Sunday, March 29, 2015

Prom Season

April is fast approaching, which naturally means formal/prom shopping season is upon us! 
While I'm a bit past my prom days, I've realized there are still plenty of excuses to go shopping for a new party dress in college. Whether it be a sorority formal, senior grad party, or a charity gala, 
JJ Dress has every type of dress you could possibly imagine. I never actually went to prom, but I would have been overwhelmed choosing just one dress for the night.;-) 

From short and flirty, to classic and sophisticated, or glittery and bold, here are some of my favorites.









1 | 23 | 4 | 5

Shop more at JJDress.com!


This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wedding Wednesday

While it's still cold in Boston right now, spring is slowly but surely starting to bloom. 
Even though there's still snow on the ground, wedding and prom season are right around the corner. 8Wd Shop has some beautiful prom, wedding, and special occasion dresses for every theme and destination you could imagine. 

I love the variety of prom dresses 8Wd has, but I also love their selection of wedding dresses. While I'm far from my own wedding day, a girl can't help but look.;) They offer cheaper wedding dress options, but without sacrificing their range of options. Depending on the occasion and your taste, you can search by hemline, fabric, neckline, and even body shape. 

Here are some of my favorite dresses below!






Visit 8wdshop.com to see more styles!


*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Power of Kindness // Teen Vogue Fashion U 2015







During Spring Break, I had the opportunity to attend Teen Vogue’s 2015 Fashion University in New York City. In partnership with the CFDA, the conference is hosted for young women and men ages 16-24 who are working towards a career within the fashion industry in business, design, or styling. For two days, I was surrounded by a group of smart, driven, and hard working peers from around the world who I am both honored and lucky enough to be entering the fashion industry with in the next coming years.

 The conference had invaluable networking opportunities with accomplished Teen Vogue staff such as Publisher/Chief Revenue Officer, Jason Wagenheim, and Editor in Chief, Amy Astley, not to mention industry icons including Zac Posen, Jessica Simpson, Rebecca Minkoff, Michelle Phan, and Leandra Medine who provided advice on how to draft a standout resume, to crafting your personal brand, and finding confidence within yourself. Needless to say, I collected many pearls of wisdom from Fashion U, but the most inspiring piece of advice was the power of kindness.

Kindness has been on my radar quite a lot recently. For some reason, I feel as if I have been witness to a lot of unkindness lately. On campus, stress levels have been increasingly high with midterm season, summer internship planning, study abroad applications, and graduation all up in the air. In the city, it seems like everyone has been in a weird funk with this neverending snow. I admit this negative energy floating around has been slowly wearing me down; this conference certainly could not have arrived at a better time...

The minute I set foot in New York City, I felt this wave of kindness set into motion. I was a bit lost taking the subway and asked a young woman for guidance. As fate would have it, we were traveling to the same place and after a few polite moments of chatter, we quickly bonded over our current struggles with jobs and internships. She was struggling as a recent college graduate to find a job she was passionate about while I explained my struggle to secure an internship this summer. She sympathized with my desire to find work I was passionate about and with a company who's values I admired. She gave me some tips on how to search for internship opportunities, but most importantly her kindness, encouragement, and ceaseless positivity boosted my current disposition. While this exchange lasted no more than thirty minutes, I don’t think I will ever forget how her kindness not only saved me from being lost, but brought together two strangers with mirroring stories.

The next morning, I met with an old friend who recently graduated college and now works in the city. It was great to catch up, but it was refreshing to see a fellow peer get out into the real world and thrive. Everyday, I wake up and go to bed worrying about my future career. I don't necessarily worry about being "successful", but finding a future job that makes me feel happy and satisfied. As Millennials, I truly believe my generation is more passionate about working for a company that alines with our career goals and ethical values. Over this past year, I have found myself in situations where I didn't feel my personal values matched the values of my environment. The stars didn't necessarily aline for my friend at first, but after some negative experiences, she found the “right job”. She experienced firsthand how the power of kindness within the office or your environment can make a difference in your sense of worth, work, and overall happiness.

During Fashion U, I gained a lot of knowledge about the business behind fashion that often gets lost behind the swaths of beautiful clothing within our industry; however, the most reoccurring piece of advice was the power of being kind to others. Many of the speakers addressed the importance of working hard and being kind to others to not only “make it in the industry”, but make it with your personal dignity in tact. Any job industry is competitive, but the fashion industry often gets a bad rap for backstabbing and toe stepping. It was refreshing to hear these successful women reaffirm that you don’t need to climb over others and be unkind in order to be successful. If anything you should help be kind enough to support others around you, and powerful women should especially be more mindful to help empower other women.

 My career management class recently learned about building personal brands. My professor discussed how each person's unique characteristics create their individual brand, but he urged us to understand the importance of kindness as a valuable and powerful facet of anyone's brand. Ironically, I went to see Disney’s new Cinderella movie that night (as a Fashion U sponsor I saw a replica of her glass slippers at the conference), and was again reminded by the movie's main theme to "have courage and be kind". While there has been some negative critiques about this mantra in regards to feminism, I think this simple quote is actually quite powerful no matter the gender, time, place, or occasion.

Kindness is powerful, free, and contagious. These small, but powerful acts of kindness I experienced recently were just the kind of boost I needed for my soul. Even when faced with recent episodes of unkindness, I have realized that being kind in spite of the most frustrating, ugly, and hurtful situations requires a lot of courage. Being kind isn't limited to stereotypical warmth and friendliness but finding the power and courage to be nonjudgmental, forgiving, and encouraging to others in spite of everything.

"Have courage and be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." 



Monday, March 16, 2015

Boston's Hidden Gems in 72 hours or less

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It's been over a week since my last blog post, but I needed a little break (more on that later)!
Spring Break crept up sooner than I thought, partially because it's still snowing outside while I write this now. I had some much needed doses of adventure and down time, got over a cold, traveled to NYC, and my favorite – I got to show my mom my favorite hidden gems in Boston.

Scroll through our photos and read a small Boston visitor's guide at the end:

Museum of Fine Arts


Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum







Quincy Market 




North End


Boston Harbor


Harvard Square



Beacon Hill





Boston Common

Boston's Hidden Gems in 72 hours or less

See:
 See the amazing Old Hollywood Glamour costume exhibit and beautiful impressionism paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts. After, walk down the block to the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum which is probably one of Boston's hidden gems. (Note: You get a discount if you attend within two days of your visit to the MFA and vice versa). A wealthy heiress's grand creation, the house is dripping in wonder from its life-size tapestries to its Venice style courtyard, and John Singer Sargent paintings. Also, be sure to see the beautiful greenhouse as you walk in! 

Stroll around the old historic Boston neighborhood, Beacon Hill, and see the beautiful brownstones, quirky door knockers (think lobsters, whales, and sea shells), and tiny cobblestone streets like Acorn Street. Make sure to also poke your head into the local boutiques where you'll find everything from antique art, to stationery, and vintage clothing.

Take a walk/run around the Charles River Esplanade where you'll get amazing views of downtown Boston, MIT, and Boston University. Wander down Boston University's campus and you'll find the BU Castle (an architectural gem).

Stop inside the Massachusetts State House near Boston Common and Beacon Hill. See the statue of JFK on the lawn, hall of flags, and wonder around the grand staircases to peak inside some of the well-furnished rooms. 

Eat:
While Boston has been getting warmer, it was still quite cold and dreary walking around. To put us in a summer state of mind, we decided to get lobster rolls at Quincy Market. Being so close to Mike's Pastryin the North End, we couldn't resist splitting a ginormous and oh-so-delicious lobster tail- with two cannolis to go!

We had dinner at Border Cafe right in the heart of Harvard Square one night. A local Mexican joint, their empanadas are well worth the T ride on the Red Line.

Have coffee and a pastry at the newly opened Tatte Bakery while strolling around Beacon Hill, or until you hit the Beacon Hill Chocolate shop for a little sweet.

If you're in the Back Bay or walking along the Charles River Esplanade, take the green line on the T down Boston University to Allston and stop at Clear Flour Bread for authentic European breads and pastries. There aren't any table to sit at, but you'll want one of their croissants to go!

Do:
Stroll around the harbor if you're down by Quincy Market. It's a bit frozen right now, but beautiful! My favorite spot is by the Boston Harbor Hotel where you can see an assortment of colorful boats docked in the water. 

Go to Harvard Square and pop into the florist shop near Crema Cafe (which has amazing scones) and got a dose of spring come. Also, stop by Tealuxe which has amazing lavender tea (and bubble tea or so I've heard from many of my friends). 

Walk through the Boston Common, aka Boston's very own and much smaller Central Park. There are still some snow castle art on display worth seeing although nothing is in bloom and the lawn isn't even visible. 




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Boston from 749 ft Above


I finally went to the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Center last weekend to oversee Boston from 749 feet in air. While part of the 360 degree view was closed off, it was surreal seeing BU (pictured above) and even my brownstone from that high up. I went at the perfect moment in the afternoon when the day transitioned into the night and the sun seemed to melt off the face of the earth. It seems like such a trivial tourist attraction, yet there was something so profound and inspiring seeing the city from this angle. 
It was one of those simple fleeting moments in life that remain so vivid in your memory forever.