Real World Style: Hanna Marin

I’m an unashamed Pretty Little Liars fan.  I have been completely sucked in and engrossed in the happenings of Rosewood since the beginning of the show, and I have loved every minute of the mystery, the surprises, and the FASHION.  You know when a show is about girls (Sex and the City, Gossip Girl) that the clothes are gonna be off the hook.  And this one does not disappoint.  If you don’t watch it, you really don’t need to know what it’s about to appreciate the good style of the four girls.  Each girl has her own signature look and I love watching and re-watching episodes when I need a little bit of new inspiration.  One of the great things about this show is that it’s in this fictional place where it’s basically perpetually fall.  What does this mean?  This means they always get to wear the PERFECT clothing.  Lots of layers, tights, boots…all the things we typically want to wear year round, but especially if you’re like me and in a warmer area, are limited to layering only during a few precious months out of the year.

Now I’m all about originality.  But don’t you ever look at an outfit and think to yourself: “I just want to wear that outfit.”  I think we all do.  There are times when the simplicity of seeing something on someone, and then replicating it is a nice little interjection into your daily style.  I think it also allows you to try out a different style and refresh your wardrobe a bit…”copying” can be a nice way to get new ideas and new pieces!  This happened to me the other evening while watching the show.  I saw her outfit, and thought…I’m gonna do that.  So I did.  Here’s what happened.

The outfit: rose gold/copper satin bomber, leopard button down, and skinny jeans.  So easy right?  I love the simplicity of it, the layers, and the combination of the leopard and the metallic.  Totally wearable and chic.  Her jacket is actually from Topshop so it’s under $100, but I knew I could do better than that.  I found this one for closer to $40 and it’s so great!  I thrifted a button down leopard top, those are typically a great easy thrift store find.  You could even switch up this look with a gingham, striped, or plaid button down to make it your own!  I needed some high waisted skinny jeans, so I found some at Urban Outfitters on sale for about $40.  Hers are from Frame Denim and those will set you back a bit more than these.  (*photo and information from the fantastic on which you can find out where all your favorite characters shop!)

And there you have it.  I can now look like my favorite “Liar” for a frAction of the cost!  (sorry, that was a little bit of PLL humor for you all ;)

hAppy WednesdAy :)


On Not Being Risk Taker…Except In Fashion!

I was watching Modern Family this week (if you don’t watch it, you must because it’s hilarious!) and one of the plot lines was about parents being overly cautious with their little girl learning to ride a bike.  It was really funny of course, and as a parent now, I completely understand this sentiment.  However, it made me remember myself as a child, and how overly cautious I was…and how it really didn’t serve me well.

I was that kid who basically was afraid of most everything.  Germs, sports, the dark, and giant structures of dinosaur bones (my parents took me to a lot of museums, so that should make more sense to you knowing that).  I was bad at sports because I was scared to take risks, and if you don’t have confidence, you tend to fall a lot.  So I never roller skated down hills.  I never learned to skateboard or do much with bats or balls that could potentially injure me.  I got semi decent at gymnastics until I realized that I was completely not flexible and a foot taller than everyone in my class.  Dance was out after my parent shut it down.  I mean, I was always more interested in music anyway, but being semi decent at something physical would have been nice, you know?  I remember my best friend introducing me to “sour grass”…you know that clover looking stuff that kids chew on because it tastes sour?  I refused to try it, because I informed her that “a dog could have peed on it” and she’d never know.  I was the total life of the party right??

The first time I went on an airplane was when I went on my senior trip to Europe in high school.  I know…dove right in, didn’t I?!  I was of course, fairly afraid to fly (I mean, you’re sitting on a chair IN THE SKY for crying out loud), partly because I’d never done it before.  Hilariously, my very first flight hit some turbulence and 90 percent of the passengers on the plane vomited into those little bags they provide.  Or onto my jacket and my shoe.  So that happened, and I thought that dramamine was just something you had to take to survive flying at all…and for my second flight, no one vomited and everyone fell asleep due to the drugs.  The first time (and second time) I tried snowboarding, I fell on my butt every single time I got off the dumb ski lift.  I mean, the thing was not moving at all that fast, but regardless, I would literally sit down in slow motion in the snow when it stopped.  Yeah.  It sucked.  I finally gave up and tobogganed down the bunny slopes on my rear end like a little kid.  I’ve still never been skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, in a lake, to Mexico, or to the bar downtown that smells like urine and bleach.  You can get a basic sense of how adventurous I truly am!

I really want my kids to have an appropriate amount of fearlessness.  Like, obviously I want them to be smart about stuff, but they shouldn’t be afraid to play sports or try new stuff.  Being adventurous when you’re young gives you a lot more life experiences to lean on and helps you be more of a flexible adult.  Unlike me, who all joking aside, struggles a lot to go out of my hometown where I have my comfort zone all mapped out.  I’m working on it, but it’s so much harder than if I had been taught that certain things weren’t meant to be feared on the level that I feared them.  I mean, I eventually loved sour grass and hey, probably munched on a little dog pee, but it’s sterile right?

Thankfully, I never developed fear of wearing different or interesting things, so that’s something right?  I’ve got a renewed love of vintage slips (can you tell?!) so I thought this one would be fun to pair with my husband’s military inspired shirt (he loves it when I raid his stuff even though my clothes try to eat his clothes in our closet!) and some combat boots.  It’s fun to play around with the soft girly quality of the lacy vintage with the elements of the more masculine like lace up boots and a men’s shirt.  Fearlessness belongs in many things, and fashion is most definitely one of them!

Have an AMAZING and FEARLESS weekend!

On Vintage Slips and Definitely Never Feeling Popular

When I was a kid, since I was home schooled, church was my only school-like experience.  I remember most of my Sunday school teachers because they were the only teachers I ever had until high school.  Some of them were great and others were less than amazing.  I had this one teacher when I was probably around eight years old who was the worst of them all.  He was just bad, plain and simple.  He had no kids and clearly knew nothing about them besides how to screw them up.  He had decided that one of the girls in my class was the most beautiful, talented, and constantly praise worthy person in my small universe.  To be completely honest, she was recognized as this by everyone at church.  She was, to put it simply, the “popular girl” in high school…but instead of it being high school, it was kids in elementary school.  She was beautiful.  She sang beautifully.  She was the IT girl of Sunday school.  Our teacher would point this out basically every Sunday.  He would say things like: “everyone wishes they could be like her” and “she’s the most beautiful star of the class”.  I, on the other hand, was none of these things.  I always wanted to be the lead part in the little plays we would put on, but she always got those parts because I had no confidence to even try…and I knew she was a shoe in anyway.  I was awkward, home schooled, wore bad glasses, and had zero idea of who I was so I was very quiet and shy and lonely.  I remember going home and crying, wishing I could just be her.  I remember wondering why I was me, and why I wasn’t a “star” like her.  I probably wasn’t the only person who felt like this, given his intense obsession with publicly praising the golden girl of the Sunday school class.

Today, I was downtown and I saw a mom who looked like she had it all together.  She was dressed perfectly and her baby had a super cute outfit on and they seemed so happy and relaxed.  And there I stood.  Feeling fat and disheveled, sweating through my clothing, and once again reminded that I am not “the popular girl”.  Now that may not be really “true” per say, because lots of people like me (although I could definitely write you a list of people who do not like me! Ha!), but on the inside, I probably will never ever feel like “the popular girl”.  You know what?  That’s probably a good thing.  I had the (un)fortune of dealing with that same girl later on in life and sure, she was still beautiful, talented, and most definitely popular.  But I saw her derail her own life for a while because she was so convinced of her own status.  And watching this was kind of tragic…mostly because she was not free to be her own person.  Since she had been praised and labelled and pinned as “the popular girl” and over and over again told WHO she was and HOW SPECIAL she was, she couldn’t be anything other than who they told her she was. And in reality, no one should be praised like that constantly as a child.  Because we ARE all special and stars and all that jazz.  But we should have some kind of goals to strive for and some room to grow and find out who we are.  No matter WHO that is and WHAT that looks like.  There are times when I remember how much it hurt to be compared constantly to someone else and to always fall short.  But then I realize that it gave me the opportunity to really be myself and to really learn who that is.  Which, I’m still doing quite clearly. :)

I have ALWAYS loved vintage slips.  I had a bazillion for a while, then in a moment of weakness, got rid of some of them.  And now, I’m in love with them all over again.  They were kind of a “style signature” for me before I got pregnant and before I kind of lost who I was for a while.  I think that they will be again because I still love them and feel like I have a whole new way to wear them than I used to!

I got this kind of crazy, bordering on 1980’s floral top from a thrift store and I love how the sleeves are under this vintage slip!  I feel like it tones down the craziness of it!  The red cowboy boots are vintage from a shop on Etsy and the squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture.

Popular or not popular, we all just gotta be ourselves right?

Happy middle of the week :)

On Things I’ve Lost and Things I’ve Found

When I went through the three year darkness (what I call a very difficult and painful time in my life for those who don’t know what I’m talking about!) I lost a lot of stuff.  Some of the stuff was tangible…like a home or possessions.  I lost friendships and my job because I couldn’t manage anything except my own survival at the time.  You know what’s weird though? As much as losing that stuff has been so painful, it’s some of the things that I didn’t even have but still lost…that hurts the most. Let me explain.  Before everything kind of crashed down around me, I had these very specific hopes and dreams in a lot of ways that I was holding onto. I had chosen certain cabinets and flooring for a house that never materialized. I had planned out nurseries that never got built. And there were even things that I saw during that time that I kind of held onto…thinking that maybe they’d still be around when I was actually emotionally alive again.  Some of it may seem kind of benign…like “I want to see that movie in the theatre before it comes out on DVD.” But in reality, holding onto those seemingly silly things was like me desperately trying to hold onto this ideal that I would be okay soon. And then, when those things didn’t happen, it was like complete and utter devistation all over again.

Now that I’m feeling alive again and I’m no longer in the darkness, there’s some things that have materialized and things that I am so grateful for and humbled by because I know what it means to lose them. Like being in a safe and comfortable home. Being able to shop and have fun again. And spending a Saturday going out to breakfast and going downtown with my family.  I don’t take these things for granted anymore because once I did not have them.  And still, there are some things that I still ache for.  Things I still have not been able to do yet.  Some of them are long gone, like my kids nurseries.  I’ve now decorated their rooms, but the nurseries that I designed before they were born will remain a dream that I had when I was pregnant.  Sure. Some of it still makes me a bit sad like how I’m tearing up a bit even as I write this because all you women out there who’ve had babies or have planned some kind of special space before know how important those plans are. But I am thankful I’ve been able to decorate their toddler rooms and that is just as important in reality.  Some of my plans are old, leftover plans from a different time in my life that really needed to die so that they could come back to life in a new and mature way.  And others will one day materialize at the right time and I will get to see them the way I long to see them come to life.

During that time, I really didn’t shop at all. I didn’t care to shop, didn’t care about styles or clothes or fashion. I was in too much pain. But I wanted to care, and occasionally a tiny part of me would wake up for a minute and dream for just half a second. I saw a dress in the window of a store downtown one day during that time, and oh man. I dreamed that I would be able to buy that dress before it went away.  I dreamed hard for that dress.  It was a premature dream though, and it did go away before I had any ability to buy it. Maybe someday I’ll find that dress in a resale shop or something and it will just happen!  But when I was in an H&M a while ago after all the painful stuff had passed, I saw this dress I’m wearing in the photos and it reminded me a little of that one that I saw so long ago.  So I bought it because it’s lovely and it reminds me that there is hope, and that even if it feels like we have missed something along our journey, there is always more for us down the road.  We are never “finished” or just “done” no matter how life beats us down.  We can still get up again and find the new dreams that are yet to come.

I love wearing this dress over skinny jeans almost like a kimono.  It can be buttoned all the way down, but I just like how this makes it really interesting and different than your typical maxi.  The boots are my fabulously handmade hillbilly gypsy boots and the squash blossom is baublebar.

You guys, just keep dreaming ok? Always. Whatever you missed you’ll either get back in a better way or there will be something new to come. I believe it for you and for myself.

Have an amazing weekend!


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! :)