OOTD: When A Dress Makes Sense

Guess what, y'all? It's hot as all get out in Saint Louis. I don't really mind summer - I like camping, pools, nights in the park, and all the activities that accompany the season. However, when it gets too hot to wear jeans, I start to get grumpy. I'm a denim girl through and through. But when our temperatures start hovering around 90 degrees and up, I start falling apart. I feel boring in dresses, and I also feel like so many dresses these days are poorly designed, don't fit well, and are generally unflattering. However, every once in a great while I stumble across a vintage pretty that fits well, is breezy, and still sort of fits with my style. 

I hit a secondhand jackpot at my local Goodwill recently, and this dress happened to be there that day. The 90s are so in right now, as well as dark florals. Now that it's hot as heck in Saint Louis, and I also have been healing up a new, large leg tattoo, I've gravitated uncharacteristically towards dresses, so this one has seen a lot of use since I snapped it up for like $9. I can't really argue when it fits so well, too! 

Many thanks to my darling friend Emmy for snapping these photos recently when we met up for brunch! Check her blog out over at That Cheap Bitch - I heard a rumor that she'll be updating again shortly! I can't wait to see her this fall when I'm back in NYC for Fashion Week. 

Outfit Details:
Dress: Goodwill   |   Bag: Avalon Exchange   |   Sandals: Revive Thrift Shop
Necklace: Fable & Lore   |   Sunglasses: Hand-me-downs from Grandma

Tune Tuesday: Kaytranada's 99.9%

A few Tune Tuesday posts ago, I featured Låpsley, a young artist who's exploding on the scene. Imagine my surprise when I just discovered that prominent producer, DJ, and creative master Kaytranada, is only 23 years old. I often joke that this makes me feel like I've accomplished nothing in life, but that's silly business. But when Kaytranada has already been touring, opening for Madonna, and worked with names like AlunaGeorge, I sure feel like I need to get working! 

Born in Haiti, but raised and based in Canada, Kaytaranda's style is modern, electronic, and much to his father's joy, features cultural beat references. There's something for everyone on the album, but my best recommendations are "Glowed Up" and "Vivid Dreams." Otherwise if you're looking for something super chill, hit up "Bus Ride." The song "Got it Good" features Craig David, who has Usher-like pipes, and is great for those who wanna spend all their cash on their babe. If you're feeling like hitting up something a little more retro, peep "Breakdance Lesson N.1." 

Do you have any young artists you've been grooving to lately?

On Getting Road Trip Ready: Nashville!

Let’s be real. I love my city, but sometimes it’s really great to just get the heck out of it for a few days at a time. I'm doing just that starting this afternoon! Road trips are one of the easiest ways to do that, and one of Saint Louis’ best qualities is that it’s situated in the middle of a good number of cities that make great weekend getaways. I’ve done Chicago, Kansas City, and Memphis, but the one that seems to be the most popular amongst my friends is the one I’ve never been to - Nashville! Or, "Nashvegas" as some of my pals lovingly call it. I’m long overdue for a road trip in general so it only makes sense that I’d hit the city I’ve never experienced. Because I'm road trip rusty, I thought I'd share a little bit about how I've been preparing for the journey! 

My first thought when planning a new trip usually revolves around Can My Car Handle This? If you know me in the real world, you'll know that I recently sold the car I'd been driving for 10 years. I was ready for a new decade-long relationship on wheels, and my little Mazda 3, Ozzy, is much better equipped to travel further than just across Saint Louis City. I spent some time with my dad this past weekend getting more acquainted with all of Ozzy's innards, levels, and tire air to make sure she's road trip-ready. Aside from low air in her spare tire, she's in the clear! 

The next big thing I always think about when it comes to travel is What The Hell Happens To My Wallet? Budgeting isn't always a perfect science, but because I've been traveling on my own more frequently, I'm able to better plan my spending. The first things I factor in are travel expenses, accommodation expenses, and food. Travel expenses aren't terrible when it comes to road tripping, especially if you've got a buddy to share gas purchases with. Accommodation expenses were originally going to be low or nonexistent as my partner has a close friend we had hoped to stay with, but alas! She is out of town. Luckily, Airbnb offers such a wide range of places to book, we were able to find a cute spot for a great price. This will be my first time staying at an Airbnb, but I have heard so many great stories about being able to stay with locals and learning about the city from a dweller. Check back for our experience at the "Nashville Nest!" Our host sounds so friendly and sweet. I can't wait to meet her!

Food is really where I run into trouble because I LIKE TO EAT. I also like to try local favorites and recommended spots, so sometimes I end up at hot spots that have menu prices reflecting their popularity. I would totally love to splurge, but I'm gonna try my best to be a good girl. Some joints I've been eyeballing as recommended to me by friends are (images above L-R):
1) Biscuit Love - A food truck success story with brunch eats and an emphasis on local.
2) Two Ten Jack - Japanese flair pub with ramen, sushi, and more with a lady chef!
3) The Pharmacy - A lovely outside biergarten space with local beef, and a soda fountain!
4) The Lipstick Lounge - A queer bar aimed at the ladies. Well, duh. 

And of course, you know I gotta budget in a little bit of shopping! I hit up ALIVE Magazine's Fashion Editor and big-time Nashville fan, Sarah Stallmann, for some ideas. She sent over a list she actually compiled just last month! From that list, I think I'll be checking out: 
1) Local Honey - Apparently merchandised impressively for easy shopping!
2) Hip Zipper - A wide range of eras with affordable prices? Yes, please!
3) Nashville Flea - A giant flea market? Sign me the heck up. I love a good hunt. 

Unlike my travels to New York Fashion Week, I don't fret too much about fashion choices when it comes to road trips. Ultimately, we're looking at 90 degree temperatures, so I'm focused on packing light summer clothes and staying comfortable. I have a feeling overalls might be going with me... perhaps my cowboy boots, too! 

Have you been to Nashville lately? Do you have any favorite spots to hit while there?

Mani Monday: Nonie Creme Colour Prevails

What happens when fashion and beauty collide? A whole helluva lotta things, but when that fusion comes from someone with a trained artistic eye, a passion for color, and pointed inspiration, you know it's gonna be good. Plus when you throw in the fact that the company's director is a self-proclaimed style chameleon much like myself, you've got a winner in my book. 

I was in Walgreens this weekend and spied a new end-of-aisle installation of some super pretty makeup packaging. Of course, I see nail polish and immediately bee-line to any new display. It turns out that my location got hip to the drugstore line of Nonie Creme Colour Prevails. 

Nonie Creme Colour Prevails is a new makeup brand by the former founding Creative Director of ButterLONDON, Nonie Creme. She draws her inspiration from the artistry of fashion, and felt particularly drawn to Alexander McQueen's 2001 runway stunner, "VOSS." I remember watching the video sometime last year of that runway/performance piece and just being totally mesmerized. The woman inside the box of moths and butterflies was alive, nude, and terrified. As soon as I heard that her packaging was even remotely inspired by McQueen's "VOSS," I knew I needed to scoop something up.

I snatched up one of their nail polishes in the color "Clacker," and can't wait to try it out this week and report back! The polish line is “five free," meaning no nasty chemicals like DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. The bottle is not only pretty - it's mean to assist you in your at-home polishing: "The Precision Painter brush has a patented, ergonomically designed handle that intuitively guides your grip for precise, professional quality application." I'm stoked to see if it feels any different than applying with other brands' brushes. 

Have you seen Nonie Creme Colour Prevails' products yet? Do you buy stuff based on pretty packaging just like I do? 

Friday Finds: Lauren B's Etsy Shop

Confession time! I'm a huge online window shopper. During lunch breaks or bouts of boredom, I often end up wandering aimlessly through various online catalogs, even if I actually rarely purchase anything. Right now, I'm in an online shopping dry spell because I've been a good girl and saving for things I really, really want (like a new tattoo!). When I do get a buying bug, I often turn to Etsy, because it offers a wide variety of handmade to vintage to reworked items. 

You might recognize the name Lauren Busiere from pasts posts on my blog - she's the tattoo artist that has done all the work on my left arm! If you'd like to see a bit more about her work on me, check out this post. At the moment, she is focusing more on art, creating, her framing business, and selling awesome vintage finds rather than focusing on tattooing. This means I've been creeping her Etsy shop a whole lot as she updates rather frequently.

I'm forever in a state of not quite nesting in my home, but really needing to do so. This means I ought to get my act together and start to actually settle in my current apartment. It's not my ideal setup, but the space is nice, and I have the feeling I could make it "mine." I'm a fan of little items here and there that help bring character to a space, so although I'd prefer to move towards a more minimal state in my apartment, I do love to have trinkets. Pack rat status runs in my family for sure.

Outside of her vintage finds, Lauren also has illustrated a number of coloring books for purchase through her etsy shop! Who's going to download the Prince and David Bowie ones with me?!

Find Lauren here:
Etsy
Facebook
Instagram

Tune Tuesday: Wild Beasts' "Get My Bang"

I've never been the biggest fan of indie rock, to be perfectly honest. I like what I like, and I either latch onto a group or I don't. One group I sunk my claws into several years ago is Wild Beasts, and indie rock outfit hailing from England. I fell in love with vocalist Hayden Thorpe's ringing falsetto, especially on songs like "All the King's Men" from their sophomore studio album, Two Dancers. His voice meshes so well with that of Tom Fleming's, and I love the juxtaposition of how they sing together. 

When I saw the announcement that Wild Beasts had released a new track and would be dropping an album later this year, I about squealed. I haven't followed them religiously since Two Dancers, and need to catch up on their other two albums before the impending Boy King is released, so I'm a bit behind. I'm highly digging "Get My Bang," with the exception of that strange, quiet midsection of the song. Have you listened to Wild Beasts before? What do you think of the new track?

Makeup Monday: Julep's Tinted Lip Oil

I admittedly have not been binging on lip products as I used to. My makeup routine has become more and more minimal lately due to incredibly, surprisingly healthy skin. I realized just now that I think I often overcompensated with lipstick or big cateye liner because I felt it might distract from breakouts on my face, but now that my skin has been holding steady in the clear zone for about a month, I'm moving more into fresh, natural looks. I've been using a few lip products over and over again, and one product was graciously gifted to me by my pal Bee! 

I used to have a subscription to Julep's monthly boxes, but I decided that being able to choose my polishes from varying brands might be more exciting to readers who like my mani posts. Bee told me that she'd received a lip product that she wasn't super crazy about due to the color, so she handed it over to me. This lip oil is a fun product, and I've been wearing it a lot over the last week. Because it's sheer, it's great to layer over lip balm for just a pop of color and shine. I learned within the first day or two that this lip oil is more of a humectant and not a moisturizer, however. Humectants are not designed to soften your lips, so if your lips tend to be dry like mine and require lip balm action nearly 24/7, you'd need balm under the Julep Your Lip Addiction oil as well. I'm always willing to work with products I like to best suit me, and applying my beloved Smith’s Brambleberry Rose Lip Balm under the lip oil solves my dry lip problems. 

Have you tried any other lip oils? How do they work for you?

Tune Tuesday: Låpsley

Young musicians continually blow my mind when their sound is full, mature, and mesmerizing. One such artist is Låpsley, who at only 19, has already had Adele attend one of her performances. There's no room to wonder why - her voice is stunning. I immediately fell in love with her video for the haunting "Falling Short." The song is incredible, and the video references religion, art, and performance. It's a tune that you may not find familiar emotions in the lyrics, but it feels like something you've experienced before. Like a smell you recognize but can't place. 

Fans of HAIM, Sohn, Banks, and CHVRCHES will likely love her song "Hurt Me" as much as I do. 

Foodie Friday: Avocado Toast w/ Andrea

I recently stopped by my bestie Andrea's home for brunch, and she made some of the most delicious goodies ever for us to eat! We drank almost an entire bottle of champagne, caught up about what's been going on in our lives (a whole lot!), and ate till we were stuffed. After I left, I knew I needed to share at least one recipe from brunch with you! 

Avocado toast has been making the rounds as the "it" item to make these days. It's filling, and perfect for bread lovers like me. Since you use avocado instead of butter, cheese, or jam, it's a bit more healthy for you as well, and you can doctor it up to fit your favored flavors! 

Avocado Toast

Ingredients
~ 2 slices of your favorite bread (Andrea likes Companion
~ 1 avocado
~ Olive oil
~ Fresh lemon
~ Red pepper flakes
~ Salt and pepper

Andrea's recipe is adapted from the popular weblog Smitten Kitchen, which you can find here. Essentially all ya gotta do is toast your chosen bread slices so they're just a bit crispy. While they're toasting, mash your ripe avocado in a bowl, and then spread across your toast. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon over the avocado, and then sprinkle your salt/pepper/red pepper flakes on top. It's simple, it's delicious, and ridiculously hard to mess up. Unless you burn your toast almost every time like I do (and I don't like it burnt!). 

Andrea also cooked up an incredible veggie hash and topped it with a pan-fried egg as the main course, but lemme tell you - I could eat avocado toast all day long and not complain.

Have you jumped on this toast train yet? What other toppings might you choose?

Mani Monday: Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors

Oh, Kylie Jenner! You make waves in the world even if you just take a sip of tea. But because your name is so huge now, any venture you go into gains a massive amount of exposure as well. The popularity of your lip kits crashed your website within minutes of their release. I was surprised to find your name on Sinful Colors bottles in the first place at Walgreens, and doubly surprised when they seemed fully stocked. Perhaps I was shopping the day after a shipment? 

In true Kylie fashion, many of the colors' names in your lines with SC are awkwardly spelled with a "K" where a "C" should be - such as the color I'm reporting on here: "Kurtsey." I was curious about the claim that this polish is a demi-matte, but I was pleased to find the descriptor was accurate upon application. I struggled a little bit with applying this polish because it is slightly on the thick side, and I ended up using three thin coats to achieve full opacity. 

Although I'm mildly annoyed by the name, "Kurtsey" is a great spring color. It's pastel, but not pure cream, and has the teensiest bit of shimmer. The polish lasted a good 5 or so days before I sustained a significant chip, so staying power is in the stronger range. I'm wearing another color by Kylie on my toes that I hope to review for you next week too, and it's going on about 10 days of wear time with no chipping. As usual, I'm impressed with the quality that Sinful Colors puts out!

Have you tried any of the Kylie nail polishes? I might have to pick up one of the shimmers from the "Denim & Bling" line too! "After Dark" is calling my name. 

Polishes Used:
Pastel Purple: "Kurtsey" by Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors
Base & Top Coats: Seche Vite