MONOCHROME

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Ever since I saw NotJessFashion kill her version of a Power Suit in a badass head-to-toe red look, I’ve been obsessed with monochromatic outfits. My personal style fluctuates often, but right now I’m loving the easy sophistication of the monochrome trend.  This dusty blue blazer is one of my favorite pieces. It’s the perfect shade of blue to pair with light or dark colors and it’s oversize style makes it east to wear and move around in. Perfect if you want to look good and without sacrificing comfort.

This look was easy to put together, which is great if you struggle to get out the door in the morning like I do. And it feels really polished so I don’t have to worry about looking as frazzled as I feel.

Blazer: Forever21
Top: Similar
Bottoms: Similar
Shoes: Similar
Accessories: Anne Klein

CASUAL FRIDAY

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It probably has something to do with how long I spent in college, but for me, the weekend starts on Thursday night. Even if I don’t go out, by Friday I’m already checked out and focused on what I’m doing over the weekend. This is probably because the weekend is my biggest chunk of time to work on my personal projects, and workin’ on mah prooooojects is always at the forefront of my mind.

Not only that, working 3 jobs my weekdays fly, and I do mean FLY, by. It seems like I wake up on Monday, blink and it’s Thursday and I’ve gotten nothing done. This feeling has been really pervasive lately and I’ve been struggling to feel like I’ve got my head above water with everything I want to do. I’ve been distracted and really irritable, especially in situations where I feel like my time isn’t being used as productively as it should be. I shot this series after a particularly long and uninspiring day.

My sister recently moved home, and one of the best things about having her here is that I have my personal photographer back! I’ve realized that what makes me feel the best is being productive. So as soon as i got home I grabbed my sister and made her come shoot with me.  We only shot for like 45 minutes, which is actually a bit long for a typical OOTD shoot, but just those 45 minutes of doing something completely for myself made a huge difference on my mood. I went from legit feeling like I needed a Xanax and a good cry to laughing hysterically during this shoot. It was a good lesson for me about learning to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions that come along with chasing dreams. Nothing is as valuable as a good time with good company. And it was a great reminder of why I do what I do; because it makes my life more enjoyable. With that said, try to take some time this weekend to do something that directly makes your life more enjoyable.  It can be really hard to keep negative thoughts and self doubt at bay and keeping those emotions in check is a huge part of staying sane.

Jumpsuit: Forever21 (SIMILAR)
Jacket: Forever21 (SIMILAR)
Shoes: Air Jordan 8’s
Bag: Anne Klein

XO,
Jess

 

4 WAYS TO SPEND A WEEKEND IN SEATTLE

Since graduating, I’ve really been trying to take time out to do the things I enjoy. So when a good friend of mine suggested we take on Seattle for the weekend to celebrate our 10 year friendaversary, it felt like perfect timing.

Our stay at The Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Seattle was great! Our concierge was the sweetest and helped us with everything we needed and because the hotel is brand new it had tons of great amenities like an indoor pool and spa and a 24 hour gym, complete with disposable earphones. We booked our flight and hotel in one shot with Priceline.com. If you haven’t used them, I would highly recommend giving them a look. They let you name your own prices and tweak parts of your trip that don’t work for you, like a 5:00 am flight, for example.

4 Ways to Spend a Weekend in the Emerald City:

  1. Grab a custom latte at Moore Coffee Seattle
    Moore’s latte art was so adorable, out of 1,200 coffee houses, we went here 2 out of our 3 days in Seattle. They have tons of unique lattes like a mexican latte with chili powder and Ibarra chocolate, as well as the classic flavors like vanilla and mocha if you’re not feeling too adventurous.  The decor is amazing, with tons of ornate gold decorations and a cool, neutral color scheme to balance the eclecticism of the café. The wonderland-esque bathroom was my favorite part, complete with a slanted ceiling and a fabulous red and gold chair fit for the Queen of Hearts herself.
  2. Take the Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry
    This was probably the chillest and low key coolest thing we did while visiting. The round trip ride is only $7 or $8 a person and has the clearest, most convenient view of the Seattle skyline.  The ferry is huge so seating wasn’t a problem and they have a decent snack bar that even serves beer and wine. It’s a super relaxing ride that takes about an hour round trip and offers amazing views of Seattle, Bainbridge and Washington’s majestic snow capped mountains. Hands down, my favorite part of the ferry was the car deck (!!!!). Our ferry’s in the Bay are pretty small so the idea of being able to drive your car onto a ferry sorta blew my mind. What was even more mind blowing was how many cars they were able to fit on that thing. It seemed like close to 50! The mind reels.
  3. Ring once and knock twice at Needle and Thread
    Granted I had tossed a few custom made cocktails back, but Needle and Thread was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been, period. Seattle’s best kept secret is a small speakeasy located above an inconspicuous restaurant in the Capital Hill District. You sorta have to jump through hoops to get a reservation but it’s sooooo worth it. The entrance is through A VAULT DOOR that you can only open after you’ve given the ‘password’ over a rotary phone on the wall next to it. Once we made it up, we were ushered into an intimate lounge decorated with prohibition era antiques. Probably the best thing about Needle and Thread was the way you order drinks. Instead of ordering off a menu, your bartender asks you questions to get a feel for what you like to drink. I told him I prefer to drink Tequilla, like light fruity flavors, and like a little carbonation. How he came up with the drink he brought me I’ll never know but it was delicious, had Tejan in it and was garnished with a bell pepper. Reservations max out at 2 hours but that was plenty of time for dinner and two rounds of drinks. You won’t regret this one.
  4. Take the Seattle/Tacoma Airport monorail
    A taxi from the airport to downtown costs about $45.00, had we known that, we probably would have taken this when we arrived, especially because it stops like 10 times all over down town and suburban Seattle. And instead of paying $45.00 we paid less than $5.00 a person. On top of everything else, the views on the way to the airport are pretty pristine. We got to see parts of the forests the Pacific Northwest is so famous for, and it even took us by the stadiums which we didn’t get a chance to see before we left. The ride is about 45 minutes, so you may want to give yourself an extra 15 or 20 minutes if you’ll be going this route.

 

NEW HAIR, WHO DIS?

After months of letting caution get the better of me, I finally pulled the trigger on my blue hair! I seriously love it and my only regret so far, is that I didn’t do it sooner,

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The process was kinda intense tho and I did a rush job the night before a big trip, so I would recommend giving yourself a whole weekend to tackle a complete color transformation like this. I have pretty dark hair so the first thing i had to do was bleach the dark pigment away. I HATE BLEACHING MY HAIR. It feels like sacrilege or something because everybody knows how damaging it is, but it has to be done in order to get light colors to show on dark hair. My hair was partially bleached already from an ombre style I had before, but i made a pretty big booboo when applying the bleach:

SOOO,  it turns out you are supposed to apply bleach the midsection of your hair (from 1 inch from your roots to about 2 or 3 inches from your ends) LET THAT SIT for 5-25 minutes – depending on desired lightness – THEN apply it to the rest of your hair. I totally misunderstood this, probably because i was rushing and being poisoned by the noxious smell of developer and bleach. SAFETY TIP: Open doors and windows and use a fan if necessary to keep your space ventilated. I was literally suffocating with the bleach on my head and all over my hands trying to apply it evenly. Because of my rookie mistake, my bleach job is pretty rough. my ends are very light, my roots still pretty dark and my midsection a random green color which I’m thinking is left over pigment from when I dyed my ombre hair blue a few months ago. Thankfully, the shade of blue I use is pretty deep and vibrant and after 2 rounds of blue, the difference in bleaching is much less prominent. Instead, my blue hair is multi dimensional with different shade of blue and teal, which I love.

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Ideally, I would like to have bleached my hair at least one more time before adding the blue, which is why I recommend giving yourself a full weekend if you’re going the DIY route. Bleaching is so damaging, I feel like its mandatory to give my hair a breather and a nice deep condition in between bleach treatments. And although dye as a general rule, is less damaging than bleach, it’s still a lot of unnatural chemicals to expose your hair and skin to, and I think its good to give your hair as much time to adjust as you can.

Straight Outta Oakland, Pt II

Hello, hello!  Today I’m sharing Part II of the Straight Outta Oakland shoot inspired by the movie Straight Outta Compton. For this shoot, I wanted to expand on the concept from our first shoot, but in kind of a funkier way. Angela actually found this spot while hiking in the Oakland Hills (I never give up secret spots like this, sorry) and knew right away it was going to be the location for our next shoot. We had hella fun playing with those spray paints 😉

Shout out to my go to model Angela (@_persuasioon) Shes such a dream to work work with – i’m always amazed at what we come up with. Stay tuned for much much more!

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Leader of Cool Moons Light Up Lookbook

Just saying a quick hello today, and sharing some shots from a lookbook shoot I did a while back. Leader of Cool Moons is a west coast based lifestyle brand, specializing in handcrafted, recycled, unisex clothing. Theres really not anything else out there like this brand and I love that they’re working to make Fashion a more sustainable art form.

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This handsome boy is Blue. He was rescued a few years ago from a Bay Area dog fighting ring. Dogs that come from situations like that require a lot of patience, love and guidance. For a while, Blue struggled to adjust to normal life, but with the right amount of attention, socialization and a healthy regimen he’s looking healthier and happier then ever.

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XO,

J.

 

Straight Outta Oakland

BWA_Angela0815_028Raise your hand if you saw ‘Straight Outta Compton’ when it came out a few weeks ago? I can’t be the only one who found it to be a HUGE source of creative inspiration, can I? Literally, everything – the music, the attitude, the fashion, the struggle, the message, it relevancy today (HELLOO)….the over kill of black clothing and raiders gear…. it really spoke to me.

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Lucky for me, one of my many muses, @_persuasioon was up to the task of embodying my B.W.A. a tough, fun, modern twist on what it means to be female in the 21st century. Our grandma’s days of passivity are long gone. We’re out here making moves and getting money in higher numbers than ever before despite the overwhelming effort of mass media to keep us boxed in. Keep being you ladies (and gentleman)! Whatever that is, and whatever you do, don’t let anyone stop you.