Life Update

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Apologies for the not-so-clever headline, I just mean to say it like it is. I think it’s probably a good time to share what’s been going on at la casa d’Ayres—and if you’re thinking that was neither Spanish nor French, you would be correct, but I digress. First of all, I’m undergoing a content makeover, so expect to see more content, and a lot of polls as I start to incorporate new schtuff. And please—your feedback is more than welcomed and very much appreciated.

Second, I’ve been dormant (again) due to all of the changes in my life. Most significantly, I’ve accepted a new position managing social media for a company that sells fashionable medical uniforms and equipment. Random, I know, but that’s sort of been the normal throughout my professional career. What I’m most excited about is that this new position will be more “my speed” and give me much more time to focus on things I want to do outside of work, like for example, this here blog.

At the very least, I can solely focus on one brand, which will enable me to do social media right, opposed to juggling multiple brands, products, and industries, and only being able to focus on specific tasks.

Albeit the category of clothing, this position does lend itself to “styling” and thoughtfully putting content together, because these are fashionable scrubs, after all. Plus, I will be very involved in styling shoots which will totally benefit me in this arena.

Outside of work and this blog—like literally outside—I’ve been working on my garden. Super, super stoked about that. I’m creating a pollinator-friendly garden this year, starting from seed. Much of my last couple of weekends have been spent working on that, in addition to wrapping things up at G/L. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how all of these wonderful things start to flourish, and I’ll be sure share all the details along the way. 🙂

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Sweater Fever

Today, I wanted to talk about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart: sweaters. It seems the past few years I’ve had an obsession for, traditionally, one category of either clothing, accessories, or shoes. Nevertheless, it seems to be a seasonal fix each year. Last year it was scarves, the year before coats, and before that booties. This year just so happens to be sweaters. I can probably point a lot of blame at a blogger or two, but we don’t need to get into the dirty details of influencer marketing.

As promised, I mentioned on the gram (give or take a week or five) that I would share a few from my own collection and some favorites that I have refrained myself from purchasing. So without further ado, here are my favorite sweaters this season, and links on where to snag em!

Mock Necks

Lucky Brand Mock Neck

The mock neck is sort of in-between a full-on turtleneck and a crew neck, and is probably one of my favorite trends this season. And while the mock neck has been around (here) for much of 2017, the style definitely dominated the sweater category this past fall and I’m so glad it did. My favorite mock neck sweater pictured above, was a steal from a Lucky Brand outlet store in Colorado. But you can find similar items here:

 

  1. White Nep Pullover – Target
  2. Button Side Tunic Sweater – Target
  3. Donegal Northfield Mockneck – Madewell 
  4. Cropped Turtleneck – Target
  5. Knit Sweater – H&M

More favorites here:

 

  1. Let’s Link Up Cable Pullover – Free People
  2. Patchwork Mock Neck Sweater – Nordstrom
  3. Knit Wool-Blend Sweater – H&M
  4. Links Links Mock Neck – Free People
  5. Cuddle Up Pullover – Free People
  6. Ottoman Slouchy Tunic – Free People

Power Sleeves

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Ah, the power sleeve. Not an official style title, just my own personal feeling about them. They are big, they are bold, and you sort of have to have a bit of confidence when you’re wearing such ridiculously large, ballooned-sleeves, amiright? But let’s be honest, all I think about when it comes to a power sleeve is Jerry. But if you’re bold enough to flaunt the power sleeve, more power to you.

 

  1. Ruffle Sweatshirt – Lucky Brand
  2. Wrap Sweater – Treasure and Bond x Something Navy
  3. Cocoon Sleeve Oversized Crew Neck – Target
  4. Wide Sleeve Sweater – Nordstrom
  5. Her Turtleneck – Free People
  6. Park City Pullover

Ok, to be fair, none of these options are too much power puff—maybe except you green.


Colorful Knits

 

  1. Dundee Fringe Cardigan- Anthropologie
  2. Kaylee Pullover – Anthropologie
  3. Marled Wool Blend Turtleneck – J. Crew
  4. Shelley Pullover – Free People
  5. Castles In The Sky Sweater – Free People
  6. Knit Sweater – H&M

There seemed to be no shortage of spectacularly embellished, bright and colorful sweaters this season, and I can’t say I hate it. Just pure awesomeness. In a closet full of mostly black and grey, I could seriously use a pop of color. I had loads of candidates for this category that unsurprisingly, sold out. 😦


Over-The-Shoulder

image2I tried to find one of the sweaters pictured below in-store at Free People, but the St. Louis store has a lame buyer—sorry, not sorry—I did, however, find this gem at a fraction of the cost of the sweater I initially wanted to buy. You win some, you lose some.

 

  1. Off The Shoulder Sweater – Target
  2. Cold Shoulder Chenille Sweater – Lucky Brand
  3. Off Shoulder Sweater – Lucky Brand
  4. Alluring Sands Pullover – Free People
Turtle Neck

Fear not of the traditional turtleneck. Albeit, a popular and modest style for 80s-90s moms, and classicly paired with a jumper, the turtleneck has made a big and cozy comeback with sweaters this season. No undershirt necessary.

 

  1. Flecked Turtleneck – Madewell
  2. Knit Your Love Turtleneck – Chic Wish
  3. Grid Turtleneck Sweater – Chic Wish
  4. She’s All That Knit Turtleneck – Free People
  5. Heart and Soul Patched Knit Sweater – Chic Wish
Cardigans

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A staple necessary for everyone’s wardrobe if not only for their cozy, casual, and cocoon-like qualities. Here are some of my favorites:

 


That wraps up some of my favorite sweaters this season! Any favorites you can’t stop wearing this winter? Share em with me in the comments below or tag me on the gram! Thanks for peeking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward in 2018

Reflecting on life over the past year and steps I’m taking to move forward in 2018, to improve my skills, capabilities, and my peace of mind.

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2018, I couldn’t be happier to greet you. 2017 was off to a tumultuous start, but on a personal level, made a turn for the better. Josh and I bought our first home, I got a new job, my sister and my future brother-in-law got engaged, several of our wonderful friends got married, I made multiple (mind you) pie crusts from scratch, plus their innards. I was gifted a kitchen aid mixer 🙏🏼, we bought a vacuum cleaner that is the best vacuum cleaner I have ever used, and this past fall, I started planning and working on my garden, which I’m so stoked to really cut my teeth into this spring. Now, if that isn’t a successful year (and super adulting), I don’t know what is.

But all of these accomplishments didn’t come without their hardships. In all my years of life, I don’t believe I have ever been this stressed, riddled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. I have been challenged, tested, broken, renewed, re-energized, and reconsidered my life decisions more often than I care to admit.

But now I feel (at least today), that I can finally get a grasp on my life, my job, my goals, and finally take a deep breath in, and let it allll out.

I have been reflecting on life over the past year; the accomplishments, the failures, and steps I took to move forward and this year I’d like to take more strides to improve my skills, capabilities, and my peace of mind. To do so will take much persistence and practice, but here’s what I want to focus on in 2018:

Eliminate Stress

Sure, I won’t be able to cut-out all of the stress in my life, but accepting that life happens and continuing to move forward may help reduce some of that pressure. One thing is for sure, I don’t have the energy to deal with stress in 2018.

In addition to continuing my practice of yoga, another way I plan on relieving stress is through meditation. There are so many health benefits of meditation. My only problem is, I can only sit still for about 6 minutes max, and my mind is a mile per minute. Any pointers from anyone who practices? 🙋🏻‍♀️

Preparedness

Not surprisingly, a lot of my stress was a direct result of my lack of preparedness, which had me constantly struggling to keep up. This year I want to focus on seeking opportunities to plan ahead, improve my knowledge and skills, and improve my overall confidence by being prepared.

Being Present

Ironically, it’s difficult to be present in a digital age, especially when your job is social media. However, this year I’d like to be more present to the people who mean the most to me. While I don’t believe I was particularly terrible at being present/communicating before, I think there’s room for us all to improve here. Let’s all put down the phones and have some solid discussions with each other (unless you’re reading this post ;)).

While there are multiple goals/changes I’d like to focus on in 2018, these preceding goals are most important to me. What goals are you setting for 2018? What steps are you taking to achieve them?

Three Thanksgiving Day Styles (stuffing approved)

Tis’ the season to stuff of our faces full of delicious food and be thankful for our family, friends, good fortunes, and 4-day weekends. This year I am thankful that I have a job that pays the bills, puts delicious healthy food on the table, and gives me time off the be with the people I love. I am thankful for a new chapter in my life, and I am thankful, always, for my brothers and sisters, and my girlfriends, who I might not see or talk to everyday, but who are always willing to listen when I’ve got something on my mind.

With that being said, while those listed above will love me unconditionally no matter what, they’re still going to give me trouble if I show up to Thanksgiving dinner in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. So here are three outfits styled for Thanksgiving Day (stuffing approved).  

Lounge-Like 

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If you are a child of divorce, you can empathize with this child of divorce who has 3 Thanksgiving’s tomorrow, and don’t even get me started on Christmas. Let’s just say the holidays are always, sigh, exhausting. This year I’ve made note on what clothing works for both the comfort of travel and over-eating. Enter leggings, over-sized cardigan, and loose T. You bet I will be wearing this tomorrow.

T-Shirt from Target here. Cardigan (different color) from H&M here. Black Fringe Booties (similar) here. Leggings here.

Denim and Discreet

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Over-sized sweaters are where it’s at this season and not only are they seasonably practical for the weather, they are also practical for eating lot’s of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, and vegetables I guess.

Hi, Rodger.

Sweater (similar) from H&M here and here. Booties from Target here. Blanket scarf here.

High Waisted Hero

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Ok so this skirt seriously rocks. I wore this for a Friendsgiving and I had no issues, even after a huge plate of starches and a bottle of wine. If you’ve got any high waisted pleated skirts, I highly recommend those. They’re comfy, chic, and do a lovely job at hiding any bloated discomfort. No high waisted pants, those are way too much pressure on full bellies.

Faux leather skirt from Nordstrom Rack here. Flannel from Target here (only seems to be available in plus size online). Over-the-knee boots from DSW here.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, full of delicious food, laughter, family and friends, love, and zero politics! Peace, love, and pumpkin pie. Cheers!

 

Sayonara Summer

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Sweet, sweet, summer. What a time for exploration, adventures, and new discoveries. Knock the temperatures all you want, but I LOVE summer; lake trips, floating, laying out by the pool, sun-kissed skin, lightened locks, minimal clothing, and ice cold beer.

Yep, I will take scorching temperatures for all of this. Sadly, summer is coming to an end; so to send off summer on a stellar pump, I decided to visit one of my favorite places, dressed head-to-toe in some of my some of my summer favorites.

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Location: Bowood Farms Dress: Urban Outfitters Shoes: Pitaya Wallet: Target

Unfortunately, I found this dress at Urban about 3 months ago, and it’s no longer available online, however, you might be able to find it in-store. The shoes I purchased from Pitaya last year. Although, they are no longer available now, I highly recommend browsing their stores. Awesome, super cute clothes, accessories, and shoes, for incredible prices. I also got my sunglasses from Pitaya and they were $8.

 

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Bowood Farms remains one of my all-time favorite brunch destinations in St. Louis. Not only are the food and cocktails excellent, but in the spring and summer, the nursery is abundant with plants, herbs, blooms, and magnificent florals. It’s an exceptionally charming nursery and cafe and I highly recommend checking it out; at least just to peruse and wander because it’s just simply  a beautiful boutique.

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I hope you enjoy your last weekend of summer by soaking up the sun, and taking some time to reflect on all your accomplishments and finally relax with a big ol’ margarita, chips & salsa, and maybe some shrimp tacos if you’re feeling really spicy. I’m definitely not craving Mexican food…not at all…

Stay tuned for my fall fashion predictions coming soon! Sayonara summer!

Denim in Distress

Hi all!

So here’s the deal – I’ve been getting quite crafty these past few weeks. You see, sometimes the retailer doesn’t have exactly what your heart desires/your size in stock, and you know how the old saying goes; when we can’t buy, we DIY.

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So the two projects I completed were distressed boyfriend jeans, and cut-offs.

Now I’ve had my fair share of hack-job handcrafts, and as I’ve just alluded, they were nothing short of disastrous. This time, however, I watched a few YouTube videos before starting. Here are my tips for creating your very own boyfriend jeans or cut-offs, or both.

First and  foremost, before making destroyed jeans or cut-offs, be sure you’ve got a decent pair of denims. You don’t want any of those shitty super stretchy jeans; and probably ditch the bedazzled studded embellishments.

For my boyfriend jeans, I picked up a pair from the Goodwill for a whopping $4. I did have  a specific look in mind for my boyfriend jeans: light-wash, decent-quality denim, high-waisted, and finally, the back pockets couldn’t be too distracting. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a pair that was nearly a perfect match…except for the size. For the price, I was willing to try and make it work.

I didn’t watch a YouTube video or anything when I started my boyfriend jeans; I just searched for the pair of pants I wanted to buy online, and tried to mimic its style and cut. I took a pen and marked the pants where I wanted to cut and voila! Distressed boyfriend jeans! Kind of.

After my holes were cut, I took the blade of the scissors and frayd the edges  of the holes. I threw those bad boys in the washer and dryer and all of my distressed denim dreams came true; besides the actual size, but hey, that’s what squats are for! Am I right?

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For the cut-offs, I’ve fucked up far too many pairs in the past and decided to take proper precaution by watching a YouTube video or five.

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There are so many ways you can do distressed cut-offs, but I particularly liked this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehcIeqXinSU
but that may be because this is the most adorable vlogger I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting. Frankly, I can’t stand the shorts that leave your butt-cheeks hanging out and that’s all I can seem to find these days. I do have a pair of butt-cheek shorts, but I wear long t’s and tanks to cover up my ass. You’re welcome. I did make some alterations to her technique, mostly because I don’t know what she was thinking with those crotch flaps.

The measurements were kind of wonky due to my super low-cut jeans (thank you, 2007), so I also made some adjustments when applying measurements. The key is to mark your desired measurements on where to cut, then cut 2-3 inches below those marks. Try on your shorts and decide whether you want to continue taking off an inch, until you’re satisfied with the length.

I incorporated her “dolphin cut” and I’m very pleased with the look. My absolute favorite part about these denims are the shredded holes. Let me tell you, it’s the best tip in this video (05:16). It took me so long to complete the shredded holes and it was an absolute pain in the ass, but oh my god, so worth it. It gives your cut-offs that store-bought look that I was ultimately trying to achieve. Now I completely understand why distressed jeans are so expensive.

Just like with my boyfriend jeans, I took the blade of the scissors and frayed the edges and any holes that weren’t shredded. Lastly, I threw them in the washer and dryer to give em to complete the look.

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I was very pleased with the results of both of my projects and I would highly recommend it. You just can’t beat recycling and a $4 price tag. Cheers!

 

How To Get Your Body Caftan-Ready For The Summer

Article originally published in New York Magazines, The Cut. Written by Véronique Hyland. Title is the same as the original article.

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About a month ago, I was eating at a restaurant in West Hollywood with a friend. We’d already devoured faux In-N-Out burgers, the contents of the dim sum and sushi carts, and a generous helping of fries. She didn’t seem particularly concerned about our Falstaffian night of consumption. “I’m getting ready to go to a caftan party,” she told me. Instead of a bachelorette party, a friend of hers was having a house party with caftans as a required dress code. When I returned to New York, I saw thatChristina Hendricks is also a fan of caftan parties (and even got Jimmy Fallon to wear one). One can only hope that, like juicing, injecting vitamin B-12, using hella as an adverb, and doing those weird IV drips, caftan parties are a chill West Coast trend that’s headed east very soon. That’s how it always starts: Your much-cooler-to-the-point-where-they’re-slumming friend tells you about it, then a minor celebrity raves about it, then everyone is suddenly doing it.

It’s now late May, which means that women’s publications are in full bikini-body crisis mode. A Vogue headline blares, “How to Get a Beach Body in Two Weeks.” Self magazine might as well display a visible forehead vein: Get that bikini body or else! (“SUMMER SEXY STARTS NOW,” screams their current cover.) These articles emphasize a Spartan regimen of salt-reduction, dry brushing, and tiny, fishy meals. Perhaps there’s the occasional Pyrrhic “cheat day,” but overall these prescriptions do not spell “summer fun.”

But getting a caftan body — now, that is far more pleasurable. Below, the Cut’s steps to getting yourself caftan-ready for the warmer months. (The best news: Literally every step but the first is optional.)

1. Select a caftan of your chosen gauge and length. Stroke its gauzy fabric and whisper into its folds.

2. Let your flesh settle into the crevices of your comfortable, comfortable caftan.

3. Crumbs? Let them fall where they may, swaddled in your caftan.

4. Throw out your razor.

5. Throw out your bra.

6. Throw out the aloe vera lotion you bought last summer. You will not be getting sunburned this summer.

7. Release your inhibitions. Feel the rain on your skin.