Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On the Fringe.

Greetings and warmth from the sunshine state!
(more on that later)

As you might have noticed, I've been on a bit of a--OK, let's be honest...a lengthy hiatus.
It's not you, it's me.
I mean that and not in a, "it is totally you, and I don't want to hear from, speak to, or see you" kind of way. 

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    I'm experiencing something like a personal Renaissance (my friend Heather threw that term at me), and most of this has been done alone in self-imposed isolation or quietly with others rather than "out there" and documented/social media-d (YES, I'm making that a verb) for everyone to witness. That would be entirely staged. Phony. And more importantly, not fulfilling. It's my own. It's extremely personal, and I'm highly private actually when it comes to "taking a breather" and an individual journey of exploration and ultimately, evolution. I'd been feeling this inexplicable urge to shed off a layer of soot from myself, my priorities, my relationships, and my spirit. Thanks, Taylor Swift. I'm shaking it off these days. I'm taking this time for me. To be a better me. To transition into a more serene, effective, and loving human being, sister, partner, friend, daughter, aunt, acquaintance, boss, and employee.

    Some times, we have shake the dirt off that's accumulated through time and experience in order to continue growing. We can't push up and on with this dead weight.  My apologies for the corny plant metaphor, but it's true nonetheless. Life is weird. We're all aging, like it or not, and I'm simply doing everything I can to ensure that I'm listening, feeling, and evolving in an authentic and hopefully, a best-case-scenario-kind-of-way: joyfully and peacefully.

    I'll slowly divulge more on this topic going further. Curious? Questions? Feeling similarly? Ask away. I'm open to sharing my story as well as imparting any sort of advice, encouragement, or general support that I possibly can.


Find yourself? Maybe. Maybe you lost sight of this self, but it's there. Create yourself, definitely. And again.  Rinse and repeat.

    But, back to the original intent of this post. I've been lusting over a great fringe bag. Not something overly trendy or ostentatious. I've never finally just given in and made the purchase. It's never felt right. You feel it in 'dem bones when it's right one. Like, "It's got to be that can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff, right?" (Thank you, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for the incredible film, "It Takes Two")


I found my spirit animal, fringe-ly speaking.



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Proenza Schuler 'PS 1' Fringed Satchel 




Unfortunately, I must NOT and, truly, can NOT afford--keep repeating this to yourself, Olivia--my beloved. It's offered in small, medium and large. The large, which I (of course) pine for retails at $2,000. Perhaps, I/you (but really, me-duh!) could scour Ebay for one a smidgen cheaper? I'll stop, fine. I get it. I have a problem. 

Don't fret, though. I compiled twelve bags-yes, twelve!-that are also fringe-tastic but also all under $400. That's more like it, eh? Christmas lists, anyone? 

Check out some of my favorites:

Colors and shapes and styles, OH MY!



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One// Two// Three// Four// Five// Six// Seven// Eight// Nine// Ten// Eleven// Twelve


    I visited my parents' house in Memphis, Tennessee. Now, the entire family has traveled to Florida for our yearly week of food, sunshine, and overall laziness. We arrived on Saturday, and the weather is ideal at this time of year for us. High seventies, low-to-mid eighties. And sun. Lots of sun.

Blanche and I thrilled about flying early+ leaving New York for a month. 

    These past few days have delivered serenity. Family (however you choose to define that word) and a change of scenery seem to be the antidote for the common disease known as being disgruntled with life.

Take a hammer to your own walls....
wherever they might be. 

'
Memphis morning workspace. 

Backyards are safe spaces. 

The good kind of blues. 

Currently reading. 


Morning walks. 

Sunsets are just better here.  




We'll talk sooner than later. 
This Renaissance woman keeps her word. 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Right Now in Five.

What's so "RIGHT NOW?"

That's a valid question, and I'm glad that you asked.

    Personally, I have five things that immediately spring to the forefront. I have a lot going on, and there's a lot rumbling and tumbling occurring in this frontal lobe. But, what I'm watching, doing, wearing, and thinking over? Let's count 'em out right now. Who knows what tomorrow or even later this afternoon will bring, for that matter.

1. Golden Girls complete series on DVD


Rose: I just had a thought...
SophiaDorothyBlanche: Congratulations.


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(Not pictured: Season 2)

It's no secret that I am, in fact, an old lady. Stating the obvious here. I neeeed my old lady accessories, and even more so, television shows and films. I grew up watching The Golden Girls, and it's continued to serve up a good laugh and hearty dose of comfort for me whenever I'm having "a day" and needing a little warmth after a long and exhausting day. Those days when you want to ugly sob in your bed and eat cookie butter out of the jar, while squeezing your dog or cat a little too hard, wailing, "Whyyyyyyy??!" OR, those days when you want to strangle Every. Single. Person. who even glances at you while walking down the street? "Hey, what the heck are you looking at, idiot?! Really?!" Oh, yes, those days.

Rose: I wanted to ask you - do you think Blanche has been picking on me lately?
Dorothy: I haven't noticed.
Rose: [Blanche enters] Hi, Blanche!
Blanche: Must you always be so cheerful, you... empty-headed, Mary Poppins knock-off?
Rose: [to Dorothy] Let me know if you notice anything.

I need a little bit of gentility (or loving rudeness) by way of Rose, Blanche, Sophia, and Dorothy. I owned two seasons of The Golden Girls on DVD, and I finally came to the realization that those were simply not enough for this girl. I needed more of my gang. I logged onto Amazon and quickly found the remaining seasons...there are seven in total, in case you were wondering. Not at all enough, if you ask me. I've taken a break from my beloved Netflix, and I've immersed myself into a land of shoulder pads, Miami, sequins, and cheesy punchlines. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Seven-seasons-kind-of-nice. 

Miami is nice, so I'll say it twice.
Miami is nice.


2. Madewell Green Army Jacket

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Everyone's donning hunter green outwear these days. Truly, I looked around me this weekend on the subway, and I saw nothing but a sea of moss. This particular Madewell "Outbound Jacket" is light enough to wear comfortably over other layers but adds just the right amount of warmth. Personally, I adore the cargo nature of just about any piece of clothing, so I utilize all of the pockets from this jacket. Phone, subway pass, lipstick....the necessities, you know? This "army green" hue has crept into the category of neutrals (along with leopard, it seems), and I have to agree--It blends so well with any number of color and pattern variations. For the next few months, expect to catch me in this number. 

Need more options?
Of course, you do. 

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Levi's Parachute Parka via Urban Outfitters 



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3. Tom Hardy in The Drop



OK, I'm going to attempt to stay focused. Tom Hardy in The Drop...well, just Tom Hardy. That brow. That scowl. I'm speaking here and now, specifically, about his haunting portrayal of Bob, a bartender, in the moody mob thriller, The Drop, directed by Michael R. Roskam ("Bullethead"). The Drop also features Noomi Rapace (woman crush!) and the late James Gandolfini. Subsequently, this is Gandolfini's last film. I am absolutely forced to encourage you to view the film. It's moody, it's dark, and although it slowly builds, I believe it lays the foundation for some pretty fantastic acting by all. Oh, and Hardy cuddles a rescue puppy throughout the entirety. So, there's that if natural talent isn't quite your thing.



    Hence, Hardy making my list and not simply on looks alone. Although, he could have landed a number based solely on that mug of his. The Drop centers around a bar that serves as a "money drop" spot for gangsters that cousins Gandolfini and Hardy both run together. Of course, a robbery takes place at their establishment, and what they believed to be a smooth operation as well as their relationship with the crime scene begin to unravel. There's violence. There are threats. Family ties. Romance. It's Brooklyn, New York, come on. What's not to like? 
    This bar of theirs reminds me of one of my favorite local hangout spots around the corner. It isn't a "cool" or "hip" bar by any means. It's for the good 'ole neighborhood boys. Men. Ya' know what I mean? It opens at 11am or so...or whenever its bartender also named Bobby arrives (no joke).  The usual suspects shuffle in; everyone knows one another and collectively greet whoever walked through the door. They pretty much originated the phrase #nonewfriends. Except for me, clearly. Hardy embraced his role as an unassuming, quiet man with a strength and a little something lurking below this demeanor that could just lurch out at any moment. That's brooding for you. That's intriguing. So is Hardy as this character and as a man and a gifted actor. While garnishing respect from insiders for his previous work, he'll be heading mainstream pretty soon with more major "blockbusters," such as the Mad Max reboot, which hits theaters May 2015. 

Theo Wargo/Getty Images 

"I'm not really a road dog. I'm a bit of a homeboy," says Hardy, throwing a wink about his chef skills on the way out the door (his specialty: "cheese toasties"). But "the reality is, I love what I (expletive) do." 



You're welcome for these photos. 

4. Ball Caps


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So, I may have a slight obsession (see: problem) with hats. As of late, beanies and ball caps. Dressed up or dressed down, I'm wearing these babies on an almost daily basis. Jeans and a blouse? Running pants and an over-sized tee? Shift dress and booties?

It's all fair game for ball caps.

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I even represented Brooklyn (Brooooklyn!) in my ball cap at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in September with a white Tibi blazer (See it HERE) and a Winter Kate floor-length black dress. Who said that these hats required actual sporting events? Not this girl. 

Play this all day (and night!) long. 


5. Canine Roadtrips

"Rooooooaaaaadddtrip!"

    Anything that begins with someone shouting that word will end up a)epic with stories to re-tell for years or b)in disaster, flames, and bankruptcy. I've been talking and blabbing and mentioning about heading to upstate New York for a few years now. I can't believe it's been that long, actually! I'd read about so many unique locations all within a few hours of New York City. I was astounded at all of the options! Really? All of these adorably quaint and nature-related activities so close to the bustling and overwhelming city?! I grabbed Blanche, called a few BnB's that I'd found online, and reserved a rental car through Dollar Rent-A-Car (instead of our usual ZipCar, which developed into a pretty miserable situation, unfortunately). I'd discovered a few articles online detailing various places to go, sights that shouldn't be missed and compiled a list. My GoogleMaps was locked, loaded, and ready to go, thankfully, because as much of a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD driver as I am, I'm an even WORSE navigator, if that's at all possible. Which, let it be known, IT IS POSSIBLE
    I'm just thrilled that we're alive, and dearest Blanche and I had quite an adventure. We made friends, snuck into non-dog-friendly hotels (hoodlums!), ate delicious food, hiked, and roamed the downtowns of the cutest Mayberry-esque villages while surrounded by the most breathtaking transition to fall. I'll write a more detailed guide to dos, don'ts, must sees, and skips. But, I would highly recommend a secondary GPS rather than solely relying on your phone if you're ever going at this whole "getaway" thing alone, because it zaps ALLLLLL of your battery, and then, you'll be stranded on the highway with a little dog sitting shotgun, and she's not to be trusted as a travel guide despite her cuteness and determination to explore. We experienced some partially fearful moments, mostly due to our Dollar Rent-A-Car troubles and hours spent on and off of the phone with their customer service (again, two girls with a dying phone in the middle of the mountain range). Despite some stress, frustration, confusion, and desperation, the good and beautiful outweighed the negative. Life's pleasures are actually pretty simple, and I'm reminded of this even simply by browsing through our photos. How could we not have enjoyed this "woman and her best friend's roadtrip" upstate? Here are a few photos of the two of us, soaking in nature while just being present in the moment. More to come. In the meantime, get going! Even if just a day trip. The liberation you'll feel--alone, with a partner, or a furry friend--by getting up and getting out spontaneously forces you to improvise but to simultaneously soak up everything about the spectacular right now, right this minute. Don't waste time continuing to think it over, talk about it, but never actually implementing your plans, like I did for so long.  
See you behind the wheel? Don't mind my lane change. 

Warning: Possible Fox overload. 
Blanche reallllllly embraces the outdoors, the feel of the grass on her skin, and the sunshine's warmth  on her face.
Correction: We were both two foxes in our natural habitat, and that pure unadulterated joy radiates through these photos, I think.

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