Taking lessons

22 Sep

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

{ personal: }

I’m certain that my husband has an advanced degree in relaxing. Chillin’. Chillaxin’. Call it what you will, he’s got it down and I could learn a thing or two from him. When I lived in the Upper Haight in San Francisco I had a routine. I worked from home and would leave the house every afternoon to walk to the store and buy a cookie. I really did this for years. What can I say, I like a routine. Three blocks each way, one cookie and fresh produce for dinner. I would cross the panhandle, slowly, taking it all in; the dogs, the cyclists, friendly faces and neighbors.

I also started my day with a soy latté just around the corner, journaling and daydreaming. I spent an hour in the quiet hush of early morning orders by myself documenting every thought and emotion, turning stream of consciousness into poetry, day after day. My neighborhood cafe played great music, I rediscovered my love for electronic music. I once told a group of somewhat younger women about my morning routine. “You must really love yourself,” one said. Actually, yes.

Fast forward ten years. I no longer work from home. I have very little control over the kind of demands making their way across my day; I have some control over how I deal with the stress. Running, sometimes a drink after work, sometimes not. The most draining days require prescription strength television watching. We don’t even have cable. My husband and I met at work and carpool together, sharing one car. The routine is gone. It’s been replaced with coordinating schedules, grocery shopping, laundry days. Oh, and blogging.

I was washing the first batch of dusty Burning Man bins on Sunday when said husband exclaimed that he was going to chill for a while, complete with beer in hand. Envious, perhaps, I asked if he hadn’t just been relaxing. (This conversation can now go two ways.) Yes! He was going to relax again he proudly announced. He asked me to join him. Uncharacteristically, I put down what I was doing and grabbed my own beer. We sat and appreciated the million dollar view we’ve been blessed with and listened to hummingbirds whir.

View of San Francisco Bay from Oakland hills

LIke I said, I could learn a thing or two. The impressive stack of laundry that needs to be put away sitting in the back room is not going anywhere. Does it matter if I deprive myself of relaxing with my best friend only to put it away three days earlier? Of course it doesn’t. What matters is this: Carpe Diem. When I’m relaxed I photograph better. I write better. I dress myself better. I’m more creative. I’m nicer to myself and everyone around me. I would bet money that I will age less quickly if I subscribe to my husband’s plan. He’s not lazy. He gets things done. I try to get even more done and then beat myself up for not having done enough. I must be taking funny pills because that kind of math does not add up, does it?

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

What you see above is proof, actual photographic proof, that I came home tonight, popped open a hard cider and enjoyed our warm summer evening. After a day of such intense pattern mixing who wouldn’t need to unwind?

{ style tip: }

Ah, mixing patterns. The old taboo. This one is not always easy to pull off. It’s easier when there are elements in common. In this case, the color red and the graphic nature of the clovers versus the stripes worked. One didn’t overpower the other which kept the outfit balanced, this is key. There are many tips out there on how to do this well. The Chic Fashionista has some good advice.

Don’t be afraid to give it a shot, it takes guts to step outside our comfort zones. There will be misses but there are sure to be hits, too.

{ deets: }

Red clover skirt/Urban Outfitters, striped shirt/Michael Kors, daisy ring/Hatch, red leather cuff watch/Nixon, red jacket/Precious Boutique, black sandals/Dansko

{ giveaway: } 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway. I’ve got a lightweight scarf straight from Paris just begging to go home with you. Male or female, it matters not. This scarf is genderless and will flatter everyone. Check out The House in the Clouds on facebook to enter.


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    September 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I could learn a thing or two from your husband as well! Thank you for sharing this. As you can see from that post I wrote — I am also impatient when it comes to getting things done. I always want to be doing something! I need to start a routine, like what you had… walking to get a soy latte tomorrow sounds nice. :)
    THE-LOUDMOUTH recently posted..Etsy Wishlist :: Bags + Shoes

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      It’s funny that I battle doing vs being all the time but I think the older I get the more I’m realizing that my contribution is actually greater when I do less. I have time to process and prioritize so while it may seem like I’m doing less, it means more. Yeah, the never-ending battle for balance. I’m not giving up yet!
      xo, f

  2. Teresa: Life and Style

    September 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I love your pattern mixing! It looks fab. You look beautiful as always, love the outfit!

    I need to take a lesson from your husband and learn how to chillax a little… life is sometimes stressful and I get caught up in it from time to time. A little R&R is just what I need.

    Teresa: Life and Style recently posted..back to my bloggin’ ways

  3. Cynthia

    September 23, 2011 at 2:08 am

    What is it with feeling guilty for not doing enough? I do that too. Oh it’s the weekend, I should have gotten X, Y, Z done. Well, no. There’s not a test at the end of the weekend.

    I love your pattern mix today.
    Cynthia recently posted..Style Icon: Xanadu

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Lol! So right! There is NO test. Must remember that:)

  4. No Guilt Fashion

    September 23, 2011 at 6:01 am

    What a beautiful view, and the perfect outfit for enjoying said view. You look great! Love the red pattern mixing.
    No Guilt Fashion recently posted..Apple Jack Festival & Arbor Lodge Park

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks, Danie. The view definitely takes things down a notch. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have it. I never forget that:)
      xo, f


    September 23, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Fabienne, I love so much about this post. The vibrant outfit, the photos, the message. I SO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! Lately I’ve been feeling huge amounts of anxiety cause I have so much on my plate, to the point that I’m literally dreaming about presentations that are due and what I need to do to finish them. I love the challenges and opportunities and I am grateful, but it does take its toll.

    I had a similar chillaxin’ experience on Wednesday. Came home from work knackered, and I thought, I need a martini and a date night. On a Wednesday. Even Hubby noticed that I wasn’t my usual self, even with a martini under my belt. But by the end, the reprieve and disconnection helped. Sometimes I just have to put my guilt about not having time to comment on other blogs into a little box in the other room, and leave it there. Like you, I’m one person, and like you, there are only about 13 workable hours in my day. There’s always something to be done, but life has to be lived in the process!


    Bon weekend, my dear.
    GRIT & GLAMOUR recently posted..Camille Zarsky Portfolio Clutch

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      It’s crazy the pressure we put on ourselves. I’m pretty sure that 5 or 10 years from now I will not be sad that I only posted once or twice a week in order to take time to breathe. After a couple years of nasty insomnia, when I got my healthy sleep back, I realized that if I expect to grow old happy and healthy it’s imperative that I do two things (almost) all the time: Put proper food/fuel in my body and let my cells regenerate completely with good sleep. Long gone are the days of 5 or 6 hrs. My face and body don’t forgive me. I just LOOK tired, on top of feeling tired. The truth is that I have fewer hours to work with, what I choose to do with them is important.

      Exercising kindness towards oneself is as important as being kind to others. Ironically, those who are the most concerned with our performance are us. Keep enjoying your date nights. They will only rejuvenate you and keep you awesome!
      xo, f

  6. Monica

    September 23, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I loved this post! I can so relate AND it was inspiring, Fabienne. Thanks! Oh and I love seeing the Mormon Temple in the background-great shot!

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      Oh, I bet, you transcontinental entrepreneur! The Bay Area is both ripe for ambitious tendencies and supportive of taking care of ourselves. Let’s perpetuate both, (with an emphasis on self)!
      xo, f

  7. Gracey at Fashion For Giants

    September 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Oh, I loved this post. I loved your outfit in the first picture, but your relaxed picture was just the best. You look gorgeous.
    Gracey at Fashion For Giants recently posted..I Need More Velvet in My Life

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you, Gracey. I get so much inspiration from my favorite fellow bloggers. Pattern mixing was definitely a first for me:)
      xo, f

  8. Terri

    September 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    You do look so relaxed in the sunset, with a hard cider. I love how you described your former morning routine…it reminds me of Julia Cameron’s “morning pages” from her book the Artist’s Way.
    Terri recently posted..Chili Weather

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Oh you just reminded me that a friend gave it to me. And then I got too busy to read it. That’s terrible! More reading, less stressing, I say.
      xo, f

  9. Anna

    September 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I believe men truly know how to relax…I see that in my boyfriend also…As for me, I constantly must have something to do!!
    As for the pattern mixing, you did very well!! I think the trick is that the patterns must have almost the same color hue…it looks so nice!
    Anna recently posted..M.A.C me over

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      My hubby has really good boundaries about it. I keep learning from him this way:)
      xo, f

  10. Franca

    September 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

    So true! I am always on the go, and I like it that way, but sometimes it gets too much and i need to make a conscious effort to relax. You look so happy with your sunset and your cider!
    Franca recently posted..What makes a perfect travel partner? by Emily of Sugar and Spice

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      I think bloggers by nature must be over-achievers. We all have full-time jobs, kids and or significant others, friends, and then our blogs! It’s a little crazy:) Hope being a Mrs. treats you well, little lady. Often it’s fantastic. Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always worth working things out and growing stronger as individuals and as partners. All the best,
      xo, f

  11. UN-stitched

    September 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    First, I love the look of your blog; the journal entry-like look is very welcoming and creative! And – you have amazing legs – great outfit! I am just like your hubby, I am all about relaxing and taking time to just breathe. Even if it’s 15 minutes of nothing but quiet, just me, I’m happy!
    UN-stitched recently posted..Slight Mix of Patterns

    • Fabienne Jach

      September 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      That was very nice of you to say, thank you, I’ve grown to appreciate my body with time. Oh, and thanks for the compliment about my blog. It’s definitely a labor of love. I just peeked over to yours, I’m looking forward to spending more time exploring. Thanks for visiting! :) f