Autumn Style Inspiration: Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne

Though the New York heat wave might make us think otherwise, Fall is finally upon us (officially)! One of my favorite things about Fall? Fall fashion. Ask any of my coworkers and they’ll tell you, I started wearing sweaters way too early, pretending that I could feel that slight chill in the air. In honor of the official arrival of Autumn, I have decided to highlight a television character who embodies the ideal fashion (and beauty) inspiration for this season: Twin Peaks’ Audrey Horne. By the way, if you haven’t watched Twin Peaks and are a fan of mystery and quirkiness, I highly recommend binging (especially now that it is being revived).

So, without further ado, here is a small selection of the aspects of Audrey Horne’s style that will influence my own this autumn.

PLAID

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Plaid is certainly a staple in Audrey’s wardrobe, particularly in the beginning of the series. Take a chance on this classic pattern (that happens to be designer-approved this season) and make it your own. I personally am coveting THIS super-affordable and modern take on Tartan from Mango.

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SEEING RED

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From her lips to her pumps, Audrey is notable for sporting red — which happens to have been dubbed this season’s “it” color thanks to the FW17 runway shows. As shocking as this might be to anyone who knows that most of my closet is black, I am so glad that red is making a comeback. It’s such a classic, flattering color on anyone. It’s bold, just like Audrey. Who knows, maybe I’ll even venture out and purchase some red shoes myself — like THESE from Zara. But, one thing I know for sure is that red doesn’t just have to be limited to your outfit! A red lip is a tried-and-true classic look for a reason. I’m currently loving Rouge D’Armani in 400 by Armani Beauty, but you can never go wrong with any tube from MAC or Clinique.

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FEMININE DETAILS

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While sweaters are certainly a staple of Audrey’s look, I decided to include them in a more broad aspect of her style: feminine details. Certain silhouettes, such as impeccably fitting (never oversized) sweaters, and details, like frills and lace on blouses, perfectly suit Audrey’s “femme fatale” persona. It’s important to note that what makes this style work so well is that these are subtle touches. This sweater and blouse from Mango are on my wish-list (and I bet they would be on 2017-era Audrey Horne’s too).

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Who serves as your Fall 2017 style inspiration?

Self Love Sunday

It’s Sunday everyone, which means with each minute that passes by we are approaching another week of work and the potential stress that comes with it. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of being mindful. But now I want to take that a step further and talk about the importance of something that is way harder to do than it should be: loving yo’self!

I suggest taking Sunday to really do special things for yourself before heading into the work week. This means something different for everyone, but the goal is the same: to remind yourself that you are worthwhile. It’s so important to be kind to yourself, whether that means taking the time to do a facial or hitting the gym to build endorphins (though I admittedly have been slacking on this 😉 ).

Some of my tips to practice self love (and emotional wellness) on Sundays (and, really, any day of the week):

1. Get Sleep

This might seem obvious, but I know that during the work week I have trouble getting in a full eight hours by the time that I make it home, have dinner, and settle in for the night. Take the weekend to rest, don’t feel obligated to be out of bed by 8am. New York will still be there to experience at noon.

2. Get Out

After you allow yourself much needed rest, get out of your apartment. Do something that you enjoy — whether that’s taking a book to a nearby park or enjoying some time at a museum.

3. Treat Yo’self

Ah yes, those two words that Parks and Recreation made so iconic! This doesn’t mean splurging on a huge shopping spree necessarily (but if that’s what floats your boat, by all means go for it!). Do a $1 sheet mask, listen to a podcast, eat raw cookie dough (maybe while simultaneously watching British Bake Off).

4. Affirmations

Take a moment to remind yourself about the qualities that you love about yourself, even if it’s just as you are waking up. This might be the hardest one to do, but it’s the most important.

5. Human Interaction

I am a very family-oriented person, so for me it is important that I use time on the weekends to call or FaceTime family members at least once. Whether virtually or in the flesh, taking the time to chat with a friend or family member (or maybe your favorite doorman) can be just what you need when you are feeling down or alone.

And with that, I will leave you with a little head start on number four….

 

Lex and the (Foreign) City: Rome If You Want To

Those who know me know that I spent two semesters abroad in Europe, one of which was in Rome — and I still talk about it non-stop. Traveling is a passion of mine and it would be a shame not to share my experience and what I’ve learned. So, welcome to a first in a series of posts that I am calling”Lex and the Foreign City.” What better city to start off this series with than the eternal one? Without further ado, I give you my tips for your Roman Holiday (haircut may or may not be included).

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Sightseeing:

  1. Don’t worry about lines: I was so worried about having to spend forever waiting in line to see the well-known monuments, but queues actually move relative quickly, especially in the off-season. At the Colosseum and St. Peter’s, two of the most highly trafficked monuments in Rome, I barely spent any time in line. It’s  not worth the money or hassle to get special tickets well in advance to skip queues.
  2. Check the map before you plan your itinerary for the day: Rome is an extremely spread out place. I remember this fact really surprised me, but now you have been warned! The monuments are not concentrated in one place and cabs can be hard to come by without calling or finding a taxi stand. Many of the famous monuments are so expansive and amazing that they require at least a daylong visit to fully appreciate. Make sure that on sightseeing days you have an idea of where you’re going and what things are realistic to see in a short amount of time so that you can enjoy touristing without being rushed.
  3. Go to Vatican City: The crowds are crazy and it can be hot and sweaty, but the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s are honestly amazing. There is so much in Vatican Square that you could spend several days visiting and still find something new to see.
  4. Church-ready clothes are essential: Male, female or non-gender conforming, it doesn’t matter, to go into most churches you must cover up. Italy is a country steeped in history and jam-packed with beautiful churches. While you may not be Catholic yourself, it is important to respect the customs of any place you visit. Some churches are more lax, but most Roman churches (especially St. Peter’s) will not let you enter with exposed knees and shoulders regardless of gender.
  5. Gianicolo Hill is beautiful: I lived and went to school on Gianicolo Hill and there are some wonderful things to see there, such as S. Pietro in Montorio (a church) and the Aqua Paola (a papal fountain). It’s much more residential (therefore quieter) and is a nice place to stay. It also is a great neighborhood to visit if you want a great view of the city (go to the Aqua Paola or Garibaldi monument).
  6. The Mouth of Truth  is okay: Yes, it’s famous and kind of cool-looking, but the Mouth of Truth itself is really best for a Roman Holiday-inspired photo op. The real site to see is the Church that you can enter (for free) when you visit. I wouldn’t make this a priority, but it’s worth seeing if you have time.
  7. Beware of construction: Rome is under construction and restoration all the time. If it’s not one monument, it’s another, so just be prepared. Check TripAdvisor or even ask the concierge at your hotel about construction and restoration to avoid disappointment.

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The Most Important Thing (Food):

  1. Food in Rome is really good: Generally, food in Rome is really good. Most places you walk into will leave you with a smile on your face and full belly, but there are some exceptions.
  2. Tourist traps: Just as in any large city, tourist traps are littered all over Rome. To avoid falling into them, I recommend going off the beaten path. Avoid places with an array of different languages on the menu, don’t go into places where people are soliciting patrons, and be wary of places right along the Via del Corso and by monuments.
  3. Trattorias and osterias are usually a safe bet: Trattorias and osterias are good and authentic 99.9% of the time. This fact typically rings true in other places in Italy too.
  4. Prepare for long meals: The Italians believe in savoring meals and enjoying time with family and friends over food. Meals are slow and restaurant service is slow, so be prepared to channel your inner Italian and savor your slow meal. If you really are in a rush for the check, ask for il conto, per favore!
  5. Water: Water is not free in most places in Europe, so don’t be shocked when the bill arrives and you’ve been charged. If you want still water ask for naturale or frizzante for sparkling water.
  6. Tips aren’t necessarily required, but: Please, tip your waiter/waitress if they did a good job.
  7. GIOLITTI: If you want amazing gelato, Giolitti lives up to its reputation. I also recommend Mi Ami on Gianicolo Hill. Some tips for spotting good gelato: it shouldn’t be too artificially colored or too fluffy (despite the instagram-worthiness).

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Getting Around

  1. The Roman bus system: The Roman bus system is not the most reliable thing on the planet, however if you’re spending more than a weekend in Rome I recommend getting a bus pass. It’s possible to get around Rome by walking, but it is definitely time-consuming. Familiarize yourself with the bus schedule and don’t be afraid to ask locals if you are confused! If you want to get around Rome like the Romans do, take a chance and ride a (bumpy) Roman bus!
  2. Cabs aren’t that pricey: Cabs aren’t that pricey as long as you make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of. Just like in certain American cities, sometimes cabbies will take longer routes in order to overcharge tourists. This is hard to avoid, but the most you can do is make sure you take an official taxi with a meter!
  3. Don’t rely on a metro station: The metro system doesn’t really go anywhere, don’t count on being able to take the subway in Rome because there really isn’t much of one. The best ways of getting around are by cab, bus, or your own two feet 😉

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Things to Remember:

  1. Beware of pickpockets: Like many other major tourist destinations, Rome has a problem with pickpockets. I was lucky enough not to fall victim to this, but I was very aware of my belongings (read: paranoid). If it happens, it happens, but just be aware of your surroundings and possessions, especially in tourist hubs with free entry like the Pantheon! I recommend getting a pouch for your passport that you can wear around your neck.
  2. The Romans aren’t scary, it’s okay to ask questions (and try to brush up on your foreign language skills): People are usually willing to help out if you ask! Also, don’t be afraid to try out your Italian if you want to practice. In my experience, people will usually appreciate you making the effort to learn their language.
  3. Rome is an amazing city, enjoy it: There’s no place quite like Rome! Enjoy your time there, it’ll be over sooner than you realize.

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Sailing Away From Summer

Hi all! As Saturday slowly slips away, so does summer. It’s so hard to believe it’s August! But as many of my younger friends head back to college, the reality of adulthood is sinking in more and more. Fall is fast-approaching, but luckily the warm weather is hanging around a bit longer, so it’s important to make the most of it.

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One of my favorite places in New York City is Central Park. It’s amazing to think that in the concrete jungle there is almost an entirely different (GREEN!) world spanning hundreds of acres. When I was a kid, I used to climb on the little rock formations with no cares in the world (other than an occasional scraped knee). Maybe now I’m not “rock climbing” anymore, but there is something special about the (somewhat touristy) upper-Manhattan oasis.

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One of my favorite things to do in Central Park is go out on the pond. There’s something so pleasant and relaxing about drifting along the water and watching the ducks, young couples and turtles out on the water — even if you occasionally play accidental bumper-boats with other people on the pond. It’s only $15 for an hour of doing something that you really can’t do anywhere else in the city. So, while Pumpkin Spice Season lingers around the corner, I recommend taking advantage and heading to the Central Park Boathouse!

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Sunglasses: Rayban // Top: J. Crew // Skirt: Topshop // Nails: KIKO Milano // Brows: Benefit Ka-BROW! // Foundation: Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay

What’s your favorite Manhattan warm weather activity?

Until next time,

Alexandra

Take Out Your Headphones: Learning Mindfulness

I’m going to let you in on something that’s… not so secret: I’ve always imagined myself ending up in Manhattan.

New York City is a place that has a throbbing pulse and feels just as alive as any person walking, sulking or rushing through the busy streets. Maybe that’s why sometimes it feels so hard to slow down. How can you pause in a city like New York?

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Well, as hard as it might be, you can and you should. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything and sometimes you forget why you moved to Manhattan in the first place — or at least it is for me. I moved here in part for my job, but also because I love this city and I love living in it.

Whether you work 12+ hour days or have no job at all, sometimes you just need to stop and take your headphones out to find a sense of peace.

It might sound oxymoronic, I know, but I’ve learned that the only way to really appreciate New York is to take the occasional walk with no distractions. Look at each building, listen to the snippets of conversations happening around you. Be the silent observer, the sponge that soaks it all in and you might find a renewed love for a city that challenges you, pushes you to your limits.

So, every once in a while, take out your headphones.

Until next time,

Alexandra

West Village Weekend

Happy Sunday, readers! Long time, no blog, but I am back! Things have been pretty busy with starting my job and settling into city life, but this weekend was the perfect time for me to slow down, relax, and enjoy New York. Yesterday I spent the day roaming around one of my favorite areas in the city: the West Village.

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From the quiet side streets lined with quaint restaurants and cafes, to the unique boutiques, there is something very European about this part of New York to me. I am always enchanted with this city, but on such a gorgeous, sunny day the West Village was extra magical.

As someone who is a lover of all things art, I love all of the galleries in the West Village. Sometimes — especially when it is a beautiful day — artists will sell their wares on the street. Yesterday, I was particularly taken by one man’s paintings of different New York neighborhoods and while I didn’t buy any yesterday, I just might have to make a trip back next weekend!

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Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs // Bracelet: Kate Spade // Bag: Kate Spade // Dress: Forever21 // Wedges: Amazon Fashion

Until next time,

Alexandra

Must-See NYC: The MoMA

Hi all! Welcome to the first in a series of posts that I am choosing to call “Must-See NYC!” Each post of this kind will feature a place in the city that I love and that you absolutely must visit when you are in New York. Some of these places are more obscure, others not so much (such as this first feature 🙂 ).

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I wanted to start this series off with a place near and dear to my heart: the Museum of Modern Art located on 53rd between 5th and 6th avenue in Manhattan. During many of my trips to New York City, I found myself going to the MoMA, a place that my grandmother refers to as “her temple.” From the sculpture garden to the Monets and Van Goghs, the MoMA has so much to offer art lovers.

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Whether you love the impressionists or are a modernist, there is art to please the most diverse viewers in this iconic Manhattan museum. My personal favorites are the impressionist and post-impressionist paintings (if you couldn’t already tell), but I can appreciate the Pollocks, Miros, and even the uber modern exhibits. There is always a new, exciting exhibit happening at the MoMA, but I never get sick of seeing my old favorites.

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Entrance to the museum is a little pricey, but if you are a student, be sure to bring your ID because there is a student discount! Regardless, the MoMA is one thing that I will be sure to work into my budget because, just as my grandmother says, it is a sacred space. So, if you’ve never been before or if you’ve been a thousand times, be sure to stroll through and maybe even take a picture in front of a Warhol.

If you’ve been, what is your favorite thing to see in the MoMA?

Until next time,

Alexandra