Ok-toe-ber.

I love the way October feels in my mouth when I say it. It makes me giddy. I don’t get giddy often. And while I do love the caricatured scents of the season personified in candle form, my favorite scent is the smell of wet leaves and seasonal soups cooking on the stove.

This month I am in one of the most Fall-forward moods since my aunt made me a custom Strega Nona costume for Halloween in 1997. This month I will go apple-picking upstate with my new york crew. We will take the train and and drink ciders and eat lots of things on sticks. I will turn 26, for me a much bigger deal than 25. I will say yes ‘til I’m dead to my partner of three years. I am usually one to discredit these milestones in a sarcastic malaise of deprecating jokes, but this one’s pretty big and I am so ready.

This month is big for me.

I dress my best in the Fall months. Layering is kind of my thing. This outfit was inspired by my fervor for witchy women, and was topped off with my favorite seasonal purchase to date: this Zara blazer. It’s perfectly oversized and adds instant meme-worthy coolgirl vibes to any outfit. And then there’s the shoes. I was guilted into getting them after the Madewell newsletter informed me there were only a few left in stock. I’ve been needing a statement shoe to go with my rehearsal dinner outfit, and figured these would do the trick. I am not disappointed.

perfume and puppy love: my journey to find a signature scent

A specific scent can take you back to a frozen moment in time. My mom's perfume instantly takes me to my childhood bedroom late at night. I remember her coming to tuck me in after she paid the babysitter after a night out with my dad. I'd be too sleepy to respond to her "I love you. Sleep tights," but was comforted by the scent of lingering perfume, lipstick and light beer still stuck to the corner of her lips. It was the smell of a grown up, the smell of places I wasn't allowed into, but it was the smell of warmth and sleep.

The first perfume I ever wore was a sample of Clinique's Happy stolen from my mom's makeup bag. I was in the library in the 7th grade when I discovered the power a scent held. After a lesson on the Dewey Decimal system, the librarian had the class lined up to leave. The cutest, most popular 7th grade boy was standing behind me joking with his equally as intimidating friends. I was minding my own business, probably re-buckling my twisted overall straps, when he told me he liked the way I smelled.

My stomach dropped to my knees, and my face felt like it was on fire. I sputtered a quick "thanks," and spun back around. I buried my face behind my trapper keeper, hiding an embarrassingly huge smile. In that moment I discovered the feeling a compliment from the opposite sex could muster from my previously unassuming heart; and unfortunately have been chasing it ever since. Damn you Blake Stephenson.

The first perfume I bought was a bottle of Ralph Lauren Hot in the 8th grade. My best friends and I all had a bottle. We would take turns dousing each other in the potent boy-luring liquid before dances and games of truth or dare disguised as friendly neighborhood capture the flag. The man-bait hooked a first kiss for each of my companions, but left me stinking with rabid sexual frustration.

In the 10th grade I asked for a bottle of Calvin Klein Euphoria for Christmas, inspired by Natalia Vodianova writhing between purple chiffon curtains in the TV commercial. I was sure I needed a signature scent to identify myself at my new high school as the edgy public school dropout. I attribute this scent to the wrangling of my first boyfriend. That and the extra hem my mom put in my skirt after I pitched a fit over the shapeless uniforms I'd be forced to wear. We made it a couple of years before coming to the conclusion that perfume and sweaty high school love could not carry a high school relationship into college. He texted me long after the dust had settled to tell me he thinks of me whenever a girl wearing the perfume breezes past. Success.

I wore Euphoria until the bitter end of my first college relationship Freshman year. I pretty much destroyed everything that either reminded me of him or he liked about me... including my long hair. I made a hard switch from preppy boys of old, to insightful introverts (one of whom I'm marrying next month.) In my search for the perfect edgy artist man, I bought a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent "Opium." I wanted to give off a completely different vibe, one that exuded maturity, mystery and apparently the '80s as I'm sure no one has worn that seriously since then.

Opium carried me through a few relationships and flings, but did not garner the attention I was hoping for. My senior year my mom bought me her signature scent of more than a decade, Angel, by Thierry Mugler. It smelled like my mom, but it also smelled like confidence and blended well with my skin. I don't think I owe Angel credit for the current man I managed to scoop up, but I did wear it on our first date.

The last bottle of perfume I've bought was Derek Crosby's Blackout. It smells like spices and chai tea and reminds me of the perfectly curated home store boutiques in my neighborhood. I bought it before my trip to France because I wanted to have a scent associated with my first big trip out of the country. I'm glad I did, because it will now always remind me of my perfect engagement and stumbling down Paris streets drunk on Rose and puppy love.

Today I keep a bottle of Euphoria for nostalgic purposes, but it doesn't smell the same on my skin anymore. I'm pretty sure it created a literal love potion in combination with my teen hormones and it won't ever smell the same. I also keep the bottle of Opium for the winter months, as the spicy musk warms up even the most bitter snowy days. I keep a couple of roller-balls I've tried when I want to switch things up, but I usually rotate between Blackout and Angel. 

I hope none of my exes read my blog, but if they do I apologize for the subtle shoutout and I selfishly hope my signature scents still make you double take. 

fall mood board

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photos clockwise: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

This fall is going to be one for the books. The next few months are jam packed with last minute wedding planning and new work schedules, but I plan on making time for Halloween traditions, reading, writing and painting. I've been itching to get back into a creative routine. Suffice to say I have lots to look forward to. I just want to be able to take it slow and soak it up. I have a feeling it will be one to remember.

Reading: Priestdaddy
Looking forward to: getting married (!)
Excited to: go on a twilight walk through Greenwood Cemetery on my birthday.
Eating: no sodas or alcohol, but lots of baked goods. I really want to try this fig and rosemary upside down cake.

blog inspo courtesy of my best gal Sarah over at StayWarm.
 

summer archives

[insert generic, half-hearted apology for being MIA for four months, knowing full well the only person that needs apologizing to is my pride]

I’ve taken three sets of fashion photos this summer, none of which made its way here. While I usually pose myself as a body positive cellulite champion, I’d be lying if I said the longing of my high school body didn’t come tugging every now and then. In my photos I had too much chin, too much arm, and not enough contrast between the hip and waist area. But looking at them today I see them totally different. I’m tanned and content. I look effortless. I honestly can’t remember why I didn’t post them. But there’s always tomorrow you know. So here's the mostly unedited me.

Next up… wedding planning, all of my exes and what they smelled like, and fall ramblings

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spring

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring. In my opinion, it’s New York’s best season. Though fleeting, as the sweltering Summer creeps in quickly igniting the eternal smell of urine and trash, springtime brings the city alive with cherry blossoms and rosé. Even the native New Yorkers can’t help but let a smile or two escape as they acknowledge strangers on the crosswalk.

My favorite parts about springtime in the city:

Not sweating and not freezing on my walk to the subway.
Leaving the windows open at night.
After-work drinks al fresco.
After-work dinner al fresco.
Picnics in the park.
Rooftops.
Rosé season.
Movies in the park.
Cherry blossoms.
Smiling strangers.
Sandals.
No more down coats/sweating in the subway.
Leather jackets.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Dresses.
No more tights wedgies.
Pink lipstick.
Happy dogs.
The Met Gala.
Peonies at every bodega.
The famers markets.
Fruity gin drinks.
Less black.

pants-uniqlo, shirt-anthropologie(similar), shoes-anthropologie

fake it 'til you make it

abbey crain

I'm a model.
I'm a writer.
I'm an artist.
I'm happy.
I'm good. 

I honestly have no clue what I'm doing. Five years ago this month I started this blog with a closet full of Forever21 clothes waiting to be styled and a few friends who wanted to practice their photography. I didn't think I was pretty enough to be a fashion blogger. And I don't think my life is exciting enough to be a lifestyle blogger. But somewhere along the way I kept going; and kept posing; and kept writing. 

 

This fake it 'til you make it attitude has pushed me in promising directions over the last half decade. When i started blogging I told my self I was pretty enough to be seen, to be put on display, vulnerable. I still have a hard time feeling confident enough to post that Instagram, that blog post, but I do so I am. I am a model.

My job is to write and I write in my free time, for fun even. But I still have a hard time calling myself a writer. I don't know if that's the stifled southern woman in me, never wanting to give myself credit where the credit is truly do, or if I just don't feel like what I imagine the great Beat writers feel like. We aren't that different after all. Here I am sipping black coffee in a small shop typing away. The only difference is the manner in which our fingers move, pen to paper and fingers to computer keys. I am a writer. 

I was an art minor in college and continue to practice the arts in plethora of ways. I've designed my apartment decor just so. I paint. I garden. Yet I feel almost queasy calling myself an artist. But I am one, you know. I am an artist.

I've become more myself over the last few years, owning the fact that my moods are not moods and something that I often can't control. I get stuck and I get down. And when I'm down the only way I can get up is to pretend. To say I am worthy, worth happiness, worthwhile. I say I am happy and good and I am. I am happy and good. 

I say that I am and I am. I am a strong, artist, model, writer, a good person. I am happy. I am. 

Side story: My friend Sarah was taking photos for my blog in Nashville and a handsome man confronted us with his big official-looking camera. He was photographing a model for a local magazine. He asked us what we were doing. "Blogging," I replied confidently. He patronizingly asked what kind of blog I ran and questioned what I was wearing. Sarah continued to photograph me while he asked more about me. Without skipping a beat I told him I was a lifestyle blogger in Brooklyn and worked for the Wall Street Journal. I know I didn't look like the conventional bubbly blogger in my shapeless overalls and medium frame. But I told him WHO I was and he eventually backed off.