Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Farmer Chic and a Parable on Plaid

Plaid is one of my favorite patterns.  I am a girlie girl who loves her lace, novelty prints, cutesy hearts, butterflies and everything else feminine, but plaid always makes its way into my wardrobe.  Here's why; plaid is the perfect way to mix pretty with cool, casual with formal, outdoor with indoor; and since those are the two "polar" characteristics I like to exude in my style- plaid is my perfect punch!  And so I bring to you; three different ways I wore plaid!  The pictures below were taken in the Poconos two weekends ago when two friends trekked up the Jim Thorpe hillside with Daniel and I to take in the view.  Ok...so we drove up, we found the road on the way back to our cabin; but look at that view! I just couldn't get enough plaid this weekend..it is the perfect accent to dresses that need a little dressing down, or a bit of warmth on top.  This bohemian denim and scarf print dress needed a topper, and when a cardigan looked a bit too "stuffy" my plaid flannel made a perfect pairing for just the right amount of outdoorsy charm.  Even Daniel broke out his plaid jacket! It was a gift from me last Fall (only $20!!!!) it's pretty exciting that plaid has found it's way back in "style" since I love wearing it so much! 

 My plaid poncho is a favorite in the Fall.  You may remember a past post when I styled this beauty with a collared shirt and pair of polka dot pants; it was a bizzare duo that somehow worked to complete the look.  When the weather is getting just cold enough, this warm flannel is just what I need for extra warmth and to bring a western/outdoorsy edge to my style.  I wore this during our 3rd year wedding Anniversary- once again, in the Poconos- what better place to wear Plaid than the mountains?

Oh Ryu, how I love thee.  I found this amazing plaid coat at Never Too Spoiled, an amazing boutique in Philly that caters to the bohemian lady with a modern femme edge.  The cut, style and details of this coat drowned me helplessly in love.  I convinced Daniel to get this for me as an early birthday gift (less than a month away now!) somehow it worked, so I could call this gem my own :) I call this jacket "Farmer Chic" since I wear a lot of plaid on the Farm I teach on, and the style of it makes me feel like a Farm Princess!

I adore this Dog print dress by Twist & Tango that I got for my birthday a few years ago from ModCloth.  It had been on my wishlist for EVER and was running out of stock so my family all pitched in to get it for me.  This dress has the same full skirt cut as the coat so I decided to wear them together and like how the two different patterns play off of each other.  It's funny how versatile this coat is; I can wear it with a pair of navy skinnies and a flannel when I am teaching outdoors, or dress is up with a skirt and blouse and fancy tights- the possibilities are endless since the pattern of the coat is more casual, but the cut and lace details are more feminine and formal.   If you are not nearby Philly and you would still like to check out this coat, you can find it here on ModCloth (slightly more expensive) but it could always go on sale, too! 

       I topped off this outfit with one of my self-illustrated moth necklaces which can be found on my etsy shop here.  I am working on more illustrations and hope to make some new necklaces or fabrics in a few months.  Winter will give me time to get busy working on creative things!
 I have truly been enjoying my work getting back outside, teaching about animals and plants and spending time with little ones.  I kind of feel like- why didn't I do this sooner?  I guess inside I always knew that a full-time business oriented job was not for me, but I tried so hard to make it work and when I stopped pushing myself to fit into that mold and just opened my eyes it was so easy to see that there was another path open to me.  I truly love teaching children. There are days that are challenging, that take a lot of patience, days when you are not on your best game, but there is so much to discover and learn, so much to be appreciated and to be grateful for.  I might not be making the "big bucks" or climbing a corporate ladder, but I am planting seeds of knowledge, igniting an interest in children as young as three, not only do I get to teach them, but they teach me; every single day!
 I wouldn't trade my relationship to nature for anything; I love being outdoors, spreading the word to protect and care for it to future generations, and doing what I can to see that it happens.  I love feeling the crunch of leaves under my feet, breathing in fresh forest air, watching the evolution of each season, all of those things I used to feel like I was missing.  
  And now I have the perfect coat to transition me into the winter; not my favorite season of the year, but it will certainly help things feel brighter!  
How do you like to wear plaid?  Do you have a place for it in your wardrobe?  Happy Tuesday and let's talk soon! 

xo, Alyssa

Sunday, September 7, 2014

In Living Color

Happy September!  I am back in full technicolor glow, excited to spend the rest of my Summer sipping watermelon lemonade, dancing under the sun, sprawled out for picnics; pushing kids on the swings and getting dirty teaching little ones about bugs! :)

The past few weeks have been full of BIG changes for me, which has been so exciting!  When one door closes, another one opens!  I am now an aftercare aid at a school, as well as a teacher naturalist and artist.  Yep, I am actually getting busy creating again, (hooray!).  I am happy to announce that my Etsy shop will finally be launching at the end of this week with my moth necklaces, and a garment or two (I am currently working on one of my bug skirts for sale!!)  One of the necklaces that will be up in the shop is the one featured in these photos!  The chain will be slightly different however, the ones available in my shop will be on a gold plated chain that is has a tarnish resistant coating and is nickel and lead free!

I can not wait to get these necklaces up in the shop!  If you have been reading my blog for a while, (thanks for sticking with me!!!)  you probably know that my love for butterflies and moths grows deep and has been a lifelong passion.  The one pictured is actually a moth, and NOT a butterfly like you would think.  It is the Madagascan Sunset Moth with wings like a rainbow, could a critter get any more beautiful??  It should be like, my lifelong mascot or something...
Oh, and about this dress!  Well, I am sure you all know that this is My Little Pony.  I actually didn't realize that My Little Pony was still such a big thing, I just rode horses growing up and had several little ponies as a child and loved the print when I spotted it in Hot Topic and scooped it up on sale.  I am such a sucker for novelty dresses, especially colorful ones! :)
You guys, I am sad to see the summer drifting away but I am SOOO excited for my favorite fall things!!!  Apple cider, bonfires, pretty scarves, trips to the mountains and bike rides at dusk.  Cooking everything imaginable with pumpkin, making tons of soups and quick breads, and picking apples at Milburn Orchards!  Fall is so beautiful and inspiring; but it can also be quite an adjustment getting back to limited daylight; that part will be difficult...but come on, sleeping with the windows open!!
I am looking forward to having more creative free time to work on posting and making more things for my shop!  It feels like I have been away from the blog for waaaay too long, so thank you to each and every one of you for visiting and saying hello!  :)

Please do pop by my shop and see what I have in store later this week! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLemonMoth 
There will be Lunas and Cecropias, Madagascan Sunset Moths and other lovelies to celebrate the love of Lepidoptera!   I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and getting ready for the beautiful season coming right around the corner.  Let's talk soon! :)

xo, Alyssa

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stepping back

It's been a while, my friends!

I got caught up in life disconnected- and it felt freeing, but I missed you all!  A lot has happened since May!  I took a trip out to Missouri with Daniel to meet two of his siblings for the very first time. A good friend got married and a few other good friends are having me in their weddings, I had an art show opening, took a relaxing weekend in the Poconos, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, July 4th...oh my, lots of family time, great food and getting outside.  Also, a lot of working.  A lot of discovering, some frustration and revelation.  Life is a constant learning process, that's for sure.  I have to remember not to be so hard on myself when I get behind on projects (like my blog), the extra things we do are meant to be fun; so if you need to put attention on other things in your life that is perfectly ok.  We are human, and sometimes all we need is time and space.  Does anyone else out there feel like being in your 20's is kinda tough?  There are so many trials and new experiences, it is an exciting but whirlwind time.  I am so thankful to have my friends and family by my side, their constant support and kindness is so needed and refreshing!   

With that said, I have felt a strong and constant push to be outside this summer.  The outdoors are an extension of me- it is the place I feel most free and most like myself.  I was talking to Daniel in the woods yesterday and tried to explain why.  In the forest I feel free because everything out in nature seems so free, no one tells the tree "grow here" or "don't spread your branches there"; they grow in the direction they want and live and breathe in their own natural path.  The birds fly when they feel, eat what they please and live on their own schedules. The woods only know night and day, not 10:30, 1:15 or 8:45; everything happens in it's own rhyme and reason.  Old logs die away, new butterflies take flight, and the whole cycle goes on without our intervention.   Nature is simply incredible.  

With that said, it was the freeness and delight I feel in meadows, coupled with my passion for late 60s dress that inspired this "Back in Time" photo shoot with my husband, Daniel.  It was beautiful, though HOT that day, and we traveled up to the field behind my childhood home to shoot these photos.  I have to say, that they captured that "free spirit" I was hoping for- and the undeniable dynamic between Daniel and I :)  He is truly the most amazing man I have ever known, and everyday I thank my lucky stars (and God ;) that I found him in this crazy world; he completes me in so many ways!  This shoot was  also the first time I got to really try out my tripod that he gave to me, (about time!)  I am sure it will be used for many more adventures and portrait sessions!! 

I hope you enjoyed my photos!  I have so much fun styling for shoots like this, and hope to do many more of them.  Meadows shout "Summer!" to me like nothing else.  The sunshine, the yellows, greens and oranges burst through the camera in radiant hues.  The feel of the field frees my overthinking mind.  I hope you are all having an incredible summer and taking advantage of the long days and extra sunshine.  I will be heading on my bike ride now, let's talk sooner rather than later! <3

xo, Alyssa

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Oh Spring, how I love thee...Even with thy stuffy noses, scratchy pollen throats and deluge rainy days;
thy blooms and leaves, sprouts and blades, magically rising back to life-
 eagerly we await the music of nature, singing its chorus once again...

     I am indeed a lover of the Spring (even with my allergies!!)  The sunny days are returning and the flowers are arriving; after what seemed like the longest Winter ever!  We have had a few days of thunderstorms, unpredictable rain and heavy clouds, but today the birds are chirping and the sun is shining bright.  I am excited for a day of adventures!
Mixed prints just feel so right in the Spring...this rose cardigan is actually a remix from one of my first posts many moons ago.  I mix and match it with all different floral prints, polka dots and tribal prints like this one, and it seems to just tie everything together.  This dress from Anthropologie is a dream.  The fit is lovely, the colors bright, and oh so comfy! The length is great, too!  (For reference I am 5"9.) Pair it with some Mary Janes, and you've got the perfect cute and casual outfit for all of your days adventures! 
I am excited for the warmer weather and pool days...
For fresh, local fruits and vegetables.  For sun dresses and photos and carefree days in the sun.
For adventures, music and art shows; for vintage scouting and crafting.
For not letting fear hold me back from trying new things and discovering new places! :)
 Life has been a lot of this lately:  Dinners on the deck with Daniel, and getting together with friends and family.  My friend Steph is getting married this Saturday, and I can hardly wait!!!!  Her bachelorette party was last weekend at the Beach and we had a blast.  

Back to those deck dinners; I have been getting into so many cook books this year, and whipping up simply veggie dishes has never been so fun!

What are you looking forward to this Spring?  

As always, thanks so much for reading! :)

<3<3 xo, Alyssa

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Happy April, Everyone!

March was quite an adventure!  Snow, then warmth- then rain.  I thought the spring would never come, but it is supposed to get up to 80 today in Delaware and saying that I am excited would be an understatement!

These photos were actually taken last weekend, our "trend" weekend at work was Garden Party (yes, that was allll me ;)  and I was super excited to wear my bright lace and sequin dress for the occasion.  I have been busy working lately, but the daylight hours are longer which leaves a lot more time for play!  My rainbow bike is once again making an appearance on the street, I have ordered new supplies to make my jewelry, and I have registered for Delaware's Fun-A-Day project again this year, which I have chosen a photography theme for this time around.  (Time to break out those camera skills!!)
I am looking forward to the adventures to come.  In May, Daniel and I will be visiting some family out in Missouri, one of my very good friends is getting married at the Beach, and I will be working diligently on my photography project.  Last month, Daniel and I took an impromptu trip to Connecticut; ate at an adorable vegetarian restaurant, stayed in a cozy hotel, and found some fun vintage treasures in a little clothing store in downtown New Haven, (as well as an amazing antique mall!).  I am planning on doing a post soon on our trip!!

      Most of all, I have been trying to appreciate the small things in life, and spend as much time as possible with my family and friends; it never feels like enough time to be with them!

     Lots of walks, lots of fresh air, and being surrounded by trees and wildlife.

     On Tuesday, I will be teaching my mom's preschool class about bugs! (and five other classes in her school!) I am really happy to be able to have those small opportunities to do something I truly love, teach kids about insects!

     I fantasize about having my own butterfly center one day, and being the "butterfly lady"! :)
This Spring, I am also hoping to become part of an organic CSA; I love using fresh fruits and vegetables in every meal and  supporting local agriculture, so I am looking into different programs and hope to settle on one soon.  I also just got The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson, and am super excited to have some more simple and creative ideas for vegetables and fruits. The book is both a feast for the palate AND for the eyes, she really did an incredible job putting it together!

Well, get out there an enjoy the spring air and I will talk to you all very soon!!

xo, Alyssa

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ohhhh February.

Some February Outfitting highlights...

Folks, winter is not my favorite season.  I try to see the beauty in every stage of the year, but boy have we had quite a season.  Snow fall after snow fall, freezing temperatures, ice, sleet, freezing rain; the whole deal.  I think Delaware is quite ready for spring, as for me- I am ready for summer!!!  

Even with all of the crazy weather, I have had a pretty good month.  A few weeks ago I went to New York City for my first EVER New York Fashion week and attended the K. Nicole Runway Show, the product of my friend Nicole Rae Styer and her design partner, Kera Anderson.  The show was AMAZING.  
(above, left:  an interview with a film crew about my personal style and my take on the K.Nicole Runway show, above, right:  a photo with the amazing Nicole Rae Styer, below:  a photo of Daniel and I on our way up to NYC)

Valentine's Day was low key and relaxing, and was spent at the Homegrown Cafe in Newark, my favorite spot for good eats and music.  We had just had a whirlwind of snow the two days before, so getting out was a bit of a challenge.  
We're such goofballs ;)

And as you can see- my dipdyed hair got a lift with bright pink (which actually started as bright purple) and I am loving it!  Most exciting of all, is that the weather is starting to brighten up a bit, yesterday we got a nice break from the cold and snow and it was warm enough to take my bike out for a spin in the park!

This kimono style holly hobby piece was perfect for bike riding yesterday.  It felt so freeing to just be able to step out without a coat on and go.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, most importantly- the snow was melting!!! Alas, the weather is not quite ready to stick around, but at least we got a break from the overcast, snowy days we have been having.  I feel so much more myself when I can be outside and be active for more than thirty minutes without freezing.  I need my woods and trees and fields, they are such a big part of me!  

So glad I could update this week, and I will try to get back to my weekly updates now that the weather is calming down.  It seemed as though every time I tried to take outfit photos it snowed and dropped below freezing again!!! (not the easiest weather to show your cute outfits in ;)  So happy almost end of the winter everyone and I hope your weeks are off to a good start!

xo, Alyssa  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mixing it up!

     Happy Tuesday!  If you are in the Northeast like me this evening, you are probably sitting inside, safely tucked in to your favorite chair while the snow is quickly accumulating.  Without abundant shoppers today work was a wash,  I was sent home around noon (that never happens!) so it was an adult snow day for me; only without the puffy snowsuit, faux igloo in the backyard and half frostbitten fingers from playing outside too long.  Instead it was a nap on the couch with Daniel, watching a crime drama and drinking warm almond milk hot chocolate.  Perfect much?  For this girl, it was just how a snowy (hot mess!) kind of day should be spent. 
      It has been a few weeks since I have updated and in that time I have:  Gotten an Iphone (wow, can not believe that finally happened, but Daniel convinced me!), got my hair dip dyed purple (which has now faded to a dark fuchsia-esque color, traveled to New York City to visit some friends and congratulate them on their engagement (hooray Mark and Karin!), gotten my geno 2.0 results (very interesting!) and gotten some amazing new pieces for my wardrobe from both work and ModCloth.   Although I'd love to go on and on about how cool my results were from my genetic testing with National Geographic, I will give you a short synopsis.  I was given two "reference populations" which basically are the  people that are the most similar to you in terms of their DNA.  My most similar match was Finnish and my second match was Greek (that was a surprise!) But I will have to expand on that another time.
      The golden polka dot skirt has been on my love-list for quite a while on ModCloth and I finally decided to take the plunge when I received a gift card for Christmas.  The skirt runs small so I ordered the next size up and it fits perfect.  I love the length too, being taller it is hard sometimes to find "work appropriate" skirts and dresses, being on my feet in the store all day I do all sorts of moving and bending so finding a skirt this length is so lovely.  I am not a huge crop top wearer but I could not resist this comic book print and how fun it looked with the polka dots.  This look just could not wait for spring, so I layered it up with my acid wash jean jacket, and covered it with my favorite navy coat by Tofu (see below).   
    These past few weeks have been interesting.  Usually after the Holidays life seems to float into some kind of blank space, moving somewhat slow and filled with routine and bits of everyday life.  But actually these past few weeks have flown by, and I have been inspired to try new things, think about some future plans, and start moving on some goals I've had for a while. 

     I think most of all,  I have just felt inspired to be fully myself, to not hold anything back, to harness my full potential and see where it goes!  I want to keep sewing, keep designing, keep creating and taking risks with my style.  I am much happier when I continue to stretch myself and watch the results.  There are days where I just want to be lazy and days where I am full of ideas, but I think there are blossoming ideas in store; and I am excited to explore them further.
     You guys, I have so many fun outfit ideas for my next post!  I am excited to share my styling ideas and I know that we are far from Spring, but it's getting close and I can NOT wait for warmer weather.  Alas, the grass is always greener on the other side (well, it really is greener in March) but I will try to enjoy the coming weeks of winter as much as possible.  Lots of layering possibilities! :)
 Of course this outfit could not be complete without one more bow...

     I am happy I took a leap and experimented with my hair.  I have not dyed it at all for about three years now so I was a little nervous about the dip dye, originally it was supposed to be brighter but I am glad I started with a subtle change.  Next time I am going for pastel ;) 

Thanks for reading, until next time! 
xo, Alyssa