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THOUGHTS ON SUBSCRIPTION SHOPPING + AN HONEST REVIEW OF NUULY

If you have been following along, you already know that last January I made a major shift in how I viewed money and shopping. I overhauled my personal finances, completed a “no shopping” January (which led to 3 other “no shop” months throughout the year) and donated or sold probably a quarter of my wardrobe.

Now, when I add a new piece to my wardrobe it’s thought out and strategic. Can I wear it multiple ways? Does it reflect who I want to be? If I waited a couple of weeks would I still want it? If it was full-priced would I still want it? It’s been a strategy serving me well this past year and it truly helped to break that unnecessary urge to always have something “new”. Not to mention it’s far more sustainable as I wasn’t constantly picking up fast fashion that I probably wouldn’t wear for more than a season or two.

But what if you could have that something new feeling without financially committing? I’ve heard plenty of people (blogger’s especially who always want to have new things to wear) rave about shopping subscriptions like Rent the Runway and I have to admit – I was curious. So when Nuuly – from the geniuses behind Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters/Free People – reached out to offer me a free 3 month subscription, I knew I wanted to give it a try. After 3 free months I paid for one additional month so far just so I’d have a true customer experience.

The Pros: You get to pick 6 items of clothing each month for $89/month. They handle all of the dry cleaning, repairs etc. so what you get looks brand new. Overall, I thought the selection was great with brands you’d find at Nordstrom and Shopbop plus new arrivals from Anthro, Urban and FP. I gravitated towards more fashion/trend pieces – a fun coat, a statement dress – that I otherwise would have been tempted by on a trip to Anthropologie, but saved myself the $200 price tag and the need to make permanent room for it in my closet. And usually at the end of the month, I was fine returning the pieces.

The Cons: I’ve mentioned before but I’m a sentimental person, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. If I have a particularly great memory while wearing something – it’s very hard for me to let it go. Which means after I wore this perfect sequin dress to a holiday concert with Adam.. I couldn’t part with it. The upside is that you can buy items at a pretty good discount and don’t have to ship them back. However, if I hadn’t been trying this service – I likely would have not been tempted to get something new for the concert. So if you’re someone who is going to be easily tempted – this could actually end up make you buying more.

Overall? I like the concept. For something like a vacation or the holiday season, I think it’s a really great way – for a relatively low cost – to have a fun assortment of pretty new things to wear. Like this cute minty fresh jacket. Or if you’re in a transitional phase like a new mom or someone who is kind of figuring out there style – I think this is such a great way to get to try things on and see what you like before committing your closet to a direction or size.

But if I were to do it every single month, I kind of feel like it would eat away at the mindset I worked so hard to achieve – which is the feeling that what I have is enough and I don’t always need more, more, more… new, new, new. And, for someone who is set on building a closet full of things I love that carry memories I want to hold on to – the fleeting nature isn’t really in line with that. I’m going to hit pause on my subscription for next month, but may use it again in March when we’ve got a warm weather trip planned!

I’m curious if any of you have tried subscription shopping and what your thoughts have been? P.S. If you’re interested in trying Nuuly they gave me an offer code to share that gets you $20 off your first month. – this post wasn’t sponsored, but as mentioned my first 3 month trial was gifted.

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GOALS FOR 2020

Happy 2020 friends! There’s something that feels so big about this year. In 2019 I feel like I got myself on track in a lot of ways in life, from a promotion into management at work, to finally getting the apartment really to feel like a home that we’re proud of, to completely re-hauling my financial life. I’m proud of the progress that I made. But it leaves me feeling like I should dream a lot bigger in 2020 and not let that momentum go. Which is of course, quite scary isn’t it? I’ve got some really big personal goals in my life that I’m not sure I’ll be fully sharing here – but overall I think my main focus is on health and happiness. Below – how I hope to get there.

HEALTH: Last year I wanted to put a focus on my mental, physical and financial health. And looking back, I laid good groundwork. So this year I want to kick it up a notch.

Mentally I feel best when I’m using my time outside of work to pursue creative passions and learn new things. This year that means – starting an Instagram account (a bookstagram if you will) with my best friend from college all about our shared love of reading. Follow along here! We’re only one post in but I’m really excited about this little outlet. It also means learning to play the ukulele that Adam bought me for Christmas. And it means writing more – both for this space and also for myself personally. It feels wild to type this.. but I’ve started to write a book! Who knows where it will go – if anywhere – but I know I want to try.

Physically I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone this past year with new workouts and I want to continue to do so. Ultimately I’d like to see myself being the healthiest and strongest version of myself.

Financially I almost can’t believe how much has changed since January 1st for 2019. Now is the time to get even more serious. I am just a few months away from being debt free (!!!) and want to dive into investment funds, high interest savings accounts and retirement plans. It’s daunting but I’m so proud of myself and excited about what it will all mean for my future. I want to share more about this on the blog as I go.

HAPPINESS: I want to continue to practice what makes me happy. This past year I really tried to be honest about the things that make me happy and leave behind those that didn’t. And I began to notice that my happiness lies in a careful balance. Cooking at home makes me happy but so does trying new restaurants. Saving money makes me happy but so does hunting for vintage. Traveling really makes me happy but so does staying in and building a home in our apartment. Exercise makes me happy but so does giving my mind and body a chance to truly rest. This blog makes me happy but so does being creative for no one but myself. In 2020 I want to continue to practice and perfect this balance.

Cheers to health and happiness in the new year!

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2019: A YEAR IN REVIEW

When I set my goals for 2019, I wanted to “swim”. Not to backtrack too much (in fact I’m not even going to link to last year’s recap post because re-reading it feels like a punch to the gut all over again) – but in that post I mentioned that in 2017 I felt like I was treading water and in 2018 I largely felt like I was drowning. So this year – I just wanted to swim. I didn’t have any lofty destination. But I didn’t want to feel like I was barely keeping my head above water either. And I’m happy to report, I swam a good number of laps this year.

One of the biggest highlights was our trip to Paris in May. An adventure designed to be surrounded by beauty. To revel in it. The trip fell over my birthday but also over Mother’s Day and in a year when no less than 7 women in my life were pregnant/had babies – I settled into a real peace about the fact that at 32 I wasn’t one of them. While they nursed their babies in hushed rooms – I drank absinthe in a noisy bar in Montmartre. I learned to appreciate my story more than I ever have. For that I am grateful.

I made enormous strides in all sectors of my health. Last year I said I wanted to work on my physical, emotional and financial health this year. I’ve largely refocused my life around this trifecta and although I feel like while I still have a long way to go – I built a solid foundation in 2019.

Physically, I felt lost in 2018 with knee pain that side-lined my typical running routine. This year, alongside my sister, I tried at home workout videos. I completed 140+ workouts – pushing myself to do things like squats, burpees, push-ups, lunges – that I never would have otherwise tried. And you know what? A stronger body seemed to take the pressure off that bad knee. In 2020 I’ll be slowly starting to run again – but I won’t be leaving those strength training or high intensity interval workouts behind.

Emotionally – I worked on myself and my partnership with Adam with a new resolve. In turn, Adam continued to teach me lessons in relinquishing control, fostering empathy and welcoming change. It took me many years to learn that the right partner (at least for me) holds up a mirror to your best and worst self and urges you to look directly into it. It is work I am almost confident I would not have the strength to do alone. His role in this and in my life continues to be a gift I didn’t ask for, and on many stubborn days say I don’t want. He continues to give it nevertheless and for that I am grateful.

Financially – I’m 180 degrees from where I was last January 1st. I wrote about how I shifted my money mindset, but in short I was tired of not feeling in control of my finances and tired of feeling like I didn’t know how to change that. And so I dove head first into learning how to be good with money. I tracked every penny. I made 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 year plans. I drastically changed my relationship with shopping – and have never loved my wardrobe more because of it. I’m so deeply proud of how far I’ve come and for once am really excited about my financial future.

And lastly – I wrote more and read more than I have in years. Maybe since I was a kid. Most of that writing will never be published here (I’m saving it for another medium.. hint, it has real pages you can flip), but about halfway through the year I shifted the type of content I posted here too. Instead of showing you one pretty outfit after another I cut through the bullshit (namely my own) and started writing things I actually cared about. Relationships, money, happiness. By the numbers, you enjoyed reading these more anyway and for that I am grateful. Below a few of my favorite posts from the past year:

How I Shifted My Money Mindset | How To Fight Fair In A Relationship | What Keeps Me Up At Night | My 10 Year NYC Anniversary | How to Budget When You Live in an Expensive City | Combating Winter Blues

I’ll be back to share what my plans are for 2020. Until then – hoping you all take a moment to reflect on your past year and feel grateful for the lessons that may have come from both the ups and from the downs. Thanks for sticking around.

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LET’S CATCH UP 12.20.19

I honestly can’t believe that as you read this I’ll be at the office for the last day in 2019. How? Also, how will I get it all done before a (hopefully) blissful 12 days off work?? Alas… a few things on my mind before we head out into the weekend and the holiday weeks ahead. Have a good one friends!

  1. I’ve loved watching blogger Meghan of Wit & Whimsy’s campaign to spread kindness this season – from encouraging others to make donations to their favorite charities to simply being a big nicer to our cashiers and delivery people this season, the world needs more of this. And it shouldn’t end at the holiday season.
  2. In New York it feels like winter arrived about a month ago, but technically tomorrow is the first day. I plan on baking cookies and cozying up in the sweater and scarf combo I’m wearing here.
  3. I can’t wait to catch up on a few new books over my holiday break. If you’re looking for a great book to dive into, I recapped the 10 best books I read in 2019 here.
  4. I’ve still got a few things on my holiday bucket list that I want to get checked off this weekend – including making it uptown to see the Rockefeller tree and Fifth Avenue windows. But we’ve already been ice skating, wandered through the West Village and bought tickets to see a classic Christmas movie in the theaters. Okay, so maybe Edward Scissorhands isn’t what everyone would consider a classic, but it’s a favorite of mine and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. Even better – the Nitehawk Theater is Brooklyn serves brunch while you watch!
  5. Speaking of winter’s arrival – I’m ready to book a warm weather vacation for the new year asap. We’re considering St. Petersburg in Florida, returning to Miami or heading to Mexico. Send recs!

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NEW YEAR’S EVE OUTFIT IDEAS

I tend to see a lot of New Year’s Eve outfit suggestions that are all over the top gowns.. but truth be told I’ve spent just as many years snuggled up on the couch or hanging with a few friends as I have at a fancy party. So I wanted to offer up a few suggestions – ranging from casual (but still festive) to dressy. I am definitely not ready for 2020.. but at least my wardrobe is.

See the full IGTV video try-on of each of these looks (along with plenty of champagne sipping and a few dance moves) here.

SHOP LOOK 1:

SHOP LOOK 2:

SHOP LOOK 3:

SHOP LOOK 4:

SHOP LOOK 5:

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Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.