Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trends : How to Wear Denim on Denim

If you opted into Spring 2014's denim on denim trend..carry on..carry it on into Fall 2014 because the trend isn't going anywhere. Perhaps in my stylish mind, it will get sleeker and more feminine. As we all know denim was invented for a woman who would "put in that work". Thankfully, after years of redeveloping denim by making denim skirts, skinny jeans ( yes thank you to all of the denim gods), and gorgeous denim blazers we have more options. 
Balmain 2014 collection was indeed perfection. You "the regular day to day woman" can easily interpret your own look. As you are preparing your Fall lookbooks, I will give you some inspirational looks you can use to prepare.
Use pieces you already have in your wardrobe and layer them. Pull a chambray denim blouse you probably already own and a pair of skinny jeans and cute loafers. 

Let the DIY bug hit you by ripping your favorite boyfriend jeans or literally take your boyfriend or ex hell it makes it all the worthwhile lol. Add your chambray blouse and a bib necklace or statement necklace and you take that grungy denim look to glam easily. 

Patch it up by taking an old pair of denim shorts or fabric and sew a denim pocket as an embellishment touch. 
Go super 70s glam with the denim on denim trend by pairing a hip hugging pair of wide leg trousers with a darker shade denim blouse.

You can always channel the lovely Sade and just add a simple bangle to your look. 

Minimalism is everything in perfectly executing the denim on denim trend. Don't go overboard but enjoy yourself and your style. 

Have you guys tried the denim on denim trend? How did you style it? Let me know by commenting below. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hmmmm...Yes or No?! Junior Artist for Kids Product Review

Like mother like daughter or is it like daughter like mother..either way Amira and I have both tapped into our inner creative and are studying artists.  We recently went to the Art Center Supply in Midtown to pick up our weekly supplies. Mommy went in to look for a sketchbook to start my visual journal and Amira went to get whatever her little heart desired.

We found a table that read "Try Us Out" and you know we had to take them up on the offer. The store was promoting oil bars and had huge sheets of drawing paper to channel our inner artist. The bars were so cool..I knew I would have to invest in a couple. The consistency of the oil paint in the bar was like butter and the application felt just like it to.

After mommy tallied up our bill, I decided to leave those amazing $8.00 oil bars at the store. My rationale was she goes through so much paint, I can't invest in a bar that expensive. After speaking with the sales clerk, we agreed hey get the junior pastels they are only $4.99 for 25 versus $8 for one. They give you the same outcome he says.

Hmmmm...nice gesture sir but sadly they don't. The Junior Pastels are great! Let's see how will I describe them?! Boujee crayons. The application is similar to crayons. The finish is better than crayons but not like the oil sticks. What I did love about the Junior Pastels was the variety of colors available in the box. Needless to say, I will save up our coins until we have the complete collection. I guess they made a believer out of my investing in the best supplies makes a huge difference. 
Amira loves drawing pretty pictures so making the investment will be worth it. You never know she may have a collection in a gallery soon. I love her finished picture and thankfully I didn't have the messy cleanup as I normally would with paint.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How to Start A Visual Journal

We all remember keeping a journal as teenagers right?! I remember coming home from college and reading some of my journal entries and literally SMH. I mean I had such a range of emotions and now looking back really had no worries. In my adult age, I have taken it upon myself to revisit journaling this time visually. Pictures say a thousand words literally. I am at a point where I need to go back and reference emotions, accomplishments, or creative ideas. Visual journaling is a  way to document your dreams, vision boards, thoughts, insecurities, accomplishments and so much more.  

Starting a visual journal is not difficult at all. I promise you will thank me later. So let's get into "How". You only need a few things to start with....

There are so many options for sketchbooks some more studier and some more creative. My advice is to get something with heavier weight paper. You will be using it quite often and may want to paint or glue so having a good quality of paper is a bonus. But don't let that intimidate..find something you like and what works best for you. 

You will definitely need this. They are so inexpensive and easy to find. You can find them at local craft stores and dollar stores. 

Make sure you keep plenty of options like pencils, markers, colored pencils, sharpies, metallic pens, you get my drift. You never know where your ideas or emotions may take you so stay prepared. 

Use magazines to cut out inspirational images or words to create cool collages. Visual journaling allows you to use images to tell a story..your story. As far as images, that's up to you. I have been using a mixture of images some I pick up from sources of inspiration but all others I  have used Walgreens photo app to print out pictures that I snap throughout the day. It's sort of nostalgic to go and "pick up" prints from the drugstore.

Put all of your dreams, vent, to do lists, drafts for creative projects in your visual journal and see what a difference it makes.

If you need some inspiration on visual journaling, here are some ideas

I would love to know if you start a visual journal, comment below if you are going to give it  a shot! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Brunch and Sew with Andrea Fenise

Join Andrea Fenise & creative partner Kamesha Hervey Richard of Ava Loren Design for a stylish afternoon of brunch, amazing conversation, and fun and interactive sewing and design. 
Attendees will learn the basics of sewing, design a stylish home interior pillow, learn how to make a pattern that they can treasure forever. Brunch and sewing materials are provided. You don't have to bring anything just your eager mind and stylish self. 

We would love to have you!!!!!! REGISTER  TODAY 

Eventbrite - Brunch and Sew with Andrea Fenise

Monday, July 21, 2014

Get the Look : Graphic Printed Bodycon Inspired by Beyonce

Please tell me you haven't been under a rock and haven't been on Instagram and Facebook and seen The Queen B..Beyonce's tour looks, costumes, and fan looks. After making a custom piece for a client specifically for the New Orleans leg of the tour, I searched through the web for Beyonce's looks. I found this cute graphic printed bodycon skirt Beyonce wore on her off time in Houston.
 I love this look! It's a sleek look styled with a bowler hat and a bold red lip. The Nicole Miller Pilar Mazon skirt was inspired by the garden of Versailles. The print is very easy to style and in my stylish situation easy to replicate.

.: DEETS :. 
blouse | American Apparel
skirt | byAndreaFenise
hat| Urban Outfitters
shoes & accessories | Style Junkie 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Working It with Amira and Balancing Motherhood

 Sharing my life and work with my daughter is a dream come true. I mean I shared my body..my food...my bed (still) so why not share my work with her. Integrating Amira into my day to day work activities is a juggling act but somehow I find balance and we just get the job done. I sat down with Grace Magazine to share my "secrets" as a successful mom.

1. You come first (not really...kinda) 
If you are a mother, you know really... we don't come first. We allow our kids to eat first. We shop for our kids first. Rules are always meant to broken and in this case I'll explain. My secret for keeping it all  together and maintain a sane mind  is to wake up FIRST. I give myself a couple extra hours before Amira wakes up to do a mani & pedi. Take a bubble bath and get myself together. Most importantly, it's my "quiet time". It's the only time I get to catch up on reading or even just plan my day.

2. Take the help.
I don't know why so many mothers feel guilty when someone offers to babysit or give us a "break". One thing we know for sure is the kids are "ours" and the sitter will bring them back. If you are offered help, take the time to get caught up or ahead. It's a great opportunity to reply to emails, send invoices, do some research for future projects, and schedule meetings.

3. Mommies have to be choosey. 
We can't do everything. Often times we will miss out on cool events, girls night out and extravagant vacations and for some of us date.  It's okay...I promise. after they leave the nest..We can soar and travel the world find our love. But for now,  we have to prioritize and attend events that will be beneficial to our careers. My suggestion for balancing is to chose wisely. I know as moms we have superpowers but we haven't quite ow figured out  how to be in two places at one time. I enjoy scheduling and attending events when Amira is in school. It allows me to fully focus without a 5 year old asking for something every two seconds.

4. Run a well orchestrated schedule & closet. 
If you don't have a to do list that transitions to a Action Plan, make that the first thing you do after reading this post. If I can get a dollar for every time someone asks..."How do you do it all?" I would be uber rich. My secret is a to do list...I HAVE to write everything down. I even slot out time increments. It's funny I call myself CHO (chief household officer) because I have to manage our lifestyle and use a special system to do so. Visually seeing your tasks scratched off, makes you feel like you are accomplishing the "unaccomplishable".

Now as a designer, I can't skip out on the importance of a well orchestrated and edited wardrobe. Build a wardrobe with great quality pieces, a capsule collection, you don't need much just season essentials that transition and complement well. It allows you to always look stylish but not without a lot of effort and time. You know we don't have much of that.

5. Show them better than you can tell them 
There is absolutely no reason you cannot make your children apart of your work. I have never understood and will not even try to understand why children have to be separated from our lives. It's my dream to show Amira what it's like to stay focused, work hard, and balance life. Being Amira's role model is a title I will proudly hold true to my little heart. I want to be an example to her that as a woman she has the power to be and do whatever she likes.

I hope you find these tips helpful and I look forward to sharing more creative tips for balancing motherhood and work.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Please & Thank You | Sending Personalized Stationery

Would you like to be the reason why someone's day is so much brighter and their heart a little fuzzier? A simple gesture like a personalized handwritten card goes a very long way. And guess what?? It doesn't take you long or require much of you. Simply, tell someone thank you for a gift or for just how amazing they are too you. 

I really enjoy writing thank you cards to package with all of my garments. It's an opportunity for me to allow my clients to really feel how I feel about them purchasing pieces from me. It's also a personal touch that you don't see anymore..penmanship lol. I get so giddy thinking of the words I'll use to express myself and wonder how excited they will be just to read the note. 

clockwise: bottom left  (illustrated ballerina card byAndreaFenise ) top left (Just Because..byAndreaFenise) center (Thank You by Target) top right (porcupine thank you by Target) bottom right hello gorgeous ( Ava Loren Design
 When sending personalized stationery make it personal. The cards are chose are a clear depiction of your personality or the personality of the reciepent. Have fun and make the message clear..You Thank Them!!

Here's your challenge...Take the time out at least once a week to send someone a Thank You card. Thank them for a gift...thank them for inspiration and motivation...thank them for just being beautiful and amazing. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Splash + Splatter with Amira

Amira and I look forward to Saturdays!! It's an official "Amira's Day every Saturday in which I dedicate the day to whatever she wants to do. As a single mother with a mile long to do list, it's important and a priority for me to balance my time and nurture a long lasting bond with her.
 This Saturday, I used my new Do Memphis app to find some events that were being held in the city. Much to my surprise, we had many options to chose from and we chose Splash + Splatter at Shelby Farms. We ventured out east to Shelby Farms to a new  water park sponsored by Memphis Pool.

 The water park is setup like cute little water stations... one of Amira's favorites was the Slip -n- Slide station, a water slide,  and a sand castle scultping station. The water park was also grown up friendly with food trucks, a "shade station" for grown ups to cool "down" and  take a load off, a very cool dj and vendors.

The Splash + Splatter is every Saturday and Sunday of June and July from noon-5pm. The cost is only $5 per person.

We... yes although Mommy was so hot we enjoyed ourselves.  The park is fun and will definitely make our way back out to Shelby Farms and make a complete day of exploring other amenities it has to offer. 

.: Amira's Outfit Deets :. 
bathing suit | Walmart
shoes | Old Navy

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Coloring Inside the Line ..Literally

As you all know I have been planning, getting off track, planning, and now seriously planning to work on my Sweet Kisses line. I am in the process of getting inspiration ( I have it but I can't share the idea and concept with you now) and developing the fabrics of choice and color way for a Spring/Summer 2015 collection. 

As I rendered the designs and sketches, I came upon a color block lol. I had no idea the color way as sometimes I get overloaded with inspiration. I decided to source the "source" Pantone  for the fashion industry and home interior industry for color forecasting for the upcoming season. 

Pantone is the world renowned authority on color and provider and provider of color systems. Pantone allows accurate communication across various industries like fashion, design, and home interiors. There are so many resources on color ways and color combinations for each season.

 As a new designer, using resources like Pantone Color forecasting, you get to go deeper in the industry to see how collections are strategically designed. So, I want to make sure I am putting my best design forward and using the resources available to make sure my collection is on trend. I am so excited to develop the color way and prints for this upcoming collection.

Oh I love this color board pistachio, mint, purples all compliment each other so well.!!! Super duper excited!!!
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