Pretty Plum Sugar x Barely Blonde

In the same manner as springs blooms greet the sun, so do engagement photos and wedding announcements blossom all over social media. This time of year celebrates new stages of life, and in particular two love-birds saying hello to forever. As I scroll through my Instagram feed I see the latest picture of the newly engaged couple preparing for the wedding, venue shopping, asking their friends to stand by them on their big day and setting the actual date. While excitement is abundant there is also the stress of each person’s role in a wedding ranging  from soon-to-be bride to bridal party to wedding guest. As a gal in her early 20s invitations are bountiful but money is not. While I want to look the best I can, I also want to keep my savings. It can be stressful trying to find dresses for every wedding you have and avoid the dreaded “outfit repeating” (cue Lizzie McGuire clip). Last summer I discovered Plum Pretty Sugar who provides effortlessly elegant dresses, pj sets, and robes all that are perfect for any wedding you’ve rsvp-ed to. Not only do they have beautiful pieces for a bridal party, but they also a offer looks to transition from newlywed honeymooner to mamas-to-be. I excited to share with y’all three of the many looks they offer that I think would be perfect for any wedding! The first look is my ideal engagement-party dress, the second is a bridesmaid look, and the third is a look for unwinding on the honeymoon.

Engagement Party Look Inspo

While I have never been engaged, I have played bridal in a myriad of bridal shoots and always wondered what kind of dress I would wear to my own engagement party. I’ve been in love with the off-the-shoulder trend since it popularized last spring and thought this midi-dress was a perfect balance of feminine flair. I love the asymmetrical flowers and the smokey sky blue color of the dress for year round engagements. The dress is more fitted around the waist and looser around the legs. The top is elastic so it stays exactly where you want it without constricting your movement. The one thing you can’t get from these pictures is the lightweight and breathable fabric the dress is made from. I am amazed at the quality for each piece and think Plum Pretty Sugar knows how to do engagement dresses right. Pretty much any dress on their site will steal the show making them the perfect resource when shopping around as a bride-to-be.

Bridal Party

As brides try to juggle the lightening bolts of wedding planning, they also want to make their best friends feel cherished. While this may be easy one-on-one, trying to collectively satisfy a group of women can be a challenge. Each relationship is unique and you don’t want to squander any individuality in your friends; but how do you maintain some uniformity in the process? Bridesmaid dresses are often a dilemma in the planning, but Plum Pretty Sugar provides a quick solution by offering several dress styles for every color or print they offer. This means brides can simply pick a color or print they want and bridesmaids can go from there choosing the length of the dress, style and the best fit for their body-type. While it took me forever to pick my favorite print, I wound up selecting the Ashley Dress in the Oceane Lulls the Billows print. I loved the ultra-feminine florals halter dress with its sexy double slit to show summer tan legs (once I get there)! The dress is priced at $70 but can be purchased in a bridesmaid set if several if the women want the same style. While this dress and print would be stunning for bridesmaids, any wedding guest could rock it.

Honeymooning

Honeymoon outfits tend to be overlooked which is such a shame because its the perfect opportunity to show off your cutest looks to your new spouse! This Swoon Off-the-Shoulder dress will undoubtedly keep that newlywed glow going! I absolutely love the white-on-white with detailed embroidered to dress up with any color you choose. This dress is so flattering it can easily become a staple summer piece after the wedding bliss sets in. While I did not shoot any pjs sets this time around I still wanted to link them for you to check out and will have an older post including the pjs up on my Instagram story today!!! Click here for all the different  pj prints. This company is amazing and with all the prints and styles they offer there is something for everyone.

Now last but certainly not least is the creative professionals who helped this collaboration come to life: Jonathan Ivy! This married duo just moved from Houston and pretty much specialize in making any wedding or commercial photography dreams come true. They are beyond diligent researching their clients needs and assuring a timely and beautiful result comes to fruition. If you live in San Antonio please reach out them for your photography needs! They are wonderful and we are so lucky to have them as our newest locals! Their website is http://www.jonathanivyphoto.com! I hope y’all enjoyed reading about Plum Pretty Sugar and glancing over the images from Jonathan Ivy. If you have any questions feel free to reach out!

XOXO,

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Bye Bye Turtle Shell

Now that the Spring semester has started and I have turned in my law review comment, you can find me lugging books and my laptop from class to the library to home and back again. Intermittently I have photo-shoots or lunch meetings with other professionals, but for most of my day I am running around trying to squeeze in my latest reading assignment. While I love constantly being on the move, I have always dreaded carrying around a “turtle shell” aka hefty backpack. Up until two weeks ago, I lived the turtle-life because a purse was too small and my old backpack was the only thing that fit everything I needed. However, it was filled with loose writing utensils, notes and highlighters and was basically a black-hole.

Over the past few months I’d been keeping my eye out for a chic but functional backpack, but nothing quite fit my needs. That is until I discovered this gorgeous leather backpack on Etsy! You know when you find a product and you instantly love it, and then the more you use it the more you love it and you didn’t even know how perfect it was when you first bought it? Well that is this bag for me. When I first saw the photos on Etsy by The Bag Minimalist I loved it’s clean lines and rich color. But once it arrived and I was able to fill it with all my miscellaneous items, did I see the true genius in its design. It fits the variety of roles I play: student, law clerk and blogger without forcing me to switch bags between. It is a soft cowhide leather that makes it super lightweight and has several inside compartments that make it easy to stay organized. It is just big enough to fit the essentials without looking bulky. I finally feel like I have crossed over to looking like a young professional and I couldn’t love this playful but mature bag any more. Check out the different ways I have styled this bag!

With so many adventures planned for this year, I can’t wait to take this bag as my carry-on! If you want to see  other similar products by The Bag Minimalist click here!

Backpack: The Bag Minimalist

Photography: Molly Shofner

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Restricted Shoes x Barely Blonde

            How beautiful are these “Slow Motion” wedges from Restricted Shoes? When I first saw them online I was drawn to their unique cut-out designs and season-less style but when they arrived I loved them even more for their comfort. I’ve recently been struggling to find heels that don’t rub against the side of my foot and the lace-up detail on these wedges has solved that problem.  Plus we all know wedges are always super comfortable!

            And to really test their comfort level, I have even airport-proofed them for y’all by flying from San Antonio to Tuscon for a stay with my sister before the holidays at home. Once I arrived in Arizona I styled them with this embroidered floral tunic and a pair of leggings.  Lately I have been wearing them with jeans and leggings but they can just as easily be paired with dresses or shorts in warmer temperatures. I chose the Taupe wedges because I wanted a pair I could wear with anything however they come in a variety of neutrals from Black to rich Cognac colors if you would like a more contrasted look. While they may be the perfect holiday shoes I know I will be sporting them all Spring and Summer long. These wedges definitely live up to the Restricted Shoes’ slogan: life shouldn’t be Restricted, just your shoes. This brand is my new favorite go-to for super cute shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort.  Check them out at RestrictedShoes.com.

Photographer: Lola Lozano

Tucson, Arizona

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All that MATTERS

I feel so fortunate to be sharing Matter, a socially conscious brand with y’all. This company is absolutely incredible in everything they do. Not only do they design and produce beautiful and travel-friendly clothing but their mission includes acting as a pioneer in the fashion industry by promoting change and sustainability. They not only encourage the 1,287 artisans they work with to produce quality pieces but they inspire everyday consumers to value provenance and process.

I styled these “Classic Wideleg” pants with a basic turtleneck to focus on the print. These silk pants are part of Matter’s story to reinterpret textile crafts heritage into an economic opportunity. The pants have a vibrant print and are easily the most comfortable pair of pants I own. The company enables artisans all over the world to continue their trade and thrive in a modern market. Matter is careful to provide season-less classics that adhere to the “timeless principles of style rather than runway trends.” If you know me, you know this brand is everything my blog stands for. I love the commitment to craftsmen’s trade and the dreams they have of including cultural traditions in the fast-paced world where we are often lost. Thank you for showing us what matters and reminding us to focus on the process before our purchase.

Best,

 

 

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Johnny Was at La Cantera

Last weekend I attended the second anniversary of “Johnny Was” at their La Cantera location. The store was staffed by the sweetest and most stylish women who made the whole experience delightful. They had desserts and live music to accompany their latest arrivals for fall fashion. Everything about this boho chic location is perfection; from the embroidered blouses to the silk scarves strung across the room. Their fashion inspired a sense of adventure and takes you away to a magical shopping trip.

After trying on this Zivelly tunic I knew I couldn’t leave the store without it. It has quickly become one of my favorite pieces I have ever owned. It is lightweight and ohhh so comfortable. I have been pairing it with leggings lately but as the weather cools off more I will continue to style it with jeans and light layers. I love tucking this tunic in the front or leaving it loose for a laid back vibe. If you are looking for some truly unique and eye-catching pieces definitely check out Johnny Was, and if you are in San Antonio I can’t encourage you enough to check out the La Cantera shop; you won’t be disapointed.

Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday,

 

 

P.S. I also couldn’t leave without one of their gorgeous scarves so keep your eyes out for some pics styling it in the near future.

 

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Jet-Setting Style

Imagine my excitement when Jon Hart asked me to collaborate with them for another project focusing on my favorite travel pieces in my favorite color! Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with this reputable brand to shoot a video for their new Clear Becky stadium approved bags. Little did I know our relationship would continue and I would be afforded the chance to talk about my favorite Jon Hart essentials for the season of traveling. I don’t know about you all but I tend to travel quite a bit during the autumn months to celebrate holidays, birthdays, school breaks and retreats back home. These trips can last anywhere from 30 hours to 3 weeks and require all kinds of outfits, accessories and what not. As someone who bounces all over Texas, I have exhausted every piece of luggage my family owns trying to find the right size and style for travel. If the suitcase is too big I have to haul it around when I reach my destination which is always accompanied by my tendency to over-pack. And if the suitcase is too small, then I don’t have any flexibility on outfits or items to bring back.

For the past few years I have been keeping my eyes out for a piece that would serve both quick weekend trips and lengthy visits afar. On several occasions my suitcases would turn up in the terminal ripped or smudged with dirt. I typically carried around a mismatched set of whatever pieces I could sneak out of my parent’s house to suit my needs. But finally I have the solution!!! I recently got my hands on Jon Hart’s “360 Carry on Wheels” and have never been more thrilled with my packing style! I’d seen plenty of girls in college with the brand but didn’t invest in a bag myself. What a mistake! This wheeled bag is the most gorgeous vintage mint shade which makes it easy to spot and is carry-on approved which I tested this past week during my trip to El Paso, Texas. Since my journey home was a bit longer than my usual weekends, I took my entire Jon Hart collection home for fall break. Between the small wheeled suitcase and my new mint duffel bag, I was more than set for the trip. I typically don’t take two carry on bags when I travel solo but I was too excited to part with my new purchases and wanted to try out their size on the plane. They passed! The duffel’s wide opening made it easy to access my book I accidentally buried at the bottom and the leather trap gave my shoulder plenty of cushion from its weight.

The “Left Bank” tote is another easy piece to take as your personal item on a flight. I have also been using it to carry around my laptop and notes for class but could find a dozen other reasons this bag is perfect. Like the rest of Jon Hart’s products, the “Makeup Case” is created with care. This bag is a staple for traveling and will be one of the first things I pack. Each of these four pieces are sturdy enough to weather the storms of airport obstacles. Not only do each of these bags accommodate the everyday needs of a 23-year-old student, but they fulfill my inner fashionista dreams of traveling in style. If you can’t tell I am obsessed with this unique teal shade and ordered all my pieces in it but could easily have ordered several other color combos. I also had each of my pieces monogrammed with either my name or initials for a little more personalization which I think makes all the difference when checking to make sure you have the right suitcase. The pieces all come in a variety of beautiful colors to fit your taste!

I am so excited to share my four favorite Jon Hart traveling pieces with y’all and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about them! Follow this link to check out the amazing pieces Jon Hart has or do some early Christmas shopping!

Best,

 

 

Travel Collection: Jon Hart
Photography: Hector Lozano

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PB & J with a side of Cayenne

About this time each year I start to look for new places to shop in preparation for classes and fall transition looks. While I am anxious to start styling fall outfits, I couldn’t resist this striking pop of summer color from PB&J Boutique. As if this store wasn’t already perfect, they also offer free shipping and a 10% off discount to new shoppers! I just had to share this lovely online shop with y’all. It offers the latest trends with a vintage flair and will be a frequent go-to of mine!

I ordered this stunning Cayenne blouse because really, who wouldn’t want a red off-the-shoulder top to finalize their summer wardrobe. I love the feminine pattern and the sweetheart neckline! With such a fiesty blouse I had to try something more daring for a photo shoot. Ignoring my fear of heights, I ventured onto the top floor of a parking garage and hopped on the wall (Yes I was shaking the whole time). But I think the bold location emulated the blouse and once again showcased a little piece of the city I hold so dear.

After the rainy weekend we had here in San Antonio and the heartbreak of Houston it was nice to see the sun and have a little fun. I hope you all have been able to do the same and check out this new find!

 

 

P.S. if you are in the market for some booties, PB&J has some ADORABLE pairs if I dare say so!

Photography: Puzzle Piece Studio

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Barely Blonde X Dainty Jewell’s

Some days you just want to throw on a princess skirt and twirl around your favorite shop. And that is exactly what I did in this beautiful chiffon maxi by Dainty Jewell’s. I recently discovered the online boutique’s wide selection of modest yet modern styles and fell in love with this ultra-feminine skirt. The Fluttering Fancy Skirt is priced at $64.95 which is a steal for this whimsical staple piece. Each one of their pieces is uniquely elegant and gives a nod to the best fashions of the past and inviting them into the present. While they not only have a large selection of styles, they also respect the different bodies of women and offer several sizes to include every woman. Each piece is created timelessly for women by women. Dainty Jewell’s is definitely a new favorite shop for dress-up occasions when I want something completely different.

Beyond their everyday wear collections they have also expanded their site to include beautiful bridesmaids dresses that can be worn throughout the year. What I love about their bridesmaids pieces is the unique prints and colors. They have cultivated their own styles and stay true to their core values of offering modest and modern pieces.

I hope y’all have a fabulous Monday and check out Dainty Jewell’s unique collection for some classic pieces!

Cheers,

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Looking back at 1L year

With August quickly approaching, new classes of law students will begin their journey through learning the legal system and jargon that encompasses our country and state. I thought it was an appropriate time to reflect and share my experience this past school year. To be honest, I had to take a few weeks since the ends of finals and return of grades to feel free to discuss my year as a 1L at St. Mary’s University. I finally feel as if I am not reeling from the constant stress of preparing for the next class and balancing a healthy schedule and social life. Everyone told me law school would be hard, and I definitely did not fully appreciate what that meant. Even with my expectations high I was still smacked with the heaps of reading, mind-wracking briefs, and challenges of learning new vocabulary (which was definitely a struggle for me). I have broken down the dimensions of what it was like being a first year law student and hope this rings true to my colleagues and can give some guidance to future 1Ls.

Pros:

  • New friends and old friends supporting you through the good and the ugly. There were definitely some days I was not pleasant to be around. I am naturally very shy and tried to blend into the small sea of people. However, this was tough with the Socratic method dragging you out of your shell in front of a roomful of brilliant minds. However, after enduring the tomato colored blushing a dozen times or so I managed tp adjust to the discomfort that is law school and learned that your peers are more than an audience. At least for me, I secretly cheered for anyone called on for the day while simultaneously thinking to myself “thank goodness it’s you and not me.” Usually the things my peers know were things I had struggled to grasp, and things they struggled with were thoughts that may not even even occurred to me.
  • Throughout the year we watched each other grow and find our voices. Some people who scraped by the first semester lead the class our second semester, and others maintained a steady pace.
  • Accomplished more reading, writing and public speaking than I ever hoped to do.  At the end of this year I was so happy to complete a year that turned out to be tougher than I could have ever imagined.
  • Moot court was surprisingly a lot of fun. My teammate and I to our own surprise opted-in!

    Feeling so lucky to spend my time in law school living in the Alamo city!
  •  Learning to argue. This may seem obvious, but I actually learned how to craft an argument. One of my best friends recently graduated from law school in England and I remember having discussions with her last summer. I remember thinking to myself how logical she was about everything. She could always look at a situation and point out things I never would have thought of. And while my 1L year of education cannot be compared to her education, I would like to think I have developed some of those analytical skills and no longer allow emotions to drive my arguments.
  • Age variation. Sometimes I had to step back when I felt overwhelmed and think about all the parents who were enrolled in my same classes. People came from all walks of live. There were students hot out of undergrad, mother’s with three kids and retirees. I went home to a studio apartment to study with my boyfriend and do our best to unwind from the hectic day. But I can’t imagine the strength it took to go home to a family and provide support to them. So go all my fellow 1Ls who are much more responsible than I am!!! You all amaze me!
  • There is always room for compassion. That’s all.
  • Dating. After I graduated undergrad, the dating pool dramatically shrunk. People were no longer living in a population of potential love interests. My friends and I often commented on this challenge. But on the first day of law school, people began pairing off. Throughout the year many people’s relationship status changed as they all began to find themselves as future attorneys; some left relationships in the past, others clicked with fellow students or took the next step with their significant others.
  • New interests. After reading so many cases and taking an assortment of classes, my interests began to widen. All the sudden my apartment lease became a document of fascination, trying to decipher all the legal jargon I signed my year away to without a care.

Cons:

  • Yes people get cut! And this was weird. In fact it was the buzz the first week of school back from holiday.
    Grades are bittersweet. Strengths get stronger and weaknesses are more pronounced. I was terrified learning that my final exam would make up 100% of my grade for most classes. However, you learn to take each semester in bite-sized chunks and before you know it you are studying for the final. While it can seem overwhelming, the school gave us all the tools needed to learn the material.
  • Second semester was wayyy harder than first semester. This truly caught me off-guard. After struggling through the first semester I couldn’t imagine enduring much more pressure. But second semester hit me like an fire-hyrdrant on blast.

 

 

Challenges:

  • Juggling 7 doctrinal classes in the Spring, a 30 page brief, moot court, 2 midterms, summer applications and your sanity was “interesting” to say the least. I am not going to lie, time management may have been the most frustrating aspect for me. I learned a lot about myself and how I function happily, and law school did a good job of prohibiting me from doing just that. I no longer had the time to spend on the phone catching up with friends for 30 mins or skype the ones that live far away. I missed time visiting with my family and when I did go home I was consumed with reading or stressing about the next assignment. This often made me feel detached from my favorite people. But alongside my local friends  I met other people. I also started my blog which gave me a creative outlet I desperately needed. It forced me to get out and see more of San Antonio and spend time with people who never failed to inspire me. I felt connected to some sort of community other than the law realm.
  • Humility. You’re going to have your bad days and you’re going to have your good ones too. Triumph and enjoy the goods ones and learn from the bad ones. One thing I quickly learned was not to take anything personal and trying my hardest. Everyone fails at answering a question or completing his or her reading. Trust me there were days I gambled with my assignments for an extra couple hours of sleep.
  • Emotional cases. Reading the daily cases offered a variety of emotions: curiosity, boredom, anger, apathy, internal conflictions and compassion. I think every student found a few cases throughout the year that really boiled their blood. The cases can go from a contract breach over a cheese manufacturer to a burned toddler in a second. And there are many times you do not agree with the majority opinion. The law is not as clear as I previously thought, it’s often muddled. There were many times I thought a dissenting opinion was much better than the ruling one.
  • While you may think sacrificing your time, energy and relationships is bad enough, law school also took a little more from my eyesight than I would like to have given. My vision is nowhere near terribl but my once nearly perfect vision has morphed into blurred characters and needed glasses for everyday reading.

    But after all this, there are still moments I am  surprised I made it this far. It has been much more of a marathon than I ever prepared to partake in, but I have quickly realized my effort are worth it. But without the loving people behind me there would be no way. This summer I have been blessed to work at a local immigration firm and have continued to flex my brain muscles. I’ve met some amazing attorneys whose dedication to the profession serve as a light to the end of my law school tunnel. I hope in three years I will be working in an office with a passion for people, their cases and the law that governs all aspects of my work. I am also looking forward to joining a law journal this fall and all the many challenges ahead. If you are on the fence about law school or have any questions, I will be more than happy to try and answer them.

From a rising 2L!

 

Photography: Wayfarer Photography and Froylan Calderon

 

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Barely Blonde X Welly Merck

I recently discovered Welly Merck and their beautiful mesh strap watches and knew I had to get my hands on one. I’ve seen other mesh straps however, what I love about the Classic New York watch is the straps are interchangeable. Everything about the brand is timeless and fashionable. Behind the company is a classic romance which we all know is my Achilles heel.

The name “Welly Merck” is the final two words in a fairy tale romance. It is based on the true story of an American boy, Merck, falling in love during an Italian vacation with a girl named Welly. The two overcame the challenges of a long-distance relationship and found a home together in Switzerland where they created the next chapter of their story. Here, their watch company was born. Their initial vision to create affordable luxury in watches continues to embody the brand’s reality today.

Beyond the Welly Merck’s exceptional story, my expectations were quickly surpassed. The watch arrived quickly after ordering it in a beautiful teal box and made me feel proud to own my first luxury mesh watch. I chose the rose gold watch because I wanted something summery, but I quickly realized it would become a year-long staple for me. It is simple and elegant. I have received so many compliments on this piece and honestly have never loved a watch more!

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

P.S. If you are interested in purchasing your own piece feel free to use the code BARELYBLONDE20 at checkout for 20% off your purchase www.wellymerck.com.

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