So Long 2014

Wow, what a year. Out of my 23 years on this earth, 2014 has been the most turbulent. It may simply be a result of getting older but I felt like I really got to know myself this year. I started my career, moved into the city, said goodbye to a lot of good friends, let go of a destructive relationship, and fell in love. The coolest part about having a blog like this is that it's all laid out for me. While embarrassing in a lot of ways, I feel blessed that I can flip through the pages and watch myself grow, whether it be in my style, my thoughts, or my personality. While this year was filled with a lot of pain and struggle, I'm looking back on it as one of my favorites yet. This is not your average "year-end" roundup. I've never been one to only talk about the pretty things in life. Life is ugly. It's gritty. It's a beautiful catharsis to look back at the mountains and realize they were only gentle rolling hills though.


This year did not start out great for me. I was freshly jobless and a very dear friendship had ended in a frustrating, arbitrary way. I'd say that my self-esteem was at an all-time low, which inspired this post about body image. I remember taking those photos and thinking to myself "GOODNESS! What a hambeast! I don't want these photos on the internet." I really almost didn't share that post. Looking at it now, I think I look pretty fantastic and it was silly of me to be so insecure. That's one of the most looked-at and commented-on posts in the entire history of this blog. In a way, knowing that I wasn't the only one to struggle with those things helped to bring me out of my depressive funk. I still had a ways to go but it was some much-needed encouragement. So to you, my lovely readers, I thank you. Towards the end of the month, I was feeling okay with the vulnerability enough to share some thoughts and advice for anyone struggling with anxiety or depression. That's my January in a nutshell. 


February started out a lot like January. (If any of you have ever pursued a job in television news, what I'm about to share will certainly strike a chord or two.) I remember counting the amount of resume/reel emails that I'd sent to news directors all over the country. 172. I also remember seeing the amount of replies. Four.  Two of those replies were automated. One was a stern "no" and the other was a "maybe." I remember laughing. That was the height of my discouragement. It was during an ice storm and the power was out, I kept running out to my car to charge my phone so I could continue feverishly refreshing my email. "Zero new messages" after "Zero new messages" and finally, the "ding!" of hope. It wasn't a job offer. But it was just the glimmer of hope I needed. I received an email invitation to cover Couture Fashion Week in New York. It was just what I needed to escape the frozen suburban hellscape I was banished to and to breathe in some fresh inspiration. You can read those posts here, here, and here. I'm looking at that outfit and that hair right now and I am cringing my brains out. By the end of February, I was almost back to my normal self enough to share this somewhat self-depricating anecdote which still continues to give me a hearty chuckle.


March is what I may just consider in hindsight to be a manic time. I went on some photo adventures with friends, I started discovering my sense of style, and I took an extremely spontaneous road trip to Nashville with my best friend. (Read about that here, here, and here.) I also celebrated my two-year bloggiversary. I started being more open and even brought in some social commentary on current events by tossing in my two-cents on the whole "Ban Bossy" campaign that everybody talked about for all of two minutes. I also shared my heart by talking about losing friends and unrequited love. March is when a few of my favorite outfits happened, as well! These little floral shorts, this burgundy, lace and leather ensemble, and this dreamy kimono are all still making me swoon.


April continued March's upward trend. While still amidst the frustration of not yet having a stable job in my chosen career field, I was getting better and better at finding distractions for myself. I spent a long weekend in Washington, D.C. and met some similarly-minded young journalists. I learned a lot about the profession, ate a lot of great food, and somehow ended up in the Capitol building at 4AM debating foreign policy with one of Harry Reid's staff. It was a whirlwind. I shared my struggles of being a people-pleaser (in two parts!) and started a new series called "Behind the Instagram." I ended the month by sharing my potentially divisive opinions on modesty. I guess Spring brings out all of my various opinions?


May is when things started taking an interesting turn. I finally secured a job in a newsroom-- as a Production Assistant for FOX29, a local Philadelphia-based television news station. I was obviously thrilled and of course I wrote about it and what news means to me. Newsroom life is taxing. Tensions are almost always high and it's easy to get angry or discouraged. Whenever I'm upset, I read that post and it brings me back to center. A lot of my coworkers actually made fun of me for it. They said it was very idyllic and naive. Why not though? Things are what you make of them. I'm world-weathered but still realistically optimistic. If that makes me naive, so be it. I didn't post much in May because big changes were taking place. Which brings me to my next point...


I moved in June. Moving sucks. Decorating, however, is very fun. June was a transition month for me. I was swept up in adjusting to my ever-changing work hours and city life in general. I had some great non-blog moments though, such as playing Cards Against Humanity late at night with my roommates and friends, going to Franklin Fountain (the best ice cream in the city) and coordinating my cone with my outfit, (I know this particular one is technically a blog moment but if you think that was my only ice cream cone all summer, you're sadly mistaken.) and just exploring my city. I practically grew up here but it's so different now that I'm "a big kid." I fell in love with Philadelphia in June. It was a brief period of (almost) complete harmony. 


In contrast to the body image woes of January, I really started feeling good about myself over the summer and I was not afraid to rock a crop top multiple times a week. I think working and making a living for myself really kicked off the radical self-love fest of 2014. It's amazing how much your priorities shift when you're working towards a seemingly unattainable goal. Of course, with all this change, I was bound to self-sabotage to an extent. Alright, I wouldn't go that far but it did bum me out enough to write about it. I went on a little family vacation along with my lovely roommate Danielle and while the two of us were driving home on a rainy evening, she forever found a special place in my heart. (I'm a huge advocate of road trip heart-to-hearts.) I also learned in July that I have a kind of short torso. (That shirt was supposed to be a crop top.)


August is always way too hot for me but this August was alright. Despite struggling with some of the "realness" of the news industry, I was generally happy, enough so to write a list of things that make me happy-- something that I should do a lot more often. I shot one of my favorite weddings ever for a very dear friend and harnessed the power of the booty. (Two totally different things, guys.) I also started to get super experimental with lipstick colors in the best way possible. Sorry August wasn't very exciting. 


Birthday month! It was another exciting one. Sort of. I tackled my first room re-design project with flying colors. I started working overnights on a regular basis and found this incredible strength inside myself that I never would have found otherwise. I was so bold as to do things like rock Louboutins around Old City and find dark humor in my life. I just realized that I meant to do a birthday post and never did. Just wasn't feeling nostalgic enough, I guess. 


I shared one of my favorite natural phenomenons with a very special man: The Jersey Shore in Autumn, and no, you're not ready to meet him just yet. (Or should I say, he's not ready to meet you guys just yet.) I finally found some degree of peace with all of the changes swirling all around me and as a remedy to my sadness, I decided to be very intentional about how I spend my time. My family is the most important thing so obviously they get to see me most. (Well, not as much as my roommates and coworkers but you know.) Fall fashion is my favorite so of course some of my favorite outfits are from October. I especially loved this vintage co-ord piece, my Helmut Lang mini-splurge for a night on the town, this little blue shirtdress, and this monochromatic getup. Also... this.


I started taking the whole "Fashion Blogging" thing seriously in November. A few of my favorites were this plaid maxi dress, my collab with Commune and Memoir, and (part of!) my collab with Joules. The days got shorter, the nights got longer, and I started doing some even heavier thinking than I'd done earlier in the year. I came to the realization that yes, I'm getting older. I can either mope about it or I can pick myself up and keep striving for my lofty goals. (A little about that here.) Although November is the ideal month for me as far as weather and the perfect amount of holiday cheer goes, I cannot go a November without some sort of somber realization. I was a strange mix of euphoric and melancholy in November, which is perhaps the most dangerous kind of sadness. 


Hungry for some sort of change, I was intent on December ushering in some sort of new era. What's a better way to do that than with a haircut? Yes, 11 ½ inches. Gone. It was truly freeing. I can't get too into some of the other changes but let's just say that 2015 is going to be a big year. Truly a new era. I'm excited to see what the future will hold for me, for lark&lace, and for "the guy." I don't know where I'll be a year from now-- career-wise, geographically, and even in my relationship status. I do know that I've never been more excited to see what the future holds. I was once terrified. No more. This year ended with a bang and next year is going to be even better. 

I love you guys, thanks for sticking with me through the thick and thin. See you all next year!


p.s. I feel bad that I only linked to one December post so here, here, and here are some outfits and photos from my Disney and here's one last heart-to-heart before the new year


xo, e.m.

A Pop of Red

I like stripes. A lot.


The Palm Trees

So obviously not in Philly. Follow along on Instagram.


top/ H&M, jeans/ H&M, jacket/ GAP, shoes/ Vans, hat/ RVCA, bag/ Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar), sunglasses/ Ray-Ban, watch/ Michael Kors

All Black

I had a show yesterday. I was originally going to wear a cute skirt but I decided at the last minute to wear some badass ripped jeans and a humongous statement necklace. It worked. (It also looked super cute with my coat, as seen in this Instagram.)


shirt/ H&M, jeans/ Brandy Melville for PacSun, shoes/ Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, necklace/ ASOS, bag/ Marc by Marc Jacobs, sunglasses/ Ray-Ban, watch/ Michael Kors, lipstick/ Rebel by MAC

**photos by Danielle Conyers

A Moment of Honesty: Flaws.

Let me give you some advice, bastard: Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” - Tyrion Lannister

I've been thinking a lot about my flaws lately. I'm starting to pack on some extra pounds for winter and it's not great. I cut off my hair because it was a sort of security blanket to compensate for all of the self-consciousness about my weight. I wore it like a shroud. Now that it's gone, I'm left to face my various insecurities all by myself. I feel like working in TV has taken away every ounce of self-love I once possessed. I'm surrounded by these unrealistically attractive people all the time. I mean, come on guys, spread out the good looks for the rest of us average-looking folk. I set equally unrealistic standards for myself and I realized that it's no way to live. As you all know, I'm a big fan of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Basically that means that you re-train your brain to replace negativity with positivity. I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. Do me a favor: look at yourself in the mirror. Analyze what you see. What do you like? What don't you like? Now own those flaws. Here's what I came up with:

1. I wear the bags under my eyes like badges of honor. Sometimes I stay awake for 30+ hours in a row because of the way work, weddings, meetings, and other things may align. At the beginning of it all, I could barely stay awake during an overnight shift. Now, I'm a champion. Is it healthy? Probably not but it's also not for forever. I'm paying my dues and I'm that much closer to my dream job.

2. I have sausage fingers. While I can't do anything about the way they look, I'm thankful for my ability to use them for things like music. Though that particular hobby may keep me from having sexy nails, it's well worth it.*

3. I can be really unbelievably stubborn. As I get older, I'm learning (the hard way) how to channel that into something constructive, I.E. being a strong-willed, albeit open-minded person. I don't think that's a bad trait at all, especially in a world where everybody seems to be swayed so easily.


*SPEAKING OF WHICH... shameless plug: if you live in the Philly/South Jersey/Philly 'burbs area, I want to sing to your beautiful faces! My band is playing at show at The Legendary Dobb's on Sunday. Show up around 4:30 with a canned good because it's for Philabundance. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you see you there. If you're a reader and you're planning on showing up, let me know (either in the comments below or on Twitter) so I can bring some extra special swag for you.

Christmas Playlist

How could I have gone through the month of December without the l&l traditional Christmas playlist? Answer: I couldn't have. Despite the fact that there are about six little melodies which get repeated and repeated ad nauseam, I'm still very, very  pro-Christmas song. Now, I'm not quite in the "it's okay to listen before Thanksgiving!" camp but I will say that come Thanksgiving morning, it's on. I think I may have listened and sang along to "All I Want for Christmas is You" three or four times on that day alone. No shame here! What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?



Got my hair cut. Actually, got a lot of them cut. (Necessary dad joke.) Probably my favorite part about this entire haircut ordeal was this very humbling experience. And now, I'm laughing too hard to finish this blog post.


Co-ord set: ChicWish (you can find just the skirt here), jacket/ H&M (old, similar), boots/ Charles by Charles David, bag/ ASOS

**photos by Danielle Conyers. New 'do by Paige. If you're local, let her cut your hair. She's obviously amazing.

What I'm Reading

My friend/roomie Chaucee always has her beautiful face in a book. Constantly.  In her own words, she impulse buys books, she shares what she's reading over on her blog, and those books take over the living room (in the best way possible). It's gotten to me. I decided that I need to start reading more as well. Reading has always been something I've loved but lately it's just another chore, especially after coming home from work where I read media advisories, press releases, (often boring) articles, and any other slew of words strung together with some sort of purpose all day. 

I set my goal at an easy "one a month" to start. Last month I tackled "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" by the insanely babely Caitlin Doughty. In a sort of morbid sense, her memoirs as a mortician are must-read for everybody. The book deals with death and death positivity and well, if you haven't gotten the memo, hate to break it to you but you're going to die someday. She's a young, hip death professional with a lot of thought-provoking opinions and some pretty funny commentary. The book got me thinking about deep issues I wouldn't have thought about otherwise such as the benefit of cremation over embalming, the problem of the medicalization of death, and even started to get me over some of my own fears. To me, somebody who experienced death at a young age and then attempted to repress the inevitability of it all, Caitlin gives a really great platform on which to approach the topic in a more lighthearted manner. It's all very interesting. As human beings, death is one of the few things that each and every one of us will experience-- why does it have to be such taboo?

If you want to read along with me for December, I'm currently working on The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. What are you guys reading? Got any suggestions for January?


Thanksgiving in Grayscale

Pretty bold of me to wear high-waisted jeans on Thanksgiving but hey, I like to live on the edge. In all seriousness though, I never really understood the whole "overeat until you want to throw up AND THEN EAT AGAIN!" mentality. To me, Thanksgiving is about spending time with my family, imbibing high-quality spirits, lots of laughter, nostalgia, and a general feeling of togetherness. Oh-- and football. 


jeans/ AE, sweater/ H&M, faux fur vest/ Nordstrom Rack (similar), booties/ H&M, necklace/ H&M (similar), bag/ Michael Kors

Bundle Up with ModCloth

I don't know how the weather has been where you live but here in Philly, it's been unpredictable. The Monday before Thanksgiving, it was almost 70 degrees. The day before Thanksgiving, it snowed. How's a girl supposed to decide what to wear when dealing with that sort of witchcraft? I personally choose to dress in layers. When choosing my layers, I'm drawn to all different kinds of patterns, textures, and styles. ModCloth asked me to share a few of my favorite layering pieces from their collection-- a job that was almost too easy. The top row is for errands around the city and could easily transition to a night out for hot toddies with the ladies with the help of some jewelry. The bottom row is for exploring Wissahickon or even a casual date night to The River Rink. A perfect winter outfit isn't complete without a slouchy hat, some gloves, an infinity scarf, and a pair of booties. What are some of your favorite ways to layer? Need some inspiration? Shop ModCloth's selection of sweaters here.


Top row: 1   /   2   /   3
Middle Row: 1   /   2   /   3   /   4
Bottom Row: 1   /   2   /   3