Thursday’s ethical style

I am obsessed with the combination of this dress with these shoes. The color reminds me of some beautiful stucco houses I have seen on my journeys. I’ve finished the outfit with simple jewelry and a subtley patterned clutch. I don’t pay much attention to hair jewelry but I think I might start trying a little harder after seeing this hair pin. How about you? Do you like the idea of matching your shoes with your dress? Do you have a strong hair accessories game?

  1. Dress
  2. Hairpin
  3. Clutch
  4. Bracelet
  5. Sneakers

xoxo Anna

 

 

Adventures on St. Croix

 

courtyard
The courtyard of my Airbnb

I recently spent a week in St. Croix for a wedding. I will always look back on this trip and smile, but not because everything went as planned. It was, in fact, a combination of minor frustrations, comical mishaps, interesting characters and truly heartwarming moments. It was the first time that I have traveled out of the country with a big group of friends. I’ve done a fair amount of solo travel and have enjoyed it, but there is something very special about being abroad with a bigger group. There may be more time spent organizing the group, but I loved being able to share adventures with some of my closest friends and meet new people as well. It was also very special to me the way that our group came together to handle inconveniences and potential problems with grace and kindness. Here are some of my favorite moments from the trip:

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Rainbow beach view
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Hello Mr. Crab!

Rainbow beach and this crab

Our first beach day was at Rainbow Beach. I rented a beach chair and an umbrella for $20 and proceeded to lounge and swim. There is a cute, beachy restaurant/bar where I got a piña colada and some fried shrimp. Everything was tasty! Overall it was a successful day and I would recommend this beach 🙂

 

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Fort Christianvearn
park
Limpricht Park

Exploring Christiansted

I’m a sucker for historic architecture, especially of the colonial, island variety. My Airbnb was in Christiansted and I really enjoyed walking around and looking at the beautiful old buildings. Fort Christianvearn (see the post just before this!) was just down the street and was a great place to wander. There was also a cute park down the street that had a lot of character.

beach
Beach at Hotel on the Cay

The beach at Hotel on the Cay

We went to this beach two days in a row. I went the first day on my own and liked it so much that I convinced other people to come. It’s a short (it felt like 30 seconds!) ferry ride to a cute island with a small beach. There is a hotel on the island but non-guests are asked not to explore the island beyond the beach and bar. The water was calm and clear and there was a bar/restaurant (great pineapple daiquiri) and a watersports stand where I rented a snorkel on the first day.

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There were so many gorgeous chickens!
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An iguana grabbing a maraschino cherry!

Good weather

Rain was predicted for our entire trip. There were a few storms, including one torrential downpour, but we also had plently of sun and beach-worthy weather. The weather even cooperated on the day of the wedding which was a blessing.

The wedding

The wedding itself was beautiful and intimate. It was on the beach at one of the island’s resorts. I was asked to perform the wedding ceremony and I enjoyed the process of getting ordained, writing a ceremony and performing the actual marriage. I am not a confident public speaker, but when the time came to do the ceremony I was reassured by the happiness of the moment and everything fell into place naturally. The wedding was followed by a dinner/reception. There were only about twenty people there in total and I really liked the intimacy and relaxed nature of a smaller wedding.

hammock
Relaxing before the wedding

 

A few frustrations…

Lack of transportation options

I would recommend that anyone traveling to St. Croix rent a car. A great deal of our group’s frustrations came from figuring out how to get people staying in a variety of locations to and from different places. The island is fairly big and places were farther away than they seemed they would be on the map. It was off-season and finding a cab after 6 pm (and sometimes even during the day) was difficult and expensive. I didn’t end up renting a car, but some of my friends did and I would say it saved the vacation. I will note that driving is on the left-hand side of the road and some roads have sharp turns, and steep inclines or declines. But I think these discomforts would be outweighed by the convenience of more control over your transportation.

Comically (?) strange lodging experiences

To the person, all of us had some sort of funny, annoying or awkward story about the places we stayed including strange Airbnb hosts, poor service, remote or hard-to-reach locations, flooding, and beaches overrun with seaweed. I’m purposely not including the names of the places as this is not meant to be a review of specific establishments and more of a commentary on the travel in general. When you think of spending a week on a tropical island, or really on any vacation, you have certain expectations built up in your mind about stress-free, perfect travel. But that’s not always how things play out. Previously, these imperfections would have weighed on me and affected the joy I took in the vacation, but this time I was able to focus on the good things and really enjoyed the time I spent with the other people on the trip. I think it was the difference between dwelling on what you imagined your trip would be rather than being present and thankful for the opportunity to share experiences and find beauty in unlikely places.

I would definitely return to St. Croix. I feel like I just got a small taste of what the island has to offer.

How about you? Have you ever taken a group vacation? And how do you handle unexpected trip snafus?

xoxo Anna

Floral at the fort

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Dress, ASOS Eco Edit, here; Earrings, Shashi via Cupcakes and Cashmere, here; Shoes, Aeropostale, ethical alternative here; Bracelet; Beacon’s Closet, similar here

Fort Christiansvaern was down the street from my Airbnb in Christiansted. It was spectacular and yellow and an awesome place to take photos. It was a windy day, obviously but I kind of like the windblown effect. I got this dress from ASOS Eco Edit and I am very pleased with the way it fits and feels! The pattern is really fantastic too, as you can see if you scroll down. When I ordered it I thought it was a cotton dress but it is really more silk adjacent which feels great on the skin. It has a ruffle running down the front which I think is a unique and fun detail and creates nice movement while walking. It was certainly the perfect dress for walking around in the caribbean heat. I think I felt more comfortable wearing a bold pattern because I was in a tropical environment. It just felt right! How about you? Do you like bold patterns? And/or do you feel more comfortable taking fashion risks while you are traveling? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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xoxo Anna

Bound for St. Croix

Hey everyone! It has been a whirlwind few days. I came home from Phoenix on Saturday and tomorrow I am headed to St. Croix for a wedding and some tropical fun. I have never been to St. Croix before, although I have been to St. John where I got stuck in a tropical storm! I love the tropics almost as much as I love the desert. There is something so magical about that aqua water. I have my own tiny Airbnb apartment located in Christiansted. I am looking forward to snorkeling, hanging out on the beach and discovering the history of the island. By the looks of the map, I will be in the heart of town and very close to the historic Fort Christiansvaern.

I will be taking the week off from posting to focus on spending time with friends and drinking things out of coconuts! If you don’t already, follow me on Instagram for snapshots of my vacay! I have plans for lots of content when I get back including a St. Croix travelogue and more ethical fashion looks.

Till then,

xoxo Anna

 

Thursday’s ethical style

I don’t know about you but I love striped shirts! I am always drawn to them and own several versions. This relaxed one from H&M’s Conscious line seems both comfortable and stylish. I paired it with a pair of distressed jeans also from H&M Conscious for a casual look that is still polished. I could see wearing this outfit to a weekend get together. It might even be okay as a work outfit for some of you depending on your office dress code. The ring and the necklace are from Favor Jewelry, an ethical jewelry company from Portland with a great selection of handmade, minimal pieces. I have my eyes on many of their items! Finally, I like the graphic imagery of this wallet, which is made from a recycled cement bag.

Here are the details for today’s look:

  1. Shirt, H&M Conscious
  2. Ring, Favor Jewelry
  3. Necklace, Favor Jewelry
  4. Jeans, H&M Conscious
  5. Shoes, Tom’s
  6. Wallet, Fair Trade Winds

Let me know what you think about today’s ethical style. Would you rock this look? And where?

xoxo Anna

P.S. This post was not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned. I’m just sharing my humble opinions 🙂

Five jumpsuits

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Jumpsuit, Target, here; Shoes, Catherine Malandrino; ethical alternative here; Earrings, Old Navy, ethical alternative here; Stud earrings; Madewell, here

Hi folks! So, I debated whether to post this jumpsuit as I bought it at Target (quintessential fast fashion) and I am trying to cut back/eliminate my dependence on this type of clothing. I was even thinking of returning the jumpsuit, but I just fell in love with it the first time I put it on. It is so comfortable and easy to wear (and take off :)). The floral pattern is lively, while the off-the-shoulder silhouette is dramatic. I have been resisting the culotte trend because I was not sure how it would look on me, but I am pleased with the way this version of the trend looks. To accessorize this look, I added hoop earrings and blush slides.

I think one of the major reasons I want to get away from fast fashion is my tendency to cycle through clothes and disregard the value of each item. In this case, I feel that I will be wearing this jumpsuit for a long time so I think that counts for something.

To further cosmically offset my Target purchase, I am highlighting four ethical jumpsuit alternatives below. These picks come from three stores that are new to me. AmourVert (which means “Green Love” in French) has gorgeous pieces that are sustainably produced. Cleobella features bohemian clothing and accessories that are handmade in Bali with recycled materials. Finally, River Island offers pieces designed in-house and boasts an ethical mindset toward manufacturing as part of their “firm belief that business can be both profitable and responsible.” This UK company is huge, which immediately makes me skeptical about their practices, but I was impressed with what they had to say on their site about their relationships with their manufacturers and their commitment to working against modern slavery. Check out the jumpsuits below and let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

FOURJUMPSUITS

1 here; 2 here; 3 here; 4 here

jumpsuit1

jumpsuit6

jumpsuit2

jumpsuit8

jumpsuit4xoxo Anna

Thursday’s ethical style

Today’s outfit pairs a cute pink tank top (which I actually bought recently) with a kicky skirt and sneakers. Tie a bandana around your neck to complete the look. I like how cheeky this outfit is. It’s sexy, yet playful. As always, the items for Thursday’s ethical style are sourced from retailers that report themselves to be ethical and/or sustainable. I have found that this can mean a lot of different things for each retailer, from engaging in fair labor practices to sourcing recycled materials to eco-friendly production practices. While this can all be a little confusing, I feel like it is a step in the right direction to start to consider these factors when it comes to the clothing we wear. Here are the links to today’s picks:

Sneakers, Tom’s

Skirt, ASOS Eco Edit

Tank top, ASOS Eco Edit

Bandana, Krochet Kids

Ikat Wallet, Fair Trade Winds

Necklace, Starfish Project

How about you? What do you think of today’s look? Are you trying to be more conscious of your fashion choices? What have your experiences been?

xoxo Anna

 

Six snaps

 

spines
Pretty but dangerous!

If you follow my blog, you know that I have been spending the month of July in Phoenix visiting family. I thought I would share some snapshots that I have taken during my visit. This will be a recurring series where I share interesting snapshots and moments that don’t really fit into a set category. As you can see, I’ve been doing a lot of baking and cooking, observing local animals (chipmunks, lizards, quails) and plants (so many kinds of cacti!), and shopping at the local Goodwill. Every time I come out here I try to spot a rattlesnake, but no luck so far. I look under every bush when I go on my daily walks because I feel like that is where I am going to see one. On past trips I have seen coyotes and javelinas, but never a snake! Wish me luck 🙂

rolls
Homemade dinner rolls
prickly_pear
Love the pastel shades on this prickly pear cactus
cactusfeet
Denim and red nail polish
pie
I made two strawberry rhubarb pies!

Desert blooms

desertoutfit
Shirt, souvenir from Mexico, cute ethical alternative here; skirt, Calvin Klein, thrifted, ethical alternative here; Sunnies; bought at drugstore, ethical alternative here; boots, Nine West, thrifted, ethical alternative, here; Earrings, Madewell, here

Hello from Phoenix! Even though the heat is crazy here, I still love the desert. I have always felt very connected to and energized by it. I like the stillness and observing the plants and animals that are so different from what I am used to in New York.

I’m so happy to have a new outfit post to share with you today. This outfit seemed like a natural fit for the desert landscape. Something about the embroidered flowers on the shirt reminds me of the cactus flowers I have been seeing. The denim and the boots give it a slight cowgirl look, which I am not mad about. I got this shirt in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico a few years ago. It has surprised me how functional it has been. It was one of those items of clothing that just feels like home, or the clothing equivalent of home. The Goodwill here in Mesa, Arizona has been very good to me 🙂 I found this skirt there. It was weirdly long until I cut it down to midi length, and I plan to let the hem fray naturally. The boots were another Goodwill find. I think they will be just as good for New York winters as they are for desert walks. I made a few other fun finds which I will be sharing with you soon. For all these pieces, I have offered ethical alternatives from around the web. How about you? Do you have any favorite clothing items you have bought on your travels?

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desertoutfit2

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desertoutfit3

xoxo Anna

Thursday’s ethical style

Today’s ethical style combines a cute leopard t-shirt from ASOS Eco Edit with a simple, pleated skirt from Everlane. A colorful headband, crystal bracelet and stylish sandals, gives this classic look a little flair.

  1. Leopard t-shirt
  2. Headband
  3. Leather card holder
  4. Pleated skirt
  5. Crystal bracelet
  6. Sandals

If you follow my blog, you know that I am in Phoenix for the month of July. It’s been hard to get a photo shoot in since my go-to photographer (my awesome sister) is 3000 miles away. But I think I have convinced my Dad to take some shots, so hopefully that will be coming soon. It has also been a challenge to come up with ethically-sourced outfits. I had some outfits planned before I left New York, but the clothes that I ordered didn’t look right. This week, I broke down and went to Target. It felt like an old friend and I got some pieces I really love, but ended up feeling bad about it and not wanting to post those clothes on the blog. Lesson learned, I guess.

I am finding that being more thoughtful about my purchases takes more time and results in a less spontaneous shopping experience, which is something that I am having a little trouble getting used to. Most of the ethical clothing I buy is from online retailers, so I also miss the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Still I think there is value in being more methodical about the clothing that I purchase both from a budget aspect and an emotional aspect. I think, deep down, I desire a connection to each item of clothing I wear. So when I get back to New York, I plan to purge and reassess my current wardrobe, which I actually very excited about. I think I will use some simplified version of the Marie Kondo method, but also put thought into the use of each piece and reintroduce myself to the clothes I own. I will be sure to blog about the process. It’s nice to know I will be coming home to a specific project as well.

Final note: If you like cacti and pie, you should follow me on Instagram 🙂

XOXO Anna