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!



Trending: Emmys Fashion Faves

Last night, a whole bunch of pretty girls got all dolled up and put on really expensive dresses.  Just for our entertainment, eye candy, and opinionated rants! Gosh, I feel like I didn’t see a single dress last night that I didn’t like.  I mean, sure, some were maybe less favorited than others, but overall it seemed like a pretty lovely evening…gown-wise!  I of course, have my top choices I’ll share with you because it’s fun to talk about Cinderella style and pretend like I have an event to go to where I could wear one of these!

My Top 2016 Emmy Fashion Faves:

  1. Kristen Bell

You guys know I love Kristen Bell.  She’s my fantasy BFF.  We make fun music videos together and use her amazing washing machine (that I dream of owning) with the drop down, hand wash sink feature.  Dang.  I gotta get me some better fantasies.  Anyway, I love this floral dress…it kind of looks like she made it out of sexy curtains, and I love sexy curtains.

2.  Claire Danes

This poor girl is getting SO much flack right now for her spray tan.  All I have to say to that is, haven’t YOU ever gone a tiny bit overboard with the faux tanner before??  I think we all have.  And liked it.  I think she looks AMAZING.  That gold dress is my dream come true.  Good for her for getting all bronzed up.  It feels good to be tan!

3. Angela Bassett

It’s probably not a mystery why I love this dress so much.  It kind of looks like a robe, it’s yellow, and the sleeves are like kimono sleeves, so basically, it’s my ideal dress!  It’s so drapey and vibrant!

4. Nina Garciá

Every time I saw this dress, it was like everything else vanished on the screen.  I LOVE THIS DRESS.  I want to wear it with tennis shoes and grocery shop in it.  I love the embroidery and the florals on the chiffon with that structured bodice…brava Nina.

5. America Ferrera

After years of watching her in bad braces and ponchos in Ugly Betty, I love seeing her all dolled up and gorgeous like she is.  I love how simple and yet stunning this dress is!

6. Abigail Spencer

I always LOVE Abigail’s style.  Whether it was on screen on Mad Men, IRL, or in the new upcoming show Timeless…it’s always just GOOD.  I love the chiffon, the sparkly kind of polka dot thing she’s got going on here, and the girlish yet still sexy shape of this dress.

7. Guiliana Rancic

She looks like the belongs at the court of Versailles.  This gown is pure magical fantasy!  I LOVE this cape/train thing.  The sheerness makes it drape nicely and those fluttery floral accents…she looks like a princess.

8. The Stranger Things Kids

The best part of the Emmys was untelevised, you guys.  These kids doing their rendition of Uptown Funk literally stole the show without even being in the show!  These kids are freaking ADORABLE and just look at those mad style skills! More to come on how I feel about this show soon…but I think they really stole the  spotlight at the Emmy’s last night multiple times!

I really could go on and on.  There were so many beautiful women in beautiful dresses, it was like a parade of glorious fashion choices!  And now, I will spend ten minutes imagining I’m winning an Emmy for best leading lady in a comedy mom show (basically, my life) and how many outfit changes I will have during the evening.  Or I’ll just take a nap.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I crack myself up…


Fashion Feelings: Flowers Are Better Than Numbers

I hate it when passwords have to have numbers in them.  You know why?  I can’t remember numbers.  The first two years of my marriage, I wrote down our anniversary on the calendar on the wrong date.  My husband just looked at me and was like…”why are you writing our anniversary down on that date…you know that’s not actually our anniversary, right?”  Yep.  Two years in a row, no joke.  Remembering my kids’ birthdates or trying to figure out what year it is…my brain rejects numbers vehemently.  I remember things by pictures, words, or by where the nearest Starbucks is to them.

For all you numbers people out there, seriously, I have so much respect for you.  How would we function without you??  This is not meant to offend you, this is just my brain and how it thinks!  I often wish numbers could be replaced with words.  It would be so much easier…common questions like “what time is it?” or “how old are you?” could be answered with colors or feelings.  I could remember that so much easier!  Taking this even further, potentially offensive questions like “how much do you weigh?” or “how old are you?” could become much less horrifying with answers like “feathers” and “happy” (respectively, obviously!)  Yes, I think I am on to something.  Granted, everyone may be in a constant state of confusion, but hey, there would be no more math and that would sure help my brain out a lot!

So today, I’m flowers years old and I weigh roses!  Florals are IN FOR FALL (can I get a hallelujah?!) and I’m so down with that!

Rocking florals for fall is all about LAYERS!  Take a floral sundress (you have one of those right?) and put a shirt under it, or throw a jacket over it, and you are fall ready!  I love the idea of taking a scrappy dress and putting it over a shirt.  It’s super hot right now and is a lot more fun and wearable than you think it is!  Here is a gorgeous (and under $100) idea for a fall floral maxi and here is a great layering piece for underneath to take that dress right into the new season.

Happy weekend :)

Real World Style: Magazine Fall Style

I love pouring through those amazing haute couture spreads in the latest (or even old editions really) issues of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire…basically you name a magazine, I love it.  One of the things that’s always a struggle though, is to make the looks they put together actually wearable in real life.  I mean, a lot of haute couture is more art that inspires fashion than pieces that are really supposed to be worn to the grocery store or to a holiday party.  Let’s get real.  Some of those girls on the runways or in the photo shoots…aren’t wearing any underwear.  Sorry guys, I love fashion a lot, but I’m not showing my nipples while buying diapers at Target.  At least intentionally.

Challenging as it can be, sometimes there are looks that are more easily reproducible in those glossy pages than the ones that consist primarily of mesh and body paint!  These are the most fun looks because they are great outfit inspiration when I’m feeling like I don’t know what I want to wear!  One tip I’ve learned…vintage is often a GREAT substitute for haute couture pieces.  Often times vintage is what inspired those pieces we all see and love, and it’s at a fraction of the price and more accessible to those of us who don’t live near a Versace or Gucci store!

I love this look.  The fall feelings…the mixture of the menswear blazer, the feminine pleats, and the gritty rainboots all creates a beautiful piece of art.  This is one of those looks that, may be fantastically pricey and couture, is easily replicated out of normal clothing that is either already in your closet, or is somewhere around you at a normal store!

Everything on me is vintage, except for those Hunter boots.  And you know what, everyone needs a pair of Hunters!  It barely rains here, but when it does, I bust out these amazing things happily!  Micro pleats are a huge trend for fall 2016, and micro pleats are SO VINTAGE!  Here’s a basic option from H&M for a micro pleated skirt dress.  My jacket is an amazing Goodwill find (I watched another girl try it on and waited for her to put it back before snatching it up!) but here’s an incredible velvet blazer that would be SO good with that H&M micro pleat dress!

And there you have it, proof you can dress haute couture without spending the big bucks (unless you wanna, and there is NO judgement from me on that!).

Fashion Feeling: Nothing To Wear

Do you ever just put something on, and feel AMAZING?  And then, naturally, you immediately forget the outfit and the next day whine that you have “nothing to wear”?  This is my daily routine.  I have about seven years worth of amazing outfits hanging in my closet that I add to almost daily…and yet…I can never figure out what to wear.  The struggle is real, people.

Sometimes what I remember and what I forget baffles me.  Why is it that I can remember a hundred negative things over the course of the past few years and yet I can’t remember that one amazing thing that happened yesterday?  Dang it.  I hate that it’s easier to remember the bad stuff.  I’m generally a positive, happy person.  And yet, my brain can cling to the bad stuff the same as any other human out there.

It’s very easy for me to focus on the things that make me unhappy.  The things I want.  The things that I haven’t achieved yet.  So instead, I thought I’d make a list of the things that make me happy.  The things that I love, that bring joy to my life and a smile to my face.  Maybe you can do the same!  Things I love: (these are a few of my favorite things!)
1. Starbucks cold brew (if you see me on Instagram, you know this already!)
2. Putting pumpkin spice in my coffee in the mornings (not all of these are about coffee, I promise)
3. Really nailing my outfit
4. Getting the house clean and sitting down in the evening to watch a tv show with my husband
5. New episodes of my favorite shows (I love my tv, guys)
6. Grocery shopping with coffee and getting everything I need on the list (coffee again, sorry!)
7. Finding a GREAT find at the thrift store or at any store really.  Just finding something that I’ve been looking for or that makes me feel fabulous.
8. My kids singing songs (all originals of course) and reading me their books.  Their interpretations of things are hilarious and FAR better than the originals!
9. Fall.  I LOVE FALL.
10. Listening to Coldplay.  I never, ever get tired of anything they do.

There are a LOT of other things that are even more dear to my heart than these things.  But sometimes, I think in times when you’re struggling, it’s helpful to find those small things that bring you joy in your everyday life.  Those are the mundane things amongst the struggles and the exhaustion of life that really are like the “frosting” on your days!

This outfit combines two things I love.  A fabulous outfit (I feel the greatest in something funky and unexpected) and a super great find.  I visited a local thrift store I frequent as often as possible and I picked up this vintage boyscout tee for $4.99!  It was definitely one of those fabulous finds for me!  I decided that layering and mixing this tee with a slightly quirky outfit was the best way to make sure no one thinks I’m actually trying to look like a scout, so ruffles and plaid it is!  I love the combination of the plaid pencil skirt and the floral ruffles, all tied together with this pair of basic riding boots.  Everyone needs at least one pair of regular, good old, riding boots in their closet.  Because you never know when the rest of your outfit will be SO CRAZY you’ll just need a normal pair of shoes right?  (I can hear you laughing at me!)

No matter what’s going on, hope you can find those little things that make you happy amidst everyday life.  And that you have a fabulous outfit on at the very least :)



Fashion Feeling: What I “Need”

Have you ever noticed how many times a day we say: “I need ____”?  I find myself saying it all the time.  Constantly.  And then sometimes, I wonder, do I really need what I just said I did?  I’m not always sure I do.  I’m not talking about like, a new pair of shoes, or a fur bomber jacket.  We ALWAYS NEED those things (can I get an “amen” from all you fashionistas out there?)!  That’s not the direction I’m going with this.  No, on the contrary, what I mean is this: I often think I need things to be a certain way before I can go on and do other, new things.  Like, I want all my ducks in a row before I start something new.  (If I had ducks, they would be in a row.  It’s how ducks are supposed to be.)  This is the problem of the non-procrastinating personality.  I was the kid who finished her homework before getting home because I wanted to go have fun, and there was no “fun” for me if my homework wasn’t done.  I like to work first, play after.  It makes my brain feel better.

While that is a good quality to have, it’s not always, shall we say…realistic, when it comes to real life.  It’s all well and good when you’re in school or have a job where you are able to check things off a list and keep everything in a nice spreadsheet.  But in my experience, life is much messier than this.  There’s things that don’t fit into categories, the lines all blur together, and there’s no finishing all the things you need to do…like…ever.

I found myself recently hearing about someone who had basically everything they needed in life.  Like everything.  There was security, there was money, there was space both physically and mentally to be organized.  And I found myself feeling a little…angry about it.  I started thinking things like: “yeah!  That’s what I need.  I shouldn’t be starting a clothing line or trying to work like I am without the space or resources!”  I felt a wave of righteous outrage flow over me.  And I felt completely justified in feeling this way.  I mean, logically, shouldn’t you have everything you need BEFORE you start something new?  The answer to that is as plain and simple as the nose on your face.  No.

Here’s why my “righteous anger” is completely unfounded.  Because when I have the time, the space, and no need to move forward, I will not.  There is something about a small amount of messiness, a need for forward motion in life, and some “lack” I will call it…that can cause incredible creativity.  Diamonds are not made in a cabana on the beach.  They are made in the fire.  Most people in history who did incredible things were not sitting there in mansions surrounded by everything they needed.  No, they actually did not have what they needed, which is what gave them the drive to move forward.  Now I know, it’s not like a recipe for creativity or an equation that says “need causes creating”.  It’s more of an observation really on myself, and on the human race.

So yeah.  I need certain things.  The need is real.  But that “need” shouldn’t be something that I focus on.  When we are in that fire, in that place of discomfort, we have got to focus on what’s in our hearts.  That thing that drives us.  Because often the most beautiful art comes out of discomfort, disappointment, and, well, need.  I got over my indignation when I realized that I only started writing as much as I am, when I ceased having the free time to do so.  Do you see what I mean?  When I had the time, I didn’t use it.  The need has created the desire.

Don’t worry.  I will never every tell you that you don’t need an article of clothing. I’m literally the worst person to ask when you want to make a decision because my default it that if you’re asking, you probably need it!  And no matter if you are in a place of comfort, discomfort, need, or plenty, don’t let yourself forget about what lights your fire.  No matter what space you are in, you can create.  You can build something.  You can move forward.  And if you don’t feel the need to move forward in your own life, you can do it for someone else!  We all have gifts, passions, and abilities that we need to share and use.  Otherwise, the rest of us miss out on what YOU have to offer!

I almost didn’t get this Free People dress.  (I got it second hand). And then, I realized, I needed it.  In the good way :)  The pink vintage concho necklace is from Classic Rock Couture (love her shop!) and the vintage huaraches I thrifted from Goodwill.  All the rest of the jewelry I picked up second hand.

Hope you’re feeling the passion today.  Even if it’s just in your brain while you shuttle your kids around back and forth to school…that’s a perfectly good place to create!



On Being a Maximalist…And How To Do It!

Some people are what you call “minimalists”.  I am not one of those people.  I think a lot of you out there who love to shop and love clothing are probably not either…it’s kind of a hard thing to be a minimalist when you’re constantly finding gems at the thrift store and shopping all the amazing sales and bargains you can find.  And honestly, I find that this seems to produce a certain level of, shame, you could say amongst women.  I hear it constantly.  “Oh I have too many dresses…I shouldn’t be buying this…” you know what I’m talking about!  You and I have both said that kind of thing, probably more than we even realize!  So I have decided to come up with a new term for what I am (and you may be too!).  I am proudly, a MAXIMALIST.  Let me explain.

I like to MAXIMIZE my closet.  How many hangers can fit in it, how much weight the bars can hold, and defy the laws of gravity on how many shoes I can stack on top of each other.  I like to MAXIMIZE how many items of clothing and jewelry I wear on any given day, at the same time.  I am basically a walking clothing rack, with skirts, kimonos, layers upon layers of necklaces and rings…maximizing the amount of things I can wear.  You see what I’m getting at?  A minimalist may like to wear a simple pair of pearl stud earrings, jeans, a white tee, and flats.  A maximalist, while appreciating the beauty of the simplicity, would add about 16 more things to that outfit before being ready to walk out the door.

To clarify, being a maximalist (while perfectly acceptable) does not excuse hoarding.  I think what bugs me is when I hear myself apologizing for who I am…when I do shop a lot BUT I also get rid of clothes all the time.  I’m not hoarding my clothes.  Stuff comes in, and stuff goes out, like a constant flowing clothing river.  But this is my hobby!  It’s FUN!  Just as an artist probably has a ton of paints, easels, canvases, and brushes (I don’t paint so I don’t know, but I’d guess they don’t just have ONE of each thing), clothing and fashion is my “art”.  When you’re a maximalist and this is your art form, you can’t have only a few things.  Why?  Because you have a lot of weird, specific, and interesting stuff.  An artist may have six shades of what I’d call just “red”, and so I have shades of kimonos, jeans, and jumpsuits.  Plus, when you like to wear interesting stuff, you can’t wear it daily like you could a tee and jeans.  I can’t wear a leopard jumpsuit more than one day a month…because otherwise people might actually think I’m crazy.

So how do you handle closet control, got-rid-of-it-too-soon grief, and STUFF STRESS?  I came up with some tips on how to help those of us who love our clothes like our art, keep that in-and-out closet river flowing!

How To Get Rid Of Stuff (When You’re A Maximalist)

  1. Interview Yourself.  When you look through your stuff, ask yourself a few questions:  “Would you buy this again, today, if you saw it on a rack?”  If the answer is no, you are probably ready to part with it.  “Do you want to actually wear it?” This sounds kind of weird, but honestly I have had stuff in my closet that I absolutely LOVE, but when I ask myself honestly if I want to put it on my body and walk out of the house with it on, the answer is “heck no”.  Maybe you really don’t feel good in it.  It’s uncomfortable.  You hate the way it looks on you.  If you answer no, it’s gotta go!!
  2. Resell Your Stuff.  I have found that sometimes I am having a hard time parting with something, but then when I think of getting some money for it to use to buy something else instead…it becomes super easy.  Reselling at a local store, on Poshmark or Thred Up is pretty darn easy.
  3. Be Generous.  Another thing that’s helped me, particularly with those items of clothing that maybe have a little bit of sentimental value but I’m never ever gonna wear again, is to give it to a good friend.  I’ve mailed stuff to friends, given stuff away, you name it…and it helps because you know that it’s not, like, leaving the family so to speak!
  4. Donate.  Another thing that is immensely helpful with parting with things, is to donate them to a women’s shelter or other organization that helps out women in need.  Then you know just how appreciated those things are going to be.  This helped me with getting rid of a lot of my kids baby clothes…I donated them to a local crisis pregnancy center and it was so awesome to know that these young girls were going to get super cute Gap baby clothes when they may not be able to afford them otherwise.  This kind of thing helps you mentally because you know how much better it is for something to get worn than it is just collecting dust in your closet for sentimental reasons.
  5. Do It In Stages.  Sometimes, if there are things I’m like 50/50 on getting rid of, I will put them in a box in the back of my closet or my garage.  I leave them there for like 6 months to a year even, then revisit them…and at that point you’ll know if you want them or not.  Because during that time, you’ll either have gone out and hunted through that box for that one shirt you absolutely need, OR you’ll have forgotten all about them.  Then, when you re-look through it all, you’ll have fresh eyes.  Maybe something’s come back into style or you have new inspiration on how to wear it.  And the rest, well, you’re ready to part with it now.
  6. Give Yourself Grace.  It’s ALWAYS important in life to find balance.  To remind yourself to be generous and not hold on to every single thing.  To remember that life isn’t about stuff, but about people and relationships.  But you also gotta let yourself be YOU!  Let yourself enjoy finding those deals, creating and being a maximalist!!  Being yourself and enjoying the things you love is not something to feel guilty about.  You can’t feel guilty about having a ton of necklaces (and buying more) when you WEAR a ton of necklaces.  It’s just not gonna work for me to only own four or five necklaces, when I wear a minimum of three usually on any given day.  So be YOU, be happy about it, and remember the world NEEDS maximalists JUST AS MUCH as it needs minimalists!

This dress is like, a TOTAL MAXIMALIST dress.  I mean, just look at it!  I think you could probably see it from space!  And that makes me love it even more!  I got if from Kim who is @soulsofcalifornia on Instagram and has a shop on Etsy who has amazing taste and finds the best vintage stuff!!  It’s a Diane Freis, and those of you know what that is know that her dresses are typically crazy and amazing!

Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, you’re awesome because we all balance each other out!  Have a fantastic weekend!

On “Flaws” and Not Paying Attention To Them

I could be wrong, but I feel like no one really actually “loves” their flaws.  Tolerates, learns to minimize, and even appreciates maybe, but “loves”?  That’s a mighty strong word when it comes to being a woman and looking at things you consider “flaws”.  Now I get it…the word “flaw” can mean things like “an asymmetrical face” or “lots of freckles”.  That’s a little bit like cheating in my opinion because those things aren’t necessarily “flaws”, they’re more like “unique features”.  However, I do understand how those things could be seen as flaws to the owner of them!!  It’s just girl life though…we see a lot of “flaws” that aren’t really flaws, they’re really just things that make us uniquely us.

Obviously everyone’s body type is different.  It always amazes me how something can look so great on one person, and then the next girl who tries it on looks five months pregnant.  Yeah, sometimes it just sucks to be a girl huh??  Of course it’s best to try and dress to flatter your body, but there are exceptions to this rule.  Something that I’ve learned from time working at a clothing store, is that when a girl walks out of a fitting room and asks: “what do you think?” the best thing to do is to read her cues.  I mean, there have been times when someone walks out dressed in something that doesn’t fit exactly right and it’s not necessarily the optimal piece of clothing for her body…but she’s lit up like a christmas tree when she says: “what do you think?”  You can just see the excitement on her face and that she is absolutely thrilled with this thing she is wearing.  In those cases, I say: “I think it looks incredible.”  Is this a lie?  No.  Because she’s totally owning that piece of clothing.  She’s happy, glowing, and excited to wear it.  Therefore, she looks beautiful in it.  There are times when women walk out and ask this same question…and I can tell they are unsure.  That’s when I will feel the freedom to offer suggestions…”do you feel like it fits you right?  Is it pulling on your arms?” those kinds of things because in these cases I can tell there are currently doubts in her mind and she’s asking for me to look with a more critical eye.

The worst though is when you see two girls shopping together and one is shooting down every single item that makes her friend light up.  I absolutely hate to see this happen because you can see how it affects the body image of the girl who’s getting the constant criticism.  Suddenly her “flaws” become larger and larger in her eyes.  That top gives her fat arm.  That dress gives her a back roll.  Those pants are ugly.  She is now fully aware of her “flaws” instead of just enjoying her hunt…instead of being creative and seeing things on her the way SHE wants to see them.  Who cares if it gives her “fat arm”?  Does SHE like it on herself?  Ladies, we may not “love” our “flaws”, but if we stop looking at them so much they will get smaller!!!

This outfit is not the optimal for my body.  This vintage kimono robe totally gives me “fat arm” (you can tell I have been educated in the previous type of exchange!) and this dress kind of doesn’t flatter my tummy in the best way.  But I don’t care.  When I put it on, all I see are the beautiful colors and how it makes me feel.  So take that “flaws”.  I’m not looking at you!

The kimono is totally a robe thrifted from Goodwill (HERE’S another lace edged one).  The dress is MinkPink, but I thrifted it at Crossroads Trading Co. in Santa Barbara (similar HERE).  The boots are my Frye cowboy boots I’ve had for years (similar HERE) and the necklace I got on sale at Free People but it’s by this amazing company Sun and Glory.   It’s not available anymore, but GOOD NEWS!  THIS ONE is a straight copy and under $25. :)

I hope you’re not looking at your “flaws”.  Because I’m pretty sure you don’t have any :)

On Being Gracious and a Spring Dress

Yesterday something amazing happened.  We ALL took naps.  Then we watched the Oscars.  I mean…it was like finding a magical unicorn or something.  That stuff never seems to happen around here.  Usually one of the kids won’t nap and one of us then has to stay awake to try and keep the non sleeping kid pacified and quiet while the other either works or rests or something…and watching something other than a cartoon on the big tv is also never an option.  Okay, I will admit that we let the kids watch the iPad while we watched, but hey, we got FULL USE of our television for once, so it was worth it!

I also have to admit that I never watch the Oscars.  I generally have no patience for the speeches that thank endless amounts of people I don’t know.  The commercials.  The movies that I’ve never seen or have no interest in seeing because let’s face it, Oscar worthy movies usually include someone dying at the end of them and that’s just not my jam.  But this year, I don’t know maybe it’s because I haven’t really been able to watch them with the kids being so young, or the fact that there were some movies nominated I want to see, but I actually kind of wanted to watch.  Plus there was the whole “is Leo gonna win the Oscar” thing that kind of had me hooked.  I mean if he didn’t, I was going to most likely scream at the tv “THERE WAS ROOM ON THAT FREAKING DOOR LET HIM LIVE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!”  and throw something at the tv, but otherwise I probably would have survived.  And from what I’ve seen in the clips of The Revenant, the man can pretend fight off a bear like none other.  No matter what the movie was he was nominated for however, I think the thing that had me on the edge of my seat is that he’s been nominated SIX TIMES AND HADN’T WON.  Dang.

I think even if it was a completely different actor who I had never ever seen in a movie before, or even wasn’t a fan of, I still would have been rooting for him for that simple fact.  It just made me think of how life can be.  Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you make Oscar worthy choices, do everything you were supposed to, and even feel like such a shoe-in that you have your acceptance speech prepared (I don’t mean that literally, but I think you know what I mean right?)…only to watch someone else get the “award”?  I think this is just kind of part of life.  I’m sure he thought he deserved that award multiple times before.  He may have worked harder, preformed better, and even had a better attitude than the guy who won HIS award.  But it doesn’t change the fact that we sometimes have to wait much longer than say, someone like Brie Larson who won on her first nomination.  That’s awesome!!!  And yet how funny to think that someone like Leonardo DiCaprio who we would all think would be MUCH more DESERVING of an Oscar won on the same night that someone who literally JUST started won.  Did she “deserve” it less?  No.  But it sure does hurt sometimes when you’re the one sitting on the sidelines feeling like you’ve been passed up so many times before.

You know what’s so awesome though?  He didn’t throw in the towel and say “to heck with this!” when it took so long to get recognized.  Nope.  He continued to work at what he did, get better and better, only to get passed up over and over again…and yet, here he is.  If he had quit because it “wasn’t fair”, he wouldn’t have that award today.  And that’s the part I always need to remember.  Just because it sometimes feels like I’m just sitting here, waiting to get to where I want to go, waiting to BE someone…doesn’t mean that I can’t keep getting better, working harder, and being gracious to the people around me who do happen to get what I want or do what I want to do.  Timing and attitude are just so important!  Yesterday I was kind of having a little bit of an attitude, getting kind of mad when I heard that someone had gotten something I kind of didn’t think they “deserved”.  Gosh what a horrible thing to think!!!  I later realized what I was doing, and decided to change my way of thinking and be gracious and happy for people, regardless of my own opinions about them.  Because it’s not like I am perfect and deserving of stuff either!

I love this Free People dress paired with this scarf because it’s just like a spring dream.  I love the neutral tones and the flowers…and it’s just a gracious outfit I guess.  It feels lovely, kind, and beautiful…all things I want to be on the inside!

Happy Monday lovelies :)



On Being Born Free and This Tee That Reminds Me

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

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

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

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

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

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