LOVE AND STREETWEAR
Sneaker culture isn't for everyone. I think it's funny to tell people that when I first met Jake, I had one pair of tennis shoes. Now sitting pretty with over twenty pairs most people ask, what for? Yet in falling in love with Jake I have come to truly understand his unique form of creative expression that most men lack. Trust me I'm a comfort girl, catch me on my couch in sweatpants Sunday-Saturday, I can appreciate the typical guy who rolls out of bed and throws on a t-shirt to go... that's me. However, Jake has taught me that just because you want to be comfortable doesn't mean you can't be trendy too. Think of sneakers for guys like purses for women, most girls have one to accessorize and match every outfit; this is the same concept with Jake and his shoes.
When it comes to special occasions, I have self-proclaimed myself as the GOAT gift-giver. I'm -that- wife that has a notepad in my phone of random things Jake said he wanted over the last four-ish years. I use it as secret weapon to surprise my husband with killer gifts he inevitably forgets about year after year. Now in my opinion, my husband is easy to shop for... get him a pair of sneakers and he'll be running circles around the house in excitement, but I have people ask me all the time for gift ideas. So if your boyfriend is anything like Jake when it comes to style I have 15 gift ideas (under $100) that will have your bae oozing with appreciation this Valentine's Day.
Fashion Nova has been one of those "Instagram Brands" that's been floating around on accounts like Worldstar for awhile now...
However despite the unsolicited advertising throughout the years on social media and the help of sponsors like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner, I had never quite pulled the trigger on trying it out. Call me a skeptic, but for most of those online shopping accounts the clothes (and the price) always seem to be too good to be true. Conversely, after seeing a few Influencers I follow recently find success in it, it made me more inclined to trust it enough to try it out and see what the hype was all about ...well that and an 80% off BLOWOUT SALE hahaha lets be honest here.
Class is in session. I'm here to answer all of your questions about streetwear, as well as showcase some outfits I'm bringing with me into the Spring season. If you're a fan of footwear and fashion then streetwear is the most amazing love affair, where style meets comfort & functionality and outfits are put together based on personal interpretation of high-end items or "trophy" pieces if you will.
Thanksgiving Day in a Blanket // Leftover Roll Ups // Thanksgiving Dinner Crescents ...it's a working title okay, but whatever you want to call them they are here and they will be another thing on your list of things to be thankful for this year. A few years ago, I made some pigs in a blanket to bring as a football game appetizer for the guys on Thanksgiving Day. I found myself with a few extra rolls of crescent dough and my Yiayia begging me to come back over to grab some more of the leftovers that had taken over her kitchen from the feast the day before. While sitting in the kitchen, we put our heads together and decided to make a lunch time snack out of it, preheating the oven and rolling up some of our leftovers in the dough. What we discovered was too good not to share...
Who said YoPros don't deserve a Fall Break? Heck in college, what got me through the school week was counting down to our next vacation, but after college what's supposed to get you through the work week? I'll tell you... a trip to Greece. After going abroad for the first time on our honeymoon, my husband and I got addicted to exploring the world. However, we made the decision to go back to an island we discovered the first time due to the low cost and unexplainable beauty of Milos. This past winter we came across a flight from Newark to Athens direct, roundtrip for $495....................................... sorry I had to let that sink in for you all. After paying over double that (EACH) the first time that we flew to Greece, we jumped at the opportunity. Having been to Milos before, I knew I could make this trip cheap and worth the while. The island is beautiful, yet doesn't get the tourism that the more popular islands do, so the prices are dirt cheap. After booking our flights, I posted the deal on Instagram hoping for maybe a couple friends to hop on board, but I was not prepared for the feedback I got. Within one week I had over 20 people book their flights. Let the fun begin...
After taking an international trip with twenty of my friends, I had lots of people ask me how I packed, so I'll give you the same advice I gave them... The key for every international trip is to pack smart. Now I know that sounds obvious, but hear me out. It’s not about having lots of clothing, but more so lots of options. Versatility is key here. Try to pack things that can be dressed up and down. Like for example guys, a solid white V-neck t-shirt can be worn both with a bathing suit to the beach or with dark jeans and some nice shoes to go out. And while you can search near and far on the internet for packing guides and checklists, I figured I would be a little different. I made a list before I left of everything I THOUGHT I needed and despite my own advice, I felt like I packed a little heavy before I left. So because of that I decided to go one step further and thought it would be fun to do a blog on what I packed vs. what I actually used/wore. I've made the mistake two years in a row of bringing way too many "fancy" outfits... we go abroad and fully prepare to dress our best so we can flex on Instagram, but what I hadn't gotten through my brain yet is that as much as I love you guys I'm not going to sacrifice my comfort for a photo and neither should you. Those cute trendy flip flops you bought for the trip are adorable, but how adorable are your blistered and callused feet after the unforgiving terrain of Greece after hiking around in them all day? If I practiced what I preach... I would be focusing on enjoying the moments (although it's my weakness to want to capture them too). 📸
" I knew a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome, then she finally got to Rome
After celebrating our first wedding anniversary, one of the most common things people asked me (after saying congratulations) was... "do you give up your youth when you settle down?" It's a valid concern I guess, but I can honestly say I have done more adventurous things in the last four years with Jake than I have in my entire life. Sure you may not catch me out at the bar every Friday and Saturday night, but that's only because my priorities have changed. I'm not looking for someone anymore and it's expensive AF to keep up with the constant weekend nightlife, especially when you're now paying for two. Preferably, I'd rather save the money to spend on experiences and moments, like traveling to Greece with 20 of our friends! Now don't get me wrong, if it's a special occasion, like a birthday or something, I'll come out no problem, but I can't meet you at Dive Bar at 1am every Saturday just for shits and gigs ...and quite frankly I don't want to. Catch me on my couch, cuddling and watching Netflix... no shame. It doesn't mean I don't care about my friends anymore or that I've become "boring", it's honestly just the ease of being able to be "taken home" without spending money getting hammered first and hoping for the slightest compatibility ...cause at the end of the day isn't that what we're all out there looking for anyways? Can't blame me for the convenience...
After some pretty incredible opportunities in the last couple weeks, it has me feeling very grateful to be a GD woman. My new friend and boss babe, Emily Roggenburk, recently launched an amazing GRL PWR clothing line and I was fortunate enough to be a part of the shoot for it’s premier! I first met Emily through Instagram when I saw her one of a kind "Not Your Baby" corduroy that had quickly sold out and (not knowing about her business) had messaged her to ask if she was able to make another. If you're not familiar with Emily's work, she releases one-of-a-kind items every Monday that inevitably sell out quickly (and rightfully so, her pieces are the bomb). We started messaging each other back and forth more often until I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be one of the faces of her new GRL PWR collection (click here).
"This collection was created to celebrate the woman that you are, lift up the women around you, and embrace the most powerful force on the planet. Who runs the world? GIRLS."
The news of the death of Avicii is devastating, there's no other way to put it. He is the first iconic person in the music industry of our generation to pass, a modern day Jimi Hendrix if you will. You may not realize it now, since the songs are so fresh in your head and it wasn't too long ago that Avicii was introduced to the music scene, but at 28 years young his musical influence was only getting started. Believe me when I tell you, these are the songs our generation is going to hear playback and say "ahh the good old days."
My husband loves Italian Cuisine, especially Lasagna, so when I found this little cheat recipe it instantly became a staple in my kitchen.
Start by preheating the oven to 350° F. Then on your stovetop, in a large pot, boil water and cook lasagna noodles according to package. Meanwhile in another pan, brown meat and onions. Proceed to drain noodles and add a little dash of olive oil to prevent sticking before laying them out flat on a tray or baking sheet and set aside. Once your meat is browned, drain remaining grease/oil and put back in the pan on low. Then add marinara sauce, garlic salt and Italian seasoning and let it all simmer together for a minute before turning off your burner. Side note and my secret little touch: If you like a little more spice, sprinkle some red pepper flakes in at this step as well! YASS I gotchuu. Next, get a baking dish and line with marinara sauce. Taking one flat noodle, spread meat mixture thinly down the noodle and top with fresh parmesan and shredded mozzarella (this time I only had sliced mozzarella in my kitchen, but really any cheese preference would work fine! Get creative, I sometimes use pepper jack to spice it up). Then from one end gently roll the noodle all the way up and place in your baking dish. Repeat these steps with the rest of the noodles until your baking dish is full. Lastly, top with remaining sauce and cheeses to your liking. Cover with foil and bake for a half hour (or until hot and bubbly). Let the dish cool for a few minutes before you serve and enjoy!
Now most people, when I told them we were going to El Salvador, asked me if I had a death wish... So now that we made it back alive, I think it's time I write about what took me there and some common questions you may have if considering it. My best friend and maid of honor, Matina, got engaged a year ago at a castle in Germany like one of those "love at first sight" stories you read about in fairytales. She met Carlos through work and developed a long distance friendship with him throughout the years, until timing found a way to align their paths last winter and four short months later he proposed. Being from El Salvador, he arranged to have their civil union ceremony there a year to the date of the proposal (April 14) before having their true wedding day in September in Cleveland, where Matina is from and they both now live. I'm not going to lie, traveling to El Salvador took Jake and I out of our comfort zone a little bit... with the travel advisories from the U.S Department of State and ABC News calling it the Murder Capital of the World, we couldn't help but be a little nervous. However, what wouldn't you do to see your best friend say I do for the first time, am I right? In my mind, it wasn't optional and with that we were off!
For me, it’s all about relatability. While I can appreciate Jen Selter’s ass, I don’t see myself going to the gym with her and doing a workout or chillin on her home gym’s Louis Vuitton Stair Stepper. While I do follow her for inspiration & bod goals, we all want to feel like our results are achievable and "Seltering" in random places didn’t jump out at me as something I wanted to try or work towards. These women, however, shout strength and radiance, as you can feel their endorphins jumping through the page. Let me start by saying I don’t know any of these women, nor is any of this sponsored (I doubt with their following they’ll even see or read this). They’re just genuine recommendations, as I get a lot of questions from my lady friends asking about workouts. So that being said, here are my six favorite Instagram fitness accounts:
Another perfectly planned photoshoot, but hey that's the name after all. Perfectly Planned is a wedding planning company in Cleveland and I can tell you first-hand, Val's work is beyond compare. I've had the pleasure of working with her on two different occasions, in doing styled shoots she was heading, and they both had me leaving with butterflies. Talk about a girl with vision, her ability to combine different elements into wedding magic is unlike anything I've ever seen, but I'll let her work speak for itself...
Two questions I get pretty often are: "How did you get Yeezys?" and "What did they cost you, like $1,000?"
Now while the Yeezy Boost used to be very exclusive in the earlier seasons, to the point where only a handful of people could snag a pair, designer Kanye West has since made the shoe a lot more accessible to get... that is if you actually want them and put in the effort to get a pair. In their first few releases with Adidas, the availability was very limited, making the resale value of these shoes skyrocket if you got your hands on them. Kanye began releasing in a higher quantity in the following seasons, but with the introduction of bots (computers you can pay to buy the shoes for you) it made it nearly impossible to complete checkout before they were all sold out—for visual reference watch 'The Office' episode of Dwight vs. the computer. However, in the latest release of the Beluga 2.0, Kanye cancelled all bot orders from the Saturday drop and re-released the supply unannounced on Adidas for fans to purchase that Wednesday and since seems to have figured out, for the most part, how to deter the bots altogether.
Ahh New York, the city that never sleeps. Being from Cleveland, I had a whole different idea and definition of a city. One of my best friends from college is from New York, so I had been up to visit her a couple times before. However, previously she had lived in Long Island so when I would come to visit, we stuck around there and didn't get the opportunity to explore the city. Lucky for us, she got a new apartment in the Lower East Side with her friends from home so this reunion weekend would be nothing like we had done before. Up until this point, Chicago was the only "Big City" I had explored and I can still remember how amazed I was driving in looking across the skyline left to right and seeing nothing but skyscrapers... it made Cleveland look like a little toy model. To no surprise, the New York City skyline had my jaw dropping once again! It was like seeing the stairway to heaven, as the sky was so lit up from miles away and as we drove in the energy only grew.
I’ve always been the kind of girl who prioritizes comfort in what she wears. So when yoga pants quickly replaced the everyday blue jean, I was ecstatic. However, Nike took this trend and ran with it (lol get it?). In a millennial generation, where on-the-go lifestyles are the norm, Nike was put to the test, but they came out victorious. Not to sound like the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but did you know Nike actually got their name from the Greek Goddess of Victory? Anyways, as the millennials traded their jeans for leggings, this inspired the athletic industry to make their clothing dual purpose, as everyday wear for busy lifestyles. Voila! Nike’s Lifestyle brand: where comfort meets fashion.
For my wedding present to Jake, I paid and planned for our honeymoon in full, saving half of my paychecks and researching for a year and a half and boy, was it worth it. Maybe (in part) that's why I haven't stopped talking about it... I'm kinda proud it turned out? But then again it was the most beautiful and amazing place I've ever seen and I just married the man of my dreams so I think I was going to be giddy either way. Neither one of us had been out of the country before so I tried to squeeze as much as I could into our two week vacation.
Ultimately deciding on: Santorini, Milos, Mykonos, Samos and Athens
For my visual learners out there, scroll down to the bottom to watch my GoPro Vlog of the trip!
I had been to California one time before and ever since dreamed of the day I would make it back. I was amazed at the way the mountains met the ocean shoreline and since then I made it my mission to travel back some day. My family didn't do much travel growing up, aside from when we were able to tag along on some of my dad's work road trips, so at the time it seemed a stretch that I would have the lifestyle I do now where traveling was possible. When I met Jake I shared that vision with him and it was music to my ears to find out it was a dream we shared. Fast forward four years later and the opportunity presented itself... clearly it had taken me this long to get there, so I wasn't going to miss a beat. We needed to see it all and we had three days to do it.
Before all my male followers hop on here looking for a peep show, I'm still a wifey so sorry to disappoint, but you ain't getting any free looks here. I kept the intimates private, only for my husbands eyes like they were intended for. However, as controversial as a post like this may be, I do think this post has an important message for all my ladies out there.
Now before I get my head chopped off by the entire West Coast, let me start this by saying I ultimately loved it… but I had to go back a second time around. I am a burger queen. If I had to play that desert island game, where I had to choose one meal to live on forever, it’s the burger/fry combo all day long (hot dogs coming in a close second though). Judge me all you want, but I had been waiting my whole life to try the infamous In N Out Burger. However, when I had imagined what it would be like I was comparing it to signature burger spots like Five Guys. I think this was my first mistake; it’s really a normal fast food drive-thru like McDonalds (but better). Though this wasn’t my first impression…
Up until meeting Jake, I had never even thought of going on a cruise, which upon hearing this came as a huge shock to him because I love the water; being on a boat is one of my favorite hobbies, but I’ve always had that Titanic-like fear about being stranded on a huge ship in the middle of a large body of water (if something goes wrong). So when we started talking about taking our first vacation alone together I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea, but then again if you follow me you’d know Jake has always taken me out of my comfort zone, encouraging me to try new things. Which is why, six months later I found myself in Florida boarding this huge cruise ship… but for the record Jake, making me watch the Titanic the day before we left for the trip wasn’t the best preparation strategy. As you can see above, once it was time to board I got a drink in my hand and was all smiles, but I have to give Carnival some credit. They’ve done a great job of alleviating some of the stress, kicking off the cruise with a champagne sendoff, they allow each guest to bring on a bottle of bubbly to drink—talk about a vet move.
Writing is my outlet.