Monday, January 9, 2017

WINTER IS HERE, LETS GET HYGGE!


{ "Cowboy Cabin" up near Galena Lodge outside Sun Valley, ID }

Greetings from Sun Valley—I was supposed to be on a flight back to New York today but alas, the weather had other ideas. We are all but snowed in here, with more than a foot of snow coming down yesterday, and more on the way this week. Armed with firewood, wool socks and Wifi, we're hunkering down and getting cozy with our friends and neighbors—referred to in Denmark as hygge.

Hygge [hoo-guh]: a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality 
that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

This Danish "obsession" has become incredibly trendy over the past year, so with a very cold winter in full swing, now is the time to embrace it for yourself. Brew up some spiced wine, put on your flannel and invite your friends over to sit by the fire in their stocking feet. (Or in the case of our apartment in New York—the Fireplace For Your Home.)

Yesterday, for example, I went for a long snowshoe in the hills behind our house with a couple friends, and afterwards we sat around in our long johns by the fire playing Yahtzee and drinking tea while the snow fell outside. It was very hygge. This exact day would be hard to replicate in New York, but city sidewalks can easily stand in for snowy trails if you ask me!


{ Your hygge starter kit might include: The Year of Living DanishlyThe Nordic Theory of Everything, a crazy-cozy sweater from The Canadian Sweater Company or LL Bean, some long underwear from J. Crew, a mug from Le Creuset (for spiced wine), these intarsia wool CHUP socks, a fleece turtleneck from Uniqlo (for layering purposes), a faux fur throw, and if you're really adventurous, snowshoes and nordic skis! }

The most important part of embracing the hygge life is not to do it alone! Binging on Netflix and HBO Go in your bed is one thing, but making a Saturday afternoon spent inside into a communal event—preferably with hot cocktails—is the Scandinavian way. Go forth and hygge—winter is here!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

{ STYLING NOTES } THOSE MID-WINTER FAUX FUR FEELS...


{ Olivia Palermo in a Tibi faux fur coat }

Every now and then I make a purchase that pleases me so thoroughly that I cannot stop talking about it. God forbid someone compliments me on public—then it's really over. Most recently, before departing for the holidays, I was in the mood for an inexpensive coat I could run around in all winter (date nights, "going out," holiday parties, etc) without too much anxiety over ruining or losing it. Naturally, I drifted over to Forever 21 online—which is where I spotted this cropped faux fur jacket.

I liked the look of the jacket enough to walk to my local F21 and see if it was available. Sure enough it was front and center when I walked in the door, and available in my size. As soon as my fingers grazed the caramel-colored fibers, I knew I wasn't leaving the store without this jacket. It is, without a doubt, the softest faux fur I have ever encountered, and looks far more expensive than it is. At just $52, I hadn't felt so vindicated in a retail purchase in months.

Next came the part when I started wearing the jacket around town—to the aforementioned holiday parties, to run errands, to promote Style Girlfriend gift guides on Snapchat while sitting in my apartment. The compliments started rolling in; people couldn't stop running their hands up and down my arms and caressing my back—it was perhaps the best I'd felt and basically the most action I'd seen in all of 2016.

So here's my point: Whether you're starting off 2017 single AF and desperate to feel the human touch or just looking for a way to make your winter wardrobe a bit more cozy, I can't recommend a faux fur coat enough, especially of the cropped variety. I'm obsessed with this eggplant-hued version from Topshop, and I love how this Free People coat looks kind of like the textured version of a Pendleton blanket.

Below, shop a ton of faux fur coats that range in price from a little over $50 to almost $500—there's something for everyone. 


A FEW HOT TIPS BEFORE YOU GO:
1. Faux fur isn't always that warm. Try wearing a denim jacket underneath (with the collar popped) and a bandana around your neck.

2. Faux fur is not weather resistant like real fur. Don't wear it in the rain and snow unless you want to be damp all day.

3. Faux is supposed to be fun! Try unusual colors (like lavender and olive green), bold prints and even graphic patterns that will give your all-black winter wardrobe a serious boost.

4. You can dress these coats way up and way down—throw it on over a silky pajama top and jeans for brunch or a velvet dress and ankle boots on date night.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, MY FAVORITE SONGS OF 2016


{ Chance The Rapper was one of the best things about 2016. }

Well let me just get this out of the way first: Much like the rest of 2016, the musical offerings this year were kind of disappointing. I looked back at all the insanely good music that came out in 2015—and compared to the deep stack of albums like those from Years & Years, Ryn Weaver, Oh Wonder, Adele and even Carly Rae Jepsen—this year didn't quite stack up.

Of course there were gems, don't get me wrong. Chance the Rapper and Bon Iver both put out albums so thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish that I sometimes find myself playing them on repeat throughout a whole day. We also got Views from our boy Drake as well as the wonderful Farewell, Starlite! from Francis and the Lights.

A lot of my favorite songs of 2016 are ones that stand apart from the albums to which they're attached. "Somebody Else" by The 1975 is audible candy, but the rest of that album got a big "meh" from me. Same goes for "WALLS," off of the latest one from The Kings of Leon.

Perhaps as a reaction to all the dark political energy, terror and tragedy of this year, it felt like 2016 was a huge pop music year, didn't it? The whole thing sort of felt like a "song of summer" race to me. I don't know if you guys have taken the time to check out your most-played songs on Spotify, but mine are like, really embarrassing and completely overrun with manufactured pop. My number one? "Greedy" by Ariana Grande. Sigh. Twenty-sixteen, you were a weird one.

And so, this list of my favorite songs of 2016 is not the songs I listened to the most—this list is (hopefully) much more interesting, varied and quality-based. Go ahead and press play, you'll find a mix that includes everyone from Post Malone to Father John Misty, The XX and Foxes.

Enjoy, and let's hope for an amazingly music-filled 2017!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

{ PERSONAL STYLE } DRESSING UP THE MENSWEAR SWEATER


{ Club Monaco coat / Uniqlo men's sweater / Zara skirt (old, similar) / Aldo pumps (sold out, similar) / Lulu Frost necklace (similar) / vintage clutch / Ray-Ban sunglasses }

Hey it's me again! Christmas is on Sunday so you can bet I am really in the holiday spirit these days. As we speak I'm hanging out with my family in snowy, freezing Sun Valley—so bare legs (and pumps!) are out of the question. However—that doesn't mean you can't benefit from this piecemeal little outfit I was swanning around Greenwich Village in recently. Let's dive in, shall we?

// CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE //


Monday, December 19, 2016

{ GIFT GUIDE 2016 } FOR HUMANS, ANIMALS + THE PLANET


{ Vulnerable Polar Bears! You can adopt one through the World Wildlife Fund! }

Okay. So. Before I jump into this gift guide of sorts, I feel like I need to take a moment to say that I am not pretending this blog is something it isn't. Most of my content here is directly and indirectly driven by consumerism and material things. It's about the things in my life that I love—style, travel, living and working in New York City—that I am very privileged to enjoy.

A lot of my freelance work this time of year and a lot of the content on this ol' blog has been focused around gift guides, holiday style and all the things that are often on our minds during the holidays. We're spending a lot of money, and I'm not here to say that's necessarily a bad thing. I certainly love giving and receiving gifts this time of year, I think it's a really lovely way to celebrate the season and treat the ones you love to something nice.

However, if you have the means, this is also a great time to give to causes that inspire you and touch your heart. After basically flooding my blog feed with shopping stories, this felt like a nice time to press pause on that for a second and invite you guys to join me in pointing just a small amount of your holiday spending money towards causes that desperately need our attention. (I'll be back to my regularly scheduled programming shortly, don't you worry.)

There are literally thousands of amazing charities and nonprofits out there which are very deserving of our time and donations—the below are just a few causes I admire and feel motivated to help right now. I've decided to divy up $50 between a few causes this week, which I know isn't a lot. But, it's something—and if 2016, this trash fire of a year, has taught me anything, it's that the time for doing nothing is over. Just think: If 1,000 people read this post and decide to do the same, that could make a real difference around the world!

*Also, if you want to give the gift of making an impact this season, check out my darling friend Hitha's company Bridge2Act, and their holiday program, no.gifts.

As you have no doubt heard and read, the situation in Aleppo and throughout Syria is beyond dire. CNN has a pretty comprehensive list of charities and nonprofits that are currently providing humanitarian relief to civilians there, including the Red Cross and UNICEF. Mercy-USA specifically focuses on "improving health, nutrition and access to safe water, as well as promoting economic and educational growth," but there are so many programs set up to help citizens and Syrian refugees that are worth your time and money.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO 
I have become a voracious consumer of NPR content over the past few years. I listen to their podcasts (TED Radio Hour, This American Life, RadioLab) regularly, and read stories on their website all the time as well. I think their point of view is important, and the stories they tell are both entertaining and educational. They're entirely funded by donations, so I think it's about time I contribute.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND 
If you don't feel particularly stirred to do something to support endangered species around the globe, I dare you to hit up Netflix and watch even one or two episodes of BBC's Planet Earth. We only have this one place to live, and we're not the only creatures on it. There are many ways you can donate to the WWF—you can even "adopt" a threatened or endangered animal. You don't get to bring an Arctic Fox or a Three-Toed Sloth into your home, but your financial donation will protect one in its natural habitat!

OCEAN CONSERVANCY 
Like the WWF, Ocean Conservancy is a broad-reaching global project that aims to protect the oceans around the world, as well as the creatures that inhabit them. From stopping arctic drilling to fighting for sustainable fishing methods and establishing protected marine areas, Ocean Conservancy relies on sound scientific ideas to create effective programs. Again, if you need a reminder of how important it is to look after our oceans, hop on over to Netflix and watch Mission Blue.

Rescue animals are the best, and rescuing animals is also the best. My family has adopted dogs and cats in both Seattle and Sun Valley, and we have had the best experiences loving and caring for all of them. (That's Zooey, our rescue, on the right!) If you don't have a local animal shelter that you love, or don't have the capacity to open your home to an adopted animal (I don't in NYC!), consider making a donation to broad-reaching programs like the ASPCA and the Humane Society. Here in New York, you can even foster a dog or cat for a few weeks while a "forever family" is found, via Social Tees.

Here in America, 1 in 8 people faces issues with hunger. One way you can help is by donating to Feeding America, where they note that every $1 donated provides 11 meals for people in need. Another way to help is to use Feeding America's zip code tool to find a food bank in your area. You can donate food or volunteer your time.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD  
Thanks to the election of both Donald Trump and his VP Mike Pence, Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight a lot lately. As a woman, a feminist and an open-minded human, I believe that making sure women have access to the resources provided by Planned Parenthood is essential. Abortion talk gets the majority of the attention now, but remember that PP provides cancer screenings and important information on birth control options, sex education, gender identity, STDs and more.

Do you donate money or volunteer your time for causes you care about? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

{ PERSONAL STYLE } THOSE HUGH HEFNER HOLIDAY VIBES...



{ Zara jacket / Paige jeans / Vince ankle boots (sold out, similar) / J. Crew clutch (old, similar) / Topshop blouse (old, similar) / Celine sunglasses / Baublebar earrings }

Hugh Hefner once said, "Life's too short to be living someone else's dream." Personally, I had no idea that Ye Original Playboy was full of such sage wisdom—did you? I've been marinating on that idea over the few hours since I first googled "Hugh Hefner quotes" out of curiosity. I have to say, Mr. Hefner makes a great point, and as we near the end of 2016, now feels like a great time to take stock of exactly which dreams we are are and aren't living—and for whom.

Mr. Hefner and I seem to share an affinity for velvet smoking jackets, which is a sartorial dream we are both living, and presumably just for ourselves. That seems like a good start to me.

// CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE //


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

{ GIFT GUIDE 2016 } FOR THE BEST GUYS YOU KNOW...


That's right, the gift guide train is still going strong. Did you know there's just 11 more days until Christmas?! This week I've rounded up my favorite gift ideas for men—whether they be dads, boyfriends, brothers or sons. Most of them are relatively affordable too, with the priciest among my ideas being a $350 bicycle. You'll find all kinds of things, from cool electronics to coffee, outdoorsy gifts, bike accessories and games. (Honestly, a dart board for our house in Sun Valley is on my wish list this year, too!)

The Goby toothbrush + subscription, $65.
Normally I'd caution you by saying that giving someone a toothbrush for Christmas may do more harm to your relationship (whether it be familial or romantic) than good. However, when I first heard about the Goby toothbrush—an affordable, super good-looking electric toothbrush with an optional subscription for brush head replacements—I immediately thought of like five people who would love it. The brush comes in four stylish colors and can go for weeks on a single charge (which makes it great for traveling, btw). Rather than causing the recipient to question their hygiene, they'll mostly be excited to try it and proud to display it next to the sink.

Nomad leather charging wallet, $119.
This is another one of those unique pieces that certainly isn't the right gift for everyone, but when I came across it I couldn't help thinking that it would make a great gift for anyone who travels a lot, or someone who is constantly out and about. Nomad makes a variety of charging accessories, but this folding wallet is my favorite, simply because it's so good-looking. Flights without power outlets, late nights at the bar, long meetings, you name it—there are a lot of places and situations when this would come in super handy.

Not every guy loves to bike, and not every guy has room for a bike in his apartment. However, if he does and there is, I think Pure Cycles is a great way to go. You can choose from their huge variety of cool-color fixies and cruisers—or design a custom bike for about $50 more. Take note, however, that if your son / boyfriend / brother / dad is at all fussy about cycling, you may not want to fully commit to buying them a whole bicycle. Instead, hook your guy up with extras that will make his rides better. Consider a mount for his iPhone, a six-pack carrier (sweet!) or anything from Rapha. (Personally, I'm obsessed with their shaving cream!)

Ebbets Field Flannels 'City Series' sweatshirt, $79.
Along with personalized stuff, I think that localized gifts always tend to go over well. Does every guy in New York need a sweatshirt advertising that truth? No. But if, say, that guy's hometown is Seattle or Dallas or Caracas—Ebbets Field has a cool, vintage-feeling sweatshirt that he'd be proud to wear. Also, if you want to get ultra-local, check out Tuck Shop Trading for tons of beanies repping neighborhoods from Greenwich Village to Little Italy and Malibu, as well as a bunch of ski resorts  and Canadian cities, too.

Atlas Coffee Club subscription, $14 - $42 / month.
Pod coffee is bad for the environment. Plus, it's only kind of good. Most men I know rather enjoy the process of making their own coffee in the morning, whether that's with a Chemex or a French press or a plain-old brewer. If he's already got the tools to make his favorite cup, why not hook him up with monthly coffee deliveries? Atlas Coffee Club will send him (ground or unground) beans from around the world that also happen to come in very aesthetically pleasing bags.

You don't have to be an avid outdoors-person to get some serious use out of Yeti's lowball cups (with lids). These stainless steel ramblers keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours. Yes, these are great for camping and picnics in the great outdoors... But how about a snowy walk through the West Village with a homemade bourbon and cider (arm-in-arm with your main squeeze, no doubt)? Or come summer, heavy pours of chilled rosé as you take in the sunset on your roof? You're feeling me now, huh? Get the set of four ($79) here.

ZZ 4-in-1 Breakfast Maker, $35.
In case you forgot, presents shouldn't always be about filling a need in someone's life. Sometimes they are about totally unnecessary and indulgent delight. This tool is essentially a panini press that has four interchangeable plates so you can make waffles, omelettes, and breakfast sandwiches. And if that doesn't quite suit this guy's taste, they also make one specifically for burgers, donuts and waffles. Think about how much fun it will be over the holiday break to make all kinds of delicious breakfast and lunch food experiments in your new device. (Get creative ideas from this cookbook, and this one too.)

Other fun and random things, $10 - $135.
At this point in the holiday hustle, I've put so many gift guides together I could put like 100 things in every bundle. However, you don't come to blogs like mine to be overwhelmed with options. You want the best, and you want it to be smart and easy. Anyway, below I've rounded up a few more random gifts that I find to be fun and cool and mostly for guys (though that's really up to you). First—a dart board and darts. My last boyfriend had a dart board in his backyard and we spent one particularly amazing summer afternoon drinking Radler and playing darts in the fading sun. It's such a fun game and this board is just $45 (and ships for free from Nordstrom)! I also think this old school electronic basketball game makes for an awesome stocking stuffer, as does a shaving kit from Harry's.

I've always been a believer that books make a great gift (duh), because there is a book out there about literally everything. For every person on your list, you could find a book that fits their personality to a tee. Always partying? Yep. Obsessed with Bill Murray? Indeed. Loves to cook and drink at the same time? Here ya go.

Finally, I snuck in a few more wearables. The RAEN 'Remmy 52' sunglasses are a unisex and I think almost universally flattering frame, and the L.L. Bean fisherman sweater is the perfect "Here's this sweater for you, babe, but just know I'm going to borrow it all the time" gift.

Shop 12 more gift ideas for guys below!


// Need more gift ideas? //