Trending: Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING

It’s that time of year once again where the leaves are turning brown (I live in California, everything’s basically brown year round), there’s a chill in the air (it’s 90 degrees here today), and everyone’s drinking their first hot pumpkin spice latte (key word here is *hot.  I’m sweating just thinking about it).  What does it all mean?  Two things.  First, fall is here (let the angels sing) and second, America is obsessed with putting pumpkin spice on EVERYTHING.  My husband actually put it on his eggs the other morning.  Hold up with the judgement you guys it was a complete mistake and he most definitely regretted that one, so don’t go planning your breakfasts just yet!  And while people may laugh and make fun of the obsession, I gotta say, it’s a pretty worthwhile thing to be crazy about.  I mean, who doesn’t love fall, and who doesn’t love pumpkins??

Besides the lattes and the eggs (just kidding guys!), the other thing that I’m crazy over right now is the pumpkin COLOR that’s trending for fall!  Sometimes I think that this year someone peered into my brain and came up with the trends because like 40 percent of my closet is orange!  That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I LOVE ORANGE!  Here’s some runway inspiration to check out…you’ll see what I’m talking about.  It’s like they’re wearing their PSL’s…

As you can see…it’s all ORANGE!  I understand, not everyone is crazy about the color and it definitely can come off a little Halloween-y, so I found a few picks of my own that are a fun addition to any fall wardrobe, and aren’t all as committed as that furry sweater and skirt (gimme gimme gimme gimme).

This Zara dress is amazing with all those fall colors, and has oranges and reds all blended together…an easy wear for the orange phobic!

I absolutely LOVE this H&M kimono cardigan!  It’s a great layering piece in THE color for fall! (it’s only $13!)

Look how adorably retro this skirt from Forever 21 is!

And the piece that EVERYONE NEEDS…velvet bells.  These babies are custom made and freaking gorgeous!  Love a good Homecookedkarma bell bottom!

Whether you love orange or not, hope you’re enjoying the start of fall!

On Ponchos, Hipsters, and Hair

I was a little late to the hipster party.  I mean, when I was younger, I wore pastel plaids, denim maxi skirts, big turquoise glasses, and most definitely listened to a cassette player and records because my parents didn’t feel the need to advance in technology.  The problem was that these things weren’t COOL at that time.  Let me tell you, it took me a LOOOOONG time to appreciate denim skirts in my life because they used to be something I associated with being out of date, out of style, and socially awkward.  So I guess you could say that I was one of those original hipster types…but clearly not by my choosing!

I remember when I got my first “real” haircut, like one that my mom didn’t give me.  It was when layers hit big and although I was much too young to be allowed to even know what Friends was, but I sure as heck knew who Jennifer Aniston was.  And yes, I wanted to BE her like most girls.  I went to my mom’s friend who cut hair out of her mobile home (you can tell how this story is going to end!) and asked her for “layers like Jennifer Aniston”.  Well, I didn’t get them.  I got layers like Courtney Cox, who at the time had MUCH shorter hair than Jennifer did.  It was terrible.  I’m not saying that in a self depreciating “I know I looked cute but I’m going to pretend I was awkward” way.  No.  It was simply BAD with my textured hair and lack of knowledge on how to style it.  I spent most of my sophomore year trying to undo that travesty.  And then came (cue the scary music) THE PERMS.  I don’t understand who in their right mind would ever allow someone with such textured and odd hair to get a PERM, but it sure happened.  In that same mobile home, I spent hours with my nose jammed against the screen trying not to vomit from the smell of rotten eggs and chemicals slathered all over my head.  The result was ALWAYS the same.  Me, desperately pulling at my strangely kinky hair, wishing I had never done it.  Again.  But I asked for a “BODY WAVE”!!!!  Yeah, we know.  That’s what EVERYONE thinks their getting, and yet they leave looking like Diana Ross.

It really wasn’t until my junior year that I began to even START to get a clue.  That less can be more when it comes to layers, perms are most definitely NOT for me, and that plaid and denim were for home schoolers.  I then transferred ALL of my original efforts into makeup, and ended up wearing lipstick in a deep shade of brown for years.  Makeup was my new passion, and I overdid it like CRAZY.  Once a little kid told me: “your lipstick is as DARK AS THE MOON.”  I had no idea what that meant, but I figured it was not good.  I also wanted boobs and didn’t have them, so I wore one of those 10 pound water bras from Victoria’s Secret that basically sloshed when you walked.  I desperately tried to undo all of my faux pas by creating new ones…which is kind of human nature right??  We feel dorky so we try really hard to be cool, and thereby end up just being dorky in new ways!  Ahhhhh yes.  I considered piercing my belly button (my dad said over his dead body) and I bleached my hair as much as possible so as to look like Britney Spears.  Glitter, baby pink lipstick, and tight white tank tops were my jam.  I tried, but I never could really rock that look either.

Finally, FINALLY, I am starting to feel like I have a little bit of my groove.  Maybe it’s that I’m finally not bleaching my hair, or that I’m not addicted to dark makeup, or that I stopped trying to make my boobs look like a porn star…but I feel like while I’m stilly just kind of a dorky person, I’m more ME.  Sure.  I overdo the HECK out of my clothes.  But that’s just ME, isn’t it?!?

I’m totally wearing this poncho backwards.  Because I like it better that way!  It’s super fun vintage and was $10 at a local thrift store…and I mean, how could I pass that up!  I immediately wanted to wear it with some orange bells, although I’m definitely gonna wear it with jeans too!  I loved using the circle jewelry to compliment the stripes of the poncho.  Kind of a juxtaposition of shapes!  I have on some vintage men’s loafers that I thought classed up the whole thing too.  It’s fun, bright, and backwards, just like I can be :)

Keep being you


On Receving A Compliment and The Jacket of My Dreams

Last Sunday, a woman I admire and love deeply gave me a compliment.  Here’s how it went down.  Her: “Katy you look so thin oh my gosh!!”  Me: “no no no I still have so much weight to lose…”  Her: “No.  Stop.  You say: ‘THANK YOU! I’ve been working really hard!'”  You guys, I get endlessly annoyed at myself for NOT BEING ABLE TO RECEIVE A COMPLIMENT.  When I think about it, it’s SO rude to the other person.  I think I’m being all modest, when in reality, someone’s trying to give me a gift and I’m shoving it back towards them.  I apologized to her and thanked her honestly, because that’s what I should have done in the first place.  Just a few days later, I was in Trader Joe’s with the kids and they were starting to meltdown.  A girl who only had a few items in her basket offered to let me go ahead of her.  I felt so badly that I refused and told her that she should go because I didn’t want to make her wait for me with my huge cart of stuff.  A woman I know happened to be standing next to me, and she said: “you know, you should really let people do stuff like that for you!”  She said it in such a nice way, that I almost cried.  Again, here was someone kindly trying to give me a gift, and I was refusing it again.  Why?  Because I didn’t feel like I deserved it.

Whenever I wonder why I’m like this, I remember the time I tried to take my mom to get a pedicure for her birthday.  I almost want to laugh hysterically at this thought because knowing my mom, it’s a ludicrous idea really.  She was so intensely uncomfortable the WHOLE time.  She kept offering to help the girl doing the pedicure, and talk to her, and basically apologized to her the ENTIRE time for the fact that the girl was DOING WHAT SHE HAD BEEN PAID TO DO.  Now I am all for being super kind and compassionate to people, even when they’re doing their job.  I try to do my best to clean up a tiny bit at restaurants because I don’t want to be the kind of person who leaves a disastrous mess just because I have toddlers.  I know that some jobs (like cleaning someone else’s toenails) are not the most glamorous of all jobs, so there’s no need to be rude or not treat the person doing them like a human being.  However, there’s also no need to feel badly that someone is doing something for me, whether it’s just a kind gesture or someone bringing me food at a restaurant.

Honestly, there are SO many things I’m working on in myself, mainly because I don’t want to pass them on to my kids.  I was raised by a mom who didn’t allow people to do stuff for her…she ALWAYS did stuff for other people…so I grew up to think that allowing people to give me things or compliments was not okay.  I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking this way.  I’ve struggled so deeply with my self worth and with believing that I’m good at anything at all…and that has led to me feeling very undeserving of any praise or generous gifts.  I’m getting there…but this week has proven to me that I really need to just learn to receive. When someone says something nice, just say THANK YOU and let it go.  I don’t need to “qualify” their compliment or minimize myself in some other area to balance it out.  And the next time that my kids are melting down in the grocery store, I’m sure as heck going to let some nice person allow me to cut in front of them if they want to! :)

I found this jacket at the store I work at and all I could think of was…these HAVE to go with my orange pants!   And so, an outfit is born.  This jacket was being saved for an event we are doing, but my friend and co worker graciously let me buy it, and I let her be kind to me :)

I hope you are ALL receiving compliments and owning them.  Because YOU are worth it.  You are worth ALL of the compliments you receive, and so much MORE!


On Flowers in Winter and Sharing Your Story

Everyone’s got a story.  I mean, just start talking to anyone and you can discover so many things about them…stuff you’d never expect sometimes.  You know what I find really interesting though?  Some people can tell a story filled with struggles and hardship, and you can walk away feeling encouraged…and others can tell a similar story and yet you leave feeling depressed.  Because it’s not always the contents of the story that set the tone…it’s the FOCUS of the story and the ENDING that really matter.

I have a good friend who wants to have a baby.  I know she’s going to soon.  But the timing hasn’t clicked yet and so it’s just one of those things that she’s dealing with and trying to wait patiently until it happens.  A few months ago, she told me that she was going to spend some time with one of her friends who was just about to have her second child and was feeling kind of lonely.  So she did.  Later on in the day, I got a text from her asking for encouragement…basically asking for me to remind her that it WOULD happen for her.  I was puzzled, I mean, she had spent time with a friend who was literally about to give birth, and yet I could tell that she was feeling very discouraged and afraid in her own situation after spending time there.  So I asked her what had happened, and she told me that the entire time, her friend had shared with her all about the struggles of infertility and warned her about all the things that could go wrong…and on and on and on!  I was kind of shocked…I mean, sure her friend had experienced difficulties, but CLEARLY she had been successful in overcoming them, right?  I mean, the triumph of having TWO healthy children after struggling so much should be a joyful story, not a cautionary tale!!!  And then I started thinking more about it…and realized that we ALL do this more than we should.

How many times have we come through difficult situations and overcome…only to still be talking about the same old thing…the hardships, the pain, the bad, instead of the amazing outcome?  Can you imagine if you were to read a book about a historical event, like a war or something, and the author didn’t spend any time on the ending…only because, well the triumph is implied right?  What a TERRIBLE book that would be!  And what if you were to read a book and the WHOLE thing was the struggle, the difficulty, the conflict, and then there was one line at the end that said: “oh yeah, and they won by the way.”  Again, that would be a terrible way to tell a story.

Our lives are so much like books.  There’s the premise, the “who we are and where the story all began”, and then begins the character development.  We grow up and enter into the conflict(s) in our lives and sometimes, the end of the page or the chapter looks very bleak.  Sometimes it looks like the main character has lost everything, or died, or has lost hope.  And if we keep telling that story, forgetting that tomorrow or next month or next year begins a new page or chapter…we really aren’t telling the story correctly.  You guys, we HAVE to share our stories.  And yes, that includes the conflict, of course, otherwise the triumph means nothing.  However, there is so much power in your story…for good or for bad.  If you share your story as one of triumph or even triumph yet to come, you are encouraging someone in ways you may not even realize.  And if you share it as one of defeat, one where regardless of the ending, it’s just a lot of hard and sad and bad…then you are discouraging someone in ways you don’t even know.  You are passing on the heaviness, the hopelessness, and instead of inviting them to share in your triumph or to wait hopefully for it, you are telling a story without a proper ending.  And that is just miserable!

So sure, this isn’t really “wintery” per say…but I know winter is not the end of the story!  :)  Spring is right around the corner, so I really felt like busting out this vintage floral chambray shirt from Ruby Rose and these 1970’s inspired wedges I’ve had in my closet from when I was buying 70’s stuff and had no idea that I loved it yet!  Orange pants are my weakness…I bought these for Easter a long time ago and I love them just as much as the day I spotted them online! The squash blossom is sold out on Baublebar, but you can find some similar here and here.

Sharing your story is as important as wearing flowers in the winter…it brings hope and encouragement in ways you don’t even know!


On Thrifting and This Epic Vintage Dress

I’ve been having a hard time not being discouraged about a lot of things lately.  I think it’s just one of those times where I am kind of in a plateau with my weight loss and there’s a lot of things like car troubles and other frustrations that have been getting me down a bit.  It’s Christmas time, which is just magical, and I have a wonderful husband and kids, so I have nothing to complain about…however sometimes there are just those little things in life that seem to weigh me down more than I’d like.  Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard I try, I can’t shake off the negative thoughts and feelings that are just, well, part of life from time to time!

I think there are just times when all the stuff I went through a year or so ago, all those moments of complete and utter panic, often kind of haunt me…I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever felt like this.  You know those moments where you are about to panic even when everything is totally ok?  It’s amazing how powerful thoughts can be even if you’re in the most peaceful of situations!  I continually have to keep shifting my perception of life towards the positive and amazing things that are going on.  Just like I have to focus on the 100 pounds I did lose, not the 10 stuck ones.  I have to focus on the great place we live and the fun we get to have as a family, not the car that needs fixing.  Perspective is just everything often times.

I think it’s totally normal for us as humans to kind of “learn” from our experiences, the good and the bad.  Like if you go through a bad relationship, you often attribute all the bad things that your previous partner did to you to your new partner, who may have none of those tendencies.  And then you have to unlearn all those things!  I’m kind of in that process, but with life.  I’m currently “unlearning” all the harsh things that I went through for a while.  Just because they happened then, doesn’t mean they are going to happen again.  But that’s a hard thing to train your brain to receive.  Those hard and negative things really stick with you…even more so than the positive and encouraging things unfortunately!

Here’s how all of this applies to today’s outfit.  I feel like thrift store shopping is kind of a learned art.  When I find something great, I remember that find, and I am motivated to keep going.  And then when I find more great things, I get even better at hunting and frequenting the same places or even finding new ones!  However, for years I only could find bad stuff…I don’t think my eyes were really open to what I was actually looking for…so I hated thrift store shopping.  It was intimidating, pointless, and ended in wasted time and frustration.  But once I got the right perspective, I started being able to see the jewels in the midst of the stuff I didn’t want.  I started one by one finding items I truly valued and loved.  And I unlearned all my bad thrift store feelings.  Now I don’t associate thrift store shopping with ewwwww gross I don’t wanna go there!  And I feel like having the right perception and attitude has helped me find some of the stuff I have gotten.

I think this dress is possibly one of the best thrift store finds I’ve ever scored.  It’s the kind of dress I would TOTALLY buy online if I saw it.  It’s just kind of epic AND it’s orange, my favorite color.  When I saw this hiding in the racks at Goodwill, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Do you see what I mean?  This dress is just so unique!  And I’m so thankful I got to unlearn all my bad thrifting thoughts so that I could find it.  And now, to unlearn all the other garbage I learned!

Hope your week is just as epic and fun as this thrift store find :)

Honesty & Dressing Up Like I’m Cool

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you’re like extra special in your abilities to not keep your house clean?  Like every other woman/mom out there has this amazing ability to eat donuts and stay thin, be calm with her children, do crafts all day, and generally be freaking awesome while you are working your butt off only to feel like your kids watch way too much tv and you could still stand to be thinner?  I am describing to you the story of my life.

And it’s only gotten worse you guys, because of the magic of social media.  As far as I know, I am literally the only mom who doesn’t do educational Pinterest crafts with her kids all the time, have a photo ready home at any given point in the day, and spend every night out on the town with my husband.  What the **** people?!?!  Sometimes all it takes is looking at one photo of this “perfection” that is not mine, and I have a complete meltdown because I feel like such a mega failure.  And here’s the funny part.  I’m pretty sure that’s how we all feel.  I’m almost one hundred percent sure that behind every perfect photo is another normal woman/mother who feels just as inadequate as the rest of us and wishes she could be better.

At church last Sunday, a woman I know who has some older children than I do was talking about how she’s been trying to be really honest with her children now that they are getting a little older about some of her struggles that she’s been though.  She mentioned some pretty deep stuff that, to be honest, most women don’t really feel comfortable sharing.  While she was talking to me, I started thinking about some of the feelings and struggles that I went through while we were going through the “three year darkness” as I’ve labelled it.  To be perfectly honest, I struggled with stuff I may have judged people for before experiencing it first hand.  Hearing her speak so unashamedly and honestly with me just gave me this moment of freedom…if she’s not ashamed of her struggles, I don’t need to be either.  But you know what it was that made me feel like that?  Her honesty.  I think there’s often a lack of honesty between women and mothers because we are all so much wanting to be the best wife and mother we can be, and yet we feel so far from it that we don’t want to admit that we are normal.  And by normal, I mean imperfect and sometimes struggling.

I remember watching Sex and The City 2 (yes, I can find gold in even crazy cheesy movies like that one!) and there was this scene where two of the girls (the two moms) were talking.  One of them openly admitted to having a super hard time when she went back to work after having her son…and began speaking about her struggles being a working mother.  The other, who clearly thought the working mom was super mom…broke down weeping and said: “why don’t we TALK about this stuff???”  I cry every time I think about it.  Because it’s true.  Having honesty around you creates such a different environment for you…for your health as a human being…and for your soul.  I’ve been in places where I had to frame everything I said, liked, and did in a way that looked like it “was supposed to”.  I hid the times I was sad and feeling discouraged about life.  I hid the hurts that I had been carrying around for so long.  Then when we went through a bunch of loss and pain…I couldn’t hide it any longer and I was forced to seek out other honest people.  It saved my life and my sanity.  And I never want to go back to a place (I’m speaking more figuratively than literally here) where I can’t just cry when I’m sad and laugh when I’m happy.

I had fun taking these pictures because I felt like I was “pretending to be cool” but having way too much fun doing it.  I’m so not a model, nor do I aspire to be one.  I just like taking pictures of fun outfits, and this one is FUN.  Let’s start at the bottom shall we?  These orange suede booties from Urban Outfitters are SO 1970’s it’s not even funny.  They make every outfit more fun, and one step closer to a costume, which, let’s face it, is totally my jam.  The pants are lace cropped flares I got at Curio.  I’m not sure if they’re SUPPOSED to be cropped because so many pants are just high waters on me anyway, but hey, they work as though they are intended to be so.  Perfect to show off these funky shoes.  Plain black flowy tank…old old old Michael Stars.  This vest is so much fun…vintage from Curio.  The giant gold arrowhead looking necklace is Free To Wander and the gold tassel is vintage.  Free People sunglasses all the way.  These make me feel like the Beatles.  And a little like a beetle…

Happy Tuesday!


On Caftans, Bolos, Booties, and Not Being All That Much Fun

Sometimes I’m way too disciplined.  Like way way too disciplined.  I know that doesn’t really sound like a flaw, but it is, trust me.  Here’s the thing.  I feel like I have a hard time having FUN because I’m so worried all the time about how many calories are in something I’m eating (even when it’s something healthy, which let’s face it, it ALWAYS IS).  I’m thinking about what time it is and therefore when I should get home to start dinner so I can get to bed at a reasonable time.  I’m wondering if I should buy something, or would it be wiser to save the money, or is there something else I should buy instead?

I was raised to be hyper responsible.  Which is good, obviously.  But sometimes people like me get so busy thinking about the right and best thing to do, that we miss out on the actual thing that we are doing.  It’s hard to enjoy healthy food when you’re wondering if it’s too many calories and are my jeans actually getting tighter?  It’s hard to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re thinking about what time you need to be done doing whatever it is you’re doing.  But then, just try NOT thinking about it once you’ve been trained to be like this.  Yep.  It’s near impossible.

I’m trying to loosen up and have fun within the constraints of my disciplined life. I love working out, going to bed early, and eating healthy.  But I also need to be able to enjoy the occasional skipped workout and (gasp) sugary treat.  That second one is honestly gonna take me some more time.  Just to be SUPER honest with you!

So while I’m trying to figure out how to BE more fun, I’m gonna DRESS more fun okay?  That’s my solution for the moment :)

I got this amazing bolo from my wonderful friend Jessica of Hillbilly Gypsy Boots.  Who DOESN’T need a buffalo bolo tie in their wardrobe, am I right?  See?  I can be fun!!! I love the peach color of this incredible vintage caftan, and I thought it would be fun to keep with the color scheme and wear these amazing orange suede booties and the orange bolo.

I hope to report that I’ve become much more fun soon.  So stay tuned :)

Happy weekend!