5/29/2015

Closet Q&A: Goal Dresses

Welcome to my very first Closet Q&A series! Thank you to everyone who has submitted your questions so far - keep 'em coming! Without further delay, let's jump into our first question:

"What's your stance on buying things that don't quite fit yet? Are "goal" dresses just not a good idea?" - Hannah

via

I totally get the appeal of "goal" items. You find a dress you love and buy it a little too small, using it as motivation to encourage yourself to workout more, eat healthier, and make better choices overall.

However, I think this mentality can be risky. What if you don't reach your goal size? That perfect dress is going to quickly turn from a motivational tool to a guilt-ridden reminder; a reminder that what you're doing isn't enough. What started out as a positive incentive starts creating negative pressure to be something...different. And don't we already have enough of that in our lives? Plus, you're losing valuable closet real estate for something you can't even wear.

My advice? Embrace where you're at now. Find something you feel fabulous in and rock it. Leave the ill-fitting dresses behind.

Got a question? Let me hear it!

5/26/2015

Outfit Post: Memorial Day


It’s a rare occurrence, but this year I spent my Memorial Day weekend not fighting traffic, not traveling, not going anywhere. I spent my weekend rooftop gardening, grilling with my girlfriends, and relaxing at home.

It was perfect.

I also made the conscious decision not to spend this weekend shopping. I probably got 100 emails in my inbox from stores, big and small, reminding me to shop their sales. 20% off. 30% off. 40% off. At some point Memorial Day became less about honoring those who fought for our country and more about hunting for the biggest bargain. Not shopping may be a small and insignificant decision, but for me, it was an important one.

To all of you who have served and continue to serve for our freedom, thank you. 









top: pitaya (similar here)
jeans: topshop via nordstrom
watch: shinola
sunglasses: ray-ban
sandals: old forever21 (similar here)

5/20/2015

Outfit Post: Triple Trend


Three trends I'm loving for the summer are midi skirts, crisp white, and mesh details. This Ann Taylor skirt has all three and is the perfect New York stoop sitting, Carrie Bradshaw-inspired, summer skirt.

Normally I would have worn this look with a little more edge (maybe some studded heels and a black crop top), but it's springtime in New York and the flowers were blooming and I was feeling extra girly. Plus, B packed for this trip while I was still in VA (brave soul) so my studded heels and crop tops didn't make his cut. So my options were this borrowed pink top from my sister or my lived in "weekend warrior" pajama tee.

I'm a fan of the feminine pink vibe for spring, but I'm still questioning whether the weekend warrior tee would have been the better outfit choice.






top: borrowed from my sister (similar here)
skirt: ann taylor
denim jacket: vintage (similar here)
shoes: old forever21 (similar here)
sunglasses: ray-ban
ring: old (similar here)


5/18/2015

Travel Diary: New York, New York

 No matter how many times I visit New York City, there's always something new to see. It's an ever changing and expanding city; a city full of life and endless excitement. Because of this, I always leave utterly exhausted but feeling like I could have/should have seen more.

On my most recent trip, we decided to just come up with a couple things we would plan to do and spend the rest of the time wandering and exploring. This meant a lot of time walking the streets, stopping at cafes and lingering over a bottle of wine. When you stop trying to fit it all in, you are better able to appreciate the little gems of the city.

Because of how much there is to do and see, it would be impossible to give you a list of things to check off when visiting the Big Apple. But here are 5 things (out of a never ending, always changing list) I'd recommend when visiting NYC.

1. Shop the Flea Markets
New York has some of the best shopping in the world. Full of designer stores and boutique shops, you can find anything and everything. But my favorite places to shop when I visit the city are the flea markets. On this trip, we hit up the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, where I walked away with some vintage jewelry, a caftan dress, and a fringe vest (all of which will make appearances in upcoming outfit posts).

2. Be a Tourist (at least a little)
As a fan of venturing off the beaten path, I usually try and avoid tourist traps when I travel. But when visiting New York, it's unavoidable. So when I visit the city, I embrace being a tourist and try and pick one stereotypical tourist attraction to see. This trip, we took the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. It's free and allows for some great photo ops of both the city and Lady Liberty.

3. Visit the World Trade Center Memorial 
 This was an important stop for us. Last time I was in Manhattan, the 9/11 memorial was still under construction, so I was glad to be able to pay my respects to the site during this trip. It gave us time to share and reflect about the day while visiting the incredibly impressive and moving tribute. Definitely make the effort to visit if you haven't done so.

4. Get Lost in the Met
The newest Costume Institute exhibit, China: Through the Looking Glass, recently opened to the public at The Met, so naturally it was high on my list of things to do. Not only was the exhibit beautifully done and a highlight of the trip, but the entire museum is worth getting lost in for the day.

5. Eat (and Drink!)
This goes without saying, but half of what you do in Manhattan is eat and drink. Cafes and bakeries. Street food and five star dining. Rooftop bars and underground speakeasies. It's all good. Try and experience as much variety as you can. 

What are your favorite things to see and do when you visit New York City?


5/15/2015

Outfit Post: Resale Bargain


This outfit (minus the accessories) cost me $6. Yep, 6 bucks.

I scored it at a church run resale store in the adorable town of Geneva, New York when I was in upstate last week. I wasn't planning on buying anything but the tiny neon sailboats were too cute to pass up. Plus it was 3 dollars. I also found this on-trend midi skirt (with pockets!), which set me back another 3 dollars, but was totally worth it as the perfect compliment to my new neon sailboat button down.

My tip for scoring the best finds at resale or thrift stores? Avoid looking at sizes. Sizing fluctuates so frequently depending on when it was made (definitely ignore sizes when shopping vintage) or who made it. You could miss a potentially great find by limiting yourself to only one size. Plus, if you love something, you can always take it to a seamstress to get it altered or get creative in how you style the piece.

My little neon sailboat top? It's about three sizes too big. But when tied beneath a high-waisted skirt, it works for me. I also plan on wearing it knotted a la Olivia Palmero or as a cover up over a bikini at the beach. For three dollars I get three completely different looks and purposes for this one too big top.

Definitely worth the 6 bucks.

What are some of your favorite resale finds? Any tips for successfully rummaging through the racks?













top:thrifted
skirt: similar here
sandals: old forever21 (similar here)
bag: j.crew
sunglasses: ray-ban
earrings: eastern market vendor

5/13/2015

Travel Diary: 7 Tips for Enjoying the Finger Lakes


As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently took some time away to recharge and recover.

Deciding I needed to get out of town, I escaped to New York, spending the majority of the week Upstate (mostly the Finger Lakes region) and a couple days in Manhattan (more on that next week).

 If you've never been to the Finger Lakes, GO. It's incredibly relaxing, the people are extremely friendly, and the area is absolutely stunning. And if you're planning a trip, here are a few of my tips for enjoying the Finger Lakes:

1. Explore the Wine Trail.
Pick a lake and circle it. Stop at vineyards that speak to you. Since I was staying on Seneca Lake, I spent the majority of my time in that area, but there are a range of vineyards all over. Tip: share one tasting with two other friends. That way you’ll get to taste more wine as well as keep your wits, dignity, and safe driving skills intact.

2. Visit a Creamery.
I’d recommend Muranda’s. For 2 bucks you get to taste about 15 incredible varieties of cheese made right on the farm. If possible, request Tom for the tasting. He is full of knowledge and humor and is generous with his portions.

3. Rent a House on the Lake.
Avoid the hotels and look at sites like airbnb or VRBO for houses or apartments for rent. Because I prefer a kitchen and privacy, it's how I choose to travel. And if you have more than one person, it's usually more affordable than your standard, run of the mill hotels. Also, you can get some incredible views.

4. Just Drive.
Take a road trip and explore, stopping at anything that looks appealing. On our trip, we discovered thrift stores, farm stands, waterfalls, restaurants, and ice cream shops without doing an ounce of research. We headed to Ithaca for the day for food, shopping, and hiking. We drove to the Catskills and stumbled upon an abandoned castle deep in the woods. Roll down your windows, turn up your music, and go.

5. Do Go Chasing Waterfalls.
I don't know how you can visit this region and not see the waterfalls. They are everywhere. Take a hike, get some fresh air, and don't be afraid to get wet. We hiked Watkins Glen and Taughannock Falls in Ithaca (which are taller than Niagra Falls!). Explore and find your own. There are plenty.

6. Relax. Don’t Plan. Just Go. (Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out).
As a planner, this tip would ordinarily be difficult. But considering my schedule the last few weeks, I had zero time to plan anything. And it was glorious. I spent each day doing what I felt like in the moment, not feeling obligated to do what was planned. Some days that meant renting a video and falling asleep early to a movie. On mornings I felt like being active, I took long walks along the lake. One day we explored the little town of Geneva and stumbled upon live music and oysters at Red Dove Tavern and found great wine and even better service at Microclimate (If you are in the area, go to both). There is so much to see and do, you can't go wrong. Be okay figuring it out along the way.

And lastly...

7. Disconnect.
It helped that we had no internet or wifi in our house. But damn, am I glad I didn’t. I didn’t worry about email. I didn’t check pinterest. I read and slept and laughed and explored and did all the things you have time to do when you are disconnected from a computer screen.




5/04/2015

Break

via
Sometimes we all just need a break. For me, that time is now.

I know I just announced some new changes to the blog and built up all kinds of excitement, but sometimes in life, the unexpected happens and you just need to hit the pause button. Sometimes you need to take a break and focus on life outside of your computer screen.

Sometimes life screams at you gently reminds you to spend less time stressing about deadlines and emails and money and spend more time living. To spend more time with friends and family. More time reflecting. More time breathing.

Last week my uncle Dan lost his battle with cancer. He was a fighter who kept his wit, humor, and compassion until the very end. This past week has been one of tears and sadness over his death and love and laughter over his life. We ended the week with a “MAJOR party” (per his wishes) celebrating the incredible way he lived. Every single day he lived with optimism, joy, and humor.

As I listened to countless stories and looked through hundreds of photos, I was reminded by Dan to really enjoy life. We all struggle. We all have shit happen to us. But it’s how we respond to those hardships that will be remembered in the end.

So rather than giving you guys forced blog posts, where my exhaustion is evident, I’ve decided to take care of myself and I’m taking a break.

I’m getting out of town and going to focus on living. I’m going to lay in the sun, read books, hike, and make memories.

If there is one thing my uncle Dan taught me, it was to live.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

See you all in a week.