December 2012 | Chantilly

'12's Greatest Hits

Happy (almost) New Year! It's actually going to be 2013 tomorrow. I feel like 2013 is such a weird number... it makes me wonder if it's going to be a weird year. According to the Mayans it's a "new beginning".

For the start of the New Year, I decided I wanted to go through some of my older posts and make a "best of" sort of thing. As I looked through, I cringed at a lot of my older posts unfortunately. And I noticed that a lot of my favorites are the ones where the tone is more honest between myself and my readers. I also saw that as the year went on, and I changed my writing style in this way more and more, I started to write more solid and interesting posts, as well as take better photos. I suppose that's just what time and practice will do. A reminder that things are always getting better all the time, if you want them to.

Funny thing is, I don't feel like I'm getting better at all. Sometimes, I actually feel like I'm getting worse! I'm not always sure that I have something interesting to write about or share, even though I try. I guess it's just a testament to how hard I am on myself... how hard we all are on ourselves. Maybe we can give ourselves a break in the New Year.

Anyway, here is a collection of posts from the last year... in some cases, it was hard to only pick one favorite from each month, but I believe you will like them :)

January- I reminisced as we visited a Bess Eaton down the street from where I used to live as a kid. bess eaton

February- Made one of my all-time favorite treats... a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. chocolate peanut butter milkshake recipe

March- Took a little tour of my vanity, and showed you guys my favorite products/ a rushed version of my makeup routine. vanity

April- This was where I started to open up a little more about the things that were bothering me in the blogging community. I think it was a turning point for me, and I started writing and sharing a lot differently from this point on. coffee talk

May- I showed you how I made the CD cover for the Up to the Moon EP! From top to bottom, making and releasing this EP was by far, my proudest accomplishment last year. uttm make 12

June- I had a whole week of posts in June dedicated to my vacation on Block Island, one of my most very favorite places to visit when I was a kid. mohegan bluffs

July- In the middle of camp! This was a wonderful moment- performing one of my songs in front of the entire staff and all the campers. chantilly sings

August- A very emotional summary of my wonderful/ crazy camp experience, highlighting the good and bad. butterfly

September- A visit with my family after camp, style post, and a short reminiscing of what used to be... outfit 3

October- I LOVE brunch. Like love it. So much that I made a post about it. brunch 3

November- This is when I got my new glasses from Coastal! I really liked the way these pictures turned out :) derek cardigan

December- seemed to be one of the more popular posts in the past few months, and was one of my favorites too. I liked these pictures, and I'm so glad the sentiment of the post rang true to people. Stop diminishing ourselves!! IMG_1619

Have a safe and happy New Year tonight!! xoxo


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Sunday songs ~ Christmas

Did you know that I am a great big cheeseball when it comes to Christmas music? Well, I am. Of course I love all the classic favorites, but I'll try out a newer selection from time to time....

I heard this version of "All I want for Christmas is you" in a store the other day, and pretty much cried inappropriately in front of the cashier. When I got home to research who did this cover, I was really surprised to find out that it was Michael Buble. I'm not usually such a fan of his, but I like this one a lot. The vocal style is not overly showy, and his phrasing is impeccable. I also like how he changes up the words here and there.

And now to redeem my cool points, here is some Sufjan Stevens for you to savor. We really wanted to go see his Christmas show this year, but tickets sold out in about .5 seconds :(

Alrighty. I hope you enjoyed the music, but I also wanted to mention that I'm signing off for a couple days for Christmas. There might be a few sparse posts here and there, but I'll mostly be concentrating on spending time with my family :) I hope you have a wonderful holiday, if you celebrate. xoxo


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Sponsor ChantillySongs

sponsor jan 13

It's the end of the month call for sponsors! Joy.

Now I know in the call for sponsors, it's obligatory that everyone always talk how awesome the upcoming month will be. But guys, January will actually be pretty cool for me. Here is just some of what I've got up my sleeve for the next month:

~ I'll be taking the top sponsor spot a VERY high traffic blog that most of you know and love :)
~ The Totally Awesome Blog Hop is going strong, always driving tons of traffic at the beginning of the month, and this one is promising to be the best one yet!
~ I've got a video interview lined up with a very prominent social media guru about the power of blogging!
~ I'm in talks with a HUGE, household-name website that is poised to feature me next month.

I know I'm being a little braggy about it all... I just can't keep secrets very well, and I'm really excited!

If you're looking for a bump in traffic, or if you'd just like to support your favorite blogger, please visit my sponsor page. You'll note that I've increased my rates. However, if you email me about a spot before the 28th, get a special holiday 25% discount!!

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful one :) Please be in touch if you'd like to work together in the new year. xx


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life moments

donut dinner 6 mittens sbux nails pie pics ornament ribbion trees

1. Little snack :)
2. The bathroom sign from the restaurant the other night. For some reason, I thought it was cute.
3. Some mittens peeking out of my new bag.
4. They spelled my name right!! I was impressed.
5. Some festive nailpolish.
6. Leftover picture from Thanksgiving that I never posted... pumpkin pie!
7. Was taking some photographs of tote bags from my bandcamp store... these were the props.
8. Decorations in the City.
9. Ribbon.
10. A Christmas tree stall.

For me it feels a little like the night before Christmas, because I'm heading home tomorrow. I can't believe it's finally (almost) here! It's going to be a busy couple of days, planning and getting things packed. I am so ready for this :)

What are/ were your holiday plans like?



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Out on the Town in Williamsburg

dinner 1 dinner 2 dinner 3 dinner 4 dinner 5

It's been awhile since our last fancy-pants dinner. This weekend, I was treated to a lovely meal at a French-inspired bistro! I ordered the salmon, and wore HUGE fake eyelashes that made me feel ridiculous and glamorous. I felt a little outlandish wearing them out on the town, but they looked so natural in the photos I took with them the next day. Why is this so? I'm always baffled how things that are so exaggerated in real life can work well in photos.

Either way, I think our server thought they were/ I was fabulous, because he comped one of my drinks. :)

Well, you might notice that I've been playing with my blog header for the past few days. I liked the old one, but wanted something a little more simple. I'm still thinking of doing some more tweaks.... going even simpler. If you're in a reader, pop on over and tell me what you think :)


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


Review ~ Jo Totes Camera Bag

I've been researching camera bags for the past few months, and found tons of reviews for Jo Totes. Obviously I'd heard of them before... they sponsor a lot of the blogs that I read, and are generally a respected brand.

The problem is, just because a bunch of people are talking about a product like it's the best thing since sliced bread, doesn't mean it lives up to the hype. I can imagine that it's easy to overlook flaws sometimes when you're getting sponsored by a company. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to sponsored reviews at all! I've definitely done them on this blog (and always for products that I love!) But for this purchase, I was in hyper-critical mode and reeeally wanted to make certain it would be worth it. I'm very stingy and hate getting ripped off!!

And well, I needed a camera bag bad. So I went forward in my pursuit of the Betsy. Rest assured, this is not a sponsored review... However, I am so completely and deeply in love with this bag, that I wanted to write something in order to help people who might be in the market for one.

Jo Totes Camera Bag

I was really lucky to get this as an early Christmas gift :) As soon as I saw it, I knew was ready to toss aside my actual purse and start using this for my everyday needs.

First of all, the bag itself is very lightweight. Not only that, but it manages to distribute the weight of the contents evenly. Long walks with a bag loaded down with stuff are totally manageable. And dare I say... easy! This is especially important to this New Yorker, who lugs everything everywhere, and for long periods of time.

To see if I could do it: I fit a 13" Macbook pro + cable, a book, two journals, Canon T2i (prime lens attached), my makeup bag, plus a few other little things. It all fit, and the 20-minute walk was easy! Without my Macbook, it's positively a breeze.

Second thing- I am so much more motivated to take photos again. This should be a no-brainer. It is a camera bag, right? But I didn't realize just how unmotivated I was to bring my camera anywhere before, since it was just one more thing to carry. I'm already noticing how having my camera everywhere I go allows me to frequently pull it out and snap whenever I feel the whim. Making me feel more creative and productive. Which makes me feel a lot happier in general :)

Now for the design. It's made of faux leather, but doesn't look fake at all, and I can tell it's a material that will hold up well. My bag needs to be able to take some abuse, so this is ideal for me. Oh and also... this bag is big. Usually, that would be a hassle (the bigger the bag, the more stuff you carry, the more back pain...) But see #1 for the explanation of why that's not a problem :)

The mustard color is lovely- suitable for all seasons, in my opinion. Great color for fall, but also cheery enough for summer and spring!

There are also customized dividers, which are amazing. I only ended up using one of them, seeing as I just need one section to divide my camera. The rest of the space, I use for my other various things.

The only complaint is that it's a little difficult to maneuver right now. I got into a good system with my last purse, where I could just reach into the pockets and immediately grab my metro card, keys, anything I needed. The Betsy is pretty deep. I fit so much stuff in there, and everything is all packed in- it's especially hard to grab my camera with ease. But keep in mind that I'm using it as a purse- not just a camera bag. I'm thinking with some practice, I'll get into a better grove with it.

All in all, I'm really happy with the bag. I'm in the honeymoon phase where every time I see it, I smile. Matt got mine from the Jo Totes site, but if you're extra broke, there's always ebay... a way I frequently get stuff I can't afford on the cheap :P

Hope this helped!

Jo Totes Betsy Camera Bag


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Inspiration ~ Grand Central Station NYC

grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc grand central station nyc

I found myself in Midtown the other day. Lots of men in suits, rushing off to their important meetings and business luncheons. This is a place that's been both the bane of my existence, and saving grace as a means for sustenance. Living paycheck to paycheck via my old temp jobs. Flitting from one office to the next... day after day, week after week, month after month.

I've never felt like I fit in in a place like Midtown. An artist in "professional attire." A wolf in sheep's clothing. Though my vintage dresses managed to sneak by as appropriate work wear most of the time :)

I always liked Grand Central, though- the very epicenter of the City's hustle and bustle. People coming and going. People with a purpose. So much energy. Back when I was making my old album "caught light" with Danielle, I would make the two-hour door-to-door trek to Purchase by coming here. I'd sit with my Starbucks coffee, waiting for the train. Thinking about the infinite possibility of things. Being grateful to be alive, and happy to be productive.

Being here the other day reminded me of that. And I still love watching the people out there. Tourists, executives, and temp receptionists alike. People who are making and breaking dreams with the swat of their newspaper. People living their lives. Keeping the City's energy lively.


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


Feeling loopy

If you haven't noticed, recently I've liked to use props in my style photos...

Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirt Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirt

Yesterday, I randomly picked this pez dispenser from my shelf that Miki sent me last year. I feel like props help me open up... sometimes when we get past the silliness of "showcasing" something, I can relax, have fun, and get some good shots.

The the last few shoots have been a blast to do! Especially the Christmas lights. I want to revisit that theme, but then again, don't want every shoot to be a rehash of the same one. Is it possible to copy yourself?

Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirt Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirt

Sigh. I kind of can't wait for Christmas, and to get away from the City for awhile. It's pretty during this time of year, but I'm just tired of it lately. I need a break.

Anyway, I seem to be shop-happy lately, which is so not like me. I'm feeling a little guilty about it, but what can you do. This cardigan was from the Tulle Cyber Monday sale... only $13! It's my new favorite, although really how can I say that any of my cardigans are my favorites? I love them all in their own special ways :P

Also... I realize that my shirt is a little messy. I swear I went over it with the lint roller before taking these photos! ...guess it didn't get everything.

Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirt Tulle sweater Urban outfitters skirtCardi- Tulle/ shirt- ebay/ necklace- closeout store/ skirt- urban outfitters/ tights- f21/ booties- thrifted

Hope everyone had a great weekend :)


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!

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