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5 on Fridays: Tips for Vintage Shopping

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent most of my time on introspection but tonight’s evening walk inspired me to talk about a light hearted subject and passion of my own - vintage shopping! First, of all vintage shopping is just fun! I love scouring hidden gems like the Blue Hanger in Austin or Feather’s Boutique on South Congress. The thing with vintage shopping is to not judge a book by its cover. You really never know what sort of treasures you’ll come across if you pop into a place. Today I thought it would be fun to share five tips for vintage shopping.

Shop for Seasons

Make a note of when a vintage store carries certain items you may be interested. For instance, if you are looking for a formal or costume piece the holiday season is perfect because many shop owners save their best inventory for peak seasons. Early Fall is a great time to shop for Halloween pieces. This is where I find skirts, robes, coats and embellished items. If you are looking for something specific then just ask the store owner or an associate. They oftentimes have the inside scoop on what other shops may carry!

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Don’t Pay Attention to Sizing

The sizing in older garments is often MUCH smaller than today’s standards. You may see waistband sizing instead of number sizing. Also, fifty years ago clothing was made smaller because as a country we were smaller. So also keep in mind that just because a garment says a Large or a Medium it may very well fit for a smaller frame. My advice is to look for pieces similar in shape and size to what you wear. Another trick is to bring a shirt, dress or skirt that is in your closet that you love so you can hold it up for size comparison. If you are in doubt, use the dressing room!

Check The Item Thoroughly

If possible check an item near a window for tears, stains or other defects. It’s so disappointing if you arrive home with a beloved piece only to find a yellow stain right in the center not seen under dim lighting or in a dressing room. Make sure you check lining if it has any, pockets, seams and embellishments. Also check in areas someone may sweat for additional stains. No matter what the price is, invest your money into something with quality.

Bring Cash and an Open Mind

Vintage shopping is a way to incorporate unique garments or classic pieces into your closet. I’ve found everything from winter white long wool coats to beaded flapper dresses. I always come shopping with an open mind and a wad of cash. Many stores give cash discounts if you bargain with them so it’s key to bring actual cash. Also, take your time and try things you love or a new item you may want to add to your closet!

What are your tips for vintage shopping?

The outfit pictured in today’s post was from Hawaii early 1980’s. My mom recently passed it down to me and is now one of my most treasured two piece sets. I plan on mixing the pieces up and wearing the top with a pair of skinny jeans and boots for the Fall season.


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Thoughts on Vulnerability

Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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“Vulnerability is the courage to show up when you don’t know the outcome.” - Brene Brown

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Vulnerability is a concept I’ve avoided for 33 years. Yes, completely avoided. I’m sitting here listening to Brene Brown’s feature on Netflix and it is inspiring. If you didn’t know Brene Brown is a specialist in studying the concept of courage and vulnerability over the past twenty years. What she found through extensive research and data is that you can’t have courage without vulnerability. I was raised as a child who gathers strength from God and Jesus. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I started thinking about how vulnerability plays into drawing from Christ's strength instead of my own strength.

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In the past, I’ve made sure to skip over every weakness and amplify my own strengths. In doing so, people found often that they couldn’t relate to me. How heartbreaking for someone who puts forth the effort to being their best. Do I fail? Often. Do I lose? Yes. But do I dwell there? No. I always found it inefficient and will hinder meeting my own goals. But does that mean I’m not vulnerable? Absolutely not.

Vulnerability is defined “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” (according to Dictionary.com). Being exposed….well, hmmm. What exactly does that mean? I think vulnerability is admitting to yourself and others where you have gaps. It doesn’t mean those gaps won’t be filled in your life, it just means you are willing to recognize shortcomings. I think the more aware we are of ourselves the more that we can experience true greatness in our lives.

What are your thoughts on vulnerability? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below!

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5 on Fridays - Five Books to Read to Ease Anxiety

Fashion, Inspiration, Petite Style, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, one of the biggest ways I’ve used a coping mechanism like reading to learn more about ways our thinking can impact the brain. Specifically, how our thought patterns can improve our behavior and the way we think on a broader scale. Anxiety has been a battle for me for years. This year I’ve made huge strides in informing myself more about behavioral cognitive therapy, meditation, how sleep affects us and thinking patterns. I’ve used audio books from Audible to listen to while driving and also downloaded a few ebooks to read when I’m in need of a little break from daily tasks. Here are a list of what I’ve been reading lately:

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

By: Arianna Huffington

This book was one I downloaded and listened to on drives and walks. It’s written by one of the founders of The Huffington Post. Arianna discusses some of life’s stresses, collective international data on how things like technology impacts our ability to be more mindful and ways to address health epidemics. If you are a fan of having data back up a book then I highly encourage taking a look a this book. It’s absolutely inspiring and I’ve already started implementing more techniques and mindfulness in my every day life.

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The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook 3nd Edition

by Edmund J. Bourne 

I picked this workbook up last Fall and have enjoyed working through the assignments. It’s half text book and half therapy worksheets. It addresses how anxiety affects us, ways to spot triggers and identifying coping mechanisms.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg, Mike Chamberlain

This was another downloaded audio book for myself. I listened to this one mostly on walks. It discusses how creating and implementing daily habit routines allow our minds to think more clearly and calmly. Habit routines are linked to creating mental clarity. This is a fantastic book and was very impressed by how the book draws sociological examples.

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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Shauna Niequist, Brene Brown

This is a spiritual based book discussing a woman’s journey being addicted to performance. I actually was in a bible study group and we discussed a new chapter every week. It was a really fun group and getting to process what we learned each week on our own time in a conversational setting was so rewarding. I would recommend this for any mother or woman who feels like life is too full right now. The book discusses how important being present is and how it impacts inner peace, joy and our perspectives in life.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson, 20th Anniversary Edition

by Mitch Albom 

This is not a new book, but I felt like it was worth mentioning. The book is written in a conversation form and is a short read. Although small in stature this was an impactful book in my life when I first read it early high school. It’s written by an young man who was a student of an older gentleman who is now dying of ALS. The wisdom in each chapter is profound and meaningful.

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What are some of your favorite books right now?

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Developing Your Morning Habit Routine

Fashion, DIY, How To, Healthy, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, I’ve begin growing into the discipline of developing habit routines. After reading a few incredibly inspiring books like Thrive and The Power of Habit I’ve learned to begin my day the way I need to so that I set up a foundation to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate and most of all loving. There was a time in my corporate work career where I moved from one activity to the next without giving any thought to how it might affect my body, mind and soul. After a decade of living like that and burning the entire candle not just both ends, I’ve made a conscious and deliberate effort to change a life of chaos and develop a life of purpose, discernment and intention.

While hardwork and diligence is a discipline, I was far exceeding discipline and I turned it to a full obsession. I was a corporate supervisor’s dream… always ready to tackle more. Always willing to say yes. Never realizing that the more times I said, “yes” without hesitation or intention I was slowly become less of me and more of something I did not want to become. Late nights at work spilled over to not being able to sit still and enjoy time at home. I literally lived in chaos for a decade. Although I appreciate every single experience from that time, I now realize I can achieve a better life by implementing discipline into my morning habit routines that will allow my mind to have the space it needs to flourish. At the beginning of May I set out on a new journey. A journey to redefine my purpose - you can read more about that in last week’s post.

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After exptensive research and trial and error I begin to develop new routines. I start my day with a glass of water beside my bedstand. Before I even move or stretch I get this first glass down to fill my body with the hydration it needs. I spend a few minutes making my bed and stretching. I slowly let my body come alive instead of being my previous pop tart of a self. Then, I read a small meditation or excerpt from something inspiration and journal about thoughts. From there, I make a list of three categories:

  • One Big Thing I’m Going to Accomplish Today

  • Three Important Tasks

  • A Timeline for My Day

I begin with the end in mind which is how I am going to accomplish one big thing. That way if nothing else goes my way, then at least I knocked off one thing. Sometimes the one big thing is a long workout. Sometimes it’s a project or chore. My one big thing has become the center of the day. From there I list three other important tasks - pick up dry cleaning, coffee with a friend, or maybe write a blog post. I base my entire day’s timeline on these four items. I allow plenty of time to accomplish things and keep my schedule simple. I’ll be sharing my daily schedule with you guys over the course of the next few weeks on Instagram Stories.

If I could rewind the clock I would have been kinder to my twenty something self. I would have taken more breaks. Turned off work and slept more. Turned off the phone, the emails and late texts for work. I became consumed with being a slave to deadlines and projects. I literally could not go on a Sunday drive through the city without thinking as I passed by an industrial building that maybe I could help them become a client. While I do believe that many work inspirations can bloom out of the office, I was not being inspired… I had conditioned my mind to think only about work… about the next meeting, the next sale, the next goal I needed to reach to support my family financially. Now my days are different. My morning routine sets me up with intention. I realize what’s important and urgent and what can wait. At the conclusion of my day I reflect upon the things I put on plate and decide if it’s too much or too little. Whatever your current routine is I challenge you to start with just five minutes. Take five minutes to think about your purpose in life. Build your day around that purpose.

How do you prepare for your day? Anything especially helpful? Leave a comment or send me a tweet!

All photographs courtesy of the talented Andrew Sherard.

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How to Wear the Hottest Hair Accessories

Fashion, DIY, How To, Houston, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Photography, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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One of the best parts of being a fashion and lifestyle blogger for my job is getting to share new ideas with you guys! I’ve always been drawn to a feminine, modern and timeless style but I like adding touches of whimsy from older eras like hats, silk scarves, vintage bags and hairpieces. Mixing old ideas with new pieces is one of the most fun parts for putting together a new fresh look.

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You may notice that lately I’ve been playing more and more with scarves. You can see an entire group of posts where I use scarves in different ways on the blog and on Pinterest. Today I’m sharing how to incorporate some of the best accessories for your hair right now! For today’s look I added a simple floral crown to tie in the blush rose printed dress and mules. I love how this changes the entire dress taking it from an otherwise conservative approach to something more whimsical.

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Adding a new style or accessory in your wardrobe can be a little bit of an adjustment. I remember when I first started adding hats into every day outfits I felt like they were a little over the top. But as I wore them more and more, I began to grow comfortable with this new apparatus being on my head. Same with headbands, hairclips and floral crowns. Sometimes, our minds and bodies have to adjust to something new. Think about it like a new piece of furniture you just purchased to fill an empty space. At first, the piece of furniture may feel like it’s taking up so much room in your home… but after a few weeks your mind adjusts and you can’t imagine the room looking any different!

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This can be said with anything you add in your life. Maybe it’s a new routine like I talked about last week on the blog. Maybe it’s a new decor item or fashion trend. Life is about experimenting and expressing creativity. When we do the same things over and over expecting different results it increases frustrations and feelings of inadequacy or low self worth. As humans, I believe we were meant to be exposed to new places, experiences and ways of self expression to deepen and define exactly who we are. I challenge you this Monday morning to try something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s a floral crown like I did here in today’s post. Or maybe you decide to take a walk to relax at the end of your day today. Maybe you finally pick up a pen and write words that have been lingering in your mind. Whatever you choose, challenge yourself to try something new. Write down how you felt afterwards. Reflect on your purpose and choices.

What is one thing you plan to add to your life today that’s new?

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