Days Like These

Here we are at Day 11 of unhealthy air (I think? It’s just starting to feel like the new normal and I’m not even really keeping track anymore) and it’s filling me with compassion for all sorts of plights.

brown-dress.jpg
brown-dress.jpg

I still have a roof above my head and food to eat and the basic ability to just put on my N95 mask and go about my business. Sure, by the end of the day my eyes hurt and my head hurts and everyone I talk to is a little bit crabby because their eyes and their heads hurt, too. But what I’m really noticing is how much worse it could be.

Just imagine if my family had narrowly escaped the ferociously fast-moving Camp Fire flames, lost our home, and gained massive financial and emotional burdens in the process. Or just imagine any other number of exponentially more traumatizing outcomes than enduring 11 days of unsafe air. It could be so much worse.

brown-dress.jpg
brown-dress.jpg

What we are experiencing has filled me with a desire to reach out and save everyone, everywhere, and because that is wholly impossible, has simultaneously filled me with a peaceful belief that people are just incredible. We persist, and persist, and persist.

We can control none of our experiences but we can control all of our reactions to them. Right now, I am choosing to be amazed at my own resiliency, and the resiliency in all of us.

brown-dress.jpg
brown-dress.jpg

Happy Sunday and thanks for reading.


Vintage dress // Hue tights // Hermes scarf (similar)

I Exercise

Buckle your readbelts, we are getting serious today.

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A casual friend asked me recently about how I keep my “amazing figure” and it re-opened the floodgates on everything I wrote in this post last year.

Because this question has been one I have never figured out how to answer, I spent an entire day thinking about what to say. Part of me wishes there were some quick, witty go-to I could use over and over again (because I get this question far too often). Part of me wishes I could just be real and spill the truth and that doing so would be socially normal. And all of me wishes people would just stop talking about my body with assumptions embedded in their comments that I have easy answers and want to speak casually about what has actually been an exhausting journey.

vintage-babydoll.jpg
vintage-babydoll.jpg

After I spent the day mulling over the best reply, I realized I needed to just stop overthinking it. Like any of the most difficult problems, I wasn’t going to solve it quickly, or on my own. To protect myself, and still feel honest and authentic, I simply replied, “I exercise.”

And that was the end of the conversation.

vintage-babydoll.jpg
vintage-babydoll.jpg

I heard an interview with Patti Smith a few years ago where she discussed, among other things, her relationship with death, and I have found that her observations resonate with struggle and hardship beyond the loss of a loved one:

“The idea that time heals all wounds is not really true. Our wounds aren't really ever healed. We just learn to walk with them. We learn that some days we're going to feel intense pain all over again…And, you know, life is the best thing that we have. We each have a life. We each have to negotiate it and navigate it. And I think it's very important that we enjoy our life, that we get everything we can out of it.”

Despite life’s inevitable trials, I am joyful.

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Gratitude abounds, friends. Thanks for reading.


Vintage dress // Hue tights // J.Crew bodysuit (similar) // Clarks sandals (old)

The Obvious Shot

San Francisco is known for fog and cool weather.  But tt was really hot at the Color Factory the day we went, and since I was wearing polyester, I spent a lot of time thinking about ventilation.

color-factory.jpg
color-factory.jpg

I like geometric patterns a lot.  They just make sense, emotionally.  Whenever I doodle, like during a phone call or a meeting, everything is always very organized.  I'd much rather have the patterns on the wall than on me, though.  With exceptions, of course.

color-factory.jpg
color-factory.jpg

I'm not much for the obvious shot, and Color Factory really tries to serve up the obvious shots on a platter, so that was a challenge.  Mostly, we went for irony.  It felt better, somehow.  Green marker prom pose might be my favorite.  I skipped the confetti room.  As I mentioned, it was really warm in the building.

color-factory.jpg
color-factory.jpg

Happy Saturday, and thanks for reading.


Vintage dress // Vince Camuto boots (similar) // Vivienne Westwood bag (updated version) // Goorin Bros. hat // J.Crew turtleneck

Little Miss Sunshine

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today I'm sharing this adorable yellow vintage miniskirt my friend Nancy gifted me from the amazing lot she found last month in her mother's Los Angeles basement.

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yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg

It's incredible how easy it is to mix old and new pieces when you stick to classic silhouettes.  As you can tell, I'm getting a lot of mileage out of the preloved Chanel bag I purchased recently from Fashiophile.  As a kind of clumsy person, I avoided white clothes and accessories for a very long time, but white has unexpectedly become one of my favorite neutrals this summer.

vintage-yellow-miniskirt.jpg
yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg

I've been trying to incorporate more yellow into my closet because it's such a lovely color. However, for some reason, I have't been successful.  I keep sticking to the colors I already own every time I'm presented with a color option that includes a yellow choice.  It was nice to have something yellow land in my lap without any way to avoid it.  And I think it will be a catalyst to help me with my pro-yellow pursuit going forward.

yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg
yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg

I'm really enjoying these Clarks sandals this summer.  I got them for the vintage feel, and I love them for the comfy factor. I'm so happy with all the Clarks shoes I own; I can tell they will be in great shape for many summers to come.

yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg
yellow-vintage-miniskirt.jpg

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

A Different Kind of Retail Therapy

The first job I got out of college was working the retail floor at a Target store in Watsonville, California, and I cried in my car after the manager told me I was hired.  I didn't work my butt off at college for four years to get an entry-level job at a big box store, but the year was 2003, and the economy had just crumbled into dust, and I was competing for those minimum wage spots at Target with middle-aged men who carried advanced degrees.

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blue-retro-dress.jpg

I usually worked in either the Health and Beauty Aid section or the Women's Ready-to-Wear department.  And let me tell you, back then, the women's clothes you could buy at Target were just awful.  Every garment was uninspired and poorly constructed, and I'm pretty sure the only items I bought while I worked there were a couple of red t-shirts to wear on the job.

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blue-retro-dress.jpg

Eventually the economy improved and I got a job I love in public education. Naturally, I avoided Target for a number of years after I worked there.  Too many negative associations.  Years later, when I finally decided to invite Target back into my miscellaneous household supplies shopping rotation, I was kind of jazzed to find out that Target had significantly stepped up its womenswear game. Jonathan Adler! WhoWhatWear! Victoria Beckham! What a breath of fresh air.

blue-retro-dress.jpg
blue-retro-dress.jpg

I don't know where the dress I'm wearing is originally from because it doesn't have any tags. However, if Twiggy and the Morton's Salt girl collaborated on a line for Target, I'm pretty sure this dress is exactly what their signature piece would end up looking like. It's equal parts mod and schoolgirl. Too bad it's totally polyester and it was about a million degrees the day I wore it. I love it's adorable angles, and navy is easily my favorite neutral all year round.

blue-retro-dress.jpg
blue-retro-dress.jpg

Happy weekend, everyone!

The Time Machine

I've never been a huge science fiction reader but I have enjoyed a few of the classics.  One of my favorites for a number of years was the short story "The Time Machine" by Ray Bradbury.  The story breaks down like this: a couple of boys are at school and one asks the other if he would like to see a real time machine that afternoon. Naturally, this friend is quite interested, and the anticipation builds until they both race out the school room doors at the end of the day.  

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white-vintage.dress.jpg

What happens next is the fun part, because (spoiler alert) I'm sentimental and really adored my grandparents.  If you haven't guessed it already, the "time machine" turns out to be a really old man who can share the most vivid and fascinating tales from times long before the two boys were born. Adorable, right? And also, so easy for a non-science fiction loving girl to get excited about because the story is basically self-aware about some of the more preposterous elements of that escapist genre.

white-vintage-dress.jpg
white-vintage-dress.jpg

My friend Nancy recently cleaned out her mother's basement in Los Angeles and gifted me the most incredible collection of vintage clothing.  Many items were still new with tags, and the lot was a time machine to rival Bradbury's old man.  I'm excited to share many of these pieces in this Basement Series.

white-vintage-dress.jpg
white-vintage-dress.jpg

My husband is a fan of this little white dress.  As it turns out, he's a fan of women's hemline lengths from the 1960s in general. This makes me feel like I'm ready to take on Woodstock, and after that, go get some birth control and then rock the vote, go work a full time shift somewhere outside the home, and get back in time to microwave some TV dinners for the gang. Which honestly, is kind of not that different from my real life, but I really, really like feeling connection to the women who paved the way for me.  Thanks, ladies.  You did it in style.