Thursday, August 24, 2017

Transitioning Into Fall With Pastels

If you know me, you'll probably know that I am pretty much ecstatic writing a post with this title because of all my many passions in this life, two of those at the very top of the list are 1) pastels - duh - and 2) FALL. I am so ready for fall, and I don't really mind ignoring what might be socially acceptable right now and dressing for fall in what is technically still summer just for the sake of preparing for my favorite season. And of course, beyond that, it's great to be thinking about how to switch up your wardrobe to fit with this transition into colder weather over the upcoming weeks! 

As I've mentioned (here and many other times), I adore pastels and always love incorporating them into my closet. I think they work particularly well for the progression into fall because they add subtle, pretty color into what would otherwise be a darker look. For this outfit, I tucked a Lila Rose cold shoulder pastel pink top with adorable bell sleeves into a regular black a-line skirt from Forever 21. To add to the look, I opted for fishnet tights that incorporated a lot more detail fit for fall into the outfit.

Continuing with the pops of lighter color, I matched the outfit with my everyday white Coach crossbody bag. Because I wanted the hints of pink and white to be the focus of the outfit, I chose my favorite black faux suede booties by Aerosoles with gold buckle detailing to finish off the look. The finished result appeared super chic with a bit of an edge, which I loved!

I just cannot wait for more fall looks...

xx Erin Nicole 


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Finding Inspiration Without Envy

One evening about a month ago I was scrolling through Instagram when I stumbled upon a fellow NYC-based blogger's account. I was intrigued by her pictures and street style and I started to look through her blog and photos from over the past few months. It wasn't long at all before I started realizing how incredibly talented and beautiful she was, and, of course, before I was suddenly becoming all too aware of all the things I lacked as a blogger... and as a person... you know the deal...

Now, I could very well have been just a bit overly emotional that night (that time of the month, maybe?), but I literally started to cry over how inadequate I felt after looking at how perfect this girl was. All of her outfits were trendy, her pictures were so well done and her editing was so unique, and on top of all that, she was absolutely stunning. It seemed to me that she embodied the best aspects of style in New York City, and while I was happy for her, I couldn't help but start to see myself as someone who didn't fit in at all in the blogging world. Suddenly, my shortcomings were amplified. As I compared myself more and more to this girl, I continued to feel worse about myself.

A few weeks later, oddly enough, the same girl that appeared completely perfect to me started posting about how she had been struggling with comparison lately. When she first mentioned it at the beginning of the week I was a little shocked (because, you know, I thought she was totally perfect and how in the world could she not think that about herself, etc. etc. etc., as we all like to think so blindly and foolishly at times..). A few days later, she posted an Instagram story of the subtitled screen at the church service she was currently attending. It showed the preacher with the following quote:

"The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else."

She captioned the photo with something to the point of, "Funny because this is exactly what I've been dealing with this week." By that point, I decided to message her to tell her that I was so shocked to see she was doubting herself because when I first found her blog I was stunned at how great her work was. She responded so nicely, saying thanks so much and that yes, of course, everyone struggles with comparison even though we know it's so bad to do. This was the coolest experience to me because she was the one who I originally was all bent out of shape over for being so darn PERFECT, and while I decided against telling her that I literally cried when I first compared myself to her (because, ok, that's actually so creepy), I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to tell her how great of a job she was doing. And strangely enough, it was also the perfect opportunity - or super-sugar-coated slap in the face - for me to learn that it was so dumb to think that she was flawless and that I was just so inadequate. 

The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else. It has become increasingly heartbreaking to me to know that comparison is something we all deal with, especially bloggers like myself, because the things we are criticizing about ourselves are some of the most important things in our lives. Blogging is my outlet - it's something that has made me so much more myself, and I love it for that. It's where I can create and express my thoughts and give to the world. And my blog, that part of myself that is so important to me, is exactly what I am tearing down when I compare myself. It's so, so saddening. 

Seeing the successfulness in others is, in many ways, a good thing. We should be recognizing the greatness around us and appreciating those people for what they are and what they are capable of - but we CANNOT compare ourselves. Comparison is where inspiration is changed into envy. One thing that I struggle with so, so often is letting my admiration of others turn into jealousy, which not only makes me dislike my own work, but also keeps me from properly appreciating theirs in the first place. I think ever since the incident with the other blogger, above all else, I have learned this: 

It isn't her against you. It's her alongside you.

I believe that our society, for the most part, has a collective issue of believing that success is something definite and limited, and that if one other person has a lot of it then it means we have less. I also think that girls specifically struggle with this when it comes to comparing ourselves; we see another beautiful girl and feel that she takes away from our beauty (as if the amount of beauty surrounding us must be definite) rather than believing we are all simply adding more beauty to the world together. And this is a huge problem. Because it isn't her against you. It's her alongside you.

It's so good to have people around us who inspire us and challenge us to be better versions of ourselves, because we get better that way. We should be surrounding ourselves with people who make us better. But this being said, we should also be recognizing our own talents and worth. We should be appreciating others and appreciating ourselves.

I think that it is so, so important to have an identity, because without it we are tempted to imitate everyone else around us who we believe is so much better. Your identity should be your foundation. We have to recognize that our identity is different from each other person's and that our success will probably look a lot different from theirs. If you don't know who you are then you start to want to become just like whoever you're jealous over in the moment. When you know your own style and you trust yourself, you can love it as much as you can appreciate another person's identity. Even more so, you can then take the right things away from other people - things like how to improve yourself without changing yourself. You can find inspiration while still loving who you are. 

Hope this helps.

xx Erin Nicole


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Why Do We Create Art?

Last weekend, my photographer / close friend and I decided to shoot something a little different from my usual style-on-the-street looks. Inspired by our mutual love of fairytales, we took a trip out to a forested park to create one of our own, and the result was nothing short of enchanting to us: our all-things-magical / T-Swift-circa-"Out Of The Woods"-saturated imaginations brought to life on camera. For the two of us, this was a success. However, in realizing that to others it may seem odd for me to be sharing "kind of lost fairy" vibes on social media, I asked myself what I liked so much about these photographs. To me, they are one thing: artistic. They are a depiction of something my friend and I love. So, I was led to ask and inspired to share my thoughts on the following question:

Why do we create art? 

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." |

Making art is instinct, just as much as is breathing and developing natural human connection. This is because our creating of art is a process of sharing what gives life to each of us individually. Every day, we absorb the world around us - the experiences that we engage in, the culture that surrounds us, the ways in which we are affected by our natural internal reactions to these - and we are each changed, usually in different ways by different things. What we are moved by - those things which change us - has a great impact on our worldviews and mindsets. These are also the things we then crave to share with the world around us. What we find beautiful, and what leaves us feeling differently, drives us to want to recreate it in another form. It could be anything from a physical place that is visually stunning to us to a feeling that has caused us to think and feel in a new way. To help ourselves process the feeling something has given us and to communicate it with the rest of the world, we desire to recreate.

At its core, art is a matter of taking pieces of everything around us and creating more with it than what was there previously. It is a representation of our desire to imitate what makes us feel more human and more fully alive. Our ability to feel with passion and love is our greatest strength, and the creation of art is a process of feeling - a physical result of the greatest aspects of human nature in motion.

"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire |

The creation of art which tells the truth of the world can only benefit us, as it is the product of those who find beauty and effectively communicate it in a new form. This means that they are then adding more beauty to the world. At the end of the day, we all crave to feel a part of something beyond only ourselves - something that unites us as people in our humanity together - and art allows for this. When someone creates, they are taking what the world has planted inside of them in such a way that they are forced to let it out again in the form of sharing, and making something beautiful from that passion. The process becomes circular; beauty in the world effects someone who is then inspired to create more of it and share it with the rest of the world.

As much as people like to joke that artists are the crazy ones, I've always seemed to find the opposite. To me, insanity is simply a loss of humanity - when a person ceases to feel is when they lose their grasp on what makes them human - and I believe that there is nothing more human than to love. Perhaps above all else, the creation of art is the result of loving something.

| "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." -Paul Coelho, The Alchemist |

Making art increases our sense of wonder; our eyes are once again opened to the world in a childlike manner. When you create, you reflect much more on what you find beautiful in the world, and you then begin to find it in so many places that you had never noticed before. 

Art is about what you find moving and what you love-- even if it is in recreating the emotions of our childhood, when our imaginations were wrapped up in a story of a girl lost in the woods. I think we are particularly drawn to fairytales because they are depictions of our shared humanity glossed over with imagination and wondrous elements. They are the beauty we know in this world amplified.   

The result is something we find magical.

I loved shooting this, even if I did get enough mosquito bites to warrant a week's worth of Benadryl. (A joke. Obviously. I am not sitting here writing about art because I'm high off of Diphenhydramine.) 

Stay interconnected. Stay sane. Make art. 

xx Erin Nicole
Blogger templates by pipdig