five airport outfits to make you look vip

Why are we all so fascinated by airport outfits? Or more specifically, by celebrities in the airport. I don't know what it is, but there's something about a good airport look that really appeals to me. As shallow as it seems, I really enjoy looks that make you feel VIP or even just mysterious!

Here are a couple of outfit ideas for your next airport visit that'll make you feel VIP.

A duster coat is your go-to piece for making any outfit look pulled together. For the most comfortable airport outfit, just wear your favorite athleisure pieces underneath one of these coats, which you can take off on the plane to use as a blanket.

For a sort-of Olivia Culpo inspired look, pair some comfortable but flattering black leggings with a broken-in white tee. Over that, layer a cute varsity jacket then pair with comfy black ankle boots.

A surefire way to look more interesting at the airport is to add a flat brim hat to your look. I like the idea of this brown one from Rag & Bone with a simple black t-shirt, slip on shoes, and leather leggings.

This is a look that could potentially go wrong if not done properly, but when done right you'll look super chic and pulled together. Pair a matching tracksuit with high-end slides and your favorite oversized sunglasses. Be sure to keep your hair and makeup look simple and clean to avoid making the look sloppy.

For a classic look, wear a loose-fitting white button-down with black leggings. Wear this underneath a light trench coat paired with a classic slide-on loafer for easy removal when you go through TSA.

political terms we should all know + understand

It's no surprise that our daily lives are getting more and more politically oriented. Although you could say that it's for dark reasons, I'm actually so happy to see people becoming more politically engaged. For a long time, I feel like Americans have largely ignored the workings of our government which has allowed politicians to really take advantage of the system. 

Knowledge is power and the only way we're able to build the society we want is to be informed. So, I wanted to share a few political terms that seem to cause confusion and give a brief overview of what they mean and how they're relevant. I think it's a good starting place for more future political posts on the blog!

Gerrymandering
Manipulating the boundaries of a voting district to favor one party or class.

Politicians change the geographical borders in electoral counties in order to better their party's chances of winning elections. This is problematic because the party in power gets to decide how the lines are drawn and can therefore manipulate the districts to win electoral votes in their party's favor. Here's a great article that explains the process in depth. 

Battleground States
Also known as swing states, these are the states that could realistically be won by either political party. Therefore, they are often targeted by parties to swing the vote in their favor. 

The most notable battleground states in U.S. elections are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Whereas the remaining states are often very predictable in their voting choices, these battleground states are not and are often the ones that decide elections. In fact, 75% or more of a candidate's spending is spent in battleground states. 

Caucus
When supporters of a political party meet, typically to select a presidential candidate. 

The caucus is the first phase of a presidential election, where the party's nominee is chosen. A caucus is similar to a primary election, but a caucus is held by the private political party rather than by the government. At the caucus, notable individuals in the party are chosen as delegates who are then sent to the party's National Convention to select their presidential candidate. 

Filibuster
An action used to obstruct progress in legislation.

Basically, this is when a legislator stands up before the assembly and does something to take up time in order to prevent the assembly from voting on a specific measure. One of the most famous filibusters I can think of was in 2013 when Wendy Davis, a Texas senator, spoke for 11 hours straight before the Senate in attempt to kill an abortion bill. The goal was to speak until midnight, the deadline, in order to block voting on the bill. 

House & Senate Majority Leaders
The spokesperson for the majority party.

The majority leader serves as the spokesperson in the House or Senate for the political party that is currently in power. For instance, both the House & Senate are currently controlled by the Republican party so the majority leaders are republicans Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. You may have also heard the term "Majority Whip": that is basically just the person who serves as an "enforcer" of the party's values. 

House & Senate Minority Leaders
The spokesperson for the minority party.

The minority leaders are the spokespeople for the party that is not currently in power. In the case of our current government, the Democrats are the minority so the minority leaders are democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The minority party also has their own minority whip.

PAC / SuperPAC
Political Action Committee

PACs are groups who gather donations for a specific political party. They are often run by corporations, labor unions, or membership organizations. PACs fund a candidate's campaign, but they have rules stating how much money they can contribute to a candidate per year. Some examples of PACs are Northrup Grumman and the American Federation of Teachers. You can probably guess where their respective interests lie in terms of candidates and policy.

 A SuperPAC might also be called an IEOC (short for Independent Expenditures Only Committees) because they accept unlimited donations and spend an unlimited amount to support or oppose federal candidates but they cannot directly donate to the candidates. So for instance, they might use their money to run an attack ad on an opposing candidate. You can see why these groups are controversial.

Electoral College
A body of people representing the states in presidential elections.

The founding fathers established this as a balance between a true popular vote and a vote in Congress for the president. Each state is given a certain amount of electoral votes equal to the number of its senators (2) plus the number of its representatives (determined by population). For instance: Florida has 29 votes and California has 55 votes while Alaska has 3 votes and Rhode Island has 4 votes. The electoral process becomes complicated from there, so here's a good video.

Lobbying
Attempting to influence leaders to create legislation that benefits a particular interest group.

Lobbying is a very controversial topic (watch the film Miss Sloane for a look into that world) because it has become so prevalent in our elections. Lobbying organizations typically represent a corporation or special interest group that wants legislation passed that would benefit them. Some of the big lobbying corporations are Northrup Grumman, American Medical Association, American Realtors Association, and Blue Cross / Blue Shield. Some specific interest groups that spend money in Congress are retirees, lawyers, health professionals, oil/gas and real estate groups. 

These groups attempt to persuade legislators to enact laws that work in their favor. It's controversial because of the corruption and bribery involved. Lobbyists raise money for candidates they can control, write their own legislation, and sometimes bribe politicians with job offers, meals, travel, tickets to sporting events, and more. 

Single-Payer Healthcare
Healthcare financed by taxes and operated on a public system.

This is a term that we hear often, whether in a positive or negative light, but that many people don't understand. Our current healthcare system primarily operates in the private market as citizens buy their insurance from private companies (i.e. Anthem, Humana, Aetna, etc.) Oftentimes we get insurance through our employer which means that it is open to change at any moment (if you change jobs, leave your job, or if your employer switches providers). 

Single-payer healthcare (as seen in South Korea, Canada, and Taiwan) is when healthcare is provided to citizens using the money they pay in taxes. It is controlled by the government, therefore you receive the same coverage regardless of where you work. It's very similar to "universal healthcare" (Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, etc). While the U.S. certainly isn't on a single-payer healthcare system, we do have some single-payer options such as the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare, although you have to fit certain criteria to receive those options. 

Here's an article from a conservative think tank on the benefits of the single-payer and universal healthcare models.

4 free things to do in nyc

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When I think of New York, the last thing I think of is affordable. Let's be honest, living here or even just visiting can be pretty expensive. People say it costs $25 just to leave the house in Manhattan and, in all actuality, that's not far from the truth. But thankfully, there are things you can do for free and they're pretty spectacular. 

gallery hopping in chelsea
Looking at art is one of my favorite things to do and, in the city, you can see an abundance of incredible art for no cost. If you head over to West 24th Street past 10th Avenue, there alone you'll find gallery upon gallery. All around Chelsea, there are endless free galleries containing world renowned work from artists. Some notable spots to check out are the Gagosian, David Zwirner, Matthew Marks, Luhring Augustine, Paula Cooper, Sean Kelly, and Petzel. 

spend the day taking photos
If you are at all interested in photography, New York is the place to be. I love spending a whole day going around to different neighborhoods with the sole intention of taking photos. All you need for the day is your camera or even just your iPhone. Take the time to get really creative in staging your photos and putting together a pretty Instagram story. You'll spend nothing and come out of the day with a ton of Instagram content. 

take a walk
Yes, it's true that you can take a walk anywhere but walks in New York have so much more potential. Exploring by foot gives you all sorts of great opportunities for discovery! You'll be able to browse all sorts of stores and hidden places no matter which neighborhood you choose. I once walked 80 blocks one day in the summer just for the fun of it! If you want a more 'green' walk, try the High Line, anywhere in Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, or the Brooklyn waterfront in DUMBO. 

try a free beauty treatment
Typically, a facial in the city will run you at least $100 but you can actually pop into several different stores for free mini-treatments. Ask the skincare team at Sephora for a mini-facial. At Rituals, they'll give you a hand treatment and meditation moment. Other places to hit include Fresh and Kiehl's. 

the weekend list no. 29

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Hi, everyone! How was your week? It was a fairly eventful one for me with lots of random celebrity appearances (including Jessica Biel, who is stunning, and Jay Manuel, who gave me heart palpitations), lots of snacks, and fun time spent with my best friend. Here are some things that caught my eye lately...

These paintings by Rochelle Redfield are right up my alley. I love the serene landscapes paired with the fun confetti. In fact, I actually feel like these paintings really represent my personality.

This kind of art really isn't the typical kind I'm into, but Brenda Cablayan's paintings of Hawaii are so gorgeous. The style reminds me of what Edward Hopper does with the East Coast.

I really enjoyed this article from The Everygirl about the inadequacy that's ingrained in women's minds throughout life as well as the competition between women that stems from it. I think most girls would relate to what the author is saying, unfortunately, but being aware of it is the only way to make positive change.

Caitlin has a great post about how she packs for her travels. I've always liked the idea of making a lookbook of outfits (a la Erika Jayne) so that you don't have to think about styling while on your trip.

As a former Unilever intern, this makes me really proud.

The Cut ran this piece a little while ago with the premise that "certainty is the enemy" and I completely agree with it. 

Loved this post from The Positivity Blog about ten things you can do to improve your overall happiness.

Is this not the happiest sweater?

Love, love, love Gwyneth and really enjoyed her Top Shelf on ITG!

Amber's husband did a guest post on her blog and shared the cutest photos of him tossing their kids in the air. I thought it was so fun to see all of the photos together in one spot. Lots of flying toddlers!

a few cultural things i'm looking forward to

Happy Friday! I wanted to do a quick post today talking about a few things I'm looking forward to right now. Some of them are upcoming, others are already in existence but things that I haven't yet experienced. So, here we go!

Books

What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?: Conversations About Women, Leadership, and Power by Marianne Schnall
Somehow, I only just heard about this book and it sounds so interesting. The writer's 8-year-old daughter asked her why we have never had a woman president in the U.S. which prompted her to research and write this book. It includes interviews with prominent figures to discover the answer to her daughter's question and what could get us to a point where a woman is elected to the office.

Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur
Another political non-fiction book, this one was written by Katy Tur, an NBC correspondent who reported on the 2016 presidential election and was personally attacked by Donald Trump. Her experience was pretty crazy---at one point, the Secret Service had to escort her out of an event because Trump had riled the crowd up against her so much. I cannot wait to read this one!

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
As you know, I adored Angie Thomas's first book The Hate U Give and can't wait to read her second novel which comes out this June. It's about a teenaged girl named Bri (something I can obviously relate to) who is an aspiring rapper. It's also set in the same universe as her first novel which is fun.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
The first in an upcoming series, this story follows a teenaged girl who has been living on the road with her mother. When her grandmother, a famous author of dark fairytales, dies, the story take s a turn. The girl's mother is taken by a figure who claims to have come from the supernatural world in her grandmother's stories. So, she teams up with one of her grandmother's fans to find her mother. 

Movies

Thoroughbreds
I am such a huge fan of Anton Yelchin, so it will be bittersweet to see this film which was his last role before his death. Honestly, I still can't believe it happened. He looks amazing in Thoroughbreds, which seems to be a film that's right up my ally. He appears alongside Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke in a story about an upper-class teenager and her best friend. I don't want to spoil much of the plot, but this has major Heathers vibes. Watch the trailer here!

Submergence
Alicia Vikander is another person of whom I'm a big fan and she's in a new film that's kind of hard to explain. It involves British spies and submarines but it's all very subtle (directed by Wim Wenders who did Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire). Here, watch the trailer. This film got pretty bad reviews but I still want to check it out.

The Florida Project
I'm sure you've all heard about this film by now and I'm surprised I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet. I absolutely adore Sean Baker's film aesthetic and Willem Defoe. Plus, the film is set in Kissimmee which is very close to where I grew up, so I'm excited to see how that area was represented. I've also fallen in love with Brooklynn Prince, who plays the little girl in the film. Please watch this video of her and you will fall in love with her, too. I think I'll watch this over the weekend!

 

Other

Spyscape Museum
I'm majorly into spies and anything relating to spies, so I was super excited to hear that this new museum is opening in the city today! I'd been dying to visit the Spy Museum in D.C. but now I can just go here! The museum has interactive experiences like codebreaking, spy challenges, and even a laser agility course. When you visit, you get a special 'spy identity', too. I am so excited just thinking about it. 

Roman & Williams Guild
The decor brand Roman & Williams recently opened shop in New York. It's more than just a store, though. There's also a flower shop and a gorgeous café where everything is for sale. This is such a beautiful space that I can't wait to visit soon!