Starring In My Own Story

One of my favorite tv shows ended last week.  You know when you’ve been watching a show for seven years…and when it ends it’s almost like you are saying goodbye to something?  That’s exactly how I felt.  Sure, sure, it’s just a show and all, but it feels like a tiny piece of my life in some ways.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a total sucker for a good story.  I was the kid who would read avidly, and actually get depressed when my book was over.  I would think twice about starting a series that had less than three books in it!  Some people just want to know what’s gonna happen and I just really enjoy the journey.  Man, I wish I could be more like that in my real life.

I was thinking about how I felt about my show ending and how attached I can become to a tv show or a book…then I had a crazy thought.  You know, I wish that I liked the star of my own story a little more.  I wish that the star of this real life “show” was less afraid of things.  I wish she worried less, did more fun stuff without constantly weighing how much sleep she was going to get or whether or not she would gain a half pound from it or not.  I wish she was more adventurous.  Yeah.  The “star of this show” happens to be me, but you know that already.

When I was a kid, I was bored A LOT.  Being an only child who was homeschooled left me with few friends, and those friends were not available much since they had their own school and family schedules.  I was left to entertain myself much of the time and so what did I do?  I read.  I listened to radio shows.  There wasn’t a lot of tv or movies allowed, so I created vast worlds in my mind where I “escaped” to.  I created places and imagined myself differently than I was…partly because I wasn’t really happy with my reality.  I need to be clear…this isn’t a sob story about my sad childhood, because I really didn’t have a bad childhood at all!  There were great things about learning to entertain myself with my imagination that shaped me into the (kinda crazy!) person I am now.  But truthfully, I was lonely and I did learn to escape into stories more than I learned how to really create a real life that I loved.  And now, as an adult, I often find myself doing the same.  I run back to my favorite places on tv or in a book instead of figuring out how to make my OWN story better and more exciting.  This story needs a bolder star.

I doubt I’m the only one who feels like this or who does the same things.  I’m quite certain that most people, if they examined their own story, would probably want to change it a bit.  And so, maybe we should.  I don’t have any deep words of wisdom on how to do this, but I will say this: I think the way to change your story is little by little.  Do something small you’ve never done before.  Try to stop worrying about things and do something for someone else.  Get out of your brain, and live IN your story.  And now, I’m basically talking to myself!

Happy Fourth of July you guys…make it a good one!  Celebrate who you are, your freedom, and your ability to be YOURSELF and the star of your own story!  Because I can’t NOT talk about them…this vest was made by my INSANELY talented friend Arwyn, and she will and can make anything you ask her to (she will LOVE me for saying that! 🙂 and the pants were made by the amazing and lovely Lori at @modmelrose.  It doesn’t get better than this 🙂

Love to you all!
Katy

On Jealousy and Fringe

Jealousy.  It’s one of those feelings that we all come across at one point or another.  And is it just me, or has social media managed to feed the green-eyed monster and somehow made it…bigger and more accessible?  It’s kind of the worst, yuckiest feeling, and yet…it still happens whether we like it or not.  Today, I had a run in with the not-so-lovely feeling.

I was out and about, and I saw someone who I actually do not know personally.  At all.  But thanks to the magic of social media, I know quite a bit about her.  At least, what she chooses to share that is (I feel like that always needs to be clarified, right?).  So I saw her, and because I “know so much about her”, I found myself feeling jealous.  Before I knew it, I was thinking things like: “wow it must be nice to be her…to have so much money…to be able to do and buy whatever she wants…” I mean, it took all of 3.5 seconds for my thoughts to escalate to this point where I was feeling angry with her.  What on earth??  I was so repulsed by my thoughts and feelings…and yet I still had them.  I really know NOTHING about her as a person.  And yet, for 3.5 seconds, I was kinda sorta actively hating her.  Wow.  I’ve found that it’s gotten easier and easier for me to forgive people for being judgmental and mean at times because, hi, my name is Katy, and I sometimes have judgmental and mean thoughts.  Yep.  I’m no better than anyone else.  My world has been rocked, yet again!

So in the moment I was jealous of this poor girl who had no idea I was directing laser beam thoughts of hate at her, I didn’t think for a second about who she was, what her life is/has been like, or what she’s been through.  I have no idea.  I mean really, I have NO IDEA.  I don’t know her story.  I mean, for all I know, she could have had a very difficult life up to this point.  I REALLY DON’T KNOW, and that’s the problem with jealousy.  I don’t know what it’s like to be her, what she feels, and who she is as a human.  Picture this.  What if you took a homeless person who had been through hell, and overnight made her a multimillionaire.  You gave her a brand new Range Rover, an expensive makeover, and all the right social media photos.  I bet you anything, people would say those exact things I had thought earlier today.  “wow, it must be nice to be her!”  IS IT?  Gosh we really DON’T KNOW, do we??  Sure, there are some people who do seem to live a sort of “charmed life”, but no matter what, we do not know what it’s like to live from their perspective.  I talked myself down from hate laser beams quickly…once I realized how out of hand my thinking had become.

Regardless, her story is not my story.  Sure, she has stuff I want.  That’s a normal, natural part of life.  Just because she has it, doesn’t mean I can’t have it.  There’s enough to go around.  But my story, my timeline, and my path is not hers, and it would be better if I could focus on MY story instead of looking over at hers and wishing that it was mine.  Easier said than done, but it’s something I remind myself of often.  None of us are immune from jealousy, and all of us are guilty from time to time of coveting someone else position in life.  Eyes forward, encourage each other, and keep moving forward.  That’s what we have to do.  Because looking at each other isn’t really forward is it…it’s more like trying to hop the fence and go sideways.

Gotta wear my attitude like want to wear my clothes.  Boldly and with grace.


My good friend found me this top from her friend up in San Francisco, Souls of California (she has the BEST vintage!) and it’s insane.  It’s drapey and fringy and all the things I love!  I put it with vintage Levi’s, thrifted braided huarache like sandals and this amazing white turquoise necklace handmade by DesertMermaid.

Hope you are loving living YOUR story this week!  I’m working on that right now… 😉
Katy

 

On Movie Watching Habits and…Kimonos

My poor husband.  I am quite literally, one of the worst people in the world to watch a movie with.  Why, you may ask?  I’m going to tell you.  Now, I’m not defending my movie watching dysfunction, or trying to help you understand me or anything like that.  Because I know that my movie issues are not really “logical” so to speak, and until they come out with a drug for “very choosy about movies”, then this is me, watching (or really not watching) movies.  Get ready.  You may not like me very much by the end of this post, because I will inevitably have offended you by telling you I hated one of your favorite movies or turned off a movie that you watch repeatedly.  And for this, all I can say is, I’m sorry, and I wish I could change it too.

If you were a movie, unless you are one of the Pitch Perfect movies or Jurassic Park/World series…I just may not like you that much.  I can’t explain this strange phenomenon, again, it just…IS.  Let me tell you how this goes for me.  I start a movie.  I’m hopeful, cautiously optimistic, and determined to like (tolerate at best) this freaking movie.  Halfway through, I’m like okay, this isn’t my favorite, I’m not in absolute LOVE, but I’m committed and I’m doing it.  Then, right about at 3/4 of the way through this storyline, something happens.  Usually, whatever’s going on is about to reach it’s peak, and I begin to lose my patience.  At this point, I have the realization that if the main character had just NOT lied or cheated on his wife/gotten a legitimate job instead of stealing/stayed on planet earth…NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING.  I begin to question the worthwhile-ness of this character surviving the zombie apocalypse/strange disease epidemic/people with a lot of guns.  And then it hits me.  Because of his/her stupidity, I have WASTED THE PAST HOUR OF MY LIFE stressing about him/her.  I then start imagining a giant bomb obliterating everyone in the movie, a British voiceover saying “And NOW for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”, and a herd of puppies running onto the set, playing with chew toys and being generally more deserving of my time and attention.  True story.

I often read the bad reviews of movies before risking seeing them in the theatre (and believe me, that is quite a risk for me).  I read the bad ones, because usually I can tell by the critiques whether or not I will like the movie.  I mean, the good ones can be telling too.  “Sweeping landscapes” means: “I could just look out the window and save my time and money”.  “Heartwarming story” means: “someone will probably get a weird disease and/or die in this movie.”  “Amazing special effects” means: “the writers all quit so the story is complete crap…but hey a lot of things blow up, so it’s all okay.” And the ALWAYS inevitable “historically accurate” will mean: “everyone dies at the end, don’t waste your time.”  Often the things that people DON’T like about movies are the exact things that will make me LOVE them.  “Formulaic and cute” are often touted as critiques of a movie.  Because, if everyone’s happy at the end of the movie, it seems like a lot of people will inevitably hate it.  I’ve learned that movie critics are often much happier getting jerked around and having the rug pulled out from under them than they are watching people live happily ever after.

I think I’ve been scarred by so many movies, I’ve begun to be an instant skeptic.  I mean Titanic?  Apollo 13?  What the heck people.  Thanks for reminding me that I paid ZERO attention in history class.  Oh and how about the beauty that was The Sixth Sense?  HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?  THANK YOU FOR WASTING MY TIME.  (I guess I should have said: “spoiler alert”, but I mean if you haven’t seen that movie or know this by now, I don’t know what to tell you).  I have been emotionally traumatized before, so now I’ve become quite choosy about what I will pay attention to.  Here is a full (but not conclusive) list of topics I refuse to watch movies on.  (You should sit down, it’s not short).

  1. War (any war at all.  Imaginary or real).
  2. Zombies/zombie apocalypse (missing chunks of flesh is not my jam.  I made an exception for Warm Bodies, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Zombieland.)
  3. Post apocalyptic movies (I like happy things, have you noticed?)
  4. Anything too raunchy  (Again, exceptions include Wedding Crashers, Bad Moms, Bridesmaids…beyond these though if it’s too much raunch, I’m out).
  5. Musicals (this only means I don’t like movies where they sing ALL the time.  Also, please don’t tell me something is a “musical” then have it actually be “a movie about war”…I was a child when I watched The Sound of Music and this nice movie where a lady with a sort of bizarre haircut made clothing out of curtains and sang a lot took a dark turn into something where they probably all died at the end.  It’s not nice to do that to people.)
  6. Anything too emotional (Sorry Nicholas Sparks.  If I wanted to cry, all I’d have to do is watch one of those “share a Kleenex” commercials.  Dang lady hormones.)
  7. Anything too violent  (I refuse to watch people hurting each other, even if it is “historically accurate.”)
  8. Most things sports related (There are some exceptions to this one.  If the story is good enough, and not too emotional, per number six on my list, then I may care enough to watch it.  Since I care nothing about sports, it has to be a good story outside of people throwing balls around.)
  9. Things that are too “artsy”  (I love creativity, but if it’s like art for art’s sake, I’m out.)
  10. Superhero movies (I don’t make the rules you guys.  I have learned that these movies usually include a lot of things blowing up and creatures I don’t recognize or know what they are.  I love movies about people with superPOWERS, just not super heroes.  Don’t even get me started on the anti-super hero movies, we will be here all day.)
  11. Things that are about people making stupid choices  (If you’re gonna do it, don’t make me live through the stress of it okay?  I make enough of my own and have to live through them!)

So where does that leave us?   You called it.  Pitch Perfect and Jurassic World.  Somehow watching people sing in perfect harmony and getting chased by fictitious dinosaurs just makes me happy.  Since this post is just so down on movies, let me give you some titles I do love, lest you think I am the worst human on the planet who hates movies and frowns all the time.  Legally Blonde, The Royal Tenenbaums, Clueless, Ghostbusters (all of them), Mean Girls, Easy A (I love movies about high school can you tell?), Beetlejuice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Back To The Future (all of them), Indiana Jones (all of them except number two because ewwwww), The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Pirates of the Caribbean (all except the last one)…to name a few.  Despite what this post may suggest, I actually do love a lot of movies.  But if I don’t love it?  My poor husband has to live with it.

Good news.  You know what I’m NOT choosy about?  Kimonos or kimono like items.  I nabbed this jacket at the store I work at, and a girl who doesn’t work there that often said: “you like Asian fashion don’t you?”  I was like…”I guess…”  and then realized I was literally wearing a shirt that looks like this jacket…and, um, KIMONOS, DUH.

I mean my gosh, how could you not fall in love with the satiny, gorgeously rich colors, and patterns that make up Asian fashion?  Yeah.  I may not be able to sit through a whole movie, but I could sit through one of those dry cleaning automated racks full of kimonos.  I put this with my Madewell mom jeans (I have them in two colors, they are fabulous) and some thrifted loafers I just scored recently.  My necklace was handmade by DesertMermaid on Etsy.

I bet you are way better at movie watching than me.  I bet you sat through the whole Titanic movie and WEREN’T surprised when they all died.  I’ll bet you love superhero movies and have a blast watching summer blockbusters and are not a “hater” as my husband refers to me.  Ah well.  I’ll always have my automated rack of kimonos to dream about…

Happy Monday
Katy

 

On First Impressions and Cowboy Caftans

First impressions are so interesting aren’t they?  I know you should “never judge a book by its cover” and all that, but of COURSE the cover has at least a TINY bit to do with the book doesn’t it?  Sometimes it doesn’t have as much to do with it  as we THINK it does, but it’s most definitely part of who/what that book is.  Funny how some people make such a strong impression that it kind of defines part of who you see them to be forever really, and other people just kind of somehow “come to be” in your life and you don’t really remember the first time you met them.  Some people I feel like kind of just fade into our lives and they just always ARE, and others, well, you most CERTAINLY remember what kind of impression they made right off the bat.

When I was at Cal Poly, in one of my classes we had to give a mini presentation about who we were during the first day of class.  Nothing major, we didn’t have to prepare anything, it was more of a “who are you?” type thing so that we knew more than each other’s faces and maybe a name or two.  This one guy, let’s call him “Joe” (*names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty and I most DEFINITELY DO remember his name), decided that just simply answering the question was not enough.  While most of us sat in our chairs and gave the usual: “my name is ______ and I like shopping and reading and long walks on the beach blah blah”, when it was his turn he leapt up and ran to the front of the room.  He immediately grabbed a dry erase marker and began drawing on the board as though we were playing some sort of Pictionary game.  We watched as he drew, not sure where this was going, and honestly it didn’t look like it was going anyplace good.  He finally finished his “work of art” and turned to face the class.  “Hi!  I’m Joe*!  And THIS (he motioned dramatically at the drawing on the board) is a diagram of my butt.”  He proceeded to explain where there was hair, as well as where there was not hair on his butt, why this was interesting, and probably some other details about himself that no one remembered because we were all stunned into a silence, memorizing that image of his butt against our wills.  When he finished, the professor gave him a long hard look, said: “Okaayyyyyy…thank you?” and later gave him QUITE a talking to about how inappropriate this presentation was.  Uh…YOU THINK???  I remember this guy’s real name.  But I called him “butt guy” instead, and he has been henceforth known as “butt guy” by my husband too.  I mean, the other day, I saw someone I went to college with and Eric said, “Oh was that butt guy?”  You SEE???  His first impression will NEVER DIE amongst those of us who were in that class that day.  I know nothing about him.  But I’m a wealth of information on his rear end.  Unfortunately.

Ah yes, first impressions.  There have been times when people have told me their first impressions of me.  Usually if I’m getting told by people what they thought of me initially, it’s because they formed a bad impression of me, and not a good one.  Otherwise it’s not really a great story.  Like “oh when I met you I thought you were super nice haha…” yeah not nearly as good of a story as “I thought you were vapid, popular, ditzy, and vain.”  Pretty sure I’ve heard some form of all of these things about myself.  Weird because I’m really not popular and I’m so self deprecating most days people would not think I was all that vain.  I do say a lot of dumb stuff probably too loudly so sure I’ll take ditzy no problem…whatever I used to be a blonde right!?  Anyway, whenever people are telling me their first impressions of me its because they were wrong…(“hey you’re not popular at all!” just kidding, see there’s the self deprecating side speaking up!) and they’ve realized that I’m not who I came across as at all.

To be completely honest, UNLESS you are talking about your butt along with diagrams and stuff, I’m pretty sure what you are wearing comes into play largely with your first impression.  Sure it’s also your facial expressions, body language, and what’s coming out of your mouth…but clothes are an easy first impression maker.  This is partly why I love clothes though…it’s a way of expressing yourself in a very visual way that’s immediate.  It’s like you get to put together your own piece of art, then wear it to show people:  “Hey, I made this outfit!”  It may not always come across as who you are completely, but it’s your creation and it expresses a part of your creativity and your personality!

Yep I’m two posts in a row with the caftans guys, what can I say.  I didn’t plan it that way, but I bought this thing the INSTANT I saw it on The Hippie Shake‘s website it was too amazing.  I mean, most caftans are like 1970s Florida beach wear, which I LOVE.  But this one, this one is like 1970s cowboy meets California beach!  The choker is from PrickliePear and the boots are handmade…get similar ones from Hillbillygypsy Boots!

Hope your week is starting off well, and that you haven’t seen any diagrams of anyone’s rear ends lately.  It really does stick with you…
Katy

On Basics…You Just Don’t Have To Be!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!
Katy

On Photo Shoots (and How I’m Not a Model)

I don’t usually let people take my photos.  Because if someone else is behind the camera, they see all the crazy weird expressions I make.  The expressions I make best are usually:  “goofy”, “serial killer”, and “lazy eye”.  (gosh why has Victoria’s Secret not called me back??) And the expressions I am typically less than successful at are:  “sexy”, “fierce”, and “intense”.  (if you correlate those two lists, you’ll see exactly what happens when I try and make the latter expressions and it will all suddenly make sense.)  When Randi of Guts and Grit Clothing asked if I’d be willing to do a photo shoot with her awesome stuff, I said yes right away…I love her and her stuff so it was an easy choice.  Also, I thought if she’s trying to sell her stuff to serial killers with lazy eyes, then I’m DEFINITELY the best choice for that target market.

Thankfully, she brought Kaitlyn (@hippiesandlippies on Instagram) who’s not only a doll, but is ABSOLUTELY FREAKING HILARIOUS so I had way more fun than I even thought I would!  Sure, it’s kind of the worst trying to “model” (I put it in quotes because it’s something I’m quite bad at) next to a tiny little perfect human being, but when that perfect human is constantly doing weird lunges and trying to grab your rear, it makes it all better.  I think like more than half of the photos are of my with my giant mouth wide open laughing hysterically…(I’m sure Randi appreciated that) because I could not stop cracking up!  It really helped me get over myself a little bit, deal with the fact that my hair, makeup, and nails are basically a hot mess 90 percent of the time, but who the heck cares because the clothes are cool.  So.

Here’s what actually happened for most of the time:

All the tops are hers…she takes vintage jackets and shirts and prints on the back, adds patches or fringe, and basically makes them awesome!

I’ll share more as she sends them to me!  She took SO many that it’s taking a while to transfer them all, so stay tuned for part two 🙂

Happy TUESDAY!  (You made it through Monday, good news!)
Katy

On Social Media and An Amazing Jacket

It’s been easy in the past for me to get kind of down on social media.  I stayed off Facebook completely till less than a year ago and I spent over a year not being on Instagram at all.  Not even to look at what other people were posting.  I’ve had some painful moments due to it, some times when I’ve seen things that have hurt me, made me feel like less than I am, or just discouraged me and caused me to wish things were different or that I was different.  However, I’ve discovered the one thing about it that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  The women I’ve met.  Seriously, I have met some of the greatest girls on Instagram…girls who the only thing that’s not great about them is that they aren’t close enough for me to hang out with!  It’s been SO encouraging and fun to “meet” these girls…whether it’s just in conversations on Instagram or actually in person.

During our recent trip to San Francisco, one of the girls I had “met” on Instagram reached out to me and asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee.  I was so excited because usually on these trips, my husband is in meetings for work and I just hang out by myself, which is fine for a bit, but hanging with someone is preferable to shopping alone!  Before meeting her, I had a moment of panic and I said to my husband: “oh no…I don’t know what she looks like, how will I know who she is??”  And he replied: “ummmm she will most definitely know who YOU ARE!”  Fine, I take a lot of selfies.  I get it.  It’s such an interesting thing meeting someone for the first time…when you’ve already had full conversations with them before.  And not only that, but since you’ve been looking at photo snapshots from their lives for so long, you kind of feel like you know them.  Social media has totally legitimized stalker behavior if you ask me!!  We hung out for the morning, and honestly, I felt like I had known her for years.  And yes, THAT is the amazing thing about social media too…”blind friend dates” are more like being longtime buddies thanks to the fact that you’ve gotten to know each other already.  It’s like a compatibility test for friendship.  Did you both like that photo of that vintage dress that just got posted?  You are 99% compatible as friends.

I had so much fun with her.  This scenario has repeated itself in different locations with different Instagram friends…and every single time, I feel like I’m nailing the friend game.  Which is much different from how it has been for me lately when I meet girls wherever I happen to be.  There’s usually a moment where the new girl I just met says: “I don’t really buy that many clothes…” and I’m like “oh…ok…that’s fun…” (awkward silence because I have no idea what to say next, but I’m guessing it will be about cows because that’s my “go to awkward silence” conversation.  And no, I don’t know anything about cows, which makes it even more awkward than it was.  I should probably find a new topic.)  So social media, forgive me for bashing on you so hardcore, and hey, thanks for all the cool girls you’ve hooked me up with!

The SUPER cool girl in San Francisco embroiders stuff like a boss, hence this INCREDIBLE hand fringed and embroidered denim beauty I’m sporting here.  Honestly, I really don’t have to be cool at all to wear this, because it’s so cool that it makes up for all my lack!!!!  You need to follow her… @township31 on Instagram, and please, have her embroider something for you because she’s the COOLEST PERSON and she’s SO TALENTED!!!

Do you SEE how cool this is?  I’m so thankful to have met her for so many reasons though.  Making friends as an adult is so much harder than it needs to be, and hanging out with her was just so easy.  The moral of the story is this: meet your Instagram friends, because they are even cooler in real life!

Pants are from Nightcap (on sale HERE) and worth the splurge trust me! And the necklace is from Etsy.

Happy start of your week!
Katy

 

On Uggs, Knockoffs, and A Fabulous Lace Top

When I was younger, I was obsessed with Ugg boots.  All the cool girls I knew wore them.  They looked SO amazing to my childlike eyes (and let’s face it, they are pretty amazing if you’ve ever worn them).  My parents were not shoppers and were most definitely not clothing people, so unfortunately they saw no need to spend however much those things cost when I was seven years old.  Also unfortunately, was the fact that there were no other options at the time for shoes like Uggs…there was only the name brand and the name brand was way too much money for my parents to justify spending on shoes for a kid with fast growing feet.  So alas, I had to go without.  But oh did I want them…and in high school, I saw the first pair of knockoffs I’d ever seen.  I saw them at Ross Dress for Less (the only new place for clothes I really knew existed) and I think they were less than $20.  I bought them of course because this was kind of sort of like my dream come true.  I was so excited.  I’d ALWAYS dreamed of rocking a sweet pair of ridiculously impractical light tan Ugg boots.  So in ninth grade, I wore my new faux Uggs.  Instead of being the gloriously amazing day that it was supposed to be, it was horrible.  My feet were drenched in sweat from the non breathable plastic faux fur and manmade “suede” exterior.  There was this horrible ridge on the heel and I had full on blisters by the end of the day.  I was crushed and never wore those horrid things again.  What a huge disappointment.

Later on in College, I finally opted to buy the real deal.  The ones that have the glorious name brand on the heel, the ones with the thick soft fur that feels like your feet are walking on individual tiny couches, the kind with the soft real suede.  It was a dream come true.  And I kind of realized then and there, that I really didn’t love fakes.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I buy plenty of “knockoffs”, copies, and faux things.  But when it comes to stuff like Uggs, a Louis bag (don’t own one yet, but I can dream!!), Louboutins (DITTO), and other high end stuff like that, I just really want the real thing.  There’s just something that feels so special to me about having the real deal…it’s like owning a treasure or something.    Plus, I really just learned my lesson when it comes to trying to get something good without spending money on it.  The memory of how uncomfortable those shoes were lives on in my memory!

I do buy copies sometimes because in reality, most fashion is just copies of something else…and sometimes it just doesn’t matter!  But when it comes to Uggs, I will always be a purist.  🙂

I got this top from vicicollection.com and it’s on sale for $20!!!  It’s EXACTLY like a Free People one I was lusting after for a long time…and a fraction of the price.  And you know what, as far as copies go, this one is a ringer and it’s SO GREAT.  The bells are from Lenni the Label, but get custom ones here, here, or here.  That amazing necklace is handmade by The Joyful Jewelry Box on Etsy.

Happy weekend to all of you!  Hope it’s a grand one 🙂
Katy

 

On Collaborating and A Sweet Deal For You!

When it comes to vintage clothing, I’ve discovered that there are two types of people.  People who love vintage, and people who do not.  Amongst the people who do not, there tend to be varying reasons why…for example they just don’t know how to wear it, it doesn’t fit them correctly, or they just really love new stuff as opposed to older things.  All of those reasons I completely understand, however I firmly fall into the first category obviously!  I love owning things that had a story and a life before me.  I love finding unique things from decades past and giving them new life.  And I love how detailed and intricate most of those vintage items were made…by hand and with purpose and intention.  And I love finding people who love vintage like me.

I got to meet (on Instagram) the girls behind The Reformed Moth (a shop on Etsy and also a storefront in Newport, Rhode Island) and these girls really GET vintage.  They reached out to me to do a collaboration (my first one!) and style some of their pieces, so of COURSE I jumped at the opportunity!  I was not disappointed.  These girls have mad taste.  Honestly I could buy and wear everything on their shop if they were all in my size!  Every piece I tried on was absolutely FLAWLESS.  This is QUALITY vintage.  This is not “thrift store” vintage…this is boutique, handmade, in PERFECT condition vintage.  And I loved every piece I got to style.  I had such a great time and each of these four pieces were on their own so stunning that I did my best to respect them and show them off for the artwork that they are.  I’m excited to share them with you and also give you a little incentive to check out their shop below! 🙂

This first dress was just stunning on it’s own when I put it on.  It was very fitted on me, so I was kind of expecting it to not flatter me, but I felt SO sexy in it with the side slits and body hugging shape.  I added a thin scarf in pink and ankle booties in orange because they brought out the gorgeous spring florals in the pattern.  I love this dress with gold jewelry because it adds a little glamour!

I LOVE the bright pink on this velvet tunic dress!  It is so bold and fun!  Because it’s so vibrant, I wanted to add a lot of neutrals and go a little western with this piece because it’s kind of an unexpected twist.  This dress is SO so soft and fully lined too…it is just gorgeous on its own.

This dress was one that kind of surprised me when I put it on, because the sleeves…oh those sleeves!  It has these PERFECT flutter sleeves that are SO flattering and so fun to wear.  I wanted to switch it up from a typical retro housedress style to something more bold, so I added this giant gold bohemian collar necklace and tall lace up moccasins.  Those flutter sleeves kind of gave a little bit of an allowance for this more traditional pattern and style to be more wild and free and less vintage housewife.  This dress could be worn over skinny jeans, bell bottoms, with flats or heels…and still be stunning.  It’s a total style chameleon!

And now, for the piece that stole my heart with its sweetness factor.  This little tunic dress is clearly handmade and just the cutest thing ever.  I put it over a vintage puffy sleeve top and used simple tall boots because I didn’t want anything to interfere with the adorable detailing on this dress.  Jewelry really would just detract from it, so I left it off.  I think this was my absolute favorite piece to style because of its uniqueness and it’s pretty accents and front pockets!

You guys need to check out this shop.

Danielle and Rebecca started The Reformed Moth five years ago, and their original intention was to upcycle vintage clothing.  They began finding pieces that were so good as they were, that they decided to not mess with perfection and sell them in their original state!  They are just like me…LOVE the thrill of the perfect vintage find at a flea market…those pieces that are wearable and on trend even though they were made long ago.  These girls have excellent standards and taste…you’ll see when you look through their shop.  They were named “Newport’s Best Kept Secret” in a local magazine…and once you take a look, you’ll see why!

Go shop!  Get 25% off with code statelyvelvet 🙂

I’m really grateful to these girls for giving me the chance to style some of their pieces.  I’m hooked!

Katy

On (more) Velvet Bell Bottoms and Becoming a Hippie

Yes, the bell bottoms are back.  Are you really all that surprised?  That’s what I thought.  🙂

Even though this isn’t a lifestyle or beauty blog, I thought I should share with you my slow journey to becoming a hippie.  Mostly because it’s funny, and also because, well, I love bell bottoms and those things seem to go hand in hand right?   I remember watching a few seasons of Mad Men (worth it just for the clothes and the set design!!) and seeing that the year was 1963 or somewhere around that time.  I was watching, wondering…”where is the hippie fashion??”  I mean, it’s the 60s right?  Isn’t that the era of fringe and paisley and bell bottoms?  And all I was seeing on the screen were house dresses and fur coats and kitten heels…all styles that I very much associate with the 1950s.  And then all of a sudden it became so clear in one single episode of the show.  Don Draper travelled to San Francisco (the show was set in NY, but I’m assuming you probably know that) and the minute he stepped off the plane, THERE THEY WERE.  There were the bohemian caftan queens I had been looking for.  THEY WERE IN CALIFORNIA.

I am a beach community dwelling Californian…so it stands to reason that the odds are pretty dang high that I would become a hippie eventually right?  I mean, there’s juiceries, acai bowl places, vegan restaurants, and kombucha on tap basically all over this place.  (My computer’s spell check hates like all of those words, so clearly it’s not a hippie.  We will have to have words later.)  I’m used to people protesting the buying of turkeys outside of Whole Foods around the holidays.  Green Peace people calling me “super mom” (much to my great irritation because I KNOW it’s a ploy to get my attention) and blocking the entrance to Gap downtown so you HAVE to hear about the whales.  This is an area that has that kind of lifestyle.  I was raised with carob and homemade bone broth and yoga and all that jazz.  Although my dad readily fed me Oreos and cheese balls because he said my mom was “trying to poison him”.  I was well prepared in my hippie lifestyle to come despite my brief addiction to MSG laden foods.

It’s kind of happened in phases.  Like I’d read an article about something and then I’d implement something new into our diet or our habits.  I started making homemade bone broth weekly and drinking it daily and also cooking the kid’s food in it.  I got rid of our plastic food storage containers.  I started using coconut oil for everything (and I mean EVERYTHING…I’m basically that guy from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who puts Windex on everything, but with coconut oil) and started buying organic.  And then…the hippie transformation became more serious…like I threw away a giant overflowing grocery bag full of all my favorite brands of cosmetics.  Ouch.  That one hurt.  I still almost cry when I walk by Sephora I miss all my favorites so much.  But I’m slowly replacing it with other brand and it’s good to know that the ingredients are safe for myself and my children when they get lots of mama kisses!  I started making my own toothpaste and getting more into essential oils.  And then one day, I realized that the girl who used to be annoyed by her mom grinding her own peanut butter has now become even too hippie for Whole Foods.  I mean, you know you’re in trouble when you ask someone who works at WHOLE FOODS for a product and they look at you like you asked them for a magical unicorn that fits in your pocket.  True story.

Ahhhh yes, I am now a California hippie.  I still shave, pluck, wax, and use deoderant (hippie deodorant), and I refuse to camp.  I sure as heck am not sleeping outside in what I can only assume the bears would think is a burrito wrapper.  But in most other ways, I am a kombucha drinking acai loving hippie.  I know a lot of this stuff is becoming mainstream…so I’m not alone in my journey and that’s awesome.  I’m not gonna say much more than this about it all because there are SO MANY amazing blogs about this kind of stuff.  Like Wellness Mama.  That woman is so amazing it’s kind of scary.  I mean, when you check out her blog, think of it as a resource, otherwise you will end up in the fetal position when you realize she’s pregnant with her sixth child, makes her own homemade plastic wrap, crawls through the attic to put in ethernet cables, all while running a huge blog and homeschooling her children.  My kids are currently watching Netflix while I wonder how many meals in a row they have eaten frozen pizza.  So…you catch my drift here.

I love bohemian hippie fashion.  These velvet bells are the newest to my collection and they were custom made by MXCI UK who was kind enough to search high and low for this color for me!  She’s amazing!  The top was just SO classic hippie that I couldn’t resist putting it with the bells for a true 1960s flair.  The squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture, one of my favorite Etsy shops.

Wildfox tank and Free People bra with a hit of turquoise.  I love the more casual look with these pants because I feel like it’s a great way I can wear them while running errands.

I love this mustard lace shift dress I got at a step from Forever 21 because it totally looks vintage!  The gold arrowhead looking necklace is from Free To Wander and the other is thrifted.

There’s certain things I just can’t do.  Like let go of my Keurig for example even though it’s not the most organic or natural coffee.  But I’m only human right?  I’m probably never gonna be as natural as Wellness Mama or those other super bloggers, but I’m going to keep doing what I can and TRY not to stress about what I can’t do.  Ha.  Easier said than done for me!!!

Hope you beautiful women are having a wonderful start to your week!

Katy