Back At It: JORD's Wood Watches (Contest!)

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I've never been the best with accessories. I typically stick to the same earrings, several necklaces, and a bandana here and there, but I know there's always room to up the ante on my accessory game. Everyone seems to be jumping on the smart watch train, but for me, I've decided to stay a little more traditional. A couple years ago, I teamed up with JORD for the first time, but they've since expanded their offerings, and have even more stylish options. I'd been thinking about looking into a dark or black watch to wear, and with perfect timing, JORD reached out to see if I'd like to do another collaboration! This time, I'm also able to offer a little contest, so that you could win a gift card towards your own watch as well. 

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The watch I'm wearing here (and will have more photos to share of soon!) is the new edition of the Frankie watch. You can find more about it and get a closer view HERE.

With JORD's help, I'm sponsoring a little contest! One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to spend on JORD's site, and all other entries receive an automatic $25 off. Enter from now until 11:59pm on 10/22! Contest link: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/bl128906ig

Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 11/30/2017.
Best of luck! 

Photo c/o Roach x ReprsntSTL

OOTD: Oversized Comfy Neutrals in Winter

Saint Louis winters can be totally batty. We've recently had mid-day snowfall, followed by a 60+ degree day. Luckily, my wardrobe is just about as nuts. I don't really even have seasonal clothing any longer, which works out well for the wild weather changes we've seen in our city. Something I also don't have much of happens to be lounge-oriented casual clothing, so I've slowly been gathering items that I feel cute in while doing just about nothing, whether it's hanging at a friend's place or reading a book at a coffeeshop. 

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Most of my everyday wear is compromised of a mix of new and old, but the only new thing in this outfit are the leggings. A few months ago I started seeing a lot of online promotions for a company called Girlfriend Collective, advertising that they were manufacturing and selling the best leggings in the world - or so they claimed. Because of their strong advocacy for recycling, being Earth-friendly, and their transparency regarding their facility practices, I thought I'd see what all the hullabaloo was about. I ordered a pair and waited a few weeks for them to arrive. My verdict? I like how high-waisted and thick they are, so that I feel comfortable wearing them without them being see-through, but they're not the perfect pair for me. Having athletic legs makes me feel like I'm pulling on a scuba suit with the Girlfriend leggings, and I end up feeling like they fall down a lot because my waist is smaller than my thighs. However, for the mere $20 I paid for them during their promotion (their full line of items should be released this spring), they get the job done. 

This oversized Christian Dior sweater I snatched up at a Goodwill has kept me warm through several winters, and this rather ridiculous coat also hails from a secondhand shop. Honestly, I feel if you have the patience and dedication, you can find some of the most amazing and unique items secondhand. This little elf hat, however, was picked up at a handmade market probably a good five years ago, and I don't wear it nearly as often as I should. It's a testament to how many clothes I truly have - even after I donated FIVE bags when I moved two weeks ago - to say that I also don't wear these boots as often as they deserve. 

I may never be just a t-shirt and sweatpants type of gal, but I'm definitely trying to find my comfort zone when it comes to all occasions. We'll see what happens. 

Photos by Allan Crain.


Outfit Details:
Coat, Sweater & Necklace: Goodwill|  Leggings: Girlfriend Collective  |  Glasses: Zenni
Sunglasses: Parsimonia Vintage  |  Boots: Avalon Exchange  |  Hat: Handmade
 

Clean and Classic: Nubar's Charmeuse

Recently, a locally-based company reached out to me to ask if I'd like to collaborate with them on a few posts. As soon as I saw the name Face and Body Shoppe, I knew I was in (good) trouble. I have a not-so-secret obsession with beauty products. However, leading a sustainably-focused life can get tricky with all the options available these days. Finding products that are health-oriented and not tested on animals sometimes feels like a wild goose chase. Luckily, Face and Body Shoppe - a start-up company based in Chesterfield, MO - is committed to moving towards only offering natural makeup and health products. Starting with only cruelty-free items sounds like they're on the right track to me! 

They graciously have let me try out a few items from their site, and you are absolutely correct if you guessed I started with nail products. I've never had the chance to play with Nubar polishes, so I jumped at the chance. Nubar was founded by a fellow on a mission after family members battled cancer - create nail products that are without harmful chemicals as well as cruelty-free. 

This gorgeous dusty rose color, "Charmeuse," is a creamy polish that applied well. I didn't do *the best* job as I was in a bit of a hurry, so you can see that by day two, I suffered a little unevenness along the edges of my nails. However, I'm currently at almost 7 days and the polish is still hanging in there! "Charmeuse" is perfect for me at this weird point in my life - I feel like my personal style is all over the place. Having a polish handy that is classic, clean, and cute makes me feel a little less scatter-brained. Clean up with an eyeliner brush dipped in polish remover helped give my nails an almost salon-like look, too. 

Thanks to the Face and Body Shoppe for sponsoring this post! I'm super excited to try a few more of their products - stay tuned for more coverage on the blog. 


Polishes Used: 
Dusty Rose: Nubar's "Charmeuse" (c/o Face and Body Shoppe)
Top Coat: Seche Vite (c/o Face and Body Shoppe)
Base Coat: Seche Vite

#TatChatTuesday: STL's Brittany Browers

If you're a bar-goer in Saint Louis, and have an affinity for alternative or indie music, and have frequented fashion events, you might have bumped into this groovy lady at some point. Brittany Browers has been DJing for several years, for both party people and stylish folks. She's also spent a good deal of time collecting a variety of tattoos. Welcome to our first installation of #TatChatTuesday, where I feature friends and their love of this old art form!

When it comes to “collecting,” Brittany and I both share the same background: we’ve both always wanted to join the tattoo crew. She says, “As long as I can remember as a kid, I would draw on myself and pretend they were tattoos (I mean, that's what gel pens were for, right?).” With about 10 pieces, Brittany says that a few of her pieces are significant, but others represent something she likes. For as long as I’ve known her, I can recall her interest in extraterrestrial life, which the beautiful work photographed in this post showcases (find the artist that did her UFO tattoo here). One of the best things about getting a tattoo to represent something you’re passionate about is that it can be done in just about any way - including humorous ways! 

Everyone collects tattoos for their own personal reasons, but I also agree with Brittany when she says "I also feel like someone can tell a lot about me by the subject matter of tattoos." We both have work by Lauren Busiere, an artist you might remember hearing about a few times on my blog (here and here). Lauren has referred to a lot of her work as "cosmic jewelry," and Brittany views her collection as a sort of "permanent jewelry," which also echoes my opinion. It's art that I will have forever. 

Speaking of the permanency of ink, Brittany has a few thoughts for those considering to jump into a chair: "Make sure it's something you're committed to. Even if it's 'funny' or a 'joke' tattoo (hey, we all have 'em), that shit is going to be on you forever, so make sure it's something you're ok with for always. For example, when getting a Friday the 13th tattoo, I almost got a little beer mug. Funny now, yes, but then I thought about being like, a 50 year old mom or something, and did I really want beer on me? The answer was no. So I went with something else (the little dice duo you see pictured)."

One of the questions people often ask is "Does it hurt?" Every location on your body is different, and everyone handles the pain in their own way. Brittany has a gramophone done by Lauren Busiere on the inside of her upper arm, and says that it was likely her most rough piece to receive. She pointed out that in the same tattoo piece, one part may hurt much worse than the other, and I can confirm this! I have a large piece on my right leg, and the back of my thigh is infinitely more tender than just several inches over. Something I always reiterate to folks interested in starting a collection of their own is this: getting tattooed is essentially undergoing a prolonged moment of receiving an injury, and you will have to learn how your body reacts to it. Brittany suggests paying attention to your breathing and focusing on that helps her stay steady during sessions.

I asked Brittany if there was anything she wishes she'd known about tattoos before diving into a collection, and she says that being warned how addictive they truly are may have helped. She says, "I don't know of anybody who has just one tattoo and is totally satisfied with having just one. I'm sure those people are out there, but I don't know them." I myself will realize that I'm in the middle of getting tattooed, and my mind wanders off to what I might potentially want next! Brittany says she's also almost always thinking about what is next on the docket for ink - even if it just happens to strike her out of the blue. 

A lot of people have a dream tattoo that they're chasing down. Some people get it immediately, and some people take a few years and sessions to happen upon the idea. Brittany's dream piece is a large work based on a photograph of her Nana riding a horse. Because I'm an ultra creep, I remember that Brittany once posted an Instagram of this photograph, so I dug it up for you. It's so joyous! I bet it will make a stunning tattoo, and I'm excited to see her start it. 


Thanks to Brittany for being a lovely subject!
Follow her along on her own blog, Denvious, and her DJing page here

Photography courtesy of A. Gillardi Photo.
 

OOTD: Post Holiday Plaid & Print Play

Holy shoot, y'all, it's 2017. It's winter, the weather is finally acting like it, and we're officially moving out of the year from hell for most people. I'm pretty stoked on what's to come. I've been focusing a lot the last few days on feeling grateful for all the best parts of my life currently, some of which include: my supportive family, my super rad coworkers/company, hard personal work that is paying off both career-wise and financially, and an expanding circle of amazing friends.

Sometimes those new friends are even talented photographers, who also then become your latest coworker at your super rad company! I met Lily Voss last year, and she just started working with me this week. Outside of her new voyage into the email marketing world, Lily is a photographer with her own business, which you can find more on here. We met up last weekend so I could hop back on my outfit post wagon in order to start 2017 off strong. This past year, my blog fell a little (okay a lot) to the side, and I'm prepared to revitalize it, bit by bit. 

Something I used to be totally, utterly terrified of was print-mixing! I feel like so many people can pull it off effortlessly, while I hem-haw in the mirror wondering if I look like a dweeb. However, I simply need to remind myself that I shouldn't give a flying flip what people think of how I dress. Another thing I'm focusing on this year (call it a resolution, if you must) is to actively work on pleasing myself first and foremost. That includes wearing whatever I want, whenever I want. Especially when it comes to fantastic vintage blazers and secondhand shirt dresses. 

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again - sometimes I feel like "meeting" a piece of clothing is meant to be. I was having a "treat yoself" day on Christmas Eve, and popped into Parsimonia Vintage, where this lovely little number jumped out at me. I slipped it on and knew immediately that it was coming home with me. 

Because I'm a certified weirdo, I find wearing just one item boring, and that's why I couldn't leave well enough alone and wear this shirt dress by itself. It was a find on the site thredUP - an online resale shop and giant consignment marketplace. Because I'm dedicated to only buying secondhand or ethically/sustainably-sourced/USA-made clothing, this is the PERFECT place for me to shop online. You'll find anything from fast fashion to designer digs. Y'all know I'm not really a dress person, but the collar, length, and stripes on this piece screamed my name. 

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I finally also joined the Ray-Ban band, too. I've been eyeballing these on just about ALL of my friends. The rounded shape and size is flattering on just about everyone. I have to give a major shout-out to Simon Premium Outlets for inviting me out to a blogger shopping spree last month, which gave me the opportunity to afford these bangin' shades. I know, I KNOW - Ray-Bans are no longer USA-made as of the late '90s. I broke my rule with these babies - but I did spend the rest of my shopping spree on holiday gifts for my family. So for that, Premium Outlets, I am indebited to you!

Thanks again to Lily Voss Photography for these snaps!
Find her on Facebook here

Outfit Details: 
Dress: c/o thredUP  |  Blazer: Parsimonia Vintage  |  Necklace: Gift  |  Glasses: Zenni Optical
Rings & Bracelets: Vintage  |  Dr. Martens: Secondhand  |  Ray-Bans: c/o Simon Premium Outlets

Saturday Sounds: Gallant

It admittedly took me quite some time to finally jump on the Spotify train. I joined just a few months ago with the intention of really broadening my music horizons. Outside of being a music-lover through and through, exploring new sounds is vital to a DJ's career - and if there's anything I hate, it's being stuck and stagnant. Spotify has been turning me on to artists right and left, including this incredibly talented young artist, Gallant. 

He's only been around for about 3 years, and I think that's pretty amazing considering he was just on Jimmy Fallon (above) to support his new album, Ology. His smooth R&B sound and vocal range immediately caught my attention, as it did for the Fallon audience. His performance was met with serious enthusiasm from Fallon himself, as well as a standing ovation from the crowd. 

I'm a big "feeler," and sometimes I just really don't want to listen to love songs or breakup songs or songs about getting turnt. Gallant is the perfect medium for those moods. His lyrics lean more towards poetry than you might find on the radio, but they're still accessible. For instance, if you're in a spot in your life where you're not entirely sure where you're headed, check out "Skipping Stones." It's honest, heartfelt, but not entirely too sad. 

Let me know if you check Gallant out!

Tat Chat: Saint Louis' Cammeron Donnelly

You might have heard I have some new ink. I'm turning into one of those people that requires acquiring a new tattoo every few months, otherwise I start to get a little antsy! In January, I sought out the super talented Cammeron Donnelly to do a David Bowie tribute tattoo. Camm is patient, thoughtful, creative, and easy to work with. I love collaborating on projects with my tattoo artists so that I get something pretty unique, and also allows the artist to put their own style into the work. After the success of my Bowie piece, I knew Camm was the one to continue working with! I started my leg sleeve with him in May, and wanted to help you get to know him as well. Read on below to learn more about this awesome human!

Camm has been tattooing for about 11 years after starting his first apprenticeship around 2004. He bopped around in shops until landing in Seattle's Lucky Devil South with Ernie Gosnell, Paco Rollins and the rest of the team. He says of the shop, "It wasn't until I met them that I realized what I was looking for the whole time. Community, family, a sense of belonging. They are truly my family and never will let me forget it." I think most of us look for that in a work space! 

When I asked Camm about his inspirations, he mentioned Alphonse Mucha, which I can see reflected in Camm's renderings of beautiful women. Another inspiration is a familiar name to the public: Don Ed Hardy - famous for his tattoos on clothing and accessories. One of his other inspirations is R.K. Sloane, who is well known for his macabre and fascinating works of art. I think you can see that a little bit in Camm's personal work and original designs - I love some of his "spookier" work! Speaking of spooky, Camm houses some of his equipment in a stunning mini-coffin with gorgeous velvet interior. Maybe he's a vampire as well as a tattooer. The coins embedded in his machine caught my photographer Abby's eye, and Camm tells us that they represent his grandfather: the big coin is from his cremation and the little ones are Liberty coins from his birth year.

I asked Camm out of curiosity if there's anything he'd never tattoo on someone based on his personal preference. I was thinking he'd say something more along the lines of "knuckle tattoos" or an image he finds silly, but he responded with "Hate tattoos. Tattooing was meant to be a form of self expression. if thats something you feel expresses who you are than your money could be better spent talking to someone about your misguided priorities." Agreed, Camm. The projects he prefers to work on are larger scale, such as sleeves or back pieces. I often joke about those areas being "prime real estate," and he echoed my sentiment with "I enjoy the labor of making the tattoo look like it was supposed to be there - like it's always been there. Let's be honest, there's more room to sink your teeth into and really give it all you've got."

Speaking of great real estate, I started working on my leg sleeve in May with Camm! I'm a huge nerd (if you didn't already know), and an important part of growing up for me was ravenously devouring books. The Tolkien world of Middle Earth was one of my favorites, and I really wanted to pay homage to my love for his work. If I was going to start with a large piece, I knew it needed to be dynamic, fantastical, and fun. One of the most climatic events in Tolkien-tale is when Smaug the dragon is smoked right out of the sky, so I focused on that - I knew Camm would be down to dance with a dragon and do some incredible work. And here we are! 

The majority of this outline session was pretty easy - but I can say with certainty the back of my leg was an absolute nightmare. I am NOT looking forward to working on that again. I'll be adding color in a month or two, and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out. Stay tuned!

Camm is a dream to work with, so if you're in the market for a new piece, seek him out currently at Iron Age in the Delmar Loop. He welcomes consultations, so give him a call there and talk to him about your next idea! 

Find more of Camm here:
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Photos: Abby Gillardi

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
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