Summer Bookshelf

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As I’ve mentioned on Twitter a few times, I’ve been reading up a storm the past few months. I made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions to read every night before bed, and I’ve stuck to it. I always loved reading, but in the past I never made time for it, so I would have the same book sitting on my nightstand for 6 months because I would check my phone and watch Netflix in my spare time instead of reading. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still check my phone (admittedly way to much) and watch my fair share of Netflix (obsessing over Jane the Virgin right now- anyone else?), but I also make time for reading. Cristina recently wrote a little bit about this and it really resonated with me: if you want to read, then prioritize and make time for reading. 

On that note, I wanted to share a few of my favorite books that I’ve recently read. To stay updated on new books I’m reading and want to read, be sure to follow me on Goodreads. I just downloaded it last week and am really loving it so far. It’s a fun way to find books, follow what friends are reading and stay on track with your personal reading goals.

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis // The Dollhouse tells two parallel stories, both set in New York City, one in the 1950’s and one in modern times. It tells the story of two women living in the same building: the Barbizon women’s hotel (1950’s) and condos (today). The novel takes you through their stories while uncovering some mysteries & untold stories in the process. Definitely my favorite book in this post today!

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessero // The Perfume Collector is structured in a very similar way as The Dollhouse, bouncing back between two characters, connecting their stories as the novel progresses. This novel follows Grace Munroe, who had just been given a lot of money from a stranger, on her quest for understanding and closure. Another great historical fiction!

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford // The summer is the time for fun books, and Everybody Rise is just that. This novel follows Evelyn Beegan as she maneuvers her way through the Manhattan social scene in the mid-2000’s. She is desperately trying to disguise her way through the Upper East Side old money and make her mark on Manhattan. I went through this book loving and hating Evelyn but had to keep reading to see what she would do next!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty // I watched Big Little Lies and had never even heard of Liane Moriarty before. Now, I’m reading all of her books and can’t believe I haven’t heard of her until now! The Husband’s Secret is the series of events following Cecilia Fitzpatrick as she reads a letter her husband wrote, which was only to be opened upon his death, but he is still alive and well.

The Knockoff by Lucy Skyes and Jo Piazza // This was such a fun read. I love reading books that are related to the fashion industry in any way, and this was so perfect. It follows GLOSSY Magazine editor Imogen Tate through the rapidly changing world of fashion and tech. If you’re in the fashion/ tech worlds (or are just a devoted follower, like me!), you’ll love this book and probably get a few laughs from the parallels between this and the real world.

What have you been reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Summer Trend: Blue & White

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Graphic made in Photoshop. Image credit from left to right: Background image, image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

For the past few years, my go-to outfit, at any point in the season, would be black and white. Stripes, solids, all black in the winter, all white in the summer… my outfits were more or less always a variation of black, white and sometimes grey. This spring, in spirit of my style resolution to wear more color, I experimented with adding more color and am hooked on the latest trend: blue and white. I feel like everywhere I look (blogs, fashion magazines, stores etc), people are wearing blue and white. One of the most popular variations I’ve seen is the classic blue and white stripes or gingham, but there are tons of other patterns and ways to style this trend. I’ve picked up a few blue and white items myself that I am looking forward to styling for the blog. For now, here’s some inspiration I found via Pinterest for the summer’s hottest trend.

Image credit linked above except for bottom center image, credited here.

How are you styling blue and white this summer? Let me know in the comments!

Quick Trip to Georgetown

Popping in with a quick post recapping my trip to Georgetown. My sister was doing a precollege program at a university in DC, so my mom and I drove down the day before she needed to be picked up to 1) split up the driving and 2) have a fun girls’ night around DC! We walked to Georgetown, did some shopping and had dinner on the waterfront. It was so nice to explore a new place and spend time with my mom. Even though I’ve been home from college for almost a month now (time flies, guys), my mom and I hadn’t been able to spend a lot of time together and do something fun since we’ve both been working a lot.

This trip also gave me an excuse to whip out a new dress I bought at the local women’s clothing boutique where I work. I picked up this lavender number a few weeks ago and am so glad I did. It’s super versatile and I love how feminine and flirty it is, while still being very tasteful at the same time. I paired it with my new favorite necklace, also from the boutique, and a pair of black sandals.

The weather was pretty rainy most of the day, so I didn’t snap too many pictures but I managed to get a few in between stores when it cleared up for a bit! I was planning on doing a photo diary of the trip, but that didn’t quite work out. Instead, here are a few pictures of my outfit!

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Have you done any traveling lately? Tell me about it in the comments! 

Chambray Ruffle Sleeve Top

I felt like I was in such a fashion rut at the beginning of the summer. I was working almost every day and felt like I had nothing to wear! I hadn’t really done any shopping for spring or summer, so I decided to pick up a few things halfway into the season. One of my favorite outfits I’ve put together since is featuring two of my new purchases: my chambray ruffle sleeve top and my long beaded necklace. The top is super comfortable and versatile, which I love because I can wear it into the fall. As for the necklace, I have been seeing this trend all over Pinterest and Tumblr lately and have been looking for the perfect necklace with which to test it out.

My two lovely friends Lexie and Caroline (be sure to follow them!) headed into Princeton for some good old fashioned girl time featuring dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, shooting blog pictures and lots of laughs. Spending time with “your people” is one of the best feelings in the world, and that’s how our entire night was!

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What new trends have you tried lately? Comment below! 

A Year in Philadelphia

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While I wasn’t as active on this blog as I had hoped during my first year living in Philadelphia, hopefully these pictures will give a good recap. For any new readers, I just finished my freshman year at Drexel University, located in the heart of University City, Philadelphia, studying Design & Merchandising. In short, I loved everything about it. My classes, my professors, my friends, the city…

I was going through my camera roll today to make a scrapbook/ journal of my year and decided what better way to get back into blogging than share the highlights of the last 9 months on here. These are just a few snapshots of my year in Philly. Looking forward to the next three!

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Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
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Two Door Cinema Club at the Filmore
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Free People in Rittenhouse Square
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Coffee at One Shot in Northern Liberties
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Design I Project
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Philadelphia Flower Show
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Brunch at Little Spoon
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Intro to Drawing Final inspired by @blairz
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Exploring Rittenhouse
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URBN Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Naval Yard for the Drexel Fashion Show

Cultivating Creativity

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I’ve spent the last year in what some would call art school. I’ve taken drawing, painting, design and computer imaging classes with some of the most creative, innovative, inspiring people I have ever met. Throughout my life, i have always admired “creative” people and wished I could be like them. Those who could be inspired by their surroundings and create something. I thought I never had that potential. I was creative, but in a different way. I could never make art. Sure, I could write a very well-written, thought-provoking piece on a topic that deeply interested me, style pictures and outfits and maintain a blog, but creating art, no way. Spending this last year taking many visual studies classes, I learned that I too am truly capable and creative, and anyone can be.

We live in a world dictated by results, wanting to do things the right way and following formulas. We have a set idea of results we need and do our best to get there as efficiently as possible. Instead of rushing through life to achieve results, I learned that the best results often come from creative exploration. Some of my best works were those where I had the most opportunity to play and experiment. There are no SparkNotes or short cuts for creatives.

I was so frustrated with my professor for giving us a final project in which our only instructions were to create a twelve panel mixed media work that “explored the motion of time through space” using the various techniques and styles with which we had worked throughout the term. What the heck is the exploration of motion through time and space?! And how the heck was I supposed to write an essay describing what I painted?! But I figured it out, and my work had a purpose. And I got that A+. Why? Because I was given creative freedom. I was given multiple weeks to explore and play around with various techniques, styles and ideas before settling on the final piece. I worked with my fellow students, got their advice and also critiqued their work and got inspired from them. And the work of my peers was so different than mine, but equally beautiful. Seeing how everyone took this confusing, vague prompt and created something expressive, meaningful and well crafted was inspiring in and of itself!

So take some time to just explore. Whether that is going somewhere by yourself to get some clarity or just sitting down with some pen and paper, exploring and playing are good for the mind and the soul. If you want to learn to paint, go to Michael’s, buy some paint and paper and experiment. I am certain you will create something you never thought possible. It may even lead to a bigger, better idea. If I learned one thing in college this year, it is that the best things happen unexpectedly.

I have made it a priority in my life to take time to create and think, whether it is writing, drawing, collaging or painting in my sketchbook. Sometimes, that process means taking time to read, watch and admire others’ work. Everyone’s creative process is different, but that’s what makes it fun. Buy a cheap journal and just play. Collage, paint, draw, write, sew, doodle, finger paint… just create something for the sake of creating something. Step out of the mindset of following a specific plan for specific results. Take a step away to explore, experiment, discover and play and you too will be creative.

 

image via Tumblr

New Year’s Style Resolutions

With the New Year, there is so much talk about resolutions and how to use the next 365 days to make yourself a better you. I love the idea of the clean, fresh slate that a New Year brings. I always make a few resolutions or goals that I try to work on throughout the year. A few days after New Year’s Day, I was sitting at home starting to pack up to go back to school for my winter term when I realized literally all of my clothes are black, white, grey or occasionally blush or olive. While often times a muted or all black look can be super chic and trendy, it also gets a little boring. So, I decided to make a New Year’s style resolution… to bring some color back into my life! Here’s some of my inspiration:

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Do you have any style resolutions this year? Comment below!