style

ania styles: season and perspective shifts

September 21, 2017

urban outfitters dress / dsw steve madden sandals

let’s just get right to it: the changing of seasons is the hardest time to reroot myself from that more more more mindset. nyfw started and i saw so many fall trends i love and immediately the list began to build in my head.

sweaters. booties. boots. over the knee? what color? do i need more jeans? probably. black jeans…should i get a pair with holes in the knees? wait but i also need flannels. and new tennis shoes. also how do i work a new wallet into the equation? OH WOW HAWAII. should i get more swimmies? sunglasses? what do i wear to walk in? also velvet. ooooh a velvet dress. also skirts. a plaid skirt? that sounds necessary. i could use another coat. for fall. and winter. also a hat. like a cute knit hat. but also new leggings for running. speaking of, i could use new headphones.

i mean W H A T. this changing of season and the way we are marketed at is disturbing. we don’t need anything. truly. most of us have more than enough. it’s been my new year’s resolution to reroot and it becomes hardest at these times of transition where everyone has a “fall 2017 to buy list” and “the 5 boots you can’t live without.”

and i’m like yo. let’s slow it dowwnnnnnnn. thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the last few weeks due to natural disasters and we think we need 12 new sweaters for fall? it seems like two extremes to me. let’s look at all the bounty we already have and count our blessings instead, mixing and matching new combos in our closets.

this mentality of need vs. want is something i have REALLY been challenging myself on lately. it mainly stems from my tight budget with a couple of big trips (mainly Hawaii!!!) up ahead.

but honestly, it also comes a lot from my time abroad. i still think about how much more clothing i brought FOR NINE MONTHS than my host sister had…in totality. it was so clear to me how they spent their money: on experiences. and how clear it was how i, as an American, spent my money: on materials.

it’s really easy to look around and think a want is a need as we go from summer to fall. what i would challenge you to think about is that we already have SO much. yes, i would love these sunglasses, i had to return this sweater to pay for a boat trip in Hawaii and i really freaking would love to buy a new pair of skinny jeans.

but here’s the thing: i get to choose. i have enough money that i GET to choose how to spend it. i am not broke. that’s borderline insulting. i have a roof over my head and i have groceries in my fridge and occasionally i get to go on some crazy trip.

i am reminded everyday when i turn on the news and see those with nothing how privileged i am to be able to choose Hawaii over lunch at Chipotle, a deposit for a trip to the Holy Land next spring over a pair of Free People shoes. this choice is a privilege that many would dream of.

i think the instant i forget that i have a choice and i confuse my wants as needs is when i slip into a dangerous mindset that more is better and that i have less than everyone else.

when in reality, i have so much. and all i need.

this dress will soon be worn with my white Superga’s and i’ll throw a sweater thrown over it as the air becomes brisk. and today i mixed an old top with a pair of linen pants. and i will wear my jeans for oooonnneeeee more season before they head out the door. because what i’m realizing is that the more i take my identity from the top list of fall blouses I MUST HAVE this season, the more content i feel and less attached to my money.

i love shopping. i love styling outfits and changing trends and looking at what’s new every fashion week. i mean, that’s part of the reason i blog here! but it can become addictive. so i am just in a season of training my heart to see what i have. and if one day i have more flexibility in my budget, i’ll know when to stop, see the blessings present and give my money to those who need it.

 

xx

ae

photography

portraits : gina in carmel, ca // part iv

September 14, 2017

and the final batch. these ones were taken on a random side hill that we stumbled upon via a kind cop who had almost given us a ticket when we tried to get photos on these sand dunes. he was like “hey, i have another spot in mind!” and brought us to this hill. god bless him and his artistic side. ๐Ÿ˜‰

i hope you enjoyed these photos as much as i do. they have such a special place in my heart because this day was one of those that when i felt so completely and utterly myself. it was so fulfilling in every way.

 

i hope you get a day as carefree and beautiful as this every once in awhile. it’s good for me to just create beautiful things for the sake of creating beautiful things.

photography

portraits : gina in carmel, ca // part iii

September 13, 2017

these beach shots made me emotional. the colors and the happiness i can feel through them when i think of us running around like crazy kids in these long dresses, tripping over ourselves and snapping shots as fast as we could, makes me smile every time. the whimsy of it all and the carefree nature of the shoot is exactly the perfect set-up. no pressure; just creating and dreaming.

Uncategorized

portraits : gina in carmel, ca // part ii

September 12, 2017

the movement of the skirt on this dress literally just ruined me. i mean COME ON. can you even deal with the flowyness?!?!?!?!

part iii and iv coming at you the next two days! felt like i should just get these all out there as quickly as possible because this kind of beauty doesn’t deserve to be stuck on my computer where only i can swoon over it.

photography

portraits : gina in carmel, ca // part i

September 11, 2017

i still think about the day gina and i met up in carmel, ca to create something beautiful together. that day filled my cup so much that when i think back to running up sand dunes, getting covered in tulle on the beach and becoming good good good friends in one afternoon in chats in-between shots, i feel instantly full again.

gina is a beauty, inside and out. there are so many beautiful photos and do them each justice, i have separated them by dress and location. i cannot WAIT until gina and i meet up again to create Beauty. i am convinced our world needs more of that right now; people joining together to create something magical together.

thank you to gina lady for being my model, coaching me through my new camera and doing anything i ask of her, including (but not limited to) lying to a cop that she was actually taking my wedding photos. you’re the real MVP, g-unit!

enjoy part i of this shoot. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

gina, you are gold to me! and california, you have my heart.

style

ania styles: summer to fall outfitting

September 7, 2017

soludos espadrilles / linen pants (similar in coral here) / anthropologie blouse

well, hello september! this time of the year is second only to the beginning of summer. the crisp mornings, the start of school and…the inability to figure out what to wear when it’s 50 degrees in the morning but 80 in the afternoon.

dressing in september is a lot of mixing summer and fall pieces. pairing an off-the-shoulder shirt like this one i LOVE from Anthropologie (it also comes in black and red!) with linen pants or jeans and booties transitions it from summer to fall.

a short sleeve top with a slouchy cardi and shorts. sandals and a long dress with a wide-brimmed hat. a short dress with a long sweater and booties. the list doesn’t end!

this time of the year is perfect for trying to make even more outfits out of what you already have! layer and try new combos before you feel like you have to hurry out and buy something new. some of my fav early fall combos is flannels with white dresses, chunky sweaters with shorts skirts and long sleeve blouses with with shorts.

there’s something so wonderful about the weather before it gets chilly — does anyone else just feel so hopeful and excited in months like May and September?! something about the changing of seasons!

i am excited to stick around st. louis in september (also defffff need to save all the dollars for hawaii, ya know?!) because it’s one of the most wonderful months to live in the midwest. i struggle in the winter so i am soaking in e.v.e.r.y. minute of good weather! what are you most excited about for the fall?!

 

 

xx,

ae

travel

travel diary: nashville, tennessee

September 6, 2017

between work, Anthro and keeping track of my budget to be on track for hawaii, it’s been a whirlwind since Nashville! but i want to give you a play-by-play of the girls’ weekend there before i forget the details.

nashville. yeesh. the food, the friendly people, the adorable neighborhoods, the young professional crowd, the M E N (heart eyes, people), the drive into the city from st. louis … where do i begin?!

i’ll just start at the beginning.

my friend hallie and i drove in friday morning from st. louis. it’s about 4.5 hours and since there were approximately 25025839205809 cops on the highway, it took us just about exactly 4.5 hours. we listened to music, caught up, talked about life, post grad, relationships, friendships, and the time flew.

and of course we made time for sonic because that is MOST DEFINITELY a road trip essential.

we got in to Nashville around 2, lounged on my gal pal Hannah’s bed (she just moved there!) to catch up and then decided to walk around the area by Vanderbilt to browse and grab a snack. this, as you know by now, is one of my favorite things to do when i visit an area: find a cute street and just browse, pretending i live there. hillsboro village is a great place to do that!

we got a bite to eat at Fido’s which i would def recommend for a pick-me-up — they even had a muffin i could eat. A MUFFIN, PEOPLE. since i’m allergic to eggs and wheat, i don’t think i’ve had a muffin since…like high school? it was everything paired with the Impeached drink on iiicceeee. my friend loves a boutique on 21st called Impeccable Pig — funny name, cute clothes! and the nicest girls ever who work there.

we headed back to Hannah’s apt, got ready for dinner + the night with music blasting like we were in college again, and headed out to meet up with some friends for dinner at bar taco.

okay so bar taco. okay so we waited an hour and fifty minutes… okay so i would do it again…

here’s the thing. i really honest to goodness don’t mind waiting for restaurants. like i really just don’t. ESPECIALLY on vacation when i literally have nothing better to do than grab a margarita from the bartender and stand on the sidewalk on a beautiful summer night in Nashville.

the only reason i started to get angsty was because i was famished at about an hour twenty into the wait. but so worth it!

in the meantime, we walked down the street to the infamous Nashville wall ย which is outside Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James. naturally i didn’t take a photo in front of that wall and loved on the wall opposite. HA. i’m the worst.

the dinner was SO FREAKIN’ GOOD. definitely on the higher $$$ end for dinner but for the atmosphere and quality of food, it’s worth it!

after grabbing dinner, we went over to my friend’s new house (seriously was so darling i was swooning) and went out in midtown. you know when you luckily grab a table at a super busy place so you just post up for like 4 hours? that was us. which is my fav way to go out — not a crazy partier, ya know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

the next morning we headed to explore 12 south, the same street that bar taco was on because there are a ton of shops and restaurants. the frothy monkey was highly recommended but was PACKED so we got acai bowls at franklin juice co. which i could literally eat everyday for the rest of my days. acai bowls are my love language honestly.

we found floral walls….

shops that made me want to redesign everything ever (#typical)…

and then headed off to lunch at the highly recommended pinewood social. this is my top recommendation for eats & hangs in nashville. it is one of the coolest places i have ever been and i wish it could be recreated in every city!

as you can see, there is a restaurant, a coffeeshop vibes area, an outdoor area with games + tables to enjoy the weather and DELICIOUS food.

ย 

and right next door is the river and a great view of the skyline!

it was here that we made plans to go to CMA Fest next year. who’s in!?

we were SO full and tired at this point that we headed home for some pool time and naps. i love trips with good friends because there’s no pressure to jam pack every moment. we were all hitting a wall and going to the pool with my friend i haven’t seen in months was just perfect!

after our siesta we went back out for more food at edley’s bbq and even though none of us were starved, we ate everything. of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IT WAS AMAZING. truly. so stinkin’ good and worth the wait.

we sat there for awhile, soaking in the moment before deciding to call it an early night, heading to Trader Joe’s on the way back for ice cream and then curling up and watching a chick flick.

hal and i left early the next morning and i was honestly sad to leave. nashville was somewhere i could totally see myself going back to and the people, food and sights are endless! being so close to st. louis, i’m sure i’ll be back soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

xx,

ae

style

ania styles: my weekend wardrobe refresh

August 14, 2017

urban outfitters romper / fringe accent tote bag / striped espadrilles

coming from college into post grad, there have been so many gaps in my wardrobe. probably one of the biggest is that in-between style that in college would have been replaced by nike shorts and big t-shirts. now, my weekends are filled with seeing friends, adventuring and running errands. and i don’t really want to wear nike shorts and tees anymore. buuuut i don’t have those in-between outfits!

this romper is so close to what i am looking for! if you haven’t read this before, i have a lot of stomach issues and one tip my doctor gave me a couple years ago is to stay away from tight clothing. usually that’s not an issue because my style is very flowy but then i see high-waisted pants or try on dresses/rompers with a band around my upper stomach and get so irritated that my acid reflux flares up like clockwork. i was so so sad to return this romper because it is what cute weekend loungewear dreams are made of.

i mean the backkkkkk, come onnnnnn. i was genuinely so sad to hand it over but i have had dresses/rompers before where i just never wear them because they make my stomach so angry at me!

however, i am definitely still running around town in my new fav Soludos espadrilles. they’re neutral, comfy and at a good price point. nothing but good things to say about them still!

and last but most DEFINITELY not least is my new tote. i have been looking for a new tote bag for…a year. HA. i have almost purchased the Madewell Transport tote approximately 20580230 times but that steep price always stopped me because I really needed some work clothing and shoes.

well then my tote that i used to carry my laptop/camera in around town broke. for a few months, i just carried my laptop/big items and used a smaller bag because i just didn’t want to buy a tote.

then one day at Anthro, i was folding clothes to close the store and noticed this new bag. it was love at first sight. at $88, it’s a really quality bucket tote that checks all the boxes: super spacious, long strap, neutral leather color and a boho twist with the fringe detail. it’s funny how style works a bit like life: you’ll look and look and try to force something to work. and then one day, you stumble upon exactly what you’re looking for andย be SO glad you waited! ๐Ÿ™‚

i will be sharing weekend wear as i find options! do you have anything you love to throw on? do you rock lululemon outfits, casual dresses or jeans + a cute tee forย your weekend vibes?! post grad keeps throwing me curveballs and makes me see gaps where i didn’t see them before! kind of didn’t realize how extreme my college closet was — either i was going out or going to class. needed that in-between space filled a bit.

happy, happy Monday! i am looking forward to getting my car washed this week. that sounds like the silliest thing but i have just have so much junk in my car between cleaning out my closet and buying/returning so much clothing/shoes the last couple of months. i need my clean, good smelling car back — this is the week!!!!! it’s the small things like a new air freshener that make my day.

home design

shopping for plants in St. Louis

August 3, 2017

i get so many questions about plants on my Instagram because of my love for them and my growing collection! they have been my saving grace as i spruce up my space on a tight budget. i have a post soon about the best plants for indoors and how i care for them but first i thought it’d be helpful to have a little list of the places i frequent for plant purchases here in St. Louis!

enjoy, fellow green thumb friends.

bowood farms : great for plants but also really cute home decor (think Anthro meets a greenhouse). also the adjacent Cafe Osage will just make you swooooon. they have completely nailed a perfect aesthetic.

flowers and weeds : hands down one of my favorite places in St. Louis. if you think you’ve been to the cutest plant shop, rethink that and visit flowers and weeds. when i walk in there, i wonder if my true life calling is to be a gardener.

lowe’s : trusty lowe’s where i have purchased most of my home plants and succulents because if it dies or you end up not liking it, you just bring back the plant and receipt. like whaaaat?!?!

walter knoll : this is a wholesale florist but at the location on lasalle street, there’s a greenhouse and nursery. they have really great prices and are so, so kind.

 

these places are near and dear to my heart so treat them kindly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ happy almost weekend!

 

xx,

ae

style

ania styles: boho work-fit and espadrilles

August 1, 2017

linen pants / blouse (in lavender only still!) / earrings / Soludos striped espadrilles

work-fit = work outfit. #imclever

i was so excited when i saw these pants come in at Anthropologie because they are the perfect mix of “i want to look put together at work” and “i want to look boho chic still.” which is basically my style in a nutshell. put together but not toooooo put together and boho chic but not tooooo chic. ya feel me?

the top is so easy to wear. i am just over difficult tops. like if you require me to wear some weird bra and a cami and be uncomfortable all day? i’m out. this color sold out so speedy quick, but the lavender color is on sale now!

these Madewell earrings that i can’t quit crushing on completed the look and i have just been LOVING those little guys so so much! i was almost nervous to wear them at first because they are so bold but i get so many compliments on them — even from men at work! which just absolutely makes me lol.

it just makes me so convicted every time i think through a purchase (and usually spend a little more) that i really love this capsule closet mindset where i am building a closet that in five years, will have so many pieces i LOOOOVE. right now i’m at like 70/30. i freaking am obsessed with 30% and the other 70% will eventually be phased out. but hey, this girl has trips to take! people to eat dinner with! dinner parties to throw! plants to buy! slow progress is good progress.

the only downfall of these pants is that the slit makes them billow so so much. and i’m tall so that’s saying something! one thing i want to remind you all that i constantly remind myself is that a lot of things you don’t like (i.e. length, waist size, strap length) can be fixed by a seamstress! i am going to find a good one in STL to just sew that slit right up and then the pants will be my dream!

already scheming to pair them with a blouse-y top, a white button down, a little tank with a jean jacket, a blazer or a sleeveless top for a night out to dinner! i like to be able to think of at least three outfits when i buy something and with these pants, the possibilities are endless.

oh and those espadrilles. they are life-giving. i really need shoes but am having time finding some that match my style and are comfortable. i can’t even tell you how many pairs of shoes i’ve ordered this summer and returned. i have become SO picky!

but espadrilles feel SO me! i wore them all day at work today and i am basically a Soludos convert. my other flower embroidered espadrilles are by some DSW brand and these feel even softer. didn’t know that was possible. anywho, they’re so neutral being black and white stripe and i just couldn’t recommend them more! here’s a sneak peak at another style post for next week with a better shot of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

i have been more and more excited lately about creating content here. and doing style posts more quickly so things don’t sell out. quick shout out to my dear friend Clair who was so excited to help me snap some pics this weekend — it’s hard to find gals that are just as pumped to do this as me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

it’s a work in progress over here at ae but i’m seriously so grateful to have readers who are so patient, encouraging and just so darn sweet as you all are.

 

bises,

ae