Keanu Reeves + my zero chill

Hey fam, welcome back! While I love fashion, photo shoots and the like, today I'm going to take a moment to tell one of my favorite stories since moving to NYC. Celebrities are just like you and me, right? They eat, sleep, shop and usually own joggers. While it was not by any means the reason why I moved to the big city, I would be lying if I said a celebrity sighting wasn't a pleasant side-effect of dealing with increased daily anxiety.

One of my favorite NYC stories to date is the story of my fateful run in with Keanu Reeves. Yes, you read that correctly, I PHYSICALLY ran into one of the highest paid and arguably most famous actor in the world-- Keanu Reeves! (Sorry--reelin' it in, guys.) It all started when a co-worker of mine invited me to go out for seafood. A large group had decided to get together and make an evening of it. I remember walking to the train station thinking to myself, "Every time I leave the apartment, something eventful always happens"...

When I finally arrived at the restaurant, a few of my friends were at the bar having a drink, waiting for the late-comers. We chit chatted about nothing in particular-- venting about work, the commute, life-- typical things. When everyone finally arrived and we were ready to be sat, I proceeded to go last for some reason and, being the vertically challenged individual that I am, was easily overlooked. Quite literally. So, I'm making my way past the bar patrons when a gentleman had the audacity to back into me!

My initial thought, once I found my bearings, was that I had just run into someone very wealthy, very influential or both. He had that 'effortlessly important, also trying to hide it, but being extremely obvious nonetheless' look about him. Anyway, so this hotshot backs into me and being the mid-western gal that I am, immediately said/sung my favorite word, "ope!". I paused for (what I hope was) a second while I took him in, then proceeded to do this weird 'bow, one foot out, gesturing him forward' thing and stated "after you, sir" in the WORST BRITISH ACCENT IMAGINABLE.

I am historically excellent under pressure.

Back Story: There are only a few celebrities who can ruffle my feathers if I run into them. The only celeb that would really throw me off is John Mulaney. But I would give my left kidney to him if he needed it, so it's a deep-seated, one-sided love affair and that's all I'm at liberty to say. Anyway, I don't like to be that fan girl. I'd rather have a conversation with whomever it happens to be and treat them just like any one else. My intent with this particular gentleman was to be my usual derpy self. 

Clearly, I took the whole "act natural" thing too far.

Parks And Recreation GIF

The best part of this whole interaction was that I could see his thoughts travel across his face. When he first turned around he was on guard and accessed me immediately. He then went from ready to throw down to completely unconcerned in .06 seconds. "Oh, just some small human with zero coordination or social skills." Pretty fast turn around, if you ask me.

After holding eye contact for what felt like an eternity, I saw him realize that I had no idea who he was and then I knew, that he knew, that I had no idea who he was. He politely smiled at me, put his hand on the SMALL OF MY BACK and said, "no, no after you".

Here was my opportunity to gain a little ground from my awkward beginning.

         THE PLAN:

  1. Start it off by being super derpy and "fun"
  2. real it in
  3. graciously and genuinely thank him
  4. give him a 30watt smile
  5. gracefully walk away
  6. leave him to wonder who that mysterious girl from Claw Daddy's was

Great-- Excellent! I had finished my first interaction with an important NYC person unscathed. I could feel him looking after me and was strutting my most confident walk. Heals tapping without falter, back straight, hair curled and flipped. NAILED IT. Until, oh god, oh no. What?! THERES A STEP?!

Following Sequence of Events:
* ~somehow~ catches herself
*leaves dignity on the floor
*takes seat
*orders two glasses of wine
(just kidding, only one glass)

In my head, I'm still not too worried about it. "Whatever, he'll probably forget in five minutes and I have no idea who he is, anyway." I was nurturing my *slightly* bruised ego back to health when I heard commotion at the table. Hushed whispers. Backs turning. Necks craning. "Aaron, what's going on?" "Dude, Keanu Reeves is at the bar. Been here the whole time!"


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My New York City Adventure

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Rachel Lynn Blog! Wow, does it seem like an eternity since I posted last. You all have been such a wonderful support system and have seriously made this move and transition to the big city more manageable. So, today's post is going to be story time-- a little (relatively speaking) recap of what I've been up to the past few months.

A year ago last month, I decided to move to New York City. I was in an odd transition period of my life and wanted to do something I had been too scared to even contemplate before. It was finally time to chase my dream and move to the city that had stolen my heart years before. (I talked a lot about that time in my life HERE if you want to read more about it!) That decision was the easiest part of the whole process. After my heart was set, we had to actually find a place to live... 

Oh. My. God. Finding an apartment in New York City was the most stressful process I've ever experienced. When I was in college, if you didn't have a lease signed at least six months in advance, you were probably screwed.. or living with random people. I started searching for apartments as soon as I decided to move and was laughed at by every broker/ owner I spoke with. There wasn't a single landlord willing to sign a lease for even a month in advance. In theory, it makes sense. There are so many people who are looking for housing in the city, they could have that apartment filled in a week. No way they want it sitting for a few months while you wait for your current lease to end. 

As much as I wanted things set in stone well in advance, there was no way that was possible. We planned to move in August, so come July we were finally able to start looking at apartments. One of my roommates and I took a few days off work and looked at almost 20 apartments in two days. TWENTY APARTMENTS IN TWO DAYS. We walked all over Harlem and then all over Astoria (the most adorable neighborhood, btw) in search of our future home. On the last day we were able to look at apartments, we made a last ditch effort to schedule viewings. As we were walking to the subway, the two of us were furiously calling brokers. 

Up until that point, we had a few options, but none that truly felt like home. The last apartment we looked at on that fateful day was the one. People always say you just know when something is right. I never thought it was true until that day. There was just something about that apartment. I knew it was ours and made no attempts to hide how badly I wanted it. That day-- two weeks before I was supposed to move-- we met with the landlord and started the application process. 

Two weeks, guys! 

After that, I packed up everything I could fit in my brother's truck, left behind anything I couldn't and set off with our two little kittens. Off to take on the big city. 

"Little coffee takes on big city. 🗽"

Since then it's been a whirlwind of applying for jobs, interviewing, networking and acclimating. Career wise, I could not have made a better decision. I've had countless interviews, met with amazing start up companies, sat down and picked apart a CEO's brain and overall found a clearer sense of where I want to take my job search. I've had to work a lot harder to stand out and make an impression, but I've found that to be so much more rewarding. 

Even better, though, all of my interviews here have centered almost entirely around my blog and the work I've done with it! Not only discussing my personal blog at a professional level, but impressing interviewers with my experience enough for them to invite me back has been such a pivotal moment in my job search. It meant the world to hear that the past few years I had spent growing my blog and putting my heart and soul into it has led to more than just a hobby, but a potential career. The writing opportunities here are absolutely phenomenal and I know in the long run this was the best move I could have made!

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about actually living in NYC. One of the things I absolutely love about the city and miss every time I leave is the independence I feel. The first week or so was a nightmare trying to navigate the subway system. I missed meetings, was late almost all of the time and had to Uber to my final destination because I had no idea where I was on MORE than one occasion. I even started doing this fun thing where after a week or so I would have way too much confidence in myself, walk 15 minutes in one direction, only to check my phone and realize I'd been headed in the wrong direction the whole time. That was one night I don't ever want to repeat. 🙄

Once I mastered* the subway system, I felt that I could conquer the world. Whenever I go back home or go back to Pittsburgh to visit, I constantly feel like I have to rely on someone else, whether it's friends or Ubers to get around and miss being able to rely on myself to get around. Now, in all fairness, I've been stuck underground, delayed, or have mentally freaked out in trains my fair share, so it's not perfect by any means, but it still feels good to have the confidence to get wherever I need to be with some amount of ease.

*One never fully masters the subway system. It simply lets you believe you have an understanding of it.

Everyone says New York City is the city of opportunity-- a place where anything can happen. They were not kidding, let me tell you! I love the thrill of leaving my apartment on a day off and expecting everything and nothing at the same time. I could head into the city, sit at a coffee shop to do work and simply enjoy the experience. Have nothing extraordinary happen, but still be able to revel in the experience-- still be inspired by the city and it's people. Or, on the other hand, I could leave my apartment, expect nothing and somehow stumble into an amazing experience I never planned for. 

As much as I love running into the occasional celebrity (Oh, yes. There will be an entire post on just that experience.) and hanging out in speakeasies (Of course, I will be writing about this, too!), my favorite New York experience has been singing in bars. And not karaoke, either! An accompanist and you. If you know me, you know how much I love to sing. It's hard not to find me humming along to some tune or another. A friend of mine found out I can carry a tune and has been on a mission ever since to take me to bars with live music. 

These spontaneous trips always turn into him "coercing" me to sing at the piano and I would always, without fail, freak out beforehand. "I have nothing prepared. I haven't really practiced in years! I didn't warm up. I'm going to sound horrible!" And a whole litany of other excuses. We'd start by standing in the back, listening to everyone else take their turn, while I wished I had the courage to do it myself. Slowly but surely, I'd inch closer to the piano and "nonchalantly" make eye contact with the pianist until he asked if I wanted to take a shot at it. 

The first few notes my voice always shakes, but I will never loose the performer's part of me and I always find my footing. There's such a wonderful moment, when you forget to be scared and just enjoy it-- when you let yourself have fun and sing your heart out, connecting with those around you. Everyone there is always so supportive, too. I've even had a complete stranger quietly sing the harmony in support. Just listening to two strangers, who will probably never meet again, vocally support each other and create such a beautiful space gives me such LIFE. 

Now don't get me wrong, things have not been all fun and games. Every day I have to work and really put in the effort. I could never say it's been easy. There have been plenty of nights I've cried in the subway or been genuinely lost as far as where I should take my life next. I had an HR coordinator tell me to my face I wouldn't make it because I don't have the "city instinct" and I've been so close to finally landing my dream job, only to have it slip away over the slightest technicality. Living in this wonderfully crazy city means that I have to wrestle with these facts everyday and make the conscious effort to push through. I've decided to fight for what I want and by doing that I've learned more about myself in this past year than had the past 23 others. 

It's definitely a work in progress, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Be on the look out for more updates from the Big Apple! 


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Last Minute Halloween Costume ft the Remington Flat Iron

Hey, everyone! I hope you all are having a very spoooky Halloween! I don’t know about you, but every Halloween season I scroll through Instagram and Pinterest looking for that perfect costume. I envision intricate makeup, crazy hair and the perfect outfit to top it all off. Something crazy and super unique. Every year, though, around this time I find myself freaking out because I am a Grade A Procrastinator and don’t have nearly the same amount of talent or creativity as some of these women. My go-to Halloween costume, in these instances, is a Pop-Art character.

Last year, I literally got the face paint two hours before a Halloween party I was attending and had the whole thing finished before any guests started to arrive. This costume will never let you down. Today, I'll be creating the Pop-Art character courtesy of my Remington Pro 1" Flat Iron with SmartPro Sensor Technology.

Disclaimer:  This product was gifted to me for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

First off, how freakin’ cool does that sound?! This product certainly lives up to the hype, too. The idea behind this styling tool is that everyone’s hair is unique—naturally. The fun part of about this product is that it adjusts to your hair and its specific moisture (whaa?!) to keep your hair smooth, healthy and damage-free. I don’t know about you guys, but my mother was always on my case in high school about protecting my hair from heat products. My hair is on the thinner side as it is, so I really do have to be careful when it comes to the styling tools I use. To have a product smart enough to adjust to my particular hair type is a serious game changer!

Now, I know you’re dying to see this baby in action, so, in honor of the Smart Pro release and the spooookiest time of year, I’ll be showing you my go-to last minute Halloween look featuring the Pro 1” Flat Iron.

What I use:
·      Something resembling a stereotypical high school uniform
·      Black, white and blue face paint.
·      A bold lip color (preferably red)

For this costume, you can honestly go anyway you like dress wise. When I think of Pop-Art I envision comic book characters in a high school, so when I bring this concept to life I always dress reminiscent of this. You really can take whatever route you'd like, though. The central focus is your makeup. Before we jump into makeup, I always start with my hair. I don’t know about you, but I am the worst at ruining makeup. I always forget I have costume makeup on and end up wiping my face or rubbing me eyes. I don't want to ruin my makeup trying to mess around with my hair, so I always do this first. Plus, it helps to visualize where to put your actual makeup, since the hair is already in place. Straightening hair is pretty straight forward, just make sure you don't have one wavy strand admits a sea of pin straight hair. 'Ain't nobody got time for that! 


Pro tip: Style your hair away from your face. This way you don’t have to worry about hair getting into your face paint, or stuck in your lipstick or otherwise being a nuisance and ruining all of your hard work! Today, I’m opting for pigtails. Pigtails scream Pop-Art to me.

Now, on to the makeup! 

I always start by outlining my face and filling in my eyebrows. You want to make sure your eyebrows are as dark and obnoxious as possible to really bring home the effect. When outlining, accentuate your jaw line, cheek bone, nose, mouth and hairline. I usually bring the effect down my neck and on the upper part of my chest, depending on the shirt I opt to wear. This year, I only drew on one of my cheek bones to mix things up a bit. This is your time to get creative!  

"My mother would have my head if she saw how dirty this mirror is."

Then, fill in your lips with a bright color, preferably red, and start the arduous process of 'dotting' your face. This is by far the longest part of this process, but it really isn't that bad and flies by if you've got some spooooky music bumpin'. 

And now the tricky part. Last year I went with more of a blob tear drop, but it didn't quite translate how I was hoping it would. This year, I opted for two smaller tear drops and one larger one. I l.o.v.e. how it turned out! I would recommend outlining with a more precise instrument. I actually used my liquid eyeliner and it worked like a charm. Fill in the drops with blue face paint and you're good to go!

There you have it! A dramatic teenager straight out of the comic books themselves. Please send chocolate, The Notebook and as many tissues as you can find. This girl is going to need them! (Seriously, why can't I trick or treat at the age of 24?!? I enjoy candy. I enjoy long walks in the dark and running up to strange houses. Someone needs to change this societal norm.)

Be sure to check out the Remington Pro 1" Flat Iron with SmartPro Sensor technologyReal talk, a Remington flatiron was the first styling tool I ever bought myself and it still works. It was for real my go to straightener until Remington sent me the Smart Pro. If you want a product that will make your hair look and feel amazing and will last the test of time, I 120% recommend Remington!

As always, I will shamelessly plug all of my social media channels below. Check them out for all of you NYC adventure needs. Also, shout out to my freakin' AMAZING roommates, Kayleigh and Madrid for being the real MVP's of this post! Do you see Kayleigh's beautiful camera work?? I am beyond blessed! Anyway, until next time.


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