Enza Costa long sleeve tops

A flattering long sleeve top that works equally well untucked with jeans and boots, under a blazer with heels and over cozy leggings with wedge sneakers is the holy grail of wardrobe completeness. And while it may seem like a $20 basic cotton shirt should suffice, in my experience, said shirt never achieves the aforementioned fashion trifecta.

It is time to invest the ultimate triple threat: Enza Costa long sleeve tops. 

Constructed with soft cotton jersey that is infused tufted cashmere, these long sleeve tops have slim fit but feel substantial, not like most of the almost-see-through-and-clinging-in-all-the-wrong-places ones I used to own. Ribbed banding lends a subtle contrast starting just below the elbow for a layered effect sans bulk. And the thing that really sold me on these? The thumbholes and unfinished edges at the bottom of the extra-long sleeves. See, I live in blazers, and while many in my closet feel too “work-y” for my current life, they totally don’t when I have a sleeve peeking out and wrapping around my hand. 

Options include this contrast crew neck style, a solid crew neck or, my personal favorite at the moment, a fitted turtleneck (currently on sale in that gorgeous grey!). 

Prepare to put them in constant closet rotation.  

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How To Become A Football Fanatic

Football is one of my favorite things to watch on TV, and I bet I can make it yours too.  It began as a passion born out of the social rituals around the event of it- but, eventually I became fascinated with the game. Well, more specifically, the role that human interest stories play – I’m talking coach rivalries, idrama between players, heart-wrenching stories of triumph, emotional baggage, shocking stats and so on- what I like to refer to as “The Softer Side.”

“The Softer Side” is about creating a compelling narrative through which to watch a football game and making it just as riveting, if not more so, than an episode of “The Real Housewives”. Sometimes before a game I find out one player slept with an opponent’s girlfriend in college, or that two players grew up on the same block and played football together since they were kids but now find themselves on rival teams. 

In my mission to make my friends (and women everywhere) love the sport as much as I do, allow me to share “The Softer Side” of Super Bowl 50. Before any game, I find a main story to fuel overall intrigue throughout, and then throw in a few bonus interesting tidbits for added interest.  (And if you guys like this, I will happily do it more often next Fall- so let me know what you think, okay?)

THE MAIN STORY: The established, experienced and very respected old guard (Peyton Manning/ Denver Broncos) versus the controversial up-and-comer with a flair for the dramatic (Cam Newton/Carolina Panthers)- who happen to have the largest age difference (13 years and 48 days) in Super Bowl history.

As per this recent article in USA Today, I imagine this is what the movie trailer voiceover for Super Bowl 50 would lead with: “Manning trying to win one more title in what would be the storybook ending to what has been one of the finest careers in NFL history. Newton looking for the ring that would solidify his status as the new face of the league.” Cue the dramatic instrumental music…

Peyton is at the end of a very long and very accomplished NFL career, on the cusp on turning 40. He is the oldest quarterback to ever play in the Super Bowl, and most believe that this will be his final NFL game ever, although he won’t confirm it. Add to that the fact that Manning sat out much of the season with a bad foot injury- that is, until he unexpectedly had to step in, and subsequently saved the game, that made the Bronco’s the #1 seed in the AFC Playoffs.

 At 26 years old, Cam Newton’s pro football prowess is just beginning. Newton may just be the most polarizing player in the league, and he doesn’t seem to care one bit.  Manning, on the other hand, has continually actively made an effort to avoid drama. Its like the girl in your high school with the hot body who wears provocative clothes (and looks amazing in them) and flaunts her wild social escapades (which all look super fun) on Instagram going up against that intimidatingly quiet, confident chick who doesn’t even know how to use Snapchat for Homecoming Queen. But much different. But you get the comparison, right? 

 Fashion Face Off: The two men have very different playing styles- but I won’t bore with you those details at this stage in our football relationship (but stick with me and a year from now you will be totally into knowing this stuff because it really is fascinating). Instead, let’s look at their sartorial situations- as captured by this side by side photo comparison of each QB arriving in California the other day. Investment banker conservative on the left, and, um, zebra and gold print Versace pants on the right.  

There are similarities between the QBs though that make the story within the game even more fun to watch…

It’s Cool To Be Kind: Both are rumored to be incredibly nice guys. And especially given how many incredibly NOT nice guys there are in the NFL, seeing two men who play fair, give back to their communities, treat their fans with respect and gratitude and generally conduct themselves in ways that would make me feel okay about either of my daughter’s developing major crushes on them, makes me very happy. So, regardless of the next paragraph because we all know haters gonna hate, I am cool with either one walking out of the stadium wearing a Super Bowl 50 ring. 

Scandal Scorecard: Manning is caught in an-oddly timed and perhaps totally unsubstantiated (I don’t know the entire story, it came from an Al Jazeera report and you can read more heresteroid scandal for allegedly getting HGH (human growth hormone) to help him recover from a neck injury in 2011. The performance-enhancing drug, banned by the NFL, was sent under his wife’s name but allegedly intended for his use. Newton is under fire for his signature “Superman” moves that he breaks out on the field (keep an eye out  for them on Sunday).  Critics say it is bombastic showboating, evidence of an oversized ego. Newtown has said that the reactions to his behavior may be fueled by his race. This is an interesting article that will fill you in on the nitty gritty. It should be noted that he is only the 6th African American quarterback to start in a Super Bowl (and this is Super Bowl 50), so while based on what you see when you turn on the TV, it may seem that the NFL is predominantly African American, when it comes to the QB position, that is very much not the case. 

OTHER INTERESTING TIDBITS:

Remember “The Blind Side”?: That movie was amazing, right? And guess what? The subject of the movie-, Michael Oher, plays tackle for the Panthers. So don’t tell me you don’t care about the game because you don’t know any of the players, okay?

A Coach Has (Incurable) Cancer: The Special Teams Coach for the Panthers (also considered one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL), Bruce DeHaven, is battling prostate cancer, and in August 2015 was told he had anywhere from 5 months to 5 years to live. There is no way that this can’t profoundly affect the way his players feel about winning a Super Bowl ring. 

Coaching Milestones In the Making: Ron Rivera, the Panthers’ head coach, will be the second Hispanic coach to win a Super Bowl if the Carolina wins. And for the coach of the Broncos, who is only in his first season at the helm of this team, is one of three coaches to get his team to the Super Bowl in his inaugural year. 

People Seem To Think The Panthers Will Win: I always like to know the general consensus on who will win a game because then, if the other team is pulling ahead, it makes it that much more exciting to observe. So keep this in mind, and root accordingly. 

As silly as this fluff-driven strategy may sound to many, in reality, it is just the beginning- the hook with which to peak an interest in the game. Soon enough, it just may evolve into a true appreciation for the sport itself- from the body control that the players must have to keep their feet in bounds while jumping to catch a pass to the pressure on a kicker in a key moment to the almost ballet-like choreography that goes into every single play. That is what happened for me. 

Football Sundays are my most favorite days of the year, and they can be yours too- I promise.

 

 

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The words likely conjure up memories of Jane Fonda or your first ballet class, but they shouldn’t.  Leg warmers are the best winter accessory that, I am guessing, most of you don’t own. However, trust in this: They instantly make legs looks longer and slimmer, plus they add a cool factor to what could otherwise be seen as the stereotypical “mom in the morning at drop off” uniform. You know the look I am referring to- leggings, a long sleeve burnout and wedge sneakers.  I put a pair on pretty much daily- and not gonna lie, I feel significantly cooler when I have these pulled up over my knees with a slight slouch around the ankle.  

Here are 4 super simple reasons to fall madly in love with leg warmers:

  • Leg warmers add volume to your calves, which in turn makes your thighs looks MUCH smaller.
  • Your vast collection of capri and ankle length leggings suddenly become wearable year-round.
  • Pulled over the tops of wedge sneakers, leg warmers make your legs look about a mile long.
  • (Captain Obvious here, reporting for duty) They keep your legs warm.

Here are six of my current (and reasonably priced) favorites- try one, try ‘em all- you are gonna be obsessed:

1- Flurry Marled Rib Knit: Love the vintage look, these are amazing with black or charcoal grey leggings.
2- Nicepipes Black Compression: This thigh high style offers instantly toned calves plus UPF50 protection.
3- Under Armour Merlot Stirrup: These stay snug thanks to a foot stirrup and cuff at the top.
4- American Apparel Neon Knit: Pair with these  for a modern take on the throwback style.
5- Zella Classic Black: A style staple, these are also perfect for petites.
6- Urban Outfitters Grey Knit: Very sexy pulled up to the knee with pjs or slouched for wear out and about.

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Jenn Falik Life Now

Growing up is a very goal-oriented experience.  At least, it was for me. In high school, I wanted to go to a good college, so I worked hard and I did. In college, I wanted to graduate with one of those fancy marketing jobs, so I figured out how to get one. Once I was disinterested in making powerpoint decks and speaking in jargon, I wanted to work in PR. And after a few years in PR, I wanted to be on TV- and for over ten years of my life, I progressed that on-air career into more than I ever could have imagined when I initially thought “Hey, if I book TV segments every Friday I can expense my blow-outs and have good hair all weekend.” 

The drive to keep pushing on was a combination of a few things- now that I look back on it.

Genuine Passion for Style & Beauty + Financial Independence + Role Model for My Daughter(s) + My Inherently Competitive Nature  

In an almost robotic way, I kept hustling to book more segments, produce more videos, pursuing a goal I created for myself when I was 26 years old- to get a regular gig on a major show, or have my own show/video series, or something like that.  Basically, to “win” whatever game I had convinced myself I was in. But I have come to realize that it isn’t the game I care about winning anymore. It is a game I am honored to participate in at a recreational level because- shocker of all shocker for anyone who knows me- I am TOTALLY cool with doing it for the fun of it as opposed to the trophy. 

My identity has always been very tied to a laser focus on achieving some form of a big career. 

Currently, I am 5 years into this motherhood thing, 3.5 years into the suburban migration, and, if I were to be honest with myself, probably 1.5 years into complete and utter confusion about what the hell I want to be when I grow up.  

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? 

It feels really freaking weird to allow yourself to acknowledge that the thing you thought you wanted more than anything is no longer so interesting.

The things that are interesting to me are many: Sharing my life and the best style, beauty and kids finds that make it better/easier/healthier/more fun on my own terms via this blog, Instagram and Facebook, enjoying  afternoons in the playroom with my daughters, figuring out cool DIYs and organizing hacks in an attempt give order to the madness of our busy life and making our home a calm place for Brian to come home to each night, cultivating my own aesthetic by seeking out  interior design inspo and emerging contemporary artists, learning new skills to make everything from creating blog images to filing our taxes easier, testing (sometimes unsuccessfully) recipes and actually being that wife who has (gasp!) dinner on the table when her husband gets home from work, spending quality time with friends that are easily among the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever met, and the list goes on. And on.  

Mostly things I never in a million years thought I would care about, but alas, I do. 

For me to not feel a pang of envy when I see someone doing a morning show segment that I could be doing is still something I am getting used to.  I expected it to feel empowering- and it definitely  does- but the lack of competitive spirit also forces me to into this mental spiral of “OMG am I giving up/am I going to regret this/is this a phase/why did I work so hard for all those years/yada yada yada.” Then, minutes later, I drop Alexa off at school, leave Goldie at home with our nanny, hop into my SUV  with 2 car seats in the back and Goldfish crumbs all over the floor, drive to a SoulCycle class, and pretty much say to myself on repeat the entire time “Am I a total cliché? And if I am, do I really give a sh*t? I don’t think so. But should I?”

So, that is where I am right now. Somewhere between figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, and reconciling that with the person I always thought I wanted to grow up to be. 

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