First off – I just have to post the phenomenon that was the cold shoulder denim shirt today. Everywhere you turned it was like there were clones wandering the building. Each girl styled it differently, just going to show how much of a personal thing style can be – even when you’re all wearing the same item.
Our assistant stylist changed it up by layering the Dotty Lace Tee underneath.
It’s not cold shoulder, but everywhere I turned there was chambray today, so I had to include this one. Below, more double – or should I say “triple” – vision. We’re all rocking the Boucle Textured Jacket (pssst… it’s on sale)
And now, a few more fashion moments that caught my eye this week..
Not sure how to wear the sheer NR Glamourai Pant? I think this might be the perfect example.
I’ve noticed this look (pumps and anklet) on Ashley Olsen, and when I saw our intimates buyer sporting it, I think I got a bit too excited.
You all saw our December Catalog last week. Its pages are full of western-inspired apparel, but what you may not have noticed is that we’re also showing some pretty awesome jewels to go along with it. These pieces combine Native American influences with leather-clad, tobacco spittin’ cowboys to form what we now think of as western jewelry. To get the right feel, it’s about rough organic elements with a sort of practicality to them. The pieces combine tarnished metals and statement leather with hints of turquoise and ivory. Did I mention that these would make great gift items for a special someone? Which is your favorite western-inspired piece?
This week’s style file is an FP girl through and through. She’s been working for the brand almost five years now, and she has the styling down pat. It goes something like: layer, layer, layer, awesome ankle-cut shoes, necklace, necklace, necklace, and then a fist full of rings. In writing it sounds like it’d be too much, but in person and in the photos you can see that it goes together amazingly. What do I want to rip off her most though? The jewelry. This girl has a collection that I think any girl would lust after. It’s full of rough stones, hammered metals, and ethnic engravings. She has a lot of artisan pieces that are funky and one of a kind.
Nothing like a great bulldog face…
Her friend gave her the binocular necklace when she moved away so that she could always see home (Chicago) from Philly. What a cute friend!
She may have moved to Pennsylvania, but her new plates are still Illinois.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to find that in the weeks following Thanksgiving I’m in major need of detox. After letting my gluttony run wild, I turn to the juicer and salads for almost every meal. Plates get piled high with antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients to get myself feeling normal again. That’s not to say that things get boring. Au contraire. This recipe is one of the creations I put together when in need of salad creativity. The combination of flavors sounds absurd, but one taste and it’s more like absurdly amazing. Each bite is full of mouthwatering freshness – making it tough to stop eating, but with such healthy ingredients, it’s okay. (Did you know that the calcium in Kale is easier for the body to absorb than milk? And, both butternut squash and pomegranates are FULL of antioxidants.) I swear you’ll fall in love with this one…
1 Butternut Squash
½ Cup of Sunflower Seeds
1 Medium Bunch of Red Kale
½ a Lemon
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
3 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (1Tbsp. for squash and 2 Tbsp. for dressing)
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cube your butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with sesame oil, and spread it out on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet.
Place the butternut squash into the oven to cook until tender (approx 25 min). While it’s cooking, seed your pomegranate, chop your kale, and place it into a large bowl. Squeeze your half lemon over the mixuture, sprinkle with salt, and stir it up. This will help to begin softening your kale so it’s not extremely stiff and crunchy.
Once your squash is cooked, let it cool for about ten minutes, and then mix all of the rest of your ingredients together, and serve.
By now I’m sure you all know who Abigail is. And, from her frequent popping up here on the blog, you can probably tell that she and I are attached at the hip. She is a loyal and loving companion who trots along next to me wherever I go. When people say that they and their pet were meant to be, I completely understand. Abigail’s my goof and I’m her ball, we’re two peas in a pod…
She doesn’t chew, she doesn’t bite, she comes when she’s called, but Abigail has another problem…
Abigail barks. She doesn’t do it when I’m home, but as soon as I leave, she raises an objection that bothers my neighbor to no end. I get it. I wouldn’t want to listen to it either. But for Abigail the separation anxiety is too much to handle, and she doesn’t know what else to do.
I’ve decided that this isn’t a matter I’m just going to give up on, so a friend of mine put me in touch with her friend that is a dog behaviorist. Stressed and desperate, I got on the phone with her to explore possible solutions.
The psychology behind separation anxiety in dogs turns out to be a fascinating topic. It seems that one of the major solutions is steadily training your dog over time to understand that you are the alpha dog, not them. Since I’ve learned this, I verbally remind Abigail every morning as she stretches awake that I am in fact the alpha dog (this wasn’t one of the trainer’s suggestions, but it’s nonetheless effective and entertaining). The idea behind establishing your dominance is that they will understand it as their duty to be left behind.
So how am I establishing myself in my new role? Little tricks like running my hand through her food and not letting her eat till I say so. With my permission to eat food coated with my scent, she understands that the food she is getting is a generous act of kindness. I am the alpha dog. We’ve also been working on perfecting heel. Abigail should never lead – I walk out the door first; I set the pace; I choose where we go; and it all needs to be done with calm. Her world needs to be zen so that the general state of being will transfer to moments when I’m not around.
Another thing the trainer suggested to calm her down is a Thundershirt (pictured below). Derived from technology used in children with Autism, the contraption fits the dog snuggly and has a calming, anti-anxiety effect. Each time I mention it, I like to shout the word “Thundershirt!” as if it were a superhero call, think, “superman!” (not normal, but I’m the alpha dog so whatever…). To keep it clear – the way in which it should be said – I will include an exclamation mark to spell it out.
The Thundershirt! directions instructed that the Thundershirt! make a peace offering the first time it’s presented to the dog
As you can tell, I’m trying to have a lighthearted approach to the situation, but I’m not going to lie – it’s tough at times. I have amazing support from my friends, yet there are still moments where I can’t help but think how free I’d feel should I hand her off to my parents (who would gladly steal her from me as it is). Whenever I’m questioning if it’s worth it, she’ll conveniently plop her head down on my leg and stare up at me – her big brown eyes peeking out behind wild tufts of hair and melting my heart. It reminds me that I can’t give up on her.
Stay tuned for updates on Abigail’s journey to the bottom of the pack (or should I say my journey to Alpha dogness?). If any of you have gone through similar issues, or have tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs, please share. My ears are open and I’d love to hear what you all have to say.
Velvet and rich details are having their moment. Velvet is showing up in crushed jewel tones, and there’s no such thing as overload. We’re piling it on – shoes, skirts, dresses – you name it. The look is regal and rich especially when it’s paired back to metallics and reflective embelishment. We’re buying it (pun intended,) these rich colors, precious metals, and lush fabric are everywhere. I have the office style photos to prove it.
The December Catalog dropped on Monday, and I have to say – it’s a personal favorite. I love the strong photography paired back to the refreshing setting and cool western-inspired styling. It’s such a breath of cool air in all of this holiday chaos. Which is your favorite shot?
This week’s Style File is one of our adorable styling assistants. All day long she runs around the web studio making sure that looks get shot, that they look good, and that the process moves along in an organized smooth manner. It’s tough work, but she’s always cheery and relaxed. Having moved here from Austin, TX (jealous? I think so), maybe it’s her southern roots that spark this kind of attitude.
Her style on the other hand, does not remind me Austin. It’s much more sophisticated – tailored even – though, it, like her personality, has a touch of kookiness. It’s a pea coat and lady-like dress paired with…knee highs? You half expect it to be prim and proper from head-to-toe, but then she confuses you like that. It’s great! She doesn’t take herself too seriously but she has great taste in sophisticated pieces. Check it out…
When I haven’t been to the grocery store in, awhile this risotto is something I’ll whip up for dinner. I usually have the ingredients laying around (maybe not the vegetables, but I’ll do some sort of variation), and it’s simple to make. My grandmother taught me the secret trick of stirring in some cream cheese. You don’t even have to use too much, but it makes the risotto so deliciously creamy. I also tend to use brown rice just because it’s healthier, and I find the effect to be just as desirable. This dish warms up any cold day and can help cure a funky mood. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods – my less guilty version of mac n’ cheese. Let me know if it’s just as good for you :).
2 Cups of Long-Grain Brown Rice
1 Lb Asparagus
1 Large Sweet Onion
¼ Lb Shitake Mushrooms
4 Cups of Vegetable Stock
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp Truffle Oil
S & P to taste
Chop onion, asparagus, and mushrooms. I like to leave the onion pieces as larger wedges for a dish like this.
Pour truffle oil into a large pot and allow it to heat up. After two minutes or so, throw in your onion wedges to sauté. As soon as they begin to appear translucent, add in your mushrooms and asparagus to.
Once the vegetables appear cooked (you can test them with a fork), lower the flame and pour in your vegetable stock. Then add rice and stir.
Cover and let cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.
Let the risotto sit for about 5 minutes. Then stir again and serve.
The past few days I found myself in a bit of a funk. I felt out of it and I was getting down on myself for feeling out of it. I’m typically a pretty upbeat happy person, so when I get like this, it’s really unsettling. My mind quickly shoots to, how am I going to make this better?I find myself acknowledging what is wrong – what it is that I don’t like about myself, and how I’m going to work to fix it. I come up with plans in my head: certain practices or consistent efforts that I think will combat my troubling flaws.
In retrospect, I realized how important it is to make note at times like this. We all have faults, and sometimes it’s good to mindfully recognize what they are. You can assess how you feel about them – if they’re something that really bothers you and something that you want to change. It’s about acknowledgement. Actively acknowledging how you feel and what’s making you upset. Without it, you can’t change.
On the flip side – it’s also important to acknowledge the things that make you happy. Take note of what those things are, and work to incorporate them into your life as much as possible. It sounds easy – but sometimes it’s really hard to know what you want and what you don’t.
Either way, happy or sad, it’s productive to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why.
Has anyone noticed the change in pants fashion over the last couple of years? Before, you bought a couple pairs of pants that were simple and easy to pair with the broad assortment of tops you had in your closet. Now, it’s all about pairing novelty bottoms with something fun or basic on top. Colors, embellishment, textures, patterns, shapes – ever since the rise of the harem pant our frame of mind has shifted focus. At Free People there’s no exception. We’re loving the fresh new take just as much as the rest of the fashion world.
We love the richness of the velvet bottoms so much! Have you seen our new bell bottoms style here?