Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hair Repair

I recently mastered the blowout which is good because it makes my outfits look more polished (and I'm in my 30's, so it's about time). The down side is that regular blowouts have fried my hair (see above - holy "before" shot!). 

While I'd been enjoying the fact that my hair was long for the first time in ages, I was also super bored with my one-length cut. I showed my stylist an older picture of Nicole Richie (because she is my spirit animal) and this is what I came out with. I feel like a knew woman. Love me some fringe, don't you?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas in NYC: MTA Nostalgia Trains

This past weekend V and I had one of the coolest NYC experiences we've had to date – we took a ride on the MTA's "Nostalgia Special."

On Sundays in the month of December the MTA runs vintage 1930's-era subway trains along the M line between LIC and the LES (check out the schedule here, other links are super confusing and you don't want to waste precious cell phone battery life when you're below ground like I did).

V and I were able to squeeze in a ride on the last train of the day, which was great because when we reached the last stop (2nd Avenue) the conductors informed us that the trains would stay there for an additional half hour so people could explore the cars. I took this to mean more time for me to ham it up and pose for goofy pics.
Vintage subway ads, also on display at the New York Transit Museum.
So much charm - from the exterior of the train decorated for Christmas, to the ceiling fans and vintage maps inside.
V and I on board


Refined vs. Ridiculous
There is no place on earth like New York City at Christmas and, as much as I love to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and enjoy ice skating at the city's many rinks, this may very well be my new favorite NYC Christmas tradition.

Next weekend is the last weekend for the nostalgia trains for 2013, so if you are going to be in the area I highly recommend taking a ride.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Outfit Post: First Date the Musical

So I've decided to try out a new format for these outfit posts. Since V has been kind (and patient) enough to start taking my outfit pics with a real camera (it's still point-and-shoot, but we've graduated from the iPhone. Next up is the 35mm, I swear) I can post multiple pics from different angles. So much better than my sometimes-blurry selfies, am I right?

This is an ensemble I put together for a surprise date night. I was only told that we would be going into the city and that I could get dressed up, but did not have to be formal. I asked if "off-duty model" was an acceptable look and, without missing a beat, V assured me that that would be perfect.

I decided to jump at the opportunity to finally wear these crazy McQ Alexander McQueen leggings (the tags have stayed on them for way too long since coming into my possession) with my brand-spanking-new Isabel Marant for H&M tank.

Here are the results:
Surprise! V took me to see First Date on Broadway. You MUST go see it, it's such a fun show.
Hooray for awkward poses! I'll get that oh-so-cool air of indifference down one of these days... or not.
And now without my security blanket scarf
Coat: Cinzia Rocca Scarf: Fendi Blazer: BCBG Max Azria Tank: Isabel Marant for H&M Chain: Old Navy Pendant: Vintage Leggings: McQ Alexander McQueen Booties: Rosegold

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bright Lipstick: A Sleepy Girl's: Best Friend

Left: Nada Top Right: Nars Pillow Talk Bottom Right: MAC Viva Glam

Last night V and I went to a delicious dinner with friends at Bo's in the Flatiron district*. Tasty food, smooth drinks and great company made for a semi-late night and I am quite sleepy today (as evidenced in the photos to the right).

Years of practice (translation: staying up way past a good girl's bedtime) has taught me that there is no better way to brighten my face than a quick smear of bright lipstick.

Sadly, Laura Mercier discontinued my favorite color, Sugarplum, but the good news is that I have been going back to bold shades in it's absence.

On a regular morning Nars Pillow Talk lip gloss will get the job done, but this was no regular morning and so I invoked the power of the greatest bright lipstick of them all: MAC Viva Glam. The perfect red lipstick is going to be different for everyone, but this is one that I recommend, at least to start. Upon application I just feel so... kickass. It came out in 1994 when a young Kimbo was only in Junior High and not the most confident girl at the Bat Mitvah, but it made me feel bold and pretty (despite pairing it with way too much black eyeliner, but what can I say? It was the grunge era) and I've been in love with it ever since. The other awesome thing about MAC Viva Glam?  

"Every cent of the selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS." [Source]

What's your trick for looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you're really sleep-deprived and dragging tail?


Monday, November 25, 2013

Outfit Post: Frightened Rabbit at Webster Hall

There's something very rock n' roll about black clothes and boots. So when V and I went to see Frightened Rabbit at Webster Hall I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to wear black top from Zara.

Here's the outfit breakdown:

Round Neck Blouse: Zara - I've never been a huge fan of low-cut tops, but I do like to compensate for a lack of skin by wearing sheer fabrics. V picked this top out on a shopping trip where I decided to "introduce" him to Zara (he's such a good sport, plus, he's got great taste). At $70 I thought it was a bit over-priced, but it's definitely the kind of item I'll wind up wearing all the time.
Necklace: Old Navy - Old Navy is one of my favorite stores to stop in for a little #treatyoself purchase. At around $6-$16 (total guess-timate based on my previous purchases) their jewelry selection is such a guilt-free indulgence.

Jeans: American Eagle - As a petite person who wears a lot of denim, AE is a dream come true. They currently offer a dozen different styles and a variety of washes and they're reasonably priced (the selection tops out at $69.95 for Premium Denim). They also run tons of promotions for those of you looking for a deeper discount. I'm wearing the "skinny" here.

Boots: Trouve - Just as I predicted when I bought them back in October of 2010, I wear these combat boots all the time. Clearly they've held up well. I still kick myself for not getting them in natural when I had the chance.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Saturday Soul

V and I, post-class.
A few Saturdays ago V and I went to SoulCycle. Let me be clear, I drank that Kool-Aid a long time ago, so I am totally biased. V, on the other hand, was not so easily swayed.

Here's a recap of our #SoulExperience:

Seeing as how it's been an eternity since I took spin, let alone a SoulCycle class, I went with the 2lb weights. V was far more ambitious and opted for the 5's (even the girl setting him up on his bike wished him luck with them).

As Katy Perry's new single, "Unconditionally," wound down our instructor, Sal, started class. Sal, an L.A. Transplant, was very high energy without being intimidating (a balance I look for in my Soul instructors). On the Soul-ful scale (a newly made-up scale on which I measure the warm fuzziness of the instructors) of 1 to 10, I'd put him at a 6; he threw in some positive imagery and motivation here and there, but he didn't beat you over the head with it. V prefers for his fitness instructors to load on the tough love, so it was more than he'd like.

Class was pretty standard - dance music blaring, Sal instructing us to ride to beat, add resistance, tap it back, etc. I tried to sneak a few peaks at V early on, but I didn't want him to lose focus (truth: I have limited coordination to begin with and didn't want to fall off the bike) so I zoned out and rode as part of the pack. He did make it through the upper body segment with the 5lb weights, but I don't think it was quite as easy as he thought it would be, not that he would admit that (men, *sigh*).

The last part of class is always a breeze. I put the weights back in their holsters and as the endorphins from the first half hit it's like the rest of the ride is downhill. I finished strong, feeling psyched. Lots of riders stayed after class to introduce themselves to Sal since we he was a new instructor to the Rosyln location, but we headed out to the waiting area.

After recouping and refilling our water bottles, I rewarded myself for recruiting V by purchasing my first piece of Soul gear, this cute little cropped tank (what can I say? I firmly believe in positive re-enforcement and I love stars). While it may not be his favorite way to workout, V did agree that it's a good option and we will be back. Next time - theme ride!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Ring Thing


Christina Applegate was so cool in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and I loved everything about her style (okay, maybe not maybe not the hats, the hats were pretty terrible). Ever since the video camera zoomed in on Sue Ellen Crandell typing up her fake resume (in which claimed to be a Vassar alum) I have wanted to wear a midi ring. 

Since I have teeny tiny hands it's hard enough finding a ring small enough to fit my ring finger let alone the first half of my pointer, so for years I just had to dream of looking like one of the coolest 90's teens ever... and then the midi ring craze hit and for a mere $7 in Nordstrom's B.P. department I am now able to emulate Sue'Ell.

Unfortunately this is one of those trends that was not meant to be. It drove me nuts all day. It kept spinning around, to the point where I just kept my finger awkwardly bent (you know on Friends when Phoebe teaches Joey to play guitar? Think "old lady" pose.)  so it wouldn't fall off (which it did, repeatedly).
Midi ring on top, cork ring on the bottom
I had all but resigned myself to my old ring uniform of my single Hawaiian band on my ring finger when my parents came home from their Tauck small ship cruise of the Mediterranean with this amazing silver and cork number from Bonifacio (apparently cork is a thing there). It's my new go-to, I'm totally obsessed, I highly recommend that you get yourself to Corsica posthaste to get one for yourself (or, you know, the internet).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Outfit Post: Tee Time


Hooray for better lighting in my hallway!
Scarves and tees and leather jackets, these are a few of my favorite things. The crisp Fall weather gives me to opportunity to combine all three making my life easier when it comes time to get dressed.

Here's the outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Express – This soft sweater tee is perfect on this crisp fall day. It’s a snug fit so I wanted to make sure I balanced it out with a wider legged pant. I’ve tried layering it with a button-down before, but it’s definitely better without the bulk.

Jeans: Seven for All Mankind – This cut is called the Dojo. They don’t come in petite, so I took them to the tailor and she managed to shorten them without losing too much of the wide leg. This might be old news, but when having your jeans shortened I highly recommend having them reattach them hem (as opposed to creating a new hem and losing the thicker edge) because it keeps the same finished look the jeans had when you bought them.

Jacket: Gap - Leather moto jackets are super popular right not, but this is a style that I have never abandoned. This Gap jacket was stiffer than a 1950's cocktail when I first bought it over 5 years ago (which is probably why is was on such a steep discount, I paid less than $100), but I knew that I would eventually break it in and it would be worth it when I did. The leather jacket and the jean jacket are equally essential and timeless, I just prefer the former for my style.

Scarf: American Eagle – This is the first infinity scarf that I have ever purchased and I like it, but I don’t love it. It sort of reminds me of a beard because, if you’re a messy eater like me, any food that drops from your mouth gets caught in it (T.M.I.?). Maybe if I stop eating like a savage who hasn’t seen food in a month I won’t have this problem.

Belt:
Vince – Belts were never my thing, so when I spent $80 on this one I definitely considered it a splurge. It’s adjustable and it’s a leather/cotton combo and I really bought it because it reminded me of my dad’s uniform belts from when he was in the navy (which I later stole and wore with my “skater” clothes in junior high). Now I wear it all the time.

Shoes: Vince Camuto – I bought these crackled metallic wedges on sale from Piperlime for a wedding at a vineyard (lest I aerate the lawn). They are extremely comfortable and a great height, but I almost didn’t get them because of the brand (see my bizarre issues with Vince Camuto here). Thankfully I was able to look past their poor marketing and put these great shoes into rotation.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rant: Who Is Vince Camuto?


Inside the lid of a Vince Camuto shoebox that houses my metallic wedges.

The Vince Camuto brand baffles me. Many times I have been in a department store and wandered over to a display of classic shoes, bags or watches with edgy details that catch my eye, but every time I see the Vince Camuto label my feelings are suddenly neutralized.

As a consumer who is overly interested in brand identity I cannot get a read on Vince Camuto. If I had to do that old marketing exercise, “If Vince Camuto were a person,” I could not tell you what kind of car he drives or where he shops and I certainly couldn’t tell you how old he is. 

In a retail setting I can never tell where this brand falls in the pecking order of other brands in the respective departments. Should their bags be on the shelf with Betsey Johnson and Nine West? Or featured on a pad like MICHAEL Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs? The price point suggests the latter; perhaps they should change the name to VINCE [by] Vince Camuto?
They must be a lifestyle brand because they offer a full range of products that can cover men and women alike from head to toe – including scent.

A quick look at their corporate website showed me that Camuto group owns several brands that I love. Interestingly enough half of the brands have a very clear brand identity (Tory Burch, BCBG MAXAZRIA, BCBG GENERATION, and Lucky) and the others lack that same thing (Jessica Simpson, Sanctuary, Arturo Chang and, of course, Vince Camuto).

I like the diverse offering of Vince Camuto’s products; there are stylish satchels for your mom, biker boots for your cool aunt and funky over-sized watches for your on trend little sister. I even own a pair of their shoes, but I wonder if the brand is cohesive enough to survive when the customer has no idea who they are trying to be.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Outfit Post: Feeling '50's


The weather pretty much everywhere has been crazy lately so when I woke up to see that temps would be in the 80’s last Friday I decided to bust out a skirt. This skirt actually almost went out with the consignment items because I can never decided what to wear it with (I have a seriously problem with wanting things to match), but V encouraged me to hang onto it. 

One of my steadfast rules is: when in doubt, go with a plain white tee. The shoes and necklace are how this outfit really came together for me (back to that compulsion to coordinate) and now I kind of love it. Well played, V, well played.



Here's the outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Theory – I own far too many white t-shirts and yet I feel like I never have enough. I’d never thought of wearing this one tucked in before because it has a high-low hem and button details along either side in the back, but it’s suddenly much more versatile in my mind.

Skirt: Club Monaco – This skirt is almost a decade old. I bought it when I got my first job out of college thinking that it was a great “business casual” piece and I totally planned on wearing it with a very structured “shell” with a portrait neckline from Ann Taylor LOFT. My how things change…

Necklace: Old Navy – Up until a few months ago I didn’t even realize that Old Navy sold jewelry. Then my sister’s friend Melissa showed up to a family function wearing a pretty peach statement necklace and I knew my jewelry armoire was destined to get much more crowded.

Belt:
Anthropologie – To be honest, this skirt is too big in the waist. If I take the belt off it drops to my hips and looks kind of terrible (very Oz, behind the curtain info here, I know). While this belt does not match as well as I would like it too (who knew this matching thing was so crippling), I think it certainly goes. Just, please, don’t tell me that I can “pull it off”/”get away” with it because that drives me nuts.

Shoes: Cole Haan – I have always loved the look of an oxford, but the last time I remember them being in I was wearing bowling shirts and very pronounced pinstripes (Junior High fashion in the 90’s, what can I say?). Needless to say, I am a much bigger fan of the current interpretation. Wearing these oxfords with a circle skirt or pleated cropped pants (yes, pleated, I have narrow hips, it's allowed) makes me feel like a young Hayley Mills.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Well, Sinead O’Rebellion. Shock me, Shock me, Shock Me with that Deviant Behavior!



This morning I read Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus and it made my day.

A little back story: apparently Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You” video was the inspiration for “Wrecking Ball,” but a tight face-shot of a singer belting out their track does not the same video make. Sinead’s shaved head is closer to our beloved Brit-Brit’s 2007 ‘do than it is to Miley’s fashion-forward coif and Sinead wears a black turtleneck, which is pretty much the exact opposite of a topless Miley. All of that aside, it has been argued that the “Nothing Compares to You” video is iconic and “Wrecking Ball” doesn’t come anywhere near that kind of status. Also, has anyone spoken to John Mayberry about this? Because I’d love to know how he feels about being the equivalent to super-creep Terry Richardson in this scenario, but I digress…

After Miley made the comparison in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, various media outlets started approaching O’Connor asking her thoughts on the subject. Sinead responded with this open letter to the young singer (I tried to post a link to O’Connor’s website, but the section where the letter is posted has been shut down due to high traffic). Now, this is a woman who shaved her head to desexualize herself and later ripped up a picture of the Pope to protest the Catholic Church’s silence on child abuse during a performance on Saturday Night Live, did Miley really think she was just going to let that comment slide? This chick eats controversy for breakfast and then tells Hitler to throw more bacon on the fire.

After reading the letter and feeling all stoked that someone else gets it, I tweeted a link to it with the preface, “So this needed to be said…” and here’s why.

It's not that I care about Miley Cyrus as a person (LiLo is the only celeb I feel a connection that strong with – Bellmore-Merrick, baby!), but – and I am aware of how prudish this sounds – I do think that it's important to discuss the kind of image she's projecting to young women today. Miley Cyrus is 20 years old. Before her now infamous VMA performance I had been #TeamMiley. Her music is catchy (I dare you not to sing along when “Party in the USA” comes on, even when it’s just the instrumental part in Girl Talk’s “That’s Right”), her haircut is kickass (it’s like a cross between Kate Lanphear, Macklemore and Robyn) and, for awhile there, she really seemed to be coming into her own. I chalked her antics up to her age and being exposed to fame at such a young age.

And then she simultaneously sexualized and infantilized herself on stage at the 2013 VMA’s (an award show that I wasted hours of my life watching, thanks MTV). In the weeks that followed I have gone back and forth on whether I need to ignore it or take a stance and now I realize that I just wanted an adult to intervene (I also want an adult to say, “either stick that tongue in your mouth or I'm gonna cut it off,” but we’re coming from a place of love right now).

Enough is enough. You’ve crossed the line between having fun and finding yourself and now you’re just selling yourself and it’s not even to the highest bidder, so pull yourself together, girrrrrrrl.

Sinead’s words might fall on deaf ears (or tone-deaf, as the case may be. Did you hear that VMA performance in addition to seeing it? Rough.), but I think it’s important that another celebrity (as crazy as she may be) speaks out about Miley’s behavior. Young women should not think that rolling around naked in wreckage and licking a sledgehammer is how to be sexy. I know I can be a prude at times and, don’t get me wrong, if I had Miley’s body I’d be tempted to run around naked too, but this is just sending the wrong message. It’s not like I’m one of those people who think that video games lead to violence and I’m not simple enough to think that this video alone is the problem. I think this video is a symptom of problem with young women today and I think that Sinead O’Connor is voicing important concerns about that issue.

So, while I’m kind of sick of Miley, let’s have a discourse. Let’s talk about young girls posting pictures and videos of themselves on the internet, pictures that they can never get back, pictures that can become fodder for bullies and incentive for predators. Let’s talk about self image and self worth. Let’s talk about what a break-up does to your self esteem. Reach out to a younger person in your life. Thank a teacher or a social worker or a mentor anyone you know who helps young girls know that they are worth more, that they have value, that they can be funny and awkward and amazing and attractive without feeling the need to turn it into currency. Let’s take something negative and turn it into something positive because, quite honestly, I’d like to change the subject from twerking.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Second Time Around - Consign Me Up!

Shopping bags going out instead of coming into my apartment.
After months of procrastinating (okay, it’s been over a year) I finally put a few dozen items up for consignment. Dresses, bags, shoes, and separates, if they weren't my style (regardless of how good of a deal I got on them or whether or not they might someday make a great Halloween costume) out they went.

There are two consignment shops in my town, but one has so much inventory that you can't even see what they have and the other only takes appointments from 10AM-4PM on weekdays and, since I'm not a socialite, those hours don't work for me.

Instead I wound up bringing my items to the Huntington location of Second Time Around consignment. I found them one evening when I was early to meet a friend for dinner (When does that ever happen? Obviously this was fate intervening) and as I browsed I heard the sales girl very politely inform a young woman that they would not be taking the Louis Vuitton bag she had brought in because it was fake. This can be a touchy subject, but the salesgirl handled it in a kind, yet firm manner and I knew this was the kind of place I wanted to deal with.

In addition to their stellar customer service, which they've been providing for 40 years, they have 45 locations in 12 states, tons of press clippings and positive reviews online (for most locations, sorry, Forest Hills) so I feel like they are a reputable company. Plus, they were also featured on Bravo TV's Fashion Hunters. Sure, it was a 1-season-wonder, but it was on Bravo and I take that sh*t seriously.

This is how it works:

You'll need at least three pieces to start an account. STA allows you to either set up an appointment or drop your items off to be reviewed (you can also consign online, here's how, but be forewarned that the unwanted items are donated, not returned to the consignor).
Once they decide what they're going to take they research the items and mark them at approximately 30-40% of the original retail value and if the item sells the profit is a 60/40 split ("luxury" handbags are a 50/50 split). You can keep your earnings as a store credit (which entitles you to an additional 10% off) or request a check (checks under $100 must be picked up, but checks over $100 can be mailed to you) which is available on the 1st of the following month. If your items don't sell in 3 months you have 1 week to pick them up or they will be donated to charity.

Not content to just collect, I felt compelled to create a spreadsheet that would take what I originally paid for the item (because I'm crazy and I keep records of everything) and subtract what I make back to see if I can get out of the red and back in the black. While I’m not taking into account the old shopaholic Price Per Wear equation (cost of item/times worn), some items were gifts and others were sample sale finds, so I'm optimistic. Either way the items are doing more for me at STA than they were piled up in the corner of my apartment.
So far I've sold one item, a fringed black leather Kooba bracelet bag, and made $38. Five of the 36 items are AllSaints and the salesgirl informed me that they have a customer who comes in on the regular asking for the brand, so I'm just hoping that she and I are the same size. All in all I feel like I'm off to a strong start, but I'll still keep my fingers crossed that it keeps trending that way.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Outfit Post: Vampire Weekend

Friday night we went to see Vampire Weekend at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. We had a delicious dinner at Flatbush Farm and then headed over (way too early, we got there before the first of two opening acts went on) to the venue.

The Barclays Center is a nice enough venue (cleanest bathrooms I've ever seen), but I found all of the concessions to be extremely overpriced ($9.50 for a domestic draft? That better be super-sized), so I suggest you do the majority of your eating and drinking before you get there.

Vampire Weekend was clearly stoked to be there, but the effects on the new album didn't sound great on the sound system (any base whatsoever was crazy muffled like you blew a speaker in your '98 Honda Civic) and the stage was set like Scarface meets a Tommy Bahama ad (faux-marble columns, an over-sized mirror and a loud floral backdrop). Thankfully they placed "Diane Young" early in their set which made me very happy (if you haven't heard this infectious tune yet you can check out the delightfully bizarre music video here).

Here's the outfit breakdown:

Dress: Wyatt -  Bought this dress on Bluefly because it struck me as something Debbie Harry would wear. It has long sleeves, but it's lightweight so it's perfect for when you're in between seasons.

Belt: Linea Pele - This belt is a consignment shop find. My What Not to Wear education has taught me that a waist-cinching belt is essential in any wardrobe, so when I saw this one I scooped it right up.

Bag: Pietro Alessandro - This bag is from an online flash-sale (ideeli if I'm not mistaken). This bag is great not only because it's metallic and therefor versatile, but because it can also be a shoulder bag or a clutch or a cross-body. Foley & Corinna originated this style, but any incarnation you can get of it is a worthwhile investment.

Vest: J. Crew -  I have never been big on the jean jacket or the jean skirt; they were always items I bought because I thought you should have them, but this vest is just so fun and 80's and versatile that I had to have it. It adds just the right amount of warmth and I know I'll be wearing it year round.

Shoes: Cole Haan - Flat boots just feel so right in Brooklyn. This was the first time that I wore these boots; as per the salesgirl from the Cole Haan outlet I sprayed the sh*t out of these boots with leather protector and they came out of the concert unscathed.

Scarf: H&M - Chilly weather makes me happy because I love soup and cozy accessories and there are few accessories that I love as much as the scarf. H&M offers a great selection in a variety of colors and textures for about $12. Scarves keep you warm and complete your look; get used to seeing a lot of them here at KimboNotKimmy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

13.1 and Done!



This past Sunday I [finally] ran my first half marathon in Philadelphia. It was part of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series and I had a really positive experience. My goal was to start slow and finish strong and I accomplished that, crossing the finish line at 2H 41M.

The race was well organized and the bands (for the most part they had a band or a water/fuel station for every mile) and crowds along the race route did a great job of keeping us energized.

So here’s my takeaway:

Random signs are more motivational than you’d think: The race route was littered with people holding signs saying things like, “Go, random stranger, go!” or “Worst parade ever.” These signs kept me entertained and distracted and that is huge when you’re running for any length of time. I think my favorite sign was; “Run like there’s a hot guy in front of you and a creepy guy behind you.”

Anyone can be a runner: If you’ve ever thought about doing a race (of any length), but talked yourself out of it because you’re “not a runner,” I beg you to reconsider. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series draws people of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. As someone who, until her mid-twenties, had only ever gone to the gym to socialize I can tell you that as long as you keep going forward you are a runner and you can do this.

Take the Gu: Sure, Gu Energy Gel is basically the same as that weird gel candy you used to buy from the ice cream man, but it really does give you a nice little burst of energy. A random volunteer handed me a strawberry banana flavored Gu at mile 9 and, let me tell you, at that point it tasted like a delicious smoothie.

Don’t take the Gatorade*: This may seem counter-intuitive, but hear me out. For starts warm water > warm Gatorade. Also, the Gatorade at these races is made from the powder (something I actually forgot existed), so you have no idea how potent of a cup you’re going to get. If you must grab the Gatorade, then get a cup of water too so you can a) water it down or rinse your mouth if necessary b) wash off your hand from the stickiness of the Gatorade that sloshed out of the first cup. That stuff is nasty and it makes your sneakers sticky too. You’ve been warned.
*I love regular Gatorade on any given day, this advice is specific to this situation.

Your fellow runners can be quite amusing: I ran this race without headphones and my fellow runners were a great source of entertainment. There was a pair of older women discussing their husbands (one woman “gave in” to her husband on Friday night because she knew she’d want to get to bed early on Saturday, the night before the race), two young girls discussing the guys who were waiting for them at the finish (Girl #1: Matt and Jason are there. Girl #2: I’m going to date Matt. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to be my boyfriend. Let’s hope Matt’s a strong runner too), and a variety of people in interesting and entertaining outfits featuring everything from tutus to clever shirts to capes. If you’re bored or tired or loosing your mind, look around, distractions are everywhere.

Do You: Yes, I’m semi-quoting Jersey Shore cast members here, but seriously, you should run your race whatever way you live your life; for me, that means smiling and mugging for the course photographers. My sister took the picture at the top of the post right before I crossed the finish line and, as my friend Catherine pointed out, I had full jazz hands going. When I got the email with my race photos I laughed out loud and I know that when I look back at those same photos years from now I will have that same feeling of pride mixed with just the right amount of amusement.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Healthy Hair Helper

Image source: Kiehls.com

For the majority of my life my hair was straight and shiny, but I couldn’t leave well enough alone. It started with punky purple streaks, made by bleaching chunks of hair so the purple glaze would show, and progressed to the oh-so-popular ombre. Now, a year and a half of processing later, I’ve got some major dryness and breakage.

Enter Kiehl’s Heat-Protective Silk-Straightening Cream; I was introduced to this product years ago when my hair was healthy, but only experienced its full potential recently. A quarter-sized amount is perfect for my medium-length, medium-body hair. I recommend adding it after you towel dry, but before your hair gets to that almost-dry point because at that stage it can make it difficult to wield your brush.

You’ll see the difference the minute that first section of hair drops from your big, round brush; you hair will be smooth and shiny. I dare to say that, if used correctly, this product will give you a salon-quality blowout. At $17 it’s pricier than drug store finds, but it’s not going to break the bank and you only need a dollop, so the 5oz. tube lasts for quite awhile.

Bonus: It can also double as a finishing cream, just be careful not to use too much (I’m talking less than a dime-sized drop on shoulder-length or longer) on dry hair because your look can go from smooth to oil slick in a second.

If you live near a Kiehl’s retail store it’s worth it to buy direct; their sales people are really knowledgeable and they’re all about the free samples. If you order through their website try to wait until you need some other Kiehl’s products because orders over $50 qualify for 3 complimentary samples as well as free shipping (to help assuage the guilt of ordering $50+ of product, here’s a link to the charity work Kiehl’s does). Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and select local retailers also carry Kiehl’s products, so check their website for a retailer near you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Outfit Post: Last Call for White Y'all

Friday night we were heading out for a simple dinner at a rooftop restaurant in town. I've been seriously neglecting my heels lately and with just one weekend left in summer I decided it was time to bust out the white pants.

Here's the outfit breakdown:

Pants: Free People - Found these at a sample sale ages ago. Wide leg pants have come in and out of style, but in my later years I've become a believer that, regardless of what's 'in,' you should wear whatever style works for you.

Shirt: Gap - V-necks are my weakness. While I typically prefer Old Navy to The Gap, you just can't beat a Favorite Tee.

Belt: J. Crew Factory - It's hard to tell from this pic, but this is a gold fabric braided belt (which I cannot say without thinking of Cappie from ABC Family's Greek saying, "And also shame on guys who wear braided belts, they just give me the willies," but I digress). Metallic belts really are essential (here's a silver option in a similar style) and this one has completed more looks than I can count.

Bag: Kate Spade - This bag is from the outlets ages ago. It's small, but it fits the necessities: iPhone, "going out wallet" (which, in my case, is the Coach Wallet my sisters bought be for 8th grade graduation), keys and a lip gloss. Perfect for a night out.

Shoes: Marc Jacobs - Ah, my very first pair of designer shoes. I cannot speak to the quality of Marc Jacobs shoes in recent years, as this is the only pair that I own, but if this pair is any indication I say they're worth every penny. My amazing mother bought them for me at Century 21 almost ten years ago.  They've held up remarkably well and they've never even seen the inside of Augie's Shoe Service (if you don't have a skilled shoe repair shop on speed dial, get on it).

Necklace: Gorjana - Layering necklaces has been in for awhile now and the Gorjana website is one stop shopping for these sort of pieces. They host a decent amount of sales as well as offering deals through their facebook page and you can find their pieces on flash sale sites like Gilt and RueLaLa too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Poncho Perfection

Summer has never been my favorite season to shop for. No matter how peppy my personality may be, that doesn't mean I long for Lily Pulitzer sundresses paired with Jack Rogers sandals. On the contrary, my summer style generally consists of cutoffs and t-shirts. The higher the temps rise, the more I dread getting dressed.

When it comes to my summer wardrobe, the only thing worse than stifling heat is rain. You're dealing with someone who flips out when the shower curtain liner gets stuck to her leg for a hot second, so you can imagine how well I handle an entire outfit getting soaked through, but this summer I made a purchase that may have changed all that - I bought a poncho.

Ah, yes, the poncho, a garment which bares a striking resemblance to a garbage bag, in both appearance and feel, that was once relegated to tourists and the ill-prepared. One may even call it the fannypack of the outerwear category, but as with the Gucci Belt Bag, there are always exceptions. Enter my River Island polka dot hooded rain poncho:
A month or so ago I was channeling my inner Rihanna and shopping for crop tops on RiverIsland.com. I was pleasantly surprised at their selection and pricing, it's like an edgier Asos, so I continued to browse the site and that's when I came across this cuteness.

For a mere $26 you get an adorably patterned poncho (it also comes in camo) with a handy carry bag (the bag is attached so you don't even have to worry about losing it - bonus). Not only did it come in handy when the skies opened up at OSHEAGA music and arts festival, but I just wore it for the majority of a rainy weekend away in Williamsburg and, since I'm only 5'1", the length kept my tush dry on all of the rides at both Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion.

The fabric is light enough to keep you cool, but heavy enough to stay down. My outfits underneath always stayed dry and comfortable. I kind of wish that there were snaps or velcro on either side of the body to hold it in place a bit, but that would probably be more of a hassle than it's worth seeing as how the poncho gets the job done just fine without them. Bottom line: this poncho may be the perfect solution to my rainy day dilemma.

Added bonus: I got to constantly reference my fave Macklemore song, "Castle," in which he raps, "From England to Stockholm I'm wearing a cape it's like a poncho!" That didn't get old fast or anything, nah...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Great Debate: Can Rape Jokes Be Funny?

When I receive my daily Refinery29 email there's a 50/50 shot I'm going to read it (I blame the semi-new format where you have to scroll down to see anything besides the first highlighted article, very lazy of me, I know), but today I was really glad I did because when I got to the news section I clicked on a link for this article about comedians and rape jokes.

In the interest of full disclosure I would like to remind you that I do not particularly care for Jezebel. I think that many of their writers are the types of women who make me cringe at the word "feminist." That being said, I found the debate between Lindy West and Jim Norton to be funny, interesting and thought provoking.

Unfortunately, after the debate aired, Lindy received extremely negative, unintelligent and hurtful feedback which only showed how wrong Jim was when he claimed that most people in a comedy club know when someone is joking. He is simply giving the masses too much credit.

While it's nice to think that everyone who walks into a comedy show is smart enough to understand sarcasm and satire, and appreciate comedy as art, the truth is that that's often not the case. When I watch a stand-up set on YouTube or read the comments on one of Tosh.0's blog posts I am often astounded by how offensive people can be under the guise of humor.

It's my opinion that, when it comes to comedic skills and talent, the average individual is suffering from what I'm going to call the American Idol effect - they have friends who tell them that they are funny (or can't be bothered with telling them that they're not funny), therefore they must be funny and the rest of us must be subjected to whatever would be the comedic equivalent of being tone-deaf. These are the "trolls" who lurk in comment sections.

As a writer and a former ad/PR/marketing student, it has been burned into my brain that you must consider your audience. The internet makes this an especially difficult task, but I do think that there are ways to provide commentary on upsetting subjects (like what Jim Norton was saying about that Joan Rivers set #JoanRangers) without being entirely offensive.

There are certain subjects that just get my mind racing and this is definitely one of them. I'm sure that I'll be thinking of points for both sides of the debate in days to come and that is truly the best thing to come out of articles like this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Outfit Post: Brunch, My Favorite Meal of the Weekend

So this post is a bit delayed, but a few weeks ago I went to brunch in NYC. I was long overdue to catch up with one of my favorite friends and we finally pinned down a day and time. On a sunny Sunday there are few things I would rather do than meet a friend for brunch in the city. We found a great deal for a bottomless brunch on UrbanDaddy at a cute little Spanish place on the Upper West Side called Andanada. The Yelp reviews are mixed, but we were pleased with our experience. I highly recommend the Tortilla de Patatas (translation: Spanish omelet) and the white sangria. The staff was lovely and the garden in the back allows for beautiful natural light to drift into the space (although I don't think I'd want to sit directly in the sun as I'd imagine it gets pretty hot).

Anyways, I went for a roughed up preppy look. I'm basically a fan of all things J. Crew and Jenna Lyons and on a Sunday I just don't think there's a better way to dress. Here's the outfit breakdown:

Jeans: AG Adriano Goldschmied "Ex-Boyfriend Crop" cut - they are my go-to denim from the moment it's warm enough to bare my super-pale ankles.
Shirt: J. Crew - No one makes a better button-down for my tiny frame. No one. It's hard to tell my from terrible selfies, but the shirt is actually pink and white striped.
Belt: Hermes
Jacket: Black Gap moto jacket that I scored on sale ages ago.
Scarf: H&M.
Bag: Deux Luxe from a Gilt sale. They're bags are quality, lightweight and vegan to boot! I highly recommend.
Shoes: Matt Bernson black snake print leather 'Skimma' wedges - this was only the second time that I wore them and they're a tad small, so I wound up hobbling my way back to Penn Station; they are definitely going to need a trip to the shoe-maker to get stretched before I can wear them comfortably. They also have a low, slim wood wedge, which you can see better here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On Becoming That Person Who Always Talks about Fitness

Earlier today I read a great blog post by the fabulous Fit Chick in the City about being "That Person in a Fitness Class." She talks about how she is normally disapproving of people who don't do what the instructor is telling them to do, but due to an equipment issue in a spin class (it was a clip/pedal thang, for my fellow spinners out there) she had to modify her ride and stay in the saddle for the bulk of class.

This got me thinking about the fact that I too am now a different kind of "that person." As someone who has worked out sporadically, at best, throughout her life, it occurred to me recently that my latest fitness jag has really become a lifestyle change. Because it's been such a major shift, I am now "that person who talks about working out all the time."

Lately I catch myself telling anyone who will listen about my workout routine and the 1/2 marathon I signed up for (which isn't until September - my close friends may come to cheer me on just because they'll be so glad that it's over). When I meet new people I love hearing the about the different types of classes they've tried and how they manage to eat healthy (an area in which I still have a great deal of work to do). On Pinterest my "Working on My Fitness" board is easily my favorite. And I definitely get annoyed when I am taking a group fitness class and other participants are "doing their own thing."

Now I understand that one of the perks of living on Long Island is that I pay a measly $28/month for a gym membership that includes as many classes as I'd like to take. I also understand that one of the downsides to this is that some of these classes may be overcrowded (I've seen people arrive at spin class only to find that there are no bikes left; thankfully, I've never been one of them).

What I can't take are the Chatty Patties. These ladies seem to come in 2 forms:

The Instructor's Best-y: Some women choose to show how often they attend class not by their stellar form or amazing physique, but by how well they know the instructor. Kickboxing is not a time to chitchat (in my humble opinion, if you can breath well enough to do so, then you aren't working hard enough), so if you want to ask the instructor what she's up to this weekend, please hold your comments until after class. Since your such good friends I'm sure she won't mind sticking around to talk to you instead of getting home to her family. In last night's class the conversational actually devolved into a "I wish I had your thighs" style conversation - seriously? Inappropriate. This is not book club or wine night, this is the gym, you want her thighs? Shut up and do some more squats.

The Moan and Groaners: Group fitness classes can be hard because they do not target individual strengths and weaknesses; there will be moves that some people find easier than others and vice versa. When I take a class I try to take note of the areas in which I struggle (hello, glutes) and work on them at home - like extra credit! - so that I don't have to be a major struggles in class. Unfortunately, other women choose to vocalize their difficulties. A grunt or heavy breathing is semi-understandable, you gotta do what you gotta do to get through it, but you do not have to audibly complain to your gym buddy during class. It is rude and it makes me lose my focus. Please hold your comments until after class.

Part of me wonders if things are different at the fancy gyms. Lord knows that when I take SoulCycle classes, no one in there is messing around and talkers are seriously shunned (Woo-girls on the other hand abound). Perhaps, if I'm really going to get serious about my fitness, it's time to make like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan and Step Up.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Outfit Post: "Spring" Saturday Night

Spring in NYC can be really tough to dress for; one day it's 81 degrees and the next is mid-40's and raining. On this particular Saturday night the temps were definitely on the chillier side, but a girl can only take so many months of black opaque tights, so I went with black leggings instead.
While you can't see the back of my shirt in the pics, it does have a high-low hem, so I didn't break from my firm belief that "leggings are not pants." The aforementioned shirt is a recent purchase from Target and I love it because the quote is a reference to Belgian surrealist artist, René Magritte, who is also referenced in the amazing book I am currently reading called The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (seriously, I've laughed, I've cried, I've reread entire chapters just so I won't finish it because I'm enjoying it that much).

But I digress, we were going to a lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that I haven't been to since we made it a stop at a bachelorette party a few years back (my point being that this would probably not be a high fashion crowd), so I wanted to look fun and be comfortable. I'm a little obsessed with the intentionally visible black bra look - I blame early Madonna - and it really seemed to lend itself to this outfit without looking trashy.

The jacket/blazer is Zara (you can never go wrong with a tuxedo jacket, am I right?), the shoes Gucci (I swear I could run a mile in them and have definitely run for cabs and trains in them) and the earrings are from a little shop in my town. The only thing I would've changed is that I wore a shoulder bag instead of a cross body and, since I'm totally spoiled by the ease of the cross body, it irked me all night. Other than that? Spring outfit success.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#IRunForBoston

I have not always been a runner. Running became a part of my life when things were out of control and I desperately needed a healthy outlet for my thoughts, fears and frustrations. It may sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but running came to my rescue.

It's been about 5 years since I started running. Up until now I've only ever run a 5K (officially), but I recently signed up for my first half marathon which I will run in September. Like so many others out there I have created a fitness/motivation board on Pinterest for those days when I am struggling to get out the door.

There are countless images and sayings all over Pinterest, like "someone who is busier than you is running right now" or "the hardest step for a runner is the first step out the door," but in the wake of yesterday's tragedy one very specific pin came to mind:

"I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me."

So for those who lost their lives, for those who were injured yesterday, I run for you. What happened to you is unspeakable and nothing can take it back, but I hope that I can do my small part by running for you whenever I can. Whether it is a quick run on a Saturday morning or those 13.1 miles I plan to tackle in September I will think of you. I run for you and I run for Boston.
Words and prayers hardly seem like enough right now. We want answers, we want to know who is responsible and we want to help. An event like this can leave us feeling powerless, especially for those of us not geographically close enough to lend immediate assistance. I found this link with ways to help via Joseph Gordon Levitt's Twitter feed: http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/15/boston-marathon-explosion-how-you-can-help And in the meantime, let us all make an honest attempt to be kinder to one another.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SoulCycle Goes Gaga

Some people love a parade, but me? I love a theme. So when my local SoulCycle posted that instructor Nick S. would be doing a Lady Gaga themed ride I was all about it. Nick S. is tough and definitely more "city" than the other Long Island SC instructors (translation: he curses and talks about rewarding yourself with cocktails post-class), but I enjoy that about him. Besides, it didn't really matter who was teaching it because I will go just about anywhere if it means I can dress up in costume.

Most of Lady Gaga's stage outfits don't exactly translate to the gym (her raw meat dress would probably cook in the heat of a normal SoulCycle class), so I decided to go Gaga-esque instead with a tomato red, studded motorcycle jacket (this was left in my locker during the ride), a black tank, black footless tights and -- the pièce de résistance -- a pair of silver spangled hot pants (side note on these: I bought them at an Urban Outfitters in London for about 10 pounds and everyone asked 'when are you ever going to wear those?' Really? Do you know me, my friends? I also wore them as part of a circus ringleader costume a la Britney a few years back.).


When I first walked in it was kind of like that scene in Legally Blonde where Elle walks into the non-costume party dressed as a Playboy Bunny, but only because everyone else was dressed in their usual mix of Soul-branded apparel and LuluLemon. Thankfully, anyone who acknowledge my sparkly hot pants took a moment to compliment my nod to the theme (including Nick S., naturally I did an internal *woot, woot* when this happened, despite the fact that it was the big push most instructors do to challenge you right before you switch to arms).

The ride was great. My favorite thing about SoulCycle is the great lengths they go to to coordinate the movement to the play list, so the theme just kicks it up a notch (provided that you like the artist). "Marry the Night," "Born This Way," and, my personal favorite, "You and I" were all included and Nick S. even managed to slip in a Gaga song I wasn't familiar with - well played, sir.

The crowd at the Roslyn SoulCycle can be a little standoffish at times, but everyone checked their egos at the door for this ride and I loved it! Guys, girls, 15 year-old North Shore girls riding courtesy of their ridiculous allowances, we were all one in the light of the grapefruit-scented candles.

Nick S. was fantastic -- not only did he instruct a kick-butt class, as per usual, but he showed up all Gaga-ed out in a blonde wig, over-sized sunglasses, patterned sports bra and crops, topped with a denim vest emblazoned with "Born This Way" on the back. Bravo, Nick S., bravo.

Bottom line: if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend checking out a theme ride at a SoulCycle near you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

That Sh*t Ain't Right

A former friend used to say this frequently. It applied to so many different situations, whether it was a bleach-blonde pot-slut passing out in a tube top and pajama pants in a common area of the dorm or a guy one of our friends had made out with who gave her the head drop instead of a hello, it was always the perfect statement to sum up when an outfit or an action just ain't right. So without further ado I bring to you the newest segment of KimboNotKimmy, "That Sh*t Ain't Right."

This morning at hot yoga the girl in front of me was wearing a tube top. Personally, I believe that the type of woman who wears a strapless top to work out is the same type of person who wears her underwear to the beach because "it's basically the same thing" as a bathing suit. It's not like I was decked out in LuluLemon H2T, but my souvenir t-shirt from Hawaii and Adidas crops are way more functional than a shirt with no straps in this situation.

In addition to her inappropriate attire she also repeatedly hit my feet with her hands during stretches. Yes, I am new to yoga and the room was crowded, but if my feet are down first, isn't the proper etiquette to reposition your hands, not swat at my feet like a bunch of gnats? Just sayin'...

...that sh*t ain't right.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot - Yoga!

My new gym buddy, and old friend, Stephanie convinced me to try hot ashtanga vinyasa yoga at Fuel the Soul on Long Island.

Side note: I really need to find an exercise class that lets me keep my blowout (shout-out to Laura, author of werkitinnyc, for making this a regular heading in her blog posts). So far body sculpt is the least sweaty workout I've had and only because I didn't pair it with kickboxing. 

So back to yoga - I really liked the studio; apparently their practice differs in that they use "far infrared heat" which is supposedly more sanitary and has all these benefits in the way it heats your body from within like they do with babies in the NICU. Infrared heat transfer heat to your body instead of heating the air, so it's also good for people with respiratory problems (this coming from a girl who usually gets a bronchitis/upper respiratory infection combo annually). I have never taken hot yoga (I've actually only taken 1 yoga class ever and it was for beginners and it was at least 2 years ago), so I can't say how this method of heating compares to the traditional way, but I liked it because my muscles felt extremely relaxed (since Sunday I'd taken a 6 mile run and gone to spin and sculpt classes, so I was a little toight) and the increased sweat factor made me feel like I was getting a "real" workout in.

As a yoga newbie a lot of the terms are Greek to me, but I followed the crowd and caught on pretty quickly. The focus in Vinyasa is breathing; you're supposed to sync your movements with your breath. This works great for me because, as silly as it sounds, I often forget to breath when I'm working out. I get so caught up in the combinations and being in sync with everyone else, that I forget to focus on what I'm doing.

The only negative that I could really come up with was that it was slightly maddening to lay there for what felt like 20 minutes in the cool down period (it was probably 5, but I have workout ADD). The studio offering an inversion master class this weekend and of course I'm annoyed because I think inversions are awesome, but it's only recommended for people who have idea of what they're doing. Boo.

Bottom line: Apparently it was an intermediate level class and Gary, the owner/instructor, said I did well, since I'm a sucker for a compliment, I bought a one month unlimited pass for $49.

Session Lessons:
  • Come equipped: Bring a towel and a mat (fitness places love to charge for the add on more than restaurants like the up-charge during Restaurant Week.
  • There is probably going to be someone less flexible than you. There is probably going to be someone much more flexible than you. Just concentrate on your breathing and MYOB, you'll be grateful you did when you don't lose your balance and fall over.
  • In hot yoga, the heat is your friend. A wise bootcamp instructor once told me that the best place to stretch is in the shower because the heat relaxes your muscles - the same goes for the heat in these classes, it allows you to get into your deepest poses.
  • And on a less serious note... it is inappropriate to laugh at the instructor when he mispronounces "envelope" or says "Yin Yong" instead of Yin Yang, so you're going to have to hold it in.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weighing in on the Street Style Debate

Garage magazine just came out with a documentary short about fashion bloggers and street style stars that has really lit a fire under the debate about their legitimacy and the rising trend of "peacocking" that goes on outside of Fashion Week shows (when you watch the video try not to laugh when Anna Dello Russo walks in sharp, repeated mini-circles while getting photographed by Tommy Ton - I just keep picturing her head on a peacock's body, it's a gif begging to be made).

While I think that street style started in a genuine place, I have to agree with Tim Blanks that it has definitely created some "monsters." I was on Instagram the other day and Rebecca Minkoff had posted yet another picture of Leandra Medine, a.k.a. "ManRepeller" and people were sounding off in the comments:

@priscillamanon: I saw that exact coat at my local thrift store!
@stylephotos: Lord no
@breroz: I thought this was a homeless person at first!

After those 3 consecutive comments Leandra herself wrote back "you guys are really, really mean." Listen, if you're going to get famous off of the public, then you can't get mad at them when they don't like something you do. Fashion is a critical industry and if you were able to become famous by taking the fast track then I think that it's only fair that you are subject to even more criticism than the normal designer/model. (Also, ManRepeller just published a book of essays, as a writer I find this as offensive as James Franco being published by Graywolf Press, but that's a different argument).

I used to really like Kelly Framel, aka The Glamourai. I remember stumbling across her blog and thinking, "that's cool, Silver from 90210 is doing a blog," until I realized that they were 2 different people. I liked the way Kelly styled her outfits and she seemed accessible. Now it's all professional photographs of her sipping Veuve Clicquot at sponsored events and I find myself rolling my eyes at times thinking, we get it, you're fabulous, your life is awesome, bully for you! I accept that the entire concept of blogging is always self-indulgent on some level, but I think there's a line that's crossed with the blogger becomes subject and is tooting their own horn louder than their readers.

Personally, I'm over this TMI culture - if Facebook and reality TV ceased to exist, I would be totally okay with that (I'm not willing to give up Twitter and Instagram just yet, but I do think they should start banning certain people from having an account -- ahem, Kim Kardashian). I have plenty of reality in my own life - give me fiction! Give me fantasy! If I'm going to get the truth I'm okay with getting it solely from experts who have the life experience and/or degrees to back their opinions!

If only everyone could be more like Ari Seth Cohen and the women of Advanced Style; I don't think there's a more genuine street style blog out there and those are the type of women I aspire to be, not these wannabe models who are the subject and purveyors of this kind of "street style."
 
Or maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have anyone to take pictures of me and all of my style shots are of the dreaded "selfie" variety (see below).

Rant over.

Bloggers note: Shout out to Atlantic-Pacific and Extra Petite for keeping their personal style blogs accessible and helpful. Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific is great about showing readers how to rewear an item in a completely different way and she also lets readers know when an item she features in an outfit is older, but offers suggestions on where to buy similar items in the current season. Jean of Extra Petite is all about sharing helpful hints about everything from tailoring clothes for a petite frame to how prevent "pitting out," as my sisters and I would say. While neither blogger is exactly revolutionary, they have the type of fun, feminine, put-together and timeless style that I admire.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gym Buddies

When I first got into working out a couple of years ago I started by running, not to lose weight or build stamina, but because it helped me to clear my head. Okay, full disclosure? I started running because a guy I liked was a runner, but once I realized that it made me feel great and allowed for even more thinking time than the shower, I was hooked.

To me, running is a solo sport. If you can manage to chitchat then you are not working hard enough (or you're just jogging like you're in an 80's movie -- is it just me or were there lots of movies set in NYC that featured people jogging in Central Park?). After my first season as a new runner the cold forced me to join a gym (I actually just became the hardcore runner type who will actually layer up and still run outside when it's cold out -- I know, wonders never cease) and, while this may be contrary to logical thinking, I found that the group fitness classes were the best way to avoid socializing at the gym (I live on Long Island, meatheads love to chill by the free weights).

As I got more comfortable and confident in my workouts I started to socialize in classes and now when I see people from the gym around town (translation: at my hair salon) I am totally that annoying person who's all like, "spin on Mondays, right?"

From time to time people I am actually friends with will mention that they go to the same gym as me and from there the same barrage of questions ensues: when do you go? what classes do you take? what instructors do you like? Once or twice I've attempted to make actual plans to meet someone (ahem, Liz), but up until last night it hadn't worked out (no pun intended, but I did laugh).

I was all set up on my spin bike -- with a fellow salon goer to my left -- when in walked my friend, and former study abroad roommate, Stephanie. I haven't been excited to see someone at the gym since college when I used to go with the sole purpose of "running into" people. It was great! We chatted for a few minutes before and after class, but didn't bug eachother in between and now tonight we're going to body sculpt. Both self-proclaimed fashionistas, I find it hysterical that we both rock old tees and sweats* to workout (despite my scores at the LuluLemon sale I'm still not getting rid of my old bar t-shirts). With so much in common, I'm finally seeing the motivational factor of having a gym buddy (those wonders, they're relentless).

Now wish me luck that I don't hurt myself at the first sculpt class I've been to in over a year - fingers crossed!

*Steph and I now work out together regularly, so I have learned that she is actually a total LuluLemon adorable workout gear person. I still generally look like 12 year-old going to softball practice.