10 New England Date Ideas for the Cold, Winter Months

As some of you may know, my boyfriend and I have a long distance relationship… if you can even call it “long distance.” We live about two hours away from each other depending on if he is spending time in Long Island or New Jersey. It really isn’t that far in comparison to when we dated while I studied abroad in Italy. Over the years, we’ve come up with some interesting things to do. For example, this past weekend when we randomly decided to go to the Norwalk Aquarium and eat ice cream at Milkcraft (something I’ve always wanted to try). If you’re an avid Pinterest lover like me, you come up with some fun date ideas for when you do see each other. Here are some of the ones we’ve come up with for the cold, winter months.

New England Date Ideas During in the Winter

 

Dress (Urban Outfitters, Sold out) | Necklace (Similar) | Boots (I’m obsessed)

Visit an aquarium or zoo.

The Norwalk Aquarium Robert and I visited this past weekend was a confusing mix of aquarium meets wildlife… and it was ahh-maz-ing. There were lizards, meerkats, otters, seals, sharks, sea turtles, and everything that makes the small child in my soul happy. If you want to see your date oooo and ahh over amazing creatures this is definitely a great date idea for you. Plus, some of the aquariums have giant Imax theaters so you get to see a movie and little critters all in one.

Try a cuisine you’ve never had before. 

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to travel far away without really traveling that far… welcome to study abroad via el’ stomach. Look up authentic restaurants near you and look up the menus online. If you don’t know what some of the food is on one of the menus, pick that restaurant. You’ll have fun trying out different things. If you want to try a bunch of items at once try a tapas restaurant. For example, Barcelona Wine Bar in New Haven is a great pick.

Take a hike after a light snowfall.

For New Year’s Eve, Robert and I visited Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania (okay, not New England but same idea). For someone who doesn’t go outside in the snow very often, it was one of my favorite trips I’ve been on. It snowed every night so we woke up to a winter wonderland. The trees were icy and we were bundled up like stuffed burritos. A date where you’re moving and grooving is always a great idea.

Visit a random town you both have never visited. 

Since Robert and I live two hours away from each other, we find towns that are half way in-between us to visit. For example, this summer we explored Mystic, CT because it is closer to the Long Island ferry and this past weekend we visited Norwalk because it is equal distance from the both of us. This actually allows us to meet up in different towns that we wouldn’t normally and explore like pesky tourists. Hey, you need to find the fun in the little things.

Go to a demolition derby. 

I find it hilarious that I included this while I wear this innocent, feminine dress. But every sweet dress has its tough side. Demolition derbies are very common in rural towns in New England. Most occur during the fall season but if you’re lucky some places have indoor performances. You might want to bring earplugs!

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Go to a local museum you’ve never been to. 

Most states have tons and tons of museums and some of them are even free! Connecticut is such a small state so if there are tons of museums here there must be quadruple museums in your state! Museums are a fun way to open your mind to different perspectives and maybe even learn a thing or to. I recently went to one of the Yale Art Museums with one of my friends and it was a blast.

Go see a magic show, comedy show, or a concert you normally would go see. 

My boss is awesome and offered me two free tickets to see a Chriss’ Angel show. Robert and I watched Chriss’ in amazement as he made people vanish in midair, swallow razor blades, and even detangle himself from a straightjacket. My mind is still blown. Most casinos and large venues have fun, out of this world shows that you can see like that one.

Bundle up and go to a parade, Winterfest, or ice sculpting show. 

If you follow me on Instagram or saw this post from 2016, you know the Siena College community means business when it comes to Saratoga Springs’ Chowderfest. We all get bundled up in countless layers just so we can trench through chowder lines. This year, I proudly consumed seven chowders. Most towns have festivals like this during the cold winter months. I think it’s some weird attempt to get people outside of the house. Hey, it works for me.

Go to a random antique or thrift store. 

Wild Bill’s Nostalgia is a time capsule that is ready to be opened. This wild thrift store is stuffed to the max with collectible baseball cards, vintage clothes, retro signs, and so much more. You can spend hours just looking through things in this tiny store. Although this is an odd date idea, it’s definitely a great way to find some weird things together and create unique memories.

Scroll on Instagram through GEOtags and find a gem like Milkcraft. 

I’m an Instagram fanatic and have “boards” in my library just like I have “boards” on Pinterest. I follow accounts like “ctfoodlovers”, “cteatsout”, “getseenct”, and “ctbloggerbabes” to see if there are some new and fun things to do in Connecticut. Most states have many accounts that are dedicated to finding gems like Milkcraft, Mystic Seaport, and so much more. Search random tags and you’ll find a few gems in no time.

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What are some of your favorite dates for the winter? Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s day? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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P.S. A big shout out to my Instagram followers for convincing me to buy this dress. I’m in love with it.

What Finding a Job After College is Really Like

Right now, I’m currently typing up this blog post waiting for my airplane to Houston, Texas… talk about a girl boss, am I right? I’ll be in Texas for a little under five hours for a printer convention and then flying back as soon as the convention is over. Houston in 24 hours really hit a new definition.

It’s been about eight months since I graduated college. It feels like yesterday I was cramming in all nighters, going out on Thursdays, and trying to figure out what to wear to the next themed party. Man, do I miss college. Since I graduated, I’ve surprisingly done a lot. I ended up getting a job that fits in what I eventually want to do, traveled to two new states (Virginia and now Texas), and wrote more blog content than I ever did during school. Since many seniors are just starting their last semester (shedding a tear for you), I decided to write a blog post about my journey to landing a job.

Shirt ($15 and comes in four colors) |Jeans |Similar Shoes | Similar Bag | Similar Vest

Apply, apply, and apply again.

After college, it was pretty hard getting into the groove of things. There is this immense pressure of finding a job right after you graduate. I applied to almost a hundred different jobs looking for something that would eventually help me land a job in fashion. I applied on LinkedIn, Job Recruiter, and Zip Recruiter. Whatever job site I could get my hands on, I applied to. It took me two months and almost a hundred different cover letters for me to get the job I have now. I highly recommend using LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter.

Sure, they may be interviewing you but make sure the company is a right fit for you.

I ended up going on three different interviews and they were all very different from one another. One of my interviews was at a marketing firm in Stratford, Connecticut. It took me two hours to get there and the interview only lasted 15 minutes. The second interview was an interview from the pit of hell. The interview process lasted two days and the second day was an eight-hour day filled with no breaks, no lunch, and they made me drive a stranger to a random job site. After the eight-hour day, I knew I really didn’t want the job. The woman offered me the job and I awkwardly turned it down. She was very upset, but I knew if I took that job I wouldn’t be happy. Plus, the interview process was like that then they would probably have treated me worse when I had the job. If I had to do it again, I would have left the job interview earlier once I knew in my gut it wasn’t the job for me.

The third job interview was for the job I have now. I went through a series of phone calls and in person interviews before I was offered the job. The head of the company interviewed me on the phone for an hour and he sold the company to me. He was so friendly and passionate about the company that I knew I wanted to work there. Plus, he laughed at my lame jokes.

 

 

Sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to get experience or the job you want.

If you’ve been reading my blog during this adult-transitioning period, you’re probably aware that I commute an hour to and from work each day. Sure, that may seem cruel and unusual punishment to some, but to me it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to get the experience from this job. Sacrifices you need to make may mean taking an unpaid internship (my brother did this and was offered a full time job from it), working a lower income job in a company you want to work for, or even moving to a far place. If you need to make the same commute sacrifice like I did, make sure you read this post and this post. It’ll save your sanity.

If you don’t know what you want to do, try out different positions.

We’re often directed to go to college to find out what we want to do, but sometimes you really don’t know what you want to do and that’s okay. I changed my major four different times. I wanted to be a teacher and then the other three times I wanted (and still want) to work for a company that knows what it is like to be excited with fabrics. What really helped me realize that I didn’t want to be a teacher was taking a summer job as a camp counselor I realized running fifteen screaming children wasn’t the job for me (shout out to the fearless teachers out there). Sometimes you need to act the part of the job to realize it’s definitely not the job for you.

If you’re lost in what career you want, write down everything you find important in a career.

Since I had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to do, I wrote down everything I wanted in a career. I want a job where I can be creative, work with others, make a difference, work with social media, possibly travel, and eventually work with fashion or textiles. Once I wrote down all of the different things I wanted out of my job I then mapped out what kind of skills I needed in order to achieve all of those things. Do I need more experience with social media? Do I know enough influencers do work in public relations? The more I thought about it the more questions I had. This is a great way to start mapping our your career if you don’t know where to go after you graduate.

It’s okay to set big dreams as long as you know how you’re going to work your way towards that goal.

I’m a dreamer. I don’t stop short of thinking of all the possibilities life has to offer and neither should you. You want to write for a magazine or online publications? You can do it. You want to start a company and become your own boss? You can do it. You want to become a travel agent and travel the world? You can do it. As long as you’re willing to put in the time, sacrifices, and commitment to landing your dream job you can do it. That may mean getting experience at other jobs and working your way up to that goal. It may mean working longer nights than you thought were possible. It may even mean giving up an opportunity to go somewhere with friends in order to focus on that goal. If you’re willing to make these sacrifices and work towards that goal you can achieve anything.

From one college grad to another, you got this.

If you already have graduated college what was it like finding a job? Do you have any tips for recent grads or someone still finding a job they love? If you’re still in college or starting college, what is your dream job?

As always,

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Fashion Has a Way of Repeating Itself

Hello darling! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little mini series on renaissance fashion. If you haven’t seen my last pots on renaissance inspired fashion trends and designers using renaissance fashion click on those links.

The only item that does not have some renaissance meaning in this outfit is my shoes. Even my hair has a reasoning for being the way it is. The renaissance period definitely had trends we wouldn’t try to recreate but there are a few that we can take notes on.

Hair.

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you’ve probably realized that I pretty much only wear my hair curly or straight. I do have one post in the beginning of my blogging career where I wear my hair up but that was about three years ago. Anyway, during the renaissance, women used to be obsessed with high hairlines. They liked to have the appearance of having a huge forehead and actually plucked out hairs to draw back their hairline. If you think about it or look at the pictures in my last post you can actually see the women’s hairline falling on the back of their heads. I didn’t want to go that drastic (I like my forehead the way it is) so I decided to do a high ponytail to show off my forehead. Never thought I’d say that in a blog post…

 

As for my hair color, if I were trying to drastically recreate a renaissance look; I would have blonde hair in this post. Blondes were very sought out after and women actually tried to dye their hair lighter with alum, sulfur, and soda. Women would have to sit outside in the sun to bleach their hair but this was a very hard process because they wanted to have pale skin. So they would sit outside for hours covered in clothes to protect their skin. I’ll stick to my brunette/red hair thank you very much!

 

 

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Velvet Skirt.

If you saw my last two posts you would know that velvet was a very important textile in the renaissance period. Rich women would show their class by wearing velvet and other materials such as lace, linen, and silk. This skirt is definitely a more modern skirt because the ones the women would wear in the renaissance would be large and in charge. They would include a wheel farthingale that would make their but look big. The dress would  reach the floor and be expanded in every direction. Since I wanted to include another textile used in the renaissance period, I thought it would be best to wear a shorter skirt.

Lace Tights.

Lace was another very important textile to the renaissance period and was relatively new. It was invented in the 16th century was was affordable by only the wealthy. Lace was worn on sleeves, ruffs, corsets, skirts, anything you name it. If you were wearing lace it was known that you were a very wealthy individual because it showed that you did not have to lift a finger. Lace is now a more versatile textile in today’s society and not nearly as expensive because machines can make it. The lace tights I am wearing are very old and I adore pairing them with any plain skirt or dress because it adds a little something to every outfit. I wanted to pair it with thigh high boots because showing the entire lace tights would be a little too much in this outfit already over the top outfit.

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Statement Sleeves.

The women in the renaissance had sleeves that would attach to their corset or shirt. Not all sleeves were attachable but most of them were. They were also usually decked out in jewels and lace. Some of the shirts would billow out and some would scrunch up at the wrist. Since I’ve never tried statement sleeves, I decided to borrow my roommate’s shirt (don’t worry, she knows) and incorporate it in this outfit. This is definitely a fun element to add to an outfit, but I admit… it’s just not me. I find the sleeves a little bit distracting because of their large and in charge nature. It would definitely be a fun shirt to dance in though. I hand it to the renaissance women… they knew how to add some “wow” factor into their outfits.

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Statement Necklace. 

Okay, this clearly isn’t a ruff, but it will have to do. I put on this necklace to imitate the impressive, lace collar the renaissance women would wear. Since some women wore jewels and rhinestones underneath their ruff or even just in replace of the ruff, I thought I could get away with it. You’ll have to let me know in the comments down below if you agree.

Pearl Earrings.

Like jewels and gemstones, pearls were also highly sought after. After all, The Girl With The Pearl Earring was painted during the renaissance. Pearls were often attached to garments and worn as jewelry as they are today. I pretty much wear my pearl earrings every day and now I can think about girls many years ago were wearing them too.

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What do you think about the renaissance period? Would you try some of these fashion trends or do you think they’re better left in the past? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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5 Renaissance Inspired Fashion Trends You Can Try Now

Hello darling! If you saw my last post, you hopefully have realized I have started a mini series about renaissance fashion. My last post was showcasing high end fashion designers using tools from the renaissance into 21st century ready to wear fashion. Sometimes it is very hard to wear runway clothing, imitate runway clothing, or even find runway clothing for a budget you can afford. So, to make it a little bit easier for you, I’m showing a few trends that have been around in the 21st century that imitate the fashion trends in the renaissance period.

Statement Sleeves

During the renaissance, most dresses had attachable sleeves that were attached to the bodice by points or small ties. Many of the sleeves were different styles such as formfitting, puffy, and bellowed out sleeves. Some were decorated with ribbons, bows, lace, pearls, and other jewels. Usually sleeves ended with a cuff, but occasionally the sleeves would be exaggerated at the wrist.

I was very surprised at this trend coming back into the fashion world. These statement sleeves were all over the fall runway in New York last fall. This trend continues to thrive as fashion sleeves were in many stores this past summer and are still in stores as we head into the colder months. I have yet to try this trend, but I’m incredibly intrigued.

Ruff or Statement Necklaces

An accessory typically worn by children, men, and women during the renaissance period was a ruff. It was a white ruffled fabric made out of starched linen cambric and mixed with lace and was worn around the neck of a person. Since lace was a new textile and was incredibly time consuming to make, this garnet was usually worn by the higher class in the sixteenth century. The quality of the linen was incredibly different from out linen today because of the amount of thread used. For example, one ruff had a thread count of fifty threads to one centimeter. Sometimes people would wear huge necklaces underneath the ruff as seen in the second picture.

According to Encyclopedia of Fashion, the ruffs were a highly controversial accessory by the Protestants. They said that ruffs were “restricted movement considerably, and those who wore wide ruffs often had to eat with special long utensils so that they could reach their mouths.” I couldn’t imagine not being able to eat because I live, breathe, and die for fashion that much. It eventually got the point where in 1580 Queen Elizabeth I passed a law that limited the size of the ruff worn by people who were not associated with the court.  However, these sumptuary laws did not really have much effect as there were many laws about clothing.

To mimic the idea of a ruff in today’s fashion you can easily throw on a big statement necklace or choker. If you scroll on Pinterest, you’ll see endless ideas on how to wear statement necklaces over any type of outfit. These statement necklaces can be layered over everything such as a plain shirt, graphic shirt, a dress, or underneath a collar. This is a trend that will never really go out of style because it looks so effortlessly put together. You simply throw on a big necklace and you’re good to go. A new trend that is starting to emerge from the cracks is a choker necklace. This one is every closer to the ruff because it is so closely tied to the neck.

Maxi Dresses and Skirts

When one thinks of the renaissance period, he or she usually thinks of the intense full skirts. These skirts were given their shape through farthingales. Farthingales are hoops made out of cane, bone, or wood that are attached under the skirt and above a women’s butt. I couldn’t imagine walking around with a big thing attached to my butt.

Although we don’t wear farthingales underneath are skirts anymore, we continue to wear maxi dresses and skirts. These dresses and skirts continue to be present in our society because they’re incredibly comfy to wear. They’re probably one of the comfiest things to wear because they feel like yoga pants but look as if you worked really hard on your outfit. The 21st century fashion has the idea of making women look as small as possible which means women don’t wear these puffy dresses as they did in the renaissance. Despite this, these maxi dresses still give the allusion of elegance as the puffy dresses did in the renaissance.

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Corset or Waist Trainers.

During the renaissance, many women tried to imitate Queen Elizabeth’s small frame. In order to replicate her small torso they would use corsets that would flatten their stomach and breasts. Like us, people who lived in the renaissance were fixated on the idea of having a voluptuous butt and a small waist.

This trend one is foreign to me, but if you ever look at the Kardashians for inspiration they definitely have this trend down. If you scroll on Instagram you’re bound to find at least one ad for a waist trainer. They have become more and more apparent in our culture as we have become fixated on having the hourglass figure. Through the attention the Kardashians receive through their voluptuous butts we can see that this trend has not changed just the subtraction of the wheel farthingale. It is interesting because in the renaissance period there were many critiques about the exaggeration of the body shape. John Bulwer criticized the wheel farthingale “because it greatly exaggerated a woman’s hips.” Others agreed with him because they thought the purpose of clothing was to “cover nakedness, not to alter or glorify the body.” In our society we have that same critique about plastic surgery and waist trainers that force and adapt your body to look a certain way. History does seem to have a way of repeating itself.

 

 

Velvet and Lace.

Velvet and lace were used by the wealthy class as well as other rich materials such as taffeta, silk, and buckram. Lace was used as a form of embroidery like other materials such as ribbons, braids, fringes, pearls, and jewels. All of these materials are used still in our culture as are still pretty expensive. Since lace was a new found textile in the early 16th century, it was a very expensive textile and was typically only worn by rich people who could afford it.

In today’s society, velvet is usually associated with winter wardrobes and holiday outfits. Velvet is a great textile to wear in the winter months because of how warm it is. It is also a different texture you can add to an outfit to make it more interesting. As for lace, we often see it being used for weddings, formal events, and the occasional causal shirt. Whenever I have the chance to wear lace, I do. It is one those textures that instantly makes your outfit more sophisticated and romantic.

 

What reoccurring trend have you tried? Is there one that you’ll never try? I’ll be trying statement sleeves for the first time in my next post so be sure to check it out.

As always,

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