Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone from A Little Bit of Ash. I cannot believe that 2011 is over and that it is 2012! I had an amazing year filled with lots of wonderful people and opportunities and I wanted to take the time to highlight some of the things that I am thankful for this year as well as what I'm looking forward to in the new year.

What I am thankful for in 2011:

- My amazing family and friends. I honestly feel like the luckiest girl in the world because of the incredible support system that I have. I know that because of them, I'll always have people to help me with anything I go through.

- My incredible boyfriend. There are not enough words to describe how happy he makes me and how lucky I am to have him in my life.

- My many wonderful vacations. I was in the Bahamas to ring in 2011, I went to San Francisco for the first time, and I had the most incredible vacation of my life in Italy this summer. I absolutely love to travel and am so thankful that I have many opportunities to do so.

- My internships. Throughout 2011 I interned at to do their fashion blogging, and was a public relations intern at Prada and PR Consulting. Not only was it really cool to be interning at some of the biggest names in the industry, but I learned so, so much. Sometimes, being an intern can be a little rough, but overall they taught me so much and I met so many amazing new friends and mentors. I am also very thankful to have worked my first New York Fashion Week and other fun events like Versace x H&M.

- That I turned 21!
- Learning my way around New York City better!
- My Seventeen Magazine photoshoot!
- My jaw feeling better after surgery!
- An amazing day hiking upstate at Mohonk Mountain House!
- Being inspired by McQueen at the Met!
- And most of all, being healthy, happy, and safe!

What I'm looking forward to in 2012:

- GRADUATION! I absolutely cannot wait to officially graduate from college and find my first, real, full-time job!
- A trip to Punta Cana in January (and hopefully a few other trips)!
- Helping my friend, Andrew Mukamal, with his blog, "Today's Look!"
- My friend Deborah's wedding!
- My two year anniversary with my boyfriend!
- Taking yoga and aerobics during my final semester and feeling more fit!
- Creating more amazing memories with my friends and family!
- F/W 2012 New York Fashion Week!
- Another happy, healthy, and safe year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seventeen Magazine Photoshoot

A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity of being in a Seventeen Magazine photoshoot for a "Hot Looks for Less" story in their special Prom issue. It just came out, so everyone should go out and pick up a copy because the issue is awesome!

The concept for the story was really cool. They picked four of us bloggers to style our own prom looks by using some of our own accessories and incorporating our own personal styles into the outfits. The shoot was SO much fun and everyone was so nice. I absolutely love how it turned out and so I am appreciative of Seventeen for giving me this opportunity!

So, everyone go pick up a copy of the issue and turn to page 126! Also, if you're looking for some great people to follow on Twitter, might I suggest Seventeen Mag and the other bloggers from the shoot: @SeventeenMag, @wordbyjessie, @Dashing_A, and @saraINKS.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spotlight On: New York for the Holidays

There truly is no place like New York during the holiday season. I feel so lucky to have grown up near such an amazing city. Some of my favorite holiday memories have been going to visit the tree in Rockefeller Center and seeing festive shows like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. NYC is featured in so many holiday movies and it is just such an iconic place to be during this time of year. So, I decided to list some of my favorite New York holiday hotspots that really get me in the Christmas spirit!

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is definitely touristy and overcrowded, but it's obviously a must-see. Even if you see it every year, the tree is always iconic and spectacular. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you turn the corner and see this thing lit up in all it's glory just a few days before Christmas. (@Christmas30Rock)

Bryant Park is another one of my favorites. There is so much to see and do here around the holiday season including another fabulous Christmas tree, ice skating at the Citi Pond at Bryant Park, and shopping at The Holiday Shops. My favorite pop up shop is the Ooh La La boutique - definitely check it out!(@BryantParkNYC & @TheHolidayShops & @OohlalaNY)

Take a walk down 6th Avenue. In addition to seeing Radio City looking its finest for the holidays, there are a number of other festive decorations including giant ornaments, huge Christmas lights, and colossal toy soldiers. Nothing like getting in the Christmas spirit through continuous photo ops.




Do some serious window shopping! It is very necessary to hit up all of the classics like Saks, Bloomingdales, Barney's, Bergdorf's, Bendel's, Tiffany, Cartier, etc. I love to compare them all and pick my favorite every year. Even though it's so hard to choose, I think for 2011, Bergdorf's is the winner!
(@Bergdorfs & @Saks & @Bloomingdales & @BarneysNY & @BendelGirls & @TiffanyAndCo  @Cartier)

The Plaza is always such a gorgeous, iconic place to visit, but this holiday season it's even better! This year, Betsey Johnson designed a Christmas tree that is inspired by Eloise! Personally, I can't think of a better collaboration. In addition to an amazing super-pink tree, Betsey Johnson also has a pop-up shop at The Plaza for the holidays. There's always room for new holiday traditions in my book! (@xoBetseyJohnson & @ThePlazaHotel & @ThePlazaEloise)

What are some of your favorite holiday spots in New York City?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

I've been so good this year so I feel like you should bring me something really special. I happen to have a few things in mind. I know these items are really expensive and all, but a girl can wish, right? I'll even leave some extra cookies out if you bring me one of these gorgeous classics. Just sayin'...

With Love,

1. Hermes Birkin Bag. Black would be great, but I really don't discriminate; so any color would be fine Santa!

2. Cartier Love Bracelet. You love me, don't you Santa?

3. Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120mm Black Pumps. I promise to wear these red soles well!

4. Chanel Classic Flap Bag. This would be the gift of a lifetime, Santa. Think about that.

5. David Yurman Cable Classics Bracelet. Santa, I'd always think of you when I look down at my wrist!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who Says Women Aren't Funny?

As I've mentioned before, I love to read, especially on the train during my commute to my internships. Three of the best books I've read lately are all by female comedians. It really bothers me when people say that women aren't funny because that's just not true! Women are just as funny, if not funnier, than men (hello, Bridesmaids!). These three books are each hilarious in their own way and made me love all of the authors even more. So, if you love comedy, regardless of gender, I suggest checking out these laugh-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts books ASAP!

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

If you like these, I also highly recommend Chelsea Handler's books or watching New Girl on FOX and Two Broke Girls on CBS. Happy reading laughing!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top Five: Celebrity Style Inspiration

I'm a big fan of Tumblr and blogs mainly because I adore perusing street style pictures. I get so inspired seeing how people put outfits together. I obviously love me some Bill Cunningham and The Sartorialist, but I also shamelessly love celebrity street style. There is something so interesting about seeing a celebrity's personal daily style as opposed to how a stylist dresses them on the red carpet. There are a few celebs that I feel have amazing personal style and I routinely stalk pictures of their street style. Here are my fall/winter picks:

1. Olivia Palermo. If you know me at all, you know that I am seriously obsessed with Olivia. If you watched The City, you know she may not be the nicest person alive, but regardless, she can put an outfit together like nobody else. She has a unique eye for fashion and I'm all for it. Seriously, I am a dedicated member of her fashion cult.

2. Rachel Zoe

3. Miranda Kerr

4. Lauren Conrad

5. Cat Deeley

In addition to these fabulous ladies, I also love the street style of Jessica Alba, Rihanna, Rachel Bilson, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Sienna Miller, Karlie Kloss, Reese Witherspoon, Camilla Belle, and Kate Middleton.

Which celebrities do you think have great style?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Way Out of My Price Range: My Fall Lust List

There are a ton of items that I have been coveting ever since I went through all of my amazing September issues. The problem is, most of them don't work with my intern salary, which is approximately zero dollars. A girl can dream though, right?
1. Miu Miu Trompe L'oeil Sandal 
2. Prada Baroque Sunglasses
3. Sam Edelman "Adena" Flat
4. Tory Burch Needlepoint Bond Shoulder Bag
5. Rag & Bone Leighton Cape
6. Prada clutch
7. Marc Jacobs Rose Guipure Lace Dress
8. Burberry Trench Coat
9. Alexander Wang Fabiana Cape Shoes
10. Stella McCartney Polka-Dot Sheer Knit Dress

What expensive items are you dying to have in your closet this season?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You a Part of the Intern Nation?

I just finished reading the book Intern Nation by Ross Perlin and it was certainly interesting to say the least! This book is basically the first exposé about the world of internships. It delves into the "darker" side of internships to debate what is actually legal vs. illegal and to discuss the widening gap between those who can afford to do internships and those who cannot.

Now, full disclosure: this book is NOT for everyone. The author has some strong opinions on internships (he is a former intern himself, FYI) and I don't agree with everything that he says. However, we have all either had a bad internship experience, or have heard about one. Regardless of your individual view on internships, the system for interns in America is definitely flawed and can use many changes. Either way, I feel that this book is a must-read for future/current/former interns because it is important to be knowledgeable about this industry that we are a big part of.

What I personally found most interesting about the book was the discussion of those who can afford to do internships, especially ones that are unpaid, and those who cannot. Many of our peers are missing out on gaining the valuable experience that we have because they (and their families) simply don't have the money to fund poorly paid, or more likely unpaid, internships. The author states that internships may be the best way to launch a career but those who cannot afford it may, "languish in an underworld of menial, low-wage work, trapped under a new glass ceiling or spirited away from particular professions. Internships are dividing us." He also speculates that today's interns will control critical professions and hold the top positions of power, while those who did not get the opportunity to intern will, "remain trapped in the basement of American life."

Although the author feels that the interning system needs serious changes, he does recognize the idea that internships are no longer an option - they are a necessity! That is something that I certainly felt throughout college and even more so and I come closer to graduation. I'm hoping that all of my internships and experience pays off in the end and that I am able to land an amazing job that I love!

What are your views on the current American internship system?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spotlight On: Buddakan & Chelsea Market

Last month my boyfriend and I wanted to go out to dinner in NYC to celebrate our year and a half anniversary. It was so hard to choose where to go because there are so many amazing dining options in New York. We ended up using my OpenTable app to make a reservation at Buddakan and I'm so happy we did!

First of all, Buddakan is technically in the Chelsea Market, even though the entrance to the restaurant is outside of it. If you've never been to the Chelsea Market, I highly recommend it! It's such a cute indoor shopping center that is filled with great shops and restaurants. There's classic favorites like Anthropologie and Hale and Hearty Soups in addition to places like Bar Suzette creperie, Fat Witch bakery, and One Lucky Duck organic restaurant. There is so much do to (and eat!) in the Chelsea Market and it has so much character that it's definitely worth a visit.

Buddakan itself is part of the Chelsea Market, but the entrance is outside. They call themselves "modern asian cuisine" but it is essentially an asian fusion restaurant. Regarless, it was awesome. When you first walk in, you are greeted at a front desk that almost resembles that of a hotel. When you turn around there is a huge bar/waiting area that is absolutely gorgeous. The actual seating area Buddakan is just as nice. The dim lighting along with the rich colors and festive decor make for a great ambiance and vibe throughout the restaurant.

The food was hands down the best part. To start, we ordered the sesame shrimp toast, tuna tartare spring rolls, and the pork potstickers. All of them were ridiculously good! Just thinking back on it is making my mouth water. As far as the main course goes, it's best to order a few entrees and sides and then split everything instead of getting individual meals. We ordered shacha chicken, charred filet of beef, and lobster fried rice on the side (a must!). For dessert, you absolutely CANNOT leave unless you order the crying chocolate. You seriously will regret it forever; it's that good!

In addition to the Buddakan here in NYC, there are also locations in Philly and Atlantic City. If you ever are looking for a delicious, trendy place to eat, I highly recommend stopping into Buddakan!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Ten Best Shows from London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks

New York Fashion Week was amazing for me because I actually got to experience it firsthand. However, dare I say it, I think some of the European shows managed to completely crush NYFW! Unfortunately, because I am neither a famous celebrity nor a top fashion editor, I didn't get to see any of those gorgeous shows in person. Personally, what I really love about the European shows is the amount of theatrics. The designers there truly understand that a fashion show is well, a show! Although there were very few I actually disliked (heres looking at you Kanye), there were ten that easily stood out as my favorites.

1. Prada (Milan): Seriously, nobody does it like Miuccia Prada. Every last detail in the collection was absolutely gorgeous. The 50s ladylike elements and pleats were beautiful yet the cars and the flames gave it a very "Grease-esque" edge. I love how she follows all the way through with the theme from the car set up in the venue down to the flames on the shoes (really though, how amazing are they?). Prada won last spring with 77 magazine covers and I predict another season of domination ahead!

2. Louis Vuitton (Paris): This collection honestly took my breath away. The clothes themselves were beautiful but the carousel in the middle with models perched on top is what really did it for me. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Marc Jacobs is a genius. From the pastel colors to all of the lace, everything about this collection was whimsical and pretty much perfect. Oh, and did I mention Kate Moss closed the show? Yeah. Enough said.

Getty Images

3. Chanel (Paris): Ok, Karl Lagerfeld, are you kidding me? This under-the-sea inspired collection was everything. To start, there were over 80 looks! That is positively insane in the best way, because there is no such thing as too much Chanel. There was the typical boxy tweed but in addition there were amazing pieces with new, creative fabrics, gorgeous ruffles, and an iridescent sheen to almost every look. And can we please discuss the pearls? There were pearls everywhere; even used a belts and going down the back of the model's necks. The mother-of-pearl of course was Florence Welch who sang in a huge shell. Perfection.

4. Mulberry (London): Let's be honest. London is usually the least hyped fashion week, but Mulberry definitely brought some excitement this year. Guests were greeted at the entrance with tons of balloon animals and ice cream which set the stage for a super fun collection. There were tons of pleated skirts and cute raincoats but the standouts were definitely the fun prints and the blinged-out bomber jacket.

5. Dolce & Gabbana (Milan): This collection was positively stunning. The inspiration was "picturesque summertime in a small town in southern Italy circa the 1950's" and I think they nailed it! It started off with large, colorful prints of vegetables and then slowly graduated into a sleeker, sophisticated vibe. If I had my way, I'd wear the two piece, vegetable prints during the day and then hit the town in the sexy, bejeweled dress at night. (Also below is a quick look at the gorgeous, and last ever, D&G collection.)

6. Alexander McQueen (Paris): Although nobody will ever come close to being as incredibly mind blowing as McQueen was himself, Sarah Burton is doing a fabulous job at maintaining his legacy. Like Chanel, the McQueen collection was also underwater inspired. What was truely inspiring here was the attention to detail. Every last ruffle was fully thought through and the contrast of the almost opaque fabrics with the black leather and lace was breath taking. And, in typical McQueen fashion, there were the gorgeous, but ever-creepy face masks.

7. Isabel Marant (Paris): Girlfriend never gets it wrong, and this collection was no different. She literally dishes up exactly what girls want to wear. This time around, everything had a very relaxec vibe to it. Sporty and comfortable, yet cute and stylish. What more could a girl ask for? Really though, I didn't even know I wanted red, tie-dye jeans until she told me I did.

8. Christopher Kane (London): This collection was pure magic. Everything about it just worked. From the fabric with a sheen to the floral appliqués, everything was stunning. The most amazing part though, is hearing what inspired Kane. He said he, "randomly came across some photographs of girls in grim council-estate bedrooms, the paper peeling off the walls behind them, their stickers and scrapbooks nearby." With this insight, you can truely see what a creative genius he is and how he is able to pull beauty from places that others cannot.

9. Nina Ricci (Paris): Well, they certainly weren't afraid to go after the lingerie trend for Spring, and I'm sort of loving it. I loved the detailed bra tops with the flouncy skirts. There were also some great florals, a surprisingly chic quilted leather jacket, beautiful floor length gowns, and some amazing structured hats. In other words, perfect attire for a sexy royal wedding.

10. Stella McCartney (Paris): Ahhh Stella, how I love thee. She called her collection a celebration of "energy, freshness, and fitness." How fitting. The clothes oozed of relaxed sexiness. For me, nothing can beat her fall LBD's with the sheer polka-dot insets, but the closing dresses this season came pretty darn close. The white mesh swirled with colorful embroidery looked fabulous on the runway and will definitely be a hit in real life as well. Plus, she showed paisley pajamas. I mean, really, what is more stylish to wear when blogging in bed?

What were some of your favorite shows from London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks?