August 30, 2013

The Basics Of Base

Back in the mid 1500's Queen Elizabeth I was known to have painted her face with a mixture of white lead (poisonous mind you), egg, powdered eggshells, poppy seed, and vinegar a couple inches thick to cover up a case of small pox scars.  Yikes.

{Just a few bases I rely on + this foundation brush by MAC.}

Luckily, we don't have to subject our faces to that type of cruelty or smell today to get a flawless looking complexion!  Foundation, or base, is one of the #1 makeup products that I rely on for more even looking skin.  And let's face it, figuring out which base is right for you, can be intimidating and confusing.  Here are the basics for getting it right for your pretty face:

1. Choose your best formula.  We all have different needs depending on whether you are a naturalist by heart and want a barely there base, or if you're not afraid of full on pageant girl type coverage!  There is lightweight, luminizing, acne/oil prone, mattifying, medium to full coverage, anti-aging, the list goes on. Remember to think about your bare skin and what it could tolerate - a super oily face doesn't need a hydrating creamy foundation that could turn slick in an instant. And a super dry flaky skin won't benefit from a mattifying formula.  

2.  Find the perfect shade.  Please don't test a foundation on your wrist, pllleeasse!! Test that product along the side of your face, taking a line of the product from mid cheek all the way down your neck to make sure it blends in seamlessly without looking like an obvious stripe. It should disappear without blending.  And yes I know this is impossible to do at a drugstore when there are no true testers, but there is hope.  My best advice if you can only afford drugstore, is go to a department store first.  Get color matched by a professional, ask for a sample of their best foundation for your skin type (who knows, you might fall in love and want to save your $ for it!), then take that sample to the aisles of your fave drugstore and match it up to a cheaper version.  

*Remember - there are 3 basic categories of shades that range from lightest to darkest : cool (blue based) tones, neutral tones, and warm (yellow based) tones.  If you've got a lot of redness to your skin - you'll benefit from those yellow-ish foundations because they will neutralize the red.

3.  Apply it right.  If you want it turn out more naturally looking, use the good ole fingertips so that the warmth of them makes it melt into your skin. For more coverage and preciseness (and less mess), use a sponge or foundation brush and layer it. Wait around 30 seconds to a minute between layers.  Always apply in a downward motion so that you don't lift up the little peach hairs on your face to make them more noticeable. I always apply foundation first then add my concealer on top to spot treat any extra stubborn spots that still need covering. I find the concealer stays better when layered on top rather than rubbing it off if applied before the major swiping on of foundation.

Here is a short video tutorial from on foundation blending blunders. It's got some great tips plus being a little funny! 

**Don't Forget!! You have 3 more days to enter to win my GIVEAWAY for an awesome limited edition ghd Pink Diamond Styler Duo! I've made it about as easy as you can get to enter.**

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August 28, 2013

The Perfect Home Scent For The Fall

{AUTUMN by Bath & Body Works. }

A good smelling home is a pretty home...

I'm a crazy candle lady - I've tried and burned every scent on the market.  There's not a night to go by where I don't light one after the kids have gone to bed in order to relax me.  And when August hits, I wait with baited breath for Bath & Body Works to bring out the big guns.  This Autumn scent is THE BEST SMELLING CANDLE EVER. I use all caps because I truly believe this and have bought it for the past 3 years around fall.  Each time I have this lit in my house and company comes over, everyone wants to immediately know what that smell is.  It's such a compliment when people tell me my home smells good because I'm always paranoid since I have a smelly dog, smelly kids, a husband, and the occasional laundry and dish piles!!

The B & B website describes this candle as having hints of:
  • pomegranate, 
  • red apple, 
  • fir balsam, 
  • and rich cedarwood.
It's a very crisp and warm scent that smells rich and expensive and very fall-like.  Ok, you obviously can tell I love this candle - especially when the leaves start falling - even though it's still blazing hot here in GA!  I am already lighting this candle in hopes it will bring cooler weather vibes! My 2nd favorite candle scent of all time is this one

What's your favorite scent for the home? 

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August 27, 2013

Jewel Toned Eyes

I have a thing for amethysts, sapphires, diamonds, anything jewel related really. What girl doesn't??
{My bedazzled shirt of jewels (fake of course!), was my inspiration.}

Here's my face honoring these rich shadow shades.   For those that want to ease into the jewel tones, I will start with a more subdued eye look most could pull off consisting of just 1 shadow + liner color (be bold with the liner, easier to pull off than the shadow), all the way to a more dramatic version with 2 shadows + 2 bold liner shades.  

 {Started here with just 1 light amethyst (purple) shadow + metallic purple liner.}

 {Adding a deeper amethyst (purple!) shade to my crease to add dimension and pop of color!}

 {2 shades of purple.}

 {Adding a sapphire (blue!) shade to the lower lash line for even more colorful fun!}

 {Don't forget the diamond (white!) shimmer in the tear duct!}

{Finished look!}

Additional products used:

120 Color Eyeshadow Palette from bh cosmetics (not pictured).

Of course keeping your cheeks and lips much more subtle and low key is important when pulling off multiple jewel shades on your peepers so as to keep from looking like you've gone overboard!  I have a major crush on this newest purple gloss shade by Revlon.  It looks scary un-wearable in the tube, but quite the opposite when on and gives lips a beautiful understated lilac shimmer. 

I love this combo of purple + blues which really highlight my brown eye color.  If you've got blue eyes, think about switching out the blue liner and replacing it with an emerald liner (green!) to go with your purple shadow.  My hazel, green, and gray eyed friends can stick with my color palette above for maximum contrast.  

**Don't forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY  that just started yesterday for the hot limited edition Pink Diamond Styler duo from ghd (good hair day!).  You've got until next Sunday to enter. Good Luck!**

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August 26, 2013

$235 Limited Edition ghd Pink Diamond Styler Giveaway

Please email with your contact information within the next 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to EACH AND EVERYONE who entered, liked me on FB and Twitter, and for all of the fantastic and (and funny!) comments.  
I wish I had a flat iron for all of your wonderful hair stories!

There is truth in that it is more fun to give than to receive.  

That's why I am happy to announce that I am collaborating with ghd (good hair day!) in hooking up some lucky person with this limited edition Pink Diamond Styler + matching paddle brush worth $235!!  Not only is this straightener too cute to look at and hold, but it's a small 1" iron that could be used on the long AND short haired types!  Plus, its got a sleep mode that it goes into after 30 minutes without use - genius addition for busy and forgetful moms like myself who always get interrupted when doing my hair!!

I have definitely come to realize that when it comes to heated hair tools, choosing a more expensive well made one gives much better results than cheap ones. Of course if you were the big winner of this iron, you'd want some hair inspiration on what to do with it right??  You can click this link here to see some examples from the ghd website.

For your chance to win this amazing styling duo, I'm making it super easy, no complicated postings all over the place and signing up for stuff... 

  • Leave me a comment in the section below telling me WHY your head of hair could use this styling duo!
  • For extra credit, like JennySue Makeup on Twitter, Facebook, or BOTH! That way we can keep up our friendship even after the giveaway is over :)
This giveaway will end on September 2nd, 2013. This giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents only. The winner will drawn at random and emailed directly if the big winner.

*This is a sponsored post and giveaway for this ghd product and Best British Bloggers.*

August 23, 2013

How Starting A Blog Has Helped My Small Business Blossom

{Image via Pinterest, and a blast from the past here.}

My blog and my freelance makeup artistry business started out as a necessity.  The thought of becoming a makeup artist had actually never been a real dream of mine in high school or college, nor did I honestly even know what a blog was almost 5 years ago.  

Here's my background story in a nutshell.  Grab a cup of coffee before you read, this is an in depth post on blogging and what it means to my business...Enjoy!

My beauty blog concept was actually my husband's idea.  He had been laid off from his job, we had JUST had our 2nd child (literally a month before the layoff), I was a stay at home mom by that point, and we were spinning our wheels as to what we could do to earn money in the meantime.  I had been doing makeup jobs on the side ever since college in addition to my other full time jobs, but nothing consistent.  All of the jobs I got were by word of mouth and referrals, no advertising at all.  His mentality when all of this unrest hit, was, "You get all of these makeup jobs and you're not even trying, imagine if you started a blog where people could see what you know and do, and actually start an LLC!"  I was super negative from the beginning and doubting myself and this idea entirely thinking, "NO ONE is going to want to read this online blog, why am I wasting my time? I'm already overwhelmed with a 2 year old and newborn at home!! Why add to the chaos??"  But I was willing to do whatever to give us something to be hopeful for.  So I started my blog, it was terrible in the beginning, really terrible, the free template from Blogger looked horribly homemade looking back, and my posts were very inconsistent, like once and twice a week.  But everyone has to start somewhere right?

Lesson #1 when I started all of this - I specifically made my LLC name and my website name the same for consistency in branding, JennySue Makeup.  Who knows, maybe other things/products/services will spin off from my freelance and blog biz one day!

Fast forward to a couple of years later when the blog actually started to get legs and so did my freelance makeup business...yes, it took that long to see growth.  My blog didn't have a motto at first either, I was initially only trying to focus on makeup.  Then I realized I HAD to incorporate my mommy side with the beauty side.  My family is such a big part of my life, trying to pretend I was some fancy single girl whose only goal in life was to blog about the greatest most expensive beauty products with gorgeous backdrops and no dirty dishes and diapers in the background, wasn't cutting it and felt fake.  It was also exhausting to try to and be something I wasn't. That's when I found my motto, "A mommy with a makeup problem," and realized why couldn't I incorporate both my mommy side + creative side?! There is a huge audience of other 30 something women just like myself who want to feel beautiful through the temper tantrums and sleepless nights.  It feels more authentic now that I can bring up my kids and husband in my blog posts, and someone out there is going to be able to relate.

The first real publicity I got was actually right after I started the blog in 2008, and I got written up in our local Athens paper here for my blog.  Even though the article was small, it gave me that boost of confidence that hey, some people ARE reading this blog thing!! Every entrepreneur needs those bright spots to keep up their mojo.

This photo above was taken from my first makeup workshop held at Hotel Indigo in Athens last year. Here is the link to the awesome video my talented husband put together from the event.  This was one of those things I NEVER would have had the courage to do and put on if it hadn't been for my wonderful blog followers who came out and bought tickets to support and see me in action.    

Here are some bullet points of how MY BLOG is one of my best resources as a small business owner :
  • Free Advertising.  I paid for some print advertising in local magazines and bridal publications in the beginning to get my name out there and to get more makeup jobs, and those ads were $$$.  I never had a great return on any of them. So when I ditched the print pages, and focused on putting my efforts into my blog and creating my other social media pages, I started to get approached.  And guess what, they were free!! Everyone "Googles" who they want to use for their weddings and other events, from vendors, caterers, flower people, and of course, makeup artists.  So having a blog living and breathing on the world wide web is a no brainer.  A print magazine gets read once a month, then thrown in the trash, never to be seen again.  Not only am I able to advertise myself for free on my own blog, Facebook, Twitter, but I also have Google adsense on my blog, where I actually make money off of their ads on my blog! A win win!!
  • Networking.  Bloggers are a band of brothers and sisters.  I've never felt such a sense of community vibe amongst other entrepreneurs.  It's seriously great.  Most of us serious bloggers are willing to scratch each others backs and offer advice however we can.  There's no cattiness.  And most of us have a business on the side or at the forefront for which our blog is helping to show others what we are good at, selling products, and services.  If you have a blog and work hard at it, you have a mutual respect for other bloggers bc you know how much time and effort they're putting into it weekly.  We network for and with one another.  Examples of networking are becoming parts of other groups with similar interests.  I am a Power Primper for the beauty app for iPHone, Pretty In My Pocket, which has introduced me to SO many other like minded beauty bloggers and has even gotten me a spot on television!  A mutual friend through Facebook found out I was a makeup artist and hooked me up with the CEO and fellow UGA grad of the app! The rest is history.
  • Credibility.  If someone wants to hire me as their MUA for whatever reason, I can send them the link to my blog site which gives them instant visual credibility.  It shows then examples of faces I have created, people and brands I've worked with, and most importantly, a personal insight as to who I am.  Makeup artists have to get up close and personal with you because they're touching your face so it's an intimate job.  I can't tell you how many random jobs I have landed because someone emailed me to say, "I read your blog, and even though your makeup and photos look great, I can tell you are a nice and trustworthy person so I want to hire you!" The fact that I am a mother in addition to a business woman, is an advantage in my eyes, not a deterrent.  People tell me all the time that they are sure I'm a timely person and organized because I have to be with three kids! And you know what, they're right.  My blog gave a Nashville talent agency instant confidence to hire me just from the information I put on my website, which landed me this music video job! I didn't meet them or the artist in person until the day I got on location for the job!
  • Educating And Becoming Better At My Craft.  I've learned more about myself and the craft of makeup artistry from blogging than I had ever imagined.  Because I want to offer up advice and tips on the latest and greatest in the beauty industry, I have to do research, read other blogs, keep up my subscriptions on plenty of fashion magazines to stay up with this ever changing industry! For example - I  applied for my MAC Pro card through MAC Cosmetics and was able to share with them my blog site to show credibility to get my discount.  By being a member, I get to take advantage of their master classes which helps to educated me to by keeping up with different techniques and new products. Also, I try out so many products that get sent to me by manufacturers, that I get a feel for what works and even what doesn't. You learn by making mistakes with the wrong products sometime!
  • Social Media Is A MUST.  It would be silly to leave out the addition of social media outlets too - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I don't think a blog can survive without them, seriously.  So in addition to the blog itself, I started utilizing all of these other outlets to reach my audience as well.  I have lots of readers that love me on Twitter, but hate Facebook. Some people only like to look at my Instagram images which drive them to my blog bc they see what I'm up to and products I've reviewed.  It's a lot to keep up with, but completely necessary to drive traffic.  I could always do better and be more present on all outlets, but I'll be honest, it's a struggle because as a mom I don't want to ALWAYS be on the computer and phone in front of my kids.  This part is a delicate balance not to get too too sucked in!  Being featured on other blogs is also a great way to spread the word about your business - I've been lucky enough to have been featured on,, (their blogroll), and currently
These are some of the main things I feel like I have benefited from by having a blog and how it has maximized my business. Now I am booking enough weddings, makeup consults/teaching sessions, and speaking engagements to keep this mama busy and energized!  I even make money on the actual blog through affiliate programs, sponsored posts, and ads.  Of course, you have to be verrry selective with these types of things and not take every opportunity that comes your way or you could ruin your credibility with your audience.  Everything I do on the blog is a reflection of myself, which in turn influences my business.  That's why if you're new to blogging, don't just take an offer because they're gonna pay you, as tempting as it is.  Think about is that offer really going to benefit you, your readers, and does it correlate to the subject you're blogging about. 

Even though blogging is super time consuming in addition to my day to day family and business life, I truly love doing it and feel like I learn a little more about myself every time I write.  My best advice - If you've got a hobby that you love, and might possibly want to turn it into a business one day, START A BLOG.    

I would love to hear your thoughts if you are an upcoming blogger or seasoned veteran who thinks I missed out on something.  Please share!  Blog reading and commenting is all about the community feel remember! 

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August 22, 2013

What I Learned From My Three Year Old

{We might need to work on how many fingers = 3 years old.}

My baby girl turns three today. It's hard to wrap my head around really. She looks so grown up in these pictures and we just gave up the pacifiers for good a couple days ago - this is a big BIG deal.  She has had one in her mouth every nap time and nighttime since she was born. We gave her a bicycle for her birthday which is all she has been asking for, and I cannot believe my little girl who I feel like should still be in diapers and sucking on a pacifier actually wants to ride a bike!!  Where has the time gone?

Luckily, there are moments like the following that make me realize even though my heart aches that I feel like she's getting so old too fast and reaching many milestones all at once, 3 actually isn't 13 just yet.

If you look closely at these pictures from this morning, you will notice that this sweet 3 year old has a 1 year old candle in her breakfast.  This is completely my fault and I own up to it.  While in a mad mad rush, did I say mad?, to the grocery store yesterday to get a few things before picking up my daughter from preschool, I thought at the last minute, "I need to get her a candle to be able to blow out on her actual birthday tomorrow!"  I grabbed the first thing that was pink and sparkly and ran to the checkout counter.  As I fixed her birthday breakfast this morning of her favorite mini pancakes and strawberries, I lit the #1 candle, and gasped out loud realizing my huge mistake and literally tearing up to myself.  How could I mess up her age?? I'm such a bad mom!  But then she caught sight of the beautiful well lit pink glitter candle and started singing to herself and smiling.  I knew then, she did not care one bit mom had bought the wrong # candle.  She was 3, not 13.  She wasn't mortified like I was but was just the opposite - happy to have something ablaze on her plate, that it was her special day, and that the candle was her favorite color, pink.

Luckily her reaction made me pull it together, I added 2 old candles I found in the kitchen cabinet, and joined her in singing Happy Birthday to herself!

She didn't realize it, but my now three year old taught my 35 year old self  something in this moment.  To quit trying to be such a perfectionist all the time and not to sweat the small stuff...because most of it is small stuff.  And you know what, she actually made me re-light the candle after blowing it out because she wanted to do it all over again.  Happy birthday my sweet Vivian, I am so thankful for every day I get to celebrate with you.  Love, Mom.

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August 21, 2013

Product Review : Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer

On my recent trip to NYC I just had to stop by Sephora, where I finally picked up the primer everyone has been talking about.  You know the one that supposedly keeps your makeup flawless for a 15 hour span. That's quite a hefty time frame right??

I put this primer to the ultimate test by wearing it before heading to an outdoor the  at an 8pm concert.  I applied this product at 11am, to arrive back at my house around 12:30am, 13.5 hrs later.  Just a few hours short of the time marketed.  

Here are my BEFORE and AFTER pictures to show you a visual on how my makeup stayed put.  *Excuse my hair in the afters as we sat in the misty rain the whole time at the amphitheater and I didn't reapply anything, including my lip gloss. So I'm giving you no smoke and mirrors, just real life results!! Ha! 

 {BEFORE concert}

{AFTER concert, 12:30am tired face!}


{CLOSE UP AFTER concert. The most noticeable difference was my blush fading.}

Other makeup worn: 
Kat Von D. "Sinner" shadow palette  | YSL Creme Blush in #7 |  
Too Faced "pillow talk" Glamour Gloss

Let's be realistic with what I put this product through :  13.5 hours of wear, outside most of the time, in the Georgia humidity, and in the rain.  I made it work hard and didn't even apply pressed powder during the night.  That being said, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 9.

Function & Feel:
It took some getting used to applying my primer from the stick form because I'm used to a slightly liquid formula you squeeze out.  So this stick feels kind of reminds me of a glue stick when rubbing on my face and does feel a bit thicker than most of my other primers. I drew it all over my face, then quickly rubbed in with the warmth of my fingers, then applied my foundation right after with my new favorite sponge I bought on the same trip to Sephora.

I have normal to dry skin, so oil production isn't an issue with me which is a benefit to my foundation usually not sliding off my skin like some women struggle with.  But this primer did seem to help my drugstore foundation (L'Oreal True Match) stay on rather nicely despite the elements.  It also made my skin look more flawless than when I wear the foundation alone.  It didn't feel as thick after the initial application so it definitely soaked in and felt nice.

What do you think of these results? Have you given this primer the Benefit of the doubt??

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August 19, 2013

Makeup Monday : Beauty Or Blunder

This week I am highlighting what I believe to be two fairly obvious celebrity beauty and blunders.  Let's switch it up with the blunder going first...


This is Mother Monster (yes that's what her fans call her) wearing different variations of splatter paint makeup around Los Angeles recently.  I don't know what the occasion was, or if there even was one, but I'm sure there's got to be an explanation...right?  The lipstick is actually very pretty and summery if left by itself, but the rest of the rainbow makeup is a bit distracting.  I get artistic expression and trying to make a statement in a sea of other musicians, but in my opinion, this looks silly and trying a bit too hard to be different. 

But who am I to judge, her bank account is a lot bigger than mine so she's obviously doing something right. On second thought, maybe I need to rethink letting my 3 year old do my makeup in the morning like she always asks to! I will say, I am excited to see what Gaga comes up with makeup, hair, style wise for her upcoming appearance at the MTV VMA Awards!  I'm sure whatever it is, it won't be boring and we won't be able to look away. 


So Olivia could probably look stunning rolling out of bed at 6am without a stitch of makeup on so she's already one step ahead of the game in the beauty category.  I do love a good smokey eye, and this one Miss Wilde sported recently to the Drinking Buddies premiere, is top notch.  With the very low key cheeks + lips, the relaxed wavy hair, and black tee, she is balanced out perfectly.  The eyes are the focus and you can't stop staring at them.

To achieve these deep shimmery charcoal/silver eyes, I would use Kat Von D's True Romance Palette in  "Sinner," $36, and line the entire eye (inner waterline included) with Urban Decay's 24/7 liner in "Zero," $19.  I own both of these products and tried to recreate a similar look recently and it turned out beautifully!

What do you think about Monday's beauty/blunder picks?  Am I being too conservative about Miss Gaga or am I right on track with being wild about Miss Wilde's smokey eyes? 

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August 16, 2013

A Weekend In New York City

I spent last weekend flying up to New York City to visit my hubby while he has been away on business for 2 weeks.  And I must say, this trip renewed my love for this bustling city I hadn't been to in over 4 years.   Here's a peek into my weekend...sit back and relax, it's a heavy pictorial!

*One of the best parts of the trip was running into Maria from Queens, who came up to tell me she reads my blog and really likes it!! I couldn't believe my eyes and ears that she recognized little ole me from Georgia at the Park Avenue Sephora!! Fitting place for us to meet though - she was gracious enough to let me take a little selfie pic of the two of us.  Thanks Maria for making my day!!*

We weren't going into the city to be super touristy, this was more of just a relaxing trip to enjoy each other while he's been away.  However, whenever you're in NYC, it's hard not to act like a tourist and be in awe of the amount of people, tall buildings, shopping, large parks, and places to eat and drink!  There's something interesting and exciting on every corner.

Highlights of our trip:

1. GREAT NYC HOTEL. We stayed at The Tuscany, A St. Giles Luxury Hotel on 39th between Lexington and Park Ave.  Great location, great price for big huge rooms and bathrooms (ask for 1501 on the 15th floor!) and the nicest hotel staff in the whole city.  Plus the bathroom amenities by Molton Brown (never heard of them until now, a London based spa brand!) they provided smelled divine - I couldn't wait to shower!

2.  THE HIGH LINE.  This is a must see and is an above ground linear park and walkway full of vendors, green space and flowers, and great views of the west side of the city.  It stretches for one mile and was such a neat walk - starts around Gansevoort Street on up to 30th Street through Chelsea.

3. THE ROOF OF THE STANDARD HOTEL.  You can get to the Standard from the High Line. We were informed about this gem from my husbands cousin and girlfriend who live there and took us around one day (thanks Stephen & Kristy!).  It has spectacular views, is super hip and swanky, gets crowded real fast (go early if you don't want to be caught in a sea of people!), and has great pitchers of cocktails. We had the cucumber/vodka/lemonade.  It was tasty!

4.  CENTRAL PARK & WASHINGTON SQUARE ARCH.  With a city full of cars, honking, and tall buildings, it's nice to see some green grass!  These two park spots are iconic and have some lovely sights and spaces to rest and hangout in.

5.  BIANCA.  This tiny, and I mean tiny, little Italian restaurant in the Greenwich Village was a personal recommendation from a friend of mine who has lived in NYC for years. She told me it was a must so we went.  You sit almost on the next persons lap in this cozy place, but the atmosphere is so local and unique, and the food, I got their lasagna, is ridiculously good.  And considering we had been spending a lot of money on food at other restaurants, these prices were refreshingly lower than what we had been experiencing - including the wine!

I'm directionally impaired.  I can get lost even using my GPS in my car, seriously.  But by the end of the weekend I think I had finally figured out the subway system which made me feel like I wasn't as touristy as I looked!  It's a crazy way to live up there, but I sure enjoy the NYC life in little spurts.  I was glad to get back to my kids, my car, and my bed.  Honestly though, I can't wait to go back.

What are your favorite things to do in the Big Apple?

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