Fashion Feelings: I Want To Go On Vacation

Yeah, don’t we all.  But I’m a mom.  And I really haven’t been a mom for all that long, I mean, my son only just turned four and I honestly have no clue how to go on vacation with children.  I mean…I get that it’s supposed to look different and all.  It’s not like kids know how to lay by the pool and chill and all, but still…like, how do you relax AT ALL with toddlers around?  Lately I’ve practically been chewing on my hair and desperately trying to bribe them to watch tv just so I can make dinner.  So vacation?  (hysterical laughter at the thought of this idea).

I get it.  It’s not a season in my life that involves a lot of downtime.  With starting a clothing line, which I’m super excited about (but is like having another child only without the massive weight gain and sugar cravings) and having two toddlers…there’s just no room in life for anything longer than an episode of Quantico.  And there it is.  It’s not time for a vacation.  But oh do I miss those glorious days.  The days when I had a chance to rest, get actual sleep, and read more than one book in two months.  Sigh.

I have come to the conclusion that in life, being honest with myself is really important.  Especially when it comes to my feelings.  And it’s really hard to be honest with yourself when you are a mom.  Every feeling seems “wrong” or maybe condemning in a way it really shouldn’t be.  Is it wrong that I want a break sometimes and miss having downtime?  No.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel that way though.  Plus, I know the minute I get it, I’ll probably miss my kids anyway, and they don’t make a pill for crazy last time I checked.  Or maybe they do…

I may not get a vacation right at this minute, but I will at some point in the future.  Hopefully nearer rather than farther future.  It may not be the same as it was before kids, and that may make me sad in some ways, but that’s okay.  I bet there will be new fun things that are different than before that will make up for the things I lost.  Because I’ve learned that all change involves a loss of some sort.  Even if it’s good change, sometimes I find myself mourning the loss of things I didn’t even know I liked or felt like I needed.  And I know this is all stuff I’ve talked about before, but it just felt relevant for the moment…so here I go again.  There are times in life where you feel like you’re working your tail off and could just use a break…and to be completely honest, it’s exhausting.  It’s exciting and tiring all at the same time.  And no one passes out medals for feeding your kids a healthy breakfast and cleaning up all the food they chucked on the floor!

It’s funny how often I find myself not being honest with…myself.  I try to stuff my feelings…because my kids are only young once right?  I should enjoy every minute, right?  Um, the minute my daughter bit her brother twice in the Costco shopping cart I wasn’t really enjoying motherhood.  I need to be real with myself.  There are SO MANY amazing, fun, hilarious, and awesome moments with my kids.  I love having toddlers.  And there are moments when I feel like I want to hide in the closet with wine, a box of something I don’t let myself eat, and an iPad, and stay there for, oh, a week.  And that’s just me telling myself the truth.  I will enjoy every minute, and the minutes I’m not enjoying, I’ll remind myself that I’m a PERSON, not just a MOM, and that it’s normal to not like cleaning up barf or having someone scream at you to pick up a toy when you haven’t eaten in three hours or taken a shower.  Because, duh, that’s just not nice and these little people can act like dictators sometimes!

Just because I can’t go on vacation right now doesn’t mean I can’t wear a vintage Hawaiian dress and pretend right?  I love the sleeves on this dress…they give you that “I believe I can fly” kind of feeling…and loafers.  Because, well, comfort and style are always a win!

Happy Wednesday all you beautiful people.  If you have kids, hope they’re treating you well.  If you have dogs, well, I know they are treating you well.  If you have cats, I’ll remind you that you signed up for that type of hostile behavior to begin with.  (guys, I love cats, but they’re just like that.)

Katy

 

On Pulling Off Weird Stuff

Often, I get comments from people about what I’m wearing.  Totally normal for me, and for anyone else of you who loves clothing and are bold in your fashion choices…whatever that may look like!  One of the comments I get the MOST however, is usually one regarding how I “pull things off” or how I am “bold and brave” in my outfits.  Again, I completely understand this comment, especially now that I’ve spent some time working in a clothing store listening to women talk while they try stuff on.  I’ve learned a few things about how most women think!  I’ve learned that many women have very little confidence in what they put on their bodies.  That often times, they find what works, and stick to it…then they stop thinking about what they wear.  There’s nothing wrong with that at all!  But I have noticed that sometimes a woman will be shopping, spot something she loves, then sigh longingly and say “I wish I could pull that off like YOU do.”  Hmmm…that never sits well with me.

I get it.  There are just some things that don’t look great on me, some colors that do nothing for my complexion, and some outfits that make me look the OPPOSITE of slimmer.  For sure, those are some outfits that I try to avoid.  I feel like though, there are much fewer of those items that you CAN’T wear…than you think!  Now, this is just my humble opinion.  BUT, I’m just trying to make a point here and let you in on my inner thoughts and feelings!  Because to be honest, I have all the same fears and criticisms about clothing that all women do.  I just choose not to listen to them for the most part.  And THAT…my friends, is the secret to “pulling it off”!

This weekend, we were heading off to this barn by the beach we love to go to (I know, only in California right?) and I was about to reach for my usual shorts and tank top.  Then I spotted this muumuu vintage dress that I haven’t worn in a while, and I thought to myself: “I want to wear THAT.”  I kind of felt like wearing something different than my normal weekend go-to, so I put it on.  I began looking at myself in the mirror from every angle, as all women who are body conscious do!  I then began asking my husband questions like “is this flattering?” and “do I look silly?” (see, even the girl who dresses like a circus willingly has all the same fears!) and then I finally stopped myself in my tracks.  I wore that muumuu, and loved every minute of it.  At that moment, I realized that I wanted to write up a little guide to wearing crazy clothing…and how to pull it off!

HOW TO PULL OFF WEIRD STUFF (because you know you wanna)
keep in mind these are just MY rules, please tell me how you do it!

  1. If You Love It, Wear It.  Seems simple right?  Keep in mind, this is not a guide to how to LOOK great all the time, because for sure, some of the stuff I wear and want to wear is not always the exact right fit for my body.  There are some women who only want to wear stuff that is the right cut for their figure.  Understood…and this is not the post for you!  What I mean by this is that if you really love something, go for it and give it a try!  Forget a little bit about the rules for your body type and remind yourself that muumuus are not flattering on ANYONE, so if you love it, just go for it.  It’s too boring to limit yourself to only clothing that is absolutely the most flattering!
  2. Make It Work.  Okay, so we’ve established that if you really love an item of clothing, you should wear it.  That being said, maybe it can be made better, more flattering, more something that you’re comfortable in!  Can it be belted?  Layered over or under something?  Worn with different shoes?  Tucked it/untucked?  Play with it.  You’d be surprised.  Sometimes you can create different shapes or hide “problem” areas by changing a few details.
  3. Rock It.  Okay, this is important when it comes down to “pulling it off”.  Once you’ve put on that muumuu like I did on Saturday, you have to decide that you are WEARING THE HECK OUTTA THAT THING.  That’s exactly what I did.  I put on my trusty rock and roll cowboy boots, my huge hat, and my turquoise, and I told myself I was gonna rock that thing.  And THAT my friends, is how you do it.  How do you pull stuff off?  You put it on, stop thinking about it and asking questions about it, and JUST DO IT.  This is like me and red lipstick.  I usually have to decide that I’m wearing it, then do it.  It’s the only way I can pull off stuff that I love, but am not typically all that comfortable doing.
  4. Wear Something You Feel Comfortable In Too.  This goes back to the last point…when I put on that muumuu and was feeling questionable about it, I put on some boots and jewelry that I ALWAYS feel good in, and that helped tremendously.  Trouble comes when you are trying to pull off TOO many things at the same time.  Like funky shoes, new jewelry, a crazy outfit, AND makeup that’s out of your norm.  Choose ONE thing to pull off, like a dress or a pair of shoes, or a new shade of lipstick.  Then keep everything else simple around that bold new step.  This will help you pull it off without feeling like you want to run back home screaming and throw on your sweats!
  5. Ask The Right People For Their Opinions.  If you’re feeling unsure about an outfit, ask a friend for some help with styling to get some more creative input.  That being said, you need to choose the right people to do this with.  Do not ask friends who can’t think outside the box.  This will only lead to you scrapping the whole thing when they tell you that it’s not the most flattering or something to that nature.  You need to ask creative friends who love interesting fashion choices.

Yep, this is another one of my kinda weird, but beautiful at the same time vintage pieces.  A sweet girl who works at the Goodwill down the street from me came running up to me with this in her hand last time I was there.  And she nailed it!  This thing is so unique and lovely!  But yeah, it takes me deciding that I’m gonna “pull it off” for me to wear this kind of thing!  I added some boots that I love and make me feel great, so that helps kind of “normalize” the dress for me.  All I can say, is that if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!  I believe in you!  You can always DM me your weird outfits on Instagram.  I have no problem encouraging you and helping you style strange and bold stuff!

Happy Monday all.  Stay cool in all that polyester all of you who are in a heatwave like me!
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 Yet Another Caftan and New Life in the Winter

Between the town where our house is and the town that we “live” in (where we shop, work, and play), there’s a big hill.  It’s about a 15 minute drive down what is referred to as “the grade”.  Usually it’s used in contexts like: “Oh you have to drive THE GRADE?” or “well, I certainly don’t want to have to drive THE GRADE!” as though it is some type of immensely challenging mountain that needs to be scaled up with brute force.  When we moved “over the grade”, I was a bit uneasy about this transition, since all my life I’ve been hearing about driving THE GRADE and it kind of freaked me out.  Turns out it’s just a big hill, and not much more.  And as much as I do miss living in the town we “live” in, I’ve come to enjoy that aforementioned dreaded drive because of the views.  It’s just a moment of peace where I get to look at nature and think for a few seconds before running my errands or whatever I’m heading into town to do.  As long as the kids aren’t screaming.  Haha.

California has been remarkably dry this year.  I mean to be honest, we’ve gotten less rain in the past few years than I ever remember in my lifetime.  So little rain that the lakes have been dry.  And when I say dry, I mean, DRY.  All that dryness translated into a pretty bad fire year and well, THE GRADE has a lot of fire issues when it gets like this.  All of this lack of rain led to a massive grade fire a few months ago.  It was an epic fire.  I mean, dozens of fire trucks lining the freeway (and those were just the ones we could see from the road), helicopters flying over the area, and flames.  The flames!  Right up to the freeway, you could see massive billowing black smoke rising from the fires engulfing the dried out area.  It was quite an ordeal.  Needless to say, this huge fire has left the whole area pretty blackened, dead, and even more dry than it was before.  For months now, the drive has been less scenic, and more of a landscape filled with blackened bushes and dead dirt.

This morning I got the kids ready and began our descent down THE GRADE.  I was kind of having a bit of a rough morning…just wrestling with some of the choices I had made in the past, and thinking about the dreams that I have had in my heart for so long that have long felt dead and dry.  I was thinking about all of this as we drove and then I sort of looked up at what was around me.  I mean, clearly I was looking out the window as I drove, but I wasn’t really SEEING what was around me.  When I actually SAW what we were passing by, I almost thought I was hallucinating.  It was like a scene from a movie where things are magically transformed or something…the hills had green LIFE on them.  The trees were green.  The ground that had been dead and dry had patches of grass on it.  It was so beautiful, it took my breath away for a moment.  You see, we’ve actually been getting a little bit of real rain over the past month.  And it’s almost like overnight, everything looked different.

I actually started crying when I saw this because it really felt like just yesterday the ground was all singed and just plain dead.  Now, there’s life there.  Beautiful, hopeful…life.  It really reminded me how things can change in an instant.  How a dream that can be long gone, even feel so dead that it has no chance of living again, can actually breathe again.

My longest and closest friend who is more like a sister to me just got married a year ago.  She had long dreamed of getting married and for years and had struggled with not meeting the right guy, and with losing hope that it would ever happen.  I remember talking to her and hearing in her voice that she wasn’t sure if it would happen at all.  Hearing that tone in her voice that basically had given up hoping for this thing that had long been in her heart.  Then one day, she went on this date and she was on it for EIGHT HOURS.  When I heard from her after that date (I of course texted her a few times during just to make sure she was OKAY…I mean this was a set up and she’d never actually MET the guy!) I knew he was it.  I think she knew too.  In one day, everything changed.  If she had truly given up and not even gone on the date because of how many times she had tried and failed to meet the right person, she never would have gotten married.

Sometimes it seems like it’s just not worth it to keep hoping for something when it hasn’t happened yet.  I know I often feel like that.  But it’s in times like that, when all it takes is a simple reminder that in one minute, things that looked lost can be found again.  And that’s what I’m hoping for in the new year.  More than anything else, I hope that it’s a story I get to live for myself and hear from other people too…that things that they thought were dead and gone, are alive and well.

This dress felt fitting for talking about new life.  Because I know this floral is so NOT a winter weather pattern, but it just makes me so happy I couldn’t wait to wear it!  I have a bit of a caftan problem.  I already have a few amazing ones, but when I saw this one, the bright floral print really just couldn’t be resisted.  I got it from this awesome Instagram vintage shop called @hustlevintage and I paired it with a thin scarf that I tied into a bow to keep it sweet, and some vintage red cowboy boots to keep it kind of monochromatic in all of it’s craziness.

Sometimes you just need to put on a crazy bright floral dress in the dead of winter and call it.  New life is coming, whether it looks like it or not, because all it takes is one minute…and the flowers will be blooming again!

Happy Monday

Katy

Sometimes Simplest is Best

I love things that look like they took a ton of thought but didn’t.  I mean, I also love those outfits that I actually worked for and put together a “masterpiece”, but lately, having toddlers and being more preoccupied, low on sleep, and just busy with all kinds of stuff relating to tiny humans, I love finding those one item simple outfits.  That still look crazy and cool.  Because, come on.  It’s still me underneath the coffee drinking snack dispensing human that I am at the moment.

I went into a local antique shop, which is kind of rare for me to do.  Okay.  Confession time.  I only went because I heard they had some Harley Davidson tees.  They didn’t.  But I ended up finding two amazing dresses for really great prices…so it wasn’t a loss after all!  This dress is most definitely a muumuu, but I love the colors and the shape…and it was a steal!!

Being the lover of cowboy boots and western accessories that I am, I added white vintage cowboy boots and this amazing bolo tie I got at Ruby Rose.

Side note.  I’m puzzled at the single pocket in many vintage dresses.  Did vintage people have only one hand?  This is a mystery.  And also a terrifying peek into my brain.

It’s a Friday find for the books.  I’m in love.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Katy