a year in the life of instagram

insta - finalI have always loved photography so it’s no surprise that I’ve become a self-proclaimed instagram junkie.  No one loves a good picture more than me.  I admit – there is somewhat of an addiction going on, but it’s inspiring to see what other people are putting out there, be it from a fashion, food, lifestyle, travel or design perspective.  And I do love sharing as well to hopefully provide the same.  I joined the bandwagon about two years ago, but it’s not until this past year in conjunction with the launch of Your Soul Style, that I’ve really started to spread my instagram wings.  Or rather #instagramwings.  I have enjoyed exploring my inner photographer so much that one of my goals for 2014 is to take a class here in NYC.  If anyone knows of a good one, please let me know!  Here’s a snapshot of some favorites from 2013, most of which represent fashion and the beach.  I see a theme happening here!  Join me on my instagram journey as I anticipate lots more goodness in the coming year!  I can’t wait to see you what you bring too!

Happy Friday!  xx jenny

ringing in the new year

nye 2013 - v2In just two short weeks we’ll be ringing in the New Year which begs the question women across the globe are asking themselves, “what am I going to wear?”.  I’m leaning towards this Isabel Marant for H&M dress that I snagged a month back during the collaboration explosion, but with a few more days to virtual window shop, I’m not ready to lock it down just yet.  Here’s a few other ideas I’ve pulled from ASOS that I’m also fancy’ing for the eve.  What will you be wearing?  Be sure to snap a pic, post it and tag me!  I’d love to see what you decided on!

Happy hump day!  xx jenny

SHOP IT:  GRAPHICSPORTYSEXYMODERN, TRENDY

 

a slice of heaven

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I may or may not be giving away our secret getaway holiday spot, but it’s just too good not to share.  Tis’ the season!  We just got back from Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a heavenly resort on the quiet island of Virgin Gorda.  Trains, planes and automobiles to get there, but a commute very much worth the while.  We had been one time before three years back, and decided to return since it hits our vacation objectives – remote, good snorkel, stunning beaches, unpretentious and small.  We describe it as upscale bohemian.  One of my favorite attributes is that there are no room keys and the doors remain unlocked, a minor detail which depicts majorly what the resort evokes.  There is a safe for valuables, but aside from our passports, I had no qualms about leaving my laptop, phone, camera and other miscellaneous items out in the open.  It’s just that kind of place.  There are also no TV’s.  Unlike it’s touristy neighbors of St. John and Tortola, Virgin Gorda continues to stay off the mainstream radar.  The islands total population consists of 4,000 people, most of which are transplants.  There are a couple of restaurants if you have the itch to dine out, but nightlife is not the draw.  We did have a great meal at a newer spot called CocoMaya, but all other evenings we stayed at Little Dix.  So much of our time in NYC is spent on the hustle that we retired ourselves to just being still while we were away.  My biggest activity of the week was hitting the Sense Spa where I had a massage while listening to the sounds of the sea.  And I gave stand up paddle (SUP) a go, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The resort has tennis courts, a fitness center, daily organized beach drops, scuba diving and boat trips if that’s what you’re in the mood for.  It’s not short of activity if you get ants in your pants relaxing on the beach, but I could have continued doing just that for another good week or so.  We were already discussing our return before we even left!

If you’ve been following along on instagram, I’ve been posting a bit of the trip.  You can head over there for some more photo goodness.  Or check out Dina’s instagram from some epic footage of her swimming with a stingray and frolicking with a sea turtle.

Happy Monday!  Hope you’re staying warm!  xx jenny

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lighter than air

to the beach

I’m constantly on a mission for beach vacation dresses, even if a beach vacation is not on the horizon.  No matter what the time of year, I wind up in the dress section when on my favorite shopping sites.  Weather permitting I’d wear this style on any given day, but unfortunately it’s not an option since I live in New York City.  Fortunately however, we leave tomorrow for the caribbean where for the next seven consecutive days, the only thing you’ll find me in is either a bikini, a cover-up and yes – a flowing, beachy dress.  After lazy days of reading, relaxing, ocean dips and deep thought – there is nothing better than slipping into a silhouette that feels like air.  I know – rough.  Here are a few styles I’ve got packed in my bag, all available online now (with a couple on sale!).

SHOP IT:  1. Indah flamingo maxi dress, $146, shopbop.com // 2. Rachel Pally cutout dress, $238, shopbop.com // 3. ONE by Pink Stitch resort maxi dress, $84, shopbop.com // 4. Talulah drape dress, $321, revolveclothing.com // 5. 9Seed tulum cover-up, $115, shopbop.com

Follow along on instagram since I’ll be posting a few photos of beachy goodness!  Until then, I’ll be back soon and will have lots to share from the trip!

Have a fantastic week!  xx jenny

spotlight: mika oakes

mika oakes

Mika Oakes is the contagious type and attracts the likes of all those that come her way.  Beautiful both inside and out, she is magnetic and has that special something that we don’t often see and very rarely can define.  We met while both studying abroad in London fifteen years ago, and have been the best of friends since.  I couldn’t wait to feature her in a spotlight post since she demonstrates much of what this movement is about.  Stylish, soulful and authentic, Mika lives the philosophy.

When I first met Mika, she was completing her degree in Fashion Merchandising.  The creative type, with both an appreciation for art and expression, this career path naturally made sense.  She worked in the industry for the larger part of her twenties, but mid-way through recognized a deep desire to be in a holistic and organic environment.  As an an old soul that aggressively practices mindfulness, spiritual growth and wellness, she was compelled to align more closely with her natural way of life.  Corporate America went against the grain and connecting with people daily on an emotional and energetic level became a major focus.  Mika decided to enroll in the Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy in NYC and while simultaneously keeping her day job, obtained her certification.  Conquering the fear of completely changing paths in her late twenties, she had the confidence and courage to pursue her dream.  Mika started her practice in massage therapy and eventually hung her (professional) fashion hat to begin living her passion full time.  She has since become a certified Yoga teacher as well, completing over 500 hours in training.  Deeply committed to the craft, her goal for students is to build a strong and steady physical and mental foundation, while challenging a practice that teaches you that the only one to contend with is yourself.  She knows from experience that this is where the real hurdles lie.  Mika uses her knowledge from the area of massage to encourage the refinement of balance, flexibility and core strength.  When on the mat in her class, there is always a lesson to be learned – be it via your mind, body or soul.

Mika has found the perfect balance of work and life, which for her are essentially one in the same.  She has embraced the uncertainties of life with grace, poise, courage and strength and inspires others professionally and personally with the wisdom gained from her introspective experiences.  Her biggest accomplishment happened this past October, when her and husband Ryan welcomed their son Jonah Mason Oakes into the world.  She is glowing particularly brighter these days.  As a brand new mom, she continues to welcome each new day with a lesson to be learned, a challenge to be conquered and emotional growth to be had.  She is the epitome of soul style.  Here’s what she had to say about hers…
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Mika, what is your soul style?

Most importantly, I have to feel like myself in what I’m wearing.  By nature I’m a casual person, as I teach yoga and am a massage therapist.  I am generally in something comfy that can also translate into an acceptable downtown dinner or everyday outfit.  Although I am drawn to some of the trends out there, and definitely try to stay on top of what’s in style, I create my own version of what that is or seek out something similar in the archives of my closet.

How do you describe your style?

I am my own version of bold but modest, understated but edgy, tailored but urban.  I work hard to cultivate the right pieces in my wardrobe so that I can grab anything and have it work on some fashion level on a day to day basis.  I don’t like to spend a long time getting ready, but I do like to look like I’ve got my act together.  There are only certain times that I really put a lot into what I’m wearing – and while feeling stylish is important to me, it’s not enough to sacrifice too much of my comfort.  I need to feel comfortable in my own skin despite what others (including my husband!) have to say. 

What does your style say about you?

It says that I’m easy going, approachable and culturally aware.  I like to look good but don’t take myself too seriously. 

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Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I have always loved Kate Moss for her classic yet edgy look.  Her style is effortless because she is beautiful and it doesn’t take much for people to notice that.  I also love Sienna Miller. Her style is kind of the best of all things: funky and laid back but also glamorous and sexy.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

There’s some level of consistency to my style through the years.  When I studied fashion merchandising for a semester abroad in London, I was surrounded by European fashion and felt inspired and lit up regularly.  I feel it was then that I really came into myself and grasped what my own personal style meant to me.  I found the happy medium between the “boho hippie” and “urban chic” which is still more or less my style today.

Do you have any style challenges?  

I have a harder time dressing for fancier occasions.  When I have to dress up, most of the time I am drawn to the neutral tones – black, grey or white and will add red lipstick or maybe a heel to dress it up.   I think there are two pieces to this equation, one being that I don’t want to draw too much attention to myself in anything too risque, and two, I genuinely feel more comfortable and relatable when I am dressed down.

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Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My wedding day.  Everything about that day and what I was wearing and how I felt was perfect.  

And your worst? 

Definitely when I entered the “hippie” phase freshmen year of college.  While I pulled it off decently, the patchwork pants, flowered headbands and oversize vintage tees were definitely in a realm of their own.  

Must have item in your wardrobe?

I rarely wear high heels, but I do love a pair of black booties with or without a heel.

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Mika is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, licensed massage therapist in New York State and certified in prenatal for both.  She is certified with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), and is a proud member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).  For more information, check out her website here.

Come join the movement!  I want to hear from you!  To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.