Fashion Feelings: Peace, Love, and No Refined Sugar

I’m just about the least and most hippie person you’ll ever meet.  Is that confusing?  I can’t imagine why…

I was raised by a mom who embraced the late 80s versions of “health food”.  There was yoga, carob (the “other chocolate” which turns out is not really chocolate at all.  Nice try mom.), homemade noodles in our chicken soup, and we never, ever, ever, ever (I could go on) drank soda or juice.  She made me go to the renaissance fair one year (it was weird) and she made everything from scratch.  Period.  The first time I had Taco Bell was in junior high.  I used to beg her to use a box mix for my birthday cakes (she never conceded).  Let’s talk about my dad.  He thought she was trying to poison us and fed me oreos and cheese balls in bulk.  He thought yoga was bunk, ice cream needed to be purchased in buckets and no smaller quantities, and well, carob?  That was DEFINITELY NOT chocolate.

Maybe my parents didn’t agree on food, but the one thing they agreed on was the lack of television watching or pop culture that they allowed in the house.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, this meant that until the late 90s when I was actually allowed to listed to a radio station for the first time, I knew nothing of pop culture or the arts.  I mean really.  I didn’t know who Bob Dylan was (Jakob Dylan’s dad, right?).  I knew a few Beatles songs, but other than that, up until the era of the boy band, it’s kind of a blank.  I was raised like a hippie in the most undecidedly NON hippie fashion.

I now consider myself like, 50 percent hippie.  You know, like, I’m part Irish, part French, part Swedish…and part hippie.  Perfectly logical.  My food habits?  Completely hippie.  I make bone broth and ghee and I don’t eat refined sugar.  My music habits?  Completely non hippie.  Pop, country, and the like.  My cleaning and personal care habits?  Peace, yo.  I DIY laundry soap, toothpaste, and only buy clean skincare and makeup.  But my taste in television shows?  The least chill and hippie ever.  MY STYLE?  I think you know the answer to that.

I went shopping with a couple good friends and saw this amazing thing sticking out of the racks.  I grabbed it, and started laughing hysterically.  My friends took notice, and followed suit because…well, it’s simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever seen.  It was half off, so I bought it.  Anything that gets that much of my attention is just gonna happen.  One of the girls who worked at the second hand store said multiple times: “I’m SO HAPPY you’re buying the Janis Joplin thingy!”  And I was like, oh good…I’m wearing the clothes of a woman I know nothing about…

I put it with bell bottoms (of course!) and have big plans to create some bells like this but MORE HIPPIE (of course again!).  And really, this thing needs no explanation.  Except it was probably the most awesome $8 I’ve ever spent.

Gotta go make some hippie concoction in the kitchen now and pretend I know who Janis Joplin is…
Katy

On Being a MOM and Being ME

There are a lot of things to absolutely love about having kids.  I mean, there are so many fun moments when they surprise you and make you laugh…and definitely teach you that there’s more to life than you thought there was. I love having kids.  But I definitely struggle with being a “mom”.  I have had a hard time with that often asked question: “how do you like being a MOM?”  Yeah I love having kids.  Being a MOM?  That’s hard.

I always knew I wanted kids.  That was clear to me growing up and into college and adulthood.  But I was terrified of being a MOM.  I grew up with a mom who took on being a mom to me as her sole job.  Now PLEASE don’t misunderstand me here…I also quit my job and stay home with my kids, so I do not at all disparage women who do this!  At all!  Of course, spending time with your kids is priceless.  However, I was raised with the example that a MOM does nothing, but raises children.  This terrified me.  I have so many things that I love to do that don’t involve kids…like sing and play music…shopping and styling other women…writing and reading good stories…these are all things that I thought I was going to have to give up when I had children.  It honestly took seeing other women actually be THEMSELVES and have interests and passions as well as raising their kids before I actually decided that I might be able to pull off this whole MOM thing.

I think it’s hard.  It’s hard having kids, and it’s hard not having kids.  It’s hard working and it’s hard not working…all I’m saying is that there are challenges in EVERY stage of life, so talking about the challenges of being a mom isn’t complaining.  I think it’s often misconstrued as complaining and then moms feel  judged when they talk about their struggles.  Having struggles doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids or you wish you didn’t have them.  Obviously that’s not true.  And I think the loss of identity is the hardest one for me.  Maybe some of you who have had kids haven’t gone through this…but man.  Once I had kids, I had to really fight to feel like myself again.  Suddenly when you have a baby, no one looks at YOU anymore.  Suddenly all of the compliments you get are “hot MOM” or “you look great for just having a baby” or “your baby is so cute!”  Of COURSE!  You have an adorable baby!  But I imagine it’s what women experience when they hit 50 or something and everyone starts telling them they look “great for their age”.  Why can’t I just be “hot” instead of “hot mom”?  It’s funny how we don’t even realize we are putting qualifiers on compliments until all of the compliments we receive are phrased in that way.  It really kind of shook me up at first.  I felt not beautiful at all…I felt like all I was, was someone’s mother.  I never felt like I was doing anything very well at all, considering that I was constantly told that I was: “doing great (for having two young children)!”

I love being home with my kids.  But I also miss working.  I am SO glad that I’m home with them and no matter how much I miss working full time, I would never trade the time I get to spend with them for that.  I do, however, feel like in order to be a healthy, happy mom, I HAVE to do some things on my own at times. I HAVE to work a few hours outside of the house.  I HAVE to be creative and do stuff that’s not MOMish.  I cannot lose my individuality out of mom guilt!  I think I grew up feeling SO incredibly guilty that my mom didn’t even take the time to go buy new underwear for herself, that I just decided that I didn’t want my kids to feel that way about me.  I don’t want my kids to feel responsible for me losing my creativity and my talents.  They don’t have to be!

I’ve been quietly starting to design a clothing line.  It’s in the works, and should be released by fall…at least a few pieces will be!  I’m VERY excited, nervous, and hopeful that the pieces will be things that all women can wear and be comfortable in.  I want it to be something that makes women feel beautiful regardless of if they feel super thin or not.  I want it to be something that inspires them to be creative and to be their own individual selves WHILE they’re being an awesome mom.  Because sure, when you have kids, you become a MOM.  But you’re still YOU!

I think one of the things about fashion for me is that I get to dress like an individual when I’m with my kids and when I’m out by myself.  It’s one of the easiest and most fun ways I can express myself as a creative person.  I don’t have to dress like a MOM to be a good mom.  I can still dress like ME and be a mom!

I’ll give you more details on the clothing line soon.  Pieces are in the works…and I can’t wait to wear them!  Happy Thursday!
Katy

I’m an Outfit Repeater. I Confess.

My high school experience was, well, much different than your average.  There were four (4) people in my class along with me.  Three girls, one boy, and no, none of us dated him.  That would have been weird.  My school was kind of like a small fishbowl filled with teenagers who were all allowed to for the most part be our eccentric selves.  I remember having a friend who went to public school come and visit for a day.  Halfway through the first class (which was a study hall combined with another grade), she turned and looked at me with this look of complete and utter shock.  I looked around and saw one of the guys laying facedown on the carpet, swimming his arms and legs looking for his fingernail clippings.  Another one was using a ruler to measure the height of the stairs.  Now for me, this was a completely normal day, and these seemingly strange escapades were just par for the course.

As free as we were allowed to be in some areas, in others (dress code) we were not.  I still am rebelling against that stinking dress code to this day.  We had a six inch rule, (um no touching the opposite sex for those who are unaware of this hilarious rule that obviously kept us from having school dances, duh), a “no using of the word ‘unisex’ rule” because it contained the word “sex”, and a dress code that made getting dressed not fun at all.  So you all know how much I love clothes and how I love putting together outfits.  In high school this was not the case.

Unlike my closet now, I really only had a small amount of outfits that were school appropriate.  I had about four or five dresses that were on rotation for weekly chapel days (we had to dress up), and a handful of shirts and pants that I could wear.  Skirts were out of the questions because they weren’t ever long enough to meet the stringent requirements, and shorts, well, unless I wanted to wear men’s board shorts, those were completely out of the question.  I tried my hardest to be creative, but it didn’t always work out so well.  There was this one guy in my class who seriously was that one guy who would notice EVERYTHING.  The things you were trying to hide…the things you were embarrassed about…he’d find out and broadcast them loudly across the room.  “Do you overdry your hair??”  He asked me one day…dude I don’t have great hair and I was trying to straighten out an unfortunate perm OK???  Make me feel bad about it already…  One day he said something (loudly of course) that will haunt me for the rest of my days.  “You wore that same shirt on Monday!”  Yep.  The words NO WOMAN WANTS TO HEAR.  I honestly didn’t even remember wearing it on Monday and I was horridly embarrassed and wondering how he remembered and I didn’t…like was he keeping a diary of my outfits?!

So now my answer to this statement that pops into my head when I’m getting dressed and I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be repeating something in the presence of the same people who saw me on Monday…is to have a giant closet filled with a bunch of weird stuff!  This shirt/vest/thingy is no exception.  It’s vintage, leather and knit, and it’s SO FUN to wear!

I love the multiple textures of this outfit…velvet pants (Free People), suede front, and knit back on the vest.  Being creative with clothes is so much fun now.  I still feel bad sometimes for high school me who just wanted to express herself creatively without having her skirt measured or getting told that silver was “not a natural color” for nail polish.  I’m making up for it now though!

And yes, I did actually wear this shirt on Monday.

Katy

On Change, Letting Go, and…Converse Shoes.

Okay, so I’ve been kind of putting off writing this. Mainly because today I had a major case of the “what the heck am I doing with my life?” thoughts. For a lot of reasons…partly because I didn’t get quite enough sleep last night (and being tired makes me emotional) and partly because I just got kind of lost in the whole: “I thought I’d be further along in so many ways by now” thought train.  Partly too because I’m such a people person, and doing this blog stuff on my own can feel kind of lonely.  I have a hard time getting inspired when I’m by myself. I love working with people and on teams.

I used to work full time, and I gave up my job for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I was in the middle of having two babies and it was time for me to make a significant change in my life, otherwise I’d never find out if I could ever do any of the other things I have on my heart to do. I loved my job. I know I’ve mentioned that before, but I really really loved my job. Probably more than I should have. I loved the people I worked with. I loved staff meetings. I remember staff meeting days…I’d drive my British racing green Mini Cooper up the hill (I’d totally be blasting some kind of music and pretending I was on a race track because the road would always be empty) and I’d get my coffee and all my stuff and head into the meeting room. Everyone would be all: “staff meeting…” rolling their eyes and I’d be all “yeah so super lame…” (me, trying to be cool, but on the inside I was all tingly at the thought of being in a room with other people for an hour or two). Spending an hour talking, laughing, PLANNING (I love planning), making notes, brainstorming, and YELLOW PADS (if you don’t know what it feels like to crack open a new yellow pad, go directly to your nearest office supply store and get one)…it was just my favorite. Now that we’ve established that I am VERY dorky, I can make my point.

Life is unpredictable. I still miss my job but I do see why I needed to leave it. It was time for me to make a change, and I listened to that prompting, and I did it. Do I regret it? At moments yes, especially on days like today when I feel a bit on the lost side and feel like I’m struggling to get inspired on my own. But mostly I don’t because I know I’ve changed a lot too and I very much hope that the changes I’ve made and risks I’ve taken will make more sense to me someday than they do today. And now, onto clothes.

I got this dress at Ruby Rose SLO’s annual flea market, so it was $10. Such a steal for such a beautiful and well fitting vintage dress. In the spirit of being unpredictable, I decided to do something a little out of character for me.

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You know what I’d normally put with this dress?  Cowboy boots, fringe boots, or moccasins.  Yep.  My go-to all time favorites.  Instead, I decided to do something WAY not normal and put Converse with them!  And you know what?  I loved it!  It felt comfortable, creative, and different…but in a fun way!  I guess sometimes making a change can be fun and can yield better results than you imagined.  It’s hard to sometimes let go of things you love, but sometimes what you get in return is worth the letting go part.

Hope your week is going wonderfully and you aren’t having a mid week crisis… :)

Katy

Why I’m Hard on Myself. But Not in This Novella Royale Jumpsuit!

Compliments confuse me.  I don’t know why this is, but I’m so hard on myself that often when people give me compliments, I feel overwhelmed and kind of confused by them.  I don’t think it’s super uncommon for women to be hard on themselves.  I think it’s like maybe a modesty thing where when someone says something nice to you, your response is to balance it out by kind of debunking that nice thing by clarifying that you’re not really all that awesome.  Where the heck did that idea come from???  It’s been brought to my attention by a few close friends that I need to stop doing this.  And it’s hard.  Receiving compliments and just saying “thank you” is quite hard for me.  I guess I’ve also gotten to the point where I have difficulty believing the nice things about myself.  I think I’ve struggled with feeling like so much of a failure in so many ways that I don’t know how to really feel those good things about myself.

I betcha there are a lot of mom’s out there who feel like failures.  Especially those moms who used to have jobs, quit them, and are now raising kids.  This is the camp I fall into.  I poured my life into my job.  I loved it so much…it was more than my job, it was my calling and my passion.  I knew it was the right time to leave it for more reasons that the fact that I had an infant and was pregnant again.  But even still, leaving it made me feel like I’d failed.  Then on top of that, it’s had to feel like a success when you have little kids!  The house is always littered with toys no matter HOW hard I try.  The laundry is incessant.  The kids sometimes have days when all I can get them to eat is chocolate milk and crackers.  And there you have it…all those magical days at work where I finished spreadsheets, completed projects, and wrapped everything up and tied it with a nice big bow of fabulous completion…those days are gone.

Life is so much more about the big picture than I thought it was before having kids.  It’s so much more about having fun and living…and less about completing projects and a job well done.  Parenting has made me realize that life is about your long game…about investing in things and making little changes that all add up equaling success.  It’s not about those immediate rewards that you can see and taste.  It’s those days when you can get your kids to play well together and try a healthy new food…those days you just feel fulfilled by simply being and not by completing something.  Ahhhhh…for those doers out there like me this is a difficult one to learn.  I like things all neat and tidy and wrapped up in a bow.

And so, in the spirit of Monday Mojo and this post, I give you one of my magical Monday mojo outfits that makes me feel like I look all wrapped up and tied up with a bow, so to speak.  It’s one of those, I put it on and feel instantly fabulous outfits.  You know those outfits that you put on and you just walk taller?  I feel all amazing and put together…no matter how much of a struggle that is in other areas!  I so love those outfits.

What is it about off the shoulder things that just feel glamorous and sexy??  Plus the pattern on this jumpsuit…and the legs are CRAZY long.  It’s rare for me to find things that are actually too long for me!  This jumpsuit is an older Novella Royale piece…but I literally could order every single thing from their site and love them all.  Their patterns are just stunning.  I’ve got my Free To Wander handmade squash blossom necklace on with it and I added a vintage soft leather belt instead of the tie belt that came with the outfit because I like how it kind of breaks up the pattern (and sucks in my gut…hahaha!).  I have wedges on under it, but the pants are too long for you to see them!

I hope your Monday is full of mojo and magic…and that when I say that you’re awesome you can truly receive that and know that it’s completely true! :)

Happy start of the week and almost September!!!
Katy

 

 

The Things I Wouldn’t Change

Some days I feel like I’d change almost everything about myself.  I think we all have those days.  I mean, let’s be honest.  Even on our good days, there’s usually at least one teeny tiny thing we’d change right?  That’s why Instagram filters, makeup, and plastic surgery are so popular!! Then there are those days when I wish I could change my hair…I’d make it thicker and longer…and a beautiful shade of strawberry blonde.  My body…I’d be a bit thinner and definitely ditch these tummy rolls I got going on.  I’d have ice blue eyes like Cameron Diaz…speak every language like a super spy, and be so super cool in every situation they’d call me the (friendly) ice woman.  And now back to reality.  I’m still just me, sitting on my couch, with my own brown eyes (which I call hazel when I want to feel more exotic) and my good ol tummy rolls…and I gotta learn to love it all.  Sigh.  It’s the plight of being human.  And of course, constantly seeing photoshopped models on magazines.

The one thing however that I usually don’t ever want to change is my outfit.  I know, I know, that sounds like I hate everything about my ACTUAL self (I really don’t,  I’m actually quite funny, I can quote basically any quote from Friends, and I am fabulous at parallel parking) but all I’m saying is that I generally love my outfit on any given day.  Today’s is no exception.

I found this incredible dress at an antique store, the same one where I got my muumuu from Friday’s post.  Ohhhhh I just couldn’t believe it when I laid eyes on this beauty.  It’s stunning and paisley and bright…and it is so comfortable and absolutely perfect for Monday Mojo.

I’m wearing some Minnetonka lace up booties and my Free People sunglasses too…perfect for this dress.  I kept the jewelry SUPER minimal because, well, as you can see the dress is quite busy so I felt anything extra besides a few big rings would really take away from it.

This dress is so full of mojo I can’t even stand it.

Happy Monday evening…hope your week is filled to the brim with mojo.

Katy

Monday Mojo in Sunday’s Style

I have always been both drawn to red and scared to wear it.  I used to buy red things, and literally never wear them…only to just finally give them away.  I don’t know what changed, but now I love red.  Okay.  Maybe I do know what changed.

I think I felt very conspicuous in red.  I know…this coming from the girl who literally supplies Halloween costumes from her normal every day clothes.  But I think somehow red felt like a street sign and it made me feel uncomfortable.  For so long, I was the girl who preferred to wear white over black, patterns over solids, and kimonos instead of sweatshirts.  Then I slowly stopped all that.  Over time, I got more and more self conscious and started to try to fade into the background in ways I didn’t even realize.  I started to dress for the approval of my friends instead of for me.  I started wearing all black (which I now a healthy relationship with the color!) because I had gained so much weight and I felt so ugly.  I literally would get dressed, go out with friends, and halfway through I’d catch my reflection in a mirror or a window and I’d think “what is WRONG with me?  Why am I so fat and ugly?”  These are the thoughts that plagued me as I compared myself with everyone around me.  As I saw the extra weight I had gained.  As I saw how my blonde hair just wasn’t the right blonde anymore.  As I felt more and more like everything about me was just wrong.  So wearing anything that drew attention to me was out of the question and I stopped dressing like me.  I lost interest in clothes and fashion, which actually worried me because I knew that meant there was something deeper going on.

This outfit is so a Mojo outfit for me because it’s bright, vintage, and a WHOLE LOT OF RED.  I feel like me in it.  I don’t feel ashamed of who I am or what I look like anymore.  Sure I still have my days, but they are becoming fewer and further between.  I often wish that during all that time when I was struggling so much and feeling so lost that I could show myself these photos of me and remind myself of who I am.  Give myself hope that someday I’d feel more like myself than I ever have.  Tell myself that someday I’d be fine wearing more red than a stop sign. :)

 

Vintage cowboy boots and vintage dress and vintage jewelry.  I fell in LOVE with this dress at the store (Curio SLO) and these boots I hunted for on Etsy and love so much.  I love the vibrant turquoise as a pop of color (because this outfit so needs more pop right?!?!) and the embroidery on the dress.  It’s bright, happy, vintage, crazy, and ME.  The REAL ME.

Happy Monday!
Katy