Sunday, November 30, 2014

Schoolgirl Charm

 In school, one of my favorite subjects was history and more specifically historical architecture. I love visiting old houses and buildings and imagining all the many lives that have lived, worked and visited those places. I love seeking out mysteries, great love stories, or unheard tragedies. So it's no surprise that the location for this shoot today was an one room schoolhouse in my hometown (and though I tried all the doors and windows - the place is bolted shut!) I enjoyed walking around the building and reading a short blurb on when and why it was built. 
The schoolhouse was also a great backdrop for today's outfit. Today I wore one of my favorite sweaters from Madewell - a boxier cardigan with a hidden design mixed into the tan and red prints... Bunnies! While I love this sweater, I've always had trouble putting an outfit together with it because it does have a more unique fit. So pairing it with a more tailored top and bottoms gave it some schoolgirl charm. Adding the black uniform bow was the freshly sharpened pencils to my new notebook.

This is my "Career Bag."
Some of you may know that about nine months ago I was offered a position at my current employment and had to make the difficult decision to leave Seattle and back to Grand Rapids. Since my sister, Allie, was SOOOOOO so so excited to have me home, she thought of me immediately when she saw this Dooney&Burke briefcase at a local thrift shop. And it was a great welcome home gift, to bring with me to my first day of work:)

Shirt - Banana Republic
Sweater - Madewell
Jeans - Joe Fresh
Bag - Gifted/Thrifted
Shoes - 1000 Mile Wolverine

Photos courtesy of

Naomi Joy

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's OK to be Cliche : Chicago

Welcome to the Windy City: 
In my 23 (almost 24) years of life - 18 of those living in Grand Rapids - I never really got to be a tourist in Chicago. And since I moved back to Michigan for my job I have been able to visit the city a couple times for work. This has only given me a small taste of the windy city, and made me want to come back for more. Talking to my good friend, Rebecca, about this our conversation went a little like this:

Me: Hey, we should plan a weekend to Chicago sometime
R: You want to go [x] weekend?
Me: Yeah, I'm free! (Note.. I was thinking this was a hypothetical trip, and would require a little more work to make happen)
R: Ok! I just booked a hotel for us!
Me: What?

Thus began planning a cliche chicago weekend, where I got to see, eat and shop all the popular Chicago stops.
What's the most touristy thing to do in Chicago you ask?
Visit the Bean of course.
Double tourist points if you take a selfie in the Bean. Score.

Chicago gangsters... because you know, Al Capone was a gangster... and Chi-town was his stomping grounds.

Typical Chicago Eats: See Gino East notes below

[iphone pics - thanks in part to a friend with a far superior phone than mine]

 From top to bottom:
  • Sitting in the graffiti-ed up Gino's East Pizza. This place was the We got a lot of suggestions to go to Giordano's... which would have been a great option if it didn't include waiting in line for an hour outside... at 3 in the afternoon! Means it's good right? Well, let me tell you, if Gino East's was exceptional, Giordano's must be out of this world. We'll compare in our next visit.
  • That is my imitation of a Dolce & Gabanna model - bushy black flowers on your head are totally in. [If you're seriously interested.. these blackened flowers were found at H&M]
  • Ok... that IS a bathroom selfie with my good friend Rebecca. Yes. I know, I know. But bathroom selfies aren't as bad if you take them with someone else right?? Anyways, this was before meeting up with some friends in Wicker Park - a great place to go out for a younger crowd.
  • Bottom pictures - we got one good one, but it took awhile. Apparently in the first one we took I had a Tyra Bank's forehead. It was quite hilarious.

For my next visit (which will hopefully be in the near future) I'll need some local favorites away from the tourist destinations. Care to share?

Naomi Joy

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Snowfall

 This past week western Michigan experienced its first snowfall - and while it's a beauty when it first comes.. it looks like it's here to stay for the next six months. Yikes. But I put on my dancing shoes and headed out for a quick outfit post!
A bonus of the snowfall is the Holiday spirit it has put me in - the Hallmark channel has been on all day with a constant flow of cheesy romantic Christmas comedies, while my sewing machine was buzzing along making some fun seasonal DIY projects that will be shared SOON.

 These boots are the softest leather, and have broken in fabulously. Highest recommendations.

I noticed someone the other day wearing a brooch on their sweater, and I thought to myself. Hm. She doesn't look like an old lady. And that actually looks pretty cool! And you may notice that I have an affinity for chunky necklaces with my sweaters and blouses, so this offers up a new way to wear something shiny. So I stuck one on my Madewell sweater as well:)
Question for you all though. How do you pronounce "Brooch"?
My mom is always making fun of how I say it which is along the lines of {Br-ooh-cha}
While she says it like {Broach} (Like how you "broach a subject")
What is the correct answer?! If I continue to wear this piece of jewelry I definitely want to say it right.

Sweater: Madewell- but bought through Twice Consignment
Blouse - Thrifted from Georgie's Consignment Store
Jeans - Joe Fresh
Shoes - Wolverine 1000 Mile Arc Boot

Naomi Joy

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vestifus Festivus: Fur Vest DIY

 Happy Fall Vestifus! Festive Vestisives. I love this new fur trend - and knew as soon as I saw it popping up on Pinterest that this was a style I could easily replicate and make my own. I found my fabric online at (great prices, but make sure you have a few things to get at once as shipping is free only on orders over $30!) Check out below for some instructions on how to make your own fur vest - it was surprisingly easy (especially since fur is furry and hides your mistakes;))

Anyways, this morning my mom and I got to catch up finally with some thrifting, shopping, and of course coffee. One of our favorite consignment shops in Ada is Georgie's Consignment - run by two sisters it has a huge selection and range of ages/sizes/styles/everything and some of the best brand names. The best part is, my mom and I both bring some of our old clothing that doesn't fit/we've worn too much and by consigning it with Georgie, it seems like we're shopping for free! You should definitely check them out, even though I was tempted to keep it a secret...

Of course a coffee stop is a must for me and my mom - Nonna's in east town had delicious chocolate chip pumpkin muffins to top off a successful morning.

I found it easiest to make the pattern for my vest by choosing a vest that I love already and tracing around it on newspaper to cut out and follow. The best part of a fur vest, is that its so furry! And often covers up a lot of mistakes, but basically, your main seams will be the side seams and the shoulder seams. Because there is so much fur, lining isn't necessary as the raw edges will be hidden - but if you're feeling ambitious, cut out the same pattern pieces for a lining. A tip I received when sewing fur is to use basting stitches - this allows you to pull fur through so its not sewn under.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Feeling Inspired - Winter Hat DIY's

 I'm feeling especially inspired, sitting by a warm fire, sipping hot chocolate with mini marshmellows, after pursuing some of the on trend warm styles for the coming snowy season. I love the look of a beanie, but don't always feel like the styles is done up enough for me - I like to keep my look clean and polished.... but who can say no to a hat and yes to an extra 15 minutes sleeping in, skipping the shower? The extra sleep is too tempting.

Last year,  I made my own Blinged Beanie (picture and link to DIY below), and still love the style but may have to make another version of it to switch it up. But I'm especially excited about these netted beanies - they have a bit of 40's or 50's glam to such an easily worn hat. Very subtle, and very do-able. I always love looking for DIY inspiration, let me know if you were inspired by these winter styles, I'd love to see what you made!
Check out my tutorial from last year's Winter Hat DIY: Blinged Beanie

Naomi Joy