Monday, February 27, 2017

OOTD: Lazy Sunday

Though I claim to try to alternate spending my Sundays in bed and out exploring, I end up doing nothing most Sundays. I love my Lazy Sundays– since graduating, I don't have any real responsibilities on the weekends, leaving me free to do absolutely nothing.
On the occasion that I have to leave the house on a Lazy Sunday, I'm lenient to have to change out of my pajamas. I've developed a pretty good alternative outfit that's easy, fast, comfortable, and appropriate to be seen in in public.
The keys to the perfect Lazy Sunday outfit:
- Your most comfortable shoes (classic Uggs don't count).
- A pair of leggings. I'm only a little embarrassed that my comfiest pair of pants are actually jeggings, which are just leggings with a button and zipper.
- A soft T-shirt.
- A really cozy sweater. This is actually a faux shearling coat, and wearing it feels like being wrapped in a blanket.
- No makeup. I'm literally just wearing some brow gel (I feel my best when my brows are done, ok?) and some tinted lip balm.
- Some sort of complicated-looking (but secretly super easy) updo. This french braid bun is hiding the fact that I haven't washed my hair in a week!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How I Wear: Cheetah Print Chelsea Booties

The piece: cheetah print Chelsea booties from H&M. These were a splurge at $35, but considering how well they've held up in the last year and a half and how often I wear them, they were worth the price.

Stand-out: By pairing two attention-grabbing pieces (bright red and animal print never fail to attract an audience), I created a look that guarantees all eyes will be on me.

Trendy: Colorful faux fur, a Louis Vuitton purse, heavily distressed denim, and cheetah print boots were all featured in magazines when I styled this outfit. This outfit earned a ton of compliments, both in person and online.

Not-so-neutral: I paired unique pieces in neutral colors to create a subtle yet stylish look.

Cool: This outfit was comfortable enough to run errands in, but cool enough (everyone loves a neck scarf) to wear at a farmer's market in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Seattle.

Monday, February 20, 2017

OOTD: Red Roses, Red Roses

Black suede Mossimo clogs - black rose-embroidered H&M jeans - black off-the-top Forever 21 top - black cropped H&M moto jacket - gold necklace - gold and crystal drop earrings

I've been looking for a basic pair of black jeans for, like, forever. Of course, I fell in love with these embroidered jeans and bought them instead of something basic. They were $30, which is more than I usually spend on a single item of clothing, but I really sat myself down and thought about how I could better spend that money. Would it be better for me to buy myself a pair of something I love with all my heart, or a couple pieces I like? I mean, it's rare that I find something for less than $15 that I really love. I already have most wardrobe basics, so at this point I'm really only adding stand-out pieces to my closet. I decided to commit to going with quality over quantity, and ended up buying the jeans (obviously). 
So far, they've totally been worth it– I've owned them just three weeks but have already worn them six times. I've also already spent all of my shopping budget for this quarter, so I have to wait until the end of March to buy any new clothing. Clearly, I need to fine-tune my shopping habits, but overall I'm glad with the new direction I'm heading in with my closet.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Hello from the other side of my first Fashion Week! I've been dreaming of this experience since I was little, and I can't believe I made it happen within two months of moving to NYC. In all honesty, it was just as magical as I always hoped it would be. Of course, there were a lot of ways in which it was different from what I expected... But more on that later.

2/9/17: Michael Costello

When Kelsey of Blondes & Bagels had her flight delayed due to the low-key blizzard that swept through NY last Thursday, there was suddenly an extra ticket to Michael Costello up for grabs. Given the last-minute notice, I attended my first-ever Fashion Week show in my Hunter rain boots and my grandma's hand-me-down rain coat. Given the weather outside, I wasn't the only one all bundled up with no real outfit to show.

The show was absolutely magical– it was all flowing gowns with intricate details, which is kind of my desired aesthetic.

The front row hosted some pretty impressive people: I saw Shaun Ross, Cardi B, and a literal Care Bear (see it?).
All photos by Tomi Obebe of GoodTomiCha

2/10/17: Stylinity x Lulu Frost

Tomi and I hit up this rad event during our lunch break to hear Gergana Ivanova of Fashion is my Forte and Veronica Webb of Webb On the Fly talk about their blogging careers and Veronica's experience as a model.

Raul Penaranda

Tomi and I got these tickets from Brittiny of Fashion of Philly. We didn't take any pictures worth posting– the lighting was really terrible, and the venue was too small to allow for us to be able to take properly-framed pictures. Still, there were some pieces I really enjoyed, and we got free food. 

 Chromat After Party

Sadly, no photos here, either. Turns out clubs don't make a very good place for snapping pics. I was proud of myself for going to a club in the first place (the last time I went was when I lived in Spain– don't tell my host family), and Tomi and I had a lot of fun dancing with a bunch of very fashionable strangers. 

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2/11/17: Francesca Liberatore

This was my first ~solo~ show. Brittiny of Fashion of Philly gave me a standing ticket. A standing ticket, I came to learn, is what they give people they want to attend the show, but who are not quite important enough to be guaranteed a seat. We stood in line and waited until they were sure everyone showed up who was going to show up, then we were allowed to fill in whatever seats weren't taken or stand near the press. I ended up standing, but actually had a better view of the show than I'd had from a seat in the same venue at Michael Costello.

Behind-the-scenes, aka "how many damn cameras do we need to document one show?"

2/12/17: Art Hearts Fashion

This was such a rad experience– Olivia of a drop in the ocean and I were given VIP passes, which put us in the front row (across from Miss Maryland and Miss Rhode Island, no less). I wore my OTHER grandma's hand-me-down coat. I loved being able to rep the amazing women in my family who helped me get to this point in my life.

This event featured three designers: Temraza (ft. Zagh), House of Byfield, and Willfredo Gerardo, with accessories by Urban Southern. My favorite collection of the bunch was Willfredo Gerardo, who had a strong collection of flowy and intricate gowns. 

So, that's a wrap on my first NYFW! I hope to see everyone again in September!

Monday, February 13, 2017

OOTD: Galentine's Day // Self-Love

Happy Galentine's Day! As many of you know, this is my favorite holiday, because it celebrates something that is so important to me: platonic friendships, specially between women. Last year for Galentine's Day, I wrote about how how I came to realize that female friendships are absolutely essential. This year, I'm writing about something a little different: self-love.

I would argue that Galentine’s Day is as much about your relationship with yourself as it is about your relationships with your gals. After all, you are the only person who knows you from birth 'til death. Thus, it’s extremely important to cultivate and maintain a loving relationship with yourself.

Self-love is similar to friendships between women in that it is often misrepresented in popular society. Both relationships are meaningful, fulfilling, and, in a word, essential. I see self-love labeled as self-absorption, selfishness, or narcissism far too often. This negative portrayal discourages people, specifically young people, from working to develop a loving relationship with themselves for fear of being labeled self-centered.

I’ve spent a long time working on my relationship with myself. I’m still working on self-love, but I’m mostly content with myself. One of the biggest ways I’ve worked on loving myself is simply by spending time alone with myself. I’ve always been pretty introverted and required time by myself, but I haven’t always been thoughtful about how I’ve spent time with myself. Once I realized that my relationship with myself is, in fact, a relationship, I started treating my time with myself the same way I treat my time with my friends. I’m nice to myself (I treat myself the way I want to be treated), I do fun things with myself, and I listen to myself.

Another way to cultivate self-love is by engaging in self-care. This can, on occasion, be cutesy and romantic, like what you might see on Tumblr. You can take bubble baths with your favorite TV show, treat yourself to a coffee, or wear your favorite underwear. Most often, though, self-care is pretty boring, but essential nonetheless. You practice these methods every day: you practice self-affirmations, feed yourself good food, brush your teeth, go to bed on time, go on a walk, and do things that make you feel good about yourself. So much of taking care of yourself just relies on forming healthy habits, which anyone can do.

In light of Galentine’s day, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that an important part of self-love is surrounding yourself with people who love you AND who want you to love yourself. For me, these people are my friends and family. I’m so grateful to have the amazing friends that I do who love and support me and are excited for me, even when my life takes me away from them. Even long-distance, our friendships serve to empower each other. I’m so grateful for these gals and, though I wish I was celebrating today with them, I’m so glad that we’re all doing some seriously rad stuff across the world.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

DIY Valentine's Day Gifts

Let me get straight to the point– I don't like Valentine's Day. It's a made-up holiday that capitalizes on romance and reduces demonstrations of love to those that include materialistic gifts. Plus, I'm single and everyone keeps rubbing my nose in it. But I digress.

If you are not as bitter as I am, Valentine's Day is also a great excuse to remind your special someone– be that a romantic partner, best friend, or family member– just how much you love them. There are many ways to show someone you love them: I love this quiz on love languages that helps you understand how others can best communicate their love for you. If your special someone's love language includes receiving gifts, sometimes going homemade can add a personal and intimate touch. That's where these DIYs come in.

DIY marbleized makeup brushes via A Bubbly Life

-Makeup brushes
-Nail polish
-Warm water

This is a relatively inexpensive way to spice up something the makeup lover in your life undoubtedly uses every day.

DIY jarred succulent via Jamielyn at I Heart Naptime

-Mason jar

Who doesn't love a succulent? They're so cute and require hardly any care. Plus, giving a living thing as a gift can prove commitment and trust.

DIY "let's snuggle" pillowcase via Jeran McConnel at Curbly

-Freezer paper
-X-acto knife
-Craft paint
-Sponge brush

Hypothetically, you can make this say anything you want so long as you create a print-out for it (this blog provides a free "let's snuggle" template).

DIY grapefruit rosemary bath salts via Homey Oh My

-Bath salts or Epsom salt
-Pink himalayan salt
-Essential oil (I used grapefruit)

This gift is quick and easy– perfect for a last-minute Valentine's Day present (but don't let it come to that). You can actually make them smell like anything depending on what kind of essential oil you use; maybe try your partner's favorite scent.

-Cane sugar
-Freeze-dried blueberries
-Blue sugar sprinkles
-Virgin coconut oil
-Vanilla extract.

I mean, you really can't go wrong with bath products on Valentine's Day. Winter is a time of year when we all need a little extra self-care, and encouraging this shows that you really care about the recipient of this gift.

DIY ombre calendar via BricoBistro

-Paint samples or gift tags
-Small wooden box
-Letter stickers
-Paint brushes

Include a list of important days (anniversaries, birthdays, date nights) to add a personalized touch to this super cute gift.

Stay tuned for a post next week on Galentine's Day and the power of non-romantic love!

Monday, February 6, 2017

OOTD: Walk to Work

Black Steve Madden Chelsea boots - White palazzo pants - Black Forever 21 ribbed sweater - Black Banana Republic peacoat - Black Forever 21 tote bag - Olive green scarf 

Surprisingly, I don't actually mind my 50 minute commute to work. I spend my time on the train listening to podcasts (if anyone has any recommendations for psychology podcasts, please let me know!), which is a great way for me to wake up. My favorite part of my commute, though, is the 4 blocks I walk every day on my way from the subway station to my office. Twice a day every day, I get to walk through the middle of the greatest city on the world. I am inspired every single day by the outfits of those walking around me, the architecture of the buildings looming above me, and the general hustle of the city. I love working in Manhattan.
I'm not new to the business casual dress code. In fact, I kind of pride myself on being able to dress myself stylishly and appropriately. Dressing for work in Manhattan is a little bit of a different story, though. I'm out of the house for 11 hours a day, so I have to be comfortable. Plus, it's FREEZING in Manhattan right now, so I have to be cute, comfortable, professional, and warm. Luckily, I have a closet full of coats and I've been stocking up on comfy business attire, so I'm feeling pretty good. I do wear a lot of the same items to work, but that's part of being broke.