On going back to basics when the going gets tough

Good afternoon, Thursday. I'm feeling like a whirling dervish on ten peyote buttons right now. I swear. I feel like I can't stop or catch my breath and the city is gloomy and the trains are a disaster and everyone needs something and all I want to do is the following:

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Just STOP for a moment and take in the moment, the day, the year. I don't know. Take in anything at all. I think many of you may be feeling the same way and sometimes you just need to strip it down and reset. Back to basics and such.

That's why I'm feeling fairly vexed at the moment when it comes to what to wear. Because even a girl with a closet full of clothes can feel overwhelmed and moreover, hate everything she owns. It's been snowing. It's been cold. Now it's warmish. And about to rain. I can't get it right. 

So for me, the appeal of the classics takes hold and I want to wear something somewhat ordinary but chic and keep it real basic.

Because of that, I present the humble, oversized white men's button down. Is there a better look? Fresher? Cooler? Put together but perfectly undone? That's my goal. And look I would point you to some white shirts but they are just about everywhere. For me, I like men's shirts from Brooks Brothers and J.Crew because it makes me feel a little sexy to wear a man's shirt with something pretty underneath but that's just me. Some of you may prefer something more fitted and that's just fine- but I like mine oversized and maybe slightly rumpled and soft. That's my jam.

So truly in these times of great stress and cuckoo vibes, erbody needs to take it down a notch. Loosen up by buttoning up. I know what I'm wearing tomorrow so thank goodness for that.

Cause that's what's up this warm/rainy/weird day when all I want to do is hard chill in my white button down. Why is that so bloody hard? Yours, in classic looks and resetting the agenda. XO

Golden Globes recap, albeit atypical

Good morning, Monday. Phew. Ice storm's a comin' tonight. Fun times. Hibernating yet again. 

So last night's awards show was absolutely, at the very least, completely unprecedented.  As someone who has often commented on the red carpet (for my own amusement but somehow people like it), I felt weird. If 2017 was the year of #metoo, was objectifying women and talking about what they were wearing ok? Mixed feelings on that one. I did notice that it was not at all about "who are you wearing" but more about "what do you have to say" and that is A Ok with me.

To be honest, if the message was to be serious, I'm not sure the wearing black thing was quite right. To me, it looked like any New York gala, as more often than not, we New York chicks are generally in all black. Every day. Like, seriously. There's nothing chicer than black in my mind (except for deep midnight blue in some cases). So everyone looked pretty fantastic, except for Giuliana Rancic whose horse mane needed to be put out to pasture. She's kind of the worst. Not kind of. Is. 

I loved Claire Foy's Stella McCartney look in particular, and thought Halle Berry was an absolute beyond knockout as was Alicia Vikander. But everyone looked stunning, which is not hard in an expensive, perfectly tailored black dress.  Also loved Jessica Biel- gorgeous skin and dress, and not a bad looking date. 

But back to the show. First of all and last of all, Oprah Winfrey, who was honored last night and bought the house down. I have never made a secret of how I worship at her altar and always have. To me, she is the quintessential American success story, and a woman of color to boot. She is 100% self made. Not many people can say that and she did not count on her looks or her connections to get anywhere- she got where she is because she is an inspiration. Her speech really moved me and I can't wait to see what she does next. Step in the ring, Oprah. 2020 may very well have your name on it. 

For me, I think there should have been a female host, because Seth Myers struggled as any host would in such crazy times. 

I must admit, as a lifelong cynic, I was worried the whole show was going to be too Hollywood. Case in point- Meryl. I now really dislike her. On the red (black) carpet, she seemed so full of herself, and all I could think was- no way you did not know about Harvey. And that's that. In an industry that seethes and teems gossip, it would be difficult not to know. And that's where I kept falling down last night- how did they not all know? It's terrific they are saying "time's up" but is that only because a news story broke? Do we have to wait until everything explodes to clean up the bodies? The industry should have done more sooner, but I can only hope it corrects itself now. There's no other choice.

And though I wanted to hate on all the couture as protest, I couldn't. Because I appreciated what many of the women had to say- including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and a fabulously bare faced Frances idontgiveonesinglefuck McDormand. Love her. And also loved Natalie Portman slipping in a jab about no female directors being nominated. Well done. 

I'd like to sit and dissect the fashion, but that's not what last night was about. Everybody looked gorgeous, and everybody stayed on message. And really, I think this is a step in the absolute right direction.

Oh, and also major thumbs up for all the pixie cuts- Michelle Williams, gorgeous Zoe Saldana, Kate Hudson (hated her dress- felt inappropriate but loved the hair). In an era where we have so much to do, no nonsense hair is a very sound idea. PS- I'm inspired by Michelle Williams and very much want to go platinum. Do I dare?

Oh, oh- one more thing. That L'Oreal commercial was cray cray. Poor Winona. I felt it was so off brand for her in the worst possible way. Just show her being real. That's what 2018 should be all about. Sure you can have gorgeous hair and expensive gowns, but if you're full of it, leave the stage. Time to get real. That's what I'm after.

Cause that's what's up this post Globes kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in getting real and taking care of business. Be like Oprah. Remind me again who runs the world? ;) XO



A funny exchange across the pond yesterday

Good morning, Friday.

So bomb cyclones. WTF? Such a suitable storm for our current "climate" in this country. Everything is so mental and cuckoo and, pardon my language, 'UGE.

I literally could not get out of my front door yesterday and Khan and I had to wait for David to get home from work to go out. It was not a cute look for us. And if you too were home from school or work yesterday, you no doubt watched the news and from the looks of things, we were all about to go down in a bomb cyclone brrrr of glory. Sure it was a bad storm and sure it snowed in weird places like Charleston but Jeez. Winter much, anyone?

Funny thing yesterday- I was emailing with a friend across the pond in the UK and was sharing an article about the bomb cyclone and how truly "bombastic" it all seemed. To which he replied:

"Oh, dear. That sounds intense. We're currently in the midst of 'Storm Eleanor'...but I don't think it's quite as dramatic as the Bomb Cyclone.  A harbour wall was knocked down and it made national news".

And there you have it, folks. In the US we have #BOMBCYCLONES! and in the UK, they have dear sweet Storm Eleanor, who can be a bit temperamental, but, in true English form, keeps calm and carries on. (Except for the harbor wall bit). Incidentally, when I was in England last February, I delighted in the morning news, which, compared to our version here, is positively delightful. Good Morning Britain had a particularly riveting story that almost made me miss my ride one morning- vigilante pigeons were taking over the country and pillaging chip shops and stealing crisps. Cheeky pigeons. Parliament actually met to discuss how to solve the problem. I'd appreciate an update if you have one, UK friends. But back to bomb cyclones.

I just found the exchange very funny. Just picture if you could the human form of a Bomb Cyclone vs. Storm Eleanor. Pretty much sums up the good old US of A right now, doesn't it? In my mind, the Bomb Cyclone is a strange shade of orange and has a rather bizarre combover. As for Eleanor, she carries a purse and is always up for a spot of tea. I was just reading about her carnage and it's not pretty, but still, it's just Eleanor being Eleanor. Cheeky monkey.

Cause that's what's up this bombed out in Brooklyn kind of Friday. Yours, in weather is in the eye of the beholder/reporter. XO

New workout alert: Pilates is my old/new jam

Hello, Thursday.  It's a beautiful day in the bomb cycloneberhood. Crazy. Wind is positively howling and Khan and I are hunkered down.

So here's something. Everyone is headed to the gym these days as the calendar strikes 2018. It's inevitable really. And I've always been a consistent workout type of girl because it keeps me from going completely insane. It's true. A stronger, tighter bod is a bonus at this point in my life. 

I wanted to shout out my favorite new/old workout- new because I'm doing it at a new place but old because I used to do this form of exercise all the time, and it's Pilates. I have always loved it but prefer to do it on the Reformer (a machine that looks vaguely torture-like but is really a series of pulleys and strings for resistance training) vs. on the mat.  Remember when Pilates first became a thing in the late 90s? I used to go to re/ab in Nolita wayyy back in 1997, and got hooked on it from that point on. It's a workout that anyone can do, and it does wonders for any aches, pains, or posture issues. Super easy on the joints which is a plus for me these days. Cause my joints are a bit janky of late. 

In my Brooklyn neighborhood, Club Pilates (a chain)  has opened, and it's fantastic. As workout junkies know, Pilates classes can be super expensive, and this franchise has figured out how to bring down the price to $25 a class. That's less than Soul Cycle. Still expensive, but much better than the normal price. My classes rarely have more than 5-6 people and the teachers are super attentive. It is, without a doubt, a workout that is both challenging and therapeutic at the same time. I am LOVING it and want to do it as much as possible. It's not the type of workout where you walk out in a sweat, but the next day you will feel it. In all the right places. I'm hoping to go at least twice a week and supplement with my usual routine of spin, barre, and yoga. 2018. I'm branching out, yo. I do tend to get obsessed with a workout when it feels right, and I always get psyched when I pull myself out of an exercise rut when I find something new to do.

If you happen to have a Club Pilates in your neck of the woods, check it out- they have over 300 studios with many more scheduled to open. I know in the city they have a spot in Tribeca too, highly recommend this workout-  it stretches, tones, and works your core. It's all about that long, lean look, even if you dance more like Elaine Benes than a Fosse girl.  I trekked there this am in the snow (bonus for it being a block away from my apartment) and the workout was intense but enjoyable. Love the TRX training too, no doubt strengthening but feels so much better than lifting heavy weights. Oh and dudes (as if dudes read this blog), it's great for you too. Usually 50/50 mix of men and women in classes. Lots of athletes do pilates to heal from injuries and get stronger and more agile.  

So if you have a chance, check out this chain and get involved. Holler at me if you ever want to come to Cobble Hill and take a class with moi.  I think combined with other workouts it's perfection (yea, I know. Cardio. Ugh).

Cause that's what's up on this snow day of a Thursday in the borough of Brooklyn. Yours, in white out conditions and toned abs. XO

Maven muse: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Good morning, pals. First day back at it. Fun innit? Oy.

So was watching a ton of tube this weekend and finally got the chance to watch a few episodes of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime and telling the story of a young Jewish woman who becomes a comedian and blazes some serious trails in 1950s New York. She's a rich Upper West Side type, with academic parents and a recent failed marriage. Needless to say, whenever there's a show about a sassy Jewish girl in New York,  I get a million texts from people telling me to watch it. It's good. Truly. Fun show. Created by the team behind the "Gilmore Girls". So good on that.

But truly the most important takeaway for me is the FASHION. OMG. It's stellar. Better than "Mad Men" even.

The year is 1958 (I have often said I would love to be in New York during the Beatnik/jazz years)  and the city is clearly divided into an uptown/downtown moment and women were also divided in terms of being a perfect housewife vs. finding true happiness and confidence.   I love how the wardrobe team straddles that divide. The clothes are so gorgeous, particularly the coats. I love the swing coats favored during that era- so stylish and beautiful.  It's all very Dior New Look, which lasted until the end of the 50s and then replaced by more straight suiting a la Chanel and then of course Givenchy's sack dress, which completely let it all go, literally. The wasp waist was over. And I'm sure women everywhere were able to breathe again. Literally. 

And speaking of Dior, many of her looks remind me of Raf Simons at Dior. Amazing. Oh and babydoll nighties. I love those. Particularly when worn with said swing coat (watch the show).

So I'm getting inspired by a fictional Jewish comedienne and her marvelous wardrobe. What's getting you out of bed today?

Cause that's what's up this downtown/uptown/upside down first day back at it in 2018. Yours, in  getting back in a New York groove.  XO

Why I'm resolution free in 2018 (and every year really)

Happy New Year, 2018. Woot. Bring it.

I'm not one for resolutions and admittedly a bit fly by my seat vs. big goalie in general (more Type Z than A all damn day), I thought instead of resolutions, I'd show you what most people on my feed are leading me to believe the new year will be all about.

  1. Everybody is going to be very thin.
  2. Everybody is going to be very fit.
  3. Everybody is going to be kinder and gentler.
  4. Everybody is going to fight harder.
  5. Everybody is going to love harder.

I'm not putting any judgement on these. But year after year I pore through people's resolutions and wonder the following:

Why can't we just chill the fuck out? It's the first day of the year. THE FIRST DAY.

Isn't it enough we just survived a year as auspiciously assholic as 2017? Is that not enough? Now we need to run away from carbohydrates and think about how we will fight the power?  No. CHILL OUT. BREATHE.

Just BE.

That's all I'm saying. Just BE for a minute. For a month. For a year. Forever.

Because I guarantee you if you just be and stop trying to beat your own personal best, you will be the following:

Happier

Healthier

Peaceful

Strong

More loving

All of that and more. I can't tell you how. But if you stop working and fighting and hollering so hard and just be, all the stuff you want to do or want to become should most likely happen. As they should. As they may. As you wish. Just be it. You get it. Now do it.

And for that, I can tell you I easily went to the gym this morning, and more than easily allowed myself to just listen to music and relax and eat good fun while I worked on some work things at my leisure. Because I was just being. And not trying altogether that hard and there I was, doing all the things one "should" do on New Year's Day.  You're welcome.

So stop being so bloody resolute. Just be yourself and whatever will be, will, well you know. Oh and by the way, when I want something and put intention to it, it happens for me. But I'm patient in that process and don't need it all to happen when I say it should happen. You dig? 

Cause that's what's up this being the change kind of first day of the year in beautiful Brooklyn. 

Yours, in B-E-I-N-G. XO



Bye, Felicia

Good afternoon, last day of this bloody awful year. See ya. Go on. Git.

Listen I haven't been posting much of late because, well, I've lacked the inspiration a bit and I've also lacked the time. 

And in lieu of a proper look ahead/reflective kind of post, I'd like to keep it short and sweet instead.

This year kicked our primordial ass. I'm not sure I can remember a year as nail biting, please wake me up from this nightmare, make it stop kind of feeling. I am so glad it's over and I can't wait to shut the door on 2017. I have never wanted anyone or anything or any year to leave so badly in my entire life.

And it's not just Trump, #metoo, Maria, Irma, or anything in the news. For me personally, it was beyond challenging. There were moments when i was sure I would never figure it out. I'm not sure I have yet but absolutely feel better than I did a few short months ago. One chapter is closing for sure, and I for one am ready to throw the book at 2017 and all of its weird, Mercury in peyote kind of cray cray.

So with that, I'll sit here in my leggings and rock tee and drink a glass or however many of Sancerre and cook up a scampi and quietly give 2017 the old heave ho. Bring it 2018. BRING IT. And no need to remind me of what I'm grateful for. I know all of this. All the more reason for this wretched wench of a year to go, go, go.

I'm not one for resolutions as you know so not really making any. The one that keeps gnawing though is the need to give more of myself, my time, and my money to good causes and those in need. I'm going to make good on that one for sure. Cause that's what's up this see ya, later alligator kind of New Year's Eve in this delightful city at the end of this G-d awful year.

Cheers to the new year. Please make it better than the last. See ya, sucker. XO

A Maven Christmas Update


Good morning, Friday. It truly 'tis the season isn't it?

To be honest, Christmas can go either way for me. Yes I know I'm Jewish ha. But depending on my mind and mood, I either totally Scrooge it or go full Christmas. This year, thank goodness, it's the latter.

There's a couple reasons for my embrace of all things Claus.

First, we need Christmas more than ever. And by we I mean all of us. There's no sugar cookie coating it- this year has been an absolute beast when it comes to the zeitgeist and DNA of the USA. Whatever side you swing on, it's been a never a dull moment, natural disaster, terrorist attack,  #metoo, cuckoo crazy kind of year. A year of volatility, instability, and me constantly asking to nobody in particular "how is that legal?" Needless to say, a Christmas tree and some thoughtful gifts has set me straight. I needed that giving spirit of joy so very badly. And I was so happy to attend so many fun parties and celebrate with all of my near and dear.

Second, besides the state of the union in Washington, my own state has been, well, volatile to say the least. This year was one of the most challenging of my entire working life. Like so many of you, I put a great deal of heart and soul into my career, and this was a year to assess and think about making some major changes. I'm pleased to say I've been super focused on my writing and have been loving my time writing for a fantastic group of people and a wonderful brand. I love writing about skincare and beauty and have been having a sensational time. I'm looking forward to more of the same for the new year. And for the first time in a long time, I feel at home at work. That is a wonderful thing. Almost pinching myself. I'm at a point in my life and career where I felt an "adapt or die" moment happening and hopefully, it's the former. It's tough out there. We all know this. But I'm finally feeling stable and good about where I'm headed.

Third, with all of this insanity in the world, I'm super impressed by the spirit of giving to others less fortunate this season. I've found myself wanting to contribute more and more and as much as I can because at some points of the year, I did not feel able to give as much as I would have liked and that made me sad. Everywhere you look, there's Gofundme campaigns for incredible causes, and of course, my staples like the Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. You may not love working with millenials, but they are a charitable bunch and I love how their generous spirit has trickled down to all of us. I encourage you to give whatever you can- from your time to your money to however you can help those in need. We all have to do what we can and when we can.

Fourth, there's no place like New York for Christmas, my beautiful babies. This town is magical during the holidays. I'm working by Grand Central again and walking through that gorgeous building during the holidays is the loveliest. I haven't even minded the gridlock. The city truly comes alive during the holidays, and since it's been reasonably mild, it's been great to browse all the holiday markets around town. So many amazing makers selling unique things. I love to support small business so look forward to this every year. One big trend I've noticed- customizable luxury aka bring in your Louis Vuitton bag and have it painted with your initials, your pup's face, or whatever. I've seen this EVERYWHERE in the city- from sweatshirts to purses to army jackets. It's a lot of fun.

Fifth, the holidays are a time to enjoy, but also a time to reflect. I have drank and ate my way through the season and had a ball, but now it's time to treat my body less like Chernobyl and more like a temple.  I am looking forward to less splurge and more purge come January. And this applies to all areas of my life- less shopping, less imbibing, and more mindful indulging with more meaningful purchases like travel. That's just where I'm at. Today anyway. ;)

Just wanted to update you on the holidays and since everyone sends cards with updates on family, this is my version. I'm so in love with the holidays and hope you are all feeling the relief of 2017 ending. I feel it was a time of hitting bottom and correction and praying we will all feel some relief and peace in 2018. Buh bye 2017. Don't let the door hit ya...

Cause that's what's up this almost Christmas kind of Friday in the 212. Good vibes to all, and to all a good night. Yours, in jingling bells and red, shiny noses.  It's the most wonderful time of the year. XO


Maven muse: Cate Blanchett in Ocean's 8 is pretty much everything and then some.

Good morning, Wednesday. Only a few days left till Christmas, y'all. May your days be merry and bright.

So I've been asked from time to time how I define my sense of style (really I have which is weird). 

I have a few settings- I go from 70s boho glam to 90s inspired minimal to rock and rollish. Those are my settings. And that's about it.I will say that my favorite of those and my most likely to default is the latter rock and roll setting. Because it allows one to always feel sexy, a bit tough, and definitely tomboyish. I'm a strong yes on all of those things.

And I'm also a strong yes (think Meg Ryan in 'When Harry Met Sally' type of yes) on Cate Blanchett's amazing look for "Ocean's 8", which releases in June and features an all female cast including Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, and all the cool chicks like Rihanna. The movie will most likely entertain but not be awesome but I care not. Because Cate Blanchett's style is so on point in this film. It's everything I like- from the hair to the rock tees to the menswear inspired silhouettes. Oh and leather. Lots of leather. And leopard. This is all I want for Christmas. And New Year's. And Valentine's Day. Well. you get my point.

Pick any one of these looks and you've got a winner for coolest kid in the class. It feels very Kate Moss/Marianne Faithful/Anita Pallenberg to me in the best of ways. British girls really do this look so very well. I do believe this is my new movie muse. How fab is she?

If you want to attempt this look on your own, purchase the following:

  • A leopard coat
  • Leather trousers
  • Rock tees (preferably vintage)
  • Keith Richards style arm party jewelry and chains for the neck, oh and thin scarves knotted at the neck of course
  • A well cut men's suit situation, preferably in velvet (emphasis on well cut- can't look mannish must be tailored PERFECTLY)

I kind of can't bear it. Plus that HAIR IS EVERYTHING. Choppy grown out bob vibes. Must be blonde too. So good.

I'm super inspired by these looks and they affirm everything I know about my own style DNA.  My genetic code skews highly rock and roll when it comes to all things fashion. And that's that.

Cause that's what's up this inspired Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in getting over the hump in style. 



You need this loose powder. Full stop.

Good afternoon, Wednesday. Have I got your attention? You really should read this.

If you are like me, pressed powder or powder at all can be a confounding step when it comes to sealing in your makeup. For me, powder can be drying and make my pores somehow look like moon craters, even though my pores are not huge in any way. It just usually cakes and doesn't work on me, and I've taken to using a finishing spray over powder because I never like the way it looks or feels.

Enter Kevyn Aucoin's Gossamer Loose Powder  into my life. I have to thank my girl Rahsan Memik over at Barney's in Brooklyn who turned me on to it when she was doing my makeup for an event.  If you ever need makeup for any kind of anything and you live close to or in Brooklyn, you must have her do your makeup. It's you but a little bit better. Never drag queeny. Never overdone. Just perfect skin and then some.

So she used this powder on me and I loved the glow it gave me and my makeup did not move all night (she mentioned it's a makeup artist fav so I always trust the pros). It's true I prep my skin with primer (Hourglass Veil Mineral  is still probably my favorite in that regard), but this loose powder is fluffy and light and absolutely lovely. I love the application- it's idiot proof and you'll never end up looking like a white walker. No chalky finish whatsoever. No weird pores. Just gorgeous, finished skin. Subtle. I live for it and most likely will never use another. Apparently it's got secret Japanese ingredients that are more veil than mask. And it's kind of silky smooth too. Ooh I love it THAT much.

Is it cheap? Nope. Most of the good stuff isn't as we all know. But I think it's going to last a while and I'm loving it to pieces. So if you're looking for some next level finished face time, go for this. You won't be sorry. And go buy it from my friend Rahsan at Barney's. She's the coolest Dutch woman you'll ever meet and she's funny as could be. I try not to laugh as she puts on my makeup but it's hard.

I know I've been a shite blogger of late but with all this workflow in my "work" life, I've been remiss in inspiring you, let alone myself. But I adore this product and thought you may be looking to treat yourself this season. So have it.

Cause that's what's up this Maven pick of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in powdery well pressed goodness and finished faces. XO