Engagement Shoot – Hilja & Tom

TOM & HILJA – PORTRAITS BY SUZANNE SPIEGOSKI

I've known Hilja for nearly 25 years. We met as young kids at a track meet both competing in the chin-up/pull-up category. But it wasn't until six months later where we crossed paths once more  - this time at a skating rink and became inseparable. Growing up together she has always been like a sister to me and is one of my closest and dearest friends. So, when she told me was coming to New York with her fiancé, Tom, I wanted to do an engagement shoot as their wedding present.

While growing up in Detroit like myself, Hilja met Tom while in grade school. But a romance didn't brew until way later when they reconnected as adults. I'm a firm believer in all the twists & turns that life will lead you to, like moments such as this, where sometimes you don't even know what's been under your nose the entire time. Love ain't easy and I think one has to go through a lot in order to know who and what they want. And with these two, I haven't seen such a happy couple in so many years.

One of the reasons for their visit to New York was for Tom's birthday and part of his gift was a trip to Madison Square Garden to watch his favorite college basketball team, Duke, play. And being that they are both from the Motor City, I wanted to embody their laid-back but gritty attitude. So the first part of the shoot, I took them to Alphabet City and shot in an empty basketball court. This was an easy-breezy moment before the second part of the photo shoot.

I was adamant in shooting part of their engagement series on Top of the Rock during their visit here in New York around the holidays. But on that particular day, there was so much fog there was literally zero visibility. The staff even forewarned us – suggesting we exchange our tickets to another day. My stubborn streak never ceases to shine through and because it was the last day of their visit, I pushed for it anyway. 

"Maybe we'll get lucky," I thought. 

Going up I had anxiety. You can't control Mother Nature and I was concerned we may be going up but with no NYC skyline. However, when shooting you got to go with the flow. As we started to warm up for our shoot and ease into our environment, the clouds parted and a beautiful incandescent light emerged from above. Much like the weather, you cannot control love and all that comes with it. A definite blessing from the universe. What a day. Are you a believer in spiritual energies as such?

Hilja and Tom will be married In Michigan come this fall. I feel so honored to be a part of her wedding and for our friendship. Life has thrown us many curveballs (even really bad airballs if you will) but we have been there for each other through the thick and thin. Seeing her full of life and joy brings me much happiness. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for all of us! To many more years of love & laughter, adventures and more. I love you guys!

P.S. Want to see more lovey-dovey couple photos? Click here.  

LOVE & XX'S,

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Source: http://www.suzannespiegoski.com/love/

How to Wear Pink and Not Look Too Girly

WEARING: ZAFUL LEOPARD COAT | ASTR THE LABEL DAKOTA TOP |
BROOKS BROTHERS FRENCH CUFF MEN'S DRESS SHIRT | FOREVER 21 RED JEANS |
DRESS LILY BLUE CROSSBODY BAG | STEVE MADDEN BLACK BOOTS 

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY ZAFUL & ASTR THE LABEL.

Happy Friday Eve! A lot of you have been asking about the engagement shoot that's STILL not up. Why? For any photographer, I'm sure you can understand my pain. Ever shoot something so great and meaningful but then when you go back to it for editing, it's an absolute nightmare?! Especially when you're in a bit of a funk? I just can't seem to get the photos to be 'good enough' with my own eye. Call it what you will, but I'm a total perfectionist and am pretty hard on myself let alone with others. Fair? Nah. But it's how I'm built. It's who I am. I promise the photos are coming soon! If you want to see other lovey-dovey couple photo shoots in the meantime, please go here

What's the one color you're not the biggest fan of? Mine is pink. Any pink. Dusty pinks, blush pinks, neon pinks, anything with the word pink I usually stray from. But with my newfound openness and passion for fashion & style, it's good to challenge oneself even when it comes to certain aesthetics or tastes you're not that into. So when ASTR The Label sent me over their gorgeous Dakota top in pink rather than white, I decided to improvise and take the task at hand. Because when it comes to styling, whatever it may be, sometimes you just gotta make it work, even if it's a piece you're unsure of. Sometimes uncertainty brings out the best outfits!

So how to wear a pink anything without looking too girly? Here are a few tips. Less is more. Layer it up. It's winter out there, folks. (Well, for most of us.) Give contrast. Play with other colors. Bring a touch of masculinity to the already feminine color. Check out this look for example. I paired the Dakota top with a French cut Brooks Brothers shirt from the hubby's closet (I love his style and some of my favorite looks have pieces from his wardrobe in it), and to give an extra punch to the neutral lighter colors I wore red skinny jeans with my favorite Steve Madden black ankle boots. The boots are sleek and chic, polishing up any outfit.

A super hot trend this winter are leopard coats. Mine is faux-fur (even though I love real fur, sorry not sorry). I think this Zaful coat complements really well with the light baby pink of the shirt. Makes it less feminine and more rocker chic; a bit racy. I like intensity. Can you tell? To counter-balance the play with color-blocking, I kept it cool with my fresh blue crossbody bag. Ain't she a beaut? Shop the look down below or just follow the links for similar pieces! Have a great weekend. :)

LOVE & XX'S,

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L'Oréal Extraordinary Clay Haircare

EXTRAORDINARY CLAY, SELF-PORTRAIT SERIES, JANUARY 7TH, 2017. 


THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY L'ORÉAL HAIR & INFLUENSTER.

When you think of washing your hair, clay is probably not the first ingredient that comes to mind. But thanks to L'Oréal #ExtraordinaryClay, a hair care trio that includes a 30% clay hair mask, this treatment has become a popular trend. So I was delighted to try these products, especially on my newly-do mane.

You first begin with the pre-shampoo mask, which is what is in this self-portrait series. Please note this treatment is meant for your entire head of hair, from root to end. But because I felt like thinking outside the box creatively within the self-portraits the mask is only shown on the top of my head, though I did do a full treatment after the photos. I'm thinking of doing a lot more work on self-portraiture this year, what do you guys think? Would you like to see more of these photos? Back to the lecture at hand (lol), what does the clay mask do? It rids of oils from the roots and moisturizes the ends, even purifying the scalp. 

After shampoo & conditioner, my hair felt ultra-fresh and lightweight. And what's also amazing about the products is it absorbs enough scalp sebum where you won't even need to be using dry shampoo a couple days later, even with bangs! Even a few days later, my hair was still bouncy as ever. This trio line is the real deal. Find more L'Oréal Extraordinary Clay hair care info here. You can also shop the products down below. Happy Monday! :)  

LOVE & XX'S,

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Source: http://www.lorealparisusa.com/Haircare/Cla...

How to Style a Pajama Top and Look Chic

WEARING: VICTORIA'S SECRET BLACK SATIN PAJAMA BLOUSE | 
FOREVER 21 DENIM SKINNY JEANS | SAGA FURS SILVER FOX COAT | 
LOUISE & ELEANOR APPLE GREEN LULU CLUTCH | NINA RICCI BLACK SANDALS | 
METAL MINGLE OTHER HALF NECKLACE 

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY LOUISE & ELEANOR AND METAL MINGLE.

I've got to say I've been enjoying the heck out of the freshly cut fringe bangs I got done for the new year! When I asked for Penelope Cruz bangs circa Vanilla Sky, with a little sass but light and romantic, I was more than thrilled with the results! Thanks to Fourteen Jay Salon down in TriBeCa, my new do has been my latest favorite accessory. :)

Talking about recent obsessions, I know this trend has been around for awhile now, but I couldn't help but put my own twist on styling a pajama top! I have this Victoria's Secret black satin pajama blouse that I sleep in constantly, but who says you can't stay cozy and chic at the same time? My advice is to keep it casual but playful. Since it's freezing in New York, I've busted out my vintage Saga Furs silver fox coat that I've had for several years. These cute Nina Ricci sandals have also been around for ages, but I love its low heel and minimal feel to any look! With keeping the play on casual, I wore Forever 21 dark denim skinny jeans and added pops of color and twinkles of metal to style the outfit with a touch of luxury. Plus, it complements with the fur coat well.

You guys need to check out Louise & Eleanor! They are an amazing California-based designer handbags line carrying totes, clutches, and more. I'm so in love with the new apple green clutch I got from them, you should see all the other ones they have too! And let's not forget to mention this amazing necklace from a small shop based in Brooklyn, called Metal Mingle Jewelry. They create adaptable mixed metal jewelry with sleek and geometric designs. Absolutely adorable, chic pieces, I was so happy to receive one of their eclectic necklaces! Alright... enough chit-chat about this look! I need to get back to maaaaaad editing... and meetings... and events. Engagement post coming live on Monday so stay tuned! Can't wait to share the love. ❤️   

 

LOVE & XX'S,

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The Morning After

WEARING: VINTAGE ROLLING STONES MOTORCYCLE LEATHER JACKET | 
INK DETROIT T-SHIRT | TERRANOVA DENIM | 
STEVE MADDEN BLACK ANKLE BOOTS 

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY INK DETROIT.

Happy New Year, my dear friends! 2016 had its many up & downs but what I'm most grateful for are the lessons learned from this past year alone. I've never grown so much, both professionally & personally, and can gladly thank my friends, old & new, for your wisdom and support. Your continued love can never be only expressed through just words – I may say a lot (or talk too much), but I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration, good laughs, and fun times, through the thick & thin of it all. You'll never know how much you all mean to me! I am not one to make resolutions... if you ask I'll give you something quite ambitious such as, "eating more donuts," or "learning how to bake more donuts." All kidding aside, I am very excited for the New Year and have a really good feeling that 2017 is going to be unforgettable! 

Instead of wishing you all the happiness in the world or how I hope to travel more or be more intuitive, blah blah blah (!), just know that I'm wishing you all lots of whatever your gorgeous hearts' desire. And more importantly, where on earth I found this vintage motorcycle jacket! I'm a huge fan of the Rolling Stones (my favorite album is probably Sticky Fingers but so hard to choose from...) and received (okay, my husband) this from a dear friend. The second I discovered this beauty, I snagged (err.. 'borrowed') it. No idea exactly where it's from but here is a link to a few similar ones!

I also can't help but mention the backstory behind these Terranova Capri denim pants. They're over ten years old and from halfway across the world! When I was studying abroad in Ukraine, I found them in a store while in Odessa. I loved them so much I actually went back for them after first discovering them while out with friends. My 'Detroitish' t-shirt is from Ink Detroit... for those of you who may not know, I grew up in Detroit! I paired the look with sleek black Steve Madden ankle boots that I'm also completely obsessed with at the moment. I think I'll be wearing them rather frequently this first week of the New Year. ;)

LOVE & XX'S,

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