*This post is an ad for Starbucks. All opinions are my own.
New York City is undoubtedly the fastest city in the world. We walk fast, we take quick lunches, and we don’t take enough time to admire all of the beauty the city has to offer. One day I glanced at my calendar and noticed that everything was work related; meeting, work events yet not one hangout with friends or my usual girls night. Using Starbucks’ new Visa card, I decided to plan a staycation in Brooklyn with some of my favorite girls, from our version of a luxury picnic, to a DIY nail spa and a relaxing morning poolside.
At least once a week, you’ll find me at Starbucks store getting my favorite: Green Tea Frappuccino with no added sugar and whip cream on top. The new Starbucks Rewards Visa Card allows you to earn Stars when you shop anywhere and enjoy Rewards. The card gives you exclusive access to Barista Picks eight times a year. With all these benefits it was a no brainer to get all of our picnic bites from Starbucks.
The waterfront park lies on the Brooklyn side of the east River, therefore no better spot for my picnic. I had my friends Al and Illy meet me at Brooklyn Bridge park where I surprised them with a “luxury” picnic. We laid over a moroccan rug with colorful pillows, surrounded by flowers, my favorite faux cactus and refreshing drinks. With the view, it could have easily been a romantic picnic set up.
Our conversations are certainly more in-depth and meaningful when our hangouts goes past a quick brunch or an evening drink at a bar. We talked about relationships, plans for the future and current projects we are working on. The picnic was great but not enough time to bond properly and definitely not as relaxing as what I had in store for the rest of the weekend.
My plan was to have a movie night but I think we were so tired, we fell asleep the minute our heads hit the pillows. At the first morning light we woke up refreshed and energized. I introduced the girls to my at home nail spa; my personal collection of vibrant nail polish- because who doesn’t take the time to match their nails to their drinks
As one of the girls exclaimed she didn’t feel as if her body was ready for summer, (and of course I told her she could ditch her swimsuit and wear a dress instead)- it made me realize that I have been using social media to advocate for body positivity and self- love yet I have never met most of my followers in real life. This is why I teamed with Starbucks for two body positive meetups. I gathered some of my favorite body positive advocates for some much needed conversation. The goal was to motivate everyone to realize that no matter the body you have you can and will enjoy the summer. The second meetup brought together women with disabilities to explore topics like, sexuality, dating and body image at the intersection of disability. So lookout for a recap of both meetups coming soon.
We ended our summer staycation pool side, knowing that this magical weekend would soon come to an end but hopeful that we will try to do this more often. Your staycation doesn’t have to break the bank. You can opt to organize a movie night and at-home spa at your house then organize a picnic the next day. The most challenging thing can be carrying all your picnic items, personally I wanted to create a magical space– between bringing, a rug, 7 mini pillows, flowers, vases, picture frames and a picnic basket I really didn’t have space to carry the food. Luckily, near the park and the hotel we were at walking distance from a Starbucks store so I was able to use the App to Mobile Order and Pay for certain items and pick them up.
Take it slow this summer and if you’re not able to go away, remember that a staycation can be just as good. I look forward to meeting some of you at the body positive meetups this summer.
Photographer : Daniel Randall