Valentine’s Day

Investment Piece: I HEART YOU

Usually I do Valentine’s very low-key. It’s not that I don’t love love, I do! However, I sometimes get uptight when we’re told we HAVE to show our love in a certain way. One of the good things about this pandemic is that this year, I’m more vocal about my love- telling my friends I love them, sending cards, planning things for me (self-love is important too!), and taking a day of love and making it a thing!

Investment Piece: Shark Love or how to dress for Valentine's with a sense of humorI

Below, I’ve rounded up Valentine’s from your BFF to your mom to your SO. As well as things for you (and yes, black lace is for you and them!) Together, alone, I hope I’ve linked things you can love and do with people you love. I know that this year may be different (I am so ready for an average, basic year), but it doesn’t mean that what can be a sweet celebration has to be bad. I’m sending Valentine’s (like the ones we did as kids!) to girlfriends in the mail. I’m planning a spa day for me (because I love me and I deserve some pampering). Indoor champagne picnics, massages, there are all sorts of things to do with your SO!

I hope whatever you plan it’s full of love!

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Galentines
Your BFFS. Sister. Mom. In Laws. Remember in elementary school when we gave the whole class a little card? When we were in it together? I loved that. Friend love is just as important as romantic love- and these presents are a great way to let people know that you love them. As I said, I’m sending my friends a card, maybe some flowers and maybe some surprises. Let’s normalize telling people we love that we love them- even if it’s not romantic love!

SOs

Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean that we have scale things back! In fact, Valentine’s at home is my favorite kind of date night for this holiday. Use massage oil candles- show off your magic hands. Feed each other! Cheese plates! Champagne! Black lace! There are so many ways to celebrate at home. And these may add to the excitement:

You
Celebrating yourself is important. Taking time for you is important. I’m doing a spa day- because I’ve grown to love at home facials and sauna. What do you love? From scary movies to trashy reality shows to certain meals to hot baths. Whatever it is that makes you feel restored, do that. And if you need to buy yourself new shoes? I won’t judge!

Investment Piece: #nakedtux

No matter what your Valentine’s looks like- I hope that you feel loved- and all the good things you deserve!

Xo RA

Closet Organization

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, closet detox, closet clean out, CA , TX

Usually, around this time, we would be talking about cleaning out our closets. I would pull out all my things and go through them, weed out what no longer serves me, and either give it away or sell it.

I detail my process here and here. I write a lot about cleaning out your closet- not because I love it- but because I think it’s a more complicated than just getting rid of things. Search closet in the search bar!

Honestly? This year I have no emotional bandwidth to clean out my closet. I haven’t since the pandemic started. It’s not that I can’t identify clothes that aren’t fitting my life, in some cases me, or that may need to be let go of. But I am in no way ready or able to deal with all of that. Because I don’t know how long all of this will last. Because I know that I don’t make great choices when I’m super emotional, and I know that right now going through my closet would be emotional.

So, if you’re in the same spot- it’s ok. There’s no deadline on cleaning out. There’s no mandate that you have to do it. Now may not be the time to clean out your closet. For me it isn’t. And that’s aok!

Investmnt Piece: Closet Organization

While I’m not cleaning out my closet, what very much sounds good to me is closet organization. I want to know where all my things (treasures) are. I want that space to be efficient and help me get dressed easily.
How am I going about that? Almost the same way that I clean out! I’m dividing my clothes into sections (for me it’s vintage (both day and dressy)/dresses/tops/pants/skirts/bags/shoes- and it grows from there. I’m looking at turning a room into a closet- with all the shelves and more that I need. There’s an accounting of what I need (space) and what serves me (being able to see all my things), and see what works.

I’m not showing you now, as this is a work in progress, and to be very honest I’m not 100% sure what it’s looking like. But I know getting my ducks (shoes) in a row will help me feel better.

What about you? Are you cleaning out? Organizing? A combination of the two? How’s it going? What are you learning? Tell me everything!

I’m linking closet organization systems below that I’m thinking of using in my own closet!

Xo RA

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

New Years Goals

Usually, by this time, I have a set of goals. Not just personal or business, but for what to wear throughout the year. This year? I’m behind- which is either scary or exciting as I could be anyone and wear anything! What I have been doing is thinking about how I want to dress and what I want to dress for. I’m focusing on the words Power, Purpose, Self-Care, and Gratitude. How can we dress that way? Let’s chat!

How are you wanting to dress this year?
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Minimalist Closet

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, miniamalist, closet, high fashion, shopping, CA, TX

Loves, I am a shopper. I love fashion: that it lets you be someone new every day, that it’s a visual playground, that it can speak for you. And I have quite the collection of fashion. This entire blog is based on the premise that fashion is an investment, and that your closet can be an asset. But an idea I’m simply fascinated by? Minimalist Closet. Let’s be clear, I don’t know that it’s completely for me. I love options too much. Although, I have traveled with a minimalist waredrobe and loved it (read about it here and here). Do I think I could give up all my clothes and par down to basics? No. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

But, I do think that what we have in our closets, what we chose to buy, the waredrobe we build should be intentional. What I love about the minimalist closet or shopping approach is the thought: to the pieces, how they fit, what you really need. And while I am in no hurry to turn my closet clean out into a massive purge, I think we can all benefit from really thinking about our clothes. What do we need? What do we wear? How can we mix and match? How can we build a waredrobe that compliments itself? How can I buy the best pieces for me?

I’m clearly not an expert on the subject, but with closet clean out season upon us, I am reflecting on those questions. As much as I love my options, I want pieces that fit together well. I want to curate a closet that is worth something, and easy to live with. Some reading I’ve been doing on the subject:
Waredrobe Rebuild
How to Become a Fashion Minimalist
A Shopper’s Manifesto

Am I taking a firm stance? No. I’m still reading, thinking, in the midst of a closet clean out. And while I know I’m not the type to par down to 10 pieces, I’m thinking about this. I want to try parts of this on and see if I can be a closet minimalist my way. What about you?

XO RA

Essentials

Ever since we’ve entered the isolation part of the pandemic, I’ve been thinking a lot about essentials. What should we buying, what should we be wearing? Will we ever wear jeans again or go to big parties? The more I thought about it, the more I let my thoughts overwhelm me. Then I thought- one of my essentials is joy. And wearing things that make me happy. I’m known for wearing night gowns out and having too many party dresses. Is that something that should change?

Hopefully I’m eloquent about it here:

And if you’re interested in my Wishlist, here it is! I hope it sparks you joy!

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Xo RA

Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Investment Piece: Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Are you using this time at home to clean out your closet? If so, I’m impressed! It’s not that I don’t want to clean out my closet. I’m a huge fan of that! See: here, here, here, and here. And that’s just for starters. There’s something about a clean closet- knowing what you need, having everything organized, and getting rid of things that no longer fit your stories is both freeing and exciting!

But. Right now, a huge closet clean out just seems so overwhelming. I keep telling myself that I’m going to start a massive Cleanout and reorganization. But it hasn’t happened yet. What has happened? I did a brief Cleanout right before all the Stay at Home orders started. And while I had planned to sort and sell and donate those clothes, I didn’t get to it before I needed to be at home. So, I’m using this time to do that! I’m seeing what I might be able to donate, sell, and if there are a few things that could be added to those piles! While we’re apart, most places are accepting donations (check with your local companies. This is varying city to city). And if you have things to sell, my recommendation is Ashley at TheRealReal (Ashley.rochestie@therealreal.com. Make sure to tell her I sent you!) She will set you up and get your things online, all while you stay safe at home!

I know you must be sick of hearing me say this, but I truly believe that our clothes and fashions help tell our stories. And our stories are our masterpieces, and so we edit them. I’m going to try and use this time to edit- to get rid of things that no longer tell stories I love (and clothes that just don’t fit right) and making room for things and stories I love. What about you?

Xo RA

Laundry

Investment Piece: Laundry Mat

In the best of times, I’m not great at laundry. I let it pile up,and I’ve been known to try to overload the machines (I blame this on years of apt living with quarter machines. But it’s also me). And now, with our social distancing in place, I’m thinking about how I can use this time to get a little more skilled at laundry days. I love my clothes, shouldn’t I want to take care of them?

Investment Piece, high fashion, unexpected Pink, breast cancer, high fashion, blogger, CA, TX

Laundry Basics

I’ll admit, laundry is my least favorite chore. It feels like it’s never done. And while, again, I love my clothes, piling them into a machine has never been my strong suit. As it’s not something I’m great at, I asked around. My mom, my friends who are great at it, a friend’s maid, the people at a laundry mat. These are tips that I was given, and in my experience, work!

1. Smaller loads. Yes, I want to get it over with, but I want my clothes cleaned properly so? Smaller is better.
2. Make sure to read the tag! (More on this below!)
3. Sort. Colors and whites. (Pro Tip: Seperate hampers let you do this when you get underessed, saving you time!)
4. Turn knits and tees inside out. Tie sashes. Use mesh bags for delicates and socks. In other words, set your cleaning up for success!
5. Dry your clothes to the instructions on the tag.

Need more help? These articles helped me, from understanding the tag to what to do about your workout clothes:
12 Laundry Mistakes You’e Probably Making
How to Read Laundry Tag Symbols
Your top Laundry Questions Answered
How to do Your Laundry
Do Your Laundry Like A Boss
Your Best Laundry

Investment Piece: Laundry Mat

DryCleaning
Ironically, I’m good at DryCleaning. (Or I used to be good at taking the right clothes to the dry cleaner). Now, I’m waiting till things change to take my dry cleaning clothes in. My dry cleaner is open, but priority is given to essential workers, and their uniforms. And my big projects for my tailor there are BIG alterations that would take more than one fitting. Not a good fit for social distancing. The following two products are ones that I’ve used reguarly (even before this time!) and love. Yes, while dry cleaning might be best, these at home products are amazing!

Note: the following does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

1. Retro Wash takes stains out of everything and revitalizes vintage clothings. Use the directions on the bag, but essentially you dissolve the powder in hot water, then soak your clothes in the mixture for 3 days. (Tips: use plates to keep the clothes submerged. Or, if you can, keep the clothes in the sun to keep the water warm!) I’ve used this to get out blood, yellow lace has become white, and more. After the stain is gone, you just rinse and wash! Easy!

2. Dryel or Woolite at home DryCleaning. I love these systems. They refresh and can remove stains from my dry clean only items. Yes, I feel like my clothes still need to be dry cleaned every once in a while, and there are items I only trust to my dry cleaner. BUT. For the time we’re in, and what may need a refresh, these products are an amazing option and easy to use!

I’d love to know: what are your laundry tips?
Xoxo RA

Face masks

This is by no means meant to replace any medical advice from the CDC, and not a reason to stop staying home, BUT, this is my take on the DYI face mask now recommend for when we do our essential trips out. My take? Use a vintage scarf! It’s a great way to show your style, and if needed support your local vintage shop by buying scarves! There are so many fashion designers providing masks, from Reformation to Mother Denim to Chloe Dao, and so many, many more. If you have the means to donate to these causes great! If you can buy masks for yourself and others on sites like Etsy, great! This time is a little hard, and I don’t know about you, but there are days when I’ve felt overwhelmed and sad. However, using my fashion sense to give back this way is a little thing I’ve found that helps me feel better. Stay safe and healthy out there!
Xo RA

Basic Invite

Investment Piece; Basic Invite
While this is a collab with Basic Invite, all opinions below are my own!xo RA

Loves, a lot has changed in the past few weeks. For now, the best way for us to be together is to be apart; however, there’s a way to touch each other through the distance. Mail. A handwritten note. A mailed announcement. A party (even a virtual one) invitation. My grandma was a big believer in the handwritten word, I got a letter or card EVERY day when I was in college, and when I think about it, it still touches me.

Right now, the best way I can think of for us to touch each each is a note. To share big news? One of my favorite ways is to use Basic Invite. From custom stationary to photo cards to wedding and graduation cards, Basic Invite is one of the few websites to allow unlimited color options, with instant online previews. There are over 180 colors to choose from, and the site is so easy to use you can ensure that you’ll get the perfect stationary for your needs! (And if you want it, Basic Invite allows you to order a printed sample before you complete your final order!)

There are so many occasions to celebrate and so many cards with which to send love, but I wanted to showcase the stunning Graduation collection. This is normally the time to send out your graduation announcements and start planning parties. Due to our ununusual times, I know that many of these celebrations are delayed, changing to virtual, or on-hold. However, I still believe it’s important to acknowledge the accomplishments of those you love, and this collection from Basic Invite is a great way to keep your loved ones informed!

Investment Piece: Basic Invite

Graduation Invitation Template

Announcing your big graduation? Inviting people to celebrate your accomplishments? Basic Invite has 100’s of templates to share your news and celebrate with your loved ones. Use your picture or use of their designs, and make the custom Graduation Invitation your hard work deserves.

Investment Piece: Basic Invite

Graduation Party Invitation

Inviting people to a virtual or real-life party? Use one of Basic Invite’s party invitation templates to let your loved ones know when and where to celebrate you!

Investment Piece: Basic Invite

Graduation Thank You Card

Don’t forget to send a thank you! Use Basic Invite to customize the perfect thank-you for all your graduation presents!

Of course, there are also 100s of Wedding, Baby, Event, Business Cards, and more stationary templates for all of your needs at Basic Invite.

More things I love? You can choose from 40 colors to match the envelope to your invitation, this also includes 3 foil color options (both flat and raised), making sure that your stationary stands out. Basic Invite also provides social media links for you to request your loved ones addresses, stores the addresses, and prints the addresses on the envelopes free of charge! All you have to do is send out the mail.

At times like these, even when we’re apart, it’s important to be together. My favorite way to stay in touch is the mail, and I hope that you love Basic Invite for all of your needs, Graduation, and beyond to send your love. Use code 15FF51 for 15%off!

Find Basic Invite on your favorite social media platforms:
@basicinvite on Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Send your loved ones your Graduation Invites, Your Wedding Announcements, and all your love with Basic Invite! And don’t forget your discount with code 15FF51!
Xo RA