Maven pick: Aziz Ansari's Master of None is must see TV

Good morning, Tuesday. It is splendid in New York today. Yes, splendid. And glorious. And delicious. I love this city when the seasons change. It's so beautiful.

So many of you may think I'm a bit of a maven about town, but truthfully- I'm every bit the couch potato. I have always always loved television and I'm so happy that programming of late has been fuego. I am loving all the new shows of the last few years and how good TV is in general. I am indeed the cheapest date in town- just set me in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some Seamless and I'm sorted.

One of my new favorite shows is the stellar "Master of None", Aziz Ansari's brilliant show, now in it's second season on Netflix. If you're not familiar with Aziz, you need to know who he is- he's big as a minute and funny as hell. Now listen- I'm a Louie C.K. fan. It's hard not to be. But there's something kind of sticky (as in gross) about Louie- we all know he's a superfreak. I can't help but feel that way. I have many girl friends who claim Louie is sexy. I can't get there. Plus his maudlin take on New York drains me from time to time. And sometimes, his jazzy soundtrack is a bit heavy handed. DON'T SHOOT. I know he's brilliant. But Aziz.

So Aziz is a lovely man of Indian descent, whose positive energy comes through in his character, Dev- a young comedy type of sorts looking for love in this crazy town. I love his friends on the show, and most of all, I love his silliness at a time in our country when we need it the most. If Louie is the guy you do shots with and talk about the decline of western civ, then Aziz is the guy you eat a slice with and create funny voices for all the people walking by the window. I love him. Oh and his hilarious first response on any of a zillion dating apps? "Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?" BOOM. Immediately funny and puts a lady right at ease. Great.  How could a single gal resist? Men who make women laugh. The very best. I should know. 

In this season, he does a wonderful episode on learning how to make pasta in Italy, and I'm completely smitten with an episode he did about New York City- I won't spoil it but he absolutely nailed the beauty of this city- from uptown to downtown, from rich to poor. So so very on point. And his portrayal of being of Muslim descent (his real dad is in the show) is a refreshing change from what we typically see. It's funny because I always related way more to a dark horse like Louie when it came to the funnies, but now I'm all about and so in need of Aziz's infectious goofiness. It's the best. Plus Bobby Canavale's cameo this season is amazingly good.

If you haven't watched it- you must must must.  An unlikely hero in these tenuous times. The show is like dessert every time I watch it, but with much less guilt. Go get some sugar, kids. You're welcome. 

Cause that's what's up this Netflix and chill kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in comedy always wins. XO

How a Brooklyn apartment can reveal a little something about life

Good morning, Monday. I'm working on a few projects right now and busy, busy, busy. But I wanted to write because- well, I always want to write.

So you all know I moved into a new apartment- two blocks away from my previous one. It's funny because I had a whole list of things that needed to be checked off in order for me to be happy:

Two bedrooms/two baths
Outdoor space
Washer/dryer in unit
Ample storage space for my ongoing trousseau
No walkups

When I started looking, I had this list top of mind- until a chance meeting in my nail salon led me to my new place, which by the way, has only one of the above going for it.

I met a woman while getting my nails done whose family owned a building in my neighborhood- a two bedroom in lovely Cobble Hill. I jumped at the chance to see it because I liked her, and after I saw this lovely little jewel box of an apartment, I quickly asked where do we sign, and just like that, it was ours. And it was not anything that I expected. Here's why.

I am sharing a bathroom with David for the first time in many years. We have no washer/dryer in our unit, let alone in the building. We do have two bedrooms, but one of them is being turned into a closet for that above mentioned trousseau, because we don't have a ton of storage. We are on a third floor walkup, and we have no outdoor space, save for a lovely stoop. But that's all ok somehow, because we love this new apartment. It's bright, airy, completely charming. I love everything about it, though it certainly did not tick off many of my boxes. But really, isn't that how life works out? I was so worried Khan would hate the steps, hate having to be walked all the time, and that my clothes would have nowhere to fit. I also worried about that bathroom sitch, but so far everything has been lovely. We had our first real weekend at home this weekend and after we hung our last picture, we knew we were indeed, home. Love.

We tell ourselves we need this, that, and the other thing to be happy, but how often do all of those items on our eternal lists add up? We all have an image or mental checklist of what it would take to be content- from Mr. or Mrs. Right to our perfect job to our perfect home. But if you're like me, those things never really line up. Because sometimes when you're not looking for everything to be just right, you may miss an opportunity for a serendipitous encounter in a nail salon, in line at Trader Joe's, or a million other scenarios. Leave some room for the unexpected and you'll be amazed at how much happiness it will bring.

The moral of this story? Don't settle for less than what you want, but be willing to be flexible on all that box checking. Life has a way of working out regardless, and in the strangest of ways.  I also thought this apartment would allow me to indulge in a French minimalist apartment fantasy, but alas, non. We have tons of artwork and fun little things that make our house a home and though I admire a minimalist point of view, I'm not sure I can embrace it. Again, just be comfy with who you are and what you like and be willing to riff on all of it and you'll be just fine. Because I am. And I'm eternally grateful that everything always seems to work out, even if it's not exactly as you expected. I'm totally cool with that. 

Cause that's what's up this going with the flow kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in happy accidents, and being true to oneself. XO

Makeup free(lance) life

Good morning, Wednesday. It's a beautiful day here in Brooklyn and I'm working from a sweet little cafe because my apartment, though lovely, is filled with the dulcet sounds of construction and my whole living room is shaking. I'm becoming one of those OG New Yorkers who complains about noise and construction. And I'm ok with that.

So one other thing- all my clothes and cosmetics have yet to be unpacked as I'm turning our second bedroom into a little closet for me.  I don't have space for my clothes and extensive perfume collection and whoknowswhatelse so I must. Don't judge.

Because of this, I've become a bit lax when it comes to getting dressed in the am. I'm working from home a lot these days so no need to impress the kids in the cubicles. I literally wear the same thing every day- a rock tee, some leggings from Splendid, and one of two blazers that I switch out depending on my mood and if I need to run an errand. Other than that, I'm sort of always dressed for the gym. And the other big revelation? A complete and blatant non attempt when it comes to makeup. As in, I don't wear any. This is super weird for me but since I'm not sure where everything is, I just go without it. And it's been liberating. Frightening, but liberating. I can't help but examine the roadmap that is my face and wonder if it's time for a tune up of some kind of the injectable variety but my chronic needle phobia will not allow such indulgences. But truly, I'm feeling free from the chains of workwear and foundation. It's just where I am right now. And since I've been working with a lot of old pals of late, they're cool with seeing me sans maquillage.  Plus I got a keratin treatment and now i don't even need to dry my hair, though unfortunately I still need to wash it. Ha. That's me up there, ubiquitous tee shirt, and recently found necklace I thought I lost in the move (score). But yea, no makeup. At all. Bare as the day I was born. This may not be a big deal for many of you, but it's new for me. I was raised by someone who told me I always had to be done up, so perhaps this is a late in life rebellions moment. Or maybe I'm just being lazy. Who knows how long I'll keep this up but nice for the moment.

For those of you freelance or entrepreneurial types out there, you know this life. It has its lovely moments and takes the stress of workwear completely away. As for the makeup, I dug through some boxes today and found my tinted moisturizer. I'm meeting a few friends at a workspace today so you know- a little effort. But not much.

Wondering if any of you out there dare to go bare on the regs- I'm no Alicia Keys but man, it feels good. Cause that's what's up this minimal effort of a Wednesday in Williamsburg. Yours, in trying hard not to try so hard. XO

Maven recommends: A backless shoe for Summer days and nights

Good morning, Monday. It's a new week and I'm FINALLY in my new home. I can't tell you how relieved I am to be over the moving hump. Truly I'm a homebody and when my home is feeling unsteady, it's no bueno for this girl. I'm so happy to be in our new home and can't wait to keep putting finishing touches on it. Now it's back to work.

And although I'm not one for shopping for clothes/shoes/purses/wardrobe at the moment (have apartment decorating on the brain), I wanted to catch you up on a cute little trend I'm seeing, and that is the babouche. 

This is a shoe more typically reserved for the souk, but I love this look for Summer with a cropped, flared jean or a long white shirt dress. Or just popping around the neighborhood running errands after yoga. So so cute. I live for anything Moroccan inspired in general, and we all know how huge that sensibility is for interior decorating. (I've ordered two sweet new poufs from CB2, shown here. Love.) I love this pair from Brother Vellies in denim, and they also do a great pair in chocolate suede with shearling. This is a trend with a bit of a hangover from last Spring when Acne and Celine sent them down the runway, but I love them just as much this year. Such a cute look for Spring and a way to do Boho without feeling sloppy. Would also be super cute with a striped pant or white tank and jeans.

So I'm back at it and hope you're back at it, or maybe you never left it. Cause that's what's up this sliding into a new home kind of Monday in beautiful Brooklyn. Yours, in new digs and new kicks. XO

Big move for me, huge day for Rei

Good afternoon, Monday. The big move is tomorrow and we're relaxing for a moment as we've pretty much sealed the last box and are ready to rock and roll. I've also had two margaritas and a crab roll in Red Hook but priorities...a girl needs a minute.

So tonight is the infamous Met Ball and it's all about Comme des Garçons, a brand I have been obsessed with since girlhood. I will never forget purchasing a chartreuse, pleated Comme des Garcons scarf in high school, knowing full well none of my classmates in Northeast Philadelphia would appreciate it, but oh how I did. I can't WAIT to see the show- opening this week and entitled: "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between".  I die.

When Comme des and Rei first came to town, I was in high school. And I was obsessed with all the Japanese designers that came through in the 80s- Issey Miyake, Yohji, Rei Kawakubo. There was a quiet and considered rebellion to their designs that empowered me, and I feel that way to this very day. I am a big fan of the brand and have a few pieces to call my own- and if you don't have any of their perfume, you are truly missing out. I think their Hinoki, a collab with Monocle, is one of my favorite scents of all time. It's cedary goodness smells like Japan (it's intended to). Needless to say, I'm obsessed. From the fabulous stark clothes to the beautiful ads, I am a super fan of this designer and rocked by her amazing contributions to fashion and culture.

I hope the celebs and influencers and other dummies on the red carpet pay their respects in a nice manner. Nothing compares to Comme des and to Rei- I have oodles of respect and adoration and CDG is responsible for one of the first real fashion moments of my life, and for this, I am grateful. I suspect Rei and Anna's bobs will be in full effect all over the place.

Cause that's what's up this Met Ball and Moving eve in the 718. Yours, in Japanese design and making moves. XO

Moving out, and moving on (I hope)

Hey, Friday. Beginning to feel like Summer here in the best city in the world. I'm here on set today and wanted to let you know I know I've been crap about this blog of late- but you know I'm MOVING. And that has almost swallowed me up whole.

So look for me to make a comeback some time after next week. I'm deep in the throes and can't wait to settle in. Cheers to the weekend- you can find me submerged under cardboard and regret. Cause that's what's up this keep keeping on kind of Friday in the 212. Yours, in change is good, but hard as f. XO

Retail's overstoring problem, straight from my closet

Good morning, Tuesday. Gloomsville outside. I'm so happy to be WFH today. 

Like me, you've no doubt noticed a ton of empty storefronts in the city. My trend savvy friend Irma, whose excellent blog The Opinionator heralded big trouble for retail some time ago, was an excellent indicator of retail's big troubles. I've been reading a ton lately about brands like JC Penney, Bebe, Ralph Lauren- all closing stores while many malls are looking more like ghost towns than consumer havens.  A lot of this has to do with something called overstoring- where brands open too many stores and soaring rents and declining in-store sales (hello, Amazon) are leading to a full blown crisis. Well guess what? It ain't my fault. Because I have my very own situation not unlike big retail- I'm an overstorer in my own right. My version simply means the following- I have far too much stuff. I'm overclothed. Overshoed. Overmoisturized. And most of all, I'm over it.

So with this big move on the horizon, a big purge was in order. Bag and bags of clothes went bye bye. This weekend I held a sale and though it was not as much about making money for me, it felt amazing to share my closet with my nearest and dearest, who racked up pieces from my wardrobe and my friend Katie's amazing vintage collection, pictured above.  I was more than happy to share. I also donated a ton of pieces and even sold some stuff at the Buffalo Exchange around the block. It was a process bigger than I had ever imagined, and it was not the parting that caused me such sweet sorrow- it was the insane amount of work it took to round it all up, bag it, and lose it. 

And much like retail, I need to reassess my brand going forward. Do I need to jump on every trend bandwagon that comes through town? Nope. Do I really need another pair of yoga pants? Not really. Should I keep that tiny dress that may never get over my hips again? No way.

As we move into a lovely apartment with admittedly less storage space, I'm looking forward to fine tuning my own brand of style into an affordable and accessible collection of well edited pieces I don't just want, but need. I'm going to be tough on myself when it comes to purchases and only buy things that will either last forever or serve a practical purpose in my life. I've enjoyed asking myself the question- "Would Mary Kate or Ashley wear this?" If not, buh bye. I love their spare and strategic sense of style that is both luxe and practical at the same time. I'm going with it.

It's true I'm still going to struggle to fit all of my clothes in my new home. But I'm not going to overstore, overshop, or overdo it any more. If retail is ready for a reset, then so am I. The purge felt great and though Marie Kondo and I may never be besties, I'm trying desperately to tone it way down for 2017 and beyond. Thanks to all who came out to support me.

Cause that's what's up this perfectly stocked Tuesday in the BK. Yours, in over is, over. XO

Living that #vanlife : All you need is love (and a sponsorship deal)

Good morning, Tuesday. It's a beauty of a day here in the city- feels more like Fall than Spring and I'm a big fan of this crispy air. Too bad I'm cooped up inside but that's a whole 'nother thing.

So I was reading this New Yorker piece on this little microcultural movement that's happening around #vanlife. If you're unfamiliar, just do a quick search of the hashtag on Instagram and you'll be regaled of good looking boho types, living life to the fullest, out of the back of a van. Yup, a van.

I won't pretend I'm not a sucker for a road trip- a cross country odyssey in search of G-d, the best burrito, the meaning of life. Whatever. I'm down. But the thought of living out of a van holds very little appeal. For starters, it's rare you'll see me in a bikini. And my sun salutations are never taking place in actual sunlight. My dog is a bit of a fancy paws and not sure he would take to living in the wild. Oh, and you have to live in a van. Girl, please. There's not enough patchouli in the world.

It's interesting that this has come at a time where we keep hearing about paring down, living with less, smaller homes and smaller spaces. But I would say this is a bit extreme, and really- if you are partnering with brands as you live out of said van to document your free spirited lifestyle, well- the Gen Xer in me who hates a sellout thinks that's cheating. If you are going to live out of a van, you gotta disengage. Or do you? I'm on the fence. I find the whole thing somewhat fascinating from a voyeuristic place, but I can laugh out loud when I think about how my own experience might play out. And I doubt it would go well. But truth be told- as I'm surrounded by stacks and stacks of crap as I prepare for this move ( has not happened yet, crazy as that is), I did give this #vanlife some thought. And then I thought about air conditioning, general hygiene, and my lack of bikinis.I don't look great dirty. I don't know how to cook over an open flame, or really at all. And I'm holding my ears already thinking about the fights I would have with David when it comes to #vanlife. I don't think you can do this life if you're Jewish, by the way. This is for people with Nordic roots or some such. I'm not cut out for it, and I know this. I'm a homebody, not a vanbody.

But as a culture watcher, I do think it's fascinating-  the need to live an independent life, free from the 9 to whenever, etc. etc.  But as a cynic, I really hate that this freewheeling, countercultural lifestyle comes with a sponsorship opportunity. I am not old enough to have experienced the Summer of Love, but I don't think any of the real hippies were choosing this lifestyle for "Cliff Bars" as one friend of mine said on Facebook after I posted the article. Or this quote a friend pulled: “Currently my work is storytelling and aligning with companies supporting our lifestyle and Earth.” Ugh. And ugh again. I thought all you need is love? Apparently a deal with a cool brand is all you need. Ugh to the nth power. Apparently, living in a van by the river has come a long way since Chris Farley. How chic!

I guess my takeaway, and yes I know I work in advertising, is how much I hate the commoditization of everything in our culture. From Coachella (the fashion this year is unimaginably awful ps)  to Art Basel to #vanlife or just #lifeingeneral. It's out of control and lazy and frankly, ridiculous. I'm not sure the younger gens feel that way, but I do. If you are going to check out, why sell out?  Or at least why sell out in such an obvious way? It's clear they're not in on the joke. Living in a van for money is serious business. That alone is beyond disturbing. Why oh why does everything" have to become a "thing"? Why does a lifestyle now almost always turn into a lifestyle brand?

Oh and one more note on why this is so bothersome- some people have to live in vans for a much more tragic reason- they're homeless. And not by choice. So glorifying pretty people that sleep in a van and get paid for it makes me a little throw up in my mouthy. I just hate that everything has a price tag, even living off the grid.  I fully support people tuning in, turning on, and dropping out. But drop out. Really drop out. I'd have much more appreciation for you then. Maybe I really am a hippie chick after all.

Cause that's what's up this not living in a van by the river, even for money kind of Tuesday in the BK. Yours, in well orchestrated hashtags. XO

Hannah, Carrie, and moving on

Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the "Girls" finale yet, don't read. But what are you waiting for???

Good morning, Monday. It's cloudy and warm in the city and hope you all had a lovely Easter Weekend. I've been packing nonstop and truly worry about my mental health when it comes to the amount of clothing I've amassed in the five or so years I've lived in this apartment. I can't. I just can't. 

But in between packing and working, I found some time to watch the finale of "Girls", the final episode aired last night and I will surely miss this masterpiece of female rights of passage. And even though I watched this whole series as not a girl, but a woman, I still connected to its raw take on growing up girl and all the issues that confront a young woman in this city. 

I am from the era of Carrie Bradshaw, whose exploits I enjoyed watching beyond belief. But "Sex and the City" was a different time, and a very different show- dated now for certain. But in almost every character, we found an icon, a heroine, a piece of ourselves- and all the characters were women v.s girls. On "Girls", the opposite is true- each character was so deeply flawed and fucked up, it was hard to like any of them really, and that's what made the show so fantastic. I love a show that explores something deeper, darker, and is not afraid of being a bit loathsome. Hannah Horvath- the awkward girl with the in your face nudity and in your face point of view. Last night's episode showed Hannah post birth of her baby,  Grover. And in typical Hannah form, motherhood was not some beautiful moment where the hormonal stars align and you bask in the glow of feminine ideals. Nope. I wonder if "Girls" will ever feel dated the way "SATC" does now? Even if it does, it will always be a great time capsule for this moment in time. 

Hannah's recent pregnancy from a one night stand with a surfer was a game changer. Cause she made up her mind, she was keeping her baby. Fast forward to last night- the baby is born and  little Grover is beyond a challenge- and I have no doubt I would feel the same way. He seemed to squeal every time she came near him, and breastfeeding was not something that was easily achieved- Hannah exclaims through most of the episode "he hates me" and then proceeds to leave him with mom and Marnie while she goes out on a walkabout, schooling a young wayward woman along the way who is petulant for little reason. And because her bestie Marnie had little else on her dance card, she chose to move in with Hannah upstate and become a second mom of sorts to the adorable Grover. But even though the baby seemed to love Marnie's vibe, Marnie was as lost as ever, in a role and a life she could not seem to grasp. I love that Marnie tells Hannah's mom she was considering law school because "she loves rules". Perhaps that's her struggle- that life has very few rules, and for those that can't color outside the lines, it can often be terrifying. What's so magical about "Girls" is its deep dive into how tough it is to grow up, to go through those rights of passage (now motherhood) and to not sail through them with a perfect score. Life is not perfect, life is often a hot mess. I can relate to all of it, really- I've always been shit at rights of passage- I hated the idea of the prom, I never thought I'd marry, and I remain childless by choice because the permanence of such a situation has always completely freaked me out. 

As I sit surrounded by cardboard and piles of forgotten clothes, I feel spent. I've moved so many times in my life, but each time brings up so many silly cliches- the shedding of things we no longer need or want, the chance for a new start, the word itself- moving. It conjures up so much and as I watched the finale last night, I felt every inch of Hannah's meshugas, because even though I am a grown woman, life can sometimes make me feel very much like a girl. And I'm so happy the show did not end with the girls locked arm in arm, chasing a Bushwick sunset. Instead, the final episode focused solely on Hannah, baby Grover, Marnie, and Hannah's mom. Because becoming a woman means leaving things and people behind that no longer fit in or work for what you're after. But becoming a woman does not mean you completely disregard all the things that made you a girl. It just means you need to move on to get by. We know Jessa will be Jessa, Shosh will be Shosh, and Elijah will become a Broadway superstar. We don't need to see what happens there, and we know that Hannah will find her way- to motherhood, to love, to career- to all of it. The journey will just be awkward and weird. There will probably be no Mr. Big, no dream apartment or closet, and no clink of champagne glasses in a cool Manhattan bar. Strangely enough, Lena Dunham's success is more like that now than not. But Hannah? Nope. She'll struggle and find her way through this thing called life. And so will we. PS- eventually Hannah gets young Grover to latch on- and just like that, the show ends.

I loved "Girls". It was human, it was annoying, it was real. And most importantly, it was a real moment in time. Thanks for the memories an now I go on to pack and fret and stumble my way through yet another move and life moment. I am planning to make myself a nice closet though. I may not get it right all the time, but I can be a little bit Hannah and a little bit Carrie and still be all me.

Cause that's what's up this girl you'll be a woman soon kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in ending and beginnings. XO

Maven recommends: A face wash that leaves no trace of makeup, and even less regrets

Good morning, Monday. It's a glorious day in New York City. 70 degrees and perfect. Loving it. This weekend was spent waist deep in boxes, with little breaks here and there to get some fresh air and soak in the city. When moving, I like to get a head start so I can have a more balanced and less frantic approach. Pack a few boxes, take a break. And repeat. PS Trump is talking about the glory of Springtime as he swears in Neil Gorsuch and pretends to be sincere. I shit you not. Ugh. But back to something more personal as it pertains to my move, and most importantly, my face.

Because  all of this hard work has me craving some easy routines when it comes to daily life. And I just have to shout out Trish McEvoy's amazing all in one cleanser/water called Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup remover, that wipes off with cotton and takes it all off. And I do mean all. 

As a grown woman there are several non-negotiables in my life-  I must work with people I like, I must find time to exercise, and I must wash my face. Or I completely shut down. PS- often I work with not nice people and often I forget to exercise, but not wash my face at night? Nah, kid. Not gonna happen.

Washing my face makes me feel like a grown up. Like I'm no longer that girl that falls asleep in a full face of makeup, in a Jack and Coke stupor, in a slip dress and perhaps somewhere one did not intend to wake up. Like that's never happened to you.  And even though I somehow used to enjoy that next day makeup look (goes well with a hangover), I am not that woman anymore. I wake up every day in my own home (thank goodness), and I wash my damn face every night. And that's the truth. Waking up with a clean face makes me feel like I'm ok. It's that simple.  Washing my face every night makes me feel responsible, reasonable, and safe. Weird you say? Perhaps you did not go wilding quite as much as I did when I was a young one. It's the little things, really.

But truthfully, as time goes by, my skincare regime has become a bit of an epic. If, say, when I was young I could compare my skincare situation to literature, my book would have been a short little fairy tale. Now? More like the Iliad, the Odyssey, and Ulysses rolled into one. So I don't mind a hack when it comes to taking it all off, and this product is simply a miracle. I have loved on micellar water of late, but only as a first swipe at a full day's face of makeup, a prep for a deeper cleanse with something else. This product takes off everything and that's it. You can head straight to the rest of your regime after this, as you thank the Lord that you're not too wasted to wash your face, and you'll have no regrets tomorrow.

So if I can give you ladies a bit of simple advice- wash your face. Every night. Oh, and have no regrets. Even if you wake up in last night's slip dress somewhere unfamiliar, the least you can do is wash your face. I can't help with the rest. That just takes time. It will all be ok. I promise. Plus when you're young, last night's makeup is kind of chic. When you're a bit deeper into this thing called life, not so much.

Cause that's what's up this no regrets and well cleansed kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in clean living in just one step. XO

Link to buy here. XO