Type-A Hippies exist, I’m living proof.

The mother of all oxymorons- being a Type-A Hippie

Ivy Hillman street style Hippy Shoot. Photos by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

Photos by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

I organized my desk 4x before starting to write this piece of content – but only after I washed my face with organic Juice Beauty face gel and replenishing my stash of lavender oil. I’ve walked around my whole life as an Oxymoron and I know I’m not the only one dancing this fine line of hippie, free spirited, lover (of all types of people), peace, opportunities, and an outlook of spirituality – at the same time of balancing responsibility, finances, making my bed without a wrinkle, and thriving on my daily planner in my career.

A Hippie is defined as: a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.

synonyms: flower childBohemianbeatnik, long-hair, free spiritnonconformistdropout

I’ve come to terms with this being a beautiful balanced life that works for me and, it should for you too—don’t be so hard on yourself—you don’t need to fit into one little box. I used to think not letting it all go made me a fraud, but that’s just not the case anymore—be who you are!

Here’s the thing; I’m not teaching Women’s Studies at Wesleyan or fighting for world peace at the UN…I’m working in media (in women’s lifestyle which is close enough), I’m reliable, and shave my legs daily even after getting laser (a topic for another time). I also love pushing through conventional norms, consuming natural foods, beauty products, love nature, and thrive in the right amount of flow in my outfit.

Ivy Hillman street style Hippy Shoot. Photos by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

I remember an old co-worker laughing when I said I love my hippie type clothing. She stated “HA, you’re not a hippie – you’re too organized and like structure.  You work in corporate and care about the organization of your surroundings far too much”. Well Schnooks, I’d like to say yesterday’s hippies are today’s Ad Execs.

Ivy Hillman street style Hippy Shoot. Photos by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

New definition: Type-A Hippie: making a responsible yet passionate living, exuding love & acceptance, free spirit, a love for all things natural and nature; all while precisely making your bed in the morning. Is that such a tough avocado to swallow?

Ivy Hillman street style Hippy Shoot. Photos by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

Finding the balance that keeps you healthy and happy is a decision you make. Don’t ever feel like you’re a fraud to titles, conventional norms, or even the opinions of others. I find that level of thinking is hippie enough for me.

Below are my tried and true products for the Type-A Hippie… yes I wear natural deodorant.

A (NYC) staycation is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself

If you asked me 5 years ago where I’d be Memorial Day weekend – it would likely be one of four places:  (1) Abroad using the 3 day weekend to offset a week plus long trip (2) Montauk, East or South Hampton (3) Fire Island (4) A crafty group getaway likely near a body of water.

This year my husband and I chose to stay in NYC with ZERO plans, and set off to whatever our moods and hearts called for. No set dinners, no planned activities, nada. What I didn’t know is that a staycation of this kind could equate to deeper inner peace than a week at Omega, or India for that matter.

This would typically set off most into a downward spiral of FOMO but at the age of 31, I’m as immune to that feeling as I am the chicken pox.

So I continue…

FRIDAY I finished up at the office around noon – tidied up a few loose ends so I could kick the weekend off without any gilt. That’s the key to enjoying a long weekend in my opinion – hustle hard and kick back and let go; it feels incredible. Once I walked away from work I put a limit on the use of my phone/technology and use of social media as possible. So much so that I left my phone home during any activity, especially dinner. Try it, it’s life changing.

Later that night we decided the city was empty, let’s wiggle into a restaurant that would otherwise take some legwork to get in. The weekend was tee’d off with a dinner at Raoul’s in SOHO for their classic pepper steak and juicy scallops. For someone who isn’t die-hard red meat, you probably will be after this dish. If I had known it was also where Carrie stormed out on Miranda on Valentine’s Day after finding out she aided Mr. Big to stand Carrie up on her wedding day, I likely would have gone a lot sooner.


(photo from 10best.com)


(I was secretly hoping hubs would pick a fight so I could pretend push all of the imaginary balloon strings out of the way and reenact)…

After a long walk to and from dinner, one of my favorite traits about living in NY is how it aids digestion and is quite frankly always romantic (even alone).  We met up with a few friends for a late night chat, and called it a night -immediately soaking into a hot epson salt bath once home.

SATURDAY we decided a beach day was in order, and I missed my family. Early AM we set off to New Jersey (yes you read that correctly) with the dog in tow for beach time with my mother who thinks pink lipstick is a right of passage. She packed turkey sandwiches like we were 12 again and the nostalgia was what the Dr. ordered. When dinner time arrived – we took the suburbs by the balls and headed to P.F Chang’s conveniently located next to a Dick’s Sporting Goods – clearly tax free Golf Shorts were purchased by beau. I also learned that Carrie Underwood has an active wear line… who knew. It’s also hard not to dissect each aisle while your brother shuts down the men’s bathroom for 25 minutes in the store, and denies it ever being the P.F. Chang’s.

We arrived home at midnight, and our sunburned skin slept good that night.

SUNDAY yoga was in order. My usual Modo Yoga NYC sanctuary in our local West Village  was closed this weekend, so we headed off to their most recent location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We took an hour and a half hot yoga flow class and I came out as a born again virgin, or more zen – same thing.


Afterwards, we stumbled on the most adorable, delicious, and healthy brunch spot – 12 Chairs. Highly recommend the 12 Chairs Salad – add the smoked salmon and you have yourself a divine salad with grapefruit none the less. If you mimic this exact day you will know what ecstasy feels like.


We wandered the streets of Williamsburg to get in all the BK vibes before heading to an afternoon nap. Yup, a nap in the middle of the day.



I haven’t perfected the “Let’s look like we have one leg and pick a cool graffiti wall look” and I don’t really plan on it. This is as good as you’re getting.

Post a nap we met friends in Washington Square Park  – one of our best friends who was tackling his first day/night solo with his newborn so we wanted to make sure everyone was properly fed… and then went home to cook homemade crab cakes.

This behavior  continued into Monday with impromptu delicious meals, both out and home-cooked, run-ins with friends and giving in to whatever the mood called for. No set in stone plans, no forced interactions, and feeding our soul exactly what it needed. Pepper in some cleaning/organizing of my apartment which makes me happier than I care to admit, waking up with the sun and excited at 7am – the weekend was not just perfect, it was healing.

Moral of the weekend- don’t ever give into the three day weekend dread of plan making  because you feel you HAVE to. Give yourself what your mind and body is calling for, and nothing will make you happier.


Girls with brothers are a tad bit cooler…

Do you think you’re cooler in life because you have a brother? You are.

I spent only 5 minutes thinking about the above statement, and I’ve already deemed it as accurate.

I have a multitude of friends from over the years – I like to consider myself a social butterfly, but what’s been my lifeline is utilizing these said friendships to make life a bit more juicy and rewarding. Like most girls, you’ve just gravitated towards people and never really understood why you preferred spending time with these select few. My childhood partner in crime and I went on a 10-day trip to Canada  – driving back and forth. Towards the end I wanted to kill her. After dropping her off at home, it took 5 minutes to call her and confirm when she was coming over again that night.

We get drawn to specific people and friends … we’re not always 100% sure why.  Give it some thought – you’ll find a trend. Maybe you’re super pushy and you love that passive friend that goes along with your mischief? Maybe you thrive off of creativity and can’t live without someone challenging your brain with ideas?  Maybe you have different types of friends to appease all 104 of your personality traits and have always steered clear from set groups?

I have ONE trend that keeps surfacing – I am immediately drawn and closest to GIRLS THAT HAVE BROTHERS. I sat in a room with my web designer with whom I never had to filter my thoughts and always felt overly comfortable with– and she had the revelation. She said… “You have a brother don’t you? So do I”.  Why yes, yes I do!! Did yours fart on you? Make him smell his feet before you could partake in duck hunt? Did he beat up anyone who cut you in the line waiting for the bus in elementary school? Maybe he was the first to call out if you looked ugly in the morning? Gosh darn it, you lived like this too?


Over 90% of my closest friendships had a brother counterpart. Especially the bad a**  women I jive with creatively.

We identified a few perks from growing up with our male siblings, aside from just thinking we were too cool for school:

We had a strong sense of self, less sensitive to critical feedback and the confidence to take things in stride.


We understood the male species on another level – given the extensive education we acquired from growing up with them over the majority of our lifetime it Tee-d us up for dating and knowing how to navigate these creatures, and what we expected from them.


Sass. We had more Sass. I could banter with these women without many boundaries and could let our freak flags fly free.

We could put up a good argument and not take it too personal. We have a thick skin and can hold our own. We’ve been roughhousing with these gentleman our whole lives, so when it came down to needing to face adversity – we knew how to finagle our way out. Talking smack behind someone’s back; never got us anywhere and we knew that. We had the chutzpah to handle situations head on.

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I may have come out with a few more bruises on my legs, dirt under my fingernails, and a potty mouth – but I can’t imagine not having the shield of armor I wear going through life.

All you need to know in life; Japan has heated toilet seats.

After a week of surprising my best pal in China- we zipped off to Japan, which quickly became my favorite place in the entire world.  It was beyond special. I had zero expectations but it’s clear the Japanese have life figured out. For so, so many reasons.

During my 7 day stint, my digestive system was on point. While gluten free is now the latest trend, the Japanese have clearly known this all along. RICE, RICE, and MORE RICE people! It’s the #1 ingredient to everything they make, down to their sweets, treats, and candy. Which, by the way is inclusive of Green Tea Macha flavored Kit Kats. I am all for natural food – but this is a no joke. Even their ice cream was made with macha.


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The bathroom situation. Every toilet seat was heated – including in their malls and on public transportation. Those power packed pottys had automatic seat controls to lift and shut the lid, tushy wash, noise makers to sound like running water to help you go AND mask your own noise, and to top it off disinfecting wipes to clean the seat before the next person. This was bathroom heaven, if there ever was one.

On the contrary, Japanese style toilets called “squat toilets” were also an option – which clearly I had to try. At first I felt like a drunk teen going to the bathroom on someone’s floor. Typically you’d have the option of your 5 star toilet experience, or the old school Japanese style. Takes us back to our primal routes where you had to squat to go to the bathroom; which is how our bodies are actually designed for optimal function. See directions below, and caution to work your squats before trying – or you will fall in.

how to use japanese toilet

The freshest fish experience. Fish, rice, fish, rice. My diet for 7 days.



Everything from eating, drinking tea, or handing my receipt over after a purchase was a well thought out work of art. There was such a level of respect in all transactions. Swallow this – someone wearing a mask can be doing so because they feel ill, and do not want to make YOU sick. The considerate nature was unlike anything I’ve seen.

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Of course I bought these masks in bulk -best item I purchased the entire trip… and sometimes I like to fit in.

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The most adorable pig tails I’ve ever seen. Pig tails are very much in style amongst the youth. I rocked this look my entire childhood and good lord it melted my heart. Each little piggy at a time…



My new Geisha friends. Definition: traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers.


The culture in Kyoto is still very much alive, with women wearing traditional Kimonos in everyday life, passing this tradition down to their daughters.  It was beautiful to see. As we roamed the temples, many girls were dressed up, along with their lady gang of friends. The city of Kyoto offers local discounts to women wearing a Kimono, encouraging women to keep the culture intact. This inevitably comes with my favorite combo of socks and sandals.

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The temples. My favorite and one of the most significant facts; Japan is a country with no religious separation. Whether you’re Buddhist, Shinto or other – everyone was welcome to every temple. There was fluidity between both beliefs and a general sense of oneness. Helloooo can we all follow suit?

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While on my endless spiritual journey, I opted for an ancient Japanese palm reading. We had a translator with us for this experience. In a nutshell, I’m going to live a long life, and I’m stubborn. 


The Bamboo Forest of Kyoto and the Plum Gardens of Osaka were two of the most gorgeous walks in nature.

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And lastly, I felt I had died and woke up in a Chihuahua farm. I’m still not sure what the obsession or significance with Chihuahuas was…so if anyone does know please do share. It was almost like they knew I was coming…


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Till next time Japan… I loved every minute of you! xo



A Chinese Surprise

Surprise…Hillman in Hong Kong.

My Asian adventure came to be;  post my wedding in June– my childhood best friend of 18 years and roommate in NYC for 5 years moved to Hong Kong for work, and of course love. For the past 7 months my husband and I had been planning a secret trip to surprise her – coordinating with her live-in beau and blowing her off every time she asked us when we’d come to visit. We were so scared to blow our cover, her last NYC visit we told her we’d never go to Hong Kong and to go away. She basically cried and went back to Asia. Feast your eyes on one of my best surprises ever. Note, my Dad was convinced if we jumped out at her in her own bedroom, I should safely assume there’s a chance she’d knock me out. I like to take chances in life.

We spent 4 days in Hong Kong, squeezing in every activity we could just to get a taste of her life out here. I gained an extra pack of muscle in my stomach laughing those four days.


Day 1, after our big surprise. I had a moment looking back at these guys. Chris showing Jon the layout of the city, but to me all I saw was how lucky we are to both have picked these gems to be in our lives. Seeing them interact was pure bliss. There’s nothing better than someone you love, finding someone that loves them as much as you do.


Died and went to hypochondria heaven. Tell this woman any ailment you’re suffering; and there’s a tea to cure it. I had a cough lingering from NY and I’m pretty sure she can take Mucinex off the US market if we bring her home.




I belong now. All god dang inch of me belongs in this continent.


One doesn’t immediately associate China/Hong Kong with fashion as much as other major cities in the world – but don’t be fooled. This city exudes pure self expression. The bright colors, patterns, accessories – playful and brings an immediate smile just looking at these sisters. If it doesn’t… well please take your cold dead heart elsewhere because I’m in love.


Bergdorf…eat your heart out. Lane Crawford; the luxe fashion destination of HK. You’re welcome.

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My favorite part of the weekend. Our Hike to Sai Wan Beach. Pay no mind that I was a mouse fart away from vomiting in the cab up the winding roads, or up the Ace Ventura temple like stairs… but it was worth every tear in my achilles tendon.

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Because I couldn’t be friends with anyone who wouldn’t share their bok choy.



Stay weird Hong Kong… and take care of my girl. xo

Tiny But Mighty

Let’s envision the one physical element you have that you’ve embraced and made your own. Is that a weird concept? It may be to some, because women tend to self-deprecate thinking of the elements they don’t love, or define themselves by the attributes they use to overcompensate…but wouldn’t it be nice to finally embrace ALL of yourself. Pick one thing, one thing that’s plagued you.

Imagine this. 4’11 and a full glorious half an inch, which I round up to 5 for conversation, standing in the front of the line of picture day grades K-12. In the early years I never thought much of height, until I approached high school. I must have worn heels DAILY. I repeat daily. To be chin level, in the very least, and not swarmed by the masses when the bell would ring. For the sake of vanity, I needed to elongate my legs in any way possible. My tailor loved me, probably because my mom and I sent her kids to college with the amount of pants dragged in weekly. It’s just what you do when you’re petite…right?


I don’t even know where to start in terms of personal growth from my teens but one of my favorites is embracing my entire self, even physically. It’s much easier said than done during a hot summer day in a crowded subway and you’re nestled into someone’s armpit…but its doable.

How differently would you feel if you genuinely embraced these things?

The minute I had a lapse in my own advice and embraced via the media and every photo on every fashion blog knee high boots were just something that looked better at 5’11; I snapped out of it and went out and bought them. That’s right, those power fueled petite legs marched down to SOHO and got em. I went out to rock them exactly the way I wanted to and no style article on how to look taller would sway me. I’m still curious to meet those who write those articles “Clothes to steer away from if you’re XYZ” (really call me, we’ll have a chat about this, I smell a possible healing session). How about clothes you should wear because you feel like you could take over planet earth just wearing them? I’d love to see these women tell Lena Dunham she shouldn’t film wearing just a bra…oh wait they do and then she’ll flash a nipple with a grin on her face. That’s my point.





It’s now my  favorite look the naysayers claimed should be avoided, yet I’d make this my life uniform if that were even a thing.



I’d love to see looks you or the media swore you couldn’t pull off, and quite frankly didn’t care.


New York is the kindest city on the planet


New York  gets such a bad rap for having rude, anxious, overworked, and impatient people all crammed within one small grid-like space. Everything from the jobs, fashion, traffic, and price tags –  can make some hurl over with anxiety. Welp, I completely disagree. For 100 reasons I won’t list here; except for the story behind the photo above.

While roaming on a photo shoot to launch Dear Ivy, I got the brilliant and super original idea to eat a pretzel to make it feel “New Yorky”. I was also famished and missed lunch. I never planned on shooting this photo or sharing that random fact, until I tried to buy the pretzel.

I approached the pretzel vendor while trying to walk like Cindy Crawford.  I asked the vendor how much a pretzel cost, and looked down to realize I didn’t even have a wallet on me and couldn’t buy one regardless. I opted for a shoot with just the pretzel truck because that’s brilliant… and then a homeless man approached me. He overheard my exchange.

The homeless man reached into his pocket, and pulled out the appropriate change. I had tears in my eyes. I wasn’t in dire need of a meal. I refused. Absolutely refused. The man running the pretzel stand was just as taken aback and said “WOW, if this man is willing to buy you a pretzel, I will give you both food for free”. My heart exploded from the generosity from both ends, and I fought back tears and opted for a tight lipped grin.

I accepted.  Then of course the photographer snagged this shot. Afterward, I was over the idea of randomly needing to pose with 65g of carbs, I just wanted to enjoy my moment eating a pretzel with one of New York’s finest humans.

Hope this story tugs your heart strings the way it did mine that Sunday.  Kindness is incredibility contagious, it costs you nothing, and New York;  you’re still my BAE.


Mondays in Mom’s Closet

Dating back to 7th grade, the question “What. Are. You. Wearing?” was quite frequent. I don’t mean that in the ‘wow I’m a fashonista way,’ I mean that in the hmmm it’s quite…interesting manner. I had a habit of picking articles of clothing out of my mom’s closet in the morning -the older the better.  She was in no way a designer maven, she just had a keen eye on the clothes that channeled her inner 60s self and believed clothing wasn’t an expression of wealth; but an expression of personal style. Not something you typically see a 13-year-old rocking- but those outfits had an effect since the Limited 2 wasn’t always cutting it. The tradition is going strong, as I rock her outfits down the streets of NY to the office.

To this day the comments range from…’Oh let me guess…mom’s?’ to …’where the hell did you find that, you’re wearing a cloth diaper’. Many of which are D-repelling, but pay no mind. We range a bit in size depending on the time period, but boy when I throw on a Gail D. piece the nostalgia runs through me.

I suggest you try rocking a throwback– it can be a grandma, aunt, anyone whose younger self fires you up. Channel who they were, you’ll realize they were all just girls finding their way and you’re just another soul draped in their cloth.

Oh, and I chose Monday because who couldn’t use a spicy reason to get up and get dressed to start off the week?




What I’d tell my twenty-something self

HEADER_IMG_2Hindsight is always the worst- the shoulda coulda woulda’s. It would be so nice to always learn from other people’s mistakes rather than making your own. But – that’s not how life works and it’s so dang fun to make mistakes because it rocket fuels you to pure joy. That being said, I do wish I had a little 30 something version of myself whispering sweet nothings from the shoulder of my 20 something self.

There are staple pieces of advice you can learn from those who’ve come before you and are willing the share the nitty gritty of their experiences. While I’m all in favor of mistake making, rule breaking, and a messy path – I can confidently look back and say these are some of the truest, most valuable nuggets of advice I’d still confirm at age 90:

  1. Should you choose to partner up, whom you choose as your life partner is one of the most important decisions you can ever make. If your midst dating or in the infancy of a relationship – those butterflies, or the angst of what to text back is thrilling, but not real, and most likely acute anxiety (sorry I know it’s exciting). It can of course turn into love, but that feeling alone is not just uncomfortable but not sustainable. Stay away from the person causing a fire in your stomach, stay far away, it’s not sexy over time. It’s the man whipping around in a car when you get a call of a family emergency who shouts out “Get in girl, we got this” is what you should be chasing. Mark my words; life is so flipping fun, and when it’s not you need the real deal by your side to Bonnie and Clyde it.
  2. Find what you’re really good at. It’s most likely the traits you never see because they come so easily to you and are enjoyable. Use this as your springboard to fuel a career. The statement “If you enjoy what you do, the money will come” is half true. You need to be wise and strategic to identify it first.
  3. There WILL be people who don’t like you, and that’s ok. What others think of you, is none of your business.  There are also others that will not believe in you, that’s ok too. It’s not that they don’t believe in you, it’s that they don’t believe in themselves.
  4. Choose your tribe wisely and build a community you thrive in. You will go through waves of friends, but it’s the ones that leave you feeling good about life that you should be nourishing. Life changes, people move, families grow- but if you have the right members of your tribe, they grow with you and enhance your life. Be open to new friendships along the way, these can be just as life changing.
  5. Getting to know yourself is the most important thing you can do. Cliche, yes, but take time to yourself to find out that inner voice. Self care is also the best way to do this – doing things that feed your soul. Stay active, eat well, do weird things that fire you up inside. A relationship with yourself is by far the most rewarding. Think about infants… before their parents come to get them from their crib in the morning, they are typically caught talking and playing all by themselves. Find time to connect with yourself no matter what your age.
  6. Be wise with your finances. For those starting out in a new career or never starting saving, start a 401k and max out – you’ll never miss the money you don’t see. If not a 401k, there are many other means of saving & investing. Get yourself a financial adviser.
  7. Get out of what’s comfortable and experience life – you pretty much have an entire planet to explore. Even if it’s taking a new route to work, travel where and when you can.
  8. Learn to have boundaries. This will become more clear as you get older but learning when to stand your ground will help your friendships, romantic, and business relationships. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
  9. When you take on a commitment, give it 100% of yourself. If you fail, you know you gave it your all and that failure becomes a success. You’ve successfully learned what you’re not meant for.
  10. Live in the moment. Still working on this one, but as humans we tend to plan, think, and ruminate over life. Let go of this during key moments. I remember walking down the aisle towards my now husband and I had never been so present. There was nothing left to plan, nothing to think about, I felt free. If you have kids, think about when you’re rushing them out the door to soccer practice or scrounging up their lunch-  you’re in the midst of making the best memories of your life. Enjoy them in the moment, not as glorified memories.

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