midtown


a day well spent in my eyes: wandering around manhattan w/o a destination in mind. 

I find that when I walk the blocks of new york city, I always discover something brand new. for ex: last weekend, a few of us went for a walk after dinner & drinks. we found ourselves in the theater district and hanging from tree branch to tree branch feet above our head were strands of white lights. none of us had any idea how they got up there, and as lame as it sounds, it was one of the prettiest sights I've ever seen in manhattan.

earlier that same day, I bought the hat and sneakers pictured above and they're two of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe rn. 

beanie, champion + uo exclusive // jacket (similar), coffee shop coats // jeans (similar), zara // sneakers, new balance

shop it: 

brunch spot #2

eaten at: the kitchen step ≫  jersey city, nj

apologies in advance for not snapping pictures of the actual meals:

• smoked salmon tostado w/ everything cream cheese & petite greens
• hangar steak & eggs w/ crispy smashed potatoes 

I went to brunch this past wknd with my boyfriend. when him and I go out to eat, I don't like to take pictures of my food.  (hence why there are no images of the actual food.) that time is designated for ustalking, laughing, interacting...not for me to take instagram-worthy shots of my food. 

we both knew I couldn't resist capturing the restaurant's branding and decor, so I didn't feel too bad when I took a picture of the kitchen step's tabletop. I have a great appreciation for a company that truly knows who they are and what they stand for, and this restaurant has that down pat. 

the intimate welcoming vibes were not only represented in their comforting decor, but in their freshly cooked plates as well. even if I did want to get a picture of mine and my boyfriend's meals, I would've missed the moment because we ate them faster than I'd like to admit... 

thankful


I used to keep a notebook on my nightstand that said "be happy" on it in gold. every night, I wrote down three things I was grateful for that day. it was a tip I'd read over and over again while researching ways to literally be happy.

It worked for a while then life showed me how unpredictably cruel it could be and in a case of rage, I threw the journal out. I haven't written in one since, but I told myself in the new year, I'd do what I could attract that kind of positivity in my life again because tbqh, it's exhausting carrying the weight of unhappiness.

with that being said, what am I thankful for? easy...living within walking distance of this incredible view.

it's been a lifelong dream of mine to live where I do and I've fought to be here for the last five/six years. at first, I thought I wanted to live in manhattan and believe me, if I had the opportunity to, I would move in tomorrow...but right now, I'm beyond content in my little city, jersey city. it gives me the opportunity to take in the most powerful skyline I've ever seen...every.single.day.



jacket (similar), maurice's // hat (similar), bcbgeneration // scarf (similar), tj maxx // glasses, ray-ban // leggings, lularoe // sneakers, nike

shop it:

miami

view spotted: fontainebleau. miami beach, fl. 

last month, a few girlfriends & I went to florida for a long wknd. we stayed at the beautiful fontainebleau in miami beach and the five days we were there, I got a taste of what true luxury is like. for ex: (pictured above) one of the two chandeliers that greet you in the hotel's lobby.

for the first time in my "adult" life, I was able to take a step back and see that I must be doing something right. I was able to treat myself to a vacation of relaxing and indulging. everyone in their late-20'smyself includedgets so caught up in working towards the next thing that we don't appreciate where we are currently. it felt like just a year ago, my friends and I were squirreling money to buy 30-packs of beer and now we're all traveling, buying homes and getting married.

I hope you all won't think I'm superficial when I say that I had this feeling of success while I was at a nightclub watching confetti fall, but that's what sparked this ah-ha moment for me. (it could have also been the champagne...) ever since I realized I'm doing okay, I've made it a point to be easier on myself. & I hope that's something you can practice too the next time you're second guessing yourself.

ps: as exciting as a vacation might be, coming home to my apartment, boyfriend, cat & even my job is just as good. if not, better.

[x, nicole]


athleisure



confession: I'm obsessed w/ athleisure looks. 

think about an outfit you'd wear to the gym but would also grab coffee or happy hour drinks inthat's what athleisure means. it gives comfy casual a whole new vibe and I am alllllll over it. I'll admit that wearing cute active clothes kind of helps motivate me to work out. (so does thinking about all the food/alcohol I had over the holidays, but w/e.)

instead of buying plain black leggings, opt for branded ones like these or patterns, mesh and cutouts. layer them with active tanks and hoodies, but always make it a point to wear something that takes the outfit from work out to go out...like a leather jacket, fashion sneakers or a hat.



jacket, maurice's // hoodie, target // leggings, adidas for urban outfitters // hat, century 21 // sneakers, vans

winter wear


winter is an unfortunate season for those who are naturally cold, like myself. 
it's even more unfortunate for those who live in cities, like myself. 

that's why I make it a point to ensure that my jackets & coats are properly accessorized and styled. cue the oversized collection of scarves, hats and gloves. I especially have a soft spot for scarvessilk, wool, infinity, blanket. my newest plaid addition to the collection is my favorite scarf yet. (the fact that it perfectly matches this beanie and my yellow bomber might make me a little biased.)



jacket, santa fe apparel // scarf, tj maxx // jeans, zara // sneakers, nike // glasses, ray-ban // beanie, zumiez

coffee spot #2

drank at: a baked joint  washington, d.c. 

my boyfriend & I took a last minute trip to washington, d.c. to see a new york rangers game. in our short time there, we made sure we ate goood for each meal. we got breakfast at a place called a baked joint.

on the table: my first matcha latte, steel cut oats w/ apples and topped with berry compote & toasted almonds. 

I'll be honest...the only good thing about that foamy green drink was the way it photographed. I immediately learned that matcha is not for me, which is unfortunate because I've often considered switching from coffee to it. the oatmeal made up for it though. (so did the bite I took from my boyfriend's cinnamon that's slightly pictured here.)

skincare


I wouldn't necessarily say I struggled with my skin, but I have had a hard time finding the right products to care for it. this has been a hunt I've been on since high school and at 26 years old, I can finally say I've found what I'm looking for. (took forever, I know.)

So, I wanted to share my go-to skincare products that I was turned onto my one of my best girlfriends, thank god  mario badescu. the products are light, effective, affordable and long-lasting.

my daily line-up
1. enzyme cleansing gel - a face wash that doesn't make suds, which is perfect for people w/ oily skin.
2. glycolic foaming cleanser - this is an exfoliant that I only use this once a week. (okay, sometimes twice.) it doesn't have any beads to scrub away the dead skin, making it much gentler on your skin.
3. aloe moisturizer - super light, absorbs quickly. I will say that at times, it's a bit heavy so this isn't my ideal lotion. (trying a new one once this is finished, so tbd!) all face lotion has SPF 15 sunscreen in it, bonus.

I'll be honest...shortly after writing this post, I was at my local ulta buying my next face moisturizer. I also left with a product sample that encouraged me to buy the full bottle. I'll share these with you soon, promise.

witchy


when I was in high school, I was mocked for my love of all black everything  clothes, makeup, hair, accessories. people called me "goth" despite the fact that I was very far from it. at the time, it made me insecure, but fortunately I was taught to be myself & not care what others think so I held onto my need to wear dark things. who would've thought that (almost) 10 years down the road, I'd still find it a point to where as much black as possible.

...and guess what, so does everyone else around me. so to all the girls running around right now with their purple-black lips, how's it feel to know the girl you made fun of was lightyears ahead of the dramatic trend? 

more fun than my witch-inspired look is the fact that I got to shoot the outfit in one of my company's photo studios & pretend that for just a sec, I was tall enough to be a high-end fashion model. 

shirt, hot topic // skirt, H&M // boots, forever 21 // hat, rvca // lipstick, kylie cosmetics

seasons

view spotted: central park. new york, ny. 

I fall most in love with life when fall arrives and then again when it leaves. most people enjoy the sun of the summer or the crisp air of the winter, but me...I prefer when the temperature starts to slightly drop and the trees open up and expose the warmest colors, the same shades that inspire my fall wardrobe.

there's something so enlightening in the process of seasons changing, and I think I relate so strongly to it as I'm constantly changing. knowing that the earth thinks it's okay to do so multiple times of year gives me hope in my need to keep evolving.

this year more so than most I am beyond ready for the fall to roll into winter, and then the winter into a new year. I've fought hardships I never thought I'd endure at this age and while at first they made me incredibly bitter and insecure, I've started to see the light at the end of my emotional tunnel.

a quote I stumbled upon last fall has stayed with me and gives me hope as this autumn starts to come to an end and welcome the winter:

"the leaves are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go." 

despite my losses and struggles, I'm learning to remember the importance of them. they truly teach you who you are and just how strong you can be but at the same time, they can break you down bone by bone, muscle by muscle. it's dangerous to get caught in misery's tricky webs, so whenever I caught myself slipping, I'd remind myself that like the seasons, these feelings won't last forever.

I've learned that they'll come and they'll go & one thing will remain, you. much like the trees, I'm ready to let go of what I need to in order to make room for all the beautiful things that are ready to come my way. (and I hope you all are too.)

[x, nicole]

thrifting


thrift stores haven't always been my thing. for the longest time, the idea of purchasing already used merchandise and decor kind of freaked me outshallow, I knowbut as I've gotten older, I've formed an appreciation for the generous who pass on their hand-me-downs, the buyers/merchandisers/store owners who find it & re-sell it, and the shoppers who come home with unique finds. (tbh, I also really love having the opportunity to buy things that no one else has.)

fortunately, jersey city has some of the best thrift shops...my favorite being very located downtown. the owners of the store are incredibly trendy and their assortment is always has the best denim, crewnecks, sweaters & graphic tees...much like the grungy american motorcycle one that's inside this pretty branded bag.

stay tuned to see how I style my new graphic tee! 'til then, here's me in my wool bomber that, despite its shocking color, I cannot stop wearing.  


jacket: santa fe apparel // tee: h&m // necklace: bauble bar // denim: zara // sneakers: circus by sam edelman

shaggy vibes


making dramatic hairstyle changes has been in my nature since I was about 13. I can thank my mother for her constant encouragement to get different haircuts, always telling me, "it's just hair...it'll grow back."

well, what she failed to mention is how loooong it takes for it to grow back.

over four years ago, I jumped on the pixie cut bandwagon. I even took it one step further and bleached it white. only now am I finally passed the length I was before I decided to chop it all off and I am beyond excited to have hair that's style-able. *cue the shaggy vibes!* 

what I love most about people's hair is that from a superficial standpoint, it defines them. the color, length and style says more about a someone's character than their outfit. (or so I think.) much like any other realm of fashionable expression, you need to know what works for you. my hair isn't pin straight, nor is it incredibly curly - it has this unkept wave to it, making it perfect for a shaggy lob.

my hairstylist threw some in some more blonde, an ashy toner & wah-lah, new fall hair!



hair by: jaclyn bench @ salon o // lipstick: temptu // necklace c/o mirina collections

coffee spot #1

drank at: lackawanna coffee ≫ jersey city, nj

I'm a sucker for good coffee & an even bigger one for good branding. when I walked passed lackawanna coffee a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make it a point to stop it. low and behold, it's the richest, freshest coffee I've found in jersey city yet. bonus, all the pastries and snacks at the counter are all health conscious and vegetarian friendly.

(not pictured: the morning glory muffin that was all kinds of cinnamon-y good.)


tommy x gigi

because my roomie's the best, I was able to snag an invite to the tommy x gigi fashion show during nyfw. the scene was cleverly original, the clothes obviously wowed, and the heat was f*cking unbearable. I couldn't get over how poised the models looked walking the runway seeing as I was there wearing half the clothes, and sweating five times as bad.

the tommy x gigi collection mixes nautical vibes with sophisticated silhouettes but let's be honest, would you expect anything else from the classiest duo?


sunglasses: celine // top & bag : urban outfitters // skirt: forever 21 // choker: dear hannah, // shoes: converse

nym products

my hair has gone through this weird evolution as I've gotten older. when I was younger, I had pin straight hair and the older I get, the wavier it's getting. if I style it properly, it's the perfect beachy look.

now, I can't achieve any good hair days without the right products so I've been experimenting with a few. my favorite so far? not your mother's. I'll admit it, I was originally drawn to the brand based on its packaging/branding (naturally), but I was happy to learn that their products are actually really awesome.


in case you were wondering, this is by no means a sponsored post, this is strictly just opinion...and one that I'm very excited to share with you. try it & lemme know what ya think! share it in the comments. x 

brunch spot #1

eaten at: short grain ≫ jersey city, nj

it's no secret that brunching is a way of life in this day & age. fortunately for me, I live in a city that's filleddddd with good brunch spots. often times, I find my indecisive self spinning trying to pick a place to eat Instagrammable meals and drink champagne at 1 in the afternoon.

this brunch didn't include alcohol, but it did include some really rich iced lattes and the best pancakes I've ever eaten in my life, and I don't even like pancakes. the chefs at short grain maintained this crispiness on both sides of their lemon ricotta pancake, even though it was smothered in honey. *cue the drool.*

 and obviously the avo toast was great, but what else is new?

[ psa: stay tuned for future brunch spots. x ]

tshirt dress


key to the perfect lazy girl outfit:  a t shirt dress. 

all it takes are a few accessories to make something so simple super chici.e.: a statement necklace, flatform sandals & an oversized hat.

as much as I want to take full credit for this look, it wouldn't be right seeing as I snagged this brandy melville faux suede dress off my roommate's rolling rack. (yes, rolling rack...because we live in a city apartment with limited closet space.) so, thanks gf!



dress: brandy melville // necklace c/o mirina collections // hat: rvca // sandals: kensie

buns out


if I really put my mind to it, I'm pretty good at doing hair. always mine though, never someone else's...and that's not because I'm a bitch, it's because styling other people's hair intimidates me. (god bless all the hairdressers out there, especially mine.)

for example, I'm not sure how many people would be happy about their two buns being different colors or that the french braids are noticeably lose. it was enough for me though, especially when paired w/ this epic ugh halter, BDG denim & my chuck taylors.



top: pacsun // shorts: urban outfitters // sunglasses: sabre

my city

view spotted: newark ave. jersey city, nj

I always knew I wanted to feel home away from home. it was a fleeting idea that I was curious about, how one could find comfort in a different location from where they'd originally had it. only recently did I find myself in a situation that allowed me to move out of my hometown to a new cityturns out you can take the girl from the beach...and willingly.

for quite some time, I've always felt this unease while in my old town. I think part of me knew sooner than the rest that it was time to move on. it'd always been something I talked about but never acted on 'til life forced me to. since then, I've had a calm to my chaos. it's not frequent but it's enough to help keep me sane.

there's something new to learn, see, feel around every street corner and down every block of my city, jersey city and that's why I love it here...and tbh, I never thought I'd admit to loving anywhere in new jersey. (#sorrynotsorry)

quick intro


to sum it up, I'm a bundle of well-dressed, tech-loving chaos. I find that while I'm constantly scattered due to my own absentmindedness, a few things remain constant...my love for clothes, shoes & accessories, and my obsession with websites.

only lately did I find a career that allowed me to exercise all my passions as an ecomm fashion merchandiser and since then, I've grown more confident in myself mentally, creating a greater understanding of my wants, needs & interests. This inspired me to launch a self-named website for all the things I love.

in the past, I've connected myself to a blog alias and learned that sooner or later, it restricted me from creating the website that I've been trying to for so long. while there is a huge fashion-focus to this site, you can expect more than just thatnotable city finds from my new hometown, beauty products I've been loving, healthy recipes I've cooked successfully, quotes and blurbs from readings that inspire me, et cetera, et cetera.

while I'm just using this as a public archive for myself to look back on, I hope you all learn something new & more importantly, enjoy what you read.

[x, nicole]



dress: brandy melville // shoes: converse // choker: forever 21 // sunglasses: sabre