Fashion Fixer Upper

Fashion Fixer Upper

Some people like to spend their days watching people flip homes on TV, I like to spend mine by shopping and flipping clothes. Just give me my own TV show and call it The Fashion Fixer Upper. I love a good bargain, but also enjoy having unique clothing pieces. I haven’t always been a huge fan of online shopping, but when I learned about Shoptiques, a website that sells clothing from different boutiques around the world, I had to give it a try!

I came across a very interesting denim patchwork dress for only $3.00 (see below)! There was something about this piece that really intrigued me. I wanted to purchase it so I could fix it up and style it to be more flattering to me and my body. This is something I’ve always done since I was a little girl. I would by the fashion pieces that were left over on the sale rack and would challenge myself to style and bring them to life in a new way. Something about this has always been fun to me. 
In the next few pictures you will see how I styled and personalized this piece to make it more flattering to my body shape and personal style. 
Before:
(Image via Shoptiques)
After:
The first thing I did when I received this dress was cut the three hanging fabric/ribbon pieces off on the side. Since this dress is one size fits all, it’s more of a looser fit (as seen in the original photo). I paired it with a belt and rolled up the sleeves to make it hug my figure more. I left the first few buttons undone and added my go-to favorite necklaces, a fun clutch, and velvet booties (of course).
This dress is my new favorite “fun” addition to my closet. I can’t wait to wear it again! 
I encourage everyone to switch up their day-to-day fashion pieces by styling them differently or pairing with new accessories. You will see just how new you can make your clothes look! Maybe challenge yourself to hit the sale rack or a thrift store and see if you can “fix up” something to make it your own. Rock your new masterpiece and send me your pictures 🙂 
XOXO,
Gina

Dress: Shoptiques. Find here
Shoes: Steve Madden. Find here
Necklaces: Pink Jules Boutique
Clutch: Diane Von Furstenberg 
Belt: Macy’s
Location: Catalyst Ranch
The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

I haven’t been teaching yoga very long, but what I have learned is that there is something therapeutic about speaking and explaining your intention to the class. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, usually the teacher will offer or invite you to set an intention for your practice (a mantra, quote, poem, etc.). Both as a teacher and a student, I like to center my intentions around something I am working on/towards or a lesson I’ve learned. The word that keeps coming up for me lately is empathy.
I don’t often share these intentions with the world, but I feel this one is important. In yoga, we say Namaste when we conclude our practice. But what does Namaste actually mean? My soul honors your soul. Sounds great, now can we start saying this to everyone and not just to our fellow yogis? Let’s end our meetings by saying Namaste. Tell the cashier at the grocery store Namaste. The guy at the deli who fixed you a sub, Namaste to him. You catch my drift. This word has been so glamorized on social media (I am also guilty of it) that I feel it’s lost its true meaning. Namastay in bed, Namastay at home, Namastay on the couch. We are “namastaying” everything and everywhere.
I came across this quote on Pinterest, “See the light in each other. Be the light for each other.” It made me think of the true meaning of Namaste. Honoring one’s self as well as your neighbor. We are all going through our own difficult battles so why not come together and be there for one another? You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but showing empathy is a great place to start. In a world where there are some people who aren’t very nice, be kind. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are strong and true to yourself for showing kindness and love to people that test you. 
I attended a restorative yoga class last year and the instructor had us spend a few moments in a seated meditation. She had us think about someone that is very difficult to get along with (all I could think of is that this is not going to be very meditative). Then, she instructed us to send love and positive thoughts to that person even though it might be very difficult to do so. Let go of the anger and negativity you are holding on towards that person and counteract those emotions with kindness. This is something that will stick with me forever. We are all human. When faced with difficult situations and people, we react a certain way. We can’t go back in time and change the way we reacted or the emotions that came up, but we can change the future. We can send kindness and love to those people that test us. It might sound crazy, but once you let go, you create space for really great things to come into your life. 
Shirt: Vibrate Higher. Find here and use code “gina” for 15% off your order.
Pants: Lululemon
Hat: Relephant Matters. Find here
Shoes: Converse
Viva La Brunch!

Viva La Brunch!

Ways to make me happy:
1. Take me to brunch
2. Make me brunch
3. Be brunch
Pretty simple right? After all, I didn’t think I was that complicated 😉
But seriously, why do I like brunch so much? I have no idea.. maybe it’s the idea of bottomless mimosas, delicious food and spending quality time with your family/friends. If you’re from a place that brunches hardcore, then chances are you know what I’m talking about. In Chicago, I would say we are pro brunchers. We have so many delicious brunch spots there’s just too many to name (and too many to try!). 
So what is the most important thing about prepping for brunch? Picking out the perfect brunch outfit (after you’ve picked the most Instagram-able brunch spot, of course). 
For me, the perfect outfit depends on a few deciding factors: the plans I had the previous night, the location of the brunch spot, who I am brunching with, and the time. 
A graphic Tee with a cute (brunch) quote is usually the winner for me, and yes, I have multiple shirts with brunch quotes. Weather depending, I will throw on a jacket because I am ALWAYS chilled in restaurants, until the mimosas start flowing. A pair of yoga pants is usually the go-to if I am going more of the sporty look route (which is usually what ends up happening), BUT this time, I chose to wear my SUPER comfy jeggings- which are basically leggings that look like jeans, so it’s actually perfect. Top the look off with a cute hairstyle or if you are feeling a little lazy/don’t want to add any more dry shampoo to your hair, a baseball cap or floppy hat will do the trick!
Then you are ready to brunch.. now just be sure to warn your fellow brunchers that you need to capture the perfect Instagram photo before they can touch their food!
Comment below with your favorite spot to brunch at 🙂 
Gina’s favorite brunch spots in Chicago:
Beatrix
Bub City
Kanela Breakfast Club
Meli Cafe
Yolk
Hub 51
Siena Tavern
LYFE Kitchen (great healthy choice!)
Troquet
Pinstripes
The Hampton Social
Mahalo
Rockit 
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
Carnivale
Lou Mitchel’s
Shirt: Old Navy. Find similar here
Jacket: Pacsun. Find similar here
Jeans: T.J. Maxx 
Purse: From a street vendor at a fest
Hat: Icing (sold out online) Find similar here