My Summer “Wish List”

Let me get this out of the way, because I hate preachy posts that make me feel like I shouldn’t want stuff.  TRUST ME, I have a list three miles long of the things that I want, and NONE OF THEM are cheap.  So making you feel like I’m all altruistic and have sworn off shopping would be a MAJOR miscommunication.  However this post is not about stuff.  It’s my grown up summer wish list, which doesn’t have as nice a ring to it as the whole grown up Christmas list, I realize, but it’s not Christmas and I’m frickin hot.

My Summer Wish List*
(*does not include all the stuff I want, I’ll hit you up later Santa Claus.)

  1. Have Fun
    I love how as a grown up, I have to like, purpose to have fun.  What the literal heck, you guys???  As a kid, all you want is to be a grown up so you can do whatever you want whenever you wanna do it.  Then you become a grown up, and you realize you can basically never ever do what you want because you have kids, you’re not independently wealthy, and, oh yeah, there are other people in this world who need you to do stuff for them.  One of my goals for the summer is to have fun.  Both the kind of fun that involves me shopping by myself and the kind that involves doing family stuff with my husband and kids…and trying desperately to ENJOY it instead of stressing about the fact that the kids are TOUCHING EVERYTHING.  Wish me luck, people.
  2. Be Wise, But Worry Less
    I like to shop.  Every time I intentionally try to “spend less” I end up feeling restricted mostly due to how I was raised, and I end up impulse buying something just so that I don’t feel trapped.  Uhhh…that’s not wise.  I find that for me, when I intend to “be wise” with how I shop, it makes for healthy purchasing habits.  I buy the things I would be sad I missed out on if I was strictly just trying to save money…and I don’t buy the things I would have bought just to make myself feel better.  And the second half of this whole thing goes along with this.  Worry less…meaning, when I’m being wise with my purchases, I can stop worrying about spending needlessly.  I want to enjoy the all the fun I’m trying to let myself have after all, right??
  3. Give Myself A Break
    I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself.  To lose weight, to keep the house clean, to get my kids in bed exactly at the same time every night…and inevitably something gets in the way of any number of the things I’m attempting to control…and then I feel like I failed.  So this summer, I’d like to give myself more rest time.  Time to read a book, time to not think about any of the things I “need” to do, and time to recharge.  I often fill up that time with other things, and then feel rather burnt out on life.  That’s no good for anyone.

This dress was kind of one of those “I’d have been bummed if I missed it” purchases.  I popped into New With Tags in Paso Robles and this Raga LA dress was just hanging there, staring me in the face.  It’s so lightweight and flowy and makes for one of those great summer outfits that makes you feel so dressed up without being hot and uncomfortable.  The choker is from Amanda of The Desert Mermaid and the bolo is from my good friend Jessica from Hillbillygypsyboots.  The lace bralette is from Urban Outfitters, but you can find these babies almost anywhere now including Target!

Whatever’s on your wish list for the summer, I wish you great luck getting it or getting it done!

Katy

 

Unloading, Unearthing, and Not Unraveling

We’ve recently been cleaning out the garage and the shed, two areas of the house that have kind of had a “don’t look” policy about them.  That’s not something that’s in my nature, in fact, I could probably spend tons and tons of money on organizational products and have everything perfectly labelled and alphabetized.  However, that’s not been a reality for me as we’ve moved multiple times and have had small children and all those things that add up to what I call “semi manageable chaos”.  Since we’ve been in the same place for a few years now, it was just time to tackle what was underneath the top layer of things we pull out and put back from the storage areas.

There have been loads of things going to the thrift stores, to donation places, on craigslist, and to the dump…there was one black widow spider death (the spider, not one of us!) and some broken picture frames and glasses that could not be salvaged.  After years of stuff that had been chucked frantically into boxes and then hurriedly taped shut so that we could move in a hot second…it’s finally being taken care of. I thought this would feel good, and in a lot of ways, it does.  What I didn’t expect however was the emotional purging that would take place along with the physical purging of stuff.

Many of the boxes I went through contained stuff I haven’t seen in YEARS.  There were decorations I had in our first home after we got married, the home we lived in for five years and my husband lived in for many many before that while in college.  Then there were the things I had purchased for the houses that we were supposed to buy, and then lost for various reasons.  There were baby clothes and shoes and photos…you can see where this is going!  Yes, there have been some tears.  Tears for the futures I had planned for, then lost.  Tears for the moments with my children while they were babies…the moments that I both treasure because of my beautiful babies, and yet at the same time find quite painful because of the circumstances we were in.  Somehow though, I managed to stay calm and rational about what to keep and what to part with, and now there is a bunch more room in our garage and maybe a little more in my brain.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in life, there aren’t many hard and fast formulas. Like, moving on does not directly follow purging and getting rid of baggage.  I really wish this was the case.  One of the things that I’ve said over and over through almost ALL seasons of my life so far is “I just want to move ON from THIS.”  It’s been a life long journey of physically MOVING and yet, not MOVING on from kind of the “same old, same old” situation.  And while I don’t know the future, I will say this.  It does feel different this time.  I feel different.  I’m no longer clinging to the past, whether that be in items I purchased for a certain dream I had or in ideas I have refused to let go of, because that’s the way it HAS to be.  I so wish life operated in formulas.  I’m good at DOING stuff.  I like to feel like I control the outcome, therefore I will do _____ + _______ to = WHAT I WANT TO HAPPEN.  Wouldn’t that be beautiful?  Life would be so easy.  But this I do know: I want to move forward in the most healthy way possible, not carrying around a bunch of baggage that I haven’t seen in years and for all I know, might just be trash.  Yes, it is time to move forward emotionally, and I hope, physically.

I chose this outfit for a few reasons.  First of all, I’ve been really into monarch butterflies lately, and not just because they are trendy (because I know they are!).  My kids have been learning about butterflies in preschool and they watched the transition from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly in their class.  (Thank goodness, because as cool as it is, kinda grosses me out to have that at home!)  There is something so powerful about this transition.  Talk about moving forward, am I right??  I mean, this gross looking wormy thing that looks like the bottom of the food chain turns into a gorgeous delicate creature by looking like its dead for a week or two.  Woah.  There’s a whole blog post in this transition!  Anyway, back to the outfit.  This romper is so fun and also a bit breezy in the booty region if you catch my drift (drifting up my backside).  It’s from Auguste The Label and the boots are Minnetonka (of course).  I got some craft monarch butterflies on wire off of Etsy, and I attach them to anything I feel like for that day!

Wherever you are, I hope you have the courage today to move forward, even if that just means doing one little thing differently than before.  It’s hard, and I’m right there with you!

Happy middle of the week!
Katy

 

 

Fashion Feelings: Boots or pants?

I love multitasking.  And by “multitasking”, I mean, doing things while watching tv because I clearly love watching tv.  I’m watching it right now as I type this.  So if I begin typing names of characters on The Office, you’ll know that I’m not having a seizure, I’m just “multitasking”.  See?  Totally doing two things at once, making the most of my time.  I wish I had something I could drink through a straw so I could do three things at once…must work on this.

I know that as a woman, I should be a boss at multitasking.  And in some ways, I am.  Like, I can think about everything that I need to accomplish in the next 43 minutes while refilling water cups, picking up dirty laundry, and most likely drinking coffee.  Also, I’m super good at worrying about 57 things at once.  Does that count as multitasking??  Dang it.  Here’s what I’m NOT good at.  Writing while the tv is on.  (doing that now.  obviously, not well.  the tv is winning.)  Counting while people are talking to me.

Oh I’m sorry, did I say counting while people are talking to me?  I meant COUNTING, PERIOD.  Yesterday I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a while, during the exact moment when I was trying to pay for my thrift store haul.  You can imagine how that went down.  I asked the poor cashier about four times what my total was again, and oh, wait, did you say “SEVENTY THREE CENTS?” one more time…I already forgot what you literally just said…  So yeah, in a lot of ways I kind of fail at multitasking.

One thing I really do well though, is wear all my stuff at once.  I like to refer to this as “multitasking”.  Put on all the things I like at once, wear them proudly, and when people ask “who are you supposed to be?” I say “a girl who likes clothes and doesn’t play favorites with everything in her closet.”

You know what else is fun?  That these boots kind of double as pants.  Now I’d never wear them AS pants, but you catch my drift right?  Yeah.  Why not have my clothing multitask too!?

I’m going to get back to doing all the things while napping with my eyes open now.  Must. Have. Coffee.

Good luck multitasking today.  It’s not recommended without caffeine.  😉

Katy

*boots are One Teaspoon, kimono is Wildfox, shorts are Levis, tank is Target!

How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival

The complete title of this post should really read: “How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival…When You Don’t Even Know The Lineup” but that was too long to fit in the title space.  So now you know what you’re in for.  I just have to get something off my chest, this is a real life confession, and you may just not like me as much for it but I gotta be honest.  Here goes.  Deep breath.

I don’t think I’d like music festivals.  If someone handed me a wad of cash and a nanny for three days and said: “Here you go!  Go to Coachella!” I would quite honestly head straight to Disneyland and have the best three days ever.  I am quite certain, as much as I LOVE MUSIC, that music festivals are most likely not for me.  Plus, I’m really more of a Shawn Mendes person than Modest Mouse and  I don’t run with the “hip” music crowd, I’ll listen to vintage Britney any day over John Legend.  And now you like me even less don’t you.  Oh well.  In the words of the great philosopher, “I am what I am.”  And I most definitely would probably LOVE green eggs and ham, FYI.

All this being said, I must share with you that my music festival resume, per say, is quite limited.  So, there is a chance I would enjoy such a thing.  As long as camping is not involved.  Oh, and there’s air conditioning or a beach nearby.  And we’re back…

When I was in high school, my parents took me to a Christian Music Festival called Spirit West Coast that was basically the “safer” version of your average festival.  I put the word “safe” in quotes because to be honest, I don’t know much about regular music festivals and I also know better than to just automatically assume that anything Christian is automatically “safe”.  That being said, it was definitely tamer than most concerts could get, but it had a lot of elements that I would imagine any music festival would hold.  TONS of people.  Check.  Moving like herds of cattle over bridges and funneling slowly but surely (and noisily) into concert venues, all the while baking in the hot merciless sunshine.  NOISE, noise, and more noise.  Check.  We did camp (see, I HAVE camped in my life A LOT before you guys!) when we went one year, and the relentless high school girl high pitched screaming went on for the full 24 hours.  Also, people bringing their own instruments and trying to participate in the festival at midnight.  This is not appreciated, BTW.  HEAT, DIRT, and crappy food.  Check.  It’s mandatory that you receive at the very least a medium intensity sunburn despite the pounds of sunscreen you apply.  Also, you must be covered in a fine film of dust all the while sucking down sodas and eating something that was once food and has now been fried in something that was once considered oil.  Gross.  Exhaustion by mid afternoon, but desperately loading up on sugar and caffeine so you can make it to the headliner.  Which is the whole reason you are enduring this business to begin with.  Check.  Time for another confession.  I most definitely planned on meeting and marrying one of the guys from the band DC Talk (anyone remember them? Hello children of the 90s!) so I made it my mission to see ALL of their concerts.  And then I finally got up close to the stage, close enough to touch him, and then realized he was about…three quarters of my size.  Sigh.  The man of my high school dreams was a pint sized human being with a voice the size of Texas.  Drat. My dream died right there (because you know his stature was the main thing keeping us apart…ah forbidden love) but my mission to see them in concert did not.  The days spent as sunbaked fried food eating cattle were mostly about seeing as many concerts that I may or may not care about, all to stay alert for DC Talk.  Worth it?  Sure…why not.

The memory highlight of this festival experience was seeing Katy Perry (at that time she was Katy Hudson) running around with her friends (I had met her that year at a local church) and later remembering this and telling it as my “celebrity anecdote”…how I “knew her” (met her) before she kissed a girl and liked it.

There’s a big “but” coming after all this.  Not a big BUTT, a big BUT.  I love dressing like I’m going to a music festival.  Because it’s okay to dress like it and not go.  Here are some small guidelines to adhere to, so that you can get questions like “oh are you going to Coachella?” when you’re really just buying the ingredients for shepherd’s pie.  (I speak from experience).

  1. FRINGE.  Go with the fringy boots, ALWAYS.  Because you always want to protect your feet from the dirt at music festivals and regardless of what you’re doing, the fringe is swishy and fun to walk in.
  2. FEATHERS.  Yes, you CAN wear fringe and feathers in the same outfit as long as you play it cool.  Go with fringe boots and feather earrings for example.  You have the rest of your outfit as a buffer for the fact that you may be twinning with Steven Tyler.
  3. CUT OFFS.  The essential festival wear is also the essential summer wear, so keep em guessing.  The great news is that if you’re not comfortable with booty shorts, get a good pair of loose-ish jeans (just make sure they’re loose in the thigh area so you have the freedom to roll them up if you want AND they won’t give you a thigh bulge!) and cut them off at the height you want them.  I recommend cutting them at a slight angle up from the inner thigh to the outer thigh…so they’re a teeny tiny bit shorter at the outside than the inside.  Again, they DO NOT have to be shorty shorts.  But this slight angle gives a more flattering look to them.
  4. IX-NAY ON THE GLITTER.  Sorry guys.  I love glitter, and I would totally wear it on a daily basis, but ONLY with a simpler outfit.  If you wear glitter, glitter tattoos, or henna tattoos, you will be in FULL festival mode and this is where it gets a tad sketchy when you’re just picking up your kids from school.  Don’t get me wrong.  You can do it if you want to, but you are entering costume territory and will get stared at and get asked about your favorite Radiohead song.  And to that question, I have no answer except I love Justin Bieber.

Shameless self promotion time.  This duster is the newest piece from Velvet California (my clothing line baby!) and I love it.  I’m modeling the prototype and it’s coming soon to the site!  I hope you love it too! 🙂

Oh, if you don’t have three layer fringe Minnetonka boots, get them.  In multiple colors 🙂
Katy

 

 

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
Katy

Does This Sweater Make Me Look Fat? (and other things I don’t care about)

Man repelling clothes.  We’ve talked about them before, and I assuredly will talk about them again.  Like today.  I went into one of my favorite second hand/vintage stores downtown, and I found this amazing Free People sweater.  Let me clarify “amazing” because the word can have a multitude of meanings, right?  Sometimes “amazing” can mean delicate, intricate, and like a work of art.  Sometimes “amazing” can mean beautiful, flattering, and comfortable all at the same time.  And then other times, “amazing” can mean “it’s a freaking snuggie that’s socially acceptable to wear in public.”  In this case, I clearly mean the latter of these three definitions.

And when you find the equivalent of a wearable blanket made by Free People (this is actually more common of a find than you may think), what do you do?  You try it on.  Then you examine yourself from all angles, discover that it’s not flattering, and THEN what do you do?  Buy it anyway because somehow, wearing a giant knit poncho dress makes you feel like 67% cooler than you actually are…plus, who cares if it’s flattering or not because you can totally eat a bagel before wearing it and no one will ever know.  Yes, you are, AN EVIL GENIUS WHO CAN SNEAKILY EAT CARBS AND STILL LOOK COOL.  Free People may not be the best brand in the world, but thank goodness for their influence on style because there are some days you just don’t wanna suck it in all day long.

I find that there are some women who care more about the way things look, and some who care more about the way things look ON their bodies.  And then some, like me, care about both, but it greatly depends on the day you ask me.  Most of the time however, I will forgo the “this isn’t the MOST flattering for my body” voice in my head and just wear whatever it is just because I love it.  Hence, I bought the wearable blanket.  And yes, I will be wearing it regularly in a variety of ways.

Maybe you’re afraid of oversized sweaters, and that’s ok.  But in case you really want to try one and aren’t sure how…here are a few tips on things that pair well with the snuggie swaps you find out there:

  1. Pair them with everything else fitted.  Do not wear other baggy items of clothing with that giant blanket, but that’s kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
  2. If the sweater is long enough to cover your rear, go pants-less.  Please, please wear underwear and maybe a pair of shorts if the sweater is on the short side…we don’t need any “uh oh” moments that are R rated.
  3. Wear that giant thing over a collared shirt and bunch the sleeves up.  That gives it a kind of “preppy J Crew” vibe.
  4. Wear with a slip dress or something lacy under it.  That way, you’re balancing out the boxy oversized knit with something delicate.
  5. If all else fails, put on a beanie, giant oversized glasses, and channel Mary Kate and Ashley. 

And there you have it.  I’m wearing a blanket, and it’s somehow normal.  Ahhhhh I love being cozy in the winter time!

Happy giant sweater weather
Katy

Advice in Style: Wearing What Doesn’t Look Good on You

I will admit something you probably already know.  I don’t always care whether something looks amazing on me or not.  I mean, if something looks really bad on me, I won’t wear it.  But let’s just say…if something isn’t like…the BEST on me but I love it, I’ll just go ahead and wear it anyway.  And you know how it goes, sometimes styles you love don’t always suit your shape unfortunately.  Let’s talk about this phenomenon.

My body shape is such that I don’t have, like, a ton of SHAPE.  I’ve never in my life had a defined waist.  I’ve always been more of a straight up and down body type with not a huge differentiation from my bust to my waist to my hips.  I’ve got more “curves” I guess you could say since having babies, but still, my waist is not something that I like to emphasize a lot.  I’d rather wear a short skirt than a midriff bearing top.  One of the styles that I have ALWAYS loved, is the micro pleated skirt.  Over the years I have bought them, realized they looked bad on me, gotten rid of them, then bought them all over again…repeating this endless cycle of hoping one day, I would put on a micro pleated skirt and look exactly like Heidi Klum would look wearing one.  Dang you Heidi.

Most of the time, there are solutions for these “problems”.  Sometimes, you gotta cut and run with a style, but occasionally, if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.  Now, I can’t solve or offer advice for every single body issue out there unless it is specifically asked of me…but those of you who struggle with “finding their waist”…this is for you!

Problem Solving For The Waistless Masses (me)

-For two piece outfits, make sure the top is loose fitting.  Tight tops will only emphasize the fact that you don’t have a defined waist.  Then, instead of tucking in the top all the way around (not flattering on me), only tuck in the front and let the back hang out.  This give the illusion of a thinner waist, while still giving you the tucked in look you’re going for!  Ta Da!
-If you are going with a more fitted look, get a corseted style top or something with vertical lines that again, give the illusion of a waist.  Pair this top with a full skirt or looser pants OR make sure the dress you are buying has a full skirt.
-If you want to wear a shift dress and you just look like you could possibly be pregnant (I frickin hate that because I LOVE shift dresses), make sure you buy the dress large enough that it doesn’t hang on anything.  The right fabric is key here, and usually a non-t shirt fabric is the way to go.  Something more silk/polyester or maybe a denim that’s a slightly (or majorly) stiffer fabric will help give you that shift dress shape without proving that you have a non flat abdomen.  Because as you know, women are NOT SUPPOSED to have an abdomen UNLESS they are pregnant.  I have learned this from watching every Victoria’s Secret model in the history of mankind go from nine months pregnant to completely washboard abs in two days post partum.  And they only breastfed you guys, that’s all!!  (insert MAJOR eye roll here).
-Belts.  For those of you with no waist, that one word evokes a strong reaction.  You are either sweating, swearing, or screaming “I CAN’T WEAR THEM!!” right now.  Yep, I feel that.  And I love belts you guys!!  The absolute best belts I have ever found, are ones that are either stretchy or adjustable.  That way, I can put one on and maneuver it around until it actually looks right on me.  Yes, you can wear a belt.  But it is definitely more tricky.  So find a couple of adjustable (by adjustable, I mean like d-ring, stretchy, or tie-on) belts, and play around.  It’s always better to wear something with a little extra fabric in it because that way, the fuller dress will give the illusion of a smaller waist.
-One last tip.  Play with color blocking.  Often a dark color paired with the thing you don’t love on you (if it’s a two piece outfit) can help.  For example, see the photos below!

You guys, I couldn’t resist the allure of the metallic micro pleats this year.  I know, they’re not the most flattering on my body type.  But I love them so much, I’m gonna deal.  Here is my answer to all the bad things micro pleats do to my shape (add bulk at my hips, remind the world I am not Heidi Klum…).  I have something bulky, a sweater, on top, and this helps with the fact that this style is not flattering on my hips.  I tried on a neutral colored sweater first with this skirt and quickly realized that all it did was make me look sort of wide.  Swap it for the black, and the result was WAY better.  Wham, bam, thank you for the micro pleats, ma’am!

If you have a waist, ignore this and do all the fun things that I cannot do with clothing please!  And if you don’t have a waist, don’t cry over belts that don’t work.  You can do it!  If I can, you can!

Katy

Fashion Feelings: Tiny Annoying Setbacks

Seriously you guys, my life is like one perpetual diet.  And I’m not referring to the fact that I eat healthy.  No, no, that is something I do because I like to do it.  I eat salads instead of fries and acai bowls instead of ice cream because I actually feel better when I do.  What I’m referring to is the calorie counting and the not splurging on even healthy treats.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Yes, it’s called #momlife and the fact that I just don’t get to get as much sleep as I’d like, I tend to run out of energy from changing multiple diapers, cleaning up toys, and loading and unloading kids into car seats…and for all of these things, my body wants MORE FOOD.  So you want to know what happens?  I get into a routine.  I have a great week where I’ve worked out every day, my calories have been #onpoint, and I’m just #killingit.  (sorry for all the hashtags, it’s hard to stop once you start). And then…one of the kids gives me a mild tummy bug, a cold, or wakes up in the middle of the night and BOOM.  Routine destroyed.  #fail.  (#sorrynotsorry omg how do I turn it off??)

It drives me crazy.  I get frustrated because my typical iron clad low carb routine dissolves into me having to eat toast because my stomach is messed up, not working out because I have middle-of-the-night-toddler-freak-out exhaustion, or just overall eating more than I should because I don’t have the time to pay attention to my calorie count.  Or I’m just tired and hungry.  So I eat a little extra. Sure, sure, I need to give myself grace.  I know, I’m crazy hard on myself often when it comes to this stuff, so let’s try to focus on the point I’m making and not that I’m just plain crazy.  Crazy hard on myself or crazy…it’s all about the same thing!

My kids are young.  And it’s so fun to have young kids.  They’re so freaking cute.  But this often causes small “setbacks” in my routine.  It forces me to be okay with some weeks being “bad diet” weeks.  Even though I try my darnedest…sometimes I just need an acai bowl on a day I didn’t work out.  (I know you’re like “Oh my GOSH Katy you’re SO CRAZY!” #sarcasm)  But this is kind of the truth about being a mom at times.  You have to let go of the things you once held dear.  Your precious schedule.

Even though it is hard, and my feelings of frustration are valid, I think it’s kind of good for me at times to just do my best to be okay with who I am right now.  Yes, I will keep working on that dang last ten pounds until I can kick them (and I WILL kick them), but it’s good for me to learn to accept who I am at the moment.  I’m a mom.  I have more of a “mom body” than I used to, and some of that will always remain, weight lost or not.  I have stretch marks.  And sometimes, I won’t be able to stick to my routine.  That needs to be okay with me, because life is about more than just being hyper disciplined, as good as discipline is.

I’m thankful for clothes like this, because you know what?  They always look good.  I don’t have to be having a “thin day” to wear them and feel great about myself.  This cocoon wrap is from Aavintedge, and her mom (@modmelrose) is just about the coolest seamstress EVER.  My gosh, I want so much more of her stuff.  Scratch that.  I basically want everything she makes.  She uses vintage fabrics and makes the best stuff out of them.  And then there’s stretch velvet bell bottoms.  Go get yourself a custom pair, why don’t ya?  Because everyone needs more velvet in their lives 😉

Eat a donut for me will ya?
Katy

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

 

Advice In Style: Bag Lady Chic

I find it fascinating that what once is considered “ugly”, can suddenly (or more like gradually over time, but it often feels sudden) be in style and, well, attractive.  Trends are so interesting to watch.  It would be so funny to hop in a time machine in a normal outfit from today and see how someone in the, say, 1930’s would respond.  I think it would be quite amusing to hear what people from other eras had to say about today’s sense of style!

Years ago I remember being in Starbucks with my dad, and in typical “dad” fashion, he felt the need to comment on the garb of the youth.  He said: “I can’t tell who’s homeless and who’s dressed like that on purpose!”  (does it get more DAD than that?)  And while that does sound like a super parent-y thing to say to your young daughter, I think he has a point!  There is most definitely a style happening that once belonged exclusively to what we would call a “bag lady”.  It can be sort of a derogatory term and is kind of reminiscent of “cat lady”.  Both have bad connotations, but at the same time, are kind of hip now.  I mean, when I was in high school, we would have cringed seeing someone with a cat on a knitted sweater or a girl wearing a thousand layers over baggy jeans.  It would have been a faux-pas-faux-sure.  (do you see what I did there?)  And yet now, this is not so.

Before we break down this style, we must give props to the originators of this style.  The girls who brought bag lady from the streets to the runways…Mary Kate and Ashley.

27086, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Saturday 20th December 2008. A homeless looking Mary Kate Olsen awaits her driver after eating at Cafe Vida in the Pacific Palisades. Photograph: ©Gaz Shirley/PacificCoastNews.com

See what I’m talking about?  The caption even SAYS she looks homeless.  But how much you wanna bet that outfit cost, huh?  And there’s my point.  Bag lady is now chic.  I thought I’d give some tips on how to rock this style…some of them are more facetious than others, but you all know I kid because I love. 🙂

  1. Nothing should be your size.  If it is, you’re doing it wrong.  The key to this look is wearing EVERYTHING oversized.  That means you’re sizing up at least one to two sizes.  All kidding aside, the way to make this look GOOD and not like you just have no clue what size you are, is to pick things that are oversized but still flattering.  You’ll see Mary Kate and Ashley wearing a lot of thin drapey oversized dresses that hang on them large, but because they’re drapey, they don’t look like you’ve gained 10 pounds.  Thin fabrics are usually a good idea, or heavier knits that hang instead of stand up on their own, adding bulk.  Also, oversized structured jackets and sweaters can look chicer than baggy coats…however, the whole “giant puffy jacket” look is most definitely having a moment right now.
  2. Your jeans should be baggy enough to fit a diaper in the crotch.  Please don’t WEAR a diaper, but you catch my drift.  As in the previous point, if you get denim that’s soft enough, it will hang heavier on you and won’t look bulky.
  3. Structured shoes are a must.  If you wear this look with something casual like tennis shoes, it will be bag lady in the WRONG way.  So loafers, heels, booties, and scrappy sandals will be your friend with this look.  It’s all in the details.
  4. Don’t go too crazy on the jewelry.  This look is all about the mass amount of clothing you’re wearing and if you try to layer a ton of big jewelry, you WILL look like you’re just wearing everything in your closet.

Here’s my “bag lady chic” look.  I’ve got my favorite boyfriend Levi’s that sit lower on my waist because they’re a size too big, an oversized drapey vintage cami top, and my huge structured coat.  Structured shoes and simpl(er) jewelry make it not TOO crazy.

Some people really don’t like to wear this look.  I understand that.  It’s not the most flattering or slimming, but it sure does FEEL cool to rock!  If you’re feeling shy about it, you can always simplify it a little and wear skinny jeans instead of the boyfriend baggy fit…that might help you not feel SO oversized!  It’s all about finding the way that YOU like to wear a trend, not how other people wear it!
Happy bag lady-ing
Katy