fashion, Style

Crushing on: Universal Standard

May 15, 2017

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A couple of weeks ago, Cup of Jo featured Ashley Ford on their ‘Week of Outfits‘ post and I just fell in love. Ashley seems like an all-around cool, smart, inspired woman and it was great to find her through Cup of Jo.

Her outfits were bomb and she introduced me to Universal Standard, which is a new-to-me website of well-made basics for ladies in the 10+ size range. They have a starter kit of coordinated basics that I’m currently saving up for right now. Just wanted to share because it seems legit, even if it’s a little more than I care to spend for clothes. If they’re well-made, I think it’s worth it. Have you tried them? How did you find their clothes? I’ll be sure to let you know if I pull the trigger on the start kit!

adventure, california, deep thoughts, oaklandish

Home

May 8, 2017

oakland hills boomer

We up and moved. Hightailed it out of Modesto and followed our dreams. We live in Oakland now and we’re over-the-moon excited about the new life we’re building together. We can see the future and it looks so bright. We make big sacrifices for this new life every single day. I drive three hours round trip every day to get to work, Keith drives two hours, we work different schedules so we only see each other on the weekend, we pay an exorbitant amount of rent each month, we no longer have a yard so we walk rounds and rounds in the neighborhood so the pups can do their business.

Even still. Even still, we’re so much happier than we were in our old lives in Modesto.

I wish I could go back five years and shake myself so hard, reprimand myself for hiding in fear of trying something new. I wish I could go back and force myself to listen to my gut that was leading me here. I wouldn’t have lost so much time. I know the years I spent in Modesto taught me many things, but god I wish I could get that time back. Seven whole years of psyching myself up every day to be happy. I get a pit in my stomach when I go back to that place, so I’m not going to go there right now and upset myself again.

I try not to be preachy in this space, but please, please learn from my mistake and the years I squandered talking myself into something that I knew beyond a shadow of doubt wasn’t right for me. Life is so, so short. Your gut talks to you for a specific reason. Please listen.  You’re the only person who knows what’s right for you and you’re the only one who can make it happen for yourself. When you read these words, your gut is probably talking to you and whispering a reminder of what your own heart wants. Follow it. Make it happen. It’s the most beautiful thing to feel your own soul in alignment. It’s priceless and worth every sacrifice.

Now that we’re here, my heart is reminding me of this space and the dreams I have to pursue my writing and a creative life. So, I’m listening and showing up.

Here I am. Let’s make it happen.

fashion, Style

GabiFresh x Swimsuits For All

January 12, 2017

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Yesterday’s olive post reminded me of the goodness that is Gabi’s latest line with Swimsuits For All.The new line from Gabi launched alongside a campaign titled ‘New Year, Same You‘, which I thought was a refreshing pause for the beginning of the year. I felt annoyed with the New Year’s Resolutions I read around the web this January. So many of us are resolving to change ourselves into fitter, thinner, healthier versions of ourselves. I’m all for self-improvement, but I think that ‘health’ resolutions are often couched in a social pressure to be thin and perfect in every way, which isn’t helpful in building a strong sense of self-worth independent of cultural beauty pressures and ideals. It’s the first of the year, yes, but we are still the same people we were on December 31st, and I think that’s okay.  It takes me back to when I was younger and resolved to be skinny and the self-hatred I felt back then. It wasn’t healthy and I love that someone is taking a stand against the absurdity of it all.

Anyway, back to the swimsuits. I really love the line. Gabi famously championed the ‘fatkini’, which led to the opportunity for her to make killer, sexy swimwear for plus-sized ladies in partnership with Swimsuits for all. I think this is her third or fourth collection, and it is absolutely beautiful.

See below:

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Hurrah for accessible design for women of all sizes! Check out the full collection here.

fashion, Style

Olive, I love you

January 11, 2017

I went shopping this weekend and nearly everything I snagged was all things olive. Olive leather boots, olive sweater. I already have an awesome olive anorak jacket that is dangerously close to becoming a second skin for me because I wear it so much and I also have my eye on an olive bomber jacket. I thought you all might be on the same olive tip as me, so I gathered some inspiration images for us from the web to ogle at this AM.

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First up is my style queen, Gabi Gregg with absolute olive perfection. I love the tee, the ripped jeans, the perfect jacket and the strappy shoes. Bow down!

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Next is this uber simple tee, black jeans, booties combo. I think I need to add an olive tee to the list. I can’t find the original image source for this one, but please share if you can find it.

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Last, we have a gorgeous olive trench. I’m in love with these long line, open-faced jackets. So damn cute!

Are you on the olive train? What’s your fav way to wear it?

beauty, Style

It’s a 10 Product – Love!

January 3, 2017

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My hairstylist introduced me to It’s a 10 product a while back and I just love it. As a person with thin, highlighted, longer hair, I deal with bad tangles all the time, especially in the winter when all of the shirts with collars come out. This stuff really does all of the ten things it promises and it smells awesome to boot. It lasts and lasts. I just ordered another bottle, which will probably last me about six months with everyday application.

With everyone posting today about their lofty new year’s resolutions, I thought we’d all be happy with an easy product post. :)

intuitive eating

The girl with the heart tattoo

December 29, 2016

heart-tattoo-wrist

A couple of weekends ago, I had a dainty little heart inscribed on my wrist. Such a simple gesture, but it means so much to me. It’s a reminder, a symbol of hope, my own little rebellion.

Loving myself is one of the hardest lessons for me to grasp through my therapy. It’s an ongoing process. I have times where I can be okay with who I am, how I look, what size I wear. Those times are much more frequent these days. I am able to hang out in the mental space of contentment, acceptance and gratefulness for the way I am made. Pure wonder at my good luck to live my amazing life. Other days, often on the days I feel stressed or inadequate in another avenue of life, I spiral into this terrible swirl of hating myself. I’m not moderate with it. I feel embarrassed to even walk around in public because of the way I look. I can’t look in the mirror. I want to stay in bed.

I’ve learned, though, that it’s all in my head, because I am always the same me whether I feel content with how I look or whether I feel ashamed. I don’t really change day to day or week to week. Recognizing that my brain has a pattern of turning on me, I’ve learned ways to short circuit it. I’ll notice a distressing thought pop up, I’ll recognize the way I’m feeling and then I’ll follow-up with a more moderate thought. I’ll keep going back to that moderate thought over and over until my brain breaks free of its pattern of beating me up. Often, that thought is simple: I love myself. I say it because I do love myself in so many ways. I love that I care so deeply for the people in my life. I love that I am thoughtful. I love that I am smart and kind and joyful and hardworking. I love that I keep reaching for the light and good in my life, even when things are really hard.

This simple little tattoo on my wrist is now my constant reminder to hinge my thoughts on love, both for myself and for others. It’s a nod to how far I’ve come on this journey to stronger mental health, a delightful pause to appreciate my growth and to set myself up for success as I continue to work toward being the person I want to be.

home, Style

Basket, baby

December 19, 2016

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I’m totally into the trend of hanging baskets on the wall. As someone who loves collecting receptacles of all sorts, baskets play into my strengths. I’m always buying bowls, baskets, bottles and trays. It’s a compulsion of sorts. I never feel like I have enough beautiful holders of things, even all of the surfaces in my home are covered with them. Now, I’ve found a new use for my baskets: the walls.

I love the modern bohemian vibe that baskets on the walls can add to any space. They are so intricate and unique. They look gorgeous spaced out on the wall or all jumbled together. My mom and I are currently on a basket collecting spree for the new house. She texts me pictures all time from thrift stores with new baskets to add to the collection. It’s going to be sick when it finally comes together. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes occupied with these beautiful images of baskets from around the web.

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Sources: 1, 2, 3

home, Style

The most beautiful house tour

December 14, 2016

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I am absolutely captivated by this house tour that Design Sponge shared this week. Why do I love it so much? Let me count the ways:

First, I am in love with any house that has multiple dogs. I am a dog lover through and through, so the photo of the owner curled up on the couch with his dogs melted my heart. It was such a sweet vignette. As I type this post, my two dogs are snuggled on the couch with me. There is no better feeling. I want five more dogs, but I don’t think Keith will let me.

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Second, I adore this photo of a south-facing window full of plants. I aspire to this level of plantdom in my own home. It’s beautiful and serene and so organic. I am having to hold myself back from rushing out to buy more plants as we speak. I am of the mind that one can never have too many.

Third, there is so much romance to the lifestyle they are living with their urban farm and victorian home renovation. Surely, it is not as glamorous as it seems. The renovation they did was probably a nightmare and I’m sure they get tired of tending to the garden, but they make it seem so beautiful and so worthwhile. My mom, who has taken up gardening in her retirement, tells me that she has never felt as fulfilled as when she saw vegetables growing (and growing!) from a single seed she planted. This post made me question how I’m living my life a bit, leaving me wanting to slow down and savor everything more.

Fourth, one half of the couple is a partner in a flower business, Chicory Florals, and their work is stunning. How awesome would it be to spend your days arranging flowers to the delight of brides everywhere? I couldn’t imagine anything more worthwhile.

Finally, their design essence is so spot on for me. They did a wonderful job of highlighting the bones of their home, but making it feel modern, cozy and fresh. I love their use of color, especially on the walls. They have that ‘it’ factor that is so captivating.

As always, thanks to Design Sponge for sharing and Neal Santos and Andrew Olsen for inviting the internet into their personal space. It was such a delight.

beauty, Style

My go-to perfume: Chanel Chance, eau fraiche

December 14, 2016

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I’m not sure what all to say about this perfume except that I absolutely love it and I feel like I need to share it with you all so that you have it in your life as well. I spritz it on every single day before I leave the house and I often receive compliments on it. It’s a lovely, light fragrance. I bought myself a bottle for my birthday last year and I actually just had to reorder today because my bottle is now bone dry.

Next time you venture into Sephora, be sure to give it and try and let me know what you think.

Do you have a scent you always wear? If so, do share!

intuitive eating

On Enough

December 11, 2016

flowers

One of the hardest things for me as I learn to eat intuitively is to stop at enough. It’s the simplest concept, really. You eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’re full. Ideally, you eat before you get really hungry and you stop before you get really full. If you take action before you get to the ‘really’ stage, it’s easier to listen to your body and do what it wants.

I seem to be fond of getting way, way too hungry. For someone who loves food as much as I do, it’s weird to me that I wait until I’m shaky hungry before I figure out what to feed myself. That starving stage makes me feel a bit food-panicky and my brain shifts into survival mode. When I finally get to food, I feel scared to stop eating. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to listen to my body when it’s had plenty of food if I’ve waited too long to eat.

It helps to stop at enough when I don’t get too hungry before I eat. I don’t have the panicked feeling and I can tune in a bit more to how I’m feeling. I know there’s a precise moment where I’ve gone from ‘this food is fantastic’ to ‘wow, I think I’ve eaten enough for now’. My body will tell me every single time. The problem is that I often willfully ignore my body. I keep going. I eat the other half of the sandwich. I get the second bowl of soup. I practically lick the plate clean. I end up feeling really full and my brain starts to dull a bit. I feel uncomfortable in my pants.

It’s something I’m still working on. I know I’ll never be perfect at stopping at enough, but I hope to be better about it. As I head into this new work week, my goal is to tune in a bit more to my body’s cues. I hope to eat before I get really hungry so that it’s easier for me to stop when I’m full. It’s good for me to work on this. Practicing new skills is the only way to make progress toward the relationship I want to have with food and with my body.

What are you working on with your intuitive eating practice?

image via makelight.com