Roots

The ultimate cliche–gone back to my roots. Watching movies where the character seems to have lost it all, they return to where it all began.  In that process the realization sets in that what was once lost has been there the whole time. Living in that cliche I’ve learned the core of your being stays the same, no one can take away experiences, your love for people and the things that created you.

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My life is in constant motion, the sun rises and the sun sets and not a single person can stop that.  Anxiety provoking? Yes. However, it can be therapuetic in way knowing the current situation won’t stay as it is as long as I keep waking and resting with the rest of the world.   Opportunities keep yeilding themselves to me, and every one I take I learn something new.  I am grateful for what is yet to come and for all that I’ve had.

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I’m en route to New York City as we speak to add another experience under my belt, Coterie. A global event really, the mission: to present and sell spring 2019 of various designers to retailers around the world.

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Wearing Zara hat and dress, Coach boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

B**** Stole My Look (Mom version)

 

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A few weeks ago I committed the greatest crime–stealing from my mother.  We’ve all done it, if not from mom then from a sister or bff for sure.  Sometimes, in my opinion it’s better to ask for forgivenes  than permission in these cases. I’ve also been on the other end of this equation, and I am always skeptical to let one of my pieces go.  My mom snagged this Elie Tahari top for quite the steal, and showed it to me immediately during my lunch break.  I can’t lie I was sooo jealous, I love a great deal, hell I get a rush from it! But, I let my mom have it knowing someday I’d sneak it into my wardrobe.

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After asking me to help her clean and organize her closet (a fun hobby of mine I should make money doing it) I saw the top and took it home with me. Posting it on social media was brave and I gave credit where it was due. She actually loved how I styled it and wanted to borrow my pants! I had to share her version, she literally stole my look Joan Rivers style. Who says mommas can’t look just as good!!

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Wearing Elie Tahari top, Free People jeans, mom in Zara booties

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating My Own Canvas

 

 I do this for myself. I create my own canvas.

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For years I’ve struggled with feeling like I had to choose between two versions of me. Raised on a small farm secluded from the neighborhood kids I developed a strong bond to myself and my family. I learned about who I was from a very young age because I spent a lot of my time alone with my thoughts.

Fast forward to now and I can tell you a piece of me remains that way, however, I crave the stimulation of a buzzing city, art and creativity. I long for diversity and variety in people and places. When I am in the city I miss the farm and solitude and when I am in upstate New York I miss the stimulation. I’m learning how to find that balance and blend my two worlds together.

I love capturing the contrast and really sitting with it. Officially knee deep in my mid-twenties I have learned to love myself even more and found ways to express my creativity and truest nature. I feel that many people in my position are still struggling to find that truth bogged down by the pressures of society. College may have given us the diploma, but where do we go from here? How does the self fit into this new landscape yielding to us? And so I turn to things like photography, writing and fashion to give myself the outlet not provided to me, reestablishing my genuine thoughts, my raw creativity.

Wearing Michael Kors romper, vintage 1980’s belt, H&M boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballin’ on a Budget

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Wearing Free People jumpsuit, Steve Madden shoes

 

When I envision myself, this is what I see.  Maybe the years of running through open fields in summer dresses with my sister has something to do with that, or maybe it’s my fascination with Vogue spreads, who knows. But, when I try something on or see it hanging delectably off of a mannequin, I imagine myself in all my femininity running through a field one with myself and nature.

As I said before, almost everything in my closet has a story.  This one has been told countless times to all my friends and family due to my sheer excitement and dire need to own this jumpsuit.

I first saw it in a window at Lord and Taylor and was immediately drawn to it, Megan even pointed it out to me.  Weeks had gone by and we had to head to the mall to get some last minute things for our trip to Florida when I saw it there again, still in the window.  I stopped to check the price, and knew it was not going to fit in my budget. It stayed on my mind though and when I had to go back yet again to pick something up, it was gone.

  Now I was panicked like I lost my chance. I went and found it, the very last one and it was marked down! I tried it on and needed it desperately so I put it on hold.

Two days before I had to leave I went back one final time, money in hand. The associate told me it had been put back on the floor after markdowns were taken, and me, devastated, would not believe this could be true! Having worked retail for so long I knew that it had to be on a rolling rod somewhere in the back so a merchandiser could take the markdowns.  I pleaded with the girl to please check one more time since I was leaving for vacation in a matter of hours.  She did. As she walked over to me, jumpsuit in hand, I was elated.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better she rang it up revealing it had received another markdown going from $148 to $78 to now $37. That’s when I knew it was meant to be mine.

Kitchen Selfies

Two things to know about me are one, I do not own a full length mirror and two, I always take advantage of good lighting.

Having dinner plans with an old friend forced me out of my t-shirt and yoga pants I had been hanging out in all day due to the plague I finally kicked.  I’ve been on a pretty tight budget the last several months and couldn’t really afford to buy anything new.  I love to retire things from my wardrobe for a while in anticipation that they will breathe new life again one day.

I bought these pants a couple years ago. They are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn and can hide any food baby or bloated belly without making me feel constricted (perfect for grabbing dinner in). I thrifted this little cut off charmeuse top from Buffalo Exchange a handful of years ago. It was my virgin trip to the second hand boutique in Brooklyn and have been a frequent shopper ever since.

SO, I guess you could say I am not the type of person to give something a toss if I haven’t worn it in a year.  I grow attached to my clothes and think of them as little treasures that carry many backstories as to how they got into my possession. And in times of needing to feel fresh and new I know I have an archive I can head to first.

I love feeling comfortable and tend to go to layering my basics to add some detail to a pretty simple outfit.

Wearing BCBGeneration pants, top is thrifted from Buffalo Exchange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

Since being home from a really nice and long overdue break, it has been difficult to adjust back to my old routine.  Honestly I hate routines although some things require it such as, good hygiene, sleep and exercise, I loved having the stimulation of being somewhere new and experiencing a different wave of energy.

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Ever since I was a young girl I have always had a fascination with flowers and plants.  I loved gardening and picking bouquets of wildflowers to keep on my nightstand.  My sister and I would catch butterflies in the horse pastures and release them into my bedroom to flutter around for the day then return them back to the wild.

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When I came home from Florida I had a lot of new energy and ideas with me, I felt like I was in a really good mental space.  Like I was saying earlier breaking the routine is so important to me. After a while I began to lose sight and made plans just to get through each day or each week resulting in tunnel vision.

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I am happy to be home with my animals and my own comfy bed, that is always a plus.  But I am also inspired to get out and do more.  I want to make the rest of this year an adventure since I spent the first six months recovering from a major surgery, not that that wasn’t an adventure in and of itself. I had to hustle to make ends meet while also being physically impaired. I’ll share more on that and my dog-walking adventures soon.

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During my hustle to make ends meet, I wasn’t always able to freshen my wardrobe.  I’ve become creative with recycling old outfits and even borrowing from family to liven up some tired pieces.  This maxi skirt is from Marshall’s circa 2013 roughly. I gave it to my mom when I couldn’t find ways to wear it anymore. I saw it recently in her wardrobe and it popped out at me telling me to take it! The sweater and the bralette were part of my buying frenzy as a manager at Macy’s, they have also been laying around wanting some wear.

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I get a lot of my style inspiration from other style blogs, my friends and people walking by.  I saw a picture of Karlie Kloss wearing a maxi skirt with a long sleeve tee and white sneakers on her Instagram and loved it, that is how this look was born with a little bit of my own countryside style.

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Wearing BCBGeneration top, Free People bralette, Maxi skirt is from Marshalls

 

 

Florida Part IV

 Our last day in Florida was honestly one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve ever had. All of us went on a 20 person charter to try our hand at deep sea fishing.  I was so hesitant at first because I was intimidated by going out onto the ocean.  I grew up on boats but only ever went to our local lakes.  Lately in my life, I’ve learned to embrace the thrill of doing things that frighten me a little.

We climbed onto the boat and cruised down the windy channels that brought us out to sea. The skies were heavy and grey, which is actually perfect for fishing. The crew gave us instructions whilst slicing up bait for the chum buckets.  It was shocking in the way that I really wasn’t prepared for what I saw. We each learned how to bait our hooks and drop our lines.  I jumped right in.

Boom. After minutes of having our lines dropped, swaying in the waves a few miles away from the shore we started catching fish! They were bright and colorful, not what I expected at all.  It was a whirlwind to see what we caught. The build up of feeling something grab at your line, then having to reel it in with all your might was exhilarating.

With plenty of help from each other and the crew, our group caught a total of 21 fish.  We released most of them back to the ocean due to size and species restrictions.  Megan caught a puffer fish, which is pretty rare to pull out of the water like that. The crew member sat down and let us take a closer look before releasing him back to the sea.

Tony was one of the crew members, he helped unhook our catch and measure to see if they met the specs.

We got to take home 5 of our fish after they prepped them for us.  We marinated and grilled them for dinner that night, and it was honestly so delicious and fresh. Even if we hadn’t caught anything, and our intention wasn’t to bring something home.  The experience of being out on the water, all of us laughing and squealing with excitement was worth it. I was sad our week was coming to a close, this time away from everything familiar to me helped me expand my mind and learn to love and accept the place i am in in my life.  I could have shared so much more, and I’m sure I will as time goes on, but I hold onto all of the new memories I created, whether or not a camera was present.

Florida Part III Miami

Oh my goodness have you ever been to a place where the water is so blue you couldn’t believe it was real?! The only beaches I have been to were deep blue and chilly, absolutely nothing like South Beach, Miami.  My dad told us we had to take a day to see Miami and I am so happy we went.  One day wasn’t nearly enough though. We all stayed in the water the entire day, floating in the shallow waves, catching little sand crabs and filming fish on our fake-pro (a generic goPro). The city towered over the coast majestically and eventually we had to regain our land legs to go get something to eat.

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After we were forced to leave the water by our sun-burned skin and need for food we ventured into Miami Beach and went down to Lincoln Lane where there were lots of restaurants and shopping.  It reminded me of how New York City closes down parts of Broadway in Herald Square for outdoor dining and temporary pop-up restaurants from around the 5 boroughs.  The vibe was very Miami Vice though, I loved the stucco buildings, archways and palm tree lined sidewalks. We ate at Havana 1957 and had an amazing Cuban dinner outside on the sidewalk under umbrellas and huge fans.

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The family branched off and we all went our own ways to do some exploring.  Megan and I found a shaved ice cream shop through an alley way of palms and an outdoor coffee shop. It had a private little courtyard where we got to eat our sundaes together and watched green parrots flit and fly around.

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Wearing BCBGeneration shorts and top, H&M hat

After  dinner and shopping we walked the ocean path back to our car and enjoyed the full moon casting its light through the Miami skies.

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It really wasn’t enough time. I want to make it a point to go back to Miami and take it all in. The perfectly turquoise waters and the vibe of the bustling city beyond its calming waves was mind altering and honestly took me away from everything that I’ve been carrying with me these last few months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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