On Vintage House Dresses and Being Loud

Do you guys ever struggle with aspects of your personality that maybe aren’t bad, but you just feel self conscious about?  I’m betting the answer to that question is an across the board YES.  I tend to be a bit harder on myself than some are, but I know there are many others out there like me.  And there are things about me that I’ve tried to change, but have come to accept are just parts of who I am…and that I need to embrace them instead of trying to reject them!

I talk. A lot.  Shocking I know.  This wasn’t always the case.  When I was younger, being an only child who was homeschooled and had little contact with other kids my own age…I was pretty quiet.  People who knew me when I was younger always say the same thing: “Oh I remember you!  You were ALWAYS reading!”  Yep, I was always reading because I was bored, lonely, and well, I loved to read.  I was so quiet, that when I auditioned for a musical at my church, I didn’t get the part because no one could HEAR me.  Let’s fast forward.  After growing up with non socialite parents and being at home nearly all the time, I finally got to go to a teeny tiny Christian high school that was small, yes, but there were other HUMANS MY OWN AGE there.  Because I loved to sing, I joined the informal choir/band that my school had.  The first time we all sang together, I remember standing in the back row.  We started singing, and this one guy in the front row who had absolutely no care about what people thought about him perked up immediately.  I saw him look to the left, then to the right…he kept singing, but he started to investigate what was going on.  He slowly walked by everyone in the front row, eyes squinted, clearly listening for something.  He then got to the next row and walked slowly by everyone again, putting his ear up to each person and then shaking his head.  He got to the back row and again, went person by person till he got to me.  He put his ear up to my face, smiled, and pointed: “YOU! You’re the singer lady!”  That was what he called me for the rest of the year.  He heard me all the way in the back, which is where I was always put from then on because I was always LOUD.  The girl who got denied a role in a musical for not being audible was now drowning out everyone else in the choir.

I hear all the time: “You talk a lot…you’re so animated…you’re loud…” it’s a constant state of being for me.  And to be honest, I often feel SUPER self conscious about it.  I don’t try to talk a lot…I just have a lot of words.  There have been plenty of times when I have left a meeting, a hang out, or a public place, and berated myself the entire way home.  Why couldn’t I just talk less?  Why couldn’t I just be one of those super cool quiet types?  There are times when being told I talk a lot makes me feel so embarrassed and so ashamed of myself.  I spent a few years trying SO hard to not talk too much.  To be different.  To not talk about what tv show I just watched or the super fun dress I got on sale or the funny thing I just read.  I would tell myself to just SHUT UP.  But it never works.  The words just tumble out of me like a never ending waterfall and I will always share what funny thing I just saw and what new outfit I’m so excited about.  It’s just who I am.  And all those years of being a quiet wallflower child were just NOT ME.  I should have had the confidence to be in musicals and to be running around trying to make people laugh.  Now I have the freedom to be me, and it’s all just coming out of me naturally.

I love this dress because it is loud.  It’s fun, bright, happy, beautiful, and LOUD.  I love it on it’s own and I love it over skinny jeans.  It’s fun and it just feels so like ME.

I LOVE vintage dresses.  This amazing vintage house dress is from Village Vintage in Arroyo Grande and I actually just bought it without even trying it on.  AND I love it more on than I did when I saw it in the store.  I love how kind of 1960s/70s it is and how fun it is to pile on jewelry and add to it!  Boots are Frye’s from a few years ago and the jewelry is all vintage.

Because it’s “winter” in California (I use quotes because while many of my Instagram friends are buried in snow, I am wearing a short sleeved dress outside), I added some skinny jeans.  I think there’s so many ways to style this dress.  I thought it would be fun to simplify the jewelry and simply add a pop of orange with the boots and the necklace to bring out the orange in the dress.  The boots are from Urban Outfitters and they are the perfect retro bootie for the season.  Or in my case, forever because I’m stuck in the 1970s. :)

Hope you love all the fun parts of your personality, even the ones you get lots of comments about!

Happy middle of the week!


Winter Whites and When People Just Don’t Get You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday Mojo in Mustard

You know what I love about Mondays?  Getting back into the groove of things.  Sure, I am a little sad that the weekend is over, but Monday is the start of a fresh new week.  I get to get the house clean, start cooking new meals, and get my workout going for the week.  I’m going to totally dork out now.  Warning!  I seriously look forward to my workouts because A. I love working out and B. I get to watch Teen Wolf uninterrupted.  Yep, dorking out.  Any show that has teenage drama and shapeshifting has my undivided attention.  I cannot lie.

Mondays are sometimes hard to get motivated.  But that’s why I love things that help me feel like I’m just rockin it even if I’m just dragging my rear end around from cup of coffee to cup of coffee.  Today, it’s mustard and turquoise.

I got this new Free People tank from Ambiance SLO and dang, I am LOVING IT.  Today, to be extra mojo-liscious (it’s totally a word), I put it with my Lenni the Label velvet bells and my Free to Wander squash blossom.  I love the kind of monochromatic effect it has with that nice pop of color with the accessories.


The Frye huaraches I got at New With Tags in Paso and I am in love with them.  They’re like the cutest comfiest sandals ever.  And they were a steal.

I’m digging this whole mustard on Monday thing.  It really works for me.

Happy start of your week!


Hope. Oh, and Boots too.

Years ago I found this amazing Etsy shop called Wild and Free Jewelry.  She made things like sea star headdresses and feather crowns…things that in my dreams I wear everyday to the grocery store and to the park.  I saw that she also took vintage boots, folded them over, and embellished them with all kinds of stuff like lace and belts and jewels…I fell in love with her style and her shop immediately.  I thought maybe one day I’d get crafty and cool and make my own pair, so I bought some vintage Frye’s I found at a steal online.  My size (size 10) can be rough to find in vintage shoes, so I was super excited.  But let’s just say crafty and cool aren’t really my thing, so they sat in my closet for a year or two, just collecting dust and waiting for me to do something with them.

Then the three year darkness hit.  I watched from afar on Instagram as Wild and Free created more and more amazing jewelry, boots, and even jackets…just wishing that I could send my boots in to her and have her do something with them.  But the boots were in a box in a storage unit and all I could really do was try to survive.  One day I actually met Corina (the creator of Wild and Free) in the Free People store in Santa Barbara.  I recognized her from Instagram and her blog so I went up to her like a super fan, all embarrassed and feeling crazy that I was even approaching her.  I was still in the midst of a very difficult time and hadn’t lost much of the weight I gained while pregnant…so I felt kind of lame even talking to her, but thank goodness she’s like the sweetest person ever and made me feel like I was completely normal and okay.

Fast forward another year.  I shipped my boots off to her and now I finally have a piece of art by Wild and Free Jewelry.  I know they’re just boots.  But to me, they’re kind of the fulfillment of a dream to me.  I spent so many days looking at her pictures and thinking that maybe one day I would feel alive and okay enough to finish this boot project I started years ago.  I’m really thankful for Corina and how meeting her was a bright spot in a time when I really didn’t have much space in my life for creativity or imagination.  Meeting her was kind of a moment of encouragement…her energy and excitement for life and traveling and art gave me a little breath of air and hope for the future.  That maybe I could be like that someday again.  And now I have my boots to remind me of that moment of hope…and that I made it through!


There’s nothing like having a symbol of hope…something that reminds you every time you see it that dreams can come true!

Happy Friday!


Easy Sunday Style…In Tara Grace the Label

Okay it’s Sunday.  I got church and errands and stuff to do…and that means dressing up but in a still functional outfit.  So Sunday Style is gonna be one of those catch-all posts that includes how to style things, easy ways to dress up, and just all around fun outfits that fit the bill for a Sunday outfit.  This kimono is the PERFECT first piece for this category.

While I love kimonos, this one really sets itself apart from my entire wardrobe.  I first found Tara Grace the Label on instagram and when I spotted this Stevie Kimono, I was instantly in love.  It comes in black too (which I’m thinking I might need to own as well) but this mustard color is so gorgeous and neutral and flattering…it won me over right away.  When it came in the mail it was accompanied by a handwritten note, which made me love this brand even more. I mean, I got a note from Tara Grace!  I feel like a celebrity!  The second I pulled this kimono dress out of the package, I could tell it was something special.  It’s got this amazing flowy fabric that hangs perfectly.  Unlike the usual boxy shape of a standard kimono, this one is built to fit the waist and flare out at the knee so it creates a super flattering shape.  It looks incredible as a wrap dress and it hangs beautifully as an open kimono.  I thought it would be really fun to style this three ways because of what a gorgeous piece this is.



Even though this piece is so stunning on it’s own, I thought it could be fun to add in some bright accent colors and some moccasin boots.  I put a Free People long tank top slip under the kimono and belted it with a vintage embroidered belt.  It’s so comfy and lightweight and makes me feel all dressed up.



This dress looks AMAZING with gold.  I love the neutral tone of the blonde leather cowboy boots and tons of bright gold accenting it.  The western influence of vintage leather belt and boots totally works with the lace and the style of the dress.


I have these mustard color Topshop pants that were just itching to be paired with this kimono.  I love how this piece works in a rock and roll kind of vibe as well as boho or cowboy…it does it all.  Turquoise and a graphic tee go beautifully with it!

I think there’s about a hundred other ways that I can (and will!) wear this kimono…which is why I probably need it in black too (dang it!).  It’s just too good. Plus I love buying from brands like this that are such incredible quality and so personal.  It’s totally clothing art…and pieces like this are worth investing in!

Hope your Sunday is more relaxing than mine.  As I’m typing this, my almost three year old is literally doing laps around the living room yelling “LOOK AT ME! I’M RUNNING AROUND!”  More coffee.  For me, not him.  Just to clarify.

Happy Sunday!