May 11, 2017

Our Stay at the Madonna Inn + San Luis Obispo Road Trip!

One of my Life Goals has been to visit the Madonna Inn, one man’s ode to pink deliciousness with a hearty side of kitsch. I’d obsessively stalked the photos online, heard tales of the men’s bathroom, and whittled my list down to the rooms I most wanted to stay in.

So, when Chris and I decided to go away (just the two of us! without the kids! alone!) it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I mean nothing says romance like your wife asking you to photograph her every 14 seconds because she’s seen something pink, am I right?

You guys, it was everything I dreamed it would be. You know how sometimes you build things up in your mind and then when you actually get there, you’re let down by your heightened expectations? Yeah, there was none of that.

I mean this is the bathroom. Sure, the men’s has a waterfall (Chris tried to get a photo but it was pretty – ahem – active at the time), but the ladies’ has pink walls with red leather doors and a chandelier! I mean, c’mon! I kept walking around all day, every day saying, “I’ve got to get their decorator’s number”, which made my husband very, very excited. 😁

It’s in a bit of a funny location in that it’s all on its own on the side of the highway (the main part of San Luis Obispo is across the highway), but I think that’s part of its charm. There is no other reason to come to the Madonna Inn other than the Madonna Inn. It’s like wearing a Golden Girls sweatshirt – you don’t just kinda wear one, you OWN IT.

We stayed in one of the standard rooms and it worked perfectly. It was big enough for the two of us (although our expectations may be low since we’re used to San Francisco shoeboxes), but still had plenty of details to keep me going (gold wallpaper, mildly creepy paintings of children, FOUR chandeliers, a solid gold shower). It was a little loud in that we could hear our neighbor discussing his Twitter count – 10,000, not too shabby – but they have pretty strict policies on late partying so it worked out fine.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Omg, woman, did you do anything other than drag your husband around to look at pink things?” Of course!

We looked at pink things he could purchase me for Mother’s Day 👆🏼, we talked about redecorating our house in pink, and we ate pink things. 👇🏼 I mean, I’m not a monster.

Okay, okay, we did plenty of other things. Far and away, the most interesting was visiting The Hearst Castle, which is essentially the largest vacation home you’ve ever laid eyes on.

I would like to point out that when Hearst started to build, he envisioned a bungalow. He ended up here. And, Mr. Hearst, I feel ya. Every damn time I walk into Zara the exact same thing happens to me.

We had thought we’d hang out at the Castle for an hour or so, but our tour guide was hilarious and gave us so much insider info (Harpo Marx used to scare people by hiding in this sarcophagus! Cary Grant liked to smuggle in liquor because they were only allowed one drink an evening!) I could have listened all day. I can’t recommend it enough.

After our tour finished, Chris kept talking about seeing the elephant seals at the local beach and I was being such a brat because I was wind-blown and tired and don’t we have sea lions at Pier 39 like a minute from our house?!? Thank God he didn’t listen to me because we saw hundreds upon hundreds of elephant seals just hanging out ten feet from us on this beach. It was exactly like the “Planet Earth” documentary, down to my spot-on David Attenborough impression, which greatly enhanced the experience I think we’d both agree.

The best part of this whole deal though? It is FUN to hang out with your husband! It was so fun to actually talk and laugh and not be constantly interrupted and I remembered again how friggin’ brilliant I was to marry this man. So many heart eyes, right? 😍😍😍😍😍😍

Okay, a few other points of note if you head down to SLO:

-We ate at Novo, which was pricey and pretty good (several people told us it was the place to go). We ate out back, under the fairy lights, which was lovely and highly recommended and the calamari was delish.

-The second night we ate at Firestone Grill, which was so my jam. SLO is a college town and this place is exactly what you’d expect – excellent burgers, pork sandwiches and rings, tons of TVs, and plenty of intriguing college drama.

-There’s Bubblegum Alley, which is pretty famous in SLO, which is exactly what it sounds like – a wall of chewed up gum. I’d say see it just to check it off your list of things you never need to do again. 😂

-We didn’t manage to hike because it was so windy most of the time, but we heard from multiple people that the hiking around Morro Bay was the place to go.

-We had breakfast at the Madonna and it was perfection. 👌 Total diner food, served with coffee with pink sugar. My heart just exploded.

And, lastly, can I be a little bossy and say getting out of town is good for the soul? It’s hard to get perspective when you’re stuck in your own life and I know it’s expensive and you’re busy and there are a million reasons not to go, but guess what? Not one person in the history of the universe has ever said, “Man, I wish I hadn’t spent that money visiting the Madonna Inn.”

Okay, that’s a total lie and maybe they have terrible Yelp reviews, I don’t know, but the point is doing new things is awesome and checking things off your Life List is thrilling and I’m raising my pink drink high in the air in a toast to you and your adventures.

April 18, 2017

The Best Transition Shoes for Spring

pink heeled Topshop for moms - Fabulistas

The summer before I went to college, I worked as a lifeguard and saved all my money, which was intended to be my spending money for the year. Within the first month of school, I had spent almost every penny of it on shoes. Every penny. By October I had to get a job or there was no way I could afford late night pizza or Saturday morning biscuits and gravy or late afternoon ice cream sundaes (I may have been eating and shopping my emotions a bit).

Did I regret it? Some mornings, I’m sure, as I dragged myself out of bed to work the breakfast shift at the local Ramada Inn (a place that definitively did not appreciate my sartorial choices), but those shoes also brought me a frighteningly amount of joy and made me feel myself in a time and place where feeling like Kara was in short supply.

Am I advocating spending your savings on a new shoe wardrobe? Um, NO. Personally, I want to send my kids to college and don’t want to have to work the breakfast shift again to do it. But, do I think that a new pair of shoes can put a bounce back in your step and make you feel like yourself again? I do.

So, I’ve put together five of my favorite current styles that are great transition shoes for Spring, but can also be worn for a long time to come. Like you can probably pack these in your daughter’s bag for college and save her the trouble of shopping her feelings out…

gold ballet flats from Topshop - FabulistasBALLET FLAT
Until kids, I was not much of a flats gal (short legs will do that to you). Post-kids, I am so that lady who marvels at ladies in heels and thinks about how bad my back hurts and how much I like solid ground. OMG, I am such a mom.

Which brings me to the ballet flat. These suckers are cute. Maybe not as cute as those heels you’ve been eyeing, but infinitely more wearable and they match everything and look absolutely adorable with jeans and skirts and my favorite, the ever-flattering straight legged pant. I have a version with the flat toe, which is timeless (I hope), but I’m also obsessed with these pointy versions have been cropping up everywhere.

white and gold Topshop sneakers - Fabulistas

SNEAKERS
I’ve never thought of myself as much of a sneaker gal, but there are so many cute versions out there! Um, gold anyone? And let’s get real. You’re probably wearing sneakers everyday anyway so why not make it a cute pair?


white heeled mules for dressing up - Fabulistas
HIGH-HEELED MULE FOR FANCY!
Almost every blogger and Instagrammer has a pair of these heeled mules and I kept hemming and hawing on whether I should invest in a pair. On one hand, I don’t wear heels very often any more (see: children), but, on the other hand, they are really, really cool.

Obviously, I went for it and am so glad I did because they truly up the game of any outfit. I wear them with my jumpsuits, jeans, bright pink pants, culottes, pretty much any time I get a little bit dressed up, I throw them on and am instantly chic. There’s no wondering which shoes I should wear – it’s these and I’m always glad I did.

(I got these last season at Topshop and I have looked and looked for the same white heeled pair for you, but can’t find one! The ones below are pretty cool though and will get the job done…)

white Topshop slides with square heel - FabulistasLOW-HEELED MULE FOR EVERYDAY!
You know how sometimes the Shopping Gods align and you see something that feels too edgy for your current style, but you have a feeling if you embrace it you will wear it every day? These shoes were that for me. Several years ago I texted my younger (cooler) sister to see if she thought I was crazy and she said I was, but the shoes were not (ba-dum-bum) and so I made a very wise shopping decision. These mules go with everything in my Spring, Summer and Fall wardrobes and because they have that low heel I can wear them running around with the kids.

(I’m dying for the pink pair below because they would also go with everything, don’t you think?!)


H63A7276BRIGHTLY COLORED SHOES
I tend to stick to fairly neutral shoes (yes, gold is a neutral) because I wear a lot of color, but I love a pair of brightly colored kicks. It’s such an easy way to jazz up your outfit without a big commitment (Studio DIY has a whole adorable post on her favorite bright shoes). I haven’t worn these as much as I had planned (I thought they’d be an every day thing) but I think that’s because I bought them before Winter and it’s been a little chilly; now that it’s Spring I’m planning on throwing them on with dresses and jumpsuits.

Photos by my gal Milou and Olin.
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March 20, 2017

Mom-Friendly Trend Alert: Statement Earrings!

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Oh, you guys, I am having a fashion moment, which is AMAZING and TOTALLY TERRIBLE. It’s ridiculously fun because everywhere I go, there are florals, and bright colors, and bold accessories, all which are my idea of fashion heaven. But, it’s terrible because everywhere I go I see florals, and bright colors, and bold accessories, and my heart knows there’s only one place they’ll be truly happy – my closet. #dangerdangerdanger

In an effort to spread the burden of fabulousness a bit, you all need to help me out and buy up everything on the Internet that I may like. No, seriously. There can’t be a ruffled sleeve shirt (I bought this) or floral maxi dress (yes, I also bought this) or over-the-top necklace (I’m asking for this for my birthday) in sight. I MUST BE STOPPED!

To get you started I’ve put together a board of what I consider a gateway trend – statement earrings. It’s an easy way to try out the trend of bolder fashion without investing a lot of money, plus they’re easy to figure out how to wear (not like this gold skirt, which is rock star but tricky). Just throw a pair on with a simple top and a pair of jeans and you’ve got yourself a comment-worthy outfit.

Now, go! Buy! Buy! I can feel my fingers getting itchy as you read this because those fringe earrings below are sooooo cute….

statement earrings with drops and fringe for Summer - Fabulistas

Left row: Art Deco triangle earrings // gold and pink tassel, polymer earrings // 80s triangle earrings // pink and royal blue tassel earrings // red ombre Crispin drop earrings

Right row: Shrinky Dink shape earrings // black and gold beaded drop earrings // multi-color pom pom earrings // fringe and beaded statement earrings // multi-hoop earrings

Also, the place where I bought my giant black pom poms isn’t selling them anymore but this gal will do versions in just about any color.

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