The Stylist Chronicles

October 16, 2015


I have made more poor styling choices in my own personal style history than I can fully recount here. There’s just not enough time to tell you about all the horrible things I’ve worn over the years. So many bad jeans, so many bad haircuts. I’ve been all over the map style-wise and I have been blown back and forth by the worst trends like a small ship at sea.

So how does it come to be that I am now helping run this women’s fashion blog and also starting a second career as a wardrobe stylist?

I don’t know honestly. Like all amazing things, it has happened little by little and with the help of some very good friends.

My style has been growing up silently and steadily alongside me, and I feel like it’s finally an adult. It’s old enough to buy cigarettes now. And it’s sorta kinda cool, go figure.

As opposed to my photography career – where I was looking for experience – with my styling, I want chances to communicate my voice.

But it turns out that finding my voice as a stylist is actually the biggest and toughest question I am trying to answer about myself as an artist right now.

Currently, I’m only taking on projects that inspire me and give me the freedom to answer that question.

I love these images from a recent collaboration with my incredible friend and photographer Ashley Kelemen. I love the way Ash sees and translates things through her lens, and I love how Stephanie Lynn brought passion and life into the wardrobe I chose for her. Mad props to Lucy for a killer job on hair and makeup. How epic is that braid you guys?












Alongside creating my first capsule wardrobe , becoming a stylist is pushing me to define my brand, and define it well. It’s tough to learn how to communicate the things I am innately drawn to.

As I look through these images I notice a few things that are helping me draw some conclusions about what my brand is about.

TEXTURE : That coat is everything! I love that the texture is playful, unexpected, and bold. I like textured statements pieces. I’m more drawn to texture than pattern. I get tired of patterns easily, but a good textured coat seems timeless and classic while still being bold and fun.

COLOR: The thing that excites me about the images with the skirt (it’s actually two skirts layered on top of one another!) is the way the tones really harmonize with one another. I love the subtlety of the muted tones and how they seem to complement the movement and draping of the skirt, whether she’s sitting or walking in it, it all flows. It reminds me of the colors of a sunset dancing on the water.

SIMPLICITY: We settled on some bold wardrobe and hair choices, so to balance those out, I chose very minimal accessories. We did some shots with Steph in some pumps with the trousers but I loved the simplicity of her bare feet even more. I also love the simple black tank with the skirt, it feels effortless, and that’s important to me as well. I never want it to feel fussy.

To distill it all down, right now I would say my brand is about :

Simple, polished styles that utilize color, texture and movement to tell the story.

I think part of what excites me about styling is that as I grow in this, I can continue to refine what it is I’m all about. Hopefully this series can challenge me to articulate the things I’m learning, and it can be a help to anyone learning to refine their brand and their voice as an artist.

It feels way more vulnerable for me to expose this process as opposed to my life as a mom – where I’m quick to admit that I’m mainly a hot mess in that arena. So here’s to the adventure, and not having all the answers.



Beauty Is…Not Running Ahead

October 13, 2015


Photos c/o Kat Harris

Marian Jordan.  I mean what can I even say.  We became soul friends earlier this year through my sweet friend Megan Smalley.  We had never met in person, but talked on the phone and shared our hearts + dreams + fears.  I’m pretty sure there were even tears at some point.  Marian runs Redeemed Girl Ministries, and she is out of her mind committed to women knowing their identity and infinite worth that comes from God.  As a single woman I am so inspired by her faithfulness to wait for an honorable man.  Her story challenges and encourages me to keep pursuing God, and the adventures He has for me…and to wait patiently…(that’s hard for me y’all).




I knew he was “the one” the day we met.
Not at first, mind you. Those first few hours we were both a jumble of nerves, like middle school kids at a dance, heads down, feet shuffling.

We’d never met, and with only a handful of emails between us, we were on a very awkward blind date. Visibly nervous, we fumbled through conversation and both privately determined that this was not a love connection. He was shy, and I had walls the size of Texas.

Bless his heart, he had the full day planned: lunch, coffee, a museum, treasure hunting at an antique shop and dinner. By the time we finished coffee, I had texted my best friends to say, “I guess I’m going to enjoy a free dinner, because I’m definitely not marrying this guy.”

What’s funny is once I told myself I didn’t have to marry him, I relaxed and had a good time. I looked at him as a new friend and didn’t think of all the “what ifs” that normally surround a romantic encounter. Plus, putting Justin squarely in the friend zone freed me to be myself.

So I was just me; loud, awkward, eating off his plate, snorting when I laugh. I didn’t try to impress him. I thought, “I’m never going to see this guy again, so I might as well have a good time.” And I did.

As I became more comfortable, he followed suit. His wicked smart sense of humor and huge heart began to emerge.  As we strolled through the museum, he leaned in to explain a painting to me, and I felt a jolt of electricity.

What was that? Definitely not the friend zone!

I was shocked by the chemistry. I’d already written him off, so I wasn’t supposed to feel any sparks. I felt both scared and excited, and I was having a ball.

I should back up and explain the fear. I was jaded. I’d been hurt before. I wasn’t looking for another heartbreak. I’d grown comfortable in my singleness and not ready to put my heart back in a place of vulnerability.

In addition to my fear, there was self-doubt. I’d been waiting for God to bring my husband for so long that I was determined not to settle. But I didn’t trust myself in the love department. Little did I know, but at that moment, “God’s best” was opening my car door.

As the afternoon rolled into the evening, we sat down to dinner at a lovely bistro. One side of me was definitely interested, but the other side was mentally rehearsing all the reasons I should just say goodnight.

Dinner was a game changer. I finally saw him: his huge heart, incredible intellect.   My defenses crumbled as he described his relationship with Jesus and how the Lord had carried him through the darkest days of his life. I was mesmerized. I’d met a lot of guys, but here was a man strong enough to shed a tear when he said, “Jesus.”

I couldn’t eat. He couldn’t eat. We kept staring at each other; then back at our plates. In a span of eight hours, we moved from awkward to a little smitten. I kept looking at him and asking, “Who are you and how did you get here?”


That night I knew he was my husband… (Or at least I wanted him to be.) For the past seven years I had prayed consistently for my husband. The things I prayed were just between Jesus and me. As I began to see those specific qualities in Justin I felt like time stood still. Sitting in that bistro that night, I sensed God smile and say to my heart, “I heard you.”

I saw in Justin the type of character I had prayed for. But I knew I had to hold that open-handed to Jesus and allow time to confirm what I sensed God was revealing to me. As we walked through dating, I did so with a heart surrendered to the will of God and I gathered trusted friends and family to confirm what my heart was telling me.

I also waited on God’s timing. We can latch onto something before God has officially given it to us, and it becomes exceedingly more painful if God says “no.” I’d been through that confusion before, and I knew that waiting on His timing was the best protection for my heart. I didn’t let my heart run ahead and declare something to be true before Jesus declared it so. I knew Justin would not be my husband until we stood at an altar and entered into the covenant of marriage. I needed to guard my heart and not run ahead of the Lord.

I speak these words of caution to any woman who is hoping the guy she’s crushing on is the man she will marry. My advice is simply what worked for me: don’t run ahead of Jesus. Stay in constant prayer. Ask for wisdom and wait. If this guy is going to be your husband, God will make it clear and the guy will lead the relationship. Neither he nor Jesus need your help.

I still feel giddy as I think back to our first date. It makes me smile at the faithfulness of God. I’m thankful for all the years of singleness, and that I didn’t settle when it seemed like all the good guys were gone. Friends, trust God (easier said than done right?). Seek Him. Keep praying.



Marian Jordan

real talk | real moms | travel baby

October 8, 2015

travel baby | real talk

Finally, here’s a topic I officially feel like an expert on.


Me, the mom that signed her baby up for a US passport the week after she was born…because OF COURSE I’d still be shooting that Destination Wedding 10 weeks after my due date! They sleep all the time! You only live once! Travel baby!

I swear I wasn’t *so* naive. I knew it would be hard. But you just cannot know exactly HOW HARD. I didn’t know I’d be pumping every two hours in the middle of the night in Bali just trying to get enough breastmilk for that 10 hour wedding day. I didn’t realize just how long it would even take me to pump. I didn’t see myself jiggling that screaming newborn in that Japanese department store endlessly, trying to get her to just

But you know what, it’s ok. It may have been foolish. But I look back on that trip as our parenting trial by fire. If we could survive this, we could survive ANYTHING (we hadn’t started to cry – it – out yet).

We actually took her on her first flight at 6 weeks. Honestly the flights, in the beginning, are the easiest parts. And even the sleep isn’t that bad. For me, traveling in the beginning was hardest because of how long it would take to breastfeed her. I just felt like we couldn’t do or see much of anything before she needed to eat again. And with your first, it takes some time to do all of it on the go. The best thing in Tokyo were the nursing rooms in every department store. It was a welcome respite to go into a cool, quiet place to nurse. In Bali, there were no such thing. And I had to become comfortable with my breasts real fast. Which wasn’t necessarily so bad. Next baby, you can bet I won’t be wasting any time with private rooms.

Fast forward to today, and my daughter is 18 months. Almost 2. I’ve traveled a lot with her, by myself, with my husband, with girlfriends, on the road, on a plane, for work, with family, and everything in between. What I can say, with my limited experience, is that traveling will bring out the best in you and the worst in you. That’s true whether you have a child or not. With your child on board, everything is intensified – every layover – every hour on the road – every inconvenience. You have to be more flexible than you can imagine.

Also, before your baby is 2 years old, every day, every week, every month, is different. You can NEVER predict how your child will behave on a trip or while traveling. At least, I think that’s true. I happen to have a very spirited one, so maybe it’s more true for me than for more mellow babes. But I still think that you never totally know when they are going to get sick, start teething, decide to start crawling, etc. And you don’t always know how they will be in a new environment.

But if there’s anything I want to leave you with, it’s this :

It’s WORTH it.

Every trial makes us stronger. Every experience enriches us. And as a parent, you cannot protect yourself from those trials (See also : baby jet lag.) So you may as well embrace them. Face them head first.

Just because you have a kid doesn’t mean you have to stay home for the next 18 years. Sure, there are some years it will be especially challenging (HELLO TODDLER TOWN!) but you just have to get creative, and prepare thyself.

I’ll leave you with a few practical, off the top of my head travel tips :

  1. Sleep train them! And get a lightweight travel crib. These two things are pretty much the key to traveling with ease.
  2. Wear them through the airport in a carrier or sling or wrap thing – you don’t have to take them out through security! And bonus, hands-free to chug a Starbucks iced coffee right before you board.
  3.  Stay in ONE place. Have a home base, and take short trips from there. The hardest part of traveling with a kid is all their junk, and moving that from place to place. Having a solid home base eliminates the amount of schlepping you will have to do. Plus if you stick it out at least 2 nights they will be sleeping like champs in that new place for however long you are there.
  4. Be realistic about how much you can get done in one day. Plan for one awesome excursion and have some time to hang at your home base for a bit after that.
  5. Be flexible with naps. They just might take crappy car/stroller naps the whole trip, and then you’ll just deal with the fallout when you get home. It’s all part of the adventure.
  6. Remember that babies are tiny mental patients. Repeat JBBB to yourself and your spouse as often as needed.

I would love to hear your tips and tricks for traveling with babies in our comments! Hit me mamas!



This post is in Collaboration with some other RAD MOMS! Read their posts on Traveling with Tots Below :

Jen Pinkston | Hilary Walker | Rebecca Gallop | Caitlin Flemming | Alex Evjen | Samantha Wennerstrom  | Sarah Sherman Samuel | Amy Anderson | Erin Hiemstra

Kat’s Capsule Wardrobe | a.k.a Struggle Fest Time

October 6, 2015


Planning my first Capsule Wardrobe a.k.a. me having a full on meltdown.

Do you ever think you’re one way, and then when push comes to shove you realize you’re not where you thought you were?

When Emily told me about the Capsule Wardrobe; it seemed like a no-brainer that I join along.  Not just because I want to do everything Em does (which I totally do).  But because I live in a tiny Brooklyn apartment, and have gotten rid of so many clothes since moving here, and I have a pretty limited clothing budget that I feel like I already am living a ‘Capsule’ lifestyle.  Em mentioned she’d been planning hers out for the last few months, and thought maybe I wouldn’t have time to do it so soon.

Pshhh…of course I did.

This will be easy.  Why did Em think it was such a big deal?

Well, I printed out my Capsule worksheet, and got to work.  My first ‘push comes to shove’ moment was when I went through my closet to get rid of clothes I didn’t wear and or didn’t fit within my lifestyle.  Feeling pretty confident in myself that I am not really attached to material things I started the purge.  Well, two hours and many tears later and a FaceTime pep-talk from Em I realized I was totally attached to my clothes.  Even ones I hadn’t worn in years.  It felt wasteful to get rid of them.  But the biggest struggle was regret.  Remembering how much I paid for something that I only wore a few times and now was collecting dust in my closet.

I was frustrated with myself for having neon yellow pencil skirts and unflattering sweater dresses that I paid full price for that I rarely if ever wore.

On top of that there were so many things that just didn’t make since with my lifestyle.  The reality is that I work from home and practice a lot of yoga.  There are many days where I’m in yoga clothes, no make-up with my hair in a bun.  My life is either really casual or I’m getting completely done up for a night out or a sharp right turn for a client meeting.  The only other consistent thing I found in my wardrobe besides lululemon pants was oversized men’s button ups.

By this time I was in full on meltdown mode:

I don’t have any style.

I dress like a boy.

And my closet is full of things I paid a lot of money for that I never wear.

Thankfully my friend Lindsey was with me and Emily chimed in via FaceTime.   Both said I had to let go and give grace to myself.  We all have things in our closets we wish we’d wear more, or are bummed when we remember how much we paid for them.  I felt like that was my entire closet.  Encouraged to let go, and learn from my past purchases I piled two huge bags into a cab and headed to Buffalo Exchange to sell my clothes.

I had a slight inner panic attack as I was handing my clothes over to the sales clerk and they bought my clothes for pennies of what I paid for them.

But then when I left the store I felt lighter.  Physically because I wasn’t carrying those heavy clothes anymore, but also on the inside.  I knew I’d be going home to a near empty closet, but  I could go through what I had, figure out what I needed based on who I am, how I live, and my lifestyle and learn from all the purchases that didn’t make sense and move on.

I wanted to do it all in one day, and buy all the new things, and take the pictures, etc.  But for me it’s been a process of almost a month now.  With a list of investment pieces for the season I don’t feel tempted to go into stores haphazardly an impulse buy.  I know what I want, have made a budget, and am patiently getting things as I truly need them.

So far I’ve only bought four things:  two skirts, a pair of trousers, and a cardigan.  I need a pair of black flats (I literally own zero pairs of flats), and then I should mostly be set for the fall.

I share all this with you because yes I run a women’s lifestyle and fashion blog.  BUT this stuff does not come easy for me.  It’s not second nature for me to put outfits together, and I don’t really like shopping.  I’d much rather be outside playing.  I’m viewing this as a journey.  A works in progress, and an opportunity to get to know myself better style wise in the sense of dressing in a way that reflects who I really am as opposed to who I think I should be.

With so many other things I’m learning in my life right now this is just another thing that is teaching me to be present, patient with myself, and let go.  I’m grateful that I had a melt down.  Had I not I would not have realized how frustrated I was with my style, and how attached I had become to things.  Things in the end are just things.  They’ll all end up in a trash dump at some point.  And I want to remember that, and keep my focus on things that truly matter to me.

I’d love to know your thoughts and if you have any questions please let me know!  For now here is my first outfit:  boyfriend jeans, flowy peplum top + leopard heels.  I think I’ve worn this to at least a dozen meetings, and it’s an outfit I don’t even think twice about.  I know it’ll look cute on me, and I feel pretty in it.  Check and check!



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Shop the look:

Become Excellent at the Revealed Things

September 30, 2015

Become excellent at the revealed things. –Ben Stuart

When I have time I’m going to lead a weekly small group of women and talk about about God, our dreams, and pray about things that really matter in our lives.


When I have more money, I’m going to be generous.  I’m going to give my money away to people in need, and I’m going to help sponsor kids in third world countries.


When my photography season slows down I’m going to sit down and write that book I’ve been talking about all year.


When I’m married I’m going to be such an incredible and attentive wife.  We’re going to do big things, serve others together, and invest into the lives of the next generation.


Do you notice anything in common with all of these statements that have out loud come out of my mouth this last year (multiple times)?

They all focus on the lack of something.  The lack of time, finances, a partner.  The allusive ‘one day when…’ then will I do great things, things that matter.  Isn’t it so easy to talk about the things we’ll do one day when?  I’m an expert at it.

One of my close friends and I have a 30 minute phone call every Monday morning at 8:30a.m.  We go over our business goals  for the week, things we want to pray about, and recount the previous week:   goals, what we accomplished, prayers answered, things that still need getting done.

This Monday morning we were both exhausted.  I was sitting upright in my bed, my knees in my chest, balancing the phone on my shoulder, and writing down notes as Lindsey talked about her past week.  She was telling me about a speaker she heard on a panel last Friday, and he said, “become excellent at the revealed things’.  She moved on and we talked about other things.  But something struck me about it, and I furiously wrote down the quote with a star next to it.

Over the last few days I just can’t get the concept out of my head:  become excellent at the revealed things.  I think there’s an invitation in this for me, and for us.

His whole point was that we’re so focused on the areas of lack in our lives.  The unanswered prayers, the circumstances in our lives that aren’t as we hoped they would be.  And those things are very real.  And unmet desires and longings and provisions are hard things.

But when we pause.  Step back, and take an aerial view our lives, there are so many revealed things that we are ignoring because so much attention is going to the unrevealed.  The places we’re still hoping for.

To make it personal, I can get so focused on the fact that I’m single when I desire so much to be a wife and a mother.  This desire of mine is such a good one.  It’s beautiful, and pure, and I pray for that man to be brought into my life.

But I want to live a life that holds the tension of the now, and the not yet.  It’s ok to hope and pray boldly for things I long for.  I believe I pray to a God who hears, listens, and responds (even when He responds in ways I don’t like).

My life is in full swing.  We’re mid story here folks.  The reality is there are things that I can do and be now as a single woman that simply are not feasible when there’s someone else in the picture.  Now is the time for me to chase my big career dreams, to travel and take last minute trips and be adventurous and spontaneous.  Now is the time when I don’t have kids and have free time that I can volunteer at my church or for a non profit.  If I want to be a generous married person, then I get to practice being a generous person today.  A ring on my finger doesn’t magically give me good spending habits.  I’ve always wanted to mentor young people with my husband one day.  Have people in our home, do life with them.  If that’s what I want then, then that’s what I get to practice now.

Life won’t slow down.  Ever.  For anyone.  So I get to create space now to write my book, lead small groups,  be generous, write articles that share my heart.  If I don’t then my life will turn into one big ‘one day when’, and then I’ll get to the end of it not having done or been anything.

I may or may not get married.

I may or not be a millionaire that can fund education for kids all over the world.

I may or not be write a best selling book.

But I am here.  And it is now, and I believe there have been a lot of beautiful things already revealed to me (and to you too).

And even if it’s just little steps each day, I want to be faithful to the things and to the people that God has already put in my path.

I want to become excellent at the revealed things, and hope and pray and believe for the unrevealed.


OUTFIT : Em’s Capsule #1 | Endless Summer

September 28, 2015

Whoa whoa whoa,” you say ” …a skirt and a tank top? Em, this is a FALL capsule! Where’s the cable knits?!”

Well friend, California isn’t cooperating and I can’t either. The only way I’m dealing is in a short skirt and a silk tank. You could easily start to layer up this easy outfit though with a sweater or a chambray and boots. Until then, this is what you’ll find me in.

the refined woman / fall capsule wardrobe

capsule wardrobe

the refined woman / capsule wardrobe

the refined woman / fall capsule wardrobe

the refined woman / fall capsule wardrobe

the slip cami  / marbled skirt / heels (old banana republic) / satchel (thrifted dooney + bourke) / bracelets c/o the shine project

hair + makeup melissa hoffmann / photos ashley kelemen



Beauty Is…S E X Y

September 22, 2015

Photos c/o Tutti del Monte.  See full post HERE.

If you’ve followed me for more than a day on social media you know that I adore my bestie Tutti del Monte.  We’re those annoying best friends.  You know the ones with our own voices, inside jokes, and constant giggling in corners mixed in with talking for hours about our hearts and dreams.  And of course tears are involved.  She said it best on her blog last week, “at the risk of sounding like a lunatic, we met for the first time a year ago but our souls had known each other for long before then. There, I said it! Ever since that day, Kat and I have been inseparable’.  And that’s true.

Tutti is a dreamer, a doer, a giver, has a smile that lights up New York City, and she is 100% woman. Having her in my life has really impacted me in so many ways.  One of those ways is that she continually inspires me to embrace my femininity whole heartedly.  She is a Boudoir photographer, and one of the things she is most passionate about is spreading a message of love, acceptance and strength to women.  She recently started a series called ‘Living Sexy’, where she interviews and photographs women and asks them what living a sexy life is about to them.

Last week she featured me, which was such an incredible experience.  As a photographer it’s a whole other experience to be in front of the camera.  Not to mention having photos taken of you where you are embracing your sexy side.  When I saw these pictures I couldn’t believe this sexy woman was me!  A lot of people think boudoirs or sexy photos are for their partners, but I’m so grateful to have these images of me as a 30 year old woman embracing my femininity and my sexiness.

Up until the past few years I didn’t consider myself sexy.

I hardly considered myself pretty.

Riddled with insecurity about my figure in college and in my early 20s I got really good at hiding my body.  On top of that coming from a fairly conservative Christian background it seemed like sexuality and being sexy was bad (unless you were married of course).

So I was insecure, didn’t think I was pretty, and then started my own business in what I thought to be a very male dominated industry.  It felt like in order to be successful I had to join in the locker room talk in the photographer’s pit.  And even if I didn’t; it felt so dog eat dog that I thought I had to be harsh if I wanted to be succeed.  I even became annoyed at times that I was a woman.

The conversations running through my head were

  • If I could just lose 15 pounds then I’d have a boyfriend.
  • If I was a man I’d be booking more clients.
  • I feel invisible to men when I walk into a room.
  • I’m annoyed that I am a woman in a man’s world.

Just to say it…I realize now all of these conversations are from a victim standpoint, and are completely untrue.

Here’s what happened.

In my 20s I did a lot of soul work; it wasn’t easy and it definitely got messy.  And it’s not over.  I think we never get to a place where we have arrived.  There’s always room for growth, there’s always more healing to be had.

And as women I think we have these questions that we bring to world, and a lot of times to men:

  • Am I beautiful?
  • Am I sexy?
  • Am I valuable?
  • Do you want me?
  • Am I worthy?

For a long time I wanted a man to answer those questions for me, and what I realize is that I was setting up every guy I dated for failure.  Because no man was created to answer my questions.

And the reality is that my questions have already been answered.

I am enough.


Right now.

Not some past version of me, or some future more polished version of myself.

The Scriptures open up with these verses that talk about God creating the universe and all that’s in it.  And he says all of it is good.  Then he talks about the creation of man and woman.  And He says that we are imago dei.  We are made in His image with His likeness.  With joy he says again this is good.  Man and Woman are good.  Not just man, or not just woman.  Not just his muscles, or her career aspirations.  All of what makes up man and woman He says is good.
So internally I am grounded in imago dei.  All parts of me in Him are good.  This includes my womanhood, my femininity, and yes even my sexuality.  We want to have things in tidy boxes, but our lives are fluid, and each part of us flows into the other.

Whenever we compartmentalize our lives, we shut down parts of our being.  Giving myself permission to finally and fully be the person I was created to be?  Well it’s been one of the most freeing experiences of my life.

And what I’ve experienced is free people free people.  Freedom sets a spark, not only in the life of the liberated but in the lives of those around her.

I see now that it’s actually a gift to be a woman photographer because when I photograph woman to woman there’s this special bond.  This trust we have with each other.  Because I am a woman I get to evoke something altogether different out of my subjects. What a gift.

And what a gift that I am a woman.

To me now sexiness has nothing to do with my relationship status.  Living sexy is loving myself from the inside out and embracing every aspect of who I am, and who I was created to be.



fall capsule wardrobe : 42 pieces

September 18, 2015


One thing that really helped me refine the amount of clothes in my capsule and also something that helped me realize when I had just enough was when I started making outfits and making plans on what occasions I wear those outfits. I had to get specific. Just because that one shirt is amazing, if I don’t have something to wear it with, it’s not going to work.

The best strategy was finding a few outfit recipes that work for me, and then making sure I had a few tops in each category.

flowy top  + high waisted or harem pants

fall capsule wardrobe

oversized top + skinny jeans 


silk tops + skirts


After that it helped me narrow things down. Here are the pieces in my fall capsule collection. Note that I did not include shoes. If you’re looking to create a fall capsule it’s not too late! Here’s a recap on why I did it and if you’re interested check out my friend Caroline’s blog for amazing practical advice on building your own capsule wardrobe!


silk button-up tank black | silk button-up tank slate |  silk camisole | strappy silk tank white 

striped tee (vintage) | short sleeve white button up | short sleeve chambray | v-neck tee mint | v-neck tee blackoversized cotton tunic

flowy linen button-up | structured linen button up navy | light wash long sleeve chambray |


black harem pants | olive cotton chinos | black ripped skinny jeans | dark denim skinny jeans | boyfriend jeans (c/o fitcode) | hi-waisted vintage levis (thrifted)| vintage inspired flares


ripped up levis | hi-waisted levis (thrifted) | black linen shorts (similar)


lilac pleated midi (old)| marbled mini | white drawstring skirt (old)


v-neck lightweight knit | black cardigan (old) | chunky grey knit cardigan | vintage cropped sweater


silk maxi dress (old) | grey button up shift dress (thrifted) | jersey drape dress | jersey fit and flare dress (old) | white cotton shirt dress | olive green shift dress (old) | printed silk maxi dress


printed ace and jig jumpsuit


navy blazer | fluffy coat (old) | swing trench | black leather jacket (similar)


Check back weekly to see the outfits in action!



Hair + Makeup provided by Melissa Hoffmann | Photos by Ashley Kelemen

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Fitness | Inversions

September 16, 2015


Check out our Yoga Series on Darling Magazine y’all!

We sit at desks all day typing with one hand, texting with the other, earbuds in either listening to music or talking on the phone.  From all angles we have gadgets, social media, tasks, and people vying for our attention.  Our goal is that we would find balance in the chaos, and stay grounded in the midst of hectic lives.  We’re best friends, photographers, and yogis in New York City, and we’ve found that yoga and friendship has helped us do just that:  stay balanced (and have fun while doing so).

This week we’re going to work our way into headstand.  There are so many benefits to getting upside down for a few minutes every day.  Headstands, and any inversion, improve blood circulation, strengthen your core muscles, improve your balance.   Since there’s an increased blood flow you can get a burst of energy.  So if it’s mid afternoon and you’re getting ready for a nap, try an inversion.  They also calm the nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.  This gives us a sense of balance and serenity. Not to mention they’re really fun too.

A few things before we start:

  • Go ahead and warm up your body with our 15 minute stress relief flow.  (Never do inversions on a cold body).
  • During Headstand practice, don’t forget to breathe evenly and smoothly, making your inhales as long as your exhales and vice versa. Also, engage your feet and legs as if standing in Mountain Pose.
  • If using a friend, have him/ her stabilize your hips as you tuck your legs into your chest and then prevent you from falling by holding on to your ankles. As you become more comfortable with Headstands, your friend can remove his/her hands and instead act like a two-sided wall by having both forearms on either side of your legs in case you lose balance in either direction.
  • As with all props and variations, you should use them for stability and good form but never to completely replace those very exact key elements that you must feel on your own. Always keep your core active and trust that every tiny bit of progress is indeed a sign of that!

Let’s get started!


Form a triangle shape with your head and hands by placing your hands shoulder-width apart and the crown of your head a few inches in front of them.

1. Curl your toes under, lift your knees off the mat and walk your feet toward your shoulders, stacking hips over shoulders for dolphin pose. Stay for 7 breaths.  Make sure you’re not dumping your weight into your shoulders.  Shoulders should be down your back.  Activate your forearms as though you were pressing the mat away from you.  This is a full body workout y’all.  Your triceps, core, and legs are engaged too.

Even though this is Step 1, this is already a Headstand! Always be mindful of your body and move forward only if you have a solid base and are using a wall or friend for stability.

2. Bend one knee into your torso and engage your core, either keeping it lifted or placing it on your tricep for more stability.


When you’re ready, lift the other leg off the mat and hold this tucked egg position for 10 breaths – either with knees on or off the triceps. Distribute the weight evenly throughout your hands and head by pressing hands down moving shoulders away from ears.

**The thing about yoga is it’s all about layers.  There are so many options.  If you need to stay in dolphin, stay in dolphin.  If you are having a hard time holding your egg shape for 10 breaths, then it’s not quite time to move onto the next step.  Remember, honor where you body is at today, and let go of the attachment to how you want it to look.  Chances are when we’re doing this on the mat, we’re doing it in our lives too.  How many times in life do we get so stuck on the outcome that we forget to enjoy the journey?  There are lessons to learn at each stage.  It’s not about finally arriving to the end goal.  The journey is the destination**

3. With complete control, begin extending one leg up* and keep the other leg tucked in to start getting a feel for the full expression of the pose. To prevent losing balance, keep the extended leg aligned with your hips and shoulders. Stay for 15 breaths and slowly return the extended leg to your tricep before moving on.

* If you feel confident and ready to try a more challenging option, instead of extending one leg at a time, lift both legs simultaneously off your triceps and extend them toward the sky. Stay for 15 breaths.

4. Use your core to slowly lower your feet to the mat, and sit back into Child’s Pose.

Options for Headstand practice:

1. Bound Headstand.  Rather than creating a triangle with your hands and head, create a cup for the back of your head by interlacing fingers and placing the crown of your head directly in front of them. Follow steps 2-4 with this option, remembering to press forearms  down to the mat to feel a lifting sensation from your shoulders and remove direct pressure from your head.


2. Wide-leg forward fold into headstand: another option is to practice Headstand starting from a standing posture. With legs extended the length of your mat and upper body weighing down toward the floor, feel the heaviness of gravity before moving forward. This pose is wonderful as preparation for Headstands because it not only lengthens your hamstrings but it also sets a peaceful mood for your full inversion.

After breathing for 10 breaths, begin to bring more weight to the balls of your feet so you can lift your heels from the mat. Once your hips are stacked above your shoulders, it should feel almost effortless to lift your legs completely off the mat and come into a wide straddle. Stay for 10 breaths.

You can stay here or begin engaging your inner thighs toward each other until you’re in a full Headstand. Stay for 15 breaths before slowly moving through the steps in reverse.

To come down, engage core.  Either wide leg option like how you entered, egg, or pike down.  Whatever will serve you most today!

What’d you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any questions whatsoever, leave a comment or email us:

Until next time…


Tutti + Kat

NOTE:  Headstands shouldn’t be practiced by anyone with high blood pressure, neck injuries, some heart conditions, epilepsy and other contraindications prior to an assessment by a doctor. Women should also avoid any inversion during their monthly cycle as it’s a time to let nature move downward rather than opposite gravity.

Photos by:  Sara Kerens

real talk | feeding

September 11, 2015

The boss mom collective is back again with another real talk! This time : feeding! If you missed my post on Sleep, you can catch up here. I’ll wait.

real talk | real moms | feeding

can you tell she loved banana the first time she tried it?!



So, you want to feed your baby. I don’t think I’m off base in thinking you want to nurse your baby until they are at least 1. That’s what all my mom friends want, and plenty of them accomplish it. Lots of them do not.

I’m going to sound like a real broken record here, but babies are crazy, and I don’t know anything but my own story. If I could give you just ONE piece of advice, it would be to take every other mom’s advice with a grain of salt. Okay a HEAP of salt. A mountain of salt. Even if that mom nursed 5 babies into the world and was a champ at it. That’s still just 5 babies out of like 6 billion babies. She doesn’t know your baby, and she doesn’t know your body. It’s your body, your choice.

Wait, I’m supposed to be telling my story. Sorry.

Charlie came 10 days early. Every woman who is 38 weeks pregnant wants their baby to come early. But the thing is, their ability to suck and feed develops quite late, and so an early baby can pose problems with nursing. Charlie was so sleepy and her suck was so weak that for weeks it would take forever to get her to finish nursing. And she’d fall asleep in the middle. This meant I was nursing ALL the time. Every hour. And she wasn’t getting all the milk out, so I’d have little lumps from where milk was getting clogged.

The best thing I did during that time was see a lactation consultant multiple times. Every mom and baby needs it, because here’s what I didn’t realize, you both have to learn how to do this thing! It doesn’t just happen easily for everyone. The second best thing I did was find a good resource and support for breastfeeding – basically all you need is THIS website, and maybe a breastfeeding support group (isn’t it cool that there is such a thing?) And lastly, what I didn’t do, but what I wish I had, was cut myself some slack.

I had it in my head that if I gave my baby one drop of formula I was a failure. And so I pumped when I had to work or had weddings or I just had to go get my nails done. But the thing is, pumping for me took a long time. It would take me an hour just to get a few ounces. And I put in hours a day for months and months. I could have saved so much sanity if I had just supplemented a little with formula. Instead I was a slave to that breast pump. She’d go down for her morning nap and I’d pump for an hour. She’d go to bed at 6 and I’d pump at 8 or 9 for an hour. Some women can pump in 10 minutes, and I used to think, what’s wrong with my boobs?! But you know what, mine are just made differently. But instead of accepting it, I kept going.

Next time, I will have some grace for myself. I will let modern medicine help me from losing my mind over something that doesn’t truly matter in the long run.

And so what if you’re pumping but your baby doesn’t want to get back on the boob? I know this happened to a few of my friends and they agonized over supplementing with formula. Or with a bottle. But truly, you have to find something that makes you both happy. If you can’t breastfeed, it doesn’t make you any less of a mom. I’m just grateful that we live in a world where there are resources for all of this.

I weaned Charlie around 11 months, and I can honestly say I miss it a lot. I never thought I would feel that way. Getting the hang of nursing through the first three months was torture. I would end up in tears, a sweaty mess. And I was cursing the fact that it took my baby 45 minutes to get a full feed.

But now, I miss those moments when she would be in my arms, still. She’s running at the speed of light, and she only wants to eat bread products no matter how much green stuff I throw at her.

Every phase has it’s challenges though, and every phase has it’s blessings. I’m learning that you have to learn to appreciate what’s coming at you in each season – take the good with the bad – but hopefully you cut yourself some slack, mama. You’re doing a good job no matter how you’re choosing to feed your baby.

If you want more real talk from real moms this post is in collaboration with some of my favorite blogger moms eva.

Read more from  Amy, Erin, Alex, Hilary, Caitlin,Sarah, Rebecca +  Sam !



If you want more Mom stuff, you might like these :

Check out My Birth Story Here

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3