OOTD: Adora Bags & Pops of Color.

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Jacket – Sam Ronson via Crossroads Trading Co.  // Top and Skirt – Reverie // Heels – GuiltySoles // Bag courtesy of Adora Bags // Lipstick – MAC in Viva Glam

I think it was Audrey Hepburn who once said, “You mustn’t be afraid to shine a little brighter.” This quote is one of my favorites because it goes hand-in-hand with personal style and so many other aspects of life. Whether it’s throwing a gorgeous cobalt blue bag on your shoulder to really give your outfit a bit of interest or a handwritten letter (extra points if it’s on monogrammed stationary), a little something extra is always appreciated.

That being said, I love accessories and how a clutch or structured bag can really add to an outfit. However, I don’t own very many because I tend to find one that I love and then use it every single day for a really long time. This gorgeous Adora Bag in “the soft” is the perfect tote bag and may have to replace the burgundy Express bag you’ve been seeing way too often. This Adora Bag is simple and versatile enough for a weekend getaway to Philly or D.C. but still appropriate for the office and to take along for a dinner date. It’s super high-quality and made with Italian leather – the softest I’ve ever felt. The pieces are handcrafted in Vinci, Italy and production is never outsourced to factories, which is one of my absolute favorite parts about the bag. Another perk? It can also can go from a square shape to a teardrop thanks to a hidden closure inside. Let’s just say that this bag really is something special.

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I’ve really been down-sizing since the move and have narrowed down what’s in my closet and sent off all the pieces I haven’t worn in three months or more to Crossroads or the Salvation Army. I’ve got so much more room now for the pieces that I really love (like this Adora Bag, obviously) and I actually don’t miss having so many extra things that I never wore. I’ve got to say, it is so freeing to have less stuff to worry about. It means that there is more time for experiences. More space for friends when they come over. And less time spent worrying about the things that won’t matter a few years from now.

Here are my tips for shining a little brighter just like Audrey:

  • Slick on red lipstick. I wear Viva Glam at least three times a week and have had the same tube for 6 months. A little goes a long way and it’s definitely my favorite.
  • Ask someone how they’re doing and really listen. So often, we use “Hi, how are you?” as a greeting and walk away before we really hear an answer. I think there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to hear it or is doing it just to be polite. You’ll be shocked by how few people are genuinely asked about their day.
  • Add a pop of color to your outfit. It doesn’t have to be neon yellow like my top – a bright blue can make you stand out just as much, especially in a sea of black on black (New Yorkers know what I’m talking about).
  • Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t matter and make room for what does. This applies to both your closet and your life.

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Reverie-Melanie-Sutrathada-21What do you think of Adora Bags? What helps you to shine a little brighter? Leave a comment below!

Photos by Guerrilla Photography

Sunday Notes.

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I’ve been in go-go-go mode all weekend and I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it is to see all these tasks finally get crossed off my to-do list. I’m already dreaming of salt water taffy, In & Out burgers, and warmer weather. I’ll be headed back this Friday for a week and I could not be more excited to trade all my tights and boots for flats and converse. Here are some of my favorite links from this past week – they’ve been keeping me distracted from the urge to just stare at pictures of California burritos.

  1. 5 essential lists to make before the end of this year. Definitely going to be doing all of these (huffingtonpost.com)
  2. Things to quit to become financially healthy. Fast fashion and an empty refrigerator are musts (nymag.com)
  3. Unconventional household beauty products (cosmopolitan.com)
  4. Your 20s require a lot of energy and here are the best foods to eat during them (bustle.com)
  5. Loving this article on executive women finding and owning their own voice (nytimes.com)
  6. 40 stylish outfits to build around a black skirt (stylecaster.com)
  7. Habits of remarkably polite people (inc.com)
  8. Want a happy holidays season? Follow these 3 gift-giving rules (huffingtonpost.com)

What links have been drawing you in this past week? Anything that you’ve just got to share? Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

OOTD: Off the Grid and the Realities of a Blogger.

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JOA-Melanie-Sutrathada-10Leather Jacket – Guess via Ross (similar here and here) // Off the Grid Dress –  J.O.A. // Tights – Target // Clutch – Express // Aphrodite Necklace –  Gazel // Nail Polish – Wet N Wild in Red Red // Lipstick – MAC in Viva Glam

I think a lot of people assume that the life of a blogger involves eating nothing but pretty pastel macarons, selfies and big events with free stuff. While my life does involve those things every once in a while, there’s definitely a lot of not-so-exciting things involved. Let’s push aside the curtain a bit, shall we?

What you might think I’m doing on a Saturday morning: Laughing over mimosas and Eggs Benedict during brunch with the girls, before taking a stroll through SoHo to do some shopping at Kate Spade Saturday and pick up fresh blooms.

What I’m actually doing on a Saturday morning: Laying in bed as long as humanly possible to recoup from a swamped week at the office, having to double-layer my tights to keep from turning in to Olaf in the cold, and four straight nights of not getting home before midnight because of meetings and events. After dragging my sorry butt out of bed to eat leftover pizza smothered in Sriracha (because it belongs on everything), I settle back in to bed to work on a post, figure out the details for a few upcoming collaborations and bawl as I watch Just Like Heaven (a super sad and sweet movie starring Kate Hudson) on Netflix. Sound a little specific? Well, that’s because that’s exactly what I did/am doing this morning.

JOA-Melanie-Sutrathada-8JOA-Melanie-Sutrathada-11This amazing plaid dress from J.O.A. had me thinking about how often we perceive certain people to be a certain way. It’s called the “Off the Grid” dress and it certainly was a perfect fit for this past week. I wore it to brunch and the boyfriend’s show last weekend and then again to the office on Tuesday and well… I may or may not be wearing it later today. It’s been super helpful in keeping me cozy (it’s pretty much like being wrapped up in a blanket) and warm in the chilly weather. The bottom of the dress flares out just enough to keep me from looking like a rectangle and the overall print feels chic and modern, yet perfectly acceptable for the office. It’s also just as cute with a leather jacket, statement necklace and red lips as it is just by itself, which means that it’s a total win in my closet.

The name of the dress is actually what caught my eye first, because I’ve definitely been feeling off the grid lately. There’s this little on-going joke that I hear often as a blogger – “If you didn’t tweet it, you didn’t eat it.” And well, that’s really how it feels sometimes. I’ll go to lunch with some of my blogger friends and we might spend 10 minutes trying to snap the perfect aerial shot of our plates, shifting the angles of the cups or moving our sunglasses around until it looks just right. Sometimes the food gets cold because we’ve spent so much time trying to Instagram. What you see on Instagram or other social media platforms isn’t always what’s happening in real life. What you’re seeing is likely a well-composed and meticulously groomed snapshot of a moment. Having been pretty removed from social media this week, I’m really seeing how much of a difference it makes to just be fully invested in the present without technology.

A really amazing new opportunity came up this past week so my attention feels like it’s been on a million things at once. One of the things that I’ve really been trying to learn is how to prioritize better. I always want to be 100% committed to everything that I do, but after this long week, I’m really seeing how much of a toll it can take to just go-go-go all the time and how distracting always being plugged in can be. That being said, I don’t think going off the grid is necessarily a bad thing all the time. Sometimes you need it. I know I did.

JOA-Melanie-Sutrathada-12JOA-Melanie-Sutrathada-6Have you gone off the grid lately? How are you spending your Saturday? Leave me a comment below! I always love hearing from you (:

Photos by Guerrilla Photography