Tag: fashion

I’m Fine

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been regrouping myself and trying to get back into the groove of things even with a lot of setbacks. But here I am. I’ve been forging ahead and trying to wake up remembering that (1) you only have one life, so don’t sweat the little things, (2) the important things in life are your family and friends, and (3) do what will make you happy.

Sometimes, when you’re going about your day in the midst of something that is overwhelming (like your job, maybe it’s studying, moving, helping a family or friend in need), you forget what you wake up thinking about: “I’m going to have a good day. Keep things in perspective. Etc.” Well, today is one of those days. I woke up having a go-getter mindset. Then I began to get slowly overwhelmed over the day: sluggish, annoyed, and defeated. Nothing really terrible happened. I was just beginning to get frustrated with what I was doing in the moment despite my best efforts; I wasn’t happy with where I was going.

All of a sudden, I just felt stuck in life.

I thought my mindset would change when I got home—change of scenery, a place I was comfortable with. But no, I was even more frustrated. Then I came across a blog entry from a southern blogger who talked about why we go to the default saying, “I’m fine” whenever we’re asked how we’re doing. I’ve seen so many articles on this topic, and each one has felt the same. They’ve all combed through so much on this particular topic that I felt there was nothing more for anyone to talk about, really. But her perspective was interesting: the reason she would say, “I’m fine” was (1) because it was a southern way of life and (2) because, in part, social media and, in some ways, women, are a part of this. (By that, she means, we say we are fine in real life and on social media, because if we say otherwise once or more than once, we get the, “It’s okay. We all have those days,” response and then behind our backs, they say something else.) The blogger goes on to discuss that she’s tired of hearing, “I’m fine,” and that if she were really friends with someone, that someone should lay it all out there honestly because she would want someone to listen to her if she were to have a bad day as well.

Firstly, I don’t think it’s just a southern thing. (Now this is just my opinion.) I think it pertains to anywhere we live. I can’t speak because I haven’t lived all over the country or all over the world. But from where I grew up, to states I’ve visited, as well as other countries, it’s all been the same response. Furthermore, I could say that’s how I feel the culture is in San Diego, as well. I don’t know—I could be wrong. Perhaps being in the law field, I feel that you have to be professional and not let emotions get the best of you to your partner, firm, company, clients, anyone. Maybe other professions in San Diego are laid back and you can just talk about how you’re feeling with your co-workers. (Thoughts, anyone?)

Now as to her latter reason, in theory, that sounds great. I’ve always thought this growing up: that friends should be able to tell friends anything. But let’s be honest. She’s right about women being a part of the problem. I’ll also say what some are really afraid to say, and that I have been afraid to say for a while, as well. Some girls just don’t play like that. I have friends that I feel like I can tell anything to but then feel bad afterwards thinking they’re judging me for complaining, for having a bad day, for feeling crummy over something small (maybe once or maybe often). I’ve seen them talk about their other friends and say, “she complains too much,” “I just don’t have time for that, etc.” (I’ve been guilty of this before, too. Don’t worry. I make conscious efforts to stop doing things like this.) I’ve seen some of them gradually change not only in person but in social media; they don’t tell me about tiny things that bother them when they used to. I understand that we tend to do these things as we grow up, but the extent that some people put these walls up for the sake of “adulting,”– it really catches me off guard and a lot of me finds it unnecessary. Do you really need to do that with friends? Am I the only one that doesn’t mind when a close friend, no matter where they are in life or what circumstances they’re now in, just calls me up and says, “Hey, I want to talk. My life just sucks right now”? Shouldn’t we keep part of that aspect in our lives to stay a little sane and healthy? It’s a strange and sort of insane balance of being a friend, or so I’ve found. We like to appear to have it all together, we’re mature, we’re adults now.

Fortunately, I’m incredibly lucky to have a friend now, after basically my entire life, who I can call up or text any time, any day, and just complain to about anything and everything. I don’t feel bad about it afterwards. And I don’t feel like she’s judging me. (Sure, I say sorry for complaining, but she gets it.) And the relationship works vice versa. (I should also mention that my husband is this exact sort of friend, too, but a girl needs another girl sometimes!) That kind of friendship keeps me sane and feeling healthy. The point is in a man’s world where we women are still trying to fight our way to the top and earn our fair share that men earn, we should support each other at the most basic level — being mentally, emotionally, and physically– if possible,there. There are enough men to judge us when we’re feeling vulnerable, emotional, or even when we’re just going about our day feeling fine as a peach. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to figure out which girlfriend is on our side and will listen to us. Ideally.

But back to my having a downer day and reading that blog post: in a strange way, reading her blog and that particular topic made me feel better. I may not have agreed with her post 100% but I really appreciated her raw and honest perspective on the whole “I’m feeling fine, today” projection to others. It made me think that on days like today, it’s okay to feel down in the dumps. I always knew it was okay to feel that way. I just hate it. I hate acknowledging it. Who likes feeling down? It makes me lose productivity. But today, I’m not feeling fine, and that’s okay. Today, my friend is on the other side of the world in a different time zone, but she’d still listen no matter what the time zone. Today, my husband will tell me it’s okay to feel down because in my position, he has felt the same exact way. So it’s okay. Tomorrow will be another day. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll feel differently and genuinely say, “I’m fine.”

How Much Are Those Pinterest, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty Wedding Dresses Really?

Hey girl! You’re newly engaged and the first thing you want to do is shop for wedding dresses that you’ve been pinning on pinterest! I get it—I’ve been there. For the married ladies, most of us have been there, too. There’s nothing more exciting! (Other than possibly taking that ring bling picture for social media, of course.) Sign me up. Where do I start?! You’re going to have a bunch of questions, so I’ll try to answer some from my own experience and post-wedding research.


(Both images above belong to me.)

How do I find the dress I love from Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, Carats & Cake, and The Knot?

First, you’re going to want to make an appointment at bridal boutiques. You have pictures of the kinds of dresses you want on your phone, and maybe you want to try the same exact ones from Pinterest and screen shots. Most of the pictures usually don’t say the designer name of the dress, but some do. If they do, then head on over to google to find the closest bridal shop with the designer you want. If they don’t, it may be a little hard to find the designer, but you can try and drag the original image into google to see if anything pops up.  Now that you are ready to try on gowns and you have the designer names, you’ve found the bridal salon location, and are about to make an appointment, let’s go! But wait—how much does it cost?

 Okay, I know the exact dress(es) I want to try on… And on a scale of “$ to $$$”, they’re $$$ to $$$$$$$!

When I first started dress shopping, I had the general idea that most wedding dresses were around $1,000. The dresses I pinned on Pinterest had no prices listed, so I blissfully assumed dresses like that were available and somewhat affordable (aka maybe slightly more than $1,500). What I didn’t know was that a lot of the wedding dresses I loved from Kleinfeld or Pinterest were easily over $4,000.

Ladies, keep in mind: THIS IS ONLY THE PRICE OF A DRESS. It doesn’t include a veil and/or headpiece, alterations and bustling, you and your fiancé’s rings, florals, venue cost, a wedding planner, alcohol, cost of food (plated food versus a buffet if it comes to that), linens, chargers, other table settings, décor, invitations and save-the-dates (if you don’t go paper friendly), chiavari chairs, DJ, MUAH (make-up and hair for you and if you choose to pay for your bridal party), bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, photographer, and videographers. Maybe even the cost of a bridal suite for the night before and day-of-the-wedding). Take a deep breath!

Here are just a few of the main designers I pinned when I was dress shopping myself and fell in love with. I’ve seen my girlfriends recently pinning the same dresses as I did, so I thought I’d post the ones I loved (and still do) along with retail prices listed from my research so you’re not caught off guard. (Many of these designers’ main lines have dresses that run well over $9,000. I was completely heartbroken when I found two dresses I had my heart set on were such dresses.) While these are only a couple pictures, I can guarantee just about any picture you click on will be one of these designers’ dresses.

Berta– $8,690. This is my personal all time dream and favorite dress by Berta. (Obviously can’t afford this! Well, I could but how smart am I being at that point?)

Inbal Dror   $8,500 (a close second contender I loved! The back of this dress is just stunning.)

Monique Lhuillier – (This is the designer of my actual wedding dress. I wanted this exact dress, but the cost was $8k – $9k! The horror… this dress was tied for second.)

Hayley Paige – ($5,345.00)

Lazaro – ($5,390.00)  I personally love how flattering this dress can be and the horsehair mermaid structure. While this particular designer never really caught my eye, I’ve seen lots of girlfriends posting his dresses.

Ines De Santo – (This stunning couture gown sold for $6,500. Similar dresses from her line sold for upwards of $8,000) This image is from preownedweddingdresses.com 

And here are some more names of my other favorite designers (check them out future brides! Just beware of the costs):

Pronovias (This stunner sells for $6,500, but Pronovias actually has mostly affordable dresses around $1k – $2k. Do-able!)

Galia Lahav – $11,500 – $12,000

Pallas Couture –  $11,000 – $15,000 (For this particular gown, I couldn’t find the price. But the range this gown lies in is at the very least $11,000. Many of the other stunning dresses from this designer are in the same price range.)


Alessandra Rinaudo
Sareh Nouri
Alvina Valenta
Romona Keveza
Rosa Clara
Rue De Seign

What can I do if I can’t afford the same exact dress I want?!

Okay, now you’re in disbelief. While it is discouraging, there is something you can do about it. Actually, there are several things you can do. FIRST: some advice from one bride to another! Tell the bridal consultant your price range so they don’t pull out dresses from a higher range that you fall in love with. (I did this, and it worked until I saw a dress that caught my eye, I tried it on, and had to have it. I gave in, and it was my downfall. Don’t be me!)

Solution #1: Go with the cheaper line of the designer if they have them or go with a dress that can be altered to look similar to your dream dress.
Some of these designers—like Hayley Paige, Lazaro, and Monique Lhullier—make another line to make their dresses a little more affordable. Hayley Paige’s other line is Jim Helm, Monique Lhuillier’s is Bliss, and Lazaro’s is Tara Keely. (The Jim Helm and Tara Keely lines run around $1k-$2k. Much better, right?) Personally, I think it’s wonderful. Heck, I said “Yes to the dress” at first to one of Hayley Paige’s cheaper dress line to make it just like the higher-end $5k-$6K Monique Lhuiller gown I ended up purchasing. To some other bride-to-be’s, they feel a little bitter because they can’t afford the exact designs they wanted. (I totally get it, girl—Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, and The Knot got your hopes up. It’s kind of unrealistic and unfair to us ladies that have no idea what a dress or wedding costs! Nothing but the OG dress will do!)

Here’s the Hayley Paige Blush dress I said yes to at first just to settle… but later changed my mind: 
I planned on adding more layers to make the dress more full-looking, raising the horse-hair and adding a more mismatched layer of horsehair towards my waist line, as well as adding some pretty appliqué on the horse-hair like the Monique Lhuillier dress I loved.

Here’s my actual wedding dress, which was a Monique Lhuillier (all photos below are taken by Lin and Jirsa Photography):

(Below, dress is bustled.)

Solution #2: You don’t need to look to Pinterest for dress goals!
There, I said it. I mean it. When you go wedding shopping, you’ll have ideas of what you want but actually trying on the dresses is a whole other experience. You’ll find that some styles just truly aren’t as flattering on you as you thought. You’ll begin to develop a different taste of what you want. You might have wanted sparkles and then you’ll suddenly realize you want a simple elegant and modest front side with a sexy low-back. That being said, there are other great dresses come from sites like BHLDN, JCrew, and Grace Loves Lace (for boho brides). I absolutely love BHLDN and Grace Loves Lace. Also, sites like Revolve and Missguided now have bridal sections that look just as amazing, couture, and are affordable!

Other huge name brands such as Allure, Pronovias, Paloma Blanca, Watters, Essence of Australia and Maggie Sottero are incredibly gorgeous and affordable.

Solution #3:
You can go to sites like www.preownedweddingdresses.com or similar sites like Still White and Tradesy to get designer dresses at a cheaper price. While they may still be a little pricey, it is certainly a better bargain and you may find some incredible steals if you take the time to look. You can buy a dress a size bigger than you and take it to someone to alter the bottom and take it in. Then begin to add or take away things on your dress. (When I bought my dress, I wanted to add a bow to my dress, and the owner of the salon from where I purchased my gown laughed in my face and said it would look ridiculous. I ended up buying my own fabric, researched on similar fabrics to match my dress material, found a great alterations seamstress, and she made my vision come alive.)

Solution #4:
Buy your dress at full retail price and then sell it later on a pre-owned wedding dress site! Easy as that.

Solution #5:
Go to bridal salon sample sales! Go and ask the shop when and which gowns will be on the sample sale racks! You’d be surprised to see how great the dresses are and how good the prices are. I was surprised myself. This is probably one of the best things hands down you can do!

In conclusion, be careful when you’re getting your ideas off of Pinterest. You’ll fall in love and know the dress you want, but it’s dangerous and will end up in heartbreak. Now that you know what to look for and what to think about, good luck bride-to-be’s!!! And have so much fun!

Xx

Transparency as a Blogger

When I first decided to take up blogging in high school (remember the good old Xanga days?), I usually never hesitated to write out my thoughts, feelings, or opinions. I spoke freely to the world as if they were a part of my life and knew almost everything about me. In a sense, they did, because I went to school with them. There was little consequence then because I would soon move away for college, and other high schoolers were blogging about similar topics.

Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

When I decided to take up blogging seriously, again, I was thinking more about what kind of content I wanted, how I wanted to brand myself as a blogger, and how I wanted my initial design of my blog to reflect me. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to eventually consider how transparent I wanted to be with my followers, but I wasn’t ready to address it just yet. With my career being in law (for now), the sad and unfortunate truth is that many will judge you and hold you to a higher standard. Topics that you tackle must be done so tastefully and professionally. So, my captions and the one other blog post I have so far, while genuinely authentic, allow you to only scratch the surface of who I am and what my thoughts are on certain things.

Why is this such a big thing to consider? It seems whether there’s a popular travel, lifestyle, wedding, photographer, or fashion blogger, they all allow you into intimate aspects of their lives. I’m just not comfortable with that yet. I wholeheartedly believe that when you begin a public blogging journey, you bring in all those around you—friends and family. So how you choose certain topics for your blogs and present written or photo content can bring judgment on you and loved ones. (It’s much easier—for me at least—to ignore judgment from strangers.)  Another thing is that it’s also not just judgment I’m afraid of but I just naturally tend to shy away from all things public eye. I have never liked being at the center of attention, but deciding to pursue this passion places me in such a situation. Perhaps this will be one of the biggest obstacles for me to overcome as a blogger, and I’ll have to figure out how to let my readers in another way… but for now, I’m still navigating. And that’s okay with me.

 

I’m back!

You guys! If you’re here, you’ve no doubt found this via my instagram or you just stumbled upon this post. I am so excited that you’re actually here and reading this and am so grateful that you would even be here. I have been working on this blog on and off since last summer, but it is finally coming to fruition! I’m still experimenting with the pictures I take, post, and how to incorporate them into my post so bear with me for the next several months. Did I mention how happy I am that you’re even reading this post? Well, I am. So thank you, again, and I hope you’ll engage yourselves in these posts with me and with each other because it won’t always be about fashion but rather every day thoughts and situations. (Also, in future posts, my pictures will be more scattered throughout posts rather than at the very end! Not to worry.)

Anyway, for a first post, I thought I’d give you a little teaser of this past weekend with Ryan. (Ryan is my husband for those readers who are new to me and my blog!) With the crazy rain San Diego has been having, the Anza-Borrego Desert now has flowers blooming like crazy! So, we decided our to explore the “super bloom” and have a fun little getaway just for us. Well, it was certainly fun and hilarious because here’s the story:

My car was 3/4 filled with gas before heading out, and I asked Ryan whether we should fill up on gas. I always like to assume the worst and be prepared for anything.

Ryan turned to me and shrugged, “It’s a city there, right? They’ll have gas there. The drive isn’t that long. We’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? It’s a desert over there…”

“We’ll be fine. We can find one on the way up there if we need to.”

“Okay. You’re right. I think………….. Yea. You’re right. I trust you.”

“We’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll be fine.” HA.

The entire drive up, there was not one gas place to be seen. As the gas began to drop and we were getting closer to the desert, Ryan and I giggled nervously because it was unbelievable that before we even got to the desert, we saw not one gas station. As we entered the dizzying and winding roads of the desert, Ryan and continued to look at each other and laugh. “We’ll push if we have to.”  It was not a joking matter, but we were in such good spirits because we were just happy to be spending time with each other that it didn’t matter. After we finally made it to the desert, I tried to look up gas on Ryan’s phone which did not have reception. Dun dun dun!

Luckily, my phone, which has Verizon — LIFESAVER– was able to locate a gas station 18 minutes further into the desert. “Gringos Gas Station” it said. “Thank the Lord! Where would you be without me?” I laughed at Ryan. “Dead.” To Gringos Gas Station we went. Upon arrival, what did we see? A whole lot of empty, abandoned cars lined up and the gas station completely abandoned. Now let me just tell you that where this gas station is, it exists just off a tiny roundabout. On the roundabout, there exists a Tiny Wells Fargo, a half abandoned mall, and one other restaurant. It’s called the Christmas Circle. It was NOT a Christmas Circle. Who named that?!

On our search for more gas, we had to go back around the roundabout, past the Wells Fargo and past the half abandoned mall to get to the one other gas station in existence. There were only two pumps available and the only gas available was premium and each person had to go into a liquor store to pay for the gas. Cars were piled up all the way out of the parking lot, cars were leaving because it took too long. Ryan and I just laughed hysterically because this little Christmas Circle roundabout town– or whatever you call it– was seriously something out of a book! People inside the liquor store were just swiping 5-6 bottles of water frantically left and right. Ryan likes to say it was madness like the apocalypse was coming.

Well after that little adventure, we were hungry for lunch, so naturally, we went to the half-abandoned mall whereupon we found one restaurant completely closed, people starving peering inside the windows, and inside, Costco-sized packs of water just packed to the ceiling. Just locked behind those sad doors. It was sad but too funny at the same time. (Good thing we had our hydroflasks.) I felt so nervous leaving my car in the parking lot with our water in sight, but Ryan and I ventured on just behind the mall and found a hidden restaurant luckily. Afterward, we finally had our highly anticipated hiking adventure and picture taking in the desert.

We had a lot of funny things happen on this trip, but this post would go on forever. All in all, it was so worth it, and I wish we had more time and that we could go back out there again… but we have planned some other fun adventures for the next upcoming weekends. So stay tuned! Until then, here are just a few of the many photos we took! I’ll make a separate post about my ouftit. I just figured since this is my first post, I’d make it juicy and fun for you all. Hope you all had a good chuckle like I did. Below are the details of my outfits.

Romper: on sale at Shop Tobi  Thigh highs: Want My Look

Jacket: No longer on sale, but still up on Tobi Shoes: from Missguided but are no longer available. You can find similar shoes there or on Public Desire.

Exciting News!

Hi all!

The last few months have been such a whirlwind! As you know, I finished the bar and immediately jumped into finding new law jobs and pouring myself into this lifestyle and fashion blogging! Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I needed to finish wedding planning, I needed to invest time into becoming a strong and independent working woman, and I needed to really figure out how I wanted to brand my website and make it more professional–both layout and photography! (Definitely way over my head…) It’s going to be a serious investment over the upcoming year, so I can’t wait for you all to see the site come to life over the next year and get a huge revamp.

Now that my own wedding is over and I am back from my honeymoon, I thought I’d take the time to let you know what I really want my blog to be about. To do that, I think you all need to know who I really am and what I’m all about in my life.

Who is Margaret Rigney?

I just turned 28 back in June and recently graduated law school in April 2016. On October 22, 2016, I married my high school sweetheart after knowing him for 10 years and dating for nine! Together, we own a 4 year old maltese, we have traveled to Europe and Asia and just recently to the Maldives for our honeymoon! That’s just the surface of who I am today. Who am I really and who do I want to be?

I have always been a believer in kindness, generosity, patience, honesty, and compassion. That is who I strive to be every day and that is what I hope to bring in whatever I do in life.  That being said, I want to take the chance to segue into what my blog will be about and how you and I will get to know each other better!

What is this fashion and lifestyle blog about? What’s different?

For this site, it will primarily be about: travel; fashion; home decor; beauty; and home. But as a young woman, I want this lifestyle and fashion blog to really address lifestyle in the sense of where we stand in the world today: what are the thoughts we have growing up, how we feel in society, how we deal with others in the workplace, how we pursue our dreams, how we address our doubts, and much more.

All the blogs I have come across are glitz and glamour, and it’s such a glimmer of hope for us guys and gals; we all hope to one day be just like them! But I hope to bring a more realistic touch from time to time. Not all of us are able to live the lavish lifestyle jetsetting off to and fro every week to New York or Europe and wearing Georges Shobeika like it’s no big deal. I want to incorporate a realistic lifestyle and fashion for the younger generation who are still working to pursue their dreams. I want to address thoughts and difficulties that I have come across in my life and hear your perspectives, as well! This is a place for support– for both boys and girls (men and women)– as much as it is a place for ideas and inspiration!

Ultimately, I really hope this site grows to be interactive. 

Until then my darlings! Thanks for sticking through this long post!

travel leisure lifestyle blogger blogging fashion adventure runwaywithrigney maldives honeymoon beauty home decor runway Margaret Ng Margaret Rigney San Diego California
travel leisure lifestyle blogger blogging fashion adventure runwaywithrigney maldives honeymoon beauty home decor runway Margaret Ng Margaret Rigney San Diego California