giving thanks

Happy hump day you guys! We are halfway through the week and only 8 days out from Thanksgiving. It may be unpopular, but I like to take it one holiday at a time. This means you will not find my tree up until after Thanksgiving, nor will I have started celebrating the Christmas holiday before my favorite holiday officially ends. I have to fully cherish Thanksgiving before I can embrace Christmas because I believe the message of Thanksgiving is too important to be overlooked. Over the years things can change – the places, the people that attend, and the dishes – but one thing that’s constant is our full hearts and fuller tummies as we give thanks for our blessings on Thanksgiving Day.

As a child, Thanksgiving always took place at my great grandmothers home. She would make her old family recipes and include recipes of her own, she would do it all without any help – I still don’t know how she did it. As she got older my mother slowly took over the cooking and Thanksgiving started to take place at our family home instead. Each Thanksgiving holiday was so special during the time my great grandmother was alive because we were cooking her recipes for her. She was the head of our family, she had always brought us all together. We wanted her to feel special when she came to our home on Thanksgiving; it was time for her to be served and catered to.

Reflecting on past Thanksgivings can be sad because honestly, my family has lost a lot of our family members in the past two years. When my mothers mom, my Nana, passed away it was especially hard. I’d never known great loss before her, it shattered my mom and therefore shattered me. My Nana would bring her signature dish to dinner, sweet potatoes, and she would cook them in a way my mother and I still can’t mimic to this day. My mom’s father passed away shortly after she passed, then my great uncle not even 6 months later. Finally, my great grandmother, our Meme. It’s still hard to sit around our table with less chairs and miss those familiar faces.

I know I’ll never experience Thanksgiving the same without them, we all have only the memories to hold onto now. But with the passing of time brings new faces to the table and new traditions, our hearts are full because of the chairs that are filled. This year we will celebrate the holiday just the same with those special family recipes that fill our tummies and never expire. I don’t fast forward into Christmas celebration because Thanksgiving is deserving of it’s day; it’s dedicated to being thankful for those we hold dear to our hearts. It’s a time where loss isn’t the reminder to realize what we have, but a joyous day to realize these blessings. Enjoy the special day with your loved ones, hug your people extra tight, be grateful and be thankful this Thanksgiving.

This outfit is perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner! You can hide that 3rd helping, I’m referring to the stretchy waistband on these leggings and the looseness of the sweater, but it’s also dressy, formal and affordable. I found my multi-colored sweater and velvet leggings at Target,Β of course, and knew it could be an outfit I could wear into December for some holiday parties! I am a fan of ugly Christmas sweaters but I prefer the pretty, sparkly ones; at $25 this was a total steal (it’s currently $20 online)! Same with these leggings, you can easily drop $50+ on a similar pair of velvet leggings or you could just go to Target and spend $16 – its a no-brainer. I played up this look with these black, leather midi-boots and black Coach wristlet. To bring out the sparkle in my sweater I paired some gold bangle bracelets with a gold Kendra druzy necklace and gold disk drop earrings – all pieces I’ve had in my closet! The end result was an outfit fit for Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday party, your choice.

As always,

Ara

Sweater: Target | Velvet Leggings: Target | Booties: (identical from Steve Madden)| Wristlet: Coach

 

fringe, party of one

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I thought today called for something especially fun because I signed up for my junior year, spring semester classes; after which I’ll be done with my basics AND my last semester of Spanish! *shimmies in my fringe jacket* Mass communication majors require 2 years of foreign language and learning another language is just as hard as you can imagine so, estoy muy feliz de estar casi terminado! I’m usually very much so behind in signing up for the next semester’s courses so I felt that because I actually signed up on time and had no issues getting into the courses I needed (a first time thing), it was cause for celebration! *shimmies again for full effect*

Attending a small school means the capacity in classrooms are a lot smaller, this makes upper level courses a hassle to to get into. In general, most upper level courses are pre-requisites of others, so its super important to get into those classes when they are offered either in the fall or spring only semesters so that you aren’t getting behind on graduating. When you attend a small school like me though, you have to worry about those classes filling up before you are able to be advised and sign up for those classes. I’ve had issues with my schedule the past two semesters but luckily I still had basics to do anyway and I didn’t get behind. This is why I’m super glad I was on top of it this semester!

I’m obsessed with the super cool vibes this ombre, fringe jacket is letting off – I felt today was the day to wear it out! It makes every move I make twice as dramatic to get the full fringe sway effect, lol, it’s just so fun. I toned down the outfit a bit by pairing it with a simple white tank and my girlfriend jeans because lets face it, this jacket is a party in itself. The fringe jacket makes for a super fun and edgy street style outfit but it would also be perfect to wear to a holiday party this season!

I’m loving on these Amuse SocietyΒ girlfriend jeans I bought fromΒ Sewn, I have so many things I wanna pair them with!! I love my boyfriend jeans, but girlfriend jeans are much more flattering – they are designed with girls in mind! The differences in the two are girlfriend jeans sit higher on the hips, are slightly tighter, and have a slim, straight leg. Boyfriend jeans sit directly on the hips and are very much loose and baggy all over; I still adore them, but they create a much different shape and I favor the girlfriend look.

I played on the fringe look and paired my blue-beaded fringe choker – I love any good reason to wear this choker! Like the jacket, it is a big statement piece so I’m careful how I style it. I think it pairs perfectly with this look and adds the perfect extra flair. I also pulled out my gun metal, blue iridescent Kendra Scott earrings that looked so cool with my choker. I finished this look with the cutest pair of mule loafers, also from Sewn. The shiny, leather look of the loafer makes my outfit look sleek and polished and draws attention to my statement piece jacket!

I’m happy to be celebrating tiny victories like today’s with adorable jackets and jewelry but signing up for next semester’s classes only means finals are just around the corner AND I’m closer to graduation than I wanna believe. One more college semester separates me from being a college senior. I’m about to be an adult for real, without the blanket of college – that’s a wonderfully scary thought! This next year and a half will surely fly by so I intend to learn as much as I can and enjoy myself in the meantime. These are the times that will truly define the rest of my life, I can choose to believe it or not, so I intend to make them count.

As always,

Ara

Fringe Jacket: TOY (similar Misguided US) | White Tank: Piko Brand (available in summer line) | Girlfriend jeans: Amuse Society | Mule loafers: Chinese LaundryΒ feat. Kristin Cavallari | Fringe Choker: Betsy Pittard Designs (sold out) | Earrings: Kendra Scott (sold out)