She’s So Fancy: Kristie

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Meet Kristie, my fellow painter and extremely stylish friend. We even have the same boots, and often come to class matching. #twinsies

Here are some facts about her:

-She has the greatest collection of thrift shop flannels. I envy her ability to find so many. You can never really have enough flannels and thrift shops are the perfect place to find what I like to call “real” flannels.

– She cannot live without pizza or cosmetics.  Preach girl!

-She is a list maker. So pen and planner is a must have at all times.

-Her fashion influences come from the underground fashion blogger scene, those bloggers that should be known, or will be known. Their Instagrams are banging, as Kristie would put it.

Kristie’s style is clean and polished with a boho flair. Simple shapes and styles paired with one of kind pieces give her day to day looks a classic edge. I often find myself having extreme closet envy.  Girl’s got style.

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Fierce right? Kristie is sporting fall in an oversized tweed coat, with summer’s favorite sundress peaking out, tights and warm socks. Leather Chelsea boots, and feather felt hat complete the look.  This look is effortlessly cool.

 

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To see more looks from Kristie follow her on Instagram here 

To get Kristie’s look: Coat Free People/ Boots Urban Outfitters/ Slip free people/

 

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The Ivy League

 

 

 

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My  latest piece, and favorite piece I’ve done is titled The Ivy League and it has a beautifully bittersweet story behind it.

Three years ago on November 3rd, my friend Ivy took her own life. It was by far the most devastating event that has happened in my life. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about her and the impact her life has on mine.

This year as the day approach I immediately was angry at myself. Angry that I didn’t wear my bracelet in her memory for days at a time. Angry, that I couldn’t recall the sound of her voice on command. Just angry. Moving on sometimes can be a bittersweet because you want the pain to subside but you don’t want to forget. Memories are all I have now of our friendship.

Let me tell you about my friend. She was beautifully selfless, and a passionate disciple of God.  Her eyes used to light up when discussing her latest plan to end world poverty, and they glared in anger during discussions on the prevalent issue of sex trafficking around the world. Her eyes were soft and inviting, but full of conviction. For the pass three years when addressing her death, I struggled to find any shred of light. Ivy was a light in a dark world, the entire time I knew her she battled mental illness and strived to combat injustices.A few months ago Ivy’s mother pulled into my driveway and proceeded to tell me a story about her. She was an organ donor, and her family just received a call as to how Ivy’s body was used. Two people received their sight from her eyes. I’d like to think that means her vision of the world is still alive. This story made me realize all the light Ivy left behind.

This piece is 165  pairs of her eyes printed on white cloth in remembrance of her life and death. In my grieving I created a piece with the last things I have left of Ivy, photographs, and stories. The white represents her surrender to death, while her soft eyes represent the pieces she left behind for the world. Some eyes are printed faintly because at times it is hard to see any positives from this tragedy, but it is still there. This piece stares at you and beg for the audience to look into her eyes. It forces the viewers to look at themselves as she looks at you. Arranging them in cluster the statement is clear, Ivy will not be forgotten.

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To learn about becoming an organ donor, and registering click here

 

 

Autumn Attire

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Fall is here and Plaid is back folks, and better than ever! With the weather cooling down, and the leaves changing colors, it’s time to talk fall. This year, Clean lines, free flowing tops, and black chelsea boots are a great foundation so you can layer on those accessories.  Fall is all about layers, layers and more layers. Grab you’re favorite dark colored pieces and layer with some light neutrals and you will be on par with the current fall trends.

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Ox blood, mustard, emerald green, and deep earth tones are in this time of year, along with taupe, and white to keep the mood light and fresh.

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Fall this year is about taking it back to the basics, with clean lines, simple silhouettes mixed in with statement, patterned pieces.

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To get Jhow’s look: Boots Urban Outfitters / Pants Free People/ Tee Urban Outfitters / Necklace Free People/ Hat Free People/ Sunglasses Free People/

Photos by the ever fabulous Curtis Mason.

 

He’s So Fancy: Curtis

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Meet Curtis. My best friend.

Here are some fun facts about him:

1. Curtis has a strong hatred for cats, to the point where sometimes I believe he’s afraid of them…and I like to make fun of him for it. (Even though, I myself, am not a fan of cats but, he doesn’t need to know that.)

2.  He is a man, who owns his very own Tardis. Honest.

3.  He loves a good independent film, no matter universally terrible independent film endings are. ( I highly suggest After the Dark. That is our favorite).

Curtis and I live in the same hometown and now go to the same college. He has been my companion for about three years now and actually, we first met at my senior prom (insert Awwwww).  His style is almost as killer as his heart. And let’s face it, the camera loves him.

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Curtis loves bold patterns and man accessories, which I am a personally a huge fan of. He shows off his style in a tribal button up, gray pants, combat oxford boots paired with a pocket-watch necklace, ring, bracelets and a corduroy cap.

To see more of Curtis find him on Instagram here

Check out his band, called twisted vibes. (He’s the lead singer) They have an ep out! Find out all about them here

To get the Curtis look raid your nearest thrift shop or vintage shop.  Also check out these fine retailers ASOS, PacSun, and Urbanoutfitter.

Lastly, this note is for you Curtis. Thanks for being my sunshine on cloudy days. Sometimes I make my own clouds and you make them go away despite my sass. Thanks for being my best friend and model. I love you dear.

What I’ve learned from being Single

 

Well, I’m single and pretty much have always been so I think it’s best to say that I am a professional single person. I spend my friday nights (Like tonight) watching Netflix with my pumpkin spice chai, and a big blanket just like every other single girl. NO, I do not have a cat, or seven. Yes, I’ve heard the cliches, like this one:

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And I get it, please don’t mention it again.

It angers me. I’ve gone out with all my friends and their boyfriends and felt the awkwardness that most of the time I created myself being the third, fifth, seventh or even ninth wheel. (I mean seriously vehicles cannot function like that its a good analogy).  So, mostly this post is to say…if you’re single..I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!!

But it’s also because Im angry that single ladies get a bad wrap in today’s society, and I think it’s time we put an end to it! I mean if we had our way we wouldn’t be single right ladies? But right now we have to own up to our good name and stop being defined by our relationship status! It’s okay to be single. It really is.

Here are some things I learned from being a professional single person:

1. And this is the most important rule. Pants are overrated.  Being single means friday nights, coming home and spending the whole weekend without pants if you want to.  Wearing an oversized t-shirt is my favorite form of pajamas, single people have it made when it comes to nightwear.

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Also, this is pretty nice too:

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2. Time. it’s all yours. Seriously, you get to schedule your time, and choose when and where you go and who you their with. With a significant other their schedule gets involved and the word COMPROMISE gets involved.

3.  Independence. Being single has allowed me to fend for myself and learn how to stand my ground in the world. I’ve never had a man to depend on, so I know even in the rough times in the future I can be alone and depend on myself.

4. In all honesty, Loneliness sucks. I’ve spent many nights alone in my apartment in my own loneliness wishing I had someone to share my life with. That loneliness has forced me to go out and make new friends, take myself out to dinner, go on coffee dates with myself, even shop by myself. All of these little outings revealed to me that I am never truly alone.

5. YOU DONT NEED A MAN TO MAKE YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL. I think that is general misconception. I am beautiful and single. Two separate things. Just because you are single doesn’t mean that you aren’t attractive. It’s corny and no single lady wants to hear this but, the right man will come and tell you you’re beautiful but until then keep showing off your beauty to the world so he may see it when he comes along.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL because GOD MAKES BEAUTIFUL THINGS!beautiful things

 

 

6. Men get lost. A wise women once said “My man is lost and won’t ask for directions.” Patience sucks but if God put the desire in your heart to love someone in that way, you best believe he will fill it. It just might not be on your timing because let’s face it, men never ask for directions. I’d rather have a relationship on God’s timing than my own, he is preparing me for a man. And he is preparing that man for me. I don’t want a man God has only half prepared for me, I want nothing but the best.

7. I don’t like cats.  Not all single ladies are destine to be CAT LADIES.  I would much prefer to be a “dog lady”.

8. Being single means never having to do this:

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8.  Jealousy sucks. Yes, when I go out with my friends I can get jealous from time to time especially if I’m the third wheel. Their cute, the kind of cute that single girls vomit over. They only say it’s gross to deflect from the fact that secretly, or not so secretly, they want all of it. Even the twinkling noses, or saying “no you hang up” for 10 minutes straight. We all want to win the “cutest couple award”.

9.  Being single allows you to decided what kind of man you’ll change your relationship status for. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what kind of person I want to share my life with solely by seeing other couples interact and seeing the reasons relationships fall apart.

10. EVERY NIGHT IS GIRLS NIGHT! I mean unless it’s not. But, every night COULD be a girls night.

11. There are so many cute boys to look at. Nows the time, Ladies, take advantage of the sights!

 

And finally.

12.Sometimes you have to take action. Let’s face it, if you’re tired of being single, sometimes only you are the one that can change that. Go meet new people, if you thing one is too cute for words, tell him. Who knows what a compliment could do.  Just maybe don’t act  like this:

 

So I hope this help those single ladies out there tonight. Even though sometimes it may feel like you are not going to turn out like this:

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(I mean, unless you choose that lifestyle).

Let’s go out there ladies, and be single, and ready to mingle!

(My goal is before I get a boyfriend to master this dance, it may not be a realistic goal).

 

 

What I learned at Women of Faith

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Women of Faith hit Philadelphia this weekend, and I couldn’t have been more blessed by the timing of this conference.  School had just started back up for me, and I was feeling empty. Physically, mentally and mostly spiritually.  I can make excuses all I want but to be honest, I wasn’t putting time into my relationship with Christ. I have been solely focused on my job, my schoolwork, reconnecting with old friends, and it was causing me to slip into old habits.

My mother works for this company so let’s just say I know the ropes, I have gone to these conferences several times before, I hear about them at the dinner table, and on the phone when I’m at school. I’ve seen the ins and outs of this, so going into it this conference almost felt routine to me. But it wasn’t. My mom traveled to me to see Women of Faith, it was in my city. A city have I claimed my home now since I fell in love last January. I had never been to this event, never been with this group of people (My roommate and her family, as well as a close friend). This was different and I couldn’t have been more excited.

Here are a Few things I learned from this weekend:

1. I need to make peace with my thighs. Anita Renfroe, a fabulous comedian sang a hilarious song about making peace with the most hated part of a women’s body. It’s so true, we have to stop pointing out what we don’t like about ourselves. So in honor of this event I bought a pair of pants.

2. Make the next right step. If you want to make the next change in your life, you just have to ask God to help you make the next right step. Sometimes we make things entirely too complicated because we are so focused on the end result we are seeking and we miss steps 1-99. Each step in the right direction makes a huge difference.

3. Shame doesn’t define you. Since I have been being honest  I will say this. I let my past haunt me. I carry my shame around with me because its all I know. Sheila Walsh spoke on shame and how it can paralyze you. She said that we are “happy to help others out of their dungeons just to go back and lock ourselves in ours”. It is so true. God doesn’t look at you and see shame. He sees the person you are becoming, the person he made you to be. Let the past be.

4. Forgiveness. Matthew West shared a gut wrenching story about the power of God’s forgiveness during his concert. It tore me apart because if this woman could forgive the man that killed her daughter how can I hold a grudge against a friend from years ago who betrayed me? God, is the jury and the judge, and he has called us to forgive, even our worst enemy. It is hard. But by the looks of it, it’s completely rewarding.

5. Don’t go to God because you want what you think He can give you. In the mist of bad circumstances, don’t lose hope in the goodness of God. He didn’t promise constant ease and happiness. Don’t lose hope when you pray for something and it doesn’t happen.  That doesn’t mean God isn’t working, as long as you are on this earth his work in your life will not end.

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(I’m just going to leave this here)

6.Run, if your massage therapist leads you to a yurt. (Ask Lisa Harper).

7. The Devil on his best day can’t take you out on your worst day. YOU ARE STILL HERE. Armor up. This is a spiritual battlefield. God is your shield. Miracles are possible because everything is possible with God.

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8.  Be beautiful and intelligent, and quickly get off that donkey. There’s a story in 1st Samuel 25 about a woman who listened for the word of the Lord, Abigail, and responded. I highly suggest reading the entire story (let’s just say its a good one.) We have to be swift in our responses to the opportunities God gives us. But before we do that, we have to be intelligent and listen for those opportunities. And her swiftness off that Donkey got her the man.

9. Be Silly. Let loose, stop worrying about what people think.

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10. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. That really encompasses it all doesn’t it? There is no shame in love. There is no condemnation in love. The devil cannot be in love. There is not hurt in love. There is forgiveness in love. There is peace in love. There is hope in love. God is love.

After this conference, I had the pleasure of visiting a youth group from the Week of Hope camp I was involved with this summer. It was a blessing to go to their church and surprise them. Love on them, and truly see how God can bring His people together.

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What a blessing to know such amazing individuals!

This weekend was truly a whirlwind, and I am going into this semester Revived, and ready for the highs and lows that come ahead. I feel firmly planted in the plan God has for me, and rejuvenated in the Spirit. God is good. God is so good.

To check out what Women of Faith is about click here

 

#PFSMS: You are Poetry

God's living property.

I found this quote on Pinterest, via my mom so thanks mom! It has really encouraged me this week as I struggled with self confidence upon starting a new semester. I have struggled with confidence issues since I was in middle school.  I think if we are all honest, there are things we are not fond of about ourselves. I can off the top of my head think of at least five things  I would change about myself if given an easy solution.

The things I would change are temporal. They are based on set of expectations place upon me by the media, by my culture. Expectations no one can meet considering even models are photoshopped these days. These insecurities can hold people captive, and lead to self loathing. Women especially in this society are programed to think that failure to reach these narrow standards of beauty, will make them undesirable. Their skin must be perfect, their hair the right style, their clothes from a certain brand and a certain size.  And even if we are that size there is always that 10 pounds we want to lose right ladies?

This quote from Pam Carbungco shows you what God sees when he looks at us. Beautiful, living poetry. Let’s break that down shall we?

beau·ti·ful

adjective \ˈbyü-ti-fəl\

 :  having qualities of beauty:  exciting aesthetic  pleasure
:  generally pleasing : excellent: of a very high standard
  • po·et·ry

    noun \ˈpō-ə-trē, -i-trē also ˈp(-)i-trē\

    : something that is very beautiful or graceful

    :  writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm

    You are God’s poetry, his concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged specifically to form you. You have meaning. You are of very high standard. You are excellent.  You are pleasing to the senses and mind.

    Just the way you are.

    No changes required. With God their is no size associated with your beauty, no makeup needed. He sees the darkest parts of your soul, even the stuff you cannot see and still calls you beautiful.

    In Song of Solomon 4:7 God says that “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

    He says “She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her” in Proverbs 3:15

     And Let us not forget  “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) We are made in the image of him. If we believe God to be the God of the universe, why would we want to change how he created us? You look the way you are at this time because God created you to be this way. Just like when you look back at middle school photos and cringe, he created you in his image their as well. (Though circa 2007, my fashion choices were not so pleasant. ) You are beautiful because God is beautiful.

    You are God’s poetry. His work of art. Live your life as such. And don’t apologize to society for being different than it’s standards. When I look to God, there is nothing I would change about myself. He fills in the cracks where I am lacking and makes me whole.

    So when you approach Monday feeling down on your self. Think of the most beautiful poem you read. Imagine how inconceivably more beautiful God’s poetry is. And I am his poetry.

    In the words of Beyonce “I woke up like this… FLAWLESS”.