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Colorful Life


I owe this entire post (and probably the next few to come) to Jessica from Midwest Muse. She's in town visiting, and not only has she been my excellent photographer this weekend, but she's been the best sounding board for outfit advice. Jessica and I met through blogging four or five years ago (we started Flock Together with each other!), and she's been the person I've gotten to know the best through the Internet. We've been emailing back and forth for years, but we've never gotten the chance to meet in person, despite always talking about it. Finally, Jessica was able to score cheap tickets out here, and like a totally normal person, I invited her to stay with me and picked up a complete stranger from the airport on Friday. 

As expected, it hasn't felt like a weird thing at all. Jessica is exactly like how I expected her to be, which is what you always hope for Internet friends. It feels like we've known each other forever, and it was evident from the moment we met in person that if we lived closer, we'd hang out all of the time. We've spent the past couple of days doing everything I love - walking around Balboa Island, eating a lot of breakfast, trying a ton of coffee shops, and taking cute pictures. We also met up with Erica and Ashley in Burbank for breakfast and vintage shopping, which of course, was the best time. Those girls are seriously so wonderful and fun to hang out with.

I wasn't sure if I'd like these pieces together, but Jessica confirmed my belief that these colors would make for a killer outfit. It was the best opportunity to bust out this incredible colorful clutch from Teluna. I was so excited to find this brand because not only are all of the pieces seriously adorable, but Teluna donates proceeds from every piece to worthy organizations. This Colorful Life clutch is SO fun and supports Reef Check, which focuses on preserving oceans and reefs. I am a huge fan of cute items that also do some good, and this one is no exception. I may need to get all of the Teluna clutches soon.

Seashellls


Hello from Las Vegas! Well, I'm writing this before leaving, but by the time this post goes up, I'll be on my way. I'm going with my work for the Magic tradeshow, and it'll be first time at the show. I'm so excited to walk the floor and see some of my favorite brands and retailers. Plus, my bosses are taking us out to dinner and to a show, which will no doubt be a great time. We're seeing Love, which I actually saw when I was in Vegas in December, but it was so amazing that I don't mind seeing it a second time one bit.

As for this outfit, isn't it perfect? I nabbed this skirt in the big 50% off sale at Collectif, and I've been waiting weeks for it to come in. I just got it in on Saturday immediately wore it on Sunday. It's my first piece from Collectif (although I got a few in this order), and that subtle seashell print is just too good. Jon and I decided to look for somewhere fun to go that would also make for a good place to take pictures, and we ended up going to the Japanese Gardens at Cal State Long Beach since it's only 20 minutes from us and neither of us had ever been. Well, it ended up being kind of a bust. It was beautiful, but it was so small and full of people that it took us only mere minutes to walk around it. It would have been impossible to take outfit pictures there with all of the people, so we ended up walking around the campus a little bit until we found this great simple wall in some shade. Better than nothing!

Courage and Succulents


I've had this dress sitting in my closet for three weeks before I finally worked up the confidence to wear it this past weekend. It seems a little silly considering it's really not that different than the dresses I usually wear, but in a weird way, it represented an insecurity of mine. The dress is by Voodoo Vixen, one of the brands that pinup bloggers wear that I usually can't afford. It was a fraction of the usual price on Zulily last month, and I decided to try it out. Other than too long straps (a common short girl issue of mine that I usually fix with some janky safety pin work), it fits great and is absolutely beautiful. So why was I afraid to wear it?

As I follow more and more pinup and vintage bloggers, it's only natural that my style would start to shift that way. Until now, though, I've stayed away from brands like Pinup Girl and Bernie Dexter, and I've only recently started finding out that I could afford things from brands like Lindy Bop and Collectif. I've been incorporating some of the styles I always see into my wardrobe, but I've yet to go full pinup. I'm not necessarily sure if I want to, but I've been nervous that once I start shopping with more these brands and going full out with the styles, I would lose my identity in a way. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the girls on Instagram who I see wearing these items. There's a reason why I follow so many. That said, I've been worried that if I did too, I would come across as trying too hard to be like them and I'd just end up looking like everyone else. That's not even to mention that I've always felt that pinup style came with an amount of confidence that I just have never felt like I possess. The hair, the poses, the way they look like they can command a room...that's just not me.

I don't think there's a way for those insecurities to ever fully go away, at least not overnight, but I'm proud to say that even though I still worry about what people think (it's almost impossible not to in this Instagram age), I still bought and wore the dress. And you know what? I felt damn good in it. Sure, it's not the most pinup item I could try and it's really not too different from my other dresses, but it's a step in that direction. Maybe I'll invest in a petticoat and a sweetheart top, maybe I won't. Either way, I'm still taking baby steps to figure out what I really like vs. what is trendy, and wearing what I want regardless of my insecurities. I know I've mentioned this thought process of mine before, and if you read regularly, it's possible that this is a little redundant. I suppose this is more of a "style journey update" of sorts. 

There's probably a lot more to be said regarding what Instagram does to our self esteem, but that's a longer post for another day. For now, I'm excited to see how my style evolves. 

Etsy Favorites #60 - Game of Thrones Edition

It's been a while since I've shared my current Etsy Favorites, and it's been even longer since I've done a TV themed edition. With Game of Thrones back in its penultimate season and a new episode airing tonight, I figured this was the perfect opportuntiy to put together a list of some of my absolute favorite GoT picks. Of course, I could have included countless other great items so if you have your own GoT recommendations, let me know in the comments! Here's what I have my eye on currently:

*Some out of context spoilers ahead
This A Girl Has No Name T-shirt from Les Fugitives for days when you want to remain faceless

Meadow


Oops, I certainly didn't mean to take a week off of blogging. I've still been taking outfit pictures and posting on Instagram, but work has been so busy that I've been crashing early every night. I couldn't keep up that, though, because this Apricity dress deserves a full post. As you know, I've been a huge fan of Apricity since its inception, and I've been fortunate enough to be in touch with Eileen, the brand's designer and founder. When I last talked to her a couple of months ago, she mentioned some new designs, so I've been eager to see what she was talking about. She sent me photos of her new design, the Meadow, early last week, and I couldn't believe how perfect it was. 

I'm such a sucker for a dress with a cute back, but being on the bustier side, I can't pull off backless pieces that require going bra-less. This dress is the answer to all of my struggles with its sweet back panel. I have a few other Apricity dresses, all of which I'm in love with, but this one is quite possibly my favorite. It's so lightweight and feminine, and I love how versatile it is. I'm already thinking of a million ways to style it. 

Twenty Five


Why, yes, I did drive to an elementary school on a Sunday with a party hat in hand just to take birthday pictures in front of some colorful walls. That's what you do when you're 25, right? Adult things? Yep, I am indeed 25 today, and I do feel pretty great. I'm not doing too much to celebrate, but I'm fine with that. Jon and I are going to dinner with our best friend Adam tonight and watching Game of Thrones after, and tomorrow we're all getting together with a couple of our other friends to try a rolled ice cream (and ice cream taco!) place near my apartment. I definitely feel like I've outgrown throwing a party or doing something big, so just getting to see a few close friends over food sounds perfect to me. 

Just for fun, here are some differences between my once expectations vs. reality of being a quarter of a century:

  • I'm not "enjoying my 20s" the way I once I thought I would, but I'm definitely enjoying them. I've never been very adventurous or spontaneous, so when I was a teenager, I always thought I'd use my 20s as an excuse to go crazy and do stupid things. I've never felt like that was really me, so I feel pretty good about being happy in my quiet life.
  • On that note, I didn't expect to be settled down with a serious boyfriend. I always thought that I'd finally figure out how to date around and that I'd be casually dating while focusing on my career at 25. NOPE. I'm happily settled and living with Jon, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I was never going to enjoy casually dating, and thank goodness it didn't take me long to figure that out.
  • I AM finally feeling like I'm on the right track in my career like I was hoping I would at this age. I was so afraid that I'd still be in the job I was in a year ago, feeling stuck and behind in my career goals. Over a year later, I'm in a job that I love and just got promoted!
  • I definitely expected to be living outside of Orange County, and while I often do dream of finally moving elsewhere, I'm much more okay with it than I expected to be.
  • Probably the biggest difference is that I prioritize my relationships more that I always said I would. I used to be big on believing that I would be career focused at 25. I actually used to say that I figured that I would break some guy's heart by putting my career first. Yeah, I was dramatic. Fortunately, becoming an adult and being in an adult relationship has made me realize what's important and also how lucky I am to be with someone who supports me in career so that I can have both. I also thought that I would be living somewhere else because I wouldn't care about living far away from my family, but now they're probably the biggest reason why I'm still here, and I'm good with that. What's the point of traveling and living in a new place if I don't have anyone to share it with?
  • No, I am not a famous and successful blogger like I was once hoping to be at this age. I also don't want that anymore. Blogging has been my favorite hobby and I love the process of connecting with my community and growing my following, but I'm okay with not making it my job or being a big success. 
  • I still haven't learned how to use chopsticks. I'm actually pretty embarrassed about this one, but you'd think that I would learned that by now. One day...

If anything, being 25 is much more boring than I once thought it would be, but I think this was all one long way of saying that I like boring. But that's what adulthood is all about, right? Just being boring and being happy with it.

Orange Floral


I don't normally post two days in a row (although remember when I actually did have time to post every day on summer breaks during college??), but I took these photos on Sunday and I honestly couldn't wait. In yet another installment of "things I bought while telling myself that I would stop shopping," I scored this vintage dress on Whurl during Melissa Cripe's closet sale. I've been following Melissa on Instagram for a while now and have been such a huge fan of her style, so I was embarrassingly excited when I saw that she was selling some of her vintage collection. I always look forward to the special closet sales that Sam arranges on Whurl, but it was definitely a bummer that I didn't see anything that would fit in the last few. Luckily, I'm relatively the same size as most of the items Melissa was selling and before I knew what I was doing, this beauty was in my cart when I saw how affordable it was. Sure, it's a tad small and I definitely had to unzip it after eating some biscuits and gravy. But hey, it was worth it.

I also picked up this cute little purse while I was in Illinois. One of my favorite parts of going to college in the tiny town I lived in was the second hand shopping. There are a handful of thrift stores there, but there aren't many people who wear the same style I do, meaning there's little to no competition for the items I like. A vintage furniture and accessories store opened up since I had last been there, and I fell in love with this patent bag and the $10 price tag. I originally got it with the intention of selling it, but it's too good to part with. We all know it would end up in a pile in my room that I would never sell anyway. Might as well keep it and use it forever.