Galentines Day Shoot

Since I am painfully single, GALentines Day > Valentines Day, am I right ladies??? I had a super fun Valentines Day themed shoot with Caroline and Lauren recently in Lauren's incredibly cute apartment. Complete with balloons, heart shaped everything, sparkly champagne bottles and donuts, we had ourselves a great time snapping cute photos. I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because I think the photos speak for themselves :)

Top: Anthropologie (on sale!) | Sweater: Anthropologie | Jeans: American Eagle (on sale!) | Bracelet: Loren Hope | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Cute & Cozy Sweater

My schedule has been crazy this year so far but I took the opportunity on a free Sunday a few weekends ago to hang out with Caroline & Isabella, two bloggers I haven't seen in forever! The weather was absolutely incredible for a January in NYC so we went to a delicious brunch at Rosemary's (highly recommend) and then strolled around the West Village. Since it was too warm to wear a coat (I can't believe that actually happened), I opted for layer with this adorable embroidered sweater from Madewell and a basic turtleneck from Zara. I wish I had taken detail shots of the sweater because the embellishments are SO pretty - follow the link above to the product listing and zoom in on the photos to see! 

Sweater: Madewell (on sale!) | Turtleneck: Zara | Jeans: Free People | Boots: Sole Society

Winter Work OOTD

I've been trying to build my professional wardrobe as I am only one year away from graduating college (scary!) and kicked off this quest with this awesome pair of pants I purchased from Club Monaco. I've always been terrified of slacks because they can be so painfully boring and corporate looking, however, these are anything but! Club Monaco is amazing for business attire - their pieces pass any dress code with flying colors but are still so unique and fun. I also just purchased this Madewell sweater that I'm really excited about. I've been on the hunt for an everyday, grey sweater and I love how versatile, yet eye-catching this one is. What are y'all's favorite stores to buy work clothes at? Let me know in the comments!

Sweater: Madewell | Pants: Club Monaco | Shoes: Sole Society (on sale!)

My 2018 New Year Resolutions

Photo via Emily Byrski

Dress for myself

Sometimes I get too caught up with changing the way I run my social media and blog in order to grow it/attract more readers. In 2017, I got way too caught up in jumping on trend bandwagons or buying/wearing specific things for my blog because they "photograph well" and elevate my style. At the same time, I would refuse to buy things I actually liked because they were too basic or
wouldn't photograph well. Operating under these principles led me to be super unhappy with the final results of my blog content because the outfits just weren't me at all. I even looked at some of my outfits in retrospect and hated them. I've always said that if you aren't being yourself on your blog, you readers are going to see right through you and they aren't going to like your content either. In 2018, I am only going buy clothing that I really, genuinely like. 

Cooking > eating out

I have never wasted so much money on food as I did in 2017. I was always so tired at the end of the day that all I wanted to do was order GrubHub (a food delivery service popular in NYC) and lay on my couch. I probably ordered food in about 4 nights out of the week, each time costing $13-$15. The other 3 nights, I would usually go to the deli around the corner from my apartment building and get a cheap, unhealthy dinner or eat in the dining hall the one night each week I had a night class. If you are wondering what I did for lunch and breakfast, I usually just have a granola bar in the morning and then snack throughout the day or get food at my school's dining hall on the days I have classes. Since the healthier options for ordering in are even more expensive, I would resort to ordering unhealthy things to keep the price under $15. So at the end of the day, I was spending exorbitant amounts of money to eat super fatty, processed foods. Yes, cooking is more time/energy consuming, but at the end of the day it's so worth it because you control what you put in your body and you save an infinite amount of money. I think the one thing that really holds me back from making my own food is working up the motivation to make the long trip from Trader Joe's and back (keep in mind that I live in NYC so I have to take the subway to do this). The cooking part, itself, isn't that bad or hard to me. In order to compromise with myself, I'm going to try out grocery delivery services, which are super common/popular to use in NYC! Yes, I may spend an extra $8 or so on the delivery fee, but that's nothing compared to the money I will be saving from not eating out! 

Stop comparing myself to others 

This is kind of an ongoing goal that I've been working on for YEARS. I've always had problems with this and it severely impacts my happiness. As they say, "comparison is the thief of joy." It has especially become a problem since moving to NYC because everyone is focused on their career and status. There is also so much money in this city which leads to a focus on money and the things that money can afford you. When I'm focused on measurable, superficial things I am so much more likely to compare what I have to what other people have (wealth, a nice apartment, a prestigious job, etc). This is very intertwined with my next resolution which is... 

Look for happiness in people, not things

I'm not a psychologist by any means but I know enough to know that focusing your energy towards fostering healthy and strong personal relationships is a key way to create true happiness. In this new year, I want to put more effort into strengthening my friendships. This is a pretty vague statement so here are some examples - reach out more often to hang out (I'm notorious for choosing my bed and Netflix over social time), telling them how much they mean to me, buying them little surprise gifts, doing favors for them and just helping them out in any way I can. This is why strengthening my friendships is so important to me: when I am struggling with anything boy related, job related, money related, etc., it's hard for me and I'm sad. When an important friendship is rocky or I feel like a close friend is becoming distant, it feels absolutely devastating. I can't focus on anything or get my mind off of it. When I feel very confident in my friendships, though, I feel very confident and happy in general. I believe that keeping these relationships strong and putting their importance above all the superficial BS will lead me to a happier 2018 where I am content with what I have and not constantly comparing myself to other people. 

Olive Wrap Dress

Notice something different about these pictures? I edited them using the Jaci Marie Lightroom presets I just purchased! I've observed lately that presets have been a huge thing in the world of Instagram and wanted to try them out. I was hesitant to purchase these presets because I didn't know how well they would work on my pictures or how well they would fit with my aesthetic. I still have somewhat mixed feelings about the preset pack I purchased but think they made this batch of photos turn out perfect. I want your feedback – how do you like these photos? Is the editing too intense? Is it not very "me"? let me know! Also let me know if you want me to do a more in depth post about presets, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on the matter and advice for using them!

On another note, I recently received this dress from Mint Julep Boutique and am so in love with it. It's such a flattering a trendy style and love the boho vibes of the color and fabric. I added more pizzazz to the look by pairing it with my first ever handkerchief – I am so on board with this trend! 

Dress: c/o Mint Julep Boutique | Handkerchief: Madewell | Booties: Madewell (similar, same brand)