Grabbing Life By The Horns

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

So apparently the phrase "grabbing life by the horns" is some sound advice that should be followed when possible. It's one of those things that I always heard growing up, but never really felt like following. It seemed like a lot of work with no preparation, something that was a little too spontaneous for me to handle. Go after what I want? Meh, I'd rather wait for good things to land right into the palm of my hand with little to no effort.

I'm a naturally timid person. I'm not really assertive or all that determined to do certain things. I'll accomplish the bare minimum, but don't typically explore all of my options out of fear of rejection or embarrassment or just about any other thing a shy person could be petrified about. I don't really like doing things for myself. I'd rather not experience certain things at all out of fear of it not going well.

But, alas, things change and sometimes you realize that there are certain things that you can't do anymore. I've come to realize that I can't keep being too afraid to try new things or experience these things that I've spent so much time trying to put off because I'm a bit terrified. I have to start grabbing life by the horns and just doing things that I normally wouldn't.

One day last week, I decided to jump the gun and do something that I normally wouldn't. I was reading through the editors email for the newspaper and came across the opportunity to cover the Kodaline show tonight. My head told me to let somebody else cover it, but my gut was telling me to take the chance and do something really cool for myself (and the newspaper).

So, I bit the bullet, texted the Arts and Entertainment editor and told her I wanted to do it. It was simple, honestly. It took 20 seconds of insane courage to ask and now I'm currently putting mascara on, getting ready for an interview. That's right, an INTERVIEW.

It's truly amazing the experiences you can have when you decide to be brave and do some things for yourself for once. So that's my advice for today: grab life by the horns and go after what you want. You never know what will happen in the end!

On Saying Yes (And Knowing When to Say No)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Based on past statistics, the chance of me turning down an invitation to do something or participate in something was probably three out of four. A self-proclaimed Queen of Excuses, I'd tell myself that I had better things to be doing, which usually revolved around reading or writing. While those things could be considered "productive," they aren't necessarily the same sort of interaction that hanging out with friends could give. I've said no to jobs because they seemed too hard or I just didn't want to put in the effort. I've said no thousands of times without thinking twice about what I was missing out on.

Well, until recently. I haven't gone through any weird class or started reading self-help books like some sort of Yes Man in real life situation. I've just come to the realization that sometimes but utilizing my ability to say no, I'm hindering myself from simple (or potentially dramatic) life experiences. Saying no to everything erases so many chances for you to explore life, even in its simplest sense. It takes away your chances of exploring friendships, places, stopping life experiences in their tracks before they can even leave the starting line.

London Fashion Week SS 16

Monday, September 28, 2015

Oof, we're already a decent portion of the way into Milan Fashion Week and I've just realized I never covered any of London Fashion Week. Admittedly, it wasn't my favorite. That, combined with lots of time crunches, put me a bit behind. Better late than never though, right? There were a few shoes that I liked a great deal during LFW, but most fell a bit flat for me. Perhaps I didn't give LFW my full attention like I gave NYFW and will eventually give MFW and PFW...

Looks 3, 9, 12, 17, 24 and 41 from Burberry Prorsum
Looks 17, 28, and 36 from Erdem
Looks 10, 13, and 15 from Gareth Pugh

Looks 7, 10, 23, and 29 from Mary Katrantzou
Looks 5, 11, and 21 from Peter Jensen
Looks 7, 26, and 28 from Simone Rocha
Looks 10, 16, 20, 23, 31, and 36 from Temperley London
What were your favorite looks from London Fashion Week?

Good Reads

Sunday, September 27, 2015

1. Best Ballet Flats I have yet to find a pair of ballet flats that I like. They're all either too narrow, give me that weird toe cleavage, or just aren't comfortable to walk in. I definitely need to invest ASAP because my printed loafers and boots aren't going to be sufficient footwear for fall!

2. Office Inspiration Right now I'm living off of desk inspiration, but who knows, maybe one day I'll have a massive office of my own...if anything, they're still nice to look at!

3. Power Pants I'm doing myself a huge disservice by not trying on a pair of culottes once and for all. I had a jumpsuit over the summer that I ended up returning that had culotte style bottoms, but it just wasn't the right fit for me. Maybe I need to try a proper pant to get the real feel for the length and style? Regardless, I think they're incredible and I'd kill for a nice pair.

4. Four Bold Fall Lips By now it's pretty clear that bold lipstick is a necessity in my everyday makeup routine. I just feel incomplete without lipstick on, if I'm being honest. These are such fun colors for those days when you don't want to wear a dark dark lip as well!

5. Arguing With Myself My biggest arguments with myself are usually regarding my style (am I classic? Girly? Chic? Do I have a style?) or introversion with extroversion. I can never tell where I lie on these certain spectrums and I'm constantly at war with myself trying to sort it out. 

6. The Importance of Downtime I have no issues hanging out with people or keeping myself busy, but somewhere between all of that hustle and bustle I need time for myself to recharge and just read blogs or write a bit or even scroll through Tumblr or Pinterest. It's really important for me to do things for myself in a little bit of downtime. I go a bit crazy if I don't have at least an hour to myself every day.

7. Welcome to my Crib // Room Tour O H M Y G O D. That's honestly all I can say. This is quite possibly the most gorgeous and perfect room I have seen in my entire life and I'm not quite sure how to react. I genuinely think I might need every single thing pictured in this post.

What have you been reading lately?

Favorite Fall Things

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Look, if you don't know by now, fall is my favorite season. Ever. It's my favorite everything. It's my favorite brother, my brother sister, my favorite cousin, my favorite boybander. IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE.

There's just something about fall. It's the weather (the perfect combination of warm and chilly), the color scheme (give me ALL THE NEUTRALS), the fall scent (like crunchy leaves and pumpkin and GOD can you just picture the smell of a cool breeze with some fresh leaves scent? BYE), and the fact that it contains the greatest holiday of all: Thanksgiving. But I'm getting ahead of myself there...

To celebrate this being the first week of fall, I figured I'd detail the most spectacular moments of the season in one place.

1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
2. Pumpkin bread
3. Pumpkin muffins
4. Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream
5. Pumpkin soap
6. Pumpkin candles
7. The color pumpkin
8. Harry Styles as a pumpkin
9. Pumpkin cheesecake
10. Dark lipstick

Clearly, I hate pumpkin everything...

What's your favorite thing about fall?

Dream Closet, Vol. 9

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's almost the end of September and I've now just realized that I haven't done my Dream Closet for the month! Trust me, know that the weather is cooling down, I've been pining after gorgeous sweaters, luxe knits, and ALL THE WOOL JACKETS!!!! Fall weather is my absolute favorite, as you might be able to gather from my fall playlist post the other day...

MSGM | Fendi 

What's in your dream closet?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, September 24, 2015

1. "Infinity" by One Direction

Will One Direction ever let me relax? The foursome (I'll never get over saying that...sigh, kind of miss you Zaynie) released a new song from their fifth studio album Made In The AM, coming out on  November 13th. First thing, Niall Horan absolutely killed the opening lines. That boy has improved so much over the years and it just makes me so happy to hear the confidence in his voice and on stage in the way he belts out the lyrics and just exudes happiness on stage. That little leprechaun is an absolute ray of sunshine.

Anyways, "Infinity," right...this isn't the Niall Horan show...or is it??

I love the new direction One Direction (AHHHHH) is taking for this album so far. I feel like this is something that they truly tried to set out to do with themselves from the start. But, like any normal human beings (though I am still unconvinced that Harry Styles is actually human and is instead some sort of bionic alien of perfection...but I digress) they had to evolve and come into their own before they could create something like "Drag Me Down" or even "Infinity." They had to grow up, learn a thing or two about life and themselves, before they could sit down (or stand, I suppose, for recording purposes) and deliver this song.

Look, I'm not saying that I've been listening to this almost exclusively on repeat and murmuring "I love One Direction" over and over again for the past couple of days...but I'm also not not saying that either...

2. "On My Mind" by Ellie Goulding

Another incredible song release recently was Ellie Goulding's new single. This song is my jam. I shimmy to it constantly. It's a new strut song, honestly. I cannot sit still when this song comes on. There's something so edgy and sexy about it that just makes it impossible not to want to get down to this song. Does anybody even say that anymore? Do I actually care if people say things anymore or not?

You heard it here first, folks. I want to get down to "On My Mind" by Ellie Goulding.

3. 1989 by Ryan Adams

Have I mentioned that music is my favorite thing in the world? Because it is, which is usually why my Thursday posts usually revolve around it. That, and the fact that I don't have the funds to try out a lot of new products as of late. Hopefully that changes soon, but for now, let's talk about a fantastic album release from this week.

Ryan Adams is one of my personal favorite musicians ever. He's raw, he's an incredible songwriter, and his lyrics bring me to tears. "Come Pick Me Up" is my go-to cry in the car song. It gets me every single time, and the demo version is even more heartbreaking, if possible. What I'm trying to say is that Ryan Adams conveys so many emotions in his songs, so to hear his take on Taylor Swift's 1989 album is refreshing. This album wasn't a breakup album by any means, but Ryan Adams managed to add in this like...raw, rocker emotion to it to give it a completely different take. It's reminiscent of the emotions from Red or even Speak Now, with a Bruce Springsteen-esque twist on each track.

I think he could've done a better job at trying to change the lyrics to make them heteronormative (still miffed that he changed the "James Dean daydream look in your eye" line...). I don't generally like when artists do this when they're covering songs, but even Taylor didn't refer to this as a cover album so I's said to be more of a "reimagining" of the original album.

I digress, this album has been a joy to listen to and I've been strutting around campus to his version of "Style" all week.

Also, does anyone else find it hysterical that this album is able to stream on Spotify or is that just me?

4. Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants

Just give me Trader Joe's everything. I work across the street from one now, so I have a new grocery spot to go to every Saturday. I was talking about how excited I was to go after my shift was over to a co-worker and she told me about all of the things she likes to get there and I took note. I always take recommendations, especially for food because I am absolutely hopeless in the kitchen.

She mentioned these chocolate croissants in the frozen section that you leave out overnight before you bake them. I picked up a box during my trip, not really thinking much of it. I made them Monday morning and let me just say...they're incredible.

Basically all you do is lightly grease a baking sheet and lay out these dough squares. You're supposed to leave them out for nine hours (so overnight) before baking them so they can rise. And let me just tell you, these suckers rise. They get huge!!!! Like I couldn't fit one in the palm of my man hands, that's how massive these croissants were. After they rise, you pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes and you've got four incredible and massive chocolate croissants for around $4.  Like what? That's unheard of. UNHEARD OF!!!!

What have you been loving lately?

Plaid Shirt Days (Fall Playlist)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy first official day of fall! It's the most wonderful time of year! I spend nine months out of the year wishing it was fall and three months basking in the glorious crisp autumn weather. Fall is the best season ever. It's not all gloom and doom like winter (I'm side-eyeing you, polar vortex), but it's not also entirely hyped like summer. It's the perfect combination of absolutely everything, both mood and weather and fashion wise. So, to celebrate the official start of the greatest season ever, here's a little playlist of songs that remind me of early fall.

What are your favorite songs to listen to during the fall?

Riding Boots

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Riding boots are a college girl's staple. You cannot walk around campus come September first without spotting a pair of these. And come October? Every other girl is going to be sporting a pair. They're comfortable, they're practical, and they're just plain cute. How could one deny themselves the simple pleasure of a riding boot?

I personally live in riding boots during the fall and winter, which is why I definitely need more than one pair. I'm always on the market for a new pair of riding boots, especially because I wear them so frequently that it's nice to have a bit of variety (okay, and because the salt absolutely destroys my leather boots and I need to replace them after a couple of winters).

Ralph Lauren | Target | Bandolino (this is the pair that I own!)

What's your favorite type of boot to wear during the fall time?

College Advice #4: Time Management (& Bonus Tip for Student Bloggers!)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Time is of the essence...

It's no secret that college is time consuming. Between the actual time slots of classes, work outside of class, a job to pay for those classes, a social life, and free time to relax, your schedule becomes packed. What is free time? That sounds like a foreign concept, right? 

With what is probably an insanely busy agenda, it's hard to figure out where to start. Does your job come before school? Do friends come before your job? What trumps in the hierarchy of importance? What if—GASP—there didn't have to be a hierarchy of importance? What if—again, GASP—there was a way to get everything done? Another foreign concept, right? 

Look, there's not going to be all foolproof way to get everything done stress free. But, I think I've found a system that severely reduces stress and even gives me enough time to watch the occasional movie on a Saturday night and not feel guilty about it.

Step One: Supplies

There are a few important things that you're going to want/need in the line of supplies for time management. Your lifeline throughout this whole process is going to be your agenda. Everyone and their grandmother seems to make agendas nowadays, so you can either splurge on an Erin Condren, Emily Ley, Kate Spade, Paper Source,, Lilly Pulitzer, etcetera etcetera agenda, or you can head to Target or any office supply store and pick up the cheapest one you find. I would just make sure that they have spaces for daily notes rather than a monthly calendar overview. 

Now that you have your agenda, USE IT. Bring it with you to every class, write down every assignment and due date and quiz date. Write down your work schedule, write down plans with friends, JUST WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Don't rely on your memory or a phone note you leave yourself and ultimately forget to look at. Write it in pink ink, blue pink, purple glitter gel pen, pencil, whatever you want. I cannot stress how important it is to write everything you need to do down. This will make the rest of the process so, so much easier.

In addition to an agenda, I also keep a desk calendar. Last year I just used a simple 12 month desk calendar from Target. This year, I decided to get a weekly calendar from Erin McDowell that allows me to utilize the columns to write down any due dates, work days, general school or work related things I need to get done. I find this a lot easier to use in some aspects because it gives me more space to write down what I need to get done in a week. The only time this becomes inconvenient is when it comes to far off due dates that require a lot of work. For those, I make sure to make notes in my agenda about the approaching due date so I don't get stuck the week of freaking out about not having any of it done.

The final thing I use to keep my time managed is post it notes. I have two stacks of post-its in various colors and I use them religiously. Writing down small tasks on my post it notes and putting them on the blank wall in front of my desk is that daily in-your-face reminder that's like "hey, you need to get this done now." I use these the most when I need to organize what needs to get done first, but we'll talk more about that later.

Step Two:  Order, Order, Order

Once you have all of your supplies ready with your assignments written down, the next step is to organize those due dates. It should be obvious that the assignments with the closest due dates should rank at the top of your chronological to-do list. A reading assignment due the next class should come before a discussion due two classes from then and so on and so forth. Get what needs to get done the soonest finished before starting new assignments, even if they are more exciting. You'll thank yourself later when you're not rushing around trying to get something done the night before or morning of.

Time consuming projects (for example, mid terms, final papers, assignments with check points throughout the semester, etc) should be broken down into parts. For example, if you're a journalism major and you have an article due for a class, break it up like so: 
  1. Form story idea, figure out who you need to interview, make brief preliminary outline
  2. E-mail sources you need to interview, do your own research
  3. Interview your sources, record interviews, transcribe their quotes and organize your notes
  4. Create new detailed outline with your research and interviews
  5. Write article, revise, revise, revise
Another example could be a research paper. For that, you could break it up like so:
  1. Read rubric and guidelines (if available), choose topic, briefly research topic and related content to get a grasp on your choice
  2. Do a majority of your research, curate reputable sources, write down your research or copy and paste it into a separate word document from your paper (NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER PLAGIARIZE EVER)
  3. Make a detailed outline based on your research
  4. Write two pages (amount can be changed depending on paper length)
  5. Write two more pages and so on and so forth until you're finished (don't write the whole thing in one night. It'll be a lot less painful if you pace yourself)
  6. Revise, revise, revise
  7. Add in sources and attributions where needed

Sometimes you need to prioritize chronologically over what you feel like doing. Even if it seems like more work now, it's going to feel like even more work when you have to do it last minute because you decided to put it off.

Step Three: Get Yourself on a Schedule

Pick out designated times of days to get your work done, especially if you don't have classes every day. If you know you have a two hour gap between your classes on MWF or even T/TH, make that your time to get your assignments done rather than sitting around all campus or in your room doing absolutely nothing. Or, choose these hours to get lunch with your friends so you don't have to catch up during night. Just utilize this time wisely rather than sitting on your phone scrolling through Twitter or Tumblr waiting for something interesting to happen (it rarely will).

In the chance that you do have days off of classes or large gaps, pick a time of day to get work done. Last semester I had three online classes and T/TH completely off. So, I'd get up at nine, catch up on social media for an hour or so, and then around 10:30 I would start my online work. I'd finish what I told myself to get done for the day around 1 PM and then I was set! From around 1 PM to 2:30/3ish, I'd work on my regular classes (depending on the amount of work I had to do) and then the rest of the day could be dedicated to other things. This semester, I have a night classes on Monday and Wednesday and Fridays completely off, so I always designated Monday and Wednesday mornings to catching up on work, doing chores, blog posts, whatever I need to get done. Fridays are my "turn everything in" mornings where I'll make sure all of my work is planned out for the weekend and when I write and turn in my discussion posts for my online class. I know what activity goes with what day of the week so I'm never scrambling for time to do laundry or read my textbook or respond to some discussion posts in my class.

Step Three and a Half: Breaks Within the Schedule

I don't expect anybody to be able to focus on one singular task for an outstanding amount of time. Starting at a textbook for three hours straight isn't going to happen. Honestly, even if it does, I can guarantee a fraction of the amount you're reading is being retained, if anything at all. I need to take breaks every few pages so I can make sure that what I'm reading isn't just escaping my mind after I close my book. My general rule is to do half an hour of work with about ten minutes off. Sometimes you have to be disciplined and really follow this rule, but unless you're completely abandoning your work, don't worry too much about time specifics. Just be sure to spend more time on work and less time on leisure while you're on your "schoolwork schedule."

Step Four: Work Environment

This has less to do with your actual time management process and more to do with the area that you carry it out within. I do my work in my room at home. I don't do well with libraries because of distractions and just not feeling comfortable enough to settle in there. By now you should now where and when and with what people makes you feel productive enough to get your work done. Find a distraction free work zone where your productivity can flourish and you don't waste your precious time. Personalize your work environment with your favorite drinks or music or even people. I don't work well with other people around, but some people need company for motivation. Whatever works for you!

Step Five: Learn How to Relax

This is something that I've struggled with since late high school and all throughout college. Basically, once I started working regularly, I forgot how to take a break. I always had sports and school combined, but then it got the point where I had sports, school, and work and it became too much. I have a habit of taking too much on at once and then I reach my breaking point, crack a bit, and then I carry on like I was before. 

Learning how to relax is so important. Working on high levels of stress isn't healthy nor is it productive. You shouldn't feel anxious while you're working or near tears because it's all becoming too much. If you get to that point, take a step back, breathe, and walk away from it. Regroup, reorganize, and reschedule so your priority list is a bit smaller and more manageable. 

It's all going to be about trial and error. It's not going to work out the first time. It's taken me two years of college to realize what works for me. And who knows, maybe what works for me now isn't going to work next semester when I have an entirely new schedule. Maybe I'll pick up hours at work, maybe I'll start becoming more social, maybe I'll get some incredibly hard assignments that take over my life. You just have to take it day by day or week by week. 

BONUS TIP FOR STUDENT BLOGGERS: Get a separate agenda for your blog

Even if you aren't a daily or even regular updater with a certain schedule, I highly recommend getting a separate agenda for your blog. I use mine to plan out posts in detail with bullets, descriptions, ideas, anything that could help out in the writing process. It saves me from the panic of "WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT?!" on a daily basis. You could use it to coordinate your social media schedule and what needs to go live when or when you have campaigns or posts due for companies. It just keeps your blog life separate from your personal life and schoolwork so nothing gets lost in the midst of your busy busy busy schedule.

What's your greatest time management tip? 

Look, even Bailey loves agendas...

Good Reads

Sunday, September 20, 2015

1. New York Fashion Week I need Sonya Essman's street style like yesterday.

2. Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2016 I am so in love with collection. My willpower is definitely going to be tested come spring...

3. Weekend Style I spy with my little eye a turtleneck and a suede skirt. Major heart eyes over this outfit inspo.

4. The Cutest Hourly Notepad My life is sort of a disorganized chaotic mess at the moment and I could really use a notebook like this.

5. Ones To Watch Party With Maybelline Sonya's graphics are too good. And that 70s inspired outfit? Brilliant.

6. Stripe ASOS Cape in San Francisco Can I have this cape a trip to San Francisco ASAP? Please and thank you.

7. Blush Pink + Dark Green This is an unexpectedly gorgeous color combination and that bucket bag is amazing.

8. 4 Ways to Tie a Neck Scarf Now all I need is a neck scarf...

9. Get Organised: How To Organise Your Computer This could not have come at a better time. I have been dying to do this to my laptop for months now.

10. Kate Spade Plaid Midi Skirt Nobody does a midi skirt like Kate Spade.

What have you been reading lately?

Little Life Hacks #1

Saturday, September 19, 2015

So, I was folding my underwear the other day...what a way to start a blog post, am I right? I digress, I was folding my underwear the other day because that's just what I do two days after I've done my laundry and let it air dry far longer than necessary. I was wondering how I acquired so much underwear over the past couple of years without having to buy that much underwear. I used to go crazy for those 7 for $27 deals (I'd wait for those to happen), as if I was prepping for the day that I'd only do laundry two times a month. In the midst of all of the underwear buying, I got rewards cards with coupons for free underwear, no purchase necessary. I am the type of person who feels weird just going to the counter with a pair of underwear, so I'd always get something in conjunction with it, despite not needing to. Clearly, I spent enough money at the store to qualify for this free panty! Why was I so hellbent on spending even more money? And alas, my first piece of advice sprouted.

1. Get those free underwear! 

I suppose this doesn't have to relate directly to Victoria's Secret or Aerie's coupon mailers (do other stores do this as well? Let me know, free underwear are the reason I don't have to do laundry for a month if I really didn't want to). But really, if you get one of those no purchase necessary coupons, pick out your cute little hiphuggers, march up to the counter and get them for free! You deserve them! Just like you deserve other things for yourself. If somebody gives you a gift or offers you something, no strings attached, take it! Don't be afraid of needing to pay somebody back or "owe them one." Sometimes people just like doing nice things for others, just like Victoria's Secret likes giving free underwear to their customers. It's a lovely balance.

I figured, why stop with that incredible piece of advice about your undergarments?

2. Add a tiara!

While I do completely support wearing tiaras at random, I am mostly referring to the idea of going big or going home. If you're going to do something, do it with your whole heart. Don't halfa$$ your way through life. It seems easier in the moment, but it'll come back to get you someday.

3. Drink more water. 

Listen, unless you drink water by the gallon (which you probably shouldn't do, I'm pretty sure that's not safe), you're probably not drinking enough water. I can tell you with complete certainty that I probably don't drink enough water for a day on a weekly basis and that's something that has to change. I was so good last year about it! It just makes you feel better. It makes you skin look nicer, your body feel more refreshed, and like, it's free. Get yourself a nice Brita filter and go to town, my friends.

4. Tip your waiters

Listen, unless your waiter is a complete and total wanker, tip your waiter and tip them well. I always give 20%, but if you're more comfortable with 15% or 18%, then that's your prerogative. Be courteous to your waiter, be patient, and seriously, just tip them. They rely on their tips and even if they get no tips, they'll still be paid their deducted salary.

5. Say "Hi" first

I'm the first to admit that I tend to avoid people in public. Or rather, I used to. I mean, we all have those moments where we're in a mood or don't look presentable, where the last thing we want to do is be around other people. And maybe, just maybe, those moods transfer into seemingly pleasant ones and you still just don't want to say hi. But really, it's a painless act of kindness. Give a little smile, a small wave, and a simple "hey, how are you?" I can guarantee it's not going to spark into a long conversation unless you want it to. It's a simple "hello" in passing. I always feel bad afterwards if I don't do it, so might as well just make it easy for yourself and go ahead and say it first.

What's one piece of advice you always give?


Friday, September 18, 2015

The last day of NYFW was yesterday, saving some of the biggest shows for last. All in all, I think it's been a pretty fun week! London Fashion Week had its first full day of shows today, but I've decided for the last three cities in the circuit, I'll stick to weekly round ups rather than daily so we can have some non-runway based material. But never fear, my passion for fashion week is alive with the sound of music on my twitter, which you can totally follow me @accordingtofran. Shameless self plug aside, let's get into the end of NYFW collections!

Looks 8, 11, 25, and 32 from Ralph Lauren
As a hater of the color red, I am genuinely surprised that some of my favorite looks from the Ralph Lauren show were said color. But this is a fun red! It's a bright, poppy red tailored into gorgeous body skimming dresses and billowy jackets. The addition of camel colored leather was also a great touch throughout all of the red, white and blue, as opposed to a cognac leather.

Looks 25 and 32 from Calvin Klein

There was something very 90s, Kate Moss era about this Calvin Klein collection that I can't put my finger on. Was it the silky, nightie esque dresses that skimmed the ankles? The hanging ties and belts? The blurry floral print? 

Looks 5, 15, 24, and 33 from Sea
The name of the brand, paired with the background, felt very relevant and appropriate for the entire collection. There was something very breezy about it, with its white linens and fairly neutral palette. Sea still held onto the skeleton of its bohemian roots, jacking to up into a wonderful casual collection for fall. 

Looks 9, 16, 23, and 36 from Marc Jacobs
There was something very old-timey about the Marc Jacobs show. From the theater venue after a last minute switch to the boxy leather jackets, sailor-esque necklines, and the strong shoulders, this collection oozed 50s.

And that's it for NYFW! It was fun and now I shall bid farewell until next time in February!

As for my favorite collections all throughout NYFW, I think I can confidently narrow it down to these five (in no specific order): 

1. Rodarte
2. Jason Wu
3. Reem Acra
4. Delpozo
5. Vera Wang

What was your favorite show during NYFW? 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Seven days down, one day to go! Sadly, NYFW is coming to an end. As we started filtering into the last few weeks of fashion month, I'm going to do what I did last season and stick with weekly, or potentially bi-weekly round-ups for the other three circuits as to not bombard this site with collections. However, I figured continuing the daily tradition of NYFW round-ups would be fun, so here we are!

Looks 5, 7, 13 and 29 from Marchesa
Nobody does princess moments like Marchesa. With gorgeous fluffy skirts, bunched tulle, a exquisite necklines, the Marchesa spring collection exuded elegance to its highest degree.

Looks 8, 17, 22, and 24 from Naeem Khan

Naaem Khan's collection had a beautiful Mediterranean feel, with the relaxed silhouettes, rich, vibrant colors, and intricate patterns to tie the inspiration into each piece.

Looks 4, 18, 22, 29, 33, and 42 from Delpozo
Delpozo is always in my top five favorite shows to see every season. Every look is fresh and clean and holds your interest long after the show ends. The colors are always eye-catching without being neon or obvious. The designs are unique and even with voluminous skirts or embellishments, still carry a simple air about them. I love, I love, I love.

Looks 1, 11, 29, and 37 from Michael Kors
I love Michael Kors collections more and more as the seasons pass. I loved that this collection had a floral motif without relying on the pattern itself. Pieces had rosettes sewn on or shown through lace detailing. The colors were occasionally leaning toward the neutral side, an earlier spring kind of attitude laced into a usually bright collection. It was an interesting choice that I think worked, especially judging by the rest of the neutral heavy spring collections shown this past week.

Looks 3, 15 and 19 from Theory

Yet another collection that I would no lie wear everything from. There was something very sophisticated about Theory's spring collection, yet no piece felt stuffy nor boring. They were crafted for the cool girl at the office, the fashion forward professional everyone strives to be.

What were your favorite looks from day seven of NYFW?

Things I'm Loving

1. Empire

Look, Empire was a show I always wanted to watch, but without a DVR and having to watch TV shows live, I had to make a choice. It was either continue watching Modern Family Wednesday's at 9PM and get my weekly dose of the Dunphy family or dump my tried and true show for a brand new one. I'm still going to have that dilemma when the fall seasons start next week.

My parents and brother were glued to the TV when this showed first aired. My brother, who is notorious for showing up past curfew, was always home before nine every Wednesday during the original airing of the first season so he could be home to watch the new episode. My family constantly talked about how great the show was. My friends told me it was fantastic, the internet told me it was fantastic. I was constantly bombarded by love for this show that I told myself I had to watch it, I just wasn't sure when.

My wish was granted when two weekends ago, the entirety of the first season was aired. I only got to watch about five episodes before I had to go back to school, so I made my mom tape the rest of the season and I binge watched the remaining episodes last weekend when I was home. Let me just say first off that I think I am in love with Hakeem and I am also a Cookie Monster. She is quite possibly the greatest character I've seen in a long time. Her one-liners? GENIUS. Her sass? INSPIRING. Her nicknames for people? #LITERALGOALS.

Not only is the show itself incredibly written and put together with all of its drama and twists and turns and perfectly placed flashbacks, but the music in itself is a dream. I've been listening to the soundtrack for the past two weeks, no joke. Those actors can sing, dance, act, and are all hella gorgeous. I love, I love.

2. "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld

Speaking of love, this song is my jam. I think I avoided it for a long time, which is really stupid of me because I was missing out on a great song to dance to. We all know Hailee can sing from her performance in Pitch Perfect 2, but movie singing doesn't necessarily translate to having a good single. But, I stand corrected because this song is a jam and a half with a lovely message that I live by every day.

3. Augustana

I don't know why, but on a whim on Monday I decided that on my four hour drive back to Cleveland I wanted to listen to Augustana's entire discography. I've loved them for years, ever since "Boston" took over back in middle school. Part of the reason I wanted to go to school in Boston was because of that song. I wish I was making this up...

I hadn't even realized that they released a new album last year. And upon doing a bit of research, I now realize that the actual band has split up but the lead singer Dan Layus is continuing on his solo project under the name Augustana. So that clears a few things up!

Anyways, on Monday the weather was seemingly perfect for their music. I don't know, to me they exude fall to me. It was a chillier day with lots of sunshine. I was wearing plaid, I had a pumpkin spice latte, it was just an all around good setting. Ever since, I haven't seen able to hop off the Augustana train.

To listen to: "Twenty Years," "Steal Your Heart," "Sweet and Low," "Ash and Ember," "American Heartbreak," "Hey Now," and "Youth Is Wasted On The Young."

4. PSLs

I wrote an entire ode to the PSL the other week and let me just say, it was probably the most raw and emotionally honest post I've ever done on this blog. All jokes aside, I've had at least seven or eight of these since they "released" and more will be consumed as we continue through fall. I physically am not able to order any other flavored drink during the fall season. I either get a PSL iced or hot. I am contractually obligated, I took a blood oath.  I am now owned by the PSL. I have accepted my fate and you should, too.

5. "Cake By The Ocean" by DNCE

Look, I know I talk about Harry Styles more often than I should, but let the record show that before there was Harry, my one true love was Joe Jonas. From 2005 to fall of 2013, Joe Jonas my morning, my noon, my night. He was my sun and moon and all of the stars in my solar system. Then the Jonas Brothers met their demise and I was so heartbroken that I fully immersed myself in the life of a One Direction fangirl and never looked back out of fear of getting my heartbroken by the Jonases again.

We all know how well Nick's solo career is going at the moment and I've always wondered when my first love Joe was going to get back into the swing of things. He's been DJing and dating really hot girls, so I assumed this DNCE project he was lowkey promoting was for some DJ event. Boy, was I wrong. DNCE is a four piece group, including old Jonas Brothers' drummer, Jack Lawless (RIP Jack's Stache, anyone remember this?)

This is the kind of music that suits Joe and whatever suits him suits me. I have been both physically and internally dancing to this since it released. It's that perfect blend of indie and pop and music that just makes you want to shimmy and shake and get up on tables, though the latter might just be me and my tendencies...

What have you been loving lately?


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We're nearing the end of NYFW and tensions are high...just kidding! But we're in the homestretch guys! After Thursday, we move on to London Fashion Week and so on and so forth. We've got lots of good shows to talk about, so let's just dive right on in to yesterday's collections.

Looks 11, 13, 26 and 35 from Narciso Rodriguez
I have a soft spot for Narciso Rodriguez after I used him for one of my Spanish projects last year (along with some other lovely designers), so I was definitely pleased to be able to include quite a few looks from his spring collection in this post. His looks were loose and relaxed, gentle garments sent down the runway in various fabrics that me squeal (see you, leather looking sateen, I see you!)

Looks 4, 17, and 28 from Coach

If the grass in the background didn't give you any clue, it appears Coach's show went for a park-y vibe. There were lots of mismatched florals and earth tones in this collection, amped up with brightness to really enhance the spring element.

Looks 4, 8, 18, 27, 35, and 39 from Tory Burch
The first few looks at Tory Burch reminded me of something that Lena from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants would wear. There seemed to be some Greek inspired elements before the oranges and yellows came into play. Add in some metallic foiled fabric and some incredible handbags and you have me completely sold. #NeedNotWant

Looks 5, 14, 16, 20, 29, 30, 33, and 39 from Badgley Mischka
Badgley Mischka gowns will never let me down. I trust them with me life. How dreamy was this collection? It embodied romance through intricate fabric bunching and layering, soft gowns, and a pair of tweed shorts that I needed, like, yesterday.

Looks 4, 13, 27, and 40 from Vera Wang
This collection was straight up sexy; sexy and edgy and so glam that I had to look through it at least four times. The looks were strong, provocatively bold in their black, red, and sequins glory.

Looks 5, 8, 16, 21, 28, and 30 from Rodarte
Rodarte collections always leave me speechless. There was something very fall and witchy about this collection, which is cool with me. If fall could be extended to half the year, I'd be down. This show played with impeccable layering and styling, pairing two things that shouldn't go with each other together to get a shockingly aesthetically pleasing look. I'm all 100% here for the metallic boots, all the way.

Looks 4, 6, 8, and 9 from Saloni
I want to go on a fancy vacation and wear solely Saloni spring collection. Do those looks not screaming holiday to you?

Looks 3, 11, 14, 19, 33, and 37 from Alice + Olivia
There was something very Western and desert-y about this collection, what with the poppy colors, hand-embroidered flowers, and, you know, the massive cactus in the background of each photo. This collection seemed a lot less dramatic than those in the past, using softer colors and makeup to really enhance the season.

Looks 11, 22 and 28 from Milly
I could 100% see Olivia Palermo wearing look 11, which makes me love Milly all that much more. All I want to be in life is Olivia Palermo...

Looks 26, 28, and 44 from Oscar de la Renta
And last but not least, we have Oscar de la Renta's collection. Other than the fact that this was an all around beautiful runway almost a year after his death, there was a common carnation motif throughout, the late designer's favorite flower. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man.

What were some of your favorite looks from day six of NYFW?

College Advice #3: Financials

As much as I hate to admit it, money is a massive, massive part of college. You need money to go to college, you need money to enjoy yourself in college (Starbucks isn’t free, sadly). You need money for books, for tuition (those loans come from somewhere), for supplies, for coffee, for snacks, the list is endless. College is pretty much a money pit, but at least you get a nice little education out of it. I suppose it’s a fair trade once you’re out. And I might be a little bitter because I’m writing this as a student who just paid way too much for her textbooks because she waited last minute yet again and had to get them from the bookstore. My pauvre coueur, right?


This is an option that many students choose to pay for their education. It could be the only way that students can afford their education. Government loans are the bane of every graduates existence, but for those four (or however many years you need them), they are your savior. They are both life-ruiners and heroes, saving you from paying out of pocket...and then stealing your money months later after you graduate. Definitely talk to your parents/financial aid advisor/bank/etc about loans if this is something that you're leaning towards in order to fund the rest of your college career.


You’re going to want to go out in college. It’s going to happen. There’s going to be a cool concert going on or an event or you’re just going to want to get your daily coffee from a cafĂ© (or let’s be real, it’s probably going to be Starbucks). You’re going to want groceries (okay, so chocolate and Goldfish) or a new mascara or something. Something is always going to come up. You can’t avoid paying for leisure activities or food, even with free campus events and a meal plan.


Unless you managed to save an insane amount of money before you came to college, chances are you're going to need a job. I went my entire freshmen year without a job, but I also didn't have a car my freshmen year so I didn't have to worry about gas money or driving to Target once a week. I'd go to CVS occasionally and would rely on my meal plan or whatever food  I picked up when I went home with my parents.

Sophomore year, I needed a job. Like, bad. It got to a point where I was crying to my mom on the phone about being broke and it was a big issue. Luckily, my boss was a knight in shining armor and hired me the next month so I could actually afford gas money home and didn't have to text my brother to discreetly send me $50 through an app so I could get by until the next time I came home and could mooch off of my parents.

I'm sure I could do a whole separate advice posts about jobs (both during the school year and during the summer), but basically, just make sure that they know you're a student and that you have a heavy (or light!) workload up front. See if you're allowed to do work while you're there if it's slow and you've done everything you possibly could. And definitely make sure that it doesn't take away too much time from academics. Finding a balance between work and school life is an incredibly important skill, but a part-time job should never affect your work in a negative way. It's definitely an adjustment, but if it's a consistent downhill action with your grades, maybe that job just isn't for you.

Be Smart With Your Money

You're free, you're on your own, you're an independent person as a college student. Take that seriously! I am a firm believer in treating yourself, but I am also an excessive person who will celebrate almost everything. Try to keep a clear line between you you need and what you want. Don't be the person who constantly prioritizes leisurely items over necessities, like food or shampoo or gas money. Save when you can, whether it's putting money away or using coupons or waiting for sales. This is a weird part of your life where you can still afford to be carefree, but at the same time, you have to watch your expenses because they do add up and nobody wants to call up their parents crying.

Campus Style #2

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Most colleges have been in session for nearly a month at this point, so  I figured it's about time to do another campus style post. My last one went over really well with my mother, who purchased the Steve Madden slip-ons I featured (after a few hilarious text streams)  and proceeded to mimic the outfit with the striped top. So perhaps I should rename this blog series Campus/Cool Mom Style.

Now, I know you're probably thinking, 'Fran, where the hell is the shirt?' and to that I say, MULTI-USE GARMENTS ARE FANTASTIC. That chiffon dress can totally just be a cute, girly outfit in itself with it's pussybow detailing, especially paired with the d'orsay flats. But, if you're feeling a bit edgier (or cold, let's be honest), pop that dress on with a pair of distressed black denim to offset the floral and put on a pair of chunky boots to completely change up your look.

What's your favorite thing to wear on campus?


We're in the homestretch of NYFW, but never fear, there are still three more main circuits to follow so Life According to me is going to be pretty fashion central for a while. Sorry, you're stuck with me! Or you could just as easily click out and not read my blog until mid-October. I'll miss you, but I'll understand...

While day five didn't yield my favorite looks, it did have my favorite runway presentations. From the beachy Jamaican vibe at Tommy Hilfiger to the bleach blonde wig wearing and neon lipstick rocking models at the pop-color inspired Jeremy Scott show. And the models falling purposely at Opening Ceremony? Genius.

Looks 4, 8, 12, and 28 from Brock Collection
With simple silhouettes and a lush, luxurious feel, Brock Collection took daywear to another level of chic. Anything with a shirtdress is a great collection to me.

Looks 11, 15, 22, 31, 36, and 41 from Reem Acra
Reem Acra's spring collection has a Middle Eastern feel, with intricate beading and embroidery. Each gown and piece was exquisitely put together, true masterpieces within themselves.

Looks 6 and 24 from Rag & Bone
I feel like Rag & Bone really channels the cool New York vibe and takes the ready-to-wear title very seriously.

Looks 3, 10, and 33 from Zac Posen
Zac Posen is forever associated with evening wear (and Project Runway, admittedly) in my mind, so to see a sort of casual collection–albeit a very, very fancy casual–was a nice change.

Looks 3, 5, and 20 from Rachel Antonoff
Rachel Antonoff's spring collection needs to appear in my wardrobe as soon as it possibly can. There were pinstripes and florals and itty-bitty crop tops and more than enough throwback to 90s fashion to make me a very happy girl.

Looks 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 42 

I first scrolled through Carolina Herrara's spring collection on my phone before class last night and had to exit out of the app about twenty looks in because my jaw dropped and people were probably starting. I loved the soft colors and all of the extra detailing, from the pleats to the boning to the embellished prints mixed within the fabrics.

Looks 7, 36, and 37 from Tommy Hilfiger
The Jamaican theme from the Tommy Hilfiger collection was undeniably, straight down to the Bob Marley background music. This show was just all around fun with it's incredible setting and the bright, vibrant colors throughout the clothing (and bathing suits).

Looks 3 and 9 from ADEAM
ADEAM's spring collection has this sort of incredible ease to the looks, one that bridges the gap between fluidity and elegant. Plus, look at that skirt in look 3. Incredible.

Looks 11 and 14 from Karen Walker
Karen Walker, just give me ALL THE GOLD.

Looks 20 and 35 from 3.1 Phillip Lim
All I'm saying is that the silk separates from look 20 in the 3.1 Phillip Lim show might just be my favorite outfit ever. Just saying.

What were your favorite looks from day five of NYFW?
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