Sushi

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Tonight is our very last night in Florida – the days went by SO fast. I had another lazy day today and my redness is starting to turn into tanness which is always a good thing. The food in Boca Raton has been absolutely amazing. From delicious meat on our first night in The Crown Room to last night’s tasty seafood in Steeplechase, we have definitely been spoiled for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even made it to Chill after a hearty lunch by the pool this afternoon, which is an exquisite ice cream bar, where I proceeded to devour an ice cream cookie sandwich (coffee ice cream tucked rightt in between two soft chocolate chunk cookies).

We are going for a bit more of a casual feel tonight, hence the silk Express shorts, and are trying a sushi restaurant right in town for dinner. I am very excited to see what this Sushi Pizza talk is all about…. I will definitely keep you posted tomorrow!

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Shirt: JCrew // Shorts: Express // Shoes: Chanel // Scarf: JMcLaughlin // Bracelet: Marc Jacobs

Gone to FL Pt. 2

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Another beautiful day in paradise!  Today was even better than yesterday in terms of weather – can you believe that? The sun was beaming and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in the sky. My face got a bit red though (sorry mom, I should have listened to you) so today I paid extra attention and lathered up in sun block. The pool was semi-crowded with kids, parents, young adults and grandparents all having a wonderful spring break weekend. Since I’ve been getting some much needed color, I needed to wear something loose and comfortable for dinner tonight. My skin was feeling a bit raw after a day in the sun so this dress was perfect to slip into.

We have an entire day left tomorrow which is so exciting because today felt like Sunday until I happily realized it wasn’t. I really don’t want to go back to NYC though…. Boca has been absolute heaven. Here’s to another day of sunshine and happiness! Hope you are having a great weekend!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 PS. If you want to see a more in depth day of my weekend, follow me on Instagram #cestmoinatashatravels!

Dress: Banana Republic // Wedges: French Connection // Lipstick: Nars Heat // Necklace: Rosebud Jules

Gone to FL

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe arrived early this morning and had the entire day to lay out in 80 degree Florida weather. We had a wonderful lunch outside by the pool and hung out the entire day at The Polo Club in Boca Raton. Being in a bathing suit outside in the warmth felt so unfamiliar but so fantastic.

For dinner, we ate at The Crown Room which is part of the Polo Club and we had the most fabulous meal. Apple Martinis, foie gras, filet mignon ,and ice cream sundaes to finish off.. all just for me. It has been an amazing day and I can’t wait for another few days here. My dinner outfit consisted of white pants, wedges, and a white shirt – I really went all out in my “summer white” outfit because I was SO excited to be down here. The short hair has been a lot easier to manage in warmer weather than I thought it would be – I am absolutely loving it.

To see a few more highlights of my trip, follow me on Instagram @cestmoinatasha!

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Florida Dreaming

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The boyfriend and I are off to Florida tomorrow! We planned this trip a few months back and I am thrilled we made the move and booked our plane tickets to Boca Raton. The winter in NYC has been horrid (no news there) and it’s time we get out of this rut to refresh and unwind. I am so excited to relax, hang out, be outside in the sun and spend some quality family time. I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be sunny and 80s this weekend. Hopefully, it will be a bit more springy when we get back next week.

Here are a few beachy inspired pictures that are getting me all jittery for our weekend getaway! If you’d like to take a look at my Florida adventures, follow me on Instagram!

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PS. If you missed last week’s Casual post, check it out for some jean inspiration! Also, here’s a peppy song to get you all excited for the upcoming spring weather!

Girl Power – Arkins

Simply put, we believe people and the planet are worth far more than profit. No matter how much money you amass as a company, at the end of the day you’re still just a person and you still only have this earth to live on. It’s shameful the waste and destruction that this industry induces. The more we grow as a company, the more we learn, and the more we learn, the more we feel the need to make it right.

– Germaine DeNigris, Arkins Co-Founder

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 7.55.24 AM{Germaine DeNigris – Image Via}

A few blog posts ago, I mentioned how fortunate I am to be surrounded by young & talented people. Germaine DeNigris, a friend whom I met in NYC, recently graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in apparel and fashion design. Since moving to NYC from Northern California, Germaine has not only become a successful model, working with brands such as Maybelline, L’Oreal and Macy’s, but she’s also started a very successful clothing company, Arkins.

Germaine creates and designs comfortable, easy to wear, versatile and sustainable garments, all made in Manhattan. Each piece is so unique and intriguing – extremely soft too, which is a huge plus in my book. Since I had been recently eying a few Arkins pieces via Instagram, Germaine was kind enough to invite me into her really cute & cozy Chelsea apartment to try a few on. I ended up leaving with a beautiful grey skirt and a really cute plaid shirt that I have already worn out and about. I am still eying this jacket though and may need to snag it sooner rather than later…

As we sat around and chatted with homemade brewed coffee in hand, Germaine was kind enough to tell me the story behind Arkins as I interesedly asked about her journey in launching this beautiful company – take a look here!

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1. What or whom inspired you to create a womenswear line? Have you always been interested in garments, fashion, the clothing industry etc.?

I was always in love with making things. When I was a kid, I would go to goodwill around the corner from my house, buy interesting garments, take them apart, and put them back together in different ways. I’ve always loved making art that you can wear and that is purposeful.

2. Arkins is a unique clothing line – you create garments from renewable wool, vegan leather, sustainable materials, that are all made in Manhattan. What made you choose to go that direction when creating your line?

We saw this as an opportunity to do more than just make art, we saw an opportunity to make a statement. People who shop with us want to make that statement too. Like us, they believe that our planet matters, that our people matter, and that these things deserve a different level of respect than the industry status quo.

3. Does your personal style reflect the clothing designs you create for Arkins?

I think so. I think my clothes relate to interesting, conscious, creative people who like to look put together but don’t want to fuss with their outfits.

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4. What does the name Arkins mean?

It was my Grandmothers maiden name. She was the epitome of the brand; community oriented, driven, artistic.

 5. What would you say is your best selling piece?

Our most popular piece has definitely been our Mandarin Kimono Dress. We’ve had people as young as 20 and as old as 75 place orders on this piece! It’s a flattering fit on anybody. The Mandarin Jacket has also been quite popular.

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6. You have been able to grow your business tremendously over these past few years. What’s your secret sauce? In other words, how have you been able to build this company so successfully from the ground up?

I think it’s been a wonderful combination of loving what I do, and having a supportive partner. I honestly wake up some mornings and can’t believe this is what I get to do. It’s so much fun and it’s never the same. If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed, Niki is always there to help me make a game plan to divide and conquer.

ArkinsAboutImage (640x360){Germaine and Niki – Image Via}

7. What type of marketing and social media tools do you find most effective in terms of advertising Arkins?

Instagram has been our main focus because we like to use images to get our message across so it has yielded the best results, however Pinterest and Facebook are also great.

8. If you were able to do a collaboration with any company in the entire world, who would you choose and why?

I think a brand like Eileen Fisher could be interesting. They are a brand I really look up to in terms of what they have done for their local community and their commitment to sustainability is right on track with ours.

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9. Where can I buy Arkins? Do you have a store?

You can shop directly on our online shop, Shop-Arkins.com (currently having a 50% off sale!)  or our entire collection is also available in person at VCurated in Brooklyn.

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After learning so much about Arkins, Germain’s philosophy on shopping responsibly, and the steps she’s taken to grow her business, all I could think of was WOW. I felt inspired and proud that a 20 something year old woman from my generation created something this kick ass. Hence where the blog post title comes in – Girl Power. Girl Power to me is celebrating girls who are awesome and girls who create something they really believe in, which I thought was perfectly fitting here.

As spring is approaching, I am really excited to check out Arkins Spring Collection and to see what Germaine has in store!

Ps. Don’t forget to check out Shop-Arkins.com, currently having a 50% off sale!

*Images Photo Credit: Christina Emilie

Bridesmaid Gifts?

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I loved being a bridesmaid at my friend Casey’s wedding. I am extremely lucky to have had such a fun, drama free, first time experience. As people my age are getting engaged & married, I have been hearing tons of bridesmaid and bridezilla horror stories. Casey was thankfully the complete opposite of a bridezilla – she was so calm, inclusive in her decision making, conscious of people’s time, aware of activity costs, and I really could go on forever. She strived to make it a special day for all of us bridesmaids throughout the entire experience.

When I received not one but TWO gifts from Casey for being a bridesmaid, I was utterly confused (in a good way).“Why am I getting a beautiful Kate Spade Knotted Bracelet and a gorgeous black & white framed picture (see above)? All gifts should be for you, Casey!”  But apparently, bridesmaid gifts are an actual “thing.” Who knew! My curiosity about bridesmaid gifts led me to the ‘net where I scavenged for cute ideas and personal takes. Take a look!

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Have you received a cute bridesmaid gift? I would love to know all about it!

*All above pictures are taken from Pinterest

Recap

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2.24.15 was an amazing day. I truly had the best.time.ever and discovered that maybe 25 won’t be so bad after all. Mother/Daughter day went even better than I had imagined. Our first stop at 11:00 am was Maison Kayser for breakfast (a french bakery/restaurant). We had fresh croissants, warm baguettes, scrambled eggs and hot skim cappuccinos.
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After our carb-load, we walked over to Skin Spa where we spent most of the afternoon getting pampered – facial, massage, you name it. I was pleasently surprised with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot that we sipped on throughout our pampering session. That was the cherry on top of the afternoon. 
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 A day at the spa reminded me that I should really take care of myself once in a while. No wrinkles for me, please! 
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After we finished our spa treatments, we walked down Fifth Avenue and stopped by some of our favorite stores. Zara was at the top of my list this time around.. The day went by so fast we hardly realized it was time to head home to get all dolled up for our night out. I was so excited to dine on a fancy shmancy meal and happy that my brother would be joining us too. I’ve been to Le Bilboquet a few times and even though it can be a bit stuffy, the tuna tartar, foie gras and steak frites are just to die for.

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24 was great but 25 will be even better!

SHORT

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetToday I feel like a NEW woman! I cut off a huge chunk of my hair and boosted up the color with fun, blonde, polished highlights. I absolutely loveeeee it! I’m a creature of habit and once I find something I love, I tend to stick with it. My hairdresser Pascal, has been cutting my hair for over five years. I have followed him to every salon in the city because I won’t let anyone else touch my hair ( again, creature of habit). He is unbelievable and knows exactly how to style my curly/wavy hair.

He recently started working at a new salon, Roman K Salon, on Fifth Avenue. This is where he introduced me to the very talented colorist, Courtney Joy. Courtney and I really hit it off the first time we met at the salon. She’s fun, bubbly, and she always knows what’s ‘in’. I walked into the salon this morning and asked the duo for a FUN, NEW change. They went right to work and did JUST that..!IMG_5301IMG_5299As Courtney worked on my balyage ( more to come on what that means) we chatted and gossiped about what’s been recently going on in our lives. With a nice glass of Pinot, magazines and good company I hardly noticed all the work that was going on to get my hair as perfect as it turned out. 

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Courtney and Pascal are such a wealth of knowledge and they have endless beauty techniques. I always find myself asking both of them a lot of questions so I thought it would be fun to do a mini Pascal & Courtney interview. They were kind enough to let me share their answers up on the blog – see below!

1. What current trends are you seeing?

Pascal: Everybody is going shorter. We are taking off extensions because people want something natural but sexy. Clients want something fresh, wavy, beachy, bohemian and polished.

Courtney: Ombre is on its way out. I’m seeing more of a sun kissed highlight rather than the over processed bleached ends. Now it’s more graduated and the highlights are being brought higher up on the hair yet still not a traditional highlight. Clients are asking me to keep the ends lighter and have it faded from a dark to light starting higher up.

2. If someone were low maintenance, what sort of color/cut should they get?

Pascal:  There is no such thing as a low maintenance haircut. Getting a good cut should be part of your beauty routine. You ( anyone) should go to a hair salon every seven weeks. Everyone should look polished and should invest in a good cut. Taking good care of your hair really goes a long way and it should be second nature, like washing your face!

Courtney: You should not get any permanent hair color. A demi permanent, a gloss, just a few highlights (not directly to the root), is a perfect way to add some dimension to the hair without committing to the color permanently. But it’ important to note that not everybody is able to have a low maintenance color; grey hair is a good example and if you wanted to go from being naturally dark to super blonde that’s another example.

3. What are the best products to use for someone to maintain their color?

Courtney: I recommend for cooler blondes or cooler brunettes Shimmer Lights Shampoo from Clairol and the Shu Uemura Cool Blonde Purple conditioner. For warmer tones I recommend the Shu Uemura Golden Conditioner and always a Sulfate free Shampoo.

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4. What’s the deal with gloss?

Courtney: Gloss does many things depending how it’s being used and how it’s formulated. It can simply add shine, tone, condition, and in some cases adjust the natural color of the hair. I definitely recommend it, it seals the color & it keeps the longevity of the tone. There are different glosses out there – some for red heads, brunets, blonds etc.

 5. What’s the difference between foil highlights and balyage technique?

Courtney: Foil highlighting is more of an old school technique whereas balyage is considered hair painting. It’s a French technique and allows for more creative freedom & custom placement. With foil highlights you are creating a pattern through the hair whereas with balyage you can create a skinnier root of highlight and a chunkier end allowing it to be more natural in the root area and poppy on the ends. The head is round and foil is square so you’ll never get the foil to the root. It doesn’t follow the shape of the hair whereas balyage I can get into the little parts of the hair.

6. What’s your secret weapon? What’s the one product you couldn’t go without?

Pascal: Kerastase has really good products to use before blow drying or straightening hair. I always use a protective serum of some kind to ensure the hair doesn’t burn or dry up.

Courtney: Dry Shampoo. It helps keep the hair in good condition because you’re not washing everyday. It keeps the longevity of the hair color. Kerastase dry shampoo is my go to.

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Follow Courtney on instagram @blondegonetitanium and Pascal @pascalgny to check out more of their talented work!

Now I am off to enjoy the new me and hit the NYC snowy town on this Saturday night!