Thursday, May 30, 2013

Neons & Prints

The weather is still a little bi-polar here in NYC, particularly on this day when it was summertime humid, thanks to some afternoon thunderstorms! During one of my (many) shopping trips to Zara, I picked up these crazy printed pants & this classic black blazer, which I have shamelessly worn 6 out of every 7 days since. I almost bought it in another color while out with my mom on my birthday this weekend. I've also been obsessing over the new jewels at Sequin for spring; this spiky, colorful necklace and this woven collar from the Tikal collection are in heavy rotation right now.

I of course needed a reason to wear my new purchases, so I donned them for Pepperologie in the morning & ducked out for a few minutes at lunch to snap some pics with Hallie! Side note, upper Chelsea has some really ugly streets for taking pics, especially on weekends-all the buildings have bulky metal gates closing them off & there's not much life on the streets aside from some construction workers and the occasional NYC weirdo.

P.S.-have I mentioned how crazy I am about Givenchy's lipsticks right now? 
I've been wearing Magnolia Organza almost every day!
Blazer, Zara (similar) | T-shirt, Victoria's Secret Pink (2/$30!)
Necklace & Bangle, Sequin Jewelry | Lipstick, Givenchy
Pants, Zara | Shoes, Enzo Angiolini (old)

Thanks for taking my pics, Hallie

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reasons My Son is Crying

OK, so I of course don't actually have a son, but a friend recently posted this blog and I had to share. Called "Reasons My Son is Crying," it's full of photos (of boys and girls) submitted from parents all over the world, described as "all the many many completely logical reasons children cry." The above entry made me giggle for a few reasons; one, some of you may recognize the tot in the photo as A Cup Of Jo's son Toby, and two, I cried at my own birthday party once, too! I was also turning three and I was so shy that when all the attention was turned to me, I burst into tears and hid in the kitchen. Guess it's a pretty common phenomenon! 

*image via

Dream Home: Brooklyn Living

A more appropriate title to today's dream home would probably be Brooklyn Living, Part One of Many. The more time I spend in Brooklyn exploring all the little neighborhoods, the more I can see myself living there at some point. For those of you wondering, I currently live just outside Manhattan in Queens in a neighborhood I love-it's quiet, easy to get just about anywhere in the city from here and most any kind of restaurant or shop I could need is nearby. Brooklyn has its charms, though, as much as I would probably judge myself for moving there. I think as long as I steer clear of Williamsburg/Greenpoint, I wouldn't be too much of a hipster, right??

This space sums up so many things that I love about Brooklyn architecture. The home is incredibly unique and was renovated from an old garage by Mesh Architecture, with the main rooms inside leading to the center outdoor terrace complete with a deck made from boards salvaged from Coney Island. You can read more of the story behind the apartment here.

*images via

Monday, May 27, 2013

Another year older, another year...wiser?

This weekend (Sunday) was my birthday!

I have decided that this is the year where I will finally have to accept that I am growing up & getting a little bit old. At 24, I can no longer pass for someone who is perhaps still getting their undergrad (even though I've actually been out for over three years). I will have to start learning to plan, period, but especially for my own future-helloooo, 401k & a slowly growing savings account! I've noticed changes in my body and my mind this past year that serve as an ever-growing hint I'm definitely not getting any younger. My friends have begun to scatter and settle into their own little pockets of the world and I'm reminded daily of all the places I've yet to go. Since I did everything else a year early, I'm starting to feel a little entitled to holding my quarter life crisis a year early, too. Am I really where I want to be in life right now? If I continue down this path, will I be happy in another 24 years?

The beauty of a birthday at the beginning of summer, though, is that I don't have to give it all up & figure it out just yet. Sure, I'm no longer spending my summers lounging (translate: working) at a pool & booking it to the bars with patios afterwards, but I can still make this a summer to remember! I don't feel all that much closer to figuring much of anything in life out, but hey, who says I have to? I'm young(ish), I live in one of the greatest cities on earth and I have an amazing family and friends all over the world. Cheers to all the years to come-I know they're going to be incredible!

*image via

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birthday Dreaming

I've never been one to make a fuss about my birthday with big celebrations, parties or much of a plan at all. I have been lucky enough to spend some birthdays in amazing locations like Chicago, Italy and Las Vegas (twice!), but this year it'll be a low-key day with my mom, showing her my favorite non-tourist places like the botanical gardens and flea markets. With everything that happened in my family at the beginning of year, followed by some incredibly hectic weeks of work, I kind of almost forgot about my birthday or what I'd even want! I know I'm lucky enough to be getting one thing on this list & hopefully a great day at the beach soon, but I also included a few *dream* things I want (like a new camera, a gorgeous yellow 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli bag and the not-pictured things like getting my dog to NYC & a trip to Paris). As you get older, your wish list gets considerably shorter & a lot more adult-like some new tupperware & dishes, someone to pay your cell phone bill for a month & a maid service for a day to thoroughly clean your apartment. Dream big, right? :)

Oh, and for good measure, if anyone can somehow get me THIS for my birthday we'll become the best of friends, and I'll return the favor with something equally amazing on yours. Happy almost weekend!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fitness Notes

Few, if any, of you are aware of this, but Blonde in this City is not my first go at blogging! In college, I started using Tumblr & gradually began to create my own content that morphed into a fitness blog. Once I moved to NYC in 2011, it fell to the side as I looked for jobs & winter approached (you could probably find it online still, if you really wanted to), but the desire to stay fit in my adult life has not left me. 

I'm not exactly what you'd call the "athletic" type, though I've been a dancer & competitive swimmer nearly all my life. There were a handful of other sports sprinkled in there, but those are the two that stuck (and will never leave me, either). I was a truly horrendous runner growing up, which I later found out was caused in part by a heart murmur and shortness of breath. A fairly severe dance injury to my hip (seven years ago today, to be exact!) shattered a lot of hopes I had of continuing to dance through college and I still experience pain and setbacks from it on a regular basis. I've come to accept that I'll never fully recover, but I know that keeping myself strong is the best thing I can do! 

Finding time to be active can be a struggle in itself; I joined a gym towards the beginning of the year, mainly for access to an indoor year-round lap pool, but also for motivation. I can't afford to be paying for something I don't use! I took up ballet again last spring, although it's been a few months since I've made it to a class. Yoga became a regular part of my routine post-college, particularly when I was going through a bad period in a relationship. Stepping away from everything to focus on my breath and how my body feels has helped awaken a deeper desire to better myself. Lastly, like I said before, I'm not a runner by nature but I look at it as a challenge to overcome. I started jogging around my neighborhood in Des Moines over my summers in college and I opt for a treadmill at the gym instead of an elliptical now regardless of my pain levels that day. My shallow breath capacity makes it tough to run even a mile without getting winded, but I hope one day I'll feel comfortable and strong enough with running to sign up for a race!

Staying consistent is tough, but I've recently set some goals for myself to make sure I'm getting in some activity a handful of times a week no matter how busy I am. My options are endless, from $5 yoga classes nearby to ballet to Broadway Dance Center to my gym & the pool to a run in my neighborhood!  Having a lot of choices is a helpful reminder that exercise isn't a chore. In the end, it's not about a number on a scale for me, but about how I feel from the minute I get up until my head hits the pillow at night. 

Do you have any fitness tips, exercise regimens, or places you go to for motivation/inspiration? I want to know! (I didn't touch on food or nutrition here & plan to at a later date, but it's never too early to learn something new-so share those, too!)

*image via

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Detox

With the last dregs of winter weather finally, finally leaving NYC & a packed, fun summer ahead of me, I thought I'd take advantage of the rainy weekend and do a little detoxing inside & out. I'll be headed to Mexico in less than a month and I want my skin to look & feel its best! I kicked off my morning with some cleaning around my apartment on Sunday, opting for lemon water instead of coffee to help flush the toxins out of my body (still unsure about lemon water? Here's eight reasons why you should start drinking it, stat), followed by a long shower and some of my go-to beauty products!

Before hopping in the shower, I slipped on some Crest Whitestrips for about 10 minutes-any longer, and they make my teeth too sensitive, but I use them once or twice a month to keep my smile bright! I'm currently going about a week in between hair washes, but I did a deep exfoliation of my skin with one of my favorite scrubs (that conveniently smells like a margarita). A little bit of Kate Somerville's Exfolikate on my Clarisonic Mia 2 helped me ditch dull, dry skin, followed up with my favorite mask and facial serum post-shower. To keep my hair healthy in between washes, I've been rubbing a little Orofluido into the ends a couple times a week and combing out the tangles with a wide tooth comb. Orofluido is, hands down, one of my best beauty finds of the year so far! Lastly, I used my latest addiction, coconut oil. I warm a little up in a bowl and rub it into my skin to give it some much-needed TLC. 

What do you do when you need a beauty detox?

*top image via

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday! This week has felt impossibly long and I spent most of Thursday thinking it was Friday (that's what I get for being on very little sleep the last few weeks. I also have experienced several instances of evening naps lately where I wake up thinking it's the next morning....oops!). I'm headed to Googa Mooga this weekend for the second year, starting with the kickoff concert tonight. After that, it'll be a lot of cleaning & laundry to prep for my mom visiting over my birthday next weekend! Here's hoping there's lots of sunshine and fun planned wherever you are this weekend, too. 

Just this morning, Ashley posted a link to this post on the rain room at MoMA-I am completely dying inside to go, especially since I tried to make it to the swing exhibit but missed it. 

The shampoo debate: how often do you wash your hair? Victoria wrote about how she's considering the no-poo route, inspired by Sarah. Jessie and Liz have also shared their tips and tricks to going up to two weeks in between washes! Would you try it? I'm currently at five days and feeling pretty good!

There's nothing quite like a cloth napkin (like these adorable ones, on sale!) for summer gatherings. 

The beaded flamingo clutch I've been obsessing over at Anthropologie went on sale this week.

My best friend moved to Phoenix last week, and since we're both gin & tonic drinkers I think this print will make a fantastic housewarming gift!

I discovered Seen Heard Known this week and proceeded to lose myself in their site for several hours.

A lot of my mornings walking to work are starting to look like this and I love it. 

Jacey posted her summer sun staples and I want everything on her list (that I'm not already using)!

I got my first whif of Hermès Jour perfume a few weeks ago and I have been lusting after a bottle ever since (birthday present, anyone?). 

Some of my current blog favorites:

TGIF, everyone!

*image via

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dream Home: London Loft

I'm not sure what it was about this home that really made me fall in love with it. Maybe it was the huge slab table, which I've always daydreamed about owning myself? Perhaps it was the gold accents, from the lamps to the legs on the chairs decorative objects scattered about. It could have been the turquoise glass surrounding the light above the table, or the incredible skylights flooding the apartment with natural light, or the peaked roof with exposed beams. Did I mention the chevron flooring in the bedroom, or the sprawling kitchen island, or the way the bathroom is lofted above the bedroom? If you could, please insert a long, dramatic sigh of longing with me to one day live in a space half this incredible!

all images via, home design by Wells Mackereth

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Neutrals & Tulips

Going colorless is rarely my thing, but when I do a neutral I like them to be light & evoke a relaxing feel! Anything black or brown is too dark & just asking for some pops of color. I was also lucky enough to be surrounded by some beautiful tulips in Bryant Park with Jessica when we took these pics on a beautiful spring day (also, Bryant Park is usually filled with cute business men at lunchtime when it's nice out, mentally noted). It's still cool enough in NYC to call for a light layer, but I've been able to leave without any sort of jacket several times the last few weeks and it feels strange-but oh so good!

Cardigan, Joe Fresh (similar) | Tee, Threads for Thought | Skirt, Zara | Shoes, Sam Edelman
Gold bangle (top), Sequin | Brass/colorful bangles, Charlotte Russe (similar)
Pendant, Forever 21 (only $1.80!) | Sunglasses, Ray-Ban

Thanks for taking my pictures, Jessica!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pepperologie 2013

Rainy Saturdays usually make me want to stay in bed all day, catching up on a show (current addiction: Breaking Bad) or reading a book, but this past one I had a very good excuse to be out of bed early: Pepperologie! Started by Jessie Artigue of Style & Pepper, it's billed as a five-course study of style with tips from experts in a variety of fields from nutrition to fashion to life balance. I signed up pretty last minute once I found out I would be in town, but I'm glad I didn't miss out. The experts were all incredibly relatable, filled with tips and tricks of their own while giving attendees the chance to be part of the discussion.

Amie Valpone, founder of The Healthy Apple, kicked off our morning by telling us her incredible story  and how she healed herself with food following years of being sick, in and out of hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices. I had my own food wake-up call when I stopped eating meat a few years ago (I'm now technically a pescetarian), and I completely re-evaluated the way I ate and what I was putting in my body. Amie is a total sweetheart, full of information on just about every type of food or health-related issue, and getting the chance to interact with her was one of the highlights of the day. No matter how you choose to live your life, she is completely non-judgmental and just wants to make sure we're living informed of what we eat.

Before lunch, Rebecca of A Daily Something walked us through some of her styling tips (I wish she had shared secrets to getting photos as beautiful as the ones she posts over on her blog!). The top photo is a peak at the table she styled using some of her favorite, easy to find pieces along with some of west elm's classic dinnerware. My favorite takeaway tip? Using a canvas drop cloth, easily purchased at a hardware store, for just about anything, from a tablecloth to cutting it up for napkins. 

The two adorable ladies above walked us through our post lunch and last sessions of the day, and in between we got some great summer hair & beauty tips from Jessie. Anna, at right in the photo above, is a stylist and wardrobe consultant who originally hails from Arkansas and is just about the cutest, sweetest person full of incredible style. She also runs the blog & website Tulip Louise and showed us how she'd style one Otte piece, five ways (she's wearing two of Otte's Ellen dress layered on top of each other, something I never would have thought to do but now can't wait to try!). 

Jessie shared some of her tips to making it through the summer weather in NYC without getting flat hair, greasy skin or looking too pale. I discovered that she only washes her hair every 10-14 days and I was seriously impressed (especially because she looked fantastic this weekend, even though she was several days past washing it). She shares all her tips & tricks on her blog, and you can bet I'll be stealing a few to get me through each week since I am pretty notorious for not washing my hair too often, either (currently at about once or twice a week). 

Ending our day, Hilary of Dean Street Society talked us through learning to live gracefully (along with some white wine sangria). After deciding to switch careers from musical theater to styling, she embarked on a whirlwind few years where she felt constantly overwhelmed, a feeling I think we can all relate to. Again, her subject was something already familiar to me as I've made some conscious decisions over the last few years to add better structure to my life and be true to my self, instead of feeling pressured to do what everyone else is doing. Hilary's way of looking at it is to live your life in seasons; decide what you need to be working on, and do it. Set aside the necessary time for whatever it is you want to accomplish, instead of trying to do a little bit of everything at once. I'm still processing everything I learned from her and I hope you'll start to see some of the changes I want to make in my life reflected here on the blog! Lastly, she reminded me of something important-"Just because you hustle hard, doesn't mean the end goal is guaranteed."

Pepperologie is currently held in NYC, but rumor has it the show will be on the road to some other fabulous cities over the coming year! To see everything I shared during Pepperologie, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and search for the hash tag #Pepperologie to see everything the attendees (who were fabulous) shared.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dream Home: Upstate Retreat

This house may be my favorite find (domestically, after last week's international house in Santorini) to date! It's in upstate New York and I could not think of a better place to retreat when you need to get away from the city for a little while. Nature is the one thing I miss more than most anything else about living here. I grew up with a tree and garden filled acre for a back yard, surrounded by woods, and spent more time outside than in as a child. Huge windows, recessed lighting and beautiful landscaping make this house once place I wouldn't want to leave!

*images via afflante

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shades of Blue

If you haven't caught on by now, you'll know after this post that I live for color. Specifically, wearing as much of it as possible, whether it's every shade of the rainbow in one outfit (pinky promise, this has happened) or wearing every shade of a particular hue, like this blue hued confection I wore to brunch with Jessica & re-worked with a bright blue pencil skirt later in the week. Perhaps I was feeling rather inspired by the fantastic color of these Ray-Bans I scooped up on a whim after leaving my previous pair of cheapies in the seatback pocket on an airplane!

Top, Express | Jeans, 7 For All Mankind (50% off!) | Sunglasses, Ray-Ban
Bag, Steve Madden | Shoes, Nine West (similar) | iPhone case, Rifle Paper Co
Necklace & Bracelets, Sequin | Lips, Revlon Love That Pink

Thanks for taking my pictures, Jessica (& hooray for spring & sunshine)!