Breaking It Down and Dirty at 305 Fitness

Friday, May 31, 2013

Despite the fact that I danced at a studio for many years as a kid - and even on my high school dance team in front of the entire student body - I would never be able to tell you that I am a good dancer. In fact, I'm pretty sure others feel uncomfortable watching me dance because of my alternative skill set - I have zero grace, a little rhythm and feel most comfortable butchering step routines and crumping. (Insert Nick's horrified face here). 

However, I never pass up the opportunity to entertain with my sweet moves. So, when I was invited by a new friend to go to a Miami nightclub-themed dance cardio class called 305 Fitness, naturally I said yes.  

305 Fitness Party from 305 Fitness: Sweat is Sexy on Vimeo.

Inspiration Fix: Books on Chairs, Chairs on Books

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On my amazing surprise trip to Florida this weekend, I brought along my copy of Design Sponge at Home by brilliant writer/blogger Grace Bonney. I've read it cover to cover before but always bust it out when I'm feeling hard up for some inspiration. This book is the home decor bible. It has amazing photos of beautiful and creative interiors (many of which are small spaces) decorating basics, DIY projects and even the makings of a working toolbox. If you hate all of those things, it also makes a gorge coffee table book. 

Hey Boyfriend Jeans, I love you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I have a serious meaningful love affair with anything classically found in a man's closet. Over-sized button downs, waffle tees with the sleeves rolled up, big soft t-shirts, it's all so much more comfortable and alluring than almost any women's top I own. However, I have always had trouble fitting into men's pants which is just annoying.

The boyfriend jean trend entered my life while I was still in college a la something I saw somewhere on the internet and copied immediately. I tried out a few different styles - some too baggy, some too tight, some too harem-y. Nick hated them all which assured me I was onto something good.

DIY Shabby Chic Thrifted Chest

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I love Housing Works. Most economical NYers have been to a Housing Works Thrift Shop or Bookstore at least a few times during their journey to furbish bare apartments on non-existent budgets, perusing the rows of personal treasures past their prime. Although, some may not know that Housing Works is actually a much larger operation whose real purpose is providing advocacy and services to end homelessness and AIDS around the world - their thrift shops are simply an arm of their fundraising efforts. And I am a tireless supporter in that I almost always find something amazing to bring home with me. 

The first piece of real furniture I bought up here (real like not made of whatever everything in IKEA is made of) was from Housing Works.

It's the only large-ish item that made the move from girl apartment to co-ed apartment. I was shopping alone, it was heavy as hell, a hideous dark wood riddled with scratches and I needed it. I recruited Nick to come meet me in Chelsea to help me bring it to the curb and taxi it on up to the Upper East Side. 

This is a flattering picture. It was ugly.

Weekend Snapshots

Monday, May 20, 2013

What we did...

Finally saw The Great Gatsby (amazing).

Wandered Gramercy and admired the local real estate.

Things You Need Right Now: Floral Accents

Friday, May 17, 2013

As my friends and boyfriend can attest, I tend to dress as I decorate - "for women." I have a natural inclination towards Betty Draper-esque silhouettes when getting dressed up and my daily look consists mostly of skinny jeans and assorted over-sized sweaters or somewhat wrinkly t-shirts (casual dress-code in the work place is the jam). I'm much more interested in a high-neckline vs. cleavage because sweet statement necklaces totally clash with boobs and full skirts are more fun to twirl around in vs. yanking a skin-tight mini down every other step - you walk too much in NY for spandex mini skirts. You just do. 

This is the official warning of my disposition for any fashion-related posts I put out there to the world.

Event Survival

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Officially survived my event Tuesday night armed with the essentials: a healthy case of the caffeine shakes, a tight dress and a certifiable crazy person smile. We were able to raise money for a great cause and have a great time together as a staff while doing it. And I love the dynamic of events - how everyone takes on a role so different from their day-to-day one. It really allows you to get to know and trust your co-workers.

I have to admit that my favorite part of event planning is always choosing the decor and seeing how pretty the room looks when it all comes together. It dictates the entire mood of the evening and, in this case, we were aiming for uplifting with Springy whites and greens with sparse pops of pink and yellow in the bouquets. To quote my amazingly talented and humble florist, it's hard to make an ugly flower this time of year, but the peonies, hydrangeas, lilies and tulips were perfect. 

Tuesday's Mantra

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So, I work for a non-profit and a HUGE part of my job is event planning. Events are stressful messes full of logistics and egos but are also really fun and rewarding when you get to see your vision come to life. I have my first solo go at it tonight and have committed to repeating these two things some wise people once told me when I feel like jumping out the window: 

1. You will never ever ever, no matter how hard you try, please everyone. Some people cannot be pleased. I haven't decided how I feel about cursing on the blog yet but there's a good curse word for these people. 

2. When in doubt, take a deep breath. 

Wish me luck and wishing all of you an audacious Tuesday!

Photo Cred: Striking Thruths

xoxo Amanda

DIY Pretty Blue Planter

Sunday, May 12, 2013

In honor of Mother's Day (love you Mel!) I decided I'd post one of our projects that would make momma proud: our pretty DIY terrace planter. 

After touring 50+ apartments in the search for our place, we decided an outdoor space, no matter how small, was a necessity. Turns out, ask and you shall receive sista. Our outdoor space is indeed a small balcony, shared with a nosy elderly neighbor and made luxuriously private by a hip-height transparent diamond-weave divider. And I mean nosy neighbor like weekly risking her life to lean over and around the divider to see what's up over here.

After having a few stare-offs from the comfort of my couch with said neighbor, we decided to install an ivy planter on our divider in hopes of creating a nice little privacy wall that gradually obstructed the view. We had been wanting to try our hand at urban gardening anyway so this was a great excuse. Here's how we did it:

Things You Need Right Now: The Spring Jacket

Friday, May 10, 2013

Among the many differences between Florida and New York is weather (duh) and, in turn, your wardrobe. Accommodating actual seasons is bizarre. And holy hell was I painfully unprepared when I first moved here. 

Two years in, I am still building the different seasons of my closet and am thinking my next purchase will be this Northeastern thing called a Spring jacket. 

All of my friends know that I have ZERO qualms with blowing every last penny on something new and pretty to wear when I know, and they know, that I will whine and complain about how I have no money to go out for drinks or to spend on a quality meal as I near that dive to zero before my next paycheck. Then another paycheck, then spend it all, then wallow, then remember that I live in NYC where being poor is called 'making it happen' so then I'm good. 

In that spirit, I have been checking out Aritzia's new line of Spring jackets and am in love. There's denim, tweed, leather, camo, flowers, pastels, bright colors, general amazingness. 

Photo Cred: Aritzia

Decorating Pt. 1

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's an interesting thing when you move from your tiny NYC apartment you shared with your roommate - who was also a girl - to an even tinier NYC apartment with a man...he is surprisingly not cool with filling the entire place with your very carefully curated collection of amazing girl things. Which are mostly, unknowingly, very girly. Chevron print is girly. Throw pillows (at all) are girly? The color GOLD is girly?! Lacquered trays on tables are what!! Apparently, yes. To all of this. 

Enter the interesting task of gender neutral decorating. My boyfriend and I moved in together about 5 months ago and have found the task to be both challenging and hilarious as we attempt to incorporate mixed tastes, a small budget and an even smaller amount of square footage. I will probably never get as many metallic accents as I'd like in the place, but he will also never wallpaper the entirety of our apartment with his large collection of records like he'd hoped. Compromise? Compromise. 

Here's our progress so far:

Starting Now

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A little blog about a Floridian trying her hand at a bit of everything in New York City. Especially life, love...and the pursuit of pretty things, DIY projects, furbishing the tiny studio apartment I share with my main man and other adventures.

As a new baby blogger, I would love feedback and comments - I need all the help I can get!

Till next time...


p.s. Happy Cinco de Mayo!