Tuesday, January 31, 2012

California Dreamin'

There is something comforting about the ocean. It's soothing, calming, and renergizing for me. I spent my last day in Santa Monica (one of my favorite places) just sitting on the beach and being fully induldged in the sunshine and the true simplicity of the day.

I had to catch a train back to San Diego that afternoon so I had my purse full of clothing, and a huge Nordstrom bag that carried all of the things I bought while I was there. After sitting on the beach in my black maxi dress, while using my black Micheal Kors dress and Free People jacket as a towel to sit on, I decided I would enjoy my beach time a bit more if I had the proper beach accessories. So I made my way down to the promenade and found the closest Forever, and bought myself a new beach towel, beach bag, and floppy beach hat.

I returned to the beach and was able to sit in the quietness of my own thoughts and gather new inspiration and creativity. I love the free spirit vibe that surrounds Santa Monica. I was able to score a spot next to a cool couple who were writing and singing music. The guy on the guitar and the girl singing with her tamberine. I can't help but be inspired by the beach, the music, and the street style of this day. A few images that capture my mood and inspirations.

Santa Monica Beach

I apoligize for the personally shot photo, but I was solo and had to share this gorgeous day.


Monday, January 30, 2012

L.A. Bound

I have spent the last week in the inviting, Southern California. I wrote while I was there but didn't get the chance to post. The next couple days will be my experiences while I was there...

I am on a train from San Diego, making my way up to L.A.to visit a dear friend. I have spent the last few days in the gorgeous village of La Jolla visiting a friend and decided I would avoid the dreadful L.A. traffic and take the train. There is something charming about the train. I love that they are kind of a thing of the past and I love that the stations are generally unchanged from how they were years ago.

The views from my window are lovely. The train goes straight up highway 1, which means all I have to do is look to my left and the ocean is right there. Another little jem of taking the train is the constant weaving in and out of numerous little beach towns along the way. Once again, I am inspired by the way of life in these beach towns. People are out jogging along the beach, there are early morning surfers, and moms enjoying a walk with their babes. It's a wonderful way of life. Reminds me a little bit of Chicago by the lake in the summer(minus the surfing and palm trees.) More to come from L.A.!

San Diego Train Station

View from my window

The picture doesn't do it justice. Santa Ana Train Station

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Simple Life

I am now home from my quick jem of a journey to Marfa, Texas. After visiting, I have decided that I want to live a life similar to the people of this town. A simipliar, more purposeful life. Based on what I saw and experienced, it seemed as though people were genuinly happy there. Many have moved to Marfa to do what they love and feel passionate towards, which in my opinion is a very rare lifestyle to come across.

For example, there is a local clothing designer who has her little shop right downtown.The store includes her own handmade clothing, fun accessrories, and her sewing machine. She mentioned living just a couple a blocks away from her store which got me thinking about how most of her days probably unfold. I would imagine she wakes up in the morning, walks the couple blocks to the store and is excited about the day because she knows that she is going to being doing what she loves. It seemed like a similar siutation for the local boot maker, the owners of the galleries, and the talented furniture maker in town. They know what they enjoy doing, and they have figured out a lifestyle that allows them to do what they love every single day. This is something I strive for. I strive to brake out of the norm and the expected and do what I truly feel passionate towards. Life is short, we should all be doing what we love!

A few snapshots from yesterday...

Prada in Marfa, TX? Not really. The doors are locked from the inside out and is displayed as piece of art versus a functioning Prada store. Not to mention that it is located literally in the middle of no where.This in itself pretty much sums up this place. Completely out of the box, and a little bazarre...right up my alley.

 Inside of "Prada"

Directly across from Prada

The view from the back of the "store"

The gorgeous court house in downtown Marfa

The view from our afternoon hang out spot... our hotel balcony

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marfa Lovin'

The past couple days have been quite an experience. I have had the great opportunity of joining one of my dearest friends to visit there soon to be second home, in the quirky Marfa, Texas. This town is unlike any other place I have ever been. The landscape and scenery is in a category of its own and I mentioned numerous times that I felt as though I was in the middle of a John Wayne movie, waiting for the cowboys to come by on their horses.

And the amount of free spirit, creativity,and uniqueness of Marfa are like none other. It is a very creative, art inspired community. Artists from around the country come here to check out the town and local art galleries. I must say, I have had an amazing time! 

Yesterday consisted of a coffee in the charming and unusual coffee shop, Frama, that uses scrabble chips for their drink menu, and a vintage trunk full of little treasures you can grab for free. All of this being directly attached to the town laundry mat. Such a funny combination. See below. 

The day was then followed by a yummy lunch at the local food truck, and a random round of golf to fully embrace the gorgeous day. My first day experiencing Marfa was finished off with a very full glass of wine at the dive bar downtown, which I have to point out, had a few stunning, unexpected chandeliers as decor.  Everything about this place is unexpected, different, and free of judgement. It is a breath of fresh air and I am enjoying my time here very much. Marfa day two, tomorrow!

Loving this table at the coffee shop!

Every washer/dryer at the laundry mat is named...Meet Bert!

The theater

A wonderful organic market where we picked up a nice bottle of wine


The Marfa Country Club:)


 Until tomorrow...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Wardrobe

I am sitting by our roaring fireplace, admiring the pretty snow that is falling outside. As much as I have enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, I have to admit this first snowstorm has me just as excitied as when I was a little kid. I look foward to a walk around the neighborhood with our pup, and a cup of hot tea after. However, in my opinion the best thing that comes with this snow is the wardrobe that goes along with it! Here are few pieces from my own winter wardrobe that I am wearing today.

Finally a chance to wear my new boots!

My beloved, fingerless cashmere gloves

A cozy sweater

My favorite scarf, and of course one of our own creations, the JEM hat

And I had to add this...sleepy pup after our playdate in the snow


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Words of the Year

My Jem of the day happened this morning while listening to the radio on my return from Whole Foods. I heard something that caught my attention. They were discussing what one word they would use to describe their hopes for the new year. This got me thinking about what my own one word or two, would be for myself this year...

I am in an interesting point in life. I graduated from Columbia Chicago this past summer majoring in marketing communication. Last week I stopped working at what I thought would be my dream job in the fashion industry, really it was a nightmare, and am once again in the middle of the dreaded job search(idealling I'd love to make JEM Designs my full time career.) With all this said, I am able to think of quite a few words that I would want to use to describe my new year.

A word that has been on my mind for a while now is "CONSISTENCY." It is kind of a strange word since its coming from one of the world's most impulsive people. But between finishing school,trying to establish a career,(which in itself is incredibly inconsistent) moving to the suburbs with boyfriend and golden retriever(they are the absolute best)and making a new group of wonderful friends, my life this past year has pretty much been an ongoing path of new experiences and situations. Don't get me wrong, I feel very blessed,I am just hoping for a little more of a routine for myself this year.Some of these things being the simple things in life. I can think of a million. For example, being consistent with something as silly as my laundry, being consistent with working out, being consistent in my spiritual journey. Things that should be everyday occurances, but up to this point have been rather inconsistent.

"CREATE" is another word I hope is used and shown through out the next year. Creating new opportunities, creating change, creating deeper relationships with people, creating new recipes in my kitchen, and creating beautiful things on my sewing machine, just to mention a few. I have high hopes and aspirations for this year, and because of that I very much look forward to what the new year will bring. Below is an inspiration board to reflect back on when I find myself needing a little helpful reminder. What are your words yourself this year?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sunny Day

I really have no idea what is going on here in Chicago today. It is the beginning of January and was almost 60 degrees! To some of you that live in warm weather places this may not seem like a big deal, but it is a completely different story for us in the midwest.

I was so happy to be forced into wearing my sunnies today and was able to run errands wearing just a light little jacket. I was also thankful that the gorgeous day gave me some motivation to finally get myself back into a yoga class. The class was amazing. It's funny how a little sunshine can really alter your mood for the day. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! By the way, loving these Tom Ford sunnies below!



Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Jem Beginning

I have been wanting to create a blog for quite some time now, however I have always hesitated as to what I would want to share with the world. My mom and I have started a hair accessory business called JEM Designs, and I have been contemplating on establishing a blog strictly for that purpose. After some thought, I decided that I would like to incorporate the beautiful little hair "jems" we create with the jems that I experience each and everyday. May it be a great dinner party we have hosted for our friends. Or perhaps it is a new pair of shoes I have fallen in love with. Or maybe the jems of the day are not as obvious. Maybe it is the kind man who held the door open for me. Or the sight of my golden retriever peacefully napping by the fireplace.

I know that many of us get through the day by simply checking off our to do lists. It is incredibly easy to get caught up in the business of the day and become numb to the small but important things. My hopes are that this journal is a place for me to capture and share my little "jems" of the day and to encourage all of you to slow down, and really take the time to enjoy the little things in life.

A few things I am considering my little jems today.