There are fewer things I love more than ice cream and vintage, so you can imagine why I love Brooklyn Farmacy so much because it combines both of those things in one. The space was formerly a Pharmacy dating back to the 1920's and was transformed into a soda fountain and ice cream parlor in 2010. The first time I visited was on my birthday in 2016. Now I stop in pretty frequently for a milkshake or a sundae. My favorite things to get are the "Any Day Sundae" with mint chocolate chip ice cream, the brownie sundae, or just a classic chocolate milkshake. They also have an amazing grilled cheese too!
Another thing I love about this place is that they are always super festive for every holiday. The windows are always decorated and they have a special menu with seasonal items. The drink I have here is "The First Kiss", which is cherry soda and vanilla ice cream, plus a little heart as the finishing touch.
If you're in Brooklyn, I definitely recommend checking this place out, it does not disappoint. It is located in the Caroll Garden's Neighborhood at 513 Henry Street.
Dress: Vintage; Shoes: Eastland Shoe; Headband: Lysande
Location: Brooklyn Farmacy (Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
Last Friday I found out that my favorite retro spot in Hoboken, Schnackenberg's Luncheonette, closed without any notice. I visited this place almost every week, whether that was to grab a doughnut before work or to sit and have a grilled cheese and milkshake on a Saturday afternoon. I shot a lot of photos for my Instagram and blog here as well. I'm upset I won't be able to enjoy their food or come here to take pictures anymore, but what makes me really sad is that a piece of history is going to be replaced by a trendy salad spot.
Schnackenberg's opened in 1931, so it was in business for 88 years. There have been a lot of articles in the past week about the closing of such an iconic Hoboken location. One article claimed "Schnackenberg's was from a different era and no longer fit in" and that a healthier eatery will be better received by Hoboken residents (even though there are plenty of juice bars and acai bowl places littered across the main street already).
Since Schnackenberg's is no more, I shot these photos at my local Johnny Rockets. While I still enjoy the vintage vibes of Johnny Rockets, it's just not the same as a local place like Schnackenberg's. And while Johnny Rocket's probably has a stronger chance of survival since it's a chain restaurant, it was still completely empty on a Sunday morning (prime brunch time in Hoboken). Moral of the story, we need to support old school eateries before they all become extinct.
If you'd like to shop my t shirt, you can find it here:
Tshirt: c/o One Round Jack
Cardigan: Kate Spade; Skirt: Vintage; Sneakers: Converse; Headband: American Apparel; Sunglasses: Hello Holiday
Location: Johnny Rockets (Hoboken, NJ)
A few weekends ago, my friend Emily and I teamed up to do a fun shot as Marina and the Diamonds and Lana Del Rey. We're both fans of their sad girl, vintage vibes and thought it would be a fun shoot to do around February. I don't like Valentine's Day in the traditional, romantic sense (like bouquets of roses and candlelight dinners). But I love it for heart shaped things, pink and red color combinations and an excuse to eat candy. I remember how excited I used to be to give out Valentine's to my classmates and eat cupcakes and doughnuts when I was in elementary school. I also feel like Valentine's Day is the first time we see a little novelty and magic since Christmas after a drab January.
What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day?
I happened to get this adorable orange dress from my friend Emily's vintage shop the week of Halloween. I'm not sure if it was just because Halloween was on everyone's mind at the time, but as I was trying it on, everyone around me kept saying it'd be perfect for Halloween and calling it a "pumpkin dress". Yes, it definitely was seasonally appropriate to wear that week, but that hadn't even dawned on me to wear it on Halloween. Orange (specifically red-orange) is one of my favorite colors, so I decided to share a few tips for rocking orange all year round and not look like you're dressed for Halloween.
wear as little black as possible:
Black and orange together is inevitably what makes orange a Halloween color. I only have a tiny bit of black in my look here (pretty much just in my saddle shoes). I opted for grey tights instead of my usual black and decided against solid black shoes as well.
choose other neutrals:
Since black is out of the question, you have to turn to other neutral colors. I absolutely love navy blue with orange. Grey, like the tights I'm wearing here, or chocolate brown also work well with orange too.
add just a pop of another color:
Adding TOO much color could look a little clownish, especially since this dress I'm wearing here is so bold. I love baby blue together with orange, so I thought this bracelet would make for a fun little pop. Another color I love together with orange is hot pink!
Basically when it comes down to it, opt for other neutrals to avoid black and orange together and you can rock orange all year round!
Dress: Vintage c/o Lulaverse
Tights: Target; Shoes: Eastland Shoes; Bracelet: J. Crew
Location: Schnackenberg's (Hoboken, NJ)
These boots are made for walking...not running.
It's officially one week into 2019, and I can't help but feel a little aimless, specifically when it comes to my blog and social media. It could be the weather and the fact that the freezing cold weather leaves me really unmotivated to take photos. Or maybe it's the fact that I spent the majority of 2018 unemployed and hustling for a new full time job, which left me a bit burnt out. Or maybe it's because since New Years, everyone has been constantly posting about what they want to accomplish this year, which has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. Whatever it is, I feel sort of stuck and haven't had much motivation or inspiration for how I want to move things forward. So far, I feel like everyone is off to the races and I'm just strolling behind.
I think posting about your intentions for the new year on social media can be great because it holds you accountable. Seeing what other people hope to achieve also motivates me to push myself and work harder. But the last week or so I've felt overwhelmed seeing everyones posts because it was so much all at once. I've written down goals for 2019, but after seeing everyone else intentions, I can't help but feel like what I hope to achieve is not enough and question if I could be doing more. I try to remind myself that there's no timeline on life and everyone's path looks different. Just because someone I follow on Instagram is going on vacation or starting a podcast this month doesn't mean that I can't do the same things later this year, next year or five years down the road. Or maybe I'll never do those things, because it's not something I'm truly passionate about, and that's okay too. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
Since I've been off to a slow start this year, I've been using this time to relax and brainstorm where I want to take my personal brand next. Now that I've reached 10k on Instagram (a major goal I had for my account) I've been thinking about my next goal. Of course I want to continue to grow my community and collaborate with brands to create content. However, this year, I'd prefer to accomplish something outside of Instagram that will still continue to cultivate my retro inspired lifestyle brand. Here are some ideas I have:
What would you be most interested in seeing? Or is there something else I didn't mention here you'd be into? Let me know, I'd love to hear it!
PS if you'd like to shop my boots you can find them here:
My dress is vintage from Mod and Fancy. You can check out their vintage shop here:
Boots: c/o King Tartufoli
Dress: vintage c/o Mod and Fancy
Location: Hoboken, NJ
I shot these photos for a campaign for Winc, a subscription based wine company. To give you a bit of background about how collaborations work, there is always a campaign brief with visual inspiration and requirements of do's and don'ts for the post and caption. Some brands are very specific with what they want, with strict requirements of how the photo should look or a word for word caption (which are usually the types of collaborations I turn down). Other brands are more lenient and give the content creator more creative freedom.
Shooting for a campaign is fun but can also be a bit nerve wracking because you usually have to submit your post for approval before it goes live on your social channels, so there's always a chance your work could be rejected. I always reread the campaign brief and requirements before I go out and shoot to make sure I'm getting what the brand is asking for. There are a lot of BYOB restaurants in Hoboken where I live, so I thought one of them would be a great backdrop for this campaign, to get a vintage, Sophia Loren inspired, Italian vibe. I was happy with the photos and video I created, but then I decided to take a look at the tagged photos on Winc's Instagram to see what other people were posting.
Almost every influencer's post I saw looked very similar, either them posing in their kitchen or under their Christmas tree with the box of wines they received from Winc. Suddenly, I started worrying if the brand would accept the content I submitted. I only featured one bottle of wine from the box, not all four. They never said all four bottles had to be in the photo, but that's what everyone else did. The brand also asked me to submit a video to post on my story. My video was more inspirational to set the mood, rather than informative, such as an unboxing video or me talking to the camera about Winc. Ultimately, the brand approved everything I submitted, but it got me thinking...
Are influencers even influential anymore?
The term influencer was coined because that's what influencers were, influential. They gained a following because there was something about them people liked, whether that was their style, personality, photography, etc. Now, being an influencer has become a career choice and people are quitting their full time jobs to peruse being an influencer. Being a "microinfluencer" myself, I know how much work goes into content creation, so I 100% respect it as a career. However, like any career, I don't think it's just something you can decide to be. It's something that takes practice, natural ability and a point of view. But now it feels like people who set out to become an influencer are taking a cookie cutter approach and thinking if they do x,y,z, they will in fact be an influencer.
Social media critics often say the influencer bubble is going to burst. While I agree that Instagram will not always reign as king, I don't think influencers are going anywhere anytime soon. Nowadays, people are watching more Netflix than they are cable, or spending more time watching YouTube tutorials than they are reading magazines. Traditional forms of advertising like TV commercials and print ads are dying out, so it makes sense businesses and brands are turning to social media to advertise. As a consumer, I've discovered brands or bought a product after seeing it on Instagram, which proves influencer marketing works. Sponsored posts don't necessarily have to be the most creative or entertaining to be effective (how many times have you seen a stupid commercial on TV, yet the message of the commercial sticks with you). However, I think influencers should strive to truly influence and inspire their audience, rather than just following the status quo. After all, you'll never influence the world by trying to be just like it.
Beret: JJ Hat Center; Top: J.Crew: Scarf: Fred & Lulu; Earrings: Vintage
Location: Johnny Pepperoni's (Hoboken, NJ)
You may have heard me mention this before, but I don't wear pants. I only own 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of "pixie pants" (which are basically glorified leggings from J.Crew) and a pair of faux denim polka dotted jeans. It's a rare occasion I actually wear any of these because I just don't feel comfortable or like myself when I wear pants. People often ask me how I survive the NYC winters wearing skirts and dresses everyday. I've even had a guy yell at me to "put some clothes on" because I was wearing a skirt on a day it was snowing, but little did he know I was actually plenty warm. Here are some tips for keeping warm while still looking stylish.
start with your core:
I almost always wear a cami top underneath any dress or top during the winter months. I tuck the cami into my tights, so there's no bare skin anywhere exposed. I feel like if your core is covered, it will help keep your entire body warm.
add a collared top:
I love layering collared shirts under my dresses and sweaters. Not only does this elevate the look and make it more interesting, but it's another layer to keep you warm!
layer tights and socks:
Another trick I do is layer tights with thigh high or knee high socks. Again, having two layers helps keep you warm while also elevating your outfit!
If you'd like to shop these knee high tights, you can find them here:
find a vintage coat:
My favorite coat, which you've probably seen me wearing on Instagram, is a faux fur, leopard print coat. This coat is from the early 90's and I found it for $35 in Housing Works, a thrift store chain here in NYC. When I bought it, I had no idea how much use I would get out of it. Because it's (technically) vintage, it's super heavy duty and well made, so it keeps me so warm, but it was so inexpensive. Coats today just are not made with the same quality, even if they're expensive.
don't forget your hat, gloves and scarf:
Growing up in the suburbs, I rarely wore hats, gloves or scarves during the winter. We drove everywhere, so I was never outside for extended periods of time. Now I don't leave the house without gloves. Walking around outside so much, if I don't wear gloves, I often can't feel my hands. I also don't go anywhere without a hat (usually a beret) or my over the ear headphones to keep my ears covered.
Dress: c/o Tallulah’s Threads
if you'd like to also shop my dress, you can find it here:
Knee High Tights: c/o Vienne Millano
Polka dot tights: H&M; Shoes: Steve Madden; Bow: Claire's; Purse: Vintage; Locket: Vintage
Location: Hoboken, NJ
It's that week between Christmas and New Year's, when you don't know what day of the week it is or what exactly you should be doing. I've had off work this whole week, and it's been so nice to spend time with family, go to sleep without setting an alarm, and finally catch up on Season 2 of Mrs. Maisel. I'm also spending this week crossing things off my to do list, which includes boring things like going to the dentist and scheduling doctors appointments, to fun things like hemming some new vintage clothes and catching up on blog posts.
When it came time to write this post, I had a bit of writers block, even though I had several ideas for topics. I thought about writing about how to style quirky pieces, like this cat backpack I am wearing in these photos. I also thought about sharing my favorite Mexican restaurants in NYC (although this building says Corner Deli, this place is actually a Mexican restaurant and taco stand called La Esquina). Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines, so I could totally write a whole blog post on my go to spots. I thought about writing about the behind the scenes of this shoot. It was an absolutely freezing and windy day and I hurried to shoot these photos during my lunch break at work. I also thought about writing a post of blogging tips for shooting in the cold or how to prioritize creating content while working full time.
I know blogs are sort of a dying art form and Instagram is where most people consume content nowadays. However, I want to maintain this platform since it is completely my own. We all remember Myspace, and I don't want to spend so much time and energy creating content for a platform (aka Instagram) that could easily become extinct someday. I want the photos I produce to be inspiring, and the words I write here to be insightful or informative. If you could give me feedback on what you'd like to see on my blog (or Instagram too), I would love to hear it! More posts about vintage clothes and shopping? Links to shop products from modern but retro inspired brands? Things to do in NYC? Personal posts? Style Tips? Blogging Tips? Or something I haven't even mentioned here? I'd love to hear from you!
If you'd like to shop my backpack, you can find it here:
You can customize your bag with different colors too!
Backpack: c/o Aris Bags
Coat: Vintage; Top: Motel Rocks; Skirt: Forever 21; Tights & Thigh Highs: H&M; Loafers: Eastland Shoe; Beret: Beau xoxo
Location: La Esquina (SoHo, Manhattan)
NYC during the holidays can be a magical time. There are lights everywhere, bars and restaurants are decorated, and there's fun parties and events almost any given night of the week. However, NYC during the holidays is also one of the most crowded times of the year. Tourists flock to the city, and locals, myself included, make sure to take advantage of being able to go out and about before the bitter cold and snow arrives. I love celebrating the holidays, but I hate being uncomfortable in crowds and waiting in lines. So I decided to compile a list of some of the most overrated places and events to skip and alternative, more under the radar things to check out instead.
Check Out: Boilermaker
Even if you don't live in NYC, you've probably seen photos of Rolf's, a German Bar and Restaurant with extravagant Christmas ornaments and lights hanging from the ceiling. I've never been here, but it only has 2.5 stars on Yelp, so I don't imagine the food or drinks are very good, and I've heard it's ALWAYS a ridiculous wait to get in. I actually saw a blogger I follow on Instagram post on her Stories that she went to line up outside Rolf's before they opened just to make sure she was able to get in and get pictures.
Instead, head to Boilermaker in East Village. At Christmas time, this place turns into "Sippin' Santas Surf Shack". They serve up tiki drinks, decorate the bar in kitschy holiday decor, and play 60's beach movies, like "Blue Hawaii" and "Beach Blanket Bingo" on a projector. Also, their burgers and fries are amazing too!
Skip: Bryant Park
Check Out: Union Square
Bryant Park is one of the biggest destinations during the holiday season. They have a holiday market with vendors, as well as the ice rink, which makes it a popular place for both tourists and locals. I love to shop the market for gifts from local businesses, but the crowds make it unbearable.
Instead, check out the Union Square Holiday market. They have similar unique, "shop small" vendors, and while this market can still get crowded, especially on weekends, I feel like its a bit more under the radar than Bryant Park.
Skip: The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
Check Out: A screening of "It's A Wonderful Life"
Ok, ok, I love The Rockettes, and I've been lucky enough to see the show twice in my life, but it's a tourist trap and the tickets are super expensive!
Instead, check out a screening of "It's A Wonderful Life". A few theaters around the city show it, including IFC, which is one of my favorite indie theaters in West Village. Try checking out smaller scale productions of live theater or dance too. I was lucky enough to catch a live radio show of "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Mile Square Theater in Hoboken. It was a great performance and and lovely evening because the theater was cozy and intimate and not overly crowded. The show is still running until this Sunday, if you're interested in checking it out! You can find tickets here:
These photos were taken at the Vintage Holiday Train two weekends ago. Since it's in such a public place like the subway, this event can get pretty crowded with vintage lovers, photographers, and just the common New Yorker or tourist who just happens to find themselves in the subway and stumble upon the event. The event is happening again this Sunday (the 23rd) and next Sunday (the 30th). You can board the train starting at 10am at the 2nd Avenue subway station and ride it uptown to 125th street. I highly recommend catching the first train at 10 because it gets crowded later in the afternoon! The trains depart at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm from 2nd Avenue.
P.S. if you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Tights: H&M; Shoes: Steve Madden; Purse: Vinage; Bow: Claire's; Bracelet: Kate Spade; Coat: Vintage
Location: 2nd Avenue Subway Station (East Village)
It's been a long road to 10k. I started growing my Instagram at the end of 2015 and started my blog in 2016. I know 10k isn't a big following at all, and many people have surpassed this number in a shorter amount of time. However, 10k was still a goal I was working towards, and I wanted to acknowledge it. And the fact that I hit 10k just a few days before my birthday made it even better! I wrote a little post with 10 things I learned about myself, social media and any creative endeavor on the way to this milestone.
stay true to your own style:
It can be tempting to alter your style just to conform with what's popular at the moment, whether that's the clothes you wear, the way you edit your photos, how you pose, or the language you use in your captions. During the last few years on Instagram, there's been several big trends I've noticed. First it was the white/minimalist look, then it was the super colorful trend, now it's the "Tezza look" (photos inspired by, or sometimes flat out copied from @tezza) as I like to call it: overly grainy photos with an orange colored filter and editorial style poses. However, all trends are fleeting, so it's best to just stay true to who you are because no trend, no matter how popular, is permanent. If you're jumping on a trend that's not true to who you really are, it will be really difficult to evolve with it.
seek inspiration elsewhere:
Instagram has become so formulaic, especially when it comes to influencers. Everyone's photos, language and style has started to blend together because we're all in this bubble. It's so easy to be influenced by what we see on Instagram (even if it's subconscious) when we spend so much time on it every day. I try to get outside of the bubble and seek inspiration elsewhere. Whether that's Pinterest or Tumblr, movies or music, or visiting a museum.
stay in your own lane:
It's so easy to look at what others are doing and feel like you need to do the exact same things to be successful, especially when what everyone is doing is on display for all to see on social media. I've been tempted to do things like participate in loop giveaways or start monetizing my blog through affiliate sales because it seemed like that's what I was SUPPOSED to be doing to be a successful blogger. But everyone has their own path for success, especially when it comes to blogs and social media.
slow and steady wins the race:
I've definitely felt envious of girls whose follower counts grow in leaps and bounds. However, most of the tactics they use are not beneficial in the long run. It can be tempting to participate in a loop giveaway to see your follower count grow by thousands overnight, but that's not a good solution because these people don't engage with your posts, which throws off your numbers and looks fishy to brands. Trust yourself and the process and know that hard work pays off in the end and if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
create your own opportunities:
As with anything else in life, there are always going to be people who seemingly have things handed to them. But that doesn't mean that they're the only ones who can be successful. I got a "late" start to the influencer game. The girls who have been doing it longer than me of course have an easier time getting collaborations and get approached by brands more frequently or have managers to secure deals for them because they have a bigger following. But that doesn't mean there's not room for me too, it just means I have to work a little harder to get noticed. I pitch myself to brands all the time. Sometimes they say no or don't respond, but sometimes they say yes too! Which brings me to my next point...
don't be afraid to hear the word no:
Don't be afraid to initiate contact between a brand or person. The worst that someone can say is no or not respond. And just because someone says no or doesn't respond, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. It could be something as simple as your email getting overlooked or the brand not having a budget at the moment. Don't take it personally!
don't be afraid to say the word no:
When you're first getting started it can be tempting to agree to every brand collaboration or RSVP yes to every event. But it's important to be selective with these offers so your personal brand doesn't get diluted and to not burn yourself out. There will always be more events or more collaborations coming your way. When approached by a brand and given a campaign brief, if I can't think of a good idea for content after I sleep on it that night, I usually pass on the opportunity. If you have to think about it too much, it's probably not a good fit.
numbers aren't everything:
I often hear other influencers or bloggers say they're afraid to reach out to brands and companies because of their follower count or engagement rate. But numbers aren't everything. Brands will want to work with you if you create amazing content or are professional and pleasant to work with. Just like the film industry, you could be the most popular actress, but if you're difficult to work with, have a bad reputation in the industry, or don't deliver results, they won't want to work with you. Being extra creative and having good communication skills can make up for a lack of followers or engagement.
experiment with things:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Social media is constantly evolving, so something that worked for you in the past may not work for you now. If something's not working anymore, try something completely different because you have nothing to loose. Social media, like many creative endeavors, is basically throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
don't worry about everything being perfect:
I can be a perfectionist, so a lot of times I'm not completely satisfied with my work, but I still force myself to post it and move on. My boss always references this Maya Angelou quote, and I think it can be applied to anyone who has a side hustle.The quote goes, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” We're always growing and evolving and if you wait until everything is perfect, you'll never get anywhere.
Photos by Madeleine
Dress: c/o Unique Vintage
Tights: H&M; Bracelet: Kate Spade; Shoes: Steve Madden; Beret: Beau xoxo
Location: Washington Square Park (West Village, Manhattan)