Monday, March 24, 2014

When it's finally Easter...

Today is my first day back at Marist after spring break.  There are less than two months until I'm home for the summer, but that time will be jam-packed with an infinite to-do list.  Luckily, Easter breaks it up a bit.  I'll be home in upstate New York for Easter this year, and I might also be running in a track meet.  Despite the fact that I will miss out on warm weather and complete relaxation, I am already looking forward to being home again.

When it's finally Easter, I will have less than a month of school left.  I will be with my family!  And, of course, a few fashion laws will expire.  Where I live, it's likely to still be cold long after Easter.  But this won't stop me from wearing all the seersucker, Lilly, and white that I can!

Here are some pieces I've had tucked away in my closet since around Labor Day:

This seersucker blazer will be perfect for when it's chilly out well into spring.  I always have trouble trying to figure out what to pair this with, but I have some ideas involving navy, white jeans, and/or Lilly…

Speaking of Lilly, I bought these white jeans on super sale from The Pink Paddock last summer, and they are surprisingly practical.  They'd look great with my seersucker blazer, as well as the majority of my summer closet.  Plus, they are perfect for when the calendar says it's spring, but Mother Nature disagrees.

I am almost positive that I will be wearing this Camden Dress in In the Beginning from Lilly Pulitzer to church on Easter Sunday.  My mom bought it for me--majorly discounted--during Lilly's summer sale.  Assuming it will be a bit wintry, I'll most likely pair the dress with my mom's pink cardigan from J.Crew or my American Eagle preppy one-button blazer.

When I was home for spring break, I was so fortunate to spend the day in Saratoga Springs with my mom and younger sister.  We visited The Pink Paddock (the Lilly Pulitzer via shop where I work over the summer), ate lunch at Cantina (one of my favorite restaurants), popped into Silverado (jeweler), and bought ice cream at Kilwins (sweet treats and fresh fudge).  Trying to decide between this dress and the Fryer Shift Dress was so difficult--you would've thought I was trying to chose which college to attend.  But I opted for the dress pictured above, hoping the casual nature of the dress will make it a more practical addition to my closet.  Now I can't wait to break out all my Lilly dresses!

Easter brings so many wonderful things.  Thank God it's (only) 27 days away!  Let the countdown begin…


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10 OOTD

At this point, it should not be surprising to anyone when I post an OOTD later than the actual date I wore it. This week is especially chaotic because it's Midterm Week!  That means more exams, projects, and homework than I care to think about.  But I'm looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel: my friend, Dorrie, and I are traveling from Marist to her Cape Cod home together this coming weekend, and then my parents are picking me up on the way home from my younger brother's soccer tournament in Massachusetts to spend the rest of the week in upstate New York.

Better late than never, here is my OOTD from yesterday.  And this one is really special:

I wore my J.Crew tuxedo henley tucked into this exclusive skirt (read more about it below), held up by an elastic bow belt taken off a dress I have from an old Lilly Pulitzer resort collection.  Even though it warmed up to a whole 47 degrees yesterday, it was not that warm when I left my dorm for my 8 am class across campus, so I thought tights would be a good idea.  This particular pair of tights is from J.Crew a few years ago, but Target has comparable and less expensive tights as well--I want them all!  My shoes are simple velvet ballet flats with gem clusters on the front from Ralph Lauren.  I wore my J.Crew Factory pinball stud earrings to match the gold in the skirt.

Speaking of which, this skirt was made by my teammate, friend, and fellow blogger, Bryn Gorberg, the fashionista behind Fashion on the Hudson (please ignore my use of the passive voice in this sentence…oops).  As you may have noticed, I cannot get over the fact that she made something I could incorporate seamlessly (no pun intended) into my wardrobe, as if she was working for J.Crew or Kate Spade.  I expect great things from her and cannot wait to see what she sets out to do.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Through thick and thin

If "thin is in" and "big is back," what about the so-called average girls in between?  As long as you're healthy, I think all body types are beautiful; underweight, average weight, and overweight alike.  But in an attempt to combat the glorification of thin women, despite the fact that these women may have such a low body weight because of healthy eating, exercise, and/or genetics, the media has presented "plus size" women as just as beautiful as their twiggy counterparts.  In most cases, the media is correct: these women are beautiful.  Nevertheless, this supposed attempt at reality presented by the media leaves out an entire "middle class" of women who, regardless of what statistics say about their weights, are anything but average.

The issue of body image is much broader than just body weight.  In the recent TODAY/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey, researchers found that women spend an average of 55 minutes every day working on their appearance: that's 335 hours, which is the equivalent of a full two weeks, every year.  While this may seem like an exaggeration, think about it; it's probably not as far off as you imagine.  I am undoubtedly guilty of this, if not more time.  Every morning, I get out of bed about an hour (give or take 15 minutes) before class to put on my outfit, do my makeup, brush my teeth, and do my hair.  That doesn't even include the amount of time my friends and I spend talking about how perfect so and so looks, or all the time I spent working out everyday, not only because fitness and athletics are extremely important to me, but also because I want to look a certain way.  And I hate to mention those few minutes every day when I'm wearing nothing but my bra and underwear before getting in the shower and I stare at my entire body in the mirror.  There's also all the time I spend washing my face and examining in closely in the mirror every night before bed.  But hey, we all do it.


Images courtesy of Today

According to various BMI and weight calculators, I am at about the ideal weight and BMI for my height.  That matches up with how I've felt playing sports over the years: I always think I am on the small side compared to the girls I play soccer with, and on the large side compared to the girls I dance or run track with.  On the other hand, my family and friends often comment on how skinny I am.

Then what is "average" exactly?  We are human, not some part of a mathematical equation.  I suppose the average is just a mean number of measured dimensions of a sample group randomly selected from the represented population.  In other words, the average is nothing more than a gauge, so no one should think too long on it.  That being said, the average is not always a ruinous thing.  Scientists compiled hundreds of images for each of 41 different ethnicities and used a computer program to lay them over one another and deduce a common look.  As this article describing the experiment says, "If you were described as average-looking, you probably wouldn't see it as a compliment."  But the result of this study shows just how beautiful the average can be.

What's more, full-time artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm recently created a sort of "average Barbie" called Lammily with the slogan "Average is Beautiful."  She naturally has brown hair and is based off the average proportions of a 19-year-old American woman as reported by the Centers for Disease control.  Check out this informative and analytical video about the Lammily movement:

Overall, being happy and healthy is what matters--that's what you can control.  As my mom always says, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."  While appearance should not be your main focus, do not disregard it.  What's on the outside is important too.  You're not shallow for wanting to look beautiful and have people see you that way--you should always strive to look your best, if for no other reason than what you display on the outside is often representative of what you look like on the inside.  But ultimately, through thick and thin, inner beauty is where it's at.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Raymond Felton had better hope he is bullet proof

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested on felony weapon charges for possession of an illegal firearm and loaded ammunition magazine, with a bail posted at $25,000, just hours after the Knicks' loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago.

The Knicks were playing their way toward another brutal loss in a season full of them in a game that came down to a last-second heave by the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, which ricocheted high off the rim before falling through for the winning shot.  The Knicks did not practice the next day.  To make matters worse, the New York Times reports that their general manager was fired days before the start of training camp.  Superstar Carmelo Anthony announced his intention to pursue free agency before they played their first game.  Coach Mike Woodson has faced questions about his job security for months.

As for Felton, he has been battling a series of lingering injuries, repeatedly underperforming.  Just a week before the Mavs took on the Knicks, New York tried to send him to another team before the NBA trade deadline.  No deal ever went through because of the unattractive combination of Felton's average of 10.4 points and 6 assist per game, and his $14.86 million contract, which runs through 2015-16.

The night of Monday, Feb. 24, around the same time that the Knicks were falling further out of playoff contention, Felton's estranged wife, Ariane, accompanied by her attorney, turned his high-powered FNH 5.7 x 28 mm semi-automatic handgun over to the police, claiming she did not want the weapon in the couple's Upper West Side apartment, a law enforcement official said.  The official also stated that the weapon was loaded with 18 high-velocity bullets.

The Feltons are in the process of divorcing.  Though Felton's wife said he never threatened her with the gun, she told police that he held the gun during arguments in their apartment.  She also told police that he owns other guns in North Carolina.  Felton had purchased this gun legally while living in North Carolina, though it was unlicensed in New York.

Just a few hours after the Knicks-Mavs game, Felton turned himself in to the authorities and remained in police custody for the next 18 hours as he awaited arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.  In the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 25, Felton appeared before Judge Diana Boyar to answer charges.  The top charge carries a maximum of seven years in prison.

Though Felton was not charged with using the weapon in a threatening manner, which would have created other legal complications for him, Boyar issued a six-month order of protection for Felton's wife, sternly warning Felton that "you can have no contact whatsoever."  Felton, who wore black cargo pants and a black hooded sweatshirt with a heart and peace sign design, said nothing during the proceedings.  His lawyer, Jim Walden, said Felton had "no interest in having contact" with his wife.

Despite NBA fans' overwhelming disproval based on a Sports Nation poll, Felton played in the Knicks game against the Miami Heat, less than 48 hours after being charged.  But New York Daily News reports that Woodson spoke "in great detail" with Felton earlier this week regarding the point guard's struggles on and off the court since his arrest last week.  Felton responded with what the coach called his "best game of the season," finishing with 18 points and eight assists in a controlled performance in the Knicks' 118-106 "slump-busting" victory Wednesday, March 5, over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There are several NBA guidelines and norms that allow Felton to take the court.  Article VI, Section 15 of the league's collective bargaining agreement deals with player arrests, stating that "a team shall not impose discipline on a player solely on the basis of the fact that the player has been arrested."  Unless Felton's arrest directly violated team rules, the Knicks cannot discipline him until the legal process plays out.  Article VI, Section 9 of the CBA spells out guidelines for firearms and other weapons: "Whenever a player is physically present at a facility or venue owned, operate, or being used by a Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, and whenever a player is traveling on any NBA-related business, whether on behalf of the player's Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, such a player shall no posses a firearm of any kind or any other deadly weapon."  In other words, unless Felton carried his weapon onto an NBA facility, he is not in violation of this code.

Given this information, however, the Knicks or the league had the option to immediately discipline Felton before he turned himself in.  The Knicks also could have asked Felton to take some time away from the team.

Felton is due to appear in court on June 2 to face a possible felony indictment.  Because he has no prior felony offenses, Felton could avoid jail time even if convicted of both charges.