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5 Ways to Look Fabulously Formal While Staying True to Your Hippy-Self

Today we have an extra special treat, a guest post!
This mega-talented writer hails from, arguably THE bohemian capital of America, Austin, Texas. I’m lucky to call Kasey Wenz a friend (and my personal style guru) and am SO excited to share her tips and tricks for dressing for your unique style. 
Let’s dive into how this hippie chick can help you bring boho-chic style to even the fanciest of events!

Modern day hippies of 2018 may not look like the proverbial Woodstock hippies of the 70’s, but they often stay true to the hippy spirit.

It’s safe to say hippies are often categorized as free spirits, forever standing up for the underdog or fighting for a cause.

Not only is being a hippy a state-of-mind and a recognizable subculture, hippies often literally wear their lifestyle choice on their sleeve.

Breaking the Hippy Stereotype

We all have the image of our parent’s (or even grandparents) generation protesting the Vietnam War with their waist-length hair, cropped tops with scarf-like sleeves, and the oversized bellbottom jeans.

We may not see this hippy walking down our streets anymore, but for true modern bohemians, our dress makes a statement about who we are and what we stand for in our own unique ways.

I, myself, am what I call a “card-carrying” hippy! You will often find me in blue jeans (yes, with a little flare or bell at the bottom), flowy tops, flip-flops and framed with long messy hair.

I tend to shy away from bars and restaurants that are the next big thing because I can’t wear flip-flops.

I  often joke with my friends, “if I can’t wear jeans, I don’t want to go.”

Dive bars and local pubs tend to be more my scene, but with that being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t have formal events to attend.

There are plenty of weddings, art opening, and other such formal occasions that call for more than jeans and a flowy top.

Feeling Like a Fish Out of Water?

For those real hippies at heart, we can feel out of comfort zone if we’re suddenly expected to wear formal dresses and high heels.

However, just because it’s out of our comfort zone, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to look our best and feel confident, while still staying true to our style and true to ourselves.

Without further ado, here’s the bohemian’s style guide to dressing for more conventional events

1. The Little Black Dress IS Our Friend

Little Black Dress

Since we were teens, we have probably heard and read all about the “little black dress,” and how every woman needs this one fabulous item hanging in her closet.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that it is true even for the most modern BOHO girl.

A formal beaded gown or the latest couture off the runway is probably not what most of us are used to, and if we try to wear something like this, chances are we will be uncomfortable and feel like we stand out like a sore thumb.

Go for the little black dress! Keep it simple, because it is the perfect blank canvas to show off the real you in more exciting and unique ways.

2. Express Yourself Through Your Accessories

Formal does not mean you have to wear pearls or diamonds.

As an authentic bohemian, you probably have some artsy beaded jewelry you found at a street festival or art fair.

Boho Jewlery

Against your little black dress, your jewelry will stand out and make for an interesting conversation piece as well.

If you prefer to keep your jewelry more toned down, then carry a fringed handbag or find a vintage cigarette case instead of a wallet.

3. Keep It Messy

Most of us probably think of formal events requiring some sort of up-do or smoothed outside curls, and one side tucked behind the ear. While are both beautiful looks, but it’s probably not your style.

Hippies tend to have long and often messy hair. I know my hair looks like it’s in constant turmoil over whether it wants to be straight or curly all at the same time.

Hippy Flower Hair

For formal functions, embrace this mess and keep it long but wear a simple flower behind the ear or pull the sides back into a vintage comb. If you want it up, go for a loose topknot with some small pieces sporadically pulled out.

You also can’t go wrong with a loose side fishtail braid. Again, go for some flowers woven through the free sections of hair.

4. Flaunt It If You Have It (Ink That Is)

Nowadays I can’t think of a single adult I know who doesn’t have at least one tattoo.

Don’t shy away or hide your body art.

Most people want to show off their tattoos, and formal functions are no exception. When you’re shopping for your perfect little black dress, find dress styles that compliment your ink.

Shoulder Tattoo

For example, if you have a tattoo on the back of your shoulder, consider wearing a halter style, one sleeve, or off-the-shoulder dress.

For those large bold back tattoos, go for a sexy backless or keyhole dress.

There are a million styles out there, so find one that works as a frame for your art.

5. Ditch the Heels

If you typically live in flip-flops or Birkenstock sandals, then you probably dread putting on high heels for your fancy function.

Not only will you be in incredible pain for most of the night, but you may be worried you’ll look like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time.


There are lots of alternatives to high heels these days: ballet shoes, tasseled sandals, high-lace up gladiator sandals, or even low wedges that can all look great and formal. For my wedding, I wore a pair of Moroccan Crochet TOMS, just saying!

No matter what you choose to wear to your formal event, the bohemian attitude of a true hippy always stands out at any function!


About Kasey:

About The Author

Kasey Wenz is a hippie-chick from Austin, Texas. She has been a faculty mentor and advisor in higher education for the past several years. In addition, she is a freelance writer with a passion for travel, the arts, live music, literature, and education. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time outdoors with her husband and two small children.

Treehouse Society Coworking Space

How To Improve Your Freelance Business With Coworking Spaces

I’m a millennial. I happily embrace the title while rejecting the negative stereotypes associated with it. We’re more than a movement; we’re the future. What’s even more, we encompass an entire lifestyle.

Raised in the age of technology, we’re afforded so many more opportunities than generations before us. As it used to be, starting a business was a costly venture. These days, as long as you’ve got an internet connection, you’ve got a shot.

Armed with a laptop and a bit of that entrepreneurial spirit, millennials are changing the way the world works.

Ushered in with the age of millennials in the workforce are two trends that are shaking up the way we work. Firstly, freelancing fulltime is at an all-time high. According to one study, over 53 million Americans are freelancing, and that number is only growing.

Second is the rise of coworking spaces. For those of you who are not familiar, coworking space, in a nutshell, is where you can rent an office, desk or suite to run your business. It’s an innovating option for startups and entrepreneurs to work professionally while keeping their overhead costs down.

While coworking spaces are great for many types of people, one fact is undeniable. They offer some fantastic benefits that can help improve or even grow your business.

Work-Life Balance

While you still get to be your own boss, having a working destination offers freelancers a better chance of hitting that much-coveted work-life balance.

Coworking spaces are popping up all over the globe and offer flexibility to match any work style.

Many spaces are often 24/7, meaning whether you’re one to get up and work bright and early or if you do your best work into the wee hours, you have office space that fits your schedule.

Creates a Routine

Another chief complaint among freelancers is that while forgoing the time clock is all well and good, it can be all too easy to fall out of a productive schedule.

For me, my home office is in my living room. I love being able to roll out of bed, brew a pot of coffee and begin working at my own pace. However, I also know how quickly that cup of coffee can slide into a leisurely breakfast, and I wind up losing productive time.

Having a designated coworking space to show up to can help create a much-needed routine and can ultimately help you work smarter and more with fewer distractions (more on that later.)

No, if you show up to your shared desk an hour later than you originally planned, you won’t get lectured by your boss (who, coincidentally is YOU.) But it does give you a little bit of motivation to get out of your PJs in the morning and get to work knowing you have a place to go (other than your living room.)

Afterall, your business won’t work if you don’t.

Beat the Burnout

Being an entrepreneur can be a roller coaster experience. It also can be an isolating one.

As a freelance writer, it’s not at all uncommon to realize it’s 7 pm and I haven’t heard another human beings’ voice all day. (I’ll admit, I’ve found myself overly chatty with the mailman just to engage in conversation during the day.)

That kind of isolation, combined with dealing with the up and downs of running a business, can lead to burn out pretty quickly.

When I’m burnt out, I can’t produce my best work. When burnout hits, I find myself staring at my laptop screen, with a blinking cursor, wondering what the hell to do next.

Having an office or desk mate is a great way to cut through that isolation and be sure you stay ahead of the dreaded burnout.

coworking space

Help Bust Through a Creative Block

Coworking spaces are great because you can interact with other professionals, and draw inspiration from them.

I like to think of coworking spaces as a giant mastermind group, where each member brings something to the table. Seeing other entrepreneurs making their dreams work can rouse your inner muse and get you back on the creative train in no time.

Productivity Boost

As many people can attest, working from home comes with its drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks is that there are distractions aplenty.

It’s easy enough to say ” I’ll just tidy up this space while my coffee brews” and realize over an hour has passed.  Want to take a quick break and watch just ONE episode on Netflix and suddenly find you’ve lost two hours?  We’ve all been down that work-from-home rabbit hole.

When you use a coworking space, you’re much less likely to lose time checking your Facebook feed when the office around you is hard at work.

Additionally, the professional atmosphere alone may be enough to boost you into productive overdrive.


Besides offering a respite from the lonely workings of starting a business, coworking spaces provide many opportunities for developing professional relationships.

After all, what better way to network with other freelance professionals than to work alongside them? Many coworking spaces offer great benefits like weekly mixers or happy hour events where you can mingle with other professionals.

One coworking facility, The Treehouse Society, has even gone a step further and created a membership network where members can offer each other services at discounted rates. How’s that for a win-win?

Reap The Benefits of Coworking Spaces

The benefits and opportunities coworking spaces bring your business are plentiful. Whether you’re just starting out or just you need a boost to your business, coworking spaces are the up-and-coming way to rise to the top

If you’re struggling to grow your business or need a break from the home office monotony (or Starbucks, no judgments), look into renting coworking space.





I’ve battled insomnia for as long as I can remember. I was first prescribed sleeping pills when I was just fourteen years old. It comes, and it goes, of course. It’s not like I haven’t slept in fifteen years. I have. Just not well, or much.

“Boy, it’s really coming down out there.”

I always know when a bout is heading in. The clues are there, subtle as they are. I have more energy later at night; it takes a little longer to fall asleep, and whatever sleep I manage is fragmented. Each night seems a little longer, and I’m getting none of the benefits. It’s like seeing a forecast for a storm a week out. You know it’s coming, but when that day of rain and wind day comes, you left the umbrella at home.

I’ll always be a night owl, which is different from an insomniac. I’ve never been one to go to bed early and rise with the sun, probably never will be. The difference is that insomnia won’t let you sleep, no matter the time. Insomnia almost gives you a fear of getting into bed, never knowing if tonight is going to be a restful one or if it’s the night you watch turn into day.

Where it All Began

When I was younger, the sleeping pills worked their magic. I’d take one, and within a half an hour, I was peacefully off to dreamland. Thanks to inept doctors, I was prescribed the pills nearly nightly for months (which is not advised). I was a young teenager who couldn’t sleep. If the doctor told me to take this medication every night, I listened.

I slept almost every night over those months because those pills worked. Until they didn’t. That’s where my learning experience in sleeplessness began. During these years, I learned so much about the noises my house made in the wee hours. I knew which birds started singing and when. I learned the panicked art of counting down of hours until it was “acceptable” to be awake and that sleep and I would probably never get along. I gave up the pills (that no longer worked) and accepted that this is what life was going to be like, night after night.

College masked my sleeping issues. With never-ending parties and all-night cram sessions, I hardly noticed my sleep schedule was different from anyone else’s. My extra nocturnal hours helped me finish papers and essays, ones I, of course, procrastinated doing. If I was going to have insomnia, I was going to have it work for me. It was only after the good old collegiate days did I realize how strong the hold was that insomnia had on me.

A Grown Up Problem

Adult responsibilities such as say, a job, basically require you to be functioning human being. (Especially when said job is teaching a class full of preschoolers). Being a functioning human and being an insomniac are in direct contradiction with each other. Somehow, I was able to be at work every day at 8:00 A.M. as bright and shiny as I could be, despite the fact I had only slept four hours. I always snuck home on my lunch break for a nap. I liked my job and was good at it. As soon as I got home from work, there was no chance I could do little more than sit and read. I was the walking dead. Despite being exhausted from chasing around toddlers all day, when bedtime hit, I was wide-awake. I finally went back to a doctor and gave those pills of old another shot.

Back Down the Rabbit Hole

The first night back on the sleeping pills was blissful. I fell asleep faster and more soundly than I had in a long while. I awoke a little groggy and with a bad taste in my mouth, but it was still better than the zombie I was without any sleep. Still, there were too many nights when my husband (who worked nights) knew he could text me at 3:00 A.M and, more likely than not, I’d reply, “Yup, I’m still up.” By this point, my insomnia came in spells. Knowing that, and my experiences with building such a tolerance when I first tried sleep aids, I didn’t use the pills nightly. I didn’t even use them weekly. I saved them for dire emergencies, like a sleep security blanket, safely tucked away in my bedside table. For a while, they remained untouched. I tried acupuncture, nighttime yoga, and even Benadryl, all things that worked, but only for so long.

New Job, Same Problems

Years later, I changed jobs and given up on a steady relationship with sleep altogether. This new job, for the most part, didn’t require me to be in before ten in the morning. This small luxury allowed me to grab some extra shuteye on days that I was still staring at the ceiling at 4:30. Despite my later starting hour, I began to notice small changes. I was more stressed than I’ve ever been, moodier and gained weight seemingly just by looking at food.

While some nights were earlier than others, the problem persisted. I had a mantra I’d repeat to myself during these sleepless spells. “This won’t last forever.” It was true. Insomnia in its truest form would last two to three nights and then would recede into whatever dark corner if came from. It became harder to tell when it was going to strike.

The Beast Returns

The last bout was rough but beautiful in some strange way. My week had been intense, full of stress and not enough exercise. I knew by the way I got to sleep later and later each night that the beast, insomnia, was coming for me. I laid in bed feeling somewhat tired and took my “in-case-of-emergencies-pill.” Precautions were taken. I avoided screens for an hour before bedtime, remembering blue light interferes with your brain shutting down for the night. Armed with a cup of chamomile tea and my book, I felt comfy, cozy and ready for bed. I even laughed knowing I’ve done everything right and I would outwit insomnia tonight.

Getting more and more comfortable, I felt myself about to drift off. Then BAM! I was overwhelmed with panic; my legs felt as if they were crawling with bugs. My mind was racing, and I’m wide-awake. I gave myself twenty minutes to do breathing exercises before I had to leave the bed. Some research says if you can’t fall back to sleep in twenty minutes, get up and distract yourself, a change of scenery if you will. So I ended up on my couch, book in hand, waiting for sleep to take over. At 4:30, I felt like I’ve had enough and quietly crawled back into my bed. (Thank goodness my husband is a heavy sleeper, with all my tossing and turning). Last I saw of the clock; it was 5:00 and I must have drifted off sometime after that.

The Drink-less Hangover

The next day was hell. I was drained, cranky and unable to get basic sentences strung together. My body was reacting as if I’d pulled an all night booze bender. Sitting in front of my laptop, trying to get words to come out in some sort of readable order was impossible, I was underwater. I had such plans for the day; I wanted to complete my many assignments, go to the gym, and clean my apartment. But insomnia took that productive day from me, again. After slaving away for hours at my computer in a zombie-like fashion, I gave up.

“I Must be Dying.”

By that evening, I was exhausted. I was running on fumes and poised to knock right out. However, I was anxious; knowing the pattern the beast follows. There was no way I was returning to the pill that had so grossly betrayed me the night before. I read my book for an hour and crawled into bed. My husband is snoring away, and I’m telling myself “it’s still early, I can still sleep.” After an hour, I’m about to drift off and once again, panic washes over me. “I must be dying” is exactly how it feels. I take a small anti-anxiety pill for good measure and start in on my breathing meditation.

Thirty minutes later, I’m sneaking out of the bedroom like a bad one-night-stand, leaving my lover sleeping soundly me. I take to the living room and begin some gentle nighttime yoga. It doesn’t do the trick. I try guided meditation with binaural beats. Nothing. I go back to my book. Still wide-awake.

A Beautiful and Strange Hell


Time moves in such a strange fashion when you can’t sleep. The clock moves slowly and quickly both at the same time. I try to avoid looking at it, as time seems like a foreign construct at this point. The quiet in the wee hours never ceases to amaze (or agitate) me. But it’s the time between 5:30-6:00 that’s truly inexplicable. That’s when the first stirrings of the waking world hit my ears.

It starts out quietly and slowly builds. Throughout the apartment building, I can hear soft footfalls of neighbors getting out of bed, doors creaking open and shower taps turning on. The not-so-far-away boulevard begins to fill with the sounds of traffic. It’s nothing like the midday rush, but a noticeable increase from the silence of the night. Owners take their dogs on sunrise walks while businessmen rush to make the early train. A slow, building cacophony of key fobs dinging in the distance signal the start of so many days.

My day will not be like theirs. It’s beautiful and disturbing all at the same time. I take all the sounds in as a thing of frustrating beauty because it’s an experience not many get to have, hearing the world wake up. Insomnia has let me see the darkest of the night and the birth of new days.

Now if only it would let me sleep.

5 Simple Ways to RELAX (at home)

This time of year is a stressful one for me. There’s a ton going on, lots of deadlines to meet and I am STRESSED!

As someone who has struggled with anxiety most her life, I’ve learned how important self-care is.

Work gets hectic, your to-do list at home piles up and by the time you crawl into bed your mind is abuzz with a million things you didn’t get around to, that awkward thing you said at lunch a week ago, what’s on your plate tomorrow and the list goes on.

How can anyone possibly relax?

Well, I got you covered! All these can be done from the privacy of your living room and will cost you next to nothing (or nothing at all.)

Check out these tips below that work for me!

Pamper yourself.

Who has money (or time) to have a spa night after a rough, say, Tuesday at work? No need because you can totally give yourself a “spa-like” experience in your very own living room.

Give your tootsies a cooling treat and lather them up in a thick menthol cream (or Vicks vapor rub-not even kidding, give it a whirl), throw on a pair of thick socks and put those puppies up.

While resting your tired feet, slather on a face mask and feel the day melt away. I’m personally a huge fan of Tony Moly sheet masks.

Extra credit if you use some essential oils!

Get creative.

With so many outlets, it’s impossible not to find something to immerse yourself in.

Obviously, Pinterest is a huge resource for DIY projects but if you’re looking for something less involved try your hand learning something new.

Calligraphy looks gorgeous, even when it’s just profanities (Extra points if you put it into DIY Pinterest-y frame and decorate your room) Not super artsy? One of those “adult” coloring books is both distracting AND soothing. (I still take offense that there are “child” and “adult” coloring books, I resent having to choose between the two.)

Get cooking.

This one’s personal favorite of mine.

I find it soothing (and deliciously rewarding) to become immersed in a recipe. Take your time chopping and sautéing and more than likely the simmering aromas will get that workday stress off your mind.

Sure this one MAY require some planning ahead, finding a recipe and ensuring you have all the ingredients but of course there’s a way around that too!

Check out MyFridgeFood.com, input what you have on hand, and you’ll be given a list of things you can whip up, no shopping trip required! Bonus points if you make some comfort food because, duh, it’s comforting.


Hold the eye roll I’m SURE you’ve heard this one before, but I guess there’s a good reason for it. It works.

You don’t need to run out and sign up for a gym to work off some stress. Take a walk around the block, try a new at-home workout or even some static stretching.

When my mind is racing at night, I try some deep stretching in bed and usually can release enough tension to get sleepy. Got a little time? Try Zumba on Wii. If you’re anywhere near as uncoordinated as I am, you not only get your blood pumping, but a have a good laugh at yourself as well, which brings me to…

Have a laugh.

I get it; sometimes a rough day leaves you with zero energy to move further than the couch.

Turn on a short, funny TV show (Impractical Jokers gets me every time) out try a new podcast ( How Did This Get Made never fails to give me a chuckle). Even if you’re not feeling happy-go-lucky, sometimes a laugh can lighten the tension just enough to get comfortable. (Extra bonus points if you try this with #1)

Have any other tricks that work for you? Let me know; I’m always on the hunt for finding my zen!

Happy Relaxing!

Well……..now what?

Congrats, you did it!

You put four years into earning your degree, and after graduation, you landed yourself a job! Now you’re an adult. Fast forward a bit, and you’ve gotten yourself a new, higher paying job, still in your field, with more responsibility. You were able to get some money together and moved out. Now you’re REALLY an adult. A few years pass. You have your name and fancy title on business cards; you do grownup things like putting part of your paycheck into a savings account for emergencies, contributing to your IRA account and you got married! You’re at the age where it’s totally acceptable to have a baby human of your own, a terrifying thought and one maybe you’ve even had. Seriously, you’re a bonafide adult human.

But if you’re anything like me, you also may wake up in the morning and ask yourself “where is this adult the world sees?”

I’m now eight years into working full-time in the field in which I majored. I’ve moved up to a top position and make *decent* money. I was lucky to have landed a job out of college and even luckier to have found something that allowed me some financial freedom. I’m lucky. Yet I can’t shake the feeling I fell into this luck, without knowing who I was and what I wanted. Maybe it’s because of luck that almost nine years after the first time I thought I was an adult, I’m just now asking myself “Is this really what I want to be doing?”

I thought there would be an “a-ha!” moment when I actually became an adult. Or at least when I felt like one.

I didn’t get that moment, not for years. Not when I bought my first car, or when I signed the contract for my first full-time job. Not even when I got married. I thought I was doing everything right, by the book. Go to school, find a major, get a job in said major, move up in the world. Your job is important, defining. You spend the majority of your life there, better make it count. Right?

My “a-ha” moment came just recently while talking to a friend over drinks. We were discussing how I’ve become burnt out at my job and didn’t know what my next step was. I just knew I didn’t have the passion for my field that I once did over ten years ago when I decided on a major in college. But what now? I’ve spent my whole “adult” life doing this, how can I just change now? She simply asked me “What did you want to be when you were a kid?” It was something so simple and a thought I’ve never had before.

I’ve never once considered my silly 12-year-old self would have any greater insight to my own self-actualization than my fully grown, adult self would. I wanted to write. And I still do. The minute the words came out, it was like a light turned on. I had direction, a goal. Maybe I’ve been an adult all along, just wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing with my adult life. Maybe not quite knowing who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do is what kept me from claiming that elusive title of “adult.”

The less risk, the better. Right?

Since realizing what my childhood self always knew, and I forgot, I’ve got a whole new direction I can take my adult life. I’ve always tried to make the most sensible and secure choices when it came to my career. The less risk, the better. That way of living, lead me to become complacent and too comfortable in my position (and not in that cozy warm blanket kind of way), even if it wasn’t right for me. Changing the path you’ve worked your whole adult life on, is a huge risk. I’m ready to take those risks, make mistakes and be the “adult” I want to be.

I’m beyond excited!

By no means do I have it all figured out (maybe I never fully will), but I feel that taking this chance on my 12-year-old self is more rewarding than staying in a job that no longer makes me feel like I’m on the right path. I may not know what being adult really means (besides just because you CAN have dessert for breakfast, doesn’t mean you SHOULD) and that’s ok. I may find out I’m crappy at this and have to figure myself out all over again, but I’m okay with that too. Maybe there isn’t just one “a-ha!” moment for being “all grown up,” maybe I get a series of “a-ha!” moments and being an adult is just evolving and changing around those moments. Whatever the case may be, I can’t wait to get to it.

Happy adulting!