So... I'm Engaged

So... surprise! My boyfriend of 5 years is now my fiancé! On our 5 year anniversary in early February, Max took me on a secret adventure to a cute little town about 2 hours outside of Seattle and proposed. And now here we are, a few months into wedding planning! Woah, this world of weddings is weird, I'll tell ya. My dad is an Episcopalian priest so I have probably been to something like 200 weddings in my lifetime. And because of that, I have never ever fantasized about weddings at all. I might be regretting that now as when I started to dip my toes into the pool of wedding planning, I was pretty shocked at how weird that pool is!

So first of all, getting engagement photos taken feels so weird. I am pretty damn awkward when I am in front of a camera with anyone behind that camera watching. I had lots of practice taking self portraits when I did outfit posts all the time on my blog. But I still feel really stiff and goofy when anyone else is shooting me. Thank you to my friend Margaret Jacobsen for enduring my goofy uncomfortable body language and magically producing some really sweet photos of Max and I that I will treasure forever.

Max and I are both really bashful when it comes to love and being expressive with love in public. For being someone who is very public in my business and with certain aspects of my personal story, I am actually very private when it comes to my day to day personal life and most especially my relationship with Max. So getting photos taken together was a bit nerve wracking for me. But phew, the process of that is done and now we have sweet visual memories of the beginning of a new life together. I'm ready and excited to make this dude my husband!

Now on to wedding planning. This process you guys, it's way to similar to business planning. I feel like planning a wedding is a totally different experience from planning joining a life together and becoming married. Does that make sense? Preparing for marriage is way more romantic to me than planning a wedding. But both are connected. The process of planning a wedding at this stage at least is just event planning. And baby, we are doing it on a serious budget! We are trying to keep everything under $5,000 with a wedding guest list of about 125-150. And it turns out after researching the cost of an average wedding, $5,000 is a small budget. I read that the average American spends $31,000 on their wedding. Hey, no hate if you invested that much financially in your wedding. But as a 28 year old small business owner who invests almost all of her money back into her business and is paying a large staff, I cannot nearly afford the average wedding costs of an average American. And I just am not into going into any debt for our wedding. So $5,000 it is! I am good at hunting down deals so I know we can create something beautiful on a budget :)

We are getting married in our home town in Northern California. (Max and I grew up in the same place and went to the same high school which made for choosing where were going to get married a pretty obvious one for us.) We are thrilled to get to show all of our closest friends from across the U.S. the place that really shaped us into who we are today. Though Max has lived in Seattle for almost 5 years and I for 10 years, we still have lots of friends from our hometown. So we are really excited to see all of the communities we have developed across the U.S. come together to get to know one another. Let's hope for the best! HA!

Another great thing about getting married in our hometown is that our wedding can be way more community oriented. We are not putting on a giant show and trying crazy hard to be as perfect as so many weddings appears to be on Pinterest. Everyone tells me, "Oh I am sure your wedding is going to be so Pinterest worthy!" since I have almost 1 million followers on Pinterest. But meh, I'm not looking to impress people on Pinterest with my wedding. I'm looking to simply create a beautiful event that truly shows our love for one another and our community on a small budget. And I know that I can make something beautiful happen on a small budget. I want to please us most importantly, and if Pinterest ends up liking it, that's cool, you do you Pinterest.

Some of my parents friends who I have know for years and years are letting us have our wedding on their gorgeous countryside property. They have a big grassy field that will be dry and golden come October which I think will be stunning at sunset. And they have a big barn where we can have dancing and snacks as the evening goes on. I have another childhood family friend who owns a mini pie truck called An Honest Pie. And they have graciously offered to cater our event at an affordable price which I am so happy about! Their pies are SO yummy and I think savory pies will be a delicious main dinner element in October.

My friend Jennifer Stenhouse, who both taught me in metal smithing and is featured in my shop, is making wedding rings for me and Max! I'm so excited about the design we came up with for mine. I'll have to document the process of choosing stones, settings, and the final out come here to share with you!

Now I just need to take care of 1 million other things and fit them all into our budget and we will be good to go. :) Location, food, and photography are the biggest budget suckers for most weddings so I feel really lucky that we have awesome friends who can help us budget those elements into our wedding in an affordable way. Thank you my friends! Planning is my jam and the nitty gritty planning on a wedding event is just as fun and interesting for me as planning a business. Budgets, timelines, delegation, negotiation, conflict management, color palettes, aesthetics, design, its actually really gross how the wedding industry is so similar to the fashion industry. But what can you do, ya just gotta do whats true to you and your loved ones and enjoy it as that. I want to take my biz skills and use them to make this wedding well planned, but take my relaxed personal style and simply let the chips fall as they may in certain aspects of the week and day itself. I'm excited.

I know you guys probably have lots of great advice to give me about wedding planning and all that. So throw your advice my way! I want to hear it!


Thank You's + Fun + Reflection

Hot Summer Nights

Marni lace blouse / T By Alexander Wang shorts / Suede pumps / Brown handbag / Gold plated jewelry / Stackable ring / Beaded Bracelet / Pendant jewelry / Bohemian jewelry / Floppy hat / Too Faced Cosmetics matte eyeshadow / TrouvĂ© Magazine Vol. 02

The ladies on my staff and I have been playing around on Polyvore lately, experimenting with creating outfit inspiration using products from our store. It's been kind of fun reliving using various websites and things that I used to use on my blog many years ago, Polyvore being one of those sites. It's reminding me of why I used to blog, documenting things I love, dreaming and envisioning a closet of beautiful things I couldn't afford, haha. Well, that was just a tiny part of why I started my blog in the first place. It was also a space for me to journal and reflect. My blog originally was called "the Rumination Reading Room." It was a space to think and and an arena to really get out of my head, jotting down thoughts I couldn't fully realize until I had written it all out. I'm someone who needs a lot of encouragement to play, and blogging is a space that gives me that freedom to explore. I want to regain that play, that exploration and output of thoughts. So hey, you might see some fun polyvore collections in the coming weeks.

Dark Night

Along with that note on getting back into blogging, THANK YOU for all your sweet comments on the last post! You know, as blogging has morphed and changed SO much over the last 6+ years, one thing that I think made a lot of people lose steam on their blogs in the last few years is that we all rarely comment on each others blogs anymore. When Twitter popped up, it gave people a new space to chat quickly. Then there's of course Facebook, Pinterest, and most recently Instagram. Lord, now there are a million video apps and I feel too old to keep up, ha! I love Instagram and it is so convenient as almost micro blogging. It's easier and faster jumping around and commenting on people's photos. But not much content can be contained there.


I think when Instagram came about, we all super slowed down on commenting on blogs that we loved, and reading blogs all together! I know I did. So it was nice feeling that big welcome back to blogging from all you guys who were kind enough to read my last post and comment :) Love you to bits ladies!

So I would love to know from here, what would you guys like to see from me on this here old bloggy blog now that I am back? I want to bring back the 52 Lists Project especially since I am publishing the series in book form this Fall! More on that later :) I'd love to bring back outfit posts as I think those are a really fun way to highlight some of my favorite accessories from my store mooreaseal.com. I'll be writing more personal stories of course, are there any topics you'd like me to focus on? Small business, women's empowerment, mental health? I want this space to be actually engaging because that's what makes blogging fun for me. So let me hear your thoughts!
xo moorea


Well, I'm Back! :)

Well guys, its been about a year since I last posted on this year old blog. In that time, SO much has happened! My business has literally doubled in size in every way possible. We had jumped through any hurdles with grace and have seen amazing successes in our journey so far. My personal life has morphed and changed with every high and low imaginable. From heartbreaking losses in my family to incredible gains like getting engaged this February to my boyfriend of 5 years and getting a sweet puppy named Clementine that sometimes goes by the nickname Lemon. With every low comes an equal high, I am finding more and more as I get older. And I miss sharing those moments here with any of you reading.

Lately, I've found myself missing having a space to just document my life and the crazy things that happen all the time. With great successes come great criticisms, some valid and some not, and after reading some negative comments made by women who don't know me last year on the web, criticizing every single minute detail about me, my personal life, my business, my choices, how I look and dress, who I love, you name it... woah, it felt like a pretty solid verbal beating. To get real honest, as someone who experienced some verbal and emotional abuse as a child, I think it really triggered an extra layer of hurt in me that took a long time to recover from. I definitely had a huge bought with depression last summer and feelings of isolation set in for a solid four months. If there is one thing I want to do in this world, it is to empower and encourage girls and women, especially women and kids who have been hurt really badly in their lives. And I think letting myself be very vulnerable and honest online with a good intention of loving others and myself well for around 6 years, to then find pages of hate written about me was needless to say, overwhelming.

I decided at that time to stop personal blogging. Well, I don't know if I really decided or I was just scared to say another word on my blog for fear of random people in the world saying something crappy about me. I deeply value constructive criticism. If you've spent a few years in school for art, you know constructive criticism is what makes you strong, more thoughtful, and helps shape you to create better things with a clearer perspective. What I read about myself online was not constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is said to your face, not behind your back with an added layer of anonymity from the critics themselves. I felt silenced. And I don't think anyone was particularly look to silence me, it was all written on a site I maybe had let myself look at once or twice. But boy did I learn quickly that that space is somewhere I will never go back again. I'll never let anyone's judgement of me make me stop talking or sharing the things I think are most essential to me. I had a year to think and be quiet, to reflect and understand why I wrote on my blog for 5/6+ years in the first place, why I needed to write in a public sphere, and why I still miss utilizing this space for the benefit of myself and others. Lordy, I ruminated on a LOT of things in the last year, and feeling like I lost this space was a big whammy to my ego. But I'm back now to say, this is my little tiny chunk of the internet, a space for me to be truthful and honest, caring and compassionate, proud and strong, thoughtful and genuine, and tough and mighty. I write here because it brings good into my own life and for sure at least some others. I've developed incredible friendships and bonds because of this space, gotten to mentor young women who I admire just as much as they admire me, I'v learned and grown in leaps and bounds because of the journey of blogging in the last 6 years and I believe I have a right to keep talking. And if ya don't dig it, don't read it. It's as simple as that and easy to do.

I want to revamp this space and shape it into a reflection of who I am now a year later. My focuses in life are still exactly the same, but each lesson I've learned in the last year have given me new insight to the life I'm living and the life I want to live, and I want to share! So here I am, friends and critics. I'm back, my voice is here and stronger than ever, and I'm ready to kick some ass when needed, take some names, throw down some compassion most importantly, and share peeks into the wacky journey that is my life. Buckle up kids, let's do this.


We've Moved! Visit MooreaChats.com

Hey everyone!  Well, I unintentionally took a break from blogging this summer.  So many amazing changes have been happening for my store in the last year, it's been hard to keep up with the blog.  But good news, my team and I have created a fresh new space to get to blogging again!  And we have lots of things in store to share with you including interviews with designers and artists from my store, home tours, peeks into my process of writing 2 books, behind the scenes photos of our store & studio, staff member profiles, tips on small business and design, and all of the other posts you were used to finding here on my personal blog.

I'm excited to start this new adventure with you in a fresh new space.  Don't worry, all of my old archives are over there too!  So come on over to mooreachats.com and check out our latest articles including a silk scarf giveaway and interview with Deserts & Lakes!