So Long 2014

Wow, what a year. Out of my 23 years on this earth, 2014 has been the most turbulent. It may simply be a result of getting older but I felt like I really got to know myself this year. I started my career, moved into the city, said goodbye to a lot of good friends, let go of a destructive relationship, and fell in love. The coolest part about having a blog like this is that it's all laid out for me. While embarrassing in a lot of ways, I feel blessed that I can flip through the pages and watch myself grow, whether it be in my style, my thoughts, or my personality. While this year was filled with a lot of pain and struggle, I'm looking back on it as one of my favorites yet. This is not your average "year-end" roundup. I've never been one to only talk about the pretty things in life. Life is ugly. It's gritty. It's a beautiful catharsis to look back at the mountains and realize they were only gentle rolling hills though.


This year did not start out great for me. I was freshly jobless and a very dear friendship had ended in a frustrating, arbitrary way. I'd say that my self-esteem was at an all-time low, which inspired this post about body image. I remember taking those photos and thinking to myself "GOODNESS! What a hambeast! I don't want these photos on the internet." I really almost didn't share that post. Looking at it now, I think I look pretty fantastic and it was silly of me to be so insecure. That's one of the most looked-at and commented-on posts in the entire history of this blog. In a way, knowing that I wasn't the only one to struggle with those things helped to bring me out of my depressive funk. I still had a ways to go but it was some much-needed encouragement. So to you, my lovely readers, I thank you. Towards the end of the month, I was feeling okay with the vulnerability enough to share some thoughts and advice for anyone struggling with anxiety or depression. That's my January in a nutshell. 


February started out a lot like January. (If any of you have ever pursued a job in television news, what I'm about to share will certainly strike a chord or two.) I remember counting the amount of resume/reel emails that I'd sent to news directors all over the country. 172. I also remember seeing the amount of replies. Four.  Two of those replies were automated. One was a stern "no" and the other was a "maybe." I remember laughing. That was the height of my discouragement. It was during an ice storm and the power was out, I kept running out to my car to charge my phone so I could continue feverishly refreshing my email. "Zero new messages" after "Zero new messages" and finally, the "ding!" of hope. It wasn't a job offer. But it was just the glimmer of hope I needed. I received an email invitation to cover Couture Fashion Week in New York. It was just what I needed to escape the frozen suburban hellscape I was banished to and to breathe in some fresh inspiration. You can read those posts here, here, and here. I'm looking at that outfit and that hair right now and I am cringing my brains out. By the end of February, I was almost back to my normal self enough to share this somewhat self-depricating anecdote which still continues to give me a hearty chuckle.


March is what I may just consider in hindsight to be a manic time. I went on some photo adventures with friends, I started discovering my sense of style, and I took an extremely spontaneous road trip to Nashville with my best friend. (Read about that here, here, and here.) I also celebrated my two-year bloggiversary. I started being more open and even brought in some social commentary on current events by tossing in my two-cents on the whole "Ban Bossy" campaign that everybody talked about for all of two minutes. I also shared my heart by talking about losing friends and unrequited love. March is when a few of my favorite outfits happened, as well! These little floral shorts, this burgundy, lace and leather ensemble, and this dreamy kimono are all still making me swoon.


April continued March's upward trend. While still amidst the frustration of not yet having a stable job in my chosen career field, I was getting better and better at finding distractions for myself. I spent a long weekend in Washington, D.C. and met some similarly-minded young journalists. I learned a lot about the profession, ate a lot of great food, and somehow ended up in the Capitol building at 4AM debating foreign policy with one of Harry Reid's staff. It was a whirlwind. I shared my struggles of being a people-pleaser (in two parts!) and started a new series called "Behind the Instagram." I ended the month by sharing my potentially divisive opinions on modesty. I guess Spring brings out all of my various opinions?


May is when things started taking an interesting turn. I finally secured a job in a newsroom-- as a Production Assistant for FOX29, a local Philadelphia-based television news station. I was obviously thrilled and of course I wrote about it and what news means to me. Newsroom life is taxing. Tensions are almost always high and it's easy to get angry or discouraged. Whenever I'm upset, I read that post and it brings me back to center. A lot of my coworkers actually made fun of me for it. They said it was very idyllic and naive. Why not though? Things are what you make of them. I'm world-weathered but still realistically optimistic. If that makes me naive, so be it. I didn't post much in May because big changes were taking place. Which brings me to my next point...


I moved in June. Moving sucks. Decorating, however, is very fun. June was a transition month for me. I was swept up in adjusting to my ever-changing work hours and city life in general. I had some great non-blog moments though, such as playing Cards Against Humanity late at night with my roommates and friends, going to Franklin Fountain (the best ice cream in the city) and coordinating my cone with my outfit, (I know this particular one is technically a blog moment but if you think that was my only ice cream cone all summer, you're sadly mistaken.) and just exploring my city. I practically grew up here but it's so different now that I'm "a big kid." I fell in love with Philadelphia in June. It was a brief period of (almost) complete harmony. 


In contrast to the body image woes of January, I really started feeling good about myself over the summer and I was not afraid to rock a crop top multiple times a week. I think working and making a living for myself really kicked off the radical self-love fest of 2014. It's amazing how much your priorities shift when you're working towards a seemingly unattainable goal. Of course, with all this change, I was bound to self-sabotage to an extent. Alright, I wouldn't go that far but it did bum me out enough to write about it. I went on a little family vacation along with my lovely roommate Danielle and while the two of us were driving home on a rainy evening, she forever found a special place in my heart. (I'm a huge advocate of road trip heart-to-hearts.) I also learned in July that I have a kind of short torso. (That shirt was supposed to be a crop top.)


August is always way too hot for me but this August was alright. Despite struggling with some of the "realness" of the news industry, I was generally happy, enough so to write a list of things that make me happy-- something that I should do a lot more often. I shot one of my favorite weddings ever for a very dear friend and harnessed the power of the booty. (Two totally different things, guys.) I also started to get super experimental with lipstick colors in the best way possible. Sorry August wasn't very exciting. 


Birthday month! It was another exciting one. Sort of. I tackled my first room re-design project with flying colors. I started working overnights on a regular basis and found this incredible strength inside myself that I never would have found otherwise. I was so bold as to do things like rock Louboutins around Old City and find dark humor in my life. I just realized that I meant to do a birthday post and never did. Just wasn't feeling nostalgic enough, I guess. 


I shared one of my favorite natural phenomenons with a very special man: The Jersey Shore in Autumn, and no, you're not ready to meet him just yet. (Or should I say, he's not ready to meet you guys just yet.) I finally found some degree of peace with all of the changes swirling all around me and as a remedy to my sadness, I decided to be very intentional about how I spend my time. My family is the most important thing so obviously they get to see me most. (Well, not as much as my roommates and coworkers but you know.) Fall fashion is my favorite so of course some of my favorite outfits are from October. I especially loved this vintage co-ord piece, my Helmut Lang mini-splurge for a night on the town, this little blue shirtdress, and this monochromatic getup. Also... this.


I started taking the whole "Fashion Blogging" thing seriously in November. A few of my favorites were this plaid maxi dress, my collab with Commune and Memoir, and (part of!) my collab with Joules. The days got shorter, the nights got longer, and I started doing some even heavier thinking than I'd done earlier in the year. I came to the realization that yes, I'm getting older. I can either mope about it or I can pick myself up and keep striving for my lofty goals. (A little about that here.) Although November is the ideal month for me as far as weather and the perfect amount of holiday cheer goes, I cannot go a November without some sort of somber realization. I was a strange mix of euphoric and melancholy in November, which is perhaps the most dangerous kind of sadness. 


Hungry for some sort of change, I was intent on December ushering in some sort of new era. What's a better way to do that than with a haircut? Yes, 11 ½ inches. Gone. It was truly freeing. I can't get too into some of the other changes but let's just say that 2015 is going to be a big year. Truly a new era. I'm excited to see what the future will hold for me, for lark&lace, and for "the guy." I don't know where I'll be a year from now-- career-wise, geographically, and even in my relationship status. I do know that I've never been more excited to see what the future holds. I was once terrified. No more. This year ended with a bang and next year is going to be even better. 

I love you guys, thanks for sticking with me through the thick and thin. See you all next year!


p.s. I feel bad that I only linked to one December post so here, here, and here are some outfits and photos from my Disney and here's one last heart-to-heart before the new year


xo, e.m.

A Pop of Red

I like stripes. A lot.


The Palm Trees

So obviously not in Philly. Follow along on Instagram.


top/ H&M, jeans/ H&M, jacket/ GAP, shoes/ Vans, hat/ RVCA, bag/ Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar), sunglasses/ Ray-Ban, watch/ Michael Kors

All Black

I had a show yesterday. I was originally going to wear a cute skirt but I decided at the last minute to wear some badass ripped jeans and a humongous statement necklace. It worked. (It also looked super cute with my coat, as seen in this Instagram.)


shirt/ H&M, jeans/ Brandy Melville for PacSun, shoes/ Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, necklace/ ASOS, bag/ Marc by Marc Jacobs, sunglasses/ Ray-Ban, watch/ Michael Kors, lipstick/ Rebel by MAC

**photos by Danielle Conyers

A Moment of Honesty: Flaws.

Let me give you some advice, bastard: Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” - Tyrion Lannister

I've been thinking a lot about my flaws lately. I'm starting to pack on some extra pounds for winter and it's not great. I cut off my hair because it was a sort of security blanket to compensate for all of the self-consciousness about my weight. I wore it like a shroud. Now that it's gone, I'm left to face my various insecurities all by myself. I feel like working in TV has taken away every ounce of self-love I once possessed. I'm surrounded by these unrealistically attractive people all the time. I mean, come on guys, spread out the good looks for the rest of us average-looking folk. I set equally unrealistic standards for myself and I realized that it's no way to live. As you all know, I'm a big fan of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Basically that means that you re-train your brain to replace negativity with positivity. I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. Do me a favor: look at yourself in the mirror. Analyze what you see. What do you like? What don't you like? Now own those flaws. Here's what I came up with:

1. I wear the bags under my eyes like badges of honor. Sometimes I stay awake for 30+ hours in a row because of the way work, weddings, meetings, and other things may align. At the beginning of it all, I could barely stay awake during an overnight shift. Now, I'm a champion. Is it healthy? Probably not but it's also not for forever. I'm paying my dues and I'm that much closer to my dream job.

2. I have sausage fingers. While I can't do anything about the way they look, I'm thankful for my ability to use them for things like music. Though that particular hobby may keep me from having sexy nails, it's well worth it.*

3. I can be really unbelievably stubborn. As I get older, I'm learning (the hard way) how to channel that into something constructive, I.E. being a strong-willed, albeit open-minded person. I don't think that's a bad trait at all, especially in a world where everybody seems to be swayed so easily.


*SPEAKING OF WHICH... shameless plug: if you live in the Philly/South Jersey/Philly 'burbs area, I want to sing to your beautiful faces! My band is playing at show at The Legendary Dobb's on Sunday. Show up around 4:30 with a canned good because it's for Philabundance. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you see you there. If you're a reader and you're planning on showing up, let me know (either in the comments below or on Twitter) so I can bring some extra special swag for you.

Christmas Playlist

How could I have gone through the month of December without the l&l traditional Christmas playlist? Answer: I couldn't have. Despite the fact that there are about six little melodies which get repeated and repeated ad nauseam, I'm still very, very  pro-Christmas song. Now, I'm not quite in the "it's okay to listen before Thanksgiving!" camp but I will say that come Thanksgiving morning, it's on. I think I may have listened and sang along to "All I Want for Christmas is You" three or four times on that day alone. No shame here! What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?



Got my hair cut. Actually, got a lot of them cut. (Necessary dad joke.) Probably my favorite part about this entire haircut ordeal was this very humbling experience. And now, I'm laughing too hard to finish this blog post.


Co-ord set: ChicWish (you can find just the skirt here), jacket/ H&M (old, similar), boots/ Charles by Charles David, bag/ ASOS

**photos by Danielle Conyers. New 'do by Paige. If you're local, let her cut your hair. She's obviously amazing.

What I'm Reading

My friend/roomie Chaucee always has her beautiful face in a book. Constantly.  In her own words, she impulse buys books, she shares what she's reading over on her blog, and those books take over the living room (in the best way possible). It's gotten to me. I decided that I need to start reading more as well. Reading has always been something I've loved but lately it's just another chore, especially after coming home from work where I read media advisories, press releases, (often boring) articles, and any other slew of words strung together with some sort of purpose all day. 

I set my goal at an easy "one a month" to start. Last month I tackled "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" by the insanely babely Caitlin Doughty. In a sort of morbid sense, her memoirs as a mortician are must-read for everybody. The book deals with death and death positivity and well, if you haven't gotten the memo, hate to break it to you but you're going to die someday. She's a young, hip death professional with a lot of thought-provoking opinions and some pretty funny commentary. The book got me thinking about deep issues I wouldn't have thought about otherwise such as the benefit of cremation over embalming, the problem of the medicalization of death, and even started to get me over some of my own fears. To me, somebody who experienced death at a young age and then attempted to repress the inevitability of it all, Caitlin gives a really great platform on which to approach the topic in a more lighthearted manner. It's all very interesting. As human beings, death is one of the few things that each and every one of us will experience-- why does it have to be such taboo?

If you want to read along with me for December, I'm currently working on The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. What are you guys reading? Got any suggestions for January?


Thanksgiving in Grayscale

Pretty bold of me to wear high-waisted jeans on Thanksgiving but hey, I like to live on the edge. In all seriousness though, I never really understood the whole "overeat until you want to throw up AND THEN EAT AGAIN!" mentality. To me, Thanksgiving is about spending time with my family, imbibing high-quality spirits, lots of laughter, nostalgia, and a general feeling of togetherness. Oh-- and football. 


jeans/ AE, sweater/ H&M, faux fur vest/ Nordstrom Rack (similar), booties/ H&M, necklace/ H&M (similar), bag/ Michael Kors

Bundle Up with ModCloth

I don't know how the weather has been where you live but here in Philly, it's been unpredictable. The Monday before Thanksgiving, it was almost 70 degrees. The day before Thanksgiving, it snowed. How's a girl supposed to decide what to wear when dealing with that sort of witchcraft? I personally choose to dress in layers. When choosing my layers, I'm drawn to all different kinds of patterns, textures, and styles. ModCloth asked me to share a few of my favorite layering pieces from their collection-- a job that was almost too easy. The top row is for errands around the city and could easily transition to a night out for hot toddies with the ladies with the help of some jewelry. The bottom row is for exploring Wissahickon or even a casual date night to The River Rink. A perfect winter outfit isn't complete without a slouchy hat, some gloves, an infinity scarf, and a pair of booties. What are some of your favorite ways to layer? Need some inspiration? Shop ModCloth's selection of sweaters here.


Top row: 1   /   2   /   3
Middle Row: 1   /   2   /   3   /   4
Bottom Row: 1   /   2   /   3

Denim on Denim & Pink

Alright, I'm going to say it before somebody else does: "that sweater doe!" Did I just read your mind? There's a strange juxtaposition going on with my closet at this point in my life. A majority of my clothing is black, grey, or otherwise dark, moody tones. There may be a clean, minimalistic graphic tee thrown in there (black, of course) and the occasional brown accessory. Then, there things like this disgustingly cute pink deer sweatshirt. If somebody who does not know me was to sift through my wardrobe, she may assume that I am some sort of deranged adolescent. To complete the whimsical "dress up" look that I've got going on here, I paired the unexpected with some timeless brogues and a denim button-down, both given to me by one of my new favorite clothing companies, Joules. Their pieces are simple, classic, and extremely high quality. I love their versatility. I wear this button-down at least once a week, I'm not even joking. Check out their collection and keep your eyes out for a little collab with Joules, yours truly, and my beautiful friend Chaucee.


sweatshirt/ ASOS, button-down/ ℅ Joules, jeans/ thrifted, shoes/ ℅ Joules, bag/ Louis Vuitton, jacket/ F21 (on sale!), watch/ Michael Kors, lipstick/ Yves Saint Laurent Rouse Vermillion

*photos by Danielle Conyers // This post was sponsored by Joules however all opinions are my own.

Two Thanksgiving Drinks

Ah yes, Thanksgiving is almost upon us once again. It's that time of year when elastic waistbands become our best friends, mere hours after we join hands around the table and recite our thanks we nearly strange each other while waiting in line for the best deal, and our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all join forces in order to pester us about our current relationship statuses. (Or, lack thereof.) I'm kidding. (Kind of.) I love the holidays and Thanksgiving is a particularly cozy one. What's a good get-together without some high-quality spirits? Booze not for you? No worries, I'll let you know how you can also make these drinks alcohol-free.

Sage & Cranberry Cocktail
I fought the whole "cranberry drink" thing for a while. I mean, what right does cranberry have getting into all the other juices? I'm still not sold on combinations such as "cran-grape" but I do love me some sparkling cranberry juice. This drink is tart, earthy, and very light-- exactly what you need when you're stuffing your face with Thanksgiving dinner.
What you'll need:
 - Sparkling Cranberry juice
 - Lemonade
 - Art in the Age SAGE
 -  Sage and cranberries to garnish

Begin by filling a glass halfway with ice. Pour one part SAGE and two parts sparking cranberry over the ice. Add a splash of lemonade and stir. Garnish with fresh cranberries and sage leaves. You can make this large-scale by simply making in a pitcher and letting guests serve themselves. For an alcohol-free version, muddle some sage in the bottom of a shaker and mix with lemonade. Pour one part sage lemonade over ice along with one part sparking cranberry.

Boozy Apple Pie Float

This drink is a childhood favorite all grown up. Who doesn't like apple pie? Who doesn't like ice cream?  Thought so. This drink is spicy, rich, and perfect for dessert. It may seem somewhat innocuous but it packs a big punch.

What you'll need:
 - Apple Pie Moonshine (I like Ole Smoky but there are a lot of others.)
 - Spiced whiskey
 - Ginger beer
 - Ice cream (I used Amy's dairy-free Coconut ice cream)
 - A sprig of rosemary to garnish

Scoop 2-4 large spoonfuls of ice cream into a glass. Add two shots of moonshine, a splash of spiced whiskey, and fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer. Add a sprig of rosemary to garnish. For an alcohol-free version, simply substitute the booze with sparking apple cider and add a dash of cinnamon on top. 

Need some more Thanksgiving cocktail ideas? Try the Hot Ginger & Rhubarb Tea, Gingersnap Cocktail, or, if you can't wait until Christmas, this Minty Candy Cane Cocktail. Remember to sip responsibly!


A Moment of Honesty: Sequence

As broken bits of sun poured in through the cracks in the blinds this morning, I clutched my tankard of chocolate soymilk and thought to myself, "how did I end up here?" With my life rapidly changing and shifting form day after day, I've conditioned myself to be okay with the fluidity and to try to not be so controlling. With every day that trudges by, I realize that day is gone forever and such as the passing of days, so goes so many relationships, dreams and ideals. It blows my mind that those I've traveled halfway across the world with, shared kisses with, laughed and cried endlessly while sharing hearts, and stayed up at night worrying and seeking the approval of are all merely strangers now. They don't know this new me. I don't know them. They've been reduced to softly-flickering specters existing on some other, unexplored plane of existence. I think of the mountains that now seem more like gentle rolling hills, the raging firestorms that once threatened to take away my life that now seem like glowing embers left over in a familiar old fireplace. I have peace. Then I think of how the walls of the house I grew up in warp and shrink in contrast to the massive skyscrapers lining the city streets I now wander just searching for my next move. It's scary to think of how much can change. The more you grow, the smaller and more insignificant you become.

Getting older is a strange, strange sequence of events. I think that in order to remain positive, there's a lot that you must unlearn. Becoming cold and jaded simply cannot be an option but vulnerability is so difficult when we've been beaten down so many times. Letting a career become your identity is toxic but you've worked so hard to get to where you are. Fighting for relationships that are inhibiting personal growth is an unnecessary, daunting task but what if you're not ready to say goodbye? We've been taught to cling to what makes us feel comfortable but what is comfort if not the single most destructive thing that can happen to you in life, in love, or otherwise? It's more than scary. It's terrifying. Perhaps the worst of it all is that moment when you realize that you have very little, if any, whimsical childlike faith left. You feel as if you've disappointed younger versions of yourself for letting life happen instead of making life happen for yourself.

Though I am still figuring it all out, here is my advice to you: The refining process is immensely painful. Those incredibly dear to you will begin to fade and you'll resent them for it. They'll grow jealous of you and you'll be envious of them. Nothing is quite black and white and indifference is usually the path of least resistance. There will come a point where you will catch a glance of yourself in some reflective surface and not know the pair of eyes staring back. You will be tired and, at times, anxiety will overtake you. Look at your life though. Is it all you imagined it to be? More than likely it won't even be close. Realize that perception is relative though and nobody has the power to put you where you want to be but yourself and yourself alone. Realize that there is peace in uncertainty when you realize that you're writing your own story. Take a look at some historical figures who were able to lift themselves out of deeper adversity than you could ever imagine and realize that fear and unwillingness is the only thing holding you back. Forget about the naysayers and the ones who will try to spread doubt. Don't simply coast on your former accomplishments. Start fresh every day. Realize that complacency is the antithesis or progress and that goals were meant to be surpassed. There is no shame in having some sort of childlike wonder. Forget what science has taught you and imagine the stars as you would like to imagine them. Wear mismatched socks. Jump in puddles. Keep your chin up and you will be just fine.


*photos by Danielle Conyers

New York City in a Word

From French pervasus
Existing or spreading through every part of something

There are few things that I love more than New York City and beautiful words. Commune and Memoir has both. Regardless of how many times I climb up those subway steps and step out into the Manhattan light, I'm always without words when it comes to describing the energy and the gusto that fills the air. Commune and Memoir's collection captures this perfectly with the most stunning imagery. Check them out-- your vocabulary will be challenged and if you've never been to New York, you'll learn a thing or two about the city.


tee/ ℅ Commune and Memoir, flannel/ H&M, sweater/ H&M, jeans/ American Eagle, boots/ Charles by Charles David, hat/ Free People (similar), bag/ ASOS, watch/ Michael Kors 

*photos by Danielle Conyers. Follow her on Instagram!