Summer Bummer

Now that Labor Day has rolled around, it is officially the end of the summer. No more beach days, daily ice cream cones, runs along the ocean, or endless lobster rolls. It is time that reality rolls back into our lives.

While I have spent my summer interning 5 days a week as well as working most nights, summer still felt like a time of relaxation and winding down. Responsibilities seem a little less apparent when the sun is shining bright and the salty breeze is blowing through your hair.

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Being a Gemini, with two very different personalities, my simple side tends to come out in the summer while my hustling city slicker personality tends to shy away for the time being. That being said, my summer involved lots of yoga, reading, and enjoying the beauties that nature had to offer me.

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I am a firm believer that we all need to take some time to step back and re-evaluate our goals and what we are working towards. Summer is the perfect time to do this. It allows you to clear your head of the stress and worries and to focus on what really matters. Clearing your mind allows you to step into the back-to-school season with crystal clear intentions of what you really wish to accomplish in the next year.

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Working this summer taught me exactly what I need out of my future career once I graduate college in the spring. It taught me the type of people, environment, and work itself that I value in a career. However, more importantly, spending the summer with my family by the beach taught me an even more important lesson; life is short.

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Life is very short. Whatever your biggest worry is today, there are much more meaningful things to worry about. Your little worries mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. If you want to go out with your friends one night when you have work early in the morning, go out. If you want to wear your favorite kimono that is way too dressy for the beach, wear it. If you have to drive 4 hours in one day just to say hi to your grandparents, do it.

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Do what you will end up remembering years from now. The lasting memories that certain choices shape for you are worth the sacrifice. So stop stressing the littlest of worries and easiest of decisions and live your life to its fullest capacity.

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After all, life is short, and so is summer.

What important lesson did you learn this summer? Leave me a comment below! If you enjoyed this post be sure to read my reflection of last summer, And the Summertime Sadness Sets In…. For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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The Power of a Place

We all know the feeling. The feeling of nostalgia. The feeling of all of your memories flooding back. The feeling as if you never even left. All of these feelings are part of visiting a place that holds such an important place in your memory.

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There are many places that remind me of memories from my childhood. My beach house. The bedroom from my teenage years. My grandparent’s house. All of these places instantly bring me back to when I was 12 years old and running around outside, barefoot, my biggest concern being what flavor of ice cream I would consume that night. Whenever I visit here I quickly forget the responsibilities of adulthood and feel as if I have no worries in the world.

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Why do places have this effect on the human brain? According to Nautilus (my new favorite publication, might I add), we actually seem to replace all of our childhood memories in order to make room for new ones that form during adulthood. However, these scrambled memories are brought into consciousness when stimulated with certain scents, words, or places. So, as it turns out, our favorite places act as a source of stimulation to recover our repressed memories that we may not think about on a daily basis.

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This beautiful lake is where many of my fondest childhood memories were made. Ones that I hope to always cherish and never forget. Being by the lake makes me feel as if just yesterday I was canoeing and catching fish off of the dock with my pop-pop.

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While much has changed since then, including my sense of style, I will always feel like a young, happy preteen by that lake. I am also happy to say that my style has upgraded from those days. My daily uniform back then may or may not have included an old basketball camp t-shirt and colorful, mesh shorts from Limited Too.

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If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited a place that reminds you of all the amazing memories that molded you into the individual you are today, then what are you waiting for? Go out there and relive the happiness a younger you once experienced. Trust me, it will refresh your outlook on how you are living as an adult.

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So tell me, what is your favorite place that brings all of your most cherished memories flooding back? What place is the most powerful to you?

For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post in particular, check out The Sunshine Effect.

Independence//Dependence

Independence. It is something we all aim to possess and incorporate into our daily life. It is also something each of us interprets differently depending on our own circumstances. For some independence means being able to afford rent without the help from one’s parents, and for others it means being perfectly content in one’s own company. Who are we to judge whether someone should be independent or dependent?

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I have always been independent in my own interests and style. I pride myself in the fact that I dress the way I want and do what I want without the opinions of other’s affecting me. I mean it is pretty necessary to not care what others think when you are out on the streets of London with a photographer who has a camera with a two-foot-long lens pointing at you…

Although I am very independent in most aspects, I depend on my family and friends for love, support, and some good laughs. Without them I would not have turned into the person I am today.

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It is weird to think about your own style as being independent or dependent, as if it were a person itself. However, one’s style is truly dependent on this concept. You either dress the way you want because YOU like it or you dress that way because SOCIETY likes it. Or in a fashionista’s case, the way the fashion industry likes it.

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Trends like yellow-tinted sunglasses and fishnet tights are completely dependent on the opinions of the fashion industry. Even I can’t admit that I made those style choices simply because I liked the style and wanted to wear it; I tried them because they were on-trend and worn by some of my favorite bloggers.

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Just like our own personalities, I believe it is essential that our individual style is comprised of both independent and dependent pieces. Us humans need to be somewhat dependent on others in order to form meaningful relationships in our lives. We also need these relationships to expand our own outlook on life and grow as individuals. Our style works the same way in that without trying “trends” we don’t know what we like/dislike and what looks good/bad on our bodies.

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In this look I was inspired by the off-the-shoulder trend currently circulating throughout the fashion world. However, I made it my own by adding my favorite black boots and a jeweled bag I found at a local market in London.

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Whether it is with your clothes, personal goals, or hobbies, don’t be afraid to look to others for their thoughts and opinions. We often condemn people who depend too much on the opinions of others; but sharing ideas is necessary to grow into your own form of independence.

See more street style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post, check out Too New York for London- a Lookbook.

Photos by Colton.

The Sunshine Effect

It is officially that time of year again. Long days and even longer nights. Hot, grainy sand in-between your toes. Melting ice cream cones. The sound of crickets. The little glowing specks of lightening bugs flying through the night sky. And most importantly, the warmth of the sunshine beating down on your skin.

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I am someone who has always been drawn to the sun. Everything about the sun lifts my mood and brightens my day, literally. Its yellow color during the day and pinky orange hues at dusk are always a beautiful reminder to me of the power of life. The warmth is a constant reminder that I am alive and enjoying what life has to offer me. The sun is proof that every day is a new day and that we each have the power to make it special.

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For me summer is when the sun is the most prominent and radiating its full energy. It is in the summer that I find myself constantly laying outside, soaking in the rays. It is in the summer where my favorite activity is grabbing a lobster roll and heading to Cape May Pointe to watch the sun fall over the horizon. It is in the summer where I am full of life and happy from the simplest of things. The sun simply humbles me.

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The summer sun is something special. Go outside and observe its glow. Watch the sunset and admire the chemistry behind the colors in the sky. I assure you the sun will set and rise again, each day leaving you with a new appreciation of the life you’ve been given.

Shop my look: Denim Shorts by American Apparel, Gingham Top by Asos, Loafers by Asos, Bracelet by The Comfort Station, Earrings by Lovestylelife on EtsySee more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

See more life and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Too New York for London- A Lookbook

As my 5 month adventure in London comes to a close, I have been thinking, how have I adapted to the European culture? There are some little things that you pick up from being in a new country for so long, like calling eggplant aubergine, or the side that you walk up the stairs, but can a country really change someone’s core?

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I am a firm believer that I will always be a New York City girl (sorry London!). While I love London and would never hesitate to move here for a few years, New York City will always have my heart. After all, the city is written all over my outfit choices.

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My style has definitely changed a bit to fit the European persona, but it still remains very “American”. While every girl in London is sporting her culottes and trainers with socks, I continue to wear little flowy dresses and my leather jacket. And, after all, black clothing is a New Yorker’s second skin. I don’t think I will ever stray away from my all-black wardrobe no matter how much I attempt to add some colorful pieces to my closet.

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While my fashion sense has stayed relatively the same, I have definitely grown into a more mature woman while living in London. I have always considered myself a very independent person, going to events on my own and taking the awkward steps to meet new people. However, since being here, my independence has grown to a new level that I never knew it could. Being away from your friends and family, having absolutely no one familiar, is a scary thing that forces you to step completely out of your comfort zone. Independence is no longer a choice but a way of living.

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I am excited to bring this newfound independence back with me to the States (and my British lingo begins to show!). I have developed an appreciation for people in my life and just good people in general that I am confident will make me enjoy my life in New York City even more than I had before.

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When I return to New York City at the end of the month, I will always have a piece of London in me. You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

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See more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Photos by Colton.

Shoreditch Street Style

Shoreditch is the coolest place in London to live; I will take that statement with me to the grave. Being a fashion and art lover, the environment really spurs so much creativity. Every time you walk down the street you notice a new painting or music poster on the exposed brick buildings. There is constantly something that inspires me with a new idea.

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Maybe it’s just me being crazy, but I think I’ve gotten a lot cooler since moving to Shoreditch. The neighborhood openly accepts the most artsy form of yourself, which I love. I can where whatever I want to wear without being looked at twice (unless your outfit is just so cool it requires a few extra glances). Everyone is always expressing themselves and simply living their lives. If you have a new idea or a creative soul, this is the only place to pursue it.

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Staying true to my own style, I love to take business-like pieces and pair them with more eclectic, hip accessories. I took this rather fancy silk blouse and paired it with my new favorite Topshop jeans and Asos rose gold loafers. The cold and rainy weather clearly hasn’t stopped me from sporting my favorite pair of shoes.

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I have been wearing a lot more blue since being in London, and I can’t help but think if the weather is what is inspiring this new wardrobe change. It really is as gloomy as everyone says it is (although this was shot on a super sunny day, of course)! Luckily, living in Shoreditch, there is always a colorful art mural just around the corner to brighten my day.

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Fashion and art are two topics which can be interpreted in many different ways. We all see different things as forms of art and different styles as “fashion-forward”. Living in London has reinforced this viewpoint of mine more than ever. There are so many different parts of the city, each with different kinds of people, restaurants, and architectural styles. There truly is a neighborhood that is meant for everyone.

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I am lucky enough to live in the neighborhood that fits me the best. Shoreditch is for the so-called “hipsters”. Kensington is for the posh museum-goers. Camden is for the eclectic, edgy character. Westminster is for the tourists…

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The next time you are looking for a unique source of inspiration, explore a new area- whether it is a small street just a few minutes from you or a completely unknown neighborhood. You never know what you will find and how it will inspire you.

See more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Photos by Colton.

Burberry Makers House

This week only, Burberry is holding an exhibit which showcases their February 2017 collection that was shown at London Fashion Week on Monday. The exhibit is named “Henry Moore: Inspiration & Process at Makers House”, brought together in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation. The exhibit walks through the artwork, created by Henry Moore himself, and how it inspired this season’s collection.

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In addition to Moore’s artwork and Burberry’s latest collection, Burberry has also displayed their made-to-order couture cape collection. These capes are some of the most beautiful, detailed pieces I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. Each one is created from the most exquisite materials such as shells, feathers, plastic, rope, and beads.

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This grey cable knit sweater dress is a favorite of mine from the collection. I can just imagine myself wearing this with some knee-high black boots and a grey trench coat. A girl can dream, right!?

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Burberry Makers House production

Being a sewer, I loved experiencing the making of a huge fashion house’s runway collection. The exhibit laid out the fitting and tailoring process of each special piece in the collection. They even had a jacket displayed that still had the pins in it. Many people who aren’t familiar with designing clothes don’t understand all of the math and careful planning involved with each garment. This exhibit gives a deep insight into the process of designing and creating clothing.

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Henry Moore Burberry

This is one of Moore’s bronze sculptures which was the largest source of inspiration for the collection. Each sculpture is meant to represent a sense of security, which can be noticed throughout the clothes in the collection. You can also see how the geometric elements of this sculpture translate directly into the geometric elements of the clothes. This is seen most literally in the shoes paired with each look which have a cut-out round heel.

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Burberry February 2017

Here is a more literal interpretation of one of Moore’s art pieces. You can see that Christopher Bailey was inspired by the fluidity and design of the light piece when designing this knit sweater.

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We looked at the contradictions in  Moore’s work, between power and gentleness, heaviness and lightness, familiarity and abstraction. Between the hardness of his materials and the fluidity and softness of his forms -(Christopher Bailey)

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If you are in London this week then I highly suggest you make a stop at the Makers House. Not only is it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the fashion phanatics, but it’s free! When you’re traveling on a budget there is no better word to hear. You have until February 27th to check it out, so go now! I am definitely making a few more visits before the exhibit closes. If you go be sure to let me know what you thought!

Sculpture Garden in the Heart of NYC

Yes, you read that right. This beautiful sculpture garden is in the middle of downtown Manhattan, hidden away between two quiet streets. If you’ve happened to stumble upon this garden while walking down Elizabeth Street, consider yourself very lucky. It is not everyday that you find a gem like this one in such a busy, evolving city.

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The Elizabeth Street Garden is the perfect place to escape the hustle of the city streets and curl up in a good book. The garden is full of hidden pathways leading to benches and tiny tables with chairs. The giant sculptures and blooming flowers create an atmosphere buzzing with creativity and inspiration. This space is so important in a neighborhood like this one where there is only three feet of open space per resident. Us New Yorkers don’t get the luxury of open space to call our own which is why this garden means so much to so many of us.

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Around since 1903, this garden represents a time in history. It was originally built in partnership with a school, by architect C.B.J. Snyder, and served as a civic and social center for the surrounding residents. In the 1970s the school was torn down but the garden remained.

Sadly, potential developers are looking into destroying this one-of-a-kind space in the city, turning the garden into just another apartment complex. Whether you are a native New Yorker or someone across the world who someday hopes to visit this garden, please take the time to send this electronic letter to those who have the ability to protect the Elizabeth Street Garden.

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It pains me to know that a place full of history, wonder, and a unique perspective of art could be destroyed for more city housing. Everyone deserves to seek the same creative inspiration that I have, from this space. The sculptures, flowers, and even people this space attracts have influenced the way I dress and the lens I view the world by.

The garden has reminded me to dress with a sense of ease that is pleasing to the eye and unique to myself. It has also showed me how to mix classic pieces with more modern ones, like these crepe pants and dark leather jacket. Just like the garden is a reminder of the simple beauty in an ever-changing city, my wardrobe remains classic and refreshing while I continue to grow and change.

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My favorite piece in the garden? The greyhound sculptures, of course. I have been a sucker for greyhounds ever since my family rescued my sweet, three-year-old baby girl, Luna, this past May. Coming to this garden reminds me of her when I am missing her most. And, with the greyhound winning the National Dog Show this November, the statues might just be a lucky charm for the future of the Elizabeth Street Garden.

 

Esabitchin’- A Presentation in Sustainable Fashion

At the close of New York Fashion Week I was invited to a conscious fashion exhibition party called Esabitchin’. Naturally, I jumped at this offer because I love seeing sustainable fashion showcased by up-and-coming designers.

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When we walked in there was a table set up with cards displaying the details of the event. Following the theme of sustainability, these cards were unique in that they could be planted and grown into the flowers pictured on the table.

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The first designer that caught my attention was Lindy Fox. Her collection featured lots of earthy tones and geometric shapes. Fox uses upcycled material in order to create beautiful pieces like the ones featured above. If you are unfamiliar with the word upcycling, this means she reuses fabric that were once used for something else.

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I then found my way to Zero Waste Daniel‘s presentation. His clothes are made from brightly-colored, crazy-patterned fabric scraps. Daniel is aiming to do big things, starting with saving three tons of pre consumer textile waste in 2016 alone. Not only does he make a statement with his designs but also with the purpose and goals behind them.

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Last but not least is Study NY. This collection was definitely my favorite because it embodies my style the most. It is simple but makes a statement with the silhouettes and color-blocking of fabrics. Tara St James, the genius behind this brand, uses sustainable fabrics as well as ethical production methods to make each piece.

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Dying over the sweater vest and denim blouse combination!

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As for me, I of course had to sport my favorite sustainable fashion brand for the night, EILEEN FISHER. I am wearing one of my favorite silk dresses of hers and knee-high, suede boots. Be sure to read about my EILEEN FISHER experience for all the scoop on the brand’s latest sustainability projects.

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A night of fashion wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of art as well. Throughout the event this artist was live painting on a canvas in the outdoor courtyard of the space. She was painting everything from jeans jackets to polaroids.

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Please check out Esa, the company that put together this event, and educate yourself on the importance of sustainable fashion. It is just as easy to create beautiful clothes using ethical practices as it is to create clothing in harmful ways.

 

#FPMeGetTheShot Creativity Summit

Who knew adding one simple hashtag on one of my Instagram pictures would lead me on a trip to the Catskill Mountains with Free People early Thursday morning?

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I was invited by Free People and Polaroid to a creativity summit hosted by the Foxfire Mountain House in upstate New York as reward for posting one of these images using the hashtag #FPMeGetTheShot. When I found out that I had won I was honestly shocked that an opportunity as unique as this one could come from a little hashtag I added to one of my pictures on Instagram.

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I began my day by waking up at 5am… Yes, 5am exactly. Free People is the only thing that could ever get me up before sunrise. At the crack of dawn, all thirty of us girls met in front of their 5th Avenue store and loaded onto the bus to start our journey up north.

We were greeted by Free People’s Social and Public Relations team as well as photographers from both Free People and Polaroid. Foxfire Mountain House had a buffet of homemade baked goods and fresh juice set up in the cozy little lounge of their big white house. Nothing beats being greeted with cinnamon buns and fresh country air!

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After breakfast we began a panel discussion with Free People and Polaroid employees. The girls and I all received tips and tricks from expert photographers that will help bring our photos to the next level. We also heard from various employees of Free People, hearing about how they got started with the brand and what creative roles they fill.

After the panel they let us loose to explore the hotel and all of its natural beauty. One of my favorite parts about this mountain getaway was the little wooden bungalow in the yard (pictured on left). I can’t even imagine how nice it would be to sit out there in front of a fire pit on a chilly fall night, s’mores in hand.

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Following another amazing meal provided by Foxfire Mountain house (I would visit here again just to eat!), Free People and Polaroid gave us a challenge to style different outfits in different locations, using FP’s fall muses as inspiration. How beautiful are their fall velvet pieces? I need to get my hands on these mustard pants!

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Once the challenge was over the FP girls announced their favorite Polaroid pictures that were taken, judging on creativity of the shot and how well the looks represented the brand’s muses.

Getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing women from all over the country (Nebraska, California and Texas to name a few!) and two iconic brands made for an unforgettable day. The next time you see a giveaway or contest on Instagram… jump on it and enter! You never know what it could lead to.

Read Free People’s blog post about the event.

(photos by Jana Kirn)