new year!


a new year!

I think I'm becoming an expert on vacationing. Seriously, it is so hard to get back to a routine after having no routine for two weeks! Today Jed and I finally went to the real grocery store (usually when we come home from being away, we live off of the corner health food store and Walgreens). But I'm slowly getting back into the old routine.

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and my online presence, or whatever you call it! I really want to liven things up a bit around here. I'm also thinking of maybe starting a YouTube channel. I'm not totally sure about that yet. I'm a little nervous about being in front of a camera. I had a mild freak-out over the last few days while thinking this over. Looking at all these other YouTubers and style bloggers and starting to realize how little I have thought of my own wardrobe in the last few years. I feel like I've spent a lot of time creating clothing for that imaginary me, the person who lives in the clothing I create for Anna Allen Clothing, that I have forgotten about my own personal style. I have always wanted to be like the cool girl who wears effortless, lovely frocks and ensembles. And who knows exactly how to wear makeup so she looks fresh and flawless. But I haven't been able to figure out how to be effortless. To be truthful, most days I will just find a top, a pair of pants, some warm socks, warm sweater and call it good. Doesn't matter if it goes well together and forget about accessories, unless you count my wedding rings! Other days I wear grey leggings with a grey v-neck t-shirt that I wear as my pajamas and a grey wool sweater plus wool socks and call it good. Forget about makeup! I know it's not horrible, but I wouldn't want to be seen in this getup. But I love style and fashion and I just love dressing up. So why don't I dress up every day? I don't know! I think it's pure laziness. But I'd like to change that. I'm really thinking a lot about what sorts of things I like and I am going to work on slowly building up a wardrobe that I love. I'm not sure where to begin. I'd like to dress maybe half like I have a job outside my home and half more casual. But I'd definitely like to dress a little more like I would if I were going out every day. Hey, maybe I will start to wear skirts and dresses again, though it's a little hard to think of that right now during the winter.

As you can see, I have a lot going on in my brain. As for the YouTube channel, I think it would just be fun to make videos. I don't know exactly the focus I would have. Maybe a little bit of everything?? I might do some reviews or talk about products that work for me. Lately I have been on a hunt for the perfect foundation, and so far most foundations are too dark for me (even the lightest shades!) or they break me out or my skin is too dry during the winter. Hair videos might be fun as well, like the braid tutorial I did awhile back. Any thoughts? If I started a YouTube channel, what videos would you most be interested in seeing?

On shop news, I am hoping to open the shop up again soon, but I will also be working on a few big historical dress projects coming up as well. So I am toying with the idea of making some Henriette dresses ready-made in various sizes in a different fabric than pictured (sadly, I am out of the green cotton plaid and I can't find more of it). Making garments ahead of time instead of made-to-order might help me manage my time a little better while I am working on other projects.

So I guess all of that is a lot to swallow, but it's a new year! And I am excited to dive right in and start making goals and working on keeping those goals! I started a few goals several months ago which I've been pretty good at keeping and I feel better than ever! Doing yoga (Esther is the best!) every day has helped me a TON and taking pro-biotics and multi-vitamins are making me feel pretty darn awesome! Especially those pro-biotics, man are those good. And I'm also trying to drink 8 glasses of water a day because every time I am faithful with keeping hydrated, I look and feel a whole lot better. Seriously, it's no joke. Try it sometime! You may be taking a billion trips to the bathroom to pee, but it is worth it in my book! And I think if you start to keep hydrated on a regular bases, those trips to the bathroom will lessen. At least I hope they will! Anyway, on that note (ehem) I will end! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday! I have lots more Christmas photos to share, but will show you those in another post, hopefully before winter is over! xo


  1. I love this post, I can tell how excited you are for life and what lies ahead. I love and work in fashion but I feel like I neglect my own look a lot because I get saturated with so much input from the web and mags and blogs and such. I'm trying to figure out what I like now too. It can sure be tough! I'm excited to see your progress and discoveries here. Happy New Year! xo, Brittan

  2. Happy new year!!!
    I would love to have Henriette Plaid Dress, it's so nice this shape! I wish you a wonderful 2012!

  3. your hair are fantastic!
    I have those days when I just jump into "something' too.
    Loving clothes, fashion doesn't necessarily mean that you have to dress up every single day. Cause if you do something every day - after some time it might become a routine and loose that factor of "excitement". It's natural. So I think it's even better to keep the balance in life.

  4. Happy new year, Anna!

    It's funny you should talk about your online presence. Before I followed your Pinterest I just followed your blog and I had this idea about your style and, to me, it seemed that your personal style was similar to your clothing line. But since I have had you on my Pinterest list I am seeing that there is so much more to you than that. It's like we are getting to know a bit more about you!

    I think we all have an idea about how we would like to dress and then we have the way we really dress! I live in jeans, tshirts and cardigans in winter and easy, flowing dresses in summer. And flat shoes. This is not my fantasy wardrobe! But I just don't end up wearing the other things that I buy. So i'd love to hear about your transition to a different look and how it works with working from home.

    Oh, and I also swear by probiotics, lots of water and yoga. They keep things in balance, right? But I don't think you ever have to pee less with the water. I have been drinking 3-4 litres a day for about a year now and it never stops. Haha.

    Oh this is such a long comment now! I do want to say that I like the idea of a YouTube channel. Little tutorials (like the hair braiding) would be fun. But not too long - no longer than a couple of minutes each.

    I look forward to seeing where things go.

  5. Anna, I think even the cool girls want to be the "cool girl who looks effortless". And you always look cute in your pictures! I have been trying to only have quality clothes that I like in my closet and it has helped so much when getting dressed. I think my favorite thing to wear right now is jcrew's matchstick jeans, sweaters, and boots with a scarf thrown on top. The worst bit about getting dressed in the winter is you end up being half covered by the large down parka.
    Also, you should totally do the you tube videos. I think you'd have a lot of people watching them!
    And lastly, yes drinking 8 cups of water a day helps so much with how you feel. And I try to eat a spinach salad everyday. I swear, even in winter (I know, I know it's not local) having a plateful of greens is so helpful in how I feel.

  6. p.s. those videos of girls just showing what they're doing, using "subtitles" and no talking, are also cute and might help with your nervousness in front of the camera.

  7. It's like you've read my mind! I understand how you feel completely! Effortless beauty, it's elusive to me. I'm a stay at home mom with a baby under one, so the effortless part is easy, but the beauty not so much. Haha. Seriously though, it's so easy to fall into the jeans/ tshirt routine. Blah. Here's to a better year for both of us!

    As for the makeup, I'm fair too. I find that Mary Kay has light enough shades. It's not the best foundation, but it also doesn't make me break out. Just a thought.

  8. Happy New Year!
    I am looking forward to all that you decide, though I do enjoy your blog so much already. Hoping for a clear mind and peace on whatever you find your heart wants to embark on.:) And just so you know I find your outfits and pictures absolutely lovely!
    Blessings Katie.

  9. Well, I've always thought you had awesome style but I hear ya on being in a fashion rut. Usually in the morning I just throw something on and pull my hair back in a ponytail, and then when I go to do drop off for my daughter at school I feel mortified that a looking put-together teacher will see me and think I'm some ragamuffin :)
    I'd love to see a youtube channel from you. Something about timeless style and simple ways to create a cohesive wardrobe, and I always love a good hair tutorial.

    I've started using the new neutregena foundation that has a little bit of salisilic acid in it so that it actually helps fight breakouts instead of aggrivates them. I usually have to wear the second-to-the-palest in foundations, but in this brand I'm actually 3 up from palest pale. Maybe it will work for you?

  10. I want to spruce up my wardrobe too. I'm pretty casual always, but want to reach for more blouses than tees and remember to put on jewelry too. And I'm trying to always have my nails polished, or super clean and buffed. I think it's the small things that make me sometimes feel unkempt at times!

    Hoping great things for you in 2012, Anne!

  11. Whoops - I typo-ed Anne instead of Anna. Terrible! Sorry.

  12. Amen sister.
    I'd love to see more from you, and encourage you to continue finding that effortless outward beauty that reflects the inner you! I've been slowly, slowly, trying to do that myself. It is DEFINITELY okay to be casual & comfy sometimes, but it often feels superfluous to dress up, or wear lipstick, or invest in that adorable accessory I can't stop thinking about!
    But woman, you are beautiful, and I truly believe the Creator made us that way and meant for us to embrace it!!

    A (sorry it's long) note about skincare:
    I have VERY sensitive, fair skin too (lucky us!) and here's the regiment I've discovered works for me:
    1. foundation: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Powder in Translucent (ive heard good things about other mineral wears & this one is inexpensive, so ive stuck w/it):
    2. radiant skin/dryness: Arbonne FC5 face lotion is AWESOME & so hydrating. Its expensive, but I only use a bottle every six months or so. I use the night hydrating cream in winter. They are light and refreshing!
    3. face "wash" I found OCM (oil cleansing method): I wash my face w/a combination of 2 parts Olive Oil 1 part Castor Oil. Rub it in, Towel it off w/a hot moist washcloth ... sounds crazy, but it is honestly the best thing I've ever found out about! Also, it proves to be the perfect eyemakeup remover. I no longer have to wash my face in the mornings (just a splash of cold water to wake up) and it stays more hydrated thru winter!

    GOSH! Sorry for the LONG essay about all that :) Really wanted to share though! Thanks for letting me ramble :)

  13. My doctor says to drink about 14 glasses of water a day. I'm pretty sure he's insane.


  14. Hi Anna! I just love your makeup in this photo set. It's wonderful. I've been wearing liquid liner for years in a sort-of cat's eye shape, but I'd like it to be softer and smokier looking like yours. Did you do this look with eyeshadow or liner or both?

    Happy New Year!

  15. Happy New Year! You seem so excited, and for that I'm so happy for you! Keep it up. I always love to see you in this space.

  16. I've always really liked your blog but I'm curious and excited to see what things might look like if you intend to "liven things up a bit". I agree with comments above that you would definitely get people who are interested in your youtube videos, as long as you remain true to yourself.

    As for wardrobe motivation, maybe you could post an outfit of the week? This is something I'm thinking about doing so that I might begin blogging again. The pressure's low that way, but you still have an incentive for putting more thought into your outfit some days.

  17. you're so pretty not matter what . i love-love your use of eye-liner : stunning ! :)

    go with/trust your gut feeling, even about aesthetic or artistic from what i know about you/it at my "old" age, it will always be right because you ARE one of those lucky ones with a natural effortless beauty !

    just got my internet plug back & working on my laptop, so i wanted to give you a big 2012 transatlantic ((hug))

  18. you have the most beautiful skin - why in heaven's name do you want a foundation? I bet you'd be fine with a little under-eye concealer and dust of powder across your nose.

  19. I love your idea of creating youtube videos. I would love to listen to those while I sew. :) I was just thinking the other day that it would be great if someone had podcasts on historical clothing - making, wearing, researching, running a business, etc. It would be lovely to hear about anything sewing related, clothing related or makeup and hair related. :)

  20. brittan, thank you for your thoughts! :) happy new year to you too!

    neus, happy new year! i'm glad you like the henriette dress! it is a really fun dress to wear. i'm still looking for the perfect fabric to make it in. hopefully will be able to stop by the fabric store today and see what they have.

    Rūta, thank you! yeah, i don't think i could dress up every single day, but i'd like to more than i do now. it always makes me feel good about myself when i get dressed in the morning! and i tend to get more accomplished in a day.

    belinda, thank you for all of your thoughts! they were so fun to read! you know i think a part of my style really is the clothing i make. whenever i make clothing i am thinking of clothing that appeals to me. but for some reason i just haven't worn a lot of the clothing i design! so funny how that works. i think my dream would be to create a new wardrobe and sew it just for myself. and perhaps i will do that little by little. maybe incorporate a few purchases and try to make the rest. hm... anyway, thank you for all of your encouraging thoughts! i love reading everyone's comments. they really brighten my day!

    martha, aw thank you! i totally agree about buying quality items. i know i haven't done perfectly in that, which is why my closet has several items i never reach for. or maybe i'm just tired of them. perhaps it's time for another YARD SALE! :) and i looove jcrew's pants and jeans. i have a pair of their matchstick jeans in a gray sort of stonewash color that i love. though i'd love a pair of basic bluejeans. and i'm toying with the idea of some bright pants. i don't know about that yet, though!! i really feel like i need a pop of color in my wardrobe. i'm always gravitating towards grays, blues, browns etc. i also agree with the plate of greens in the winter! it's a must! i picked up a bag of romaine lettuce and a large bag of spinach the other day so we are stocked for a week. :)

    ann, thank you for the make-up tips! i actually do have a mary kay mineral foundation right now and it's the lightest shade, but it's still a shade too dark for me! but i still wear it anyway. ;) i'm just on the hunt for something better.

    thank you, katie, that is really sweet of you!!

    heather, thank you for the tips on foundation! i have a neutregena tinted moisturizer that i just got to try out and it is a bit too dark. argghh! i was wearing it under another lighter foundation, but i think that is too much and honestly think having two foundations on made me break out. i don't know if you've heard of bb cream, but i ordered some and will be trying that out next!

    jane, haha! you made me laugh. no worries!!! i have done that before too. and about dressing every day, it's sooo much easier to just throw on a t-shirt and jeans. i'm trying to get more blouses into my wardrobe and also acquire more jewelry. i don't know when, but at some point i decided i hated all my cheap jewelry, so i took almost all of it to the thrift store. the one necklace i wear is a very simple little silver chain with a tiny pinecone and pearl that my sister-in-law gave me to wear for her wedding. i think it's time i branch out!

    monirose, wow thank you!! all those tips are awesome! and thank you for the encouragement! i love it when my posts inspire others to write and comment. it makes me feel like i'm really chatting with someone, rather than just typing out a bunch of words on the internet. ;) also, i'm totally going to have to try out your face routine! i don't know if you've heard of bb cream, but it's supposed to be a primer, foundation, lotion and sunscreen (usually 25 spf) in one. and it's best suited to light skin. i'm going to try that soon and maybe i'll do a review of it. i am afraid i'll be disappointed, but i've heard so many good things about it. so we'll see!

  21. iris, wow! 14 glasses of water! i can't even imagine drinking that much. i think i will stick with 8 for now! lol!

    hi rachel! actually, i never wear eyeliner, but am always trying to figure out how to do it. this time i put it on with scotch tape! there is a tutorial online about putting on cat eyeliner using tape. it's really fun to do. however, i haven't been able to get it as good as i got it in these pics!

    rose, thank you and happy new year to you!

    alissa, yes, a good reminder to stay true to myself! i agree. that is always my aim when writing on my blog. i love the feeling that i am chatting with a close friend or a few friends. perhaps i will get more comfortable in front of the camera. i love the youtube videos that feel as though they are talking directly to you through the screen. and i always enjoy people who are uplifting and positive. so fun!

    valerie, you are so encouraging!! thank you for those words, i needed to hear them! isn't it fun to have this online community of encouraging people? :)

    margo, thank you!! my skin isn't horrible, but i will occasionally break out and i have a bit of pigmentation across my nose and cheeks. i'd really like to bring my face color down to match the rest of my skin a bit more. i definitely don't want to cake on a lot of foundation, which is why i've not worn much foundation in my life. i would normally put on concealer, but you could still tell i had concealer on - not pretty! i'm going to be trying out bb cream, which is supposed to be better for you than regular foundation and it's supposed to lighten your skin. so i'm excited to try it!

    lindsey, those are great ideas! i'd love to have a youtube channel with a bit of everything. perhaps even some sewing projects?? we'll see. depends on how much time i have to devote to it! ;)

  22. Anna, I love your blog so much because you are a real girl. Thank you! I can't wait to watch what you do - I'm sure it will all be pretty darn amazing.

    As for the foundation - I have fair skin and red/strawberry blond hair. Bare Minerals is hands down the best I've used ever. I use the original mineral vail ligtly first, and then the original "Fairly Light" foundation color next, followed with a cheek bone highlight with their "warmth." It's so natural looking but gives me such an even skin tone look.

    Hope you find something you love!


  23. I agree with Modern Crush. Bare Escentuals aka Bare Minerals is the best. I hated make-up, especially foundations etc., before my friend introduced me to Bare Minerals. Now I actually look forward to putting it on and hate to leave the house without it.

    People tell me I have that pregnancy glow but I know it's really just the make-up. lol It's kinda pricey but look for an outlet store near you;prices are much better there. Plus, you can get a free make-over there where they show you how to apply it and find your right coloring etc.


  24. The enthusiasm in this post is so wonderful! I would love to watch you on YouTube. Count on me as a subscriber if you decide to do that. Even though many "channels" have a specific niche, I think you could just approach it the way you approach this blog if you can't think of a specific topic.

    As for foundation - oh, man, I feel your pain. I've been testing foundations since my favorite custom blend was discontinued, and none of them seem light enough. I have a neutral skin tone, so that seems to make it worse. Here is my unsolicited advice. ;) Bobbi Brown has one of the lightest I've found (for liquid) and it's unscented. Illamasqua makes a pure white foundation that you can mix into other foundations to make them lighter. There are some brands that are made in the UK and Australia that have very fair shades but I've never wanted to order them sight unseen. And if you like mineral foundation, you might want to try some samples from Alima - they have lots of very fair shades and it doesn't seem to bother my breakout-prone skin.
    Oh, and there is a beauty blog by a Scottish woman with red hair you might want to check out - she has some foundation reviews.
    Even with all of my searching, I still haven't found a liquid foundation that works with my skin tone. So I wish you luck and would love to hear about any discoveries.

  25. Ok, I know how you feel about a) every foundation being too dark (and then your neck and body look like they belong to someone else) and b) icky foundations breaking you out. My favorite used to be Bare Minerals in the lightest shade, but even that was way too dark when I tried to use it as a concealer. Now I'm using Pur Minerals, 4-in-1 pressed makeup, in the lightest shade (I think it's called Porcelain), going on 3 years without any problems. It's awesome, kinda pricey, like $25ish dollars per thing, but it lasts like 6 months at least, and I use it as foundation and concealer. It's the lightest makeup and doesn't break me out!

  26. Dear Anna-I already think you're the cool girl who looks effortless and stylish, please don't change too much and make-up every day is too much~ can't wait to see your new creations, I'd like to see some spring dresses in particular. Aloha and plumeria breezes from Hawaii sent, Erika ;)