On Native American Breastplates, Superheroes, and Ke$ha. What?!

Superheroes have always been quite an obsession of our culture.  I mean, how could they not be?  To be quite honest, I have kind of reached superhero saturation these days because, well, there’s a new movie and show it seems almost every month.  What I do love are the “older” superhero movies, like when Toby Maguire was Spiderman and there was so much STORY in the movies.  There’s nothing I love more in a movie or a show than a great story.  Special effects?  Take em or leave em.  Great acting?  I like it just fine.  But if the STORY is great, I’m hooked regardless of the other stuff.  And the story behind the superheroes is what I love.

There’s always this common theme that runs behind a superhero story.  Peter Parker loses his uncle who he loved like a father.  (Real comic book fans could actually tell you what happened to his parents, but I’m gonna guess that it was a sad story too).  Bruce Wayne loses his parents tragically.  There’s some adversity that is fairly insurmountable that sends them into a different realm of their lives.  And then obviously, something supernatural occurs, and it allows them the chance to overcome their pain by helping others.  This seems like it’s also a common theme amongst real life “superheroes” or great men and women in history…minus the radioactive spider bite or the Batmobile!  Basically, they are faced with pain, loss, or difficult odds stacked against them, and they are given a choice.  Overcome it all, or sit on the couch and eat potato chips, fading into oblivion.  Alright, maybe not EXACTLY that choice, but you catch my drift.

You know what I think is the most SUPER thing about these superheroes and these great men and women in history?  It’s that they got back up again after their tragedy.  It’s more impressive to me that they chose to survive…even more than it is that they made great strides after they survived.  I think that after I went through intense pain and loss, getting up again felt impossible.  I wasn’t sure if there was any fire left in me or any way I could rally and GET UP.  I am not a superhero.  I have no radioactive spider bite or super cool car.  And for a while, the only way I got out of bed was that I absolutely had no choice in the matter.

I was born with an intense amount of passion and drive.  I am one of those people who will champion a cause like nobody’s business.  Give me a topic, even a silly one, and I could give you an emotionally compelling case that would move you.  When I was in charge of a bunch of people at my job, I wouldn’t allow them to speak negatively about themselves or their lives because dang it, they were GOING to succeed and I wanted them to know that and believe that.  I got to watch many of them do things they never thought they would be able to.  But then, I lost so much of what I had and who I was.  I lost so much of my life in so many ways, that I couldn’t even champion a trip to the grocery store.  I felt frozen in an alternate reality where I was watching everyone around me live their lives and I could do nothing to fix or change my situation.  So to me, getting up again is the most super thing anyone can do and it is what makes normal people superheroes.  Messing up and falling down, OR doing everything right and getting smacked down cruelly by other people or by life, and getting up again IS the great triumph.

I got up.  I don’t give myself credit for that.  I had very little to do with any of my “achievements”, I just find that I was willing to just put one foot in front of the other even when I really didn’t want to.  And now I want to live my life in a way that changes things for the people around me…helps them succeed in their dreams and makes them able to thrive and not just survive.  A lot of us have gotten knocked down by life.  But if we can just get up again, we can be superheroes to the people around us and encourage them in ways that may seem small, but might make all the difference in the world to them.

Okay you guys, I gotta admit to you that this look was all inspired by Ke$ha.  Yep.  I said it.  She championed this look long before anyone was doing the cowboy/boho thing and when I saw her music video for “Your Love is My Drug” featuring beards (long before they were in style), cutoff shorts, cacti and the desert (again, before those were EVERYWHERE), and an amazing Native American breastplate, I HAD TO HAVE ONE.  I looked high and low, and it only took me about 5 years.  Not too bad huh?  Hahahaha…

I sorta kinda feel like a superhero in this breastplate necklace.  Because I mean, come one.  This is thing is SO MAJOR (to quote Rachel Zoe!).  I found it on Etsy for a steal of a price compared to what they can go for.  I feel super awesome like Ke$ha (or Key-dollar sign-ha for those Glee fans out there!).

You girls are champions whether you know it or not.  I say that because if I’m one, you are too.  No matter if you’re up already, or still down, YOU are someone and to someone else, you are a superhero.  Have an amazing weekend!
Katy

Finding The Monday Magic

You know those outfits you put on and you just get all tingly inside because they just feel RIGHT?  Like you put something on and you just know it looks good AND it feels good AND it’s fun?  I feel like no matter how many clothes you own (and I own a LOT of clothes), those pieces are harder to find than you’d think.  I mean, to be honest, I’ll often find something and think “oh this is going to be one of those things that I just love and wear all the time!”  And instead, I wear it a few times and never really love it all that much.  There’s something about clothing stores and fitting rooms that can really trick you into thinking something looks better than it does!  But that’s really the meaning behind Monday Mojo.  It’s like those little pieces of magic in my closet that I can always pull out when I’m in doubt about what to wear.

Last week at the store, this dress came in.  And instantly, I was attached to it.  It’s this brand called Holding Horses that is sold at Anthropologie, and I LOVE it.  Something about that brand is just special.  Usually the pieces are plaid and they have a bit of a vintage look about them, but they are created in a slightly unique way that makes them just interesting and different from your normal plaid pieces.  This dress is no exception.  I LOVE this thing.  It feels kind of like a hoe down meets ball gown dress (if that were even possible!) and it’s just comfy and flowy and makes me feel thinner than I actually am.  MAGIC.  Plus I love how it can be styled in different ways to change the look of it.

I thought it could be fun to give this dress a rocker edge so I put it over my new ankle zip skinny jeans from H&M and added my Jeffrey Campbell strappy booties.  Lots of gold jewelry just because that adds a nice edge!

Fur.  Yep.  Tory Burch boots and this vintage fur collar and these earrings.  These earrings from Gypsies Caravan.  These earrings are like the most amazing earrings I’ve ever seen and with the fur, I kind of feel magical.  It just is my new favorite combo.

Happy Monday!  Hope you’ve found your magical outfit for the week! :)

Katy

Waiting For The Rain. In Hunter Rain Boots of Course.

So when I bought these Hunter rain boots, it wasn’t actually for RAIN.  Full disclosure.  I saw a photo of Kate Moss (because let’s be honest, what clothing purchasing story DOESN’T start with that line?!) wearing tall hunter green Hunter rain boots with cutoffs and a t-shirt.  She was at Coachella and all covered in mud, which added to the amazingness of the photo.  Naturally, I had to have a pair.  And true to their reputation, these boots are amazing.  However, they don’t get a lot of action around here.

It’s no secret that California is in a pretty major drought.  I’ve been hearing the word “drought” my entire life, so until recently, the severity didn’t really sink in.  I mean come on.  I would get SUPER annoyed with people because they’d be like “we are in SUCH A DROUGHT” and I’d be like, um…it’s been raining all week.  What more do you want?!?  California is not a rainy state!!  But then, recently I drove by a local lake in town and saw people standing in it.  On dry ground.  And not in a miraculous “God parting the Red Sea” kind of way…they were actually standing on dry cracked ground with NO water in sight.  That’s when I realized, THIS TIME, the “drought” was the real deal.

I’ve always been the person who wanted sunny days a hundred percent of the time.  But this year, more than ever, I’m feeling the lack of rain.  There’s just something so soothing and nourishing and comforting about the rain.  It’s refreshing.  I’ve been needing that refreshing for such a long time now.  I think it’s just gotten to the point in my life where the incessant heat has kind of mirrored what my life has been life over the past few years.  There’s been some relief this past year, but to be honest, I’m still waiting.  And I gotta say, it’s not easy sometimes.  It’s scary seeing a lake that’s been filled to the brim my whole life be completely and utterly desolate and cracked.  Often, that’s how I’ve felt in my life.  Broken, dry, and empty.  The good news is that the rain is coming.  It’s coming in my life and it’s coming to fill up the lake.  I believe it! :)

Go get yourself a pair of these boots if you don’t have them.  They’re worth it.  Even if you only wear them on days when it MIGHT possibly rain :)

Katy

Today, I’m Your Cheerleader. In a Giant Fluffy Skirt.

Sometimes I feel like I get inspired to write something, and I have a strong feeling it’s not just for me…like maybe somebody out there (even if it’s just the one or two people who read this!) needs it even more than me.  So I’ll take that chance just in case.  Worst case scenario, I encourage myself, and I could definitely use that.

I’ve been SO tempted to give up lately.  Like even over the past year, it’s just been a very tempting option…to pack up, move our family to some location that’s much cheaper, stop writing songs and blog posts, and just slip into oblivion far far away from the dreams and passions that have been in my heart since the day I was born.  It’s just so tempting sometimes because, well, life can be overwhelming.  Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in just how much work it takes to try to feed my family whole organic healthy food and keep the house clean.  How on earth does Wellness Mama do it?  Pregnant with her sixth kid?  Cooks everything from scratch?  Puts me to shame.  Then there are other times when I feel like I’m just overcome by the difficulty of my surroundings.  I know not all of you live where I live, but every place and every situation has it’s own challenges.  The cost of living…the people we live around…the lack of jobs…whatever it may be, we all have something that can feel just so discouraging that sometimes, that idea of moving away and hiding on a farm in the middle of nowhere sounds mighty tempting.

So today, I’m writing to tell you that giving up is not an option.  You know why?  Because you’re gonna win.  How do I know that?  Because if you don’t give up in whatever you’re doing, you’re going to succeed somehow, somewhere.  So yeah, I haven’t exactly succeeded in pretty much any area yet.  But you know what?  I’m gonna.  And if I give up, I know the odds of success and they are zero.  Whatever it is that feels overwhelming to you right at this moment is not big enough to keep you from succeeding.  Period.

I don’t know why wearing this crazy, ridiculously giant fluffy skirt makes me feel like this but it just does.  It’s absolutely silly and yet, somehow it’s not!  It’s fierce and over the top, and it encourages me!  So for your Monday, here’s what I got for you.  Put on your silly huge skirt (or whatever your equivalent of the skirt in your closet is!) and DON’T.  GIVE.  UP.  Today, I am your cheerleader!

You’re a force to be reckoned with, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Katy

On Change, Letting Go, and…Converse Shoes.

Okay, so I’ve been kind of putting off writing this. Mainly because today I had a major case of the “what the heck am I doing with my life?” thoughts. For a lot of reasons…partly because I didn’t get quite enough sleep last night (and being tired makes me emotional) and partly because I just got kind of lost in the whole: “I thought I’d be further along in so many ways by now” thought train.  Partly too because I’m such a people person, and doing this blog stuff on my own can feel kind of lonely.  I have a hard time getting inspired when I’m by myself. I love working with people and on teams.

I used to work full time, and I gave up my job for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I was in the middle of having two babies and it was time for me to make a significant change in my life, otherwise I’d never find out if I could ever do any of the other things I have on my heart to do. I loved my job. I know I’ve mentioned that before, but I really really loved my job. Probably more than I should have. I loved the people I worked with. I loved staff meetings. I remember staff meeting days…I’d drive my British racing green Mini Cooper up the hill (I’d totally be blasting some kind of music and pretending I was on a race track because the road would always be empty) and I’d get my coffee and all my stuff and head into the meeting room. Everyone would be all: “staff meeting…” rolling their eyes and I’d be all “yeah so super lame…” (me, trying to be cool, but on the inside I was all tingly at the thought of being in a room with other people for an hour or two). Spending an hour talking, laughing, PLANNING (I love planning), making notes, brainstorming, and YELLOW PADS (if you don’t know what it feels like to crack open a new yellow pad, go directly to your nearest office supply store and get one)…it was just my favorite. Now that we’ve established that I am VERY dorky, I can make my point.

Life is unpredictable. I still miss my job but I do see why I needed to leave it. It was time for me to make a change, and I listened to that prompting, and I did it. Do I regret it? At moments yes, especially on days like today when I feel a bit on the lost side and feel like I’m struggling to get inspired on my own. But mostly I don’t because I know I’ve changed a lot too and I very much hope that the changes I’ve made and risks I’ve taken will make more sense to me someday than they do today. And now, onto clothes.

I got this dress at Ruby Rose SLO’s annual flea market, so it was $10. Such a steal for such a beautiful and well fitting vintage dress. In the spirit of being unpredictable, I decided to do something a little out of character for me.

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You know what I’d normally put with this dress?  Cowboy boots, fringe boots, or moccasins.  Yep.  My go-to all time favorites.  Instead, I decided to do something WAY not normal and put Converse with them!  And you know what?  I loved it!  It felt comfortable, creative, and different…but in a fun way!  I guess sometimes making a change can be fun and can yield better results than you imagined.  It’s hard to sometimes let go of things you love, but sometimes what you get in return is worth the letting go part.

Hope your week is going wonderfully and you aren’t having a mid week crisis… :)

Katy

Leopard IS a Neutral

Working at a resale shop, I often have the privilege of getting to style women of all ages and all styles.  I get to talk to them about what they like, what they won’t wear, and how they like to style themselves.  Everyone is so different in their style personality and their lists of “dos and don’ts” for getting dressed!  One of the things I’ve noticed is that there are certain topics or items that when they come up, the response is either a adamant: YES I LOVE IT or the exact opposite…an: I WOULD RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR ____.  Okay okay, maybe the dislike isn’t quite THAT strong, but you get the general idea!!  Among those things are: the color yellow, palazzo pants, patterned leggings or pants, strapless things, maxi dresses, and yes, leopard.  I completely understand this.  Sometimes leopard can conjure up an image of a flashy, skin tight, blingy, way over the top outfit that turns women off to the pattern all together.  And if you’re the kind of person who likes to wear a simpler, more understated look and this is your association with leopard, then I totally get it!

I’m here to tell you today that leopard print can be a neutral.  For all you who want to start pattern mixing…leopard is one of those patterns that mixes quite well with florals and plaids, making it a very basic pattern to mix in to your wardrobe.  Leopard print booties are a great way to add a pop of pattern to a simple jeans and tee.  A leopard print scarf can make a black dress so chic.  It’s a great accent pattern!

I have leopard EVERYTHING.  I could do it from head to toe (alright I couldn’t do it well…I just COULD clothe myself in it from head to toe if I wanted to, you know what I mean!).  I love it.  You know what I love it with?  The color red and cowboy boots.  So that’s what I’m going to show you today…how to wear leopard in a more fun, boho cowgirl kind of way!  Because if that doesn’t sound like fun then I don’t know what does!!

Okay so with this geometric sweater, this leopard skirt totally looks nothing like the traditional ways you often see leopard being worn.  If you  mix leopard with more masculine pieces and strong primary colors, it won’t have that fluffy, little girl look it can have like when it’s mixed with pink or purple.  I also love how cowboy boots make it more casual.

Don’t you love how red mixes with leopard?  When you add a vintage men’s graphic tee, again it makes leopard more of a neutral and fun piece.

I love how herringbone mixes with leopard.  Again, kind of a menswear inspired outfit.  The brown suede and black fringe on the scarf really ties together the brown and black of the skirt.

Leopard doesn’t have to be worn in a skin tight bodycon dress.  Although that’s super sexy…it doesn’t have to be like that!  It can be fun, casual, and bohemian when done right!!

Give it a shot!  You never know till you try it!!

Happy middle of the week!

Katy

Perfectly Imperfect in a Jumpsuit

Have you ever thought something about yourself and then later realized that it was so not true?  Yeah.  That’s happened to me many a time.  I used to think that I wasn’t very judgmental.  That I was pretty full of grace and understanding for people.  Um, yeah, I wasn’t.  Let me back up a little.  I was raised in a house without cussing.  Without drinking, without really much of any real “vices”…if you don’t count excessive worrying and judging people.  (you catch my drift, right?!?)  Anyway, I tried very hard to be perfect as well as not be judgmental.  I found out later that it’s basically impossible to be both of those things simultaneously.

When I was a junior at Cal Poly, we had to take a trip to the local prison.  It was hilarious because it was a class of like 95% girls…going to a men’s prison.  So we all read the dress code, tried to come up with excuses as to why we were exempt from going (“I’m too pretty”, “I have to babysit”, and ad nauseum) Anyway, with the exception of one girl who had a metal buckle in her pants and the other who had “piercings which could not be removed” (I didn’t ask on this one because honestly I didn’t want to know what that meant), we all walked though the metal detectors, past the guard up in the tower aiming a rifle at our heads, and through many, many metal gates being locked behind us.  Once we got inside, I was about ready to cry I was so scared.  The tour was led by a woman who wasn’t even strong enough to open the doors without help from the prisoners and who was clearly violating the dress code by wearing GIANT earrings (I was having these visions of giant strong prisoners hurling open doors and ripping off her earrings to use as weapons), and we were all wide eyed and ready to fake injuries or panic attacks to get outta there.

All this to say, when we finally got in there, I discovered something totally bizarre.  The guys who were in there actually seemed like normal people.  Clearly they had made some horrible decisions mostly in their teen years, but they looked like the guy you’d see working at the grocery store or your neighbor down the street.  They spoke with us about what had led up to their mistakes and about what their lives were like.  I realized that one of the main reasons I don’t want to go was because I felt like it wasn’t even worth it seeing who these people were and hearing their stories.  Boy did I feel humbled.  Apparently I am not some special breed of human who is better than those who make mistakes.  I’ve learned this even more clearly since that trip.  No matter how weird that was, I’m always thankful that I had that experience because it really leveled me and taught me how human I am…and how I was actually pretty darn judgmental when I thought I wasn’t that kind of person.

I often feel weird posting photos of myself because, well, I guess I feel like I don’t want to project some kind of image of myself like I’m trying to seem perfect.  I know I don’t look perfect in photos, let me get that off my chest…but I guess I just want to be real.  Of course I want to look good in the pictures…no one wants to look bad.  But I just want to be myself and encourage other girls to do the same and NEVER ever inspire someone to feel badly about themselves from a photo I posted.  Got it?

So what inspired me to write this post about this outfit is that the best photo I got, I looked at it and realized there was chalk all over my butt.  Yep.  See the lovely artwork my children have left for me?  Just keeping it real peeps.  Because this is reality!  I have one corner of the yard that is not littered in chalk, toys, and cars…and now it is covered in chalk.  Am I sorry?  Not really.  Because I think we all know how unreal all those perfect photos are!!

The jumpsuit is one of my favorites…from Nidodileda.  Necklace is pure magic from Child of Wild.  Chalk art is from my soon to be famous artist toddlers.

Love you guys

Katy

I’m Just Like My Toddler

Sometimes I envy my daughter.  She’s two and she’s already way more out of her shell than I ever was when I was a kid.  That girl is like the funniest person I have ever met!  She dances when she feels like it.  Sings whatever pops into her head.  Wears whatever she wants with whatever she wants.  And she makes the weirdest expressions while she rubs yogurt in her hair.  Ahhhh to be a child.

First of all, I know kids are just kids.  They don’t have a lot of fear in them and they are able to just express themselves without a lot of social constraints.  But still…she’s got a freedom in her that it took me a long time to exhibit.  I was the kind of kid who desperately wanted to be the class clown.  The one who could get everyone’s attention easily and make everyone laugh.  Instead I was the silent one.  Once I tried out for a musical and I didn’t get the part because they said they couldn’t hear me when I spoke.  Yeah, people can pretty much hear me from anywhere now.  I guess it’s always been my goal to be much more like a kid in all the good ways as I grow up…to make up for all the times I wasn’t like a kid when I was younger.

So I dress how I like.  Wear weird things and fluffy skirts.  I try not to rub yogurt in my hair…but I definitely do take cues from my two-year-old :)

Dress is from Curio SLO and the boots are Jeffrey Campbell…sunglasses are Free People.  I love the crazy gold vintage embroidery on this dress…and paired with combat boots it feels just a tad tough!

My wish for everyone is that they can have a little muse too…they are the most fun!! :)

Happy weekend!
Katy

Happy Surprises and Velvet Free People Bell Bottoms

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.  And sometimes that’s really frustrating and sometimes it’s actually kind of a pleasant surprise.  I think for so many years my “surprises” were so rough and more like “surprise!  Here’s an insurmountable odd that you’re going to have to try and overcome!” that I’d kind of forgotten all about the other kind of surprises.  The kind where you intend on something going one way, and instead it’s much better than you’d hoped or planned.

My husband took me to Santa Barbara for my birthday.  I am traditionally a, well, disliker of my birthday.  So I was happy to just have a day of relaxation and fun together without any real plans or schedules to keep.  I got to do a little shopping along the way (um, of course, would you expect anything else from me??)  and I thought it would be nice to find a good pair of black skinny jeans.  It’s one of those things that I need to find…it’s a great basic that I am missing in my closet (because surprise, surprise, while my closet’s not missing much, the things it IS missing happen to not be fluffy, sequined, and paisley).  I tried some on at Urban Outfitters and the girl working the fitting rooms suggested I head over to Free People and check out their stock.  Like I need ANY extra encouragement to do that.  Hahaha.  So in I walked to Free People.  I saw some black skinny jeans and I was JUST about to look them over and maybe try them on, when I spotted VELVET.  PAISLEY.  BELL.  BOTTOMS.  Cue angelic singing.  The lights may have gotten brighter, like a disco ball swirling around in one of those romantic high school dance sequences in teen movies.  Now how do you think this story ends?  Do you think I got the skinny jeans or the bells?  I’m pretty sure you know the answer!

The point is, I still will find my black skinny jeans, but honestly, I wanted those bell bottoms more.  Those were SUCH a fun find and were infinitely more ME than a basic item.  Better than I expected.  Good surprise.  :)

 

I freakin love these pants.  Never mind that they are my fifth pair of velvet bells.  I love them all equally still and kiss them all goodnight, so don’t worry about my others getting neglected.  And oh, I love great surprises :)

Hope your Monday has been filled with happy surprises and fun things.

Katy

H&M Tunic…Doing Double Duty

I feel like I’m always doing at minimum two things at once.  Like making breakfast, washing dishes, and filling up water cups…plus trying to make coffee at the same time.  See?  That’s four things right there.  Maybe I’m “resting” and folding laundry at the same time.  Running on the treadmill and managing instagram for my job.  Trying to write a blog post while getting constant requests to make an elephant out of play dough.  What the?!?  What am I, Michelangelo??  I can barely make a snake out of play dough, let alone a mammal.  Oh geez.  My elephant looks like a snake that ate a large mammal.  Epic play dough fail.

I love items of clothes that can do double duty too.  I have a great love for tunics because they can either be a dress or a shirt.  I love it.  Double duty.  I found this one at H&M for $10 and that price just can’t be beat either!  It’s just long enough to be a dress (confession: I wear cutoffs under all my dresses just to be safe…like a never-nude for all you Arrested Development fans out there!) and just short enough to wear over pants or leggings and kind of look like a top.  Such a steal!

 

I went with vintage cowboy boots because I thought it was a nice contrast to the sort of boho world vibe this pattern has.  Then turquoise and beaded fringe because, well, those go with everything!

 

Because bell bottoms are my leggings, I put the tunic over my lace Nightcap bells.  I simplified the jewelry a little because the lace pants really change the feel of the tunic.

Double duty items are easy.  They work in warm and cool weather and again, it’s nice to have pieces that easily layer for when it ACTUALLY gets cooler!!

Happy Wednesday!
Katy