6 THINGS I LOVED FROM 2014 + 6 GOALS FOR 2015

March 11, 2015 3 Permalink

Naima Naito Milk Stripes Blog

Happy (LATE) New Year!

I’m back! Yay! I’ve been quiet on Milk Stripes (but not on Instagram!) because I travelled to England for the Holidays and then I had an amazing adventure in India (my photos = color overload) but really, I wanted to stop and reflect on what I’d done in 2014, think about my blog and get really honest with myself about what my hopes and dreams are for 2015….

 

MY BLOG IN 2014

It makes me happy to scroll through the blog and see what I did in 2014. I have learnt so much since I started it and I still have a lot to learn. I feel like there’s so much inside me that I want the world to see, feel and hear because there is so much that excites me in this world, but then I get distracted when I look at what everyone else is doing, and then I find myself thinking, should I be doing things more like how other Bloggers do it? But I’m trying to change it up this year and experiment more!

 

6 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT 2014

Looking back on 2014 brought smiles and happy feelings inside. Here are a few:

1. Dreams

I moved to NYC to realize a dream. I have always wanted to live here, so we made it happen.

2. Love

I continue to fall further in love with my husband and am always in such wonder about how amazing he is and I feel incredibly lucky.

3. Goals

I started a blog after thinking about it for too many years.

4. Family

I made family more of a priority by traveling to see them and making more phone calls as it’s hard when you live so far away from them.

5. Friends

 I travelled to see my friends (who also live so far away) to make beautiful memories (did you see my post on doing friendship vacations?!) and I became a Godmother!

6. Travel 

I went to Burning Man (see my first timer’s experience post) which was a wild, beautiful and an out-of-world experience.

 Travelled to Australia, France (Paris, South of France + Menton), Spain, Bali (dressing up + rainforest posts), Barbados, Singapore (re-cap post), England, Japan and explored more of the beautiful US (some of trips included places like Detroit here + here, Camp Wandawega here + here, the Catskills…and check out my Instagram for more adventures I haven’t blogged about).

 

6 GOALS FOR 2015

1. Blog

Continue to develop the Milk Stripes blog and be brave enough to experiment with new ideas and styles plus make some Blogging friends – anyone living in NYC or Chicago?

2. Family & Friends

Continue prioritizing family & friends by calling, mailing, sharing photos and seeing them more!

3. New Things

Create an online shop curated with the things that I love.

4. Cook

Dining at restaurants is a huge part of my life (and I love it) but I find that I’m increasingly wanting to create meals from my heritage as another way to learn about where I’ve come from….and have dinner parties!  Saying that, I’m dining at Next tonight to feast on their Bistro (French) menu…so cooking may have to wait tonight! 🙂

5. Learn

I’ve always been curious about art history and design, so I’d like to learn more about these fields.

6. Travel + Experiences

We have plans for more travel and adventures that I’m super excited about sharing soon (like my trip to India that I just came back from)!

 

What are some of things that you loved about 2014 and what are your dreams for 2015? I’d love to know what you guys have thought about/hoped for/wished for as well! I know it’s already March but are you doing what you set out in January?

Love Naima x

BERETS + HEARTS + SHORTS

December 3, 2014 17 Permalink

BIG news….

I just booked a holiday to England for Christmas !!! YAY !

I will be flying to London for a few days and then I’ll travel with my husband to the beautiful countryside to see family. I cannot wait to go back and explore London town again!


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I’m back in NYC but I have spent the last 2 weeks in Chicago and I always enjoy the skies in Winter. It can be so blue and the Midwest has such glorious clouds passing by all the time – check out my Instagram here to see what I mean.



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I had a great Thanksgiving Holiday relaxing, spending time with my husband and eating copious amounts of food so all of that combined means I’ve been one happy gal!

 
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This week’s outfit was inspired by the book (and cartoon series) of Madeline – a beautiful story about a little girl and her friends in Paris set a long time ago. They had darling uniforms with peter pan collars and oxford style shoes too…I did my own spin of it with a pair of my favorite black shorts and a cardigan that has a school-girl feel to it too.

 

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My shorts and cardigan are by Comme Des Garcons, which is one of my favorite designer brands. Although the name sounds French, it’s from Japan. These wool shorts are beautifully crafted and was an investment piece I purchased in my favorite store in London – Dover Street Market,  an incredible store sourcing beautiful things from all over the world.

 

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And of course, my beret is a nod to France (given I am a self-declared Francophile)…I’m sure Madeline would approve of the beret!

 
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WHAT AM I WEARING?

Cardigan: Comme Des Garcons Play

Shorts: Comme Des Garcons (fabulous options here & here)

Top: Sessun (fabulous options here & here)

Shoes: From Paris (similar)

Beret: From Japan (similar)

Lipstick: Nars


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I can’t believe Christmas is coming up so soon – will you be going home and spending time with family? Enjoying your holidays with friends? I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends in London and spending time with family, which doesn’t happen as often as we’d like since we live so far away from our family (being in different countries).

If you have any tips, blogs or recommendations for things to see/eat/do in London I would love to know!! As it’s such a big city, you can never know a city too well!!

Was Madeline popular in the US as well? The cartoon was on everyday in Australia so my brother and I used to watch it after school! ha ha!

Have a wonderful week!

Naima  x

LEATHER OVERALLS

November 25, 2014 16 Permalink

I’m back in Chicago for the next couple of weeks and I’ve been hanging out in the West Loop in my new faux leather overalls.

Oh Yes. I saw these at Topshop and it was love at first sight !!

What do you think of the overalls? Yay or Nay?

 

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Think that you wouldn’t have many opportunities to wear overalls? Think again!

There are so many ways to wear overalls because they can be dressed up or dressed down easily which makes them very versatile pieces.

Today, I’m dressing up the overalls with one of my favorite See by Chloe silk tops but I’m still keeping the look slightly casual with my favorite grey beanie.

Let’s not forget that because overalls are a one-piece, they can keep you warm during the Winter – yay!

 
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I’ve worn this beanie in a few blog posts because this is my go-to beanie and I wanted to illustrate how you don’t need to have different colors to go with different outfits. Grey is a great classic color (more than black, in my eyes) because it’s soft enough to not clash with other colors.

 
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Heard of the West Loop in Chicago?

That’s where I live in Chicago and it’s the meat packing district of the city, with lots of beautiful brick warehouses like this one behind me. It’s a great neighborhood full of amazing restaurants…this makes me think I should do a West Loop Guide one day – what do you think?!

 
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WHAT AM I WEARING?

Overalls: Topshop (fabulous options here & here)

Top: See by Chloe (fabulous options here & here)

Shoes: From Paris (similar)

Hat: Zara (similar)

Watch: 1963 Vintage Omega Watch (similar)

Lipstick: Nars

Nails: O.P.I

 

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Have you got on the overalls bandwagon? Maybe you could wear one to Thanksgiving!

What do you think?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Naima x

MATCHING YOUR WORLD

November 20, 2014 42 Permalink

This will probably be my last post showcasing an outfit in Fall on the blog because it already feels like Winter – can you believe it?

Knowing that it was peak foliage in Central Park, I rounded up my friends to enjoy the last days of really colorful leaves…and here’s what I wore to farewell Fall…

 

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I love how the yellow in the dress perfectly matches the leaves, how the green in the dress matches the grass…and the brushes of pink, matches my lipstick!!

 

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For a long time, I would only wear things that I thought were fitted because I thought they were more flattering but since I bought my first shift dress (remember this post?), I love having fun with this style – and I don’t feel the need to wear a belt as it takes away from the flow of the dress.


 
WHAT AM I WEARING?

Dress: J.Crew (fabulous options are here, here & here)

Bag: Mulberry (similar)

Hat: Market find at Brick Lane Markets in London  (similar)

 Boots: From Paris (similar options here & here)

Watch: 1963 Vintage Omega Watch (similar)

Lipstick: NARS

 

Doesn’t the photo below make your heart melt?

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I don’t always match my outfit with the colors around me but it can be fun when you do!

I went with my friend to two art exhibitions recently – the first was the Matisse Cut Outs at MoMA (which was fantastic) and we both wore outfits in honor of Matisse’s colorful palette! And then at the Takashi Murukami opening of In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, we did the same (also, an amazing exhibition).

Do you match your clothes to the colors that are around you?! I’d love to know and see your photos, so please share!

Naima x

THE ULTIMATE FALL STATEMENT = CAPES

November 12, 2014 56 Permalink

If you love Fall then you should come to NYC right this instant because it is absolutely stunning and the different colored trees will simply take your breath away, especially if you love yellow, orange and red colors!

A trip to Central Park in the Fall called for my cape to be whipped out – yay!

I bought my first cape 4 years ago and it was like nothing I had ever worn. Then last year in Paris, I found this beauty and it was love at first sight…What do you think of my cape?


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Because the cape is such a statement piece, it means you can keep everything else very simple.

I’ve paired the cape with a navy silk button down shirt and black dress shorts (I’ll feature these more prominently in a future post).

 

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 Of course, I’ve got my trusty bowler hat on to jazz the outfit up for when I take off the cape.

 

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Made out of wool and lined with silk, this cape keeps me warm whilst still being feminine and chic. Did you check out the deep pockets? That’s where my phone goes for easy access – woo hoo!

When it comes to bags with a cape, you want something you can either hold with your hand or is small enough to wear underneath the cape as you can’t wear handbags over the shoulder because the cape will be in your way. My small Mulberry bag is a perfect accessory for this outfit and it encourages you not to carry too much because of its size, which is wonderful!



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Look at how many colors there are in the park! My heart was bursting with so much excitement and I couldn’t take off the huge smile across my face as we walked around.


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WHAT AM I WEARING?

Cape: Maje (similar options here, here & here)

Top: J.Crew (similar)

Bag: Mulberry (similar)

Hat: Market find at Brick Lane Markets in London  (similar options here & here)

 Boots: From Paris (similar options here & here)

Lipstick: NARS

Nails: O.P.I

 


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Do you wear statement pieces like capes? What kind of things have you thought about wearing but haven’t yet built the courage to wear yet?

Love Naima x

 

THE CATSKILLS & IS IT NOVEMBER, ALREADY ? !

November 5, 2014 10 Permalink

I recently went to a place in upstate NY called the Catskills, which was simply enchanting!

I love Fall so much (see my Instagram and you’ll see that I’m not kidding) and it’s truly a magical experience to see the world change colors.

I grew up in Australia so although we have seasons, they’re not as distinct as they are in the Northern Hemisphere and most of the trees stay green all year long!

Here’s what I wore on my Fall trip to the Catskills…

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I find that experiencing seasons helps you realize just how quickly time really flies. For me, that’s amazing and intimidating at the same time because I always want to do and experience so much.

Since moving to NYC, my life has changed a lot and it has been a fun and wonderful ride. But now that 2014 is slowing coming to a close, it makes me want to sit down and reflect on what’s happened, what I’ve achieved and how I want to spend the remainder of this year.

I’m going to have a think about this and post my thoughts soon…so keep an eye out for it!

 

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Now back to Fall fashion (yay!)….the other thing I love about Fall is that it’s a time to play with more layers and accessories because it’s a little colder but not too cold that I’m covered in layers of coats.

This Polo Ralph Lauren bag is one of my favorite bags. It’s big enough to hold a lot (books, notes, pens, make-up, ipad etc) and small enough that it’s not too heavy.

 
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I found this view simply breathtaking. That little cloud just above the trees is actually fog!

 

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What do you think of my new bangs? I got them because I wanted a little change to my hairstyle. It was a little scary as it’s the most hair I’ve cut to dedicate for my bangs!

 

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WHAT AM I WEARING?

Top: J.Crew (similar)

Skirt:  H&M (similar options  here & here )

Hat: Zara (similar)

Bag: Polo Ralph Lauren (similar options here & here)

Boots: from Paris (similar options here & here)

Lipstick: MAC “Viva Glam”

Nails: O.P.I Mod-ern Girl

 

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 Do seasons have the same affect on you as it does for me? Does it make you think and reflect on the year and how time flies? Let me know your thoughts as I’d love to hear your experiences, whether they’re similar or the complete opposite!

Love Naima x

 

STORM KING IN THE FALL

October 28, 2014 2 Permalink

I travelled to Storm King Art Centre and had so much fun exploring it. Don’t know about Storm King? It’s a must-see if you love huge sculptures and beautiful landscapes, rolled into one!

Not until this Fall did I really start appreciating weekends away that are a short drive away since I had to satisfy my insatiable appetite for Fall foliage by taking multiple trips to different parts of upstate NY (follow me on Instagram to see my adventures)!

In my mind, I tend to think a weekend away includes a plane ride but I’m quickly realizing how there are wonderful adventures to be had so close to home. Once you’re out of your city and in nature, it’s amazing how quickly you relax and feel like you’re a million miles away. It’s also inspired us to think about looking for a little place that we can fix up and get away to on weekends!


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The day we went up was such a wet and rainy day but it meant we basically had the whole place to ourselves, which was quite romantic! *^_^*

The rainy weather meant I could bring out this jacket I’ve been waiting to use for a day just like this! I originally bought it with grand ideas of taking walks through rolling hills of the English countryside but haven’t had a chance to wear it until now! I feel like somewhere like Portland, Oregon will be another good place for this jacket – what do you think? It was waterproof and waxy so it repelled all the rain – I didn’t need an umbrella!!


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I bought these boots after I couldn’t fit my calves into the full length ones  (yes…funny…I know. You should see me trying on ski boots, it’s hilarious) but luckily I found that the shorter ones are much easier to walk around in. Because they’re made of thick plastic, they’re not as light and flexible as leather, so I’d recommend getting shorter ones (or the even shorter booties) if you’re in the market for rain boots.


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I found my little pocket of heaven and it stopped raining!!

The red leaves were so magical – I was so happy!


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If you’re wondering if the fox on my sweater is soft and furry…. yes, it is!! I found this sweater in a little boutique in Tokyo.

When buying sweaters for Fall and Winter, try to look for pieces that can make a statement if you’re wearing dark bottoms and jackets. You can see above how the sweater pops out from the coat but is also great when worn on its own.

 

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Fall. Foliage. Fabulous.

 

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Doesn’t your heart just melt with all the beauty out there – the Fall red leaves above and the prairie below!

 

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Storm King is spread out over 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands with huge sculptures like you’ve never seen, at every turn!

 
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 WHAT AM I WEARING?

Top: From a boutique in Tokyo (similar)

Jacket: J.Crew (similar)

Hat: Zara (similar)

Jeans: Levis

BootsHunter Boots (or the booties)

Lipstick: MAC “Mac Red”

Nails: O.P.I Mod-ern Girl

 

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Where did you go to enjoy Fall?!  Where would you recommend to go for a weekend away from Chicago or NYC? I’d love to know any gems you might have heard of or have been to already!

Happy Tuesday!

Naima x

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Milk Stripes

NOLITA STYLE

October 17, 2014 5 Permalink

In NYC, I live in one of the most adorable neighborhoods called NoLIta (Nolita), which stands for North of Little Italy. The neighborhood is really small and full of beautiful boutiques, small wine bars and fun restaurants.

I decided to shoot this week’s look in the streets around my neighborhood so you can see what makes Nolita one of the most charming areas in town.

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To my left on Mulberry Street, is the iconic Puck building right on the edge of Nolita. Check out the gold Puck statue, it’s based on a Shakespeare character! On the other side of the road is NoHo (North of Houston!).

 

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Behind me is Cafe Habana, one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in town. Make sure you get the grilled corn with chilli powder and lime on top!


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An adorable shopfront – one of many in Nolita.

 

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I love the classic fire escapes in NYC and Nolita is full of them! I have one outside my apartment windo, where I people watch from all the time.

 

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All the roads in Nolita are tree-lined and narrow which makes it really nice to walk around because it makes it feel like a downtown village.

 

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 WHAT AM I WEARING?

Skirt: Gorman (similar at ASOS)

Top: Dangerfield

Belt: Ralph Lauren

Hat: Bowler hat with a bow from Brixton Markets in London

Shoes: Boots from Paris (similar at Frye)

Watch: Vintage 1963 Omega

Jewelry: Cities of Dust 

Lipstick: MAC “Mac Red”

Nails: Essie “Bikini so teeny” 

 

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This local bodega has fresh flowers everyday, which makes me so happy! It’s also where I get my daily dose of European chocolates from!

 

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What do you think of my neighborhood? Have you been to Nolita? What other neighborhoods in NYC do you love or want to visit?

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Love Naima x

Milk Stripes Naima Naito Fashion Blogger

 

BURNING MAN – A FIRST TIMER’S EXPERIENCE.

October 1, 2014 13 Permalink

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Was it a dream?

I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was going to Burning Man festival because to be honest, I was a little frightened by it. I didn’t know what to expect or imagine even after reading about it. I was scared because I was throwing myself into the unknown and if anything happened, I was going to be lost in the middle of the desert with no phone reception.

Low and behold…


Naima-Naito-Milk-Stripes-Burning-ManAn outfit inspired by a trip to an Indian jewelry store.

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 During a dust storm.

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One of the many beautiful sculptures.


…It was one of the best things I’ve experienced.

It was beautiful, fantastical, wild, crazy at times, like a dream filled with a kaleidoscope of colors and I’d often catch myself thinking it was like a dream/Disneyland/Fantasia/the Lego movie all rolled into a world where time melted away, and set in the desert with a sprinkling of dust. All of this becomes a world and experience you need to see to believe.


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Riding at sunrise.

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Spectacular sunsets.

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The colors of the sunset over the Playa.

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An art project which was like an oasis that you could hang out in.


Everyone has a different experience coming out of it with what seems to be very different learnings as well because you really make the whole experience your own.


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Scenes on the Playa with art projects and art cars.

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The Library (inside is filled with books that you write in) with The Embrace in the backdrop.


For me, it felt like I was a child because everything I saw, touched and felt was unique, new and foreign and presented in a way that I hadn’t seen before. There are no rules at Black Rock City, so when you go, it feels like there’s creativity bursting from every direction because everyone is given free reign to dress the way they want, get around the way they want, dance the way they want, participate the way they want, display their camp/themselves/their forms of transport (bikes + art cards) /their passions the way they want — all with no judgement, just appreciation.

There are so many things to see/learn/do/feel/create/build there and you can choose what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do it. And that’s something people ask me often, “what did you do there?” As I mentioned above, everyone’s journey is different. I saw and experienced art and art projects, I went to workshops and panel discussions, I rode around on my bike for hours, I watched the sunrise and sunset, I danced, I sat, I made friends, I made things and was constantly surprised by things….and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


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The Playa that looked like a jigsaw puzzle.

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An art car at Sunrise.

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A sculpture in the Playa.


People are naturally friendly, open and generous and there is a real sense of community because you’ve all made a huge effort and commitment to come and participate. This already changes the ball game. And it’s refreshing to meet a variety of different people from all over the world that you quickly become friends with.


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The Temple made out of wood.

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Dancing at night.

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Dancing at Sunrise.


It’s a place that constantly changes and at times that can be quite disorientating but it’s amazing how easily you adapt to this and just move on even though you’re lost.


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Riding around in a dust storm.

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A scene in the Playa.

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People having fun on art projects and art cars.

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The Playa at sunset.


Once you leave the Playa and get back to reality, you realize that Burning Man was like a completely different planet. The energy, the people, the adventures are different and it takes a little bit of time to adjust to the real world. Everything feels slightly dull in the outside world compared to the happenings of the Playa. I think it’s because life at Burning Man is heightened by about a million times more than in reality…and then poof!…Burning Man is gone and it then really feels like it was just a dream. With the ethos of Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. Everything you consume, you take with you. Just like a dream, it’s like nothing was ever there, except the memory of it.


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Before The Embrace was set on fire.

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Once The Embrace was set on fire, tornadoes formed and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed!

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Then even more tornadoes formed and they kept on forming….it was incredible.


It’s very hard to articulate my Burning Man experience and I think it is also difficult to grasp what I’m talking about if you’ve never been, which makes this experience all the more alluring.

I hope you enjoyed my Burning Man experience and photos…have you been or would like to go? I’d love to know about your time there or questions you may have!

Love + Dust. See you next time on the Playa.

Love Naima x


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FUN TIMES AT CAMP WANDAWEGA

September 18, 2014 0 Permalink

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post set at Camp Wandawega. Do you remember the tree house?

Nestled in Wisconsin with trees and a lake, it’s a place that lets you escape into a beautiful and fluffy dream.

Everything is the creation of its two owners’ imagination.

Because I love this place, I wanted to share another adventure I had there. I played around the camp grounds in this fun white outfit….what do you think? I hope you enjoy it!

 

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I love dandelions so much…and as a kid, I would often pick them and make a wish as I blew on them. Did you do that too?

 

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I have been interchanging between two different nail polish colors at the same time and have really enjoyed it! Here I’m wearing both blue and pink. What do you think?

 

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I’m standing in the entrance of a vintage canned ham style trailer (I keep calling it an airstream in my head!) that sits prettily in the field.

Read the story behind this canned ham style trailer and how Camp Wandawega polished up this beauty here!

 

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How cute is the inside?! The curtains, table and old school Girls Scout Handbook (see the video below to hear an excerpt…) are adorable!

 

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 Pine cones that I found in the field!

 

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I collect pine cones and place them on window sills at home.

On another note, can you see the tire swing in the background? It’s so much fun to swing on it!

 

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Playing Lifesaver by the lake before a ride out in the kayak!


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Looking for fish!

 

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 WHAT AM I WEARING?

Dress: GAP

Belt: Vintage from a country town in Australia called Dubbo

Hat: Panama Hat (similar)

ShoesKeds

Watch: Vintage 1963 Omega

Lipstick: MAC “So Chaud”

Nails: I interchanged between two colors – Essie “Bikini so teeny” + “Cute as a button”

 

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It was so fun reading the vintage Girls Scout Handbook. Check out the video below of me reading a little bit of it!

 

 

Have you been to a place like Camp Wandawega? Where do you go that makes you happy?

Naima x

Milk Stripes