A Designer With An Imagination and Commitment to Fashion As An Art: Altaf Maaneshia

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All outfit pieces are by Altaf Maaneshia. Floral Cuff: Kenneth Jay Lane Sunnies: Prada Shoes: Christian Louboutin

When I was initially introduced to Altaf Maaneshia the only thing I knew was he was bestowed the distinct honor of opening for Betsey Johnson during last seasons Style Fashion Week, LA’s official fashion week. What I didn’t know is the man who is described as “passionate” and “hard working” had already established quite a reputation for himself on the catwalks of Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. And after experiencing first hand how chic his pieces truly are it’s no doubt fashion’s elite have given him center stage to share his craft with the world. 

Initially I would have described his pieces as contemporary. However, now that I have had the opportunity to really experience the collection first hand (it’s a surreal experience trying on designs from the runway!) contemporary is too casual. Timeless is more the word to describe his master pieces. The pieces for the shoot were from Maaneshia’s Fall 2014 collection. From leather trims to the most exquisite ruffling detail I’ve seen since browsing through high end couture racks like Valentino and McQueen, the designer knows how to appeal to a gal with an appreciation for the finer things in life. Thus, I had no other choice but to pair the pieces with my favorite Louboutins. I love everything about his pieces! The asymmetrical cuts to even the slightest detailing in the seam work. Everything was given thought. A designer with an imagination and commitment to execution? So refreshing! I have no doubt this is just the beginning for this man and soon Maaneshia will be synonymous with the legends of the fashion world. Want more Maaneshia? Check out his look book online and follow him as he debuts his Spring 2014 collection at the quickly approaching Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week! 

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Hair Piece By Tarina Tarantino. Because I can’t have an epic fashion moment without somehow involving Tarina.

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Altaf is one of the few designers that actually says some amazing things about his collections. While I love beautiful designs I love knowing the inspiration behind the imagination even more.

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“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.” – Altaf Maaneshia

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Because he was quoted on Twitter saying he’s a fan of “Golden Girls” I had no choice but to wear my “Golden Girls” earrings. According to my grandma these are from the costume department for the legendary television show. I still need to Google search this fact. Although I’m not going to lie, I like using it as an excuse to watch “The Golden Girls.” Ok, let’s be honest though, nobody needs an excuse to watch that show.

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“The biggest risk you can take is not taking one.” – Altaf Maaneshia.

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Brave New Girl With Brown and Bangs

Top: Equipment Shorts and Hat: H&M  Shoes: Christian Louboutin Necklace: Charming Charlie

Top: Equipment Shorts and Hat: H&M Shoes: Christian Louboutin Necklace: Charming Charlie

So while I’m still getting used to having shorter hair (it’s so awkward being able to literally style my hair in less than 10 minutes) I’m having a lot of fun re-working pre-existing pieces in my closet. This was one of my favorite blouses from last season and I thought it was the perfect thing to add a little bit of chic to my new hair do. Yes, this was inspired by Nicole Richie (even though my stylist took off 2 inches more than she was supposed to.) So alas, I’ve decided this is a #girlboss hair cut. How many fashion icons have rocked a new do this awesome? I didn’t quite understand why people in the salon were telling me I was brave, but now that I’ve gone through 2 whole days with less than half the locks I had on Friday I have decided there are easily some highlights of having shorter hair. Below are my top reasons why having short hair rocks!

#1 I have so much more time in the morning to spend on styling an outfit instead of styling my hair.

#2 I use a lot less shampoo. Which considering I use moroccan oil is definitely a money saver!

#3 I’ve learned that apparently I have a personality that appeases a multitude of hair styles. 

#4 I add an instant flare of chic to each outfit. With the exception of my yoga wear. Nothing makes yoga look chic. 

#5 I now have an excuse to shop for head bands. 

#6 Once it grows out, I have an excuse to go back to blonde. I love how Taylor Swift rocks her short hair. And I think I miss being blonde more than I miss having longer hair. 

#7 I have so much more fun shopping for hats. 

#8 I can change this look up and decide whether or not I want blunt bangs or side bangs. 

#9 Anna Wintour and I now have something in common aside from a common love of fashion.

#10 I now have a reputation in the salon as being the brave one. 

 

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A Mod Makeover

Swimsuit: Trina Turk Hat: Charming Charlie Sunglasses: Prada Flip Flops (even though you can barely see) Havianas

Swimsuit: Trina Turk Hat: Charming Charlie Sunnies: Prada Flip Flops  Havianas

I’ve gone through many stages of obsession in my life. Obsessions that have no doubt had a direct influence on my fashion choices. When I was younger Paula Abdul was my fashion icon. Oh ya and I suppose all the classic Disney Princess. Belle perhaps had the most influence due to the fact she was the only brunette princess. But it’s easier to settle as a kid. Obviously I couldn’t dye my hair Ariel red, so instead I would settle for a tee-shirt or anything really that had one of my favorite cartoons plastered on the front. Eventually I would graduate to re-creating anything Britney Spears did. Especially when it comes to hair choices. Girlfriend has always had good hair (outside of that one incident but we Britney fans don’t talk about that.)

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These days however, my influence has gravitated towards more notable fashion icons. Victoria Beckham and of course, Nicole Richie. If I could dye my hair lavender, I totally would. But alas my work would never go for that so I must settle for her infamous short hair cut. Which, to be totally truthful did not come out quite like I planned. It’s so completely different than going from having long blonde locks to shorter, light brown. I told my stylist “AT THE SHOULDERS!”One of those at the shoulders is subjective I suppose. That’s ok though. Lots of retro and even modern fashion icons have rocked this look. Most notably Nicole Richie. Victoria Beckham and even the ultimate girl boss, Anna Wintour. And for days when I feel like I’m having a mental break down over not being able to even put my hair in a pony tale, I still have my extensions. 

However, a new hair style also means new styling options! This shorter do has definitely brought out the “mod” in me. When putting on my favorite Trina Turk swimsuit I could not help but style it as though I was straight from the sixties and seventies and Twiggy was my best friend. 

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Just Another Manic Monday

Top: I Love Tees Skirt and Necklace: H&M Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Top: I Love Tees
Skirt and Necklace: H&M
Shoes: Christian Louboutin

While most people mourn the beginning of what is traditionally a 5 day work week for those with traditional jobs, I see it as an opportunity to celebrate. Especially when I’m on day two of my week long vacation. And while the thought of lying around all day in my PJ’s watching countless hours of law and order is enticing, I much rather prefer dressing up for blog shoots, working out and soaking up the sun. I stumbled across a captivating quote on Instagram yesterday (follow me at Just_Jess_Fashion.) The caption read “the fear of wasting a great outfit on an insignificant day.” And truthfully dedicated readers I have had this fear all my life. I truly believe it is this fear that led to the inspiration for creating a blog. While I may not live in Hollywood, or live an ultra glamorous life comprised of day to day professional photo shoots. I live each day fulfilling it by my definitions of happy, and that is enough for me.

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Today what made me happy was putting together an ensemble that reminded me of my ultimate fashion icon, Holly Golightly. I know I’ve blogged about how much I adore this legendary fashionista but I could seriously type for days on how I idolize the classic, effortless and fabulousness that is Audrey’s most infamous role. I initially opted for a more casual look. But casual is borderline a swear word in my vocabulary. So rather than pairing this weekday appropriate top with a pair of shorts, I opted instead for my favorite leather skirt (which by the way was only $7 at H&M. Gotta love those end of season blow out sales.) As I was looking in the mirror trying to figure out what was missing I looked down and low and behold my pearl necklace, also from H&M, just happened to be sitting on the counter. It seemed to be screaming “pick me!” Alas, I put it on and I instantly felt like Cinderella gazing at her reflection after being transformed by the fairy godmother. And when you can compare a wardrobe decision to feeling like a Disney Princess, you know you’ve put together a good ensemble and totally worthy of sharing with the world. Thus although nothing life shattering happened today, I did have an opportunity to share my great decision with you, my loyal readers, and that is today’s biggest accomplishment. Take that insignificant day!

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Fun, Flirty and Fabulous in Fringe

Swim Suit: Mailbu Dream Girl Hat: Saks White shorts: Free People

Swim Suit: Mailbu Dream Girl
Hat: Saks
White shorts: Free People

At the end of last summer I vowed to myself I would invest in an L Space fringed swimsuit. However, countless runway shows highlighting California’s lesser known yet equally talented swimsuit labels have convinced me I don’t need to invest $100 for a designer swimsuit. Despite how amazing I think the label looks on one of my favorite fashionistas. Kudos Ashley Tisdale for setting the standard on how to wear a fringed bikini!

Trend setter Ashley Tisdale was among the first to start wearing the infamous fringed bikini top by L SPace.

Trend setter Ashley Tisdale was among the first to start wearing the infamous fringed bikini top by L Space. There are options out there to achieve this look without breaking the bank. I found mine at Zumies on the sale rack.

And I know I sound like  broken record when it comes to how amazing it is to live in So Cal. But perk numero one million and one is not only is it summer almost all year round, but swimsuits are sold almost all year round. However, eventually and usually between January and March stores come to the conclusion it’s time to mark down “last season’s” collections to make way for the new collections. Correct me if I’m wrong oh fellow Southern California fashionistas but every season the swimsuits look the same. Exactly the same. Occasionally, every other year something exciting will happen. Someone will have a unique cut out. Someone will add some interesting hard wear to a piece. Or someone will remove a piece all together (hence those odd mens bottoms I’ve seen floating around the web.) Fringe detail on the front, is the latest trend that brought out the “omg that’s cute and I must have it” in me. When I found this set I was beyond thrilled to discover that unlike the well known label, this one was only $10 a piece as opposed to the $50-$70 a piece. I’d say that’s a bargain.

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Journey Of A Fashion Icon

 

"I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who could pay for her bills, a woman who could run her own life - and I became that woman."- Diane Von Furstenberg

“I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who could pay for her bills, a woman who could run her own life – and I became that woman.”- Diane Von Furstenberg

"Attitude is everything."- Diane Von Furstenberg

“Attitude is everything.”- Diane Von Furstenberg

“I design for the woman who loves being a woman,” Dianve Von Furstenberg. Today I finally committed to the adventure to LACMA where I had the opportunity to experience the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg’s exhibit “Journey Of A Dress.” Diane Von Furstenberg has always intrigued me. Yes, don’t get me wrong the title of “Queen of Eccentric” goes to my beloved Betsy Johnson, but Diane Von Furstenberg is a spirited fashion queen in her own right. And while I had known and respected the iconic designer for years, I feel like I truly did not understand her until today.

I have tirelessly attempted to educate myself on the fashion icons that regardless of passing years or decades ago, have left an imprint on the fashion world only to change things forever. Chanel, McQueen all have left permanent marks and opened up the fashion worlds eyes to concepts once frowned upon. Jersey knits? Antelope heels? Sure these were once thought to be strange notions to traditional fashion, although I guess antelope heels will only ever be ready to wear in the closet of fashion elite such as Ms. Gaga. (Yup, she’s probably the only one.) And while every designer strives to become the next Great One, only a handful achieve fashion house, or iconic status. I did not realize the power and influence Diane Von Furstenberg has had on this crazy world of fashion that I whole heartedly love, until today. I knew who she was. I knew she was featured countless times Sex And the City, which automatically elevated her status to awesome. I’ve seen her in interviews and she has always made me chuckle with her outspoken responses to journalists questions. She’s always been honest and clearly not afraid to speak her mind. Now, I have finished some biographies on notorious designers and one thing I’ve come to realize is that while yes, every single one that “made it to the top” incurred some sort of struggle, for whatever reason women experienced the most. Naturally I toes understand that women have been designing or making their own dresses since the invention of a sewing needle, but the concept of creating a successful business out of such things almost seemed trivial until Coco Chanel came along. (At least so far that I’ve read.)  One of my favorite things about dear Coco is that she made it a point to pay back her initial investor, a male companion who perhaps never believed she could make a name for herself, and seemed (again, at least according to some of the biographies I’ve read) to enjoy telling this male investor, his money was no longer needed because she was making plenty of her own. In similar fashion (pun slightly intended), Furstenberg has always seemed to design from the heart not just for the every day woman, but to prove with her designs that females should be embraced as powerful and strong individuals. Just like her prints, women should feel as pretty as a runway model, as important as a label, confident to bare a little skin in a wrap dress, and as powerful as the woman who makes them. Thank you for the journey Diane. Cheers to decades more of style!

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This story should have read, "Once upon a time there was a pretty princess who helped make other princess' around the world feel just as pretty in her magical dresses."

This story should have read, “Once upon a time there was a pretty princess who helped make other princess’ around the world feel just as pretty in her magical dresses.”

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"My mother never, ever told me about evilness. She only saw the beautiful things... she wanted to protect me from it."- Diane Von Furstenberg.

“My mother never, ever told me about evilness. She only saw the beautiful things… she wanted to protect me from it.”- Diane Von Furstenberg.

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

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Not just a pink room, but a pink room with leopard print! I died and went to heaven.

Not just a pink room, but a pink room with leopard print! I died and went to heaven.

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Side note...I'm obsessed with not just Prada Baroque sunglasses (I've had my original for going on like 3 years now.) No no, now they have BEDAZZLED ones! Naturally I needed them in both black and white. When unable to decide I just take both. The good news is I got them at the outlet so I got them literally both for still only half of what one of them would have cost at a regular department store. Yay me!

Side note…I’m obsessed with not just Prada Baroque sunglasses (I’ve had my original for going on like 3 years now.) No no, now they have BEDAZZLED ones! Naturally I needed them in both black and white. When unable to decide I just take both. The good news is I got them at the outlet so I got them literally both for still only half of what one of them would have cost at a regular department store. Yay me!

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An Ode To Shirley

This past week, we lost one of the most talented stars to ever grace the big screen, Shirley Temple. In school we discussed the definition of “celebrity.” It used to be that being a celebrity meant you were notorious for being talented. These days being a celebrity is defined as just being notorious, and most often than not for something negative rather than positive. Shirley’s contribution? Entertaining generations of people. I say people and not just children because I’m pretty sure that I love her just as much if not more as an adult than I did when I was a child.

Perhaps your thinking to yourself, how is this an ode to Shirley? Umm hellooo! Vintage. Roaring twenties! I like to think the roaring twenties really gave birth to the free spirits of the world. The free spirits who encouraged smiles, laughter, polka dot dresses and animal crackers in our soup.

Perhaps your thinking to yourself, how is this an ode to Shirley? Umm hellooo! Vintage. Roaring twenties! I like to think the roaring twenties really gave birth to the free spirits of the world. The free spirits who encouraged smiles, laughter, polka dot dresses and animal crackers in our soup.

Shirley lived her life with grace and dignity. Which is not that surprising coming from a little gal who used to sing about animal crackers in her soup. Perhaps Miley should have sang more about animal crackers and could have saved us from the twerking epidemic which I truly believe led to the horrific version of “Achy Breaky Heart Part 2.” Ewww. She never had a scandal, and she led her life to do great things without ever having to enter rehab! Shocker.

Growing up one of the biggest treats was being allowed to play with my Grandma’s porcelain dolls. She had the best collection and then one day she got two Shirley dolls. At first we weren’t allowed to play with them and then one day miraculously my sister and I somehow gained that privilege. We were told we could play with her as long as we didn’t mess up her hair (it was perfectly pinned and netted) or change her clothes. All was well until one day my Grandma’s best friends grand-daughter came over. Insert the “dun dun dun” here. Chanel did not get the disclaimer of playing with Shirley because first thing she did was TAKE OFF HER HAIR NET! The nerve! Not only did she jeopardize my Shirley privileges but till this day I’m not really allowed to touch any collectibles that aren’t perfectly preserved in a box. I never wanted to invite her to a play date, ever again. And sadly, those Shirley curls have never been the same.

I’m disappointed in the media for not talking about this story more in detail. Where’s the E True Hollywood Special? Where was the AMC movie marathon? Does the world really only care about what stupid new antic Justin Bieber is up to? Well Shirley Temple, I care. And I really and truly thank you for giving not just me, but the world and generations something to smile and laugh about. The entertainment in which you provided us was rare. It was something that my Great Grandparents, my grandparents, my parents and hopefully someday my kids love to watch. Thanks for the memories Shirley.

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Hat: Saks
Glasses and Shoes: Chloe
Pearl Earrings: Tarina Tarantino
Shorts: Free People
Top: Forever 21
Bag: Marc Jacobs

We'll miss you Shirley.

We’ll miss you Shirley.

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Happy Halloween From Malibu

Top: Styles for Less Sunglasses: Styles For Less Shoes: Alice and Olivia Put em all together and you've got Malibu Barbie!

Top: Styles for Less
Sunglasses: Styles For Less
Shoes: Alice and Olivia
Put em all together and you’ve got Malibu Barbie!

Confession time…Halloween is my favorite holiday. For someone who works retail, it’s one of the few holidays I can actually take off and celebrate in peace. To those brave souls who work in the Halloween stores, I applaud you and thank you for your service. Don’t get me wrong, while I love the foofiness of a store bought costume, I thoroughly enjoy calling upon my inner Martha Stuart to see what I can come up with. While it is my lifelong dream to dress up one day as Britney Spears from her MTV VMA “Slave For You Performance.” My abs need more definition before I can make that happen.

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Alas, this year I opted for Barbie. She’s my fashion icon and she seemed more fun than Coco Chanel. The best part of being me and dressing up as Barbie? I really didn’t have to do much to prepare other then invest in a black and white striped leotard from Forever 21 achieve the “Classic Barbie” look. That look was for last weekends parties. And for yesterday, out of fear for being not just an “outfit repeater” but even worst a “BARBIE OUTFIT REPEATER” (the horror and I shudder at the thought) I opted for this baby blue number and went out as Malibu Barbie. I had a few people tell me I didn’t nail it. I was polite and explained I knew where I strayed from the original, but I really wanted to tell them “Hunny I’ve been a Barbie fan since as long as I can remember. My bumper sticker says ‘Backstreet Barbie.’ I know Barbie.”

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There are so many great things about dressing up as Barbie! My makeup gets to be sparkly and pink! There is no such thing to wearing too much sparkle. And I finally have an excuse to wear my hot pink Alice and Olivia Rain Coat. This years costume was sooo much fun! People actually came up to me and shook my hand because of how brilliant my outfit was. Some people thought I had dressed up as Gaga, another thought I had dressed up as Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde.” My response to that is I object! But I do love her too.

My Barbie Jacket aka a Raincoat by Alice and Olivia.

My Barbie Jacket aka a Raincoat by Alice and Olivia.

Of course the jewelry for the night came from my favorite accessory designer Tarina Tarantino.

Of course the jewelry for the night came from my favorite accessory designer Tarina Tarantino.

All this talk of Beach Barbie even inspired an ocean themed for my pumpkin. Ordinary is not in my vocabulary but thingamabob and dinglehopper are. FYI I did this completely free hand. I wouldn't even know where to get a stencil, but I did get the idea for the silhouette from Pintrest.

All this talk of Beach Barbie even inspired an ocean themed for my pumpkin. Ordinary is not in my vocabulary but thingamabob and dinglehopper are. FYI I did this completely free hand. I wouldn’t even know where to get a stencil, but I did get the idea for the silhouette from Pintrest.

All I know is I can’t wait till next year! And who knows, maybe I’ll do this Barbie thing every year. Lord knows there are more than enough outfit choices, and hopefully next year I’ll have a hot pink corvette or at least a Barbie dream house to match.

Classic Barbie Leotard: Forever 21 Sunglasses: By Me Bracelet: Tarina Tarantino

Classic Barbie
Leotard: Forever 21
Sunglasses: By Me
Bracelet: Tarina Tarantino

Even my boyfriend got into the act and went as Surfer Ken. He's kind of a dream boat.

Even my boyfriend got into the act and went as Surfer Ken. He’s kind of a dream boat.

Ch Ch Changes…It’s Time

I really don’t know what it is about Fall. But every Fall, I grow irritated with the look I’ve been sporting all year round and look to do something dramatic. Last Fall, I opted for bangs. They’ve grown considerably since then, and while I could do that again this year, I’m feeling I need to take more drastic action.

Earlier in the summer I showed my hair stylist a picture of Britney Spears from her “Femme Fatale” album cover, and said “that is the blonde I’ve always tried to be.” My previous hair stylist always rejected my dream of being bombshell blonde for fear of ruining my hair. Granted I’ve been highlighting my hair for almost a decade now, and straightening it, drying it and putting product in it almost every day. The damage was done a loooooong time ago.

But alas, it’s now a new year and a new season and I’m ready for a new look. The question is, which look do I go for? I’ve always been a fan of Nicole Richie. The girl transforms every couple of years but she rocks every single transformation. And I like her direction. She went from super long and boho chic to just straight fierce bob faster than Paris Hilton could say “that’s hot.” Loves it!

Tomorrow, I have an appointment to sit in the chair. And I have several decisions in front of me. All I know is it’s definitely time for ch ch changes.

I do love me a blunt bang with a shoulder length cut. But let's face it, hair with this kind of volume is not for a girl who has to wake up most days at 6  in the morning, only to have just gotten off work 8 hours before. This has the potential for a cute pony tail though.

I do love me a blunt bang with a shoulder length cut. But let’s face it, hair with this kind of volume is not for a girl who has to wake up most days at 6 in the morning, only to have just gotten off work 8 hours before. This has the potential for a cute pony tail though.

LOVE LOVE LOOOVE THIS LOOK! I like that the bangs look as though they could be worn blunt or off to the side. This has potential.

LOVE LOVE LOOOVE THIS LOOK! I like that the bangs look as though they could be worn blunt or off to the side. This has potential.

I have thought about going darker. Plus it would be closer to my natural color. (Sigh) I was born a blonde, God just didn't get the memo to my roots. Pity.

I have thought about going darker. Plus it would be closer to my natural color. (Sigh) I was born a blonde, God just didn’t get the memo to my roots. Pity.

Facing the Music, and A Modern Tale of Survival by Nick Carter

Facing the Music, and A Modern Tale of Survival by Nick Carter

Yup, another successful Backstreet Adventure with my Backstreet Bestie in the books. So we are not 12-years old any more. Annnnd your point?

Let’s be honest, I was probably just as excited Friday morning as I would have been had I been 12 and my parents picked me up and said I was going to see my favorite boy bander Nick Carter. I may or may not have fan girl squealed at some point that day, you may never know. In the event you are not a twenty bopper or ever had the pleasure of meeting someone whose image was once plastered on your wall at one point in time, it is basically the equivalent of meeting Santa Claus for the first time and comprehending the awesomeness of that moment. If you have no idea what that moment is like, then I feel sorry for you.

Just like Santa, I thought long and hard about what I was going to ask him. After all, I do run this little thing called a fashion blog and how awesome would it have been to ask him something fashion related? Totally awesome right? But then, the fun suckers over at Barnes and Nobles, well, sucked the fun out of that idea and basically said no pictures, just an autograph and move on with your life.

If I had not already met Nick at least 2 times prior I probably would have been upset. But gazing into his beautiful blue eyes and all worries just seem to disappear. While I missed an opportunity for a fab Instagram photo, and what I could only assume would have been a short and sweet answer of a fashion related question, I opted to utilize my two seconds and ask him how it felt to have a published book. After all, I hope to one day have my own book published and any advise from a published author would be appreciated. Clearly he was in the zone because he looked up at me kind of puzzled and shook his head. You mean I didn’t tell him how much I’ve loved him since I was 11? I have never told him that. Strangely previous encounters involve me asking him how Aaron is doing. I just saw him a few months back though and he looked great so no need waste a question.

“What was the question?” Nick Carter responded. (O-M-G, I have Nick’s attention I thought. Keep calm I tried to Jedi mind trick myself.) I then asked how he felt when the book finally got published. He starting muttering about the process and then I interjected, “accomplished?”

“Yes”, was his response. Panicked because the Barnes and Noble chaperon was clearly getting nervous and made me feel like my 2 seconds expired 5 seconds before I even walked up, I quickly told him I was proud of him. Not that Nick Carter needs my approval for anything, but he smiled a smile that smile I’ve loved since “As Long As You Love Me”, my heart melted and basically me and my BFF drove home on a cloud.

His book, from what I’ve read is amazing. It’s a heartfelt, soul bearing “here I am world despite my flaws” kind of tale and naturally I love it. Granted he could have written the dictionary and I probably would have reported back that it was the best dictionary I’ve ever read cover to cover, but as someone who is not perfect either, I appreciate his honesty and attempt to share his positive outlook on life with the world.

Really and truly Nick, I am proud of you.

He wrote my name. Life. Is. Complete.

He wrote my name. Life. Is. Complete.