I haven’t written one of these Having a Moment posts in a bit, but I’ve been thinking about writing this one forever. Today, I guess I just got into a mood and this spilled right out. So here we go!
So as you all may know, we Philadelphians got a little bit of snow this weekend. The city was beautiful yesterday, and I spent the majority of my day snuggling in bed in between drinking $5 beer-itas at Black Sheep (247 South 17th Street) and later more delicious margaritas from Amanda at Jet Wine Bar (1525 South Street). It was glorious, I tell ya.
But even before this beautiful Saturday . . . as I parked by car on the street Friday after work . . . I was already dreading it: digging the damn thing back out. I knew (from winters past) if we got any amount of snow, digging my car out for work on Monday would be a straight up struggle. If I’m being honest, I was prepared . . . a few years ago, after using (and literally I am not kidding here) my SWIFFER to clear my car off after a snow storm, I invested in a few necessities like a small shovel and an extended car brush, because, I am 5’2, after all. But that doesn’t mean I wanted to do it.
It’s been a while since my last Having a Moment themed post, so before we embark on this busy holiday week, I wanted to share this little feel good moment of my week.
I am very easily influenced by fashion trends. I frequently become obsessed with a certain trendy style, like crop tops or high waisted bikinis (and overalls, but my search is still on for my perfect pair), even if it’s not “meant” for a body like mine. What I think is different about me is that when the trend is over, and after I’ve fallen in love with how that style looks on my petite, curvy ol’ body, I add it to part of my wardrobe forever. And that’s why I’ve continued the affair with my summer love, the jumpsuit, far into the fall (and beyond).
Growing up, in what I would now consider a small-ish town, I had a really lucky life. Some good years (I peaked in 6th grade), and some bad ones (10th grade comes to mind), but I was still a very outgoing and friendly human being, so I survived. College brought some more happiness (sophomore year) and some ups & downs (senior year), and then graduation, and there I was. And there was this city.
Similarly to my last interruption in your regularly scheduled Philly programming, I just had a moment. Well, maybe it was more of a realization than a moment, but nonetheless, it was something that I sat down immediately to write, and thought needed to be shared.
Last weekend I went on a first date. We were having a nice time, so we hopped around a few bars. When we got to bar #2, a smaller space, we sat at the far end of the long wrap around bar. There were two seats open to our left, which two young women sat in. I was facing my date, so I initially didn’t pay much attention to them, But a few minutes in, I heard them ask the waitress to move a few spots down the bar, to the other side of my date. No big deal, they were in the corner. We went on chatting.
After they moved, perfectly situated in my line of vision, both of the random women kept staring, well . . . glaring, over at me and my date, but truly, mostly me. They were physically turning their bodies to look over at me. It happened so frequently throughout our short time there, it was throwing my conversation off. Their constant looks made me, a typically confident person, feel very self-conscious. Was there something on my face? Were we being too loud? As confident as I thought I was, these look were on track to steal my fun first date from me, and I had no control over it. The women left before we had even finished our drinks, giving us one final disapproving look.
Obviously thrown, but trying not to let them ruin the night, we moved on to our next bar, and I ran downstairs to the bathroom. As I was exiting, I passed another woman, also around my age, in the hallway. She stopped me, and said, “I love your dress!” When I started to say thank you, she stopped me. “And that necklace! Oh my gosh – I’m just loving this whole thing you have going on! You look so good!” I thanked her, multiple times, and went back upstairs to my date, feeling confident, beautiful and empowered. My night was changed, all from our 30 second exchange.
It is amazing to me how we, as women, have such an opportunity to interact positively with other women, yet we frequently choose to not take it. I sometimes feel it would be “weird” if I compliment another woman who looks amazing on the street. But then, I think about every time a woman has ever complimented my look out of the blue. Do I think they’re weird? NO! I think they’re sweet and kind (and have great style, of course).
Ladies, I encourage you to be like the second woman. While I will never know what was bothering the women of my first encounter so much, I feel really lucky I ran into their successor. I hope this tale encourages you to bring another woman up today. You never know how much she needs it! xx
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Philly programming for a quick look inside the mind of me. I am having a moment right now. I have been spending the morning cleaning out my closets in anticipation of new fall goodies. I brushed my hair, put on my brightest lipstick and jumped into my favorite skinny jeans. I have been trying on literally every single item, then sorting it – sell, donate, keep. Halfway through, I pulled out a Forever21 top I purchased the winter of my senior year of college. I have worn the top, a loose, black crop top with the word LOVE across the chest, many times, each with a long, black tank top underneath. The thought of even a hint of my stomach being revealed to a passerby on the street used to make me cringe. But something has been happening to me lately. Something amazing.
Today, I tried on the LOVE top with a tank underneath. Standard. But as I looked in the mirror, I thought, this is a freaking crop top, damn it. I took off the tank top. In nothing but my crop top & skinny jeans, bright lipstick & long hair, I stared at myself in the mirror. I turned around. I posed. I loved it. Above the top of my high-rise jeans, my stomach peeked through. Is this possible? Do I look hot? Yes, it is possible. My curves, my body, I. Am. Hot. And then, I started crying. Happy, HAPPY tears. This confidence that I have found the past few months and years, has literally been . . . life changing. And I owe it to one thing: my job.
When I started my 9-5 job two years ago, I knew nothing about the industry I was getting involved in. The world of “plus size fashion,” as it is referred to, starts at a size 12. My size. The size of average woman in the United States. And yet, this entire world, which literally changed me, is so hidden. Before I started diving head first into the blogs and magazines of the plus size world, I literally had no idea women like this – confident, beautiful, and curvaceous – existed. Let alone, existed for me to be inspired by on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis. These images, images of gorgeous, curvy women, and their stories, stories about wearing a body con dress, buying wide calf boots, their relationships, have literally helped me to start my own revolution. Hell, I bought a freaking BIKINI this year. Do you know the last time I wore a bikini? 9th grade. And here I am, 24, single, and confident as hell, and I owe it all to these AMAZING role models that I luckily get to work with every day.
So, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite inspirational images. I want these images out there. I want another young, Philly college girl to discover this world while she still has time to enjoy her sexy, curvy, youthful body. I want her to put on a dress without tights underneath or skip the cardigan and let her bare arms out, and say, why the hell haven’t I tried this sooner? Here are some of my favorite women, looking so stylish & rocking their curves:
A few weekends ago, I was at Seacrets (Ocean City, MD) with about 20 of my friends for my BFF Mandy’s birthday. Each of my gorgeous, beautiful girlfriends wore a tiny bikini, and I was clearly the largest girl in our group. But as we ran around all day long, eight hours to be exact, in and out of the water, dancing and jumping to the music, enjoying each other’s company, I did not give my size, or the fact that I was in my bathing suit in front of hundreds of people, a second thought. I heard girls complaining that they “felt fat” and hated X, Y, & Z about their appearance . . . and it felt so liberating to not have a care in the world about what anyone else thought of my body. I was just happy.
Every day is not perfect. But for the most part, I am so grateful for my new-found adult confidence. If you are looking to join this high I’m on, I encourage you to check out the fabulous women above, and beyond! Trust me, seeing is believing – and you CAN be the sexy, powerful, rule breaking woman you have inside of you. Thanks for reading. xx
Since my last declaration of happiness one year ago today, life has still been pretty lovely (at least from the way I see it). This year, I started a new job. I began working out again and really loving my body even more. I started reading (well, listening to) books again, something that had been sincerely missing from my life. I learned a lot about myself through dating, and more recently, by deleting all of those dating apps I had become sliiiightly dependent on. I learned how important it is to empower other women. And I grew with my friends and family, celebrating occasions that were worth celebrating and helping each other through tough times and mind boggles to spare.
Today marks exactly one year since I began chronicling my journey exploring Philadelphia, and I can’t believe how far my little idea has come! When I began writing this blog, I was looking for an outlet to discuss things that were important to me, as a young, 20-something with no kids and a lot of curiosity about my new city. Deciding what to write was (and still is) easy, I document things that I, personally, would click through & read about. I am by no means a fashionista, but I do like shopping. I can’t cook that well, but I love discovering new restaurants. I’m not a wiz with a glue gun, but I like to decorate and get the most out of my small apartment. And while I am past my college years of long nights out at the bar, I am still young, single, and like to explore what the city has to offer. Wrap that all up in a pretty bow & you’ve got Her Philly!
Over the past year I have had some amazing experiences, like attending the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere and traveling to NYC for Lucky FABB. I have met some bloggers & Philadelphians I consider friends (like Jessie, Melissa, Jade, Karima, & Kory, to name a few), and discovered countless new places to go and things to do around Philly. I am really thankful for the opportunities this blog has allowed me, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!
In honor of my 1st birthday, and because we all know I love lists, I wanted to share my Top 10 most shared posts from the past year! Plus, come back & visit me this week for some special surprises and giveaways featuring my favorite Philly things!
10. My experience taking a flying trapeze class during PIFA.
9. Keeping it real with my favorite product to eliminate chub rub.
8. Documenting the most amazing night in Philly.
7. How I built my confidence and learned to love my body.
6. My recap of East Passyunk Avenue’s Crafty Balboa & links to fab Philly Etsy sellers.
5. The first Philly Lady You’ll Love post featuring Luba Patlakh of Fluff Apparel.
4. My third installment of my favorite small apartment decorating ideas.
3. My “everything you need to know” post about Philadelphia Diner en Blanc.
2. My original post featuring some pinspiration on how to organize your small Philly apartment.
1. Seems there is a lot of love for my small city living spaces inspiration posts!
Thanks for the love & support over the past year. I hope you stick it out with me over the next year, I promise we’ll have fun! xx
Lately I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make each post I write here perfect and really important. I think I was having trouble coming up with something meaningful to say, especially after my last post. But sometimes I need to not have a plan & just kind of . . . chat. What do we think, are we up for it?
Let’s just come right out and say it. The main reason I’ve been MIA is because I have discovered Orange is the New Black. You n-e-e-d to see this show. You can even sign up for a free trial of Netflix, binge watch all of the episodes in one weekend (because, while the trial is a month, you’ll only need a weekend) and cancel on Monday. I still have two episodes left in the series and I am saving them. We’ll see how long that lasts.
The dates have been announced for Philadelphia Restaurant Week and I can’t WAIT! Get your reservations made for September 15-20 & 22-27 now! As of today, I’ve got plans for Tinto, Fogo de Chao and Zahav, but who knows where I’ll end up. Check out my post about where to go during Restaurant Week if you need some recommendations!
Last summer, I was never able to get home from work in time for Center City Sips. So this year, I’m making more of an effort, and I love it! There is only one week left – so tell me, where are you sippin’ for 2013’s final week?
I have literally the best end of the week ever. Tomorrow is the event all of Philly has been waiting for, Diner en Blanc! I currently have my entire table set up in my living room right now, just for a practice run. Tomorrow I’m heading to DiBruno Brothers to pick up some goodies & then my buds and I start our journey to the secret location! If you’d like to see live updates from the event, check out Her Philly on Twitter & Instagram. Cause you know I’ll be snappin.
Friday night I am going, embarrassingly so, to my first concert of the summer! Hellloooo Mr. John Mayer! Give me some Gravity & some Assassin and I’ll be good.
Between a few trips home to my parents’ house at the beach in Jersey this month, I’m excited to enjoy my final weeks of summer in the city. So what’s new & exciting going on in your life? I’d love to hear. xx
Welcome to Her Philly! In case we haven’t met yet, I’m Emily, and I’m so glad you stopped by. Her Philly was founded back in November 2012 (on a 6 year old baby pink Dell Inspiron laptop that weighed about 25 lbs.). A brief history on how I got here: After moving to Philadelphia in June of 2011, I was on the hunt for an online resource for young women in the city like me – a place that talked about where to eat, affordable upcoming events, hidden shopping gems, and just general fun in my new city. After some searching, I decided it was time to find the answers to my own questions, and Her Philly was born.
My blog covers four main areas: dining, shopping, playing, and living (plus a chit chat section for all the other stuff, because I like to talk a lot). All of my posts are meant to be positive takes on things to do in the city. If I have a bad experience, I usually don’t talk about it here. That’s what review sites are for.
I love (read: LOVE) hearing from you. Whether you stop me while we’re both jamming out at a concert or about to sweat at spin class, leave a super sweet comment on my blog, or send me a note on social media – your words pretty much make my life. Here are a few of the nicest things you’ve all said about this lil ol’ blog:
“Emily is the BOSS when it comes to finding the best Philly has to offer.”
“You’re definitely my new fav blogger in Philly! Keep up the great work!”
“Emily, I am so excited to have stumbled upon this website. I am actually moving to Philly in the fall and all of my questions seemed like they will be answered from your blog.”
“I’m also a 20 something and have dedicated the last month to trying to find a job so I can move to Philly. I have been on your blog for about an hour now and you make me even more excited about the transition. Thanks for all your helpful posts!”
If you’re saying: OK, this sounds great, but where the heck do I go from here? . . . let me guide the way. I’ve gathered a few posts either pretty proud of, or that I feel give you a good sense of what I have going on on this blog.
Finding fun things to do in Philadelphia is pretty much the core of this blog. While a lot of my posts are about events that have come & gone, you can always learn how to tailgate like an Eagles fan, get some tips on what to bring to Made in America, or learn about how to have the best Diner en Blanc ever.
I’m single (and I’ll remind you of that often), so I really appreciate our city’s hot Philadelphia athletes. But in case you’re just looking for how to get through your first OKCupid date unscathed, I’ve got some first date tips covered too.
I have a lot of Philly pride. Every year, I create a Philadelphia gift guide that is pretty handy if you’re looking for an awesome gift year-round. If you need to know how to get around in Philly, I’ve shed some light on that too.
Sometimes I get inspired, and write about things that don’t necessarily have to do with Philadelphia, like finding happiness as an adult, being the nice girl, and absolutely loving my body. And, sometimes I just decide to fly.
Have fun and explore. If you have any questions, shoot me an email. If you’re looking for more, I usually post events that don’t make the blog to Facebook, really pretty things on Instagram, and my general thoughts and attempts to be funny on Twitter.