Growing up in the south, fall never felt like a profound transition. Sure we went back to school and started following football instead of baseball, but the weather remained temperate, if not hot, well into October.
This year, at almost the exact moment we transitioned to the autumnal equinox, fall fell on New York City. The air has started to get cool and crisp in the early morning and at sunset, and there’s a distinct sensation that something is shifting.
The changing of seasons can be time to slip into a slump or, oppositely, get caught up and carried away with transformation. I urge you to ease yourself into autumn, and start fall in style with five of my favorite seasonal activities:
1. CURL UP WITH A NEW BOOK
One of my favorite fall pastimes is holing up in my apartment on a Saturday with a good book and a warm cup of tea. When weather permits, it’s also lovely to embrace the chill in the air, pile on a scarf and some layers, and soak up the last remaining months before winter by posting up on a park bench and reading outside.
2. STAY ACTIVE
Bikini season is over and the weather is getting cooler, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important to stay active in the fall and winter months. Prepare for rich foods and overindulging during the holiday season now by maintaining your exercise routine. Staying connected to your body will also help you weather the transition!
3. RECONNECT WITH FRIENDS AT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BAR
Fall is a time when everyone tends to return home and settle into their typical routines. Now that everybody is back from irregular summer schedules and trips, it’s a great time to come together and reconnect. Simply gather with your friends on a Friday night at your neighborhood bar and catch up!
4. REASSESS YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE
When the weather changes, so should your beauty routine. With cooler temperatures, drier air, and increased winds, it’s important to keep your skin nourished. Reassess your bases, like moisturizer and foundation, and invest in products that will keep you hydrated into the winter.
5. SUPPORT THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE
Concerts are a great indoor activity for fall whether you’re planning a date night or enjoying a girl’s night out. Indulging in artistic entertainment will help boost your spirits and eliminate the cold weather blues. Scope out your city’s venues, check out the tour dates for your favorite artists, and support the local music scene this season!
My mom grew up with short hair and knew little to nothing about styling long hair. So, for my tenth birthday I asked for a lesson on braiding. At the time I still went to my original hairstylist Tracy, who had given me my very first haircut. She was more than happy to grant my birthday wish.
Mastering basic braids – French braid, Dutch braid, fishtail braid – served me well at numerous slumber parties and school dances throughout my youth. I enjoyed the big, chunky braids of my friends with full, thick hair. I was even more fascinated with the braids of my friends whose moms had let them get blonde highlights. But my hair is fine, brown, and somewhat boring. I never loved braids on me.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago… I partnered with Salon Dm3 in Athens, GA and my friend and stylist of six years, Catie McWhirter, to undergo a summer hair transformation. I lost some length and bulk and got some fun, warm-weather highlights. Lastly, I learned three of the easiest hairstyles for summer – no braiding required!
Wish you could achieve those effortless beach waves?
Simply want a style to get your hair off your face on those hot summer days?
Need an amazing up-do to rock at summer weddings, parties, events, and festivals?
Looking for an alternative to the ever-popular braid trend?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then you need to watch my latest YouTube video!
Photography and Videography by Sonali Prabhu of So Narly
I spent this past weekend in Milwaukee and attended a little blogging conference for Midwest bloggers. At the the first ever Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee I connected with fellow bloggers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, and of course Milwaukee. One of the bloggers, Maya of Charmingly Styled, has launched a campaign today called #RealBloggerBeauty. Maya developed the idea for the project last winter at Moda Magazine’s University of Wisconsin Fashion Week Blogger Panel. As one of the featured bloggers on the panel, Maya was posed the question, “How would you use your influence [with your readers] to do something that supports a cause that’s important to you?” Her response was that “[she] would want to do something opposing the perfectionism that bloggers (and everyone) is striving to achieve by sharing personal and perfectly imperfect experiences.” Ultimately, what Maya is doing with the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign is starting a conversation among bloggers, women, and everyone about perfectionism and digital personas.
This conversation is very near and dear to my heart. Our generation, Generation Y, is the first generation to be faced with the challenge of creating a digital persona. Now, grappling with typical challenges like bullying and body image are no longer limited to our private journals. They are part of a public forum on the Internet and in social media. I feel both blessed and cursed to be a part of this generation. My job as a freelancer would look very different if the Internet and social media did not exist. ARTicles of Clothing Blog would not exist. In a way we are blessed with a medium that allows us to expose and discuss important topics instantly with anyone around the world. It’s really amazing when you actually think about the power of the Internet. But with great power comes great responsibility. As the first generation to embrace these digital platforms, we have been given the great responsibility to carve and shape them.
“No one’s life is always full of ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments, and it’s time to embrace the messes, insecurities, and struggles of life together.” – Maya, Charmingly Styled
What if the Internet and social media were places to truly showcase our authentic selves and connect with people? I believe this was the original intention behind the Internet and social media – to connect people in different cities, states, and countries who may never have had the opportunity to connect before. It’s unfortunate that a medium meant to connect has in some ways done the opposite and isolated us from being true to ourselves and making genuine connections. Do we have the power to change the trajectory of social media? My answer is yes.
In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.
The first two images depict me in the summer right after my high school graduation and in the fall of my freshman year of college. I gained about 20lbs my senior year of high school, the same year Facebook was launched worldwide. I may or may not have “looked good” at this time, but I certainly didn’t feel good. Yet, I slapped on a fake smile, and tried to create a persona that looked good and felt good on social media. The third image is me at my 21st birthday. I had devoted the summer before my 21st birthday to truly feeling good and looking good. I ended a toxic relationship, lost some weight, and chopped off my hair. I think this third image and the three that follow illustrate me genuinely feeling good and looking good. You probably recognize the final image from a photo shoot I did for ARTicles of Clothing Blog. For a long time I have defined myself as a writer. This is the primary reason starting a blog appealed to me. I’ve never viewed myself as a model or the face of a brand. The simple fact that I executed this photo shoot and showcased the images on a public platform for all the internet to see demonstrates how far I’ve come with my own digital persona over the past eight years.
No matter who you are – a blogger, a woman, everyone – I urge you to join in on the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign and promote the creation of genuine digital personas and connections.
I normally try not to spread negativity, but today was just one of those incredibly frustrating days on the grind. Midday, I felt so lethargic and dejected I had to just step away from my work and take a me moment. It was then I complied the images for this inspiration board, which I’ve titled Keep Blogging Weird.
In these instances, I typically find myself looking for creative inspiration. Whether it be in my work as a freelancer, in my hobbies, or right here on this blog, creativity is what drives me and motivates me to press onward. I discovered this about myself after learning to tune into my mind and body and truly listen.
I’ve talked about the cyclical relationship between feeling good and looking good in previous posts. Most of the time this blog is devoted to discussing looking good, but today brought back to the importance of feeling good. To make a bold, blanket statement: life is hard! It’s very easy to not feel good. This is why it is imperative for us to listen to ourselves, be mindful, and check in to our bodies. They’re telling us something! And today, mine was telling me to take a moment to help myself feel good. After my short me moment and some lunch, I had a positive meeting with a client and a productive phone date with my bff bride to be for whom I’m maid of honor. All it took was listening to myself and doing what my body needed to turn my day around. When was the last time you tuned in to your mind and body and listened?
Here’s a FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD challenge: stop and take a moment each day to practice listening to yourself. For an even bigger challenge, act upon what you crave in that instant – maybe all you need is a me moment. Once you feel better, you’ll look better too!
For the past three days we’ve all been basking in the glory of the first festivities of the summer. The Memorial Day holiday kicks off the first of many extended summer weekends, vacations, and holiday get-togethers to come over the coming summer months. It was a fantastic three-day weekend, but… we’re feeling out of shape from overindulging… we’re feeling exhausted from overextending ourselves… we’re feeling pain from overexposure to the sun. Gearing up and getting back to the grind after a holiday weekend can be difficult. Don’t let summer adventures dull your productivity! Check out my 3 cures for a post-holiday hangover.
Cleanse Your Palate
Summer festivities always seem to consist of salty food and an abundance of alcohol. These refreshments in combination with the summer heat leave us deeply dehydrated and feeling bloated and lethargic. Before you head to hot yoga or out for a run to detox from overindulging, cleanse your palate by replenishing nutrients and hydrating. Smoothies are a social butterfly’s best friend in the summer months. There are endless seasonal ingredient options for smoothies in the summer, so it’s easy to have the necessary ingredients on hand. Smoothies are super refreshing and satisfying – they’re a surefire way to energize yourself after an extended summer holiday! New to smoothie-making and need some help pairing ingredients perfectly? Follow MyBOD Wellness on Facebook and Twitter for weekly recipe inspiration!
Master the Summer Up-do
When you’re heading back to work after a holiday, you’re likely feeling exhausted from travel and endless activities, parties, and events. You don’t particularly FEEL GOOD, so the last thing you care about is trying to LOOK GOOD. By now you probably know my theory that feeling good and looking good have a cyclical relationship. So, if you’re able to put in a little effort to LOOK GOOD before you head back to work, you will FEEL GOOD and hopefully be more productive post-holiday. The key to looking good when feeling lazy is mastering the summer up-do. There are endless summer hair tutorials out there, many of which seem complicated and unattainable without the help of a celebrity stylist. However, I found two with realistic options for the everygirl: Easy Summer Hairstyles by Self Magazine and Fresh DIY Ponytails by Refinery 29.
Sooth the Sunburn
I was fortunate enough to get a base tan on my Mexico getaway back in April. However, I’m a pale girl with Irish blood, so for those of you who stepped into the sun for the first time this season over Memorial Day, I feel your pain, literally. If you’re fair skinned like me, you know that no amount of sunscreen can truly prevent you from getting burned during the summer when we spend significantly more time outdoors. My northern girls also have particularly sensitive skin come summer after being bundled up in a parka for the past six months. It is essential that you have some remedies to sooth the sunburn on hand. Refinery 29 to the rescue again! Just in time for Memorial Day, R29 Beauty Director Megan McIntyre shared four Homemade Cures for Burnt-to-a-Crisp Skin.