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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.
This one’s been a long time coming, you guys… Woo hoo!
I’m often asked what I do during the week, so today I thought I’d share a little day-in-the-life. I love writing these and documenting various times in my life, and from the response I’ve gotten (most recently on a similar post from Paris), you guys seem to like the glimpse into the fitness/blogging worlds as well.
My day-to-day schedule is essentially based around when and where I teach at SoulCycle — we have three studios here in Chicago. (If you’re new here and unsure what Soul is, you can check out this post.)
I’ll use my Tuesday/Thursday schedule as an example, as that’s when I have the most time in between classes. (Monday and Wednesday I generally spend much of the day teaching, cross-training and commuting.)
From hours of music research and playlist making to meal prepping, blogging and, oh, getting enough sleep — here’s a glimpse at a (week)day in my life this summer:
5:10 a.m. Woof. My alarm goes off just after 5 a.m. three days each week — and I’ve gotten much better about not snoozing. It’s not so bad once you’re up and at ’em.
5:15 a.m. I prep everything for my day the night prior, so all I have to do is slip into my clothes, pour some all-natural almond milk over the espresso that chilled overnight in the fridge and I’m out the door. (My Nespresso machine has been a serious game-changer — they’re 25% off at Williams Sonoma this week, too.) Aren’t my color-block kicks awesome? They are — believe it or not — by Saucony (and less than $60). I get lots and lots of questions about them!
5:25 a.m. Luckily, there aren’t many people vying for cabs at this hour, so I easily grab one and settle into the back seat on the 15-minute drive to our Southport studio (which is near Wrigley Field/Cubs stadium). Here, I’ll plug into my playlist and make any last-minute changes based on my mood or my perceived mood of the day.
5:40 a.m. Once I get to the studio, I usually have around 15 minutes to prep, stretch, say hello to riders and chat with the staff.
6:00 a.m. Rooster classes (as we call them) are quickly becoming one of my favorite time slots to teach. It’s hard to wake up, yes, but once you’re in the room it’s a really cool experience. I also love, love that early morning “vibey” type of music, you know? You know I hit ’em with a few bangers once they’re fully awake, though.
7:00 a.m. After just a few minutes, I call an Uber and head off to yoga. My morning schedule is tight, but if I don’t go now, I won’t go! (Some weeks I’ll go to acupuncture instead of yoga, but that’s a story for an upcoming post that I’ll mention below.)
7:05 a.m. In the car, I’ll eat whatever post-class snack I packed that day — usually, it’s Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs or a banana with almond butter. I’ll eat a bigger meal when I get home later, but it’s ideal to eat (or drink) protein 15-20 minutes after a workout to maximize muscle repair and recovery.
8:22 a.m. I’m usually starving by now, so I’ll eat another high-protein snack — one of the snacks mentioned above or a protein bar of some sort. I’ve been really into Quest bars this year. Not ideal, but better than nothing — this bitch gets hangry.
9:00 a.m. Twice a week, I come to “freeze” at Cryospa, which takes no more than 10 minutes. Cryotherapy is a recovery method where you’re blasted with liquid-nitrogen from the neck down for a few minutes. (Think of yourself standing butt-ass naked in front of a freezer, but with gloves and thick socks to prevent frostbite.)
Side-note: I’m doing a separate post on Cryotherapy/all of the “modern medicines” I use to recover and whatnot this month, but essentially, it’s great for muscle recovery, reduced inflammation and blood circulation (which gets rid of toxins).
9:06 a.m. Afterward, I slip into the next room and pull on a pair of their NormaTech compression boots, which send pressurized pulses all the way up and down your legs. It feels like a mix between a massage and compression socks. This also reduces inflammation, knocks out soreness and swelling, and increases blood flow to accelerate the removal of metabolic waste from your muscles. In other words, my legs feel a lot better, lighter and more “normal” after the treatment. I try my best to multitask in the chair, but I usually end up passing out cold — mouth open and lightly snoring, I’m sure.
9:50 a.m. I head to the train and trek home to start my workday and — more importantly — eat my first real meal of the day, which is usually fried eggs over avocado Ezekiel toast (plus another almond milk latte). Tip: Once the eggs are cooked, I fork the yolk out of them — it saves on calories but you still get some of that delicious yolky drip.
10:15 a.m. I spend the next few hours of my day working… Theoretically, that is — which I’ll get to. This typically entails in-person meetings, phone calls, answering emails, invoicing, managing finances, editing photos and writing. Being a business owner/blogger in general is so much work, especially if you don’t have anyone to help you with the day-to-day, more administrative tasks. I try to focus more on the creative elements of it, but it can be challenging when that red number on your iPhone inbox creeps on up. Often I’ll have to fully re-shower and get ready to shoot a look or a feature with my photographer, Melissa.
2:30 p.m. Here’s where that “theoretically” bit comes into play… The hardest part about working from home (and getting up at 5 a.m. on an almost-daily basis) is not allowing yourself think about how your bed is a mere 50 feet away from you at all times. Gah! I really try not to nap, but that’s typically impossible. Depending on my workload, I’ll pass the f–k out for either 30 or 90 minutes — 30 minutes is ideal for an energy boost, 90 will give you more of a full sleep cycle. Anything in between (the next ideal interval being 120 minutes) will actually leave you feeling groggier… The nap game is an art and a science, who knew?
5:00 p.m. Closer to the end of the day, I’ll get back into teaching mode. My laptop and I will transition to the floor, where I’ll foam roll a bit and begin making a new playlist for that evening’s class. I’ll also make another meal with a good mix of carbs, protein and healthy fat — usually, it’s deli turkey on a low-carb wrap with lettuce, avocado and hummus; or avocado smeared on brown rice cakes. Maybe a frozen banana blended with some protein powder and berries. Freakin’ delish. (Is it also necessary to mention that by now I’ve gone through at least three grapefruit-flavored LaCroix’s… At least.)
6:45 p.m. I’m very conscious about moving my body as much as possible (within reason) and getting my 10,000 steps in each day, so I make it a point to walk to the closer-to-me studios each day… It all adds up.
7:10 p.m. Back to my pre-class routine of stretching, greeting and the like.
8:30 p.m. After teaching, a few friends and I have gotten into the habit of going to one of the many nearby bars for big, oversized salads and a beer (or two) to cap off the day. And, okay, we tend to split a pizza more often than not, too… YOLO, you know? Summertime in Chicago is gorgeous — there’s way too many outdoor patio situations to take advantage of. (Read more of my summer must-do’s in Chicago here!)
10:35 p.m. By the time I get home, I always think I’ll be able to spend some time on the blog, but I am so tired I usually pass out within the hour — sometimes sitting upright at my computer, no joke. I check my alarm obsessively before finally succumbing to my drooping eyelids… Off to bed and ready to rise bright-and-early again tomorrow morning.
So, there you have it! As mentioned, I’ll make this a quarterly or semi-frequent post series, as I’m often asked what I do during the day and my routine shifts when my teaching schedule does. In the meantime, you can follow me on Snapchat (@coralsncogancs) and Instagram for more daily peeks and updates in real-time.
What’s your day like?
Thanks to Saucony for partnering on this post. Click here to check out their Life on The Run collection — including all of the pieces I’m wearing today. All opinions are, of course, my own.