The warm flannel dress

warm flannel dress

I have always been someone who gets cold easily. As many of you also know, I wear dresses year round. When winter hits, this simply means I switch from sundresses to warm dresses. That’s why when I saw this flannel dress from Zaful, I had to get it! It looked perfect for the colder months. When it gets cold out, flannel is always a good choice.

The other thing I was really wanting was a nice, big sweater. This is one I can pair with a lot of looks. Or I can just throw it on when I’m hanging out at home in my sweat pants.

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My farewell to the sundress in Ibiza

sundress in Ibiza

Ah Ibiza. A little over a month ago, I was wearing my sundress in Ibiza. The weather was absolutely perfect. Now I sit in my apartment in Granada and it is quite cold outside! Winter has arrived in Spain! And while winter here will be way more mild than what I am used to in the United States, winter is here nonetheless. I am for sure excited to wear lots of boots and tights with my dresses. However I will miss all my sundresses. They are comfortable and easy to wear. This one is one of my favorites.

When I was in Ibiza with my friend Shola, we thought this made for a lovely backdrop. I am a big fan of green, after all. If you wish to read more on my Ibiza adventures, you can check them out here and here.

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My 5 Poshmark dresses

poshmark dresses

If you have ever seen one of my looks on the blog and wanted it for yourself, now is your chance! These are my 5 Poshmark dresses. I must say, I just love the Internet. There are so many things that exist now that did not exist even 5-10 years ago. Poshmark is one of those things.

You all are familiar with a consignment shop, right? You gather up clothing you no longer wear in a laundry bin or garbage bag, and see what they will take. Depending on the shop, some can be rather picky. But at the end of the day, the nice thing about a consignment shop is that you get cash back from the things you longer wear.

Poshmark is basically that consignment shop except you are the one selling the items. Each Poshmark user downloads the app onto their smartphone or tablet, and has their own profile called a “closet.” When you want to list say that cardigan sweater that’s too small or those sandals from last season, you simply click the sell button. It asks you to snap a few clear photos of the item, describe and list all the pertinent information such as size, brand and color. You can follow other closets and they can follow you back. You can share items. The more active you are (think almost like the Instagram of online consignment), the more traffic you will drive to your page and thus the more sales you will make. And the best part is that you can do all of this in your pajamas (and I have poshed in them a few times … guilty).

The main reason I joined Poshmark several months ago was because of my move to Spain. Call me crazy (especially since I’m a fashion blogger), but my goal is to pack light. Don’t get me wrong … I still plan to bring many of my favorite dresses because they are such a part of my everyday style. However with all the planes, trains, taxi cabs and buses I’ll have to take once in Europe, I wanted to bring what I could easily walk around with. So Poshmark seemed like a great option to get rid of the things I knew I wasn’t taking.

Also if this has made you think of all the clothing you could sell on Poshmark, you totally should go ahead and join! In fact, if you use my code JRFRW, you get $5 towards any purchase on Poshmark!

Without further ado …

My 5 Poshmark dresses

5. The skater dress

This lovely dress was one I found on sale at Love Culture and only wore a few times. While it happened to be a small, it still fit me. While I have enjoyed wearing it, it’s one I do not necessarily need. Thus it is up on Poshmark.

Poshmark dresses

This dress initially appeared on the blog right after New Years. You can read the post here. Looking back, it seems like so long ago in my blogging career. It’s a size Small and you can view it on Poshmark here.

4. The LBD

Let’s be honest … I have way too many little black dresses. This is one I bought on a whim from Forever 21 and only wore a few times. I had also bought a size Large because … well I don’t remember why. But it’s always been a tad big on me.

Poshmark dresses

This nice, velvet material will be perfect with winter fast around the corner. Also notice my big toe in the bottom, right corner? Hehehe. It’s a size Large and you can view it on Poshmark here.

3. The blue sparkly dress

Now I really REALLY liked this dress. However it is just a smidge too small on me and therefore at times uncomfortable. I told myself that everything I’m bringing to Spain has to be comfortable in addition to being functional. Sadly, this one did not make the cut.

Poshmark dresses

Poshmark dresses

I found this at Charming Charlie almost two years ago. I had been invited to a Christmas party with a blue theme. It was perfect. It’s a size Medium. View it on Poshmark here.

2. Another little blue dress

I have no idea why, but I seem to be getting rid of all my blue. With this one, though, I do not wear too many frilly necklines anymore. It’s still very cute, though.

Poshmark dresses

This was found at Old Navy. It is a size Medium and can be viewed on Poshmark here.

1. Yet another … little blue dress

This one was actually featured on a post several months ago. I was in Florida and just had to do a photoshoot in the beautiful outdoors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this dress. I just will not have a need for lots of sundresses during the winter months in Spain.

Poshmark dresses

Poshmark dresses

This dress initially appeared in my post entitled 5 Reasons you need a little blue dress. It is a size Medium from Charming Charlie and you can view it on Poshmark here.

Feel free to shop these or any other things in my closet. Everything I make from Poshmark funds my big move overseas. And don’t forget … if you’d like to join Poshmark for yourself, make sure you use my code  JRFRW to earn $5!

Linking up here today:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan HeartShopping My ClosetPumps and PushupsThe Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy ChroniclesCappuccino and FashionPosh Classy MomLiving on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in PinkCurly Crafty Mom,

Friday

Bright on a BudgetKT Cup of TeaDella DevotedThe Closet by ChristieLife in LeggingsStyle ElixirTwo Thirty-Five DesignsA little Bit of EverythingLiz AdventuresHello HappinessNancy’s Fashion StyleJeans & a TeacupClaire JustineRachel the HatA Poketful of Polka DotsForage FashionFashion Should be FunSincerely PaulaShelbee On the EdgeBirdie Shoots

Monday

Birth of a Fashion BloggerSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeFizz and FrostingStill Being MollyBeauty by Miss LMichelle’s PaigeNot Dressed as LambMahogany Closet, Color and Grace, and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly SimpleSandy a la modeTwo Peas in a BlogI Do deClaireThe Fashion CanvassWalking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

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Chucks + dress: how to style, part 2

chucks + dress

A dress + chucks. Those two things normally don’t go together. You probably think chucks go with jeans and dresses go with heels. However as I almost exclusively wear dresses, I have found a way to make the impossible possible. Ladies, you can pair your dresses with a good pair of Chuck Taylors. And you can do it with class and style!

Also just one order of housekeeping: I’m guest blogging today! After you finish reading all about how to dress up your chucks, you’ll want to head over to Elegance and Mommyhood where I’m guest-blogging about the classic little white dress. Ada is on vacation this week so I’m filling in. Ada and I both love dresses, so she’s become an instant blogger pal of mine!

Anyway, back to dresses and chucks. On Sunday, we took a look at my friend Amber’s orange dress with light blue chucks (How to dress up your chucks part 1). All I simply told her was that I wanted to do a piece or two on dresses and chucks. This is what I absolutely love about personal style. She styled the idea way differently than I did. I love that!

My dress + chucks

With my look, I opted for more of a solid-color dress and a colorful necklace. My classic red chucks needed a bit of a contrast color.

dress + chucks

dress + chucks
Omg … my hair was so long here!

dress + chucks

dress + chucks

dress + chucks

dress + chucks

Have you tried the chucks and a dress look? Have you paired any other types of sneakers with dresses? Feel free to leave your stories, trials and errors in the comment section below!

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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How to dress up your chucks, part 1

chucks + dress

My dress with chucks? No. You probably think it cannot or should not be done. Even if you want to try it, I’m sure you’ve wondered if it would look tacky. I say this because I myself wondered the same thing. Too often in our society, we place things in boxes. Dress are in the fancy box and chucks are in the kick it box. You cannot mix the two. Or can you?

So I love pairing my red Converse All Star (Chuck Taylors) with dresses. It’s especially perfect in the summer if you’re going to an outdoor event. The sneakers allow you lots of comfort while the dress gives you that nice, cool breeze. Furthermore if you’re going to pair sneakers with a dress, chucks are the best in my opinion.

In this two part series, we will look at two different dress outfits paired with chucks. Today we begin with Amber, in a more bold print of a dress. Wednesday we will conclude with my more classic dress paired with chucks.

Amber and her dress chucks

dress chucks
Photo cred: Nick Mahan

dress chucks

The teal shoes provide a nice contrast to the orange dress. I love how well the two pair together. When putting dresses with a pair of chucks, keeping the color in mind is key. You have to make sure that they mesh. Chucks are the perfect sneaker because they’re not too bulky. They fit right in.

dress chucks

dress chucks

dress chucks

Are you a sneakers gal? Do you pair your dresses with chucks?

Linking up here:

Sunday

Beauty 101 by Lisa, The Wardrobe Stylist

Monday

Birth of a Fashion Blogger, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Fizz and Frosting, Still Being Molly, Beauty by Miss L, Michelle’s Paige, Not Dressed as Lamb, Mahogany Closet, Color and Grace, and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly Simple, Sandy a la mode, Two Peas in a Blog, I Do deClaire, The Fashion Canvass, Walking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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5 of Sunday’s well-dressed ladies

well-dressed ladies

I present to you five well-dressed ladies. This Sunday were hosting a little black dress party in collaboration with three businesses: Hillary Cutter Photo, Imbue by J. Russo and L’BAE. All three are women-led and I could not be more excited to work with them. Everyone will be encouraged to wear their favorite little dress. Admission is free and there will be drinks/light snacks. What more could you want?

We want the event to be interactive and so we’ve asked some women to be models. We will have roughly 7-8 women roaming the crowd displaying all the wonderful work of our business partners. These are five of our fabulous models.

1. Jenni McGeewell-dressed ladies

I was introduced to Jenni in the fall by a mutual friend. I was looking to feature someone who loved dresses just as much as I did on the blog, so our friend connected us. Jenni is a teacher and also a salsa dancer. She competes with a team called Salsanati. You’ll have to check out her personal style here: Jenni’s Salsa Dresses + More.

well-dressed ladies

2. Kaci Harrison

well-dressed ladies

I serve as an AmeriCorps member with Kaci. We both work at different organizations in Cincinnati focused on education. Our group gets together for trainings, support and fun. Her placement happens to be at Education Matters. Stella talks all about Education Matters in her Q&A that we posted last week. Kaci has a fun and bubbly personality. I’m excited she’s going to be a part of our team for Sunday!

3. Kendra Pressley

well-dressed ladies

Kendra is a good friend of mine. Back when this blog was just getting started and I had no idea what I was doing, I decided to interview Kendra. I knew I wanted this blog to be about more than just me and she’s always down for whatever. So I asked her and she agreed. You can read the interview here. She’s cute and sassy, as we see here in the picture above. She’s also quite an expert in the realm of makeup/beauty products. I’ve told her she needs to start a blog multiple times.

4. Rebecca Miller

well-dressed ladies

Rebecca is another AmeriCorps friend. She, like Kaci, is also working at Education Matters. She just finished a master’s degree and plans to continue her career in the nonprofit sector after our year with AmeriCorps ends (anyone hiring?). She also has a fun and bubbly personality.

5. Amanda Oaks

well-dressed ladies

Amanda is also an AmeriCorps buddy. Yes, there is a slight theme here. Amanda is an excellent writer. She also blogs and you should check it out here. She blogs about writing and the books she reads. She basically shares her reviews on the books she reads. I hope you check it out!

 

I’m excited that all of these ladies will be joining us this Sunday. Each one of them will bring their own unique talents and gifts to the event. Added bonus: the party is a fundraiser for Education Matters and Community Matters. Admission is free but if you want to contribute, you’re more than welcome to stop by their table to do so. We just want everyone to have a good time being who they are. For more details, check out the Facebook event here.

Here’s just the rough details:

  • Sunday, June 26th, 4-7 p.m.
  • The Sanctuary, 2110 St. Michael St. Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Explore local brands, take photos, wear a fun dress, drink and do some good!

Today I’m linking up here:

Bright on a Budget, KT Cup of Tea, Della Devoted, The Closet by Christie, Life in LeggingsStyle Elixir, Two Thirty-Five Designs, A little Bit of EverythingLiz Adventures, Hello Happiness, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula, Shelbee On the Edge, Birdie Shoots

 

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The LBD’s of 6 different bloggers

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

Today in the spirit of the upcoming Little Black Dress party, we’re looking at the LBD’s of 6 different bloggers. One of my favorite things about blogging is the community of women I have found across the world. This list includes bloggers from the Netherlands, Angola, El Salvador and Canada, as well as bloggers in other parts of my own county, the United States. We’ve met each other through link ups and Facebook groups. We read each others’ posts and leave words of encouragement (comments). Blogging can often feel like a one-woman journey with no one set path. The support we find in each other is so wonderful. It for sure keeps me going.

I’m excited to share these women with you. I hope you’ll click on all their blogs and take a look around. Each woman has her own unique voice that she puts out there.

1. Shelbee on the Edge

Shelbee is such an active member of the blogging community. I’m constantly seeing her commenting on others posts. Also, she hosts a weekly link up Fridays. The thing I love about her is how down to earth and real she seems. She doesn’t claim to be some sort of expert. She’s just your every day woman, wife and mother showing off her personal style. Bonus, you can also shop her closet right on her blog! Check that out here.

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

Dress: Old Navy; Scarf: Cato; Necklace: Cato; Shoes: DSW

Check out her post about the LBD here. Also make sure to follow her on these social networks: Instagram, Twitter Pinterest, Facebook

2. Nancy’s Fashion Style

Nancy is my blogger pal from the Netherlands. She also hosts a Friday linkup called Fancy Friday. She blogs about all things personal style in her corner of the Internet. One thing that you would not know from just browsing her posts is that she has inherited lung disease and is awaiting a transplant. So right now blogging is her vocation and passion.

She sent me three photos of three different LBDs. I figured why not post all three? So here they are:

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

I especially love her first one! However they all are amazing. Also make sure to check her out on these platforms: Instagram, Twitter

3. Looking Glass

Meet Maria. Maria is a blogger based in Vancouver, Canada. We are both a part of an Instagram message thread of other kickass fashion bloggers. When one of us posts, we notify the group and then go like each other’s posts. Maria’s focus is on edgy fashion and thus the photo she gave me is just that. The black and white is just perfect. I’m also in love with this neckline!

Maria’s words: “I love this lbd because of the cool strappy cutout neckline, and the shift silhouette is so comfortable! It’s also really versatile because I can wear it with heels for going out, with sandals as a summer dress or with ankle boots for a day look.”

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Youtube.

4. Elegance and Mommyhood

Ada is also writing about her little black dress today. Super fun! Ada is a style blogger who blogs about fashion and motherhood. Her daughter sometimes makes appearances when she writes about mommy and me fashion. It’s always super adorable. Also she hosts a weekly linkup on Thursdays called Thursday Moda. I love linking up with her each week.

Here are two LBDs she has worn in past posts. You can read the full posts here: Eyelet LBD and Kimono-Sleeve LBD.

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

Make sure to follow Ada on Instagram, Bloglovin and Pinterest.

5. Miss Cunha

Rossely is a vintage-enthusiast blogger living in Luanda, Angola. She, like Maria, is a part of our Instagram support group. She has so many adorable dresses. Her blog is very much inspired by the power women of the past … Audrey Hepburn to Nina Simone to Tina Turner, and the like.

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

I just love how much of a classic LBD this is. It just looks fabulous on her.

Make sure to follow Rossely on Instagram and Pinterest.

6. Blog de la Meli

Melissa is my Salvadoran buddy who I met through a Facebook group called Newbies Who Blog. My blog is less than a year old, so I’m still very much of a newbie at this. Since Spanish is her first language, her blog is entirely written in Spanish. You can always hit the translate button, though. She blogs about DIY stuff, makeup reviews, recipes and other lifestyle-related things.

She sent me a photo of herself in a LBD at her friend’s wedding.

LBD's of 6 different bloggers

Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

7. BONUS Ms. Chanda, Birth of a Fashion Blogger

IMG_4125

Ms. Chanda hosts a weekly link up on Monday all about being fabulous. I had the pleasure of co-hosting with her several weeks or so back. She lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband and two children.

This dress is just adorable! The pink shoes make it pop. I love taking another color of shoes and adding them to a LBD outfit!

 

The thing I just love about this list is the group I’ve gathered from all around the world. Everyone looks amazing in their LBD! Also Cincinnati friends, remember that the LBD party is right around the corner. This Sunday, June 26h (also my birthday), is the party! We are partnering with several local businesses and two non-profits to bring you all a classy and fun evening. The fun will start at 4 p.m. Details here.

Linking up here today:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Happiness at Mid-LifeShopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion and Posh Classy Mom

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula, Birdie Shoots

 

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5 Highlights from la semana pasada

Happy Friday! I’m so glad we have made it to the end of the week! I think we all need to pat ourselves on the back. We have made it to the weekend!

A lot has been happening in my world. In a little over a week, I will host a little black dress party along with several other female small business owners. I’m about 85% excited and 15% worried about all the things. I plan to have an informational/interactive table and I’m currently stressing about how that will look. All will turn out okay, I’m sure. Anyway, here are 5 highlights from this past week.

5. My pineapple dress arrived

About a week ago on a whim, I decided to buy a pineapple dress off of Zulily. It’s exactly what you think it is … a dress with a pineapple on it. It arrived a few days ago and I’m so very excited. You’ll have to check it out for yourself here:

5 highlights

Stay tuned for an outfit post featuring this dress in a few weeks.

4. Mexican food with Una

Do you all remember Una from Tea with Una? If you’re new to following my blog, I often feature other women in their favorite dresses on here. First, because I’m really not all that interesting. And second, I love hearing the stories of other women. Una had some cute dresses for sure.

Last night we had a long and enjoyable dinner at Los Potrillos Mexican restaurant. I always end up accidentally speaking Spanish at Mexican restaurants. By that I mean that I never want to be “that person” who’s all like dusting off their shoulder as they say “hola, como estas?” to the waiter. However it usually comes out accidentally at some point throughout the meal and we end up making small talk in Spanish. Then they ONLY talk to me in Spanish the rest of the night. Ooops. Go figure.

3. My Irresistible Me flat iron

Over these next few weeks, I’ll collaborating with Irresistible Me, a company that makes hair extensions, flat irons, hair accessories and the like. My flat iron arrived and I’m so very excited! My hair is pretty naturally straight. However I love creating waves with a flat iron, so I plan to create that sort of look with this awesome hair styling tool. Stay tuned as I’ll be reviewing it in a few weeks.

5 highlights

2. The weather

The weather has been absolutely amazing. I have been loving all the warmth we’ve been having.

1. The Little Black Dress party

Next Sunday, June 26th, I’m hosting a little black dress party with several other amazing women. I simply cannot wait. I met up with Jena from Imbue on Tuesday to hash out all the loose ends. We also had a little photoshoot in her favorite LBD. The full post will appear Sunday. Here are a few teasers:

5 highlights

5 highlights

*This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through some of these product links, I will make a small commission. Additionally, the Irresistible Me flat iron was given in exchange for a product review. All opinions are my own.*

Thanks for reading along! Today I’m linking up with:

Bright on a Budget, KT Cup of Tea, Della Devoted, The Closet by Christie, Life in LeggingsStyle Elixir, Two Thirty-Five Designs, A little Bit of EverythingLiz Adventures, Hello Happiness, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula, Shelbee On the Edge, Birdie Shoots

 

 

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Stella and her love of Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Meet Stella, the woman in a dress this week! Stella spends her days in the urban Appalachian community of Lower Price Hill in Cincinnati, Ohio. She works for an organization called Education Matters, which serves provides adult education classes such as English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED and college readiness programs. Her time is split: she works with the college bridge program and she is the event coordinator for the Sanctuary, their event space.

I met Stella through AmeriCorps as some of my fellow members are working with her organization. She herself started working at Education Matters as and AmeriCorps member almost three years ago. When we were initially looking for an event space for The Little Black Dress Party, I reached out to Stella. The Sanctuary is a beautiful space and just what we were looking for. It’s so exciting to be able to partner together and support two really great nonprofits: Education Matters and their sister organization Community Matters.

Last week, I met with Stella in the Sanctuary for a little photo shoot and Q&A. Since she made this all possible, I figured why not feature her on the blog? She wore her favorite little black dress and we took photos in all the wonderful spaces the Sanctuary has. It was an old Catholic church formerly named St. Michael the Archangel. Think stained glass windows, a balcony and the like.

It all started in 1807 when William Price settled in the Mill Creek area. He established a brick yard and a sawing mill. Settlers started moving in and he called his town Prospect. By the turn of the century, it had about 10,000 people living in it. St. Michael’s was founded in 1847. A school was also built. The church was a functioning church all the way into the 1990’s. It’s the second oldest standing Catholic church building in Cincinnati. The building sat vacant for about 10 years before Stella and her co-workers gave it a makeover. It now functions as an event space.

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

The Q&A

Name: Stella

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Occupation: Event Coordinator for the Sanctuary and College Bridge Program at Education Matters

How did Education Matters and Community Matters initially get started?

In the 1980’s, Oyler Elementary down here in the neighborhood had the highest dropout rate in the city. Lower Price Hill is historically urban appalachian. The kids once they reached eighth grade, there wasn’t a high school down here. They had to travel up to Western Hills High School a couple of miles away to continue high school. What happened was kids didn’t want to leave the neighborhood, they didn’t feel comfortable. So they would just drop out and go on about life. So they started an after school program out of the basement of the church first in homes and eventually in the basement of the church to tutor kids, mentor kids and make sure they’re staying in school.

So that happened for like 15-20 years until Oyler became a k-12. So kids were staying in high school, so the needs transitioned from kids education to adult education. So that’s when the GED program started. We had previously had classes for non-native English speakers. It went away for some time and now it’s back. We also have a college program that helps people gain access to college and be successful in college. On top of all these programs, we have other services like a thrift store, a food pantry, etc. So all these services in one hub. It was the focal point of the neighborhood. It was previously called Lower Price Hill Community School and then two years ago we split into being two non-profits: Education Matters and Community Matters.

You started here as an AmeriCorps member and served for two years, right?

Yeah I started here as an Notre Dame Mission Volunteer AmeriCorps member with the college bridge program 2013-2014. I did that for two years. As an AmeriCorps member, you just kind of like go all in. There’s really no way of saying “I did my job. It’s over and I’m going home.” There’s always extra to do, and that’s how I really got involved and got to know people in the community and our staff. I really grew to love this place and started helping out with more than just my job. I’d help with volunteer days, coordinating different people, helping with tours … there’s never just your job in a non-profit. So they wanted to keep me and didn’t know how. They had created this additional event coordinator job for me. I wanted to stay but there was no full-time position available for me. So they created this position to keep me. I would do college bridge part-time and event coordinating part-time.

Did you work with events at all prior to working here?

Not really. I knew I was always very organized and detail-focused, but I never saw myself in a position like this. When they pitched it to me, I was like “that’s perfect!” I love working with people and I love looking at something as a whole and then each piece as well. How to make an event happen and how to make it the best ever.

So what do you see as the future of the Sanctuary as an event space?

So I love thinking about the future of the space because it’s so open. It could meet so many different needs and wants for people. Definitely a wedding space. We want to meet that niche of people that want a beautiful space to get married in but don’t want to break the bank for their wedding. They don’t want to spend $10,000 to get married just because that’s what everyone else does. What’s beautiful is that they are supporting two great non-profits by having their wedding in this space.

We also really want to foster arts in the community. So bringing arts to the people. We partnered with CCM students and our Education Matters students to create a play that they performed to the neighborhood. So any kids of arts whether that be the Bend in the River fest where we bring in local bands to jam out and enjoy some beer, or with Muse Cincinnati Women’s choir who rents space from us. They use our space for practice and have at least one concert a year in the space for the community. Arts is so important for the community. We don’t want to just meet people’s basic needs and think that they’re okay. We want to provide them things that they want and help them lead a holistic life.

What initially drew you to Education Matters and AmeriCorps?

My aunt is a resource coordinator at Oyler. So she talked about how much she loved working in Lower Price Hill. It was tough but she wouldn’t trade it for anything. So hearing her talk about Lower Price Hill for years. Then when I was ready to graduate from college and thought of AmeriCorps. I was on Idealist.org one night at 3 a.m. and this Lower Price Hill one comes up. I’m like “hm, I never thought about helping people with college. I mean I went to college and I survived. I guess I could apply!” It’s been great ever since!

How would you describe Lower Price Hill to someone who didn’t have any experience with it?

(Laughs) I would describe Lower Price Hill as a very tight-knit community. It’s roots are in urban Appalachia. You have these physical barriers that made it feel like home and made it feel like a holler. You have the hill on one side, the river on the other side and the train tracks on the other side. It felt like a holler to some people and that’s where a lot of Appalachians settled over the years. It’s very tight-knit. A lot of people are related and their families grew up together. They’re good people that I think often get a bad rap. A lot of people think Lower Price Hill is dangerous and not a good place to be. I think they have it wrong. A few people in the neighborhood paint a picture for the rest of the neighborhood that isn’t accurate. There’s good people, kind people, funny people and people doing good things. I feel safe walking around Lower Price Hill. People say hi.

And for my classic question I ask all women I feature, what does being a woman mean to you?

When I always think of being a woman, feminism comes to mind. I’m a very stubborn and strong-willed woman. I will never let anyone tell me I can’t do something because I’m a woman. I always prove them wrong, whether I’m in a dress or not, that I’m just as capable as anyone else is. I like to make a point to point out that that is not true and you can’t talk to me or any other woman like that. Being a strong woman sets people back a little, but I will always be like that.

We work with a lot of college students who are single mothers. I really try to instill in them that they can do anything they set their mind to. Sometimes I have that special connection with a student who is a woman because I’m also a woman.

The shoot and the dress

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Then we went outside to look at the chickens. They have actual chickens on site!

Lower Price Hill Cincinnati Lower Price Hill Cincinnati

Thank you Stella for sharing your passions with us! I’m super excited to work together on the 26th!

Also Cincinnatians, have you RSVP’d yet? This event is NOT to be missed! Details here.

Today I’m linking up with:

Sunday

Beauty 101 by Lisa

Monday

Birth of a Fashion Blogger, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Fizz and Frosting, Still Being Molly, Beauty by Miss L, Michelle’s Paige, Not Dressed as Lamb, Mahogany Closet and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly Simple, Sandy a la mode, Two Peas in a Blog, I Do deClaire, The Fashion Canvass, Walking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, The Red Closet Diary and Twenties Girl Style

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots

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The Colorful Look: 5 Tips and Tricks

The colorful look

I have just been loving the colorful look these days! I don’t know if it’s because it’s summer, but I am wearing all kinds of bright colors. Last week was no different.

I initially found this dress at a consignment shop in the fall. Because it required some ironing, it sat in a bin for a good several months. Do you all ever accidentally do that? You keep thinking that you’ll iron it tomorrow or the next day. Every time you think about wearing it, you decide to just wear something that’s ready to go. Well that was this dress. It doesn’t look like it, but that material wrinkles rather easily.

The Colorful look

I also want to note that behind me is a mushroom house. It’s famous here in Cincinnati. Here’s a better look at it:

The colorful look

My 5 tips and tricks for the colorful look

  1. Just go for it! I hate when I hear other people saying “I could never pull that off.” I feel like more than anything, that statement comes from a fear of looking silly. There really is no sort of green light or insiders club. Those that are making fashion statements are just doing it, with or without permission. The next time you’re out shopping, just go for it! Pick the boldest and most colorful dress you can find!
  2. Accessorize accessorize accessorize. The great thing about a colorful dress is that you have so many colors to pick from. I could have added some hot pink accessories to this look or some purple things. I could have taken it in a completely different direction and added white. With this look, I just happened to have bought earrings that have most or all the colors in my dress. What do you know?The colorful look
  3. Allow the dress to make the statement. I’m not a huge fan of mixing patterns. Furthermore with something as bold as this dress, another bold item could be too much. Keep your shoes and sweaters solid colors that compliment the look.
  4. Pick colors that look good on you. For me, I love blues and greens. This dress is full of colors that are “my colors.” What are not my colors? I’m not much of a fan of yellow or beige. While there is some yellow here’s it’s certainly not the focal point.
  5. Have fun! Play around with different colors. Do something different with your hair. If you’re going bold, go all out!

The colorful look

The colorful look

The colorful look

The colorful dress

I hope your Wednesday is awesome!

Today I’m linking up with these gals:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Happiness at Mid-LifeShopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion and Posh Classy Mom

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula

 

 

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