Off to the Races


Do you guys remember the 'elevator' shoot from a few weeks ago? (Post link here.) If not, let me jog your memory. It was an editorial shoot with a navy blue dress by a great Korean designer, Sungmin Shim, for Echtego. I discovered her from a new showroom, Dreams On Air (DoA) here in New York City and was immediately attracted toward her style and collection. I love her designs so much, today's post is focusing on another beautiful piece from her 'Sentimental Vengeance' collection. And I will be telling you why I had to style this statement dress, not only because of it's aesthetic-gorgeousness. 

I love when an object, whether a piece of clothing, a photograph, or a musical instrument can bubble certain memories/feelings toward the surface. It might be nostalgia or melancholy, perhaps both, with a tinge of hope, joy or fear (eek), but what I find so wonderful is its (objects) power to evoke sentiments we wouldn't have otherwise. And when I saw this black and white lace dress, it immediately drew me to my passion for Classical music. (Check out this dedicated post solely on that here!) You guys know I live for opera, but my first love when it comes to music is the Classical stuff. It's been in my life since my figure skating days, but something about the way it made me feel as I listened to it brought my attention to study it and learn from it. Nowadays, it's one of my main choices in music to listen to while writing. It keeps me centered and relaxed. Plus I just really love it. I just find it so incredible how an instrument can make you feel things you wouldn't feel from anywhere else, or with anyone else. Do I have any Classical music lovers out there?!

I used to go to the opera and the philharmonic like it was my religion, but I honestly haven't had the time to do so in a few years. Plus, I don't know many people (my age) that are as into it as I am. And that's perfectly fine, but damn I miss the hell out of it! And how lovely would this dress be for a night out for something like that? But I also think this dress also works well for the office or even attending a wedding! The tiny striped trim on the sides gives the lace dress a little bit more of a chill factor, as in easy and cool to wear. But I would really want to wear to this while doing something more on the fancier side. I feel confident and sexy in this number, so why not do something a bit more fun than just hitting the office in it? Have a great week, guys! :)





Simplicity with Chopin




Happy Friday! Today's post is focusing on a new outfit look, (think Chanel meets affordability 🙊) but with attention also on my deep love for Classical music. Lately, I've been feeling inspired to do a black and white film 'look', but I wanted to evoke feelings of playfulness, intensity and the art of simplicity, which to me, is the key to sophistication, and remaining effortlessly chic.

I've been listening to Classical music since I was a young teenager. The reason being was because of my training as a competitive figure skater, where a lot of time was spent on researching and choosing the perfect piece of music to go with the perfect skating dress and choreography. I was immediately drawn to Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. But my interest really peaked while in college, where I spent many of those first lonely freshman nights studying while listening to 'my men'. That is, until I actually made some friends! The only person I knew was my cousin and she was on the other side of campus. (And Michigan State's campus is one of the hugest in the country.) Freshmen stuck out like sore thumbs with their stationary parked bikes in the middle of the sidewalk with their faces immersed in the map of the campus. Trust me, I was definitely one of them, ha ha! 

When I wrote my first novel, most, well to it's near entirety, music was filled in the background with Classical music. If not that, lots of original soundtracks. Dark. Soundtracks. Why do I love Classical music?  It transports me to places I've never been. Eras, even. It sometimes uplifts me, fills me with intense anticipation of the unknown, melancholy, nostalgia, and even sometimes great sadness. But each time, regardless of the mood or set tone, I am never left without feeling fulfilled in some way. It gives me life! How many times has music saved your life? 

I styled my hair in three knotted ponytails, bringing them together in a sort of french-braid kind of way. My makeup is inspired by the new Chanel campaign with Kristen Stewart shot by Mario Testino. What I love is the variation to the smokey eye, with different vibes like a tomboy, being mischievous or playful, to even feeling like a glamorous star. Eyes are, after all, the window's to our soul. We are whoever we want to be. #EyeCanBe

My off-the-shoulder peasant top has subtle floral embroidery in the bell sleeves, and my high-slit black maxi skirt, are both from Forever 21. I've had these Michael Kors's gladiator sandals for a few years and love them during the summer season. Just because you're on a budget when it comes to fashion doesn't mean you can't look like like one of the runway girls! Make it your own, in reflection to your personal style and taste. There's no price to chicness! Take a look at my editorial video created for this look of the week. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE for new videos every week. Please scroll down to directly shop the look. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! :)

photos + videography by Gilles Decamps | director, editing, styling, hair + makeup by Suzanne Spiegoski

Classical music with black and white film, two of my faves put together. Here is my latest editorial video, inspired by simple chicness, knotted ponytails, and Chanel's most recently updated smokey eye makeup. To me less is always and will always be more.





The Writer's Desk

I don't know about you but I am so glad it's a 3-day work week. Life has been busy and stressful, so the idea of a cook-a-thon of some of my most favorite eats is more than thrilling. Yes, I mean this in the most non-sarcastic way. It relaxes me. And by celebrating and giving thanks, though we should be thankful every day, it's always so nice to reflect during this time of year. Because we do have so much to be grateful for.

New York City is pretty chilly today. The perks of working from home as a writer and blogger has it's pros and cons, and I will still take a break and get out of the apartment. I'll go for a run or a walk with MaQ and some of his other dog friends, or grab something to eat, or just to people watch. These daily activities are constant but today, I don't know; maybe because it's awfully cold (supposedly these are normal temps for Nov, or is it? Can't keep track anymore thanks to global warming) or because in my mind it's already Hump Day, but it was one of those days where it felt like Sunday. A case of the Monday's if you will.

So I stayed in my Calvin's, or rather PJ's I guess, and wrapped myself up in one of my hubby's shirts, then went to work. Can't get cozier than that! Along with comfort, as a writer, I also need seclusion. Here are a few more of my daily essentials I always need at my desk - the writer's desk.

My Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet. This little guy packs a mean punch. I do all of my blogging, writing, research, editing, and even conference calls on it. It is vital in my every day life. Without out, I don't know how I'd be organizing my crazy life!

Paper. Lots of paper. Sometimes I'll use my trusty ole' typewriter, but it's for rare occasions. I use paper to jot down ideas, timelines, research/case studies, or just to make a checklist or to-do list of some kind, whether it's blog-related or a simple grocery list, as a writer, I've always been constantly around the stuff.

Music. Not just any type of music. If it's just getting the day started or building a rough draft of a blog post, I'll usually listen to what's new in the music world. I do, however, appreciate every genre in music. When it's time to buckle down and work on my novel, it'll always be a certain theme in tune with what I'm writing about. I have a deep passion for Classical music, but also go for original soundtracks or instrumental music. Lyrical music while trying to write a chapter doesn't work well for me.


Candles. Any time of the year, I adore candles. I think aromas and scents can set a tone or deliver a certain essence in the environment you want to create. Plus, they bring warmth and light to any room, which is always a good thing especially being a writer. We spend a lot of time alone! ;) All kidding aside, I have been using Yankee Candles since college. They're my favorite besides Diptyque.

My Leica Coffee Mug. We received this as a gift in our first year of marriage from a dear friend. I love the size because it holds more coffee than any other mug we own. A writer's dream, or rather, fuel to burn the midnight oil! Ha ha!

Greenery or Flowers. Visually they are pretty to look at. I write a lot about how to kill people. I need something that'll bring me back from those sometimes dark places. Plus it's the girly girl in me. Now older, I've become quite fond of plants and the idea of growth. It's also just another great way to style up your place without looking like you're trying too hard.

My i-Phone 6. I know... BAD idea to ever have a phone near you while trying to get some work done. But it's my way of staying in touch with the world. And I do give myself time intervals. Every two-three hours, depending how much writing I do, I'll take a small 15 minute break.

My Ray-Ban eyeglasses. What can I say. I'm getting older. I need these around me more and more. I'm near-sighted, so it's not a matter of not being able to focus at a close object but rather one that is at a distance. I leave CNN on mute in the background. I'm addicted to what's going on in the world because I think it imperatively matters. So, from time to time, I'll need them to see what's going on the TV screen. :)

I would've asked MaQ to join me in the photo but he was far too busy sunbathing closer toward the windows. I didn't want to wake up my angel bear. He sends is love though! <3

Have a short and happy work week everyone!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

Type and Listen.

The only kind of music I can actually concentrate to while writing is and has always been classical music. I'm a lover of all things instrumental, but was quickly drawn into the classical music realm when I was a young teenager. Truthfully, I'm kind of a geek about it. I still, as a hobby, collect CD's but only in this genre. I could care less about the digital crap when it comes to looking for treasure. There's something rare in its form when you by happenstance come across gems all over the city. I use to go crazy at the Virgin Megastore while it was still around in Union Square. My husband and I would go every weekend, and go our separate ways; him with his movies and me with my music.

I've got a stack of reasons not only to enjoy classical music, but to appreciate it. Classical music has been shown to lower stress, make people smarter (!), and can even be a lovely sleeping aid. A 2001 study out of Southern Methodist University supports that listening to classical music heightened the emotions in the study subjects. They were more expressive and effusive with their comments, and they were more openly available as well.

Want to learn more about the transformative power of classic music? If you have the time (the video is about 20 minutes long), check out this TED video of Benjamin Zander. It's probably, in my opinion, one the best discussions I've ever listened to regarding classical music. It is truly significant. And it is special.

I have an endless amount of favorite composers but I'd thought I should name at least a few. (In no particular order)

  • Chopin
  • Rachmaninoff
  • Jules Massenet
  • Brahms
  • Erik Satie
  • Johann Strauss I
  • Liszt
  • Schubert

I didn't want to list the obvious! Of course I worship Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and others but like I said, the amount is endless. If you're anything like the pianist loving freak that I am, you'll love Mitsuko Uchida (I've seen her play live at Carnegie Hall and it was completely amazing) and Dong Hyek Lim.

The pages upon pages of sonatas, concertos, you name it, that I've kept with me through the years, is what I go back to when I'm looking for a certain tone to work with into my writing. When it comes to writing, I always use a computer for manuscripts but I do enjoy using my Olympia typewriter for poetry and short stories.

It even comes with its own case, so it's portable but it's too bulky for me to carry around. Hence, the digital computers. I use Macs and also have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. I've always wanted to use the typewriter to complete a screenplay. Though when I do type, I make far too many errors, it could get technically frustrating. But regardless of what I just said, isn't she an aesthetic beauty? With a name like Olympia, how can she not be female? ;)

Lastly, today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I wanted to leave you a quote in relation to this ever-growing dilemma. Let's all take some time today to become more aware of what we can do to help the ones we love who are going through this. Sometimes all it takes is a person to listen. Your story isn't over yet. You're worth another chapter.

“It’s possible to see something that is when it’s not, but it’s possible to not see something when it actually is.”
— Cyrus Stewart

SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255 

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz