Posts Tagged ‘burning man’

Back from the burn, part 2

14 Sep

{ personal: }

Daily outfit and style tips, self-portrait in mirror, burning man 2011

Self reflection.

In November it will have been one full year, barring holidays and sick days. I will have been blogging regularly for the first time, seven days in a row at first, now down to three times weekly.

Monday’s pictorial effort barely scratched the surface of what Burning Man is, or does, to one’s soul. It’s full of noise and music and parties and people, it’s hot and dusty and never truly gets quiet. There’s no escape. Worse yet, there’s no schedule. Routine is abandoned and one is left with an unbelievable amount of distractions on one hand and absolutely nothing to do but kill time on the other. The result is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced outside of it.

Last week, I told my husband it was too soon to tell whether I had a good time or what I got out of it. Honestly, I was exhausted. I’d been fighting a persistent virus for six weeks and the resulting sleep awkwardness and depravation from breaking down camp and the subsequent caravan of thirteen camp-mates got the best of me. I had the minimum vim and vigor necessary to perform at work and complete sentences eloquently. Everything else succumbed to exhaustion.

I’m well-rested and have regained my health once more. Simple tasks no longer feel daunting. I pressed my face into the sage in the garden tonight before watering it and breathed in the satisfaction that comes from growing something yourself. Nurturing life. I watered the plants and continued the stream of consciousness that has been playing out it in my mind since this weekend. What is becoming of me? What is becoming of my blog? What do I want? And really, what do I need?

Seven days among friends fussing about with nothing to do but explore and experience gave me the platform to sit with my thoughts. My heightened awareness of everything I experienced is not singular to me, Burning Man provides a unique setting for contemplation. It has destroyed romantic relationships, it has strengthened them. It is what you intend it to be. I had been growing increasingly fidgety with myself and needed to pay attention. What am I feeling when I’m not distracted by the hundreds of emails and tweets and updates I see every day? What does my body feel like when I’m not up against yet another deadline before noon?

My re-entry here at The House in the Clouds has been purposefully gentle. By last week I had grown anxious, overwhelmed and increasingly guilty. Yes, guilty that I haven’t been keeping up on every blog I love to read, guilty that I’m neglecting online friendships, concerned that my presence as a human that desires to do good is being compromised. I decided to sit with these emotions and give them a voice today.

As I get nearer to this blog’s one year anniversary, I’m contemplating what’s next. What’s been working? Writing regularly, my favorite being the more in-depth pieces, reading other blogs that inspire me and draw out a better version of myself for the world to see, publicly committing to giving my creative energy time and space, making friends. What’s not working? Feeling that I might let someone down by not posting regularly, neglecting my personal relationship at times, neglecting my solid running schedule, feeling like I’m behind on everything and not knowing how to catch up.

My husband said to me the other day, “your blog will still be successful even if you only blog once a week as long as your content is good.” I know that, of course. Yet there’s a part of me that feels some obligation to be here, every day, with the unbridled energy of a twenty-two year old. I’m going to be forty-four soon. I’m athletic. I’m married, I have a demanding job and really can no longer get by on five or six hours of sleep. Who is it I’m competing against? Myself, of course.

And why do I feel like I have to compete? It’s primal, really. I’ve always claimed to be an underachieving overachiever. Perhaps I’m not underachieving. Perhaps very few of us can actually do, or appear to do, it all. I know better. I’ve said it before. There’s enough space for each of us to shine. So, how is it that I want to shine? Will I give myself permission to shine or will I worry myself into failure. This is what comes next. I’m inviting you on my journey as I test things out here and there until the fit is just right, until it no longer is and I re-evaluate everything again. Because that’s what life is about, isn’t it? Growing, learning, moving on. Repeat.

I will continue to do what I love doing, the outfits, the style tips, the vignettes of my day. But what else? How will it differ from how things are now? How will my schedule evolve? What more will I bring to the table. This, my friends, is uncharted. You’re welcome to join me as I shake the dust off and move forward.

xo, f


Posted in Personal


Back from the burn

12 Sep

{ personal: }

That’s right, I’m back from Burning Man. While it’s unlike any other life experience and it provides an insurmountable of fun, let no one tell you it’s easy. There’s a ton of prepping involved and just as much effort into settling back in. I must have done at least eight loads of laundry in the last three days. Seven days, two people, two sets of clothes, one for the heat and one for the cold. The back yard is host to two dusty bikes and the remaining five bins that need to be emptied upon which all contents will then be thoroughly washed.

But was it fun? Was it worth it? I’ll let the pictures do the talking. In the meantime, I’m starting to test out the Fall colors.

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing black blazer, pumpkin tights, black flower dress

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing pumpkin tights, black flower dress

I love that the days are still long enough to catch the golden light when I get home from work. I did some gardening this past Sunday for sanity’s sake. I’m standing in front of what used to be a tiny little flower garden less than a year ago. Watch those cannas grow!

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing branch and skull earrings from

I couldn’t resist wearing these earrings from I love the play on nature between the branch and the tiny skull. I can’t resist a little edge amongst the flowers.

{ burning man: }

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

This is just a visual sampling of the landscape and scene. Want to see more? Say the word and I’ll share my flickr album.

{ deets: }

Black flower pattern dress/H&M, pumpkin tights/, black ballet flats/Ecco, dragonfly steampunk necklace/gifted, branch and skull earrings/courtesy of, teal wood cuff/Costa Brava, silver three kitties ring/gifted.


30 for 30, Day 24. Yummy Goodness!

01 Dec
Fearlessly mixing black and brown

However wrong it may be, sometimes, cereal for dessert is just yummy! There, I said it. It’s true and I just had a bowl, (actually, it was a small tea cup.)

Less yummy was the belt. It actually looked so much cuter to remove it and un-tuck the thin blouse and have it peek from under the black t-shirt. Much cuter and more comfortable. Honestly, I take my comfort so seriously that it’s a miracle I’m not running around in sweatpants, circa 1985. Alas, I take my vanity seriously, too.

Another yummy thing is that I got tagged with a Versatile Blogger Award by one most super awesome Rose of Lovely Ladypants McGee. Aaack! An award is an award is an award. Silly or not, I’m excited! I recently discovered her blog and fell in love. She’s got delivery, she’s got a rad style. And she’s nice, too boot. Bear with me, here’s how it works:

1. Thank and link back to who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass it along to 7 other blogs you recently discovered and enjoy
4. Leave your recipients a note telling them you awarded them the award

If you’re my friend on Facebook, you’re well aware that I took part in that “25 things about me” meme three times. That’s seventy-five different things about me. I pretty much have no more secrets. Just kidding! Of course I do, silly. But here are seven (hopefully) new-to-you facts:

1. I’ve been blond three times in my life. My current driver’s license states that I’m blond. I’m not blond.

2. I speak French fluently. Mais oui! My written grammar is not quite up to par, I did not continue with French in school when we moved to the U.S. because I was shy and didn’t like the attention. I’ve since realized I’m not shy at all but I was very awkward. Very, very awkward.

3. When I started running, I couldn’t run more than twenty minutes. I was horribly slow and I panted the whole time. Old ladies used to pass me up, (it’s true!) I also have asthma. I was not a natural runner but I didn’t give up. Slow and steady over time, I built up my condition and no longer even use an inhaler. Now, running approximately a 9 minute mile for an hour is not that big of a deal anymore.

4. My mom used to tease me when I would dress myself as a kid. She used to say I looked like a Christmas tree, (and also like my eccentric grandmother, Mémé.) She was afraid I would never quite become ladylike. It’s a phase I never really outgrew.

5. I had a pop band in my 20′s and we played locally. I still sing all the time and totally love it. In fact, I recorded a song for my best friends’, Telene and Konstantin of Polygroovers. Singing makes me very happy. I hope to record more, (hint, hint.)

6. I love making people laugh. I might consider humiliating myself for the sake of a good laugh. I don’t mind humor at my expense, I’m a ham with no shame. In fact, if I get enough encouragement, I’ll post one of today’s ridiculous outtakes. My head ended really large and my legs really little, like a reptile. I laughed super hard when I first saw it. You might, too.

7. I’m a total gear-head. I’m very outdoorsy and practically have everything piece of gear necessary for hiking, backpacking, camping, snowboarding, running, cycling, cold weather, colder weather, the coldest of weathers and Burning Man. I even have a wetsuit and booties. I love the little bit of surfing I did a few years ago and know that I will do it again. I think the ideal snowboarding conditions is when it’s dumping snow and freezing cold. In fact, I may find myself hiking in the rain this weekend, depending on the weather. It’s ok, I have water-proof gear, too.

The bad news is that I’ve been so busy that I don’t have the time to immediately tag 7 other bloggers. But I will, I’m good that way with promises. To be continued…

Deets: Boyfriend blazer/ Sparkle and Fade, Urban Outfitters, sheer paisley blouse/Laundry, black t-shirt/Michael Stars, sage cargo pants/J Brand, Anthropologie, black hand-carved gingko earrings/Braindrops, brown man-made suede boots/Munro.


Posted in Fashion


30 for 30, day 23. Basketball.

30 Nov
I love gold

Patterns and textures

I’m developing a fondness for basketball. Mind you, I’m not talking about the real sport that is basketball, I’m talking about that special phenomenon that is gym basketball. And I’m not talking about playing, either, I’m talking about watching it.

You see, the treadmills at my gym are placed in several locations. The first option, which I will refer to as the Trauma Viewing Station, is primarily facing the over-sized television monitors featuring a national news station. The second option, which I will refer to as the Testosterone Station, faces the basketball courts.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the impact which the (bad) news has on my running performance is not ideal. My eyes keep darting away from the monitor, yet I get sucked in over and over again by flashing headlines of found body parts and missing children. I almost cried the other day. Like I said, not ideal.

The Testosterone Station, on the other hand, is male primal behavior at its best. I confessed my fascination to my friend Ross last night. There’s a lot of jumping around, grunting and yelling, running back and forth; sometimes they even run into each other. It’s much more entertaining. I’m starting to recognize some of the regulars and developing nicknames for them, such as “Roger.”

Time flies when you’re watching grown men play. I’m very interested in staying healthy, especially given my daily morning chocolate indiscretions. This morning I was out of chocolate, unfortunately. I had to seek comfort elsewhere and found it by means of my gold leather belt.

I initially bought it for a Burning Man costume. It has since been integrated as a sometime key player in my wardrobe. I decided to shoot these photos indoors to feature our vintage raised felt wallpaper which complimented the gold pattern on my blouse. The pictures don’t do it justice. Imagine textured wallpaper. Feel it with your eyes closed. Perfect!

Deets: Cream sweater/Old Navy, Satin blouse/BCBG, grey cropped ankle pants/Express, gold leather belt/unknown, vintage brooch/gifted, black ankle boots/Munro.

Related Trivia: What Austin Powers movie inspired this look?
Unrelated trivia: Can you name the high-performance car in the photo?


Posted in Fashion