Sunday Chronicles: Holiday Traditions!

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Traditions. They seem to be something that we cling to (maybe), enjoy, and are prominent at this time of year. If you think about what you enjoy at this time of year, most likely it can be traced back to a tradition. Me? I love traditions, especially holiday traditions. There’s something comforting about them, and if we let them, I’ve found that we can let them grow with us. There are things that I did as a child that I still love to do, and there are traditions that started a few years ago, and I love adding them to my list. No matter what or how you celebrate this is a season of tradition and family- and one of my favorites!
A few of my favorite traditions include:
1. Wishing for snow and collecting snow globes. Living between two places not known for their snow I’m obsessed. I love the fake snow that abounds and my goal is to one day see a ton of snow.
2. Decorations – I love all the holiday lights, trees, fake snow- all of it!
3. My sister, mom, and I get matching pjs for a gift on Christmas Eve- even though we’re no longer young it still makes waking up on Christmas special.
4. Traditional meals- not just the holiday meal but my mom’s Wassal (hot drink), her beef stroganoff on Christmas Eve, cookies, my Grandma’s Dr Pepper meatballs- it’s a season of eating.
5. Events like the Nutcracker. I love the ballet and as many times as I’ve seen it I just love the costumes, and dances. Related- this season I will watch “Miracle on 34th Street” about 1000 times.

I’d love to know – what are some of your traditions? What are you looking forward to?

Wishing us all joy and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Happy Hanukkah!

Investment Piece: Happy Hanukkah

To all those who celebrate:
Chag Urim Sameach! Or Happy Hanukkah!

Today begins the 8 day Festival of Lights, celebrating the rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd Century BCE. It’s often celebrated by lighting a candle a day for eight days, in remembrance of the oil in the temple that was not enough for one night, but lasted for eight.

I’m not Jewish. I won’t pretend to be. However, the Jewish religion, holidays, and customs are beautiful and something for us all to respect. At this time of year when our focus is on giving and joy, let’s remember that those intangible gifts are meant for us all. It’s a great time of year to celebrate what it is that you believe, and make room for other people’s celebrations.

Celebrate. Light the candles. Light other people’s candles.

If you’re interested in learning more about Faith’s that aren’t your own, I also think this is a great time of year for that. I get so much out of Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg on twitter (@TheRaDR) and her book:
Surprised by God is on my Christmas list.

May the next 8 nights be a time of love, hope, compassion, and connection for us all.
Happy Hanukkah!

XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Hostess Gifts

Investment Piece: Hostess Gifts

Beginning this week, many of us will be traveling to friends and family, bringing with us holiday cheer and (hopefully) pie. From the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday through the entire holiday season, we will most likely be eating/staying/partying at someone else’s home. Which begs the question: what should you do about a hostess gift?

I’m from the South and a big fan of the hostess gift. Even if it’s just a bottle of wine. Sometimes, especially if it’s a bottle of wine. Beyond the way a hostess gift allows you to contribute to the festivities, I’m a fan of the way a hostess gift says thank you for opening your home.

This is not the only time you’ll hear me say this, but I think that gift giving is personal. I have no idea what the people in your life might like, or your relationship to gifting with them. At the very least, I hope that my gift guides inspire you to find something special for your gifts. At the most, I hope my picks are something you can give! And in between, I hope that my gift guides make shopping for gifts if not fun, bearable.

But back to the hostess gifts.
**According to my mom, and etiquette specialist, if you’re bringing food to a party you don’t have to bring a hostess gift. I’m letting you make that call.

Below are my picks for hostess gifts. You’ll notice most of them are small, related to eating and drinking, and inexpensive. There’s no need to go over the top with a hostess gift.

That being said—if the hostess is someone you’re incredibly close to, feel free to pick something personal and not related to the party. From a book she’d love to something she collects (I collect vintage perfume bottles), anything that says “thank you” is a great idea.

And if nothing else, there’s wine.

I’d love to know: what are your go-to hostess gifts?

Wishing us all a week of merry and shoes! 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!

Sunday Chronicles: Singles Day

Investment Piece: Florals

Apparently, today is Singles’ Day! Is this a thing? According to the multiple emails I’ve gotten letting me know I can get 11% off in celebration, yes.

I have questions.

Now, I’m in no way against single people having a day (there’s a payback for Valentine’s Day). But, like Valentine’s Day, I wonder if this is simply a day to encourage shopping? (Hey, I make a living that way, so I can’t be too critical.) Of course, Singles’ Day can be anything we make it. (If we make up holidays, we can make up rules) So, here’s my take on Singles’ Day.

Let’s do it.
I’m in.
However, instead of focusing on being single (which is amazing if you think about it), let’s just make it a celebration of self love. Self love, and being single, gets a lot of press, but real talk? Self love, and being single, isn’t easy. It’s not just face masks and sales. Sometimes, it’s removing yourself from toxic situations (delete his number and you don’t have to be friends with people who are mean to you). It may mean that you have to push yourself harder (your goals won’t reach themselves), or say yes or no to things that are hard (but worth it). Self love, and Singles’ Day, may mean you’re at home alone when it’s easier to be out.

These things are hard. And you do deserve to be celebrated for them. Especially as we go into what is often the craziest time of the year, you deserve a little treat. I hope that you do something today to support yourself, be it a day in or out, hard or easy.

And because there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a face mask or a sale, I’ve linked some of my picks for Singles’ Day below.

Here’s to us!

Wishing us all a week of self-love and amazing shoes! 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!

My Singles’ Day Picks for Face Masks and Instagram Self Care: (some are $3!)

Nordstrom is having a sale. You should shop it:

Need Supply Co is one of my favorite online shops. From the unique to the trendy, the quality is amazing, they have brands I love, and the customer service is 100! For Singles’ Day you can take 11% off your order with the code SELFLOVE. This is what I’m lusting after:

Happy Singles’ Day Shopping!! Xo

Sunday Chronicles: The Holidays are Coming!

Investment Piece: Happy Holidays

We’re done with Halloween. And full speed into the holiday season.

Ok, if we’re honest, the rush into the holiday season started before Halloween. I went costume shopping for bits and pieces 2 weeks ago, my local craft store was taken over by Christmas. The rush to get to the holidays and Christmas? That’s another post. But we can’t hide our heads in the sand now, the holidays are coming!

Which is exciting! They don’t call the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year for nothing! Traditions, treats, cocktail parties, time with friends and family, snow (hopefully!), gifts, and all the trimmings. There are things that are only holiday activities and I love them all. From the build up to the actual days when we celebrate, I’ve always been a fan of the holidays. Yes, I’m the one who loves putting lights and decorations and cooking. That’s just the tip of my holiday iceberg.

But. The holidays can be a very difficult time. Sometimes it’s hard to be with our family and friends. We may be missing people. The stress from the traditions, trimmings, parties, treats, gifts, and all the holidays things can be overwhelming. One of my best Thanksgivings was spent alone eating what I wanted, watching football, and doing laundry. I get it.

Yes, let’s not forget Thanksgiving!

As stressful as the holidays can be, we’re here to help! Starting in two weeks, our gift guide series will start! And we’d love some feedback! Do you like category gift guides (i.e. For him/for her/stocking stuffers/etc)? Or do you want budget based gift guides (i.e. Under $100/etc?) Or do you want a combo of them? My goal is to make holiday shopping SO easy on you, so let me know what guides would help you the most!

And speaking of being helpful, I know that many of you hate holiday shopping. I get that. For the holiday season, I’m running a special on my personal shopping services. From doing it all for you to just emailing options, there are ways to get me to the hard work for you. Prices start at $25 an hour, and I’d love to custom make a package that fits your needs! Email me at racheladelicia@investmentpiece.com!

Wishing us all a week of holiday calm and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

An upside and the downside of living in LA is that celebrities are everywhere! (They are just like us!)

And even though they become common place, there are just a few celebrities that I can’t help but Fangirling over. Tracee Ellis Ross is one of them. One of the best stories I have? Meeting Tracee in a SoulCycle bathroom and chatting about red lipstick. (I’m not sure of the exact science, but red lipstick does help. Everything.)

Investment Piece: Fan Girling Tracee Ellis Ross

At this point, you may be asking: why Fangirl over Tracee? I mean yes, she’s stunning, talented, an advocate for causes she believes in, does amazing things like lift other artists up:

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee was the emcee of the AMAs and made a commitment to wearing designers of color and letting them have a platform.

Tracee’s Instagram is a glimpse into amazingly glam and couture moments and behind the scenes slices of life. There’s so much to love, and if you haven’t seen her TED talk yet, you need to get on that:

And I love this speech about having kids and the worth of being a woman:
Tracee Ellis Ross is the life coach we need.
She’s an endless inspiration for outfits and how to show up in life.

There are many, many reasons to be Fangirling over Tracee Ellis Ross. But, why do I?

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is a woman who is comfortable in her skin, and this alone makes her radiant. We give a lot of lip service to self care and self love, even I have written about it (here, here, and here). As we know, self love isn’t just face masks and a hashtag on Sunday’s. It can also mean saying no to things, saying yes to things, and choosing to treat yourself like someone with worth.

To me, Tracee shows how to do all that. Yes, a part of it is the glam fashion and the support of amazing causes. I don’t personally know her, and there could be an argument that any time we follow someone from afar that we’re only getting a curated view of their lives. Valid points. Yet, if this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tracee Ellis Ross’s life, I’m still a Fangirl. She’s the kind of woman I’d love to be: self assured, giving, funny, and real.

I also wouldn’t say no to this Gucci cape:
Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Just saying.

In the meantime, I’ll just work on being comfortable in my skin.

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

Investment Piece: Fangirling  Tracee Ellis Ross

Sunday Chronicles: Reset Inspiration

I’m going to call myself out on something I’m probably not supposed to:

Lately, I’ve been un-inspired.

Part of it has been my schedule. I’ve been a little overbooked, a little tired, and a little in need of time off. Forcing the issue: trying to plan shoots, outfits, doing the admin, all the things, has left me feeling really depleted.

The weird thing? I’m really excited about some of the things in the works. Outfits/shoots/collabs. There is so much good stuff coming!

So, where has my inspiration gone?

I’ve been battling massive headaches with the weather changes, and that could be a part. This month has just felt heavy in some ways, and that could be it.

But, I’ve made the decision that instead of forcing the inspiration this weekend, I would let it find me. So I took time off (could you tell?). I went to the movies (twice! A Star is Born for the second time and First Man-see them both!) I avoided social media. I vegged out. And by Sunday evening, I’m hoping that things are back to normal–that I’m inspired/working/excited.

My question for you, my loves, what do you do when you’re not inspired? How do work through when you’re depleted? Is there anything you would like to see on site? Are there any questions you have for me?

Comments and emails and DMs are all open! Tell me all about it!

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

Sunday Chronicles: Cleaning Our Closets

I clean out my closet. A lot. I feel like we talk about it. A lot.

And I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m fascinated by what we have in our closets. Closets are such a personal thing. The stories that they hold, the things that we keep–part of why I started my series about fashion stories (see here, here, and here). It’s no secret that my closet is vast, I collect vintage (and other things), view fashion as art, and am a firm believer that we should hang on to the things that bring us joy (even if they aren’t every-day wear).

However, every time I clean out my closet I have this fantasy of going minimalist. I’m convinced I’m going to get rid of SO MUCH. There are clean out theories I subscribe to, that I’ve given you, and I agree that things not being used don’t really have a place in our homes.

Then, I go through my clothes. My babies. And there are things I just can’t part with.

I came across this on Instagram recently:

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles
Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

(I would love to get credit for this. It clearly isn’t me. Yet–I loved it scrolling in the wee hours when I hadn’t quite woken up yet, but was somehow online. Yes. All of that. I haven’t been able to locate it in my likes or my feed–if you know this genius, please let me know and I will credit them!)

I love this take on the practice of cleaning our closets. There are some things that I WHOLE heartedly agree with: don’t settle for OK, hold out for the best, get rid of things that don’t showcase your best self, etc.

But. There are things that I’m not fully committed to. I think holding onto anything that brings you joy is valid. I think we do have items that are not wholly our every day lives in our closets, but I think that lets us explore things.

This little message really stuck with me. So I made us a video about it:

(Also, YouTube and I may be in a fight for that image being the saved one)

I’d love to know your thoughts on all this. If we want to clean out our closets, why can’t we get rid of stuff?

Wishing us all a week of only the best and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: hair and change

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles Hair and Change

I have a history with my hair (you can read all about it here). All summer long, I’ve been dying to get my hair done, change it up a bit, and feel different. You could say I’ve been courting change. Which is new for me. However, I’ve been craving the kind of change that’s complete, the wake up and your life is DIFFERENT. (I can’t be the only one who thinks there are events from birthdays to holidays where you will wake up changed)

And what better immediate change to make you feel like your life is different than to change your hair?

Here’s what I’ve learned about change: it doesn’t always follow our guide lines. Sometimes change happens fast. Sometimes, the change is slow. And even when you want it, change isn’t always easy and there’s not always some big “aha” moment where you wake up different.

I finally got to have my hair done. And I love it. I do feel lighter, and am so appreciative if you reached out on Instagram to let me know that you like it. But did I wake up completely different? No. Should I have? A week ago I might have said yes, explained that making a change like hair is one way to shake things up. And while a big hair change is always a great way to shake it up, I realized after getting my hair done that the change wasn’t my hair, but me. The hair change was simply an outside look at change that had happened on the inside.

This summer was a season of change for me. Some sudden, some slow, some wanted and some not. I didn’t have any big “aha” moment, and some of the change I’m still craving in my life is in the process. But, I’m different. We all are, if we think about it–and isn’t that a good thing? (If you say no, ask yourself if you want to be in the same place in 5 years. Do you want what’s here? Or do you want better?) Maybe the point isn’t to have these moments where the change is so overwhelming that we wake up different, but to be so comfortable with our change that we’re not afraid to show it.

For the first time in my life, I’m thinking my hair might need to be a little bit shorter. That’s huge change I’m happy to share with you; even if there was never a time I woke up different.

I’d love to hear about or see your change!

Wishing us all a week of change and amazing shoes! Xo RA

What to do when you HATE the trend

I originally wrote this post a few years ago. I pull it out now and again, because I can’t stop thinking about this topic. Again, we’re in the middle of “fashion month”. We’re in the middle of a transition to a new season. We’re being told what’s trendy, what we should buy, and the looks that we HAVE to have. And loves, I’m not mad at any of that. I love seeing new interpretations and getting to explore new sides of ourselves through fashion. The flip side of that? What if we hate it all. What if the trends for fall or next spring are just awful and wrong for us?

So, I read this. And I feel a little bit better. I hope you do you!

Wishing us all a week of good trends and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

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NY Fashion week has come and gone, and we’ve been presented with what’s on trend for now, and for the Spring. Which is great, right? Hopefully you’ve been inspired and are excited about what will be/is offered to you, and you have ideas and plans on how to wear it (or you’re excited to see how we wear it here!) But loves, let’s be honest with each other. There’s a chance, and there are times, when you just HATE a trend. Maybe you try it and it’s just not flattering on you. Maybe it brings back bad memories. Maybe you just hate it so much you can’t bring yourself to try it or think about it. I get it. I know, I’m in fashion and supposed to encourage you to try new things. Which I think you should. But not everything is for everyone.

Loves, I’ve struggled with this part all week. A part of me is torn–I feel as if I’m supposed to encourage you to try new things. Maybe the right piece, the right time, the right color will change your mind on a trend. Maybe. Trying different versions of a trend is also valid. Maybe you hate cold shoulder, but you love a certain off-the-shoulder. Maybe. Classics may be your thing and you don’t want to vary out, but one dress could change your mind. Maybe. I think all these avenues are great-again, I’m for us all trying things. But loves, sometimes things don’t work. And that’s valid too. Trends are simply that, a passing fancy, and if you don’t like it, it’s ok. A new trend will come about, or classics are always in style.
There are trends that I don’t like; and my personal view is that fashion is supposed to be a fun way to express yourself–not a list of things you HAVE to wear.

So, at the end of the day my biggest advice is, if you don’t love it, don’t wear it. That simple. Love what you wear, wear what makes you feel good!

XO RA