Birthdays come at a cost now. I remember watching adults freak out over getting older. I just knew I would never be like that. Here we are alive and free knowing perfectly well what a calendar does and still we freak out every time. Why is it so shocking when its set in stone from the day you are born. I promised my self a long time ago I would never be the one to fear my age, to ward off my life experiences. Rather I would celebrate each passing day as if it were a surprise.

My issue with my birthday has nothing to do with that fact that I am actually getting older. The idea that I am “supposed to of” or “should of by now” or “now I am going to be expected to” doesn’t really phase me. I prefer the whole sojouners approach to life. The real issue with my birthday is how it unmistakably marks some really tragic shit. Three years ago while at the Bob Marley Bash I stood on in the corner of the room watching my husband dance with another girl. Not the kind of dancing you want to see the person you love doing with another person. When he saw me and noticed that I was visibly upset he took me outside and insisted that understand he was going to leave me someday. Then he gave me his wedding ring back. Saying it was to help me understand that he didn’t love me anymore.


Shortly after that and a dozen other really painful scenarios I finally packed my bags and hit the road. (Literally. I left in a Winnebago.) I will tell you with out hesitation it was the best decision I have ever made and in the same breathe sometimes it still really hurts. I have grown into someone I proud of since leaving that very abusive relationship. I have given myself the opportunity to live a life full of adventure and love and promise. But every year when this season rolls around it stirs a lot really yucky stuff up.  I dread my birthday like the plague. I feel like it would be better to skip over all of the disappointment and feelings of being unloved, undesirable and unworthy.

Two years ago, I ran away to Atlanta to be Casey. I didn’t tell a soul. I hid.

Last year I threw a big party that though it was fun and a lot people I loved came, it was really nerve racking.

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This year was different. As it approached I decided to stay calm and make very few plans. I was shocked and humbled by love that I felt. At work I was showered with mimosas from Casey, my desk was covered in flowers, chocolate, and cards. As the day went on I was showered with GF peanut butter cookies, balloons, homemade macaroons, fancy ginger liquor, wine, a million well wishes. I cooked dinner with dear friends and drank far too much champagne. As the day went on the flowers kept coming. I ended up with SIX bouquets of flowers!

I saved this giant sweater, that may or may not have been used for deep sea fishing at one time, for my special day because I knew looking good and feeling good are oh so connected. I feel so thankful to be surrounded with some many good souls. I consider myself lucky to have learned the hard lesson that you can never let someone else determine your value as a person. You must always, above all else, guard your heart.


On this side of 28 I know that my journey is one of healing and restoration. I couldn’t be happier to be on this road less travel.



temperate-12temperate-14temperate-8 temperate-9 temperate-10 temperate-13temperate-11 Black under dress given to me by my friend Tara, necklace from J.Crew gifted to me from my sister (similar here), tights from Dillards, shoes from J.Crew (similar here) and my crazy amazing sweater/dress/fish net given to me by my love Katelynd.
temperate-1-2temperate-2-2Thank you Casey Yoshida for the photos!

Elizabeth Rogers - Beautiful truth. Beautiful you. When that’s discovered then pretension begins to/and does…fly out the window. Others, may not understand…but, as long as you do…Well?! :)

Jess Hutton - Sending you ALL the hugs, Jaime! Love your honesty and your huge heart. Carry on! :)

Ben Schnell - You’re philosophy of birthdays is profound and I found inspiration from this post.

Rachael Rennekamp - Love you soooo much! You’re amazing!!! xoxo

Kirsten Marie Farnsworth - So so insanely proud of you!!! You have come so far! Keep on killin it!!!

Angie Pilkington - Happiest of birthday wishes!

Baby diva bird days

Four years ago I was in a pretty classic rock and a hard place situation. Three of my friends had passed away within a year of each other and I was living in Chicago, hating every minute of it. Needing to make a change in my life I decided to move to Prague, and by move…I mean run away with my head down and my tail tucked between my legs. Needless to say I was in a rough spot. I ended my lease a month early to come to Chattanooga to spend time with my family before I moved. I didn’t tell any one I was coming back and I certainly didn’t tell anyone I was moving to Prague. When I got back I realized I needed a place to hunker down. Something that would get me out of my fathers house, but yet still hidden from the public eye. It was that month that the stars aligned and the universe put in my path a human being that I honestly have no clue how I ever survived without.

I met Jaime while I was working at the Starbucks on Lookout Mountain. I liked her because she had cool hair and an inexplicable energy about her that made me feel like I had known her forever. Any time I saw her car pull into the parking lot I started making her triple tall americano so that it would be ready by the time she walked in. I always gave it to her for free and let her skip the line because I knew she was always running late to class. I have triple tall americanos to thank for the greatest friend i’ve ever had the pleasure of loving. We went to the occasional party together during that time period, but weren’t really on the fast track for BFF status. It wasn’t until I came home for that month that everything truly began. We were both hurting and both needing to escape and were both temporarily trapped. So we went to the thrift store and bought every silk boxy tee and every panel of lace, trapped ourselves in the craft room at her house (which I would later take over as my bedroom) with a sewing machine and a bottle of Andre and made the fucking best we could out of a shitty situation. We spent almost every day together, and when we weren’t together I missed her terribly. We were young girls going trying to make it through situations way beyond our skill set, but we had each other and that was all that mattered. Had I not had Jaime by my side during that time period I can’t tell you what kind of woman I would be today, but I know it wouldn’t be pretty. I moved to Prague for 5 months and we skyped pretty much every day. I would be coming home from bars giving her all the details about this weird boy Kyle I had been falling for as her and Heidi were having lunch in the winnebago Jaime had recently moved in to. She was the person to pick me up from the airport in Atlanta the day I moved back, that threw an American themed welcome home party for me the next day, and would put up with the insufferable task of living with me for the next year.

I’m sitting here trying to think of the Jaime and Katelynd highlights that I can share with you to give you a little peak into the pleasure i’ve had of being Jaime’s close friend and confidant, but honestly I can’t pick one fantastical event over any other mundane evening sitting on the couch watching netflix together, because when you find a friend like Jaime every day is a blessing. I will pay anyone one million dollars to find a human being that is as joyful/terrifying/honest/goofy/strong/loving/confident/bossy as Jaime Leah Smialek. It just doesn’t exist. Jaime is the type of person that will scoop your heart out of the trash, polish it off, put a pretty coat of glitter on it, tell it how no one has ever looked better in that dress than in the history of people wearing dresses, and guard it with her life. It brings me to tears to think about how thankful I am that she not only is a human being that exists on this planet, but also that the universe dumped out a serious helping of blessings on me and tied us together in a knot that will never break or stretch or tatter.

So Jaime, happy birthday. Know that no gift will ever be better than the endless love and support you have given me over the years and that nothing I ever do for you will come close to being able to show my appreciation for everything you’ve done for me.


SWIA team, today is the day we support our fearless leader, leave your presents at the door, and let’s get this party started.





P.S Here are some pictures of our shenanigans throughout the years
35799_1332726727511_2411979_n This young mans name is Dwayne. He picked us up as we were hitch hiking home from Bonnaroo because we didn’t want to see Dave Mathews Band.  248879_1783499876558_865125_n The infamous winnebago  297701_570089265850_1498977628_n This is from my surprise 22nd birthday Jaime threw together
384861_546068628400_1214231411_n Come on ya’ll, if this isn’t true love I don’t wanna know what is!

267395_539891716980_7892337_n I don’t know what this is, but we look damn cute. 227424_593629111810_939750772_n One day PB (post beyonce) note my newly purchased Bey schwag 280917_1873655130383_3391714_o This picture always cracks me up for the sheer fact that we were going 80 on a highway and jaime has two hands clasped around that diet Dr. Pepper.  560640_3220538881635_1357527398_n PCB is kinda our thing. We drove there in the dead of night on a whim and had the most magical time possible. 394494_3546695515347_265414692_n Premiere night for Build Me a World. We look like adults dont we? 487383_562515349040_1406995297_n PCB again.  1425778_604605260520_557041308_n I mean, duh.  665200_3852262034319_2008564745_o Trying to figure out how we were going to pose during a dinner party.
996708_590291176060_808905554_n PCB second go around. I was more sunburnt than any human being on the planet on this day.  210297_1684710926896_3979933_o One of our many skype dates while I was living in Prague. This evening was the night I drunkenly decided I needed fringe bangs. Jaime was very proud of me, as you can see.
38495_413314402193_5304679_n How we survived Bonnaroo, I will never know.1531591_610680964760_390755153_n

The day we got married. I mean..the day Julie and Michael got married.


Savannah Mazda - You don’t find friendship like that every day. keep finding joy in each other. I miss you, by the way. Come visit me in NY!

Allison Kennedy - This is so eloquently written Katelynd…it is incredibly toucjing and totally awesome that you guys have such a powerful friendship. I wish my BFF even lived in the same state. You guys make me feel so good, just like always. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAIME!


Meet Isobel. She works at Pasha and I always run into her around St. Elmo. Not only is she sweet as pie, I absolutely love her style. Yesterday we met up to snap some photos and she answered a few questions for me. Take a look.isobelwardJaime >>> Where does your style come from? Any major inspirations? People or eras that excite you

Isobel>>> My style completely changes with my mood, which is the same as saying that it changes depending on what music I’m playing. It’s pretty wild how a song or a great album can affect what I’m feeling, inside and out. Sometimes I wake up and it’s cloudy and grey and I’m listening to Daughter and drinking coffee till my tongue turns gold – I’ll throw on a big wooly sweater, tights, an ugly dress, slumpy socks, my mother’s scarf, and feel absolutely fabulous. On those days, I even love the chipped paint on my fingernails; it adds to the coziness, somehow.

But the night brings a transformation. I always keep my Saturday mornings free, so Friday nights are really my only chance to get crazy without the constant reminder of work or school or some other obligation. After class lets out, I walk home and press play on something spicy – recently that’s been Kanye or King Krule or Lianne la Havas, but Cherub always works in a pinch – and get ready for a long night of raging face with friends or strangers or some people in between. That’s when the gold accessories come to play – plus a lot of black, white, and red lips if I’m really diggin’ myself. When I feel fancy I keep the colors simple with one piece to stand out from the rest.

I am definitely inspired by women I see on the street, patterns I see in furniture, music festival costumes, and the work of photographers that I admire. About a year ago – I know, I was late to the game – I discovered street style blogs and an eyebrow brush and my life changed forever. Blogs are definitely an inspiration but I do my best never to copy. I mean I guess it’s not difficult, being 5’1” and 137lbs with the booty of an R&B singer and the calves of a Scottish Highlander (thanks Grandma!). Most of the girls on those blogs are model size and so whatever they wear looks totally different on me. But I still like to take what they have done and add my own twist. That’s the part that makes style fun. It’s not like there’s a uniform “style” that we all wear. Style’s like music taste – totally uniquely fantastically yours!
IMG_4732IMG_4736IMG_4750IMG_4737IMG_4775IMG_4776IMG_4777IMG_4778IMG_4779IMG_4755IMG_4756IMG_4761IMG_4768Jaime>>> What are some of your favorite pieces this winter? Anything you can’t live with out or that you have been living in?

Isobel>>> My big, baggy, mummy bum jeans! They are huge acid wash Bugle Boy’s from forever ago and they have these awesome little buttons designed for suspenders. I found them at Collective Clothing last year and keep finding ways to wear them. Sometimes I’ll pull them up really high and hold them there with a tiny belt and wear something really girly on top, but I can also sag them super low and pair them with a baggy t-shirt, a flannel, and a beanie. That’s one of my favorite winter work day outfits – I’m probably listening to a lot of Velvet Underground and Kings of Leon when I’m feeling boyish and a little rock ‘n roll.

IMG_4738IMG_4742IMG_4744IMG_4745Jaime>>> You have a really great way of mixing things up. What would you say to someone who wants to take more risks with their personal style?

Isobel>>> Even on the weekends, I’ve never been one for showing a ton of skin. When I was younger that was because I felt insecure about my body; nowadays it’s because I am secure and I like keeping my curves a bit of a secret. That being said, I love seeing girls who have no problem wearing shirts and calling them dresses – it can look totally badass – I guess I just take risks in other ways.

I prefer buttoning my shirts to the top, wearing tights underneath socks with jeans over both them, layering and layering until I can somehow get all of the patterns that I see in my head onto my body – not always an easy task. I’ve been a self-proclaimed master of thrift since high school; never having enough money to buy the “cool” clothes, I found my own “cool” and ran with it. I won’t pretend that I don’t look back at some of the things I wore and cringe, but hey, at the time I thought I was super fly!

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Pants – CC

Blazer – Forever 21

T Shirt – a $2 bin at a thrift store

Gold bracelets – Gifts

Pearls – from high school choir

Shoes – Urban Outfitters

Tights – Target

IMG_4773 IMG_4774 IMG_4780 IMG_4781 IMG_4784 IMG_4785 IMG_4787 Isobel>>>  ”And I think that’s what style comes down to most days – it’s all about how you feel in the clothes; the way you appear to others matters very little in the grand scheme of things. When I’m nervous about trying something new because I don’t want others to tell me I look silly or that I can’t just tuck that new dress into a pair of high waisted jeans and call it a top, I put on some Lana del Rey and my favorite perfume and say screw it. Because if I feel good, then the opinions of others fall right off my shoulders. It also helps that I live away from my parents – I still get nightmares of my mother saying, “You’re really wearing that?” But my mum even compliments my dreads now! Miracles do happen.

Always take a risk. Sometimes acceptance comes. But when it doesn’t? Brush ‘em off.


I couldn’t of said it better myself. Now take second and check out Isobel’s blog!




Allison Kennedy - LOVE.


Leaving the house yesterday I had on my new hot pink J.Crew strappy heels with my pink tights. In a moment of honesty I realized I should probably wear my boots and just bring the heels along incase I had time to do some photos. Within an hour of being at the office its started to snow. Then it kept snowing! Hahahaha! Maybe I should start checking the weather before I leave the house. Despite being totally unprepared for the beautiful dusting we recieved here in Chattanooga, Casey and I made the best of it.

Later in the evening we used this same parking garage for serious sledding!

I hope you are enjoying the snow as much as we are,


IMG_4593 IMG_4615IMG_4596 IMG_4612IMG_4597 IMG_4600


IMG_4601 IMG_4604 IMG_4605 IMG_4608 IMG_4611

IMG_4619 IMG_4629 IMG_4630 IMG_4632 IMG_4634 IMG_4644 IMG_4650 IMG_4653 IMG_4654 IMG_4656 IMG_4660 IMG_4662 IMG_4666 IMG_4668 IMG_4671 IMG_4677 IMG_4682 IMG_4691 Jaime is wearing >>> Striped dress from the thrift store, Denim shirt dress from Madewell,  tights from GAP, Frye boots, scarf from Urban Outfitters, coat from Target, earrings from J.Crew, bracelets from F21 and Nasty Gal, and sunnies from Johnny Cate!
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Allison Kennedy - That scarf is BEYOND RAD.

Jedidiah Jones - Love the cardigan/plaid layer on Casey. Jaime, the scarf is pretty rad!


There was a time in my life when MK&A ruled my blogosphere. I still find their layering and desperate love for dark colors intoxicating. Often their outfits make no sense and at the same time I start to re-calculate my closet. It took me a while to figure it out but the science is real. Simply don’t think so hard. I concluded that MK&A must leave all of their clothes on the floor, walk through the room simply grabbing things and slinking them on.

We should all take note and be encouraged. I know for me some of my best outfits come from experimenting and just trying things on. Thinking too hard or being super  regimented is the death of creativity in my book. When I pull together a combo I never have before I feel alive and excited. When we take time to think really really critically about how we look we can quickly fall victim to seeing the worst in our bodies, our clothes and the way people perceive us. I find it so important to catch a wave of confidence and ride it as long as I can.

For years now this has been a sure fire way to start the outfit creation process. Now watch as Katelynd and play in my floor closet!



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