Sweet Emotion Boudoir Photography

Fellow blogger babes June of geminijunemoon and Laura of Weird Culture invited me to a small gathering to introduce internationally-published photographer, Michael Abrams. He offered to give us a mini-boudoir shoot in exchange for sharing his work. I've never done a boudoir shoot (and wasn't entirely sure what it was) so I happily accepted the invite. I began to have second thoughts, however, when I realized that a boudoir shoot aims to create sexy yet classy classy images. The wardrobe of choice for most boudoir shoots? Lingerie or nothing at all. Um, no.

The closer the date for the party got, the more anxious I became. Could I really go through with this? I did more research and discovered that boudoir shoots can also be done in "regular" clothing like an oversize shirt or form-fitting dress. The point is to create sexy shots that still leave things to the imagination - all of your major parts are covered. Whew! Knowing I was going the non-lingerie route, I decided on a little black dress with cutouts and stilettos that I've been too shy to wear. (And, sadly, haven't really had any place to wear.)

Having an outfit planned took my nervousness down a notch until I realized one thing: Michael, our esteemed photographer, is a man. Once I met him, it was clear that Michael is very professional. Married with a child, he made all of us feel comfortable and answered every question we had. He does a thorough consultation before every shoot, to make sure everyone is on the same page about how high you want the scorchometer to go. Regardless of how much skin you choose to show, Michael can take pictures that guys think are hot, which may not be the same as what female photographers consider hot. His work is stunning! My girlfriends were right in the other room. . .I decided to go for it!

After getting my makeup done by stylist Kristen Parks, I mustered up my courage and started the photo shoot. I immediately felt confident and kinda like a supermodel. (Hey, no harm in dreaming, right?) Michael gave helpful directions on poses and showed me some of the shots as we went along. He was kind and encouraging throughout the shoot. It was really, really fun!

If you're considering getting a boudoir shoot, I would say do it. Be sure to research your photographer (looking on Craigslist is not recommended) and find a professional you're comfortable with. It is an investment that may not fit everyone's budget, but having gorgeous, intimate shots of yourself is special. Give the photos to your partner as a gift or just keep them for yourself, to remind yourself how beautiful you are. (Yes, you.) The model-type girls on the web site are just that: models. Michael explained that most of us "regular" gals don't feel comfortable putting pics on his web site, hence, the use of professional models. So don't let those photos intimidate you, because you're a total babe. I'm thrilled with how sweet yet spicy my photos turned out. I plan to do another shoot with Sweet Emotion Boudoir Photography. . .but those photos will be for Brian's eyes only. ;)

You can see more of Michael's work at www.sweetemotionboudoir.com. You can also connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you book a shoot within 30 days (through 4/3/15) and mention The Ruby Zipper, you'll get 10% off your boudoir shoot!

Resale Shop Hop Mini-Road Trip

It's a Resale Shop Hop!
My love of clothing far exceeds my budget, so frequent thrifting puts things back in balance. I'm always looking for new places to go treasure hunting, so I embarked on St. Louis' first Resale Shop Hop, Here's how it works: a $5 coupon book gives you discounts at 9 different resale stores in St. Louis. You can buy the book, or passport, at any participating store. You get a stamp each time you visit a shop. If you collect stamps at all 9 stores, hand in your passport at your last stop and get entered to win a $20 gift card to all participating stores. Thanks to Rung & Sprung Boutique, Ruby and I excitedly grabbed our passport for a mini-road trip to the following shops:

Ditto Family Resale
Ditto's tagline is "A shopping experience worth repeating," and it's definitely true. The store has a really great mix of all types of merchandise like toys, furniture, jewelry, shoes, and clothes. I spent most of my time keeping Ruby from attempting to bring home everything in the children's toy section. (The miniature Doc McStuffins for 50 cents was acceptable.) A cool thing about Ditto is that 90% of profits go to providing tuition remission for elementary students in some local schools. I'm happy my purchases went to such a great cause!
Ditto is located at 10027 Manchester Road St. Louis, MO 63122
Get The Word Out
Next up was another store I wasn't familiar with, Get The Word Out. On a mission to help orphans and women in Kenya, GTWO sells consignment, thrift, and global goods. This creates an eclectic mix of merchandise, like the antique toy stove that I almost bought for its cuteness. The abundance of adorable items for kids, like books, toys, and hair bows was simply too much temptation for Ruby to handle, so this visit was cut short. I managed to buy some cute flash cards before we scurried out to the car. I look forward to going back on my own to really take in all the items.
Get The Word Out is located at 10050 Manchester Rd. Glendale, MO 63122
Revive Thrift Shop
Our last stop was at Revive Thrift Shop. This store is unique because it aims to empower at-risk individuals through job and leadership programs. All proceeds go to Mission: St. Louis. We saw some beautiful pieces of furniture in the store, but I was looking for clothes. I spotted a Banana Republic shirt in Brian's size for a mere $7. Even better? Ruby picked out a few kids' books, and all books are free!
Revive Thrift Shop is located at 2202 Vandeventer Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110
You can read about my good times at participating store NCJW's The Resale Shop right here, and see some of my fun finds from Rung & Sprung in this post.

The other participating stores are Twice Blessed Resale Shop, Panache Plus, The Refind Room, and The Vintage Haberdashery. (One guess where my next stop will be.) I doubt you need encouragement to collect one-of-a-kind goodies at unbelievable prices, but in case you're on the fence, here are 10 great reasons to shop resale. The coupons are good until 3/7/15, so get hopping on that shopping! (Sorry, couldn't resist-I'm a bit of a dork despite this cool exterior. LOL) Let me know if you visit any of the stores - I'd love to hear your experiences.  

Acid Wash - Yay or Nay?

Dress: Rung; Vest: Thrifted; Boots: Steve Madden; Leggings: F21

As a child of the 80s and 90s, I grew up absorbing fashion inspiration from shows like Saved By The Bell, The Fresh Prince, and Punky Brewster.