Thursday, July 2, 2015

Religious Apocalypse

I promise that "religious apocalypse" isn't as right-wing as it sounds. In fact, I'm making a major case for separation of Church and State in this post, and I'm pretty sure you have not heard my particular spin on this issue, so don't freak out and go away... Here's an awesome picture to convince you to stay.

I haven't said anything publicly in the midst of the marriage-equality decision because I don't really have a solid stance. And I'm find with that. Not every issue needs to be something that we pour our entire beings in to, and for me, who gets married or doesn't get married isn't an issue I'm passionate about in either direction. 

Even when I got married, I wondered, what IS this, really? I've said a few words, signed my name, and now things are different than they were before? Those things aren't really what marriage is about, no matter your circumstances or sexual orientation. 

There has been a lot of freaking out and passive aggressive scripture references on Facebook recently on both sides of this issue. My basic stance is that I have the freedom to vote however I want to in private, and in public, I choose to be kind, whether that means encouraging relationships, or keeping my mouth shut about ANY relationship that I'm not a part of, PARTICULARLY if I don't have a close friendship with whomever I'm giving my opinion to. This doesn't mean I don't stand up for my beliefs or that I'm two-faced, I'm just choosing my battles, here. In fact, through the writing of this post, I came to realize that my religious beliefs do not support same-sex marriage, but my political beliefs do. I used to think that those two camps had to be on the same page, but the more I've thought about it, the more I am content with there being a difference between the two. 

My family was discussing the whole supreme court decision over dinner and what we felt about it and what implications we thought it had. More than the morality of the decision (and there was some variance in where different members of the family came down on that), the thing we thought was important, and ultimately troubling, is the legality of the law. Let me preface this by saying that my personal spiritual beliefs aside, I'm not against same-sex marriage being legal. What I am against is having the federal government - in this case, the choice of 5 people - overturn something that many states have VOTED against. It makes our rights and opinions as voters a joke, even if I do agree with the outcome. 

I have little doubt that given a few more years, many states would have legalized same-sex marriage on their own, by popular voting majorities. As my dad pointed out, none of the people in my family know the details of the case that came before the Supreme Court and resulted in this ruling, and those details are probably pretty important in deciphering whether the Supreme Court's decision was sound in terms of the law. 

Again, I have not personally read the chief justice's dissenting opinion, but I've heard that his main criticism is that there is no basis in the law/constitution that leads to the choice to make same-sex marriages equal to traditional marriages. Again, this is not a reflection of the morality of any kind of marriage, just that it's not addressed at all in the constitution. Neither is traditional marriage. Therefore, it is my opinion that the Supreme Court should say, "we can't make this call given what the law says/doesn't say". Based on the constitution alone, they don't have the authority to dictate the definition of "traditional" marriage either. The Supreme Court's ONLY JOB is to interpret the law as it is, not create new laws. Right? (Seriously, is that right, or am I out of the loop?) If the American people think these issues of marriage are so important, they should work on getting them in to the constitution. I have no problem with the constitution evolving with the times. 

If you want to have sex with animals or a bunch of people at once, or yourself, or whatever, I may not think it's a good idea, but it's not my job to tell you what to do or not to do in private. Neither do I think the State should have a say (by the way, in most of this post, my use of the term "state" refers to the entire country). I do think society and the state have a responsibility to protect those who can't protect themselves, so minors (even consenting ones - underdeveloped frontal lobes, people!) and probably animals too, but otherwise, we are not a theocracy, so the state shouldn't mix religious values with home life. We should stop bawling about how we're losing our Christian values, since the United States was not beholden to them in the first place. {image}

However, there are true Christians who live in this nation. Another thing some people have been saying is that this decision on the definition of marriage opens the floodgates for a bunch of other "paganism". That sounds extreme, and maybe it is a little bit, but it is undeniable that our country is secularizing itself in the sense of "Christian values". As I've pointed out in previous posts, "Christian values" in America are basically just a political platform. One that I occasionally agree with, but none the less, a political platform. The idea that America has ever lived by Biblical law is pure and simple BS on several accounts. I think what people mean when they talk about "Christian values" is a certain idea of decency, but what is considered decency is changing. Many, including myself, think it is decent that same-sex couples be able to get married if they want to. Think about the specifics of what you mean if you are someone who considers the United States founded on Christian principles. Allegiance to the name of God? Not murdering? Not having premarital sex? Being kind to your neighbor? 

Let's break this down. 
Allegiance to the name of God - Even if some people in our government, whether past or present, profess faith in Christ, a) only God knows each person's heart and b) having a handful of believers in government doesn't mean that every citizen shares their beliefs OR that they have the power to make every law in line with what the Bible says. Democracy prevents that. 

Not murdering and being kind to your neighbor are not exclusively Christian values. Jesus having said to do or not do something doesn't make that thing a purely Christian value. He encouraged the Jews to pay their taxes to Rome, and I'm pretty sure we don't think of paying taxes as a "Christian value". 

Premarital sex is something that the Church itself has a dismal track record with, as pointed out in this fantastic article, which you should read in its entirety for many other points other than the one it makes about premarital sex in the Church (thank you Sarah for posting it!). 

On a bit more tangential note, consider for a second what life would look like under a law that truly aligned with the Bible. There's a lot of stoning and [poo emoji] in the Bible tied to people's bad behavior. Jesus was not very political (much to the chagrin of the Jews), which is a possible argument for us as believers not freaking out over politics, but I digress. The tangential point I wanted to make here is that we all agree that ISIS is the worst, but they are actually a pretty accurate embodiment of literal Quranic law. Although not a direct correlation, they're not a bad comparison for what life under literal Biblical law might look like, in that they seek to rid the world of leaders who don't conform to their strict religious law. 

So, can we agree that America isn't a Christian nation? Why is it surprising that secularism is blossoming? It's the same cycle that every other nation in history has gone through, and it would be foolish to think we're an exception. America HAS been friendly toward Christianity, and indeed, relatively friendly toward all religions. You know, that whole thing about freedom of religion. What a privileged we've had these past 250 years to go relatively free of persecution in light of our beliefs. Christians, or those who were generally in line with "Christian principles" have been in power and perhaps even a majority in the United States, but that is changing, and since a "Christian nation" was an illusion all along, I don't think it should be as painful or surprising as it seems to be for the Christian community that we, as a country, are shifting away from that (or showing true colors?) now. Is it really our job to fight the state, or are our energies better spent building relationships through which we can make a much bigger impact for Christ?

Ok, now I'm going to get to my notes on the religious apocalypse. It's like the zombie apocalypse, but more serious, and harder to make movies out of. 

You may have heard murmurs about Christian schools being defunded by the government, the teaching of Creationism being banned in schools, and other hints of the purging of Christianity from the mainstream. First, let me say that I do not think that the state/mainstream public has any obligation to fund religious institutions of any kind. I think it would be more fair to teach Creationism and Darwinism both as theories, along with any other major theories out there. I believe in Creationism and microevolution, but Creationism can't be scientifically proven, so it is indeed a theory. One that I choose to believe is the truth. Even secular scholars have largely discarded Darwinism, so there's that, too. Similarly, I think public schools should teach that "family" is defined in many ways, including same-sex parents because that is the reality of the world our children live in. It is our right as parents to teach our personal beliefs to our children at home, not to tell our children's classmates that they aren't part of real families because they have two moms or dads. {image}

Anyway, even though I'm cool with the separation of Christian schools and the state, I see a shift from simply separating and a shift into ridiculing, which is verging on lack-of-freedom-of-religion. Our society is no longer generally friendly toward Christian belief systems. Instead, Christians are considered backward, sheltered, bigoted, and unloving. Let me be the first to say that the Church has done a lot to deserve these labels. So much so that our mainstream society and our state often fail to see past those labels to the integrity of those who truly live for Christ. Rather than being embraced or tolerated as an acceptable vein of society, Christianity is more and more often scoffed at and occasionally silenced in ways that may be or may become unconstitutional. 

I should make a distinction here between media and your average passer-by. I rarely get flack for my beliefs face-to-face, but it's definitely not "cool" to be a Christian these days (I'd say it seems pretty un-cool, really), and I think that marks something of a change from previous generations. Not that it was "cool" before, but it wasn't laughed at en-masse, that I know of. Christian ideas (whether or not they reflect Christ) are no longer welcome alongside other beliefs (secularism and atheism are beliefs systems, even if no deity is involved), even if they are still allowed in most cases. It's not uncommon to be mocked or kicked out or penalized for vocalizing Christ-centered beliefs anymore. This is the faintest taste of persecution, and it's uncomfortable, but it's a badge of honor for a Christian, ultimately. There is NO honor in being hateful in the name of Christ - indeed, that is a great shame - but there is honor in being faithful to him in the face of persecution of any caliber. 

Persecution of the American Church sounds apocalyptic, but I don't think it's an unreasonable future outcome. I'm not trying to be a sensationalist, but I think we should prepare ourselves for life in a climate that is losing grey area and bringing black and white sharply in to focus. I'm not saying "gay people are the black/sin of the world", I'm saying that it's hard to hide out as a fake believer when professing faith in Jesus gets you ridiculed. True believers don't barricade themselves from a fallen world, they are in the darkest places, presenting hope to those who need it. Gay people are loved by Jesus, and... wait for it!... gay people can love Jesus too. 

One final breast stroke into the waters of the apocalypse, and I'll ask, would you lie about your faith to save a life? This question fascinates me. From time to time, I recall the story of Corrie ten Boom and her sister during the Holocaust. They were hiding some Jews under their kitchen table, and when Nazis came in searching for Jews, one of them asked if there was anyone hiding under the kitchen table. Corrie's sister told them, "yes!" because she was so strongly against telling a lie. In her retelling of the story, Corrie ten Boom says she couldn't believe her sister would do such a thing, but that ultimately, she felt that God honored her sister's honesty because the soldier thought she was being sarcastic and didn't look under the table. 

If I had been put in the same situation, I think I would not have skipped a beat in denying that anyone was under that table. Many times, I have wondered how I would handle a similar situation in my own life if I was presented with it. I wonder about medieval martyrs who burned at the stake before renouncing the name of Christ. Honestly, I don't think I'd have any problem saying whatever someone wanted me to say, knowing in my heart that my allegiance was to Christ. What do you think about that? Would you lie to save your own life, or the life of your child, or anyone's life, particularly if it meant lying about your faith in God? I'm not sure it would be the most honorable choice, but I think there's a case to be made that it was the right choice in some cases. 

Friends, think hard about your role in these shifting times, and be courageous. And wise. The Kindom of God is real and it is coming, but it is not to be found in placing our hope in any government or society in this world. The end of the world as we know it can be a beautiful thing. 

{image above of a total solar eclipse, and a Morman temple, but hey, they build incredible structures} 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Woman's Hair...


I could stop there, but you might worry that someone had killed me and hijacked my blog if I didn't add 3000 words to the above, amiright?

I recently cut my hair short again, after growing it out for 2+ years. Here's a before and after picture. The hair I cut off was 12in long when braided (here's another picture)! I'm a little (but not too much) embarrassed to say that I grew it out because I saw pictures of myself with short hair when I was pregnant with Ishmael, and thought the extra 50lbs, some of it in my face, was not flattered by my hair. Long hair does make me look a bit more feminine, in the traditional sense of the word, and so I grew it out during my pregnancy with Ira.

I just looked up the photos (see below) of me in the hospital with each of them to compare, and it doesn't look as different as I thought (my hair is up, even when it was long), but then again, 42+ weeks pregnant doesn't look amazing on anyone that I know of. In the end, I didn't gain nearly as much weight with Ira, but I found myself not disliking my long hair, and so I kept it around until I got the urge to cut it. Once I got that familiar, unshakable NEED to chop it off, it was only a matter of deciding on a style.

I have a special relationship with my hair. In fact, when I had to do a project in college that illustrated an homage to something, I chose to focus on my chameleon-like relationship with hair (not my best work, but you get the idea). I started cutting it when I was 13, and I got my first dye-job at the same time. I don't understand how intensely people are attached to their hair - I see it as something that is regenerative by nature.

I don't hate my natural hair, but it's just kind of... average. Avearage brown color. Neither curly nor straight. It just doesn't send any messages, in my opinions, and like tattoos, I think hair sends a message about you. To me, my hair is a blank canvas. Tattoos are mostly permanent, and people often take tattoos much more lightly than their hair, in my opinion.

One of the more heated discussions I've had with my best friend is over women's hair, of all things. She was not excited about the prospect of me dreading my hair, and we had a long discussion about why I make the cosmetic choices that I do, and why I don't make my husband's opinion of my hair a main factor in how I style it.

I respect the notion of wanting to please your significant other through your appearance, but I'm so offended and sad when I hear women say, "my husband/father would kill me if I cut my hair". You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) how often I hear that phrase, and it sits wrong with me every time. I don't understand why hair holds this power over our relationships that other parts of our appearance don't. I've never heard a woman say, "my husband would kill me if I got a boob job" or "my husband would kill me if I pierced my nose".

To be sure, there is such a thing as preference, for both men and women. Some women prefer beards on their men, others prefer a clean shave. Some couples might have specific-to-them preferences that they've agreed on, but the long-hair-for-ladies seems across the board and so emphatic, in many cases. I wouldn't be as troubled by it if it was just that most women want long hair (as many do), but I've heard my fair share of ladies express an interest in trying a different (shorter?!) style, but don't because of a man in their life. Although their language when expressing their reasons for not cutting their hair is surely exaggerated in most cases, many do use adjectives associated with violence when they talk about men's reactions to them cutting their hair.{image}

One of many reasons that I change my hair often and sometimes drastically is that it makes me feel beautiful, and gives me a boost of confidence every time I change it. I don't "do" anything to my hair on a regular basis - I don't straighten it, I don't curl it, I don't blow dry it, I rarely use product, and I don't even brush it very often. I don't like to spend my time on my appearance, and so I want my hair to look decent when I roll out of bed, plus 30 seconds of attention, if need be. Therefore, I cut it often to keep it in good shape. I don't necessarily have poor self esteem if I don't cut my hair, but cutting it is my version of taking care of it, and that makes me feel like I'm taking care of my appearance, which my husband appreciates.

I believe a confident and happy woman is the most beautiful woman, and that's why I do what I want with my hair rather than what my husband prefers (my natural color). I do other things with my appearance that are for him, but I let him know from the very beginning of our relationship that my hairstyle was my choice. This was my inspiration for my latest cut (though it's obnoxious to wear it styled as shown, you can't see anything). It's very "now", for sure, but Jonas said it is his favorite of all the hairstyles I've ever had!

Another reason that I like to cut my hair is that I like it when people notice, in large part because many people have preconceived ideas about what people with crazy hair (or facial piercings, or fill-in-the-blank-appearance-modification) are like, and I heartily enjoy challenging that. One of my favorite things about having had the bridge of my nose pierced was when people would be surprised at how friendly I was, instead of being a punk-ass, or whatever they thought I was going to be. Even better, I had so many people comment on it and strike up a conversation who I don't think would have talked to me at all, otherwise. I spend a lot of time and energy challenging people about what they think is true, not out of spite, but because that's how change occurs - we change our minds much more readily when we meet someone or experience something that doesn't fit what we previously held to be true, rather than arguing with people we disagree with.

At least half of my favorite women in life have short hair. When I see a grown young or middle aged women with short hair, I think of her as bold, confident, strong, and creative. Those are all things I want to be. When I cut my hair recently after having it long for a relatively long time, my friend Kenna said, "good! Long hair is too boring for you." And that is how I feel - when I have long hair, I feel like I'm hiding my personality. {image}

Most older women have short hair, if you hadn't noticed. This is because they've come to the realization that it's the best. But in all seriousness, when I see another girl with short hair, I do feel a little bit like we're in a club together, and when I see an elderly lady with short hair, I often think she looks refined, and that she takes care of herself (hair often thins with age, making long hair more difficult to keep looking good).

Many women I know with long hair have very beautiful hair. I don't have anything against long hair on its own. I'm mainly concerned with the culture of beauty ideals that would make a women feel unloved or unattractive with short hair. Of course, if long hair makes a women feel beautiful, she should be free to wear her hair long, just PLEASE don't discourage a women from cutting her hair if long hair is somehow holding her back. Ultimately, I am not defined by my hair, and I don't want women with long hair to be reduced to the length of their hair either.

A woman I know recently buzzed her head. A few days later, she posted a status to Facebook about how a women she looked up to came up to her and commented, "what does your husband have to be proud of in you with your haircut?" I was AGHAST! First of all, who in their right mind says something like that to a women, and secondly, how dare someone place the worth of a women in her hair? I was infuriated by that story.

Nothing that mean has ever been said to me about my short hair, but sometimes, if I haven't seen someone in a while and my hair has grown a little, I will hear people say, "Wow, your hair has grown, you look so beautiful!" I spend a second about to be flattered, but then I'm just irritated. This is not a one time occurrence for me. I do try and appreciate that people are trying to pay me a compliment, but I think it's messed up that you're praised with long hair, and shamed with short hair. If you want to pay a compliment to a woman, be more specific. Try something like, "that cut really flatters your face" or "that color really makes your eyes stand out", rather than sending a message that beauty has one specific definition.

And while I'm at it, how do you think women going through chemo feel when our culture idolizes long hair? I don't know the story of the woman in this image, though I assume she shaved her head for the sake of fashion, but I've always thought she looked so stylish. Sometimes when I see a women with a haircut I don't prefer, I try and imagine her with more conventional hair and see if I think it would make her more attractive. But then I stop myself, because that is not my call, or anyone else's but hers. I'll say it again for good measure: a confident women is a beautiful women. Confidence takes many, many shapes.

For good measure, here is a list of reasons I don't care for having long hair, myself. I'm sure I missed a few...
  1. That bump a hair tie leaves when you release a pony tail
  2. Finding long hair everywhere around the house
  3. It's too hot in the summer
  4. It's heavy and causes me neck pain if I tie it up
  5. Children pull on it
  6. I have a lot more bad hair days with long hair
  7. It's always in my face
  8. It feels dirty more quickly
  9. It gets caught or dipped in stuff
  10. It becomes damaged much more quickly if you don't trim it often or dye or otherwise treat it in any way (short hair is fresh and healthy every time you change it, because all the previous dye or damage has been cut off)
Wanna be part of the Short Haired Girls Club? I know you do. I even made us a hipster logo. I know it looks a little...militant...but, given my strong feelings on this, and the language about killing over hair, I find it appropriate (the only other cutting device available for the design was an ax, sorry). Now go forth and proselytizing all to boldness!

Phew! It's been a while since I've climbed up on my soapbox. I know you missed me!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wedding Boards Summer 2015

Being the responsible adult that I am, I was just backing up my computer and rediscovered these wedding-theme inspiration boards I made a while ago. Being that it's wedding season, I thought I'd share them and encourage everyone not to have boring weddings. 

Most of the photo credits are things I have somewhere on Pinterest, so I'll try and find them for you if you really need to know. This is just a disclaimer saying that I'm not trying to steal anyone's property here, since it's been too long since I put these together to remember all the links. 

Here's one I made for Annelise when I was trying to help her find some images that matched what she wanted for her wedding. Not bad, in hindsight! We looked for pale grey-blue dresses for bridesmaids, but it was a very hard color to find. 

Bees and hexagons were having a moment a while ago, so I put this slightly more avante-garde theme together. Imagine if guests were in a huge garden (maybe all yellow flowers?) or under some structure made from bee boxes, and were challenged to glamorize hats with bee nets?! I would be so into that. {I do remember that the honey-face and dress images are from an Alexander McQueen collection}

I've always had a thing for blue and white China, though I personally collect Asian motifs rather than European. This image of Kirsten Dunst is from the Marie Antoinette issue of Vogue (2006?) which was STUNNING. 

I call this theme "fog lake". I'm quite taken with just about every aspect of this, although overall, it's much too muted and dreary for my personal taste. I can see this theme being very popular for current brides, though. 

Now THIS is the kind of party I want to be at. Madame Butterfly meets Mexican beaches. I believe the lower left photo is from a Dolce & Gabana show (?). 

Which is your favorite? Which wedding would you most want to be a guest at? 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

April & May 2015

April and May were filled with pre-wedding planning and doing and stressing for my sister Annelise's wedding. It was a lovely wedding, and I so much enjoyed getting to see old friends who flew in, and how happy Annelise and Andrew looked on that day. On the gloomier side, the whole planning process (even though I had way fewer responsibilities than my parents!) reinforced to me how ridiculous the wedding industry and expectations have become, especially if you're trying to DIY things and you're not a professional crafter. I'm going to encourage my kids to go on destination elopements (with their closest friends and family, of course).

Annelise's dress was perfection. Hearts for eyes! I'm STILL not sure what my dream dress is, but of course the retro looks often beckon to me. {image} I need to figure out how to do massive lashes like that. By the way, Annelise's official wedding hashtag is #thewondersears, in case you want to go stalking, but we neglected to tell that to guests, so there aren't many photos up. There are a few of the photographer's photos up though, and they are so magical, I'm on tip toes to see more.

One of my favorite things about weddings, as I mentioned above, is getting to see old friends again, and making new friends. I was dead-tired by the time the bachelorette party came around, but we still had such a fun time in Santa Barbara, laughing our heads off at dinner over conversations that eventually devolved into poop-flinging stories, I kid you not. One of my favorite parts of the evening was discovering this AMAZING local bar/lounge called the Imperial. I say "discovered", but my friend Janae who works there sometimes, has been trying to get me there forever! I want to go there all the time, now. I also like that weddings give you several parties in a row for which you can dress up.

On spring break, before the wedding, Annelise and Andrew came up and spent the week to knock out as much wedding stuff as possible. I was happy to be able to get to know Andrew a little bit more during that time, and am so thrilled that he's the guy that my sister married.

My main jam recently has been this song, but I must caution you that there are some lines that have some "questionable content"....No one can resist this level of catchyness, though.

Easter, Mother's Day, my mom's birthday, and a visit from Genna were all lovely, but are kind of a blur amidst everything else going on. I must say that Jonas outdid himself with gifts this year, getting me an amazing book that I asked for (it's been a long time since I've loved a book cover to cover this much! Or maybe just a long time since I've been able to look at a whole book, haha...) AND really fun socks that he picked out by himself!

As for what the boys have been up to these last two months....

Ishmael is talking in full sentences, which is pretty awesome, and sometimes hilarious. He also likes to ask what everyone's age is. He seems to have a really difficult time controlling his temper in matters concerning Ira, and I have a difficult time trying to figure out how to handle that. Ira is quite resilient, thank goodness.

Ira is crawling like a champ, pulling himself up and climbing on things, and cruising up the stairs. He has 6 teeth, and likes to eat his food with his hands as opposed to you feeding it to him. He likes to blow raspberries with his mouth, he bounces to music, and perhaps my favorite, he gets so snuggly when you read to him! He giggles every time you turn a page.

I can't remember when this plan solidified or if I've written about it before, but it looks like we will try and move to Whittier within the next year (I'm already dreaming of decorating a space {image}, but trying not to get too excited because we're broke as a joke). Jonas will commute to Otis (near LAX) to finish school, and hopefully work at the In-N-Out office in Baldwin Park. There are a lot of big logistical things yet to be done or figured out (money???, housing, school for Ishmael, work for me?, applying to school, applying to transfer to the office job, etc. etc.), but it feels realistic enough to be something we can really work toward achieving.

Meanwhile, here in Santa Maria, I've enjoyed planting a veggie garden, and I've begun to go to estate sales regularly, which I love doing, especially as I fall ever-deeper in love with the 70s. I watched Before Midnight with Michelle, which I loved, and watched Chef with Genna, which was good too. I liked how realistic the dialogue was. I'm working through Mad Men as well, which can be so depressing, but is worth it for the outfits.

Some of my favorite finds on the internet that didn't get shared on Facebook were:

The discovery of Frida Kahlo's wardrobe.

How can you NOT smile at this hamster tiki bar?!

Fancy junkfood prepared by chefs made me laugh, and was beautiful at the same time.

My "keeper" recipes from April and May were this complex and feisty salad, and this show-stopping rhubarb freezer cake.

Looking forward to a slightly more relaxed summer. :) Ciao! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

18 Tips for a Solid Creative Career

I think I've finally found my groove as a stay at home mom. There are still some rough days, and rough times of day, but that's true no matter what you do, right? Part of what helps me stay positive and enjoy my day-to-day routine is having a creative outlet AND a source of income, even if it's small. I've managed to merge my love of shopping, getting the boys out of the house, my desire to work for money, and personal hobbies, all in one venture - my Instagram vintage shop, Retro Riot. I'm still building it, and it's not my first priority in life (consistently devoting time to it is hard with kids and a home and school), but I think I can say that it's a success, and I love it!

I love the community of vintage lovers, I love the specialized knowledge I've gained, and I love how well it fits into my life right now. It makes me feel like I'm staying active in the work force in some capacity, and learning new skills so that I'll be in demand when the time comes for me to work outside the home again. This is especially comforting to me as I've noticed recently that I'm no longer on the cusp of what "kids these days" are doing (the slang, the music, the styles). I like getting older, but I don't want to become out of touch with what is current.

I'm by no means some business mogul that has all the answers, but I do read (ahem, skim) a lot of articles about entrepreneurship and profiles of businesswomen. I don't have a lot of free time in my life right now, so I want to make every minute do double time for me if I can swing it. For instance, I view my leisure time (browsing blogs and Pinterest, posting to my Instagram accounts, even "curating" my wardrobe and home) as brand building time.

I'm not sure what my brand is just yet, but having a firm point of view is good for creatives in business, and so I make an effort to build on that right now, because I can! I read a tip from some blogger one time about keeping your online presence in "notice-worthy" condition. I don't hang my hopes on being discovered by some agent who wants to help me get paid a lot for my artistic eye or opinion (not that I'd mind...), but you never know who's looking, and I do want to put my best face forward in case there are those connections waiting to happen around the corner. {image}

Of course, authenticity is important too, and if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I don't shy away from telling the truth. I even occasionally post an unflattering picture of myself to social media. ;)

So anyway, today I thought I'd round up some pointers that I've either read about or try and put in practice myself for being a good businesswoman - whether you're a stay at home mom wanting to sell some crafts on the side, or whether you're... anyone else! :)

1. You've never "made it" enough to let yourself off the hook from learning.

2. Always try new things, but stick to what you're good at. In other words, have broad interests, but focus on becoming an expert in something. {image}

This is a great exercise on several levels, but Joanna from A Cup of Jo asked her readers, "What have been your toughest interview questions? Douglas Edwards remembers being interviewed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, [who said]: 'I'm going to give you five minutes...When I come back, I want you to explain to me something complicated that I don't already know.' He then rolled out of the room toward the snack area. I looked at Cindy. 'He's very curious about everything,' she told me. 'You can talk about a hobby, something technical, whatever you want. Just make sure it's something you really understand well.'"

Isn't that brilliant? What would you explain?

My dad (who is the HR manager of the company where he works) said one of the department managers in their office recently asked a prospective employ, on a whim, to tell him a joke. My dad said it was very telling to watch how the interviewee reacted. Were they able to roll with it, or did they become flustered and shut down?

3. Outsource components of your job that you're not an expert in - I will never be a seamstress or play an instrument. Not because I don't love those things, but because I will never have the time to be great at everything, and I've made my peace with that. I can pay someone else to sew stuff for me and use the time I would have spent frustrated at my own attempts (and not enjoying it) to do something I am great at!

4. Surround yourself with people who are different than you. Nothing gives you a more false sense of confidence than having a bunch of people who are just like you affirm your work. Challenge yourself and keep your worldview open.

5. Utilize peer review. Ask other people for input, and always get a second opinion if you're about to present a touchy topic and you're not sure about your word choices. Sometimes an editing eye can save you from saying something heartless, or just plain wrong.

6. Give feedback. When you take the time to help others with their work, they'll often return the favor.

7. Unfollow sources that you don't completely love. There is so much information and inspiration available to us these days, more than we can ever keep up with. Be very picky about how you invest your time, especially when it's time spent following rather than creating your own work. There are a bunch of people in my life who I know and love personally, but who I don't follow on social media because the information isn't noteworthy. I don't say that to be mean, but you know the kind of thing I'm talking about. Ten million pictures of your baby in the same outfit, links to your extreme political beliefs (see point 4), or invitations to play the latest phone game aren't things that are worth my time. If your baby has a different outfit on in every photo, well... that's another story. ;) I want to be strategic about my screen time, and strategic about my friendships (in that I want to invest in a more meaningful way), neither of which the bulk of social media friend-accounts helps me with. I don't feel guilty about this practice of mine, even when people ask me if I saw something they posted on social media, and I didn't. When that happens, it's a great opportunity to say, "no, I didn't! Tell me about it!" and have a more meaningful conversation than you would have had on social media anyway.

8. Be interesting, especially in interviews.You know when you meet someone fascinating who you want to be around all the time, and hear every story of theirs? Figure out what you like about those people and aspire to be that way!

9. Cultivate a sense of humor. Is there anything sexier than a funny woman? I don't know why we have two funny women (Tina Fey and Amy Pohler) and every other funny person on the planet seems to be a man. Seriously? Ladies, we can do better than that. I am so endeared when someone makes me really laugh (especially a woman!), and so I consciously develop my sense of humor (I hope it's not overworked). I feel more respected when people think I'm truly funny - maybe that's weird?

While we have Tina Fey on the brain, she happens to give great work-place advice, in addition to being funny.
My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.
10. Copy, copy, copy. No stealing, but the smart creative isn't ashamed of being inspired by great work. I try not to worry about creating something that no one else has ever dreamed of, but instead focus on improving and reinventing things.

14. Volunteer for projects, even if you don't know exactly what you're doing (yet). Take (or make) opportunities to work, even for small publications (or whatever term fits the industry you'd like to be in), and pick the brain of your boss/project-leader. The worst thing anyone can say is no, so there's no harm in asking for their time. I have received incredible (free!) advice when I've shown interest in other people's work, reached out to them, and then listened to what they had to say. I also say "yes" to some things I don't know exactly how to do, and that forces me to figure things out that I didn't know how to do before. However, I am honest with people when I'm not an expert at something.

11. Learn to say no. Especially when you do creative work, a lot of people (especially personal friends and family) will ask you to draw a tattoo for them or illustrate their idea for a children's book, or take family portraits for them. Although I'm often flattered by these requests, I do not enjoy being roped into a project where someone is dictating what I do (especially when they don't understand the creative process), often times without even being offered some sort of compensation. Of course, I do stuff for my mom or my grandma, but don't let the list of people you work for free for get too long! I've learned to be clear when I'm not interested in doing something. If I hem and haw about it too much (trying to be polite), they keep asking until I have to actually say what I mean, so I try and be clear right away. The three main ways that I get around accepting working I have no intention of doing is a) be honest about how busy I am with my kids, school, work, etc. This is totally valid and everyone understands it. B) Explain that what they'd like me to do is not the kind of art that I'm good at. A lot of people think that because you are a creative person, you are good at all kinds of art. I assure people that they definitely do not want me to draw a tattoo for them, because I do not draw well, I prefer to do abstract painting or cut holes in things, and I tell people that (see point 9 - somehow, honesty often manages to be funny in my experience). C) If I'm not willing or able to accept a project, I suggest a friend or acquaintance of mine who might be willing to take on the kind of project they are looking for. This is helpful for the potential client, and hopefully helpful for my friends who are looking for work. (Apparently, I've absorbed everything on this topic here).

12. Know thyself. I'm an introvert. I prefer to work alone. I am most focused in the morning. I make most sense when I write, as opposed to speaking on the phone or in person. I'm easily suckered by the promise of free stuff. I'm too attached to my own work to be good at editing it. I tend to edit other people's work too harshly. I depend on lists to organize my thoughts and remember important things. When I'm aware of my own strengths and weaknesses, I can play to the former, and compensate for the latter.

I got a little crush on Lena Dunham when I read this confession of hers:
"I still go to a party and say something embarrassing to someone, and then write them a weird e-mail about it the next day, and then write them a text because I think they didn't get the e-mail. No matter what happens with your level of success, you still have to deal with all the baggage that is yourself."
I'm prone to doing that too! Since becoming aware of my tendency to apologize for everything, I try and remind myself that more likely than not, someone else is not obsessing over some little thing I said or did the way I am. I don't make a bigger deal out of my failures than I need to. {image}

13. Be honest. I think I've lost some interview opportunities due to honesty, but I'm cool with that. I once told Toys R Us that I didn't like children, which is probably not something you might bring up to a company dedicated to making children happy, but it was the truth. The way I see it, a shrewd boss would appreciate honesty and think to herself, "this person wasn't afraid to tell the truth, and because of that, they could be a perfect fit for such-and-such an position in our company." After all, ADULTS are the ones shopping at Toys R Us. I try not to offer up any information that I think will put me at a disadvantage (though I'm pretty bad at it), but I feel strongly that honesty is always the best policy. As an aside, I've come to learn that I don't like ill-behaved children, which does happen to be most of them, but I digress...

14. Believe in yourself, and your customers will believe in you. I know that sounds cliche, but seriously, which do you prefer when you're the customer: a firm handshake and direct eye contact, or a limp one, and mumbling? People are more likely to respect you and take you seriously if you act like you deserve it.

15. Break up with Jealousy. Again, I'm going to borrow from Lena Dunham, who says, "channel the energy you would have spent being jealous into your own to-do list. " There are a lot of women in my life who do certain things better than I do, or have a house that I wish I had, or who get complimented on something that I want to be noticed for too. However, I have to remember that the time I could spend sulking about all of that could be spent so much better by minding my own business - literally. The more I pour into being good at what I'm good at, the less I worry about whether other people are doing better than I am, and the more I feel like I'm becoming someone that other people want to emulate.

16. Set attainable goals for yourself. When I set myself a realistic goal, I often reach it, and that empowers me to set myself new goals, and progress further than I ever have before. Write yourself a business plan.

17. Get dressed, even if you're home all day. I'm really bad about this, but I notice the difference it makes when I force myself to do it. Similarly, dress the part, even if you're interviewing over the phone.

18. Allow yourself breaks from work, especially if you work from home. If you use your personal phone for business, like I do, try and designate time that is for business, and don't constantly check it when you're not working. I'm also pretty bad at this one. When it comes to my school work, I allow myself distractions at various intervals, and that helps me stay energized, even for the tasks I'd rather not be doing.

I keep a Pinterest board of articles with advice I want to remember when I rule the world. Some of my favorites are:

1. How motherhood prepares you for entrepreneurship.

2. How to email a busy person.

3. How to be in business with your significant other.

4. How to build your business as an introvert.

5. How to be a good boss.

There are lots more ideas on how to be a mindful boss, employee, and women, including reminders of certain words or phrases that are meaningless or weak ("I feel like..." instead of just stating something), the distinction between talent and skills, and a list of power words for your resume!

What are your best work-place tips or standards that you try and hold yourself too? How do you keep yourself sharp if you run a business from your couch? Please share your ideas with me! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Met Gala 2015 - Chinese Fashion

The Met Gala is a party held every year at - you guessed it - the Metropolitan museum in NYC, for purposes that I'm not altogether clear on. Promoting the arts? An excuse to dress up? Money changing hands between rich people? I don't really know why they do it, but what I DO know is that it's one of the most fabulous nights in fashion of the year. This year, the theme is China, and I am on my tiptoes, so excited to see what people wear. 

Can you imagine how fabulous it would be to go decked out in king fisher jewelry?! 

However, when I googled it to find out when the gala is this year (coming right up, May 4) I came upon this article that is kind of scathing, but probably correct in that this could easily become a very culturally insensitive evening: "[The] smart [attendees] will likely honor the theme by wearing Chinese designers while resisting the urge to put chopsticks in their hair." I totally get this (in fact, I've written before about how culturally insensitive the fashion industry in the US can be), but I really, really want to see a lot of exquisite Chinese robes. But I agree, no chopsticks in anyone's hair. I have seen chopsticks-hair-of-the-90s on precisely zero Chinese people. At least one of the co-chairs for this year's gala is Chinese. along side all-American girl Jennifer Lawrence. Le sigh... (No hard feelings, J-Law). 

Just as an aside, May 4 is a Monday. You know what I'm doing this Monday? I have a jury summons and it's the first day of a new class I'm taking. And we wonder what is so captivating about celebrities...

So, what's a girl to do? Create a virtual wardrobe for Met Gala attendees to choose from, of course! Lest anyone think I don't know the difference between China and Japan (God forbid...), I DO realize that many of these photos have Japanese influences or would be all the things that the Jezebel article was talking about being bad, but a) can we please not be offended by EVERYTHING and b) they're just so pretty!

Without further ado, let me school you, oh Katy Perry, in what to wear to the Met Gala 2015. Feel free to toss a couple 1000 in my direction if you happen to see this. ;) 

Regal kaftans are always a yes. // Or how about an antique paired with some knock out tailored pants (not flares, because that would be too literal).

Gold is always good. Though it's too gimmicky to actually do (assuming you just got a sticker), how impressive would a full-back Asian-themed tattoo be in a backless gold dress?! // Linda Fargo at the 2012 Met Ball already nailed it

This look is clearly Japanese, but I love the whimsical touch of feathers, and that sort of detail could definitely be carried over to modernize that typical Chinese "frog button" dress. // Another way to spice up the classic Chinese cut dress would be to add a dramatic red veil.

Here's something we might actually see a celebrity wearing. // I can also imagine this red sequined gown being worn on Monday, but the choppy bob styling gives it a great edge.

This look would be on the costumey side (I never do understand why that's a bad thing in fashion), but I'm a goner for a good headdress. Paired with something monochromatic and sleek. // Then there's the a modern take, almost a sophisticated Lady Gaga.

To really get thinking outside the box, a Victorian outfit with chinoiserie details would be fabulous. // An outfit celebrating Chinese ethnic embroidery would be a true nod to Chinese art, as well.

And to complete the look, how about updated Beijing Opera (or in this case, Geisha) makeup? // I definitely want to see this Pucci clutch in someone's hand, too.

In case you want to know why I'm so enamored with this annual party, "educate yourself"!

What's your favorite look? What would you wear to the Met Gala? 

Monday, April 13, 2015

March 2015

Watched: Boyhood (cool concept, but didn't blow me away), Big Hero 6 (which I'm watching for the second time, as I type this - I want to live in that world!), Birdman (I understand the artsyness appeal, but it was not enjoyable to watch), Hannibal season 2 (continues to be the prettiest, most mind-bending show, season 3 is going to be amazing!!!).

Tasted: This melon agua fresca is num num! // I also enjoyed this quote of Anthony Bourdain's, "There's nothing professional writers like more than free food." True dat, even if I'm not a professional!

How amazzzzing, does this tropical fruit and ice cream tart look/sound?

  • I started back to school in order to utilize the "free money" available to me. It feels great to be making progress, but it is stressful to add to my daily schedule. 
  • I quit the Pampered Chef because it was becoming more stressful than helpful. I'm enjoying putting more work into my online shop, which I can do almost exclusively from home. 
  • I got to attend my friend Danielle's wedding shower, can't wait for her wedding!
Heard: New singles from Active Child (eeee!), Alabama Shakes, and a Sam Smith/John Legend collaboration, "Lay Me Down". Mainly, Jose Gonzalez's new album is great.

Boys: Ira was dedicated at church this month, began army crawling (sitting up? that's for babies!) and then for-real crawling!, and landed in the ER for stitches on his forehead after launching off the couch on to a wooden block. He loves to sit on people's shoulders and grab their hair - he gets the biggest grin on his face! He also tries to grab the water streams in the shower, which is pretty funny and cute. He's not nearly as interested in solid food as Ishmael was at his age, but he still does alright. He's not as interested in nursing as he used to be either.He likes to bounce to music, and tries to be louder than the blender, or whatever noises his brother is making. He enjoys clapping (sometimes while nursing), throwing things on the ground, and he really likes cheerios.

Ishmael is obsessed with the song, "the Tiki Tiki Room." The rest of us are less enchanted... He also likes "Pop the Wease" (Pop Goes the Weasel), "Under Sea-Sea" (Under the Sea), and he can sing "Twinkle Twinkle" fairly well on his own! His is learning left from right (?!!!), is crazy about trash trucks, and likes to go down the slide "on his belly button". At breakfast one morning, Ishmael asked me for some cheerios after he'd had fruit, milk, an egg, and toast. I said no, and he leaned his head back on his chair and said, "oh maaan!! why not?!" So yeah, the 'tude has already made an appearance. He also says, "I don't really want it..." when we put him to bed. He thinks many things are scary (he's quite sensitive!), and his favorite book is his encyclopedia. When you do something sweet with Ira, he informs you that, "he likes you". But more impressive than any of this... ISHMAEL IS POTTYTRAINED. We still have an accident here and there, but there have been periods of a week with no accidents, so that is pretty fantabulous.

Loved: Watching the little bird that runs across the fence in our backyard, that my car passed its smog test, and that for the first time, I was struck by how glad I am to have two kidlets. And spring colors. :) 

Monday, March 16, 2015

February 2015

Ugh, so behind! Here we go, February.

Heard: I love Diana Krall, and the new record is no exception. This song has been in my head a lot. I love to sing it while I drive. We also listened to the entire season 1 of the podcast Serial. It's worth a listen for sure, but I'm tense about there being no answer yet. Glad there's a second season in the works! I've heard reviews of it saying it's "revolutionizing radio" - betchya didn't think you were going to hear that from the millenials, huh? ;) It makes me very happy!

Tasted: Trader Joe's has this amazing new "fireworks" chocolate that has chili and poprocks in it. Everyone we've given it to has loved it so far, we can't stop gobbling it up! The best things I made were these easy baked scallops (I'm so nervous of messing up seafood, especially since it's so expensive, but these turned out great!) and chocolate dipped fresh oranges and kumquats. Oh, and a killer and EASY recipe for brownies from scratch, even for a baking dummy like me! Can't stop thinking about coconut chai lemonade either.

  • I plan to be a cool mom who builds Hogwarts out of legos
  • Last month I had a link for dirty car art, this month is snow car art!
  • Some of you know that capybaras are my favorite animal. Well, did you know that they like to soak in hot tubs?! EEEEeeeee, I can hardly handle the cuteness (and they're so blase about it!). 
Experienced: Let's see here...
  • I finally got to meet my highschool bff Manny when he and his wife Katya and brother Nick came to Santa Barbara. We had a wonderful time talking about all kinds of things, laughing at our baby boys, and we ate at Freebird's for the first time (YUM). I seriously forgot the beauty of reuniting with old friends, particularly TCKs. 
  • We celebrated Valentine's day at home with my parents, making a fun meal (fondue, my first time) and playing a "how well do you know your spouse" game which was really fun. 
  • Jonas turned 25 on the 20th! We didn't do anything too fancy because we spent monies on traveling this month. 
  • First, we went down to LA to visit OTIS as a potential school for J to transfer to. We stayed with our siblings in law, played an alcohol enhanced game of Cards Against Humanity (hilarious), went to a brewery, went to our first anti-mall (and you think WE are hipster!), met our new nephew Jude for the first time since he was adopted (we met him once a few years ago) and listened to a lot of NPR, as usual. 
  • Our car broke the night before we were going to leave for Oregon, so my parents very kindly lent us their van, which was a dream. We got to visit another brother in law in Oregon and met his girlfriend and daughter for the first time, too! I got some major thrifting scores in with Morgan (BIL's gf), and got to meet up with an old China friend, Lily. We made it to the coast for a few days to visit both of our grandparents (what are the odds that they live 20 minutes apart!?), and were in awe of the beauty continuously. 
Boys: Ishmael wants to do everything by himself and says, "I got it!" when you try and help him do things. Sorry I totally spaced on writing down more details about him this month. He seems to be kind of an emotionally fragile guy. Sometimes very cuddly and sweet, sometimes sort of terrifying melt downs, and sometimes end-of-the-world crying over apparently nothing. Maybe he got the sensitive artist genes? // Ira hit the 6 month mark, cut his first 2 teeth (bottom center), says "da da da", blows spit splutters, and does this great thing that I call "velocity face" where he braces his hands on something in front of him (his chair or your body) and makes this face like he's bracing for something. It's not a scared face, but I googled "worried scared face", and this comes closest. It's quite funny, but one of those things that only lasted a few days and I never got a great photo of. // I guess I keep posting articles about how to relate to your friends without kids because I keep needing help in this area.

Loved: Beautiful Oregon rain and trees and abandoned houses (though they break my heart too) and getting a breather from our normal life. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Style Icon: Jimi Hendrix

This time in my life feels like a blur. On the one hand, I'm confident that motherhood is going to be a lot more natural for me as the boys get a little older, but I'm paranoid that I'm ruining them right now due to the difficulty I have enjoying the time we're in right now. Jonas reminds me that I'm so focused on "getting things done", and really all I need to do right now is take care of the boys (but I want to do so much more in addition to that!). I don't think I have a category in myself for not getting as much done as possible. I go through this cycle every few months where I realize that I can't handle the amount of projects and responsibilities that I've signed up for, so I cut back, pare down, and simplify. I get my breath back.

But then I feel bored and unaccomplished, and start getting excited about new stuff with any amount of free time I find myself with. Before I know it, I'm wrapped up in so much more than I can healthily juggle again. On a similar note, I have so very many interests and so very little time in my life (relatively), that I never seem to master anything. As soon as I become proficient at something and have to focus on the administrative side in order to keep my creativity profitable, I lose interest and am on to the next thing. I am a proud quitter of many things, but I'm coming to see that quitting isn't a very profitable business to be in.

Despite craving time to myself, part of me is also lonely as a mom. When my mom gets home from work, I just follow her around the house, I think just so that I can talk with another adult. Sometimes I'm bitter about the fact that I'm technically busier than most people that I know, yet I rearrange my whole schedule to make hang-out time work with other people. I never thought I'd hear those words coming from myself as the biggest introvert known to man. I'm sorry that sounds so snotty. It really is hard for me to be so needy for other people's company.

Anyway, that's a mini-blog on where my head has been in the last week or two. My social media and blogging presence has not made it on to the list of my top priorities recently. Well, actually I've been very present on social media, but I've been over in the shop at (there's a button on the sidebar too). I hope I can make my way back to blogging more consistently in the future!

I have been loving running my little shop. It gives me a completely valid excuse to thrift my heart out, even though that has opened my eyes to some obsessive compulsive behaviors of mine. I can hardly handle the thought of all the things I'm missing out on by not stopping EVERYWHERE, looking at EVERY THING. ALL THE THINGS.

Another aspect of the shop that thrills me is becoming a mini-expert on vintage clothing and items. When I started out, I wondered how you could tell if something was vintage, and now I hardly have to touch clothing on a rack to be able to pick out what's vintage and what's not. The terms and history and brands and trends that I'm gaining knowledge about are giving me some experience that I hope could bolster my credentials as a buyer someday - a job that I've always been interested in, and seems more feasible (income wise) than just blogging about stuff that I like.

Beyond having an outlet for my love of vintage and clothing and vintage clothing (and a really great excuse to buy amazing little girl clothes, even though I don't have a daughter!), I SO enjoy finding and selling vintage books. Of course, I keep a bunch of them for myself, too. ;) I've been so alarmed and saddened to realize how few of my peers are big readers or read very much to their kids. If they do read to their children (and everyone should be!!!), it's the same 10 classics across the board OR any number of terrible children's books that are available. The Bearinstein Bears are not great books, people. Anyway, people snatch up the books I sell faster than anything else, and that is so rewarding for me, even though I make the least money off of them out of everything that I sell. I get to be a very, very part-time librarian, and it makes me so happy.

I'm taking courage in the fact that I'm still young enough that I can afford to pursue a lot of interests and keep my horizons wide open, building on the categories that thrill me, and hoping that one or more of them pans out into a career later on, and I will have a little bit of work and knowledge and experience under my belt already! My vintage golden lion belt, I might add.

Believe it or not, I am getting around to Jimi Hendrix, which is what this post is supposed to be about. There is a tie in though, wait for it.... The 70s are making a big come back in fashion right now, and I am pumped about it! It's my favorite era to wear right now, and it's not so old that the pieces are impossible to find at thrift stores or too expensive to buy from vintage sellers.

If you take a look around, you will notice magazines and movie stars and the like wearing a lot of boho, fringe, and lace, and decorating with an updated macrame (ugh! I can't take it!). I have long thought that I belonged in the 70s (albeit, the idealized version, not the druggy, young deaths, and lack of responsibility version) and I think my style may stay attached to it even when the regular fashion world moves on again, but that is hard to say for sure. I've grown my hair out, to everyone's surprise (including my own), and it's not quite at Cher lengths, but I like to think I'm getting that vibe. I'm experimenting with some bouffants as well (though technically that's more 60s). I'm pulling my bell bottoms out from the back of the drawer, and stocking up on psychedelic prints (no one else wants them around here, so it works out great). Though I don't plan on being pregnant any time soon, a lot of 70s styles are flattering for maternity wear too, just a word to the wise!

I came across this photo compilation (images in this post are from this source unless otherwise noted) of Jimi Hendrix's wardrobe a while ago, and I'm so crazy about it. Like, teenage girls at the front of a Beatles concert crazy. I want it all! He is definitely a major style icon in my eyes, though maybe not so much of a personal role model. I do appreciate his music though, particularly "Foxey Lady", one of my favorite songs of all time. He was basically a fashion god.

I love his pattern mixing, his attention to detail with his guitar straps for each outfit, the costume rings, and the scarves around the thigh. You know that old favorite interview question, "if you could have dinner with anyone famous, dead or alive, who would it be?" Let's update that to, "if you could go shopping with anyone, who would it be?" JIMI HENDRIX.

Okay, play by play now...

The fur lining makes this outfit everything. But really, the whole outfit kills me. (source

Ruffled blouses, so much YES. His eye for color and pattern matching was just incredible. In fact, he didn't seem too hung up on making it "right" - there was no formula - and that's the best way to go. Looking at all these pictures re-excites me about a few pieces in my own wardrobe and how I can mix and match some combinations I hadn't thought of. I love it when inspiration strikes like that because you end up with 10 new outfits without buying any new clothes. My mom used to give me a hard time for never buying basic pieces that worked with anything else that I owned, but thank goodness I've hoarded all the one-of-a-kind things knowing I would find a way to wear them someday, because... Jimi Hendrix. (image source) I don't own any boots though, which might need to be remedied.

Look at all that belt jewelry... swooooon! (source)

This is my version of "if Anne Frank were alive today, I think she would have been a Belieber", but apparently, Jimi Hendrix was in to weird eyes too. xoxo (source)

Same shirt, but larger ruffle (always a yes). And his henchmen weren't too shabby on the style front either, I should mention. P.S. Bougainvillea forever. His world is perfect, minus the drugs and everything... (source)

Ok, this shirt is UH-MAZING. That is all. Here's a closer-up picture, too. 

I haven't found a picture of this shirt anywhere else, but it looks CRAZY good. I wonder what color it was?

People think I don't know what I'm doing when I wear so-called clashing colors. But let me just tell you... Jimi Hendrix. 

I can't even. Thank goodness I've kept all those kimonos I'm not quite sure what to do with. 

This is possibly my very favorite outfit. I also wish to point out that he's just a handsome guy. 

Those pants, hearts for eyes! But seriously, the whole ensemble is magic. Also, when are sheer shirts for men coming back? (Kidding, kind of...).

Necklace layering, Asian motifs. Yes, and yes. Winning so hard. And if this isn't an ode to natural hair, I don't know what is. 

Let's talk about capes and gold buttons. They're always the right choice. Ok, this has been a good talk.

If those are magnolias on that blouse, I would die. 

I'll leave you with this perfection. I hope you've been as inspired as I have been! Oh, and if you're not into the 70s look but have a bunch of items you want to get rid of, I'm your girl... ;) 

In case you missed them, see my previous style icon posts on Michelle Harper and Ulyana Sergeenko.
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