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!



Fashion Feelings: Waiting for Spring

Sometimes in California, it seems that we barely get winter.  We often head straight from summer into indian summer…and then we get like a few days of “cooler weather”, and we are right back where we started in warm temperatures.  I’d say it’s been like that for the past few years here on the Central Coast.  We all buy sweaters and jackets and there are a few bold enough to attempt a pea coat or trench coat (usually the attempts are in vain) and then we stare at our closets, dripping sweat, and wonder why on earth we thought it was a good idea to buy cashmere. You know the story, we got caught up watching Gossip Girl reruns and  had visions of tights and scarves, then came crashing back to reality that you can’t dress like that when it’s 75 outside.  That’s the norm I’d say around here.

However, that is not the case this year.  On the contrary,  we are actually getting our winter.  My rain boots have been worn more in the past few months than they have over the entire time I’ve owned them.  No exaggeration.  Sure, we’ve had a few glorious days that feel like spring, but they are bookended with rain, and LOTS to it.  There’s dams breaking and flooding and mud sliding…all the things that you typically DON’T associate with California…where literally six months ago people were STANDING IN the bone dry lake taking Instagram photos.   And after all that waiting for rain and wondering if we’d ever have a winter again, how do you think it makes us feel?  Yeah.  For the most part, we are all just waiting for spring.

I’m not going to use this post to complain about the weather, no, I’m really talking about the seasons more as a metaphor than anything else.  Because, OBVIOUSLY the rain won’t last forever, and it’s not even all that bad compared to other parts of the world.  What I’m talking about is waiting for newness.  Most of the time, I feel like I am surrounded by people who are waiting for a change to happen.  You can hear it in their conversations as you pass by, you can sense it in them…that urgency to move past something, be it school or a temporary job, to get to where they are going.  Sure, that’s kind of part of life.  A lot of life is spent in waiting rooms, boring classes, jobs we aren’t excited about, grocery store lines…that’s normal.  I’m not really talking about THAT kind of waiting.  I’m talking about the WAITING.  You know, that deep-down-in-your-soul waiting that you can’t talk about without either getting so fired up that you can’t stop thinking about it OR you completely dissolve into tears because you “just can’t” anymore?  THAT kind of waiting.  It’s the kind where you desperately want to get pregnant and have been waiting for what feels like your whole life to be a mom.  It’s the kind where you just KNOW that there’s a job or a purpose for you outside of working at a dead end job filled with busy work you could not care less about.  THAT kind of waiting.  Waiting for spring to come.

I must confess that I have had this kind of waiting in me my whole life.  It’s very painful to even admit that sometimes, because it means I’m still doing it.  It started when I was a child (because I grew up with parents who were “waiting” and unfortunately they passed their torch to me at a very young age in that area).  I was more of a grown up child, who wished and hoped to solve everything for my parents at an age when I should have been more concerned with what the hot new toy was rather than my dad’s income comparative to the home prices in our town.  So even as a child, I was waiting for something that was not my responsibility to wait for.  That sucks.  Because now as an adult, instead of waiting for a “normal” amount of adult years, it’s mostly feels like I came out of the womb with a burden, not only to change things for myself, but to fix it for everyone around me.  And trust me, I’m not the only one suffering from this kind of waiting here.

So what do you do with this kind of waiting?  To be honest, on days like today, I feel like it is actually going to crush me.  What then?  Do you just put on your winter parka and decide that winter will last forever?  Do you just hunker down and accept it?  No.  You put on your spring clothes.  It may be freezing (so maybe don’t LITERALLY do that if you’re in a snowy climate, okay?) and it may feel VERY VERY WRONG.  People may stare at you.  They may even ask you why you’re dressed for spring when it’s CLEARLY still winter outside.  And you tell them: “because spring is right around the corner, and I want to be ready for it when it comes”.  Do you get what I’m saying?  Emotionally, we need to “dress” for spring time.  Because the winter won’t last forever.  Seasons change, and believe me, I know people who are living in spring time and they are still bundled up for the deep freeze.  They’re scared to change their emotional attitudes because they believe it’s still winter time.

On a lighter note, I am quite guilty of dressing for the season I WANT it to be, rather than the one I am currently in.  I think it’s partly just my creative nature, and partly the fact that most of the time if someone tells me something is impossible I tend to take that as a challenge.  Dressing for the wrong season is my forte, quite literally.  Days like today, I humbly admit that I’ve been in my parka all day long even though the weather has been beautiful.  I have gotten it all wrong and it’s time to put on my cropped floral pants and say screw that, I’m dressing for spring!

Who’s with me?

Pants: Vintage, similar HERE (and on clearance!)
Top: Old Urban Outfitters, similar HERE
ombat Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, similar HERE (and a screaming deal too!)
Earrings: H&M in store, black version HERE

Trending: Friday Five Roundup

It’s Friday!  Oh wait…I have kids…so what does this all mean?  Whether you are Netflixing, mom-ing, or working for the weekend, we could all use a few fun things to start off our weekend right.  I’ll try to roundup some interesting and happy thoughts for ya ;)

Juicy Couture, How I’ve Missed You (get outta my closet and onto my body)

You’re either gonna love me or hate me for my closeted Juicy love.  I got all my old Juicy’s in a box (and I may buy them at thrift stores when I see them…) and I’ve just been ITCHING to bust them out again.  Thanks to this popsugar article I feel like I’m not alone.  Also, regardless of how you feel about the iconic tracksuits, if you haven’t read the book by the creators of Juicy, “The Glitter Plan“, please do so.  It’s one of my favorite books ever and fashion lovers out there will enjoy the heck outta that book.

Target Makes More Clothes That Don’t Look Like They’re From Target

I mean, they just get better and better.  And while I obviously prefer to buy handmade or from a small company or individual, the reality is we all gonna buy stuff from Target now and then.

Like THESE pants, which I clearly *need*.

And THESE booties, because like, are you for reals that these are from Target??

New Netflix Shows About Fashion.  Yes, Please.

I have no knowledge of the book this is based on, full disclosure.  However, anytime there’s a new show about fashion or the fashion industry, I will watch it! Plus, I want that outfit.  Obvi.  Until this comes out, I’ll be checking out Versailles on Netflix, since I’m having withdrawls after finishing The Crown.

Major Shoutout To The Savior of My Kid’s Lunches

My kids aren’t allowed to bring any kind of peanut or nut butter into their classroom, and when your kids are so picky like my kids are…this can be a majorly stressful restriction!  Thank my lucky stars, I got them hooked on Sunbutter as well as peanut butter.

I put it on their crackers, I make sunbutter balls with honey and oats and chocolate chips…just beware that you must INFORM the teacher that your child has sunbutter, otherwise you may get a phone call halfway through the day (speaking from personal experience!).

Who’s Grammy Performance Will Bring The House Down?

My money’s on Gaga, because I’ve never seen her do anything halfway and after that Super Bowl flying off the stage stunt I think she’s the sure fire winner of “most amazing and riveting performance”.  See for yourself who’s gonna rock the house this weekend.


Advice in Style: The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style

You know what’s funny?  Watching movies set in past times when women wore things like corsets and stuff…and then watching myself complain about having to button my jeans.  Yeah.  Times have changed.  I mean, we have it so easy!  We don’t have to deal with giant petticoats (unless we want to) or constrictive shape wear (unless you count spanx, which are again, optional)…the worst thing we have to do is literally, button our skinny jeans.  Pretty sure we have it darn easy, ladies!

All that to be said, we don’t have to make things more complicated if we don’t want to.  If you’re one of those “I want to feel like I’m wearing pajamas all day, every day” kinda gals, this is your lucky day.  Because corsets are for costumes, buttons are for elevators, spanx are for Kanye’s fashion show.   Yeah, I went there.

Lazy gals, your day has arrived.  We live in the era of stretch fabrics, velcro, and leggings in every imaginable pattern.  You are now the cool girls.  Your workouts can now be reserved for the gym and not for trying to get on a stubborn pair of slightly too small “standing only” jeans.

The I Don’t Want To Button My Pants Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style:

Ditch the jeans like it’s Turkey Day.  I love denim, but you can be stylish without a pair of jeans.  The sheer amount of palazzo pants, maxi skirts, leggings, and stretchy bell bottoms out there right now is staggering.  I have so many pairs of jeans, and I often go weeks without touching them just because I have so many other options.
Keep the jeans, lose the pesky button.  I am having an endless love affair with high waisted stretch jeans.  So much so, that I’m considering doing my own for my upcoming clothing line.  I have a pair of these, and you guys, they’re worth every penny.
Wear pajamas.  All day.  You all know how I feel about pajama dressing, it’s chic, different, and COMFORTABLE.  No one (unless they’re super weird) makes uncomfortable pajamas.  You can easily buy pajama tops and bottoms even at places like Target or Old Navy and wear them as shirts and or bottoms.  It looks very classy when paired with the right top or bottom, depending on what look you are going for.
Layer like a pro.  I love that the style these days is more “messy” than “fussy”.  It’s like, instead of polo shirts with the collar flipped up (please tell me what that’s about you guys) there’s tees with jackets and flowy pants.  Messy is the “look”, meaning that it’s all about doing things imperfectly and not nitpicking at your outfit.  (key word, lazy)
No more laces.  Don’t tell your mom, but all that time she spent teaching you to tie your own shoes was, well, a waste.  Because pull on, slip on, slide on shoes are your new BFF.  I cannot tell you how many times I chose a pair of pull-on boots over a pair that I have to zip up (heaven forbid I put that much effort into getting dressed) simply because it was easy.  Mules, slides, and cowboy boots are like “look ma! No hands!” kinda shoes.
Buy yourself a good dry shampoo.  If you don’t already have dry shampoo, goodness gracious get your butt into your car and get some.  Or at the very least, be lazy and order some.  No, NOW.  I didn’t mean later, I meant now!  Because dry shampoo is the lazy girl’s best hair friend, and saves time, and probably lives as well for all I know.  If you have dark hair, this one is the bomb and smells amazing too.  If you have blonde hair, opt for a lighter option.  Both of these are safe, natural products that you will most definitely get your money’s worth.  An added perk of using the natural ones is that they don’t build up like the chemical ones do.  These you can use a few days in a row without getting that nasty yucky hair feeling after only one day of use.

Here’s my lazy girl look.  I have a robe I got from Urban Outfitters, my pull on flares from Show Me Your Mumu (no cussing, struggling, or sucking in the gut required), and a thrifted slip dress.  My hair is fully equipped with dry shampoo and a little salt spray and my lipstick is a crayon (one swipe and done).  I have on some slide on mules so I can literally just step into them and go.

Go be lazy you guys.  It’s ok, I won’t tell :)

Fashion Feelings: To All The Places I’ve Never Been Yet

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not what you’d call a great traveller.  I get anxiety over if I will be able to get good food, what kind of food I will be eating, and where my food will be coming from.  Basically…I have a lot of food-based anxiety.  Like, if I were to go to a country where they served something and I didn’t know what it was…I may have a panic attack.  Heck, I have a panic attack just thinking about eating fast food (probably because I don’t know where it comes from, so I guess that’s not all that different!) so the thought of being served like squid or something makes me all sweaty and freaked out.  (Do people eat squid?  Don’t answer that.)  All that being said, I want to see places I’ve never seen before.

My first time on an airplane was in high school going to Italy, France, and England.  I’ve written about the flight before, how the girl next to me barfed all over me then we all got scared and over compensated for our fears and got drunk on dramamine on the second leg of the journey…yeah, it was a dramatic first airplane experience for sure.  We arrived in Rome, exhausted from being awake for two days straight, wasted on airplane sickness drugs, and delirious.  This is not a great start to a trip.  We spent the first day dragging our smelly unbathed rear ends around a place made entirely of human bones (not sure what that was all about), following the most hyper tour guide that there ever has been.  He was so excited about everything that we all began plotting ways to murder him so that we could go take a nap.  (don’t worry, he survived our tour…but it was a closer call than he realized.)  We got to our hotel room, which smelled like the inside of a moldy paint can (weird I know, but that’s the only way I can describe it) and the first thing I did was take a shower and then, naturally, plug in my hair dryer.  Being the American “blonde” that I am, I used the adaptor wrong and blew a fuse, burning out the power in the entire hotel.  An angry Italian came up to our room, muttering to himself most likely Italian cuss words, unplugged my blow drier and shook his finger at me.  I’m surprised he didn’t smack me with it.

The entire trip I was in complete culture shock.  Everyone had told me how “Americanized” Europe had become.  What were they TALKING ABOUT????  I was in some of the easiest places to travel, considering cultural differences and relative lack of language barriers, and I felt SO LOST.  The food seemed so foreign, the money conversion made me do math (and I HATE MATH), and nothing looked or felt like home.  This is what happens when you are raised in a small town and never experience anything different until you are a teenager.  It’s hard to adapt if you are not in familiar surroundings.

So I can say this with all honesty.  I want to travel.  I’m scared.  But I want to do it.  I want to see places that maybe are not “the usual” suspects that I would say I’ve always wanted to go.  I want to meet people of different cultures and see what the fashions are and just not be scared to try new things.  Oh boy.  That’s a stretch for me.  But I want to do it someday.

I was in Urban Outfitters and saw this shirt on a mannequin in the men’s section.  I instantly fell in love because it looks like a vintage bomber jacket, but in a shirt form!  The detail is just magnificent!

If/when I travel, I will definitely be chronicling my journeys because nothing is more amusing than seeing the world through the eyes of someone as sheltered as me.  I know it, you know it…it’s just pretty dang hilarious even looking back at myself in Europe, not knowing how to flush the toilets because they were different than American toilets.  And I will most definitely learn to use an adaptor.  Because that was just embarrassing.

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 Man Repelling Clothes and Layers

I’ve always had this theory that women dress for other women primarily.  I mean, think about it.  For the most part, when you get dressed in the morning, are you really thinking about what guys are going to notice your outfits or your jewelry?  Now I get that if you’re going out and trying to meet guys and all that, there is most definitely an element of dressing for men.  That’s a given.  But that scenario aside, for the most part, we dress for other women.  Because as women, we are the ones who typically notice clothing.  We do what’s called the “outfit once over”.  You know how this goes.  You see another girl, and you look her up and down.  Discretely of course.  All you who are into clothing (I doubt you are reading this blog post if you are NOT into clothes) give the girl in front of you the “once over”.  Hair, makeup, jewelry…is that a LOUIS bag…wait no it’s a knockoff…clothes, shoes…and now you have formed a picture of who the girl is in front of you.  I don’t really mean this in a judging kind of way…although we’ve all been victims of the judgey once over so we know it does exist.  But we all do it no matter what simply because WE LOVE FASHION.  So we do the “outfit once over” and then we compliment each other on our stuff.  “Love your boots…oh my gosh that bag is amazing…I want to get a dress like that…” it’s all just our normal girl dialogue.   And it’s why we get dressed in the morning in all our cute stuff right?  To share it with our friends and to project an image of who we are, or who we want to be!

This brings me to my next point.  Another theory that I’ve always had, was that clothing that girls wear for other girls is typically what I call “man repelling” clothing.  What is “man repelling” clothing, you ask?  The Free People catalog.  Bohemian, crazy layers, fringe, overalls, Mexican embroidered tunic dresses, gladiator sandals…all of these things (which we all happen to love right?!) are what I call “man repelling” clothing. I learned recently there is a whole site called dedicated to this very subject…so apparently I’m not alone in my theory!  I used to watch that show “Millionaire Matchmaker” where the matchmaker would sort of “cast” women to date rich dudes.  It was kind of a gross concept in some ways because typically it involved a guy who was over 50 seeking a woman under 30 with big boobs, a big brain, and oh, could she also be blonde please?  But it was kind of fun to watch.  My favorite part was when she would bring in the potential dates.  The same thing would invitably happen in every episode.  Into the room would walk this super cute girl.  She’d be wearing a tunic dress and adorable boots…and have some fun jewelry on and curly crazy hair.  I’d be thinking “oh my gosh I love her style she is SO cute!!”  And then, the matchmaker would start her rampage.  “Where are your boobs??  Do you even have any in there?  And what about your waist?  I can’t even find it!!”  She would rip apart everything that I (being a girl) LOVED about her.  She would send her home with instructions to buy a push up bra, wear something fitted, straighten her hair and make it, well, blonder of course.  Why would she criticize the girls in this manner?  Because she was telling them how to dress for MEN not OTHER WOMEN.  I got a kick out of this process every time just because it’s so typical.  There are some guys who actually love the average “man repelling” clothing.  But the norm is, most guys hate overalls and gladiator sandals.  But do we care?  No.  Because we dress for other women.

I consider myself the queen of man repelling clothing.  Although, Mary Kate and Ashley may have a bit of an edge on me… I love layers, crazy stuff and clothing where you really can’t find my boobs and my waist.  Good thing my husband appreciates my “art” because otherwise I’d be in trouble :)

Classic man repelling outfit.  A chambray flutter sleeve top from Urban Outfitters layered over a vintage billowy skirt dress layered over bell bottoms with a vintage turquoise bolo.  Yep I’m not man hunting in this outfit :)

Love all your man repelling style.  It’s just so much more fun when we get to dress for each other isn’t it?  It’s our art!

Happy Wednesday!

On Traveling, Shopping, and More Issues Than Vogue

Me and traveling are an interesting combination.  First of all, I didn’t travel much as a kid, and when I did, it was always camping and it was something that was a big deal.  We packed for the trip for weeks, had a checklist that we slowly and methodically checked off and triple checked, we mapped out the route and prepared thusly for it…it was like we were going off to places where toothbrushes had never been invented, so if we forgot one, we’d most likely get instant gingivitis and die.  All that being said, I now am not a great traveller because of this massive amount of preparation and thought that I had originally seen go into trips of any length really.  And now that I have kids, it’s even more stressful for me.  I am working on this situation because I really want to travel and see places…and in order to do that I’m gonna need to go ahead and CALM DOWN because there’s usually a Target within five minutes of any place in the U.S.  (Of course I want to go to exotic places like Bali too, but I nearly had a panic attack because I forgot string cheese last night…so let’s start small shall we?)  I also recently discovered a new eating disorder (we really needed a new disorder so it’s a good thing they found one right?) that I think I’m on the verge of having.  It’s this thing where you literally CANNOT bring yourself to eat things that are or that you believe to be unhealthy foods.  Yep.  Pretty sure I got that one.  The GREAT news about this, is that it makes me even MORE inflexible in my traveling because I’m having borderline panic in a massive city FILLED with restaurants because I need to find an organic salad before I starve or get “I just ate something GMO-itis”.  I hope you’re laughing at this, and if you are, you should probably ask my husband if this is a joke and he will just look at you and say quite gravely: “oh no.  This sh** is real.  I nearly had to walk to the nearest Walgreens at midnight for some string cheese.”

Let’s not forget about my, uh, packing situation.  We haven’t actually purchased decent luggage yet, but I’m quite sure one day soon, my husband is going to just order a whole set out of sheer frustration and surprise me with it.  Because after the hundredth time of showing up at a hotel with multiple plastic bags filled with styling products, jackets, boots, shoes, makeup, pillows, snacks (for the love, do NOT forget the snacks), water bottles, magazines, and other sundry things falling out all over the place while the poor bellman hops around trying to figure out how on God’s green earth he is going to get all of this madness onto a cart…he finally snapped and was like “I DON’T WANT TO BE BAG PEOPLE ANYMORE!!!”  Okay, he didn’t say that exactly, but that was the general gist of his outburst.  An overnight trip for me requires like ten outfit options, don’t fight it or argue it, it’s never gonna change and I’m not looking to “fix” it, so calm down with your clever tips and advice on how to “pack light”.  I will never be a “pack light” person and I’ve come to terms with it.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m horrid at predicting weather and how to dress for it.  Yes, I know there are weather apps and weather men, and weather psychics…(made that last one up, but it just sounded like something that would be really funny) but it matters not to me.  Because it could say 70 degrees and that means nothing.  Is it breezy?  Muggy?  I could be wearing a tank top and be freezing because it’s 70 with a breeze or I could be sweating through a flannel (most likely scenario because if I’m wearing something, I’m probably sweating through it) because it’s 70, sunny, and humid.  So I bring like 10 options, none of them work perfectly, and I then talk about the things I wish I’d brought and how I have the perfect outfit idea for the day, but it’s all at home in my closet.  My husband is a lucky, lucky man.  Although I do think he’s learned to tune me out because lately he’s like “huh?  When did you say that?  I don’t remember that…” and it’s something I literally said like five minutes earlier.  Ah well, good for him.  If I could tune me out, I would.

Now that we have two toddlers though, the whole traveling thing has changed a bit.  If we bring them with us, that is like CRAZY amounts of stuff.  You think I need a lot of clothes when I travel…these tiny people leak diapers and food and snot and dirt ALL OVER EVERYTHING so they actually have an excuse to change ten times a day.  Maybe that’s why singers do so many outfit changes at concerts…dang I never even thought of that!  And then there are the times like on this trip, when we don’t bring them along, I miss them horribly.  It’s hard to be separated from your little humans who are all about you (well, they’re all about themselves at this stage, but I am the one who gives them stuff so they’re also all about me!) and lean on you for everything.  Honestly, I had a hard time coming on this trip but I knew I needed to have a little break from the daily norm and that grandma time would be fun for them too.  I cannot wait to see them tomorrow, but today, sitting in a hotel room having not washed a single dish today or been asked to do anything at all…it’s a nice little breather for myself and time to just BE.  Which is rare in momdom.

Here’s a little photographic tour of my morning (shopping OBVIOUSLY) because it would have been so fun to have you along with me!

The city.  It’s so crazy, weird, and full of strangeness!

Found a couple of things that I wanted to buy in Anthropologie (I mean LOOK at those pants!!) but resisted since I don’t need an 800th pair of bell bottoms.

Tried on skinny jeans and found a pair in Anthropologie…although in this photo I “accidentally” tried on flares.  Whoops.  :)

Urban Outfitters.  The huge and magical one where I tried on this Shop Camp top but it had a bunch of stains on it and I’m also a little skeptical of wearing something that says “seniors” on it because I don’t do jokes regarding age and I’m afraid someone’s gonna make one if I wear it.  So.

My outfit selfie in the massive H&M fitting room because the back of the doors is GOLD MIRROR!!!  It’s like a requirement that you take a selfie in it.

Back at the hotel in my fringy Minnetonkas, which I wisely wore black because a) the city is dirty and b) my brown ones have so many holes in the soles they’re basically like walking barefoot at this point.

More photos to come on Instagram and snapchat!  Not done yet.  I’m obsessed with this Madewell denim top that I MUST try on later…and I do have a couple of things in my bag that I’m excited to wear soon! :)

Happy trails to y’all (and don’t forget your toothbrush I hear that instant gingivitis can be a biatch.


On Vintage House Dresses and Being Loud

Do you guys ever struggle with aspects of your personality that maybe aren’t bad, but you just feel self conscious about?  I’m betting the answer to that question is an across the board YES.  I tend to be a bit harder on myself than some are, but I know there are many others out there like me.  And there are things about me that I’ve tried to change, but have come to accept are just parts of who I am…and that I need to embrace them instead of trying to reject them!

I talk. A lot.  Shocking I know.  This wasn’t always the case.  When I was younger, being an only child who was homeschooled and had little contact with other kids my own age…I was pretty quiet.  People who knew me when I was younger always say the same thing: “Oh I remember you!  You were ALWAYS reading!”  Yep, I was always reading because I was bored, lonely, and well, I loved to read.  I was so quiet, that when I auditioned for a musical at my church, I didn’t get the part because no one could HEAR me.  Let’s fast forward.  After growing up with non socialite parents and being at home nearly all the time, I finally got to go to a teeny tiny Christian high school that was small, yes, but there were other HUMANS MY OWN AGE there.  Because I loved to sing, I joined the informal choir/band that my school had.  The first time we all sang together, I remember standing in the back row.  We started singing, and this one guy in the front row who had absolutely no care about what people thought about him perked up immediately.  I saw him look to the left, then to the right…he kept singing, but he started to investigate what was going on.  He slowly walked by everyone in the front row, eyes squinted, clearly listening for something.  He then got to the next row and walked slowly by everyone again, putting his ear up to each person and then shaking his head.  He got to the back row and again, went person by person till he got to me.  He put his ear up to my face, smiled, and pointed: “YOU! You’re the singer lady!”  That was what he called me for the rest of the year.  He heard me all the way in the back, which is where I was always put from then on because I was always LOUD.  The girl who got denied a role in a musical for not being audible was now drowning out everyone else in the choir.

I hear all the time: “You talk a lot…you’re so animated…you’re loud…” it’s a constant state of being for me.  And to be honest, I often feel SUPER self conscious about it.  I don’t try to talk a lot…I just have a lot of words.  There have been plenty of times when I have left a meeting, a hang out, or a public place, and berated myself the entire way home.  Why couldn’t I just talk less?  Why couldn’t I just be one of those super cool quiet types?  There are times when being told I talk a lot makes me feel so embarrassed and so ashamed of myself.  I spent a few years trying SO hard to not talk too much.  To be different.  To not talk about what tv show I just watched or the super fun dress I got on sale or the funny thing I just read.  I would tell myself to just SHUT UP.  But it never works.  The words just tumble out of me like a never ending waterfall and I will always share what funny thing I just saw and what new outfit I’m so excited about.  It’s just who I am.  And all those years of being a quiet wallflower child were just NOT ME.  I should have had the confidence to be in musicals and to be running around trying to make people laugh.  Now I have the freedom to be me, and it’s all just coming out of me naturally.

I love this dress because it is loud.  It’s fun, bright, happy, beautiful, and LOUD.  I love it on it’s own and I love it over skinny jeans.  It’s fun and it just feels so like ME.

I LOVE vintage dresses.  This amazing vintage house dress is from Village Vintage in Arroyo Grande and I actually just bought it without even trying it on.  AND I love it more on than I did when I saw it in the store.  I love how kind of 1960s/70s it is and how fun it is to pile on jewelry and add to it!  Boots are Frye’s from a few years ago and the jewelry is all vintage.

Because it’s “winter” in California (I use quotes because while many of my Instagram friends are buried in snow, I am wearing a short sleeved dress outside), I added some skinny jeans.  I think there’s so many ways to style this dress.  I thought it would be fun to simplify the jewelry and simply add a pop of orange with the boots and the necklace to bring out the orange in the dress.  The boots are from Urban Outfitters and they are the perfect retro bootie for the season.  Or in my case, forever because I’m stuck in the 1970s. :)

Hope you love all the fun parts of your personality, even the ones you get lots of comments about!

Happy middle of the week!


Honesty & Dressing Up Like I’m Cool

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Tuesday!