Productive Summer OOTD

Elleword - Productive Summer OOTD

Yesterday I got lots of work done for a new video based class that I’m going to teach on Skillshare as a way to make passive income. It’s the first of many! I recorded myself working as well as an intro and conclusive video. Now all that’s left are the voiceovers. I hope to finish those before my interview today for a part time marketing assistant gig.

I wore a thrifted Rue 21 peach colored top with lace netting on the shoulders. My skater skirt is from my lounge and fitness thrift haul. I felt so flirty and cute in this. I wore brown wedge shoes (not shown) as Brandon and I hit the Salvation Army to buy supplies for the camping trip I’m chaperoning next week.

Gone on any thrift shops lately? I’d love to see what you bought. Leave me a link or comments below.

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Elleword - my thrifted peach shirt looked great with this skater skirt. You don't have to spend lots of money to look good.

KAA Camp Wardrobe Capsule

Elleword - my camping gear! Even though I'll be in the woods, I still want to look cute, lol

This just in, I’m going camping next week! My church is taking a group of teens to Kids Across America camp for a week of fun away from parents and technology. We’ll also have time to bond with the kids and have bible study with them every other day. I’ll be chaperoning, I’m so excited! The last time I went to an overnight camp was in college when my husband (then boyfriend) Brandon invited me to go to Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp over the weekend. Since then, I’ve been longing to go camping again. I even sewed a vintage comforter together to make my own sleeping bag! The only catch is that there is a dress code for camp which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t ban just about every piece of clothing in my closet. No yoga pant, fitted athletic wear or skinny jeans. >__<

I needed camp clothes that won’t send a group of boys into a conniption so Brandon and I headed off to the Salvation Army. After looking through both the men’s and women’s sections, we found enough stuff for my trip. Excluding the ‘hotcake hustle’ tee and black jeans, all of these items are my new camp digs. Yes, two of the items are super comfy skirts that are too long to get blown by the wind but durable enough to hike in. Of course, I’ll be wearing tights underneath to keep my legs from being bitten up by mosquitos. It’s almost unbelievable that I managed to find two bathing suits and both cute! Two piece suits are banned so I was relieve to find these two cuties.

 

Elleword - my camping gear! Even though I'll be in the woods, I still want to look cute, lol
Check my vintage comforter turned sleeping bag!

I still have plenty of things to add but I made sure to grab sunscreen, OFF Deep Woods, extra toothbrushes in case some of the girls forget theres, feminine products to share, wet wipes and snacks. While the kids cannot bring electronics, I’ll have my phone and laptop to work with during free times and at night when the girls are relaxing/sleeping. I plan to keep it in my backpack so it will never leave my side! I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to log the fun but I hope to get some pics during the week of my little camping adventures. Hiking, treetops, and water skiing, here I come!

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Freedom OOTD of an Entrepreneur

Elleword - Freedom OOTD

Today I want to celebrate my freedom, not just democratically but the kind that comes with working for yourself. I’m still in the beginning stages of my company but building it has been a great experience. I landed an interview tomorrow for a marketing assistant gig that will take up 10 hours a week. If I get the job, I’ll have a nice little stream of income to use while I build my own clientele. Heres something you’re likely to see me wearing this summer as I work on company projects and marketing materials.

elleword-ootd-july5-16

Sticking to my love of sustainable fashion, I got this top from my mom when I helped her purge her closet. I think I bought these shorts at retail price but it’s hard to remember. Working at home means you don’t have to wear shoes!

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Thrift it Clique Relaxed July 4th OOTD


To keep up with the Thrift it Clique’s OOTD posts, I put together this simple Independence Day inspired outfit. This white v-neck tee was bought for fun dance that I did with a group of girls and women at a basketball last month. Underneath the t-shirt, I wore a royal blue camisole and finished my patriotic look with my thrifted red jeans.

This year, my husband and I are taking it easy for Independence Day. This morning, we loaded Justice (woof) up with his travel backpack and took a long walk around the neighborhood.We had to pause about a block away from home so Justice could rest his paws. He’s pretty stocky (and furry) so we have to be conscious of when he’s getting tired and take a break.

After that, we camped out in front of our laptops. I watched episodes of Tiny Toons and sketched up a four panel comic as Brandon laughed at pranksters on Youtube. We’re planning on spending the rest of our time swimming and snacking. Sigh, this is the life!

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Elleword - my red white and blue ootd for July 4th, 2016

Summer OOTD + Update

Elleword - Green Maxie OOTD

Summer is here and I’m loving every moment of it! My husband and I went swimming twice this past weekend and I’ve taken up doing morning yoga and walking Justice (woof) in the evenings. I love that it’s still warm after sunset! My friend and her bestie just moved into our complex so I’m looking forward to visiting them this week!

Today’s another day ‘at the office’ as I edit images, prep blogs, post on social media and write up paid blog postings. After stretching this morning, I felt really loose and calm. To boost my mood, I decided to wear my thrifted green maxi dress ($2 I believe) and a necklace that I bought from Charming Charlie a year ago. I’m spending most of the day at home, hence my bare feet. This dress is really soft, flowy and comfortable. I can do anything in a maxi!

Elleword - my rosy necklace went perfect with this thrifted maxie dress. So comfy!

Check out my fellow Thrift It Clique ladies to see what their summer style looks like!
Brittany   |   Addie   |   Tiyunna

Once I finish up work for the day, I’m going to start prepping for Brandon’s birthday tomorrow! We are going to have some family over, eat and play a few games. He said he just wanted to chill which means I’ll be spending the day cleaning up our place and getting ready for guests to arrive! In between that, I hope to record a few videos for my Youtube channel. Working on my own has me so inspired!

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

 

 

Thrift It Clique: Summer Style + Chilling at Nae’s House

Elleword - I made these yummy wheat pancakes myself :) Love the heart shaped strawberries!

The Thrift It Clique has come together once again for a collaborative style post, this time on summer style. I thought it over for awhile and decided to wear something that reflected my new lifestyle as full-time creative entrepreneur. Since I work from home, I like to be comfortable unless I’m going out. Plus, it’s like 500 degrees outside. I’ll be wearing light colored fabric, as usual, and showing a bit more leg this season.

In other news, Brandon went out of town for five days for work so I decided to take a trip to Nae’s house. Justice (woof) and I packed up our gear and hopped into her car to hit the road. It was nice to work away from the apartment and spend time with my sister and nephew and brother-in-love. Seems like we’ve all been pretty busy lately. Justy and I went home the next day and I got to work on this week’s busy work for my company.

For this OOTD I decided to wear a tan cami underneath a thrifted loose graphic tee that reminds me of lineart from a sketchbook. To finish things off I added my polka dotted beige shorts, also thrifted, originally from J Crew. You can’t see my shoes because I’m not actually wearing shoes, hahah. It’s summer time and I guess I feel much freer without shoes and socks on my feet. Though I wouldn’t suggest walking outside barefoot. The ground is hotter than the air! Speaking of, don’t forget to protect your dog’s feet from being scorched by the ground. Keep them in the grass and dirt or else they could get injured.

elleword-summstyle

 

Thrift Fitness & Lounge Haul

Elleword - this is the first hoodie that I've had since college. I love it!

Two weeks ago, I made a bee line for my favorite thrift store. It was Wednesday, or as I like to call it, the Thrift Shopper’s Dream Day because all of the clothes were half off. I wasn’t sure what I’d find but I was excited to see what they had to offer. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. I found five formal gowns to add to my studio wardrobe inventory for my portrait clients. They ranged from $6 to $1! Once I scooped up the dresses, I started looking for items for my own wardrobe.

 

Elleword - I found lots of cute pink items at the thrift store this week, most of it was fitness and lounge wear.

Most of the items that I found were fitness and lounge wear. I was especially thrilled to have found fitness shorts and skorts since I usually have to roll up my sweat pants to workout in the summer. The gold shorts that I found are made of very lightweight fabric and look something I imagine a sexy boxer would wear, lol. I also found a thin screen printed hoodie that is perfect for wearing around the house and outside when it gets a little nippy (or for protection against the sun). I found a great pair of spiderman printed joggers in the men’s section along with a StarWars t-shirt (my first sci-fi paraphernalia!).

My favorite finds from that trip was a pink trench style rain coat (a surprise gift for my Mom), a pink polka dotted skirt with a beige stripe at the bottom and a pink waist-lentgh blazer with black lace in the back. I can’t wait to take it for a spin at my next networking opportunity! I also plan to wear it for other occasions like church, dates and client consultations! I’ll be starting up my daily OOTD and weekly capsules again and these pink numbers are sure to make a few appearances.

After this trip to the thrift store, I’m down to 13 slots left in my 100 item curated wardrobe. Once I reach 100, I’ll create a visual library to help me keep track of what I’ve worn and give me ideas for new combinations. What have you been wearing lately? Find any treasures at your local thrift store that you absolutely love? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Chef Trainee Gerry Roland presents at the Cordon Bleu

Elleword - My nephew Gerry is studying the culinary arts at the Cordon Bleu in Dallas, TX

My nephew, Gerry, is studying to become a chef.

A year or so ago, my nephew moved in with my twin sister and her husband to pursue the next step in his formal education. Thus far, the Cordon Bleu has exposed him to several regional dishes, sauces and desserts. Gerry sometimes brings these meals home for my sister and brother-in-love to try but he’s usually tied up with his job at a restaurant near their townhouse. Every semester, Gerry and his fellow chefs in training put on a sample show where they share the dishes they’ve been working on with the public. I wasn’t able to attend one of these demonstrations in the past (day job woes). Gerry invited me to come and enjoy some yummy foods that he and other budding cuisiniers had prepared a few weeks after I left the corporate world. Naturally I accepted!

Aside from the fact that there’d be free food, I wanted to take a look around. I hadn’t been to a culinary school before and after watching Julie & Julia 100 times, I was excited to see a real chef’s kitchen. When the day came, I got wrapped up in a writing assignment. Thankfully my sister (Gerry’s mom) Youlanda checked in with me via text to find out if I was still coming. Realizing that I didn’t have adequate time to put on a decent outfit, I settled for a pair of jeans, the neon pink t-shirt I was already wearing and my thrifted purple Nike zip up jacket. I crossed my fingers, hoping that I wouldn’t be the only casually dressed attendee as I kissed Brandon and ran out the door.

Eating at the Cordon Bleu School in Dallas

After driving (and sweating since our AC is out) for half an hour, I came upon a retail complex. The three suites on the end housed the Cordon Bleu of Dallas. I dabbed my face and neck and started towards the door. Youlanda came out to meet me. She was this brightly colored aztec print dress that we’d found on our latest shopping trip at Thrift City. Mom was waiting inside, also decked out in bright spring attire. Now I really felt underdressed! The lobby area was packed with guests of all ages. Though there was no food in sight, the aromas from the other room wafted in and made my stomach growl. An older gentleman dressed in a white culinary uniform came out to greet the group. The chef, who turned out to be one of the instructors, informed us that the students had all been working very hard on these dishes and were challenged to create their own recipes. Then he lead us around the corner into a modest dining hall full of eager student chefs stationed at covered dishes along the walls.

The instructor sat the guests at round tables covered by white and royal blue table clothes. In the center of the table were flowers, a bread basket, fancy butter and Mother’s Day themed menus. The three of us sat near the beverage area next to a friendly man whom we later learned supplied fresh produce to businesses and was married to one of the chefs in training. Feeling like one of those moms at elementary school plays, I hopped up and took a picture of Gerry at his food station. He looked so pristine in his uniform! Shortly after, everyone got up and started loading their plates with food. The students served us, sharing the details of their chosen dish and how to best enjoy it. There were savory foods like turkey pot pie, pot stickers, ceviche, milk bread, mussels and roast duck (Gerry’s main course). I had never eaten duck before so that was the first thing I tried. It was so delicious that I got seconds! For dessert we had poached pears. Once everyone was served, Gerry came to join us at our table. Gerry informed us that he’d planned on serving mochi dessert but it hadn’t turned out the way he planned and was left in the freezer. We raved at how good everything tasted and that we were sure he’d be able to succeed the next time he tried making the Japanese dessert.

After lunch, Gerry gave us a tour of the facility. After turning several corners and passing a group of large preparation areas, we walked into the large kitchen where Gerry and his classmates learned how to make traditional foods while experimenting with their own dishes. I’d never seen so many pots and utensils in one room. Just beneath one of the counters stood four large containers of flour, each a different kind, used for specific purposes. The shelves on the wall held enough seasonings to last a few years if stored in my cabinets at home. All of the appliances and table tops were stainless steel and brimming with cooking supplies.

There is a display case in the hallway honoring the late Chef Jean Lafont. Having been born in France and later moving to the U.S., Chef Lafont was known for his great ability to teach aspiring chefs and help them find employment after graduation. People called him the Diamond of Dallas Fine Dining.

Elleword - We had a great time at the Cordon Bleu in Dallas, TX!

Overall, we had an awesome time. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for his next presentation. I’ve been inspired to cook a bit more creatively at home and add some variety to our menu. I’ll let you know what I come up with! When was the last time you cooked and what was the occasion? Let me know in the comments.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

One Tasty Date in Addison, TX


This Saturday, my husband and I went to the Taste of Addison event. One of my awesome writing clients hooked me up with two free tickets in exchange for images and a blog post! Naturally I jumped on the chance and asked Brandon to come along for some fun in the park. Before we left the apartment, he seemed a little doubtful that we’d have much fun but I think the promise of food was enough to get him rolling. I’m glad because as soon as we got there, the smells of food made our mouths water!

After we hopped from booth to booth, snacking and chatting away, he started to really enjoy himself. He even got some footage for Periscope! We are both going to need to get in a few extra workouts to make up for all the calories we consumed! After spending three hours in the park, we jumped on the ferris wheel to get a view of the carnival that takes up a large part of the park. It was a little scary up there, but mostly romantic. By the end of the night, Brandon and I were all smiles. A chill started to settle in the air on our walk back to the truck. My feet were hurting from standing most of the day so Brandon carried me on his back for most of the walk back as I cheered him on.

Elleword - Elle and Brandon hanging out at the Taste of AddisonTime for a shameless plug: if you want someone to cover a local event in the Dallas metroplex, feel free to contact me! I love new experiences and strive to take lots of pics whenever I go out and about. I’ll write up a post to go along with the images and have it back to you within a few days. Contact me today to with your ideas.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Look Ma, New Clothes!


As mentioned in my summer wardrobe capsules post, I’ve got 20 slots in my closet available before I meet my 100 max limit of items in my closet. To get a jump on this, my mom and I went thrift shopping at the Salvation Army this past Wednesday. Wednesday is like gold mine day because all of the clothes, purses and shoes are 50% off!! With that in mind, we combed every inch of the ladies section and came out with some amazing finds!! Here’s what I bought.

It’s getting hotter outside and almost time for me to whip out my shorts (proceeds to walk and jog a few miles to tighten up thighs). I love shorts but I don’t want them all to look the same and be made from the same materials. That’s why I love these three pairs. For one, they are all originally from JCrew. I’ve never owned anything from that store previously, considering how pricey everything is and how I’m spoiled by thrift store prices. Secondly, they each cost me $1.50, that’s all! Score!! I can’t tell which one of these I love most. The polka dots, the nautical pattern or the mint green? How can a girl decide.

Next up is this off white lace sleeveless dress. I’m not sure from where it originated, but I know I’ll be wearing it pretty often! Lace is making more appearances in my closet lately, got me feeling “pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay!” Ok, enough singing. back to the dress. The only con are the little spike embellishments on the collar. I’m not crazy about spikes on my clothes so I’ve got to get those removed or find out how to remove them myself without ripping the lace. YouTube here I come!

This comfy and perfectly fitted Disney sweatshirt hails from Forever 21 but I bought it for $2 at the thrift store. I’m a lover of Disney and Studio Ghibli so I couldn’t pass this up. The cool thing about this sweater is that with the right pieces, I can dress it up for a chic OOTD or just toss on a pair of jeans for the effortless look.

My shoe collection consisted mostly of tennis shoes for a while. It’s usually difficult for me to find any shoe that fits at the thrift store but this time, I lucked out. Must have been because I brought my mom along. She’s a good luck charm! I don’t include shoes and accessories in my 100 item count but they do have a huge impact on my OOTDs. (Maybe I should have a max limit on how many pairs of shoes I have too. ) The beige wedges and flat sandals caught my eye immediately! They are so comfy and perfectly neutral. I’ll be able to wear these babies whenever I like with anything in my closet. That’s the best kind of shoe, don’t you agree? The third pair of peep toe heels are for my sis Gernae. Mom and I figured she’d look great in these and she said she was in need of a wardrobe makeover. Shoes are a great place to start. They can make or break an outfit.

Lastly, these bags were too beautiful to leave on the shelves. When I saw the blue one, I immediately felt inspired to draw or watch my favorite movies. When you see an item that inspires you, you buy it! I couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been scooped up but I’m not complaining! The white and beige bag made me feel like I had more money than what’s in my bank account, lol. It’s classy, cleanly designed and spacious. These bags cost me $12 – $15 dollars each.

So there you have it, I was able to add nine things to my repertoire and fill 5 slots. Can’t wait to bust out these babies this summer! What are you wearing this summer? Leave a comment and I’ll holler back (lol).

Have courage,

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle