The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? :)
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday

Fashion Feelings: Waiting for Spring

Sometimes in California, it seems that we barely get winter.  We often head straight from summer into indian summer…and then we get like a few days of “cooler weather”, and we are right back where we started in warm temperatures.  I’d say it’s been like that for the past few years here on the Central Coast.  We all buy sweaters and jackets and there are a few bold enough to attempt a pea coat or trench coat (usually the attempts are in vain) and then we stare at our closets, dripping sweat, and wonder why on earth we thought it was a good idea to buy cashmere. You know the story, we got caught up watching Gossip Girl reruns and  had visions of tights and scarves, then came crashing back to reality that you can’t dress like that when it’s 75 outside.  That’s the norm I’d say around here.

However, that is not the case this year.  On the contrary,  we are actually getting our winter.  My rain boots have been worn more in the past few months than they have over the entire time I’ve owned them.  No exaggeration.  Sure, we’ve had a few glorious days that feel like spring, but they are bookended with rain, and LOTS to it.  There’s dams breaking and flooding and mud sliding…all the things that you typically DON’T associate with California…where literally six months ago people were STANDING IN the bone dry lake taking Instagram photos.   And after all that waiting for rain and wondering if we’d ever have a winter again, how do you think it makes us feel?  Yeah.  For the most part, we are all just waiting for spring.

I’m not going to use this post to complain about the weather, no, I’m really talking about the seasons more as a metaphor than anything else.  Because, OBVIOUSLY the rain won’t last forever, and it’s not even all that bad compared to other parts of the world.  What I’m talking about is waiting for newness.  Most of the time, I feel like I am surrounded by people who are waiting for a change to happen.  You can hear it in their conversations as you pass by, you can sense it in them…that urgency to move past something, be it school or a temporary job, to get to where they are going.  Sure, that’s kind of part of life.  A lot of life is spent in waiting rooms, boring classes, jobs we aren’t excited about, grocery store lines…that’s normal.  I’m not really talking about THAT kind of waiting.  I’m talking about the WAITING.  You know, that deep-down-in-your-soul waiting that you can’t talk about without either getting so fired up that you can’t stop thinking about it OR you completely dissolve into tears because you “just can’t” anymore?  THAT kind of waiting.  It’s the kind where you desperately want to get pregnant and have been waiting for what feels like your whole life to be a mom.  It’s the kind where you just KNOW that there’s a job or a purpose for you outside of working at a dead end job filled with busy work you could not care less about.  THAT kind of waiting.  Waiting for spring to come.

I must confess that I have had this kind of waiting in me my whole life.  It’s very painful to even admit that sometimes, because it means I’m still doing it.  It started when I was a child (because I grew up with parents who were “waiting” and unfortunately they passed their torch to me at a very young age in that area).  I was more of a grown up child, who wished and hoped to solve everything for my parents at an age when I should have been more concerned with what the hot new toy was rather than my dad’s income comparative to the home prices in our town.  So even as a child, I was waiting for something that was not my responsibility to wait for.  That sucks.  Because now as an adult, instead of waiting for a “normal” amount of adult years, it’s mostly feels like I came out of the womb with a burden, not only to change things for myself, but to fix it for everyone around me.  And trust me, I’m not the only one suffering from this kind of waiting here.

So what do you do with this kind of waiting?  To be honest, on days like today, I feel like it is actually going to crush me.  What then?  Do you just put on your winter parka and decide that winter will last forever?  Do you just hunker down and accept it?  No.  You put on your spring clothes.  It may be freezing (so maybe don’t LITERALLY do that if you’re in a snowy climate, okay?) and it may feel VERY VERY WRONG.  People may stare at you.  They may even ask you why you’re dressed for spring when it’s CLEARLY still winter outside.  And you tell them: “because spring is right around the corner, and I want to be ready for it when it comes”.  Do you get what I’m saying?  Emotionally, we need to “dress” for spring time.  Because the winter won’t last forever.  Seasons change, and believe me, I know people who are living in spring time and they are still bundled up for the deep freeze.  They’re scared to change their emotional attitudes because they believe it’s still winter time.

On a lighter note, I am quite guilty of dressing for the season I WANT it to be, rather than the one I am currently in.  I think it’s partly just my creative nature, and partly the fact that most of the time if someone tells me something is impossible I tend to take that as a challenge.  Dressing for the wrong season is my forte, quite literally.  Days like today, I humbly admit that I’ve been in my parka all day long even though the weather has been beautiful.  I have gotten it all wrong and it’s time to put on my cropped floral pants and say screw that, I’m dressing for spring!

Who’s with me?

Pants: Vintage, similar HERE (and on clearance!)
Top: Old Urban Outfitters, similar HERE
ombat Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, similar HERE (and a screaming deal too!)
Earrings: H&M in store, black version HERE

Cool Copying: Why I Never Get Rid Of Stuff

Okay, maybe that’s a lie.  I get rid of A LOT of clothes to be honest.  I resell stuff on Poshmark, I trade it in at my local resale store, and I donate stuff to friends and thrift stores.  There’s no WAY I could keep everything, because then I’d be a legit hoarder and you would find me buried under mounds of supposed-to-be-Halloween costumes, weird vintage, and things that virtually no one knows what they are.  I’d be trying to claw my way out, slip sliding on all that satin and velvet.  So yeah, I gotta get rid of stuff.  However, I am often VERY reluctant to do so.  With certain pieces more than others.  Here’s why.

Do you know how many times I have hit a period in my life where I think to myself: “well, I’m never gonna wear THAT style again!” and then…SURPRISE!  I DO!!   Yep.  Remember that box of vintage slips I got rid of years ago?  I STILL REGRET THAT ONE.  There was this one white and blue pinstripe skirt…an amazing pair of boyfriend shorts, and a baby blue polyester vintage suit that I very much remember and miss.  That being said, I have become slightly better at telling what I really just don’t love and won’t re-wear, or what I can replace with something better and won’t ever miss because of it.  So when I saw this photo, I was like YES I AM VINDICATED!  (I’m shouting at myself, because honestly no one else cares about this around me)

I love this look.  It’s equal parts menswear and rock and roll and that is awesome.  I bought this skirt at Forever 21 probably about seven years ago or so, and every so often, it proves to be amazing.  It has spent some time on my “to get rid of” pile, but then at the last minute, it always gets salvaged.  Because I realize how cool it is and realize that the minute I get rid of it, I will most likely spend my free time looking for something to replace it, only to spend three times as much!  No its not like I’ve EVER done THAT before!!  (Sarcasm.)

I got my white blazer on super sale on Black Friday at H&M (hooray!).  I liked the look of the plain white tee with the text on it, so I wore my Bandit Brand “Rock and Roll” shirt because, well, it’s on the nose, but in this look that totally works!  Also, my skirt is fully lined, which just makes it a bit more wearable in the cooler months (here in California, I realize this would not be wearable in the snow!).  But all in all, I think it’s a look worth copying!  And let’s not forget about those EARRINGS.  Yes, my friend Arwyn works miracles in the leather world and did these up right for me.  Ahhhhh, I love her.

Now if only I could get that white pinstripe blazer back that I got rid of so many years ago…that would have been a cool addition too!

Happy Tuesday!  (that is what day it is right??)

Fashion Feels: Black Friday

Black Friday.  It’s like a drug for me.  And yet, I cannot get a single friend to go shopping with me on this holiest of all days.  I mean, it’s literally the most crazy, fun, buzziest shopping day of the year.  The day when I actually get grandma to babysit the kids so that my husband and I can go out nice and early and DO THIS SHIZ.  Yes, I am a serious, but really more fun, Black Friday shopper.

Sure, sure, most of my best shopping is done from small businesses, thrift stores, and vintage shops.  Absolutely do I believe in supporting these places FIRST and FOREMOST.  I mean, I OWN a small business now for crying out loud, so I must also believe in and support them.  But there’s just something about Black Friday that I just LOVE.  It’s like a club.  You go out early, dressed in your sweats (the cute ones of course), get a giant coffee, and you see each other and nod in silent solidarity.  We are the hardcore.  The ones willing to sacrifice an hour or two (or more if you’re one of the crazies who goes out at midnight) of precious sleep to score a DVD for a mere $5.  Does it matter that no one really buys DVDs anymore?  No.  It’s the fact that you are buying an actual MAJOR MOTION PICTURE for five buckaroos that gives you that little thrill and keeps you going.  That, and the giant coffee you’re toting around.  Um, refill please.

Before I move on to my day, which I will try and document with photos that are worthy of looking at, let me give you some background.  I am an only child.  You probably know this already, but I need you to know it for this post.  I was a very social person from day one, born to two people who would rather stay at home or go bird watching than go to a mall or a grocery store.  Yes, you heard me right. BIRD WATCHING.  Now this may be like totes hipster and cool and all these days, but guys…just no.  I wanted to be where the action was.  I would beg my mom to go somewhere, ANYWHERE (and NOT the library or the used bookstore, and if you knew my mom you’d understand why…ten hours later we are still at the xerox machine…) and yet, they’d usually stay home.  Boredom was my middle name.  My dad would balk at the idea of going Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve and I would poke and prod until he’d drive me down there just so I could be where all the humans were.  My Christmases were me, getting toys, and then basically waiting until all my friends were done with their Christmases so I could actually PLAY with my new stuff.

Get some kleenex ready, because this is some good stuff right here.  I remember on Christmas Day, I would literally sit on the back of the couch, looking out the huge window in the front of the house we lived in.  I would watch the house down the street, where four siblings lived, receive car after car after car filled with PEOPLE getting out.  I remember wishing so hard that it hurt that it could be me over there.  Because…I LIKE BEING AROUND PEOPLE.  Honestly, I could buy like one thing and have the best black Friday ever.  Because the shopping is not even the best part of the day for me.  It’s just the fact that if I know where all of my kind will be on any given day, I will make it a point to be there.  It makes me feel like I’m part of the buzz.

SO HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!  Here’s my day…broken down by steps for you! :)

Step one.  Set the alarm, MAKE myself leave that dream I was having and get in the shower, because, $9.99 jacket at H&M.  Shower, brush teeth, makeup, dress in layers, eggs, no coffee (no time).

Step two. Park, and jump out to claim my jacket and find a white blazer (SUCCESS!) and whatever other goodies may be on sale.  There are like four people in the store (thank you sleepy small town) so I am tempted to over dramatically scream GET OUTTA MY WAY and act like I’m warding off vicious shoppers, but because I’ve had no coffee yet, the amusement must stay imaginary.

Step three.  Get COFFEE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  Take a weird selfie in an alley way where a dog is watching me because…well, I don’t know why there was a dog eating something in an alley, but I’m too tired to answer this strange question.

Step four.  Head to Target, where all the people actually are to hunt for doorbuster, and SURPRISE! get sucked into the clothing section because with the Cartwheel app everything is 45% off.  So…clothes shopping it is.

Step five.  Go back downtown for some green juice and a sitting break.  Then hit up some random stores and find a place to eat some FOOD.  Ahhhhhhh…more caffeine.  Suck down that iced tea and THEN remember to take a photo of it (too tired to be an awesome instagrammer today).

Step six.  Take an awkward selfie in the bathroom, because the bathroom of this restaurant coordinates with my pants, and then take a photo of my husband who is always posing weird for photos in hopes that I will one day pay attention to the weird thing he is doing and actually take a photo of him instead of me.

Step seven.  Go home, drink more coffee, listen to the kids squawk in their cribs during “nap time” and asses the spoils.  Success, not much money spent, and heck to the yes I got that $9.99 jacket.  Now I’m ready for GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL (!!) and bed.  Ahhhhh bed.

I love Black Friday.  Even the fact that the movie we were gonna see today was sold out, nothing can ruin my Black Friday buzz.

Sleep tight all you shopping warriors.  We done good.



Real World Style: Fall Couture

I love nothing more than to be flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine and spot an outfit that makes me think: “hey!  I could do that!”  I love when I see a photo that encourages me to put things together in a brand new way.  This is the ultimate way to “shop your closet” or to help you come up with a list of a few pieces to add to your wardrobe for the new season.  When I saw this look in the most recent Vogue, I instantly knew I wanted to give it a shot in the real world.

Dang it.  Now I want a soft pretzel.  Back to the outfit.  I love blazers.  I think they are one of the most key pieces, like a great pair of jeans, that can just completely make an outfit.  They just add something structured to your look and can take anything, even a plain tank top and jeans and sandals and make it look like a legit outfit.  This look, though, made me think about the whole “blazer/skirt” combo.  This is not new, it’s not rocket science, but it just feels very now and fresh to me.  This is what I did with it:

I have a plaid blazer, but because mine is navy and dark green, when I tried to pair it with the red skirt it looked way too Christmas-y.  I liked how the stripes paired with the skirt…kind of had this thing where the lines on the blazer continued on down in the skirt.  It feels so “fall” and so  put together to me.  All I need is that stupid soft pretzel now…

If you don’t have a blazer, definitely add one to your wardrobe.  Here’s a great option for one under $50 at H&M.  I think this look works best with an unstructured skirt better than a pencil skirt for example, because the blazer/pencil skirt pairing is definitely an “I just came from the office” look whereas this is a more creative use of this typical workwear piece.  I would do it with a flowy maxi, a pleated midi, or even a destroyed denim piece to be creative with it!  I love the juxtaposition of the tweed-y blazer with a romantic or rock and roll skirt!

Hope you’re having a great day (and eating a soft pretzel)!

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!).

On Traveling, Shopping, and More Issues Than Vogue

Me and traveling are an interesting combination.  First of all, I didn’t travel much as a kid, and when I did, it was always camping and it was something that was a big deal.  We packed for the trip for weeks, had a checklist that we slowly and methodically checked off and triple checked, we mapped out the route and prepared thusly for it…it was like we were going off to places where toothbrushes had never been invented, so if we forgot one, we’d most likely get instant gingivitis and die.  All that being said, I now am not a great traveller because of this massive amount of preparation and thought that I had originally seen go into trips of any length really.  And now that I have kids, it’s even more stressful for me.  I am working on this situation because I really want to travel and see places…and in order to do that I’m gonna need to go ahead and CALM DOWN because there’s usually a Target within five minutes of any place in the U.S.  (Of course I want to go to exotic places like Bali too, but I nearly had a panic attack because I forgot string cheese last night…so let’s start small shall we?)  I also recently discovered a new eating disorder (we really needed a new disorder so it’s a good thing they found one right?) that I think I’m on the verge of having.  It’s this thing where you literally CANNOT bring yourself to eat things that are or that you believe to be unhealthy foods.  Yep.  Pretty sure I got that one.  The GREAT news about this, is that it makes me even MORE inflexible in my traveling because I’m having borderline panic in a massive city FILLED with restaurants because I need to find an organic salad before I starve or get “I just ate something GMO-itis”.  I hope you’re laughing at this, and if you are, you should probably ask my husband if this is a joke and he will just look at you and say quite gravely: “oh no.  This sh** is real.  I nearly had to walk to the nearest Walgreens at midnight for some string cheese.”

Let’s not forget about my, uh, packing situation.  We haven’t actually purchased decent luggage yet, but I’m quite sure one day soon, my husband is going to just order a whole set out of sheer frustration and surprise me with it.  Because after the hundredth time of showing up at a hotel with multiple plastic bags filled with styling products, jackets, boots, shoes, makeup, pillows, snacks (for the love, do NOT forget the snacks), water bottles, magazines, and other sundry things falling out all over the place while the poor bellman hops around trying to figure out how on God’s green earth he is going to get all of this madness onto a cart…he finally snapped and was like “I DON’T WANT TO BE BAG PEOPLE ANYMORE!!!”  Okay, he didn’t say that exactly, but that was the general gist of his outburst.  An overnight trip for me requires like ten outfit options, don’t fight it or argue it, it’s never gonna change and I’m not looking to “fix” it, so calm down with your clever tips and advice on how to “pack light”.  I will never be a “pack light” person and I’ve come to terms with it.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m horrid at predicting weather and how to dress for it.  Yes, I know there are weather apps and weather men, and weather psychics…(made that last one up, but it just sounded like something that would be really funny) but it matters not to me.  Because it could say 70 degrees and that means nothing.  Is it breezy?  Muggy?  I could be wearing a tank top and be freezing because it’s 70 with a breeze or I could be sweating through a flannel (most likely scenario because if I’m wearing something, I’m probably sweating through it) because it’s 70, sunny, and humid.  So I bring like 10 options, none of them work perfectly, and I then talk about the things I wish I’d brought and how I have the perfect outfit idea for the day, but it’s all at home in my closet.  My husband is a lucky, lucky man.  Although I do think he’s learned to tune me out because lately he’s like “huh?  When did you say that?  I don’t remember that…” and it’s something I literally said like five minutes earlier.  Ah well, good for him.  If I could tune me out, I would.

Now that we have two toddlers though, the whole traveling thing has changed a bit.  If we bring them with us, that is like CRAZY amounts of stuff.  You think I need a lot of clothes when I travel…these tiny people leak diapers and food and snot and dirt ALL OVER EVERYTHING so they actually have an excuse to change ten times a day.  Maybe that’s why singers do so many outfit changes at concerts…dang I never even thought of that!  And then there are the times like on this trip, when we don’t bring them along, I miss them horribly.  It’s hard to be separated from your little humans who are all about you (well, they’re all about themselves at this stage, but I am the one who gives them stuff so they’re also all about me!) and lean on you for everything.  Honestly, I had a hard time coming on this trip but I knew I needed to have a little break from the daily norm and that grandma time would be fun for them too.  I cannot wait to see them tomorrow, but today, sitting in a hotel room having not washed a single dish today or been asked to do anything at all…it’s a nice little breather for myself and time to just BE.  Which is rare in momdom.

Here’s a little photographic tour of my morning (shopping OBVIOUSLY) because it would have been so fun to have you along with me!

The city.  It’s so crazy, weird, and full of strangeness!

Found a couple of things that I wanted to buy in Anthropologie (I mean LOOK at those pants!!) but resisted since I don’t need an 800th pair of bell bottoms.

Tried on skinny jeans and found a pair in Anthropologie…although in this photo I “accidentally” tried on flares.  Whoops.  :)

Urban Outfitters.  The huge and magical one where I tried on this Shop Camp top but it had a bunch of stains on it and I’m also a little skeptical of wearing something that says “seniors” on it because I don’t do jokes regarding age and I’m afraid someone’s gonna make one if I wear it.  So.

My outfit selfie in the massive H&M fitting room because the back of the doors is GOLD MIRROR!!!  It’s like a requirement that you take a selfie in it.

Back at the hotel in my fringy Minnetonkas, which I wisely wore black because a) the city is dirty and b) my brown ones have so many holes in the soles they’re basically like walking barefoot at this point.

More photos to come on Instagram and snapchat!  Not done yet.  I’m obsessed with this Madewell denim top that I MUST try on later…and I do have a couple of things in my bag that I’m excited to wear soon! :)

Happy trails to y’all (and don’t forget your toothbrush I hear that instant gingivitis can be a biatch.


Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans and Extremes.

I’ve been on the lookout for ankle zip jeans for a few years now.  They’re one of those annoyingly perfect items that I see on everyone, and yet I never manage to find in a store.  Like where are they all GETTING these jeans?  Is there a secret ankle zip jean warehouse that I don’t know about?  I mean come on.  Think about it.  When was the last time you saw someone wearing ankle zip jeans?  Got it?  Okay now think about the last time you saw them in a store.  See what I mean??  But I digress.  I FINALLY found this amazing pair of ankle zip grey super stretchy skinny jeans at H&M in Santa Barbara.  They were under $30 and they are just about perfect.

My first pair of jeans (from what I remember, and my memory is all a blur of siamese cats, me hiding in a pile of stuffed animals, and running around naked with a dress-up chef’s hat on, so it’s not the most reliable) was an ankle zip pair.  Oh my goodness do I remember those jeans.  They were slightly acid wash but darker denim, skinny jeans, with a denim bow at the top of that glorious ankle zipper.  I literally never felt cooler in my life than when I put them on at the ripe old age of eight.  My mom didn’t shop unless it was at thrift stores (and that was definitely not cool then) so these were like a rare, brand new item.  I will never forget those jeans.  I haven’t owned a pair since then.  So I think it’s about time for a new pair, dontcha?

I am an extremes personality.  No, not an EXTREME personality, I’m just all about extremes.  I’m learning to find more of a happy medium, but I tend to gravitate towards the “all or nothing” kind of mindset.  I’m all skinny jeans or giant bell bottoms.  Nude makeup or dark smokey eyes.  I mean, give me a topic and I’ll tell you how I feel about it.  I FEEL about basically everything.  I think this is partly why I love these jeans.  They are committed to being skinny jeans.  Again.  Giant bells, or super skinny.  Anything in between is just hard for me because it’s non committal.  You can totally laugh at me now, it’s ok.

I love how easy they are.  Black tee I cut the sleeves off, New Balance shoes, and some silver vintage jewelry.  Done.  Ready to run errands with the kids.

I thought I’d kind of halfway dress them up.  Kept the running shoes, added a turquoise tassel necklace from Anthropologie and a sheer floral kimono.  Still works with the sportier look, but a little softer and more girly.

Dressing them up a bit more, I swapped the shoes for these strappy Jeffrey Campbell booties and swapped out the tank top for this mini tunic dress from Urban Outfitters.  I used some sparkly jewelry and gold to class up the jeans, since gold always kind of gives off a fancier vibe.

I love my bells so much.  But it’s kind of a nice switch to wear some skinny jeans! Plus, for those of you who have small children, you know how much easier it is to move around in skinny jeans than wide leg pants!!

Happy Wednesday!  Hope you have magical luck finding yourself a pair of ankle zip skinny jeans like I did!  Or just make it easy and run over to H&M. :)


Finding The Monday Magic

You know those outfits you put on and you just get all tingly inside because they just feel RIGHT?  Like you put something on and you just know it looks good AND it feels good AND it’s fun?  I feel like no matter how many clothes you own (and I own a LOT of clothes), those pieces are harder to find than you’d think.  I mean, to be honest, I’ll often find something and think “oh this is going to be one of those things that I just love and wear all the time!”  And instead, I wear it a few times and never really love it all that much.  There’s something about clothing stores and fitting rooms that can really trick you into thinking something looks better than it does!  But that’s really the meaning behind Monday Mojo.  It’s like those little pieces of magic in my closet that I can always pull out when I’m in doubt about what to wear.

Last week at the store, this dress came in.  And instantly, I was attached to it.  It’s this brand called Holding Horses that is sold at Anthropologie, and I LOVE it.  Something about that brand is just special.  Usually the pieces are plaid and they have a bit of a vintage look about them, but they are created in a slightly unique way that makes them just interesting and different from your normal plaid pieces.  This dress is no exception.  I LOVE this thing.  It feels kind of like a hoe down meets ball gown dress (if that were even possible!) and it’s just comfy and flowy and makes me feel thinner than I actually am.  MAGIC.  Plus I love how it can be styled in different ways to change the look of it.

I thought it could be fun to give this dress a rocker edge so I put it over my new ankle zip skinny jeans from H&M and added my Jeffrey Campbell strappy booties.  Lots of gold jewelry just because that adds a nice edge!

Fur.  Yep.  Tory Burch boots and this vintage fur collar and these earrings.  These earrings from Gypsies Caravan.  These earrings are like the most amazing earrings I’ve ever seen and with the fur, I kind of feel magical.  It just is my new favorite combo.

Happy Monday!  Hope you’ve found your magical outfit for the week! :)


H&M Tunic…Doing Double Duty

I feel like I’m always doing at minimum two things at once.  Like making breakfast, washing dishes, and filling up water cups…plus trying to make coffee at the same time.  See?  That’s four things right there.  Maybe I’m “resting” and folding laundry at the same time.  Running on the treadmill and managing instagram for my job.  Trying to write a blog post while getting constant requests to make an elephant out of play dough.  What the?!?  What am I, Michelangelo??  I can barely make a snake out of play dough, let alone a mammal.  Oh geez.  My elephant looks like a snake that ate a large mammal.  Epic play dough fail.

I love items of clothes that can do double duty too.  I have a great love for tunics because they can either be a dress or a shirt.  I love it.  Double duty.  I found this one at H&M for $10 and that price just can’t be beat either!  It’s just long enough to be a dress (confession: I wear cutoffs under all my dresses just to be safe…like a never-nude for all you Arrested Development fans out there!) and just short enough to wear over pants or leggings and kind of look like a top.  Such a steal!


I went with vintage cowboy boots because I thought it was a nice contrast to the sort of boho world vibe this pattern has.  Then turquoise and beaded fringe because, well, those go with everything!


Because bell bottoms are my leggings, I put the tunic over my lace Nightcap bells.  I simplified the jewelry a little because the lace pants really change the feel of the tunic.

Double duty items are easy.  They work in warm and cool weather and again, it’s nice to have pieces that easily layer for when it ACTUALLY gets cooler!!

Happy Wednesday!