How to: Lovable looks for less

I love Marc Jacobs.  Love.  But I can’t stand his prices.  I would get sick, knowing I just spent what could have been an entire semester’s tuition, on one article of clothing.  I’m hoping anyone I know would too.  So here I have a bunch of designer items, matched with their budget friendly counterparts.  Enjoy and have a fashionable season!

Wicker chairs bags with a splash of color

The Marc Jacobs version ($188.00 shopbop.com)

Usually, with wicker bags you’re limited to the beach and/or poolside.  The leather straps on these babies allow for greater versatility, while the vibrant color gives a girly playful feel.  Although $188.00 isn’t bad (at all) for Marc Jacobs, it just isn’t in the cards for me… here are some college budget alternatives:

The colorful wicker and gold details in the clasps and chains give an even more sophisticated look. Still a bit of a splurge at $50.00, but if you don't buy them, I will! (etsy.com)

($14.99, Target Stores or target.com) Sold in a variety of colors

Only $10.00 + shipping and bragging rights: "No, it's not Marc Jacobs, it's vintage". Sold! (etsy.com)

The Maxi Dress

The Beyond Vintage version ($379.00 shopbop.com)

My legs are probably my strongest/ most complimented/ personal favorite part of my body.  But a people watching session on a warm day with my friends brought us a ton of cheeky outfits.  While I applaud these girls for their confidence, I feel that it is inappropriate for an academic setting.  And honestly, unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model… I don’t want to see it.  So for this spring I’ll be concealing my legs, which should make their summer debut that much more stupefying.

This Maxi from Mossimo Supply Co. is like a blank canvas, perfect for embellishing with your own signature touch! Tie a ribbon at the neckline around the strap, or throw on a fabric flower brooch to add interest where you want it ($19.99 target.com)

This Forever 21 maxi is perfect for those of us who are less willing to take risks. The black is super slimming while the vertical floral pattern elongates any figure ($24.80 forever21.com).

A second Forever 21 maxi, with the same ruffles and shape as the inspiration piece, as well as the coveted tribal feel that keeps popping up everywhere! ($22.80 forever21.com)

This dress has the exact same feel as the inspiration dress, with the ruffles at the hemline and neckline. Put it on and your hair will instantly start billowing in the wind. I'm sure of it. ($79.50, victoriassecret.com)

I just love love stories, don’t you?

  These pieces allow you to wear your heart on your sleeve wrist, ankle or finger.  Just don’t go overboard! One love is enough, any more than that and people might start talking…

The Sydney Evan version ($860.00 White gold and diamond love ring sydneyevan.com)

The Jennifer Zeuner version ($121.00 shopbop.com)

You can spread the love, and keep the cash with these ones…

Ring ($10.00 keoops8's etsy.com shop)

Ring ($40.00 kohls.com)

Anklet ($25.00 beadxs's etsy.com shop)

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

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Postcards for Papere

(Thank you to Halley :-) for giving me the answer!)

Almost exactly one year ago I made the craziest spontaneous decision: I was fed up with the monotony of my life. School, Work, Study. Bed. School. Work… I decided to drain my bank account and book a flight to Spain with my best friends for the coming July.  (I only have fun when I leave the country and I work hard while I’m here, why shouldn’t I?)

Summer came, July came, I finished vacation shopping, less than a week until departure, and then I got the phone call.  I was on lunch break at work.  Nana had had a terrible stroke, she was being violent toward the nurses out of confusion so they sedated her and moved her into Boston.  She might qualify for surgery when she wakes up.

However, when I was finally allowed to visit her, the reality of it was revealed to be less hopeful. Throughout my Nana’s stay my Papere was distraught, beside himself. But there was one moment of happiness, one enjoyable moment for him:  one day my Nana’s respiratory nurse came in, did his thing, said something to us that I can’t remember and then left the room.  My Papere looked at us, excited, and said, “Did you hear that!?”, “Hear what?” we asked.  “Did he have a French accent?”  And with that he was off in the hallway chasing the nurse.  “Parlez-vous Francais?” I heard him say “Oui” replied the nurse and they laughed and chattered away.

“You have to go” my aunts and uncles told me.  I knew I did, but the morning of my flight I knew what that would mean.  I almost didn’t leave her that day.  I spent the whole day with her, I took the 5:50 AM train into Boston and spent every second by her side, telling her about all the food I was going to eat, and all the pictures I was going to take for her.

When I came back my mom was at the airport.  She hadn’t been told when my flight was landing, I had a ride planned with my friend’s parents and then I would call her.  I knew something was up.  And then there was the emerald ring on my mom’s hand.  The ring that wasn’t hers.

We visited my Nana’s grave on our way home.  Seeing my Papere was the hardest, he was playing cribbage with my dad on the patio in the backyard.  Everyone cried.

After that I wanted to make sure my Papere still had good things to look forward to and fill his days.  One day during lunch with him I asked him if he liked speaking French or English better.  French was his first language so it must come more naturally, but he has only spoken English for so long because so few people in America speak French.  He said he enjoys speaking French but he doesn’t mind English because that’s what we all speak, his family.  That wasn’t a good enough answer so to gauge his thoughts a little better I asked it a little differently: “So when you dream, is it in French or English?”  And he laughed at me!  I was serious!  But it was great to see him laugh. (He didn’t know the answer, dreams can be hard to remember).

This led me to ask him about his travels, both with my Nana and without,  I asked if he had ever been to France: “No, but I would love to go! I’ve always meant to go!”

AHA!

And there it was.  I had to send my Papere to France.  But I had just spent all my money on Spain.  It had taken me two years to save up that much money. And I’m a college student…

That’s where YOU come in!

ANYONE living in, or visiting France: if you are willing to give me some of your time; give my Papere some of your time, send him a postcard!  Include a picture of something important to you and write your favorite thing about France.  Your favorite food, your favorite event, favorite person, thing to do, place to visit, etc.  (In French, if possible).

Realize that in doing this, you are spreading happiness in such a simple way!

If you would in any way be interested in participating in this act of love then please comment!  I’ll update you with a P.O. Box to send postcards to.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

xo Jenn