I can’t believe another New York Fashion Week is almost finished. As a fashion blogger, I like to measure time in Fashion Weeks instead of years. This season, the highlight for me was once again the parties and lounges. Here’s what went down!
As many of you know, I just celebrated my 30th birthday and I’m super excited to be done with my 20s. While I learned a lot from the mistakes I made as a 20 something, I don’t believe in regrets because at the time that’s exactly what you wanted. With everything I’ve learned in my 30 years of living, I feel that I should share my knowledge and help others make better life decisions. Here are the top lessons I’ve learned the hard way so that maybe you don’t have to.
1. Just because the drinks are free doesn’t mean you have to drink them.
I have no further comment.
2. Being fired isn’t the end of the world. It’s the start of something new.
Not every job is for you and not everything you pursue is going to work out the way you think it will. And that’s okay. Just because you failed at something or were unceremoniously fired from a job doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or are doomed to a life of failure. Some of the most successful people in the world have been fired and are even more successful for it. To me, being fired just means that you should be pursuing something else that will serve you better or you should be taking a different approach to what you’d like to continue to pursue.
3. When fashions go out of style, keep them because they will always come back in style.
The 90s are back and I would give anything to still have my chokers, Calvin Klein tees and vintage Tommy Hilfiger pieces from my childhood. While I plan on stocking up again on chokers this season, I really wish that I had my originals from the 90s because it would save me money and I’d be wearing unique originals rather than mass produced copies.
Everything comes back in style every 20 years. There’s nothing truly new. Just recycled ideas that are brought back as new because they are new to people who weren’t alive 20 years ago. So find a dark corner of your closet to store old fashions because there is no doubt that they will become new again and we all need to be prepared for the next trend (even if it’s old news to you).
4. Credit cards are the root of all evil
I spent much of my early 20s maxing out credit cards. And guess what? They’re still pretty close to being maxed out. As I work to pay them down, I now only use my debit card in order to avoid taking on additional debt. Avoid credit cards if you can and if you have them make sure you pay them in full each month. The airline miles, the cash back or whatever else they are offering isn’t worth it unless you pay off your credit cards fast. While I’m finally getting serious about escaping the hold Chase Freedom has over me, the best way to get out of debt is not to get in it.
5. You’ll always regret what you didn’t do rather than what you did.
During my 20s I wasted a lot of time being hung over and asleep. Looking back, I really wish I would have used that time to pursue yoga, writing or anything else really. Now I make up for lost time by experiencing everything that I can. When I’m sometimes tempted to back out on plans or think I might not want to try something new, I always tell myself that I’m more likely to regret not doing it than doing it. So far, it’s been 100% true. I never hesitate to hit up a unique art show or go out of my way to visit a friend in another city. In order to live a full, well-rounded life, you need to embrace, try, pursue and say yes to everything. After all, you don’t really know if you like something or not until you’ve tried it and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again.
What’s even better than a 30th birthday party? A 30th birthday photo shoot of course! This Labor Day weekend (September 4th to be exact) I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday. While many of us lament the loss of our 20s as the end of our youth, I personally couldn’t be more excited to be leaving my 20s behind. While I learned a lot from my mistakes and had some great accomplishments like graduating from college, starting this blog, moving to New York, meeting my amazing boyfriend and getting my first real job, the truth is it was a sad decade filled with uncertainty and the struggles of being broke. It was basically like being 13 again only you have to pay your own bills. The further I got into my 20s, the more Britney Spears’ 2007 breakdown made perfect sense. That basically sums it up, but everything good or bad must always come to an end.
Today at 30 I feel younger, happier and more vibrant than I ever did in my early 20s (mush of that is because I’ve replaced drinking with fitness and feeling sorry for myself with taking action). As I look toward the adventures to come I often wish to be richer, skinnier, prettier or smarter, but I don’t wish to be younger. It took me almost 30 years to get it together. So in many ways my adult life has just begun and I look forward to embracing the coming years as a smarter, happier and humbler person. For once in my life I truly love who I am because I’ve fought, failed and failed again to be her. While I don’t know what the future will bring, I know that I’ll continue to fight for the person I am and want to be.
At the end of my aerial fitness classes they often share a quote from Antigravity Founder Christopher Harrison. It goes, “Hidden in the forces that bring us down, is the energy to lift us up.” If anything my 20s gave me that. In the spirit of feeling and looking great, I decided to pose in front of the Goddess Wall in Soho. I recently discovered this work of street art and it really speaks to me. Many thanks to artists @jeremypenn and @lambrosart for creating such an inspiring mural.
If you’re a struggling 20 something, I know exactly how you feel because not so long ago I was you. We all have our own paths in life, so the only real advice I can give you is that it doesn’t matter where you’re going or how you get there as long as you continue to move and look forward. The path is almost never straight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving forward. And when you turn 30, celebrate the amazingness of being 3 decades old with a 30th birthday photo shoot! If you’re in the New York area, Zarif Taufiq would be happy to do yours too.
You’d never guess that I was still in New York City or any city for that matter. You’d probably think I was across the pond in some Celtic countryside castle. However, I am very much in downtown Manhattan at the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park just steps away from Wall Street.
The Irish Hunger Memorial is a super interesting landmark that you should consider visiting next time you’re in New York. It represents the rural Irish landscape and abandoned stone cottages that many Irish left behind during the Great Irish Famine. It also stands as a reminder of the hunger that remains today. Being half Irish, the memorial really means a lot to me.
No matter how far apart and different major cities around the world are, they all have the same two things in common. They attract a lot of tourists and these tourists all flock to the same main tourist traps.
It’s true. In New York, everyone uses their first trip to see the Empire State Building. All the way over in France, the Eiffel Tower is Synonymous with the word Paris. Parents with eager kids in California think Disneyland Park is the only option. And in Venice, Italy, you won’t get far without seeing someone clambering aboard an overpriced gondola!
In doing the same activities and seeing the same sights, you’re doing two things to yourself. You’re making yourself compete with the elbows and selfie sticks of hundreds of others. Plus, you’re also losing out on the authentic part of the city, lurking quietly in the background. So, break away from the crowd, metaphorically and literally by taking the road less traveled by tourists.
Avoid: Disneyland Park Instead do: Adventure City
Anaheim as a city has a lot more to offer than just Disneyland Park! Sure, it was the only Disney park that Walt actually had a hand in building himself. But it’s also a hotspot for manic children and exhausted parents all year round. Well, you might not believe it, but somebody actually had the bravery to set up a competing park in the same area. Adventure City opened back in 1994 and has managed to survive ever since. Yes, the park is smaller and offers fewer rides. But this doesn’t mean it is small or even limited. Set across two acres, you get the same thrills and rides for a far more affordable price. While the masses are over at Disneyland, you can join the savvier adults over at Adventure City.
Avoid: hiring a gondola Instead do: a day trip to Treviso
Ask people what you should do on a trip to Venice and they will probably answer ‘hire a Gondola’. Well, while this is a very nice idea, it is also a very expensive one! The owners of the gondolas have caught on to just how popular their offering is, and their prices seem to rise every season! So, say no to this offer, and hop on a train instead. Bear with us on this one. While there is lots to see and do in Venice, it is very difficult to avoid the tourists. However, if what you are looking for is authentic Italy and all it has to offer, a 30-minute train ride away is the town of Treviso. Much smaller, it is also much quieter. However, this in turn means it is more affordable, more authentic and just as stunning. Plus, they have rivers and boats in Treviso too!
New York, USA
Avoid… the Empire State Building Instead do… a wander around Greenwich Village
Let’s be honest. The best part of the Empire State Building is the view from the top. From the outside, and especially down below, it kind of looks like pretty much any other NYC building.
So, instead, head to where the locals and resident New Yorkers spend a lazy afternoon or early morning; Greenwich Village. Wander around the cobbled, tree-lined streets. Stop for a coffee in one of the many places that does it freshly brewed. Say no to the tourist shops and look in the little boutiques that are dotted around Greenwich Village. You could also spend the day exploring some chic neighborhood in Brooklyn such as Williamsburg or DUMBO. They’re just a short train ride from Manhattan and offer a way more personal New York experience than you’ll ever find in midtown Manhattan.
Avoid… The Eiffel Tower Instead do… A traditional Parisian Park.
Tourists in Paris love The Eiffel Tower like tourists in Venice love the gondolas. I.E. – A LOT! However, there is simply so much more to the French capital. Locals boast of having lived in Paris their whole lives and having never visited the tower once. Instead, they busy themselves with the wealth of other authentic sites and activities Paris lays on. Take Paris’ parks. Parc Monceau and Parc Montsouris are just two stunners to enjoy on a stroll or a picnic – or both. Parc Buttes-Chaumont is another local favorite, and it offers wonderful views over the city too. It’s not just grass and trees you’ll find, either. Instead, there is a lake, waterfalls, hidden grottoes and more.