Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Record (Re)Setting: Transformation Tuesday Edition

The Reservoir in Central Park: My favorite place to run

“The marathon is cancelled. Let’s drink.”

It was a text from my friend Liz; she and I had trained to run together that Sunday.

The day was Friday, November 2, 2012, less than a week after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. The cancellation was necessary; nearly two hundred thousand homes were damaged and over hundred people lost their lives. It was the right and only thing to do, but selfishly—a small piece of my heart was broken.

Running was still new to me then, but in that short period of time, I had grown to enjoy how empowered it made me feel. Preparing for the marathon gave me a reason to stay focused. I saw improvements with each run: my legs felt strong and my heart and head clear. I mourned the loss of my 26.2 mile goal and months of training by quitting running. I quit taking care of myself too, and easily settled back into a gym-less routine I found comfortable and comforting.

Sometimes change is subtle, for me it was revelatory. It took nearly five years, some rosacea treatment medicine side-effect weight gain, and yet another not-worthy-of-my-time-but-I-liked-him-anyway guy who ghosted to realize I was truly ready to reset my life. I had to stop fixating on what was happening to me and just start making things happen.  And one crucial step would be to seize what eluded me in 2012 and cross that finish line in Central Park.

For years I had been wearing laziness as a medal but was now eager to trade it in for a real one. I joined a gym, took a hard look at my diet, and deleted every single dating app on my phone.

It was the summer of 2016, and it belonged to me.

My newly minted PR from last weekends Staten Island Half!
Summer became fall and I had completed the nine races and one volunteer slot required to qualify for the 2017 New York City Marathon. I had lost 10 pounds. Running aided in my self-confidence; it gave me moments of solitude to reflect not on what still lay ahead, but on how far I’d come. Winter arrived and I accelerated my weight loss efforts by joining Weight Watchers, which was gratefully provided for free through my work. Winter was soon spring and now summer has ended. Twenty pounds and loads of self-doubt lighter, I am nearly through my marathon training. My legs feel strong and my heart and head clear.

My final qualifying race!

True, I re-ignited my love for running, but more so I found a renewed sense of self-worth—fueled by the realization that only I can dictate my happiness. On November 5th 2017, I will earn a medal to commemorate 26.2 miles through the five boroughs of New York City, but in reality that medal will signify a far more important achievement.

I will finish the marathon not only with a new personal best; I will finish at my personal best.

Left: March 2016, Right: August 2017 (Same work bathroom selfie :-p)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Long Weekend Musings: Are Kitten Heels the Cat's Meow?

If there were a shoe equivalent to salt and vinegar potato chips, the kitten heel may be it. You know what I'm talking about - people either love 'em or hate 'em. And the more I googled to validate that point, the clearer it became that kitten heels are definitely a polarizing accessory.

Admittedly, despite thinking about shoes far more often than the average human, I can honestly say that the argument for or against the kitten heel was not one I ever paid much attention to. But with this shoe trend popping up in more recent years, the kitten heel has managed to tip-toe its way into my thoughts; forcing me to take a stance once and for all.

And what did I decide?

Unsurprisingly, I fall on positive end of this shoe spectrum. Personally, I think what makes the kitten heel so controversial -- their dainty shape and borderline-old-lady vibes -- are actually the things that, to me, make them pretty damn cool. Perhaps it's because Emanuelle Alt wears them so well and I'm smitten with anything Parisian, but there is definitely something about a basic tee tucked into some high waist, straight leg, vintage inspired denim punctuated with a kitten heel that just feels incredibly effortless and chic that I can't help but think it's the bees-freaking-knees.

So, if you happen to be on the fence with regards to the the kitten heel, I have included a little food for thought over the holiday weekend: a selection of styling inspirations, my own interpretation of the trend, as well as some affordable shoe options. Now may be just the right time, because, hello! Labor Day Sales!
Images credits, clockwise from top: Roe DiaryHaut AppetitClique MagWho What Wear

On me (clockwise): Vintage Ferragamo slingbacks/Levi's jeans/J.Crew Vintage Tee/Vintage Gucci belt (similar); J.Crew Dulci Pumps/Madewell jeans/Abercrombie & Fitch bodysuit. Vintage Gucci mules/Gap jeans (similar)/Madewell t-shirt (old)/J.Crew sweatshirt

If I weren't on a shoe no-buy, I'd have the following in my cart:

These Sam Edelmans, another pair of my J.Crew pumps (they are so comfortable), and these rose gold Nine West mules (because, rose gold)
Dulci suede kitten heelsLynton Kitten Heel Slides
While the jury may still be deliberating on the ultimate fate of the kitten heel, my verdict is in: They're purrrr-fect.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday: #Basic A(&)F

If at any point in the last 15 years, you told me that I would be making a ridiculous number of purchases at Abercrombie & Fitch in 2017, I would have laughed in your face. Like legit, rolling on the floor, so-hard-you-can't-even-hear-it type laughter. However, despite the fact that, up until this past winter, I associated Abercrombie solely with my high school/early college self and European tourists (though, to be fair, when I have found myself in the 5th Avenue store, I am 99% sure I'm the only NYC resident shopping there), I can say with complete and utter seriousness: they have some seriously good stuff out right now. And the price is on point.

While I could share a laundry list of recent purchases, in order to save some dignity in regards to my shopping habits, I would much rather use this post to spread the word that while Old Navy is currently providing me with the perfect fitted tank, A&F is killing it with their selection of bodysuits.

Now I know bodysuits are not #1 on the list of most universally loved items of clothing. In fact, I'd venture to say there is a lot of debate over their practicality (I vote a resounding "hellyeah!", but only if there are crotch snaps. No crotch snaps, no thank you), and many likely see no reason to wear them. But recently? I am hooked. The whole, not having to worry about a tucked-in top bunching up seems like one of the ultimate fashion hacks.

If you're into them too, feel free to shop my current faves here. Did I mention they. Are. All. On. Sale? (What are you waiting for? Jump to it!!!)

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Dude, I'm still into OTS. No shade.
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Strappy Back = Bringing Sexy Back?
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Shoulder Ties are Super Sweet
Oh hay, it's just me in my Abercrombie bodysuit being #basic by taking a bathroom selfie
Madewell Jeans (on sale here!), J.Crew Dulci Pumps (old color) and earrings (old, but similar here)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fast Post Friday: Form Fitting Tank Edition

Happy Friday y'all!

It's summer in the city which means I'm out of work at 1pm and the only thing I'm more excited about is the tank top I'm wearing. It is from Old Navy, is currently priced at $6 (though I snagged mine for $5) and happens to be reigning supreme as my favorite body-hugging-base-layer tank of the moment.

I have recently been exploring the form fitting top/bodysuit & high waist bottom outfit combo, and these tanks perfectly fit the bill - pun intended. I originally only purchased two, but went back the next day and immediately nabbed two more. (Yes, they are that great.)

Shop them here and see a few of the ways I styled them below!

Trust, you'll tank me for this advice.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fast Post Friday - Fabulous Flats(ish)

(Most) of my shoe collection. I am thankful for a massive closet in my tiny apartment.
I am a self-admitted shoe whore. I don't consider that a negative term in my book because dammit that is how much I love shoes. I rarely take cabs so that I can buy more shoes. I food shop exclusively at Trader Joe's so I can buy more shoes. I bring my lunch to work every. day. so that I can buy more shoes (also, it's healthier so double win there). You get the idea.

Priorities, amirite?

I.
Love.
Shoes.
(And I'm not ashamed to shout it from the rooftops, your judgement does not faze me.)

So what does a girl with over 80 pairs (majority of them heels) do when she finds herself being wheeled out of her office on a stretcher after falling down the stairs and is told that she should only wear sneakers for at least the next six weeks? (Or rather, what does that girl do right after she whimpers to herself a little).

I'll tell you what I did, I bought a bunch of sneakers.

But of course that's not the point of this post (good job, Rebs), the point is more what I did after weeks of wearing sneakers: I bought a crap ton (read: 6 pairs) of flats/low heeled sandals on sale. (Is it just me or have there been a lot of good sales lately?)

Because clearly I was gonna cheat a little, and with mules/slides being the sandal of summer 2017, I felt it was my duty as a borderline-shopaholic, barely-blogger, full-time shoe whore to grab a few lot and share my picks with you! (Yes, all - what - three of you?)

From L-R, T-B:
Raye, Pour La Victoire, J.Crew, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor

pdpImgShortDescriptionpdpImgShortDescriptionDouble-strap suede slidesDouble-strap slides in snakeskin-printed leatherPrimary Image of Gretel Suede SlidesPrimary Image of Gretel Metallic Leather Slides

Now, if you don't mind, I'm just gonna just slip on that gold pair and slide right into the weekend...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fast Post Friday: Fabulous Feline

I don't need to remind you that I'm a beauty product junkie and I certainly don't need to tell you again about my mascara obsession (the struggle. is. real.), so it should come as no surprise that I recently stumbled upon a new mascara I had to try. (And if by stumbled, I mean I took myself to Bed Bath & Beyond to purchase ingredients for a DIY eyebrow growth serum -- a story for another day -- and purposely walked myself through the cosmetics aisle.)

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Oh, hai lashes.
Bottom line: what I used to do with two mascaras, I can now do with one. This doesn't mean I won't ever buy my dynamic duo ever again, but right now I'm not sure I will need to. The proof is in the pudding...errrr, lashes.

Happy Friday, and you're welcome.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Kylie Jenner revived 90's lipstick, and I don't hate her for it.

Kylie Jenner
image via Byrdie


Last Wednesday it was cold and rainy. Despite the fact that the calendar was telling me it was spring, it felt like winter, inspiring me to apply my ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Kae; a dark, rich, velvety brown. Admittedly a rather aggressive color, I received compliments from four of my coworkers. (Embrace the bold, people!)

It has been just over 5 months since Kylie Jenner launched her break-the-internet lip kits, and the brown lipstick trend seems only to have gained momentum. In fact, it has become so ubiquitous, that I eventually succumbed to its siren song and purchased the 90's throwback hue.

And you know what? I kind of love it. So much so that I have added allll of the below shades to my ever-growing lipstick collection. And, lucky for you, each one is budget friendly (duh):

Revlon Chocoliscious
Revlon Mink
ColourPop Kae
ColourPop Limbo
ColourPop Beeper
NYX Beauty Mark
NYX Sandstorm

While the temperatures may be (slowly) rising, and it no longer feels like the season for brown lips, you'll still probably find me rocking the look because, whatever - it's da bomb.