Accessorize Yourself, Winter Edition

November 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Once again blogging about preparing for the cold in the midst of this global warming-induced abnormal warm weather. But hopefully with a few perfect winter accessories you will be well-prepared for when the cold hits us. Here are a few ideas on how to enhance your winter wardrobe:

1. For Your Heads

(Women’s Cable-Knit Pom Beanie, Urban Outfitters, $24, urbanoutfitters.com)

(Women’s Cable-Knit Cashmere Beanie, Missoni, ON SALE NOW $138, net-a-porter.com)

(Women’s Faux Fur Trapper Hat, Club Monaco, price unlisted)

(Women’s Scarborough Headband, Rag & Bone, $105, rag-bone.com) Mine is on its way to me. Can’t wait.

(Men’s Marled Watchmen’s Cap, J Crew, $32.50, jcrew.com)

(Men’s Knit Beanie, Moncler, $195, saks.com)

2. For Your Necks

(Women’s Popcorn Sweater Scarf, Old Navy, $15, oldnavy.com)

(Women’s Hearthstone Infinity Scarf, $68, jcrew.com)

(Women’s Fray Edge Scarf, Rag & Bone, $125, rag-bone.com)

(Women’s Cashmere Tartan Scarf, Alexander McQueen, $635, barneys.com)

(Men’s Fair Isle Scarf, Gap, $35, gap.com)

(Men’s Ribbed Wool-Blend Scarf, Polo Ralph Lauren, $60, mrporter.com

(Herringbone Scarf, SCP, $198, scoopnyc.com)

(Men’s Mega Check Cashmere Scarf, $475, burberry.com)

3. For Your Hands and Feets

(Women’s Bronson Mitten, Rag & Bone, $115, rag-bone.com)

(Women’s Carol Gloves, Club Monaco, $120, shopbop.com

(Welly Grizzly Sock (for inside your Hunter boots), Hunter, $40, nordstrom.com)

(Men’s Cashmere-Lined Leather Gloves, J Crew, $68, jcrew.com)

(Men’s “Touchscreen Glove” (the fingers have material on them that allows you to use your touchscreen phones…pretty cool.), Urban Outfitters, $14, urbanoutfitters.com)

(Men’s Ribbed Boot Socks, Falke $32, saks.com)

Pair any of the above with the perfect peacoat or puffer and you’re good to go. Hope you are feeling as cozy as I am right now.

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Sidewalls & And A Few Thoughts on Passion

November 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Imagine living in a city and having no idea that a stranger who lives down the block from you is your soulmate. Sidewalls is a romantic comedy directed by Gustavo Taretto. I watched it this past weekend and it left a strong impression on me and re-instilled my desire to believe in destiny.

The film is about two strangers who live in Buenos Aires, literally separated by sidewalls, and are destined to be together. The principals, Martín (Javíer Drolas) and Mariana (Pilar López de Ayala) have both been through their fair shares of heartbreak and each have their own set of disturbances that makes daily life difficult. Martín is a web-designer who seeks solace in his computer screen in late hours of the night and a physical relationship with an empty dog-walker in the day. Mariana is an artist who is recovering from a break-up with a boyfriend of four years, and encounters frequent periods of extreme sadness that impair her stability. She creates store window displays with mannequins, though her true passion lies in architecture and her fascination with medianeras, or sidewalls. She believes these bland, windowless walls that make up a great part of the city of Buenos Aires are to blame for the restlessness and neuroses that make up the citizens of the city (which we see first-hand in herself and Martín).

Something that stayed in my head was a comment Mariana made about people’s admiration of her work. She said that when a passer-by would stop to look at the displays she created, it was as if the person was interested in a part of her. I admired her passion for her work, and I feel a similar sense of accomplishment when I see people enjoying/reading/looking at something I have created.

The viewer has a sense that Martín and Mariana will meet, as they live in the same neighborhood and are in the same place multiple times throughout the film. I won’t give away the ending because I think it’s a great movie that anyone could appreciate. I will say that I felt a strong connection with Mariana’s character, perhaps because of that passion that she holds. She is very intense, as one minute she is in tears thinking about the “35040 hours spent with the wrong person,” the next she is engrossed in her work behind the windows of a store, styling mannequins.

Maybe she reminds me of someone, or maybe I just admire passionate people in general. I think the expression of feelings, even intense ones, can bring people together and allow them to connect with one another. I think when intense people are deeply connected with something– whether it be a job, person, feeling, place, etc., the passion they exhibit is fantastic. The passion Mariana showed throughout the film was beautiful and awe-inspiring to me.

Thankful

November 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Though today is a crazy day in my house (as we have annual turkey day Olympics with cranberry sauce-flinging fights and sleigh riding races with frozen turkeys used as the sleighs, all occurring as my mom prepares a meal for ten) I wanted to write a quick post about what I am thankful for.

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our Thanksgiving table at my house

Whenever I’m home, I always realize how much I appreciate my family. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it brings everyone together over delicious food and the sole reason of appreciating everything. I’m writing this from my iPhone (which I’m extremely thankful for) so I will make it kind of short. Perhaps it will serve as a reminder of things you should appreciate, that you might not normally think of.

1. Family
2. Friends- specifically the ones who make me laugh, smile, and listen to/advise me in times of need
3. The ability to run
4. Health
5. Creativity
6. Optimism
7. Education
8. Freckles (they are helpful in those despairing times of blemishes)
9. Laughing
10. The ability to love
11. Passion
12. Being caring
13. Morals
14. Sun
15. The changing leaves
16. My dog, Ralph (even though he runs away from me and I have to chase him and restrain him in a straight jacket so I can cuddle with him)

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Be appreciative for what you have, especially today! Eat lots of turkey and potatoes and carby things. I was kidding about the Olympics, I’m not THAT weird.

6 Amazing Places

November 16, 2011 § 5 Comments

In the midst of my studying and counting down the hours until Thanksgiving break, I’m daydreaming about amazing vacation spots. I’d say I’m pretty well-traveled for a 21 year old, as I’ve been on a good amount of tropical family vacations and spent my last semester traveling throughout Europe, as I was living in London. But I still have quite a list of places I’ve yet to see, and would love to visit. Hope I can distract you from doing something important.

1. The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania

I know what you’re thinking… what the heck is a Zanzibar?! I wouldn’t know either if it weren’t for my dad. I think he shares my passion for mid-work daydreams. He found amazing images of this small island (off the coast of Tanzania) while playing around on Google Earth. To get to this restaurant, you either have to swim or sail. You don’t have to decide now, wait until you get there.

2. Santorini, Greece

Greece was the ONE country I was absolutely dying to go to, and didn’t get to while I was in Europe. Just look at that amazing blue water. Santorini is unfortunately now one of the most touristy cities in Greece. But it still looks breathtakingly beautiful. And I love spinach pie.

3. Hardangerfjord, Norway

Doesn’t this look fake? This is the third largest fjord in the world. What is a fjord, you may ask? A fjord is created after a glacier splits, leaving a narrow inlet with steep cliffs surrounding. There are tours throughout Norway that take you to various fjords for hiking and boating. I fell in love with this one.

4. Capetown, South Africa

In my European travels, on a trip to Amsterdam, a few friends and I met some very handsome men from Capetown. They told us they had jetskis, boats, surfboards all this other great stuff, and that if we ever came to Capetown, we were welcome to stay with them and that they’d teach us how to surf. They might have been lying, but as a major water-sports lover, I’d like to think I could take them up on their offer when I am planning my trip here.

5. Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

This is Iguazu Falls, which is located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. You can either take a helicopter or boat around the waterfall, and apparently the rainbows are pretty common. Doesn’t it look fake?

6. Mont Saint-Michel, France

This photograph gives me the chills, it’s so beautiful. This is an island. The population is 41. In 1789, it was used as a prison during the French Revolution. Of course, now, there are tours here from Paris. There is also a nightclub on this island. That makes me kind of sad. Maybe someday I’ll just buy the whole island.

Hope you’ve learned something new and done some good daydreaming. Any places you think I’d enjoy taking a look at? Feel free to comment.

There’s Nothing Like a Man in a Sweater

November 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s getting cold out! You know what that means… sweaters. I have had an obsession with guys in sweaters since my high school days (I’m sure a few of my high school friends recall me gushing every other day in December about some guy I liked looking quite adorable in a cozy, half-zip Polo sweater). I still love the half-zips, but this winter, why not take it up a notch and be inspired by some runway looks of the season? Take a risk, gentlemen. You’ll look just as adorable. Ladies, buy your boyfriends/dads/friends these sweaters so you can raid their wardrobes.

Hermes Fall 2011

(Cable Knit Polo Neck Sweater, Zara, $80, zara.com)

(Twisted Yarn High Neck Sweater, Zara, $80, zara.com)(Cable V-Neck Sweater, Vince, $225, vince.com)

(Fair Isle Crew Sweater, Urban Outfitters, $60, urbanoutfitters.com)


(Oval Cardigan, Rag & Bone, $275, rag-bone.com)

Speak Up

November 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

All of the headlines in the past few days have made it easy to get involved in the chaos surrounding the Joe Paterno scandal. Though I am not one to judge others’ actions, I believe that there are certain instances in which a person’s decisions or actions, no matter who that person is, are wrong. Joe Paterno allowing Jerry Sandusky, a serial pedophile, to remain an assistant coach after learning of the numerous sexual abuses he had performed, was wrong.

This may be a minor case to compare to the sexual abuse of 15 boys, but as a child, I was bullied. This is something that, although has made me the strong person I am today, was very difficult for me. I am very fortunate that the bullying only occurred in verbal contexts. But I know that if the teachers who saw me being bullied in middle school would have spoken up, they could have changed my life.

For an average individual, hearing that someone (or a group of people) has being sexually abused should instantly set off an alarm. Something is wrong with this picture. Then, that individual should do everything in his or her power to have this sexual predator’s crimes dealt with by the proper forces. When I say average, I mean that I believe it does not take godly strength to speak up on someone else’s behalf.

I believe some individuals are so caught up in what an idol Joe Paterno is for the college football world, they are overlooking the major truth. What if one of those boys who was sexually abused was your son? What if one of those boys were you?

It’s horrible that Paterno allowed this to happen repeatedly. Some people say he didn’t allow it because he did go to an authority. If a man has sexually abused a child, there is something wrong with him. He should not be left in a position to repeat this act.

Maybe Paterno made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. But there are consequences for actions, even mistakes. Hopefully when these students who are rioting on the campus allow the truth to settle in, they will feel differently in a few days or so.

The scary thing is, though, that sexual abuse is happening at universities all over the country. Last Friday, Ryan Clifford, an ex-student from UC Davis sued the school for ignoring his reports of abusive hazing tactics from his fraternity. He was sexually abused by his so-called “brothers,”  and when nothing was done when he told authorities, he filed a suit against the school. This ultimately resulted in Clifford being removed from the school, while he was just 6.5 credits short of graduation.

Clifford spoke up, but was punished. As our world is progressing on so many different levels, we should continue to speak up if something is not right. Harassment is never okay. Whether it is on the middle school level  of bullying, the college level of being hazed by a fraternity, or a grown adult sexually abusing 15 boys, it is always wrong. If you know something is going on that shouldn’t be, SPEAK UP.

Humans Shouldn’t Hibernate

November 9, 2011 § 3 Comments

Winter is for hibernation… if you are a bear. We are not bears! We should NOT hibernate!

He does look pretty cozy though…

It’s common to pack on a few pounds in the winter for a variety of reasons. For me, I always gained weight in the winter because I became lazier about exercising. This winter, I have a game plan.

Every December, my family takes a trip to St. Martin. Yes, this should be enough of an inspiration for me to stay in shape. However, in the past, I’d managed to gain a few pounds just from coming back to school from the summer (when I usually get in shape). As early-December would hit, I’d think up some crazy diet plan where I’d attempt to lose 15 pounds in 2-3 weeks. Would it work? No. Never. This time, I figure if I prevent the weight gain in the first place, it will be easier to get into extra good shape for my vacation.

How have I been staying in shape? I’ve been continuing my runs and work-outs from the summer regularly, attempting to run a long run (8-12 miles) once a week, and 3-5 mile runs at least three times a week. I also lift weights once or twice a week, and box once or twice a week.

We’ve been blessed on the East Coast with this weather of the past few days, but we all know what’s coming. The miserable sub-zero temperatures, snow, and ice. Running 8-12 miles in that will not be fun. But definitely worth it. Especially if I’m prepared.

Don’t stop or slow your exercise just because it is getting cold out! If you aren’t into running outside, go ahead and run on the indoor track! The indoor track isn’t really my friend. He’s too boring and dull for my taste. Might have to hang with him a couple times if it’s too cold out though.

If you’re interested in taking up running or continuing your runs into the cold temperatures, be prepared! Layering is KEY! Here are a few essentials to get you started for running in cold weather:

 (Women’s H20 Puffer Vest, Nike, $90, nike.com)

(Women’s Brisk Run Gloves, lululemon, $28, lululemon.com)

(Women’s Seamless Athletic T, C9 by Champion, $24.99, target.com)

(Women’s Base Layer Legging, New Balance, $27.99, shopnewbalance.com)

(Men’s Thermal Half-Zip Running Shirt, Nike, $75, nike.com)

(Men’s Livestrong Training Pants, Nike, $50, nike.com)

(Unisex Dri-Fit Lightweight Running Headband, Nike, $15, nike.com)

If you don’t bundle up for those freezing temperatures, you won’t stand a chance against Hypothermia. But if it’s absolutely, bone-chillingly, PAINFULLY freezing… if you don’t have the right amount of layers available to you, or you’re just plain scared, pay the indoor track or treadmill a visit instead.

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