My cousin wanted to go skydiving for her bachelorette party in March, so that’s what we did. I’d always planned to make the jump at some point, so this was a good reason to go sooner rather than later. I was pretty psyched up until we got to the dive site and started signing all the waivers. I know the company is just trying to protect itself, but it doesn’t help anyone’s nerves when the first thing the guy in the instructional video says is, “Skydiving is a dangerous sport. You could suffer serious injury, or even die.” The first line of the document in my hand also read, “1 in every 20,000 skydiving jumps results in death.”
Looking down from the plane and realizing just how high we were, I almost changed my mind. But the cheapskate in me prevailed - I didn’t want to lose my deposit – and with a little coaxing from the instructor strapped to my back, I released my grip on the side of the plane and pushed off. The next five minutes were some of the most enthralling I’ve ever experienced. Numerous people told me there’s no stomach-dropping sensation in free fall, and they were absolutely right. You just feel weightless as you’re accelerating towards the earth, and you have to fight with the wind to keep your eyes open. The falling lasted for maybe 30 seconds, but that wasn’t the scary part. I was so relieved the parachute opened successfully, but being suspended in midair was excruciating. Objects on the ground were still tiny specks, and I couldn’t even make out which building was the skydive center. I was well aware I was strapped to someone, but didn’t completely trust the harness. All I could do was pray, squeeze the life out of the instructor’s legs, and try not to move too much. Felt amazing to finally touch solid ground.
I got a little lightheaded after learning two seasoned skydivers had a fatal accident the weekend after we jumped. And only six days ago, a dive ended tragically for an instructor who had completed over 9,000 jumps. Sometimes you forget how fragile life is; rest their souls and bless their families. As for me, I might consider doing it again if the occasion arises, but for now I’m just happy I jumped out of a plane and lived to tell the tale. That’s one thing I can check off my unofficial bucket list.
I stumbled upon a new mobile app this week. “Happier” is a social media network that allows you to share moments that bring little bits of happiness. It’s a simple platform, kind of a crossbreed between Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You post text and photographs of otherwise mundane things that bring you joy, which others can add comments and smiles (the app’s equivalent of “likes”) to. The result is a collection of sweet little memories to look back on when you need a pick-me-up.
Undoubtedly, the best part is browsing through other users’ posts. Seeing pictures and reading about the things that give people pleasure is surprisingly satisfying. Buttery home baked pastries, impromptu beach strolls, sloppy puppy kisses – turns out these are universally beloved things. Who knew, huh?
One last thing: “Happier” is only available for download on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Sorry to disappoint anyone after all this cheerful talk, but you’ll have to take it up with the developers!
Nope, this post isn’t an homage to the beloved TV show choir group of the same name, but a public declaration of this blog’s gear switching. Let’s face it, fashion isn’t my thing, and though I may still occasionally post about clothing and accessories, this blog needs a fresh perspective. When I started writing, I hoped that by challenging myself to look better on the outside, it would translate into me being better on the inside. Maybe I hoped to become more interesting, more creative, more…anything but the same old me. Maybe I still want that, only I’ve been going about it the wrong way. Applying my closet as a metaphor for my life again, everything is uninspired because I gravitate toward things that are easy, familiar, comfortable. My new self-challenge is simple: do things, however minute, that make me uncomfortable. That scare me. It’s not a brilliant plan or even an original one, but it’s one I care infinitely more about than what outfit I’m going to wear the next day. Not to knock all the style bloggers out there, but I’ll never be able to do what you do, even half as well as you do.
Since the direction of my blog is shifting, it seems only natural for it to receive a complete revamp. I’ll be thinking about formats, messing around with HTML, maybe even registering a domain at last. I’ve always been intimidated by the back end aspect of websites. Could this be my first “one thing that scares me” objective? Gonna cross my fingers this doesn’t turn out to be a total flop, or the disappointment may force me to quit blogging altogether!
Farewell, Hurricane Sandy! Peace out, brutal Nor’easter! I just got my power back this week after nine days without electricity, so I’m going to celebrate by writing a short post. I spent most of those nights playing board games by flashlight with my sister. Then a friend offered to host a “girls’ night in” at her place (which had full electricity, heat, and hot water) last Friday night, so we spent our time eating pizza, enjoying wine and cheese, and painting our nails. Just wanted to share a few snapshots from this week of bad weather.
For a first-timer, my friend Jen did a pretty spectacular job of painting strawberries on my fingernails. She used a toothpick for the details, then painted on a matte top coat for a frosted, rather than shiny, look. Just in case anyone was contemplating inviting me to a lacquer party, I have over 70 bottles of nail polish. I kid you not.
Wine and cheese, please! Pinot grigio, with a selection of cheeses: smoked brie, white cheddar, and Swiss.
At home, first night of the blackout caused by Hurricane Sandy, playing the Game of LIFE with my sister by flashlight and lantern light.
Snow at the beginning of November? *sigh* It’s going to be a long winter.
One day last week after a particularly irritating conversation with my boss, I was in a rotten mood, once again questioning my direction in life and contemplating the future. After taking a shower, I proceeded to get ready for a date night with my guy. I wanted to pick a cute outfit and put on some makeup; just because I was feeling bad, it didn’t mean I had to look it. Well no joke, I stood in front of my closet, staring blankly into it for a good 40 minutes. Even when he arrived, I still hadn’t decided on an outfit to wear. I ended up just choosing a comfortable but plain long sleeved tee and jeans.
I realized a couple of things as I gazed into my mishmosh of stuff. I have a pretty nice sized closet, which spans nearly the entire width of the wall and has multiple shelves – but the contents are sorely lacking. I have a few fabulous pieces here and there, but mostly my wardrobe consists of boring basics and a whole lot of crappy stuff I can’t bring myself to get rid of. I never really buy anything new anymore because I just don’t have the extra space. I have boxes and boxes of folded items that I put out of my mind for months at a time. The hanging rod is sagging from the weight of all the clothes I never wear. And above all, I can’t figure out how to put anything together to make fashion blog-worthy outfits.
Strangely enough, my closet is a metaphor for my life. I have a lot of excess clutter, and I hang onto things I should have tossed ages ago. Therefore I can’t let in anything new. I can tell someone how to style a good look, but I just don’t know how to apply that to myself. Similarly, I have a lot of different dreams and ambitions, but I can’t seem to piece them together to figure out the bigger picture. I drew this conclusion from just staring off into my closet. Yep, it was that kind of day.
Autumn isn’t officially here yet, but it certainly feels like it is! I attended my friend’s wedding this past weekend, on a particularly cool day. It was unlike any other wedding I’ve been to thus far. It took place in a little town upstate called Wallkill, two hours outside of New York City. This would have been my first time attending an outdoor ceremony, but it was a rainy day, so the ceremony was held in the reception area. I’ve never been to a wedding inside of a tent, but apparently celebrities do it all the time. It was beautiful, all white curtains and green grass. I love weddings, but most of all I like seeing personal touches the couple adds to make the occasion their own. I have two more weddings coming up in the next six months; really looking forward to them!
I had a really difficult time picking out something to wear. I don’t have very many special occasion dresses, and as it turns out, most of them are black! I decided to wear an old cotton dress that hasn’t seen the light of day in quite some time. In hindsight, maybe it was a bit casual, as it wrinkled way too easily. I didn’t even have an appropriate cardigan to wear over it, but on the way to the wedding we stopped at a supermarket to buy a drink/use the bathroom, and there happened to be a Marshall’s in the same shopping center. We went in and I found a sweater that not only kept me warm through the rest of the chilly evening, but is proper enough to be a special occasion staple for future events. Hooray for unexpected finds!
The bride and groom exchanged their vows at an indoor/outdoor ceremony…in a tent!
Wedding arch, string lights, sunflowers, candles, and interracial cake toppers.
Speechless bubble hem dress, Monteau cardigan, Nine West faux python platform mary jane, Forever 21 bag and bracelet, Tiffany heart ribbon necklace, Maui Rainbow Jewelry glass earrings, No Name Sunglasses (which were photoshopped from a Google image because my eyes look crazy)
Nothing screams “warm weather” more than light materials and neutral colors. This outfit really isn’t anything that special, but it’s the only pic I’ve taken in a bit so guess this will be my summer post, since it seems I now only update once per season. It doesn’t feel appropriate to wear short shorts to work, so I always wear them on my days off. Head-to-toe neutrals wash you out (especially when you have yellowish skin like mine), so a little pop of color is absolutely necessary. I love my lime green Indian-inspired quilted Vera Bradley tote, but I think I could’ve picked a brighter pair of shoes. They’re white with red stripes and a slight wedge (comfy and pretty), but orange sneakers would’ve been way more interesting.
(Robin K. crochet tank, Forever 21 cuffed shorts, Vera Bradley quilted tote, Mossimo cargo cap, floral sunglasses from a street fair, H&M faux snakeskin bracelet, American Eagle peep toe wedge sandals)
(May 25, 2012: Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker denim jacket, H&M floral heart top, Old Navy skinny cargo pants, Gryson for Target woven shoulder bag, Le Tigre sunglasses)
Winter’s over, and summer’s just around the corner! Time to pack the black pea coats away and break out the bright colors (like the ones in this street mural of a subway). I have no more excuses for being lazy and dressing like a slob. Sad to say, but I didn’t post much through the winter or spring because I made very little effort in maintaining my appearance.
I even did an internship at a fashion PR firm from March through May, yet I just didn’t care enough to look my best. I left the internship to start a full time job at a dental office, and while this job probably won’t lead to discovering my dream career, I feel more comfortable in my own skin here. It’s safe to say that I should never pursue work in anything fashion related – I can’t keep up, and evidently, I don’t even care enough to try.
The reason I started this blog wasn’t to show off my awesome sense of style (obviously, right?). I started writing as a way of challenging myself to be the best version of myself I could be, starting from the outside, then moving on to the inside. I can admit I’ve done a pretty poor job of both. As this blog approaches its first birthday, I think it’s a fitting time to recommit myself to becoming better. Maybe the key is to start beautifying yourself from the inside first. Some say the way you look is a reflection of the way you feel about yourself. Either way, no more half assing it for me. In the words of How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”
Please ignore my flyaway hairs, but I’ll be less sloppy in the future. Okay, I never win anything, so let me just take a moment to spotlight these two toned wooden disc earrings I scored through a giveaway, courtesy of one of my favorite budget-friendly style blogs, Fashion Smashion. Thanks for this gorgeous gift, Ashley, and congratulations on your 100th post! Looking forward to your next hundred.
Anyone else notice the (kind of) new Conscious Collection from H&M
? Hint: it’s got a lot of lace and florals! As far as I know, there’s been a Conscious Collection since at least the fall/winter, but just in time for warmer weather, H&M’s rolled out a bunch of fresh styles. Love that this fashion giant is taking the initiative to bring sustainable style to the mainstream, breathing new life into post-consumer waste by “upcycling” it into covetable pieces. Even better, you can snag some of them for ten bucks or less.
A lot of the styles have since sold out, but what I’m after is something with this simple peach floral print on it. There are at least five pieces with this very same print, but I’ve tried them all on and unfortunately they fit me terribly. Either way, props to H&M for setting a bold standard in the mass retail industry. Can’t wait to see what they roll out next!
Howdy doo! I know, I’ve been lazier than ever about blogging, but I’m going to start posting again soon. In the meantime, just wanted to inform you of a sweepstakes in which one of two palladium 9ct topaz and diamond rings by Zeghani is up for grabs. I entered, and you should too! That deep blue color is amazing.
If you’re not familiar with palladium, it’s a luxury silver-white metal preferred by celebs like Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Rutherford, Kristin Davis, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Melissa Rycroft, and Pam Anderson. Better still, this metal is lightweight, durable, and does not tarnish.
Here’s how to sign up:
- Go to facebook.com/luxurypalladium.
- On the bar, click on the ‘FANtastic Sweepstakes’ button on the right hand side of the screen.
- Click to ‘LIKE’ Palladium.
- Fill out the form and submit.
The contest ends on May 13, 2012. See sweepstakes page for official rules. Good luck!