Maxin & Relaxin

While trying to get through this whole moving process, I have really been in casual and comfy mode with the my attire.  Sunday Brunch yesterday included a gifted dress from Rachel Pally.  My husband loved this dress. I thinks he likes to see me be more relaxed like he is..LOL.  Anyways, I'm hoping to get back to regular me by next week.  I thought I'd share a few of my notations on the Bay area so far. 

Things I've learned about California so far:
  • Gnats and mosquitoes vacation here. 
  • I live around the corner from Samsung, but my Galaxy S3 won't get a signal to save my life
  • Calories are listed on every single item in every restaurant - which just makes you want to ditch eating all together - It should be a punishable offense to list the calories at Cold Stone Creamery. 
  • Steve Jobs (RIP) used to live here, I just know it
  • People walk a lot here.
  • I am at the mercy at nail shops, if they don't feel like doing something then they won't - No polish changes for me.
  • People swim when it's cold outside -- for real. I see them at the pool and I'm wearing a jacket.
  • Safeway is wayyyy too expensive.  Everything you pick up is $5.  I was fooled, it sounded cheap.  I may have to end my strike against Walmart.
  • Gas is almost $5/gallon. BLASPHEMY! (No wonder everybody is walking)
  • Everybody here is an engineer, which makes everyone smarter than me.  I don't know how I feel about this (as I shamefully shove my liberal arts masters in a deep dark corner of my closet.  No need to further embarrass myself).  
Style Note:  Sometimes looks like these can make people feel too dressed up.  Adding a denim jacket on top of maxis, long skirt, and dresses in general can help you feel more casual, but still put together.  I wore this to brunch, but then threw a denim jacket on and took wore it to the grocery store.  Sidenote:  Denim jackets are great items to thrift, if you are looking for a budget friendly option.  Don't be afraid to visit the men's section for one, as well.  

Outfit:  Dress - RachelPally, Jacket - similar, Sandals - Talbots

31 comments

  1. I didn't really know anything about blogging until I started following you some years ago. Your style is impeccable and your sense of humor is so cute. I do hope the Bay area eventually turns up to be a good place for you. I would love to be able to move here and there, but for now I will stay on the east coast and live life vicariously through you. :-)

    www.24plusstyle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, but please note I am a creature of habit. I don't do too well with change and drastic change makes me ill. Moving at the drop of a hat is def not all it's cracked up to be. I guess it's making me tough, but it is def unnerving.

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  2. This reminds me of when I moved to LA in 1992, people had on ear muffs and big coats at 40 degrees! This time next year, you'll be just like everyone else!!!! Moving will break you down, I did it twice last year.

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  3. Congrats on the big move! It's too funny... I moved to Houston from the Bay Area last year, on very short notice. I had about 3 weeks to pack! Not my best idea. You'll get used to the weather (and love it) but not the cost of living increase. Things are ridiculously expensive in the Bay Area compared to Texas.

    What area did you move to? The Bay is super diverse. You will find people who will love you for that Liberal Arts MA! ;)

    I had hoped to meet you up in Dallas one day... but maybe when I make a trip home to California!

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    1. I'm in the South Bay Area. ..and yes wayyyyy expensive! Yeah maybe one day -- one of fav people in Texas lives in Houston

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  4. Did the belt come with the dress?

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  5. I love that color on you!!

    http://soworkweekchic.blogspot.com

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  6. Welcome to the Bay Area! If you can find a Fresh & Easy near you, it's cheaper than Safeway. Also farmer's markets are a good bet for excellent produce! The calorie thing takes some getting used to, that's for sure. Steer clear of the Cheesecake Factory! :)

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    1. It's not just Safeway that is more expensive. Walmart will hit your wallet harder too. When I moved, I had items purchased in my previous state that had the price tag still attached. Everything costs more.
      Gas is more, rent is out of control, are are sales tax and state income tax. So a lot more of your money is claimed before you ever get your hands on it.
      On top of Fresh and Easy (which is a good way to save on staples but which won't have the selection of Safeway), I'd say check out the ethnic grocery stores. So there are large Chinese and Mexican grocery store chains, and there are many items that are cheaper there.
      Essentially, I find shopping to require a bit more work to get both good quality and good deals.
      I'd also recommend Sprouts for produce and vegetables.
      There will be foods that you won't find, or have to search harder for, or that are made with different flavors than what you are used to (esp. if you are a Southern girl).
      People here are very outdoorsy and athletic, so if you want to become a nature girl and go on hikes, go camping, climbing, etc., there are LOTS of organized groups you can join.

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  7. Glad that you're settling in - change is not easy, it's true. Along with Fresh and Easy, I suggest Trader Joes, and farmers markets are also a good option. I will say that the South Bay is a bit more casual than San Francisco/Oakland/Napa but Cali in general tends to be pretty relaxed. People used to ask me all the time why I was so "dressed up" but now I think they're used to it. Sorry that the move has been so tough (although I've always thought that the only way to move is to just walk off, leave everything and buy all new stuff. If only one could!) but I love reading the updates as you get settled. And you do look lovely, as usual.

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    1. I think next move Ill just chuck all the stuff...that's what folks told me to do.

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    2. It's probably pure luck in terms of what makes for a good moving experience. It's always hard. I didn't chuck b/c if you move and have to replace everything you still have to deal with the issue of waiting for delivery.
      At this point in life, I'm not dealing with sleeping or sitting on floors, so I stayed in an Extended Stay until my things arrived (and in fact didn't sign a lease until my things were in California.
      Of course, distance, how much you invested in your belongings, etc. are all good reasons to opt to dump and re-buy. But for me, the stuff that is the hardest to deal with are the little things, odds and ends, and clothes. So I'm not dumping my clothings, shoes, makeup, perfumes, books, and all that b/c if you pay someone, large furniture and other items aren't hard to pack and ship (YMMV on that though). And I think the smaller stuff was the most painful to deal with and will continue to be the most painful (although I do try to purge if I have time before I move).

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  8. I'm not a fan of this listing calories on everything in restaurants now. I'm starting to see it more and more in Chicago. Especially Cold Stone!... I think it's safe to say it's a lot, can we just leave it at that?

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  9. babe, you look gorgeous! either the colour and the dress are amazing on you!!!
    I am coming to California in 1 month, I cannot wait!!

    Love, Ylenia from Longuette

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  10. These maxi dresses are so fab! I can't imagine getting used to the price increase on the West Coast! Just thinking about it makes me cringe! yet and still, what an exciting move!

    And aren't you living closer to one of your sisters now that you are in Cali?

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  11. You look so cute! I'm sorry that the move started off on the wrong foot (read your last post). YEP! Everything you listed is signature west coast! The vibe is very very relaxed and my co-workers used to ask me all the time why am I so dressed up. I seriously think if my CEO could, he would have worn shorts, a polo shirt and flip flops to work every day! lol Safeway is a great store as far as quality but yes, very expensive. Back home (in AZ) we had a place called AJs Fine Foods that had absolutely RIDICULOUS good food but the prices would kill ya!! Cold Stone is the DEVIL!! Don't do it! I'm pretty sure I've swallowed a few gnats in my life time especially during softball season...ewww! lol Umm Humm..Engineers, Accountants and Lawyers rule the west coast! lol I miss you!

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    1. I remember softball days and the gnats, but I thought I left those in GA...sigh!

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  12. This is your color! Did you cut the bottowm of the dress? I always find Rachel Pally runs too long on me.

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    1. I had one dress from Rachel Pally I did that for. This was actually the perfect length (if not standing in grass) for me. I do agree that the dresses are long, but I think she does that so a various height can wear them. The hems are unfinished so you can either cut the dress at the bottom or have it hemmed.

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  13. Welcome to the Bay! I have been following your blog for some time now. I laughed out loud reading your post about CA. Totally agree with everything! You'll probably find how different every city is as you start exploring. I grew up in SF but went to school in San Jose. They couldn't be any different but both have great qualities.
    Love your style, thanks for inspiring me to embrace my own body and to dress to impress myself!

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  14. I love visiting San Fran/Oakland area. In fact, I'm heading out there again this summer for a wedding. I did notice that they LOVE to walk. And coming from DC area where either you can drive or take the metro or cab, I stay side-eyeing everyone. My favorite experience there is definitely thrifting/consignment shopping. It's a bit more expensive but I've found some great items.

    Meanwhile, I do agree with the maxi theory. It can definitely look a bit dressed up on its on but wearing a denim jacket tones it down. I do both.

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  15. Very nice dress. The addition of the belt was a great idea. I am finally hopping on the maxi dress trend. I thought they would be too long for me (I'm 5'2) but lo and behold some of them aren't. Plus Asos has come out with some maxi dresses in their petite line, which is awesome.

    I'd love to move to Cali, but the cost of living is the biggest impediment.
    That swimming is cold weather is interesting. I won't get in an outdoor pool untilt eh temp is AT LEAST 80. Maybe it's the Arkansan in me.

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  16. hey chasity! I walk on a trail in santa clara and yes, gnats are everywhere! gross!! you will get used to the bay once you venture out. and like someone said, you ma will serve you well. you just happen to live in a waaay more techy space! when you are settled, let's connect.
    Juvella

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    1. Yeah me and my hubby tried out a trail today. They's gnat are terrible little buggers. Sure! I def. plan on getting out way more than I did in Dallas

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  17. really pretty dress and the color is just gorgeous! i cant wait to visit cali! but darn do i hate mosquitos...but they seem to love me :D
    cookieschaosncestlavie.blogspot.com/

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  18. Rachel Pally seems to be the designer du jour on the plus size circuit, and her dresses are GORGEOUS. I just wish I could afford one, they are hella expensive. Oh well, back to Old Navy for me ...

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  19. Sorry I missed you before you left Dallas. Other then the cost of living and it being chilly in June it's beautiful there. you think your slimming down now wait until you start walking those heels. Oakland and San Francisco has great history and so much to do any explore. I can imagine home much more your brand is going to elevate! Then there is Napa ahhhhh I think I might come back! enjoy !!!!

    @thecurvypioneer

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  20. This dress is summertime gorgeous! It looks great on you! I can't wait to get the style and wear it myself!

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