less is more

It’s been ages since I’ve posted. I’m not ashamed because life happens, and naturally more important things take precedence. Sure, I’ve thought about picking it back up many times. But between being lean on time and other obligations – throw in the fact that the ‘life & style’ theme feels tired and diluted. All of this mixed together was the perfect storm to just.. quit. I’m not saying that “I’m baaaack”, but I certainly do miss the writing. It’s a satisfying outlet and it forces me to stay abreast with creatives. Really a win-win to dive back in. So we’ll see how dedicated I remain.

I want to start by sharing what 2017 has looked like so far. So many up’s and down’s already, and it’s only April. So many victories, so many struggles, and so much learned – and with excited anticipation I know there is so much more to learn this year.

But one key teaching I am in the midst of mastering is ‘less is more’. I’ll try not to bore you with the gritty details, but at the start of the new year – I knew I wanted to take a different approach to my day to day. So I started small – deleting Twitter and Facebook. I wanted to streamline my social media outlets in greater hopes that I would: 1) stop comparing myself unfairly to others, 2) remove myself from environments that (primarily) bred negativity, 3) free up time to invest in myself + others. It’s now April and I am still free of Twitter and Facebook. I can confidently tell you that the only void I have is not knowing my friend’s + family’s birthdays (whoops). Otherwise, hakuna matata. Literally. It’s quite liberating. Less is more.

(*Disclaimer: Also, I gotta say – the dedication I’ve had to keep Twitter and Facebook deleted, has even surprised me. Granted, like any millennial addict, I get my fix somehow. I still check in on Instagram and Snapchat a ridiculous amount of times, daily. So let’s not kid ourselves. However, I’m hoping to cull back my time on these platforms, too. But you know what they say – let’s walk before we run.)

Another related initiative I had was to “become a minimalist”. I was incredibly inspired after listening to “The Minimalists” podcast, and after watching their documentary on Netflix. In short – I learned that this lifestyle is hardly adoptable for me. Let me start by saying – I’m not materialistic. But I’m also, not, not. For example: anyone who will purchase an unnecessary knick knack at TJ Maxx that serves no purpose.. for their coffee table.. is not a minimalist. If it serves no purpose, and you own it – very much NOT a minimalist. But, fortunately – I am an organizing cyclone when unleashed- so purging was extremely cathartic for me. I have since rid myself of attachments, donated to the Goodwill, given things to friends + family, and sold some items too. I am more thoughtful on what I purchase, and what items I bring into my life. Still nowhere near to being a true minimalist, and although I know it will never be fully attainable for me – I chalk this one up to a win. Less is more.

And finally, I bring you to my most recent ‘less is more’ goal, and what I believe will be a source of many (not annoying, I promise) posts in the future – the Whole 30 diet. Today was Day One – and was a big catalyst in me opening my laptop and logging back into L&D. I want to chronicle this journey.

I have to say – I’ve never been much for (safe) diets, and I’ve also never really stuck to one. Nonetheless, I wanted to give this one a go because, guess what? Yeah – you guessed it, less is more! And this diet unquestionably embodies that mentality. In short – I’m cutting all crap out of my diet. No sugar, no processed foods, no artificial anything, and so much more. Restrictions is the name of the game, but I’m so looking forward to the results. I’m also excited to learn to take this lifestyle and use it as incentive to navigate around the kitchen – a place of unchartered waters for me up until now! So we’ll see what this turns into. Accountability report? Maybe. Food diary? Quite possibly. Burn book? Ask me when I really need a Coca Cola.

So there you have it – the year of ‘less is more’. Thanks for reading, entertaining my ramblings, and appeasing me. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all.

 

Gaby Aghion – Chloé’s Fearless Leader

Last week, Chloé founder Gaby Aghion passed away at 93 years young. Since her passing, I have read many articles on her life and her legacy at Chloé, but this piece at WWD is perhaps the best, most uplifting, and a true testament to this fashion pioneer.

Gaby

My favorite quote from the article comes from Aghion herself:

“A lot of things did not exist in France. Everything was yet to be invented, and this thrilled me,” [she] told WWD in 2012. “I was carried away: It was like a tornado. I designed a small collection and decided to present it myself. I went to source the buttons, the fabrics. I was sticking my neck out.

If anything is to be learned from Aghion’s life it is to do just that: stick your neck out. Take a risk, a leap of faith, just jump. Aghion went against the fashion grain in all aspects of Chloé. From naming her fashion house to selecting the venues for her shows to creating a new type of RTW. She didn’t stick to the status quo, instead she created a new one. And I admire her. Oh, I admire her.

Thank you for being a pioneer, Gaby.

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Be sure to read the full article here.

Music for your Monday

This past weekend was spent galavanting around Nashville with my aunt. We ate well, pampered ourselves, and of course – shopped.

Out of all the things we did together, I will say that one of my favorite moments would have to simply be our conversations centered around our mutual love for the man, the legend: Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra

We parted ways yesterday afternoon, and I spent the remainder of my day tidying up the apartment and preparing for the work week. So to liven things up a bit, I jammed to Sinatra’s greatest hits (cd courtesy of my aunt). Eventually the playlist shuffled to “That’s Life” and I couldn’t help but think “how absolutely appropriate” for a Monday. (Y’all know how I feel about Monday’s).

“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing:
Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race”

Life is hard, sometimes. Truly filled with ups and downs. The most important thing to remember, however, is to maintain a positive perspective. And always pick yourself back up.

Cuz that’s life.

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The Tricks of the Trade

Over the years, I’ve learned things that have changed the way I function day to day. True “beauty hacks” that make each day easier, more affordable, and tremendously more sensible. Whether my family and friends have shared this knowledge, or whether I’ve learned it from a book, magazine, or online – I have incorporated many of these habits in my day to day life.

BeautyHacks

  1. Starbucks napkins make fantastic oil-blotting sheets. I once read their composition is similar to those of name-brand blotting sheets.
  2. A silver spoon in the freezer makes for a nice mini-facial. I hold the spoon underneath my eyes every morning to wake me up, and give me a jolt!
  3. Your eye cream in the freezer also adds to the luxuriousness of the spoon facial. Before you climb into bed, run to the freezer, and rub the cream on your under eyes. The tingling feels amazing! Like a facial!
  4. Hairspray can easily replace “Static-Guard”. Dust it lightly on the garment and your legs. Viola! No more stick.
  5. Rub deep moisturizing cream on your elbows, knees, and ankles before applying self-tanner. This dramatically reduces streaking, and overly-orange ‘bows.
  6. Before bed, drench your feet in Vaseline then slide them into your comfiest cotton socks. The next morning, your calloused heels and toes will be no more!
  7. To relax aching muscles, run a warm bath and add one cup of Epsom Salts. The magnesium and sulfate restore the body, and if you add a book and a few candles to the mix, it will restore your mind, too!
  8. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to really get your jewels glistening, a quick hand wash in a few drops of baby shampoo will surprisingly do the trick.
  9. Coconut oil does wonders for your locks. Soak your hair in the “precious” oil, concentrating on the ends. Leave in for a few hours, then wash your hair as usual. You will see immediate results!
  10. Now, the best for last. Throwing it WAY back to my Shirley Temple curly-q years, my mom recommends using sponge rollers all over your head, then daintily placing silk panties over the rollers. It doesn’t look foolish at all. You will surely get all the boys.

Have any beauty hacks of your own? Share them in the comment box below. I would LOVE to know!

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The Art of Adornment

Henri-Bendel

It was my first trip to Henri Bendel and I stood there staring at the vast display of jewels, and I was in awe. Rows of dainty, intricate, over-the-top, beautiful jewelry was just begging for me to gaze longingly, to coo “ooh” and “ahh”. And gaze longingly I did, until a lady approached me jolting me out of my trance.

“Can I help you?”

“Oh, no m’am. I’m just looking, thanks.”

The conversation didn’t end there, though. Upon hearing my accent the kind sales associate picked my brain, curious about where I was from and what I was doing in Manhattan. I welcomed the conversation and as it winded down, she promptly directed me towards a table of the daintiest bracelets I had ever seen.

She began throwing bracelets on my wrists, pairing colors, stones, and chain width. I was having a BLAST. (As I’ve said before, I am a freaking sucker for a good sales pitch). And what happened next was one of the most valuable lessons in “dressing” I had ever received.

Grabbing my wrist, she placed a bracelet made up of a tiny rope, and a small, clear stone. “See how this bracelet echoes the colors, and weight of your necklace?” she asked.

She proceeded to assess the canvas she was working with. She looked at my earrings, my watch, necklace, etc. and it immediately all clicked. I think that I inherently knew all along that “oh, this goes with this, this goes with that” and blah, blah, blah. But until this sales associate at Bendel’s began to verbalize to me the art of adorning myself in jewelry, it never really hit me that it really is an art form. An art form that we can trace back to the very beginning of time. Jewelry speaks to our heritage, our family, our inheritance, our interests, and it more oftentimes that not, speaks for itself.

The combining, the curation, the actual wearing of the jewels is an art form in itself. Learning to pair dainty bracelets with chunky necklaces, drop-earrings with cocktail rings. It’s all a fun art of self-expression. However, the art truly begins with the jewelry, and recently I can’t get enough of these fantastic pieces:

ARTofJEWELRY

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The bracelet from Bendel’s that I was suckered into. It used to be.. cleaner… hmm. Life happens.

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Monday Musings

Monday

It’s here. Welcoming us with its open arms of spilt coffee, blistered heels, deodorant stains, frizzy hair, mascara in the eye, and all the other travesties that Monday mornings always seem to bring. All we can do is push through, slap a smile on our face, and come home and take a long, relaxing bubble bath.

Until you can make it home to slip into your pj’s, take a moment during your lunch break to mull over these “Monday Musings.” Worth your time, will add a wealth of knowledge to your Monday, and heck – may even make you smile.

1 – “The 10 Highest Paid Jobs in Fashion” from the Fashion Student Digest. As graduation looms over my head, I constantly find myself in a state of staring into space, head spinning, trying to iron out the next few months of my life and the career path I want to hone in on. Articles like this really help to put things into perspective. I’d like to be a Chief Marketing Officer, thanks.

2 – NYFW is in full swing. On day FIVE to be exact, and so far, Spring/Summer 2015 is looking flawless! If you are unsure of how to get in on the behind the tents, on the runway, inside scoop, here are “25 Instagram accounts to follow this NYFW” from the StyleList. Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller is number 1. Did you expect anyone else?

3 – Lillian & Dot’s list is fab, no doubt, but the list you NEED to read is from WhoWhatWear and it is “Your Ultimate Guide to Shopping the Best Fall Trends”. It’s the most precise fall-fashion roundup I have seen thus far. Cannot wait for it to get cooler so I can waltz out of the house with a.. er.. blanket draped over my shoulders.

4 – The “25 Must-Read Books For the Fall” from Flavorwire. I’m currently reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, so I’m extremely behind on “trendy” reads. However, this list is on my radar. I can’t wait to get my hands on “Women in Clothes” edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton.

5 – The new “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign from Under Armour is genius. I initially saw the short commercial on Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre a few weeks ago and was floored. Then it wasn’t just a few days ago that I saw this special on The Today Show. Not thinking it could get any better, I watched the film on Gisele Bündchen. I don’t know about you, but I just got a huge amount of motivation to go work my tush off.

Just survive today, people! Tuesday is around the corner!

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