Last week I announced a giveaway with Hadron Epoch to give one of my followers these cute products from their line, which includes adorable macaron magnets, a set of ice cream notebooks and a 2019 planner. Getting this new planner in the mail got me thinking about what I've accomplished in 2018 and what I'm hoping to achieve in 2019.
2018 was definitely an...interesting year. I was unemployed for six months, which lead me to transition out of working in fashion and into a completely new industry. I like to believe everything happens for a reason. My new job has definitely taken some getting used to, and I still feel like I'm trying to get the hang of it, but overall I feel like maybe I had to get laid off in order to make this transition into a new industry that is a better fit for me.
And although having a break from working was nice, being unemployed pretty much overshadowed my entire year and finding a new job became my biggest focus. Although I had to put some bigger goals on hold, like traveling as much as I originally wanted to or opening up a 401k, I accomplished a lot of personal goals, like hitting 10k on Instagram, being an extra on a tv show, and going back to dance classes. I think it's important to remember to view these little personal goals as accomplishments too.
Now I'm starting to think about what I want to accomplish for 2019. I definitely want to continue to expand my Darling in Dots brand, whether that's growing my following, creating my own products, or publishing some how to guides. What would you like to see from me in the new year? I also definitely want to plan some trips that I had to put on hold last year, some places on my list are Palm Springs and Texas (Dallas & Austin). I also want to continue to grow and improve at work.
What are your goals or resolutions for the new year?
PS if you'd like to shop Hadron Epoch, you can use my code darling15 for 15% off your order!
Dress: vintage; Beret: Beau xoxo; Tights: Target; Shoes: Eastland Shoe
Location: Woops Bakeshop (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
Last Friday I had an absolutely marvelous afternoon visiting The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Carnegie Deli Pop Up here in NYC. I first heard about the pop up about three weeks ago via Instagram. The pop up was only open for 7 days, so reservations went quickly, but luckily I was able to secure one for my partners in crime, Desirae and Adam, and I. Our reservation was for 11:30 am, right when they opened for the day. Luckily since we had a reservation, we were able to go right inside. But even that early in the afternoon, there was already a line wrapped around the block. There were booths where you could sit and eat if you had a reservation, but if not, you could line up to grab a sandwich to go at the counter.
Once we were inside, we were seated at a booth. The decor was great, complete with a wall of vintage photos mixed with shots from the show, a juke box and vintage phone hanging on the wall. They were playing the Mrs Maisel soundtrack over the speakers. Even the waitresses were in character and spoke in old school, New York accents. When it was time to order, Desirae and Adam both got the Maisel sandwich (pastrami) and I got the Susie (turkey). We got a knish for the table to share. The sandwiches also came with dessert too. Desirae and Adam both went for the cheesecake, but I opted for the black and white cookie. Since we're all big fans of the show and the 1950's in general, we all went more for the experience, not so much the food, so we didn't have very high expectations. So we were all pleasantly surprised with how delicious the food was! I'm still dreaming about the black and white cookie I had. The menu listed the food as 1950's prices, so we were all expecting to pay about $3 for our meals. But while we were eating, they made an announcement that lunch was on Mrs Maisel and instead asked us to consider making a donation to a charity they were raising money for.
Before we headed out, we took some photos at the counter and in the photo booth. Everyone loved that we were dressed up and one of the guys working behind the counter asked to take photos with us. He also gave us some extra black and white cookies for the road. My only regret of the day is that we didn't get any photos with the vintage cab parked out front. When we came out to leave to try and take photos with it, the driver had to leave for some reason and drove off. Other than that it was truly a marvelous experience!
Sadly, this pop up was only around for a week. But if you're in NYC and want your own Mrs Maisel experience, here are four permanent places to check out:
28 Eight Avenue (West Village)
If you watch the show, you'll recognize this old school eatery from the flashback scene in season 1 where Joel and Midge are eating breakfast the morning after their wedding. I love the exterior of this place especially because they have an Coca Cola sign with the name of the restaurant on it.
Kettle of Fish
59 Christopher Street (West Village)
While The Gaslight was a real coffeehouse back in 1958, it closed down in the 1970's, so sadly you can't go visit it. Even though it looks like an authentic coffeehouse on screen, the Gaslight in the show is just a set at the studio where they film in Brooklyn, which I was a little surprised to discover that when I was an extra on the show. Instead, check out Kettle of Fish. This bar also opened in the 50's and is still around today. You'll also recognize this from the show, as Susie and Midge come here in season 1.
169 West 4th Street (West Village)
You'll also recognize this record store from season 1. Susie and Midge come to visit. This is also where Joel overhears the recording of Midge from the first night she does stand up at the Gaslight. They sell musical instruments as well as records here, just as they do on the show.
New York Transit Museum
99 Schermerhorn Street (Brooklyn)
There are several scenes throughout the show where Midge is seen riding the subway. These subway cars are located at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. At the museum, you're able to go into each of the cars (they have other decades besides just the 50's). I've been before and it's a super fun experience!
Dress: Dolly & Dotty; Beret: Beau xoxo; Shoes: Steve Madden; Watch: MVMT
Location: Carnige Deli Pop Up (NoHo, Manhattan)
Does anyone remember these view finders from when you were a kid? I actually used to have a red one just like this when I was little and my favorite reel was a Little Mermaid one haha. But this view finder is unique because you can customize your reel with your own photos. You simply go on the Retro Viewer website, upload the photos you'd like (you pick 7 for each reel), select what color view finder you'd like, and place your order. I picked photos from my trip to Memphis earlier this year. I think this would make such a unique gift for the holidays!
You can check out their website here to learn more:
Plus, I'm giving one away to one of you! Give it as a gift, or keep it for yourself! Check out my Instagram for more details.
P.S. if you'd like to shop my top, you can find it here:
Top: c/o Dolly & Dotty
Skirt: Smak Parlour; Shoes: Eastland Shoes; Watch: MVMT; Locket: Vintage
Location: Brooklyn Flea (Brooklyn, New York)
When it comes to holiday shopping, I love to shop small businesses. Whether that's online or in person, small businesses always have more unique and meaningful gift options. Plus, you're supporting an actual person's dream, not a big corporation. I've rounded up a few of my favorite things from small businesses and independent designers that are all currently ON SALE, if you're looking for some gift ideas or just want to #treatyoself.
1. Bow Embroidered Beret from Beau XOXO
Beau XOXO makes the CUTEST embroidered berets. Use the code CYBERWEEKEND for 20% off plus get a free gift with your purchase until 11/27.
2. Saddle Shoes Pin from The Silver Spider Print Shop
The Silver Spider Print Shop sells pins, t-shirts, and more. I have a few pins from the shop, but this is one of my favorite and most frequently worn pins in my entire collection. They're currently running 25% off their shop until Monday.
3. Breakfast at Tiffany's Sleep Mask from Utopiat
Utopiat makes the best Audrey Hepburn costumes, but this sleep mask makes the perfect little gift. Use my code nicole13 for 13% off your order.
4. Girls Support Girls T-Shirt from Daisy Natives
The perfect tee for the feminist, girl boss in your life. This style is sold out, but Daisy Natives has lots of other versions of their famous Girls Support Girls tees to choose from, plus tons of other cute graphic tees. Their entire website is 30% off with code MERRYANDBRIGHT. Sale ends Monday.
5.Audrey Phone Case from Casetify
My friend Gabriella is an amazing illustrator and I love this Audrey Hepburn phone case I bought from her Casetify shop. Use code BF30 for 20% off this case.
6. Art Deco Bow Tie Pin from Color Theory Shop
Color Theory Shop has the cutest pins, patches and more. I have a few pins from the shop, but this bow one is my favorite (because you all know how much I love bows). I love adding it to my collars, berets, etc. Use code MOREPIE for 15% off. And if you buy 3 pins or patches you get one free!
7. Guilt Trippin' Tee from Poetic Betty
I love this retro inspired tee from Poetic Betty. The graphic gives me some serious Don and Betty Draper vibes. This tee is only £20 but use code BLACKFRIDAY20 for an extra 20% off until Monday.
8. Pin from A Vintage Nerd
My pal Daffny, who I met through Instagram, designed this pin. A bunch of you inquired about it when I shared it on my Instagram, so of course I had to include it in this list. You can order it in a pin, magnet, or compact mirror. You can find the link to order here:
9. Coke Tee from Sober Is Sexy
I can't resist a cheeky graphic tee. I always love giving them as gifts, and there's nothing I love more than coming across one that feels like it was meant for one of my family members or friends. Sober Is Sexy is currently offering buy one get one free on some of their tees if you use the code CLEAN at check out.
10. The Smiths Pin Set from Thread Famous
This song will forever remind me of 500 Days of Summer, anyone else? Thread Famous sells tons of fun pins, necklaces and clothing items. These pins are the perfect gift because you can give one away (or keep them both for yourself!). Use code KISSMAS for 15% off until the end of Saturday (11/24).
11. Tartan Dress from Tallulah's Threads
I got this dress from Tallulah's Threads last year and it's seriously the perfect piece for the holidays. The black watch tartan is so festive, but the fabric and cut of the dress are super comfortable. Their whole site is on sale for 40% off, no code needed, so this dress is currently only £31.
12. Mood Boosting Sunglasses from Rainbow OPTX
These mood boosting sunglasses from Rainbow OPTX would make a super fun gift. Each color lens has a different energy and they come in a bunch of cool frames. They are offering 50% off of their entire site with code HOLIDAY50.
It was pretty ironic that I was taking photos in front of a boxing gym last week, because by the end of this shoot, I actually felt like punching someone...
As most of you know by now, I usually shoot my photos with just myself and a tripod. Last Thursday, I woke up early to shoot this t-shirt from One Round Jack before work. I headed to Overthrow, a popular, retro inspired boxing gym here in NYC, which isn't far from my office. I set my purse down on a door step, off to the side, and got set up and started shooting. While I was shooting, a guy tried to go in through the door where my purse was, but couldn't because it was in the way. I moved it so he could go in, then put it back and continued taking photos.
A few minutes later, he tried to come back out the door again, but couldn't because my purse was in the way again. He kept jamming the door against my purse, so I ran over to move it again. My foot accidentally hit the tripod, knocking it over. I tried to grab it, but at the same time a woman was walking by and got in my way so I couldn't catch it fast enough. The camera and tripod hit the ground, and since the lens was extended, it jammed, making the camera unusable.
The guy ended up going around and exiting from a door on the other side. When I came out I told him he caused me to break my camera. All he gave me was a lackluster "sorry" and walked away, which made me feel even worse about the situation. I was so tempted to throw the camera on the ground and smash it, since I would need an entirely new camera anyway. I was having a bad week already, and this was just the icing on the cake. I pretty much had a mental breakdown on the street and called my mom upset.
I was miserable for the rest of the morning. Even though I knew it was an accident, I beat myself up with ways I could have prevented this from happening. I should have gotten a sturdier tripod, I should have just stopped and been satisfied with the photos I had already gotten, I shouldn't have put my purse in that spot. I dug myself into a hole of negative thoughts, not just about the situation with my camera, but about myself.
Then when I was out getting lunch later that day, I saw something that put things into perspective for me. What I saw made me remember that it was just a camera and I shouldn't get so upset about material objects. The purpose of this post is not for sympathy or to complain, but just to give you some back story behind these photos. I saw something recently on Instagram that said, people only post about their successes on social media, not their failures, which is so true. I think it's important to publicly share our struggles from time to time to remind one another that we're only human.
If you'd like to shop my t-shirt, you can find it here:
T-Shirt: c/o One Round Jack
Cardigan: Vintage; Skirt: May 68; Tights H&M; Shoes: Eastland Shoe; Bow: Claires
Location: Overthrow Boxing Club (NoHo, Manhattan)
Happy Halloween! I love dressing up, but store bought costumes are extremely expensive and cheaply made. I'm a big believer in putting together a costume from items you already own, so here are three costume ideas you can make from a black turtleneck and pants. Just change out the accessories and you're a different character!
Costume #1: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face
Costume #2: Mrs Maisel
Costume #3: Liv Tyler in That Thing You Do!
Pizza is an iconic food of NYC and a staple in my diet. There are tons of options to choose from, but I have different go to spots for different reasons. Here is a list of my favorites:
If you just want a slice...
Locations in Union Square, Times Square (my two favorite spots) and West Village
Their pizza is a thin crust and their sauce is super sweet, which is why it's my favorite. I love the fresh mozzarella and caprese slices.
Locations in Gramercy, Meatpacking, West Village, Park Slope, Astoria, Bushwick, Williamsburg & Financial District
My second favorite slice in NYC. It's thicker and bigger than Joe's. The margarita slice is my go to here. Pro tip: if you try the artichoke slice, you only need one because it's so filling!
If you want a whole pie...
Located in West Village & Times Square
You can only get a whole pie here, no slices!
Prince Street Pizza
Located in Soho (on Prince Street, duh)
I've been here for slices, but I honestly don't get the hype. There is ALWAYS a line wrapped around the block, regardless of what time of day you come. However, I've ordered a pie here before and was more impressed with that than with an individual slice, plus you can skip waiting line if you order a whole pie.
If you want a personal pizza...
Tramonti La Pizza
Located in East Village
Solid sit down place with personal pies. They also have pasta too!
Located in Lower East Side
They have lots of specialty personal pizzas. I love the classic margarita or the white album for something different.
If you want nice aesthetics...
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
Located in Greenpoint
This is where these photos were taken! Paulie Gee's is a Brooklyn staple. The original spot only serves full pies, but the slice shop just opened recently and is a retro dream. I had 2 slices of plain, but according to my friend Emily, the hot honey flavor is amazing.
Top: Vintage; Skirt: Forever 21; Shoes: Eastland Shoes
Location: Paulie Gee's Slice Shop (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
Last week I received these super cool mood changing sunglasses from Rainbow Optx. I thought the orange pair would pop nicely against this blue dress I thrifted last weekend from L Train Vintage.
You might have caught the before photos of this dress on my Instagram stories on Saturday. This dress is from the 80's (or possibly the early 90's), complete with shoulder pads and all. I know most vintage enthusiasts turn up their nose at clothes from the 80's, but I really loved the color and print, so I thought I could salvage this dress (especially since it was only $6). It turns out I could, as I was really happy with the end result. To make this dress more modern, I removed the shoulder pads, shortened the sleeve length by about 1-2", and took off 9" from the bottom of the dress. Sometimes all it takes is a few little tweaks to make a vintage dress modern.
Sunglasses: c/o Rainbow Optx
Dress: Vintage; Tights: H&M; Shoes: Eastland Shoes; Beret: old; Watch: MVMT
Location: Square Diner (Tribeca, New York)
Lately I've been reflecting on my personal style and how it comes across to people through Instagram. I am constantly examining my feed and thinking of ways I can improve it. Ideas for improvement often come from observing what works on other people's pages. It seems like girls who wear the same color in every photo or perfectly primped pinups grow in leaps and bounds, while my account is moving forward at snail speed.
Of course feeds that are extremely cohesive are eye catching and are probably more likely to make you turn that "follow" button from blue to white. However, I have to ask myself, are these feeds even inspiring? Yes, when you first stumble upon them they look like a work of art. But then once you are following them, they become so predictable. Thinking about some of these cohesive feeds that I follow, of course I enjoy their photos, but it's rare that the photos from these accounts ever truly inspire me because they are so formulaic.
I think I have a recognizable style, but sometimes I feel like it's all over the place. Some days I look straight out of the sixties, and others I'm more modern with just a touch of vintage. Some days I'm All-American and others my inner Francophile comes out. But one thing I do know is that I am authentic and stay true to myself. I'm not going to confine myself to wearing one color or one decade just for the sake of social media.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Beret: Beau; Purse: No Fakes; Belt: J. Crew; Shoes: Steve Madden
Location: Roxy Hotel (TriBeCa)
Last Sunday, I finally got to have breakfast at Tiffany's in the Blue Box Cafe here in NYC. The cafe opened in the Tiffany's flagship store last fall. I desperately wanted to get a reservation for my birthday last December, but it seemed impossible. You cannot call to make one, you have to do it online through Resy. They also do not take walk ins. The cafe is very small, and the reservations are gone in a blink of an eye. The reservations open up at midnight for the following two week period. You literally have to log on right at midnight to get a spot. Once I tried logging on the following morning at 7am and they were already all taken.
After several tries, I decided to give up and hoped that it'd be easier to get a reservation once the initial hype died down. Meanwhile, my aunt also continually tried to get me a reservation. Then a few weeks ago she received an email saying they had an opening for September 30th at 4pm, so that's how I was finally able to secure a reservation.
Going at 4pm actually worked out perfectly. The last seating for the day is at 4:30, so it wasn't crowded at all, which meant we could get some good photos. Even though it was afternoon, we were still able to get breakfast, as they serve it all day long. Breakfast cost $32 a person, and includes a pot of coffee or tea, a croissant with fruit, plus an entree. We got the Tiffany Tea, because when in Rome, right? For our entree, Desirae and I each got the waffle, which was delicious! I was a little nervous about the food, as I read some mixed Yelp reviews. However, everything tasted great! It's slightly on the expensive side, but I thought for the food quality and ambience it was completely worth it.
Of course Desirae and I both dressed up in our best Holly Golightly ensembles. I thought more people might be dressed up too, but surprisingly we were the only ones.
Overall, I would totally recommend the Blue Box Cafe! Whether you live in NYC or are just here visiting, if you're an Audrey fan, it's a must do.
To make a reservation, click here:
If you’d like to shop either of my Holly Golightly costumes, you can find them here:
And you can use my code NICOLE13 for 13% off your order!