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Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
When the weather is warmer, I (obviously) like to lead more of a balanced, offline lifestyle. Less time behind my computer, more time outdoors drinking wine with friends.
Speaking from experience, yes — working from home is great. The benefits of not having to battle rush hour commutes and setting your own hours is amazing, especially. But whether you’re an entrepreneur, contractor or blogger-by-night, the flexibility of working from home does run you the risk of slipping into a lazy routine.
Laundry? Necessary. A quick trip to the grocery store? Sure, why not. Catching up on Scandal? Yes, because it’s raining!
… Sound familiar? (And no, seriously. Are we all caught up Scandal?)
A good at-home office space dedicated to Getting Sh*t Done goes well beyond pretty pictures from Pinterest and perfectly mapped-out floor plans (which, let’s be honest — isn’t an option if you’re living in New York City).
Being productive at home certainly presents its challenges, but with the right balance and purposeful set-up (both physically and mentally), it’s a breeze to achieve your everyday ambitions.
And as a bonus, you’ll be out the door in time for a guilt-free happy hour.
While I’m no interiors expert, I have been blogging for more than four years. One of which in a more “full-time” capacity. That said, here’s a few of the tips, tricks, sensibilities and supplies that I utilize to make the most of my small-but-mighty space:
A designated workspace.
Yes, I know you’ve heard this one before — but it does work.
I’m sure there are a handful of people who can sprawl out on the couch and plug away for hours on end, but when you’re working from home on a regular basis, you need a routine to get into the zone (and maintain your focus).
Storage and supplies.
Shelves, storage bins, and magazine files are a super-simple way to make what could potentially be a cluttered mess look chic. Paper, bills and magazines pile up — and that ain’t pretty. I aim to keep my workspace clean and clear of distraction, so here’s a few things that help me stay inspired (and organized) at the moment:
Not all of us rely on a jolt or two of caffeine to get the day going (and props to you guys), but riddle me this: Have you ever woken up with a dehydration headache?
Holy smokes. It’s like a grown-up hangover, but worse. It’s awful.
The first thing I do every single morning is drink a giant glass of water. If you’re not in this habit, make it the first thing you do tomorrow — it quite literally feels like you’re a balloon that’s being re-inflated.
Fun Fact: SoulCycle’s Physical Therapist tells us that for every class we teach (or take), we should be drinking three 16-ounce smartwaters (the brand of water sold in the studio). One before, during and after class.
More than you thought, right? (Me too!)
Whether you realize it or not, staying hydrated is really, really important. There’s truly no downside, and it’s the easiest thing you can do to stay inspired, level-headed and productive every single day. You know those days where you feel like it’s 3 p.m. and you’ve accomplished nothing? H20. Yep, seriously.
Plus, drinking lots of water helps me keep my at-my-desk snacking in-check, which is a key factor in my weight loss journey (more on this to come).
Invest in the right technology.
Last but not least, you have to invest in the right technology. Our jobs and blogs all require us to print, scan, sign and copy things at some point, and the worst city scavenger hunt you can ever embark on is the search for a scanner/copier/printer.
The best all-in-one device I’ve been using for the past few months is the Sprout by HP (first introduced in this post about how to turn your blog into a business). The device’s touchpad technology has helped me organize my receipts, invoices, collages and contracts — it’s truly been a godsend. Most notably, I use it every single week to “sign” documents — with my fingertips.
It’s cloud-ready with PIXMA Printing Solutions (PS), which allows you to connect a printer, phone, Dropbox and so on. So for example, even if you’re away from your desk or the office (slash apartment), you can easily send items to your printer using the PS app on your phone.
The best part? In addition to its super-sleek design, this desktop computer is wireless — meaning there’s only one power cord to deal with. Amazing, right?
I could continue singing The Sprout’s praises, but you can read more about it in this post (or on their website). If you have any questions, leave ’em in the comments below!