Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Collection of Mittens

There is something inherently cozy about mittens don't you think?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jade and Matt Maternity

Hello. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Jade and Matt, a stellar married couple expecting their first baby. Playing photographer for this blog has opened up so many opportunities to capture special moments for other people and I really feel lucky to do this kind of thing. I know Jade from high school. She was the cool upper-classman I wanted to be like as a freshman. In personality, style, and a passion for helping the world, she stood out as herself instead of doing what everyone else was doing. Jade fostered a lot of things I still care about as an adult: environmentalism and human rights activism. So naturally, when Jade approached me about doing a maternity photo shoot, I jumped at the opportunity. My favorite part of taking photos is getting to hang out with the cool people who I'm taking pictures of. Jade and Matt are down to earth, full of laughs, and just great to be around. I hope you enjoy looking at their photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Moodboard

I love the coziness of Christmas time. I love the parties, the warmth in people's homes, the twinkling lights, the piney scents. This December I want bonfires, mulled wine, caroling, and cinnamon rolls. What's on your December bucket list?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

5 Lessons I've Learned from Blogging

Practice your art even if you don't feel like it.
There are plenty of times I don't feel like doing a photo shoot or sitting down and writing. I will take uninspired photos and write and delete ideas. This will slog on for up to an hour sometimes but with persistence, creativity starts flowing and I find myself loving what I'm doing. I think it's important to make time for creative pursuits even if you don't feel like doing them. If you don't have fun with it, it is still good practice.

Record mistakes.
My jaded 93 year old grandfather says "If people kept track of what they did then they wouldn't do so many stupid things." Running a blog, everything I post is recorded. The photo shoots, the writing. I can look back and see what I have done. I can see where I can improve myself. I can learn from past mistakes. This is especially useful in photography. I have learned so much about light and colors and posing this past year blogging that it's entertaining to look back on my first posts and how much I have improved since then. The best part is, I can keep improving. 

Never stop learning.
I graduated college as a history major. Research was my life for about four years. After graduating, I worked in a coffee shop where I didn't need to use my mind the same way. The job was physically demanding but mentally sedative. Running this blog gives me an excuse to do my research and keep learning. Occasionally I like to throw in historical articles like this one about women re-purposing fabric during the great depression. I have all the fun of learning without the pressure of being grading that school insists upon.

Share your work.
One thing that keeps me motivated as a blogger is knowing that my work is public. Knowing that there are people who will look at what I create. If I was to practice photography for myself alone, I don't think I would have the incentive to create as often as I do. Having an online community of like minds to share with keeps me wanting to craft content and continue improving my work.

Quality over quantity.
This lesson applies to both clothing and blog content. When I started this fashion blog, I liked to shop without premeditation and post about what I found. I ended up with a cluttered closet and a case of I-have-nothing-to-wear. Now, I like to save for select high quality pieces that I absolutely love. This works towards a highly functional wardrobe that I can always feel good in.
As far as blog content is concerned, I think it goes without saying that it's better to publish less of your best work than a constant flow of mediocre work. I want to challenge myself to get better and better at what I do.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Unplugged

The most amazing thing happened when I was taking these photos. A beautiful hawk settled on a nearby branch and stayed with me the entire time I was outside. Hawks are somewhat of a spirit animal for me so having one so near for so long felt very special. The morning light was warm and lovely, the air was crisp, and I had a hawk by my side. 
After a weekend of being bombarded by online sales, it felt so good to unplug and get some fresh air. It felt good to remember that in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter if I didn't buy the dress or pack of cute stationary I was eyeing up. I am terribly indecisive when it comes to purchases so the whole process of buying things can be quite exhausting for me. I try to avoid online shopping, but it's a challenge when my inbox is overflowing with temptations.

As a young teenager, I joined family friends in the tradition of going hiking every Black Friday and it has turned into one of my favorite days of the year. After a day of feasting, what's better than ditching the mall and going for a hike? With the stress of the holiday passed, I find hiking totally invigorating, relaxing, and rejuvenating. It clears the mind and refreshes the soul in a way buying new things never will.

Outfit Details
Hat: Ash and Rose (Use Code OutfitZest for 20% off your Ash and Rose order until December 7th)
Boots: Wolverine 1,000 Mile
Tights: Old
Dress: Old
Sweater: Borrowed from Ben

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book of Deer Skirt

In the course of running this blog, my mission has changed. What started as "Staying stylish on a budget" evolved into "Sustainable and unconventional fashion." I used to think that I couldn't afford high quality clothing for myself. I would browse designers who I admired and sigh "Maybe someday." But after a series of budgeting tweeks, and a mission to stop buying clothing, I found I was able to set cash aside for special pieces that I really wanted. This skirt from Book of Deer is one of those pieces. It came out this past spring and I loved it. I would look at it in the online store and daydream about wearing it. I admired the little good luck motifs printed on it, the buttons up the front, and the shape of the skirt but I didn't dare dream of actually buying it. As summer rolled around, I started keeping track of my expenses, cutting where possible, and putting money aside specifically for nice clothing. Clothing may seem like a frivolous thing to budget for, but what is life without a little frivolity? When I was younger, my excess money went towards movies, concerts, and trips to foreign shores. But these days, I don't need that noise. I'm happy in quieter ways. A pretty skirt and a night at home sounds lovely, thanks. 
One great way to save money while shopping from your favorite designer is to look through past season's collections. I bought this skirt for thirty percent off of the original price by waiting until the fall to buy it. The risk is that there is a chance your piece may sell out before you get to buy it.  

Outfit Details
Shirt: Hand-me-down
Belt: Thrifted
Skirt: Book of Deer
Socks: Old
Shoes: Old

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flora Art from Vanilla Lemon Cake

Today I wanted to take a break from the norm and share some pretty photos from one of my favorite Istagram feeds Vanilla Lemon Cake by Jessica Wilkinson. Using flat-lays of colors, leaves, and flowers Wilkinson shares a very unique and beautiful form of art. I could ramble on about how much I like what she does but instead I'll just let the photos speak for themselves:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Little Prince

So I have this thing for kid's books. I just really enjoy them. You may recall my post on children's literature in fashion last spring. It was around then that I discovered Tights Shop, an etsy store that specializes in tights screen printed with quotes and illustrations from classic children's books. After pining over their designs for about six months I finally went ahead and bought myself this pair of Little Prince tights as a birthday present to myself. To highlight them, I put together a Little Prince inspired outfit to go with the theme. While I'm on the subject, I might just go ahead and buy myself some pink roses for my kitchen table.