Casual Matters

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When it comes to your capsule wardrobe, what are some essentials that are in heavy rotation? A dark pair of skinnies that you resort to, instantaneously making you look 5 pounds lighter? Or a nifty puffer jacket with down-filled inserts that warmly grace you through winter? As for moi, I have a predilection for pieces that are not only perpetually stylish but also appease the “time is of the essence” concern. Especially days when the ticking hand is not on good terms with me.

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Say it’s casual Friday morning and you woke up to your alarm clock setting off, only to realize that you slept through the other two (and they say 3rd time’s the charm…how amusing). With no time to berate yourself for indulging in happy hours (plural) the night before, you’re now battling with the dilemma of “how to prep yourself in 10 minutes”. So what items do you take refuge in? An item that I always seek solace in is a textured shawl.

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And here’s why – not only will it compliment a few of your favorite outfits and stretch your budget further for your Christmas shopping needs, the wearing options are also endless. Say you can 1.) Perch atop your shoulder, 2.) Wind it around your neck to create a natural drape, or 3.) Tie the ends together to create a baggy cardigan. And when you have 2 minutes and counting to pick an add-on that would keep you shiver-free during your commute (option 2) and ward off the chills at the office (option 1), the shawl is a stylish option for all your fashion-conscious folks!

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In my outfit today I brought out a new find, a tri-colored shawl with seamlessly executed textural spots scattered across the board. To stay in tandem with the colors, I wore a pink button-down shirt and black skinnies. A stylish way to add some color to the ensemble? A tribal gold-toned necklace placed under the collar, one whose color scheme is not askew from the main outfit, and a hands-free tote like this Marc Jacobs one. Also my pony hair boots gave all the ease of edge and flair as the buckles and folded texture at the ankle makes it truly a unique pair.

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So tell me, have you jumped on the shawl bandwagon yet, and if so, how do you wear yours? 🙂

XO~ Lena

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Top: Banana Republic // Shawl: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Via Spiga// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

Faux Fur Feeling

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With the cold weather back in full swing, it’s easy to resort to wardrobe essentials that deliver the effect (shivers no more) but not quite the aesthetics. Sure the collegiate dress code filled with mascot-infused sweatshirts and shearling-lined UGG boots ward off the winter chills, but quite frankly it’s lacking the “zing” in trending. So rather than spawning a closet full of workhorse items that have tenets of minimalistic dressing but void in making a fashion statement, it’s notable to invest in one or two investment pieces that take canny heed in style and function. A camel duster coat like this wool belted one is a solid contender, and so is a faux fur jacket – a quintessentially classic piece with an upper echelon flair.

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Whether you want to get your cold weather style wrapped up with vintage-inspired faux fur boleros or shearling-trimmed cover-ups, there are many styles that give you the eclectic flair without compromising duty. To stage that on-trend look, here’s my top 3 styles:

1.) LEOPARD PRINT – technically a neutral when it comes to wardrobe styling, a leopard print coat can be worn with an all-black ensemble to keep the look clean and streamlined (New York style mavens rejoice!) Just make sure there’s a sliver of skin that peeps through; you know what they say, a small flash of flesh is hotter than an eyeful. So think black sweater + ankle length leather pants + slip-ons, or a vintage-inspired LBD with sheer tights and knee high boots. With holiday shopping in full swing, now you can shop NORDSTROM for NYE Dresses starting at $65.

how to wear white in the winter. I wouldn't do real fur, but a nice white/cream coat over black dress and black boots with black gloves-perfect. faux fur leopard coat
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2.) LONG – the maxi style amongst faux fur coats, this look is for you if you’re an avid follower of the Olsen twins (or you just like your legs covered up during below freezing weather). Team it with knee high boots and a lengthy embroidered dress for a Sunday brunch, and add on some bedazzling jewels when you’re glamorously ready for a night out in town.

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3.) CROPPED – ideal teamed with high-waisted pants and skirts for that slick and polished look, a close fitting cropped jacket can be paired with just about anything – silk button downs with maroon skinnies , tartan under chambray shirts like this Rag and Bone one, and even your oversized shirt dress with stockings! Here I wore my purple cropped faux fur coat with straight-leg ankle pants (sold on the side embellishments) and strappy heels to bring forth a classic, clean silhouette.

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From floor-length styling for extra warmth and appeal, to the “rawr” factor behind leopard prints, what’s your go-to faux fur coat for Winter? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Coat: H&M // Tank: Banana Republic// Pants: H&M// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: Phillip Lim// Necklace: K. Amato

Photos: Jason J Photography

Kobi コビ A Bundle Of Joy

“To witness miracles unfold in your experience, count your blessings and be thankful. Perceived small blessings accumulate to be the most powerful.” – T.F. Hodge

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I’m sure you’ve heard this before, that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Like a favorable gush of wind that sweeps you off your feet, what brings you the utmost delight? Could it be a noteworthy career? Someone to call your one true love? Or the mere pursuit of happiness that reigns supreme in your life?

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As for yours truly, I find enrapturing the little things that make me cherish the passing moments. Quiet time at the coffee shop, snuggled up with a matcha green tea latte in a comfy corner. Striking conversations with total strangers on topics trivial and benign. Though not entirely riding on the back of a fleeting moment, I find it important to live in the now and be content dwelling in the present. To linger in them. To lavish in their glory.

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Thus was my absolute delight this weekend to take a breather from my busy schedule and spend some quality time with Kobi, my Australian Shepherd who coincidently turned 6 months old on Black Friday! As you can imagine, my shopping spree consisted nothing short of rawhide bones and plush toys for this little nugget 🙂

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To stay in tandem with my gleeful state of mind, I kept the colors light-hearted with my favorite camel pea coat from the LookBook Store which for a limited time Lookbook Store Women Clothing Is Up to 80% Off! Given the 3/4th length sleeves, this jacket is ideal worn over a long-sleeved shirt in a varied selection – rich hue, striped patterns, or even baroque prints! Swoon-worthy peek-a-boo effect? Yes you can get that look down pat! For a casual vibeI I resorted to this new fuzzy burgundy sweater and finished the look with dark denims and platform lace-up boots similar to this pair by Opening Ceremony (did I mention frenzied friday entailed shopping for humans too?)

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Stuffed to the rim with delicious Thai food and wind-battered from Black Friday shopping as I may be, this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the precious moments with loved ones that I know will be cherished forever.

What are you thankful for this year? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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**P.s. As for the LookBook Giveaway, I want to thank each and every one of you for your participation as your likes, comments and follows are gratefully accounted for and appreciated! This opportunity has allowed me to learn about your unique sense of writing, style and personality. I enjoy reading each and every one of your blogs and once again thank you for being a part of my blogging journey! Congratulations to Lucy Mitchell you are the winner 🙂

Jacket: LookBook Store// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Zara// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Scarf: Zara

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For The Love Of Roscoe

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Renaissance villa houses circa 1850s. Vast array of multi-cultural cuisines. Family-friendly parks and recreational areas. That was my impression of this exuberant Chicago neighborhood when I first set foot upon the four corners of Damen and Roscoe.

Come walk down memory lane with me as I reminisce on one of my favorite outings this summer in the Windy City – right in the heart of Roscoe Village!  

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Located 5 miles north of the Loop and occupied by a population of 7000, this swanky yet demure neighborhood has overseen urban development since the mid-19th century and is amassed with yuppie restaurants, art deco shops, wine tasting rooms, and antique consignment stores.

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After the Fire of 1871 devastated Chicago and wiped out residential homes and commercial buildings within a 3 mile radius, there was an increase in demand for brick structures, which soon the Chicago River’s North Branch (encompassing Roscoe Village and neighborhoods within its vicinity) began filling up with brickyards and clay pits. One of my favorite architectural designs is the Edwardian houses built in the early 1900s.  Similar to the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco, the industrial craft is marked by masculinity-infused frameworks modeled after Italian facades and rooflines. In the residential area off the main street, Queen Anne homes align the sidewalks basking in the glory of intricate details filled with opulent turrets, bay windows, and embellished post frames.

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Though these well-crafted buildings were a sight for my sore eyes, I was even more amused by the multitude of ethnic cuisines offered within that 6-block radius. From Turkish lamb begendi at Turquoise Cafe to the decadent Ropa Vieja (tender shredded beef cooked in salsa criolla) at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, the sky is the limit when it comes to filling up the growling tummy. Not to mention the pink, yellow, and blue chairs outside Costello’s (namely known for the iconic “Spicy Roscoe” — who wouldn’t want pepper crusted turkey with capicola and pepper jack cheese on an Italian sub coined after the very street it sits on?) Or how about some kung-pao chicken tacos at Si Fu, where you will be greeted with not just “Xie Xie” or “Gracias”, but also a slew of Confucious men with v-line goatees? If you ever do tumble upon there, make sure you specify which hot sauce you want, especially when tabasco sauce is not within your dietary radar 🙂 

A jovial expedition filled with sight-seeing and feasting for this happy camper calls for a colorful outfit right? Which is why I doled out my colorful sheath with quivering wavelength designs and styled it with a wide brimmed straw hat. Turquoise and yellow, the two main vibrant colors on my dress (and  a tad bit on my bandeau), matched the exuberance and joy I felt when I walked down streets filled with exquisite flower shops, alfresco dining spots, and most importantly, gleeful companies. Happy eyes, happy tummy, happy heart. Now ain’t that a win-win situation 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://www.jason-j-photography.com/

 

Dust It Off

h-6There’s something about a longline camel coat that’s perennially stylish, lending a well-polished flair to coveted snaps on Instagram from street style mavens to runway muses. And no matter what styles you favor – the glossy Wall street look with crisp collars and nifty pant suits, or the androgynous vibe that blurs gender divides with distressed denims and oversized jumpers, there’s a look for everyone.h-2V-21And when it comes to the oversized drapey version (a.k.a The Duster Coat) gracing major headlines from Refinery29 to WhoWhatWear (this one is a major steal!), I knew right off the bat that it’s a fashionable force to be reckoned with. And can you blame the legion of devoted followers from Karlie Kloss to Chiara Ferragni? The perks are endless – perch atop the shoulder for that cool, nonchalant look, or seamlessly execute a work-appropriate ensemble by wearing it over a jersey panelled dress with ruched asymmetrical panels like this Derek Lam number.

Choose longer styles with sneakers if you are tall, or aim for knee length with high-heeled ankle boots if you are petite. Wardrobe staple to augment seasonal pieces? Definitely so. Evolved for the sole purpose of polish and practice? You bet!V-1V-40V-47In my outfit today I channeled the downtown cool girl look by donning this L.A.M.B duster coat with a speck of feline fun (anything gave that away?) Paying homage to Kate Moss, Queen of the minimalistic trend, I turned retro on its ear by choosing an outfit replete with collared shirt, Rag and Bone denims with leather patching (now on sale for 40% off), cat-eyes and red lips. Lastly to add some jazz to this streamlined and clean ensemble I took out these sequined slip-ons for a wanderlust-inducing spin!

V-22V-26It’s no secret that the camel duster coat has taken the fashion world by storm. What’s your favorite way of wearing this highly coveted, loose-fitting number?

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Jacket: L.A.M.B// Top: Banana Republic// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Rag & Bone// Shoes: Sperry// Bag: Steve Madden

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Houndstooth’s Back With A Bite

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What are a few tenets of minimalistic dressing partial to your Winter wardrobe? Much-touted classic colors of black and white? High octane selection of beige, camel, and golden tan? And if you’re me, being swayed by the equally infectious normcore trend generating sartorial pins from Stockholm to Seoul, you probably have a wide selection of wardrobe staples like drapey coats, button-down flannels, and cult-favorite skinny jeans.1-3311-47

With most trends tested from palazzo pants to leopard print midis (as I’m not stranger to the “life is trying things to see if they work” mantra),  I find myself eschewing the typical in favor of a much edgier look. Make no mistake, I take canny heed in monochromatic colors. Black, white, grey, beige, the entire color spectrum. However, it’s the varied texture, the au courant design, the luxe fabrics, and the crisp detailing that warrants my attention (and shopping galore). And when i came across this Black White Oversize Houndstooth Coat from Sheinside, with its stand collar and vintage style, I immediately envisioned my capsule wardrobe embracing a new gem with a stamp of approval.1-42 42-19

Like a lot of oversized coats in menswear-inspired silhouette, the outfit pairings are endless. To stylishly grace through bone-chilling weather in the Midwest, wear it with a statement sweater and a pair of grey skinnies for a seamlessly executed and polished look. For golden damsels in LA, drape over a warm-weather ensemble to flaunt that perfect transitional outfit. And to the Alexander Wang-clad, fashion month circuit-infused style mavens in New York, be perennially stylish as you always are and top it over your head-to-toe black ensemble à la shaggy mohair loose sweater (this Helmut Lang one is on my wish list) + leather jeans + towering booties.

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With a spawning list of outerwear to try this season, have you found your newfound glory? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Top: H&M// Pants: J Brand// Jacket: Sheinside// Boots: Vince Camuto// Bag: MadStyle// Fur Scarf: Bloomingdale’s

In collaboration with Sheinside; thoughts and opinions are my own

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Fifty Shades of Beige

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Whether your newfound glory is sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace or playing up the layering trend, there’s a seasonal change that we’ve recently come to terms with in the Windy City – the nonchalant tonal shrug from crisp autumn breeze towards blistering winter chills.

Long gone were the days where a prismatic array of floral prints, soft pastels, and color mash-ups sprawled over Paris Fashion Week runways and emulated in our daily wares. Though bone-chilling the weather may be, swaying us away from trendy pieces like pleated skirts and crop tops, we have a swoon-worthy selection of luxe fabrics and crisp silhouettes to work into our wardrobe. From Céline’s longline duster coats to Helmut Lang’s shearling biker jacket, we have countless ways to integrate new fashion powerhouse designs into our ensembles while embracing a new season to come. Stylishly. No gritty teeth allowed.Oversized-coatsMuubaa-Aurora-Shearling-Biker-Jacket_1ImageGranted if you follow my blog for a while you’d notice I have an affinity for monochromatic separates (with a hint of colorful accessories), and it’s a given that I admire certain designers for their subtle indications of toned-down colors and classic designs. One of my favorite collections was from Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller sartorially introduced at Gustave Eiffel-Lycée Carno. Her minimalistic choice of colors entailed desert–khaki, camel, sand, blue and white, all of which are minimalistic hues that emphasized clean silhouettes and placid colors (like this biker jacket that exudes cool minimalistic edge).Chloe 2012_FFImage

I enjoyed perusing her collection because I believe classic staples are essential in our wardrobe at any given time, and multiple shades of beige like cream, camel, dessert sand, and unbleached silk are great foundations to build into a full-fledged outfit.

The choice is abundant — pair a caramel fuzzy sweater with distressed denim jeans, or for slightly cooler days experiment with the same color scheme by mixing a heavier fabric like cashmere with a lightweight button down shirt. In my outfit today I paired a baroque-styled cream shirt with a brown and beige wool cape, which I then added on suede boots (reminding me of these Rag & Bone ones I’ve been eyeing), Prada cat-eye shades, Seven jeans scored from a Shopbop sale (currently 30% to 70% OFF Seven and Citizens of Humanity Jeans at shopbop.com!) and a chocolate brown duffel bag in a classic silhouette to complete the streamlined look without going that off-kilter road.

What’s your take on the luxe layering trend, and have you put together an outfit with the simplistic triad of beige, brown and cream? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Top: Forever 21// Pants: J Brand// Cape: Club Monaco// Heels: Vince Camuto// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Shades: Prada// Necklace: Thailand

Cape Escape + GIVEAWAY!

Designers love to chaperon luxe layering trends this season and the verdict is in – style hunters can’t get enough of the cape effect! From dressy upper echelon to sartorial street style, the traditional topper got a modern makeover during Fashion Week when British “IT” girls Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse donned the Burberry’s blanket poncho. From high fashion runway to MOD walkway, the cape trend is here to stay!

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Want to jump on the cape bandwagon this season without shelling out major greenbacks? Well here’s the good news – you can win one for free! That’s right lovelies, I’ve teamed up with the LookBook Store to bring you a giveaway for one of its top sellers – the Fringe Hem Knit Cape! Yes you got it, there’s a chance you can own this season’s hottest look with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

TO WIN:Untitled-1

1.) LIKE Feline Creatures on Facebook  

2.) COMMENT here how you would style the knit cape!

3.) VISIT LookBook Store on Facebook  

4.) TRIVIA question on Rafflecopter

5.) TWEET the giveaway! 

 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily (click image below). You can earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with friends on social media. Giveaway runs November 12 to November 26 and is open worldwide

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** Giveaway for the Fringe Hem Knit Cape ends November 26th at 11:59 PM EST. Open worldwide. Winner will be selected by random and be notified by email. Please note that Feline Creatures is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.  I have represented the sponsor of this giveaway with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsor will be shipping the item to you directly. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Giveaway organized by the LookBook Store.

Well Vested

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As we’ve long bid our adieus to summer and the abundance of sunshine, warmth, and saccharine-colored dresses, there are certain wardrobe staples that I like to keep on heavy rotation when we plunge into Fall. Though the fickle weather has awakened our affinity for hot cocoa and toasty evenings by the fireplace, liminal time still exists for us to polish off our looks sans hefty jackets, thermal puffers, and shearling-lined boots.v2-36h1-7

My favorite outfits to work into that interim phase? A souped up moto jacket with a jersey panelled number. An oversized camel coat over a nifty sweater. Or an olive green suede vest with faux fur lining paired with a patterned blouse like this one I got at Nordstrom (where now you can save up to 40% at the Nordstrom Clearance Sale through November 11!)

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While some wear a long vest like a sleeveless coat, others ditch the menswear-inspired look by choosing a gilet like this fuzzy TopShop version. But there’s one tenet of this trend that makes it a cult favorite – it can be worn open as a layering piece, so you can stick to your choice of minimalistic dressing with a faux fur vest in the same hue (all-black ensembles rejoice!), or add a bit of spunk with a printed shirt in the same color family.h1-11h1-27v2-12

Given the vest’s prominent color is green, I made sure my Tory Burch shirt picked it up along with other fall foliage hues (I also like this funky leopard print by Roberto Cavalli). And to give this eminently wearable outfit all the ease for travel and commute (granted you don’t have a chauffeur or you take public transportation to work everyday, you stylish urbanite), I paired it with black skinny jeans and brown Chelsea boots (this UGG pair I’m wearing has wool sockliner and foam-cushioned footbed!)

There you go, a classic Fall pairing that’ll have you one step away from perfecting those wanderlust-inducing snaps on Instagram!

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Top: Tory Burch// Vest: Vince Camuto//Pants: Paige// Boots: UGG// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs// Shades: Prada

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Star Light Star Bright

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“Star light, star bright. The first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might. Have the wish I wish tonight”

Pinocchio delivered that famous line when one day he looked upon the glazing star, so luminously fixed in the night sky, and wished that one day he’d become a human boy. Flash forward 120 years later after Carlo Collodi brought his children’s novel to life, the very thought of wishing upon a star for a desire, a dream so far-fetched and improbable, remain naive and vacuous to most people. Image

However, many great inventions and enterprises trading equities around the globe do not achieve their monumental success without, at one point in time, a wish…a desire…a minuscule dream so small and insignificant that many deem preposterous. However, without igniting a dream, believing in its existence, and nurturing its growth, we wouldn’t be moving forward with our existence; rather, we would remain complacent in our current state of affairs and be bounded by the confining “can dos, can’t dos” of our daily grind.

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Like those of Evan Spiegel (who developed Snapchat as a project for one of his product design classes at Stanford) and Michael Dell (who founded his namesake company from his dorm room by selling computers built from stock components), they believed the trail of success starts with a solid foundation. In my outfit today I chose this black and white outfit with this star-spangled cardi (which reminds me of what Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wore; similar one HERE) because this color combo reminds me of the fundamental bearings of a stable core – one that is “tried and tested”; one that retains its value and withstands passing trends and time. 

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Thus I believe our lives should be led by a well-rooted foundation and our dreams catapulted with a strong mind, a tactful plan, and a bucket full of faith. Like a glazing star whose life begins with traces of hydrogen fuel and helium, ideas are like chemical infusions that, in due time, creates newer elements that propel our expansion, leaps and bounds, into newer and more fulfilling areas!

Shine on starlets!

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Dress: Forever 21// Cardi: TopShop// Tights: Hue// Shoes: Vince Camuto// Accessories: H&M/Urban Outfitters

 

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