Sunday Chronicles: Holiday Traditions!

image

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: Living in Chaos

It’s not Sunday, so it must seem odd to read a Sunday Chronicle. Right? However, for me, this entire summer has been odd. I’ve literally been living in chaos. From helping my mom deal with my grandma’s apt (boxes) to moving all my homes (boxes) to settling into temporary digs to breaking my toe this week (yes, ouch!). It’s been chaos. And some chaos is great! A lot of chaos, is overwhelming. With clothes and things spread out, I’ve been out of wack, and I’m not going to lie, this venture of ours has been hard to shoot. Living in chaos takes it toll. So, I couldn’t help but look back at this and remind myself that chaos is nothing that I haven’t conquered before.

The good news? The boxes are almost dealt with (for now). Next week there’s all new content, and it’s amazing. This weekend all looks from Instagram will be updated and shoppable here, on Shopstyle, and on Pintrest. Have I beaten chaos?

For the moment, it feels like it. In the meantime: a look back at living in chaos.

image

I’m moving (more on that in a coming post) and am completely overwhelmed –if nothing else because my apartment is currently filled with boxes, furniture, and varying stacks of items to take, sell or store. This makes my little Type-A, really organized, neat heart anxious. Let’s be honest–moving and packing are draining, and I have a hard time relaxing when things aren’t in their place.

This isn’t to say I’m used to everything going swimmingly all the time. I’m no stranger to bad days (both hair and personal), outfits that don’t work (even with prior planning), and the general mess that life can bring. And I’m a control freak (in the best way!)–and I’ve always used keeping things neat (and my work outs) to feel like I had some sort of power over what was happening in life. So living in a state of constant unrest is not just super settling. So what do?

There is no right answer right? Or if you know one please share! What I know is I’ve been working on keeping my sanity – my schedule, my to-do list, my priorities. My things might be in boxes but that’s no reason to stop functioning as myself; as much as I can I’ve been doing what I need to do for self care- workouts, seating aside time for relaxation and friends, etc.

Let’s be honest, I wish life wasn’t complicated. I wish here were times and situations that didn’t make us uncomfortable. I wish things were always smooth. But. the uncomfortable and unsmooth times allow us to grow. They prepare us, make us strong, make us better. And if that’s the endgame, a few weeks with boxes is nothing, right? Right. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping for.

Wishing us all a week of good change, no boxes, 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!
XO RA

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: 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!”

image

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!
Enjoy!
XO RA

image

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: 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!

Sunday Chronicles: This/That and some Fall Trends

Loves.

It’s been a week.
A month.
A Year.

I know that this is the space where I usually share my thoughts, experiences, dating with you. And I love this space, it’s sacred and some of my favorite of our time together. This week? This travel season? I couldn’t put words to paper (or screen). I just couldn’t. (And I have another great ex-files coming up!) So I did this instead:

I’ve spent the past few weeks shopping and thinking about fall, and our fall trends. (Remember when we chatted about that? Refresh here). I’ve identified some more fall trends I might like to try and wanted to share them with you!

First up:
Remember glitter boots?
Investment Piece: Fall Trends: Sequins and Glitter
Well, what do we think about Rhinestone Boots?

I fell in love with these boots at Free People, and started thinking about all the ways we could wear them: with jeans and a white tee, a sweater dress, a shirt dress, as a statement, as an accent. I also found some reasonable options for us! (Some are under $60!)
*Note: These are affiliate links, I do receive commission from these, though that doesn’t affect your price!

My picks:

Another fall trend I never thought I’d like?
Vinyl Pants
I saw some on Instagram. I tried on some patent leather pants at RecessLA, (side note: they didn’t fit by a hair. Have some nude patent leather pants, maybe Pucci? Hit me up!) And it was love.
Some vinyl and patent leather pants we may love:

And, how do we feel about
White Booties ?

I think I like them, but more research may be needed. Let’s shop my picks and see how we feel:

And loves! Don’t forget, we have a giveaway coming up! (Refresh yourself here) Check out SkinPrint and let me know which product you might like to win! The product it’s the most inquiries will be in the giveaway (and that will start Tuesday!) Look, shop, and let me know!

I hope that your Sunday involves a lot of rest and time with people you love. I’m catching up-all my looks are now updated (shop my site! Over on the left) and we’re working on getting the best content up for the next week!

Wishing us all a week of amazing shoes and peace!

XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Internet Round Up

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles: Internet Round Up

Sometimes things can be too much, right? I shared a little bit about my conflicting feelings about posting during weeks like this one on Thursday (You can read it here and those sales are still going strong!). It can also be hard to write during weeks like this one. We had every intention of bringing you a great editorial opinion piece today. This week was hard. My heart was a little battered, and I had travel to deal with. (If you follow me on Instagram I need people to be impressed with how light I packed for a 24hr trip). So, instead of presenting you a subpar piece, I went internet surfing. Isn’t that valid? I’m presenting you with the best of what I found-from deep thoughts to fashion inspiration. I hope that you enjoy what sparked me!

I loved this piece, 10 Regrets Too Many People Will Have in 10 Years Written before? Yes. A new take, with actionable steps? Yes. A favorite quote, “The key is to gradually practice letting go of these ideals and fantasies, and focus instead on making the best of reality. The truth must be embraced…”

Stop Calling Women Nags-How Emotional Labor is Dragging Down Gender Equality Many of my married friends shared this on Facebook this weekend. I’m not married and I can relate. What does that mean? I’m not sure. How can we non-passively-aggressively share this with the men in our lives? Discuss..

Now that I’m a pro at light packing, I want to keep it going! I have 2 more trips this month, I know I can make one fit in a carry on. The other is a road trip with a photo shoot, so no judgement when I overpack. But this take on packing in a carry on (they used the Birdy Carryon, I want one), is giving me hope for my packing future!

I shop for a living, so this guide to sizing up/down is amazing!

Meanwhile, this guide to caring for your clothes is a must for those of us who like to keep our money in our closets.

Paris Fashion Week Style, I’m also taking notes on this for all my fashion inspiration. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

I used to tutor as my day job. One of the brilliant, young women that I worked with is now is college (yes, somehow I’m still young, too). She’s fierce and intelligent and gives me hope for the future. The Klean is an online magazine she started with peers, and it is well worth your time. I’m so proud of her!

And because this week was what it was:

If you want to make your voice heard on gun control, Everytown is a great place to start. You can also text ACT to 64433 to join.

And if this week, and all the things, are taking its toll this guide to self care in the 24 hr news cycle is a must. Hint? Just because the news is on 24/7 doesn’t mean we have to watch it.

I hope that you loves this Internet round up, and that it balanced the light and the dark for you!

Wishing us all a week of peace, love, and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Plans b-z

image

I had an idea where I was going to buy and write a post all about knock-offs and if they are worth it. I bought a knock-off of this summer’s “it” Self Portrait dress–but the post didn’t work. The dress I got was so cheap, fraying, and the zipper broke before I even got it on. My plan was a bust. That’s disappointing on a blog–but it’s not the end of the world. I simply came up with another idea. However–there are times when the stakes are higher and moving on to plan B, or C, or Z can be way more difficult than we (I) like to admit.

Let’s be honest there are things that don’t work out or go to plan almost every day, whether it’s an outfit or traffic or something major. Some of these things are easy to move on from (although I’ve recently had to move my closet, and when nothing seems to fit or go as planned I can attest that little things seem big). Yet– can we be real? Failure is a part of life, and it’s not always easy to swallow. I’m assuming you’re on Pintrest, or at least have heard every platitude about failure being an opportunity, or getting you on a better path, or letting you find the way to win. All of these are true, but that doesn’t always take the sting out of the “loss”.

Our society loves winners, and doesn’t really pay attention to any one else. Failure can sometimes feel like a character flaw, instead of something that happens to everyone.  However failure is a part of life and as Queen Bey will tell you:

image

It happens to the best of us. And yes, sometimes it’s just that our closet won’t fit in a new space.But sometimes it’s a dream, or a relationship, or a job that meant the world to you. And then failure sucks and hurts, there’s no way around that.

What I’m hoping to remind you (and me) of is that all those lovely platitudes about failure are true. Failure can get you off a path that’s not great for you, and on one that’s so much more spectacular than you could have ever dreamed. A relationship can fail and you could wind up meeting someone who makes you a million times happier–and sometimes that person is you. Losing a job can leave you open for a dream job, and failure of any kind can make you creative and you end up with the thing you wanted in the first place–even if the journey wasn’t what you planned. Sometimes you just have to trust that a letter down the alphabet will work.

In case you’re worried–I’m making the new space for my closet work, and while I’m having to resort to plan D, it’s a nice reminder that sometimes getting caught up on plan A isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Wishing us all a week of failures that end up successes and amazing shoes!

XO RA