January 13, 2015

End of December





On the last Sunday of 2014 my family- including my visiting grandparents- headed down to one of my favourite places in all the world: La Jolla Cove.  La Jolla is one of the most spectacularly beautiful pieces of coast on the planet. It's a funny little town where stores encourage parents to either keep their eyes on their children or leave them with the chauffeur. Multi-Million Dollar apartments in a spectacularly 80's shade of salmon pink line the shore. Palm Trees sway down traffic packed single lane roads that twist and curve to the shape of the coastline. It's the place postcards dream of. When I was a kid part of the beach was reserved for Children (Appropriately called the Children's Beach), but was taken over by Seals and Sea Lions. They cover the whole beach and now it's blocked off as a reserve. They also take refuge on the rocks along the cliff line and while you aren't supposed to go near them, unfortunately most touristy types still try and get up close and personal. 






We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing and enjoying the sunshine and cool breezes.
As much as I love the cold, this little slice of heaven I live near will always be dear to my heart.

January 9, 2015

8 Feet Of Heaven On The Ground



Snow Mazes of Norway by Jenny Dalton on Grooveshark


Maybe because I didn't grow up with it, but Snow has always filled me with this absolute wonder and magic. The first time I ever saw it snow was when I was six and we were up at my Great-Grandparent's old Cabin for Thanksgiving. I was wearing a brown jumper dress and a white turtleneck shirt and my sister and I stared out over the ground below us, noses to the window glass, so excited for the promise of snowmen, angels, and ball fight (and my uncle's ill attempt at an igloo...) in the following day.




The new year brought with it a storm of epic proportions for this part of the country and thank God because we need all the storms we can get to make up for last year's horrific drought. It got so cold it even snowed around these parts and the hills a few minutes drive from me had a few inches of snow on them for over 24 hours. We, along with everyone else we know, made pilgrimages to the local snow spots for a little Winter glory.




We ended up going after dark so no one else was around which was pretty swell to have our own private little snowy oasis. We left rosy cheeked, with smiles on our faces, and ready for piping hot cups of coffee and cocoa. We headed home for a soup dinner by the fireplace and reveled in the small sampling of Winter we were blessed with.




My family has been seriously considering a big life change that might bring us to a part of the world where getting snow isn't a once in a decade experience. It's mostly talk at this point, but serious talk. Who knows if anything will come of it, but we're all quite taken with the idea of getting to live in a wonderland of snow. None of us like the heat and unending sunshine of our current home, and we'd all like to utilize the wool in our wardrobes a little more frequently. We'll see. Until then I'll take whatever bit of Snow I can get.




January 6, 2015

Plaided Again*

*I am so sorry for that terrible pun.



While I was in Scotland I stayed with a host for 12 days and they were IN. SANE. Like, I can't even begin to describe how crazy they were. I was miserable. It was abnormally cold and windy and I spent a lot of time outside digging up stubborn weeds and one day while I was pretty stinkin' cranky about it all, I put some yard clippings in the compost and snagged my favourite work shirt on a nail. It tore and I was really annoyed. At exactly that moment I got an email from eShakti offering to send me a customized garment of my choice. Uh, hello! Considering I lost a little over 80 lbs while I was gone I don't have a whole lot of clothing options right now. The week after I got home I did hit up a few thrift stores and Old Navy to try and find something to wear and weirdly now I am stuck with a lot of pants, but very few tops... My skirts all need resizing, my dresses have to be cut down, and I am currently moving from one room to another and all my sewing supplies are inaccessible so I'm a little sartorially stuck. So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to getting this new item of clothing!



I went through the website debating what to get, (skirt, top, dress?) and spent far too much time hemming and hawing over my decision. At one point I had 15 tabs open and I just couldn't decide. I finally narrowed it down to four and then consulted my mom who let me talk it out until I finally decided on the one I had continually returned to over and over again. eShakti has a huge range of styles and items and I absolutely love that. I've been a longtime lurker of the site and have almost made purchases on many occasions, so here was an opportunity to finally get to try out one of their garments.



If you are unfamiliar with eShakti, they are a fantastic online clothing site offering clothing in sizes 0-36! And beyond that you can customize each garment to fit your style and size needs. and if that weren't wonderful enough they actually carry cute clothes! There are basics and party dresses, fun prints and quality fabric. The dress I chose is unfortunately no longer available, but if it is any thing like the rest of the selection, you really can't go wrong! I adore this dress and have worn it several times since receiving it (which was right before Thanksgiving so this post is so incredibly late!!). I opted for the custom fit, and next to the dresses I've made myself this is the best fitting dress I own. Plus look at that plaid matching. *swoon* The fact that it is a beautiful cotton sateen is great for the California heat but also works well in the cooler months here. It's easy to dress up or down, super comfortable, and incredibly versatile. I am in love!



So is there anything I don't like? Not really, but there are some things I'd do differently when ordering next time. For instance this dress is long sleeved, and I just never wear long sleeves. I get too hot in them so it was kind of silly for me to not just get the dress cut in the 3/4/elbow length I prefer (and which is offered in the customizing section). I'm also not crazy about the fact that the lining is polyester, but in a store bought dress that's a given, and honestly it doesn't really bother me. The only thing I can say I don't like about the dress was the matching belt. The best itself is cute, but it's a slide closure belt and tends to slip so I am constantly having to pull it tight again. A snap stitched in will solve this, but I personally prefer leather belts to break up a bold print like this.  This has literally nothing to do with the quality of the garment, just my personal preference.



In short I am super satisfied with my pretty new dress and am super excited to order again from eShakti!

You can check them out on their website, aswell as follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Best of all eShakti is offering a 10% discount to readers on all purchases until February 2nd using the discount code "yammeringmuse."




This is a sponsored post. I received goods in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed herein are my own. 

December 1, 2014

Blurred Plaids

Hello! Greetings from sunny So. Cal! It has been great to be home and play catch-up with life and people and all that. There's a whole lot I could talk about about being back home, but for now let's talk clothes.

I've been in a sartorial funk for a few months now and on top of that I lost nearly 80lbs while travelling. There's a lot of odd psychological things that happen when you lose that much weight unintentionally in such a small time. Maybe one of these days I'll go into it, but right now the point is this: I have very little that fits me. Almost nothing from my pre trip closet fit, and while some of those old items can be altered that takes time and it's been frustrating. I did manage to go out and do a bit of shopping after I got home but other than a few pairs of pants and I think three tops, two dresses, and a skirt, my wardrobe does not exist. I desperately need tops right now, but to begin with I made myself a dress that isn't even remotely a day dress. Hey, I've been travelling from farm to farm falling in various animal feces for 6 months, I DESERVE A PRETTY DRESS!



Cardigan- Thrifted, Dress- Me Made, Petticoat- Vintage (and on it's last life), Ferragamos- Thrifted.

The total cost of this dress comes out to about $2 or $3. The bodice pattern is Simplicity 1375 that my mom picked up for me over the summer for a dollar, and the fabric I bought at a festival a few weekends ago. I bought a large roll of this fabric for $3 and after making this dress that involves a full circle skirt, I still have about five yards left so like, I will have all the clothes from this fabric.


There isn't a whole lot more to say about this dress other than it was super simple to put together. It has pockets and is insanely comfortable and as soon as this little cold snap we've got going on is over it will be perfect for Californian "Winter." I'm pretty sure the fabric is a poly/cotton blend, but it's a nice fabric so the poly part doesn't bother me too much. This is the first time I've ever worked with plaid and took the time to match up the print and for a first time effort I am satisfied. There are a few minor mis-matches, but they aren't terrifically noticeable.  The only thing about this dress I'm not 100%  satisfied with is the bodice fit. I'm having to relearn how to fit my body and there is some weird new proportions on my body. I mean, it's so weird. But I'm making due!


I'll definitely be making another of these dresses and I'm thinking next time I might add in a built in petticoat since this vintage one I have is falling to shreds. Sad petticoat.  

My camera started having some weird focus issues towards the end of my trip making it super hard to get a decent photo so I apologize for any weird blurring. Someday I'll fix that until then, unintentionally blurred images for all!


Of course the best part of this dress is the perfect twirl ability of the skirt.


November 2, 2014

California Coming Home






This has been the song of my life for the last five and a half months.

 By the time you read this I will be sitting on a plane during an 11 and a half hour trip home.

I never thought this day would come. I have loved this trip, learned so much, and seen so many wonderful things. I feel like myself again, and have such aclearer idea of what to do in the coming days, weeks, months, years. I regret absolutely nothing about this trip, and am so thankful for all the many many many growing pains I had to go through. I'm so thankful for all the moments of utter joy and for getting my spark back. I can't even wrap my head around the wonders of the past months and they have forever changed me.

But hot damn, I am so ready for home. I'm ready to hug my peeps and never let them go. I'm ready to hug my car and sewing machine, to pursue all my dreams, to life the life I want and to never quit again. To walk on the hot sand and breathe in that Pacific Ocean air. I'm going to devour as much In N Out as I can, surf, go to Disneyland, and even soak in the sun. I've learned that while I hate the heat, I love California. No more saying I don't. It is the best. It is home. It's full of hopes and dreams and excellent tacos. And guys, I friggin love it.





The last few days of waiting have been torture. For the last two weeks I've been counting down the days until I'm back in my favourite place with my favourite people. Scratch that, I've been counting down the days since I left. I am so, so, so excited! This plane cannot fly fast enough. I may even actually take something to make me sleep for as many of the hours as possible because oh good lord I cannot, CANNOT wait to be back home.


I'll be taking a hiatus (because I'm so reliable at posting...) for the rest of the month and probably for most of December as well. I do have a few posts up my sleeve before 2015 hits (what!?), but for now I'm taking some time to sleep, catch up, hug people, eat tacos, get life organized, sleep... I'm going to sleep a lot. So see you soon. See you from home!

I love that word. Home.

California I am coming for you. You'd better have Chipotle waiting for me. I can't wait to see you.

September 26, 2014

Souvenir

I won't call it buyer's remorse, but sometimes I get so excited I buy ridiculous souvenirs.


Back when I first visited the UK 10 years ago I brought back a couple of tshirts as souvenirs and wore them to threads. I'm not kidding. I'd bought a particular pack of three t's with a union jack waving on the front that said "London." I don't remember when I finally tossed the last of those out, but I had literally worn holes through the whole thing. It was stained and frankly disgusting but I loved that stupid shirt. There was a tee in Iceland that said "Kick Ash" and I wish I had remembered to go back and buy it. I have this penchant for buying ridiculous tshirts or sweatshirts while on vacation and then go home and realize I don't even wear tshirts very often. I bought these two while at the Wallace Monument and after getting back home I realized that aside from working out or sleeping I will probably never wear these out and about. But here I am still buying tshirts as souvenirs. Oh well, they're cheesy and I don't even actually care. I love them.


William Wallace is my hero and I've been dreaming of visiting the Wallace Monument for years. This was me getting to finally see Wallace's sword (which is actually as tall as I am(I'm 5'6"!)) and I spent the whole time I was there crying and gave the poor Australian tourists who took this picture for me a very impassioned speech about freedom and the free market and natural law.

Some people get excited over sports.
I get excited over economics and 700 year old swords.
Tomayto-Tomahto. 

I decided today that I'm going to remain single until I find a man with the politics of William Wallace, the voice of Josh Groban, and the everything else of Chris Helmsworth. 
I'm all about the realistic goals.

September 21, 2014

North Sea

Oh hello.



I'm not sure if anyone out there is even still reading this here page, but remember me? It's okay if you don't, I barely remembered this page until just a few days ago. Life has been busy. Sad-ish, joyful, breathtaking, interesting, infuriating, annoying, invigorating, magical, political, unpredictable. Busy. I have so many pictures I wanted to share and I just don't even think it's possible for me to even begin to cover all my adventures. At some point I'll catch up. We'll see.



Fisherman's Sweater- Charity Shop in St Andrews, Jeans-Charity shop in Edinburgh, Shoes- H&M in Norway, Earrings- my Great Grandma's, Pin-Gift from my parents, Tote- Viking Ship Museum


Chelsea moved to Texas in June. I don't know if I mentioned that. It's been rough,both of us being away. We hate it, we love it, we Skype every Monday to discuss life. One day we decided to define our styles. She was Preppy Beach Bum. It's true. I was Preppy Hobo. I think Preppy Hobo Hipster Granny is probably a bit more accurate, but it's cool. I like it. Being away has given me such "clarity" about the kinds of clothes I want to wear. Not just about my clothes, but how I wear my hair and makeup, the baubles I wear, and life too, but really about how I want to present myself to the world. I don't really recognize the girl who left California. I don't feel like her, and in many a way, I don't even look like her. I don't think like she did, I don't see things the way she saw them. She was so sad, so very, very lost. Oh I am by no means perfect these days. But that shell I had built up, that other girl, the one who left California, that got broken down. It got shattered, smashed, blow-torched, and stomped into oblivion, and that left me feeling even more confused. Slowly, slowly, slowly I've let parts of me I'd long abandoned begin to reemerge, and suddenly I feel like myself, like the woman I was meant to be, the one I want to be. Some of my days have been long and filled with frustrations and broken down buses after incredibly late buses, but every night and every morning I am glad to be alive, to be where I am, to make plans for the future. That big scary black curtain labeled "Future" doesn't really scare me anymore. I'm brave and bold and wild and brilliant and loud and obnoxious and kind and friendly and helpful and loving and hard working and curious and anti-establishment. Anything I could possibly want is out there and I will reach for all of it. Well that was a rabbit trail.





I found this sweater totally by accident and it has quickly become a favourite in my minuscule travel wardrobe. I've managed to collect a ton of hats and tote bags as I travel, but my clothing options are getting pretty slim! I have about 7 articles of clothing that I brought with me, and maybe an additional five or six that I have collected. There's about three outfits in that and oh man am I looking forward to a closet again. I'm looking forward to a lot of things, my closet being one of the lesser ones. My plan is to hug my family, hug my car, and then hug my clothes. I miss them all so much.







I had a dream about going back home the other night and in it I had somehow been forced into dating this other volunteer at the last farm I was at who I did not get on with (and not in a potentially cute way) and we were at Disneyland right after I had landed back home and then he was trying to buy me a Disneyland Pass and I kept refusing but was $9 short for the one I wanted (??) and so he bought it and then I found my parents sitting eating ice cream and laughing while I cried about this horrible situation and struggled with the moral dilemma of wanting the Pass but also wanting to be rid of this horrible human. I feel like this was a metaphor for where I am emotionally when it comes to being on the road. I leave my current location (not a farm, an Estate and basically I am maiding all day and it's not as cool as it might sound.) the First and head to two more places for two weeks each. Then I am home. So much and so little time.



I'll be back soon. Promise.

In case you're wondering I am currently in St Andrews and this location is a 10 minutewalk from my bedroom. I'm not mad.