Category Archives: guest posts

drop the act!

One of the things I have truly loved about writing this blog is the friends I’ve made along the way. Real live, in-person friends? Absolutely. But I also have a stalwart crew of amazing women who have become dear friends and people I truly admire…whom I’ve never clapped eyes on.

Beth Thomas Cohen is one of my dearest “blog friends”. She ran a fantastic PR firm for years with her bestie, and was one of the people who believed in SMC and what I was trying to do almost from Day One. Plus, she’s hilarious, brilliant and doesn’t suffer fools. How could I not love her?

So, when Beth told me she’d written a book, I was thrilled for her (and, okay, mildly jealous. The book’s about being more honest, after all.). When she told me the title, I laughed out loud and said, “Hey, how about you write something for my readers?” She immediately agreed, and we decided the thing to talk about would be how much time we all spend pretending to be a different version of ourselves on social media…which is, as you might recall, a topic I have some feelings about.

Beth’s fantastic new book, Drop the Act, It’s Exhausting!, is out this week, and it’s jam-packed with all of the sassy, savvy, real-life advice you need to keep yourself on the track to sanity. Reading it is exactly how I imagine a dinner date with Beth would be. And by the time I’d turned the last page, I was ready to hop on a plane to do just that.

Below is the piece Beth wrote for us. Read it, love it, buy the book.

drop-the-act

The Act: I’m Throwing a Social Masquerade Party!

Why To Drop It: Because you don’t need to be at any party where you hide your true self behind a mask

I find it fascinating that the world we live in is filled with amazingly different types of personalities and people…and we waste the diversity by not getting along. Whether it’s politics, race, religion, socio-economic differences, you name it, we keep overlooking that we all have a giant thing in common: the need to be accepted.

I see this need for acceptance play out every day on social media. I mean, can you get more literal than using “likes” and “followers” as a gauge of your value? I’m no different. I too want to be liked and “followed” on social media. I can go through my Instagram feed, find a person from Qatar and see that his group of friends are having a better time than my group of friends here in NYC, and immediately feel jealousy creep in. His picture of his friends at a bar has 837 likes? Mine only has 43. What’s wrong with me?! But something dawned on me one recent morning at the beach:

Maybe those guys in Qatar were full of shit.

A few college-age girls strutted out from their car toward the shore with their obnoxious “selfie stick” in hand, took a few shots in front of the waves and another few by the boardwalk, got back into their car and drove away. I’m presuming they posted their five-minute photo shoot as an actual experience that others, like me, will actually be jealous of.

Drop the act! How is that considered “connection”? Last month I turned 40, smack in the middle of the teeter totter of life. And suddenly, instead of throwing up pointless posts, I found myself stopping and remembering the point of social media: to mix with others, not masquerade.

We have a duty to everyone to make sure that the intention behind showing our fun, our successes and acquisitions is not to make others feel small. We need to be sharing important messages mixed in with the fun. We need to use social media as a catalyst to spark important conversations, share charitable ideas, and build self-esteem. If we used social media as a platform for more important messages, life might be a little bit sweeter. Everyone might just feel better about themselves, without needing outside approval.

In my book, I talk about the masks we wear all day, every day. And social media? It’s one hell of a convincing mask. So, what if we stopped using social media as a masquerade? Try it. Not only will you discover who your “friends” really are and what you actually “like”, you’ll learn a whole lot more about yourself in the process.

Drop the Act, It’s Exhausting: Free Yourself from Your So- Called Put-together Life, by Beth Thomas Cohen, is available this very moment on Amazon and at all kinds of awesome indy bookstores, which you should absolutely support whenever possible.

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a day in paris with farah malik of a peace treaty

{Editor’s Note: While I’m off strolling down cobblestone streets, mainlining croissants and gelato, I’ve asked a few of my most stylish globetrotting friends to share what they’d be doing – and of course, what they’d be wearing – on a dream day abroad.} 

If I’m honest, Farah Malik is the motivation for this whole guest expert series. One half of the extraordinary team behind A Peace Treaty, Farah is exactly the person I think of when I imagine a bona fide jetsetter. She quite literally scours the globe on a regular basis, working with communities to support (and help restore) their ancient craft traditions, which are often on the verge of disappearing. A Peace Treaty works with local artisans to create handmade, unique accessories that the fashion world can’t snap up fast enough. Everyone wins – artisans continue their craft, communities flourish, and the rest of us are a little better-dressed. Talk about money well spent!

If anyone can take us on a true insider’s tour of Paris, it’s Farah. Enjoy the journey!

 

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a day in paris with ariel gordon

{Editor’s Note: While I’m off strolling down cobblestone streets, mainlining croissants and gelato, I’ve asked a few of my most stylish globetrotting friends to share what they’d be doing – and of course, what they’d be wearing – on a dream day abroad.} Paris style

Statement jewels have their place, but my heart belongs to those classic, delicate pieces of jewelry I can wear 24/7. And truly, I’m not sure anyone does delicate better than my superstar friend Ariel Gordon. Beloved by editors, celebs and even us ordinary people, Ariel is the reigning queen of California cool, but has some serious global style cred too. Paris is one of her favorite places to be, so she was happy to tell us how she’d spend a day in the City of Lights. Take it away, Ariel!

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a day in florence with connie wong of moderne press

{Editor’s Note: While I’m off strolling down cobblestone streets, mainlining croissants and gelato, I’ve asked a few of my most stylish globetrotting friends to share what they’d be doing – and of course, what they’d be wearing – on a dream day abroad.}

Besides being the powerhouse mastermind behind Moderne Press, a boutique PR firm that reps some of my all-time favorite brands, Connie Wong is my very first friend from the world of blogging, way way back from my days at The Daily Obsession! As you’d expect with stylish clients like Alexis Russell JewelryRabLabs and HorneConnie is impossibly well-dressed every time I see her – think J.Crew meets Kate Spade, with a little something under-the-radar thrown in for good measure. Also, she just got back from a honeymoon in Florence, so she’s the perfect person to give you a serious case of Italian wanderlust. Pack your bags!

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a day in florence with lynne hiriak of cardigan

{Editor’s Note: While I’m off strolling down cobblestone streets, mainlining croissants and gelato, I’ve asked a few of my most stylish globetrotting friends to share what they’d be doing – and of course, what they’d be wearing – on a dream day abroad.} Florence shopping

When it comes to casual European chic, I can’t think of anyone who could do it better than Lynne Hiriak. A globetrotter extraordinaire, Lynne racks up more frequent flier miles in a year than I’ve accumulated in a lifetime. She’s also the creator of CARDIGAN New York, quite possibly my very favorite place for all things striped and cozy. As it turns out, she’s also an expert when it comes to shopping (and eating) her way through Florence, and her dream day is packed with hidden shops and locals-only restaurants I can’t wait to add to my to-do list. Lead on, Lynne!

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all in the details: holiday party perfection

SMC All in the Details

Kate M.W. ~ A basic black dress is always lauded as the classic necessity in a woman’s wardrobe. “It’s so versatile and you can dress it up with accessories!” If we’ve all heard this once, we’ve heard it a hundred times. So when I was considering how to put a bit of holiday party spirit into All in the Details, I must confess…this week started first by staring at a plain black shift dress. My favourite thing to pair with that is a sparkling statement necklace, and from there, the choice was easy. Subtle but packing a punch, metallic and glistening but not ostentatious. Statement necklace perfection.

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trend to try: oversized outerwear

 Chloé, via Style.com / Proenza Schouler, via Style.com / Céline, via Style.com

Erin ~ Winter is not my season. As soon as that cold weather blows in, you can barely see me under the layers of sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. So a trend that is both stylish and warm? Sign me up. The oversized trend from Fall 2012’s runways can look architectural and very “model off-duty”, while allowing you to layer a few extra sweaters underneath to combat the cold.

Of course, the runway looks are incredibly theatrical and larger than life. So how do you wear this trend without looking like you just bought the wrong size or are impersonating the Michelin Man?

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all in the details: jeffrey campbell darnell wedge

details-21

Kate M.W. ~ Despite the fact that I’m a strong advocate for flats, sometimes a pair of, say, suede platform wedge t-strap colour-blocked heels just catches my eye and I’m hooked. Completely practical? Perhaps not. But there’s something about these Darnell Wedges from Jeffrey Campbell that seem both playful and grown-up, appealing both to my inner child and my subtle chic older self. The mix of black, grey, and maroon provide a palette that’s versatile and easy to work with.

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