Coffee in Fishtown

Over the past year or so, I've fallen in love with my home city of Philadelphia. I always took it for granted, which I feel happens to people and their hometowns quite often. It's a shame, really. There are all of these wonderful, small pockets of culture and color and life. There are so many delicious regional delicacies, as well as their equally-splendiferous vegan counterparts. So much history and vibrancy. So many bearded men in flannels riding fixed-gear bikes and many a swoon to be had. Oh, and we have the most devoted sports fans, hands down. I ❤ PHL. 


p.s. These pictures are taken from Rocket Cat Cafe in Fishtown. These photos don't do it much justice (it was so busy!) but it's so cozy inside. I'm hoping to share more of my favorite local coffee shops in hopes that some of you lovely readers will come to Philadelphia and visit. (Ya know, for those beautiful bearded men and whatnot.)

Velvet & Gold

I revoked makeup privilege from myself this past weekend. It's only for a week but I'm kind of starting to enjoy this fresh-faced me. I cut over 20 minutes out of my morning routine and I'm starting to notice things I like about my face that I never would have noticed before. I woke up like this. (But far from flawless.)


sweatshirt/ U.O. (on sale!), pants/ U.O. (similar), hat/ Free People, coat/ thrifted (similar), shoes/ Louboutin (I can't seem to find them online anymore but here's something similar!), bag/ thrifted, necklace/ U.O., rings/ thrifted (similar), head chain/ Etsy


My sister is a beautiful creature. Too much, actually. (Jenna stop being so gorgeous, I'm getting old and you're making me look bad.)


Treat. Yo. Self.

If you don't treat yo self every once in a while, what are you doing? I did just that tonight, for the first time in possible forever. There's no shame in taking some time for yourself every once in a while. (I took some photos to prove it!) Don't even know where to begin? Never fear, that's why I'm here.

1. Clear your schedule for an evening. There's nothing worse than worrying about having somewhere to be. You want your mind to be worry-free so you can just RELAX. 

2. Mix yourself a good alcoholic beverage. Don't worry about making it a little too strong, you don't have anywhere to be so you won't be driving anywhere. Mine here is two shots of Stoli Razberi Vodka, a shot of Peach Schnapps, some sparkling water, and a splash of Grenadine. It tastes just like gummy peach rings, which used to be one of my favorite candies. 

3. Find some nice, relaxing music. Might I suggest some Satie? 

4. Find a good book as well. The content doesn't matter. Whatever you love, dive into it. I love economics so I picked up one of my favorites to start reading again. It's about competition between China and the U.S. and if that interests you in the least bit, I can't suggest it enough.

5. A bath bomb. LUSH has some excellent ones to choose from.

6. Something pretty for your hair. This night is all about you! Get dolled up for nobody but you. A fancy bow will make all the difference in the world.

7. Last but not least, put the phone down. After taking these photos, I turned my phone off and it made a world of difference. I'm one of those impulsive phone-checkers so it was definitely nice to do without it for a little bit.

I'm off to finish watching Dirty Dancing. (Yes, that's included in this whole "treat yo self" thing for me.) Until tomorrow lovelies!


Oh, Snow.

It's been a pretty crappy past few days. I lost my temper on a few occasions, which is rare for me. (Well, in most cases.) I'm thankful for the snow. Just as it blankets the earth with its white, fluffy goodness, it's a new day and I have a new start. White. Fresh. Promising.


jacket/ J. Crew (it's on sale!), hat/ similar, /  Scarf/ similar, mittens/ similar, boots/ H&M

A Moment of Honesty: Anxiety & Depression

I've struggled with anxiety and inexplicable bouts of sadness for a large part of my life. There have been clearly defined peaks and valleys brought on by little or no provocation. It's been maddening and yet I've also found great joy in the chaos and instability. Some may dismiss it as simply one's "artistic sensibilities." Some might say that it requires immediate medical attention. Some will try to label it; I'm sure there's a name for it out there somewhere. It's tiring trying to find all of the answers so a long time ago, I chose to reject all of the excuses, the medical jargon, and the medication and set out to find the cure for myself. I'm 22 and although I've learned a lot, I have more questions than answers. However, if there's anything that I've learned in this past year it's that one of the best panaceas for the torn and tattered soul is to be open and honest. As humans, we're sort of "gifts" to each other. Why should we do life alone when we can carry each other's burdens? Above all else, life is too short to be sad. And yet... we still are. 

I'm not sure if it's because we're all becoming more transparent with each other here on the internet, but it really seems as if anxiety is a huge problem lately. Of course, it's always been, but I don't remember everybody talking about it so openly. In a way, it's good that we're talking about it. It's in our nature to find solace in the fact that we are not alone. In a way however, it's terrible because to talk about it is to leave yourself open to all sorts of misguided advice, whether ill-intentioned or well-meaning. More so, modern life is not conducive to stress-free living, regardless of who you are. If you're out there in the waves, fighting to keep your head above water, feeling hopeless and drowning because every gasp fills your lungs even more, I'm there with you. It's scary. But there is hope. 

I'm not a doctor at all, just simply a peer who hopes to share some wisdom. These are some of the things that I've learned about my own anxiety and depression that hopefully, if nothing else, will give you some comfort. If you're struggling with self-harm and suicidal tendencies, though, please seek help. There are so many people who are out there to help you. Although you should feel no guilt or shame, if you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are many sources you can speak with anonymously. Your life is too precious to not do something.

1. You don't have to be sad. Simple, no? Easier said than done, I'm afraid. There are so many reasons to stay sad. Guilt is a big one. Inspiration, oddly enough, is another one. Crippling sadness can be a wonderful muse. Take a gander at some of history's most respected artists. Most of them struggled with horrendous, crippling depression. You become the sadness and the sadness becomes you. You don't know how you'll function without it. The truth is that there is so much joy waiting for you on the other side of self-recognition. It's a terrifying journey to get there. It involves diving into the deepest, darker parts of yourself and staring your strongest fears, most painful rejections, and repressed memories in the face. You will make it out alive though, and you will be a much better person in the end. The road to contentment begins with being aware that sadness isn't the only option.

2. It's in your mind. You should exercise your mind just like you should exercise your body. I am a huge supporter of Cognitive Therapy. Depression is fueled entirely on negative thoughts. One thought, dwelled on for but a moment too long, can be a slippery slope to a negative pattern of though that can send someone into a downward spiral. We're all extremely volatile. The way that I combat this is to be constantly self-aware. Keeping a journal helps me with this. I try my best to be on top of myself with it daily. It's not easy but once you find a pattern and a rhythm, you'll begin to see a difference. Need help getting started?:
  • S.A.S.H.E.T. - Also known as sadness, anger, scare, happiness, excitement, and tenderness. All human emotions can be traced back to these six. It's a good idea to "check in" twice a week or more. I write down two or three of these that I'm feeling the most intensely at the moment and elaborate on why I'm experiencing those particular feelings. It's always good to think about the way you're feeling and to follow it to why you're feeling that way. It helps to weed out any irrational fears or negativity and, like all things, the act of writing it and seeing it written down is healing in itself. More about S.A.S.H.E.T. here.
  • Good/Bad - Draw a vertical line right down the center of the page. On the left side, write down your thoughts, regardless how how irrational they may seem. Your fears, your insecurities-- whatever you may be feeling. Write it all down. Look over your list and then, on the right side, write positive outcomes. For example, one of my recent bad thoughts had been "Find a reporting job but never climb the ladder and end up in a small town for the rest of my life." On the positive side, I wrote, "Work as hard as you possibly can. Even if you do not end up where you always wanted to be, you'll be doing what you love." This is a technique that I picked up from this book. I read it in high school and I'm planning on picking it up and starting it again as soon as I'm done typing this.

3. Just because you're generally content doesn't mean that you're not suffering from anxiety or depression. You can still feel generally happy but not be completely okay. Have you been a little distant lately? Having trouble sleeping or waking up? Loss of motivation? Excess of motivation but no will-power to actually do anything about it? Start charting your thoughts and feelings and nip it in the but before it turns into full-blown depression.

4. You are affected by what you're putting in. Are you listening to dark music or surrounding yourself with negative people? Stop. Cold turkey. Cut it all out of your life. Your well-being is at stake. When you're sad, you're vulnerable. When you're searching for contentment and answers, you're going to soak up whatever you're putting into yourself. This doesn't have to be permanent, but for now, some of your friends, your reading material, and your music may have to go. Funny thing is, when you feel strong enough to come back to it someday, you probably won't even want any part of it. 

As always, I'm available to talk to. ( I love you guys, stay strong. 


lark&lace x Brilliant Earth

Today, I'm teaming up with Brilliant Earth to put together a mood board of my style personality. I must admit that I still feel as if I'm trying to find my signature style. I know what I like, but I'm using this time (and this blog) to experiment. So far, for the most part, I've learned that I like clothing with a classic, bohemian feel paired with classic, understated accessories. Sort of an elegance mixed with a minimalistic, no-nonsense thing going on. Whatever my style is, I'd say that this look sums it up pretty well. 

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7


p.s. I'm not getting married any time soon but when the day comes, I already know the exact ring that I want. I've been playing around with their "build your own engagement ring" widget for the past half hour. (Ahem, future husband, if you're reading this, I'd like a plain yellow gold band with a marquise diamond...) All of their diamonds are ethically sourced, which is the only way to go, in my opinion. Definitely worth checking out!

Pumpkin & Chai Latte

I was always a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes... until I found out that they aren't vegan. Shame, right? Now, I know that pumpkin season has been over since Starbucks hoisted the first Peppermint Mocha sign of Christmas, and even that came and went as it is now over halfway through January and who knows what seasonal concoction they're brewing up now, but you can't tell me that you don't have a special place in your heart for pumpkin. This drink is vegan (just make sure that the pumpkin butter you're using is dairy-free!) and even more delicious than a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. In my opinion, it tastes just like pumpkin cheesecake. (MMM, pumpkin cheesecake!)

What you'll need:
 - 1 tbs loose leaf chai (or two tea bags; I just prefer it in the cafetière.)
 - 1 tbs pumpkin butter
 - 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk

You'll also need a saucepan, a wooden spoon, a whisk, and extra nutmeg, and cinnamon. (If you're going to drink this, might as well go all-out, am I right?) 

Begin by heating up the water in the kettle as to make a regular cup of tea. While the water's heating up in the kettle, pour the milk into the saucepan and over medium heat, begin to stir it. Make sure that you keep it moving so that it doesn't burn because that smells terrible. Once warm, add in the tablespoon of pumpkin butter and continue to stir on medium heat. Here is where you can also add some cinnamon and nutmeg if you wish. Some time during the stirring process, chances are that the kettle will start whistling. When it does, make the tea as you usually would but only fill the cup halfway with water. Pour the warm milk into the same cup, leaving enough milk in the pan to cover the entire bottom. Whisk the remainder until it's frothy. (I'm not too great at the frothing yet, which is why I only do it with a small amount. If you're a pro barista, feel free to froth some more.) Pour the frothy milk on top and sprinkle on some extra nutmeg and cinnamon. 

Alright so it doesn't exactly fit in with the clean eating thing that I've been doing lately but we all need a treat every once in a while, no? Perfect for sipping whilst curled up on the couch with a book and some sweet tunes. Enjoy!


Winter or Spring

I don't know what to think of the weather anymore. It's been so bipolar lately. (And consequently so have I.) Also, I'm laughing at the fact that my Nikon remote is visible in every photo and I didn't realize it until now. Whoops. Smoke screen has failed. Fourth wall was broken down. Snape kills Dumbledore.


p.s. if you got that corny lyrical reference up there, let's be best friends.

blazer/ H&M, top/ Crooks & Castles, pants/ UO, boots/ H&M (similar), necklace/ River Island, earrings & bracelet/ The Starfish Project (seriously go check out their stuff! It's all made by women who were rescued from exploitation in Asia and the proceeds go towards fighting sex trafficking!)

Remembering & Growing

I don't look at old photos too often but when I do, I find incredible amounts of inspiration. I had a 365 day portrait project back when I was 18 or 19. I never finished it but it stretched my creativity in so many ways. Sometimes I long for the simplicity of those days. Who couldn't? However, I've been trying to live by the words of the wise C.S. Lewis: "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." When I get caught in endless nostalgia, I need to think about how far I've come-- farther than I ever could have imagined. And more so, how the people I miss, perhaps they're just not meant to be in my life right now. It's a tough and painful process but all good things come from some adversity. So, here's what I say: think fondly of the past. Don't live in it but rather learn from it. Cherish it but know that the future is yours to write.



Growing up, I was always much more interested in playing soccer with the boys during recess than sitting around with the girls and talking about the boys. Actually, I wasn't really into makeup or anything until my senior year of high school or so. Strange, no? I was a bit of a tomboy. I'm not at all anymore but I can sure dress the part.


jacket/ UO (similar), jeans/ American Eagle (similar), tee/ H&M, necklace/ River Island, hat/ River Island (similar), shoes/ Target