Bringin Homemade To The Yard.

Happy November, my lovelies!  This is the third and final fashion feature that is the result of a last minute photo shoot with Kel-Z Photography.  Kelsey is a local photographer from Ogden and we had a great time capturing some of my favorite outfits for themed posts that also bring out my random fashionista side!  I hope you've enjoyed my posts on Mandatory Metallica 
I've had an INSANELY busy week in day job world and my brain is pretty much shot.  Part of the reason I decided to do an entire month of fashion features is because I knew this would happen the minute November 1 hit.  Tis the season for back-to-back events and weather changes (sickies creeping in) and lots of adventures here in the 'hood.  Fashion features are easy peasy pie for me to come up with because that's how my brain functions so it's been more of a reward to me than a chore.  Selfish, much?  Not really.  This outfit is probably in my Top 5 Favorites.  It's comfortable, classy and different....oh and HANDMADE!  Yep, you read that right.  Not by me, but by an incredible designer from Pennsylvania named Sarah Clemens.  She designs each of the pieces herself and then sews in the wee hours of the night after her sweet babes have gone to sleep.  She is also a home school mamma.  Pretty incredible lady.  I found her randomly through Etsy and I fell in love with her work.  The link to her Etsy shop can be found here
I love this picture.  It definitely gives you all a good solid idea of the genetics I was blessed with in the calves department.  And I'm not ashamed to bring your attention to it.  It's not going to change and I have learned to dress with it.  Aren't the tights to.die.for?  Shopko, baby!  ON SALE (bonus round)  And the shoes are a thrifting find that are a staple.   
The necklace.  Here's the sentimental part of my post.  You know, right in the middle so I FORCE you to read it.  This necklace was purchased at a boutique here in Ogden called Ume Boutique.  It is also handmade by an artist in Ogden and I wear it with EVERYTHING.  But, here's the best part...what it says on it.  The words are:
It doesn't get much more applicable to my life than those five statements.  I've been so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for the people in my life that I have met since I changed careers.  As you might recall life was HELL ON EARTH and I really had no idea what was going to happen next.  If I knew that this big change would include knowing some of the most loving, selfless, intelligent humans I've ever known, I would have not believed it.  But, it is true.  I want to tell each of these people how much I love them every damn day!  Seriously!?  YES!  Seriously!  I spent a lot of my career having people tell me to smile more and to live in the moment.  I am happy to report that I really do live for today, keep my promises, say "I love you" to all who I really feel it for, am infinitely grateful and I have lots of reasons to smile.  And so we move on to the next photo....
Happiness and peace.  No color needed.  That is all. 
In each of the outfit locations we shot a photo of my shoes.  I included that on last week's post, but not the Mandatory Metallica post.  This week's shoe photo was a last minute thought and I'm so glad we took it.  Earlier in the spring, I wrote about how much I LOVE trains and Union Station.  This photo is going to be framed in my house and included on the Ogden Wall because it encompasses so much of what I love and why I'm so happy to call the 'hood my home. 

I love love love this shot!  I also found some interesting history about this structure.  Taken from Wikipedia, "The passenger shelter along tracks 1 and 2 is the only remaining canopy of a series of five. The other four canopies were demolished in April 1969. It was built in 1928 to Southern Pacific plans and is similar to canopies at the Sacramento Station in California, and is 23 feet wide. During the peak of passenger train travel in 1927, a tunnel was built under the eleven tracks with stairways to the surface at each platform. Called the passenger subway, this tunnel allowed pedestrians to access all eleven tracks from the Grand Lobby, bypassing those tracks that were occupied by trains."

Next week's blog post is my review of my crazy friend, Sarah's (aka Ethel) book "Becoming Beauty."  It only seems appropriate that I share one of my favorite quotes from the book because it applies to this post too.  The book is a re-telling of "Beauty and The Beast" and the quote is, "When roses bloom, they reveal their beauty petal by petal."  Such is life, my lovelies.  We are ALL a work in progress!  And some days we may feel a little wilty or prickly, but we are still roses.  Gorgeous in every way and revealing our beauty in our own special way. 
The moral of the story: Keep on living, keep on loving and have gratitude for your MANY blessings.  Cuz they are all around you. Yes, yes they are. 
Until next time, my lovelies. 


  1. I love this post, Raylynn. Great shots and a great message. With all the craziness in this world, it's so important to stop and be thankful for the blessings we have. --Mary Rowen

    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I totally agree! There is so much to be thankful for in our lives! xo