Castles + Capes

“One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life. And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor and grace. She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.” Kathy Kinney

I’m sure there were a few years when I was little that I wanted to be a princess. If I had known about The Castle during those fairytale ridden years, I think I would have begged my parents to let me live there. Perhaps this is why I didn’t discover this castle until I was in college.

Located in the Heritage Hill District is The Castle, one of the earliest examples of the Chateauesque Style architecture. And yes, the style got its name because of similarities to the French chateaus in Europe.

Designed by local architect William G. Robinson, the castle-like edifice was constructed in 1884-86 as a home for local lumber barons Colonel E. Crofton Fox and his brother Charles. For over 30 years, it was home to the prestigious Gibson’s Restaurant, it has since been converted for other commercial uses (source).

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle - plaid blanket scarf cape, cream sheer blouse, flare jeans

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in Grand Rapids at The Castle

Jessica BLOUSE: Jessica Swagman | CAPE: Jessica Swagman (available soon) | Dilliard’s (similar here or here) | SHOES: LC Lauren Conrad

Fiery Heart

“You have more to do than to be weighed down by pretty or beautiful
you are a fiery heart and a wicked brain
do not let your soul be defined by its shell.”
Michelle K

Sometimes you stumble across a simple quote and you feel like it was meant for you. About you. Written for you. I know we all have days where we get weighed down by life. I most certainly have days like that. Heck, even weeks. And I was told by fellow bloggers, that the key to a successful blog or brand was telling your unique story. People want to connect with you, get to know you and relate to you. I have yet to fully accept that advice (I tend to be an extremely private and reserved person). So, until I start telling the stories that make me the person I am, just know this, life is too short to spend it at war with yourself.

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse 5

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse 5

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Fall in East Grand Rapids - black zipper blouse, long grey wrap cardigan, flare jeans, faux fur vest, color block purse 5

This blouse has easily become my favorite go to item out of all the clothes I own. When I have to run errands, meet with a client or go out to dinner, most of the time, I find myself reaching for it. I have to actually stop and think when the last time I wore it was and if those same people will be there. Not that I have any problem showing up in the same thing, I just don’t want people to think I live in it and never change. Awkward. But seriously. I throw this blouse over tees and tanks, under dresses and sweaters, and pair it with my skirts. Ok… perhaps I do live in it.

Jessica BLOUSE: Jessica Swagman | SWEATER: Macy’s (similar here or here) | VEST: H&M | JEANS: Dilliard’s (similar here or here) | PURSE: Aldo (similar here or here) | SHOES: H&M