Category Archives: New York

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#HashbrownsAndHashtags

I recently got connected with Samantha Chin of the Myriad Group over Twitter. Interestingly enough, this isn’t a rarity for me. Anywho, she hit me about the event she was going to be co-hosting, #HashbrownsAndHashtags. Initiated by Sam, Scarlett Stack, Lee Tighlman, and Alexandra Machover and hosted at the latest restaurant from Matt Levine, Chalk Point Kitchen a group of digitally/socially savvy, super swaggy women assembled for an unreal brunch spread and for an even better panel.

Ok, first the food, to. die. for. I really incessantly recommend Chalk Point Kitchen as they never cease to outdo themselves but it was all phenom. See pics below (peep the menu and sponsors too, very real). IMG_2729 IMG_2734 IMG_2735

Now on to the goods, the girls, of course. The panel included Marlo Scott of Sweet Revenge, Cyndi Ramirez of Taste the Style, Stefanie Skinner of People’s Revolution and Socially Acclaimed and Bevy Smith of Bravo’s Fashion Queens and Dinner with Bevy.

Marlo discussed a string of what she called “bad bosses” which inevitably were individuals (probably men) too caught up in being ‘the boss’ to really utilize the mind of someone capable of seeing the bigger picture and running her own business. Bevy was non-stop one liners of advice so real and relevant, I think I could have filled a month’s work of blog content on her portion alone. I opted to live-tweet but you get it. She dropped knowledge like “find your unique value proposition”, “you got a college degree for a reason”, “you only eat what you kill”, “go through the fucking fear” – so much knowledge. Soft spoken Stefanie flourished in front of us when she broke down how she is THE strategy girl.  And I feel that. I may not be soft spoken but there is absolutely, always a method to my madness, business and personal. Cyndi Ramierez spoke on her progression from bringing together two seemingly unnatural topics thus creating her personal brand and focusing on what she was best at. Now, this week, she is releasing her own facial moisturizer, DAILE (make sure to check it out ASAP). HH4 HH5 HH6

pics by Raffi Asdourian 

Although each of the women have different backgrounds and are essentially in different industries (kudos to the selection hosts), there were plenty of similar themes around entrepreneurship. Each seemed very aware of the proverbial ‘big picture’ and how it applied to them and their strengths. If I can do them any justice, here are some important points I left with and can offer to you.

Be capable and unafraid of doing everything. If you don’t know something, learn it.

Find your lane, make sure it’s unique and murder it.

Going corporate won’t kill you if you utilize it and by utilize I mean learn from EVERY SINGLE minute you spend there and apply it accordingly. Don’t countdown the minutes until 5 pm, calculate the minutes you need to invest outside of work on your own thing until your own thing can be the only thing.

As I sat and soaked up every bit of knowledge (and ricotta toast), it really felt like listening to myself but their stories are so far beyond where I am at now. It was not only reassuring but terribly exciting, like finally being somewhere and having the feeling of, ‘yes, I fit here’. Further, (grab the tissues) this was so huge for me, one year into being self-employed, to attend and to bring my mom along.

If I may, on behalf of all in attendance, to the panel and the hosts – thank you so much girls.

xo Rae

 

Cuffing Season Kick-Off Tracks

After truly believing Big Sean killed cuffing season with the BITTEREST break up anthem ever, IDFWU, I really thought NYers would hold off on settling down and the emo tweets for at least a few weeks. Mustard on the beat offers that very right now sound, as he is being overplayed by every DJ ever and Kanye’s input offers a very nostalgic feel but also makes me question just how much influence was on Big Sean lyrically. But, ENOUGH about this because even Big Sean already snatched up Ariana Grande and thanks God for her on his second verse between screaming how few f*cks he actually gives about ex-fiance Naya Rivera.

Turn down now, because it’s inevitable. And I have two songs that will bring more than enough heat, both, subsequently from the UK.

So on the heels of Big Sean’s Friday release, as the temp continues to dip and the social medias flourish with feels, Jessie Ware sneaks up on everyone with her latest from her EP Tough Love, Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe. IMO, this will be her biggest song stateside. We’ll see. Between Ware’s lyrics begging to forget and Miguel, whispering THE sexiest, sweet nothings (read “what you mean baby”, “do you need some company?”, “do you miss me?”, “you want me to come over?”, “I just wanna talk”)  this song will indeed get you into trouble. Yea… like that person… yea, that one. I think I’m done here. Jeez. Throw it on repeat, but only if it’s before like 6pm, otherwise hand your phone to your roommate and turn it up because the nights are getting cold my friends.

Subsequently, these boys will, in fact, keep you warm, perhaps the type of good guys that Jessie Ware is keeping busy with instead those dead wrong ones. Vocalist, James and producer, Andy put together pure audio seduction that is impossible not to submit to. Warm On a Cold Night, the debut single off their recently released first project, is a very sexy, blind love professing track. Nicely done boys.

Good luck out there boys and girls. If you don’t lock something down, here’s hoping you have a great place and even better roommates.

xo Rae

h and m black dress

If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad

Inevitably as I get older, I find… things… in my life that for whatever reason have withstood the test of time and although rather unintrusive and subsequently, insignificant, they’ve lingered, for years. It seems as though these things (places, activities, habits, perhaps even people) do not warrant my love and dedication nor do they negatively effect my life enough to fully rid of them. These things are consistent and serve a purpose but clearly never really  fully provide me what I need.

This is my relationship with H&M. When living upstate and working at the casino, constantly getting new, “trendy” clothes seemed like a necessity. However, once I relocated to Miami, to my then shock and dismay, there wasn’t one. Not until my last 8 months did the one on Lincoln Road finally open and by then I had kind of forgotten about it. Out of sight, out of mind perhaps. That, and it was always such mob scene, I just wasn’t that into it.

Now one complete year back in NY, after collabs with Isabel Marant at the end of 2013, Jeff Koons this year and the recent announcement of working with Alexander Wang, I decided to revisit the old go-to.

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Cheap, simple, necessary. I got this easy, racerback, knee length black dress, with pockets for less than $25 and wore it with my new suede slides. Please believe this will transition through the fall with me and I will wear it with sweaters, my leather, tights and all different footwear.

So, you see H&M, if you continue to come through like this, on the rare occasion I visit, I guess we’ll have to stay in touch.

xo Rae

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I woke up like this

Although Queen B’s use of the phrase “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” is complete satire, I apply the more literal meaning to my “style”. I abandoned using my straightener upon moving to Miami and have used it less than five times since then. Bed head is my move and I am not particularly prone to wearing make up beyond mascara and lipstick (maybe) on any day that I take the train during these warmer months. I have a weakness for soft t-shirts and I’d prefer to sleep the extra 10 minutes or leave the house early than take a long time to get ready. Literally, I wake up and go.

So, that evening  I visited The Vintage Twin pop-up with my girlfriend after a few drinks, I had to try on one of the reworked vintage tees showcasing lyrical tidbits from some of my favorite babes, Bey and Iggy.

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This is a vintage Ralph Lauren tee that the girls from The Vintage Twin, treated and screened. With my propensity to do like Beyonce, I paid $22 for the one of kind tee. Read more about the girls and check out more of their reworked pieces here.

xo Rae

all pics by Celine of Cup of Rahman

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One Of A Kind Mom Jeans

“Debbie, do you own anything but mom jeans?”

“ew, no.”

Yes, that was a question directed at me. Recently, a friend mentioned I remind him of his childhood neighbor’s mom, Debbie Daddio. I’m not really sure my feelings on it yet, but I definitely only rock with mom jeans, so shout out to Debbie.

I read about The Vintage Twin a few weeks ago on Bedford & Bowery. Not only was the pop-up location close to where I was meeting a girlfriend for drinks, they were open until 10pm. Dangerously, convenient, I had to stop by. I walked into the mecca of vintage cutoffs, thankfully, as I was struggling to find some new ones well into June. Even more amazing, a lot of their stuff was “reworked” or custom. Check these one of a kind cutoffs I picked up for only $36.

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Perfect for this road trip, I wore them with this not so mom-ish, very 90s inspired, snap up, crop from Urban Outfitters. You can follow @TheVintageTwin on their social outlets and see where they will pop-up next.

xo Debbie

 

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Chalk Point Kitchen

You’re really making me look good Chalk Point. The week you opened, I brought my close friend, who also just relocated from south Florida, and his sister for his birthday. We couldn’t get a reservation but I thought The Handy Bar would be a spot he’d like. Sure enough, he was thoroughly impressed with everything, from the look and feel, right down to your metal straws. Further, the maitre’d asked if we were still interested in dinner. I’m really looking good now, because you had a table for us. THEN, this came on and subsequently the siblings’ father has been playing Mr. Caldwell their whole lives. With you, it’s like I already won.

Dinner was fantastic, so fantastic that when my cousin came down to the city from upstate for work on her birthday, you were my number one draft pick. She said her priority was “a good feel” and when I sent her the menu she immediately obliged.

Ok, I need to stop listening to Bobby Caldwell before I write an entire love letter to Chalk Point. Let me break down this birthday dinner my cousin, her boss and I had. First, I ordered the cosmo and judged myself, the 90s and Sex & the City ended, awhile ago. In my defense, this was not your average cosmo it was THE Honey Almond Cosmo, made with HONEY vodka. My move for the summer will now be honey vodka and everything. There is also a selection of beers, wines and really well executed drink menus, at each the dining room upstairs and The Handy Bar below.

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We ordered three small shares or appetizers, the artic char tar tar, the avocado and crab salad (a special I believe?) and the mussels in kimchi. If I can make a recommendation to Chalk Point, warn people about the mussels and bring them out as the last appetizer. Everything was delicious and memorable however, these mussels were so next level as I sit in my bed and think about them, I can only compare them to the proverbial ‘one that got away’, simply because I don’t have a bowl next to me right now and I am definitely feeling some type of way in their absence. They were so incredible, it was the first and last dish on the table and we (being Italian) had to request extra bread for the sauce. I believe my cousin said she wanted to have it at home to “put on everything, even pb&j sandwiches.” Essentially, I could go on and on and on about the food, but the beauty of farm to table is the menu is constantly changing. For example, my dinner, clams in a deconstructed chili was not on the menu and as Dani (our very friendly, babe of a waitress) explained, the chef felt like trying this instead on the clams entree on the menu. Do not pass up the opportunity to try dessert either. My favorite thus far is includes popcorn over ice cream. If your date is cool, they will take you, if they aren’t, I’ll go with you. You just have to get there, immediately.

xo Rae

photo credit: Villiage Voice and Women’s Wear Daily

 

brugal bar set up

60 minutes

Last week I attended an incredibly well executed event for FREE and definitely feel inclined to share.

Over two weeks ago, NYNightlife tweeted about a Brugal Rum event. Upon clicking through, there were maybe eight days worth of hour long slots to sign up for and they were RAPIDLY filling up. I forwarded the link along to my girl friend and signed up.

Let me tell you about this 60 minute experiential marketing adventure Brugal Rum took me on. So I sign up for this thing. It’s an hour long and is at the Dream Downtown. Upon arrival, they request I pull up my confirmation email and scan my QR code. I am given a number and directed to enter the first room. There are some photo op, instagrammable backdrops on either side of the bar where we pick up our first drink and enjoy a variety of passed hors d’vours. As the room begins to fill, they lead our ‘group’ to the second room, where there are places set at round tables that include samples of the three types of Brugal rum and some complimenting treats like almonds, apricots and dark chocolate.

We watch a short video about the production of Brugal rum in DR and continue on to the tasting portion led by a brand ambassador. We move on to the final room where they have mini bartenders stations for everyone. There, two local mixologists lead us through crafting a REAL daiquiri. It was fun, an hour long, we left buzzy and I definitely learned a lot about rum.

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I’m not positive if I was more interested in the rum as a consumer or the brand and their strategy but regardless, I’m here telling you about it and definitely recommend trying to attend their events, look to them for sponsorship for your own events or simply try Brugal.

xo Rae

Combo #1

A few of my favorite combinations include champagne and sunrises, puppies and froyo, boys that are mixed (for now), and insomnia and Instagram but most importantly, I believe I’ve determined my favorite combination of clothes. After surviving a sample of all four seasons my favorite wardrobe combination is leather, denim, a cotton t-shirt and sneakers, primarily chucks as of late.

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No, this isn’t my leather jacket from Gilt that I got for over $300 off. This is the LATEST. From Guvnor’s in Park Slope, which will soon be online only, I picked up this very 80s, real leather jacket. Since they are going to be an online only retailer soon they are (still) having an ongoing sale get rid of some of their inventory thus allowing me to get this jacket for $35. It ends this Sunday, May 18 at their Grand Closing Party, details here.

I also like sales and sharing.

xo Rae

 

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I’m an aspiring adult too

Another thing I’ve noticed about New York, it seems that my friends and acquaintances are far more brand conscious with their clothing, footwear, accessories, etc. I’d say I notice it more largely because Miami is a less than notable fashion forward city. Let’s be real.

With that being said, it’s New York and I get it. You still won’t find me carrying a signature Louie bag and I prob won’t being purchasing an HBA black long sleeve t-shirt any time soon. Personally, it comes down to the look I am going for and the fit. However, when my mom suggested going to a store she frequents at home I thought, I will humor her but it’s unlikely I’ll find anything. WRONG, obviously, because moms are usually right and that’s the bottom line.

Another thing I failed to recognize, was I definitely needed new “grown up” clothes. I own a lot of crops and for whatever reason there are still plenty of occasions where I need a longer shirt. So, I got these drawstring pants and this sweater. I wore a heart printed button up under the sweater and they are all from the same store. Guess where.

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Ann Taylor LOFT, who knew right? AND all of their sale items would 60% off. The moral of the story is, keep an open mind, even for your wardrobe and listen to your mother.

xo Rae

dolce vita hi lo cream cable sweater

Sweater Weather

Although, it actually snowed last night, this is the end. The end of 7 layers of clothing, the end of numb toes, for the love of everything right in the world they’re telling me this is the end of rivaling Snow White’s skin tone. Dear winter, BYE FELICIA.

But hello, afternoon sun heating up the room, you feel so right. This may be a little premature in light of last night, but last weekend and presumably this upcoming weekend will warrant outfits with a sweater and a light jacket or perhaps more skin than just your wrists.

Sweaters, jackets and boots were my top three most missed items while living in Miami. I am however, BEYOND over the heavy sweaters of January and cannot wait for the lighter, less conventional sweaters of spring, summer evenings and fall. Namely, this Dolce Vita crop.

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I picked it up at Nordstrom’s Rack in Union Square for $29 from $178. I’ve paired it with Cheap Monday, acid wash jeans here but also plan to wear it over dresses or button ups until the the weather allows for otherwise.

xo Rae