With Arms Outstretched

So I am going to be 100% honest; my absence these past couple of weeks on SLB is not due to my usual reason for falling off the blog wagon in the past — you know, the “I’m too busy, I’ve got so much going on, blah dee blah” excuse. I have sat down to write this post probably at least seven times in the past two weeks but seem to have fallen ill with an unfamiliar case of writer’s block.

I have no one to blame but a feline companion and myself for the lack of inspiration, but let me rewind. Shortly after writing my last post, I was asked to cat sit in a town house on the Upper East Side. Up until this afternoon, I had been living in shangri-la enjoying all of the amenities (the space! the kitchen! a bathroom to call my own!) that the home and the neighborhood had to offer.

While this whole set up felt something like serious good fortune, I was subconsciously affected by my new surroundings. Although I have been consistently filling my days to the brim with adventures, I lost the ability to write about these experiences the way I wanted to. I have no explanation for this except that not being in “my element” (even if that element is a tiny apartment in Chinatown) caused me to lose the words that usually come so easily when I’m writing a post on SLB.

It actually feels like a funny joke when I think about it: of course I am more excited and inspired to be in this postage stamp apartment located in the quirkiest of neighborhoods than living the life of luxury on the UES. It’s just something about being in your place, your space, where you have finally developed a familiarity with the setting and the people around you. Losing this, even if just temporarily, can make the brain do a complete 180.

But enough of the psychobabble. As mentioned, these last few weeks have been wild and wonderful filled with trips to hip craft fairs in Brooklyn, inception brownies and some brand new jam-worthy tunes. Idea: how about I stop writing and start showing? Good? Good.


























So you guys might be wondering about the title; it comes from a song by Rilo Kiley that reminds me of summers past and makes me think towards the future. In this moment, I am working on perfecting the balancing act that is me running towards my future and staying very still as I am right here, right now. The rest is yet to be determined, but what I know for certain is this: I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.

More late night ramblings and tales to come.

Easy + Breezy

There are a lot of reasons to love summertime: shorter hemlines, fruity drinks with straws, a few more hours of sunlight everyday, and open ended weekend adventures. In years past, there was only one thing holding me back from completely falling for this season like so many of my friends: my makeup routine.

As a girl with combination, sensitive, acne-prone skin, I have struggled for years to find the perfect summer products that would give me lasting coverage without making my face look cakey, dried out or a nice Snooki shade of orange (think Cheeto). During the summer, I longed for that easy, no-fuss routine; instead, what I usually got was a mess of heavy discoloration that left me looking like an oil slick by the end of the day.

With the help of some smart shopping using consumer review sites like MakeupAlley and Amazon I was determined to find a solution to my makeup frustrations. Here are my go-to products for an everyday look that will stay put even during the hottest months of the year:

Summer Beauty Essentials

1. Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30, Physicians Formula

2. Laguna Bronzing Powder, NARS

3. Orgasm Blush, NARS

4. Healthy Skin Enhancer SPF 20, Neutrogena

5. High Definition Volume Mascara Extreme Black, NYC

6. Quince Lip Butter, Korres

My morning makeup routine is basic. After washing and moisturizing my face, I apply and blend the Healthy Skin Enhancer all over with my hands. I then use a fluffy, densely packed powder brush to apply the Mineral Wear Pressed Powder in circular motions. Using a bronzing brush, I follow up with a light dusting of my Laguna Bronzer on the “outside” edges of my face (forehead, jaw line, chin and neck) and then I use a blush brush to apply my Orgasm Blush to my cheekbones and the outside apples of my cheeks. Add a couple swipes of mascara and a little application of lip butter and voilà! I am set and ready to go for the day.


Of course, nothing goes better with a fresh faced look than a smile and a song to match your mood. Jason Mraz’s “Living In The Moment” has been playing through my headphones on repeat for a solid week now:

What are your beauty solutions for beating the summer heat? Tweet me or write in the comments section below!

More adventures to come.

The Head & the Heart

I woke up this morning feeling sentimental for a few good reasons. Friday night after work, I jumped on a bus and headed back to DC to pay homage to one of my most wonderful friends, Katie Harkins. After getting an invite to her going away party a couple weekends ago, I chose to play the stealth card and surprise her at the party. Katie is moving to California for the summer, and it is undetermined when or where I will get a chance to see her again in the coming months; she has played a big role in shaping who I have become these last three years at school, and in my mind, there was really no other option but to come down to see her.


I will try to resist the urge of continuing to write up a big heartfelt note about Katie on SLB; she knows that she means the world to me and that is what’s most important. I will give her credit, however, for making this weekend a transformative one for me. After spending time talking with her, our good friend Naomi and a few other of my closest friends, I figured out what I want the rest of my time in New York City to look like.

I have the opportunity to approach this summer as one might approach a semester studying abroad in a foreign country; if I release my inhibitions and completely immerse myself in the city, I know I have the chance to grow so much from this adventure. I think that this is something I always knew going into the summer, but didn’t fully understand until coming back to a place that has become so familiar and comfortable for me.

So, with this in mind, I have decided not to take anymore trips back to the district until school starts again in August for the sake of giving myself up entirely to New York. As challenging as this might be, this weekend also showed me that the close friendships I have made in DC don’t just disappear the minute I venture beyond the beltway. I couldn’t be luckier to know that after the adventure is done, I have a family of friends to come back to, a place to call “home”, and always someone to share a cool margarita with.

Photo Credit: Naomi Hanfling

Photo Credit: Madeline Beard

Speaking of family, today’s sentimental mindset has been amplified further in light of the fact that it’s Father’s Day. Everything I am writing about here, from my time at school in DC, to the friends I have made, to my summer in New York, and even the photos I capture on a daily basis, would not have been possible had it not been for my amazing dad. Next to my mom and big brother, he is the most supportive figure in my life. We are alike in so many ways, from our stubborn perseverance and work ethic to our love of Bob Dylan and a good cup of tea, and I am thankful every day for growing up with his support to guide me. It has and will continue to influence my decisions, move me forward and shape my life. On this day, I also want to honor Len Beard and Marvin Davis, my grandfathers who both passed away this year. They each possessed their own sort of wonderful magic, and that isn’t something that goes away with the passing of mortal life. It lives on through the generations, in the form of a phrase, a habit, a song, a story. They will live on in my heart forever.





While this post didn’t make for my typical fashion and fun-filled banter, I felt I needed to document where I am in my life currently. I have felt a shift, hit a bit of a turning point, but in the most positive way. I am en route to NYC bringing back with me a clearer head and heart, and wings to help me fly.

More adventures to come.