Patched/Color Contrast Denim Jeans (and my new favorite pair of jeans)


A few months ago, a woman came into my work work wearing these jeans: gap-indigo-patched-always-skinny-jeans-product-1-15961878-816280953_large_flex

and fell hard for them. (yes, it’s sad, I know). Not since my high school days when I was still able to talk my dad into buying me “cool kid” Diesel jeans (complete with a ridiculous price tag) have I wanted a pair of jeans so badly. Sadly, the jeans, made by Gap were sold out online and in all the stores in my area. Even Ebay didn’t have them.

Disheartened, but not willing to give up,  I thought, “No problem, I will make me those jeans! How hard can it be?” (and because it always turns out well when I ask myself that!)  I am nothing, if not, naive, idealistic and stubborn. But, as it turns out, it was pretty hard.   After several hours consisting of trips to Goodwill and Michaels, cutting, sowing and ironing on the patches, my masterpiece was complete (and looking nothing like the above picture)….

I  couldn’t even get the jeans on past my knees. Yeah…they were waaaay to small. As usual, I got caught up in my excitement and  didn’t think to TRY THE JEANS ON to make sure they fit beforehand. Needless to say, after that, I gave up on the idea for a while. Figuring it just wasn’t meant to be.

Until the other day while scrolling through Nordstrom online, when I came across these:

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Paige Denim ‘Cara’ Paneled Ultra Skinny Jeans ( $135.00.) Although, sold out now on Nordstroms.com, they are available for sale at Anthropolgie.com as well as Saks 5th Ave

BUT, as much as I love buying clothes, I haven’t spent more than $40.00 – $50.00, on any one clothing item for myself in over 10 years and the $135.00 was way out of my price range. I just can’t afford to do it. But, I had some money saved up and in a moment of haste and overcome with “denim lust” (I think the most accurate word for how I felt towards these jeans is “coveted”), I closed my eyes and bought them. I felt sick to my stomach for days after buying them, and ]When they came in the mail, I didn’t open the package for a few days because I was embarrassed of my overspending.

When I finally did try them on, I was absolutely hooked. I fell in love with them. I think I had forgotten what it was like to have a high quality pair of jeans that fit well and feel good. I am not as in shape as I used to be, and my self-confidence is usually always lacking. But the fit, the look, the feel, everything about these jeans felt worth every penny. The cheap jeans I usually always buy, they do the job, but they stretch out easily, or sag in weird parts, or tear, or break quickly. Even the ones that last always look a little “off.” Not these jeans. They fit so well,in all the right places and were so comfortable that I was walking around feeling like a million bucks.

I love everything about these jeans- in the end, the contrasting colors of the jeans that I fell in love with in the first place, were just an added plus.

It’s been years since I have bought myself a clothing item of this price (besides boots or a bag). I was officially out of the game when it came to name brand denim and I had never heard of Paige Denim before but I am definitely sold on this brand and these jeans. And I know this sounds like one big advertisement, but I don’t get a penny to promote any brand on my blog. So, If you have the money to spare, I highly suggest buying yourself a pair of quality jeans- because they will last you for forever, will go with everything, feel great, and look damn good!

I have put together a board of some of my favorite patched/color blocked jeans this season:

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Top left: Gap 1969 Patch & Repair Boyfriend Jeans ($84.95), top middle: Current/Elliot Patchwork Fling Jeans ($238.00), top right: Morgan Slim Fit Contrasting Knee Patch Jeans from House of Fraser ($90.00). Bottom left: Paige Denim Skinny “Olga” ankle Colorblock Jeans ($199.00), bottom middle: Joes’ Two-Toned Jeans ($199.00) and bottom right: Urban Renewal Two-Toned Jeans ($59.00)

 

Notes on a (blue hair) Scandal.

See what I did there…With the title? Yeah, I need to get out more. Before I start in to my epic blue hair adventures, I just want to thank all of my friends, family and anyone else out there who read my last blog post: “Blessed are The Cracked…” I struggled with posting it for a long time, as it went deeper than I usually go.

But when I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page (in an outright act of shameless self-promotion, and deleted it twice before I left it there) I was so blown away by everyones kind words and encouragement. I was walking around glowing for the entire day and it was such a boost in confidence that Im surprised I didn’t sprout peacock feathers out my bum! So thanks again.

Anyways, onto my latest mishap.

so this happened…

blue hair dye

blue hair, don’t care (but kind of do!)

I have been toying with the idea of dying my hair some crazy color for awhile now…and as a lot of my more hair-brained (pun intended) ideas begin, I was up reeeaaally late on pinterest where I created a board just for my crazy hair color inspirations and pinning away.

Now, I will be the first to tell  you, that I get quickly excited about ideas and don’t always think my them through. I just get caught up in the moment and fail to think clearly.

I convinced myself that I was mentally prepared to dye my hair because I went so far as to create a profile on Taaz.com (a website where you can try out different hair styles and make up using pictures of yourself). My idea of “thinking this through” was to  upload a picture and try out some different hair styles. I promptly found and tried the only blue hair color style available, (on the gorgeous katy Perry). This is the picture they had:

Katy Perry's blue hair

Katy Perry’s blue hair

Gorgeous right? Yeah. Aaaaaaand well, here is how mine turned out….just in case you haven’t laughed today…

hahahahaha

hahahahaha

Me and Katy are practically twins! :/ But really, the website was actually really great and these “virtual makeover” websites have come a long way in the years since they first came out and I did it in high school, a good 15 years ago (and I am glad those photos can never be unearthed). Taaz.com, allowed you to contour the hair style to fit better onto your head (as my head is huge and round like a basketball). but I wasn’t done yet! so my next step was to download a free iPhone app called Make With Beauty that allowed me to take a picture of myself and change the color of my hair already. I couldn’t figure out how manipulate the hair color effectively in the app and my hair always ended up looking like it would glow in the dark. but the idea was to see what  I would look like with a lighter shade of blue:

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Looks like I dipped my head in some radioactive goo…A little to neon/glow in the dark for me- but still closer to what I wanted.

so by now I was getting pretty pumped up about the idea…Maybe a little too excited because following morning, I woke up and went straight to Ulta, where I hastily picked up a bottle of Jerome Russell’s Punky Colour in turquoise for only $9.99.

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And here is when things get sketchy…

in my haste/over-excitement… I didn’t read the directions or the label completely and carefully and what I thought was NON permanent was actually SEMI- Permanent (the back says 5-40 washes).Which is a problem because I needed my hair to be back to a natural blonde hair color by the following week for work.

The directions said to leave it in your hair for 20-40 minutes and since I wanted a lighter color of blue (that would wash out quickly) I left it in for only 15 minutes. Little did I know that my hair was the PERFECT type (damaged, bleached, blonde, dry) to absorb and hang on to allll of the turquoise color.

After I washed out the hair dye, I took a look in the mirror and spent the next few hours washing my hair over and over in a blue blur of anxiety attacks and hyper-ventilating. I called out for help from friends on Facebook and Instagram, and read several articles for home hair color lifter remedies (I wasn’t close t0 being able to leave the house). With friends help and a great article on Wikihow (which I highly suggest looking at if you find yourself in the same position as I did) I tried all sorts of home remedies: soaking my hair in crushed vitamin C tablets, adding dish soap to my shampoo, adding laundry detergent to my shampoo, , adding baking soda to dandruff shampoo and again washing. These helped to lighten the color somewhat  but left me with a new and even scarier problem: severe hair breakage!

It was during my cry for help from my friends on social media that my old college roommate introduced me to the amazing Alison and her blog The Alison Show. She had also dyed her hair a similar color, although she went the preferable route: to a hair stylist. She was so kind and reached out to me and said that she too freaked out when she first saw her hair in the mirror but that it washed out so quickly that she wished it had stayed longer.

After 48 hours of locking myself in my house and washing my hair over 10 times, I had resigned myself to my immediate future as a blue-headed smurf.

Within a few days I ended up really liking my mermaid hair and wishing I could keep it longer,

So here are some of my tips for if you want to dye your hair blue, green, pink or any other fabulous combination:

1) always READ THE LABEL carefully!

2) Before doing a semi-permanant or permanent color try something that will wash out in 2 to 3 washes such as:

Garnier Color Styler: Intense Wash Out Color (only $6.99)

Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye

Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye

or a chalk such as:

Temporary Hair Color Chalk

Temporary Hair Color Chalk

3) Try out different styles using a smart phone app or Taaz.com

4) Be emotionally prepared!

5) Consider the damage level that any hair dye does to your hair

 

have fun and dye away. If you have any pictures or stories about your wild hair dye adventures, feel free to email me at ourwildpreciouslives@gmail.com with pictures and your story and I will share it!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Be safe and have fun!

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To Kimono, or not to kimono?

That is the question…

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MEblackkimono

 

orangekimono

 

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Ever since I first realized that kimonos were coming into style, I was hooked. I love that they each one is so unique and colorful. They are also super comfortable and cozy, and they hide a lot well (and I can braid the fringe when I am bored). But since I turned 30, I have started to question my wardrobe choices seriously for the first time: should I wear leopard print jeans (probably not) should I wear tube tops and short skirts? How about sparkly things (I love some good sequins)? I can only be thankful for friends for being good hearted and not laughing in my face when I show up wearing azctec print, acid wash, holey jeans.

So this summer, while browsing pinterest endlessly for style tips, I started to notice that most women wearing kimonos or shawls were much younger than me. My thoughts were further confirmed when I was in Chicago during the Lollapoolza music festival. Kimonos seemed to be an essential piece of the 20 something’s summer music festival wardrobe, the other essential wardrobe piece: coochie hugging shorts and lots of under butt (Thanks Miley!).  Let’s just say I had some serious concern for the reproductive systems of these girls because it can’t be healthy to have your shorts jammed up your hoo-ha all day long! Think about your future ladies. and I realize I am dangerously close to wearing hoo ha shorts in the last picture, but I got tights and boots on and no under booty I promise!) 

I don’t say this all this to judge these young girls because heaven knows what I was doing and what I was wearing (mostly musty thrift store finds) when I was in college…I am all for being young and care free, exploring new things, expressing yourself and all those other things that come with the roller coaster ride that is the 20’s; I just have to remember that I am not in my 20’s anymore and maybe I shouldn’t be dressing like a 21 year old and making a fool out of myself.

BUT, all that being said…I like my kimonos and my shawls and won’t stop wearing them…but if I start asking you about molly, then someone needs to have a talk with me!

 

what do you guys think about kimonos? If anyone has a picture of their favorite kimono, or favorite outfit with a shawl, you can email me at forourcity@gm

My First "Personal Style" Blog Post Attempt: Cropped Collared Shirts

I have been feeling super inspired lately by style blogs. (Courtesy of the themomedit.com )
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And on a personal note, it’s a relief for me to feel those much-missed stirrings of inspiration and avidity for life…it’s been a LONG time coming but I am starting to think this is the  year that I get my groove back. (I know…it’s cheesy but feels true to me). 
So, this is my first attempt at trying out a “personal style” blog post, it was only recently that I learned about the world of personal style blogging (I know I’m behind the times). I don’t know if my style is any good, I used to not care at all and just wore what I wanted and kind of still do – but also I am trying to be more aware of my body type and my age- as much as it kills me,  I am not a teenager anymore, or even in my 20’s. (WAAAAAAH). But still I can’t help but be drawn to bright colors, patterns, form fitting clothing items. But, on my budget let’s just say, I am VERY limited on options. (It’s embarrassing where I shop, and I’m not sure I’m ready yet to embarrass myself anymore than I already am in this post). 
My Theme: Collared Crop Tops & Skirts
(ps I have no idea how to pose..it’s way harder than I thought)
Why? Because I love this blue shirt (and a coral version too), and try to incorporate it into my every day outfit. Plus it’s been super hot lately. 
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This was the first outfit I liked, although I didn’t feel 100% comfortable in it, the skirt was too tight and short, so I felt like I had to constantly pull it down and adjust over the potbelly. lol. 

 Second Outfit
This is the second outfit, and the one I chose to wear to a wonderful friend’s bridal shower. This was the best picture because I was running behind on time before the shower and didn’t get a good full length mirror glance at the final product and this skirt is PRETTY tight and my ba-dunk-a-dunk was kind of out of control. (Sorry Aly and Aly’s mom, grandma, ext).

oh and the shoes are my favorite heels of this summer…they are Dolce Vita brand and I got them at Nordstrom Rack.  (Thanks dad for giving me the gift card!)

So, thank you guys for reading…what do you think? I would love to hear any comments, suggestions, advice, tips, your personal preferences…HIT ME WITH IT!).

Happy Summer Hazey days!

Jess

A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-2

 

This past year, I was lucky enough to spend time with and get to know an all around amazing lady, Shana Draugelis. Not only is she stunning and full of life and a kick-ass mom (to two of my favorite kids ever)but she happens to have one of the BEST style blogs out there: The Mom Edit (previously called Ain’t No Mom Jeans).  Needless to say, I was a bit in awe and intimidated. I mean, check her out:

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white-dresses-birkenstocks-and-a-little-local-love-22

 

yeah….how can you not??

 She had seen a little bit of my artsy stuff and approached me with an idea for for her blog.  Her readers were wanting her to come up with an essential starter wardrobe and she wanted me to illustrate the pieces for her. She gave me the list of items she wanted included and over the next several (SEVERAL) months I spent drawing, and painting and throwing away and starting over and just being my typical self (lacking confidence that my pieces were good enough). But every time I sent her anything she was her usual positive self and quickly way-laid any of my fears. So the following is what she put up on her website which is her wardrobe pieces, illustrated by myself!
a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-4
In typical fashion,  I couldn’t let myself look at the final product on her blog for a bit- I was worried of it not doing justice to her blog but when I saw her recently she told me that her readers loved it and I was blown away by the nice things that were said. I have never done anything like this project before, but it was so much fun and I would love to continue doing more pieces like this. Shana asked if I ever thought about fashion blogging (lord knows clothes are my favorite creative outlet hahaha!) and I would love to incorporate more of that into this blog….I don’t have that model-esque body like Shana at The Mom Edit, but this year of 30 is all about loving me for me.   Yeah girl! Here are a few more of the pics I stole from her website and how she created specific outfits for different events:
a-season-less-starter-wardrobe-for-moms-6

 

A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

 

 

 

all art was done by Jessica Ross Sheffield.
If you are interested in me creating something for you, I would love to! Email me at: forourcity@gmail.com

my favorite colorful summer fashion finds!

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I know it’s almost July, so this is a little late but I’ve been saving so many pictures onto my laptop of things I want to wear this summer that I have to do something with them so here they are! Tah-dah! As you can tell, I haven’t quite got this phtoto editing thing down yet…I was inspired by my amazingly creative friend’s blog: http://www.MeganTillotson.com. Seriously, if you have a second checkout her blog Yours Ever where
she blogs her delicious recipes, fantastic art and fashion inspiration, and fun DIY projects.

This summer I have been doing a lot of painting using watercolors (mostly birds and feathers)  I don’t know if it’s the lightness of the watercolors or the bright colors I’ve been drawn to while painting that fits perfectly with all things summer. Here are a few of my watercolors from the last few days just to show you the mood I’ve been in lately!

And THEN, I found this beautiful Tracy Reese dress that reminded me of a watercolor painting of a summer sunset and the rest is history. I love summer because one of my favorite things to do is traveling.  Maybe I am sad since I am not traveling anywhere very exciting this summer; which for me translates as: requiring a passport, becoming uncomfortably sunburnt, spending a week packing my bag, and stuffing myself to an uncomfortable level with food in the name of vacation! Viva la vacation!
So for me, my summer traveling essentials are as follows: a sturdy leather satchel, comfortable walking sandals, a camera and a journal (or in this case watercolor kit!)

So in my dream world, this is what you see me in as we rode past each others on our bikes in Paris.

1. Quay Oh Mi Half Round Glasses found at Asos Online for approximately $50.00
2. Plenty by Tracy Reese Riveting Reflections Dress sold at mod cloth for $248.00
3. Minox Classic Digital Mini Camera sold at Urban Outfitters for $250.00
4. Sasha Toe Loop Sandals sold at Anthropologie for $88.00
5. Kate Spade New York Pueblo Tile iPhone 5 Case at Piperlime for $40.00
6. Stingray Crescent Necklace at Anthropologie for $88.00
7. Cambridge Satchel Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Yellow at mod cloth $164.99
8. Watercolor Postcards, A Portable Studio at Anthropologie for 18.95

In reality,  you can find me browsing the thrift stores looking for anything resembling the above items in the slightest and that don’t smell like moth balls.

tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 3

my forearm tattoo with the Native American symbol for rain clouds (which symbolizes continual growth and renewal) and “kenaz” which stands for inspiration and creativity)

I can always tell when I start to get an itch for another tattoo…last night I was up until 3am looking at pictures of tattoos on the internet.  I am in awe of some of these tattoo artists…especially the one’s who specialize in watercolor tattoos. I think it is hard enough to create a watercolor painting, but these tattoo artists who can make realistic looking watercolor tattoos have my upmost respect.  I don’t know anything about the art of tattooing, except that it looks extremely difficult and you can’t make any mistakes- so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to blend colors and to do shading on skin. I want to give credit to the artists who created these tattoos and tried to find out who did each tattoo…so I listed their names and their websites if possible. but there were a few that I couldn’t put a name to, so if you recognize it and who it belongs to please feel free to let me know!

This is a beautiful watercolor tattoo by Ondrash out of the Czech Republic. 

This is another piece by Ondrash

AND four MORE by Ondrash! 

This one is by a tattoo artist based in Las Vegas, Holly Thomas. She currently works at Voodoo Tattoo studio located behind the Palms Casino.

                              
I love this tattoo…I like the simplicity and detail of this watercolor tattoo by Amanda Wachob. I love the splash of light blue and the black splashes dotting up behind the ear.  I would seriously consider getting a tattoo very similar to this but with a second bright color and only a few bits of black.

                   

Okay, so funny story about this tattoo. I randomly came across this tattoo last night (via http://blogs.discovermagazine.com) and recognized it right away as a inking of a neuron. And, not just any type of neuron, a hippocampal neuron. Those of you who know me or have read any of my other blog posts, might be asking yourselves how I would know something like this, since I am pretty clueless when it comes to all things math and science. Well, my husband is a neuroscientist who works with these exact types of neurons. In fact, I noticed a tracing of a neuron pinned up in his lab one day and commented how that would make an awesome tattoo. So, I  scrolled down to the comment section and the first comment was from Nelson Spruston who said: “Patrick, this is super cool. I think it’s a neuron I reconstructed years ago and published in a 2005 J. Physiology paper (Golding et al.). It’s a beautiful neuron and it looks great as a tattoo.” Who is he? And why does it matter? He happens to be the professor who runs the lab where my husband works. small world! And that’s my story. Yay.

               
I could not for the life of me find out who this tattoo belongs to or where it orginated. but I love it and it makes me want to add more simple lines to my tattoo.


While engaging in my endless online search of tattoos, I came across ALOT of feather and bird tattoos. This one stood out to me because of it’s vibrant colors. I am not sure who the tattoo artist for this feather was but I found it on fyeahtattoos.com

I wish I was cool enough to rock a tattoo like this one. (sigh). This one is by the tattoo artist Guy Le

Do you notice a pattern? I really like tattoos with simple lines. I found this one on http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.

Another cool idea that incorporates the simple lines but can convey a powerful message. This one also comes from http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.


goodness. I will never be as cool as this chick. I don’t even have enough confidence to wear shorts in the summer let alone get a huge dream catcher tattoo down the side of my thigh.