Life Update


The last couple months have been an absolute whirlwind. SO much has changed in the past few months that I kind of feel like I'm living a whole new life in a way. I'm excited to share with y'all the details of what I mean by that in this post!

Moving/new apartment - The craziest and most stressful part about the last few months has been the moving process. After a year of living in the Financial District, I decided that I really wanted my own room and that constituted a move. While I LOVE FiDi, you don't get a lot of bang for your buck down there so my new roommate, Alianne, and I focused our search on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Hell's Kitchen. Thankfully, we only had to look at about 5 apartments before finding the one we really loved and signing the lease. The winner was a 2 bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side only a block away from Central Park!

Of course, after signing the lease, the next step was packing everything up. This part wasn't AS stressful for me as it would be for others because I don't really own much furniture. I was really stressed out about moving day and didn't sleep well for the week leading up to it because I was so nervous. I can't exactly explain why but I am definitely the type of person to get irrational anxiety about situations like that. Moving day went 100 times smoother and was much less stressful than I expected because I had an amazing moving company, Roadway, to do the job for me. To say my team of Roadway movers were kind, efficient and courteous would be an understatement. They truly took all the stress out of the day and made the process of moving so easy and seamless. Moving in NYC is debatably way more stressful and difficult than moving anywhere else, so I highly recommend hiring a trustworthy and outstanding company. If you guys have a move coming up, you should definitely use my code 'kate' to get 10% off of Roadway's moving services!

Settling into the new apartment was way more stressful than I expected it to be. It has taken so long to unpack and my bank account is bleeding because of how much new stuff I've had to buy for it. I upgraded from a twin to a full-size bed during this move and the new bed, alone, cost upwards of $700 because of how many components go into it (frame, boxspring, mattress, mattress pad, mattress cover, bed skirt, sheets, duvet insert, duvet cover, new pillows). Complaining aside, I am SO happy with the way that my decor is turning out and can't wait to share the decoration process hopefully soon! The bulk of settling in is done and I'm finally in a much more peaceful state of mind, which is great.

Another exciting aspect of this move is my 3rd new roommate – Alianne's dog named Winnie! She's a mini Yorkie and probably the smallest dog I've ever seen in my life. I'll definitely be sure to share more photos of her soon. I've wanted to live with a dog for so long and I'm so happy it's finally happening! Dogs bring so much added warmth and happiness to a home.

Memorial Day Weekend trip to the Hamptons - If you follow me on social media, you probably saw that I went to the Hamptons a few weekends ago! A bunch of my blogger friends and I rented an airbnb house in East Hampton and went out there Friday through Monday. While it was a pricey trip (everything is so expensive out there, especially during a holiday), it was so much fun and a much needed, relaxing break from my moving process.

New Summer Internship - I'm so happy to say that I am interning full-time this summer at Brooks Brothers' corporate office! I am on the social media team there and at the time of writing this, I just finished up my first week. Everything is going great so far and I'm already learning a lot. Bonus: I LOVE my co-workers, they're so fun and have been such a joy to work with. This is my first time working a Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM type of job. It's going well so far and hopefully it will stay that way. I want to speak more on the subject of getting an internship, interning in the fashion industry and my personal experience with interning. Once I have more insight under my belt from this internship, I want to write some blog posts about this topic at the end of the summer. If you are interested in this, please send in your questions by leaving a comment or contacting me through social media!

The Best and Worst Parts of Living In NYC


I get a lot of questions relating to my favorite and least favorite parts of living in NYC, especially from people who are considering moving here. Of course, everyone's personality and situation is different so these are my subjective opinions, but I hope this gives you all who are interested a raw and honest view of what it is like to live in NYC. 

Pros

There is always something to do - 

if you are someone who gets bored easily and/or feels like a waste of space doing nothing all day, this city is the perfect place for you. There are always festivals, concerts, pop-ups and events. In an environment that has so much happening and such a large variety of people, you'll end up falling into the most random and interesting experiences and come out of them with the best stories! It truly is the city where anything can happen. If you move here, it is unlikely that you will ever be on your deathbed regretting not living your life to the fullest (this is definitely something I've worried about in the past).

Amazing food - 

I am the BIGGEST foodie and know that I am in the best city possible to be that way. I have a 2 page Word document of restaurants I want to go to and every time I cross one off the list, I feel like I add two more. It's not just avocado toast and other trendy, expensive food (yes, I do buy into the hype of this type of food), it is truly unique and inventive concoctions that you literally could not find anywhere else (until it gets copied or the restaurant expands to other cities). Are you addicted to those Facebook restaurant videos? I bet you that 80%+ of them are featuring NYC restaurants.

Gorgeous scenery everywhere -

I am a sucker for a beautiful sunset and love being surrounded by pretty and interesting landscapes. I grew up not having any large bodies of water within 2 hours from my house so living walking distance to two huge rivers is an absolute dream for me! It's easy to take advantage of all the amazing views, too, with so many public rooftops! Chances are you will also live in a building/have a friend who lives in a building with an accessable rooftop. What's amazing to me is that every different neighborhood of Manhattan has a vastly different scenery and mood. The West Village is charming and quaint, the Upper East is elegant and proper, SoHo is swanky and trendy, etc. In other words, there are so many cool and different things to see within several blocks of each other.

Motivating environment -

People move to NYC to pursue their dreams and work tirelessly to achieve them. Being surrounded by such motivated people inspires you to work hard and reach for your wildest dreams. If I went to college at a state school in a college town, I'm 95% sure I would have quit my blog and settled for a less competitive career field. There's absolutely nothing wrong with state schools, but I feel like the environment wouldn't be motivating enough to keep me, personally, focused on my goals.

Cons

It's expensive -

Everything, I mean EVERYTHING is more expensive in NYC. Looking at price differences individually may not always seem like a huge deal, but it adds up quickly. It is true that you will pay $1,000+ per month to live in a shoebox sized room. You'll actually have to pay closer to $2,000+ to live in a somewhat reasonably sized room. That's a pretty skeptical view, but there are always exceptions to that statement. You can also sacrifice certain things (living in a building with amenities, living in a central part of town, living close to a subway stop, etc.) for more space and a lower cost. But at the end of the day, it's hard to have it all unless you are rich. Chances are, though, that if you live in NYC, you'll be so busy that you won't be spending much time in your apartment anyways!

Having to walk everywhere -

One of the things I miss most about home is being able to drive. Taking the subway/walking in the Spring and Fall is actually wonderful because the weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful. Taking the subway/walking in the Summer and Winter can be absolutely brutal, though. Headed to an event where you want to look nice? Forget it. In the summer, you'll show up a sweaty mess and in the winter you will show up with windswept hair, red cheeks from the cold and possibly soaked in melted snow. If you want to avoid this, you'll have to take a cab/Uber for $20+. The long and brutal winters also make it harder to dress for fashion rather than function. In the middle of the winter, when it's snowing and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, it's hard to motivate yourself to wear anything but a 5 inch thick parka and snow boots. I know everyone in the North/Midwest fall victim to harsh winters, but at least you guys have cars! When buying shoes now, they can't be anything less than extremely comfortable because I know I will be miserable walking around in them if they aren't. One positive thing about all the walking, though, is that you get lots of fresh air, enjoy your surroundings and it's easy to stay in shape!

It's a rat race -

The stereotype is true - New York City is a rat race. The majority of NYC inhabitants move here to pursue big dreams and big dreams require a big drive. You will constantly be surrounded by people who hardly sleep a wink because they are so busy working and will go to extreme lengths to get what they want. While sometimes these people can really motivate you to be your best, they may also make you question your entire existence and make you feel like a total failure in comparison (they do that to me, at least).

Dating sucks -

My mom sent me some statistic from an article she read that single women outnumber single men in NYC 1 to 5. That statistic alone makes your odds of finding a beau slim. However, what makes it worse is that hookup culture in NYC is rampant and very few men under the age of 30 want a serious relationship. There are a lot of theories on why this is the case. I personally believe it is because there are too many distractions here. Too many women, too much partying, too much of a mindset that "there's always something better out there." People are also hyper-focused on their career and can't be bothered to make a time commitment to love. Dating app culture doesn't help either. 

In conclusion, my number of cons is larger than my number of pros but the pros still outweigh the cons. I truly love living here, but I definitely do not plan on living in the city forever. In fact, I know very few people who plan on living in NYC long term. I've personally never heard someone say that they want to raise a family and grow old here. Truth is, most people get exhausted from living in the hustle and bustle of the city day in and day out and end up moving to the tri-state area (New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut). This allows them to live a bit more leisurely but still commute into the city to work. Who knows what the future holds for me, but I could definitely see myself doing this down the road! I never want to live too far from NYC as it holds a huge piece of my heart. 

Easy, Breezy

Such a fun Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons! The best part was getting to spend a fun and relaxing trip with friends and the beautiful backdrops for blog content were just a bonus. Stay tuned for some fun group pictures and more info about our trip in an upcoming post! 

I got to shoot a few outfits while out east, one being this gorgeous, flowing maxi dress from Free People. It's perfect for summer because of how lightweight and the best part is how dang soft it is! Emily loaned me her J.Crew floppy hat for photos and I was shocked when I looked it up and realized how affordable it was. Definitely check out the link below if you are looking for a quality beach hat. Also, can we talk about how STUNNING these photos turned out. The classic, New England shingle houses lining the beach create the most picturesque background.

Dress: Free People | Hat: J.Crew | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Tips For Curating a Beautiful Instagram Feed

To be perfectly honest, maintaining a super cohesive Instagram feed is HARD WORK and one of the most difficult aspects of being an "influencer" (yikes, I hate that word) for me, personally. Let me start off by saying that having a visually perfect IG feed is by no means necessary in growing a following. I follow tons of bloggers who have grown a massive following from their good style alone and barely edit their photos or care about the composition of their feed. After all, there are so many different components to be an influencer/blogger. I think it's all about what is important to YOU as a content creator (I also hate that term a lot for some reason). 

Visual creativity and branding through visuals have always been a really important aspects of blogging to me. I feel most satisfied with my work when all of my photos/content look cohesive. If you are the same way, this post is for you! I definitely am not 100% satisfied with the way my IG feed looks and there is definitely room for improvement. You'll find out through this post, though, that it takes so much time and effort to create visual perfection. As a full-time college student with an internship and limited funds, I don't quite have the ability to live up to these full time bloggers that travel the world. However, that's ok and I've done a good job of collecting some knowledge and skills to do the best job I possibly can! 


Colors 
Adobe Lightroom – I think a lot of people would disagree, but I feel that Lightroom is pretty much necessary in order to have full control over the color consistency in your photos. I'm not sure of all the different package options, but I get Lightroom and Photoshop within an Adobe Photography subscription for $9.99 per month. While basic photo editing apps allow you to adjust brightness, saturation, basic color tint (yellow to blue scale and green to purple scale) and some other basic components, Lightroom allows you to adjust the hue, saturation and luminescence of each basic color group (i.e. green, pink, yellow), which I find KEY for maintaining a cohesive color scheme. Lets say you like all the greenery in your photos to be really desaturated and more on the yellow side than the blue side. Lightroom makes it possible for you to make all of your greenery look exactly how you want and exactly the same in all your photos. This leads me to my next point...


Cohesive color hues and saturations in all photos – Cohesive color hues and saturation levels are key to making your feed come together. If you are unfamiliar with what the hue of a color is, the term in Lightroom, specifically, refers to the shade of each basic color group (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and pink). It's kind of hard to explain but I think you will understand from looking at the screenshot of color hue scales from Lightroom below. I think you all know what saturation is haha... anyway, you should adjust the saturation levels of a certain color in each photo as another way to make the color match in all photos. 


I mentioned earlier that you can edit the yellow to blue scale on a basic photo editing app. It is very important that you keep this aspect of your photo editing consistent! Below is one of my photos edited to have more of a blue tint (left) and the same photo with more of a yellow tint (right). I personally prefer the yellow tones as I think it makes photos look much warmer! 


Lightoom Presets – I've found that using a single Lightroom preset on all my photos has really helped to make my photos look cohesive! I wrote a super long, detailed post about my experience with Lightroom Presets that you can find here. As I mention in the post, though, manual edits that you make after applying the presets are very important finishing touches. 

Composition
Using a combination of object photos and portraits – Throwing what some call a "filler photo" into your feed every few photos can do a great job of creating a visual balance in your IG feed. A filler photo is essentially a photo that does not include yourself. It can be a landscape photo, a flat lay of products/clothing, food, animals, etc.. Filler photos can also help set the mood for your feed. For instance, as you can from the screenshot of my current IG feed in this post, I'm trying to create a warm, colorful, spring feeling through my photos. I think the close up shot of the cherry blossom flowers and restaurant with the floral/palm print wallpaper contribute a lot to creating this vibe!

Change up your poses – For the photos that are of yourself – change things up! Don't just stand facing the camera, smiling in all of your photos. I find that including a mixture of sitting and standing photos helps to diversify the composition of my photos. It's also helpful to include a balanced combination of close-up and full body shots of yourself! 

Strategically choose backgrounds – In my opinion, the background adds SO much to the quality of the photo. While you can strategically choose backgrounds that will make the individual photo more aesthetically pleasing, you can also strategically choose backgrounds based on how it will contribute to your overall theme. I choose light and bright backgrounds because I know they will support the theme I try to maintain for my IG feed. My friend @carolinestfrancis is a great example of someone who chooses backgrounds that fit her feed perfectly. During the winter months, she chose lots of neutral backgrounds and brick buildings to shoot in front of because it perfectly complimented her style and color scheme. One time we were shooting together and decided to take photos in front of a charming restaurant that was painted a forest green shade. It looked perfect on her IG feed but completely threw mine off and looked awful! 

Finding the perfect (or even just a decent) background for every photo you take is truly one of the hardest parts of IG photography, especially if you live in a smaller town where there is no interesting architecture or cute spaces to take photos. Even in NYC it can be hard if you are on a time crunch! I definitely don't have all day everyday to walk around looking for the perfect photo spot. I am constantly looking to other NYC bloggers to scout photo locations. I am an avid user of the "save" feature on Instagram and use it to create a collection of good photo spots to reference. 

My small town bloggers – how do you find interesting photo locations? I'm genuinely so curious about this. Leave comments letting me know!

A Hot Second

Spring in NYC came for, quite literally, a hot second. The temps shot up from 45 to 75 degrees overnight and then went back down to 30 the next day. I used the time sparingly to take some photos in this breezy outfit and enjoy the warmth with friends.

I've been on the hunt for work appropriate, summer clothes and these pants are absolutely perfect! It's hard to find conservative summer clothes that you can actually survive the hot weather in, but these are amazing because they are so lightweight. I paired it with this cropped wrap top that would also be perfect with work (of course, only with high waisted pants). 

Top: Madewell | Pants: Leith | Shoes: Hinge (similar) | Necklace: That's So Fletch | Watch: Kate Spade