Sunday, November 27, 2011

True Beauty... Buy a hat, change a life.

During this time of year I sometimes get discouraged. Don't get me wrong, you won't find a girl out there who loves the holidays as much as I do But the obsession of the "latest greatest" wears on me. Do I sound like a walking irony??!! since all I can talk about is the latest trends and styles you MUST HAVE! Well with that said.... Let me introduce you to the Goodfellows, a family (and wife/mom) who posses a beauty and attraction that the latest craze can't duplicate...

We met the Goodfellows at our church a few years back. They have 4 kids (which make them automatic Cotter heroes!) and they live life in the most simplistic way. About a year ago they decided to move their entire family of 6 to Peru. They packed up the necessities and made the move to help plant a Krochet Kids in Lima, Peru.

If you don't know about Krochet Kids (sold at Nordstrom) it started by a few college guys after a trip to Uganda with a simple goal in mind: empowering women in Northan Uganda to break the cycle of poverty by creating steady jobs. Their job? Crocheting hats! Among other things. Take the time to read the Krochet Kids story here.

I think about the Goodfellows often. Whenever I start to sound like the whiney Orange County girl. The girl who gets caught up in the latest, greatest; the girl who thinks she has nothing to wear. The girl who stresses out over the silliest things. My mind drifts to them not because I think they have without, but rather I think of them because of all they do have. The boldness to up and move their entire family with a few suitcases each to an entirely different country. The fearlessness of pulling their kids out of their schools only to learn and be taught in a brand new language. The courage to know that they are stepping out to do something so very few people would act on. The "beauty" that is produced out of this boldness to help change the lives of other people is what inspires me. Following their blog is worth it! Sarah is real, she'll share the good times and the rough times. One of my favorite posts is this one ...or this one. They're all good!! Reading the things they share is a beauty that's missing from our everyday busy-bubbled culture.

I love fashion. I love knowing what the runways and designers will say is the next big trend. But when I start to feel the emptiness of trying to compete with all of it- of the constant chase of it all (not just clothes!), I think of my friends, the Goodfellows. And although they moved to help impact the people of Peru, I have no doubt they're making the same strong impact on those who miss them in Orange County as well.

I mean, could these kids be any cuter?!!!!

Riley with new friends at her birthday party

Riley with new friends at her birthday party

Tyler helping out with watching one of the Krochet Kids lady's baby



Krochet Kids is the perfect Gift for the holidays! Or even if you wanted to make a donation (especially for the new Peru location) Every hat carries with it the signature of the woman who crocheted it. Learn more about the woman who made your hat and see how you are directly impacting her and her family here

Be inspired by the beauty around us... Lets not be too busy or too stressed to miss it- during the holiday season and all year round.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The rectangle

Body type #3 is the rectangle... There are actually 2 different types to the rectangle. One type is oh-so long and lean, easily the envy of every calorie counter or diet obsessed woman out there. And the best part Rectangle? You don't even have to try. You can pretty much eat anything you want, work out if you feel like it, and nothing changes on your body... You're usually tall and thin, not having tons of curves... And mimic the Cameron Diaz body type. Just so it's not too confusing when differentiating between the 2 types of rectangles, we will refer to you as Cameron. Or Cami if you like.

Then there's the other type of rectangle. You've been an athlete forever. You love your clean, lean, veggie-filled diet, you can't live without your gym routine, and you may be a cross-fit know it all. Your body is fit, lean and can be muscular, naturally. And you love every bit of it. You are the Jessica Biels of the world... So for you Jess, all these things still apply.

To review Rectangle

  • Are you tall and thin?
  • Are you athletically built?
  • Are you small chested?
  • Are you lacking a true defined waist?
  • Do you not have a lot of "curves"? (I.e. Chest, hips, rear)
  • Do you have a rocking body and can be compared to either Cameron Diaz and Taylor Swift, or Jessica Biel and Hope Solo?
    • Then you are a fabulous Rectangle

    The best thing you can do for your body, Rectangle, is to accentuate what you have, and give the illusion of what you don't. Since you don't have a ton of natural curves, make some up. Play up your shape with lots of ruffles, bold colors, prints and volume. The hourglass cannot get away with these things as easily as you can. You are the one body type that has the chance to actually give yourself more volume, and look even better while doing it. (something the other shapes do not have the luxury of.)

    You may however want to stay clear of a few things (but not always of course) All body types should avoid a tight top with tight bottoms (or lose on lose) but you Rectangle especially should. This will make your minimal curves appear even smaller. Also, like the apple, thin belts should be avoided. This might give the illusion of being "split in half" where your body could be cut in two, looking even more "rectangley" and less curvy.

    For you Jessica, sport girls out there, you're used to being confident in the gym, or field, or court. Time to move that confidence into your wardrobe. Your body is banging!!! Stop hiding it under hoodies! (did i say to never wear your hoodies? no) but you have some of the best bodies out there, and you should show them off more (ahem, little sister). You are hiding in your comfy clothes- no more! Embrace prints, colors, stripes (especially stripes for you Camerons because they'll give a fuller appearance) no more hiding that fabulous body Jess

    The irony is Rectangle, since your confidence usually comes in your competitiveness and activeness, you can be hesitant with bolder things - which is exactly what your body type needs!! As scary as it sounds, go find bold, fun prints! (think animal or snake print, camel, 70's style floral, or bright, bold colors.) If you're too hesitant to wear it in a head to toe dress or jumper, then at least put it up top. Gravitate towards a shirt or dress with ruffles to add volume. Find a pair of colored denim (think red, plum, or electric blue) to break up your long and lean frame. Be sure to pair it with an oversized top. Add scarves to your wardrobe. It will give color, add volume, give the unexpected edge you need (yes, comfy girl, you can still wear your scarves with jeans and a tee shirt, right in your comfort zone.)

    In addition to scarves as layering pieces, find the perfect oversized soft cardigan (and to think, it'd be the perfect replacement for your hoodie). A blazer is also the perfect staple item for you. Layer it over an oversized tee as well. Find a blazer in either a staple color (black or grey) or even a pop of color, or both!!

    Lastly when going to a special occasion, grab something that's more than just the little black dress. Are you getting annoyed by me yet? FIND BOLD COLOR! Opt for a one shoulder or something with a wide hem- anything that gives more shape- something all other body types wish they could pull off as chic as you. Add some edge by getting a pair of tights this fall. Either colored or grey (you don't need black for slimming purposes, so rock something different- textured even.)

    Essentials for the Rectangle

    • Lots of prints
    • Ruffles on tops or dresses
    • Colored denim
    • Bold colors
    • Fun scarves
    • Colored/textured tights
    • Stripes
    • Dresses with volume
    • A-symmetrical cuts or uneven hems
    • Oversized cardigan
    • A perfect fitting blazer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Delicious, crisp Apple

Body type #2 ... The yummy apple shape. You know whats crazy? No matter what Apple I've talked to, she has said the same thing: "I don't want to be an Apple" where I say, why the heck not??!!! Do you know how scrumptious your legs are??? They are delicious!! And do you know who's an Apple? And she's stunning? Carrie Underwood (really? you don't want to be Carrie?) And just maybe after you read a little more about the Apple and how fab the Apple is, you will never have those horrific thoughts about not wanting to be an Apple. Apples, it's time.

Carrie Underwood is the perfect Apple. We all know she has the best legs in Hollywood. (confession: I may or may not blast Carrie on my ipod during my leg workouts) regardless, she has killer legs, and meets all the criteria for an Apple.

To review:

  • Are your legs one of the leanest part of your body?
  • Is your midsection the first area you tend to gain and maintain extra weight? And is it one of the hardest places to tone?
  • Are you simply more "top heavy"? And possibly have a largest chest? (not always, but mostly)

Then you are an Apple!! Just like Carrie! (lucky you!)

Since you, Carrie, I mean Apple, have such great legs, you can go ahead and let us know by drawing more attention to them - we won't get mad (jealous maybe, but not mad) and just in case this is the first time you're thinking "well, I do have nice legs, and I guess my middle is my hardest part to whittle down, I think you could describe me as 'top heavy' ... Then embrace the apple style. Get out your skinny jeans, your mini skirts, cute shorts, and fitted bottoms. You can rock skinnies with flat, short boots, and flat sandals. You don't need to embrace heels (as much as the pear or hourglass) until you pull out your mini skirts or feminine dresses.

The most flattering cut for you up top is the v-neck. It elongates your top half and gives the illusion of a more vertical line (especially if you have a large bust, this is the way to show the least amount of cleavage) when you, Apple, wear a scoop neck or square neck, you may appear even bustier (especially for those of you who are larger busted or feel more self cautious about it) however, the sweetheart cut can be flattering when done tastefully. Please note the golden rule of style: either show legs are chest tastefully, never both (and you Apple always have the ability to wow with the former every time)

When wearing dresses, seek out as many long sleeve mini's as you can find. Pair them with flats, heels, short flat boots and tall heeled boots. Dress them up with lots of necklaces or bangles - but the only thing you cannot do is belt it. In fact, belts aren't too necessary in your wardrobe, Apple. You should find your friend Pear, and do an even swap: you need to give her your skinny belts, and she needs to give you her long sleeve mini's. Did you hear me say you can never wear belts? No. They are simply not the most flattering for your shape. If you do want to belt it, or want to cinch at your waist, then opt for a big, wide belt.

Lastly, think outside the box. You need a pair of skinny, colored denim (think red, teal or bright blue) - your legs will be delicious. Also, this fall, reach for colored or textured tights. Something the pair might feel self-conscious in, but you sweet Apple, shouldn't give it a second thought! Layer that with loose long scarves (bunching them around your neck too tight and too layered will not lengthen you - but keeping them open, long and easy will) Go outside the box and find the perfect one shoulder dress. It will elongate your top half; it doesn't always need to be fitted, and it doesn't have to be sleeveless. Find a flowy, one-shoulder, loose dress. Your options are endless, you are a sassy little minx, now start dressing like it.

Essentials for the Apple Wardrobe:

  • Short flat boots
  • Long sleeve mini dress
  • Bright colored skinnies
  • Colored/textured tights
  • V-necklines
  • Oversized v-neck tees
  • One-shoulder dresses
  • Wide belts only (and if necessary)
  • Trapeze/mod style silhouettes
  • Long scarves for layering (but keep them long)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The perfect pear

Member when we talked about embracing your body type.... Body type #1 to discuss: "the pear"

Just to review, understanding and owning your body type is the underlining link to feeling confident with what you wear. Plus the added benefit of developing your style and understanding what trends you can rock, and what trends you may only want to try once or twice (depending on how comfortable you feel) But regardless of your body type (remember each one is great, and there's no "bad" or "wrong" body type) there are so many options when it comes to style.

First things first: how do you know exactly what body type you are? You might already know, by how your clothes fit. And if your not sure, heres a quick easy little quiz to help you figure it out!
Take the quiz here

Ok pretty pear, time to define your style.

Just to confirm:

  • are you smaller up top- your shoulders and bust (usually a b cup or smaller)?
  • Is your waist as narrow, or even a tiny smaller than your shoulders and bust?
  • Are your hips, thighs, and rear-end your widest part?

Then you, my friend, are a pear.

A celebrity to look to with a pear shape is Lauren Conrad. Confession: I was not a fan of Lauren during her time on The Hills. However, she has developed a style for herself, and really does rock the pear shape.

Tips for pears: belts are your friend, skirts and dresses that are "fit and flare" are your best friend. Embrace the feminine look, this truly compliments your shape best. Don't be afraid to show your legs, but if you are more self conscious about them than opt for a length right above the knee, or rock the maxi length as much as you want!

To add balance to your fuller, lower half, become friends with your tried and true black blazer. And if you're willing, which you should be! then find one with strong shoulders, or shoulder pads to give illusion of a fuller top portion. You can wear this blazer with anything. It will work specifically with all the skirts and dresses. It will go with flares, with skinnies, with shorts when you want to dress them up. You can literally wear it with everything. Go get one now if you do not have one in your closet. A tip for the blazer: roll your sleeves when wearing, it doesn't come cross so serious and structured.

You may be thinking, ok, I think I'm a pear, but I'm not the type to be all feminine and girly and wear skirts and dresses all the time. If you are the type that associates dresses/skirts with dressing up, it is time to never think those false thoughts again! Dresses do not equal dressing up. You can make them casual, you can wear them in the day, you can pair them with flat sandals in the summer and boots in the fall. You can wear them in solids to keep them causal and prints for when you want to be bold. But don't ever think you'll be too dressy by wearing a dress or skirt. It is impossible.

Lastly, jeans are a bread and butter to your wardrobe. As a pear, your most flattering cuts are boot cut and flares. Both cinch at the waist, and bring balance again at the bottom to be in proportion to your "pear" shape. Especially with the flare, you can really rock the high-waisted flare (pretty please!!!) think about it, you have the best body type for the high waisted flare, so why not rock it?! You will fall in love. Side note: heels will do amazing things for you, Pear. However high they are, your rear end will be that much higher off the ground, elongating you and lifting in all the right places. Do not be afraid of the heels. If you haven't embraced them yet, start this fall season with the chunky heeled boot. Theyre the easiest to wear, and you wont feel too dressy in them.

When wearing your skinny jeans (yes pear, you can still wear your skinnies and "jeggings") just be sure to pair it with loose, flowy or chunky tops. You always want to be proportioned, never wearing fitted and fitted or loose and loose Pick and choose either top or bottom portions for one or the other. And pair your skinnies with heels for extra leg length!

Essentials for the Pear wardrobe.

  • Fit and flare dresses
  • Skirts
  • Belts
  • Bootcut and flare jeans
  • High waisted bottoms
  • Strong shoulder blazers
  • Maxi length dresses and skirts
  • Nude heels
  • Heeled boots
  • Belts, belts, belts

find where to get each piece from my polyvore here

find where to get each piece from my polyvore here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Embrace your body type

You know when you see a girl, a stranger, a friend, and you think- she is sooooo cute! And you love her style!! Her clothes are amazing! You want to steal her entire look from head to toe! Ok maybe you're not as creepy about it as I am, but don't lie, you have some of these thoughts.

Want to know why you love what she's wearing? And why you think she looks so fabulous?

It could be the trend, it could be her style, it could be a certain label, but it ALWAYS involves dressing for her body type. Always.

Meaning each of us have a "body type" but most of the women walking around in this world are completely unaware of this (which is a horrific thought). Knowing your body type, and dressing for it, is the foundation, the start, the 101 for defining your style, and feeling confident with what you wear.

There are many different interpretations of body types, but they are all centered around these basic shapes. This is my opinion on the 4 body types, and I swear by them. ATTENTION: there is not a "right" or a "winner" among body types. Pears want apples legs, and hourglasses want rectangles lean body. And many and all between. Discover your body type and embrace it.


You are smaller on top, than you are on bottom. Your shoulders, chest, and waist are smaller than your hips, rear end and thighs. Your waist is your best feature.


You are smaller on bottom than you are on top. Your legs are thin and lean. Your middle and core is wider, and you (most likely) have a large chest. Your legs are your best feature.


You tend to be taller (but not always) and have more of an athletic body. You do not have a ton of curves but have a strong, lean frame. Your lean frame is your best feature.


Your waist is your smallest part. Your shoulders and chest are as wide and in proportion to your hips and rear end. Your curves are your best feature.

Petite girl, I did not forget bout you. But in your adorable, petite frame, you are still one of these 4. Adjust slightly for your petite built but know all of this applies to you as well.

The last key piece to this whole body type thing: there is a celebrity out there with your body type. Find her and mimic her. Be inspired by her. Pick your favorite pieces she wears and make them work for you.

Lastly, you did not hear me say you can only dress for your body type, it simply is the easiest way to make your already chic wardrobe that much better. You will feel oh so stylish and much more confident just by tweaking things a bit to better flatter your shape. You know the days when you think, ugh I HATE what I'm wearing? 9 times out of 10, it can relate back to not dressing for your body type. 10 out of 10 times it is for me.

More to come: a blog for each body type. How to know exactly which one you are, how to now dress for it, and what celebrity you should be stalking to find out how they dress for their/your specific body type. Stay tuned my little unique body type friends.