Category Archives: Life

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.04.57 PM                                                                              Pinterest by StyleCastor

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

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.

napkins

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!

Loves,

Cara

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!

Loves,

Cara

Uncover Your Purpose: The Winning Plan #3

UncoverYourPurpose{This cool print is the design work of Cocorrina  – www.cocorrina.com}

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion!” – I’m not sure who first said this but I saw it on Instagram yesterday @foiclothing

I know you all have been sitting around wondering where my next post was… kidding! Please don’t do that, I’m a little unpredictable these days! But seriously, I hit a wall with the blog last week. I had one of those confidence relapses, you know when you start questioning yourself and why you started this whole thing anyway? I was going to make an excuse and say that I just had a really busy work week and decided to “take some time off”, but honestly I got stuck. A few things were happening: 1. I started to compare myself to others. There are literally THOUSANDS of blogs out there and lots of them are REALLY GOOD with THOUSANDS of followers. So in my head I started to make up a list of reasons why my blog would surely fail. This leads me to 2. I lost sight of my purpose. What luck! This weeks Winning Plan is all about uncovering your purpose and using that deep rooted passion to fuel the pursuit of your goals.

“When you care passionately about anything it gives you a sense of purpose. You won’t let anything deter you from achieving your dream.” – Lou Holtz

I started this blog because I had ideas. Ideas that I thought deserved to be put to life and shared with the world. Not because my ideas had never been thought of before or were in any way life-altering, but because it just feels good to create something and explore the deeper parts of ourselves. I did not start this blog with the purpose of getting thousands of followers. Don’t get me wrong, it would be really nice to know that people are actually reading the blog because otherwise I’m spending a LOT of time blogging for myself. I started the blog to share and connect with others, and with the hope of bringing some inspiration and encouragement to the world. It took some serious self-reflection over the last week to refocus and get back on track.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

This is not to say that I don’t have goals for the blog. I do. Because if I didn’t then I would not be honoring my purpose. I do intend to grow my blog following. The best way I can do that is to be myself and trust the process. If I try to be as cool and beautiful and stylish as the other bloggers I love to follow then I will fail because I will lose myself, and eventually I’ll give it up altogether. The blog will likely continue to cause me some anxiety at times. Creative endeavors are always a unique challenge. But it is a challenge I welcome. I want to challenge myself to grow, create, persist, and repeat.

You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen – Sophia Amoruso (#Girlboss)

One of the best things to do when you’re feeling discouraged is to go find some inspiration. I stumbled on Cocorrina’s blog post yesterday about her creative frustrations and how she pushed through and ended up bringing something fabulous to life. She honed in on her deeply rooted purpose for creating and voila! Okay, so it wasn’t really just like voila! There were hours and hours involved, some swearing, probably a good sweat… it took work and determination. If she had quit, we would never be looking at this cool graphic on my blog. And I may not have written this blog post. Corina’s story reminded me of all the times I have felt stuck and frustrated, but I pressed on and eventually created something really great. So I’ve decided to focus on that, on the exhilarating feeling of success that comes after grinding it out and persisting until the break through. Often if feels like your not making any progress, and then suddenly, voila! If you love beautiful designs and graphics, check out Corina’s blog, I think you’ll be inspired http://www.cocorrina.com.

I hope you have found some encouragement here today. Thank you for being a part of my journey. As you may know, or will soon find out, I’m a huge sports fan and I love the life lessons inspired by the pursuit of sports achievements, whether as a team or an individual. This blog series was originally inspired by one of my favorite coaches and authors, Lou Holtz. Here are a few quotes from his book Winning Every Day that are inspiring me today.

“You will never be indecisive if you know your purpose.”

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

“All winning teams are goal-oriented….. Losing teams lack focus.”

“What have you done today to bring you closer to your goals?”

*On a side note, Foi Clothing is a lovely online clothing boutique and the owner has a very inspiring story on the pursuit of her dreams to grow her store. And the clothes are very cute too! Just thought I’d share the good stuff :-)

Now lets get the creative juices flowing!

Love, Cara

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