10 Ways to Make the Most of Winter

Take a morning walk in the snow with a warm drink.
Take advantage of the clean smell of snowy mornings by going for a walk outdoors with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. You could probably get away with wearing a pair of tartan pajamas, too.

Read books that are set in winter or cold destinations. 
There are so many to choose from! I gravitate toward classics like Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina but anything involving snow, mysteries, jazz, or boarding schools will work.

Make warm meals in the slow cooker.
While I don't currently own a slow cooker, I envy those who do because of how simple it is to make easy, warm meals without much effort. My mom makes a vegetarian chili similar to this one that is great over tortilla chips with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, greek yogurt, and cheddar.

Sip on a hot toddy.
There's something kind of nice and vintage about drinking a hot toddy when you have a cold---I have vivid memories relating to this. Whether or not you're sick, the mixture of whiskey, lemon juice, and honey is perfect for cold days. You can even add some ginger for an extra kick.

Get active outdoors and receive beautiful rosy cheeks in return.
Whether you go for a run, sledding, skiing, or even just a good snow frolic, any activity outside in the snow has a way of leaving you feeling refreshed. Plus, you get those perfect flushed cheeks as an added benefit.

Have a long soak in a luxurious bath.
After you've spent the day outside, a long soak in the bath will be well deserved. Fill the bath with a homemade blend of coconut oil, almond milk, baking soda, and essential oil or use a pre-packaged soak like one from Fig + Yarrow or Pursoma.

Book a hot stone massage.
To relieve stiff, cold-weather muscles and all of the tension that has built up in your body over the past year, book yourself a hot stone massage and splurge for an 80-minute session if you can.

Watch Christmas films with a hot drink and a snack tray.
Invite your friends over for a casual movie marathon. Watch classic black-and-white films like The Shop Around the Corner, modern classics such as Home Alone, cheesy Hallmark movies, or some combination of every kind. Set up an easy hot drink station with candy canes and offer a simple snack tray or bags of popcorn.

Attend a holiday festival.
Find a festival being held nearby and dress up in a cute sweater and boots to attend. If you're in New York, go for the Winter Village at Bryant Park or go all out and attend a classic Christmas Market in Austria.

Host a holiday party, big or small.
This can go so many ways. It could be an elegant cocktail party with champagne, a cozy cookie swap party with ugly sweaters, or a picturesque get-together in the spirit of KJP and Sarah Vickers.

Gifts for The Minimalist

What do you get for your friends who desperately do not want more items to take up space in their homes? 

Gift Card (to be used for groceries, high quality places)
I know that some people avoid buying gift cards because they feel that they are impersonal. But as a person who is incredibly selective when it comes to my purchases and belongings, I appreciate a gift card as it allows me to check things off my wishlist and to avoid feeling guilty if I were to receive something that I don't necessarily like. You can make this a more personal gift simply by taking into consideration the tastes and needs of the person you're buying for. For instance, a gift card to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's is great for any young adult or college student.

Tickets to an event
Buying tickets to to a concert, ballet, theme park, or special event is a perfect gift since it involves no physical objects whatsoever. Whether you plan on attending the event alongside the person or not, giving the gift of an experience is something that often keeps giving. Another idea is to give an airline gift card so that the recipient can buy a plane ticket to a destination of their choosing. 

Charitable Donation
Especially in the times we are now facing, charitable donations are more appreciated than ever. Keep in mind the personal interests of the individual when choosing the organization to which you will donate. Some timely ideas are the ACLU, Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund, The Sierra Club Foundation, and Doctors Without Borders. You can also make a donation or give a gift card to Kiva, which allows you to invest in projects started by individuals around the world. I received a Kiva gift card last Christmas and donated the money to a girl in Palestine who was looking to make important repairs on her family's home before winter. It's been really exciting to watch her achieve her goal and begin paying back the money over the year.

Consumables
Things that you can eat and drink are perfect gifts since they quickly disappear. Be conscious of the contents and packaging if your recipient is vegan, gluten-free, or adheres to a zero-waste lifestyle. Some easy ideas for consumable gifts are beautiful tins of tea, coffee from an independent roaster, a gift basket from Harry & David, a subscription to a meal planning service, or a nice bottle of champagne. Some great fair trade options can be found at the Equal Exchange co-op online store.

Plan a Day Together
For close friends and family, a wonderful gift could simply be a day together. You can be as meticulous or as free-spirited as you want with this. One unforgettable gift that I've received was when two of my best friends planned a congratulatory tea when I was accepted to the college I attended. It was so well thought out, beautiful, and totally unexpected but a gift that I still appreciate today. You could plan a tea, lunch, brunch, or dinner or even a fun, themed movie day. You could also take the person out for lunch and a manicure or spend the whole day at a hotel or spa together.

What kinds of non-material gifts do you like to receive or give?

 

Winter Survival Guide

People always cringe when I get excited about winter. Sure, it isn't my favorite thing in the world to have my nose freeze like an ice-cube or to have to scrape my windshield every morning, but all of the cozy, festive things about winter make up for it. Plus, I've come up with strategies that are outlined below in my winter survival guide for your reference.

Prepare Your Home

Start by transforming your space into one that is fit for a cozy hibernation. Stock up on scented and unscented candles, cozy blankets, and necessities like an electric blanket, snow shovel, lock de-icer, firewood, and more. I also recommend that you use a humidifier each night to add moisture to the air and prevent illness. Make sure that your flue is clean and that you have bottled water and non-perishable food on hand in case of a snowstorm.

Stock Up on Entertainment

Once the necessities are taken care of, begin stockpiling books, movies, magazines, and games to keep you entertained when you're stuck indoors. Stay tuned for a full post on winter books and movies, but in the meantime focus on cozy, comfort movies and books that evoke feelings of winter such as Anna Karenina. 

Stay Hydrated

Regular use of a humidifier can help to keep your skin, hair, and body hydrated during the winter months but also be sure to update your beauty routine to reflect these new issues. I suggest a heavy moisturizer like Creme de la Mer or Avene Hydrance Optimale, plus a facial oil, lip balm, and full body moisturizer. Be sure to keep drinking a lot of water and continue applying sunscreen, especially when it snows.



Stay Warm

Staying warm is the key to surviving and enjoying winter. When you're at home, cozy up in a pair of warm pajamas and camp socks. At night, sleep under an electric blanket on low and always have a fire burning in the fireplace. When you take a bath, add a warming oil like the Susanne Kaufmann winter oil bath and, throughout the day, keep a cup of hot tea on hand to combat the cold. 

Expose Yourself to Light

The winter's lack of light can be so damaging to our moods. While I'm fortunately not affected by SAD, I can be irritated or disappointed by the fact that the sun has completely disappeared by the time I'm leaving work each day. It almost makes you feel as though there is no option other than to go straight to bed which, of course, isn't the best option when it's only 7 pm. Exposure yourself to light throughout the day as much as possible---go for walks during the workday and spend time outside on the weekends even if it is cold. Another option is to invest in something like the Lumie, which creates natural looking light indoors.

Enjoy It

The easiest way to survive winter is to be positive and enjoy it! Pay attention to the cozy decorations, the lights, and the holiday cheer. Drink and eat things that taste like winter, watch festive movies, play winter sports, and enjoy getting to wear beautiful clothes without sweating through them. By the time spring comes around, you'll be ready for warm weather but you won't feel so awful throughout the cold months.

10 Ways to Style High-Waisted Jeans

Striped Tee + Velvet Bag + Burgundy Pumps

White T-Shirt + Ankle Booties + Red Lipstick

Graphic T-Shirt + Black Blazer + Ballet Flats

Black Long-Sleeve Tee + Leather Mini Bag + Black Sunglasses

Black Sweater + Black Pumps + Large Tote

Navy Tee + Loafers

Sweater + Thin Belt + Slides

White Button-Down + Espadrilles

Blouse + Converse

Silk Camisole + Thick Cardigan + Statement Boot

The Girl Friday: Caroline

16679_814698211898348_1217901664837794362_n.jpg

Caroline, 23

My best friend Caroline is essentially the coolest person in the world. We're spirit twins with a hive mind and a similar sense of arrogant humor that can only be shared between the two of us. All of this is not even to mention the fact that she's a true intellectual and has a keen sense of observation and self-awareness which I think are completely evident in her answers below.

Follow:
Modern Swan 
@modern_swan 


What She Does
She is in her clinical year of graduate school currently working as a therapist at a mental health care clinic where she counsels uninsured individuals with symptoms of depression or anxiety with co-occurring medical conditions. You can read about similar clinics here.

Where She Is
Winter Park, Florida

Her Aesthetic
"I suppose I'm still figuring that out as a blogger! For most of my life, I bucked my preppy roots because of what they represented in a grander social and political sense. Now, I feel I embrace more of a prep style as an adult because I can appreciate the ethos: simplicity, quality over trend, a love for what is classic, and choosing a look because it enhances natural beauty rather than forcing oneself to fit into the fad du jour. But, my rebelliousness and early exposure to urban, European style prevent me from unequivocally placing myself in the prep category. I believe in being provocative but not trying too hard, which I suppose is a very French sentiment. I guess my aesthetic is Sofia Coppola walking around the set of Marie Antoinette in something very casual yet chic. I'd revel in make-believe court life at Versailles but I'd also be very happy to not be in a corset."

Astrological Sign
Capricorn.
"...which I used to think was the most boring sign and a mismatch for my personality. However, I am learning that I'm a total workaholic and a bit of a power/achievement junkie...which is very Capricorn! But, I was born on the cusp of Aquarius, which I think accounts for my quirkier qualities."

Girl Crushes
Carine Roitfeld and the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.

Boy Crushes
Miles Teller.
"I've heard he's a douche (and that unfortunate blonde hair episode did him no favors) but for some reason, I find him so charming."

Favorite Scent
Le Labo Thé Noir 29, Elizabeth and James White Nirvana, and Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume.

Favorite Film
Lately, I've been in love with The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Steve McQueen is dreamy and that chess scene makes me swoon.

 

Favorite Book
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.
"But I also adore The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Can anyone have a single favorite book?"

The best city is....
"I'm constantly torn between Manhattan and London. London reigns supreme if for no other reason than the Tube. I would marry the Tube."

Favorite Restaurant
The Clocktower at The New York Edition.

Go-To Workout
ModelFit for strength and any kind of dancing for cardio.

Favorite Beauty Brands
Klorane, Glossier, Serge Normant, Tarte, Davines

What podcasts are you listening to?
You Must Remember This and Monocycle.

Favorite Indulgences
"My Mason Pearson hairbrush. I've had one since I was six and I can't live without it."

Go-To Snack
English Breakfast Tea and blackberries.

Favorite Piece in Your Wardrobe
My black wrap dress.

In an alternate universe, what career would you pursue?
"I don't like to say I'd be anything in an alternate universe because I I'd like to do it all in this universe! I know I'll be a multi-career gal. Eventually, I'd like to get my doctorate in literature and pop-culture so I can teach but I'd still like to be a therapist and open my own free mental health clinic one day. I still dream about doing something in the film industry, but I recognize that this is outlandish. I guess in a very alternate universe, I'd be a casting director like Marion Dougherty!"

Who are your five ideal celebrity dinner party guests?
Dennis Freedman, Gloria Swanson, Anna Freud, Camille Paglia, and Anna Nicole Smith. 

Who is your wellness idol?
Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise at Sakara Life.

Most Recent Binge Watch
The Crown
"I'm a huge fan of the royals. Claire Foy has done an exceptional job as the Queen."

Top 3 Places on Your Current Travel List
Tokyo, Chamonix, St. Barth's.

This post is part of an ongoing series in which I feature some of the coolest girls I know.

My Winter Project

As mentioned before in my post on Creating a Winter Project, I believe that doing so can be a a really helpful way to get through the cold, dark months. When trying to decide which project I wanted to take on, I went back and forth between a few options but ultimately decided that my goal will be to spend at least 30 minutes each day working on a new writing project that has been floating around in my head. It's one that will take a lot of creative thinking as well as logistical planning. I'm expecting that, come spring, I will have at least wrapped my head around the idea and brainstormed enough to actually begin writing it.

A Quick Playlist

I don't do a lot of playlists here because I'm fairly clueless when it comes to writing about music in any meaningful way. My creativity is most aligned with that of a director or curator. I like to arrange things that complement one another and often, music for me is enjoyed alongside imaginary visuals and film sequences in my head.

So, here's a playlist I put together to which I picture a kind of modern Rapunzel stowed away in the penthouse of a Manhattan hotel where her friends come to visit and she wears round sunglasses at night. So, yeah, enjoy!

 I Should Watch TV by David Byrne

Entropy by Grimes

Flags by Oh Land

China Girl by David Bowie

Rose Rouge by Saint Germain

Die Zauberflote by Mozart

When Love Is Alive by BLOSH

Dive by Blondage

It's Already Cold by Serge Erege

UGH! by The 1975

7be02cfe0cc3493dbe099f42d511794e.jpg

Young Sophisticate Gift Guide

It's a cliche thing to say, but I just cannot believe that tomorrow already marks the last day of November! I've put together a little gift guide which consists of items that I think would make great gifts for anyone who enjoys this blog or knows someone with a similar vibe. The items are a little nontraditional, but they're certainly elegant and always functional.

5 Nutrition Tips to Make Clean Eating Easy

Eat real food.
This is a simple reminder to keep telling yourself and it's really the crux of eating clean. In most cases, if you are eating real food you are eating clean.

Eat seasonally.
As much as possible, try to eat produce and foods that are in season. An easy way to go about this is to base your meals on ayurvedic philosophy. For instance, this list tells you which foods to favor and how they will support your body.

Use tech to monitor your intake.
While calorie counting may not be entirely relevant, it can be helpful to use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your macros. The app allows you to input your ratio goals (i.e. 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs) and will show your progress in graph form.

Determine your allergies.
Undergoing an elimination diet to determine your food allergies is an excellent way to improve your diet and body function. 

Subscribe to the 80/20 theory.
In order to avoid deprivation, which is certainly not going to help matters when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I like to use the 80/20 rule. This can be customized to fit your personal goals, so it could be as simple as eating healthy, whole foods 80% of the time and treating yourself 20% of the time or as specific as eating vegan 80% of the time.

 

 

 

Collected Week 11.25.16

IMG_8327.JPG

I hope everyone in the States had a great Thanksgiving and that everyone around the world is having a wonderful week. Here's what's been going on.

WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO
Eating Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing kettle chips with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Doing a major sweep and purge of my belongings. Went to see my friend's dance company perform a really beautiful, relaxing show. Feeling a bit grumpy for some reason and trying to make that stop. Reading, reading, reading.

READING
Overall, finishing up my 50 Books Challenge! I'm halfway through my 50th book as of today.

WATCHING
Mr. Robot. I watched the first episode when it originally aired because the premise has everything I enjoy in a show (hacking, dissent, Rami Malek) but for some reason, I didn't get into it the first time around. This second time around, however, I'm obsessed. Of course, today I'm all in for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

LISTENING
As usual, the Hotel Costes station on Pandora but also the one for Chet Baker.

CLICKING

The Minimalist's Alternative to Black Friday

I've never actually participated in Black Friday. For me, it's always just been the day after Thanksgiving and involves avoidance more than anything. This year, I've decided to partake in a proactive alternative. Between episodes of Gilmore Girls, I am challenging myself to spend the day sorting through my belongings and packing up a great deal of them to donate, sell, or throw away. It's a task that can be fairly time consuming, so what better day to begin than on the one day that is otherwise dedicated to materialism and excessive spending?

3 YouTube Videos

I've mentioned before that YouTube is slowly (or quickly) taking over my life with regards to entertainment consumption. It's way better than traditional television in most cases, if you ask me, because you're able to program it to only play content that is specifically tailored for your tastes. Here are three great videos that I've seen recently.

This is the first video in a series which highlights this year's CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund. I highly recommend that you watch the whole series (even if you already know who wins) because it's amazing to see the creativity and work that goes into creating a fashion brand.

Ever since I first watched this video, I craved the Green Goddess Grain Bowl. I made my first one almost two weeks ago and have been eating it almost everyday without getting sick of it. For me, that's practically a miracle.

I always enjoy Rachel's relaxing videos, but this one was especially good since the weather here has suddenly turned freezing. Over the weekend, I made the tea latte and bath milk and can vouch that they were both amazing.

The Crown on Netflix

I'm quite the shameless fan of the British monarchy and have been for some time. I remember watching all of the Jubilee celebrations on TV as well as the televised coverage of Prince George's birth, reading tons of books about the Queen, Prince Phillip, the grandsons, and of course Kate Middleton. So, when I saw the trailer for Netflix's new series The Crown, I couldn't wait until it was released.

The day came and I was sad because the first episode was rather boring! But it was a Saturday, so I pressed on and watched episode two which immediately hooked me. Not only were the performances just incredible, but the cinematography (particularly when it comes to the Great Smog episode) and the subtle way they handled political discourse and the ramifications of even the slightest decisions was wonderfully different than any other film or television series that I've seen. It's higher quality and weightier than Downtown Abbey, but much gentler and arguably more substantial than House of Cards. 

Caroline's thoughts mirrored mine:

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you watched The Crown?

5 At-Home Spa Essentials

IMG_8259.JPG

Indian Healing Clay Mask
This bentonite clay is the cheapest facial you'll ever get. One 16 oz jar costs about $5-$10 depending on where you buy it and it only takes 1 or 2 tablespoons mixed with water or apple cider vinegar to make an incredible detoxifying mask. The molecules in the mask form a negative electron charge that interacts with the positive charge found in various skin toxins.

Steam
You can always pour hot water into a bowl as a makeshift steamer but if you're looking to stock your home like spa, I recommend investing in a proper steamer like this one from Dr. Dennis Gross or this less expensive one from Conair. While I've only personally tried the Dr. Dennis Gross, I have heard great things about the Conair as well. These steamers are not only great additions for skincare routines but they are also useful when you're sick.

Essential Oils
An arsenal of essential oils can go along way when it comes to both personal care and home care. You can use them in a diffuser to create a relaxing environment, to create your own bath bombs and products, or even directly on your skin depending on the particular oil. A good starter collection consists of lavender, eucalyptus, rose, sweet orange, and lemongrass.

Robe
It's hard to have a full-on spa day without a robe. My recommendation is to pick one that is fluffy, not too heavy but not flimsy, and very soft.

Specialty Facial Tools
Invest in a specialty tool that is tailored for your specific skin conditions. For acne, try a powered cleansing brush or a blue light therapy mask. For anti-aging, try a micro-current device or an infrared light therapy mask.

What I'd Buy at Sephora Right Now with $500

While browsing Sephora, I noticed that I would need to spent about $500 in order to reach VIB Rouge status and it got me fantasizing about dropping five hundred all at once just for fun. If I were to do that, here's what I'd buy:

Lancer Anti-Aging Regimen ($135)
The price is actually a great deal for this set of four Lancer products. I've tried three of the included Lancer Method products before (Polish, Cleanse, Nourish) and was really stunned by how amazing they were. This set also includes the Eye Contour Lifting Cream which makes it the perfect medicine cabinet essential.

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum ($49)
I love everything I've ever tried from Caudalie and would need to round of the Lancer routine with a good serum. This one has hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to make it a great pick.

Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48)
I've talked about the Blue Tansy mask several times before so I'd go ahead and try it!

NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device ($199)
This microcurrent device works to tighten the skin, improve color, and decrease visible fine lines on the face.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish ($36)
This is another product I've mentioned wanting to try before. I'm assuming that it smells amazing.

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant ($26)
Cashmere Mist is such a beautiful scent and I think it's nice that there are products on the market that don't smell like baby powder or lemons.

Creating a Winter Project

unnamed.jpg

Last month, I mentioned the concept of winter projects in a post about autumn. My reasoning is that winter can be a complex time both physically and mentally---the weather prevents most outdoor activities and the lack of sunlight can be frustrating. In order to combat the negative feelings that can come with this season, I think it's good to assign yourself a winter project. Here are a few ideas:

Ideas for Winter Projects

Write a short story
Challenge yourself to write more this winter, whether it be a full short story or a few chapters of a longer endeavor. Some other options include daily journaling or creative writing prompts. Perhaps you could even begin outlining your memoir!

Create an art journal
My best friend invited me to do a 30-day art journal two summers ago and it was so much fun! You simply buy a blank art journal and create something in it each day according to the daily prompt or theme. 

Cook through a recipe book
Pick a recipe book that's been sitting on your shelves and commit to cooking your way through it. Too many choices can sometimes feel contrarily limiting (this is the same problem we all have with making selections on Netflix), so forcing yourself to cook every recipe in the book is a great way to find new meals that you may not have been previously drawn to.

Purge and reorganize all of your belongings
The guys from The Minimalists have a great 30-Day Minimalism Game in which you gradually eliminate unwanted belongings. This creates an environment that is far easier to organize and manage going forward.

Commit to a meditation challenge
The easiest way to go about this is to download an app that allows you to track your meditations. Much like the minimalism game, you can start small by meditating for five minutes per day and gradually increase the length of time as the weeks go on. Or, challenge yourself to meditate for a total of 30 minutes each day from the get-go.

Try a new fitness class each weekend
Who cares if ClassPass Unlimited is no longer? Try out a new fitness class each weekend to get out of your comfort zone. This is super easy if you belong to a gym that offers a variety of classes. You never know what your new obsession will be. If you prefer free workouts, try a new kind of workout from YouTube each weekend.

Plan your next trip
Winter is a great time to start planning for your travels. If you're freezing cold and dreading the early sunsets, there is nothing like dreaming of a getaway to make you feel better in the moment. If you have a location in mind, determine what you'd like to do when you're there along with where you would like to stay. If you're not sure of your location, start a Pinterest board for inspiration. Dreaming of these things is half the fun.

Complete a thirty day photo challenge
Have you seen those challenges people sometimes do on Instagram? As with art journals, these photo challenges provide you with a daily subject or theme to photograph. This can be a really fun way to stretch your creative muscles and can consume as little or as much time as you wish.

Engage in a reading challenge
This year, I did the 50 Books Challenge. Next year, I'm thinking of making my challenges have monthly themes which also works well for a winter project. Some goals could be to only read books that you already own, to only read books published before you were born, or to read everything written by specific author.

Create a 2017 vision board
Having a goal to set goals is rather meta, isn't it? The end of the year is the ideal time to decide what you want 2017 to look like for your life. Cuddle up in your house and spend a few moments each day adding to and contemplating your vision board so that you can make it all happen.

 

What I'd Wear to the Oscars

Since this embellished Valentino gown is clearly the standout piece, I'd keep the accessories super neutral with nude Gianvito Rossi heels and a nude, textured clutch from Alaia. The vibe to me is that of a desert queen, something from Star Wars or Mad Max. The beauty look would involve a slightly undone top-not, matte face, and dark burgundy lipstick. 

The aptly named Conqueror gown by Maticevski would be my second pick. It also has a slightly sci-fi feel to it. I love the minimalist, structural design paired with the deep plum color of the fabric. It softens the look and adds an element of warmth. I'd pair it with feminine, burgundy bow heels from Alexandre Birman and an embroidered Bottega Veneta clutch to add texture and a bit more color. The beauty look would be smooth, slicked back hair and a fresh, dewy face made with just BB cream, moisturizer, and lip balm.

Bookshelf: Art & Semiotics

I remember purposely wearing black outfits to my semiotics course when I was in college. Unlike literature and history, which conjure images of tweedy blazers and worn-in leather shoes, semiology is the academic equivalent of minimalist geometric abstraction and thus calls for streamlined black turtlenecks like Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face beat poet dancing look. It makes perfect sense to me. The idea of minimalism is essentially to shed the excess in order to represent something more pure. In a way, your mind is required to do something similar when studying semiotics. In order to grasp the abstract concepts, you are pushed simultaneously to extreme level of inspection and to refuse what you think you already know. 

When it comes to the study of semiotics, three books stand out to me to recommend.

Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes
While this book wasn't my first foray into semiotics, it was one of the most important texts utilized in my course on the semiotics of photography. Barthes, considered one of the most seminal semioticians, applies theories of semiotics to photography which is quite a unique form of representation. But, there is more to this book than meets the eye. There is a humanity which makes it that much more interesting.

Art and Illusion by E.H. Gombrich
I read many Gombrich texts as an art history student and remember them fondly. This particular text is focused on the pictorial representation of complex ideas and theories. It also touches on the difference between a picture and a sign which is one of the major tenants of semiotics. 

Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard
I read this book a few years back whenever I was bored before math class. It theorizes the concept of the simulacra, which is a concept integral to the theory of art. The idea of simulacra--defined both as a representation or imitation of a person or thing and an image without the substance or qualities of the original--ties in with Gombrich's Art and Illusion as they ponder the differences between faithful reproduction and intentional distortion.

The Girl Friday: Christina

14717038_558883670981065_3193274126285725686_n.jpg

I've admired Christina ever since we met in college and bonded over our love of fashion and Audrey Hepburn. She has a really fun, happy spirit and a sense of modern sophistication that I love so much!

Follow:
@christinalouise13

Favorite Beauty Brands
Clinique and Neutrogena.
"I believe beauty starts with clean and healthy skin!"

What podcasts are you listening to?
Girlboss Radio

Favorite Indulgences
"Once in a while I'll indulge in a nice bottle of Argentinian Malbec, preferably Bodega Catena Zapata."

Go-To Snack
Roasted red pepper hummus and multigrain tortilla chips.

Favorite Piece in Your Wardrobe
"My black Adrienne Vittadini leather booties--they are so versatile. I can dress them up or down, sophisticated, edgy or cozy. They definitely encompass my versatile style."

In an alternate universe, what career would you pursue?
Expert Art Authenticator.
"If not for fashion, I definitely would have pursued my love of art history to catch art-forging bad guys. Think White Collar."

Who are your five ideal celebrity dinner party guests?
Michelle Obama, Audrey Hepburn, Amy Winehouse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carolina Herrera

Who is your wellness idol?
Lauren Conrad

Top 3 Places on Your Current Travel List
Thailand, Italy, and Chile

. . . 

What She Does
Currently in her last year at Flagler College studying Business & Strategic Communication in hopes of pursuing a career in fashion journalism or fashion PR. Her dream job is to be editor-in-chief of Vogue.

Where She Is
St. Augustine

Her Aesthetic
Classic, feminine, and just a hint of edge.

Astrological Sign
Pisces

Girl Crushes
Audrey Hepburn & Sarah Vickers

Boy Crushes
Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar & James Dean

Favorite Scent
Freshly brewed dark roast coffee

Favorite Film
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
"I'm in love with the actors, the soundtrack, and Jane Austen's classic story. I could watch it over and over and it will never get old."

The best city is....
Berlin, but NYC is a very, very close second.

Favorite Restaurant
The Floridian in St. Augustine.

Go-To Workout
Spinning & Yoga
"BeCycle in Berlin got me hooked on the duo over the summer."

This post is part of an ongoing series in which I feature some of the coolest girls I know.