5 affordable Valentine’s day ideas in Philadelphia.

ripped jeans, sweater, turtlenecks

If you are anything like me, you probably can’t fathom that it’s almost VALENTINE’S DAY.  I’m not totally sure where January went but can’t say I miss it.  If you are also even more like me and aren’t exactly rolling in the dough—I compiled a list of some excellent and more importantly, affordable Valentine’s Day extravaganza’s. My recommendation is to try any of these ideas with your significant other or fellow single gal pal.

Now if you’re looking for something to wear on this upcoming day of “love and chocolate” I recommend rocking my personal favorite clothing item of the moment, a sweater turtleneck.  I can’t get enough of the sweater turtleneck—it keeps you warm, allows you to don less makeup (i.e. neck area) and goes with leggings, over a tight dress, or with ripped jeans. The ripped jeans and sweater/neck blanket is from H&M and under 40 dollars, and the booties are from Target.  You also get extra bonus points if you pair your sweater turtleneck with a pair of chunky earrings or hoops.

Here are the top 5 ways to do Valentine’s Day in Philadelphia on a budget:

  1. Rent an Indego Bike. Visit the multiple locations throughout the city and for a mere four dollars (per half hour) rent a bike for a ride to Kelly Drive or the along the Schuylkill River Trail and stop for a bite in center city along the way.
  2. Take a stroll to Dilworth Park and go skating on the Rothman Ice Rink. When you’ve finished skating, and are hopefully not too sore, wander across the street for a photo-op under the iconic Love park statue.
  3. Visit a BYOB for dinner. A BYOB (bring your own bottle) is one of my favorite dinner ideas always, not just on Valentine’s Day.  Bringing your own alcohol saves you big time on the bill and allows for you and that special someone to get a little tipsy, and probably cozier too. A few of my favorites are Mr. Martino’s Trattoria, Entrée  and Mercato.
  4. Two words: Landmark Theaters. I am seriously in love with all three of the Landmark Theaters here in Philadelphia. They are super intimate and less expensive than any large theater chain and they usually show awesome independent films that aren’t available everywhere.
  5. Visit the Italian Market for delicious supplies for a night in. The iconic Italian Market is a staple of Philadelphia culture and also cuisine.  Stop by the open market to stock up for a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner, giving you and that special someone a chance to test your skills in the kitchen.

Happy affordable Valentine’s Day from me to you.  If you are without a lover on this V-Day, please remember that you are so wonderful, and if you really need a reminder, check out this post from yours truly all about loving yourself.

Chat soon.

ripped jeans, sweater, turtleneck

ripped jeans, sweater, turtleneck

Fishtown’s newest catch: Heffe tacos.

Menundo

Philadelphia is known for its eclectic and diverse food scene.  From the Italian Market to Chinatown, your desires are at your fingertips.

This past Sunday I had the privilege of sampling the menu at Heffe tacos, a new taqueria in Fishtown.  Heffe tacos opened October 8th, and is located at the corner of Frankford Avenue and Marlborough Street. Heffe, owned by Anthony Lolio, combines traditional Mexican cuisine with a new creative flare.

I visited Heffe during a Philadelphia blogger-meet-up, where chef Peter McAndrews served us an array of delicious Mexican delights.

First, we started off with the “menudo,” which is a stew filled with vegetables, pulled pork, and topped with sour cream.  “Menudo” is a supposed hangover cure, so by Sunday at noon I was eager to try, and happy to report it worked.

Second, we tried my favorite dish, a little piece of heaven, the “Tijuana Poutine.” The “Tijuana Poutine” is waffle fries covered with queso, cilantro, onion, jalapenos, and Mexican chili, served with an egg over easy.  The crisp crunch of the fries combined with the cheese and chili was amazing.

Next, Chef Peter served quesadillas, stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and onions.  We also sampled an octopus filled taco as well as a traditional beef taco.

Quesadilla

I highly recommend making a visit to Heffe in the near future.  As of now there is only outside seating (long red benches you cannot miss) out front, so be sure to prepare for the cold, and have a “Tijuana Poutine,” for me.

While you were working, week review 10/3.

1. Fall Must Have: the Sleeveless Jacket.

I recently purchased this sleeveless Zara jacket, also called a waistcoat, for Philly Fashion Week. I love the simplicity and crisp look of all white. Style this jacket over an all white ensemble or try for a monochrome look with black underneath. This item, under $100 dollars, can be dressed up with heels or down with loafers depending on wherever the pursuit of pumpkin beer takes you.

2. October is here!

Finally the glorious leather boot-filled-month of October is here and I could not be happier. October brings 31 long days filled with changing leaves, new clothes, and weekends spent at Oktoberfest’s. For those of you in the Philadelphia area, I recommend attending the first ever Cheesesteak Festival at Lincoln Financial Field, on Saturday October 24. The event welcomes over 40 different Cheesesteak vendors from around Philly, so come with an appetite and your cheese of choice.

3. Paris Fashion Week!

Paris, one of the fashion capitals of the world, hosted the awe-inspiring Paris Fashion Week, showcasing major designers Spring 2016 collections. There was plenty to celebrate, from Stella McCartney’s colorful designs, to Rihanna’s jaw-dropping pink coat at the Dior show. One trend that continues to pop-up in every day street style, as well as on the runway, is the bandana. Style around your neck, or as an accessory on your jacket or belt for updated edgier look.

While you were working, week review 9/18.

It’s Friday, and we offically made it to the ever-so-far now-here WEEKEND!

                                                                                 Saved the best part of my weekend, for last.

As part of my celebration of TGIF, MadlyMegan.com will now feature a weekly recap every Friday of all the important ish that you may have missed while on GroupMe or sleeping at work Monday to Thursday.

So here’s what you missed and all you need to know to contribute to happy hour conversation with your boss or small talk with the super model next to you before your spin class. TGIF and Enjoy!

1.The Snapchat Update                                                                                                                                                      Unless you live under a rock or recently left your phone at bar, you probably discovered that Snapchat updated it’s features. Whether you realized on your own, or received 25 or more snaps of your closest friends and strangers with a rainbow coming out of their mouth or pink bubbly hearts as eyes, that’s about the extent of the update excitement. Personally, I’m biased to the good old days Snapchat where everyone gets the chance to star as their own Steven Spielburg, but such is life.

2. Kris Jenner Wins Again                                                                                                                                             The world’s most savvy “Momager” has won again with the release of the new Kardashian and Jenner Apps. The new app allows stalkers everywhere a glimpse into the daily lives of the four sisters (Kourtney’s is still under construction).  The App costs a mere $2.99 a month for a up close and personal view into their lives.  According to TMZ, a total of 891,340 people signed up for the four sites in the first 24 hours. As expected, Kylie’s app is in the lead with the number one spot on the charts.  As my Kardashian-loving friend Leah put it, “What will they think of next?”

3. NYFW                                                                                                                                                                                    If your Instagram “follow” list is made up of fashion bloggers like mine, you probably have been stalking all things New York Fashion Week. From Michael Kohrs feminine details to Kanye’s Camel Collection, there are lots of reasons to get excited for next Spring. However, my favorite part is definitely the Street Style photos that fill me with enough outfit inspiration to last a lifetime (or a week until London Fashion Week commences).

4. I fell in love with Patent Leather Loafers.                                                                                                         This week I purchased a pair of my very own patent leather loafers, a fall must-have in shoes. They are black and maroon and were under $100 dollars from BCBG. I recommend everyone snagging a pair to wear with jeans, tailored pants, or a dress.  Not only are they flat and comfortable, they also make me feel like I am 17 again in my high school uniform, which is an odd yet fun feeling! Here are two other pairs featured here and here, I find to be both visually and physically pleasing.

Happy Weekend to you all!

Viva Las Vegas.

It feels so good to be back, and even better alive, after four days in Las Vegas.

I traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate a “ten years of friendship” anniversary with five of my best friends from high school.  I am happy to say Las Vegas lived up to both every expectation in my mind and every stereotype created by Hollywood.  It is definitely “America’s Playground” and a bucket list place to visit with your friends.  Las Vegas requires a YOLO attitude and lots of energy, but just remember to make the most of the short time you are there.  Personally, I think three nights and four days were plenty of time for me, but to each their own.

Below is a list and photos I created based on the best things to do in Las Vegas.  So do yourself a favor and book a ticket to Sin City today.

WHERE TO STAY:
  • WYNN LAS VEGAS RESORT.  We stayed at the Wynn and had an amazing time.  Everything from the lobby to casino to our view and even our bathroom was beautiful, clean, and nicely decorated.  Not to mention we spent Monday lounging by the amazing pool, jacuzzi, and cabana area.  The only downfall is the Wynn is not centrally located on the Las Vegas strip but there are a plethora of cabs and SUVs waiting to take you to your next destination.  Overall, if you’re looking to spend a little more for a beautiful place to call home during your visit, the Wynn Las Vegas Resort is the place to stay.

WHERE TO EAT:

  • NOBU Las Vegas.  Located at the Hard Rock Hotel, we decided if the Kardashians dine here, we will also give it a try.  I was pleased with both the service and the cuisine.  Our party of six ordered a varitey of dishes to share. My only complaint is that I felt the ambiance was someone lacking and out of place with the rest of over-the-top Las Vegas decor.  If you are in the mood for delicious sushi or Japanese cuisine definitely stop by Nobu. They also have a bar and full collection of different saki and cocktails, which is always a great way to start the night.
  • LAGO. This Italian style tapas cuisine was delicious and also offered a great feel with views of the Bellagio Fountains.  Located in the Bellagio Hotel, the food was delicious and came in smaller portions. Definitely order more than one item for yourself. I ordered the caesar salad and homemade meatballs and was pleasantly fulfilled after. The Lago Las Vegas also has an extensive wine collection and a bar as well.
  • IN-AND-OUT BURGER.  Hailing from the East Coast, we do miss out on some wonderful things, like In-and-Out Burger.  On our last day in Las Vegas we stopped by the famous fast food restaurant and ordered burgers, fries, and shakes.  This was honestly the perfect meal after three nights in Las Vegas.  It’s affordable, delicious, and its exclusivity makes it a must try in Vegas.

WHAT TO DO:

  • HAKKASAN Las Vegas. This nightclub, located in the MGM Grand, was our first club stop.  Unlike some of the other clubs we visited,  Hakkasan Las Vegas was completely inside, but well equipped with a large dance floor facing the DJ booth, and many VIP sections.  If you aren’t meeting a club promoter here to get you in, be sure to visit early since there was a decent line forming at 11PM.
  • ENCORE BEACH CLUB.  Our first day in Vegas we went to the Encore Beach day club hosting a Las Vegas “pool party.” Essentially, it is an all out party, with drinking in the pool as well as surrounding cabanas. This club was located in the Encore hotel which was attached to our hotel, the Wynn resort.  I highly recommend visiting this awesome location but arrive early, as we waited in line at noon.
  • SURRENDER NIGHT CLUB.  This nightclub was really unique in that half of it was the Encore Beach Club, and the other portion inside.  Inside there is a dance floor facing the DJ booth and, again, many VIP cabanas that also spread to the outside portion of the Las Vegas Nightclub.  I highly recommend visiting this spot because it offers the best of both worlds and allows you to dance inside and then wander outside to cool down by the pool.
  • MARQUEE DAY CLUB. Located at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Marquee Day Club was similar to the Encore Beach Club, just slightly smaller in size. The wait was also much shorter here. The Cosmopolitian is located on the Las Vegas strip, so it is easy to walk around and explore after the beach party is over.  I especially liked this place because of its proximity to the strip and smaller size.
  • XS Las Vegas. This was a unique nightclub because it was a completely outside club and also a night-time pool party.  Located again in the Encore, half the attendees wore dresses and heels and the other half swimsuits.  In hindsight I wish I brought my suit and joined the second half, but it was still an awesome club overall.  I will say the only downside of nightclubs strictly outside is the Vegas heat is very real and can have a turn-down effect.

Flower display in the Wynn lobby.

Selfie in H&M jumpsuit and Target shoes.


Desert at Lago.

A night out at the Wynn.

Pool at the Wynn.

Dinner at Lago.

In-and-Out Burger

 

All hail the Little Spoon Cafe

If you are visiting Philadelphia any time soon, or happen to be lucky enough to live in the greatest city in the world, give your taste buds a treat and stop by the Little Spoon Cafe.

I am a breakfast connoisseur and the all female owned Little Spoon Cafe hooked me after they moved into the neighborhood this past October 2014.  This quaint cafe features daily specials and a farm-to-table breakfast and lunch menu, along with Philly Fair Trade Coffee, and ice cream from The Franklin Fountain.

Located on 1500 South Street, the Little Spoon Cafe is closed on Mondays.  But, during the rest of the week you can grab a coffee before work or a quick lunch outside on their newly finished patio seating.  On Saturday and Sunday there is usually a wait in the morning, but the lines moves quickly and they offer great service.

As for what to order, I am personally biased to their Breakfast Burrito stuffed with black beans, potatoes, pico de gallo, and eggs.  Or if I’m trying to be healthy I will order the Healthy Start breakfast made of egg whites, arugula pesto, caramelized onions, avocado and turkey bacon if you please.  As always, the traditional eggs, bacon, and potatoes breakfast never fails either.

Whatever you are in the mood for, The Little Spoon Cafe is there to serve.  And the best part of all, The Little Spoon Cafe is BYOB, so feel free to bring some champagne and they will provide the OJ.

Happy Brunching!

 

Charleston, I love you.

If you are looking for an affordable place to visit with beaches, walking, great food, shopping and history; I give you, Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston is one of my favorite cities to visit in the world and after my most recent trip I named myself the unofficial biggest fan.

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge that leads into Charleston

As its biggest fan I complied a list of best things to do and see while visiting Charleston.

1. Sullivan’s Island or Folly Beach

If you’re looking for a more quiet, less crowded beach, head to Sullivan’s Island and be sure to sit outside and grab lunch at Poe’s Tavern.

If you are looking for something with more people and action check out Folly Beach and be sure to eat at Taco Boy for lunch.

The Pier at Folly Beach

2. Shop and Dine on King Street

King Street is one of the main streets in Charleston and it features some of the best food and shopping. There are a variety of high-end retail stores to visit but my personal affordable favorite is the fairly new mega-Forever 21.

At the opposite end the shopping section of King Street are amazing restaurants and bars. The Ordinary was our favorite restaurant. It’s known for its fresh and delicious seafood cuisine and is a hot spot, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.

3. Happy hour at The Vendue Rooftop Bar

One of my other favorite parts of Charleston is that there are virtually no skyscrapers, so there are amazing views of the city clear out to the water. I highly recommend doing a happy hour at The Vendue Rooftop Bar. It has features great views of the city and also an awesome place to watch the sunset during Happy hour.

4. So much history, so little time

I am aware I love American history significantly more than the average person but you must check out some of the historical sites in Charleston.

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If you’re looking to get an overview of the historical places within the city take a carriage tour with one of the many reputable companies in Charleston. I recommend Classic Carriage Works, LLC.

I also recommend taking a tour of the Old Slave Mart Museum. It is the last known standing slave auction gallery in South Carolina, and is an important reminder of America’s past.

The Old Slave Mart Museum

Continuing with the significance of slavery within the history of Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation is a very interesting place to visit and is just a quick drive outside downtown Charleston. The plantation offers daily tours of the main house, slave quarters, gardens and grounds.  This plantation was also the site of Blake Lively’s wedding, and some scenes from The Notebook  were filmed here.

Boone Hall Plantation

Road leading out of Boone Hall Plantation

5. Visit the Farmers Market in your walking shoes

One of my other favorite parts of Charleston is it is SO walkable. If you are there on a Saturday I recommend walking through the giant farmers market in Marion Square.

From there I suggest heading down to Rainbow Row, and the Pineapple fountain at the Waterfront Park.

Me dressed like a pineapple, by the Pineapple fountain

Then continue along the waterfront past some of the oldest homes in Charleston to Battery Park, which offers awesome views and chances for more photos.

Battery Park