Sunday, July 20, 2014


My custom perfume oil, purchased at Soapology on 8th Ave at West 13th St.

       I'm a perfume person. My mind creates little stories with scent, matching aromas to distinct memories. Chloé Eau de Parfum, for example, conjures scenes of winter mornings, when I'd put a few spritzes on my scarf and bury my nose inside on the way to school. The smell that Suave creatively titled "Ocean Breeze" takes me back to Long Beach Island, when I'd slather off sand and salt with aqua-colored body wash from the local drugstore. Ever since my first bottle of perfumeRalph Rocks by Ralph Lauren, my go-to in middle schoolI've been hooked on finding a signature scent. I love the idea of leaving a fragrance footprint of sorts; something that people can identify me with. I imagined something more personal than a brand name perfume... the idea is to smell like me, not like Beyoncé or Marc Jacobs. Enter Soapology. I stumbled upon their storefront on a West Village stroll yesterday and was immediately smitten with the organic potions, apothecary-style packaging, and vintage décor. I was a kid in a candy store at the aromatic oil bar, where I sniffed dozens of natural plant oils before selecting a blend of black coconut, vanilla, and fig. The resulting scent strikes a balance between fruity and nutty, with a subtle undertone of spice. Mmmmm. Divine.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Israel Photo Diary

May 21st - June 2nd, 2014 

       I've been back from Israel from over a week, but my head is still reeling with dreamy memories of the middle east. Where else in the world can you see miles of empty deserts, lush farms, craggy mountains and cerulean seas all in the same day? Israel's dramatic landscapes make for an otherworldly experience, especially considering the spiritual ambiance in old cities like Tzvat and Jerusalem. I'm still in the process of recording all my experiences in a travel journal, noting all the ways that my outlook has changed since sleeping in the bedouin tents and swimming out to a rock in the middle of the mediterranean sea. 
       The Israeli culture is one I really resonated with. I loved strolling through the Souk (translation: market) on Friday afternoon and watching the locals bargain for fresh fruits and vegetables; it was such a lively, un-supermarket scene. On the topic of food, I was in heaven at any meal that included roasted zucchini, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and the most delicious hummus in the world. I also got to taste dates and figs from their native land, and let me tell you, it was a divine experience. 
       My biggest fashion find in Israel: Blundstones. If rugged hiking shoes and chelsea ankle boots had a baby, it would be these. When not in uniform, the Israeli soldiers on my trip paired them with camp socks and denim cutoffs for a woodsy take on military dressing. I was so inspired that I bought a pair for myself in an army store on Ben Yedhuda street, so I'll have a little piece of Israel with me when I'm trudging through the snow next winter. 
       As for now, I'm back on the city grind for my summer internships. But it's not all work and no play; I have a list of concerts to go to and friends to visit. And when pounding the pavement gets rough, I'll have endless golden memories of Eretz Yisrael to look back on. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


       Shalom! I'm just days away from my first ever trip to Israel. I can't seem to focus on packing, as daydreams of middle eastern architecture, infinite deserts, and sparking seas fill my head. I have a few essentials already picked out, like a crocheted canteen from Free People, my trusty Kanken backpack, and a pair of mandatory Tevas sandals (thanks, Muiccia Prada, for turning river rafting footwear into a fashion trend). The Western Wall in Jerusalem requires a conservative ensemble to hide knees and shoulders; the perfect opportunity to don a maxi dress and printed scarf. I'm hoping to hunt for stacks of beaded bracelets as souvenirs, and I've forever wanted to slather my skin in mud straight from the Dead Sea. Other items to check off my bucket list: cruising on a Camel and watching the sunrise on Masada. I can already taste the hummus! So in honor of all things Israel, behold some inspiration photos that celebrate the Jewish homeland, from turbans and harem pants to Israeli model Michaela Bercu. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Above the Square

The view from my window as of August 2013

There is less than one month left in my freshman year of college. Less. Than. One Month. There was so much buildup to freshman year that I never even considered what it would be like after it ended. Insert cheesy "ohmygodiloveschoolandImadesomanyamazingfriendsandIneverwannaleave" sentence here. One thing I definitely don't want to leave is the stunning view from my dorm room window. I honestly think I have the best view of anyone at NYU. Allow me to brag: From my tiny box on Washington Square West, I can see the iconic arch and fountain, the beautiful Bobst library, the bright  student center, and a little lattice building we call GCASL. I can admire the quaint brownstones, peer down fifth avenue, and listen to the park's live jazz bands by simply cracking a window. I've watched the bushy green trees fade to crispy gold and brown, stark winter white, and now lush pink and yellow, all from the comfort of my bed. It's quite possible that this is the best NYC address I'll ever have, unless of course my dream Central Park loft becomes a reality, but that's at least two decades away. Since I had just 9 months to call Washington Square West my home, I promised myself I'd decorate the room with enough color and cuteness to live up to its covetable zip code. So, with just a few weeks left in the year, I decided it was finally time to give the grand dorm tour. 

We'll kick things off "where the magic happens," as they say on MTV cribs, with my comfy cozy bed. I ordered the duvet cover from Urban Outfitters, and I love how the sham has a slightly different pattern than the rest. I knew I wanted my bed to have a soothing print and relaxing color palette, and the abstract florals definitely do the job with an added bohemian flare. My room basically has two color stories: yellow/blue/purple and black/white. The former scheme definitely dominates my décor with the latter acting more as accent. My poster collection includes vibrant vintage prints from the New Yorker to fit my city theme and a quirky black and white print of an Audrey Hepburn-esque figure doing the 50s equivalent of yoga. The color duality continues with my multi-hued string lights and black wall stickers that I made out of tape. The lights create the most beautiful glow that reflects on the walls in the evening. While technically not allowed (shhh), I definitely recommend using pretty lights and lamps rather than the harsh overhead ones built into most dorm rooms. I guess it's my inner photographer speaking when I say lighting is everything! 

Next stop, my desk. Prior to move-in day, I went on the obligatory Container Store shopping spree and got every organization device my heart desired. Starting with the desktop, I chose a set of stylish supply holders to store textbooks, pens, and paper. I love how the geometric cut outs play off the softer pattern of my bed. Also essential is my white board for writing appointment reminders, deadlines, and countdowns to exciting events. And because lighting is everything, I have desk lamps with 3 different brightness settings that I turn on by tapping the base. 

This wicker box stores teas, coasters, my FEED water bottle, and a portable mug. I also found these neat magnetic strips where I keep tickets, to-do lists, and pretty polaroids from GloBall

 On the shelf, I went full Ina Garten with ceramic mugs from Anthropologie, a stack of rainbow ramekins, and quaint mason jars to store my picnic-patterned black and white utensils. I couldn't fit it in photos, but I also have a black and white polka dot snack cart with a white lace placemat that matches all my forks and knives. 

I call this wooden box by the window sill my "ripening station." I steal tons of fruit from the dining hall and store it for snacking purposes. The bottles are empty juice glasses from Organic Avenue that I transformed into decorations with a few loops of yellow string. 

This mirrored dish from Urban Outfitters reflects a poster of Van Gogh's sunflowers that hangs on the wall above my dresser. I draped this lovely scarf over the dresser top and set my jewelry tree and all my cosmetics over it. I'll admit it's usually more cluttered with jars of skin cream and toner strewn about, but what girl's vanity isn't? 

If I was really on MTV cribs, I'd lead you to my driveway with my fabulous luxury cars and take you around back to my swimming pool. Since all I've got is an expired metro card, it looks like this concludes the tour. I should add that my dorm is going under renovation for the next two years. The building was an old hotel before NYU converted it, so my class is the last to experience its authentic pre-war charm... and leaky sinks and chipping paint. Next year, I'm heading up University Place to a dorm on Union Square!