Wednesday, October 22, 2014

East Hampton Getaway

I'm having a bit of déjà vu as I write this post and can hear the rain falling outside my window…earlier this fall, a few friends and I had decided a trip was in order mid-October, and the morning we left it was raining, and continued straight through mid-afternoon! We'd been thinking about heading upstate, since I've enjoyed all the trips I've taken somewhere up there each fall so far, but after our Saturday in beautiful Montauk (during which we discovered it is 100% legal to have a bonfire on the beach!) we opted for a cabin the Hamptons instead.
The rain definitely tried to put a damper on Saturday, but we opted to get set up at our cute little cabin then walk into town for a long (late-ish) brunch after we got settled. We were just there for two days and I had to head straight to my office on Sunday, so I packed very light—a few sweaters and a tee for layering, sweats to sleep in and my new favorite slip-on sneakers, since I knew we'd be walking around a lot. By the time we wrapped brunch, the rain had stopped, so we strolled around town and popped in a few shops, eventually making our way down to the beach to scope out a set-up for our beach bonfire.
We headed back to town to pick up wine ahem, supplies and snacks and got back to the beach around sunset, getting set up and our fire going right before sundown. Thanks to the drearier afternoon, there wasn't much of a show, but we lucked out and got two of a different kind a little bit later. We started toasting s'mores and I put on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue...moments later, we noticed fireworks down the coast near Montauk! If you haven't listened to it, Rhapsody in Blue is nearly 17 minutes long—the fireworks lasted the entire song and then some. As if the night couldn't get any more spectacular, as we burned the last of our firewood and scoped out the night sky for constellations, a huge blood moon rose to the east.
Sunday morning, we rose to a clear, crisp and beautiful day. I rarely get an opportunity to cook for a crowd, so I whipped up Challah French Toast and scrambled eggs, accompanied by copious amounts of coffee on the porch to counteract the previous night's wine. I was sad to see the weekend come to an end so quickly, but we're already itching for another trip back next summer!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Firsts | Giving In

This post contains a few firsts—both for the season and in my life.
I'm a big believer in getting fully dressed for the day before leaving my apartment, no matter what I'm doing (unless I'm heading straight to the gym/a workout, and let's be honest—that's rare). I don't mean full makeup and a planned head-to-toe look, but I rule out sweatpants, college-looking sweatshirts & tees, any type of true running sneaker, yoga clothing, etc., and I have a few reasons behind this—first and foremost, I think how you look directly reflects on your mood. When I'm at home, still in sweats at 2 pm on a Saturday I'm way less likely to get much done than if I pull on jeans and a nice tee. Secondly, I think how you dress says a lot about you to other people, and makes a first impression just as much, if not more, than when you open your mouth. Thirdly, I have the worst luck at running into exes/guys I've been out with on the street/subway/bars/on the street while eating French Fries a friend and I had tucked in our bags after too much wine (that's an embarrassingly true story, but at least I wasn't alone!). 
So, as I donned a full sweater-and-boots look for the first chillier fall weekend last week, I did something else…I wore leggings as pants. 99.9% of the time I'm against this look, usually because the people I see them on wear them too tight, or they're to sheer, or their shirt is too short. The pair I have on here have a faux-leather panel down the side of the leg, with thick fabric and a high waist (!), which I paired with a long silk blouse and layered with an equally long sweater. While I haven't convinced myself to add a lot of pairs to my wardrobe yet, the look is growing on me—as long as it's paired with a long top! What are your thoughts on leggings-as-pants?
Though you can't see them much in the photos above, I had to snap a close-up of my nails because I was pretty proud of myself. I'd done this mani two or three days before these photos, but I'm usually so hard on my nails that it chips badly within a day or two—this time it held up! I put on two full coats of polish, waited a few minutes for it to get dry, then dipped a small makeup brush in glitter and dabbed it into the tips, spreading it up a little to give the glitter a "scattered" look. Since glitter can make your nails rough, the key is plenty of topcoat. I usually do two additional clear coats to seal it on, et voila! Starry night nails.

Photos: Emily Tozer

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lazy Sunday // Link Love

Oh, Sunday…you sure got here fast! I see you brought gusty fall weather—the perpetually uninvited guest. No matter, here's hoping everyone is curled up with a cup of coffee this morning, maybe catch up on your DVR for the week!
After all that's been going on the last few weeks months, during which I've barely spent a night a week at home, splitting the rest between work and events, drinks with friends, going to performances, weekend travel and basically saying "yes" to everything imaginable, it really didn't surprise me that by Friday I was feeling majorly burned out. Although work is incredibly busy, I couldn't seem to get much of anything done buy the end of last week—one of those "so much to do, you don't do anything" kind of days, layered on top of exhaustion.

The list could go on and on, but I don't want you to think I'm just playing the "Oh my god I'm SO busy. Like, really, really busy" card…(most) all this busy-ness has certainly been by choice, and it's lead to one of the best years of my life to date! This weekend, though, I just needed to step back and chill out. By Friday night, I was ready to doze off at the ballet and the champagne at the after party wasn't doing me any favors, so I cut out a little early, actually did doze off a tiny bit on the train, came home and fell asleep with all my lights (and makeup) on til 4a, then finally went to bed and didn't set an alarm, which is rare for me. It was so nice to wake up on my own, and I opted to make zero plans for the day. I won't bore you with the rest of the details, except to say my roommates and I did a little feng shui last night til about 2a that has me considering sharing parts of our apartment on here this winter.

Now, since I need to go get ready for brunch (yup, being one of those people today!), I'll leave you with the links I've been bookmarking this week:

Really enjoyed reading Jamie's take on the whole blogger burnout thing on the web right now.

I shared The Cut's hilarious article on "basic bitches" with my co-worker last week, which prompted him to go get his last pumpkin spice latté ever, because he doesn't want to be basic anymore. PSA: pumpkin is not a spice!

Looking for pretty Parisian photos? Hallie's postcards from Paris will do the trick! Warning: inspires wanderlust.

Eventbrite has a great fall guide to NYC…and so does the Otte Blog!

Pretty dotted dishes from West Elm.

How to be more productive at work (a.k.a., advice I desperately needed this week).

I recently got my much-beloved blanket scarf out for the season, which has me looking for a new style or  two to add to my wardrobe this year!

Beautiful still life photography.

I'm a little late sharing this, but Jennifer Lawrence's response to the nude photo scandal reminded me of why I admire her, so much.

Lusting after a pair of blue suede boots for fall. I'm torn between a heeled pair, a flat pair or a lace-up pair!

image via

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet Me in Montauk

I'll never forget that line from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which Kate Winslet whispers to Jim Carrey as the house they're in crumbles around them while the last of their memories of each other are erased (kind of a strange plot line when you think about it, no?). When I first saw the film, I'm not even sure I knew where Montauk was, and until a few weeks ago I'd never made the trip.
A friend of mine and I had been dying to get out of the city for a while to clear our heads and slow down, so when a beautiful Saturday where neither of us had plans presented itself late last month, I proposed several ideas ranging from a picnic in the park to a day at the botanical gardens to a trip to the coast—and was excited when she texted back "Montauk!!" minutes later. Since this was entirely last minute and we both had plans Sunday, we opted to just make a day out of it, meeting at Penn Station around 9:30 for the 3+ hour train ride out in the morning.

Once we got there, we really had no idea what to do, neither of us having come that far before (my previous Hamptons trips had only gotten me as far as East Hampton), so we hopped in a cab and asked him to take us "downtown," which was all of a few minutes' drive south and much smaller than what I'd anticipated from other visits! Most of the Hamptons towns are lined with a mix of basic shops and high-end boutiques, but the little strip of Montauk was a downsized version—in a good way. We wandered a little bit, stopped in to the visitor center to ask about bike rentals and finally settled on 668 The Gigshack, which I can't recommend highly enough if you're ever out that way. We were seated outside and both had the local fresh fish tacos topped with mango salsa (sorry, no pics because we ate them too fast! #storyofmylife). I'm normally a vegetarian but was pescetarian for a very long time and make the very occasional exception—this one was so worth it. 
After we'd lounged a while at lunch, relishing the feeling of not being rushed unlike in Manhattan, we realized it had gotten ridiculous warm out and a sudden desire to go swimming in the ocean struck us both. We hadn't brought suits so we popped in a few shops to see about finding cheap ones to no avail, then walked over to the beach to check it out (in downtown Montauk, it's about two blocks from the "center" of town!) and it was PACKED. Like, we would have had trouble finding somewhere to even sit kind of packed. We turned around and headed over to the bike rental shop, figuring we'd cruise around town and try to make it out to the semi-infamous Montauk Point Lighthouse (which I somehow don't have a photo of here), a *mere* five miles down the road. 

My friend was drawn immediately to this big, shiny yellow city cruiser bike. For those who aren't familiar with a city cruiser, they tend to be really nice to look at and bike around a small town like Montauk, not so great for longer treks and especially not if there are hills. We asked the guy at the rental shop if the ride out to the lighthouse was easy and he said it was a straight shot, so we decided to go for it since we still had just over three hours to sundown and the ride was supposed to be 25-30 minutes. I know—that sounds like a lot, and for the first 15 or 20 minutes it wasn't so bad (with beautiful views and lots of nature), til we hit the hills. Plural. Three nice big up-and-down hills just before you hit the end of the island. Suffice to say, my thighs were screaming at me for about two days straight afterwards and felt like jell-o at the end. Since the lighthouse was closing not long after we arrived and we had cumbersome bikes with us, we walked down a short path to the water and, oh, was the ride worth it. Bright, royal blue water as far as the eye could see, dotted with pretty white boats and the most beautiful warm sunshine.
We left the lighthouse and beach about an hour before the sun officially set, since neither of us relished the idea of biking five miles on city cruisers in near darkness on the Montauk Highway. Our timing couldn't have been better—we dropped the bikes off, wandered back down the street and into a fudge shop for old-fashioned sweets, and had about thirty minutes to kill til we had to be at the train station, so we moseyed down to the beach one more time to the below view.
As we stood there (and I snapped away on my camera, both of the sunset and my friend in silhouette there) the colors got more and more rich, the moon a sliver of a bright spot in the sky. We couldn't have asked for a better way to end what turned out to be a truly amazing day, and we were so inspired that we planned a trip that we took this past weekend to East Hampton—more on that to come! 
Wearing: 10 Crosby Derek Lam T-Shirt || Gap Destroyed Boyfriend Jean || Converse Chuck Taylors

And, just for fun (and in the spirit of other recent posts), a few outtakes from this trip. Exhibit A: what happens when I try to jump in the air while standing somewhat precariously on a rock, surround by water and other sharp rocks…according to my friend, I was "levitating." Can I put that as a skill on my resumé?
Exhibit B: This is my "Look, our friends with boats!" gesture, part of a longstanding inside joke about how we'll know we've made it in NYC when we have friends with boats we can go out on.