Friday, July 31, 2015

Chuck Taylor All Star II

Yesss!  It's Friday and what a week it's been!

I was excited when I heard that after 98 years (!) Converse has released a new and improved version of their classic Chuck Taylor All Stars.  I love my Chucks as you may remember from this post.  They are the ultimate go-to sneakers for a day of bumming around town and can be paired with so many things.  As you can see from the pic below, I literally wear them till they're falling apart and actually prefer how they look gently used over brand new.  Am I the only one who feels embarrassed while breaking in a new pair?  They're too clean!

Anyway, the new generation of these beloved shoes is equipped with features that focus most on comfort: more cushioning and arch support and padding around the instep, ankle and tongue to name a few.  These upgrades will set you back an extra $25 pushing the price to $75 a pair (compared to $50 for the classics).  I took a peek on the website and it looks as though there are still low tops available (for $70 a pop) but the high tops are sold out.

While I do desperately need a new pair, I'm not sure I would go with the newer version.  The new price point seems justifiable given the upgrades but I noticed that the design does differ a bit from the classics in that the color on the upper is completely uniform, including the lace holes and laces and the soles are missing the stripe of color along the sides.  I kinda prefer the contrast of laces/holes to uppers so I'm not sure I will be buying the All Star II's.

What say you?  Have you tried the new generation?  If so, what do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

#TBT Eat or Be Eaten

This was about a year ago at one of my favorite restaurants, Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen in SoHo.  I would go here at least once, sometimes twice a week when I worked nearby.  It is SO delicious AND it's consistent!  Two words: huevos rancheros. 

I could go on and on about this place but really, it's better tasted than talked about.  Oh yeah, my sassy shirt.  One of the few off-the-shoulder shirts I own, but I love it.  Need to get another.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

H&M Love

Having grown up in the mid-west, we sometimes had to wait a bit before the F21s and IKEAs of the world reached our neck of the woods.  So you can imagine my delight when, years and years ago, I first visited New York and became smitten with this affordable yet trendy store by the name of H&M.  (It was around this time that I also discovered Forever 21 but that is another story for another day.) It was the stuff dreams were made of for a style-loving girl on a budget.  And the fact that there were none in the mid-west OR in Miami (where I later attended university) made it all the more alluring.

Fast forward a few years (ok, a decade.) (ok, a decade and a half) and here I am in New York City with an H&M on practically every midtown corner.  The newest of which is on 34th Street and 6th Avenue, smack dab in the middle of Herald Square.  While there are two more within a one block radius, this location is special.  Why, you may ask?  Not only is the store a beaut but it has a home section on the top floor!  ::swoon::

I couldn't help but snap a few pics on my first/recent visit.


 It's so shiny and new, with mirrors everywhere!  Speaking of....have you ever been in a store and thought you were walking toward an aisle of undiscovered clothes only to find out it was in fact an impeccably clean mirror?  *ahem* uh, n..neither have I.

It's a five minute walk from my job, which I realize could be dangerous for me (and my wallet!) but I'll risk it and stop in every once in a while, you know, just to look- wink, wink!

Note: For those of you who are still waiting on a brick and mortar store to hit your town, you can still shop their store (including home goods!) online here on your desktop.  (I find I can't shop their online store from my tablet, but maybe that's just me?)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Waiting on Pins and Needles

I don't care what anyone says, it is perfectly acceptable to have IKEA furniture past your first apartment days.  Let's see, I'm probably on my 6th abode and still most of our furniture is from our beloved IKEA.  Hey, style savvy girls need homes to match!  You feel me, right?

Sure, it's not the best quality money can buy but really, unless you are treating your furniture with the finesse of a line backer, I don't see any problems with it's durability.  Plus, what it lacks in sturdiness, it more than makes up for in style and price- which, if we are honest, are really the most important thing for those of us on a budget.

So it's no surprise that I, and the rest of the apartment-dwelling world, are anxiously checking our mailboxes for the arrival of the 2016 catalog.  I will clear my schedule for an hour or two and have a glass of wine and some delicious snacks at the ready when that day comes.  Who's with me??

Monday, July 27, 2015

Every. Time.

We've all been there.

Monday Motivation: There's Something Good in Every Day..

Monday again.
Let's start this week off with a new perspective, shall we?  Hint: read (and ponder) it all the way to the end!

Like night and day, eh?  Love this.  Please share this wisdom!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mind. Blown.

So this video has been making the rounds....and for good reason. Have you guys seen it?  Talk about contouring!


Amazing I tell ya.  Hope this left you inspired if not, entertained.  Happy Friday, lovelies!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#TBT Girls Just Want to Have Fun

This.  Movie.  There is so much right with this movie.  Let me count the ways....
For starters: SJP (waaay before Sex and the City), Shannon Doherty (pre- 90210) and Helen Hunt (before Mad About You), epic dance scenes and a story line that rivals that of the Breakfast Club or any other 80s teen movie.  Ugh... I could go on and on.

But the real star of this movie is that 80s fashion.  I SO wanted Janey's outfit in the final scene.  But yes, there is glitter, crimped hair, teased hair, male crop tops (yup), spandex body suits and oh, that memorable grasshopper hat.  Am I forgetting anything?

Hmm...I wonder if this movie is on Netflix...

Which character's style was your fav?  Let's talk about it...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My New Kicks!!

Ah, there's nothing like a new pair of shoes.  And these....these are so FUN!  I got them here on sale on and can't wait to wear them!  I love everything about them: the bright colors, the woven texture, the flat form style  ::sigh::  I'm sure they'll make an appearance or two in future IGNITE Inspiration posts. 

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

IGNITE Inspiration: Black Maxi & Denim

Hey everyone!

This look is made completely of basics but paired together make the perfect casual yet chic outfit for a laid-back kinda day.  These sunnies are my absolute favorites and spice up anything I wear them with.  What are your go-to pieces for those bumming-around-town days?

Maxi: mine is an oldie but goodie, similar here and super cute plus size option here / Tank: here but this dress would be cute too / Denim shirt: here / Sandals: I love the red accent on these / Sunnies: no longer available but I'm kinda feelin' these and these

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Motivation: If you want something you've never had..

Welcome back from the weekend!  It was hot and muggy in NYC this weekend but I guess we're due for some heat these days.

This is one of those sayings that sounds so simple and logical but when put into practice turns out to be harder than you think.  We all get into routines and for the most part, routines are good.  They keep us organized and productive.  But they also allow us to get comfortable, which is, well, comfortable- but not necessarily good for us indefinitely.

Enter: this blog.  I've always been pretty reserved and while I never shied away from attention, I never sought it out either.  I started this project as a way to let go of some life-long reservations and step outside my cozy little comfort zone and share my ideas (and myself) with the world.  To throw caution to the wind and just see what happens!  For some, this comes naturally.  For me, it doesn't but I'd like to move more in that direction so I'm doing something I've never done.  Thanks for joining me on this ride. ;-)


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

IGNITE Inspiration: All White Everything (Almost)

It's Tuesday!  And I've got another look for y'all.

Again, this one is all basics with pops of color in the accessories (and makeup).  All white is quite literally a blank slate and not the easiest thing to wear in a city like New York and so I prefer to pair it with bright colors.  The bangle is an old F21 piece while the bag was gifted to me from my sis from her travels to Italy.  The shoes, oh the shoes.  You might recognize them from the description given in this post.  Yep- these are the culprits of that errand gone awry!  Links below:

Top: hereThis one allows for a nice statement necklace / Shorts: similar here / Shoes: here! / Bangle: (old) but I LOVE these / Bag: gifted, similar here


Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Motivation: If Girls Dressed for Boys...

                                                                                                                               via StyleCaster

Hello all!  What a crazy weekend.  I'm happy to get back to the grind.  How about you guys?  Good weekend?

Today's quote isn't really motivational but it is amusing.  I've often said something similar to this to my husband.  We ladies love our guys but truth be told: women don't dress for men!  They first dress for themselves, then for other women and THEN (if at all) for men.  We tend to appreciate the details of an ensemble and offer compliments accordingly whereas most (but not all!) men are more concerned with what's underneath the clothes. 

So while it's always nice to get tasteful compliments from that certain someone, we can never get enough of that ever-flattering question from our fellow females: "I love that _____.  Where'd you get it?"  But don't feel bad fellas.  In the end, it's a win/win for us all, isn't it?

What do you think?  Would you agree with Betsey's statement?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

#TBT Coney Island

Three days down, two to go!  You can do it! lol!

This past 4th of July weekend got me thinking about Coney Island and how we're due for another visit.  For some reason, we only make it out there about once a year even though it's just a hop, skip and a jump away via subway.  This pic of my (lil') big sis and I was taken on the boardwalk (gasp!) 8 years ago in 2007.  We spent the day with friends and had a blast.  Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure I still own the chucks you see in the picture.  Yup.  Time for a new pair...or three!  Ugh...I need help. =0P

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

It's Hump Day!  Hope your week is going well!  

Let's face it.  With all the clothes, shoes and accessories (oh, the accessories!) we collect, our closets can get a little unmanageable at times.  Enter the KonMarie Method.  

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of this wildly popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  The author, Marie Kondo, is a now world-renowned cleaning consultant from Japan who has revolutionized the way we keep house.  After seeing a blurb about this book a few weeks back, I decided to see what the fuss was all about.  

Right off the bat, I felt as if Kondo was speaking directly to me (as I'm sure is the case with most of her readers).  She pin points every possible rationale I have for holding on to items that inevitably turn into unwanted clutter.  Apparently,  LOTS of people have the same reservations when it comes to parting with their belongings.  As a result, Kondo has developed a very concise formula for this problem.  Simply put: keep only the items that spark joy and discard all others.
There is also a strong element of anthropomorphism which I (strangely?) identified with.  I admit- I have been known to feel sorry for discarded furniture or electronics, much to the amusement of my husband.  But Kondo actually advocates having such relationships with one's belongings as a way to  respect the role they play in your day-to-day life.

While I felt some of her suggestions were a bit over the top, like decluttering your entire house in one sitting, um who has time for that? her method as a whole is refreshing, unique and well thought out.  Following her formula, we have painlessly discarded three full bags of clothes with half our wardrobes to go!  A little teaser for ya, this right here is the BEST tip in the book:  

You'll have to read it to find out the reasoning behind this but let me tell you, it makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier! 

While I've still got a ways to go in achieving a clutter-free home, I would definitely recommend this book.  It's a quick read and offers a fresh way to approach the often enormous task of getting your home in order.  

Have you tried the KonMari Method?  What did you think?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

IGNITE Inspiration: Spectacled

Another Tuesday, another outfit!  This one is great for this odd weather we've been having.  Since when has it been like 70 degrees on July 4th!?  I swear I had goosebumps at the fireworks last night.  Anyway, like most of my outfits, I used lots of basics here and added interest with accessories- in this case my shoes and glasses.  (And yes, the specs are the real deal- these poor eyes of mine!)  How about you guys?  What style formulas do you use to keep you looking chic?

Black tank: here / Olive Shorts: similar here / Jacket: similar here / Shoes: old F21 but these, these and these would look cute too / Necklace: similar here / Specs: D&G prescription, similar here

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Motivation: A coward dies a thousand times...

Happy Monday!  Did everyone enjoy their 4th?  I was a bit under the weather but was able to get lots of rest and am ready to take on the week!  I love this quote because it can apply to so many areas of life: love and relationships, career, even personal style.  Basically anything where risk or discomfort is involved.  It's  been compared to slowly wading into a cold pool of water vs. jumping in all at once.   Taking baby steps only prolongs the shock of the cold while jumping in all at once forces you to endure it for only a second or two before you're fully adjusted.  To be over-the-top dramatic: a little bit of life is taken each time you worry about what *could* happen or what other people think of you.  Be brave, take risks, live the life YOU want- taste death but once!

Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

#TBT Jessie, Kelly, Lisa

                                                                                                                                           Image courtesy of

Just look at those high waisted shorts! They were all the rage at Bayside High and have made quite the comeback but I'm still not sold on them this time around.  What do you guys think?  High waisted pants/shorts: successful revival or should they stay in the past? 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gotta love science! And shoes.

                                                                                    Mon Amour Boutique, Etsy

We've all been there.  ::sideeye:: some of us more recently than others.  You're on a mission for a birthday gift.  Just the birthday gift.  You arrive at the store planning the fastest and most direct route to the register to pick up the gift card.  "Get in, buy the gift card, get out," you tell yourself.  You begin your quest when suddenly, a flash of bright purple pops up in your peripheral vision.  "What was that?" you ask yourself.  Nothing, it was nothing.  Ignore it.  Do what you came here to do.  You snag a gift card and wait in line to pay, keeping your eyes peeled front and center.  Do NOT look around.  Do NOT look around.  But that flash of purple is calling you like a siren's song.  Without knowing it, your gaze has shifted and has fallen on the *perfect* pair of purple suede heels for summer.  WARNING!  WARNING! You try to reason with yourself.  "I am only here for the gift card.  That's IT!.  Besides, I'm already in line.  Am I really going to give up my place in line to get a closer look?"  Yes.  Yes, you are.  You excuse yourself from the queue and approach the beckoning pair.  Upon closer examination you discover that not only are they the perfect hue of purple but they're suede!  You pick them up only to see that the pair you are holding are your exact size!  This must be a sign.  It is at this precise moment that you know you are entering dangerous waters.  Throwing caution to the wind, you roll up your jeans and slip them on one at a time.  "Why are you trying them on!?  You know what happens when you do this!" you remind yourself.  But it's no use.  One glimpse in the mirror of those beauties on your feet gives way to a wave of thoughts already forming in your head: outfits that would benefit from these shoes.  In a moment of desperation, you in a strange way, hope they are wayyy outside your budget in which case you'd have to put them back without question.  The moment of truth...they are totally in your grasp. GAHH! They're totally affordable.  You know you shouldn't buy them but they won't break the bank if you do.  What's a girl on a mission to do?

Standing in line with your shoes.  Oh, and the gift card.  Of course, the gift card.  You feel a strange cocktail of emotions: glee and guilt.  You pay for both items and leave the store feeling somewhat defeated. You came here for the gift card!  You had a plan!  What happened?  Just as the feelings of remorse begin to surface you glance down at your new acquisition and grin. Yeah, this pair of heels plus my was meant to be.

Again, we've all been there.  And thanks to this article from Cosmopolitan, we can self-soothe by blaming our shoe addictions on science.  LOL!

What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to shopping?  Share with us!