Dolce and Gabriella

Little thoughts from the Big Apple


New York Hit List

What better way to conclude my stay in New York than make a list of all my favorite New York things? Before I came, I was desperate for recommendations on where to go. But all I could really find on the subject were lists of places that were way out of my budget. I didn’t necessarily want to avoid the must-see tourist attractions, but I hoped to find some “local” things to do that were a little quieter and, hopefully, less expensive.

It wasn’t easy, but in time I did find some relatively cheap, good places to eat, shop and hang out. The majority of these are centered around the East Village near my apartment. If you’re considering staying in the city for a longer period of time, it’s a great neighborhood for college-age people. There are lots of inexpensive restaurants, especially on St. Marks Place, and it’s a short walk to lots of great shopping in Soho, the West Village, and the Flatiron area.

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Since moving to California I’ve become obsessed with flavored water (which Californians call, in typical California style, “spa water.”) USC even sets it out in the dining hall. It’s as fun to drink as juice or soda with none of the sugar, and it has the health benefits of regular water. I get really bad headaches when I’m dehydrated, but water gets boring after a while…when that happens to you, make like a Californian and stick some fruit in it!

I usually just put some lemon slices in my water bottle and call it a day, but after seeing several pins on Pinterest about lemon-cucumber-mint water, I decided to give it a shot. See what I did here on Steller:

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For a gallon of water, this pin suggests slicing up three lemons (I only did two) and half a cucumber. Put them in a pitcher with some fresh mint leaves (found in the produce section by the rest of the herbs for around $2 per bundle) and fill it to the top with water. Cover and let the water steep in the fridge overnight…then enjoy a big glass of supercharged H2O in the morning!

All three add-ins are really good for you, too. Lemons contain antioxidants and Vitamin C, and they help flush excess fluids out of your body, i.e. water weight. Cucumbers are great for hydration–that’s why people put them on their eyes–and are full of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. And mint aids in digestion and can also help with nausea (I drink mint tea when I’m feeling sick.)

Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is a really easy way to feel healthy and energized for the day ahead. Especially because I’m not always good about drinking as much water as I need to, a burst of hydration in the morning feels great for hours after. Play around with what you put in–some of my other favorites are strawberries, oranges, and pineapple.


What’s your super-easy health secret? I want to know!