at home

at home: easy picture wall

Over the past few months I've been hitting the books hard at LIM College, attending class full time and earning my MBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship. It's been a great experience and is helping me launch a new clothing line (more on that really soon). I've also moved into a gorgeous new apartment with my boyfriend, and we've been buying and building furniture, and decorating up a storm. We share a board on Pinterest where we've both been pinning things we would like for our new nest. We both liked the idea of a picture wall, and with our bedroom walls completely empty, I snagged some supplies to make our own. 

You will need:
2 sets of frames from Urban Outfitters (20 frames total)
Command picture hanging strips (I got the 4-pack)
A piece of string (mine was 5 ft long to match our headboard)
Tape
A level (I downloaded a bubble level app on my phone)

First I measured my headboard, which was 5 feet wide. I put the tape measure on the counter so I could lay out my frames and move them around until I liked the configuration. If you don't have a tape measure, go ahead and measure with string, then lay the string on the counter or floor to do your layout. 

Once I liked what I saw, I put Command picture hanging strips on the backs of all of the frames. (I did a test on our walls-- they did come off just as easily as they say they do). These are great because they aren't permanent and if you goof you can peel them off and move your frame. 

Next I taped the string on the wall above our headboard, to act as a guideline for mounting all the frames. I used my level app to make sure the string was level. I put up the two top corner frames first, then filled in the top line, then worked my way down. I had to re-do a couple, so it was good I had a few extra strips. 

I love the way it turned out. Can't wait to get photos printed!

buy it

buy it: fall fashion staples and standouts

I've been radio silent for months, and a majority of that is due to the fact that I was applying to, enrolling in and now attending LIM College for my MBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship. How excited am I?! I'm also super busy and slowly trying to get my regularly-scheduled programs back on track... including this blog! 

Attending a fashion school has made me very aware of what I'm wearing every single day. Even on Sunday morning heading to get a bagel, I was applying purple cateye liner and donning my skinnies and Jeffrey Campbell booties. It's finally feeling a bit like Fall (yay!) and I'm pumped to dress for it. Yesterday I picked out some fabulous fall staples and standouts from Piperlime:

From left to right, top to bottom:

1) Tinley Road Ruched tee - $18.99 

2) Tulle Heart Print Blouse - $39.99

3) THML Clothing Sequin Collar Blazer - $39.97

4) Jessica Simpson Calie(black patent) - $79

5) Jessica Simpson Calie(nude patent) - $79

6) Ivanka Trump Pinkish(yellow patent) - $89.99

7) Tinley Road Square Link Necklace - $32.99

8) Tinley Road Peter Pan Collar A-Line Mini - $79

9) Tinley Road Bleecker Pencil Skirt - $49

Whatcha think? Any faves?

do it

do it: sketchbook reception

 

I've been super excited for the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition's opening reception. It was my sketchbook's official welcome to the world, and can now be checked out as a library book for viewing at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg!

The first book I checked out was my own. I practically know it by heart at this point, but I had trouble letting it go when I completed it... so we had a little reunion.

 It was very cool to see everyone thumbing through the sketchbooks and passing them around to share. It was a proud moment.

I would highly recommend you visit the Art Library... it's a nice escape and a perfect respite on a rainy afternoon. If you go, check out my book! We appreciate the love and attention. ;) If you can't make it to the library, I photographed my sketchbook and made a special home for it on my blog here.

This person's sketchbook was all about secrets, and invited people to write down a secret of their own and share it in the envelope. I love interactive stuff like this, and of course added a secret. A lot of friends' reactions to my sketchbook were surprise that I would share so much of myself in such a public way. I think that artists often put a huge amount of private emotion into their work, so sharing any piece of work is a bit daunting. When you open up your creative work for criticism it's difficult not to take it personally, so I appreciate all of the warm feedback!

buy it

buy it: meshu

Haven't you always wanted to turn your foursquare check-ins into jewelry? No? Well you will once you meet Meshu. Head on over to Meshu, login with your foursquare account, and voila! They'll lay out several different designs based on your entire foursquare check-in history. You can pick one or build a custom piece that shows only places you want. They'll make your unique piece into earrings, a necklace, or cufflinks. They're definitely conversation starters! Here are my favorites from my own check-ins-- my neighborhood, Brooklyn, my May Sarasota vacation, my homestate, the town where my mum lives and my hometown:


do it

do it: write more love letters

photo courtesy of moreloveletters.com

There's nothing quite like receiving a love letter. Whether it's the double-sided note in high school with the notebook fringe on the margin, a post-it in your lunchbag or a scribble on your foggy bathroom mirror, we love to be loved. The World Needs More Love Letters has made it their mission to encourage people to write more, and pass bits of sunshine on to those who need it. And couldn't we all use a little note of encouragement sometimes? The task is simple-- write a letter, jot "moreloveletters.com" on the note or envelope, and leave it somewhere where it will be found and read by someone. The idea is that it will make someone smile, and perhaps they'll pay it forward and write one of their own. I have always loved projects like this... I've left my own postcards in Postsecret books at Barnes & Noble, and have written letters and sent care packages to soldiers overseas who didn't know me. It's nice thinking you could possibly make a stranger's day. I've got tons of stationery and words of encouragement to share-- can't wait to leave a few letters around the city!

travel

travel: lido key

I travel alone quite a bit. In September I even went to London and Paris for 8 days solo. I think it's an amazing way to clear your head, do what you want, and relax on your own time. My first vacation alone was to a little island off Sarasota called Lido Key. It was 2007-- I had just left my husband, and was in desperate need of some sunshine, solitude, and peace. A friend suggested this little slice of bliss to me and I had an amazing four days. Since then I have returned several times, and have always had a fantastic time. Work has been bananas lately, and I was so looking forward to another trip to Lido. I left last Saturday, two days after my birthday, and was planning a week of laying on the beach and not much else. My first day I arrived at 11am and after checking into my hotel, headed straight for the beach. I paddled around in the Gulf a bit, got some lunch, and slathered on the SPF every couple hours. That night I headed up to St. Armand's Circle-- another tiny island, consisting of a traffic circle and tons of little shops and restaurants. I went into a favorite restaurant for dinner and drinks and took notice of one of the waiters pretty immediately. Lucky for me he happened to notice me too, and we exchanged numbers. He met me at the beach the next day, and we wound up spending the rest of the week together. I had the most amazing time, and did so much more than I would have done had I spent the week alone.

We ate gator...

watched the sunset...

had lunch at the Tiki Bar...

went wine tasting...

had our cake (and ate it too!)...

went to Siesta Key...

and came up with an inside joke or two...

What a happy surprise and bit of serendipity to have met him-- and on my very first day! Super sad to be going home now. Perhaps I can persuade him to visit NYC in the future. Already looking forward to my next Lido trip! x

see it

see it: my 2012 sketchbook submission

I finished my submission for Arthouse Co-op's Limited Edition Sketchbook Project! My chosen theme was "Distance and Time" and I entitled my sketchbook Strangers. I'm really happy with how it turned out and would love for you to check it out. I added a soundtrack, picking out a song for each spread in my book. I made a special page dedicated to my sketchbook (see the "sketchbook" tab at the top of this web page?). The soundtrack playlist is there too. You can also go check out my Arthouse profile and link up with me if you're an Arthouse member!

I would *love* any feedback once you've checked it out. You can also go see it (and thousands of other sketchbooks!) in person at the Brooklyn Art Library. The place is amazing, and a haven of inspiration for artists. Go look, read and listen and lemme know what you think!!

love it

love it: birthday no. 29

I always sort of dread my birthday. I don't mind getting older, but it always makes me starkly aware that I'm single and sort of a loner. As always, I had nothing to worry about-- my friends pulled off another fabulous birthday for me, with a week of concerts, dinners, cupcakes and celebrations. We had (my fave!) Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes at work...

dinner and dessert at Stanton Social...

dinner and dessert at A Voce...

...and my Pop sent me the most beautiful flowers!

Cheers to one last year in my 20's! Thanks everybody!! xoxo

hear it

hear it: dragonette

I have been a Dragonette fan for a long time-- I've been dying to see them live. I finally got my chance and made sure to get to Bowery Ballroom early so I could get a good spot. It was one of the most fun shows I've ever been to! Martina is amazing, and the whole show was super high energy, dancey fun. 

They performed all of my favorites and I added some new ones into my rotation. If you're unfamiliar with their music, check out I Get Around, Easy, Pick Up the Phone and their newest single- Let It Go. I took this video of Big Sunglasses:

They're coming back to NYC in September to perform at Webster Hall... get a ticket!!

hear it

hear it: gotye & kimbra

So a couple months ago someone brought my attention to the Gotye and Kimbra song Somebody That I Used to Know and for days I had it on repeat. When I saw that they were playing together at Terminal 5 I jumped on StubHub and snatched up a ticket to the sold out show. I had since downloaded all of Gotye's music onto my iPod and had amassed a little pile of favorite tunes. I go to a lot of shows, and I usually don't bother getting to a venue right when the doors open... I wish I had for this show. I got there at 7:30 for an 8p start time and the place was packed. I was stuck about 50 feet back from the stage behind a bunch of tall people... booo. Kimbra opened the show and was a little powerhouse. Her voice is amazing. I was super far back but found a couple decent vids on youtube to share with you:

 

Gotye's entire set was phenomenal. He had some trouble hearing himself on stage because the crowd was so loud-- singing, cheering, screaming. He played almost all of the songs that I hoped he would, including Bronte, Smoke and Mirrors, State of the Art (you must check out the video he had playing in the background on this one... love), Eyes Wide Open, Coming Back and of course, he sang Somebody That I Used to Know with Kimbra: 

He played drums for most of the songs, and a giant projector played animated videos that illustrated a few of his songs. Everything was very well done and he put on a great show. If you're not familiar with his music, definitely check him out! I'll be seeing him next time he comes to NYC for sure.

do it

do it: blueprint cleanse

I have survived the first day of my juice cleanse! Coming from a girl who eats a bagel every day for breakfast, *loves* carbs and will never pass up a trip to Shake Shack, that's a pretty serious feat. I first heard about the Blueprint Cleanse a couple years ago, but it was a bit pricey for me at the time. They offer 3 levels (think 'beginner', 'intermediate' and 'advanced') and deliver the juice to your office or apartment the day before you start. I spend an hour at the gym every day, but my food choices are less than stellar. I figured this would give me a healthy boost in the right direction and hopefully inspire me to make healthier food choices going forward. I decided to do 3 days, which seemed like a safe number-- if I'm going to do this, let's do it! But... not for too long. You get 6 bottles of juice per day, that you spread out per your own schedule. They advise you to finish up your last juice at least 2 hours before bed so your tummy can have a rest overnight. My juice was delivered Wednesday afternoon to my office, and I promptly opened one of each juice to smell them (I smell everything...).

Thursday I came into the office, started off with herbal tea per their recommendation, and then started on juice #1-- Green Juice. It tastes like you're drinking the produce aisle at Stop & Shop... romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, kale, parsley and lemon. Not my fave, but not terrible. I had a bottle of water in between, then had #2- pineapple/apple/mint for "lunch". I found I was falling behind by late afternoon... my original plan was to drink a juice every 2 hours, but I was having a hard time drinking them so quickly. I was never hungry at any point during the day. That said, I would have killed for a bag of Doritos by 7pm... majorly craved salty, crunchy snacks. My delay wasn't so bad because I went to see The Hunger Games at midnight, so my last juice at 10p after the gym wasn't a problem. The lemonade (#4) was fab and I was able to drink it very quickly. After the lemonade I did my usual gym routine, although was feeling a bit weak and dizzy after 45 minutes, so cut my usual hour a bit short. The red juice (carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger) tastes much better than it smells and I actually enjoyed it. The last bottle is cashew milk with vanilla bean and cinnamon-- ended up tasted like a major treat after all the fruits and veggies all day. Day 1 complete-- no cheating, no hunger, feeling good!

love it

do it: research your family tree

I went home to the Cape last weekend and went to visit my Grandad. My Nana recently passed away and there was a lot I wished I had asked her about her family and our ancestry. I grilled my Grandad for every little detail he could remember about my Nana's family and where she grew up in England, and took notes. With a few more clues from my uncle and my parents, I signed up for an ancestry.com account last night and started plugging in all the relatives I knew. I quickly got "hints" from the site-- these included birth records, marriage records, the passenger list from the ship my nana came over to the US on... amazing stuff! I got so caught up in it all that I wound up staying awake til 3am digging around in history. I got a branch of my dad's family back to crusaders and knights... so cool. I also found a couple photos of people. Here's my great great great grandfather, Joseph Mackley:

What a handsome guy! Can't wait to see what else I can find...

buy it

buy it: nike id

Continuing my love affair of over-the-top sneakers, I finally got my Nike ID's in the mail today! They take 4-6 weeks to make after you customize your pair online. You pick the colors of everything, including the stitching, sole, and extra laces. They're $110, which isn't really bad considering they're made specifically for you. They're adorable and match all my bright colors for spring! Amped to rock these all over the city.

buy it

buy it: colored denim

I looove colors!! Colored denim is everywhere this season: in every hue, in seemingly every lookbook and storefront window. Here's a little roundup of where to buy this new trend on a slim budget!

Under $50:
1. Red Fashionista Skinny Jeans (Wet Seal, $26.50) 2. Orange Vibrant Skinny Jeans (Forever 21, $24.90) 3. Yellow Jegging (American Eagle, $44.50) 4. Green Matelot Skinny Jeans (Forever 21, $22.80) 5. Blue Pull On Color Legging (Wet Seal, $24.50) 6. Aqua Whiskered Skinny Jean (Forever 21, $24.90) 7. Pink Jegging (American Eagle, $44.50) 8. White Fashionista Skinny Jean (Wet Seal, $26.50)

Under $100:
1. Red 1969 Legging Jean (GAP, $69.95) 2. Orange Zelda Jean Legging (Express, $79.90) 3. Yellow Slim Pop Fabric Trouser (Zara, $79.90) 4. Green Zelda Jean (Express, $79.90) 5. Blue 1969 Legging Jean (GAP, $69.95) 6. Purple Zelda Jean Legging (Express $79.90) 7. Pink Slim Pop Fabric Trouser (Zara, $79.90) 8. White 1969 Cropped Legging Jean (GAP, 59.95)

buy it

buy it: marc by marc jacobs

I started working for an HR Consulting firm in 2008 as an assistant to 8 very busy consultants. My initial salary barely paid the bills, and there was a stretch of time that I was making decisions like dinner or laundry? And had to eat spaghetti for a week if I wanted to splurge on a night out with friends. I have been super fortunate to have job security for the past four years and opportunities to move up and make more money. I'm now the company's Director of Finance and am proud to say that I'm *finally* in a situation where I can spend more freely. I still have debt like you read about, but have allowed myself a few treats and vacations. Surviving in NYC is a struggle! You have to reward yourself every once in a while for fighting the good fight. I recently bought my first designer purse-- the Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal Natasha handbag and matching wallet. Although I had a stomachache forking over the cash, I'm grateful to have been able to give myself this pat on the back for working as hard as I have. Here's to more successful years to come!

love it

love it: statement pieces

I *LOVE* accessorizing with statement pieces-- items that can single-handedly take a basic outfit over the top. They end up being conversation starters as well, as they usually grab a lot of attention and double-takes. I've acquired several such pieces over the past few months...

I bought these swan earrings on etsy a couple months ago. One of them has a loose back that falls off a lot (sadness) so I've come to super-glue it together every time I wear it... kind of ridiculous but I do love the way they look. I had a girl on the subway platform ask what guage they were.

I also bought these mink earrings on etsy, and they are very well made. They're super cute and add a bit of playfulness to any look. I get a lot of "you're wearing snowflakes" or "they look like snowballs" comments on these. 

This Larry Levine cape is adorbs! It's white, so I'm always a bit leery to wear it, especially when I'm going anywhere on the subway. It's a great piece to wear anywhere that they have coat check, ha. I wouldn't sling it on the back of a bar stool, but it definitely brings together skinny jeans and black pumps in a chic way.

I've said it before-- I looove sneakers. I take a page from my brother's book on sneakers though: be different. I go for sneakers (and shoes in general) that stand out and not too many people have. Then I usually take it a step further and change the laces, add laces, do anything to modify them and differentiate them even more. I got these Nike hightops last week and double-laced them. I'm in love.

friday favorites

friday favorites: march 9

photo by Charles Cushman

SEE IT: photography I fell for this week
I love old photographs of NYC! Check out Charles Cushman's gorgeous color photographs of NYC in the 40's. The city has changed so much, but you can still see glimpses of familiarity... love it. 

Birdy's self-titled album is available for download in the US 3/20-- get it!!

HEAR IT: music I downloaded this week
1. Skinny Love by Birdy 2. Shelter by Birdy 3. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye 4. Loudest Alarm by Scars on 45 5. Give Me Something by Scars on 45 6. Already Gone by Jenny Owen Youngs 7. Two by Two by Jenny Owen Youngs 8. The End of the World! by Lupe Fiasco 9. I Can Only Imagine by David Guetta & Chris Brown 10. Turn Me On by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj

WATCH IT: videos I peeped this week that you should too
Rick Merecki directed and produced 3 short films titled "Move", "Eat" and "Learn". They're so well done and make me want to hop a flight to anywhere and start adventuring! The description from his Vimeo page: 3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films...

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

 

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Glasstress exhibit at MAD; piece by Javier Perez

DO IT: museum exhibits to visit asap
Go to ICP to see the Weegee photography exhibit: Murder Is My Business... photos taken by Weegee in the 30's and 40's of NYC crime scenes. There's also a recreation of his apartment and some of his posessions-- odd stuff. I'm game.

Must see: Glasstress at the Museum of Arts and Design. Gorgeous pieces on display, including "La Carrona" by Javier Perez (pictured above). Seeing that up close is worth museum admission alone. 

The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951 at the Jewish Museum. They have arranged the photos on an interactive map online so you can see where they were taken and have a full appreciation of how much New York has changed with the times. Pretty amazing.

love it

love it: being green

I've claimed kelly green as my spring/summer color and have since been on the lookout for everything in the shade. Here are my top picks from Etsy:

From left to right, top to bottom: 1. Cotton Dress by pinandhem ($130) 2. Earrings by botny ($10) 3. Bathing suit by temerson1 ($60) 4. Infinity scarf by cheeryloops ($28) 5. Bib necklace by NoPlainTs ($20) 6. Flower hairpin by WhatADo ($18) 7. Leather bow clutch by aanthonydesigns ($130) 8. Canvas hobo by RaquelGonzalez ($85) 9. Feather headband by Bettybows22 ($25)

buy it

buy it: new sephora faves

Went on a mini-spree at Sephora the other day and picked up some new favorites. I'm a big fan of Kat Von D's Sephora collection, especially her Saint perfume, which I wear every day. This eyeshadow palette of brights makes for playfully colorful peepers, especially when layered over Urban Decay's eyeshadow primer (no creasing!). My fave buy of the day was Kat Von D's liquid lipstick in Berlin-- finally a red lipstick that I can pull off and that stays put. I wear it all day and it manages to survive through multiple cups of tea, breakfast and lunch. *Love* it! I also got a few mini Sephora eyeliner pencils in fun colors. And finally, an old standby: Buxom mascara. Classic.

1. Kat Von D's Mi Vida Loca eyeshadow palette $36
2. Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Love Lipstick $19 
3. Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion $20 
4. Sephora Nano Eyeliner Pencil $5
5. Buxom Mascara $19