Monday, January 30, 2017

OOTD: Steps of the Met

Steve Madden Chelsea booties - Black sheer tights - Black and navy leather-accented Rag & Bone dress - Black Banana Republic peacoat - Stella & Dot crystal choker

My second weekend in NYC was a three-day weekend. I decided to take advantage of my additional day off by heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Olivia and Tomi. I've never been to the Met before, but I have seen it featured as a frequent location on the show Gossip Girl. In honor of my first time at the Met, I channeled Blair Waldorf and donned a designer dress and a peacoat. I may have my preppy roots, but I wanted to take my outfit to another level. I did so with this Stella & Dot necklace that I fashioned into a choker by securing it a little tighter.

A good tip: $25 is just the suggested admission fee. Admission at the Met is actually done by donation of whatever the visitor deems fair. I paid $5 for some of the most enriching hours of my life.

I'm a sucker for a good museum. My favorites in Seattle were the Frye Art Museum, which was free AND four blocks from where I lived, and the Seattle Art Museum. I'm excited to see all the museums that New York has to offer. 

We were only there for a couple hours, and only got to see a couple exhibits. I kept my map and colored in the rooms that I'd visited in the hope of one day being able to see all the exhibits.

I was surprised (and so excited) to learn that the Met hosts a fashion exhibit. It features some beautiful clothing by legendary designers, including these shoes and the Versace safety pin dress that brought Versace onto the fashion scene below.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DIY Review: Scented Candles

I've been waiting to do this DIY since August, when I bought the supplies. I finally had the opportunity to do it with my family over winter break. I actually made two kinds of candles: one using the tutorial from Yes Missy, and the other that I came up with on my own.


Step 1: Set up the wicks so that they stand up straight. This will ensure that they're straight when you pour in the wax. We used tape and a skewer on one batch, and tied the wick around the skewer for the other batch.

Step 2: Melt the wax. We did this by submerging a large glass of wax into a pot of boiling water. When the wax is mostly melted, put 2-3 drops of the fragrance oil into the wax and stir it around.

Step 3: Pour the wax into the containers. Make sure to do it over a piece of newspaper or aluminum foil so the wax doesn't get everywhere. The wax stops being hot pretty quickly, but takes about 12 hours to cool completely into solid form.

This time around, I used scented wax cubes along with the wax flakes to give the candles a scent without the oil. I used about 2/3rds wax flakes and 1/3rd wax cubes to ensure a strong but not overwhelming scent.

Here's what the wicks look like tied around the skewers. When the wax cools, cut the wicks clean off. 

And voila! Some beautiful scented candles! They were pretty expensive to make, but the ones in the fancy containers were worth it– those can be $25+ at the store.

Monday, January 23, 2017

OOTD: Suit & Tie

Lace-up flats - Rag & Bone leather-detail suit pants - Forever 21 tie-neck button-up - Rag & Bone blazer

This is my first OOTD in Brooklyn! This is a cute wall I found on my first day taking Luxe on a walk. The skeleton immediately drew my eye, but what I love is the remainder of the "my masculinity does not threaten yours" poster. This poster is part of a series called "Stop Telling Women To Smile"  by an artist actually based out of Brooklyn. The whole idea of the series is to use street art to reclaim the streets as a safe environment for women to exist in. I chose to wear this suit in this location because I believe very firmly that anyone, regardless of sex or gender identity, is able to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in. For me, that often means a dress (regardless of the weather), but for other women, that may mean a suit. The future of fashion absolutely means foregoing gender norms and letting people wear whatever makes them feel most themselves.
This suit was part of my Hanukkah gift this year: my mom found a brand-new Rag & Bone suit at Last Chance for 1/15 of the price. It's the nicest thing I've ever owned (apart from my dog, who's nice in another way), and I'm excited to wear it in a professional context one day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 Resolutions

I know it's a little late for 2017 resolutions, but I also firmly believe that it's never an inappropriate time to resolve to better yourself. I'm making these resolutions at the start of a new chapter of my life, which has given me the space to really reflect on myself and my life and decide what I want to do with it.
I made this post extremely personal on purpose. Being vulnerable, especially on the internet, can be nerve-wracking. When you open up, you run the risk of being ridiculed, misunderstood, or even outcast. However, I believe that vulnerability is essential in creating a society in which people are comfortable with themselves and not judgemental of others. By being honest about my flaws and insecurities, I hope to reassure others with the same self-perception that they are not alone or unlovable. 

1. Wash away my heartbreak. Bathe myself in non-romantic love. This is the big one. I went through a breakup 7 months ago, and still find myself bitter/angry/sad/thinking about it on a daily basis. It's time for me to learn what I can from this experience and move on from it. To do so, I'm going to focus on the love that is in my life instead of getting stuck on what I've lost. I have amazing friends and family, I love my new job, I've been dreaming of moving to New York since I was little, and I have the best dog ever. The universe is full of non-romantic love for me to embrace, and I plan to do so.
2. Ease up on the lectures. This is a habit I've developed as a result of being the mom friend/older sister and an academic. In the middle of a conversation, I find myself presenting facts like an essay or preaching values to someone who already knows these facts or agrees with my values. I want to have two-sided conversations with equal opportunity to share and learn, which can't happen when I'm lecturing my conversation partner.
3. Open the door for others. I've noticed that I almost exclusively walk through the door first without holding it open for others. I know I appreciate when someone holds the door for me; it's time I start doing the same for others.
4. Go to Fashion Week. I live in New York, I run a style blog, and I've been wanting to go since I was in elementary school: it's time.
5. Be comfortable keeping things to myself. This is another habit I've developed that prevents me from having two-sided conversations. In many instances, I find myself searching for a way to turn the conversation to me. Sometimes it's in an attempt to empathize, but mostly it's because I feel this burning desire to share and be validated. I would like to become more comfortable validating myself so that I'm not constantly unintentionally oversharing and alienating people.
6. Leave the country. I've been traveling my whole life, but 2016 was the first year in as long as I can remember that I never left America. I want to continue to travel the world in 2017.

Monday, January 16, 2017

OOTD: Fade to Pink

Fall is my favorite season for fashion: it's just cold enough to layer, but not so cold that I have to cover my outfit with a giant coat. Fall is also the prime time to wear vests, and this is by far my favorite vest.
This shirt was a thrift store find. I bought it because the cut-outs along the collar and down the front are completely unique. I had to replace all the buttons and it's a little big, but that's part of thrift store shopping. It's all about repurposing and making things work.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spaces & Faces: Sophia

Meet one of my roommates from Seattle: Sophia! We only got to live together for a couple months before I moved, but they were some damn good months. Not only do we get along really well, but look how cute her sense of style is!

I love this idea– she added velcro to the back of her makeup palettes so she could hang them on the wall and easily remove them to do her makeup. This is a great space saver and a really unique way to decorate your walls.

These skulls are leftover from her birthday party (her birthday is on Halloween, so all the decor was spooky themed). I love this Bob's Burger's window poster– it's from the first episode and you can actually see it from the street below us.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Welcome to New York

I've been living in New York for 5 days now. The last several days have been a flurry of putting furniture together, trying (and failing) to get wifi for the apartment, getting to know my neighborhood, forcing my dog to wear booties in the snow, getting lost on the subway (with a desk), preparing to start work, and getting to know my roommates. Luckily, my mom came to New York with me to help move me in, which was an amazing help to me. I just have a couple more moving items to finish up but, other than that, it's time for me to adjust to my new life in this fantastic new city. A few notes as I settle in:

  • I've been thinking about decorating my New York apartment since I was little. Now that I'm here, I only have so much money and energy to do so; what's more, I'm sharing this space with others, meaning the aesthetic has to appeal to more than just me. As much as I want to be in control of my environment, it's important that I learn to accept what I can't control, let it go, and find the positives in my life.
  • When I was living on Capitol Hill in Seattle, I heard and thought a lot about my contribution to the gentrification of the area. As a student, however, I found it fairly easy to justify my presence in that area, and frequented new and trendy little spots. Living in Bed Stuy is already a different story. Some parts of my new neighborhood is in the earlier stages of gentrification, meaning that I'm contributing to the demand for trendy real estate and shops instead of just taking advantage of the spaces already available. I'm trying to figure out ways to prioritize contributing to the rich community that already exists in this area.
  • I'm a little worried about what I'm going to do without academia in my life. I love to learn, and learning about what I loved in a constructive and reliable environment was a very important part of my knowledge base for so many years. I'm thinking of ways to keep up with the field of psychology and goings-ons in the world in the absence of classes and being around other students. I've already gone to the public library and reserved a book that one of my favorite professors recommended to me last fall, but that I haven't had the time to read yet. I'm also planning on downloading podcasts and audio books to listen to on my commute, which will hopefully contribute to my continued education.
I'm so excited to start my next chapter here in New York and look forward to keeping you all up-to-date!

Monday, January 2, 2017

OOTD: Purple Spice

This is one of my favorite outfits: I've probably worn it three times in the last month. It always earns me a bunch of compliments, from my friends to my colleagues to even my therapist. This embroidered mesh piece is actually an entirely separate dress from the high-neck bodycon piece underneath. I love layering– it creates an entirely new and unique look.