Saturday, March 9, 2013

Did you fall off the world?

That's the cute, little kid way of asking, hey, where've you been? The answer for me is: right here. And I mean, in the past year since I actively updated this blog (sorry), I literally haven't gone anywhere. Ok, so I do move around, a little, sometimes. ;)

In all seriousness, I'm pretty much in the same place I was one year ago (minus the sweet apartment I technically could not afford). I'm still living in the Boston area, though I was bent on high-tailing it to New York long ago and never looking back. I still visit New York; I wave to it from a distance and yes, sometimes blow it a kiss. I still have dreams of staying there on a more permanent basis. But the longer I'm here in New England, on the south "shuah" (that's "shore," sort of), the more Mary Lou's coffees I gulp down and treks to the beach I make, even - and especially - on snowy winter days, I realize just how much I've become attached to this strange and charming place. The honeymoon isn't over quite yet.

I'm still writing. Still making music. Still telling stories. The fact that my day job involves writing at all still thrills me. Not that it's all roses, of course; on the difficult days, 15 hours in, when I'm ready to flee and do something easier, I remember when things were "easier," when I was doing some job and not my calling, and how much harder that actually was. So at this point, I'm grateful, happy to be where I am and doing what I'm doing. As the saying goes, "Wherever you go, there you are."

And speaking of going places, although I claim contentment in my surroundings, I still feel that pesky ol' travel bug biting me now and then. While I sometimes make mini road trips around the region, truth be told I don't get out much (curse of a writer; chained to the desk). I keep daydreaming about buying a plane ticket to some place far away, or selling my Neon (yup) for a VW van and following all of Route 66. Well, enough of the daydreaming... Dreams are just reality waiting to happen. :)

This is the year I'm going to stop daydreaming and do something. Call it a late New Year's resolution; who says you can't make them in March? After all, the weather has decided that it's still very much winter, so I'm thinking I have some leeway. Besides, I haven't even started my ramped-up diet and exercise plan yet. Whoops. :P

Of the many goals I want to accomplish, including publish a novel (or ten), record an album (or 50), win a Pulitzer, fly to the moon... Traveling to Europe is pretty high on my list. So now that I'm determined to make it happen, soon, it's just a matter of which country (or countries?), and when?

And, oh, yes-- what to wear? (Lest we forget that this is a fashion blog...)

And another "oh, yes"... How to do it on the cheap? See, I'm not a best-selling author or award-winning journalist, yet. I'm not a trust fund kid (although I'm sure I'd be great at that!). I am by no means independently wealthy or, well, wealthy at all. But I have dreams, darn it, and that's why God made credit cards. Er, I mean, that's why I'll search for travel deals and save my pennies. And buy less shoes. ;)

Some of my lovely blogger friends are already in Europe and know of many wonderful places to wander to, I'm sure! Will you help me? And let me know what you're looking forward to this year, and how in the past year you've changed. I'll ask you what I ask all of my story sources when I'm looking for a scoop (I swear, it works): "What's new and exciting?"

I'll tell you what's new and exciting for me... After months of hemming and hawing last spring, I finally caved and bought my very first Taylor guitar. It was a splurge but a calculated one; I cut back my spending and put the guitar on layaway and spent months making weekly payments (the guys at the local music store must've liked me, since usually the layaway policy is for 30 days). I didn't buy the Cadillac of Taylors, but this one still took quite a bite out of my income. I picked one of the least expensive American-made guitars that Taylor makes, because buying American is important to me; that was a priority in my purchasing decision. It was the right decision. I took the guitar home in September, the day after I went solo to a Jason Mraz concert and fell in love with music all over again. The next morning, I couldn't stand just making payments anymore; I wanted to bring that beautiful mahogany guitar home! So I marched into the music store and forked over the rest of the money. Now, I play my Taylor daily. And I've started a band. Life is good.

Wow, a long post, but we've had catching up to do! I hope to hear from you, and how you've been. Tell me, what's new and exciting for you this year?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mindy Kaling is my hero, and other news

Bummed about missing NY Fashion Week? I sure am. There's nothing that sounds like more fun than cramming into a crowded room at the Lincoln Center, standing in the way-way-way back because you write for your own blog, not for Vogue (even if you wrote for Vogue, you'd probably still be in the back-ish because your name is not Suri Cruise) to watch the gazelles strut their stuff in feathers, sequins and scary-high heels.

What, that doesn't sound like a good time to you? Are you kidding me?

I've never been to an official Fashion Week show before. I've worked backstage on smaller-scale stuff, having once aspired to be an editorial assistant (ok, I still kind of aspire to that). Basically I was Whitney on the Hills before she moved to the City, except I didn't intern at Teen Vogue. [Hmm, what's with the Vogue brand getting all these shout-outs from me today? Yeesh, you'd think they paid me or something. By the way, see their eensy-weensy ad somewhere on this page if you'd like a subscription. :P].

But I digress.

I used to follow various fashion weeks religiously and blog them for both Ip & Audrey and a site called Green Cotton, where I would try to cover the "green" angle. In mainstream fashion, that was tough. Despite all the knowledge out there about sustainable fabrics, why they're better than conventional ones, and why everything else really sucks for the environment, designers still use nasty chemically-processed textiles and cheap labor to fashion their wares. And that's a bummer, but hey, clothes are pretty. 

Back when I blogged more extensively, I was either working part-time retail jobs (I used to work at Borders, Ann Taylor and as a writer/assistant for an independent online fashion retailer) and freelance writing or working nine to fives that allowed me plenty of free time to blog (and 'journalize' for local papers) at night. Then last year, I landed a full-time news reporting job, and as I've said many times, just got too darn busy to keep up with the fashion world. I'm much more focused on the happenings in local government these days, but I definitely miss fashion. It's fun and frivolous, sure, but we all need a little frivolity now and then, don't we?

That's why I love the hilarious contributions from Mindy Kaling over the past week, who tweeted on Fashion Week in abstentia. Her fantasy version of events seems way more fun than actually attending NYFW in real life. Here are a few of my favorite tweets:

Was late to Alexander Wang bc couldn't drag Adrien Brody out of bed at Trump Soho. Fearne Cotton put her backpack on my seat, tho yay

 At Y-3, Joseph Gordon Leavitt asked who made my bra. "they're bespoke, of course." "Huh?" he responded, unable to hear over the din.

Great, nearly blinded by a rhinestone flung off a gown at Jenny Packham. Adrien and I now at Columbia Presbyterian.

Took off heels and pretended to be Malia Obama to sit front row at Prabal Gurung. It worked until Tavi & Anderson Cooper ratted me out

. ummmm.... I wasn't at any fashion show. think you mistook some other pale grey haired guy for me. Probably Tim Gunn 

Is this a joke? Ryan Lochte is sitting in my seat at Tory Burch! Texted Ronan Farrow about it, he was giving a symposium or something

Aziz Anari got in on the fake tweeting, too:

  got you & Skaarsgard on list for Alex Wang party. Secret location is Whole Foods on Bowery (VIP area: frozen foods.)

Seriously, what would we do without comedians to provide hilarious faux-insider fake fashion week tweets? The world truly is an inspiring place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How not to blog

Chloe's found her top napping spot.
It is a truth (almost) universally acknowledged that a successful blog is one that features near-daily updates; not once every six months. I ceased updating Ip & Audrey on a regular basis once I accomplished a long-held career goal: to start a full-time reporting job. I've been reporting for just over a year now, and told myself months ago that I'd get used to the pace and things would slow down, eventually. Well, I can report (ha; pun!) that I have yet to get used to the break-neck pace - in news, there's always a feast or a famine, and during a famine you have to scramble to find worthwhile morsels of information - nor has the pace slowed long enough for me to catch my breath. But! I miss blogging and have pledged to post more regularly.

I was ready to abandon this blog altogether and start over somewhere new; while I still maintain my tumblr, twitter and Pinterest accounts, this site remains to be my main outpost, and I hate seeing it neglected. So here's to getting back into the swing of things. I hope to make some changes to the layout and format of my blog posts, and I can't promise that Ip & Audrey will stay at this URL forever... but according to my traffic tracker, this page is still getting traffic, which shocks me, quite frankly, so I'm willing to keep giving it a go if some of you are still with me! And so: fashion posts, and so forth, coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March loves

Springtime is in the air... or should I say summer? I don't know about your corner of the world, but in mine, it's been downright balmy. And I say, bring it. We've had an exceptionally mild winter. I've kept most of my itchy sweaters and clunky boots stashed... and I prefer to keep them that way. Break out the bare legs and ballet flats... here's to an early spring!

A few things I'm loving right now...

Lace dresses + sparkly shoes

Lavender polish...Lavender macarons. Mmm...

Robin's egg blue

Nautical-chicA good listen...

A good read.

A frilly apron...

And vegan eats!

Last, but not least, a yummy treat! (This stuff is so good, it's insane!)

These are some of my picks for early spring. What are yours?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oh Taylor, my Taylor

To me, musical instruments are like fashion accessories. For one thing, they can be expensive; the higher the quality, like handbags - obviously - the higher the price. And the right guitar can really make your outfit.For as long as I've been playing guitar (almost 18 years now! goodness!), I have longed to own a Taylor. Think of it as the musical equivalent of a quilted Chanel bag: gorgeous, stylish, classic, timeless. Taylor guitars are quite simply the best, in my opinion; you simply can't rival the feel and the sound. They're often made from Indian rosewood (doesn't that sound lovely?) and emit a warm, folksy tone. This is why they're often favored by country musicians:

Taylor probably gets free Taylors since her name is Taylor. Hate her.

Alas, I'm not a big fan of this Taylor. I prefer her Norwegian equivalent, Marit Larsen, who also plays Taylors. In fact, I saw Marit last month at Cambridge's Club Passim; she walked right by me carrying her Taylor in one hand, a mug of beer in another. And she was dressed in classy, head-to-toe black and white. Chanel would approve.

Marit Larsen, totally playing a Taylor.

This year, at the ripe old age of 27 (going on 28!), it's my goal to finally own one of these beauties. I have my eye on several different Taylor models. I won't bore you with the details, but trust me; they're all equally decadent and sheer joy to play.

Me with my Ibanez guitar, circa 2004, 2005. Sadly, not a Taylor.

For the price of my favorite Taylor, I could buy a brand new Chanel bag; or several dresses from Anthropologie; or pay off my car; or a student loan (blah). I will probably go with a lower-end model (happy tax return!), but Taylors are wonderful in that even the "entry-level" versions sound better than many higher-end guitars. They're just that good.

Like a good knockoff bag, cheap guitars still look pretty. Shhh.

Anything will sound better than my current guitar, which squeaks annoyingly as I slide up and down the fretboard. I prefer an instrument that's going to sing right along with me. Recently, I took my first vacation in my new reporter job, and I spent nearly the entire week trying out Taylors in various music stores. Heaven. It may seem like a waste of precious vacay time to some, but I'd do it all over again.

The dress: a $5 steal from Gap. The guitar? A $25 steal from a yard sale. I kid you not.

I will keep you posted on my quest for my dream Taylor... sigh. Next up? My search for the perfect non-leather tote... that is big enough hold all of my stuff - reporter's notebooks, pens, recorder, press pass, makeup bag - durable enough to throw down anywhere, and somehow looks, feels, and generally behaves like leather. Impossible? I beg to differ. I'm hitting up Aldo, H&M, Fossil, Modcloth and Macy's to compare and contrast. Any other destinations I should try? I'd love to know your suggestions... sound off in the comments!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello, hello!

Dear readers,

New themes and templates are being explored to get this here fashion blog back up and running. Also considering a domain change, too. As always, I will keep you posted! Thanks for visiting.