Fall-Ow Your Passions

OctMono

This year is the first time in a very long time that I have Halloween off to do whatever I please. Last October 31st, I stood miserably at the front of a restaurant I was hosting at – my second job – as I watched children in costumes happily frolic about with their parents and steal the candy off my stand. In fact, I’ve spent many holidays stuck at work, wishing I could be celebrating the time with my family and friends.

But not this year! 2015 saw my one year anniversary at my current full-time job, as well as the end of my time working a second position. I have been lucky enough that one job supports me enough to only work five out of seven days. Many people work two, even three jobs to support their families, and it wears you down quickly if you’re not careful.

Too often in my adult life, I’ve let a lot of time slip by not doing the things I want to. This past summer came and went without a blip. I dreamed endlessly about hosting a beach BBQ with friends, but never set the time aside to make it a reality.

When fall rolled around, I decided this wouldn’t be the case. I was determined to get out there, enjoy the weather (which is most definitely not fall-esque out here), and celebrate the season. With a little digging, I found an apple festival about three hours north of the city.

I grabbed my brother, and we spent the drive talking and singing along to old Disney tunes. The festival turned out to be a big flop – instead of 140 booths, as advertised online, we saw about maybe 20. The day was drizzly, the crafts were few, and there weren’t as many apple themed foods as we thought there’d be. Afterwards, we toured around the town looking at yard sales, but they were disappointing as well.

Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun, especially on the haunted hayride we rode back in LA that night! I wished the fair had been as engaging as the ones back home are, but I’m so glad I took the chance on it. Had I not gone, I know I would have regretted the decision immensely. As it stands, I was able to spend some quality time with my little bro AND face my fears and sit in the back of that hayride without crying.

I want to continue this streak of DOING rather than WISHING — and so far, it’s paying off! I spent the weekend working on  my apartment, finishing a DIY project, and getting some artwork hung. Stay tuned for updates! And in the meantime, remember that wishing doesn’t get you a cool hayride t-shirt.

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Bring on the potatoes!

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Traditions. I have a propensity to create traditions. I believe it is a genetic quality I inherited from my mother, who bless her soul, is the queen of tradition starting. I believe it started one summer when I was 12. Each week, we would go to the beach to get beach pizza. These dinners were something that every person in my large family enjoyed, a little bit of peace for my mom. This small journey to the coast encapsulated my early pre-teens; which in turn strengthened the importance of traditions in my life.

I am fortunate to surround myself with individuals whom equally enjoy tradition making. One of my favorites comes every fall with the changing of leaves. Typically, the last weekend of September is full with sleepovers, baked potatoes, farm animals, unique crafty goods, and an unlimited supply of fried foods. What amazing weekend is this, you ask.  The Big-E!

The Big-E is short for the Eastern States Exposition. It is one of the largest fairs in the region, but also one of the largest in the U.S. This past year over 1,498,605 people attended to try their luck at unbeatable fair games and enjoy the company of the cutest farm animals. This fair brings in vendors and performers from all 5 New England States.Check out all the fun events and the count down to next year!

One of the state houses!

One of the state houses!

This is where my tradition begins. Every year my gal pals and myself come together from our now distance residences to have the most epic adult sleepover and overload our systems with an unsavory amount of calories. These weekends often follow an very simple formula.

1. Caravan-The weekend begins when we drive together across the state. We cram ourselves and our overabundance of things into a Corolla and hit the road. We spend the hours stuck in traffic sippin’ on Dunkin’s and planning out how we will spend the next day or two.

2. Home cooked meal-We are fortunate to have a family to welcome us when we arrive in Western Mass. Not only with open arms, this amazing family often has a meal cooked and ready for us. It is fun to see how we have evolved around this dinner table.

3.Early risers- We are that group to get to the fair before the gates open or at least before 10 am. Full with another homemade meal, we are full energy (comparable to a child around the holidays) and ready to go!10646939_10100532398995435_428231066930759155_n

4. Photo-shoots- these comes at any point in the weekend. This year we decided to take it before the fair. It is only customary that we document all crazy adventures, this being the show piece of most of our collections. (notice the matching shirts)

420140920_105554.Maine baked potatoes-We always start the day with a Maine baked potato. I mean, wouldn’t you? The Big-E dedicates a building to each NE state, Maine being the best. These things are massive, but the best part of the whole fair. Our strategy is to fill up on the potato early, walk it off, then try other things.

5. Mosey-ers-We LOVE to stroll the fair. We go into every booth, specifically making it a point to skim the the $1 booth.(Everything is honestly a buck!) This year we did our most mosey-ing yet. We did around 20,000 steps!

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How often do you get the chance to be near or even take a picture with a cruiser?! Supporting the men in Blue ❤

6. Photo-ops- This place if filled with photo opportunities. Most times we go for the cardboard cut outs you can put your face in. Other times we pose with animals or note able characters we find in our travels.

I dare you. I dare you to resist their cute-ness.

I dare you. I dare you to resist their cute-ness.

Without a doubt this is one of my favorite traditions. I love being able to build upon memories and keeping in touch with the people that mean the most. I mean how often do you get to wear matching super hero t-shirts with your besties?! Until next year!

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Button up those….ponchos!

UntitledIt is that wonderful time of year in New England. Fall is known for it’s crisp days, beautiful colors, and great fashion. This season was designed to accommodate the wonderful wardrobe in requires. The layers and warmer fabrics are nothing short of inviting which is why I love this season so much. In New England, fashion needs to have both aesthetics and utility. The ability to layer and use different fabrics gives me the creative outlet that I desperately need.

In the past, I have been a lover of the riding boot, fleece, and an infinity scarf. It is a staple go to for many 20-somethings of this area. However, that love has diminished which has led me to a style rut. Now that I can invest in my look, I want to push the boundaries. I am looking to grow my into a more mature look, while still maintaining the eclectic nature of my style.

When caught in a fashion debacle, the fashion major in me takes over. I sift through the pages of all the fashion publications and go through the endless images from this year’s fashion week. As the aftershock of fashion week have settled, it is clear what front runner will be making an appearance in my closet-the poncho.

If you were to tell me that I would be donning a poncho, voluntarily, I would have thrown in the towel and just worked a trash bag for the rest of my life. (Sorry for the dramatics)

0 (3)After Burberry, unveiled their monogrammed poncho during their A/W 14 runway show and after the numerous celebrity sightings, the poncho can really grow on a girl. The silhouette it creates is something of a relaxed stature. The fabrics, lines, and detailing gives this outerwear the versatility that we all look for. I love the heavy weight and textured fabric, as well. They make it a perfect fit for fall.

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In that same breath, I love the different functionality that has been given to the scarf. I love how the scarf adds volume to the look and securing it with the belt keeps the silhouette. Like I said, I am a lover of the infinity scarf but adding variety and versatility makes scarves even more lovable.

Styling the poncho and scarf will be extremely easy. They can be added to any staple to give it that refreshed look it needs. I plan on pairing it with skinny jeans with a blouse/flannel or with my fall dress with tights. I also plan on switching up my scarf game. Whether it is adding a belt to give it that tucked in look or creating a longer infinity loop, the scarf is safe in my fall line-up.Jess (2)

Clear out the Clutter – It’s Fall!

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It may not seem like it, but I love shopping. Refreshing one’s wardrobe can be quite magical, especially when it’s been a while between shopping sprees. Upon arriving in LA, I noticed two things: firstly, it’s an oven here, especially in the summer. Secondly, my wardrobe wasn’t quite up to the

Shameless pre-work selfie - note the shorts.

Shameless pre-work selfie – note the shorts.

challenge of simultaneously being adultish and breathable (you can read more about my difficulty in being an adult here). I spent the first month and a half in – no joke – jean shorts and tank tops. When everyday tops out at 90 degrees and you have to be out and about, moving and working, long pants and satiny blouses aren’t going to do it.

Thankfully, my bosses are super chill and no one said a word about the shorts – although one executive cheerfully commented that I always look like “a camp counselor”. Since that remark, I’ve made it a goal to slowly update my closet, one piece at a time.

Thankfully, fall is on it’s way. While some days are still roasting hot (it was 91 degrees in my apartment today), the nights are cooler and the sun isn’t as strong. And with this new season came some new clothes! I was on my first commercial production set this week as a production assistant, and needed some new digs. I ended up going to Old Navy and grabbing some comfy shirts and pants.

With the new influx of clothes, though, there must always be some outgoing items as well. Cleaning

Wise words!

Wise words!

out your closet doesn’t have to be reserved for just spring – I think it’s incredibly beneficial to give your clothes a once over after each season. For me, it’s a way to keep a check on how much I own, and to weed out the items I no longer wear or fit into.

This time around, I’m giving up a pair of jeans that continuously fall down, a vest that no longer fits, a blouse I haven’t worn in ages, and a black sweater that irritates my skin. Everything will be going to Goodwill, but there are many other charities and secondhand stores that will accept your used clothing and belongings, such as Out of the Closet, Crossroads Trading Co., The Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, etc. I love that I’m not throwing anything away, and that somebody somewhere could get better use out of my belongings than I currently am.

On the flip side, I LOVE finding bargains at Goodwill. It takes patience, and a little bit of hand sanitizer, but amongst the racks you can always find a gem. Here’s to some happy shopping & cleaner closets!

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Fall is Dead.

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 At least, it is in SoCal. While everyone in New  England is celebrating the return of sweater  season, we here on the West coast are  experiencing record highs. Apparently September is a hot month, and it doesn’t start to cool down until around November. When it gets down into the 70s. And stays that way until next summer.

Well, I’ve been craving a little fall in my life, and so I turned to Pinterest and found this tutorial by Sweet Something Designs that uses old potpourri to make an autumn wreath! Inspired, I ran out to the local craft store after work and picked up an empty woven wreath, a couple extra fall-ish decorations, and a box of cinnamon-smelling potpourri (I sadly didn’t have some old stuff lying around. Luckily, all fall decor was 40% off!).IMG_3898

After about an hour of burning myself on hot glue, dropping the hot glue gun everywhere, and stressing over the symmetry of the orange slice placement – voila! Admittedly, my wreath is a bit more bare bones than the one I imitated, but there are only so many little walnut-shaped things you can put everywhere.IMG_3900 IMG_3902 IMG_3903

Quite happily, I hung my fragrant and autumnal wreath on our front door this morning. Just wait ‘til the neighbors get a load of this!

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Happy fall! ❤

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