Thursday, October 27, 2016

Shop Toko Indo

Although staying in line with "what's on trend" is something I find important in my line of work, wearing fashion that is different from what everyone else is wearing is equally important.  I'm always on the search for pieces you won't find anywhere else, and they have to be affordable.  What trumps (excuse the ironically political pun) all fashion rules, is comfort.  I refuse to wear something that pinches, bunches, squeezes, rolls, etc.  Life is too short to be uncomfortable and your clothing's lifespan is too short to pay a lot.

I love shopping locally.  My husband and I own a local business and we are big advocates of supporting Portland, Maine's economy.  Before I hit the Mall looking for fashion, I always sweep the local boutiques.  Toko Indo is a boutique on Exchange Street that has an incredible selection of hand crafted jewelry, accessories and gifts.  But what I'm in love with, is their line of clothing.  The pieces remind me of Free People.  A very boho vibe, trendy and the best part is, it's super affordable.  No need to go to the Mall and overspend.  Toko Indos got it, plus it's a local business and a portion of their proceeds benefit charities in the area.

Don't live in Portland, Maine?  Toko Indo has six locations all down the East coast.  Each location has different pieces specific to their region.  I always like to pop in when I'm looking for a unique gift idea for a friend.  Their selection of beaded and silver jewelry has something everyone will like.  Looking for a cozy winter hat and scarf?  I'm loving their knitted accessories.  Especially the beanies with a big flower or pom pom.  My favorite clothing items at Toko Indo usually have a hippy vibe with unique prints like paisley or floral.  

The long sleeve white knit top and knit gray flare pants (pictured above) are both from Toko Indo and were under $50 for the entire look.  It's something that I'll wear all Fall and into winter (until the snow comes).  I usually suggest a look to have contrasting fits.  For example, if you're wearing a loose top, pair it with some skinny pants and vise versa with a more flowy bottom.  But, this look works for a couple reasons: 1.) The pants are tight from the waist to the knees, so I treated them like a pair of leggings, and 2.) The top is asymmetrical, so I paired the flare pants to work with the shortest length of the top.  Balance is key and this casual look has just enough.  

I'm a huge advocate of Toko Indo and will continue to shop there regularly.  Unfortunately, if you don't live around one of their six locations, they do not sell their merchandise online.  No one piece is uniform, because it's handmade.  You'll just have to visit Portland, Ogunquit, Provincetown, Portsmouth or Key West to get their unique and stylish pieces!  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Birthday to ME!

When did it become socially unacceptable for an adult to celebrate their birthday?  There's such a stigma with getting older that we've started hiding the day that represents it.  Almost like, if no one knows you're a year older then it might actually not happen?  It's just a number, people.  Today, my number is 35.  I'm okay with it.  I've accomplished many of my life goals and haven't totally fallen apart doing it.  35 is the new 25, right?

This birthday, I'm going to throw myself a party, dance like a teenager (minus the grinding) and wear a birthday crown so everyone knows who the birthday girl is.  It's one day.  My day!  So wish me, "Happy Birthday".  Of course, I have to have the perfect outfit for my party.  Something that says, "I'm a grown up, but I'm not old yet!"  Something that is sexy, but not too revealing.  Something that is fashionable, but I can still dance the night away in.  I got this.  Over the knee, block heel boots paired with a fit and flare dress that has an inverted triangle cut out at the rib cage.  Check.

This look didn't just come to me in my birthday dreams.  I shopped long and hard for it and lucked out at one of my favorite local boutiques, Expressly Trends.  I've shopped there for years.  They used to be located in the basement of another boutique on Fore Street in Portland, ME.  You almost had to go searching for all their amazing pieces.  Now, they have one of the most prime locations (street level) on Exchange Street and it's always the first place I pop into when I'm looking for something "on trend" that I can actually afford.  Thank you Expressly Trends for my "birthday suit".

It's not the end of the world.  It's my birthday.  I look forward to celebrating with my friends and family, in style.  I hope you do the same on your big day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mommin' Aint Easy

Someone (who hadn't seen me in a long time) told me I looked great after just having a baby.  I smiled and reminded them that my son was seven, but thank you.  I believe the last time this particular person saw me, my son was less than a year old.  A time when all of my being was put into caring for a tiny person that couldn't care for himself and my appearance was the least of my priorities.  So, how the heck does Teresa (pictured above with her one year old daughter Cecilia) always look so darn good?  I mean, matching flamingo outfits?  Stop.  Just stop and look.

I feel as though some moms make this "mom thing" look so effortless and Teresa is definitely one.  So give me your infinite wisdom, Girl.  Tell me how you manage to put on lipstick while your toddler is tearing every single one of your pots and pans out of your cupboards.  What it comes down to is time management and the fact that Teresa has always had an incredible sense of style.  Just because she had a baby, doesn't mean she's dead.  She's just learning to shift priorities and still look bomb while doing it all.

Teresa makes this mommin' thing look easy, but again, it's because she's strategic.  When I asked to come over and snap a few pics of she and CiCi, she was smart and worked around her nap schedule.  When your baby sleeps, your productivity level goes up 100%.  Also, Teresa wears fashionable pieces that also are functional.  Ever worn a pair of pants that you constantly have to adjust?  Or a pair of shoes that you just can't walk fast in?  That stuff gets packed away and replaced with stretch pants and sneakers, once your kids are mobile.  Practicality is essential when you're chasing a tiny person in diapers.  They're deceivingly fast.
If you are a mom and you're anything like me, just taking a shower when caring for a baby or two is a huge accomplishment.  If  you're like Teresa and make this "mom thing" look good, here are a few tips to surviving motherhood, while being stylish and functional:
  • Your body will continue to change.  I put on 50 lbs. when I was pregnant with my son.  It took a full year for my body to resemble it's original form and two years for my weight to go back to where I felt comfortable.  Buy pieces with some stretch to accommodate your changing body.
  • Wear flats, small wedges or a block heel if you're carrying your baby.  My worst mommy moment was when I twisted my ankle in 4" heels while carrying my one year old.  We were both okay, but I didn't wear heels for a long time after that.
  • You are tired.  It's okay.  People understand if your make-up and hair isn't perfect.  Find a cut that's easy to "wash and wear" and a make-up routine that takes less than 2 minutes.  If your toddler is being quiet and you can't see them, they're probably coloring on the walls or climbing up on the fridge. 
  • Lastly, an outfit that matches your baby or toddler gets you extra bonus points.  Check out how precious Teresa and Cecilia look in their matching flamingo looks.  Matching print or color theme will give the illusion that you put a lot of thought into your outfits.