Sunday Chronicles: Day Off

a woman in a teal and chartreuse sleep set and robe lounges on a white bench in front of a white wall

Things I have been thinking about lately:
Burn Out (why and how to fix it)
Balance- in work and life and if it’s possible
Rebellion- I am horrible about when I get stressed I do that “revenge” stay up late thing where you stay up late to decompress and get time alone but it’s not great for you
Boundaries- how to set them and what they look like when you don’t have a traditional schedule
Habits
How I would like to my life to work.

There is so much about my life and work- even my day job!- that I love. That I feel as if I am good at. That I want to keep on. Yet. Loves. I have to admit that lately I am bit over tired. A lot overworked. On the edge of burn out. Do to this- fashion and my creative pursuits which I love (and feel as if I am failing at right now! Which is part of this!)- and my day job (sadly, Gucci doesn’t buy itself) I haven’t had a day off in MONTHS. MONTHS. I had a work trip for my day job a few weeks ago- that week I worked over 90 hrs just for them, plus shooting. And writing. As you may have heard my mom had emergency surgery (which I will never, ever complain about getting to be there for my family), but it was another thing I worked through. (Seriously, took a zoom call in the waiting room while she was in surgery).

I am tired. I am ready for a break. And my schedule doesn’t naturally lend itself to that. SO. I am making it. Today I am off0 my big plans include a face mask, doing my nails. Though I would like to shoot a few looks (as I am too excited about them!) and get started on some cleaning and laundry. Because I want to get on top of my schedule- and life. I want to get to a place where I am not behind ALL the time- and I have time for things I love (hello you!) and get to rest some.

The only way I know to get to that place is to take some time. Will I be putting up an OOO? No. But will I put off checking email and etc? Yes. Will there be bad TV and mindless scrolling (and some shopping!)? Yes. And time on the couch, cat cuddles, and not feeling guilty for not jumping out of bed. A day without my computer and being tied to my phone and worrying about getting it all done! (Ok, maybe I don’t know how to stop worrying but maybe that’s part of it!)

What do you do when you notice you’re a bit burned out and need some rest? Can you tell me on Monday?

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

Sunday Chronicles: Into The Fire

a woman on a bed with white sheets and a pink peignoir set

Ironically, I was thinking that summer, or the beginning of summer would be a lovely, slow paced time to get myself on a routine (my life long struggle). To clean out and organize my closet and beyond. To catch up on all my “chores” like mending and dry cleaning. And to be able to take all of that at a pace that still felt luxurious. Like a summer celebration instead of work.

Yet.

It’s the beginning of summer. I have been on a work trip for my day job that has left me drained. I am behind in oh so many ways. And this week had a twist of an unexpected emergency surgery for my mom- which we are still dealing with.

Something about the best laid plans. Or more like- into the fire from the frying pan?

More ironically? There are times when I do well under pressure. Not all times. But I am one of those who is more productive when I have a lot going on- as I have no choice but to stick to a schedule. So. Maybe this fire is good. I am still determined and have my list- the things I want to do and the person I want to be and the things I want to wear. Perhaps now we just do them with a bit of fire under our feet.

Hopefully, that makes the down or luxurious paced moments a bit more sweet. Or maybe the fire lets me know how lucky I am. Honestly, I am still spinning a bit and trying to grab 5 mins for myself here and there. But. I am a bit willing to let the fire inspire and move me- rather than just burn me up.

How that will work out? I guess we will see. But rest assured that I will be wearing fabulous shoes no matter what.

How do you react when plans go awry and you find yourself in a fire? Any tips? Also– what does one wear to a fire?

Wishing us all a week of being inspired by our circumstances and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Is there Such a Thing as Balance?

a woman in a blue pant set with purple feather shoes on a bed with a lace bed spread

One of my favorite bits of wisdom? “You can have it all, just not at the same time”.
Another bit of wisdom I have heard recently? “Sometimes things comes in waves. You have weeks when you’re great at work, then weeks you’re bad at work. Weeks you kill it in the gym, weeks when going for a walk is a big feat. You get to be good at one thing at week. Sometimes two. Don’t worry when you’re not good at something”.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about balance, about being good at it all at it all all the time, and how we manage. As I write this I am on a work trip for my day job. I have eaten meals, worked, and cried in this hotel bed. This week I have averaged working at LEAST 12 hrs a day (and I am most likely short changing myself). I haven’t worked out the way I love to. Or need to. In fact, putting myself first has been a thing I haven’t done. And I can tell I am suffering from not doing things for me, or working on the work I love.

We live in a world that makes it seem as if balance and keeping it together is easy! Just drink enough water (also haven’t done that this week), and keep up with everyone’s highlight reel and your work/social/personal/physical/spiritual lives and journeys are a snap! That’s what we are told. That’s what so many of us are killing ourselves to achieve.

There are weeks I feel like I have it together. And then days on days when I feel as if all I do is hit rock bottom. Lately I have really been worried and thinking about balance– mainly as I realize I am not doing what I want– and that’s not just shop all the time. When I get stuck in a pattern of my “scales” leaning towards everything that is not for me (ie. I am not drinking my water or working out or giving myself what I need in oh so many ways) and I find myself overworked and burnt out and trying to please people who probably don’t care (from bosses to clients to strangers on the internet), I can’t help but think about balance. And to use a wording from the original blogger, Carrie Bradshaw-

I can’t help but wonder: Is there such a thing as balance? And if so, how do we achieve it?

With only so many hours in the day (as we do need sleep), how do we excel at work, and our workouts, our diets and treats, at being a good friend and partner and if you are- a parent or child or caretaker, and still make time for ourselves? Is it possible to have it all and be it all week in out and every day? There have been times in my life where this did feel possible. But, lately? I have felt like I am failing at it all.

My experience this week at balance? Nothing balanced at all. My scales were heavily tilted and even with a few extra hours in the day I am so tired I don’t know that I could do anything with them. My birthday was a week or so ago, and one of the things I promised myself is that I would be my best self for me. So, does that mean I tilt my scales in my own favor? Personally, I know I need at least a few weeks of drinking the water and my workouts and focusing on the work (like this!) would make me feel better. But if that costs other things?

How do we balance it all? This is beginning to feel like a rant– which I never intended. Perhaps I should not be imbalanced and write! A vulnerable moment? I am struggling with my balance right now. And if you have any tips I am ALL ears. Even if it’s just how to say to my boss I need a day off!

I am sorry I have no insight. Tomorrow I will get up and do work. And I will also try to make time to get on a treadmill. And maybe spend some time in the water. And wear something fabulous. Have some water. And maybe some wine. Will it be enough? I guess we will see!

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

Mom’s Style

I’ve been posting this on my mom’s birthday for a few years now- it’s become tradition. While my mom’s birthday is on Thursday this year it’s a big week of her birthday, my birthday, family in, Mother’s Day and prepping for some fun shoots, a deep house clean and a big work trip. My mom and I are close, and yet different. However, as I get older I realize I’m more like her than I think, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Especially now, as some of us are apart from our families, I think about how the women in my life shaped me. I spent the past few years isolating with my mom- it wasn’t always easy, but I’m so grateful we did! Even though we spent the better part of the years not getting dressed up- I still learned about style from her over this past year. And yes, we’re getting dressed today! Hope whatever your relationship with moms are, this season lands easy. Xo RA

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

Loves! It’s my Momma’s birthday! (on Tuesday!) If you haven’t caught on, my mom and I are close, and I can’t begin to describe how much I love her, and how appreciative I am for all she does for me. Mom is a CPA and teaches accounting, she’s our CFO, and while that’s completely different from her creative daughter who thinks shoes are a necessity (I mean I need shoes, I occasionally want to eat); Mom’s style has influenced me and helped me become the fashionista I am today. So, what did I learn from Mom’s style? Glad you asked!

Stay True to Your Style

No matter the trend or what “you’re supposed” to do, sticking to what you love and what works for you is something to be admired–and makes you look stunning! Mom is a big fan of navy. She is known for her love of navy suits, shoes, and bags. There are years when navy is “in” and years when we’ve had to search for navy for Mom. That doesn’t matter to Mom, even when the styles she loves aren’t in she sticks to them. There’s a classic-ness in that, a commitment. That’s not to say Mom doesn’t try new things, but I’ve learned that you don’t need to be a slave to trends, that sticking to things you love is something to be commended, and when you find something that fits you–hang onto it!

Proper Undergarments Matter

Mom and I have had a lot of events recently and at everyone Mom has mentioned that she thinks I might need a slip. (Side note: I have slips, I’m not great at wearing them) Here’s the thing though: Mom may have a point. Lining, slips, proper garments: our clothes fit better when we make sure these things are taken care of. Proper fit is important (Mom is big on that too) and to ensure that the fit flows, proper undergarments help. (And let’s be honest, no one likes the look of lines!)

Invest in Your Suit
Something Mom and I agree about whole heartedly? Your suit, be it an actual suit, jeans or yoga pants, is something to invest in. Mom, being an accountant, is a fan of actual suits and made it a point to invest in good ones each year. Now that she’s in a place where she’s good on suits, Mom is having fun filling her closet with tanks, tops and blouses (both classic and trendy) to wear with her suits. However, she’s always adamant that her suits are high quality, she checks seams and linings, that it’s where she spends her money. And loves, I agree–what you wear the most should be where you invest your money.

Don’t be Afraid to Accessorize

Mom is a more conservative dresser than I am, yes. However, Mom is not too conservative for a great accessory! I can’t remember a time when Mom didn’t leave the house without a scarf, jewelry, pins, or gloves. We do a high tea occasionally, and Mom is always on point with her hats (and gloves!). The lesson? You can always be playful, and the details are always a place to have fun!

While Mom and I may have different opinions about certain fashions, but my Mom has some amazing style, and I’m so grateful she taught me all she knows!

Have some champagne to celebrate!

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: Mending

a pile of dress, tops, napkins, etc to be mended and ironed

This is stacking of mending (and honestly ironing) that I need to do. That I have been needing to do for months. We can chat about a lot here:
-Why does it take so long to do the little things? Or : why do we put things off?
-Mending as a way to prolong our looks, closets, and as a great way to recycle
-Why is ironing the worst?

But mainly I keep thinking: why is mending (and even mending our clothes which is great!) a bit overwhelming? From fixing hems to saying “I’m sorry” mending is both what can keep us together- but one of those things that can be so hard to do. I will be 100% honest- there are times when I am bad at both.

My grandmas (both! And my mom) taught me to sew. I also had to take costuming for my BFA in Theater. While I am by no means a tailor, most minor mending and alterations are well within my wheelhouse. And yet. This pile is just a representation of what I can put off. In this pile? Nothing major. At all. Some hems that need to be tacked up, some straps that need adjust, the biggest mending is a top needs some elastic replaced. Even all together (even with the laundry), this probably would not be over an hour’s work. Yet. For almost a year I haven’t been able to bring myself to do to. This mending pile has been moved from my closet. To the floor. To the couch. All in the hopes that the more I see it, the more I could just pick it up and do it.

However, as we can see, all this mending is still undone.

Mending as in our relationships is also something I need to do. Not just apologies (though I think I owe a few of those), I am behind on texts, calls, catch ups, and just the day to day maintenance of relationships of all kinds. Beloveds, there are even people I really want to chat with. Then- I get to the end of my day –and I just put off the mending.

Is it because our days are so full? Am I that bad at mending? Is it just easier to put off things we need? All of the above. I am a firm believer in mending. I think it’s great and helps us have the closets and relationships we want. So- I am perplexed at my procrastination at mending. How do we get over that?

(Not a rhetorical question! If you have tips from mending to being proactive in mending I am all ears!)

For what feels like the millionth week in a row I am putting mending on my to do list. (There’s even mending I’m hoping to send out!) And I am bribing and working on my procrastination in getting it done. What about you?

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

Sunday Chronicles: Making A Mess First

Ironically I’m right back in this place again. Part of my closet that I designed collapsed – it was my fault! I didn’t screw a rod in! But it’s sent me into disarray. And again, I’m needing tweaks in my scheduled and to clean- and redo my closet. Weirdly, while it can feel not great to be at certain place again, it feels a bit reassuring to know that I have been here before- and made it. So. I will make it again. Does it ever bring you comfort that you have done things before so you know you can do it again?

a close up of shoe boxes on a shelf above a hanging shelf

I’m finally- finally- turning a room in my house into a full closet for me. A long time wish/goal/want- and great for not only business but my clothes! At first, when the decision was made and I began to clear out and rearrange my closets and furniture, I truly thought the process would take a 1 day, maybe 2 at most. We’re currently 2 weeks into this- what I know will be worth it- redo (and yes, we’re redoing other rooms and I have multiple work and other obligations too) and it’s at the point where we’re a mess.

There are clothes I can’t get to, clothes I can’t see. Rooms I can’t walk in. There are days I’ve spent dirty and worried that even with a plan and a vision that I’ve done nothing but made a mess. And maybe I have. But here’s the thing: sometimes making a mess is the only way to move forward.

While that’s perhaps not a novel thought, as it seems that everyone a big change in my life happens- from moves to jobs to well, anything- it’s a lesson that feels new each time. My life is kind of a mess right now. Starting with my rooms and my closet and my house. It’s not that I can’t see how things will get better, but often when cleaning and rearranging, you do actually have to make a mess first. Science? Or just a fact that you have to get everything out then get it back in.

In the mess of all of this, I have started a new day job. *** I’m still dealing with family grief from a loss this summer. And, as we all say, am trying to keep up with our health and social lives and all the thing.If you tell me you never struggle with time management I’ll laugh! Especially at times like these- I have the feeling if I had a few days with absolutely NO other obligations or worries that the closet redo would be done so quickly and easily. But- how do you get a few days with NOTHING?

When it’s done, I can’t wait to show you my closet. OR new closet space. Yes- I think making a specific space for anything that you need- from a closet to an office to a hobby room to a gym- is a brave thing and a must. (If we’re gonna thrive we need places for it!) But the process is messy. Daily I’m reminded that the way up is to make the mess, then clean it up. Make the mess then clean it up.

There are so many times and things in life that this applies to. And that is both uncomfortable and comforting. Usually when we make changes in life- from those we don’t want to those we do-there’s a mess made before we put ourselves back together. From breakups to moves to job changes to glow ups and everything in between, I’ve found this to be true. Has mess ever been easier to deal with? Not really.

That’s a thing I’m working on. Currently, I’m trusting that the mess I’m making will end up in the best (or maybe better!) of my plans. Because to clean or build we gotta be a little messy, right?

How do you deal with the mess that comes before a redo or a break through? Any tips are appreciated!

Wishing us all a week of cleaning up messes and amazing shoes! XO RA

*** Very much a side note, and probably a whole other article. I’ve always been embarrassed about having day jobs. Yet, as they say, Gucci doesn’t buy itself. I LOVE my fashion work- and think it’s part of my calling. I LOVE acting- and think it’s part of my calling. And yet. Those industries have never paid out on a regular basis for me. So I do other jobs too. Perhaps that keeps me young? Skill sets fresh? Whatever way, I’m working on accepting that day jobs are a part of this wonderful journey!***

Happy Easter!

close up of a chic hat with black and white polka dotted bunny ears

Beloveds! This weekend is Easter. If you’re celebrating, I hope that your celebrations are full of people (and food you love!). If you’re not celebrating, I hope that this weekend is restful- and still full of things you love. I’m taking the day to be with family and celebrate the holiday- we’ll be back tomorrow with fresh fashion!

Happy Holidays!
XOXO
RA

After Labor Day Do We Wear White?

I have asked this question and debated it and yet- I never thought to ask: when do we start wearing white? Do you wait till Easter? Is the first day of spring ok? If there is a cut off to wear white when do we begin again?

Is this because I’m in possession of fantastic white (ish) pants that I’m currently wearing (see ? OR because at a point when the weather is all over do I say I’m just doing what the weather tells me? Please let me know- do you have dates for your outfits and colors? I would love to hear about them!

XO RA

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I’m from the South and it’s a pretty hard and fast rule that you don’t wear white after Labor Day. It’s so ingrained in us that a few years ago at a football game a guy friend of mine–who is not into fashion–saw a woman wearing white pants and made a comment that she shouldn’t be doing that, as it was after Labor Day. In fact, starting Monday, my mom puts away all her linen items–citing the fact that it’s a summer fabric. And I get it–I’ve clearly been excited and ready for fall. There is something to be said for dressing for the season.

However, after living in California I came to realize that the white rule isn’t necessarily followed everywhere. You could argue that in CA it feels like summer longer, although it can be in the 100s till October in TX. Even the fashion elite –Vogue, etc– have relaxed their thinking and you can search for articles today like “How to Wear Your White Jeans Through Fall”. So who do we listen to–our Southern Moms or those who say we can wear white?

Honestly, I fall in the middle here. Don’t worry Mom–after Monday I won’t wear (a ton of) white pants (winter white is a whole other story though!) but I won’t be rushing to my fall/winter wardrobe. The fact of the matter is it will still be hot on Tuesday. And while I won’t be wearing white pants, white will still most likely pop into my outfits as an accent or piece–skirt, top, etc–but not the whole look. I no longer judge those who wear white after Monday–fashion is so diverse and if you like your outfit I’m a fan of you rocking it! (Also I love it when you’re daring) But I will say I’m looking forward to our gradual shift to fall clothing! Have I mentioned I have some amazing boots to show you??

I’d love to know–what’s your stance on white after Labor Day?

Hope you’re have a great holiday weekend! XO RA

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Sunday Chronicles: Getting Pinched

a woman in a green turban and a green and white silk jacket and dress

I know today is a “holiday” and a day a lot of people use as an excuse to cut a little loose. I get it, truly I do. To me? Today is about pinches- or avoiding them. The family story my family is sick of hearing about?

The one where my sister pinched me.

When I was 8?9? I had strep throat- awful- on St Patrick’s Day. Strep throat was an illness was I dealt with on a yearly basis, and it always took me down, in a horrific fashion. I am also one of those that has never run high fever, 99 is high for me. But, strep made me super ill, event without a high fever. So, I had been sent home from school- super sick, and as strep was the thing that I always got my mom could tell what it was and got me to the dr right away for a diagnosis and some meds. Even as a kid I loved to dress to a theme, and would usually wear green on St Patrick’s Day (the childhood celebration of it!). However, being sick and needing comfort I wore one of my fave, comfort outfits at the time- a white sweatshirt with a teddy bear on it and a white ribbed skirt with keds. No green.

Coming home from the doctor my sister and I were sitting in the back seat- again we were kids! And noticing that I wasn’t wearing green my sister pinched me. This may seem a bit innocent, a thing that sisters do-but the thing is my sister has a prosthetic arm. She was born without her left arm (and is a total rock star and was HomeComing Queen!) and at the time had a myroelectric arm –and pinches were not subtle. They hurt! And were hard! I remember being so upset, here I was feeling awful with my throat on fire, and I get pinched. Hard. And my sister laughed.

I tell this story so much my family gets sick of it. What it changed for me? Every year on St Patrick’s Day I make SURE I wear green. Sometimes big green, sometimes subtle green, but always green. I’m making it my mission to not get pinched again!

Do you wear green today? And do you pinch those that don’t? Weirdly, I’ve never been one to pinch- perhaps my own experience has made me a bit more understanding! However you “celebrate” and whatever you’re wearing , I hope today is fantastic!

Wishing us all a day of no pinches and amazing shoes! XO RA