Carleigh Elise is a life and style blogger living in Los Angeles. This blog combines Carleigh’s sense of style, passion for travel, love of photography, her puppy Odie, boyfriend Roberto, and interior design.
Here we go guys... I am back and back with vengeance. I can almost hear the eye rolls from my best friends as I just said that, but hey I had to make my point. I wanted to start this blog on a fresh note and take it to lengths that you guys deserve. I am so eager to share my life as transparently as possible with you. That way, you can really follow my rough- not so pretty at times- journey. Of course I am sticking to what I know best, blabbing about my fashion go-to's and foodie whereabouts- however, I want to give you the real deal as best as possible. Think of this as your guilty pleasure, reality T.V. junkie, but served to you through a different medium- my written posts and youtube videos. Yes, I will be sharing more via Youtube and I am so excited!
Firstly, I wanted to catch you guys up on my life from where I left off. Born and raised in Naples Florida I am naturally a beach bum. I that lived off of sunsets at Vanderbilt Beach Club, smelled of sunscreen by day and mosquito repellent by night, lived for Hurricanes (no school, no problem) chronically consumed Publix sub sandwiches, and always dealt with a case of prune fingers from being in the pool all day... The struggles of life as a 90's youngin' were minimal and this is where my thirst for fashion began. I grew up going to First Baptist Academy (yes, uniforms were involved and no, they were not your Gossip Girl skirts). I was fortunate enough to have such a great academic background with a strong rearing of biblical values. During my middle school years, I began to experiment styles to find out who I am. Wearing uniforms made it a difficult task to express my unique style as a trendy 13 year old brace face. So, I had to be creative... I would test my limits by styling my ensembles with funky flats, large earrings (probably from Claire's) and adorn my wrist with several colored bracelets. Let me remind you that while I was in middle school it was 2007 and Lizzie McGuire was every tween's idol, ok? Besides the weekday's of trying to portray my inner style through my uniform, I had Wednesday night youth group nights to take my chance and make a statement. And I attempted to do so with my bright colors and stripes. I remember going to the mall with my mom and begging to get this orange striped long sleeve top and distressed denim jeans.
"Why all of the stripes?" my Mom would ask.
To me, they stood out and the orange was just so "fricken" cool! (Fricken and crud were my closest word choices to soon begin my sailor mouth, sorry Mom). And yes, I did stand out. I was a showstopper with my pink and green mismatched braces, freckles, orange stripes, dangly earrings. I knew fashion was something I so strongly admired when I found myself choosing Vogue over sour skittles in the check out line, but boy- did I look far from it! School nights were sometimes spent cutting out images from these magazines, pasting them to boards, and attempting to pronounce all of the fancy schmancy designers like Monique Lhuillier. While some 8th graders got their first high on "The Devil's Lettuce" I was getting mine from my shopping trips with my Grandma. You knew my Grandma and I were blood related by our shared love for shopping. We would spend a whole day at the Coastland Center mall in Naples shopping till we dropped at all of my favorites- Abercrombie, Hollister, and American Eagle (yes I know, typical). I started an organizational shopping ritual at the age of 12 which included me running to my closet, neatly hanging them by color category and visualizing the outfits that things could be paired with. All the while, trying to hide all of my bags of new clothes from my dad- some things never change. The high was eminent and my face beamed like a ray of sunbeams and I always looked lovely- Roald Dahl just gets me.
If my whole life was transpired into a book like a Lord of The Rings trilogy, the year 2009 would begin the second volume. In the year 2009 I started my freshmen year of high school at a public school called Gulf Coast High School. I would like to say I was that cool kid that didn't give a flying flick what a teacher said and played by my own rules....but I basically owned a rule book and had another waterproof one for back up. My first concert was Stephen Curtis Chapman (still love his stuff!) and my dream was to be a youth pastor's wife. So yeah... I was miss goody two-shoes and that was all I ever knew.
Stepping onto a bus during my first week of public high school was probably one of my more memorable moments. With minimal confidence and an overly accessorized outfit, I thought I was ready to take on my day. Shaking in my freshly white converse with a matching striped top from Buckle, I was pumped to add my pink and red heart printed backpack to my outfit. I mean who wants an ordinary Jan-sport backpack with your initials on it anyways? Little did I know that stepping onto that bus was me stepping into a world of the unknown. I learned my first big cuss word, "C U Next Tuesday" (if ya don't get it, you were probably a goody two shoes like myself) and became acquainted with rap. My first month into the free-world that is public high school, my eyes were opened to many.
My favorite aspect of course was the ability to wear whatever I wanted with the exception of shorts shorter than your finger length and spaghetti straps.. But I was finally free to express and show my style alas! As I started to get comfortable finding my friend group and going through the motions my parents dropped a bomb. I was moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. I have moved before but only 10 miles apart at most. My world shook beneath me and I was at a loss from where to begin. Abruptly, I left my best friends and favorite Lakeland Ave. house behind me. My next adventure began at South Mecklenburg High School where I had my first kiss, first boyfriend, and first taste of the good stuff (alcohol ya pervs). Fashion in North Carolina differed greatly compared to Naples rainbow flip flops and Hollister tank tops. Out in the southern city it was all about boots and Northface jackets. I remember my first winter in Charlotte like yesterday. The warmest garment I owned at the time was a pair of distressed denim Abercrombie & Fitch Jeans and an American Eagle sweater... I noticed girls wore fuzzy boots and black jackets. My Mom and I went on a winter shopping trip and I saw the the fuzzy boots! Little did I know that the boots I bought were knock offs and sure enough the boots immediately got the name "Fuggs" and were noticed by my ever-so-fashionable acquaintances. My cheeks were bright red and I knew I stuck out like a sore Floridian thumb. Before I knew it, I was not about expressing my style anymore, I wanted to blend in like a typical self conscious teenage girl. The winter of 2009 is when I officially began making my own "How I Met Your Mother" stories. The "I was such an idiot but now it is hilarious" stuff started. I finally adopted the North Carolina style and by the end of my junior year I had a car with my pink cursive monogram and a matching Vineyard Vines whale sticker intact, yikes. Fully conformed. Not hating on the preppy style at all, but it was not me. My mom knew that too, my funky accessories were replaced with pearls and my Steve Madden sandals were replaced with cowboy boots. Deep down inside I yearned for a unique staple look and was still so ever enamored by the oncoming fashion trends. I never retired my fashion collage boards of taped together pieces from Vogue and Elle and my organizational shopping ritual was still a thing.
My Mom saw my interest for fashion and begged for me to consider going to an art school instead of a typical four year college. Stubborn me decided that she wanted the college experience and joining a sorority was what it was all about. I had a blast my first few years but then again I knew I wasn't fulfilling my passion studying Public Relations. After college I made the decision to move to Los Angeles California to really make a jump on my career. I was ready for the big dogs and surround myself with people that are passionate about similar things. It all made sense, I grew up a beach girl but now I could combine beach girl with fashion. What more could I ask for? I officially made the move in October 2016 with my friend Hannah that I knew since high school. We both bought one way tickets, shipped our cars, and prayed we would find a decent apartment that first week in LA. Like the typical spontaneous idiot I am, I moved with just enough to cover first months rent and my security deposit. It wasn't pretty and my first job was with a company called LF. That job was difficult with long hours but it taught me a lot in the process. I learned management, social, and business skills that are priceless, so I must give them that. Finally, months later I accepted a position with a company called Tobi on their buying team. They say it takes three years to fully feel comfortable in LA LA land and I can definitely see that because I feel like I moved to Los Angeles yesterday. I am an advocate for chasing your dreams because there is nothing you cannot achieve. My motto before I moved was "We must travel in the direction of our fear" because if we get too comfortable are we really growing as individuals?
I want this blog to be a platform to empower women to know they can accomplish their dreams. I am definnnnnitely a work in progress but follow me on my journey till I get there. I am so thankful for all of you that actually read my random thoughts! So accompany me on this crazy roller coaster as I show you my wardrobe must-haves, foodie whereabouts, and where my wanderlust soul goes! Thanks so much for reading :)