style

ania styles: bell sleeves, you make my heart sing

March 16, 2017

top: bell sleeve silk blouse / jeans: paige hoxton high-rise skinny jeans

first things first, i am part hippie and i am re-embracing that.

i say re-embracing because i think for a while there in college i convinced myself that i had a preppy style amidst all my pals at school. even though st. louis is obviously not on the east coast, the style is much more fitted and chic than the west coast where i grew up. washington and colorado have a more casual, laid back style. there are more plaid shirts, nice jeans and a blouse, natural make-up, wavy hair kind of outfits. sometimes i wear my hole-y boyfriend jeans with a plaid shirt here in st. louis to run errands and i feel almost out of place amidst the puffy vests and monograms.

but let me say just one thing before i go on: that style is not bad. the reason i mimicked it in college is because i like it. and i still do at times! i just think if you boiled me down to one style, it’d be a bit more boho meets minimalist meets flowy meets floral. but all due respect to the houndstooth wearers of the world before i go on. i love your tight pony tails and tailored pants.

complete tangent as usual.

i think if i were to choose any style era, it’d be the 70s. i love bell bottoms, i love circle sunglasses, i love embroidered florals on white tops, i love flowy sleeves and long dresses.

but this can be a biiiiiit challenging when you have to dress for work everyday and your job is not “full-time hippie”. although if i were ever on the bachelor, maybe i’d make that my job title. 😉

i really want the clothes i wear to work to still feel like me. so i’ve been very intentional about only buying clothes that i can both wear to work and to things like dinner with friends. i don’t want to have “work tops” and “fun tops”.

fortunately i don’t have to dress up for work and i can wear jeans with blouses or sweaters. this top is exactly what i want more of: it’s nice and i love dressing up a little for work but at the end of the day, i would wear this in a heartbeat (and have) to little events with friends.

i am also letting myself spend more on things i really really love. this blouse was about $50 with a sale going on (which if you buy ANYTHING at ann taylor or the loft, just wait like .4 seconds for a sale because they have one going basically permanently). honestly that is more than i usually spend on tops. ever since my purge this summer though, i have been much more focused on buying things i absolutely am smitten with and sometimes that means spending a little more for that one buy. it’s so interesting though because since i’ve eliminated the random $80 target mistakes and don’t meander through the cosmetics aisle without purpose, that even though i’m spending more occasionally on an item, i still spend less overall. it’s the best.

long story short: quality over quantity but at the very least, love over impulse. because i still sometimes shop at h&m which i wouldn’t exactly call quality. but you have to ball on a budget so it’s a healthy balance.

one quick thing before i go is about those jeans. i bought them with my discount back when i worked at anthropologie this summer and they are like freaking butter. they make your legs look miles long and would be such a good investment buy if you’re in the market for black jeans!

oh and one more thing! i’m happy to say i have many more exciting posts on the horizon if you’re been wondering what the heck i have been doing. maybe no one noticed that i veered off my two-posts-a-week schedule but i feel inclined to explain (which is my tendency). i took a little hiatus from focusing on blogging while i figured out what i really want to write about here and prioritized some other passions as well.i am going to be deleting some of my categories and hone in on travel, design and style with a smattering of pieces of my heart that i blurt out every so often. 🙂 i will be posting here more often in the coming months so keep coming back!

and thank you as always for being patient with me as i figure this whole blogging thing out. i am always so thankful to have even one person read my post.

style

ania styles: the lnf

March 8, 2017

shoes: lucky emmy flats / skirt: j crew cord mini / tile: “lemon gem” store 😉

i want to start “showcasing” items in my closet that lasted through the great purge this summer and i will continuous buy over and over as i wear through them.

so here’s my thinking: maybe everyone need a lbd but what you reaaaally need is lnf.

little. nude. flats.

they’re the most easygoing shoe in my closet. comfy, easy to wear casually or dress up and the best part? they’re the PERFECT shoe when i think to myself “i wish i could just not wear shoes” because it looks like you’re not. they don’t really add or subtract from the outfit.

i wear them with flowy blouses, chunky sweaters as we go from fall to winter or winter to spring, denim, skirts, dresses…the list goes on! now that it’s spring, i am back to wearing them a couple of times a week. and by a couple, i mean close to 5 times a week because i really don’t have a lot of other spring shoe options. i will keep you in the loop as i buy two more pairs to rotate this summer but for now, these really just seal the deal every single time.

why just two more pairs of warm weather shoes? because i don’t need any more. i want a nice pair of sandals that i could also wear to work, a heeled something (can’t decide between a clog or some sort of heeled sandal) and these little flats. easy peasy. done and done. i am sick of shopping and shopping for more and more. so i set myself a number, spend my time and money on just what i want and then go back to paying attention to the things that deserve my attention more than the shoes in my closet. 🙂

oh, and this is the darling home store in tower grove that the tile floor above is in! if i could squeeze a store, i would squeeze this cutie.

 

p.s. has everyone listened to ed sheeran’s new album? oh goodness, i am in DEEP. i can’t seem to listen to anything but ed!

home design

diy: sweet tree branch photo display

March 2, 2017

i have been looking for a way to cover big spaces in our apartment without breaking the bank. nice paintings, big frames and large prints are SO expensive!!!

i found this tree branch at a store here in st. louis called k hall designs. the flagship store is over by my church so obviously i haaaave to go in there all the time. 😉 it’s the store that makes lots of the candles you see at stores like anthropologie and cute little boutiques except it’s all condensed into one heavenly space. i love to pop by just to, you know, check in on things, peruse new scents, touch all the soft loungewear. the usual.

anywaysss…

that store gives me the BEST inspiration. honestly these days i look forward to shopping not for the things i’ll buy, but the decor inspiration i might gain. stores like free people, k hall, anthropologie and even a garden shop i adore give me ideas for how to decorate our apartment or what i want my closet to look like. and luckily for me, my roommate doesn’t mind that i am constantly rearranging and fiddling with this and that and buying a million plants. and by a million i mean 4 (for now).

so when i saw the tree branch, i was instantly hooked. i love bringing outdoors, indoors. and then i found out it was ten dollars and my mom practically shrieked with joy for me.

i hung it from my ceiling with tiny hooks, bought twine from Michael’s with their 40% coupon (if you shop their and don’t use that coupon, i need you to do that so i don’t stress about the money you’re not saving), and got free prints from parabo press!

side note real quick about the prints: I WAS SO IMPRESSED. honestly. like really impressed.

  1. the packaging is so darn cute
  2. the photos are on this sturdy paper that just really makes me happy
  3. i love how my instagram was able to come to life in little squares
  4. your first order is free – so i literally just paid shipping for lots of them!!! go check it out!!!

i don’t even know if i can justify making this a diy post because it’s so simple but just for your info:

  1. hang the branch from your ceiling so it creates a cool 3d look and also so that whatever you hang from it doesn’t scrape against your wall
  2. wrap twine a couple of times around each end to create this makeshift meets rustic meets “i just casually have a branch in my room” look
  3. eyeball it and hang a couple of strands of twine so you can clip your photos to them. i say eyeball it because i think a little imperfection in this wall decor makes it look better! if you want that boho, easy going vibe, you’ll have to be okay with a little imperfection. 🙂
  4. using teeeeeny clothespins (again at Michaels, again with the 40% off coupon), hang your parabo prints and be have sweet dreams under your square memories for many, many moons to come!

even though this came out looking so sweet and girly, i don’t know if this bed look is really what i am going for. it’s darling of course, but i think the colors are a bit more soft than i’d love. which makes no sense but i am still trying to figure out my style both with fashion and home. ideally, i want to hang little votive candle holders and little potted plants and maybe some twinkle lights. make it feel like a little more anthro meets free people meets ania’s budget. but i also had a tree branch hanging from my ceiling so i had to do something for now. 🙂

also, while we’re on the topic of dream beds, i am eyeing this duvet cover and i dreeeeaaaaaammmmmm of a bedroom that looks like so. also i think i might make a planter because god knows i can’t afford a fancy one. literally. god and i talk about plants. among other things. 😉

i guess that’s all to say that okay is just as good as perfect ESPECIALLY with home design because things can get so expensive so so quickly. so be okay with less. spend your money on what you want to spend it on. don’t feel the need to rush into decisions to impress visitors. take your sweet time and make it your own.

i’d rather spend a little for now so i can have something there while eyeing things i really want and dreaming up new ways to decorate than splurge really quickly just because i think i need to have it done all at once. because i don’t. so these sale shams and this sweet branch are good enough for me for now.

travel

travel diary: chicago, il

February 15, 2017

i visited one of my dearest friends in chicago last weekend and it was just perfectly normal. we ate, drank wine, caught up, went out, and just lived a weekend in her new normal. and it was perfect. as much as i love visiting new places, i just as much love visiting new friends.

here are a couple of snaps from the weekend — i would apologize for there not being more, but i am kind of glad there’s not. i was present there and that’s how i like it!

first trip of 2017 in the book. and a road trip checked off my year 23 bucket list.

the most gorgeous window display

mahi mahi tacos for two please

an adorable cafe that i am now obsessed with called left coast

curry bowl for the win

if i ever open my own shop, i want a little llama by the dressing rooms like this shop had

morning walks along the lake

wine courtesy of the owner — LOVED this restaurant. was called the dawson.

the gal pal herself

the way the water isn’t distinguishable from the sky

the first thing she told me about her apt is that it’s one block from TJs

my 20s

what does ‘boss lady’ even mean?!

February 9, 2017

if i hear the term “boss lady” one more time, i’ll burst. like a straight up gusher.

i was finally able to pin down why that phrase was rattling me the other day: no one says how to be a boss lady. when i see it in an instagram caption or a friend mentions it in passing, i often laugh and agree. yeah, let’s be boss ladies.

but then recently, i just get annoyed. and i realized it was because every time i heard it, it was just a phrase. there was no action step, no friendly helpful ideas. i see every blogger, magazine and friend say it but i felt overwhelmed with how to do it.

since one of my pet peeves is when people complain about things they can fix, i’m going to try in my own way to help fix this problem and suggest 11 ways to be a kind, smart, gracious lady.:)

  1. stop gossiping. we need to build each other UP not break down. speak kindly, act kindly.
  2. bring a new mom a meal and offer to do something small for her – run an errand, vacuum, load the dishwasher, etc. let her know that you’re there for her. don’t know one? offer a new student, a new girl at work or the girl next to you in class a helping hand.
  3. mentor someone. this doesn’t have to be in a program – i have a couple of friends who are younger than me that i try to check in on every so often and offer a listening ear as they go through struggles that i might have already been through. being a big sister is such a thrill! #wishfulthinking
  4. clean out your closet and donate your excess clothes to a women’s shelter. i have found that it really helps me to physically drive to one and drop it off. i try to know that i am fortunate but it’s easy to feel like you have less in this race for more, more, more. when i go and help other women, it makes me feel part of something bigger and adjusts my perspective.
  5. do something sweet for your mom every week. maybe that’s making time for face timing, sending her a card or shooting her a quick “good morning” text every morning. we love to encourage young, new moms but what about our moms who are still new to it everyday? let’s love them fiercely.
  6. pay an honest compliment to one lady everyday. hopefully something different than “i like your shoes” and more along the lines of “your input in that meeting was impressive,” “your joy is contagious,” or “i hope you know how wonderful you are!”
  7. recommend an empowering book to a friend who is struggling with accepting herself. some of my favorites are rising strong, cold tangerines and present over perfect.
  8. pray for your enemies twice as much as for those you love.
  9. help a mom in the grocery store with her bags or an elderly woman with the door. let’s love women at all ages. <3
  10. send a strong female figure a letter thanking them. or better yet – call them. can you imagine how much it’d mean to them for you to thank them for the example they set? i mean praise freaking hands all around. plus a couple of dancing lady in the red dress emojis.
  11. buy one of these awesome key chains from my friend courtney – let’s make 2016 a great year. one that we follow our hearts.

and can i throw everyone for a twist and say that maybe we could show the supportive, strong men in our life some love as well? let’s build a longer table, not a higher fence and thank them for being good examples of gentlemen, of feminists, of kind people who love us right where we are. i wouldn’t want my life without some of the men in it and i am sure many of you could say the same.:)

now i can say go be a kind, bold, courageous boss lady — because now we all have an idea how! i still feel so happy to have started this little blog and have a circle of gal pals who support this creative venture of mine. 🙂

do you have ideas for how to be a boss lady? tricks up your sleeve? i’d so love to hear them!

 

xo,

ae

style

ania styles: sweaters to get us through

January 31, 2017

it’s february tomorrow!!! one step closer to spring!!! tonight i heard the birds chirping as i left work and i was so so so happy at the thought that spring could be closer than i think.

but reality check, ania: it’s still COLD COLD COLD. and will be for probably at least 6 more weeks. bah humbug.

silver lining? this is the best time to stock up on the sweaters you’ve been eyeing all season, waiting to go on sale. for the next couple of months, they’ll just drop lower and lower in price. the sizes are flying out the window on the good ones (i’ve missed a couple because i waited too long so don’t make my mistake) but since i am looking for one or two more for next winter as one or two of mine are on their last legs, i thought i’d just link all the ones i have been eyeing here for you all to take advantage of!!

stay snuggly and cozy. i’m sure there will be one day this summer that i will long for a winter day. (maybe) (probably not)

madewell long cardigan / free people v-neck sweater / bp ruffle hem pullover

cowl neck pullover / black mock neck sweater / madewell turtleneck sweater

madewell sweater coat (OBSESSED) / madewell fireside cardigan sweater

cream colorblock fringe cardigan sweater / woodside pullover sweater

old navy hi-lo cable-knit sweater / textured cardi-coat (wait this is so cute)

boxy stretch mohair jumper / roolee knit long cardigan

light pink knit turtleneck / copper crewneck loose sweater

ps stay tuned for a post i am excited to share thursday – tangible ways for you to be a boss lady! because if i hear that buzzword one more time without any actions associated to it, i’m going to scream.

travel

travel diary: denver, co

January 25, 2017

i am still trying to figure out how to share my travels here on the blog but one thing i know for sure is that i share it best with my photos. so this travel blog will mainly be just that.

the short story of this weekend trip from december is this:

i used to live in highlands ranch, co. i lived there from 6th-12th grade and it was wonderful for so many reasons. but SO much of my time while living there was consumed with soccer as i played on club teams through my junior year of high school. while i wouldn’t change that, it did cut into my adventure time while i lived there. so going back for a weekend as a young adult with the freedom to go wherever and not have to tell my mom was quite exhilarating.;)

i was able to visit with my brother who still lives there, cruise through the mountains with the windows down blasting taylor swift and see some friends. it was the perfect getaway and reminded me why i love traveling so much.

since most of my time was spent with friends catching up over good food (i highly recommend avanti food and beverage, little man ice cream, snooze and city o city. AND the whole foods in boulder. i was in awe of that store.) and going on mountain drives, i’ll let the photos do the talking for my weekend in denver.

           

  

ps this ^ red rocks amphitheatre is where i graduated from high school! it’s like my favorite fun fact. also one of the coolest things i have ever/will ever do.

i’ll be keeping you in the loop on all my travels in 2017 but i had to polish off 2016 before i started new adventures.

next up: chicago.

 

xx,

ae

style

ania styles: winter sweaters + summer skirts

January 17, 2017

skirt: old zara – similar here and here

turtleneck: old madewell – similar here and here

booties: jonak

this st. louis weather is so all over the place. last weekend i went on a run at 6 am (i know, miracle from above that that happened) and it was muggy and warm.

then it was ice raining three days later for the whole weekend.

and tomorrow it’s going to be 60 degrees again.

it makes me miss the warm, but crisp, days of fall. i love those months of hot summer that just eaaaaase into fall. as much as i try to convince myself otherwise to be trendy and all about the cold like every other blogger right now, i love the sun. so when i see a day about 50 on the forecast, i instantly google the first day of spring and get so excited for warmth. (ps it’s march 20th, if you were also wondering.)

A N Y W A Y S. yeesh. i can get so off-track when i talk about the weather! what a thrilling life. 23 going on 83, as i say.

i wanted to share some style changes i have been making to deal with the temperature changes. when it’s this weird 45ish degrees and it’s not necessarily cold but you also don’t want to look like spring starts tomorrow, it’s an awkward balancing act. so i thought i could pair some skirts i have that can look a bit more winter-y and voila – style is born!

right as fall was ending, my friend sonya took these gorg shots (the photographs, not me #imnotthatvain) in forest park for this style post and when i realized this weekend that i never posted them, i freaaaaked.

could i still post them, i thought. i mean, fall is OBVIOUSLY done. but then it struck me: this outfit can work for fall into winter (which is what i had planned for) but also on the other end out of winter!

this turtleneck was a steal at the end of last winter at madewell. this time of the year is both the best and the worst for shopping. it’s the best because if you find something you like on sale, it’s most likely ridiculously marked down. buuuuut the new arrivals are kind of all over the place so walking into stores feels super uninspiring. there’s nothing much because they don’t really want more winter apparel with spring on its’ heels.

(how many times will i talk about spring in this post? tbd.)

so if you are feeling it, head to stores like madewell, free people, anthropologie and j crew every so often over the next six weeks and you might score a great gem. even though 70% of the time you’ll stomp out annoyed, the other 30% of the time you’ll find something like this black turtleneck that i wear prooooobably once a week. or a good home item tucked away in anthro like this one panel of a window drape i’ll have to show you all soon. or the floral finials i bought for EIGHT FREAKING DOLLARS that i found on the bottom shelf at anthro. they don’t fit my cheap ikea bar but i kept them because someday when i have nice drapes, they’ll fit and it’ll be glorious and i am already excited for that moment.

ANYWAYS.

at some point soon, there will be a post with my winter go-to’s. a black turtleneck like this one is very high on that list. it’s so versatile. i have tucked it into skirts, worn it with corduroy, slipped it under a jean or leather jacket, tucked it into high waisted jeans, worn it with dressy work pants and basically a trillion other combinations. if you showed me one that fit like this and it was cashmere, i’d probably buy it because of how frequently i wear this one.

also i wear so much black in the winter. SO much.

why?

1. i am not tan and it makes me not look as pale.

2. you will always look classy and put together in all black. literally always. even in workout clothes for pete’s sake.

3. it’s suuuuper flattering to wear a bloutfit (#coinedthat) at the time of the year when i am most likely working out the least.;)

paired with this zara a-line skirt i bought abroad and tights with black booties, it’s simple and does the trick. i can easily transition from work (although this skirt is a touch short for work but i have a couple that are longer that i have swapped out for it!) to dinner or drinks with a friend.

i love wearing skirts and dresses when it’s warm so i am always game to try and get some into my routine during the winter. it’s been on my list to buy 1-2 winter dresses but i haven’t had ANY luck! let me know if you spot something and i’ll be sure to try it out.

as always, thanks for reading! hopefully i inspired you to pair something you can’t wait to wear in spring with a wintery counterpart. we do what we can until those tulips come shooting up!

xo,

ae

style

ania’s january style picks

January 13, 2017

you guys, i am SO done with winter. i do this every year. i tell myself i can like winter. that i like being cozy and cuddling up on the weekends in my apartment and wearing snuggly sweaters. which, don’t get me wrong, i love all the above.

for like december and a bit of january.

and then january/february i start to get antsy for the sun and warmth. and all i want is to go on a run whenever i want and sip a drink after work on some outdoor patio.

anywayyyyysssss, i have been perusing the new arrivals sections of all my fav stores to keep myself sane as i see more stripes and light, blouse-y tops and sunglasses which means the more of that style clothing, the sooner there will be SUNSHIIIINEEEEE.

so here are some things i have been eyeing. i will do these picks every month as i see new styles and trends come out! i am doing this anyways so might as well share my findings with all of you. 😉

striped crew neck sweater

poppy drop earrings

topshop v-neck blouse

embroidered shirt

trumpet sleeve blouse

stripe slouchy shirt

printed blouse with frills

navy dress with bell sleeve

flowing top

embroidered poplin shirt

(obsessed with) bell-sleeve shirt in stripe

 

canNOT wait for spring. like real, flowers coming up, sun shining spring. and S U M M E R. we can make it!!!

 

Uncategorized

la la land move review

January 11, 2017

so i found my new favorite thing: $5 movies on wednesday nights. it’s just such a nice hump day treat to yourself. also, fun fact about me: i love movies. and i love cheap thrills. #winning

tonight’s cinematic experience: la la land

i have heard really mixed reviews about the movie so naturally it made me even more curious. some people from work were not impressed yet it’s winning awards and being recognized as a success by many in the media.

now, after seeing it, i understand why people might not like it. society now kind of wants cookie-cutter movie. we don’t really want artsy – we want a hero/heroine, a drug bust, a relationship based on passion. which, i won’t lie, i like too. i like boy meets girl. i like rom coms. i like true stories coming to life. the instant a movie starts to get out of that and into cinematic art, people have mixed reviews.

but i liked it – it was refreshingly unique. it was whimsical. it was modern but old-fashioned and had a simplicity that didn’t feel so flashy hollywood.

first of all, i LOVE musicals. genuinely. i smile the whole time. so that was a huge win for me. they also didn’t sing everythingggggg. it was very candid and soft. not soft like the volume was low; the musical numbers weren’t screaming for your attention. it didn’t feel fake and scripted. the dancing was good but it wasn’t freaking high school musical where people are coming from every angle. this was tasteful. and sweet. it really felt like you were watching an old movie which i found endearing and different.

i studied abroad with a girl who was studying cinema and she told me something that i still think about when i see a movie. she said that there are rarely originals anymore. most movies are now sequels, based on a true story, based on a book or are just a slightly different take on the same plot line. and it’s so true! so what i loved about la la land is that it had this quirky feel to it. it was almost like i was just watching them do life – there were awkward moments and it felt like it was happening real time.

i don’t think it’s the kind of movie i’d go see again or necessarily buy for my home, but i enjoyed it. the colors, the freshness, the music, the ending (which everyone else hated but i liked #ofcourse) and of course, the male lead is never a bad choice.:)

 

trailer: https://trailers.apple.com/trailers/summit/lalaland/