These Boots Were Made for Walking [Around Town]

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B and I took advantage of a rare day off mid-week and took a nice walk around our neighborhood. It was a beautiful fall day, one with an endless clear blue sky and crisp newly fallen leaves crunching beneath our feet. We didn’t have a plan and ended up wandering and walking nearly 5 miles around town.

Needless to say, we stopped for happy hour in Old Town, Alexandria to fuel our trek home. I was glad that I decided to wear these over the knee boots instead of a heeled pair. They are super comfy, add a touch of extra warmth with the height, and the purple suede adds a nice pop of color. The perfect boots for a perfect afternoon… a perfectly unplanned pair.


Outfit details:

Unisa Gillean Over The Knee Boot
GAP Plaid Button-Down similar
Coach Crossbody similar
Stella & Dot Plume Necklace 25% off until Sunday!
Stella & Dot Icon-Convertible Watch
Stella & Dot Maylee Ring


Indigo Girl

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This time of year is all about layering and stretching your summer essentials through the first chilly months of the year by adding a couple key pieces. During the summer I’m all about simplicity, avoiding heavy synthetic materials and wearing durable cottons like this white and indigo tunic from World Market.

I’m not going to lie, as much as I love “creating a new wardrobe” by experimenting with different combinations of my existing pieces, layering summer staples also comes from a necessity to stick to the budget (I know, womp womp). Fall is my favorite season – for many reasons, but very much so for the fashion trends – so I am going to allow myself to get a couple of fun new items (stay tuned for my favorite fall picks!) to throw into the mix. What are your favorites so far this season? I sense a cozy poncho in my future…


Outfit details:

World Market Tunic
Zara Jacket similar
Levi’s Denim on sale!
GAP Booties
Stella & Dot Pearl Spike Cuff and Ring

Photos by Bryan Wallace

Gingham Girl

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Fall is just flying by, ya’ll, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. My days are currently spent either glued to a computer or running around managing events, so I have been itching to spend some quality time outdoors, savoring any and every chance I get. In fact, I have been SO eager to be outside that I completed about half of my fall to-do list this past weekend. So productive, right?  I managed to escape the city not once, but twice, over the weekend to the rolling hills of Virginia. I literally felt like a new person breathing in the crisp fresh air, listening to the crickets chirp, and taking in the gorgeous landscape. Let me tell you (if my lengthy flowery description didn’t say it all), it was much needed.

And thank the gods for the comfy clothes trend that has taken off this fall (Joggers, I am coming for you!). I have been living in bright patterned tops, like this blue gingham shirt, basic denim, and boots. I just have to say how much I love my black curvy skinny jeans. They are a little high-waisted (my personal preference when it comes to jeans) and the perfect length to cuff and wear with short booties. I know I may seem like a poster child for Gap, but I just can’t help that I feel like Goldilocks and that their 1969 jeans fit “just right.” I know a few friends who can back me up on that, too 😉


Gap Booties
Gap Black Denim
Gap Gingham Shirt similar

Photography by Paul B. Jones

A Tartan Thanksgiving

A Tartan Thanksgiving - Jackietara blog

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was lucky enough to take a little vacation and disconnect from the city life with Teddy’s family in Bethany Beach.  We rented a house in a golfing community, so we were surrounded by lots of greenery and trees, and had plenty of outdoor activities to keep us busy.  T was able to play tennis with his family while I could jog around the community.  It was cold outside, but the sun made it perfect running weather.  Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly running has become part of my weekly routine.  I get disappointed when I miss running club on Tuesdays for evening events and I actually wanted to go running in the cold… while on vacation!

Thanksgiving day was absolutely beautiful, which was magnified by the calmness and happiness of being with family in a new place.  We had lots of great food, contributed by several members of the family [T and I made our famous goat cheese mashed potatoes], and wine, and once the meal was over, we sat around the table playing board and card games.  It really couldn’t have been any better.

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A Tartan Thanksgiving - Jackietara blog
A Tartan Thanksgiving - Jackietara blog

Wearing: tartan dress: ModCloth // short cognac boots: Frye

Photos by Teddy Wolff

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A Tartan Thanksgiving - Jackietara blog


Fall To-Do List Update

I have had the craziest last couple of weeks.  Between work, friends, projects, quartet rehearsals, and family obligations, it’s hard to find a moment to slow down and reflect.  Saturday was the first day in a while that I was able to sit down and think about how I have been coming along on my fall to-do list, so cheers to the weekend!

Even though I have been incredibly busy, I have been happy.  I am the sort that gets a huge amount of gratification from accomplishing things, and that’s what fall has done for me.  Here’s what I have been up to lately:

1. Keeping up with appearances.  I am now into my second month of Birchbox, and loving it!  Since I’m not adventurous enough to buy a full-sized bottle of product to try, it’s nice to get a few samples to see what works.  I’m currently loving the Dr. Jart+ tinted moisturizer from the September box and still getting a feel for a few items in the October box.


2. Exercising.  I joined a running club in Shirlington and it has done wonders for my energy level.  It’s also a great way to release stress after a long day at work, and to socialize!  It’s hard for me to motivate myself to work out, but so much easier with a great group of friends.  My goal is to be able to run the entire 5K loop without stopping to walk, but I must say I am quite proud that I have even completed between 3.1 – 3.7 miles AND I am no longer a running hater!

3. Getty crafty.  After a realization that I need to channel my younger more crafty self, I decided to host a monthly craft night.  There’s nothing too much more relaxing and comforting than creating art, drinking, and laughing with friends.  Our first craft night featured one of my childhood favorite crafts: Sculpey.  In addition to some creative planters, we decided to make a few octopi friends for our rooms and offices.  DIY steps and photos to come!

4. Practicing. Strike Quartet is keeping me busy with rehearsals and preparing for our first performance on October 18th at the Fridge.  It has been awesome getting the group together to do something that we all love.  Our show at the Fridge was a great first gig (check out our mention in the Capitol Hill Corner blog!) and I’m looking forward to performing more and more.  And look at this awesome poster that my friend Dan made for us!


If you have any suggestions for crafty night projects or have great fall “to-do’s,” please share!


Apple Picking

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If you remember from a couple weeks ago, getting outside more was a must on my fall to-do list.  Aside from my weekly runs in Shirlington, I had been having trouble checking this off my list, until two weekends ago… my friend Lizzy and I thankfully [in advance] penciled in a fun trip to go apple picking and, by golly, we made it happen!

We decided to visit Stribling Orchard in Markham, Virginia, just an hour south from D.C.  Lizzy grew up picking apples at this particular orchard and hadn’t been back in years.  We arrived an hour and a half before closing, which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  The bustling orchard was beginning to quiet as young and old apple pickers alike rang up their spoils of the afternoon, and we almost had the place to ourselves.  It was a gorgeous evening as we scoured the orchard for each different type of apple.  We collected McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and Lizzy’s all-time favorite, Stayman apples.

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Apple Picking - Jackietara blogApple Picking - Jackietara blog

Apple picking

I have also been trying to find any reason to wear my navy blue floppy hat from Anthropologie that has been sitting on top of my wardrobe all year long.  I feel like the perfect time of year [now] to wear a hat like this goes by in a flash and I usually forget to pull it down!  Keeping with my button down + cardi go-to outfit, I wore a new darling polka dot and heart shirt that I got from Madewell a couple weeks ago [on sale!].

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Wearing: button down: Madewell // camel cardigan: ModCloth // legging jeans: Express // black boots: DSW [old] // floppy hat: Anthro // turquoise butterfly necklace: family vintage

Photography also by Teddy Wolff

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The best part about apple picking [aside from snacking on all of the delicious apples along the way] is all of the fun recipes we get to try!


Fall To-Do List

Summer is the busiest season at work: fantastic performances and events that come with endless days running around and that leave you less than the desired time to spend on those extra things that make you happy.

So many activities on my “summer to-do list” were neglected, like pesky dust bunnies forgotten in the corner.  I never went to Jazz in the Garden, or took a walk along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and goodness knows my body hasn’t seen the gym in far too long.

The craziness of summer is finally coming to a close and I am starting to be able to look at life with fresh eyes.  With fall comes endless possibilities – it’s  like preparing for all of your resolutions in the New Year, except with much better weather.

My list involves getting outdoors and active more, making time for friends, allowing time for creative outlets, and having some much needed “me” time:

1. Join a running club.  A friend has invited me to join her on Tuesdays for a little running [which I hate] after work.  Well, hate is a strong word, but I highly dislike running.  I’m hoping that this group activity will add some *positive* reinforcement to a dreaded form of exercise.  I think dinner and drinks afterwards won’t hurt either…


Photo via Teddy Wolff Photography

2. Sign up for Birchbox. Somehow, I have survived the last 10 years with the bare minimum of makeup and beauty products.  You could call me a “natural” gal, so give me a Physician’s Formula concealer and Neutrogena compact powder foundation from CVS and I’m good to go.  Although I could go on this way, I feel I at least owe it to myself to explore the world of beauty, and what better way is there for $10 to receive a box each month on your doorstep, teeming with new and exciting supplies?!

Photo via Birchbox

3. Play my little heart out. Playing the violin used to be my life.  Chamber group and symphony rehearsals, lessons, and hours of practice would make up my day in college.  Although exhausting, this much playing gave me a kind of satisfaction that I can’t get anywhere else.  I am excited to say that our quartet is back together, ready for weekly rehearsals and gigs around the DMV!  I will keep everyone updated with dates and locations.

4. Plan my fall/winter show lineup.  Fall and winter are for SHOWS!  Coming up this week on Friday is the Dirty Names, playing at Rock and Roll Hotel on H Street.  They are originally from Annapolis, so seeing them play will be especially fun! Also, if you haven’t heard of Charli XCX, check her out!  You most likely have heard her collaboration on the popular Icona Pop single, “I Love It,” but she has many more fantastic songs on her album True Romance that I can’t wait to hear live on November 16th at U Street Music Hall.  

5. Just say “yes.” It’s so easy to fall into a “I can’t,” “I don’t have time,” “I’m too tired” rut.  This season is for yes’s.  It’s time to plan ahead, get active, and stay positive!


Chambray, Summer to Fall

On my drive to work leaves are shifting from green to orange, kids are back in school, and pumpkin flavored everything is already popular again.  It’s time for fall fashion.  For those of you a little less eager to shed your summer garb, here is one of my favorite ways to ease through the transition… layering!

Since chambray shirts are still in [thank god], I will be using this piece to layer my favorite summer-time dresses.  Adding a thin pair of stockings or leggings and pulling on a pair of comfy boots is another great way to get the most of your floral shirts, pleated skirts, and bright colored garments from the summer.

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Wearing: chambray shirt: Nordstrom // floral and stripe dress: ModCloth // belt: Zara // boots: Frye

Photography by Teddy Wolff

Fall Glitz and Glam

Last weekend my mom and sister Natalie decided to jointly host a Stella & Dot trunk show.  I have eagerly been anticipating the change in seasons [I’m a sucker for crisp mornings when I can slip on my favorite Frye boots and a comfy scarf and call it a day] and was very excited to view Stella & Dot’s new fall and winter collection… in person!

Sarah, our Stella & Dot Stylist, pulling reams of glittering jewelry out of all-purpose “How Does She Do It” totes and expandable fabric “Getaway” bags [much like Mary Poppins and her bottomless carpet bag], decked out my mom’s cozy Virginia home with glitz, glam, and gold.














With a glass of vino bianco in hand, we scoured over the gems and baubles until we found something that caught our eye.  My friend Lizzy gravitated toward the exotic “Pegasus” necklace, which seemed to be made just for her.  Chelsea fell in love with the classic “Oasis Bib Necklace” while Natalie rocked the long “Kimberly Necklace” and my mom wore the “Chantilly Lace Cuff” and matching earrings throughout the party.  It was fun to see which new styles fit everyone the best!








Some trends I’ve been seeing this season are versatile pieces that you can dress up, or down.  My favorite from the collection was the “Kahlo Bib Necklace.”  I can’t wait to pair this mixed medal necklace with a slouchy white T-shirt and a black blazer for work!




If you weren’t able to make the trunk show [or would just like to help my mom and Natalie earn free jewelry!], you can still shop online until September 6, 2013.  Happy shopping!