Blank Slate

Blank Slate - Jackietara blog Blank Slate - Jackietara blog Blank Slate - Jackietara blogBlank Slate - Jackietara blogBlank Slate - Jackietara blogBlank Slate - Jackietara blog
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

Let’s Stay Home

Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home
Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home
Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home
Jackietara blog - Let's Stay Home

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like we bypassed fall entirely, but I am totally not ready for the wear-your-heaviest-coat-and-warmest-boots-weather that is inevitably coming our way this winter. Apparently I missed our small sweater weather window (where was I, under a rock?!) and I will be moping about it sufficiently until there is at least some fun snow to play in. I know what you’re thinking, “but moping isn’t productive, Jackie”, and you are absolutely right. I’ve been slowly building my mental arsenal of indoor activities, ranging from not-so-productive movie watching to uber-productive-and-festive ornament making with my roommate’s girlfriend, and I’m getting really excited about it. I’m usually in hyper drive, so I’ll take any excuse (especially freezing weather) to stay inside and be cozy.

One of my favorite things lately is making coffee – hot, aromatic, and comforting coffee. And no, not just any old coffee from a drip coffee maker, but experimenting with the pour over method. I received a burr grinder and ceramic dripper as gifts a few months ago and never looked back. There’s just something special about brewing your own coffee in your own home (preferably in your pajamas), discovering nuances about different beans and taking the time to learn how to control every variable in the brewing process. I digress, but I’m definitely feeling a dedicated post about home brew pour over. Yes?


Madewell Sweater |  similar on sale!
Hue Leopard Leggings | similar
Old Navy Tee on sale!

Photography by Paul B. Jones


Layers of Comfort

Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog
Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog

It is getting pretty darn chilly in this neck of the woods.  D.C. has already experienced it’s first “real” snow storm this year, and it’s not even January!  It was only a couple inches, but enough to shut down schools for two days and to give me a snow day away from the office.  December is a crazy time of year.  It’s holiday party after holiday party, leaving me in a daze of splendor, excitement, and exhaustion all mixed together.  I do love it though: the garlands, wreathes, sparkling lights, and happy guests enjoying time with colleagues and friends lift my spirits on long work days that quickly turn into work nights.  And repeat.

My lack of sleep and desire to stay warm frequently results in those days when all you want to wear is all of your least form fitting clothes, a style I have deemed “grandpa chic.”  There’s just something so cozy and comforting about throwing on your significant other’s most loved sweater, a vintage jacket, a warm pair of pants, and boots.  It’s hard to justify wearing anything else!

Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog
Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog

Wearing: denim collared button down: Madewell // men’s knit sweater: Express // vintage jacket: Liz Claiborne // mustard pants: Anthropologie // bib necklace: Eastern Market vendor // hat: Gap

Photography by Teddy Wolff

Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog Layers of Comfort - Jackietara blog


Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather - Jackietara blogSweater Weather - Jackietara blog

It’s finally here!  Sweater weather is here!  I’ve been arguing [more like bantering] back and forth with T all week about how chilly it’s been.  He went to college in Minnesota, so “chilly” for him isn’t until it’s 30 degrees outside.  Nevertheless, it’s been chilly enough for me to pull out the sweaters.  Inspired by a new trend I’ve been seeing lately [recently well captured on the A Piece of Toast blog], I decided to pair a cable knit sweater with a flowy skirt.  I did say you would be seeing me in more cozy knits this season!

Thankfully T is a sweater hoarder lover, so I’m the lucky girl who gets to borrow them from his closet.  If you want to try this trend too, I would stick with a mid-thigh length skirt that has volume, so it peeks out nicely from under your sweater.  Keep either the sweater or skirt neutral so you can play up one or the other with a bright color or pattern.  I got tons of [I must say, unexpected] complements on this outfit, which is reassurance for me to continue to take risks with my style.  Where is the fun in wearing the same old thing every day?!

Sweater Weather - Jackietara blogSweater Weather - Jackietara blogSweater Weather - Jackietara blog

Wearing: sweater: Old Navy [stolen from T’s closet] // blue collared shirt: Zara // skirt: Michael Kors from Loehmann’s // necklace: Stella & Dot

Photography by Teddy Wolff


Sunsets and Alleyways

Ally Red Sweater-1

Ally Red Sweater-2

I can’t believe how quickly the sun is setting already!  A couple days into October and a chill is lingering in the air as the sun sneaks behind the neighborhood houses.  It’s always a little bit of struggle to dress for this in-between weather [not warm enough for short sleeves, but not cool enough for a jacket or heavy scarf], so my go-to is a button down with a cozy sweater layered on top.  I’m eager for autumn’s greens, mustard yellows, and coppers, but I’m reluctant to let go of summer’s bright color palette.  Pairing a bright coral cardi with a black and white gingham shirt is a nice compromise.

Ally Red Sweater-3

Ally Red Sweater-4

I am also incredibly excited to again be wearing my black short boots that I bought last year for $5.00 from H Street Playhouse’s closing sale.  T and I were sad to see the playhouse close only a few weeks after we moved into our new apartment a couple blocks away, but it was neat to see all of their props from various plays over the years, including this pair of boots which happened to fit me perfectly.  It’s like wearing a little piece of history.

Ally Red Sweater-6

Ally Red Sweater-7

Wearing: gingham button down: Old Navy [old] // coral sweater: Madewell // gold coral necklace: ModCloth // black pants: Zara // black boots: thrifted

Photography by Teddy Wolff