Oxfords Oh My

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These bad boys were my first pair of Oxfords. I found them in a small boutique on NW 23rd Street in Portland, OR. I was stunned since the prices at those specialty stores are usually really high but for some awesome reason they were on sale for $13!

Since then, I’ve started searching for an additional pair with a bit of a heel and a little better quality. _10492892.jpg

I found these dotted ones with gold accents from Louise Et Cie. Aren’t they beautiful? Super elegant pattern and the heel makes your look a little more formal and polished.

I had bought them from Nordstrom last year and then was convinced by my wallet to return them. Still wish I hadn’t gone back and returned them but at the time it was the right thing to do. Soo, I’m still trying to find some replacements for my original pair. They don’t need replacing right away but I like to do my research before investing in a new pair of shoes.

Here are a couple that I’m looking at:

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Decisions, decisions…Maybe the Louise et Cie ones will come back in stock. Crossing my fingers 🙂

A Jewelry Capsule

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I wanted to share some of my favorites item in my jewelry box.  This capsule of pieces goes with pretty much anything and everything. It’s easy to pair and a good investment. Above is my favorite necklace from Gorjana. I bought it during a sale and got it for $40 so keep a lookout! It was a little bit shorter than I expected but it’s good quality and it’s gold plated so it doesn’t tarnish quickly like other fake jewelry. I would still try to avoid getting it wet in the shower to help it last longer.

I also have these Marc Jacobs studs which are good for work. Very flattering and easy to wear with  my professional clothes. They are a bit heavy but I’m sure there are lighter weight options. These are sold out but, here is a similar style.

Marc by Marc Jacobs earrings
So, I don’t own these ear climbers but I’ve been searching for some good ones. I like the delicate and sterling silver look of these, which are found on ArtiKats shop on Etsy. LOVE these and am tempted to get them for my next present to myself.
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I also am a huge fan of these longer statement earrings. They are still simple but offer a little more interest to your outfit, especially when you wear your hair up. They can be found on Organikx Etsy shop and are also sterling silver. For anyone who has sensitive ears, stick with either sterling silver or gold plated. It may be a bit more expensive but will last longer and its better to invest in timeless pieces.
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It’s  also nice to have a necklace that’s sterling silver. I have this one from this artist in Baltimore called, Yummy and Company. I bought this necklace at the American Craft Council show but you can also shop online on etsy. This jewelry is awesome–delicate designs painted onto a piece of clay. It’s extremely durable and this is one of the pieces I have no hesitation about getting in the water or wearing through my shower. Highly recommend it. Also their prices aren’t wildly expensive so its great if you are tight on funds.
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As far as bracelets and statement necklaces go–you can always add a few more colorful or dramatic pieces to your collection but this is a good place to start.

Stitch Fix Take 3

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My third Stitch Fix has arrived. Every box you schedule you receive 5 items. You can personalize sizing, price, style (kind of..) and they also have options for maternity wear and special occasion styling.

I requested mid price range clothing, casual clothes. I received a super bold skirt, a mint crossbody and 3 shirts.IMG_4609

I have tried Stitch Fix a few times and the first time was great. I got this pretty red halter top dress (something that I would never have chosen for myself) and a pair of jeans that somehow miraculously fit. But since that first time Stitch Fix has digressed from my style and preferences.

This was my third stitch fix and really the only reason I opted in to get one was because they waived the $20 styling fee. So luckily, since I didn’t like any of the items I sent them all back and did not lose out on my $20.

I received this white patterned shirt. Call me picky but I just was not into the fabric. It felt a bit cheap and scratchy. Also the pattern was not spectacular and definitely not worth $58.

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Then there was this skirt. Though I like the Lysse brand, this was just so out of my style. I would never pick this in store and it didn’t really fit that well either. A bit too bold for me and was not tempted to spend $88 on it.IMG_4608

The third item was this mint leather crossbody. Though I liked the color, I already own a crossbody with fringe and I think one fringe bag is enough. It was also a bit pricey ($58) for a purse that you could find at Target for much less.IMG_4604

Then there was this top. I actually was really drawn to the fit of this top. Peplum tops work pretty well on my frame but I was not a huge fan of the pattern or the fabric. My closet already has a few bold patterned tops and I didn’t need another one for $58.IMG_4605

Lastly there was this top. It was just ok…the style and embroidery wasn’t a drawback but the material felt cheap and thin. The price of this was $44.IMG_4606

Sooo..that was unsuccessful! But, it is fun to try Stitch Fix once if you have never tried it before. The first time around I received 3 items that I really liked and they were pieces that I would never choose for myself. If you do decide to keep something in your box then the $20 styling fee goes towards your purchase. But with the same token, if you send everything back you will loose your $20 (unless you get the fee waived! 🙂 ) Also a good thing to be aware of–I have sometimes found items in my box online for cheaper so make sure they are not over charging you!

Has anyone tried other clothes subscriptions? I’ve heard of Vetta Capsule,  Trunk Club but I’m not sure if those are any better. Would love to hear recommendations!

Fresh Summer Haircut – Olaplex + Zoom

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It got to a point where my mane of hair was too much to care of and it was becoming super unhealthy. Split ends and very coarse and the color was fading into a blonde. I needed a hair cut desperately!

I am really bad about regularly visiting a cuttery. I go maybe once a year and by that point my hair is in pretty bad shape and I’m ready to cut it all off. This time around was no exception. It was in especially bad shape since I had gotten my hair colored for the first time. I tried the balayage technique and I loved it at first. It was a lighter brownish/red shade that blended well with my natural color. But, the color came out fairly quickly and lightened to a blonde. It also become extremely course and felt chemically damaged and I really just wanted to have healthy, non-highlighted hair again.

I went to Zoom day spa in Patterson Park neighborhood in Baltimore. Found them on Yelp and read all their reviews. They checked out well and appeared to have amazing prices on their services.

I drove by a few times looking for it and couldn’t even tell that it was a salon. It’s situated in a restored traditional row-home.  Super unassuming exterior yet Zoom had beautiful exposed brick, two level salon experience, clean and classy vibe and a very comfortable atmosphere. They even brought me coffee from their kitchen!

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Entry Way and Middle Floor

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Downstairs Hair Salon Space

 

When I got there, I needed some help. My 3 requirements for Markella were that I had to be able to put it up, I wanted it to be healthy and I wanted the blonde to go away.

This was my hair before the cut. I hadn’t washed it for a few days so please excuse the greasy look!

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Markella suggested that we cut everything that was dry and dead off. It ended up being about 6-7″. She also suggested that I do an Olaplex treatment that revitalizes hair that has undergone chemical damage. It was pretty apparent that my hair had not done well with the color from my prior salon visit and I’m so glad I invested in doing this.

I had never done a treatment before so I was a little hesitant. But, I do have to admit that I do notice a huge difference. It’s a 3 part treatment–2 of the parts you do at the salon and the last step is optional and can be purchased for at home use. I only did the 2 steps and my hair feels soft and healthy again.

While waiting, I picked the stylists’ brain about tips and best practices for caring for my hair. Every time I go, the stylist imparts a bits of knowledge on me that I try to make into a habits. Last year, it was using conditioner, using non-paraban shapoos and not washing your hair everyday. Yes, I went years without using conditioner. Somehow it seemed to not bother me.

I have successfully managed to improve on those areas. I use conditioner, I wash my hair 2-3 times a week and I invested in some better quality (healthy) shampoo. This year, I gathered a few tips from Markella that I am hoping to work on. (1) Washing out my shampoo and conditioner with cold water (2) getting a regular trim to avoid 6in of dead hair (3) using/incorporating a leave in conditioner (she recommended It’s a 10)

So with that, I present Markella magic, turning my mane of hair soft, silky and manageable. Nothing like a fresh haircut and blowout..how refreshing!IMG_4765

Ridiculous Retail Fails

I like online shopping…or at least perusing through the new arrivals section of my favorite retailers. I understand that most high end retailers overcharge but, there are a few things I came across recently that were just straight up ridiculous.

The one below made me laugh out loud…..hello coffee stain. Paying so much for something that could be construed as you having an clumsy morning is just nuts!

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This one was also pretty hilarious…I understand paying a bit more for better quality BUT this shirt is so raggedy. A very easy and replicable DIY project!

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This beanie below is probably really really nice but $150 (on sale!) for a hat that looks like it could only fit an infants head? Huh….don’t know how you can justify this one.

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So of course, I also found a buzzfeed article about more retail fails from Anthropologie. If you like Anthro, their compilation will surely make you smile. Enjoy!

Brave the Cold

 

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Last week, I read Cheryl Strayed’s new book, Brave Enough. It is an excellent compilation of bite-sized instructions of how to live bravely. I have been thinking a lot about how to embody this idea into my everyday.

Many times our decisions are made out of what is comfortable and easy. I know that for me, this holds true in what I choose to wear everyday. My go to outfits consist of my favorite pair of jeans and the most worn in shirt I own. This is not because they are particularly flattering but because it is easier to wear what you are comfortable with rather than dressing and thinking outside of the box or at least outside of your comfort zone.

It is important to be brave and uncomfortable. Here are some items in my shopping cart that would get me out of my comfort zone.

I don’t wear hats…only a beanie on the mountain or when it’s really cold out but, I really do like this one. Maybe next time I’m in the mood to get a scarf, I’ll get this hat instead.

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Sorel Wedge Boots

Man, I love these boots. A friend of mine who had bought them a year ago raves about their comfort, that they are waterproof and they are actually very flattering. ALSO, they are Sorel brand which is a very reliable company for long lasting weather wear. They are not cheap but, I think these are an investment. Hopefully I’ll feel brave enough to wear them!

For some reason, I have always shied away from a monochromatic look. It looks good on some but I have never felt bold enough to embrace it. I do however like this chambray dress–The only hesitation I have is about the price but it looks like it is an additional 25% off right now.

Last year I bought some brown leather pants from Anthro. They are the same brand as the ones here and they are quite comfortable and very stylish. The only problem was that I was too shy to wear them! So, this year when it got a bit colder I decided to break them out and got so many compliments on them. See what happens when you try new things? 🙂 Anyways, I would highly recommend this brand if you are considering some leather pants.

On Black Friday I did all my shopping online and found this amazing coat for a steal! I have never owned something with a furry hood and definitely felt a little self-conscious wearing it since it was a bit glamorous for my style. Furry hooded coats aren’t something that I am normally drawn to but I am so happy with my purchase. It is really high quality wool and keeps your warm. I got the burgundy color but was also tempted to get the blue.

ANYWAYS, the moral of the story is be brave enough–even if it is something as simple as what you choose to wear that day. Be you but be brave!

Back to Backpacks

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In honor of the first day of Fall term at the University of Oregon, I felt the need to post about a back-to-school craze–backpack shopping! Throughout my years in school, I used The North Face Jester backpack. I loved mine. It was durable, versatile for traveling, and had a lifetime warranty which was amazing and came in handy on more than one occasion. The one you see above is an older version of this one. Recently however, I have been on the lookout for an upgrade. I love the sporty look of my North Face but, here are some packs that are a little more professional and trendy.

Back to Backpacks

Wolfepack Leather Backpack (top left) – I love this pack. It’s a great burgundy and appears to be high quality leather. Although a bit of an investment, leather lasts.

Mau’s Backpack (top right) – When I was traveling in Europe (when the first picture in this post was taken), I came across a fair trade brand called O My Bag in Amsterdam. They also sell leather bags but this pack a nice canvas one. This one here is my favorite in their line.

Ellie Faux Leather Mini Backpack (bottom left) -If you want a cheaper alternative to the first leather pack, this is a great option by Sole Society that won’t break your wallet.

Oaxacan Dome Backpack (bottom right) – Yet another leather brand that I find myself drawn to is Will Leather Goods. It is a Eugene based company that was founded by Will Adler. You can read up about the family-owned company here! They even have a fairly new store in Portland, OR where I spotted this bag. I like the bright colors and of course leather accents.

If you are wanting some other options, Hershel is a good place to look–it seems like they have become the new Jansport! Until next time!