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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.
What an awesome weekend it was in Chicago… (Monday morning, woof!)
First and foremost, my friends, I’m feeling majorly conflicted over here. My two favorite baseball teams are going to the World Series — the Indians and the Cubs! (Total first world problems, I know. If you don’t know, I’m originally from Cleveland, but I’ve also lived in Chicago for more than seven years of my life. So in sum, don’t ask me who I’m rooting for.)
Anywho, the Windy City is gearing up for another awesome week about town. You can seriously feel the energy in the air! I’m super pumped for my hometown, of course, but I think it’d be really cool to be in Chicago if the Cubs win… We’ll see!
Anywho, just a quick update from me today. But how was your weekend?
Beyond a handful of birthday parties, celebratory patio beers and, of course, multiple SoulCycle classes, the highlight of mine was having the opportunity to speak to 40+ people at Chicago Ideas Week, which is a unique nonprofit designed to inspire and educate their members through events and speaker series.
The Sunday session was all about “How to Make Your Passion Your Profession,” so I spent the hour talking about how and why I quit the corporate world to first start a blog and then ultimately pursue a career in the brand new-to-me field of fitness. (You can read that post in it’s entirety here — it’s one of the most popular that I’ve ever written.)
There were two very common themes to questions I was asked during the talk. The first, along the lines of: “How do you stay _____?” (Motivated, fulfilled, energized, etc.)
And secondly, one that I get a lot — every single day, actually: “How do you balance it all?”
“It all,” I imagine, is a social life and two full-time jobs, but I have to laugh because I feel like that’s something we’re all constantly asking each other in a comparative sense. (Kudos to you gals that are hustlin’ your blogs while working in an office, parenting, etc. I know how tough that is!)
For the sake of providing a little Monday morning inspo, though (and perhaps a very necessary reminder), here’s my point of view that I shared with the group:
Throughout the talk, I kept coming back to one reiterative personal point of view in answering these types of questions:
I find motivation and fulfillment in the balance.
As a very social and spontaneous person by nature, it’s not unusual for me to do things that I “should” feel guilty about… Like staying out all night (“grow up!”), taking a long daytime nap (“what a waste!”) or spending a random weeknight bingeing on Netflix, pizza and wine (“but you teach fitness!”).
Any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Yeah — but, you know, sometimes to feel like you’re losing your balance because of a love for your life is the key to living a more balanced life… If that makes sense.
It took me a long time, but as you’ll know if you read the post about why I quit my corporate job, I no longer drive myself to the point of work burn-out and — more importantly, I don’t allow myself to feel guilty. Or, okay, I try really hard not to.
Really, guilt is a self-inflicted emotion. It can serve as a warning or moral compass of sorts, of course, but ultimately I haven’t found that it’s a very useful or productive mindset to get stuck in.
October is one of my favorite months of the year, and I seriously can not believe it’s almost over. With World Series games all week, Halloween coming up over the weekend a few warm(ish) days lingering ’round here, I’m looking forward to embracing the balance and making it a celebration-centric week. Here’s hoping you can brush off any work-related guilt and find the time to do the same… Remember:
Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
A quick note about the hat I’m wearing, by the way. I saw it in the window of a local boutique in downtown Chicago called Classic Remix and knew I needed it. It’s custom-made, so if you want one you’ll have to stop into the store (706 N. Wells St.) or order one online.
(Update: Hats are sold out in-store today, but I believe they are restocking — and shipping — on Wednesday, FYI. Feel free to drop me questions about it in the comments below.)