brand spotlight: hibernation season with burrow.

as we get deeper and deeper into this winter weather and the season ahead, i can already feel myself completely giving in to hibernation mode

if the plans involve any outside lines, don’t call me.

if it happens to be somewhere uptown, catch me in the spring.

and if there’s snow on the ground, text me later.

i’m not here for any of the frozen fun… i’d much prefer a movie marathon, a glass of hot chocolate, and maybe a book or the latest issue of variety with my spotify mixes in constant rotation. some of you guys may already know, but i just moved to bed-stuy a few months ago, and the new pad and extra space called for a whole new to lounge. thankfully, my buddies over at burrow totally came through. check it out.

i saw their subway ads on the train earlier this fall and was instantly impressed. the assortment is clean and contemporary, you can customize the pieces you want to fit your home and your taste—from the colors and details to the size and shape—and, one of my favorite features, there’s a usb charger inside the couch so you never have to get up to stay charged up. i reached out a little later that same week to learn more and actually got myself a loveseat! when it arrived, it took like 15 minutes to put together and i’ve been really enjoying it ever since.

seriously though, should i be worried? i mean, becoming this much of a homebody can’t be good, right? netflix binges, reading, pretending to read but actually still bingeing, checking emails—all from the couch… there’s gotta be more to life. mmmm…. i’ll find out come april. -j

grey goose x island oyster. 🍸

sooo... this weekend got off to a pretty bad start. long story short: my apartment building caught on fire and my place suffered some pretty significant damage. thankfully, i had the perfect distraction to get my mind off of it all—even if only for a little while. i hopped on the ferry and headed over to governor's island with my buddies from grey goose for the most amazing dinner-cocktail experience you could imagine.

B11C1CC4-C774-4793-BA8A-BD733013A3C0.JPG

so, i'll set the scene: a surprisingly perfect temperature, the nicest breeze, an amazing sunset situation right by the water, and a seriously sweet view of downtown manhattan from the tables at island oyster. add about six or seven courses of good food and even better drinks, and you have yourself an awesome evening.

E8B1DBB1-53BD-47C9-BD5D-8AD7143D751F.JPG
7F9BB64B-F86E-4B28-B170-FA59A0EC9076.JPG

our host, a seasoned grey goose ambassador, walked us through a bit of the history of vodka, broke down a few handy tips and tricks, and even taught us how to make the perfect martini—a first for me. the whole experience really gave me a new appreciation for the spirit, and i'm pumped to try and make a few specialty cocktails with the quentin monge limited edition bottle they gave me (which you can see above), specially designed for the summer season.

875ACDD6-B507-47E8-B5ED-5109FEDE42C2.JPG
ACE23115-B866-4584-9496-6122999222CD.JPG

fyi: this isn't a sponsored blog post, so there's no call to action here, no specially tagged links to click on, i just wanted to share a really fun night with you guys. 😎

E91F56B1-0C75-476A-860C-854B718F9EF4.JPG

good days. bad days.

right now, my face is long and there’s a frown taking up most of the bottom half.  why? I had a bad day. why? everything. you know, those days where every little thing, every little email, every single voice around you makes you want to hit someone. it was one of those. but, honestly, i’ve gotten pretty good at owning my emotions without losing sight of the bigger picture: it was just one day. it happens. there’ll be more of them (the sucky ones, that is), but there will be way more of the awesome ones—yeah, like they say, the good really does come with some bad—and trust me, it's worth it. keep reading and you'll understand why...

i thought sharing this moment would be perfect for my first blog post of 2018 because, as i made my way through the day, i constantly had to remind myself that all of these things that irritate the hell out of me right now are merely annoying means to a very sweet end.  and whether you think of them as laying a foundation for your future, paying your dues, or whatever else makes you feel better about those less-than-ideal parts of your present situation, [they're really important]. they blend together to create a special learning period, one that presents a test of patience, faith and gratitude. as i rode the train home, i actually chuckled at one point and just thanked God for my life, even in moments like this, because (1) they remind me to really enjoy the good days, but more importantly, (2) they make me want to work. work and fight. fight my ass off for all of these dreams that are floating around in my mind. the dreams that deserve the front seat in my mind, not the back. and the dreams that'll let me leave the 9-to-5 in the rearview.

so i write all this to say, on those rough days that challenge your confidence, your comfort and your temperament, keep pushing through. keep your end game in mind—think about it every time you want to scream—and be passionate about what’s in front of you right now so you can get to the place you’re running toward. here's to a better day tomorrow. -j

2AC4EE3D-D893-4B95-B73A-011E6853D0C2.JPG

seasons greetings, from brooklyn.

i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year, so i always do a little something something to my apartment to make it feel a bit more seasonal. last weekend, i set some time aside to pull out a couple of cozy decor items, move a few other things around, and get rid of even more—and you know what? sometimes a little effort really does go a long way. check out three of my decorating hacks below and try them out for yourself. -j

on display.

fun fact: a number of areas in my apartment are inspired by cool stores that i’ve either shopped in myself or added to my Pinterest boards over the years. one of the key examples of this inspiration is my shoe wall, and while it wasn’t a big change, i swapped out a few of the styles on display to add more of a fall-appropriate color scheme to the space. whether it’s shoes, books, or artwork, you can totally change the feel of your spot with a little palette play.

scented stimulation

if there’s one fragrance family that i’m obsessed with, it’d have to be the maison martin margiela replica collection. and while you’ve probably seen me post a few of the sprays on my ‘gram, i’m taking things up a notch this season. i was lucky enough to score three of the candles—the scents: jazz club, at the barber’s, and, my favorite, by the fireplace—and i was beyond excited to light them for the first time. trust me, invest in a luxury candle or two and you (and your roomies) definitely won’t regret it.

01AED06F-E408-4596-9352-686FC7237146.JPG

cozy feels.

ever since i was in college, my clothing has always doubled as decor. there are just some pieces that i fall for so hard that i can’t bear to stow them away in a closet or shelf. with that idea in mind, i pulled out a few of the cozier items in my wardrobe and either draped them over a chair or door, or hung them up on the wall or a rack to add some fitting textures that really speak to the season.

723E1FF6-E671-4FBB-808E-6B76E1D0A46B.JPG

home improvement: museum vibes, courtesy of the met store.

last year, i set a goal to transform my apartment into a cool place to live, one that really fit who i am right now. i mean, it can get discouraging when you're a twenty-something with a big vision, but a limited budget; but, trust me, you don't have to wait until you're living "the life" to start stepping up your space. after a couple of trips to ikea and some creative repurposing of a few things lying around, i'm really in love with my spot. heading into 2017, i kept at it by adding a few new pieces of art here and there for an extra touch of culture. check it out. -j

people really sleep on the gift shops at places like the met and other cultural hotspots around the city. a lot of them sell extremely affordable versions of some of history's greatest works. case in point: these prints from the met breuer. think about it: if they look just as good, who really cares if it's an original? i sure don't. with that said, i went with prints from four totally different artists for a sweet variety, threw them in some clean, simple frames, and set them up around my place. keep scrolling for a closer look.

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

Mark Rothko: No. 13 (White, Red on Yellow); Jackson Pollock: Number 28.

David Hockney: Mount Fuji and Flowers.

check out the met store to find the perfect prints for your place. ✌️

a day to sleep in.

yesterday was non-stop. i woke up at 8:00 (yeah, on a saturday, i know...). shot 2 campaigns (7 looks) in the pseudo-blizzard that randomly hit nyc. cleaned my entire apartment. trekked through the snow to drop off some samples in williamsburg. surfed the subway over to the LES for a birthday thing, then met with friends over meatballs and wine. i eventually arrived back in my bed around 130.

having done all that... i think i earned a morning to press the snooze button and catch up on some reading. i hope everyone's been having an awesome weekend. find some time to rest and recharge before that weekly hustle begins again. -j

festive feels in brooklyn.

alright, people... thanksgiving is over, december's here, and it's time to get festive. now that we're in peak holiday season, i finally pulled out the christmas decorations i bought at target a few weeks ago. i live in a cozy little 1br, so i don't have to do too much each year to get in the spirit; however, i did decide to throw out my old decor and bring some new items into play. check out the three simple, easy, and super affordable decor tweaks i went with to help celebrate the weeks ahead.

the holiday squad

so… i used to have these four straw animals that (for some reason…) all of my friends thought were so strange. given their amazing constructive criticism, i thought these guys were way cooler—and stylish as hell, too. check out their little outfits! they were no-brainers, obviously. the best part: each of them was only $3. 👍

festive apartment decor x jovelroystan.xyz 2.JPG

*bonus point: holiday candles are a must. this snuggly sweater scent is perfect for this time of year.

4ct dressed character animal christmas ornament set - wondershop™

the furry woodland critters

whenever i’m browsing the home section at target, i always try to think beyond one holiday or moment and look at what could work seasonally. like the fashion-forward crew above, these little critters are small statements that will last well through the winter ahead. i gave them a home on my fragrance bar—looks like they’re liking the new digs. i don't recall the exact price of these boys, but i want to say they were no more than $4 each.

festive apartment decor x jovelroystan.xyz 3.JPG
festive apartment decor x jovelroystan.xyz 4.JPG

woodland holiday figurines, available in-store only.

the tree.

what’s christmastime without a tree, right? i bought this little guy a few years ago and it’s the perfect size—big enough to make a statement, but small enough to stow in my closet until next year. last time, i used little dinosaurs as my ornaments (click here to see), but i thought i’d take a more classic approach this time around. these handcrafted mini ornaments were a total steal at just $3. you can call that a bargain.

festive apartment decor x jovelroystan.xyz 5.JPG

high fashion nights with bombay sapphire.

last night, i spent the evening with bombay sapphire gin, gq, and ryan clark of high fashion living for a special cocktail event at 214 lafayette in soho. the brands treated us to some awesome dishes and a non-stop flow of drinks—all prepared by schuyler hunton, the 2016 winner of the most imaginative bartender competition.

bombay sapphire x high fashion living x jovel roystan 1.JPG

to be honest, i'm not really a fan of gin, so i when i realized it was the spirit of the evening, i expected it to be a sober night. i was wrong. i don't know if bombay is just in another lane or if schuyler's secretly a mixology magician, but i started with this spicy pepper-infused potion of sorts and finished five signature drinks later. the experience actually changed my perspective on gin altogether.

friends, camera crews, and cool little cocktail glasses (i got the piggy—named him donald) were on deck throughout the night, and if you've ever been to 214 lafayette, you'll know it's an amazingly luxe location, making the experience feel totally next-level. check out some more photos from the event below. -j

good food + good drinks + good company = a great night.

the scents of fall.

for those of you who haven't known me very long, my first job out of college was on the fragrances buying team at macys.com. it really changed the way I've come to appreciate smell—next to taste, it's the sense best-suited for luxury pleasures. 

since those days, I've built up quite the fragrance collection (I probably have at least 40 different scents in my apartment). with fall finally here, it's time for that new season switch-up, and I sifted through my bottles to pick out my go-to's for the months ahead. check them out.

when it comes to fall/winter fragrances, I always keep a few things in mind:

  • during the summer months, the heat can make stronger scents feel heavy and nauseating. now that it's cooler, your fragrance can bring a sense of warmth to the crisper air that you'll enjoy throughout the day. with that said, eau de parfums are often my choice, as they're more robust and last longer.
  • think about what the season's all about. fall brings about visions of falling leaves and walks in the park. winter reminds us of pine trees, cinnamon, mint, even chocolate and vanilla. as you go through the next six months, look for woodsy notes or essences of seasonal fruits and spices that will give your scent a timely feel.

the 3 fragrances above give all that and more. they're deep and sensual, boasting earthy, masculine notes like tobacco, patchouli, tonka bean, and sandalwood. whatever you like, whether it's sweet, spicy or citrusy, stick with your preferences, but look for an "intense" or "extreme" version of your faves—they're usually the eau de parfum or parfum versions, which means they're stronger and great for the colder months.

it doesn't stop with your cologne. my apartment's currently filled with fall vibes thanks to a few select candles—and no, you don't have to ball out on jo malone to set the perfect ambiance.

whether you're a fan of entertaining or just plan on chilling at the crib this season, your home should always smell good. always. and FYI: this tip is honestly for you more than your guests.

I got these candles from target last week and, with one in my living room and the other in my bedroom, they've had my nostrils in heaven ever since.