Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thunderbird buckle + Velvet shirt dress + Minnetonka mocs + Old Navy leggings + beaded accessories = mySTYLE march {25 wks pregnant}

dress: Velvet shirt dress. I bought this about five years ago from a little boutique in Durango called Blu. It is non-maternity and I was far from pregnant with Elle West when I bought it. But, I have used it for two pregnancies now, and everywhere in between! It's as soft and cozy as it looks and can be dressed up or down. I didn't find anything quite like it available by Velvet these days, but am wondering if the ruching in this adorable dress would allow for my pregnant belly. I might have to give it a try and let you know! I've never had anything by Velvet that I didn't love.
leggings: Old Navy low-rise maternity legging in heather charcoal. These are soft, a nice medium weight, and hard to beat for the price. I have them in black jack, too, but prefer the fabric of the gray much more {not sure why it matters, but it BIG time does}. Buy them here.
shoes: Minnetonka - Feather Moc - in taupe. I bought these at a truck stop on our way home from TX, this time last year, and LOVE them. They are a great house shoe & make for a lovely seasonal transition shoe {spring/fall}. I live in sandals in the summertime, but it was so nice to have this option last year on chilly summer days that I bet I'll never be without a pair of mocs again! These are even better this year on account of being sufficiently broken in {there was a knot that bothered me last year, but it no longer does, and they have always feel heavenly otherwise}. Although most of my feathers have been pulled out {we might mostly blame a certain, pretty, little girl with the middle name West...}, I adore these shoes still and will wear them until they wear through somewhere. You can get your own pair here.

sunglasses: you only catch a glimpse of them in this month's post, but you can find out more about them in last month's if you'd like.
belt: vintage 40s tooled leather belt, originally owned by G's grandma. Thunderbird, Navajo beaded, buckle from Toh-Atin in Durango. {it is my understanding that the Thunderbird is not a symbol original/typical of Navajo Native Americans, but that this buckle is Navajo beaded}. Find out more about Toh-Atin's beaded buckles here.
bracelet: hummingbird cuff by Teri Greeves. You can find out more about the amazing artist, and buy it from Sorrel Sky in Durango here. Toh-Atin also carries work by Teri Greeves.
rings: find details in January's style post here.
anklets: Pretty by JL - Wish Bracelet anklets - now available for customization on Etsy here.

All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 
{click on each image in this post for a better view}

Happy, happy, HaPpY spring to you!!! Most of you know what this time of year means to me - H.A.P.P.Y. {!!!!}

Even though we, here in Colorado, still have months of uncertain weather patterns ahead of us, we are at least headed my very favorite direction! I LOVE summer in Colorado! I LOVE that I'm having a summer baby! I LOVE ditching the layers, heavy coats, hats, gloves, snow clothes for the kids, and as much as I love boots, I love the ease, comfort & style of sandals. Yep, this here fair skinned, freckled, takes-five-minutes-to-sunburn & doesn't-love-to-swim girl loves summer. And guess what, in 3-4 very short months {or very long...depending on your optimism level} this summer loving girl gets to drink beer. And margaritas. Yes sir or ma'am, I'm pretty excited about all of it.

As gitty as I am about the season, today is the perfect day to be sitting inside blogging and drinking my second hot cup of coffee {usually my second of the day is iced}. The wind was so bad last night that it blew out our furnace's pilot light {again}. As well, it blew the tarp off what's left of our wood pile. It also rained and lightly snowed last night; as a result getting our fire wood wet. I decided to leave the tarp off this morning to let it dry out. It probably did dry out some. But then it started raining and snowing again after noon. Every other time I look out the window, it is blowing snow. I finally put my carhartt & gloves on to tackle re-covering + bringing in some wood. I was smart enough to wear a sweater today, but my feet are freezing in my mocs. The wood wasn't too wet, I seem to have a hot fire started. Needless to say, I'm over building fires but am thankful to have one today. Anyway, happiest spring to you and yours. In July come over before noon for coffee, after noon for a beer, and after 7 - meet me at Tequila's - for a margarita. I'm SO ready.

So, about this month {I'm super chatty today}, it's honestly been a little rough for me. "Is she" or "Is she not" pregnant are no longer questions onlookers are asking themselves. I am officially wearing leggings more than jeans, and my pregnant feet prefer not to wear boots. Luckily, the weather has been {for the most part} accommodating to my preferences/needs. At any rate, a couple months ago when I finally cleaned out my closet - leaving only pregnancy appropriate/adaptable clothing - feels like a distant memory. Instead of easily reaching for something to wear, I find myself getting "creative" again. As much I enjoy being creative sometimes with my style, it becomes tiresome to daily find something to wear that both looks nice and is comfortable. As a result, some days it's either one or the other and not both.

I love this month's style post because I was dreading it. I had no idea what I was going to wear that was appropriate for the season, and it ended up effortlessly falling together. That's sort of the way I roll. Same is true for the location of the photo shoot. So far, all the posts have been shot in Bayfield. This month's {and last's} have been shot within a few hundred yards of my house. I always admire the old buildings of concrete & barn wood, from my big back windows and yard, that sit vacant in the lot behind ours. There is one that Gabe always refers to as the "chicken house" that looks particularly interesting to me from here. I decided that I'd venture, with the kids, across the smashed down cattails to investigate the chicken house up close. When I got over there I saw how cool it truly was {and dirty}. There is an old barn, slaughter house, and several other structures that are still barely standing; in addition to the chicken house.

We were very certainly trespassing. The original house has been kept up and is rented out. But, the other structures have been left to the elements and wild life. Esther has a way of capturing the beauty of a thing or place or person, or all three together. I was fairly certain she'd love all that old stuff and she did. I was lucky enough to pose in the setting.

One of the coolest darn things I found when I first went to check out the chicken house, was the wall lined with falling down tins, with miscellaneous words on them, in what I think/thought was a barn of some sort. Esther thought that the space may have been converted into a school room, which could explain the words on the wall. What's crazy about the words to me, are the fonts they're in. I have no idea how old they are, how they were made, or why they're there. But, I love them. And Esther got an amazing picture of me standing in that room. The format of my blog doesn't do viewing the photos justice...I strongly encourage you to click on {the top photo especially} the photos for a better/larger view of the detail in them.

In the third photo, I'm standing inside the chicken house, in the fourth photo is an unknown structure, and Elle West and I are sitting in front of the slaughter house in the fifth. In the sixth photo, you can see the reflection of Elle West & Brody {one of Esther's boys} climbing the cattle chute that ultimately leads to the slaughter house...a little bit morbid to think about, but the setting is cool nonetheless.

I hope you are as excited about spring as I am, and enjoyed this month's post!


Monday, March 17, 2014

photo love :: 20

noun--strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties :: an assurance of affection :: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration 
verb--to hold dear :: to like or desire actively :: to take pleasure in :: to thrive in
{Source definition, in part, merriam-webster}

love… his perspective & that he showed her :: her casual demeanor :: that baby bump :: the female body & what it can do :: the birds & the bees :: that she feels pretty :: their love

all my love, JL

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Note from the Universe :: 6

A nice little reminder Note from the Universe, just replace my name with yours...

A coincidence? 

Jenny, do you think it's just a coincidence that you look exactly as you do? 

Do you think your height, the color of your eyes, or the sound of your voice were accidents? 

Do you think your insights into life, your gifts of perception, or your sense of humor were the result of random genetics? 

No. You are exactly as you now are, with every freckle, trait, and charm, because they all added up to how you could make the biggest difference with your life in time and space, while having the most fun. 

In appreciation,
    The Universe

Mike Dooley writes these wonderfully inspirational notes. You can find him on facebooktwitter, and subscribe to receive your own daily notes via email.

...hope you're having so much fun, JL

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free People pullover + Miss Me Jeans + Costa sunglasses + TOMS wedges + Origami Owl = mySTYLE february {19 wks pregnant}

sweater: Free People pullover. No longer available. I purchased this during my little shopping spree at Nectar 2+ years ago. But, check out what's available at Free People now here, and a similar combo to what I'm wearing here.
top: Old Navy maternity tee, similar to this.
jeans: Miss Me boot cut jeans. Mine are over a year old and the pocket pattern is no longer available. But, these are similar. Shop all Miss Me Jeans here.
shoes: TOMS :: Black Jacquard Desert Wedge - No longer available. Similar are these and these. Oh, but check out these beauties for summer…I see them in my near future! {for fun, have a look at this post where I featured my TOMS wedges last year…and at how AWFUL my pictures are! I love you Esther!}

sunglasses: Costa KC's in Rose Gold {small fit}. I'm officially in LOVE with Costa Sunglasses - shop their awesome style variety for women here.
necklace: Origami Owl over the heart, Living Locket. Pictured is a necklace with this and this locket and a variety of charms & plates; on this chain.
rings, bracelets & manicure: Find details in January's style post here.

All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 
{click on each image in this post for a better view}

Happiest February to you!! I hope you've had a fantastic month! We took these photos a few weeks ago and, like last month's, I couldn't be more happy with the results. Every mama {every woman, actually} should have pretty pictures taken {and monthly, for a year, if at all possible!}. I believe with every ounce of me that every woman, no matter her shape, size, or age can {and should} be the subject of a stunning photo regularly throughout her life. Consider them little reminders of her beauty; so that she never has any doubts. Undoubtedly, the photographer plays a huge hand in capturing her beauty. Esther laid down in the grass for a couple of this month's shots and she loved every minute of it. She takes a photo op and turns it into a work of art. Some people are just plain good at what they do. I'd not ever thought of laying down in the grass to take someone's picture, and was a little horrified when she did it for me. But, with all my heart...thanks Esther, for capturing my pretty this month :)

So since we took these a few weeks ago, I'm a bit further along in my pregnancy than 19 weeks. As a result, I've already had my 20 week ultrasound and found out that we are having another healthy little girl! We've had a name picked out for some time and just needed confirmation to begin using it. I'm not shy about choosing or sharing our unique name style, and am thrilled to share this news with you! Joining True Gatlin {boy, age 5} and Elle West {short for Gabrielle, girl, age 2} in July, is the one and only…Evley Love!! We are all so excited to meet her, but are enjoying my growing belly for now ;)

Lastly, how about those Colorado blue skies?! You'd hardly know it was January & February around here {see last month's pics}. Skies like ours are tough to beat, but I'm definitely curious to see what March & April have in store for us!! Well, and May & June for that matter! But, I wouldn't trade sunny winters and snowy springs for a thing…it keeps our style on its toes ;) What have you been wearing this month?


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Day coupon code + holiday overstock SALE!

Enter the code LOVE25 at checkout to receive 25% OFF all orders over $50 in the Pretty by JL Etsy Shop!
{now through Friday, 2/21}

Happy Valentines Day!!! I hope you've gotten to spend it with people you love! I'm fortunate enough to do that everyday and today was no exception. We don't do a ton in the way of celebrating this holiday…hence the coupon code through next week instead of trying to push gifts for today! This way, if you'd like a little treat for yourself just because, you can have a deal while you're at it :)

Good news, I also finally got around to listing the holiday Wish Bracelet overstock and marking it down! Have a look, shop & receive 50% OFF here
{not yet familiar with our Wish Bracelets? learn more about them here}

Love, JL

ps- your coupon code for 25% off goes toward sale items, too!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lucy B.'s Apothecary :: fragrance & gloss LOVE

{Products, People, Places}

It all began with the above little roll-on perfume {click on image for details}...The day before I gave birth to Elle West I was granted a lovely evening to myself, and it would be the last of those I'd enjoy for years. My Mom was already in town helping me prepare for Elle's arrival. Gabe was out-of-town; he got home just in time. Anyway, the night before she came, my Mom stayed home with True while I enjoyed a night out on the Durango town. For me, that consisted of a dinner at Carver's Brewery where I enjoyed my pregnant go-to food of choice, their Portobello quesadilla and raspberry iced tea; I went shopping at a darling boutique called Nectar, and I went to a movie. I saw the latest version of Foot Loose and loved every second of it. I also loved every second of being alone, with no need to consider or care for anyone else.

One of the items I picked up during my micro shopping spree at Nectar was Lucy B.'s royal peony rose & mandarin musk roll-on. I'd fondled and tested the sweet little perfume before, but hadn't bought any until then. 

I've always loved fragrance. My obsession with it was right there with my love for my first pair of white Kenny Rogers cowboy boots, and the purse department of any store that carried them. {do purses have their own department? anyway…} The first fragrance I used that I can remember very fondly was Tinkerbell. My Mom would buy it for me at Toys-R-Us. After that, my Grandma kept my supply of Avon's Imari stocked. As I got older I turned to trendy designer fragrances such as Exclamation, Sunflower, all things Elizabeth Arden, CKOne, Obsession, Eternity, a mix of Dior, and a variety of others that could be found on the cosmetics floor of major department stores. Finally, in my twenties, I settled for my tried and true favorites. They took up prime real-estate on my vanity - Opium and Channel No. 5.

Another thing happened in my twenties. I began using fragrance less and less often. It didn't exactly fit into my new Durango lifestyle. I mountain biked five days a week and worked for UPS. I was introduced to Diesel jeans, and cared more about what I wore in the way of clothes, than scent, when I happened not to be wearing a brown uniform. When I did in fact reach for fragrance, I'd dab on one of my old favorites.

Last week I threw my last two bottles of Opium and Channel No. 5 in the trash. They were probably close to ten years old, and I've probably worn them less than ten times in the past seven years. I've also used less lip gloss in the past decade than in the two before, and by close to 75%. And, that infatuation was right there with perfume...beginning with the one and only Lip Smackers. Why the shift this past decade? There are a lot of reasons. My lifestyle has changed and transformed immensley since my early twenties. Most of it I won't get into here, but part of it has been the sensitivity I've developed to artificial fragrance {or, just that I've finally began to notice it}. 

I don't use regular brands of dish soap or laundry detergent anymore. I cannot tolerate the smell of artificially fragranced candles or air fresheners, and I absolutely will not consume artificial sweeteners…taste and smell are connected, right? The less processed and the more natural food is, the better. Well, it's absolutely true of cosmetics as well. Instead of over thinking many of these things, or trying too hard to shop natural & organic, I simply buy what I gravitate toward. I don't buy something that I'm going to turn my nose up to. Even if the surface smell is nice or the taste is good. It's deeper than that, it's how the smell or taste makes me feel. Do you know what I mean? Does it feel healthy and clean and invigorating? Or does it feel yucky?

Since I haven't worn fragrance daily for years, that little peony rose & mandarin musk roll-on lasted me over two. I used it sparingly, and always felt pampered and wonderful about myself when I wore it. Once it ran out, toward the end of last year, I kept the bottle on my dresser. In a few desperate attempts, I rolled the dry roller on my wrist and held the roller to my nose to capture any lingering scent that would escape the bottle. The little shop where I purchased the roll-on, Nectar, has long since been out of business. Finally, a few weeks after Christmas, I Googled Lucy B. Cosmetics...ready to put this odd and unnecessary desperation to an end. 

About a week later, I threw away my empty roller and replaced it with a full size, 1.7 fl. oz., eau de parfum! I also added a Lucy B.'s tinted lip gloss in beatnik…I did NOT even know that they had lip gloss until I visited their website!!! I wanted to go crazy shopping via their site when I saw the variety of goodies that they make! But, I stopped with my parfum, lip gloss, and a gift for a friend.

Above is a close up of the goodies I received! I LOVE pretty and thoughtful packaging. I was already sold on their super pretty bottles and boxes, but I loved receiving their watercolor heart print "with love" note. Oh, and what's that on the far right?!!...I didn't mention purchasing a roll-on perfume. Hmmm…I checked my invoice for some sort of mistake. They sent me a FREE royal green fig & vanilla woods perfume oil roll-on, and it smells FABULOUS! I was/am in HEAVEN with this stuff! The last roll-on lasted me two years, but I have a feeling that this batch {although there is far more perfume} will not. My fragrance obsession is officially back. I feel naked if I don't put this stuff on daily. I won't get into smell descriptions with you because that will only make this post longer. But, let's go back to the whole feeling thing, shall we? Not only does the smell of the perfume and the feel of the gloss not make me feel icky, but it does makes me feel beautiful, confident, and like I want to inhale the fragrance with my whole entire being!!! Sound crazy? Corny?

Well, let's just say I didn't mind being a corn ball in the first place. BUT, after reviewing Lucy B.'s site more thoroughly in preparation for this post, I found out just how good {and up my alley} this company and their products are >>--->

Remember how I said that I didn't try too hard to shop organic? And that I just bought things that I gravitated towards, or that felt good. I didn't know what Lucy B.'s was when I bought that first roll-on. I just liked it. I liked the smell. I liked the bottle…it reminded me of my first love, Tinkerbell {not that that is anywhere NEAR organic!}. 

Well, so here's the inspiration behind Lucy B.'s Cosmetics >>--->

Australian Inspiration
Lucy and Marco spent 12 years living in Australia, falling in love with the natural resources, healing atmosphere, brilliant people and unpolluted lands. They discovered for themselves the amazing emotional, spiritual and physical benefits of the Australian Bush Flowers.

A passion to pass on the ancient knowledge from the land of Australia, combined with their experience working within the high-profile beauty and fashion industries, created the understanding, knowledge, energy and connections behind the exciting, fresh Australian Range, Lucy B.Cosmetics: The Natural Australian Alchemy of Beauty & Healing. 

MmmHm. That certainly is basis for the beginning of a love affair with this company. Let's just go ahead and seal the deal with their vision, sound good?

Our Vision:
is to balance image and style with heart & soul. 

Aahhh…..great BIG inhale and very dreamy exhale. Their vision is speaking to people like me.

There's more amazingness on their site, but I'll stop. I will tell you though, that my obsession is back and this time it's a loyal one. I'm fairly certain that, so long as Lucy B.'s keeps things up in the fashion of which they've started, I'm a customer of theirs for life. Oh. Last thing. Their products are made in the USA.

By the way, this is what you read each time you apply your Lucy B.'s gloss…

I know. I know. Sometimes you just find amazing companies that make amazing products, and also package them perfectly. If you give Lucy B.'s Cosmetics a try, or already have, tell me what you love in the comments!

1} Like Lucy B.'s on Facebook here.

2} See the gloss in action on Instagram here.

3} Shop Lucy B.'s Apothecary here.

4} Try this code at checkout for 25% off 
{let me know in the comments if it still works}



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chimayo jacket + Frye boots + old Studebaker truck + chevron French manicure + holey stone pendant = mySTYLE january {16 wks pregnant}

coat: vintage 40s Chimayo jacket {…passed on to me from G's mom. His Grandmother is the original owner.}
top: vintage 70s or 80s men's shirt {I hijacked this treasure from my Dad's closet in 1995… my Aunt made it for him.}
jeans: Hudson Skinnies - unavailable {close to five years old… cut like these, but with waist & pocket detail similar to these.}
boots: Frye Daisy Dukes - unavailable {I've had these for a decade, and they've been available in different shades until last year. Now they make similar styles here & here.}

rings: right hand - Jeanette Dale turquoise & sterling silver from Toh-Atin Art Gallery in Durango. left hand - Roland Begay custom made Story Teller ring in rose, yellow & white gold. Ordered through Toh-Atin.}
bracelets: right - Jacob Morgan cuff in turquoise & sterling from Toh-Atin. left - Pretty by JL charm wrap in dark gray silk + sterling.
necklace: stone with natural hole found and given to me by G in West Texas {more info on such stones here}; hung from gold chain.
manicure: chevron French manicure, in OPI gel, by Natacia at Body Brake Salon.

All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 
{click on each image in this post for a better view}

Hello, and Happy New Year!!! I was slow to emerge from 2013 but am indeed here in 2014, alive and well. Esther of E. Lee Photography and I have collaborated this year to bring you monthly style posts on the PRETTYblog, and you've just seen the first! I couldn't be happier with the result.

Toward the end of last year, I was scrolling through the blog to see what the heck all went on. It was fun and fine, but I was disappointed in my style posts. Nearly every photo that hits this blog is a phone photo taken by me. That isn't likely to change in 2014 either, which is why I contacted Esther to see if she'd be willing to work with me on this. Nice photos are a huge part of quality blogs these days. I'm not so interested in taking nice photos myself, unless of course I luck into one from my phone. It just isn't on my list of things to do. I've always thought of carrying a camera {+ taking the time out to actually take a picture} as a chore {um, not to mention I don't know what I'm doing and don't really care to learn}. I'd rather just enjoy the moment with my own eyes and without fumbling with something to capture a moment that I then…ultimately miss! However, I love nice photography. I appreciate it immensley and very much enjoy looking at it. So, at least once a month in 2014, quality + professional + pretty photos will be featured on the blog via the category mySTYLE. All of them will be thanks to Esther.

Style wise - I'm not claiming for a minute to be fashionable, or in style, necessarily. Hence the title of the category mySTYLE… these posts are me and what I like for better or worse. A lot of the clothes and accessories you see here will be old. I will do my best to share links for what I can or to find something similar. Some of them will be pricey and some cheap. I have a decidedly eclectic take on fashion, but with an undeniable country western edge. I've lived in Arizona/Colorado my entire life, my daughter's middle name is West just because G & I love the nostalgia surrounding the Old West, and our son is named after a gun. This blog, including my style, is simply us as a whole. I hope you enjoy it. Regardless, Esther's photos will be worth seeing. If you're at some point interested in commissioning her work you may contact her via email: eleephotography[at]yahoo[dot]com. You may also see more examples of her work and connect with her on Facebook here.

In closing {my apologies for the lengthiness of this one, but I want you to know what's going on!}…a super cool thing about these monthly style posts {which include pretty pictures}, is that they will also include a progression of my third, and very likely final, pregnancy. There is little else that makes a mama-to-be feel better about herself than capturing the beauty of a moment during the magical and short time that is pregnancy. So often during pregnancy we can feel frumpy or swollen, are tired or sick, or have peanut butter or some variation of body fluid from our other children on our clothes. A pretty picture of ourself can be a nice reminder that who we are still exists, and that it does while our body is so rapidly changing into something that we don't recognize. Better yet, it freezes a moment in time that we would otherwise forget. We'd forget that while we might not have felt amazing, we were beautiful. Inevitably, the memories of moments like those {because they pale in comparison} will be replaced by the amazingness of what is growing inside us and the life that that miracle will soon live. Yet in the photo, the memory remains.

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