy Broom and dust pan set: Charlee unfortunately figured out how to unwrap a few of her presents under the tree and got into this one. Good news is, it’s a HIT! She’s obsessed.
  10. American Girl Bitty Baby Doll: This is the cutest! It’s the American Girl Doll baby doll. You can buy individual outfits from American Girl and it’s just a beautiful gift.

1. Little Tykes Cozy Coupe: Jett has loved this truck for months now, and even as he gets older he seems to love it more! He loves to put toys in the trunk, and is just now able to pedal himself around – I think this toy will be loved for a very long time!    https://rstyle.me/n/ddb4qscbrxx.

2. MOLUK mini Bilibos Toy: These may look unsuspecting, but these toys can be stacked and nested, they act as floating ducks, sand shovels, candy bowls, spinning tops, racing cars or scoops for snowballs. (Go watch the video – they look so cool!)  https://rstyle.me/n/ddb36ecbrxx

3. Uniqlo Baby puffer coat: We love this winter coat for Jett – its lightweight and really warm! He never seems uncomfortable in it and it packs up really small into my diaper bag! https://rstyle.me/n/ddb39kcbrxx

4. Toy Train with Letter Blocks: Another one of Jett’s favorites! He can ride on it, play with the letter blocks, push buttons that light up, and so much more! https://rstyle.me/n/ddb267cbrxx

5. Tee Ball Set: Jett has a tennis racquet that is his size, as well as golf clubs. He has really loved trying to tap balls with these “stick” toys, and I know Tee Ball will be really fun for him too! https://rstyle.me/n/ddb33ccbrxx

6. Balance Bike: Jett may be a bit too young for this now – the box states 2-5 years, but I know we are just around the corner from being able to play with these! A great way for him to learn how to balance on a bike! https://rstyle.me/n/ddb3bdcbrxx

7. Aqua Doodle: no mess! I have been on the search for a large play mat that Jett could color on and I think this is the one! https://rstyle.me/n/ddb37wcbrxx

8. Personalized Book:  We had this “Baking Cookies with Mom” book personalized and Jett is obsessed! Such a special gift! http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-8953065-8236968

9. Bumble Bee Fountain Bath toy: This toy you can fill up with water and when you pull it out, it creates a fountain! One of Jett’s favorite bath toys. https://rstyle.me/n/ddb3rfcbrxx

10. Uniqlo toddler PJ’s: We have 4 sets of pajamas from Uniqlo because they are the best! Thin, yet warm, stretchy.. and the top can button to the bottoms so don’t come apart in the night! This Winnie the Poo print PJ is my favorite of the bunch. theyhttps://rstyle.me/n/ddb24ncbrxx