FOLLOW THE PUPPIES I like my nails long and thin. Usually by the time I’m unpacking from wherever I went, they’re broken. So the first thing I do is go to Issa Nails, on Lexington. I don’t know exactly which street it’s on but I can always tell I’m close because there’s some kind of puppy store right beside the salon, and people are always crowded around, looking at puppies. It makes me want to get a puppy.
PIT STOP, SWEET SPOT Before I get to Issa’s I pass Baked by Melissa, on Lexington. Oh, my God, I love their cupcakes. The strawberry one is so moist. I’ll pick up six on the way to the nail salon. I’ll eat three on the way there, three on the way back. They’re not big. It’s just a bite. And I don’t restrict what I eat on Sundays, even though I’m in training for Miss Universe. I don’t work out on Sundays, either. I believe strongly in my faith, and God always talked about using Sunday as a day of rest. The lock screen on my phone says, “No.” That’s my promise to myself to rest.
INCOGNITO At Issa’s, I always go to Lisa. I think she’s really Issa, the owner, but she doesn’t admit it. We’re a little pair: she’ll give me a quick lecture, “Your nails wouldn’t break so much if you didn’t keep them so thin.” And then she doesn’t get offended if I look through Pinterest for gown inspiration. I don’t think she knows I’m Miss USA, but I don’t want her to know. I just want people to treat me like a regular person. I go there with no makeup, in glasses, with my hair pulled back, wearing ripped jeans.
ME TIME I come back to my apartment and there’s still more suitcases to unpack. I spend much of my afternoon cleaning up my room and watching “Sex and the City” reruns on my iPad. I felt like I needed to rewatch every season when I moved to New York. They talk about restaurants I feel like I have to go to, like Pastis, and it also chronicles how difficult it can be to date in New York. Plus the fashion. I don’t know if it’s true that it’s hard to date in Manhattan. I’ve had a date here and there but I can’t say I’m actually searching. It’s fun to be selfish and to focus on me and my schedule.
IN THE CLOSET I’ll get a chicken Caesar from Chopt delivered, and then the rest of the day is devoted to my blog. I have a desk in my room, but it’s where I do my makeup — there’s a flip-up top and a lighted mirror — so I can’t work there. So I go into this little closet area that’s our office. The closet is a cleaning closet. I’m in there with our cleaning supplies. But it’s good because I don’t get distracted. I’m so grateful to have this apartment because it’s like three times the size of my apartment in Charlotte, and it has this beautiful view. If I wasn’t in the closet I’d be staring out the window.