Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Outfit: Plaid It Up

I fell in love with everything plaid way back in January and the obsession has resurfaced again twice as strong because I've been wearing this plaid top and super soft, super warm scarf over and over. This scarf is huge, so it's like a scarf and a blanket in one. 

Since everyone's getting sick right now (I got a cold a few days ago) I thought I would share a tip that shortened my cold by several days and made it less horrible: Korean Citron Tea. I've been telling people about it at work, so I wanted to tell you guys about it here. Korean Citron Tea is made of three things: citron peels, honey, and sugar. You take a spoonful or two (it has the consistency of jam) and swirl it in a cup of hot water, and voila tea! It's delicious and healthy because it has a lot of Vitamin C. Go grab a jar asap!
Plaid Shirt: Kohls | Top: Walmart {similar} | Scarf: Target | Jeans: Old Navy
Bracelet: Fifth & Mae {similar} | Shoes: ShoeDazzle {plaid loafers}

Are you into plaid right now?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Looks I Love {Fall}

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Since I can't get enough of fall and could talk about it forever, here are some awesome fall outfits that we can all "oooh" and "ahhh" over together today. Which outfit is your favorite?
Embracing Fall Trends With Nordstrom Rack!
Perfect fall outfit: hat, plaid scarf, blazer & tall boots!

Working Girl
Loving white for fall & winter!

The Wool Ride
Lovely layering (plus everything looks cooler on a blue bike!)

sweater over a dress with tights and booties
Feminine and work-appropriate

Goodnight Macaroon
Pretty fall colors & prints

How Bethany Mota Went From Bullied Kid To YouTube Superstar #Refinery29
Plaid + layering = so cute!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Every Idea is a Good Idea

**I received this book for free to review, but all opinions are my own.**

★★★ (5 out of 5)

Let me start by being honest: For a long time I thought creative self-help books were for people who just liked trying various different hobbies, and something I would never, ever need. However, during the past year a doubt has seeped its way into the back of my mind, preventing me from writing. Sure, I've been writing down notes and inspiration, but since graduating in December of last year, I haven't written any actual narration. 

But now that's I've read Tom Sturges' Every Idea is a Good Idea: Be Creative Anytime, AnywhereI've come to see that inspiration isn't something that you wait for. Creativity may be in all of us, but you have to actively pursue it. That moment of inspiration that we all want (no matter what type of creativity you work towards) can happen every single day if you cultivate it. 

There are a few things that I love about this book:

1. The Structure

This isn't the most important part of the book (obviously that's the content), but how this book is broken down makes it easy to digest and understand. The chapters are called "Creativity In Action," "Creativity And History," "Creativity And You", and more. You know exactly what each section is about in case you're looking for something specific. 

Within those bigger chapters are smaller sections that are only a few pages long at the most. These smaller sections are stories about real people that give you an option for your creativity (ie. how other people are creative, so that maybe you'll get an idea for how you can be too). At the end of (almost) every chapter are brilliant creative exercises and I can't wait to do them myself. 

2. The Content

I'm mostly talking about the smaller sections within each chapter: the stories about people alive and dead. What I really enjoyed about this book the most was reading about how other people cultivate their creativity, from songwriters to scientists, from painters to hip hop rappers. We all have our own way of digging down deep to access our creativity and inspiration, so it was fascinating to read about how others do it. 

But not only were these stories engaging, but they gave me so many ideas. Creativity is unique to everyone, but now and then it's good to try something new, a new way of accessing that inspiration. I got numerous ideas from this book that I'm excited to test out to see what works for me and what doesn't. 

3. The Creative Exercises

At the end of the first five chapters are creative exercises that I think are brilliant. They're short enough that you're not overwhelmed by the ideas, but still intriguing enough that you want to do them instantly. I'll share my favorite one with you: Reductions and More Reductions. In short, you start by telling a story in a paragraph, then a sentence, then a headline, then a word, and finally an onomatopoeia (words that are a sound, like bam). 

I have nothing bad to write about this book. I devoured it in two days, highlighting sentences and paragraphs that spoke to me about creativity, and highlighting the exercises of others that I could see myself doing. If you're in need of inspiration yourself or you're not sure where to start, give this book a try. You might just discover something about yourself that you didn't understand when you first started this book. 


"Creativity is a gift, from life to us. It exists in varying degrees, measures, and amounts in each of us, but we all have it inside. There is as much creativity in our lives as we allow there to be." (p. 4)

"Suppose that instead of forcing the issue when trying to create something, we let it emerge. Instead of demanding that the subject matter bend to our will, we let it bend our will." (p. 115) 

"Just create. Be thankful that creativity exists in your life and move on from there. When you have an idea, capture it. When you find a solution, remember it." (p. 163)

Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Would you read this book?
Have you read it? 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inspired By: The Classics Vol. 9

I took a small break from The Classics series, but they're back! I'm hoping to do one of these posts once a month or once every two months. If you have any classic novels that you would like me to create an outfit for, let me know! I'm up for suggestions. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Written by Lewis Carroll, we're all familiar with this whimsical and mind-tripping tale of a girl who goes down a rabbit hole and encounters mysterious creatures and people, like the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the hookah-smoking caterpillar. 

I took inspiration from these interesting covers for the above outfits: a light blue chambray dress, a white sweater, a yellow zippered purse, cat stud earrings, and black oxford flats. For the Mad Hatter's outfit, I went with a blue hat, an emerald blazer, a cream sweater, blue printed pants, and dapper flats. 

Buy the book: Amazon | Goodreads

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Written by Victor Hugo, this story is about Quasimodo, the hunchback of who lives within the walls of the cathedral because his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre-Dame, orders him to stay inside as the bell-ringer. Quasimodo falls in love with Esmerelda, a Gypsy street dancer. 

For these looks, I took inspiration from the classic Disney movie that I've seen way too many times. For Quasimodo: a burgundy polka dot tunic, black leggings, cross ring, pointed black flats. For Esmeralda: a white crop top, a purple skirt, owl necklace, gold ear cuff, and teal heels. 

Buy the book: Amazon | Goodreads

Black Beauty
Black Beauty
Written by Anna Sewell, Black Beauty is the classic children's novel told from the horse's point of view. It starts with his carefree days on an English farm to his difficult time pulling cabs in London. 

Of course I had to go with all-black looks for Black Beauty: a black top, a black pleated skirt, black stud earrings, and velvet pointed pumps. Or a black chiffon top, high-waisted black jeans, a horse ring, a bow bracelet, and black heeled sandals. 

Buy the book: Amazon | Goodreads

The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew
Written by William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew is about Katerina, the "shrew" that no man wants to marry. She has a younger sister, Bianca, who has several suitors, but their father refuses to marry off Bianca until Katerina is married first. 

This play has a soft-spot in my heart because when I was in middle school I did a school project with Jackie and we made a hilarious video. And did you know that the 90s movie 10 Things I Hate About You is based on this play? I went for something fun and modern for these outfits: For Bianca a white lace dress, a sparkly necklace, a purple belt, and gray heels. For Katerina's outfit: a black dress, a floral blue necklace, a blue belt, gray thigh highs, and brown booties. 

Buy the book: Amazon | Goodreads

Which of these have you read?
Which outfit is your favorite?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Books & Looks: Jacquie

Say hello to Jacquie!

Hello Sincerely, Sara followers! I'm Jacquie of Claws up. I'm no stranger to Sara or her blog. We have been best friends for 17 years, and we started our blogs within a few weeks of each other. I never  pass up an opportunity to support Sara and be a part of her amazing blog. It took me a while, but here is my Books & Looks post!

Book: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Picking the book half of my post was the easy part. Hands down, The Silence of the Lambs is my favorite book. It all started when I first saw the movie almost 10 years ago. Most people might think it's just some horror movie with not much substance, but it is incredibly physiological and deep. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a famous and well-known psychiatrist. Traumatic events in his life pushed him over the edge and he becomes a cannibal. Silence of the Lambs is the third book in the time frame of the four book series, and he spends the entire book in prison, as he has been arrested in the previous book. We see him meeting with Clarice Starling, an FBI student on a case to find a serial killer by the name of Buffalo Bill. Hannibal is so polite and cordial to Clarice. He gives her just enough information to push her to figure out the mystery on her own. People view Hannibal as a monster, but when he interacts with Clarice, all you can see is how human he really is.

The story of Hannibal Lecter begins when he is a child during World War II. He loses his entire family to the Nazis, and loses his sister in the most horrific way. It is so interesting to see him go from a completely normal kid, to what people are calling a monster. In the end you can see that he was never really a monster at all. While I love every step in the progression of his story, The Silence of the Lambs will always be my number one book.

Look: The reason why it took me so long to get this post together was that I just couldn't pick my look! Do I go for the item  wear the most? Or do I pick a piece that I love, but I might not get the chance to wear a lot? In the end I picked an outfit that I thought was "quintessential Jacquie". I can usually be spotted wearing a cardigan, button up, colored pants, something neon, boots, and of course, a scarf. There are no words to express how excited I am that fall is here, and I can finally rock those pieces all together! I tend to put in a lot of thought when it comes to picking my clothes. For me, more is usually more, and I love incorporating lots of pieces into my look.

Thank you, Jacquie!
Have you read The Silence of the Lambs?

Want to be a part of Book & Looks? Pick your favorite book and piece of clothing and take some pictures, then email me at sara.strauss8922@yahoo.com with the subject "Books & Looks". In the email, include: four to five pictures (preferably horizontal), a paragraph or two about why it's your favorite book and why it's your favorite piece of clothing, and three social media links. 

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