Featured Slider

The 4 Hardest Things About Wedding Planning For Me

If I'm being honest, I wrote most of this post about five or six months ago. I wrote it as an outlet for my frustrations with the hardest parts of wedding planning for me, but I decided not to publish it because, while they're all valid, everything was manageable and I was worried about coming across as whining or complaining about everything. As much as these are all true, the planning has mostly been a joy so I didn't want that to be overshadowed by the things I've struggled with.

That said, reading this back over, I'm still feeling these things so I wanted to share. All of these are things I wasn't really expecting to struggle with, unlike the typical big decisions that come with their own baggage (like setting a budget and choosing a venue). Rather, these are the internal struggles that I've been dealing with that no one warned me about.

We're now two months away from the big day and some of these feelings have subsided a bit, but still, here they are:

(This outfit is unrelated, but I need some sort of photos to accompany my complaints)

2019 in Review

I was going to say something cliche about how quickly this year went by, but the more I think about it, it actually didn't for me. This year was eventful, to say the least, so many of the things that happened at the beginning of the year feel like they happened ages ago. However, when I say that this year felt long, I mean that in a good way. I had some huge life events and as always, did a lot of personal growth. I did a lot of thinking about what I want out of my career long-term, had a lot of self-awareness regarding some untreated anxiety, and did a lot of learning and growing with Jon as a couple. And of course, throughout all of this, I've been planning a wedding. It's been stressful, for sure, but a lot of my highlights include the planning process. It's been an incredibly exciting time, and I'm even okay with the stressful bits.

So as I do every year, enjoy my favorite outfits of year along with my personal highlights. As always, I also threw in my pop culture highlights. Enjoy!

Personal highlights:

  • Got engaged! I started the year with this piece of news (it happened at the end of January), and it goes without saying that this was the biggest thing to happen to me this year.
  • Celebrated four years with Jon (and coming up on five now)
  • Got a promotion and a raise
  • Turned 27
  • Went to the Parks and Recreation 10 year reunion
  • Was lucky enough to attend the premiere of Toy Story 4 (and saw celebs like Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, and more in person!)
  • Went to Napa for a business trip
  • Made a couple of trips to San Diego
  • Went to two Dapper Days
  • Had my last Disneyland trips before my pass expired
  • Had an amazing engagement party
  • Planned (most of) a wedding. Almost there!
  • Met Hilary of The Cutie Life in person and did Hello Kitty karaoke
  • Started Goddess Directory, a directory of women-owned independently owned shops. Through this, I got to interview a ton of amazing women about their businesses
  • Started I'm Dead Inside, a brand full of cute clothes and knick-knacks with dark phrases
  • Got to see my best friend Jenn during her first trip to California + take her to all of my favorite spots/introduce her to all my friends
  • Okay, more wedding planning. Each thing felt like a huge feat, but one biggest highlights was going wedding dress shopping with most of the important women in my life
  • Celebrated 7 years of blogging - even though I only kept it up every so often
  • Went to my first Pride parade
  • Had lots of adventures with Alyssa, including vintage shopping, photoshoots, and matching our outfits. 
  • Went to Vegas for my brother's 40th birthday...and just went back with family
  • Started wearing earrings. Yes, this IS a highlight.
  • Went to Pop-Up Disney
  • Visited the Neon Museum in Vegas this past weekend and got to see the Tim Burton exhibit there

Dapper Day Fall 2019

Oh yes, it's that time - another Dapper Day recap! This the fifth Dapper Day I've attended, and while I don't necessarily have a ton to share about this one, I really like that I can look back through my blog and see every one of my Dapper Days (both the experience and the outfit) documented. 

First, let's talk about the outfit for this one. As with every Dapper Day, it was a STRUGGLE. First, I ordered a dress from a vintage seller and it was an ordeal. Long story short, the dress was both damaged and didn't fit, so that was a no-go. Then, I ordered a dress off of Unique Vintage. I absolutely love it, but it didn't fit quite right and was a little baggy. I had every intention of just making it work, but after I put it on in the morning, I just didn't feel good in it. Dapper Day can be a lot of pressure on people, but it was less about impressing anyone and more about just feeling my best. I own a lot of vintage that I don't wear often, so I dug through my closet to see if I could find anything better, and I honestly put this outfit together maybe 20 minutes before my friends got to my apartment. It worked out because I used most of the accessories I had planned for my original outfit so it wasn't TOO last-minute. Both this top and skirt are really special vintage pieces to me, and I ended up being happier that I could break them out for this. 

(Almost) 31 Days of Halloween

Happy Halloween! It's been a hot minute since I last wrote a blog post, but I shared nothing but Halloween looks on Instagram all October so I wanted to give a little bit more detail as to how I did it. I've never been the biggest Halloween fan, but the past couple of years I've started to dip my toes into getting excited about the season. This year, my girl Alyssa decided to do 31 days of Halloween outfits, and since we take most of our outfit pictures together, I decided (with her help) to go along with the theme this month as well. I actually found it extremely inspiring to stick to a theme for the month. Even though I still had the question of "what do I wear?", it really narrowed it down. I think I want to start doing more theme months, so I'll be doing all fall looks in November and all Christmas looks in December.

My hesitance toward Halloween looks previously has been that I've found it hard to justify spending money on items that I can only wear for a month. I still bought some new pieces for October, but here's how I did it on a budget:

  • Bought fall items that I could easily style for Halloween, but also wear outside of the spooky season (the outfit above is a good example).
  • Used anything black, white, orange, green, and purple that I owned. 
  • Bought affordable accessories (like earrings and pins) that could make outfits more Halloween-friendly, but wouldn't break the bank. I bought most of these from small, women-owned shops like Femme de Bloom, Em and Sprout, and Mint Julep Maven.
  • Borrowed items from Alyssa. I recognize that I'm fortunate to have such a stylish and generous friend who wears the same size as me and has seemingly unlimited Halloween goodies, so this tip isn't for everyone. But still, sharing items with friends can apply to anyone!
You can see all of my Halloween looks on my Instagram, but here's some of my favorites (so...most of them) and details on the outfits.

School Spirit

I'm back with another Karina Dresses piece! As I mentioned last time, I'm obsessed with this brand and how seriously comfortably these dresses are. Karina Dresses just released their new Style Academy collection, and I had such a hard time choosing which dress I wanted. I'm happy that I ended up getting the Ruby in Pep Rally though. As I've talked about before, I have a few of the Ruby sleeveless dresses, which are my absolute favorites. I wanted to try something with sleeves this time, and I loved that this one is the same flattering shape as the sleeveless one, but more suited for fall. 

Granted, it's still 90 degrees in SoCal, but you better believe that I'll be throwing this on all the time once it starts cooling down. Luckily, the fabric is still lightweight and breathable so it's not too much of stretch to wear it in the meantime. As with last time, I sized down from my usual size large and got this dress in a S/M. It's super stretchy so sizing down works great for me. 

Other than trying to survive in the heat I've been...well, that's really what I've doing for the most part. Jon and I have been trying to stay cool as much as possible, which mostly involves sitting by the fan and watching TV (typical). More importantly, though, if you missed it, I launched a new site! Goddess Directory is a directory of women-owned independent shops, which I created as a resource for people to find as many as possible in one place. The site also has a blog, and I've been sharing interviews with some of my favorite women-owned shops. I'm adding new shops and brands to it constantly, and I can't wait to grow it. I hope you'll check it out and follow along!

Brimfield with Karina Dresses

Have you ever found a dress you love so much that you have in not one, not two, but three different prints?

...just me?

Karina Dresses just launched their new Brimfield collection today, and oh man, it's all so cute. I've worn this Ruby faux wrap dress in two different prints prior to this, but I just couldn't resist adding the new Meadow print to my collection. I sincerely love supporting Karina Dresses because, for starters, their dresses are some of the most comfortable I've ever owned (plus they don't wrinkle). But more importantly, it's a small, woman-run business that makes all items in the US. I've been fortunate enough to work with them a few times now, and every time I wear one of their dresses, I just want more. 

Now, let's talk sizing. I'm typically a size large or size 10, and admittedly I've started buying some things in an XL/12 lately (no shame in that - the best wedding diet is the one that doesn't exist). Most of my Karina Dresses are in a size M/L, but when I got my last dress from them, it was sold out in that size so I decided to try a S/M. Surprisingly, I actually love the fit of the smaller size! I've found that necklines of the faux wrap M/L dresses I have tend to roll and need to be adjusted, but this S/M is actually perfect. All of the dresses are extremely stretchy, so there's some wiggle room with sizing. 

Ready for Fall with Mata Traders

We love a brand that does some good. 

I've talked before how much I love Mata Traders, so I was so excited to work with them again to share one of my favorite pieces from their new fall line. In case you're unaware, Mata Traders is a fair trade company that partners with organizations in India and Nepal to create gorgeous handmade clothing and jewelry. The company focuses on gender equality and women empowerment (I highly recommend reading their story here), so it makes sense that all of their pieces are flattering and comfortable, in addition to being cute. 

It's definitely a little too hot to be wearing sleeves right now, but I didn't want to let that stop me from wearing this adorable dress. I'm obviously a sucker for anything rainbow and striped, so I was immediately drawn to this multi-colored dress. It's so comfortable and it has pockets - which I am required by law to mention any time a dress I wear has them. 

Because I wear so so much vintage and reproduction, I'm always trying to find pieces that are a bit more comfortable and easy to throw on for work without sacrificing my personal style. This dress is definitely one of those pieces. I had fun styling it up with some chunky earrings and a straw bag here, but I also know that I can wear it with little no accessories on a day when I'm running late, and I'll still feel good in it.