Pursuit of Being Festive

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Happy Holidays! Its that time of year again, and I am loving it. There are so many reasons to get all dressed up and fancy around this time of the season. Holiday parties are in full swing, and I am taking every opportunity to wear my favorite tulle skirt.

IMG_1529Tulle skirts are so much fun, and can make for a really special elevated outfit for parties and dinners. I found a couple of skirts that are similar to mine here, here and here.

IMG_1525Tulle skirts are actually pretty versatile, and can be outfitted a handful of ways. I love to wear mine with a simple chambray tied at the waist, and flats for a more casual look. Another favorite of mine is wearing my black Dolan turtleneck tucked into the skirt with opaque tights (and to dress it up I can add a sparkly belt like this or this).

IMG_1542For this outing, I chose to outfit this skirt more casually. I love the look of tulle with a flannel, but I wanted this look to be just a bit more elevated than that. This top from Anthropologie was the perfect in-between. The pattern and colors made the look very festive, and because of the material, it made the outfit look a little more polished than a regular old flannel.

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To complete this ballerina-esque look, I paired it with my favorite camel colored lace-up flats from Urban Outfitters.

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My best friend Becca and I did a little adventuring for this shoot. There are some really beautiful spots around Tampa Bay this time of year. The Henry B. Plant Museum outdoes itself for the holidays, and we thought it to be well worth the trip. Plant Hall was used as a hotel until 1930. This grand hotel boasted 500+ rooms, and special treasures collected from around the globe. The building was built in 1891 alongside railroad tracks, and housed plenty of famous names including, Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, Sarah Bernhardt, Clara Barton, Stephen Crane, the Prince of Wales and Babe Ruth, to name a few.

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This building is loaded with amazing history, and it is beautifully preserved with all of its Late Victorian furnishings.

IMG_1536For the holidays, the museum makes the tour a very special experience with beautiful decor throughout. It really is a sight to see, and if you live in the area and have not been, I strongly encourage that you see it. (That’s not just the History major speaking, it really is just plain beautiful)

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Pursuit of Gifting

Wondering what to get that special someone for the holidays? I have compiled a little inspiration for those of you who don’t know where to start.
Gifts for Her:
Gifts for Her

 

 Gifts for Him:

Gifts for Him

 

I hope this gives you all a few ideas for your holiday gifting needs, and a little less stress. Happy gifting!

Pursuit of Fashion and Craftiness

I really dislike being a repetitive outfit repeater. (That sounds redundant, but it’s true!) I know that with my tighter budget, I will wear the same pieces over and over again. Every couple weeks or so, its completely fine to repeat an outfit, but I like to mix and match different pieces in my closet as often as possible to make new outfits. Below, you’ll find examples of how to do just that. I have constructed six ways to wear the same skirt, and you can too!

1.  Simple: skirt, black sweater, scarf, bootiesjIMG_14832. Skirt (as a dress), black turtleneck, brown braided belt, brown riding boots

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3. Repeat number two, add a vest, and put the belt around the entire outfit for a completely different look.

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4. Skirt, black collared button down (tied at the waist), black floppy hat, booties

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5. Skirt (as a dress), chambray, (tied at the waist), black tights, black point toe flats

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6. Skirt (as a dress), black blazer, bejeweled gold belt, black tights, black point toe wedges

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There you have it folks, six ways to wear the same piece. Honestly, there are endless possibilities. I hope this inspires you to get crafty with your own outfitting!

All photography by Becca Vaughan

Pursuit of Fashion and Vintage Wear

B__L0228I’m embracing these fall tones for as long as possible. The reds, yellows, tans, blacks, an oranges just look so beautiful together. To me, this kimono is perfectly colored for fall. I recently inherited some vintage clothing from my grandmother and was fortunate to have found this gorgeous kimono. Kimonos are very much in right now, so I figured I could get some great use out of it.

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This is one of my favorite pieces in my closet, and its even more special because it belonged to my grandmother. I love knowing that there is history hidden within this garment that goes way beyond my lifespan. (That’s the history nerd speaking there.)

B__L0238 B__L0243Though my kimono is vintage, there are some really cool ones out there. I found some similar pieces HERE, HERE, and HERE. 

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This kind of layering is unique, and can create a really elevated look. I chose to make the kimono a little dressier by pairing it with a simple black strapless dress, a brown belt, and wedges. It also can be very casually outfitted, perhaps with shorts, a white tank, and some flats. Kimonos are pretty versatile pieces to work with. Definitely a must have item for this season. B__L0323All photography done by Catherine Coons

Pursuit of Fashion

Everlasting Pursuits got a little make over! One of my great friends, Alexander Fountain, created an adorable banner for this site. He is incredibly talented, and such a genuinely wonderful person. He’s finally got his portfolio website up and running, you can check it out here. His most recent work on his very own wedding is insanely beautiful! It’s an absolute must see.

Part Three of Bringing Summer Pieces to Fall:

B__L0067Quick and easy: take simple dresses, and put them with a pair of tights. This pairing makes for an awesome look. I love wearing dresses, and I refuse to put them away because of the season. The solution is tights! For this example, I chose a solid colored dress, which gave me a little more freedom to add pattern. These floral tights can be paired with many many colored dresses.  With a patterned dress, you can add a solid colored pair of tights. Colored opaque tights can add the perfect pop to an outfit, and will make your spring dresses look appropriate for fall.

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B__L0114 B__L0134To transform from a spring look to a fall look, I exchanged brown sandals for grey booties (to protect my little toes as the weather gets cooler. ) If I wanted to, I could add a jacket over the dress to add some warmth, or even layer it with a pull over sweater like in last week’s post.

B__L0052The perfect handbag: I think my most favorite vintage find ever is my The Dooney & Bourke black and saddle tan purse. It is really great because of its two neutral colors. I can pretty much get away with wearing it with anything because of its coloring. I decided this bag would be perfect for this outfit.

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Accessories really make this outfit special, without them, the look would be a bit bare. I added a glitzy gold belt to give the outfit a little bit of sparkle. By adding a belt like this, it can really elevate a dress. Also, by adding a belt, it accentuates my waistline. The eye is drawn there, opposed to other parts of the dress and my body. This dress is just a basic from H&M, but it becomes really special with the added accessories. I had to add my favorite necklace, of course, because the colors played in so well.  The rest of the accessories are just simple gold go-to pieces.

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The idea of adding tights to a dress is a quick and easy way to transform an outfit to suit the season. These floral tights were just too fun to pass up. This idea can be taken in many different directions, and can be applied to many different looks.

All photography taken by Catherine Coons

Pursuit of Fashion

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Like I promised, this week’s post will be focused on taking Summer items and making them work for Fall. This week, I am taking my Easter maxi dress to a different level.

This Summer, my good friend Catherine Coons took some lovely shots of Jason and I. For the shoot, I styled this dress accordingly;

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I did this outfit up with a denim vest, brown braided leather belt, brown sandals and some sunnies. These layers were appropriate for a hot day in the summertime in Florida. But Fall, even in Florida, is a little chillier.

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Can you wear maxis in the fall? YES! I get this question a whole lot, and I see no reason not to wear a maxi dress in Fall (as long as you are warm enough). To re-work this dress for the season, I layered it with a cropped sweater for warmth. Lately, I have been using this method to re-vamp my closet quite a bit. I find it to be the easiest way to warm up but still wear the dresses that I love. It really looks like an entirely different dress with the sweater layer.

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I paired this maxi with my favorite grey booties from DSW, adding a little more warmth. By wearing these booties, it also added another color to the pallet of this look.

If you live somewhere colder than Tampa, Fl, you can always put an under layer of thermal leggings, no one will ever see them under the dress, and you won’t have to worry about being cold outside. IMG_1480

To add some final touches, I placed some of my favorite necklaces around my neck. The longer citrine crystal necklace is my newest go-to neckalace  from Anthropologie (plus is carries some positive vibes). Another idea to accessorize would be to add a solid colored scarf to make the outfit even more appropriate for Fall.

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It’s actually pretty simple to really transform a garment to work with all seasons. This is a quick way to do just that. What do you think? Leave a comment!

Pursuit of Fashion

B__L0346It’s time to get a little crafty around here. I love fashion, and I love dressing according to the season, my my bank account isn’t endless. My next couple of posts are going to include ways to take your spring wardrobe to fall.  With a few simple changes, you can have a fresh look in your closet.

I made a post in the summertime with this same top, but outfitted completely differently. Remember this?

blue striped down 22 blue striped necklace

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This outfit works wonderfully in the spring or the summer. I loved it with white jeans, brown sandals, and turquoise accents. But for fall, this would feel completely out of place. (Summer outfitting photography by Rebecca Vaughan)

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B__L0407By pairing this top with dark denim and a pair of boots, it is great for fall! The yellow scarf is really the cherry on top for this outfit. It takes the look from good to great. By accessorizing the top the right way, it transforms the piece entirely. I find accessorizing to be so very important for really spicing up my wardrobe. By changing a scarf or a necklace, it can truly change an entire outfit.B__L0394

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All other photography by Catherine Coons

Pursuit of Positive Energy

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I’m about to get a little spiritual and a little weird, but there is kittens involved, so stay tuned. It seems that a lot of people ask me questions about my use of crystal healing. So, in this post, I’m going to give out a little knowledge about healing stones and crystal grids. I find it to be quite fascinating, and beneficial to my life.

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Lets start with the basics:

Crystals are beautiful stones that give off subtle energies that vary from stone to stone. People use crystals for all sorts of healing. For me, it is great for stress management, and for adjusting the balance of energies within my body.  Every person has seven main centers for energy, and they are located along the spine. If a center is misaligned, it can cause physical illness and mental weakness. These energy centers are called Chakras. (For more information on Chakras, I recommend this website.) Certain crystals can be used to activate and align the Chakras within your body with the right intention.  Throughout our apartment, I have set up small crystal grids. These grids are geometric patterns of stones that create energies according to the type of crystals placed within. There are many different ways to make a crystal grid, and its pretty hard to go wrong.  I’m going to go through the steps to make a very simple crystal grid for healing the heart and your spiritual connection.

Its important to note, that crystal healing can go hand in hand with many different kinds of religion. It is all about intention, and prayer, which is a pretty universal concept between belief systems. It combines the idea of being immersed into the earth and the connection with universal forces and the divine.

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Firstly, you will want to cleanse your crystals. You can cleanse your crystals by either soaking them in salt water (making sure they are not water soluble), by burying them in the earth over night, by using sage, and many many other ways.  My personal favorite way is to soak them in Himalayan salt water for a day and to let that soak in the sun. This recharges the crystals, and clears them to soak in the intentions that you may have for them.

Then you will want to find your intention for the selected stones. An intention is simply your focus, or what you would like these crystals to do for you.

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For this grid, I used three different kinds of crystals. Amethyst, which is purple; Fluorite, which is green; and Aventurine, which is also green. I set two different intentions, according to the coloring of the crystals. The Amethyst crystals correlate to the Crown Chakra, and can stimulate those energies. The Crown Chakra is related to spirituality, divine connection, and trusting the universe.  For the Amethyst stones, I centered my affirmations and intentions around these ideas. I focused my affirmations around feeling connected, and having an understanding of the life path I am on. The Fluorite and the Aventurine crystals stimulate the Heart Chakra. This Chakra is focused on love, acceptance of oneself, and relationships with others. An example of an affirmation relating to these crystals would be, “My heart is full of compassion, love, and forgiveness. “

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For the center crystal, I used my favorite Amethyst cluster. It is special to me, and has been beneficial in previous crystal and Chakra meditations. I knew that this crystal would powerful center to my grid.

IMG_1458 IMG_1459After cleansing and setting intentions, the crystals can be put into place. Again, you can’t really go too wrong. Any kind of geometric pattern that will link up the energies flowing from the crystals will do. To activate grids, I usually use my index finger to connect the crystals energies together. Then, a meditation that focuses on the intentions will follow. This meditation will feed off of the energies supplied by the crystals.

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I decided to do a meditation and then a bit of yoga to complete the entire practice. That morning, my fur children decided to join me in the fun.

IMG_1450 - Copy IMG_1441 - CopyThis post is a little bit out of the ordinary for me, but I felt it was something I should address. Even without crystals, I use meditation and affirmations daily, and it is something that has changed my life immensely. Taking a moment for yourself, and to change your attitude and your outlook on the day makes all of the difference. Even if crystals isn’t your thing, there is still something to take from this form of self improvement and connection. I hope this leaves you all intrigued and interested to find out more about yoga, meditation, and healing stones. If you have questions, leave a comment!

Pursuit of Fashion

B__L0038This season I am loving maroon! It feels like when I am out and about, this color is everywhere, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It is the most beautiful color for fall. When this dress came into our Anthropologie in this print and color, I knew I had to have it.  I had tried on the other colors, but this one was the best. This dress is perfect for being dressed up or down, and can be worn in all seasons, SO versatile.

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B__L0004 I decided to showcase this dress by shooting at the fabulous Oxford Exchange with Miss Catherine Coons. This has been a favorite spot of mine (and most of south Tampa) for some time now. The architecture, the coffee, and food is so beautiful, its hard not to love it.  The Oxford Exchange is also a great place to people watch. Every time I am there, I constantly see people with gorgeous fashion influences. I get a lot of my own fashion inspiration from simply people watching, and The Oxford Exchange is the perfect place to do just that. At The OE, you can indulge in some hand crafted Buddy Brew coffee,  complete with latte art.  If coffee isn’t your thing, they also serve Teabella tea, which is also incredibly delicious.  The tea makers are adorably dressed in individualized aprons, adding to the intricate detail of the whole experience. The OE is complete with a book shop, and another shop full of trinkets and such. The restaurant side is a whole other experience on its own. You can either be seated in the inner room, set up as a traditional restaurant, or be seated in a room that is similar to a greenhouse. The brightly lit “greenhouse room” is complete with a fountain that doubles as seating for multiple tables. Every piece of this place is detailed and attended to. Even if you only stop in for a coffee, the atmosphere makes you feel elegant, and hip. How could you resist?  I felt like I fit right in with the whole feel of the Oxford Exchange when wearing this adorable shirt dress. If you are in the Tampa area, and have not been to The OE,  I highly recommend checking this place out.

B__L0006I chose to outfit this look very simply to give it a more casual appearance. I wrapped a braided brown belt around the waist line, and wore my high brown boots, with some high socks. I think this outfitting is just right for this time of year in southern Florida. The colors of the dress and the boots really give it that touch of Fall.  This dress is super lightweight though, and is sleeveless, making it realistically cool enough to wear around town.

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I’ve really fallen into the habit of wearing dresses all the time, but I think I’m completely okay with it. Dresses are the most comfortable for the hotter weather here, and I think its absolutely fine to wear dresses every day if you please.  As long as I outfit the dresses differently each time I wear them, its a fresh new look. I think the best part of this particular dress is the ability to build on it and the ability to change the whole look by just mixing up what you wear with it. For now, this is typically the kind outfitting you’ll catch me in around Tampa. I suspect more posts about cute little maroon dresses to come.

 (PS- If you have not seen checked out Catherine’s site, you’re missing out on some beautiful photography. Check it out at www.catherinecoons.com )

Pursuit of Getting in the Spirit

It is officially that time of year. Its time to break out the pumpkins, the spider webs, and ghoulish decor.  Jason and I both love getting festive with our decorating, and so we couldn’t wait to put together some fun little pieces to dress up our apartment.

Because I am definitely on a budget, I got a little crafty with this project. Jason and I headed over to the dollar store to pick up supplies. We found orange styrofoam pumpkins, skeleton garland, orange ribbon, a wreath hanger, some syrofoam mini pumpkins, foe flowers, a basket, a candle, and a table runner… all for nine dollars.  Then we went over to Michael’s and found some wooden letters that spelled out B-O-O! I also picked up some gold spray paint (you’ll see why soon!)

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Jason surprised me with a lovely pant for the table, and some little (real) pumpkins! We also scavenged through things we already had around the place. All of this, made the apartment perfect for the season.

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For me, the biggest part of changing up the décor for fall was the dining room table. What an easy way to make a big statement. I tweaked what we bought to make the table really special.

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The styrofoam pumpkins originally were bright orange, and slightly tacky. So! I took a little gold spray paint and turned them into something much more elegant.

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I had also hunted around our complex to find pine cones to put in our basket. I ended up painting a few of them gold to give it that extra beautiful touch. (And because I am a gold fanatic). I then surrounded those pine cones with the red foe flowers I had found at the dollar store.

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IMG_1335Finally, I lit the candles, and made a small crystal grid to complete the table. I tried to appoint crystals that would be used for grounding and connecting to the earth during this wonderful change in weather. (More on how to make your own crystal grids to come)

IMG_1343The next little project was for the wall directly behind the dining room table. It was so bare, I couldn’t stand it. I did a super simple arts and crafts project to liven it up a little, and to set the mood for the season. I simply cut out construction paper in the shape of flags, wrote on it, strung it with string, and hung it up.  It spells out, give thanks, which I think is such a beautiful intention of the season. It really is a great reminder for our daily lives.

The next mission was the door. I thought about making a big lovely wreath filled with fall leaves, ect. BUT! because Jason and I love Halloween so much, we wanted to go more in that direction.

So naturally, I took to Pintrest! I thought this idea was absolutely adorable. It didn’t cost much, and it was super simple to make. I simply tied the letters together with ribbon and hung it on the wreath holder.

We then put the finishing touch of a skeleton garland across the door to add more of a spooky touch! I can’t wait until I can actually carve jack-o-lanterns to keep in front too!

Putting these little touches on our apartment has allowed it to feel more like home for us, and I am so grateful for that.