Mai Style Pages

_MG_4496

OUR NEW HOME 1_-2

OUR NEW HOME 3_-2

OUR NEW HOME 2

BR SWEATER (SPRING 2015) SIMILAR  | LARSON AND JENNINGS WATCH | BRANDY PHAM BRACELET | RH SOFA | IKEA RUG | JA SHEEPSKIN RUG | WEST ELM BLANKET | CRATE AND BARREL TEA CUP | KINFOLK BOOK

Hello from my our new home. We moved to the Philly suburbs about 6 months ago. We are enjoying all the perks of a larger living space and a backyard. We have been working on renovating our home for the last several months. With some small finishing touches we will soon be done with our first floor reno.

I am finally able to take a breather from the renovations to research furniture & decor. We want to put quality pieces into our home so its going to be a slower process than I’d hope but so far its been so much fun.

Since our new sofa came in, I wanted to share with you a little nook of our home. We bought a white sofa! ( I know, yikes!)  It was one of the toughest decision to make given we have a messy pup and plan to have children one day. But we absolutely love it (its so so comfy!). I have been able to keep it clean for several months now with the help of Folex, a cleaner that was recommended to us. I would highly recommend this product for cleaning white fabrics, it works on clothes and rugs as well.

After a long day of organizing our home, I sat down for a cup of tea and cookies. I can always count on Koji, our rescue frenchie to join. He is the absolutely sweetest! He loves to cuddle and always ready to eat.

 

 

 

Look1Edit-2272

Look1Edit-2344

Look1Edit-2337

Night time transition. Swap flats for fun heels, cross body for clutch and casual coat for embellished jacket.

Look2Edit-2392

Look2Edit-2389

DAY | BLACK TURTLENECK | STRIPED TURTLENECK | COAT (OLD) SIMILAR STEAL HERE | LEATHER CAP (WEST VILLAGE BOUTIQUE) | BARBARA BUI SHOES (OLD) SIMILAR HERE

NIGHT | JACKET (OLD) | JIMMY CHOO CLUTCH (OLD) SIMILAR HERE | TOP SHOP SHOES (OLD) SIMILAR HERE

Last week I sat down with Philly Magazine and chatted with Assistant Editor, Lauren McGrath. We spoke about my careers (Yes, I still work as a part time RN, while juggling styling) and what my daily life entails. We spoke about my life as a nurse and stylist.

My work as a RN includes an outpatient cardiology lab where I administer stress tests. When I’m not working there, I also work as a private duty nurse. Yes, as the article revealed I work for a royal family member. This job has its perks including private jets, working in Europe and staying at some of the best luxury resorts. Like every job, it also has its pit-falls like being away from home and not seeing L. And if you have been sick or know someone that has been sick, life as a nurse is far from glamorous. The best part of my last trip was seeing how much my patient had improved. There’s also a tight group of nurses that make the job worth coming back to.

My work as a stylist is a constant hustle. I spent a summer in NYC and styled for The Fader Magazine, I worked in commercial styling and more recently styled Diane Guerrero and Jackie Cruz from Orange Is The New Black. What does that include? Trekking to NYC at 5am, visiting showrooms for pulls, lugging around heavy garments (once I weighed the bags I carried all day, they were embellished gowns weighing over 40 pounds!) and of course styling the clients. Followed by the returns, more pulls if the previous batch of garments did not work and when there is downtime, I research new designers and reach out to them.

I hope what readers took away from the article (read full article here) is how much work goes behind everything that I do. I read somewhere that success is 80% hard work and 20% luck and I could not agree more. Though my life on social media appears to be all rainbows and unicorns, most of the time I’m working and simply snapping and sharing the best part of my day, in the most creative way I know how. I, myself was lost for a while in the pressure of only sharing the most glamorous part of life and never speaking about the hard work that goes behind it. I hated being misunderstood and placed in the “lucky” category when I work my tail off to be where I am.

As an aunty of 10 and hopefully a mother in the future, this is a remind to myself and to anyone pursuing this career path or any other, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become successful at what you love. Don’t let the glamour of the social media façade fool you. Social media only features part of a person’s life. Besides do you really want to see the unglamorous side of nursing, I highly doubt it?

Finally, I also have my creative love | hate blog, (see previous post) MAI STYLE PAGES. Lauren snapped a few pictures of me before I took off to Boston. I hadn’t realized she wanted a few outfits. Since I was already packed for Boston, I told her we could do a few quick accessory changes to transition the turtleneck and collette pants into a nighttime look.

Happy Monday!

Last week after returning some pulls to the showrooms, I stayed in NYC to do a little shopping. More like “research” at least that’s what I tell L (the hubs). I thought I shared some dressing room selfies with you, as I did not make a purchase that day. I’m window shopping until I find the perfect fit & price.  Over the last year and more so over the past 3 months, I have slimmed down my closet drastically. I have gotten rid of about 70% of my closet. I tossed out everything from outdated trends, to anything with stains or did not fit properly. They were either sold to a second hand store or donated.

Now that my closet has been properly cleaned, I’m seeking classic pieces to add back in. I have been trying my best to make purchases that are more of an investment. When I’m talking about investment pieces, I mean leather jackets, coats, shoes, purses and classic pieces such as good quality turtlenecks and cashmere sweaters. I’m not in my 20’s anymore and I think its time to invest in key components that will last. As much as I would love to spend my days shopping, I do not have the time or the patience like I use too.  Less time shopping means less time buying unnecessary things and less clutter. Of course, for the trendy pieces I will still shop my favorite affordable stores such as Forever21 & HM. I did order the cream faux shearling (see below) at Forever21, it’s a trendy piece but the quality was good especially considering it was only $42.  Its not something I would wear beyond a couple of seasons so no need to splurge.

So lets talk Fall must haves!  I will be posting in detail next week with pictures & links to my must have list. One of the biggest trends right now are maxi length coats. Its the easiest way to transition your casual summer wear into the cooler months. The denim on denim look was actually shot this summer and was not posted.  Here I restyled it for comfort. Because NYC requires me to be on foot, I swapped out my heels for a pair of flats and my big bulky bucket for my hands-free Chanel boy bag. I added a leather cap that I picked up in a West Village boutique for some edge.

071615 maistylepages denim on denim 3

071615 maistylepages denim on denim 4

071615 maistylepages denim on denim ig

Board

C/MEO COLLECTIVE | BANANA REPUBLIC  (SIMILAR HERE) | FOREVER 21 | CLUB MONACO CAMEL | CLUB MONACO NAVY

The first row are fall coats. There were lighter in weight and good for 50s and above weather.

  1. The first coat is my favorite, it is from C/MEO, one of my favorite Aussie brands.  I wish I took a picture of the back because it had an interesting cut out. I loved the light grey with pinstripe. Though it was not fully classic because of the cut out, it was so unique that I may go back to pick this baby up.
  2. This is a good trade off. Its a darker charcoal color with pinstripes as well. However it was a lot more affordable because Banana Republic was having an additional 60% off sale items. The coat came in around $80. I could not find it online anywhere but I promise the SOHO store had at least 50 of them and I did see them in Philly as well. The coat was unlined, which doesn’t particular bother me because its a layered item anyway.
  3. The faux shearling jacket is a big trend right now.  Most of us do not have the budget to dish out on high-end designer trends. Forever21 is always a good place to pick up the latest trend on a budget. The jacket instantly adding a unique texture to the outfit and I got the thumbs up by several on-lookers. I tried on a large and thought it looked great besides the sleeves being a bit too long. I like the over-sized look so I ordered the large and altering the sleeves.

Stylist tip* : When purchasing items from stores like Forever21, size up. This will make the item feel more luxe. This does not apply for everything but I find that it is true in about 50% of my purchases.

Stylist tip*: Fall clothing usually goes on sale around mid to late November for the incoming Winter collection. So if you can hold out and wait for the sale do so!

The second row are winter coats.

  1.  The camel coat is really beautiful. I tried on a medium because it was sold out in my size. I needed an x-small the saleswoman said. It is $449 (they offer 20% student discounts). This would be a investment piece for me. Its from Club Monaco and made of wool, its a classic camel color that would resurface again in the future. This is a great twist on a classic coat. It has classic elements to it but also has a large trendy lapel. I think its worth the splurge, however I will research a bit more before biting the bullet on a winter coat. For those of you who love it, I would recommend making the purchase soon because the saleswoman said they have been flying off the rack.
  2.  This is a wool-cashmere coat in Navy. Yes, that cashmere just bumped the price up exponentially. The coat is $1295 and it felt it. Its so soft, draped beautifully over my shoulders and is a classic silhouette. Its an investment piece and something I could pass on to my daughter. But out of my budget. Its going to be on my want/sale list. If it goes on sale, I may have to purchase it.