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!

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!

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!

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

Sunday Chronicles: Ways to Say “I Love You!”


Happy Valentine’s Day Lovers! I hope you’re being showered with love and affection and treats.

I have something to confess my loves: I am not a big fan of this day. No, it’s not a big “single movement” or “galentines ” (although I like that idea). I just don’t like the idea that someone is professing their love or pampering me because they “have to”. I’m not anti-love. I’m anti having to express it in a certain manner. Let me be clear: if you care about me and want to tell me, please do! Treat me! But please don’t do it because this is the day that you’re supposed to. I was a little bit scared to admit that–there’s nothing worse than being the woman who’s anti-Valentine’s day, but a friend of mine wrote this piece on not liking the holiday–and it made me bold. (I loved a lot of what she had to say!)

Here’s the thing lovers–I love love. I really do. I am for affection, and treats, and letting people know that you love them. I think there is so much love in our lives to be grateful for–from our friends to our families to the baristas who remember our names and exactly how we like our coffees. All of that is love –and should be celebrated. In fact, sometimes I think we forget how much love is in our lives. We concentrate on romantic love–which is amazing–and the big, grand gestures that can accompany it are fantastic. But the simple gestures that friends, family and sometimes strangers can show us are just as great. When I found this list of ways to say “I love you”, it hit me–because these non-grand gestures of love are often what make up our lives. And they are fantastic. And should be celebrated–not because a holiday says so, but because we are so lucky to have people in our lives who care how our days go.

If you’re celebrating today–great! There’s nothing wrong with that. And if you’re not–great! There’s nothing wrong with that. I hope in whatever way, on whatever day you chose, you can take a minute to see the love in your life–and maybe let those people know you love them too. And not to get on my soapbox–but this is my soapbox–I hope you let yourself know that you love you too. I saw an essay about being the love of your own life (regardless of any other relationship) and of all the things I love, I love that. Ourselves will be with us forever–we will spend the most time with ourselves, we will grow old together, we will be forever tied together. Loving yourself isn’t always easy (that’s another therapy trip), but it is important and rewarding. So while we’re celebrating love–maybe let’s learn to love ourselves, develop a great relationship with ourselves, treat ourselves like we’re the loves of our lives, be the loves of our own lives. And if that involves treating ourselves to new shoes to pamper us? Well, everyone wins 🙂

I wish us all an abundance of love and amazing shoes this week! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles : It’s All in the Seams

This post is originally from a few years ago (there are times when it shocks me that I’ve been doing this for years!); but this is something that I’ve been thinking about recently. Not necessarily French seams, though yes, but the idea that things take time. The idea that something that is well made, and worth the time and effort, is better than something that is ready quickly, but made to fall apart. The idea that somethings, both French seams and ideas are meant to last.  Also, what fashion means to me, why I care about quality and what I can do to explain my views with you (more of all of that to come!).

And then, I remembered I wrote about this before: so I give you again, It’s all in the seams!


Yesterday my mom and I got to talking about couture, really the magic of couture is seaming, lining, and fit. French seams, where you essentially double sew the seam so it’s encased, are the trademark of couture- they’re difficult, time consuming , and look amazing. The seams are part of what make couture fit so well, last so long, and look stunning. So they’re worth it. In fact the trick to catching couture – and real designer bags and shoes- check the insides

It got me thinking about what is worth it. We live in a world that demands everything instaneously- relationships, careers, material goods. Everything is expected to come quickly, it can be considered failure for things to take time. But here’s the thing about rushing things – quickly made seams fall apart. I can do a quick seam- but it won’t last, and probably won’t look good. And when you want something to last- and look good- you have to take the time to do the little things, whether that’s French seams or letting a relationship or career take its time. It’s a process, but rush the process and the inside falls out.

I would rather have a closet full of French seams- bags and shoes that last- things that are beautifully made than a closet full of seams that fall apart. I understand that this means I will spend more, and things will take time to accumulate. I’m okay with it. In fact, I’d like to build a life full of relationships that last, a good career, and moments that matter- those things take time as well. But, when I look at the French seams – it’s worth it.

Happy Sunday! Wishing us all a week of great seams and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: #Goals

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, goals, Sunday Chronicles, CA, TX

I’m going to bet that not only are you seeing post after post about diets, cleanses, and detoxes, but that your feeds are full of goals. Goal setting. Goal achieving. Talking about goals. Hopefully, out there, someone being #goals. After all, tis the season, right? And I get it. We can’t work towards anything that we don’t put out there; and sharing your goals is a great way to add in accountability.

What I don’t like? All talk and no action. I feel like we can spend time talking about our goals, thinking about them, sharing them; and yet, we still have to work towards our goals. So this year, I’m not going to share my goals here. Yes, I have them, yes, they’re big. Yes, I can’t wait to show the result. But instead of just listing my goals, I’m thinking: how do I achieve them?

Goals are amazing. Goal achieving is what I’m after. And I hope you are, too. So in that spirit, here are some thoughts I have on going out and getting our goals done. I still would love to hear your goals, but I’m also interested in your methods. Loves, what are you doing to reach your goals?

To Reach a Goal You Have to Believe You are Worthy Of It
Do you think you deserve what you want? A simple question, but if you really put in the thought, it can be really complicated. A wise woman once told me that the difference between those who achieve goals and those who don’t is the belief that they are worthy of their goals. We’ve heard it before: we are so worthy and deserving of everything we want. But, do we really believe that? I can be as self sabotaging as I can be amazing. So, this year as I set my goals, I’m examining my thoughts. I’m thinking about the life I want, and how that would look and feel. And I’m making sure that I know how worthy I am of that fantastic life I’m planning.

Did you make a mistake? Or did something just not look like your expectation?
A woman I love asked me this question this week and I can’t stop thinking about it. When we set goals, when we work towards them; it’s so easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to feel like once you make a mistake to give up. First, there is no such thing as perfection (and as a perfectionist I have to remind myself of that EVERY DAY), and being soft with ourselves when mistakes happen is part of the process.

Second, what if it’s not a mistake? I bit on my teeth on scripts. I tend to have a picture in my head of how things should go, look, be said. And when reality doesn’t match that? I can get a little uptight. (Ok, a lot uptight. Please still be my friend). What I’m learning to remind myself of? Sometimes mistakes and things not looking the way you planned is a gift. Sometimes not having your expectation met means that something even more wonderful happened. How’s that for goal setting and mistakes?

The best way to get a goal done? Do it. I enjoy the thinking, the planning, the creating. And all of that is so important. More important? Action. Jumping in and working a bit each day, even when things aren’t perfect. There’s something about the motion that can carry us through. Or at least, that’s what the goal people tell me.

So I’m working, and doing. I’m making “mistakes” and feeling worthy. I’m trying and putting myself out there. What about you? What are your methods and thoughts about how to reach #goals?

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

Sunday Chronicles: Detox

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles: Detox

By now, I’m sure that all of your social media feeds are full of the news. It’s detox season and from “dry January” to juicing to no sugar, everyone is giving up something. I’m no stranger to a detox (I’ve even written about it here and here and here. Juice is something I love, dry January is completely doable, and sugar can be given up. I believe in balance, and think that detox is a part of that.

However, this year I’ve been thinking a lot about detoxing and what needs to be cut, needs to be balanced, needs to be dealt with in my life. In the holiday season, it can be so easy to over-indulge, that the balance seems to be a detox. I know my body is ready to cut back on sugars, carbs, alcohol and get more sleep. But is going to extremes in our detox any better than going to extremes in our indulgences? I love the occasional glass of wine, and is that so bad? For research, I’ve been reading why dry January is good for you, Why Not to do Dry January, and for fun, The Champagne diet. My take-away? Do what works for you, but if the goal is moderation, maybe extreme measures aren’t the best.

My diet isn’t the only thing I’m thinking of detoxing. The new year means a fresh start and nothing says “new” like a good closet detox. I usually spend some time in January devoted to chatting about closet clean outs (see here, here, and here), and I’m getting the urge to purge again. However, this year I’m not only thinking of what to clean out, I’m thinking of what kind of wardrobe I want to build. I shop, a lot, and while I’m never going to be one to have a minimalist closet (I just love too many styles too much), I do want to be more mindful in what I curate. It’s like balance, but for designer shoes. This means that when I clean out, I’m going to be aware of what I put back in. Yes, I may take more time shopping, may be pickier with my choices, and may cut back on fast fashion; but if that gets me a great closet, is that a bad thing?

Can you tell that my goal with detox this year is to get to a state of balance? I’m thinking about what I want my relationships (with food and clothes, among other things) to be; and my goal is make choices that best serve the relationships I want. Yes, there may be a glass of wine and new shoes occasionally, we’re chatting detox, not giving things up entirely!

I’d love to know: what are your thoughts on detox? Are you cutting things out this month?

Wishing us all a week of balance and amazing shoes!

In defense of Gift Cards

Investment Piece: In defense of Gift Cards

There’s a rumor going around about gift cards. That they are not a thoughtful gift. They mean that you waited till the last minute. Gift cards say that you didn’t really care to get your loved one a “real gift”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to rumors, but I respectfully disagree. Gift cards? I LOVE them. In fact, I think that gift cards are an incredibly thoughtful, real gift, and often, what your loved ones want. Don’t believe me? Let me lay out my defense of gift cards. Continue reading In defense of Gift Cards

Sunday Chronicles: Living with Wounds

Sunday Chronicles, Investment Piece, wounds, editorial

This was originally posted about a year ago. I began thinking about this very topic this week when I looked down and realized that some of these very same scars were barely visible. Some are still there, very bright. It got me thinking about healing, about moving on, about how we live with our scars. In the past year I’ve healed. I’ve gotten hurt. I’ve learned. And when I’ve need them, the people in my life have been there for me. As I think about my scars, and re-read this, I can’t help but think that maybe living with our scars isn’t a bad thing. (And at the end of the post I’ve linked some picks from the Nordstorm sale!)

Originial Post:
Loves, as you may know, this year has been a doozy when it comes to loss. And in the midst of this, last week there was a small grease fire in my kitchen and I burned my arms. Badly. It’s not pretty.

Sunday Chronicles, Investment Piece, wounds
And this is the “good” arm. Loves, it was painful. It is painful. And yet, after the shock and the first aid, my thought was how it would look. And later in the week I again worried about outfits, about shoots, about the fact that right now, unless I fully commit to long sleeves (and even those failed Friday night) I can’t hide the fact that I have wounds on my arms. I’m sure we could chat about my need for perfection, if it’s good that I worry about how it looks, and if those conversations say something about career choices or society as a whole- maybe we’ll get to those later, but for now–wounds. I’m living with them.

And loves, it’s uncomfortable. No matter what our wounds are, having them in the open can be difficult. It’s painful, sometimes on many levels. It invites questions. It can leave you feeling vulnerable. But loves, the only way for wounds to heal are to have them heal, and often that means having them in the open. And while it can be a struggle to live with wounds, it’s brave. It means willing to be vulnerable, to live with questions, to be honest about where you are-pain and all. There’s bravery in that, there’s beauty in that. And while that’s hard for me, I’m learning to live in that space.

I can do nothing about the fact that I have these burns/scars on my arms for the time being. They will be in some photos, as much as I may not like that. But this is where I am. So I’m learning: that being honest about where you are is brave, that being vulnerable about questions and situations is freeing, and that flaws can be beautiful. I’m giving my wounds time to heal, because you can’t rush that, and I’m living there.

I just may have to wear amazing shoes to balance it out.

No matter where you are I’m wishing us all a beautiful week and amazing shoes! XO RA

If you haven’t heard, Nordstrom is having an amazing sale! I couldn’t resist linking my fave picks for you:

Happy Shopping!