Over the cheesy gift roundups. Not in the mood to share a tear-jerking novella. No romantic poetry. Sure, I do indulge in these things from time to time – guilty as charged. But NOT today…
Middle fingers up to Cupid and Hallmark. Here’s to ditching labels and eye-rolling at fake holidays. For my ladies who’d prefer a night in with a bottle of red, or an evening out with gal pals and loads of laughter, over a cliché bouquet of roses…
While I think Valentine’s Day is a completely reasonable excuse to get drunk and naked, I also stand firm in my belief that considering it an actual holiday is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I’m just being bitter…really, to each their their own, I suppose. However, my personal opinion is that this day adds unnecessary pressure to our already stressful lives. Managing to stay in a healthy relationship is difficult enough, so why make it even harder?
For the singles out there February 14th is, best case scenario, depressing. The older we get, the more likely we are to fall victim to triggers that ignite erratic behavior which could land us in jail, rehab or surrounded by cats. SO many cats.
If you do happen to be in a relationship, which I actually typically have been in the past, Valentine’s Day is still annoying. Seriously, aren’t there already enough fucking holidays to celebrate? Like birthdays and anniversaries, and Christmas, Hanukkah, etc?! Do we really need another one? Not just that, but one we must share with all the other couples?
If a designated date is required to serve as a reminder that that you are in love, perhaps you, umm, aren’t (just saying). And, since on this day, everyone is supposed to be EXTRA “in love” you better plan way ahead, because if you don’t you won’t get a reservation anywhere and the night will most likely end in tears. It is just seems like such an unnecessary burden! Perhaps this is why I have set the bar quite low and my idea of a dream date is going to McDonald’s with a flask in my bag and getting a cheeseburger Happy Meal. If he picks up the check, rad! If we happen to hold hands…super romantic. And at least I know we’ll be in good company.
The way I see it, men and women should buy flowers and chocolates for their significant others when they feel like it…which is hopefully not never (if that’s the case perhaps this IS actually an important reminder to inform your deprived companion that you sort of care about them, when you aren’t too busy forgetting they exist).
I also think that it is our god-given right to pick and choose when we’d like to go down on one another…something that, again, shouldn’t be a task. Sex is supposed to be fun, no?
Anyway, while I am still inclined to boycott this romantic spectacle, and vote against Cupid, we all know votes don’t matter at this point. So take it, you stupid little cherub, and bring Hallmark right along with you. I’m throwing in the towel. There are bigger fish to fry, after all.
In conclusion, I have decided to quit with the cynicism (starting now), treat myself to a fancy hotel in Paris I can’t totally afford, and wear a red, satin negligee, while prancing around in my new favorite Italian leather pumps…they’re appropriately decorated with pretty pink and red lips that happen to perfectly match the ones on my face. Like I said, to each their own! Happy…whatever. xoxo
As a hopeless romantic, traveler and lover of light, beautiful fragrances, I immediately fell for Fictions, and the stunning products this one-of-a-kind collection has to offer.
Fictions, publishers of fine perfume, partners with remarkable creatives to conjure the scent and story of a woman in LOVE. Intriguing, collectible and eminently wearable, the fragrance brand’s editions are set in the iconic cities of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Sydney and its latest edition, Istanbul.
Not only did I connect with Fictions for their classic-yet-unique fragrances, but all the cities (Istanbul aside) are places where I have either lived, been in love, or both. The romantic stories associated with each bring me back to magical times on a personal level. It’s not only clever but poetic, in a way – especially since scent is so closely tied to memory.
Beyond that, their packaging is exceptional. As a marketer and someone who works on branding businesses, the way in which Fictions has successfully created a product that’ll truly take you on a journey, rather than simply having a pretty scent, is exceptional. The boxes alone are practically collectors items. Mine reside on a shelf in my apartment, right next to some of my favorite novels and love stories – just where they belong.
Currently I’am visiting London, so I brought my Mini Eau de Parfum for both this city and Paris, where I’m headed shortly (perfect for travel – same with the Hand Cream).
If you care to join in on some spontaneous adventures, be sure to follow along here and on Instagram, where I’ll be documenting my European wanderings. And check out all the amazing Fictions products, sold exclusively at Anthropology. You literally can’t go wrong with any of them (as you can see, Ringo agrees).
For the record, there is very little planning that goes into my blog posts, and they all mean something to me. These photos were shot after a sleepless night I spent working (I happen to suffer from insomnia), while on a recent road trip up the coast with a very special person who I am lucky to have in my life. My smeared makeup was the result of an unwashed face from the evening before when I got dolled up in over-the-top attire and ate a steak with 3 martinis while watching an older couple conquer the empty dance floor. So much fun.
What you see here is a series of small documentations from real experiences and a glimpse into my weird world.
I shoot on the fly, and wear what I would be wearing if I didn’t have a blog. Yes, you will find a sponsored post here and there, but even though I am dirt ass broke at the moment, I would never promote something insincerely.
I started OnTheRacks almost nine years ago, and it has always been a side project I’ve maintained because I genuinely love it. I will never be the most popular gal on the internet for multiple reasons, one of them being that I’m not willing to sacrifice my authenticity. This is a platform where I can be who I am and share my experiences with likeminded, down-to-earth individuals who might enjoy reading about some crazy girl’s life because, to an extent, it resembles their own. I just want to keep it real and hopefully provide others with a reminder that they are incredible by encouraging self-acceptance…flaws and all. Nobody’s perfect.
Perhaps these photos were wonderfully shot, when the light was just right, and sure, it may look like I am living in a fairytale sometimes. But smoke, mirrors and fine photography aside, this incredible, golden headboard is actually made of plastic, and the hotel is in the middle of nowhere and as kitschy as they come. However, that is what makes it so charming, in my opinion! IMPERFECTION.
The Madonna Inn is about fantasy, themes, and transporting yourself to a different world, where you can temporarily escape reality, with its gaudy decor and imaginary elegance. I am not Marie fucking Antoinette, but I certainly felt like it for a hot second while rolling around in this extravagant bedroom setting, wearing a silk negligee, and being told I am beautiful.
People frequently message me with congratulatory notes about my “success” but, while I do feel proud of my accomplishments to date and am always flattered by the kind words, I still have a long way to go before I’d call it that. We’ll all get there, so long as we remain passionate and willing to work hard.
At the same time, these past few months have been wearing away at my soul for a number of reasons (I’ve touched upon a few of them already here and here). Along with kind comments, I also encounter animosity for “sharing too much”. This is my platform and I don’t feel bad for expressing my emotions, in a respectful, appropriate manner. For those who have felt offended, please know that I am suffocating under a mountain of pain and betrayal, with many details that do remain undisclosed, because I have class, respect, and some dignity (though I was also robbed of quite a bit, to be frank). I am human. And I happen to be a human who is cordial, intelligent, loving, forgiving and thoughtful. I won’t apologize for having a voice. If you don’t want to read what I have to say…don’t.
I like to take the high road, as my amazing parents taught me to do, knowing that not every scenario will work out in my favor. I cannot complain about life – I’m no different from anyone else who faces ongoing, day-to-day hardships. I’ve put my photos and thoughts on the internet for my own reasons, but that doesn’t make me superior, nor does it make me right, per se…but I am still allowed to share them.
When I think about my friends, family, colleagues and even strangers I encounter, I like to believe that we are all innately kind-hearted at our cores, and just trying to get by…we’re doing our best.
As Billy Joel says in the song posted above, “You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.” My friend Liz also describes the message I’m trying to share perfectly in her Instagram bio, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life with other people’s highlight reel.” So true.
Lately I feel the internet is encouraging a distorted view about what life should be like, rather serving as a platform for inspiration, support, and open conversation – something we need now more than ever. There are many bloggers who post staged content, laced with glitter, portraying a false reality of what life should be. Superiority complexes are masked by illusions of rainbows and butterflies, and updates about cupcakes are hypnotizing followers for the sake of getting that extra “like”. But there are also a handful of content creators who aren’t playing that game. It bums me out that there’s now a stigma attached to the whole thing.
I have a therapist in NYC who I do video chats with on the regs. She keeps me “sane”. A friend asked me the other day if I thought she needed to see a psychologist because she continuously pushes away men and, when meeting new people, she’ll try and and scope out a dark side before looking for their light. She also happens to be one of the most grounded, level-minded people I know, but my answer was a solid “yes”. I feel that all of us can benefit from talking about our lives with someone qualified to provide insights as to why we might be feeling certain things or acting out of character. Sometimes it is hard to pin down what is triggering specific emotions, and it’s good to vocalize what’s going on in our busy minds. Not only to help figure out why you feel a certain ways, but also what you can do to improve and live a happier life. Nobody should feel a need to trap their demons…it’ll only make them multiply. So whether you choose to do so on the internet, with a parent, sibling, friend, behind closed doors with a professional, or all of the above…vent.
I have been going to therapy for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I met the right woman, back when I was living in the City about 3 years ago, that I finally got it. Finding a good shrink is seriously a lot like dating – it took me ages to meet “my match”. But now that I have it’s significantly transformed my general outlook. She’s the reason I started writing (and, sure, sometimes rambling). Now I have a closet filled with journals, and some of the content isn’t even that bad. I’m also working on a bigger literary project as, thanks to her, writing has become my favorite pastime.
To sum it up, remember that you are unique and rad, just as you are. But stay grounded and acknowledge the things you want to improve upon. Don’t stop trying. We all have weaknesses, and the ones who pretend they don’t are probably in a lot more trouble than those who aren’t scared to admit it.
Don’t be ashamed to express yourself! If you’re genuinely happy, awesome and congratulations. But if you want more, don’t settle with where you’re at because that’s where society says you’re supposed to be. Forget the rules. Something or someone good will come along, trust me. If you live with bright eyes, an open heart, ambition, honesty, love (for yourself and others), and an ongoing desire to move forward, eventually the broken pieces will fall into place.
Keep your passion. Keep your pride. Keep on dreaming. And remember that “only fools are satisfied”. You aren’t a fucking fool.
My dirty 30’s are fast approaching, and I really thought I’d have life “figured out” by now. It’s likely quite obvious that I still have one or two (or, like, a zillion) things to learn, but I’m actually cool with where I’m at.
I may be single with a colorful personality. I’m unpredictable and tumultuous, at times. But I can’t imagine maintaining enough energy / spirit to move forward without enduring life’s twists and turns with an open mind and an open heart. Excitement is what makes my blood pump. Our quirks keep us different and fucking special. Sure, I’d take back a drunken text or two if I could but, all in all, I’m proud of the woman I’ve become, and excited to continue on my journey.
I was, for years, a creature of consistency and thrived through structure…a way of life I swore off completely a while back, upon realizing that NOTHING was turning out “according to plan”. Taking life one day at a time has opened up a whole different side of me — I approach the world with fewer expectations, bright eyes, and a hunger for the mystery of what’s to come. I feel free.
Life will inevitably throw you curveballs. None of us know what each day might bring. We will experience heartbreak and joy. EMBRACE IT ALL…cry, laugh, enjoy, and progress. Grow stronger. Trust me, it’s a lot better being caught off guard, holding a fucking bat that you’re ready to swing than getting knocked in the side of the head.
People say I am reckless, and perhaps they’re right. But I wake up, work hard, play hard, and seize the day…every chance I get. Sometimes I bitch and complain, but it isn’t because I feel slighted (not a morning goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars). However, I am opinionated and honest. I speak my mind. We’re all going through something, and fighting our own demons…I have never understood why people have such trouble talking about the fact that life isn’t actually always rainbows and butterflies. We’re all humans, shouldn’t we be helping one another instead of faking it to feel superior? And, p.s., those of you who do…you’re not fooling anyone.
Feed your hunger for adventure and discovery. Get to know yourself. Embrace fear, challenge, confusion, misery, anxiety, joy, weirdness, surprises. I want to make memories and have so many strange stories that I cannot keep track and have to continue making more. I want to love — both myself and others. I want to experience absolutely everything.
I want to drive, move, explore, see new places and meet interesting people. I want to expand my horizons. I want to be semi-drunk at 9am taking photos in a magical, sparkly M Missoni dress just before diving into a swimming pool in my underwear at the kitschiest hotel in California. I want to go where my heart leads me, free from doubt and without thinking twice.
Let go of timelines and expectations. Life can be grey or it can be glittery…a decision we all must make ourselves. Take comfort in the bizarre and know that the term outlandish is a compliment because you can’t be put in a box.
I have been doing some personal reflection lately, after falling into a somewhat disgruntled frame of mind — a state of being which has actually become an unwelcome tradition for me this time of year. It tends to start out that way, at least…
When it comes to my personality, I’m stubborn and far from complacent. In describing myself as such I am not being self-deprecating — the opposite, in fact. When things go wrong, I do everything possible to try and find a solution. 2016, however, has probably been my strangest year to date (and trust me when I say there have been some pretty weird ones). The past 11 months were filled with experiences I will never be able to comprehend or resolve. Some of them terrible and some of them beautiful beyond words. Throughout the process, I have learned to accept that not every problem has a solution and that, in itself, is a big step. Also, I am now capable of finding joy in the “little things” I used to disregard. Don’t let a day go by without looking around and appreciating what you have. Sometimes its the fleeting moments and unexpected memories that pull you through tough times.
When I find I’m falling into a rut, I have to credit myself for never ceasing to at least make an attempt to do something about it. I’ve traveled — roaming around Europe, as I did last year, or taking a road trip, like I have done many times before. Nothing clears my mind and helps me organize my thoughts more than going on a road trip – driving anywhere, everywhere, nowhere…taking in new surroundings and getting to know inspiring people on a deeper level, along the way.
Everyone sees life through a different lens, and has gone through something you have not. I am a firm believer that we can never stop learning from others, if we approach the world with an unbiased mind and a welcoming heart. You’ll meet the right ones when you least expect it. Maybe they’ll open your eyes to an important part of life you were previously blind to. Perhaps you’ll find yourself revived by a story that moves you or be inspired by their unique approach to viewing the world and overcoming hardships.
While I by no means look forward to this recurring loss of creative energy, inevitably accompanied by an indescribable feeling of emptiness, I must say that each time I have gone through it (and done something about it) in the past, I have come out more revitalized and prepared for what is yet to come — in life, love, loss and any other unpredicted twist or turn.
Life is fucking weird, and it’s also what we make of it. So I decided to head out, yet again, on a random journey…starting with a night the hills of Malibu, sleeping in a Mongolian yurt at Great Spirits Ranch (highly recommend). After that I continued up North for a week and a half…spontaneously stopping at a couple familiar spots, while also seeing a few incredible new ones. I find it best to steer clear of redundancy. Travel and taking in the new will help fill those empty gaps and put you back on the right path, even if it is a different one than you expected to be on.
I learned a lot along the way and look forward to sharing more about the rest of my journey…stay tuned!
While in NYC, I had the pleasure of teaming up with an awesome UK-based company, SpareRoom, as they take their recent US expansion by storm. The founder is an awesome dude, Rupert Hunt, who’s just hopped his way across the pond, moving from London to Manhattan, and is renting an incredible loft on Bleecker (where these photos were taken).
Rupert is a firm believer that life is more fulfilling when shared with the right people…a sentiment I can certainly get on board with (whether we’re talking about roommates, friends, or any other little life enjoyments). SO, Mr. Hunt decided to launch a campaign to find two roommates to enjoy his new luxury loft with at a rent cost of just $1 a month…fo real.
While the opportunity to score one of those golden spots has sadly come and gone, there’s gonna be more where that came from as they continue to grow!
SpareRoom is an incredible service that’ll help you find the perfect person / people to build a happy home with, whether you are looking to move or have a vacant room you need to fill. I know firsthand how tough this can be in the city…so consider them your saving grace.
If you live in NYC and are on prowl for the right people for a space-share, be sure to swing by one of their weekly Speed Roommating events (yep, kinda like speed dating, but without the awkwardness and pressure). Extra bonus is my dear friend David coordinates them and he’s super fun! So if nothing else you’ll walk away with a rad new buddy at the end of the evening.