My Week in Review: Weeks 30-32

I’ve had such busy weekends lately that before I realize it the weekend is behind me and I haven’t done a Week in Review…and now THREE weeks are behind me, so…time to do a little catch up…I’ll just do highlights to get caught up so this isn’t HUGE. Or is it YUUUUGE? Ha. NOPE. Huge.

Had my first experience videoing a wedding – and trust me, I am no videographer…but it was sort of me or Uncle Bob with his iphone, so…I did the best I could. I took some detail shots along the way to fill in a little slide show…


I started going through drawers and the closet to get rid of things I no longer enjoy wearing…I’m making donation piles and “sell online” piles. I’ll post a link on the blog when I have some things posted for sale online if you’re interested.


Caleb and I picked up our girl from the airport – she had traveled to Ireland for 10 days by herself. My girl is so strong and brave!


I swiped a pic from her Instagram…this is her at Giant’s Causeway. Which she repeatedly kept trying to climb even though told not to. That’s my girl!


I don’t know if this is nationwide, but here on Long Island we’ve had a recent rash of “creepy clown” sightings…so this Halloween display at a house in Rockville Centre sort of took me aback! What was so funny was the squirrels loved the tree and climbing all over the clown and having a great time. Poor Creepy Clown, so disrespected.


One weekend Caleb and I dog/house-sat for a friend. In the first five minutes I managed to lose a dog (who was then found), in the first evening I tried to burn the house down (thankfully, I failed), and overnight I managed to break the bed (shut up).


Guess where I’m going this afternoon? More dog-sitting!


I’ve started walking again. Starting slow…most days just about 20 minutes…but some days I have time for longer. I like to walk in interesting places.


Last Saturday I went into the city with friends for a gallery crawl. THAT was a long walk! Thankfully I’d finally gotten myself some new sneakers, they were super comfortable *walking,* but oddly, very uncomfortable for sitting. Weird, right?? I think as they break in a bit they’ll get better.


I enjoy the galleries, but I usually find the things I see on the street more interesting.


The next day we took a spur-of-the-moment drive up to 7 Lakes in Harriman State Park, Sloatsburg, NY. I think we were juuuuust a tinch ahead of the height of fall color, but it was still a really nice day.


I finally felt fallish enough to do a little outdoor decorating (it’s weird when you’re living in someone’s backyard cuz your outer area is really *their* backyard and…it’s just weird).

The boy was pooped cuz we’d just come back from a walk. Poor old boy.


And I finally *dressed* a little fallishly even though it was actually in the 60s and sort of steamy out, ha. We cranked the ac in our office and it was good.


And we’re all caught up…I have to get ready for my trek into dog/house-sitting and maybe a trip into Brooklyn this afternoon. I’d had plans, but my brakes are bad on my car and I feel okay driving locally, but going further away, especially on a wet day like today, and…I don’t know. We’ll see. But y’all have a good weekend, do something nice for yourself, have some fun!

A Defining Moment


I have been procrastinating for two weeks about writing this blog post…because I am so uncomfortable with the way I look in these pictures. I am *not* saying that to get a bunch of people saying, “no, you look great, blah blah blah,” in fact, I’d appreciate if you’d refrain from saying anything like that. It’s not about how *others* feel about how I look…it’s about how *I* feel about how I look!

I’d looked so forward to this dress from Gwynnie Bee – I’d had the same style in a different print a few months back (here) and I felt very comfortable in it. It was not so tight. But when I put this on, UGH. I don’t like the way I look in it At All.


I’ve been wanting to talk about body positivity for awhile now. There’s so much buzz about it these days, and more recently some articles about DIETING and body positivity and how the two are mutually exclusive. I disagree. I think being body positive is a matter of feeling that your body – weight, color, size, shape, height – does not define YOU. It doesn’t define ANYONE.It doesn’t…QUANTIFY them as “good, bad, healthy, unhealthy,” whatever. I can accept that I’m fat and *also* accept that I am a good, valuable, (insert other positive terms here) person. Being fat doesn’t make me LESS or WORSE than someone who is not.

I do NOT feel that it means I can not try to change. I *can* diet and exercise WHILE being body positive (I CAN!!!).

Between seeing these pictures of me in this dress…and then standing on a friend’s scale a few weeks ago (mine broke LAST summer so I’ve been clueless about any weight fluctuation, and since I lean towards looser fitting items anyway, I wasn’t aware of any “ooh, this is getting a big tight” issues), I realize I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since last (2015) summer…and it’s not about the numbers on the scale, it’s about how I FEEL. And I am feeling UNCOMFORTABLE. Physically uncomfortable. Out of breath with the slightest exertion. Challenged to walk up a flight of stairs or even stand up from a sitting position. My hips hurt immediately when I start walking…and there’s a history of bad hips in my family, I feel I’ve been lucky in not having any trouble before now. I have a painful heel issue. Also, I’m pretty much sized up out of my long-standing size and am looking for clothing now in a 4x, and that is SO much harder. Most plus-size brands go up to a 3x. Few go beyond.


These are all things that are making me want to Lose Some Weight. Not because of the way I LOOK. But because of the way I FEEL. Because of they way it’s hindering my comfort and my life. I am basing decisions on how uncomfortable I am at this weight. There are things I am Not Doing. Activities I’m avoiding. Invitations I’m declining. Jobs I’m declining. Because it’s Too Hard to Go Out, Walk Around, Sit for Long Periods Away from Home, etc.

I am still Body Positive. But I am going to do what I need to do to make my body work better for me and my life.

I’m easing into eating better, ha. Less fast food, more home-prepared food. And I’ve started walking 3-4 times a week. I’m not in a rush…but I want to change the upward trend and I think I’m doing that. I’m not even talking about losing half my body weight (which I easily could and STILL be “plump”). This first stage is just getting me back to where I was last summer, when I was a solid 3x. Then I’ll re-assess.


And the number? On the scale? The highest it’s EVER been. Just a few pounds away from the big three-oh. oh. OH!

So, while I didn’t LIKE myself in the dress…I can still say, “Thanks a lot, dress!” for creating a defining moment.

What I’m Wearing:


All Aboard to New York City


It’s funny, whenever I’m anywhere else and someone asks me where I live and I say New York, they always immediately assume New York CITY. I try to explain that NY is very large and diverse with beaches and mountains and farmland and suburbs…and that Manhattan, “The City,” is a VERY small part of it. They never buy it. They have their perception of what New York is like and they’re sticking to it no matter what *I* say.


I think we all have perceptions and assumptions about places…and people…that are unfounded in anything other than our own minds and imaginations filling in gaps. I know my mind, especially, is prone to filling in gaps. Like, if you hear a description of someone without seeing a picture of them, your mind creates a picture FOR you! At least mine does. I don’t know if everyone’s does. That can be dangerous because it creates impossible expectations.


I’m sort of going to the dark place today, sorry about that! This dress got me thinking about New York City with its great graphic print. Some might call it busy. I call it CAMOUFLAGE!!! A busy pattern does a great job of concealing lumps and bumps because it hides shadows and highlights. Your eye is drawn to the pattern. In a solid dress, fat rolls create highlights and shadows that are easily seen. I’m not saying you should feel ashamed of them and try to conceal your body…I *am* saying that some outfits create a little magic…and who doesn’t like a little magic worked on them once in a while!


This is another Gwynnie Bee dress, designed by one of their house brands, Isabel & Alice. It’s called the NYC Belted Shift Dress. I had fun wearing it one time with this distressed denim jacket from Target. The outfit was just right for the touch of fall we’ve experienced so far.




Whenever my daughter shoots my outfit there’s at least one shot with me throwing my hands up in the air. Those of you with Daughters Who Know Everything will know what I’m talking about.


But fortunately there’s usually one of these, too. And life goes on.

Do you think you might like to try Gwynnie Bee? It’s a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. And the first month is FREE! If you want to give it a try (and you know you want to), just click the banner ad below. I’ve been a member for almost 2 years and it has helped me on the road to finding my fashion style because I can try so many different things without filling up my closet or emptying out my bank account!


If you do join through this affiliate link, I will get a small commission (thank you!). But I wouldn’t recommend the company if I didn’t REALLY love them (and I do).

What I’m Wearing

Nordstrom Rack Dressing Room Try-on

I’ve been working on my fall/winter wardrobe for the past few weeks. I’ve bought mostly on-line from Old Navy, ASOS and H&M. But I was in Nordstrom Rack on a shoe hunt (the ongoing shoe hunt!) yesterday so took a quick peek through the plus section and found a few things worth trying on (why do they keep stores So HOT?!?). Let me know what you think…


Without really intending to, I’m winding up with a very black/white/grey monochromatic palette this season. I did buy one wine dress from JCPenney’s Plus Boutique but I’m having such a hard time finding the right color/style shoes for it I think I’m just going to return the dress!

I’m *always* on the hunt for white shirts – a basic tee and a button-down at the very least. It sounds SO simple, “oh, they’re EVERYWHERE!” But…nope. I thought this was cute with the added interest of the diagonal pleating…but it is too sheer and clingy. Nope. Pass. The search continues!

This one just made me laugh. I liked the color, stripes, and the irony, but…nope. Pass.


I knew this was gonna be a little too schlubby for me, and the color was lighter than I like, but it was marked down super low, like under $10 so I thought it was worth a try. Pass.


This one I’m a little on the fence about. I’m going to need a slightly warmer coat than my olive green rayon one (seen crumpled on the shelf here) in another month or so. This was like thick but soft and stretchy sweatshirty outside with soft grey plush inside. It was hard for me to judge because I was SO hot in the store that I was afraid it would be TOO warm for me (I run hot) even in the late fall/early winter…plus, it had no pockets. A jacket needs pockets. And I’m afraid that plush lining will be very static-causing. Plus, I’m trying to move away a bit from the handkerchief/sharkbite/high-low type things and towards more classic cuts that will still look good next year and even the year after that. So, I liked it, it was comfortable, I need something sort of like it, but…I feel there’s something better out there for me.

I DID buy a pair of chestnut brown slightly platform sandals that I’d seen a couple months back but didn’t want to spend the money when summer was almost over…but I found myself thinking on so many mornings when I would get dressed, “if only I had those sandals, they would be PERFECT with this outfit!” Well, they were STILL THERE, Miracle #1, and Miracle #2, they were now on sale, so I grabbed them up – even though I may not get any wear out of them this year, I’ll be ahead of the game for Warm Weather 2017!

So the white shirt hunt continues, as does the one for fall/winter shoes. I know what I WANT in my MIND, now I just need to find them in REALITY, NOT in leather, that fit and that I can afford🙂

How’s your fall shopping going? I feel that I always have something in my mind that I can never find in stores, it’s very frustrating!

My Week in Review: Week 29

Annnnnd…it’s October! It’s all just flying by! This week was no different. I went upstate last weekend with a girlfriend who has a house up in Athens, NY and we did some fun things….


My favorite place besides the beach (and bed!) is in a comfortable chair in the shade with a breeze, with a water view.


Found it!


This is Innisfree Garden in Millbrook, NY. What a wonderful place! Tons of acres of wooded space and paths around a beautiful lake with charming and interesting designed vignettes throughout. I look forward to going back someday and spending even more time.


Then we just made it to the Vanderbilt Mansion before heading back up to Athens.


As we headed home the next day we stopped in Woodstock. It was fun, quirky little shops and sidewalk vendors. I bought a pair of Tibetan silver earrings…and I’ve already lost them. Sadface.


I think this look will be my uniform for fall. Black leggings with a black tunic…then I have like five different vests and kimonos to layer over top. An easy-peasy outfit.


Did a quick photo shoot with my daughter. This long boho vest was very swirly and fun to wear. Hey look! Those are the earrings! Ooh! Maybe they’re still in the bag I took to the shoot!


Finally something a little fallish…it got a teensy bit cool this week.



The boy and I are trying to walk more. It’s the perfect weather to get the habit started again.


And…a Gwynnie Bee dress I wore back in February (see post here) and recloseted it because I loved it so much. I just got it now…and couldn’t bear to part with it again…so bought it!

And now I’m one day into a 4-day weekend…time for some fun and relaxation. Hope you have some of that planned for yourself, too.

Fake Out!

My high school (and beyond) boyfriend used to call make-up “fake out,” which, really, I guess it is. We can say we’re “highlighting” or “accentuating,” but really we’re CHANGING. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s just interesting. That SO many women spend time and money on doing things to change the way we look. Talk about body positivity (which is a big topic for another day)!!!

I don’t wear MUCH makeup, not for any philosophical reason, just cuz I never really learned to apply things correctly and it’s all expensive and time consuming, yadda yadda yadda.

But I wear a LITTLE. Mascara is my “must wear” item, otherwise I feel like my eyes entirely disappear. WHO CARES? Apparently I do, ha.

And I went through A Lipstick Phase in the mid-90s. My (now ex-) husband would put a new lipstick in my Christmas stocking every year cuz he loved a RED lip. It was always too bold, too HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!! for me, and I don’t think I ever wore any of the Christmas stocking lipsticks (sorry, ex). But it did get me to try OTHER (less in your face) lip colors…and 20-something years later I’m still looking for the right shade and formula!!!

It’s SO hard to tell how a color will look on you and it’s expensive to buy a new one, try it on and have it Not Be Right and be out the $4-25!!! Kate at The Small Things blog (this same post talked about how she researches makeup purchases online, I highly recommend reading it as I found it very useful) convinced me (well, not her PERSONALLY, but reading her blog, ha ha) to RETURN makeup and beauty products if they are not to your satisfaction. And boy, most of them are NOT!!! Amiright?!?!

Which is exactly what happened here. The pictures that follow may horrify you. You’ve been warned. They’re just crappy close-up cell phone shots. Again, YBW.

This is a lipstick, NYX (that I keep reading wonderful things about), they just didn’t have the shade I was looking for and I was in Lipstick Buying Mode, so I improvised. And things went horribly wrong. But I just want to point out HOW different the color looks in the tube (lovely) vs. on my lips (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane). Okay, here goes nothing (somehow this feels more terrifying to me than posting the pictures of me in the bathing suits!!!)


Ha! How did THAT color come out of THAT tube? Egads! Not what I was going for At All.

So, what is the moral of this long story?

  • Do your homework before purchasing makeup/health&beauty stuff.
  • Know that you CAN return opened products! I’ve already returned the day-glo pink lipstick, No Questions Asked🙂

What sort of experiences have you had with buying beauty products and having them NOT be what you thought they were going to be?

Boho: To Be or Not to Be


This item is part of an ongoing personal exercise in “I like this style THEORETICALLY, but I just don’t Feel Like ME in it.” I’ve mentioned several times that I really like the boho hippie style. But I’m coming to realize that there’s a big difference between LIKING a style…and feeling RIGHT in it. And I’m finally really tightening my purchasing editing – I can LIKE things without BUYING them…because they’re just not right for me. I’m grateful for a rental service like Gwynnie Bee because I can wear items for a day that I liked the looks of…and decide over time, not just in a few minutes in a dressing room, whether or not I feel good in them.


This colorful high-low vest from Hemant & Nandita was fun to wear one time. It was floaty and swirly. It made a great topper over simple jeans and a tee and served to elevate the basic outfit.


Do you like trying things outside your comfort zone? I think it’s fun now and then…and helps me narrow down what my style *really* is. I’m getting there!



Do you think you might like to try Gwynnie Bee? It’s a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. And the first month is FREE! If you want to give it a try (and you know you want to), just click the banner ad below. I’ve been a member for almost 2 years and I never stick with *anything*!


If you do join through this affiliate link, I will get a small commission. But I wouldn’t recommend the company if I didn’t REALLY love them (and I do).

What I’m Wearing: