Thursday, September 22, 2016

Falling Into Autumn

I love the changing of the seasons. Growing up in Ontario Canada there was a stark contrast and my favorite transition was between summer and fall. There was something about the difference in the air, the falling of the leaves and changing colors. I now live in California and this transition is a lot more subtle, but last night was the first night I felt a slight chill in the air. I used my seat warmer in my car today when transporting my kids to school this morning so I know for sure the season is upon us.

I was thinking a lot about the concept of these falling leaves as a metaphor for letting go. People who are attune to the seasons and the subtle shift in nature can gain insight from the "messages". To me the falling of the leaves symbolizes a shedding of sorts and a letting go.

It is fascinating that the tress instinctively know when it is time to let go and release their leaves, making way for fresh new ones after a period of barrenness and rest. As humans we wonder why we don't have the same innate capacity as we watch the literal leaves falling from the trees. I believe that we ALL do. We simply choose to ignore feelings, rationalize red flags away and let our inner voices be drowned out by all of the external noise of the busy world that surrounds us. We are afraid to strip it all away and see ourselves clearly. We cannot hide from ourselves if our life camouflage is gone.  The change that is brought forth breeds fear and we try to avoid it. When we let go and let our life leaves fall we never know what new opportunities, friends, connections are just around the corner. 

Today is the perfect time to take pause, be silent and still and think about all the people and things in your life. Give gratitude for the blessings that make you feel good and examine the things that have been nagging at you, make you feel off, cause stress or negative emotions. We ALL have that intuitive voice inside, can you hear it? Could you just make a commitment to yourself, today on the first day of autumn, to just let it all go? Bid farewell to the people in your life who are not authentic and hurt you? Say goodbye to situations that no longer serve you in a positive way? Send all of your own behaviors who's results and consequences are causing you stress or anxiety far far away? make some personal changes that are not comfortable but are necessary?

I think you can. That is what I will do with the latter part of my day. Recently my world has went through a cleansing of sorts, only because I am listening to myself a lot more and clearing away all of the negative people, energy, habits and situations. By taking accountability for exactly where I am standing in life is so difficult and painful but necessary and empowering all at the same time. I've taken my head out of my phone and essentially my ass and began to look up a lot more. Because after all, the sky is indeed the limit.

A falling leaf captured by my iphone ... see what happens when you look up?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Best: Black & White

Ruben Ireland

As we approach the fall season there is always a default annual color pallet of neutrals; including of course earth tones. What about two shades: Black and White. This color combination in accessories and clothing is a style staple and is seasonless. 

Some of my favorite Black and White pieces for fall:

Best Splurge

Best Loafer

Best Repro (1950s Reproduction)

Best Investment

Best Bag 

Best Makeup Case

Best Palm Print (Contemporary and Vintage)

Vintage Palm Print

Some of the best Black  and White pieces from EVOLUTION VINTAGE

Best Designer Vintage

Best Maxi Dress

Best Dress Set (Worn 3 Ways)

Best Jumpsuit

Best Blouse

Best Dots

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Footprints & Contemplation

Image: East Beach Santa Barbra 9/12/16

Since Labor Day my family has been in serious flux due to the illness of an extended family member. My brother-in-law has spent the last 10 days in the ICU, fighting his way out of the dark hole of addiction. A brutal addiction to alcohol and drugs that has left him literally fighting for his life.  My husband has been at his bed side and in his absence it got me thinking about our footprint on this life, what is it we leave behind in others? A whole host of friends have made a week long endless procession past his bed and some stayed holding vigil, waiting for him to wake up. Thankfully he has come back to us yesterday but I was left amazed and still pondering the foot print analogy. Even through the depths of his horrid disease he was able to leave such an amazing footprint on the lives of all who have texted, called, prayed, emailed and paid a physical visit to his bedside.

His addiction is just part of his story, it isn't who he is. His authentic self has been buried and smothered by the dark cloak of addiction for so long but everyone knew HE was still in there. I did not know him before his addiction. I was introduced to and grew to care for the man who the addiction held captive because he still put on a jovial face through his obvious pain and showed glimpses of his kind heart to me over the years that I have had the privilege of being married to his brother. Footprint left. 

Is it only when you see someone for who they truly are, looking past their perceived faults, disabilities, symptoms of their diseases and repercussions of their choices that they have the ability to leave that footprint behind? 

I wonder why some footprints (impressions/feelings) stay intact and others fade, like those left in the soft sand that are whisked away by the tide leaving no trace behind. 

Part of the miracle of life is not having all the answers. I felt compelled to share my contemplation in hopes of arriving at some. Maybe the footprints are simply feelings that say more about who you are then who has left them. If we are busy judging someone for perceived flaws or other issues we are missing the opportunity to enjoy how they, flaws and all, make us feel in that moment. The footprints then could be an accumulation of those tiny moments, the end result or manifestation of our own openness to really see someone and allow them to make an impression. 

I am interested to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comment section below.

Enjoy leaving and receiving footprints today.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Now Watching: Born This Way

In 2015 the Network A&E brought us an original 6 episode docuseries that chronicles the lives of 7 individuals who have Down Syndrome and their families. It is back for a second season and airs on A&E at 10/9c Tuesdays. It is obvious that my initial attraction to the show would be the fact that my son also has Down Syndrome and I was looking forward to seeing the characters on the show as all of our families are connected through our kids designer genes. I was happily surprised that this show I related to but it is SO MUCH MORE. 

The network, A&E should be commended for providing diversity in their programming and giving their viewership an opportunity to celebrate differences. The celebration of differences and the emphasis on being unique is something seriously lacking in television and our society in my opinion. This show is a breath of fresh air to me and I love that the network has certainly lived up to their slogan: Be Original! 

It is an important lesson in humanity and a reminder to everyone: People with Down Syndrome have the same feelings, hopes and dreams like everyone else. They may process and navigate the world in a different way or require extra assistance or time but they navigate it just the same. This reaffirmation coupled with the inspiring cast is a great reason to tune in. I often wonder what the 'general population' would accomplish and achieve putting in as much hard work and effort that these individuals put into every day tasks. This show is providing us all with an opportunity to learn as there are still so many misconceptions about people with Down Syndrome.

The Parents take the show to another level for me. I can truly relate to the issues they have faced and continue to face with their children and it's simply because I am a PARENT. They face the same challenges that other parents face but during different stages in life. I applaud them all and look forward weekly to hearing more about their children, strategies they have used and their experiences in parenting their extraordinary humans.

Finally this show has a HEART, something we can all relate too. The friendships, bonds, challenges, triumphs, obstacles and determination we see each week is both heartwarming and inspiring to me.

If you can't watch live on Tuesday 10/9C please DVR/PVR the rest of the season or catch up and stream it online HERE 

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Today the creative force that is Beyonce celebrates her 35th birthday and it made me think about the evolution of her music. Her new visual album Lemonade was a very powerful statement but the 2013 track 'Flawless' is equally as powerful for budding feminists or an inspirational anthem for girls challenging them to rise and accept themselves.

We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
"You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man"
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don't teach boys the same?
We raise girls to each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes

This is so great considering her platform to reach young women and remind them of 2 things:

1) The meaning of Feminism and to ponder social constructs that continue to limit women.

2) That they, as is, are indeed FLAWLESS and empower them in the physical realm.

You wake up, flawless
Post up, flawless
Ride round in it, flawless
Flossin on that, flawless
This diamond, flawless
My diamond, flawless
This rock, flawless
My rock, flawless
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
We flawless, ladies tell 'em
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
We flawless, ladies tell 'em
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn

From a style perspective her look in the video is quite a departure for her. First of all it makes me want to chop my hair and give it texture and take a second look at a button down with a statement brooch. I believe she paired her plaid button down with a necklace but I personally prefer a brooch. Wear it YOUR way ... necklace or brooch .. or necklace AND brooch .. or nothing at all. Wear with jeans or follow Queen Bey into short, short jean shorts (even for fall maybe with a fun fishnet) with a metal chain belt of our choice. Think androgyny meets grunge chic with a side of moto boot! 

Vintage Printed Men's Shirt

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Style Saturday: September

Top Left: Vintage Skirt
Bottom Left: Vintage Dress
Bottom Right: Vintage Top and Clutch

September is here and another new season is on the horizon. Because of my current geographical location in California I can honestly say my closet functions on a completely "seasonless" basis. I am Canadian born and raised so wearing a t-shirt in January in California is NOT "winter" to me. As the sun sets on summer many of you are starting a transition from a summer to fall wardrobe and color pallet.

This dress is my FAVORITE transitional piece:
The gorgeous ruffled dress boasts the mustard and earth tones of fall but the sheer lightness and metallic's of summer. The silk midi-length dress has the most exquisite print, micro pleating and tiered ruffled skirt (lined). The garment is so light it is like dancing on air. It comes with a matching fabric belt as well and gold metallic threading throughout.

I specialize in re-styling fashions past current and this was a really fun look. The model is wearing the Vintage Dress, Vintage Gold Tone Lion Necklace, The House of Kat Swank contemporary beaded hairband and current Anne Klein pumps. 

Fabric Detail

The other model in the lush burgundy look will be featured in an upcoming blog.

*Images (models): Thomas Fowler
*Makeup: Hanna Fisher

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why Don't You ...

Fashion fans will fondly remember the glorious Diana Vreeland and if you don't let me introduce you to her. She was the editor of Harper's Bazaar (1936-1962)  for 26 years and after looking at the Kim and Kanye cover this month words cannot express how much I miss her! She also worked for VOGUE and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I can't wait to explore the colorful career of Mrs. Vreeland in a future post. 

Not only was she at the helm of the most creative and cutting edge fashion publication at the time but she also wrote a monthly column called "Why Don't You" ... Giving readers fabulous and creative suggestions to enhance and brighten their every day life,  such as these as seen in  the March 1958 / February 1959 issue.

- Paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys' nursery so they won't grow up with a provincial point of view?

- Cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt banded with bamboo, and pin with colored thumb-tacks all your various enthusiasms as your life varies from week to week?

- Have every room done up in every color green? This will take months, years, to collect, but it be delightful—a melange of plants, green glass, green porcelains, and furniture covered in sad greens, gay greens, clear, faded and poison greens?

- Have two pairs of day shoes exactly alike, except that one pair has thin rubber soles for damp days? Any cobbler can put these on.

- Find one dress that you like and have it copied many times? You will be much more successful than if you try to produce the same effects each evening.

- Have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermes of Paris will make this.

- Put all your dogs in bright yellow collars and leads like all the dogs in Paris?

- Order Schiaparelli's cellophane belt with your name and telephone number on it?

- Tie black tulle bows on your wrists?

- Have your bed made in China—the most beautiful bed imaginable, the head board and spread of yellow satin embroidered in butterflies, alighting and flying, in every size and in exquisite colors?

- Rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep it gold, as they do in France?

As a form of self love and following an over haul of my boudoir I took a page out of Mrs. Vreeland's play book and posed the question to myself, Why don't you ... have fresh white flowers in your room on a weekly basis? 
So I did just that. Each week since the end of May I have had a different white flower in my room.... just BECAUSE and why not? For a tiny weekly investment (that likely equates to a cup or two of Starbucks coffee) you can treat yourself and all your senses with fresh flowers in your room or home. It doesn't have to be flowers it could be any little thing you can do for yourself to practice self love / self care. A little gesture like this can go a long way.
So the only question remains; Why don't you?