Today, I planned to chat about this peachy-pink tee and how I knew, from the moment I got it, that I wanted to style it with these mom jeans, because pastel on pastel can’t lose. And that’s totally true — in fact, this pretty palette can lift my spirits in that small, but meaningful way that clothes can. But I can’t go another second without thanking you for the enormous encouragement you gave me yesterday.
See, I like to keep Unfancy a positive, playful space — but that doesn’t mean I always feel positive and playful. When I’m feeling down and I try to write an upbeat blog post, there’s a disconnect. But when I can share openly, that disconnect disappears. So thank you for making this a space where I can share when I’m down.
You guys always dazzle me with your thoughtful comments and conversations here, but yesterday was special. To see so many sisters join together to pour out light? It was beautiful and I cannot thank you enough. It’s easy to paint with a broad brush and dismiss the world as a dark place — but you remind me it’s not. You make it light. I felt connected to you and grateful for the light inside you. There is so much light.
It’s impossible to bottle all of yesterday’s comment goodness into bullet points, but let me offer three common threads that encouraged me:
1 | Feel what you’re feeling, and try to surround yourself with natural beauty while you’re feeling it. | Whether it’s getting out there and hiking, sitting in the backyard, or simply watering a houseplant, nature helps as we process and feel, doesn’t it? Nature is the perfect shoulder to cry on — she gives permission to feel deeply, while also offering perspective. Everything has it’s season.
2 | If possible, nurture yourself in a healthier way. | I’m fighting the emotional shopping bug right now, and I loved reading through your ideas to resist it: cooking a good meal, reading, journaling, cuddling your animals, sweating it out with a run or a workout, listening to music, and reorganizing your closet. Reading through your ideas helped me remember one of my favorite activities: making playlists! Since I have Spotify, I can “shop” for music and it doesn’t cost anything extra. Here’s my favorite playlist that helps me calm down.
3 | There are many things that can help you feel better, yet none of them are guaranteed to work all the time. | This rang true with me in the deepest way. I’m usually grounded by journaling, yoga, friend time, and many of the nurturing things listed above. But right now, I don’t feel grounded by these things. None of my old standbys are working — it’s a scary experience. But it’s good to remember that each pain is unique, so the antidotes may be different too. Just because my go-to isn’t working doesn’t mean I’m lost.
• • •
Whew, emotions right? I plan to fill my weekend with the most restful, nourishing activities possible, including lots of sleep, yard work, good music, and family time.
Next week, I’ll be styling one piece all week — my Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Tee. ES pieces look amazing paired together and that’s how lots of people wear them — think flowy crop tops paired with silky wide leg pants. However, it’s a style that doesn’t feel entirely me. So next week I’ll be styling my ES top with more “mainstream” things like overalls and jean shorts. It’ll be fun.
See you Monday, and I hope you have the best weekend. <3
Photo Credit: Katie Jameson
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Pink top by Two Fold (made responsibly) this exact top is currently sold out, but should be available again in the next couple of weeks | similar (under $25)
02 | Jeans by Girlfriend (made in USA) (Fit Note: These jeans have zero stretch. I’m usually a 24 in jeans and sized up to a 25. They feel tight in the waist at first, but over a few wears they mold to your body. Wash them on cold, don’t ever put them in the dryer, and they’ll stay molded like that forever.) | similar (under $70) | similar (under $40)
03 | Flip flops (old by Clarks) | similar | similar | similar (made responsibly)
Ensley Henderson says
YES! It’s not just about self-care, it’s about HEALTHY self-care. Meaning: a cup of tea and a good book vs. two glasses of wine. I’m glad you will be getting some downtime this weekend!
Denise k. says
Have a really nice weekend, Caroline?
Tanya E says
I think if the things that normally ground you aren’t, sometimes you just need to keep doing lovely things and eventually you will feel better, This advice was given to me by a friend, when I was going through some traumatic personal stuff in my twenties. It was true, like keeping smiling, you can start to feel happy. If you are practising self-care, you are sending yourself a positive message, it just may take awhile. But that’s OK.
Thank you for being so honest and open, yesterday. I think it really resonated with lots of us.
Kathleen Jones says
I didn’t comment on this the other day but I struggle as well. Last week I went for acupuncture for the first time in years and was reminded of what a wonderful effect it has on my outlook and sense of well being. I just wanted to throw that out there. :)
Andreea U. says
I like how sincere and true to yourself you are, that shows other parts of you that you never showed before on your blog.
Honestly, I think 99,9% of your readers appreciate this type of posts where you express what you feel and it feels like we are a little community where everybody is inspired by everybody even if one is from US and the other one is from a totally different part of the world. This bondage between the readers and the blogger is rarely found and much appreciated by everyone involved.
Have a nice weekend, Caroline!
PS: And yes, I agree of cuddling our animal-friends, they are always bringing a smile, no matter how down you are :)
Beautiful simple outfit! Love your blog <3
what a cool space for pics!
-Kirsten // http://www.porkandcookies.com
These comments are really wonderfully encouraging! Thanks for sharing and your peach top is really cute.
Dear Caroline, I’m sending you a big soul hug. Many people feel the same way you do right now because Earth has a dominant negative energy at the moment. We are going through Apocalypse, a cleanse through suffering. Try to get to know yourself and God better and everything will get better. I recommend Human Design (www.geneticmatrix,com) and style essences (John Kitchener on youtube). Another soul hug. :-)
I tell my kids (and now grandkids) that happy is not a right. It does not always happen but most times being unhappy does not last too long. It’s one of those words that is so different for everyone. You got this girl! Can’t wait for the one piece show next week.-Laurel Bledsoe
It looks like you have a great community of support!
When the shopping bug hits, I allow myself to indulge, but only slightly. I allow myself to disappear into the world of online shopping for a short time, looking at items, adding to cart – but I don’t check out! I force myself to sleep on it, and usually by the time I wake up the next morning, I realize that these items aren’t what I’m looking for and they won’t bring me happiness. I would much rather spend $100 on an airplane ticket than a dress! Plus – I usually wake up with a newfound way to style the items I already own like the ones I was browsing the night before.
I also choose to indulge in other ways – savoring a cup of tea and a book or getting in the kitchen to bake some bread or a treat. These things bring me loads of satisfaction and their benefits last way longer than an impulse buy!
Kim Pontius says
Feel the emotions. They can’t kill you and even the painful ones give more than they take away.
Gina Hession says
I meant to comment yesterday and didn’t get to it. I also impulse shop when I’m feeling down and need a pick me up. I would like to share my tip to squelch my shopping bug when it happens. I will actually go shopping in a large department or specialty store, but without my card or any cash. I will walk around the store grabbing things that I love or ‘can’t live without’ and carry them around in the store for awhile. Then I will put everything back, yes, everything. As I’m walking around I actually lose interest in what I picked up and find that I do not really want the items. But the trick is, you really have to spend some time carrying the items around in the store. It takes care of my impulse to buy because I am actually ‘shopping’ just not buying.
I LOVE your Morning Tea playlist, and I listen to it all the time. I do yoga to it, I listen to it at work, I clean the house listening to it….thank you so much for the gift.
One book that has really helped me practice thinking about and learning from my feelings is Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. Don’t be put off by the cover :) I utilize tools I learned from it all the time and it has helped me get better really investigating my inner thoughts and deep feelings, which in turn have helped my relationships, both external and with myself! It’s a quick read and I highly recommend it.
Just wanted to say that I picked up this book at the library per your recommendation. It is awesome!!! Thank you.
Caroline, thank you for your post yesterday. I found myself abandoning looking at both Facebook and Instagram and reading my blog feed the last few months, mostly because I was tired of seeing what I thought were inauthentic, “too happy” posts and pictures depicting lives that just aren’t reflecting mine right now. Instead of a distraction, those things were making me feel worse. However, I’ve always followed you, and while it certainly made my heart a little heavy to read you are going through something right now, it made me feel less alone.
I’m in the middle of going through a divorce, as well as losing a friend that I had fallen in love with. Losing both of these relationships weighs heavily on me. In the past I would have nurtured myself by buying all of the things, but I’m surprised to find that I don’t want to do that anymore. It’s weird. Instead, I’ve been looking at my cookbooks, cleaning, organizing, and trying to do things for me. I’ve taken up cross-stitch again, a hobby I loved as a young teenager but abandoned for lack of coolness factor (thankfully it’s now hip again, so I can channel my inner grandma). Last weekend, I got a tattoo. It’s something I had been thinking about for a while, and just hadn’t done it because I thought I was too scared to do it. It’s a tiny ampersand — it reflects my love of typography (I judge a font by its ampersand), but it also has meaning. For so many years, I thought I had to be a good wife OR a good mom OR a good friend OR a passionate person. But my journey over the last eight months has taught me I can be all of those things — I can be an AND, not an OR. It’s still scary. And I still cry a lot. And a lot of days, I just sit on my couch and wonder how I got to this place. But the days I force myself to do a little something for me, and still let myself feel the feels… that’s when I feel like things just may be OK.
We can do hard things. Right? (I kinda hate myself for saying that. Ugh.)
Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with things that lift you up. Even if it means saying under the blanket for a little bit.
I so feel you on the Facebook thing. I have felt increasingly alienated as someone who leans conservative. All these elections (and I’m Canadian) have really taken a toll- I see many doing less of it these days. I’m done with reading much news, too. Someone mentioned that it seems to be a very challenging time in terms of world events. Menopause and an extremely gray spring have left me pretty rock bottom and I have no major reasons to feel blue. Except I am and I am going to use a lot of these suggestions: more nature, more exercise, more fun movies, reading, calling friends. Hope your situation gets lighter to deal with. Oh and I do love the pink top ; )
I really enjoy reading your blog. I have no idea what you believe when it comes to god, but I just wanted to step completely out of my comfort zone here and say that a relationship with jesus Christ is the only way that we can have lasting peace and joy in a sinful world. Romans 3:23 in the bible says that, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” this means that we all are in need of a savior. the good news is found in john 3:16, “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ” therefore, we can have forgiveness of sins and eternal life through a relationship with jesus. a relationship with jesus is the only way we can have true meaning, purpose, joy, and peace in this world. I would encourage anyone who reads this message to run to jesus for forgiveness of their sins.
Okay, I’m a lurker(which sounds so creepy) here’s how manage when life is overwhelming and I want to shop my way out of it, like now as I’m getting divorced and packing up everything I own. I have a sort of master list of things I’d like but don’t fall into strict needs. In my case, right now, it is a spring jacket. I also keep a pretty tight leash on my wardrobe color palette. And I’m frugal, which means I look at things from a cost per wear basis. So, i am keeping my eyes open for a blue camo anorak shape jacket that won’t break my budget because it is a little funky (camo) and pretty classic (color and shape) so if I find one I’m getting it and I will wear it until it is practically paying me back but I still get the thrill of the hunt which we are biologically wired to want. Does that make any sense, or am I just a control freak weirdo? Oh and if anyone has a suggestion on where I can find my current obsession I’d be happy to know!
Caroline, I really hope you find a way to make you feel better. And I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing you style your Georgia tee in different ways. I have bought it also and… no. The silk is too raw, it is more cropped than I expected, it simply does not look as beautiful as yours. So I’m really waiting for your ideas to see whether I can make it work. Thanks!
Could you please let us know when the pink top is back in stock? I’ve been dying to try raw silk, and I love the almost-neutral shade of this one (a lot of others are just black, white, etc.). I hesitated when you first posted this shirt, and then it was out of stock in my size & I’ve been stalking it ever since!! And thanks for this great follow-up to yesterday. I really appreciate your positive outlook, even when you’re feeling low. :)
Anna W says
I was so sad I couldn’t spend time hanging out in the comments yesterday…it was just one of those days, ya know? BUT, thank you for your honesty and authenticity in sharing your vulnerabilities. I know I’ve shared this before, but I’ve experienced a ton of life change in the past year (moving, getting married, started working remotely), and it’s been HARD. I knew going in that it wasn’t really going to be easy, but there are days when I feel overwhelmed with dissatisfaction and restlessness.
My big “problem” is that even though my heart craves space and light and order, Hubs and I are living in a tiny one bedroom apartment so we can save up and buy a house next year. I feel like our life is bigger than our current living situation, so despite my love of minimalism, stuff is crammed into cabinets and stored on shelve. Most of “my” things are in storage (it was his apartment originally and I moved in when we got married) in the hopes that one day we’ll have a place of our own where we can really begin building a home together. I know our current situation meets all our basic needs, and on most days I’m able to find contentment in the knowledge that we are safe, happy, loved, and provided for. But then there are days when I let the fear of never leaving this apartment get the best of me. And naming the real problem was is usually the key for me. It’s not really about the lack of space or the fact that I can’t hear my husband because the sounds of the washer and dryer fill the whole apartment…it’s the fear inside of me. Fear that I’ll never have a space to call my own again.
It’s hard to struggle against vague symptoms, but if we can pinpoint the cause of our sadness/worry/dissatisfaction/restlessness we can find healthier ways to deal with it AND the symptoms.
But here’s the flip side of that. Sometimes we just have to live in the discomfort before we can really understand what’s going on. I think that’s what you mean by leaning in and melting in to what you’re feeling. That is SO. HARD. These are the times where I have to share my struggles with people I trust. Especially my husband. There have been times I have actually said to him, “I don’t really understand why yet, but I just need a little extra love and grace right now.”
Here are some other coping mechanisms I try to use when I’m in an emotional rut I don’t understand:
– Buy and arrange cut flowers: you already mentioned the important role that nature has in nurturing us. I can pick up a bundle of blooms for $5 at the grocery store, so it’s cheap, and this is a way I can interact with nature and also feel close to my mom and my roots (no pun intended, I promise).
– Call or text a good friend.
– Watch a movie I’ve seen a hundred times: I have a couple of favorite movies I can nearly recite by heart, and there’s something calming to me about seeing characters who are like my old friends going through the same motions that I’ve seen time and time again.
– Thank God for everything: This one feels hokey at first, but there are times that it is SUPER effective for snapping me out of a rut. I will literally go around the apartment and pick up whatever first comes to my hand. A pen. A skillet. A table. A coffee cup. A book. I’ll thank God for it, the purpose it serves in my life, my ability to use/read/enjoy it, the people who dreamed it up, the people who created it, etc. It simultaneously grounds me, humbles me, and starts me on the path of remembering that my life is made possible by a much larger community and gets me thinking outside of myself.
– If it’s pretty out, go for a drive: Take an hour or two, find a new road, discover a new place.
– Spend time around water: I mostly grew up in a house on a lake, and I find that being near water, especially naturally flowing water, is just inherently calming (not sure how much natural water there is in Abilene, but maybe a pool would work too?)
Take care of yourselves, friends! You are valuable and worth it!
We all get in a funk once in awhile but it will pass. We just want to feel normal again and we tell ourselves that shopping is the answer. That new shirt or pair of sandals is a temporary fix and sometimes makes you feel worse in the end.
Samantha Lee says
Getting outside always makes me feel better. That’s why I always make it a point to get outside during the work day – if I can’t make it out for lunch, I’ll take a walk to get coffee in the afternoon. Hope things are looking up for you. <3
With some stuff going on the shopping bug also hit me hard. I just wanted to say that its okay to not always be happy and positive, and its also okay to slip up once in a while.
If you happen to pick up something you shouldn’t buy, its not the end of the world. Maybe it’s a new style challenge?
How fascinating… right?
Hope you feel better soon
Gen from montreal says
When I feel down and want to shop to lift my spirit, I hit the art supply shop (or even the Dollar store) and buy everything I need for a small project (Paint, brushes, canevas or a mug and some heat resisting paint, etc). Then I express myself, my feelings throught art. Most of the time, it solve the problem or help me zeroed in on it.
Hi Caroline! Love your online space so much. I wanted to share a bit of a different perspective in hopes to encourage you. I am a busy mom of 5 and though I hate the mall, I love to shop at outlets and thrift stores. I often think of shopping as a hobby of mine. I have clothed my family and decorated my home largely with second hand treasures. Shopping does not have to be an escape, but instead we should be able to do it in good faith, enjoying the time and also being content with what we’ve already been given.
I also think that as women we love enjoying and creating beauty. We can express that through our own personal style or how we decorate our homes. I gain much joy from picking up a new treasure: a pretty blouse, a new container to hold fresh flowers, or a new print for my wall. I am not a hoarder, I get rid of things regularly, but love to rotate and have a new look in my wardrobe or my decor.
I don’t want to diminish your desire to shop less and fill a void that will untimely be unsatisfied with ‘things’. But those things if viewed properly are a genuine gift from God and should be used to enjoy the life we’ve been given.
Much affection from PA. :)
Your life always seems so happy. All the traveling you do with your husband, your beautiful home, beautiful clothes and friends who share the love of clothes with you and your super cute dog! What’s got you down? I’m hoping no health problems in your family. Look at all you have and are able to do and see how lucky you are ;c) Sometimes that helps me out of a funk.
This Spotify playlist is really just the best! Even on your “off days”, you are still helping me-and I’m sure others-out by sharing your thoughts and this beautiful playlist. Thank you!
Awh! It’s so edifying to see the support and camaraderie within his little community you’ve created, Caroline! I feel as though I’m hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends, even though I don’t know any of you!
I wrote a post yesterday but never submitted it thinking, there are already so many good tips out there, who needs mine? But then I read Anna’s comment today and it really spoke to me, so I thought, heck, what if the tips I use could help someone out like other people’s help me? So…
I’m Catholic and in one of the retreats I attended we were reminded that each soul goes through periods of desolation and consolation and it is NORMAL, and it will pass (barring some physiological issues, which should be remedied with the help of a professional, and is not something to be ashamed of!!) In these highs and lows, we should always remember to take them with a grain of salt and, since we are intelligent beings, to use our intellect -not our feelings/emotions- to guide our decisions. So when we’re partying, enjoy the party, but not to the point of irresponsibility. When we feel down, remember that it is a phase, a passing of emotions and a strengthening of our soul and intellect. With each time of trial you will emerge more resilient, though it may not even be a noticeable amount. Sometimes God allows these times to be darker for your sake, sometimes for others. I might even posit that your opening up about vulnerable feelings certainly stretched your own “courage-muscle”, while at the same time bringing several readers together, feeling mutually supported by a sense of community they might have despaired existed!
So, thank you for providing the platform, and thank you for personally being a big part of simplifying my own life. Even if your own life might feel upside down right now, you are helping others get theirs right side up, and THAT MEANS SOMETHING. Meanwhile, you and all you lovely readers out there are in my thoughts and prayers!!!
I love your pink tea! I am going to order it and am looking at sizing options, can I ask how tall are you? Love the way it fits you.
Hey Margaux, I’m 5’5″ :)
Hi Caroline, I’d just like to say that I am really impressed with how well you encapsulated the feedback you received yesterday. There was a lot to read, so many great suggestions and heartfelt, shared experiences. You have a gift with synthesizing important information and turning it into meaningful writing. It’s a pleasure to be part of the community you have developed here. Cheers, Ardith
Can I just say thank you to all the readers who have commented? Between your original post, and then the comments yesterday and today….Wow. So much positive, loving energy. I am just so appreciative and a little bit in awe. Your post and the responses have pretty much restored my faith in humanity, which with all the crap going down these days, had hit a low point. Yay for all of you!!!!
This outfit is similar to what I’m wearing most days. Loooove a mom Jean with a good slim leg.
Really hope you get feeling back to yourself. Thanks for sharing your light with me.
i add my voice to the hundreds of others.
we are in this together.
there is enough light and by it we can help one another
see the way.
thank you for opening your heart and for keeping
your blog simple and ad-free.
what a gift you are.
I’m coming out of the woodworks to say thanks. I found your blog last year and I’ve been coming back to it more and more as I continue my journey towards knowing myself. Your blog is such an inspiration, in both its style and its mission. It’s nice to have a place where I can go to see beautiful visuals, but with a down to earth, content voice behind it all reminding me that great style doesn’t have to involve impulsive/emotional shopping (something I struggle with). I can relate to your last post a lot, so now seemed like a good time to comment and share my appreciation and support. Thanks for sharing yourself. I got a lot from it and also from the positive energy found in the comments by everyone. :)
I’m a soon-to-be-mom in Korea. I feel so exhausted today but this post made me to relax and be supportive to myself again! It’s OK to relax, right..? Thank you so much~~!! Always I am enjoying your blog. I began to try my capsule since last year, when i got to know your blog. I am very slow but still trying. I like you don’t make it so heavy but you make it bright..! So inspirational!
Leslie Emanuels says
Thank you for your honesty. I find when I am empty, I go to every well of self love. It is not until I turn towards Jesus that His love saturates me. Even to say His name. To abide in him, he says, makes our joy complete.