Sunday Chronicles: Letting Go

I went to write about letting go this week. Quelle Surprise- letting go is still something I struggle with! And it turns out I’ve written about it more than once (do I have issues letting go about writing about letting go? I guess so!) Instead of repeat myself- or beat myself up for not letting go soon enough I’m re-reading this and reminding myself as long as I am trying, it’s progress!


A wise friend once said to me,” We do things until we can’t do them anymore”. She was referring to me beating myself up about not being able to make a choice- but on many levels she’s right. Every one of us hangs on to different things : ideas, people, things- and we hang on till we simply can’t anymore. There are so many different situations and so many different breaking points- but can we agree that the human truth is that is hard to let go of some things? Ideas, feelings, dreams, people, sweaters from 7th grade- any and all of these can be held onto for years.

And I’m the worst. Call it stubborn, call it loyal- but I can have a hard time letting go of things I love. Maybe it’s that the devil you know is better, fear of the unknown (are those the same? ), fear of loss, fear that nothing better will come along- there are times when we can all hold too strong and too long to things because of these and a host of other reasons. I have no answers for ideas, people, dreams- but clothes I can help with!

Here’s the thing about holding onto things for to long- and let’s be specific things you should let go of, there are tons of things you should hold onto forever, but that’s another post-if you hold onto the wrong things for too long, you’re not making space for new, better things. True in life, true in your closet. Is letting go easy? Not always, but some times you have to ask yourself – do I need this sweater from 7th grade? Or do I want new and exciting things?

I clean out my closet regularly but have found myself hanging onto things for that one day, or if I ever need whatever. I’m probably one of the only fashion bloggers to tell you that hanging on to some things out of nostalgia is aok (really), but some times you have to to let go. So this time -I did. All those things I’ve been on the fence on, the things I never wear- I’m getting rid of them. I got to the point where I coudn’t hang on anymore, and I’m finally ready to make room for new things (like fall Valentino boots!). And can I tell you? It feels fabulous!

I’d love to know: what’s your method for letting go of thing?

Wishing us all a week of making space for the good things to come, and of course amazing shoes! XO RA

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


Happy Valentine’s, 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 love to celebrate Valentine’s–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: Holiday Traditions!


I recently looked over this list of holiday traditions that I wrote about. My list remains largely unchanged. And I’m happy! From eating to pjs to wishing for snow, I love my traditions and I can’t wait to dive right into them. What I’m adding this year? The tradition of grace- there’s so much changing, and we’re adapting. There are good days and bad. I’m not productive then I am. Grace is the thing I bet we all need most this year. And the faith that whatever we get done (or don’t), it’s enough. It’s something I’m adding to my list of things to do this year!

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: Taking Time

A woman n a floral dress setting a table

This week (especially if you’re in the US) truly marks the beginning of the holiday season. Thanksgiving. A TON of sales. Black Friday. Christmas Tree lightings (everywhere!). It’s both the most joyful time of the year- and a stressful time of the year.

Because with the holidays- and the joy and the celebrating, comes to-do lists and hectic travel and high expectations. It can also bring grief (especially if you’ve lost something or someone this year, as well as unmet expectations can cause grief- and that’s a hard grief to admit). The holidays can also bring activities and over scheduled calendar. So, with all the things that the holidays bring, how can we take time?
For ourselves, to truly be with family, to really sit and enjoy?

I’m not sure I have ALL of the answers (and I hate it when that happens!) but I can let you know what I’m doing in the coming weeks to make sure that I take the time- for everything I need!

– To-do lists. Yes, I’m a stickler for lists, as they help stay on task (and there’s a great feeling that comes from marking things off!). From chores to shopping to presents- I’ll be making lists and checking them off!
-Scheduling. Writing in Ink my workouts, time alone, time with family, etc. My workouts keep me a bit sane, I’m prioritizing those, but as an introvert I also know that I need time alone- so I’m scheduling that too! Parties and dinners and holiday schedules also go on my calendar, but I also like planning my shopping, etc. It not only helps me stay organized but lets me know when I’m behind- or conversely lets me know when I’m on time and can relax me!
-Turning off my phone. Not all the time, and not for the total of every event. But there are times when I think I’m just “taking pictures” or “answering a quick work email” and then I find myself lost on social media, scrolling- all of the bad habits that we all have. For multiple reasons I can’t just turn off my phone indefinitely, but I try (for at least part of every event) to really put my phone done and be present. Perhaps that’s not turning it off- but in these times it counts!
-Letting Go. This one is really hard for me. Even in the best of times, we can’t get it all done, make all parties (etc) or be perfect. A lot of this season, I think, is letting go. As those high expectations and worry about fitting it all in can take away from all the joy and the magic of the season. While letting go is something I struggle with, it’s never something I regret. So- I try extra hard at this time of year to let go at this time of year so I can make time for the things that actually matter.

How do you take time at the holiday season? For you, for your loved ones, for all that we have to do? I would love to hear all your tips!

Wishing us all a week of extra time (and pie) and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Should You Fake It?



In an episode of Sex and the City, the ladies visit LA where Samantha tempts Carrie with fake Fendi bags- conveniently sold out of the trunk of a guy in the Valley. Bags that look exactly like the real thing but for half (or less than half) the price? It does sound tempting- but Carrie opts to hold out for the real thing; her thinking being that even if the bag fooled everyone she would know it was fake, and she didn’t want fake. And while getting a steal is tempting – I side with Carrie on this one.

Is this an essay to persuade you that you should always shell out the bucks for the designer bag? Nope. I do believe in quality, and love saving and buying some of my designer things- but think quality can be found at any price and you have to do what is best for you- and if a fake bag makes you happy I say go for it. What I’ve been thinking about all the other things in life we fake- and whether or not we deserve more than Valley-trunk fakeness.

To an extent, we live in a world of knock-off, fast fashion just being one of the culprits. And I’m just as guilty: I’ve staged photos to get “likes” on Instagrams, I color my hair but want my stylist to make it look as natural as possible, and I’ve spun events in my life so that to people everything sounds amazing. Is this bad? The hair color is for sure great, and I’m not a fan of spilling my secrets to strangers; there is a truth to the saying “Fake it till ya make it”. So, good right?

Maybe. But, what I’ve been thinking is that maybe we spend a little too much effort on how things look like on the outside, and completely ignore the inside. To put it another way, if the bag looks designer on the outside does it count if it’s cracked and peeling on the inside? Some of the best nights of my life have been messy: crying , laughing, holding onto people I love. Not one picture from those nights would pass anyone’s Instagram standards. And while spinning events can be great–how amazing is it to open up to the people with whom you can be honest? The ones who ask who you are and you can honestly say “Sad” or “Scared” or “Abnormally excited” and have that be ok? Aren’t all those experiences, messy as they can be, just if not more amazing than having things look perfect?

Does this mean that I’m going to stop having things look nice, coloring my hair, or spinning to certain people? Nope. But, just like Carrie, I think that even if I’m the only one who knows it–I don’t want fake. So I’m making an effort to be more real–even if it’s messy and scary– and I’m trusting that it will be just as beautiful as the fake.  I’d love to know–what’s your take on this?


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

Sunday Chronicles: When it’s not PERFECT

I’ve been redoing my closet- aka making a room into a closet. As well as deep cleaning and redoing parts of the house. Things have not been going to plan. It’s taking longer, it’s been hard to build shelves, things are in disarray. Yesterday a rolling rack I put together collapsed- sending party dresses flying and shoes falling on me head. I had no choice but- ask for help and admit that my house might not be perfect for a bit- and I’ll have to work around that. So I went back to thoughts and ways that help me- someone who hates asking for help and wants to be perfect- when things aren’t 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: Making A Mess First

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!***

Sunday Chronicles : It’s Spooky Season

A woman in  a black Halloween Graphic shirt with white knit pants and black slingback with red devil horns headband

It’s October 1st- which means it’s the beginning of Spooky Season:
-Hocus Pocus (at least for me) is now the go-to movie
-Halloween becomes the focus. There are many thought pieces about what Halloween is a the best: including but not limited to: it’s about community, you don’t have to spend time with your family if you don’t want, there are so many ways to celebrate. For me Spooky Season means Fashion Halloween (starts tomorrow!) which is the ultimate marriage of my loves of acting and fashion. I can’t wait to share my costumes with you.
-Planning costumes is also what makes spooky season special to me. I love the costumes – wearing them, seeing the kids in them, all of the costumes. Please tell me all about your costumes or let me know if you need help with yours!
-Fall treats! If you love the candies or not, it’s time for ciders and pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice, apple and pear everything.

And let’s be honest, Spooky Season is just a hop, skip and barely a jump into the HOLIDAY season. In fact, I’ve already seen holiday decorations out in store. (While I wasn’t surprised, it still feels way too early). I also love the holiday season, this year I have some specific goals for Spooky Season. All can be summed up by saying I want to slow down and enjoy it. This weekend – while at an event with my sister, wine tasting with my family- I felt myself rushing through things. Worrying about pics. Thinking about the next thing. At this time of year, I feel that we never have to worry. The next thing is coming. We’re going to be busy. Rushing through any thing- from our fave scary movie to pics to tasty treats robs no one but ourselves.

SO this spooky season, I want to enjoy it. I want to slow down. Be present. Enjoy. Savor. This is the season to really focus on what’s in front of us- be it Halloween, or pumpkin, or witches, or just enjoying the fall-from sweaters to hay. Holiday season will come. While it’s here, let’s focus on the spooky (whatever that means to you!).

If you need me, I’ll be in an elaborate costume, or in a graphic tee, sipping apple cider, watching Hocus Pocus every chance I get, and savoring the moment. How are you spending Spooky Season?

Wishing us all a week of enjoying the season 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