I can’t even begin to describe the absolutely amazing women who are a part of my life. And I’m not even saying that because they’re my besties, my family, and I love them with all my heart. I’m saying that because it’s an empirical fact. They are strong, brave, courageous, adventurous, independent, educated, well-traveled, well-spoken, talented, gorgeous, and absolutely hilarious women. Continue reading “1.26.2016 ~ You Are NOT The Problem, Boo”
Hey guys! Well, I’m back from Africa, and I’m getting into the swing of normal life again. I’m trying to get caught up on all I’ve missed while gone, and also trying to get down on paper all the thoughts and stories I’ve got rolling around in my brain. Continue reading “6.10.2015 ~ Adventure Ahead…”
I’m thinking about something really cheesy and utterly nostalgic right now…my high school graduation song.
I graduated from Mexico Senior High School in Mexico, Missouri, in May of 2001, and since you’ve most definitely never heard of it, you can likely imagine how small of a town that really is. Not the tiniest village in Audrain County (it’s the county seat, as a matter of fact), but definitely the minutest of places to anyone raised in Southern California, the place I now call home. Continue reading “3.13.2015 ~ I Hope You Dance….”
You can see love. There’s just something – a buzz, a heat, a fire – that you can always seem to tell surrounds two people who are deeply and truly, madly in love.
You can see family. The grandmother who pitches in and babysits to give her own child a little respite from the daily grind of motherhood, the father sitting at the head of the dinner table asking his family to bow their heads in prayer, the teenage daughter that shrilly yells, “I hate you!” when she’s told for the millionth time, “No, you can NOT date that boy!”
And you can see friendship. This is what it looks like…
It’s really hard to make friends as you get older. Sure, you meet all kinds of people, have all sorts of acquaintances. You might have a cup of coffee with them once in a while, or have them over for dinner parties. You might have lunch with them once a week, or go hiking with them once a month.
But I’m talking about REAL friends, not situational friends – the soul sisters, the ride-or-dies, the women you meet where there is just an explosion of friend chemistry and you can’t imagine what your life would ever be without them.
The sad fact is, as you get older, your priorities change, schedules become tighter, and you often become pickier about the kind of people you choose to be in your life. While we were all too ready to explore every avenue of friendship in our teens and twenties, it seems after thirty, the era of making BFFs pretty much comes to end.
But on those rare occasions, you might just be open enough to that chance, to that wonderful possibility. Maybe like me, you’ve just experienced a huge life change, and there’s a brief moment where you realize, I could use a friend.
When I met Brittany, I honestly didn’t know how much she would end up meaning to me. First, we were colleagues, then we were work BFFs, then suddenly, she was cuddled up next to me on a Friday night while watching Merry Friggin’ Christmas, scarfing down a Hotties pizza, and ranting about the thoroughly stupid things that the men in our lives were doing at the time.
She’s not just any old friend, she’s a best friend. And she’s leaving me!
God bless her, just when I realize I can’t live without her, this child decides she wants to move to Portland. And you know what? As much as I’ll miss her, I know she’s got to go. Because I am living proof that taking a journey into the unknown can be the greatest thing that could ever happen to a person.
So, this one is for you, babe. I love you.
While I was all too excited to catch up with Steve this past weekend and head to the theater to see Dumb and Dumber To, he had to reschedule and that left me with a little bit of a hole in my weekend plans.
As fate would have it, I was extended an invitation to road trip up to Ojai, California, with my darling Brittany M. as she was going to housesit for her aunt.
Ojai is famously stunning country, just about 30 minutes north of Ventura in Ventura County. I had never been before, and since Brittany’s time in California is now running short, I couldn’t help but think that there was no better way to spend the time.
The ride up to Ojai did not disappoint, as the sun shone down on the sprawling hills, mountains, and farm land, covered in the most brilliant greenery that set perfectly against the most brilliant blue sky.
It’s time like these that I realize I can’t get enough of California, and I now know what it means when I’ve heard so many Californians say that they are spoiled. Between the fabulous weather and the beauty at every turn, you have to understand that not everyone wakes up each day and gets to see the things that we see, to feel the things that we feel.
Yeah, sure, it’s easy to forget at times, what with the hustle and bustle of the day and the trials and tribulations of a normal life. I mean, most of us still work and it’s not like we’re always sitting by the beach with a Corona in hand. But when you do get the chance to have moments like these, the real beauty of California and all it has to offer comes back to you. And you see that whenever you are in need, sanctuary is never too very far away at all.
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.” – Shel Silverstein
You could say this little quip from Shel is about perspective, and ultimately, an optimistic perspective. And you would be right, but the piece of this quote that I really connect to is the bit about “How much love inside a friend?”
It’s a simple enough premise – we get back what we give. When we give our friends our love and our loyalty, we can reasonably assume that we will get the same in return.
I feel at times; however, that I get so much more from my friends than what I give. Some I don’t see every day, some I don’t see every month, or every year even. But it doesn’t mean that they impact my life any less.
I adore each and every one of my best friends, my close friends, and even those friends that I may not talk to regularly, but if I were to see those friends today, I would hug them and mean it when I say I was overjoyed to see them. Every friend adds something particularly special to your life, and I have been blessed with a beautiful friend here in California that offers me something that I didn’t realize would be so important to me.
Truth is, I get homesick…A LOT! I adore California, and I know that moving here was definitely the right thing for me and my life at this particular time. But leaving everything you know, leaving all of these people, places, and things that you love with all your heart…well, it’s tough, to say the very least.
That’s why I’m so grateful for my stunning Sara. You see, Sara is another Midwest-to-California convert. I’ve known Sara for years, kind of a friend-of-a-friend relationship to start with. But a couple of years ago, Sara and I made a bond of our own during a particularly difficult situation. And when I made the move to California, well, our friendship truly solidified.
Sara is not only a sweet, amazing, and kind person, but she’s also a piece of home. And even though I have friends and family here that I see on a regular basis, when I’m with Sara I have the feeling that somehow we’re back in St. Louis or Kansas City, and those we love and miss terribly aren’t so very far away at all.
I hadn’t planned on making another trip to St. Louis prior to the road trip to California in a couple of weeks, but then something funny happened. My bestie found this AWESOME deal on Voice Daily Deals for the Cherokee Street Cinco de Mayo Festival in St. Louis!
First, if you’ve never experienced Cherokee Street on Cinco de Mayo, DO IT! Start planning NOW! Cherokee Street on its own is an amazing cultural experience any time of the year, and my love for the area just might be bolstered by the fact that one of my favorite St. Louis jewelry designers, Scarlett Garnet, calls it home. When Cinco de Mayo rolls around, though, there’s just something that happens that really brings the street to life, and you’ll never know what you’re going to see or find.
Second, all I can say is $35 for all you can drink and eat, plus VIP access to private, non-porta-potty bathrooms and air conditioning…yeah, that’s a keeper. So with my best friends in tow, Miss Jenna, Melissa, Zach, and Kevin, I headed out for what may have been the best way to say ta-ta for now to the great City of St. Louis!
It’s a weird feeling, but with the way things are going now I really do feel like this is the way things are meant to be. All my plans seem to be falling into place, and all my goodbyes are joined by beautiful sunshine, laughter, and well-wishes. While I will definitely miss so much of what I’m leaving behind, I take some cheer in that all my final memories of the places I’ve held dear will be so wonderful and so joyful!
There are moments in life where everything seems right in the world. Somehow the stars have aligned and you have managed to find yourself in a place where you couldn’t have imagined yourself before because where you are is so amazing even your most vivid dreams could never have brought it to mind.
This is exactly how I felt this last Saturday sitting under the California sun, with the rays warming my already tanned skin and energizing me more and more as every minute passed. I was surrounded by old friends and new as we sat by the pool at a Downtown LA high-rise that my good friend now calls home. We were lulled into happiness by the drinks in our hands, the house music flowing from the DJ booth, and an atmosphere that you could only find in LA.
I can’t say it any better than this – I was happy. Exhibit A:
The other really great thing about being in LA was that I knew I would have the opportunity to try a few new things when it came to swimwear. I rocked my fatkini again one day, but I wanted to try something new with a swimdress as well. I know, I know. Sometimes swimdresses can seem so boring and matronly, but here’s what I’ve learned. It’s all about print and styling.
For this trip to LA, I chose a zebra print halter swimdress from Shape FX that I found on eBay, which is not only super trendy, but also has some amazing control and support when it comes to the midsection.
After considering the suit and the print, I turned to styling techniques. I added accessories that were simple, but gave an LA vibe, including my go-to heart chain necklace, some statement sunnies, and one of my new obsessions, an all black fedora. When the sun became blocked by the surrounding buildings and I got a little chilly, I threw on a Bohme neon yellow sweater (similar here) that I tied at the waist.
And if I wasn’t already feeling great, can you imagine my elation when I come out of my happiness coma and realize that there is a celebrity in our midst? Bad thing is, though, I couldn’t place him! I knew he was an actor, I knew I had seen him in something, I just couldn’t get my mind to land on it. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I just went over and said, “I know you’re an actor, but I just can’t remember what I’ve seen you in!”
Thankfully, he was a very good sport about it, joked a little bit, then said, “Have you seen the SAW movies?” And that’s when it hit me, this was Lyriq Bent! He played Rigg in SAW II, III, and IV! I’m a huge horror buff, and I can’t believe I didn’t put two and two together before. Needless to say, Lyriq is a great guy, an amazing actor, and this encounter was pretty much one of the highlights of my weekend in LA!
Lyriq, if by some chance you ever read this, thank you for the kind words! It really was great to meet you!
To see where I’ll end up next, be sure to follow Curvy in Kansas City via email or my CurvyinKC social media accounts!
If you’ve read my blog for a little while now, you know that I am a Southern California girl at heart. RJ and I just visited family and friends last month for Mother’s Day in Orange County, and somehow or another, I found myself on a plane again bound for California just last week. However, this time, I was headed to LA, sans husband, and embarking on a completely different journey. Los Angeles really is a different animal when compared to its more southern or beach counterparts, and when you get a bunch of crazy girls together and hang out with one of the most bad ass progressive house DJs in the world, hilarity, fun, and wonderment are sure to ensue.
From Manhattan Beach to the top of Runyon Canyon, and beyond the city lights to the inner depths of Avalon, we ran all over the great city of Los Angeles, and honestly, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had so much fun experiencing things that I never have before. I thought I was a Cali girl, but this trip allowed me the opportunity to learn that the City of Angels is a city that you can return to time and time again, and never experience the same thing twice.
I have to give a great shout out to my hosts for the week, Nick and Sara. Without the two of you, the amazingness that was my weekend would not have been possible.
And readers, thank you for bearing with me this week! I know I have been light on the posting since taking off for LA, but I’m back now and ready to get on it! Look out for some amazing new outfit posts and spectacular events coming up in the next few weeks. Remember to follow me on Twitter or Facebook to get instant updates!