Maven pick: Sunday Forever

Good morning, Thursday. I'm feeling fritzed and frazzled and am very much looking forward to a long, lazy weekend. And since Monday is a holiday, Sunday scaries will be on hiatus. Hooray.

On that note, I've always loved niche brands. Sunday Forever is one such brand- born to help cure the Sunday blues, but can be enjoyed on just about any day of the week. I just love the sentiment of channeling a lovely Sunday afternoon, ad infinitum. Kudos to Ashli Stockton for all of this goodness. I'm in love with the whole lot of it.  Back when I was a little girl in Philly, my best friends and I used to refer to Sunday night as "scary Sunday night"- when nothing good was on television and the sinking realization of a Monday math test would sink in. Yipes. I'm glad there's finally an SOS for said emotion. Save our Sundays. Yes. And yes.

From cute kimono robes to sweet candles to crystals, the brand boasts all the things you want for good vibes. And I love that there's a whole category to shop called "Nice Things".  Who doesn't love nice things? If you don't, buh-bye.

I also love their extra fluffy eye masks for Sunday napping, and my fav- this rose gold evil eye bracelet- a lovely token to take you into the week protected and pretty. Plus their blog is the destination for the perfect Sunday- from playlists to tips and beyond. It's so good. And so on trend for the latest craze of all things self-care.

Just wanted to share it with you we kick off the long weekend let's keep that happy Sunday vibe going all week long. Who's with me? Don't be sad Summer's over. Be happy you have Monday off. 

Cause that's what's up this almost weekend edition of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in sacred spaces and Sunday fun days. XO

Labor Day weekend on tap? Get glam with my fav makeup look to say goodbye to Summer

Good morning, sweet Wednesday It's a hotter than hot Hump Day in the big city. 

I know the last thing any of us want to think about in such high temps is makeup. But think about it. Because I do. I'm not one to go totally makeup free. Even in this heat, I like to at least do a primer and some mascara. I get the melty thing, trust me. But let's say you want to go a little glam this weekend  a la my pal Lauren Hutton here as we celebrate Summer's last stand with a bit of 70s style. albeit more dialed down to suit modern tastes. Say you have a BBQ or clambake or hot date in the city and need your face to match your maxidress.  I have you covered. As in the best glowy, dewy, sexy Summer face you could have. I've perfected this look all season and have loved it for a more dressed up makeup look. So without further adieu, my top hits for an Insta ready face this weekend and beyond- the look would work beautifully in Fall as well. It's got a peach vibe that works great with my medium skin tone and coppery locks, but suspect it would be great on a blonde and brunette as well.

First, prime your skin with Charlotte Tillbury's Wonderglow. It gives you that lit from within vibe without being over the top for daytime or nighttime. It's a great start.

Then for coverage, I'm in love with Chanel's Bronzing Makeup Base if you have a little color or at least want to look like you got some beach time. I put mine on with a large brush and then blend with a Beauty Blender. I find it's a good replacement for foundation or tinted moisturizer- great on its own or mixed in with a touch of your favorite tinted moisturizer.

For eyes, this quad from Chanel in Tisse Vendome is so, so pretty and soft. I know I love matte of late, but this quad's sparkle is very flattering on all age groups and love how you can build the color to be as quietly dramatic or low key as you like. It's beautiful and would look pretty on all eye colors. Sometimes I fear neutrals (aka browns) make my hazel eyes look tired, but this quad is simply stunning. Slick on a bit of your favorite liquid black liner very close to the lash line for a natural look. I love my Hourglass liquid liner. It's novice proof and pros will love how close you can get to your lashes. You almost don't need msacara. Oh and if you do need a primer- I'm pretty into Blue Mercury's own brand- it's cheaper than the Trish McEvoy primer and seems very similar. Great stuff. Your shadow will not move even if the humidity is trying hard to make a move.

But if mascara is a non-negotiable, it may be time to try Nars new Climax mascara (what's with them and the sex names, anyway?). You can build layers for maximum drama or do one flick for something a bit more dialed down. It's a good one.

For blush, I'm obsessed with (and I really mean obsessed with) Kosa's Creme blush and highlighter in Tropic Equinox. I live for how natural and neutral this blush is- and so incredibly creamy. Plus the highlighter it comes with is perfect for dabbing on the cheekbone and a bit under the brow if you're in the mood. Great stuff. This brand probably my favorite beauty discovery of the season.

Oh and what about the lip? I'm so digging something from Nars yet again- The new Afterglow Lip Balm in (of course) Orgasm is the prettiest little sheer peachy pop to enhance your natural lips. It's so pretty and super hydrating so great for post beach nights out. Lovely. Plus how pretty is that packaging? Rose gold magic for your makeup bag. 

I tend to go very low key on the lips so if you want a little more punch like LH above- you may want to try Tom Ford's Naked Coral for that extra pop.

As for fragrance, I have to go with one of my new favs- Music for a While from Frederic Malle. Every time I wear it my husband's like "WHAT IS THAT?" in the best of ways. He loves it and I love it-  lavender, patchouli, amber and vanilla, with notes of pineapple and mandarin for that perfect Summer scent. I thought the pineapple would be a dealbreaker, but non- it's gorgeous.

So that's pretty much how I do it for Summer nights- hope you love these as much as I do. And as we kiss Summer adieu, look for lots of fun Fall things from me soon. You know it's when I truly come alive. Cause that's what's up this sizzling Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in hot in the city glam.  If this still seems like too much work, f it. Go bare. Or go all in with the above. XO

What's it all about, Philly?

Good morning, Tuesday. Oh, heat. You have returned and I am sans sleeves and melting. 

So here's something. This morning a chick in my office was sharing a Youtube video with a friend and they were huddled around her monitor watching. I heard a familiar tune and immediately ran over- it was the Channel 6 Action News theme I grew up with in Philadelphia. If you know it, commence dun dun dun dun DUN DUN DUN DUNning now...if not it's here.

Anyway it was a funny spoof on Philly's fuckdupness and it made me laugh. And it took me back. Because lately I'm noticing a slight pull for me towards the city I grew up in. I know that's super weird. I profess my love to New York almost every day. But I've spent some time with Philly people this Summer down at the Jersey shore and I can't help but feel slightly, well, not homesick but, hmm- I don't know. I'm not much for nostalgia but I think something happens as you age that you just feel a bit of a gravitational pull towards home. And that's happening to me big time. I've spent more time than usual with family this Summer and it's been really sensational. 

I'm also very much looking forward to having a girl's reunion with all of my besties from childhood in September. And guess where we're meeting? Back at the scene of the crime- Philly. I'm excited to see them all and reminisce and catch up. No better place to do that than where it all began. Sometime I fantasize about going back home- even though New York is truly more like home than Philly ever was. Just an interesting thought. A friend of mine from Portland who now lives here in the city said the same thing to me the other day- and we are at the same point in life. Interesting that. Maybe it's more about what's said in that quote above. I've been a bit all over the place again and the very notion of "home" feels up for grabs.  And it's true that knowing where I come from and being part of it has helped set a course for where I want to go. There's so much more to do. But where do I want to do it?  Note to self: no way you're leaving New York. You love it here. It's so true. New York feeds my soul, but Philly is in my DNA. Interesting.

And I'm smart enough to know home is wherever you are. But I've always felt attached to place. That's just my way.

Wondering if any of you feel that way about the place you went kicking and screaming and ran far away from? I imagine it's a normal thought at a certain time of life. I'm not sure I'll be eating soft pretzels at Wawa full time again, but damn if they haven't been tasting so much better than usual lately. I guess I'm lucky to have two places that feel like home. It's just the one I left does not usually feel as sweet  as it has in recent months. 

Cause that's what's up this thinking of the 215 from the 212 kind of Tuesday. Yours, in notions and versions of home. XO

Maven recommends: A soundtrack to round out Summer

Good afternoon, Monday. Slow start today, kiddos. My brain is still at the beach. I forgot how much I love it there. I wonder why...hmmm..could it be the HAMPTONS and the parade of constant douchebags in Nantucket Reds swilling rose with the overly tanned ladies who love them? Yes. I think that's it. This past weekend found me back at the Jersey shore with my family- and I really do love it there. I'm thinking about next Summer already. I've had so much fun. I'm so grateful to rediscover my beachgoing roots. I've always loved the ocean and water in general and being by said water has a very good effect on me.  And it helps me remember why Summer can be so very lovely. Now that I'm back in Manhattan and it's hot as f it's hard to have love for a season that makes you feel like you're trapped in a fart. You know it's true, New York. You know it is.

And as Summer winds down and we all take our lost bows at the shore or at the grill or out in the backyard, I thought I'd help you decide what to listen to. I've been full tilt in a BBC Radio 6 rabbit hole since Scotland and this weekend they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of Trojan Records. If you are uninitiated, you must get involved.

Trojan is a label specializing in ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dub (thanks Wikipedia). They have many different collections to choose from, and I discovered them way back in the day one weekend in what was formerly known as Montauk, when things were still salty and awesome and chill. Some French stoner kids we were hanging with were listening to Trojan compilations all weekend, and I fell deeply in love with the classic sounds so perfectly suited to Summertime vibes. I urge you to go on a quest if you haven't already. Great stuff. Goes best with tan feet and kickback cocktails outside. An ocean view is bonus, ps. But if you can't have that, you can still very much enjoy channeling a classic Island vibe. And as a bit of a cultural side note, the label helped bring Jamaican music to England, and also helped ease some cultural tensions by having multiracial appeal. I'll raise a Red Stripe to that all day. Here's a link on Spotify to a nice little playlist of what's on tap at Trojan at 50. 

Cause that's what's up this rock steady of a Monday on the island of Manhattan. Yours, in great music and Summers done right. XO

Is bigger really better?

Good morning, Thursday. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

So recently I've fallen back in love with Kiehl's products of all kinds- particularly those eye treatments (will fill you in on all of that in another post but damn they're good). But like many people, I'm skeptical when indie brands get scooped up by behemoths. Kiehl's was snatched up by Estee Lauder, as were some of my other favorites- Byredo Perfume as well as stellar fragrance house Frederic Malle. I started thinking- is bigger always better? TBH- it almost never is.

I do think in Kiehl's case the push for new products has served them well- there's lots of good stuff that's both practical and not La Mer (also owned by Lauder) expensive. But for many, once these small fries go all big potatoes, the quality is perceived as too mass, and decidedly down market. So how does that apply to how I'm feeling about career these days? Why, I thought you'd never ask. ;)

As I've watched almost everyone I know in my immediate career sphere ascend up the ladder, I've often wondered why that was not quite my path. I'm just not sure I'm wired to "go big" in that way. Because I'm too focused on the product. My product. I'm not at all saying my friends with big titles and big salaries are not. I just think it's really, really hard. I suppose that's why I've always loved freelancing- it's so super project based that it allows me to devote all of my time and attention and focus to the task at hand. The bigger you get, the harder that becomes.  In the business I've called home forever, advertising, my deepest admiration if for those guys and girls (wish there were more girls ps) who started their own agencies. And most of them left BIG jobs to do so. And true they may now have to fill out their own Fedex labels, but who cares. The freedom to do things one's own way is just worth it. Or at least it is to me. 

I'll always remember Howard Schultz's story- he of Starbucks founder fame. He talked about how big his business got- way too quickly, and how in the process, they forgot who they were and what they had to offer. It's true of late they've been struggling a bit, but I so respect that moment of realizing you're too big to be who you really are. It's an interesting predicament to say the very least. 

I guess what I'm getting at is the fact I've been at this particular crossroads for a while now. Where to next? 

So I'm taking some time to strip it all down and redefine. I'm going small instead of going big. And truly, I love the idea of going big, but only on my own terms, ok? I'm too old to make everyone else famous anymore. And I don't want to forget what I care about most- making amazing things with my own signature POV. I'm looking for something that's just my size.  Alright? Ok. 

And whatever point you're at in your career- getting coffee as an intern, sitting in the C Suite, or making bracelets in your basement, it's worth thinking from time to time about what makes you tick, and if you're still indeed ticking. As we all know- life is short. And sometimes you need to go small to get big time happiness.

Cause that's what's up this microdot of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in thinking big about going small. XO

Jumping for joy (over a jumpsuit in green)

Good morning, Wednesday. It's gloomy in NYC today but looking forward to a weekend of sun and fun with my sis and co down the shore. (As we say on the East Coast, particularly when referencing the Jersey shore- never would this colloquialism be bestowed on the Hamptons- for that we say out east).

Anyway, I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm smitten with the color green. Always have been. Perhaps that's why I love places like Scotland and Jamaica so much- lots and lots of green. Admittedly, the shade I like most is a bit hard to wear. I tend to look better in more of a forest green than the jewel tone I adore, but this jumpsuit from No. 6 crossed my inbox this morning and it was instant lust.

I remember my mother having a divine silk midi dress in this hue in the 70s that she bought for a cruise, and I loved it so. I'd rock this  jump jam with gold booties or high heeled sandals and gobs of gold chains and woah. A look to end all looks. Also great as shown with high black boots and I'd add a faux fur to give it a bit of zag.

That color is clearly my divine hue. According to Bourne Creative, "green is  the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, and is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, and jealousy".

The color green has healing powers and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing color for the human eye to view. Green can help enhance vision, stability and endurance. Green takes up more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and it is the dominant color in the natural". It's a color of "renewal, growth, and hope", and is "soothing, relaxing, and youthful". 

As I move forward in this thing called life, I find myself always returning and rediscovering my favorite color. And since I'm almost always on the market for renewal, growth, and hope as well as some relaxation, it suits me. In these times, we need all the hope we can get.

Link to jumpsuit here. I'm in love with it. A good jumpsuit is always a hopeful piece, but the green really takes it to the next level. Cause that's what's up this green is golden of a Wednesday in the less than lush 212. Yours, in love and hope and growth and dreams. XO

Transcendental Style: The classic rock tee

Behold, the classic rock tee.  A perfectly faded, cool as could be testament to this thing called life.  And with Festival season in full swing, why not represent? Lately I've been thinking about the ubiquity of certain items of wardrobe that transcend time and have an ageless quality. For me, this is one of them. I'm never without at least ten of them, and love the ones I've kept from my youth. I have a Jim Morrison American Prayer tee that is full of holes and is perfectly stretched out and on the shorter side, but I'm never, ever giving that up. Incidentally, the tee above is being sold by one of my favorite brands for rock/tomboy chick chic, R13- check it out here in black and make like your inner Kim Gordon stat. 

 Hopefully you’ve kept your classic Joy Division or Stones tee from back in the day (vintage wins every time), but fear not- lots of good options to get into the groove, in a staggering array of price points.  In a moment where statement dressing make sense in times of turmoill, taking a stand feels spot on. There’s a palpable authenticity that comes with wearing a rock tee- particularly if you sport one with bands you’ve loved through the years.  My personal preference is to wear it oversized- so it may be worth a peruse in the men's department to get the fit just so (I'm also a fan of cutting the neck a bit so it has that worn, stretched out vibe). And if you need to feel a bit more grown up, throw a well-cut blazer over said tee and channel your inner Kate Moss. Or throw an outsized leopard coat over it with some tight black leather trousers and some suede heels and instant coolness is achieved. Effortless, easy, and time tested.

Check out a few favorites.  I know some of these prices are steep, steep, steep. But some are also cheap, cheap, cheap. So something for just about everyone, truly:

R13 Megadeth tee. 

Madeworn Ziggy Stardust Glitter tee.

R13 Strange Love tee. (Depeche Mode, anyone?)

Rolling Stones American Flag tee.

Joy Division Unknown Pleasures tee.

I"ll be posting a few of these in the future- I love the idea of ubiquitous dress. Ageless style. All of that. Cause that's what's up this long live rock kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in cool chicks and great style. XO


Grow up, don't give up

Good morning, Monday. I was watching telly this weekend and came across "Being John Malkovich", an old favorite that's still great fun to watch. And I remembered how much I adore Catherine Keener, an actress who always felt very normal and beautiful and cool. 

So I started googling her a bit to see what she's been up to, and you'd be surprised what comes up when you do a search on her. "Weight Gain" seems to be a commonly searched term. Seriously? People are googling her weight gain?

And then I came across a little list that got my goat. Shape Magazine published a list of women who are "aging gracefully" and then of course, those who are not. UGH.

I loathe the term "aging gracefully". 

I don't understand what aging gracefully means- does that mean that you are aging like the same 5-10 celebrities that always come up when we talk about aging (Christie Brinkley, Helen Mirren, Cindy Crawford, Halle Berry, etc.)? Also- what if I don't want to age gracefully? Full disclosure- I have no fillers and no botox in my jaw or anywhere else. My crow's feet are alive and kickin'. I use a lot more lotions and potions than I used to but graceful aging seems like something from the dark ages.  I get the sentiment but just stop telling me to age like Halle Berry. She's a beautiful freak of nature and I'm just out here trying to keep it together. Does it mean if I don't have millions of dollars and a full staff that I won't age (choke) gracefully? Don't even get me started on "anti-aging". Does that mean you're also "anti-life"? 

My point- screw anyone that's prescriptive about how you should age. We are so hung up on looking younger and it's absolutely insane. Like some of you, I've always worn trendy clothes and I'm not about to stop now. Yea, there's some stuff I don't favor nowadays but that's just like anything else- tastes change, develop, evolve. IT'S FINE. CHILL. If you are doing everything you can to "fight" the aging process, you're going to lose. From your dignity to your confidence to your truest self. Instead, don't get so hung up on who's doing what. Rise above it all and just be ageless. It's not easy in a society where we are age obsessed, but it's all just gotten insane.

I just hate the fact that a beautiful and talented actress like Keener has been put through the wringer for a few pounds- she's almost 60 and looks fantastic. The world is so very cruel to aging women.  Want to know some synonyms for "graceful"? Try: balletic, beautiful, decorative. Want to know the antonyms for the same word? Awkward. Coarse. Crude. Unattractive. Fat. 

Can we stop talking about women in these terms? I'm guessing no but I found it shameful a magazine that celebrates "healthy" women would publish such a list. True it may be click bait, but good grief. And don't tell me Courtney Love is not aging gracefully. Why on Earth would she want to? I'm over these colloquial conversations about aging. Make it stop. And lest you think it's about "giving up", it's not. It's about being comfortable with who you are, whatever that may mean to you, genetic miracle or botox pin cushion aside. 

Just be cool, everyone. How about we become more graceful when talking about the aging process? There's much more to life, and I know this because I'm getting old. Cause that's what's up this far from graceful Monday in the 212. Yours, in growing up, not giving up. XO

What Aretha meant to me

Good morning, Thursday. So sad to hear the news about the Queen of Soul's passing this am. Aretha Franklin was a once in a lifetime talent and if you have any taste in music at all, you can't deny the sheer force and power of her talent. She moved me unspeakably. For most of my life. There has never been a time where I was not in the mood to listen to Aretha- whether I was a punk art school kid or a mad for it club going, twenty-something. It did not matter, because to me, Aretha is transcendent. Immune to trends. Immune to anything fleeting, besides of course, life.

And if I'm to think about what album of hers meant the most to be, it would be "Young, Gifted, and Black". None of which I am, obviously. 

But that album, Jesus Lord. A true religious experience. Those gospel roots. Oh me, oh my.

I think listening to that album made me grow up. If there is a more perfectly orchestrated musical moment to feel the crush of love, lust, or passion, I'd be hard pressed to find it. And although Aretha's "Natural Woman" is an obvious one when it come to feeling empowered as a female, the songs on YG&B speak to the vulnerability and power of being a woman in love. I live for it. Opening on "Oh Me Oh My"- I'm a fool for you, baby. And then "Daydreaming" takes you to that gooey feeling of thinking about someone on repeat and wanting to be their absolute everything. It's beautiful.  And then of course the challenge you not to groove to "Rock Steady" and all the fabulousness and pride in the album's anthem, "Young, Gifted, and Black".  And that version of "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind this Time)". That will get you through anything you're going through. I'm sure of it. Gives me chills to this day. 

I can remember dancing around my first apartment on my very own, wanting to put on a dress and perfume because this album made me feel that way.  It made me want to celebrate my version of what it means to be a woman. And it made it ok to feel the holy shit moment of intense, fast burning love, and also ok to feel its crushing blows and inevitable defeat. It's such a classic. And I'm far from that woman in that little studio on 1st Avenue and 70th Street. But I do find I most enjoy listening to that album when I'm alone. I'm listening to it right now as I write and I will never tire of it.  She's been with me throughout most of my adult life- and as a woman, my love for her has never waned, it just grows stronger with age. She provides the soundtrack for that. The glory. The pain. And most of all, the soul. I have no idea what it's like to have such a talent, but I know what it's like to appreciate it. And the world lost a comet today, and I for one will love Aretha until the end of time.  A trailblazer, a freedom fighter, an activist, and most of all, a natural woman. 

Because you may not remember every man that made you daydream, but you'll never forget a voice like that. RIP to the Queen. She really did blow my mind. And I was always grateful she said a little prayer for me. All you ever needed to say to anyone was "Aretha" and they got it. Cause that's what's up this great American Thursday in the 212. Yours, with the utmost RESPECT.  XO

Found my first covet for Fall

Good morning, Wednesday. 90 degrees on the docket today yet again and all I want is Fall, Fall, Fall.

And though I'm not near purchase for anything cool weather inspired, I did spy this coat with my little fashion eye and damn. I want it. I want it bad.

I've got a crush on this coat in the biggest way. I love a coat that you can layer- I'm a big fan of a leather layer under a coat like a favorite moto or even a denim jacket with the collar popped. Plus those boots don't suck. Of this I'm sure. They're from Spain. I've already inquired. The girls at Meg just really get me sometimes, and this coat is so so fabulous and available for pre-order. I love it with jeans and boots and I love it with bare legs and heels- it's so very wearable in the best of ways- so practical and cozy and altogether put together cool. I do believe it's a must have, even though I'd have to do an itch check just to make sure it's wearable for me- I don't get along with certain woolens. Now if only I could stop sweating...

Cause that's what's up this Wednesday I've got Fall on my mind, in the summertime. Yours, in wrapping up Summer. XO