• One of the Most Eggciting Brunch Places! Egg Shop

    Hi, LoDown fam! I hope you’re having an eggcellent week so far—yes, I did just make that pun! 😋 

    I’m about to guide you through another one of my super awesome brunches. This time, we’re headed to SoHo to eat at the Egg Shop on 151 Elizabeth Street. If you’re a fan of eggs, you’re definitely going to be a big fan of this place!

    Brunch Menu

    I’ve never seen an all-things-eggs menu like the one they have here. Their Sandwich and Cruiser options are endless. If you don’t see anything that tickles your fancy, you can go for the Custom Egg & Cheese option. They also have delicious (non-egg) Sides that pair really well with all their eggciting entrees. My boyfriend and I decided to “go big or go home” when ordering so in addition to choosing an entree each, we also decided to pick our own sides as well!

    Buttermilk Biscuit with Honey Butter and Seasonal Jam

    Absolutely no regrets with this starter. The Buttermilk Biscuit was fluffy and already full of flavor, but the Honey Butter and Seasonal Jam gave it a huge upgrade, making my taste buds dance with joy.

    Steak and Egg Sandwich

    My boyfriend ordered the Steak and Egg Sandwich, which is made with grass fed tenderloin, sunny up, chimichurri, caramelized onion aioli, fresh pickled jalapeno, farm greens, and fresh hero. Truth be told, I did not get to try this one out because he devoured the whole thing—a really good sign of how tasty it probably was. I mean, you can never go wrong with steak and eggs.

    Scrambler

    This was probably my second or third time ordering the Scrambler—a mixture of soft scramble, roasted mushroom, tomato confit, scallion, and pecorino. Why do I keep ordering this? Well, I’m actually a hardcore fan of anything with mushroom. I knew I had to revist the Egg Shop when I first ordered the Scrambler back in September. It’s like a deconstructed omelette, but better. Everything blends well together and every time I finish the bowl, I wish there was more to devour. Tip: eat with Egg Shop’s hot sauce!

    Fried Chicken

    My next favorite thing after the Scrambler – a side of friend chicken. I didn’t have any expectations, I honestly ordered it because I wanted some meat. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I thought Popeye’s had the best fried chicken in the world, but not anymore. You’re looking at the most delicious piece of $7.00 fried chicken, drizzled with honey, dutifully devoured by Courtney.

    Stay tuned for my next food adventure! 

    xx,
    Courtney Xu
    Image result for instagram icon@courtneyxu

  • The Sleeve Detail

    I am a student at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have learned so much. In fact, I have taken countless classes that explain the fashion industry as a business and I’ve also taken classes that study sleeves in great detail—yes, sleeves.

    Do you know how many different sleeve styles there are?

    Here’s a hint: there’s more than one. To name a few, there’s the Bell, Peasant, Puff, Bishop, Juliet, and Dolman. Yup, you’ve guessed it. The list continues.

    Sleeve details are one of my favorite trends. The trend is currently dominating fast fashion and I LOVE IT! I personally prefer wearing a great sleeve in either the spring or summer season so that it doesn’t get lost behind my jackets or coats. Bring on the warmer weather, Mother Nature! A detailed sleeve is truly an epic fashion statement.

    I generally like to think of the sleeve as an added accessory. When wearing a shirt that includes this trend, I avoid bracelets or rings to keep the focus on my top rather than my jewelry. I also try not to spend a lot of money when purchasing a shirt with this dramatic concept because I prefer to invest in staple or basic pieces. One typically wears this type of shirt a few times before it is quickly remembered by friends and family. I can only get away with wearing it so many times before I look like a serial outfit repeater. Yes, the struggles of a true fashion gal.

    If I haven’t already sold you on the sleeve detail trend I will now. A sleeve statement can be worn on a dress or a jacket too! It does not have to be strictly limited to tops.

    The dramatic sleeve is a chic look—picture yourself with a sleek updo and fitted pants, with that perfect sleeve hanging over each hand. Here are of few photos of me braving yesterday’s snowstorm wearing a Zara striped bell sleeve top!

    With Love,
    Ashley Attianese
    Image result for instagram icon@ashleyattianese

  • I Finally Made It to the Butler Bake Shop! Nomz

    Hi, LoDown fam!

    I made it down to Brooklyn again and stopped by the Butler Bake Shop on 95 South 5th Street, a bakery I’ve been meaning to check out. Upon walking in, I immediately fell in love with the place. The natural light, gleaming through the huge windows, was so beautiful and Insta-worthy.

    If you’re looking for a casual place to hang, I highly recommend this spot. The food and ambiance was everything I could ask for.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of empanadas, but because this was such a highly-recommended dish, I thought I’d give it a try. Infused with eggs, smoked bacon, arugula, and cheddar cheese, the pastry gave my taste buds quite a joy ride! The dipping sauce that came with it was also a nice touch. I’d actually go back to Butler just to get this empanada over and over again.

    Please please please try the Breakfast Empanada if you ever make your way here!

    I also ordered the Herb & Chili Scone (pictured left) and the Sausage Roll (pictured right) to share with my friends. The Herb & Chili Scone is made with chili, thyme and chives, and is garnished with sea salt with whipped butter on the side. I’ve never had a savory scone, but this one was right up my alley. If you’re wondering, the whipped butter and sea salt complimented the scone quite nicely!

    The Sausage Roll made from ground pork and onions was topped with pickled cabbage. I’m a sausage lover, so the Sausage Roll did not disappoint! As you can see, my tongue tends to lean more towards the savory side of things. But, for those of you with a sweet tooth, Butler also has a variety of sweeter pastries!

    Hands down one of my favorite #coffeecorners. If you’re in the area, do me a favor and hit up this place—you’ll thank me later! Butler Bake Shop is the spot for catching up with a girlfriend, reading up on your current novel, or silent people watching. Oh, and if I haven’t insisted enough, don’t forget to order the Breakfast Empanada!

    Thanks for enjoying this foodie moment with me! ‘Til next time.

    xx,
    Courtney Xu
    Image result for instagram icon@courtneyxu

  • Brunching at Eugene & Co. Let's hear it for Brooklyn!

    I’m not really a Brooklyn kind of girl, but when I do make my way there, I get my boozy brunch on!

    While visiting Bedford Stuyvesant, I decided to stop by Eugene & Co., an organic restaurant and bar. I immediately fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in. All about its rustic aesthetic, ya feel?

    I had such a hard time choosing a drink from the drink menu—everything looked so good. Even though I usually get a Mimosa, I decided to get something different this time around!

    And so, I decided on the Coloniala cocktail formulated with gin, grapefruit, honey, lime, and bitters. It was on point! My boyfriend also ordered a cocktail, The Earl, which was infused with gin, earl gray, lemon, and prosecco. Yes, mine was delicious, but The Earl was way better. I loved that they sprinkled what seemed to be earl gray tea leaves on top!

    I ordered the Brown Rice Bowl, a blend of black beans, corn salsa, avocado, pico de gallo, and cilantro vinaigrette, topped with a sunny-side up egg! It was divine (especially with some hot sauce)! All the ingredients were fresh and healthy. I totally recommend this dish if you want something light, but filling. Best of all, you won’t feel bad eating it!

    The boyfriend ordered a Meatloaf sandwich—a mix of angus beef, aioli, smokey tomato jam, bacon, and crispy onions. This is probably the restaurant brunch favorite. I mean, just look at the thing! That bacon, though! Truth be told, I was a little jealous, but he let me have a few bites! Yum. I will definitely come back to try some of their meatier options.

    Totally recommend checking this place out if you’re in the Bed-Stuy area! Even their bathroom was super fun. It felt like I was in an art gallery in a completely different era. Stay tuned for my next foodie experience!

  • Recharge Your Mind By The Water

    …alongside views that even Drake would be jealous of!

    A workaholic, I always cram my days with chores, deadlines, happy hours, and quick brunches. In fact, I always feel so out of place with free time on my hands. The thought of nothing to do and nowhere to be not only gives me goosebumps, but also makes me extremely fidgety. Normally, I’d take that extra time to scroll through my social media–check the day’s accumulation of Snapchat stories, Instagram photos, and Facebook interactions. Recently, however, I’ve been trying to curb that habit.

    As much as I want to turn a blind eye, my social media dependency isn’t always the healthiest.

    Back in high school, my friends and I would go to Fort Totten Park to pass time. We’d sit on these huge rocks and stare into the water all while making short conversations, long conversations, or sometimes, no conversations at all. Sometimes, the movement of the water was enough. I’d even go there myself to de-clutter my mind after a breakup. Of course, I’d feel much better afterwards.

    With social media front and center in almost every aspect of my life, I forget how important it is to just stop and appreciate nature.

    Water, for one, has always given me loads of positive energy and good vibes. Being by the water can automatically de-stress and relax the brain into a more balanced and meditative state. Think of it as therapeutic downtime!

    If you live in New York City, you have to check out these water vies sans social media. No excuses, we’re practically surrounded by water!

    Fort Totten Park

    Bayside, NY

    Gantry Plaza State Park

    Long Island City, NY

    Battery Park

    New York, NY

    Okay, if you must, you can post pictures of these gorgeous views on Instagram. Your visit didn’t happen unless you uploaded evidence, amiright?

     

    Please let me know if you have a mindful place you like to visit. I’d love to check your spot out!

  • Have You Visited the Museum of Ice Cream Yet?

    I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream ?

    Yeah, I know, it’s basically impossible to get tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream. This hip pop-up is on everyone’s Summer ’16 bucket list. Before you lose all hope and resort to scalping, however, word has it that the exhibition’s creators have been slowly pushing back the final day so I’d highly recommend signing up for ticket updates on their website!

    In the mean time, you can live vicariously through my short and sweet experience. Close your mouths and breath through your noses. Otherwise, I guarantee a healthy amount of drooling!

     

    You get a little scoop of ice cream as soon as you walk into the museum. On the left is glorious picture of my purple scoop of taro ice cream straight from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

    They serve ice cream from different New York City parlors throughout the exhibition so make a mental note of the places you’d like to visit once you leave the pop up!

    *Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is a personal fave of mine. Their almond cookie is to die for.

     

     

    After finishing my ice cream “admission scoop,” I was given an edible balloon with helium inside! You suck the helium out first, laugh at how funny your voice sounds, and proceed to enjoy the sugared goodness.

    I’m loving this waffle cone backdrop, by the way. A potential profile picture, perhaps!

     

     

    The sprinkle pool is a fan favorite! Unfortunately, they’re not real sprinkles, but they’re still super fun to swim in.

    After the pool comes a nice ice cream tasting. The museum staff gave me a small candy to chew on to change my taste buds. Then, after letting the candy dissolve, I was handed an ice cream cone with two slices of lemon garnishes. Let me tell you, I ate both slices of lemon, skin included, and it was not sour at all!

     

     

    Finally, the museum tour ended with a mini playground featuring an ice cream sandwich swing and an ice cream scooper seesaw!

     

    Is this place Insta-Worthy or what? Let me know what you think if you end up visiting!

  • Three Instagram-Worthy Spots to Visit this Weekend!

    Smize, Y’all! Oh, and werk! 

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always a big sucker for insta-worthy destinations. Feed on fleek? You betcha!

    Here are three super awesome places I scouted out for scenic pictures and dope backgrounds. Taking a social media cleanse? No worries! They’re also great places to visit in general.

    Blackbody Show Room

    25 Greene Street

    The Blackbody Show Room is home to the world’s first OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display. The space consists of two floors filled with all things lights. We’re talking incredible fixtures and mind-boggling chandeliers! Their “Orange Room” with “raining” lights is definitely a fan favorite.

    Plus, it’s that perfect backdrop for your new profile pic.

    And, admission to this French light installation is free! If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest dropping by to relax your mind, body, and soul.

    MoMA PS1

    22-25 Jackson Avenue (Long Island City)

    IMG_6930

    You can find this contemporary art museum in Long Island City, Queens. After walking through the colorful “Weaving the Courtyard” to get to the actual museum, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed everything the three-floored MoMa PS1 had to offer.

    Not gonna lie, there were some disturbing artworks, but I guess that’s just what contemporary art is.

    Otherwise, the museum has an incredible selection of art ranging from short films, to simple paints, to sculptures. Come with an open mind but you might want to leave the children you’re babysitting at home.

    Oh, and admission is free for all New Yorkers until October 2017 in honor of the museum’s 40th anniversary!

    SeaGlass Carousel

    State & Water Street (Battery Park)

    You need to check out the SeaGlass Carousel because it is the prettiest carousel I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Even though I’ve “been there” and “done that,” I gladly would do it all over again.

    Yeah, I know, it’s $5.00 for just a couple of minutes, but these glowing and rotating fish are so worth the mulah!

    Best of all, it’s gram-worthy day and night, inside and out!

    OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT

    • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
    • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
    • David Zwirner Gallery

     

    Pray tell, what are some of your favorite gram-worthy spots this summer?

  • The Tea That Contains So Matcha Benefits

    Are you matcha-obsessed?

    Raise your plastic cups. You know, the ones dripping wet in condensation? The same ones that are cold to the touch? Clear plastic cups filled to the brim with ice cubes? Creamy caffeinated concoctions, bursting with flavor? Matcha. I’m talking matcha. So here, let’s cheers to that!

    As of late, New Yorkers have been riding a green tea latte wave. It’s super rad and super cool because your girl happens to be one of those New Yorkers. Not gonna lie, I used to think of matcha as the green, poorly stirred-powder at the bottom of my Starbucks drink. I wasn’t wrong, but I was basic.

    After doing a little more research, however, I’ve learned that matcha is processed green tea grounded into powder form. Rich in antioxidants and plenty of other health benefits, the powder also contains extended release caffeine and natural calming agents.

    Did you know that one cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea?

    Crazy, right? One cup of matcha contains 70 milligrams of caffeine as compared to the average 35 milligrams you get in a regular cup of green tea.

    Well, ANYWHOO, I discovered two must-visit matcha spots and you’re coming along for the adventure.

    MatchaBar Chelsea

    256 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011

    MatchaBar Chelsea is a cute little shop with an intimate ambiance. They serve a wide selection of drinks that range from Classic Matcha to Summer Matcha. Surprisingly the lack of seating space does not deter people from getting their caffeine fix! In fact, customers are usually in and out of here with a drink, if not two, in hand. Did I mention they give out free stickers?

    Behold, the Watermelon Basil in all of its shining glory. If you look closely, you can see the watermelon juice at the bottom. This was a particularly interesting drink. The combination wasn’t what I expected, but it definitely worked!

    I like my drinks on the sweeter side so I added a dash of simple syrup. Note: Most matcha drinks come unsweetened, but you can adjust them based on your taste buds. Not bad, not bad. I would definitely come back to try their Mint Lemonade before the summer ends.

    Cha Cha Matcha

    373 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    Cha Cha Matcha is all things Cali in the heart of Chinatown. Their pink-and-green themed store goes hand-in-hand with their staff’s bubbly personalities. Customers usually come here for matcha drinks and soft serve.

    Don’t let my picture fool you! There’s actually more seating at the back of the café. Best of all, it’s totally insta-worthy. They’ve got a ton of natural lighting.

    I decided to try something completely different from my usual matcha latte so I went with their Matcha Lemonade. Best decision ever. It honestly was so good that I trekked back, a Queens girl and all, two days in a row, for their summer elixir. Made with the perfect amount of citrus and garnished with a lime and mint leaves, this virgin matcha mojito is truly godsend.

    Let me know if you’d like me to try creating a matcha drink of my own or if you ever visit one of these sweet spots!

  • I Cooked Ramen For The First Time Ever

    SLURRRRRRP.

    Long story short, I cooked ramen from scratch for this first time ever this week.  On top of that I also prepared this meal for a group of strangers I welcomed into my house.  Basically, the pressure was on.

    I like to come up with recipes from scratch and as a trained chef I’m pretty good at opening the fridge up and creating something tasty my friends and fam will enjoy. However….in the case of ramen I made the wise decision to seek out help in the form of a recipe to get me through this challenge.  It’s a 15 hour process to make this delicious meal properly from scratch – so if you’re going to make it, give yourself ample time (definitely the day before your event).

    I chose to follow this recipe from Chow Hound for Slow Cooker Pork Ramen.  Safe to say, it took so very long to make, but it was absolutely a hit.

    ramen

    P.S. The lipstick I’m wearing is Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge in Mat M102.


    Slow Cooker Pork Ramen

    3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 equal pieces

    Kosher salt

    2 tablespoons canola oil (if including the optional browning step)

    1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

    6 garlic cloves, chopped

    1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

    8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

    1 leek, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped (white and green parts)

    1/4 pound cremini or button mushrooms, brushed clean and coarsely chopped

    Low-sodium soy sauce for seasoning

    Sesame and/or chile oil for seasoning

    1 1/2 pounds fresh ramen noodles

    8 large eggs (optional)

    About 4 green onions, finely chopped (white and pale green parts)

    1. Season the pork with salt.
    2. This step and the next are optional: Put a flameproof slow cooker insert on the stovetop over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. (Or, use a frying pan for this step). Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the pork pieces and sear them on the first side without moving them until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the pieces and sear on the second side until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the insert and return the insert to medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and sear, without stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and 1 cup of the broth and deglaze the insert, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the insert bottom, then let simmer for 1 minute.
    4. If you have included the browning step, transfer the insert to the slow cooker, add the leek, mushrooms, and the remaining 7 cups of broth, and stir to combine. If you are starting here, combine the pork, yellow onion, garlic, ginger, leek, mushrooms, and broth in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 8 hours. The pork should be very tender and the broth should be fragrant.
    5. To assemble: Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, break the pork into bite-size chunks, removing and discarding any large pieces of fat. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from the surface of the broth. Return the pork and broth to the slow cooker and season to taste with soy sauce and sesame and/or chile oil. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for about 30 minutes to warm through. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package directions. If you want to top each bowl of ramen with an egg, put the eggs into boiling water and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water, let cool until they can be handled, and peel them.
    6. To serve: Divide the noodles evenly among individual bowls. Ladle the broth and pork over the noodles, dividing them evenly, then sprinkle with the green onions. If desired, top each bowl with a halved soft-boiled egg and serve right away.
  •  

  • How To: Sweat In Style + Giveaway!

    Enter to Win!

    Working out is never a bummer when you’re rocking sweet new gear at the same time.  Or, perhaps you’re more of an athleisure type of lady instead, running errands and picking up an almond-milk latte in your fitness tights and a leather jacket.  Whatever the case may be, fresh gear is always a must – especially as we head into a new season.

    lo-4827

    Wearing Lorna Jane’s Luxe Wrap Pant & Lauper Excel Tank

    I’ve been a fan of Lorna Jane for years.  I love the versatility of the fitness line for women: all kinds of pieces in all kinds of colors, with cuts and shapes that are flattering to all.  We’ve done a few giveaways before together and with the weather getting chillier we thought it would be fun to line another up for you, dear reader, right this very second!

    I’m obsessed with the Luxe Wrap Pant pictured above – they’re absolutely perfect for a stroll around the neighborhood paired with nice kicks, or for layering on top of tights for when you’re heading out the door in cold weather.  Very Alexander Wang vibey, right?

    My favorite new top is the Lauper Excel Tank – finally, a crop tank from a fitness line that isn’t too short or revealing!  My prayers have been answered!  I want it in like 7 more colors (can we make that happen, LJ? Hint, hint!).

    lo-4848

    Next question I ask myself often: how many pairs of tights are too many?  Well, when they’re the Be Seen Ankle Biker Tight the answer is NO AMOUNT, EVER.

    lo-4841

    Lorna Jane Be Seen Ankle Biker Tight

    Like, I’m sorry but how dope are these!  They are everything!  Sexy cut-outs, mesh, black, tight, long?  Hello, gym!!!!  Hello, every place in New York City and beyond!  Hello, Shanghai!

    workout-4857

    workout-4868

    Lorna Jane Tough Girl Active Jacket

    Moving on to some jackets I’m loving right now…the one pictured above is for tough ladies only (you). The camo print on the Tough Girl Active Jacket literally changes my mood as I bound down the street towards my pilates studio.  I feel bold and in charge – the right way to feel on the way to a workout, or anytime really!

    workout-4883

    Lorna Jane Night Runner Active Jacket

    Finally, lets throw a little COLOR into this mix, shall we?  My favorite piece from all the new goodies on Lorna Jane right now is the Night Runner Active Jacket.  Its cozy, with a nice mesh lining on the inside that’s perfect for layering on top of literally anything.  I love the bright blue color, too.

    SO – if you’re digging LJ as much as I am right now, why not enter this sweet little giveaway below?  No reason I can think of not to!  The giveaway is open until October 28th and we’ll notify the winner by email. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


     

    SHOP

     

     

  • 10 New (Simply Amazing) Accessories for Fall

    My New Favorites

    I determined a few weeks ago that this fall and winter, accessories would be my THING.  Not only are they well-priced, they don’t require a huge wardrobe overhaul each season to stay on top of the trends. Be it silk scarves, hats, cozy scarfs, gloves, or ponchos, they officially have leading roles in my upcoming looks.

    Truth be told, my accessories craze couldn’t be timed better for my closet as I’m thrilled to reveal today that I’m the newest partner of Echo, the New York City scarf company crafting the loveliest of accessories since 1923.  Together we’re working on the #ChangeYourStripes campaign by elevating wardrobes everywhere simply by accessorizing!  From their silk scarves, to beanies, gloves, ponchos, and everything in between, the beauty of Echo’s accessories is that they allow you to change your look, your mood, or someone’s perception without ever losing yourself, the way that clothes sometimes can.  Echo harnesses this transformative power of accessories through the expert use of color, pattern, and texture in their fashion and home products.

    So with style in mind, let’s dive headfirst into my Top 10 List of New Favorite Accessories for the upcoming chillier seasons..

    1. Silk Scarves

    You know Echo’s silk scarves when you see them, the ultimate do-everything accessory.  Here we have the Enchanted Forest Silk Scarf, my favorite piece from their new line available now, styled 3 ways…

    scarf1

    Around the neck…

    scarf3

    As a bandana…

    scarf2

    Around the wrist…

    2. The Black Beanie

    The black beanie is a wardrobe staple, always in style, and totally chic when the temps drop below 50 F.  This one is luxuriously soft, wearable all day long.

    blackbeanie

    3. The Skinny Silk Scarf

    From the pages of Vogue to the necks of fashionable women everywhere, the skinny silk scarf has taken Manhattan, Paris and London by storm this season.  Check out Echo’s gorgeous version in every color imaginable.

    blackskinny1blackskinny2

    blackskinny3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Will be wearing this everywhere…

     4. The Blanket Wrap

    Nothing is cozier than a binkie, amirite? So every human on earth will be happy to learn that blankets are fashions now, wearable around your neck in the softest of fabrics and pretties of colors.  Meet The Blanket Wrap!

    blanketwrap

    Warm and Soft!

    5. Hats with Style

    Trust me, nobody is more excited to wear these beanies with a furry little pom on top than me.  I got this guy in 3 charming, wardrobe-ready colors but it’s available in many more.  Talk about soft and chic!

    furgloveshat2Black, Grey, and Purple Beanies with Furry Poms

    blackhat

    greyhatpurplehat

     

     

     Love in every color!

      6. The Leather Glitten

    I’m all about gloves once the temperature gets chilly.  My hands literally freeze without them, and these adorable glittens are totally IN right now.  Not only do they clip back to reveal a delightful finger glove, they are also iPhone ready with a magnetized finger!

    undoneglove1

    Fingers optional!
    undoneglove2Look at those warm digits!

    7. Everyday Ruanas

    Guys, wraps are THE thing right now.  I bet you’ve seen like 3 ladies wearing a ruana already today. They’re cozy, warm, and stylish while being totally effortless.  This black one is at the top of my list right now.

    blackblanketwrap

     

    8. The Fur Glove

    Nothing screams #ChangeYourStripes more than a glove with a touch of fur.  I love these from Echo, plus they have the built in cell phone finger that’s a must-have these days.

    furgloveshat

    9. The Bandana Scarf

    Hello, Paris Fashion Week!  The Bandana is officially BACK (or did it ever really leave?), y’all!  I’m absolutely coveting this black number with fringe, aka the Yak Triangle with Fringe.

    blacktrianglescarf

    10. The Reversible Ruana

    What’s better than 1 ruana?  2 ruanas, obviously.  This perfectly colored number is totally versatile, not to mention warm and in style.

    orangeblanketwrap


    I hope you enjoyed my top 10 picks for new accessories for fall and winter!  I’m so excited to be partnering with Echo on their #ChangeYourStripes campaign this holiday season and you can expect more fun from us soon with some great upcoming giveaways and events.  What’s your must-have accessory?  A classic silk scarf or cozy beanie?  Tell me below in the comments!


    Shop The Look

  • Man vs. Chipotle Burrito Bowl

    I Spent $28.50 on a chipotle Burrito Bowl

    It was Awesome

    Hey, Guys! It’s Chris again—the fulltime fatass who has forced my dysfunctional life upon you whether you like it or not. When thinking of an adventure for this week, I seriously considered my options. Yoga? Nah. Vegan? Absolutely not. And then, it hit me.

    I’ve read plenty of articles on how to get the most “bang for your buck” at Chipotle. As a raging enthusiast of the restaurant chain, however, I have fantasized scenarios on how much I could spend on a single burrito bowl—nothing short of a personal dream I’ve had since gliding out of my mom’s…nevermind. Thus, another out of hand LoDown adventure was born.

    Last Monday, September 28, I decided to hit up the Chipotle on St. Marks, the one I frequent way more than I do my own home. Side note: that was for sure one of, if not, the saddest sentences I have ever typed. Yikes. Anyway, I walked into 19 St. Marks Place feeling like this adventure was my destiny, which is also how I fully expect to feel when greeted at the gates of hell after I die from the monster I am about to create.

    Obviously had to snapchat (itschrisklemens) my adventure because I'm a gross millennial.

    Obviously had to snapchat itschrisklemens my adventure because I’m a gross millennial. (Photo by Katia Temkin)

    I make my way to the counter and am greeted by an elderly woman who is just trying her best and is by no means ready for this jelly. I immediately start listing my demands before she even has time to ask me what I’d like to order, further proving my addiction to food.

    “I’d like rice, black and pinto beans, aaaaand (wait for it) double of every meat, please,” I say. It was in that moment I honestly thought the poor old woman was going to drop to the floor from cardiac arrest. I’m pretty sure her eyes widened the biggest they’ve ever been in her entire life. “You want DOUBLE of every meat?” she asked with the utmost confusion. She clearly didn’t know she was dealing with an Olympic gold metal fatass.

    Meats on meats on meats

    Meats on meats on meats. (Photo by Katia Temkin)

    Between piling on the meats and making sure they don’t spill from the bowl (very important), she hollers out to the cashier, “Hey, Linda, are you keeping track of all of this?” After the meats are in the bowl, she tells me that the rest of the toppings, which included double guac, will have to be put in another bowl because there was no more room in the current bowl. Goals.

    I get to the cash register and nervously anticipate the damage I’m about to do to my bank account and my already piece-of-shit body. She rings up the total, which turned out to be $28.50. Much like reading the bible and finding out Jesus died (spoiler alert), I was sad and disappointed, but I then reminded myself that Jesus died for me to do this…I think. I don’t know, I read the Sparknotes.

    For anyone thinking I was lying about spending $28.50 on a single burrito bowl....sadly I'm not.

    For anyone thinking I was lying about spending $28.50 on a single burrito bowl….sadly I’m not. (Photo by Katia Temkin)

    Anyway, back to the more important matter, my 14-pound burrito bowl. After a struggle on par with the Great Depression and The Oregon Trail, I finally mixed everything together in one bowl and went to town on my creation. Actually, I’d say I was on my way to town but had to turn around because I forgot my wallet at home because I could only finish half of the monstrosity I created.

    2U0A4616

    Honestly, this picture is a little arousing…kidding kinda. (Photo by Katia Temkin)

    Yes, it was almost $30, but the good thing is that I had food (and irritable bowel syndrome) for the rest of the week. Oh, the memz.

    Moral of the story, friends: The guac isn’t always greener on the other side.

    Feel free to share my story with your friends especially those who share my addiction with Chipotle, but in the meantime, I have a toilet to clog. Until next time, guys!

    If this isn't the cover of my autobiography if I write one, I have done it all wrong. Photo by Katia Temkin

    If this isn’t the cover of my autobiography if I write one, I have done it all wrong. (Photo by Katia Temkin)

  • Blondes Have More Fun

    …and I’m Having an OK Time

    Chronicles of a Hair-Dyer

    Wednesdays are reserved for adventures.

    Hey, LoDown fam! It’s Chris again, the sad sack of garbage who brought you the juice cleanse story. I’m back because you all enjoyed reading about my agony (how dare you). On this particular adventure, I will explore the world of hair dying. Now, I won’t be talking about going to a salon or whatever people who have money and time do to get their hair professionally done because that would be too simple and too easy. I’m talkin’ about sitting on my bed while my friend, who is visiting, has no time to think of an excuse to get out of helping me. Ah, friendship.

    But first, where are my manners? Allow me to give you some backstory as to why I dyed my hair. A few months ago, I stole a MacBook from the Apple Store and ended up killing a man to get away and needed a new identity. Just kidding, although that would probably make for a much better adventure—maybe next month?

    In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to dye my hair white for so long because I just wanted to do something crazy and live on the edge. Naturally, I turn to hair dying for that rush of adrenaline. I know, I know. I’m WILD!!!! One day, I thought long and hard, which means maybe 2 minutes tops, about it and realized that it’s only hair, and as the great Drake once said, “YOLO”.

    To be honest, I went into this process like Helen Keller went up stairs—very blindly. I couldn’t have known less when I walked into Ricky’s NYC to get an buttload of hair bleach (yes, buttload is an actual form of measurement) and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. Back at my apartment, my room suddenly felt like the set of Breaking Bad because my friend Dori and I were mixing chemicals with other chemicals in a very small space.

    Here are all of the chemicals I put in my hair...science is cool!!!!

    Here are all of the chemicals I put in my hair…science is cool!!!!

    #friendshipgoals or me not giving her any other options? Basically the same thing...

    #friendshipgoals or me not giving her any other options? Basically the same thing…

    After 45 minutes and tolerating the feeling of each hair being plucked out one by one, I washed the first round of bleach out only to find that I looked like a mass-murdering Ed Sheeran to star in a redundant Marvel film coming out early next year. At this point, I was saying what my mom probably said at my birth, “WHAT THE F%$K HAVE I DONE”?

    My "Ed Sheeran just landed a role as a villain in a Marvel film" look

    My “Ed Sheeran just landed a role as a villain in a Marvel film” look

    I am a goddamn trendsetter, guys.

    I am a goddamn trendsetter, guys.

    After recuperating, we did a second round of bleach to get my hair even lighter. At this point, it felt as if every Boy Scout troop ever created was having a bonfire on top of my head. Fun! I washed that out and toned my hair with a “Pale Ash Blonde” color, which to me translated to “a bunch of adjectives all describing the same thing” but that is neither here nor there. By now, I was happy with the color, mostly because it didn’t feel super yellow blonde and because I had left behind my role in the upcoming Marvel film. Looking back on it now, with a head full of dead white hair, I hate the color “Pale Ash Blonde” created.

    Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

    The outcome of the “Pale Ash Blonde”, or as normal people call it: “Gray blonde”

    You may be asking, “But Chris! How did you get your hair white?”. Fantastic question, *insert your name here*. The secret to getting your hair as light as possible without fully killing it is using Shimmer Light’s purple shampoo and conditioner. I leave the conditioner in for 3-5 minutes. It’s crazy how well the conditioner turned my hair white/slight purple tint.

    You also may be asking, “But Chris! Was it worth it?”. Okay, first of all, you need to relax with all these questions. But yes, I couldn’t feel happier and more myself with my new hair. I look at old photos with my brown hair and I feel like that isn’t the real me. I am so much more confident and have learned to really live for myself and not worry about what other people think, which hasn’t ever really been an issue for me. My message to you would be to just do it if you’re thinking about dying your hair. It’s hair. But also, it’s really difficult hair to maintain. I was thinking I would just dye my hair and everything would be great, but it’s a lot of maintenance, which is something I absolutely despise.

    Finally! My hair is so white, it can talk back to cops (Photo by Alivia Latimer)

    Finally! My hair is so white, it can talk back to cops and get away with it (Photo by Alivia Latimer)

    I can’t believe I just wrote a whole adventure about my hair, but it’s happened and there’s no turning back now. Let me know in the comments which hair color you like better and also what color you would want to dye your hair!

    Team Brown? Team White? Team Who-Gives-A-F%$K-About-My-Hair-Color?

    Team Brown? Team White? Team Who-Gives-A-F*$K-About-My-Hair-Color?

    Blondes Have More Fun
    Thoughts on my hair color?
  • Fatass Does a Juice Cleanse

    IMG_6439

    Picking up my cleanse at Juice Press, and, as you can tell, I am the face of enthusiasm!

    I Survived

    ...but Barely

    Wednesdays are reserved for adventures.

    Hey, LoDown fam! My name is Chris. I’m the guy who takes all of the photos you see on a daily basis. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Why the eff is the photographer writing a story?” That’s a good question. Let me explain…

    While discussing possible adventures to take on in the world of food and fashion, juice cleanses came up. The team immediately shifted their focus to me, a self-proclaimed fatass. They figured it’d be funny to give the “foodie with a booty” a three-day juice cleanse. Let’s fast forward to when my story begins.

    August 24, 2015 (The Day Before the Cleanse)— The LoDown crew hits up Juice Press in the East Village where I get my three day’s worth of juices (and a lifetime’s worth of anxiety). While the whole team exchanged giggles and I eyed them with death glares, the Juice Press staff neatly lined up 18 juices, colors ranging anywhere from green to yellow to red. I received a pamphlet and felt reassured by its second bullet point. “Rest,” it read, “For best results, take a break from exercise.” I remembered thinking there was hope. Famous last thoughts.

    Day 1

    9:19 a.m. Just woke up. Took what I expected to be my last solid shit. Ridiculously anxious at the thought of no food for the next three days, which is a nightmare I have definitely had before.

    10:07 a.m. First drink down the hatch called “Love at First Sight”. If that’s what love at first sight is like, I have no problems with being single. Feeling much better about this cleanse, but still super fucking hungry and lowkey bitter that I couldn’t put a greasy bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich into my body.

    10:37 a.m. Got to work. On the way, my bag fell off my bike and I was more worried about the juices than my $3,000 MacBook. The juices are changing me. I also passed approximately 213 restaurants, and each was a kick to the babymaker.

    11:13 a.m. I already want food and coffee. I feel tired and sluggish, but that might be because I don’t have my life together… the jury’s still out on that one.

    IMG_6473

    Here is solid evidence proving how productive I was at work while being on a juice cleanse…

    12:41 p.m. Just finished my second drink. It had a thicker consistency. I don’t feel like fainting as much. To be honest, I can’t stop thinking about smelling pad Thai and French fries.

    2:04 p.m. I’m watching my coworkers eat our catered lunch…excuse me while I stab myself in the leg with a thumbtack. If you know me, there is nothing I show more enthusiasm for than free food. I am weak.

    3:06 p.m. Just finished drink number three and my mouth now tastes like a mix of my front lawn and a middle-aged man’s vegetable garden. I’m feeling good every time I drink a juice because my stomach feels fuller. This is probably what it’s like to be a model at Fashion Week—to crave food but to not be allowed to eat it.

    5:08 p.m. Trying to get through “Doctor Earth”. It is ROUGH. There’s more ginger in it than a redhead convention. My hunger hasn’t been bad, but I miss eating actual food and the idea of eating.

    5:14 p.m. I just opened a bag of chips in the office to smell them. Actually, it worked very well. I’m now getting weird looks from people in the office.

    7:37 p.m. I made the mistake of going into Whole Foods with my friend. Had a very public meltdown. The Lord is testing me. If you’re doing a juice cleanse, stay home with no food and just sleep for three days.

    9:49 p.m. I finished juice number five, and it was VERY gingery. I’m a bigger fan of Nickleback than I am of this drink. Also, I just want some fried chicken and Chipotle. I’m now staring at a bag of chips from across the room in my bed. Heavily debating whether or not to sneak one, but I have too much pride (and a really aggressive conscious).

    11:47 p.m. Finished my last drink called “Glo” and enjoyed it very much. I would definitely enjoy a Dominos pizza way more but oh well. Time to go to sleep or pass out from the lack of usual calories. We’ll see which happens first…

    Day 2

    11:12 a.m. Woke up after sleeping in because I’m worth it. I actually feel…great? I know, I’m surprised too. I don’t feel hungry or anything, but I have to unleash the Pacific Ocean from my bladder.

    12:34 p.m. I just finished the first juice of the day. Really delicious, but I’m already hungry and my apartment smells like pizza. So, there’s that.

    1:37 p.m. Finished juice number two called the “Fountain of Youth”, and I feel like Jennifer Anniston. It may be my favorite drink of the cleanse.

    4:17 p.m. I finished “Doctor Earth” and it was worse than I remembered. I thought I was going strong today, but as the day progressed, I desperately want food…and to not be an adult anymore but that’s life, Chris.

    6:47 p.m. I went to Duane Reade to get a jug of water because that’s the only other f%*&ing thing I can put into my body besides these damn juices. I’m getting frustrated with not being able to eat, as you can tell. New York gets boring real quick when you take solid food out of the equation.

    7:14 p.m. – Finished a red drink called “Lucky Seven”, and I hated it as much as I hate school.

    9:04 p.m. Just sharted my pants.

    9:09 p.m. False alarm.

    Day 3

    11:41 a.m.  I just woke up and am feeling great mostly because I’m thinking about all of the food I will be knee deep in tomorrow.

    12:14 p.m. Finished juice number one. I have so much motivation to make it through to the end of today.

    3:29 p.m. I forget how many juices I’ve finished at this point, but I can assure you that they all tasted very green and very NOT like a cheeseburger with a side of fries.

    5:47 p.m. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…or is that just a neon sign advertising 99¢ pizza? Either way, I’m very into it.

    7:01 p.m. Jamming to Justin Bieber’s new song “What Do You Mean” which was exactly what I told the Juice Press staff when they said I couldn’t eat for three days.

    9:58 p.m. I JUST FINISHED MY LAST JUICE! I would do a celebratory dance but that would require more energy that I have so let’s just use our imaginations.

    IMG_6537

    As you can see, I am GLOing with happiness that I had just finished my last juice (it’s okay, I hate myself for that pun too)

    What to expect when doing a juice cleanse: So, unless you’ve slipped into a coma at the beginning of this adventure and woke up here, at the end of the story, the point to take away is that you can’t have food unless you count a few almonds. It is possible to do but it also takes a lot of will power. The first day was the hardest for me. After that, I began to feel more and more like an asshat because the cleanse was all I talked about. Then, I got mad at my friends for eating food. Sorry, friends.

    Stock up on adult diapers. You will live in the bathroom. I’m trying my best to avoid being graphic for our sensitive reader with social graces. But anyway, let’s just say that as a guy, I didn’t have to sit down quite as much during the cleanse. When I did though, it was a runny doozy.

    IMG_6544

    The day after the cleanse with my one true love #relationshipgoals

    All in all, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expected, but then again, I was expecting to look and feel malnourished and be well on my way to my deathbed. Would I do it again? Probably not. I love solid food far more than the average human should. However, I did feel very healthy and I did notice my skin clear up. Was it a coincidence I didn’t have a single zit either or those three days? That’s not important. Anyway, duty calls, a.k.a. a very large plate of Pad Thai!

  • TheLoDown