Sparkle

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Sparkle.

Last Monday, I was off to an anxious, stressed and emotional start to finals week.

I wandered to a local coffee shop to flip through emails, complete a paper and hopefully relax a bit. After my brief encounter with my almond chai, I hustled home in full stride with music blasting in my earphones. I paused before I entered my home. I have a new neighbor. A new shop by my house. A sweet boutique. A stellar owner. Her face is warm, hugs inviting and smile authentic. Fine, I will walk inside for a hug. I bee lined for her arms, avoiding eye contact entirely. I nestled into the perfect hug, and my glasses quickly steamed by my hot tears. “Is everything okay?” Caroline asked. “I am stressed. Anxious. Emotional.”  Caroline quickly ushered me to a comfortable seat and handed me a candy cane. Armed with motherly solace, she is equipped for anything.

Before we began conversing to discuss my emotional state, she said, “I just want you to know how loved you are.” Caroline met my mother this past weekend, and they adored each other. “I saw the way your mother looked at you Hannah, she loves you unconditionally. You are so loved.” I accepted her sweet words of encouragement but trembled as I recalled school’s harsh reality, “I am genuinely fearful of failing an exam.” I sniffled, holding back tears in fear of damaging a fresh coat of make up. Caroline’s words were perfect. Her comfort continued as she repeatedly told me, “You are more than a grade.”

Why is it that love is reassuring? The power of love never ceases to astound me. As she comforted me, I glanced at my tattoo, mom’s words whispering, “I love you,” in the midst of my anger with temporal frustrations. “Hannah, you are more than a grade,” Caroline did not stop with her encouragement. She continued to build me back up, “You sparkle Hannah. We all know it. We see you and you sparkle.” I do not know if I smiled, teared up or just shut my eyes in acceptance of this genuine love. At some point in the conversation I just laid my head on Caroline’s lap, like a dog begging for a head rub. Caroline carefully patted my back, her kind words flowing, and love filled my heart to the brim. The support of her words and touch, enabled me to forget the possibility of failure.

Throughout the morning, previous to my encounter with Caroline, I prayed for the Lord’s comfort. I asked for peace for the week, but begged him for temporary relief of my anxiety. I have experienced several recent doses of love directly from God. However, I find great comfort in the arms of those around me. Physical touch is crucial to my emotional health. Odd, but it is me. I need hugs, snuggles and head pats. Instead of God soothing me in alone time, He did what He had to get me into the arms of His love. Letting Caroline be a vessel of His compassion, was incredibly kind of Him. I joyfully accepted the love I received. The tangible relief of falling into a hug. Caroline’s motherly love and empathy. The sweet reminder of listening to words I know to be true but struggle to believe during a time like finals. Finals hurt my heart. Finals challenge not only my learning disabilities, as well as my anxiety and emotions.

“You Sparkle,” my heart instantly melted. It was affirming, yet again, that something might be seen in me than more than the identity of being a student. I am in fact more than a grade, I am more than my GPA, and I am more than a student. I am much more than a student and I hope to known for that. I hope to be known for hugs, love and laughter. I hope to known for being my true self and settling for nothing less. Including, restraining from the self-deprecating thought process whilst enduring a difficult course. It was a joy to hear that I might sparkle to someone around me, I am undeserving of such a compliment but whoah did it tickle my heart. Authenticity. Transparency. Human’s like it. It is relatable.

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Sleeveless turtlenecks can be paired with a short or long sleeved tee. Long sleeves create the illusion of a full sweater, while short sleeves allow the turtleneck to hold attention.

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Grandmother’s pug featured in le blog post. Pugs are the best accessories. I love a good prop, especially a silly one.

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Mastering the art of the turtleneck tuck. Slip into your turtleneck, leave your hair inside the sweater and slowly pull front pieces to frame your face.
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Momma’s words always with me. Xo. P.S Did you hear that naked nails are trending this winter? Giving my nails a break from gel, but missing polish.
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Golden hour and natural curls. Only a few products to tame the mane but tough to beat with the current humidity in Charleston!

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Miss new bootie. All about my new thigh highs! Winter must have.

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Photographed by Davy Kesey | | Charleston, SC

Wearing: Madewell turtleneck, Piko Tee w/ lace trim (similar), J Brand coated jeans (last season but similar here ) Stuart Weitzman Lowland Boot in black suede found at Charleston’s Bob Ellis, similar boots here, here and here.

Frugal Flannel

Personally and spiritually I have been struggling with frugality, where and when are purchases appropriate and what use do I have in mind when I am in the process of a purchase. I have every intention of staying up to date with trends, but that also means living in a continual cycle of shopping, but when is shopping unhealthy? As I have matured I have realized that shopping does not satisfy my soul, it no longer fulfills questionable feelings and distressed emotions. With that, I am discovering the blessings of blogging and collaborating with my fellow creatives. One of the reasons I moved to Charleston, was to blossom creatively and expand my horizons, meeting and collaborating with Charleston creatives is fun and rewarding.

Working with Peyton William Jewelry, was fun and worth the time to speak with the gals at the jewelry boutique and make the effort to communicate. I recommend reaching out to people that interest you- it can challenge your work and encourage your soul, meanwhile you are building a relationship and assisting new acquaintances.

Collaborating is satisfying. Helping a creative along with nourishing my blog feels better than a self-satisfying endeavor. In any passion, it is not intended for an individual; life and work is better with others.

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Rawr. That expression of mine is vicious.

So I bought this flannel in August, and I have been waiting to unveil it in a blog post. So I chose a simple, put-together ensemble to show a casual yet sophisticated flannel pairing. Obviously my current favorite jeans are a part of the look, alongside fabulous jewels via Peyton William Jewelry and the obvious tote of choice.

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Digging tactile bangles- jewelry that doubles as a form of entertainment.

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Relaxed boyfriend fit. J Brand, have I told you how much I like you?

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Is it even yours if you don’t monogram it? Probably not, you mangy thief.

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These kicks are perfect. Slip-on’s, sneakers; super trendy. All forms of shoes are great actually, feet are nice when they are protected with some layer of “do not worry your feet will be safe.”

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Pictures by Davy Kesey

Rails Flannel, J Brand Jeans, Gap sneakers, Louis Vuitton Never Full , Peyton William Jewelry, Ray Ban Sunnies

Pre-season to the best season

First of all, welcome to fall in Charleston.

I am glad you are virtually joining me in my romantic city of inspiration.

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I am detesting the slow process of fall in Charleston. I am eager for cable knit sweaters, broken-in cashmere and trendy jeans. I am hesitant to dive into realistic fall clothing while my peers and I are struggling to make it to class while staying hydrated. I will be focusing on pre-season attire for a few posts. I am obtaining a realistic wardrobe for my current location, in hopes of assisting southerners who are eager for new styles but restricted to summer staples.

I feel it is fitting to understand the importance of pre-season attire as I am also transitioning into this fall. As a recent transfer student I have the luxury of experiencing this season as an unknown. Similar to this weather, my understanding of this season of my life will take time. So, bear with me, and let’s transition into something great.

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September brings new ideas, styles and inspiration. I have been obsessing over Fashion Week and the inspirational juices that follow these shows. I have been primarily reading blogs and studying shows and have yet to express my thoughts. Even if you say you do not like shopping, or clothes, do some google homework and see what the creatives have been up to.

Feast your eyes on these stunning pictures, not a fashion shoot but a glimpse of me and the work that is going to come.

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I am happy to announce my collaboration with Davy, a naturally hip student with a vision he is eager to fulfill. I am blessed to be inspired by my peers and I am humbled to work with such a talented artist.

Photographed by Davy Kesey

top: James Perse, similar and similar

jeans:  J Brand

hair:  Ronnie of Salon 101