You Deserve the Very Best…

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I look at these pictures taken 3 weeks ago and it seems like a lifetime ago. All I see when I look at them is TIRED. A TIRED woman. And I *was* tired. I’d been tired for some time, but always attributed it to my weight or my age or just generally being out of shape. And I pushed through…because that’s what you do. It’s what we all do. We just keep going, pushing ourselves, til we can’t go no mo.

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It was the day after this shoot that I ended up in the Emergency Room and the next day admitted to the hospital. For five days. And then another 10 days the very next week. The cancer diagnosis really surprised me. “I’m just tired.” Now I’m tired from the surgery – a hysterectomy 6 days ago. Still waiting on the pathology from the surgery but I’m counting on it being positive. In the meantime I’m recovering. I’m back at home, my daughter is here helping me. Life doesn’t feel normal again yet, but it will.

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My body doesn’t feel normal yet, either. When I look down, my stomach seems like it shifted lower. Like I used to feel pregnant w a basketball right under my boobs…and now the basketball has dropped. So the biggest part of my stomach is in a new place. And that feels weird. I didn’t expect that. I have to get used to my body again.

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I’ve started walking. BABY baby steps. 5 minutes out then five minutes back. That’s all I can do just yet. But I’ll feel stronger as I heal from the surgery and eventually I’ll be able to walk 10 minutes out and back. And maybe my body will change a little more. Because I’m tired of my body making me feel tired. This isn’t me hating on my body. This is me LOVING on me and my body and wanting both of us to FEEL BETTER. We deserve that, my body and I.

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We deserve the very best.

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What I’m Wearing:

Looking Forward…And Gratitude


A little different kind of post today. Again, it’s just “here’s what I did this week.” 

I was diagnosed with uterine cancer (not really a soft way to say something like that). There are some little (figurative) side bumps but overall I am told that if you have to have cancer, uterine is a good one to have. Theoretically, this afternoon’s total hysterectomy will remove all the cancer and I’ll be good as new – better even cuz No More Bleeding. But…they’ll have a better picture of everything once they open me up. 

I’ve spent 11 days in the hospital now between my two visits…and I have to tell you, your world can get Very Small Very Fast. In here you lose so much control. There’s no privacy, you live eat sleep (and shower!) on THEIR schedule. So I’m so so grateful for family friends and coworkers who reach out to me daily, who visit and bring distracting gifts and snacks and stories from “the outside.” I’m grateful to my ex and his family for taking care of Caleb all this time. I’m grateful to my daughter who is flying home to take care of me when I get out of the hospital. I’m grateful to my work for being so adamant that I take care of myself even though this was the worst possible time for me to not be there.

I’m grateful for kind nurses who dig thru linens to find me a soft gown, or who apologize when sticking me for blood One More Time. I’m grateful to have a window beside me. 

I’m grateful to have the “good” cancer and to have a dr with all kinds of fancy titles and experience and recommendations.

I’m grateful to have people who love me. 

And I am looking forward to going HOME soon…and feeling the air and sleeping in my own bed with the lights out…and to leaving this bizarro winter behind me and moving into the rebirth of spring and new life. 

I’m feeling a little adventurous…like I want to sew flowers all over a dress…or just wear something a little crazy! You’ll just have to keep reading to see what I’m going to do next.

Thanks for hanging around in my absence, friends. 

xoxo Bettye

Stepping WAY Outside the Box (in more ways than one)


I was trying SO hard to get an outfit post up this week as promised. I did a little shoot on Sunday…and then Monday found myself in the ER. I debated sharing my story vs not, but figured in the interest of “keeping it real,” I would. This is not a pity post, an attempt to garner “oh, poor you”-s, or even really a cautionary tale (Don’t Do As I Have Done)…it’s truly just a…What I Did This Week. With some outfit pictures!

So, I’m not always so good with adulting when it comes to the medical realm. If I’m not incapacitated or in unbearable pain, I generally avoid doctors. There’s also, at the risk of TMI, a financial aspect to this. Even with insurance all that medical stuff is EXPENSIVE!

I don’t want this to be too long and drawn out, so here’s the bullet point version:

  • Went to emergency room on Monday for blood transfusion due to anemia due to long-term heavy bleeding (of the female kind) – *I* thought due to fibroids.
  • How did I know I had fibroids if I never go to the doctor?  I DO go the doctor for kidney stones cuz those things are painful AF. And a kidney stone scan awhile back showed fibroids. So I just assumed they were the cause of the bleeding.
  • Wednesday they did a D&C to try and stop the bleeding and to do an endometrial biopsy to rule out cancer (hospital protocol) as a cause of the bleeding and other things.
  • After the D&C a blood clot (small) was discovered in my left calf and Vascular Guy recommended a blood thinner (even with the bleeding situation, cuz clot seems more significant than the bleeding. Clots are bad mothers. My father died from a blood clot. I’m doing what the doctor says).
  • All this took 5 days and I was just released today, Friday. There were some mix-ups with scheduling things and everything took longer than it should have and I spent MOST of the five days hooked up to one IV or another AND on a “no food or drink” order. I think I had 4 meals in 5 days.
  • I will follow up next week with the OB-Oncologist from the hospital, she’ll have the biopsy results and we’ll go from there.

SO – that was Part 1 of my Stepping Out of the Box post – seeking medical attention. I had NO IDEA I would be there all week. I thought I might be there overnight so I did pack some things in a bag – and have been making mental notes all week to comprise a list of Things to Bring to the Hospital. I’ll share the list with you guys when it’s done.

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Meanwhile, Part 2, the more fun part, was this cute outfit! I LOVE this black-and-white striped top with the trendy bell sleeves. As I’ve mentioned, I was never really a trend gal, but I can feel that sort of changing. The REAL stepping out of the box element here was that the shirt was snug across my belly…and shorter than I normally wear shirts, so it showed my belly and butt more than I’m used to…or really comfortable with. BUT….I liked the concept of the outfit so much I wore it anyway. STEPPING OUT, BABY!

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I wish I had more pictures, but it was really really cold and windy that day and I was not feeling so great, so…we got what we got.

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There’s always one!

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I love my red sneaks. I haven’t worn them in awhile cuz lace-up sneakers are so hard for me. My feet are so so so far away.

What I Wore:

  • INC International Concepts Stripe Bell Sleeve Top, size 3x, via Gwynnie Bee
  • Bongo black faux leather jacket, size 3x
  • Plus Size Refuge Hi-Rise Skinny Jeans, size 22
  • Red converse-style sneakers from Target

My friend Marcy from Fearlessly Just Me was my photographer du jour. She’s really doing a great job, don’t you think?

Weeks in Review: 45-53

I promised you a Week(s!) in Review, and here it is! Don’t worry that it’s 8 weeks long – I really mostly hibernate in Jan/Feb every year. It’s cold, it’s dark, bleh. Most days I’m home from work by 4:30, I take off my bra (OH, THE JOY), put on comfy clothes and just relax alone at home.

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In yesterday’s Catching Up  post I mentioned my highly technical “tipsy tripod.” I forgot I had a pull-back shot of it, so this is what I’ve been using when I shoot in the apartment. Fortunately Caleb usually naps  supervises from his sofa vantage point or I’d be afraid of him just touching these tables and toppling everything over. They’re very lightweight.

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A sample shot from “the studio.”

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I just thought this was a good message to be driving around in the world. Sometimes I can use a reminder. I was actually on the way to a friend’s birthday meetup that day and it *was* a good day.

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And then we went to Maine. It was supposed to be a 2-night stay, but due to WINTER it became a 4-night stay. So I wore this outfit A LOT. I had my long silk underwear on underneath so I was super sweaty cozy on the flight, but I was grateful when we got to 9-degree Maine.

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We discovered an awesome vegan restaurant called Green Elephant right around the corner from the hotel and we ate there two nights. You have no idea How Nice it is to actually have MULTIPLE OPTIONS in a restaurant. I had the Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie. It was UH-mazing. If you’re ever in Portland, even if you’re not vegan, you should have a meal there. My traveling companion is a confirmed carnivore AND amazing cook and she really raved about the food.

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The view out our hotel window. It was ALWAYS snowing. Sometimes harder, sometimes softer, but snow was falling from the sky the entire time we were there. Which is why our flights kept being cancelled.

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Good thing I brought activities!

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There was a cute lil park right outside our hotel with these fun lighted trees.

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Caleb (the tiny one) was hanging with his cousins back on also snowy Long Island while I was away. The ex sent lots of pictures so I could see how he was doing.

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And FINALLY there was a non-snow day on Tuesday and we hightailed it out of Maine by rental car. Just in time because they commenced having snow-storms again the very next day.

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I was happy to be home AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO WEAR. I had a Gwynnie Bee package waiting for me with this and another sweater in it.

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The kids were happy to be home as well.

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And yesterday, I finally got to a sunset for the first time in ages. It was windy and freezing and we only stayed long enough to take a couple pictures…but it was nice to see the sky again.

I was *supposed* to be blog photo-shooting this morning but I woke up to dense fog and misty skies…so we’ve rescheduled for tomorrow. So I *will* have some outfit posts up soon – one top I am IN LOVE with…and it’s even a TREND item and that’s not usually my thing, but. I’m excited to share with you.

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.

xoxo Bettye

Catching Up…

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Totally random picture of my dog cuz come’on. Is he not the handsomest ever? And there had to be SOMETHING good about this post….

So…February has been a very challenging month for me…I’m not seeing the end of the tunnel yet either, but…the show must go on. And I don’t want this to be a pity party post, but I do want to explain why I have been MIA.

To start, I have some health/medical issues going on, nothing So Serious, but painful and at times incapacitating…they have made it difficult to meet up with anyone to shoot blog photos. I have a vision for this blog and I get frustrated when I can’t make it be The Way I Want it To Be…so I put off and put off, thinking an opportunity is right around the corner, and before you know it an entire month has gone by and there hasn’t been a blog post in ages!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know about my trip to Maine and how we got stuck there in blizzard after blizzard and finally had to just drive home because if we’d waited for a flight to actually leave the ground we might still be there! I missed both Valentine’s Day AND my blog’s One Year Anniversary (Happy Blogiversary to Me!). I’d had plans for a special anniversary shoot, but that didn’t happen and I don’t see it happening in the near future so I’m going to have to come up with something closer to home. Like…right here in my living room 😦

That’s another issue I’ve been having. When I started the blog it didn’t really occur to me just how much I was going to have to rely on other people for blog photos. I’d been getting Outfit of the Day shots done pretty regularly, but One Photo in the parking lot at work, and Ten-ish Photos in an interesting location are very different animals. And my friends have been great…but a year in I’m sure they’re getting weary of me asking them to do photo shoots with me, and they all have their own lives and their own issues and I totally get it. I’m SO appreciative of the time they gave me over the last year…but I’ve got to come up with another plan. I know some people do selfies with their tripods but I have a cheappieceofcrap tripod that doesn’t support the weight of my camera and lens so I can’t trust walking away from it. I’ve taken some blog photos in my apartment by creating a “tipsy tripod” out of two end tables stacked on top of one another but I’m not a fan of doing blog post after blog post with pictures of me in front of the window in my living room. Yawn. It bores me just thinking about it. The photography is a very important element to me and I’m so frustrated that I’m being unable to achieve what I envision in my mind’s eye.

And last but not least, I’ve had computer issues for the past month. My computer got wiped out by a bad virus* (yes I have anti-virus software and no they are not foolproof). It was awhile before I could get that looked at (cuz money). The computer guy thought he had it fixed, but no. So he gave me a used computer from his business (I couldn’t buy new cuz money). That had its OWN issues and he eventually came back and brought me ANOTHER used computer this week, and knock on wood, so far so good. But trying to do ANYTHING on computers that keep fritzing out on you is very frustrating and eventually I just threw in the towel and Let It All Go.

So, that is my story. I’m sorry this was so unbearably long, but I wanted to explain my trials and tribulations. And as I mentioned while commenting on someone else’s blog, Life is Not Always Pretty in Blog-land. Sh*t Happens. Things Break. We don’t feel well enough to shoot. Blizzards. Photographers (shockingly, ha) are not lining up at my door hoping to take my picture. Wah Wah Wah. Poor Me. I don’t want to be that person…but this month…I really felt like that person. I’m hoping the new month ahead, the new season, *something* will bring about a change, cuz right now I can barely get out of my own way.

I’m not looking for “oh poor you,” I just wanted to explain my absence.

I’m going to stop talking now 🙂  And tomorrow will do a big “Many Weeks in Review” catch-up post and hopefully next week be back on track. Cuz I really miss blogging when I don’t do it. I’m always thinking of post ideas or things I want to share…and I miss you guys 🙂

xoxo Bettye

* Oh! The virus, just to give y’all a heads up. It was a phony “update your Java” pop-up. Computer guy said if you ever see that, don’t click it, but go to the Java website instead and see if there’s actually an update and download it from there if it is.

Just Keepin’ It Real

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So, I know I’ve been sharing a lot of casual outfits lately…and especially “jeans’n’sneakers” looks, which is not really my normal MO, but….

a) I think I have worn every cold-weather item in my closet multiple times for the blog, I’ve mixed and matched just about every possible combination I can come up with. Soon I’m going to be wearing things inside and out and upside down just to show things in different ways. I keep a really small wardrobe and I’m still a couple items short of completing a couple different outfits (HOW CAN A PLAIN WHITE SHIRT BE SO HARD TO FIND???). I repeat outfits a lot in my daily life, but it would be pretty boring for you guys to see that on the blog, so…I’m trying to stretch it out as far as I can but we’re getting down to the bare bones. Pretty soon it’s going to be “you can’t see it, but I’m wearing a different bra today,” ha.

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b) When I get items from Gwynnie Bee and they’re not something I would actually wear in my actual life, I don’t share them in an outfit post. My aim with outfit posts is to show what I *actually* wear in my actual life.

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c) My heel really really really hurts! I have plantar fasciitis in my left heel and it is so so painful…that I wear sneakers a LOT more than I usually do just in an effort to keep my feet a little more comfortable. All day long I look forward to getting home and putting on my wonderful orthotic slippers (oh MAN do I sound old!) and getting some relief. Next is a pair of orthotic sneakers. Oh yeah, this is one sexy fashion blog 🙂

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So, the point is, I’m just trying to keep it real. Bear with me. It’ll be spring soon and there’ll be some new looks…and lots of try-on hauls!

These pictures were taken on a cold day in Rockaway Park, Queens. Me and my blogger friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me were looking for an interesting spot and I just loved this old “Sea-Port” building. We decided we really need to do a behind-the-scenes vlog because shoot days are pretty hysterical with us changing clothes in the  car, trying to sneak into places, climbing on things for “that perfect shot,” etc.

I love this soft Style&Co sweater. It has an interesting detail of cable stitch along the hemline and allover on the back. Kinda “business in the front, party in the back.” It’s nice and loose fitting so a silk tee or turtleneck fits easily underneath.

And this has been my favorite scarf this winter – it is so so long! Which is very nice on a plus size body (read: fat neck) because there’s actually enough length to wrap it around several times and not just have little stump ends left over like with normal length scarves.

I’m looking forward to maybe a big snow later this week! Ooh, and a super secret work trip…but I’ll share that when the time comes…

What I’m Wearing:

Wanted: A Plus Size Miracle

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This cardigan is one of my favorite purchases of the fall/winter. It’s soft and cozy and moozhy* and warm (love) without being overly thick and stiff and bulky (hate). I would love more like this. But here’s the thing – there are *very* few plus size options in the moozhy realm. Site after site, when you search on “sweaters,” there is a plethora of thin knits, mostly crew and v-neck, or cowl neck (a personal NON-favorite)…and they try and pass off jersey-type knits as “sweaters.” I am on the search for more textural knits, chunky knits. It’s like finding a needle in the haystack for this plus-size gal…whereas my straight size sisters have TONS of options. Maybe the designers think the plus size gals are fluffy ENOUGH, we don’t need fluffy sweaters ADDING to our “bulk”?? Ahem. It’s a hard cold world out there. This plus size girl wants all the comfy cozy FLUFFY she can get!

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Question: if the average woman’s size in the US is 16, then why are there SO many more sizes available UNDER size 16 and so FEW sizes available ABOVE 16?. If you search at, say, Nordstrom, which actually HAS a large plus size section (relatively speaking), on “sweater,” in the straight-size section you get 2000-ish results. If you search on sweater under plus sizes….184. Come on! And OF those whopping 184 plus size sweater options, how many are something other than a fine, thin knit?? VERY. FEW. Where’s the boucle? Where’s the chenille? Where are the super-soft chunky knits? Where are the big half-your-face covering turtlenecks? I’m not saying they don’t exist AT ALL, but there are very VERY few of them. I think there are two. And I own them both (funny not funny).

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And to complicate matters even further…I would like to start moving my grey cold weather palette towards blush, oatmeal, soft soft pink as we head (soon. right? soon?) towards milder weather. I see these colors EVERYWHERE online. In shops, on fashion bloggers, on Instagram. But guess what? That palette virtually Does Not Exist in plus sizes. WTF??? Is it too much to ask for a cozy soft textural blush knit cardigan? Is it? Apparently it is.

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Grr. You know what else is annoying (I’m on a roll now!)?? Going into a store that carries “straight and plus sizes,” and seeing rack after rack after rack after RACK of straight sizes…and I’m talking the LONG racks, like at TJ Maxx or Burlington or Nordstrom Rack or Macy’s Backstage…and seeing two racks – two SHORT racks for plus sizes. IF PLUS SIZE WOMEN MAKE UP HALF THE FEMALE CLOTHES-WEARING POPULATION, WHY DO WE ONLY HAVE LIKE 10% (this is an estimated “eyeballed” estimate) OF THE CLOTHING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO US??? How does that make sense??

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Sigh. I just want a pretty sweater. I’m not talking a giant miracle here. Or maybe I am. I’d like a plus-sized miracle, please.

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So  if you have been challenged by this same thing, there are some things you can do. When I get those little pop-ups on online shopping sites that say “how’d we do?” or “how was your shopping experience?” I take the time to respond. I say, “Gosh, you have so many great items! I really want to buy Item X but I don’t see it in a Size 24. Where do you keep the sizes for ALL the ladies??” Now I know perfectly well they don’t CARRY size 24 (or 20, 18, 16, 14 and maybe even 12…and CERTAINLY not size 26, 28 or 30), but I’m trying to make the point that MY MONEY IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS THE SIZE 0-10 GIRLS, WHY DON’T YOU WANT IT?

I’ve also been thinking about getting together a letter-writing campaign to straight size brands saying essentially the above “we want your nice things, we want to give you our money, please make this possible.”

Blogger Sara Chiwaya at Curvily started a hashtag campaign a few years ago called #PlusSizePlease…in which if you see a straight size item you wish was in a plus size, you take a pic and put it on social media with the brand’s name and hashtag #PlusSizePlease. Read more about it here . I don’t know how active this is any more but it could (and SHOULD!) be resurrected.

Vent over.

*moozhy: my word for soft, cozy, warm, textural, maybe a little puffy

What I’m Wearing: