Sunday Chronicles : Chaos as Catalyst

a cat biting the heel of a woman wearing a white dress with tabby cats on its

As you may have imagined, it’s been a little crazy around here. The site got hacked, we got it back, and have been playing catch up since then. I became a Dora Maar Muse, which means that I’m still going through my closet (aka things are in disarray). And on top of that- I’ve adopted another cat. Well, I should say that I’ve taken the outside cat who has been fed and loved here for years and found a way to get him fixed (thank you PALS!!) but he got a little infection. So, I’ve been playing cat mom/nurse as he’s living in my bathroom- and of course that means we’re dealing with the other cat, the laundry I’m letting pile up, exhaustion, worry, etc.

Long story short? It’s been a little chaotic here.

And I’m wiped. Yet- I had a moment this am (around 5a when one cat was crying for me and the other wasn’t sure what to think about that) that I realized that chaos can be a catalyst for change. I need to clean out. I need to clean. And for months my rountine has needed some tweaking. While I don’t know that I would have chosen this exact path- this time of chaos may be the thing I need as a catalyst to the changes I want to make.

It’s not going to be easy, especially when I’m overtired and needed so much, and there seems to be a lot of changes coming. On the other hand, perhaps being stuck in the fire is the best (fastest) way to get into the new. My plan to get through the chaos to the change? A step at a time. Rebel (previous outside cat) only wants to be in my bathroom- and be held a lot. He and I are going to clean my bathroom (and hopefully cleanout some makeup!) today. Then tomorrow Cartier (indoor cat) and I will start tackling my closet. Laundry both days. Snuggle breaks both days. And I’ll used this time to get to bed earlier (hopefully), get up earlier, and begin to manage my time (work, cats, home, etc) in better chunks.

Will this chaos as a catalyst work? I can’t be sure, but I know it’s what I got to use right now, do we might as well use it. The worst that will happen? The chaos just leaves me needing a nap! And the change comes later. I can also live with that.

What are you planning to use to your advantage this week? How are you handling it?

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

Sunday Chronicles: Happy Father’s Day!


It’s Father’s Day! My dad is an engineer but has never questioned or withheld his support from his daughter who only ever wanted to dance, act, and be in fashion. He’s also the man who taught me to love football–which is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.  I hope the fathers in your life are as supportive of you!

On the other hand, relationships with our parents, and parent figures can be tough. I hope if this is a hard day for you that you’re spending the day in a way that feels right to you.

Wishing us all a week of love and amazing shoes! xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Taking up Space


In light of all the world events, protests, revolutions, and my wanting to be a better ally I’ve been thinking a lot about my voice. And how to best use it. The thing is: I’m not always comfortable speaking up or taking up space. I was raised to be “nice” and not “make trouble” and “please everyone”. But the fact is none of those things are really possible. Some trouble is good. I (and you) deserve to be heard. And nice isn’t always the best policy. So. I’m working on it. And while my thoughts here are from a few years ago, reflecting on how I can take up space this week helped me. Hope it helps you! XO RA

Sometimes topics come and hit you over the head, forcing you to pay attention to them. This week I was minding my own business, cruising the internet, when out of no where this article and this article kept popping up, on repeat. A sign? Maybe, maybe not; but when articles appear, I read them.

A note–I am one of those who have a hard time asking for the space I need (unless we are driving an then just try to sway into my lane–you have a horn coming). I believe in courtesy, compassion, and sharing-but a long line of waiting for others to recognize that I may need leg room/arm room/a seat has taught me that you have to take your space–others won’t give it to you. And yes, there are societal and gender issues at play; there are different types of space and different issues that surround each of them. I could write about them all but want you to not be reading till Monday! So, for today, let’s talk physical space–we can deal with other issues another day.

So space. We all need it– be it on a subway, an arm rest, on an airplane. So why do some of us have such a hard time asking for it? There are those who don’t–and yes, as a member of the former group I can be in awe, envy, and sometimes hate those who seem to take up all the space they need (and sometimes more) without a thought or care. Are those people inherently bad or selfish? I like to think not (yes, I could write about those who probably are). Some people just naturally take up space. I, personally, don’t–and it’s not that I don’t need it. I’m tall, I like to spread out as much as the next person, and know I deserve the sidewalk or public space as much as the next person. And it’s not that I don’t take space–it’s just that if others are taking up space (manspreaders, etc) or if the space is in debate (shared armrests), I tend to defer-not ask for space, let the other person have it.

So why? If I know I have a right to the space, why do I, and others like me, have a hard time asking for it? Maybe we expect people to notice what we need and give it to us–which has never worked for me. Maybe it’s years of training to be nice and not demand things–I’m a Southern woman, I know this. Maybe it’s a combination, maybe other issues come into play.  I don’t know.

I do know that I believe every single one of us deserves to take up all the space we need. And if people aren’t going to give it to us, we’re going to have to take it. Is this hard for me? Yes, but the good news is we can do hard things. So this week I’ve gone out of my way to take up the space I need. A guy at the movies had his legs spread wide, I willed myself to say “Excuse me” (not “I’m sorry”, another issue), and even though I had to say it twice, he moved. At the gym I stood my ground and held my space at the mirror while getting ready. Moon-landing accomplishments? No. But a start. This doesn’t mean my voice doesn’t shake sometimes, or I find it easy; but if other people are asking for the space they deserve, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s the secret guys, there is enough space for all of us. And if you aren’t getting what you need, you are going to have to ask for it. I’d love to know–is this something you struggle with? How do you deal with it?

Wishing us all a week of space and amazing shoes! 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: Happy Mother’s Day!

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

A day for celebrating Mother’s is so great- and yet it can hold grief. I’m lucky today as I get to be with my book club, with my mom, and with a woman who’s like a mom to me. I also get to mother my cats, my shoes, and myself. I hope that if you’re feeling a loss, I hope there’s peace. There are so many ways to be a mom. Even without kids. There are so many ways to mother yourself. No matter what today means for you, I wish you celebration, joy, and love. May this day land gently.

Here’s to us all!


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 isn’t till Tuesday, this is a big week for us- Mom’s birthday, my birthday, we celebrate my mom’s 50th college reunion this weekend as well as Mother’s Day. 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!


Sunday Chronicles: Catching Up

a cat biting the heel of a woman wearing a white dress with tabby cats on its

It feels as if my life has been a comedy of errors lately. And that’s not always a bad thing, but I am wary to make plans as none of the plans that I have made recently- from friends to pilates classes- have some to pass. Some of the things that I’ve had to break plans for have been AMAZING (print jobs, acting gigs, etc) but some things have been comical- weather and other extensional reasons. Yet, no matter what the reasons I’m missing my routine. And my friends. AKA Nothing ha been doing to plan, I’ve had to cancel too many times, I’m constantly scrambling to readjust my plans. What I’d really love to do is catch up.

So my goal for this next season (Taurus, like me! if you’re into that sort of thing, or just late spring) is to get to follow through with my plans. Classes. Lunches and more with friends. Shoots on certain days. I know not everything is in my control- from weather on down- but everything that is in my control- I’m willing it to go towards catching up.

Also-this goal to catch up doesn’t only apply to my plans (which I AM going to stick to), it also applies to me. From my workouts to my writing schedule (which I’m still working on solidifying), I’m looking to keep commitments this seasons- especially if the commitments in question are to myself. But how do you make catching up to yourself a thing when your work is always in flux? Honestly, I’ve been working as an actress since I was 20 and as a blogger for the past 8 years and I still haven’t figure that out 100%.

But for both me and my social plans I can’t Not plan on anything coming up (yes, I know that’s a double negative). Perhaps what I mean is that no one can ever see all the turns life will throw at you. What I can say is that I am determined to get to catch up. Stick to my plans. If I have to cancel reschedule right away. Maybe it’s a way of being more on top of my schedule, or maybe it’s a way of not letting my life get away. Catching up, at its heart, is about sitting down and listening to some else. And perhaps what I’m craving is really listening to my friends, and me, so that I can adjust my plans.

The coming up season- from birthdays to weddings to showers to graduations is a bit overwhelming, which makes it a perfect season to stick to catching up on what you need- and making that a priority. Exactly what I plan on doing.

Wishing us all a week of plans that follow through and amazing shoes!

Sunday Chronicles: Living with Wounds

Sunday Chronicles, Investment Piece, wounds, editorial

This was originally posted about a few years 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. And I’ve added some new scars. 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.

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

Happy Easter and Passover!

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

Beloveds! This weekend is both the beginning of Passover and 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!

Sunday Chronicles: The Dark Side

a woman in a floral slip dress with gold boots and a fringe shawl stands in front of a city scene

There’s something you may have noticed recently- my hair is getting darker. A more accurate description would be that I’m growing my hair out naturally (though I have to be honest, this is the darkest it’s ever grown in). The choice to go natural was part necessity- as we all also know I had gone a bit TOO blonde (dying hair by yourself will do that!) and needed to get my hair healthy again. Also, Covid left me with scalp psoriasis (which I am getting under control, but it’s a whole other story) and with outbreaks of that, I haven’t wanted to put chemicals on my hair. And, after having colored my hair myself and before that having had to keep up with appointments, I was hoping my natural hair color would be something I could love.

Like most women, I have a complicated relationship with my hair (see here, and wrote about first going a bit darker blonde here), and more honestly this process-and my feelings about it- have been even more complicated. While I knew that my hair would be darker, I picture myself as a blonde, and somehow thought it would naturally be a bit lighter than it is. Growing up my hair would get light any time that I spent time in the sun, and I have to say there is a part of me that hopes that “invite me to your pool season” brings out some highlights. That being said, I find myself liking the darker side. I feel like it makes my eyes pop, and it is fun trying new makeup and clothing colors with it.

That being said, it’s jarring to think of myself as a brunette. (Weirdly I still don’t!) My agent said that to me this week and I had a moment where I was sure she was talking about someone else. And as it feels as if my hair color is still in transition- there is still color at the ends, the tone changes constantly- it feels as if I am in transition too. Plus, there is still a part of me that wonders if I should just go light again (the good thing about hair is that we can change it!). Or I worry that being dark haired will leave me with so much to change. While there are days when I LOVE what’s happening with my hair, there are days that I long to either just go darker or go lighter.

What most impresses me about how I’m reacting to my hair going to the darker side is that I’m being patient. Or trying to. I know that growing out hair color, and letting your natural hair color settle, takes time. It’s sometimes hard, but I’m really curious about what happens when my hair is all grown out (or I cut it) and the color settles (or the sun works magic, or whatever!). Also, as for medical reasons I’m supposed to hold off on coloring, patience may be my only option. So. We’re heading to the darker side. We’re figuring it out, adjusting our views, and embracing change.

Have you ever grown out your hair after coloring it for years? What was your experience? Does coloring your hair affect how you see yourself? I would love to hear all about it!

Wishing us all a week of loving our dark and our light sides and amazing shoes! XO RA