A Whole New World

18 Apr

New York City and Paris Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Kung: The Fifth structured hat, Kung Katharine  Shower Flower Silk blouse, feminine tailored trousers, strappy sandal, leather paper bag clutch
New York City and Paris Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Kung: The Fifth structured hat, Kung Katharine  Shower Flower Silk blouse, feminine tailored trousers, strappy sandal, leather paper bag clutch
New York City and Paris Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Kung: The Fifth structured hat, Kung Katharine  Shower Flower Silk blouse, feminine tailored trousers, strappy sandal, leather paper bag clutch
New York City and Paris Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: The Fifth structured hat, Kung Katharine  Shower Flower Silk blouse, feminine tailored trousers, strappy sandal, leather paper bag clutch

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” John Keats

Day two, out and about in Paris, and I must say…I have a feeling this city just might suit me. I won’t be ignorant to the fact that there will certainly be an adjustment period — being so far away from family and close friends. But I am settling in to my adorable apartment with my wonderful roommates, meeting new people, exploring, and trying hard to start learning the language (yes, I moved to Paris without knowing French).

To be honest, I thought I would feel very uprooted at the beginning, but it’s exactly the opposite. It just feels more…my pace. It feels oddly comfortable, in a pleasantly surprising way. Of course the adventure has only just begun, but I’m very inspired and more excited than ever to share this journey! Something tells me it’ll be a good one.

*head to toe: The Fifth Label felt hat, Kung Katherine Shower-Flower silk blouse (similar style here), Marie Turnor leather “paper bag” clutch, Topshop wrap-front trousers, Kelis Dagger Lupita sandals

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From Paris With Love

15 Apr

New York, Paris, Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: A Little American Girl in Paris

There is but one Paris…the French air clears up the brain and does good — a world of good.” – Vincent van Gogh

Well, it’s official, I’VE MADE MY WAY TO PARIS! If you’ve been reading my recent posts or following along on Instagram, this move likely comes as no real surprise. But, at the same time, booking a one-way ticket (basically out of the blue) back in January, does happen to be one of the more spontaneous decisions I have made to date. Sort of surreal…living the perfect apartment in the loveliest neighborhood, with my beautiful friend, Celine. I am very excited for this next chapter, and anticipate it being an interesting one, to say the least. 

This is the first major decision I have made on my own; completely independent of anyone or anything else that might sway me. That may come off as selfish, and perhaps it is…but it’s my turn to be selfish, for fuck’s sake. I am extremely sensitive, admittedly reliant on others, and it is time I did something solo for a change. 

WHY AM I GOING? So many people have asked me this.

My answer has consistently been, “Why not?”. I am healthy and kid-free, with a very hungry spirit. I have an independent digital marketing practice that I’ve worked very hard to build up over the past year and a half. I know now that the only way I truly thrive is by maintaining a certain degree of weightlessness…so fortunately the route I’ve chosen (for now), allows me the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.

I also know that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Nobody knows what tomorrow might bring, so I have made a personal commitment to try and make the most of my life; go where I want to go, see what I want to see, and do what I want to do. I want to experience as much as possible. 

I am fortunate to have a family that is emotionally supportive and friends who have had my back through and through. I am even grateful for the naysayers who think I “won’t last” or “am just being ignorant and dramatic”. 

Fucking watch me bitches. I love a challenge. If there is anything that is going to give me that extra push to accomplish whatever it might be I have set out to do, it is having people tell me I cannot do it. I’m proud to call myself stubborn in that way. 

There is a difference between running away, and making a conscious decision to take control, own your choices, and live…sometimes half-blind, without knowing what kind of chaos or magic might come your way. That’s the fun part.

It has been a breathtaking, stunning, torturous, 3.5-year roller coaster for me. I’ve been faced with a few less than desirable situations and dealt with them…I’ve become braver and stronger than I ever thought possible because of it all. I have some wildly hilarious stories and unbelievable memories. I have had my heart broken and I have fallen in love in New York City. I have fallen in love with New York City. I have a family in NY, and I didn’t make the decision to leave (for now) because I cannot deal or because it got “too hard”  (even though it is pretty damn hard). I did it because I think I can improve my quality of life by stepping out and trying something new.  

So, there you have it, I am throwing caution to the wind, crossing my fingers, and hoping for the best. At the end of the day, I will be able to say I lived in Paris , and I don’t see anything wrong with that. 

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White Heat

29 Mar

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Kelsi Dagger Spring Shoe and Handbag Campaign, strappy heel sandals, feather skirt, denim jacket
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Kelsi Dagger Spring Shoe and Handbag Campaign, strappy heel sandals, feather skirt, denim jacket

I really connect with the writing of Anais Nin, and these words in particular are certainly striking a chord at the moment…

I try very hard to be an optimistic person. I think that, for the most part, I am. I look for the good in people and I see the good in things. I am frequently disappointed and sometimes pleasantly surprised. Occasionally I feel really sad for no reason. And when I do, I feel guilty about feeling sad. I say things I don’t mean because I am angry for the “wrong reasons” (or maybe they aren’t even wrong!?). I also have this tendency to, at times, make decisions without fully thinking them through. Though I have to commend myself for being pretty good at picking up the pieces when I do break shit…perhaps “well seasoned” would be a better way to put it.

I am highly emotional and extremely rational, but rarely both at the same time…something that creates an internal conflict. Not only that, but it also causes a lot of problems when it comes to the “normal” people in my life who I LOVE. You know, the people who are not in full rebellion against their own minds.

I think maybe my heart beats harder and faster than it should, and my thoughts are very busy running a race with no finish line. There are times when I try to do everything and feel as though I’ve accomplish nothing, which tends to result in that fun little thing called debilitating anxiety. At the same time, I might wake up the next morning, ready to conquer the world. So much wavy fluctuation and frivolous fighting – all of which is ignited by this internal “white heat”.

The mind is a powerful, miserable, confusing, beautiful thing. But at the same time, I think we are all wired a certain way for a reason…and that tangled web of wires is what makes us unique. It’s the fucked up quirks, internal battles, acknowledgement of weaknesses and strengths, etc. etc. that ultimately build character and make us who we are. I hope I am on to something here…

*photography by Jono Bernstein // photo from the Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn spring campaign

Rainbow In A Snowstorm

23 Mar

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Brooklyn snow day celebration with the best of friends
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Brooklyn snow day celebration with the best of friends
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Brooklyn snow day celebration with the best of friends
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Brooklyn snow day celebration with the best of friends
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Brooklyn snow day celebration with the best of friends

In 23 days I will be leaving New York and moving to Paris. Everyone I tell keeps asking me why I made this drastic, somewhat random decision. My answer is “Why not?”. I have been in New York City for a little over three years now…maybe I will come back, maybe I wont. What I do know is it has been the most amazing, difficult, eye-opening chapter of my life. The first real chapter. I also know there is no sense in making long-term plans, because life is insane and will basically never, ever roll out how you expect it to.

I am completely overwhelmed by excitement, nervousness, sadness and joy. This is the first time I have truly thrown caution to the wind and made a decision that was 100% my own.

I have weaknesses aplenty. One of my most significant struggles has been learning to thrive in a, often times, vicious environment as an independent, single woman. I have grown significantly, but I have always had a hard time making choices on my own. I hate being by myself. By nature, I tend to find myself feeling lonely more often than most people I know.

Fortunately, I have an amazing group of friends (these two included — mad love Erica and Stacey) who have helped mold me into the stronger person I am today – a person I am actually proud of. I know that, no matter where in the world I am living, they will always have my back. I am very lucky…no reason to feel lonely.

NYC has taught me so much about myself and the person I, one day, hope to grow into. I have crashed and burned, and then learned to get back up on my fucking feet…to view every single “negative” experience as a lesson. I have learned to see the silver lining. And for me that practice alone is actually golden.

I caught up with a close friend recently over brunch, during which he told me he had distanced himself because everything felt broken. He has been having a really tough time (I think it has been a tough winter for a lot of us, unfortunately). But instead of sitting there and throwing some never-ending pity party, he decided to share with me his turning point  – I found it to be simple, inspiring, and tremendously beautiful…

He said he couldn’t remember the last time he had looked up at the sky. But then then one day he did…maybe to check and see if it was still there, or because he was starting to forget what the sun looks like; perhaps he just decided to allow himself a quick time-out from negative energy that was consuming him (an energy that so many of us, myself included, have a tendency to give entirely too much power). Whatever the reason, he did look up. And when he did, making this conscious decision to free himself from a trap that is much easier to fall into than it is to escape, what he saw was a small break in the clouds. It was really tiny, but it was there. And then he saw a RAINBOW.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that keep us going…like remembering to look up at the sky. Think of the endless possibilities. Of “infinity”. Think of what life could be if we just took that extra effort to make a few small adjustments. 

Life is really crazy, isn’t it? This is why I have decided to be a little crazy with it. To take insane, impractical risks and get used to rolling with the punches. Some things can be controlled, and other things cannot. All I know is I don’t want to be on my death bead wishing that I’d done something I could have, but passed up out of fear.

Like I said before, New York has changed me a lot. I have myself to thank for some of it, my experiences to thank for other parts, but most of all, I have my friends and family to thank. These are the people who have taught me the most valuable lessons, reminded me what is actually important in life, and provided endless love and support along the way.

Even though I don’t always like being “by myself”, fortunately I now know that I never really have to be. This is a sense of security that breeds bravery, courage, and personal growth. So, I will go to sleep each night thanking my lucky stars, and do my best wake up every morning and look up for that break in the clouds. Some days I will see a rainbow, others it may be too tough to find…but I can continue to move forward because, even if I am standing in the middle of a snowstorm, I know I am not standing there alone.

*photography by Spencer Kohn

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May Flowers Always Line Your Path

19 Mar

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Sandbox studio, flower crown, green printed suit,  st. patrick's day, fashion shoot
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Sandbox studio, flower crown, green printed suit,  st. patrick's day, fashion shoot
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Sandbox studio, flower crown, green printed suit,  st. patrick's day, fashion shoot
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Sandbox studio, flower crown, green printed suit,  st. patrick's day, fashion shoot
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Sandbox studio, flower crown, green printed suit,  st. patrick's day, fashion shoot

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through. (Irish Blessing)

If you can’t tell by now I spend a lot of time reading and am somewhat obsessed with poetic phrases. Here is a fun little gem (or…pot of gold?) I came across – decided it would pair perfectly with my very green ensemble, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Better late than never, right?!!

I have really enjoyed reading the “Irish Blessings”, as I find them to be particularly wise, to to the point, and positive. Sometimes we need to stop and take a second to appreciate the beauty in simplicity.

I am not a religious person, so to speak, but I certainly believe in karma and blessings, and try to take time each day to acknowledge just how lucky I truly am. I have endured waves of negativity, doubt and even depression many times, but found that the more challenges life throws at me, the more I’ve been able to adopt an optimistic outlook, overall. At the end of the day, we are dealt the cards we are dealt, can only control so much, and beyond that, life is whatever you choose to make of it.

So here is to happiness for all and loads of four leaf clovers!

*Photography by Jono Bernstein at Sandbox Studio // Darling London blazer and trouser set, Daniel Wellington watch, Tokyobay studded bracelet

Whiskey In A Teacup

13 Mar

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, KDB, shoe and handbag campaign
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, KDB, shoe and handbag campaign
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, KDB, shoe and handbag campaign
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, KDB, shoe and handbag campaign
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, KDB, shoe and handbag campaign

For the REAL ones.

Those friends you knew you’d connect with from day one…even if you met under circumstances so random as being recruited for the same blogger reality show that neither of you would have actually gone through with. << true story

Hats off, and flower crowns on, to the people you can laugh and cry and drink and not give two fucks about anything with…sometimes.

Here’s to the friends who keep you in check and serve as constant reminders – through tough love, encouragement and example - that you you can be simultaneously insane and successful. You can be fun, free-spirited, and stand on your own two feet. You can achieve whatever it is you want to out of life, so long as you are kind, honest, and hard-working.

These are the people I want to be around. 

I am grateful for ladies like Erica who remind me of the deep-rooted passion that fuels me, even if it gets buried from time to time. Thanks to all of the strong women who I watch overcome obstacles with courage and grace. To all of the badass, successful, hardworking gals out there who beat the odds and make life happen on their own. To those who have a powerful yet delicate spirit, and never lose sight of what’s truly important.

I raise my whiskey-filled teacup to you.

*Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn campaign shot by Jono Bernstein

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Sole Traction

1 Mar

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: knit beanie, two-toned fur coat, vintage tee, studded crossbody bag, black high-waisted jeans, winter boots

It may look all bright and sunny in these photos, but I have never been so freezing cold in my entire life! I must commend myself on becoming a layering pro thanks to my three year stint in NYC, though. Fairly certain that looking “stylish” is nobody’s first priority during the months of January and February around these parts. It’s safe to say that I put on at least 15 pounds of clothing every time I leave the house these days, in fact. But, c’est la vie. Seasons are awesome and, for the most part, I embrace the weather fluctuations. However, I will be pretty damn excited when black ice is no longer a treacherous hazard in stepping foot outside my front door.

Lately my go-to uniform consists of a solid tee shirt, a sweater (or two or three), a vest, an enormous coat, some trusty jeans (often times with tights hidden beneath), and a GOOD pair of boots.

I have never been a flats kinda girl but I am practical (usually). Safety first! I was running around the Meatpacking District when Jono and I took these shots. When crossing a New York City street is more like stepping onto an iceskating rink, having some actual sole traction is key. These Alexandria boots have saved me from many a disastrous, painful and embarrassing spill. Sorry to neglect you, heels — you have not been forgotten and I am very much looking forward to our springtime reunion.

*head to toe: Urban Outfitters knit beanie, Spy Nautilus sunglasses, Cut25 patchwork fur jacket, Adrienne Landau vest, vintage tee, Coach Dakotah crossbody bag, A gold E high-rise jeans, Bogs Alexandria lace boots

Photos by Jono Bernstein