Thursday, August 21, 2014

Asos End of Summer Sale: My Picks



I love this time of year for numerous reasons. Summer's coming to an end which means end of season sales to stock up on things you've been eyeing, and refused to pay full price on. Fall is around the corner; think layers, boots, and scarfs, oh and my birthday. Had to sneak that in there. This Asos final reduction sale is sooo good. Remember this Asos Neon Green Peplum skirt I wore here a few months back, well it's now on sale in multiple colors. Being the crazy obsessed person I am with the color blue, I was tempted to purchase this cool blue ombre skirt, but opted for the black instead. 
I've also been eyeing this denim number which will go perfect with my brown Michael Kors crossbody bag for fall. This beautiful bordeaux dress is a strong contender for my birthday, perfect for fall and goes perfectly with my birthday shoes.  Have a good Thursday Folks! It's almost the weekend. 
xx,
Jewel

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tips on Traveling Solo


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A few weeks ago I traveled alone for the first time, to Paris. It was a dream come true and then some. You see, learning to be alone is somewhat of a new concept for me within recent years. When I expressed to family and friends my plans to travel to the city of lights, alone, I received many questions, as to why I would do that or even consider it. I had already made up my mind, so their thoughts didn't deter my plans, but I did travel with caution, which is pretty much what this post is about. I thoroughly enjoyed my solo trip to Paris. Not once did I feel alone, unsafe, lonely or regretted my decision to travel solo. Below are a few things I learned through this experience.

Perks:
Travelling alone provides you the opportunity to learn how to be okay and at peace with being alone. Learning to be alone is such a vital aspect of life, in my opinion. There's a certain sense of Independence that comes along with traveling alone.
Travelling alone also provides you the opportunity to do exactly what you want, when you want, and the outcome of your trip is solely based on your decisions. 
Traveling alone, provides you the opportunity to be more engaging socially and talk with people you wouldn't otherwise engage with were you travelling with others.

Challenges: 
While travelling solo, you lose all perks of splitting cost with another person, which can be expensive. So budgeting wisely is a must.
Not having someone to share your travel experiences with, is somewhat of a downside. Remember when something funny happened on day two? Yeah. 
Worst case scenario: if you were to need help of some kind, if you were to become stranded or ill in a foreign country, you'd have limited support. Which is why taking necessary precautions such as packing over the counter medications, and visiting your local travel clinic prior to travel for proper immunization is vital.
TIPS:
1) Do your research. I cannot STRESS the importance of safety while traveling alone. Research neighborhoods of where you'd like to stay. Read travel blogs, ask people who've traveled to where your're going to get a personal perspective.

2) Use common sense. While Paris is relatively safe and I did not feel alone, scared, or nervous. I made it a point to not be out past 1am, and be aware of your surroundings. I also made it a point not to wear heels at night, in the event I needed to run or make a quick escape.

3) Utilize tools that make navigation easier such as relevant travel apps. An app I found helpful was the Paris metro RATP app. It provides an itinerary for your travels, and tells you what metro you'll need to take to where you are going and the duration of the trip.  I also downloaded currency converter, and language app since my french is pretty limited.

4) Pack and travel light. I swear, my Old Navy bucket bag came in super handy. In fact, I purchased it specifically for this trip. It's large enough to hold my blazer, sweaters, and DSLR among many other things, while the long straps allow me to wear it cross body keeping my hands free and also making it difficult for someone to snatch.

5) In a city like Paris where you literally walk almost everywhere, sensible shoes are a must. If you can trek up those cobble stone streets in pumps for hours on end, more power to you. I would suggest keeping a pair of flats in your bag. Just in case.

6) Utilize hotel lock boxes for your wallet, credit cards, passport and other pertinent documents. I made sure to make a copy of my passport and left my wallet, drivers license and passport in my apartment locked u for safe keeping.

7) Follow your instincts and trust your intuition. From what I experienced, Parisian men (NOT ALL) will literally follow you in attempt to get your number or ask you out until you talk to them. I had a man follow me for a good two minutes if not more, to the point where I thought he was going my direction; he wasn't.  My advice is to ignore them if you're not interested as to avoid giving the wrong impression, and eventually they'll turn around and be on their merry way. If you get a good vibe from someone, it's okay to engage with them. However, if its someone you wouldn't normally want to be involved with, it's best not to give the wrong impression. Your safety comes first.

8) Utilize local transits. I purchased the weekly metro pass which provided me access to metros and buses for the duration of my trip, which also saved me quite a bit of money.

9)If you can, travel with a carry on, or ONE checked luggage. See, I traveled to Paris after visiting family in Liberia, so I had a bit extra luggage than I would've preferred.. I had a carry on, a checked bag, and a overly stuffed purse making getting around a tad bit difficult, which also potentially made me a target, now that I look back on it.

10)  Finances; be prepared. Make sure to have current currency on you. Inform your bank of your travel plans, as to avoid having your account locked or frozen. Also, most banks charge an international check-card fee, so lets say I used my check card about 15 times, I was charged an international purchase fee per purchase which added up to almost 18.00, if not more. That's almost a box of macarons people.


Travelling alone, like most things in life has benefits and drawbacks. However, with adequate planning, travelling alone can be an enriching and rewarding experience. I'm most certainly looking forward to my next solo trip. Maybe Capri, Italy? We shall see.

Thanks so much for reading. please feel free to share any travel tips you have as well, and make sure to share this post, if you enjoyed it. It may help someone else.

Until next time!

Jewel


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wardrobe Staple



I've been doing a little pre-fall closet cleaning since having returned from my trip. The idea came about while shopping at TJMaxx a week ago, when I spotted these beautiful velvet hangers and decided to uniform my closet by using the same hangers. I honestly don't know why I haven't done so until now. I may do a post on how I organize my closet. Let me know if you guys would like me to do a post on how I organize my closet.


The great thing about organizing is, it really helps me take inventory of what I have the most of, and what I need to stock up on. Any guesses as to what I cant seem to stop purchasing? Skirts; specifically Aline/Full/Midi Skirts. There's something about the feminine appeal  that I love so much. I recently purchased this Vince Camuto Black Midi skirt from Nordstrom, I love the feminine, yet edgy appeal. I'm considering this Topshop Floral Skirt, loving the Blue version also. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Travel Haul

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

African Print Styling


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I recently started following Grace on instagram and just immediately fell in love with her fun use of colors and her take on mixing ankara with modern pieces. So Today, we're sharing how we incorporate Ankara (african print) into our wardrobe. It's amazing how ethnic print is evolving more and more into mainstream fashion. To see more of Grace's look, make sure to visit her blog and see more of her on instagram.
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Dress: Custom Made

 I purchased this Ankara (African Print) fabric in Liberia last month, and had this beautiful dress sewn, while I was there. I've gotten quite a few compliment on this dress and while it's custom made, I love this similar  strapless dress and this blue chevron chiffon dress. I  love feminine and lady like pieces and this dress is no exception.The sweetheart neckline, the flowy chiffon, not to mention the burgundy/bordeaux color is all so perfect .  


Shop My Look:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Color Crush: Taupe & Pink


You all know I'm crazy about Blue, but there something about a bright pink/fuchsia paired with beige/neutral that makes me feel all feminine and flirty. The warm and cool tone juxtaposition is the perfect combination. Tomorrow, I have a fun collboration here on the blog, so be come on back and play!

Crop Top and Floral Midi Skirt


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SHOP SIMILAR ITEMS


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Hey everyone! Hope you're having a great weekend. I went out with some friends this weekend, and wore this outfit by default. I knew I wanted to wear a skirt, but my tops selection's pretty limited so I found myself stuck. I ended up wearing this crop top. I don't wear crop tops often but I love the feel of the high waisted skirt paired with the crop top.  


ps. my Paris posts are all complete, so don't forget to read and catch up on them. I'm working on sharing some tips from my solo travel experience. I'm hoping to have that up next week hopefully! 
Have a great week!