I haven’t done one of these posts since last October! To be honest the time since then has been a whirlwind of my old company closing, then starting my new job, then the holidays. I just now really feel like I’m coming up for air. So as I sit with a chai tea latte in hand, waiting for the snowstorm to arrive this evening, I thought I’d finally catch up with you all:
ON MY MIND:
For the past 2 years I’ve picked 3 months throughout each year that would be “no shopping” months. I can buy essentials like food and pharmacy items, but otherwise no new clothes, accessories, books, etc. I’ve found it to be such a great way to reset the constant pressure for new items and gives me time to focus on carefully selected purchases that I’ll perhaps want to get in the following months. My goal for 2021 is at least two no shopping months and I’m kicking it off with what I’ve dubbed ‘Frugal February’. Anyone else want to join? If you’re interested, I wrote post earlier this month on how to prioritize your finances this year.
This post – asking women to name something they like about themselves – from Cup of Jo – is so simple, yet so uplifting. We all need to do more of this. Don’t miss the comment section too!
The other night my two best friends from college and I had a Zoom catch-up and crafted homemade Valentine’s Day cards for each other while we chatted. I have the fondest memory of us doing this one year when we were all single in our early 20s in my old studio apartment on the Upper East Side. They’ve both long since left New York and are married with babies, but it’s a good reminder that no matter what stage of life – take a minute to tell the people you love that you love them. Even better if done in a hand-crafted card!
ON MY BOOKSHELF:
Adam got me a signed copy of the new David Sedaris anthology, The Best of Me and I just cracked it open this weekend. It’s a selection of his fiction and non-fiction over his decades long career and despite being a devoted fan I’m finding that there are many in the book so far that I’ve never read.
My NYC book club is reading Outlawed this month (which also happens to be a Reese’s Book Club pick) – described as True Grit meets The Crucible. And my virtual club is reading The Comeback, which is a ‘Me Too’ era story of a young actress who finally comes back to right the wrongs done to her earlier in her career. I’m really looking forward to both!
The perpetual upside to freezing cold weather and a pandemic making us housebound is that I continue to devour books. I read 6 1/2 in January and have plenty of great ones stacked up for February including this new release that’s meant to be a prequel to The Great Gatsby.
Aside from the book that I’ve been slowly working on for the past year (and I do mean slowly) – I’ve started a new side project based on letters that a family friend has trusted to me. They were written by her parents back and forth to one another and involved a clandestine meeting in NYC in the 1940s. I’m sure they never expected a woman in NYC in the year 2021 to be reading these precious love notes but I’m honored to have the chance.
IN MY SHOPPING CART:
Before I go all ‘Frugal February’ I’m going to try to grab a new pair of jeans to try today. I’ve recently bought and returned two pairs and asked for brands you all love on Instagram. Everlane was one that was mentioned and so I’m thinking of trying these – which have great reviews.
I’m not usually a Valentine’s Day themed outfit person, but these new socks really spark joy for me.
My friends at NYDJ sent me this tie dye sweatsuit and this chic navy sweatsuit and I’m living my best pandemic-life in them. One of my goals has been to refresh my basics and at the end of last year when I cleaned out my pajama and activewear drawer I realized I didn’t really have much good quality loungewear. This solved that problem with flying colors.
I have chronically static-y hair in the winter. This touch-up creme is the only thing that saves me from looking like I was electrocuted. I throw it one my ends and flyaways before Zoom calls.
Another goal for this year is to update our sad, old kitchen items. Over holiday break we cleaned out every cabinet and decided what to toss and what we’d like to replace. This weekend we made huge headway by finding all new pans, baking sheets and muffin tins. We got ours at Marshalls (the 6th Ave location had a great selection if you’re in the city!) but I found the same ones online here.
Last week – when the world still felt like you could escape it all – Adam and I did just that and popped down to St Pete Beach, Florida for a few days in the sun.
We stayed at the Don Cesar Hotel (which I’ll tell you more about but suffice to say it was lovely) and between the endless blue skies, white sand beaches, and gorgeous pink facade – the whole thing really did feel like a getaway from reality.
Now of course, I’m firmly back in the strange reality that is New York right now – but at least there are true hints of spring weather and at least I still have this dress which is the perfect transition piece. One that I can already picture a million ways I’ll wear it. Which of course, I realize are frivolous at a time like this… but sometimes you’ve got to find your own sunshine.
Would you change your last name if you got married? Or did you? I’ve always found this to be a topic that gets people fired up for whatever reason. I suppose wanting to defend their stance as the “right way”. And while I have an opinion here – I don’t really think there’s one right or wrong way. Just that it’s interesting to consider the options.
I’ve personally always, from the time I was a kid, felt really strongly that I would never change my name. Aside from having a last name that I love (and now a denim jacket emblazoned with it), I just couldn’t imagine taking on someone else’s last name. On top of that, my grandparents had 3 boys, all of which had all girls. All of whom – aside from me – are married and took their husband’s names. Which makes me the last one to carry it on. So aside from wanting to keep it, I want my children to have it too.
Along the way, there have been men that have scoffed at this.. some of which I’ve regrettably been dating. And there have been plenty of people that have suggested I hyphenate. Or at least give the kids his name. But I’m just skeptical about the whole thing.
I’ve often wondered why so many families were carrying on the legacy of the names of bad men. Why in some of those cases didn’t the family think – Dad went out for cigarettes in 1956 and never came back while Mom was really the backbone of this whole thing – shouldn’t we all carry on her name? A few years back one of my best friend’s got married and her and her husband – neither of which felt a strong familial connection – chose an entirely new last name and both changed their names to that. I’ve always thought it was such a beautiful sentiment.
So take his name if you want. Or hyphenate. Or take hers. Or create a new one all together. Or swap every 10 years for all I care. Let’s just consider the options, shall we?
SHOP THE STORY:
*Jacket was a gift from Wrangler and personalized at Nordstrom.
Honorable mention to snake-print and zebra-print.. but leopard print is still the biggest cat (I mean trend) this Fall. Luckily for me, I’ve always loved a dose of leopard print so I was able to jump feet first into this trend as soon as the first chill of air hit New York this past weekend.
There’s something very 1960s glam about leopard print to me that pulls at my vintage-loving heartstrings. Picture actress Sharon Tate in a mod leopard coat or pin-up Jayne Mansfield in cheetah print pedal pushers. Leopard is timeless and luxe and undeniably sexy in its confidence. Which I suppose is why I decided to go for a double dose of it.
A little or a lot is up to you, but regardless your level of daring – there’s plenty of leopard to go around this fall. Below a few similar dresses plus some of my favorite accessories in the print.
It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that we’re now halfway through 2019. But ready or not, we’re here. And so I figured it was as good a time as any to check back in on my 2019 goals. How was I holding up? Did I need to re-focus? I’m happy to report I’m probably doing better than I’m giving myself credit for – but at the same time I think I’ve got areas where I can continue to push myself in meaningful ways and end up with a year that I’m really proud of. Below, my check in.
WORK: In my full time job, things have been a bit of a whirlwind so far this year so I haven’t made any progress on that dream project I hinted at back in January. However, I have made some fun plans for a little side gig that I’m working on launching by the Fall. For the rest of this year I want to try and really focus on the things that I’m passionate about and dreaming big about the future of my career.
HEALTH: I think I’ve actually made the most progress in this category – that’s not as easily shareable on the blog. In the past couple of months I’ve been continuing to challenge myself in my fitness routine and feel stronger each week. Mentally, I’ve made some really good progress on finding what triggers anxious feelings for me and what helps to ease them. Likewise, I think I did a bit better than in years past with getting through the winter without falling into too deep of my usual winter blues. And lastly, I’m most proud of the things I’ve done to measurably improve my financial health. I started the year far from where I wanted to be, but after making a clear budget per week/month and projecting 1 year, 2 year, 5 year and 10 year goals and benchmarks for myself I have made huge strides towards controlling spending habits and setting myself up for the future. For the rest of the year I want to amp up my fitness and my savings whenever possible!
EXPLORATION: I think I’m doing pretty well here too! That trip to Paris that I was manifesting is in the books and I’ve been pushing myself to get out and explore New York City as much as possible. From going to a monthly writer’s workshop to a weeknight trip to the ballet or a comedy club, I’ve been putting myself out there more. I hope to plan another couple of getaways for the rest of this year and continue to explore my favorite city!
HOME: Admittedly, I’ve still got work to do here. Just this past weekend I told Adam that I need to stop letting “perfect be the enemy of good” and just finally wrap up a couple of the rooms in our apartment that I’m hung up on. Then we can get on to actually enjoying them and entertaining! Last but definitely not least I included my relationship with Adam in this category (he’s home after all) – and because like any good relationship it’s always a work in progress and deserves just as much attention as my focus on career and health. This year we’ve been striving to be better communicators and I hope that continues to improve as the rest of the year plays out.