Walking In A Winter Wonderland

30 Jan

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Snow day, brimmed hat, vintage fur coat, oversized knit sweater, grey biker jeans,  leather boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Snow day, brimmed hat, vintage fur coat, oversized knit sweater, grey biker jeans,  leather boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Snow day, brimmed hat, vintage fur coat, oversized knit sweater, grey biker jeans,  leather boots
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Snow day, brimmed hat, vintage fur coat, oversized knit sweater, grey biker jeans,  leather boots

On our mission to prep for what we thought would be several days snowed in (i.e. hitting the corner wine shop to stock up on “essentials”), Stacey, Erica and I were able to capture a few moments spent frolicking around Brooklyn-turned-winter wonderland earlier this week.

Walking the streets that night was sort of surreal, especially since the Mayor declared a ban on all automobiles after 11pm. Almost like being in a ghost town, right in the middle of the Big City. Quiet, peaceful, and beyond beautiful…not words I would typically use to describe New York (at least the first two).

The storm passed quickly, so now it’s just frigid and muddy. I’m very much looking forward to fleeing to Florida for a few days and enjoying some family time and warmer temps.

Have a good weekend!!

*head to toe: Rag & Bone floppy fedora, vintage fur jacket, vintage knit sweater from Edith Machinist (similar style here), Citizens of Humanity distressed black skinny jeans, vintage booties 

Photos by Stacey Belko

Stronger Than Blood

26 Jan

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cabin in the woods, messy hair, pale lips, sheer fringe dress, edgy spike necklace
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cabin in the woods, messy hair, pale lips, sheer fringe dress, edgy spike necklace
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cabin in the woods, messy hair, pale lips, sheer fringe dress, edgy spike necklace
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cabin in the woods, messy hair, pale lips, sheer fringe dress, edgy spike necklace
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Cabin in the woods, messy hair, pale lips, sheer fringe dress, edgy spike necklace

I like messy people; people who don’t fit in a box or stay between the lines, but whose integrity is greater than any rule book and whose loyalty is stronger than blood. — Jim Wern

This month marks 3 years for me in New York City. And oh, what a long, short, incredibly bizarre journey it has been! I can genuinely say that I treasure the life I’ve built for myself here. It hasn’t always been pleasant, but I learn important lessons daily, and good times have been plentiful. 

Not only have I managed to grow into a semi-independent woman (at least for the most part), but I’ve also had many eye-opening experiences that taught me about the person I was, the person I am now, and the person I hope and know I have the power to become…

I write this feeling more confident than I’ve been in a while, having just spent a magical weekend in Connecticut with three of my dearest girlfriends. We rented a precious cabin in the woods that I’m pretty sure was designed for fairy princesses.

While I am proud of the numerous strides I’ve made since uprooting from my comfortable life in California (for a much more exciting one, granted), I also recently had my eyes opened to the fact that I’ve adopted a tendency to shut myself out from the people I love most – usually during times of turmoil.

Strange thing (and perhaps the reason it went unnoticed) is this is a very new tendency for me. The city can be blinding in certain ways, and if you aren’t extremely aware, you run the risk of acquiring certain traits that I, personally, find to be less than desirable.

Let’s be real…nobody here has it easy. But the strong ones keep on moving. Fortunately, if you are good you don’t have to do it all by yourself all of the time.

This “awakening”, so to speak, was accompanied by feelings of sadness, embarrassment, but, ultimately, gratitude. I am incredibly lucky to have made real friends during the relatively short time I’ve been here. You know, the kind of friends you can laugh with, cry hysterically in front of, reveal secrets to, and who will also call you out on the bullshit.

It is easy to become buried by burden, and at times feel like you have nothing…we are human. But so far, in my experience, having friends cool enough to give you a smack in the fucking face when you need it is far more powerful than any struggle. Just like all relationships (romantic, platonic, whatever), friendship is a two-way street and you get what you give. You should be able to lean on one-another…you should also be willing to provide and receive tough love!

So this one goes out to my East Coast family. Thank you CC, Bonnie and Serena for reminding me what actually matters, and to the rest of my tried-and-true…you know who you are. LOVE YOU to the moon and back. <3

*head to toe: Topshop statement necklace, Isabel Marant embroidered tunic

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Landslide

20 Jan

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle Travel blog: Strappy lingerie, basic grey tee, distressed white jeans, black leather booties
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle Travel blog, Strappy lingerie, basic grey tee, distressed white jeans, black leather booties
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle Travel blog: Strappy lingerie, basic grey tee, distressed white jeans, black leather booties

Having recently returned to the frigid NYC temps, looking at these photos makes me slightly nostalgic for the California sunshine. Actually, it is more the fact that just a couple weeks back I was comfortable wearing such minimal clothing in the height of winter. The very evident downside is the awful drought this part of the country has been suffering from…

I shot these photos right down the street from the home I grew up in, where some beautiful houses used to stand. I left Orange County over ten years ago…and oddly enough at the time it wasn’t a lack of rain but the destructive landslides, that caused many people to lose their homes. Homes they literally watched collapse beneath them due to mud, misplacement, poor construction, and unpredictable weather.

If you are a regular (or even occasional) reader of my blog, you know I am much more predictable than the weather I speak of in that I will inevitably turn this odd metamorphosis into an analogy relating to “real life” and the way that we deal with fluctuations and fucked up shit.

Sometimes I find myself falling down slippery slopes, and crumbling internally as a result of the many unexpected and challenging scenarios I’m thrown into. Other times I find myself completely drained dry…so exhausted, both physically and emotionally, that I’m actually incapable of shedding a tear (and crying is something I happen to be damn good at).

But, in the same way that the community is rebuilding what was broken down here a few years ago, we have to remind ourselves that we, too, can always bounce back. In life, it may take a great deal of reflection, deep conversations with true friends, self-realization, and acknowledging that you are strong enough to see that a positive outcome is possible if you are willing to do what it takes to get there.

So here is to being blindsided, “broken”, embracing the hurt, but ultimately learning that you can work hard and stand back up again with pride…stronger than ever. Just keep on moving on, and don’t forget the powerful resilience that exists within us all.

*head to toe: Ray Ban sunglasses, American Apparel strappy bra, Marine Layer crewneck tee, Urban Outfitters distressed denim jeans,  Vagabond black leather booties

Hopeless Romantic

9 Jan

New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog:  Black cropped top, couture silk wrap skirt, peach snakeskin pumps
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New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog:  Black cropped top, couture silk wrap skirt, peach snakeskin pumps
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog:  Black cropped top, couture silk wrap skirt, peach snakeskin pumps
New York City fashion, lifestyle, travel blog:  Black cropped top, couture silk wrap skirt, peach snakeskin pumps

“Find someone who traces the lines in your hands just to feel close to you, someone who believes the ocean is trapped in your eyes.
Find someone who loves the bones in your body and loves the skin that you live in.
Find someone who will help you love yourself.” k.b.g.

I love this quote, and am totally moved by it. I have always been that hopeless romantic, and I think part of me always will be. I hope that’s the case, at least. While at times it causes me tons of pain, I still feel this to be an emotion with inexplicable power that I strongly believe in.

However, one very important thing that I also learned in the past year about relationships, which is easy to glaze over in the final sentence above, is that when it comes to loving yourself there is a very fine line between wanting and needing someone to “help you” reach this state of mind…a state of mind that is vital in that ongoing process of pursuing true happiness.

I want to find someone who will help me love myself more than I already do…you know, once I can figure out how to do that, of course.

So here is to independence…to working hard, being strong, knowing the difference between right and wrong, surrounding yourself with good, honest people — you know, the ones who you share a mutual respect with, and those who lift you higher. And, once you’ve achieved that self-love (and baby, it ain’t easy), here’s to finding someone who you want to share your life and your dreams with. Someone that will bring out your best qualities and vice versa. Someone who, as a very important accessory to your life, believes that the ocean really is trapped in your eyes.

*head to toe: Jenny Bird Shielded earrings (similar style here), LATS cropped top, couture skirt by Willis Brown, Alice + Olivia pumps

Photos by Jono Bernstein, shot at Hotel Indigo

NOTE: Handsome as he is, the cowboy in these photos is not the man I am referring to when I speak of love and relationships. While my dear friend Michael is quite the stallion, we are not romantically involved (I did buy him a slice of 99 cent pizza once, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a date). That said, he certainly isn’t hard on the eyes and it was a very fun photo shoot!!

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All Ablaze

3 Jan

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Tailored white blazer, wide leg pants, fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Tailored white blazer, wide leg pants, fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Tailored white blazer, wide leg pants, fashion editorial

Here’s to a clean slate, and the perfect reason to start all over if you need to.

Here’s to leaving the things that weighed you down right where they belong…in the past.

Here’s to breathing and soaking up all of the amazingness that is ever-present in this strange but beautiful world.

Here’s to sunshine, smiles, success and a little bit of structure.

Here’s to trying new things and breaking boundaries. Close your eyes and just go for it…even if the only reason is that there’s no reason not to.

Here’s to happiness, health, and living life one day at a time…with sparkling eyes and fire in your heart.

I hope that your wildest dreams come true and you find every one of your passions fulfilled.

Happy New Year!

*head to toe: NARS lip crayon in Cruella (on eyes), Robert Rodriguez blazer (similar style here), AQAQ wide-leg trousers, Kate Spade Satur-date heels

photos:  Jono Bernstein // hair and makeup: Kai Stamps // location: Hotel Indigo rooftop

 

Noir

29 Dec

New York City Fashion, LIfestyle, Travel blog: New Year's Eve fashion, vintage party dress, 1950's glamour
New York City Fashion, LIfestyle, Travel blog: New Year's Eve fashion, vintage party dress, 1950's glamour
New York City Fashion, LIfestyle, Travel blog: New Year's Eve fashion, vintage party dress, 1950's glamour
New York City Fashion, LIfestyle, Travel blog: New Year's Eve fashion, vintage party dress, 1950's glamour

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -Neil Gaiman

A special and wholehearted THANK YOU to the people who have inspired me and those who have kept me from completely derailing in 2014 (you know who you are). Thanks to Jono Bernstein, Grant LeganJessica Louise DyeLiz Cherkasova, Maurice Sampson, Kai StampsEmilia Cima, Willis BrownDavid WeinholdtMeg Phillips the many others who have kept me creatively stimulated and provided unrelenting support. And last, but certainly not least, thanks to those of you who have read my blog, listened to my words, and helped me grow – whether you’ve followed from the beginning or just so happened to stumble upon this site for the first time…you keep me going.

Here is to a happy, healthy, beautiful 2015. Mad love, and see you next year!

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Ready Set Go

27 Dec

New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial
New York City Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel blog: Red jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, hotel fashion editorial

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

It has been a long, short, bizarre, beautiful year filled with numerous ups and downs. Spending time at home for the holidays has provided me with a quiet place to reflect on all that I have been through…the struggles I have overcome, situations I could have handled better, and relationships that have come and gone (for better or for worse). Most importantly, it has been a time to make plans for the new year and the goals and aspirations I have that’ll keep me moving forward…personally, professionally, creatively, and in pursuit of true happiness.

It is also a time that has reminded me of the countless blessings that are ever-present in my day-to-day life: family, friends, freedom, adventures, and all of the beauty that surrounds me each and every time I walk out my door. One thing I started doing this year is documenting my entire life in a private journal. It has not only been one of the best forms of therapy, but also a great way to remind myself of all the little things that have happened. Those tiny moments when I felt my heart break, fleeting occurrences that helped paved the path to finding love again after a tough breakup, the stupid jokes which caused me to laugh so hard I was brought to tears, the times I stopped myself from crying by remembering that I am ultimately as strong / cool / awesome as I want to be…and, most importantly, the pivotal moment where I made a personal vow to strive to only become better from here on out (resolution#1).

Here’s to another great year gone by, and an even better one to come. To taking the painful, sometimes embarrassing, but ultimately invaluable lessons I’ve learned and actually applying them to my life….

The way I see it is if you work hard, love hard, never stop learning, exist humbly, treat others with genuine kindness and respect, listen (truly listen), and refuse to settle for less than you know you deserve, ultimately good things will come. It’s a little thing called karma and, in my opinion, this “thing” is very real. Here is to a brighter 2015 for everyone. Mad love to you all and

*creds: Robert Rodriguez jumpsuit, necklace from Laguna Pearl, GUESS cuff, photography by Jono Bernstein, hair and makeup by Kai Stamps, and a special thanks to Hotel Indigo for letting me roll around on their beds