Delicate Blush

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I have never been much of a pastel person, but this Valentine’s Day I put myself in a delicate blush dress that I found in a second hand store and a blush and gold petal necklace from Stella & Dot’s new spring line. There’s something about pastel tones that whisper (because screaming would not be very lady like) femininity, and I have very much been gravitating toward that ethereal color palette lately. Normally I’m a bright blue, crisp white, and classic black kind of gal, but I think I may make a little room in my heart for blush, aquamarine, lavender, and all things feminine this spring.


Thrifted French Connection Dress | similar
Stella & Dot Birdie Necklace

Photography by Paul B. Jones

Sugar Shack

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Jackietara blog - Sugar ShackJackietara blog - Sugar Shack Jackietara blog - Sugar Shack

When I went down to Richmond a couple weekend’s ago, B and I found a couple of gems on our adventure together. Our first mission: eat all the donuts. Promptly after I arrived in RVA, we jumped in the car to get to Sugar Shack Donuts, known for their amazing – you guessed it – donuts. It was insanely hard to choose which delectable doughy rounds to include in our box of a half dozen, but we settled on a chocolate glaze, strawberry, banana, coconut, Samoa (which tasted just like the Girl Scout cookie!), and my personal favorite – a simple sugar.

And if you give a girl a donut, she’ll want some coffee to go with it… so we headed to Shockoe Espresso & Roastery for our second mission: drink all the coffee. Shockoe has a very impressive wall of beans – some they roast in-house, and others from roasters like Mill Mountain Coffee in Roanoke, Virginia. I ordered a cappuccino to sip along with our donuts, while B opted for a cafe au laite – both very good. I left with a very happy tummy and a bag of Mill Mountain’s Ethiopian Harrar beans that I have been using for my pour over coffee in the morning. Delish!

Shockoe had a great atmosphere with their light-filled space and brick walls, and was the first of three coffee shops we visited that day. Needless to say, we were hopped up on caffeine the entire afternoon. A day in the life of a coffee lover…


Native Run Band Tee
Zara Houndstooth Blazer old
Gap Jeans
Frye Melissa Button Boots
Stella & Dot Charm Necklace
Vintage Leather Satchel


Black &Hearts

Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts
Jackietara blog - Black &Hearts

I’m in love… with a small shiny magic box. B is in Richmond for a 3-month training, so I drove down to meet him this past weekend with my new Fujifilm X100T camera in tow. I was excited to explore the trendy little city with both of my loves (Bryan being #1, of course), and explore we did. One of my favorite spots we visited was Belle Isle and the American Civil War Center in historic Tredegar, where took these photos.

It was a magnificent un-seasonably warm day on Sunday, so I took full advantage of the weather (and the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day week) and pulled on my brightest pink skirt over my favorite heart spotted button down. I’m a sucker for themes, so give me a holiday and I’ll dress to the nines. I’m not usually a “pink girl,” but you better believe I’ll be wearing pink on Saturday, and I won’t be sorry about it.


Madewell Shirt old similar
Old Navy Skirt | similar
Frye Melissa Button Boots
Marc Jacobs Signature Studs

Photos c/o my Valentine

Blue Coat

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I can’t be the only one tired of long cold, long grey winter days (did I say long?!). Yesterday we got lucky with almost-50-degree-weather in Virginia and it was fantastic. I relished in my 20 minute excursion to Sweet Leaf for a “healthy” lunch and didn’t want it to ever end. The cold (and darkness) also instill a laziness within me. Can you believe I hadn’t been grocery shopping in two weeks?! I can. I finally gave in last night with a quick trip to Trader Joe’s after an intense Bar Method workout for the essentials (and I mean the bare bones essentials, like milk and eggs, and maybe some Manchego cheese…).

But I can always count on a heavy coat to at least cover the cold part. I have a couple of wool blend favorites, but my go-to is my Miss Sixty fit and flare coat, given to me by my fashionable mother for Christmas a couple years ago. I love having a winter coat that’s trusty and trendy. Although, that statement may seem fickle when I shed my layers and yell how much I love 60-degree weather from the rooftops come April.


Miss Sixty Coat old | similar
Vintage Boots

Photography by Paul B. Jones

The Classic Black Skirt

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Winter is always the toughest season for me to feel stylish and chic when all I want to do (other than stay snuggled in bed) is wrap myself in the biggest scarf I own, lug on my warmest boots, and call it a day. Wearing the same boots and scarves can get tiresome though, so my trick of the trendy trade is to focus on easy key pieces in my wardrobe. One of those items is the classic black skirt: long enough to wear to work (and keep those thighs warm), but short enough to wear with your favorite tall boots and cozy socks.

The black skirt is not only flattering on everyone (bold statement, I know), but it pairs well with a blouse and blazer for a day at the office and with a sweater and scarf for a lunch with friends, date night, or weekend outing. I teamed with with Heather Mae from Curves and Croissants to showcase our skirts on a very cold day in Northeast D.C., so we opted for the more casual layered look. Heather believes that layers are the curvy girl’s best friend and I’m right there with her. Layers are every girl’s best friend this time of year.


Vintage Liz Claiborne Jacket
INC Black Pencil Skirt old similar
Gap Quilted Sweatshirt on sale!
Unisa Gillean Over The Knee Boots

Photography by Sarah Stuart Walters

Stay Gold

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Winter sunsets are my favorite. There is a sweet glimmer on the horizon as the sun slowly sinks, flecks of gold sprayed everywhere. I’m not sure if it’s just the comforting and happy qualities of gold in the midst of a cold winter, but I’ve been drawn to it lately… enough to make me want to paint odds and ends in my room a nice, bright gold. On this particular golden day, I teamed up with Vanessa Riojas to capture our New Year’s Eve attire. New Year’s Eve in Northern Virginia was a cold one, so I wore my favorite gold sequin dress with a black and white plaid shirt, tights, and booties for a little added warmth. I also wore my favorite red winter hat from The Current, a pretty awesome radio station out of Minneapolis, MN. The plaid and hat together have a lumberjack[ie]-chic feel, no? Ah, I live for puns.

Vanessa wore a fun long-sleeved floral patterned dress that she recently found while thrift shoppin’ in Chicago, and just looking at her made me feel a bit warmer! Vanessa is not only a photographer, but also a thrifty girl extraordinaire, and runs her own vintage shop. I have always had a love for vintage clothes, hanging onto pieces that my mother and grandmother have passed down to me, and Vanessa’s unique style has inspired me to pull some of those favorites to the front of my closet. Also, don’t be surprised if you run into me at thrift stores on H Street one of these days…


Gold Sequin Dress old | similar top on sale!
Old Navy Plaid Shirt
Stella & Dot Pavé Chevron Necklace
Audrey Brooke Booties old | similar
Revlon Lipstick in ‘Berry Rich

Photography by Vanessa Riojas

Blank Slate

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Blank Slate - Jackietara blog

I’ve been living in cozy sweaters lately (in mainly black and grey hues) that mirror the dreary weather. Winter is cold and long, and I can’t believe this is just the beginning, which is why I am even more excited that I will be in California for a week-long business trip. Helloooo 75-degree weather, light layers, and sunshine (my suffering skin knows I could use some Vitamin D). I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year than with some rejuvenation.

We were lucky with a couple of mild days in D.C. this December and we got a chance to visit Teddy Roosevelt Island again on one of them. There’s just something special about that place, and it helped that it was a super fun and open afternoon with friends. I love days that are sort of spontaneous, when there is a basic outline of what you want to accomplish, but then you messily fill in the blank space with whatever comes your way. That’s how I feel about shooting content for my blog. We start with a general concept and just let the elements – weather, mood, energy – inform us of our direction.

This time of year blesses me with moments to get energized and refreshed, and I’m hoping that The Special Event conference in Anaheim will fuel my creativity and focus. Don’t forget to follow my California adventure on Instagram @jackietara!


Thrifted Sweater
Gap Booties similar
Stella & Dot Link Bracelet

Photography by Paul B. Jones

2014 (& Looking Forward to 2015)

2014 - Jackietara blog
Some favorite 2014 moments from Instagram @jackietara

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post, but I suppose that’s what the holidays can do to you. I am blessed in having most of my immediate family close by, but during the holiday season that translates into frequent day trips to spend time and have meals with my parents and grandparents. I didn’t plan my 2-week long break well, because now that all of the family activities are over, I’m sitting home alone having interpersonal interaction withdrawal. I’m one of those souls who needs down time every once in a while to recharge, but the process of getting to that I’m-happy-to-be-by-myself state is a rough one. Shoot me, I’m a people pleasing people person.

Now that I have finally reached that happy place, I want to share some reflections of 2014 rather than a typical style post. I would be lying if I said that 2014 was a great year, but some really good things did come out of it (much to my surprise and delight). 2014 was a year of change: a new demanding role at work; my sister moving across the world; a break up; and my brother growing up practically at the speed of light. Out of these momentous changes, however, I did find a strength within myself that I didn’t event know existed, along with these things:

The confidence to try a new workout routine and stick with it long enough to see results, both internal and external

Having time to rediscover my love of painting

A curious desire to learn more about brewing coffee at home (my new favorite hobbie!)

The unconditional love and support of my amazing friends, and the willingness to humbly support them in return

A little room in my heart for my new and amazing beau

An opportunity to work with my talented photographer friends, Paul B. Jones and Traci J. Brooks, who’s photos appear here often

An openness to meeting and working with new colleagues and friends

The appreciation for everyday things and neighborhood treasures

And a refreshed sense of wonder and excitement for what is next

The possibilities are endless, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. Thank you for reading Jackietara and supporting this blog as I continue to learn and grow. Cheers, to the closing of this year’s chapter in each of our lives, and to the beginning of a bright and new year.


Winter White

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Jackietara blog - Winter White Jackietara blog - Winter White Jackietara blog - Winter White

I found this awesome graffiti wall on a Saturday morning run around Theodore Roosevelt Island with my beau. As we ran by, I told myself that I would have to come back to do a shoot there. I mean, how could I not? I love my city and it never ceases to amaze me. There are always new places to explore, and one of the best ways to discover those hidden gems is running. I’ve never been a “natural runner,” but I have taken to it again lately after a long 6-month hiatus. I’ve been going running with a couple friends, and although I can’t speak a word while I run (one of these days I will build up that pesky lung capacity!), it’s so much nicer to run with a buddy.

True to my word, we came back to the island. I’ve been taking the new “white is now acceptable after Labor Day” fashion rule to heart and shamelessly wearing white whenever possible. And before you flash that judgmental smirk, let me explain. White just never gets old, and black and white is too much of a classic combination to force into hibernation during the winter. I wore this dress back in August, and decided to style it with a long-sleeved gingham shirt, tights, and boots for a warmer look. Dresses with shirts underneath are my new favorite, and a white dress in December is just a bonus.


Gap Dress old | similar on sale!
Old Navy Gingham Shirt old | similar on sale!
Vintage Short Boots
Stella & Dot Link Necklace

Photography by Paul B. Jones

Art + Aztec

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I have never been much of a Black Friday or Cyber Monday fanatic (surprising, I know, considering my most trusty motto is “never pay full price”), but this year I gave Cyber Monday a go to knock a few “presents for him” off of the shopping list. My favorite gifts to give family and friends are usually of the homemade variety – crafts, cards, paintings, etc. – and I’m planning on continuing that tradition for the holidays this year. I’ve been experimenting with watercolors more lately, despite my previous frustration with this elusive type of paint, and I am slowly growing to love it. Contrary to my inner control freak, I get an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction as I let the colors drip and blend into each other on the page, much like a slowly melting popsicle on a hot summer day.

Now let’s talk about Aztec prints on capes and ponchos. I am completely in love with the makeshift poncho look we are seeing all over the place right now (even Maggie was wearing one in The Walking Dead!). You can have a poncho without having to buy one by wrapping a larger scarf or light blanket around your shoulders and belting it in the front to secure it. Or, just drape it around your shoulders for a more relaxed “at home” feel. With a blanket wrapped around you, though, you may never even want to leave the house. Consider yourself warned.


South Moon Under Dress on sale!
H&M Scarf

Photography by Paul B. Jones