Dance To The Beat of Your Own Music

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I wrote this on my iPhone while sitting at a table outside of Chipotle after class. I was going to put it as an Instagram but then realized that it’s a mile long and I would probably lose all my friends so I decided to put it on here.

And then all of a sudden, right when I feel like I have nothing else in me to give, right when I feel like maybe I shouldn’t even have come, my SoulCycle instructor goes “sorry not sorry I’m playing some Taylor Swift right now,” and then the light at the end if the tunnel appears in the distance and it feels like I’m flying. While the rest of the class trudges on, I’m adding on resistance and singing along to “Out Of The Woods” as loud as I can.

And do you know what overwhelming thought came over me in that moment? The realization that the whole point of life is to dance to the beat of your own music. Nobody should ever feel like they have the right to judge you based on the music you listen to, the books you read, the TV shows you cry to, or what you decide to do with your life. Because it’s your life and you’re only gonna get to the end of it in stride if you dance to the beat of the music that makes sense to you.

And ya know what? Screaming out the hypothetical question “Are we out of the woods yet?” over and over again while in an exercise class makes sense to me. And to Heather, my SoulCycle instructor, thanks for killing me and bringing me back to life all in a matter of 45 minutes. You’re the actual best.

Happy Tuesday!

Things I Didn’t Learn In College

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Starting in elementary school, my teachers started talking about how they were prepping us for the real world. My high school was strenuously hard because they were “prepping us for college,” and then when I got to college it really didn’t meet any of my expectations. I didn’t even figure out what I wanted to do with my life until my senior year, and how much time did that leave for me to gain experience and get internships in that field? Let me just calculate that real quickly… oh, ZERO. But that’s a different story for a different day. Today we’re talking about the list of classes that I wish were available in the course list!

  1. How To Move Across The Country With No Plans And No Regrets. I mean I feel like it’s pretty easy to hop on a plane across the country (because I did that three weeks ago), but the whole “no regrets” part has been a tad bit more difficult to conquer. At any given point, there’s a million different doubts swimming through my mind telling me that I am going to fail. I need a powerpoint presentation on how to fix this, please and thank you.
  2. How To Conquer The Job Market. I mean I guess the reason that there is no class for this is because no two success stories are the same. One thing that I am really coming to grips with is that everybody has a different story and everybody has a different path they take, and that’s okay. Just because your best friend takes the job that makes them miserable but makes a lot of money doesn’t have to mean that you have to do that too.
  3. How To Email People. Networking is probably the best thing a college student/college graduate can do for themselves. Given that I studied abroad twice (and thus interned abroad twice), most of my professional contacts reside in either London or Sydney. It’s actually quite hilarious if you think about it. I was offered a job in Sydney during my senior year of college, but I had absolutely no plans to relocate my entire life to a city that close to Antarctica. But now that I’m in New York, I am trying to build my professional network from scratch here, and to do that, I pretty much email everybody.
  4. How To Start Your Own Company. I really admire the people who are paving their own paths, and especially those people who are so young that they are literally learning as they go. You don’t need an MBA to be successful, and you don’t need to wait until you have five years of experience to pursue what you’re truly passionate about. One of my best friends is doing it, and her industry is full of young entrepreneurs who are proving the world’s doubts wrong.
  5. How To Wear The Same Outfit Five Days In A Row. It’s probably my fault, but I only brought California clothes to New York because I didn’t realize that not every place in the world has the same weather as the west coast. This happened last year too when I was in Europe for the summer and was WAY TOO CONFUSED as to why it was raining in July. California girl at heart, I suppose..
  6. You Don’t Need A Lot Of Friends. Can you imagine a class like this? I’m picturing a professor standing at the front of a lecture hall shouting “YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS!!!” and laughing. Anyways, I’ve come to realize that the quality of your friends matters over the quantity of them. The people who understand that you would rather stay home and watch Harry Potter for the millionth time than go turn your blood into alcohol at the bars. The people who offer up their houses in the blink of an eye and the people who trust in you enough to never judge you.
  7. How To Expect The Unexpected. I would like to teach this class. I would give countless lectures about how the right things are supposed to happen at the right time, and how any day has the potential to be the best day of your entire life. Over the course of my life, unexplainable things have happened that I could never have expected or planned for. For instance, once my boss gave me an entire box of Thin Mints! Oh, and then there was that time that Taylor Swift flew me and one of my best friends out to the opening night of her tour. There is no such thing as impossible, and I believe that with every ounce of my being.

I could honestly go on for days about this topic. Fun fact: This blog initially started as a college advice blog before I realized that the target audience was not wide enough. What classes do you wish you could take in college? Did your entire life lead up to college? Lemme knoooow!

Things That Matter

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To get straight to the point, tonight Taylor Swift donated $2,000 of her own money to a fan who is in a bad spot in his life, and I teared up in the back of a cab when I found out. Brandon was recently kicked out of his house, cut off from his family, and basically disowned and sent to the streets. Not a lot of the things that we care about in this world actually matter and we don’t realize how fortunate we really are. Nobody realizes it until they get it all taken away from them, until the band-aid is ripped off without warning.

I’ve always lived my life under the impression that good things will happen to good people who never give up hope. The people who never stop trying are the people who are going to go far in this world, and I saw that in Brandon. And I guess that’s why I donated to his cause last week even though I’ve never met him. I could just tell that there was something special about him… an energy and a positivity about life even through he has been going through hell lately. And his story broke my heart in half. I would never have guessed that somebody who shines so brightly could be suffering so badly. It says so much about Taylor that she went out her way to make sure that Brandon will be able to have a roof over his head and get his feet back on the ground.

A lot of people really don’t understand why I love Taylor so much. I know that nobody will actually say that to my face, so I’m just putting that out there. People don’t get it. They see Taylor as a somebody who writes songs about boys to get attention and dates boys just so she can write songs about them. And besides that being as far from the truth as humanly possible, I love Taylor because she a genuinely good person underneath it all. Because she cares about people and she goes completely out of her way to help the people who need it, even if it’s just to show her support and to be there for them. She did that for Brandon tonight, and she did that for me two years ago. And that’s only two stories of the probably hundreds of lives she’s changed/saved. What occurred tonight was a miracle just waiting to happen, and Taylor Swift is an angel in a crop top.

UPDATE: Today Taylor donated $2,000 more to this fan and I have lost the ability to form coherent sentences. What a beautiful soul she has.

My October Essentials

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We are striding our way through October, and I’m celebrating by baking up a storm and failing to dress appropriately for the change in weather. Sounds like fun, eh? Today I wanted to share with you some of the things that I am loving this month and pretty much every month after this.

  1. Zara parka. There’s always that wonderful time of year when you search back through your closet for the sweaters and jackets that you stuffed away during the Summer. And sometimes when you find them, you realize that your past self had absolutely no fashion sense and you need to go out and buy a new jacket. I love the cream coloring on this parka paired with the fur hood lining, and I can already picture about fifteen outfits to go along with it.
  2. Culinary Matcha. I don’t know about you, but Matcha is my FAVORITE baking ingredient for Fall. Also, it’s just unbelievably fun to bake with bright green Matcha because it turns your entire mix this beautiful shade of golden green. This is one of my favorite Matcha breakfast smoothies and this is next on my Matcha baking list.
  3. Oatmeal Cookie candle. YOU GUYS. I smelled this candle in Anthropologie yesterday and I am fully obsessed. It smells like the holiday season and it’s really a shocker that I didn’t just walk out with their entire inventory….
  4. Zara mittens. Cold world, warm hands, happy heart. That’s my motto for Winter. Also, mittens are the best because you can fit hand warmers in them for those miserably cold mornings.
  5. Thanks A Latte card. Is this not the cutest card ever? It’s by A Jar Of Pickles, and trust me, their entire line of cards is so cute that you probably just need to buy all of them. I think it’s so important to keep in touch with friends/family and to remind people that you are thankful for them. Make it your goal to send some cards out this month, and I promise that you’ll make some people very happy.

So that’s what I am loving this October. It’s such a beautiful month, isn’t it? Let me know what things you are loving this October in the comments!

Two Celebrity Book Releases You Need To Own

In the most common sense of the world, celebrities who release books probably did not write them. I mean.. you can’t be a talented actor/director/producer/be mindblowingly beautiful/famous AND be a good writer.. that’s just not fair for the rest of us! But on that note, here’s two celebrity book releases that you need to pick up because I’m 99% certain that they actually wrote them and 99% certain that they will be brilliant.

Grace’s Guide: The Art Of Pretending To Be A Grown-Up. Grace Helbig is that girl who used YouTube to build her fan base (check out her channel here) and that girl who you want to be best friends with. You want to eat leftover pad thai in your pajamas with her while binge-watching bad reality television shows. Her new book is a guide for anybody who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult. With a college degree in writing, she taps into the facts of life in an undoubtedly hilarious addition to your bookshelf. You can read a sample chapter from the book here. Grace’s Guide comes out on October 21st and you can find out more info at gracesguidebook.com!

Not That Kind Of Girl. If you don’t know, Lena Dunham is an actress, screenwriter, producer, and director who is best known for her starring role in HBO’s show Girls. And her new book is brilliant. It’s like having a 3AM heart-to-heart with your best friend where you just spill everything. It’s vulnerable, honest, and hilarious. And perfect for anybody who is still trying to figure out who they are and in need of a reminder that nobody is perfect. Not That Kind Of Girl is out now, and you can buy it on Amazon here or pick it up in any bookstore!

Of course, there a million other celebrity book releases that are coming out this season, but these are the two that I will 100% be reading. What about you? Any celeb books that you are looking forward to? Lemme know!

Taylor Swift Parties With Her Fans

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For the past three weekends, Taylor Swift has been holding parties (titled #1989SecretSessions) for her fans in anticipation for her new album. And she didn’t just invite them over for a house party, she played them her entire album and trusted them enough not to go and tell the world all her secrets. And you know what? Not a single fan has leaked a single thing about a single song.

The fact that Taylor invited fans into her home(s) sets her apart from every single other artist out there right now. Taylor has lavish residences in Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, and a beach house in Rhode Island, and she brought 89 fans into each house, gave them homemade cookies, let them play with her cats, and had at least a five-minute conversation with each person. A fan who was at a session talked to Taylor’s mom about how this idea was conceived.. She said that when Taylor first brought it up, her mom was concerned. “You want to invite them into your houses??” and Taylor responded with, “I wouldn’t even have these houses if it wasn’t for them.” It’s not just some publicity stunt, Taylor honestly cares about her fans and doesn’t want to ever draw a line between herself and them. She invites them into her life and into her home, and I think that says a lot about not only who she is as a person, but about how she has sustained such success over the years.

The whole premise of the sessions was that she wanted to meet fans who she had never met before, and fans that have been passionately supportive of her regardless of that. All of the fans were found through some form of social media, mainly Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Taylor hand-picked every single person and knew every single person by name when they walked in the door. Ever since day one, Taylor has never made a fan pay to meet her, and as she’s gotten more famous, she’s only upped the bar with how far she’s willing to go to meet the people who never gave up on her.

And on that note, every single person who came out of the listening parties has said that this is Taylor’s best album to date. It’s an entirely pop masterpiece that is going to wreck the charts and rack in the awards. Her album comes out on October 27th and I am SO EXCITED about it.

You can read some stories about these parties here, here, and here, and watch a video a fan made about it here.

A Guide To TriBeCa

tribecacityguideAs I was just saying yesterday during breakfast, there is so much to write about in New York, and I really want to reflect that in my blog. The inspiration floats through the air like leaves that never reach the ground. I’ve decided to do a ‘New York City Guide’ series to share my favorite places in my favorite neighborhoods of New York. This first guide is to TriBeCa, which is in lower Manhattan. Let’s get started, shall we?

Lunch spot: Pecan. All I really need to say is that they have a Nutella & Banana panini. Does it get any better than that? On the real, this is just a really cute spot with lots of tables, and a wide menu covering everything from sandwiches and salads to soup and pastries.

Attraction: 9/11 Museum. I hate calling this an attraction, because it is a memorial for those who lost their lives during the ruthless terrorist attacks in 2001, but I couldn’t think of a different category for it. Anyways, I visited it last weekend and it was so incredibly well done and I really recommend it to everybody. I quite honestly had to walk out of certain rooms because I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. The victims of 9/11 may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

Nail Salon: Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa & Boutique. I told myself I wasn’t going to get my nails done, but then one day I was just walking past this place and the decor was just so cute that I couldn’t resist. Also, they solely use Zoya nail polish, which is fantastic. Zoya is my favorite brand because not only does it stay on forever, but it’s formulated without harsh chemicals and they have an incredible color range. This salon is a tiny bit pricy, but definitely worth it if you don’t get your nails done that often.

Coffee Shop: Kaffe 1668. This is a Swedish coffee shop that I first discovered because I had a meeting with somebody there. I then discovered that they have really fast wifi and have since spent many hours in their premises. They offer the typical coffee and expresso options, and then also have tea and healthy juices.

Brunch Spot: Kitchenette. The most important part of any weekend morning is obviously the brunch. Taking the time to eat pancakes is a definite priority in my life. This is just about the cutest little location that will serve allll of your brunch needs. They also serve lunch and dinner!

Have you been to TriBeCa? Also, if there are any specific neighborhoods you would like to see guides on, just let me know!

AirBNB: Review & Tips

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I’m currently renting out a cute little studio apartment in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York, and my roommate is a cat (pictured above). Can you think of anything better? I sure can’t. Also, I’m pretty sure I could be friends with the owner because he has all of the David Sedaris books and I’m obsessed with David Sedaris.

If you aren’t aware, AirBNB is when you rent out people’s rooms or apartments while they’re gone instead of staying in a hotel. Here are some tips for those of you who are looking into using the service on your next trip!

  1. Rent a place in the area you will be spending most of your time. It’s really just not worth it to rent the cheap place that’s out of the way because you will just end up spending money on transportation to get into town anyway. Example: the first place I stayed was a mile walk away from the closest Subway stop and it was pretty much the most annoying thing ever. Now I’m staying in Greenwich and I don’t even have to take the Subway because everything is in walking distance.
  2. Book your place way ahead of time. It’s just less stressful… I ended up renting my first place the day before I moved in, and if they didn’t accept my request, I basically would have ended up homeless on the streets of New York.
  3. Trust the reviews. If a place doesn’t have reviews or if it has bad reviews, take that as a sign that you shouldn’t stay there.
  4. Try to rent a full apartment. Maybe I’m just saying this because I really like having my own space, and because I’m in love with the apartment I’m in right now, but I really recommend trying to find an affordable “entire apartment” listing. However, that being said, I also stayed with two other people in my first AirBNB and I really loved getting to know them. But if you do that, just make sure you know who you’re staying with before you book it by reading their bio/reviews!
  5. Just do it. I’ve stayed in three different AirBNBs now and I really love getting to experience different neighborhoods and see different room layouts and apartment styles. Also, it’s way more affordable than a hotel.

Have you ever tried AirBNB? Let me know!

Stories From New York

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It’s Wednesday morning and it’s raining outside and I’m sitting at the cutest little coffee shop that apparently nobody knows about because it’s empty and perfect. I just wanted to write a few things about my time here in New York.. stories that I haven’t told on here but that I really want to share.

  1. The pizza. I swear the pizza in New York is just the BEST. Like, it feels like I’m in Italy. Also a fun little story for you.. in my first week here, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to this pizza place that my friend and I went to the last time that we were in New York, and apparently they don’t sell individual slices, which I thought was okay because I think I ate an entire pizza by myself last time (#sorrynotsorry), and so I just ordered myself a small pizza to go. When the pizza came.. First of all it was HUGE. Like, their small could feed a small army, and second of all, the lady gave me five paper plates to go because she assumed that I was sharing and then I just went and ate the entire thing by myself and it was hilariously sad.
  2. SoulCycle – I had the best SoulCycle class I’ve ever taken last night, and I can’t wait to get back on the bike tomorrow. I took a class with at the recently re-opened TriBeCa studio, and let me tell you…. it was INSANELY DIFFICULT. Like, my hands got prune-y halfway through because I was sweating so much. First of all, riding along to Beyonce’s song “Flawless” with the teacher chanting “Bow down bitches!” at the front was honestly one of those soul-enriching moments of my life. And then he sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” to us, which was something that I never thought would happen in an exercise class. And on a side note, their new gear came out and I LOVE EVERYTHING. Like, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see me walking down the street with SoulCycle New York workout capris and a bright pink SoulCycle tank on….
  3. Taylor Swift lives here. And if you know me, you know how exciting that is. I could run into her at any moment!
  4. They aren’t kidding when they say that New Yorkers are ruder than the majority of the population. But that being said, I have met so many wonderful people who hold special places in my heart. However, no worries, the stressed out and snippy people just make me want to be nicer to everybody.
  5. I don’t like the Subway, so I try to walk everywhere. It’s good exercise as well as a good way to see the city. Also, I either listen to Shake It Off on repeat while walking down the street, or to Grace Helbig’s or Tyler Oakley’s podcasts.

And that’s it. Time to face the rain and head out. Happy Wednesday!

Fall Fashion Inspiration: Warby Parker

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I remember the first time that I discovered Warby Parker. I was in San Francisco with my friend Lauren, and we dropped by their showroom that was located in the back of an antique store. To be quite honest, I had no idea that we were headed to look at glasses… I thought we were just looking through old Titanic artifacts before I glanced up and saw those glowing white walls filled with uber-fashionable Warby Parker glasses.

I’ve always thought of Fall as a new beginning. It’s when the leaves form sunsets on the trees, and when the cold breeze is welcomed in by comfy sweaters, warm boots, and scarves that seem to consume your face. And when I saw Warby Parker’s new collection, I immediately knew that I wanted to feature it. The new frame shapes combined with the new colors provide endless opportunities to make your style shine as bright as Times Square. Fall is your second chance to reinvent yourself before your New Year’s resolutions float back into view, and there’s no better way to shape up your look than with a new pair of glasses.

I’ve composed three different outfits for all the different possible events that you may have coming up: the coffee shop, the work outfit, and the dinner party.

warbyedit2Warby Parker ‘COLEY’ glasses | Zara sweater | Zara scarf | Sam Edelman boots

warbyeditWarby Parker ‘HARDY’ glasses | BaubleBar necklace | ASOS jumpsuit | Vince Camuto flats | Kate Spade bag

warbyedit3Warby Parker ‘GREENLEAF’ glasses | NastyGal dress | Merona coin purse | SoftWalk flats | YSL Glossy Balm

As a final note, I think it’s such a beautiful thing when a company such as Warby Parker, that has such a big reach, uses their impact to make a difference and move towards a brighter future with more equal opportunities for everyone. Just the simple gift of glasses can be monumental in the lives of those who have had to live without them. Being able to see opens up a world of opportunity for getting a job, getting an education, and just being able to navigate life better. For every purchase, Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to someone in need, and that’s really beautiful.

What do you think of Warby Parker’s new collection? Check out all of the new designs here. I’m personally obsessed with the crystal frames as well as the petal tortoise ones, which are a beautiful blend of soft pink and earthy brown. Let me know your favorite outfit look below as well as if you have tried out Warby Parker before! Happy Tuesday!