Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making the Move

New York City- commonly referred to as the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, and the City of Dreams. It houses everyone from the financial gurus to the Williamsburg hipsters. While I'm neither of those, that doesn't stop me from being able to officially call it home. And not in some short-lived rebellious teenage kind of way where I feel like skipping town in an effort to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a rockstar, which results in me couch crashing at some friend's house for a couple of weeks after opening for a band no one's ever heard of. No, I'm grown now.

It's a type of surreal feeling, like something out of a novel. 

Though at work I'm just behind the scenes and must remain professionally unfazed every time a major star's name is dropped, I cannot confirm or deny that I wouldn't be star struck if someone I admire from the silver screen was breathing the same air as me in Starbucks one morning. Heck, I might even wander aimlessly into the street in awe, dribbling that hot latte all down my silk blouse. Don't judge me. It's strange to be living in a city that at any moment could become under siege by Spiderman, Transformers or maybe even (but hopefully not) a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Hey, it could happen. I suppose eventually, with time and enough metro card swipes, this city will lose some of its luster, but it's fresh now so I'm going to marvel in it. 

One of the things that keeps me grounded is finding those little moments in the day when you catch someone doing something nice for someone else that they easily could've left up to another passerby. Like the other day I saw a woman crossing the street who spilt all the contents of her purse unto the ground and two women stopped to help her. You gotta ride the little waves sometimes in this big sea of people. Do small things with great love and stay humble...but I digress.

I like a good challenge.
I know you're thinking-- with virtually no breaks in the past three years from school, not one trip to Miami or Cancoon for spring break, why would you jump right into the real world without a little break?? I didn't want to allow myself any time to rethink what I knew I wanted to do. No time to be lazy and have things handed to me. I just went for it. That being said, the last month has been a whirlwind, which explains my less than average updates to the blog as of late. In two weeks I had graduated from college and moved (twice actually) to NYC. (But seriously, no more homework ever again? I'll take it.) Staying in my home state would have been easy, I'm not ruling out going back there eventually, but I knew if I didn't get away to start my career and step outside of my comfort zone I'd be spending a lot of time thinking "what if?". If you want big rewards you've got to take big risks, right? As cheesy as it may sound, I can't help but want to strive to be a woman that would make the five-year-old-circa-'97-Lisa-Frank-lovin' self proud. No pressure.

Instead of writing about some of the things I've been up to lately, I thought I'd share some instagrams. You guys like pictures more than words anyways.
Capturing the hustle and bustle atmosphere of Times Square

View from the High Line

Brooklyn brownstones

On my way to grab lunch in the ridiculously cool Chelsea Market

While I can't give away too many details for confidentiality reasons, I can tell you that I am working closely with major magazines, a-listers and top stylists. Striving for perfection can cause a lot of pressure. As an example to put it in perspective, if I don't do my job correctly Beyoncé might not get her look for tomorrow night's red carpet event and Vogue could miss out on their first pick for next month's cover. A 'my bad' moment could cost thousands. So...yeah. Public relations ain't for the the weak of heart, that's for sure!

Dear future interns, 
1. Wear comfortable shoes-- you'll be on your feet a lot
2. Do your best to find what you're searching for or figure out how something is done before asking your boss-- the less you stress them out, the better. You're there to make their job easier.

1. Ask when you can leave-- you're there until the day's tasks are complete
2. Get an attitude-- they can find someone else to do your job who won't complain. #realtalk

1.There will be days/moments where you feel completely incompetent...you're not, you're just still learning! Keep at it and don't take criticism personally.
2. Don't expect to easily find a paying fashion internship, but they do exist. What's most important is how this experience will look on your resume, but being able to afford to eat is always a plus too. Weigh your options before accepting the job.

 (all from Target-- you go, bargainista!...now you can afford dinner!)

THE LOOK BREAKDOWN: I kept my outfit fun, yet casually professional. The only thing I regret is not having gel insoles in my boots (especially since they were a half size smaller than I usually wear). I picked red because it's a captivating color that dares to express confidence, and who doesn't want to enter a new situation with self-assurance?



Comment below or speak your mind on STS's fb fan pagepin this post, or tweet me @SecretstoStyle! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kendra's Night Out

ou may have seen travel expert, Kendra Thornton featured on television shows like Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus or read her tweets dishing out tips on planning, packing, and various other aspects of travel. Well, recently she asked me to create a few original looks for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas. She and a group of friends will be heading to Sin City in a few weeks and she's looking for a wardrobe that will compliment her travel plans to take her from daytime sightseeing to night on the Strip.

But before I reveal the looks, get the scoop with Kendra on her travel plans...

Fun Fashions for an Evening in Vegas
While I love spending time with my family, I’m really looking forward to my upcoming getaway to The Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, but I need your help. I want to look great while I enjoy my time with friends. Your challenge is to help me create a fabulous outfit to wear on an evening in Sin City. To help you, I’ve included a brief description of one of the hot spots I plan to visit.

The Palms has several fun bars and clubs. One of my favorites, because of the spectacular views it provides, is GhostBar. Located on the 55th floor of the resort, GhostBar affords some of the most amazing views of the Las Vegas strip. I especially love the views from the glass panel in the balcony floor. This intimate lounge provides a more low-key atmosphere than many of the bars at The Palms. I plan to enjoy my visit here with a couple of drinks and perhaps a couple new friends.

This city has a unique style unto itself. To find the best hotels and hot spots in the city I read all the reviews I could from the experts on Gogobot. Whether I catch a show, enjoy some time gambling in the casino, indulge in dinner at one of the city’s fine dining establishments or catch up with friends over cocktails, I’m sure to have more fun if I look stunning. I can’t wait to see the fabulous fashions my readers recommend, and I look forward to taking your fashion advice out for a fun evening in Sin City. Doesn’t every mom deserve a night out once in a while?

Here's what I've whipped up for this travelista. 

Other recommendations...


A lightweight slouchy chambray button up paired with fitted crisp white shorts not only says comfort, but also effortless style. Step into a pair of printed flats and don't worry about lugging a giant purse around while you're sightseeing. Just grab your chic backpack filled with all your necessities, including a travel journal, camera, stylish shades and your new favorite nude lipstick, appropriately named, 'Viva Las Vegas'. 

 If you want more of a fitted look on top, bring in the waist by loosely belting just above the hips. I suggest a yellow skinny belt to cinch in the waist. 

Other recommendations...


Red looks great with your complexion and blonde hair. Have fun and go bold with wild accessories like this translucent cuff, strappy pumps and sleek black polished nails. I chose this geometric clutch because of its triangular shapes, similar to that of the Luxor's pyramid. Also, I love the texture and movement of this dress. Can't you already hear people saying, "Where'd you get that??"

With these outfits, you're guaranteed to look fabulous and have an unforgettable trip. I hope you and your friends have a lovely time in Vegas!

Follow @KendraThornton for great travel tips and secrets.
Follow this board on Pinterest.

 Spread the love


Comment below or speak your mind on STS's fb fan pagepin this post, or tweet me @SecretstoStyle! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring 2014 Colors You'll Love

appy March, fashionistas! I know you're dying for the cold to end so you can start stocking up your spring wardrobe. I am too...especially since winter on the east coast has been unpredictable! (We're talking one day it's 25° then 70° the next. The never ending battle of shorts vs. the extra thick sweater + scarf combo. My body is utterly confused at this point.) But before you go gallivanting around the mall, there's a few things you might want to consider, like the color palette for the season! (Did you know that color is the number one thing we gravitate towards when shopping?) Corals and shades of sea foam are major trends, especially among accessories. You'll be seeing lots of nautical themes, fitting for the beach so embrace starfish bangles and anchor earrings. The color of the year is one of my personal favorites, orchid. You can find it in an array of shades, so chose one that you find most flattering for your complexion. It's all about mixing bright yellows, oranges and pinks with neutrals (like grey and beige). Now, check out a few of my favorite pieces that I think you'll look lovely in this spring!

photo cred: Colors Solution International
Photo cred:  Colors Solution International

Sea Foam

On my quest to find spring clothing appropriate for NYC I came across this aztec embroidered print skirt from Francesca's Collections (hover image to shop). At first I thought it wouldn't be that flattering on me, but after giving it a try in the fitting room I realized actually how flattering the shape was and how versatile having a piece like this in my wardrobe could be. Long story short, it came home with me along with a pair of flats and a vintage print crop tank. Success!
Don't think that I've forgotten about the Academy Awards! Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o (Best Performance Supporting winning Actress in the film 12 Years a Slave...congrats girl!) were a few that made my personal 'best dressed' list from last night's Oscars. All 3 of these gowns perfectly reflect the season's trends and color palette, not to mention they look stunning on these A-listers. Their stylists deserve a standing ovation. What was your favorite look of the night?

 Spread the love


Comment below or speak your mind on STS's fb fan pagepin this post, or tweet me @SecretstoStyle!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What A**holes Have Taught Me About Love: A Feminist Revelation

ometimes people ask me why I'm single. As if to say I don't have a choice in the matter. I know that maybe I should take it as a compliment because they don't see why someone hasn't swooped me up yet, but instead of being flattered my defensive response is usually something along the lines of, "I don't know, I've been this way most of my life?" Like I need to reassure them that I'm not hiding a third eye under my bangs or something. Which in return they respond with the upmost pity, leading me to explain to said person that if I met a boy (excuse me, man) that could keep up with me and treated me right then maybe I'd consider stepping off my throne of solitude, however until then I am perfectly content being an independent career-focused female. 

It's like we're damaged if we don't have boyfriends or aren't busy going out on dates every weekend. While I'd love to leap at any chance I get to dress up and go out, I can't bear the idea of waiting by the phone for the next week like some maniac for him to call. The truth of the matter is that you have to kiss a few frogs before you find that prince (spoiler alert- there's a 99% chance he won't show up outside your castle window on a Clydesdale) and I've done a bit of that here and there but it usually results in me feeling frustrated with those of the male persuasion and at times a little off my rocker. Can't we just stop playing these mindless games and be real with each other? I think that if you're going to be with someone they shouldn't make you have thoughts (and occasional rage) that would only otherwise occur if you were on hallucinogenic drugs. It just ain't right. So, I decided I wasn't going to settle anymore because I had come to the realization that I deserve better than all those nights of being stood up, lied to and feelings of inevitable replaceability. It's about knowing when to say "I respect myself enough not to allow any more poison into my life", and "I will not let my past determine my future". 

Now, I don't usually chose to take time out on my blog to write about love/relationship advice, especially as tell-all as this post is, but after a recent (and rather irritating) conversation with an ex-whatever (who was considerate enough to remind me of his existence), I was inspired to break down the types of douche bags (excuse my French) I personally have encountered in my twenty-one years. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not here to bash on all men and I'm certainly not saying they're terrible creatures you should never trust. There are "diamonds in the rough", as they say. I believe there's someone out there for everyone, but it sure would be a lot easier to find that special someone if our vision was less cloudy. That being said, I've compiled a list of types of guys I have personally encountered (and watched others endure) and the subsequent lessons they've taught me. I hope this is insightful. 

photo cred: tumblr


Profile: He only cares about one thing- himself. That becomes very clear once you get to know him better. (Don't let his initial interest and ability to carry on a conversation for more than 10 minutes fool you.)  He practically has a patent on the 'sup' head nod. If a girl excitedly waves hello to him, there's a good chance he has no interest in hooking up with her. Otherwise she would be aware of his undeniable tool-like qualities that magically appear once a girl has opened up to him. And cue the emotional shut-down in 3...2...1.

1. Don't settle, you deserve better
2. Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile
3. His respect for you should only grow, not diminsh

gif cred: tumblr


Profile: He's not exactly at the height of the local social scene or much of any scene for that matter. You're probably not even attracted to him at first, but he lures you in with his persistence. You decide to give him a try because he seems genuinely interested and like he would be sweet to you. Oh, but he's the king of manipulation. 

1. Don't fall in love at 16. If you do and things don't work out, write some good songs about it and only look back to reflect on how far you've come since moving on.
2. Listen to your friends and family if they suspect something fishy.
3. Don't stay jaded for too long, it will make you miss out on all the good that's out there.
4. Shake off the snake-- recognize the risk of poison the first time you get bitten and don't let it send you to the ER.

photo cred: tumblr


Profile: He seems fun, daring, yet low-key and all together different from what you're used to. You're not looking for anything too serious so it's harmless, right? At first he seems very charming, but his biggest flaw is he thinks he's (as they say) 'hot shit'. When you don't comply to his expectations of you he believes making statements like "you know I could get laid anytime I want" is an acceptable thing to say to a woman. Who says that?! WAKE UP CALL!  I don't have a medal for you. That attitude couldn't be a bigger turn off and any bit of attraction had towards you is being permanently revoked. He's just waiting for the next girl to text, so unless you want to remain his #2 or even #3...or lord knows how many, get out before he sucks you in. 

1. Have fun (or just run) while you can, but don't expect it to turn into anything serious. Call me strange but I'd rather be alone that strung along for something that's going nowhere fast.
2. He'll give you the impression that he's capable of committing by seeming like a good listener and catering to your needs...but he's not. Lucky for you, he's not a good match anyways. So move on.

photo cred: tumblr
This is where I developed my strike three theory. Give the guy a couple shots (depending on the severity of his mistakes, of course) and if he's offended you more than twice say goodbye. No self respecting woman would stay around for any longer and he knows it. A girl's gotta protect herself and know her worth, there's nothing wrong with having standards.

The 'strike-three your'e out' theory-
Mistake #1- No big deal, we don't know each other that well yet
Mistake #2- Okay, not cool
Mistake #3- "See ya. Oh, and go ahead and delete my number, please."


Profile: You may only be acquaintances or have never actually dated but he likes to remind you of his existence every now and then, despite the fact that he completely ruined any chances he had with you a long time ago.

1. As far as your throw him, he'll find his way back...at the most inconvenient of times. Expect it or deal with it.
2. He'll probably never get the hint if you keep letting him down gently. Be confident and don't back down on your word.

gif cred: tumblr


He's been there for years. You trust him with everything and can't imagine life without him. There are some things that bother you about your relationship...maybe a little more than you'd like to admit, but nobody's perfect, right? When you try to talk it out he'd rather ignore the issues and uses excuses to end the conversation. 

1. When you make a commitment, stick to it
2. 'Love' is not to be confused with 'lust'
3. Don't ignore the little signs
4. Communication and trust will make or break a relationship

photo cred: tumblr
I don't feel as though I need a man to be happy. In fact, I think you're setting yourself up to be miserable if you think that your happiness depends on others, yet so many of us fall victim of fearing solitude even for a moment. I'd much prefer the universe to work it's magic and something find me rather than going on a hunt for it. In the time that I've been single I've realized the importance of close relationships with family and friends. I've grown stronger in my faith. I've learned how not to let a man treat me and have become an expert on how to spot a liar. I've learned the secret to keeping a relationship strong for thirty+ years (thanks to my parents). I've even learned to love myself and be comfortable in my own skin, which is a skill so many people do not hone until much later in life (you could say I'm an old soul).

So, here's the bottom line. If you're going to be in a relationship, you should be with a person that makes you want to be a better you. It's a two way street and you are equals-- I guess that's what I'm trying to get at with this whole 'feminist' thing. Even if you think that the bad relationships were just a waste of time and heartache, they'll teach you what you're really looking for. Never compromise because you're afraid you won't find someone else. You will, you just haven't met them yet. And when it doesn't work out, there is always something better than you ever imagined headed your way. 

 Spread the love


Comment below or speak your mind on STS's fb fan page, pin this post, or tweet me @SecretstoStyle!