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Happy Monday

Capitalism, grafitti

Who else is tired of feeling like this when they wake up Monday through Friday?  I for sure am.

When I went to San Diego I met someone who really enlightened me.  He lived in Australia for a month and then travelled and stayed in Bali for three months.  He just left his life and surfed for 25% of the year.

Could you imagine just leaving?

Living your life by your own beat.

There has to be something so freeing about not conforming to societies idea of what a fulfilled life should entail.  This person I spoke to claimed he was selfish in a way, but in reality he was far from that.

*ugh*

I have some so many photos and stories I want to share from my travels to San Diego, but that’s going to have to be at another time when I have a moment to just edit my own stuff and be at one with me.

However, I thought this photo was fitting for Monday.

Lets do this y’all!

Via

Let’s Dance on the Mini Bar

Sea of Shoes, Bar Cart, 01

So the decorating bug has hit me once again.  I have been REALLY trying to straighten my upstairs for awhile and it’s coming along… slowly.

There are some items I want to pick up and will do so during this amazing shopping weekend.  This will probably be the last weekend I really “shop.” 

Anywho I was perusing Jane’s blog when I saw she had the PERFECT bar carts.  I have been dying to have a bar cart in my place for awhile now, but could not find them or they were too expensive for my taste. Honestly, finding a vintage bar/tea cart for less than $200 is nearly impossible.

Trust me I have looked.

And looked…

And looked.

 Sea of Shoes, Bar Cart Sea of Shoes, Bar Cart Sea of Shoes, Bar Cart Sea of Shoes, Bar Cart

 

All her photos via

On her blog it stated that Dulce had four bar carts that came in.  In turn I searched tDulce’s site and I see they do have two, but they are the same exact two that Jane has.  When Jane wrote this post it was about six weeks ago. So I’m HOPING that they just had two of the same cart and not that the site hasn’t updated since May.

I really hope that’s not the case because I plan on making my way to Oaklawn first thing tomorrow morning.  If they have the carts I might be the owner of two of them myself.  One for the apartment and one of the studio.

The photos above are from Jane’s blog Sea of Shoes.  Can you see why I feel in love with the idea of a bar cart?

Below are some ways that I would decorate my bar cart.  Click on the photos to take you to that link.

Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor Bar Cart, Decor

 

What do you guys think about bar carts?

Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014, Mikael Jansson Cover

Considering we are day 5 in this month I’m a little late to this game… can we say fashionably late?  Yeah, that wasn’t very witty now was it?

It’s no secret that I love Lupita N’yongo.  I know some people will understand this while others don’t, but it’s really nice to look at the cover of a magazine and see a woman that looks like you.  Skin the color of onyx, natural hair, full lips, fit, intelligent, graceful, and well spoken.  It can be tiring with the news only promoting the stereotypes of your ethnic origin.

Lupita is a breath of fresh air. 

Every time she speaks my heart just loves her more and more.  It’s so rare to find celebrities so genuine in what they say and do.  She hasn’t been eaten alive by media and ITS definition of beauty.

Rumor has it that this was supposed to be the coveted September cover, but for whatever reason didn’t make it.  I’m not 100% sure that’s a true fact but I  must say that Lupita is new to the game and ANY Vogue cover is a win.

Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014 Mikael Jansson, 01, Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014 Mikael Jansson, 01, Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014 Mikael Jansson, 01, Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014 Mikael Jansson, 01, Lupita Nyongo, US Vogue, July 2014 Mikael Jansson, 01,

Another win?  The fact that this cover wasn’t shot by Mario Testino or Annie Liebovitz.  Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE both those photographers but it’s great to see that Mikael Jansson has finally made it to US Vogue status… probably another reason why this wasn’t the September cover (because he’s not a household name yet).  Nonetheless his photos are beyond extraordinary.  In fact, they are breathtaking.  My favorite is the one in the teal bathroom with the dried flower all over the floor.  How beautiful is that image?   I love the fact he used a wide angle lens for these photos.

Okay, the photographer in me is peeking her head out.

These photos are certified art.

I can’t wait to see more diverse group of women grace the cover of Vogue in the future.  I’m glad to see that magazine are coming to realize women of color can sell clothes and look amazing in them.   Other than the beautiful, anorexic, blondes.  I would love to see Asian, Indian, a red head graced with this honor.

Also, can we bring back the Supermodel please?

What do you guys think of Lupita’s cover?

 

 

Fourth of July Summer Sales are Here!!!!

Bold Baja Weekender Bag, Forever 21, 01 Bold Baja Weekender Bag, Forever 21, 01 Bold Baja Weekender Bag, Forever 21, 01

Check out this AMAZING bag that I picked up from Forever 21 online today!  Ever since I laid my eyes on this carrier I have wanted it.  I have no idea why I didn’t pick it up in the first place.  Oh, I do.  I was on a mission to find clothes for my boudoir clients and did not want to spend any money on myself.  The bag was priced at $28.  However, TODAY ONLY, the bag is on sale for $19!  Eeeek!!!  That’s about a 33% discount. So of course I picked it up.  Target has a really cute dup that you can find HERE but the price is $35.  I didn’t get it because the quality did not seem that good and I fell in love with the Forever 21 pattern.

Street Chic, Gold Bracelet,

I also dropped this dope gold bracelet in my bag! I really can’t wait to rock this bad boy while out on the weekends or working on shoots!  Or in JAPAN this Fall…

On top of it all Forever 21 has FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $21!  So I got everything for less than $25 (including the tax)!  I can’t wait to show you guys that bag when it comes in next week.  I plan on using it as my gym bag.  I’m tired of those reusable totes breaking on me.

Below are some other items from the sale that are great contenders!  Hurry up and pick them up because the sale ends soon!

Click the photos to take you to the product

Bags

 

Shore Thing Canvas Backpack

Shore Thing Canvas Backpack, Forever 21

If I lived in San Diego… or near any beach.  I would have picked this bad boy up!  I love the nautical free loving style that it’s giving off.  It’s 19×14 measurement is big enough to stick your beach towel, water, good, mp3 player, speakers, and coco butter in!

Iconic Faux Leather Messenger Bag

Iconic Faux Leather Messager Bag, Forever 21

I think this is a good day to day bag or even when you are heading the movies with your friends.  Throw on a white tank, black skinny jeans, gold hardware jewelry, and this bag and you will be street chic ready!

Versatile Faux Leather Tote

Versatile Faux Leather Tote, Forever 21

I like my bags simple and with structured,  and while I’m into the “tote” look I do love good style.  I really love how the gold plates at the end add a bit of “street” to the look.  This bag would have been another great choice for my cool chic gym bag, but I really don’t like the fact that it doesn’t have a zipper at the top.  I like to really overstuff my clothes, good, and personal items in a bag.

Runaround Faux Leather Satchel

Runaround Faux Leather Satchel, Forever 21

I REALLY like this burnt pink color!  I didn’t pick up this bag because it was way too small for my life.  I’m in Texas after all and EVERYTHING is really big.  I think this is another cute summer running around day option.  I also think it would be cute for the airport.  You could place your wallet, phone, and tablet in it and call it a day.  If this bag was a bit bigger I would have picked it up and made it the perfect camera bag for my Nikon.

Favorite Striped Carryall

Favorite Striped Carryall, Forever 21

This bag is CHIC!  *ugh* If I was a frequent flyer I would scoop this bag boy up (mistake but I’m keeping it).  Now this is a VERY versatile summer bag.  It’s big enough for your day uses, stylish enough for pretty much every outfit, and big enough for all the important things in your life.  I would have picked this up, but even at $17 I don’t think I would have gotten the cost per wear out of it.

Headwraps & Snapbacks

Garden Goddess Wire Headwrap

Floral Headwrap, 01, Forever 21

At $2.50 you really can’t complain.  I am feeling this great summer pattern.  It’s perfect for Sunday brunches while sipping mimosas on patio against the misters.

Mod Polka Dot Wire Headwrap

Polka Dot Headwrap, Forever 21

This is WAY too girly for my taste, but I still had to place it on this list.

Garden Girl Headwrap

 Floral Headwrap, 02, Forever 21

I am feeling floral for the summer!  This white one is cute, but the black one is what I should have added to my cart!  *ugh* I’m so upset that I missed that.  There really isn’t a reason to buy it now.  I wish there was an option to let you add on items to your order after you made a purchase if it hasn’t finished processing. *ugh*

Street-Cool Swag Snapback Cap

Swag Snap Back Cap, Forever 21

I am SOOOOOOOOOO dislike the word #Swag, but I couldn’t help but to add this fun cap to the list!  Wear a white tank, black cut off jeans, some Adidas high tops, and throw this cap on and you will look street chic on 1.5 seconds!

 

It feels really great to write again!  Thank you so much to S for stepping in the last couple of weeks to let you guys know we still walk this earth! 

Please leave a comment below and tell me where you’re shopping this holiday weekend!

 

 

 

Let me just say this disclaimer up front – there have already been hundreds of articles about the fact that the spending habits on Sex and the City aren’t realistic, and this is not one of those articles. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…

 

What are we actually paying for??

 

K and I were talking the other day about how we’re getting to a place in life where we like the finer things, but we’re not willing to pay full price for them, especially since we see things ridiculously discounted all. the. time. And I commented that I had well over 100 pairs of shoes, and I had not paid anywhere near the $40,000 that Carrie Bradshaw had paid for her shoe collection. (Remember – when she was trying to get the down-payment money to buy her condo after she and Aiden broke up for the gazillionth time, and Miranda asked her how many shoes she had, she said 100 [I'm paraphrasing] and Miranda said “100 shoes at $400 each – there’s your down-payment.”) Here’s the thing though – I was recently looking at fancy shoes, because I am kinda-sorta getting to a point where I could conceivably purchase a pair of shoes for $400, and you know what??? Manolo Blahnik shoes (which, I think we can all agree, is the vast majority of Carrie’s shoe collection) are no longer in the $400 price range! In fact, this pair, which I am reasonably sure is the pair that was stolen at the baby shower and which Carrie said cost $600, is now $755. The most basic black, pointy-toed pump that I could find on Nordstrom’s site was this one,  which is $595. So, in the years since SaTC was the big thing, these shoe prices have gone up about $150 – $200, which, at least for the “cheap” pair, was an increase of 50% (K, check my math).

Which begs the question – what the heck are we paying for?? Sure, I get supply and demand, and I understand that the show made these shoes much more popular, but still! The shoes were already $400/pair, which is not in the range of “average” people (considering that the national average on salaries in around $47,000/year).  What has happened to make the price jump so dramatically?? Is there a shortage of Italian shoe-makers? Have the special cows whose skin we use for these shoes gone on strike until they get better food??

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that certain luxury items cost more for a variety of reasons. An Hermes purse will always cost more than a Coach purse because the former is hand-stitched, usually has higher quality materials and standards, and is produced in smaller numbers. I also get that it is a status symbol. Not every college co-ed is running around with a Birkin on her arm. (Side note – I’ll be honest, I feel the same way about Hermes as Holly Golightly felt about diamonds in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – “They look divine on older women, but I just don’t feel they’re right for me.”) However, remember when the Murakami Prada purses came out? It seemed that every single girl I passed on the way to Chem 101 was rocking one. There’s no way that all of those girls could afford one, nor, with the limited number which were available, do I think that every purse which was produced somehow ended up on the Texas State campus. I am all for luxury items which only the few and far between can afford. But when items which were once supposed to be achievable to the modern woman (or man, if you’re into that kind of thing) become out of reach for no fathomable reason other than that the maker saw a way to make more money, I get more than a little pissed.

On the Nordstrom site, there is a pair of lime green Manolos, on sale from $595 to $227.59. Now, you know that the maker is still making a profit off of these shoes, even on sale, so what was the extra $365.41 for?? Vanity?? I understand that in a free-market society, you can set your price wherever you want, and as long as people will pay it, you’re fine. I realize that we’ve always paid a premium for “the label,” but what exactly has that label gotten us in return? The sidewalk grate that scrape the heels on my Nine West finds are going to do the same to your Jimmy Choos, and rain does not care if you’re wearing leather or suede before it starts pouring down. I am constantly hearing stories about luxury makers complaining that their designs are being ripped off by other companies and sold for considerably cheaper. Legitimate question – would that still be happening on such a large scale if luxury makers charged a bit less? Is it better to sell 10 pairs of shoes at $600, or 100 pairs of shoes at $400?

 

- S

 

S here, coming at you after a lllooooooonnnggg quiet spell! Sorry for the absence, but I’ve been busy starting a new job, buying condo, laughing, loving, you know – as you do! But K was kind enough to allow me back in with some fashion musings, so I hope you will indulge me a bit :)

I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sound at all familiar? Perhaps a tiny flashback to this morning?? For someone who has as large and varied a closet as I do, I say this phrase all to often. Lately, I’ve been working to really refine my style (I’m feeling like I’m very Classic Urban – K, back me up here!) and in so doing, I’ve been trying to make my closet reflect that. Of course, we all have items that maybe don’t exactly mesh with who we are, but they’re just so darn perfect that we can’t let them go. I’m not talking about those pieces. I’m talking about the pieces that you can’t live without. If you could whittle your wardrobe down to those pieces that are most important  to you, what would they be? And wouldn’t it be easier to get dressed in the morning? You would no longer have this jumble of stuff in your face!

Now, let’s not get crazy. I’m not saying you need to slim down to a five-piece wardrobe – I really don’t understand people who do that. But if your closet is a mix of “Summer in Athens/Boardroom Power-suit/Backyard Barbecue/Clubbin’ til 4/Lazy Day Sweats” you can see how pulling together a cohesive look day after day could be difficult. If you’re one of those people who can pretty much wear the same outfit to work as you could on the weekend, then you are luckier than most, and you could probably pare down your wardrobe even more than the rest. But for me, considering that I work in a very conservative place (read: NO JEANS EVER!) and I like to chill on the weekends, my wardrobe can seem as if there is a bit of a split personality. That’s all well and good, as long as I can keep those two moods separate. So, let’s look at what I cannot ever, possibly live without, and work form there.

1. The Perfect Black Skirt

I have been going through a metaphysical crisis lately because I (stupidly) got rid of my work-horse black skirt, thinking that it would be easy to replace. I have since purchased 6 different black skirts, and returned 2 of them, trying to find the replacement, and no luck – even the ones I kept are poor seconds. For me, I like a thick material, high-waist pencil shape, which goes to just below my knees. I can wear this style of skirt with blouses, t-shirts, tanks, you name it. Also, if I have one which is free from extras (stripes, lace, polka dots) I can wear it 3-4 times in a week, and no one calls me out on it. I truly feel like a black pencil skirt is the most versatile thing you can own. You can literally wear it from a major meeting to cocktails to the movies and then to grab breakfast tacos in the morning. It’s more professional than a maxi or a mini, but not as stiff as a suit. Next time I find the perfect one, I’m buying three of them, in varying sizes, so that I’m never without one again.

2. Longer T-Shirts

I have a long torso, so most t-shirts look perilously close to crop tops for me (and that is not a look I am into AT ALL). I prefer my tees to hit right at my hip bone – long enough to cover every last inch of skin, short enough to frame my ample behind. I pretty much always purchase black and grey, and I’ll throw in a blue or green to round it out. I appreciate white t-shirts very much, but I hate having to layer something underneath so that my bra isn’t showing, so unless it’s a baggy Hanes undershirt, I steer clear. I also prefer V-neck or crew-neck – I feel like scoop-neck shirts are just too wide, but again, to each their own. And I’ll admit – for ages, I’ve been into the whole 3/4-sleeve t-shirt thing, but lately I’m questioning how that looks. I just feel like it makes me look disproportionate somehow. Further experimentation there is required.

 3. Black V-neck Sweater

This is the most versatile piece you can own. With jeans and black shoes, it can take you to either brunch or dinner, with a black skirt it can take you from work to cocktails. Throw it on over black pants and you’re professional, and it will add warmth on the beach with a pair of shorts. I’ve never been a big fan of cashmere – it always feels itchy to me. I usually go for a nice cotton/silk/Merino wool mixture and keep it simple. I like it too when the sleeves are extra long – I like them to reach all the way to my knuckles. I find that this just makes it more comforting. You can go for your big, baggy sweatshirts all you want, but for me, timeless comfort is a black sweater.

4. Jeans (in some form)

Here’s why I’m not specific on this one – I realize that everyone has a different shape, and different assets which they wish to emphasize, and between the different washes, lengths, cuts, etc. out there, there’s no way I could say “dark wash skinny jeans” are the perfect pair for everyone. For me and my body, I have never found a pair that works as well as the Long and Leans from Gap (bring them back to the stores, you meanies!!!!!). Yes, they’re usually a bit too long for me, but once I hem them, they fit every curve perfectly, make me look tall and skinny, and are perfect for every occasion. I know they’re available on the website, but I’m a bit weary of ordering clothes from the site. But with your favorite pair of jeans, you can’t go wrong. If you’re lucky enough to be able to wear jeans to work, top ‘em with a blouse and blazer, and you’re good. They pair perfectly with a tank on summer evenings, sweaters during the winter and jerseys once football season comes back.

5. THAT Dress

I’ll be honest, to a certain extent, I am still looking for THAT dress. THAT dress is defined as the dress you can wear anywhere for pretty much any occasion, and it works. It can be a little black dress, it can be a longer pencil dress in floral, it can be a cocktail dress in peacock blue. It’s that one dress that when you get the invite, and you’re not sure what the dress code means, you know this dress will work. It’s not so formal to be black-tie, and it’s not so casual to be Coachella, but for all of the situations in between, you know you’re wearing a stunner that is perfectly you.

6. Baggy Blouses

Not “baggy and I look homeless or like Mary Kate/Ashley Olsen,” but baggy like, “when I tuck this in, it gives my body a very nice shape.” I have about 3 or 4 of these in varying colors. One note – you MUST tuck these in or belt them. If you leave them hanging out, you can look like you don’t know what size you really wear. Again, being long-waisted, I find that these work with my pencil skirt to give my waist more definition, and if my skirt doesn’t have a high enough waist, I wear them untucked with a belt to tighten them up a bit. The nice thing about these is that you can eat a good-sized lunch and not worry that you’ll have a food baby showing. They hide all manner of sins.

I’m not going to get into accessories, because then we would be here all day. I would never narrow my shoe collection, I think everyone needs a signature piece of jewelry, and outerwear and swimsuits gets too complicated depending on where you live. I don’t set as much store in a perfect white button down as some people – I think they can look great when you first get them, but they get dirty very quickly, and I strongly dislike how sheer they’ve become over the past few seasons. If I wanted to wear multiple layers, I wouldn’t top it all off with a sheer shirt! I also think cardigans are more personal than universal – some people can really rock them and others (me), not so much.

I realize this was an incredibly long post, but I just missed you guys so much!!!! I’ll keep it shorter next time around!

- S

“Nothing can dim that light that shines from within.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quote

She is one of the most prolific writers of modern day history. Now that she has passed she will now be a legend. She will rank with Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare as literally geniuses. She lived in a time of immense adversity, and she didn’t let that define her.

Imagine being born in 1928 in the South as a young black woman.
Imagine being raped at the age of 7 and not speaking for 10 years because of your over whelming guilt that the person who raped you was killed because of your confession.
Imagine working with Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr during the Civil Rights Movement… and then living this life to see a Black President.
Imagine living through hate, but still seeing the love in everyone.
Imagine even after death you are still the victor.

Could you imagine?

By today’s standards Maya Angelou is who we should want to aspire to be. To touch more lives than you can ever see. To know that you have self-worth, even when EVERYBODY around you says differently. Not harboring hate in your heart, but still not scared to tell you the difference between right and wrong.

Dr. Angelou did not have a formal education, but still taught at Wakeforest as a professor, has 30 Doctrines, and spoke six languages.

So tell me about your struggles?
No. I’m not saying that we should compare to see who has it worse.

But consider your life ins someone else’s shoes.

She did not fall victim to this world. This very hard world. Instead to choose to turn on the light in the darkness.

In order to do this. You have to shine from the inside out. You must love yourself. You must appreciate your flaws. You HAVE to love your differences… because what makes you different is the offering that you give the world.

 

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