Winter Is Coming (just not yet)

fcZ_lcGe4gxa1qiO7y6vn6MVeinobqTyJOjB32hWslQ

GxuppmG0OzCP-EXULR5M7ZRdlm8RwYTOXDW5ZpLpabY

Considering the eerie feel and pointy branches of the background in these images, I was going to name this post Game of Thorns but then I wanted to vent about this, “craving pumpkin-spice-cozy knits!”-phenomenon happening since August (!), so I took a different Game of Thrones approach. But first, this has got to be one of my favorite shoots. Everything about it fits my personality–the creepy forest and branches background, the simple navy dress, the fact that I got to wear boots, a necklace that could easily be some kind of magical symbol or better yet, a port key–it was like I was finally able to live out my fantasy of being in a LOTR/Harry Potter-ish world!

cHZCHU1-8-agcm7mgZz-GL9hTKMpBmZSbA9Fbcrcp1A

i8AtYfjU-rYmcF9A0h4LpiSPifYyZzWsnYp-AE5r5so

These images were shot by Kristen next to the lavender fields of her parents’ ranch, which I featured in my last post. Once again, she nailed it with the effect we were going for. She also let me borrow this necklace from Cheeky Vintage, a vintage shop here in Houston. They sell an assortment of vintage items including dresses, purses, hats, bridal wear, and so on; plus, you can check by eras (1940s, 50s, 60s…).

P8-sXXeZ_ZZljzUlKnogSY8nLQDlrSJ3VmuPvu7XDKY

I briefly touched upon this subject last year, this year I have to say it again (but louder)—WHY is everyone in such a rush to get into fall? A few weeks back, a best friend and I vented on how this OMG! CAN.NOT.WAIT.FOR.FALL-hype! gets worse and pops up earlier and earlier every year. I told her that when temperatures dropped down to 79 after a rain storm here (mind you, it was just mid-August), my IG was filled with, Ooooo lower temps! Can’t wait to snuggle up with hot cocoa and a cozy blanket for fall! UMM hello…that’s not called cold…it’s called perfect. For me, fall brings that dreaded “Daylight Savings Time Ends” crap, for my friend (as for thousands of others who live where it actually gets cold) it literally means “winter IS coming” and that is pure torture.

While the season-change does bring with it everyone’s favorites—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and warm blanket scarves—I really think we should slow our roll. As “appealing” as ice storms, blizzards, and pumpkin spice mocha ginger cinnamon lattes sound, I’ll wait my turn. For now, hand me a dang popsicle and flip flops.

xMcbWwSyLrDl1zvIESN5WBV6lrRLvojkjbuxz0wopQ8

e5lw85iVFcrITeoOYbArzrt_VKT07Vsvm3TbCfg1VX0

Dress: ASOS (borrowed), Necklace: Cheeky Vintage

Images by: Kristen Eide Photography

If you’re looking for an all-occasions photographer, visit kristeneide.com. She’s also done these images for the blog: Texas Lavender Fields, It’s a Jungle Out There!, Spanish Flower, and Midnight in Paris.

Texas Lavender Fields

Earlier this summer, two girl friends and I drove up to my friend’s parents’ ranch house near Killeen to shoot some photos in the lavender fields that her Mom grows (!) Just the drive up there had me super excited! (I’m sure the BUC-EES Beaver Nuggets Sweet Corn Puff Snacks I consumed during the road trip, had nothing to do with my sugar high…) There’s something serene about driving for a couple hours outside of Houston, and then taking dusty, windy roads down through hills and farm lands. (I had also just finished watching Friday Night Lights, so I was REALLY into the whole “old Texas town” thing.)

MuhG1eEJ0KQIxIzlutnpY4Rsv3EhSy2ZVVa9tAqls-I

_MG_8594

Before we left, our friend told us not to expect lavender fields likes those in France. The fields turned out to be perfect and pretty, and the whole experience of being in the middle of Texas was the chocolate icing on my yellow cupcake.We ended up staying in a very old ranch house on the property, but I found each part of the house charming (minus the bugs, of course). There is so much character to the house and surrounding land, with its old tool shed, water basin, clothes line, ranch gates, the tall grass, cacti, and miles of green land.

50c-qsqe94IFgC6s6aID6tB8_ezr9gl6DS2YXusveE4

_MG_8617

54S2ETJ4Wg0IkKXzs2xeumwkHk0CDlShkzB6n-WcPfA

The next day we woke up to take these photos, and the overcast weather worked to our advantage, as it added to the old-country charm and tone of the photos. All of the pieces I’m wearing are owned and were styled by Kristen. She had a very creative way of taking this dress and making it feel very “Little House on the Prairie”-like, which is what we were going for.

Wn4I9i8c9rW1pwdJZAwABehqr-B-w21APZQsasCiG5Y

_MG_8611

c2ByOj_I-CC3gCqdmRz_lTXPLw7sgsqieYl6EpteGAk

Considering lavender is one of my favorite scents, it was hard to pull myself away from the fields. Good thing Kristen’s mom makes all sorts of goodies from the lavender—I have the lotion, insect repellant, linen spray, and picked up a bunch of fresh lavender for my room. It smelled pretty darn great for days (and kept the mosquitoes away)!

rHRkzpmPL-FzwoGjOsrNIES45ssN2L6cbbeSxVPU_Hk

_MG_8587

cPXA104H6LBdwVPESWzW1Wgj9OcYVa0mghQYrpt-YXI

This post has quite a few more photos than usual, but that’s because there were two talented photographers there—Kristen from Kristen Eide Photography and Rocio from Rocio Carlon Studios. I think they both did an awesome job of capturing the mood of the Texas country. Don’t ya’ll think so?

If you’re interested in knowing more about the lavender fields, visit: Lampasas Ridge Lavender Farm.

Linked up on: Cappuccino and Fashion, Penniless Socialite, Myriad Musings, Lizze in Lace and Pumps and Pushups.

Five Ways to Wear a Bandana

Being a Texan, I already owned a couple of bandanas and ever since I saw this girl sporting one as a scarf, I’ve been playing around with the trend. Stores are carrying them in a range of prices (I’ve seen some that are $20 or more!), but I was able to pick up a couple of colors from my local Hobby Lobby store for less than $2. As it is one of my new favorite trends, I thought I’d share a few ways in which I’ve worn the scarf, and plan to, once the fall rolls around.

To start off, there are two basic folds that you’ll need to know; the half-fold (step 2) and long-fold (step 5):

How to Fold a Bandana_Steps

Bunny Ear Tuck

Start with the long fold and place it around your neck, with the ends facing the back. Tie it (1 – 2 times), and tuck the bunny ears in.

Bubby Ear Tuck_Bandana

Air Hostess

Start with the long fold, and then place the bandana around your neck, with the ends facing the front. Tie it around your neck, air hostess-style.

Air hostess_Bandana

Classic Cowboy

Fold the bandana in half, place it around your neck with the ends facing back, and tie it around your neck (1 – 2 times).

Cowboy_Bandana

The Cape

This is basically the Classic Cowboy, but backwards. Fold the bandana in half, place it around your neck with the ends facing front, and tie it around your neck, like a cape (1 – 2 times).

The Cape_Bandana

Headband

Start with the long fold and wrap it around your head, tying it at the bottom. If needed, secure it with bobby pins. Note: You can either tuck in the ends, leave them untucked or you can also tie the scarf on the top of your head. (That’s a little too girly for me, so I tied it at the bottom and left the ends untucked).

Headband_Bandana

There are tons of other ways to wear a bandana scarf, but these are just the five that I found to be the easiest, and most suitable to my style.

Five Ways to Wear a Bandana

P.S. I’ve made up all the names for the folds and styles!

 

It’s a Jungle Out There!

vcGC8TZdeiuy3dGlk2LOMZgTUciT3uPOvj_iZEcvuIM

Don’t let all that awesome, bright, green shrubbery fool you. There is in fact, a bayou with water the color of dark, brown coffee behind me. Oh yes…welcome to the “Bayou City” (aka Houston) guys. (Good thing I have an uber-talented roommate/ photographer who can pretty much turn any landscape into awesomeness.)

Ps9ahOpy5VpuhfhaPx9ds0WNex5b9Cxk2SQQ522EBKg

6Bv11KLRDiZO1ruZblSQ3F9ybMRj0L1ybQ9UMKWqxZg

AKycrO35hHWb1De2Fi8dNAR6eq39pfG0DivzpkzRyZY

These were actually shot around Buffalo Bayou Park, the place where I run. Scratch that—where I attempt to run and watch other people do their thing, and then I go get a donut to make myself feel better. In all seriousness, Buffalo Bayou is actually really cool—the running and biking trails are great, there are small parks lined up against the trail for people, kids and dogs, bridges, artwork, beach volleyball, the bat bridge (warning: it smells when you go underneath it) and great views of downtown, amongst other things. It really is nice to see Houston developing the bayou, and with plans to expand it with restaurants, swimming and concert areas, etc.—I can only see it getting better from here!

engKFp7uIwnZy_FncIUmwYeiTeXVfUMqkbF0r2VFgWE

kvAJ2Qut_8n4VqvWp40QBCCpCcMc_h8LhTg9nLmPGg8

On to the outfit—while I don’t always go for bold prints in dresses (and I’m definitely not a “plant-person”), for some reason, I couldn’t pass this dress up. I figured it’d make a fun collection to my subtle wardrobe. In scouting out a location to take these images, Centennial Park came to mind. However, I liked Kristen’s idea of having a garden-esque theme to it, and the areas along the trail were perfect for it. I almost felt like Annie Lennox (from The Secret Garden) in this shoot…almost. Though, with my horrible green thumb, any attempt at a secret garden would be lost.

40jaYN-iHke8vNufzkvRxbX9Ly6J7X8EPYznbufuBss

HVIKushN_uNLGbWDNpbIc8Ge0wB2tgND6-sDHB5uKmk

Dress – H&M (sold here), Shoes – Madrid, Spain, Bag – Borrowed 

Photographs taken by: Kristen Eide Photography

Linked up on: Cappuccino and Fashion, Penniless Socialite, Myriad MusingsWhat I Wore & A Little Bit of Cheer.

Underwater

It’s official…Houston is flooded in (or out). To those people with kayaks–smart move buddy…smart move. But why do Houstonians think their cars have Aquaman powers, and can swim through water? When did I-59/69 become a watering hole or better yet, an underwater parking lot…that people willingly drove into? Also, good thing the Rockets won last night. Otherwise, it would have been a bad idea for the five Warriors fans to be trapped (literally) in the Toyota Center, amongst a slew of raging fans.

DSC_0035

I’ve been checking my Twitter feed all morning, and I’m completely engrossed with all the images people are posting. I haven’t seen the city shut down like this since Hurricane Ike (at least there won’t be a curfew this time around). It’s as if we just had our own little, water-apocalypse, that I slept through like no one’s business.

DSC_0021

Since I’m stuck in bed (I know…woe is me), I decided to clean up my photos and came across these. I haven’t posted in awhile, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get these up (even though it’s pre-short hair and I’m wearing a thicker scarf). However, I still love this bright color combo, and I’ve definitely worn this outfit (sans scarf) quite a few times. This pinkish, salmon-colored top has come in handy quite a bit. It’s light-weight and easy to throw on underneath something (like a blazer or cardigan) or just wear it, as is. It comes in quite a few colors (H&M), and I definitely recommend adding one to your wardrobe as a staple. Just make sure to pin it a little in the v-neck, otherwise you’ll be putting on a free show for everyone.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my four-day weekend. By “enjoy” I mean take, take a nap and pray that giant, bayou mosquitos don’t eat me. Be careful Houstonians, the water will suck up your car!

DSC_0025

DSC_0011_w text

Linked up with: Style to Inspire & Bless Her Heart Ya’ll.

Royal Blue & Stripes – Two Ways

DSC_0030

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was when I opened my calendar the other day and saw that Daylight Savings Time Begins this Sunday! I seriously hate when it ends, it puts me into a state of depression for about an hour (which is pretty much the hour that you can sleep in). Whatever group of guys thought this was a good idea for the fall/winter months, are idiots. (I bet they’re the great-great-great-great-grandfathers of the same guys that thought it’d be cool to get rid of Pluto as a planet). I love that it’ll be daylight until 8:30 p.m.—I always feel more energized and get so much more accomplished when this happens!

DSC_0018

 

DSC_0006

DSC_0037

March is actually having a good start for me (minus the sore throat and impending doom of allergies). Over the weekend, I started (ahem…and finished) House of Cards. I was on the edge of my seat (bed) just waiting for Frank to kill someone. I’m not going to give anything away, except for the fact that it doesn’t start getting really good until about episode 4 or 5. However, that ending scene…like whoa. Then I took myself out on a Saturday-night date to River Oaks Theatre and watched The Theory of Everything, which was absolutely amazing and inspirational. It was quite similar to A Beautiful Mind, and at the end I was definitely like “Crap…what the hell am I doing with my life?” Yup, it’s one of those movies. I also discovered Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s. Hello my new sugar-crack of the week. My roommate and I ate spoonfuls right out of the jar, now it’s at my desk, with a spoon in it. Will it replace Nutella? Never. Nothing can ever replace Nutella. However, I better pace myself considering I’m going to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo this week, and will eat every dang deep-fried thing I can handle. Ok…maybe not everything, but a good portion.

DSC_0004

DSC_0033

DSC_0037

These outfits were taken in February, but I had a few really busy weeks at work, so I didn’t get a chance to post them. I intended to put them in separate posts, but since it’s already March, I’m ready to move on to more spring-like outfits, so I thought I’d just double them up. Which works out so that you can see how to easily style something for work and casually. Also, yes…that is a backpack. I wear it and I love it.

DSC_0007_w text

DSC_0042_w text

Snow Leopard

DSC_0045

These pants were definitely one of those “I really don’t know if I should buy these, but I think they’d be really fun AND I’m feeling a bit feline-ish today, so I’ll just buy them”-purchases. I’ve had them for a couple of years, but they are just now stepping onto the blog.

DSC_0016

DSC_0020

DSC_0043

Surprisingly, they are not a pair that just hang around in my closet. I’ve worn them dozens of times, but only in a couple of ways. Usually it’s just with a plain top, like this gray t-shirt, or if I’m feeling a bit more pattern-adventurous, with a red/white stripe shirt. Here, I threw in the faux fur scarf to bring out the “leopard-ness”. While I don’t think this print is work-appropriate for everyone–I do think there are prints out there, like stripes, polka dots or plaid–that can spice up a work wardrobe.

DSC_0058_w text

Linked up on: Style to Inspire, What I Wore Wednesday, Design Life Diaries, Penniless Socialite, Style Swap Tuesdays and Pumps and Pushups.

 

As If

DSC_0004

Back in the 90s, my Mom used to swear by the JC Penny catalogue. That woman would get such a thrill from flipping through the catalogue, going up to the registry desk to order items, and opening up the packages. These days, she just visits the store…pretty much every weekend, if not multiple times in a weekend – 10% coupon and JCP credit card, in hand (sometimes I drive her there).

DSC_0009

DSC_0014

I’ll never forget the time she let me order my first item from the catalogue – it was a plaid shirt, in pretty much the same material as the scarf here. I loved that shirt! It was flannel, soft and a little too big (but that was the style back then). I wore it with black pants, white pants, jeans, wide-leg jeans (not JNCO wide-leg, but Unionbay wide-leg), pretty much until it had holes all over it.

It made me feel like one of the cool kids. Though, if you read my post a couple weeks back about dark green socks, supposedly I was not a cool kid.

DSC_0045

DSC_0043

Then Clueless happened, and plaid went buck-wild. When Cher (aka Alicia Silverstone) is wearing short plaid “business suits” in one of the best 90s movies ever made, how could you not want to wear it?

If you haven’t gathered it by now, I’m a huge fan of plaid. I decided to finally post one of my favorite dresses, that I picked up from a store in Madrid, Pull & Bear, a couple of years back. I love how the dress can easily be incorporated into my wardrobe all year-round. I had bought the plaid material with the intention of turning it into a thick, fleece-lined scarf like I did last year with this one, DIY: Fleece-Lined Scarf, but never got a chance to. So it’s become one of those blanket scarves that wraps around your neck a few times. (Which if you think about it, is another totally easy DIY).

This outfit is pretty much as close as it’s going to get to the short, plaid business suits worn by the girls in Clueless. I don’t think I could ever pull of anything like that…including, knee-high socks, Mary Jane shoes and scoring a guy like Paul Rudd (!)

DSC_0021_w text

Linked up with: Style to Inspire and Design Life Diaries.

 

2014 Outfit Round-Up

2014 Outfit Round Up_What Jo Craves

Hey ya’ll! So, I don’t have that many outfits for 2014…that I actually caught on camera. However, I do have to say, this has been one of my favorite years so far when it comes to dressing myself. I found myself buying less stuff and focusing on investment pieces or things that I already had. Maybe it’s because I’m finally paying rent or maybe it’s because I’ve learned to shop smarter…I don’t know. Regardless, I’m happy that I got my lazy butt up at least a dozen times out of the 365 days to get these outfits documented.

To see each outfit and it’s corresponding post, click on the drop-down box under Going Back on the right-hand side.

Have a great new year!

2015…Brought to You by My Swedish Fish

Can I get a high-five 2014? What! What!

Amongst a couple of hiccups and the “what the F am I doing with my life” moments—2014 still came out to be one hell of an incredible year. I don’t know if it’s cheesy to say, but I’m a lot bit proud of myself for some of the things that I have accomplished and decisions that I made. From making the leap to move out of my house, switching jobs after 6 ½ years, booking last minute flights—it’s almost like I’m me…but not (I mean, I could be Batman).

I got the opportunity to do and experience such amazing things this year – take adventurous trips with best friends, celebrate fabulous weddings, welcome new additions, coordinate craft nights, party like I’m 22, fall in love with…s’more cupcakes, drink a lot of red wine, become an all-Apple user and most of all, spend lots of fun-fun time with friends, family and a few dogs. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system and the drive to make myself a better person every year.

Everything is awesome! – The Lego Movie

Now, with just a little help from some friends – we bring on 2015!