Friday, November 4

Wonder Woman complex

I haven't written on my blog in a while, but after the week I've had, I'm going to write today. Warning: this is not a nice post. These are all of the things I'm not supposed to say.

I'm a people pleaser. I'm not sure exactly where that falls into my religious beliefs, but after 30 years, I don't think I'm going to change that. So what do I mean? I have a hard time saying 'no.' I commit to social events, to volunteer, to take on extra work, bake something for a potluck, organize and host parties, be in weddings, pick up mail/water plants for neighbors, support kids at sporting events, and take care of friends' kids or pets. People joke that I'm Wonder Woman. For the record, I do not feel like this lately.

Now, I love doing all of these things, but it's partially because I don't like letting people down. I rarely ever sit down and relax. I'm sure all of the moms that read this blog are likely say, "Well, I do all of those things." Great, I get it, you have kids and you likely laugh at my little old life. I'm happy to say that your life is harder. I don't have kids, but I've been saying yes to everything since I was old enough to make decisions on my own, say like 7th grade. That's approximately 17 years. I think I need a break.

Here's the problem, and the point where I feel like I'm being selfish, a characteristic that I despise in myself. I just don't know if I want to live up to please everyone else anymore. I am so incredibly loved by everyone around me and that makes me so happy. But I'm scared I might not meet everyone's expectations anymore, and that I'm losing my self a little because I'm not doing what I want.

And to top it off, my friends really do miss me. I miss them terribly, too. I'm crazy busy with work, and I'm so poor I can't really afford to go out like I used to. Not getting a regular paycheck is hard. Not getting a pay check for nine weeks is brutal. And it takes such a long time to recover from that when you aren't a trust fund baby :)

And not being a trust fund baby leads me to the most shallow reason I feel like I'm not Wonder Woman: my looks. I seriously enjoy looking put together. I like fixing my hair, putting on makeup, and wearing a cute outfit. Lately, I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror. I quit wearing makeup and cute clothes because I never have a reason to put them on. Now all I see is this girl who's given up her dreams of working in fashion/music, and who feels like I can no longer have my cake and eat it, too.

I think I'm just overwhelmed with so many changes. And these are all the things that I'm feeling in my head and can't say aloud to anyone because people would tell me that I was crazy. Maybe I am crazy. Perhaps that's why I'm a singer and a writer. I feel things more deeply than other people.

All I know is that as exciting as all of this is, it's equally nerve-wracking. I just want to know that I'm going to succeed. I don't have to be happy every step of the way, but that I need assurance to know that I'm strong enough to please God, others, and myself.


Thursday, October 6


For those of you who know me, or who have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a relationship-based person. I was not built to be a "loner." As much as I love working for myself, I really crave human interaction. I had been struggling with loneliness for a while and just when I least expected it, God answered my prayer for a wonderful boyfriend and companion when he sent me Mike. He's everything that I want and need in a partner. He's aloof, intelligent, an honest critic, charming, handsome, sweet, and a hard worker. I love this man. My heart at times has felt like it could explode in the last few months since I met him. He makes me want to be a better person. He makes me selfless. And he encourages me to be my best. The only problem is I think we've been in our honeymoon phase for a while, and I think my friends may think I've fallen off the face of the earth. Don't worry, I'm starting to emerge from my shell. :)

Mike and I are entering a new phase of our relationship. The one where we figure out how to be ourselves, and be a couple. That's a tricky phase, and one that often makes or breaks a relationship. I'm praying that God navigates us through it with care and ease. I know that both of us have so much going on with work, and we are both very stressed at times. That's hard for me because I don't get that out during the day, so when I see Mike, he often receives all of my emotional spewing for the day. Poor guy; he loves me in spite of this. I'm hoping that between all of his prep classes for the LSAT in December, and my work, volunteering, and travels to see friends, that we cling to our love and try our very best to always speak kindness to each other. This relationship is special. I don't want to guide this one. I want to let God keep guiding it. As a natural "controller," that's hard for me. So for now I'm "Letting Go and Letting God." He blessed me with an amazing man, and I have a feeling this is only the beginning of what's in store for us.


Saturday, August 13


That's right, butterflies. I was just about to write them off as impossible. I was used to the so-so feelings, and I assumed I'd have to settle for them. Not now, not these; the kind of butterflies that you wake up with, make you not want to eat, make you smile, and just won't go away. This man gives me REAL butterflies. He is sweet, intelligent, charming, hardworking, incredibly handsome, funny, attentive, outgoing, passionate, and loves Jesus. He has shaken my world a bit, and I'm looking forward to the outcome.


P.S. He's crazy about me, too :)

Monday, July 18

A new decade

I am officially 30. It was a weird feeling waking up this morning and realizing that there was a new number at the front of my age. And as much as I had dreaded this day, when it arrived I embraced it with ease, and I'm starting to feel really happy about it. Perhaps it's because I feel like I'm getting a fresh start, like my life if just beginning. I opened my email this morning and found some mail from Allison, my BFF/college roommate. She sent me a "belated" card, even though we had celebrated the weekend before when I went to see her/the hubs. What I found was the sweetest thing. I've attached it below. I read the first few lines and started tearing up; half way through the tears were streaming.
On top of this note, my friends did so many wonderful things. Like the fact that my other BFF not only made me a lovely homemade dinner and birthday cake, but she had her three-year-old son sing to me. And when that wasn't enough to make me cry, she wrapped a gift for me to open every day of my birthday week, beginning with chocolate covered pretzels and Diet Coke, which we snacked on all the way to Cape Cod, Mass the summer of 2000. We claimed Wilson Phillips, "Hold On For One More Day" as our theme song, and to this day it always brings a smile. And tucked inside every gift that I unwrapped this week was another sweet note about how this would be the best decade yet. 

At dinner on Saturday, my friends showered me with laughter, drinks, fajitas, balloons, cake, and so many lovely gifts, including tickets to see Adele in October! I feel so incredibly blessed to begin a new phase of my life when I know that I am surrounded by so many people who are in my corner. (Even a phone call from Big couldn't bring me down!)

On Sunday, my actual birthday, I went to see Harry Potter and cried through most. It all seemed so poetic. I started reading HP in 2000; that year I started University as Harry started at Hogwarts. At the end of the movie/the books, he embarks into adulthood/life after Voldemort, closing several chapters in life. At the same time, I'm closing my twenties and hoping to embark on my next journey. It was bittersweet. I of course wish there was more Harry, but I look forward to sharing it with my children. 

Last night, Marie gave me a leather wrap bracelet that is inscribed with the perfect Bible verse: 

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

This verse, and the encouragement of all my friends and family will carry me into my thirties. I have a feeling that if the last week is any indication of what's to come, it's going to be amazing!


Tuesday, July 5


I try to keep social commentary off of the Internet, but I'm going to share this with everyone. I already posted a few comments on various Facebook posts, but these are my feelings about the verdict today for Casey Anthony. One caveat, I did happen to grow up with a defense attorney for a father.

Honestly, I agree with the jury's verdict. People can yell at me all they want, but based only on the evidence presented to the jurors, the prosecution failed to show that she was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There was too much circumstantial evidence and the burden of proof could never be fully placed on one person. I hope that one day the truth comes out. In the mean time, the person (or people) that were responsible for that baby's death have to live with their guilt for the rest of their lives. And even if by some chance Casey didn't kill her daughter, she'll have to live with the fact that she didn't report her daughter missing for 30 days. If she had, her daughter may not have died. Guilty or not, the general public views her as a murderer, and her life will never be normal. She will likely never get a job, have real friends, or have anyone who genuinely cares, believes, trusts, or loves her, which may be even worse than dying.

Bottom line, if you were ever charged with a crime you actually didn't commit, you'd be glad that the checks and balances of our legal system were in place. Justice isn't only served when people are found guilty; it's served only after a fair trial. I would be very scared to sit on trial in front of a jury of my peers based on the general public reaction to this trial. It's understandable to be sad for Caylee. It's just that so many of these cases don't get this kind of media attention, and no one bats an eyelash when someone is wrongly convicted. Our legal system has flaws, but I'm hoping that if more people cast their verdicts based on the burden of proof that these flaws will drastically decrease. Ultimately you can't find someone guilty based on emotions or assumptions. If that were the case, there would be a lot of innocent people in prison.


13 days...

So for many people, the idea of an impending birthday isn't a big deal. Some shrug it off, some revel in the excitement of party planning. I usually throw myself into the planning as a distraction, but as a writer I'm a natural over thinker. I over think the average event, such as which type of toothpaste to buy. (No, seriously, I sometimes read the labels on five boxes before I make a purchase.)

So at each birthday, I turn all thoughts inward and reflect on the last year of my life. You can imagine then, that as I close in on finishing an entire decade, I've expanded my usual week long diatribe into a full month. In some senses, I'm attempting to overhaul my life. I've been reading a book called Turning 30: How to Get the Life You Really Want. It's actually a really great read, and I wouldn't just recommend it for people with a big birthday looming. It's helped me determine the state of my life and what I really want out of it. So far the book has really helped put perspective on things, and I'm realizing that these feelings are very natural. Apparently most people go through this phase sometimes between the ages of 28 and 32. According to the book, most adults start to take life a little more seriously, or they try to milk out the remnants of their youth before they really have to "grow up."

Then there are people like me who start to question which side of the fence they fall on. I had a list of goals that I wanted for myself. I wanted to graduate from college. Check. I wanted to get my Masters degree. Nope. I wanted to have a stable, successful career. 50/50. I wanted to do what I love, 50/50. I wanted to be in a successful relationship. No check. I wanted to be considering or have started a family. No check. I wanted to own a house. No check. I wanted to have my debts paid off. 85/15. I wanted to have a better relationship with my family. 50/50. I wanted to take a vacation to a new place at least once a year, even if in the U.S. No check. I wanted to feel like I had given my very best to everything that I did. 50/50.

I look at this list, and I imagine my "ideal life" and it doesn't measure up. And so I've gotten really down on myself. I don't dwell on my past. In fact, for some of the things I've gone through, I miraculously rarely think about them anymore. It's just when I get into the writer's mode that I can't help but reflect on what lessons I should have learned, what things I would have done differently, and how I'm going to implement these lessons into my life going forward. 

So, what am I going to do? I want to start thinking more about my words. That seems like a very simple place to start, but the things that come out of my mouth, my blog, my tweets, my Facebook, and my actions, ultimately represent how others see me. I want to be positive. I want to be the sunshine version of Miss L.A. that I ultimately know I am at my core. I want to leave this world a better place. I want to count my blessings of what I have, and not focus on what I'm lacking. I want to celebrate small victories, and do more for others, and stop apologizing. I want to read my Bible more often and pray more. I want to be a Godly woman. Because ultimately, I know that if I'm living the life that Christ would have me live, I know the next decade will be even more than I can imagine. 

Do I want all of the things I listed above? Yes. I'd of course still love to have a put together life. I just know that God didn't put everyone on this Earth to be perfectly put together. He made some of us a little more messy and beautiful. He gave some of us louder personalities. He blended us all together in every color, nation, tribe and tongue so that we can wonder at his infinite imagination, creativity, and love. Because if He can love the people that are hard to love, why can't I? I'm hard to love. Why? Because I have flaws. And I sin. And I push people away, and I lack trust, and yet so many people still love me. And so as I embark on this new decade, I want to choose love. I want to choose it even when it's so impossibly hard to choose. I want to remember that I am not the judge, and that if I choose to look at everyone the way that Jesus does, I will see those "flaws" as fingerprints of individuality. I will realize that those fingerprints are just more reasons to encourage, and grow, and serve. Because only when the people in my life have faith in God, will they ever be able to get past any of the things that are truly holding them back in life.

How do I know this to be true? Because I was inspired to write this blog post. When I sat down to write this, I just knew their were things that God wanted me to say. And I wasn't sure what that was. But these are the things that I struggle with most. I hold myself to such high standards that I have forgotten how to love myself. I can't look at my flaws and see fingerprints of Jesus. I see things myself as broken, ugly, and bruised. And I'm none of those things. I may be knocked down, but I am NOT destroyed. God has forgiven every one of my sins and shortcomings, and GRACE saved me. I do not have to prove anything to Him. I do not have to earn His love. Will I show it? Of course, because true faith has fruits. A living thing cannot shrivel up and be forever dormant. If it is, it will eventually die. And so I will choose to bear my fruit. I will use my gifts. And I know that through study, prayer, and patience, focusing each day on what I can accomplish, while not dwelling on the past or future, I will ultimately be victorious. What will that be? Only He knows that. 

The truth that I hold to the most is found in my very favorite verse in the Bible. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 "However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." 

If that isn't a promise of a wonderful future, I don't know what is. If my dreams are so conceivably wonderful,  can I even begin to imagine what He has in store that is so marvelous that I can't comprehend it? That trust somehow makes all those broken, rough, rocky paths worth the lessons, struggles, heartache, and growth. Because God is ultimately preparing me and my heart for my perfect future. And I think that the realization of that and the peace that it brings will be the best birthday gift that I'll receive.

Now if I can only repeat that over the next couple of weeks. It may be tougher to swallow than I'd like, but I'll just keep repeating, "it's only a number."


Thursday, June 23

30 things

In honor of my impending big birthday (gulp), I've decided to compose some lists. Today I will name 30 of my favorite and least favorite things.

Favorite things: (in absolutely no particular order)
1. Children's laughter
2. Fireworks
3. Things that sparkle
4. The smell of vintage books
5. Three or more part harmony
6. A good sports cry
7. Texas A&M University
8. All things Southern (accents, people, hospitality, SEC football, bourbon, food, and MY FAMILY!)
9. Sailing on a sailboat, wind in my hair
10. Diet Coke
11. Really good chips and salsa
12. Turquoise (the color, the stone, it's present in all areas of my life)
13. Large earrings
14. Magazines (In Style, Texas Monthly, Lucky, Garden & Gun, Dapper,
15. Estate sales
16. Delicious smelling homes
17. Sports talk radio (I can't believe I admitted that one.)
18. Clean sheets on a made bed
19. Snuggling with a sweet puppy
20. Dancing with handsome men
21. B&W photography
22. Getting my hair blown out for no special reason
23. Home cooked meals savored at a table with family and friends, long past when the dishes are cleared
24. Surprising people (gifts, parties, etc.)
25. Road trips (especially on new roads)
26. Sitting on the porch
27. My Bible
28. Singing out loud (anywhere, anytime)
29. My fave places in the world: Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, the dock of Snake Pond in Sandwich, MA, Isola, MS, and Erinshire in Abilene, TX
30. Long, meaningful conversations

Things I dislike: (again, in no particular order)
1. Burnt Orange
2. Cigarettes
3. Big Red
4. Booing at sporting events
5. Warner Brothers cartoons
6. Roller Coasters
7. Long commutes
8. Overplayed autotuned radio music
9. Those who think I'm shallow or stupid just because I am interested in fashion
10. Whispering - it literally makes my skin crawl
11. You can't plug two hair appliances into one outlet at the same time (like a flat iron and hair dryer)
12. When my favorite lipstick is discontinued
13. When people tear down historic homes in old neighborhoods and build modern monstrosities
14. Allegiance to universities from those whom have no family ties whatsoever
15. The dying status of the handwritten note
16. The age of instant information - I'm convinced this is why people are unable to hold conversations
17. That Dallas/Fort Worth doesn't have any HEB grocery stores
18. Tollroads
19. Bad Politics (in government OR in churches)
20. Cheap knockoffs (of boobs, bags, or bad art, etc.)
21. Sensationalism in the media
22. Bad grammar, especially in the newspaper or in business publications
23. The BCS system in college football
24. The lack of chivalry from men in younger generations
25. Rushing (in music, work, and getting ready)
26. Soft drinks in plastic bottles. I seriously think cans or fountain are far superior.
27. Being interrupted
28. Drivers who don't know how to make a u-turn. We're not in England. You still drive on the right.
29. Sense of Entitlement by anyone
30. Clutter*

*although I do love the shop Clutter at Warrenton/Round Top every April/October


Tuesday, June 14

The Battle of Loneliness

It's been one of those weeks. I think I've probably done a little too much thinking the past few days, but the only thing I could think to do was write about it, so here I am. It's hard for me to write on my blog sometimes, because I am scared of being too honest, but right now I just need an outlet for my real feelings, because I don't know if I've actually spoken those in a long time.

I think a lot of these feelings started when I moved in early 2010. Or if I'm really being honest, I think they started when I went through a terrible relationship back in the summer of 2009. I ended up breaking things off with a guy that completely ripped my world apart. And after that, I convinced myself that I was so ignorant for not seeing any of the red flags. I was stuck in a pattern of settling. And I started to realize that I had let the very act of settling, or the inability to say no seep into every area of my life—my job, my friends, my family. And I've been slowly reevaluating and cutting the bad spots out, one by one ever since.

Another recent change that may have triggered these feelings is that  I began working from home a few months ago. I literally go days at a time without seeing anyone that I actually know. I have a significant amount of time on my hands to think about my life, and what really matters to me. The thing is, it's gotten to be a very short list, and that frankly makes me very sad. I've always been an extremely outgoing person with many friends. I've realized that I have very few people who actually know me, the real me. I started to think about the people in my life who I truly love, and how much I really matter to them. I know there will likely be a lot of naysayers who read this and say, "Oh, everyone loves you." And yes, I know that people love me. But there is a difference in saying you love someone and actually feeling that you are loved and are important to others. 

So I started thinking about my real friends; the ones that really do love me for exactly who I am. The ones that will hang out with me in sweats and no makeup and have a glass of wine—or it's not a big deal if either of us pop in for a visit unexpectedly.  The ones that I have tough, honest conversations with. Many of my "friends" were just people from my past that don't really know anything about me anymore. In spite of this realization, I've continued to try to be open to my friendships, but it's left me feeling very lonely and made me take some very long hard looks in the mirror. If others don't know me, do I really know myself? 

The part of this journey that's been the hardest is that I'm not trying to permanently cut anyone out of my life or be malicious. I'm definitely not trying to make anyone feel like I don't care. It's just that because I'm a giving/loyal person, I've just felt empty lately. I can't be a half-friend; it's not in my nature. And because I had so many friends in my life, and never questioned what kind of relationship we actually had, I gave 100% to everyone. I ran out of giving. And I told several people this, and it wasn't well received. People felt like I was keeping score, or that had high expectations. And I wasn't trying to imply that at all. I just wanted my friends to see that everyone has a threshold. After the last few years, I've definitely reached mine. And I just need to fill up my tank for a while so that I can continue to be the kind of person that I know God wants me to be. The giver, the girl who always calls on your birthday, who sends cards, who takes last-minute road trips for important events, who will craft crazy things for your party/wedding/ baby shower, who volunteers for things, accepts most invitations even when I'm tired, and who wants to enjoy every moment of life. 

The other complicated piece to this puzzle? I understand that everyone has busy, complicated lives. Most of my friends are married, have kids, mortgages, successful careers, relatives all over the globe, and many hobbies. And I'm so happy for them because of these things. I just also realize that because they are so busy, that I can't expect the certain things from them. They are busy giving too. If I want to talk to one of my closest girlfriends, I have to worry about interrupting dinner, bath time with the baby, or that I'll wake their sleeping husband. Because of all of these changes, I deeply miss having someone who I have a real connection with. And I'm incredibly lonely—I said it—the word that I hate to say. But I am. I long to have that kind of love and fulfillment in my life that many of those around me have. 

Since Big and I broke up, I've had this gaping hole. I can't think of who to call with good news, bad news, or just random news; he was that person. I think about him all the time. We've talked a little, but I know that it only makes it harder for me to let go of my feelings for him. And when he calls on the day of his big fundraiser, it just makes me want to scream, "Why me? If I'm so important, why can't you just give us a real shot." Or I wish he'd say, "move to the East Coast." These are unrealistic thoughts. And I'm trying very hard to not think them anymore. I keep them to myself and I pray to God. And I know that only He can fill that hole, but it would also be nice if I could just stay busy enough that my mind wouldn't reel at times. 

I've also struggled with identifying with my friends. Part of me thinks that I've just assumed that everyone is  just like me for so long that I didn't realize that some of my friends and even people I meet are closed off from the world. And so when I try to talk to them, share with them, or do something that I think is helpful, they see it as the complete opposite. Some people find me overbearing. I'm honestly not trying to be. I'm just a genuinely friends person. And then things just get awkward. I keep hearing that life will continue to get easier with age, but I find myself questioning when that moment will come. When will I have the discernment to see these differences in others? 

For now, I'd really just like to meet some new people so that when I  really need to get out of the house, or get extra tickets to events, I can actually come up with someone to ask. I went to two large social events this weekend all alone. And even for someone who likes to talk, that's really scary. I stood at one event for almost an hour before anyone spoke to me. And when I tried to talk to people, they gave me looks like I was bothering them — or worse, that they felt sorry for me.

For now, I'm just hoping to kick some of this loneliness to the curb, and I'm hoping that my recent introspection will help me be a better friend, and know much earlier when it's just not going to work. I'm also hoping that I can feel God's reassurance that I am a lovely, wonderful woman, and that I don't need worldly confirmation to know these truths. 

On a final note, I know that this posts likely sounds like a pity party. I'm not asking for pity. I know that everyone feels like this sometimes. By all accounts I have nothing to complain about in my life. It's just that if you don't feel loved in your life, what do you have?


Monday, May 23

Sasha Rhett Guest Blog

Recently I was asked to write a guest post for Sasha Rhett watches. I interviewed the designer, Alexandra Daum, for a post on Unabashedly Prep back in 2010, and they liked it so much, they asked me to help out with their new blog. You can check out the original post here.  I expanded on the original piece and decided to share it with all of you. I hope you find my expansion into women's fashion as exciting as I do. You should expect to start seeing more of it from now on. Happy Shopping!

For some people the thought of building a spring/summer wardrobe can be quite daunting. Especially when most women look in their closets and immediately think I have nothing to wear. In reality, most women have too many things to wear, which is why dressing can seem overwhelming, especially for a last-minute event or outing.

As the daughter of not one, but two avid shoppers, I've learned how to stretch my clothing budget, and to buy things that will last many seasons. The key is to purchase items of clothing that compliment each other, and basics that keep up with the trends, yet are classic. The best way to do this is to choose classic-shaped clothing in colors that compliment the season, your skin tone, and your figure. As much as I'd love to buy the latest offering in Vogue or In Style, these items are simply out of my everyday price range. After doing some serious closet cleaning for the upcoming season, I put together a list of items that would help me create a mix & match wardrobe that would last well into the warmer months. The best part? These 8 pieces can be combined with staples that many of you likely already own, and not one of them will set you back more than $119. I've also included some accessories, and have styled a few outfits to show you the various options available. This will help get your imagination flowing, as the possibilities are endless.

For even more time saving, I suggest grouping several outfits together in your closet at the beginning of each week. You can even put all of your accessories in a drawstring pouch and include them on the hanger; just grab and go. On the mornings that I'm late for a meeting, this has immensely helped me. It's also quite useful if you have to travel for work. I hope that you'll find these bright, cheery pieces as a great guide while you're out shopping for spring and summer. Remember the most important rule of all: Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confidant. However, if a few simple alterations will make it perfect, run, don't walk to your tailor. No matter the price, it's not a bargain if it doesn't fit like it was custom made.
Spring/Summer 2011
Polyvore Collection

Spring/Summer 2011 by FabulousMissLA featuring summer skirts

I've numbered the main pieces for ease of matching.
1. Fuchsia double-breasted blazer, $100
2. Chambray button down, $98
3. Turquoise pencil skirt, $118
4. White trench coat, $90
5. Yellow linen skirt, $88
6. Striped boat neck blouse, $60
7. Striped v-neck dress, $119
8. White cropped pant, $40

Bags, clockwise:
Canvas and leather satchel, $158
Stone bow clutch, $80
Green zip-pocket satchel, $228
Cognac cross-body bag, $100

Shoes, clockwise:
Pink patent ballet flats, $180
Green flats with bow, $70
Brown espadrille wedges, $80
Navy Top-siders, $75
Canvas and leather slingbacks, $90

Accessories, counterclockwise:
Sasha Rhett Gold Round watch with snakeskin double wrap strap, $299**
Sasha Rhett Navy snakeskin gold double wrap strap, $75
Sasha Rhett Green snakeskin gold double wrap strap, $65
Brown woven prairie belt, $45
Pink patent belt, $32
Raffia belt with orange bow, $26
Khaki double-buckle belt, $22
Straw fedora, $58
Orange and Navy fabric and chain bangles, $38
Multi-color stripe bangle, $5.80
Polka dot gold ring, $5.80
Gold link bracelet, $88
Gold clover drop earrings, $49
Turquoise bead necklace, $59
Maltese pin/enhancer, $19
Pearl stud earrings, $25

**These watches have interchangeable straps, further adding to the versatility of these ensembles. Just switch out the strap to change your watch from day to evening.

Here are some of the ensembles I styled from the pieces below:

1 + 7
Canvas and leather slingbacks
Green zip-pocket satchel
Sasha Rhett gold watch with navy snakeskin double wrap strap
Pearl stud earrings
Gold link bracelet

Weekend at the coast:
2 + 8
Brown woven prairie belt - leave the top untucked, and belt like a tunic
Navy Top-siders
Cognac cross-body bag
Sasha Rhett gold watch with green snakeskin strap
Straw fedora
Pearl stud earrings

Dinner & drinks:
6 + 3
Raffia belt with orange bow
Brown espadrille wedges
Stone bow clutch
Sasha Rhett Gold Round watch with snakeskin double wrap strap
Gold clover drop earrings
Orange fabric and chain bangle

Shopping or the museum:
4 + 5, trench worn open with belt tied in back
Navy & White top or other basic from your closet
Pink patent belt, tuck in shirt and belt just under ruffle detail
Pink patent ballet flats
Pearl stud earrings
Multi-color stripe bangle

Other possible combinations:
1 + 2 + 8, Pink patent ballet flats
4 + 2 + 3, Brown espadrille wedges
1 + 6 + 3, Green flats with bow
4 + 7, Canvas and leather slingbacks, pink belt
4 + 5 + 6, Green flats with bow
1 + 5, basic top, Brown espadrille wedges
2 + 3, Pink patent ballet flats
1 + 6 + 8, Navy Top-siders
2 + 5, Brown espadrille wedges and belt
1 + 5 + 6, Green flats with bow
2 + 6 + 3, Canvas and leather slingbacks
6 + 5, Pink patent, Pink patent ballet flats
2 + 7, with Khaki double-buckle belt and Brown espadrille wedges
6 + 8, Pink patent ballet flats
2 + 6 + 5, Brown woven prairie belt, Canvas and leather slingbacks

1 + 3, basic top, Brown espadrille wedges
7, alone with various belts, shoes, accessories

Of course, the possibilities are endless. And if you have any questions about how to incorporate into your own wardrobe, feel free to contact me!


Tuesday, May 10

The Adventure Continues

So, I suppose that the first post that I write after I quit my job to write full time should be on an enlightened topic. I could write about the "easy way" to start your own freelancing business, how to get the gumption to walk into your boss's office and quit your less-than-stellar job in corporate America in chase of  "the dream." I could tell you that working for yourself is exactly like in the movies. Adorable casual clothes, coffee shops, all the time in the world to do your laundry, look perfect for every outing, and send all your friends birthday gifts on time.

If I wrote about all of those things, I'd be lying.

The truth is, that April 15th was my last day of work in corporate America -- for now. I don't think I publicized much how much I hated my job, but I worked as an insurance adjuster, dealing with injuries from car accidents. For those of you that know me, it was likely the most ill-suited career I could have ever chosen. I just can't do glass-half-empty all day. I need passion and creativity, something that was seriously lacking, even while on the office Events Committee. And so, I quit.

On the morning of April 18th, I woke up and went to work in my new office, my dining room. So far, working from home has been interesting. I did a lot of leg work. I got all new office equipment, including a brand new MacBook Pro laptop. It's lovely. The first few days flew by because I had quite a bit of work to do. It's the days that aren't so structured that are a bit odd. Like when I wake up and don't have any assignments from my clients, so I spend my entire morning searching for new work, doing research on writing, and brushing up on AP vs. Chicago Manual of Style; or I spend two hours comparing health plans. And then I find myself feeling guilty for having time to listen to the Fashion 140 conference online, and being able to throw myself completely into some guest blogs that I wrote.

The thing that I wasn't prepared for was all the alone time. I've lived out on my own for the last 12 years. I've had roommates at some points, and lived alone at others. I really don't have any problems spending time alone; that is until I was doing that very thing 24 hours a day, seven days a week for weeks at a time.

The last few days I've started to get a little stir crazy. I've started to doubt myself. I think, "do I really have what it takes to be a full-time writer? Do all my friends and family think I'm crazy? Are they secretly just waiting for me to fail and come crawling to them for help?"

I know these thoughts are ludicrous, but you get a LOT of time to think about your life when you don't have physical contact with the outside world. I mean, I go to the gym, and have dinner with friends, but I've never spent so many large chunks of time with myself. And I'm starting to think that having this much time to think when I'm in the last few weeks of my twenties is possibly a bad idea.

I've always been an over achiever. I set extremely high standards for myself, and I'm pretty self-critical. When I was twenty years old, I thought I'd be living in NYC and working at a big magazine by now. Or I thought I might be in Nashville following my dream of singing. If anything I thought I'd be in a serious relationship, and possibly married. I never thought I'd be single, living in Fort Worth, Texas, having just quit my job, and essentially starting my career from scratch. Over the last few months, I just felt like my life was heading in a direction that just didn't make any sense to me. The more I prayed about it, the more I felt like I was supposed to start over again. I sincerely believe that God doesn't give people talents that he doesn't want them to use. In my heart of hearts, I think He wants every person to use every bit of talent they've been given. Because of that belief, I'm hoping that this bout of loneliness and doubt will pass quickly. I know there is an extremely confident women lurking inside me who just knows that big things are on the horizon. It's one of those "heart vs. head" moments. I just don't know which one will win this round.

In the mean time, I'm recommitting to my blog again. I will share my life's adventures with the few people that choose to read it. And for those of you that do, I really appreciate it. I know that even if no one reads it, it's the most therapeutic thing in the world to me. At the end of each victory and set back, I can come here and relish in how far I've come from even a year ago. And that in itself keeps me going.


Monday, February 21

A New Adventure

Every teenage girl dreams of what she'll be when she "grows up." I've dreamed of seeing my name on a magazine masthead since high school. I would devour every morsel of each issue of In Style as it arrived in my mailbox; I quickly became addicted to the smell and texture of the glossy pages. My love for one magazine grew into two, three, and soon I was subscribing to upward of twelve magazines at any given time. If you asked for my vices, the check out line at the grocery store would top my list — I rarely leave the line without a shiny publication in hand. I received a B.A. in English from my beloved University, and I hit the pavement to find my dream job. After applying last-minute for a publishing institute in NYC and being wait listed, I settled for an editing job at an educational publishing company. A mere four years later, I got laid off. I sat befuddled at the young age of twenty-six; I was back at the drawing board, staring into the face of unemployment. I could not, would not, swallow my pride and move home with my parents. And so, I updated my resume and landed a new job.

Over the last four years, I've held jobs that were just that, jobs. They were not something that I in any way enjoyed. They were a paycheck, a means to an end. And slowly, I lost a little bit of what I loved most about my life; having a career that gave me real fulfillment. And so I started this blog. And after that, I began writing and editing for friend's blogs and other projects. I began rebuilding my portfolio and I've begun applying for actual writing and editing positions again. So where does the high school dream fit in? It finally came true! Since the entire point of this blog was that I would actually pursue my dreams, a friend asked if I'd like to edit and write a little copy for a start up magazine in Dallas. I kindly accepted, and enjoyed every minute of my assignments. They liked my work so much that they called to tell me that I will officially be listed on the masthead as a Contributing Editor/Copywriter. My little heart skipped several beats, and I was actually speechless. For those of you that know me, that's a rare occurrence. And so, the magazine went to print today, and I can't wait to share it with all of you. Even more importantly, I'm beyond excited to continue my writing and editing ventures for the upcoming issues. I know that the best is truly yet to come. Watch out world, L.A.J. is back in business.