Bermudas... I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love the idea of them, but am always unsure of how to pull them off. I pride myself on being that person who will wear just about anything once. However, long shorts are always perplexing with balancing out my petite frame. Are they long enough? Are they short enough? Do they fall well? Does the silhouette work with my figure? Does it even matter?
Life's important questions, people!
I like the cut of this pair, but left unrolled they are too long for me. I do wish they were a smidge wider at the bottom, because they are a little snug in the thigh area. After a couple of wears they are fine! I like the juxtaposition of what is technically a beach cover up for a top blended with clean-cut tailored pieces. Just like balancing the proportions of an outfit are important, so is balancing aesthetics.
I read articles all the time about building a uniform and how the most successful people operate from a place of minimalism. That is not me. And that is okay. I prefer to experiment and play with different attitudes. Just do you.
October 22, 2014. It was a big day for me. It was the beginning of an adventure of exploration, personal growth, and teaching myself to be myself. It has taken me a year to write this. Perhaps I am a slow processor, but I think that I am still realizing the effects of that adventure.
I vow to use the word "journey" minimally. But if I do, just think of The Bachelor/ette drinking games and take a sip of wine.
The months prior to October 22, 2014 were, to put it as blatantly as possible, pure hell. The emotional roller coaster I had been on was epic. A year and a half before, I had quit my secure job as a special education teacher for a period of *funemployment. That was fun while it lasted. Then I started graduate school at LSU. I liked/loved my classes, but had a job that placed me in the roll of Anne Hathaway, and my boss being the Meryl. I realized that the program and the situation was not for me, so I decided not to return the following year. Instead, I worked for my dad (thanks for keeping me in groceries, Daddy-O) helping with the books for his biz. When I needed a little extra cash, I went to work at a local company that makes custom drapes a few days a week. Y'all... I could have worked there forever. Those middle-agers were my jam and I loved seeing the results of my work hanging at the end of the week. I had a cancer scare, so for a couple of months I shut down, even though I knew deep down that nothing was wrong. Most of my family and friends still don't know about that. Also, specialists and biopsies are The Dumb.
Then I decided to leave. I prayed about a departure and a return date and booked my flight. I sat with my friend Malu and planned out who I would stay with on my trip, and ideas of what to do while spending two months in Holland.
Disclosure: I abhor trip planning. Just get me there and take me places. Travel books and websites are not my idea of fun. My fun is the experience, because I prefer to be surprised in that regard, rather than build up my imagination and then be disappointed. Disappointment prevention, if you will.
My flight from Baton Rouge didn't leave until noon, so I had an easy morning. Momsies brought me to the airport and we both held it together until the security check point. My biggest worry at that point was if the Post-It I had left on the dishwasher with operation instructions for my brother would stick there for the entire two months. It did.
I landed in Amsterdam at about 8am, got through baggage claim and customs, and Malu's mother, Lia, was waiting to pick me up. I was exhausted and had not slept a wink on the plane. My bags were heavy and I was flustered the entire time with all of my crap. Solo travel lesson: if you can't manage your stuff yourself, then you don't need it. My first true experience with jet lag was starting to set in, and would last me a solid 4 days with some serious side-effects. And y'all, finding a restroom at 1am driving back to The Hague from Belgium is a bitch. Trust me.
A year later, and I can easily recall the terrorizing effects of my two months spent away from home. The emotional roller coaster that comes with being so completely away from your family and the familiarities of your life likely isn't up to safety regulations. The things I missed most were: my bed, my own shower, cleaning my kitchen, my family, my couch, DRIVING MY CAR, having the grocery store to myself at 7am on a Saturday morning, Bunny Bread, country smells, and open spaces.
Actually sang this song when I got home. Plus a full on opening of The Sound of Music hilltop dancing reenactment.
The things I loved while being gone: walking everywhere, public transport (sometimes...), the sound my boots made on cobblestone streets, cheap croissants from the HEMA every morning, hearing a new language everywhere I went, the way everything smelled like coffee or tea, cutting through The Passage to go anywhere in den Haag, picking up white chocolate hazelnut treats from Leonidas once a week because... chocolate, discovering Milka bars. There are so many that I could spend hours listing the small things I miss.
I do not miss the girl I was before my trip. She was more timid, more unsure, even with an ungodly level of confidence in herself. That girl was terrified of the unfamiliar. When I have a day when my students drive me completely bonkers and I want to quit life, I think about the day I survived The Train Torture Incident of 2015. I did not claim defeat and cry then, so there is no reason to claim defeat and cry now. I do not have time to dwell on the issues and get a case of the mully grubs over things that will not matter in a year, or even a week.
What I do have time for is more adventure, more exploration, and more growth. I have time to dedicate to improving myself and learn how to actively engage in what is happening around me. I have time to sit and enjoy things both small and large. I have time to participate in my own life, rather than act as a bystander. I have time to build relationships with people and allow them into my life to see both the good and the bad. I have time to figure it out, whatever that "it" may be.
But mostly I have a life to have, to make, and to show.
*Funemployment: A period of time in which you Do Whatcha Wanna. Coined by the best, Juley Le.
When I visited my brother in Phoenix last July, we took off for the weekend to Los Angeles. At the time, he had lived in Phoenix for seven months and had yet to explore the city. But after a few days of exploring on my own, I knew we would want to get out of town so we didn't end up watching Netflix on the couch all weekend. Though that would have been fun, we needed an adventure. LA is only a 5 hour drive away, so we headed out as soon as he got off of work. We stayed in an AirBnB in Los Feliz and it was the perfect location! We had a hard time figuring out what to do in town and kept getting frustrated, so I decided to let him manage the fun on Saturday, while I would be in charge of Sunday morning before we headed back.
About halfway through our Saturday, he knew his way around and kept saying, "I know where I am because of Grand Theft Auto," or "Oh, that's where my apartment is on GTA..." Y'all... I could not stop laughing because it sounded so ridiculous! But he got us around well and we only ended up in one sketchy area to find a Popeyes (cliche, I know), which led to us getting to witness the cholos cruise out of the Catholic church and meeting a cool guy who was convinced that my brother was from LA. The guy ended up being from PHX and grew up just around the corner from my brother's house there, so it was cool! He went wild over the sick cars around Rodeo and took a billion pictures. It started raining in the afternoon, so we drove out to Warner Bros. and took their tour. Honestly, I was apprehensive at first, but it ended up being the coolest thing we did all weekend! I was geeking out over the Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls sets, while he was like a chihuahua with the Batman exhibit! All of my pictures of him are blurry because he could not stay still.
Sunday morning, we met my old LSU friend Maddie at Melrose Trading Post. It was hot, but fun to walk around and browse the vintage and ridiculous things people sell there. The only thing I fell absolutely in love with was this two-piece animal print look! The seller was really cool and made this by cutting up an old dress into two. I love modernizing stuff myself, but have not had time to do any of my own projects lately. It was great to get inspired and see someone else doing what I liked to do!
I love the two-piece set trend right now. Some sets look best together, but others can look just as good separated and paired with something else. It is the same idea as a good suit-- you can wear it a handful of different ways with just a couple of staple pieces. Once it cools down here consistently, I will pair the top with a high-waisted jeans. I will probably don a cream turtleneck sweater with the skirt in winter, and add tights and tall boots for a super 1970s vibe.
A few weeks ago, two of my sisters and I got together with Annie Claire & Chelsea of SoSis for their One Year Anniversary series! I can't believe it has already been a year since their launch! I remember stopping by their first pop-up last December at BrewHaHa after returning from Europe. So much has happened since then, and I am so excited for their business to grow even more.
These photos are from so long ago-- like early June. Purple hair Sarah has not been here for months. I have to say that I miss her. Trust me, I would have all of my hair purple year-round if I could. Dress codes in the real world are the pits, I tell you! Anyway, I think I wore this to Jazzfest in May. Cutoffs, a simple tank, a tiny bag for the essentials, and close-toed boots were perfect for a day in the sun. My experience that was was miserable, to say the least, and two years ago it poured on us the entire time Dave Matthews Band was on stage. The rain and mud actually made it fun, but the constant dust, my eyes burning from sunscreen and sweat, and the severe overcrowding of people made Elton John just not all that worth it. I still can't decide if I would go back based on my 2015 experience, but I think it depends on the lineup next year. I'm not laughing about that experience just yet!
Yes, it is still warm enough here to wear a crop top! Fall will be here soon enough, so I am not eagerly donning a scarf or a light jacket just yet. This skirt feels like something DJ Tanner would have worn on Full House... with a denim jacket. I can't even pretend that the idea does not make me giddy because #90skid.
In the late summer months (it's officially fall, I know, but still very warm here), I have a handful of outfits that are on repeat. I have worn through all of my ideas and am trying to transition myself out of short and a tank. It comes from a place of, to be frank, boredom with my closet. When it is 65 degrees in the morning and 85 degrees when I get home in the afternoon, it makes for tricky outfit planning. Of course, I cannot wear shorts to work, so the minute I get home, I change to take advantage of letting my legs breathe. A couple of weeks ago, I kept pulling this tee and shorts combo out of my dirty laundry basket after workschool. I loved it so much that I did not even care that my clothes were technically dirty. That is true outfit love!