Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday's Fashion Fix: Affirmation Nation

A staple that I add to almost every outfit I wear is some ARM CANDY. I love a good arm party incorporating mixed metals and pop colors. My favorite bracelets that I wear almost every day are BCBGeneration's affirmation bracelets. The bands come in every color imaginable with hardware charms that spell out cute words or phrases like- Tough<3 , Fearless, Bella, Boss, Sweet<3 , Blessed, and the list goes on and on. The metal charms come in gold, rose gold, silver, and hematite and the bands are available in multiple widths. The best part of these conversational accessories is that they are completely affordable! The bracelets range from $12-$24 making these great gift add-ons. See below for some of the arm parties that I've made with some of the Affirmation Bracelets I own. The girls of BCBGeneration even made a "NANA" custom Affirmation  Bracelet for my Nana's 94th which she loved. You can find these on their BCBGeneration website but if you want to see them in person you can find them in almost any department store and if you live in NYC Lord&Taylor has the biggest assortment to choose from




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy 94th Nana

Fact: EVERYONE that knows me, knows that I have the most amazing Nana in the world. Today she turns 94 so I had to write a post about her and how thankful and inspired I am by her. My grandfather passed away 3 months before I was born and my Nana decided she was going to live life to the fullest and travel the world making friends every place/country/cruise ship/island she visited. She has told me numerous times that life is all about making memories with the ones you love and she has definitely done just that.

Nana gets older every year, but her spirit remains upbeat and contagious. Although she might not be able to ride up a mountain in Santorini on a donkey anymore (she did this twice in her life, the first for the hell of it, the second to prove she could still do it) she still is so young at heart and definitely "broadened her horizons" in her later years.

She stays up on her current gossip through her subscriptions of 'People' magazine, never missing a single issue. She regularly calls me to make sure that I am aware of the happenings in Hollywood - what Posh Spice (as she still refers to her) is doing, how Lindsay Lohan is a train wreck, and how Britney needs to get it together because the shaved head look wasn't cute! She watches "Step Up" at least once a month because she loves Channing Tatum and then fights with me on who's boyfriend he is (she tells me to get in line behind her). She watches "Dancing with the Stars" religiously and was so relieved when she could ask me in person- "why do they call him The Situation?" Also notable that during the second season (I think) I asked her who her favorite contestant was and she said hands down Lil Kim. She lives for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers -one of her 73678 boyfriends- see picture below for proof.

All of these hysterical stories show how adorable and cool my Nana is but the lessons that are derived from these, are what I try to remind myself of regularly. Don't take yourself too seriously- Live life with a smile- Family and Memories with your family come first. So I recommend that everyone take a page out of Nana's book (I mean it's gotten her to 94) and relax, live a little, add some shock value just to keep people on their toes, and be thankful for every moment that you have. Happiest of Birthday's to my Girl- NANA


Girls Brunch in WI this last weekend


Nana Sportin Green&Yellow on Gameday!


Nat (my sister) and Nana this past weekend in WI for a pre Bday Bash - notice the Bday Tiara 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Military Inspired

Military Camouflage is back for its 5468th round on the trend hot list. At this point it's safe to say that it's a trend that will continue to circle back around again and again. The point of difference this time is that although there definitely is a presence of literal camo- a lot of it is the interpretation of military influence. So here is my interpretation - or Zara's - that I wore to work:


The red pants that are wax-coated/leather-like/painted-on are from Zara. Similar found here.


 The top with the military detail shoulders is also from Zara


The white watch is a Michael Kors Mens Watch from Amazon


The necklace is from BaubleBar (as a Xmas gift from my Mom's best friend) which is an amazing accessory website that you can be on for hours. Similar option found here


Finally the pumps are my staples. They are Kelsi Dagger and I live in them at work

Monday, March 25, 2013

Healthy Dinner Ideas

I am definitely a creature of habit. When it comes to eating (or songs on the radio) I over indulge to the point where I never want to see or speak of that food ever again. Ask my roommate - last year I ate turkey bacon every morning for 3 months straight... This routine is CLEARLY NOT HEALTHY. With both fitness and diet one of the keys to success is to maintain a balance and keep variety. I don't eat red meat (don't worry I wear fur so I'm not an animal activist) so I don't eat enough protein and try to find other protein options. Eating healthy can be time consuming, expensive, and let's face it not as yummy so when I find options that I would actually choose over the fat stuff because the flavor is so good - I get really excited. Here are the two options that I just found at my organic market that I'm obsessed with:


This Tofurkey Italian Sausage is amazing and I'm having to force myself to not eat it every night. I've never been one for Tofu but the seasoning is amazing. In 4 links there are only 12grams of carbs and 29 grams of protein


I just tried these Turkey Meatballs tonight and they were so delicious that I am definitely hooked! In six turkey meatballs which is one serving size there are only 2grams of carbs!!! And 15 grams of protein. Both the Tofurkey and the Turkey Meatballs have both oven and microwave options - for those less domestic like myself :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Keepin it Comfy & Casual for Friday with Wedge Sneakers

You can't wear high heels everyday... So that's why they made wedge sneakers! Just kidding (kinda). Today I wanted to spotlight a trend I'm seeing everywhere. Sportswear hit New York Fashion week by storm this September and from it emerged wedge high-top sneakers. From Aldo to Bergdorf Goodman this trend is showing up at all levels of distribution. I would say the most popular brand going after this trend is Ash. They have the cutest silhouettes in the most vibrant pop colors. But let's be real... Are wedge sneakers going to be in next Fall? Or are they going to go into my Good Will pile when I go to transition my closet next year? Who knows.... But I wasn't keen on spending $165-$225 and upwards on something I wasn't sure was sticking around for more than a season. I went on Amazon and sure enough I was able to get a pair for $45 and a pair for $58. If your are looking to test the waters with this trend at an affordable price I suggest you start there. But here are some other links of designer brands and their interpretation of the trend: Ash, Ash2, Giuseppe Zanotti, Prada, Jimmy Choo, and the list goes on

Here is how I wore my wedge tennies on casual Friday. Kept it simple with a zip up sweatshirt from Nordstrom years ago & AG jeans. If you have a body and struggle with finding the right fit in jeans, BUY AG! I'm totally hooked. They have them at Bloomies, Nords, L&T, Saks, Neimans, but if you're looking for a deal I've seen them and purchased them off of online flash sites like rue lala, ideeli, and Hautelook. They are definitely worth the original ticket price though.


My pop of color in this outfit comes from the accessories - Gold and Pink. The bracelet was a Xmas gift from my sister and its by Jennifer Zeuner. I love the evil eye and haven't taken it off since I got it (even when I wear silver jewelry). 


The Ring was a birthday gift from my Dad :) It's by Dara Ettinger and he got it from Henri Bendels but you can find a lot of her stuff on one of my favorite jewelry websites Max and Chloe

 Lastly the earrings are from C. Wonder 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Get Your Circuit On

Those that know me really well, know I've always made time for the gym and fitness. To be honest, I've always struggled with my weight and had to put a huge effort in the gym to maintain as well as watch what I eat. I saw my first nutritionist when I was a junior in high school and I have had trainers throughout my whole life. It's no secret that rent/life in New York City is anything but cheap and people are forced to pick and choose where to spend and save their money. Having a trainer is a huge financial commitment but I am a firm believer that it's a great investment. I met my last trainer a year ago at NYSC and she changed my outlook on fitness and my workout approach completely. Like many New Yorkers, I struggle to find the time while juggling work and a social life. Meriah trained me in a way that I was able to workout for a shorter amount of time with less cardio and more weights. Most girls get in the gym and immediately hop on the treadmill (this was me for yearssss) but weight-loss results happen much quicker when you're lifting or doing floor exercises. I was of the mindset that I just wanted to be skinny but after a few months in of training with Meriah, I started to get definition in my arms and back and it definitely changed my view and fitness goals.

We would do 30 minute circuit training sessions and the results happened fairly quickly (but not overnight). Circuit training is great because you take 3 different exercises ex: pull ups, push ups, and kettlebell swings - and do each exercise for 20 reps and then do the whole circuit 3 times. You should be working so fast that the cardio is included. A typical workout should have 3-5 different circuits which means you do between 9-15 different exercises. Circuit training also allows you to plan your workouts prior to going into the gym so that if you're training by yourself you can be purpose driven. When I workout by myself I always write workouts down on the notepad in my phone so I have a routine that I'm following and I don't give myself an excuse to leave.

Summary of the story is, if you're struggling the way I have with making time for working out before or after work, I seriously recommend adjusting your finances to invest in a trainer. It's a guarantee that they will push you harder than yourself and not only that but having someone else depend on you to be on time and for their finances really holds you accountable to get your @$$ to the gym and do it consistently. It's important when finding your trainer that you can find a certain synergy. Since I met Meriah last March, I have probably only missed a handful of days at the gym. She gave me exercises that I could do in a hotel room when traveling for work and taught me the power of giving your body natural energy from working out when you feel run down and exhausted (so much of it is mind over matter).

To bring the story to current day- Meriah ended up moving to Costa Rica for the last 3 months where she participated in 2 amazing Yoga training programs. She is moving to Denmark on Sunday but will occasionally be guest blogging about health and fitness on my blog :) Meriah set me up with my current trainer who I am also really lucky to have! Her name is Nadine and she is actually training to run in the Olympics for Haiti.

Here are some of the results I've had - cut me a break on the picture quality and my hair, it was taken at 6am!


Here is an awesome picture of Meriah showing off her yoga strength in Costa Rica

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Loving Leather

I've always loved leather so I am so happy that it's a huge trend right now (and even going into spring!) This is a great work (in my office it is) to Happy Hour outfit. This outfit is a hodge-podge of brands from no-name pants to Chanel earrings. I love mixing and matching low and high price points for an elevated "look."
I got the blazer on sale from Zara a while ago and the best part is that the leather sleeves are attached making it one piece. Here are some aesthetically similar & affordable options: option 1 option 2


The leather-like pants are from a boutique down on south street seaport (now closed) for $29 but here is the Zara online option

The bag is a great everyday bag from Zara. Similar option here And the Pumps are Kelsi Dagger and I got them online at DSW. Similar option here 

Lastly, the big designer steal of this look = the Tom Ford sunglasses. They are actually Mens and retail for $420 but I found them on Amazon for $239

Monday, March 18, 2013

What do you eat for Breakfast?

By no means am I a morning person or a cordon bleu chef for that matter so due to both I always eat my breakfast on the go. Obviously the healthiest route would for me to wake up early and prepare something every morning but that is just not realistic. I have tried every breakfast bar/meal replacement bar under the sun and most of them are terrible for you (especially for women). Most are packed with carbs, processed components, and unless you're in the gym for 2 hours every day, they do more harm than good. I was finally recommended LARA bars by a trainer over a year ago and have been hooked ever since. Lara bars are 100% natural bars made by all natural unsweetened fruits and nuts. Each bar doesn't exceed 9 ingredients and even the chocolate chips vegan and don't include dairy or soy


They have over 19 flavors and the few that have chocolate make for a great chocolate fix. My favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. You can by these bars at any Whole Foods or health conscious market. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Fashion Fix

Today I wanted to spotlight the designer of some of my favorite jewelry pieces Jen Hoodenpyle. I found her through my best friend Erin's blog Erin's Currently Coveting (Check it out she's amazing & the person who pushed me to start my own blog!)

Anyway- Erin featured one of Jen's necklace in an outfit on her blog so I went to Jen's Etsy shop and fell in love with all her pieces. She buys vintage jewelry and then custom paints them so no two are alike. The best part is- she LOVES collaborating and custom designing a necklace specific to her customer! Jen and I typically message back and forth sending inspiration pics or color ideas until 2am- and she's been known to pass out on her work table slaving away at some of my amazing necklaces (her husband must hate me). Here are some of the custom pieces that I've purchased:

necklace 1

necklace 2

necklace 3 

necklace 4
Here is a little background on Jen - She is a proud mom of 3 in Texas and when she's not racing around with them she is working at a local boutique called "The Shoe Closet" where she is admittedly OCD over the displays. The jewelry is a hobby and true talent of hers. I included a pic of Jen and her fam because this really shows how out-of-the-box and fun she is! Long story short you NEED to swing by her Etsy shop!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday

So in honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought it would only be appropriate to list all the things that I was obsessed with in the 90's... These are the things I couldn't live without before Instagram, Facebook, & Ipods
  1. Pogs - which also included a collection of slammers
  2. Stickers - I had the most extensive sticker book and I used to trade them like I was a drug dealer in the cafeteria -- Oillies and Mood Stickers trumped all
  3. TGIF - I cried when Corey cheated on Topanga on Boy Meets World
  4. Umbros - I was a jock and I owned a million pairs of umbros - Do they even exist anymore?
  5. Janet Jackson - I was so obsessed with Janet Jackson that when she came out with her self titled album where she was topless with someone else's hands covering her, I wrote her a letter asking her to perform at my 8th Birthday Party... My parents must have been SO terrified haha
  6. Limited Too - Girl Power, Rainbows, Love Bugs - all those pictures where I look back at my outfits and wonder how I had friends
  7. Overalls - this is SO embarrassing 
  8. TRL - I would race home and immediately turn on the TV and cross my fingers that NSYNC beat the Backstreet Boys for the Number 1 spot on the countdown. I started watching The Voice because I loved Carson Daly
  9. AIM - I had a pretty basic screen name but looking back some of the screen names that my friends had were hysterical: XOXOAngelBabyGirl67876, Biatch37, SexyA&Fchica6068 - honestly what were we thinking? 
  10. BEANIE BABIES - I had well over 150

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Polka Dotty

I know I look like an overgrown child but this outfit definitely shows one side of my personality. Keep in mind this is my first photo session and by no means would I ever claim to be a model HA... I'm really going to have to learn my angles better so I don't look so awkward. The best part about this look is that it is totally affordable, however all the items are also old so they are no longer available :(

These pants are from and originally they were stark black but after 1 wash they became this gradient gray. At first I hated them and asked for a return label but now I've grown to love them and every time I wear them at work, I always get a million compliments from the girls in design so that has to mean something.

This sweater has a gray lace bow with pearls outlining the bow from H&M years ago. I love baby pink paired with gray

The gray suede pumps are Boutique9 and there is actually a good story behind them. They were purchased with an $100 Bloomingdales gift card I won for dancing with an old man wearing a fanny pack and a muscle T at noon down the Nautical Mile. My friends were trying to bribe me to dance with the laughing stock of the bar and as soon as they pulled out the giftcard and I saw a trip to Bloomies in my future with a rent payment around the corner, I was up and dancing. For a 2 minute dance and an embarrassing iPhone video, I think I faired pretty well because I wear these shoes all the time! P.S. I swear I'm not as serious as this picture looks

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

14 Things You Don't Know About Me...

14 things

  1.  I eat trailmix everyday, sometimes multiple times
  2. When I get annoyed at people at work, I google pictures and YouTube videos of baby animals so  that I don’t scream at someone - this is also the excuse I use for following 11 different adorable baby animal accounts on instagram
  3.  I own 16 Rebecca Minkoff bags
  4.  I hate getting manicures because without fail, I chip them within the first hour
  5.  I don’t like naming a favorite color because I feel like I’m cheating on the others that are also so pretty
  6.  Most of my make up is from Duane Reade
  7.  I am sadly addicted to reality TV – the trashier, the better
  8.  My feet have shrunk twice in the last 2 years
  9. My biggest food weakness is ice cream/soft serve
  10. After graduating college I changed jobs three times in the matter of 2 months
  11.  I online shop so much that half the time when I get a package notification, I’m not sure what it is
  12.  I try not to drink coffee every day because I’m nervous about getting addicted
  13. My middle name is Dahl
  14. I secretly try to avoid cracks on the sidewalk – it must be that “break your mothers back” rhyme from when we were kids but it makes me cringe
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About Me...

    I guess the only way to start this off, is to jump in headfirst. My name is Steph and I grew up in Northern Virginia outside of DC. From an early age, I knew I wanted to work in fashion so after graduating college I made the move that seemed most natural and moved to New York City where I currently work as an account executive for an Accessories Design and Licensing Company. Although I desperately miss my friends and family from home in DC, I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else. I love the fast pace and high intensity environment that the city offers. I feel most alive when I’m on the go, juggling three to-do lists and chasing down a taxi cab in 4 inch heels, all while texting 6 people, fixing my lipgloss, and instagram uploading the New York City skyline…

      So you’re probably wondering what my blog will consist of – well first the most obvious being fashion. I am addicted to online shopping and the “hunt” of finding the best sale- it makes me feel like I’ve beat the system or won the lottery- But I don’t want this blog to be a long string of OOTD’s and a laundry list of what I bought last week… I don’t want to paint this glorified /glamorized /airbrushed picture that I only play dress up all day because although I do enjoy my pumps and liquid leggings, that’s only a fraction of what my life really consists of and that is what I want this blog to be – the good, the bad, and the ugly but all of it being me. I plan on being raw and vulnerable and exposing my insecurities and weaknesses directly to you. I will apologize for mistakes that I make (and trust me I will make plenty) but I will never apologize for being me…. I really want to use this blog as a forum for therapy and self-growth. I know the first rule of blogging is to maintain your VOICE – and although I plan on doing that, you should know now there is nothing consistent about my life and my day-to-day so I don’t expect my blog to be either. So with that said, here goes nothing! Welcome to my life via: High Heels & Taxi Cabs

Xoxo blog