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 Tips For Customizing Your Wardrobe

You know what I’ve discovered?  That if there’s a “custom” option for a piece of clothing, I will ALWAYS choose it.  There’s just something about having something that ONLY you have…no one else…that makes my heart go pitter patter.  Somehow I’m always willing to spend more money to have something that was created just for me.  I think it’s even funny how if I find something that’s from Forever 21, but at like, a thrift store or a second hand store, I’m WAY more likely to buy it than if I actually found it at…Forever 21 itself!  Because the appeal of a single item hiding on a rack is WAY stronger than a giant rack full of the same thing.  It just seems…cheaper and way less cute than if it was standing alone!  I know, I know, it’s totally a trick of the mind because it’s the EXACT SAME THING that was at a box store on a huge rack maybe just months before…but it’s just different somehow!  I get it.  Custom stuff takes time and extra moolah, but to me, it’s worth it.

I had a revelation a long time ago when I found out that basically ALL celebrities who wear vintage and, well, anything else…get ALL their stuff altered to fit them. Wow.  That means that it’s not like, my body type or my height or whatever, it’s just that EVERYONE’S BODY is different!  I think this is what makes me place extra value on custom clothing.  It means that it will be literally made..for YOU.  Now I know we can’t all afford to get every piece of clothing custom made, and honestly that’s not necessary.  Sometimes you walk in to Target, and something fits you like a glove.  But when you’re really having trouble finding something, it might be worth the investment to just get it specially made!  I had trouble finding overalls that would fit me, so I special ordered them from LykkeWullf.  It was so worth the money.  Now I have a pair of overalls…made to fit me.  My exact measurements.  Comfortable AND cute.  Same with all the loads of stuff I have ordered from my FABULOUS friend Arwyn (@township31).  You are going to see a lot of stuff from her because, well, I love her, and she is so dang creative, I can’t stop!

Tips for customizing your wardrobe: (hint: you don’t need to buy all new stuff!)

  1. Etsy.com is your best friend.  I mean, gosh golly you can’t even go a few seconds of searching without finding something that you can custom order.  It’s a mecca for creativity and custom fits.
  2. Contact people over Instagram/Facebook and ask.  I’ve been surprised sometimes at the people who actually do custom orders but don’t necessarily advertise for it!  I’ve honestly just asked people…”hey can you make me one of those?” with GREAT success most times.
  3. Find a local tailor.  This can be the BOMB when it comes to thrifting.  Often it’s cheaper than you think, so just ask.  You never know what will happen!  This is a great way to take things you already have, but don’t fit you right, and make them AMAZING.  Also, it can be a great way to bargain shop for stuff.  Granted, you need to take into account the cost of the alterations, but you may still be getting a grand steal if you buy a pair of jeans at Goodwill for, say $15, and then it costs $20 to alter them.  Still can be much cheaper than buying them new!
  4. Know your measurements, even if it hurts.  I’m not gonna lie.  When I sent my measurement to LykkeWullf to get my overalls, I actually apologized.  Darn that stupid measuring tape that makes me feel like a loser!  It’s JUST a number, and remember it’s better to have clothes that fit well and make you look good, than it is to lie about your waist for vanity’s sake.  But darn it if it’s not tempting too…
  5. Decide what’s worth it and what’s not.  Some things can be belted, safety pinned, or just worn oversized, and it’s just fine.  Other things, like jeans for example, need to fit to look good.  So remember that it’s okay to invest in certain pieces, and you don’t always have to get a crazy bargain on every single thing in your closet!
  6. Find a creative friend who sews.  This is another great way to upgrade stuff you already have.  I mean, say you have a dress you never wear, but you love the fabric.  What if you had a friend who likes to sew cut the bottom off and add an elastic waistband?  Voila!  Instant skirt!  The options are endless when it comes to this kind of thing.  I mean, honestly I just cut stuff up sometimes and see what happens.  Some fabrics don’t fray easily and simply cutting off the sleeves or cutting a dress into a top can make an instant difference.

Okay.  This vest is like a dream to me.  I mean, when I saw that Arwyn had made one I immediately asked if I could commission her to make me one!  I am in awe of this craftsmanship.  I put it with this vintage Gunne Sax dress and my fringe boots from Sam Edelman…because it gave it a nice bohemian prairie feel!

I’m sweating bullets.  No, I’m not nervous, it’s just freaking hot.  Hope you all are staying cool out there…

On First Impressions and Cowboy Caftans

First impressions are so interesting aren’t they?  I know you should “never judge a book by its cover” and all that, but of COURSE the cover has at least a TINY bit to do with the book doesn’t it?  Sometimes it doesn’t have as much to do with it  as we THINK it does, but it’s most definitely part of who/what that book is.  Funny how some people make such a strong impression that it kind of defines part of who you see them to be forever really, and other people just kind of somehow “come to be” in your life and you don’t really remember the first time you met them.  Some people I feel like kind of just fade into our lives and they just always ARE, and others, well, you most CERTAINLY remember what kind of impression they made right off the bat.

When I was at Cal Poly, in one of my classes we had to give a mini presentation about who we were during the first day of class.  Nothing major, we didn’t have to prepare anything, it was more of a “who are you?” type thing so that we knew more than each other’s faces and maybe a name or two.  This one guy, let’s call him “Joe” (*names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty and I most DEFINITELY DO remember his name), decided that just simply answering the question was not enough.  While most of us sat in our chairs and gave the usual: “my name is ______ and I like shopping and reading and long walks on the beach blah blah”, when it was his turn he leapt up and ran to the front of the room.  He immediately grabbed a dry erase marker and began drawing on the board as though we were playing some sort of Pictionary game.  We watched as he drew, not sure where this was going, and honestly it didn’t look like it was going anyplace good.  He finally finished his “work of art” and turned to face the class.  “Hi!  I’m Joe*!  And THIS (he motioned dramatically at the drawing on the board) is a diagram of my butt.”  He proceeded to explain where there was hair, as well as where there was not hair on his butt, why this was interesting, and probably some other details about himself that no one remembered because we were all stunned into a silence, memorizing that image of his butt against our wills.  When he finished, the professor gave him a long hard look, said: “Okaayyyyyy…thank you?” and later gave him QUITE a talking to about how inappropriate this presentation was.  Uh…YOU THINK???  I remember this guy’s real name.  But I called him “butt guy” instead, and he has been henceforth known as “butt guy” by my husband too.  I mean, the other day, I saw someone I went to college with and Eric said, “Oh was that butt guy?”  You SEE???  His first impression will NEVER DIE amongst those of us who were in that class that day.  I know nothing about him.  But I’m a wealth of information on his rear end.  Unfortunately.

Ah yes, first impressions.  There have been times when people have told me their first impressions of me.  Usually if I’m getting told by people what they thought of me initially, it’s because they formed a bad impression of me, and not a good one.  Otherwise it’s not really a great story.  Like “oh when I met you I thought you were super nice haha…” yeah not nearly as good of a story as “I thought you were vapid, popular, ditzy, and vain.”  Pretty sure I’ve heard some form of all of these things about myself.  Weird because I’m really not popular and I’m so self deprecating most days people would not think I was all that vain.  I do say a lot of dumb stuff probably too loudly so sure I’ll take ditzy no problem…whatever I used to be a blonde right!?  Anyway, whenever people are telling me their first impressions of me its because they were wrong…(“hey you’re not popular at all!” just kidding, see there’s the self deprecating side speaking up!) and they’ve realized that I’m not who I came across as at all.

To be completely honest, UNLESS you are talking about your butt along with diagrams and stuff, I’m pretty sure what you are wearing comes into play largely with your first impression.  Sure it’s also your facial expressions, body language, and what’s coming out of your mouth…but clothes are an easy first impression maker.  This is partly why I love clothes though…it’s a way of expressing yourself in a very visual way that’s immediate.  It’s like you get to put together your own piece of art, then wear it to show people:  “Hey, I made this outfit!”  It may not always come across as who you are completely, but it’s your creation and it expresses a part of your creativity and your personality!

Yep I’m two posts in a row with the caftans guys, what can I say.  I didn’t plan it that way, but I bought this thing the INSTANT I saw it on The Hippie Shake‘s website it was too amazing.  I mean, most caftans are like 1970s Florida beach wear, which I LOVE.  But this one, this one is like 1970s cowboy meets California beach!  The choker is from PrickliePear and the boots are handmade…get similar ones from Hillbillygypsy Boots!

Hope your week is starting off well, and that you haven’t seen any diagrams of anyone’s rear ends lately.  It really does stick with you…

On Being Born Free and This Tee That Reminds Me

I heard someone say something that really resonated with me today.  He said: “We were built for victory.  But fear keeps us in defeat.”  It really struck me for two reasons.  One, I don’t often believe that I was actually BUILT for victory.  I just assume that sometimes, dreams just don’t work out and accepting reality is just part of life.  And two, fear has been a major sticking point for me on a lot of things in life.  I was born a bold risk taker, and then rewired to be fearful and overly cautious to a fault.  So when I heard that statement, it really rocked my mind!

I was talking with my husband yesterday about how before we went through our few years of intense struggles, I had this very specific and intense goal and plan.  It was something that I had literally dreamed about since I was a child…and it was this thing that sort of drove me to keep going in a lot of ways.  I’m SUCH a goal oriented person, that it was a large, and sometimes too large, part of my life and my thoughts.  Then, when we lost all of what we had worked for and basically had to start over (and at a deficit no less!) I had gone for so long without even the hope of this goal, that it was gone.  It was like it was completely dead and buried in a graveyard of dreams that would never be.  And for a while, I was sort of “okay” with that.  I think in my recovery process, for a while I just couldn’t really deal with any more loss…I had lost enough, so the thought of dealing with things I never had and lost was just too great a burden to bear.  But after a while, I began to feel more and more of a whole person and then, the actual hole that the dream had left became more apparent.  In straight terms, I sometimes feel like I lack the vision and passion I had before.

Maybe some of that’s good.  That vision and passion drove me so hard, even to the point of depression at times because I could not immediately attain it, that it needed to take a breather.  It needed to be there, encouraging me forward, but not in a way that I could not enjoy life in the meantime and the journey to get to it.  However, I think I would like to regain some of that vision.  Because if I was “meant for victory”, then this story isn’t finished.  I told my husband that I go back and forth between thinking that my goals and dreams are not dead and that they’re still going to happen…and that I should just let them go and assume that they are a thing of the past.  His response was that the latter of the two options was dangerous, because it would allow me to slip into a state of apathy and acceptance for something that is temporary.  He was right.  I was not “meant for defeat”, even though defeat is sometimes part of the journey.  I was born free of fear…and the fear of hoping and dreaming again is what can keep me from that victory.

I have to remind myself that sometimes my leaning towards fears and accepting defeat are not part of who I am.  They were learned, and now I must UNlearn them and stand in the victory I was meant to.  Because I can still work for, believe for, and hope for the things that I was meant to experience.  THAT is victory even in the times when things are not obviously victorious!

I know you probably can’t read it, but this shirt says: “Born Free” so I thought it was appropriate for this post!  I gotta say, this outfit is pretty much straight inspired by Spell Designs…I can never get enough of their bohemian eclectic colorful fringy goodness!  The boots are old Sam Edelman, but fringe booties are EVERYWHERE now, and an absolute essential for the fringe lover like myself!  The skirt is Free People, the top is Bandit Brand (amazing vintage inspired graphic tees!), and the jacket is Off Fifth.  The belt is from “my” store (I call it “mine” because I love it and I have the privilege of styling there!) so it’s second hand amazingness!  Don’t forget about the necklace.  Ohhhhh that necklace is new from Zachary Pryor on Etsy.  Gotta love a good statement piece!

I hope you’re dreaming big and feeling free today!

On Letting My Husband Choose My Outfit

I’m one of those people who often has fantasies that I can control stuff.  Like my surroundings.  Like how things are going to go.  And then, I remember that I have toddlers, and that the nice family dinner we were all trying to have has ended in screaming (me),  food all over the floor (them), and general crankiness (all of us). And there went that fantasy.  I swear that social media is ESPECIALLY damaging when it comes to the whole “being in control” fantasy, because you could seriously take an amazing, perfect, and beautiful photo…but then what we don’t see is that everyone melted down two seconds later.  All we see is that bright and shiny photo and our thoughts go to that place: “why can’t I get control of my life like that girl SO CLEARLY can??”  Yep, I am guilty, guilty, guilty on this issue.

I suffer from a split personality when it comes to the issue of wanting to be in control.  I love surprises (the good kind, obviously), and I love to feel like I can just let go and let someone else take care of stuff for me.  BUT (I made it big, because on this point, I have a HUGE BUT), I ALSO have a super hard time letting go of control.  My poor husband gets the brunt of this split personality.  I mean, when he comes in and offers to clean up the kitchen after dinner, what do I say to him?  Do I jump at the opportunity to let someone help me so I can sit down for a few precious minutes?  Aw heck no.  I say: “yeah…um…okay…maybe…well…you know…why don’t I just go ahead and do it?”  What is my problem you are asking? (I know you are asking that, because honestly I ask myself that multiple times a day).  I LIKE TO DO THINGS MY OWN WAY.  Because if I let someone help me, things might not get done quite the way I like them to get done.  And that’s a hard thing to let go of for me, and quite frankly I think there’s a lot of others out there who suffer from this control disorder.

I learned a lot about control the hard way over the past years.  I mean, I worked hard, I didn’t get into debt, I was kind to people, and really felt like I did everything as right as I knew how to do.  And things still fell apart.  I think it’s interesting when I hear younger people say things like: “he worked really hard, so he deserves to receive _______ (fill in the blank with some reward)”.  I don’t disagree with that statement at all.  Of course, hard work deserves reward.  However, I learned in a painful way that the reward doesn’t always come right away, and sometimes it seems like all the illusions of taking control of your life in the world can often lead to the opposite of what you intended or even what you thought you “deserved”.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am still more of an idealist than I am a realist, even given what I’ve gone through.  I am not going to sit here and say “sometimes you work hard and get nothing, life is crap”…NO, on the contrary.  What I’m saying, is that sometimes the reward doesn’t come immediately, in the form you thought it would, or in the time frame you thought you “needed it”.  I really did need that reward.  I mean, like if I told you the circumstances, you would fully agree with me that I truly NEEDED things to be what I worked for them so hard to be.  Instead, for a couple of years I lived in a state of fear, panic, and need.  It hurt.  It felt like it killed me, because it did kill part of me.  And it turns out I actually kind of NEEDED that to happen.  The reward is still out there, for sure, but I have learned though that no matter how hard I try, I don’t control the outcome of much of anything.  Except for cleaning that dang kitchen.  Haha.

I love this outfit.  And you know what?  I didn’t pick it.  My sweet, amazing, thoughtful husband bought this dress and vest for me, styled with the help of Stephanie at Ruby Rose.  And he did an awesome job if you ask me!  It’s proof that letting go sometimes yields amazing results!

The tunic dress/top and denim vest is from Ruby Rose, the necklace is from Bauble Bar, but since it’s sold out, you can get one just like it here. The bells are from Show Me Your Mumu.

My husband did an incredible job on picking this outfit and also on cleaning the kitchen last night.  I guess I don’t have to always do everything myself :)



On Feeling Stuck, and One Magical Outfit

I hate being stuck.  I hate when I’m driving and I’m stuck behind someone who is just SLIGHTLY slower than I want them to be.  I hate walking downtown being stuck behind people walking in a group, and I can’t get around them.  And I hate being  stuck in larger situations too.  I write songs on a semi regular basis (this is always a miracle to me that they come out singable!) and right now, I’m stuck in the middle of a song.  It’s kind of funny.  Sometimes they just flow out of me so freely I don’t even have time to think about what I’m writing.  And other times, I have to work for every single dang word.  I think that’s kind of just a metaphor for life so often, isn’t it?

I know for me, there have been times in my life where things just flowed.  Things seemed relatively easy, and I didn’t have to work all that hard to make things happen.  Then there have been times and situations where I have just felt plain stuck.  Times when I felt like things weren’t really flowing creatively, but more being ground out bit by bit.  I don’t exactly know why this is.  I am not sure why the beginning of this song that I’m working on flowed so easily and the end is dragging it’s feet.  But I do know that either way, the end result is worth it.

There are certain areas for me that I really feel stuck in right now.  Certain life goals and hopes and dreams that feel about as logical as winning the lottery.  That feeling is not even close to the reality of the scenario, but it’s just how I FEEL.  I am an overachiever by nature, so that means that when I can’t even “achieve”, I feel more like a failure than people who don’t really care about getting gold stars in life.  There are mountains that to me feel like I just can’t climb them because, well, I’m crap at outdoors stuff you guys and I have no endurance for such silliness.  You know I’m kidding right?  But my point is that I feel stuck at the bottom of them and I can’t see the pathway ahead of me.  It’s at times like these that I need someone like my husband, who CAN see the path, to help encourage me.

It’s been huge for me to surround myself with people who do not encourage those feelings of “stuckness” that I have in the areas that I struggle with them.  It’s been one of the best things to have friends (and a husband of course) who can be cheerleaders for me when I need them to be.  I mean, if you can’t see the path you need to take, find someone who can…or at least can encourage you to hang in there until you CAN see it.  Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective, or even just an ear to listen to you so that you can untangle all the bottled up frustration from feeling like you can’t move forward.  Sometimes you know the answer or the next step, but you need someone to let you unload on so that you can find it.  Like when you’re looking for that one t-shirt and you literally have to take every single t-shirt out of your drawer just to find that one that was buried in there.  (No, I do not do that every single day!)

I don’t know if the end of that song will come to me later on today, and just roll right off my pen and be finished, just like that.  Or if I’m going to have to sit down and try some things and see what works, until it finally does.  But one way or another, I will get unstuck and be singing that song soon.  Because sometimes you’re running with ease and other times you’re walking uphill in the sand.  No rhyme or reason, but you will get there if you keep going.

I love this dress and boots because it’s like the best easy outfit.  I tried on some necklaces and belts, but honestly, it was better without.  It is so great, that it can take one of those super stuck non creative type days, and make them a total breeze.

The dress is from Waiste Vintage and the boots are of course Spell Byron Bay.  It’s just a no brainer outfit, and for those other moms out there, you know that mom brain can really make you feel stuck sometimes! :)

I wanted to leave you with one chorus of a song that is particularly meaningful to me…because it encourages me when I’m feeling like a need a breakthrough.

You breathe life into dry bones, and You heal broken things.  You give hope to the weary, and You gave me a new song to sing.

Sing a new song today.  That’ll help you out with the old one you just can’t finish!


On Really Going For It…In Outfits and In Life

The other day I was scrolling through instagram, and one of the captions under a photo really caught my attention.  Now I’m not really all that much into inspirational quotes to be honest.  I’m not really moved by them most of the time unless they happen to maybe be different from the usual suspects or maybe are just really really heartfelt and original.  I guess I’m kind of suspicious of things that are trying to make me “feel something” so if it’s trying too hard, I will kind of have the opposite reaction.  But this quote…it really popped out at me and stuck with me in a big way.  It’s been stuck in my head ever since: “comfortable slavery or dangerous freedom, what will you choose?” Dang.  That is some powerful stuff right there.  That’s enough fodder for an entire book.

I think why this quote really caught me, was that it has basically been the theme of my life.  Now I want to clarify something.  I think the word “slavery” can seem a bit harsh to describe parts of our life in some ways, although I think there are situations that can actually be slavery to our emotions, finances, or to our souls…so if you use that term in not such a literal sense, it makes sense.  I was basically raised in a form of “comfortable slavery.”  It was a lot of choices that led to more of the same.  A lot of fear that prevented moving forward…because forward is scary and risky.  Staying the same is not.  When my husband and I got married, we stayed in the same house for a long time, not by my choice.  While I appreciated a lot of things about the place we lived, I rebelled against it because I wanted something bigger in a metaphorical (and literal to be honest) sense.  I was frustrated, I felt stuck, and I felt like I was kind of in a form of slavery in more than one way.  I longed to move forward and to FINALLY get the chance to make those choices that got us SOMEWHERE.  And we did.  We made choices, took risks, and did things as wisely as we could without not making the decisions altogether.  And let me tell you.  Going for dangerous freedom is just that.  Dangerous.

Because we haven’t gotten to the places that we are going yet, I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it.  But I can tell you one of the most dangerous things about choosing dangerous freedom: longing for the comfortable slavery.  I struggle with that every day.  I find myself thinking: “back then at least I had/did/felt/was _______ (fill in the blanks here).”  I find myself longing for the comfort of the familiar, and often willing to give up the dreams I have had my entire life just to go back to a place where I felt very stifled.  Because I think the thing is, dangerous freedom is a risk, it’s worth it, but it’s not always an immediate reward.  It’s a journey and it leads FORWARD, and forward is unfamiliar, and unfamiliar is uncomfortable and frightening.  Someday, I will go into more details, but for now I’m still wrestling with the cost of the dangerous freedom.  I know myself, and I will always go for it.  I’m not a “stay comfortable” kind of person…but when you get heartbroken, it’s much easier to try and settle than when you think you can leap off a cliff and fly.  My wings might be a little broken, but they’re healing…and the only way they’ll heal properly is if I keep using them correctly.  And that’s what I’m going to do.  Dangerous freedom is, and will always be, my choice.

I think the way I dress reflects my personality in more ways than one.  This outfit is a great example of my nature to “go for it” instead of staying within the boundaries of what’s comfortable.  Lest you think that I am talking myself up, let me assure you…I don’t always love this quality about myself.  I have countless times been quite frustrated with this part of my nature and wondered if I shouldn’t have compromised in certain situations…just a bit.  So I’m learning and growing and getting refined, but this is definitely a “go for it outfit” and I do love it, I gotta say!  The boots…THE BOOTS are from Spell Byron Bay and I think they’re just insane.  The lace dress is from an AMAZING vintage seller from the UK, Waiste Vintage, and the floral shirt is from Fred & Betty’s.  The Indian chief ring is from my favorite happy place Ruby Rose.  I put this all over a nice fluffy pink vintage slip skirt I unearthed from the madness that is my closet and I added a simple scarf tied in a bow to give a little bit of structure to the outfit!

Whatever your personality or your style, I hope you choose dangerous freedom and are wildly successful.  Because I think that no matter what, freedom is ALWAYS worth the price tag!

Happy Monday



On Nightgowns as Dresses and Feeling Like a High Schooler

I was home schooled when home schooling wasn’t the cool thing to do.  There was no super adorable school room set up filled with maps and pinterest-ed crafts.  It was just me, by myself, at a table, doing school work.  No one home schooled at that time, unless they had hair that had never been cut and wore long denim dresses and outfits that looked like they came from Little House on the Prairie…and not in a good way.  It was the land of the socially awkward, the fashion-challenged, and the hyper religious, to say the least.  But I survived, and made it to high school somehow…but I sure didn’t make it out with any fashion sense.  That’s for sure.

My freshman year at my tiny high school was one of my favorite years ever.  It was such a strange and amazing time for me.  I had literally never been out of my house by myself for longer than an hour or two…and then suddenly I was at school all day long, five days a week.  And I LOVED IT.  I was probably the most excited kid on the planet to go to school every day.  Weekends were lame.  And summer??  Who the heck needed summer when we could go to SCHOOL!  I think I had a crush on every single boy for the first few months, because, well, they were THERE.  I was a freshman version of Leslie Knope.  All my school projects were ridiculously overdone.  They were all pages longer than they needed to be, were done in usually three dimensions, and of course ALWAYS included glitter.  My school lunches were always made with gusto by a mother of an only child who was used to having her kid at home all day.  People flocked to see what was in this magical box that was roughly the size of my head and weighed about as much as a small bowling ball.  But all this to be said, my clothes…well, they were an issue.

Since it was the first year I actually was GOING to school, I got to do some real back to school shopping.  Real or not, I still was definitely not going to win any “best dressed” competitions.  Like anywhere, ever.  My jeans were all ill fitting high waters (I was pretty tall, and cheapo jeans were not as decent as they are now), and basically the high school equivalent of “mom jeans”.  I had a couple of body suits.  (I’m trying not to gag while I type that sentence).  I got them because they were at Ross, so that must mean they’re cool right?!  For someone who typically only got to shop at not fun thrift stores, Ross was like Nordstrom.  I had a bad hair cut and had no idea how to use a blow drier, curling iron, flat iron, or even REGULAR iron for that matter.  But who has time to iron anyway?  My glasses were giant and turquoise.  I had blue converse shoes I wore all the time.  Lest you’re starting to think: “well hey, at least your shoes were cool right?” let me stop you there.  They had TWEETY BIRD ON THEM.  Do you have an accurate picture of this thirteen year old?  Man I do, and I hid them all so that no one could ever find them.

This is what I think is funny.  No matter how much my fashion sense has changed and even I have changed, there are times when I still feel exactly like that ninth grader with the tweety bird shoes on…the one who overheard the boy she liked say that he would “NEVER EVER like HER.”  (He totally did the next year btw.  Not that it’s relevant, but I’d just like to point that out.)

A week ago I went to get some boots for my husband for Christmas.  I went to the place downtown that sells the brand he wanted.  It’s this kind of rockabilly barbershop place that sells cool cool clothes and hipster hair products for men.  And I am telling you, the minute I walked in, I instantly found myself uncomfortably shifting in my (non tweety bird) shoes and totally felt exactly like that super dorky girl I used to be.  I mean, I may have well had my giant turquoise glasses on for how not awesome I felt.  Then I caught a glimpse of my outfit, and was like “hey…you’re kind of cool sometimes!  Stop being lame about this and get some confidence!”  I’d like to tell you that my inner ninth grader listened, but I’m pretty sure she just pushed her glasses up on her nose and was like, “uh, yeah, have you seen my super fun tweety bird shoes?”

I think it is hilarious how hard it is to really leave high school sometimes.  It’s like we form this inner opinion of ourselves at that point in time…because it was such a pivotal time in our lives.  There are those girls you meet who you can tell were like MAD cool in high school…because they still have that aura about them.  Then there’s the girls who were super overweight in high school but are skinny and in great shape now…and yet they still think of themselves on some level as “fat” because that’s what everyone labelled them unfairly as.  For me, I think it’s just that shy, unconfident girl who really didn’t know what the heck she was doing that really stuck with me.  I often struggle with confidence.  Sometimes I’ll be talking to another girl and I’ll get this momentary thought of: “why is she talking to ME…she’s COOL!”  And then I realize that she can’t actually see my tweety bird shoes.  I can sure still see them though!!

I got this dress, which probably used to be someone’s nightgown, at Fred and Betty’s a few weeks ago.  It was one of those dresses that I knew was kind of shapeless and an iffy color, but I just loved how flowy it was.  I instantly saw it with this fringe vest from Ruby Rose and this squash blossom from Classic Rock Couture.  I tied a knot in it to give it a tiny bit of shape…and bam.  Instant kind of shapeless Free People inspired vibes.  It may just be an old shapeless nightgown, but I see it as much more than that.  And that’s what’s so awesome about this whole thing.  We may see ourselves as our former not as cool selves…but other people see us as so much more.  And we can totally change the way we see ourselves too.  It might be harder than just adding a vest and tying a knot in it, but hey, it can still be done. :)


Leopard IS a Neutral

Working at a resale shop, I often have the privilege of getting to style women of all ages and all styles.  I get to talk to them about what they like, what they won’t wear, and how they like to style themselves.  Everyone is so different in their style personality and their lists of “dos and don’ts” for getting dressed!  One of the things I’ve noticed is that there are certain topics or items that when they come up, the response is either a adamant: YES I LOVE IT or the exact opposite…an: I WOULD RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR ____.  Okay okay, maybe the dislike isn’t quite THAT strong, but you get the general idea!!  Among those things are: the color yellow, palazzo pants, patterned leggings or pants, strapless things, maxi dresses, and yes, leopard.  I completely understand this.  Sometimes leopard can conjure up an image of a flashy, skin tight, blingy, way over the top outfit that turns women off to the pattern all together.  And if you’re the kind of person who likes to wear a simpler, more understated look and this is your association with leopard, then I totally get it!

I’m here to tell you today that leopard print can be a neutral.  For all you who want to start pattern mixing…leopard is one of those patterns that mixes quite well with florals and plaids, making it a very basic pattern to mix in to your wardrobe.  Leopard print booties are a great way to add a pop of pattern to a simple jeans and tee.  A leopard print scarf can make a black dress so chic.  It’s a great accent pattern!

I have leopard EVERYTHING.  I could do it from head to toe (alright I couldn’t do it well…I just COULD clothe myself in it from head to toe if I wanted to, you know what I mean!).  I love it.  You know what I love it with?  The color red and cowboy boots.  So that’s what I’m going to show you today…how to wear leopard in a more fun, boho cowgirl kind of way!  Because if that doesn’t sound like fun then I don’t know what does!!

Okay so with this geometric sweater, this leopard skirt totally looks nothing like the traditional ways you often see leopard being worn.  If you  mix leopard with more masculine pieces and strong primary colors, it won’t have that fluffy, little girl look it can have like when it’s mixed with pink or purple.  I also love how cowboy boots make it more casual.

Don’t you love how red mixes with leopard?  When you add a vintage men’s graphic tee, again it makes leopard more of a neutral and fun piece.

I love how herringbone mixes with leopard.  Again, kind of a menswear inspired outfit.  The brown suede and black fringe on the scarf really ties together the brown and black of the skirt.

Leopard doesn’t have to be worn in a skin tight bodycon dress.  Although that’s super sexy…it doesn’t have to be like that!  It can be fun, casual, and bohemian when done right!!

Give it a shot!  You never know till you try it!!

Happy middle of the week!


Palazzo Pants. Please Don’t Be Afraid.

Started a new workout program today…Way of Grey or @wayofgrey on Instagram.  So if I begin typing a word and it ends in “sdfhhhhhhhhkkllllll…” it’s because I’ve temporarily lost control over my arms due to doing 5,934 burpees earlier this afternoon.  Send immediate help, oh and someone please grab me an iced coffee while you’re at it?  Thanks.

Ahhh I do enjoy a good self inflicted butt kicking!   But that’s just my afternoon.  My morning started with me throwing a toddler-sized tantrum (and the toddler-sized ones may SOUND small to you, but when it comes to tantrums, smaller is actually larger) because it’s too hot I don’t know what to wear and I feel fat.  It ended with all of my shirts being dumped into a pile on the floor.  And there you have it.  Me in the heat.  When it gets this hot I basically want to stick my head in the fridge, cry a little, and have an endless stream of iced beverages handed to me while I whine.  I’m so not high maintenance it’s not even funny.

Now that we’ve covered the length of my day and aired out all of my issues with the heat, it’s time to talk about palazzo pants.  Those amazing and sometimes tricky little buggers that girls either love or are completely terrified of.  There’s nothing I love more than an amazing pair of pants.  Except maybe a jumpsuit.  Oh and vintage dresses.  Graphic tees.  Oh yeah…boots too…okay okay I get it.  I love A LOT of things!  But pants definitely rank pretty high!!  Here’s some ideas on how to wear these suckers!


Let’s start with the most dramatic way to wear them.  With a flowy top.  This is definitely a look for the more waif-ish figure, where super flowy things don’t add too much bulk.  Kind of like a Free People/Mary Kate & Ashley (but with more color!)/boho look.  Both the top and the pants are Free People by the way, but were bought second hand at Curio and Ruby Rose (respectively).  This is a look for the bold and fearless who absolutely love to make a statement.


And now for the more conservative.  A denim or chambray button down really balances out these pants.  I added a vintage bolo to up the western look of the outfit, but you could add pearls or just something small and more dainty to go in a different direction.  This is a much easier, less statement way to wear palazzo pants but still awesome!

I thought I’d bust out a nice silly face for your Wednesday :)  And here’s the rocker-chic way.  Take a nice graphic tee (it could be a more sweet and subtle print or even just a plain white or black tee!) and knot it at the waist.  Think slimmer and tighter (doesn’t have to be skin tight, just more fitted!) on the top and flowy on the bottom. Balance. You definitely want to try and give yourself a waist in big flowy pants like these…unless you’re going for the more boho statement look.  I used the bolo like a choker for fun!

I hope you’re having a fabulous week!  And I hope you’ll give palazzo pants a try!  Even a nice solid black pair if you’re not feeling adventurous.  They are so comfy and so beautiful on…and they are fun to walk in because they swish! :)

Happy Wednesday!