On Hiking and Mini Dresses (But Not At The Same Time)

Waiting is the worst.  We all know it.  Toddlers remind me this every single day when I inevitably ask them to wait for their food, or for me to fix one of their toys, or for me to finish something I’m doing.  They hate it.  And of course, while this is a natural part of life, I can understand their simple frustration with this concept.  It’s not fun, when you really want something, don’t like where you’re at, or simply can see something better…to have to wait for it.  Regardless of the circumstances.  Whether it’s dessert after your dinner or finding the right person to marry…it’s not very fun.

I’ve talked about this before, and I think it is one of those things that just pops up a lot in our lives because either we are “waiting” for something, someone, or for a change, or we know someone who is.  I think it’s interesting too how often this situation goes.  We sludge along, we keep trying, we put one foot in front of another…and…nothing.  It sometimes seems like we make no progress, or so little that the “wait” or “work” or whatever we want to call it can seem like it was all for nothing.  I mean, gosh, sometimes it can even seem like we have gone BACKWARDS.  It’s massively frustrating and horribly discouraging.  But then, it’s almost like in one instant, everything can change.  The job you needed but couldn’t find is suddenly available.  The person you thought you would never meet is suddenly sitting right in front of you.  But literally, moments before this occurred, you may have laughed at someone saying that this would EVER happen.  Now of course, often things don’t change “out of nowhere”.  I mean, most of the time we’ve been working our butts off and putting in time and energy to get to where we want to be.  But it usually feels like in one instant, it happens.

I’m not what you’d call an “outdoorsy” person.  I mean, really.  I like nature and all, but I’ve tried my entire life to figure out what plant is poison oak…and I still couldn’t identify it if you paid me to.  However, I have hiked before.  A few times. But still, this is actually from my personal experience and I’m not just making crap up here!  Hiking is the worst.  Okay just kidding.  That was not my point at all.  I mean, yeah yeah it’s got it’s merits, but it’s basically WALKING UPHILL CONSTANTLY.  I digress though.  In the few times that I’ve been hiking, I remember a lot of hard work, and a lot of bends in the path as you weave up the mountain.  And for reals, it gets harder and harder as you go.  The beginning is easy…you’re all gung-ho ready to conquer this mountain, the land is usually less sloped at the start of the trail, and you’re got all this energy saved up.  And then you get going.  It gets a little harder, you’ve been doing it a little longer, but you’re still determined.  Then, about halfway up, you start to wonder if this was such a great idea, and whether you maybe took a wrong turn somewhere because SHOULD the trail be this steep and this covered in this much brush?  Should it be this hard??  Maybe you did something wrong earlier on because this seems to be taking more time than it should be.  But you’re already committed to that path, so you keep on going.  Three quarters up the mountain and you’re getting mad.  Your legs are on fire, your water supply is getting low, and you should have BEEN THERE BY NOW.  What the heck?  This is stupid.  You see people coming down all happy and glowy from their successful hike and you hate them all.  Why did THEY make it to the top before you?  Some of them were BEHIND you when you started, and they made it up to the top, basked in the glory of the view, and are already racing down the hill.  All before you’ve even seen your destination.  It feels unfair.  You feel like maybe you’re not as good as they are…maybe you did something wrong that slowed you down?  You want some answers at this point.  But, you keep going because you have invested way too much time to give up now.  And then, right when you’re near the top, THAT’S when you want to quit.  I mean, you’re WAY too tired to keep going.  You wonder whether this is all even worth it after all.  Every time you think “this is it! This is the LAST bend in the path!” you are disappointed.  You discover that you are only facing another climb…one that you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give for. This is the worst part of the whole climb.  You want to give up.  You even start to think that maybe there isn’t anything waiting at the top of this horrid climb.  But then, at curve in the road number 2,436…there it is.  In that ONE INSTANT, you are there.  You spent ALL that time and effort getting there, and it felt like nothing.  You saw nothing.  There was no view up to that point.  It was dark.  Difficult.  Exhausting.  Discouraging.  And in one single moment, in one single breath, all of that is gone.

Some of you may love hiking and not really be able to feel the pain I’m talking about.  But can you feel what I’m talking about in other situations?  I’ve had friends who waited so long to get married.  Dated guys they hoped were right, but it never really worked out.  And then, I’ve heard the “almost-there-discouragement”, the “maybe I’m never going to get married” hopelessness come out.  The “I’ve rounded too many curves in the road, only to discover that I wasn’t there yet to think this will happen” statements.  And then, one day, they meet the love of their life.  I’ve had lots of moments like this in my life.  With jobs, with finances, with friendships, with weight loss…with all kinds of things.  And yet, here I am again, battling the same old thoughts.  The “I’m too tired for this and I’m not even sure if it’s worth it” thoughts.  The “I’ve been climbing for so long and it feels like I’ve gone backwards” feelings.  Yep.  This is a life-long thing for all of us.  And yet, if we can just hold on to those moments where we finally rounded the bend and saw the light…then we can remind ourselves to just keep going.  We may be tired, we may feel like giving up…but that THING we’ve been waiting for may be one single step away.  We don’t know, we just have to keep going!

Summer can feel like a discouraging season to me.  Sounds odd, I know, but I kind of get weirdly depressed when I am too hot to wear what I like to wear!  So I’m trying to make due, and remember that fall is just around the corner.  Before I know it, I’ll be back in my velvet pants and robes and all that madness!  Until then, I’m trying to be comfortable in mini dresses and shorts!  I’m not compromising on the boots though.  Those stay with me year round :)

Now you know my true feelings on hiking.  Well, they were gonna come out sooner or later…
Happy weekend to you all!


On Being a Maximalist…And How To Do It!

Some people are what you call “minimalists”.  I am not one of those people.  I think a lot of you out there who love to shop and love clothing are probably not either…it’s kind of a hard thing to be a minimalist when you’re constantly finding gems at the thrift store and shopping all the amazing sales and bargains you can find.  And honestly, I find that this seems to produce a certain level of, shame, you could say amongst women.  I hear it constantly.  “Oh I have too many dresses…I shouldn’t be buying this…” you know what I’m talking about!  You and I have both said that kind of thing, probably more than we even realize!  So I have decided to come up with a new term for what I am (and you may be too!).  I am proudly, a MAXIMALIST.  Let me explain.

I like to MAXIMIZE my closet.  How many hangers can fit in it, how much weight the bars can hold, and defy the laws of gravity on how many shoes I can stack on top of each other.  I like to MAXIMIZE how many items of clothing and jewelry I wear on any given day, at the same time.  I am basically a walking clothing rack, with skirts, kimonos, layers upon layers of necklaces and rings…maximizing the amount of things I can wear.  You see what I’m getting at?  A minimalist may like to wear a simple pair of pearl stud earrings, jeans, a white tee, and flats.  A maximalist, while appreciating the beauty of the simplicity, would add about 16 more things to that outfit before being ready to walk out the door.

To clarify, being a maximalist (while perfectly acceptable) does not excuse hoarding.  I think what bugs me is when I hear myself apologizing for who I am…when I do shop a lot BUT I also get rid of clothes all the time.  I’m not hoarding my clothes.  Stuff comes in, and stuff goes out, like a constant flowing clothing river.  But this is my hobby!  It’s FUN!  Just as an artist probably has a ton of paints, easels, canvases, and brushes (I don’t paint so I don’t know, but I’d guess they don’t just have ONE of each thing), clothing and fashion is my “art”.  When you’re a maximalist and this is your art form, you can’t have only a few things.  Why?  Because you have a lot of weird, specific, and interesting stuff.  An artist may have six shades of what I’d call just “red”, and so I have shades of kimonos, jeans, and jumpsuits.  Plus, when you like to wear interesting stuff, you can’t wear it daily like you could a tee and jeans.  I can’t wear a leopard jumpsuit more than one day a month…because otherwise people might actually think I’m crazy.

So how do you handle closet control, got-rid-of-it-too-soon grief, and STUFF STRESS?  I came up with some tips on how to help those of us who love our clothes like our art, keep that in-and-out closet river flowing!

How To Get Rid Of Stuff (When You’re A Maximalist)

  1. Interview Yourself.  When you look through your stuff, ask yourself a few questions:  “Would you buy this again, today, if you saw it on a rack?”  If the answer is no, you are probably ready to part with it.  “Do you want to actually wear it?” This sounds kind of weird, but honestly I have had stuff in my closet that I absolutely LOVE, but when I ask myself honestly if I want to put it on my body and walk out of the house with it on, the answer is “heck no”.  Maybe you really don’t feel good in it.  It’s uncomfortable.  You hate the way it looks on you.  If you answer no, it’s gotta go!!
  2. Resell Your Stuff.  I have found that sometimes I am having a hard time parting with something, but then when I think of getting some money for it to use to buy something else instead…it becomes super easy.  Reselling at a local store, on Poshmark or Thred Up is pretty darn easy.
  3. Be Generous.  Another thing that’s helped me, particularly with those items of clothing that maybe have a little bit of sentimental value but I’m never ever gonna wear again, is to give it to a good friend.  I’ve mailed stuff to friends, given stuff away, you name it…and it helps because you know that it’s not, like, leaving the family so to speak!
  4. Donate.  Another thing that is immensely helpful with parting with things, is to donate them to a women’s shelter or other organization that helps out women in need.  Then you know just how appreciated those things are going to be.  This helped me with getting rid of a lot of my kids baby clothes…I donated them to a local crisis pregnancy center and it was so awesome to know that these young girls were going to get super cute Gap baby clothes when they may not be able to afford them otherwise.  This kind of thing helps you mentally because you know how much better it is for something to get worn than it is just collecting dust in your closet for sentimental reasons.
  5. Do It In Stages.  Sometimes, if there are things I’m like 50/50 on getting rid of, I will put them in a box in the back of my closet or my garage.  I leave them there for like 6 months to a year even, then revisit them…and at that point you’ll know if you want them or not.  Because during that time, you’ll either have gone out and hunted through that box for that one shirt you absolutely need, OR you’ll have forgotten all about them.  Then, when you re-look through it all, you’ll have fresh eyes.  Maybe something’s come back into style or you have new inspiration on how to wear it.  And the rest, well, you’re ready to part with it now.
  6. Give Yourself Grace.  It’s ALWAYS important in life to find balance.  To remind yourself to be generous and not hold on to every single thing.  To remember that life isn’t about stuff, but about people and relationships.  But you also gotta let yourself be YOU!  Let yourself enjoy finding those deals, creating and being a maximalist!!  Being yourself and enjoying the things you love is not something to feel guilty about.  You can’t feel guilty about having a ton of necklaces (and buying more) when you WEAR a ton of necklaces.  It’s just not gonna work for me to only own four or five necklaces, when I wear a minimum of three usually on any given day.  So be YOU, be happy about it, and remember the world NEEDS maximalists JUST AS MUCH as it needs minimalists!

This dress is like, a TOTAL MAXIMALIST dress.  I mean, just look at it!  I think you could probably see it from space!  And that makes me love it even more!  I got if from Kim who is @soulsofcalifornia on Instagram and has a shop on Etsy who has amazing taste and finds the best vintage stuff!!  It’s a Diane Freis, and those of you know what that is know that her dresses are typically crazy and amazing!

Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, you’re awesome because we all balance each other out!  Have a fantastic weekend!

On Persistance and Finding What You’re Looking For

Okay you guys.  Pretty sure my brain went on vacation without me this week, because I can’t seem to locate it.  If you see it, will you tell me?  Gah.  I’ve been doing all sorts of insane things like attempting to clean ALL my kids toys and trying to get this clothing line off the ground into production…all while my digestive system has been not allowing me to have coffee.  Awesome.  My brain probably went out for coffee without me.  I have discovered that I care quite a bit less about…uh, EVERYTHING…when I can’t have coffee.  And I don’t care what the “coffee alternatives” promise, they all sit on a THRONE OF LIES.  Anyway.

Besides being in a zombie-like state and trying to get my system to normalize so I can have the sweet nectar of the gods once more, I’ve been mostly focusing on putting one foot in front of the other with Velvet California.  And that’s not easy for me.  I’ve never been a “one foot in front of the other” type of person.  I’m a “do it as fast as you can and don’t bother to read the instruction manual” type of girl. You know, the kind who will take off running in the wrong direction just because I didn’t have time to listen to the rest of the instructions.  (Probably why I’m bad at sports).  I’m the one who doesn’t ever listen to the ENTIRE voice message before I hit “call back”, therefore I’m mostly confused about everything, all the time.  Yep.  Good qualities right?

I’m getting there.  Friends ask me if I’m excited and, well, OF COURSE I am…I don’t want to belittle that fact.  However, it often feels so overwhelming to me because I am doing one thing at a time…and I want to just DO IT ALL RIGHT NOW!  And I mean gosh, things are starting to be produced!  But the money that it takes up front…the details that go into every single thing…the decisions on sizes, quantities, and timing…sometimes all feel a bit…overwhelming.  If I could just have a freakin cup of coffee I feel like I’d be handling this better…

But hey.  One step at a time gets there faster than standing still.  So, that’s what I’m doing!  The first run of the first shirt design have been green lighted (by dropping of a check obviously!) and next up will be the second design and the kimono production…then printing.  It’s happening.  Slower than I want, but faster than it could be, which is a good compromise I think!   Persistence, tenacity, and drive are all things I don’t often seem to lack.  Patience…that’s the little bugger that I can’t seem to nail down!

This outfit is a great example to me of persistance, and even, well patience!  These vintage dresses like this style from the 70’s I’m wearing here, are RARELY found (by me at least!) in my size.  Usually I find these incredible collared maxis in teeny tiny sizes that I could never dream of fitting into.  I walked into my favorite thrift store a week ago and BAM…there it was.  Same with these moccasins.  I have been wanting these House of Harlow beaded beauties since they came out.  I found these on Poshmark for a fraction of the price.  It pays to keep going, keep looking, and NEVER. GIVE. UP.

So there it is.  Brain on vacay and all, I’m still going so I think YOU CAN TOO!!
Love all you beautiful people!


On Pajama Dressing, Part Three.

Alrighty, it’s been a whole week of PYJAMAS!!!  I still am super psyched about this whole trend because it’s just so comfy and I feel like I have a whole new set of pieces to mix into my (busting at the seams) closet!  Now, since I talk about and (most likely) overuse kimonos in all my posts, I wanted to steer clear of doing a look with one of those in this week of jammies.  I mean, they are definitely part of the trend, but they’re kind of one of those things that I use in a larger sense of this whole loungewear thing that’s going on.  So for today, I wanted to use a couple other things besides the pyjama tops that I’ve been wearing in the earlier posts!

The thing about pyjama bottoms, is that the shape is pretty important.  I had a hard time thrifting these for that reason.  The older styles, and cheaper brands tend to have a decidedly tapered leg, which is just not a great shape for me at all.  Now, I do know some girls who can pull this funky shape off like a boss, but I am not one of them.  I generally need pants to have a straight shape to the leg or at least a slight flare to them for them to work on me.  This is why I went ahead and actually ordered this pyjama set from J Crew, and I’m really glad I did because these pants are exactly what I needed!  There are A LOT of things you can do with these pants.  I think dressing them up with a blazer and heels would look amazing, but for today, I’m dressing them down, thinking about how I’d run to the grocery store or go shopping in them.

A graphic tee and heeled clogs would be one way that I would wear these pants.  They are a GREAT choice for summer because they are lightweight and breathable…so perfect for a day when you don’t feel like shorts or a skirt.  Jewelry is key when it comes to this trend as I’ve mentioned before because it makes certain that people know that you are INTENTIONALLY wearing something that looks like pyjamas!

The second piece of clothing I wanted to bust out, is this funky vintage robe I got thrifting.  Now, some robes completely double as kimonos and you almost cannot even tell the difference if you wear them like you would a kimono.  However, there are some pieces that are obviously robes…they have tighter sleeves and they hang like they are supposed to be worn as a traditional post shower piece of clothing.  Sometimes they aren’t really acceptable for wearing outside (like those big fuzzy fluffy things you actually DO wear post shower!), but other times, they are beautiful items of clothing that can work much like a kimono style piece of clothing.

I have a tendency to want to minimize what’s going on on my bottom half when I wear something like a pretty dramatic or very funky robe.  That means that I gravitate towards shorts or skinny jeans, because they don’t add bulk when I have something rather bulky on top.  I also kept the top simple and form fitting so as not to add unnecessary bulkiness on the top.  I love the fur boots with this because, well I love those boots with everything, but they kind of are almost paying homage to slippers! Lots of turquoise and a tassel felt like a good addition to class up this sleepwear item.

It’s just loads of fun you guys.  Where is the fun in dressing when you can’t wear stuff “wrong” right?  It’s fun to test out what can double for what, and not compromise comfort while doing it!

Hope you’re in your jammies, netflixing, and chillaxing :)

On How Avoid Shopping Regret

Regret.  It’s something none of us like to experience, but unfortunately at one point or other…we all do.  EVEN IN SHOPPING!  How many of you have bought something that you regretted spending your hard earned money on?  Show of hands?  If you’re not raising your hand, then please, teach me your magical ways and please, rewrite this post for me.  And of course, the only things we ever regret buying are the things we actually spent money on right, because who ever regrets spending $2 at a thrift store??  Okay, so sometimes, we regret those impulse buys, those crazy “when am I actually ever gonna wear this?” buys…but sometimes, I actually end up regretting those “this is a basic I’m gonna wear it all the time” buys.  Like, WHAAAAAAT?  How can you regret a “basic” buy?  Yeah.  I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.  You’ve got that one pair of jeans you spent $200 on that you never wear.  That one dress that was supposed to be your “summer staple dress” that kind of makes you feel itchy and bulgy…and now it has permanent residency in the back of your closet, mocking you every time you see it.

So how do we avoid this horrid shopping regret hangover from those things you totally convinced yourself were “SO worth it?”  Okay, obviously this just happens from time to time.  Sometime, call it insanity, or just a moment where you suddenly decide that you are Alexa Chung and from this day forth you will be dressing exactly like her, but it does happen.  I have had times when I see something I would never wear…and suddenly I envision myself driving a vintage convertible (I can’t even roll the windows down because, um hair + lipgloss you guys, so a convertible is NEVER HAPPENING) looking exactly like Audrey Hepburn and only drinking things out of a martini glass.  Then I regret buying that headscarf because when the frick am I ever gonna wear a headscarf (rarely).  Maybe we can’t completely prevent this situation, HOWEVER, there is hope!  Tell that summer dress in your closet to shut it’s expensive, er, mouth, and let’s talk about some ways to avoid SHOPPING REGRET!

*these are all only my IDEAS on the topic.  If you’ve got tips to add, I would LOVE to hear them!

  1. Avoid making snap decisions.  Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I think we all need to be reminded of this one from time to time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of a frantic sale, a super amazing instagram post, or something that is “one of a kind”.  When I get in this moment and am about to click BUY or race to the register elbowing other shoppers out of the way, I talk to myself.  (Not OUT LOUD people will think you’re crazy so please do this SILENTLY)  I remind myself of a couple things.  There are other amazing “one of a kind” things.  I WILL find something else I love no matter if this thing is “the one” for me or not.  Just reminding yourself of this point will calm you down and help you not make a rash decision.  Take a deep breath, and really LOOK at what you are going to buy.  Try it on, take a photo of yourself in it if you can try it on (this is HUGELY helpful because if you hate the photo of you in it, you will most likely hate that item of clothing on you), and if it’s online, look at the item details.  Check the measurements and the fabric.  Ask yourself if you can resell it or pass it on to a friend if it doesn’t work for you.  Just take time to THINK.  When I’m in the moment, I often realize later I didn’t even really look at what I was buying and just bought because I got kind of frantic!
  2. Do your homework.  I wrote a whole post on this, but the quick and “in the moment” way to do this, is to bust out your smart phone and do a quick search for the item OR a similar item, by brand name or style.  Sometimes you’ll see that what you’re about to buy isn’t a good deal at all.
  3. Picture at least three outfits on yourself with this item.  This is INSANELY effective for me.  Sometimes I am just about to buy something, and then I realize, I can’t think AT ALL of how I’m gonna wear it.  If you can picture at LEAST three different ways to wear this thing you’re about to buy and spend a good chunk of money on, then it’s worth it.  It means it won’t sit in your closet or your drawer because you automatically will know how to wear it.  Still want it and can’t come up with three ways to wear it?  Okay, that’s cool!  Do your RESEARCH!  Look up that item of clothing using a hashtag on instagram or google “how to wear bell bottoms” online and this could solve that issue quickly, expand your style horizons, AND allow you to buy this thing you really want!
  4. Know your body.  This is an important one.  I’ve spent money on things that are not the best for my body type, then I wish I’d maybe spent a little less on something that isn’t my favorite thing to wear.  This isn’t to say that you can’t try things that are “wrong” for your body…I firmly believe that you can and should wear what you love, no matter what your body type.  However, most of the time if it isn’t the most flattering fit or the most comfortable, you’re not likely to choose it often.  One of the most helpful things I’ve found when online shopping, and not being able to try something on (not being able to try stuff on can make it really hard to tell if it will look good on you or not!), is to google that item of clothing or that style and click on the IMAGES tab.  Then, you’ll see lots of different body types in this style.  Stores use girls who are like a size 0 or 2, and if it makes HER look, um, larger than she is, then it’s not gonna do ANYTHING for you REGARDGLESS of your size.  Trust me on this one.  Sometimes I’ve been saved from wasting money on something by actually seeing a photo of this thing I want on a NORMAL HUMAN and realizing that it sure as heck is gonna do nothing for me.
  5. Know your style.  This is another important one.  It’s not always the best idea to spend a lot of money on an item of clothing that deviates from your usual style.  Again, this is not to say that you should never buy something that’s outside your norm!  HECK NO!  I’ve been known to buy and wear polo shirts and I’m NOT a polo shirt person.  But hey, I felt like wearing a polo, so I bought one!  But it’s not the best idea to drop hundreds of dollars on a shoe trend you’d “like to try”, unless you don’t care if they never get worn.  I’ve had the best luck testing out a new style by buying second hand or maybe just buying a cheaper Target version, just to see how I feel about it before committing to it for real.  Think of it as a “trial run” before buying something that you actually are putting a larger chunk of money towards.
  6. Think about it.  Okay, sometimes you don’t have the liberty of putting something on hold, walking away from it, or waiting a week.  However, if you do have this freedom, do it.  This works every time.  You’ll either completely forget about it, or be so obsessed with it that you can’t stop thinking of ways to wear it.  This will definitely reduce your chances of regretting a purchase by 99.9%.

I love to bargain shop.  I also, though, love to from time to time, walk into a super nice store and spend an absurd amount of money on something, because sometimes that makes it feel special!  I think both are important to do, both can really provide you with great items that you’ll love forever.  I’ve gotten better and better at NOT buying things I regret just by using these tools…however it still happens!  And when it does, hey, you’re only human and you love to shop so, forgive yourself :)

I got this dress for under $20, which was great because I love it, but it’s not something I’m gonna wear like all the time.  It’s comfortable enough, but the vintage fabric makes it a hard summer heat piece for me…so the price was right for me to wear this occasionally and not regret spending on it!  The boots, I got on sale but still spent a good amount on and man do I NOT regret buying them.  Even though I have a lot of fringe boots (this fact made me almost not buy them in fact) I love them and wear them quite frequently.  I actually considered buying them for months before finally doing it (and I ended up getting them much cheaper because I waited!), and I’m so happy I took the risk!

Happy weekend shopping all you beautiful girls!  Whether you are bargain hunting, online shopping, or heading to Barney’s…enjoy it :)


On Venice Beach and Shopping

Last Friday we got to visit Venice Beach, which is one a pretty darn cool place to check out if you haven’t been before.  I love to see the houses that back up to the Venice Canal…it’s where a lot of those romantic scenes in the movie “Valentine’s Day were filmed actually!  And the famous Abbot Kinney Street is so unique and filled with places to shop.  Now, I didn’t actually shop on Abbot Kinney because, well, Abbot Kinney is like Rag & Bone and stuff…it’s like $$$$$…but I got to go to a couple of my favorite vintage shops that are down by the beach and have awesome stuff at a fraction of the prices of the main drag.

First off, let me give you my basic review of Venice Beach.  Keep in mind that this is strictly MY perspective, coming from MY crazy brain!  Everything in Venice smells like money, incense, or pot. (I think.  I can never quite nail down what pot actually SMELLS like, but I think I’m starting to get it.) There are more Range Rovers, man buns, and vegan restaurants than, well, pretty much anywhere you’ve ever been before.  Everyone wears chambray button down shirts, and I do mean EVERYONE.  There’s graffiti on basically everything, but it’s like high class, fancy graffiti, if there is such a thing.  It’s kind of like a nicer and cleaner Haight and Ashbury, but with more money and more gluten free options.  I spent some time at the Tom’s flagship coffee shop and shoe store where the “social justice refugees” as I’ve called them hang out, buy coffee and shoes, and experience the Tom’s virtual reality “giving experience”.  Yep, Venice Beach is a unique place!!

Some of my favorite random things I saw (because I love the random stuff you witness when you are around people!) were a girl walking by me wearing underwear.  Now I THINK whatever was on her lower half was somehow, in some alternate universe INTENDED to be shorts, but they were shaped like underwear, were skin tight and shiny, and were smaller than my underwear.  These were not booty shorts people, they were underwear.  But apparently she felt perfectly natural walking down the street in them, so I guess that makes it ok. (!?!?!)  There was a guy sitting on a bench talking into his iPhone but on speaker phone.  WHY do people do that in public you guys?  And he said, “you know, I might DIE!”  My instant reaction was “huh? What does he mean??”  And then he went on to say: “I’m at TWO PERCENT!”  Basically I think he means, if his phone dies, he goes with it.  He poses an interesting philosophical question you guys.  If your phone battery dies, does a part of you die too?  Now I’m just getting sarcastic.  Let’s get on to the pictures!

My first stop was this super cool place called Animal House Vintage.  On the wall of this place you’ll see all these amazing Indian gauzy gowns that look like Spell dresses.  Last time I stopped in the girl working there said that the Spell girls had just come into town and shopped there for inspiration, so you can imagine how great this place is!  I didn’t manage to find anything that fit quite right on this trip down, but everything, just everything, is so good there.  And the prices are pretty darn sweet too.

Next I visited one of the coolest places for crazy fun vintage stuff, called Gotta Have it Venice.  They get most of their vintage from estates and from costumes!  It’s crazy and chaotic in the best possible way!

I mean look at all of that!  There’s SO much cool stuff and it’s all the greatest prices too.  I got a couple of graphic tees (this place is my absolute go-to for vintage graphic tees) and this incredible pair of Minnetonkas.  I have never seen this amazing burnt orange shade so even though I actually own the exact same pair in brown, I had to get this pair because I think they are quite rare and pretty much near impossible to find!

Then I decided to have a little downtime because in mom world, downtime is fairly hard to come by!  Since there’s rarely a place to sit and chill in Venice it seems, I went to Tom’s because it’s one of the larger coffee shops.  I had some green juice that was an unfortunate choice of green juice blends…it was, let’s say less than tasty.  But I got to sit and read and take artistic selfies, so all was not lost. :)

There are a few other super cool vintage shops in Venice that I’ll hit next time and review for you!  And next time, I’m bringing my laptop (how else am I gonna fit in at Tom’s without bringing in a guy with a bun?) and a hat.  Oh yeah, and a bikini because the humidity MELTED my makeup off in like five minutes flat.  I know, I’m a total California weather wuss, I get it.

Ahhhhh shopping for crazy fun stuff is such a blast.  Hope you guys are getting to do some of it wherever you like to go!



On How Life is Like Thrifting

I was thinking about thrift store shopping…and I realized that some of the same rules that apply to doing it also apply to life as well.   I decided that instead of just writing another post on thrifting tips, which is definitely always fun, that I’d write one that’s both about thrifting AND about life.  Because I could always use a little encouragement and sometimes I just need to write this stuff for myself!

So here goes.  Here are some of my current (I like to use that word because hey, maybe I’ll come up with some new ones someday to add to it!) rules for thrift store shopping AND living!

Keep an open mind because not everything different is bad.   When it comes to thrifting, the best way to be successful is to have an open mind when you’re shopping.  Grab and try on stuff that has the potential to be amazing…or REALLY BAD.  The other day I went to Goodwill and I tried on this shirt that was either going to be like Chloe Spring 2016 runway awesome OR mom from the Goldberg’s epic 80’s craziness.  (It’s coming to the blog soon to answer your question :))  I guess I feel like in life this is super helpful too…sometimes I’ve written off people right away thinking that I would have nothing in common with them or that they seem kind of…different…and later on end up realizing that they are amazing fun people that I would have missed out on knowing had I not given them a shot!  There was this girl I knew a long time ago who seemed really serious.  I’m not serious at all people, so when people seem more analytical or solemn, I tend to shy away from them because they typically find me silly, loud, and ridiculous.  I knew her for quite a while and honestly I don’t remember how it happened, but one day we talked a little bit and I realized that even though she was a bit more serious than I was, she was also a LOT of fun.  We ended up hanging out and becoming great friends!  Somedays I think about that and realize that we missed a year or two of friendship simply because we had falsley judged each other!  All this to say, that when you’re thrifting, sure, you could try on some pretty hideous things in the process, but you never know till you try right?!  And in life, you might miss a friend if you judge too quickly!

You have to wade through a lot of not so awesome stuff…but not pay attention to it.   Gosh.  Thrift store shopping can be gross.  Let’s call it like it is.  There’s a LOT of nasty stuff that’s pretty much trash and you have to sift through it to find the good stuff.  That’s so the way life is.  There’s so much crap in social media, on TV, and just everywhere.  Wrong stuff, bad stuff, stuff we can’t control but get’s propagated by the spread of information so we have to wade through it just to get to the stuff we want to see and experience.  I have a hard time with this stuff.  I’ve always been very affected by the sad things I see on the news so I try to be careful how much of it I expose myself to.  I mean, we have to be responsible and do our part, but you guys I’m not superwoman.  I wish I was!  But in the words of Frankie Heck (from The Middle, if you’re not watching, it’s hilarious and the most recent episode deals with this topic!) “sometimes you gotta just relax and watch a movie with too many white people in it.”  Ahhhh I love that quote because it’s so true.  We all need to do what we can.  But if we let the problems consume us, it will not allow us to be effective at basically ANYTHING!  If you’re thrifting and you get bogged down by the smelly weird stained clothes that you see, you’re not going to be able to see the treasures that might be sitting RIGHT next to it.  So yeah, the garbage is there.  It would be naive to say it’s not.  But we don’t have to pay attention to it!

Don’t let your “failures” deter you from trying again.  And again.  Sometimes you go to a few shops and you come up empty handed.  Nothing fit, nothing was that great, everything was kind of just bad…it happens.  Some weeks nothing gets done.  The laundry piles up, the kids are cranky, you haven’t been a very nice person…it’s just life.  But hey, that doesn’t mean that we can’t try again tomorrow right?  That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to find some incredible thing at the Goodwill or that you aren’t going to kick butt at whatever you’re doing tomorrow!  Or heck, maybe even in the next couple of hours!  Things ALWAYS can turn around and the only way we are guaranteed that they won’t is to stop trying.  I stopped thrift store shopping for a few years because I stopped having success and then I stopped trying.  Well, I’m guessing I would have had success if I’d tried again!  Today I’ve been kind of a blah kind of human being.  I don’t plan on giving up and being blah for the rest of my known life.  It’s worth trying again no matter what the “failure” is!

Share your successes freely and your failures sparingly.  Haven’t you noticed how  success breeds success and failure breeds failure?  Like if you tell a friend about all the cool stuff you found at a thrift store, she gets excited and tends to go find stuff on her own…it’s like your excitement and your triumphs cause other people to do the same, but ONLY IF YOU SHARE THEM!!  Same goes for the negative too though.  You tell someone how you never find good stuff…it often encourages them to NOT go out and try…it reminds them that sometimes it’s a wasted trip and that sometimes there’s nothing but junk.  Same goes for life.  I don’t know how many times it’s happened, but when I hang around people who share good stuff all the time, I find myself doing things differently.  I try new things.  I take more risks.  I feel more confident and hopeful about life.  But those people who are constantly asking negative questions…sharing unnecessary bad stuff (like you know the bad Facebook stories about people you don’t know…THOSE types) can do the exact opposite.

So you see?  Life and thrifting are kind of similar!  I found this dress at Goodwill, and I could not believe my eyes.  It was one of those crazy bizarre things that I knew could go either way, and happily, all the weird things I tried on that trip ended up to be total wins!  But if I’d never tried, I’d never have known :)

The sandals are the absolute BEST simple summer sandals and if you need new summer shoes, you NEED these Sam Edelmans!  Oh and they come in like EVERY color too!  I am caftan obsessed…and honestly LOTS of vintage shops on Etsy have them, so do take a look next time you’re on there!

I hope your weekend is amazing and filled with fun thrift store finds!


On Regressing and Dressing

My two-year-old, soon to be three-year-old daughter is going through sleep regression.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, let me break it down for you.  It’s basically EXACTLY what it sounds like.  Your kid who may be a great sleeper (mine is) basically forgets how to fall asleep and causes exhaustion and misery all night and day long because of it.  You basically feel like all that sleep training you did gets flushed straight down the toilet as your child is in their crib, wailing and sobbing, for no apparent reason other than the obvious: they don’t want to go to sleep.  What was pretty simple and straight forward one week ago, has now become a source of anxiety and frustration for the entire family.  Gah.  If that doesn’t make you want to have kids, I don’t know what will!!  The good news is that it’s short lived, and before I know it, she will be back to being the good sleeper she really is.  But for now, coffee.

I feel like sometimes I have adult regression at times.  Is that a thing?  It should be.  I feel like I can work through how I feel about something and make all this progress, and then for a brief period of time, I go completely mad and all my progress goes straight out the window.  The good news is that it usually comes back, I regain my sanity (or at least as much of it as I had to begin with!) and I can move on from it.  However, I feel like there are certain areas where I struggle so much to make real progress, and I regress way too often.  Maybe it’s just that we all have our “triggers” you know?  Like our “stuff” that really gets to us.  Funny how someone can say something totally harmless or I can see something that’s not meant to bother me, and I find myself reacting like someone threw a hand grenade at me.  Yep.  Those are the areas that I have difficulty not regressing in way too often.  Maybe I’m not that different from my two-year-old!  I mean, I get frustrated because my initial reaction to the situation is “what the heck?  You know the drill!  You lie down and go to sleep, it’s not rocket science!”  But maybe I’m not all that different.  I mean, what the heck?  I know the drill!  I need to just not let the same crap bug me over and over again, it’s not rocket science!  Hmmm…helps me have a little more sympathy for what she’s going through!

Either way, regression is hard because it’s discouraging.  You start doubting yourself…wondering if the progress you made was actually real or if it was all something you imagined.  The short answer is, it is completely and totally real.  Babies go through so many sleep regressions because they are growing and changing constantly.  And we go through so many emotional regressions because we are growing and changing and learning is something that doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s a process, and patience is key.  Good thing I’m SUCH a patient person (*SARCASM)!

Honestly, when I’m having a “regressing” kind of day, I put on fun clothes.  Why?  Because it helps me to get my mind off what I’m feeling and makes me feel a little better, no matter what.  It’s my way of rebelling against the regression and trying to enjoy other stuff while I work through the same old garbage!

I love everything about this dress.  Especially the sleeves.  It’s like retro magic!  The boots I overwear SO much and I’m definitely buying another pair this coming winter because they are actually magic on my feet.

I hope your weekend is magic.  And full of good, restful sleep :)

On Getting a Bargain

I love to shop.  I bet you didn’t know that did you?  :) I love to bargain shop, thrift store shop, grocery shop…you name it, if it involves shopping, I’m probably in, and very excited about it.  Now obviously, I think it’s totally worth it to spend full price on certain things or even spend a lot on things if they’re investment pieces or things you wear the heck out of  (like my Minnetonka boots or my Show Me Your Mumu bells).  Nothing beats finding exactly what you want…in the fit or fabric you want, right?  However, what’s even BETTER than that?  Finding exactly what you want at a thrift store or on sale!  I got contacted by ThredUp (the ever so lovely Sasha Agent recommended me, bless her!) to collaborate with them…and I really didn’t know what kind of clothing site it was!  I checked it out, and BOY was I surprised.  Now I honestly try to be very careful what I recommend to you all.  If someone offered me free stuff and I wasn’t crazy about their shop, I’d decline it.  Because it most definitely means a lot to me to be able to say with certainty that what I’m recommending to you is something that I would actually buy or wear myself…not just “oh hey look free stuff!”  But if Sasha says it’s good, trust me, that girl knows her shizz.

You guys.  There is SO MUCH stuff on ThredUp, and the bargains are PLENTIFUL. I saw SO much stuff…Free People, Madewell, JCrew, Gap, and even high end designers at a FRACTION of the cost.  You can search by your size which makes it SUPER easy to shop, and so many of the prices were under $20.  It’s so great, it’s almost overwhelming!  Naturally, after searching through the site, I agreed to collaborate because this is kind of like thrifting for brand names, but online.  It’s awesome.  I highly recommend if you’re looking for that perfect JCrew button down…check ThredUp first!

So here’s what I came up with.  They gave me $30 to shop with.  And that’s EXACTLY what my outfit cost.  No joke.  Okay, it was $30.48 to be exact, you caught me, but I’m SERIOUS YOU GUYS, this shirt is from Madewell and the skirt is pleated silk from Gap.  The pieces are gorgeous, and I’m SO excited and proud to show you that YOU TOO could get your very own entire outfit for $30!  Is that not SO COOL?  By the way, I’ve got an invitation code for you too.  If you use it, you get $10 off your order, and I’ll get $10 too…honestly I’m more excited about you getting $10 off though fyi :).  Click HERE to shop and get $10!

Shopping is much more relaxing when you know you’re getting a bargain!

Happy weekend all you gorgeous babes


On Try, Trying Again and A Vintage Nightgown (Dress!)

You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”…pretty sure we’ve all heard this at one point or another in our lives.  The part that it doesn’t say however, is how hard that “try, try again” part can be!  I mean, I know we all know that it’s hard to keep persevering and all that, but I think when you’re in the middle of it, it just FEELS harder than you thought it would.  I guess, all I’m doing is stating the obvious.  It’s HARD.

I think one of the things I’ve found for me (and probably for my personality really), is that it feels like the second I feel like I’ve made a little bit of progress in the right direction, something reminds me of the times that things didn’t seem to “work” right.  Sometimes it’s something silly, sometimes it just something normal, and other times it’s something that legitimately would bum anyone out, but ALL the time, it’s something that makes me feel like…hmmm…maybe I SHOULDN’T try, try again.  Wrong.  I know it’s not the way I SHOULD feel, but when it comes to should or shouldn’t, that stuff doesn’t really apply to feelings.  You just kind of feel the way you feel…and it’s what happens next that really matters.

I’ve had a hard time not getting really down on myself often for the ways that I feel.  Or sometimes I give my feelings a little too much weight, and then I feel badly for that…any way you look at it, it’s a lot of feelings.  Too many feelings.  To quote Ron Weasley (Harry Potter fans unite!): “One person can’t feel that all at once.  They’d explode.”  This quote describes me so perfectly at times, and I imagine lots of you can relate with it as well!  The good thing though is that I think that I’m getting SLIGHTLY better at moving on from all those feelings when they happen.  I’m learning that I don’t need to get down on myself for the times that things set off my emotions because of some of my bad memories.  I don’t need to feel badly for my feelings.  That just adds feelings on top of feelings and BOOM (that’s the sound of the explosion, FYI). What I DO need to do however, is to acknowledge them, take a moment to grieve and process the things that I went through for a few minutes, and then put it back in the past where it belongs.  The feelings exist.  They are valid.  But they do not dictate where I go next.  And isn’t it funny how much easier it is to get upset about stuff than it is to celebrate the good stuff?

I had a great morning.  I’m SUPER excited about some new projects I’m working on that I will share with you when I have more to share :).  Then this afternoon, something reminded me of some of the crap that happened a while ago.  It was all fine, it wasn’t even bad!  But I instantly got down about all the stuff I previously had been excited about…until I realized what I was doing.  I was letting how I used to feel dictate how I feel now.  Too many feelings, most of them inappropriate to the situation.  So now, they have been appropriately grieved, and left behind like they need to be.  Breathe in, breathe out…and now I can get back to being excited!  Maybe one of these days I’ll grow up and get it, huh?  :)

I found this dress at a thrift store and it kind of reminded me of a vintage Spell dress, if that existed!  It’s most likely someone’s nightgown, but to me, it’s a boho fabulous dress!  These boots are Minnetonkas and the MOST comfortable, and find an amazing squash blossom HERE for around $20!

Have an UBER FABULOUS weekend!