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Winter Trend: Hair Ribbons

1.18.2018

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Hair ribbons tied as bows, even on adults. This winter trend is here and here to stay for the season. What are your thoughts on it? Personally, I wouldn't mind tying a thin velvet ribbon into my hair if it was just a little longer. It's a fun option for wearing your hair up. Plus, I think it would be fun to wear with an outfit featuring more "masculine" pieces such as a blazer, trousers or oxfords. Would you wear this feminine trend? Admire it from afar? Or see it as childish? 

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR 

Denim Overalls

1.17.2018

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This winter I've been trying to mix in a few of my favorite summer pieces into my winter wardrobe. With temps that have been unbearable it seems more important than ever to mix in a few fun things into my usual winter neutrals. You all know I can't get enough of off-the-shoulder tops and velvet so I've mixed both of those pieces with my favorite denim overalls.
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TOP: SMAK PARLOUR (SIMILAR) (LAST WORN IN VELVET AND METALLIC) | OVERALLS: NEVER TOO SPOILED (SIMILAR) (LAST WORN IN POLKA DOTS & OVERALLS) | BOOTIES: ASOS (SIMILAR) (LAST WORN IN POWDER PINK) | SUNGLASSES: FRANCESCA'S | PURSE: KATE SPADE (SIMILAR) | EARRINGS: FREE PEOPLE 

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3 Boutique Hotels in Philadelphia

1.15.2018

If you live in Philadelphia and you're thinking about a little stay-cation (which we all need from time to time), why not do it in an adorable boutique hotel? Explore your own city and book a night or two in another neighborhood. Go for dinner and drinks and then spend a little time relaxing in a beautiful space that isn't your own to mix it up! 
If you don't live in Philadelphia and were planning a trip to this city of ours spend your stay somewhere that's going to feel more personal to you versus a massive chain hotel. Boutique hotels are the best because the staff checks in on you to make sure you have everything you need and they provide little personal touches as well. 
Lokal Hotel 
Neighborhood: Old City 
Address: 139 North 3rd Street 
Favorite Restaurants: FARMiCiA, High Street on Market, Cuba Libre, Cafe Ole (Coffee shop with delicious food and chai tea), Wedge and Fig (Cheese-focused menu - yum!)
Favorite Things to Do Nearby: Boutique shopping, a few of my favorites include The Geisha House, Lost and Found, Smak Parlour and Vagabond. There's a also a great used bookstore called The Book Trader. Hanging out at Independence Beer Garden during the warmer months or walking down to Penn's Landing and going to Spruce Street Harbor. 
Plus: There are so many historical sites to see in Old City if that's your thing. 
Rooms: 6 apartment-style suites
Rates: $190-$300 per night
The Independent Hotel 
Neighborhood: Midtown Village/Avenue of the Arts
Address: 1234 Locust Street 
Favorite Restaurants Nearby: Green Eggs Cafe (for brunch),  Bud and Marilyn's, Mixto, Tria (my favorite wine bar!), Talula's Garden (make sure you make a reservation ahead of time). 
Favorite Things to Do Nearby: Seeing a show or concert at what one of the many venues on Avenue of the Arts, Going to the massive indoor market, Reading Terminal 
Plus: Walkable distance to both Old City and Center City. Old City has a lot of the historical sights (Think Liberty Bell and 18th Century Gardens) as well as a lot of unique small businesses. Center City has the most shopping with all of your favorite stores lining Chestnut and Walnut Street such as LOFT, Banana Republic, Forever 21, Anthropologie, Free People, etc. 
Rooms: 24
Rates: $150-$210 per night
Images from theindependenthotel.com

Chestnut Hill Hotel 
Neighborhood: Chestnut Hill 
Address: 8229 Germantown Ave 
Favorite Restaurants Nearby: Cake (Great for Friday night dinner or Sunday brunch!), El Poquito, Trolley Car Diner
Favorite Things to Do Nearby: Christmas in Chestnut Hill, if you're looking for place to stay in December I recomend staying here because Chestnut Hill turns into a magical Christmas land in December and it's great to just walk around and see the lights. If you like to hike, Wissahickon Valley Park is nearby which has over 2,000 acres of trails. 
Plus: Every year Chestnut Hill hosts a massive, 3-day Harry Potter Festival in the fall. Be sure to book your room months in advance!
Rooms: 36
Rates: $190-$275 per night
Images from chestnuthillhotel.com

What I Read in 2017

1.07.2018

I only read 12 books this past year! 12! It wouldn't seem so bad if I hadn't given myself the goal of 20 which means I barely made it half way. This year my goal is to read 24 books - at least. You can follow along my reading journey with this post if you would like!

Here were the 12 books I read this past year and which were my favorites and least favorite.
12. The One and Only - Emily Griffin
Fiction
Rating: 2/5
To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this one. Chick-flickish (if that's a word) books don't tend to be my thing anyway so I probably should have known better. I have heard great things about this author, I just don't think this genre of novel is really for me. But it is a light-hearted read, one I would recomend for the beach!

11. Flirting with French - William Alexander 
Memoir
Rating: 2/5
This book is based around a man who wants to be French but doesn't speak the language (I can relate! Ha.) but parts of it fell flat for me and I struggled to finish it. To be honest, I barely remember any of it which makes me want to give it another try later on. I was reading it when I was attempting to work two jobs and was working over 75 hours a week so that may have been the issue.

10. Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance
Memoir
Rating: 2/5 
This book was written by a former Marine and Yale graduate and it's based on his life growing up in a poor Appalachian town. I try to read books that give me an insight on the way other people are living or grew up so this was an interesting read for sure. I think the thing that threw me off was the tone of the book and I felt like he was blaming the poor for being poor which (I feel) is unfair.

9. An Object of Beauty - Steve Martin
Fiction
Rating: 3/5
I had a hard time getting through the first half of the book, but once you finally get to know the characters a little more I flew through it, wondering what was going to happen next! It's based around a young women trying to make it in the art world in New York City. This is one of the few books that I still enjoyed while not really liking the main character.

8. All The Ugly and Wonderful Things - Bryn  Greenwood 
Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Definitely not for the light-hearted. This book centers around a young girl who falls in love with her parent's drug dealer. I finished this book fairly quickly, curious about what was going to happen next. One of the two fiction books I read in this past year.

7. My (Part-Time) Paris Life - Lisa Anselmo 
Memoir
Rating: 4/5
Lisa Anselmo was living between New York and Paris. I loved hearing all about her journey with buying and moving into her own home in Paris. She doesn't hold back, sharing the bad aspects (such as trouble with leaks not being fixed efficiently as well as the aspect of loneliness) and the good ones (great food, new friends, the realness of living in FREAKIN' PARIS).

6. The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan 
Essays and Short Stories
Rating: 4.5/5
Marina Keegan died in a car accident in 2012, leaving behind a series of short stories and essays both fiction and non-fiction. The title was named after her graduation essay that was published and well-received in the New York Times. My favorite essay was easily the title essay but they were all so interesting (and relatable).

5. The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur 
Poetry
Rating: 4.5/5
Unlike most people, I actually read this before Milk and Honey. (But I got Milk and Honey for Christmas this year so I can't wait to start that one!) Every poem draws you in, and throughout the majority of the book I thought about how I felt or had felt that way at some point throughout each chapter - wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming.


4. I Was Told There'd Be Cake - Sloane Crosley 
Essays and Short Stories
Rating: 5/5
I LOVED how relatable Sloane Crosley was. Each story was filled with humor as well as reality. She addresses trying to find her identity and making bad decisions in her 20's while living in a major city. Which, right now, as a 24-year old I feel like I'm in the midst of, even if I'm living in Philadelphia instead of New York City.

3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life - Jen Sincero
Self Help/Personal Development
Rating: 5/5
Want to read something that's going to make you want to get started right now? Then this is the book for you! It was the last book for me to read in 2016 and it was the perfect end to a year/beginning of a new year book to read. Jen Sincero remains super straight-forward throughout the book, eliminating all of your excuses for not getting shit done.

2. #GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso
Self Help/Memoir
Rating: 5/5
Yes. Yes. Yes. Please go read this! I loved reading about Sophia Amoruso's journey. It's refreshing to read the story of somebody who wasn't necessarily driven or succeeding until she found something she was passionate about. When we think of success we tend to think of those who have always been overachievers (those who were honor students or were always ahead in school/career from the start), so it's a nice turn to see somebody who didn't always fall in that category become successful. I also love that she took ownership of things that went wrong in her career.

1. The Longest Way Home - Andrew McCarthy 
Memoir 
Rating: 5/5
The feeling of restlessness is a feeling that I can 100% relate to. Andrew McCarthy's story of packing up and traveling is filled with interesting and incredible stories. Andrew McCarthy's new career as a travel writer suits him well. As you read the book you can vividly imagine the places he takes you throughout the book.

What did you love reading in 2017?

10 Most Popular Looks from 2017

1.03.2018

Can you guys believe that just like that, another year is over? This year flew by and I feel like I remember ringing in the new year with my friends so clearly but that was nearly a year ago now. I have mixed feelings about this past year but I'm trying to feel really hopeful about what 2018 will bring. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend welcoming the new year with their loved ones! Here's a look back at my most popular posts from 2017.

September 2017

July 2017

March 2017

March 2017

December 2017

June 2017

April 2017

February 2017

December 2017 

April 2017

The runner-ups included Powder Pink featuring my favorite pink plaid scarf, White in November featuring my favorite off-the-shoulder top and Velvet and Metallic, which was personally my favorite look from the year! Which were your favorites? What outfits did you personally feel good in this year? What are your style goals for 2018? 

Ten Favorite Albums of 2017

1.02.2018

I always love looking back at what my favorite music was for the last few months at the end of a year. My taste in music has shifted significantly the last few years, I used to listen to country music about 99% of the time and now I find myself mostly listening to pop music that's inspired by 80's synth pop sounds and a mix of other things.  I rarely find myself sticking to one single genre and I'm already looking forward to what 2018 brings!

Here were my top ten favorite albums released in 2017. What were your favorites? 

10. Ten Years - Aly & AJ
I couldn't resist! My twelve year old self was so happy to hear that Aly and Aj was back - and with a much more mature (but still super fun) sound. Plus, you all know I'm a sucker for the 80's pop vibe in music.
Top Three Songs: I Know, Promises, Take Me 


9. Wonderful Wonderful - The Killers
I still haven't listened to this album in it's entirety but there are a few songs that haven't left my playlist in months. This album definitely has a bit more of a "pop-iness" (is that a word?) to it than their past albums. 

8. Evolve - Imagine Dragons
I'm not scared to admit I was looking forward to their newest album! I remember loving their first album but wasn't super into the second one. I'm hooked on this one. Especially with pick-me-up songs like Thunder and Believer.
Top Three Songs: Believer, Walking the Wire, Thunder 

7. Masseduction - St. Vincent
You guys. I'm ashamed to admit I just started to listen to St. Vincent. Where have I been? I'm obsessed with the electro-pop sound and all the quirky and smart lyrics. I can't get enough of this album (or the past ones!). 
6. Unapologetically - Kelsea Ballerini
This is the only country album that made it into my top 10 this year. And this would probably be more described as pop-country. So even if country music isn't necessarily your thing I would give this album a try!
Top Three Songs:  In BetweenEnd of the WorldRoses

5. Gone Now - Bleachers
Another artist I just started to listen to. (Where the hell have I been!?) Again with those 80's synth pop sounds - I just can't quit it! Love this album in all of it's weird pop glory.

4. Melodrama - Lorde
I was so excited for this album to come out! I LOVED Lorde's debut album, Heroine. I was worried her new music would lose it's uniqueness after all of the success that Heroine had but instead I felt like her sound was enhanced. 
Top Three Songs: The Louvre, Perfect Places, Supercut


3. Somewhere in Between - VÉRITÉ
VÉRITÉ is one of my new favorites. I saw her live in Philly this past summer and she is so good live! I'm obsessed with every single song on the album and I can't wait to see how far the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter goes. 

2. Divide - Ed Sheeran
My favorite British pop singer! I've loved his music since he first released his debut album so it's been fun to see his career continue to grow. Divide has been on repeat since it came out. Plus, I was obsessed with his song Barcelona before heading to Barcelona myself this summer!


1. Reputation - Taylor Swift
I know, I know - what a surprise! I'm pretty sure that nobody is shocked that this was my favorite album from 2017. I waited three years for this to come out! I can't get enough of the darker (and more grown up) spin that Taylor Swift took on her music. Plus, the lyrics are just SO good.
Top Three Songs: New Year's Day, Call It What You Want, Don't Blame Me (See my top 9 faves HERE)
© Organized Mess • X Maira G.