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

purse shoes

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)

B__L0349 B__L0353

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

B__L0425 B__L0426

 

All other photography by Catherine Coons

Pursuit of Positive Energy

IMG_1436 - Copy

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.

IMG_1473

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.

IMG_1456 - Copy

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.

IMG_1463

IMG_1464

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. “

IMG_1457

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.

IMG_1468

IMG_1475

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.

B__L0026

B__L0031
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.

B__L0033

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!)

IMG_1340

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.

IMG_1334

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.

IMG_1339 IMG_1331

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.

IMG_1332

 

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.

IMG_1337 IMG_1336

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.

Pursuit of Easing into Fall

I am so excited for this time of year, and the fashion that follows. I am just waiting for the weather to cool down just a smidge so I can wear layers, boots, tights, and scarves. But really I think its about time we bring scarves in, don’t you think? After all, scarves can really be worn any time of year as long as they’re lightweight enough to withstand the heat. I’ve been playing around with my favorite scarf and how to wear it, and I’m finding that its pretty versatile.

IMG_1313

IMG_1322

IMG_1324

My favorite way to wear this is the usual wrap around the neck. The fringe makes such an awesome detail no matter how you wear it, but this is my favorite. Here, I layered it with a slightly bold necklace. I see no reason you can’t wear a necklace just because you’re wearing a scarf. In fact, I highly encourage it! It makes for a really unique look.  (Midas, one of our kitties, had to make a little cameo on this blog post, he loves being outside.)

B__S0198 B__S0201

Not only can a scarf be a beautiful accessory, but it can also be a layer of its own! I thought of the pictures Jason and I snapped with Catherine Coons would be a great example of how this scarf was turned into an over layer. It appears to be like a shawl, or even a kimono because of the look of this particular scarf. I’m in love with the way it drapes over my shoulders so casually. Wearing it this way makes the fringe appear more dramatic too, which I like. Who knew a scarf could be so versatile? This is a whole fresh look for this little number.

B__S0232Here you can see more clearly, I chose and even bolder necklace to complete the look. There is nothing up around your neck when you wear a scarf this way, so I think it was appropriate. I chose something that I thought would complement the ethnic look of the scarf/shawl.

B__S0387 B__S0457

Let me tell you, it was so extremely hot out that day. But this layer was perfect! An outfit just doesn’t look complete without a layer sometimes, and for this outfit it was the perfect cherry on top. It’s super lightweight, so it worked with the weather, and I didn’t feel silly wearing it. It is still a little hot out, and it doesn’t quite seem like fall yet, but I think starting to accessorize with scarves is a good way to ease into fall. (Another great accessory is a handsome man, apparently)

B__S0381

When putting together this post, I thought of the difficulties people have with scarves. A question I often get is how to wear a scarf or how to tie it. It seems like a simple thing, but it can actually get quite tricky when trying new ways. I came across this wonderful video that shows you 25 ways to wear a scarf in less than 5 minutes. I found it really helpful, and I found some new ways for myself!

Pursuit of Fashion

IMG_1197

Yesterday was a big day for me as a stylist. I held my very first gathering, a  style workshop at Anthropologie. It was so exciting and I was so honored to teach people about fall fashion and style. I themed the event around fall, and chose fall inspired goodies for everyone to indulge in. Caramel popcorn, and pomegranate champagne was served to all of the attendees. (Which was so yummy!)

IMG_1225 IMG_1192 IMG_1190 IMG_1205 IMG_1191

For the workshop, I asked my attendees to bring in some things of their own.  We carefully re- worked them in a new way to freshen their wardrobe up a bit. We also featured how to transition some pieces through different seasons. I chose a fall inspired outfit for each person, and those pieces could be added onto something they already had too!

IMG_1207 IMG_1270 IMG_1213 IMG_1267

It was great to see members of our community together, doing something they enjoy. The conversations and questions I received were really interesting, and inspiring. I was so happy that it turned out as well as it did! It was so great to have the opportunity to work with everyone, and see old pieces work like new! I cannot wait to host another one of these gatherings. If anyone in the Tampa Bay area is interested, please contact TampaPS@anthropologie.com

IMG_1175

For my workshop, I wanted a special fall outfit… and this dress is the epitome of fall! Fall is my favorite time for fashion.. and this dress was calling my name. I fell in love with all of the detail in the embroidery, and the amazing colors throughout. I had to have this dress! This piece by Adelyn Rae, was made perfectly for someone with my body type. It really hugs my curves in the right way, which is great. I think this is going to be my go-to dress for the season. It is lovely because it can be dressed casually or fancy, all depending on how you outfit it.

IMG_1180

IMG_1178 IMG_1179I had just purchased these booties from DSW by Crown Vintage earlier that day , and decided this dress would look perfect with a pair of booties. Because it isn’t quite cool yet, booties were a great option rather than full boots. (Although I can’t wait to wear my knee high brown boots with this baby) I love these particular shoes because they can go with ANYTHING; they’re so super versatile. They are on the essentials list. They can go with black, brown, and any other color you could think of.

IMG_1186

These are such special pieces, I just had to share it! It was the perfect outfit for a perfect night.  I can’t wait for it to cool down, and for when fall is in full swing!

Pursuit of Love and Fashion

Jason and I

This weekend, Jason and I were fortunate to have been photographed by one of our friends, Catherine Coons. She has also shot one of my previous shoots with my little sister, which turned out so adorable! She is so incredibly talented, and we had so much fun playing around town with her. I will probably be posting more from this shoot in later posts.

B__S0725 B__S0817

I was super excited because had just purchased the most perfect dress from Anthropologie, and I had the opportunity to wear it! As soon as I had this dress on, I knew it had to be mine. It great too, because it’s a wonderful transitional piece. This time of year is always difficult with fashion. Summer isn’t over, but I don’t necessarily want to spend money on a super summery dress that won’t bring me through fall. This dress  by Maeve is great because it could really work during any season.

B__S0745 B__S0633

Another beautiful feature of this dress is the coloring. There are so many beautiful colors that show through the pattern within the dress. I paired it with a pair of neutral colored ballet flats by Kimchi Blue, but it would be wonderful with navy, marroon, rust orange, or any of the colors displayed in the pattern. I am on the hunt for cobalt blue suede flats to pull out that beautiful blue.

B__S0794 B__S0795

To accessorize, I thought that my gold glitzy necklace from Anthropologie would be perfect. It was neutral enough to not distract from the dress, but just enough to perfect the look. I fell in love with this necklace because it resembles quartz crystals. If you know me, you’d know how obsessed I am with crystal healing. My house is filled with different kinds of crystals laying around. So, naturally I fell for this necklace. It goes with a lot of different kinds of outfitting too, which is a bonus.  I finished off the outfit with my favorite gold rings, Alex and Ani bracelets, and my go-to Michael Kors watch.

B__S0949 B__S0767

 

I was so excited that I had an occasion to show off this little beauty (I mean the dress, not Jason). But in all seriousness, I am in love with how the photos turned out, and we had so much fun. I think it really showed a glimpse into Jason and I’s romance. We are stupidly happy with one another, and I think Catherine really captured that. If you haven’t seen her photos, I strongly encourage you to take a  peek at her website. ( http://www.catherinecoons.com/ ).  More photos from her to come for sure.

Pursuit of Adventure and Relaxation

Its been a long time since my entire family has been on a vacation together. Its been long overdue, that’s for sure. Last weekend, my mom booked a cabin for the whole gang, in the middle of nowhere. My mom, her boyfriend Charles, my sister Jillian, her best friend Kristen, My dad, Jason, and I. It was so nice to see everyone and actually spend some time together. Usually a visit with my family only lasts a day or so, and I am running around trying to see everyone. It was great to have everyone in one place, and having the opportunity to do some really cool activities.  It was truly a really fun experience, and we did things I never really get to do ordinarily.  We went to a rodeo, rode horses, hung out with buffalo, drank at the saloon, did archery, went on an air-boat ride, and ate barbecue food every night. It was beautiful. So beautiful that I thought I’d share some of the pictures on here for everyone to see.


10485523_801345483251406_6877241118652991593_n1551467_291520277686269_6811242444783583184_n

10538582_291539351017695_6434724736096983000_n

10556421_291864154318548_6437041467731905218_n

 

10577136_291548754350088_4990280910343877170_n

1661473_291865144318449_8541009187696198036_n

 

1908065_10204393325412918_7287599868580865722_n 10557471_10204528276992776_8953007989725008710_n 10613148_291865197651777_5959964355341867460_n

10532545_291520084352955_88040235067014714_n 10527508_291520247686272_5233426280947675151_n photo (8) 10550972_10204539108303552_7254637002549217776_n 1937468_10204539106703512_4139512514116884763_n 10559751_10204537794390705_753943310175621178_n 10559892_291865290985101_1452646448364111553_n 1501821_291865350985095_3869422230353480655_n photo (10) photo (9) 10556421_291864154318548_6437041467731905218_n

 

It felt so nice to breathe in some fresh air, and get away for a little while. It was a wonderful vacation… But now its back to putting the new place together and working super hard. Back to the grind.

 

Pursuit of Fashion

Who doesn’t love easy outfitting? This little number is one of my favorite go-to pieces when I just don’t know what to wear. Jumpsuits are back, and in full swing this summer. I’m loving every minute of it. This jumper from Anthropologie (which is now on sale) is so incredibly comfortable, and is oh so stylish.  It is classic black and white, but with a boho twist. The elephant print is my favorite part (if you know me, you know I’m crazy for elephants).

IMG_0898

The cut and fit is super flattering for my figure too. It sinches me right on my waistline, which accentuates the curves I like. The drawstring is wonderful, as my body likes to fluctuate depending on how much pasta I ate the night before. Another great feature is that it rolls up at the bottom, and I can adjust that to what looks proportionate with my legs.

This outfit is effortless because it’s already put together. There was no standing in the closet trying to match things up with this look.  It has a simple color  pallet which makes it super easy to accessorize too. I paired it with gold, because it’s my favorite, and I chose to keep the rest of the coloring simple, and in line with the black and white. Though, it also looks great with a pop of color, any color would do.  This gold watch was handed down to me by my grandmother, and I stacked an Alex and Ani beaded bracelet with it to add a little extra something.

IMG_0901

So, for shoes I chose a little black wedge. I am SO in love with these babies. These Express wedges are so simple, but that’s what makes them great. They can be paired with so much, and I have been getting a lot of good out of them. They give a little height, without going overboard, and are still comfortable to walk in all day. My best friend is the greatest, and gave these to me as a little present, which makes them even more special.

Although this outfit contains a lot of my favorite pieces, I think my favorite part of this whole outfit is my hat. This hat is my most favorite one in my closet, and it can also be paired with a whole lot. What is even better is that it was an absolute steal! I found in Forever 21 and I had to have it. Even now that I’ve chopped my hair off, it still looks so darling with so many things in my wardrobe.  The final touch to this look is the lipstick. For me, lipstick is everything; I am never without color on my lips. This color is so great for a more bold look. This lip color is by Mac, and it’s called Dark Side.  Its really great because it stays on my lips for so long. I am a super busy person, and I don’t have time to be messing with lipstick every hour, so this is perfect for me.

  This look is fabulous because it can transition into any season. Fall is just around the corner, and I will definitely be able to use this look again and again throughout the season.  Simple, fun, bold, and easy outfit.

Pursuit of Exploration

Catherine Coons Photography

My sister and I are about eight years apart. My mom says, I am basically a build in babysitter. I have watched over her for years until I moved away for college. This little girl has my heart, she is one of my greatest friends, and the only sibling I even have. She just turned thirteen and is growing into such a beautiful person; it’s crazy to watch her grow.  Since I moved away from my home town, it’s been harder to spend quality time with my sister. Frequent visits home help, and lots of phone calls, but this summer I decided she should come visit where I live. Jillian is now in Tampa with me, so I have been taking her around to see all of the sights.

When we first arrived I took Jillian to  some of my favorite spots in downtown Tampa. One of the first stops was coffee for me, at the Oxford Exchange. I knew she would love all the trinkets they had for sale and their beautiful architecture of the space. It’s a frequent hang out of mine, and I wanted to show her how I live up here.

By then, we were getting hungry. My best friend Becca joined the two of us at another favorite spot, Daily Eats. Everyone in Tampa knows about this place. Their mac n’ cheese is to die for, and their shredder bowls are pretty awesome too. (Not to mention their yummy $2 Mimosas, which I did not indulge in on this occasion.) Throughout Jillian’s stay, I have been showing her all the little spots that make this place home for me. Its fun to finally show her what it’s like up here.

I decided that on this trip, Jillian should be exposed to a little bit of culture. I wanted to show her things she hadn’t seen before. So we took a little drive down to St. Petersburg to explore a little.

IMG_1165

IMG_0970

Downtown St. Pete is full of little places to explore, from art galleries, to little coffee shops, to record stores, to boutiques. There is a little something there for everyone.

IMG_0938

IMG_0940

You are my sunshine

We weaved in and out of the shops on central for a while, peeking in and looking around. Then we stopped into The Morean Arts Center to look through their gallery.

IMG_0908 IMG_0907

Then, I wanted to show her a different kind of art; graffiti. St. Petersburg is home to some unbelievable street art. Most of the buildings down central are lined with art on their back walls, so we explored and had a little fun.

IMG_0945

IMG_0951

IMG_1017

IMG_1002

IMG_0976

IMG_0973

IMG_1025

I wanted to show Jillian that there are many forms of art, and different ways to look at art. Since we were in St. Pete, I wanted to take her to the Chihuly Collection too, to look at an even different way to make art. She said this was her favorite part of the day.

IMG_1128 IMG_1038 IMG_1036

If you haven’t had the chance to see Chihuly’s art in person, it is a must see. It is phenomenal, and honestly pretty breathtaking. It is so thought out and artfully constructed. Each piece is hand blown glass, perfectly fit with the other pieces. IMG_1054 IMG_1059 IMG_1113 IMG_1112 IMG_1067 IMG_1100 IMG_1097 IMG_1070 I think one of the coolest pieces we saw that day was the one with electric black lights running through it. Completely eye opening, we couldn’t get ourselves out of this room!

IMG_1073 IMG_1084 IMG_1090

My favorite Charlotte Olympia look-alike flats looked extra bold and fabulous under this light.

IMG_1125

This mini adventure was so fun, and so inspiring to see Jillian see this kind of art for the first time. She will stay with me for about a week more, so this blog will see more of our adventures to come.