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OTS Again


Happy belated Father's Day to all of you dads! Just kidding. I am positive that there are no dads reading this. On that note, though, my family did have a lovely holiday yesterday. I made guacamole, my brother brought beer, and we all made s'mores. My dad seemed super happy, which is really all that matters. I'm very close with my dad, so it's always nice to see him in such a good mood.

As for this outfit, I really don't have much to say about it, but I do love it. I kind of threw it together on a whim, and it turned out better than expecting. I'm still absolutely loving off the shoulder tops, so I'm wearing them as much possible. I can't get enough of the neck scarf trend, and now I just want to wear them with every outfit. Would that be weird? Let's hope not because it's happening.

I'm going to Disneyland again tomorrow night, and I'm crazy excited about going all the time now. It was so much fun being back in the parks last week, and I love that having a pass means that I don't have to try to cram everything in each time. Last week we didn't go on many rides at all and instead just walked around and ate, which was perfect. Because I grew up so close, there's something about Disney that just always like home. 

Pinata


Oh man, the Memorial Day sales got me. Part of my closet redo/mission to feel better about my style has included stocking my wardrobe with novelty print dresses. Why? Because novelty print dresses are true happiness. This pinata print one from Lindy Bop is exactly that. I knew that the recent Lindy Bop dress I wore on here wouldn't be my last from the brand, but it really didn't take me long to get another. This dress was on sale about a day after I posted that last one, and I couldn't resist. I'm pretty sure most of my posts are about me trying to justify my purchases, so if you're still reading at this point, thanks for humoring me. 

I'm keeping this short so that I can go to bed early. I'm going to Disneyland after work tomorrow with my friend Casey, and I am crazy excited. It's been too long, and you can look forward to plenty of photos this time and all future times.

Pineapples


I'm going to be honest with you here. I'm not really paying attention to what I'm writing because I'm watching the new season of Orange Is the New Black while I'm putting this post together. I've haven't exactly been loving the past few seasons, and I'm not sure how I feel about this new one, but I can't look away. So forgive me if this isn't the most eloquent post.

Why pay attention the writing anyway when this dress does all the talking? I took advantage of Modcloth's Memorial Day sale (as well as possibly a few others...) and finally got my hands on this pineapple print dress. Emily and Fin's newest collection is seriously the cutest, and I have my eyes on a few other pieces as well. I ended up stopping at my favorite thrift store, Saver's, on Saturday and picked up this cardigan, which will probably be making plenty of appearances soon. This may just be my new favorite outfit.

Other than a Saver's trip, this weekend was pretty uneventful, but nice. Some friends and I had a movie night on Friday night, and we had dinner with Jon's parents on Saturday night. The most exciting thing to happen, though, is that my work treated me to a Disneyland pass! I've been wanting one for ages, and my whole family is getting them so I can't thank my bosses enough. Despite the fact that I live right around the corner from Disney, I actually haven't been in three years. Those tickets are expensive! I'm so excited to start going all the time now. Well, as much as my pass allows. There are a ton of blackout days, so I might not be going all the time, per say. But hey, better than nothing.

Feel Good, Dress Better


If you're anything like me, you have a long list of bloggers/Instagrammers who you love, and then a handful who you essentially stalk and spend a borderline creepy amount of time looking at. Nicole from Writes Likes a Girl falls into the latter for me. While I'm guilty of not reading nearly as many blogs as I used, Writes Like a Girl is one of the few of which I still read every post. Nicole is such a captivating writer, funny, relatable, and has essentially my ideal closet, and I feel so lucky that I've been able to connect with her through the Internet. I've been on the edge of my seat waiting for her style workbook to come out, and I somehow managed to snag an advanced copy. I'm so excited to share with you a few of my takeaways from it! 

If you somehow don't obsess over Nicole's updates like I do and are unfamiliar with her workbook, Feel Good, Dress Better is a comprehensive guide to transforming your closet to better reflect your personal style. Filled with tips and worksheets, the guide is a helpful way to start looking at your closet as an extension of how you feel. I always stay away from style guide books because most present a set of rules that are impractical and don't take personal style and preferences into account. Feel Good, Dress Better is more about using your clothing for self-expression, body positivity, and confidence. This honestly could not have come at a better time for me, as I've mentioned that I've been doing a lot of thinking about this. I've been struggling with defining my style, gaining weight, and spending an obscene amount of time on Instagram comparing myself to others. Some days I feel like I'm letting people down if I'm not "on-brand" and wearing all thrifted clothes. Other times I think that I look like I'm trying too hard by dressing in a vintage style. I also find myself wanting to define my style by who I follow and building my closet around what will get me close enough to looking like them. But what I've finally decided doing lately is just saying: fuck it. I'm going to wear what makes me happy. Feel Good, Dress Better's closet cleanout section proved to be a huge help in this. I started getting rid of clothes that I don't feel good in or don't fit (which meant being more honest with myself about my weight gain). I stopped saying that certain trends weren't for me or being worried that people were judging me for anything, and I've started buying things that make me happy. 

In this process, I've been wondering how I define my style. It hasn't exactly strayed far from what I've always worn, but I've felt so much more confident in what I've been putting on lately. Feel Good, Dress Better has a great section on creating your personal style ID that proved helpful. I took a list at Nicole's word bank and chose a few that I felt like I identified with: colorful, consistent, feminine, modern, and vintage. To sum it up: colorfully feminine with a vintage-inspired twist. In all honesty, choosing a style ID felt so silly at first (why do I even need to define it?), but actually has really helped me think about it while I'm shopping. Does this fit with my style ID? also translates to will I actually wear this? or will I feel like myself and/or confident in this? 

More thoughts below the jump!

Dogs and Cats


Phew, what a weekend! It feels like it was a crazy busy one, but in reality, most of it was spent relaxing and doing nothing. I did go to a wedding on a Saturday night, which was the same night that two of my very best friends got engaged, so one could see why it felt like a whirlwind. My parents' friend, who also happens to be my old neighbor and my friend's mom, got married, and it was lovely. I grew up a few doors down from my friend Kylie (we figured out that we've been friends for 18 years) so I always felt like part of her family and she was part of mine. Her mom's wedding was at a winery in Temecula, so obviously it was gorgeous. Happy people, free wine, and my oldest friend - what more could you ask for? 

...well, finding out about two other friends getting engaged could do the trick. They haven't officially announced it yet so I should probably be considerate and not go into detail (even though I'm positive the only person reading this who knows them is, well, one of them. Hi, Copy Chief). Basically, all that you need to know is that my heart is so full of joy and I can't contain my happiness at knowing that two of the best people I've ever known are getting married to each other. I'm worried that I'm already being overbearing and annoying, but when your best friend gets engaged, what else are you supposed to do? Probably give them some space, but whatever. That's just not my style.

On to more important things: this dress. This dress, you guys. I'm not convinced that it's legal for something this adorable to exist. The silhouette itself would be perfect enough, but puppies in baskets? I can't handle it. I got it while it was on flash sale from Dangerfield, and I still can't believe at how cheap I scored it for. I don't have any dog pins yet, but I thought it still felt appropriate to wear my cat pin with it. I wore this to celebrate my brother's birthday yesterday, and while my niece did point out that I had puppies on my dress, she wasn't nearly as excited as I was hoping she'd be. Psh, kids these days.

Self Love Club


I am so excited to share that I officially an ambassador for Heartman Clothes! I found Heartman through Instagram a little while ago, and I was immediately in love with the brand when I learned that they donate proceeds from all of their items to worthy organizations. I included Heartman in my Guide to Makers Who Donate Money, and I've been following along with them ever since. I don't usually enter ambassador searches, but I really love the shirts Heartman makes, so I decided to give it a shot. Turns out, the love was mutual! I'm pumped to get to be part of the team and share more with you all.

I had such a hard time choosing my first shirt, but I ultimately had to go with the Self Love Club tee. I feel passionately about all of the causes that Heartman donates to, but it felt appropriate to go with something that represents confidence, body image, and feminism. 10% of the proceeds goes to I AM THAT GIRL, an organization that helps girls with self-doubt and provides a safe space and honest conversation. I'm definitely guilty of thinking of "adult" issues when it comes to feminism (like the wage gap, abortion, etc.) that it gets easy to forget that feminism has to start early. You can read more about I AM THAT GIRL here and donate directly here

You can also get 15% off at Heartman Clothes with the code ELANA15. Get yourself a cute tee that does some good!

Rainbow Stripes


Is there anything better than this dress? I posted a picture of it on Instagram that didn't show it in full, and I probably got more comments and messages asking about than I have about any other dress I own. I ended up browsing eShakti last month and somehow found three dresses in my cart. I'm really excited about all of them, but this is by far the best one (you can find it here). I mean, you can't really blame me. I've been doing a lot of closet cleanout (I still have some stuff up on my Poshmark!) and focusing on shopping smarter lately. I've actually been doing a lot of reflection on this in general. There will be a longer post coming soon (I mean it!), but basically, I've been really looking into what clothes make me happy. I think we're all guilty of overthinking things, and I've definitely been worried about liking things just because they're trendy or what I see a lot of people wearing on Instagram. It's impossible not to worry about these things, but I've decided to just not care. Yes, I've been more inspired to dress more colorfully because that's what I see on Instagram all of the time, but it's understandable that that's where I get my inspiration from now. The reason why those people who I follow inspire me is because they look like they're having fun with their style, and that's how I want to feel. Ever since I started looking for more colorful pieces, fun prints, and more vintage-inspired pieces, I've felt so much happier and comfortable in what I've been wearing. And that's what clothing should be about.

My style may be getting louder (and who knows, maybe more pin-up inspired in the future?), but it certainly hasn't changed that much. Case in point, this dress definitely needs no accessories, but I still had to put a Peter Pan collar under it. Some things will never change.