Monday, August 14, 2017

A Life Update and an Announcement


Hello there!  


It's been quite a while, hasn't it? I haven't touched this blog for quite some time; it's almost been a year!  Ever since I first started this blog four years ago, I've tried to keep consistent with my posting schedule.  For many reasons, I felt the need to post several times a week.  To do this, I would have to put many hours into planning, shooting, and writing posts - so much that I often couldn't keep up with the posting schedule I was imposing upon myself.  I would end up falling off the grid for months at a time trying to re-coop. 

While I'd love nothing more than to blog all day and night, the reality is that I have other life commitments as well, and I was placing impossible standards on myself. Every year I thought if I planned ahead enough I could push my four times a week posting schedule through the back to school and holiday seasons, and into the new year on top of my full-time retail career, spending time with friends and family, and taking the necessary mental health breaks one should have. 


HA!!  


Every year I built up this tower of expectations thinking, "if I just work myself hard enough I can do all of this.  it's just about time management. I can do this.". Every year I couldn't keep up. Every year this tower I built would come crashing down and I would be left feeling broken, discouraged, and ashamed at my inability to tackle this ridiculously unrealistic expectation. I was failing myself.

This most recent break has certainly been my longest. While I've always loved putting my time into this blog, I do feel that it started to add pressure to my life that I didn't like. It was starting to become more stressful than fun.




Last year I chose not to do it. I chose not to build the tower. I chose to enjoy what I could control. I think a number of life changes may have had something to do with it, as well as my having decided that I don't need to prove anything to myself. I don't need to have a small fortune and a 100K Instagram following by age 23. I don't need to be anything that anyone wants or expects me to be. I just need to allow myself happiness. I really feel that this epiphany has changed my life for the better.

When I stopped feeling like I needed to prove myself, I started enjoying things more. I started hanging out with friends, going out for brunch and dinner, and actually being able to relax and enjoy them. I'm not saying I've made a complete 180, but I do feel less anxious and like I'm putting less pressure on myself for my every action.I used to not be able to relax or enjoy a lazy Sunday; feeling guilty that I wasn't doing something productive or working on something.  My goal was/is to be able to have a nice Sunday or evening and not feel guilty or selfish for doing it. Ridiculous, right?





I mentioned that there have been a lot of changes in my life recently. In the last year I have gotten engaged, started a new job (I was promoted to a new store), made and strengthened some wonderful friendships, traveled to the PNW twice, and lost someone very dear to my heart. All of these things have put life in perspective a bit for me:


1. I am allowed to have fun

2. I am good enough

3. I don't always have to say "yes". it's OK to say "no" and it's OK to say "yes", so long as it is what you actually want to be saying.


So after falling off the wagon of blogging in the middle of all these life changes happening, I decided to consciously let go of the blog pressure. I wanted to experience this time in my life, and just feel the love, the hurt, the adventure, and the silence. I just wanted to be. So I did. And here we are nine months later.



I felt the warmth on my face, the love in my heart, and the sand in my toes, skipping rocks at Enderts Beach with Drew days after he proposed to me at a spot nearby.  It was our oasis, just for us. 

My heart felt whole.



   


A part of me that I had been hiding was finally set free when Meredith and Craig and I started our Friday night karaoke and wine nights.  I actually do things on Fridays? With, like, people? 

I am allowed to have fun.





I felt surprise  and joy when Craig and Berenisse lead me to the electrical closet at old Orchard and told me I would be interviewing for the VM position at Lincoln Park.  I felt relieved when my DM confirmed my promotion on the phone a week later. 

I was good enough.





I felt the squeeze of my cousins hand as the sun broke free of the clouds the second taps began playing over bubbas casket.  

I felt such overwhelming love for my family.


I felt numbness sitting on a couch in the Lincoln Park World Market surrounded by last minute Christmas shoppers as my mother told me over the phone things are not looking good for Bubba. Somehow I felt he might not make it.  I made my way over to the west elm parking lot, waiting for Drew, and I was approached by security guard. Instinctively I assumed that he was there to tell me to stop loitering, and I burst into tears apologizing and explaining that my grandfather was dying. It turns out he had just wanted to make sure I was all right. So here I was, three days into my new job, two days before Christmas, bawling into the shoulder of a police officer I met 10 seconds ago, in the middle of the city.  Officer D stayed to keep me company until Drew came, and reminded me that if my grandfather passed away that heaven would get one more angel and I had also gained a friend.






I felt awe as Drew and I drove miles and miles across the PNW, taking in forests and cities, hiking to Wahclella Falls, and feeling the mist of that raging waterfall on our faces. Seeing the Columbia River Gorge and feeling that overwhelming awe of beauty in seeing the tiniest waterfall silently falling from the tallest cliff, breaking through the clouds.  Feeling so small. Driving out of the gorge, and entering this beautiful sun soaked valley of farms, and suddenly gorgeous, mammoth Mount Hood is looming ahead. We experienced so much of what mother nature has given us in those three short days. I love taking on the world with you.  

It is OK to say yes to adventure.




I've concluded that life is not about working yourself to the point of exhaustion, or feeling that you have to take every path laid out to you, and every opportunity. I did that for 26 years. I've been doing that, because I worry about what the 'right' thing to do is, and what 'people will think'.  Do what makes you happy, because in the end you are the person who lives your life. You are the person not sleeping. you are the person feeling guilty for enjoying life. Sometimes it's OK to not push yourself to do that post or that freelance gig just because "it's work, how can you turn down work?". It's a rabbit hole.

If it weren't for my newfound enjoyment of life, I wouldn't have come across what I've decided is my next chapter in life endeavors.

I've asked myself many times over the last few years, "what do I want? what do I like? What would make me happy?" obviously I like styling, and for a while I entertained the idea of Prop styling, but didn't really see a path to go into it.

So one day this spring my friend Craig asks if I want to go antiquing. 
Um, yes I do, of course!!!

We're  checking out different shops, some better than others, and I think, 'I bet I could  curate a great vintage shop.' 

Lightbulb. 

It was something Drew had told me I should do hundreds of times, but I was always like, "How could I possibly do all that on top of the blog?".  
Well, I wasn't blogging all day and night anymore, so... why not???




So that is what I have to announce to you today.


I have been curating a unique assortment of vintage housewares, art, and textiles which will be available for sale on Etsy starting late August/ early September. 

I have really been enjoying hunting for great pieces for my shop and researching what I find to discover how old it is, who made it, and how it was used. I love that all the merchandise has a story and history and I love being able to use my styling and merchandising skills to display my products for my customers.

I can't wait to share this collection of vintage loveliness 


I am saying "yes" to being an official vintage hoarder (meaning I'm starting an Etsy vintage shop).

The shop will be soft launching late August, and the official launch will be early September.  For now, be sure to 'like' us on Facebook and follow my Instagram to stay tuned for more information on the launch and to be the first to know about promotions and any new merchandise I'm prepping for sale!


Until next time, 

- The lovely red fox




Thursday, October 20, 2016

What's up, Washington?


The weekend before last we had the awesome opportunity to travel to the west coast to scout venues for our wedding, explore, and see things we've never discovered before!  From the vibrant green and orange trees, to the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound and the Hood Canal, we got to experience the state of Washington in one, crazy packed day.  Landing in Seattle, we got a brief run around of the city, stopping at the Macrina coffee shop (get the verdure sandwich, it was awesome!), and visiting a fun design studio, it was an awesome way to kick off our PNW adventure.  




Next we ventured a bit off the beaten path, on the Kitsap Penninsula, as well as the Olympic Penninsula.  We ventured into forests, lost cell reception, saw the Olympic Mountains, and much, much more.  It was kind of incredible, but as closely as we had timed things for our trip, we managed to stay on schedule the entire time.





By the time we checked into our hotel at the end of our Washington state excursion, we were exhausted.  But there was more fun to come.  The next day held some exciting sights and sounds exploring Oregon!

- The Lovely Red Fox


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Longline Plaid and Caramel




I know October is supposed to be the time of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but I've never been one for the squashy beverage.  I've always been a Caramel Apple Spice gal, from the time the crisp air hits until it lifts in the spring.  My favorite think in the fall was always the piles of leaves, and getting those bags of caramel cubes from the grocery store.  To be fair I love caramel all year round, but in the autumn it seems extra special!

Plaid is another of my year round loves that seems the most appropriate in the fall.  Whether its plaid ponchos, skirts, dresses, or a nice longline plaid like this, I'm forever in love.  







Forever 21 beret, knit top, flannel, and denim | Sheinside leather backpack



- The Lovely Red Fox

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Mix-up!



It's that time again!  This mixup series is almost a challenge in choosing the best blend of solids and prints, and calm and crazy pieces.  I gravitate toward clothes that are unique silhouettes, and its always

Friday, October 14, 2016

Leather and Suede in the Shade



Suede has been a pretty huge trend for the last year or so, finding its way onto not only jackets and

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Are Shoe Ready for Fall?



Fall is always a magical time for fashion, and one of my favorite fashions for fall are the many shoe styles that come out this time of year.  From the earthy olives to the moody marsalas, and the bookish

Wednesday, October 12, 2016