Well…the cat’s out of the bag – I’m headed to Thailand in exactly two weeks!
To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement. Southeast Asia is somewhere I have dreamed about for years and the fact that I get to live my dream is pure heart-pounding adrenaline. Yes, I’ve traveled extensively, hanging onto my last passport until it [ literally ] fell to shreds; but this is different – it feels so liberating to go on this trip with no real plans – just a backpack [ gasp! ], myself & my beautiful traveling companion.
In the meantime, I’ve compiled a lust list of items that are inspired by Thailand…breezy fabrics, eye-catching prints & a general laid back sensibility. Now, I’m sure you read that I will be venturing across the globe with only a backpack. This is not more surprising to anyone but me & I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell.
Vacation I’m coming for you!
A few things definitely going in my case:
These SHORTS are a staple & will go with everything
For days when I will want my feet to be COVEREDbut cool [ still taking my FAVORITE sneakers as well ]
VICTORIA’S SECRET swimsuits are perfect for travel because they mix & match – two tops & two bottoms is all you need
A convertible PAREO to transition from beach to temple to dinner.
A BREEZY dress for throwing on after steamy days will go perfectly with simple SANDALS
Make sure you stay tuned for how the *&@! I’m going to fit everything in a backpack. Any tips?
My music picks for February are all over the place & before I dive into them, I wanted to highlight a specific album I’ve been listening to a lot this February. The New Basement Tapes is a GROUP made up of incredibly talented musicians [ Elvis Costello & Marcus Mumford to name a few ] who got together to record tracks based on previously undisclosed handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan. It’s even more amazing than it sounds. I included one song on my PLAYLIST this month, but you’ve got to listen to each song to understand what I’m talking about. Do yourself a favor & go get thisALBUM. If you need more, you can always go back to the beginning with THE ORIGINAL Basement Tapes. Your ears will thank you.
Life Round Here // James Blake: for watching the snowfall [ or pretending to – I’m looking at you Cali ]
Restart // Sam Smith: for making Monday bearable
Sonnentanz // Klangkarussell: for daydreaming
Sugar // Maroon 5: for shamelessly singing in the shower
Morning // Beck: for reflecting [ on how Beck could have EVER won Album of the Year…just kidding, Kanye ]
All Eyes on You // St. Lucia: for girls night in
Overload // Life of Dillon: for the electric meets beach vibe
This post is a long time coming. Remember when I told you, I’ve been busy? Yeah, still busy, but working on it! Anyway, about a million years ago [ ok, 2 months ], HOLLIE asked me to guest post while she was away getting her elopement on. I immediately said yes [ she is awesome & her blog is equally so ] and I immediately knew what topic I would WRITE about.
GUEST POST: ELIZABETH FROM ADRIAN JAMES & HER BITCHY RESTING FACE
“Are you OK?”
“Wait, what happened?”
You guys…nothing happened. My face falls that way. And apparently that’s a problem. A super serious one. What’s it called? Resting Bitch Face, or RBF as I like to oh-so-scientifically call it. Suffering from this “dilemma” means that unbeknownst to me, about 9 times out of 10, while it may all be rainbows & unicorns in my head, the outside world thinks one one or all of the below:
a) I’m intensely suffering
b) I’m pre-menstrual
c) My friend just gave away the ending of Scandal’s mid-season winter finale
d) I just got charged $200 for a .7 mile Uber ride
I thought I was in a small majority of people who regularly put forth negative vibes into the world with their facial expressions. According to me, my posse of “no f#@%s given” consisted of myself, Mona Lisa, Kristen Stewart & the late night pizza delivery guy in college. Oh, how wrong I was. More recently, increasedAWARENESS has shed light on the RBF & in turn more & more RBFers have turned up. I mean, an entire episode of Below Deck focused on the DRAMZ that Kate’s bitchy face stirred up. Mo’ RBF = less $, mo’ probz for yachties apparently.
Since I can remember I’ve been rocking my RBF. Check out my 7th birthday video. Well, how could you really, but I’m telling you, it was present. My mom has a picture on her wall of me throwing shade. I’ve found out from now friends that they were afraid of me at first. Really? Most recently, I came across a picture from a certain blogging event & almost shrieked in both horror & hilarity at my RBF. #YOLO
Seriously though, I’ve tried to walk around with a perma grin & it’s just not natural & really no fun; plus, I sort of look serial-killeresque. I have definitely (especially after aforementioned blogger picture), made it a daily practice to be present & try not to be so harsh looking all the time. I’ve found that often, the root of this is stress & being inside my own head. I don’t know, maybe I should just smile for pictures?
As females, society places expectations for women to be happy/smiley/laughy all the time & a large majority just don’t naturally exude this effervescent quality in the form of facial expressions. Without a smile, many just jump to the conclusion that the person is, like, sooo bitchy. I wanted to let everyone know I am sooo NOT bitchy; I am happy, kooky, weird, silly, clumsy & yes … sometimes angry. But you’ll have to look past my RBF to find out.
Enough about my face. How self-centered of me. What do you guys think? Should we embrace the face or do RBFers need to turn that frown upside down?
Do yourself a favor & head over to Hollie’s blog, FANCYKINS. You’ll be glad you did.
[ playing at Alice + Olivia in SoHo 12.31.14 / jacket: Topshop [ sold out ] // jeans: Madewell // sneakers: Nike ]
I’ll admit I use the word obsessed a lot. What can I say, I get really involved & I have strong feelings about pretty much everything. Instead of obsessed, I think the word smitten may more accurately capture how I feel in a less aggressive way & a more hey-I-really-like-this-hint-hint way. Do you agree?
Here’s what’s currently got me smitten
1) Warmbeverages - Yes, it is cold in Chicago & yes, I have visions of beaches nearly obscuring my vision as I fight through bitingly cold winds on my way to work. Aside from the obvious coffee addiction, I’ve been warming up with YOGI SKIN DETOX tea [ in my FAVORITEMUG, of course ]. It has a mildly sweet, floral taste & has the added bonus of literally making your skin glow at a time when dry skin & other winter skin woes tend to occur. Because this tea has caffeine, at night I hop on the bandwagon [ see HERE ] & sip on BONE BROTH. Equally satisfying & full of health benefits [ proteins, minerals & vitamins for a healthy gut / collagen & keratin for healthy skin ], I was instantly hooked on this “liquid gold.” I have been using PACIFIC FOODS CHICKEN BONE BROTH [ 9g protein/1 cup! ], but have slowly been saving up enough chicken bones from my weekly roasted chicken to make my own homemade in the crock pot. I will be posting a recipe soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the upcoming weeks.
2) Smooth lips - Keeping lips from drying out & becoming flaky is tough during this time of year, but luckily I discovered BITE BEAUTY’S AGAVE LIP MASK. Throw it on before bed & in the morning lips are soft & smooth. If you want something for daytime, grab one with a hint of color [ HERE, HERE ]. While I haven’t tried it yet, I think the perfect combo would be to use the SCRUB followed by the mask for the ultimate rejuvenation. THIS caught my eye too [ anyone tried it? ].
3) Awards season- Since I can remember, the excitement of the Globes, the Grammys & the Oscars & has always sucked me in. I love the dresses, the movies, the speeches…everything! The past few years I haven’t paid much attention to the nominations, just who wins & what they wear, but this time around I’ve been really trying to see a majority of the movies. I started with Boyhood which I 110% recommend – there was something so touching in its simple yet groundbreaking portrayal of growing up. I was surprised at how emotional it made me. Others on my list include Wild, Birdman, The Imitation Game & American Sniper.
4) Athleisure [ hint: above picture is totally athleisure ] - Sweats as pants beyond the comforts of your room are a thing now – & I’m not mad about it. I love mixing a more casual piece with something dressier – it makes life more fun. I’ve fully embraced the athleisure trend with varying colors & styles of sneakers, but by far my favorite are the ROSHE RUN sneakers by Nike. I don’t know what it is, but they are the perfect casual shoe that instantly make your look ultra athleisure-ly. Side-but-important note: these are NOT workout shoes!
5) Toasty blankets - After a long day, there is nothing more perfect than cozying up into bed with a HEATED BLANKET. There really isn’t much more to say on this besides they are completely necessary for the brutally cold winter nights. Mood booster.
Thank you all for your words of encouragement & thoughtfulness regarding yesterday’s post [ see HERE ]. Clearly, I’m not the only one who has gone through something like this & it’s always nice to stay connected on not only the fun & amazing parts of blogging but the less than stellar stresses & road blocks that arise periodically – trust me, the good parts outweigh the bad!
Anyway, since my music selections each month were always a popular feature & one of my favorite things to put together being a music fanatic & all, I knew I’d bring my monthly playlists back for 2015; but, this time it’s in a slightly updated format. You can still listen to my ENTIRE PLAYLIST via Spotify, but I want to start highlighting select tunes each month that I can’t seem to turn off.
You Make Me Feel Good // Satin Jackets: for a dance party [ with friends or solo ]
Talking Body // Tove Lo: for the commute
Add Me In // Chris Brown: for Saturday night [ & if you really like math equations… ]
Ridin’ High // Lee Stevens: for getting over the Wednesday hump [ or Monday, or Tuesday… ]
Manhattan // Kings of Leon: for cleaning out your closet [ literally or figuratively ]
Stuck in a Second // Wildhart: for Sunday afternoon
While I could go into details, excuses & explanations, there’s really only two words that sum up my absence this past month: life happened.
I started this blog with the intention of sharing my life in a creative way as a means to inspire myself & [ hopefully ] others along the way, so how can life happened possibly be a valid reason for my absence when life happening is exactly what my blog sets out to explore? What it really comes down to is that my life collided in December, scattering in a million different directions – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it exactly what I had dreamed of. I had to reassess my priorities, my values & my purpose – at least for the time being. At the end of it all, there was no time left for the blog. Sure, I had extra hours, but I wasn’t invigorated or energized by the prospect of blogging as I had been before. It all just seemed…overwhelming.
To be clear, I started this blog during what was a lot of downtime for me – no real job & not much of a direction. As life has continued on [ & the need for a solid income ], I’ve explored my next moves & feel like I’ve found something very promising. Now that I’m in a bit more of a stable place, I’m ready to re-commit myself to Adrian James & to my readers. I’ve felt an enormous amount of guilt this past month for leaving everyone hanging without a peep & that guilt has only grown as I’ve let the days go by. Finally, I can say “I’m still here!”
I hope everyone understands my reason for taking a break. The last thing I want to do is to blog for blogging’s sake. As I started my blog & as I want to continue my blog, I strive for a purpose…it needs to feel authentically me…which, brings me to my next admission…I’ve struggled for the past year to make Adrian James feel authentically me. I know I have something unique to offer, but I don’t want to be generic…I want to be me…ideas, clothes, shoes, beauty, inspiration, food, health & all.
I wanted to let everyone know I’m still around – still inspired everyday by the idea of bringing my perspective & vision to Adrian James. This means I have to restructure my life & probably spend a little less time thinking & a lot more time doing. All I ask for is a little time to figure it all out. I’m working on balancing my life & while it gets there, my blog may go through some growing pains.
I may change my posting schedule to 3 x / week instead of 5, or something to that nature. I don’t want to pressure myself or make promises to myself that I cannot keep. Not only that, but I’m working on fresh new content & consistent features for Adrian James…I want more real life & less perfect life.
Can you guys relate? Any ideas of what you want to see or don’t want to see, please comment below as I take these next few weeks to plan out the future of the blog.
Moms can be tough to buy for. What do you get the woman who says she wants nothing yet totally deserves something special? I’ve brought together a list of a few ideas that I think would be perfect. You can never go wrong with something luxurious like CASHMERE or a nice LEATHER BAG. A little something to PAMPER her never hurt, either. If your mom is super stylish, get her this CAPE JACKET or BOOTS for a warm winter. Enjoy!
And the 2014 Holiday Gifting continues with a guide for those glam girls in your life who love chic silhouettes, glam accessories & a little [ faux ] fur. Black takes over the majority of their wardrobe but they aren’t afraid of a pop of color now & again – oxblood lip, anyone? Happy shopping!
This entire week will be dedicated to gifts, gifts, gifts so stay tuned for more guides to come!
A guide for the fitness fanatic was a no-brainer since fitness to street apparel is a huge trend right now. From URBAN OUTFITTERS [ the pattern! the print! ] to FOREVER 21 & ZELLA for NORDSTROM to the more obvious LULULEMON, ATHLETA, & NIKE, stores are definitely stepping up their game. This makes me very happy because if I can hop from barre to cocktails & still look cute, well, that’s a big win in my book.
The NEW ARRIVALS at Lululemon are so fun [ sequins anyone? ]. It just wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t include a BKR bottle & my fave QUEST bars [ helloooo S’Mores ]. How insanely gorgeous are these YOGA MATS? If you know a fitness fanatic in your life, this list has everything. Happy shopping!
To kick off the holidays, myself & some fellow bloggers joined forces to bring you our favorite items to gift & be given. We divided the items into three different baskets chock full of everything you’ll need this season to stay fashionable, host a party & most importantly, have fun. Without all of you, blogging wouldn’t really be much fun would it? Consider it our way of saying thanks.
When deciding what to contribute as my gift, I wanted my item [ ok, items…I couldn’t pick ] to be something I truly love & use. My BKR BOTTLE is basically attached to my hand, so this was an easy choice. Staying hydrated is important to me. Remember THIS? Plus, these glass bottles are eco-friendly & pretty to carry around. To top it off, no holiday season is complete without a bold red lip [ don’t forget to exfoliate first…dry Chicago winters can do a number on the pout ] & it’s no secret that BITE BEAUTY is an OBSESSION of mine. So lovely readers, as my contribution, I will be giving away: