A Curious Stroll Through the West Village

May 31, 2017

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Ariane Elmy denim top
Ulla Johnson pants
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These pictures were taken on one of New York City’s warmer days a few weeks ago. A delightful surprise after days of rain. The city seemed to sparkle in a special way this particular Thursday. It just happened to be perfect timing that I met up with Swedish photographer Rebecka Rynefelt to shoot some spring looks in the city. The sun already had me in a chipper mood, and I think it really came across in these photos. I was head over heels happy to be out and about in my city. Free from the restraints of a jacket. Even my pants were loose fitting to a T. The streets of the West Village were busy and bustling on Bleecker streets, but we found solace in the quiet side streets that seemed worlds away from what was just around the corner. I love finding pockets of peacefulness like this in the middle of what is basically chaos. And NYC in general is as close as one can get to chaos. So finding even a minute or two of what feels like being the only person left in the world is priceless. The trees sparkled green just for me it seemed. The stoops, freshly sunburnt, seemed grander and more escalated in their early-twentieth century glory. The West Village has an old soul, you can see it in its structure, which has been preserved and very much in tact. It’s quite unlike any other part of the city. Whenever I take a stroll around these treelined neighborhoods, it’s like taking a million steps back in time. Maybe a little bit too back in fact. I did indeed go to the lengths of googling the most haunted places in all of NYC last week, and I came across the building of 14 West 10th Street. Google it. And then regret it right after. Haha. And then I wondered, did we shoot on that street for this shoot? Mmmm, maybeeee. Or at least we were definitely close by. Creepy stories. Happy stories. A bunch of things in between. NYC sure has got a lot of them. This day was by far a happy one in my Ariane Elmy denim top, one of the most unique pieces in my closet right now. How far out is the back strap detailing? And, of course, my favorite Ulla Jonhnson pants. The wider the pant leg, the better. That’s my motto. 

Photos by Rebecka Rynefelt

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Doing London Style with Jo Malone

May 30, 2017

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Products by Jo Malone
Salvatore Ferragamo dress
The 2 Bandits earrings
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Oh, London! How I miss your daily rain showers and afternoon tea! Let me tell you, when it’s raining outside, all you want to do is spend an afternoon inside drinking tea (and champagne). Natalie‘s and my stay at the famous Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, an upscale part of London, was more than divine. The hotel is over 200 years old, and it has history as epic as it’s wallpaper. During WWI, many aristocrats sought refuge at this very hotel. Imagining the people who came in and out of this hotel in the past 200 years drops by jaw. It was a pleasure to be able to call this place home for our last two night’s in London. Our chic London experience was made even more chic with Jo Malone, of course. The brand is a revolutionary in the fragrance world, and just about everyone knows the name and has at least one favorite scent. Our first night at Claridge’s ended with a nice, long bath in the picturesque tub. The bubbles were the fanciest bubbles I’ve ever experienced! Right before bed, I lathered myself with Jo Malone body cream in Wood Sage & Sea Salt. It’s my favorite body cream in the world. My mom’s, too! I always make sure to gift her a jar on her birthday and Mother’s Day. It makes any woman feel fantastic right before a night of rest. We slept peacefully that night, to be woken early by our alarms so as not to miss our morning massages at the hotel, which was one of the most relaxing events of our entire London experience. London is quite a hectic city, and we fit so much in our itinerary the previous days that our bodies were aching for a magical touch.

We had breakfast waiting in our room before heading out to explore a little bit more of Mayfair all the way towards St. Jame’s Park. The weather was mildly warm and fabulous, which is rare for London. But, of course, it then changed its mind halfway through the afternoon with a heavy rain that brought us back to Claridge’s earlier than expected. But all was good, because it just gave us more time to explore the hallways of the hotel, say hello to guests coming in and out and just be generally fancy for no reason other than to be fancy. Plus, we had a 5pm afternoon tea waiting for us. So the timing was actually perfect. I had an amazing Chinese green tea with rhubarb syrup and it was one of the most delicious teas I’ve ever downed. Props to our waiter who recommended the syrup, it was so interesting to taste. Soooo, fully relaxed and our tummies filled with tasty finger sandwiches and sweet treats, we had a little less than an hour to get ready for the big Jo Malone “Talk of the Townhouse” party in Mayfair. There we rubbed shoulders with London socialites like Karen Elson and Poppy Delelvigne, as well as the best dressed in town. All fans of Jo Malone and fashion and everything creative. I felt so much creativity in the air amongst the crowd. You can just feel the vibrations not just from the bad ass tunes the DJs were spinning, but also the colors, patterns and shapes of dress that everyone adorned. I felt so much inspiration dancing and mingling all around me. And that is really what is my favorite part about coming to London. The energy, the quirkiness the rock and roll. And, of course, everything smelled fabulous because the party was lit with Jo Malone candles, which I obviously can’t live without. 

I wore this lovely Ferragamo dress from a recent season. In a way, it felt a bit flamenco to me, so I threw on some bold earrings to match with the feeling. Perfect for the night, because the townhouse turned into a late night dance party, and everyone had moves to show off. It was such a fun way to spend our last night in London. With a fashionably scented bang. Thank you Jo Malone for having us as your guests all the way from over the pond. Natalie and I hope to be back soon! xx

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Throwing Out the Rulebook

May 29, 2017

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Donni Charm wrap top
Ulla Johnson pants
Lack of Color hat
Donni Charm purse
& Other Stories shoes
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How is it that I always feel like I need a vacation from vacation? Hahahaha. It’s true though. I bring work with me everywhere I go. Even at 2pm on a Tuesday in the Cayman Islands, I’m still stuck on my emails while writing a paragraph for a blog post in my notes app, all in-between a paddle boarding session and seaside happy hour. That’s just how life is for us in this industry of blogging. Work is around the clock. It’s possible for work to be done from anywhere. Yes, even bed. We wake up early to get the most mood inducing shots. And we stay up late because there is never enough hours in the day to get it all done in a suitable amount of time. This job isn’t any old 9-5, that’s for sure. The jet leg, the late nights, the over-organized schedules and endless brainstorming for the weeks ahead . . . even from places where everyone else is strictly on vacation, has every potential to suck the life out of us. But at the same time, we can’t help but enjoy every moment of it because there really is nothing better than being one’s own boss. To see our visions come to life. And to inspires others with our visions, even if it’s the littlest thing like the jeans we wore out the door with a vintage scarf hanging out the back pocket that particular day.

When I step back to see what my day to day and month to month look like from afar, it kind of blows my mind. Over five years ago, I never would have saw myself doing what I do now, with the sort of schedule that brings me all over town one day, and across the Atlantic Ocean the next. I’ve learned to go-go-go on the spur of the moment and to adapt to an unlimited amount of different situations. The spontaneity of it all has been priceless. Growing up, I used to feel like having my future all planned out was the most important focus for me to have to gain a certain level of success. It was as if my life relied on a rulebook. A very serious rulebook. But it wasn’t until I actually let that plan go, threw the rules out the window, and gave my imagination some room to breathe and to delve in different directions, did my true calling come to me. A process of unsteady, gradual maneuvering really did pay off in the end. And that true calling, well it is still far from set in stone . . . but that’s the beauty of it really. I never know what’s around the corner, but I know for sure that there’s always a new story to share. There’s no such thing as boring with my job. And I look forward to getting dressed for the day as a confident, adventurous woman. As all women should be. I feel lucky that I get to say this about what I do.

Today is Memorial Day, and we celebrate a day of remembrance for those who died during military service for our country. It is also a day of no work here in America. It’s a funny thing though, as a blogger and as a freelance creative, there really is no such thing as set holidays. Our schedule and work load don’t depend on these. Most of the time, I’m working while everyone else with an office job is out somewhere else relaxing with work the last thing on their minds. But what I’ve come to learn the most from my job is to not be too hard on myself all of the time. And that the jet leg, the late nights, the over-organized schedules and endless brainstorming for the weeks ahead deserve a little break every now and then. It doesn’t need to be a holiday and it doesn’t need to be a weekend, but it should be interspersed in there whenever it can. Because yes, the life does get sucked out of us (we are human), BUT there is even greater potential to have life injected full with new amazing things, perspectives and creative drive soon afterwards. As long as there is rejuvenation in the process. Rulebooks aren’t the key to success. Regular rejuvenation is. That is a rule by a blogger. And this is the kind of outfit I’ll wear while doing it 🙂

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Skin Nutrition from the Inside Out with HUM Nutrition

May 26, 2017

A well rounded diet and regular fitness regime have been super important aspects of my life these past few months. Eating fresh and healthy food and fitting in time to move and sweat in a way that makes me feel good from the inside out. And my body has come to start to crave these feelings. But still, keeping it up week after week can be a struggle when work calls for flights across the ocean last minute. It’s not the biggest deal of course, because for me, wellness is also all about balance, and nothing can ever be perfect. So because of the hectic schedules that come at me regularly, I was on the lookout for a product that I could use to balance out the days when I don’t have the time to eat healthy or workout as much. Then, thinking in the long term, I was looking for a way to enhance the wellness routine I already had in practice. 

It’s been a month since I was introduced to HUM Nutrition, a brand of nutritional supplements that have a strong focus on inner beauty and skincare from the inside out. First things, first. HUM Nutrition supplements are sustainably sourced, non-GMO and free of soy, gluten, artificial colors, and preservatives. Many are even organic and vegan. Second, the supplements provide continuous care and also prevention by working from deep inside you (as opposed to a topical treatment) so that you can have more long-term results. Prevention is key to beauty! The earlier, the better. Third, it’s so easy to take advantage of HUM Nutrition’s personalization process. There’s a quick 3 minute evaluation which gives you access to recommendations by a Registered Dietician. This company is run by pros!

Now, onto my three recommendations from the HUM website:

Daily Cleanse Skin & Body Detox Supplement

This is my number one! The blend of organic chlorella algae, detoxifying herbs and cleansing minerals work together to detox and protect my skin (as well as liver, gut, kidneys and lymphatic system). It literally stops the impurities and toxins before they even get a chance to affect my skin. My breakouts have decreased dramatically since using this product. When paired with healthy meals on the daily, and especially a good workout session, I notice my skin looks brighter and smoother, as well. Less makeup needed. That is always the goal for me.

Gut Instinct Probiotic 

I read an article about how much inflammation is one of the biggest problems Americans face, and it is mostly because of diet. This supplement contains 25 billion (yes 25 billion), 10-strain probiotics which work to heal your gut, boost your immune system and protects against inflammation and oxidative stress. Basically, as a result of these supplements, inflammation is down overall so your skin doesn’t have to suffer from redness and breakouts and general aging. Like I mentioned before, the best and most effective way to increase the health and look of your skin is from the inside out. It’s exactly why we make the decision to eat a grilled chicken salad over a slice of pepperoni pizza on an average day. This supplement just amplifies those healthy actions and puts them in motion in a way that shows on the outside in the best way possible.

Flatter Me Digestion Supplement

This just happens to be the perfect supplement for the months right before bikini season. This one is made from a unique blend of 18 full spectrum digestive enzymes and herbs. It’s an easy way to reduce bloating and improve digestion. I take it right before dinner so I can be sure to sleep with and easy stomach that night. And on top of that . . . crop tops here I come!

I also want to throw in how much of a fan that I am of the Daily Raw Beauty To Go packets, especially for when I’m really in a rush, or just in the mood for a light meal. Flavor of choice? Mint Chocolate chip. It’s a mix of superfood greens, which are full of antioxidants and adaptogens for energy + enzymes, probiotics and fibers for a metabolism boost. And only 25 calories. I add it to a fresh smoothie blend of berry’s, vanilla almond milk, cashew butter and pumpkin seeds. It’s my favorite after a workout, or right before yoga class when I didn’t have time for lunch. It keeps me energized and full. Plus, it feeds my skin all the extra nutrients I missed out earlier on in the day, or that I won’t be able to get in later on. When traveling, it’s an easy fix to shake it into my water bottle or add to a juice, as well!   

My skin and has been looking and feeling its best in a very long time. I carry my supplements around with me, and spread them out throughout the day with my meals or snacks, and it’s been a great motivation to keep my eating habits in check. Like I said before, it’s all about balance, and the main goal of my wellness challenge is for my eating habits, fitness routine and dietary supplements to complement each other and enhance each other. Of course, there is always a little wiggle room, because life can never always be planned. But at least, we can make the most of what we can do. 

This post is in collaboration with HUM Nutrition

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