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!

 

A Guide to Palm Springs, California

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every year that I have been to Palm Springs, I have always wonder what it is that people love doing when they are there. I have not found a ton of great guides, so I thought I would begin the conversation with my own guide. I am sure quite a few of you have been and have your own recommendations, so let’s begin by sharing what we love doing when we are there.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Drive From LA
First off….getting there. I have flown into Palm Springs quite often on a great little hopper plane from LA, but honestly the two times I have driven have been the best road trips. So, though I 100% will say that the flight and airport are great options, I would suggest making the effort to fly into LA, rent a car, and drive east to this little oasis.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Though the traffic from most parts of LA to Palm Springs isn’t always the greatest (it is usually best to leave between rush hour) you can make it out there in about 2 hours or less on a good day. We have been told by locals that Waze is the best app to use in the city to get around traffic, so I would suggest making that your guide for getting out of the city.

Once out and east of San Bernadino you land on the 111. It leads you right into downtown Palm Springs. You will know when you are coming up to the 111 from I-10 because of the windmills all along the horizon. Stop for a photo or two when you get off the 111. It is your first entrance into the desert and it needs to be celebrated.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Stay at the Ace
There are a lot of great places to stay out in Palm Springs, but personally I love the Ace. It is very relaxed and begs you to just be you. On the weekends there are tons of great events going on such as great pop-up shops, bands, drum circles, and DJ’s by the pool. It’s more than you can imagine. The Ace Hotel collection is always a win, but this is still one of my favorites of them all. I love the energy and the people watching. The pool is always the perfect temperature and the waitstaff is always friendly.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

This time we nabbed a patio room. I felt like I was really going to be splurging but truly it was very reasonable for Palm Springs. Every morning we ordered breakfast to our patio and just enjoyed hanging together and planning our day. In the evenings we would just hang out and listen to the music from the pool and chat about life. It was so relaxed and little to no expectation. It was perfect for getting away from it all for a little while.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Pack the Least You Can
You are going somewhere warm so you don’t need much. Take a backpack with a bathing suit and a few dresses and a sweater. You shouldn’t need much more for your time relaxing by the pool and exploring the desert.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Visit Moorten Botanical Garden
There are some real treasures in Palm Springs and I feel the Moorten Botanical Garden is one of them. I still cannot get over the light in the cactarium. Pay the $4 and wander through this maze of succulents, palms, cactuses, and desert foliage. It is a gorgeous experience and so inspiring.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

A few of us from Designervaca headed there and had the best time snapping photos and dreaming of our ideal gardens and office window boxes.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Spend as much time in the pool
It is hot HOT in the desert. If you do adventure then go as early in the day as possible and then head back to your room, make a quick change, and beeline for the pool. Spend the day with your toes dipped with a great beer or cocktail in hand and the desert heat won’t feel so intense. Make sure to wear sunscreen and maybe even a hat. The sun is not too friendly to those who burn easily.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Eat at King’s Highway
Whether you opt to stay at the Ace Hotel or not, make sure you at least have a meal at King’s Highway. Not only does the decor feel exactly like a modernized version of an episode of Mad Men (you know the one where he goes to the diner?), but it also is pretty darn good! I am a big fan of breakfast or a light lunch. Favorites? Their smoothie never disappoints, but make sure you get the fish tacos and the cotija corn. Thank me later.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Visit Salvation Mountain
This year I made the priority of going to Salvation Mountain, and though it is over 115 degrees out there (at one point felt as if I was going to pass out), it was an incredible thing to see. As one of the largest pieces of Folk Art in the world, the mountain was created as in installation by Leonard Knight and can only be appreciated by experiencing the work.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Leonard maintained and built the piece beginning in 1996 as a monument to his faith. He always allowed his faith to take him wherever it would in his life. What resulted was spending the remaining part of his life building the piece and inspiring thousands to create what they love. He recently passed away and the monument and art is being maintained by volunteers and donors.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Minor tip: No one shows this part on instagram or blogs, but you will go through a small town called Niland before you get to Salvation Mountain it is another world there. Think ghost town meets border town.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Swing through Slab City
After you swelter out on Salvation Mountain, hop back in the car and keep going on the road past Salvation Mountain and drive through Slab City USA. It is one of the only places in America where you can truly live off the grid. The area is mostly inhabited during the winter months by snowbirds and other desert animals. A lot of people come here to live a life off the grid. The area has no electricity, running water, sewer or toilets. The town is right by East Jesus which is an experimental art community that began in 2006. The small area of Slab City is a refuge for artists and musicians looking to create without borders and minimal expenses.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Drive the 111
Once you make the plan to head out to Salvation and Slab City (did I sell you?!) make the plan to take 111 from Palm Springs to Nilland. The road rides along Salton Sea (learn more about it here…SUPER interesting). The view is gorgeous on a clear day and the landscape truly takes on the desert scene. Race alongside the trains as you cruise. Have your camera ready. Life out here is very different than the cozy and quiet life in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. Make sure to have a good playlist…my choice is The War on Drugs.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Minor tip: You will go by border control. Do not freak out; you didn’t go to Mexico, but you will go back through. It is most likely not an issue, but I was super confused when we drove past.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Visit Joshua Tree
The first time I came out to the Yucca Valley area I came to Joshua Tree and camped. It was one of the most amazing and random trips I have taken, but it forever embedded this unique landscape into my soul. Since then I look forward to each time I get a few hours out here. The area up in Joshua Tree is very different than Palm Springs, though only 40 minutes apart. Make a trip of it and head out into the desert, do some two-tracking, and climb some rocks. Watch out for rattlers and other desert creatures and make sure to bring lots of water. You will never experience another place like it in the world.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Minor tip:  The rocks are super sharp, so if you plan to hike make sure to wear closed toed shoes and maybe keep a few bandaids on hand if you trip or fall. The rocks can really jump up and bite you pretty bad.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Eat and Visit The Parker
Y’all know I am not a super color freak, but sometimes there is something to appreciate about an incredible understanding of design and color. I appreciate color more than I use it. The Parker is one of those colorful and amazing interior works of art that needs to be seen and experienced. Head there and wander through the grounds and cool off with lunch or brunch at the cafe. Super yummy and you can thank Jonathan Adler for his work on decorating the space so perfectly! This is how we ended our trip before heading back into LA.

A Guide to Palm Springs, California  |  The Fresh Exchange

Have you ever been to Palm Springs or anywhere in the Yucca Valley? Where did you stay? Where did you eat? What did you do? I would love to know all of your recs. We go back every year and so I am always wanting to try something new.