Happiness. Such a simple word, but defined in so many ways by different people. It’s a word that I will be thinking about a lot. I’m going through a big transition in my life [which scares the hell out of me] but it’s also an opportunity in other ways. One of them being the chance to really think about what makes me happy. Not my significant other, friends, family, or coworkers, but me. I realize that’s a selfish thing to say, but if you can’t be selfish after being dumped, when can you be?
I hope to find even more joy in the small things in life, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. Like my new morning ritual of making pour over coffee in my now empty apartment, and walking around my neighborhood taking in everything going on around me. I’ve been telling everyone that I am now a “yes girl.” This is a time for me to experience everything that I can. In the words of Ms. Frizzle, to “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.”
Eight Sixty Jumpsuit / Similar on Amazon
Madewell Gold Bangles
Madewell Knot Ring
Stella & Dot Link Bracelet
Photography by Traci J. Brooks Studios
Follow my daily inspirations on Instagram @jackietara.
Happy hump day! I hope everyone’s week after the holiday weekend isn’t feeling too long. Summer is just flying by for me, so I’m struggling to hang on to the days. Before we know it, it will be October and and we will be longing for summer, but maybe not the heat…
Speaking of heat, T is still in Israel exploring the homeland [and even riding camels on this very hump day!], leaving me reminiscing about our last motorcycle ride together in the city. Riding on the back of T’s red Ducati is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s an incredibly freeing experience, with the wind in your face and the open road in front of you [especially since in my case I have absolutely no control over what we do and where we go]. But I don’t mind being on the back. That feeling is rare these days, so I’ll take what I can get.
TJ Maxx striped dress similar
Tildon flats similar
Photography by Teddy Wolff
My bedroom furniture was going through a mid-life crisis, so I decided to help a dressa’ out and give it a facelift. T’s parents were kind enough to give us a few pieces of furniture to get us started on our apartment, including our wooden dresser. I love the thing, with it’s antique key holes and brass handles, but brown wasn’t doing it for me, or our bedroom.
I’ve been gravitating toward greys and purples lately, so I thought a nice grey-blue color would do the trick with a darker slate color on the very top. On a random note, I have also been drawn to bright pink palettes lately. Not so much in the clothes that I wear, but flowers, shoes, prints, etc. I never used to be a “pink person,” but now it makes me so happy when I look at it! Anyway, back to the facelift… My mom suggested using a “less toxic” version of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, so we went with the CeCe Caldwell’s version of chalk paint and clear wax. The great thing about this paint is that you don’t need to sand or prime your furniture before you paint [gasp!]. All you need to do is follow these easy steps and voila, a practically new addition to your favorite room or space!
Step 1: Remove all hardware then wipe down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off.
Step 2: Paint. You may need to do 2 or 3 coats to prevent visible brush strokes on the furniture.
Step 4: Seal it. After the paint has dried for a couple hours, you can seal it with wax. Less is more when it comes to waxing the top of your dresser, so with a dry cloth take some wax and lightly apply in small sections. The wax can take up to 24 hours to dry, and even after that I recommend being delicate when putting decor back on top of your furniture.
I’m so happy with how my dresser turned out! One step closer to my dream bedroom…
Vintage purple midi skirt
Vintage lace top
Leather lace up sandals from Capri similar strappy sandals
Photography by Teddy Wolff
I hope everyone had a lovely carefree summer solstice! T was in Minnesota photographing artists at the Rock the Garden music festival for The Current [check out his work on The Current's Instagram!], so I had a rare weekend to myself. I always think that I will have a lot of “down time” when T is out of town, but somehow it never works out that way. Between a “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” themed gala, two birthday parties, a bikram yoga class, and a shopping date with my mom, I had a full weekend! On Saturday night, a friend and I went for a stroll mid-birthday party to pick up more limes from the neighborhood Trader Joe’s for caipirinhas [an amazing Brazilian cocktail that you should try immediately if you haven't already]. I haven’t been very good at this lately, but I did remember to pause to appreciate the gorgeous evening, walking around town, and the time spent with friends that I don’t get to see too often. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies, especially in the summer. Since I don’t think things are slowing down any time soon post-solstice, I need to be sure to have some relaxing “me time” this summer. A day in the sun reading a book would be fantastic. Pool day, anyone?
Don’t forget to follow my summer adventures on Instagram and summer style musings on Pinterest!
My new summer mantra is “less is more.” The humidity is already starting to rise and is taking a toll on my hair, skin, and any hope of looking decent without putting a ton of effort in every morning. So [for the sake of saving time, energy, and frustration], why bother? The heat [and sweaty-ness] of summer is the perfect excuse to go wild – let down that hair, wipe off that makeup, and wear lightweight clothes! I really should follow my mantra regarding my hair. Right now it’s an absolute wreck: too long, and in a million split ends. Once I do chop off an inch or two, I’m going to attempt to naturally dry my hair in the morning to give it a break from the damaging heat of my hair dryer, especially since it’s inevitably going to frizz as soon as I step out the door, oy gevalt.
For makeup, I have been using a light Jergens or Cetaphil face lotion before applying a dime-sized amount of Supergoop! Every Day Sunscreen [on days I know I'll be outside for a while] and my favorite Physician’s Formula concealer and mineral wear foundation. I despise the “tired eyes” look I get after a long day, so to make things simple I apply a natural shadow from my Nude ‘tude palette to my lids and a swipe of mascara to my lashes. When I go for the “barely there” effect on my eyes, I usually like to add a pop of color to my lips. I’m still searching for “the perfect shade,” but I think my Revlon fuchsia stick does the trick.
I think I will be living in dresses for the next couple months – the kind that are breezy and airy and don’t take too much fuss [I don't do the ironing thing]. Conveniently timed for summer, I found the perfect white cotton dress a couple weeks ago while shopping online at Gap: it’s super lightweight, breathable, and can easily be jazzed up with a belt or statement necklace. Better yet, it has pockets [they get me every time]. Who could ask for a better summer dress?
Gap white cotton dress
Tildon ankle strap flats (on sale)
Photography by Teddy Wolff
There’s something about vintage clothing that gives me the warm and fuzzies; an excitement from putting on a piece of history that I don’t get from slipping on a splurge-of-a-dress or the next great find from TJ Maxx [although don't get me wrong, I love both of these things]. I get even more excited when the piece of clothing I am putting on belonged to my grandmother, before she graciously donated it to my closet. Mima, my mom’s mom, is still young at heart and is always at the forefront of fashion, so I knew her gorgeous rust colored dress from the 1970’s would be the perfect thing for a bohemian inspired shoot.
My friend Traci spotted a rare patch of undeveloped land on an afternoon drive in Sterling, Virginia and had been itching to do a styled shoot there ever since. It was time for my rust dress to shine! The open plot of land was next to a 4-lane highway, so Traci and I darted across the road with gusto, excited to see what our photography “venue” looked like. The weather was mild that day: cloudy with a few drops of rain here and there, but the overcast skies provided fantastic light that Traci beautifully captured in her photos.
Photography by Traci J. Brooks Studios
T and I don’t have the biggest apartment but we love [and live] to entertain family and friends and wanted to host Mother’s Day this year. Since having 10 guests over for brunch at our place wasn’t an option, we searched for brunch places in D.C. [with a very specific set of criteria] and settled on Le Grenier on H Street, in our very own neighborhood.
Le Grenier’s charming bistro-like ambiance [with its brick interior, shabby-chic chairs, and wire birdcages] and affordable $18 brunch deal was the perfect combination for our group. Their brunch offerings, including savory crepes, steak and fries, endless crusty bread, and the plat du joir [which happened to be flaky Arctic char that day] paired with a glass of Champagne Blanc de Blanc, were sure to please everyone at the table… and were a hit! To add a little personal touch to the table I made place cards and strategically placed everyone – a detail I recommend to anyone hosting a group of ten people!
The best thing about organizing Mother’s Day brunch at Le Grenier was having impeccable service [did I mention the endless the bread?!] that allowed us to relax, and more importantly to enjoy spending time with one another. I couldn’t have asked for a better day with my mom, and I hope everyone was able to celebrate their mother, near or far!
Photography also by Teddy Wolff