passion 101

4 Apr

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A few weeks back, I took an all day photography class at the International Center for Photography with my friend Adela whom you may remember from here.  As a visual person, I’ve always loved capturing images that convey the deeper message of a moment and photography does just that.  Being an adult student is a far cry from my college years of ditching typically required classes and getting by.  I am now a committed learner because I only invest in the topics I am passionate about.  My successes have been driven by doing what I love.

Sometimes I think about the next thirty years of my career and wonder how it will all play out.  It continues to transition and evolve through working on this blog, freelance styling and expanding on the Your Soul Style brand, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about another project I want to tackle.  There is so much that I want to do, but at the risk of not spreading myself too thin, I recognize all will happen in due time!  It doesn’t matter how old or how established you are in any area of your life.  If you thirst for something new, indulge yourself and do it.  There is no time better than the present to embrace the life you want.  Find it, do it, create it, live it and love it.  What’s it gonna be?  Happy weekend!  xx jenny

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photos via Adela Capova

mountain style

2 Apr

mountain style - 2We just returned back from a most amazing adventure through Moab, Utah and Telluride, Colorado, a first visit for me to that part of the country.  I’ve heard lots of chatter about the beauty over there, but it’s only when you experience things with your own eyes that you can actually feel it.  And so I did.  More than anything, the red rocks of Utah blew me away.  I have so much goodness to share in an upcoming two-part post with restaurants, boutiques, spas, hiking destinations, etc, but I’ll need a bit of time to sort through the thousands of photos I took over the course of the trip.  If you follow along on instagram, I’ve already given you a taste.  In the meantime, let’s talk style.  When I made this post right before I left, we discussed packing strategies and I gave you a peep inside my bag.  I didn’t abort my urban sensibilities in order to fit into the surroundings of Moab and Telluride, but I adjusted and found a happy medium.  Don’t get me wrong – I was diggin’ the full on head-to-toe Patagonia meets REI meets hippie which seemed to be the overarching style there, but that’s just not me.  And no matter where I go or what I do, I need to stay true to who I am.  An important fashion tip when traveling is to explore new and inventive ways of embracing your personal style so that you can be you while also catering to the environment in which you are in.  There is always room for balance and comfortability in this space.  For me this meant combining a rugged plaid button down with pleather pants and a bright vintage scarf.  Between the red rocks, snow, sun, cold and warmth – alas, mountain chic it was.

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utah & colorado: the essentials

21 Mar

telluride - utah packingTomorrow Dina and I leave for an adventure out west, first spending a few days in Moab, Utah and then heading on to Telluride, Colorado where we will meet up with friends for the week.  I’ve never been to either and like all travel, I’m super excited to explore another part of the world.  Coming off of the photography workshop I took last weekend (more on that later!), I look forward to all of the epic scenery nature has to offer.  Our time in Moab includes sleeping on a ranch, romantic dinners, hiking, and exploring the red rocks in the surrounding national parks.  While in Telluride, it’s about snowboarding/skiing, lodges, the spa, cozy dinners, quality time with friends and checking out the town.  Since the two legs of our trip are completely different in not only activity but temperature too, I was thoughtful when packing to ensure that most items in my suitcase would cross function.  Everything goes from day to night with just the switch of a shoe.  I didn’t want to overpack and needed to be strategic and efficient when deciding what to bring.  When going on a long trip, the best way to optimize space in your bag is by editing down items that can all work together.  Choosing a color story or sticking with a foundation of basics in black, grey or denim will allow for easy outfit making!  And when you’re on vacation and constantly on the go, getting dressed should be a no brainer.  Better to spend the time with your head up, taking notice to what’s going on around you!  With that said, here’s a snapshot of a few essentials, along with this fur vest, chambray shirt, silk cami and black blazer for layering.

I can’t wait to come back with so much goodness to share with you from the trip.  In the meantime, follow along on instagram since I will be posting along the journey as we go!

Have a fantastic weekend and week ahead!  xx jenny

Shop Itplaid shirt // leggings // ski hat // polarized sunnies // overalls // cozy boots // sporty sweats // versatile sweatshirt // furry cardigan // down jacket // hiking sneakers

leather pants: take two

19 Mar

leather - 15This is my second pair of faux leather pants since the ones I got around the time of my wedding simply do not fit anymore.  A few weeks back I took them out of the closet and although after much tugging and pulling they were able to close, they were RIDICULOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE.  And really didn’t look so great unless I threw on a big bulky sweater to cover the waistline.  Needless to say, I’ve definitely gained a few pounds.  Does anyone maintain their wedding weight anyway?  Seems like a total impossibility if you ask me.  I had a moment of beating myself up about it, wondering how I let this happen, and getting angry for allowing these few pounds to creep back up.  But then I came to my senses and reminded myself that our bodies are ever-changing and go through ups and downs just like all else in our life.  I remembered that I need to be kind to myself and forgiving.  I remembered how crucial it is to accept and love who I am no matter what size that may be.  And then after resolving that being a few pounds heavier won’t make or break anything in my life, I marched myself right back to H&M and bought a similar pair, one size larger!

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banana + almond smoothie

17 Mar

smooth operatorMaking a smoothie is not a groundbreaking phenomenon however in trying to store up on good fats and eat clean, I’ve been making them at home regularly.  My friend Mika has been having them for years, but I never made my own version until now.  There is something super duper satisfying about 1) knowing exactly what goes into your food and 2) using your own two hands to literally feed and nurture your soul.  Not the most calorie friendly of meals, but healthy, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, vegan and absolutely one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten.  And it will keep you full for HOURS!  Whip it up in five minutes or less with four ingredients only.  Make it for yourself and everyone else that comes your way. You can thank me (or rather, Mika) later.

BANANA + ALMOND SMOOTHIE

What you need:

vitamix or any other type of blender/smoothie machine

2 ripe organic bananas (the more ripe the banana, the sweeter it will be)

1.5 – 2 tablespoons of organic almond butter OR 1 generous handful of raw unsalted almonds

1/4 cup of coconut milk

5-6 ice cubes

How-To:

– blend all ingredients together until ice cubes are smooth.  Voila – done!

– drink and go to smoothie heaven

Tips:

* adjust amount of almond butter and/or coconut milk according to your tastes

* add a few dark chocolate chips if you are having for dessert

If you have any smoothie recipes you’d like to share, please send them my way at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.  Thanks so much!

behind the scenes

14 Mar

photoshoot - 7The past few weeks I’ve spent most of my time styling for Mix Apparel, the Australian based company I consult for.  While on set yesterday, I remembered how grateful I am for my job.  It’s almost a year since leaving corporate America and although I’ve had moments of doubt and uncertainty, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to make the change.  Because I get to collaborate on such diverse projects, I learn something new and am challenged on the reg.  I have also met some of the loveliest, most creative and inspiring people I’ve ever known.  I’m reminded when I scroll through my inbox how most of these relationships didn’t exist just one year ago.  It’s mind-blowing what can happen when you switch paths.  My world has opened up to a whole new level and the growth is immeasurable both professionally and personally.  Even on days when I am scared and wavering (which can happen from time to time), I know I’m doing what I love, what I choose – stretching myself and expanding so that I can land exactly where I want to be.  Early on I would cry to Dina, saying how alone I felt, how I didn’t know if I was strong enough to continue and question if I had what it took to be successful.  I was looking for validation and wanted reassurance that it was the right decision.  In time I realized no one can do that for me – it needed to come from within.  None of it mattered until I believed in myself.  And that took me time to find too.  I wouldn’t trade those difficult moments out for anything.  They have proven worth fighting through.  It’s not simple choosing an unpredictable path, but if you have a passion for something different, embrace your inner courage and do it.  Grab every ounce of strength and decide to take control of your destiny.  There are times of discomfort and it won’t be easy, but the reward is living your fullest, most nourishing and best life.  You only have one – make it what you want it be.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at our kids shoot from yesterday at Industria Studios.  Candy, Amy and Mark, in some of the photos below,  are just a few of those amazing new additions to my life.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend filled with tons of soul and lots of style!  xx jenny

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gettin’ art’y

12 Mar

mel bochnerThis past weekend we hit up The Armory Show here in NYC, which showcases modern and contemporary artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.  Every March for the past fifteen years, galleries from around the globe come together to present at the four day event.  This was my first time attending and it was AMAZING!  I loved EVERY SINGLE SECOND of it!  Aside from the occasional visit to local galleries or perusing museums while traveling, I don’t spend too much time studying fine art.  The appreciation is there, but I was never exposed to the history, influences, periods, techniques, etc.  I just know what I like.  When a photo or painting can take me on an emotional journey resonating somewhere deep, the artist has got me hooked.  It’s a powerful exchange.  And sometimes it’s just about an interesting geometric pattern like Mark Hagen’s acrylic on burlap, which was one of my favorites of the day.  I would have purchased it in two shakes of a lamb’s tail if I could.  While navigating through endless aisles on a quest for the next intriguing piece, I can’t forget to mention the epic people watching and fashion too.  Those art’y peeps have got some serious style!  It was inspiration overload and I really could not get enough!  My creative senses were in full bloom.  All in all, a fulfilling day that peaked my interest to learn more about the art scene!  I can’t say I’ll ever be an expert, but am open to some further education.  I am finally taking that photography workshop I spoke about here this coming Saturday and perhaps next up an Art History class?  A few more of my favorites from the show…

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Artists (from top): Mel Bochner (Oh Well), Mark Hagen (Untitled), Juan Genoves, Jose Parla (blooming city marks), Tracey Emin (Wanting You), James Hugonin (Binary Rhythm), Shilpa Gupta (Eye Test), Tim Noble & Sue Webster (Fucking Beautiful), Ed Templeton (clockwise from top left: girl eats, girl smokes, kissing kids, walking girl), Unknown, Tomas Saraceno (Untitled), Peter Halley (unknown), Kris Martin (Somebody), Chuck Close (Self Portrait)

overalls + fur

10 Mar

fur and overallsWhen I bought this pair of overalls last summer, I certainly did not think the trend would sustain.  After wearing them a few times I reckoned they’d be one of those items I’d feel guilty about buying because of such little wearability.  And although I’m becoming more strategic on where I spend my pennies, stumbling now and again does happen, naturally.  I imagined this would be another one of those instances.  But alas – the good ol’ fashion denim staple marches on.  I busted mine out again this past weekend when the temperature reached an exciting fifty degrees because like the weather, I am ready for change.  I paired them with my J.Crew keeper chambray shirt to facilitate a full-on denim suit also referred to sometimes as a Canadian tuxedo.  Figured to either go big or go home.  Overalls have been around since the late 1700’s, first worn for function in the workplace and then transforming into fashion by the 60’s and 70’s.  LeeLevi’s and Wrangler, are just a few of the early denim companies that monopolized on the silhouette.  Things have come full circle and despite the heritage brands reproducing old classics, you can now find modern, fresh updates everywhere like these from FRAME denimCitizens of HumanityCurrent/Elliot and a distressed version by H&M.  Go get yo-self a pair.  Happy Monday!  xx jenny

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spotlight: fe noel

5 Mar

fe noel - cover photoThere is nothing more inspiring to me than an ambitious young woman who’s pursuing her dreams.  Someone who radiates with creative energy and has the courage to bring their art to life.  Felisha Noel, owner and designer of the clothing line, Simply Intricate, is exactly that girl and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her for a feature post.  Fe (pronounced “Fee”) is a born and bred Brooklynite who came into the fashion industry in a pure and organic way – her skills were learned through application and hands on experience.  While going to school and working towards her degree in finance, she began by opening up a clothing boutique in Crown Heights, Brooklyn called “The Wagon”, which carried high end vintage mixed with some trendy pieces.  The shop remained open for four years and after closing its door, Fe took with her a desire to develop her own line, one that would combine the beat of New York City streets with high end luxury.  Simply Intricate was born in 2011.  “Defined by simple silhouettes, plunging necklines and comfortable fabrics, each design exudes an innovative mix of sensibility and sensuality. Created for the uptown downtown gal who is not afraid to be chic and daring, the brand also curates a lifestyle for the young and fearless.”  Fe is dedicated to not only the pieces that she designs, but the emotional experience she can provide for her clients.  Just like Your Soul Style’s philosophy, her goal is is to enhance what’s already inside of you.  Through the lens of Fe’s vision, the line continues to grow and evolve, keeping things feminine and classic while also staying true to it’s foundation of refined sexuality.  The Spring 2014 collection is inspired by old school mob movies – think menswear pastel suits, tailored to the silhouette of a women.  I visited her studio out in Brooklyn and we had a chat about Simply Intricate and personal style too since they are one in the same.  Here’s what she had to say about hers…

DSC_0237Fe, what is your soul style?

My soul is alive and curious.  I’m always yearning for something different, something new.  For me, monotony is a nightmare.  This reflects in my ever-changing and evolving style.

How do you describe your style?

My style is very feminine, fearless, and sexy.  I love everything about being a woman, especially one that takes risks.  I’m such a dreamer so what I wear depends on how I feel and the role I want to play for the day. Ever since I can remember playing dress up has always been my thing.

What does your style say about you?

My style says, “You see that girl? She has personality and oomph!”  To stand as an individual and create your own style takes courage.  I like to have fun and be daring, but I have high regards for class.

DSC_0224Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

My inspiration comes from sultry, classy women both fiction and non-fiction.  I love old school movies where the women are irresistible and powerful.  One of my all time favorite characters is Elvira played my Michele Pfeiffer in Scarface.  I also take inspiration from the men in my life – my male family figures are very tailored suit and tie type of guys and my boyfriend and his group of friends are really into that Brooklyn high fashion street culture.  For me, mixing those two together is perfection, best of both worlds.  Ultimately I feel like inspiration is all around, it’s just that some days I take the time to actually notice and acknowledge it.  I wouldn’t say I have one particular style icon, but rather a full pot that I mix together.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style is continuously evolving.  When I sit down each season to design for Simply Intricate, I realize how much my tastes have changed.  The older I get, the more refined I’m becoming.  I’m into dressing for the occasion and making sure the fit is right for me.  My look always has to reflect how I’m feeling.  I’ve learned over time how to appreciate quality fabrics and well-made pieces and to skip the trends.  My ideal closet will start with Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren and end with Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford.  Crazy, right?  Sounds like two different women.  I guess you can say I’m the epitome of a Gemini woman.

Do you have any style challenges?

I love fashion, but I’m very aware that it is also a very expensive habit.  I have to keep myself balanced and focus on being a creator and not a consumer.

DSC_0195Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My favorite style moment is when everything it just right from my outfit, shoes, makeup, accessories even down to the event.  I hate feeling like I’ve wasted an outfit, so the event I’m attending has to be perfect as well.  There is nothing more exciting than walking into the perfect place with the perfect outfit.  That feeling that overcomes a woman when she knows she looks good.

And your worst?

My awkward teenage years.  I definitely grew into my look.  Actually my favorite story is the ugly duckling, and of course my favorite part of that story is when she turns into a beautiful swan.

Must have item in your wardrobe?

Everything! (just kidding).  My Chanel riding boots and vintage army green coats with my fur stole. I can survive with just those two items if I had to!

Three things people don’t know about you?

I’m obsessed with Mob Movies
I’m afraid of the dark and still sleep with my lights on
I hate the word “diva” & “fashionista”

DSC_0264Be sure to check out Simply Intricate’s online shop here and follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

motoring into spring

3 Mar

spring inspoI am counting down the seconds till spring for a multitude of reasons.  First and foremost, this NYC winter has gotten the best of me and despite my hardcore love of this amazing and wondrous city, I’m pissed off at the weather patterns.  The novelty of snow is appreciated, but when occurring weekly, it gets old really fast.  It’s safe to assume I’m over it.  With that said, I’m super excited to shed my heavy winter-wear and embrace the fashions of spring  which includes lighter jackets and more skin exposure.  I’m inspired by the above look and would love to replicate it when the temperature creeps up.  I don’t usually wear short necklaces, but am feeling this choker from Zara.  And a hint of a lace bra through the double breasted blazer is OH-so-sexy, bringing femininity and softness to the overall menswear inspired look.  Adios sweaters and boots!  Don’t let the door kick you in the ass on your way out!

spring ahead

SHOP IT:  pinstripe blazer // leather pants // gold choker // lace bra // moto jacket // crossbody bag

photo via The Haute Pursuit

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