Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Hairstyle #1: Fishtail Braid

I'm kind of ridiculous when it comes to my hair. I'm religious about washing it every. single. night. (and spare me the lecture on how that dries out my hair) and then blow it out. I've perfected my blowout and have gotten it down to thirty minutes of less (regardless of what my roommate or other friends will tell you). But during the summer I wonder what's the point? Since my routine does take so long, and I'm far from a morning person, I'm forced to do it at night. So if my hair survives my nights of tossing it lasts all of 10 minutes until I walk outside into the wall of humidity. 

Even though I can only recall one day in which I went to work with my hair only partially natural, I think it's important to have some cute hairstyles in your arsenal for when it's just too hot to wear your hear down. 

My first go-to is a fishtail braid. For the longest time I was too intimidated to even attempt to learn, but after watching my friends do it so effortlessly I was determined to try. I watched a few videos on youtube and finally got the hang of it. 

Like with all braiding, semi-wet hair is optimal because it helps the hair stay in place, but as you can see from my tutorial, it isn't imperative. 

First start with a low ponytail. 

Separate the ponytail into two equal sections. 

Take one strand from side one (in my case, the left) and move it over to side two. 

Repeat this step on side two. 

Continue until you reach the bottom of your hair. Secure with an elastic and remove the initial hair tie. 

In case my photos are confusing, check out Lauren Conrad's video below: 

Do you rock the fishtail braid? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

City Spots: Breakfast at Bendel's

Audrey had Tiffany's and I have Bendel's.

I have decided to do a little ongoing series, about some of my favorite spots in the city and I absolutely couldn't think of a more appropriate place to begin. Henri Bendel's is located on 56th and 5th Ave. and is seriously my mecca. One of my favorite lines from Breakfast at Tiffany's is "The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of…Well when I get that feeling the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. The quietness and the proud look of it, nothing very bad could ever happen to you there". That's exactly how I feel about Bendel's. Even when I would come to the city to visit friends I would always carve out time to stop in. I can't really articulate exactly what it is about this particular department store, as opposed to the countless other gems here, but there is something so welcoming and comforting about Bendel's. I could spend hours and hours looking at their gorgeous jewelry and accessory collections. (Even though, I still do long for the days when they sold clothing).

This past weekend my wonderful Momma came to visit and after spending way too much time in the heaven that is Bergdorf's we popped in Bendel's. We were simultaneously met with some fantastic
and tragic news. Bendel's is closing their second floor and getting rid of all their third party merchandise (but in an effort to move their inventory they were offering 70% off). I know it sounds silly but it really makes me sad, Bendel's is the place I go if I ever feel home sick, or if I'm having a bad day, or just want to fill a lazy afternoon. Not to mention the fact that it was my go-to for unique jewelry. It was one of the first places that made me fall in love with New York when I was a little girl so to see it change is a little upsetting. 

I am excited for their new, purely Henri Bendel merchandise, phase. But I will miss having a place to scour for one-of-a-kind (esque) pieces. 

Where's your all time favorite place in Manhattan? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apartment Inspiration

If you live in New York you're aware of the countless, unique living conditions most twenty-something's are inhabiting. If you don't, allow me to introduce you to a world of "partial walls", "converted one-bedrooms" and "half-fridges". In Manhattan real estate you're generally forced to sacrifice one thing for another, whether it be location, space, or cost. I've come to realize that in this city you'll be hard pressed to find an apartment that doesn't have at least one downside.

In my case, I live in the living room. To most people, this would see insanely odd, and to be honest it's not ideal, but it's not unusual in the city.

When decorating my room, I approached it as if I were living in a studio apartment. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an apartment that was almost identical to mine! (She and I even have almost identical bedding from Serena & Lily!)

After finding the initial image on Pinterest, I was blown away by the rest of her apartment tour. This studio continue to provide me with countless inspiration.

Slowly, but surely my apartment is coming together. I know they say the journey is the destination but the Type A person inside me wants everything exactly perfect right now. But I am trying to enjoy the decorating process and finding treasures that are special to me. 

First up on my list is finally hanging my Gray Malin photograph above my bed 
and framing it with these sconces. 

I'm obsessed with Lauren's apartment and have found countless sources of inspiration for my own space from her beautiful studio. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Transition Pieces

Whether I like it or not, fall is rapidly approaching. I'm still not entirely sure how that happened since I'm pretty sure the summer just started but nevertheless stores insist on bombarding me with their fall lines. Normally I'm so excited to for the impending chilly days since fall is my favorite season but I'm no fool, I know winter is chomping on the heels of fall and I can still feel those bone chilling temps from last year. But since mother nature doesn't want to listen to me, it looks like I have to accept the inevitable. 

The bright side? There are some seriously cute clothes out for fall. Since my internal battle rages on, half of my brain is dying to buy these pieces but it's still so warm out. Luckily there are some great transition pieces that you can wear now, and layer later, that will carry you right into fall. Here are my favorites. 

Military Shirtdress: Olive has to be my absolute favorite color at the moment, it looks great with the tan skin of summer but is versatile enough to carry you all the way through the fall. This dress is perfect for right now but would look amazing with a chambray shirt and riding boots. 

Mixed Media Sweater: Normally sweaters tend to scream cooler weather but I'm a big fan of pairing them with shorts or white jeans for the summer. I think this sweater might be my favorite fall piece by far. How adorable is the blue and white stripe detail in the back??

Colorblock Stripe Tee: T-shirts are nice and versatile because they pair so easily with jeans and when it gets a little chillier they are perfect under a cardigan. The stripes give a nautical feel while the colors will also work well into October. 

Toothpick Jean (Railroad Wash): I feel like from October on all I wear are dark denim jeans and it gets tired very quickly. So this year I made a promise to myself to mix it up a little more, lest I die of boredom before December, and these pants would be the perfect solution. The grey wash is light enough that they would work now with a white peasant top, but could also look fab with a oatmeal or black sweater, down the road. 

Gingham Utility Shirt: Navy and white are the perfect summer combo, but it's often too hot in the city to wear long sleeves in the summer. This shirt would look great in September with white jeans and wedges (break with convention- ignore the post labor day rules!) and eventually under a blazer. 

C.Wonder Skinny Jeans: I tried this on this past weekend and have definitely added them to my fall wish list. These would look adorable with a striped-tee now and with a sweater later.

Sumatra Dress: I'm so in love with this dress. It's perfect for right now but paired with a black cardigan and ballet flats it would take you well into the fall. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Two years ago I fell in love with these custom made sandals while they were  doing a collaboration with Henri Bandel's and I've waited two years to find out who makes them and this past weekend they returned! 

 I read about this line on a few other blogs and had to go check it out this past sunday. Let's just say I went on a bit of a shopping spree. They're perfect basics and the softest fabrics! Check out my purchases (and future purchases) 
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Happy Birthday to the future king!

I need this in my closet 

Avocado Egg Salad 

I need these in both colors 

What's on your radar this week? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guilty Pleasures

I have a lot of SSBs (if you can catch that reference I applaud you and we need to be best friends). SSB, as defined by Sex and the City is Secret Single Behavior, or basically all of those crazy indulgences that can be kind of embarrassing. 

Here are five of my guilty pleasures: 
Guilty Pleasures

1. Pandora 90's Radio: Think circa Jewel You Were Meant for Me. It makes me long for a Rachel haircut and Dawson's Creek marathon

2. Weekly Manicure: It may seem like a dumb expense but I just feel so much more polished having my nails polished (get it).

3. Fresh Flowers: I make it a point of purchase fresh flowers every week. It adds a little life to any room

4. Pad Thai: I may or may not order this several times a week. My favorite thing to do is turn on Real Housewives of New York, make a really good drink, and enjoy my favorite dish. Life doesn't get much better than that.

5. Netflix: This is hardly a unique guilty pleasure, everyone and their mother is addicted to Netflix, but I literally could not live without it.

What are some of your guilty pleasures? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

4th of July Recap

Last week hit this girl like a ton of bricks. Mondays are particularly rough after a week at the beach (and when the high is slated to be 90 degrees you wonder why you even bothered to get out of bed). But I powered through and the week actually managed to go by rather quickly. But I'm still longing for the cool breeze of the ocean and having my feet in the sand, August can't get here fast enough. 

I spent the 4th of July, and the following week after in the Hamptons. It was without a doubt the most relaxing week ever! 

The mains street of Southampton was lined with American Flags 

How Americana is this Brooks Brothers window display? 

The weather was literally perfect every. single. day. (except the actual 4th)

I got lots of extra pool time and checked a few books off the reading list. 

Had the most glorious early morning runs 

I'm ready to go back any time...

How did you spend the 4th? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

June Book Review

For awhile I felt like I was in a reading rut. There were very few new releases that peaked my interest and there was nothing left on my "to-read" list that jumped out at me. But with summer comes new books so now I'm voraciously reading to get to all of them!

I was all set to read This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (if you haven't seen the trailer for the movie yet, check it out- it looks hilarious!) when I stumbled upon The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. I remember reading her essay, by the same name, last year and was so amazed at how well she summarized the uncertainty college graduates feel and the daunting task of starting the life you actually want to lead . Marina wrote the essay for The Yale Daily News as her parting piece in 2012, when graduated magma cum laude. Keegan was already an extremely accomplished young woman, having written a play that was in production at the New York International Fringe Festival and securing a job at The New Yorker, when her life was tragically cut short a week after graduation.

After her death her family decided to create an anthology of her work to share. I'm not usually a fan on short stories, but her writing is so captivating you don't want to stop reading. However, the most amazing part was the compilation of her nonfiction essays. She truly had a gift. It's a quick and easy read and is the perfect thing to pick up and put Dow , or read simultaneously with another book. It will definitely leave a lasting impact.

This Is Where I Leave You got pushed even further down my list (I'm reading it now and am obsessed) when I saw a Goodreads Suggestion for If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I initially saw that this was being made into a movie as well and thought the premise was so interesting that I had to read it. The story revolves around Mia, a high school senior who has just recently been accepted into Juilliard, and the decision she is forced to make after she, along with her entire family, get into a terrible car accident. Mia's family is killed on impact, while Mia's body is rushed to shock trauma, all the while Mia's soul (for lack of a better explanation) is trapped in a sort of limbo state watching the events transpire. Eventually Mia learns that it is up to her whether she chooses to live out her dreams and be with her first true love, or die and remain with her family. I think this book is technically a "young adult" novel, it's incredibly short, but it's well writen and so interesting. There is also a sequel.   If you're looking for a quick, easy read, this is a great option.
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