10 things NOT to do in New York City

“As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.”

– Pearl S. Buck

After a romantic city break to Venice with my husband early in 2019, I spent the Whitsun weekend in Paris with one of my female friends from Holland. In summer I went to Hamburg with 10 Swiss friends and I spoiled myself with one more city trip with another Dutch friend in 2019: New York City. You will understand that with so many holidays in one year, a girl has to watch her spending, so we did New York City very low budget (you can read all about it in this NYC blogpost), which worked out brilliantly.

For all my city trips, I always list 10 things that you should NOT do. So, here they are: 10 things NOT to do in New York City. I provide you with the reasons why and I offer you great alternatives! Enjoy your read.

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Why women should join (or start) a book club

“Reading brings us unknown friends”

– Honoré de Balzac

Last week, in my budget-friendly NYC blogpost, I jokingly quoted “Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.” – Charlaine Harris. Well, it is true, but that’s not one of the reasons why I think women should join a book club.

What are some benefits a book club can offer you? Well, how about the following:

A book club will make sure you broaden your horizon, you deepen your knowledge, you familiarise yourself with other cultures, you develop your communication skills, you work on your management and leadership skills and you will enjoy female friendships. Sounds pretty good, don’t you agree? Read on for more awesome advantages and some useful tips and links too.

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10 tips for a budget-friendly visit to New York City

“Balancing your money is the key to having enough.“

– Elizabeth Warren

Hello!

Last October I visited NYC with a friend. For both of us it was an extra holiday on top of many others. That’s why we decided to plan our visit such that we would make most of it in a budget-friendly way. We used to do that as students because we had to and we challenged ourselves to do it again because we wanted to. And you know what? We can still pull if off!

Read on to find out what we did (and did not) to limit our spending and make most of our stay!

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7 reasons why snowshoeing is a great alternative for skiing and why you should really give it a try

“When life gives you snow, go snowshoeing.”

– anonymous

Hello and Happy New Year to you!

Last blog was all about hiding your Xmas extras, but that is of course a temporary solution. (Re)starting a healthy diet and exercising are ways to ensure lasting results. That’s why this week I’d like to promote a healthy activity that will bring you much while not costing you or the environment a lot: Snowshoeing!

In case you are a fan of winter wonderland, when you like relaxing your brain while exercising, when you love enjoying nature and respecting it at the same time plus when you are looking for having the time of your live for just a tiny bit of money, you should definitely go snowshoeing.

Read on to find out the many more advantages snowshoeing offers.

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7 top tricks to hide your Xmas extras with the right clothes

“Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat.”

– Cicero

I hope you have enjoyed lots of Xmas festivities and gatherings in the last few weeks. When you have done so (good for you!), you may have ended up with a bit more belly than before…..Time to do something about that!

The best things to do are:

1: (re)start a healthy diet

2: exercise on a regular basis.

Though these are the way to do it long-term, you may want to have short-term results. Well, that doesn’t work I’m afraid. What does work is hiding these Xmas extras by wearing the right type of clothes.

Below you find  some tricks how to do so.

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10 tips to avoid Xmas stress, so it really is the most wonderful time of the year

“Sometimes we strive so hard for perfection that we forget that imperfection is happiness.”

– Karen Nave

🎼 It’s the most wonderful time of the year🎄

Well, to be honest, for many the weeks leading up to Xmas and Xmas itself are rather stressful. So much to do, so many events to attend, so much money involved, so many cards to write and cookies to bake, such a complicated family to get around one table…The list of stress factors can be rather long.

When you are suffering from (pre)Xmas stress, you may want to go through a list of 10 tips to avoid exactly this, so you can enjoy a relaxed and wonderful Xmas this year!

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A book for when you have to miss (a) loved one(s) this Xmas: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” 

– Francis of Assisi

On the second Sunday of December it is Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. People around the world come together to light candles for children who have lived tragically short lives for any number of reasons; sickness, accidents, war… The candles show that they will always be loved and never forgotten. The candles are lit at 7 pm local time, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.

I am not just writing this, because last Sunday was the second Sunday of December, but also because the loss of a child and how to live on after that tragedy is the central theme of the novel “The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes” by Ruth Hogan, a novel I can highly recommend.

When you think you are in for a very depressive read with this novel, well…..think again! The novel has an uplifting tone and message, shows the power of friendships, makes you feel the warmth of gathering together and addresses the heavy subject in a very respectful manner. Quite an accomplishment. There is lots of humour in the novel as well and it is written in an easy yet beautiful English style, including lots of Britishness.

For all of you who love feel-good novels, adore the English language & landscape and especially for those of you who have to miss someone dear this Xmas, treat yourself on this fabulous read! For a full review, please continue reading. For those of you who’d like to discuss the novel in a bookclub, at the end of the blogpost are some discussion questions you can use.

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6 things to consider so you can find the best sweater dress for you!

“It’s not about the dress you wear, but it’s about the life you lead in the dress.”

– Diana Vreeland

In autumn we tend to lead a life that is all about cosiness. That’s why a sweater dress is fabulous for fall: simple, stylish, soft and….cosy!!!

Read on to find out which 6 things to consider when hunting for the best one for you this autumn/winter season.

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3 novels to put on your Xmas list, novels that all take place in NYC

“Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.”

– Charlaine Harris

Do you know that feeling too? You have been somewhere and although it is always great coming back home, you also kind of want to prolong the holiday or at least that holiday feeling. Books are a super solution to get the best of two worlds. You can curl up on your own sofa with a novel and the book brings you back to where you have just been (or takes you where you’d like to go one day). Books are therefor the cheapest vacation you can buy and thus a  perfect Xmas gift!

Have a look at my selection of novels to put on your Xmas list (or to give someone else of course). The novels have one big thing in common: the story takes place in NYC. Trust me, a trip to NYC is far from cheap, so this may just be a perfect alternative. The novels can also serve as a prelude to a planned city break or as a trip down memory lane. NYC is simply fascinating, and so are these novels!

For teachers and story-lovers among you I have selected Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. For shopaholics and those of you are fan of a feel-good story, I have selected Still Me by JoJo Moyes and for those of you who just love a good thriller, you will be thrilled by Run Away, Harlan Coben’s latest novel. And for everyone who loves reading novels about relationships, any of these will work for you!

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