Nightshades and a dog on the freeway

02 Apr

{ personal: }

Not quite a New Year’s resolution, but certainly what’s been brewing behind closed doors, A.K.A., not on the blog. It’s a bit wordy, but I run that way at times and I haven’t written in months. Since there’s a sequence to all that I want to say, let’s rewind a bit and go back to the start.


Part 1: Nightshades

Without getting into the minutiae of how it came to be, just take my word for it, as of a few months ago I found out that I am sensitive to nightshades. I feel like a brighter, less fatigued version of myself without nightshades in my diet. I have celiac and can’t eat soy, or flax seeds, for that matter. Flax seeds are random, but hey, cramps, waves of nausea, nobody’s got time for that.


Part 2: The Dog On The Freeway

My dog, to be exact. She got out. An oversight leading to near catastrophe. She had stopped traffic on the freeway, never mind all the busy streets she first had to cross to get on the freeway. There she was, completely freaked out as kind strangers were trying to catch her. One amazing woman managed and my dog was returned to me safely.

Sometimes in life, one might be contemplating a change. Not a tiny little change. Something akin to a fundamental lifestyle overhaul. The kind of change that is more easily prompted by need or near catastrophe. Like the need to prepare my own food. Practically all of it. No more convenient snacks. No more high ticket items on the fly. I’d been wanting to cook more for myself and eat less processed foods but kept saving it for later. You know, when it would be more convenient. I’d even put myself on a budget.

I’d been wanting to move to my own place for a while, too. Six months ago, a friend opened up his home to me when one of the rooms he was renting became available. Now the time had come to take my things out of storage and move to a home I could call my own. I started putting a little money aside to save up for the big day. Then the dog on the freeway. The big day was now. I needed to take control of my finances asap if I wanted to provide my dog with the security I had committed to when I adopted her.


Part 3: My relationship with money

I made it. I spent it. I made more. I spent more. In time, I started feeling frustrated with all this spending. Not because I wasn’t saving any but because I started feeling a little sick with the idea of entitlement, acquiring to upgrade and not always out of need. Satisfying whims and all that. Getting stuff is fun until one day it isn’t. Something had been changing in me and I start to experience more mindfulness around all this stuff I was being sold. I was still buying it, then one day, nightshades and the dog on the freeway.

Part 4: What I learned

Holy cow I can save money fast when I need to! That’s right, people. I put myself on a budget and was able to find and rent my dream cottage in no time at all. I’m also making most of my food, which means that I’m healthier, I’m spending a lot less, and use up even less packaging. These are all such fantastic wins out of what could easily have been interpreted as misfortune.

I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. I have a really good feeling about the future. Many of these changes have been brewing underneath the surface, I’ve been ready for this for a long time. We know how much I love style and fashion, let’s see how this newfound effort to manage my finances in line with my value system plays out.

xo, f

P.S.: I just noticed my craftiness lives on. I sewed the lace on the skirt, made the belt I’m wearing with the avocado green dress, and spray painted the boots with glitter. What’s next?


Fake it till you make it

26 Oct

{ personal: }

I’m not advocating you lie or mislead anyone. I’m talking specifically about the practice of practicing. This came up in a class I take recently, some participants were unclear on the supposed implications of deceiving another. The idea behind faking it until you fully realize it is the earnest commitment to a particular value system.

For example, I have been shockingly unladylike behind the wheel. I have been but I don’t want to be. Since tapping into my saintlier side hasn’t always quite arrived to me with the ease and grace I’m working towards, for lack of better terms, I have faked it. At times, I have expressed my passionate sentiments and then retracted it. Other times, I have found enough space to consider and censor what I might have said, thereby amending it before verbalizing it.

Ladylike in paisley ruffles and a vegan moto jacket.

Ladylike in paisley ruffles and a vegan moto jacket

Lately, I find that I often, though not always, have no reaction. After all, I’m not in bumper to bumper traffic by myself. We’re all in it together, no single driver is responsible for this, no particular individual is out to get me. But I had to fake it a lot to get to this place. I practiced being the person I wanted to be until I became it.

Rockin' out with my still amazing 5 week old haircut

Rockin’ out with my still amazing 5 week old haircut

There I am, in traffic, hanging out until I get through it, preferably with some good tunes coming through the speakers. And yes, I’m that person rockin’ out by herself in traffic. In her paisley dress and awesome haircut.


The blog is dead, long live the blog

12 Aug

{ personal: }


I recently read a comment on facebook that my blog is dead. It really surprised me. I suppose I have been in denial, I was thinking it was perhaps in repose. An extended vacation. As it turns out, if you don’t actually post for months at a time, your blog is kinda sorta dead.

But here’s the deal: It’s not. I really had to take a lot of time off. Things happened. I’ll list them. They impacted my life in a really big way:

I left my really good job for an amazing opportunity and immediately got laid off. Then I had very little work, which was a blessing, considering what happened afterward.

  • I stopped being married.
  • I volunteered at a wildlife museum.
  • One of my sisters died.
  • I adopted a snake.
  • I moved three times in a short period of time. I’m not a fan of moving.
  • I was offered and accepted my dream job.
  • I got a new baby brother.


Lots of life events. Big, huge, heart-breaking, emotional, heart-filling life events. Because even when life feels totally over, it’s actually still going on. The blog is not dead, it was in hibernation. Frankly, right now, I know I will not have the time that I had before to devote to it. But I will always have a story to tell, it’s in my blood.

My baby brother is 3 months old. He won’t know how to speak for a while but if you observe him for just a few minutes, you will notice one thing: He’s trying really hard to tell you something, (it’s in our DNA, really.)

Here he is:


And here I’ve been:


Oh, you noticed the hair’s gone. It’s all part of letting go and being available for the story to continue. The week I decided to cut my hair, I was asking one of my girlfriends if I should do it. I told her I’d miss it. I knew I would. And that was exactly why I cut it. Because it’s ok to miss it. It’s ok to miss my sister, or the routine I had with my ex. It’s human. It’s ok to miss my friends and coworkers. Missing means I cared.

We miss, and we let it go. We make room for the next amazing thing. I didn’t lose my husband when we got divorced, we’re still friends. But I made room for his new love in my heart and she’s such a beautiful and amazing woman, she’s become one of my best friends. My family got bigger.

When my sister died, I found out I was going to have a baby brother. Life is so unexpected and full of surprises. Around the same time, I adopted a ball python that needed a good home. I changed his name to BooBoo Cuddlebear. He used to hang out in my hair, back when it was long.



{ style: }

And all the while in the silence of my blogosphere, I was still wearing clothes and having fun. See?




There will be more. There’s plenty to catch up on. See you soonly!

xo, f



Love robot

29 Oct

{ style: }

h&m eco conscious collection shift, green cardigan, red cuff watch

Sometimes, it’s really all in the details. I love this shift from H&M’s eco conscious collection. I love the detail of the abstract pattern. I feel like it’s a cross between a Paul Klee pen-and-ink and a botanical garden. It plays well in many environments. I can dress it up or down. On this particular day, I needed to look professional without being too formal, therefore, I let the details speak to my personality. Like the love robot ring. Everyone needs a love robot.

love robot ring

Or the fact that my dragonfly tattoo commemorating my sister’s life is interestingly framed by the red acetate of my cuff watch.

dragonfly tattoo, red cuff watch

And the floating sparrow on my necklace.

rose necklace with sparrow

{ deets: }

Shift/H&M, green cardigan/Nordstrom’s, red cuff watch/The Clymb, rose necklace/Etsy, love robot ring/Hallmark store, dragonfly tattoo/Victor Macias




Posted in Fashion



23 Oct

{ personal: }

As I mentioned in the previous post, we have all been stylish in our own ways. We cleaned up nicely for my dad’s wedding. My hairstyle dates this photo back about 9 years, Frederique is in the middle, Ingrid is on the right. We looked different but had the same smile. And the same size feet.



Red shoes

17 Oct

{ personal: }

aqua cardigan over sky blue tank top and multi-colored patterned skirt

I just inherited my sister’s shoes. We three sisters referred to each other as hippie, stylish and punk. To refer to me exclusively as stylish in not quite accurate, both my sisters have always been incredibly stylish in their own way. Frederique is The Punk. Ingrid was The Hippie. She was a beautiful, tree-hugging, animal-rescuing, plant-loving woman who’s face lit up every time she saw one of us sisters. She died a few weeks ago and all her clothes, shoes and accessories are in my spare bedroom for sorting. I believe I’ve met my match, this woman had a lot of clothes and shoes.

Before she died, I told her I wanted her shoes. I didn’t ask, I pulled the sister card and put it a direct request. I wasn’t leaving anything up to chance. We have the same feet. I wanted to have her with me all the time, her death has been my biggest heartbreak to date and it’s comforting to carry her spirit with me when I can’t call her up whenever I feel like it any more.

red flat maryjane style

But let’s talk shoes because that woman seriously loved shoes. I call them hippie shoes and in doing so I’ve practically guaranteed my other sister won’t want anything to do with them. I’m a little sneaky that way, although, they really are hippie shoes and that’s what makes them so appealing to me. I love shoes, too. They don’t, however, love me back. Except hers. Of course they do. She would be pleased to know they’re keeping my feet happy.

yellow beaded layered necklace

{ deets: }

Aqua cashmere cardigan/Bloomingdale’s, sky blue tank top/thrifted, multi-colored pattern skirt/Target, layered yellow bead necklace/thrifted, red shoes/gifted, red cuff watch/The Clymb.




08 Aug

{ style : }

… jeans. I don’t even know what that means, I don’t have a boyfriend, nor have I ever been able to fit in a boyfriend’s jeans. Actually, not true. I wore my husband’s 501′s in 1989. Oh, yeah, I was around back then. And I was married.


But the Boyfriend Jeans conjures up a memory that I haven’t realized, one that sounds like lazy Sundays and soft, oversized t-shirts. Maybe sunny walks with the dog. Neighborhood coffee shops. Freshly mowed lawns. It’s a sweet, memorable moniker and I’m quite the sucker for words that sound just right. Describe something as buttery soft and I’ll be twice as likely to purchase it. Thank you, LL Bean, circa 1998.

All I know is that I needed a new pair of jeans. I’m rebelling against $300 jeans. I think it’s absurd and unnecessary to charge that much for denim. I went to Old Navy. They fit my body perfectly and, I might add, are buttery soft.


I did wear my boyfriend’s red plaid bondage pants, sans straps, when I was 18. They would have been useless for actual bondage, they didn’t seem very sturdy, but they looked pretty hot. My mondo creepers were red patent leather. Extra hot.



{ deets : }

Indigo lace top/Anthropologie, pewter lace tank/Nordstrom’s, boyfriend jeans/Old Navy, red cuff watch/The Clymb.


Posted in Fashion


Mermaid style

31 Jul

{ hair: }

I’ve always wanted what my hairdresser and I called “mermaid hair”. In other words, hair long enough to provide a substantial amount of modestly, should one be inclined. For when the apocalypse vaporizes fabric, or something like that.

In December, I willingly had about 6 or 7 inches cut off, the health of my hair required it. That’s what it feels like to take a bunch of steps backwards. What’s the opposite of mermaid hair? Billy Idol hair? Ok, so not quite that drastic but somewhere in the ho-hum middle.


I have resisted the urge for a maintenance trim since December. Tenacity and laser-sharp focus on the end results at it’s finest. Professional advice carelessly tossed by the wayside. It’s my hair, after all. And as my sister said, if you want you hair to grow out, you really have to stop cutting it.

This coming Friday, I’m scheduled for the trim. All this to say, yes, my hair is up because it has looked better, and in a very short while, it will again.




I’ll just distract you with my mermaid nail polish until then. Look, squirrel!

{ deets: }

Aqua cashmere cardigan/Bloomingdale’s, cyan blue skinny pants/Urban Outfitters, orange tunic/Urban Outfitters, salmon tank/Nordstrom’s, mustard scarf/You Be Cheeky Boutique, red acetate watch/Vestal, hair band/ModCloth


Posted in Fashion


Look closely

02 May

{ fashion: }

The dress I’m wearing has a photo print front. I must have worn it about three times before I realized that, upon closer inspection, there’s a couple sitting at the water’s edge. So much for attention to detail. In all fairness, it’s a little hard to make out when you’re wearing it. From a distance? Easy as pie.

I’m rediscovering dresses now that the days are warming up. I don’t feel as silly wearing a skirt or dress with my house flip-flops, it’s casual, but so what? Wearing tights and fuzzy slippers in winter, on the other hand, was a whole other story. A story that wasn’t going to happen.

Anyone else feel compelled to wear red and green? It’s like Christmas over here all over again.

sitting wearing black photo dress, green cardigan, red belt

sitting wearing black photo dress, green cardigan, red belt

{ deets: }

Mini dress/Modcloth, red skinny belt/unknown, green cardi/Nordstrom’s, black mini skirt/swapped, necklace/Anthropologie, black sandals/Dansko.


Posted in Fashion



31 Mar

{ excuses: }

Let’s face it, I haven’t just slipped from grace, I’ve tanked. Well, only as it pertains to blogging regularly. I have my reasons, sure. Such as, having a dog which leads to why I’m wearing pants a lot these days. I dress in anticipation of what the day holds for me, like walking her daily every afternoon on one of the trails nearby. Sometimes it’s not all that exciting, however, working from home hasn’t stopped me from caring.

I may not have the bandwidth to post as regularly but having fun with outfits is an integral part of my life, not a phase. Here’s a little recap. You need proof, after all. But first, this:

{ rant: }

Being a woman of  ”a certain age”, (45! Woohoo!), I’m starting to get annoyed at all the age-appropriate style advice in women’s magazines. No more short mini-dresses? Why not? I like my legs just fine, thanks. No more obnoxiously bright neons pants paired with an equally bright top? I’m not sure I like this advice at all. Here’s what I have to say: Ignore all of it. ALL. Wear what makes you happy. Skirt too short? Heels to high? Too much cleavage showing? I don’t care. Squeeze yourself into a pair of leopard-spotted pants, you hot mama, you. Rock them to work if it puts a smile on your face.

Let the real old farts tsk… tsk… behind your back while you are living your life exactly as you wish. The most flattering thing a woman can ever wear, the one thing that looks good rain or shine, day or night, is her smile. Her genuine, life-loving smile. So, if what you put on today is wrong by every standard but it makes you happy, and if that happiness translates into a smile, that’s all the style advice you’ll ever need.

Go on, beautiful. Wear whatever you feel like wearing, just as long as it makes you happy.

{ proof: }

wear purples

Wearing sheer aqua top, orange cardigan, light denim pants

Wearing sheer purple top, printed scarf, hand-carved earrings

Wearing green cashmere sweater, royal blue tank top, cyan skinny pants


{ deets: }

First: Purple top/gifted, neon yellow t-shirt/Old Navy, raspberry velour pants/Athleta*, necklace/Anthropologie, brown Uggs. Second: Sheer printed aqua top/Target, orange cardigan/Target, denim/Nordstrom’s, mustard scarf/Cheeky Boutique, wood teal bangle/bazaar in Spain, neon yellow Vans. Third: Sheer printed blouse/TJ Maxx, sheer printed kimono-style top/Target, tie belt/handmade, printed scarf/bazaar in France, necklace/Anthropologie, hand-carved earrings/Braindrop. Fourth: Green cashmere sweater/Bloomingdale’s, royal blue tank top/Old Navy, cyan skinny pants/Urban Outfitters, beaded necklace/Anthropologie.