Monday, March 30, 2015

a very voguish introduction

Sometimes it amazes me that it has already been over 2 years since I began blogging here at Voguish. It's quite fun for me to look back through all of these posts, which I've been doing a lot lately as I've been contemplating how this blog has changed and grown along with my style and my writing.

Now that we've commenced The Right Type Society and I've had a chance to begin connecting to other bloggers that I admire, I've been thinking a lot about my blog content and how it appears to new readers. I know that someday soon I'd like to reformat my blog into a real domain, perhaps restyle it and redesign it to something a bit more official and personal. I'm a very basic blog user at this point. 

It occurred to me that as I write posts, they tend to disappear into the archives without any trace. I don't have many ways for readers to find popular posts or to sort by subject. I intend to work on those problems in the near future, but for now I thought I'd gather a collection of posts that I think represent this blog, and myself, in the best possible way.

Past posts, left to right: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

This blog began in January of 2013. I had been blogging for a few years over at Once Upon a Wife Life, which I started when my husband and I moved to Virginia in 2011 for him to attend law school. The posts over there were very long and photo heavy, like diary entries for our close family and friends to follow along with while we were gone. While I enjoyed documenting our years in Virginia, the long posts began to feel very laborious. I wanted a blog space that was light, natural, and could accommodate a larger readership. 

I predominantly began by posting outfits, which eventually led to my development of the Frocktober Sisterhood. (I'd love for you to join me this year!). Every October I wear a dress every single day, to spark inspiration and challenge my creativity. I really enjoy remixing my clothes and finding new innovative ways to wear them.

I very recently began to create Style Crush posts, where I feature someone (typically a celebrity) whose style I admire. Those posts have included Lily James, Emma Watson, and of course the Pixie Cut. I want one, but will probably never get one - I have The Fear.

My most recent style-inspired series has been very bookish. I call it Novel Dress. I take some of my all-time favorite books and pair them with matching dresses from one of my favorite online boutiques, Ruche. They're incredibly fun posts just designed to delight and inspire. I love them. 

A natural progression of this blog was to begin posting about our travels. I started posting weekly Wanderlust Wednesday posts to highlight some of my favorite places.

My husband and I traveled a lot during law school. (We were actually engaged on a family trip in Ireland, which is perhaps where our wanderlust began). We were able to take advantage of his spring breaks and summers by booking great deals and using to find inexpensive places to stay. It was such an incredible part of our early marriage.

Being from Arizona, we also really enjoyed the historic day trips that were suddenly at our disposal. We went to Washington D.C. often, and loved going to North Carolina along with friends whose families lived there. We especially enjoyed the N.C. State Fair. We were even able to make longer trips to New York, Georgia, and Charleston, S.C. to eat incredible Southern food and tour around our (my) favorite film spots in The Notebook.

A very lofty goal of mine would be to travel blog full time, being sent across the world to document and review various locations. Sigh. That's the dream.

Personal Interests

I love cats. I am an introvert. (Perhaps those are one and the same). I am the absolute worst at talking on the telephone. I'm a big fan of watching TV, which occasionally comes in the form of guilty pleasure shows like Reign on The CW. My Reign posts accidentally became my most popular posts on this blog. I also love movies, and my favorite movie of all time is definitely Ever After. Sometimes I watch it multiple times a day.

I am an avid reader. I think that reading is one of the most worthy pursuits a human can have. I often post about book clubs, my favorite books, and Harry Potter. (My favorite Harry Potter character is Sirius Black). I recently commenced The Harry Potter Book Club as well! You should join us!

I also enjoy writing, and most of that works itself into this blog and my more personal posts. I hope to write a book someday, which is a very scary but incredibly exciting endeavor. It's a big part of my 26-before-27 to do list!

Important Posts

I suppose my blog is a little bit of all over the place. I love to laugh and occasionally attempt to encourage laughter in others. My silliest blog entries have been about encountering snobbiness, wearing overalls, going camping, suffering through long distance best friendship, and my ever-burning hatred of love triangles.

I also blog about more serious matters. Some of them are lighthearted but important, like my desire to stop biting my nails and start living healthier. Or the concept of having a "soulhome", the joys of being an aunt, and the wistful experience of growing up without a sister. I've written about my insecurities and the incredible power of female friendships. I've also written about why moving is the worst, how proud I was of my husband through our law school journey, and of life's blessings and scars.

My most vulnerable post was earlier this year, when my husband and I found out we were pregnant. We shared that joy for one glorious week. I lost our baby at just 5 weeks. It is still a very tender heartbreak, and I struggle daily with what should have been. But we move forward, as always, together.

All of these things are such important pieces to who I am as a person and as a writer. It's one of my favorite things about blogging - having these testimonies to life, these short entries of thoughts and experiences to share with others and to remind myself of who I was and who I want to be.

While I am always humbled (and incredibly excited) when people read and interact with my blog, I always remind myself that writing is personal, creative, stimulating, and developmental. It's incredibly worthwhile, even if I am the only one to read it in the end. If you've made it this far, I heartily thank you for being here. Sharing my stories with you is a joy.

Friday, March 27, 2015

harry potter favorites

Hufflepuff Scarf | Sequin Gryffindor | Hufflepuff Quidditch

I think I can blame The Harry Potter Book Club for my recent preoccupation with shopping for Harry Potter items online. To be honest, I already own a couple of the items above.

I'm a big fan of embracing the fandoms you belong to. There's something really fun about claiming your place in an expansive community of weirdos that all obsessively (to varying degrees) enjoy the same story-based phenomenons. 

That being said, I couldn't help getting this dress. Mostly because my husband surprised me with it. But I knew we belonged together the moment I saw it. Black and white patterns are my favorite to remix with, they're so versatile. I could picture wearing it with a sweater and tights, and with lighter layers in the warmer weather. The dress runs really small but the fabric is super stretchy (this is actually an extra large), and I love it probably more than I should.

When I wear it it feels like I'm in on a secret joke, because from afar it just looks like a vague pattern. No one has ever commented on the magical print of the dress when I've worn it to work. It feels like a funny kind of rebellion. Only upon closer inspection do you see the lightning bolts, the symbols of the Deathly Hallows, the flying Hedwigs, the potion bottles, golden snitches, Harry's glasses, wands...

I've recently come to the conclusion that if I went to Hogwarts, I would be sorted into Hufflepuff.

I know. It's the reject house. It's the "everyone else" house - the ones who aren't smart, aren't brave, aren't evil. I tried to talk my way out of it, convince myself otherwise - which was really just a fruitless argument against myself. I took a gazillion Sorting quizzes, fighting against the answer I knew I already had. It took me a while to come to terms with my unable-to-be-ignored-any-longer results, but I have gone in circles long enough to finally find myself embracing my Hufflepuff House sorting. Here's why.

1. J.K. Rowling Loves Hufflepuff
2. Cedric Diggory and Nymphadora Tonks were Hufflepuffs
3. Hufflepuffs are basically the Hobbits of the Harry Potter universe
4. Hufflepuff is a House for loyal, humble, trustworthy, friendly, hardworking people.

I like all of those reasons, and I'm going to be a proud Hufflepuff from now until forever.
Now I've just gotta get myself some Hufflepuff gear.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

wanderlust wednesday

Snapshots from Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands. July, 2012. 

The summer of 2012 was one of immense victory. We went on our first cruise together, which led us to a stop in the Cayman Islands. As you can see from the photos above, traveling to Cayman is an experience entirely made of shades of vivid blue. One of our dear friends happens to live there, so we were able to meet up with him and get a personal tour of his home and the best local food and activities. And then the victory: I willfully and knowingly accepted a proposition to get into the water with real, giant, horrible monsters of the deep. And I lived.

I'm terrified of the ocean. I was born and raised in Arizona so perhaps my fear of giant masses of water came from a lack of experience with it, but I'm inclined to say my fear just comes from wisdom because the ocean is expansively, undeniably horrible and scary. Even with this knowledge and practiced avoidance of water (my chances of dying via shark jaws decrease enormously if I stay the heck away from all bodies of water forever), we had this opportunity three summers ago to test our limits, face our fears and shake hands with sweet, slimy, docile sting rays. Who also happen to be the murderers of the great Steve Irwin. Yes, I might have respectfully brought that up a few times in between my bobbing shrieks while visiting Sting Ray City.

Of course, the reason why the rays were so incredibly friendly (read: tried to swallow us whole) was because our dear friend kept throwing little squids in the water around us and tucking them into my husband's swim shorts. We didn't find this out until later. Explains a lot. We'll get our revenge.

All of that psycho babble aside, the Cayman Islands were breathtaking. The food was delicious. Seaside smoothies are nothing to scoff at. The water was turquoise. And truly, I always swell with pride when I think of the feat we accomplished by swimming with the rays. That swell quickly deflates when I remember all of the aforementioned shrieking, but I like to focus on my initial bravery and not how I handled the fear later on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

the right type society

Sweater (remixed): Francesca's | Denim (remixed): old | Cat Skirt (remixed): Ruche

One of my favorite things about blogging is connecting to other people that I would never have the chance to know otherwise. When I find a blog that resonates with me, that seems to reach me in some intricate, kindred spirit kind of way, it's a joy. I love reading the thoughts of others and am always excited to find ribbons of unique creativity in each person. This blog space is my creative outlet that allows me to write, contemplate, share, inspire, and be inspired. 

Blogging can feel incredibly lonely at times, but it doesn't have to. I think at least a part of anyone's motivation to begin a blog is to find community. There's a desire to be known, to be appreciated, to be found by those who might feel that resonating kinship with your own thoughts and creativities. It's a vulnerable but also empowering quest to develop your skills and connect with others. 

All of these thoughts and more are the inspirations behind creating a brand new Society for bloggers. My fellow blogger and friend, Cassi of Keeping Up With Mrs. Jones, had this brilliant idea to create a safe and encouraging space for bloggers to come together and support one another. We both are relatively new to blogging, and when she invited me to be a part of it I couldn't say "yes!" fast enough.

The Right Type Society is for anyone. Blogs big and small are welcome. It's free and just in its beginning stages. A work in progress. We're so excited to begin! So far there are 8 merry bloggers involved, and we hope to steadily add more. If you're a blogger and want to join, please do! Head over to our Facebook page to request membership and to see all of the details of joining. Also, feel free to check out #TheRightTypeSociety on Instagram and follow our board on Pinterest.

Our main goals for this society are to better our blogs and uplift each other. We aim to lead people to great writing and creative content. Every blog is unique, and we'd love to connect each member to new readers that will be inspired by their work.
It's all very new and very exciting! We'd love to have you. Us Right Typers must stick together.

Monday, March 23, 2015

the doors of ireland

Sometimes life moves on a grand scale. There are big things to see, giant projects to complete, large obstacles at hand, momentous occasions to celebrate, ginormous stresses to handle, monumental milestones to reach.

But sometimes, it is small. It is simple. All of the adjectives that mean "big" have been swept away by time, and you are left with the itty, bitty, neat, fine, ordinary things. It's as if you've been staring at an oncoming tornado, gigantic and swirling from sky to dirt, and suddenly it disappears and you notice that the sun is shining, the buds are blooming and you're a bit hungry.

The nectar of living can be found in these moments. Sometimes it's harder. But I find that the joy can be sweeter. When we went to Ireland, I remember a lot of the big things we saw. The Cliffs of Moher, the castles, the immense landscapes and gardens. But I also remember the tiny clovers I tucked in my hair and the feel of warm rain and the sporadic collection of colorful doors in Dublin. The smaller things that caught my eye, the things I found romantic and sweet.

When you find yourself in these seasons of waiting, when the calendar is empty and your soul is wanderlusting and all of the big, wonderful things have fallen away and it's just you and the daily grind, take heart. Take many hearts. Grab at them and let them love you. Grab at them and tell them to let you love them. It's easy to feel restless and to try to force something big into your life, to fill it with the many wonderful somethings you think you need. But everything you need is right here. Refocus on them. Don't wish them away. Let your eyes absorb the bright doors and give thanks for their marvelous color.

Friday, March 20, 2015

style crush: flower gown

It's officially the first day of Spring!
It's time for iced lavender lattes, colorful bouquets, and slightly less sweater-wearing.

Earlier this week I saw this extraordinary feature over on Green Wedding Shoes, which highlighted an extravagant dress made entirely of fresh flowers. I had seen a much more basic version of a similar concept using fresh flowers before, but this one struck me. Its dramatic wildness, the boldness of color, the scattered and vibrant flower variety. As strange as it sounds, I thought, if I was a dress of flowers, I'd want to be that one.

See the rest of the feature here

Thursday, March 19, 2015

the old fashioned lawn party

A few weekends ago my husband and I had the pleasure of driving to California for the 30th birthday of my college bestie's husband! Lauren had spent months planning the most extravagant party for her beau, fancy as can be. We all donned our best attire and prepared for the swingingest lawn party ever concocted.

We arrived a day early and were able to help set up, which was a blast. Seeing all of the thoughtful details and putting together the final touches are always my favorite parts of any party. Also, the food. That's mucho importante.

Lauren had a fantastic menu planned, which included the most incredible bacon wrapped goat cheese filled dates (okay fine, I'm biased, they're the only things I made). She also had authentic Mexican bottled Coke, shrimp cocktail, bite-sized caprese skewers, and lots of other munchies. Each table was decorated with old fashioned mini wooden table games, fresh leaves and citrus, and place settings topped with custom themed cookies. It was fantastic.

The adorable invitation was created by their friend Holly (see her Etsy page), and Lauren's little sister is the artist behind the handsome gent playing croquet. If you noticed in the photos above, they had that same jaunty caricature frosted onto the cookies on the tables as well. If you plan on having a lawn party any time soon, I'd highly recommend ordering this invite! It's perfect. 

As is appropriate for any lawn party, there were cigars for the men and a backyard oasis of lawn games. We all pitched in $5 to play the games, and whoever won the most by the end of the night won the pot! (SPOILER: my most spectacular husband nabbed that prize!). There was also a prize for best dressed, and snazzy music playing all evening to set the mood. 

The entire event was held at their aunt's house, who is one of the sweetest and most giving ladies I've ever met. She has a stunning backyard that's perfect for outdoor fiestas (Lauren also had her rehearsal dinner there!). She is a most gracious hostess. She even gave me a picture frame and some super cute rugs when we left (I think she sensed how poor we were when we were crying "we can afford to drive home! we can afford to drive home!!" when Dusty won the cash prize).

Aaron, the birthday boy, made giant dice for Yahtzee and a giant Jenga set for pretty epic game play. There was also checkers, croquet, and corn hole. It was so much fun having a large scale theme party as adults. Everyone dived in and came dressed up and got babysitters for the evening. The money pot definitely inspired people to play the games, and we all just got to let loose and have fun.

For the more casual players, blankets and quilts were set out on the lawn. It was a blessedly gorgeous day. Living in the desert, we get pretty used to having only two seasons. Summer and Winter. "Winter" is a loose term designated to weather in the 60s and 70s, and Summer basically lasts from March until Winter comes again in December. We were overjoyed when the weather was warm but cool in the shade, picture perfect for outdoor lounging and gallivanting.

The best part of it for us was being able to spend so much bonus time with Lauren, Aaron and their little boy Wesley (plus their little baby bump, who's due in September!). They met and got married after college, after we had moved off to Virginia, so this year has been our first opportunity to drive out to see them regularly and build that double-dating relationship. I loved helping out and celebrating Aaron, who has made my lovely bestie so very happy.

After hours of gaming and laughing and playfully competing, Lauren gave the signal to roll out the desserts and Aaron's dad made a lovely toast. There were macaron ice cream sandwiches (I'm not even joking), champagne, and of course cookies and cake.

Happy year 30, Aaron, and thanks for letting us come out and crash the party!