Florida Part I

On the mend from a severe sinus infection and bronchitis, I am finally getting around to putting together a post about my week in Florida with some of my family. I’m going to break it up into parts because there is so much to take in. Florida has only given me good experiences such as, going to Disney World with my mom and my sister in 2013. It was so much fun especially as adults plus, it was my first time on a plane (so crazy I know). Then in 2014 I was invited to a round of interviews in Miami for the Macy’s Executive Development Program and ended up being offered a job prior to my college graduation (a major milestone in my life, my dad also came with).

The last several years have been a constant transition in my life and the lives of my family members as well. It has been a dream of my dad’s to take his kids on vacation with our blended family. It took us a long time to get to this place but I feel that I am so blessed to see my family on both sides in a much better place than where we were in the past. Anyway, I also got to share this trip with my girlfriend, we had an amazing time with so many new memories to cherish. She is an official survivor of a Portuguese Man O’ War sting and I got to ring the siren in the ambulance (not as funny at the time).

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My Dad rented the most adorable house literally on the ocean.  It was so quaint, clean and beachy. Megan and I got the best room in the house too, we had a private upstairs suite with a balcony and ocean views.

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The first morning we had our coffee on the balcony taking in all the beauty around us. I’ve never had the experience of almost feeling like I lived somewhere so tropical. Having our own little sanctuary was exactly what we needed to break away from the grind and monotony of everyday back home.  Not that it’s a bad thing but it is so refreshing to be around something new and beautiful.

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The backyard was so sanctimonious. The palms, aloe plants, and wild flowers were all the things I could fantasize about when I think of anywhere tropical. And of course I needed an impromptu photoshoot with the local flora. All these pics were surprisingly taken on an iphone X via Megan.

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wearing Ella Moss one piece swimsuit, BCBGeneration duster, H&M hat and sunnies

Escape to Yaddo

Never take for granted the places just beyond your backyard. The gardens at Yaddo have become one of my favorite places to visit when I need to have a date with my mind or some peace from everyday stressors. Originally a home to the Trask family, they decided to dedicate the property to artists and creative minds.  Although the public is allowed to visit the gardens, admission to the mansion and residency is only open to artists, writers, photographers, composers and choreographers who must go through an application process.

A home for the mind to simply be itself; free and open to all possibilities outside of the realms we are taught.  A place so close to me dedicated to art and beauty that I have the privilege of visiting and riding its energetic wave will not be taken for granted. And although I may complain about being here in Upstate New York, I always remind myself of the many redeeming qualities that are just beyond my door.

Wearing Free People dress and Modern Vice boots

I encourage anyone who loves the outdoors, the arts, and travel to visit their website to learn more about Yaddo’s history and its artists here.

90’s Child

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27. That is where I am today. Born in 1991 this dress may possibly be as old as me. I was given the task of helping my mom clean out her closet a few weeks ago and saw this gem. The 90’s were cool but I was a child of many fashion disasters, like those little floral dresses with the weird built-in bibs (anyone know what I’m talking about here?).

My headshot circa 1995

 

Also, I had bangs…with curly hair…I love my parents but why the bangs? They always stuck up like I had horns because my hair curled on the top of my forehead. But I’ve survived all of that and even took the risk this last year of cutting my hair shoulder length and that’s working out too.

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This last year of my life was pretty amazing, I was living in New York City working in fashion wholesale and had a studio apartment in Harlem with my girlfriend. We adopted two kitties from the ASPCA and shared so many memories as a little family.  I’ve said in previous posts (24, Seven Ten) that my birthday is an important day for me. I like to reflect on the changes in myself; my growth, my opportunities and all of the things I have accomplished.  Each year is a milestone to me and learning how to tell people my new age is like writing 2014 on a form at the doctor’s office but hello its now 2018 how could I be lost in time?! Anyway, my goal for this year is to do the things I say I want to do.

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I had six months off from life after I had shoulder surgery. I needed time off of work because the recovery process is long and brutal and that gave me a lot of time to myself, maybe a little too much time. Now I’m back to work and working through life lessons that no one really prepares us for, but our parents warn us about from their own life experiences. The amount of love and support I have received from my loved ones and my friends has been that guiding light for me and now that today is officially six months post-op (I picked January 10th on purpose knowing my freedom date would be my birthday) I can now ride my horse again and do all the fun activities I love to do like a true Upstate New Yorker. This year will be a good year like every other year has been, and I’m also aware that there may be some struggles in my future and I’m ok with that because with every struggle comes a strength.

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Wearing vintage Ulterior Motives dress and Nine West sandals

Sk-nek-ta-dee (Schenectady)

At golden hour I was compelled to drive to the new city on the Mohawk River in Schenectady. I had been visiting the site since it was a construction ghost town and couldn’t wait for it to come alive.

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 All this new energy draws me in like a moth to the light.  I took these pictures of the empty stores, some of which have been claimed by businesses, but most are empty and unfinished. I love the anticipation of something new.

IMG_3909I’m excited for a new restaurant in particular, Druther’s, which is a small brewing company started in Saratoga, New York and has now opened their third location here on the Harbor.  Since my birthday is a couple days away I figured this would be the spot to grab a celebratory dinner and drinks.

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IMG_3961Everything that is grand reminds me of  New York City.  I mentioned in my post “On the Pier” my favorite spot, The Boat Basin, which was a marina and restaurant right on the Hudson River. I brought anyone who visited me to that spot and rode bikes on the Hudson River Greenway to get there, so the new Mohawk Harbor already feels like a piece of home to me with so many familiarities. Also, Schenectady has a brand new train station just a few hours from my beloved NYC.

A Little Pick-Me-Up

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When I say a pick-me-up I don’t mean coffee, I mean shoes. I’m sure that goes for a lot of people?  They always make me feel so good. Anyway, I snagged these for $12.99 at Zara. Yes. $12.99. So, already that makes me love them even more. And they are just what I wanted to lift my spirits since it is still winter and I am still recovering from shoulder surgery.

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Lace-up boots and booties bring me back to a time in my childhood when I found a pair of lace-up heels in my mom’s closet and wore them around the house pretending to be a grown woman. Those were circa 1989. Who knew my little fantasy would come to fruition.

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Wearing Zara shoes|Free People top|Zara denim

 

A Space for Women Video Diary

I’m so excited to share this video Megan filmed and edited, it was an amazing event with some really talented women.

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Nothing makes me happier than seeing others thrive and succeed especially when those people are near and dear to me. A good friend of mine hosted a fashion show where she and a few designers curated their own small collections. Needless to say it was a huge success and incredibly inspiring. We’ve been through it all, from countless sleepless nights at FIT together to a beautiful display of one of her biggest achievements to date.

I wouldn’t miss this event if my life depended on it. And it was my first outing since my surgery last month. I literally saw the doctor the day prior and got the okay to go. Megan and I packed up the car, styled our outfits the morning of and left for Brooklyn. Before the show we had a quick dinner at Mesa Coyoacan a quaint Spanish restaurant in Williamsburg with an excellent authentic margarita. Afterwards we headed to A New Space for Women, which held her event. All our proceeds from ticket sales and pins designed by the designers went to charities of their choice. We had an amazing time catching up with friends and seeing their hard work come to fruition. I’ll be sure to share the vlog Megan is working on this week.

We never imagine exactly what our success will look like, but we do imagine the feeling.

Wearing Zara velvet trousers (similar pair here, and here)| Zara boots |BCBGeneration blazer

The New New

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Wearing DKNY hoodie | Cavin Klein leggings | Target sneakers

Have you ever seen something and you’re immediately like “I need this.” It happens to me all the time. I know I’m not the only one, however.  When I see certain things especially clothes and shoes, I have instantaneous visions of how I would wear them.  Each piece of my outfit happened that way. I was working as a stylist for the hoidays and stumbled upon this DKNY hoodie. It was the last one, my size and very affordable so I grabbed it. I needed it. A day or two later I had a customer who was inquiring about these Calvin Klein leggings. They ended up not fitting into her holiday shopping budget but I knew the moment I saw them they would be A-Mazing with my new hoodie.

Some weeks later after the holidays came to a close I saw these sneakers at Target…yes Target…and just had to have them. I was in love.  My girlfriend loved them too and helped persuade me into buying them (not that I needed much persuading honestly). But in my mind I had created this ensemble already and couldn’t wait to bring it to life. My brain works like a virtual closet. I know they make apps for this now but I create and store images in my mind of every peice of clothing in my wardrobe and all of my accessories.

 

 

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I wanted to get something on the blog for the new year.  I’ve become more comfortable with myself physically as I get older.  I’m going out more without makeup and loving my skin and my face for what it is.  This is a tough environment to learn how to love yourself in and I watch everyone around me go through the same thing. But if we create the love and acceptance within ourselves first we can help those around us feel more comfortable.

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I hope 2018 brings a lot of new experiences and lessons.  I know I’m making changes every day. On a side note, this will be my last post for a while as I recover from shoulder sugery. I will be reading all my favorite blogs and dreaming of amazing outfits.

 

New York in a Day

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Wearing Zara jacket, Free People jeans, Frye boots, vintage Coach bag

It’s been two months since Megan and I moved back upstate from the city.  I can’t even begin to express how much I miss living there.  The diversity, hearing a handful of languages spoken all at once, the way people dress, laugh, experience and enjoy the city stimulates me. I do consider myself lucky to live within driving distance even if it is two and a half to three hours.  However, I am reminded daily that all things do happen for a reason and not to sound cliche about it all I really do believe that.

Last week I went to my former job here in upstate New York just to see people and say hello. Unexpectedly, I ran into my good friend and stylist who I love dearly and long story short I am now an assistant stylist for the holiday season! This opportunity is amazing and honestly a dream of mine.  Helping people is the ultimate high for me. So being able to assist them in finding great clothes that make them feel amazing, beautiful, handsome, and insert any another words for those feelings, makes me feel like my purpose here is important and appreciated.

I am so happy I was in the city yesterday with Megan, she gifted me this awesome lense for my camera. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but she couldn’t wait until then since this was the only day we would have together considering our busy schedules.  She also scooped this amazing coat from Zara, lined with sherpa and super warm I had to wear it. We started the day at our favorite brunch spot in Harlem called The Edge that was only a few blocks from our old apartment. Then we decided to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and shopped at the pop-up Christmas market in Union Square. It was odd knowing we couldn’t just hop on the subway right back to our apartment but it was a good familiar feeling to be in the city for the day.

 

Something New

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Wearing Free People sweater under BCBGeneration dress with Frye boots

As things change in my life whether they are unexpected or even possibly for the better, it is always a shocking reminder that life is not necessarily in my control.  Having moved back to my dreamy little farm in upstate New York, I do miss the livelihood of the city and the ever changing faces around me. Learning how to embrace change still presents a challenge to me.  I love it don’t get me wrong, I crave it honestly but I still struggle because although I may see into what is changing, I can never truly predict the future.

Since I love change so much I thought I needed a drastic change and got my hair cut.  I used to have bangs when I was a pre-teen and hated them.  Now, at 26 I love myself a lot more and embrace how my body, face and hair have changed over the years. I feel like a new person and I can still kind of see that little girl deep inside learning to love herself too.

Winter here has been so mild it doesn’t actually feel like winter.  Today marks the ten year anniversary of when I brought my horse, Hunter, home.  I remember how snowy and icy it was then and now I’m wearing a thick sweater and tights, barely feeling the elements. I’m not complaining but I do hope it snows before the holidays.