California

A few months ago, my best group of friends and I headed out west to California for a wedding. Along the way we explored the boardwalks of Santa Cruz and the giant trees of the Redwood forest, experienced the most breathtaking views in Yosemite, and ate the freshest squid in San Francisco. Ever since, we have been trying to figure out when and how we can go back.

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Black and White Birthday

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 Last weekend was my birthday – the big 2-7. It’s not the most exciting age of them all, but it does deserve a little recognition. I feel like big things are going to happen this year… big things I tell ya. To start my self-proclaimed “big year”, I decided to take the day off. B took the day as well, so we could both do a few things that we have been wanting to do, but just haven’t quite had the time or energy for, like getting a manicure/pedicure at my all-time favorite salon. I don’t know about you, but a nice mani/pedi changes my life. I could be spiraling down a deep dark hole of stress and anxiety and, an hour of pampering, a nice chat with my technician, and 20 misty nails later, emerge as an entirely new person. It’s magical.

With my fresh nails and perspective on life, B and I spent the afternoon visiting a couple of our favorite D.C. spots. We had a little oyster action at Rappahannock Oyster Company in Union Market and then took a stroll around Eastern Market. It was really nice just to be able to enjoy being outside, and each other. Not a bad way to start the year.

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ModCloth Dress
Stella & Dot Plume Necklace
Stella & Dot Pearl Spike Ring
Stella & Dot Ally Double Wrap Bracelet

DIY Hangover Boxes

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I discovered last week that it is incredibly easy and fun to create the sweetest little bachelorette party hangover boxes. Marci, the MOH for Chelsea’s September wedding, and I wanted to collaborate on decorating and filling simple white take-away boxes for each bachelorette party attendee to have during our weekend in Charleston, SC. I am not a professional calligrapher by any means, but I am pretty darn good at replicating, it seems.

After studying the work of a few pro’s, I mustered enough courage to put my pretty gold pen to paper. I wrote everyone’s name in my “faux calligraphy” and then jazzed up the boxes a little bit more with some delicate pink and purple watercolor flowers. Marci took care of the excellent – and much needed – fillings with mini Advil packs, mints, granola, and snacks to help revive us the morning after a lively night out. It was the perfect combination of cures to have on-hand!

A couple of my current calligraphy crushes:
Host and Toast: custom signs
Splotch and Line: lettering and art
Flora Waycott: illustrations and designs
Poppy and Scooter: calligraphy and stationery

Xo,
Jackietara

Staying Cool with Dolcezza

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I hope everyone enjoyed National Ice Cream Day as much as I did on Sunday! The roomies and I decided there wasn’t a better way to celebrate than to beat the heat with ice cream at Union Market. Dolcezza has several locations throughout the DMV, but we are lucky enough to have the factory in our neighborhood.

Dolcezza offers delicious gelato and sorbetto that is freshly spun with fresh and local ingredients and produced that very day, in addition to espresso and coffee. The combination of espresso and gelato is one of my all-time favorites, also known as the affogato. If you’ve never tried it, put it at the top of your list.

On Sunday I opted for one of Dolcezza’s sorbetto push pops. The lemon basil flavor was incredibly fresh and delicious, and – most importantly – cold. 

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ModCloth Dress | similar on sale!
Stella & Dot City Slim Clutch | in new patterns!
Stella & Dot Jewelry:
Rebel Pendant
Rebel Ring
On The Mark Necklace
Voyager Cuff

Photography by Sarah Stuart Walters

Tribal

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I’ve had this Cynthia Rowley dress for like ever – it’s the perfect “I don’t know what to wear, so I’m going to throw on this simple and comfy dress” dress that I will probably never get rid of. I managed to find it at TJ Maxx one day on a lunch-time shopping trip, and felt like the luckiest girl in the world when I did. I’ve been asked things like, “oh, are you a dancer?” when I wear this dress, and I’m not one to carelessly toss a feel-good (albeit generous) compliment. I am not a dancer, but I’m going to toot my own horn and admit that I’ve been working out a hell of a lot. Thank you, The Bar Method.

B and I escaped my workout (and work) routine a few weekends ago to visit my dad in Maryland. On this occasion, I chose this dress to allow me to comfortably eat a 2-pound lobster, and then some, but it also didn’t hurt that I could prance around in it on a gorgeous day and pair it with my new Tribal Scarf from Stella & Dot. You may be thinking, “isn’t it a bit warm to wear scarves in July?”, but you can’t really blame a girl for wanting to wear an oh-so-soft goes-with-anything scarf, can you? If so, please excuse me on this one. I’ll be wearing this thing all summer.

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Cynthia Rowley Dress
Stella & Dot Tribal Scarf
Stella & Dot Pave Chevron Ring
Stella & Dot Pave Triangle Ear Jackets

Stella & Dot Pave Chevron Necklace
Joe’s Betty Pumps | similar

Morocco Part Five: Merzouga

Our second to last stop on our trip was the desert. We arrived in Merzouga in the evening and caught the last few moments of a golden sunset. We stayed in a beautiful auberge with cozy rooms and beautiful views, but the highlight of Merzouga was our early morning camel ride along the sandy dunes.

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Red, White & Chambray

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I look forward to this holiday weekend every year, partially because it offers a little relief from a particularly busy time at work. B and I took advantage of the day off yesterday and took a walk around our neighborhood. The roads seemed more sleepy than normal, so I assumed that everyone was relaxing at home or preparing for their backyard barbeques and parties. We have a backyard party of our own that we are attending today – I can’t wait for burgers, sprinklers, and later – sparklers! Happy 4th of July!

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Madewell Chambray | similar
Gap Dress | similar on sale!
Ray-Ban Sunglasses | similar
Stella & Dot Gold Sutton Necklace
Steve Madden Flats
Coach Clutch | similar

Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga

Our last stop in Fes was to a ceramic and tile manufacturer. There were so many beautiful colors and ceramic styles… I wanted to be able to take it all home with me, but I settled on two cobalt blue cups (that look purple before heating up in the kiln!) to use for coffee and tea. In Fes they don’t use oil or gas, but crushed olive pits as fuel for fire in the kilns.

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After our last stop we all hopped in the car for a long ride through the middle atlas mountains. There were beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys and snow-capped mountains. We stopped in Ifrane – known for its European-style chalets – for coffee (My sister, Natalie, and I ordered our favorite “noos noos” espresso with milk) and later stopped in one of many Amazigh cities we drove through for barbeque. Our final destination before reaching Merzouga was Fossils Erfoud, a factory that excavates fossils and incorporates them into tables and home decor.

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Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga Jackietara blog - Morocco Part Four: Journey to Merzouga

Sally’s Middle Name

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I had the pleasure and good fortune of stumbling upon Sally’s Middle Name while exploring my little H Street neighborhood a couple weekends ago. I happened to be alone for the day, and decided to treat myself to a little brunch. The space is so inviting – with it’s cozy dining tables, chalkboard wall menu, and mix-matched china – as if you were dining at your favorite family member’s home. Sally’s is farm-to-table, with ingredients on both their dinner and brunch menus coming from local farms and markets. With all the delicious offerings, I didn’t know where to start, so Sam Adkins, Executive Chef at Sally’s, suggested the pork belly hash and the fresh berries (cherries from Pennsylvania and blueberries from Virginia) with smoked sugar. What a treat! I’m not one to go a day without coffee, so I ordered a cup to go along with my brunch and received an entire carafe of french-pressed Vigilante coffee.

After brunch, Business Manager Aphra Adkins walked me upstairs to Akae, a carefully curated retail shop. The space is filled with light and warmth, and showcases vintage furniture, hand-crafted jewelry, home decor, children’s clothing, and women’s apparel. Aphra and her business partner, Seda Nak, are independent women who pride themselves on a shop that promotes local artisans and their crafts. Their space is also ideal for private events with it’s open floor plan, exposed brick walls, and large windows. Aphra and Seda are as inviting (if not more!) as their space, so make sure you check it out and say hello the next time you’re in the neighborhood!

Xo,
Jackietara

Give Me Some Lip

Jackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip
Jackietara blog - Give Me Some LipJackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip

I have always been a Chapstick girl (and more specifically, a Palmer’s Cocoa Butter girl), but a couple years ago I got the urge to explore the adult world of lipstick. Since then, I have been searching for “the best lip color”, picking up different shades and brands when I stop in drug stores and trying hand-me-downs from my mom that she feels don’t suit her. My favorites range from a slightly pinker neutral to a deep red – a shade for every occasion or mood. Now that it’s summer I’m wearing less makeup and sticking to tinted moisturizer and light lids, so a pop of color on my lips adds a lot!

Jackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip

Lancome is one of my favorite lip color brands. This one is Love It! (Cream) Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor and is my go-to shade for an everyday neutral look.

Jackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip

Revlon is another one of my favorite brands. The Super Lustrous lipstick in Fuchsia Shock is the color I grab when I want a bright and fun look. It doesn’t last all day, but I’m okay with that since it isn’t sticky or uncomfortable. It’s soft and moisturizing – a nice balance between my basic Chapstick and a heavy chalky lipstick.

Jackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip

This is my happy summer lip color: Beach Coral by Clinique. It pairs well with a casual t-shirt and jeans or a fun print dress (which I will be living in this summer). The possibilities are endless with this color!

Jackietara blog - Give Me Some Lip

I’ve tried the bright red lip like T Swift’s signature pout, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work for me. My take on the red lip is a deep berry tint, like Revlon’s Berry Rich. I wear this darker shade when I’m getting dolled up or feeling fancy, which could be any day, really. I just did that and no one can stop me: I declared that any day can be a fancy day.