Fashion Feelings: Quitting and Unquitting

At this point, you probably know that I recently started a clothing line from scratch.  (I’m starting a new blog series on this process in fact!)  And whenever I tell people this, they always exclaim about how fun that it must be to do so.  And it is!!  There are so many rewarding moments.  The dreaming up clothing items and then getting to wear them and seeing them on other people…yes, that part is so crazy fun.  The problem is, that the parts in between those fun parts are tedious.  They get discouraging.  And basically, I “quit” once a day, on the regular.

I’m not a quitter.  I don’t quit things unless I really really feel like I need to.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t “quit” emotionally and mentally sometimes on a task.  You know…the “gah! I give up!” moments where you just kind of have to take a break and give yourself a chance (and maybe a pep talk or two) to breathe, rest, and realize that the process isn’t alway fun, but the reward is worth it.  Yes, everyday around 3 p.m. (right about now actually, which is why I’m having an iced coffee and writing this post) I get discouraged and “quit”.  I get stressed about the business-y details.  I worry about everything from A to Z and that makes me wonder whether I should even be doing this at all!  And then, I think of all of you.

You know what’s amazing about being “known” and having a lot of people around you who both support you and are aware of what you’re doing?  It makes it A LOT harder to quit for reals.  If you are isolated, quitting your healthy eating plan, your new plan to save more money, or your resolutions to _______ (fill in that blank with whatever you want) is easy as pie.  Like, go ahead and eat that whole dang pie, no one’s watching.  However, tell everyone you are going to workout regularly, start a business, or take a few classes online and suddenly…it ain’t so easy to do.  That’s a darn good thing too.  I’m not kidding you.  Sometimes when I get discouraged, one of your lovely faces from my Instagram feed pops into my head and I remember something you said about one of the pieces I created.  Or about my creativity.  Or just the fact that you said you were behind me in this.  Yeah…that’s when I “un-quit” and get off my butt.  Support is everything.

This slip is one of my hand dyed and patched Velvet California pieces and it’s only fitting that I pair it with this uber soft sweater from Amber Moon, on online clothing shop.  I had the privilege of meeting Stacy, the owner of the shop, and gosh she is a sweetheart.  I love LOVE meeting other women who are determined to make their mark by starting things and by encouraging other women who are doing the same.  She has great taste and decided that she wants to carry a few select pieces in her online shop.  So encouraging, you guys.

Nothing like having people stand beside you and help you out through the rough patches, even if they don’t even know they’re doing it!

It may be 3 pm, but it ain’t quitting time.

Advice In Style: How to Dress Like You Have Your Sh** Together

There are times when I’m out and about and someone will say something to me or I catch another girl checking out my outfit and it dawns on me.  She thinks I have my sh** together.  Woah.  That’s crazy.  Because…uhhhh I’m not one of “those girls” who’s got it all down.  Hold up a minute…do “those girls” actually even exist, IRL??  So here’s the deal.  I figure, if I can fool ’em all, SO CAN YOU!  Let me give you some food for thought.  When you see a girl on instagram who makes you feel badly about themselves, this is what you need to think to yourself.    She has four square feet of her house clean and she put on a hat.  YOU CAN DO THAT!!!!  Social media is NOT real life, people, and heck, what people see when you’re out and about is not always real life either!!  I don’t lounge around my house in fringe boots and vintage caftans (although I’d like too!).  I mostly wear super gross food covered clothes because I have toddlers who like to smear chocolate on EVERYTHING without giving it a second thought.  With that being said, it’s super nice to fool some of the people some of the time, right?

Here’s some simple tips to fool the masses.  Girls will give you the once over, maybe a twice or third time over, and even if you spent all morning being the most unglamorous human on the planet, you’ll feel like an “it girl”!

Okay.  This is a simple outfit, right?  Here’s the pieces that really make this work without a lot of effort on your part.

Tall Boots.  Something about boots screams “I PUT EFFORT INTO MY OUTFIT!”…and, um, it took me under 30 seconds to put these on my feet.  If you’re not into shorts, pair them with a cute skirt or a pair of skinny jeans tucked into them.
White or Black Shirt.  This one is vintage, which, a distressed tee always ups the “cool” factor, but either way, a simple white or black tee is perfect and ALWAYS a piece that looks put together.  Not into vintage?  Raid the men’s undershirt section at Target or get a simple black tee in the women’s section.
Statement Necklace.  Again, putting on a large piece of jewelry signals a bold style and screams out that you REALLY tried.  Uh, HOW long does it take to put on a necklace?  I rest my case.  Worth the 15 seconds.
A Hat.  You guys, there is something about hats that make women instantly think you’re cool.  It certainly makes me think the girls who wear them are cool!  There are some girls who wear a lot of hats on instagram, and I just think they’re the coolest girls ever.  Why?  They plopped a wide brimmed hat on.  #easy
Lipstick.  I’m not all that comfortable in bold lip colors.  But I’m working on that because something about fall makes me want to rock some color on my lips.  My suggestion for this, is to get a nice big lip crayon because it’s a one-and-done kind of application.  There’s not a zillion steps required and touch ups are easy.  I get more compliments when I wear lipstick, no matter what I’m wearing on the rest of my body…heck I could go out in pajamas and red lips and I’d probably get people thinking I “tried”.

Go forth, and be a COOL GIRL.  You already ARE one, but if you’re like me and you don’t FEEL like one, this is guaranteed to do the trick!

On Standing Strong (In a Great Outfit, Obviously)

People surprise me.  In a lot of ways.  Sometimes I am surprised at the kindness and generosity that comes from an individual…and other times I am shocked at the nastiness that comes out.  To be honest, I was raised in a very sheltered environment by parents who very much believed and saw the best in all people…whether it was warranted or not at times.  I’m very thankful for this, however it caused me to be a bit, er, naive in certain areas of my life.  I think the level of shock and awe that I have experienced when people actually turned out to really and truly have BAD motives, was partly due to this fact.  It’s a hard line to walk…to really give people a chance (because we all deserve that right?) and yet to be discerning when you can sense that something may be off.

When I began blogging and posting on social media, I honestly was very very afraid of what people’s reactions may be.  I mean, I know that the more followers you have, the more readers you get…the more likely it is that you may get a few negative reactions.  Plus, social media is the perfect place to be mean.  It’s relatively anonymous and as you all know, it’s way easier to say things in a text or on a post that you would literally never dream of saying to someone’s face!  And truthfully, I have to say, that at this point I’ve really gotten nothing but love, encouragement, and a surprising level of support…save for one or two personal comments that were a bummer, but really had to do more with the person making them than with me.  That has been AMAZING.  I mean, you guys, especially the ones who are actually reading this right now…just need to know how much I love and appreciate you.  I’m never gonna stop saying that!  The reason I’m writing this post though, is that I’ve lately seen a few girls on my instagram feed posting about some not nice things that have been said and done to them lately.  One of those girls is going as far as actually quitting blogging because of the things that have been said.  Woah.  I saw that this morning, and thought about what my response would be to this girl who is absolutely paralyzed by this cruelty.  And the only way I know how to respond is by writing my own story.  (In a lot of words, I can’t do anything short and concise!)

When I worked full time before having my kids, I did love my job.  I really did.  However, it did require me to sometimes make decisions that made people unhappy at times.  As any boss or leader knows, sometimes there is a person on your team or under your charge who is…struggling.  You know it, everyone else knows it, but that person themselves will deny it, and blame it on everything else around them.  I think a lot of us have seen this behavior before. (Geez…I gotta say, even after all these years, writing about this still gets me.  I guess that’s what I get for being sensitive…) So attempting to make a long story short (yeah right!) I had to make a decision that was very hard and emotional for me because whenever things have to do with people, it can be quite painful.  This decision caused some other people who were outside of the situation to be very angry with me (unbeknownst to me) and the aftermath was horrendous.  I got accused, screamed at, and had people siding with them and saying stuff to other people behind my back…you guys, I have NEVER EVER been in a situation with this much drama before.  I mean, it was UNREAL to me.  I was so stressed out, anxious, and miserable that I had to have two of my dental crowns replaced because I was grinding my teeth so hard.  It was gnarly for me.  I had to sleep with the tv on because I couldn’t fall asleep at night.  I cried every single day and didn’t understand why I couldn’t fix it, why they wouldn’t believe me when I apologized, and what on earth was happening.  I was quite naive I guess, because I had literally never seen this type of behavior or this level or malicious unforgiveness in action before.  I went through stages of anger where I wanted to lash out and get back at them.  Fear where I was scared to leave my house in case I ran into them.  Frustration where I just wanted to do anything I could to fix it.  It’s amazing how this kind of stuff can actually physically “paralyze” you in a sense.

So here I am, a few years post-this-situation, reading this girl’s letter about how she can’t go on because of what’s been done to her.  Here’s my response to anyone, everyone who’s ever been bullied, misunderstood, hurt, and paralyzed because of someone else’s malicious behavior.  It’s not your problem.  Like really and truly, they’re crap is not your crap.  It may come out sounding like it’s yours.  But it’s not.  You and I cannot, nor ever will be able to, control what other people think of you.  And you know what?  That is OKAY.  (Can you tell I’m talking to myself here??)  I have been the queen of wanting everyone to like me.  That is partly why it was so devastating when it happened to me.  The thought that someone thinks something about me that is untrue was WAY more earth shattering to me than it should be.  The best thing that we can do is to show love and kindness to the person who is being cruel or however they are being…and then to move on.  I’ve learned that behind the mean behaviors ALWAYS lies a story, an issue, or a hurt that has manifested itself into a vicious action.  It’s not fair that it comes out on you, but hey, at least this helps understand why they’re acting as such right?

I never will be able to really understand it when people aren’t nice or can’t seem to see from another’s point of view.  I’m gonna be honest with you though.  It would have been easier for me to move away after a lot of the stuff I have been through.  I wanted to move away.  I considered it for a time.  And then I realized that the location is not the problem.  There is something to be said about walking through something, standing when you feel like you’ve been knocked over, and making the decision to be okay when you’re not.  I will never advocate going through hard stuff if you don’t have to…I mean, if it had been the right thing for me and my family to move away, we would have done it.  But it just wasn’t the best thing for us, so that meant having a fresh start in a place where there has been quite a bit of pain for me.  It is not easy.  There are a lot of faces I’d rather not see, places that remind me of hurtful things that have been done to me, and times when I just don’t want to deal with the memories of it all.  But I’ve decided that I’m okay on the days when I’m not, I’m standing when I have been knocked down, and I’m not going to carry the things that were said and done to me along with me for the ride.

If you’ve been through hurtful stuff, I’m so sorry.  If people have said mean and weird and unfounded stuff to you…hey, I’ve been there.  But you are not those things, YOU are still YOU.  I’m standing with you and I’d take a wild guess that there’s a lot of others standing with you too!

And if you’re gonna walk through stuff, might as well do it in a great outfit right? I’m not even kidding…often times just dressing fun and confident will help you feel like you can kick butt.  Even if you’re a complete wuss like me! :)

I have been saving these sport socks for the right pair of cowboy boots!  (Because that sentence sounds completely logical right?)  I finally found these Dingos at Goodwill for $13…yeah you read that correctly!!  The top I thrifted from Goodwill as well and the shorts, well they’ve just been chilling in my closet until I find the perfect vintage track shorts (been on my list for a loooooong time now).

Go forth, stand strong, kick butt (kindly)!  I believe in you :)

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!