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

 

 

Trending: CMA Fashion Recap

Well, in typical music awards show fashion, the CMA’s had all kinds of controversy.  I’m not here to talk about that.  I’m just going to give a recap of my favorite looks from the evening, because, well, I’m all about them dresses.  Seems like everyone busts out the glam and sparkle for these things and besides the great music, the dresses are the “other” stars of the evening!  Here’s my top favorites for you!

Nicole Kidman

I know, I know.  She’s not a country artist, but she was there to support her husband and I mean, come on.  She’s wearing GUCCI.  Nicole, you rule.

Carrie Underwood

I don’t know if I have ever disliked anything this girl has worn/sang/done.  I love her.  She’s gorgeous, gutsy, and sings like a powerhouse and an angel all put together.  Love this nude blush shade on her.

Kelsea Ballerini

I love the lux kind of drapery look this dress has.  It’s equal parts girly and gorgeous.  The colors are so eye catching.  Plus, I love the dark lip she paired with it.

Little Big Town

I don’t know what you’re looking at when you see this photo, but the ONLY THING I SEE IS THAT TURQUOISE FRINGE DRESS.  Can I have that please?  Oh me oh my, I quite approve of that look and I’d like to rock that right now, thank you very much.  I think that other than the Gucci on Nicole, this fringed number is stealing the show.

Jennifer Nettles

Look how bold this dress is!  I love how interesting it is.  It’s definitely a work of art and not very predictable.  It’s sexy, statuesque, and ladylike at the same time.

Whether the music of the evening was up to your standards or not, I’m guessing the dresses didn’t disappoint anyone!  I get easily distracted from controversy by sparkly things 🙂
Katy

Fashion Feeling: What I “Need”

Have you ever noticed how many times a day we say: “I need ____”?  I find myself saying it all the time.  Constantly.  And then sometimes, I wonder, do I really need what I just said I did?  I’m not always sure I do.  I’m not talking about like, a new pair of shoes, or a fur bomber jacket.  We ALWAYS NEED those things (can I get an “amen” from all you fashionistas out there?)!  That’s not the direction I’m going with this.  No, on the contrary, what I mean is this: I often think I need things to be a certain way before I can go on and do other, new things.  Like, I want all my ducks in a row before I start something new.  (If I had ducks, they would be in a row.  It’s how ducks are supposed to be.)  This is the problem of the non-procrastinating personality.  I was the kid who finished her homework before getting home because I wanted to go have fun, and there was no “fun” for me if my homework wasn’t done.  I like to work first, play after.  It makes my brain feel better.

While that is a good quality to have, it’s not always, shall we say…realistic, when it comes to real life.  It’s all well and good when you’re in school or have a job where you are able to check things off a list and keep everything in a nice spreadsheet.  But in my experience, life is much messier than this.  There’s things that don’t fit into categories, the lines all blur together, and there’s no finishing all the things you need to do…like…ever.

I found myself recently hearing about someone who had basically everything they needed in life.  Like everything.  There was security, there was money, there was space both physically and mentally to be organized.  And I found myself feeling a little…angry about it.  I started thinking things like: “yeah!  That’s what I need.  I shouldn’t be starting a clothing line or trying to work like I am without the space or resources!”  I felt a wave of righteous outrage flow over me.  And I felt completely justified in feeling this way.  I mean, logically, shouldn’t you have everything you need BEFORE you start something new?  The answer to that is as plain and simple as the nose on your face.  No.

Here’s why my “righteous anger” is completely unfounded.  Because when I have the time, the space, and no need to move forward, I will not.  There is something about a small amount of messiness, a need for forward motion in life, and some “lack” I will call it…that can cause incredible creativity.  Diamonds are not made in a cabana on the beach.  They are made in the fire.  Most people in history who did incredible things were not sitting there in mansions surrounded by everything they needed.  No, they actually did not have what they needed, which is what gave them the drive to move forward.  Now I know, it’s not like a recipe for creativity or an equation that says “need causes creating”.  It’s more of an observation really on myself, and on the human race.

So yeah.  I need certain things.  The need is real.  But that “need” shouldn’t be something that I focus on.  When we are in that fire, in that place of discomfort, we have got to focus on what’s in our hearts.  That thing that drives us.  Because often the most beautiful art comes out of discomfort, disappointment, and, well, need.  I got over my indignation when I realized that I only started writing as much as I am, when I ceased having the free time to do so.  Do you see what I mean?  When I had the time, I didn’t use it.  The need has created the desire.

Don’t worry.  I will never every tell you that you don’t need an article of clothing. I’m literally the worst person to ask when you want to make a decision because my default it that if you’re asking, you probably need it!  And no matter if you are in a place of comfort, discomfort, need, or plenty, don’t let yourself forget about what lights your fire.  No matter what space you are in, you can create.  You can build something.  You can move forward.  And if you don’t feel the need to move forward in your own life, you can do it for someone else!  We all have gifts, passions, and abilities that we need to share and use.  Otherwise, the rest of us miss out on what YOU have to offer!

I almost didn’t get this Free People dress.  (I got it second hand). And then, I realized, I needed it.  In the good way 🙂  The pink vintage concho necklace is from Classic Rock Couture (love her shop!) and the vintage huaraches I thrifted from Goodwill.  All the rest of the jewelry I picked up second hand.

Hope you’re feeling the passion today.  Even if it’s just in your brain while you shuttle your kids around back and forth to school…that’s a perfectly good place to create!
Katy

 

 

On Jealousy and Fringe

Jealousy.  It’s one of those feelings that we all come across at one point or another.  And is it just me, or has social media managed to feed the green-eyed monster and somehow made it…bigger and more accessible?  It’s kind of the worst, yuckiest feeling, and yet…it still happens whether we like it or not.  Today, I had a run in with the not-so-lovely feeling.

I was out and about, and I saw someone who I actually do not know personally.  At all.  But thanks to the magic of social media, I know quite a bit about her.  At least, what she chooses to share that is (I feel like that always needs to be clarified, right?).  So I saw her, and because I “know so much about her”, I found myself feeling jealous.  Before I knew it, I was thinking things like: “wow it must be nice to be her…to have so much money…to be able to do and buy whatever she wants…” I mean, it took all of 3.5 seconds for my thoughts to escalate to this point where I was feeling angry with her.  What on earth??  I was so repulsed by my thoughts and feelings…and yet I still had them.  I really know NOTHING about her as a person.  And yet, for 3.5 seconds, I was kinda sorta actively hating her.  Wow.  I’ve found that it’s gotten easier and easier for me to forgive people for being judgmental and mean at times because, hi, my name is Katy, and I sometimes have judgmental and mean thoughts.  Yep.  I’m no better than anyone else.  My world has been rocked, yet again!

So in the moment I was jealous of this poor girl who had no idea I was directing laser beam thoughts of hate at her, I didn’t think for a second about who she was, what her life is/has been like, or what she’s been through.  I have no idea.  I mean really, I have NO IDEA.  I don’t know her story.  I mean, for all I know, she could have had a very difficult life up to this point.  I REALLY DON’T KNOW, and that’s the problem with jealousy.  I don’t know what it’s like to be her, what she feels, and who she is as a human.  Picture this.  What if you took a homeless person who had been through hell, and overnight made her a multimillionaire.  You gave her a brand new Range Rover, an expensive makeover, and all the right social media photos.  I bet you anything, people would say those exact things I had thought earlier today.  “wow, it must be nice to be her!”  IS IT?  Gosh we really DON’T KNOW, do we??  Sure, there are some people who do seem to live a sort of “charmed life”, but no matter what, we do not know what it’s like to live from their perspective.  I talked myself down from hate laser beams quickly…once I realized how out of hand my thinking had become.

Regardless, her story is not my story.  Sure, she has stuff I want.  That’s a normal, natural part of life.  Just because she has it, doesn’t mean I can’t have it.  There’s enough to go around.  But my story, my timeline, and my path is not hers, and it would be better if I could focus on MY story instead of looking over at hers and wishing that it was mine.  Easier said than done, but it’s something I remind myself of often.  None of us are immune from jealousy, and all of us are guilty from time to time of coveting someone else position in life.  Eyes forward, encourage each other, and keep moving forward.  That’s what we have to do.  Because looking at each other isn’t really forward is it…it’s more like trying to hop the fence and go sideways.

Gotta wear my attitude like want to wear my clothes.  Boldly and with grace.


My good friend found me this top from her friend up in San Francisco, Souls of California (she has the BEST vintage!) and it’s insane.  It’s drapey and fringy and all the things I love!  I put it with vintage Levi’s, thrifted braided huarache like sandals and this amazing white turquoise necklace handmade by DesertMermaid.

Hope you are loving living YOUR story this week!  I’m working on that right now… 😉
Katy

 

On Pajama Dressing, Part Three.

Alrighty, it’s been a whole week of PYJAMAS!!!  I still am super psyched about this whole trend because it’s just so comfy and I feel like I have a whole new set of pieces to mix into my (busting at the seams) closet!  Now, since I talk about and (most likely) overuse kimonos in all my posts, I wanted to steer clear of doing a look with one of those in this week of jammies.  I mean, they are definitely part of the trend, but they’re kind of one of those things that I use in a larger sense of this whole loungewear thing that’s going on.  So for today, I wanted to use a couple other things besides the pyjama tops that I’ve been wearing in the earlier posts!

The thing about pyjama bottoms, is that the shape is pretty important.  I had a hard time thrifting these for that reason.  The older styles, and cheaper brands tend to have a decidedly tapered leg, which is just not a great shape for me at all.  Now, I do know some girls who can pull this funky shape off like a boss, but I am not one of them.  I generally need pants to have a straight shape to the leg or at least a slight flare to them for them to work on me.  This is why I went ahead and actually ordered this pyjama set from J Crew, and I’m really glad I did because these pants are exactly what I needed!  There are A LOT of things you can do with these pants.  I think dressing them up with a blazer and heels would look amazing, but for today, I’m dressing them down, thinking about how I’d run to the grocery store or go shopping in them.

A graphic tee and heeled clogs would be one way that I would wear these pants.  They are a GREAT choice for summer because they are lightweight and breathable…so perfect for a day when you don’t feel like shorts or a skirt.  Jewelry is key when it comes to this trend as I’ve mentioned before because it makes certain that people know that you are INTENTIONALLY wearing something that looks like pyjamas!

The second piece of clothing I wanted to bust out, is this funky vintage robe I got thrifting.  Now, some robes completely double as kimonos and you almost cannot even tell the difference if you wear them like you would a kimono.  However, there are some pieces that are obviously robes…they have tighter sleeves and they hang like they are supposed to be worn as a traditional post shower piece of clothing.  Sometimes they aren’t really acceptable for wearing outside (like those big fuzzy fluffy things you actually DO wear post shower!), but other times, they are beautiful items of clothing that can work much like a kimono style piece of clothing.

I have a tendency to want to minimize what’s going on on my bottom half when I wear something like a pretty dramatic or very funky robe.  That means that I gravitate towards shorts or skinny jeans, because they don’t add bulk when I have something rather bulky on top.  I also kept the top simple and form fitting so as not to add unnecessary bulkiness on the top.  I love the fur boots with this because, well I love those boots with everything, but they kind of are almost paying homage to slippers! Lots of turquoise and a tassel felt like a good addition to class up this sleepwear item.

It’s just loads of fun you guys.  Where is the fun in dressing when you can’t wear stuff “wrong” right?  It’s fun to test out what can double for what, and not compromise comfort while doing it!

Hope you’re in your jammies, netflixing, and chillaxing 🙂
Katy

On Necklace Layering

Necklace layering.  It’s something that I often do, but rarely think about.  I’ve had a number of people ask me how to do it, and then I have to stop and think about it.  The answer is simple really, you just put on necklaces, and then after a while, you stop putting them on!  Okay, for reals that’s what I do.  However, I do understand that there is an instinct that I have developed over time, and that takes practice.  And you have to start somewhere, and with some level of inspiration.  So I’m going to try and break it down into some basic ideas, with some tips and tricks for you…that way if you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start or you don’t feel like you’ve got your instincts on this yet, you’ll have a place to begin!  Keep in mind, there really are no RULES to this.  There’s no rules other than if you like it or not.  If you like silver, use silver.  If you like gold, use gold.  If you like both, mix them!  The sky is the limit, and anything goes!

To get started, start collecting jewelry!!  This doesn’t have to be an expensive process.  I really don’t own many expensive pieces yet, and that’s ok.  Etsy is a fabulous source for handmade jewelry, and a lot of it is quite inexpensive.  Forever 21, Target, and even places like Kohl’s have very much stepped up their jewelry game and they have many great pieces to mix and match.  And don’t forget about thrift stores, flea markets, and second hand stores!  That’s where you’ll really score and get stuff that no one has ever seen before!!  I have been collecting jewelry for a while now, so it’s quite easy to layer…and once you start your collection and it grows a bit, you’ll see that it gets easier.  The more options you have…well, the more options you’ll have 🙂

ROCKER CHIC
This look is FUN and basically my GO TO right now.  It’s got leather and gold (I’m a gold person, so keep that in mind…silver will work or rose gold too if that’s your metal of choice!) and lots going on.  I like lots going on!
THE PIECES: This is a leather wrap choker with a tassel pendant attached to it (details on that to follow), a layered multi chain necklace, and two vintage gold choker length necklaces.
TIP: The BEST way to make this look easy peasy, is to find one necklace that has a ton of chains on it.  These are pretty easy to find cheap typically at places like F21 or the thrift stores. You can also make one if you’re so inclined by going to the craft stores and getting a bunch of chain and attaching it into one multi length necklace.  Varying the chain colors and link size will make it look even cooler.
TRICK:  Okay you guys.  This leather choker.  It’s a PIECE OF LEATHER I bought at a craft store (leather laces, deerskin is the best if you can find it) and I bought a chain pendant at Michael’s to hang on to it.  It cost me under $10 and I now have a bunch of colors.  It’s so easy, it’s almost wrong.

TINY TREASURES
This look is basically a more delicate layering option.  If you keep the metal monochromatic and the pendants even smaller than these, it will be more delicate and more of a conservative layering look.
THE PIECES: I have a handmade necklace from The Joyful Jewelry Box (love her!), a turquoise cross from Forever 21, and a thrifted agate slice.
TIP: This is an easy look.  The thing you want to do is to keep all the necklaces at very similar lengths…just slightly staggered is best.  Like within half an inch to an inch of each other is best.
TRICK: You can easily make this look by buying chain and small pendants at the craft store and making each necklace just slightly longer than the last.

TALKING BOUT TURQUOISE

Chokers are the total new IT necklace.  They are also a GREAT layering piece because they don’t interfere with your other jewelry…there’s no tangling or competing for the same length typically.  This look can be monochromatic like I did it, or can be totally changed up by using different colors.
THE PIECES: This is a deerskin braided concho leather choker by Desert Mermaid, a multi strand turquoise thrifted necklace, and a tassel necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: The principle behind this look is three distinct lengths.  ONE: a choker, TWO: a collar bone piece, and THREE: a midriff hitting pendant.  Pretty much ANYTHING can be used in this look, even a short necklace instead of a choker if you’re not a choker person.
TRICK:  A piece of ribbon tied around your neck is a perfect layering choker.  It’s cheap and easy and you can literally own every color of the rainbow for super cheap.

PRETTY PREPPY

Surprise!  You thought this was about NECKLACE layering didn’t you!?  Gotcha!  I mixed in a brooch because remember?  There are NO RULES!
THE PIECES:  This is a tiny collarbone star necklace (the one I wore at my wedding in fact!), a vintage brooch, and a long gold necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP:  This is a great way to layer that won’t get tangled up together!  You can also put a brooch off to the side, or even wear a few in a row across the neckline of your shirt to add more interest.
TRICK: If you love brooches but don’t have any, they can easily be thrifted or made by taking clip on earrings or anything really and gluing it onto a pin.

BANDANA WHAT?
The wild west ain’t got nothing on this look!  Bolos can be a bit harder to layer because of their long tails.  That’s why layering them under a scarf works beautifully.
THE PIECES:  A thrifted scarf and a bolo made by my lovely Hillbillygypsy Boots.
TIP:  Any scarf will do for this look!  You could use a vintage one or any type really…it will still be a great layering piece over a bolo or a long necklace.
TRICK:  You could find a fabric that you like and cut a square in a scarf size and that’s an easy and cheap way to get any look you want with the pattern you want.

URBAN COWGIRL

Again with the scarf!  Flip it around, add a brooch, and you’ve got a whole new groove.  Basically this look is about three different lengths.  It’s an easy one!
THE PIECES: Thrifted scarf, a vintage brooch, a thrifted coin necklace, and a long necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: With a floral scarf and a pretty sparkly brooch, you get a whole different look to this layered vibe.
TRICK: If you don’t have a brooch, you could easily just tie your scarf in a knot, or tie a longer one in a bow, and then add a few necklaces below it and it’s still super cute!

Now…just do it!  Mix some metals, try some tricks…get crazy and bold with this!  Jewelry is an easy and more conservative way (for those of you who have to dress a bit more conservatively for work OR you just aren’t into bold clothing) to add flair and pizazz to an outfit.  I mean, a white tee and jeans could look so put together with some layered jewelry!

If you wanted to buy pieces like the ones I used, I’ll add some links here for you to get started on your hunt!

SCARF, LONG GOLD NECKLACE, LEATHER CHOKER, ASSORTED CHOKERS, SMALL AND MEDIUM NECKLACES FOR LAYERING, BROOCH

Hope your week is just jammin’

Katy

On Try, Trying Again and A Vintage Nightgown (Dress!)

You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”…pretty sure we’ve all heard this at one point or another in our lives.  The part that it doesn’t say however, is how hard that “try, try again” part can be!  I mean, I know we all know that it’s hard to keep persevering and all that, but I think when you’re in the middle of it, it just FEELS harder than you thought it would.  I guess, all I’m doing is stating the obvious.  It’s HARD.

I think one of the things I’ve found for me (and probably for my personality really), is that it feels like the second I feel like I’ve made a little bit of progress in the right direction, something reminds me of the times that things didn’t seem to “work” right.  Sometimes it’s something silly, sometimes it just something normal, and other times it’s something that legitimately would bum anyone out, but ALL the time, it’s something that makes me feel like…hmmm…maybe I SHOULDN’T try, try again.  Wrong.  I know it’s not the way I SHOULD feel, but when it comes to should or shouldn’t, that stuff doesn’t really apply to feelings.  You just kind of feel the way you feel…and it’s what happens next that really matters.

I’ve had a hard time not getting really down on myself often for the ways that I feel.  Or sometimes I give my feelings a little too much weight, and then I feel badly for that…any way you look at it, it’s a lot of feelings.  Too many feelings.  To quote Ron Weasley (Harry Potter fans unite!): “One person can’t feel that all at once.  They’d explode.”  This quote describes me so perfectly at times, and I imagine lots of you can relate with it as well!  The good thing though is that I think that I’m getting SLIGHTLY better at moving on from all those feelings when they happen.  I’m learning that I don’t need to get down on myself for the times that things set off my emotions because of some of my bad memories.  I don’t need to feel badly for my feelings.  That just adds feelings on top of feelings and BOOM (that’s the sound of the explosion, FYI). What I DO need to do however, is to acknowledge them, take a moment to grieve and process the things that I went through for a few minutes, and then put it back in the past where it belongs.  The feelings exist.  They are valid.  But they do not dictate where I go next.  And isn’t it funny how much easier it is to get upset about stuff than it is to celebrate the good stuff?

I had a great morning.  I’m SUPER excited about some new projects I’m working on that I will share with you when I have more to share :).  Then this afternoon, something reminded me of some of the crap that happened a while ago.  It was all fine, it wasn’t even bad!  But I instantly got down about all the stuff I previously had been excited about…until I realized what I was doing.  I was letting how I used to feel dictate how I feel now.  Too many feelings, most of them inappropriate to the situation.  So now, they have been appropriately grieved, and left behind like they need to be.  Breathe in, breathe out…and now I can get back to being excited!  Maybe one of these days I’ll grow up and get it, huh?  🙂

I found this dress at a thrift store and it kind of reminded me of a vintage Spell dress, if that existed!  It’s most likely someone’s nightgown, but to me, it’s a boho fabulous dress!  These boots are Minnetonkas and the MOST comfortable, and find an amazing squash blossom HERE for around $20!

Have an UBER FABULOUS weekend!
Katy

On Social Media and An Amazing Jacket

It’s been easy in the past for me to get kind of down on social media.  I stayed off Facebook completely till less than a year ago and I spent over a year not being on Instagram at all.  Not even to look at what other people were posting.  I’ve had some painful moments due to it, some times when I’ve seen things that have hurt me, made me feel like less than I am, or just discouraged me and caused me to wish things were different or that I was different.  However, I’ve discovered the one thing about it that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  The women I’ve met.  Seriously, I have met some of the greatest girls on Instagram…girls who the only thing that’s not great about them is that they aren’t close enough for me to hang out with!  It’s been SO encouraging and fun to “meet” these girls…whether it’s just in conversations on Instagram or actually in person.

During our recent trip to San Francisco, one of the girls I had “met” on Instagram reached out to me and asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee.  I was so excited because usually on these trips, my husband is in meetings for work and I just hang out by myself, which is fine for a bit, but hanging with someone is preferable to shopping alone!  Before meeting her, I had a moment of panic and I said to my husband: “oh no…I don’t know what she looks like, how will I know who she is??”  And he replied: “ummmm she will most definitely know who YOU ARE!”  Fine, I take a lot of selfies.  I get it.  It’s such an interesting thing meeting someone for the first time…when you’ve already had full conversations with them before.  And not only that, but since you’ve been looking at photo snapshots from their lives for so long, you kind of feel like you know them.  Social media has totally legitimized stalker behavior if you ask me!!  We hung out for the morning, and honestly, I felt like I had known her for years.  And yes, THAT is the amazing thing about social media too…”blind friend dates” are more like being longtime buddies thanks to the fact that you’ve gotten to know each other already.  It’s like a compatibility test for friendship.  Did you both like that photo of that vintage dress that just got posted?  You are 99% compatible as friends.

I had so much fun with her.  This scenario has repeated itself in different locations with different Instagram friends…and every single time, I feel like I’m nailing the friend game.  Which is much different from how it has been for me lately when I meet girls wherever I happen to be.  There’s usually a moment where the new girl I just met says: “I don’t really buy that many clothes…” and I’m like “oh…ok…that’s fun…” (awkward silence because I have no idea what to say next, but I’m guessing it will be about cows because that’s my “go to awkward silence” conversation.  And no, I don’t know anything about cows, which makes it even more awkward than it was.  I should probably find a new topic.)  So social media, forgive me for bashing on you so hardcore, and hey, thanks for all the cool girls you’ve hooked me up with!

The SUPER cool girl in San Francisco embroiders stuff like a boss, hence this INCREDIBLE hand fringed and embroidered denim beauty I’m sporting here.  Honestly, I really don’t have to be cool at all to wear this, because it’s so cool that it makes up for all my lack!!!!  You need to follow her… @township31 on Instagram, and please, have her embroider something for you because she’s the COOLEST PERSON and she’s SO TALENTED!!!

Do you SEE how cool this is?  I’m so thankful to have met her for so many reasons though.  Making friends as an adult is so much harder than it needs to be, and hanging out with her was just so easy.  The moral of the story is this: meet your Instagram friends, because they are even cooler in real life!

Pants are from Nightcap (on sale HERE) and worth the splurge trust me! And the necklace is from Etsy.

Happy start of your week!
Katy

 

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!
Katy

On How To Successfully Thrift!

Here’s the thing about thrift store shopping.  One of the BIGGEST components to making an item of clothing appealing, is presentation.  I mean, I was talking to a woman who owns a local store and she told me how she and her co worker used to take things off the sale rack that had been sitting in the store for months, put them in the window on the mannequins, and they’d sell…instantly.  I have discovered this dynamic working at a second hand store.  Often something can sit in the store for so long, but the minute it goes on Instagram, it’s got a waiting list for it.  Thrift stores have absolutely ZERO presentation.  There are often many amazing treasures hiding in the midst of, well, truly ugly things.  Sometimes the “treasures” are even just things that look EXACTLY like that shirt you are thinking about spending $40 at Gap for…but it’s hard to spot because you’re so distracted by that really weird looking cat sweater sitting right next to it.  I’ve been cleaning up at thrift stores lately, but I used to loathe thrift store shopping for clothes.  I found it gross, frustrating, and very unproductive.  Since I’ve had a bit of a turn around in my thrift store “luck” you could say, I thought I’d make a little guide to help you think through your next trip to the Goodwill…or maybe just encourage you to go in the first place!

  1. Vintage slips.  I CANNOT stress this enough you guys…these things are SO versatile even if you DON’T wear funky clothes like I do!  First of all, look at any runway photos (think like Ralph Lauren, Gucci…) and you will spot this style.  They look very high fashion for a fraction of the price.  They are layerable…over things, under things, they make amazing pieces that look a lot like a Free People Intimates piece.  You can even put them under a dress (for more coverage obviously) and let the lace stick out the bottom to extend a dress or a skirt.  Always check the “lingerie” section for these babies.
  2. Button down shirts.  I was about to buy a few of these, had them in my cart online, and then I realized it…I could get this same thing for less than a quarter of the price at Goodwill.  Stripes and gingham are big for spring, and these are plentiful at most thrift stores.  Sure you may have to check a couple of times to get the right size, but I found BOTH of those items today for $4.50 a piece.  So before you go buying these at J Crew (I get it, their stuff IS amazing so it is worth investing if you know you love their fits!), check your local thrifts shops!
  3. White tees.  I know, you think I’m positively LOCO for suggesting this.  Because, like, how can a white tee survive any length of time to make it into a thrift store? Let me tell you how.  Go to the MEN’S section, and look at them.  You’ll find men’s UNDERSHIRTS that have that oversized, kind of vintage-y feel that you pay like five times the amount to find at Zara.  It’s most definitely worth a look.
  4. Dresses.  I find that honestly, the dress section is usually the BEST section in the store.  It’s the place you are most likely, it seems, to find GOOD vintage and interesting pieces, and things that you’d pay a lot more for if you were to find them online in a vintage shop.  I get it, this is where presentation REALLY comes into play.  Often times it’s really hard to spot a great item amongst the bad ones, so you have to pull things out and ask yourself a few key questions.  Does it look like something you would see in a magazine/on the runway/in one of your favorite stores?  Is it layerable?  If you saw this in a cute shop, would you buy it?  Honestly, bad presentation can also make things that aren’t that cute appear cuter than they actually are as well…because if something is the best item in the store, of COURSE it looks good!  I try to picture things I see in the thrift store on bloggers I love or in a magazine spread, and if that image works, I go with the item.  If not, I pass on it.
  5. Blazers.  Thrift stores are usually LOADED with blazers of all kinds and this is a total JACKPOT for this style.  I seriously suggest checking a few second hand stores before spending on this style because I’ve gotten the best blazers from there.  One was from Anthropologie and the other vintage…so you see what I mean?  It’s worth a scan on the racks!

One of the things I’ve learned is that if you are going for a LOOK more than for BRANDS, you’ll do better thrift store shopping in general.  Now some of you may live in areas like San Francisco or Malibu where there are a wealth of higher end thrift shops…and that’s a totally different situation.  I just know for me, being in an area where the thrift stores are really nice but aren’t “fed” by a lot of high end stores, it’s better to look for things that are vintage or that just have the look I’m going for, than to look for say, Free People items.  Once I started looking for “a blue pinstriped button down” (as an example) instead of “designer brands”, I ended up finding SO much better stuff.  Let me boil this down for you.  If you go OFTEN and with a CREATIVE and OPEN mind, you’ll make out like a bandit most times.  There will still be days when you walk away with nothing.  But those days will get fewer and fewer!

I scored this vintage slip and this pinstripe top from Goodwill.  And when I put them on, I completely felt like I could walk a Ralph Lauren runway.  I am in LOVE with this outfit.  It feels like menswear meets bohemian sophisticated glamour.  The boots are from my amazing bootmaking friend Hillbilly Gypsy Boots and they’re the best ever.  The vintage squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture on Etsy.  I put it over skinny jeans to make it a little more casual and since it’s not quite warm enough to go without.  But when it does warm up, I’ll be rocking this over some tall boots too!

Okay you guys!  Brave those thrift stores!  You can DO IT!
Katy