Currently: 1st Edition

For anyone who's ever been a fan of Skunkboy Blog, you've probably seen her "Currently" posts where she talks about what's been going on in her life lately. Since I've been pretty absent from the blogging world for the past month or so, I figured I'd take my cues from her and update you all with what's been happening. So, here goes.

*Listening: About a month or so ago I FINALLY fulfilled like my ten year dream of seeing Death Cab for Cutie live. They were (of course) brilliant, and Ben Gibbard has this really adorable little bop-bop-back-and-forth sway that he does when he plays. They closed with an encore of Transatlanticism (I died), and ever since then I've had their latest album Kintsugi on pretty much nonstop. They are without fail, my go-to band for whenever I don't know what to listen to. I never cease to be amazed by their ability to capture all the feels so poetically and perfectly.DSC_5093.jpg
*Watching: I've been trying to cut down on time wasted in front of the TV, but I did go through a recent phase where I was pretty much watching Chopped nonstop. When Daniel and I first got married we had cable, and we would watch marathons for days on end. Then when we moved to Phoenix we ditched cable, and got Netflix instead. That being said, I discovered that one season of Chopped was on Netflix, and plowed through that in a matter of days. Cmon Netflix, give us all the seasons of Chopped!
*Wearing: Umm, nothing new, that's for sure. Given the current job circumstances, I've had to put all fun purchases on hold. Blah! It's certainly been testing my ability to get creative with the wardrobe that I already have, that's for sure!

*Traveling: Again, there aren't any spare nickels and dimes for us to use for any traveling right now...however, luckily enough, we did get to take a weekend trip to LA last weekend for a photo shoot that Daniel had. It couldn't have come at a better time, as I've ***desperately*** been needing to get away, and there's no place like the ocean for me. Unfortunately it was freakishly cold, and our AirBnb was a bizarre experience to say the least, but it was still a great trip filled with lots of eating and laughing. And those trips are always the best, right?DSC_5132.jpg
*Instagramming: Umm, nothing, really. I've been pretty sick of Instagram / social media in general lately, with how fake everyone presents themselves. Cool, your life is made up of expensive clothes and donuts? Well, mine isn't. It can be tough to not play the comparison game via social media, ESPECIALLY when you're feeling down and out - which is one of the reasons I've been so absent from the blog world too. Although, I did have a semi-viral post of our bedroom, so I guess that was kind of exciting. Other than that though, Instagram has been kind of off limits for me. Because life is just too short to wish that you were like every other blogger with too many clothes and too much free time.DSC_5101.jpg
*Planning: Well, life, I guess. Being on the job hunt and our lease ending relatively soon has got Daniel and I mulling over the idea of moving again. When it comes to decisions like this, I still feel awkward and uncomfortable in my adult skin, and wish that I had someone to tell me what to do. It's hard to not let decisions like this be completely ruled by finances, and finding a happy medium but still coming to a decision on making a big change like moving has proven to be really tough.

*Reading: With my recent amount of free time, I plowed through this book called "The Storyteller" that Daniel bought me almost a year ago (and I never had the time to read before). It's written by Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors (and only one that I really know), who also wrote My Sister's Keeper. She is an incredible writer - and all I can say is, this is book had me crying on more than one occasion. I'm planning on flexing my library card muscles in the near future to check out some of the other books she's written as well.

*ANDDDD last but not least, VOTING? 

Okay, shameless husband plug for a second. Daniel is currently entered in a short film competition called "My Rode Reel," and voting runs until July 3rd. We're currently in fifth place - and if you all could vote that would mean so much to me!! You can vote every day - so please share it with your friends and family and ask them to vote as well! CLICK HERE TO VOTE. 

You guys are the best! Leave a comment and let me know how you're doing "currently" as well; I'd love to hear. Also, if you actually made it this far, you probably deserve a trophy.

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

8 Rules to Live (But Mostly Shop) By


Ever since I started this blog I feel like I've been undergoing a style transformation. Anyone else?

Allow me to explain. I would tend to say that in most cases, usually reading blogs and writing one tend to go hand in hand. That being said, in this past year or so, I've been exposed to a lot of different "style viewpoints" from various bloggers. And while I've always been a "buy whatever the hell I like" kinda gal, since starting this blog I've felt a lot of pressure to pinpoint "my style." My signature style, if you will. And you know what? That kind of sucks.DSC_4600.jpg DSC_4660.jpg
I mean, what I've always loved about fashion is the ability to be expressive with it. Feeling preppy? Throw on some pearls. Feeling like a badass? Ripped jeans it is. Fashion has a fluidity to it that I've always loved - and appreciated, considering I go through as many mood transformations as I do style changes (don't worry, I'm not bipolar - just a girl haha!).DSC_4735.jpg DSC_4629.jpg
Anyway, I'll get to the point. While I think that having a signature style can be really cool, to me, it also seems stifling. I mean, what if you're a minimalist who one day sees a floral Ted Baker dress that you can't live without? Do you ignore your impulse for this kickass dress to stay true to "your style"? Or do you buy it because you love it and that should be all that matters? I would obviously vote for the latter of the two.
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So signature style be damned, when The Village Style contacted me a few weeks ago to guest post for them, I decided to write up a little set of 8 rules to live (but mostly shop) by for myself - and for anyone else who wants to adhere to them! These are just some simple things that I try to keep in mind whenever I go shopping, to make sure that I end up with things that I love, and not just some random purchase I won't even use because I was having a moment of being swayed by someone else's style.

So without further adieu...

8 Rules to Live (But Mostly Shop) By

1. If its not comfortable, you wont wear it. Period, the end. It doesn’t matter how hot those heels look…if they’re killing you after 5 minutes, then you’ll take them off before the end of the night and no one will be able to appreciate them on you anyway.

 2. Don’t be swayed by the label. Seriously, labels mean nothing. If it’s from the thrift store and you love it, then get it. If it’s couture and you love it, then get it (or save for it)…which brings me to number 3.

 3. Can you afford it? Style is always in vogue, but going into debt over it is never fashionable.

 4. Regardless of how much you may love it – does it look flattering on you? Don’t do yourself an injustice by wearing an unflattering piece. Let’s face it – some things were only meant for that 24 inch waist mannequin. Which brings us to number 5…

 5. Don’t be turned off by sizing. Ugh, so hard. I know. But really, who cares if you’re a size 2 in one store and a 10 in the other? If it fits your body well and looks good, then that’s all that matters. After all, size labels aren’t on the outside of your clothes.

 6. Are you settling for something similar or cheaper instead what you REALLY want? If so, wait and save up for the item that you’re obsessing over. Chances are, (if you’re anything like me) you’ll still be unsatisfied and end up buying it anyway! Then you’ll have spent money on two (or more!) items, when you could’ve just been happy with the original one…even if it meant paying a heftier price tag up front.

 7. If you’re unsure about an item, wait. If you find yourself thinking about it over the next few days, go back and get it. If not, congratulations – that’s money better spent elsewhere.

 8. Most importantly, buy what you LOVE. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s “you” or if anybody else likes it. You do YOU, and your style will never be more on point!

What rule do you relate most to? Do you have your own set of shopping rules? I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

The Yellow Wall

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Clutch / Nordstrom (similar), shirt / TjMaxx (similar), scarf / vintage (similar), jeans / UO, shoes / Louise Et Cie (similar)

Daniel and I recently stumbled across this gem of a garage wal in downtown Phoenix, and it has quickly become one of our favorite shoot locations to date. Needless to say, I could probably be wearing a trash bag in these photos, and still make it look cool (well, maybe). Thanks yellow wall. You complete me.

Where is your favorite place to shoot pics?

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

Pink Blazers + Consignment Shopping

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blazer/ J Crew (similar), shirt/Loft (similar), bag/vintage Dooney (similar), flats/Steve Madden, jeans/UO

So this blazer isn't something that I would normally pick out for myself, but I scored it at my local consignment shop on crazzzy clearance (with the tags still on it!). Originally a 250 dollar J Crew blazer, I was able to scoop it up for like 40 bucks - plus I had credit from trading clothes in, so I actually didn't spend a dime on it. Isn't that the best?

If you're on a tight budget, there's no better time like the present to clean some clothes out of your closet and resell them for some new (to you) items! Personally, it's made my budget (and closet) stretch a lot further, which is great when you're always on the hunt for fun blogging pieces!

What'e the best thrift/consignment find you've ever gotten? Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

Channeling Farrah

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So I know that while just about every other blogger was going nuts for Valentine's Day, I neglected to post any sort of tribute to it - but what can I say? It's been a busy couple weeks. Plus, I'm wearing pink here, so that has to count for something, right?

I've actually been wearing pink a lot lately. Straying from my usual black ensembles, I think the already 80 degree temps here in Phoenix have brought my playful side back. When I saw this retro roller derby/collegiate style top in Zara, it was love at first sight. Pair it with a pair of these bad boy palazzos (which are so comfy, they might as well be pajamas), and you've got a Farrah Fawcett-esque look that's too good to pass up. Also, for some reason this shirt kind of reminds me of Golden Girl era Bea Arthur...which only gives it extra points in my book. ;)

In completely other news, I've been struggling to find the time to post lately. Between work and trying to do graphic design on the side, I've had a lot of trouble keeping up with this blog. It's been pretty frustrating - I know I can't do everything, but it seems like it should be manageable. How about you guys - does anyone else have trouble managing their time?

Any tips on finding a better "life balance"? I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei