Posted on April 6, 2017
Over the past few months, my skin has completely changed. This is not something I normally talk openly about, but I think it is important to know that not everyone is perfect! I went from having crystal clear skin with a few bumps here and there to having flare ups of tiny little bumps all over my face. Let me tell you: it isn’t fun!
I have always stuck to a strict skincare routine involving a lot of high-end products that worked wonders for me for years and I had not recently changed anything so I was puzzled. I go for a monthly facial at Cowshed Spa in Chicago (I see Ashley- she is a miracle worker!) and found out that my sudden little bumps were not acne, but bodily toxins trying to expel themselves through our largest organ: my skin. Ashley had me switch all of my beauty products over to being 100% plant based, organic + all natural and I was totally lost. I started researching brands that are gentle but effective and stumbled upon TULA.
Each TULA product nourishes your skin with a balanced meal of good-for-you ingredients, the same way a healthy diet nourishes your body. At TULA, they are not just looking at what we put on our face, but looking inside at internal medicine to improve the health and appearance of our body’s largest organ, the skin. That means leveraging the power of probiotics, “the newest breakthrough in skincare.” TULA uses carefully selected skin superfoods and probiotics AKA good bacteria to help skin reveal it’s best self.
My personal favorite and new hero product is the Exfoliating Treatment Mask. I have never used a mask that has exfoliating particles in it, but was pleasantly surprised at the texture. This particular mask contains Lactic acid and Bentonite clay to gently peel away impurities, dead skin, and debris and the tiny beads are plant-based and biodegradable. They release hydrating nutrients including Jojoba and Vitamin E to heal and calm skin.
If you have sensitive skin like me or are
making a conscious effort to switch what you put on your body to being plant-based, TULA is the perfect line to dip your toe into. They offer this great little started pack so you can try different skincare items to see what works best for you.
PS: how funny are these products from Anese? The silly names make me laugh every time I look at them. Currently obsessed with this hair elixir. PSS: take 20% off your order with code FIRST20. No…I do not earn anything from this.
Thank you TULA for working with me on this post!
Posted on March 28, 2017
This past week I finally got to visit Nashville! DJ frequently takes trips to Nashville for work, but since beginning my masters program at DePaul University in Chicago it has become difficult to travel due to missing class. I had my Spring Break last week and tagged along on DJ’s work trip that he extended through the weekend so we could explore and it did not disappoint.
It felt SO.GOOD. to get away from the cold weather in Chicago and walk around without a jacket most of the trip. I had no idea that there were so many different areas to explore besides the touristy downtown- I explored 12 South and Germantown. 12 South is home to a lot of great, small stores and restaurants as well as Draper James. Draper James is adorable but dangerous because one thing is cuter than the next- more on that in a post to come!
I stuck to basics throughout my trip, opting for dark denim, my new favorite flats and nontraditional, light tops. I found these flats at Nordstrom in Chicago last month. They are by Tory Burch’s previous designer, Mercedes Castillo. They are SO ingenious because you can wear them as a slide, or slip a leather cord through the sides of the flat for a tie-up style sandal. I already have my eye on these (and every other shoe in her line- lol.)
Some beautiful old houses I snapped while wandering around Germantown. If you visit Nashville anytime soon, I would highly recommend heading to this area! We are thinking that we would like to visit Charleston soon- any recommendations?
Posted on January 12, 2017
In the next few months, Chicago is booming with black tie fundraisers, galas and events. The feeling of getting to dress up in a floor length gown is one that I have always loved, but comes few and far between. I wore this Parker zing-zag skirt two years ago to Snowball which is quickly approaching at the end of January. This year, I am wearing a floor-length dress in a classic silhouette that I picked up in Milan. Specifically when making a big purchase like a floor length formal dress, I look for something timeless that I can wear again in many different ways and fits me well.
This year, I am topping my dress off with an All Saints leather jacket to give it a little “oomph!”
Posted on January 6, 2017
If you are anything like me, you hate the frigid weather that the Midwest (Chicago, I’m looking at you) brings in the Winter months. With DJ getting his MBA at Booth and working full time + me getting my Masters and working part-time, we decided that a mini-vacation to a warm place was much needed. We wanted to try a place neither of us had ever been before so we settled on Amelia Island, more specifically the gorgeous Ritz Carlton.
I posted this same photo above on my Instagram a few days ago and got some questions on my dress so I thought I would share it here! While this dress isn’t current season, it will always be one of my favorites. We weren’t expecting to take any (professional) photos on our trip, but spontaneously decided to last minute and this playful parrot print dress worked perfectly! I don’t often wear tight pieces, but I love how Milly makes dresses for women with curves.
If you have any suggestions on some fun, form fitting Summer dresses- I would love to hear them!
Posted on December 22, 2016
Hat: JCrew (New style here) | Long-sleeve Top: Free People | Vest: Nordstrom (Love these here and here) | Jeans: J Brand | Boots: Tory Burch (Loving these dressed up tassel boots and these for sloshing through the Chicago snow) | Bag: Prada
Lexi and I met a few weeks ago on Southport. We walked by the prettiest Christmas decorations right off the main street and a cute red door in an old brick building. I got this vest last year from Nordstrom for easy layering while working in Park City at Sundance Film Festival. Park City has tricky weather because there is a ton of snow, but it stays in the 50s (at least when I have been there!)
I got this little red Prada bag when I was in Milan this past November with my parents. It was a quick trip, but my mom and I spent four straight days shopping and I think I died a little (a lot) and went to heaven. Each store was set up like an art gallery and was truly an experience in itself. I have always been in love with these cute pint-sized bags and as soon as I walked into Prada, knew that one was coming home on my arm.
In my current bag collection I mostly have blacks and nudes that are timeless and will pair well with anything. I chose to go with the little red bag because it still acts as a neutral, pairing well with almost anything you put on.
This little red Prada bag has quickly become my go-to Winter accessory- what is yours?
Photos: Theresa Ferrell
Posted on June 9, 2015
Saturday was the first (semi)relaxing day I had in a while. I took my math final in the morning, walked around Green City Market, and then relaxed in the sun. I picked up this simple cotton dress with bright blue embroidery on a vacation in December and am ecstatic that it is finally warm enough to wear it over a bathing suit.
After a long week, sometimes all you can do is go get a glass (pitcher) of sangria and cozy up to the bar. I stumbled upon a photo of sangria and a cheese board from Black Bull a few months ago. DJ and I finally went and tried it out Saturday night. Black Bull definitely lives up to the food porn photo hype splattered across my news-feed.
On our walk home from the roof a butterfly started landing on me. Health wise, I have had a very rough few months with a lot of tests in the horizon. I have always taken butterflies as a sign of my grandfather’s presence, who passed when I was in high school. I would like to think that this is him keeping an eye on me.
Posted on June 5, 2015
Brunch is one of my favorite meals of all time. When else can you eat breakfast foods, lunch, pastries, all topped off with a mimosa and have it be socially acceptable? Exactly. My family loves brunch at The Publican. The avocado scramble with a side of frites if my dish of choice.
My mom brought this dress home for me from J. Crew last year. Being a little curvy, I wasn’t sure that it was the right fit for my body. I put it in my closet, and did not touch it for a full year. I stumbled upon it two weeks ago and fell madly in love with the blue and white color palette and high-neckline cut. I have worn it quite a bit since, often with a leather jacket thrown on top or with a brown leather belt wrapped around my hips for a boho look. The best part? The loose fit allowed me to consume all the baked good and scrambled eggs I wanted. Now, that’s a real winner
Posted on May 19, 2015
Ashley Altstadt completed seven internships throughout college, studied abroad, and got her dream job right out of school. With an internship at InStyle and Paige Denim under her belt, it’s no surprise that Joie, Current Elliott and Equipment scooped her up without thinking twice. In a two part guest series, Altstadt let’s you in on her tips and recommendations for going after what you want, and ultimately landing a coveted spot in the fashion industry.
How To: Get Your Fashion Dream Job
By: Ashley Altstadt
At the age of 24 I’ve just landed my fashion dream job of working as an International Sales Assistant for Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment. My duties involve helping to manage accounts internationally, while also prepping for appointments abroad. My love of fashion and worldwide travel has finally come into one, and this is how I got here.
Throughout my years of college, I managed to complete a total of seven internships. I worked in every area of the fashion industry to not only expand my knowledge, but to really grasp what I was good at. I did internships ranging from Public Relations at Paige Denim to styling on movies to Editorial Intern at InStyle Magazine. Take every opportunity you can, even if it means working for free. The lessons that you will learn at each internship are absolutely priceless.
I was lucky enough to receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Merchandise and Management from Cal Poly Pomona. From sewing to managing my own business, I was set to go into the real world once I graduated. Even if you aren’t doing a four year degree in fashion, taking a class here and there will help tremendously when working at your dream job. Some things you need to know can’t be taught through real-life experience.
My last quarter of college was spent studying International Fashion in London. While studying, I also worked as an Editorial Assistant for Verge Magazine. Studying abroad expands your mind to different cultures and how unique the world is. All of my travels taught me so much about myself, but also taught me how beautiful fashion is in other countries than my own. I was able to fully step outside my comfort zone and grow as a person.
Never take ‘no’ as an answer.
During my life I’ve been told ‘no’ more times than I can even remember. I’ve gone on multiple interviews, sent out thousands of e-mails, and followed up with every employer I could. From all of this work, I’ve usually only gotten a few responses. If I gave up I would have never gotten the dream job that I have today. Always stay positive and know that the right job is out there and what’s meant to be will always find its way.
Go for those once in a lifetime opportunities.
In college, I was so honored to be accepted to Teen Vogue Fashion University two years in a row. This was a weekend of seminars in New York City at the Teen Vogue offices. The speakers at these seminars ranged from Alexa Chung to Grace Coddington. When I got my acceptance letter, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up even if it would cost me a pretty penny. I’ve learned it’s worth it to save that extra money and spend it on experiences rather than possessions.
Check back on 5.25 for Part II.
Posted on April 10, 2015
In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released updated guidelines and regulations for advertising in relation to social media and bloggers. When the guidelines were first released, there was not much talk of it. In the last week or so, blog readers raised eyebrows when 50 bloggers coincidentally wore the same Lord & Taylor Design Lab dress on Instagram. As it turns out, it was not a coincidence and Lord & Taylor had sponsored the posts and gifted the dress to each blogger. The goal was to cause a social media frenzy, and it worked: the dress sold out by the end of the weekend.
While there is no proven statistical correlation between Instagram and ROI, there is no denying the influential power of social media as the latest advertising tool. With social media being unregulated, it is difficult for the Federal Trade Commission to keep an eye on.
With the recent rules coming to light, here is what you need to know:
If you are looking for more information on brand/blogger relationships and disclosures, I recommend you check out this link.
Posted on December 23, 2014
“Why not accept that manufacturing is gone from this country? Why not let the rust and weeds finish what they started? Why not just embrace the era of disposability? And why didn’t we buy a warmer coat before we moved here?”
These are the questions the team at Shinola ask themselves throughout the long winter. As more and more companies start to move out of the US, Shinola is opening more factories and stores within boundaries; specifically in Detroit and around Michigan. Shinola chose Detroit because they are both restoring beauty and history to something that was once vibrant; in one case, a watch company, and the other: a city.
Shinola started out as a shoe polish company in World War I and World War II, and slowly disappeared. In 2001, after being bought by another group of investors, Shinola decided to try again with luxury watches, leather goods, and now, bicycles that are all produced in the US. They bought a portion of an automotive factory and opened for business. I like Shinola as a company because they truly seem invested in their employees: training them with Swiss partner Ronda AG and giving them a chance to become great at something.
Shinola is one of the few watch makers based out of the US, and gets all of their leather for goods and watch straps from the Horween Leather Factory in Chicago, which is the oldest leather tannery in the US opened in 1905. Shinola recently opened their own leather factory in Detroit, and plans on starting to produce small leather goods through it by the end of the year.
I recently ordered a watch from Shinola, and was impressed by the quality of the watch and small personal touches. Every watch comes with a serial number, and a card with who made the watch. The watches come in beautiful wooden boxes, and really stand out from other companies.
You can check out Shinola on their website.