Color Inspiration: Blue + Morocco

Navy and blues are my favorite colors to wear. I can’t decide if it’s because blue is my favorite color, I love that there are so many shades of blue, that navy is a great neutral, or that blue and navy can be worn all year around. Either way, here are a few awesome blue and navy pieces out there right now. Also, I added some pictures of John’s trip to Morocco at the bottom because they inspired me to do a color inspiration with the color blue. Image

1. J. Crew Ella Strapless Printed Dress- this is actually from last year, but I own it and it is one of my favorite dresses

2. Caravane Tunic Dress (on sale!)

3. Surrealist Dress

4. Kerala Peplum Top 

5. Silk shirtfront tank in floral stamp

6. Silk Flutter Top

7. Factory Buttoned Double-Serge Cotton Mini

8. Hudson + Bleecker Travel Shoe Bag

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Adopting Otis

ImageThis is my little dog, Otis. I first met Otis at Miles for Mutts, held at Lucky’s Saloon. Miles for Mutts is an independent event put by a group of amazing people to help raise money for the Humane Society of Alamance County. I had just started working for HSAC and this was my first event, first day on the job really, and there was Otis, just hanging out in a crate wearing a little vest that said “Adopt Me.” I loved him immediately. John and his friend Dylan had come with me to hangout, drink, and do whatever it was they were going to do. John held and petted Otis a little, but John was not as taken as I was. I even tried to get Dylan to adopt Otis, but while he wanted him, Dylan admitted he wasn’t home enough to have a dog. So, poor little Otis went back to his foster home that evening to continue to wait for a forever home.

ImageJohn and Otis the first day we met him

It was another month before I saw Otis again, Caitlin brought him to the office, and again, I wanted him. Otis and I bonded right away, and while I had never wanted a dog before, I’m more of a cat person, I really really really wanted Otis. Caitlin brought Otis to work a few days a week and he sat on my lap or slept in a little bed on my desk. Finally, after a few weeks I asked if I could take him home for the weekend and Caitlin said, “yes.” I told John we were just fostering for the weekend and that he would go back on Monday. This was a Thursday. By Sunday I had been crying all weekend wanting to keep him, but John was studying for the bar and said he didn’t have time for a dog. I finally made the argument that I wasn’t studying for anything, Otis could come with me to work every day, and I did have time for a dog. John finally agreed, and that dog was mine!

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Otis and John’s start, unlike my start, was a rocky one. Several times John even threatened to send him back; I would never let that happen. For some reason, Otis does not like men too much and it took him about a month to get used to John. I think what finally made them bond was one night John couldn’t sleep and was up all night, he and Otis hung out and John taught him to sit by using a bag of pepperonis. After that, the two were great and they have been BFFs ever since. It was most likely the pepperonis.
Otis wasn’t the best dog when we first got him, but I love how goofy he looks, his little under bite, his love of cuddling, and he adores cats, he prefers them actually, and thankfully our cats got along with Otis. He has definitely come a long way from when we first got him. He is much better with letting random people pet him now and even cuddled up with my friend Devang when he came for a visit, something he has never done with anyone else. John and I were both amazed.

ImageOtis in the snow with John, now Daddy

I adopted Otis from a rescue and it was the best decision I ever made. I have never gotten an animal from a breeder, nor will I ever. My two current cats, Winston and Sissy, are rescues, and the cats my family had before them were all strays we found and kept. Every pet I have owned has been perfect and loving. There are a lot of people out there who will argue adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue is a bad idea because you do not know their past. Look, all you need to know is a rescue animal is far more thankful and loving than you can ever imagine. There is no reason to go to a breeder when thousands of amazing animals are in shelters waiting for homes and euthanized because no one ever comes. There are thousands of puppies and kittens in shelters who have no “past” because they are too young and many more animals who are there because their owners passed away and family would not take them or for financial reasons. It’s not “bad” dogs and cats who are there, just unfortunate ones. The animal’s past does not matter. What matters is the future and the wonderful life you and the animal can have together. I am looking forward to many happy loving years with my three fur babies.

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Vélodrome d’hiver

The Vélodrome d’hiver (also called Vel’ D’Hiv’) is a little known horror occurring July 16 and 17th in Paris, France 1942. Known as “operation Spring Breeze” Jews were arrested in Paris and the suburbs, deported and then murdered/assassinated at Auschwutz. The nights the Jews were arrested 1,129 men, 2,910 women, and 4,115 children were innocently torn from their homes and packed into the Vélodrome in inhuman conditions for 6 days, by the government of the Vichy police, by order of the Nazi occupant, meaning these innocen humans, were arrested and mistreated by the French police, because the Nazi’s told them to. Rumors had be flying the raids were going to happen, therefore many Jewish men went into hiding assuming the women and children would be safe. The Gestapo asked the French to deliver a certain “quota” of Jews between the ages of 16 and 50 to be sent to Auschwitz. However, most boys and men of these ages had gone into hiding and the French were nervous about reaching the quota, so instead the French police sent woman and children instead. Many if not most of the children there were French born and all were between the ages of 2 and 12, nowhere near the ages the Nazi’s had “requested”. The Gestapo, at first, had not asked that the children be sent. Deporting of children was very risky and would easily reveal the truth: that Jews were not being sent to work camps, but to death camps. In the end, France sent nearly 8,000 Jews to death camps, their own citizens.

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This event, along with everything associated to the Holocaust, is a terrible and horrific event. I am deeply saddened that I never learned about this in school or heard it even mentioned. In fact, I was 26 years old before I learned of this event. I am even more upset that people blindly followed the orders of the Nazi’s either out of fear, lack of information, blind faith or whatever it may be. I do believe after World War I, many were in turmoil and needed somewhere to turn, thus easily allowing Hitler to be that person, to become a “hero” and correct the wrongs and pull everyone out of disparity and poverty. By no means should this have ever happened. God bless all those who tried to help the Jews and stand up for what is right, many lost their own lives trying to help. God bless everyone who lost someone fighting in the war or to a concentration as well as those who had to endure the camps, were able to survive and had to endure time without their loved ones.

ImageThe sports stadium where thousands of Jews were detained for days w/o provisions before deportation July 1942

I read in a book by Neil Gaiman that fear is contagious. Once someone is scared or fearful everyone around them becomes fearful too. I agree whole heartily with this statement on many levels. The French police rounded up their own because whoever gave orders was fearful if they did not have the number of bodies the Nazi’s had ordered be there, then they would become victims to the Nazi party. Very often in times of fear, people will sacrifice others or make ghastly decisions that they would not normally make.

If you are looking for a historical fiction book surrounding the Vélodrome d’hiver, I highly recommend Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It was in this book that I learned of Vélodrome d’hiver and it spawned my curiosity to learn more.

Pictures from:

1. http://www.theguardian.com/sarahs-key/vel-dhiv-paris-1942-world-war-two-adrian-gilbert

2. http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/historical_background/france.asp

 

Statement Necklaces

I just recently got on board with the statement necklace trend/look that is here to stay. When these oversized necklaces first started popping up everywhere I just did not like them. I thought they looked clunky, busy, over done, and even over whelming on some people. They just weren’t for me. I recently decided to reevaluate these statement pieces and see what it was about them that I just didn’t like. Turns out, what I didn’t like was certain necklaces, due to design or color and that people where wearing statement necklaces that either A) didn’t go with their outfit or B) were too big or over-sized for their frames.
Two of my all time favorite stores to shop at are J. Crew and Anthropologie, so I picked up their latest magazines and headed to the stores to do a little shopping research. I did find a few statement necklaces that I like; I love J. Crew’s statement necklaces that are crystal. Three of my J. Crew favorites are the Circular Petals Necklace,  the Crystal Rosette Necklace,and the Flower Lattice Necklace. I like the crystal because there is no color, and it can thus act as a neutral and really be worn with any color. In one of my favorite blogs, The Northeast Girl, the blogger, Maureen, pairs her statement necklaces with the J. Crew Tippi pullovers and I think this looks fantastic. A Tippi goes with any bottom, pants or skirts, and the statement necklace makes the whole outfit look effortless and put together.

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At Anthropologie it was a little harder to find a good staple statement necklace; I like when I can wear things year around. The store carries a great deal of the bobble or heavily beaded necklaces and I just don’t like those. Don’t get me wrong, the bobble necklaces look great on some people, they just aren’t my style. These two styles were the first statement necklaces I saw and one of the reasons I was really turned off to the whole accessory in general. I did find three necklaces I really like. The first is called the Mirage Necklace that is very pretty and versatile, it is composed of neutral colors and at $68, it’s a pretty good price point. Now, these next two are way pricier and definitely out of my price range, but I still like them a lot and wouldn’t turn them down if they were given to me. First, is the Threaded Coral Necklace at $928, beautiful for summer, right? And the second is the Stone Bloom Necklace at $368. Of these two necklaces, I think the Stone Bloom would be a more practical purchase, not just because it is less expensive, but because it can be worn all year around. I tend to think of coral as a summer only color/material. But hey, all six are beautiful and would make a great addition to any wardrobe, especially mine ; )
What are some of your favorite statement necklaces?

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