yellow espadrilles | white skinnies | crop tank

I’m pretty sure I just cleaned up the Christmas decorations, and now the tulips that were bulbs in my yard like a second ago are in full bloom! Hey spring.

I’ve spent some time this winter/spring refreshing my house + my mind. One thing I’ve really found myself hashing out is how I really feel about social media.

Have you done this too?

As some of you may have noticed, I took a bit of a hiatus from Insta + blogging last month. Social media is a special kind of monster that can be great at connecting people and great at simultaneously breaking “community” in half.

It’s so connecting, so pretty, but so fake and so addicting.. and the comparison game.. Maybe it was something in the air because many of the bloggers that I follow + love were feeling the same way: to disconnect.

Clothes are fun, but they’re not important. Humans are important. I’ve literally had moments where I questioned whether I should follow/friend someone on social media, because I liked them too much to risk finding new reasons not to. It’s. Weird.

Facebook is full of TMI + Insta is full of “pretty.” It has always been my mission to stay real. My life is not spent on a beach in California or bouncing around Seattle with a full face of makeup. I don’t even bounce.. I probably tromp. And my days are mostly filled with yelling at my kids then feeling guilty later. Not pictured on Insta: real life tromping and mom guilt.

I’ve struggled because I don’t want to showcase my fashion + beauty finds at the expense of wrongly influencing the eyeballs I’m hitting. I don’t want to further this agenda of inferiority that social media breeds. 

Any good counselor will tell you that your specific childhood can build into your brain negative beliefs about yourself that are untrue. These are conclusions that you’ve come to (consciously or subconsciously) based on how you perceived something. The result is a false perception of yourself. If your mom spends all her time staring at her tv, your false perception is that you are unimportant to people. I believe social media fosters this same perception. It may just be possible that your mom’s bad habit may have the same effect on you as you’re scrolling through your online feed.

What should we expect when we’re submerged in a world of sub reality?

We all watch as influencers spend vacations behind their phone’s camera. They spend their children’s birthdays behind their phone’s camera. They spend date night behind their phone’s camera. You get the point.. we are all guilty of this to a point, but I think there’s a line. Is handing your memories into the hands of strangers a prerequisite for earning a buck as an influencer?

I even have a teacher friend with a student who wrote a career paper on being a blogger when she grows up. When did this become a career option that children aspire to??

Guys, it’s tough!

Here are some things I know for a fact:

I love Jesus.
I love my family.
I try to compliment strangers.
I try to eat healthy.
I’m a work in progress.
I’d love to help babies across the world, spend my days doing roller sets + chatting with elderly ladies, blog fashion, do hair extensions, own an online clothing boutique and stay at home with my kids, all simultaneously full-time, but I just don’t have that kind of bandwidth (or attention span).
I’m not a materialist and I don’t want to play one social media.
I have a need to accomplish success in my ventures.

Here’s what I’m making of all of it: My heart is what matters. I’m not perfect, but I’m making a guided effort to keep my eyes on Jesus, build my real life relationships with others + stay positive even when I’m struggling. If my priorities are in tact, I can’t lose. I like taking you all on this journey with me, and if I sell a few dresses that promote your confidence + post things that make you think/laugh along the way, I think that’s okay too.

The struggle is real, but I’m trying to keep a good balance. My virtual world is my creative outlet + fun hobby, but never my whole life or my top priority.

So, as the Christmas décor is put away and the flowers come out, the theme here is “out with the old + in with the new..” And my Insta is no exception. I’m having fun with updating the look of my feed and I hope you like it too + continue following along.

My first 1.5 years in this world of blogging/Insta have been a fun period of trial and error and I’m glad to have you on this ride with me.

 

On that note, I want to do something fun for you guys! I love this gold leather bag so much that I grabbed one for one of you guys too! It’s a special edition item that was only distributed to select stores, so they are hard to come by! You can also adjust the strap to wear it as a fanny pack, if that’s your thing.

Head over to my Insta now to enter!

PC: Emily Keeney Photography

PC: Emily Keeney Photography

Shoutout to Emily of Emily Keeney Photography for all of these images! If you’re in need of a creative talent, check her out! She was super patient with our insane, high-energy kids and I’m in love with all of our images. I can’t wait to show you more of our session in upcoming posts!

 

Thanks to all of you for all the love over the years. It means a lot to me in this crazy + weird + challenging + somehow fun virtual space and I’m throwing it right back at you! <3

Follow:

Truth: When you’re 5′ 9,” there are lots of heels and dresses that just won’t work. But, to my short girls and tall girls of all builds, this dress does it all. I’m posting this for you immediately because from the time I got this dress last week until now, they are almost GONE!

Everyone loves a little swish + a little leg in a good piece of clothing. This print + this fit + the keyhole back are just a few of my favorite things with this dress. Oh and did I mention that it’s currently 40% off! Here’s everything you need to know to get this baby in your closet.

Tall girls, size up for length. I’m wearing a size 8 (usually a 6). It also comes in a black/white/grey combo, but this blue screams spring + summer. You can shop my favorite minidress online, but it’s almost sold out. If you don’t see your size, call your local Nordstrom and have them search for item #5275134 in your size and color. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but the Nord associates always have access to inventory not offered online. My dress shipped to me (free) from a Nordstrom store in Cali.. my favorite dress from my favorite state. Seems meant to be, doesn’t it? 😉

I paired this dress with some cute black booties I picked up in BP. shoes. They are currently sold out (I think I’m seeing a theme here), but here’s a similar pair. Feel free to repeat the search process with your local store to get access to that secret inventory if you need it.

2fore pictures

2fore pictures

2fore pictures

2fore pictures

 

Good luck snagging one for yourself!

Follow:

“People grow where they’re loved.” -Bob Goff

Well, my current trend right now: knee-deep in life. If this sums you up too, I hope you love his quote like I do! Never underestimate the weathering you can take when you’re surrounded by amazing people with huge hearts. Always plant yourself near these people and you can’t lose. And if you’re currently in a good season, get out there and find people to share your big heart with. Did I just get deep on you?! 😉

Let’s talk fashion!

Welcome to the color that is currently everywhere. Drum roll please..

BLUSH!

This color is one of my favorites (when accompanied by a tan ;)), so soak up some vitamin D and continue wearing that Valentine’s Day outfit to your heart’s content. Free People cranks out some amazing pieces, and I grabbed this one in blush. Ideally, I would have worn it out to a fun dinner last night, but we are all still sluggishly fighting a cold, so we ate grilled cheese, exchanged gifts (including kid crafts and, cough, JACK JOHNSON tix for July), put the kids to bed and watched a little “This Is Us” before completely falling into sleep coma’s.

If you don’t have a closet full of pink tones, don’t worry, you can find blush just about anywhere. I picked up a few of my fave textured items in blush at Forever 21 + Target and I didn’t spend a lot! Here are just a few of my finds.

 

All Lips: MAC

All Jewelry: Stella & Dot

Jacket: Target

Skirt: Target

2fore pictures

 

Top: Forever 21

Pants: Nordstrom

Shoes: Target

2fore pictures

 

Shoes: Apricot Lane Peoria (similar)

2fore pictures

 

Jacket: Forever 21

2fore pictures

 

Jacket: Forever 21

2fore pictures

 

2fore pictures

 

I hope you all had a fun Valentine’s Day and I hope that I’ve inspired your blush vibes just a little. Now go share lend your heart to someone! 😉

 

Follow:

“When you feel sad, put on a fur coat, your favorite heels and drink water from a big wine glass on the couch.” –Charina, my amazing friend

What do hardship and faux fur have in common? Well, there you go.

This is my bright, clean corner of the internet, but it’s also my place of epic realness. No unicorns here, folks. 😉 Just fashion + real life intermixed with some worthwhile carbs (cough, grilled cheese).

We’ve all heard “never judge a book by it’s cover.” In my opinion, this can actually apply two different ways; Some books pose disproportion, ragged edges and age that cannot be concealed, but they hold unexpected treasure. On the other hand, some books present nice and crisp, even as stress + struggle falls between their pages.

I’ve been both books. Chances are, you have too.

I’ve gone several days between showers and real maintenance, but had Bible verses in my head, grocery shopping done, kids entertained, dinner on the table and more. There was treasure at the end of that ragged rainbow.

There’s also that spot where you struggle to find a balance, and I could give you a list of 32035034 reasons why that may be. I sometimes feel myself working harder, yet accomplishing less. This is my current novel.

It is possible to do it all and have it all, but I’ve heard it only happens once every 922nd full moon. Let’s all hang in there together.

 

Jacket: Forever 21 (similar)

Choker: Forever 21 (similar)

Ring: Stella & Dot (on sale!)

Booties: Payless (similar)

Hat: Forever 21 (on sale!)

 

2fore pictures

2fore pictures

2fore pictures

Follow:

img_9602I can sum up this trip in 8 words: sunshine, Mickey, beaches, palm trees, Camaros + gangster rap (ICYMI on Insta).

With these elements, you cannot keep me away. I’d even be happy subbing chocolate (or grilled cheese) for the Camaro. 🙂 And maybe swapping Mickey for silence. But, I can’t complain..

As you probably know by now, I’m not from Cali, but I’d like to think I do an ok job posing. You won’t find this Seattleite wearing a beanie and rainboots through LAX. That being said, I won’t promise to leave the Seahawks garb at home either. 🙂

A plane ride with two kids isn’t exactly the recipe for awesome. So, as I was bracing for that falling-into-a-pile-of-nails feeling, I geared up with my favorite motos and carried-on my favorite bag. You know, to look just a smidge less crazy in the midst of chaos. The trip from SEA-LAX felt short and kids kept reasonably quiet. We also made it without any potty-related incidents. Miracles do happen, folks!

img_8045

 

From the airport, we grabbed our cherry red Camaro and headed straight to our most important stop. In-N-Out. Animal style.

img_9591

img_8064

 

Our next stop has been part of my bucket list since about the age of 12: Hollywood Boulevard. And only because, in my head, it was a clean, celebrity-filled eutopia. Nope. I had this famous boulevard pictured as something like the Zack Morris of SBTB, but it was more like Minkus from Boy Meets World. Lots of gift shops, lots of asking for handouts and lots of spidermen walking around in 20-year-old tennis shoes. But don’t get me wrong, the place has a ton of broken dreams history. We walked the celeb squares and saw signatures by everyone from Michael Jackson to Frank Sinatra and everything in between. We even spotted Jimmy Kimmel’s studio just a few blocks from the walk, so I guess I got my celebrity fix. And the kids took a pic with Bumblebee (they call him “Honeyman”), which had them pretty stoked. So, it was a walk worthwhile, but we probably won’t throw any birthday parties there.

img_9598img_8111

img_8096img_8103img_8129img_8082

img_8131

 

Next up was a bucket list item that did live up to expectation: Beverly Hills. It was everything I pictured – fast cars, class, and high end everything. But most importantly, the home of Josh Flagg from MDLLA. And I didn’t stalk him, I merely located his office entrance. 😉 And took an eyes-half-shut picture in front of it. There’s no time for re-takes with two antsy kids in tow. Not unless you want a meltdown with millionaire spectators.

img_9600

img_8941

 

It’s nice to check some items off the ol’ bucket list and I especially loved experiencing it with my family. We all soaked up every second of time together in some new scenery. Next up: beachin’ and a whole lotta Disney.

 

to be continued..

Follow: