Praying for Ferguson

Black Lives Matter - Ferguson Missouri Prayer March

My heart has been incredibly heavy this week as I take in all of the events happening just north of my beloved city in Ferguson, Missouri. Since the tragic news of Michael Brown’s death on Sunday, I’ve spent most waking hours trying to learn, read and consume any and all information on the ever-changing situation in this small community in North St. Louis County.

To be honest, I’ve been heartbroken. I’ve been angry. And I’ve been scared.

I’ve been heartbroken over the loss of life and the reality of a region torn apart by issues that have long festered just below the surface.

I’ve been angry over the senseless violence, the way in which demonstrators have been treated and the misunderstanding, anger and hatred shown toward others by those in our community.

I’ve been scared. So scared. Scared for those in Ferguson. Scared for the journalists (including my husband) putting themselves in harm’s way to ensure transparency. Scared for the children whose lives have been forever altered by their surroundings. Scared for protestors, police officers, elected officials and volunteers. And scared for myself and our city. Scared of the reality that we all could have been working to better race relations in our city but instead chose to look the other way while injustices took place right in front of us.

8/16 - Ferguson Missouri Prayer MarchPhoto via Katrina Drew

Saturday, I finally made it out to Ferguson for the first time all week (and for the sake of full transparency and honesty with myself, the first time in my entire life despite living only 20 minutes away for the past two years). My friend and associate pastor, Rev. Katrina Drew, and I joined a community of neighbors and clergy as we prayed for those affected by all that is taking place.

Led by Rev. Jesse Jackson, we were encouraged to visit with those around Canfield Green Apartments and listen to their stories. Sit with them in prayer. Let them know that we care about them and want to do anything we can to help them get through these times of trial.

Rev. Katrina Drew, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rachael Powell

We spoke with a group of four 20-something men, who despite being around my age, seemed so young to have to live amongst such heartache and tragedy. They spoke of their frustrations over needing to leave for work 90 minutes early to make their way through the crowds and their concerns over a few wrongdoers shedding negative media attention on all young black men living in the area. Two of the men had just moved to the area two weeks before Michael Brown was shot. The part of the visit that struck me the most was the way they all said the same thing when asked how we could better serve them. “Be here. Listen to us. Spend time getting to know us.”

If being present with residents and neighbors is the largest obstacle we face toward improving the divide that separates our city, why haven’t we done so? What is stopping us from getting to know those from different walks of life? What stopped us from visiting Ferguson and Canfield Green Apartments before now? If I’m honest with myself, what has stopped me has been heartbreak, anger and fear.

8/16 - Ferguson Missouri Prayer MarchPhoto via Katrina Drew

The Perfect City Pool

Cortona at Forest Park
As a city girl, you all know how much I love the concrete jungle of downtown, streetscapes of urban neighborhoods and lush greenery of Tower Grove and Forest Parks. But what’s a city girl to do when the temps hit the upper 90s and all you want is a pool day?

Well, it turns out there is an urban oasis in the city featuring one of (if not the best) pool in town. The brand new complex Cortona at Forest Park recently opened its doors to new residents and to a few local bloggers to check out the space. All I can say is wow.

Although I was dressed for cocktails, all I wanted was my bathing suit and a salty marg.

Once we were done gawking at the pool, we peeked inside and were wowed again. If you’re looking for a fabulous getaway in the heart of St. Louis City, I highly recommend you check out Cortona.

Cortona STLIf you want to take a look at this lovely space for yourself, join me for ALIVE Magazine’s Hot List party at Cortona on May 31st! I’m one of the hosts this year so grab me for an Instagram selfie if you see me there!

Cortona STL Blogger Pool PartyAll of these blogger babes will be on hand for the party!

If you’re debating what to wear, don’t miss some tips from myself and four other fashionable STL bloggers on ALIVE’s blog!

Drinking My Way Through Portland In The Rain

Downtown Portland, OR

Downtown Portland, OR

One of my favorite parts of Portland was all of the beer. Yes, beer.

There are so many fantastic breweries in and around downtown Portland, all well set up for sampling your way through their wares.

DSC_0243We went to Hair of the Dog (pictured above), Lucky Labrador (great for sitting around, drinking beer and playing board games all at once!) and Cascade Brewing (I surprisingly loved their sour beers).

Although the actual brewery is about two hours from Portland, we even stopped Rogue Brewery’s retail store. Rogue is one of my all-time favorite breweries so when we came across the store I had to buy a t-shirt.

Rogue Brewery PortlandThe only downside to wandering around the city and taking in the amazing streetscapes is the rain. Seriously. In April it rains like every day. An umbrella and light jacket are required if you plan to stay dry at all. Just do it.

Portland Fashion and StyleTop: H&M | Vest: Forever21 | Umbrella: Borrowed from my friend who lives there! | Bag: Kate Spade | Jeans: INC from Macy’s | Booties: ShoeMint

Life As As I Know It

Oh, life. Life is unexpected, crazy and truly a roller coaster these days.

Between work, family and friends – I’ve been choosing offline life over online life. But I couldn’t live without my online community of friends. I miss you all.

 

The beautiful Music Hall in Cincinnati on a recent trip

The beautiful Music Hall in Cincinnati on a recent trip

I’ve been traveling for work and for fun, eating out and cooking new recipes. Through it all, I’ve been doing my best to live up to the goal of this blog: look fabulous every day without paying an arm and a leg doing it. Here’s the thing though – it almost feels like if I don’t blog about my outfits they didn’t happen. Yes, that sounds a little odd but given I’ve been sharing my outfits with you for the past six plus years, I need to share with you in order to feel like I really wore it in the world. So here goes:

DSC_0013 Top: H&M | Scarf: H&M | Jeans: YMIs | Flats: TJ Maxx

DSC_0018

Easy Date Night Dress

Bill and I went out for dinner and a movie the night after Valentine’s Day. We’re actually pretty lucky in that we do a lot of date nights but we don’t often go out of our way to get dressed up for them.

For this date, I decided to take advantage of the break in winter weather to wear something a little more fun!

I started with a basic dress and layers tights, booties and an open sweater for warmth and color.

Date Night DressDress: TJ Maxx | Tights: Target | Sweater: Nordstrom Rack | Booties: Shoemint

Twenty-Six

New York City from the airPhoto from my Instagram

It’s been awhile since I last posted here.

I could blame it on the holidays. I could blame it on my busy work life. I could probably even blame it on feeling unmotivated.

I could blame it on some or all of those things and I wouldn’t really be lying.

However, if I’m truly being honest with myself, I’ve been contemplating where I go from here. What am I really passionate about. What motivates me to sit down and write but also to live in the real world beyond the blogosphere.

I recently celebrated my 26th birthday. I’m usually the kind of person who celebrates a birthday week and really takes advantage of a time dedicated to me. However, this year was different. I dealt with a death just a few days before. I found myself stuck in an airport on business on my actual birthday. And yet, I can’t complain at all because when the day came to celebrate, Bill was the most amazing husband I could ask for and planned a gathering of some of my closest friends for a night of good food, good drinks and great laughter.

Something about this year left me really thinking through what I should be working toward as I grow older. Twenty-six is far from a landmark age but for the first time I felt like I was in a place that I need to be truly thinking about, and planning for, the future.

In the next few years, I want to grow our family. I want to be in a place where I feel ready to take that step. For me, that means being healthy, being happy and being secure enough to care for another human being.

I don’t like to set New Year’s resolutions, but I do feel like I need to put this list to digital paper so that I can remind myself of where I want to be in the years to come.

  • I want to be healthy. This doesn’t mean losing five pounds or hitting the gym daily. It means feeling content with my body, my mind and my soul. It means treating my body with respect, taking care of my mental self and spending more time reflecting and praying.
  • I want to surround myself with others who are healthy. Happiness begets happiness.
  • I want to create an environment that is the best it can be for myself and others. I want to continue reduce the physical toxins in my life. We don’t each much processed foods but there’s always room for improvement. I want to learn about how to eat more sustainably through my own gardening, canning and preserving. I want to reduce the toxins I take into my body through beauty products and personal care.

I want to be healthy and surround myself with others and an environment that is healthy. I want a lot – I know. This is why I haven’t been writing here. Just typing these words is a bit terrifying and, yet, liberating.

I don’t plan to change the focus of this blog, but you may see more of my personality and hopes and dreams come through. You may see insight into the adventure I’m on. You may see more of me.

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