Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: clothing

30 Things I Love Right Now

  1. My husband. Because at 11+ years together, being able to call him my husband is so awesome.
  2. Carter Cash. I mean, really. Nugget.
  3. My siblings living in the same state as me. Seeing my sister multiple times per week.
  4. My job. Autonomy, flexibility and made for me.
  5. Having enough income – not stressing about bills. Not wanting for anything.
  6. Living so close to the ocean. Biked there just the other day.
  7. All of the awesome people I get to call friends.
  8. My amazing coworkers.
  9. Spotify & Pandora – streaming music, especially playlists created by other people.
  10. Making juice at home – kale, ginger, lemon, apple.
  11. Binge-watching shows on Netflix. Oh Em Geeeeeeeeee House of Cards, Season 2.
  12. Coworking with friends, especially one in particular who has a hot tub (you know who you are haha).
  13. Lattes without sugar. Coffee with milk & sugar.
  14. My shorter hair cut, while still missing my long hair.
  15. Essie nail polish.
  16. Rock climbing.
  17. Choosing juice over alcohol.
  18. Wearing dresses.
  19. Navy blue, gold, teal and dark pink.
  20. Hockey.
  21. Being off birth control.
  22. Buying and reading books on my Kindle.
  23. Our apartment (location, light and layout).
  24. My relationship with my parents.
  25. Technology – taking classes online, social media connections & information, and…
  26. This blog.
  27. My practice of taking photos and sharing them. Writing and sharing. Talking and sharing.
  28. Good conversation. Not sure if I’ll ever not love good conversation.
  29. The gold and amethyst ring my grandmother let me pick out for my communion that I started wearing again on my right ring finger.
  30. Me. With 30 spins around the sun under my belt, I’m pretty fucking proud of who I am, who I’ve become and the life that I’m living.
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Wear What You Want – Freedom

Freedom.

That’s one of the things I took away from the retreat a few weeks ago. It’s something I wrestle with daily.

That I can decide what to do with my time; when to do work, when to read a book, when to clean or nap or go outside.  That I get to decide what I want to wear. And I can wear anything I want.

I struggle with giving myself permission. Apparently, I’m always looking to someone else for clarity.

There was a woman at the retreat named Sherry who had the most fabulous style (check her out on her site – Simply Celebrate). And Laurie said that Sherry embraces her freedom in her style – and if she didn’t dress like that, then how would her people, her tribe, find her?

Since the retreat, I’ve been embracing what clothes make me happiest, even if it means pairing a gray skirt with brown boots and yellow t-shirt. Getting styled gave me so much information about what I truly like. I mean, if I love navy, why not wear navy?! (True story: a girl walked into the bathroom today at work in a fabulous navy trench coat and I complimented her on it as she locked her stall door. I don’t normally compliment strangers, but it totally caught my eye).

I don’t have any answers for you. I’m just learning these things myself. How Sherry is an example – a living, happy example – of a woman dressing in what makes her happy – and that radiates outward from her, influencing and encouraging me to dress in the ways that make me happiest.

It’s somehow silly and radical at the same time.

Do you use your clothes to express who you are, truly? Do you have some outward way that signals people others as someone in their “tribe”? 

That Sunlight

Just putting a note up, a sign post, a marker…

That I’m feeling better. (Haven’t felt this good since here). Maybe because the Sun moved into Pisces or Venus too. Maybe because my sister secured a job (congrats to her!!) and she’ll be able to start building her own life here. Maybe because I’m wearing new clothes or because my awesome friends call and text and Facebook me. Maybe because I just have bad weeks that snowball into bad months and maybe that’s OK because I’m always here, and me, and loved…

…even if I forget.

Today LA was that most perfect temperature, where the air is deliciously warm but the heat isn’t too hot. Where I could drive down the 405 with the setting sun lighting up my car windows and the Imagine Dragons record blasting. Enjoy this little track wherever you are when you read this.

What I learned…from a stylist

What I learned from working with a stylist to revamp my wardrobe:

I have a serious thing for blue, particularly navy. The good news is navy is an awesome neutral. The bad news is, I need to make sure I buy something else besides the blue-ish option.

I really love dresses. They’re easy to throw on, keep me cool (I hate feeling overheated) and when they fit right, they flatter my build perfectly.

In line with point number one, my current color pallet is that of a peacock’s tail – teal, blue, darker blue, black, purple, and greens. I was amazed when Jess pointed this out, but of course she’s right. And what an interesting concept – that I have a style I didn’t even know I had – and that, while I have no idea how to articulate it, I know what I like. It also just happens that the color I went with for the bridemaids’ dresses this past summer is called peacock.

From listening to Jess talk about trendier looks, I started to see the patterns from store to store. Whether it was a super high-end boutique or a every day department store, I could see this season’s trends (bright colors like nectarine orange, peach cream and mint, denim shirts, and skinny pants with layered, baggier tops). I feel more confident that I can go into a store a year from now, pick out what’s trendy, and add a piece or two to update my style.

Layer is going to take my look to a new level. Jess said that the difference between looking like I “just threw something on” and actually looking like I am wearing an outfit is to layer pieces. This isn’t easy for me but I’m confident I can learn.

Attitude, as with anything, is everything. I’m glad I had this reminder, as I struggle with dips in self-confidence, and now I see my clothing as I way to lift myself up, rather than hide myself away until I feel better.

If I never wear outfits that are above the simple graphic t-shirt, jeans and flats, then I’ll always feel like I’m over-dressed in anything else. But if I wear cuter / trendier / styled outfits more often, it will make sense (to me and to others) when I’m wearing, say, a dress to go out for lunch with H or heels to work. While I’m always talking about lowering my bar, when it come to style, I need to bump it up a notch.

The high of wearing a new outfit and feeling awesome is so underrated. Note to self: grab a random piece of new clothing more often.

Next time most of my pants don’t fit for well over a year, I should just buy new pants. Nothing beats actually fitting into my clothes instead of just feeling blah about the old ones that don’t fit anymore. (Substitute pants for any item of clothing, including socks and bras, new bedding and haircuts).

The oldest thing I got rid of, I think, was a pair of American Eagle jeans I’ve had for 12 years, give or take. I’ve had them longer than I’ve been with H or lived in LA. They went through high school, college, snowstorms in Boston, and feeling stressed in LA. And while I am so thankful for their service – it was time for them to go. (See top photo)

I plan to report back in a few weeks, hopefully with some outfit photos, to see how I’m doing. So far, so good.

(You can grab a few style tips from the gal who helped me: Hell or High Fashion)

Out With The Old, In With The New

For my 29th birthday last week I gift myself the help of a stylist. I met Jess through her boyfriend, an awesome songwriter named Hughie. (Video of him here) Her dream is to style bands, and she’s already built a great credit list. When she and I met a month ago for coffee, I asked her what she could do for little ol’ me. Turns out, she does “closet consultations” and “shopping trips” for just about anyone. We talked dates and fees, and before I knew it, she was in my bedroom helping me sort through and donate 7+ years worth of clothing.

On Saturday, we spent  almost 2 hours going through everything I had in my closet and dresser. She kept a running list of what I had to mix and match and what I needed. And then we headed to Ann Taylor LOFT for a bit of shopping. Nabbed a couple of basics and one dress that, when I put it on, it made me so happy I almost cried. Amazing.

We ran out of time Saturday, so Sunday it was round two. We were at the mall when it opened and spent most of our time methodically shopping through Forever 21. Now, I haven’t shopped in a long time, but I am sort of a hater when it comes to crap clothing. BUT after shopping with Jess, I see the value (low price, trendy fashion) of a place like Forever 21 (…when it comes to style. when it comes to sustainability, I am going to keep my mouth shut).

She and I found some awesome pieces, including a blue faux leather jacket, a hot-hot midnight blue dress (date night!) and finally a pair of colored jeans (green, of course). And then the kicker, I bought 8 dresses! EIGHT.

My wardrobe is completely revamped. I am in love. I’ve only had a chance to wear one outfit (today’s) but I can’t wait to wear everything.

To top it all off, today I received a “cheat sheet” email from Jess detailing outfit options, what I can wear with what, and future things I may want to buy. It was the perfect gift for myself to (be)come into my own in this 29th year. As Hughie would say: BOOM.

You can find tons of style tips on her blog Hell or High Fashion (whose name I just adore).

This Grateful Season – On The Other Side

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And here we are – one the other side of November as it turns into December – from the grateful season to the holiday season. We decorated last week but still have ornaments to make and a tree to purchase and trim.

Now I have an understanding of what I’ve gone through in the past 3 months. Each Autumn I think I’ve got this covered – H will go back to work, my event season will kick in, we’ll be on coming off our summer vacation. Even though it’s a transitional period, now that I know it, I can handle it, even use it to my own good.

But no. The travel, events, lack of routine, big changes (grad school. sister) Saturn shift and Mercury retrograde slammed over me like waves, again and again. It was a busy season. It was a learning season.

And in many ways, the upswing of intensity and then halt of energy, like a boiling pot with a lid on it, arrived right in time to sweep me along and teach me a few things. It all brought me back to myself.

The Maybe Baby course is coming to an end. I’m concentrating on giving myself what I need, not depending on others. Acknowledging that I’m picking up other people’s energy but I don’t need to carry it. Getting my running shoes on. Napping. Organizing and doing work, but trying to release the pressure. Enjoying the time I have. Seeing the urges of (future) motherhood manifesting in the need to nest and for long-term projects. Thinking about plans, but still just letting things settle.

I have high hopes for December to close out this amazing year of trust, love and learning. And I am grateful – oh so grateful.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

This Grateful Season – The Basics

When I write these posts, I try to avoid being all highfalutin. If today I’m grateful for lattes or buttons, it can go into a post. No perfection here (if there were, I wouldn’t be able to post each day).

This morning, I took a pic of this shirt to share on Instagram to remind myself of being cozy and at home with my husband and sister in arm’s reach. But as I thought about my day, and the devastation of hurricane Sandy, I wanted to put it out there that I am so grateful for the clothes on my back, the shelter over my head, the heat and a/c I can turn on with a switch, and the food in my fridge.

When it comes down to it, I am blessed beyond belief – all of my basic needs are met and then some. I have enough food that some of it goes bad. And I throw it out. And a trash service takes it away. I have enough electric that I can leave lights on when I’m not home and charge all of my electronics. I have internet, clean sheets, hot water, quiet neighbors, my siblings near me, a smart pup, healthy parents and a rocking husband.

It’s crazy to think that I picked up my new favorite shirt (above) at a clothing swap. As in, a party where we all brought clothes we didn’t want anymore to trade them around before taking the leftovers to Goodwill. We have enough clothing that we share them before donating (aka dumping) the old ones and then probably buying new ones to fill the closet space. And even though I do it too, it’s baffling.

I’ve been trying to think long and hard before purchasing items and bringing them into my home. Do I really want to store / clean / wear / wash this many many many times or will it just end up in a donation, or worse, a garbage pile in the next year? Do I really need this?

All of my East coast family and friends seem to be OK, riding out the storm, cold, damage and losing electricity. My parents have a generator and good spirits. They’ve taken in my brother’s friend who unfortunately wasn’t so lucky with his material goods – both his apartment and his car were lost to the storm. So in honor of him and everyone else dealing with this recovery, I am grateful tonight for all I have and that they are safe. Sometimes I forget, but I really don’t need more than that.

If you or your loved ones were affected by Sandy, I am sending my thoughts and prayers your way. If you’d like to help, visit this page or donate to the American Red Cross.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Clothing Swap Success

Sunday evening my friend hosted a clothing swap. For the 6 girls that attended, we had enough clothes for all of us and more. In that respect, it was depressing. It reminded me to really love the things I buy. So much wasted.

But that was the point, to trade and swap clothes before they’re headed off for donation.

Overall, I made out fairly well. Most of the clothes I picked out were from another friend (A Gilt Nutmeg) who happens to be much taller. Somehow her shirts fit, though mostly extra baggie, they were great finds. My favorite was a sheer, long-sleeved light blue shirt. Totally felt like an artist when I had it on. I also picked out a salmon Nike running jacket, a wool hat and spectacular jade green heels.