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

 

 

Trending: Friday Five Roundup

Well here we are again, it’s Friday!  And a top o’ the afternoon to ya!  Hope you’re not getting pinched and finding your bucket o’ gold and all that green goodness!  Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage and get ready for some fun news for your weekend!

Shamrock Shakes CAN Be Healthy

In honor of the greenest of all days and the fact that typically green foods are GOOD for you, HERE is a fabulous option for a festive dessert that won’t add needless chemicals or sugar to your life.  Because why not feel good about desserts??

New Target Collections…Because I Always Gotta Look

I saw on the Today Show today that Victoria Beckham is doing a line for Target, so naturally I was curious about it.  To be honest, I’m not like crazy excited about anything I see, but there is a lot of super cute stuff so it’s worth a look!  HERE is a complete slideshow so you can see for yourself if there’s something you just gotta have from the new collection.

You MUST Watch This Genius New Comedy On NBC

You guys.  I’m SUCH a sucker for a new show, and comedies are just the most fun.  I watched the first two episodes of Trial and Error on NBC and oh my gosh.  Best new show.  Not only do I love John Lithgow in everything I’ve seen him in (Winston Churchill, anyone?), but the entire cast and premise of this show is just sheer genius.  Watch it…you just gotta.

The Jeans…No One Needs

Say…WHAAAAA???  Yeah…I’m kind of baffled by these, er, interesting creations.  But, if you MUST have them, HERE’S a link for you.  At least your knees will be waterproof right?  That’s something!

Make Sure Your Shows Made The Cut

Come on NBC PLEASE renew Timeless for me!!!!  Check HERE to see what’s made the cut for this fall so far!!!

Hope your shows made the list!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Katy

Mom-parison…Is Real

Mom-parison.  It’s a very real thing.  You understand when I say “mom-parison” I mean comparing ourselves as mothers to other mothers, NOT comparing our mothers to other moms right?  Just had to be clear on that…in case it wasn’t clear enough…

I still feel like a “new mom” in many ways.  Mainly because I have two children who are so close together that it’s like having twins…so basically everything I do with them, we do all at once.  Potty training was no fun.  But we did it all together, and it was my first time doing such a thing.  I’ve had kids now for four years, which in mom years (are those like dog years?  I’m suspicious of this possibility) is a long time, but in ACTUAL years, doesn’t feel like that long.  Whenever I embark on a new mom-venture, I am basically googling everything to find out how the H#** you are supposed to get kids to pee in the potty, use the pedals on a tricycle, or put their own pants on.  Because how am I supposed to know?  This is my first time doing all this too!  So starting preschool has been an adventure so far.  It’s my new mom-venture.  And I don’t know what I’m doing.

Mom-parison starts early.  From the day you give birth as a matter of fact.  Let’s just get one thing straight: when you push a HUMAN out of your crotch, you should be getting mad props and the size and length of said human really shouldn’t matter.  But somehow, it does.  This is your first clue that you will be judged freely for EVERY TINY ASPECT OF PARENTING from here on out.  Just watch what happens…a woman tells everyone that her baby was six pounds and everyone just says “awwww how sweet…” and the woman next to her tells the audience that her baby was ten and a half pounds and the crowd goes WILD!!  People will applaud her and tell her how boss she is and give her all the glory…because the human she pushed out was a few pounds larger than the other woman’s child.  What the…yes, it starts here.  Then there’s the “how long did you breastfeed?” competitions, the “how long does your baby sleep?” and so on, and so forth.  And now, after all this…comes school.  The time when you REALLY start comparing yourself.

Here’s how it goes down for me on school mornings.  I rip myself outta bed as late as I can, because, tired.  I hurriedly pack everything (inevitably forgetting something, like the kid’s art projects they were supposed to share with the class or their snack, which I have to then buy at school when we arrive) and then beg and plead with the kids to only bring ONE stuffed animal and not 17, like they have requested.  We race to school, cursing any light traffic we might hit, and then thankfully make it to the parking lot.  I park in the most remote parking space I can possibly find so that no one sees my car.  In a world of Range Rovers, I am…hiding from the general public trying to trick everyone into thinking my Rover is in the shop…and has been for a while now.  I nervously check around to make sure no one sees me, and thereby associates me with my car (once I parked next to a Maserati in the drop off zone and that was SUPER nerve wracking to say the least) and then we head to school.  I mentally pat myself on the back for the fact that while my car may be, uh, embarrassing, my outfit looks like I’m going to Coachella so that’s pretty tight if you ask me.  Then we get to the classroom.  I scan the room and realize that there are kids with really cute outfits on.  My daughter is usually covered in paint and food when I pick her up from school, not to mention she will SCREAM at me if I even attempt to put anything on her that’s not leggings and a t shirt…so cute outfit dressing is not an option.  Mom strike two.  The next thing I notice is that most of the kids have written their own names on their art work, while mine are all written by the teacher.  And sure, it all looks like hieroglyphics and is virtually unreadable, but still.  THEY KNOW HOW TO WRITE THEIR NAMES WHY DON’T MY KIDS KNOW HOW TO DO THAT??  Yikes.  Mom strike three.  Inevitably throughout the day there will be a meeting or moment with the other moms where I feel like they are speaking Chinese and I have NO idea what is going on…apparently I missed the email I was supposed to read or I missed on of the books I was supposed to buy or I don’t know if the words they are using are acronyms or ? and then I have to remind myself that I did graduate college with honors in an English speaking country and I’m not a complete idiot.  And yet, I feel like one somehow…because everyone is nodding and agreeing and I look like a deer in the headlights.  Then someone will ask if anyone has any questions and I resist the urge to put my hand up and stupidly say “uhhh what?” with my mouth hanging open.  Because, uh, I want them to like me at least a little.  Maybe I should just say “oh but look at my super cool boots!” instead of asking questions.  Divert their attention to the one thing I nailed that morning…not a bad idea…

I’m typically at mom strike seven by the end of the day because, well, there are two of them and one of me and sometimes I get tired and there’s just not enough coffee to help with my mom brain.  And because I don’t play sports, there’s no limit on strikes and that’s a darn good thing because some days I need a lot of them.  Still want that Range Rover though…


Yes, I realize we SHOULDN’T ever compare ourselves to other people.  But…yeah, that’s just a normal reaction to being around other humans!  The answer to this I’ve found is to try my best to focus on the things I’m good at and to celebrate the great and amazing things that happened throughout the day…that way I don’t get bogged down in car shame.  The other answer is to know other cool moms who are real and help you by being themselves.  This amazing top came from Amber Moon, which is run by a super cool mom who is also a super sweet and encouraging woman.  Women like her remind me that it’s okay to be human, to be normal, and that I am great at some things (Pinterest crafts is NOT one of them) and that I should celebrate those things!  The pants are Nightcap and the shoes are ix style which is a super cool company as well as super comfy sandals.

And now, to get my kids to finish their veggies.  Because I’m gonna win this one…
Katy

 

Trending: Friday Five Roundup

Ahhhh yes.  Little did I know last Friday when I wrote this post that the reason I felt so dang crummy was that I had the STOMACH FLU.  Yikes.  After a week of domino barfing (meaning the family went down like dominoes, NOT barfing up dominoes) I’m ready for some fun and funny.  So here ya go, without further adieu.

I Can Relate…

When your husband works at home and you have two toddlers…the level of stress on mom can go up in a hot second.  Dude.  Watch this poor mom DESPERATELY trying to wrangle her kids on live television (poor woman probably thought they were safely watching a show on the couch or something) and laugh.  Because it’s amazing.

Nothing Like A New Funny Show

Adam Pally has ALWAYS been a standout to me, especially on Happy Endings (remember that outstanding cast??) and thank goodness he’s back!  I watched the first episode of this show and it’s the perfect mix of camp and fun.  Duffel bag time machine?  Check.  Adam Pally pretending that he wrote a song for his girlfriend (who lives in the past) and then belting out “My Heart Will Go On”?  Check.  The return of Leighton Meester?  Check.  It’s a winner.

Spring Coffee Cups!  Hooray!

I mean come on.  We all get SO excited over the Starbucks holiday cups at Christmas time…why on EARTH have they not thought to do this sooner??  I mean, I’m going to go get some coffee JUST so I can have this cup!  Oh, and because I want some coffee too.  So there’s that…

The Next Outfit I Want To Copy

Alexa Chung is ALWAYS copy worthy.  But this outfit?  On a whole other level.  I want to wear it RIGHT NOW.

No Bake Healthy Brownies #WINNING

You guys know I’m all about dem healthy treats and these no bake brownies look INSANE.  This girl’s whole blog is full of recipes that look so freaking good.

Ahhhhh well I’m ready for the weekend.  Thanks y’all.

Katy

 

Fashion Feelings: Coming Back To Life

I’ve been mentally writing this blog post for a long time now.  I’m hoping it’s fully formed and will come out the way I have had it in my mind.  You know when you have an idea, but it’s just really hard to put into words?  That’s this post.  And I have been waiting till I could adequately find the words to really express what it is I’m thinking.  And I have A LOT of words, so I know it must be complex if it’s taking me more than five minutes!

Of course, I have to talk about television.  Because I’m a sucker for a good story, I love things that are about more than reality, and I find a lot of comparisons to my life in stories.  So here goes.  I’m going to use an example from a television show that many of you will laugh at me for watching, but that’s okay, I’m confident enough to not be a closeted teen tv lover 😉  I love the show Teen Wolf.  The costuming and acting are cheesy as all get out, but the story is like the most fun thing ever, and that’s all I really care about.  And here’s this one story line that really stuck with me.  In one of the seasons, some of the teens were disappearing, and appeared to be “dead” when they were found.  The long and short of it is, the teens were kidnapped, had been “altered” or made into supernatural beings, buried, then emerged a few days later with a newfound ability.  Now, in this story line, they were turned into instruments for evil, or that was the attempt.  But something about this story line really caught me and has been sitting in my brain ever since.

Here’s why.  I went through a few years of kind of “death” you could say.  I lost a lot, some of what I lost was…myself.  It was a difficult time, and it felt like I was underground.  It felt like I had lost everything and I didn’t know who I was.  And then one day,  I began to reemerge again.  As I go on with my life, I have discovered that this is not actually an uncommon situation.  Many more people than I ever thought have gone through some type of “death” in their lives, where something unexpected happened, and the course of their existence took a detour.  I have been surprised to see how many people can relate to this feeling, no matter the details surrounding their difficulties, the result is always the same.  One “life” ends, and then another begins.  What ACTUALLY differs from person to person, is what happens NEXT.

Back to Teen Wolf.  I love this plot (regardless of the fact that it was actually kind of intended as a negative story line, I love the concept).  You know why I love it?  These people “died” and when they came back to life, they had something NEW inside them.  Something GREATER than what they had before.  Wow.  Here’s the problem though.  Often after these devastating things occur in our lives, we come back to life, but at “half power”.  Because disappointment is so strong a deterrent, it can keep us from being aware of our newfound “power”.  We may not have x-ray vision or invisibility cloaking after suffering a great setback.  But make not mistake, we DO have a newfound power.  And I mean that.  What is it, you may ask?  It’s a few things.  It’s the power of conquering disappointment and moving forward and THRIVING in the face of let down.  There’s a level of courage and boldness that comes from realizing that you are not “conquerable” after you LIVE again.  It’s also the fact that new creativity and ideas are often born out of pain, need, and the fact that you are less afraid of people than ever before.  Plus, there’s nothing like getting a new lease on life to motivate you to try something you’ve always dreamt of before.

The thing is, as much as I run into more and more people who have gone through this kind of situation, there are many who are not able to see their new ability.  They are still emotionally living underground, accepting their “death” instead of accepting their new LIFE.  It’s a hard thing to embrace.  I know.  It’s often easier to just partially stay underground instead of risking “failing” again.  But if you don’t try again, you most definitely cannot succeed.  And this time, well this time you’ve got something you didn’t have before.  A new super power.

Okay, so my “superpower” may have always been dressing weird.  But I have new things inside me that I didn’t realize were there before I went through what I went through.  And less fear with which to tackle them.  No matter what you’ve been through, I bet you’ve got so much more to do, give, and create…who cares what your age or stage of life is.  You’ve got more, I guarantee it.

Track pants, ruffly blouse, and vest…weird combo I know.  But somehow, it’s all very Manrepeller, and by nature that makes me LOVE IT!

Katy