Resolutions + Reflections

A little less than a week from now, we will kiss 2013 goodbye and usher in 2014 amidst clinking glasses, confetti and fireworks. It is around this time that we often hear phrases like “clean slate” and “blank canvas” used. While in the past I have welcomed the fresh start that a new year offers, I’ve opted to change my frame of mind for 2014.

This past year has been a dazzling, exciting, at points terrifying, crazy awesome, beautiful adventure. The lessons learned were some of my hardest yet; the highs were higher, the lows a bit lower, and the in between moments were meaningful and memorable. Adhering to one of my resolutions (more on that in a hot second), I tried to think about what my year would look like in a doodle. Here’s what I came up with:


Colorful, a little chaotic and filled with big themes and big dreams.

The idea of trying to wipe away any parts of 2013 to prep for my “clean slate” doesn’t make much sense to me. I’ve always believed in resolutions, but we shouldn’t just crumple up our old year and toss it away every time our calendars mark January 1st. This cycle is exhausting and doesn’t allow us to reflect on what we are doing right. We’ve all got changes that need to be made, things we want to do differently, goals, and aspirations. But all of these hopes and dreams don’t just follow the cut-and-dry 365 days per year pattern. We are constantly learning, growing and evolving; the things we discover and experience each passing year always carry over, whether we like it or not.

So, in the spirit of this new frame of mind, I’ve come up with a few of my own resolutions, based on what 2013 has taught me. Some are fun, some a bit more serious, but undoubtedly all will inspire positive change.

1. Add a pair of colorful frames to my accessories collection.



While this might seem like a pretty silly and minor resolution for most, it stems from and embodies a bigger goal. This year I chopped off my hair, wore some pretty outlandish outfits and made sure I had fun getting dressed every morning. I want to maintain this joy in my wardrobe in 2014 by pushing the sartorial envelope even further. These frames from Warby Parker are at the top of my list of must haves, along with more hats and crazy hippie jewelry. Since this year will be my least predictable yet (anything after May is a big, bold question mark), why not roll with the theme and start dressing like a vagabond consistently lost in a field of wildflowers?

2. Master a handstand (and other crazy balance poses) in yoga.

As mentioned before, yoga has become one of my favorite things. Once I’m back in the district, buying a month long unlimited membership to my neighborhood yoga studio will be the first thing at the top of my to do list. Namaste ya’ll.

3. Learn to budget.

As I stand at the brink of adulthood, I’ve realized I should probably start to actually manage my money, rather than just cast my fates (and bank balance) to the winds every time I pull out my debit card. Better to start now to save myself from one less rude awakening on my road to fiscal independence.

4. Kickstart spring cleaning.


It was recently brought to my attention that some of my nearest and dearest feel that I am a bit of a pack rat. Now, in my opinion the word pack rat is just north of hoarder and harbors a pretty negative connotation. I like to think of myself more as a collector of things that I really like: sweaters, shoes, costumes, candles, art, yarn, coins… you get the gist. However, considering I am going to be packing up and moving somewhere fairly soon (and hopefully won’t need a super sized UHaul to do it), it might be time that I start to curate my various collections with a more discerning eye. Just like budgeting, this will no doubt save me from a lot of additional work and dust bunnies in the months ahead.

5. Add a bit of design (and other cool things) to SLB.


As mentioned above and shown in my 2013 doodle, I want to actively work to include more design related things on SLB. This might be just a documentation of my current projects (some of which you can see here) or simply sharing something from the interwebz that catches my fancy. Considering it has become such a huge part of my life, it doesn’t make sense not to include it. I also want to start rolling out little mini upgrades for you all (perhaps a SLB Spotify playlist anyone?) so get excited.

6. See more shows.

If you guys hadn’t noticed from the frequent music heavy posts, I really love discovering new artists. I love going to concerts. Even if I’m not familiar with the band playing, there is something so magical about joining a bunch of people for this collective experience. If I do know the artist, that feeling is that much more powerful and resonant. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some pretty cool shows in 2013, and I want to keep that trend going and growing. The pie in the sky concert dream? Coachella 2014 would be a pretty sick grad gift. Just saying in case you’re reading this mom and dad.

It’s the day after Christmas and I am vacationing with my parents in southern California. For the first time in a long time I am relaxed, well fed and have fully caught up on sleep. It’s moments like these when the world stops spinning quite so fast and I get a chance to just exhale. It is a blessing in disguise to not know where exactly I am going to be a year from now; it allows my imagination to wander even further, trying on all sorts of possibilities to fill in the “what” and “where” blanks. January 1st will mark the start of my next great adventure (otherwise known as facing the imminent “real world”), and I can’t wait to share that crazy ride with you all.

Hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season filled with laughter, love and well wishes.

Many more adventures to come in 2014, but none forgotten.

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.

Head to Toe: Intern Style

Close your eyes and picture this scenario: it’s the night before your first day at your summer internship. You have planned everything out in excruciating detail — you know exactly how long your commute is, where you can find the closest Starbucks to get your iced coffee fix before work and have stocked your “survival kit” with extra breath mints, bobby pins and band-aids. Then you realize that you have overlooked something very important: your first day of work ensemble.

Caught in this moment of crisis last night, I flashed back to 15 year old Maddie who painstakingly planned what to wear the first day of ninth grade a week in advance (okay, yeah I was pretty neurotic, but I meant well). Swap my flared, white jeans for anything business casual and the thoughts running through my head were almost identical to those of my adolescent self: what can I wear that shows my personality without being too out there? If I wear a shirt with cats printed on it, will it come across as playful or preschool? Is neon ever appropriate?

So for those of you faced with the same questions, spare yourself the worry! Below is my recipe for a foolproof first day of work outfit. And remember, it’s okay to stick with your trusty staples (e.g. the classic black pencil skirt, a neutral blouse) even if you feel like you look a little — dare I say — boring? On the first day, it’s better safe than sorry. Add a little pop, pattern or sparkle to satisfy your inner wild thing and leave the neon hot pants at home (that is unless you’re supposed to wear neon hot pants to your internship — coming from Las Vegas, you can never be too sure about these things).

What to Wear: On Your First Day of Work

Topshop sheer top / s.Oliver pencil skirt, $91 / Zara ballerina shoes / C. Wonder patent leather flat / MICHAEL Michael Kors handbag / Michael Kors bracelet jewelry / FOSSIL jewelry / Marc by Marc Jacobs stud earrings / Deepa Gurnani / Marc by Marc Jacobs / Jane Tran hair accessory

Whatever you decide to don on your first day, the takeaway is simple. The more comfortable you feel on the outside, the more confident you’ll feel on the inside — and that leaves an impression on employers far outlasting any piece of clothing or accessory.

More sartorial adventures to come.