What are you thinking about lately?

What's going on in my head lately  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every week there is something that is swimming around in my mind. Actually it’s probably more like half a dozen or more things swimming around. From meeting deadlines to creating new pitch ideas to finding furniture for our house, my thoughts are an endless creative swirl. We all have things that wander and swirl through our minds: things that makes us smile when we wake up. So, today I wanted to share a few things I have been thinking about this week.

The Desert: 
I know I have talked a lot about the desert, but this topic isn’t going away anytime soon. I was so inspired while we were driving in the desert heat that I am now wondering what the desert looks like in other places within the United States. The more I travel within our country the more I want to explore. That being said, I saw this awesome post from Travel Mindset about New Mexico. The photo I found of White Sands National Monument struck me. It is so gorgeous. I cannot stop thinking about visiting one day. I hope it’s sooner than later!

Pretty Tablescapes:
As holiday season approaches, I have a lot of shoots that involve food (Forget the presents. Let’s party with family and friends!). The stream of shoots begins next week. I am feeling a little anxious about how to make this all happen especially since we only have an outdoor table. When I have a vision in my head, I always worry that the photo content won’t come out how I imagine. With our resources being scattered due to the move, I am trying to wrap my brain around what is possible to capture. I will say that Mike and I are getting better with translating our vision through the camera’s lens with limited resources. I know the stress is natural because it is my work. I know that everyone has these feelings. The great thing about working with scattered resources is that I get to discover new, beautiful things for looks and ideas. I am really loving the linens from notPerfect Linen Company. So dreamy!!

Skateboarding:
I know this seems out of the blue, but I have been thinking about getting a board. Maybe Mike and I will treat ourselves at Christmas. I had a board in college and got rid of it because my soccer coach found out. He gave me a lecture about my scholarship and my responsibility to the team. He was totally right, but I have always had dreams of boarding. Lately this desire has been a lot stronger. I am blaming it on our recent trip to the West Coast. Do any of you board? I have been so obsessed with the idea that I even started a Pinterest board. Out of control, right?!

Our Studio:
This space gets me out of bed every morning. I dream of what it is going to become over the next 6-8 months as we bring it to life. Currently, it looks like this, but this month we are beginning the planning process with our friends at In Situ Studio in Raleigh to devise natural light solutions, functionality, and exterior aesthetics. Mike and I have been pinning like crazy to our studio board as we begin to narrow down what we need this space to offer. Hard work and patience are going to come in handy as we move toward completing this part of our business.

What have you been thinking and dreaming about this week? I have a list a mile long. It includes hiring a contractor to sister beams in our basement. It’s not super exciting or worthy of an image for the above graphic, but it does keep me up some nights thinking about the beams under our bed…haha. I would love to hear what you are up to this week and what is keeping you awake at night or making you get up in the morning.

Hope your week is going well my friends!

Images via: Desert from Travel Mindset  |  Table Setting from notPerfect Linens  |  Skate boarder from Tarafirma  |  Clothes Rack from Wide Eyed Legless

PS. I am working on a post about our house buying experience as two business owners. If you have any specific questions or thoughts please let me know! I plan to be as open as possible about everything we went through when purchasing our home. I feel like there is so much out there that no one tells you, so I want to shed some light and give you a look at our before photos of the house.

Megan Styled: The Jogger

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every season I try to add a few pieces to my closet that bring depth to my wardrobe. This season I have become obsessed (just ask Mike) with wearing joggers. Can we all admit that similar to when we realized we could pull off a long shirt or an oversized sweater with leggings to a client meeting, we have once again been given a gift from the fashion gods to enjoy more comfort by wearing sweatpants outside the house and gym? With the number of pins we saw during Fashion Week (a few faves here and here) of ladies wearing joggers and loose fitting trousers, I think we can agree that comfort has met fashion once again.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

For me joggers are the perfect Fall piece. The fleece joggers are insulated and ready for an evening of chill and brisk winds. It is not always easy to make this look come together, though. I have had to learn the hard way (yes I made the mistake of looking more like I was wearing pajamas than real pants when I went to Whole Foods a few weeks ago). I am a lady who has shorter legs so it is important to make sure to rock these in a way that not only embraces my sense of style, but also my figure. I found that a loose fitting pant, especially made of sweatshirt material, was far more flattering than I thought.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Over the years I have learned that finding the right heel can make all the difference in helping to elongate in all the right ways. Even though I am not a huge heel fan (especially the REALLY high ones…no way), I have come to accept that I sometimes need to embrace it for fashion’s sake. What I look for are heels that stay on my feet and form a great line, which helps to create an elongated illusion. These heels I picked up really hit the mark. They are perfect to pair with my joggers for a night out or for a meeting with a brand or a client.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Last year I made a light investment in a leather jacket and this year I am thanking myself. I couldn’t afford to drop a ton, but I found a great quality vegan leather jacket that hasn’t steered me wrong. Now that joggers are on the scene, I have found the jacket to be the perfect piece to pair with them. A t-shirt and joggers with flat street shoes can have the tendency to be a little boring and too close to pajamas. Toss on a leather jacket or blazer and the look has a level of edge you would never expect when wearing sweatshirt material below the waist.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

I found these joggers at Old Navy. I have a few pairs but these fit really well! When choosing the right joggers, make sure they fit well around the waist band, offer the right combination of snug and slack around your butt and hips, and have a good give in the inseam. You want to make sure that the joggers are tight around the bottom of your legs in order to make the pants look sleek. After trying various styles, I really love the ones that have a wide band around the ankles.  They tend to lay better and offer a chic look.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

I have already discovered hundreds of ways to make these joggers pay their dues in my wardrobe. I would love to hear if you have tried any joggers. If so, I would love to hear how you style your joggers?

Find all items at the below links:
Leather Jacket from Zara (last year…see similar)
Black v-neck tee from Madewell
Jogger Pant from Old Navy
Bag from Madewell (least season…
see similar)
Heels from Calvin Klein
Ring from Torchlight Jewelry


This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy‘s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com.

The Grit and the Beauty

TFE_GritCoverImage

For good reason, it’s been a while since I have written a blog post. I haven’t had a free moment to write, and honestly, it doesn’t come to me as naturally as it does for Megan. Most of the time, my work on the blog is behind the scenes, either with a camera or when brainstorming ideas for new posts and series ideas with Megan. Most of my time is spent managing and creative directing for our studio, Wild Measure. So, that’s the lead into my true reason for now writing.

Once a month, I meet up with a group of artists and entrepreneurs in Raleigh for a long night of bourbon drinking and poker. On the way to poker this last Saturday night, I rode with our longtime friend and designer at Wild Measure, Jordan. While we were in LA last week, he was working on a couple projects for us and found the blogger hater site, Get Off My Internets. As only a great friend can, he expressed his concerns about some of the criticisms. As people trying to add to the creative world, Megan and I are both aware the page exists, but we try to stay positive by reading more inspirational and proactive things online. Too many times, we have seen negative comments only stifle other bloggers. Because of that, we don’t really look at our forum page.

At poker night, we talked business and life, lost $20 in nickels, and enjoyed some amazing bourbon and Japanese whiskey with the gentlemen of Raleigh. I got home around 2 a.m. and Megan was asleep, but I was still feeling the jet lag of West Coast time and wasn’t tired. It was then that I did the unthinkable: with my wife in the other room asleep, I opened my laptop and went to the last website I should ever go…

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On the Daily: My Makeup Bag

On the Daily: My Makeup Bag  |  The Fresh Exchange

Is it the weekend already?! This week has been a little weird with traveling and super tight deadlines right, but I am excited to have a weekend at home and settle into life. We aren’t traveling at all right now, not even during the holidays! Crazy?!? Right! I am a little in shock at the fact that we really can be home to set up our life.

Since being home I have been really inspired to create new series and content. You will be seeing some new things pop up this month and all of them I am really excited about. Today we are launching one of the new series. The “On the Daily” series will be focusing on giving a look into daily parts of our lives. There are must-have things in everyone’s life, so I wanted to share some of our own.

This time I thought I would begin with my daily makeup. I have never been a makeup person. I focus on purchasing makeup with low chemicals and simple ingredients. I have tried some natural and organic makeups without success, which saddens me. If you do have any recommendations of brands that work for you please let me know!!! I would love to switch into makeup that is more simple and more natural than what I have above.

The fact I am a non-makeup person means I focus more on my skin care routine than on what I apply to cover up. I will share more about that within this series but today I thought I would share what I do keep in my makeup bag and what I use each day. Whether it’s day or night, I do not stray far from the collection above. Find out more info about what is pictured in the list below.

Bare Minerals Concealer in Summer Bisque
I like the loose powder because of the natural finish. It is also easy to remove. I get pretty dark circles because of my struggle with seasonal allergies so I need something that covers, but I don’t want it to be caked. This meets all of my requirements.

Ecotool Brushes
These brushes are still my favorite even after buying fancy ones. They travel well, clean well, and I really love the natural wood look. Not to mention the aluminum on them is recycled and they are cruelty free which makes me a happier to use them.

Bare Minerals Lash Domination Mascara
An Amazon review sold me on this one and I ordered it as I was tired of the lack of wow my eye lashes had. I have thin eye lashes that are not super long, but with this little bottle I discovered lashes I never knew I had. One solid swipe after giving my lashes a curl and it sets a great foundation.

Dior Iconic Mascara
While traveling I accidentally picked up this mascara, and since then I have been hooked. Many people may scoff at this but I layer mascaras. After I curl and swipe once with the Bare Minerals Lash Domination, I then swipe on 2 swipes of this guy to add the final level of refinement. It does not clump but helps to lengthen in the perfect way.

Bare Minerals Eyeshadow in Peach Surprise:
Since I have super dark eyes with dark circles sometimes I need a little brightening. I add a small bit of this eyeshadow right under my brows and right under my bottom eyelashes and it brings light to them especially during photo shoots.

Bare Minerals Blush in Golden Gate
I don’t wear blush often but during photo shoots it does add depth especially during the cooler months of the year. I like the powder once again because of the finish it has. This color works great with my skin tone since I have such an olive complexion.

Physicians Formula Eyeliner in Dark Brown
Personally, I have never been a huge fan of black eyeliner for myself. I cannot get it to work and so instead I use brown to simply lightly line the base of my eyelashes on the top and bottom. This helps to just add a little more depth. I usually feather it and blend it into my eyeshadow so it does not look so hard. Love the simplicity of this liner. It stays all day but washes off very easily.

Physicians Formula Mineral Airbrushing Bronzer in Light Bronzer with SPF 30:
My skin has a naturally darker tone to it especially during the Summer months and finding good foundation is very hard for me. I don’t like liquid ones because they do not always match correctly for me. I recently read about how Hayden Panettiere uses a light brush of bronzer all over because she struggles with a similar issue. After reading, I picked up this bronzer without shimmer to use everyday and love that it never washes me out or feels heavy. Plus, it has SPF in it as well, which is a huge bonus.

Bare Minerals Top Shelf Eyeshadow Kit:
This little collection for me is the perfect group of colors. Super simple and it travels really well. What can a girl ask for in an eyeshadow kit?

 

Would love to know what you guys have to have in your makeup bag? Do you have any all natural brands you love? Let me know below in the comments! I am always game to try something new!