All That Glitters

17 Dec

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Gigi Burris hat, holiday party dress, suede biker jacket, vintage Ferragamo heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Gigi Burris hat, holiday party dress, suede biker jacket, vintage Ferragamo heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Gigi Burris hat, holiday party dress, suede biker jacket, vintage Ferragamo heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Gigi Burris hat, holiday party dress, suede biker jacket, vintage Ferragamo heels

There is certainly something to be said about the power of a twinkly party dress like this one by Kate Spade Saturday. I have always styled outfits based on my mood, and sometimes that means putting on an piece that’ll work some magic and lift my spirits when I’m feeling down. Clothing can be an anti-depressant of sorts, you know what I mean? If not, I suggest you give it a whirl. And you can totally get away with wearing something like this midday during the holiday season, which is a definite plus. Chocolate and wine work wonders as well…

I know it’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” or some shit, but life doesn’t always abide by these pre-determined standards. I am not about to get all emo, nor will I complain or pity myself in any way, shape or form — I am beyond blessed with an amazing family (who I get to go see tomorrow in California), an incredible “friend family” here in New York, and a rock-steady support system that has never failed me through many, many ups and downs.

But guess what? Nobody’s life is perfect. People struggle from seasonal depression, body dysmorphia, clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and things that are far “worse”…or more severe, medically speaking. Some people are considered “stronger” than others…some people can handle misfortune “better”.

I have always been genuinely intrigued by people and the human mind. I find people interesting. I want to know their stories, I want to offer support when I can and I want everyone to thrive. I think often times people are too quick to judge. Sometimes it just takes a little extra effort and a little more understanding.

In putting forth my best effort to be a true friend, loyal relative, and even a caring stranger, I have learned that you can never judge a book by it’s cover. Nobody has a right to just assume what is happening in someone else’s life, and miraculously know what it feels like for that person. All we can do is listen and be patient…do our best to relate.

I will go ahead and leave it at that. Sometimes life fucking sucks. Sometimes there is a socially-acceptable reason for it to suck that people will automatically sympathize with, and other times it just fucking sucks . For no reason. Maybe you can explain it and maybe you can’t. But either way, it is hard. All that glitters is not gold.

And no, this is not the end-all-be-all solution (obviously), but until I find one I am going to stick with this as one of my remedies. Wrap yourself up like a freaking Christmas present — tie yourself up in bows and ribbons and put on red lipstick. Don’t plant a fake smile on your face, but I can almost guarantee that you will feel a whole lot better than if you left the house in sweat pants with greasy hair.

*head to toe: Gigi Burris hat (Gigi is my incredibly talented / amazing roommate, make sure you check out her stuff!!), Nars lip crayon in Cruella, Saturday Baroque Trapeze Dress, Topshop Jacket (similar style here), vintage Ferragamo heels c/o my grandmother (modern version here)

Photography by Jono Bernstein

Sparkle In The Dark

9 Dec

New York City Fashion, LIfestyle, Travel blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Holiday Dressing with Kate Spade Saturday, red lips, gold lame dress, coral heels

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” -Maya Angelou

There are so many things to love about this season! I have to say that, second to spending time with close friends and family, my favorite thing is having the perfect excuse to get dolled up in shimmery party dresses. This gold lamé Lightbeam Dress by Kate Spade Saturday, quite similar to the Lightbeam Skirt I wore in my previous post, is pretty much the epitome of holiday fashion in my mind.

Decided to pair this flashy little frock with vampy red lipstick and these matching cherry Satur-date heels. It ended up being one of my favorite shoots in a while. It may sound shallow, but think about it…it’s pretty amazing what putting on a fancy outfit that you feel great in can do for your self-confidence.

I have chosen a life that is much better be described as a roller coaster ride than a walk on solid ground. I made decisions that have caused me to deal with a lot more highs and lows than most people I know. This has been a conscious choice, but it doesn’t mean I don’t falter. I falter often and I fall hard…

For whatever reason, December has managed to make a habit of being the most awesome / simultaneously trying months of the year for me. It is a time for joy and celebration. A time for reflection – acknowledging my triumphs and “failures” (probably better phrased as areas in my life that hold room for improvement). And, for whatever reason, a time for battling a multitude of surprises and struggles.

But at the end of the day, first and foremost, I have myself. I have so many amazing people around me who make providing genuine support a priority. I have gold, shimmery dresses. And I have countless other things to be grateful for. So I am going to take the good with the bad…continue to try and be better while humbly being proud of the person I have worked hard to become.

I will not give up…I will sparkle in the freaking dark.

*head to toe: NARS lip crayon in Cruella, KS Saturday Lightbeam Dress, KS Saturday Satur-date heels

Photos by Jono Bernstein

p.s. Don’t forget to enter the Saturday’s AWESOME giveaway where you have the chance to win a $1000 shopping spree for you and four friends! CLICK HERE to find out how to enter.

 

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The Best Gifts of All

7 Dec

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Gifts for All Your Girls Campaign, Kate Spade Saturday, Holiday dressing, holiday gift guide

Kate Spade Saturday recently approached me to participate in their very adorable “Gifts for All Your Girls” campaign, and I have to say it has been one of the most fun projects I have had the pleasure of working on in a while. Basically, the perfect excuse to kick off the holidays a little bit early, get dolled up in fun, festive frocks, and exchange cute presents with some of my nearest and dearest.

Living in the melting pot that is New York City, when the winter season comes around, my “friend family” tends to inevitably part ways, each of us doing our own thing for much of December. Whether it is going home for Christmas, enjoying an envious vacation, or simply migrating toward warmer climates, it is one of those months where party planning is much easier said than done. This was just the nudge I needed to gather some of my favorite ladies, sip on seasonal cocktails at The Derby, and engage in a little gift giving! From party dresses to adorable presents, Saturday.com has so many great options for the holiday season…

I am in love with this lamé Lightbeam Skirt, and how cute does Jess look in the Gold Dot Cardigan?! Some of the presents I picked out for us to exchange were the Lots of Dots pouch and wallet, Mini Zipline crosbody bagHEY! ring, Party On botttle opener, gold driving gloves, and my personal favorite, The Eureka! Book (seriously, this thing is awesome — especially if you are a fan of quirky arts and crafts like I am). And there’s a whole lot more where that came from HERE.

Want to give a huge thanks to Erica, Jess, Kai and Jono for helping me with this project. You guys are the best gifts of all! I am not quite sure how I would survive without amazing friends like you by my side.

ALSO, guess what?!! Kate Spade Saturday is hosting an AWESOME giveaway where you have the chance to win a $1000 shopping spree, not only for you, but for four of your favorite girls! CLICK HERE to find out how to enter. I mean, that’s one way to bring on the holiday cheer…good luck! x

Underneath It All

5 Dec

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Halo braid, silk kimono, lace bra, knee-high socks
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Halo braid, silk kimono, lace bra, knee-high socks
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Halo braid, silk kimono, lace bra, knee-high socks
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Halo braid, silk kimono, lace bra, knee-high socks
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Halo braid, silk kimono, lace bra, knee-high socks

Another fun shoot with my extremely talented pals Jono and Kai. I have been working with Jono Bernstein for a number of months now, and feel lucky to be able to team up with such a great photographer, who is not only willing and eager to try out-of-the-box concepts, but also pushes me to experiment with fashion beyond street style.

My dear friend, Kai Stamps, did my hair and makeup here, and I have to say, I am not sure that I have ever felt more beautiful. So big thanks to her for that!

Let me tell you, a few months ago I would not have considered doing a shoot in my bra. But when you are collaborating with the right people, who make you feel comfortable in your own skin (something I have always struggled with, as do most young women), I found that I actually felt the opposite of insecure. I felt empowered.

I have received some negative Instagram comments lately when posting photos similar to these. All I can say is thanks for the feedback, and I personally find it unfortunate that showing a little skin (when done tastefully, which I personally feel I have done) is perceived, by some, as ugly, too proud, or somehow insensitive. I do not write this blog or post photos for the closed-minded. I am always open to feedback, and humbly accept every word. However, I will confess that I have little respect for those who neglect to think before they speak.

To each their own…and fine if you feel that goal I expressed to accept my flaws somehow makes me “ungrateful”, but I would like to take a moment to respond in my own defense. Fair warning, shit’s about to get personal, y’all…

I am a thin girl, naturally. That is not to say I haven’t experienced what could be diagnosed as severe body dysmorphia. I spent 11 years of my childhood as a high-level gymnast, training upward of 25 hours a week while, at the same time, dealing with the pressure of maintaining my grades in school and striving to be a “regular kid”. I was forced to step on my first scale at practice when I was 7 or 8 years old, in front of my entire team, and then have my the numbers written down and monitored regularly. Weight was always something I kept in mind, and fitness was of the utmost importance.

Of course I also dealt with normal teenage insecurities, like being totally flat-chested and much shorter than everyone else in my class. Nobody is perfect.

What really defines perfection anyway? We live in a society where dissatisfaction with one’s appearance is the norm, and nobody’s image of perfection is the same. Fortunately I grew up with parents who didn’t buy into this weight-counting bullshit, and did their best to deter me from outside influences…otherwise I’d have been even more “screwed up” than I eventually became.

My third year of high school, I decided that gymnastics was no longer for me. I sprouted up 5 inches in six months, and rapidly developed extreme scoliosis, forcing me to have a very extensive back surgery. I spent 3 days in the ICU, 1o days total in the hospital, a month on bed rest, and several years in pain. I now have a 13-inch scar along my side (which, personally I find beautiful, even if many would disagree), a missing rib, 13 removed vertebrae, two metal rods, and ten screws in my spine.

When I left the hospital to recover at home, it was not long before I was diagnosed with pancreatitis. The disease is very uncommon in young people, and was a result of the high volume of strong pain killers my body required me to take. It is an awful illness, and it prohibited me from keeping any food down for a significant period of time. My current weight of 110 lbs. dropped to 80 lbs. and I was hospitalized, yet again. 

Returning to high school my senior year, a waif of a human, I was greeted by the “popular girls” with compliments and questions about my diet secrets. I was simultaneously appalled and brainwashed to believe that I actually looked good. I know now, looking back, how awful this was. Now I am much more aware of the pressures that young girls face to look or be a certain way. I truly hope this changes. 

When I look in the mirror now, I do not see perfection. But, really, does anyone? I am, however, confident enough to talk about the strong insecurities I have managed to overcome (something easier said than done), take off my clothes, and do some artistic shit with my friends.

I’ll finish this by saying, I have had the pleasure to meet many amazing women over the years of all colors, shapes, sizes, and sexual orientations. I’ve tried my hardest to never, ever judge. 

The women who are the most beautiful to me are the ones who have character, kindness, drive, and love in their hearts. I’ve made a personal choice to “put myself out there” through my blog, Instagram, etc. and am willing to accept criticism and either receive it as constructive or brush it off and move on with my life.

Haters are gonna hate, and frankly, these are the people who I would prefer stop following me.

I started my blog almost six years ago because I loved fashion, had a passion for styling and writing, and wanted to share these things with likeminded ladies. I am no runway model, I am not rich, and I have struggles just like everyone else. My intention has always been to be a person that others can relate to – people who are sometimes vulnerable yet oftentimes stronger than they even realize (but may need to be reminded of this from time to time). At the risk of sounding cheesy, we are all fucking beautiful. Just keep on doing what inspires you and take pride in it all. 

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Comfy Cozy

30 Nov

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cozy sweater, scrunched socks, messy ponytail, love poetry, white wine
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cozy sweater, scrunched socks, messy ponytail, love poetry, white wine
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cozy sweater, scrunched socks, messy ponytail, love poetry, white wine
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cozy sweater, scrunched socks, messy ponytail, love poetry, white wine
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cozy sweater, scrunched socks, messy ponytail, love poetry, white wine

I’ve made it a goal to spend more time at home these days, which shouldn’t be too difficult considering I am somewhat horrified of what I can only anticipate will be a wretched NYC winter. I guess you can call it an early (and easy to accomplish) New Year’s Resolution!

Over the past two or so years, I have taken on a passion for writing. Not this kind of writing that you read here on the blog, necessarily, but the kind of writing where I really allow myself escape, let down my inhibitions, and document my feelings in a journal that only I will ever have to see. It has become an incredible form of therapy for me, and something that helps me to organize my consistently jumbled thoughts. Shortly after, I took up a strong interest in poetry, and now I have begun reading multiple forms of literature almost daily. I am not patting myself on the back or anything here, as I do recognize that this is obviously a very common hobby…but until recently, I honestly could not remember the last time I picked up a book, let alone finished one. Now I want to read everything and take it all in at once. So if you have any great book recommendations, please do drop a little comment and share!!

My blog is primarily focused on fashion, but this is probably the most authentic expression of my personal style at the moment. Yes, I still go out in public, and try to dress well when I do, but at the same time, I am quite comfortable these days bundled up with my scrunchy socks, booty shorts, oversized sweater, messy ponytail, glass of wine, and a book (thanks to by dear friend Christina for giving me this amazing collection of love poems for my birthday!).

*head to toe: Silence + Noise cozy sweater, vintage tee, bloomers,  UO crew socks

Photography by Jono Bernstein

Sweater Weather (and a GIVEAWAY!)

25 Nov

New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog: Fall fashion, cozy sweaters, plaid and stripes, fur vest, boyfriend jeans, black leather booties, polaroid camera

Sweater weather is officially upon us (well, I suppose it has been for a little while now), and I am all about the cozy layers that inevitably come with. As much as I am a summertime kinda gal, outfit options are basically limitless in comparison this time of year. You know, those few precious months before winter storms hit, when it’s not quite cold enough to require a puffer jacket that resembles a sleeping bag and a hat that hides everything short of bloodshot eyes…

Mixing and matching autumny patterns and finding quirky ways to combine quintessential clothing pieces will keep you warm while still allowing for some fashionable flair. So here I am, keeping my hands in my pockets, racking up taxi bills, and reminding myself that this is only the beginning…so I’d better make the most of it!

Borderline sarcasm aside, I do really love this time of year. I am writing to you from an airplane en route to California, where I will have the pleasure of spending my favorite holiday at home with family, enjoying tons of food, wine, and 80 degree temps. In my mind, Thanksgiving really kicks off this magical season. And while enduring a real winter has admittedly been a tough transition for me, it is also quite nice to experience true seasons. How could I ever complain when I truly get the best of both worlds?!

I’ll soak up some sun and feast with my most favorite love ones, only to return to the winter wonderland that is Manhattan in early December. Twinkly lights, Christmas music, ice skating in the park, maybe a little snow, and plenty of spiked hot chocolate. It is a beautiful season filled with joy, laughter and giving.

SO, on that note…I am very excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Urban Outfitters and we’ll be giving away one of these awesome Fujifilm Instax cameras (I have one of my own and love it), a smartphone instant printer, and some mini rainbow bright film to seal the deal. Let me just say, I can pretty much guarantee that whoever wins this pretty little package has some serious photo fun in store.

ENTER TO WIN: All you have to do is Instagram a photo containing an Urban Outfitters product (feel free to channel some holiday vibes), and include #URGifted @UrbanOutfitters and @OnTheRacks….easy peasy.

Very excited to see what y’all come up with. Good luck and I cannot wait to send out some pressies!!

*head to toe: Staring at Stars Scout Panama Hat, Adrienne Landau merlot vest (similar style here!), UNIF Nevermind Cardigan, BDG Striped Tunic Sweater,  Fujifilm Instax camera, Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn handbag, BDG The Mom Jean, Vagabond Leather Ankle Boot

Photography by Jono Bernstein

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Django

27 Oct

New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps
New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps
New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps
New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps
New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps
New York City fashion, personal style, lifestyle, travel blog: DUMBO NYC, leather jacket, basic tee, plaid skirt, lucite pumps

Ok, I love this skirt so much that I own two of them. Admittedly, I probably have one of the most eclectic / chaotic wardrobes this side of the Mississippi…I don’t own two of anything. But if you ask me, this skirt is just that good. I had to double up.

About a year ago I was introduced to the British online retailer, Alice’s Pig, and immediately snapped up one of these in red plaid (remember this post?!). After visiting the site again recently, I saw that my friends made a new blue one with the same cut and a very pleasant addition…leather buckles on the side. Heck yes!

The skirt definitely has this ’90′s punk thing about it, so decided to pair it up with my first ever real pearl necklace from Laguna Pearl, to add a dash girlishness. I mean, nothing is classier than pearls, right? I have been wearing these nonstop, and feel like they go with literally anything. Most of my outfits could use a little touch of prim and proper, so pearls are simply perfect.

Side note…you may have noticed that I have changed my hair color yet again. I cannot tell you how pumped I am to have met Brian Adelman who styles and teaches at the TIGI Academy in SoHo. This dude is the shit. He did my purple a couple months back, and then he came up with this rusty pink creation. I trust him so much that now I literally just go in there without even thinking about what I want to do with my hair and let him work his magic. Never been disappointed. Thank you Bryan, my handsome hair god!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. <3

*head to toe: Pearl necklace from Laguna Pearl, Topshop jacket, Ragdoll tee, Big Star tote, Alice’s Pig Django skirt, Zara heels

Photography by Jono Bernstein