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5 Steps to Upgrading Your Life (successfully!)

August 19, 2015

Maybe you’ve just landed your dream job, only to realize that your clubbing outfits from college (or your last job’s uniform) won’t cut it at your new corporation.

Perhaps your kids are (finally) out of the house and you decide it’s time to upgrade your furniture from that time you bought out Ikea 20 years ago.

Or, you could just be tired of being fat, eating unhealthy, not exercising, and/or just not feeling your best.

Whatever the case, you’ve made the decision to upgrade your life. In essence, ‘upgrading your life’ just means that you’re switching out the old for a high quality newer model. It all sounds good in theory. I mean, how many times have we heard these phrases: “The new diet starts Monday!” or “I am going to buy less and buy better”. The key is to not only follow through with your changes, but successfully make them into permanent habits. Here’s how:

upgrade

1. It’s all about Motives. First, determine your motives. WHY do you want a more high quality lifestyle? Is it to enhance your career? Impress a guy/girl? Make day to day life easier and more pleasurable for yourself? Show up your neighbors? Whatever the reason, you’ll need to figure out what drives you. If there is a weak (or no) motivating force behind a goal, there will be no change.

2. Choosing your upgrades. Most of the time, you know what you want to upgrade. Right now, all my shoes, save for a few pair, are looking a bit rough. It’s time for new shoes and I am looking to get some that are more professional and last longer (read: upgrade). You might, however, just have an idea of what you want to achieve (ex: I want to look more professional), without knowing how to go about that. If you are in that camp, I recommend looking at people who you admire and would like to emulate. What about them do you want for yourself? (Side Note Warning: just because it works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for everyone. See #4)

3. Set your priorities. Decide what changes are most important to you. Maybe you care more about upgrading your eating habits than your shoe collection. Maybe a newly furnished house is more important than designer makeup. Make a list of areas in your life that you wish to upgrade. Now- and here’s the hard part- only tackle one thing at a time. No one has the time, energy, and money to wake up on a Monday morning and instantly start eating better, exercising, buying a new wardrobe, redecorating, etc.

4. Know thyself. Just because a certain diet, style, or hobby works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. For example: I am vegan because I believe it is a healthy diet. Someone who is paleo might say the exact same thing, even though the diets are very different. Is one person wrong? Of course not! It’s just that different choices work for different people. If everyone in your office wears a certain brand of shirt, should you go out and buy the same brand even though the fit isn’t good for your body? Of course not. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. This is also why knowing your motives is important. If you are motivated by ‘impressing others and trying to fit in’, you will buy the shirt that doesn’t fit because it’s cool. If you are motivated by ‘looking professional in your workplace’ you will find a similar shirt in a brand that works for your body type.

5. Shoot low and go slow. You are more likely to achieve the lifestyle changes that you want, if you create lower, attainable goals and set a realistic pace. You wouldn’t go from the couch to a half marathon and you wouldn’t go from a lifetime of thrift clothes to Armani. Patience is the key here. Start small and then build. What’s the step up from where you currently are? Try that out and see if you like it. Then keep going. If you decide it’s not worth it or you don’t like the upgrade, it’s painless to switch back. For example: Say you want to try nicer makeup than what is offered at a drugstore. Instead of going to Barney’s and buying out the whole Chanel counter, try going to Ulta and getting a makeover. If you like a product better than one your currently using, THEN buy it. If you buy one nice piece of makeup a month over the course of the year, it will be easier on your budget and the transition to your goal.

With enough patience and discipline, you can pretty much achieve any lifestyle (within reason) that you would like. Now, if you’d excuse me, I need to work on my shoe collection.

Cheers,

Bucky

Newest Shopping Obsession: M. Gemi

August 14, 2015

We all have those websites. You know what I’m talking about. The ones that you mindlessly troll whenever you get a free moment. Sometimes it’s shopping websites, sometimes it’s a blog, and pretty much all other times it’s Pinterest.

My latest website obsession came to me via a Facebook ad. So, way to go Facebook- your algorithms to find out what I love are painfully (and creepily) accurate. The ad showed this pair of shoes:

The Tuta

Uh, who wouldn’t click the link? They are pretty much perfect. Traditional ballet slippers look frumpy, the loafers from the past couple years look dated, but these…these puppies are spot on.

The Cappio

And how great are these sandals? It’s completely a one and done sort of deal. Why bother with 27 flip flops from Target when you can have these? (ps. If you actually have 27 flip flops in your closet you could have easily bought 3 pairs of these with the same money)

The Cammeo

So simple. So perfect. With a 4.25” heel, there is no way your legs won’t look stellar. Unless you have no idea how to walk in heels…then you will look like a fool. In that case, you’d better stick with their great selection of flats.

The Esatto - M.Gemi

If 4.25” is a little frightening to you, check out these beauts. The color is so fresh and so surprisingly not reminiscent of a 90’s bride maid dress.

One thing I really like is that they don’t have a ton of shoes. They’re not lacking by any means, but it’s also not like logging into zappos or DSW and having to wade through the chaos of ugly to get to the cool things. It’s curated, simple, and exactly fills the bill.

Day

 

I haven’t ordered anything yet, but that’s mostly because I can’t decide on what to get. Until I do decide, you know where I’ll be spending my extra moments (aside from Pinterest, of course). Check out their website here: M. Gemi.

xoxo,

Bucky

Have You Heard of ‘The Middle East’s Creative Ecosystem’ Yet?

August 4, 2015

I don’t like to subscribe to many newsletters (who has time to read a ton of those everyday?) but one I’ve held onto over the years (read: have not rerouted to spam) has been the occasional NJAL newsletter. NJAL stands for ‘Not Just A Label’ and showcases contemporary designers that they feel to be pioneers in the industry. It’s definitely not your same old Vogue newsletter. NJAL is just the right amount of artsy and pragmatic.

Today’s featured article particular caught my eye: The Status Of Fashion Education in the Middle East. Not only was the title intriguing, but the pictures like this one below caught my attention as well.

“From Beirut and Istanbul to Tehran and across to Dubai—NJAL spotlights the educational opportunities available, their accessibility and what it all means for the Middle East’s creative ecosystem” – From the opening paragraph (picture property of NJAL)

I had never thought about Fashion Schools in the Middle East. Honestly, fashion schools are a dime a dozen (Art Institute anyone?) in Western cultures and I hadn’t given much thought to their presence elsewhere (shamefully westo-centric isn’t it?)

The essay is both informative and fascinating as it discusses the institutions that are popping up across the Middle East, from Lebanon to Dubai, and how they are being influenced by their Western cousins. The whole article (they technically call it an essay) is here. It’s a great read from, not only a fashion perspective, but also a global commerce, political, and cultural viewpoint. At a time when our main news stories about the Middle East consist of ISIS and suicide bombings, this essay is both refreshing and uplifting.  If you have a few extra minutes, I highly recommend.

Happy Reading!

Bucky

Wes Anderson Movie Night

August 1, 2015

It’s Saturday night, and thanks to a thanks to a crazy night last night chaperoning a youth group lock-in (read: not sleeping), I’ll be sticking pretty close to home this evening. While everyone else gets dressed up for dinner and drinks, I’ll be ordering a pizza and slipping into some sweatpants (just kidding. I don’t own sweatpants. I do however, have several pair of themed flannel pajamas…so there’s that).

I’m not a movie person, however, there are some movies that I just love and can’t get enough of. My two favorites in that category would be Dr. Dolittle (the original) and Harvey. I guess I just have something for films made in the mid 1900’s.

Doctor Dolittle (1967) PosterHarvey (1950) Poster

I’m venturing away from old classics tonight, though, and moving on to another loved collection of movies: Wes Anderson films. If you have no idea who Wes Anderson is, maybe this list will jog your memory—>

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Poster.jpg

 

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom FilmPoster.jpeg

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic mr fox.jpg

 

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Darjeeling Limited Poster.jpg

 

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Lifeaquaticposter.jpg

 

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The Tenenbaums.jpg

 

FYI- I only included movies that Wes Anderson wrote, produced, and directed. Now the hard choice is to pick one for tonight. I love his style and the newer movies just keep get more and more Wes Andersony, so I’m leaning towards the Grand Budapest. Any way I choose though, I can’t go wrong. If you’re interested in what makes his films so unique (or what ‘Wes Andersony’ actually means), Andy Crump over at Screenrant wrote a great blog post entitled, ‘A beginner’s Guide to Wes Anderson Movies’.

Which movie would you choose to watch? Do you have a favorite Wes Anderson film? I’d love to hear!

Cheers,

Bucky

 

Side note: How fabulous would it be to have a Wes Anderson themed party and have all the guests show up as a character from one of the films? I’ll have to file that away under ‘parties to plan’.

Glitter for Another Generation: Long Live Limited Too

July 24, 2015

Limited-too

Better get used to seeing this again.

Yeah, that’s right. Limited Too is reportedly making a second go at life. As someone who grew up in the 90’s with two sisters, Limited Too was THE place to shop. It was the mecca of glittery clothes and impractical furniture (yes, I did have an inflatable chair). It was the ultimate destination for birthday presents (but only for close friends. So so friends got body wash from Bath and Body Works). 

I can only imagine what the conference room sounded like when they were having the come-back discussion.

Exec 1: “Hey, remember Limited Too? 90’s kids loved that”

Exec 1: “You know where all those Limited Too loyal kids are now? Having kids of their own”

Exec 2: “Jackpot! Lot’s bring it back”

In honor of the return of Limited Too, here are some very Limited throwback pictures to get you through your Friday. Long live Limited Too…because we all know Justice didn’t really do it justice.

Those catalogues. photo from here

You know you remember this

Just your typical mall scene circa 1990-whenever. Pic here.

*sooo fabulous* (pics from here). And those pants on the right…I totally had those, in silver.

Do you remember your favorite Limited Too outfit? Comment  below; I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Friday!

Bucky

Let’s All Dress Like Boys

July 19, 2015

For most people not directly involved, Men’s Fashion Week in New York usually slides by under the radar. It is a week that often lives in the shadows of the much hyped women’s wear weeks. This, however, is truly unfortunate. The world of menswear has so much to offer, not only to men, but also to the way we view women’s clothing.

As I was clicking through Tommy Ton’s pictures from Men’s New York Fashion Week, I found myself thinking, “Omg how fabulous…I want that!” So, in honor of all the great men’s wear out there that could and should be adopted into every woman’s closet, I picked out some of my favorites. Enjoy!

All photos were shot by Tommy Ton for Style.com. See all 254 shots here.

The white tee is never old…especially when it gets a holographic pocket face lift

Easy tees, boyfriend jeans, jumpsuits…what else could you want?

This guy is totally rocking the floral jumpsuit…and I think I could too.

THESE PANTS.

I could pretty much switch the head out on photoshop and put my face in this picture.

So chill yet so refined

Can we all be friends and call ourselves #thePACK ?

I need his shirt. On my body. Like, now.

A bunch of guys on their smoke break talking about art gallery openings, or my pack of friends chatting about brunch? No one would ever know.

If these pics don’t make you feel inspired to add some menswear to your wardrobe (beyond your boyfriend’s sweater that you only wear on weekends), I don’t know what would. The secret to shopping trendy menswear is to buy designer brands. Barney’s always has a good selection. If the idea of spending a pretty penny on men’s clothing (for yourself) freaks you out, YOOX also has a great selection at discounted prices. Now, let’s all go dress like da boyz.

Happy Shopping!

Bucky

Benefits of a Cold Summer

July 16, 2015

I am from the deep South where summer starts in early May and where the chances of a 70° Christmas are very likely. I absolutely love heat and humidity. Every time I traveled during the summer somewhere cooler I always naively chalked up the cold weather to a front moving through or unseasonable temperatures. I couldn’t fathom a place that never got above 75° in the summer.

Then I moved. I now live on the same latitude as Chicago. The first year we had a nice, relatively hot summer. This year is a different story.

As I write this, I am wearing a long sleeve cashmere sweater, running leggings, and socks while sipping on hot tea. I even have the sniffles as if I’m coming down with a cold. The outdoor temperature is reading 55°. The high today (it is only 7am) is predicted to be just under 70°. For many people 60° is ideal. For me, 80° is an ideal indoor temperature (as long as there is airflow) and 89° is an ideal outdoor temperature….hence the sweater and socks.

As a way to cope with this unwelcome weather situation, I’ve made a list of benefits to having a cold (anything under my ideals I deem as cold) summer.


5 Benefits of  a Cold Summer:

1. It provides an excellent opportunity to utilize and grow your cashmere collection

2. You can exercise outdoors during the summer months. You can even attend events after low impact exercise and still look like a normal human being because no real sweating has occurred.

3. You can sleep with the windows open (although, I did this last night and I now feel like I am coming down with something…)

4. Energy bills are greatly reduced (provided you don’t turn on the heat)

5. You truly appreciate any time you have somewhere warmer. Complaining about the heat/sweating/etc is not even on your radar anymore.


Even though I am moderately chilly right now, I cannot complain. I was fortunate enough to have a couple weeks to escape back South and enjoy the heat. It was a blissful two weeks of sweat, beach, and a house with a thermostat on 80°.

Warmest wishes (literally) and- to all my Southerner friends who find their new homes a little too cold- hang in there; you’re not alone!,

Bucky

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