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February 23, 2017

DRESSING FOR MIAMI


How I love Miami. Not only is the weather just perfect, but the culture harks back to the days where dinner jackets were required and ladies always dressed to the nines. New York might be the city that never sleeps, but Miami is the city that never stops partying. I sometimes forget the elegance that makes up Miami. Wearing your favorite normcore looks in New York is considered nonchalantly chic, but toting fitness wear on Collins Ave. is just not acceptable. For folks who haven't yet traveled to the high-flying city of heat, always remember you can never be too dressed. With that being said, I created a comprehensive wardrobe for every Miami occasion. Brunch, lunch and supper- I guarantee these looks will have you appropriately dressed at all times.

Brunch: Omelettes and lattes never looked so glamorous. After your morning workout session, Miami ladies do not walk around in their sweaty Lulu ensembles. They head home and slip into brightly colored dresses and fun sandals for a day of shopping at the Bal Harbor shops. Even if you don't plan on dropping major dough at Saks, you will still want to dress the part. Look casually chic in a flowing dress and jeweled sandals.


Lounge: Sunny days might be relaxed by the pool or the beach, however your outfit is anything but. I personally favor a high waisted look, both for a bit more coverage and for the retro look. Don't forget a good cover up here! You never know when the beach days could go into beach nights, so bring along accessories just in case the music turns up and the cocktails start flowing!



Dinner: This is when the party really starts. Don't even think about wearing denim. When the humidity is high and the temps are even higher, you will want to wear the evening dress from the back of your closet. The most opportune time to break out the LBD you have been waiting months to wear. Find your most glamorous look for the night that will most likely go into the early morning.

February 16, 2017

PACKING WITH THE NEW YORK BLONDE


I am an expert when it comes to packing. There are not many areas in life that I can confidently claim expertise, but this is one of the few. My fiancé and I have been traveling together for several years and not once have I checked a bag. Even at our farthest and longest vacation to Hawaii this past winter did I check a bag. My Tumi duffle has been taking me around the world for the past five years and continues to be just fine. I have posted on packing before, but chose to post these 3 rules will be coming into play before I take off this weekend for a warm weather weekend.

1. KNOW YOUR ITINERAY
Before traveling anywhere, I write down a full schedule of activities. It is imperative to know how many dinners, breakfasts, lounge days and gym outfits you will need. WRITE IT DOWN! Do not pack on a whim thinking you know your whereabouts for the trip. In order to effectively style your vacation wardrobe, you must know the various locations you will be heading.


2. PACK WITH PURPOSE
I think I may have mentioned this before- pack items that share multiple purposes. Pack items that can be worn to dinner than night and breakfast for the morning after. Many of the items I pack can be worn to dinner, lunch and even used as a beach cover up. This is the time to get creative and style accordingly. You will find a reason to where that awesome multi-layer maxi. For packing purposes, leave it home and save space for essentials.


3. TRAVEL AT YOUR MOST BEAUTIFUL
Before boarding a plane, I always ensure my nails are perfectly manicured. If I have the time, I will give myself a fresh blowout before flying and I always place a touch of perfume on my wrists. Why do I do this? Airplanes are full of germs and never have I exited a plane feeling "refreshed". If I can prevent any feeling of griminess at any point, I will take action. I guarantee these three beauty rules will at least make you feel a bit better after landing at your destination.



February 13, 2017

WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE TO A FASHIONISTA


If you live in New York, especially Manhattan, you are well aware of sky-high rent prices. When an average 1 bedroom runs you around $3200 a month, living on your own may feel like a very distant reality. This is why many of us live with a roommate (or two, or three) to cover the cost of our crazy rent and live in what we consider the city of dreams. Now, if you happen to work in an industry that easily covers the cost of high rent and all its amenities, this seems like a moot point. For us fashionistas, living on your own is something that may not come to fruition until your early to mid thirties when managerial positions are finally in our view, along with the salaries to go with it. However, when you do work in fashion and you reach the point where you live on your own, celebration is in order. My closest friend in the city, at a mere 26 years old moved into her own studio apartment in Greenwich village, sans help from the parental unit. She quickly climbed the corporate ladder as a buyer, achieving fashionista success before most even move to the city to follow their fashion dreams. This is what success looks like to a twenty-something fashion girl:

This fifth floor studio walk-up is anything but small. Charming, quaint and Martha Stewart chic, this fashion focused buyer adorned her apartment with shabby-chic accessories to brighten the 500 square foot space.



The bedroom area acts as both a sleeping and living space, with a plush, ivory couch and wooden coffee table for function and flair.




Mirrors always help spaces appear larger, case in point with this beautiful, free standing mirror to the right. It is also a great accent piece to the ivory couch and fluffy pillows. 


The arch details create a barrier between the kitchen and the bedroom. In order to have an eating area, she placed a West Elm island in the middle of the space. The wooden island is perfect for hosting dinner parties and extra table space when cooking. 

Due to the lack of cabinets, shelving space is utilized for both dish storing, cookbook organizing and putting away cooking supplies. 





The bathroom is perfect for the space. Situated directly across from the living/bedroom, it becomes a very private area, as opposed to other apartments where the bathroom is in close proximity to the bedroom or living space.


These bathroom towels are a reminder that no matter how small your home, it is a place to relax and rewind from the bustling city. Home Sweet Home:)





February 10, 2017

QUICK COOL GIRL GUIDE TO NYC

Man Repeller recently wrote an article on being "cool". Leandra questions its very meaning and how she battled with achieving "cool" status in her early twenties. I think we can all agree this is something most of us have dealt with throughout our life. I am going to be honest here -- do we not all aspire to be "cool" in some way?  Living in New York there is plenty of cool to aspire to and find. Fashion, music, art, food -- all lend to the status of "cool". Let's be cool together! Here are some of my top picks for being cool in the city and will 100% up your coolness factor outside of the Big Apple.

Cool Girl Restaurant- Lalo

Chinatown used to be a section off Little Italy that was for dim-sum and late night drinks. Now, restaurateurs are opening a whole slew of hot-spots that are the farthest thing from Chinese food. Lalo, this Mexican jaunt by Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (El Rey) combines Cali influences with a focus on all the veggies your heart desires. Don't be fooled by its laid-back vibes, the scene is super sceney and attracts the crafty crowd of artists, editors and stylists. The food is on point too, because we know how much New Yorkers love a good meal AND a good crowd.

What To Wear:



Cool Girl Bar- Up & Up

Up & Up opened a little less than a year ago and has been a go-to for the cool crowd for a while now. Make your way past the stubborn, no-nonsense doorman to discover a bumpin' basement with tasty cocktails and cool vibes. Situated on Macdougal Street, this spot attracts the group aching for something beside the beer bar that makes up most of Greenwich Village. 

What To Wear:



Cool Girl Dance Party Club- Paul's Casablanca

Paul Sevigny, consummate club opener, party-goer and brother of Chloe, opened Paul's Casablanca late last year in what was once the renowned New York club Sway. Unlike other dance parties in NYC, this place is not somewhere to go and find KISS FM'S hot 100. Dance the night away to 90's classics and songs you forgot you loved from the aughts. Play it cool if you happen to bump into a celeb though, you are cool... remember :)

What To Wear:




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February 9, 2017

GOSSIP GIRLS VIBES WITH LOVE SAM

I was channeling some major Gossip Girl vibes in this stunning black, burnout dress by Love Sam. While I always considered myself more of a Blair than a Serena, the black, leather shearling paired with the flocked flowers read more Van der Woodsen than Waldorf. This dress is just asking for a Chuck or Nate to come and sweep me off my feet from this balcony in Battery Park City.









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February 7, 2017

VALENTINE'S DAY FOR HER


Valentine’s Day has never been a favorite holiday of mine. It would have been beneficial for cupid to be born in June rather than February. At least by June there is a new swimsuit or summer time accessory that I would have been lusting after for a few months. Celebrating another gift-giving holiday so close to Christmas and Hanukkah always seemed silly. I know this seems selfish, but you know its true. It is hard enough to communicate what you really wanted for the holidays to your man, but now you must do it only two months later. In an effort to prevent future disappointments and confusion I thought of some ways to cleverly and effectively communicate the lust-worthy gifts you would prefer to have for Valentine’s Day  over the lingerie set and box of chocolates you actually have no use for in your closet or kitchen.

1. Hint
Yes, I would like to think a hint would work. How many times have we mentioned, "Hey, Dave Matthews is playing downtown in June. That would be a great concert to attend" or "Bloomingdales is having a sale on Uggs, specifically in size 7.5:)". We can only hope our man truly comprehends these passing mentions. It can work if you drop enough hints and really hone in on the wanted object or experience. 

2. Create a Pinterest Board
This might sound odd, but I actually got the idea from a friend. She created a Pineterst board solely dedicated for gift giving. The board is actually called "Gifts I Want From My Boyfriend". It seems pushy, but sometimes it is best to be as direct as possible. Either send him the link or leave the page on the computer before he signs on after work. It should be obvious to him what the board means. It is best to include many different types of presents at all price points too. You will certainly be surprised, but will always get exactly what you want! (example here-PINTEREST BOARD)

3. Love Notes
Not to be confused with a love letter, love notes are little messages you stick in his pant pockets before he leaves work. Little love notes are always appreciated, unexpected and loved by most men from the women who love them. Normally love notes include messages like "miss you", "can't wait to see you", but being that this is a how-to on gifting love notes may include, "loving that silver bracelet and you!" or "wish you were here with a new puppy". You can get creative with this one, but I like to think it is a bit less aggressive and a sweeter way to blatantly ask for something. 

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February 4, 2017

VALENTINE'S GIFTS YOU ACTUALLY WANT


I've mentioned it before, Valentine’s Day is a strange holiday and for the ones that celebrate it, the gifting process should be approached in a thoughtful way. Here is how I look at it: Valentine’s Day is 3 months before you bust out your new spring duds. Need V-day ideas for yourself - here it is: these are the items you are lusting towards for spring. New loafers? High-waisted jeans? Statement earrings? How about a cool, new leopard print tote? Done, done and done!


This is how I approach Cupid's birthday. Stop your man from spending big bucks on La Perla and put it towards new shoes you have had your eye on for the last few months. You know you like this concept. Chocolates only go to the hips and flowers get tossed five days later- stop the madness! Think outside the box this holiday and unwrap a box of new jeans:)  I compiled a group of items that I personally want and I guarantee there is something on this list you too want. Take a look, let me know.






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February 1, 2017

VALENTINE'S FOR HIM THE NEW YORK BLONDE WAY



I cannot believe Valentines Day is almost here. February 14th always comes too quick after the holiday season. I already spent hours mulling over what to buy my fiance for Christmas, I now have to think of what to buy him for Valentines Day. To say my fiance is difficult to shop for is an understatement. Similar to most men, his interests involve sports, music and food. None of these make gifting too easy. I wanted to think outside the box this year and find something interesting and creative as opposed to another sweatshirt of his favorite team, concert tickets to a show or a meal at his favorite spot. After brainstorming with my girlfriends, I came to the conclusion that buying men presents is REALLY HARD. I mean, I like to think I am pretty easy when it comes to gift giving. I leave obvious hints around the apartment, like photos on the computer, very obvious hints and at the most desperate times, an actual list. I wanted to make Valentines Day a bit easier for us girls, so I created my own Valentines Day gift guide The New York Blonde way. I separated this gift giving guide into three sections; the adventurer, the worker, and the snuggler. Keep reading, you will totally understand my thought process here:

1. The Adventurer
The man on the go. The man who is cultured. The man who has seen it all! No, in reality this is the guy who loves to travel and does so often. He is a jet-setting, 007 type and you are the lucky duck girlfriend, who gets to go with him:)




2. The Worker
Ahhh, yes the worker bee. This guy works through the midnight oil. His job entails long hours, daily work dining and weekend trips to the office. Fret not, there is a gift-giving guide for him too. His strong work ethic makes him an ideal candidate for classic valentines day presents that will steal his focus off work and onto you.






3. The Snuggler
This guy is the real deal. Everyday is Valentines to this one. The romantic type who often showers you with flowers or wines and dines you monthly, he is the real tough one. Buying gifts for this man is a challenge when you know he plans to go all out for the big V-day. This guide should solve this mysterious wonders of what go get when February 14th rolls around.




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January 23, 2017

TOP 3 NYC CONSIGNMENT STORES


I think at this point, it is obvious I enjoy the occasional shopping trip. Finding an item you never knew you wanted is great, but finding it on sale is better:) While living here the past 5 years I have found amazing products at deep discounts through clearance, markdowns, but also at consignment shops. That Chanel bag I'm toting in this pic- bought at a consignment store in the city...

Throughout my time in NYC I have scoured the island of Manhattan (and occasionally Brooklyn) in my quest for the best consignment shops the city has to offer. I've shopped Ina, spent time at Second Time Around and peaked through Michael's. My friends would claim that I am an expert in this shopping arena of buying high-end designer items at a fraction of the price. In all of my shopping experiences, the top three stores all reside in the East Village and are within steps from one another.

1. Tokio 7
The mecca of downtown cool and hidden chic product, this is the ultimate in luxury consignment. Editors, stylists and buyers are frequent fans and consignors of this famed shop. I personally have never consigned here, so I am not aware of the rules, but I can guarantee you will find amazing pieces. If you were searching for a current boucle Chanel jacket, or the Rick Owens leather vest from last season, look no further than this spot.

Overview:
Prices: $$$$
Location: 7th and 2nd, East Village
Clientele: Stylists, Editors, Downtown Fashionistas
Expect to find: Acne Studios Wedges, JW Anderson Sweaters, Proenza Schouler Tees

2. Tokyo Joe's
Not to be confused with Tokio 7 (they share no relation), this is a smaller, more refined store than the former. Don't be fooled for its closet size square footage – the shop houses a wide array of goodies. Looking for Louis Vuitton luggage or a Chanel wallet This is where to score those finds. The customer service is on the low end, so don't expect any help here. Other than that, it is one of my favorite treasures in the city. Don't forget to sneak a peak at the back where long gowns and formal dresses hang on the walls. I once saw a current season Gucci gown priced at $450.

Overview:
Price: $$-$$$
Location: 11th and 1st, East Village
Clientele: Tourists, NYU Fashion Mavens, Downtown Moms
Expect to find: Rag and Bone Leather Jackets, Isabel Marant Blouses, Zimmermann Dresses

3. Buffalo Exchange
Most consignors are well aware of this national chain. Buffalo Exchange has stores across the nation, but is it this East Village gem that wins the medal in my books. I always manage to find some great items here. While the assortment is nowhere as luxurious as the two former, the racks reflect the East Villages' cool, downtown vibes. I'm almost certain this is where NYU fashion focused students consign their Bergdorf's and Barney's duds after a finished semester.

Overview:
Price: $$
Location: 11th and 1st, East Village
Clientele: Students, Foreigners, Random Passerby

Expect to find: Alexander Wang Tops, Helmut Lang Jackets, Rebecca Minkoff Booties


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January 19, 2017

MY TOP 3 WEST VILLAGE BRUNCH SPOTS


Brunch in New York City is just as important as your dinner time plans. In fact, brunch can last into dinner hours, making this all day feast the most important meal of the day! The endless brunching options are overwhelming, and for many newly minted New Yorkers, navigating this microcosm can be exhausting. I remember first moving to the city with the constant feeling of FOMO when weekend afternoons arrived. How can anyone really know where to head on your days off? I comprised a list of my favorite spots in the West Village, a NYC neighborhood favorite of mine, to get you going on your brunch endeavors.

1. Hudson Clearwater
In the mood for corn flake-crusted french toast or an herb omelette with a house cocktail? How about a private garden area reserved for in-the-know customers? Hudson Clearwater offers a wide array of brunch options with a laid back scene and a laid back vibe perfect for an afternoon. The restaurant is not only known for their food, but it is a local hot-spot that is always crowded with neighborhood folk. It is great for a cold day in January, but when the weather gets warm and the garden opens for business, it is by far the best place for bubbly brunches.
http://hudsonclearwater.com/

Overview:
Price: $$
Customer: Techie Tycoons, Entertainment Types, Neighborhood Couples- all disguised in trendy, hipster clothing purchased at Acne Studios

2. L'Artusi
This is my favorite West Village Italian spot. It is a little known fact this Italian eatery is open for weekend brunch. Most patrons walk by assuming it is reserved for dinner only, but this past year the owners got smart and began serving brunch. Everything is wonderful and I have never gone wrong with anything on the menu. However, if you decide to order just one thing stick with their ricotta crespelle. The description doesn't do the dish justice and I guarantee you will walk away more than satisfied, but in a light daze of what you just devoured. It is that good:)
http://www.lartusi.com/

Overview:
Price: $$
Customer: West Village Families, Investment Bankers, Journalists

3. Morandi
Yes, it always has a line. Yes, you might see Martha Stewart or Rachel Zoe. Yes, there is a reason for it. Morandi has made its mark as a go-to, hot-spot, brunching hub for sometime now. Sunday mornings feel somewhat like an over-spill of the buzzy bar scene from the night before. PR girls, hot-shot young financiers and fashion mavens head here for their fazzoletti di ricotta, uova in camicia and crespelle con nutella. The Keith Mcnally owned restaurant provides the perfect setting for a boozy brunch filled of people watching and decadent food options.
www.morandinyc.com

Overview:
Price: $$
Customer: Celebs, Publicists, Stock Traders


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January 18, 2017

WINTER DATE WONDERLAND

Date night in the winter can be tricky. Below freezing temps and light humidity can wreak havoc on just about any outfit. Plus, planning ahead can be a joke these days, especially when Al Roker broadcasts sunny skies and it is snowing one hour later. I was super lucky when I was heading out the door last week to meet my fiance for after work drinks. The sun was just going down and the weather hit a high of 50 degrees. I love wearing spring time options in the winter, pairing this mini denim skirt with an ankle boot and long wool coat. Remember, proportions are your EVERYTHING! A cropped leather jacket would have looked too extreme with this mini skirt and ankle boots. You also need a long coat to shield yourself from the wind vortex while crossing West Broadway:) Being that the outfit has some trend elements, I chose to stick with a classic reissue handbag and simple earrings. What are you guys wearing on your winter dates this season???

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January 15, 2017

Shiny Objects are Closer Than They Appear

When Lauren Santo Domingo made the claim sequins and feathers were her two favorite food groups, I knew exactly what she meant. Unlike many girls who are more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, I feel much better in sequins and a flounce. Why would you want to dress down, when you can dress up? Have we stored our holiday looks in the back of our drawers already? I know my sequins still hang brightly in my closet, ready to be styled appropriately and worn on the town. Plus, when the weather hits a record 60 degrees in the middle of January, anything goes!

Happy hour was about to get a little happier when I chose to layer my sequin cardigan over a surfer tee and straight leg jeans. I was so pumped to pull this out since I haven't had the opportunity to wear it since the holidays. Plus I added my pearl drop earrings for a glamour pop as opposed to my normal studs. I love this look and I love the balance of the overall ensemble between dress-up and dress-down. You should never be afraid of shiny objects in the day. If you style the sequins accordingly you can really get away with it and I guarantee you will receive compliments for your risk-taking look. I proudly wore this to drinks with friends after work....without a coat!







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