Sunday, October 13, 2013

The First Month || NYC

Alright, so, it's been a month and a half since I moved here for college, but who cares about logistics? The past month has been filled with many tears, stressful nights full of procrastination, and a thousand little pick-me-ups needed to keep myself going.  At times, I have regretted my decision to attend school here and have spent some days wondering if I would have been better off attending the other school I was torn on.  Of course, just a bunch of phony dramas playing in my mind, but why should I be stuck on these thoughts if they affect the way I view life?

via Instagram
It has always been my motto to find happiness wherever I go.  If I knew back in April when I decided on this school that I would be happy here, I should be putting forth the effort to truly find that happiness.  The overwhelming process of adjustment to college life of figuring out where I fit in and who I fit in with has been stressful only because I have made it stressful.  For the most part, I have only caused my own anxiety through over-thinking things out of my control.  The reason I haven't found happiness is because I'm not letting it be found.

As I was walking around Central Park yesterday, I encountered the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir for the first time and I couldn't help reflect on how fortunate I am.  I am living in New York City and all I do is complain about how life isn't working out for me.  My selfish thoughts have not only been bringing me down, but those around down.  Come on, pull yourself together, Simek.

I am in New York City.  This city will allow me to discover myself in ways that I probably wouldn't be able to in.   I will get to live in this glorious city for some period of my life after graduation.  My perspective is the only thing I need to change. 

Things I've done in NYC in my first month:

  • Fall shopping spree
  • Ate tiramisu gelato at Eataly
  • Ate breakfast two weekends at Tom's Restaurant in a row in Morningside Heights (yes, Tom's Restaurant aka "The Seinfeld Diner"
  • Ate mini cupcakes in Columbus Circle at midnight
  • Walked half of Central Park
  • Rode the Ferris Wheel in the Toys "R" Us in Times Square

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Club Thursday || The Years

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of stopping by a lovely bookstore next to Columbia University's campus.  Having always been a book lover, I absolutely had to drag my parents and brother into store.  Naturally, I went a little crazy in there.  As in a lot crazy.  As in I spent over a hundred bucks on books.  BUT it was so worth it because who walks into a bookstore without buying at least one book?

One such book I picked up was Virginia Woolf's The Years.  I have been a fan of Virginia Woolf for only a few months after reading Mrs. Dalloway this spring.  Her novels are so beautifully written and they hold such an important mark in British Literature.  Not to mention the fact that her life was just as much of a beautiful whirlwind as the plots of her novels.

I must admit that I did cheat a little by reading about thirty pages of the book over the course of the last four days, but I am beyond excited to really get in to the novel over the next week!  I've been trying to read at least thirty minutes before I go to bed on weekdays and an hour on the weekends.  Hopefully, the book won't pass by too fast.

To those who have read Woolf's The Years, what were your thoughts?  Anyone else have a reading schedule they try to follow?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall into Navy

While it certainly doesn't feel like it with this 80 degree weather we're having here in New York this weekend, Fall is just around the corner and I am craving jeans, fuzzy sweaters, and warm Starbucks mocha lattes.  With the welcoming of autumn and amazing Fall fashions, my eye naturally begins to drift toward darker colors once the weather really starts getting cold.  Navy, especially, has been one of those fool-proof colors I am always sporting during these months due to how versatile it is (almost a quarter of my Fall wardrobe is navy).

Seriously, you could pair dark-wash skinny jeans with a lightweight jacket and L.L. Bean Duck Boots or riding boots.  Or, if you're heading out for a night out on the town, slip on a flattering navy dress and black pumps, and swipe on some red nail polish for a color pop.  No matter how you decide to incorporate navy into your wardrobe this Fall, be creative!  Who knows who you might end up sharing some hot chocolate with on a chilly night.

What other colors do you find yourself being naturally drawn to in autumn?

Challenge: The products below are expensive, but try and create your own, less expensive variations to these styles.  Go bargain shopping and see if you can steal some of your own treasures.

Navy in the Fall

Friday, September 6, 2013

Going Through Changes

Oh, where to begin?  The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me both physically and mentally.  What I'm speaking about is college.  That's right!  I started my first year of college two weeks ago.  While I wish I could say that I couldn't be happier, I just feel bogged down with my newfound ultra-hectic life.  At times, it feels like I'm just not here.

I joined the Novice Division I rowing team at my school, so I think that plays a huge part in why I constantly feel lost.  Because of my constant exhaustion, I'm looking forward to speeding through my day rather than appreciating my classes and my life do the degree I want to.  Don't get me, wrong.  I absolutely love all my classes, but I can't help but wonder if my involvement in the crew team (and my work study job) will eventually lead to my grades dropping.  Sure, I can always quit crew, but the challenge of the sport makes me what to conquer it to the best of my ability.

Currently, I am still on the quest to find my niche in college.  I have individual friends, but a set group.  Sometimes, I just feel ostracized because I would rather stay in on a weekend to study rather than go out with a bunch of my hall-mates.  In part, my actions are to blame for my disconnect, but at the same time, I shouldn't feel as though I have to go out all the time in order to make friends.  It's just hard going from being a sociable person in high school to having an "outsider" feeling in college.

The quote above by F. Scott Fitzgerald (one of my favorite writers) is the quote that I used as my senior quote this past school year and one that I always come back to when I'm feeling overwhelmed.  It describes me so well for I am always on the quest to grow as a person and to experience life in ways I never thought I would.  Deep down, I know that coming to this city for school was the best decision I could have made even though it doesn't feel like it right now.  "I'm not sure what I'll do, but-" I know that I will eventually find complete happiness with my life.  College is a crazy transition time and my cold feet are just getting in the way.

Any one else having a similar experience at college?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Eating while flies swarm around my fresh-off-the-grill hot dog, I shield my eyes from the blazing July sun. Ketchup heated from the humid air slides off the meat onto the bun and then onto my fingertips, making a sticky tomato paste. Oils from the grill glisten in the late afternoon light. I practically inhale the hot dog, finishing it in less than a minute.  Licking my fingers and wiping my hands on worn-in jeans, I try to erase the smell of grease off my skin.

Later that evening, I spot a group of friends lighting sparklers in the soccer field at the county recreation center and sprint over to grab a few before there aren’t any left. The adults tell us to stand like a statue and to hold our arms out as far as possible while they use a lighter to ignite the mini-fireworks. This is what I live for as a child of nine: lighting things on fire and not having a care in the world; pyro and mania. Independence ran through my veins like a drug.

Shwoop, a sound similar to air being sucked out of a tube, is emitted from across the open field where firetrucks are assembled. Pop is heard next and the twilight sky is painted with purple streaks of explosive matter. A crackle and sizzle follow as the fireworks fizzle out. Another explosive is shot into the air, this one a vibrant red, navy, and white for the United States. I gaze as one after another, fireworks are shot into the sky and light it up for over half and hour. Pyro, independence, and mania make one hell of a Fourth of July.

I'm thinking I'm going to be sharing some of my personal writing every Monday!  This way, I can have initiative to keep up my writing outside of my blog posts.  Hope you enjoyed.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety.

I have not been able to stop stressing for the past three days.  It's that simple.  But, what's not so simple to figure out is why I have been so on-edge lately.  I have a theory that it stems from any number of these factors:

  • Lack of organization.  My bedroom is a mess because I'm currently in the process cleaning/organizing everything.
  • College planning.  I'm starting my first year of college in about six weeks (woo!!!), but I'm not really enjoying the whole not-knowing-my-class-schedule thing.  I feel so overwhelmed about gathering the dorm room things I need to buy.  Ugh, isn't this supposed to be a fun time in my life?!
  • Work.  Enough said.
  • Yesterday, my best friend left for a month long tour of Europe and I haven't been able to communicate with him that much because of the time difference (talk about me being co-dependent).  He usually helps me chill out in weird times like these, so I'm missin' the love.

I have tried practically every thing in the book to dissipate the tension.  Well, not every single thing, but close to it!  Today consisted of me cleaning (see bullet one) since I usually don't feel as stressed when I get something done.  When that didn't work, I put my creative mind to work to paint an old jewelry box I can use at school.  No luck on that either.  Online shopping?  Negative results.  It wasn't until I meditated for about twenty minutes in complete silence that I started to feel a bit more relaxed.

Tonight, I'm hoping to do a sort of "electronics blackout" where I don't touch my computer, phone, etc. for a couple hours.  Maybe settling down with a good novel and lighting some candles will help my mind chill.

Anyone else have any tips for trying to ease a restless mind?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time for Some New Lacquer: Summer Nail Polishes

Humidity has set in at it's fullest, people are flocking to their neighborhood pools, and celebrity drama is reaching it's peak in People Magazine.  That's right, it's summer.  Full-fledged summer, I might at.

It is that time of the year that is just as renowned as New Years Eve for being the time when people step out of their comfort zones and try new things.  "New things" can refer to any number of things- fashion, fitness, lifestyle plans.  Whatever your new adventure may be, you want to look good doing it.  Experimenting with nail polish is the perfect way to mix up your style according to what's going on in your life each week.

Summer Nail Polishes


I prefer lighter shades in the summer time, such a nudes, cool colors, and pinks.  Essie is a perfect brand to go to if you want reasonably priced, great selection of polishes.  However, my go-to nail polish when I've run out of the light shades (or I can't decide on a color) is butter London's Pillar Box Red.  It's that certain kind of red that just makes you feel sexy- like you've stepped out of the 1940's- and want to show your perfectly polished hand off to the world.  You can't deny it. . . a bright red provides a great pop of color to your nails, especially around the Fourth of July.  Pair a nautical striped shirt with some khaki chinos with the Pillar Box Red nail polish and you're in business.  While each bottle of butter London is quite expensive ($15), it is instantly obvious that it is quality polish the moment you let it dry on your nails.

This week, I went with Essie's Turquoise and Caicos even though it was the Fourth.  I've had to work a lot recently and have been experiencing major stress, so I wanted a cool color that could mellow me out whenever I looked at it.  Plus, the color goes well with any kind of flow-y, summer dress and tan sandals.

Watch: Vintage; Dress: Zara; Polish: Essie's Turquoise and Caicos

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Concrete Jungle

A couple of weekends ago, I traveled up to NYC for the weekend with my dad to check out a college that I eventually decided would be the one I want to spend the next four years of my life attending.  Prior to the visit, I had never been to the Big Apple.  I knew of only one high school friend who had ventured up there for college, but other than that, I was alone in the city for a weekend.

The sheer size of the city never intimidated me in the slightest.  Yellow taxis swarmed the pavement, skyscrapers blocked the sun from view at times, yet I felt at home almost from the get-go.  The plethora of noises, sights, and sounds, might scare away many, but I never faltered.  Hailing from a rural county with a population of 7, 500 I can only vaguely imagine the overwhelmed responses many people from my hometown would have to the hectic nature of NYC.

However, the diversity of the city is what made me truly fall in love with it.  Everywhere you go, some place drenched in culture.  You can walk along Broadway and see a girl clad in anime-inspired clothing and makeup, or see a gay couple walking hand-in-hand down the sidewalk.  You can visit Little Italy and the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.  The city is home to over two hundred spoken languages.  People from every walk of the Earth live here. . . (just listen to their stories).  New Yorkers are proud to call the city their home.  "I can't imagine living anywhere else," said a restaurant manager I met in the Bronx.  "Went to Florida once and I hated it."  Every single thing the city contains is there for anyone to enjoy (well not every thing, but you get the point) and to immerse in.

What the NYC has in store for me, I'm not quite sure, but I'm ready for anything it has to throw at me.  These next four years are supposed to be the "best years of my life" so I might as well make the most of them while I can.  Hopefully, I am going to catch many a show on Broadway and at the Lincoln Center (a friend of mine is going to Julliard for dance)!  Maybe, meet a ton of rad people along the way.

Any New Yorkers out there care to share what their favorite part of the city is?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Thought Process of a Frustrated Writer"

Below is a short piece I composed the other night while I was experiencing Writer's Block.  One of my friends recommended I come up with a word to use as a theme and see where it would take me.  So, here is the half-hearted "finished" product of my under active imagination, which I hope will provide some enjoyment to at least one of you.

Stifled thoughts.
Stifled thoughts, dreams.
Stifled thoughts, dreams, and notions.
Stifled thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man.
Stifled thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage.
Stifled thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage as a part-time bartender.
The stifled, drab thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage as a part-time bartender for a strip club named La Playa.
The stifled, drab thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage as a part-time bartender for a strip club named La Playa.  He once wanted to be the owner of the legendary "gentlemen's lounge."
The stifled, drab thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage as a part-time bartender for a strip club named La Playa.  He once wanted to be the owner of the legendary "gentlemen's lounge," but found the stress of looking after demanding performers would only cause him undesired tension.
The stifled, drab thoughts, dreams, and notions of a man working minimum wage as a part-time bartender for a strip club named La Playa.  He once wanted to be the owner of the legendary "gentlemen's lounge," but found the stress of looking after demanding female performers would only cause him undesired tension.  So, he decided to stick with the two women he knew best: Shirley Temple and Bloody Mary.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wintertime in the Spring

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I am ready for higher temperatures.  It may be warm in other regions of the country, but the East Coast is not feeling that love in the slightest.  Sure, it we have had a few sixty-five degree days, but those select few have been cloaked by the penetrating cold.  Even the birds are confused- many of them flew back from the south, expecting it to be warm here in the Mid-Atlantic.  While I do love my college sweatshirts, leggings, and Hunter boots, the novelty of the colder months can wear off rather quickly.

Took this outside when the snow had just started coming down.  I absolutely love the clash between the two seasons represented by the photo.

Personally, I am ninety-degree, dry heat kind of girl; I thrive off strong UV rays (even though my fair, Eastern European skin might not love it) and hot air.  Put me in a pair of pastel colored, chino shorts and you will not see a smile come off my face.  Let's be honest, who couldn't resist sliding their feet in to a pair of flip-flops right about now?  I am hoping Spring will decide to join us soon, but until then, it looks like I'll need to continue layering my clothes.