Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Healthy Obsession

As a new iPhone user I'm still getting familiar with the whole 'apps' thing. While there are so many practical ones (flashlight app, anyone?), there are also a ton of fun ones, particularly if you're into fashion.

A few weeks ago I was reading an article about the best fashion apps and I came across "Pose" which is all about sharing and discovering style by posting items that you see, outfits you put together or just images that inspire you. Users can <3 poses or comment on them and whenever a fellow user is nice enough to do either or both to one of my poses I make sure to check out their poses as well.

It is this process that led me to the most fantastic store's website: (Special thanks to Pose user "spiciehott.")

Philanthropy Fashion is a boutique in Franklin, TN that was founded in 2007 under the idea that, "a business built around charitable works and grounded in Christ could make a difference in the world."

Now, I'm no holy-roller, but you don't have to be religious at all to subscribe to the ideas of compassion and paying it forward and that's basically what this store, their website and the brands that they sell are about.

If, for whatever reason, you don't give a hoot about that either at least check them out because the clothes are cute and the accessories are awesome (I've already e-mailed them about one of their "Large Sentiment" pieces, metal plates inscribed with clever/inspiring quotes that can be attached to a variety of leather bracelets, of course the one I want is on back-order - arg!).

Having loved boutique shopping for as long as I can remember (even as a kid I'd insist on going into thrift stores and antique shops, despite having no real use for their goods) and it's just so cool to me that an application on a smart phone, can lead you to a web search, which brings you to the website of a boutique with locally sourced goods. Oh technology, you teach me something new every day...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nice Girls Are Hard to Come By

My Papa used to say, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” This may seem simplistic, but if you’re a girl between the ages of puberty and death you probably need to be reminded. If you are nasty and put out negative energy it is going to come right back at you (probably not as quickly as the object of your nastiness would like, but such is life).

Girls are insecure. It’s a fact. Some more than others, but I’m pretty sure that even the amazing Heidi Klum (love her!) has her weird little insecurity quirk. This usually leads to one of two things: Gretchen from Mean Girls style neediness or just plain meanness.

While I could write an essay on why it’s not cool to be mean (citing examples from both sides of that situation), I’m instead going to jump to the part of the story where I’m almost 30 years old and I’m tired of mean behavior. I don’t want to dish out it (see the karma-based comment from the first paragraph) and I certainly don’t want to take it (but I may still have some coming back to me, the High School years weren’t pretty).

If you’re in a bar and a girl is talking to your boyfriend, you can casually walk up to them and introduce yourself, but DO NOT give her the stink eye on your way over or during the intro, DO NOT introduce yourself as his girlfriend because a) I’m sure she’s already gotten the point and b) that’s his job, if he doesn’t do so then you can give him a swift smack upside the head later and DO NOT have a general air of defensiveness and/or feigned superiority.

If one of your guy friends brings out a new girlfriend you should be nice to her. It may be nearly impossible to prevent yourself from making snap judgments, but keep them to yourself to avoid creating an US VS HER vibe. That makes you and your friends look like mean girls - don’t paint them with your mean-colored brush.

Try not to use the terms whore, slut, ho-bag, etc. You sound insecure.

And finally, I do not care how hot you are, being mean is ugly. You can spend all the time in the world on your hair and make-up and your outfit may ooze sex, but nothing is more oozing and toxic than negativity. So smile, be nice, strike up a conversation with someone who looks a little lost in the crowd (unless they’re creepy/wasted, they most likely did that to themselves) because you never know when you’re going to be stuck in a crowded room with only your cell phone to keep you company.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"It’s a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together."
— Alexander McQueen

Obsessed with this quote this morning, but then again I'm obsessed with McQueen in general ever since seeing the "Savage Beauty" exhibit at the Met. Why else would I have waited on this line (or the "McQue" as the Twitterverse was referring to it) for 2 hours?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inspiration Board? More Like Inspiration Book

Ever since I was a little girl, collecting leftover Sassy and Seventeen magazines from around the house, I have been tearing out "looks" that I love. Over the years I've collected these images and when I came across a leftover art journal I knew that those fashion tears had found their home.

While I've been really good about continuing to tear images that inspire me, I've been a bit lax about organizing them. But recently I've been struggling with my closet and, in an effort to edit down my wardrobe and reveal my style, I have revisited these images.

Watching design shows you see design boards and that's great for one look, but when it comes to a wardrobe I need more room to work -- and so the rebirth of the inspiration book. Out came the images, out went the ones I'm already over and on went the rubber cement to secure the keepers. It's my hope that my style progresses along with the book and, when I'm having a fashion meltdown, it will serve as a place to go for answers.

Originally I wanted this to be a style blog, but I'm so sick of the standard style blogs; put-together women in their 30's being photographed by their significant others in whimsical poses and whatever setting mimics a soft filter on their SLR camera (which they probably received as an out-of-the-box wedding gift from their equally hip friends/family).

Like so many women my age, I don't quite have it all together. I'm getting there, but I'm not going to post phony photos that make others envious of my Brooklyn loft and my impeccably groomed puppy. I'm 29, I live on Long Island, I work in a small office and see the same handful of people every day; so my day-to-day attire simply does not call for high fashion. The problem is I'm also tired of the jeans/tee/hoodie combo, not to mention that I'm terrified of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly ambushing me for the new season of "What Not to Wear," and I think it's high time that I figure out how to adapt my dreams of everyday dressing to fit my reality. Yes, I escape to the city and the Hamptons as frequently as possible and when I do I use that as an excuse to wear the clothes I dream of, but it's still not my reality.

So this isn't an established style blog in the traditional sense, it's a finding-my-style blog. Let the editing down begin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Aloha - I'm Back!

Summertime is for relaxing and since I can't seem to unwind when I'm near a computer I jumped at the chance to take a real vacation (for the first time in over 2 years) to Hawaii with the old roomies.

Hawaii was everything we'd hoped for and more - beautiful weather, great food and adventures abound. On Oahu we swam with the dolphins at Sea Life Park (where 50 First Dates was filmed), paid homage to fallen heroes at Pearl Harbor, and hiked Diamond Head.

We were supposed to go zip lining in Maui, but the winds were too strong so the more adventurous of us went ATV-ing instead. We did the Road to Hana: a 68 mile drive along highway that included stops at a the black sand beaches, waterfall we could swim in, and winery, attended a Luau at the Hyatt and at the end of our trip we watched the sun rise over Haleakala, aka the East Maui Volcano, and then biked down 23 miles.

On both islands we stayed in Aston properties. While I would definitely recommend the Aston Kaanapali Shores on Maui, which were basically cute and very well maintained condos, I have mixed emotions about the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel.

Allow me to start with the positive: the decor was cute and kitschy and the restaurant/tiki bar was delicious (food and beverage-wise). However, the whole place was like a hotel version of trading spaces. It was like they slapped on new bedding and threw some surfboards up as decor, but didn't bother fixing the bathrooms because the websites don't show those anyway. Our bathroom was almost scary; the shower head was violent (in both pressure and the fact that for some odd reason it sprayed out the side as well as straight down) and the shower curtain rod was so rusted one might get Tetanus just from looking at it (okay so apparently the whole tetanus = rust thing is a myth, but you get my point.

The bathroom didn't ruin our visit by any means, we just kept it quick and made sure not to touch the rod (a safe rule for any group if single girls on vacation *couldn't resist*). Besides, after the Aston Waikiki Beach we were all too excited to see our fancy Florida-meets-Hawaii condo in Maui. Well played Liberty Travel agent.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Time Flys When You're (Busy) Having Fun

After a hectic couple of weeks I woke up this morning and said, "Oh, hello Spring!"

Between Moxy, working out, going into Manhattan, applying to and interviewing for jobs, celebrating birthdays (my exceptionally awesome niece turned 1!) and my cousin's bridal shower it's been non-stop plans. The bottom line is that life is good and I am a lucky gal.

There are so many new places I've tried and a number of outfits that I've thrown together (and wound up being extremely fond of - I even repeated one - GASP!) and I can't wait to share all of it.

Spring and Fall have always been my favorite times of year because they represent change (and weather perfect for dining al fresco - LOVE), so as I embark on another fresh new season I look forward to sharing all of my new experiences here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cardio Sculpt: The Morning After

cardio Pictures, Images and Photos

Last night I tried my 4th new class at the gym: Cardio Sculpt with Cleo.

I'm getting more comfortable and creating more of a routine with this whole gym thing; I remembered to bring a water, I realized that there are lockers in the corner of the room (I'd been keeping my bag and sweatshirt on the workout floor, thankfully no one tripped on them), and I'm more social with the people in class.

Cardio Sculpt seemed to involve a lot of upper body work, but that could just be because that's my weakest area so I noticed more. (It's like my muscles get less toned as your move up my body.) So while it did feel like my arms may fall off in the middle of our 80 push-ups, I made it through.

Today my chest and back are sore, but (so far) that's it! Must be getting the hang of this whole "fitness" thing. That's not to say that my chest and back won't be racked with stiffness and discomfort tomorrow, but I'll worry about that when it happens.

Cardio sculpt wasn't all that different from Bootcamp, not that I can see anyway. They both combine a cardio warm-up with muscle toning exercises in the middle and a cool-down. The music was high energy at both classes, which really helps to keep me motivated. Cardio sculpt was more crowded last night, but I'll attribute that to the fact that Christmas is over and everyone has more time on their hands. It definitely wasn't a New Year's Resolution crowd as I seemed to be the only one who didn't know what she was doing at points.

When comparing Cardio Sculpt to the Bootcamp class I took, the two instructors are the main difference. Cleo's more maternal and Nia, of Bootcamp, is more of the hardcore trainer type you might see on The Biggest Loser. It's just a matter of who I respond to better. Cleo is quicker to say you can stop if you can't handle it, so I felt less compelled to push myself, but she's a good back-up to Nia who I obviously prefer.

I'm still avoiding the main gym like a hornet's nest. I had to go in last night before class because my card wasn't registering and my glasses fogged up the minute I entered and I just felt like people were looking at me (perhaps my stellar gym outfit of my burnt orange bar softball t-shirt, black cotton shorts and black leggings had something to do with it) and I wanted to exit ASAP.

My goal is to continue taking classes so that I'm toned and healthy at my cousin's wedding in May. If I keep going at this rate I should be right where I want to be.