New Beginnings

Hi friends! So, a lot has changed since my last post. I graduated from college. I moved to New York City. I dealt with a broker. I found my very first apartment. And, I survived an NYC gym class called, “Chisel.”

IMG_5410I’ve decided to get the blog back up and running. But it’s not going to be just¬†fashion anymore. (It’s still going to be fashion heavy, let’s be real, it’s me.) But, living in this wonderful, crowded, fast-paced city, I need a creative outlet. This time around, I’m going to share my adventures in the city and the outfits I’m wearing while on these adventures. ūüôā

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It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks since moving and a week since moving into my apartment. Like I said, it’s a fast-paced city, so a lot has happened in such a short period of time. I moved to the city with my roommate and friend, Emily on Tuesday, May 26th. We hit the ground running when it came to looking for our first apartment. We went with a broker, an unfortunate and expensive experience (our broker literally yelled at us in his office. Welcome to New York?). However, it wasn’t entirely bad. I mean, we did find the perfect apartment. We’re on the Upper East Side (UES), it’s within our budget, two bedrooms, we have a living space and a decent kitchen. A plus, there are exposed brick walls throughout. God is good and He fulfilled¬†every wish¬†Emily and I had for our first apartment. It’s really perfect for us.

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So, my parents drove to New Jersey with their packed Expedition¬†and a U-Haul. We commuted from New Jersey to NYC via the NJ Transit trains and hired movers to move us in, on a Monday, to our third floor walk up apartment. I was completely moved in and living in the apartment by Tuesday. My parents are wonderful for making that trip, unpacking me and making that commute from New Jersey to the city each day. (Not just saying that because you’re reading this, Mom and Dad ;).)

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My friend Margie and I tried to get tickets to Jimmy Fallon. Sadly, we didn’t get in. Next time, Jimmy!
Views of Lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower from the Brooklyn Bridge.
Views of Lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Two weeks in and I’m still in love with this city. It’s different being here without an end date. I’ve been in the city for extended periods of time, but I’ve always had a return ticket. Purchasing that one way ticket hasn’t entirely sunk in, yet. I kind of feel like I’m on vacation. On those rare occasions when the realization that I followed my dreams, I have actually moved to New York, the dream that 16-year old me couldn’t have ever imagined would possibly come true, I am kind of stunned. It’s shocking, really. I have wanted and dreamed of this for so long, now it’s finally reality. God has been good to me, as He always is. I am excited for this new chapter in life. I am excited for the adventures, the memories, the friends and experiences to come.

Emily and I had to celebrate #NationalDoughnutDay in the Flatiron District with Doughnut Plant.
Emily and I had to celebrate #NationalDoughnutDay in the Flatiron District with Doughnut Plant.

In the words of Tay Tay Swift, “Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you.” ¬†And I feel like it really has. Happy to be home, NYC. Let’s start this adventure!

Oh, and that gym class, “Chisel” is a story for another post. I’m taking a spin class tonight at the same gym. Here’s to hoping I survive this class.

xo,

Taylor

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Friday Favorites

Only a few weeks left until Christmas! ¬†This week, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite looks for Christmas and New Years Eve parties.

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This dress from Nordstrom is perfect for a dressier holiday party.  The embellished neckline saves you from having to purchase a statement necklace, too.  I would pair it with strappy heels in silver or black.  I would add a cocktail ring and keep the rest of my jewelry simple.

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I love winter whites and this dress falls directly into that category.  This Banana Republic dress is such a transitional piece.  It can be easily dressed up or down and I would wear it year round.  For a fancier event, I would pair it with a pair of patent heels and add a bold statement necklace.  For a casual event, I would wear it with a pair of casual ankle boots and add my favorite scarf to finish the look.

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For a classic look, I would pair this velvet J.Crew skirt with a clean white Oxford shirt. ¬†Add a pair of metallic silver pumps and you’re all set for a festive holiday party. ¬†I could also see this skirt paired with a fitted bright plaid button up shirt. ¬†Think reds or whites with navy or dark green accents.

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These Sam Edelman stilettos are the perfect shoe to dress up any holiday outfit. ¬†They can easily be paired with a skirt or jeans, making them versatile. ¬†They are studded, but don’t let that deter you. ¬†They would add a subtle pop, but wouldn’t become the main focus of your outfit.

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This Topshop ring at Nordstrom is a great statement piece.  When wearing a statement piece, I would keep the rest of my jewelry simple.  This ring could be worn with jeans to dress up the outfit or with a fancy party dress.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! ¬†Has anyone found any great pieces that they’ve worn to a holiday party, yet?

Taylor xo

How To: Styling Graphic Tees

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I am not a T-shirt girl. ¬†I own probably three and they rarely get worn. ¬†I have several plain tees for layering and they usually sit in my closet until an extremely cold day when I need to pile on the layers. ¬†That being said, I recently discovered my love for graphic tees. ¬†I search for tees with cute illustrations or clever, witty sayings on them. ¬†It’s a great way to add a little fun to your outfit.

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I’ve recently found a line of graphic tees that I love from Sincerely Jules. ¬†I like to style mine under layers. ¬†I first started out wearing graphic tees by styling them under¬†cargo jackets. ¬†Blazers, leather jackets and boyfriend cardigans are also really great!

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In warmer weather, I’ve recently started wearing graphic tees without a layering piece over it, which is a big deal for me! ¬†I pair them with skirts, light wash jeans and a bold statement necklace.

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What do you think of a graphic tee?  Do you like to wear them under layers and accessorize?  Or do you let the tee be the focal point of your outfit?

Jacket: J.Crew {old}, similar here // Tee: Sincerely Jules {old}, similar here // Jeans: J.Crew {old}, similar here // Boots: Dune London // Bag: Longchamp // Belt: Target {old}, similar here // Necklace: Piperlime {old}, similar here // Watch: Michael Kors // Rings: Catbird // Earrings: Crislu // Glasses: Warby Parker

Study Abroad: Milan

The semester has come to an end and I keep thinking back to this time last year when I was getting ready for one of the most exciting and rewarding times in my life. ¬†I miss London and I miss the traveling that we did. ¬†Today, I’m sharing a small part of my spring break trip to Italy, beginning with our first stop: Milan.

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Elizabeth, Lizzie, Bre, me and Emily documenting our first stop in Italy!

We arrived in Milan a few hours later than planned due to a delayed flight. ¬†Once in Milan, made it through customs and quickly realized we didn’t know how to get to our hotel from the airport. ¬†The directions that the hotel had given¬†us seemed easy enough, until we got outside and realized that getting a cab for 5 wasn’t simple.

Our cute Hotel Rossovino
Our cute Hotel Rossovino

Once we did get a cab big enough for all of us, our driver took us to what looked like an abandoned building.  It was obvious to everyone but him, that we were clearly not in the right spot.  After showing our driver the map for probably the third time, he finally understood and told us that we had given him the wrong address from the beginning.  Thankfully, we found the correct place, which was the cute little Hotel Rossovino.

Duomo di Milano
Duomo di Milano

Once we checked in, we decided to find some gelato and wander through the city.  We walked through the main part of the city and got to see the Duomo at night, which was beautiful.  The entire square in front of the Duomo was filled with tourists and street performers and peddlers.  We decided to call it an early night after flying and exploring the city all day and had a relaxing dinner in the hotel.

Views from the Duomo
Views from the Duomo

The next day we bought tickets to tour the Duomo and climb to the top.  The architecture was amazing.  There is so much detail in every inch.  The views of the city were also pretty incredible.

Because if you don't take a "groupie" (when there's more than one in a selfie), on the top of the Duomo in Milan, did it actually happen?
Because if you don’t take a “groupie” (when there’s more than one in a selfie), on the top of the Duomo in Milan, did it actually happen?

We may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the photos on the top of the Duomo, but it was so much fun.  After our tour, there was a festival going on.  We stopped for gelato, walked through the festival and did some shopping.

Duomo di Milano
Duomo di Milano

Our stay in Milan was short, only two days, but we packed a lot in within those two days. ¬†Funny story, in an effort to save money, we thought¬†we’d walk to the train station to get to our next city, Venice. ¬†It was a three mile walk…I can only imagine what people thought as we wandered through the city with our backpacks and suitcases. ¬†Looking back, it’s hilarious, but at the time, we were not laughing. ¬†We were hungry, frustrated from frozen ATM cards and tired from all of our walking.

My recommendation, if you ever travel to Milan, stay close to the Duomo. ¬†That’s where most of the attractions are. ¬†We stayed farther away, about a 25 minute walk each day, to get to the part of the city that we wanted to be in. ¬†The walk was beautiful and we got to see parts of the city that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise, but for the sake of time, staying in a more central part of the city would have been best.

Taylor xo

Friday Favorites

Hi friends, it’s time for this week’s Friday Favorites post! ¬†Here are this week’s top picks.

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Clare V. makes great bags. ¬†I think her fold over clutches are her most popular products and it’s easy to see why. ¬†I have her leopard fold over clutch and I originally bought it as a cute going-out bag, but I’ve used it so much more than I thought I would. ¬†It can surprisingly hold a lot, and depending on which print you get, it goes with a lot, too. ¬†I also have her Half Zip Wallet and it fits perfectly in the clutch and it’s great for travel, too.

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Umm…yes! ¬†This travel mug is so cute! ¬†Ban.do has really cute accessories, bobby pins and just little bits and baubles that add a little something fun to your day. ¬†I first found this company last year when I was looking for pretty bobby pins and I have to say, that I keep going back for new odds and ends.

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So, we’ve already established that I’m a sucker for good pajamas. ¬†My roommate showed me these pants from Gap and I love them! ¬†They look so cozy; perfect for lounging by the Christmas tree with hot cocoa and a good book, right? ¬†I like pajama sets, but these are a great alternative if sets aren’t really for you.

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I bought this Korres lip butter at Sephora awhile ago and recently rediscovered it.  It goes on really smoothly and you can build the color as you apply.  For a more natural look, I just do a quick swipe of color.  When I want more color, I usually build up the color and then swipe a bright pink lipgloss over top.

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Oversized scarves are perfect for the winter weather. ¬†I especially love chunky knit ones or ones that can double as a wrap or a “blanket.” ¬†Nordstrom has a great selection of scarves. ¬†I highly recommend their Wool & Cashmere Scarf for travel. ¬†It’s definitely a luxury item, but I promise it’s one that you’ll be so glad you invested in.

I hope everyone is getting their last minute shopping done before Christmas is here. ¬†What are some great things you’ve found while shopping this season? ¬†Have any items you think I should know about? ¬†Share it with me, I’d love to hear about it.

Taylor xo

Winter Weather Layers

A few weeks ago, Nordstrom was having a major sale. ¬†Naturally, I couldn’t let such a great sale pass me by, without at least getting a little something. ¬†When I found this beautiful reversible biker jacket by Trouve at¬†40% off, it could not be passed up. ¬†It was basically two jackets for the price of one, what a steal!

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For a more casual look, think coffee dates with friends or weekend shopping, I paired it with a bright scarf and light wash jeans.  I let the bright colored scarf and purse be the pops of color and kept the rest of the outfit muted.

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I think you could really kick up the outfit by wearing bold earrings and stacking a few bracelets and rings on. ¬†The earrings I’m wearing are a take off the Dior “Mise en Dior” pearl earrings. ¬†Statement jewelry is always a¬†conversation starter.

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This outfit could easily be taken from day to night. ¬†I love the idea of fitted black pants, like the Pixie Pant from J.Crew. ¬†Add a great pair of black high heeled boots and swipe on a bright shade of lipstick and you’ll be sure to turn heads all night.

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This jacket is such a versatile piece for the winter season.  It can be worn as a layering piece or as a separate, plus the faux fur lined side is super warm!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season!  I know I am, especially because I get to wear warmer outfits like this one.  What are some of your favorite winter weather pieces to wear?

Jacket: Trouve at Nordstrom // Jeans: J. Crew (on sale!) // Scarf: NYC find {old}, similar here // Purse: Rebecca Minkoff {old}, similar here // Glasses: Warby Parker // Earrings: {old}, similar here // Bracelets: J.Crew / {old}, similar here / {old}, similar here // Watch: Michael Kors // Rings: Catbird

Hostess Gift Ideas

The holiday season is here and the endless holiday parties have begun. ¬†Something I always have a hard time coming up with is a really great hostess gift. ¬†I’ve searched online for some great ideas and am sharing them with you!

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I love this set of appetizer plates from C. Wonder. ¬†They’re perfect for setting finger foods out at a party or even for individual use at a small dinner party.

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This Kate Spade wine bottle opener and wine stopper set are so cute.  A wine bottle is a traditional hostess gift, but the bottle opener and stopper are essential.  This is definitely a gift that will be used time and time again.

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A hot dip bowl is not something I would ever think to purchase. ¬†However, when I stumbled across this at Crate and Barrel, I couldn’t help but think what a great idea this was. ¬†The bowl can be used in the microwave or the oven to heat your foods. ¬†The wooden base then insulates the bowl and keeps your food warm, while protecting table surfaces from the heat. ¬†Plus, I love the clean and contemporary design.

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When I attend holiday parties, there is usually always one dish that I want the recipe for.  I usually type it up in my phone quickly and there it sits until I remember the dish.  A pretty recipe box, like this one from Rifle Paper Co. at Anthropologie is both cute and useful.

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I love coffee table books, Anthropologie and Kate Spade have great selections. ¬†I think they’re a great way to decorate your home and show off your personality and interests. ¬†Be sure to pick a book that you know your host will have an interest in and try to pick one that has color schemes that match the host’s decor. ¬†Lined on book shelves or¬†stacked on a coffee table, these books are easy conversation starters.

Happy holiday party season and Merry Christmas! ¬†I’m always trying to come up with new ideas for hostess gifts. ¬†What are some gifts that you’ve given or received that you have loved?

Taylor xo