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what i’m working on today 1.11.11

So, I will probably do a couple more random posts about my trip, but yesterday and today I have been happily busy working on an order from one of my favorite subjects, JeRayle. JeRayle lives in Dallas and does some modeling. We have worked together on one shoot prior to this one, and I have to say that my camera just loves him. :) Here are some favorites of mine from the ones I am editing for him right now.

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Seriously, though, how good is he in front of the camera?? He has what it takes to make it in the modeling world, and I hope his career takes him far!

~abi~

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Kathleen MillerJanuary 11, 2011 - 10:46 pm

ummmmm WOW. that's all I can say. WOW. ;)

Bethany LarieJanuary 12, 2011 - 2:01 am

cough* mmm… wow….. or yummy.. yeah yummy sounds better :D

~abi~January 12, 2011 - 2:24 pm

haha, you girls make me laugh. :)

i’m looking at you through the glass

Well, I was going to do a post about all the food and shopping and entertainment of my NYC trip, but it was just too much for one post. Also, I am too caught up in watching snowflakes fall outside my window to do a long and complicated post.

So, today you get five photos of the window displays at Saks 5th Ave.

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So whimsical and dreamy. I can’t get it out of my head.

Hope you all have a beautiful winter day!

~abi~

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Kelly BeaneJanuary 10, 2011 - 7:13 pm

Ahhh! I die! Love.them.so.much. The Neiman Marcus windows in Dallas were very whimsical and fun this year, but not quite like these! You can't beat New York!!!

AmandaJanuary 10, 2011 - 7:14 pm

Amazing, thanks for sharing!!

And KathleenJanuary 10, 2011 - 8:05 pm

Window dressing is a dream job of mine! Though, in actuality I'm not sure I'd be very good at it.

One of my favorite artists is Simon Doonan – he's the creative director for Barney's but used to do window dressings when he first started out. He has a book called Confessions of a Window Dresser that you'll have to check out!

~abi~January 12, 2011 - 2:24 pm

kelly~
i know, right?? but i bet dallas does pretty good too during the holidays. :)
kathleen~
i will so check out that book – sounds very cool.

decor inspiration from nyc

I didn’t go looking for decor inspiration in NY…In fact, I only snapped one photo thinking, “Yes, I want to do this in my room.” I did, however, take lots and lots of photos of anything that caught my eye. So, looking through my photos, I had about a dozen that sparked decorating ideas for me.

Now, I realize that my taste is completely unsophisticated. I love a hodge podge of stuff that has been collected over time, with lots of color mixed into things. So, this post might not be inspirational at all for you when it comes to decor. But hey, at least you can see some more pics from my trip. :)

I’ll start off with probably the crappiest photo I’ve ever posted on my blog, because I mean, why try to bury it in the middle of the post? If you can ignore the blurriness, you will see the one photo I took just to remember this idea: a sparkly, glittery branch hanging thing. :) I am so going to do this, and I am going to hang jewelry from it.

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{taken in Serendipity}

This chair simply enthralled me. I love it. I have old burlap potato sacks covering my ceiling in my bedroom, so this is my kind of thing. Also, ikat might be over in the decorating world, I’m not sure – but I still love it.

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{I have no idea what store this was in – it was down the street from Serendipity.}

Here’s a different angle that shows an a.ma.zing. chandelier!

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And a detail shot of the chandelier. Does anyone know what “style” this is? As in, what era or whatever?

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Here’s a nice, dark picture of some window treatments I thought were pretty sweet. Sorry, it was late and the only illumination was street light.

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This one is a little better. I just love the swishy, fringe-y look of it.

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{at The Four Seasons}

These two shimmery light fixtures hanging right by each other made me think of pretty, dangly earrings…for your ceiling. And that thought makes me smile.

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{inside of our hotel, The New York Helmsley}

Serendipity is chock full of unique and cute decor. I loved the mirrored butterflies and all the clustered Christmas bulbs and lights in this shot.

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{upstairs in Serendipity}

I think this is so lovely! The molding detail on the painted ceiling is simply charming, and that chandelier is too fun! Doesn’t it seem like it would be diy-able?

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The following three photos were taken outside of Bloomingdale’s. I loved the words and colors, and I might print these and frame them together in my home.

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Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

~abi~

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nyc trip – what i wore

Well, as promised, this post will show you what I wore on my trip to NYC last week.

Our flight left Oklahoma City at 6am last Thursday, December 30, 2010. For the flight, I just wanted to be cool and comfortable. I also didn’t want to squish my fedora in my luggage, so I wore it.

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{Black felt fedora with feathers: Burlington Coat Factory – I think I paid around twelve bucks for it. Long printed shirt: thrifted for a couple of dollars. Gold scarf: I’ve owned it forever – it is a nice big scarf which can double as a thin blanket when traveling. ;)}

Here we are in NYC on the way to our hotel. I am posting this one to sort of show you my very cool silver snake bracelet that I got at The Rink Gallery {local vintage shop}. I eyed it for at least a month before deciding to go ahead and get it. I think it was maybe $60, which is way more than I would typically spend on anything, because I am a cheapo.

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{In this pic, left to right: Jen, who I have been friends with since we were five years old; Whitney, my dear friend who hosts my LifeGroup at her house each week; me; Katherine, a lovely and fun friend who is also in my LifeGroup.}

After dropping our luggage at the hotel and changing, we ventured out into The City. We ended up at Serendipity about three hours after putting our name on the wait list. It’s a popular place. :)

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{Fur trimmed cape: thrifted; sheer sparkly undershirt: thrifted.}

Here’s more of that outfit, which went through a few variations throughout the night. This is in front of the bright and cheery window displays at Bloomingdale’s.

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{Same cape and undershirt from above, also a Calvin Klein tank from Burlington Coat Factory, which you can see better in a following pic; fabulous purse was a Christmas gift from my friend Brandie – it’s a Fossil; sparkly skirt I’ve had for awhile from some teen store at the mall, probably Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal; thick black leggings from Ross; tall grey socks: probably a Christmas gift from my mom a couple years ago; Jessica Simpson shoes: thrifted – they were brand new, never worn. :)}

When I spotted this “405” on a building we were passing, I knew we had to get a pic representin’ our area code. :)

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{At this point, it was getting pretty cold outside, so I added a scarf I had just bought earlier at H&M for three dollars. Also, I should mention The Coat. I bought the coat at Goodwill for $9.99 – it is 100% wool, with a real fur collar. Heck yes.
Oh yeah, and in this pic, left to right: me, Katherine, my confidant and friend Brandie, and Whitney.}

We stopped back at the hotel, where I simultaneously shed and added some layers. I ditched the cape, since it was pretty bulky under the coat, and I added another H&M scarf, purchased by and borrowed from Jen. This is in our hotel bar area. We stayed at The New York Helmsley.

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{Here you can see my embellished Calvin Klein tank that I got at Burlington Coat Factory – it has that perfect loose fit. Also, my resin bracelet from the Dollar Jewelry Store. What-what! ;) Oh, and my sweet hair, colored by my sweet friend and hair girl, Jamie. Tell me if you want her info!}

We had to get a pic on the streets of NYC of me as I turned thirty! Here you can see the doubled up H&M scarves. :)

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{Fun fact: I am holding Brandie’s phone here, which has a pic of she and I and a couple friends celebrating her thirtieth birthday in Vegas last June. We also did a “12:01” pic of her there. :)}

The next morning was the big day, when we headed down to Times Square for a lonnng day waiting to watch the ball drop. Of course, I had to be extra-fabulous in order to stand out in the crowd of over a million people! ;)

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{Ridiculous fur hat: purchased at Bess & Evie’s vintage shop in Dallas for $45; cheapo dangly gold earrings from the Dollar Jewelry Store; necklace you can’t really see, haha: Kohl’s; cream-colored CuddlDuds undershirt from Ross to keep me warm; gold bracelets from the Dollar Jewelry Store; same gold scarf and awesome coat mentioned above; cream-colored sleeveless jumpsuit: thrifted; and The Boots!!! Let me take a moment to tell you about the boots…I was shopping at a huge thrift store in Dallas with Jen, when I spotted these boots. Right away, i could tell they were made of nice leather, and when I picked them up, I saw they had a red leather sole. The breath was knocked out of me and I nearly fainted, because everyone knows that Christian Louboutin’s all have red soles. Alas, they were not CL’s, but they are freakin’ VALENTINO’S!!!!! Seriously. I am not lying. In size 8, my size! For SEVEN DOLLARS AND EIGHTY-SEVEN CENTS!!! I really did almost pass out! And I think I will do a post showcasing them on here soon. :)}

Now, you know I had to do some crazy makeup for my thirtieth birthday/New Year’s Eve in New York City. This look was inspired by Ke$ha’s We R Who We R video, and Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days Are Over video. Those two videos got my brain turning, then I made my own look from the ideas. :)

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{I used mulberry-ish and orangey-brown shades of eyeshadow by MaryKay. I can’t think of the names of them right now. Also used some gold eyeshadow from CVS and red glitter from WalMart, haha. And Jelly Fish lipgloss by Hard Candy. And of course, my favorite mascara, CoverGirl LashBlastFushion.}

I decorated this umbrella in hopes of making it on tv. That did not happen. Also, there was no precipitation. :)

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The next day, we set out to see a bit of Chinatown and a Broadway show. I stopped by the doors of The New York Public Library for a quick pic.

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{Head wrap: the Dollar Jewelry Store; shirt: thrifted; coat: borrowed from Whitney; purse: gift from Brandie; black jeggings: by Elle, from Kohl’s – I searched forever and tried on endless pairs of skinny black pants, jeans, and jeggings before I found these; Frye boots: found on clearance at Marshall’s for $70 – for Frye boots!!!}

I soon realized that leaving my hair down would not work with that head wrap, so I twisted it into the New Yorker high messy bun while riding the subway. And I felt so cool! ;)

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{It makes me laugh that Katherine and I were pretending to be cool New Yorkers on our phones in this pic, since there is definitely no cell service on the subway. haha}

Despite everyone’s warnings about how cold it was going to be there, it actually wasn’t too bad. I even got so warm later walking around and searching for Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, that I ended up shedding the coat for a bit.

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{We cropped out the No Trespassing sign and chain at the bottom of the steps!}

And then, sadly, it was the final day of our trip. Jen and Whitney and I woke up early to go see the Met and Central Park. This was the same outfit I would wear to the airport, so I donned the fedora again.

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{Fedora: Burlington Coat Factory; vintage long sleeved black jumpsuit: thrifted; H&M scarf purchased there; H&M vest: thrifted here in OKC; Frye boots: Marshall’s.}

And there you have it: my outfits for New York, listed in exhausting detail. I am pretty sure that you only read through this entire post if you were verrry bored at work or are ridiculously into clothing like me. So, if you read it and weren’t bored to tears, let me know! Or if you just want to say how cute I looked, that’s okay, too. ;)

~abi~

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And KathleenJanuary 6, 2011 - 7:08 pm

The train photo with your messy NY bun is the best! Also – I'm obsessed with your hair color. I need more details. Is it red and pink? Love it.

~abi~January 6, 2011 - 9:28 pm

it is red and pink, kathleen! thank you for loving it. :) when i first got the red, i also got a lot of pink all through it. this time i just have one big chunk of pink, basically at my right temple area.

stephanieJanuary 10, 2011 - 6:32 pm

you are just too fabulous for words!! looks like so much fun, and i'm super jeal about your pic on carrie's front porch!!

AmandaJanuary 10, 2011 - 7:13 pm

Love you and very bored at work!! Loved the detail, could so hear you telling me . . . kinda like back in the day when I would tell you movies ;)

~abi~January 12, 2011 - 2:26 pm

stephanie~
if only i could be as fab as YOU! :)
mandi~
:)

[…] each other through the awful things life has occasionally thrown our way and also celebrating the good stuff – aside from all of that, I think the coolest thing about our friendship is our mutual love […]

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I feel like a lifetime has passed since I last posted, even though it has been just one week. In that short week, I traveled to New York City and back. There, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday and the New Year.

It was an amazing trip, and I was feeling overwhelmed as I tried to figure out how to post about it without going overboard. {If you want to see almost all the pix from the trip, check out the five {!} albums I added on Facebook. :)} While browsing some of my favorite blogs this morning, I had a somewhat brilliant {in my opinion} idea: I will post about my trip under topics; such as my clothing/the outfits I wore each day, decor inspiration, and entertainment/food/shopping. So, I will begin tomorrow with the clothing post. :)

As for today…

Well, it almost seems as though a deep and thoughtful post is required of me, seeing as how I just turned thirty. Wow. Thirty.

I’ll give it my best shot here…

I am amazed and humbled at what my life looks like as a thirty year old. God has been so very good to me. At the same time, I’m not sure quite how to express my feelings about how my life looks right now. I never want to appear ungrateful or unhappy, because the truth is that I am happy and thankful beyond words. The blessings I have experienced are too numerous to list here.

In spite of feeling extremely blessed, or maybe because of that, I am not satisfied or fulfilled. That is a pretty raw and vulnerable statement, but it is truth. I want to do more, to give more, to achieve more.

My hands are a little shaky, because I feel the urge to dig deep and share more right now. Feel free to run the other way, or at least stop reading if you don’t want a look into my soul and a glimpse at my dream.

Ten years ago this March, I started photography school, and a new chapter of my life began. It was clear from the beginning that I had the talent and people skills to succeed. The question then and now, ten years later, was: Can I run a business? I honestly don’t know. Nothing about the business aspect really appeals to me. And yet, I love the rest of it.

I have a good solid job, where I work in a quiet office during the week. I am free to bring my laptop and work on photography stuff. I have very kind and flexible bosses who give me any days off that I request. For a long while, I was weirdly ashamed to tell people that I have a “day job” because I was afraid that it made me seem like some sort of failure as a photographer. And maybe it does. But I am mostly happy working here, and I feel blessed to have the steady paycheck.

But do you want to know what my dreams look like? In my dreams, in the corners of my mind occupied by beautiful fantasies, I own a cool little building {much like the one used as a backdrop in the photos of my last post} that is part thrift boutique and part hang out spot.

I would employ members of my family to work and have it open pretty much around the clock. Imagine: a place here in Oklahoma City where you could shop after 10pm, other than WalMart! :)

I would cover the walls with my photos and other cool art pieces. I might even be inspired to create some art with a paintbrush again — which I haven’t done in years and years.

I would use a tiny little part of the building as a natural light studio. Because, oh yes, I would still be a photographer. I would shoot artsy and beautiful portraits for very cool people. And perhaps my name would spread, and I would make connections with the right people, and end up doing random commercial portrait assignments of important folks.

I would find some cool old dress forms and mannequins, and I would create whimsical and cool outfits to display and sell. I would get to spend hours combing through thrift stores and garage sales; because after all, that would be part of my job – to find unique and thrilling items to sell at my own shop. My sister Mandi would help me with this part of it. :)

Another part of it would be the entertainment aspect. Growing up, my house was usually the gathering spot, where everyone felt welcome. I loved it, but it sucked when I wanted to get out of the house – because I knew the other options I had for hanging out were never as much fun, or they closed at 9pm {like thrift stores and the library – I was such a cool kid ;)}. As a teen and in my early twenties {heck, even to this day}, I always wished there was a place to go and just hang out. Sort of like a coffee shop or bookstore, but with clothes and art and such! :) And very laid back. Just a place. To go and chill. Not somewhere you had to buy a drink or food, but where you could hang out like you were getting dinner or a drink. Make sense?

I could create that place. I know I could. There would be stacks of magazines {I’ve got ’em! :)} and books, a tv where there was always a good old movie or tv series or music videos playing, maybe a ping pong table or something random…like a shuffle board table! :) Board games would be a must. And, of course, the shopping. There would be cool clothes and great art on the walls.

It would be a cool place where cool kids {I use the term loosely – after all, I am a 30 year old kid} could hang out…an alternative to going out and getting wasted or sleeping around or the countless other things “kids” do when they are bored.

I close my eyes and I can picture it. I take a breath, and with each inhale and exhale, a new idea is formed for what I could do in my little space. But I have no idea how to make it happen.

When I try to imagine how it would actually happen, all I see are the dollar signs that it would require. And so, I work. I shoot weddings and portraits, and I come to work at my quiet office job from eight to five on Monday through Friday.

And in the corners of my mind that no one sees, dreams bubble below the surface and burst into brilliantly colored shapes and forms.

So, as I look at my life, I am not entirely happy or satisfied. In fact, I am somewhat ashamed of what I have not accomplished. Because I want more. I want to do more and give more and be more. I am filled to the top with exciting ideas and a renewed determination.

And this is the year. 2011 and 30 – two numbers that will mark a jumping off point in my life. Just you watch and see.

~abi~

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Kriea ArieJanuary 5, 2011 - 8:19 pm

I cant wait!

Kristen MalloryJanuary 6, 2011 - 1:54 am

I am inspired by your words! I encourage you to FREAKING GO FOR IT GIRL! The world is yours for the taking! Ain't no shame in having a full-time job either…your work speaks for it self, period.

Bethany LarieJanuary 9, 2011 - 1:37 am

I agree with Kriea, Abi. I cant wait. I will continue to pray for you. Your dreams are attainable and you are sooo the person for this sort of thing!! It will be Fabulous, like you.. anything I can do at all give me a call.. any prayer things. U ROCK IT GIRL!!!!!

~abi~January 12, 2011 - 2:27 pm

thank you, girls! i can't wait either. :)