Halloween Highlights!

As you may know, this year my sisters and I dressed up as Kendall, Kylie, and Kim this year, and we…took Manhattan? 馃槈

The best part about this costume was buying and doing all the makeup. My sister (Kim) had a full face of contour just like her real-life inspiration, and it was so much fun trying to mimic that signature look. My other sister (Kylie) had her hands full trying to recreate Kylie’s infamous overlined lips.

My look was somewhat more laid back, but I loved getting to wear her gorgeous Estee Lauder shade and put on my best “off-duty model” outfit, which was comfy in black stretchies and an off-the-shoulder top and cropped leather jacket.

I annoyed my sisters by spontaneously getting into character the whole night and talking about Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, and Cara Delevingne over dinner and drinks, and of course, we took a load of pictures, because that’s what they do.

We went down to the West Village to watch the parade, and even though it was hella crowded, some of the “attractions” were so cool, like gigantic dancing skeletons, trippy lamp heads on sticks, and a float dedicated to El Dio De Los Muertos. I snapped a couple pictures, so here are some highlights (and contours?) of the night!

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train selfie // Kim and Kylie

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my brother-in-law doing his best Scott Disick // Kendall & (blonde) Kylie

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the sisters

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We had a lot of fun with these costumes! Hope your Halloween was awesome.

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Snapshots

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

A couple weeks ago I went upstate with my friends to the Catskills for Oktoberfest! It was an awesome weekend filled with beer and karaoke, fire pits and some beautiful mountain views. It’s one of my favorite places: too bad it rained all weekend. 馃檪

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The weekend after, my sister and I saw Keira Knightley in the off-Broadway show聽Therese Raquin, adapted from an Emile Zola novel. The show was a nail-biter, a drama about a French woman who has an affair with her husband’s best friend. Her lover kills her husband so he can be with her, and then the husband haunts them both.

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Onstage, Keira Knightley is as wonderful as she is onscreen, and we even got her autograph at the stage door afterward!

Then, in keeping with my resolution to be an annoying tourist in New York City more often and take advantage of living so close, my best friend and I took a Saturday this past weekend to go exploring. We had lunch outside near a waterfall at Paley Park, went uptown to visit my favorite bookstore The Westsider, and wandered around Central Park.

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We sat in front of the Belvedere Castle, and then walked down to Strawberry Fields, the section of the Park dedicated to John Lennon. It was peaceful, and there was a street performer playing acoustic Beatles songs, adding to the ambiance and importance of such a place, so close to where John Lennon used to live.

Next weekend I’m going pumpkin picking, and so I have to say, so far I’m really enjoying my autumn. 馃檪 What’s everyone else doing this season?

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Fall Days & Fall Nights

Every season of the year brings something new and exciting that makes me so happy I live in a place with four distinct seasons. After the heat and excitement of summer fades, there’s nothing I love more than to enjoy the crisp fall weather by either staying in for days at a time with a book, or going outside for those singular fall activities I can’t get enough of. Also I love crunching leaves. 馃槈

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Here’s my very, very brief checklist of the things I want to do this fall season:

go apple/pumpkin picking

There is no better way to soak in the crisp fall weather than going apple picking鈥攂raining yourself in the head with that long picker, eating more apples than you buy, and breaking all the rules by trying to climb trees (and only going up three branches) are all priceless experiences.

dress in jewel tones

Eek! I can’t tell you how excited I am for聽fall fashion! I already have my scarves lined up and ready, I’ve bought boots, I’ve bought dresses, I’ve bought stockings. I’ve put together some outfits I seriously cannot wait to put together and share.

For me, fall fashion means layering, wearing jewel tones like purple, burnt orange, reds and yellows, and boooooooots.

read scary books

Summer is always a reading slump for me; there are always a million other things to do! So to get myself back in the routine, and to get myself hype for Halloween, I like to read something slightly scary. This year, it’s going to be Libba Bray’s sequel to The Diviners: Lair of Dreams.

As a fantasy/historical/YA novel, it’s not exactly a horror story BUT Bray’s first Diviners book was easily the scariest thing I ever read, so I have high hopes for the sequel.

drink oktoberfest

BEER! Do I have to say more?

take photographs

This time of year, or really, whenever the seasons start to change, I love to go out wandering with my camera in hand. Everything slows down and you have this intense quiet time to yourself to think, reflect, and flex your creativity. I love it, and I get some beautiful photographs out of the mix.

be a tourist

Fall in New York City is not only freaking beautiful, but it has so much more culture and just as many activities as in the summer. PLUS, as an added bonus, the rooftop happy hours aren’t ridiculously packed anymore.

There are so many events and festivals, especially food-related (which are my favorite kind) and I can’t wait to try them out.

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Cold weather = blankets and hoodies.

Thoughts & Pictures from Lulu*s Style Studio

Remember back in February when I first got invited to the Lulu*s Style Studio for New York Fashion Week? In case you weren’t around way back then, the Style Studio was a great big fashion blogger party thrown by Lulu*s in the city, and it was hosted by a lot of fabulous companies like NYX, Shea Moisture, Woodzee, Amika and Sigma.

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I had a really good time there again for this season’s NYFW, and I just wanted to share a few photos of my experience. I loved getting to connect with other fashion bloggers and designers, and of course, take home some goodies and products to try and review!

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The best part of the night was obviously getting to choose one item of clothing from Lulu*s to take home. I chose a beautiful black lace dress that I can’t wait to wear. It’s pretty fancy so I’ll have to wait for the right occasion.

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One thing I really noticed about my experience this time was how much more comfortable I felt around other fashion bloggers in this glamorous world. I felt so out of place last time, but this time, I felt like I belonged! I love getting to express personal style and my interests on this blog, and it always thrills me that other people like to read and follow. Hopefully I can continue to do this for many years!

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photo of me by robincjyang (Instagram)

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I want to be a tourist in my own city

Recently I wrote this article about how fun it is to be a silly tourist, and that got me thinking about all the things I haven’t done in New York. But it also makes me think about all the stuff I聽have done, and how worthwhile it is to tour your own city as if you are a newcomer, seeing it all for the first time.

When my cousin visited from Italy, we took her to the observation deck at Rockefeller Center, and that was one of the best moments I’ve ever had, able to see all the nooks and crannies of the city from way up high. I also did a couple touristy things recently that I absolutely adored: going to the observation deck at One World Trade Center, and going on a boat on the Hudson River (which I actually did last year, too!).

Here are some pictures of my escapades as a New York “tourist”:

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This boat is a replica of a 18th century schooner, and onboard is a beer tasting! This is literally one of my favorite things in the world. I went with my sister and brother-in-law, and we had a great time.

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The views were amazing.

After the boat, we walked from Battery Park to the Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and we walked by the New York Stock Exchange, Trinity Church, and other landmarks that tourists usually visit, but that I’ve never taken the time to explore.

So I want to make time to tour New York, to visit those places a tourist would, but that as a local, they sort of go over your head. I especially love Lower Manhattan, because it’s visibly so much older than the rest of the city, and knowing how much I know about the history of New York, I want to be there more to soak up that amazing feeling that studying history and being a part of history always gives me: like I’m just one part of something so much bigger than myself, and that will go on after me. Being a tourist in my city makes me feel like I’m tied to its history, that I’m a part of it, and that it’s a part of me.

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5 things I always wanted to do…

Welp, it’s that time of year again, when everything slows down and changes color, and the frivolity of summer fades away. Even though I totally keep myself in summer mode until exactly September 21st, there’s the thought that things are about to get colder and hence, more serious. So…I’m thinking about goals.

There’s some stuff I always wanted to do, like bucket list stuff that isn’t difficult, and I want to make sure I make these things a priority this year and next. Here’s my shortlist of fall goals and fun activities:

Take a ballet class

I’ve always wanted to do ballet, since my parents never put me in a class when I was a kid. I’ll forever be rubbing that in their faces. 馃槈 I want to take an extreme beginner’s class because I’m very uncoordinated, but I’m really looking forward to learning the basics.

Travel

My sisters and I are planning a trip to New Orleans for next spring, and I’m already so excited to visit somewhere I’ve never been. I also may head to Orlando, Florida this month to visit Universal Studios and see the newly-expanded Harry Potter park! I went five years ago when it opened, but I’m dying to go again.

Work abroad

Now that I’m working full time, I can make plans for the future and for my finances. But the best thing about my job is that I work remotely; so I can pretty much work anywhere. I’d love to be able to pick up and go somewhere for a few weeks, maybe (probably, hopefully) London, and work from there. I visited London three years ago and it’s my favorite place in the world, except for New York.

See the northern lights

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Last year I went to Alaska for four days in February with the hope of seeing the aurora borealis, but alas, no luck. We left Fairbanks literally hours before the lights appeared, and it was a major bummer. This time, my friend and I want to make sure we see them.

With more money to work with and bigger plans, we hope to visit either Iceland or Finland and stay in these weird hotel pods with skylights so we can be warm and fuzzy and still see something. (In Alaska, our plan was basically driving out to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and taking turns sleeping and turning the heat on in the car. Not our best plan.)

NaNoWriMo

My quarter-year resolution to write every day was only somewhat successful. With another NaNo quickly approaching, I’m going to try my hardest to do more research, write more short fiction to keep myself sharp, and be prepared to finish something on time. Wish me luck!

Happy September First!

photos link to sources

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Some Summer Highlights

Last. Day. Of August. [Got that summertime sadness… 馃槈 ]

This month I’ve been lax with my posting because life has been busy, in a lot of good ways. In August I think we all try to squeeze in as much summer as we possibly can before it’s all over, and this month was no different for me.

August was such a short month: I started a new job writing lifestyle and editing for a site called Popcrunch, and I took all the time I could to spend time with friends, go to the beach, eat a LOT of ice cream, enjoy these summer nights, and do new things.

There’s this hiking trail in Peekskill, NY that my friends and I did this month, and it was basically climbing up the side of a mountain that opened up into this amazing view. Here are some pictures of the view from the top of the mountain:

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And then a few days ago my sister and I went to the New York Renaissance Faire like we do every year! I absolutely adore the Ren Faire and happily indulge my dorkiness and my love for old-fashioned dresses.

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Highlight: when I accidentally hit a bull’s eye during archery! I had an amazing Katniss moment and my sister caught it on camera.

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That is the face of someone who will never hit a bull’s eye again in her life.

With a trip to San Francisco, a new job, and a lot of time spent with friends, this summer has been all I wanted it to be. How has your summer been? Have you done anything cool/fun/exciting?

Ren Faire outfit: dress from Forever 21, headpiece from the NY Renaissance Faire

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Going to San Francisco…

Hey friends! I’m excited to share some travel news. This summer my cousin and I are going to San Francisco to visit a friend, and I’m getting so excited to visit California for the first time. Yep鈥攆irst time on the West Coast. We already have a long list of places to see and things to do, but if you’ve been to SF or live there, let me know if you have any recommendations! We want an action-packed week. 馃檪

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LOVE.

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A day of my life in ten photos

Today I did this exercise of taking ten pictures of my day. These things are just normal stuff I do every day like work and do chores, and I learned some things. The first is that things look a lot cooler when you take pictures of them. The second is that my daily life is pretty boring. However, I always think of each day as somewhat聽special, whether it鈥檚 because I decided to go outside to eat lunch or I listened to a new song on the radio, or because my work that day was especially satisfying. And so I also realized that so many seemingly boring lives are led by really happy people. I have my work, I have my family, I have my friends聽and my hobbies. And yeah, a mountain of laundry to do!

Here are ten pictures of a typical weekday:

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1. the bottom of my morning coffee, 2. working at my home office/desk, 3. reading break, 4. laundry mountain, 5. makeup time!, 6. going out for the day, 7. my neighborhood and cloudy April skies, 8. Starbucks [lovers] and more work, 9. weekly family dinner table, 10. end of the day and socks with no holes! (win)

What would your day in 10 photos look like? I encourage you to try this challenge! And if your daily life is more interesting than mine, please share.

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Read me on HelloGiggles!

And elsewhere on the internetz. For the past couple months I’ve been contributing to HelloGiggles and I’ve got some other projects in the works I want to brag about! I love writing for HelloGiggles because it inspires this amazing community of support among all women, without judgment or criticism, without fear or insecurity. I write about a lot of fun things like old movies and shows (like “Lizzie McGuire” or Ice Princess) and about personal experiences. Here’s my author page or follow me on Twitter to see what I’m writing.

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I’m also going to begin writing fiction for this month’s featured blog, The Duck and the Owl. They accept contributors and I thought it would be productive for me to begin sharing my fiction, instead of squirreling it away so that no one ever sees it. I don’t know if anyone will ever want to see it, but being beholden to a deadline will allow me to overcome two challenges: finishing a work of fiction and sharing it.

I’m also a brand new contributor for HerCampus, an online community for college women. Again, this job lets me be a part of a community of women who support each other and bolster each other’s confidence on our road to success. I’m quite proud of my accomplishments this year, and I’m eager to keep writing and learning.

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