Monday, April 24, 2017

OOTD: Spring Layers

Before I moved here, I was so excited for spring in NYC. Blossoming trees and flowers! Walking my dog through Central Park! Finally putting my winter coats away! Spoiler alert: spring in NYC doesn't exist. It's nearly May and there have been a grand total of 7 nice days so far in 2017. I even had to drag one of my winter coats out last week. It was incredibly soul-crushing.

This spring, I've been relying on layers almost every day. This outfit has a grand total of 4 layers, not including the sweater I packed in my sister's backpack. The trickiest part about layering is doing it without all the wrinkles and bulges. My trick there is to layer thin, relatively well-fitting pieces. You'll still get a little bit of a bulge where everything meets, but it's not so bad.

Monday, April 17, 2017

OOTD: Florals? For Spring?

As soon as I saw this print on the rack at a Goodwill in Midtown, I knew I had to have this piece. When I pulled it out, though, I saw that it was a size 28– it was going to be too big for me. At $7.99, though, I wasn't about to pass up a floral print jumpsuit with these cute little butterfly sleeves. With a couple safety pins and this sash, I was able to make this look work for me.

One of the major cons of shopping at secondhand stores is that you often find an item you like in the wrong size. This can discourage you from wanting to shop secondhand. There are two alternatives to this problem. First, you can shop more frequently until you find the right piece in the right size. Second, you can figure out a way to make the ill-fitting piece work. You might need to learn how to sew a couple stitches or be ok with cutting some stuff up, but I promise that it's worth it.

I spent yesterday in the park with one of my roommates and my sister, who was visiting from Boston for the weekend. I didn't celebrate Passover for the first time since I lived in Spain this year, but I was grateful to be able to spend some time celebrating spring. There's a park just blocks from my house that I've been meaning to take Luxe to, and it was finally nice enough to check it out. What a great way to spend a Sunday.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

DIY Review: Tangle-Free Headphones

I'm tired of my life being a meme. I found this DIY tutorial for tangle-free headphones on Society19, so hopefully now I can put my headphones in my backpack without stressing about what they're going to look like when I take them back out.

-Anything with a cord. I'm using my headphones, and if it's a good DIY, I'm going to use it on my phone charger.
-Embroidery floss
-Clear nail polish or hot glue

Step 1: Tie a long piece of embroidery floss (about 3x the length of the cord you're covering) to the top of the cord. If you're familiar with the Chinese Staircase knot, that's what you need to do. If not, really all you're going to be doing is tying a knot with the embroidery floss around the cord. Easy peasy!

Step 2: When you've finished wrapping the cord, cut off any loose thread and apply some clear nail polish to both ends of the wrap.

Step 3: Repeat as necessary. Voila!

This was such an easy tutorial. It might have helped that I used this knot technique to make everything from bracelets to hair wraps when I was young. So far, my headphones have remained tangle free. They do twist around each other when I'm wearing them, but I guess that's far preferable to them growing into a knotted mess.

One thing I realized when I finished this DIY is that the wrap might help keep the wires in the cord from fraying. I don't know what I do with my cords that leads to the wires popping out, but at this point I'm desperate to do anything to keep that from happening.

It does look a little ridiculous up-close, but not so ridiculous that I won't wear them. If you're into hair wraps and other crafty gear, you might actually love this look.

DIY Rating: A-

Monday, April 10, 2017

OOTD: Red Lips

Black lace-up sandals - Black opaque tights - Black and red lip print 3/4 sleeve button-up dress - Silver watch from INVICTA - Black rectangular sunglasses - Red lipstick from Sephora

Spring is here, and I've never been more excited to go outside. Just one thing: I still want to wear all black. I own more black clothing than any other color, and it's my second favorite color to wear. So, all signs indicate that I'm going to be wearing black quite a bit throughout spring and summer.

Luckily, not every spring/summer outfit has to be bright and colorful. There are a couple ways in which you can wear all black in the warm weather without appearing out of place. One way is by wearing traditionally warm-weather clothing pieces in black. These sandals are super summery, and just happen to be black, making them easy to wear in the spring and summer. This dress, with its 3/4 sleeves and button-up top, is also perfect for warm weather.

Another way is to pair your black clothing with accessories, hair, and makeup that are spring/summer-appropriate. Sunglasses scream summer, as do these bright red lips. A pair of space buns makes the look way more fun. What are spring and summer all about if not fun?

Finally, and this is more of a mindset than a piece of styling advice, just remember that you can wear whatever the hell you want whenever you want. There's no reason to use some silly made-up fashion rules to restrict yourself to wearing something you don't like. You can wear all black during the summer, white after Labor day, and socks with sandals if you feel so inclined.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Broke & Fabulous Podcast Recommendations

Before I moved to New York, I never listened to podcasts. As a student, I was having these conversations and participating in lectures regularly. Listening to podcasts just felt like an extension of my class and schoolwork.

Now that I'm not in classes and happen to have a couple hours of dead time to fill every day, I've become a podcast fiend. I listen to five or six a day during the week; on my way to work, walking my dog, while I'm making dinner, etc. I've only been in the podcast game for a couple months, but I've already accumulated a number of favorites.


The Daily: Every weekday, Michael Barbaro of The New York Times dives into a couple topics in a daily 30-minute episode. This is the first podcast of the day that I listen to to get myself familiarized with what's in the news.

Pod Save America: Four former members of Obama's team spend an hour twice a week giving their take on the political news of the week. It's fairly left-leaning, so I don't use it as a news source (though I would be remiss if I didn't point out that biased news is not the same as "fake" news). Rather, I listen to these hilarious and experienced guys talk about news I've already heard in a way that makes me feel hopeful instead of hopeless. Part of their mission statement is to incite activism, so they regularly have activists on to talk about how listeners can participate in the political system.

Pod Save the World: One of the hosts of Pod Save America, Tommy Vietor, was on President Obama's National Security Council. On this podcast, he interviews politicians, journalists, and other professionals who know foreign policy well.


Code Switch: Depending on the episode, 2-5 awesome journalists from NPR talk about race, ethnicity, and culture and how they interact in our daily lives. Episodes are 10-30 minutes long, making them the perfect introduction to a topic that I'll be thinking and talking about for months.

Fresh Air: Terry Gross takes a deeper look at issues in culture and tells stories of things that affect us more than we realize. She interviews people like Samantha Bee and Lin-Manuel Miranda as well as authors that I've never heard of. I don't listen to every episode (I don't always want to hear reviews of books I'm never going to read or hear obituaries for people I've never heard of), but there are some really great episodes. Some of my favorites include "Author Says Hitler Was 'Blitzed' On Cocaine And Opiates During The War" and "How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By Individual Choices."

Growing Girls: This podcast only has two episodes so far, but both have left me excited for a new one. April and Megan address social issues in popular culture from their perspectives as two young womxn of color. Listening to the episodes feels like you're having a conversation with insightful and thoughtful friends. They constantly push me to examine my perspective and privilege and are constantly doing the same themselves. As the title explains, they're two growing girls, because we're all growing and learning all the time.


Stuff You Should Know: The title is pretty self-explanatory. Josh and Chuck walk through the basics of a unique topic in hour-long episodes. I've learned a lot from this podcast. Anyone who knows me knows I'm happiest when I'm learning stuff!

Hidden Brain: This is the psychology podcast I've been looking for. Host Shankar Vedantam talks to researchers and other journalists about both new and old research in the field of psychology in a way that everyone can understand. I've gotten helpful refreshers on subjects I learned about in school and learned a bunch of new stuff.

Presidential: Where was I when the rest of America learned about the presidents in school? For whatever reason, I couldn't tell you a single fact about any president before I was born but Nixon and Lincoln. That's embarrassing. Luckily, Lillian Cunningham of The Washington Post hosted this podcast to educate people about all 44 presidents before the election last fall. I'm on episode 18 and I've learned a lot about the history of America so far. 

Do you love podcasts? Comment below with your favorite recommendations!