Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rainy Weekends // Link Love

Mother Nature seems to have recognized that I needed a break this weekend—the temps are a little warmer but it's been gray and rainy off and on since Friday afternoon. Between having a friend in town for five days recently and my brother in town on Friday night, I was in desperate need of a reason many reasons not to leave my apartment. Yesterday was spent recharging my batteries on the couch with the many magazines that have been piling up around me and a glass—okay, fine, bottle—of wine at night (and yeah, I did spend some time watching "Too Cute" on Animal Planet. I'm a living, breathing cliché).

Lusting after this gorgeous signet ring from Ariel Gordon.

Warby Parker's new store is absolutely stunning—and I really appreciate that they left so much of the building's heritage intact.

Stunning photos of Bondi Beach that make me want it to be my next vacation.

Can't get over how pretty this Capwell + Co necklace is.

My 30's are still a few years away, but that doesn't mean I can't aim to excel at this list now.

Spring sneaker want: these floral Supra kicks #sneakerhead.

As a professed film photography addict, I love this beautiful post from Ann Street Studio on what has been becoming a lost art.

Then-and-Now photos of NYC that make me afraid what this city will look like in another 30 years. We do NOT need banks, Starbucks and Duane Reade on every. single. block.

Is it too early to buy new beach towels? These ones from Anthropologie are so pretty.

Image by Rose Mayo, Blonde in this City.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flow-y Neutrals // Getting Inspired

 I don't know about you, but the winter-that-never-ends has put me in a serious style rut. I reach for the same sweaters, jeans and shoes day after day in an effort to stay warm and not be completely miserable, but the slowly climbing temps have me determined to change things up (Unless you run into me this week, in which case it will be pretty obvious I've been getting dressed from the pile of clothes always at the end of my bed. Is it Friday yet? Almost?). A lazy morning browsing Pinterest led me to this pin and I immediately realized I could replicate the look in my own way, thanks to this flow-y, pleated white skirt I usually save for hot summer days. I even played around in another pleated skirt while shopping at Bloomingdale's recently, mostly while avoiding orange-dress shopping for my sister's impending nuptials.

Paired with one of those go-to sweaters and a few of my favorite accessories—including my new favorite shoes!—and I was good to go. Now, if only that wind would die down for spring, too...

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Read // Watched

Trying out something new over here today—I've shared movie/documentary recommendations & books I've enjoyed in some link love posts in the past, but seeing similar posts from Victoria made me want to get more in-depth! So, sharing books I've recently read* and films I've enjoyed with a brief recap of each! I hope these posts show up fairly often, but unfortunately I don't get through books nearly as quickly as I used to (when I was growing up it was pretty common for me to pick up over a dozen books from the local library and return them all in 10 days for a new set! That's a whole different story, though).

Ok, maybe this one should be called "still reading". I've got a little under a hundred pages left and have been working on it since the holidays (!), but in my honest defense it's an incredibly dense, information heavy book. It really is a short history of, well, just about everything—from the start of the universe to the beginnings of biology and chemistry and physics to anecdotes on scientists and researchers of the past, from teeny-tiny atoms to our still-expanding universe. It's made me appreciate life, not the "you only live once, no regrets" kind of life but LIFE, the amazing thing that somehow animates our billions and billions of cells. If you've never read Bryson (brief humble brag: he's a native of my hometown and we share alumni status for the same high school!), this might be a lot of book to begin with, but it certainly has his signature style and cadence.

I'm going to come right out and say that science fiction-fantasy is not my genre of choice, generally speaking. I'm much more for a beautifully crafted story with an in-depth look at people, or a great piece of non-fiction (like the other three books here), but I'd been seeing American Gods around for so long I decided to give it a go. The main plot point alone is incredibly intriguing—about a battle between old gods (those of ancient mythology and tall tales from all cultures) and new (those created by what we worship now—media and celebrity and drugs and sex). I found I could barely stand to put the book down, and even took it with me on a break at work once to read outside. The only thing I found slightly lacking was that these "new gods" would be even more different in present time; the book was published in 2001, before the rise of social media and ever-present technology.

I confess: we'll call this still reading, part II. I've been making my way through it when I need a break from Bryson (specifically, when my bag calls for a lighter book). I'm sure I'll share more in-depth thoughts on the book once I'm completely finished—I'm currently about 2/3 of the way through—but right now, I have to say I'm a little unimpressed. I was eager to read it, hoping I'd see some of myself in these stories and relate to them on some level, but many are written by recovering addicts, tales of their nights wandering the streets of NYC looking for cheap heroin, and how they had to leave to get healthy. Not exactly my lifestyle here! 

Ah, another NYC-centric book, this one in a much different light. I was familiar with Patti Smith before reading, but I couldn't tell you much outside the basic facts. I found her story absolutely fascinating, in part because I have been a fan of Robert Mapplethorpe, one of her earliest and longest companions, for many years. It's hard to boil this book down to a paragraph, but if you're interested in what it was really like living in NYC in the 70's as an artist, it's a page turner. My current job is right around the corner from the Chelsea Hotel and I can't walk down those streets without thinking of Patti Smith.

Bill Cunningham New York
I'm a little behind on this one, but I finally got around to watching it a month or so ago. It's certainly lighter-hearted material than the other documentaries I've watched lately, and while it won't make you want to change your daily habits or lifestyle, you'll certainly wish you could catch his eye on the street! It was fascinating to see his process, and being a photography nerd I really enjoyed the development and decision making process that goes on after he snaps an image. It's a little heartbreaking that he no longer has his apartment above Carnegie Hall or shoots with film (I've seen him around at NYFW and he shoots digital now!) but that blue workman's jacket never changes. 

Food, Inc.
I am a firm believer that everyone should know where their food comes from. Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to what you're putting in your body; when I told a friend I was watching this, they said they didn't feel like eating for two days afterwards. Thankfully, I'm not exactly the target audience—I went (mostly) veggie about three years ago and have transitioned to organic and local dairy as much as possible. It's definitely a wake-up call if you haven't had one yet, and even if you have watching the film was a reaffirming reminder that we need to be more conscious about what we're eating!

This doc received a lot of hype late last year, but it took me a while to get around to watching it—I've never been crazy about zoos, so again I felt like I wasn't entirely the target audience because it seems like a no-brainer that you can't educate the public on the natural behaviors of animals by holding them in captivity! There's been a lot of negative backlash around this documentary, but I think all things should be taken with a grain of salt. Sure, there are two sides to every story, but I think it's important to remember than animals are meant for so much more than our entertainment (and if this needs reinforcing, watch Food, Inc. and then read A Short History Of Nearly Everything, too). 

I just finished this one last night! It's really similar to Food, Inc., but focused on the bottled water industry. This one was a wake-up call that I needed; I try to carry around my own water bottle as much as possible and reuse or recycle, but the numbers behind the industry are astounding. There really is nothing wrong with tap water, and while I drink it plenty when I'm at home or work, I'm really going to make an effort not to pick up bottled water when I'm out as much as possible!

All documentaries are available on Netflix. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Customizable Fashion: Bow & Drape

Today's post might need a brief preface—most who know me, or if you've been following along here for a while, are aware that "prep" and "pink" aren't choice adjectives to describe my style (my friends might say "lazy" and "addicted to the color blue"), however I MUST make an exception for Bow & Drape. 

During dinner with my cousin about a year ago, she mentioned her roommate was working at a start-up fashion company that specialized in customized dresses by shape, length, fabric and details by the name of Bow & Drape. I bookmarked the site, but time got away from me and I never really got back to it. Fast forward to this February, and I was reading an article on WWD one morning when NYC-based Bow & Drape popped up! I immediately hopped over to the site and was amazed at how much they've grown. Some of my favorites are the additions to their customizable line in the form of sweatshirts, tees and even the pretty pouches you see above.
*All images via Bow and Drape

Get the Look

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kicking It

It's official—I'm becoming something of a sneakerhead. Back in the day, I was an avid collector of all things Converse (most of which literally fell apart while I was wearing them. #grungekid). The turquoise Supras you see here are my latest acquisition, although not everyone is a convert; my roommate told me they were only okay if I wear them to SoulCycle (hey, I do wear them to Soul...and to meet friends for brunch...and to work when I'm feeling lazy. So sue me).

Also, I might not be wearing any green in these pictures but trust that I'm wearing it in person today; 
my last name is a dead-giveaway for being Irish and I really don't want to be pinched if I can help it! 
Scroll down for details on an amazing gift card giveaway in honor of the holiday, too :)
Zappos is giving away a $317 gift card to one lucky winner today for 3/17! The Zappos Gold Rush Icon will appear on a new item on Zappos ever hour today between 11a-11p EST—simply click the icon to enter! They'll be posting clues on their Facebook page, but I'll give you one clue right now—all 12 items are green (duh). While you're over there, feel free to make a wishlist of what you'd use the $317 on. I'm eyeing these sneakers, this bag or these sunnies in yellow!  
Supra Sneakers || Zara Tote (Similar) || Catbird and WWAKE rings || Sequin Jewelry Collar

Photos by Emily Tozer

Friday, March 14, 2014

Missing Unicorn

Happy Friday, and a major #TGIF for this weekend. After blustery, all around crappy weather yesterday (well, not entirely—it was sunny and I got to see this beautiful scene on my way home)—I'm looking forward to a warmer weekend. Here's hoping this is one of the last times you see me here in a coat this season, because I'm so over it. I busted out my lighter jacket about a week ago and have mostly refused to wear a heavier coat, yesterday excluded, since.

Back to the photos at hand—I wore this casual look to a low-key (and delicious) brunch a few weeks back. I've been living in this sassy tee since I got it, and my roommate even wishes he could steal it! I happily discovered this one through Bungalow Clothing, an online dressing room-to-door service that lets you try on before you commit! It's a really great way to discover new brands and silhouettes that you're not familiar with and aren't about. I can tell you from first-hand experience in the fashion industry that clothing, especially at higher price points, is a difficult sell online due to fit! 
Bungalow ships to your apartment and you get about 10 days to try on, make decisions and schedule a pickup for returns. This Zoe Karssen tee was the only thing I kept from this round; I was very temped by a dark gray coat until my roommate pointed out it was very  similar to the one I'm wearing in this post. The whole process was pretty smooth, minus a slight delay in getting my pickup scheduled but a quick email remedied that and I wasn't charged despite being outside my 10 days. The company is still pretty new, but their selection is growing and I'll certainly be keeping an eye on them as the online retail industry grows.
Zara Sneakers || Sole Society Bag (similar)

This post was sponsored in part by Bungalow Clothing but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Blonde in this City possible!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Link Love

Weeks and weeks of links have been piling up around me (figuratively speaking), so I thought I'd make some attempts to get organized and share a few with you today after a rather slow weekend. I kicked it off with a sick day on Friday after I started getting headaches last week, which I attributed to trying to cut back on my sugar intake, but by Thursday night it became apparent I was actually ill. I'm slightly impressed it's taken me this long, as I didn't catch a single nasty cold all winter *pauses to knock on wood*. I've never taken a sick day in all my adult life (let's be honest, college doesn't count), so it was hard to remember that I needed to slow down and rest...until I passed out for several hours Friday afternoon. Here's hoping the mixed up sleep from daylight saving time gets cancelled out by the extra sleep I got this weekend.

We all want to be J. Law's best friend, but it looks like the role is already filled—by one funny lady named Laura Simpson, who blogged about her Oscar experience.

Hallie wrote a great post that reminded me of a lesson Hilary taught us at Pepperologie last spring—it's okay to live your life in seasons!

My new-found sneaker kick has me dying to get these open work ones for spring/summer.

I'm not quite ready to let winter go without snagging this coat on super-sale, though.

Sorry, sugar addiction, I'm not kicking you anytime soon—thanks to this gooey cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing recipe!

Poncho is my new favorite tech-find; they text you one to two times a day (when you get up and when you leave work) with weather and transit updates. Side of sass, included!

My next apartment will absolutely have a slab table.

Winter has given me cabin fever and the plethora of vacation pics on my instagram feed hasn't helped—and neither has this list of amazing beaches around the world.

Victoria wrote an amazing post on how to use Todoist. I'm planning to download it this week to get organized!

I'm a bit of a nut for random facts about the old days of NYC, and a friend knew how to pique my interest by sending me this link to subway-naming history!

I desperately need some new sandals for summer and I think I've found the first pair I'm going to get.

Speaking of, how cute are the evil-eye sandals at Loeffler Randall right now?

Longing to go to Australia & stay in this beautiful rental house.

*image via

Thursday, March 6, 2014

#SelfiesWithMountains | Phoenix pt. II

Sharing just a few more pictures from my Phoenix trip with you today. It was short & sweet, with me arriving (finally) at about 1a Saturday morning, Phoenix time, and heading out at lunchtime on Monday. Though it was my first time there (and really anywhere in the vicinity, unless you count numerous trips to Las Vegas in previous years), I honestly didn't do that much. It was great to see my best friend—we've known each other for over 15 years and hadn't seen one another in almost a year—and much of our time was spent hanging out, playing with her dog and drinking margaritas (duh). 

We did, however, take an afternoon to head to the Desert Botanical Garden, a very different version of the botanical gardens I'm used to in NYC, to take in some warm afternoon sunshine & beautiful Dale Chihuly artwork. If you're not familiar with his work, take a second to head over to Google—he's most recognizable for his works at the Bellagio in Vegas, but this Chihuly in the Garden exhibit really captured my heart. I also couldn't help taking a #shamelesselfie, complete with mountains & Chihuly, and of course snapped some—okay, a few hundred—photos of the mind-blowingly gorgeous sunset.

Side note: a lot of the visitors that day were a bit older (think: grandmas), and many of them were excited to see my friend & I taking #selfieswithmountains—as evidenced by them proclaiming 
as they walked by, "Oh, they're taking a selfie!". Giggles for days about this.
Wearing: Express Shirtdress || Lionette Necklace || Ray-Ban Sunglasses || ECCO Leather Bag

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Wants

I'm kicking this week off with Weekly Wants, because I'm nothing if not unreliable (and the faithful visitors to this site know that Weekly Wants appears anything but weekly). I'm honestly a little impressed I managed to get something together in time for the week, despite a very low-key weekend filled with errand running, early-ish bedtimes and finding a bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding. Last night was spent watching—what else—the Oscars! If we've met in real life, you've likely been privy to my excitement for the season, and unlike most of my female counterparts, it's not because of the fashion (but I'm still a sucker for a pretty dress).  For several years now, a good friend of mine and I have made it a point to watch all the best picture nominees and then some before the ceremony each year; this year, I finished in record time and managed to sneak in several others that were outliers during awards season. I also promised to stay off Twitter, but let'sbehonest, Twitter was made for awards shows—and there were some great tweets, like Ellen's epic selfie group photo (and my favorite altered version where Kevin Spacey was face-swapped onto everyone!) and this Mean Girl's reference to Lupita's win. Also, let's not forget the real theme of the night.

I also swear that I didn't intentionally include so many metallics in today's post because of the Awards, but it's kind of nice it worked out that way, no?

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