New York State of Mind: The Move

December 2016:

It’s Christmas time in Miami, so that means palm trees, humidity at 80%, and Holiday cheer that seems super out of place (the usual for the 305)…I’m wearing a tank top for Christ sake. In my childhood home, I sit in my dad’s home office.Surrounded by two clothing racks, boxes packed to the ceiling and an air mattress. Every thing my husband and I own is packed in this tiny 10 x 10 room, including us. Moving day is near and it doesn’t feel like Christmas, it’s feels like  I’m not there or really anywhere, because I’m in my head.  Will it be the same? Will I like New York the same way I did before? Am I going back because I truly belong there or am I chasing the life I lived in my 20’s ? Who knows. Merry Christmas to me and my questions.

January 2017:

Happy New Year! The move is now less than 7 days away. My two brothers, parents, dog, husband and brother’s fiance have been under the same roof for 2 weeks and I can’t help but feel like an optimistic teenager- childish and playful- at times giddy, at times anxiety ridden. The positive anticipatory vibes come to a screeching halt when I somehow get the flu and I can’t break my fever for 5 days. We decide that my husband should sleep at his parents to avoid getting sick – because someone has to drive to NYC with our life in tow. I can’t say goodbye to our friends, I can’t give them belated holiday gifts. I’m unable to help with last minute prep, and I was in bed while freight movers picked up our stuff. I’m too sick to finish my last days of work or even grab a coffee with my mom one last time. I couldn’t spend time with my twin brother who I see twice a year or my little brother who I won’t be seeing for a long time. Two days before my move, my dad catches me at 6:30 am wandering the house while coughing and crying…hunched over,wearing the same blush colored night gown I’ve worn 5 days in a row. Still unable to break a fever, he takes me to the urgent care moments later. As we’re driving through my hometown on a sleepy, cool morning, I catch myself in the rear view mirror. I was so sick- I didn’t recognize myself. It then hit me, somehow I physically manifested this massive transition and my body was just catching up to what I already knew – that this wasn’t supposed to be easy, but it will be worth it. Besides, at this point… 31 years in… I already knew that I never choose the easier route. Our road trip was the perfect example of that, we caught one of the biggest snow storms  The Carolinas have seen in over a decade. We fell in a snowy ditch, got out, spent a night with family, laughed a lot, played trivia, and I coughed a ton as we drove through a winter wonderland. On January 8th, around 8pm, we crossed the Brooklyn bridge into Manhattan and we were home. My eyes filled up with tears, I looked at myself in the icy rearview and realized I wasn’t chasing a life I already lived. I was chasing a life I wanted to live.

February 2017:

Ummm it’s real cold, Happy 32nd birthday to me!

May 2017:

We’ve moved into our permanent home. A sweet little apartment on the Lower East Side (downtown girl 4 lyfe). Hard wood floors, a cute fire escape, and sun filled bedroom. We sold all of our furniture, so we had to start fresh.  It felt good to have a brand new start and I felt closer to my husband than ever before. We had become so in sync through this whole process, and now we were at the fun part- the ‘buying stuff part’. We had to decide everything from a bath mat to a couch, and I loved it. We were reunited with our stuff from storage since we had been sub-letting our friend’s apartment for the past 4 months and everything was finally coming together. Spring was in full swing, I broke out my sandals and light weight wardrobe as we discovered our new neighborhood via many long walks. My commute to work became much quicker, giving me more time to write and do more things for myself. My life at work had settled and I finally felt like I knew what I was doing and not pretending (still feel like that sometimes though).

July 2017:

It’s real hot. Rosé is good. Real good.

August 2017:

It’s been 8 months, Summer is cooling off and Fall feels near. Walking everywhere has (once again) become a form of moving meditation for me. The city speaks to me, I find inspiration with every step I take. Days off are filled with mini adventures to new neighborhoods and lots of pictures of everything I see and or wear.My personal style has changed, I’m taking more risks and playing with color (gasp). My husband and I have both established a deep connection with the city and the few friends that have visited us can’t help but mention how happy I look. Because I am. My days are sometimes very long. Blogging and a 60 hour work week sometimes seem impossible to juggle, but when I’m walking home, headphones in and eyes looking up, I can’t help feel like I’m where I need to be.  Love in my heart, ideas constantly churning in my head and a ton of gratitude in my soul. I’m so grateful for my incredible support system that never doubted or judged the move. Lots of people move back to their hometown and get married like I did, they then buy a house or have a kid. I decided to mix things up ( per usual) and live in a place where I can thrive and work towards a life of that I can be proud of . A life of creativity, passion and congruence. My life should be the life I envision in my head; that’s the challenge. Challenge accepted.

I love you New York

XX

J

*Editors Note*

This blog post was not something I’d ever thought I’d write, but YOU ( dear reader and sweet bird)  asked for it and I hope it answers questions, inspires and resonates . It’s important to be honest and live my truth through this blog even if it has nothing to do with what I’m wearing. I hope you like it, thanks for reading .

Continue Reading

Miami Born and Bred

After many requests, I will be sharing my transition from Miami to NYC  very soon. However in true #flamingostyle, we need to do a prelude. You need to fully understand what started the fire.

The fire: my obsession with NYC. A fire that started early ( like age 5) and lead to me leaving my nest at 21 years old for the big city. But Miami, (surprisingly) still possessed a magnetism of sorts that lured me back in 2012, and shortly after that, a Flamingo and her Chronicles were realized. This bird also realized that maybe the place that birthed her, isn’t the place where she could truly be herself. The fire was smoldering and I had to do something.

By now you may have gathered that the brightly colored bird I proudly use as my mascot, inspiration and alter ego often seems ironic. For starters I seldom wear color- this blog was originally started around the concept of colorful pictures of my black and white wardrobe. The only tropical element of my blog was it’s back drop, Miami, a place I didn’t exactly fit in. Despite me being a native. I hate the heat, I don’t enjoy the afternoon tsunamis, or the social dynamic… and if I’m honest, I often felt like the odd one out.

A Flamingo feeling odd in Miami?

Fun fact: Flamingos are rarely seen in Florida. Most natives can’t make a claim of seeing one in nature. Probably why I’m so fascinated with the creature. #justsayin

This particular Flamingo prefers to fly north for the..well, forever. So I did, for the second time, with out a doubt in my head. Miami was not for me, and maybe I wasn’t really the bird I thought I was. Maybe I wasn’t bright and different, maybe I belonged to the darkly dressed masses that are okay with wearing one color and shuffling through snowy city streets.

What I’ve  found was that I most definitely was bright and different, I just needed to ( once again) have a change of scenery to stretch myself, and show my true colors (pink) in a city where everything is (truly) possible. I just needed the contrast, the pink against a grey jungle. NYC is where I will reach my true potential, tap in to what I really want to do (jury is still out on that) and show those feathers off.

Stay tuned for the real deal on my move earlier this year and what life is like almost 8 months in.

Always keeping things colorful, always keepin’ it real.

XX

J

 

 

Continue Reading

Habits of a Bird

In spite of my seemingly evergreen wardrobe ( trust me it is not) I’m a creature of habit, just like every other bird out there. I wear things to death and I often turn articles of clothing into security blankets. Yes, just like Linus from Peanuts. I become very attached to certain pieces and wear them out.
It’s summer in the city, it’s hot and I do not want to think about what I’m wearing so I have a few crucial basics on rotation to keep things easier and I couldn’t think of a better way of sharing them with you than bringing back The List!

So it here it goes, ya’ll know the drill!

1. The Kimono:

I’ve been wanting one for a while, and couldn’t find the perfect one. Until this one appeared in my life. Dusty pastels, vintage floral and satiny goodness makes me feel like I’m at home lounging!

Found @ Forever 21

2. The Slip On Sneaker:

What are pink, have bows, and are the cutest pair of sneakers ever?! These slip ons that are as light as they are affordably adorable!

Found @ Just Fab


3. The Little Cross body:

Cross body bags are pretty much the only way to stylishly enjoy a Summer in the City, and this one is the best example. Fits my keys, cell phone and a small card case… even lip gloss and it’s in 2017’s hottest shade: Blush pink. It’s the perfect accessory for rooftop parties, outdoor concerts or any sort of adventure!

Found @ Imoshion


4. The Tee:

Soft and sort of see-through and with a deep V that keeps things sexy. A soft V neck tee is a summer essential, and this one has been with me for years.

Found @ J Crew Outlet

These essentials keep me feeling stylish and comfortable all summer long and best of all, all were under $40! Click on the links above to shop each item and stay tuned for more of The List.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!

XX
J

Continue Reading

Chasing Summer Sunsets

Summer has always been a weird time for me. For starters, I never really cared for it. I don’t enjoy dressing for the heat, and summer lasts like 9 months out of the year in Miami. So by the time June rolls around, I’m over it- exhausted, sweating and left wearing the only tank I don’t feel suffocated by. I also have always felt that summer should bring  change and newness at the end of it, and I was left disappointed when fall felt the same as summer and everything seemed stagnant, including me. Seasonal depression caused by lack of seasons. Go figure.

But in my golden city, ( New York, duh) Summer is different. It’s citizens sport sundresses, smiles and sunglasses as if they were all brand new concepts. Childlike excitement spreads like wildfire in it’s first few warm days where girls can leave their ‘just in case’ sweaters at home. Every cafe/bar has an outdoor patio – even if it consists of a few chairs on a sidewalk. Summer style sweeps the city streets with culottes, dresses, linen everything, and every type of sandal. Rosé flows like water, the hum of ice cream trucks are heard everywhere and the city begins to really wake up right around sunset. Tipsy bliss hangs heavy in the humid air with a bit of universal desperation because 3 months fly as fast as a sunset. I prefer to keep calm and not despair, in light satin anything, bright sandals while sipping some ice cold Rosé.

I’m still too close to the memories of Miami summers to partake in the desperation, but I’m definitely enjoying my new found love for the season. Especially it’s sunsets, they may be a bit different than the tropical postcard ones I’m used to, but they are just as beautiful. The island of Manhattan lights up, as flashes of orange and pink bounce off the brick buildings. It energizes me in a different way, sparks my creativity, and reminds how quickly the world moves.

I aim to move as swiftly and beautifully as a city sunset. To change and shift as gracefully as a New York City summer. So if you happen to be enjoying summer in the city and notice a girl in satin pants, zig zagging through the city streets, don’t mind her she’s just chasing sunsets… seeking change and trying to be the best version of herself.

#Summerinthecity

Stay cool birds, because  everything is temporary- especially summer.

XX

J

Continue Reading

Summer School

I’m not a ‘t-shirt and jeans’ kinda girl. I love both elements, and appreciate what the idea behind the phrase- to have a comfortable, no frills style -but it’s just too simple for me most of the time. It reminds me of what I used to wear my freshman year of high school – before I got gutsy and experimental with my personal style.
So let’s take that concept and stretch it a bit, shall we ?
* class in session*
Instead of a t shirt and denim… why not a t shirt with a skirt or a cotton romper? Still uber comfortable and simple, but with an unexpected touch. I wore this fun look to an event a few weeks ago. It was very hot and I needed something comfy that paired with sneakers but didn’t want to look like I was going to school.
I mixed a cropped tee with my favorite cotton black romper, cuff up the legs and paired it high tops. I grabbed my favorite back pack to put all my gear in (camera, make up, multiple sunglasses) and kept it moving. All pieces in this look are staples in my closet that I just mixed and matched – which is something I’ve learned to do when I’m bored with my wardrobe. I throw a couple of different pieces I want to wear on bed and begin experimenting. It’s taught me to combine different elements to create fresh looks that are wearable and versatile. Stretching my outfit choices, and not stretching my wallet.

*bell rings*

Xx
J

Continue Reading

Urban Tropicana

I grew up in a tropical place, which some people consider a part of the Carribbean- depending on who you ask. Florals and bright colors are the year-round norm in South Florida.
Even though I grew up knowing I was a city slicker at heart, and that 1000% humidity was not my speed- vibrant florals, pastel colors and luscious green shades kinda have this bird’s heart. As temperatures start to rise in NYC, I can’t help but crave a bit of the tropics.
Although, with that being said, I often feel out of place wearing barely-there sundresses and sandals in the steamy concrete oasis I call home. Largely because thigh rubbing under dresses and lots of walking in sandals aren’t this New Yorker’s idea of paradise.
Not to mention that a 90 degree day, can turn into a chilly 58 degree night in a New York minute, which has been my reality lately.
So I decided to add a breezy tropical twist to this otherwise, very urban look.
I mixed one tropical silhouette, a ruffled bodysuit, with a structured, palm green pleated skirt, that still has a bit of flounce to it … to keep the look feeling breezy. I then added a few bright elements to warm things up, like a coral pink floral bandana, bright oversized bangles, and a banana charm to my very structured black cross body.
Lastly, I opted for rose gold cutout oxfords instead of sandals…it was the less obvious choice, still very bright and fun, but tailored enough to speak to my skirt and bag.
In my mind, it’s how any urban flamingo would dress herself. Adapting to her surroundings but still giving a nod to her tropical place of origin.

Xx
J

Continue Reading

Treat your Bootay

Ever since I got my first summer job, a longtime ago, I started a little reward system for myself. Once a month, I’d treat myself to new underwear. It was a little personal treat that started after one random visit to Victoria Secret on payday. At the time, it felt super grown up- treating myself to a little luxury that made me feel sexy and confident. Since then, it has been a ritual I’ve maintained. Of course I’ve since branched out to different stores/brands and have a slight tendency to purchase underwear SEVERAL times a month, depending on how stressed I am. For me, it is the perfect little pick-me -up, whether I am having a great day or a really long one.

Of course now that I live in NYC, I’m (like every New Yorker) obsessed with getting everything delivered, and can’t get enough of  it! Groceries, wine, dry cleaning…and underwear?!

Enter BootayBag:

BootayBag is a monthly women’s underwear service – for just $12 a month and free shipping you can #treatyoself with new undies picked to fit your own personal style.So if you’re all about thongs or like to mix it up, they have some thing for every bootay. Also, BootayBag donates $1 to the Melanoma Foundation with every picture posted with the hashtag #undermatters on social media, which means my longstanding, monthly treat just got a little luxe upgrade that also gives back. It’s a win win, of the lacey kind.

Go fly on over HERE and treat your bootay to something soft and sexy!

Xx

J

 

Continue Reading

No New Stuff

So by now, most of ya’ll know the pillars of my personal style.

1. Never, EVER, pay full price
2. If you think you’ll wear it less than twice, DO NOT BUY IT
3. Does it make sense for you? (Style,price,fabric etc.)
This is about the only real ‘style advice’ I’ll give. If it checks all the boxes for you then buy it! Why? Because you’ll be that much closer to ensuring that you will always have something to wear. It’s a simple strategy that helps me keep a curated closet, that’s filled with wearable and affordable clothing.
This look is all old stuff. Some of it is really old, sandals and jeans I’ve had for 2 + years … the top was a $20 steal from last summer. Sunnies were also from last summer and $5. The bag was a birthday gift from years ago (no i did not pick it out, my friend Tiffany is just a badass who knows me well) and the navy duster is from earlier this year and it’s the only “newness” in this look.

Do I like shopping?

Yes. Duh.

Do I always have money to shop all the time?

No. Duh.

 


That’s why I have a strategy. It’s sustainable, and guarantees a closet that will allow many combinations. So I can have relevant, chic and seasonally appropriate outfits season after season. Take note that everything pictured is a neutral or primary color. Most of the tailoring/silhouettes are timeless and above all, everything is comfortable and super wearable.

I mean I still *sometimes* throw a Clueless tantrum on occasion, but I’m probably just hormonal at that moment … because deep down, I know I have a closet of old stuff to wear!

XX
J

Continue Reading

Seasonal Expression Part 3

For the last installment of my spring dress series, I went back to my basic instincts and chose a dress I immediately fell for and never doubted. It’s simply styled and showcases this season’s hottest print…

 * Stripe Right*

Growing up, my grandmother LOVED clothes and had a bit of a shopping problem- in case you’ve ever wondered where I get it from. My grandparents lived directly behind a mall, so they were there quiet a bit. It was her cardio, her social hour, her therapy. Conversely, my mother hated the act of buying anything. So naturally, I loved joining my Abuela any chance I got.
Like any advanced shopper she had her strategies and patterns. She would alternate on who she would shop for – a necessary strategy when you have 5 grandchildren. She also loved buying anything with stripes. From men’s shirts to my dresses. Stripes everywhere, thin ones, multi colored ones, sailor stripes … any stripe was the right stripe. She was so consistent, that she (on several occasions) would purchase the same striped thing twice. I never got to ask her why, although she’d probably shrug and giggle, because who cares?Well I do, because I would like to know why I am attracted to anything with stripes… even a good striped awning on a storefront gets my attention.

Yo no sé

I like my stripes, and now that I’m back to wearing color, I’m unstoppable. Stripes all over the place! I bought this perfectly striped dress in 5 mins. It was a medium (which means nothing), I didn’t try it on, it was $20 and it had STRIPES !
Done

I kept the styling super simple, and went for my favorite cognac duster for a nice color contrast, and paired quilted white high tops to make those thin white lines pop. Just letting the stripes do their thang.

Loving  stripes is probably one of my favorite learned behaviors, right up there with drinking Rosè and eating cheese. Which happen to match my Francophile ambitions (also acquired from Abuela) to a tee.

I will be living in this dress for the next six months BTW, doing the other aforementioned behaviors.

Love the things you love birds, and buy a ton of it- you only live once.

Xx

J

Dress: TJ Maxx

High Top Sneakers: Just Fab

Duster: DressLily

Sunnies: Sunglass Spot

Continue Reading

Seasonal Expression p.2

Part 2

*Not my Mama’s Dress*

I’ve always loved dresses; I’ve always loved my mom too. However, my mom at one point in time, did not love HOW I wore dresses.
It was my junior year of high school and I felt I had enough social clout ( plus a bit of teenage angst) to not really give a flock about what people thought about the way I dressed. I wore vintage ties with button down shirts, sneakers with skirts and my favorite… dresses over jeans. Some liked it, some thought I was crazy; and could care less.
I did care about one unexpected fashion critic, my mama.Enlight86Enlight83Enlight85
I came into the kitchen one morning, wearing this boho print slip dress over jeans, with sneakers (it looked awesome ) She took one look at me, and said “What are you going to wear to school today?”

*it’s important to note that this was 2001 and my high school was a real life ad for Abercrombie*

Annoyed, I replied ” This, I’m wearing THIS” .
A worried (but 100% sincere) look appeared on her face and she said “What if someone makes fun of you?” I said “They won’t ” as I flounced off confidently.Enlight88Enlight84Fast forward to present day, I’m wearing a dress over jeans mainly for practical reasons -it’s Spring and it’s still gets chilly in the evening. Incidentally, all the cool kids are doing it now too. It’s the edgy alternative to wearing tights, because some dresses look better over jeans than hosiery.

This red floral number is no exception, and when paired with a leather biker jacket on top, no one will ever question it because it’s a dynamic look. It took me from day to night and I was incredibly comfortable. I felt feminine and suitably dressed for Spring- but most of all- I felt like the little bird I once was: Boldly exploring the depths of my own personal style.Enlight89In hindsight, I now realize that my mother’s initial reaction to my inventive fashion choices were her just being a protective mama bear; and every creative heart needs protecting so I guess I was in good hands all along despite her early objections. She continues to support me in every creative endeavor with lots of love and genuine excitement, and understands my personal style much better these days, lol. One thing we always agreed on is that personal style should include: being comfortable, true to yourself and feeling great in anything you wear- and that is #flamingostyle at it’s finest.

Dress yourself well, be well, and love your mama birds!

Xx
J

Continue Reading
1 2 3 7