It’s a Photo Shoot!

cafe henriLast weekend I was finally able to link up with a couple girlfriends that I haven’t seen in weeks.  We met for brunch at a French café, Café Henri, that was simply amazing and afterwards found ourselves roaming the calm streets of West Village.

Sunita and Christina are both fashion bloggers who take their industry very seriously.  When I suggested that we take a picture or two, I had NO IDEA that I was signing up for a photo shoot.   The next thing I know, they each whipped out their powerful Nikon cameras, found absolutely beautiful backdrops and began snapping away.

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“Raise your sleeve a bit so we can see your gorgeous wrist accessories.  Yup, amazing!”

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“Right there Ashley, in front of that door!  Yes!  It goes perfect with your outfit!”

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“Look natural!  The pictures don’t work when you’re trying to hard.  Beautiful!”

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Then after reviewing several photos, they exclaimed, “Yes, here it is!  This is the shot.  This is it!

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Out of all of those pictures however, this one is my favorite.

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XOXO.

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Halloween 2013

I’ve always loved Halloween.  As a creative personality, I get immense joy from seeing how others put together their costumes and make their garb work for them.  I love the tradition of scary stories, crisp fall weather and fun Halloween parties.

As my father says, “You love it cause you like pretending to be something that you’re not!”

He may have a point, because this year you couldn’t tell me I was not THEE vampire of Brooklyn at a house party I attended.

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One of my good friends, Maya, has recently explored costume makeup and I think she may have found her calling.

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While she did a fabulous job on my vampire makeup, check out her own look below.

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Wow!  I told her, “You look like a cast member of Law & Order: SVU.”

Movin’ On Up!

This past summer I found myself not fitting in my clothes the way I used too, namely my bottoms.  Everything was fitting tighter and I noticed a few additional stretch marks yet I wasn’t gaining any weight.  I couldn’t understand why suddenly I was splitting my size 2 jeans and shorts, especially since I’d been paying a lot of attention to how and what I was eating and had consequently become a healthier, more conscious person.  I was incredibly confused and it didn’t help that the guy I was seeing didn’t always make me feel the most secure about it.

stack of jeansWhen it was time to switch my summer clothes out for my winter ones, I finally had to face the problem when NONE of my blue jeans fit anymore.  I couldn’t get them over my thighs and knew not to force it because as experience had taught me several times this summer, I would surely split them.  After shedding a tear or two over it and reviewing a few possible work-out routines always abandoning them before I began because I don’t like to sweat, I decided to try out a larger size just to see what would happen.

While size 4’s were a slight struggle to get on as I had to shimmy a bit to get them up over my thighs, size 6’s glided on effortlessly!  There was no stomach fat or other things jiggling over the edge of my waistband and the slim figure I have grown accustomed to over the past several years suddenly revealed itself again.

Is this that troublesome “woman weight” I’d been hearing about since high school?  Are these wider hips, thicker thighs and bigger bum my womanly curves that have finally come to introduce me to womanhood?

Suddenly I had my “aha” moment!

While I had been dreading buying bigger sizes, I now find myself welcoming it.  I’m incredibly relieved to finally have an answer.  Life had been such a mystery for a second, not understanding or knowing why I suddenly, almost overnight, couldn’t fit into my clothes.

While many may say “a 2 or a 6 is still small and nothing to worry about,” and I would agree, it is still an adjustment, a dramatic one in fact for someone such as myself, but I’m welcoming the change.   I’ve never switched sizes that dramatically before (with the exception of shoe sizes in 5th/6th grade) and it’s nice being able to rock things like leggings more confidently these days haha.  Either way, I’m now in desperate need of jeans and dress pants (as I have to replace ALL of the ones I used to own) and am taking any/all tips as it relates to this search.

Feels good to be back in my happy space!

The Secret Behind That Tutu I Was Wearing On Instagram…

 

Over the weekend I wore this tulle skirt to a New York Fashion Week event.

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While the outfit felt incredibly obnoxious in the privacy of my own bedroom, once I was out walking the NYC streets, you couldn’t tell me I was anything less than fierce!  Folks’ compliments didn’t help-it seemed like almost every woman I passed was ogling over the exceptional tutu.  As a pranced along throughout the evening, I was nearly convinced I was a princess!  :p

I’m here to let you in on a little secret…  Would you believe me if I told you I made it myself?  Yes, it is a DIY project.  This past spring I sat down and made my tulle tutu.

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I spent $20.  Yes, twenty dollars.

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Blake Von D posted the tutu tutorial awhile back and after closely following her directions, I had a masterpiece of my own.*

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As hard as it is to believe, it really is as simple as stated on her site.  The most difficult part of the entire process for me was deciding which color(s) of tulle I wanted!

Happy tutu-making ladies! XOXO

*While Blake ordered three rolls of black tulle, I thought I would make two tutus, so I ordered three rolls of wine tulle as well.  Unfortunately, when I started adding the black tulle to my elastic band (from an old pair of leggings), my skirt was still extremely sheer.  It was at that point I began adding pieces of wine tulle between the pieces of black.  My two-toned tutu took six rolls of tulle and I couldn’t be any happier with it!

September!

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Can you believe it’s September already?  It’s so cliché to remark on how quickly the year seems to be passing but seriously, is 2013 not flying by?  When I think of other years, such as 2012, then 2011…I realize that all of them seemed to pass fast.  It makes me question, did the years pass quickly or is it now that I’m older time overall seems to move faster?   I’m going to go with the latter.

Now that we have a new month upon us, it’s a great time for me to check in with myself.  I evaluate past goals, reassess, then create new ones.  I also make a mental note of things I’m looking forward to within that month.

Goals of mine for the month of September are…

  • Land a job I REALLY want-I need to assess what this looks like because I’m not sure that I even know.
  • Continue to cut back and spend less-the lone exception is this pair of shoes I’ve been watching on ShoeDazzle.com  I may have to make something shake because I really need them.
  • Finish all 30 days of the squat challenge-I generally find myself quitting halfway through because I’m satisfied with the muscle definition I see and I also don’t want my thighs to get too big (I sometimes have trouble fitting them into my bottoms already).
  • Read a different business-oriented/self-help book each week-my aunt shared with me that the average business book is written based on 15 years of experience.  If I read four of them, that’s 60 years in a single month.  I’m down for that!

Things that I’m looking forward to are…

  • Reuniting with most of my core group of girlfriends from undergrad-We are all getting together in about three weeks and I’m so excited.
  • Enjoying the last few memories that Summer 2013 has in store for me.
  • Continuing to draw closer to my family-the older I get, the more essential they become.  It’s now a major priority of mine to check in, in some way, with them semi-regularly.
  • Playing September by Earth, Wind & Fire on repeat-It’s my favorite song by them, probably because it always reminds me of my younger brother Ty.  His birthday is in September.
  • Ty’s 25th birthday-I have many siblings, but Ty is the one who just “gets” me.  When I was experiencing my quarter-life crisis, he was there along with me (so much so, that he even shared tears with me…and Ty doesn’t cry.  That’s love!).  I am ready to step in and be a support for him for whatever he may be feeling.  I just really want to be there for him as he was there for me.

While the month seems so expansive, it will be gone before I know it!  What about you?  Do you make goals for the month?  Are there things that September will be bringing that you’re anticipating?  Share below!

“Say do you remember, dancing in September?  Never was a cloudy day!” -Earth, Wind & Fire

Wedge Sneakers? Perhaps!

I forget which store I was in when I first spotted them, but from day one I’ve always thought wedge sneakers were some of the ugliest, nonsensical shoes created.  If a woman wants to rock wedges, rock them.  If she wants to rock sneakers, rock them.  But combining the two?  Come on now…what sense does that make?

The photo’s of the wedge sneaker trend styled didn’t improve my outlook…

Even Beyonce couldn’t manage to make these things look attractive smh

 

…until I saw this photo of Eddie Murphy’s daughter!

Wow!  She’s killin it!

 

I am now a believer.  I promptly purchased my first pair within 24-hours.

I think I can rock with these…

 

Kobi Levi, Nod of Approval

Are these not the most unique shoe designs (that make sense) you’ve ever seen in your life?!?!

"Slingshot"

"Miao"

"Coffee? Porcelain Version"

"Chewing Gum"

"Elephant" (Oo-Oop my sorors!)

"Blow"

I came across his designs sometime last year and have been lurking on the Internet for an opportunity to purchase a shoe or two.  Yesterday I finally found a contact email address that will prayerfully lead to a success!  To view more shoes, click here.