I met my friend Paul eight years ago while we were both working as editors at the same home decor magazine. But little did I know that he and I would become really close friends throughout the years and that he would eventually invest in, and help open a very cool restaurant in Williamsburg…read more >
Last Sunday I headed uptown to my friend Agathe’s apartment to attempt to bake some “Matcha Green Tea” cupcakes, from a recipe created by her company, Red Velvet NYC. Think Blue Apron, but for desserts! I was a little nervous because I couldn’t even remember the last time I sifted flour, let alone made my own frosting (try never). But she was a great teacher and encouraged me to do each step on my own, even when I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.
Because I am such a visual learner, I love that Red Velvet NYC has pictures to go along with their recipe text. That might sound like a no brainer, but think of all the recipes out there that are just listed in a cookbook with no photos to accompany it! I get so lost and overwhelmed that I usually just give up. But I love how beautiful the photos are on the recipe cards that come in the box, plus every ingredient is perfectly portioned out so you have exactly what you need.
Click the read more button below to see step by step photos and directions on how to make these yummy cupcakes! xo
In this day and age, we are so connected to our phones, devices, computers –you name it, we are probably on more than one at a time! Admittedly, I can find it very hard to turn everything off for fear of missing out, but luckily, I grew up with my Mother and Grandmother who taught me the importance of mindfulness and meditation, and how beneficial it is to find the time to strip away the superficial and focus on the authentic.
Because an amazing thing happens when I strip away the noise, the clutter and the commotion of my everyday stress. I become present, live in the moment, and reconnect with my true self again, allowing my creativity to flow and for greatness to happen, in whatever form it might be.
Now for a little segue, you all remember the past Herbal Essences commercials (the shower scenes haha) and how good the products smelled, right? Well now the brand is introducing two new collections – Herbal Essences Naked Clean & Refresh, and Herbal Essences Naked Smooth & Soft Shampoo and Conditioner, which are both free of heavy residues, parabens or dyes.
They approached me about working with their the latest collection, which is focused around who you are in your most pared down, #nakedstate of mind, and because of everything I just mentioned above, I was intrigued to experience and learn more.
I started by spending an afternoon with the very talented Celebrity Hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan who taught me all about the Naked Collection and walked me through all the steps needed to create the beachy, loose waves I wanted. Because my hair is fine, he used the Herbal Essences Naked Clean & Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner, which smells of strawberries and mint, to cleanse and brighten it before styling.
Now I’ll walk you through our process!
The Naked Volumizing Soufflé (the mousse) is best to put in your hair when it’s really wet and fresh from the shower. Apply at the roots and then work it towards the ends. Twist your hair to wring out the excess moisture in your hair, which will also help to more evenly distribute the product through your hair.
Next, because I have naturally curly hair and it can tend to get a bit frizzy around the hair lines, Charles recommended combing the hairline area and tucking it behind my ears to smooth out the cow licks and extra curly areas. He suggests also using a bobby pin or a flat clip to hold it in place to allow the hair to air dry.
Save your hair styling for the last part of getting ready. He explained to me that the heat is what changes the shape of hair, so doing too much in the way of styling with a blow dryer is sort of a waste in energy.
Tip: A rough dry can do the trick because you only need the hair to be around 90% dry.
Charles blew out my edges with a large natural bristle brush and a diffusing nozzle, then added loose waves with an iron.
Tip: If you reshape wave or curl with irons or wands, hair is much less likely to frizz and you can also comb or brush it to integrate waves and/or build body or volume.
Lastly, he spritzed my hair with the Naked Flexible Hold Spritzer to hold waves and scrunch it in to create a beachy look.
Tip: Using the Naked Dry Shampoo is a great way to add extra body and volume too!
After my hair consultation and styling session with Charles, I headed to a meditation session at ISHTA Yoga to learn some tips on how to quiet the mind and center the body through breath and movement. It was a lovely mix of yoga and meditation, and I found it so amazing and calming to sit quietly for an hour with no phone. I came out of the session so relaxed and refreshed, plus my hair totally stayed in tact while moving through my yoga flow.Then later on in the evening, I went with my dear friend Liz to Rockwood Music Hall for an 8PM showing of the band Bellehouse. I love live music and this New York-based group is a mix of Old Time and folk revival with touches of Celtic, classic rock, soul and Motown to name a few. It was a great day overall and I loved getting in touch and taking time for myself to enjoy things that bring me happiness.
Photos by Falcon Griffith
Created in partnership with Herbal Essences
For those of you that follow on me Instagram or Facebook, I am sure you saw the first photo I shared of my gallery wall or this photo, which is similar to the one above. I love my apartment and have lived in it for quite a long time now, first with a roommate, then by myself and now with Casey, and it’s truly become my New York home. I say New York home because I also consider my house in Seattle, my other home. Call me bi-coastal I guess. :) Anyway, I have been working really hard at getting the space to where I want it (with Casey weighing in as well of course) and last night I was finally happy enough with it to take a photo to share the progress with you guys!
Paint: The main wall used to be a dark turquoise and now it’s a pretty light gray. I love it so much.
Gallery wall: It’s finally hung – it only took me a few years. Eeep! The prints are a mix of things I have collected over the years as well as pieces from Minted (this one makes me smile and this one will be hung in the bedroom) and The Animal Print Shop (this and this). I used a great guy named Jason from Thumbtack to hang everything – he was friendly, fast and professional.
Chair: I brought my acrylic chair from Ikea up from my office and decided to use it as accent seating versus the previous dark velvet chair I had there before. I just felt like the shape and material of the new piece lightened up the space more and I had fun covering it in a faux sheepskin throw and cheeky Kate Spade throw pillow. I also found a perfect spot to display my ten years worth of Vogue magazines without taking up any room!
Rug: Planning on ordering this one.
Pillows: I have the inserts, so now we just need different cases to freshen up our couchscape.
Table tray: I love this one in gold from West Elm.
Paint: We painted the main wall a pretty light gray but now I am thinking about painting the whole room the same shade. I am not loving how the “apartment white” on the other walls looks so yellow in comparison.
Kate Spade Coat (gift) | Uniqlo Sweater (this one is only $84 and is available on Shopbop, which is part of their big sale that are currently having) | Artitzia “Daria” Vegan Leather Leggings (similar) | Vince Camuto Boots (gift – mine are sold out but here is another pair I have and love, and they are 50% off!) | Celine Bag
So I know I have been sharing this coat a lot on the blog and on Instagram lately but I just wanted to share these photos that I took with Lydia last month, which show you guys the two different ways this jacket can be worn, since it’s actually reversible. I wore it the furry side out on the blog yesterday, but mostly I’ve been wearing it with the leather on the outside because it does an excellent job of battling the crazy wind chill we’ve been experiencing over the last few weeks. Ok, I digress, but seriously, I love this coat. Thanks again Kate Spade! xo
Photos by: Lydia Hudgens
Photo by: Lydia Hudgens
Just a fun feathery coat meets wide-legged jumpsuit outfit for your Thursday.
Here’s to the weekend being only a couple days away! xo
Shop the post below…
Photos by Lydia Hudgens
Karen Walker Sunglasses | All Saints Leather Jacket | True Religion Plaid Shirt (gift) | J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck | Wilfred Free Daria Pants | La Canadienne Boots (gift) | Polo Ralph Lauren Bag (gift – mine is no longer available but here is a similar style) | NARS Lipstick in Bette
Last week I partnered with Absolut Vodka and tried out their new mobile site, Hoppr by Absolut, to host a fun holiday party. Before I share about my little soiree, let me tell you a little more about Hoppr. Specific to the New York City area, the mobile site connects partygoers and throwers in a whole new way, allowing hosts to post their parties and guests to RSVP in order to unlock unexpected social connections.
Simply head to AbsolutHoppr.com and log in through your Facebook account and then choose if you are looking to host a party in the area or attend one. But don’t worry, the host and potential guest have to mutually agree to share information and only then will addresses and details of the party be shared, so it is completely safe!
So back to my party…I originally wanted to host a gathering at my apartment, but since it’s on the smaller side, I wasn’t sure how many people it could hold comfortably. Luckily for me, my sweet friends, Helena and Keiko let me decorate and set everything up at Brooklyn Brigade, their studio space, which boasts lots of room and has a great rustic wooden farm table, which I used as my inspiration when planning out my theme. For snacks, I picked up yummy cheese, meats and crackers, plus some olives and veggies, and created a festive drink I like to call the Cranberry Kiss. (See recipe below!) We danced to all our favorite Christmas songs, snapped goofy photos and generally had a great time ringing in the holiday season!
1.5oz Absolut Original Vodka
A splash of Club Soda
2oz of sparkling wine
Cranberries to float on top
Tip: Use frozen cranberries in place of ice cubes to keep your drink cool without it getting watered down.
Photos by: Angelique Ambrosio
A big thanks to Absolut for partnering with me on this post. Enjoy responsibly.
To see a few more photos from the party click below!read more >