Nov 24, 2015

Friendsgiving at the Coast

I'm kind of excited to see that "friendsgiving" has become a thing, and a holiday of its own. So many people live far from family, don't get along with family, or just have such close friends that are considered family. Since we've been in Oregon, we've been a part of the annual "lesbigiving" friendsgiving at the coast. This year was our 2nd trip and it was a blast! We made sangria, swapped stories in the hot tub, hiked sand dunes and maybe even got yelled at by the neighbors for having too much fun.

We even lucked out with amazing blue skies in the middle of November, which is practically unheard of in Oregon. It made for some gorgeous strolls on the beach. It was kind of chilly though, so I brought a jacket and a scarf. I've been asked a lot for various ways to wear a scarf this season and there's really so much you can do. A super common and really warm way to wear a scarf is to loop it around your neck and pull the ends through the loop

Or just tie the ends together

Instant infinity scarf!

Next time you see me, ask me to show you a pretzel knot too! It's a little complicated to explain via picture, but it's become one of my favorite ways to dress up my outfit! At the beach I wore Torrid jeans, an Old Navy coat, Lucky Brand top, a Pashmina scarf and Top Shop sunglasses.

We climbed some of that hill so I could make Marine look like she landed on Mars. The food was fantastic, the company was even better.

Walking to the beach as a group and watching the sunset was probably my favorite part. Moving to Oregon has been an adjustment, but these ladies have all made that adjustment so much easier. We took artsy photos, Allison juggled, Leah sipped wine, Ashleigh and Katie and Jareb tossed the football around, and Malika, Andie, and Sarah tossed their shoes aside, freezing water be damned.Until next friendsgiving!

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Nov 5, 2015

Not Your Moms Jeans Either

I have a confession- I really like NYDJ. I know, I know. A fashion blogger? In her 20's? From a style-obsessed city? Here's the thing, for plus size ladies, these jeans are actually a great buy. Sure, the brand title, "NYDJ", short for "Not Your Daughter's Jeans", still baffles me as it implies that these are, in fact, mom jeans. I will never understand why they went that route, though I totally understand why it was abbreviated. These jeans might not be in your arsenal yet, but if you're a curvy girl looking for some figure flattering basics, you can stop searching now.

Gone are the days of brightly embroidered and rhinestone bedazzled jeans and good riddance! A classic black skinny will long stand the test of time. These jeans have 2 patents for a tummy flattening panel in the front, AND a butt lifting panel in the back.  Bet you didn't know NYDJ now makes flattering tops and sweaters too. Text me at my work number (503)342-7930 and I'll send you some! You'll look just as good coming as you do going. Own a pair? What do you think of yours?

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Nov 2, 2015

Outerwear, Boots, and the Story Behind the Blog

I've gotten a few inquiries about the title of my blog- "That Starving Artist." As a plus size blogger, there are tons of jokes to be made about the fact that I am certainly not starving, nor do I condone physical starvation. It sort of began as a joke; the idea of this tortured artist doing anything and everything to pursue their art.

In this case, it's a metaphor for a plus size girl going shopping. She will do anything she can to look good and she knows damn well she is going to work twice as hard to look fabulous.

There is an artistry in pulling a great outfit together, especially when one has limited resources. A stylish plus size girl on a budget works it even harder. The title of a blog is an ode to her; to the girl who will break down doors and bust out sewing machines. To the girl who will ravage goodwill and cry in a few fitting rooms. This is for those of us who won't give up and stay inside forever. The blog is a way of telling her, and telling myself, that our big break is on the horizon.

In other news, the weather has taken a turn. We do get brilliant moments of blue sky and sunshine, but holy rain batman. Halloween night was ridiculously rainy. I have recently discovered a hole in my tall boots, and am still breaking in my new booties. I have one rain coat- the only one I've ever owned. It's got me drooling over shoes and outerwear. Of course, I plan on spending Christmas in California, so for now, I will just keep drooling, but here's a few favorites I'm putting on my wishlist!

Working at Nordstrom I get to look at shoes and clothes all day and learn about them before making a decision. These boots are a great go-to. I love Sam Edelman, and I could use a great brown boot.

I'm also in desperate need of rain boots. These Hunter boots have an adjustable strap, but sometimes they can run narrow in the calf. I'd take a short boot though, because I don't own a single pair of rain boots, nor can I afford this particular pair right now! I know it would be worth the investment once I get my bank account in check!

The one pair of boots I already checked off the list are my Sam Edelman booties. They aren't waterproof, but they do go up to size 13! My big feet need more cute options! I've also been dying for a new coat.

I already have an olive Vince Camuto piece that I bought last year on sale to survive the move to Oregon. It's still holding strong, but I need another color to add to the wardrobe. I could use a basic black, like this Gallery raincoat with a removable lining and hood.

It's simple, but that's kind of the point! Another winner would be this Ellen Tracy number. The hood zips into the collar, and it has tons of pockets! It does run small though, so size up!

Have you started getting coats or boots yet? Any favorites/reviews? Let me know, I still haven't purchased yet!

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Oct 26, 2015

Our Anniversary at the Pumpkin Patch

Marine and I have now officially been together for 3 years, and each year that an anniversary passes, we kind of miss it. Our first anniversary was on the road and we flew from Oklahoma City to Denver, and I had a performance immediately after getting off our flight. Our 2nd anniversary was our first year in Oregon, and we were both busy with work and school. This year, on the last anniversary before we get married, we knew we both had to take some time off together and just celebrate!

What better way to do that in Oregon than to enjoy the changing season at a pumpkin patch?? We went to Airlie Hills Farm to get lost in some mazes, eat kettle corn, and pick out some pumpkins to take home and carve.

There were goats, pigs and turkeys to admire, and we even lucked out with some blue sky.

We started off in the hay maze. It was relatively easy, even though we still found 3 or 4 dead ends before making it out.

Dead end = photo op! I was probably the most glamourous person on the farm that day in my Halogen sweater, Old Navy tee, Michael Kors watch, House of Harlow earrings and Carlos Santana boots. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl.

After the hay maze, we finished the dark maze (which, you guessed it, is completely pitch dark) and then we entered the corn maze. The corn maze is no joke. Once you go in, good luck! You better not be on a schedule because it's gonna be a while!

This is what we had to endure. Mind you, we entered without knowing exactly where the exit was so we were especially doomed.

We were tempted to quit right about here in this little cheater hole, but we persevered.

In the end, we got excited to find the entrance again and darted out of there! Turns out, we had been pretty close to the exit a few times, but the point of a maze is to get a little lost right?

After all of that we picked out our pumpkins and some kettle corn and had a chance to just relax and enjoy the gorgeous fall day without stressing over that EARittating corn maze (yes, I'm corny, pun intended!).

Our pumpkin designs were the swirl emoji and the Tardis, from Dr. Who. (Combined, we call them the Turdis haha!) Considering we freehanded them both, I'd say we killed it!

Here's to finally having a proper anniversary. Third times a charm, right?

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Oct 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Veronique!

Technically, Marine's mother's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but we spent the weekend celebrating it anyways. Marine's little sister, Natacha, packed her bags, Benoit booked the flights and Marine and I drove to the airport to pick everybody up- unbeknownst to Veronique. It was a birthday surprise unlike any other, and I'd say we crammed a ton of amazing things to do in Portland into a tiny little weekend.

On Saturday morning we took the MAX up to Washington Park to hike through the fall foliage, take artsy pictures and get excited about eventually moving out of Corvallis and into PDX. We also got a chance to educate Natacha and Tristan about why everyone in Portland is so obsessed with the airport carpet. The International Rose Test Garden sits on top of Washington Park and it's a gorgeous, fragrant space with views of downtown and Mount Hood. It was fun to run around, take pictures, and try not to snort any bees while comparing the various smells from each flower. Could also be the cutest park ever for engagement photos, amiright?

After the park we stumbled across a truly Portland establishment, The Fiesty Lamb. It was kind of like a hipster took a trip to Wonderland and came back with organic, locally sourced lamb, hawaiian pink sea salt and African herbs and spices. It was weird, delightful, and seemingly straight out of an episode of "Portlandia."

We continued the afternoon into downtown to peruse the Saturday market, and just generally explore the city.

You can pretty much find anything at the Saturday Market (which is open Sundays too!) like t-shirts, posters, spices, elephant ears, and even knives that pierce right through your head. Have fun getting those back through TSA...

Also had to stop at my favorite establishment in the whole city (besides Nordstrom, of course), Powell's City of Books. It is the largest independent bookstore in the WORLD! It spans an entire city block and is a booklover's Disneyland. We even caught the sickest sunset with rainbows and pink sky at every angle on our way out.

Sunday morning wasn't spent at Church, but we did go to the Cathedral. Cathedral Park sits just below St. John's Bridge and at just the right angle, it looks like a gorgeous outdoor church. Everyone in the park kept asking us if we were there for the wedding, and it's no wonder so many people do wed here- it's unique and stunning.

At the Saturday market the day before, we urged Marine's family to skip the tourist trap that is Voodoo Donuts, and to try Blue Star Donuts instead. Way less hype, way less sugar, way more delicious. We took a box to go to enjoy later.

Finally, the cherry on the Portland weekend trip was a hike up Multnomah Falls. My body is still sore as I type this as we hiked from where this picture was taken, all the way to the very top of the falls. It's truly not a Schmitt family vacation until I'm red as a tomato and contemplating why I hadn't hit the gym before their arrival. Nothing says "I deserve a donut now" like this view right here ^.

Thanks Schmitt family, for an epic weekend in our own backyard.

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Oct 10, 2015

Selfies with Celebrities

Monday at work dragged on for what seemed like several days. Later that night I tossed and turned like a child on Christmas Eve. I was in serious anticipation of a brief, but amazing trip home.

Tuesday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to head to California to see my family, get some wedding planning done, and check out the Nordstrom Opening Gala at Del Amo. It was an incredible three days and I got a million things done!

The Gala was just as expected- an over the top, anything goes extravaganza. We rolled up to a multcolored light display, live models adorning the front doors, a bumping DJ, and butlered champagne.

I was lucky enough to get to share this night with my mom- the woman who I inherited my love of Nordies from!

I'm wearng a Sejour top, Old Navy skirt, Kate Spade stud earrings, Kendra Scott necklace and Target shoes. My mom is wearing an Equipment blouse, Hudson jeans, Coach handbag and Steve Madden booties.

I used to think it was a ridiculous stereotype that everyone in LA knew celebrities, but after the gala I realized that stereotype may hold some truth...

Zendaya was a sweetheart to join me in a selfie!

The cuff and necklace were through my Rocksbox subscription, which you can try for free by entering code thatstarvingartistxoxo at checkout!

We got these adorable parting gifts on our way out!

I put my Nordstrom card to good use, sipped cocktails, noshed on mac and cheese and bite sized beef wellington, took selfies with celebrites and ran into old friends and even my kindergarten teacher! Overall it was a success! And the gala managed to raise over $125,000 for the charity Walk with Sally.

The next day was strictly dedicated to wedding planning! We walked through our amazing venue, scoped out places to do bridal party photos, and got to play around with rentals at Iva Lee's showroom.

I got a chance later to catch up with my sister over ice cream, and the next day had lunch with our friend Jessie who is designing our wedding invitations!

I so missed this view!!

It was so hot I spent the rest of the day by the pool before getting ready for my evening flight back to Portland. It was the quickest trip, but so very worth it.

Until December, California.

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Sep 17, 2015

San Juan Islands

Marine and I have been back in the real world for about a week now, but I can solidly say that we closed out the summer perfectly. Seeing as last summer we spent our time trapeezing happily through Europe, we knew this summer would not be complete without an excursion of some kind. Though we probably won't be topping last year's trip anytime soon, we did manage to have an amazing time in the San Juan Islands in Washington.

We loaded up the car with snacks, music for the road, and a sense of adventure and took off to the coast first. We stopped in Newport, Oregon to hike into Yaquina Bay and explore the lighthouse and interpretive center.

When we began our hike, visibility was sad and sorry. The fog laid thick and dense in the bay when we started hiking into the state park. By the time we arrived at the lighthouse, however, we managed to snap a few decent and even moody pictures.

After Newport, we drove along the 101 and headed to Tillamook. We've been in Oregon for about a year now, and still hadn't made it to the infamous city of cheese and ice cream. On our way to the Tillamook factory, we made a pit stop at the cutest cafe I have ever eaten at. Hidden Acres Garden Center was a nursery tucked right off the highway with a cafe in the middle of it. Not only is the setting adorable, but the food was simple and fantastic.

We stopped at the tourist trap that is the Tillamook Cheese factory, ate a few free samples, and took off to Astoria.

Astoria is a cute little town in the very northwestern tip of Oregon. It boasts great views, a sick bridge, and the infamous Goonies house that has finally said "die."

After Astoria we shot straight up to Seattle and stayed in the Fremont neighborhood for the night before catching the Ferry in the morning! The ferry was such a great ride to the island- its peaceful, the views are amazing and we even got stopped by a crossing pod of Orca whales! Seeing these majestic creatures in person in their natural habitat was so wonderful. This is truly how they are meant to be appreciated- not from a penned in pool at Sea World!

The next few days were spent hiking the island, picnicing at sunset, and enjoying meals in Friday Harbor.

We stayed in the adorable (and affordable!) Juniper Lane Guest House, which had an amazing view and cabin vibe.

We saw a ton of amazing wildlife up close and personal. We saw deer, racoons, orca whales and even this little guy!

On our way home we made a pit stop back in Seattle for a little shopping spree..

It was the perfect way to wrap up the final week of sunshine before the fall rain and gloom started rolling in. We're definitely learning to love our backyard up here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes, you don't have to travel very far to feel a world away.

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Sep 14, 2015

Fashion Week Favorites

When I wake up in the morning, I grab a cup of coffee and my phone. I begin each day endlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook before it’s time to get serious and start getting ready for the day. Today was especially exciting when a new hashtag,#PlusIsEqual went viral. Lane Bryant had taken over Times Square to prove to the world that we deserve an amazing platform during fashion week.

 

As I continued scrolling, I also discovered that the twittersphere was all abuzz with the Project Runway finale shows that had graced the tents at New York Fashion Week. The major update is that an entirely plus size collection had been showcased, which means the odds are pretty good that Ashley Nell Tipton could be in the finale show down…

 

 

Seeing my timeline filled with all the looks from NYFW is making me seriously nostalgic about the trip I took earlier this year, and I LOVE scoping out the new collections that will be hitting stores next year. Some of my favorites were Diane Von Furstenberg’s breezy, feminine pieces that looked easy to wear (and totally pieces I would rock on my honeymoon!).

 

I also loved Herve Leger’s 30th anniversary show. Body con pieces can be a big girl’s worst nightmare, or her best friend. I feel like any of these pieces translated into plus sizes would be fierce, and flattering.

 

And I’m obsessing over Prabal Gurung’s beautifully draped and brightfully colored collection inspired by his homeland of Nepal.

 

 

I know there are still more looks I have yet to see from fashion week, but best believe I will wake up scrolling again tomorrow morning. What were your favorite looks from fashion week? Comment below and join the conversation!

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Sep 6, 2015

Ari and Ted's Wedding!

We arrived to Canby and the clouds were dancing in the sky, leaves were flirting with the ground and a rooster crowed noisily to welcome us. It was Ari and Ted's wedding day and it could not have been more lovely. The ceremony was short and sweet, and the newlyweds so shy the crowd made them take their first kiss again!

It has truly been a pleasure to get to know Ariana at work and to see the fabulous vision she had been gushing about come to life on her big day. I know she will cherish these memories forever, and I was so honored to be there as a witness.

Ari locked eyes with Ted as her father led her down the aisle to "La Vie en Rose."

The Nordstrom family!

Ari and Ted were married at Ari's aunt's home and nursery in Canby, Oregon.

Ari was stunning in a gown by Lena Medoyeff, Menbur shoes, Judith Jack necklace and custom veil from Vien. Ted complimented her in a J. Crew suit.

Ari's mother had rolled cones of fresh fruit for all of the tables! They were delicious and charming.

It's not a party without a few Nordy girls!

In my wedding guest best with an Old Navy maxi dress, Sejour denim jacket, Rocksbox necklace, Sam Edelman shoes, and Vince Camuto cuff.

Marine and Vicky wait to cover the newlyweds in confetti!

Ari and Ted made a fabulous exit to their Oregon Coast honeymoon. Ari was clad in a two piece Alice and Olivia set and red Miu Miu shoes to perfectly set off her "something blue" mani and pedi.

Congrats you two- it's been such a pleasure getting to know you. You have truly made us feel at home in Oregon. Here's to a lifetime of happy memories to come!

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Aug 31, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Season is Upon Us

No sooner can I post about hanging on to good weather, that a storm rolls in. Sure enough, the first major downpour of the season had us all giddy about busting out our Northfaces, Hunter boots and cozy sweaters, even if it was a bit premature. As I write this, it is again, sunny outside. I am learning that this is truly Oregon. A state that wants to have a love triangle with Fall and Summer and cannot decide between the two, perhaps within the same day. So how does one come up with an appropriate outfit for such indecisive weather? Oregonians will tell you all season long- layers.

Here I'm wearing a Pleione blouse, ASTR trench vest, Torrid skinny jeans, Nine West smoking loafers, Torrid stacked bracelets and Kendra Scott earrings.

As much as I love the sun, it's truly magical when Oregon turns completely green again. Growing up in Southern California, I knew seasons existed, but experiencing them change is one of the most facinating things I have seen moving up north. One morning you will wake up and all the flowers are in full bloom in spring, and another morning the leavings are blindingly bright orange and yellow. It's incredible. It has also made me feel as if the year has flown by. I can hardly even believe I have lived in Oregon for almost an entire year now!

Here's to another year of growth, learning, and excitment. Before you can blink, it'll be Christmas time.

Got any favorite transitional pieces? Share them in the comments!

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Aug 27, 2015

Happy New Year!

It's late August in Oregon and that means clouds are creeping in, the tops of trees are hinting at the fadest shades of orange and rust, and talk of pumpkin spice lattes and back to school dates linger in the air. After survivng last winter with no sun, this California girl wants to hold on to every last bit of sunshine that she can. Though I'm not excited to see the sun go, I am looking forward to the new year. Yes, September is the new year. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go check out the magazine section at the bookstore or Rite Aid. The magazines are 2 inches thick and chock full of new fall fashion.

So while yes, I am excited for the newest of the new, it is still in the 80's outside. It is still acceptable sandal weather, and labor day hasn't passed quite yet. I think I'll ride this until the wheels fall off (or when I get a new pair of boots, whichever comes first). What kinds of fall looks are you the most excited about?

I'm loving this gray suiting seen at Stella McCartney, Theory and Armani.

Also these wide leg pants and cozy knits from Chanel! Obsessed!

As usual there will be plenty of plaids, chunky knits, oxblood and forest greens to satiate my desire to switch up my wardrobe when I finally do get tired of the tanks, ankle pants and strappy sandals. But until then, I'm all about these finals dog days of summer.

Photos by Vicki Martin. I'm wearing Sam Edelman sandals, Old Navy Pixie pant, Torrid blouse, Sejour denim jacket, Michael Kors watch and Charming Charlie statment necklace.

What trends are you excited to try? Any you wish would go away? Comment below and join the conversation!

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Aug 9, 2015

Plus Sized Girls Are Always Making it Work

If you haven't seen the first episode of Project Runway yet, get to it!! There are so many reasons I'm geeked about this season. First, a friend from my alma mater, FIDM, Blake Patterson is competing this season, and second, omg Ashley Nell-Tipton. She killed it round one with her winning design that would look amazing on a woman of any size. Plus size fashion is having a moment, and I'm super excited to see what both contestants show up with next week!

Her stuff is amazing!!

I was feeling super inspired, and I can't wait to see how this changes the trajectory of plus size fashion as we know it! I'm wearing my fireworks in her honor, from one kickass Ashley to another.

I'm wearing a Sejour blouse, Torrid skinny jeans, Sam Edelman shoes and Alexis Bittar cuff. Photos from the lovely Molly Covey! Got any project runway favorites this season? Leave a comment with your favorite designer below!

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Aug 8, 2015

Big dreams, big girl, small city.

Moving from Los Angeles, a city of almost 3.9 million people, to Corvallis, Oregon, a city of 55,000 has been an adjustment to say the least. I have gotten tired of the weather, the income tax and the lack of swimable beaches. I have scoffed when coworkers point out the 20 minutes of traffic over the bridge into West Salem at "rush hour". I have finally laughed at an episode of Portlandia I actually felt like I understood.

But here's the thing, nothing comfortable in life ever teaches us anything. Transferring from Nordstrom Santa Monica to Nordstrom Salem Center has been a complete and total shift in my worldview. I used to work in a store with four times as much foot traffic. A store full of tourists and celebrities, designer merchandise and high end clientele. Now, I work at the company's SMALLEST STORE. That's right- I work at the SMALLEST NORDSTROM LOCATION, EVER. But guess what? I'm learning to love it. Sometimes, its not about the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I'm getting good at what I do. I'm getting to know my customers, and I'm finding the perfect clothes for EVERY body.

Here I'm rocking a Gabby Style dress, BP shoes, House of Harlowe earrings, and a Gorjana necklace. It's the perfect getup to let em know that we can dress well no matter how big our city is.

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