etsy shop · Style

The Perfect Shirt for Summer

It’s was 96 degrees here yesterday. That’s really, really hot, y’all. It’s making me a little nervous because it’s just May, and we have “a whole ‘nother” month of spring to go before summer officially arrives. Lawd help! (Apparently these hot days bring back my Southern vocabulary.)

I’m digging through my closet to find the lightest possible things to wear on these crazy hot days. (Like this and this.)

But you know what always works on these hot days when I want to look a little more polished and a little less like I just came back from the pool?

Vintage short sleeved blouses.

They used to be called “shells” – slip-on, collar-less blouses that were typically worn as a base layer under suit jackets or cardigans. They were super popular in the 80s, and they are making a comeback. And for good reason. They are the perfect shirt for summer. Lightweight, cool, and breathable boxy-cut blouses, they look better than a t-shirt and are even easier to wear.

May I present the Vintage Short Sleeved Blouse, Three Ways:

vintage blouse + shorts

1. With shorts. This is basically a t-shirt and shorts situation, but it looks more polished and feels even better. (Pay no attention to what I’m calling my “mom tan” – that unfortunate tan line that comes from wearing cropped yoga pants on a surprisingly sunny day. NO SHAME, friends – it’s too hot to try to cover that mess up with long pants these days.)

vintage blouse + midi skirt

2. Cuffed sleeves with a skirt. This minimalist look of a flowy midi (or maxi) skirt and boxy shirt is perfect for warm days. (And there’s something about flowy skirts that always makes me feel like I’m on vacation.)

vintage blouse + jeans + heels

3. Dressed up with jeans + heels + a bold necklace. This is my summer going-out uniform.

When I’m thrift shopping, I’m always on the hunt for blouses like this – simple tops that can be mixed and matched a hundred different ways. Silk for a luxurious feel (and so breathable), polyester for ease of wear (no ironing!).

black and white print blouse

I just listed a collection of these summer blouses in my Etsy shop in a variety of colors and sizes – click here to see what I’ve found!

Meanwhile, I’m going to sit in front of a fan and sip some iced tea like a good Southern girl and pray this summer is a mild one.

connect · five things · quotes

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

I have to confess, I feel like I’m limping toward the weekend this week. I’m so tired. I think it’s a combination of the heat (we’ve been in the 90s already!) and a full calendar of activities. I’m REALLY looking forward to a mostly unscheduled weekend. Here are a few things on my mind this week.

1. Christmas cards. Yep. It’s true. I finally took down my Christmas cards this week. I posted on Facebook that the moment I did it, the kids revolted and thought it was way too soon. What?! Luckily, friends chimed in that they still had theirs up or had just taken them down this week, so I felt better. I like to put them on a binder ring so I can look through them over and over again. What about you – do you keep them up all year (something I seriously considered) or do you have a creative way of using them after the holidays have passed?

2. Museum of Failure. A few weeks ago, when my father-in-law was here, he told us the story of how Kodak missed the boat on digital photography. Just a few days later, I came across the Museum of Failure, which included Kodak as well as other companies and ideas that just didn’t work. So fascinating. (via Jocelyn K. Glei)

DSC_0146

3. A Very Easy Dinner Party. I loved this. Because what’s most important is the connecting, not the dinner.

4. Do More Things That Make You Forget To Check Your Phone. Less scrolling, more connecting.

get it going

5. This quote.

What are you up to this weekend? I say we are “mostly unscheduled”, but we have a couple of baseball games and some fun outings with friends, and I’m “scheduling” some creative time, too. Our temperatures will be dipping back down, for which I am super thankful. Hope your weekend is full of friendship, learning opportunities, and connecting with others in ways that make life richer. Thanks for reading!

creative habit · etsy shop · Jewelry

Doing the Work

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Not a sad funk or a discouraged funk or it’s-rained-for-three-weeks-and-I-just-need-some-sunshine funk. I’ve been in a busy funk. Which might be a weird thing to say, because when you’re busy, you’re usually moving and active and getting things done and in sort of the opposite of a funk.

I haven’t felt inspired. Inspired to make things or start projects or even write in my journal. I haven’t felt like I had anything to tell. And I haven’t really had space to tell it if I did. It’s been days and days of drop offs and pick ups and baseball and karate and Target and grocery shopping and taking this here and picking that up there. Most days are go-go-go until I crash at the end of the day.

But then I read a couple of things that made a difference.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst came on the hold shelf for me at the library. The subtitle is “Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” – sound familiar? I am not even halfway through it, but I’m loving this book and making so many notes in my journal from what I’m reading. Here’s one:

“The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep. The schedules we keep determine the lives we live. The lives we live determine how we spend our souls.”

If I just keep going with the errands and the to-dos and the trying to get ahead, I will never find time to do what I love and what my soul needs – making things, writing, and connecting with my people.

Then, as I was reading Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional on April 25:

“Get up. Create like you’re training for a marathon, methodically, day by day.”

And this:

“Discipline is not antithetical to creativity; it’s vital to it.”

Discipline! Not waiting around for inspiration. Not getting my other tasks done in order to find time to create. Make time to create and DO IT.

So that Tuesday morning, the day of the week where I have the biggest chunk of time to get things done, instead of tackling my to-do list and running here and there trying to squeeze in more productivity, I blocked off my calendar for “create”. I started Pandora, sat down at my workspace, and made stuff for two hours.

rainbow earrings

It was awesome. I made some pretty things, I got lots of new ideas, and I felt the funk begin to slide away. Instead of waiting to be inspired to get to work, I got to work and was inspired.

The thing is, this isn’t a new revelation for me. I KNOW this, really. (I did a whole 31 Days Series on it a few years ago.) But when life gets busy (or even just funk-y), I can’t figure out why I’m not doing the things I want to do. I lose focus. I get sidetracked. I forget.

So I made a tiny little life hack: I added “Create” to the calendar on my phone and I set it to repeat. So I will have a reminder that pops up to spend some DISCIPLINED time doing the work I want to do. And I will schedule the other life stuff at other times. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, or even if I have to move it to a different time slot, it’s the beginning of a practice that will help me remember to do things that feed my soul.

And my hope is that by feeding my soul, I will be keeping the funk away, too.

new earring photos

PS – I’ve added the earrings I made last Tuesday to my shop. Click here to see them in all their rainbow-color-ordered glory!