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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

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.

2015_04_02_Striped

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.

2015_04_02_AvoDress

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.

2015_04_02_NeonYellow

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

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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

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HairShadow

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:

BabyT_Visit

And here I’ve been:

HawkAreAweome

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.

BooBooIntro

 

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

ColeyFaDeepStyle

AnthroGreenSkirtAtLast

 

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

xo, f

 

 
 

Sisters

23 Oct

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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.

SistersPaWedding_101713

 
 

Red shoes

17 Oct

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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.

 

 
 

The House has gone to the dogs.

30 Nov

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greyhound

Just one dog, actually. Ibis Carrera. I had every intention of sharing with you some of my favorite new sweaters these days, because sweaters have become a necessity working from home, but Ibis is in the building. Yeah, it’s pretty much been like that.

About fifteen years ago, I lived in The Haight in San Francisco. I worked from home then, also. Around the corner from my house was Cup-A-Joe. I started every morning there with a latte and my journal. Often, my neighbor with the black framed glasses who owned a bike co-op would come in with his dog, an Italian greyhound, I believe. She would rest her head on his knee and looked at him lovingly. She was unlike any other dog I’d ever seen. I feel in love. With her, obviously.

Not long after, I remember recalling this moment to a friend who suggested adopting a race rescue greyhound. I had never had a dog before and didn’t know the difference between an Italian greyhound and a full-size greyhound. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed to admit I had never heard the term “sighthound” until last month. Rescuing a dog from death sounded good to me, I was on board.

A couple months ago I quickly jotted a list of six or seven things I wanted. In the number one spot: “I want a dog.” I was now working from home, living alone and wanted a buddy. I’ve always been a cat person but I wanted a companion that could accompany me around. I made all kinds of promises to my landlord begging him to please let me have a dog. The chances were slim that he would agree but, lo and behold, he didn’t seem the least put out by the idea. My search began.

I found a fantastic organization to adopt through. First there was an application. Then a phone interview. After that, a walk-through with a new adoptee. I was encouraged to attend a meet-and-greet with other owners and their adoptees. I drove an hour away to make that happen as soon as possible. Everything fell into place and I got the green light. Enter Ibis! I had seen her picture on the web site and there was just something about her. I asked if they thought she would be a good fit for me and we met last Saturday.

greyhound

At first it was hit or miss. I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me, we tried not to be awkward around each other. Race greyhounds are not like other greyhounds. In fact, they are unlike any other dog, for that matter. They’ve spent their lives in cages in areas filled with other dogs in cages and are never alone. They’re either out on the track or in their cage. They’re trained to bolt. They can never be tethered for that reason. They’re amazing creatures which can hit speeds of 30-40 miles an hour by the third stride, second fastest only to the cheetah. Pretty cool! But not for the casual dog owner. Everything is new to them. The sound the dishwasher makes. Mirrors. Windows. Cars on the street. The vacuum. It’s like they were dropped from another planet and starting from scratch.

greyhound

In the past six days, we’ve both been coming out of our shell. Our walks are now spirited and fun. I’ve started seeing her goofy side when she plays with her toys. She’s adorable. And she’s hijacked my life. The pictures of sweaters may have to wait a little longer but she’s worth it. Being so well-behaved, I don’t see that I will need to modify my sartorial choices much during the training process with one exception. I will always need pockets to keep treats in. True love.

greyhound

{ note: }

The organization I chose is Golden State Greyhound Adoption. They have a very thorough and strict adoption process and policy, which I appreciated. Stu and his wife Barbara, both founders, have provided me with every bit of support I have needed, as has the associated community. If you’re in the market to adopt a race rescue greyhound, I cannot recommend them more.

 
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Enchanted forest

21 Nov

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This time last year I had just turned 44 and I wanted so badly for everything to change. I had no idea where to start or what needed to happen so I moved on and forward, like the adventurer that I am, trusting that it would. I spent the last 365 days taking baby steps daily to alter my course. Today I can look back and am proud of where I came from. I look forward and know the path is good. It wasn’t easy, most necessary things aren’t.

I had been feeling a little like this:

Yes, that really is me, dressed as BabyDoll for Halloween. What else could I do with new braces but have fun with it?

Through the turmoil, I found my peace regularly in the woods by my house. I’ve run, hiked and walked them regularly for several years now. I have spent hours daydreaming about my future, crying about sick friends, running long and hard and pushing myself to the limit. It is therefore befitting that I recently had a photo shoot in my enchanted forest right before my 45th birthday. I’m still moving forward, and still celebrating changes.

See you soon!

xo, f

{ photos: }

These photos were beautifully shot with film by Vanessa Solis of Vade Photography in Redwood Park, in Oakland, CA.

{ deets: }

Red blouse/Old Navy, royal blue pants/Urban Outfitters, scarf/thrifted, hand-carved earrings/Braindrops, beaded necklace/Anthropologie.

 
 

Looking good and being practical

20 Aug

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When I first started running about 10 years ago, the only real gear I owned were proper running shoes. I asked for them for my birthday. At least I had my priorities straight. But seriously people, heavyweight track pants? Long-sleeve cotton t-shirts? It’s no wonder I overheated regularly, though I’m sure having old ladies pass me up had nothing to do with it.

Thankfully, things have changed a lot. Old ladies no longer pass me up and I’ve upgraded my wardrobe to reflect my evolving athletic needs, comfort and style. Yes, style! Just because I’m going to get my blood pumping doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to oversized baggy t-shirts and frumpy shorts. Not only does it not look good at all, it’s not practical.

I need my clothes to breathe well and move with me. Call me demanding but I don’t want seams to chafe, I want small discreet pockets for the most necessary items, I want to be able to wash these garments hundreds of time without showing signs of wear and tear. Oh, right, and I want all this to look fabulous. Enter Lululemon. We go back a couple years, I’m still running in the first pants I bought. Both pairs look practically new. You just can’t argue with quality and comfort.

lululemon purple shirt, black marathon running skirt

I recently completed the SF Marathon, it was my first full. I’ll admit it was not my best run, I got a stress fracture and IT band injury in my right knee at mile 12. With sheer determination, and perhaps a tiny dose of poor judgment, I hobbled my way to the finish line anyway. I’m proud to have completed it, injury and time notwithstanding. Thankfully, my outfit didn’t give up on me, either.

The running skirt with built-in shorts was perfectly cute. The shorts stayed put, never riding up or down. I thought there might be a chance of getting chaffed on the inner thighs, it was never a problem. The waistband held and didn’t shift, the pockets on the outer thighs of the shorts held a couple gels so nicely that I almost forgot about them. The shirt breathed more easily than I did at times and the headband stayed put.

I can’t wait for my knee to heal so I can run again. In that cute skirt, of course.

xo, f

 

{ deets: }

Purple shirt, black 7-pocket running skirt, headband/Lululemon.

 
 

The simplest things

20 Mar

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Daily outfit wearing blue lace top, red pants, floral Tom's

Daily outfit wearing blue lace top, red pants, floral Tom's

Bee ring with red crystals

{ personal: }

This outfit makes me happy. Very happy. There’s more to it than meets the eye. In fact, just standing next to my Icelandic poppies makes this outfit even better. Poppies and calla lilies are my two most favorite flowers. I grow both in my garden. Instant happiness. Memories are made from everything that touches and leaves a story. Head to toe, this outfit has a complete tale to tell.

The necklace I’m wearing was given to me by a former co-worker as a birthday gift. Her sister hand-made the glass beads, she made the necklace. I think of them both fondly every time I wear it. The watch was a gift from my ex mother-in-law, I think of her generosity, wicked sense of humor and love of cats every time I wear it. The bee ring is another nod to my connection to the outdoors and all the creatures within it. I’ve never been afraid of critters and take great pleasure in the time I spend hiking, camping or running. The blue lace top was a pleasant treat when I was issued a store credit for a defective pair of pants. The floral slip-on shoes are Tom’s. Happiness for my feet. I”m a big fan of Tom’s and like being able to participate in improving others’ lives, especially when it’s been made so easy to do.

The red pants I bought in Spain. They’re just hot. You can’t argue with that.

{ deets: }

Red pants/Zara, blue lace top/Anthropologie, taupe tank top/Nordstrom’s, necklace/gifted, vintage Gucci watch/gifted, bee ring/Jewelmint.com, floral slip-ons/Tom’s.

{ last note: }

You might have noticed my Google Friend Connect widget has been taken down. I found out that Google is discontinuing this product soon, I figured I might as well get used to no longer relying on it. There are still a variety of ways to subscribe to updates for this blog. In the meantime, I’d be delighted if you left me your url in the comment box, I’ll do my best to visit.

xo, f

 
 

The necessity of reinvention

05 Feb

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daily outfit wearing red, grey, black vintage sweater dress, fishnets and over-the-knee boots

daily outfit wearing red, grey, black vintage sweater dress, fishnets and over-the-knee boots

{ personal: }

Mid-life crisis. There, I said it. I wouldn’t think twice about going to a dealership and driving off in a red hot Porsche right now. (Make it a 911 Turbo S, please.) But this isn’t a mid-life crisis and all I’ve done is get a new tattoo and color my hair differently in the past few months. It’s part of my evolution; the constant reinvention. What was wrong with the previous version of me? Absolutely nothing. But like anything, regardless of my conscious intervention, everything will change. I’d rather put up my sail and see where the wind takes me with some level of awareness and determination than to scramble unprepared.

I recently wrote about aging and what I plan to do about it. Here’s another tip for you: keep evolving. Stay fresh. Do something new. You don’t have to be as dramatic as me and get a tattoo, it wasn’t nearly the big deal I played it up to be since I happen to have six others. But you, take a different way home and see something new. Say hi to someone you don’t usually talk to. This is how life happens, how we make new friends and broaden our perspective. It makes life fun and keeps us interesting.

I can look back on any point in time in my life with incredible detail based on the following information: What music I was listening to, what my hair looked like and what I was wearing. You may not think you’re saying much with the way you dress but you are making a statement every single day. So have fun with it. Or be serious. Or be flirty. Spruce yourself up, or just take it down a notch. The point is that we need to be dressed every day. Most of us, at least. Since it has to be done and is not all that negotiable, half the work has been done for you. And I know you. You already own clothes. So put them together differently one day. Mix and match. Surprise yourself. Evolve.

It’s a tiny step, and perhaps you’re ready for something much larger but I expect this: One small change leads to another. One rewarding adventure, (yes! Even in the form of a pair of colored tights instead of the usual black) just changed your course. We have to evolve. I know it’s comfortable right here where you’re standing but everything around you will change and it’s much easier to move with it than to resist.

A friend of mine coaches women to live their abundant life to their fullest. “…step into being unapologetically radiant, switched on, confident…” she says. This woman is after my own heart. How can you not let yourself be seduced by such beautiful words? I want to be radiant! It takes work, just so you know. I often wake up ready to pull a “That Girl” moment but the minutiae of being alive and having to function as a responsible woman with a full-time career usually saps the last drop from me. Yet, I’m still here, writing. Albeit, I post less often these days but that’s fine. I’m still doing it and it feels great. And I’m proud of what I’m doing. In fact, you might say I feel a little radiant.

You may not think there’s a correlation between taking sartorial chances and writing this today, right now, but there are. Fifteen months ago I had no clue I would have a blog, that I would take myself on this rewarding journey. It all started with a harmless Facebook status update from woman I had just met participating in Kendi’s 30 for 30 remix challenge. The rest is history. I’ll rewind a little.

I took a chance. I decided that I had nothing to lose by joining my new friend in this challenge. In fact, I had nothing to lose by making a new friend. And I was right. Enthusiasm, almost giddiness, took over my spare time. I took pictures every day, I found blogs that inspired me in every possible way. I wrote. I gave myself permission to be more creative with my outfits because I was participating in something; there are times when it’s easier to have an excuse. I had a reason and a purpose with my invisible army of women doing this around the country to back me up. I felt braver. I was having fun again.

It would be fair to say that in my evolution I came full circle. Over the years I had started to lose the light-heartedness and whimsy that I had always associated with fashion. Not only did it return, but this was the next version of it. In no time at all, something even more interesting happened. The confidence I had in taking chances with my outfits carried over to other aspects of my life. Believe it or not, this is exactly how it happens.

This is my journey, it’s how I am evolving. One thing leading to another. Tell me, what little change have you planned for yourself today? Because taking one small step is how it all starts.

{ deets: }

Vintage red, black and grey sweater dress/eBay, fishnets/unknown, black belt/Dress Barn, black snakeskin patterned boots/Kelsi Dagger, feather necklace/JewelMint, vintage Gucci watch/gifted.

{ last note: }

You might have noticed my Google Friend Connect widget has been taken down. I found out that Google is discontinuing this product soon, I figured I might as well get used to no longer relying on it. There are still a variety of ways to subscribe to updates for this blog. In the meantime, I’d be delighted if you left me your url in the comment box, I’ll do my best to visit.

xo, f