Real Life Red Carpet Glam


I love award season and especially look forward to the Oscars each year. Tim and I try to go see as many of the nominated movies as we can so we know what’s going on and also to have a better chance at winning Oscar bingo. Except that I often have a different opinion of who should win, but that’s the fun of it all. My favorite move of the year was Brooklyn. I knew it wasn’t likely to win anything, but I would vote for it. It’s a must see in my opinion.

So I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have any occasions in the near future that require a red carpet gown. But it is fun to get glammed up every once in a while for a fancy night out. so I’m sharing a few of my favorite pieces for amping up your date night outfit in a mostly affordable fashion.

1. Rose Gold Heals – I’ve recently become a huge fan of rose gold and I love it in these heels. I can’t actually find the exact ones in the picture but I’ve found some similar ones for you. Rose gold is like the cool girl version of pink. And the more metallic the better as far as I’m concerned. I love this pair too in a rose gold glitter.

2. Zoya Nail Polish in Freja – I wore this nail polish last night to the Oscar party our friends hosted. It’s a shimmery gunmetal with a tiny hint of blue metallic. It’s like a smokey eye for your nails. Zoya has recently become my favorite nail polish line. It’s non-toxic and is easy to apply. I’m not very good at painting my own nails so I’m happy when I find a polish that I can do at home and not make a complete mess of myself.

3. Faux Fur Jacket – This is such a great finishing touch to a night-on-the-town outfit. Even faux fur can look expensive. This one is from Forever 21 and is currently on sale for less than $50 bucks. I’m also in love with this blush pink one. If you don’t like fur you can always go for a suede look like this one or the tuxedo-style blazer to finish off the look.

4. Kendra Scott Earrings – I love everything Kendra Scott does. She is constantly releasing new versions of her trademark style. This stand out pair is a mirrored crystal rock framed in gunmetal. As you can see, I’m into the gunmetal thing these days. I consider it the rock star version of silver.

5. Bobbi Brown Eye Palette – What a perfect palette! Lots of sparkles plus just the right matte neutrals. Love it!

6. Heather Offord Box Clutch – I love clutches. I try not to buy too many because practically I don’t have a ton of occasions to bring them out. But they can add such a great pop to your outfit. The box clutch is very in right now and the more color the better. There are a lot of affordable options like this one and this one.  Or if you want to continue with the faux leather I love this one.

7. Faux Leather Leggings – Yep, we’re faking it again. These faux leather leggings are $50 bucks and yet another fabulous way to glam it up. Pair them with your faux fur jacket and you’re money!

8. Veuve Clicquot Rose – Champagne always makes me feel fancy and how gorgeous is the bottle?! It really does come in this beautifully pink box and it is equally delicious. I’ve given this as a gift on multiple occasions because its a double bang for your buck with the lovely presentation (an expensive buck but worth the splurge!). I usually buy it at my local grocery store and its often at least a little bit on sale.

9. Sequin Dress – Saving the best for last, what better way to feel fancy than to cloth yourself in sequins. I love the color dimensions in this dress. Revolve Clothing is my favorite online store for finding unique and fun dresses. I also love this onethis one, and if you want to splurge I love this one.

Here are a few more goodies to check out. Happy shopping!



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The Shoe Edit


Favorite Sneakers1. Adidas 2. Nike 3. Converse 4. Joie

Did I mention I’ve been dealing with a bad foot injury? I know, I’m sick of talking about it too. I’m finally starting to feel like I have an almost normal left foot. It’s not even like I was doing something cool. It involved a bike (of course) and one of those really steep sidewalks and absolutely no speed which is even more embarrassing. I’m banned from bikes. Smashed face, broken elbow and now a jacked up foot. Yes, that was three separate occasions. My husband wants me alive. I think he may have made that bike disappear.

For the last 7 months the only shoes I can comfortably walk in are sneakers. It’s kind of awesome now that I’m used to it. I do miss wearing heals though. All my beautiful high healed shoes are boxed up in the corner of the closet like a graveyard for shoes. It’s depressing. But on a high note I’ve discovered some really cool kicks and apparently its a whole fashion trend to wear sneakers with pretty much anything. Skinny jeans, dresses, culottes – yes these are back. I still don’t get it. Regardless, I’m embracing this so-called model off duty look for non models like me. Here’s a little more about a few of my favorites.

Adidas Superstar – I’ve been eyeing these puppies for a while and I finally ordered them. I can’t wait to try them out. They’re all the rage in street style fashion. I’m hoping I look like this girl when I wear mine. Probably not since I’m way to old for the whole midriff thing.

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I’ll probably try something more like this look here. She’s rad and I need those torn black skinny jeans. I’ll let you know if I track them down.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.24.49 PM                                                                  UK Blogger Konni Lechler – EnVogue

Nike Court Royale – This is currently my favorite shoe. I wear them everyday, literally. They’re cool and comfortable and affordable at just $55. I’m thinking I should order another pair since I’m wearing the tar of this pair. They’re wearing well though. And they come in white too.

Converse Jack Purcell – This was my go to sneaker during all of our traveling for the wedding. I wore them with everything since flip flops were not an option for me. I love them in white. Last year at this time Converse debuted this new modern version of the Jack Purcell, so I was lucky to stumble on them while on a quick run to Nordstrom. Check out this cool blurb about the new launch.

Joie Dakota Sneaker – Joie makes sneakers high fashion. They’re like glam meets country club with a side of badass. I want them badly. They’re staying on my wish list for now since they’re a little pricey, but I might accidentally buy them while drinking wine and online shopping. Check out this look pairing them with a dress. This may need to be my spring look.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.29.50 PM                                                                               Hello Fashion Blog

One other tip for wearing sneakers like this is to get some of those footie socks with the gel grip so you don’t see your socks but they also don’t slide down your foot. I get mine at a local boutique called SheSheShoes, but you can also try these from Amazon.

If you’re still reading this, I love you. I realize there are a lot more important things going on in the world than shoes and fashion and shopping. Children are sick, diseases are spreading, countries are in turmoil. And I’m living comfortably in my cozy life. When I sit down to write sometimes I feel ridiculous. I don’t know why God has blessed me with this life while so many suffer and struggle to survive. I don’t know why I’m struck by this tonight. It’s late, my home is quiet and peaceful. I’m overcome by how blessed I am, not just with these silly material things, but to be really loved, surrounded by beauty, and with so much hope for joyous days ahead. I only hope I continue to learn how to give it back and put this love back into a world so in need. I don’t always know how. Or at least I feel like I’m not doing enough. How do you give back? How do you tap into the needs around you?

Much Love, Cara

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The One With The Napkins

0827_Cara_Tim_ED_209A8755Photo by Elizabeth Lloyd

I promised my friend I would write this post so here we go (at the risk of embarrassment and possibly losing all credibility as someone of style and taste). Brenda, you’re welcome. Readers, I apologize for tricking you with the cover picture.

Last July Tim and I had a few friends over for dinner. We live in a condo near the beach, which is really convenient because you don’t have to do very much to impress your guests. You live by the beach, so automatic style points right?! We toasted our friendship with champagne and enjoyed the usual lively conversation. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t really cooperating and it ended being one of those cold and gloomy overcast days so we didn’t really get to enjoy the beach. People tend to think this is a regular weather occurrence in Santa Cruz, but after living here for a few years now we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that we actually get way more stunning and sunny days that often thought. Regardless, the crappy weather was pretty much negating my initial style points.

It soon became time to set the table for dinner. Tim and I were in the middle of a busy work week so we were feeling a little chaotic at the time. Tim was doing the majority of the cooking so I was in charge of the table setting. For whatever reason I wasn’t feeling particularly confident in my cloth napkin situation, so I opted for folded paper towels. Here is a picture of the evidence.


Again, I apologize for leading you on with the beautiful photo at the beginning of the post. But if it’s any consolation, that was a photo of the table setting at our wedding. I think this should count as style redemption for what I just showed you. In my defense, my husband has kind of an obsession with paper towels. He loves them and we always have a Costco size amount of paper towel rolls in the pantry. So I’ve kind of gotten used to them as an acceptable choice for any kitchen or dining needs.

In hindsight, I certainly could have been more prepared for the dinner. I do have cloth napkins and they’re quite nice really. But I had laundered them recently and they came out really wrinkled. So I shoved them in the drawer not anticipating guests anytime soon. There are 2 things I like to note at this point. First, I grew up with paper napkins (I always preferred the triangle fold myself). I really had no idea about cloth napkins being a thing until later adulthood. Secondly, I already don’t like to iron and the idea of having to iron cloth napkins really threw me off. Why would I spend that much time ironing something someone is going to wipe their greasy hands on? I’m obviously wrong, and possibly lazy. But I was too busy before the guests came making sure the toilet was clean. It seamed more important at the time.

The reason this because a blog post (and don’t you think it would been an awesome Seinfeld episode?!) is because our guests were so cool about it and we laughed because it was funny and we know we don’t have to impress each other. These are the best kind of friends. I remember that night because of the napkins, and because it was the night we learned our friends were pregnant with their first baby. It was really special. I still smile when I think of that night and I’m grateful to have such awesome friends.

Once again, I never want to leave you without helpful shopping tips so here are a few of my favorite pieces for entertaining and creating a little more sophisticated dining experience. Enjoy!



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Post Wedding Blues + January Gray

Harbor View - Grey


This is my favorite view of the Santa Cruz Harbor. When the sun is shining the light bounces off the boats and glistens across the water. It’s magical. This day was not so magical, more like gray and somber as if the harbor was having a bad day. This was yesterday. And the day before and the day before. It’s officially winter here, and obviously across the country, as to be expected in January. But this is officially winter in Santa Cruz and we don’t always get those here. It’s growing on me. It’s cozy place to crawl inside yourself and reflect. I’ve been struggling to break out of my post holiday (and post wedding) depressed wintery funk. But the quiet reflection is renewing my energy and I’m finally feeling excited about a new and promising year.

It’s been about 7 months since my last blog post. I’ve been feeling a little anxiety around this, but then I remembered that no one is actually sitting around waiting for me to do a blog post. I do feel a sense of urgency though, to write and share for my own release and sense of self-expression. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog. Last year was kind of a big year for me. Pretty much the best year of my life. I got married in November to my very best friend in the world (his name is Tim for future reference). It was amazing, but it also meant that I spent the majority of the year planning a 4 day destination wedding while running a business (with my now husband) and also nursing a nasty foot injury that at one point put me in a cast and crutches. There were at least 2 minor meltdowns when I seriously freaked out that I might be a gimp on my wedding day. Thankfully that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t totally healed but much better by the time the wedding came around. Having a foot injury though is super annoying and makes everything you do more difficult. The experience definitely left me with more empathy for people struggling with injuries or disabilities. I apologize to anyone I was really cranky to during this time.

All that to say, something had to go and the blog took the hit. One day I snuck into the bedroom to work on some blog stuff and Tim came in and was like “Seriously! I could use some help around here!” because we had about 700 things going on at the office and “update my blog” was not anywhere close to the top of the list we discussed earlier that morning. So not blogging was basically like saving my future marriage. But I miss it and I wake up almost everyday with a new thought or idea that would be an awesome blog post. I discourage myself often thought, worrying that no one will read it and why am I even bothering with this anyway, but I decided this is my place to say things out loud that are running around in my head. And I think we are meant to create and make art in whatever medium feels the most enjoyable to us. Also, I have a lot more time on my hands now that I don’t have a wedding to plan.

Speaking of wedding planning, I almost killed myself being a raging perfectionist. That’s maybe an exaggeration and I’m not sure “raging” is quite the right word. It sounds a little violent. There were no incidences of violence surrounding the wedding, which I now believe should be considered a success due to all the opportunity for family (and inter-family) disputes. Throw in tequila and you could have a full on situation at any given time. Especially when your guests have 4 days in Mexico to accomplish all kinds of hoopla, and here is where “raging” is an appropriate expression. It was a killer wedding though and I think everyone had a seriously awesome time, minus a few nasty cases of Moctezuma’s Revenge. At least Moctezuma waited till the last day to strike, but that’s like the worst wedding favor ever wrapped in a taco. Not even tequila can make this better.

I wasn’t expecting to feel so down once the wedding was over. There’s so much planning, so much anticipation, so many tiny details that seem so ridiculously important at the time and then it all happens in a flash and you didn’t even get to taste the canapés. And if you did you don’t remember. It’s the greatest high of your life and then its all down hill from there. Which is really not true at all since YOU JUST GOT MARRIED and this beginning of the best years of your life. But for several weeks following the wedding I was bummed out and kept obsessing over the things I screwed up and what I should have done differently and people I wished I talked to more. And then there’s the whole waiting for your pictures thing that is so torturous. Please show me this actually happened! It’s like proof of life. I need to know if there was cake or not. There was cake and it was delicious. Here’s a picture of me eating it.

cake eating

I love being married. There’s something very complete and whole about it. And I’m coming to enjoy this grey and somber season. It’s calming after such a high energy year. I can sit in the corner of the couch and read all day without feeling pressed to be productive. Or go the whole weekend without leaving my house. And I’m reminded that life is about seasons and nothing ever stays the same. This is a good thing.

Since I would hate to end a blog post without an opportunity for shopping I’ve included some of my favorite things for keeping cozy in this gloomy season. Enjoy!



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