Friday, January 29, 2016

Whatever I Like

Head to Toe: Jumper, H&M via Buffalo Exchange // Boots, Coolway

I couldn't resist this I do whatever I like jumper when I spotted it consignment shopping. Lately, it seems what I want to be doing consists mostly of nesting. Cooking weekend breakfasts (TGIF) and snuggling in are my favorite pastimes these days, especially with last week's blizzard. This weekend will pack a bit more action as we take our first stab at entertaining, but at least I don't have to leave the apartment...
P.S. That's not my dog in the top picture, but he made for an adorable photo bomb!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

24 Hour Winter City Guide: Williamsburg

When the folks at Eventbrite (a platform to buy and sell tickets online) challanged me to create a 24-hour winter city guide for my neighborhood, I was immediately excited to share my favorite spots in my new 'hood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The great thing about this area is that all of the places I'm sharing are walkable, or on a super-cold day, easily commutable via the L subway line. For starters, any weekend day in NYC should begin with brunch. We are big on home-cooking, but there's no beating Harefield Road when we feel like going out. For $14, you get a breakfast, coffee and mimosa or bloody Mary. The huevos rancheros are my favorite. One heads up: Bring cash, no cards accepted.
For me, a fun weekend isn't complete without some good thrifting. Buffalo Exchange is one of the best consignment shops around. There's great staples plus designer and vintage pieces for a steal.
A short walk from Buffalo Exchange is Brooklyn Flea, sited near water's edge under the Williamsburg Bridge. In the summer, Smorgasburg (a massive food truck festival) is held in a lot next to Brooklyn Flea every weekend. Thankfully, a lot of the food is available indoors among the unique vendors, antique items and handmade wares year-round.
If all that antiquing worked up an appetite, The Meatball Shop is the perfect place for a meal or small bite. Pick from meatball subs or mix and match individual ball options. My favorite is the vegetarian ball, and if you're in the mood for a cocktail, they make one heck of a Moscow mule. 
To finish off the day, spend some time with your inner child at Barcade. Yep, it's what it sounds like—an arcade filled with old-school games (like classic Pacman and Frogger), and they also serve beer. Bring quarters or cash to get some from the machine.
If that day wasn't jam-packed enough, or shopping isn't your thing, go see a show or game at Barclays Center. There's tons of musical performances hosted at the venue, and the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Nets play there. It's a 15-minute cab ride from Williamsburg, or if you're on a budget, easily commutable from the J train. Or, check Eventbrite to see what else is going on nearby!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top Coat

Head to Toe: Coat and sweater, Thrifted // Hat, American Apparel // Bag, Zara // Jeans, Old Navy

Yep, that's snow at my feet! We got a few inches last weekend, and another hefty helping is on its way in the next few days (just in time to throw a wrench in my birthday plans, per usual). It may be late in the season, but winter has officially arrived. Though I will suffer many pains for fashion (too-high heels, too-tight high-waisted skirts), I refuse to be cold. Layering up has been my M.O. lately, and I rotate between a few heavy coats—a basic black pea coat, this fur number and a big puffer—depending on the severity of the day. One thing that's surprised me is the glorified sweaters many New York women pass off as coats. Yes, that cocoon wrap is adorable, but it's 11 degrees out. Personally, I'd rather feel like Ralphie's brother from A Christmas Story ("I can't put my arms down!") than shiver on a windy morning. But perhaps there's a better balance: How do you stay warm without looking like the Michelin man?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Finding My E-dentity

Head to Toe: Turtleneck, H&M // Vest, Buffalo Exchange // Jeans, Old Navy // Clutch, vintage // Shoes, Latigo

When I started this blog, going on five (blinks to confirm this is real life) years ago, I was in college and living at home with my parents. I wanted a fun outlet to share my sartorial pursuits, and it was easy enough to grab my mom or dad and walk somewhere nearby to snap a few photos or to set up my tripod somewhere nondescript. Though my style evolved, this format remained about the same for the next few years even after I graduated and started working full-time. I can proudly say that New England Romance helped me to nab more than one post-college job. It's a great conversation starter with haven't-seen-in-a-while Facebook friends, and my extended family treasures this medium of "seeing" me when we go months without face-to-face time.

That said, as "grown-up" life has gotten busier and busier, so have pressures of balancing a career and social life, making time for loved ones, and simply remembering to pay all of the bills—on time. Not to mention that for the past two months, my four-hour-a-day commute made it impossible to do pretty much anything. Now that I'm settled in the city with Sean, it's time to think about how this blog fits into my life...And I definitely want it to; the "blog-o-sphere" is a community I've loved being a part of. So, as I share the first outfit photos from my new rooftop in Brooklyn, does New England Romance still make sense? Do I buff out the blog with a new name/design, or does a New England girl's love story with fashion still apply? I think, for now, it stays, and I'll take a stab at posting more regularly and being a more active part of this community before I rethink the rest. But in the meantime, I am open to your advice! Fellow or former bloggers, how have your blogs evolved with your life changes?

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Links to Love

Congrats, fashionistas! We survived the first Monday of 2016. Four days and counting until my move, so I am admittedly pushing all of the usual "live better in the new year" goals back a week. That aside, here's what I'm reading for ideas on how to refresh your look, space and diet in 2016. 
Dressy shoes that look good with tights on The Cut
Retired trends that are coming back in style in 2016 from Refinery 29.
Ideas to refresh your space for a new year from Apartment Therapy
Delicious meal ideas: Buzzfeed's "what you should have for dinner this week."
Cozy up your home for January on Domino.

Year In Review

Oh 2015, what a year you were. Last January, I needed a fresh start, and got one. It turned out to be a year of movement, ending with a new job and a new city. Last week I sold my beloved Jeep in order to trade the trail for the concrete jungle. It was my first big-girl purchase, so my heart was heavy signing the deal, but full of excitement for bigger and better things to come. All in all, 2015 was pretty rad, not to mention it set me up for a great 2016. I did make some resolutions last year, and let's be real, I didn't keep many of them. I resolved to reach 1,000 blog followers and fell short. Honestly, real life took the stage over Internet life last year. And it should, but I resolve to work for a better balance in the coming year. I also resolved to put money in my savings every week...Admittedly, I put some away for the first time in too long last week. But I did pay off my credit card, which I'm pretty proud of. Maybe this year I can save a little each week. Last, I resolved to do something active every day, and I think I've been finally hitting that target of late. I got an Apple Watch as a Christmas bonus, and it tracks your calories, exercise and how much you stand every day. It's been a good reminder to move more. 

If 2015 was a year of movement, I hope for 2016 to be a year of calm. Not that I don't want to have adventures, but I'm in a great place personally and professionally, and I just want to dig my heels in for a while. Happy New Year, fashionistas! It might just be another Monday, but my advice to you is if you need a fresh start today, take it.