03 December 2018

BECOMING A WISER CONSUMER

GROWING UP WITH MY FASHION CHOICES

Comfortability is extremely important to me. Being comfortable is unequivocal to anything else. Just like everyone else, I make decisions when I shop. It is very essential to me that I invest in what I wear and in my own comfort. As I am getting older, I’m beginning to realize that obtaining items considered fast fashion isn’t much of an interest to me anymore. I am done with splurging on things that won’t last after a few washes. I'm sick of buying items that I will get over as quickly as I bought them. I want to be able to always go back to these material things as time goes by. Please don't take this out of context when I say that fast fashion is not much interest anymore. I haven’t rejected fast fashion or the idea of fast fashion completely. Fast fashion has its moments. It cannot be wholly dismissed. I am just sticking to the notion of investing my money and not squandering it.
I usually have some questions running through my head when I’m shopping:
  1. Should I spend $5 for an item and buy it again in a month or should I pay the extra cash for an item that will last and possibly be a staple piece?
  2. Do I need this or do I just want it?
  3. Will I wear this again?

INVESTING & THE BIGGER PICTURE

Someone once gave me some funny and great advice. They said, "We must select what we let into our life the same way we select our significant other: be picky. We don't want a bunch of significant others. We just want that one. We want our forever. Who cares if I'm only talking about material things? They can last forever." We invest in so many things in life without spending a dime. We invest our own time in other people. We invest in ourselves to become better. Why not invest in what we wear?
Another important idea to keep in mind is that striving to obtain quality in life is better than striving to obtain quantity. We can always go back and repurchase an item if we fancy having another, especially if we're looking at a different color or print. We don't want to continuously purchase a multitude of one item when we know it's temporary. If you knew the lifespan of an item is less than a season, would you by it? Would you keep buying that item over and over or will you become upset? My personal goal is to purchase items that can last me for the next year. It's a personal achievement when I know that the item purchased will outlast the year ahead.
Storytime! The suit I am wearing in the photos is an example of having my cake and eating it too. This suit is a product of fast fashion. I bought this suit last spring. Before I had come to any conclusions that it is more important to invest, I just asked myself why not. I thought about how cute this suit would be to have in my closet. The first time I wore this lovely suit was the first day of New York Fashion Week. I wore it multiple times after that. This is one of the reasons why fast fashion can't be completely dismissed. Fast fashion has produced great things that are worth spending money on.
There are many reasons why this suit is a personal achievement and has become more than just a purchase. Here are a few:
  1. This suit is grade A quality.
  2. What was once a purchase on a whim is now two pieces of clothing that can be paired together or worn separately. There are so many outfit ideas running through my mind!
  3. This suit can be worn for almost any occasions.
  4. This is a suit that will last me a long time.
  5. I got it on sale.

YOU WON'T HAVE TO BUY DESIGNER IN ORDER TO INVEST

You may have seen a sweater for $800 and loved it. You may have also noticed a very similar, almost indistinguishable sweater with a more affordable ($$) price tag that was stitched better. You bought that sweater. You have loved that sweater for a long time and continue to love it. Ditto.
A lot of people have this preconceived notion that investing in their wardrobe means that their clothes will come with a hefty price tag. That is not always true. There are wonderful companies where we don’t have to drain our bank accounts for some great things. ASOS, M&S, and Primark are a few of my favorite companies where I get great things at a reasonable price. Of course, I am aware that these companies sell things with hefty price tags, but they also give us the option of choosing the latter when it comes saving money while shopping for the best.
Sometimes people believe that quality means designer tags. That is also not true. It's nice to have designer things, but designer things don't always mean quality. Sometimes we just pay for the name. Everyone has different standards. This means we will have to inspect and decide for ourselves. Still, it is a no-brainer that people like having additional funds in their pockets. Save it for a rainy day.

We must select what we let into our life the same way we select our significant other: be picky. We don't want a bunch of significant others. We just want that one. We want our forever. Who cares if I'm only talking about material things? They can last forever. 

Investing in clothes is only a small part of what we do. The most consequential part of it all is what we do after we have brought our things back from the shops. Price tags and labels don't make much of a difference if you're the kind of person to love the things you own as if they were people you care for. In fact, I once had a $12 t-shirt outlast a designer t-shirt. I treated both garments with love and cared for them, but the $12 t-shirt outlived the designer shirt. Never allow how much you spend on an item determine whether you take care of it or not.
I have seen people throw their things around like rag dolls and wonder why their expensive things look battered and bruised. When we love and care for our clothes, we don't have much to worry about. I always said that a person should treat their things the way they would treat a baby. We care and love babies. We protect them from everything and anything. That's the way it should be with our most expensive and inexpensive things.
Whichever type of consumer you may be, I hope you have the best time shopping this holiday. May you're holiday season be merry and bright.
I also hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed creating it. Tell me what you think. Are you the kind of person to invest in what you wear? What are some of your favorite investments?

DARIANNE

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25 November 2018

BEING THANKFUL

BEING THANKFUL

I’m thankful. Here’s why:
  1. Family & friends. My family and friends keep me sane and grounded. I don’t really get to see them often because I live in the library. With all this research I have to do for school, I sometimes feel guilty for not being able to see them as much. They understand and they’re completely supportive. They get that academia is very demanding.
    I got to hang with my best friend last week. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we had the best laugh. We laughed loud and hard. It felt so good to catch up. I felt like a normal person again. I also got to see my grandmother again. It’s been awhile.
    The best part about this Thanksgiving is that my granny cooked. The last couple of Thanksgivings were spent with her in bed. She had felt ill each year. I would go over and just spend the time with her instead of worry about having a full course meal because all that matters is her. This year she is up and about. I spent the days prior to the holiday smelling collard greens. Gran is back and we’re all so happy and thankful to have her back to her normal self.
  2. My education. Education has always been important. I was the kid who cried when my mom said that I could stay home and hav the day off. That was unacceptable. Why would I do that? I loved school as a child. Then I didn’t. I thought going to school was torture after awhile. I was a sleep deprived teenager that couldn’t sit still in class. Then I got to the university level and my ideas and my mind changed about school. I sort of fell in love all over again. I was able to study what I wanted not what I was forced to.
    I’m being challenged at my new university. I’ve been working on two research papers. The first is about the friendship between Dante and Virgil in the Divine Comedy. I’m using Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica as part of my argument for this paper. I’ve been enjoying the research and I’m learning a lot. My second research paper is about violence in art during the Baroque period. I’m using Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi as my focus points. I am learning a lot with this paper too. Both papers balance me out in a way.
  3. My blog. I know that it may seem like a materialistic or superficial thing to be thankful for, but it is something I’m thankful for. For the last four years, I’ve watched my blog mature. It’s been my own personal online diary where I can be open and share my thoughts, ideas, and express myself through clothes. I’ve also managed to meet lovely people. Most importantly, this blog has helped me face my fear and boosted my confidence. I put myself out there with no expectations at all and I get a little in return. The result of all of this has been mostly positive. It also allows me to connect with you. I’m thankful for that and you too.
  4. I am here. I am alive. I am well. I am heathy and I am happy. It took a long time to get here. I put up a fight and I never gave up. If you’ve followed my blog over the past couple of years, then you know that I’ve been open about my mental health and my road to a happy and better life. I spent two years in therapy where I was able to work out a lot and get rid of the burden on my shoulder. I got closure and peace from it all. I’m moving forward. I’m stronger than ever. Life wasn’t always like this. It was a sunless world for me. It was a dark place that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. No matter what, I always pushed through it. It’s not al rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it gets tough and I think for a moment that I am going backwards, but then I realize that it’s just a bad day or moment. I refuse to let myself go backwards. I made it it through. I am here. I am alive. I am well. I’m ready for whatever the future holds.
  5. Espresso & tea. Last but not least, I am thankful for tea and espresso. I may sound nuts, but it’s true. I drink A LOT of tea. I don’t think it’s healthy to drink as much as I do, but I do it anyways. I find tea to be soothing and therapeutic. It’s that time of year again when the holiday spirit mixes with the anxiety I get from having all of my deadlines at the same time. This leaves me emotionally and mentally exhausted. Tea is, like my favorite musicians (Harry Styles, Andrea Bocelli, Ed Sheeran). It soothes my soul. I find that drinking tea keeps me in a calm and peaceful state, especially when I’m really anxious. On the other hand, I am also thankful for espresso. It keeps me awake and allows me to be a slightly functioning adult when I’m working. Multitasking between working and my education is draining, but just like every other college student, I’m managing. Thank you to Angelo Moriondo for your wonderful invention. It is greatly appreciated.
There are so many other things that I am thankful for. I count my blessing. I am thankful for all that I have and all that I am. I am happy even through all of the stress and occasional anxiety. I am healthy. I don’t really have the need to ask for more unless I’m asking for a nap because they are much appreciated and much needed. Enough about me. What are you thankful for?

Darianne

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11 November 2018

WINE & BOOKS

WINE AND BOOKS

As the end of the semester approaches, I am glued to my laptop furiously researching. I have a final research paper for each class and there are six in total. It’s stressful. It’s a lot of work. I find myself enjoying the research more times than not. With six research papers to due within the month, I find myself needing time to unwind and relax. It’s not easy. I’m either at school or at work. Good night sleeps are rare. I tell myself it will pay off some day. Still, me time is in order even through all of this chaos. Woosah.
I’ve watch movies and I’ve heard people talk about unwinding with a glass of wine. Sometimes it’s a story about a tough day and other times it’s habitual. I’ve never been a wine drinker. I’ve never like it and I never understood why anyone really did. Someone recommended me to try Moscato. I told myself that if I didn’t like it, then that’s fine because I haven’t given up on wine. My very first cup of Moscato was magical. It was absolutely delicious. In fact, we bought the bottle at the restaurant and shared among ourselves. I kept asking if it was wine and if they were sure because wine never tasted that good. I had to click my heels three times to make sure I was still in Kansas and it wasn’t a dream.
Last night was wonderful. I had wine. I read a book. I had cookies. I finally understood why people talk about having a glass of wine at the end of their day. It’s like magic. I was recently gifted a bottle of Moscato by a family member. I held onto it for a little while. The best thing I ever did was wait until I could enjoy some leisure time.
I am still on the fence about other wines. Wine is definitely not for everyone. It’s okay to not like wine. It’s okay to love wine. No matter how you feel about it, there’s no harm in testing out wine until you find that one for you. I believe that there is another wine that could be the perfect match for me. For now, I’ll be enjoying Moscato.

DARIANNE


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07 November 2018

LADY IN ZARA

STORY TIME

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful red teddy coat hung up on a stand taller than I. It’s purpose was to display the teddy coat and display the teddy coat it did. People stopped all around the tall stand just to try on the this bright red teddy coat. The coat itself became the star of the show and instantly sold out in the stores. Ugh! What a wonderful tragedy. The coat couldn’t be found around the city for awhile and away the customers went to salvage other good while they still could. One lady that stood four inches over five feet decided to try her luck on the world wide web. It felt like a Christmas miracle that the beautiful, bright red teddy coat was still in stock. Without hesitation, the lady ordered the coat. She anticipated the day the coat would arrive at her door. She waited a few days knowing it wouldn’t take long. Soon the day would arrive and she would have it.
On one hot morning, there was a knock on the door. The lady didn’t hear it at first. She was busying herself with a book. The knock came again and this time she heard it. It was louder than the first time. Who could it be? “Delivery,” shouted the man that stood outside her door. “Are you Darianne,” asked the delivery man. “Yes, I‘m Darianne.” The woman smiled as she saw the inscriptions on the box. Oh. It finally came. “Enjoy your package and your day, ma’am.” The delivery man walked away and the lady thanked him. She knew what was inside. She couldn’t wait to open it. She tore open the clear back that held her package with it. Next came the box that she opened without sweat and the wrapping paper. There it was in all of it’s glory. The red teddy coat had come home to her. She tried it on. She walked around with it on. She modeled it. She danced in it. She fell in love with it like it was the first time all over again. She didn’t want anything to happen to it. She hung it on her clothing rack where it would rest until Halloween. It’s safe to say that the lady name Darianne was extremely happy with her purchase.

IT WAS MY FIRST TIME…

This was my first ever purchase from Zara and I am so happy to have purchased this teddy coat. Red, and all the shades of red, are my favorite. When I saw it hanging where it was, I instantly thought Christmas. I thought Mrs. Claus. I thought of Fifth Avenue, fir trees, and hot apple cider. The coat spoke to me in more ways than one. I was sad when I walked out of the store without it. That day haunted me for awhile, but then I gave in. It was the best thing I ever did.
The coat has been hanging on my clothing rack for weeks. I couldn’t wait to wear it. I wanted to walk about in it so bad. When Halloween came closer, I realized that I didn’t actually have a costume. I was thinking about what to wear on Halloween while I was staring at the coat. Then it hit me. Why not dress as a devil? Thus the countdown to halloween had begun. The costume wouldn’t be complete without proper shoes and a top. I went over to my favorite shoe site and order some red booties. Next was the bodysuit. I knew that I wanted something red and lacy, but I also wanted something affordable. I searched around until I finally found something that grabbed my attention. This bodysuit caught my attention instantly. It would be my very first time wearing lingerie as part of an outfit. I knew I had to be comfortable in my own skin and what I wore. When I tried it on, I knew I’d be fine. I felt wonderful in it. I kept checking myself out and I’m the farthest thing from vain. I had to get it. Most of my outfit was complete. I just needed black denim. I panicked last minute when I realized that I didn’t have anymore black denim that fit. I ran to a store to get a pair of pants, the waist on the pants were too big. It made me realize that my waist has shrunk a bit (thanks to my vegetarian/vegan diet) and I didn’t know what to do. I walked out empty handed. On Hallows Eve, I found a pair of faux leather pants in my closet that I forgot I had. They were a lifesaver. I was no longer in panic mode. I was back to being excited about dressing up in red.

HALLOWEEN DAY

I had lectures to attend that day. Of course, I wasn’t as ecstatic as I usually am about attending lectures because it was one of my favorite holidays. About mid morning, my art history professor emailed the class because she was ill and had to cancel class (get well soon, professor). I wasn’t happy that she was ill, but I was happy class was canceled. I look forward to the class every week, but this just meant that I could spend more time enjoying the first half of my plans.
After my first and only lecture of the day let out, I went straight to my sister to spend time with her and my niece and nephews. My sister dressed up my niece and nephews as the characters of PJ Masks. I was fangirling over my own niece and nephews. They looked absolutely adorable. It was also my niece’s first halloween. She had slain halloween as Owlette. You go girl! My nephew kept running off into stores and had to be watched like a hawk. He’s only three and thinks he’s an adult. He moved quickly around as Catboy. He wanted his candy now. My other nephew just wanted to eat the candy. He looked so cute as Gekko. We had so much fun. I am already excited for 2019. How was your Halloween?

HALLOWEEN NIGHT

My second set of plans were to hang out with my friends. Listen, academics know how hard it is to balance work, academics, and a social life. I haven’t seen my amigas in what felt like months. I spend so much time writing papers and creating my habitat in the library. I don’t get to go out and do other things that I enjoy. Halloween was the perfect time for me to do just that. We had a blast catching up, laughing, going to Bryant Park minutes before it closed, and watching all of the ‘freaks come out at night’. Weird things kept happening, but we were having fun. Halloween made me feel normal. I was emotional because I was able to spend time with the people closest to me. Halloween 2018 was the best. We made plans to go ice skating because we’ve been saying we would do so for ages and we never do.
As I write this post, I keep making note that it is now November. The holiday season has officially begun. It’s time for delicious foods, presents, lots of family time, and I get to go home for the holidays. I’m so excited. I can’t wait. I’ve missed my mom for the longest.
Is there anything you’re excited for this Holiday season?

DARIANNE

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04 November 2018

I'VE BEEN FEELING VERY RORY GILMORE LATELY

It’s finally November! The holidays are quickly approaching. Christmas is everywhere and Thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet. People are merry and jolly. Couples are ice skating and drinking apple cider in Bryant Park. Friend and families are shuffling through crunchy leaves. The season is slowly changing. It’s getting colder. The leaves are turning colors (FINALLY). The wind is blowing people away. Jackets and scarves have officially made their entrance. Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are preparing for their annual holiday display which I am beyond excited to see.
That Rory Gilmore feeling has made its annual return. I’ve been told that I can be very Rory Gilmore which I like to think is a compliment. It’s the constant want to read a book a day. I’m never not reading a book. My current read is Gabriel’s Rapture. I’ve read it so many times. Welcome back book boyfriend. I also have my next book lined up. It’s the never ending obsession with coffee (don’t tell Rory that I’ve been drinking tea more). It’s my obsession with having the perfect paper and making sure my grades are great. It’s my thirst for knowledge. It’s the coziness and the innocence. That’s what I’ve been told about myself anyways.
I’ve been getting cozy wherever I go. When I’m in my university’s library, I snuggle up on one of the giant arm chairs with my laptop in my lap writing papers. I usually have tea or coffee in my portable coffee mug. I’ve been using my giant travel mug because I don’t just simply sip the tea. I do love to drink a lot of it. It gets really cozy in the warmth and silence of the library, especially when I know I’m surrounded by books. I’ve also been watching lots of movies in between papers and classes. I’ve been watching movies of the cozy variety. I’ve seen Autumn in New York twice in the past week. I do love Winona Ryder and Richard Gere in pretty much anything. The Hallmark Channel has released a couple new movies so far for their Countdown to Christmas special. There’s also my autumnal playlists with lots of Bocelli and Jason Aldean. Besides, the stress that comes from school, life’s been good.

WE’RE HALF WAY THERE

Fellow academics, we’re half way there. The semester is almost over which means study study study. The final exam schedule was sent out in the last week of October and registration begins this week at my university. I’m very happy with the classes I’ve chosen for the spring semester. They’re currently sitting in my planning basket until registration day. I won’t get the left over classes that no one wants like I did last semester. That is usually what happens when you’re a transfer student.
This semester has gone well. I transitioned into my new university easily. I’ve met some cool people and I enjoy most of my professors. Deadlines are approaching faster and faster. There are more research papers and less time. I’m learning to manage my time a bit better. Thanksgiving is going to come faster than anyone can blink. Then the semester is over the week that follows. It’s a bit nerve wracking to think about it, but I am proud of myself and what I’ve done this semester. How’s your semester thus far?
I am now ready for Christmas in the mountains with my family and home made hot coco. Anyone else with me? By the time the holidays come around, I’m usually ready to unwind. I know I’m not the only one. I’m so excited. It’s probably the only thing that I will talk about for the coming months. Please bare with me.
Happy November everyone! I hope it goes well for you and the semester ends with a wonder bang and a 4.0.

DARIANNE


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29 October 2018

I'VE BEEN INSPIRED BY SOMEONE UNEXPECTED

HOW IT BEGAN

The first time I really saw a man wear his suit and not allow the suit to wear him was around 2011. I was in the eleventh grade at the time. I had just left school for the day. I skipped volleyball practice that day because of my anxiety. I was just hanging about alone. I wanted time to myself. All I wanted was a second to breathe. So, I left my former midtown high school and walked further downtown. A couple hours later, I found myself in the village walking from east to west. It’s one of my favorite areas in NYC. It’s a calmer neighborhood. I had a lovely stroll through the streets of Manhattan.  I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen, but it did. It was then I saw the man in the suit. 
This man was being photographed as he walked down the streets of New York. I don’t think anything important was happening that day. Men casually walk around in suits, right? He was just walking. I didn’t know who he was then, but I was instinctively pulled into a daze when I saw the suit he wore. I looked at the suit first. I preceded to look at the attractive man wearing the suit and back to looking at his suit. Most people may not have thought twice about the suit because the man wearing it is so attractive. The made-to-perfection, tailored suit was a perfect fit. He definitely wore it. He owned it. In that moment, I became instantly fascinated with suits. I became fascinated with types of suits and the art of tailoring (not that I know how). It turned out the man was David Gandy. After that day, I’d become a fan of the man behind the suit and the suit itself.

IT WASN’T UNTIL RECENTLY WHEN I REALIZED HE INSPIRED ME.

Over the years, Mr. Gandy would do interviews, magazine spreads, and grace the world with white pants in Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue commercial. Let’s not forget his work with Marks and Spencer as a designer and model for their Autograph collection. It makes me miss the old Christmas advert with David and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. He played the Mad Hatter, Aladdin, and Scarecrow in the Christmas Advert for M&S. He’d go on to venture into other things like writing, directing, and running his own businesses and brand, and creating and working with charities. I was always fascinated with hearing what he had to say. He never spoke for the hell of it. There’s always substance coming from this man with style. 
Gandy is a man with ambition, but he is also known with making sure he achieves what he wishes, continues to progress, and he never stops just because he got to where he wanted. Ambition, as wonderful as it may be, isn’t enough. Doing the actual work to make things happen is just as important. Someone doesn’t become the top male supermodel just by doing the bare minimum. The same thing applies to everyone with the things we wish to do. How am I going to get my PhD if I do nothing? How am I going to become a professor and work in fashion if I don’t go out and work for it? No one is going to say, “Here, Darianne. This is the world on a silver platter.” 


There’s always a plan. There’s always a five-year strategy behind everything. I never understand people when I say to people, “Where do you want to be” and they say “Well, I don’t know.” Then I say, “Well how are you going to get there?” It’s like a game of chess. You’re positioning things all the time to get to where you want to be and what you want to achieve.

I’M EXECUTING MY PLAN AS I WRITE THIS

This summer I wrote about how I didn’t want to know what happens next. I didn’t want to know about the future. I wanted to be free and one with the planet and that’s about it. That still stands. I do not want to know what where I will be and when, but I can dream and work hard to make my dreams a reality. Not wanting to know the future and coming up with a list of goals and a plan to achieve those goals aren’t the same thing. First, nothing is set in stone. Second, I can achieve many goals and still not have the outcomes be what I wish them to be. There’s a possibility that I can achieve one career goal, but not the other. This also ties in with the idea of not having regrets. As long as I try and work really hard for what I want, there won’t be anything for me to regret (not that I have any). As long as a strive to reach these goals and the things that make me happy, then I will be fine. Having a plan doesn’t mean that I know my future. I’m not Psychic. This isn’t an episode of That’s So Raven. This is me making sure my future is secured while going where the wind blows. A girl can multitask, right?
As David humorously said before, “I never tell people my five-year plan just in case I don’t get there.” I personally think it’s better to move in silence. Sometimes people make too much noise about where they want to be and how they are getting to where they want to be, but they don’t actually get there. Sometimes they don’t do anything. It’s all talk. I was one of those people talking the talk until I said it was time I walk the walk. I am proud to say that I have been walking the walk. I’m being vague as anyone should be. It’s the early stages of a plan I’m executing. It’s not about secrets. It’s about achieving what I want instead of just talking about it. Whether I succeed or fail, how I move and when I move should be on a need-to-know basis. I don’t want to make a lot of noise. Instead, I wish to show with my actions. Time will tell. Just know it is all part of the plan.

FROM HIS SUIT TO MY STYLE

Over the years I have been inspired by the man behind the suit, but I was originally inspired by the suit in 2011 and that hasn’t changed. David describes his style as “classic Hollywood” with style inspiration from Paul Newman, James Dean, Tom Ford, and Alasdair Willis. He also says he’s influenced by British tailoring.
These days I find myself on the Brookes Brothers website with trousers in my basket that I’m going to invest in. I’m constantly reaching for my navy blue plaid jacket I got from H&M last year. With my confidence in myself growing everyday, I find myself dipping into styles I wouldn’t have thought twice about like the classic tailored look. I’ve been having fun switching between jackets and trousers over the last few months. I bringing out the blouses and I’ve been enjoying every moment in it. Of friend of mine from the university said, “Yesterday you looked like a rockstar and today you look like you’re ready for business.” My style Is definitely undefined and inspiration is infinite even when it comes from someone unexpected.

DARIANNE


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15 October 2018

GETTING COZY


I feel like I’ve been talking about my autumnal mood for ages. I’m in the spirit. It’s October. Autumn already started. Ghouls and goblins are getting ready to come out and play. Let the festivities begin! I’ve been ready for so long. When I set out to write this post, I was going to write about how warm it had been in NYC. The temperatures were in the seventies and eighties. People were wearing flip flops, shorts, and sundresses. I am autumn person. It was making me nuts that wearing chunky sweaters wasn’t possible because I would over heat.
I fell asleep writing this post. I woke up the next morning and got ready to head off to my Italian lecture. I was surprised by how the temperature had dropped twenty degrees overnight. It was COLD out. FINALLY. Because I’ve been dressing for autumn and not the lingering summer heat, I didn’t check the weather. If it was warm, I’d just take off my sweater. If it’s cold, I’ll be fine. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away on Amsterdam avenue that day. I wasn’t expecting coats and shivering people. I was unintentionally prepared after all. I wish you could’ve seen my face. I was smiling from ear to ear. I’m definitely not ready for the frigid cold that winter brings, but I am ready for cooler weather. I wanted temperatures in the fifties and sixties and that’s what I got.

After my day at school was over, I ventured into downtown Manhattan. I wanted to enjoy the weather at my favorite places. Coffeeshops were filled with people. Starbucks was filled with orders of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I only went in for a cookie, but I understood. It amazes me how a sudden drop in the weather made people want to huddle together. It’s as if the countdown to Christmas has begun. I’m excited for that too, but I can wait a bit longer.
The cold seems to bring people together. As if on cue, the aesthetics of New Yorkers and coffeeshops are suddenly very real and very much alive. New Yorkers seem to freak when it’s suddenly hot or suddenly cold. Don’t panic New York. It gets colder. New Yorkers act like it’s suddenly December when it’s fifty degrees. When December rolls around some people feel like they’ve entered a new ice age and others think back to the sixty degree weather as if it was years ago. Nonetheless, the cold seems to bring out a happier spirit in people. At least I think so. People become jollier. I’m talking about New Yorkers here. Jolly is saved specifically for Christmas because we’re always a rush. I am gettin ahead of myself. I do apologize for that.

I guess the wait is over for cooler weather. It’s time to watch Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. This is where the cozy blankets come out and we make homemade hot chocolate. I told my friend that the cold weather came at the perfect time. Between writing my research papers, midterm papers, and homework, I am trying to find a balance with the other aspects in my life. I do have a job. I try to have a social life. I try to find time to produce content for my blog and that's usually between classes. It is definitely a hard thing to do. I feel like I am in front of my laptop all day every day. At this point I won't be surprised if someone told me that my laptop is suddenly part of my anatomy. While I balance everything in my life, I will definitely be looking for cozy corners where I can work.

DARIANNE

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01 October 2018

SOME ROSES ARE RED

HEAR YE, HEAR YE

When I turned twenty-three I promised that my my twenty third year would be amazing. I promised that it would be my best year yet. I learned a lot about self love and self worth the year before. I aspired to keep that momentum going. I wanted to be a forever growing and evolving sunflower. I showered myself with love and positivity which turned out to be the radiant sun I needed in life. I pushed myself for better. I tried to do things I was afraid of. I was experimenting with lipsticks. I promised nothing would hold me back from living my best life. All of that nurtured my twenty third year to the tallest, brightest, and strongest sunflower I had ever been. Cheers to that!
Of course it wasn't always easy. I tripped along the way. I fell too, but it didn't matter because I always got right back up which was important. I personally think my style improved through the confidence I began radiating because suddenly I didn't need validation from anyone or anything. I've never been one to care about those things, but I guess part of me did.

I DECIDED TO CELEBRATE

Twenty-four is a big deal to me. Just like twenty-five and so on will be a big deal to me. I had kept my birthday resolutions. I was feeling wonderful and I was beaming from all the love and care I was giving to myself. I put most of my time into my well being. People were noticing. I wanted to celebrate all that I had accomplished in just three hundred sixty-five days. 
Some time during the Spring, my friends and I booked our trip for Philadelphia. I was waiting impatiently. Then the Harry Styles concert happened. For over a month I had been reflecting on how wonderful that show was and how it is definitely a night to remember. I mean it was the best night of 2018. The next time I'd be going all out would, in fact, be my birthday. It was time to celebrate it. Off to Philly I go! There's was no stopping me, well us, as we took the city by storm.

BARCADES ARE COOL

The night before my birthday we went out to this barcade. Bars and arcades are two of my favorite things. The atmosphere in a bar is right in between the vibes at a lounge and vibes at a club. That's why bars are my favorite and the only one I'm willing to party at voluntarily. Now, when I heard the term "barcade" I thought of and old school bar decked out like Dave and Busters. My over imaginative expectation were off. It was definitely and old fashion, rustic bar. Instead of all of the newer games like Candy Crush and Halo that Dave & Busters has, the bar had more classic games like Pac-Man and the classic racing games that are found at the movie theatre. My favorite is racing. I get really serious and my face morphs due to the intense amount of concentration. My childhood came to life and I ran around playing ever game that I could. 
Somewhere along the lines were two men. One guy got the hint that it was just a girls night and we weren't interested. The other guy tried to tell stories about his life as a roadie. He hovered around and wouldn't leave. We dodged him a few times and ignored him. After awhile, he got the hint and he walked away. 
There was also the lovely bartender. She took care of us. She was really nice. She made the best Whiskey Sours and would give us water after every two drinks. She looked out for us while we were having the time of our lives. Girls must stick together. That's what I always say. If you get a bartender like that, tip them well. They care more for their customers than making quick tips. 

I PARTIED TOO HARD THE NIGHT BEFORE

When I awoke the morning of my birthday, I was fine until I wasn't. One thing I didn't know until that morning is even if you drink lots of water while drinking on a night out, going to bed when you get back from your night out is a bad idea. When I went to bed I was fine. In fact, my body was telling me that I was sobering up. I'd began to feel like my normal self. I was also sleepy from all of the excitement. 
When I woke up, I got in the shower and went back to my suitcase to grab some fresh clothes to go out for the day. When I had dressed myself, I began to feel a bit queasy and dizzy. I kept telling myself that I look to cute to be sick on my birthday. Moments later my head was in a toilet and my friend was taking care of me. She's the best. It turned out that the alcohol, though I didn't consume a lot, sat in my stomach and cause me to be sick the next morning. That's when I learned that going to bed after partying and showering isn't a good idea. As TJ Detweiler said, "This womps!"
I spend half the day feeling sick and I was determined to still enjoy my day. We stayed in the hotel room until around 4 p.m. By 4, I was ready to go back out and have a wonderful and very much sober day with my amiga. The museums had closed early and there wasn't much to do other than put something in our stomachs. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. FOOD.

LITTLE NONNA’S

Located on Locust street, Little Nonna’s sits in the center of the street. It’s almost undetectable because it blends well with the rest of the buildings. Little Nonna’s is a small, beautiful restaurant that I fell in love with. When we got there, we were asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside which would be covered by a glass roof.I chose outside! Before we got there I mentioned wanting to eat outdoors even though it was raining. Off we went to our cute little table where we waited patiently for food. I ordered the spaghetti. If you’re a vegetarian like me, you can ask them for their vegetarian option which is basically Spaghetti with a deliciously thick marinara sauce. That marinara sauce is to die for. My mouth watered a lot and I wanted to lick the plate. We also ordered the garlic bread which was just as amazing. Have you ever had a meal that was so delicious you almost cried? I couldn’t eat it all because I still felt slightly sick from the night before, but I will definitely go back to Philly just for this restaurant.
The highlight of my birthday dinner is when the rain pattered on the ceiling. Everything was perfect. I was having dinner with my best friend while on vacation under a glass ceiling while I was still slightly nauseous and in love with the moments passing by. The rain got heavier. It rained so hard that the small pipes couldn’t drain all of the water. The water began to leak through the ceiling. Most people would be angry with birthday outfit getting soaked. I couldn’t help but laugh. The people next to me moved one by one. When the man who sat directly next to me moved, I got soaked. It was all in good laughs. It was the best laugh I had in the last 12 hours. They gave us free gelato which is always a plus.
If you’re ever in Philadelphia, visit Little Nonna’s and let your taste buds sing.

7 P.M. IN PHILLY

When we were done eating, we took our left overs and walked off the pasta. I couldn’t feel my stomach. I was beyond stuffed. We found these apartments that were all connected by these alley ways. I fell in love with the spot an had to get my photo taken. This shoot is the result of that. I danced around in circles as my friend took photos of me. She directed and guided me as the sun slowly set.
As time went on, we walked through the south side of Philly. This isn’t our first rodeo, It had definitely been awhile. We saw businesses booming. People were hanging out together. Bars were open and people were laughing about. Sex shops had people walking in and out of them as if they were having a semi annual sale. We saw new places and old places. We even passed the corner where I hopped into a puddle a few years back. With nostalgia hovering over our heads, we took in the night life that Philly offered.
We made it to the pier in a very short time. We were trying to figure out what to do and where to go. That’s when the fun took off.

BY THE END OF THE NIGHT

There were two places we would eventually go after dinner. The first was Dave & Busters. If you don’ know, Dave & Busters is a giant arcade with a bar and restaurant. We played as many games as we could. The highlight for me was none other than Halo. Halo is an X-Box game I used to play when I was younger. Seeing that the Dave & Busters had the arcade mades us spend the rest of our coins on the game. I also love a good racing game. Need For Speed was one of my favorite games growing up. Dave & Busters has a few versions of that. The virtual bowling was fun. Candy crush gave me a headache, but I kept playing. There were a couple of other games we played. I can’t remember the names of them, but it was so much fun. We were on cloud nine as we ran like children to get to the other games before anyone else could take them.
Dave & Busters closed at midnight. I wasn’t ready to go home. The night is still young. Why not continue to enjoy myself? Next and last stop was a bar/club. It was a spacious place with multiple dance floors, to die for nachos, and a good DJ. Anyone who can mix Reggaeton into their setlist is alright with me. We ate our delicious nachos. We enjoyed the view of the bar/club’s view on the water. The night ended with me downing several pints of water. Have fun and stay hydrated. That’s what I that morning. The place closed at two in the morning, but we were out of there before then. It’s was time for some much needed rest.

24 AND FOREVER MORE

When I was twenty-three I wished for happiness. At twenty-four, I will for all the same and a bit more. Happiness comes from within. Happiness can’t be achieved if my mind, body, and soul isn’t at their best. There is a delicate balance I wish to keep. For one, I’d like to wake up early and drink tea instead of coffee. I’d like to better my diet. As a vegetarian, sometimes I don’t get what I need from food which leaves me without energy at times. I want to be fit again. That’d be fun. I’d like to continue to find my way with being one with the planet and radiating positivity all around me. It’s all about equilibrium. It’s hard in a city like New York, but it’s possible. I want to follow the wind and the music wherever they take me. I want to dance the night away whether there’s music or not. I want to enjoy moments for what they are and make wishes at 11:11 twice a day. Life is short and I realized that more and more as I get older. More than ever I want to be as free as a bird.

Darianne

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23 September 2018

BORROWED TIME & REGRETS

I suddenly realized that we were on borrowed time, that time is always borrowed, and that the lending agency exacts its premium precisely when we are least prepared to pay and need more time to borrow.

BORROWED TIME & REGRETS

This morning has been strange. I’m sat here typing away on my phone when moments ago I was sat around deep in thought like Thomas Shelby of Peaky Blinders. I seem to enjoy the most ordinary things on Sunday. It’s usually just me, my thoughts, and some coffee until I’m ready to write it out and share.
My thoughts for the past week or so have been dancing between “borrowed time” and regrets. Personally, I do not believe in regrets. Once upon of time, I did something I wanted to do and the result weren’t what I wanted. Therefore, that experience is a lesson learned. It is what it is. That’s how I like to think of it, but a lot of people don’t and that’s understandable. I’ve personally spent way too much time swimming in my own mind enough to genuinely understand that there’s no changing the past. So, what’s the point of looking back? The people I’ve spoken to lately have been discussing both subjects in different ways. A lot of the times they find themselves dwelling on the “what ifs”, “I wish I never did that”, and “I wish I had more time.” We’re human. We make mistakes. It’s what we do.
Borrowed time is different. It is something we put our hope in, but is meant to fail. Over some wine, a couple of my friends and I opened space for discussion on anything. Regrets and borrowed time seemed to be on their minds lately and I’ve been all ears. A friend of mine said he regretted dating a certain woman because “in the end she made me feel the need to cry over every Arctic Monkey song. She doesn’t even know the band.” Another friend of mine spoke of her regrets on love. She wish she had more time to turn things around instead of just calling it quits because “life gets hard and sometime people don’t realized how much something is worth until it’s too late.” Being the friend with too may references, I mentioned Call Me By Your Name. It’s a novel, now movie, about a summer romance that happens on borrowed time. Like Elio, my friends spent the time after trying to get a loan on time, but unable to pay the fees when time came to collect. “A moment is all I need to go back and change my regrets to lessons learned,” said one friend who sat listening to me share my beliefs on the matter. Elio, no matter where he was in life, was still living in the moments where time was borrowed and life was bliss. Unfortunately loans are meant to be paid back. Even he knew that.

THE AFTERMATH

With the permission of my friends, I share this small, yet significant, amount of time when conversations ran deep on the second glass of wine. Both agreed that they manage to live without the burden of their regrets, but those regrets sometimes sneak back into their thoughts once in awhile. After hearing about Elio, they realized that he is not someone who they wish to be. I offered the idea that future relationships can be the way they take their regrets and turn them around to lessons learned.
As I finish off my coffee and Nick Cave fades in the background, I wish you a life without regrets. Maybe it won’t be easy. Maybe it won’t happen over night, but I hope someday, If you have these regrets, you can turn them into lessons learned.

DARIANNE 

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17 September 2018

AUTUMNAL FEELS

I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS

There are two things I’ve been anticipating: fashion week and autumn. It’s no secret. Twice a year, New York becomes a very special canvas of expression through clothes. New York is always a special canvas, but this is a specific kind of special. People from all over the world come to walk down runways, watch shows, and show off their best clothes on the streets. Accents get stronger. Friendship and acquaintances are made. Inspiration floats in the air like freshly made bread on a Sunday morning. What’s not to love?
Last night I was walking down Spring Street. I was walking and I stumbled in front of a moving taxi. My legs were tired. I had been out all day. This guy who was beyond dressing to impress said, “I would’ve helped you if you’d fallen.” Luckily I caught myself before I toppled over and the taxi drove over me. The same man was busying himself in a conversation with two women who attended a few runway shows earlier. He noticed the women and introduced himself at one of the shows. He and his friend managed to run into them again that the same night. Between stumbling in front of a taxi and waiting at a corner on Spring Street, I’d come to realize how quick and easy it can be to introduce yourself and make new contacts. Believe me when I say that I aim for friendships, but that takes time. Just saying hello is the start of it all. There’s nothing wrong with a little fun. So why not? Meet people. Go out. Enjoy your youth. At least that’s what I’ve been doing.
Next, there is Autumn. Autumn. Autumn. In my last post, I talked about anticipating autumn. Once autumn starts, Christmas is right around the corner. I love the holidays. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. There’s also my favorites like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, autumnal candles from Bath & Body Works, sweater weather, and the vibrant color of the leaves painting the city as they change colors. There are very few leaves that have changed colors, but it’s a start. If only you can see this Cheshire Cat grin plastered on my face. Ugh!

NYFW FALL ‘18 IS MY NEW FAVE

I’ve come to realize that my biggest fear has never been failing. My biggest fears are not living my best life and wondering “what if” when I’m 80. I’ve never believed in having regrets or regrets in general. Everything is just a lesson learned. Lately, I’ve been talking to myself and thinking out loud. What am I waiting for? No one will hand me a seat at runways. No one will give me a job working for Vogue or any fashion company. No one and I mean NO ONE, will just give me or anyone anything. It’s all about hard work and dedication. Maybe it will take longer than others, but that’s okay. No journey is alike. One should always remain hopeful. If you’re on this journey, be proud you haven’t given up yet. I feel like I’m just starting out. I turned 24 almost two months ago. I’m not too late. No one is ever late or too late. If you work hard to get what you want, someday your dreams will be in your grasp and you’ll be able to grab it. I genuinely believe so. That’s why this NYFW is my favorite. I’m not just talking the talk. I’m walking the walk. I’m going through the process just like everyone else. I will stumble. I may even fall, but I won’t give up. That’s what matters. Someday I will be where I wish to be. When that day comes, I will celebrate and continue to strive because no one should stop when they get what they want. More dreams will come about. More goals will arise and will be accomplished. There’s always so much to do. Just make sure you’re having fun while doing it. Stay passionate about what you do as well. Therefore, you’re not working, but dreaming while you’re awake. x

I AM COZYING UP EARLY

While I’m being a go-getter, I am cozying up too. It’s a bit early. At least I can admit it. I’m obsessed and in love with all things autumnal. I couldn’t help myself. The weather in New York has been wacky. One day it is cold. The next day it is hot and/or humid. The day after it’s raining. I never know what to wear when it’s 78 degrees. The temperature dropped randomly midday a few days ago and by the night time, it warmed up. Blame global warming. I’m never sure if I’m going to freeze or overheat that day because there weather changes rapidly. This outfit that I am wearing gave me the best of both worlds. I felt confident in it. If you’re like me and you want to cozy up early in your knits and boots go for it. New York isn’t the only place that’s weather has more mood swings than spring.

Sweater H&M
Skirt Forever 21 // Similar here
Boots Forever 21
*Affiliate links above

THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT. I’M GOING FOR IT.

LISTEN. I said it earlier. I’ve been talking the talk for ages. So if you roll your eyes, I get it. I’m the kind of person who believes the actions of the person more than words. I’ve been slacking for a while. I always dreamed of big dreams and of doing what I love. I want to set my own rules. I want to be passionate about what I am doing. I want to live out my dreams. That won’t be possible if I continue to sit back and wait. I’ve got to work my a*s off and go for it. I was born a dreamer. It’s a genetic I am thankful for. On my birthday, and even while these photos were being taken, I kept thinking about all that I wish to achieve and knowing it won’t happen if I sit around made me want to get up and take off like the roadrunner and never stop. Life is too short. Nothing is certain. Dreams are dreams until they are made into a reality. There’s so much to be done. My passion burns brighter and brighter every day. I’m keeping my word to myself like I have been for over a year. I will make it happen. Nothing is impossible.

Pop pop would be turnin' in his grave the day I let someone else become the boss of me when there's a boss in me. I'll be damned. 
- Russ, What They Want

I’VE BEEN INSPIRED BY OTHERS.

There is a fine line between being inspired and comparing yourself or wishing you have what someone else has. I have definitely been inspired. Here are a few:
  • Victoria | InTheFrow: Victoria is the creator of InTheFrow. She has been vlogging and blogging for years. I absolutely adore her and her style. She seems to be a super sweet person and completely down to earth even after her success. Her videos are fun. When I’m multitasking between writing a paper late at night and watching her videos, I don’t really feel like I’m in my apartment brainstorming. I feel like I’m at the same events hanging with all of my favorite bloggers and wearing my favorite designers. Her blog and her vlogs are inclusive. She is relatable. Her clothes are to die for. From outfits to life itself, Victoria has inspired me for years. I aspire to be able to wake up every day, live out my dreams, and have fun doing it. This beauty has inspired me beyond the glitz and glamour of her job as a blogger and vlogger. She is hard working and dedicated. Did I mention she has a Ph.D.? I’m striving to obtain my Ph.D. For now, I’m an undergrad multitasking and working between two dreams.
  • Beverly | Life In Beverly Heels: Beverly, or Bev for short, has been strutting around in her fantastic heels and bold outfits for years. Her outfits always have pops of color. Bev has inspired me in many ways. To me, the most important things she has inspired me to do is step out of my shell and wear those color that makes my skin pop. Colors, the bolder the better, makes my melanin pop in the most beautiful ways. Black girl magic is real. As I got older, I realized that part of letting myself shine is being comfortable in my own skin. Bev struts in her heels in every post like she’s on a runway and her beauty shines through. She’s open and honest. She’s unapologetic. #LoveTheSkinYoureIn She is more than just her shoes. Beverly is a lawyer too. If her positive attitude and wonderful outfits aren’t inspiration enough, she is busy taking over the world or dominating it in court. Go, Beverly!
  • Sophie | Sophie Rosie: This next beauty is Sophie. She is the creator of Sophie Rosie and a co-founder of Girls In Work. She’s a lifestyle blogger who has been open and honest for years. She talks about her struggles like moving to a new city and working a new job. She talks about the things that make her happy like coffee. She gives advice and she is beyond relatable. It ’s a “we all go through it” type of thing. There’s never a time where I feel like I can’t relate. Every read allows me to see things from a different perspective. Reading her blog will show you that you are not alone in the adulting world. We’re all similar in so many ways. We all struggle. I began to be open about my life and struggles a lot more after reading her blog. There’s nothing better than feeling and being relatable. No one is really alone in that sense. Sophie also co-founded Girls In Work this past year which is helpful for women in the workplace or in general. Women tell their story, give advice, and there are guest writers which are always fun. As an undergrad, I read and take some of their advice. I apply it to work and school. I can definitely say a lot of them have worked out.


CHEERS TO THE FUTURE

Everyone moves at their own pace. I remind myself daily that I am not slow or behind in life. No one will obtain the things that they want in the same way as other people. Don’t compare yourself. Take your time. Take a break. Go for a coffee. Come back when you’re ready. It will happen. Sometimes things will take longer than we want them to. Other things may come to us in the blink of an eye. No matter what happens, we must go on our own journey. It may be a bit scary because of the things unknown, but you’re tough. You got this. Maybe you’ll take the road less traveled. Maybe you will stick to the main roads. Whatever you choose doesn’t make less than someone else. Your unique journey is the reason you will get to where you want. When you do get there, the canvas you painted will be hung high as it tells your story. Just promise yourself to never give. Keep moving forward. Don’t look back. Somewhere among the billions of stars, there’s your one. It burns for you. You may not realize but you’re a star yourself. Remind yourself that dreams really do come true. You can definitely do it. I believe in you.

Darianne

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