Sunday Chronicles: Not Going to Plan

Investment Piece: Green Envy

I’ve had one of those weeks. Well, not one of THOSE weeks, but one of those weeks that did not go to plan. At all. In any way. Which can be incredibly frustrating, and leave you feeling behind or worse. But, there are times when things are not going to plan, when it can be a gift. Right? At least that’s the mindset I’m going with.

This past week I had plans, and ways that I thought things would go. As the saying goes, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans”. I’ve found it to be true over and over again. This week I came down with what could only be described as a horrible summer cold-fever, chills, sore throat, dibilatating headache. I had to cancel my plans, I had to rearrange my schedule, I had to take time for me. And while there were times that having to put all my plans on hold was upsetting, there are times when things not going to plan was the best thing to happen.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I think about things (mindset) and how I roll with the punches. Being a planner, I can sometimes get a little (a lot) upset when things don’t go according to my plan. Trusting that I’m always in the right place at the right time, that things will always work out for the best, and that the unplanned can be gift doesn’t always come naturally. I work at it. I’m getting better at it.

Because, the thing is, not going to plan is a gift. Sometimes it means that we get something so much more amazing than what we had planned. I had to rearrange things this week. I missed some things that I was looking forward to. And, I felt behind as I didn’t do my plan. But you know what? I got to rest. I got to really look at some things and I got the chance to do some self care. Work worked out, and while there are things I’m playing catch up on, I’m full of new ideas and in a place where I’m rested enough to get more done.

There are times when our plans won’t get us where we want to be, and we have to trust that things not going to plan will. I’m working on it. How about you?

Wishing us all a week of great events (planned or not) and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles : Giveaways and Celebrations

Investment Piece: Fashion Gives Back

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Blog Birthday giveaways! Vintage Dresses and Product of a Strong Female shirts. We’re still contacting the winners, so please be patient with us! (I’m also hoping the winners will share pics of them in their new goodies!)

As for things, does anyone else have a crazy busy May?

For me, May is full of family birthdays (and friends who are like family). My mom’s birthday is this week (as is mine), and it seems that there is an event EVERY NIGHT. I just scheduled myself a night off as it’s the 6th and I’m already so tired that I don’t know how to make it to my birthday.

So, the question becomes, how do we recharge ourselves in the middle of a crazy month?

Friends have been asking me about plans for my birthday, and what I keep thinking about is that taking care of yourself is a from of celebrating yourself. I’m seeing nights in and nights out in my future. Bubble baths and days by the pool and rose. Maybe some new shoes? Maybe a great read?

I know that the best way to be my best self is to give myself the things I need: workouts, sleep, veggies, and some fun. And maybe some wine for good measure. That’s the only way to enjoy all these things that fill up May is balance the fun with care.

How do you care for yourself? What does it look like when you celebrate yourself and take time for yourself?

I want to hear your tips and tricks and suggestions!

In the meantime, I’ll be celebrating all the things, relaxing, and trying to take care of myself with all the things.

Wishing us all a week of celebrations and care, and of course, amazing shoes!

XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Year in Review and a Survey

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles: Year in Review

Loves, you’ve indulged me all month long as we celebrated the blog’s birthday (one week to go!). Isn’t it funny how different things can hit you at different times? The past few years when the blog had a birthday, it didn’t faze me. I was so focused on the growing and the doing, not even the vision, just the getting things done. This is in no way to imply that the blog, or myself for that matter, is at the peak, or exactly where we want to be. We’re still a work in progress.

However, this year, on the blog’s birthday I feel a little bit more secure in my vision, in my plans for the future; and, can look back at the year with a different eye. We started many different series this year. From Designer Spotlight to Fashion in the Wild, to Fashion Gives Back, Investment Piece began to look a bit past just our own fashion. Sometimes these series are the highlights of my month, sometimes they come together at the last minute. After sitting with them, and digesting them for a year, we’d love to know your thoughts.

What series do you love?
What series do you hate?
What do you wish we would focus on?
What do you wish we would leave out?

Our goal is to produce content that we all love (that’s me and you) and we can’t do that without your input. Ways to give feedback? Comment here, on Facebook, on Instagram, or email me at racheladelicia@investmentpiece.com. We truly want to know your thoughts on the series and would love to hear your ideas!

Investment Piece: LA Walk

And here’s the thing about looking back at a year in review, you can’t help but look forward. For months I’ve been playing with the idea of a video series that explores our closets. Our goal in the coming year is to get that into production. We’re playing with classes to teach you how to mix prints, how to shop more efficiently, and maybe getting experts in to teach us all (me) how to pack light. I’m excited about the future, excited about the fashion coming, and the brands we can’t wait to introduce you to!

Again, if there’s something you would love to see on site, we would love to hear about it. We’ve loved sharing all things blog birthday with you!

Stay tuned this week for our last giveaway and our last birthday edition of FBF!

Wishing us all a week of good memories and amazing shoes! XO RA

Skin Print: Exquisite Exfoliant

Investment Piece: Skin Print

Loves, I’m so excited to share another amazing Skin Print product with you! (If you recall: we’re thrilled to be featuring Skin Print on site, you can get the scoop and shop any product at any time under the “Skin Print” tab on our menu!)

So here is my ultimate skin goal: I want glowing skin, that looks youthful and dewy, and I’d love to not have to wear a lot of makeup (except for mascara and eyeliner). Skin Print is helping me to achieve these goals- and this Exquisite Exfoliant is completely changing the texture of my skin. I can deal with the occasional breakout, I can struggle with blackheads, and as I get older, I can have some texture issues. Two-Three times I week I’m using this exfoliant, out it on for 20 mins and then wash it off (I love it while I’m shaving my legs!); and I’m noticing that my skin is smoother, brighter, and those breakouts? Not a problem!

Investment Piece: Skin Print

The best part about Skin Print’s Exquisite Exfoliant? I can trust what I’m putting on my face. Skin Print is medical grade skin care that is made from the highest quality ingredients. It does what it says it’s going to do. It makes your skin feel good, both while you’re using it and after. And most importantly? Skin Print makes my skin LOOK good. And that what it’s all about, yes?

Investment Piece: Skin Print

I don’t endorse products that I don’t love, and let me reassure you, I love this Exquisite Exfoliant. If you’re looking for something that can really clean your skin, remove the gunk, and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, this is for you!

You can buy your own Exquisite Exfoliant here.

Want to read last month’s write up of the Skin Print EyeDeal that’s the best eye cream I’ve ever used? You can read all about it here. And loves, I owe you an apology. I promised you a giveaway for the EyeDeal. Then Harvey, then Irma; I know my family was affected and it took my focus. I heard from those of you that were affected and it took your focus. The giveaway fell apart. I apologize. That’s not what we want to have happen here (though we’re so grateful that everyone is safe!) So let’s do a redo! Comment on this post, comment on the Instagram I’ll post this afternoon about EyeDeal, sign up for our newsletter. That’s it! One lucky winner will be chosen (at random) to get their own EyeDeal. We will announce the winner next Thursday!

Good Luck!
And happy exfoliating!
XO RA

Sunday Chronicle: Texas Pop Up!

Investment Piece: Texas Pop Up

Loves! We’re still celebrating our birthday month (read all about it here), and our latest venture gives you another chance to shop, sip, and have some fun! If you’re in TX, specifically Central Texas, I invite you to come to a Kendra Scott/Investment Piece pop up!

My sister has been nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year in San Antonio, TX and this event will help her raise money for this worthy cause. You’ll get to shop special Kendra Scott pieces, with a portion of the proceeds going to leukemia and lymphoma research. A bonus? I’ll be there! We can chat fashion, blogging, and I’ll be offering a 10% discount on any personal shopping package purchased!

More about shopping with me here.

I hope that I get to meet some of you! Want more details? Want me to bring specific pieces? Email me at racheladelicia@investmentpiece.com!

Wishing us all a week of getting together and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Blog Birthday!

Investment Piece: Blog Birthday

I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but, Investment Piece is turning 3!!!

This is one of those times when it feels like we’ve only just started, and yet, we have oh so far to go. The inspiration for this site is all due to my mother. I grew up loving fashion, and have always had a knack for putting together an outfit. I’m used to people asking me where I got things. So when my mom read an article in “Texas Monthly” about how blogging was an actual business, Investment Piece was born. To start, I took a class about doing your own site (tech isn’t and never will be my strong suit), got a tripod and a remote for my iPhone, and we were in business.

So much has changed! Can you believe at one time I thought we’d do fashion arts and crafts?
Investment Piece: Blog Birthday

Yes, I painted my own jeans. You can read about it here.

I like to think the pics have gotten better:
Investment Piece: October Blues

And I’ve managed to find my voice (or at least, my voice right now).

Investment Piece: Holiday Gown

I can’t say this enough: I am so grateful for you. I known that there are so many bloggers and feeds and advice you can be following. I appreciate you following me.

So, what are we doing for the blog’s birthday?

Celebrating you!

This month (yes, I gave my blog a month to celebrate its birthday. I’m the coolest blog mom ever), our content is full of Giveways, flashbacks to some of our first content, and events!

You can still enter the first giveaway here, and our first flashback was Friday!

Investment Piece:FBF first neutrals

There will be more of both, so stay tuned!

And after the blog birthday month is over? Still more new content, some series I’m excited about, and finding ways to be fresh and exciting while being ourselves.

As someone much cooler than me once said: “I don’t know where we’re going from here, but it won’t be boring”.

Thank you for celebrating our blog birthday with us!

Wishing us all a week of champagne and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: This and That and SXSW

Investment Piece: This and That and SXSW
A Glimpse at the Hermes Dip&Dye Pop-Up during SXSW

Loves, these little Sunday Chronicles are some of my favorite times with you. I love sharing the thoughts that plague me, the events in my life, and using you as my sounding board for many things. What’s going on now? This and That and SXSW. Yes, usually this means that I share personal snapshots from my life or some sales that you can’t miss! And, yes, if you need that let me know! However, what’s going for me right now is simply a little of this and that (mainly thoughts) and SXSW. So, I’m sharing!

SXSW
Confession? I’m not a festival gal. I love live music, but for some reason I can’t get all excited about the huge festivals that happen. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s generally true that I would rather see artists I love in concert without the festival hoopla. SXSW? A little bit different for me. As you know, I split time between Texas and Los Angeles. So, when I happen to be in Austin for SXSW, I go. I don’t get full badges and go for days (that’s too exhausting for me);but, I make sure to see some bands, some films, and some panel discussions. This year I’ve seen small bands I love in intimate settings, fallen more in love with Emily Blunt (see A Quite Place, and listened to some intriguing thoughts on the future of fashion/technology. It was just enough to keep me busy, and not enough to overwhelm me. The perfect combo?

This and That
As I’ve sat in panels this past week, listening to what “experts” think consumers want, I couldn’t help but wonder: “What do you want?” I don’t think it’s any secret that the fashion industry is changing, that the “influencer” market is a bit crowded, and that we’re all looking for a way to stand out. Where do these things intersect? What I love about fashion? That you can use it to stand out, to speak for you, to be whoever you want to be that day, and that your fashion doesn’t have to be like anyone else. However, we all like being able to easily buy what we like, we like being popular, and some “classics” are items everyone should have. How do we balance this and that? Where are we going to take this and that?

I’m not 100% sure of the answers. These thoughts have been keeping me up and while I’ve come up with some ideas, most of this is still just this and that. Investment Piece? We’ll keep using our fashion to stand out. And yet, we’ll keep suggesting classics we think you should own. We’ll try to balance this and that by suggesting ways to stand out and ways to use what we all have. If there’s something you want to see, or an idea you want addressed, let your voice be heard! Racheladelicia@investmentpiece.com

Wishing us all a week of deep thoughts and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Perfectionism and Mantras

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

I did some more flashing back this week and came across one of the first Sunday Chronicles I wrote. It’s a subject I keep going back to: perfectionism, and how I deal with it. The story of my life, in other words. The reminder that some battles are constant both encouraged me and scares me. But, spin is still a great way to handle things.
Enjoy my first thoughts on the topic!
Wishing us all a week of onward and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Perfectionism and Mantras

I’m a perfectionist. Which means I hold myself to impossible standards, am hard on myself–and all those things you’ve heard–that perfectionists procrastinate, etc? Yes, those are true about me. In fact I’ve spent a vast majority of my life striving to be perfect–and not always being nice to myself in the process–and being even harder on myself when I was unable to be perfect. Sadly, I think that being perfect is something that doesn’t exist.

I still believe in perfect shoes and outfits–but that’s probably a different story.

Get to know me a little and you’ll find that I love to work out. And I love workouts, like Soul Cycle, where encouraging mantras are said and they uplift you–and you feel good. One of the favorite mantras–and one I’ve seen in several places this week so it’s on my mind–is “The Way You Do One Thing Is The Way You Do All Things”. Which is great when I’m in a dark spin class–because I can sprint and jump and climb and do it well. But what about the things that I do not do well? The things I flat out suck at? The list of my talents is long–but I fear it is out numbered by my flaws. I’m human (hard to accept)– and this means I’m messy and unfortunately for me, cannot do all things perfectly. So this phrase has never sat well with me.

However, a spin teacher I love (Angela Davis if you’re ever in LA) has begun to say, “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be brave”.  Now this I can get behind. If I have to accept that I cannot be perfect–I get brave. Brave means taking risks, and trying, and doing your best. Brave I can do.

Another saying I love is “You have to have compassion for yourself, you cannot be brave every time, so when you can’t be kind to yourself”. Which is another way of saying “You have to give 100% of what you have right now, which will be different than tomorrow and different than yesterday, and that’s ok”. Let’s be honest–life can be hard, and even if we’re trying to be brave, we don’t always get there. I need to hear that it’s ok for me to try my hardest–and that my hardest will be different each day. This I can do.

So I’m trying, I’m being brave. I ramble –and I know there is no fashion tie in. Although, we could say that you should try that outfit you’ve been thinking of, and if it doesn’t work–it’s ok.

My hope for us this week is that we can all be brave, and when we can’t be as brave that we can have compassion towards ourselves. Oh–and I wish for us amazing shoes!

Happy Sunday!

xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Introverts, Communications, and Hangovers

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles
Introverts, Communication, and Hangovers

There’s a great chance, by now, that you’re aware (or have a theory) on whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. And maybe you have an understanding of how that affects your communication, and how introverts can get hangovers from too much interaction. I’m a fan of deeper understanding, and being aware of how you’re wired, and the best ways to communicate for you. We all have a love language (trendy doesn’t mean it’s not true), and there are ways for each of us to be our best selves.

This is not a post to promote any sort of label, push you to fully embrace your “vert-ness” (I may have just made that word up), or help you demand to be surrounded by people who only speak your love language. Also, this is not a post to disagree with your vert-ness, argue we should all get all communication, and that all this is bunk. This is a post about a week in which I was reminded that these labels about our “vert-ness” are not finite, we’re all on a spectrum, all communicate differently, and that introvert hangovers are a real thing. And all of that is aok.

I’m an introvert. I need time alone, and after being around people a lot I need to recharge. The twist? I’m a performer; I can be “on” with the best of them, give a good show, and I like that part of me. Also? For an introvert, I’m extroverted. Yes, I need time alone, not a fan of too much peopling, but I can chat people up and network. It’s a spectrum, and there is no right or wrong way to be an introvert. We all get that.

What I forgot this week? That when I forget to balance the different sides of my introvert personality the people hangovers are real. I spent too much time go-go-going and being with people the past few weeks, and had to give myself a lot of down time to recover. What also hit me? When I (or anyone) chats about their need for alone time (or space) it’s not always the way that someone else communicates. What does all that mean? I (and you?) have to be clear about what we need, take care of ourselves, and nurse a hangover that comes from interaction the same way we would a “real” hangover. We may also have to be active listeners when people tell us about their needs.

And the thing? That’s all ok. If everything is a spectrum, then even taking care of ourselves is a process that isn’t always a finite thing. Right? So, this week, I’m focused on letting myself be “on” and letting myself be “down”, telling people clearly what I need, avoiding hangovers, and really trying to hear people when they tell me their needs. What about you?

Wishing us all a week of no-hangovers and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: When it’s not PERFECT

Investment Piece, fashion blogger, Sunday Chronicles, Perfect, when it's not perfect, everyday editorial, CA, TX

Loves, Happy Weekend! As you may know, I can be a perfectionist. I hold myself to a high standard, which manifests itself in various ways. I can have a great work ethic and produce things that are amazing. I can be paralyzed by the fear that things won’t be perfect and procrastinate, making sure that the “product” won’t be perfect (but I’ll have an excuse!). I can pick myself apart. I can admire other people’s work. Like most other perfectionists, I can tell you that it’s a great thing to want to hold yourself to a standard of excellence, but can tell you perfectionism is also an insercurity and an attempt to protect yourself. So, it’s great and not great. And one of the hardest lessons is how to move forward, do work, and be happy when it’s (whatever it is) not perfect. Loves, nothing is ever perfect (and yes, that’s hard for me to say), so how do we handle this?

I believe that this is where many people would tell you it’s the effort that counts, that good enough is good, and as perfection is an unattainable standard you do your best and be happy. Yes, all of that is true. It is still stunning to me how hard that is for me to at times accept. So how do I handle it? Loves, if we’re in the trust tree I have to let you know that the answer is not always well. I can waste time, money, and self peace in an attempt to “perfect” a project. And what I can tell you is that those things are not always worth it. So my new methods?

Give Myself Time
I’m finding if I can do posts/projects/etc early, spend some time away from them and come back, I’m either a-ok with what’s happened or I can “fix” it in a more productive manner. It’s the break that lets me have some space, and somehow that helps. And those times when I don’t have the time for that? I let go as best I can.

Mind Shift: vulnerable is more likable
There is something in my head that says that being perfect is the way to be liked (as broad as that can mean). It’s taking a lot of work, and a lot of more work, to discover that the best, real moments are the ones when I’m vulnerable. Does that mean that I don’t do my best? No. But it means I’m trying to not kill myself when I don’t have all the answers or something isn’t 180%. An acting coach of mine once told me that the audience wants to love you for all the things you’re embarrassed to show them. While this may not relate to every situation, I think it is true. Our humanness is raw and not perfect, but it’s beautiful.

Ask a loved one
When it’s hard for me to see that our humanness is beautiful I’m learning to ask someone I trust for their opinion. Often, their critique is not half as bad as my own. We could chat a whole other Chronicles on how hard it can be to ask for help, but I find another’s perspective is often what I need to end my manic pursuit of “perfect”.

Loves, this list is by no means complete, and it is by no means easy. It’s a process, and I’m learning. I’m striving to see that perfect is a great goal, but when I laser eye it, I miss so much. I’m learning that good is beautiful, and failures can be fun. I’m trying to be honest in my struggles and in my strive for perfection, be happy with great.

Are you a perfectionist? How do you deal with it?

Wishing us all a week of beautiful good and amazing shoes! XO RA