SMIALEK SISTUR CRIPMUS

Per tradition my SISTUR and I took photos before we headed to Christmas morning brunch with the Smialek family.

We’ve been keeping up with plenty of traditions this week. BBQ & BINGO on Christmas Eve with the Cash Family. On Christmas morning we always have to hit 100 MPH on the drive to brunch and then indulge in 3 kinds of egg casseroles! Now I am sunk deep into a couch with (spiked) mimosa in hand.

Jenna always keeps it super classy in all J.crew. The sweater was my Christmas gift to her!

However my priority on Christmas is always food and well, lets great real, booze. I opted for the stretchy route! (room to grow!)

My outfit consists of…

Glitter gold leggings from River Street Apparel in Chattanooga, paired with a soft and stretchy black tee and chambray! My new clutch gifted to me by my lovely Sistur and it still smells like a dead animal! Fry boots, with Good Hew wool socks. Necklace from Nasty Gal. Arm part from Nasty Gal, F21, Aldo, and a friend. Scarf from Urban Outfitters, sunnies from GAP and coat from H&M!

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In the spirit of traditions and breaking them…

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

xoxo

JAiME

Allison Kennedy - That necklace is changing lives!!! Where is it from???

Introducing, Katelyoncé

***Consider this your warning. This is not just the only picture in this post, but the inspiration for the entire piece. If this in any way frightens you, feel free to exit the vehicle now.***
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I have finally begun to pick up the pieces after the bomb Yonce birthed and handed down upon us last week. You know how sometimes you cant truly understand something until the rug has been ripped out from under you? Well here I am, laid out on a bare hardwood floor. As I begin to rise, suddenly the whole room looks different and, dare I say, makes complete sense.

I have been wrestling around with some feelings about the conversations that have been started more and more often lately. The kinds of conversations that rise around Rashida Jones and the “pornification of pop culture” and Miley Cyrus’s poor little dried out tongue. For the most part i’ve stayed relatively quite on these issues because I hadn’t properly banded together all the feelings that these asinine headlines produce within me. This life lesson, as i’m finding that many do, comes in multiple parts that somehow collided together in a magical moment of enlightenment. So try and keep up.

Our journey begins with a particularly self loathing purchase at Reckless Records. I went in to buy a series of classic films for a christmas gift exchange and walked out with a copy of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ouch) and Blue Valentine (double ouch). I marched straight back to my apartment, poured myself a glass of wine, popped Blue Valentine into the ol’ laptop, and got to weeping. A habit I have with new DVDs is watching them once, and then immediately re-watching them with the audio commentary, don’t ask me to explain it because even I don’t get it. Well, everything is going according to plan when all of a sudden the scene pops up when the two main characters (Dean and Cindy) are having a, shall we say, “intimate moment” in which Dean is, as Beyonce would put it, licking Cindy’s skittles. Apart from the subject matter the scene is incredibly tame and both actors are fully clothed. At this point the director comes on the commentary and says that this scene is what awarded the film its NC-17 rating.

Hold on to that while we venture over to part two of our journey.

The setting is my bedroom. It’s late. I am sleepless doing what a sleepless every 20 something is best at, scrolling through my twitter feed, when all of a sudden I see it. The tweet that would leave me forever changed

“Beyonce releases secret album”

I stayed up all night listening to the album over and over again. I couldn’t believe my ears. The whole album has such an outright sexual tone about it I had to scrape my jaw off the floor several times. I mean, this is not the Bey we’ve known and loved. This, ladies and gentlemen, its Yonce, and she’s fucking fearless. Quite possibly my favorite part about this album is the video for “Flawless”. If you’ve ever met me i’m sure you could guess that angry Beyonce is my all time favorite Beyonce. Sure, sexy Bey and silly Bey all hold a place in my heart, but angry Bey rules the kingdom of my soul. On “Flawless” angry Bey was UNLEASHED. In the first 30 seconds of the video we see good old beautiful Bey, up to her same old sexy tricks and at about :41 something happens in her eyes, and you know she’s about to take you for a ride. I mean EXCUSE ME she’s wearing a long sleeved plaid button down with high waisted daisy dukes cut straight thong style in the back, dancing around in a basement filled with a flock of skin heads telling us to “bow down”. In the second verse she gives us a passage from Chimamanda Ngozi Aichie’s TED talk in which she speaks on feminism and the double standard of raising our young women to, above all else, aspire to marriage, but not teaching our young men the same. She says, “we teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are.” Now, this leads me to the awkward elephant in the room. We all know there’s another side to Beyonce. The side that’s, just 5 tracks earlier, asking her driver to

“Roll up the partition please

Don’t want you seeing Yonce on her knees”  (I die)

I mean. This is the same woman adorning a bejeweled corset doing a fucking strip dance saying “I just want to be the girl you like”. That’s certainly not feminist.

Right?

At the end of “Partition” we hear a woman speaking in French. She is saying “Men think feminists hate sex, but it’s a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.” Much of the mainstream information on feminism suggests that you must choose which type of feminist you are. One of the man hating bra burning feminists, or a pole dance class taking “it’s my body i’ll show it to whoever I want to” kinda feminist. Somehow in one album Beyonce completely shattered that stereotype by saying “I love my husband. I love my body. I love my daughter. I love my mind. I am feminism.”

The thing that I love so much about this album is how it burrowed into my brain. Got me thinking about all these issues i’ve been trying to put aside for months. It allowed me to indulge in my fantasies, and not feel guilty for that. Then all of a sudden, I found myself in one of those full circle moments. It all finally clicked. The reason that scene in Blue Valentine got the film the NC-17 rating was because it allowed the audience’s imagination to do all the work. I mean, isn’t that the entire point of burlesque? A dance form that entirely indulges the viewers mind and own personal fantasy? Our imaginations are a dark and mysterious place, way more dangerous than any raunchy sex scene or skinny white girl in a bikini desperately shaking her butt in order to get more record sales.

Outwardly, I am Katelynd Frierson. I work in coffee shops, I have an affinity for baggy clothing and tattoos, I don’t speak to strangers unless absolutely forced, I can make you laugh, and I write for a stye blog which I love.

Inwardly, I am Katelyonce. I dance in front of my mirror, I am constantly silently judging myself and others, I think I look fucking fierce in a boxy silk tee and my black daisy dukes, I wish I could loose 15 pounds, I care what you think of me, and I don’t give a fuck what you think of me.

I am so incredibly sick of everyone trying to put modern feminism in a cute little box that the privileged “real feminists” get to hand down to women that aren’t living up to some strange set of ideals that we all agreed on. I don’t remember being asked to put in my two cents on that list of ideals, and frankly I wouldn’t want to in the first place. Listen. I realize that as a woman I am expected to have some sort of incredibly tall and sturdy pillar of beliefs on what it means to be a woman or a feminist and an even stronger opinion on the actions of my fellow women. All I really have to offer up right now is that I believe that women should be allowed/ALLOW THEMSELVES to enjoy feeling and being sexy, mystery and imagination are more powerful that explicitness for the sake of explicitness, and the most powerful/terrifying attribute a woman can have is honesty.

When I hear Bey say,

“I woke up like this.
Flawless.”

I don’t think she’s talking about her hair, or her eye makeup, or her (fierce) outfit, but her attitude. I am woman. I am perfect in my imperfections, and what the fuck do I care if you think otherwise?

XOXO
KD

Ariel Atkins - YAAAAAAASSSSS

Hannah Cooper - Preach baby. Love you XO

THAT TIME WE BOUGHT A GIANT MIRROR

I would like to take a moment and talk about a dreadful little thing called;

Long distance relationships.

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Doesn’t that just bring up a whole mess of strange uncomfortable longing memories? Memories of you and your high school boyfriend, who moved to Savannah for college, sending long pathetic text messages filled with yearnings for weekend visits alone without school or parents. Or maybe those even more gut wrenching memories of finding out said boyfriend has been cheating on you for months moments before you walk into your modern European history final exam, rendering you unable to complete said exam and fail said class.

BUT, were not discussing those kinds of long distance relationships. In fact, we are so over those. I mean, we don’t even care about those relationships anymore right? Yeah.

Right. No ladies, I am here to talk about a different kind of LDR (you with me?). A kind that I am finding myself increasingly involved in. I am in a LDR with friday night dinners, weather that requires only a sweater and MAYBE a scarf, my grandmothers green bean casserole, the delightfully insane crew at Rock City Starbucks, Jaime Smialek, Milton, and possibly even you. I wish you could have found this out a different way, but Facebook doesn’t currently allow you to claim “nostalgia” as your significant other. Since moving to Chicago I’ve had to totally readjust my life. I mean, do you even realize how hard it is to flirt with the cute barista at your local coffee shop while wearing snow boots, two pairs of pants, and a parka? Especially while theres seasoned vets in line behind you wearing fucking SKIRTS?! No one said it would be easy, but i’m here to tell you, no one said it’d be this hard. *Queue Sheryl Crow*

Thankfully I have such an amazing best friend in Jaime who is willing to brave the cold and trek her happy ass all the way up to Chicago to spend our favorite holiday together. It is so easy to get into a rut in this cold weather and continue wearing the same jeans, sweater, and arctic north face coat day after day. It was nice to have Jaime here and shake that up for me. She came, we froze, and we looked awesome doing it. It’s things like this that really make living in this tundra okay. Knowing that I have all these things that keep my heart alive back in Chattanooga, that are willing to be apart of this new life i’m creating here in Chicago. It gives me hope that one day these two universes in which I live will some day collide.

Until that day, I have to keep challenging myself to do what makes me happy. Even if that means little things like trying to re-create my grandmothers recipe in my tiny ill-equipped kitchen, braving the cold in my favorite cutoff shorts and fleece lined leggings, or throwing all caution to the wind and flirting with cute barista guy, even if I do look like the Michelin Man.

***Who, by the way, as I was sitting here writing this post came over to my table and offered me a tiny little latte. Which I accepted as a tiny little pat on the back from my dear friend, the universe****

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So with that, I would like to wish you all a Merry SWIA Christmas. I would like to challenge you all to take these last few weeks of the year and discover the universe in which your heart lies, the long distance relationships that pull you in all different directions, find your happiness, and make a commitment to nourish them. For God sakes, get out of that winter rut and put on that Kim Kardashian body con dress, throw a sweater over it, some warm socks and your favorite shabooties and FLIRT your face off.

See you in a few weeks Chattanooga.

XOXO

KD

Allison Kennedy - You are my new favorite person, and this is my new favorite blog.

STORY TELLING

I’m new around here, so an introduction is appropriate, right?
I’m Emily Unkle, and there are lots of things I could tell you about myself, but these are probably the most important. I grew up in the magical fields of North Georgia on a farm. As a 10 year old I thought I was Ellie Mae Clampett (I hope you know who that is). I had a pet rooster, three horses, some sheep and a goat. I lived in ill fitting boys Levi’s jeans and terrible t-shirts. I was pretty sure that everyone needed to know that I could ride a horse everywhere I went. Then I grew up some and started wearing dresses and lace again. I learned to wear heels and played mandolin, and practiced for hours a day because artistry was my thing and it came with the territory that it needed to be life consuming. Somewhere along the way I met the guy I would marry. He was tall and handsome, and just happened to be a Knight in the dinner show Medieval Times. I went to the show, met him afterwards and we got married a year and a half later. We’re wild like that. Now I’m a momma to our little girl, Jane Shenandoah, who has the fiercest heart you’ve ever seen in a tiny, not-yet two year old body.
I can tell I’m growing up these days, because I’m finally beginning to know what it feels like to be comfortable in my own skin (so cliche, I know). To settle into a home, and a place, and feel that my belonging is no longer dictated by the forces around me, but rather by something higher and stronger. I’m learning to say that I don’t give a damn in the best way possible. I started a blog a few months ago (www.emilyunkle.com) because I’m finally ok with being who I am, in front of the internet. Someone throw me a party because for me, that’s a big deal! It’s mostly about clothes, and life, and I’m loving it.
I believe that my clothing tells the story I want to tell about myself on any given day.
I look at my closet in the morning and wonder what I’ll say today, and I love that. I’m finally learning to tell some stories I’ve been afraid of in the past, and learning to love my old favorites. Clothing is art to me; beautiful art in motion. It breathes and moves and changes, and for a moment, you can be anyone you want to be.
While still being exactly who you are.
I mean seriously, how amazing is that?!

-Emily

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GIVEAWAY >>> JUMP STYLE

I’ve always loved the winter. I feel like I really thrive in the cold weather—both my mood and my wardrobe. I’m sure this has to do with the fact that I’m a December baby. I love walking out onto a busy street in the brisk cold weather, seeing glowing Christmas lights, and drinking hot toddy’s and rum nogs. I’ve never really understood how anyone could approach the holidays with such apathy. Nothing makes me genuinely happier than giving someone an awesome gift, and that’s really what makes the holidays so special for me. There’s something so genuine and amazing about just doing something nice for other people, with no expectations of something in return. Just being kind, and learning to love others as well as yourself.

So, of course it would make sense that I would wake up the day before my birthday and decide that there was no better time to do a give away on the SWIA Blog than today, (my birthday!). So ladies, I present to you, my birthday gift. I bought these shoes a year ago completely on impulse, and I’ve never ever worn them out—except for this photo-shoot. They’re Sam Edelman, size 10, and they are ferocious. I hope whoever wins them wears them more than I did, and hopefully you put them to spectacular use. (NYE perhaps?)

Happy Holidays,

Alex.

GIVEAWAY details at the bottom!

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Outfit: Pants, Free People. Boyfriend’s shirt. Fur Vest, Anthropologie. Necklace, Merch Northshore.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Size 10

(fit more like 9.5 probably)

To win the Sam Edelman booties leave a comment on this post! We will choose a winner at random tomorrow!

Good luck ladies!

 

Amanda Kelly Tait - Ugh! I wish I was size 10!!! Gorgeous pics Jump!!!

Dirk Unkle - These are badass!

Jill Hilton-Coffman - I love these shoes & they are my size. Love the detail on them.
Merry Christmas!! Xoxo

Aria Taibi - incredible shoes, incredible girl.

Christina Herron - Love those shoes :-)

Esther Brooks - Your attitude toward winter is inspiring! and I truly appreciate every ounce of some winter cheer, being in Wisconsin at a balmy tundra temp of -18 (AHHHH). If you’re friends with my lady Sara, then I know you must be a goddess. Happy birthday girl! Your shoes have me droooling.

Victoria Adams Bordelon - I love spiky shoes and big feet! Happy Birthday!

Jordanka Patricia Pulido - gorgeous shoes! (:

Jill Allen - Happy bday, sista! Love your style & attitude. What’s not to be grateful for?!? I’m a 9.5 & would rock those ferocious dogs for NYE! Xo

Ayesha Reynolds - Killa

Skyler Metheny - Ow ow!

Patricia Fritts Goldston - Yes please! Beautiful!!

Giorgio Parra - Fabulous!!!

Emily Chidalek - Please may I have those amazing shoes?

Heather Fraser - oh yes those are amazing. Happy Birthday Alex!

Heidi Vasterling - My size! They’re beautiful!

Annie Oxenfeld - RAD SHOES!

Sondra Aten - Girl, you look spectacular!

Rina Henderson - Cute shoes :)

Caitlin Koeritz - I sure would love it if those shoes were my New Year’s Eve date this year :)
PS happy birthday!

Lauren Elizabeth - I wear size 10 how do I enter this giveaway?

Tonya Hacker - Sooo cute!!!

Rosie Killelea - Happy Birthday Alex! I miss you (and those shoes are HOT)

Liz Somerville - Happy Birthday! Love your outfit! And the shoes are wonderful!