Oscars 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

It would be a massive disservice to last night's Oscars to only mention my favorite looks from the red carpet. I am not a massive movie buff. I had not seen any of the movies nominated and only knew of Room because I'm obsessed with watching Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay interviews because they're both so endearing and clever. However, my roommate asked me to watch the Oscars and what else was I going to do with my Sunday?

Any award show that can touch on and shed light on such a multitude of issues in  a small amount of time is a winner in my book. This tweet pretty much sums up my feelings about it:

I sobbed my way through Lady Gaga's performance and was just so overwhelmed by speeches from Alejandro Iñárritu, Sam Smith, and Leonardo DiCaprio, from Chris Rock's monologue, to Kerry Washington and Lady Gaga's interviews on the red, carpet. What a night to witness.

With all of that important business aside, it is time to name my best dressed of the night. There were so many gorgeous dresses that I'm not entirely sure that this task is possible.

1. Naomi Watts in Armani Privé

2. Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

3. Margot Robbie in Tom Ford

4. Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein

5. Kate Blanchett in Armani

6. Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad

7. Sophie Turner in Galvan

8. Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen

9. Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa

10. Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier

11. Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

12. Emily Blunt in Prada

What were your favorite moments from the 2016 Oscars?

(images from here and here)

Good Reads

Sunday, February 28, 2016

1. Loveless In which Sonya rocks the hell out of my favorite shoes at the moment. I don't own them, of course...but I'd like to.

2. Rules of Style: Alicia Vikander If I woke up tomorrow with her sense of style and ability to pull off clothes, I don't think I'd be too upset.

3. My Winter Healthy Skincare Routine My skin has been so incredibly dry lately and it's making me so frustrated. I'm breaking out but then the products I use to combat that are making my skin even more dry. Sigh, if I find a combination that works incredibly well this winter, I shall report back.

4. MR Round Table: Kesha–And Women Like Her–Need Our Support. So What Do We Do? An incredible read about a complex and pressing issue. Highly, highly, highly recommend reading through all of this. Please.

5. New York Fashion Week Not much longer until I will be reunited with Chelsea as well!

6. From Milan: Prada Unpacks Personal Style Miuccia is a genius, plain and simple. Her artwork sent down the runways is ace.

7. Updated Blogging Tips Carly does not skimp on detail or content, that I can tell you.

8. Turtleneck Tuck Definitely would love to give this look a try soon...you know me and my turtlenecks ;)

9. 10 Tips for Starting a Blog (Part 1) I try to get too many people to start blogging so friends, if you're seeing this, take note.

10. NYFW Trends to Know: Fall/Winter 2016 Edition A nice lift roundup on what happened on the runways a couple of weeks ago.

11. Baked Doughnuts I need these in my life. I NEED THEM.

12. My New York Diary Carly's aesthetic is perfect, I literally can't.

13. London Fashion Week Through a Phone Screen Admittedly, I haven't seen any of the LFW shows. I also haven't seen any of the Milan shows either. I just simply don't have time like I used to.

14. The Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad 'What I Wores' Leandra's style is actual goals. When will I ever be able to rock frayed denim with exposed socks and pumps? A neon color blocked coat? A sweater tied asymmetrically across my shoulders? When?!

What have you been reading lately?

How to Stay Positive Without Really Trying

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I second that, Nicole! I, Francesca Pauline Gariano, have declared myself a strictly positive person since fall 2014. I find negativity draining and exhausting and I decided that I wanted no part of it anymore. And what a glorious, life changing decision it was. Sometimes it sounds weird to say "I just decided that's how I wanted to be" when people asked how I stay so positive, but honestly, it's the truth. Sure, it took a bit of effort to exude optimism as much as possible, but in the long run, it's been so worth it.

I was a pretty miserable human being leading up to age nineteen. I mean, I had my shining moments where I was how I am now, but a lot of it was faking it. Now, I'm lucky if I can shut myself up when it comes to happy-go-lucky phrases. Essentially, I am a walking Pinterest board and I'm 100% okay with it.

While it stinks that it took me nineteen years to figure out some sort of formula to being positive (though really, it's not a formula; that would imply that it'd be the same for everyone, which it's not), I'm glad that I at least discovered some sort of balance between being (somewhat) realistic and being a total pessimist.

1. Make It a Conscious Effort

This is just for the beginning. Eventually, it becomes natural. To start, just constantly remind yourself to think in a positive manner. See the good in people and situations! Give the benefit of the doubt, sometimes. If you feel a negative feeling bubbling in the pit of your stomach or a snarky comment at the tip of your tongue, swallow it down. Even not saying something negative is a form of positivity in itself. Like anything, you have to want it. If you want to be positive, you have to try a little. It's not going to come naturally (at first), so it's all about little reminders to yourself that this is what you want, that harboring negative feelings is draining and just a burden.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Everyone could use some positivity in their lives. Some people perceive positivity in negative ways (too friendly, too bubbly, ditzy, overwhelming, etc. etc.) but you can't let that stop you. Compliment people, tell someone they're going to do well on an exam, wish people great days then watch; see how people react to your positivity. Generally, they'll react in the same way! There's nothing better than spreading your sunshine on to other people. It can totally become a chain reaction! If someone's nice to me, I want to be nice to someone else because I'm in a great mood, then I can only hope that by being nice to someone else, they'll want to go out and do the same thing. What a beautiful chain that would be! Don't break the chain by not returning the kindness, or by not sharing any of your own either.

3. Don't Get Too Down On Yourself

If I start getting negative toward myself or let pessimism slip in (because it does, every once in a blue moon; I'm not perfect!), I always get disappointed in myself, which is against the whole point of being positive! But honestly, being too hard about yourself only causes more negativity. Just accept the blip and move on. Dwelling too much on missteps will drive you crazy! Accept that you said it and then continue to be mindful of what you're saying or thinking.

Those are definitely three of my biggest tips for staying positive! A lot of it is just being the person that makes you happy Think of the nice people you meet who put a smile on your face and then channel them! Who knows, maybe somebody might want to channel you someday.

February Playlist

Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy almost end of February! I've been getting better about listening to new music as of late, which means that my monthly playlists aren't just turning into homages to One Direction and Little Mix. I decided to switch things up a little bit this month and use Spotify to create a playlist for this blog. It's a bit less aesthetically pleasing, but it was a heck of a lot easier to make than using 8Tracks. Plus I mean, who doesn't love Spotify?

Without further ado, here have been some of my favorite songs from the month of February!

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, February 25, 2016

1. Logitech USB Keyboard

So, I'm an idiot. It's official. I was innocently doing some work on my laptop yesterday, as I normally would on my day off. It's a bit chilly, if you haven't noticed that it was winter, so I was enjoying a nice cup of cinnamon tea to keep me warm. One minute, my mug was on my desk. The next minute, my mug was lying sideways on top of my keyboard. I watched in horror as the liquid seeped down into the keypad on my Macbook. I immediately flipped it upside and let it drain. Nothing happened immediately. Then, slowly but surely, some of the keys stopped working.

The computer itself still works, which is great. The keyboard, however...eh. But never fear, that is why USB keyboards exist! So I stopped by Target last night to get this $10 Logitech keyboard that plugs into my laptop and let's me use it. It's not convenient, but at the same time...it's giving me a little bit of by time to figure out what the heck I want to do for a new laptop. It's like modern meets retro. I feel so vintage right now.

2. Caribou K-Cups

Every time I go to Target to get my Donut Shop K-Cups they are always, without a fail, sold out. No matter what. They always only have decaf and those weird nutty flavors that I most certainly do not want. I don't like Starbucks coffee (to bitter) and the Dunkin Donuts K-Cups were not my favorite. I figured Caribou would be a worthy contender and alternative to my usual Donut Shop ones and I wasn't wrong. I like it! I mean, I don't know what else to say about it. It's coffee that I drown in creamer and sugar, but it accompanies my accoutrements quite nicely. Plus, the name is fun to say...Caribouuuuu.

3. Oatmeal Squares

I hate oatmeal. My mom used to tell me that this abandoned warehouse near my house was an orphanage where they made you wear khakis and eat oatmeal and it scared me for like. I should mention that this space was not an orphanage and I didn't find out until many, many, many years later. I digress, I'm not an oatmeal person...but I love these little squares. Anything brown cinnamon sugar will own my heart, so I'm not entirely shocked that I love these, but I  kind of am. I would honestly eat them even if I wasn't desperate and hungry. I bring them to campus with me and I literally get excited to eat them that I normally end up eating both consecutively rather than trying to save one for right before my last class of the night.

4. St. Ives Bodywash

I am typically a Bath and Body Works kind of gal when it comes to body washes. Sometimes I'll splurge for some Body Shop washes too, depending on my mood. However, now that I'm part of the #TwoBrokeGirls club, I need to start being a little smarter with my money. This means buying $3 body wash at Target over however much the others are. Luckily, St. Ives and I go way back. At my house, we normally use the shea butter one, so I decided to go a different route with the orchid and coconut scent and just...oh my god. It smells so fresh and lovely that I want to lather myself up with it every hour of the day just so I can permanently smell like it without the scent fading.

What have you been loving lately?

Class Of....

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I don't know how to finish the title of this blog post because, well, I'm not entirely sure what I'm considered! Technically, following the typical standards, I am in my last semester of my junior year and would be the class of 2017. But, as of a few weeks ago, I discovered that something I've been anticipating since last year is actually going to happen. I mean, I still have to register for my classes...but still. I guess as of March first, all of this will be real.

I'm not sure whether or not I've talked about this before. Sometimes I avoid the topic because I didn't want to say it incase it didn't happen, but I'm pretty darn stoked about it and now that I've seen the course schedule for fall 2016. ANYWAYS, the whole point of this post is that I'm on my way to graduating in December of 2016! I don't know how it happened or what I did to my schedule where I was able to pull this off, but I have! I still have a week until I register for classes, but I have to take my three final classes for my major and then take two random classes to fill up my schedule so I can keep my scholarship. I wish I didn't have to take those other two classes, but alas, I am not an Ohio resident and therefore do not want to pay for out of state tuition. The price you have to pay for scholarships (how ironic...) *sigh*

This is such a relief, honestly. I'm staying in Cleveland until summer of 2017 just because of leases and so I can stay with my friends while they finish up school, but I'll be walking across that stage in December proudly! I'm not going to lie, I'm really proud of myself for getting out of here a semester early. College is a weird, weird place. It's amazing how people can graduate in three years, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with being in college for longer. I think the idea of a four-year graduation track as the norm is a bit ridiculous. Everyone works at their own pace, everyone has their own things going on in life. There's nothing wrong with getting out early, just as there's nothing wrong for being in school for five, six, seven years of undergrad. It's nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. Anyone who can balance their academic careers with full-time jobs or other responsibilities to me are so amazing and admirable.

So, shoutout to my college credits from high school for giving me a semester worth of credits and shoutout to myself for scheduling all of my classes by myself and not trusting computers or advising offices to do it for me. I guess I should start thinking of how I'm going to decorate my cap...oh who am I kidding, I'm putting glitter on it.

Tips to Combat This Mid Semester Stress

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I don't know what everyone else's schedule is like, but right now I'm nearly halfway through with spring semester and it's mildly nerve-wracking. I'm getting that much closer to the end of spring semester also known as my penultimate semester of college also known as FREAK OUT TIME. Okay, not really. I'm still fairly calm about graduating in December (I'll talk about that later this week!). What I'm not fairly calm about it all of the work that this semester has brought and will bring. I sometimes shudder when I try to take a peek at my syllabi for my classes.

I tend to cycle through the same mood calendar every single semester, like clock work. I start off stressed the first two weeks, then I fall into a rhythm, then I get to mid-semester and the stress comes back because I get worried that I haven't been doing enough work and try to kick it into gear. Then then I remind myself that I'm smart and have been working hard and cut myself some slack. And of course, all hell breaks loose when it's time for finals because....c'mon, we all know the pain of finals.

This is my sixth semester of dealing with this, so I figured I'd share my tips on how I get past this point of the semester. Because, as impossible as it might seem, it clearly is or else I wouldn't have gotten to semester number six!

1. Stay Positive

Staying positive is always easier said than done and I don't think there's on fool proof method to do this. It's a lot of constant reminders that you're a smart and capable human being and nothing school related will change that or bring you down! Giving up on yourself in the middle of a semester isn't going to help you at all. Remember that you still have half a semester left to get things done. It's more than enough time to switch things around. Or, it's the perfect amount of time to keep doing what you're doing!

2. Review Your Syllabi

I try to check my syllabi weekly, but I do a massive syllabi read through around midterms to see where I am in my classes and what assignments I have left to turn in. I check out the information for all of my final projects, try to start preparing for those, and ultimately just try to get a nice overview of what my next seven to eight weeks are going to be like. It's better to go into the end of the semester prepared than to wait and nearly miss a deadline or have to rush last minute to get an important project done. Preparation is key!

3. Take Some Time For Yourself

I struggle with this a lot. I don't like free time, I don't like giving myself time away from anything, whether it's schoolwork, regular work, my blog, or just writing in general. I'm a busy-body, a workaholic, whatever you want to call it. But even I know the importance of some free time. Even if it's an hour of nothing or something leisurely to clear your head of all of the things that are bugging you. Really, you don't have to go anywhere or do anything, just find something that will take your mind off of all of your stressors. I watch Youtube videos or movies as my form free time, or I'll read magazines or books. It gives me some distractions that require my attention that I can't multitask during (without missing out too much, at least). Me time is very important!

What do you do to stay on top of things around midterms?

Recent Outfits

Monday, February 22, 2016

So I just realized that the dressing rooms at work make for some pretty solid mirror selfies, which is great for my narcism and horrible for my productivity at work. So to celebrate this new profound discovery, here are three outfits that I've worn recently that oddly enough are in the same color family and look very aesthetically pleasing to me.

I call this one the I Am Wearing a Blanket Around My Neck So I Can Hide From You At Any Point In The Day also known as the I Hate Winter look.

Scarf: Zara
Sweater: Forever21
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn (from Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)

I call this look It Was Finally Over Thirty Degrees So I Took It And Ran With It also known as I Just Really Like Spinning Around and Giggling.

Top: Target
Skirt: eShakti
Booties: Steve Madden

I call this look Am I Trying Too Hard To Be A Cool Mom? also known as Yes, Yes I Am (But the Boots Save It). 

Shirt: Gift from my lovely best friend/little sis
Sweater: Rag & Bone (from Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Nine West

Here's to hoping there's more posts like this!

Good Reads

Sunday, February 21, 2016

1. Fashion Week's Over In New York. Now What? Some interesting food for thought...

2. Marc Jacobs Concludes Fashion Week I quite like the ending sentiment on how we're all Marc Jacobs' goth.

3. Style Resolutions for Your Winter Wardrobe This street style roundup was sick!

4. 10 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep I have no trouble sleeping when I actually fall asleep, but my issue lies in the the fact that I can't get myself to fall asleep before midnight and generally can't get more than six hours of sleep. Something about that has to change!

5. Kate Spade Presentation Every season Kate Spade hits the nail on the head when it comes to presentations. Brava!

6. A Day in the Life of a Street Style Photographer During NYFW An interesting little peek into what goes behind our favorite candid moments of fashion week.

7. Fashion is my Faith A nice little sentiment to kick off your Sunday!

8. 12 Blogging Essentials to Help You Get Ahead I hoard blogging tips in the hope that someday I will be able to put them all to good use.

What have you been reading lately? 

I Need to Save Money

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Alternately titled: Why I Need To Stop Being Being a Shopaholic. It's no secret that I like to spend my money on things other than rent and bills. Everyone knows that the second I get paid, I'm buying something. I abuse the phrase "treat yo'self" and use it for any minuscule (or sometimes not so miniscule...) purchase. It's a lot more difficult to deal with my shopping problem, or rather it's a spending money problem. If it's not clothes, it's magazines or coffee.

I told myself after my last big purchase over MLK weekend when I was back at home that I had to go on a buying freeze. This meant that I was going to buy only the bare minimums when it came to groceries (enough to keep me well fed and healthy, but nothing too excessive that I wouldn't get to and would just go to waste), stop buying new clothes and magazines, and cut down on my Starbucks expenses. This was all in preparation for my trip to New York City in March, but really, it's something that I should learn how to do before it's too late. There's never anything wrong with trying to save up money. I am the type of person who lives paycheck to paycheck and it would be ideal if I didn't have to do that.

I've been on this "freeze" for a month now and I'd have to say...so far, so good? I mean, I've purchased two items of clothing but one was a pair of suede boots for $22 and the other was a $5 t-shirt, so I'm not entirely sure that those are something I should be ashamed of. I've cut down considerably on my Starbucks habit and I'm learning to start making do with what I have at home (clearly in regards to clothing) food wise as well.

Let's see how long I can get this conscious habit to last....

NYFW Final Thoughts

Friday, February 19, 2016

New York Fashion Week is over, which means I get to take a fashion breather while London Fashion Week happens. I kid, I kid. It's not my favorite week (the avant-garde London street style is not exactly my cup of tea, but perhaps it's more my cup of black coffee), but I'm in too deep with fashion month to give up. This has been the toughest season to keep up with fashion wise since I started this blog, which makes me feel like I've missed so much. I'm going to be reading magazines toward the end of summer and see looks from these collections and think to myself "how the hell did I miss that?" Then I'll think back to this semester, shudder, and move on.

There were some collections I loved as a whole this week, some that I was somewhat into, and of course, the ones where I was just...underwhelmed and sort of yawned. But who has time for that! Here are some of my favorite looks from the second half of the week! You can catch up on my favorite looks from the beginning of NYFW here

Marc Jacobs was #Extra as per usual, with models decked out in layers on layers on layers on layers with heavy makeup and edgy hair. It was sort of goth meets evil queen meets street style? It was sort of all over the place in a way that only Marc Jacobs could pull off. Plus, the underlying eggplant and plum-y purple really spoke to me (aka, my green eyes and penchant for wanting to match my purple lipstick to things). Ralph Lauren had this very brown and neutral business look to it, like something a pageboy or early journalist would wear on the job. There was this regal hint with ruffled collars as well. But can we just talk about that incredible pop of metallic gold at the end? Killer. Proenza Schouler went for a more crisp and polished look, something infinitely more slimming than all of the disproportionately oversized looks that we've been seeing on a majority of the runways. 

Anna Sui takes colors seriously and loaded the runway with some gorgeous hues and prints. There were patterns mixed with furs mixed with lace sleeves and all of the details were making me all heart eyed. Marchesa, not surprisingly, nailed the essence of elegance. It was all very dreamy and luxurious and tempted me to wrangle myself into one of the gowns and have a dramatic running sequence through the halls of a castle while Harry Styles a prince chases after me begging me for my love. Naeem Khan was where neutrals and red combined into one gorgeous collection with a touch (read: a lot) of volume. Plus, can we talk about how Khan brought 11-year-old Trinity Faith Moran onto the runway for the final walk? I cried. It's fine. I'm crying now, to be completely honest. Read about it here if you would like to join in on the tear fest!

Delpozo has done it again. Their designs are always so graphic and crisp, yet still so simple. They're an aesthetic dream and honestly remind me of sculptures with their voluminous silhouettes and smooth edges. What Michael Kors lacked in cohesion (was it just me or did every look just seem like it was coming from a totally different collection?), he made up for in some pretty solid looks. And starting the show with Freja Beha Erichsen with undone hair and fringe jeans? YES. And finally, Rodarte combined tie-dyed furs, sheer fabrics, and the color black to create a wonderfully vampy collection that had my fall loving heart pounding. 

What were some of your favorite looks or collections from NYFW this season? 

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, February 18, 2016

1. "Somebody Else" by The 1975

The 1975 have been releasing singles left and right from their upcoming album i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful... and all of them have been killer so far. The first couple gave me some Prince vibes, but this one...this one is one that I'm probably going to cry listening to for the rest of forever. It's nearly six minutes long and I can guarantee, this will end up on my Pensive/Driving at Midnight playlist. Who's crying with me?

2. Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Boots

I picked these up at work the other day and let me tell you, they were worth temporarily breaking my spending freeze for. They have a smooth, hard bottom with a slouchy suede upper body. I'm usually not a massive fan of boots you have to pull up without a zipper, but this pair doesn't come all the way up to my knee, which makes it a lot easier to manage without zippers. I've learned that there's no such thing as too many black boots, so I embraced this sale purchase with open arms.

3. Essie Mod Square

I've talked about this nail polish before and I will talk about it time and time again. It is the most gorgeous barbie pink color and I get happy every time I look down at my nails. It applies opaque in about two coats for a week long manicure that will not fail to make you smile.

4. NYX Simply Vamp lipstick in Temptress

This is, hands down, my mom's least favorite lipstick on me (with NYX Stockholm coming in a close second). She hates it. I, however, happen to love this lipstick and I've been getting a ton of wear out of it lately. Or at least, as much wear as you can get out of a vampy violet lipstick. The name of this range of lipsticks isn't joking. The color is so dark that it's almost black. It has a gorgeous hint of violet and navy blue that just make me feel tough wearing it. Plus, the wear isn't too bad on it! It's matte but not a drying matte, so while it doesn't meld to your lips and crumble off, it does require a little bit of touching up!

What have you been loving lately?

Dream Closet, Volume 14

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's that time of month again...time to cry over some new Net-A-Porter goodies! It's always fun to pine after these items while it's Fashion Month as well. It's like a double dosage of #Goals and I am just heart eyes over everything.

Best Dressed at Grammys 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Overall, the Grammys underwhelmed me yesterday. Also, Meghan Trainor won a Grammy so really, I was pretty much unamused after realizing that she was nominated. But alas, even if the event itself disappointed me, the red carpet did not and that is all that matters in this world.

1. Lady Gaga in custom Marc Jacobs as a tribute to David Bowie

 2. Adele in Givenchy

3. Ciara in Alexandre Vauthier

4. Florence Welch in Gucci

5. Chrissy Teigen in Yousef Al-Jasmi

Who were some of your red carpet faves?

Images from here and here.

NYFW Checkpoint

Monday, February 15, 2016

We're quite a few days into NYFW and I haven' done a proper post about it. I feel like it's something that I should mention it more in depth than a quick little blurb fangirling over Saint Laurent and how surprised I was by how much I liked Alexander Wang (both are true, but still). Nothing gets me going more than fall collections, truly nothing. I am a lover of fall through and through, so to have these collections to sort through in the dead of winter...I feel #blessed.

The best way for me to always do this is to just go alphabetically, like class role call. But better. Much, much better.

Alexander Wang still kept the sporty, edgy street style vibe, but amped it up with textures and bold, block patterns. Zero + Maria Cornejo stuck to neutrals, relying on textures like furs and pebbled leather to amp up the slouchy and boxy looks. Maiyet gave us #AllTheBlack so yes, I'm the heart eyed emoji right now.

It was so great to see The Row back in New York this season! Not surprisingly, the Olsens stuck to their simple designs, utilizing neutrals and lots of oversized proportions for the fall collection. Tommy Hilfiger gave us a lot of playful skirts and dresses, mixing up patterns to add some dimension to the collection. Carolina Herrera gave us some gorgeous muted tones and the most incredible pop of eggplant.

Diane von Fürstenberg was busy, busy, busy as usual and of course, it worked somehow, even between the crazy patterns, #LayersOnLayers styling. Rachel Zoe gave us all a reason to banish the no white after labor day rule with this one. And hopping along with Zoe, Prabal Gurung gave us some more fall and winter whites!

Christian Siriano was all about chunky knits, gray crochet, primary colors, and lots and lots of volumes. Tibi gave us cool and simple with a lot of menswear inspired styles and silhouettes, with a pop of satin for a little bit of a switch up.

What have you loved about Fashion Week so far?

Good Reads

Sunday, February 14, 2016

1. Saturday Night Live: Alexander Wang, Baja East and Altuzarra I'm not even going to lie, I'm genuinely shocked at how much I enjoyed Alexander Wang's collection. I can always appreciate the craft and effort, but I'm normally like "meh, not for me." This collection was like a big "HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW, FRAN?!" and I loved it. 

2. Gingham Style That gingham lining is absolutely fabulous and words cannot describe how in love I am with those cognac booties!

3. New Slippers I...I think I might need these? Or something like them? My apartment is so cold and I hate socks...

4. You are Worth More Than You Realize LOOOOOVE this sentiment, especially today!

5. Saint Laurent Shows Part 1 of Its Women's Collection In Los Angeles I do believe I explained how in love I was with this collection last week, but honestly...I'm still heart eyes over it. I keep looking at photos and I just feel like I want to own everything and I want to tailor my style to it.

6. Kale I just think that these sweatshirts are the funniest and cutest things in the entire world. I can't help it!

7. Olivia Palermo for Nordstrom Like of course Olivia Palermo's Nordstrom collection is the most chic and wonderful collection of all time. I'm not shocked at all. She is so wonderfully styled and just a great person, I really want to head over to Nordstrom just to catch a peek of this in person!

8. I Texted You: Is Self-Deprecation Holding Us Back? I have to admit....I am terrible when it comes to self-deprecation. I think I'm being funny, but generally, it's pretty sad when I think about it...

What have you been reading lately?

Being Single On Valentine's Day

Friday, February 12, 2016

For some reason, being single on Valentine's Day used to be the biggest deal in the world to me. I was young, naive, and completely unaware of how disinterested I was in giving away my precious time to another human. Call me selfish, I do quite frequently, but commitment and having to deal with somebody else is just not particularly appealing to me at the moment. Will it stop me from calling all of my friends and their significant others my #OTPs? HELL NO. I'm happy for them! If everyone else is doing okay, I'm happy.

I'm not at all embarrassed by my single-dom, not anymore at least. As I said, having a "Valetine" or boyfriend used to be the biggest deal to me and when I couldn't make it happen, I was crushed. It's nice to see how today, as a young and independent (also broke and slightly delusional) twenty year old, things have changed quite a bit!

I don't really know what happened to make me stop feeling so sorry for myself or be embarrassed that I was the only one without a boyfriend or a date. I think one day I just sat myself down and said, "Francesca, this is dumb. You're cool as heck even if you are talking to yourself. Quit your whining about being single and enjoy your solo life." And so I did. Thanks, past self for being a champ.

Really, having a significant other is not the most important thing in the world. I'm sure it's nice and all and if you're happily dating somebody or married, good for you, but if you're not, my advice is to not worry about it. You're not alone, certainly. Enjoy it! I think you can have the same amount of fun without a significant other than you can with one. I don't think it takes your "other half" to make your life feel complete or fulfilled. Not in the slightest!

So, my single ladies (or men–serious question, are there any men reading my blog right now? If so, should I done it down with the Harry Styles talk? It's uncontrollable at this point, I think), go forth and celebrate yourself this Valentine's Day. I'm my own valentine and I for one am stoked.

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, February 11, 2016

1. Nude Lips

While I know this is a fluke, a mere glitch in my system, as of late, my nude lipsticks have been getting more love from me. It's because of my outfit choices, this I know, but I figured it was monumental to mention during this list. No, mom, this does not mean that I've given up on my dark, vampy lips. It just means that I have options and no longer feel weird wearing natural lip colors when it's for the good of my outfits.

My favorites have been NARS Rikugien and Lorac Pink Taupe!

2. The Start of NYFW

Okay, so none of the shows have started when I'm posting this, but that doesn't mean I'm any less excited. I'm so excited for fall runways that I could burst. I am alive with the sound of music for this next month and I cannot wait to see what designers are going to do this season, how they'll improve or match their past collections.

I stayed up to watch the Saint Laurent show live at the Palladium last night and let me just say...if that's how to Fall/Winter collections are going to be this season, we're all in for a treat. I was in sparkle and velvet heaven, with stunning leather culottes and enough leopard print to make a girl scream.

3. Coming Home by Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges comes up on some of my playlists at work or the Pandora stations we keep on, but I'd never given his music much attention on its own. I was scrolling through the new releases on Spotify the other day to try to find some new tunes to listen to while I was getting work down and I saw his album in there. I figured I'd give it a shot. The worst that could've happened is that I didn't enjoy the first couple of songs and I could find something else to listen to.

Of course, that didn't happen, which is why I'm writing this section of the blog on it. I don't even know how to begin to describe his music. It's a little bluesy, a little southern, and it's got so much heart that it makes my cheeks flush. There's something so old sounding about it that I love. It sounds like something I would've listened to in my Roots of Rock and Soul class freshmen year and I adore that feel about it. It's so cool and modern, yet managing to sound like a blast from the past.

To listen to: "Coming Home," "Flowers," "Daisy Mae," and "Here In My Arms."

What have you been loving lately?

One Day More

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Alas, there is is only one day separating us from one of the most important months of the years....You guessed it, New York Fashion Week kicks it off tomorrow for the fall runways and there are certainly some changes being made this year. Some designers (you know who I'm talking about) have decided to for-go the fall collections in February/March and have decided to show them during the September/October shows and have them available for purchase immediately. Their absence will be missed and noted, but I think that it's going to be a very interesting season indeed. Fall runways are always my favorite because fall fashion is my absolute favorite. I always look forward to the February/March runways and this year is, of course, no different.

Here's what I look forward to the most during Fashion Month!

1. Street style posts 

I am a sucker for all of the Instagram photos and posts that I see floating around on my feed. Or really, anywhere. Street style posts are unavoidable and even if they were, I wouldn't want to. I love seeing all of the different looks and vibes; the trends or rather, the trends that seem so contrived because everyone manages to make them their own. My guilty pleasure is scrolling through those "30 Best Street Style Looks From NYFW Day One." I can't help it! The best is when you see someone you recognize there! I squealed when I saw Carly Cristman on a list!

2. Scrolling through new collections in class

My professors last semester would want to behead me if they knew how much time I spent during September and October scrolling through the spring collections on my phone and taking notes on each. For that, I apologize, but hey, it was all for the sake of my blog. And as a journalism and communications student....all right, that's a stretch, but still. I don't think I'll be able to get away with it this semester, but a girl can try, right?

3. Will Harry Styles show up to London Fashion Week? 

WILL HE? We've been deprived of Fashion! Harry for two years and it's a disgrace, honestly. Get that boy back to LFW!


And the most important thing about NYFW kicking off tomorrow is ALL OF THE PHOTOS OF FALL COLLECTIONS. Can you hear me screaming all the way from my desk in Ohio? I'm currently the exact opposite of fashionable, as I'm still in my pajamas (but I'm wearing a really cute Topshop sweater so I mean...that's got to get me from an F to at least a D, right?), but tomorrow I will kick it up a notch. I'm not going (obviously) but it always feels like the fashion week/month spirit to play the part.

What are you looking forward to during NYFW or Fashion Month?

Style Guide: (Young) Teachers

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I could make a style post about what young teachers could wear to work and still look cute (see, I didn't forget!). I figured that there's a lot of variation in jobs for young professionals post-grad and while I'm not entirely familiar with them all, I am willing to try my best to find work appropriate outfits and styling that will keep it professional and cute. Because honestly, what is a better combination? Here are some style staples I think would be great wardrobe additions!

1. Shirtdresses & T-Shirt Dresses

Nobody can go wrong with having these two things in their wardrobe. They're so simple and can be accessorized so many different ways. They're really great transitional pieces weather wise, depending on what you layer on top and what you wear underneath. Either can be worn with opaque leggings or tights (or bare-legged, if you're lucky enough to be somewhere warm).

2. Blazer 

Everyone and their mother tells you to have a blazer. It doesn't matter where you get it from (I haven't found my staple blazer yet, but some people swear by their Forever21 blazers while others rave about J. Crew boyfriend blazers), just that it fits you well! Make sure that you have arm mobility, but also that it's not bulky and boxy on you. It might take a few tries to find the right one for you, but it's worth it when it fits perfectly in the sleeves and up on your shoulders! Few things look as chic as a well-fitted blazer.

3. Tote Bag

Where else are you going to shove all of your things? I suppose this all depends on your preference for bags, but I'd assume that it's be helpful to have a nice spacious space for all of your materials! I like this one from Target because it's reversible. Black and cognac leather essentially go with everything, so you can't go wrong. Plus, it's definitely a play-on of the Madewell tote bags, so it's nice to find a more affordable option.

4. Staple and Statement Flats

You cannot go wrong with a pair of nude or black flats, but I'd also recommend throwing in a fun color or print as well for your more simple outfits. They're fun without being too distracting or jarring (like a pair of, say, floral pants might). Plus, who doesn't love a good pop of color?

5. Scarves

If you're not a huge jewelry person, scarves at the best accessories for you. They're such an easy way to change an outfit (and they keep you warm, double whammy!) I like printed scarves for my more simple outfits and I feel as though, like a pair of colorful shoes, they're a nice pop of something without being a distraction.

6. Tailored Trousers

It took everything in me not to use a wild print for the trousers, but my own personal bias aside, I think a solid pair of tailored or skinny trousers are a great addition to any wardrobe. They're chic, without being super er old looking? Dress pants tend to make me cringe, but I think they're incredible when they're ankle skimming and tailored nicely!

Really, I think it all comes down to a few things:

  • Comfort: Make sure that you're comfortable in what you're wearing! If you know that heels hurt your feet after a few hours, don't wear them! Chances are you'll be on your feet a lot and being in a sour mood because of it isn't recommended.
  • Appropriateness: I feel like it's common sense to abide by some sort of rule for appropriateness. I'm not saying that you have to be 100% conservative, but there is a vast difference between a work environment and a going-out environment. Use your noggin!
  • Dress for yourself. This is my biggest piece of fashion advice for anyone in any situation. At the end the day, you're dressing for yourself, so wear what you want and what makes you feel good.
Shirtdress: H&M
T-Shirt Dress: H&M
Blazer: J. Crew
Bag: Target
Shoes: Forever21
Scarf: Nordstrom
Pants: Zara

Diversity In Fashion: The Stats

Monday, February 8, 2016

  1. In honor of NYFW kicking off this week (and another Fashion Month), I figured this was something important to talk about, as it always should be. I wrote this for part of one of my projects last semester about the imbalance of representation in the fashion industry. All stats are based off of data from The Fashion Spot.  Please excuse the shoddy video, as I was not (and still am not) the greatest at iMovie. Enjoy!

    In a diversity report done by The Fashion Spot based on the Spring 2016 collections, 77.6% of models on the runway were white. The study was done based on 373 show and 9,926 models, spanning the four city Fashion Week circuit. In Fall 2015, 80% of models were white and in Spring 2015, there was a whopping 83%. While the unbalanced percentages are slowly shrinking, the apparent lack of diversity in fashion is still apparent in today's society. 
  2. Brands like Erdem, Nina Ricci, Roksanda, Giorgio Armani and Saint Laurent hired two models of color for their shows, making their collectons less than 7% regarding diversity. Valentino showcased an African-themed collection with white models in cornrows, rather than casting an appropriate set of models to represent the collection to its fullest potential.

    1. Other designers, like Orla Kiely, John Richmond, Uma Wang, Comme de Garcons, Junya Watanabe, David Laport, Undercover and Erin Fetherston has completely white washed runways, casting zero models of colors to don their garments.
      1. In their Fall 2015 ads, Chloé, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Burberry Prorsum, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Versace and Valentino used no women of color. Out of 460 Fall 2015 print ads, 85% of the models were white, followed by 6.2% Asian, 4.4% black, and 1.7% Latina.
        1. On the other hand, Roberto Cavalli, Sandro, Dior Secret Garden, Sam Edelman, Lucky Brand Jeans, Kimora Lee Simons and Alexis Bittar casted only models of colors, includung celebrity ambassadors.

          Trailing behind racial diversity is body diversity. Plus-sized models accounted for only .1% of the total models during the Spring 2016 runways. Of the entire month of fashion shows, 14 plus-sized models appeared on the runways during Chromat and Addition Elle's shows. Models Denise Bidot and Sabina Karlsson walked in both shows.

Good Reads

Sunday, February 7, 2016

1. When School Got In The Way Of My Learning I can totally see where Alex is coming from with this one...

2. Is Phoebe Philo Leaving Céline? YIKES. Definitely keeping my eye on this...

3. Where Style and Confidence Intersect Yet another good read from trust old Man Repeller.

4. One Month Challenge  Because who doesn't love a good challenge or two? ;)

5. Fashion Week As We Know It Is About to Change Forever I still don't know how I feel about this. Could be a very interesting change though...I guess we'll see come September!

What have you been reading lately?

My Favorite Instagram Accounts

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If being a social media-aholic was a thing, I think that's a title I would wear proudly. I love Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr and don't even get me started with Pinterest. It's my favorite way to spend time and stay connected with the world at large. But I think one of my favorites is Instagram, solely because of #Aesthetics. Kidding, kidding.

I run the Instagram page for the store I work at and just like scrolling through my feed in general. It's my favorite way to pass time! I follow a pretty good amount of people, so I figured I'd share some of my favorite accounts that are either just really nice to look at or are super great for fashion inspo!

1. Meghan Rienks (@MeghanRienks)

2. Allie Marie Evans (@AllieMarieEvans)

3. Lauren Conrad (@LaurenConrad)

4. Estée Lalonde (@Estee_Lalonde)

5. Arden Rose (@ArdenRose)

6. Carly Cristman (@CarlyCristman)

7. Sonya Esman (@ClassIsInternal)

8. Man Repeller (@ManRepeller)

9. Susannah Bonaldi (@HelloOctoberXO)

10. The Style Line (@TheStyleLine)

Campus Style #6

Friday, February 5, 2016

I know that the east coast isn't getting the same treatment, but it's been a fairly mild winter thus far over in Ohio and I can't help but tweak my wardrobe around it. Bundling and endless amounts of layers just aren't necessary at the moment. Her's an outfit option for campus that won't leave you sweating bullets, but will also keep you from turning into a human icicle.

Pro-tip: swap out the loafers for boots, if needed!

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, February 4, 2016

1. Trader Joe's K-Cups 

I do all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. There's one across the street from where I work, well I mean, it's moving down the street now, but it's still the most convenient place for me to shop. Plus, everything is delicious. You really can't lose! I normally drink k-cups from Donut Shop, but I had run out and needed a box in a pinch. Since everything else at Trader Joe's is fantastic, I figured their coffee would do the job. And obviously it did, since I'm talking about it today! I mean, I know nothing about coffee besides the fact that I need it in my life, but I'd say it's a pretty solid blend for a nice price!

2. My Beret

I stole/borrowed/was gifted this beret from my mother (did I steal it? I don't remember) back in the fall. I wore it a couple of times and had an absolute blast. It's so adorable! I decided to give it another shot the other day while I was wearing one of my new faux suede dresses that I treat as a jumper. I felt very Parisian chic, despite not being able to rock the cut crease (I had to take it off, it looked so bad!) or the thick bottom lashes. It's nice to switch it up with accessories, especially ones as fun as berets. I highly recommend it!

3. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out by Panic! At The Disco

I used to go hard to this album in the sixth grade. I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to listen to this album in its entirety multiple times this week, but I don't regret it one bit. This album is a #Classic in my book, so if you have gone the last ten years without hearing it, what are you waiting for?!?!

4. "Pillowtalk" by Zayn

This song has been the only thing I've been able to think about for an entire week. Quite frankly, nothing else in this world matters besides this song. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only song that's out at the moment. In all seriousness, despite the pain that Zayn leaving One Direction caused, I've been low-key waiting for the moment for his solo music to drop. Like...homeboy is talented as hell, there's no denying it. Coupled with being the Most Beautiful Human on Earth™, everything about this song's release (including the music video) is just perfection. Also, nothing gets my cheeks red like a boybander cursing.

5. "Pillowtalk" by Zayn (the acoustic version)

Not only was the world blessed with an explicit studio version of this song, he #blessed us with an acoustic version that he teased on Snapchat. Normally, my motto is "everything's fine" (after I "fake it 'til you make it"), but honestly, NOTHING IS FINE.

6. Zolo Zayn

Need I say more?

What have you been loving lately? 
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