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!



Fashion Feelings: Quitting and Unquitting

At this point, you probably know that I recently started a clothing line from scratch.  (I’m starting a new blog series on this process in fact!)  And whenever I tell people this, they always exclaim about how fun that it must be to do so.  And it is!!  There are so many rewarding moments.  The dreaming up clothing items and then getting to wear them and seeing them on other people…yes, that part is so crazy fun.  The problem is, that the parts in between those fun parts are tedious.  They get discouraging.  And basically, I “quit” once a day, on the regular.

I’m not a quitter.  I don’t quit things unless I really really feel like I need to.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t “quit” emotionally and mentally sometimes on a task.  You know…the “gah! I give up!” moments where you just kind of have to take a break and give yourself a chance (and maybe a pep talk or two) to breathe, rest, and realize that the process isn’t alway fun, but the reward is worth it.  Yes, everyday around 3 p.m. (right about now actually, which is why I’m having an iced coffee and writing this post) I get discouraged and “quit”.  I get stressed about the business-y details.  I worry about everything from A to Z and that makes me wonder whether I should even be doing this at all!  And then, I think of all of you.

You know what’s amazing about being “known” and having a lot of people around you who both support you and are aware of what you’re doing?  It makes it A LOT harder to quit for reals.  If you are isolated, quitting your healthy eating plan, your new plan to save more money, or your resolutions to _______ (fill in that blank with whatever you want) is easy as pie.  Like, go ahead and eat that whole dang pie, no one’s watching.  However, tell everyone you are going to workout regularly, start a business, or take a few classes online and suddenly…it ain’t so easy to do.  That’s a darn good thing too.  I’m not kidding you.  Sometimes when I get discouraged, one of your lovely faces from my Instagram feed pops into my head and I remember something you said about one of the pieces I created.  Or about my creativity.  Or just the fact that you said you were behind me in this.  Yeah…that’s when I “un-quit” and get off my butt.  Support is everything.

This slip is one of my hand dyed and patched Velvet California pieces and it’s only fitting that I pair it with this uber soft sweater from Amber Moon, on online clothing shop.  I had the privilege of meeting Stacy, the owner of the shop, and gosh she is a sweetheart.  I love LOVE meeting other women who are determined to make their mark by starting things and by encouraging other women who are doing the same.  She has great taste and decided that she wants to carry a few select pieces in her online shop.  So encouraging, you guys.

Nothing like having people stand beside you and help you out through the rough patches, even if they don’t even know they’re doing it!

It may be 3 pm, but it ain’t quitting time.

Fashion Feelings: On Taking Breaks

So…it’s been much MUCH longer than I intended since I posted last.  I think I tend to fall firmly into that good old “overly ambitious” crowd who often loads way too much onto their plate (both literally and figuratively, I stopped eating at self serve restaurants for this reason).  Yes.  Here I am, like more than a month since I last posted.  And what on EARTH have I been doing with all my time?  Hahahaha WHAT TIME????

My kids started preschool, like overnight.  We had planned on waiting till fall and starting one in Kindergarten and one in preschool, but in order to get into the amazing school we wanted, we had to jump on the last two available spots mid year.  And thank goodness we did, because turns out my kids are SO READY and p.s., so am I!  However, this meant potty training.  Oh my GOSH you guys.  If there was ever something that I’d rate as THE LEAST FUN THING EVER, it would be potty training.  It was straight up everyone screaming at each other, crying, no one dealing with anything well (except my husband who was the rock star who actually got them to use the toilet) for about a week…and really more like two weeks if I’m honest.

On top of all that I’ve had my first ever pop ups for Velvet California which is SO EXCITING and also SO STRESSFUL.  I’ve been working my butt off on new stuff and trying to get it all done on a deadline and now my three year old is dumping banana peels on me, because, well, this is my life.  Ok. Now the banana peels have been properly disposed of, I’m back.  The bathroom still smells like peanut butter barf since my son ate a lot of peanut butter and then drank a lot of bath water and promptly vomited all over the bathroom.  I cleaned it up thoroughly, and yet…the aroma lingers in the air.  My daughter had a coughing fit in the middle of the night and then barfed on me, after which she told me that I smelled “disgusting and yucky.”  So yes, the answer to “what have I been doing with all that time?” is: cleaning up barf, forcing children to use the toilet, and drinking a lot of coffee to motivate me to not just lie around and watch tv the second they go to sleep.  For those of you who do NOT have kids, I apologize because now you probably never will.

And now, for something completely different!  I only choose to promote brands or stores if they are someone/something I really love.  And I really love this girl.  A little while ago, Katy (yes, she’s my name twin!) from @thevintagearah sent me a pair of earrings I said I loved.  She didn’t ask me to write about her or anything, she was just sweet enough to gift these beauties to me, so I wanted to promote her…because she’s just cool.  She’s a fellow mom, she has two boys aged 7 and 10, and she was born and raised in Texas, y’all.  Her love of fashion began when her mom would take her to the fabric store and let her pick out patterns for her own clothes.  My mom made me clothes and I also kind of hated to go to the fabric store as a child…so I can relate with this story!  However, she and I both loved the same part of this experience…looking through the pattern books!  It’s really the most fun spot in the fabric store to me!  After spending her teen years thrifting her fashion, she went from opening an Etsy store to doing flea markets to having her own storefront location.  Her goal is to offer “modern fashion style contained in vintage items.” She hopes that people will be inspired by what they find in her store to create a unique, modern and individual style.  I think she’s winning :)

Ahhhh…it’s good to be back.  And to be honest, I can’t think of a better way to kick off blogging for the new year than by talking a little bit about someone ELSE other than myself!

When I saw these earrings, I instantly knew what I was going to pair them with.  They have a definite “1970s Palm Springs Loungewear” kind of vibe to them, so I thought it would be fun to pair them with a lime sherbet shade.  I also loved the idea of adding vintage cowboy boots to relax the look a little.  This dress is actually more of a robe/dressing gown, so I loved the idea of having this sort of retro glam look!

Thanks Katy, for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to start blogging again!


Fashion Feelings: Fit In Or Stand Out

I’ve always been a blend of personality types…or so I feel.  I mean, let’s be honest.  No one really fits into one tiny box that you can check on a personality test, right?  But I think a lot of you can relate with what I’m saying…you kind of feel like you’re a little bit of a lot of qualities mixed together.  Like a “mutt” of personalities, per say. I can be analytical about certain things, but I’m not a crazy logical person.  I’m typically driven by emotions, but not in all situations will that be my deciding factor or what drives me to a decision.  I love to stand out.  But there’s parts of me who also want to fit in.  I think this is something a lot of women can relate with.  And of course, this all relates to style.  Because most things in my life can be paralleled with fashion and how I dress!

I grew up in an area where everyone kind of sort of fits into a certain box.  It’s a pretty homogenous area compared to most other cities.  I mean, it’s not like as extreme as some suburbs can be I’m sure, but definitely, my family did not fit into the boxes that I saw when I went to my friends’ houses as a child.  It was hard on me.  I think when you are born into a home, you think that where you live is “normal” because you don’t know anything else, right?  And then, you get old enough to become aware of things like financial status and all that, and you go to a friend’s house and realize…their house is not up on blocks like yours is.  I lived in a mobile home for the first nine years of my life, and to me that was “normal”.  We were not “poor” really, I mean it was a decent park and this is a nice town so I’d say the mobile home parks are probably nicer than the average…but still.  I sure got a shock when I started going to friends houses and realized that all their furniture was new and matched each other.  I remember after we moved to our first non-mobile home rental house, inviting a friend over to play.  I had seen her house and I knew what she was used to…and that gave me anxiety.  I was probably ten years old, and I was already embarrassed to have a friend over.  At that point we were living in a very nice large house with a big yard, but it wasn’t new and we didn’t have expensive pretty “stuff” in it.  My bedroom set was old (from the 60’s which NOW I love but at the time I was not crazy about) and nothing was decorated anywhere in our house.  I felt like I needed to fix this before having my friend over, so I took matters into my own hands.  I went into the garage, found some cans of paint, used an old pair of haircutting scissors my mom had left into the garage to open the cans, and painted my furniture.  Yes, I ruined that pair of scissors and yes my furniture looked quite bad when I finished with it.  I am NOT good at painting still to this day, and back then I was equally as impatient and my lack of attention to detail makes for a bad combination when it comes to art.  But you get the point.  I SO BADLY wanted to fit in.  I wanted us to live in a brand new tract home like she did.  I wanted new Pottery Barn furniture.  I wanted to look like the “norm” and I was tired of standing out.  Of being the one kid who was home schooled, had old stuff, and whose mom shopped exclusively at the thrift store.  Notice how ALL OF THOSE THINGS are cool now.  I was so born in the wrong era you guys!!!

Then I hit college and I decided that I was a stand out kinda gal.  I wore bandanas on my head like Daisy Duke and cowboy boots and light blue eyeshadow to match my vintage ruffled top.  I wore whatever I wanted.  I stood out.  People would stop me and compliment my style, much like they do now…mostly because I dress differently than the “norm”.  But then, post college, I found myself in a situation where everyone around me was once again, “normal” for the most part.  I somehow started to revert to my childhood feelings of just wanting to fit in.  Maybe it’s because I never experienced it as a kid, maybe I just wanted too badly for my friends to accept me as one of them, I don’t know…I longed to fit in.  Sometimes I look back at the way I dressed during those years and I think…”my gosh, where did I go?”

Now, let me be clear.  I’m not bashing that time in my life or my friends or where I was.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to fit in.  We all have an innate desire to be part of something, and there are times in our life when we just kind of need to feel like “one of the group”.  But I think in my case, I kind of lost a bit of my edge for a while.  No worries…I got it back.  But you guys, I quite honestly think that I am both of these people on different days.  I want to stand out and I want to fit in.  And I think that’s okay.  There are days when I dress completely “normal”.  I just kind of want to feel like a “cool kid” and so I wear something that most people would wear.  Now, those days aren’t often, but they do happen.  And it’s okay.  Most days I dress like it’s Halloween and there was a fire sale at the local thrift store in the “crazy lady” section (they should SO have those at thrift stores…it would make it a lot easier for me to find the stuff I’m looking for), but occasionally, I just need to feel like I wanted so badly for my life to be as a child.  It’s okay, you guys.  You can do both.

This outfit is me “fitting in” and “standing out” all at once.  I’ve been wanting a leopard skirt for a while, but resisting the urge to buy an expensive one from a popular brand…this whole outfit is thrifted or vintage.  It’s my silent rebellion!  I’m fitting in while doing it my OWN UNIQUE WAY!  See?  You can totally do both!!  I love looking at styled photos from say, Free People or couture designers and challenging myself to do that in my own way.  It’s a fun way to both be unique and expressive and to also follow trends.  Because it’s completely okay to like something just because you’ve been seeing people wear it and you think it’s cute.  Stand out and fit in.  Be all the people you are at once.  And don’t tell your therapist I said that, because it sounds like I’m encouraging you to be a crazy person.  :)

Happy Wednesday


Advice in Style: Mashups

Anyone else out there used to watch Glee?  Then you know what a great mashup is.  You take two things that are amazing and you put them together.  Two different things that seem like they may have nothing in common, and you combine them…often learning that there is more common ground between the two things than you think.  Style mashups happen ALL the time, but no one ever calls them that!  So I’m just slapping a Glee-friendly label on them and showing you a few.

1970’s meets western:

Preppy meets vintage rocker:

Asian inspired gown meets bicker chick:

Rockabilly chills with rock and roll:

You catch my drift?  So what makes for a great mashup?  In music it’s things like similar chording, a common theme between the lyrics, and the possibility for a compatible tempo.  But what about in style?  How do you make sure that the two worlds will live happily ever after instead of fighting for the center stage?

Here’s some helpful ideas for you.  None of them are RULES…because there’s LOTS of ways to make a great mashup!
1. Pick one dominant theme.  One way to do this is to pick one or two pieces that you want to be the focus.  Then fill in the blanks in between with simple things.  Like, choose crazy 1980’s sneakers and a preppy tweed blazer…and fill in the gaps with a white shirt and jeans.  That way your mashup has some neutral territory.
2. Separate the mashup with some space.  If you’re freaked by this idea, shoes and something on your top half (like a top or a jacket) is the easiest way to give it a go.  That way, there’s a little bit of territory between the two things you’re mixing.
3. Choose styles that “go with everything”.  Obviously, not everything, well, goes with everything, but let me explain.  Cowboy boots tend to be one of those things that are an easy style mix up piece.  They go with fancy edwardian dresses for some epic style confusion.  They work with a rocker tee and goth leather mini skirt.  They are usually a sure fire, go-to, mashup piece when you’re looking to add something.  Converse are also another great piece.  Plaid/tweed blazers, seventies scarves, and 1950’s brooches usually mix in well with other fashion statements too!
4. Just give it a try.  There are many times when you may think to yourself: “this is going to look terrible together!”  But then you try it on all together…and voila!  Magic happens!

I’m all about style mashups.  Partly because I can never make up my mind about what style I’m into at the moment.  Partly because I love to get creative and see what happens when fashions collide.  Partly because…it’s way fun!!!

I got this (most likely a costume) vintage dress at a thrift store and I decided to wear it open like a robe because it has the most amazing drape to it…and the sleeves!! OMG!  I was trying to figure out what to wear it with, and these over the knee western fringe boots just would NOT get out of my mind.  I really just loved the idea of these two major pieces hanging out together.  It just somehow…seems like they belong together!  I also added one of my favorite fringe pieces from my amazing friend Jessica (Hillbillygypsy Boots) to tie in with the fringe on the boots.

Go forth and mash it up!  Have some fun!  This is where you get to break all the rules :)

Advice In Style: How To Dress Like RiRi In The Wild West

The other day I was thinking: “what would it look like if Rihanna was in the wild west?”  (yes, I do occasionally have thought like this, I really couldn’t make this up if I tried).  Now, I like Rihanna a lot.  I love her music and she just seems like a super cool person to me.  But I’m not really like, a follower of her style per say…I think it’s cool but it’s not always really “me”.  That being said, I am not one to discard someone’s style just because I am not usually inspired by it.  The girl has super cool style.  And occasionally, she just nails it.

Yeah.  Whether you relate to her style typically or not, she’s just a super cool girl! In imagining this whole “Rihanna in the wild west” thing, I imagine it would go a little like that old movie Wild, Wild West…you know that not super amazing movie with Will Smith and Salma Hayek in it from 1999?  It was kind of a futuristic steampunk western.  Not all that memorable as a movie, but visually it was kind of fun.

I remember there being a nice mixture of rock and roll style and typical western garb.  So yeah, I think Rihanna could rock the wild west.  And I wanted to as well!

What you need for this look:
Attitude.  Obvi.  I mean, it IS RIHANNA after all.
A finger gun.  Because, well, I don’t trust myself with a real one.
A maxi skirt.  This one is COMING SOON in my new Velvet California line, and I’m loving this skirt more than any other maxi I’ve ever worn.  It’s just so…swishy.
An amazing punk western band geek jacket.  Yeah, betcha didn’t really know that mash up could be a thing right?  This one may be a Halloween costume, but DANG.  And that’s how I roll anyway.
Some animal jewelry.  Mixing animals?  No problem you’re bada$$ like that.
Cowboy boots.  I mean, come on you need these gorgeous things anyway.
And a bandana. This is the wild west after all.

Now you are fully equipped to channel RiRi while staking your claim in some uncharted territory.  Just all in a day’s work, people.

Happy land staking

On Standing Strong (In a Great Outfit, Obviously)

People surprise me.  In a lot of ways.  Sometimes I am surprised at the kindness and generosity that comes from an individual…and other times I am shocked at the nastiness that comes out.  To be honest, I was raised in a very sheltered environment by parents who very much believed and saw the best in all people…whether it was warranted or not at times.  I’m very thankful for this, however it caused me to be a bit, er, naive in certain areas of my life.  I think the level of shock and awe that I have experienced when people actually turned out to really and truly have BAD motives, was partly due to this fact.  It’s a hard line to walk…to really give people a chance (because we all deserve that right?) and yet to be discerning when you can sense that something may be off.

When I began blogging and posting on social media, I honestly was very very afraid of what people’s reactions may be.  I mean, I know that the more followers you have, the more readers you get…the more likely it is that you may get a few negative reactions.  Plus, social media is the perfect place to be mean.  It’s relatively anonymous and as you all know, it’s way easier to say things in a text or on a post that you would literally never dream of saying to someone’s face!  And truthfully, I have to say, that at this point I’ve really gotten nothing but love, encouragement, and a surprising level of support…save for one or two personal comments that were a bummer, but really had to do more with the person making them than with me.  That has been AMAZING.  I mean, you guys, especially the ones who are actually reading this right now…just need to know how much I love and appreciate you.  I’m never gonna stop saying that!  The reason I’m writing this post though, is that I’ve lately seen a few girls on my instagram feed posting about some not nice things that have been said and done to them lately.  One of those girls is going as far as actually quitting blogging because of the things that have been said.  Woah.  I saw that this morning, and thought about what my response would be to this girl who is absolutely paralyzed by this cruelty.  And the only way I know how to respond is by writing my own story.  (In a lot of words, I can’t do anything short and concise!)

When I worked full time before having my kids, I did love my job.  I really did.  However, it did require me to sometimes make decisions that made people unhappy at times.  As any boss or leader knows, sometimes there is a person on your team or under your charge who is…struggling.  You know it, everyone else knows it, but that person themselves will deny it, and blame it on everything else around them.  I think a lot of us have seen this behavior before. (Geez…I gotta say, even after all these years, writing about this still gets me.  I guess that’s what I get for being sensitive…) So attempting to make a long story short (yeah right!) I had to make a decision that was very hard and emotional for me because whenever things have to do with people, it can be quite painful.  This decision caused some other people who were outside of the situation to be very angry with me (unbeknownst to me) and the aftermath was horrendous.  I got accused, screamed at, and had people siding with them and saying stuff to other people behind my back…you guys, I have NEVER EVER been in a situation with this much drama before.  I mean, it was UNREAL to me.  I was so stressed out, anxious, and miserable that I had to have two of my dental crowns replaced because I was grinding my teeth so hard.  It was gnarly for me.  I had to sleep with the tv on because I couldn’t fall asleep at night.  I cried every single day and didn’t understand why I couldn’t fix it, why they wouldn’t believe me when I apologized, and what on earth was happening.  I was quite naive I guess, because I had literally never seen this type of behavior or this level or malicious unforgiveness in action before.  I went through stages of anger where I wanted to lash out and get back at them.  Fear where I was scared to leave my house in case I ran into them.  Frustration where I just wanted to do anything I could to fix it.  It’s amazing how this kind of stuff can actually physically “paralyze” you in a sense.

So here I am, a few years post-this-situation, reading this girl’s letter about how she can’t go on because of what’s been done to her.  Here’s my response to anyone, everyone who’s ever been bullied, misunderstood, hurt, and paralyzed because of someone else’s malicious behavior.  It’s not your problem.  Like really and truly, they’re crap is not your crap.  It may come out sounding like it’s yours.  But it’s not.  You and I cannot, nor ever will be able to, control what other people think of you.  And you know what?  That is OKAY.  (Can you tell I’m talking to myself here??)  I have been the queen of wanting everyone to like me.  That is partly why it was so devastating when it happened to me.  The thought that someone thinks something about me that is untrue was WAY more earth shattering to me than it should be.  The best thing that we can do is to show love and kindness to the person who is being cruel or however they are being…and then to move on.  I’ve learned that behind the mean behaviors ALWAYS lies a story, an issue, or a hurt that has manifested itself into a vicious action.  It’s not fair that it comes out on you, but hey, at least this helps understand why they’re acting as such right?

I never will be able to really understand it when people aren’t nice or can’t seem to see from another’s point of view.  I’m gonna be honest with you though.  It would have been easier for me to move away after a lot of the stuff I have been through.  I wanted to move away.  I considered it for a time.  And then I realized that the location is not the problem.  There is something to be said about walking through something, standing when you feel like you’ve been knocked over, and making the decision to be okay when you’re not.  I will never advocate going through hard stuff if you don’t have to…I mean, if it had been the right thing for me and my family to move away, we would have done it.  But it just wasn’t the best thing for us, so that meant having a fresh start in a place where there has been quite a bit of pain for me.  It is not easy.  There are a lot of faces I’d rather not see, places that remind me of hurtful things that have been done to me, and times when I just don’t want to deal with the memories of it all.  But I’ve decided that I’m okay on the days when I’m not, I’m standing when I have been knocked down, and I’m not going to carry the things that were said and done to me along with me for the ride.

If you’ve been through hurtful stuff, I’m so sorry.  If people have said mean and weird and unfounded stuff to you…hey, I’ve been there.  But you are not those things, YOU are still YOU.  I’m standing with you and I’d take a wild guess that there’s a lot of others standing with you too!

And if you’re gonna walk through stuff, might as well do it in a great outfit right? I’m not even kidding…often times just dressing fun and confident will help you feel like you can kick butt.  Even if you’re a complete wuss like me! :)

I have been saving these sport socks for the right pair of cowboy boots!  (Because that sentence sounds completely logical right?)  I finally found these Dingos at Goodwill for $13…yeah you read that correctly!!  The top I thrifted from Goodwill as well and the shorts, well they’ve just been chilling in my closet until I find the perfect vintage track shorts (been on my list for a loooooong time now).

Go forth, stand strong, kick butt (kindly)!  I believe in you :)

On Being My Own Sheriff and Fringe

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be nice and encouraging to other people, but not so much to yourself?  That’s how it is for me at least.  I sometimes find myself encouraging people in the very same areas that just a few hours before, I was discouraging myself about.  It’s frustrating.  I find that when it comes to myself, I’m a total mean girl.  To me.  I don’t need any help from anyone else, I can be my own worst enemy.

When it comes to other people, I think it’s easy to have more perspective.  I can sit and listen to someone tell me a story, even a discouraging one, and I can somehow find the good in it, the good that will come out of it, or even just the ability to encourage them to hang in there and keep on going because the best is yet to come.  However, when I see my own story, and only find all the things that are hard, the things that feel impossible, and then stay focused on those things.  There are certain subjects that are total “triggers” I think in our lives.  Those things that set us off and get us on that road to binge eating potato chips and staying in our pajamas because “it’s just not worth trying”.  I’ve got some of those triggers.  The car I drive right now.  My extra abdomen fat.  Seeing certain things that I’ve wanted my whole life.  Yep, those are the things that can send me into a box of kleenex, feeling like all of life is hopeless.

Gah.  What are we supposed to do though, avoid all those things that remind us of the stuff we have yet to accomplish?  Just not look at the things that hurt us?  That’s impossible!!!  No, I think it’s time for me to learn some self discipline.  I think that I need to start policing my thoughts a little bit better.  I need to start talking to myself about all the good things that are yet to come and the good things that have already come out of the difficulties.  Because they’re definitely there, but I need to stop ignoring them so much!  I think this is so much easier said than done.  I think that sometimes it kind of feels great to wallow, to be negative, and to let myself just “feel” everything that I’ve already felt a million times before, and honestly…it’s time to stop.  If I can encourage other people I can encourage myself.  There’s a new sheriff in town, and I’m not letting me get down about things that can, and WILL change!

Let’s talk about these pants.  I don’t know if there is much to say about them because…well when you see the photos, you’ll get it.  They are custom embroidered and hand fringed by @township31 on Instagram…she has become a dear friend and, well, I pretty much have a list a mile long of things she is custom doing for me.  My gosh.  She’s so talented it’s not even funny!  These pants are a pair of Current/Elliott flares that I’ve had in my closet for years, and I sent them to her to add some fringe and embroider the booty.  She came up with the rest and added some AMAZING stars on them (because rainbows and stars!!!!).  She’s a genius with denim, leather, and a needle and thread among many other things that she creates!

The first time I wore these pants, I felt like an old timey sheriff.  So now I call them my “sheriff pants”.  I like it.  Time to start dressing like a sheriff…and acting like one!  ;)

Happy Monday!


On Pajama Dressing. Because, It’s Wednesday.

So I’m back.  Still in my pjs.  Really in awe of how all you super cool Brits call them “pyjamas”, which my American spell check absolutely hates, but I honestly think is way cooler than plain ole “pajamas”.  Maybe that’s the trick…when we sleep in them, they’re pajamas, and when we are classy and wear them out and about, they’re pyjamas.  I like it!  But enough about wordplay, let’s talk JAMMIES!

If you’re on the fence about this PYJAMA trend, let me try and talk you off the fence, and on to the appropriate side of the yard (my side, which is, OBVIOUSLY the RIGHT side. ;)) Here’s a few reasons I love this trend, and always have.

It has a kind of “devil may care” vibe.  You know those girls who always look cool and like they aren’t trying very hard…that’s what this look kind of gives off.  It’s got a little bit of an air of, “I don’t care, I rolled out of bed looking this hot” to it.  I’m so not effortlessly cool, so if there’s a style that makes me look like that, I’m instantly sold.

It’s cozy, but still looks nice.  These shirts, as I said in the last post about PYJAMAS, are only one step away from collared shirts.  This is kind of cool because they look good with slacks, a blazer, or a pencil skirt…among MANY different pieces you can mix them in with.  This makes them kind of a classy/casual hybrid.  It’s like a button down, but with added interest.

It’s different.  While this is definitely a “trend”, I really don’t see this in real life that often.  So it’s unique, and you can easily rock this and look like you are “trend setting” because quite honestly, most people don’t really know what’s going on on the runways or in fashion unless they’re super into it like we are.  Many of the “trends” I see in magazines are not that popular on the streets unless you live in a fashionable area, or it’s been a “trend” for quite some time.  This trend is different, but not so different that you’ll stick out like crazy.  It’s a small way to add interest to your outfit without you feeling like you have to go out on a limb and have everyone staring at you!  (Unless you enjoy that feeling, and if you do, we should talk because I’ll give you the “special” tips on how to look like a crazy person.  I pull that off daily.)

Today, I’ve got a short sleeved pyjama (I just decided that I’m British today, so roll with it ok?) top that I thrifted, and styled two ways.  This is very similar to the long sleeved one, but it’s maybe more summer appropriate.

When people say they don’t know what they can wear cowboy boots with, I respond, “um, well, hmmm…EVERYTHING.”  But I digress.  I love how easy and casual this vintage pyjama (it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) top looks with some cutoffs.  The vintage cowboy boots in red kind of add a “if Wonder Woman wore pyjamas, this is what she’d wear” vibe.  Don’t you think? :)

I love these pyjama (stop trying to auto correct me, computer!) style pants from Zara.  I think this is a way to class up this vintage top and of course, espadrilles because it’s summer and they are just so comfy, I can’t resist!  Again, adding on lots of jewelry to your pyjamas (yep, still doing it) will counteract that “wait…are you just wearing your jammies?” look instantly.  Because unless you know someone who sleeps in loads of jewelry, then this is not a normal night time loungewear look!

Have I convinced you yet?  No worries, I still got one post to go on this topic.  Then I promise to get out of my pyjamas (you’d think auto correct would have given up by now, but it’s a persistent little bugger isn’t it) and talk about some other stuff.  I’m not quitting this trend though, even when the magazines decide that it’s “out”.  This is to classic and timeless (and comfortable!) to ever be OUT in my opinion!

Happy midweek all you pyjama wearing gals!


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!