Starring In My Own Story

One of my favorite tv shows ended last week.  You know when you’ve been watching a show for seven years…and when it ends it’s almost like you are saying goodbye to something?  That’s exactly how I felt.  Sure, sure, it’s just a show and all, but it feels like a tiny piece of my life in some ways.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a total sucker for a good story.  I was the kid who would read avidly, and actually get depressed when my book was over.  I would think twice about starting a series that had less than three books in it!  Some people just want to know what’s gonna happen and I just really enjoy the journey.  Man, I wish I could be more like that in my real life.

I was thinking about how I felt about my show ending and how attached I can become to a tv show or a book…then I had a crazy thought.  You know, I wish that I liked the star of my own story a little more.  I wish that the star of this real life “show” was less afraid of things.  I wish she worried less, did more fun stuff without constantly weighing how much sleep she was going to get or whether or not she would gain a half pound from it or not.  I wish she was more adventurous.  Yeah.  The “star of this show” happens to be me, but you know that already.

When I was a kid, I was bored A LOT.  Being an only child who was homeschooled left me with few friends, and those friends were not available much since they had their own school and family schedules.  I was left to entertain myself much of the time and so what did I do?  I read.  I listened to radio shows.  There wasn’t a lot of tv or movies allowed, so I created vast worlds in my mind where I “escaped” to.  I created places and imagined myself differently than I was…partly because I wasn’t really happy with my reality.  I need to be clear…this isn’t a sob story about my sad childhood, because I really didn’t have a bad childhood at all!  There were great things about learning to entertain myself with my imagination that shaped me into the (kinda crazy!) person I am now.  But truthfully, I was lonely and I did learn to escape into stories more than I learned how to really create a real life that I loved.  And now, as an adult, I often find myself doing the same.  I run back to my favorite places on tv or in a book instead of figuring out how to make my OWN story better and more exciting.  This story needs a bolder star.

I doubt I’m the only one who feels like this or who does the same things.  I’m quite certain that most people, if they examined their own story, would probably want to change it a bit.  And so, maybe we should.  I don’t have any deep words of wisdom on how to do this, but I will say this: I think the way to change your story is little by little.  Do something small you’ve never done before.  Try to stop worrying about things and do something for someone else.  Get out of your brain, and live IN your story.  And now, I’m basically talking to myself!

Happy Fourth of July you guys…make it a good one!  Celebrate who you are, your freedom, and your ability to be YOURSELF and the star of your own story!  Because I can’t NOT talk about them…this vest was made by my INSANELY talented friend Arwyn, and she will and can make anything you ask her to (she will LOVE me for saying that! 🙂 and the pants were made by the amazing and lovely Lori at @modmelrose.  It doesn’t get better than this 🙂

Love to you all!
Katy

My Summer “Wish List”

Let me get this out of the way, because I hate preachy posts that make me feel like I shouldn’t want stuff.  TRUST ME, I have a list three miles long of the things that I want, and NONE OF THEM are cheap.  So making you feel like I’m all altruistic and have sworn off shopping would be a MAJOR miscommunication.  However this post is not about stuff.  It’s my grown up summer wish list, which doesn’t have as nice a ring to it as the whole grown up Christmas list, I realize, but it’s not Christmas and I’m frickin hot.

My Summer Wish List*
(*does not include all the stuff I want, I’ll hit you up later Santa Claus.)

  1. Have Fun
    I love how as a grown up, I have to like, purpose to have fun.  What the literal heck, you guys???  As a kid, all you want is to be a grown up so you can do whatever you want whenever you wanna do it.  Then you become a grown up, and you realize you can basically never ever do what you want because you have kids, you’re not independently wealthy, and, oh yeah, there are other people in this world who need you to do stuff for them.  One of my goals for the summer is to have fun.  Both the kind of fun that involves me shopping by myself and the kind that involves doing family stuff with my husband and kids…and trying desperately to ENJOY it instead of stressing about the fact that the kids are TOUCHING EVERYTHING.  Wish me luck, people.
  2. Be Wise, But Worry Less
    I like to shop.  Every time I intentionally try to “spend less” I end up feeling restricted mostly due to how I was raised, and I end up impulse buying something just so that I don’t feel trapped.  Uhhh…that’s not wise.  I find that for me, when I intend to “be wise” with how I shop, it makes for healthy purchasing habits.  I buy the things I would be sad I missed out on if I was strictly just trying to save money…and I don’t buy the things I would have bought just to make myself feel better.  And the second half of this whole thing goes along with this.  Worry less…meaning, when I’m being wise with my purchases, I can stop worrying about spending needlessly.  I want to enjoy the all the fun I’m trying to let myself have after all, right??
  3. Give Myself A Break
    I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself.  To lose weight, to keep the house clean, to get my kids in bed exactly at the same time every night…and inevitably something gets in the way of any number of the things I’m attempting to control…and then I feel like I failed.  So this summer, I’d like to give myself more rest time.  Time to read a book, time to not think about any of the things I “need” to do, and time to recharge.  I often fill up that time with other things, and then feel rather burnt out on life.  That’s no good for anyone.

This dress was kind of one of those “I’d have been bummed if I missed it” purchases.  I popped into New With Tags in Paso Robles and this Raga LA dress was just hanging there, staring me in the face.  It’s so lightweight and flowy and makes for one of those great summer outfits that makes you feel so dressed up without being hot and uncomfortable.  The choker is from Amanda of The Desert Mermaid and the bolo is from my good friend Jessica from Hillbillygypsyboots.  The lace bralette is from Urban Outfitters, but you can find these babies almost anywhere now including Target!

Whatever’s on your wish list for the summer, I wish you great luck getting it or getting it done!

Katy

 

The 411 on Scarves

I love scarves.  I have a whole drawer full of them.  I often am tempted to just throw them all on my bed and roll around on them like a bunch of cash.  Weird?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it.  These are often things that people buy, then never use…heck, I’ve been plenty guilty of this myself at times.  But I have found there are certain ways I LOVE to wear them, and henceforth, have allowed myself permission to buy them occasionally.  I might need to free up another drawer here soon…

I thought that I’d write a new post on scarves (I think I’ve done one before, but I can’t remember so I’m doing it again!) just to give you some ideas on the ways that I find are fun and easy and don’t add a lot of time to your getting dressed routine.  And it might save some of those random scarves you have laying around from extinction, right?

The “Sweat Wiper”
Sounds so gross right?  That’s why I called it that…I mean, a little shock value never hurt anyone, am I right Lady Gaga?  This is something I saw on a runway and I kind of ran away with it (pun intended) and made it my own.  Tie a bandana or a scarf around your wrist, leave it plain, add a brooch (bonus: you get to use those brooches you never wear), layer it with bracelets…and bam.  You look AMAZEBALLS.  As an added feature, you can wipe your sweaty forehead with it.  Just watch out for the brooch, that’ll leave a mark.

The “Working Girl”
I call it this because it reminds me of one of those 80’s blouses with the tie at the neck that are so popular once again.  But this way, you don’t have to buy a whole new shirt, you can make your own!  Simply take a long skinny scarf and tie it in a bow around your neck.  Kind of has a high fashion vibe to it, and looks great with chokers and layered necklaces.  I also use ribbons for this too!

 

The “Lady Tie”
Dude.  I cannot tie a tie.  My husband has to tie them for me every time I get it in my brain that I want to wear one.  But I CAN tie a knot.  And that’s all you need to do for this.  You can use a short scarf and make it kind of western, or you can use a long scarf and instead of a bow, just tie a simple knot and let it hang.  Easy peasy.

The “My Hair Is So Gross”
We ALL have those days.  The days when not even a bucket of dry shampoo is gonna hide that fact that you haven’t washed your hair in three days, you worked out every single one of those days, and there may or may not be peanut butter hiding in there somewhere from your kid’s lunch.  And then something magical happens.  You tie a scarf around your head, roll your hair up over the scarf in the back and secure it with a few bobby pins, and suddenly you are getting more compliments on your hair than those AMAZING shoes you actually spent a lot of money on.  The best kind of scarf for this is one of those super thin and lightweight large square scarves that you can roll up diagonally and tie around your head easily with a little to spare.

Have I convinced you to bust out your scarves yet?  And have you tried rolling around on them gleefully?  No?  Okay, cool, maybe later.

If you have a great way you love to wear yours, please tell me because I’m always looking for new ways to use these beauties!

Happy scarf-ing!
Katy

Unloading, Unearthing, and Not Unraveling

We’ve recently been cleaning out the garage and the shed, two areas of the house that have kind of had a “don’t look” policy about them.  That’s not something that’s in my nature, in fact, I could probably spend tons and tons of money on organizational products and have everything perfectly labelled and alphabetized.  However, that’s not been a reality for me as we’ve moved multiple times and have had small children and all those things that add up to what I call “semi manageable chaos”.  Since we’ve been in the same place for a few years now, it was just time to tackle what was underneath the top layer of things we pull out and put back from the storage areas.

There have been loads of things going to the thrift stores, to donation places, on craigslist, and to the dump…there was one black widow spider death (the spider, not one of us!) and some broken picture frames and glasses that could not be salvaged.  After years of stuff that had been chucked frantically into boxes and then hurriedly taped shut so that we could move in a hot second…it’s finally being taken care of. I thought this would feel good, and in a lot of ways, it does.  What I didn’t expect however was the emotional purging that would take place along with the physical purging of stuff.

Many of the boxes I went through contained stuff I haven’t seen in YEARS.  There were decorations I had in our first home after we got married, the home we lived in for five years and my husband lived in for many many before that while in college.  Then there were the things I had purchased for the houses that we were supposed to buy, and then lost for various reasons.  There were baby clothes and shoes and photos…you can see where this is going!  Yes, there have been some tears.  Tears for the futures I had planned for, then lost.  Tears for the moments with my children while they were babies…the moments that I both treasure because of my beautiful babies, and yet at the same time find quite painful because of the circumstances we were in.  Somehow though, I managed to stay calm and rational about what to keep and what to part with, and now there is a bunch more room in our garage and maybe a little more in my brain.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in life, there aren’t many hard and fast formulas. Like, moving on does not directly follow purging and getting rid of baggage.  I really wish this was the case.  One of the things that I’ve said over and over through almost ALL seasons of my life so far is “I just want to move ON from THIS.”  It’s been a life long journey of physically MOVING and yet, not MOVING on from kind of the “same old, same old” situation.  And while I don’t know the future, I will say this.  It does feel different this time.  I feel different.  I’m no longer clinging to the past, whether that be in items I purchased for a certain dream I had or in ideas I have refused to let go of, because that’s the way it HAS to be.  I so wish life operated in formulas.  I’m good at DOING stuff.  I like to feel like I control the outcome, therefore I will do _____ + _______ to = WHAT I WANT TO HAPPEN.  Wouldn’t that be beautiful?  Life would be so easy.  But this I do know: I want to move forward in the most healthy way possible, not carrying around a bunch of baggage that I haven’t seen in years and for all I know, might just be trash.  Yes, it is time to move forward emotionally, and I hope, physically.

I chose this outfit for a few reasons.  First of all, I’ve been really into monarch butterflies lately, and not just because they are trendy (because I know they are!).  My kids have been learning about butterflies in preschool and they watched the transition from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly in their class.  (Thank goodness, because as cool as it is, kinda grosses me out to have that at home!)  There is something so powerful about this transition.  Talk about moving forward, am I right??  I mean, this gross looking wormy thing that looks like the bottom of the food chain turns into a gorgeous delicate creature by looking like its dead for a week or two.  Woah.  There’s a whole blog post in this transition!  Anyway, back to the outfit.  This romper is so fun and also a bit breezy in the booty region if you catch my drift (drifting up my backside).  It’s from Auguste The Label and the boots are Minnetonka (of course).  I got some craft monarch butterflies on wire off of Etsy, and I attach them to anything I feel like for that day!

Wherever you are, I hope you have the courage today to move forward, even if that just means doing one little thing differently than before.  It’s hard, and I’m right there with you!

Happy middle of the week!
Katy

 

 

Advice In Style: Shopping The Men’s Section

In fashion, women’s clothing often seems to take cues from men’s stuff.  Like “boyfriend jeans” or “boyfriend tees” (they really really want us to steal stuff from our boyfriends don’t they??) it seems like the idea of menswear influence never goes out of style.  Like when Diane Keaton wore a white suit to the Oscars so many years ago, it’s just always classy.  So…what does that mean?  Like, does it work to actually buy men’s clothes?  I think everyone has their own answer to that question, but I’m going to answer the way that I tend to shop the men’s section.  The answer is…yes AND no!

I am the kind of shopper that tends to keep an open mind and doesn’t care much for what section clothing has been classified as.  I will shop the pajama section, the costume section, the kid’s section and the men’s section ALL for clothing I will wear out and about.  I also tend to look in ALL sizes, because not only is sizing majorly inconsistent even within brands, but also things often get put in the wrong size category on accident.  Who cares about labels or numbers right?  Well, I guess scientists and mathematicians, but we all know I fall into neither of those categories, so I’m allowed to not care 🙂

So here you go…my tips on Shopping The Men’s Section:

1. Shirts, shirts, and more shirts.  The men’s section of most stores often has the best graphic tees, hands down.  This is true of Urban Outfitters, Target, thrift stores, and basically anyplace that carries tees.  Here’s the rub.  They won’t always FIT great, so you must try them on, and be prepared to modify if necessary.  I have made awesome muscle tees out of men’s tees, because they tend to be nice and long, and often the sleeves are the most problematic area for fitting and flattering a woman’s body.  I have cut off the neckline, stretched out the neckline, and cut holes to add distressing…really it’s up to you what you want to do.  The great thing about them, is they tend to be larger than women’s tees, so you get a great oversized look or can knot them at the waist with extra room to spare!
2. Levi’s & Wranglers. If you’re tall and not super duper skinny like me, Levi’s and Wrangler’s are a great find from the men’s section.  If you’re looking for mom jeans and you’re in the 28-30plus range of waist sizes, this can be your jackpot!
3. Shoes.  Vintage shoes run small, and if you’re thrifting with larger feet, men’s shoes can be a total score.  Vintage cowboy boots, loafers, and oxfords can be a good find in antique and thrift stores from the men’s section.
4. Button Down Shirts.  I have seen people do some pretty amazingly creative stuff with men’s button downs!  You can turn them into strapless tops by tossing the arms behind you and tying them around your waist…you can unbutton the whole thing and criss-cross wrap it on you like a wrap dress…basically you can really repurpose a great men’s button down, as long as you like the fit of the sleeves.  I love a good small vintage men’s button down or flannel, because it gives me the option of knotting it in the front or wearing it open like a jacket!

This button down caught my attention RIGHT away.  The print is so retro and I just knew I loved it enough to figure out what to do with it!  I loved the thought of using this with some bell bottoms and really going with the vibe of the print.  Even though the sleeves on men’s shirts can be a bit big like these sleeves, but in this case, the fabric allows them to drape kind of like a little bell sleeve (I ALWAYS unbutton the wrist buttons on any shirt first thing when I put it on) which makes it okay that they’re large-ish.

Hopefully these ideas will encourage you to at least give the men’s section a tiny peek next time you’re out shopping…you never know what you’re going to find!!

Happy hunting!
Katy

Fashion Feelings: And Now, For Something Completely Embarrassing

Embarrassing moments happen to all of us.  Somehow I feel like I have them…a bit more often than most people.  Like, I’ll be trying to be all smooth and stuff walking through the parking lot, and then I’ll trip on the air in front of me and wobble down and then back up again a lot like one of those weird balloon stick figure guys they use to advertise for used car sales.  Yep, I have come to terms with the fact I am just not “smooth.”  But now, for something completely more embarrassing.

I’m going to be nice to you and share with you some of my favorite embarrassing moments.  Just because I love you, and I have no more pretense left of being a super cool person in the true popularity sense of the word.  So here goes.

The Moment I Realized I Was a “Forever Blonde”
I used to work full time in an office with a lot of guys.  Guys love sports.  I do not.  This makes for a lot of moments where I’d end up saying weird things like “call and audible” or “batting seven thousand” or whatever crap I had to say to make them understand me.  Yes, I can play that game (as long as it’s a game with WORDS and not a BALL).  That being said, I still have no idea how football is played really, and will probably always be trying to figure out why it is played as well.  One day I was in a meeting with two of the biggest sports fans in the office, and when the meeting ended, it moved rapidly on to sports as things often did.  The two guys were talking about their college team mascots, and the first guy said “we were the ______ (insert animal that has teeth and claws and runs really fast here)” and then the other guy explained that his team was the Bengals.  I’d like you to take a minute, close your eyes, and say the word “Bengal”.  Did you do it?  Now I can finish my story.  When he said “Bengal”, I heard “bangle” (he’s notorious for mispronouncing words in my very weak defense of this story) and I felt very confused.  The thoughts were swirling in my head, and unfortunately, when my thoughts swirl, my mouth starts moving much faster than it should.  So instead of taking a minute, processing what was being said, and THEN speaking, I blurted out “Wait.  Your team mascot was…BRACELETS?”  Both guys stopped, looked at me as if I was a three headed alien that had just landed in front of them and was picking all three of my noses with the same hand (now there’s a trick!) and the dead silence rang out.  I rapidly realized my IDIOTIC error in judgement, and I blabbed something about “haha oh yeah right you mean TIGERS…I thought you meant like BANGLES you know like the BRACELETS and I thought that was really weird hahahahaha (and on ad nauseum)” as I slowly backed out of the room.  They resumed their conversation as though nothing at all had happened because there’s no WAY on EARTH that anyone could be THAT STUPID RIGHT?  And now I have a fabulous story to tell about how my brain is eternally blonde and I actually thought that someone’s team mascot was a piece of jewelry.

The “Hair Petting” Incident
I’d like to start after the last story by saying that this one wasn’t my fault.  This was one of those weird and horrifying moments in your life that you look back on and say “what the heck was THAT??” But you do need to know that not all of these are my fault and I’m not a walking train wreck (most of the time).  Let’s begin.  I was in high school, singing on the church band as was one of my dreams since I love to sing.  There was a guy on the band, who was…interesting.  You know, like, nice enough, but just…a tad…different.  I was really young, so I for the most part kept my distance from the older guys because I wasn’t looking to date at that time, especially someone who wasn’t in high school as well.  However, that distance shrunk a bit one day in a weird way…  I was sitting in the back of the church during some special service or something that was going on (I don’t remember what happened and you’ll see why) and he was sitting behind me.  And then, the weird part happened.  He started…petting my hair.  Yes.  I’m as creeped out as you are right now.  I was basically frozen to the spot.  What the heck was I supposed to do??  I mean, if this happened now, I would most definitely be like “aw heck to the naw” and get up and move, but I was SIXTEEN!!!!!  No one had ever petted my hair before (I’m not a dog, nor have I ever volunteered to be part of a petting zoo) so I was basically petrified and pretended like this was normal and as soon as he stopped I ran far far away.  Ick.  I gotta say, this gives me a whole new respect for dogs, and I now ask their permission before I pet their fur.

The “I Promise I’m Not Peeing” Moment
I play guitar and sing.  And I sweat a lot.  Bonus, I sweat even MORE while I play guitar and sing.  Now please, don’t try to sell me on a new deodorant because the sweat DOESN’T JUST COME FROM MY ARMPITS people.  Not trying to be gross or graphic, just keeping it real.  I used to occasionally wear skirts while I played (don’t do that anymore, and you’ll see why) and I thought this would help with my overly sticky situation.  But instead, the opposite happened. One morning while playing in the dead heat of summer, I felt a large bead of sweat begin to form at the base of my…derriere.  You know, the lovely lady lumps back there.  And then, slowly, mid song, that bead of sweat began to travel, graceful and true, down the back of my leg.  I wondered…could anyone see this bead of sweat?  It felt large enough to see, that’s for sure.  And what would they think?  That I had to pee and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer?  This made me sweat more, which made the bead just move a little faster and more vengefully towards my ankle.  And then, it landed.  Thank the Lord.  I still don’t know if anyone ever saw this, and if they did, I hope they know that I am not incontinent, I just sweat like a trucker (and if you’re a trucker and aren’t sweaty, then I apologize for this reference).  I now wear pants when I play and sing.  End of story.

I may have embarrassing moments, but I usually don’t get embarrassed by my outfits.  Sure, this shirt looks a bit like chest hair, but I’m actually good with that.  I love “manrepeller style” and this outfit has a nice mix of 1970’s grandpa and luxury vintage to it.  If you don’t have a “chest hair” sweater or shirt, you should get one, because these kinds of clothes get you OUT of embarrassing moments.  No one notices if you drop stuff or trip or say weird things about bracelets…because they’re too distracted by your weird clothes.  I’m a closet genius (and my puns are #onpoint too) 😉

Katy

 

Fashion Feelings: Boots or pants?

I love multitasking.  And by “multitasking”, I mean, doing things while watching tv because I clearly love watching tv.  I’m watching it right now as I type this.  So if I begin typing names of characters on The Office, you’ll know that I’m not having a seizure, I’m just “multitasking”.  See?  Totally doing two things at once, making the most of my time.  I wish I had something I could drink through a straw so I could do three things at once…must work on this.

I know that as a woman, I should be a boss at multitasking.  And in some ways, I am.  Like, I can think about everything that I need to accomplish in the next 43 minutes while refilling water cups, picking up dirty laundry, and most likely drinking coffee.  Also, I’m super good at worrying about 57 things at once.  Does that count as multitasking??  Dang it.  Here’s what I’m NOT good at.  Writing while the tv is on.  (doing that now.  obviously, not well.  the tv is winning.)  Counting while people are talking to me.

Oh I’m sorry, did I say counting while people are talking to me?  I meant COUNTING, PERIOD.  Yesterday I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a while, during the exact moment when I was trying to pay for my thrift store haul.  You can imagine how that went down.  I asked the poor cashier about four times what my total was again, and oh, wait, did you say “SEVENTY THREE CENTS?” one more time…I already forgot what you literally just said…  So yeah, in a lot of ways I kind of fail at multitasking.

One thing I really do well though, is wear all my stuff at once.  I like to refer to this as “multitasking”.  Put on all the things I like at once, wear them proudly, and when people ask “who are you supposed to be?” I say “a girl who likes clothes and doesn’t play favorites with everything in her closet.”

You know what else is fun?  That these boots kind of double as pants.  Now I’d never wear them AS pants, but you catch my drift right?  Yeah.  Why not have my clothing multitask too!?

I’m going to get back to doing all the things while napping with my eyes open now.  Must. Have. Coffee.

Good luck multitasking today.  It’s not recommended without caffeine.  😉

Katy

*boots are One Teaspoon, kimono is Wildfox, shorts are Levis, tank is Target!

How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival

The complete title of this post should really read: “How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival…When You Don’t Even Know The Lineup” but that was too long to fit in the title space.  So now you know what you’re in for.  I just have to get something off my chest, this is a real life confession, and you may just not like me as much for it but I gotta be honest.  Here goes.  Deep breath.

I don’t think I’d like music festivals.  If someone handed me a wad of cash and a nanny for three days and said: “Here you go!  Go to Coachella!” I would quite honestly head straight to Disneyland and have the best three days ever.  I am quite certain, as much as I LOVE MUSIC, that music festivals are most likely not for me.  Plus, I’m really more of a Shawn Mendes person than Modest Mouse and  I don’t run with the “hip” music crowd, I’ll listen to vintage Britney any day over John Legend.  And now you like me even less don’t you.  Oh well.  In the words of the great philosopher, “I am what I am.”  And I most definitely would probably LOVE green eggs and ham, FYI.

All this being said, I must share with you that my music festival resume, per say, is quite limited.  So, there is a chance I would enjoy such a thing.  As long as camping is not involved.  Oh, and there’s air conditioning or a beach nearby.  And we’re back…

When I was in high school, my parents took me to a Christian Music Festival called Spirit West Coast that was basically the “safer” version of your average festival.  I put the word “safe” in quotes because to be honest, I don’t know much about regular music festivals and I also know better than to just automatically assume that anything Christian is automatically “safe”.  That being said, it was definitely tamer than most concerts could get, but it had a lot of elements that I would imagine any music festival would hold.  TONS of people.  Check.  Moving like herds of cattle over bridges and funneling slowly but surely (and noisily) into concert venues, all the while baking in the hot merciless sunshine.  NOISE, noise, and more noise.  Check.  We did camp (see, I HAVE camped in my life A LOT before you guys!) when we went one year, and the relentless high school girl high pitched screaming went on for the full 24 hours.  Also, people bringing their own instruments and trying to participate in the festival at midnight.  This is not appreciated, BTW.  HEAT, DIRT, and crappy food.  Check.  It’s mandatory that you receive at the very least a medium intensity sunburn despite the pounds of sunscreen you apply.  Also, you must be covered in a fine film of dust all the while sucking down sodas and eating something that was once food and has now been fried in something that was once considered oil.  Gross.  Exhaustion by mid afternoon, but desperately loading up on sugar and caffeine so you can make it to the headliner.  Which is the whole reason you are enduring this business to begin with.  Check.  Time for another confession.  I most definitely planned on meeting and marrying one of the guys from the band DC Talk (anyone remember them? Hello children of the 90s!) so I made it my mission to see ALL of their concerts.  And then I finally got up close to the stage, close enough to touch him, and then realized he was about…three quarters of my size.  Sigh.  The man of my high school dreams was a pint sized human being with a voice the size of Texas.  Drat. My dream died right there (because you know his stature was the main thing keeping us apart…ah forbidden love) but my mission to see them in concert did not.  The days spent as sunbaked fried food eating cattle were mostly about seeing as many concerts that I may or may not care about, all to stay alert for DC Talk.  Worth it?  Sure…why not.

The memory highlight of this festival experience was seeing Katy Perry (at that time she was Katy Hudson) running around with her friends (I had met her that year at a local church) and later remembering this and telling it as my “celebrity anecdote”…how I “knew her” (met her) before she kissed a girl and liked it.

There’s a big “but” coming after all this.  Not a big BUTT, a big BUT.  I love dressing like I’m going to a music festival.  Because it’s okay to dress like it and not go.  Here are some small guidelines to adhere to, so that you can get questions like “oh are you going to Coachella?” when you’re really just buying the ingredients for shepherd’s pie.  (I speak from experience).

  1. FRINGE.  Go with the fringy boots, ALWAYS.  Because you always want to protect your feet from the dirt at music festivals and regardless of what you’re doing, the fringe is swishy and fun to walk in.
  2. FEATHERS.  Yes, you CAN wear fringe and feathers in the same outfit as long as you play it cool.  Go with fringe boots and feather earrings for example.  You have the rest of your outfit as a buffer for the fact that you may be twinning with Steven Tyler.
  3. CUT OFFS.  The essential festival wear is also the essential summer wear, so keep em guessing.  The great news is that if you’re not comfortable with booty shorts, get a good pair of loose-ish jeans (just make sure they’re loose in the thigh area so you have the freedom to roll them up if you want AND they won’t give you a thigh bulge!) and cut them off at the height you want them.  I recommend cutting them at a slight angle up from the inner thigh to the outer thigh…so they’re a teeny tiny bit shorter at the outside than the inside.  Again, they DO NOT have to be shorty shorts.  But this slight angle gives a more flattering look to them.
  4. IX-NAY ON THE GLITTER.  Sorry guys.  I love glitter, and I would totally wear it on a daily basis, but ONLY with a simpler outfit.  If you wear glitter, glitter tattoos, or henna tattoos, you will be in FULL festival mode and this is where it gets a tad sketchy when you’re just picking up your kids from school.  Don’t get me wrong.  You can do it if you want to, but you are entering costume territory and will get stared at and get asked about your favorite Radiohead song.  And to that question, I have no answer except I love Justin Bieber.

Shameless self promotion time.  This duster is the newest piece from Velvet California (my clothing line baby!) and I love it.  I’m modeling the prototype and it’s coming soon to the site!  I hope you love it too! 🙂

Oh, if you don’t have three layer fringe Minnetonka boots, get them.  In multiple colors 🙂
Katy

 

 

The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? 🙂
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Dance Like No One’s Watching

I apologize in advance for this post.  Because usually, when people say “dance like no one’s watching” they are referring to something more metaphorical and emotional than actually literally “dancing like no one’s watching”.  But this post is not going to be metaphorical or emotional in the least.  I’m literally talking about dancing.  And I’m HORRIBLE at dancing.  Let me give you some background.

When I was a child I dreamt of being in the Nutcracker.  I would have been perfectly fine with being a lump of coal or a rat or something very un-Clara like, although in my ACTUAL dreams, I was Clara of course.   However, my very conservative mother decided that even ballet was too modern for her liking, and pulled me out of dance classes at a young age, thereby destroying any hopes of even being part of the background in any dance show.  Now to be fair, I wasn’t that great to begin with.  So…yeah.  Not the HUGEST loss per say for the dance world.

Fast forward to college.  I had to take some classes in the physical education type area, so I chose dance.  Most people chose bowling, but my bowling form is quite wrong, and I really just don’t want to hear about it and then fail bowling class because I can’t get it right (that just feels rather pathetic to me) and also, dance sounded like way more fun.  I took ballet from a woman who I think is possibly 135.  Don’t let her advanced age fool you though.  Just because she’s been teaching since the dark ages, does NOT mean she cannot out dance EVERYONE.  She was probably the most disciplined and frightening ballet teacher I have ever had.  She even MADE me feel her thigh to feel how tight it was supposed to be.  Awkward, yes, and also, that woman’s got some thighs of steel.  Besides ballet, I also took some modern dance, which was SO FRIGGIN FUN.  I also learned that “modern dance” is code for “do anything and call it dance, and you’re in”.  I learned this by attending a modern dance show as a requirement of the class.  One of the “dancers” (it’s in quotes because I’ve never actually seen him dance in the true definition of the word) came out on stage, unrolled a sleeping bag, lay down for a few minutes, then rolled it up and left.  Guys, just because you do that to music, DOESN’T make it DANCE.  If THAT’S the definition of dancing, then I should immediately be cast as the new premier ballerina or whatever it’s called.  But I digress.

We had to form groups and create our own dance routine to a song, so I found my group and we came up with a fun dance to a super fun song.  All was good UNTIL I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Okay.  Dance teachers of the world, I understand that the mirror is necessary for checking your form and all that.  But man, would it be a HECK OF A LOT MORE FUN if that mirror just…went away.  If the mirror wasn’t there, I would have seen myself as I imagined.  The body of a Victoria’s Secret model…all long and lean…graceful as a swan…lovely and perfect in form.  And instead, THIS is what went through my mind.

“Oh wow, I didn’t know I had a fat roll there…is it normal to have a fat roll there?”
“Gosh I’m sweating a lot…why isn’t that slightly skinnier girl next to me sweating?”
“Is THAT what that move actually LOOKS like?  It looked WAY cooler in my head.”
“Dang it I thought my leg was SO HIGH and it’s actually…at ankle height.”
“That’s it.  I’m quitting dancing FOREVER and actually, I should probably just hold still when I get around other humans.”
“MY ARMS ARE TWICE THE LENGTH OF ALL OTHER PEOPLE’S.  I’M BASICALLY A MONKEY.  But a monkey who sweats more than all the other monkeys.”

And now, my friends always want to have dance parties for birthdays and stuff.  So while they’re getting low and all that jazz (my puns are #onpoint right now), I’m nervously rocking back and forth to the beat, hoping that no one notices the absurd length of my arms.  Which, by the way, help TREMENDOUSLY with selfies, so hey, silver lining right?

Let’s talk about these pants.  They make me feel like dancing (in private, of course) and also, as an added bonus, they feel like you’re naked but without all the weird stares and jail time from indecent exposure.  So all around, good things.  These beauties are created and hand crafted by this AMAZING artist in San Diego, California and you have GOT to see her creative and beautiful stuff.  She’s a mom and a lover of turquoise (like myself!) and her instagram is @4simplyi (check out her Etsy page HERE too).  She’s an absolute sweetheart and nothing gives me more pleasure than to get to promote other moms who are creating beautiful things!

So there you have it.  If you invite me to go dancing, I will be the one standing nervously outside the crowd trying to avoid all mirrors and any moves that might expose hidden fat rolls.  Yes, I’m quite the party person.

Happy Monday
Katy