Easy 4th of July Set and Forget Hors d’oeuvres

It’s almost the fourth of July! I’m currently in Aruba vacationing with family this year but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few suggestions for your backyard barbecue. I wrote these recipes for CBS Local a few years ago and still use them for parties to this day! They’re so simple to make, standout in the crowd amongst a sea of store-bought potato chips and underwhelming salsa and will subside your guests till the big cookout. Hope everyone has a happy Fourth of July back home! Will definitely be missing my fill of burgers, ice pops, and fireworks. You can read my recipe article for CBS Local, here. Let me know if you have any questions or if you’ve tried one of the recipes by dropping a comment below!


Fourth Of July Recipes: Set And Forget Hors d’oeuvres




Happy Fourth of July,




5 Easy Brunch Recipes for Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! Hope everyone is enjoying their Mother’s Day with their mama’s this Sunday, mine is currently jetting around the world at the moment. Ironically, I’m home in New York City this Sunday and was thinking of going out with a friend to brunch until I woke up and saw the rainy day that was awaiting me outside, yuck. So as I sit, nice and dry, in my apartment, I decided to make my own brunch. Admittedly, it’s not as fancy as this recipe article I wrote for CBS a while back but the best part of brunch at home is that you are guaranteed food cooked to your preference, no lines, and no outrageously priced bill at the end.


You can find my five easy recipes for brunch on CBS Local, here. This menu was inspired by my love for margaritas and south of the border. Simple ingredients and easy to make jalapeno guacamole, churro french toast, chorizo frittata, chimichurri skirt steak, and mango margaritas, that arevfamily tested and approved! Did I also mention delicious? Yum!


Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes




Happy holidays,


6 Easy Ways to get Eco-Friendly this Earth Day

Happy (belated) Earth Day to all my fellow crunchy granola friends out there. All kidding aside, as most of you know I’m a big environmentalist, however, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to help save the planet. Enacting these few simple changes not only helped me reduce my single-use plastic consumption but it’s also saved me a nice sum of money. The money I save goes right to my travel fund so for all those wondering how I save money to travel the globe? Start here…


Reusable Bags

This little change makes a HUGE difference! When grocery shopping BYOB, Bring Your Own Bag, (but obviously won’t judge if you bring booze too). When I lived in Germany, you had to bring your own bag to the grocery store and if you forgot you had to buy a reusable bag for a dollar. I still bring my own bag because of this! Obviously, I’m not perfect, but any little bit helps. If you have a car? It’s even easier, leave them in your trunk! It actually makes carrying groceries easier because you fit more in one bag and carry it on your shoulder. For smaller CVS runs, I carry a BAGGU in my purse or you can leave one in your car. Just bust it out next time you hit up the convenient store and give the cashier a smug smile even though they low key might be judging you.


Reusable Coffee Mugs

Whether you like it hot or cold, bring your own mug! Most coffee shops will offer you a slight discount and you’ll save the environment. I’d say I’m about 60/40 on this but I do carry an aluminum straw in my work bag so I can use that instead of plastic. Personally, I drink two to three coffees a day. I mean, I’m a writer who lives in New York City, what is sleep? My point is, every little bit helps.


Dryer Balls

Living in New York City, I’ve had many roommates in my lifetime. If you’re wondering what kind of roommate I am…yes, I’m THAT roommate who makes everyone recycle and use weird organic products, etc. One thing I’ve managed to turn everyone onto is dryer balls! Dryer sheets are actually the most toxic household product for you. You constantly have to buy them, all they do is make your clothes smell like synthetic fragrance, and they fill up our landfills. Dryer balls are made from wool, cut drying time in half, naturally soften your clothes, are a one-time purchase, and are chemical and allergy free! You can add essential or fragrance oil for smell if you really miss it. Honestly, I leave them in the dryer and never take them out. It’s really that easy and it’s probably the best eight dollars I’ve ever spent.


Reusable Water Bottles

This one is obvious! Reusable plastic is okay…reusable stainless steel is better. Once I made the switch to steel I never looked back on plastic. My water is cold for hours and I drink so much more water because of it. I keep one in my work bag and refill as I go. I even bring it with me when I travel. I think all hotels should have them, (don’t worry I’m working on it.)


Mindful Eating

This isn’t a product per se and yet it’s probably the most important topic. Mindful eating is something I always try to practice. I’ve read tons of articles on this and to sum it up, buy organic produce and protein, eat seasonal fruits and veggies, and limit your red meat consumption to once every week or two weeks. Once you start there you can start going one or two days meat-free. You don’t need to go full vegetarian or vegan but limiting your meat consumption is not only good for your health but it’s also good for the environment.


The follow-up question people always ask me is…but how do I afford organic produce? There’s no easy way to answer this question but the best tips I found are to avoid buying pre-packaged foods, meal prepping, buying from stores like Trader Joe’s, and by visiting your local farmers market. All these suggestions have not only helped me save money but have also helped me eat healthier. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to diet to lose weight or eat healthier.



Another obvious one and yet it’s worth mentioning because you’d be surprised at just how much you CAN recycle. When I lived in Germany, it was the law to recycle. Literally, you would get a fine if you didn’t do it right. I had five garbage cans in my apartment. Yes, you read that right, FIVE. One for waste, one for plastic, one for cardboard and paper, one for cans, and one for glass.


Guess which one fills up the quickest? If you guessed plastic…you’d be right. We had a normal sized trash can for plastic and we had to take this trash out every three days. That’s how much single-use plastic we ruse on a daily basis. So what can you recycle? A quick google search of your counties recycling laws should do it, you can find the NYC guidelines here. Essentially, plastic (rigid plastic like bottles, food containers, plastic housewares, etc), glass, and cans with a separate container for cardboards and newspapers.


Yes, I mentioned how this helped me save money but in reality, it really does make a difference. In Bali, I went freediving with Manta Rays and swam in a ton of garbage. It rained on a nearby island and the run-off from the river ended up in the ocean. To say it was disgusting was an understatement so imagine how the Mantas felt? These simple changes are not only helping you but it’s also helping wildlife.


What are the same of the things you do to limit your use of single-use plastics? Any more environmental tips? Let me know in the comments below!

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Happy Earth Day,

City Girl Riss

Everything You Need for Your Best Valentine’s Day Yet

This week’s post is dedicated to helping you prep for your best Valentine’s Day yet. I’ve linked every article I’ve ever written about Valentine’s Day below. From travel recommendations to DIY dinners/gifts to beauty tips, I’ve covered almost every topic. I personally think Valentine’s Day is an overrated holiday but there’s nothing overrated about showing someone you care. Tried and tested by yours truly, enjoy!

Romantic Valentine’s Day Destinations

Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two

Valentine’s Day Activities for Singles

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts to Make for Your Loved Ones

The Best Free Valentine’s Date Idea in NYC

Three Tips for Better Breath

How to Heal Chapped Lips


Have you tried any of my recommendations before? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Happy Valentine’s Day,



Everything you need for New Years Eve

From throwing the best soireé to decluttering your life away, these articles will help you get ready for your best year yet! I’ve been decluttering and re-organizing like a psycho in my apartment and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels. I bought new shelves less than a year ago and am just putting them up. I’ve never felt so much joy from such a mundane task. Of course, for me, this means more space for my ever-growing collection of skincare products. Speaking of skincare, this year for my New Year’s article I’m doing a spotlight on skincare, featuring my all-time favorite products of the year. I get to try so many amazing products and procedures in my line of work but to be honest I always find myself going back to the same staples.


With that being said, this cleaning spree reminded me that I have so many products I’ve never used/opened, so many clothes I don’t wear anymore, and so much junk collecting in my closets that was taking up vital space. I plan on taking some time in the New Year to donate everything and I strongly encourage you to do so too! Women’s shelters will take makeup and feminine products, Goodwill and the Salvation Army take clothes as well as home goods and offer you a tax write-off (I think is the technical term) for doing so. It’s great to set goals for 2019 but it’s also great to look back on how much you’ve grown in the last year and how much you have to be grateful for. Remember to pay it forward!


The Skincare article will be out tomorrow but you can find my previous articles below. Let me know if you have anything to add or any questions! Happy holidays everyone!


Decluttering Tips for a New Year, New You


New Years Eve Party DIY Guide


New Year’s Eve Fashion Guide


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Happy New Year,


Easy Christmas Recipe Ideas

It’s almost time for Christmas! If you waited to do everything last minute, like I did, you’ll love this easy recipe article I did for CBS two years ago! I make all of these dishes often, even when it’s not Xmas, and always get great reviews from the toughest critics I know….my family. The appetizer I mentioned in this article, the salami Caprese skewers, are especially a crowd favorite and take minutes to assemble with no cooking needed! I’ll even bring a baguette and use the extra oil, where the cheese was marinating in, as a dipping sauce. I’m mostly Italian and as you can see this menu has a lot of heavy Mediterranean influences. I grew up with all these dishes and personally make everything that I write about. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! As always, feel free to ask me anything or let me know if you’ve tried and tested this. You can read the full article on CBS Local NY, here.

5 Course Christmas Dinner Recipes For Your Big Get Together




Happy Holidays,


The October Issue

Happy October everyone! I don’t know about you guys but I’m so excited for fall.  From pumpkin flavored everything to cooler weather to my favorite holiday, Halloween! My costume in particular, has me counting down the days till Halloween, however, I love  looking back on some of my older October articles as they’re some of my favorites. I recently finished the new Netflix docuseries called, “Dark Tourist.” The show features some of the scariest and most extreme tourist destinations around the globe. In one of the episodes the host visits Mckamey Manor, which is featured in my, “Scariest haunted houses in America,” article. Probably the only time I’ve written about a destination that I have not personally experienced myself. But kidnapping, flogging, eating BUGS!? NOOOOOOOOPE! I was luckily enough to make it through the trailers. I’ve linked below my favorite October articles. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback!


5 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

Step by Step Halloween Makeup Guide

5 Spookiest Halloween Travel Destinations

How To Turn Your Home Into A Haunted House

5 Pumpkin Spice Recipes You’ll Love




Happy Halloween,


The Ultimate Guide to Labor Day Weekend

As promised, I’ve linked below all of my Labor Day Articles from CBS Local. Whether you’re planning to escape the city this long weekend or throw your own party, I’ve got great recommendations for every occasion. For starters, I’d definitely recommend trying the Frosé, wine slushie, recipe in the article Drink Recipes for your Labor Day Get Together.  It’s inspired by my favorite frosé at Sunset Beach in Shelter Island. I also just recently went to the Hudson Hotel Bar in NYC and had an amazing Frosé there too. In my opinion, it’s the only way to say salute to summer. Check out the below articles for more LDW insporation….

How to Throw the Perfect Labor Day Party

Drink Recipes for you Labor Day Get Together

5 Lawn Games for Labor Day Celebrations

5 Labor Day Weekend Getaways in New York




Happy holidays,


The Best All Natural Hack for Allergies

It’s Earth Day today, meaning I saved this post especially for today because….THEMES. So if you’re like me, springtime rolls around and instead of frolicking in the fields and sunshine you hide inside your house because pollen is actually trying to kill you. I’ve been sneezing and congested all week! It’s debilitating at times not to mention I absolutely HATE taking medicine. I don’t know anyone who does but I will do anything to avoid it. Which is why I was so happy to learn this hack!


When I was living in New Hampshire, back in 2014, I was performing six days a week. My allergies were hindering my ability to sing, dance, and ultimately exist. I hated it! I was taking Zyrtec every day and feeling so drowsy. One weekend I went to the local farmers market with some friends and I came across a stand selling local honey from a bee farm. I love using honey as an all-natural sweetener so as I was chatting with the farmer and mentioning how the pollen here was so bad. He immediately laughed and told me this hack that I’m still using four years later.


He recommended eating a tablespoon of local honey every day. Local honey helps aid in allergies by acclimating your body to local pollens in the air. So a honey made from California is going to contain different pollens than the ones you’d find in New York. It’s essentially an all natural allergy shot and let me tell you it works! I eat organic raw honey from my local farmers market in NYC or I purchase it from whole foods. Pasteurized honey does not contain any pollen so raw and locally sourced is key!


The benefits of raw honey, however, aren’t just limited to allergies. Raw honey is great for your skin! I use it in my homemade body wash and it’s done wonders for me. It’s an antioxidant powerhouse. Plus so many other benefits which you can read more about here. I highly recommend keeping raw honey as a staple in your pantry. Unfortunately, Bee’s are currently on the decline. Honeybee colonies have slowly started to decline over the last few decades due to pesticides, industrial agriculture, parasites and climate change. Bee’s are responsible for pollinating our earth and promoting biodiversity. Which is why it’s so important to support ecological farming and supporting politicians with this same goal in mind.


Have you tried this hack? If you have any questions leave a comment down below!


unnamed.jpgHappy Earth Day,



How To Take Your St. Patrick’s Day To The Next Level

Call it the luck of the Irish but St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year! So for all you Irish natives and wannabes, you can raise a glass knowing you won’t have to begrudgingly trek into work the next day. Although I am Irish, the thought of heading to a much too crowded pub in New York City is actually what my nightmares are made of. Of course, when I say nightmare I’m referring to waiting in line forever for the restroom and getting a beer spilled on me by someone yelling, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” True Story. So I’ll be choosing to spend my time elsewhere this Saturday, however, if you still want to celebrate but feel the same way check out these articles I wrote or CBS. From hosting your own celebration to celebrating somewhere other than the local pub, I’ve got you covered. Most of these articles were inspired by my trip to Dublin and the Irish countryside. Enjoy.

5 Ways To Take Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration To The Next Level


DIY Tips For The Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Party


5 Recipes For Awesome St. Patrick’s Day Drinks


5 Irish Cocktail Recipes


Happy St. Patrick’s Day,