Starring In My Own Story

One of my favorite tv shows ended last week.  You know when you’ve been watching a show for seven years…and when it ends it’s almost like you are saying goodbye to something?  That’s exactly how I felt.  Sure, sure, it’s just a show and all, but it feels like a tiny piece of my life in some ways.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a total sucker for a good story.  I was the kid who would read avidly, and actually get depressed when my book was over.  I would think twice about starting a series that had less than three books in it!  Some people just want to know what’s gonna happen and I just really enjoy the journey.  Man, I wish I could be more like that in my real life.

I was thinking about how I felt about my show ending and how attached I can become to a tv show or a book…then I had a crazy thought.  You know, I wish that I liked the star of my own story a little more.  I wish that the star of this real life “show” was less afraid of things.  I wish she worried less, did more fun stuff without constantly weighing how much sleep she was going to get or whether or not she would gain a half pound from it or not.  I wish she was more adventurous.  Yeah.  The “star of this show” happens to be me, but you know that already.

When I was a kid, I was bored A LOT.  Being an only child who was homeschooled left me with few friends, and those friends were not available much since they had their own school and family schedules.  I was left to entertain myself much of the time and so what did I do?  I read.  I listened to radio shows.  There wasn’t a lot of tv or movies allowed, so I created vast worlds in my mind where I “escaped” to.  I created places and imagined myself differently than I was…partly because I wasn’t really happy with my reality.  I need to be clear…this isn’t a sob story about my sad childhood, because I really didn’t have a bad childhood at all!  There were great things about learning to entertain myself with my imagination that shaped me into the (kinda crazy!) person I am now.  But truthfully, I was lonely and I did learn to escape into stories more than I learned how to really create a real life that I loved.  And now, as an adult, I often find myself doing the same.  I run back to my favorite places on tv or in a book instead of figuring out how to make my OWN story better and more exciting.  This story needs a bolder star.

I doubt I’m the only one who feels like this or who does the same things.  I’m quite certain that most people, if they examined their own story, would probably want to change it a bit.  And so, maybe we should.  I don’t have any deep words of wisdom on how to do this, but I will say this: I think the way to change your story is little by little.  Do something small you’ve never done before.  Try to stop worrying about things and do something for someone else.  Get out of your brain, and live IN your story.  And now, I’m basically talking to myself!

Happy Fourth of July you guys…make it a good one!  Celebrate who you are, your freedom, and your ability to be YOURSELF and the star of your own story!  Because I can’t NOT talk about them…this vest was made by my INSANELY talented friend Arwyn, and she will and can make anything you ask her to (she will LOVE me for saying that! 🙂 and the pants were made by the amazing and lovely Lori at @modmelrose.  It doesn’t get better than this 🙂

Love to you all!
Katy

My Summer “Wish List”

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

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

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

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

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

Katy

 

The 411 on Scarves

I love scarves.  I have a whole drawer full of them.  I often am tempted to just throw them all on my bed and roll around on them like a bunch of cash.  Weird?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it.  These are often things that people buy, then never use…heck, I’ve been plenty guilty of this myself at times.  But I have found there are certain ways I LOVE to wear them, and henceforth, have allowed myself permission to buy them occasionally.  I might need to free up another drawer here soon…

I thought that I’d write a new post on scarves (I think I’ve done one before, but I can’t remember so I’m doing it again!) just to give you some ideas on the ways that I find are fun and easy and don’t add a lot of time to your getting dressed routine.  And it might save some of those random scarves you have laying around from extinction, right?

The “Sweat Wiper”
Sounds so gross right?  That’s why I called it that…I mean, a little shock value never hurt anyone, am I right Lady Gaga?  This is something I saw on a runway and I kind of ran away with it (pun intended) and made it my own.  Tie a bandana or a scarf around your wrist, leave it plain, add a brooch (bonus: you get to use those brooches you never wear), layer it with bracelets…and bam.  You look AMAZEBALLS.  As an added feature, you can wipe your sweaty forehead with it.  Just watch out for the brooch, that’ll leave a mark.

The “Working Girl”
I call it this because it reminds me of one of those 80’s blouses with the tie at the neck that are so popular once again.  But this way, you don’t have to buy a whole new shirt, you can make your own!  Simply take a long skinny scarf and tie it in a bow around your neck.  Kind of has a high fashion vibe to it, and looks great with chokers and layered necklaces.  I also use ribbons for this too!

 

The “Lady Tie”
Dude.  I cannot tie a tie.  My husband has to tie them for me every time I get it in my brain that I want to wear one.  But I CAN tie a knot.  And that’s all you need to do for this.  You can use a short scarf and make it kind of western, or you can use a long scarf and instead of a bow, just tie a simple knot and let it hang.  Easy peasy.

The “My Hair Is So Gross”
We ALL have those days.  The days when not even a bucket of dry shampoo is gonna hide that fact that you haven’t washed your hair in three days, you worked out every single one of those days, and there may or may not be peanut butter hiding in there somewhere from your kid’s lunch.  And then something magical happens.  You tie a scarf around your head, roll your hair up over the scarf in the back and secure it with a few bobby pins, and suddenly you are getting more compliments on your hair than those AMAZING shoes you actually spent a lot of money on.  The best kind of scarf for this is one of those super thin and lightweight large square scarves that you can roll up diagonally and tie around your head easily with a little to spare.

Have I convinced you to bust out your scarves yet?  And have you tried rolling around on them gleefully?  No?  Okay, cool, maybe later.

If you have a great way you love to wear yours, please tell me because I’m always looking for new ways to use these beauties!

Happy scarf-ing!
Katy

Advice In Style: Shopping The Men’s Section

In fashion, women’s clothing often seems to take cues from men’s stuff.  Like “boyfriend jeans” or “boyfriend tees” (they really really want us to steal stuff from our boyfriends don’t they??) it seems like the idea of menswear influence never goes out of style.  Like when Diane Keaton wore a white suit to the Oscars so many years ago, it’s just always classy.  So…what does that mean?  Like, does it work to actually buy men’s clothes?  I think everyone has their own answer to that question, but I’m going to answer the way that I tend to shop the men’s section.  The answer is…yes AND no!

I am the kind of shopper that tends to keep an open mind and doesn’t care much for what section clothing has been classified as.  I will shop the pajama section, the costume section, the kid’s section and the men’s section ALL for clothing I will wear out and about.  I also tend to look in ALL sizes, because not only is sizing majorly inconsistent even within brands, but also things often get put in the wrong size category on accident.  Who cares about labels or numbers right?  Well, I guess scientists and mathematicians, but we all know I fall into neither of those categories, so I’m allowed to not care 🙂

So here you go…my tips on Shopping The Men’s Section:

1. Shirts, shirts, and more shirts.  The men’s section of most stores often has the best graphic tees, hands down.  This is true of Urban Outfitters, Target, thrift stores, and basically anyplace that carries tees.  Here’s the rub.  They won’t always FIT great, so you must try them on, and be prepared to modify if necessary.  I have made awesome muscle tees out of men’s tees, because they tend to be nice and long, and often the sleeves are the most problematic area for fitting and flattering a woman’s body.  I have cut off the neckline, stretched out the neckline, and cut holes to add distressing…really it’s up to you what you want to do.  The great thing about them, is they tend to be larger than women’s tees, so you get a great oversized look or can knot them at the waist with extra room to spare!
2. Levi’s & Wranglers. If you’re tall and not super duper skinny like me, Levi’s and Wrangler’s are a great find from the men’s section.  If you’re looking for mom jeans and you’re in the 28-30plus range of waist sizes, this can be your jackpot!
3. Shoes.  Vintage shoes run small, and if you’re thrifting with larger feet, men’s shoes can be a total score.  Vintage cowboy boots, loafers, and oxfords can be a good find in antique and thrift stores from the men’s section.
4. Button Down Shirts.  I have seen people do some pretty amazingly creative stuff with men’s button downs!  You can turn them into strapless tops by tossing the arms behind you and tying them around your waist…you can unbutton the whole thing and criss-cross wrap it on you like a wrap dress…basically you can really repurpose a great men’s button down, as long as you like the fit of the sleeves.  I love a good small vintage men’s button down or flannel, because it gives me the option of knotting it in the front or wearing it open like a jacket!

This button down caught my attention RIGHT away.  The print is so retro and I just knew I loved it enough to figure out what to do with it!  I loved the thought of using this with some bell bottoms and really going with the vibe of the print.  Even though the sleeves on men’s shirts can be a bit big like these sleeves, but in this case, the fabric allows them to drape kind of like a little bell sleeve (I ALWAYS unbutton the wrist buttons on any shirt first thing when I put it on) which makes it okay that they’re large-ish.

Hopefully these ideas will encourage you to at least give the men’s section a tiny peek next time you’re out shopping…you never know what you’re going to find!!

Happy hunting!
Katy

Fashion Feelings: And Now, For Something Completely Embarrassing

Embarrassing moments happen to all of us.  Somehow I feel like I have them…a bit more often than most people.  Like, I’ll be trying to be all smooth and stuff walking through the parking lot, and then I’ll trip on the air in front of me and wobble down and then back up again a lot like one of those weird balloon stick figure guys they use to advertise for used car sales.  Yep, I have come to terms with the fact I am just not “smooth.”  But now, for something completely more embarrassing.

I’m going to be nice to you and share with you some of my favorite embarrassing moments.  Just because I love you, and I have no more pretense left of being a super cool person in the true popularity sense of the word.  So here goes.

The Moment I Realized I Was a “Forever Blonde”
I used to work full time in an office with a lot of guys.  Guys love sports.  I do not.  This makes for a lot of moments where I’d end up saying weird things like “call and audible” or “batting seven thousand” or whatever crap I had to say to make them understand me.  Yes, I can play that game (as long as it’s a game with WORDS and not a BALL).  That being said, I still have no idea how football is played really, and will probably always be trying to figure out why it is played as well.  One day I was in a meeting with two of the biggest sports fans in the office, and when the meeting ended, it moved rapidly on to sports as things often did.  The two guys were talking about their college team mascots, and the first guy said “we were the ______ (insert animal that has teeth and claws and runs really fast here)” and then the other guy explained that his team was the Bengals.  I’d like you to take a minute, close your eyes, and say the word “Bengal”.  Did you do it?  Now I can finish my story.  When he said “Bengal”, I heard “bangle” (he’s notorious for mispronouncing words in my very weak defense of this story) and I felt very confused.  The thoughts were swirling in my head, and unfortunately, when my thoughts swirl, my mouth starts moving much faster than it should.  So instead of taking a minute, processing what was being said, and THEN speaking, I blurted out “Wait.  Your team mascot was…BRACELETS?”  Both guys stopped, looked at me as if I was a three headed alien that had just landed in front of them and was picking all three of my noses with the same hand (now there’s a trick!) and the dead silence rang out.  I rapidly realized my IDIOTIC error in judgement, and I blabbed something about “haha oh yeah right you mean TIGERS…I thought you meant like BANGLES you know like the BRACELETS and I thought that was really weird hahahahaha (and on ad nauseum)” as I slowly backed out of the room.  They resumed their conversation as though nothing at all had happened because there’s no WAY on EARTH that anyone could be THAT STUPID RIGHT?  And now I have a fabulous story to tell about how my brain is eternally blonde and I actually thought that someone’s team mascot was a piece of jewelry.

The “Hair Petting” Incident
I’d like to start after the last story by saying that this one wasn’t my fault.  This was one of those weird and horrifying moments in your life that you look back on and say “what the heck was THAT??” But you do need to know that not all of these are my fault and I’m not a walking train wreck (most of the time).  Let’s begin.  I was in high school, singing on the church band as was one of my dreams since I love to sing.  There was a guy on the band, who was…interesting.  You know, like, nice enough, but just…a tad…different.  I was really young, so I for the most part kept my distance from the older guys because I wasn’t looking to date at that time, especially someone who wasn’t in high school as well.  However, that distance shrunk a bit one day in a weird way…  I was sitting in the back of the church during some special service or something that was going on (I don’t remember what happened and you’ll see why) and he was sitting behind me.  And then, the weird part happened.  He started…petting my hair.  Yes.  I’m as creeped out as you are right now.  I was basically frozen to the spot.  What the heck was I supposed to do??  I mean, if this happened now, I would most definitely be like “aw heck to the naw” and get up and move, but I was SIXTEEN!!!!!  No one had ever petted my hair before (I’m not a dog, nor have I ever volunteered to be part of a petting zoo) so I was basically petrified and pretended like this was normal and as soon as he stopped I ran far far away.  Ick.  I gotta say, this gives me a whole new respect for dogs, and I now ask their permission before I pet their fur.

The “I Promise I’m Not Peeing” Moment
I play guitar and sing.  And I sweat a lot.  Bonus, I sweat even MORE while I play guitar and sing.  Now please, don’t try to sell me on a new deodorant because the sweat DOESN’T JUST COME FROM MY ARMPITS people.  Not trying to be gross or graphic, just keeping it real.  I used to occasionally wear skirts while I played (don’t do that anymore, and you’ll see why) and I thought this would help with my overly sticky situation.  But instead, the opposite happened. One morning while playing in the dead heat of summer, I felt a large bead of sweat begin to form at the base of my…derriere.  You know, the lovely lady lumps back there.  And then, slowly, mid song, that bead of sweat began to travel, graceful and true, down the back of my leg.  I wondered…could anyone see this bead of sweat?  It felt large enough to see, that’s for sure.  And what would they think?  That I had to pee and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer?  This made me sweat more, which made the bead just move a little faster and more vengefully towards my ankle.  And then, it landed.  Thank the Lord.  I still don’t know if anyone ever saw this, and if they did, I hope they know that I am not incontinent, I just sweat like a trucker (and if you’re a trucker and aren’t sweaty, then I apologize for this reference).  I now wear pants when I play and sing.  End of story.

I may have embarrassing moments, but I usually don’t get embarrassed by my outfits.  Sure, this shirt looks a bit like chest hair, but I’m actually good with that.  I love “manrepeller style” and this outfit has a nice mix of 1970’s grandpa and luxury vintage to it.  If you don’t have a “chest hair” sweater or shirt, you should get one, because these kinds of clothes get you OUT of embarrassing moments.  No one notices if you drop stuff or trip or say weird things about bracelets…because they’re too distracted by your weird clothes.  I’m a closet genius (and my puns are #onpoint too) 😉

Katy

 

The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? 🙂
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Coming Back To Life

I’ve been mentally writing this blog post for a long time now.  I’m hoping it’s fully formed and will come out the way I have had it in my mind.  You know when you have an idea, but it’s just really hard to put into words?  That’s this post.  And I have been waiting till I could adequately find the words to really express what it is I’m thinking.  And I have A LOT of words, so I know it must be complex if it’s taking me more than five minutes!

Of course, I have to talk about television.  Because I’m a sucker for a good story, I love things that are about more than reality, and I find a lot of comparisons to my life in stories.  So here goes.  I’m going to use an example from a television show that many of you will laugh at me for watching, but that’s okay, I’m confident enough to not be a closeted teen tv lover 😉  I love the show Teen Wolf.  The costuming and acting are cheesy as all get out, but the story is like the most fun thing ever, and that’s all I really care about.  And here’s this one story line that really stuck with me.  In one of the seasons, some of the teens were disappearing, and appeared to be “dead” when they were found.  The long and short of it is, the teens were kidnapped, had been “altered” or made into supernatural beings, buried, then emerged a few days later with a newfound ability.  Now, in this story line, they were turned into instruments for evil, or that was the attempt.  But something about this story line really caught me and has been sitting in my brain ever since.

Here’s why.  I went through a few years of kind of “death” you could say.  I lost a lot, some of what I lost was…myself.  It was a difficult time, and it felt like I was underground.  It felt like I had lost everything and I didn’t know who I was.  And then one day,  I began to reemerge again.  As I go on with my life, I have discovered that this is not actually an uncommon situation.  Many more people than I ever thought have gone through some type of “death” in their lives, where something unexpected happened, and the course of their existence took a detour.  I have been surprised to see how many people can relate to this feeling, no matter the details surrounding their difficulties, the result is always the same.  One “life” ends, and then another begins.  What ACTUALLY differs from person to person, is what happens NEXT.

Back to Teen Wolf.  I love this plot (regardless of the fact that it was actually kind of intended as a negative story line, I love the concept).  You know why I love it?  These people “died” and when they came back to life, they had something NEW inside them.  Something GREATER than what they had before.  Wow.  Here’s the problem though.  Often after these devastating things occur in our lives, we come back to life, but at “half power”.  Because disappointment is so strong a deterrent, it can keep us from being aware of our newfound “power”.  We may not have x-ray vision or invisibility cloaking after suffering a great setback.  But make not mistake, we DO have a newfound power.  And I mean that.  What is it, you may ask?  It’s a few things.  It’s the power of conquering disappointment and moving forward and THRIVING in the face of let down.  There’s a level of courage and boldness that comes from realizing that you are not “conquerable” after you LIVE again.  It’s also the fact that new creativity and ideas are often born out of pain, need, and the fact that you are less afraid of people than ever before.  Plus, there’s nothing like getting a new lease on life to motivate you to try something you’ve always dreamt of before.

The thing is, as much as I run into more and more people who have gone through this kind of situation, there are many who are not able to see their new ability.  They are still emotionally living underground, accepting their “death” instead of accepting their new LIFE.  It’s a hard thing to embrace.  I know.  It’s often easier to just partially stay underground instead of risking “failing” again.  But if you don’t try again, you most definitely cannot succeed.  And this time, well this time you’ve got something you didn’t have before.  A new super power.

Okay, so my “superpower” may have always been dressing weird.  But I have new things inside me that I didn’t realize were there before I went through what I went through.  And less fear with which to tackle them.  No matter what you’ve been through, I bet you’ve got so much more to do, give, and create…who cares what your age or stage of life is.  You’ve got more, I guarantee it.

Track pants, ruffly blouse, and vest…weird combo I know.  But somehow, it’s all very Manrepeller, and by nature that makes me LOVE IT!

Katy

 

Fashion Feelings: Sometimes You Just Gotta Dream A Little

These days, seems like there’s just so much emphasis put on stuff that doesn’t really matter.  I hear people say often “I’m too old to start _____” or “to wear ______”.  I hear women talk about their shortcomings or what’s popular or not popular and these things often take such a heavy handed place in our lives.  But sometimes I think about it this way…if all that stuff was lifted off of us (which I know isn’t always real life, I get that, but dream with me for a minute here)…how would we feel?  Like…would you buy rollerblades and skate around town simply because you LOVE to rollerblade and it makes you happy, forgetting all about how rollerblading isn’t really “cool” anymore?  (Dang it I miss rollerblades…)  Or would you consider starting a business on the side or selling your art at a farmer’s market or heck, would you just wear more leopard print even if you feel “too old” for it?  No matter what is “realistic”,  I think it might be helpful for us to think like this more often than not.

To be quite honest when I am very realistic, this clothing line is not practical for me to be doing right now.  We could really use the money that’s going into it for…lots of things.  Cars, appliances, you name it.  It would be more “practical” for me to consider other things instead of investing in a dream.  However, I don’t believe that doing the practical thing is always the best choice.  Because all outside opinions, spreadsheets, and plans aside, sometimes it’s those “crazy whims that we shouldn’t be doing” that end up changing our lives and the lives of those of us around us.  We weren’t built for small mundane lives.  We were built for greatness.  We need to express ourselves artistically, think outside the box, and live life to it’s fullest potential to really really LIVE.  It’s not always easy.  Because sometimes what is practical is most comfortable for us mentally and emotionally.  It feels good to be rational sometimes.  But it’s not always good for us in all situations.

Obviously there are times when you absolutely have to do the practical thing.  There needs to be a balance between the dreams and the day to day grind.  But I find that often I feel like the majority of people are just keeping their heads down and not playing “let’s pretend I could do anything, what would it be?” as much as they should be.  Because sometimes it’s in those moments where a dream is born and you suddenly realize that maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and that this may be something that you should really go for.  Sometimes, that just means you should just wear what you want, regardless of…everything (except for your work dress code, because obviously that’s a different story!)

Dressing fun is just the best isn’t it?  This whole outfit is vintage, which makes it fun.  Some of it’s what you’d call #ontrend and some of it is just my own amalgamation of styles I love.  No matter what, I think the most important thing when it comes to how you dress, is that it feels like YOU.  Who cares if it goes with rollerblades or not?  (I so badly want rollerblades now, can you tell??)

Happy Wednesday
Katy

Pants: similar
C
ami top: similar
L
oafers: similar
L
ion necklace: similar
B
elt: similar
B
andana: same

 

Fashion Feelings: Quitting and Unquitting

At this point, you probably know that I recently started a clothing line from scratch.  (I’m starting a new blog series on this process in fact!)  And whenever I tell people this, they always exclaim about how fun that it must be to do so.  And it is!!  There are so many rewarding moments.  The dreaming up clothing items and then getting to wear them and seeing them on other people…yes, that part is so crazy fun.  The problem is, that the parts in between those fun parts are tedious.  They get discouraging.  And basically, I “quit” once a day, on the regular.

I’m not a quitter.  I don’t quit things unless I really really feel like I need to.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t “quit” emotionally and mentally sometimes on a task.  You know…the “gah! I give up!” moments where you just kind of have to take a break and give yourself a chance (and maybe a pep talk or two) to breathe, rest, and realize that the process isn’t alway fun, but the reward is worth it.  Yes, everyday around 3 p.m. (right about now actually, which is why I’m having an iced coffee and writing this post) I get discouraged and “quit”.  I get stressed about the business-y details.  I worry about everything from A to Z and that makes me wonder whether I should even be doing this at all!  And then, I think of all of you.

You know what’s amazing about being “known” and having a lot of people around you who both support you and are aware of what you’re doing?  It makes it A LOT harder to quit for reals.  If you are isolated, quitting your healthy eating plan, your new plan to save more money, or your resolutions to _______ (fill in that blank with whatever you want) is easy as pie.  Like, go ahead and eat that whole dang pie, no one’s watching.  However, tell everyone you are going to workout regularly, start a business, or take a few classes online and suddenly…it ain’t so easy to do.  That’s a darn good thing too.  I’m not kidding you.  Sometimes when I get discouraged, one of your lovely faces from my Instagram feed pops into my head and I remember something you said about one of the pieces I created.  Or about my creativity.  Or just the fact that you said you were behind me in this.  Yeah…that’s when I “un-quit” and get off my butt.  Support is everything.

This slip is one of my hand dyed and patched Velvet California pieces and it’s only fitting that I pair it with this uber soft sweater from Amber Moon, on online clothing shop.  I had the privilege of meeting Stacy, the owner of the shop, and gosh she is a sweetheart.  I love LOVE meeting other women who are determined to make their mark by starting things and by encouraging other women who are doing the same.  She has great taste and decided that she wants to carry a few select pieces in her online shop.  So encouraging, you guys.

Nothing like having people stand beside you and help you out through the rough patches, even if they don’t even know they’re doing it!

It may be 3 pm, but it ain’t quitting time.
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Tough and Tender

I like to pretend I’m tough.  I like to dress up in rocker tees, big jewelry, get tattoos, and load on the black eyeliner.  Because that makes me look and feel tough, and when the pedal really hits the medal, I am not really all that tough.  I can’t watch tv shows where people die.  Unless, of course, they are coming back as a vampire or werewolf.  Because that’s just cool.  I’ve never been good at confrontation.  In fact, when I’ve had to do those kinds of things in the past, I typically can’t breathe while I’m saying what has to be said and then I just dissolve into tears afterwards.  No, I would say when it comes to being tough or tender, I am firmly in the “tender” camp.

I volunteered at the thrift store that supports my kids’ school today, because first of all, that means I get to shop while doing it (bonus) and also I need to log in some hours to support their school.  I’m happy to do it.  I may have bought a few things in the process, we cannot be certain 😉  When I came in and put on my “Volunteer” name tag, the manager oriented me to the store (even though she knows I know the store pretty darn well!) and she said, “just don’t be rude to people”.  I laughed and told her that I wasn’t sure I knew how to be rude to people and she kind of cocked her head and looked at me…saying: “yeah…I can’t really imagine you being rude at all…”  She then went on to say that it was easy for her to be not so nice to people.  Have you noticed that people are usually one or the other?  Tough OR tender?  I’ve met a few people who are both, but they’re more rare than the either/or people.  Like me.

Whatever we are, we usually have to work on the opposite.  I have to work on being tough.  Constantly.  With my kids, with my business, heck, even when I order food and they get it wrong.  I am so NOT into confrontation that I would most definitely chose the path of least resistance when it comes to the potential for hurting people’s feelings.  But since that is no way to live and is obviously a super ineffective parenting method, I have to work on the opposite.  However, I have known lots of people who are like, ready to GO all the time.  You know, the ones who get excited when they hear that there might be a problem and they’re ready to defend anyone, anywhere, over anything.  They have to work on being tender.  It’s like…if they could see more from the other person’s perspective and if I could maybe pay attention to my OWN perspective for once…we could meet in the middle and be tough AND tender.  The sweet spot.

It’s hard and often painful to do things that are out of our nature.  I mean, the times I’ve had to confront people for work or something, I have waited until it was ABSOLUTELY necessary to do so.  I ran through what I had to do, I had people help me come up with what needed to be said.  And yet, in the moment, I felt like I was dragging my nails across a chalkboard or trying to breathe under water (actually kind of literally on that last one!).  I can imagine, for a person who finds confrontation quite easy, it might feel the same NOT jumping up and dealing with what’s bugging them, and instead listening and letting something go.  I’ve experienced this over and over again, and yet it always seems to apply no matter what’s going on in my life:  the path of least resistance is not always the best place to be.  I don’t go looking for confrontation or difficulty (I think we’ve established that already!) but I also don’t automatically assume that when things are hard or don’t feel natural, that I’m in the wrong place.  Because if that were the case, I would literally NEVER do anything new, ever.

I found these Blank NYC faux leather bells on Poshmark for a great deal, and I had to have them.  I mean, they’re like so Grease meets hippie vibes.  And I really loved the idea of wearing a kind of lumberjack vintage flannel with them.  Super tough!  One of the most special things about this outfit though, is my necklace.  It belonged to the most tough and tender woman I have ever known and I am beyond honored to own something of hers.  Myself and a lot of other people lost her recently and she reminds me still to love people relentlessly but to never back down, ever.  And now, I gotta figure out how to breathe under water… 🙂

Happy Wednesday…hope you’re being tough when you need to be and tender when it counts!
Katy