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Art As Style Inspiration: My Collab with the Amazing Mom Edit

cool-birkenstocks-683x1024

If you’re a mom and into fashion, you’ve probably heard of The Mom Edit by now and if you haven’t yet, well, you’re missing out.  I’ve mentioned my love for Shana, the site’s creator, before and shared some of the art collaborations we have done together for The Mom Edit. Last month, we were talking about what direction we should head in this year for our monthly art/style collaborations when Shana suggested doing a mini shoot featuring both my style and my art. We were already at the beach, and a few glasses deep into our bottle of white wine so we figured why the heck not?! And then last night I got a text from my best friend who said she just spotted my feature on The Mom Edit, so I thought I would share some of the photos here too!

best-birkenstocks-683x1024 (1)

fashion-illustration

shoe-illustrations

I’m Wearing:

Top:

a63ee73fd883-333x400

Marylin and Main’s Batwing Oversized Tunic Top, $29.30 on Amazon.

Shorts:

striped shorts

Mango’s Striped Cotton Shorts, $24.99, Amazon.

sandals:

282-Birkenstock-Women-s-Yara-Oiled-Leather-Sandals-1

Birkenstocks’ Yara Leather Thong Sandal from Amazon, $105.99 to $149.99. 

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Beach Day Essentials

 

 

“Summer isn’t over, summer isn’t over.” I am hoping that if I keep telling myself, I can make it true,  or at the least live happily in my own delusion for a little while longer and the reason I am determined to do this post even though it’s practically September and everyone is about ready to gear up for Autumn.

h1BD6E152

Apparently my refusal to accept that summer is over is subconsciously coming out in the clothes I am choosing to wear. Walking down the stairs today, my boyfriend greeted me by saying “Ahoy sailor,” and saw that I looked like I was ready to set sail on a catamaran in the following outfit:

beach day ootd

 

not that I minded being mistaken for an overzealous mariner…..As a fairly new resident of Michigan, the magic that is summers on Lake Michigan has yet to loose any of it’s potency on me. I could spend all day walking up and down the Lake shoreline gathering driftwood and pebbles, or laying on the sand and reading cheap literature until my skin is burnt to a crisp and spend every night watching the sunset over the lake, and drinking unhealthy amounts of white wine with friends around a campfire….There is no better medicine for my soul.

So that’s my excuse for spending an absorbent amount of time putting together my first style board set on polyvore

on which I spent an unhealthy amount of time obsessing over and that I awkwardly titled “Final Beach Day Trip of the Summer:”

final beach day trip of the summer.

 

final beach day trip of the summer. by thiswildpreciouslifeblog featuring fragrance candles

 

IMG_5073

 

 

 

 

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Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Summer Maxi Dresses: Ten of My Favorites for Every Occasion

It’s finally summer (hooray!) But of course, I can’t just enjoy the weather I’ve been waiting for all year long and instead I have to find something to stress over.

The summer weather poses a few problems for me:

1)  Blindingly white, pastey legs.

2) Lots of uncomfortable sweating in areas best left unacknowledged.

3) And Shaving, lots of shaving…hours and hours of shaving…

 Solution to this very first world problem: 

Maxi dresses!

1) Complete coverage of said sunless legs.

2) Comfortable breeze to sweating nether regions.

3) Coverage of lazily shaved legs.

romantic summer maxi dress forever 21 summer maxi dress

The above maxi dress is from Forever 21 although it looks like it’s not available anymore I found a similar dress also from Forever21 that I think I like even more than the one I purchased:

love21 white lace paneled dress
Love 21 Lace-Paneled Maxi Dress, $34.90

My Sandals are Enzo Angiolini Women’s Jeat Sandal, $84.80 available on Amazon:

Enzo Angiolini Women's Jeat Sandal

Now in no particular order ten of my favorite maxi dresses that I day dreaming of buying to cover up my pastey legs with this summer:

1. In a Dream Maxi Dress from Free People ($350.00):

In a Dream Maxi dress Free People

2. Serilida Maxi Dress from Anthropologie, $198.00

serlida maxi dress anthropologie

3. Maybe Lady Dress from Free People, $118.00:

free people maybe lady dress

4. Motel Wrap Front Maxi Dress with Thigh Split in Floral Print from ASOS, $95.00:

 

5. Chloe Silk Full Length Draped Dress, for *cough* *cough*, $3,660.74 from Far Fetched: 

chloe silk maxi dress summer 2015

 6. All Tied Down Maxi Dress from NastyGal, $68.00

all tied down maxi dress nasty gal

7. Lisbon Dress from Need Supply Co., $98.00

lisbon dress need supply

 

8. Tribal Print Maxi Dress from Forever 21, $27.90:

forever 21 tribal print maxi dresstribal print maxi dress

9. Faded Floral Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress from ASOS, $98.00:

asos faded floral flutter sleeve dress

 

10. Summer Solid Lady Maxi Dress from Free People, $148.00:

 

and one more that doesn’t do much to cover up the pastey leg problem but I am day-dreaming of none the less…..

11. For Love and Lemons Marina Maxi Dress available at Free People, $202.00:

Any “must have” maxis for this summer that you think I missed??

 

 

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Style Tutorial: Three Ways to Wear White Denim in Winter

 

I don’t wear white often because of a few reasons (like being unable to go more than 10 minutes without spilling something) but the after Labor Day rule isn’t one of them . But, I’ve seen a lot of cool styling this winter with white denim or trousers and I don’t know if it’s becoming more fashionably acceptable to wear white after the designated time. I kind of think wearing white is perfect in the winter, especially when I am getting sick of all the black I wear in mourning for the summer.

so here are three different ways to casually style white denim jeans for winter wear….

winterwhitedenimoutfitonestripe-cardigan-fringe-bag-white-denim-zara-nordstroms-beanie-winterwinter-white-denim-style-inspiration
white-denim-suede-wedgesplaidscarf
winteroutfit3white-denim-wedge-booties-zara-plaid-scarf-nordstromHow do you guys feel about white denim during winter? Yay or nay??

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More of my sketchbook pages.

 

 

floral sketchbook page quote

 

The start of a new year means a new sketchbook. I get really excited about starting a new journal- especially at the beginning of a new year. It literally allows me to turn a fresh page in my life and re-organize, reflect and motivate. I’ve been slowly compiling pictures of some of my sketchbook pages from this past year or so and funny, I never realized before just how often my pages center around a quote or lyric that is inspiring me at that time. I think because a big part of the reason I keep a journal is to motivate me and to help me stay positive. Oh, I also apparently am big on bright colors and florals.

 

 

 

 

 

sketchbookpagejessross

also, I’m really interested to know (for any fellow art journalists who stumbles across this page)…what your favorite sketchbook/journal is(Mixed media paper, watercolor paper, bound, spiral, small, large….)? I have over 30 journals and have tried all different types and sizes and I am starting to narrow it down to my favorites but I still feel like my perfect sketchbook is out there somewhere undiscovered and waiting. just really want a large sized sketchbook with pages that don’t bleed through…I like the watercolor moleskine sketchbook but it didn’t have very many pages and was quite expensive.
Here are my go tos:

The Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album

(12″ X 8.5″) Professional Folio Series, Hardcover $27.37

click on the picture to view in Amazon

pros: thick, heavyweight, high quality watercolor paper, super absorbent and doesn’t bleed through.

cons: expensive & only has 60 pages while most sketchbooks have at least 100 pages.

 

The Canson 180-Degree Art Book ($13.79)

(8.3′ x 11.7″) 80 sheets 

canson art sketchbook, click picture to view in amazon

Pros:  Lays flat, nice design

Cons: Paper is not high quality, and poor quality paper, rips easily

Strathmore Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal

(11.5″ x 8.5″, 64 Pages)

Strathmore Sketchbook, Click picture to view in Amazon

Pros: Great size and Price

Cons:

 

stormsrootsstitched together quote rjournalpagemixed media sketchbook page lyricsWhat inspires you? Do you have a favorite medium when journaling? What is your go-to when you are sketching or journaling… I always wish I wrote more….  but I never do….abstract ocean blue sketchbook page
journal illustration page

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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My Midi Dress Dilemma: 4 Tips for Wearing a Midi for the Body Conscious Woman

6 marvelou smidis(all 6 dresses available on asos top left: ASOS RED CARPET Premium Embellished Midi Dress With Plunge Front $227.40, top middle: Asos Midi Wiggle Dress in Paisley Print $113.17, top right: ASOS Baroque Embellished Midi Shift Dress $161.08, bottom left: Self Portrait Lucille Midi Dress  $473.75, bottom middle: ASOS Petite Wiggle Dress with Wrap Back $85.28,  bottom right: ASOS Gray Floral Drape Back Midi $94.75)


I really, really love the midi dress look and I emphasis the word look because the way a midi dress looks on a model (stunning) is not how a midi LOOKS on me. The models’ curves (or lack of them) are perfectly highlighted in the form fitting style of a midi and the length accentuates their slim legs. I don’t know if I really thought that I would look the same as the 100 pound 5ft 9 model did in the same midi.

Here is the midi dress I purchased:

jersey midi asos
Asos Midi Cami Body Conscious Dress

but…SURPRISE! I didn’t look anything like the model. It accentuated my curves alright, every friggin nook and cranny was on display. It probably didn’t help that the midi I bought was thin jersey fabric, which is probably one of the least forgiving fabrics there is. So I buried the dress in the back of my closet and tried to forget I ever thought I could pull the look off.

The thing is…I’ve never liked my body, but I also think most women in America have struggled with loving and accepting their bodies at some point. I’ve been working up to writing about the journey I am on to loving myself and it’s been a long, bloody battle for me but….(and I swear all this has to it has to do with the midi dress!)

But since I turning 30 this year, it really hit me how much of life I have wasted and how many experiences I missed out on because I’ve been to busy disliking myself and caring to much what people think.Doing these self-absorbed, materialistic Personal Style posts was a coconscious decision of mine to do what makes me happy and to (try) not to worry about whether or not people like it. Also, it’s nice to actually start caring about myself again 🙂


So, when cleaning up my closet, I stumbling on the crumpled up midi dress of disappointment and gave it another go (outfitted in my spanx body armor) and decided to give it another try and I came up with a few different ways to wear a form fitting midi with more confidence.

#1 Oversized Cardigans like this one from Revolve Clothing, are your friends.

drapey cardigan

Wearing a big, drapey cardigan helps me feel like I have a layer of protection and it keeps all my lumpy areas that I am self-conscious about covered. But the open front still shows off the cute length and style of the midi.

midi skirt winter outfit

#2 Wearing shoes with heels (booties are my favorite for winter) add much needed length to your frame.

Here are a few pair of booties that give me the warm fuzzies and that I think would look good with a a casual style midi dress:

Joe's Cutout booties

 

 

above: Joe’s ‘Abby’ Cutout Leather Booties available at Nordstroms for $119.37 (40% off from original price of $198.95) Sam Edelman booties

 

Above: Circus by Sam Edelman “Talon” Booties  available on sale at Nordstroms for $87.06 (originally $129.95)

wedge booties

Above: Naughty Monkey ‘Angle Tangle’ Toe Wedge Bootie also at Nordstroms for $129.95

For a dressier look here are a few heels I am currently drooling over:

Gucci Gold toe Heel

above: Gucci’ ‘Coline’ T-Strap Cap Toe Heels at Nordstroms for $398.98

capped toe heels

 

 

above: Joe’s  ‘Ali’ Ankle Strap Pump, on sale at Nordstroms for $72.95dark blue pumps

 

above: Louise et Cie ‘Sarmienta’ Pump at Nordstroms for only $79.95 (50% off)

Most midis cut off at around calf-level (depending on height) which I love but also has the tendency to make legs look shorter and bulkier.

#3 Layer it up to create different looks.

A midi is fun to play around with different looks and is a versatile dress that can be simple and classic or fun and trendy.  Adding colorful layers, like my favorite crazy plaid pants, creates lines, and helps to “distract” the eye from those worry areas.


IMG_6163 - Version 2
midiandblacktopA split sided basic top is perfect to throw over a midi because it covers my least favorite areas (my tummy and the booty) and I like the look it creates.

#4: Spanx is also your friend.

Good ole trusty spanx, instilling confidence into the self-conscious since the dawning of time.

 

 

 

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It’s a Plaid, Plaid World!

plaid skirt, winter style

You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that title!

Maybe turning 30 brought some maturity to me finally, as seen in my new found love of all things plaid.

I don’t know.

But I do know that before this winter I have never preferred Plaid or any other “Classic” styles. But as in most things with me, I always go overboard with any new interest of mine, Whether it’s: painting, DIY projects, yoga, or clothing, I suck all the fun out of whatever it is I like, until I am sick of it. That’s probably how my new love of “Plaid” will end up, but for now, me and plaid are BFFs.

I have seen so many cute plaid scarfs, hats, and ect. on my friends and people I see out and about, this winter that I wish I could have taken pictures of some people I saw who inspired my new obsession for plaid. If anyone has any pics of them wearing their favorite plaid accessory or  clothing item to add to this post, or your opinion on plaid, my email thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com and I will add it!

But For now, here are some of my favorite plaidy plaids…

plaid skirtI’ve got a little pooch belly, but hey that’s okay!

Skirt is from Charlotte Russe ($19.99 or buy 1 get 1 for $10.00) which I bought in store and couldn’t find online but they have a similar one online (for $19.99):

plaid bodycon midi skirt

Knit short sleeve white top is from H&M from this summer but I found a similar top from H&M that I actually think would look better with the plaid skirt. Their Heavy Jersey Fabric Short Sleeve Top available online in black or light grey for only $17.95:

H&M heavy jersey light grey top

The boots I bought at Target, probably 2 winters ago, and are still my tried and true favorites (plus the heels are about 2″ so I can actually go wear them out without walking like I am on stilts ) I love the contrasting brown leather ankle strappy things that make it okay for me to wear with black or brown (at least thats what I tell myself..fashion experts would probably say different). But I found a very similar pair by Dv by Dolce Vita Brand, called their Jaxen Suede Booties available at Lord and Taylor online and on sale for only $64.48 (marked down from $128):

Dv by Dolce Vita Suede Booties

and if you’re a big spender I also love these similar Rag & Bone Harrow Suede Ankle Boots available on their website for $370.00. (I can dream, right?)

Rag&Bone Harrow Suede booties

 

My bag is Steve Madden Brand, and is called the Broyale Convertible Tote and is for sale at Macy’s online for $108.00, although I found it out shopping at Marshalls. 

steve Madden Broyale Bag


 

My second “Plaid” winter  outfit, is mainly just these pants I found at Forever21. I bought them online, (Got super excited and actually bought two of the same exact pair..so if anyone is interested in a free pair of pants…email me!) A lot of my style decision thought process goes something like this: “Should I really be considering wearing this?” “I look ridiculous.” and finally “Oh well, who cares!” and then proceed to checkout. And so it was with these pants:

plaid pants! These Gingham plaid pants are available at Forever 21 currently on sale for only $16.99. But aren’t for the faint of heart,  I’ve got some junk in my trunks and these pants def. don’t help to conceal that. :/ But they are red plaid pants for under $20 so…

A more conservative (and more expensive) choice, if I had the means are these lovely Petite Cafe Red Tartan Capres from J.Crew for $168.00:

J.Crew Plaid Capris


 

My final Plaid clothing collection (so far!)  is my new favorite scarf:

plaid scarf

The scarf is Forever21’s Frayed Plaid Scarf for only $10.80. And if you are looking for cute, cheap, plaid accessories, they are the place to go, they have well over 10 different plaid scarfs all at a a very reasonable price!

Thanks for sticking around to read this extra long post…as always I would really, REALLY love to hear and see what you guys are wearing this winter. Email or comment below.

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How to Make Your Own Layered Boho Statement Necklace

As a kid, I loved going through my fabulous grandma’s costume jewelry collection. I could never narrow it down to one or even two favorite accessories, and instead piled as many necklaces on as my little kid neck would allow.

So, once I became aware that layered statement necklaces were an actual trend and saw necklaces like Dylanex’s Falkor ($890):

f78f8ca8151b3755c1d4d2e2c3101584

And Nasty Gal’s Coined It Necklace (only $55!)

45758.0.detail

 

Another one of Dylanex’s amazing necklaces, the Bowie ($820)

 

 

 

 

 

424f2f3a1e58f50d9685bd31c3209a27and Urban Outfitters’  Medina ($68)

medina

I have been trying to create my own cheaper “DIY” version. I quickly realized it’s not quite as easy as throwing on every silver necklace I own and walking out the door. I feel like I am constantly walking a fine line between “fashionable” and “mentally unstable homeless person”, when it comes to my personal style.  It was actually pretty difficult to mix and match pieces together to create something tasteful and stylish (and doesn’t look like I raided my Grandma’s costume jewelry with my eyes closed). I ended up with two layered statement pieces: one silver and one gold…Usually, I prefer gold colored jewelry but there are a lot of awesome silver metal boho statement necklaces out there to choose from.


IMG_7493
My necklaces are the Coin Fringe Pendant Necklace ($12.50) from Forever21 

coin fringe pendant necklace

and the Silver Tribal Necklace from World Market ($14.99)

silver tribal statement necklace

And my  second “gold” colored layered necklace:

boho layered statement necklaces

There are definite pros and cons to trying to making your own Layered Boho Statement Necklace piece.

pros: cheaper, unique, and more layering options when you buy each individual necklace.

 

cons: tangled mess of chains errrrvywhrrrr.

 

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Large and in Charge (Scarf!).

The great thing about this being my blog is that I can write any of the ridiculous nerd-tastic, groan inducing things that come to my mind (i.e.: calling this blog: “large and in charge scarf”) Here is an accurate representation of what I look like and feel like most of the time:

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I do love Gandalf and have welded more than one walking stick in my hand and demanded no one to pass. :/

But, Im pretty sure the only person who reads this is my mom. So…hey mom!

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Back to my scarf….The weather outside has turned, the leaves are changing and there is a damp, chill in the air, which doesn’t bother me one bit… This is my favorite kind of weather,  the changing in weather only reminds most people of what what is to come after: the dreaded Midwestern Winter, but still I love it and relish being outside at this time of the year even more so than in the summer (probably because it feels like my natural average temperature runs about 102 degrees, so the summer feels like one big, hot, sweaty, smelly anxiety attack for me).

I really love Fall in Michigan…out on a walk the other day we saw a heard of at least eight deer, four of which were fawns, right down the street from me. I sat and watched them for over 10 minutes until they had enough of me staring and disappeared into their kingdom enclave in the forest. It was magical. I never get sick of all the nature that surrounds me here- last Christmastime, I looked out of the window of there house and saw a gaggle )?) of wild turkey, a few deer and several Red Cardinals in the trees surrounding me…take a picture of that and it put it on a Christmas card folks!

SCARF. A customer came in to my work the other day in what looked like the warmest, comfiest, huge, knitted scarf I’ve ever seen. So, naturally, I asked where she got it and it was made for her by her sister (of course). But that got me thinking how I needed one just like it and found one….

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This is the biggest, thickest, warmest infinity scarf (at a moderate price) that I have ever had and Again, H&M is where I came across it for $12.95:

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(while returning “mom jeans” that I bought thinking I could pull them off and was utterly appalled at just how much they look like “mom jeans” and not “cool jeans…I don’t think I have the skinny figure to pull them off…) Again: here is an accurate representation of me in mom jeans:

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Some day, when I am an actual mom, I will wear my mom jeans with pride (And to embarrass my children)  but, today is not the day.

 

 

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Fabulous Fall: 6 Autumn Fashion Fundamentals

I spent longer than I should have trying to fit as many words starting with the letter “F” in the title.. (Ill save you the counting: it’s four). I’ve been waiting alll summer to write this post. Because Autumn is my favorite. I’ve seen this Someecards Ecard floating around online the past few weeks:

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And as a white girl who likes her yoga pants (they  are comfy and stretchy!) I have several objections. First off,  I don’t think an individual’s avid appreciation for the Fall Season has anything to do with the fact I am a white girl who likes her yoga pants on occasion (so comfy and stretchy!). Secondly, I don’t even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pumpkin candles, loaf breads, muffins and pancakes are another story). But, I will tell you my favorite things about Fall without you having to go through the trouble of saying “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times. (Who’s the weirdo now? At least Im not the one talking to my mirror…amiright?)

I was thinking about what it was that made me love Autumn so much and I found this “Autumn Blessing” Affirmation on pinterest that resonated with me:

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I never realized before that all the changes in nature that Autumn brings; (the crisp weather, bright colored leaves, the smell of firewood burning that permeates the air) really does represent a time of transformation and reflection. As a very sensory and visually orientated person, I appreciate the transformations to my physical environment that Fall brings. It forces me to acknowledge the passing of time, every time I walk outdoors.  I appreciate the Autumn season even more after being in Southern California for four years while at school. Looking back at that wonderful life experience, it feels like one really long summer and its difficult for me to remember exactly when my favorite and most precious memories occurred.  While the winter season is a whole other beast here in the Midwest, I’ve come to relish the Fall season even more.

Besides the beautiful weather (and the dozens of colorful leaves I find and put in my coat pockets and forget about and then spend the rest of the year pulling crumbled up bits of dried leaves out of various pockets) the other reason I love Autumn is for the fashion!

Maybe its because I remember all those end of summer clothes shopping excursions with my mom trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or maybe it’s because I spend my entire summers sweating through everything I wear the second I step outdoors and I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin in a summer wardrobe: shorts (the chafing!), bikinis (the shaving!) and tank tops (the arm jiggles!). I am much more comfortable covering up “all that” in scarves and over sized sweaters.

As usual,  I  got sidetracked on what was supposed to be a short intro into the main subject of this post: my 6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials.

 

I decided to make an inspiration board using my illustrations so here we go:

My Fall Wardrobe Essentials
My Fall Wardrobe Essentials

1. Leather (or Leatherette) Moto Jacket:

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Not so heavy or bulky as a winter coat and as the outermost layer of clothing, it’s the important in making a  “style statement.”  With oversized cardigans and slouchy, drapey sweaters and not to mention scarves, a simple, classic and fitted moto leather jacket keeps me from looking like a chunky pumpkin.

My dream jacket is this Veda Max Classic Tan Leather jacket Scuba Vintage Leather Jacket in Tan, available at Nordstroms

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for (wait for it, wait for it) $890. I love everything about this jacket (the dramatic, asymmetrical collar or oversized lapels) and the color.  And if I  was in a position to buy it, I would and probably never take it off.

Another similar and more reasonable and equally lovely jacket is the BB Dakota Lillian Vegan Leather Jacket 

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available at Urban Outfitters for $98.00. And it’s VEGAN, so you can feel good about not harming animals while wearing it!

 

2) A Bold (Tribal Inspired) Statement Jewelry Piece:

When I’m browsing for clothing or jewelry online, I always, 100% of the time, go with the more outrageous, the more colorful and bold option. Should a  30 year old be purchasing leopard print jeans? I learned the answer (it’s a big NO for me) when I showed up to the elementary school I was teaching at, only to run into  7th grader wearing the same exact pair as me (she was embarrassed, I was like “twinsies!!)  At these moments, I question my sanity and resentfully acknowledge my actual age. (I am 30, I am 30, I am 30). I am learning the beauty of simplicity but this is not one of those times. I give you the aptly named Falkor necklace from DylanLex.com…

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and my reaction to seeing this necklace for the first time can be summed up in the following picture:

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and the Falcor necklace can be yours for only $980.00!

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aaaand that’s the face I made when I saw the price.

Sorry, getting carried away again.

Urban Outfitters has some similar pieces like their Lalla Rhinestone Statement Bib Necklace for a fraction of the price ($68.00)

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Or you can do what I do, to wile away the hours and find some original and tribal inspired statement necklaces over on my favorite site on the web, etsy.

3. Boho Leather Handbag

Just recently I have re-fallen in love with bucket bags and leather backpacks as well as vintage tooled leather bags as well. I have been debating on fringed leather bags for years now and I still like them, although, they are becoming part of that festival season uniform- but my eye is always drawn to them.

Madewell makes a classic and simple style leather backpack- I don’t know why, but almost every leather bag I have ever owned is this carmel color. It’s definitely my favorite and saves me from having to decide wether to go with black or brown.

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Madewell’s leather Rucksack can be yours for $298.00 at Madewell.com and also ShopBop! 

Urban Outfitters has the perfect combination of the fringe that I hate to love and is also a rucksack/bucket bag,  the Cruz Studded Fringe Bucket Bag, and is much cheaper find at $54.00 and is also available in red and blue!

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I also love the vintage fabric woven tote/bucket bags/leather backpacks but have yet to find a patterned bag that is also a designer brand Etsy and Ebay are my stomping grounds for those unique and beautiful finds and the best part is they are usually one of a kind!

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this woven, Ikat, bucket bag on etsy: 

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I am sorry to say I had to purchase it but this Handmade Genuine Leather and Kilim Bucket Bag is still available from the Etsy shop: Puro Leather for $85.00

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whew, sorry this post is getting long! thanks for sticking with me.

Fourth on the list of Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

4. Oversized, Slouchy, Sweater or Cardigan:

My two personal favorite sweaters of this season (as well as the color contrast jeans) are both from H&M. Although not everything is carried in their online store…

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The Oversized Sweater is available online in both gray and navy blue for an absolute steal of $14.95. I love this sweater and am so glad it caught my eye, although I have to admit , I would have passed it by if the mustard color version hadn’t caught my eye in the store. I love the length and the lightweight texture. I also am a big fan of contrast colors (as you might have guessed) but the black sleeves are definitely pleather and not very breathable.

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And here is the dark blue version also on sale for $14.95. I love the leather pants and really would like some of my own (imitation leather of course) but let’s hope this beautiful model’s leather pants are not made of the same pleather material as the sweater, or she is definitely sweating it out. What do you guys think about leather pants? Do you own any?

My second favorite oversized sweater is also from H&M, the Ribbed-Knit Sweater, which I got in Orange and is also nicely priced at $24.95. For the low prices, I am impressed with the quality of the garments I have purchased from H&M.

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and just cause a girl’s gotta dream about overpriced clothing items I will never be able to afford way out of my reach… my ultimate dream sweaters are both from Acne Studios (one of my new favorite “Dream” brands).

The Galactic Turtleneck Sweater is available at Barney’s New York and Also Acne Studio’s website for $620.00.

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Gaja Oversized Sweater ($500.00)  available online at Shopbop. 

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#5 in the Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

Heeled Leather Booties

oh boots, bootie, boot, boots. I love boots….I can never have enough. What is it about women and their love for shoes and handbags? I don’t know, and don’t really care. In the past, I have always gone for tall, knee high length boots, but in recent years I am drawn more and more to ankle boots.

Basically every boot that Anthropologie has on their website is amazing. Their whole selection of boots, booties, ect, are kick ass, and usually always are.

I love the triple buckles and the price of the Vendaveles Boots (available exclusively online at Anthropologie) for $150.00.

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Since I am loving anything and everything color blocked this season I love both of these booties from Anthropologie: 

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above, The Metallic Colorblock Booties by Nina Payne, $290.00 (Also available only online).

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and the Coromell Booties, $130.00, also available exclusively online at Anthropologie as well.

FINALLY!

#6: Patterned Fitted Pencil Skirt

Goes well with an oversized sweater, tights and booties. And again, anthropologie stuns with their patterned pencil skirts:

4120336410577_079_b 2129634a695e35ba771e81300a090621Perhaps my favorite skirt at the moment (which I am currently trying unsuccessfully to persuade my boyfriend to buy for me for our 2 year anniversary)  is this beautiful Tapestry Pencil Skirt, $98.00 from Anthropologie, available online and in stores.

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I love the longer length of the new pencil skirts, like this Collection Stripe Skirt, from J.Crew for $128.00, but on sale right now for 25% off using the code: SHOPFORFALL.

Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly long and incredibly materialistic post. I hope you all take the time to enjoy the first official day of Fall tomorrow.

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tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 2

It’s time for round two of beautiful tattoo designs I have been coveting lately. I swear, if I was in a stable job right now, there would be nothing holding me back Last night, while I literally spent all night long looking at people’s “boards” of tattoos on pinterest and found some beautiful, inspiring and unique tattoos. Sometimes, I fall in love with some tattoos but always in the back of my mind I cant help but think…how will I feel about this having to see this every day for the rest of my life?

Lately, (and I am pretty sure this change has to do with my new found obsession with pinterest), I am finding the most amazing tattoos that I would get in a heart beat.  I am being to see a pattern in the types of tattoos I love: simple lines and also brightly colored designs  saw a few beautiful colorful tattoos that look like water color paintings.

I LOVE the colors in the above blue flower tattoo. They are so rich and look so real and textured they look. I also love that the colors aren;t hindered by the thick dark outlines and end up looking like a coloring page….if that makes sense at all.

A few of the MANY stunning watercolor tattoos by artist Amanda Wachob. Check her work out at: http://www.amandawachob.com/gallery/skin/. I have never seen anything like these tattoos. 

Another example of beautiful colors and distinct blending. 

Do I love this tattoo or am I maybe blinded by the beauty and “coolness” of this model.

the tattoos I am most drawn too, can be categorized into two differing types.  First: simple and elegant lines and patterns;  second: bright and bold colors. This is the one I am leaning towards getting. Something about the simplicity of the lines calms me. While I am more drawn to big and bold colors; something about the simplicity and evenness of the lines calms me. Ever since I was born, I have always had an uncanny knack for creating unnecessary chaos in my life. My parents used to say they could always know where to find me by following a path of discarded and broken items. My husband is always shocked and annoyed at how quickly I can turn a room, or, my life, upside down. I tend to worry about everything and focus on the unimportant little things in life and I think this tattoo would serve as a consistent reminder to simplify my thinking. I don’t know why I think that way, but even just looking at the even circles makes me feel more peaceful.

I also really like this one but I don’t think I would get it on my hand. Mainly because, I don’t think I would be able to get away with it as an elementary teacher.

A couple more……LOVE all OF THESE!