My Summer “Wish List”

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

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

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

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

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



On Necklace Layering

Necklace layering.  It’s something that I often do, but rarely think about.  I’ve had a number of people ask me how to do it, and then I have to stop and think about it.  The answer is simple really, you just put on necklaces, and then after a while, you stop putting them on!  Okay, for reals that’s what I do.  However, I do understand that there is an instinct that I have developed over time, and that takes practice.  And you have to start somewhere, and with some level of inspiration.  So I’m going to try and break it down into some basic ideas, with some tips and tricks for you…that way if you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start or you don’t feel like you’ve got your instincts on this yet, you’ll have a place to begin!  Keep in mind, there really are no RULES to this.  There’s no rules other than if you like it or not.  If you like silver, use silver.  If you like gold, use gold.  If you like both, mix them!  The sky is the limit, and anything goes!

To get started, start collecting jewelry!!  This doesn’t have to be an expensive process.  I really don’t own many expensive pieces yet, and that’s ok.  Etsy is a fabulous source for handmade jewelry, and a lot of it is quite inexpensive.  Forever 21, Target, and even places like Kohl’s have very much stepped up their jewelry game and they have many great pieces to mix and match.  And don’t forget about thrift stores, flea markets, and second hand stores!  That’s where you’ll really score and get stuff that no one has ever seen before!!  I have been collecting jewelry for a while now, so it’s quite easy to layer…and once you start your collection and it grows a bit, you’ll see that it gets easier.  The more options you have…well, the more options you’ll have :)

This look is FUN and basically my GO TO right now.  It’s got leather and gold (I’m a gold person, so keep that in mind…silver will work or rose gold too if that’s your metal of choice!) and lots going on.  I like lots going on!
THE PIECES: This is a leather wrap choker with a tassel pendant attached to it (details on that to follow), a layered multi chain necklace, and two vintage gold choker length necklaces.
TIP: The BEST way to make this look easy peasy, is to find one necklace that has a ton of chains on it.  These are pretty easy to find cheap typically at places like F21 or the thrift stores. You can also make one if you’re so inclined by going to the craft stores and getting a bunch of chain and attaching it into one multi length necklace.  Varying the chain colors and link size will make it look even cooler.
TRICK:  Okay you guys.  This leather choker.  It’s a PIECE OF LEATHER I bought at a craft store (leather laces, deerskin is the best if you can find it) and I bought a chain pendant at Michael’s to hang on to it.  It cost me under $10 and I now have a bunch of colors.  It’s so easy, it’s almost wrong.

This look is basically a more delicate layering option.  If you keep the metal monochromatic and the pendants even smaller than these, it will be more delicate and more of a conservative layering look.
THE PIECES: I have a handmade necklace from The Joyful Jewelry Box (love her!), a turquoise cross from Forever 21, and a thrifted agate slice.
TIP: This is an easy look.  The thing you want to do is to keep all the necklaces at very similar lengths…just slightly staggered is best.  Like within half an inch to an inch of each other is best.
TRICK: You can easily make this look by buying chain and small pendants at the craft store and making each necklace just slightly longer than the last.


Chokers are the total new IT necklace.  They are also a GREAT layering piece because they don’t interfere with your other jewelry…there’s no tangling or competing for the same length typically.  This look can be monochromatic like I did it, or can be totally changed up by using different colors.
THE PIECES: This is a deerskin braided concho leather choker by Desert Mermaid, a multi strand turquoise thrifted necklace, and a tassel necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: The principle behind this look is three distinct lengths.  ONE: a choker, TWO: a collar bone piece, and THREE: a midriff hitting pendant.  Pretty much ANYTHING can be used in this look, even a short necklace instead of a choker if you’re not a choker person.
TRICK:  A piece of ribbon tied around your neck is a perfect layering choker.  It’s cheap and easy and you can literally own every color of the rainbow for super cheap.


Surprise!  You thought this was about NECKLACE layering didn’t you!?  Gotcha!  I mixed in a brooch because remember?  There are NO RULES!
THE PIECES:  This is a tiny collarbone star necklace (the one I wore at my wedding in fact!), a vintage brooch, and a long gold necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP:  This is a great way to layer that won’t get tangled up together!  You can also put a brooch off to the side, or even wear a few in a row across the neckline of your shirt to add more interest.
TRICK: If you love brooches but don’t have any, they can easily be thrifted or made by taking clip on earrings or anything really and gluing it onto a pin.

The wild west ain’t got nothing on this look!  Bolos can be a bit harder to layer because of their long tails.  That’s why layering them under a scarf works beautifully.
THE PIECES:  A thrifted scarf and a bolo made by my lovely Hillbillygypsy Boots.
TIP:  Any scarf will do for this look!  You could use a vintage one or any type really…it will still be a great layering piece over a bolo or a long necklace.
TRICK:  You could find a fabric that you like and cut a square in a scarf size and that’s an easy and cheap way to get any look you want with the pattern you want.


Again with the scarf!  Flip it around, add a brooch, and you’ve got a whole new groove.  Basically this look is about three different lengths.  It’s an easy one!
THE PIECES: Thrifted scarf, a vintage brooch, a thrifted coin necklace, and a long necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: With a floral scarf and a pretty sparkly brooch, you get a whole different look to this layered vibe.
TRICK: If you don’t have a brooch, you could easily just tie your scarf in a knot, or tie a longer one in a bow, and then add a few necklaces below it and it’s still super cute!

Now…just do it!  Mix some metals, try some tricks…get crazy and bold with this!  Jewelry is an easy and more conservative way (for those of you who have to dress a bit more conservatively for work OR you just aren’t into bold clothing) to add flair and pizazz to an outfit.  I mean, a white tee and jeans could look so put together with some layered jewelry!

If you wanted to buy pieces like the ones I used, I’ll add some links here for you to get started on your hunt!


Hope your week is just jammin’


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 Basics…You Just Don’t Have To Be!

Welcome to the second post of the series: Basics…Anything But!  I’m finding that this is challenging me even more than usual to think outside the typical fashion “norms”…and that’s just fun!  I mean, who really needs to be bored with their clothes?!  Today I present to you a simple grey tank top.  Pretty standard.  Nothing super exciting about it.  However, it’s a piece that can transform into many different things…if you just give it a try!  Now obviously, you’re going to make these looks your own and you may use a different top with a different fit to make these looks different.  But let me tell you about the top that I used just so you have an idea of what to look for if this is something you need to add to your wardrobe!

THE TANK TOP:  This is a Rag and Bone tank top.  I know what you’re thinking…did you actually spend THAT MUCH MONEY on a TANK TOP?  Oh heck no!  I went to Off Fifth (which is my total go-to for basics now…it’s similar to a Nordstrom Rack, but the Off Fifth is closer to where I live than one of those!)
FIT: For these specific looks, choose a top that is shorter (not like one of those long tanks that covers your booty)…one that hits just below where your normal jeans waistband starts.  Also, you want to choose one that is a bit loose, so that it will layer nicely and do what you want to do with it instead of showing all the lumps and bumps of the fabric folds underneath!
FABRIC: I chose to buy a nicer top because I wanted a good layering piece to add to all my weird stuff!  Look for a thicker fabric with a good amount of stretch in it.  A good quality stretchy fabric will hang just right and won’t cling in all the wrong places when you’re playing around with layering.

Let’s get started!  Obviously, the color of the tank top isn’t important…I just picked grey because it’s a good neutral.  You could use black, white, tan, or even a bolder color if you want to get crazy!

This is kind of one of those “wait…what are you wearing?” looks, but in a totally chillaxed way.  It’s not SO weird that people will stare…it’s interesting without being bizarre.

Now CLEARLY, you could wear the tank top underneath the kimono/robe like a NORMAL person, but who needs normal right? :)  The nice thing about this look is that you can use any kimono (as long as it has the right sleeves and isn’t a dolman shape), and the tank top will cover everything that needs to be covered if it’s a sheer or lace style!  I added the bolo and the skinny jeans/boots combo to keep it basic, but still interesting!
THRIFTY TIP: Kimonos can be pricey!  The BEST places to find them is in the thrift stores in the lingerie section OR if you don’t seem to be finding what you’re looking for, try HERE…you will find a definite variety of prices, but plenty of good beautiful options for in the $20 range.  Three Bird Nest has one that is gorgeous and under $50…multiple color options so take a look!
SWAP IT OUT: Change the skinny jeans or leggings for bell bottoms!  Make it even more interesting!  Also, the lace/crochet kimono swapped out for a solid will change the look and be a beautiful layering piece.
CRAFTY DIY: If you don’t have a bolo, you can easily go to the craft store and buy some leather laces and make a wrap style necklace.  A large bead can tie it together kind of like a bolo.  Here’s an idea of a wrap necklace so you get the picture.  They’re also not that expensive on that site so if you’re not in a crafty mood, you’ll be covered :)

This look is a little bit preppy, a little bit western, and a little bit bad girl…all wrapped up into one!  The combination of the pearls, plaid, destroyed denim, and clogs, makes for quite an interesting ensemble!

So in this look, the tank top basically becomes a vest, much like in the kimono look.  It just keeps it interesting, and hey, why not??
THRIFTY TIP: Plaid tops are plentiful!  The BEST places to find them are in the men’s section of wherever you are!  Target, Old Navy, Cotton On…these are all very inexpensive places to find things similar to what you’d see at J Crew, but at a better price point.  If you’re small enough, the boy’s section will also suffice!  Pearls are a GREAT thrifting/yard saling item.  All you really need to do is find a few strands and layer them up to get a more rock and roll look…as opposed to a single strand which is much more preppy and girly.
SWAP IT OUT: Switch out the plaid for a striped, floral, or paisley button down.  OR find something kind of kitschy and cute, like a button down with pineapples or cats on it.  Also, clogs are not a necessity for this look, I just liked how they added a little bit of interest.  Wedges, booties, or even heels would be very cute.
CRAFTY DIY: Don’t have destroyed jeans?  There are TONS of tutorials on YouTube on how to distress your own denim.  Mostly what’s required are scissors, a washing machine, and a dryer.  You’ll be good to go!

OBVIOUSLY this tank top works well as an “under” piece!  I LOVE wearing flannels and button downs like light jackets, so this is a great way to “cowgirl” it up!

All I did was reverse the tank top and plaid, add a choker and cowboy boots!  TOTALLY different look!
THRIFTY TIP: Cowboy boots are a good item to thrift, OR keep an eye on Poshmark for really great deals!  Sign up for an account and it will save your size so all you’ll see when you look is the size you want!  You can also make lower offers on Poshmark, so don’t hesitate to try it out!
SWAP IT OUT: Again, switch the plaid out for something more preppy like stripes or floral and swap the boots for wedges or heels!  Instantly a different look!
CRAFTY DIY: Make your own choker!  Mine is made by a FABULOUS woman and I love it, so if you want to buy one, definitely support this lady (it comes in white too!).  If you want to make your own, all you need is a piece of ribbon, tie it on…get some leather laces, braid them into a single braid, tie it on.  EASY!

I’m a major fan of the vintage slip.  I think it’s one of the most versatile pieces you can own, so all you really need for this look is one of those and a belt for the most part!

All I did was put the vintage slip underneath the tank top and belt it.  I made sure the lace was sticking out the top because I like how that looks and I added a denim vest because I’m a sucker for a good vest!!
THRIFTY TIP: GO THRIFT A VINTAGE SLIP!  Or heck, Poshmark is loaded with them, and a lot of them right around $10!  Denim vests/jackets/shirts are also plentiful on the vintage/second hand circuit…I have never needed to buy one of them new!  Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find them!  Belts are also a good thing to keep your eye out for at your local thrift stores.  The great ones are a little more rare, but you will most likely get lucky if you keep looking!
SWAP IT OUT: If you don’t have a vintage slip (but you ARE going to go get one right?? :)) you can totally put any dress under this tank to change the look up.  You can EVEN layer one with sleeves under it and get more of the vest look out of your tank!  Try a floral summer dress or even a fancier lace gown could become more of an everyday piece if you layer it like this!
CRAFTY DIY: Make yourself a cool choker…this one is handmade by PrickliePear. If you don’t have a decent belt, get a great strip of fabric or thick ribbon at a craft store and tie a cute little bow instead of using a leather belt.  That’ll add a sweet and creative little aspect to your outfit!

Now go TRY IT OUT!  I think there are probably a million and one more ways to layer a basic tank top…so if you got more ideas, please share them!!


Winter Whites and When People Just Don’t Get You

Have you ever had someone in your life who just didn’t like you?  Like no matter how nice you are to them, no matter how hard you try, it just gets worse?  Yep.  I’ve been there.  Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I saw this girl who I knew a long time ago.  We were friendly and had a friend in common so we spent a limited amount of time around each other, but I could just always feel that little barbed wire around her when we were together.  She was like as sweet as pie and sweeter to me…but you know when there’s poison in that pie because you can taste it!  I could tell she was a highly competitive person and so I just kind of kept as much space as possible between us, but she finally attacked my relationship with my now husband and after that I just gently walked away and tried my hardest to literally never be around her.

This isn’t the only time this has happened.  There’s another girl who I used to know who has decided she hates me.  I worked my butt off on this one, you guys. I invited her on day trips with other friends, I hugged her and apologized for anything I had done to hurt her…and after all that one of our mutual friends told me that she had had it with me.  Oh my gosh do you know how ANNOYING THAT WAS???  And yet, at the same time it was kind of freeing.  I was like…wait a minute…the more I try, the more she hates me.  So I don’t have to try anymore with her!  I can take a deep breath, and just wave and smile when I see her and not even worry about it!

When I was interning at the local news station in college (it was a requirement to do an internship for my major), I thought it was going to be a blast.  I mean, I knew it would be work, but I like that kind of work so I was pretty excited about logging hours at a television station I grew up watching.  Yeah it wasn’t fun.  Like, AT ALL.  You want to know why?  The editors.  So I’d come in, and sit in the large room with all the desks and computers and I’d ask the editors what they needed done and I’d do it.  Free labor.  They should have been ecstatic.  Let me paint a more ACCURATE picture of what went on.  I’d come in, all happy and friendly (because I am a decently happy and peppy person) and all the editors would be sitting in a group around their computers.  Frowny grumpy faces on.  Bitching and moaning about how lame the news was around here. “Why doesn’t anyone get murdered around here?” Okay, not an exact quote, BUT I did catch a reporter staring at a newsfeed of a massive fire down in Los Angeles saying wistfully: “that would NEVER happen here…”  And I just looked at him and said: “UM, THANK GOD!”  And he was like “oh…yeah yeah of course.”  Are you catching my drift?  Anyway, back to the newsroom.  I’d come in and say hi and they’d be like: “meh” (or however hipster cool kids say hi) and then they’d be like “whatever here’s some stuff to do.”  There were a few other interns who bitched and moaned as easily as breathing, and they fit in like a glove.  I, however was trying to do my job, keep a low profile, and not bother anyone, seeing as I was never going to fit in to that crowd.  And then, I got the truth about how they felt about me.  One day the station manager was obviously trying to get a read on the interns and how we were all doing since he wasn’t ever around us, but he was for sure in charge of our grades.  So he called one of the editors on the phone.  This girl, of all the editors, really was the worst.  She was the angriest, unhappiest, and the one who I knew hated me the most.  She sat right behind me, and I basically just tried to breathe as quietly as possible all day long so as to not annoy her further…because my very existence was pretty much the worst to her. So she picked up the phone and I could hear her talking about the interns.  Then she got to me.  She mentioned me by name, and then went on and on about how annoying and incompetent I was because I would ask her for work everyday.  Um, hello, I’m was INTERN and that is how I GOT work!  And then she proceeded to rag on me while I was INCHES FROM HER HEAD.  At this point, okay I was a bit worried about my grade for sure, but I actually was so baffled by this whole thing that I couldn’t even be upset.  I kind of thought it was hilarious that she was bagging on me about 14 inches away from my ears.  Did she think I was deaf?  Did she think I wouldn’t hear her?  It was so incredibly ridiculous that I couldn’t really even be mad about it.  I just let it go being as I wasn’t going to ever see her again after stopping my internship…and she sure as heck didn’t like it when I was nice to her, so I really had no course of action to take.

I got a B in the internship.  Sure, I deserved an A.  The reporters loved me, all my stories made it on the news, and I rocked that joint (okay except for the police scanner…I honestly could never understand a THING they were saying over that muddy radio signal)…but I learned a lesson.  Sometimes you can do everything right and really deserve an A+ in life.  But that’s not what they really wanted, so you get a B instead.  Sometimes you gotta figure out who you’re really working for and want to please.  I’ve been in plenty of situations where the way to get ahead is to have a rotten attitude, treat people below you like garbage, and suck up to the boss.  That’ll get you an A+ with the management.  But who the HECK cares because I am not going to compromise who I am and how I treat people just to get an A or a promotion or recognition.  I’m going to do my very own A+ work, treat people with love, and then if people don’t love me back for it, at least I know I did what I could.  And hey, for the most part people love it when you’re kind to them, so most of the time being friendly and nice happens to be the way to get ahead!

I love white.  Even in the winter.  Nothing sounds purer than “winter whites” does it?  My full name means purity, and it’s one of those qualities that my parents passed down to me that I’ve always thought was important to try and preserve in myself.  I don’t mean “perfection” I mean the innocence and purity of truly caring for people and for what’s important in life.  So for today, pure winter whites.

I got this massively amazing vintage lace gown at Ruby Rose in SLO and I just love it.  It feels like a fairy princess gown.  I added the white fur vest from H&M last season (but these are everywhere right now…particularly Target!) to keep with the white theme and to give it a winter feel.  I feel like in the spring I will style this dress completely differently and it will be just as magical.  I took a headband that I hardly ever wear and tied it as a choker because I actually like it way better like that!  Hot tip!  Tie on headbands can ALSO double as chokers!!  Y tall grey Frye boots keep the look nice and neutral and wintery.

Hope all of you are having an amazing Monday and feeling loved and valued!


What is Cool, Anyway?

Last night I had the privilege of being invited to hang out with a bunch of local creative girls at a coffee shop…just to get to know each other better.  It was such a fun time and so amazing to hear and see these girls’ passions and talents come alive!  One of the best things about the group was that every single girl was different, and yet we all had things in common.  No one looked like each other. There was long hair and short hair, tattoos and no tattoos, frills and workout clothes, makeup and no makeup, girls who were single and girls who had grandkids.  There was no “cool” or unspoken style code…anyone who walked in and saw us would never have assumed we were all together just based on looks.  It was awesome and refreshing.

I remember years ago hearing a girl I knew say that she didn’t want to invite someone somewhere because they weren’t “cool”.  (What is cool anyway?) Now I know, she was just being honest, and I am so guilty of those exact same sentiments at times, so there’s no judgement from me on her saying that.  I mean, come on.  We all classify other girls at time no matter how hard we try.  It’s just the truth.  But at the time, I remember having two thoughts about this statement.  First of all, the only reason this particular person wasn’t “cool” per say, is that she didn’t dress or do her hair like our group of friends did.  To be honest, she actually was really cool, but she wasn’t really into the latest styles or hairstyles.  Second of all, what on EARTH was I doing in the “cool” group??  My biggest fear at that moment is that I would do something to lose my “cool” status.

That was at a time in my life where I lived in great fear of not being good enough for the people around me.  I was afraid to change my hair color, I stopped wearing crazy fun outfits so I could fit in, and I often hid the tv shows and books that I liked to watch and read.  I was trying ALL THE TIME.  Until I finally became so exhausted and unhappy with who I was that I just stopped.  And I survived despite all my fears.  Once I stopped trying so hard, I began to see how much effort I was putting into my relationships, and yet how terrible I really felt about myself.  I saw just how “not me” I was behaving.  I started remembering that I liked things like Star Wars and reading Harry Potter.  I realized I didn’t really look all that great with blonde hair.  And all of that was ABSOLUTELY OKAY.  Honestly, I don’t blame anyone else for all of it.  I just couldn’t be “me” in those circumstances, so I had to walk away.  That’s all.

I love just being able to dress how I feel.  And last night I loved being around other women who were all being themselves with no worry about “fitting in” to a norm or a style.  This dress is so very “me”.  It’s vintage but it looks kind of like a Free People dress.  I put vintage boots and a vintage belt with it and a choker from Pricklie Pear.  I love the combination of off shoulder tops and dresses with chokers!  It feels fresh, a little western, and like a good contrast.

I hope your Tuesday (which kind of feels like a Monday!) is magical and full of mojo!