I am so excited to finally be launching my very own fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog!  Thank you for joining me on this journey through our sometimes crazy and chaotic life!

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is HOV, H to the O.V.  Oh sorry, that was just a Jay-Z song that popped up in my head while I am writing this.  So, I guess you could say I love rap and pretty much all music unless it’s just a lot of screaming that causes me severe anxiety.  Haha.  So, let’s start there.  Growing up in a small town in Eastern Oregon, my dad would take us to Bi-Mart every Saturday afternoon.  My sister, Addie and little brother, Kramer, all got to pick out a CD (or five) of the album of our choice (FYI the first cassette tape I ever bought was Salt N’ Peppa – Very Necessary.  I quickly learned every word to the fast-passed raps spit by Salt in the song SHOOP).  Anyways, I have fond memories of those days – and I remember putting on my favorite Toni Braxton CD circa 1994 and pretending to be in a music video as I danced and sang the words to “Unbreak my Heart” at the ripe old age of 11 in our living room.  It was very dramatic as I would dance my heart out!  😉 So that was practically every Saturday night for me growing up.  Ah…those were the days.

I started dance young and was passionately involved in dance programs at the age of 5 with ballet performances, then came Junior Jam and finally, our high school competitive team Rhythmic Mode where I was lucky enough to land the lead solo role my Junior year and then Senior Captain (thank you very much 😉 #humblebrag).  We also placed each year landing two 2nd place awards, one 3rd place and 1st place my Sophomore year against some of the best teams in all of Oregon where we competed at the Rose Garden in Portland.  Sometimes I miss that competitive drive and being a member of an organization that has the same goals and aspirations as me.  In a nut-shell I love to dance and perform.

What next?  College.  So, I got accepted to the best University in all of the land and put the acceptance letter under my bed.  We had toured other schools prior to that and I was all set to attend The University of Colorado, Boulder – I even paid my dues for an on-campus dorm.  Knew the name of the  dorm that I was assigned to and all.  But something happened, one day as I was pondering over the idea of moving so far away, I had inhibitions.  So, I dug up and dusted off that UW acceptance letter and my mom (my road dog and campus tour guide) and I planned a weekend trip to Seattle which was only a four-hour drive from home.  It was mid to late April of 2003 and if you have been to the campus during that season, you know what I’m talking about.  The campus is stunning!  The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom and the entire campus unfolds into this majestic place that looks like it belongs in a different time and place.  The timing was perfect, and in that moment, as I walked down that path through the Cherry Blossom lined walkway, everything clicked.  It is true when they say “you know when you know” I got the chills!  I got that feeling like this place was the one. So, I couldn’t wait to call my dad and share the news of this great discovery!  He – being the Defensive Linebacker on the Oregon State football team – had some pretty choice words for wanting to go to a college football rival in the Pac-10 (back then, it is now the Pac-12). But, as the softy my dad was deep down – he fully supported my decision and was on board.  I went through rush in late August and got my top choice house – Kappa Kappa Gamma.  This is the place I called home for the next four years and boy was it an experience 😊 I experienced some of my best days in college – an truly unforgettable time.

During the summer of 2006, the summer before my Senior year in college, my heart was broken forever. I was in New York City at the time living with my sister and the first Sunday in August we received the devastating call that my father had passed away.  After a gallbladder procedure, he developed a blood clot that traveled to his lungs post-surgery.  And you want to know the saddest part of this?  That this was a preventative condition!  All he needed were blood thinners!  However; due to a lack of medical treatment and proper attention, this was the horrific outcome.  We filed a lawsuit with the hospital but there was really nothing we could do to proceed.  The doctor ended up leaving the practice and the case was closed.  The pain within all of those will never be closed and we continue to live on through his memory every waking moment we are alive.  Family Over Everything and we are thick as thieves!  More on this later.

Next chapter, upon graduation, my friend Shannon and I decided to YOLO and move to New York City in 2007.  We lived temporarily with my fave people: my cousin Tracy, and sister, Addie.  We all lived like sardines for a few weeks in their coffin-sized apartment – BUT it was in SOHO, the most posh area, and we all had so much fun together, so we didn’t mind.  I loved when people asked where I lived in NYC because I felt so popular telling them I lived is SOHO!  Haha.  Shans and I job searched daily in small coffee shops in the East Village and tirelessly ran the streets on an apartment search in the dead of summer (hello humidity!) with frizzed out hair and sweating like pigs.  We finally hired a “realtor” to help with our search as we were lost on what area to live, within our budget, and running out of time!  So, with this man’s help we found a cute – railroad style apartment on the Upper East Side with a spiral staircase to a downstairs basement – aka bedroom – that my sister and I shared.  Wow it was like we were kids all over again – when we had to share a room growing up.  We didn’t really mind though, we enjoyed each other’s company and security as we fought off the evil spiders that would creep into room.  Shans held it down upstairs where we would all gather to share about our days in the main room.  It was quite the experience.  We loved it and lived it up to the fullest.  With money tight I landed at Citigroup, through their recruiting team, in the financial district on at 388 Greenwich Street.  I had no idea what I was doing – but I faked it until I “made” it.  I loved the team I worked with – they were great mentors to me.  My first day there we were discussing lunch ideas and one executive asked if I wanted to get Ziti.  I was like – wth is Ziti?  Everyone stared at me in awe.  I quickly learned that it is an NYC staple and an Italian pasta dish.  Whoops! The more you know!

Ah…New York City – the city that never sleeps.  There was always something fun and exciting to do every night – be it Tuesday night dinners at Nobu or going out dancing to all the hot clubs.  So needless to say, we lived paycheck to paycheck and somehow managed to pay the rent.

We lived on the UES for two years until we decided we were ready for a new scene.  Addie, my sister and my partner in crime, heard that the Williamsburg area in Brooklyn was hip and up and coming. The place that everyone was vying to live at the time (you should see it now – it has changed 100-fold).  We were first in line alongside another couple that was also submitting their credit application and moved into the cutest apartment on Bedford Avenue and 2nd Street.  It even had a balcony – which was unheard of!  Granted it faced out to a tall grey building with no great view – it was handy though for having people over or just a chill sesh.  We lived above LA Burrito and my room smelled like a Mexican restaurant – the clothes on my hanging rack also got saturated in the not-so-pleasant smell of old bean burritos.  But we didn’t care, we were just living the dream!  (So to speak) We made friends down the street that we would hang out with on the weekends and attended my cousins Tracy’s performances in the Broadway production RENT! and other gigs that she would invite us to.  We did it all – clubs, bars, restaurants, extravagant, way beyond our means, shopping sprees – it really was like the movies. 

One day, it got the best of us of us and we decided to relocate to the East Bay in California.  This is where I was born, in Walnut Creek, and my mom had decided to make the move to be closer to her family here, she had an estate sale and we all moved back to be together here in California.  So, we loaded up our U-Haul, with most of our treasured items, and we drove across the country, to the Bay, in five days in late August 2009. I had some temporary admin jobs here and there when I first got here and was involved in some fashion internships where I attended events in SF during that time too.  One day, my uncle called and offered me a job at his law firm where I worked as the accounting/online billing coordinator.  I was lucky, to say the least, for the opportunity of finding a real job and worked at the firm for six years.

One magical day the mystical love fairies and stars aligned while I was at my best friend’s wedding in LA.  I met the man of my dreams (they really do come true!) and snatched him up right-quick haha.  He moved down to Walnut Creek from Seattle in 2015 and we have been happily living here for the past four years.  You’ll probably hear about him more in my blog posts 😉 He got a terrific job working for one of the top tech firms in SF – and has gained so much knowledgeable experience.  This gave me the motivation to work in the city where I landed my dream job, working at Stitch Fix, Inc., since August 2017.  I love everything the brand represents and all the amazingly wonderful – bright people that work there.  It is an honor to be a part of something so new and inspiring and to work with some of the most intelligent souls in the tech industry.  Our company went public in November 2017 and we’ve only been going up from there!  Proud of what we have accomplished and excited to see what the future brings for Stitch Fix, Inc.

So here I am – 33 years later and embarking on a journey to inspire others to live their best lives, care about self-love and well-being.  So, I will be bringing up topics of ways to style and inspire your life.  If there is one thing I’ve learned, through my years on this planet, it is that you have to go out and take action in order to get what you want.  Nothing good comes without hard work and sacrifice.  In the words of the great leader and founder of the B-School, Marie Forleo: “Believe in the F Word – FAITH – that there is a purpose for you here and there is a power and force stronger than us that will guide us through our journey. Your dreams are on your terms.”  With that, I’ve decided to create a platform to speak out and reach a broader audience through fashion, beauty (inside and out), and lifestyle through love and laughter.  I mean a little sense of humor never hurts anybody.  And, life is in no way perfect and I feel like most days I really don’t have it all figured out.  Therefore, I promise to always keep it real.  My hope is to inspire and to enlighten even through the toughest of times (which I will discuss) and inevitable bumps in the road.  That’s life and it’s real.  There is somebody out there that is probably going through the same thing as you.  And by being able to talk about it openly, to relate, will hopefully give you peace of mind and maybe some skills to overcome it.  We will delve into some big issues here, but I promise to keep it light too and most of all fun!  So, let’s be friends and engage over all the pretty (and sometimes not so pretty) things!  Every day, you have the power to make what is in front of you great!

The rest is T.B.D. (The Bailey Daily)