'Carrie Bradshaw Lied' On Living In SoCal

"Carrie Bradshaw Lied." These sound like fighting words, but I can't disagree with Kathleen Barnes, the founder of the blog by this very name. The curly-haired, pun-loving star of Sex & The City was a total liar. She lied when she implied that bucket hats and fishnet tanks were the epitome of fashion. She lied about the realities of dating in New York City. But most of all, she lied about the sheer amount of couture one could buy on a writer's budget.

That's where Kathleen comes in. As the SoCal-by-way-of-Mississippi blogger explains, "I realized life after college wasn’t as effortlessly fabulous and sprinkled with sparkle as Carrie Bradshaw led me to believe post-grad life might be." And yet, she became a fashionista among her friends in college, started a blog — and the rest is effortlessly fabulous history.

On her colorful Instagram account, she chronicles her DIY projects, #OOTDs, and world travels. She has a knack for mixing California cool with down-to-earth Southern classics, whether she's wearing ripped jeans and slouchy sweaters, jaunty straw hats and sundresses, or espadrilles and skirts. She also has a great eye for mixing designer items with totally affordable pieces to create looks that are both playful and attainable.

We partnered with H&M to talk to Kathleen about confidence, personal style, and the best places to go in her adopted hometown.

Her Blog Had Humble Beginnings

Featuring: Embroidered Cotton Dress, H&M

"I started my blog as a way to stay connected with my girlfriends, who I often dressed and styled in college. (I graduated from The University of Mississippi, also known as 'Ole Miss.') I consider myself a budget-friendly fashionista and love sharing my discoveries in not only fashion, but also home, travel, DIY and more."

She's A Southern Girl At Heart...

"I was born in Nashville and raised in Mississippi, and I’m currently living in Southern California while my husband completes his medical residency. I like to blend my Southern roots with the laid-back West Coast style."

...But She Loves Her Adopted Hometown

"I live in Old Towne Orange within Orange County, and I love that there are antique and vintage shops around every corner. My perfect Saturday would include bike rides to breakfast on the Circle, reading our patio with our blooming bougainvillea bush and a visit to the pool."

She Knows Where To Find All Of The Good Eats

"I love Bruxie, Orange Farmer’s Market, and Gabbi’s. And Felix’s Cuban food is a local gem!"

She's All About Easy, Breezy Style

Featuring: Embroidered Cotton Dress, H&M

"I love the boho, comfortable feel for spring and summer. It's effortless!"

L.A. Is The Inspiration For Her Boundless Self-Expression

"There is a lot of cool style here, and I really admire how everyone does their own thing and isn’t worried about necessarily being 'accepted.' Rather, it’s about using fashion as a means of expressing who you are and your interests."

This post is sponsored by H&M.

Images: Kathleen Barnes (3); Unsplash (3); Fotolia