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Selfie Game So Strong (4 Tips for Better Self-Portraits)

Business Casual, My Style, Tips & Tricks

hm-striped-top-wool-midi-skirt-1{H&M Striped Top, Uniqlo Midi Skirt, Ralph Lauren Heels}

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Recently, I found myself on the road for a business trip with my photographer (aka husband) left behind. Rather than skip a few days of outfit post, I decided to bring along my tripod and remote and get back to early blogging roots. Way back when, I used to sneak out during my lunch break to find a secluded corner in Manhattan’s financial district to take take my own blog photos. Those were fun times, and it definitely helped me develop a high threshold for embarrassment. But I digress…

For this particular session, I decided to challenge myself by shooting indoors. Luckily, my hotel room was flooded by afteroon sunlight which made my job a lot easier. Which brings me to the first of my Top 4 Tips for Better Self-Portaits:

  1. Follow the Light – When you’re scouting locations, the most important thing to be on the lookout for is good natural lighting. When I first started out, I invested in a studio lighting kit and quickly learned that it was a waste of money since the best light source of all is free… the sun!
  2. Invest in a Decent Tripod & Remote – Notice I said decent and not excellent (i.e. expensive). Seriously, I’ve used cheap-y $20 tripods (like this one, and this one) that work just fine. I also have a selfie stick for my iphone that converts into a tripod and remote that I’ve used to take some bomb@$$ vacation photos, if I do say so myself. Yes, you can use a self-timer, but I’ve found it takes up too much time trying to focus correctly and move back into place at exactly the right time.
  3. If a Blogger Falls in a Forest and No One’s Around to Hear It… It indeed does NOT make a sound! But seriously, if you’re shy in front of the camera, then taking your own portraits should help you get over yourself. Indoor photo shoots especially are a great time to experiment and work your angles without fear of embarrassment. I tried all kinds of poses (some of the quite comical/tragic) during this particular shoot because there were zero consequences for failures (or falls, lol)! So relax, and have fun!
  4. Use a Mirror – Taking your self-portraits in front of a mirror is great because you can see exactly what you’re doing and make adjustments as needed. If I’m indoors, sometimes I’ll place a mirror directly behind my camera so that I can see exactly what’s going on in the viewfinder.
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Columbus Circle {Plaid Midi Skirt}

Business Casual, My Style

plaid-midi-skirt-outfit-ideas-for-work-3{Ralph Lauren Sweater, Forever 21 Plaid Midi Skirt, Burberry Trench, Salvatore Ferragamo Sunglasses, Cambridge Satchel Tote, Valentino Heels}

Today’s outfit is filled with some of my favorite pieces that I’ve had for years, like my prized Burberry trench and my beloved Valentino heels. Both items were splurges that are worth every penny in my book. I’ve also been collecting Ralph Lauren cableknit sweaters for over a decade, and I try to add at least one to my growing collection each season. Classic looks like this are my favorites because they never seem to go out of style. I could see myself wearing this same outfit from head-to-toe 10 years from now and still feeling good about it.

A plaid trench is a chic staple that can instantly upgrade even the most casual outfit. I acquired my Burberry trench from Bloomingdale’s back in 2012, but here a few current options that caught my eye…


Maybe it’s because my husband’s a teacher, but I can’t resist a classic school girl look. I got my plaid skirt for a steal at Forever 21 a few years back, and I wouldn’t mind adding a few of these to my wardrobe as well…

My love of mary janes is no secret, and I scored these Valentino beauties for a song at Century 21 a while back. I love them so much, I’ve considered getting them in another color. They’re worth the splurge, but if you’re on the fence, below are a few similar options in different textures, colors, and price points.


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columbu-circle-nyc cableknit-sweater-outfit-ideas-for-work valentino-block-heels-plaid-midi-skirt-outfit-ideas-for-work plaid-midi-skirt-outfit-ideas-for-work-4

What are some classic staples in your wardrobe that you can’t live without? I’d love to know, so leave me a note in the comments to discuss.Thanks for reading!

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Leopard Maxi Dress

Everyday Outfits, My Style

leopard-maxi-dress-1 {Leopard Maxi Dress (shorter version here; also love this one), Sam Edelman Shoes (similar), Forever 21 Fedora, Salvatore Ferragamo Sunglasses, Ralph Lauren Bucket Bag}


leopard-maxi-dress-2 black-fedora
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Around Town: Exploring Washington Heights

Around Town, Everyday Outfits, My Style

exploring-washington-heights-fort-tryon-park-5{Zara Trench (also love this one), Comme Des Garçons Play Tee, Levi’s High-Rise Skinny Jeans, Salvatore Ferragamo Sunglasses, Cambridge Satchel Crossbody, Burberry Sneakers}

It’s been almost three months so far in our new neighborhood, and we’re still loving it just as much as when we first moved in. Over the weekend, we went exploring a few blocks north to Fort Tryon Park for a a bite to eat at New Leaf Restaurant (a hidden gem that’s quickly becoming one of our favorite brunch spots) and to explore the beautiful Met Cloisters museum (definitely worth the trek uptown if you’re ever in the city). Afterwards, we meandered down to the waterfront to walk the banks of the Hudson and get an up close view of the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse.

There was only a slight chill in the air, so I just tossed on my trench coat from Zara before heading out. This is hands-down one of my favorite purchases of the season. You really can’t go wrong with a classic trench coat, and this one is polished enough to wear to the office but works just as well for my weekend excursions. It’s also water-resistant which is a huge plus. My Comme Des Garçons Play tee is another treasured piece in my wardrobe. I’ll be honest, I initially balked at the price, but I’ve had it for several years, and it still looks and feels as good as new with regular wearing. From a cost-per-wear standpoint, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

Speaking of cost-per-wear… let’s talk about these Burberry sneakers. They’ve been in my possession closet to 5 years and have gone with me on countless adventures. Seriously, I’ve taken them on pretty much every vacation from strolling along the canals of Venice to exploring caves and forests in the Adirondacks. Somehow they manage to just go with everything. Once these wear out, I have no doubt that I’ll pony up the funds for a replacement.

Lastly, this Cambridge Satchel crossbody bag is another workhorse in my wardrobe. I love the fact that I can fit my laptop inside, so it’s perfect for those days when I’m running to client meetings and events al over the city. On the weekends, I can pack my camera and a spare lens with room to spare.

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All-in-all, I’m completely smitten with the Washington Heights area. And I know there’s still tons more ground for us to cover over the coming months. I can’t wait to share my new discoveries with you all, so thanks for stopping by!

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Simply Entertaining: Cast-Iron Pizza Recipe + Kuvée Wine Review

Product Reviews, Recipes

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Once a month, my friends and I get together for Girls Night. We rotate houses each time and gather for a home-cooked meal, a terrible Lifetime movie… and copious amounts of vino! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, I knew that I wanted to keep things simple and easy for our upcoming gathering. But as a hostess, I feel it’s my duty to accomodate everyone’s tastes and preferences as much as possible. So I decided what better way to cover all my bases than with individual cast-iron pizzas and an assortment of wines from Kuvée?!

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In case you haven’t heard. Kuvée’s Smart Wine Bottle is a clever gadget that slows down the oxidation process, allowing you to enjoy your wine for up to 30 days after opening (10 times longer than regular wine). The concept is perfect for intermittent wine drinkers like myself that fear wasting bottles after opening. And as a bonus, the bottle possesses an undeniable cool-factor that will intrigue your guests while satisfying different palates.

Here’s how it all works…

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The Kuvée system works with special plastic wine cartridges that you pop into the dispenser. There are currently 48 different selections to choose from – all from the California and Pacific Northwest regions. You can easily switch between different bottles throughout the evening with the press of a button.

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Once you insert a cartridge, the bottle automaticay recognizes the wine and gives you details about it including the type of grape and alcohol content. After you take a sip, you can also give a personal rating which makes it great for building up a catalog of your favorites and finding similar wines in the future.

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No wine, no problem! If you find yourself running low, you can easily scroll through the wi-fi connected Wine Library and order right from the bottle. The wines then arrive at your doorstep a few days later. How cool is that?!

If you’re looking to splurge a little on the perfect gift for the person who has everything, this is definitely an option worth considering. You can order Kuvée online for $199, and the set also includes 4 starter bottles (valued at $100). So all-in-all, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

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The pinot noir I’m sipping here was the perfect accompaniment to my pepperoni pizza. Speaking of pizza… you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging on the recipe did you?!

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The instructions are dead easy, but the taste is incredible. You can make your own crust ahead of time using the recipe below, or simply use a store-bought dough (or one from your favorite local pizza joint) if you’re pressed for time. Once your guests arrive, you can simply lay out the different toppings and let them choose their favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl
  2. Stir in cold water and combine
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap
  4. Allow dough to rest on the countertop for 12 to 18 hours until it doubles in size
  5. Sprinkle the dough with 1/2 tablespoon of flour
  6. Lightly stir until dough forms into a ball
  7. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil
  8. Place the dough ball in the greased skillet, spreading close to the edge
  9. Cover the pan and let rest for 1 hour
  10. Preheat oven to highest temperature. (~500-550 degrees F)
  11. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings to the risen dough
  12. Start cooking the pizza on a stove-top burner on medium high for 3 minutes
  13. Place in preheated oven and bake 12-15 minutes

Full Disclosure: 
This post is brought to you in partnership with Kuvée. I received compensation for this post, and all views and opinions expressed are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that make this site possible!

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