Monday, July 27, 2015

Wood Watches and Triangles


At this point, I think it's safe to assume that when you don't see me update for a week, it means that good things are happening. To start, my birthday was last week (the 17th), and last weekend was wonderful. I took the day off of work, got breakfast and coffee with my best friend, and spent the afternoon in Balboa Beach with Jon. That night, my friends and I went to an Italian restaurant/brewery near my apartment. It was a blast, and the rest of the weekend was filled with more delicious food and family. You know, the important part of birthdays. Then, this past weekend was one of my best friend's wedding. I went to high school with Jeremy, but didn't become close with him until I was in college, and in the past four years, he's become like family. It's so strange to reach that age where my friends getting married is completely normal, and it's even stranger to be at a wedding where I remember the groom calling me to tell me about a girl he met and then helping him set up the proposal. I've gotten to know his new wife, Sabrina, as well, and it was amazing to see them both so happy. It was a seriously lovely wedding, and Jeremy was the first one of my group of friends to get married, which means it was our group's first time at a wedding together. Plus, Jon was a groomsman, and my best friend Adam was the Best Man. It was a blast.

Jeremy and Sabrina invited all of their friends out for breakfast the morning after the wedding, and I wore this dress with a cardigan before I slipped this vest on when it got too hot. I found this Lush dress at a thrift store recently, and it's become my go-to comfortable piece to throw on. I was especially happy to have my new wood watch from JORD Watches to throw on with it this time. Jordwatch was kind enough to send it to me, and I love how unique it is. I've always loved watches, but never end up buying them for myself. I really love that this one is unlike any I would normally find in a store, and it's one that can pair well with casual outfits or dressier ones. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New-ish


I am so excited about sharing this outfit. It's slightly different from what I would normally wear, yet it combines three of my favorite pieces currently in my closet. For starters, there's this gorgeous statement necklace that Happiness Boutique sent me. Happiness Boutique is a jewelry company based out of Germany, and I couldn't help but drool over the selection when they contacted me about reviewing a piece. I had about 20 tabs open of different statement necklaces I couldn't choose between, but I ultimately decided on this turquoise and pink one. I love that it's a unique, attention-grabbing piece, but it's still slightly more subtle than most statement necklaces. I can already tell that I'll be wearing this one on heavy rotation. The company has been so nice to work with, and I definitely recommend the site. Plus, they have a pretty sweet rewards program, which is always a selling point.

I picked up this dress over the weekend after considering trying a tank or T-shirt trapeze dress recently. I tried on a couple at Target, but didn't love any, and I hit the jackpot with this clearance $10 dress at TJ Maxx later. It's a completely different shape for me, and I feel a little naked without my standard fit and flare silhouette, but it's insanely comfortable and a good piece to dress up or down. I already know that it will come in handy as plan attire for when I fly to Portland in two weeks. 

That brings us to these shoes. Ah, these shoes. These were the other Hello Holiday item I purchased, and in all honesty, I went back and forth on them a lot before proceeding with checkout. The're so unlike anything else I usually gravitate forward, but they are just so...cool. I couldn't resist trying them, and I've already worn them multiple times since I got them a week or two ago. As I'm sure you know from reading my blog, I stick to flats almost exclusively, but these shoes are making me think I need more chunky heels. Between the dress and these shoes, it's what I like to call me "new-ish" look: going with slightly different shapes, but the same general aesthetic. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Spaced Out


As usual, I had such a nice weekend, and it's almost unfair that it needs to end and another work week has to begin. I spent Friday night getting ice cream with my friends, and then I spent all of Saturday with Jon. We got breakfast at my new favorite breakfast place by apartment and explored the Old Town area nearby. I dragged him into helping me take outfit photos as well, because when you have a boyfriend, you might as well make him useful for something, right? He was a great sport helping me find the only shaded spot at 1 p.m. to this set, and he did a damn fine job if you ask me.

This skirt is one of things I got in a recent sale, and I'm in love with it. I've been wanting to buy something from Hello Holiday and try a Rock Steady piece for ages now, so it only make sense to buy a Rock Steady skirt from Hello Holiday. The store is a particularly worthy small business to support, and I even got to interview Meg, one of the owners, for my internship with FAB Counsel last summer. Meg and co-owner Sarah are just so damn cool, and I've always admired how much of themselves they put into their business. I could probably buy every single thing in their shop, but I ultimately went with this killer space/robot printed skirt and a rad pair of shoes that I'll show in my post on Wednesday. This outfit was perfect for an incredibly hot day that, of course, resulted in smoothies. I couldn't ask for a better Saturday than one filled with space themed skirts and smoothies.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Current Uniform


After months of shocking amounts of self control and determination, I finally broke down. I online shopped. I tried not to, I really did. However, when all of my favorite websites are having massive sales and I'm feeling uninspired while looking at my closet, I don't think I'm really to blame. Okay, I'm definitely to blame. I bought a few things recently, and I really shouldn't have, but I got good deals and I'm actually not broke after paying my first month of rent. I'm not really sure if I'm justifying this to you guys, myself, or my mom, but regardless, I don't feel THAT bad. How could I, when my Ruche purchase consisted of this absolutely perfect dress by Kling and equally perfect sandals? This is basically my dream dress, and it was made for summer. Plus, I've been searching for a pair of simple brown sandals for too long.So yes, I did find my new summer/year/life uniform. Thank you for noticing.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Dots


Happy belated Fourth of July! Sure, I'm still behind on blogging and haven't figured out where/when to take pictures most of the time except for when I'm visiting my parents, but hey, things are great right now. I had a wonderful holiday, despite the fact that I had to work on Friday and Sunday. Jon and I drove down to San Diego on Friday night to stay at his aunt and uncle's condo with his parents, and we had a pretty fantastic Saturday wandering around the farmer's market, going to Balboa Park, and walking around the harbor. We had to leave before the fireworks started so that way we could beat traffic and get me home at a reasonable hour before working early the next morning, but we still got to see some shows from the car. I've never been very into the Fourth of July (loud noises and outdoor activities? Not my thing), but this one was really nice. I would love for every weekend to include a nice little trip to San Diego and lots of good food. 

Other than that, everything else has just been a lot of working and finding time to see friends. This month is going to be busy, so I'm kind of enjoying the calm before everything begins. My birthday is the week after next, so I'm hoping to celebrate then. The week after that is one of my best friend's wedding, and the week after that I'll be traveling to Portland. I'm not quite sure how I'll be able to get through all of these work days before all of the fun begins. That said, I'd love to hear from any of you who live in Portland or Seattle, where I'll be for a day or two. I'm in desperate need of suggestions of places to go to while I'm there, and I'd also love to meet up with any willing bloggers. I'll be there July 30-August 4 with a couple of my best friends, and I cannot wait.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Return


So...that was the longest hiatus I've accidentally taken from blogging. Things have been so crazy busy lately that taking outfit photos hasn't really been option. After the first week (of the three I took off), I kind of just stopped worrying about it and decided that a break from the Internet was a good thing. I got my apartment the week after I last posted, and I just moved in last weekend. As you might have guessed, the last couple of weeks have been filled with Ikea and Target trips, packing up boxes, unpacking boxes, leaving unpacked boxes sitting on my floor, building furniture watching my friends build my furniture for me, and stressing out until the move was complete. Now that I'm finally settled in (with the exception of those pesky boxes that just won't unpack themselves for some reason), I'm ridiculously happy. I love having my own space to decorate finally, and I especially love the location I'm in. After driving 45 minutes to work every day, it's nice to have a drive that's about 12 minutes AND closer to where all of my friends live. I can already hear my gas tank and bank account thanking me. It's also nice to know that I actually set a goal for myself and made it happen. My brother and sister-in-law were incredibly nice to take me in, and I had told them when I moved in that I wanted to stay no longer than three months to save money. Somehow I actually stayed true to my word, and I was able to give them their house/office/guest room back after so long of taking advantage of their generosity.

Other than moving, I've been working a lot (I worked two 6 a.m. shifts last week) and writing articles for my freelance job. I've been spending time with my friends and boyfriend, who have all been wonderful in helping me get settled in. My brother Lucas also just moved back to Orange County, and I now live only 10 minutes away from him and his girlfriend, so that's been great as well. Plus, I've been wearing all of the same dresses I always wear, so I can't say that everything has changed. This is what I wore to celebrate Father's Day with my family on Sunday. We had a really nice dinner, and my parents gave me a bunch of stuff for my apartment that they didn't need anymore, so it was a pretty successful holiday if you ask me.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

An Outfit + That Time I Was Called Plus Sized


Since this is an outfit that I feel good about myself in, I think it makes sense to use as a backdrop for something serious. Last week, I wrote about the time I wore a swimsuit. It was difficult for me to do, as I suspect it would be for most women, and I went into it knowing full well that Internet trolls exist for this very reason. However, I never once thought it would become the time I was called plus sized by the company who sent me the swimsuit.

The day after I put up the post, the company  shared it on their social media. This normally would have been great, except that they titled a Facebook album with my post "Curvy Girl" and hashtagged all of the posts with #plussizefashion. There are a few things wrong with this. First, it was never discussed that this was how my photos were going to be used. Second, I know that I'm not plus sized, and I have never advertised myself as such on my blog. When I first saw the posts, I immediately felt a combination of hurt and embarrassed -- things I try my best to avoid. I pride myself on having a healthy body image; I know that I'm not stick thin, and I love the fact that I have curves. I do know that I'm not plus sized though. Like any human would, however, I couldn't help but see myself labeled that way and wonder, "wait, am I plus sized? Is this how other people see me?" And that's a shitty feeling to have. I spent so much time worrying about just wearing the swimsuit and then even more time worrying about putting up the photos. When everyone around me responded with such overwhelming support after I shared the post, it was easy to feel good about myself. So when all of that came crashing down with one silly hashtag, it felt like experiencing whiplash. It was as if all of that hard work toward positive body image was for nothing, and that's not okay.

After those brief awful moments of self doubt were over, they were quickly replaced with anger. I am a size medium. I ordered a size 36C top and a size 10 bottoms because I figured I should go up a size to be safe. Hell, the dress I'm wearing in these photos is a size medium, and I am almost always a size 8. Yet this company decided that this size was an okay standard for plus size. That alone is not only unfair to me, but it's unfair to girls who actually do consider themselves to be plus sized. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a larger size, and if I thought I were, I would completely own that. However, I'm not, and I don't think women who are would appreciate that label being used so carelessly. All of this isn't even to mention the fact that a man would never deal with being labeled as "curvy" or plus sized.

More than anything, though, I was angry at the lack of discussion in how my photos were used. The company never once approached me to say they wanted to use my photos to promote plus sized fashion. I fully understand that whoever used my photos this way had no intention if hurting me. As a company that primarily features tiny size 2 girls (others of whom they chose the much more flattering tag of #sexy), I get they wanted to promote that their product works on different body types. But since they never told me that was the goal, I can't help but feel exploited and used as a tool for likes. I'm fine with being labeled as curvy; I label myself that way. But when other bloggers are featured in a Facebook album called "lovely clients and bloggers," while my photos are put in a separate album labeled "Curvy Girl," it's hard not to feel like "curvy" isn't being used in the best sense of the word. It made me feel like the only reason they wanted to work with my blog was for my size, not for my content. My point is this: there's nothing wrong with any kind of body type or label, but I at least have the right to choose which label I want to give myself rather than have it chosen for me.

Since the posts went up, I've contacted the company and they've changed the album title and deleted the hashtags. For most of the first day, I was worried that I was being too sensitive and taking the label to hard. After talking to almost everyone I know (friends, family, my boyfriend, coworkers, other bloggers, you name it), and getting the same exact response from everyone, I decided that I had a right to be upset and express this to them. The woman I spoke gave me her sincere apologies and made sure the posts were corrected, which I greatly appreciate. I mostly sent the email in hopes that it would protect other bloggers they work with from going through the same thing I did.

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