OOTD: Lil Plants and Ripped Pants

Last month, I had the opportunity to host an amazing shopping party at one of my favorite places, May's Place. In conjunction with May's Place and Hex STL, I spent a Sunday afternoon hanging out with friends, drinking local tea from Big Heart Tea Co, and supporting sustainability in Saint Louis (and beyond). I wrote a blog post before the event, if you'd like to check that out!

Since I focus a lot on sustainability in my personal life, I knew that when it came time to decorate my apartment, I'd want to curate my space accordingly. I found a fun set of vintage barrel mugs at May's Place before our event, and knew they were perfect to use as planters! Why buy new, boring pots for your green babies when you can repurpose something with a lot of character?

I don't mind a mono-chromatic look in my outfits - if you know me, I'm regularly guilty of wearing denim on denim. This soft, lightweight top I found at May's Place is perfect for transitioning into summer. I look forward to wearing it with my cutoff shorts and sandals all season long. Recently, local shop Living Collective had a sidewalk sale that I scooped a few new items up at. I've mentioned before that my figure is currently a bit more curvy than it has been in the past... and when you wear jeans constantly, you find that you need a couple pairs that have a lot of stretch and wiggle room. I also found these cute beige flats at the sidewalk sale, which are perfect for just about everything. My footwear game used to be loud and wild, but I've become a lot more function-focused in my old age (ha!). 

I hope you'll visit some of my favorite shops this summer while searching for your warm-weather wear! May's Place is on Ivanhoe near Lindenwood Park. Living Collective in just over in the Central West End. That amazing bolo tie is from a Manmade pop-up shop, and they'll be hosting another one soon in Alton, IL! 

Photos: Lily Voss Photography


Outfit Details: 
Top: May's Place  |  Jeans and Shoes: Living Collective  |  Bolo Tie: Manmade

Music Video Monday: The Weeknd, "Secrets"

Having just been added to Forbes' list of highest paid celebrities, it's not a surprise to see The Weeknd drop another stunning video. If you've got the money, you best be poppin' out pretty pictures. I almost wanted all of the videos from Starboy to reflect the treatment that "Party Monster" received, but I'm glad in the end that they didn't. I understand that all that wild '80s nostalgia is a bit overwhelming. However, if you're a fan of music from the '80s, you probably will jive with "Secrets" - it rips lyrics from the Romantics' Eighties hit "Talking in Your Sleep" and also features samples from Tears for Fears' "Pale Shelter."

Although the video for "Secrets" isn't anything brand new concept-wise, it's shot well, and I am in love with the scenery (apparently part of it was shot at the University of Toronto). I'm a sucker for anything that's reminiscent of the morphing castle scene in the movie Labyrinth, or might nod its head to A-ha's mind-bending "Take On Me" visuals

If I can't get the '80s treatment on "Secrets" too, I can at least appreciate the fact that the album's cross/crucifix motif appears in this video as well. 

If you like The Weeknd and his work, you can also find another new song/music video he's been featured in from Lana Del Rey: she and Abel get a little illegal by climbing around on the Hollywood sign for her song "Lust For Life."

Love Your Mother (Earth) at May's Place

Hi, friends! If you're in the Saint Louis area and are looking for weekend plan ideas, I've got something for you to do! You might remember me posting about May's Place before on the blog (here) because I'm a huge fan of its mission and lovely, curated vintage finds. In collaboration with Hex STL and May's Place, I'm hosting an afternoon of shopping, socializing, and supporting charity this coming Sunday, May 7th. We will have tea to sip from local favorite Big Heart Tea Co., and we're inviting everyone to bring in an item to donate to Support the Girls as well. Read on below!

With Mother's Day right around the corner, and Earth Day just passing us by, we knew we wanted to tie these two elements to our event. May's Place's slogan is "Be Green, Buy Vintage," and you're probably familiar with my goal to live a sustainable lifestyle. Think of our original mother, Earth, when shopping for your mamas! Buying vintage is the ultimate green option. Supporting local pours funds back into our own communities. Change your mindset, change the world. 

May's Place not only offers a hand-selected variety of vintage goods and clothing, but also carries local items. Lonesome Traveler (pictured above) has built a huge following in our city with their darling hand-crafted accessories for both men and women. Also found in-shop are candles poured just for May's Place. I suggest you sniff the Egyptian Amber because it's absolutely heavenly. If you're looking for a sweet, easy way to liven up your home, you can snatch up an embroidered hoop by local maker, The Wind and the Sun, like the one below!

We're looking forward to hanging out with you this Sunday! We're even more excited to offer you 10% off your purchase with a donation of gently used bras or new feminine hygiene items like tampons, pads, and other menstrual hygiene products to benefit Support the Girls - a local charity that distributes these items to homeless women in the St. Louis community. See you soon!

Love Your Mother (Earth)
When: Sunday, May 7th, 12 - 4pm
Where: May's Place, 3249 Ivanhoe Ave

RSVP on Facebook Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1760429714286395/

On The Lessons of Hitting Rock Bottom

A few days ago, I lifted my glasses to my face and momentarily couldn't figure out why my vision was blurry. I took my glasses off and realized they were stained with tear streaks. Oh, good heavens. What have I gotten myself into?

It's Earth Day weekend 2017 and I haven't left my house once today, except to let the dog out. Our weather started out with drizzles and a completely overcast sky, but has since changed to sun, with our beautiful Midwest clouds floating by. I've always been a fan of Earth Day, and it's most definitely something I would love to be more involved with. But, what if I can't even get off the couch? What if my fears overweigh my desire to go party with my eco-conscious community? 

I once made a promise to be more "real" on this blog. I believe it was just over a year ago, and for a while, I followed through and delivered. Then, life happened. A lot of life happened that included a lot of promises that were unfulfilled. In the past year, I've gone through just about every ringer you could ever name. Coming out on the other side of months and months of changes, hard work, unconditional self-giving, and heartbreak has left me asking a lot of questions about myself and how I relate to others. The more I open up to other people about what 2016 was for me, the more I hear back, "I can't believe that happened" and "That makes no sense whatsoever." And last month, when things went from unbelievable to pure and utter confusion for me, I fell apart. 

Fun fact: People change. Even more fun fact: Sometimes, people change so fast, so immensely, that you're left in the dust of what once was and you hide under your bedcovers because the weight of the confusion scares you too much to function. 

Here's the most fun fact, and my first lesson learned: It's okay to fall apart. Sadness and anxiety can combine into a total tempest and knock you off your feet. I've been thinking a lot about how the internet and social media glamorize anxiety, depression, and often: people don't believe you when you're hurting or tell you to cheer up or "take care of yourself." When your body, which is meant to protect your heart and soul, betrays you and stops you from being able to eat, you drown. When you've lost your best friend and feel strange reaching out to other people because you don't want to dump your problems on them, you drown further. You sit in silence every moment of every day because music resurrects memories and emotions, and the silence makes you feel suffocated. And when you miss three days of work because you're already in so deep you can't breathe, you finally reach the bottom.
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There are all sorts of sayings and short anecdotes that I can use to describe what just happened in my life. I started to remind myself constantly that "it's always darkest before the dawn," which is a lyric pulled from Florence + The Machine's "Shake it Out," and I haven't even listened to this song in quite some time. I basically gave up on trying to be okay and just let the darkness happen. Sleeping for days on end eventually got old. Being weak and tired and emotionally terrified of social media and everyday life started to feel stale as well. Crying all the time after talking to anyone who was even the slightest bit of friendly became more frustrating than cathartic.  

Finally reaching out for help was about the most petrifying thing I've ever done, but it was the second lesson I learned. When you might think you need help, you likely do. Honestly, I could have used help a long time ago. Truth be told, I've kind of always thought I had quirks, but I never looked into where they might have sprouted from. Turns out, I'm a relatively anxious person that just sort of hides it well, and my quirks weren't quirks at all, but rather, small little ticking time bombs of anxiety traps. And it also turns out that therapy is about the best type of self-care one can do. Just because some people will find a way to survive without it, doesn't mean that you have to try, too. Listen to what you need from yourself - and if a seeking professional assistance is the answer, accept that call. 

Another lesson I'll share today is that it truly is important to not care what others think of you. I mean this in a sense of self-defense, not in a way of saying this gives you the right to do whatever you want, without regard for others' emotions or well-being (because there are people who actually live like this, I've learned). It means that if you decide to suddenly open up on your basically dead blog because you spent all your time on another human instead of writing, then so be it. 

My therapist made a great point this week about how people "like us" tend to give all of ourselves to those we adore, and although we should expect the same of others, we don't often receive it. And at some point, I need to understand that taking care of myself comes before taking care of others. Grieving is a process, and as long as you're not harming others while putting yourself first, you shouldn't care what others think. I never thought that I'd be at the tail-end of my twenties, sincerely excited to see a therapist and "move the hell on with my life." 

So, in honor of celebrating myself, and in honor of healing, I'm going to throw myself back into this. I'm going to write myself raw, and hopefully shed some light on how anxiety and depression are real things that happen to real people after traumatizing events. Therapy is good, and safe, and needed. Self-care can be crafted in even the littlest ways. I want to be myself again, and my blog has always been an extension of that self I have come to miss very dearly. 

Thanks for bothering to read my rambles, and thanks also in advance for following along on this little healing journey. I hope it's not too boring! Who am I kidding - it's going to be ANYTHING but boring from the looks of it. Seeya along the way. 

Mani Monday: Ella + Mila's "On The Runway"

Hey, darlings, I'm back with another Ella + Mila color. I purchased a three-pack during a sale they ran during the winter, so you're correct - I'm guilty of posting a lot of their products! I'm still very much in love with this brand's quality, and I have just one more color in my arsenal to post on here. Saint Louis has seen a number of spring storms lately, and this color was perfect to wear while seeing them roll through. 

In direct daylight, this color reminds me a bit of an old favorite of mine from Essie: "Petal Pushers," which I featured on the blog here. This Ella + Mila hue, "On the Runway," is much more gray, and darker, but I feel like it gives off the same mood. A little edgy, but not too harsh. A perfect match for my personality, perhaps? Gentle enough to hang out with air plants, but prickly enough to also own a bunch of cacti. This little air plant cutie comes from local shop Flowers & Weeds, of which I am on my way to becoming a frequent patron. I want a little jungle in my home.

As always, this polish brand's quality is A+. I did a full three coats of application to make sure that I didn't have any sheer streaks left from my brush. It lasted quite a while too! I think I wore this for nearly a full week before I sustained any noticeable chipping along the edges. In fact, I've been lazy and out of whack enough these past few weeks that I haven't even bothered to remove this polish... and it's still hanging on. 

After my next post of my last remaining Ella + Mila color, I hope to find a new brand to show you. Stay tuned! 


Products Used: 
Gray Polish: Ella + Mila's "On the Runway"
Base & Top Coat: Seche Vite (top coat c/o of Face & Body Shoppe)
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Mani Monday: Ella + Mila's "Blindfold Me"

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I appear to have a knack for buying nail polish with names that might be slightly suggestive. Or it could just be that nail polish companies like saucy names. Likely, a combination of both.

This rich navy blue comes from a company I've been loving lately for its 7-free chemical pledge, easy application, cruelty-free mission, and USA-made status. I've shared Ella+Milla on the blog before here, and I had been hoping to scoop some new colors up. Luckily, the brand just celebrated its 3rd birthday and ran a great promo, so I grabbed a set of three new polishes

I'm a sucker for darker hues like this - if you've been following along on my nail polish posts, I know I've mentioned a handful times that dark polishes are kinda my favorite. I think they're classy but also edgy at the same time. 

Although I still am not *perfect* at application, I feel like Ella+Mila's polish looks so professional. I had a coworker ask if it was a gel polish, actually! "Blindfold Me" was totally opaque in two coats. In fact, it just barely missed fully covering my nails with only one coat. Keeping my nails short most definitely also makes for easier application, so I've been filing them down lately. Keeping them short also helps with other more important things, like keeping my WPM in tip top shape for work or other such nerdy endeavors. 

I'm looking forward to trying out my other two new colors! Stay tuned to see how much I love them as well. 

Polishes Used:
Navy Blue: Ella+Mila's "Blindfold Me"
Base Coat: Seche Vite  |  Top Coat: Seche Vite, c/o Face and Body Shoppe

OOTD: Just Do It, Vintage Style

When you're all ready to admit that climate change is real and global warming is dancing around us with two middle fingers way up in the air, I'll be over here on this park bench in the middle of winter wearing NO COAT. Sure, I won't completely complain about being able to spend a weekend off in minimal layers, but let's not forget that the world is falling apart around us. Did I sufficiently ruin your morning? Cool, we can move on to talking about clothes again. 

I spied this vintage cropped Nike sweatshirt on Mesa Home's Instagram page a while back, and just about dropped whatever I was doing and booked it there. I'm a layer-er by nature, and I had this perfect combo in mind: toss that thing ontop a turtleneck and high-waisted jeans, and: voila! Just about everything I ever wanted in an outfit. Well, plus my trusty Converse and denim jacket. I sure crammed a lot of favorites into a Saturday brunch look. 

You'd think I might have beanies galore in my closet, but here's a fun fact: Up until the last few months, I only had one. I picked up this newbie at Swedlife in the Delmar Loop. It's a rad company, run by even more rad dudes, and they carry Carrots, a brand by super young and super talented Anwar Carrots. I'm particularly fond of this one because it's reversible: one side has the embroidered carrot logo, and the other has the name of the company. I also finally upped my sunglasses game thanks to the Simon Premium Outlets. I know I preach about my quest to wear only secondhand or sustainably-made clothing, but when the generous people at the Outlets say "have at it!" you treat yourself to something you know you'll have for years (therefore not buying multiple cheap sunnies that will break over time and then create more waste). I finally caught up with the Ray-Ban trend after all these years, and I'm pretty stoked. 

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Sure, I'm cheesin', but that's what happens you wear what makes you happy. Especially when 87% of what you wear falls within your "save the world" clothing parameters. Yes, I did the math.

I also wanted to give another shoutout to local startup Face and Body Shoppe for pampering me a while ago with some items to try. The gorgeous face you see here in these photos comes with the help of theBalm's Betty-Lou Manizer bronzer. This hyper pigmented product not only makes me feel like a million bucks, but also comes in some of the cutest packaging I've seen in a while. Y'all know I'm not going to argue with a pinup girl on my makeup, especially when she looks suspiciously like Bettie Page - one of my all-time biggest crushes. The nail polish you see peeking out in the above photo is also available at Face and Body Shoppe, and was recently featured here on the blog.

Well, today is supposed to be 76 degrees, and then it's supposed to snow on Saturday. I'll take what I can get. Seeya on the flipside of our wild weather.

Thanks to Lily Voss Photography for these great snaps! 


Outfit Details:
Earrings: Rebel+Ruse  |  Hat: Swedlife  |  Ray-Bans: c/o Simon Premium Outlets
Jacket & Shoes: Avalon Exchange  |  Turtleneck & Jeans: Goodwill  |  Sweatshirt: Mesa Home

Mani Monday: Ella+Mila's "Little Plum Dress"

Part of leading a sustainable lifestyle is paying closer attention to even the smallest of details - including what goes into making everyday products. For a while now, I've been more careful about buying nail polish brands that are 3-free and 5-free, which means they exclude dangerous chemicals (Check out this article from Bustle to learn more about that.). But, it's not enough to just try to stay chemical-free. I'm focusing more and more on vegan and cruelty-free products. Throw in the ingredient of the company being founded by a woman, and you've really piqued my interest. Enter Ella + Mila, a brand of polish that local shop Parsimonia carries. Not only does Ella + Mila make it all the way to 7-free, they're also made proudly in the USA.

Part of me always wants to give off a "don't mess with me" vibe, but let's be honest - I don't have much of a bark or a bite, but I like to think I'm sassy. I'm not. I just like moody vibes, especially during darker months. This beautiful deep plum polish is perfect for that. At night, it looks almost black, but during the day, you can tell it's a rich purple hue. 

I have to say I was highly impressed with the quality of this polish! The application is smooth and even, and cleanup around the edges was incredibly easy. I had a handful of people (pun intended) ask me if I'd had this done at a salon. I've gotten fairly good at applying polish over the years, but that is also just a testament to the quality of the product itself.

I'm excited to pick up a new color from Parsimonia as soon as I can. I have to admit that I've been trying to buy other items to take care of myself lately instead of new polishes to feature on the blog. My skin hasn't been the happiest lately, so I've dropped some pretty pennies on new skincare in hopes of treating it more nicely. But, because I know this brand is nearby, I'll have to snatch up a new one soon. 


Polishes Used:
Deep Purple: Ella + Mila's "Little Plum Dress"
Base and Top Coat: Seche Vite

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
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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