Friday Finds…Cowgirl Inspired

I like jewelry.  I mean come on, I’m a girl.  My daughter is only one and a half and she already understands the concept of a good accessory.  Granted, her idea of “accessories” is my underwear hanging around her neck, but she’s got the right concept.  I like jewelry, but honestly, I really pretty much only like statement jewelry most of the time.  With a few exceptions, all the stuff I wear is turquoise, gold coins, collars, and just large pieces that stand out quite prominently.  That’s why when I discovered this necklace from Mountain Soul Jewelry on I was SUPER excited.

I probably should have been a cowgirl.  When I was seven, my lifelong dream was to be a world champion barrel racer.  I don’t think I actually knew what barrel racing was and I’d seen a horse all of a few times in my known life, but I was gonna be a world champ dang it.  I wanted all the gear.  The hat, the boots, all the cool fringy accessories (wow haven’t changed much since seven, have I?) and to be all cowgirl cool leading my horse around everywhere.  (I was too scared to actually ride one.  Leading it around was just like a cool accessory to me.)  Obviously I didn’t fulfill my childhood dream (I have ridden a horse though, fyi.) but I still like to dress like a cowgirl, quite often actually.

When I found Mountain Soul Jewelry I immediately knew I needed some of their stuff.  First of all, it’s so amazing when you order something and you know you’re ordering from a person and not a large company.  There’s something about things being made with love by an artist that makes them much more special.  I love this necklace because it’s totally like an updated bolo tie.  It’s a little more fashion-y than a bolo (which those are super cool too) and a little more girly.  I feel like this is a piece that will be on endless repeat with my outfits.  Does it go over a basic t shirt?  Yes.  How about a floral dress?  Absolutely.  With a vintage jumpsuit?  Um, of course.  The leather is soft and it’s lightweight and easy to slip over your head and run out the door.  Oh, my kids love the beads on the fringe, so that’s their two cents on the whole thing.


If you are looking for a new way to add some interest to your outfits, you need to check out Mountain Soul Jewelry.  You know how cowboy boots go with everything and make everything look cooler?  This necklace is just like that.

So happy to be wearing this piece for my Friday Finds.  It’s a winner.

Happy Friday!

On Social Media, (not really) Feeling Beautiful, and Finally Seeing The Light

I have a complicated relationship with social media.  I both think it’s amazing and a wonderful tool…and also that it’s very discouraging and harsh at times.  It’s wonderful because it connects people.  It inspires people and gives them a platform to have a voice that they can project across oceans and to audiences they may never even meet face to face.  It is a place to share ideas and recipes and tips and it can make you feel like you’re not alone when you get to see other people doing the same things (like parenting) that you are.  But then there’s the other side of the coin.  It can make you feel very VERY alone when you see the amazing and incredible lives (snapshots of lives really) that others are seemingly leading.  It can make you feel like you have no friends.  That you’re not pretty enough, don’t have good enough skin, and need to lose more weight.  Then you wonder how all those moms on Instagram have kids who are always in cute clothes and they’re CLEAN…when my kids have mac and cheese buried in their hair on most given days.  Dang.  I should do better.

I only just came out of the darkness.  I went through a few years where I was broken down.  I lost most everything that I thought made me who I was.  I kind of died and now I’m coming back to life again.  It’s a hard thing to describe.  It was a slow process, but of course, the realization that things weren’t right and that I was broken came overnight, so it felt like all of a sudden.  One day I thought it was all going to be ok and it would just get better (and that my life as I knew it would continue on) but instead it all fell apart and Rome crumbled.  I stood in the place where I once belonged and felt like I was a stranger.  My friends felt miles away and when I tried to let them in, it only hurt me more.  I felt like I was at home, but didn’t belong there anymore.  And believe me I tried.  I worked so hard to try and feel the way I thought I should.  To slip quietly back into my old life and be who I used to be.  It only left me more empty and lonely.  It was over.  I had to let it burn and try to move on.

Instead of getting to start over quickly, I had to sit in the ashes of my “failed” life for what felt like an eternity.  I had to look at what was gone.  I was a ghost, moving amongst the living and not sure if I’d ever really rejoin them.  Things that I know I love so much like shopping or putting together outfits brought me no joy.  In fact, I had lost so much of who I was without even realizing it during my old life, that I honestly didn’t even know how to get dressed anymore.  It was strange.  I would stand at my closet and cry.  I would put things on then immediately tear them off because I no longer felt right in them.  I no longer felt beautiful.

Things like “fat” and “beautiful” may be physical descriptions, yes, but any woman out there will agree that they are also feelings.  No matter how many times my husband tells me “fat is not a feeling!” I disagree.  (can I get an “amen?!?”) You can look beautiful but not feel it.  I could put on amazing clothes but I didn’t feel beautiful.  This was a symptom of a deeper problem for me.

I had changed, outgrown my old life, and all that time I spent trying so hard to be who I was no longer had left me feeling like a failure.  Why could I not make my relationships or my job or my life work anymore?  I still don’t really have the answers.  But I had grown up and had become someone else.

For some people, clothing is just clothing.  But for me, it’s an expression of who I am and how I feel on the inside.  When I couldn’t figure out what to wear it scared me because it was a huge symptom of the fact that I no longer felt confident enough to be who I am and be proud of it.  Taking pictures of myself and posting them online after where I’ve been and how much I didn’t even want to look at a photo of me (let alone show someone else) has been kind of terrifying.  But the fact that I’m doing it and I’m feeling creative and confident in my clothing again means that I’m finally seeing the light after a long darkness.  And I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter how many people read this, or even if anyone reads this because for me, just doing it is a massive success.  And if one person reads it and is encouraged, then I have done well.


There are days when I feel like my old life will never stop haunting me.  And times when I see these pictures and know I still need to lose the rest of the baby weight.  But little by little, I have more and more moments where I actually FEEL beautiful again.  And that’s a start.

I’m no longer a slave to fear.

I am a child of God.

I hope you’re feeling beautiful today.


Ways to Wear it Wednesday…Kimono Edition

I think I’ve already established that I have a “thing” for lots of things.  Jumpsuits, turquoise, bell bottoms, velvet, boots, fringe, feathers, fur…but now I’m kind of developing this new addiction to kimonos.  I’ve always loved them.  But lately I’ve been really drawn to those vintage or vintage inspired kimonos that have those amazing bright and beautiful patterns on them…so beautiful.  I get it though that sometimes those super cool vintage finds like kimonos can be kind of hard to wear…like you buy it, get it home, then what do you DO with it??  So today’s post is all about how to wear those gorgeous kimonos you spy at thrift stores, vintage shops, and flea markets.

Like last week’s post on my Friday Finds, this kimono is from my absolute favorite, Ruby Rose.  I found this one about month ago and I just could not pass it up.  I love orange and peach, and the floral pattern was just too pretty to not snatch up and take home with me.  Here’s how I like to wear it (and how you can wear yours too!):

  1. As a dress.

Ok.  This is easy.  All you need for this look is a short kimono and a long tank top or vintage slip.  Cross over the kimono and tie it (safety pinning is encouraged too especially if you have young children who like to untie or unravel things in public places.  Like my kids.).  I think tall boots and a statement necklace is a great way to make this look like an outfit and reduce any “hey, that looks like a robe” thoughts you or others may have upon looking at the kimono.  Also…if your kimono is a tad too short, you can wear a vintage slip under it and let the lace peek out to add length to it!)

2. Over jeans like a tunic.  

This is basically the same, but if you add leggings or skinny jeans, you have a totally different look.  You could of course wear it open over a tank top and jeans/leggings, but I kind of prefer to use it as a top personally.  I would add booties (but you can do flats or sandals too) and a necklace.  This works great if it’s too cold to wear the kimono just as a dress or if it’s not quite long enough to do so.

3. Over a dress.

This is a great way to add interest to a simple plain dress.  This orange Free People dress is really comfortable, but not the most exciting piece in my closet, but once I add the kimono and cowboy boots, it’s instantly an outfit that feels pulled together and much more fun.

There are just so many things you can do with a kimono, which is why I’ve been loving them so much lately.  I love the idea of a piece that you can wear as a dress OR as a jacket…something that can change up countless outfits already in my closet.

Since I’ve only begun to collect them, I’m quite certain you will see many kimono posts soon!  :)  Go find yourself one if you don’t already have one!  They are generally not super expensive and tend to have the most amazing patterns and silky fabric…such a fun addition to your closet!

Hope you’re loving these things as much as I am!


Monday Mojo…in a Jumpsuit (of course)

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, #mondaymojo is all about those outfits that are like a given.  Those days when I don’t want to think about what I’m going to wear, or I don’t feel very awesome, or I just want to wear something that I KNOW I feel great in. We all need multiple outfits in our closet that are like our “lucky outfits”.  The ones that make us feel sexy and super cool.

I absolutely love Novella Royale.  The patterns and the cuts are so 1970s inspired with a 1960s hippie flair.  It’s like the best of both worlds.  Plus I love a good jumpsuit :).  This jumpsuit in particular just makes me feel great.  I love the fit and the nice looooong bell pants…it’s just one of those outfits that when I’m in a rush and I want to look like I’m all put together I just throw on and go.  Because the neckline is so plunging, I did put a tiny safety pin halfway up so that it doesn’t fly open while I’m moving around…which is it’s one downfall!

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Kimonos and Toddlers. It’s Just Reality People.

I am not a model.  Never have been, never do I aspire to be one.  But in order to do this blog I gotta at least try to do my best and “model” the clothes I’m talking about and be present in these photos.  So I’m doing my best.  Every single picture rats me out…how I still need to lose the last 10-15 pounds since having my two kids.  How I have back rolls.  How I have crazy eyes in most of the the pictures even after watching endless seasons of America’s Next Top Model.  Smize-ing #fail.  Sorry Tyra.

But Friday Finds is about having fun.  And that means just not worrying if I look F-A-T (sorry, with toddlers running around I spell a lot, and that’s one of the words I don’t want them playing fast and loose with) or if I have crazy eyes for once.  It’s about fun fashion discoveries.  Those items of clothing that just are so “YOU” and no one else, that you just feel like someone put it in the store just for you to find.

Today after work I ran by my favorite vintage store in the known universe (yes, it IS that good) Ruby Rose in SLO.  It’s seriously like if Free People was a resale store, this would be it.  It’s just like the place you leave happy because everyone’s so nice in there and the store is so pretty and you just scored amazing clothes for amazing prices…this run on sentence exists because I could run on and on about it.  I immediately found some amazing pants and a vintage shirt (posts on those to follow you bet your buns) but then I saw this vintage kimono.

When I put it on, I feel like a 1970s glamorous housewife.  I am transported to a sunny place where there’s palm trees and martinis and classic cars.  The men are all wearing suits and everything’s tinged in that beautiful orangey 70s hue…ahhhh I feel so glam sipping my martini by the pool.  I bought it.  Of course.

Continue reading Kimonos and Toddlers. It’s Just Reality People.

Blue Bells…in Velvet. Of Course.

On Monday I got a super happy little surprise in the mail.  Okay, well it wasn’t a surprise I guess since I actually ORDERED it.  But isn’t it nice when you get a package on your doorstep first thing on Monday morning?

I ordered these FABULOUS blue bell bottoms from Fearless + Flawed, this new boutique I found online and am super excited about.  They came, and along with them, there was a handwritten thank you note!  They even personalized the note and spelled my name correctly…honestly I have friends that don’t know how to spell my name right!  Dang.  So impressed.  I was in love with the shop before I even opened the package.

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Vintage Jumpsuit on a Tuesday

I love jumpsuits.  I think I almost have one for every week of the year.  And that’s still not enough!  When I found this one though, it was like one of those amazing moments where the heavens opened and my heart did a little pitter patter…okay sure that’s totally dramatic, but it was a great moment alright.  There’s nothing like finding a legit vintage jumpsuit.  Naturally, I loved it from the moment I put it on.

Once I got it home, I put it on and my first thought was: “oh crap…how am I going to wear a bra with this??”  It’s one of those classic fashion problems.  Undergarments.  Hated, and yet so needed all at once.  When Bridget Jones had a love/ hate relationship with her “scary panties” (aka: Spanx), all womankind understood.  How much we need those perfect undergarments, even when they’re ugly, uncomfortable, or so complicated you actually have to tape them on…all in the name of looking good in the outfit you’ve chosen.  I mean let’s be honest.  That nude thong sitting in your drawer wasn’t bought for comfort.

So back to my plunging neckline and backless situation…vintage situation though, so totes worth it (as the cool kids are saying these days).  I looked around a little online and figured I’d end up with something halter and backless, but couldn’t find just the right thing that wouldn’t show and make my amazing jumpsuit look weird.  Then I went into one of my favorite stores downtown and found this little Free People bra.  I realize it doesn’t match and it TOTALLY shows…but I actually thought it added to the outfit.  It’s almost like wearing a little tank top underneath so I don’t feel quite so naked in the back…but still keeps the integrity and feel of the jumpsuit.  Plus it’s super cute…not scary, ugly, or involving complicated tape.

Continue reading Vintage Jumpsuit on a Tuesday

Monday Mojo & My Gold Bells

I have a thing for velvet.  Yes, I do have a “thing” for a lot of “things”, I realize this…but I have this dream, and in it, everything is made of velvet.  My couches.  My curtains.  My dresses.  And my pants.  Definitely, my pants.  I’ve been on a bell bottom hunt for years now.  When I saw these Lenni The Label vintagey “I-stole-these-pants-off-Jimmi-Hendrix” bells, it was love love love love love.  Then when I snagged this Shop Camp (another of my 1970’s inspired FAVORITE shops) fur collared t shirt for a mere $10…it was like the outfit sang to me when I put it on.


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Mother’s Day…Musings on Mom Wear

This is my third Mother’s Day.  It doesn’t really feel like it though, because I have children, which makes it hard to celebrate anything…let alone DO anything most days.  I was actually thinking this morning that it would be so much easier to “pamper myself” or “go to the bathroom in peace” (both ways to celebrate Mother’s Day obviously) if I didn’t have children.  Thus, defeating the purpose of celebrating the holiday all together.

Anyway, while I am a mom, I really hate dressing like a mom.  Meaning I want to wear complicated clothing.  Vintage, drapey, fringy, furry things that are all just asking for kids to grab, spill food on, and barf all over.  Not to mention these outfits make it very hard to chase around kids who do not ever want to go in the direction you want them to.  Life would be so much easier if I just wanted to dress simply.  But I don’t.  More is, well, more for me and more is always better.  Today, for Mother’s Day, I wanted to feel like I looked good but also take my kids to the playground and let them run all their crazy energy out so I could sit down during their nice long naps.  This post is about my triumphant Mother’s Day outfit that was comfortable, yet definitely still ME.  There’s some vintage.  Some fringe.  Some fur.  And it’s 1970’s inspired.  And when I asked myself “what would Leah Hoff wear?” (my standard morning get dressed question inspired by one of my two Instagram style heroes @leahhofff…more on this later), the answer was…”this outfit.”  It’s a Mother’s Day miracle.  Oh, and bonus…I didn’t change five times, cry three of those times, call myself fat, and then leave in a grumpy huff saying “well I guess I’ll just wear THIS.”  I am NOT a drama queen I am NOT a drama queen…

Continue reading Mother’s Day…Musings on Mom Wear