I just experienced something many people my age don’t even anticipate. I’m not ready to write about it, but I thought this quote was pretty accurate. I just keep asking God for his strength.

G

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Dear J. Crew, I’m annoyed with you

Many items in my closet are from J. Crew. I wear the wool cafe capri pants to work, the Blythe silk blouses to work, dinner and brunch, and most recently, I purchased plaid pajamas for Christmas with my in-laws. Unfortunately, after washing the pjs once, they shrank and now look vulgar. My husband owns a button down from the retailer and we recently sent it to a tailor to switch out all the buttons as they had chipped or broken (he rarely wears the shirt). The button on my black pair of cafe capris became very lose about 2 months after I bought the pants.

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[Photo from Jcrew.com]

J. Crew as a brand resonnates with professionals my age and older. Its appeal stems from its iconic leaders (think Jenna Lyons and Mickey Dressler) and its bright, young, happy ethos. Every month, I scour their stores/ website to see what’s new and what might be a great addition to my wardrobe, once it goes on sale.

But, after chatting with my husband about our J. Crew struggles, we came to the conclusion that J. Crew’s quality simply doesn’t justify the price (not that we even pay full price for the items we purchase). Beyond the quality not justifying the price, it just seems like buying J. Crew mechandise today is simply wasting hard-earned money. The J. Crew linen blouse that I’m wearing today has a button that won’t stay closed (I should have done a QC check before leaving the house).

Moving forward, I think I’ll stick to Gilt, TJMaxx, The Outnet, Barneyswarehouse, and Nordstrom for my shopping needs. The enchantment is over; I think I’m done with J. Crew.  Well… we’ll see how long this lasts.

Have you bought anything disappointing from J. Crew recently?

G

It’s a New Year

Happy New Year! I started the new year off with a cold, but now that I’m feeling a little bit better, I’ve decided to make a list of some things I’m excited about this year.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Planning (and going on) my honeymoon in the Maldives!

Mastering a new yoga inversion pose

Successfully applying to graduate school

Increasing our emergency fund…always a goal every year!

Planning my husband’s 25th birthday

Running 3 5k races this year (completed 2 last year)

Reading at least 2 books a month (a goal I also had last year)

Practicing my viola more

Celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary! (hopefully we’ll spend it on the beach in Kiawah Island, SC)

Investing in a new winter coat

Having more girls nights, dinner parties and bbq’s!

Attending more cultural events (the ballet, Cirque du S’oleil, live sports events, fashion shows, etc)

Hope your year is off to a fabulous start.

G

P.s. All photos are from Pinterest

Fall Favorites

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One of my favorite things about fall is layering up and walking around my neighborhood. My husband and I decided to test out a new lens recently and captured many nature shots and close-ups before realizing that it was a little too cold for this. Once inside, I decided to bake a yummy blueberry pound cake, light some candles and bundle up. Fall is one of those seasons during which I enjoy being outdoors as much as I do staying in!

G

Take a Deep Breath

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but I’ve been practicing yoga for the past 2 years. I first considered yoga a true “workout” a few years ago when I attended hot yoga sessions at CorePower Yoga for a full summer. THAT was intense.

Since then, I’ve practiced morning yoga at my old boxing gym, then at a small studio, and with girlfriends for an aerial yoga session in NYC for my Bachelorette party this summer (amazing experience at the Om Factory) and now I have a home practice in my apartment (rent in this city is already through the roof!).

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Now that I practice in my home (and sometimes go to free sessions in nearby parks and studios), I’ve finally decided to learn more about the various types of yoga and find out which styles are best for me.

First, I had to consider my personality, needs and goals. I’m a pretty competitive, “type-A” person who gets bored easily and always needs a challenge. But! I also gain muscle very easily and want to be more flexible and centered. Finally, yoga isn’t my sole source of exercise; I also run, play tennis and racquetball and sometimes try to golf. Accordingly, the yoga styles I choose have to be fun or else I won’t stick with them.

I took a series of “best yoga for you” quizzes and have decided to focus on two types:

1.  Vinyasa yoga: According to Gaiam.com, vinyasa (Sankrit for “flow”) involves smoothly transitioning from one pose to another while testing your physical limits.  This style definitely fits my personality and need to sweat!

2. Iyengar yoga: Gaiam.com describes Iyengar yoga as a meticulous style of yoga where form and alignment matter. I hope that this style of yoga will help me focus and become more patient. Living in the city, I’m always jumping from one place/task to another. Taking the time to pay attention gives me a moment to be calm during an otherwise busy week.

[Image from Google.com]

To maintain my home practice, I’ve found many instructors on Youtube, simply by searching for “vinyasa yoga intermediate” or “Iyengar yoga”. Then, I try to practice vinyasa yoga twice a week, Iyengar yoga twice a week and run once or twice a week. One downside to practicing at home is that I’ve gotten behind on updating my “equipment”. My current mat is falling apart, but I hope to replace it soon!

G

Repeat After Me

Though I work in management consulting, I’ve always had a great interest in fashion. The unfortunate news is that I don’t always have friends around me to talk about our favorite designers and current industry events. One day I was chatting with a friend via Skype and wanted to talk about the Rodarte girls. Sadly, I stumbled, “Is it Ro-dart-ay or Road-art”? Aghh!

Last year I posted a handy pronunciation guide to help people like me pronounce the names that we don’t say out loud on a regular basis. I found that guide again and wanted to share it with my readers. Hopefully you’ll have better luck than I did!

G

[The following guide is from Glamour.com]

Abaete: Ah-bye-ah-tay
Andrew Gn: Andrew Jen
Anna Sui: Anna Swee
Ann Demeulemeester: Ann De-mule-eh-meester
Badgley Mischka: Badge-lee Meesh-kah
Balenciaga: Bah-len-see-aga
Balmain: Bahl-mahhhhn (IMPORTANT NOTE ON FRENCH WORDS: LET YOURSELF TRAIL OFF AT THE END, SO YOUR MOUTH IS IN A ROUND SHAPE AND YOU DON’T QUITE GET TO THE “N”; APPLICABLE IN “LANVIN” AS WELL)
Behnaz Sarafpour: Beh-nozz Sa-rah-fur
Bottega Veneta: Bow-tay-guh Vah-netta
Christian Lacroix: Christian Luh-qua
Comme des Garcons: Comb-day-gar-sewn
Dries Van Noten: Drees Van Know-ten
Gareth Pugh: Gareth Pew
Giambattista Valli: Gee-am-bah-tease-ta Valley
Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-ahn-franco Feh-ray
Givenchy: Jee-von-shee
Hermes: Er-mez
Hussein Chalayan: Hoo-sane Sha-lion
Issey Miyake: Iss-ee Mee-yah-key
Jean Paul Gaultier: Zhon Paul Go-tee-ay
Junya Watanabe: June-yah Wot-uh-nah-bee
Lanvin: Lahn-vahhhh…n
Louis Vuitton: Louie Vwee-tahhhhh…n (AGAIN, TRAIL OFF AT THE END WITH THE “N”)
Maison Martin Margiela: May-sohhhh…n Martin Mar-jhell-ah
Marchesa: Mar-kay-sah
Miu Miu: Myoo Myoo
Monique Lhuillier: Monique Loo-lee-ay
Moschino: Mos-key-no
Olivier Theyskens: Oh-liv-ee-ay Tay-skins
Proenza Schouler: Pro-en-zuh Skool-er
Rochas: Row-shah
Rodarte: Row-dar-tay
Sonia Rykiel: Sewn-ya Ree-key-el
Thakoon: Tuh-koon
Versace: Vur-sah-chee
Yigal Azrouel: Yee-goll Az-roo-el
Yohji Yamamoto: Yo-gee Yom-ah-mow-toe
Yves Saint Laurent: Eve Sane Laurennnnn…t (THE T’s IN BOTH “SAINT” AND “LAURENT” SHOULD BE BARELY AUDIBLE)

Museum Tour

One of my favorite spring/ summer activities is visiting museums. I’ve always had an interest in art, design and creating something beautiful from unassuming ingredients. Recently, I went to a few Smithsonian exhibits (first time!) and these are some of the highlights from my day out. 
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I’m really drawn to geometric patterns, interesting textures and optical illusions. Thankfully these museums are free and allow photography!

Seen any good exhibits lately?

G