Weeks in Review: Week 113-115

It has been a pretty inactive month, and not worth posting individual weeks…so I’ll do a catch-up here of the few things that have been going on. It continues to be a…difficult time right now…even beyond the loss of Caleb. Ever go through a period when no place feels like a safe, comforting space? It’s not good. Yesterday I totally hid out from everyone and everything…I watched 4 hours of royal wedding, 2 hours of the end of New Girl, then movie after movie after movie, and just let other stories fill my head. For an entire day. I needed that. I feel more human today. I’ve left the building (for food), sorted through medical bills (they are¬†endless), and am working on upcoming blog things. I just needed to wallow around the bottom for a bit. Now I think I’m ready to come up for air. Here I go.

Just a big iron rooster.

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The trees were bare, bare, bare…then overnight they turned green.

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I’m so grateful for one nice day that last week…and that Caleb was feeling strong enough that we sat outside in the yard together for a bit. That was the last good day ūüė¶¬† Please note the grey freckles on his muzzle. They’ll have relevance later.

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I’d started a 30-day challenge of posting an Outfit of the Day every day…but I fell right off that wagon when Caleb left me. I was about to start a Will Anyone Notice If I Wear the Same Pair of Jeans Every Day for a Year experiment, but…I think I’ve worked through that.

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I sent my baby cupcakes for her 27th birthday. I used this place Georgetown Cupcakes that had amazing flavors and reasonable prices, and seem to ship anywhere (in the US) and quickly.

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I went to a Garden Conservancy Open Days tour of a private garden here on the Island. It was just the sort of quiet, lovely activity I needed. I might share more photos in a separate post if anyone is interested.

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Friends were good that first week about getting me out for company. We were able to sit outside here in town and have a nice dinner.

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I photographed our annual 5K fundraiser run. It is always a rainy day but usually manages to hold off just long enough for the run to go off and prizes awarded.

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My daughter sent me flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day.

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My niece, nephew and great-niece sent me this locket to put a picture of Caleb in so I can wear him close to my heart. So thoughtful.

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I FINALLY got a new pair of sunglasses. I bought a pair of Ralph Lauren sunnies in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FIVE that I have loved and worn ever since then…until last summer when I put them in my purse without their case, and an emery board scratched the lenses all up! Sadface. These are not the sunglasses of my dreams but my eyes have seemed even more sensitive to the sun lately so I had to get¬†something. I don’t recall the brand but they’re from Target. Guess I could have taken the sticker off before taking the picture off, eh? I’m very noncommital to purchases. There are still tags on things I’ve worn half a dozen times! Not exactly sure what that’s about.

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I got Janey these catnip-laced paper bags. She was not that impressed.

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And my talented sister painted this picture of Caleb for me! She even painted in his little muzzle freckles ūüôā I cried and cried when I opened it. My boy.

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One more full work week then a 3-day weekend, then a 4-day work week. That’s good. I need some uncommitted time.

What have you been up to now that it has finally turned to spring?

 

 

Spring Plus Size Try-on Haul AGAIN

I feel weird preparing something as “normal” as a blog post…but I’m trying to find my way back to some sort of normalcy…I guess really to a new normal…and fortunately, the blog is something Caleb didn’t really have an imprint on. Not like the apartment and the car and every beach and park on Long Island. So in trying to throwing myself into something and distract myself away from…You Know Who…I think blogging is as good a distraction as any. Actually, the first day I’d thought of trying my hand at watercolor painting, but that required all new equipment, yadda yadda yadda, so in the end I just watched countless hours of YouTube watercolor tutorials, which was actually quite soothing and I highly recommend it.

So while “clothing” isn’t feeling all that important to me right now, hot weather *is* coming…and whether I feel like it or not, I will need to put¬†something on my body before going to work (new dress code and all), so….a few things arrived in the mail last week and I did a quick try-on video to share with y’all. Uh-oh, I’m lapsing into my mother’s Texas roots. I don’t recall her actually¬†saying “y’all,” but…whatever. I’m living in topsy-turvy land. Bear with me here.

Three of the items I tried on in the video are from Amazon Prime Wardrobe¬†. This is a new program open to Amazon Prime members where you can “try on” between 3 and 7 pieces of clothing (or shoes, bags, accessories, etc)¬†at no charge for up to 7 days, and they only charge you for what you don’t return. One of the problems with online shopping is your money is tied up for the time it takes for the store to send you the items you bought, then the time it takes for any returned items to go back through the mail to the retailer and¬†then the time they take to actually refund your credit card. It can take up to three weeks, from start to finish, to get the money back on items you didn’t keep. I don’t know about you, but I do not have an infinite clothing budget. I need to get my refund from Items A, B and C before I can then purchase Items D, E and F. So¬†this¬†is a beautiful thing. That’s the good news. The bad news is I found the selection, at least in the plus sizes, to be a little limited (so what else is new). But hopefully that will improve with time…and maybe that’s just me, so don’t go by my experience, take a look and make your own decision.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Lace Detail Peasant Blouse (Plus Size)

No longer available, similar here in plus size, or in straight size here

Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size), size 4x

Image of Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size)

From Gwynnie Bee..

lucky brand Keyhole Back Ruffle Top, size 3x

And these are the Amazon Prime Wardrobe items:

Star Vixen Women’s Plus-Size Long Sleeve Open Hem Peasant Top With Keyhole Tie

Blu Pepper Women’s Plus allover Printed Tank With Embroidery

Ruby Rd. Women’s Plus Size Button-Front Striped Dobby Top

And if you’ve got a spare 13 minutes, you can see the rundown on each of these items as I try them on. Janey makes a cute appearance during the 4th item…at minute 5:14…if you just want to see Janey and not me ūüôā¬† I won’t be offended.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout My Best Friend

“People, let me tell you ’bout my best friend…he’s a one boy, cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy.”

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I lost my best boy last weekend – my beautiful, gentle Caleb. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve seen him quietly slip into pictures, or heard me talk about an adventure we had. And I know it’s not fashion or body positivity or anything related to this blog…except that it’s about my life. And his loss is life-changing for me.

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People say “Oh, you lost your dog/pet/fur-baby, that’s so sad,” but he wasn’t really any of those things. He was my PARTNER. And that might sound…bizarre or dramatic or awkward, but…for the past 14 years he has been with me through ups and downs, losses, moves, new jobs, break-ups, my daughter moving away, cancer, happy times and sad. Until last year when I was sick and then he started slowing down, he went with me almost everywhere except work…and he sometimes went there! He is the one who has gotten me out of the house, out of my shell and my head, and out into the world, into nature. He helped me exercise. He trained for a 5k with me! I don’t understand “walking” without a dog! What are you supposed to do with your hands without a leash to hold or a silky head to touch? How do people go walking in the woods or desolate areas without the company of a Big Brave Dog? I can’t imagine just sitting in a park¬†alone. He was such a great meeter. He would sit with me, so quietly, people were always drawn to his beauty and good manners. They would start chatting with me about him. Without him?? I’m just a weird lady sitting alone on a park bench.

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I remember so well the day I brought him home. I got him from an Aussie breeder upstate, Rising Star Australian Shepherds – he wasn’t a good fit in the show ring so they were looking for a pet home for him. She sent me his picture…

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…and it was love at first sight. They live quite far up north, so we agreed to meet mid-way at a dog show where they would be. When I got there, they introduced Caleb and I, gave me some instructions and handed me his leash and were like, “Okay, bye.” It felt strange and sad to be taking him away from the family and dogs he’d lived with for over a year, but he was such a good boy walking obediently off with me, a total stranger. I put him in the crate in the car with a soft bed, water pail and rawhide bone, then headed home. He sat quietly watching out the window. After about two hours of driving I got off the parkway for a bathroom stop. It was a mild day and I parked in the shade with the windows down, ran in quick to use the bathroom then hurried back out. I opened the hatch, opened the crate door…and he literally FLEW out of the crate, jumping up on me excitedly as if to say “YOU CAME BACK FOR ME! I THOUGHT I’D BEEN LEFT HERE! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! YOU’RE MY MOTHER!” and he has been my devoted shadow companion ever since.

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I thought I was getting a dog for¬†us, for me and Katie, but he bonded with me in that moment – and by the time he met her a couple days later, he was My Dog. He loved her, she was His Girl…but I was The Mother.

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katie and caleb collage

So I didn’t know him as a puppy but I have some pictures from the breeder

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From Day One, he was a total gentleman, and I credit his breeder with that, with starting him so well. But I also credit him, as he was always extremely intuitive, practically knowing what I expected of him even before¬†I¬†did. Everything I taught him, he picked up¬†so quickly, I hardly felt like I “trained” him, it was like he just knew. And I took him¬†everywhere with me. I’m a big proponent of extreme socialization and taking dogs into every possible situation and because of that he was accepted everywhere we went because he was always so quiet and well-behaved.

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Everyone that met Caleb loved him.

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People and animals alike.

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But his kitties loved him best….

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…especially Janey.

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He loved going in the car anywhere….

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…and we were always on the lookout for new fun places to go.

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We loved going to the woods…

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…and the beach and into the water…

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…the muckier the better ūüôā

He loved the snow!

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Or maybe it was me who loved the snow…and he just wanted to go with me wherever I went. Sometimes even to work.

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But it didn’t matter where we went or what we did…as long as we were there together.

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He was my beautiful boy…with the most sincere expression.

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I loved hurrying home after work to see my boy…and he was always right there waiting to see me.

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Around the house he was very quiet, and sometimes I’d look up and see him peeking at me from around a corner…as if just checking that I was still there.

One of the most endearing things he did, every night, was to come rest his head on the edge of my bed…I would stroke his head for a minute and tell him what a good good boy he was, how he would be my best boy always…and then I would say goodnight and he would lay down next to my bed and go to sleep.

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He was a good boy, a happy boy…and he brought Such Joy to my life for such a long time.

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He just had his 15th birthday earlier this year…I knew he wouldn’t be with me much longer.

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But there’s no way to prepare for this loss, this sadness. My lovely little family keeps getting smaller and smaller. Katie moved away years ago. Madison passed away two summers ago. Now my Caleb is gone. It’s just me and Janey.

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I know this is long. I hold no grudge for anyone who clicked away halfway through…or who scrolled to the end, skipping over bits. I had to share our story for me. To try and show why I am unbearably sad now. I feel sort of unattached from my life, like my anchor is gone. I feel like I’m trying to find way my back to…someplace I don’t even really want to be.

I’ve been saying goodbye to my friend for eight days now. I wanted to explain my absence from the blog and the internet in general. I have so many wonderful memories…things that are making me sad right now…and I had to just…let some of it out of my head…let a little steam escape.

Goodbye, my beautiful boy.

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Throwback Thursday

REALLY throwback. Way way back. I’m going to do something a little different today. And maybe every so often. I thought I’d share some pictures from throughout my lifetime, show the different stages I went through – we all go through so many stages…of life, of style, whether intentional or not. Some pretty, some not so much, ha, but it’s all part of the process.

So here we go.

Aww ūüôā I must have been 1-2ish. We lived in a little house right on the beach in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Sadly, I have no memory of this as I was so young and we were only there about a year. Funny how little girls’ dresses were so short!

A couple years later living on Long Island the first time. This is my adorable teenager sister, isn’t she so That Girl-esque?? And why the ruffles on my tights? Why? Why?

A big jump to my late teens-early 20s. I was very horsey. Most of the time I wore jeans and sneakers or boots and breeches.

Then I got girly. And I loved me a white dress! My mother and I used to take the train every summer from New York to Los Angeles to stay with her family. The train made an hourlong stop in Albuquerque and all the Indian women had blankets laid out at the station with their wares showcased – dolls and moccasins and turquoise jewelry. Every year she’d buy me a new piece. Sadly I only have one piece left now but it’s always a nice memory for me.

This was on a weekend trip my ex-husband and I took to Puerto Rico. I’ve always been a barefoot girl. Probably part of the reason my feet are so bad today!

Another big jump to my late 30-early 40s. I call this picture “I Give Up.” I was selling vintage clothing on eBay at this time and was going into easily a dozen thrift stores a week. And if I came across something that fit on my body, I bought it. It was a very sad style period for me.

But then! I discovered Gwynnie Bee! And truly, it changed my life. I tried things I never would have tried before, and started developing a personal sense of style.

And I had to share this picture from 2015, because, purely coincidentally, I am wearing the exact same outfit this afternoon!!!¬†I really get my money’s worth out of the clothes I buy!

And that is our little walk down clothing memory lane…hope you enjoyed it, or could at least commiserate! Do you have equally horrifying pictures of your past fashion-self?

Influencer is Not a Bad Word!

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So, last week, one of my co-workers (I’ll call her C) said to me how much she was enjoying my blog and that it had influenced her to pay more attention to looking good and dressing in more than just casual jeans all the time. I was really moved by this – like wow, I’m really an “influencer,” in the best sense of the word! Not to make the moment about me (ha ha, though that¬†is my special gift!) but it really made me feel good.

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C said she was travelling to visit family out of state and bought some new clothes –¬†dresses –¬†to wear on her trip. Her sister complimented her on how nice she looked and said she should dress that way more often, which I’m sure made C feel really good. And it made¬†me¬†feel good to know¬†she felt good! It was a big warm fuzzy circle of looking good and feeling good!

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And that’s a huge part of why I do this – and I’m sure many other bloggers as well. It’s my way of saying you can make a big impact with how you look and feel (yes,¬†you!) with really not a lot of effort. You just have to Do It!

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I spent many years thinking…I’m too fat, I’m too old, I don’t have any sense of style, boo hoo hoo.¬†But finally I just decided to do it¬†anyway.¬†To make the effort to dress better¬†anyway. Even If I was fat and old and bleh. And you know what? I feel so much better now. I look better. I’m still fat and old, ha ha. But…it’s better. And if *I* can do it, anyone can.

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And onto today’s outfit. Sorry to be back in the white jeans again (!) two outfit posts in a row but I got this adorable top from Gwynnie Bee and while it would also look nice over black or blue jeans (or even the green jeans on my list!), I thought it would look best¬†over the white jeans.

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I do love this top from Loft Plus. Loft’s new plus size line really has a lot of nice items. I haven’t quite worked out the fit yet on some things. I’ve regained weight in my stomach since last year when I lost some, so a lot of things are being snugger around my belly. I do want to make a plan about that before long. Just so I can find clothes to fit!

Anyway, this top is a very nice lightweight rayon fabric, in a businessy blue and white oxford-like stripe…but then with some feminine embroidery on the chest and amazing bell sleeves. And – do you have any idea how much I love a tab/band collar?? A LOT. I love them a LOT.

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It was just a little cool and windy this day (and the next day – 82 degrees!) so the green Tencel jacket came back out. But it was so nice to finally be able to wear something that felt springy…and not be¬†freezing!!!¬†

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And…just to make my photographer¬†Who Shall Remain Nameless¬†happy…I will share a photo she took using her own creative director skills….

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Thanks for shooting, PWSRN! You did a great job!

What I’m Wearing

  • Loft Mosaic Striped Bell Sleeve Blouse, size 26. In plus size here, and in regular and petite sizes¬†here.
  • Picket Fence White Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda tapered jeans, size 22W Short. Plus size here.
  • Green Tencel jacket from Ava&Viv/Target, size 3x, no longer available. Similar plus size here and straight size here and¬†here.
  • New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi Lightweight Running Shoe in light grey here

I’m linking up today with:

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Month in Review: April

Wow, I feel like April really flew by! We started the month still in snow and we’re finishing it up with a sunshiny day in the 60s. As this was a very work-busy week for me I don’t have much to share in Week in Review, so I’m going to do Month in Review again like last month and will resume WiR next week, when hopefully I will have something a little more interesting to share!

First I will say THANK YOU to all you lovely people who have been reading and following and commenting on my little blog…thanks to y’all, April was my most viewed month to-date, beating out the previous winner, August 2017, when my head-shaving post (see it here) was so widely shared and viewed. I’ve made such nice connections and friends…and have met some kindred spirits with interests beyond fashion. For someone like me who is naturally pretty introverted and what I call “a bad meeter,” it’s been such a nice way to connect with people without all the usual “in person” social anxieties. But that’s a story for another day (okay, Julia??).

All that said, my most viewed post in April was All Dressed Up & Yadda Yadda Yadda where I wore a colorful dress and sparkly cardigan…for no special reason. Sometimes you just gotta, you know??

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My personal favorite outfit in April was this colorful Russian doll looking peasant top over white jeans…maybe because it felt spring…and the temperatures finally felt the same! How sick is everyone getting of talking and hearing about The Winter That Would Not End?!?

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Favorite Blogger Looks

My top three favorite blogger looks in April were:

Jenna Marie of Sincerely Jenna Marie¬†has the casual-yet-modern look nailed with a basic white tee, faded blue denim and comfy sandals…but it’s the extra touch of the scarf tied on the bag that elevates this to me.

How cozy does Cheryl of Cheryl Shops look in this pretty pretty pink duster-length cardigan?? I love a basic white jeans + tee + cardigan look and this one is just dreamy. Not to mention that round straw tote!

(The last one did not respond in time to my email asking permission to share her photo here so I’m just including the link to the outfit and I hope you’ll go look!)

And the outlier of the bunch for me, this metallic pleated skirt with gorgeous teal blue sweater on Daniella of LellaVictoria. This look is so extra with all the metallics (those boots tho!)¬†and yet so relaxed at the same time. Like,¬†“Oh, do I look amazing?? I hadn’t noticed!”

Favorite Books

I did not do as much reading in April as I had been – my day job and blog work have been leaving me exhausted by 9pm most nights and if I try to read at that point I fall asleep within minutes. So I only read the one, but it was really really good. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and I give Very Few 5-star ratings.

It’s the emotional story of a Jewish family living in Poland during World War II, how they each have different experiences over the span of a decade. I don’t want to tell the ending, but it was a very moving, well-told story that I highly recommend – based on the experiences of the author’s own family.

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Hopefully I will have more time for reading in May!

Favorite Movies

I *did* make time to go to a couple movies in April. I am subscribed to MoviePass, an app where for a sum below the price of going to ONE movie, you can go to a different movie EVERY DAY (this is not a sponsored post, I just really like the app). My favorite was “Outside In” with Edie Falco and Jay DuPlass. It was a quiet story about nice people – as a young adult he had taken the rap for a shooting and spent 20 years in prison. One of his high school teachers maintained a correspondence with him all that time and really advocated for his early parole. Once released his new life is difficult and their friendship is challenged. And that’s all I’ll say. But it’s well-acted, nice story. (click image for trailer)

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Favorite Products

A favorite product I bought this month, and this is a little embarrassing (!), but I can get stinky feet (probably cuz I don’t wear socks. i hate socks.) and I’ve tried all kinds of sprays and powders over the years and nothing has ever done a really great, long-lasting job, BUT…after reading a ton of reviews on the internet, I finally invested a whopping $12.95 on a shoe deodorizer/foot odor eliminator from Amazon. I spray it in my sneakers 1-2 times a week and it has greatly improved the situation. If I¬†really stick my nose¬†into¬†the shoe, I can still slightly smell the foot odor…but the scent of the spray really masks the foot smell from a reasonable distance away (most people would not¬†be sticking their noses into your shoes). And then the whole apartment has this nice lemon verbena/mint/eucalyptus scent that is both refreshing and energizing. Oh, I also sprayed it on my car seats when Caleb had a bit of a messy accident back there (don’t judge, he’s an old man) and the poop smell was gone the next day!

Lumi Outdoors Extra Strength Odor Eliminator

Monthly Mash-Up

I’ve been enjoying an app called 1 Second Every Day where you post a picture or video to it daily (or catch up whenever you want, it doesn’t judge) and at the end of the month (or week or year or whatever time frame you select) it “mashes” them together as one-second clips that are savable and sharable. I’ve been posting them on Instagram but they fit into the Month in Review theme here, so…

And that is all there is for April! Week in Review will be back next Monday….

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

 

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

I have a tendency to get locked into routine. I can get a little lazy and I find I do best if certain things (blog posts, for example) are on a schedule. But sometimes I get so locked into that schedule that I miss opportunities. I’ve got this little stockpile of drafts and saved posts and pictures that I want to share with y’all, but I keep not posting them cuz they don’t fit into the Mon/Wed/Fri schedule. And that’s just silly. So I may be throwing some extra posts at you¬†willy nilly,¬†¬†NOT¬†on schedule, if that’s alright. Oh, I’m living on the edge now, my friends!

Also, I’m a big list maker, I have lists of¬†everything.¬†Things to do, things to make, places to go, things to photograph, movies to see, books to read, and, as you know, clothing to buy. It occurs to me now that maybe you’d be interested in some of my lists even when they’re not in a formal “blog post” format. I’m already¬†making them…why not share them?? So I’m gonna share this “revised shopping list” with you since I was making it anyway for myself…let me know if you like/don’t like this or if you’re interested in any other lists. Some, of course, are local to my area so wouldn’t be of interest to as many of you, but who knows. I don’t know where y’all live or if you’re ever going to visit the Long Island/New York area, so…

Updated Plus Size Spring Shopping List

Since apparently the plus size black and white striped tee is, for me, the rarest of rare sparkle glitter unicorns,¬† and my clothing cupboard for the warm weather is bare, bare, bare…I am revising my original spring/summer clothing shopping list and looking for some alternatives.

This black and white polka dot blouse could go over my white jeans, medium wash blue jeans, and the black summer-weight pants I’m still looking for (!). It can easily go into the fall as well under a black cardigan. I like that it has the look of a blouse without the potential button gap hell.

I know that polyester in the summer is not the greatest idea, but my office at work is air conditioned to the max from May-October, so I always dress to accommodate the chilly building.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Polka Dot Blouse (Plus Size)

This next one has the more the coloring of a black-stripe-on-white tee. I could wear it to work under the lightweight black cardi or maybe even the light pink silk cardigan…or I could add a real pop of color with turquoise, teal, hot pink, lilac – almost any color…and I can wear it after work or on the weekends (aka out in the Long Island humidity) on its own.

 DR2 by Daniel Rainn Ladder Inset Blouse (Plus Size)

I’m definitely in a polka dot mood today! This navy and white dot top could go over blue or white jeans…or those elusive green pants (I’m like a dog with a bone once I decide there’s something in particular I want). This is perfect for work under a cardigan¬†and¬†on its own after work and on weekends.

Caslon Pleat Front Tank (Plus Size)

This ivory peasant blouse would go over any wash jeans, my tan linen pants (that I just found and didn’t know I still had, score!), and the sage green pants should I ever find them to fit. This is sort of an outlier item as I did not have anything ivory on my list,¬†but¬† ivory/cream is always a good basic and goes over most any color or type of bottom.

DR2 by Daniel Rainn Lace Detail Peasant Blouse (Plus Size)

Ahh, a pretty floral blouse! This is just like what I’ve been looking for. I love these colors and it can stand alone over white or blue jeans, or I could put my pale pink cardi over it. I would even try it unbuttoned over a white tee, like a short kimono. Sweet!

Melrose and Market Bell Sleeve Button Back Floral Print Shirt (Plus Size)

These are just some things I saw in a quick online peek. Since I’m having such a tough time rounding out my closet for the warm weather with what I originally wanted, I realize I needed to broaden the search a bit or I was going to be wearing the same outfit every day! I’ll be sure to let you know what I order and how I make out with them!

Have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Creating a Spring/Summer Clothing Shopping List

I’ve been on the fence about whether or not this would actually be of interest to people…but a good friend said that *she* would be interested, so…here goes!

Long ago, I used to do what I call “recreational shopping.” By that I mean that I would go to the mall, without necessarily anything specific in mind, just to see what there was. Inevitably I would see things I liked, many things, and I figure if I LIKED them, that they would work in my wardrobe, because…If I Like All the Things in My Closet…Shouldn’t They All Go Together? So I would just buy things indiscriminately because I liked them, with no real thought to whether the purchases made sense.

It took me many years and MANY wasted dollars to realize that the answer to that question is NO. And I’ll be honest, it wasn’t out of any real wisdom that I came to this conclusion, it was more out of necessity. Once I was divorced (21 years ago) and a single mother of a young daughter, I no longer had “unlimited” (not that they were ever unlimited but I had not yet learned The Very Hard Lessons about overspending and DEBT) funds for my recreational shopping. Now I had to make my “first real office job” salary stretch as far as it could. So recreational shopping became a thing of the past and I had to learn how to build a working wardrobe as efficiently as possible. And it took me almost all 21 years to do that, ha ha!

Hang on, I could tell my stories all day long…let’s get on to the list making!

I start by assessing what’s already in my closet from last year – most seasons the majority of items stay, and I only let go of the few things that are no longer in good condition, no longer fit, or are just things that I find I no longer reach for in my closet. It’s okay to fall out of love with things! They served their purpose for awhile, but when it’s time to move on, let them go, maybe to someone else who will enjoy them more.

Then I consider each and every item in the closet (and drawers). How many outfits can I make out of this item? Just one? Then I consider what new item I could bring in to make that already existing item more versatile. Will the new item go with multiple items already in my closet? That’s a plus. I don’t want to buy something new if it’s only going to go with one other thing. I want every piece to do double- or even triple-duty. I want a closet filled with¬†mostly¬†basics, that will mix with almost everything else.

So now I’ve gone through all my items and made a list of missing pieces. The pieces that will go with what I already own to make new outfits.

Here’s my list for this spring/summer

  • black and white striped top, summer weight
  • basic white tee
  • basic grey tee
  • 2-3 patterned tops – floral, paisley, something with some color
  • 1-2 patterned kimonons
  • oatmeal/tan lightweight cardigan
  • white summer weight pants/jeans
  • black summer weight pants
  • sagey green summer weight pants

A dozen items might seem like a lot (it does to me) but I know from experience that I’ll be lucky to find just a few of these items – due to size, cost and personal taste. This list doesn’t include shoes and accessories. I’ve already shared some of my shoe and bag wish lists with you here and here.

I’ll confess, I got a little confused with what I was posting this week. I wrote this post several week ago and I¬†should¬†have shot a little video showing¬†a couple samples of how I put these steps into practice…but instead I shot a try-on haul of items I’d bought trying to fill out my shopping list above (because everything came in within a few days and I wanted to try on so I could return what I wasn’t keeping and start over).

So just imagine, if you will, me taking my Bobeau sleeveless floral top out of the closet, inspecting it, thinking of what I might wear it with besides just my medium wash skinny jeans. Sage green cotton pants! And those pants would¬†also be perfect with the black and white striped top I don’t have (ha) AND the navy and white striped top I just ordered. And then I’d move onto the next item. Make sense?? It’s not nearly as much fun as just perusing online retail sites or catalogs and going¬†I like this and this and this and this¬† and ordering a bunch of random unrelated items…but it’s much more organized and you’ll end up only with things that actually go with things you already own. Cuz I don’t feel that I need or want dozens or hundreds pieces of clothing. I want to wear everything I have a LOT. Getting my money’s worth and not having any wasted investments hanging in my closet.

Here’s What I Bought and Tried On:

Loft Plus Textural Sweater Tee, size 24/26

Loft Plus Girlfriend Chinos, size 24

Target Who What Wear Plus Size Rib Trim Elbow Sleeve T-Shirt, size 4x

Asos Curve Stripe Top in Baby Loop Back, size 24

Old Navy Relaxed Plus-Size Sleeveless Boho Top, size 3x (floral no longer available)

Old Navy Plus-Size Linen-Blend Cropped Soft Pants, size 4x

Old Navy Plus-Size Mid-Rise Soft Utility Cropped Pants, size 3x

Macy*s Say What? Trendy Plus Size Long-Sleeve Swing Top, size 3x

Macy*s NY Collection Plus Size Pointelle-Knit Draped Cardigan, size 3x

And there’s a video! Caleb makes a couple cameo appearances ūüôā

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Rebirth

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Spring at last! The time has come for light layers and bright springy colors! And on a more philosophical level, a sort of rebirth for me from all the nonsense of last year, illness and treatments and worry…then ridiculous foot pain all winter into the spring…so many things keeping me indoors and inactive and feeling down. There are also some other personal things that are finally reaching resolution this year, so I’m seeing some light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Sorry to be so¬†oh woe is me but it is what it is. But there’s an end in sight – to sprinter (spring + winter) and to me feeling so¬†MEH.¬†

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And this outfit is anything but¬†meh.¬†I’ve shared this “bright but dark” top before here and here. You can see how versatile it is in that I’ve worn it with black jeans, medium wash denim, and now white denim. I think the top would also look nice over a white peasant/boho style skirt like this, amiright? How nice would that be for summer evenings on the beach? Oohhhh…summer evenings on the beeeaaacchhhhhh. I can’t wait!!!

It’s still a¬†little chilly early and late in the day and a light jacket is called for, Just in Case. I’m the queen of Just in Case.

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This army green jacket is a couple years old from Target’s Ava & Viv plus-size brand. It’s very lightweight Tencel, a sustainable fabric regenerated from wood cellulose. It’s similar in feel to rayon or bamboo, in that it has that same drapey characteristic.

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I was never really a white jeans gal but now I feel like they go with just about everything! How do you feel about white jeans?

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I’m trying to get away from wearing my plain silver disc earrings Every Single Day, so these little dangly silver and turquoise ones are on frequent rotation. Can’t you just see my hair being a teal blue?? I’m¬†thissssss close.

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Thanks to my pal Linda for taking these pictures. We had a nice dinner after. I took a picture of my food and thought of Nancy of Nancy’s Style, who commented recently that it’s not a great idea to read my blog when you’re hungry (mostly my Week in Review posts) cuz I’m always posting pictures of the places we go to eat and the yummy things we have! So I will refrain. This time. Just so she can get ahold of herself ūüôā (GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF, NANCY!!!)¬†

What I’m Wearing:

  • American Rag floral border printed tunic, via Gwynnie Bee, 3x. Sold out, comparable here and here in plus sizes and in straight sizes here and here.
  • White Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda tapered jeans, size 22short. From¬†Amazon
  • Pink velcro Vans Ward V sneaker, from¬†DSW
  • Dangly turquoise earrings from Forever 21, no longer available. Comparable here¬†and here and if you prefer gold to silver,¬†here
  • Army green Ava & Viv/Target Tencel jacket, size 24. Old, comparable plus sizes¬†here and here¬†and straight sizes here and here

I’m linking up today with:

If you want to find some new bloggers to check out and maybe follow, visiting the link-ups is a great way to see a lot of different bloggers in one space.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

Week in Review: Weeks 111-112

FINALLY. There have¬†finally been some nice days…and my feet didn’t hurt (as much) and I wasn’t stressed about work and I got my taxes paid and I had a little more time for fun with friends and Caleb had a good week…and yeah. I feel like I was able to let out a BIG exhale that I’ve been holding in for a long time. The¬†best thing was really getting out of my little box this weekend and getting the heck out of Dodge. That is the most energizing thing to me. So yay.

Flowers are finally starting to bloom around the neighborhood.

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Uhm, chickens.

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Yummy Portugese waffle treats.

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Janey.

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Neighbor cat. Let’s call him Pepe.

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#NationalAmarettoDay

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Mango Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. OHMYGOSH.

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Pretty.

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Who knew there was a whole world.

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Went to the museum.

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Uhm, okay.

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Sometimes I don’t get art.

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The basement had beautiful light.

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This week involved a lot of eating.

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Roadside stop.

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Visited Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY.

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Cake!

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A New Friend.

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Phew. And now it is 8pm on Sunday evening and I’m exhausted and going to bed soon. Back to work tomorrow! Got anything fun planned in the week ahead??