Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Official Fall Fashion Season.

Fall has always been my favorite season - I know it JUST happened as of today, but honestly, if Starbucks can roll out a PSL early this year, I can do a post on fall fashion now that it's officially, officially fall... even though I started this post a few weeks ago and forgot to post, oops! (but honestly...it's never too early for pumpkin anything and everything, I promise). 

I love summer, I love wearing a bikini and lounging by the pool, but give me an excuse to skip doing 100 push-ups every day because my arms will be out and about, and I'll totally take it and put on a slouchy sweater instead.

(I also love fall because as a teacher, you have about a kagillion days off for various holidays... not that I keep better track than my students or anything). 

The other thing I love about fall fashion is pretty stable - you can incorporate the newest colors and a few trendy pieces, but really, oversized sweaters and Frye boots aren't going anywhere, so they're easily recyclable from season to season.

 To me, fall fashion means...

Dark colors.
For nails, for wardrobe choices, for accessories. Give me a maroon or black over neons ANY day of the year and I'm a much happier person.

Tall, short, lace up, zipper, brown, black, whatever. I don't care - please give me a reason to wear any type of boot.

You'll see it everywhere, no matter where you live. It screams fall, and is a change of pace from the gingham J. Crew button down we all saw/wore this summer... though if you pair it with a vest, it becomes fall appropriate too (see you at every bar ever).

Slouchy/oversized anything.
Slouchy sweaters, yes. Slouchy beanies, yes. Chic and oversized flannel, yes. Enormous wraparound scarves, yes.

Actually... just sweaters in general.
Pile them on. Stock up your closet. The more the better, forreal.

I love when I can break out my leather jacket, which easily makes any "going out to the bar" outfit just slightly more badass. With all the colors available now for leather (or vegan leather) jackets/bags now, it's extra fun to embrace the trend.

Give me an excuse to buy more J Brand, I dare you. My favorite fall outfit always involves a perfect pair of denim, which I avoid during the summer because I'm pretty sure the heat (or all the ice cream) makes my thighs swell so that skinny jeans are not a good look.

Not having to wear a jacket/coat.. yet. 
Fall is that middle ground when you can wear a fantastic sweater, cape, vest, and not have to worry about being frozen and looking like you weigh 10 pounds extra. So people can actually see the effort you've put into a look, versus bundling and zippering up and having that lost. 

And obviously... carrying a pumpkin spice latte everywhere (venti, nonfat, no whip if you decide you want to bring me one at work! xox).

All photos except for the last (which is mine) are from Pinterest.. basically the only source for fall inspiration. 

What are your 2014 fall fashion necessities?

Currently listening to: Call on Me - Eric Prydz (getting ready for the Prydz concert on Saturday!!).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

(Not Quite) Fall Favorites.

The first week of September on the East Coast was HOT. Like, 90+ days with ridiculous humidity levels of hot, where you couldn't tell if you had just come out of the shower, or just stepped outside for a minute. It was brutal, so the early release of the Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks left me just "meh" and just feeling extra, extra lazy (besides the start of work, which just left me "meh"). 

However, the spike in weather only meant that the cool down this week is even more welcomed - we're talking 60 degree nights now, which is perfect weather to make me gear up and get excited for fall in a few weeks. 

So, on that note, my end of summer/pre-fall favorites are including:

1. Surprises from Influenster/serious workout motivation. 
I love running in the late summer/early fall - the weather is perfect, the leaves are changing so everything looks different, and there's usually no humidity. However, once work starts up again, and I know I won't be in a bikini anytime soon, I take a dip in motivation for running - which is so counterproductive! 
Influenster and Victoria's Secret totally must have banded together to shake my early fall laziness, because I received  a complimentary box of Victoria's Secret goods - the VS Sport bra and the knockout crop capris, as well as a stack of 25% off coupons for a VS Sport item, which I handed out like candy to friends and coworkers (and some of the fantastic women in my yoga class). While I received these items for free, my opinions are not influenced by this and are 100% honest.

In the package, I received the VSX Sport Knockout crop, which retails for $62.50 normally (still cheaper than some of the other high quality sports gear). They're thick enough that they don't do that horrible see through thing when you stretch them, and have my favorite feature, the hidden waistband pocket, which is perfect for a run when you want to carry some money, a key, whatever.These feel high quality - and you won't get that dreaded see through effect when you bend over while wearing them (I asked my best friend). 

They're also comfortable enough to wear to brunch with said best friend, which is living proof that guys and girls CAN be just friends. 

In love. 

I also received the Standout Sport bra, which retails for $49.50. It is heavily padded, which for me is a plus, because there is nothing I hate more than running with jiggle - this bra ensures (and I tested it through tempo runs, jogs, and sprints) that the boobs are staying in place. The straps are comfortable and adjustable, with cushioning. According to the information that I received, the nylon performance fabric has four way stretch, and it keeps you cool and dry. My take on the sports bra is really that it held up so well. I'm a big fan of functional design that still looks pretty (the Barbie pink color definitely doesn't hurt either!). This offered awesome support, looks great, and isn't too tight or restrictive, which is necessary. The adjustable straps were an enormous benefit, since it eliminated bra strap bulge, which is another issue of concern for me.

And I actually sucked it up and ran during the humidity to test out the bra - it was THAT motivating! The after picture is not so cute, but the nice thing was that the bra did NOT get sweaty (even when the rest of my body was dripping). 

2. Pancakes. 
Guys. I have been eating so many pancakes lately. I may actually turn into an enormous chocolate chip pancake and I do not care at all (hence the need for running in humidity, nah mean?).

3. Poetry
I'm officially teaching ONLY Language Arts this year, versus all five subjects (is it weird I'm going to miss teaching math?). The positive is that I get to design my own curriculum, and pick any resources I want - I've already got my poetry unit on lock and am SO excited.

4. Lucille Bluth
I rewatched Arrested Development with my dad and brother, and I swear, Lucille Bluth is my spirit animal.

5. Lots of blankets and open windows.
Fall for me means leaving my windows open and just piling on blankets on my bed. I love being cold going into bed so I can snuggle up and cocoon (except on weekdays, because then 6 a.m. comes wayyy too early to break free from the cocoon). 

6. Pretty typography and meaningful quotes.
I'm telling you, there are days when you have to make your mind up to be happy. It doesn't always come naturally, and sometimes it has to be forced, but if you can keep mantras around to remind you of how awesome you are and what you deserve, it definitely helps.

7. Oversized sweaters.
Love. I love these all year round, but particularly when you can just throw one of these on over a tee for nights outside.

8. Drinking and eating for charity.
Every year my family goes to a firefighter's appreciation/fundraising benefit. This year was no exception and included my dad rapping to Drake's "Trophies" in the town car on the way over, lots of drinks and food, and going HARD on the dessert trays.

It was so freaking dark that pictures are terrible quality, but you get the gist of how the evening went ;)

Knob Creek and ginger, Ketel and club. Brother/sister benefit-ing.

"Your mother is going to be really pissed off you didn't feature her glass of water." -Dad
 This even raises a ton of money for the volunteer fire department and was just a great time to spend with my family, which is always a great time.

What are some of your favorites about this in between summer/fall weather? 

Currently listening to: Technologic - Daft Punk

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Best of Netflix - September 2014 Edition

So, post breakup, I decided that I wanted a week where I did next to nothing. Wake up late, make coffee (which unfortunately was my morning and afternoon meal, which is NOT good at all), and watch a TON of Netflix. Like, more than is healthy for your eyes or brain. 

The beauty of Netflix is that it's always there. So while I won't be going on an "I'm sorry for myself and will be alone forever" binge any time soon, I can't say that I'm not looking forward to a rainy weekend day to indulge a little bit (after a run - it evens out, right? OR on days I don't want to run, I promise myself I'll do 15 squats or 15 push-ups after every episode).

So here, are some of my favorites that I've binged on or enjoyed lately. 

1. Orange is the New Black
You can easily watch a season in a weekend - it's only 26 episodes, so you're not dedicating too much of your time (just like.. a full day). But seriously, talk about flawless casting. Every single character has so much depth, even the ones you love to hate. The episodes focus on one character, and what brought them into the prison, which is interlaced with what's going on at the prison at that moment. It's brilliantly done and I can't recommend it more highly (unless maybe you're a prude or don't like to hear the f word. Then maybe not so much for you.. I discouraged my prude mother from watching it).

2. The Walking Dead
Oh, you're behind? Or don't have much to do from now until October? CATCH UP before the new season comes mid-October. Seriously, get on The Walking Dead, because it is legitimately one of the best television shows - and it's more than just a zombie show, there are so many dynamics and it's really a study of human nature (if we're being Aristotelian). They JUST put the newest season up, so seriously, catch up and we  can swoon over Daryl together (don't knock him until you watch the show).

3. Jumanji 
Obviously. Relive your childhood - it's as good as you remember.

4. Food, Inc.
This isn't a fun watch, but it's one of the tipping points that converted me to vegetarianism (though it first just made me WAY more conscious about my eating habits and behaviors). It's a powerful look into the food industry in the United States, and is done in an interesting way (though it will probably infuriate you a little, and might make you buy more organic/local).

5. Love Actually
The best love movie ever created, in my opinion. Plus, Colin Firth. Plus, it's just so sweet. Plus, you know you wanted someone to hold a sign for you saying how you're perfect to them (with a beautiful appearance by Rick Grimes from Walking Dead). Ugh, swoon.

6. John Mulaney New In Town
This is HYSTERICAL stand up comedy. Mulaney is self deprecating in an adorable way, looks and sounds exactly like my best friend (which is just an aside), and talks about very easy to relate to topics in the funniest way.
My friends and I quote this sketch ALL the time (and I almost said the f word in my class when explaining that trying to plot points on a graph is like finding a place in the city and how it's a grid system, ya simple bitch).

Seriously, watch it. You're welcome.

7. The Following
They only have one season up yet (there are two in total), and this is NOT a show for the easily scared and squeamish (like me), but it is GOOD. It stars Kevin Bacon as a retired FBI agent who is profiling a serial killer that has a cult of people who will carry out his sick mindset and ideas. It's dark and will have you biting your nails/jumping - so take that as a warning.. but it is ADDICTIVE.

8. Bridalplasty.
Okay hear me out - I was going through a breakup, and all I wanted was a trainwreck show that made me feel better about my life, and the fact that I was putting chia seeds on top of ice cream and pretending it was healthy. This show is absolutely horrible. Like, awful. But soooo awful that it's so good. Stolen straight from Netflix, this is the gist of the horror (remember, feel bad for me, don't judge my horrible taste in television): Brides-to-be vie for plastic surgery procedures and the wedding of their dreams, where the big winner will reveal her new look to the groom.

9. Blackfish
I think everyone has probably seen this at some point - it's a more serious one (I have to redeem myself after Bridalplasty), and is about the abuse of the animals, specifically Tilikum, whose captivity caused the killer whale to kill trainers over the years. It's insane, and will have you not wanting to visit Sea World any time soon. Not a feel good movie, but an informative one.

10. Hook
Another one that's as good as you remember it, though it will break your heart to see Robin Williams so young, and as talented as ever.

11. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Missing No Reservations? This is exactly the same, and will give you a dose of travel, and how weirdly hot Anthony Bourdain is. Oh, hello.

12. American Horror Story
The first season was by FAR my favorite, and definitely the scariest. So well acted, so twisted (especially the twists in the first season - insane!), and just so good. Again, another one not for the squeamish or easily scared, but it's so good and Jessica Lange is seriously perfect. Another one to catch up on before the new season (though it honestly doesn't matter, because every season is 100% new with the plot - no carry over characters or storyline).

Who are your favorite OITNB characters? I love Red, Taystee, and Poussey. And obvi Pennsatucky. And maybe everyone.
What are you Netflix (or regular TV) favorites? (I do have House of Cards on my queue).