Parka Happy

Parka Happy - Jackietara blog Parka Happy - Jackietara blog

I think I might be in love… with my parka.  I went spring shopping with my mom a few weeks ago and felt like a kid in a candy store gawking at all of the new colors, styles, and trends of this season.  An item that was on my list before we even set out on our shopping adventure was a green parka jacket.  I kept seeing them on Pinterest and around town, and thought it would be the perfect addition to my spring wardrobe.  Trench, move over!  My parka’s casual trendiness makes me happy, and keeps me dry on rainy days.

The day T and I took these photos was one of those days that was just plain old grey and nasty.  Not rainy, but windy and unsettling.  We had plans that night to celebrate our friend’s birthday at a “micro grant” dinner called CRAVE in Old Town, Alexandria.  The premise of the dinner was amazing: panelists would speak to you about the projects they were working on and how they could use your contribution, then all of the guests would vote on their favorite platform.  The winner received all of the proceeds to complete their project, so it was a great feeling to help someone do something great [big or small] in the community.

We took a pit stop at the Bethesda metro station tunnel on the way to dinner so Teddy could take some photos of the art installation, “Tunnel Vision,” for a Washington Post Express article.  My favorite was the painting of the red bicycle.

Parka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blogParka Happy - Jackietara blog

Outfit details:
Zara khaki anorak
Gap high-waisted jeans
Zara graphic black & white tee
Audrey Brooke black booties
Madewell gold bangles and knot ring

Photography by Teddy Wolff


DIY Berry Basket

DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog

Hi there and happy Friday!  It’s been a roller coaster of a week, so I’m glad the weekend is finally here.  Spring always takes forever to get here, but when it does finally arrive, it ignites with a fury and steamrolls into summer.  There is always so much to do and so much I WANT to do, and at the end of every day I end up saying “there just isn’t enough time.”  I have to say though, even after long days at the office I’ve been managing to stick to a basic workout routine during the week [big win for me!].  Working out even when I’m tired has dramatically increased my energy level [weird, I know] and has given me a much needed confidence boost.  And I need both energy and confidence in huge doses right now with the amount I need/want to accomplish!

By basic I mean I am still no fitness pro [or even close], but I’ve gotten to a point where I exercise at least 3 days a week.  On Tuesdays I join a small group that does Zumba together at work, after work, and interchange that with the Shirlington running club, also on Tuesdays, that I joined last fall.  I have also picked up barre classes with a friend who is training to become an instructor, and the classes are free which helps my bottom line [literally].  And then there’s my at-least-once-a-week visits to the industrial building in Springfield that hosts the largest dance party workout class I have ever experienced: Kazaxe.  Kazaxe has become my favorite part of my routine because it’s not only a great cardio workout [trust me, you sweat constantly] and endorphin booster, but it’s become a social gathering with some of my closest gal pals.  And what could better than getting your twerk on with your closest friends?!  One of those friends has recently started a fitness blog, which is amazing and you should follow along!

With all of this extra energy I have been pushing myself to keep my crafting going.  Something I had been really wanting to do is to create a berry basket from clay.  I already had extra Sculpey from my clay planter project, so I dedicated an afternoon a couple weeks ago to making one for my newly redecorated bathroom.  I followed the basic steps from the post from A Beautiful Mess, tweaked it a bit, and voila!  My very own berry basket.  It took me a bit longer than I expected (about 2 hours), so I ended up only making one.  I painted it black to match my sea glass and black decor in the bathroom and I think it feels right at home on the shelf.  They are perfect for any nick nacks or do dads you have lying around… I started with q-tips and it’s now it’s holding three nail clipper kits, previously without a home [don't ask me why I have three].  I’d love to make another to have on my bedroom dresser, leave the white clay color, and then paint the bottom gold!

DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog


Wedding Wear: March

Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog
Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog
Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog
Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog
Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog

Wedding season.  The season of love and romance, old traditions paired with the new, gorgeous color palettes, and of course the best season [and reason] to put on that fabulous dress.  A dear colleague of mine is getting married this Saturday in Clifton, Virginia to the love of her life and I can’t wait to witness their “I Do’s” and share in their celebration!  What I am not looking forward to so much is the sub 50 degree weather and rain showers that are sure to make an appearance.  It’s March for Pete’s sake, isn’t it supposed to be NICE outside?!  But the wedding will commence and, hey, at least the rain will hide our tears… of joy of course!  I am surely in for a good cry.

Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog
Wedding Wear: March - Jackietara blog

With this silly transitional weather ahead, I am going to go with a black and white patterned dress I found on ModCloth.  It’s a neutral option that’s not quite “wintery” but not too “springy” either, which is great because I can continue to wear this sleeveless dress into warmer spring days, and maybe even the beginning of summer, too!  I do want some pop of color against my black, white, and grey ensemble, so I luckily purchased a little neon number in time from a Banana Republic online sale!

Outfit details: dress: ModCloth // cape: vintage // necklace: Banana Republic similar

Photography by Teddy Wolff



Leopard + Brights

Leopard + Brights - Jackietara blogLeopard + Brights - Jackietara blog Leopard + Brights - Jackietara blog

Spring is finally here!  Although it may not seem like it quite yet, it’s time to pull all those cute dresses, bright flats, and fun prints out from hiding from under your bed and the dark corners of your closet.  I had a taste of spring in Mexico with their delicious 70 degree weather, so I just couldn’t help packing one of my favorite bright and breezy coral blouses and my leopard Steve Madden flats to wear strolling the beautiful streets of Colonia Roma.  One of my favorite destinations was a local park with a pond full with ducks, great paths in the shadows of tall trees, and lots of happy dogs of all types: Great Danes, Labs, Terriers, mutts and mixes, and the dog of our dreams-a darling white Bull Terrier.

Outfit details: coral blouse similar // Levi’s light wash jeans similar // leopard flats: Steve Madden similar // black leather crossbody: Coach similar

Photography also by Teddy Wolff

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Spring is not only an opportunity to shed some light on our forgotten clothes, but to also dust off our goals, plans, eagerness, and excitement that may have been hibernating during those cold months.  Through the winter I thought about my blog and what my goals should be for 2014, the biggest of which was to purchase a domain and get serious.  It’s been one year since I started my blog and, even though I had no idea what I was getting into a year ago, I realize now I couldn’t have made a better decision.  Having this blog has been such a positive outlet for my creative endeavors, SO, I’m happy to say that I finally “did it”: my url is now officially!

Thank you to Teddy Wolff, my partner in crime, for helping me create photographic content for the past year [and for teaching me how to use a camera along the way!] and to all my readers who make this process even more enjoyable.  Keep reading and don’t forget to follow my adventures on Instagram @jackietara, too!


Life is [hectic, but] beautiful

Where have you been all my life?!  Well, my answer lately is “working late in a deserted office” or “cleaning and organizing my apartment.”  It’s that time of year when everything speeds up, double time, and I feel like I’m standing still with the world around me whirling around me like a twister.  Despite everything going on in my life, I feel restless and an urge to clean and purge, to start anew.  It must be something about spring that just gets you going.

Life is beautiful - Jackietara blog

My most recent projects have been redecorating my outdated bathroom and creating a gallery wall above the couch in the living room.  Somehow I took on both of these projects at once.  Just a quick trip to home goods with a couple gal pals, and I was in deep.  I finally got rid of all of my navy towels, shower curtain, and bathroom accessories that I’ve had since college [it was time for them to go] and replaced them with a new sea glass motif.  Even more exciting, I got rid of our terrible “over the toilet organizer” from Target and replaced it with a hanging basket, which makes our tiny bathroom seem so much more roomy [trust me, it's the little things]!

The gallery wall project is something that has been in the back of my mind for at least a year.  We two lonely photographs on our wall that were just begging for some company, so I watched A Beautiful Mess’ gallery wall tutorial and got to it.  I was also inspired by their DIY art collection blog post and decided to mod podge and paint an empty canvas – what a great outlet for my pent up energy!  Although these projects took up a significant part of my weekend a couple weeks ago, they made me feel incredibly accomplished.  I’m not normally that “handy,” so it was a good feeling!

I can’t say enough how happy I am it’s finally spring.  My list of projects is quickly growing [so I'm glad I got to check two off my list!] and I’m itching to be outside as much as possible.  Sunday brunching, here I come!


Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travelPyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel

After a delicious traditional breakfast [with the most amazing carrot juice ever!] at Don Deme, a local breakfast a short walk away from our apartment in Roma Norte, T and I set out on one of my favorite excursions during our time in Mexico: Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican city just a 1.5 hour bus away from Mexico City.  Teddy and I got there late in the afternoon, around 4:30pm, which actually ended up being the most perfect time to explore the magical ruins.  The crowds were beginning to dissipate and the pyramids looked beautiful in the warm light of the late afternoon sun.  There are two main pyramids at Teotihuacan: the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun.  The Pyramid of the Sun is the larger of the two, so T and I decided to climb that one to get the best view.

And a view is what we got.  A long climb up while holding on to ropes was totally worth it for the breathtaking view at the top of the ancient city below.  It was an experience unlike any other, which Teddy beautifully captured, along with several other travelers from near and far.  The top of the pyramid was cameras galore, but who can resist such a fantastic photo opp?!

Outfit details: printed trousers: Zara similar // white tunic: Old Navy similar // boots: Frye similar

Photography by Teddy Wolff

Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travelPyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travelPyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travelPyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel Pyramid of the Sun - Jackietara blog #fashion #travel


Mexico City

Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travel Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travel Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travel

I’m back from a most excellent adventure with T in Mexico City and am quickly springing back into my hectic DC life.  Things are much colder here than in lovely 70-degree Mexico, but I always love coming home after a great trip.  I told Teddy on our drive home from the airport, “the best part about coming home after a traveling to an amazing new place is how it puts my life back in perspective.”  There really is so much more out there than the minutia of the everyday, which really brings a wave of positivity into my life.

Teddy and I stayed in Roma Norte, a neighborhood just west of Mexico City’s historic center, with a couple in a renovated apartment that we found on Airbnb.  If you have plans to travel to Mexico City, I highly recommend using Airbnb [here is where we stayed!].  The neighborhood eerily paralleled the charming Capitol Hill and Bloomingdale areas of the District, with its brick facades, scattered parks, cute dogs, and young families.  It is very walkable, which T and I took full advantage of.  The primary focus of our trip was food photography for Teddy’s portfolio [check out his blog for awesome photos taken during our adventures of Mexican cuisine and culture!] and then eating said food, so walking to work off our frequent meals was an absolute must.

We arrived in Mexico in the afternoon, which left us a few hours to acquaint ourselves with our bustling street.  After a few minutes of exploring, we found a nice french cafe with outdoor seating [basically every restaurant and bar has a patio that sometimes extend into the street] and quiet charm.  It was only fitting to order tequila and mezcal as our first drinks in Mexico, which we quickly learned from locals is meant to be sipped, not taken as a shot.  Sipping these strong drinks is made easier and more pleasant by a spice mix frequently used on fruit [and on the rim of cocktail glasses], called chile de árbol.  We both absolutely love the spice, so I need to see where I can find it in the states!

Photography also by Teddy Wolff

Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travelMexico City - Jackietara blog #travel Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travelMexico City - Jackietara blog #travel Mexico City - Jackietara blog #travel