jcrew cocoon coat navy-1
Only two tonight. I blame parent/teacher conferences. More soon!

What are your recommendations for good jackets and shoes for New York winters that won’t break the bank? I’m moving to the city for a fashion internship, and one of my biggest concerns is what I can wear that works with the crazy NYC weather while being fabulous and stylish at the same time. I’m coming from Texas where winter doesn’t really exist, so appropriate attire for the cold and snow is pretty new to me!

-Melody, Texas

Congrats on the internship, girl! In terms of weather, New York City is always cold this time of year, but this particular winter has been the worst. (I mean, I drove to Florida last week to escape it, haha.) A solid jacket and a couple of pairs of shoes are a must for survival!

While I love my puffer coat to the ends of this earth, it’s admittedly not something I would wear to a fashion event. Instead, I would go with a super warm wool coat. My favorites are the Stadium-Cloth coats from J.Crew. They add extreme warmth without the bulk. They’re a bit hard to find right now as spring is hopefully around the corner, but there are still some available on eBay. I love my Cocoon Coat, which I’m wearing in the above photo!

cole haan juliana
As for comfortable shoes, I love the Juliana Cole Haan pumps. Because they’re infused with Nike Air technology, I find I’m able to walk in them for far longer than I can in other heels. I also love the Audrey flats by Sperry. I almost always have a pair of these in my bag so I can switch into them while walking the busy streets! They’re so, so, so, so comfortable. (Stress on the so.) The patent leather version is waterproof but still cute. I also love the Hayden.

You’ll probably need a good pair of winter boots, too, because it snows pretty much every day here. (Or, at least, that’s the way it’s felt this year.) I adore my Sorel boots for their warmth and my Bean Boots for their versatility and compact size, but I’ve included some more stylish boots below. I’m currently lusting after the Everham boots by Sperry!

Good luck with your adventure!


Source: cheeksandheels.com (Thanks, girl!)

Blogging takes so much time- how do you manage to stay so consistent? And create original content? I would love a post about your time management tips. Do you have an assistant?

-Marta, New Jersey

I completely agree! Blogging does take a lot of time. I wish I could say I’ve developed this magical system that allows me to juggle it all—my job, relationship, family, social calendar, hobbies and chores—but truthfully, I haven’t. I’ve met a lot of bloggers who do have great systems in place, and who are very self-disciplined. They blog right when they get home from work or spend Sundays lining up posts in advance. But I’m not one of these girls. I’m quick to say that this is because I’m too busy, but it’s more that I’m unwilling to give up my current lifestyle for organization. Everyone is busy, right? ;)

In order to fit blogging into my hectic life, I have a lot of late nights. More often than not, Mitch is sound asleep while I’m sitting next to him, laptop in front of me, glass of wine in hand. (What? Don’t judge, haha.) For now, blogging between 10 p.m. and midnight is what works for me. Should I be getting more than six hours of sleep per night? Hell yes. But then this little blog wouldn’t exist! And I really enjoy blogging.

I’m going to bring up my awesome cousin, Olivia, for a moment. Olivia is one of the coolest girls I know. She’s freshman at a top university in the country, and competes on the school’s gymnastics team. She’s phenomenal. And seemingly fearless. (Sometimes I find myself closing my eyes when I watch her routines because I’m so in shock—and kind of scared for her, haha.) Olivia also loves her sport with all her heart. But she’s the first to admit that college gymnastics isn’t a walk in the park. At times, it can be extremely physically draining and mentally exhausting. Especially when you have a full load of college courses to handle, too! It would be easy for Liv to give it all up… and sleep in and attend late-night parties like the rest of the students at her school. But she’s made gymnastics a priority in her life. Because it brings her great happiness.

Source: http://compostrules.com

Source: http://compostrules.com

Now, I’m not about to compare blogging to being a collegiate gymnast. But I love Olivia’s outlook, and try to adopt it whenever I feel like throwing in the towel. Is blogging hard work? Yes. Does it require sacrifices? Yes. (Like sleep, in my situation.) But it brings me a lot of joy, too. It’s become a great creative outlet for me, enabled me to get to know my city in ways I never thought possible, form amazing friendships with fabulous girls, and build something I’m relatively proud of. So I’m going to keep doing it. If blogging ever becomes something that doesn’t bring me happiness, I’ll know that it’s time to stop. But for the time being, it’s something that makes my life better.

Besides making blogging a priority, there are some other things I do that help me with consistency, creating original content, and the workload in general:

1. Turn “dead time” into blog time. I’m a huge fan of blogging—whether its writing posts, managing my social media accounts, responding to emails or editing photos—during my daily commute. It’s awesome! I use my laptop, iPad, cell phone or just a simple notebook, depending on what bag I’m carrying that day and what my afterschool plans are. Sometimes all I need to do is hit “publish” when I get home!

Source: http://jancology.com

Source: http://jancology.com

2. Carry a camera at all times. This part kind of sucks, considering how heavy my camera is. (Don’t get this one, haha.) But carrying my camera around is also really wonderful, for a variety of reasons. I actually started toting the thing with me everywhere long before I started blogging. Besides being obsessed with the art of photography, my feeling was and is that I live in this really cool place that I won’t live in forever, and I should appreciate it. The camera helps me do that. It also helps me appreciate the beauty in everyday life—the things I might miss without looking through my lens so often. Now that I blog, it’s an added bonus that I take photos all the time. Whenever I don’t feel like dressing up, I turn to my camera for original content and post inspiration.

3. Seek out inspiration. Most of my posts are derived—regardless of whether I know it—from other sources of inspiration. Don’t copy others’ ideas, but draw from and build on them. There are endless sources of inspiration on the internet, but don’t forget about your friends, family members and readers. Ask them what they’d like to see appear on your blog! This column, for example, has helped me create a lot of original content. (And all the ideas come from you guys!)

4. Carry a notebook. Without my journal, I would forget most of my content ideas. Let’s face it—I get dressed at 6 a.m., and I blog from 10 p.m. to midnight. These aren’t exactly my most lucid hours of the day. ;) I get inspired at the weirdest times of day, and in the oddest of places. Later, I reference my journal, and there you have it! I would also recommend using the “Notes” application on the iPhone, or whatever other app you have for note-taking. Works just as well!

5. Have a “blogger buddy.” I think it’s crazy important to have someone who you can go to when you’re lacking motivation. For me, this person is obviously Mitch, but I don’t think you need a significant other in order to be a successful style blogger. When I’m feeling sluggish and don’t feel like posting, Mitch will gently and lovingly remind me that I’ll be happier the following day if I do get that post up. Often times (you know—when it’s not crazy late), he’ll set up shop and work on his own business right next to me. It’s so helpful. Find a friend—whether it’s your best friend, mom, an acquaintance, or even an online friend—who is either a blogger herself or invested in another similar activity, and make that person your “blogger buddy.” Much like a “gym buddy” or “study buddy,” this person will assuredly make your workload feel more manageable and fun. (I’ve definitely spent a couple of afternoons blogging next to my brother, for example, who was studying for his med school boards. Much more enjoyable than doing all that work while alone.)


As far as the assistant goes, I don’t technically have one, but I do have Mitch. (Heart him.) He and I work at the same school, so it’s really easy to take photos on the way home from work. We try to keep “photo sessions” to under five minutes, but he’s such a trooper about being my photographer. He also loves working with Photoshop. Whenever I need a product spread made, he’s up for it. He’s a great sounding board for my ideas—and often comes up with his own. He’s my biggest supporter. (Besides you, Grammie.) He’s actually the one who originally suggested I start this thing!

pink workspace
But like I said before, you certainly don’t need a significant other acting as your assistant. Lots of significant others aren’t even interested in doing this! Most bloggers I know are really creative about who they reach out to for help: family members, coworkers, acquaintances with special talents—you name it. Personally, I’m always so surprised as to how many people are interested in helping out with Kelly in the City! It’s all about being creative with the people who surround you. (And thanking them profusely for their help.)

Of course, I drop the ball sometimes when it comes to consistency, original content and motivation. For example, last week, I was pretty awful about posting. (Too inconvenient while on vacation, and too overwhelmed by Fashion Week to line up auto posts.) But we’re all human, right? In general, I wish I could do more. I have so many fun ideas for my blog, but it’s hard for me to make them come alive when I have such limited time every day. I’m hoping to make big strides this summer, though! (#teacherperks) And possibly creating a workspace that’s almost as cute as the one above?!

I wanted to ask you a little more about your BFF, Erica. She sounds pretty awesome. Do you know how she got to be so awesome? I hope this wasn’t creepy.

-Anonymous, The Cheese State

Hi, Erica. ;) Smooches.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more “Ask Kelly” posts in the upcoming week! Submit questions here.