Turning 22

If you haven't guessed by the title of this blog I recently turned 22. And what an amazing weekend it was. If you know me, day-to-day you will know that I am an absolute control freak, I guess its my inner-Libra coming out. But because of this I am a nightmare to surprise when it comes to gifts or birthdays, as I always have to know what is going on! My birthday weekend was amazing as my NYC wifey Jessica and my boyfriend Gino managed to do exactly that! 

I woke up on my birthday morning next to G, which was amazing in itself, and on top of this he had popped out and gotten me my favorite breakfast (Turkey bacon, egg and cheese everything bagel from Bergen Bagel) and huge balloons bless him! Also Gino's gorgeous parents Dawn & Anthony had gotten me this beautiful black worn-leather tote bag amazing, it was so nice to have a relaxed morning before I had to head into school for classes before beginning the birthday celebrations! 

Whilst at school NevNYC had set a SnapChat geo-filter so that everyone could take some fun selfies. It was such a cool thing to have! I loved seeing everyone's selfies. Check out the website, you can make your own! School actually went really well, I had 2 classes, Acting & Movement which I love. My classmates were so sweet and had all signed a card for me, and then my gorgeous friend Tiffany had gotten me this amazing strawberry cream tart from Paris Baguette! So sweet!

The evening held surprise number 1! Now I had been told for weeks that on the evening of my actual birthday, Gino and I would be going out to do something and the closer we got to that day I was told that it would actually be a dinner for the two of us and then a dinner with friends. Little did I know that Jessica and Gino had been in cahoots and organised me going to see HAMILTON! I mean wtf?! I think literally until the point that I sat down in the auditorium, I couldn't actually believe we were there. This was the second time I had seen Hamilton, the first time my friend Ayesha won the lottery and kindly took me with her. It was insane and I LOVED it. At that point however the CD wasn't out so I didn't know the show as well as I do now. THIS TIME was incredible, knowing the story and having read the book Lin-Manuel wrote the show from, I enjoyed it even more and bawled my eyes out for a solid 3 hours! So so magical! Here's a picture of me looking like a happy 5 year old! Gah it was just amazing, and the seats we had! WOW. 

The following day Gino and I popped out to the West Village and had a gorgeous day just wondering around the streets and popping in and out of shops. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to see the Puppies in the Pet Stores in SoHo, it took nearly everything in us however to not leave with one! It was just one of those perfect days with Gino with no plan, but just good company and good coffee. The two most important things in life....

I mean how could I not have a good day with this cutie patootie! That evening entailed my second suprise (which was actually a double whammy). I was told that we were all heading to my groups fave food spot "Benny's Burritos" which sounded like a good plan to me, they do a killer Frozen Margarita. But actually, Jessie and Gino had organised a SURPRISE PARTY! Gah it was just the best time, we partied in our apartment and on the roof, and danced all night. One of the most amazing parts of the evening though was when we all gathered in the movie room on my roof to watch a video that Jess had organised for me. A video containing lots of clips of birthday wishes from my friends and family here in NYC and back at home. Incredible. It is safe to say that it brought a tear to my eye. You can watch the video HERE!

It has just been an incredible birthday most definitely a birthday I will never forget. I'm so thankful for Jess, organizing all these amazing things for me! I'm so thankful for G who kept all these secrets and just made it an incredible weekend. I'm thankful for my family back at home for sending out hilarious birthday cards and birthday wishes. And I'm so thankful for everyone who took the time out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday it really means a lot to me and I'm so glad I got to spend my birthday with such amazing people. 

I hope you all have an incredible holiday weekend whatever it is you are doing!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!

Nev x

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1 Year in NYC: 10 Lessons I've Learnt

On Monday 12th September it was my 1 year anniversary of arriving in NYC. Naturally I was in a very thankful and reflective mood all day so thought it would be quite cool to do a post highlighting some lessons or things I've done since moving to NYC. I'll try keep it as light as possible but you know me, there is bound to be at least one pointer that is somewhat deep. So here goes. 

10 Lessons I've Learnt Living in NYC: 

1. ANYTHING can happen on a New York Subway. And when I say ANYTHING. I mean anything. The biggest lesson I've learnt, from other New Yorkers and from my own experience is that; if I am waiting on the platform, the train pulls up and there is an empty car, DO NOT get on it. It is empty for a REASON. I learnt the hard way on a hot summers day that the car was empty for two very specific reasons:
                a) The AC was not working. Ask any New Yorker and they'll tell you that waiting on a Subway platform in the middle of the summer is the WORST. And the feeling you get when you step onto a car with no AC is nothing short of "I CANT TAKE THIS ANYMORE"
               b) You may want to skip over this point if you have a sensitive stomach. But I entered the train and not only did it have no AC, but also, right down the other end of the carriage was a woman taking a s**t. I know. This is somewhat 18+ for NevNYC. But how awful! 
I've heard someone say you aren't a real New Yorker until you've lived here for 10 years. Or unless you've seen a human take a s**t publicly. I guess I'm halfway there. 

2. Coffee is an essential part of life. I was NOT in anyway a coffee drinker in NYC. In fact. I hated the taste. But you can't walk the city streets without passing a coffee shop so decided to submit for a second and see what all the fuss is about. Now a year later. I feel I cannot function full or properly without the beverage. I will be doing a blogpost on my top 5 favourite coffee shops in NYC very soon! 

3. Positivity is key when living here. I've written a blog post about this before, and it really is important. A lot happens here and hustle and bustle can really get to you. As soon as you're in a bad place then New York becomes that bad place. It can be a toxic environment. Stay positive, stay energised, stay excited and the city is one of the most magical places you can be. Trust me. A simple change in through process can do a whole load of good. Not only in New York, but wherever you are. 

4. Your friends are the family you can choose. Especially when your family is 3,000 miles away. I can honestly sit here and say that within the past year I have made some of the best friends I could ask for, through shared experience, similar passions and a love for the city, I have met some wonderful friends who I am lucky enough to call my NYC family. Forming new friendships has also taught me the value of my long-distance and long-time friendships back at home. Meaning that heading home across the Atlantic Ocean feels nothing short of "stepping over a puddle". 

5. Time is precious. I have never rammed so much stuff into a 24 hour period, nor have I ever had to schedule sleep. Which seems to be the norm here. With everything going a mile a minute I have definitely learnt the value of planning ahead. Not only because of the industry I'm training in but simply the environment I'm living in. I need to plan ample time to commute, squeeze in time to eat, time to blink, time to breathe etc.etc.etc. Help! But most importantly, I have to always schedule some time to take a step back and go, look at what I'm doing and where I'm living!! That always makes the busy schedule worth it. 

6. Confidence in Self-Image. This was something I've struggled with in my late-teenage life, and it began to bleed into my early-twenties too. My mind was plagued with "I'm too chunky", "My hair is too thin", "My clothes are crap" etc. You know, the usual angsty adolescent sh*t. But the past year has taught me to really accept what I look like. My image is my image, and in my internal happiness, I found that it began to effect my external image in a positive. Only when I truly accepted what I look like, did I begin to see changes in my fitness, in my skin and in how I see myself. 

7. No one ever goes to Times Square. I wrote a post about this waaaay back in May. But it is so true. I had this common misconception that everyone went to Times Square all of the time. Oh, how wrong I was and oh, how little I have gone there. Times Square however serves a great purpose for me sometimes, it reminds me of where I was 2.5 years ago when I visited New York with my school and how much I wanted to live here. Well here I am! Once in a while its nice to sit on the top of the red TKTS steps and think about that. But take note that I say ONCE IN A WHILE (never). 

8. Trader Joes is the best thing ever. Possibly the most valuable lesson I have learnt. We don't actually have one of these grocery stores or supermarkets in England but holy sh*t its incredible. It's sort of like America's version of Marks and Spencer's Food. A wholesome store full of own brand stuff. It literally holds some of my fave foods; Soy Cherry Garcia Ice Cream with Vegan Chocolate Chunks, Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups, Avocado Tortilla Chips. The list is endless. If you are staying in New York for an extended period of time, I can't tell you enough. GET YOUR GROCERIES AT TRADER JOES

9. I'm in love with a man named Gino Anthony Puntonio. Holy sh*t my 16 year old self is freaking out right now. For those of you who don't know who Gino is he's the Italian fella that has been in pretty much every one of my blog posts, because he's a camera whore.  I feel I am continuously learning within this relationship, but daaaaaaayum its exciting!

10. I am enough. This is what I put on my Facebook status about this anniversary and I stand by it. This is one of the most important things I have ever learnt. It's so easy in our home towns to get caught up in, who's doing what, whos been with who, whos done this, who's going here, whos going there etc. I finally have been able to not ask those questions or make those comments and simply say, "You know what, I'm not going to compare myself to anyone else today. I am simply, enough". Damn that's an exciting concept. Of course there is days where I'm like, "FOR F**KS SAKE LUKE!", but having access to this concept has been a healthy development for me in my personal life as well as me in my professional life and this is not only supported by the environment but by the industry professionals I surround myself in. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. 

It has been so cool to be able to look back upon the past year and even the past couple of months with NevNYC and really see a difference in myself as well as seeing growth. With the celebration of this anniversary I'm only more excited for what the future holds and I can't wait to bring you guys along for the ride!

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!

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