Week in Review: Week 126

It was…a pretty good week. A work event was behind us, and it always feels good to move beyond the mad rush leading up to an event. I got some good photos for the blog I do at work, and that felt good. I had a good mix of social evenings and “at home alone” evenings. My only real complaint (well, besides a friend who is ignoring my emails, grr) would be the weather. It is just SO so hot, I don’t even want to go sit at the beach in the evening and watch the sunset. I just want to go home to the aircon (ps, I’m watching too many UK youtubers and watching too much British tv, I’m starting to pick up and use some of their slang without even realizing. and even when I do realize, I like it, and keep doing it).

Sad flowers.

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Fashion Schlub was included in Gwynnie Bee’s Best Member Moments of July post. I’ve shared this tidbit umpteen times. Whee, I’m a narcissist!

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While I’m still on the subject of ME (!!!), I’ll also mention that FS was also included in Independent Fashion Bloggers Links à la Mode Summer Round Up Party: A listing of fashion bloggers (below) you might want to check out. I love looking at accounts I’ve never seen before and finding new favorites (I’m definitely going to take a look at that second one!).

My friend Linda and I went to a cool open studio gallery thing in Brooklyn – it was a huge space with art exhibits and installations, appies and wine and interactive workshops/sessions.

I got a kick out of this artist (I picked up her card and now I can’t find it!). She combined crochet (aka yarn bomb torture activity) with lighting and 3D images.

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It doesn’t come across in the photo but the leopard in the center of the piece is actually 3D. How do people come up with this stuff? I’m so ashamed of my mind when I see things like this, like why can’t you ever come up with anything original?? 

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Vintage tin ceiling tiles and moss.

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Scraggly yarn (?) curtain in front of film of hand.

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This put me in mind of Noah’s Ark.

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we become everything we love

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We did marbling. Mine’s on the left, Linda’s on the right. It was so cool. I wanted to do more.

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I’m a sweaty Bettye poodlehead

We did the most amazing meditation. In the past when I’ve gone to meditation classes they were Buddhism-based, and I liked them very much. And a couple times a week I use a guided meditation app on my phone and just do a 5-10 minute breath-based meditation, and that’s fine. But this was like…SOUL meditation. Heart meditation. The woman who led it had us think on different things and there were different movements we did…it was just very different and it really moved me. Tears were streaming down my face halfway through. I wish I could go to her for more but she’s all the way in Brooklyn and that just doesn’t fit for me right now. But…wow. It was memorable.

This was the note on the chair I chose…that’s a pretty good message. For all of us.

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Then there was a photographer taking portraits of people in a dark room with crazy lighting…

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Everything about the evening was…I would say “perfect,” which is a term I rarely use…but for the HEAT. And humidity. The venue was air conditioned but it wasn’t even touching me, I was drenched the entire time. But other than that, it was really really really good.

Oh, this was one of my favorite things. Super tacky (intentionally?), but I love the beaded saying:

I play the game where I imagine my friends as old and silver. I like this game the most. Because in it we survive the hateful, warful years, all of the terrible things that will inevitably happen.

She is at @emilyoliveirastudio on Instagram if you want to see more.

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It was one year ago this week that I had my head shaved 2 weeks into chemo. THAT was a day, oofah. A year later I’m still going to Morgan at POSH to have her try and shape my crazy curly regrowth. This is what it looks like when I get up in the morning (!).

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The sides and bangs are pretty cooperative. It’s that poodle top bit that’s so crazy. It’s long enough to curl up and frizz in the humidity but not long enough to get my curling iron around to smooth. So at best, it’s smooshed down waves. Not cute like a “best short haircut” post on Pinterest.

Okay, here’s a thing I’m doing (ohhh I’m not happy about this but)…for the month of August – NO MCDONALDS SWEET TEA. I forgot I’d planned to make this resolution til Friday so I missed the first couple days…and Normal Me would say OH WELL, TRY AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER…but Trying to Be Better Than Normal Me is going to try and stick with it for the rest of the month. I was going to do “no sweet tea OR chips” in August but. I’m having a hard enough time getting my head around the tea part. Let’s just see how this goes. Chips can be the next step. BABY STEPS.

I have A Big Project on the agenda for this (Sunday) afternoon. If I complete it I’ll post a little before&after video. If I don’t, I’ll delete this paragraph and through the magic of television you’ll be none the wiser.

Before

After

This is the kitchen table I wanted, but…not happening.

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Okay, that’s it for this week! I’m going to to watch the last episode of Last Tango in Halifax (I didn’t realize when I started watching that it was only on for 3 seasons!) and then bed.

Wishing everyone a cool, dry, peaceful week!

 

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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 🙂 (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.

Loving the Skin You’re In

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So, if you know me or have been following my blog for awhile, then you know that last year I had cancer (I hate to keep saying that over and over but though there is currently no evidence of cancer, it and the treatment effects are still impacting my life. The gift that keeps on giving, ha ha, ugh). When my hair started coming out two weeks into chemo (i repeat, UGH) I decided to just get my head shaved cuz the clumping and constant hair loss was really a pain in the butt. So I went to a lovely salon called Posh in the town where I was about to move and had what remained of a lifetime of long hair buzzed off (read about that here). A group of girlfriends joined me for moral support, pictures and ice cream afterward.

ANYWHO, I was oblivious to what else was going on that day in the salon, and unbeknownst to me, there was an esthetician there that day who noticed the group of ladies at my side and the laughter and support they offered me.

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Skip ahead to just a couple months ago, I got a private message on Facebook from a woman named Afrodite (what a great name!) explaining who she was and what she’d seen that day, and offering me a complimentary facial because she was interested in oncology skincare therapy (read: specializing in skin care for cancer patients). Ooh! How lovely! I’d never had a facial so this certainly seemed intriguing, and several weeks later I found myself in her new soothing studio.

I asked Afrodite about oncology skin care (something I’d never even realized existed!) and she explained that the emphasis is on DETOX. Between surgery, medications and treatments, the last thing a cancer patient needs is more chemicals. She looks for holistic ways of treating skin issues that arise from cancer treatments. Those issues vary based on the specific chemo/radiation treatments used but it is usually extreme dryness and dehydration of the skin, acne and sometimes burns from radiation. I personally struggled with facial acne during the second half of my chemo, until only just recently. At a time when you’ve already lost your hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, to add a faceful of acne just added insult to injury!

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Afrodite became interested in this specialty while attending beauty school and accompanying a friend during chemotherapy treatments. The friend talked about the changes she was going through physically, and while losing her hair and experiencing skin changes were small sacrifices when fighting for her life, she felt like she really needed to feel and look good to feel “normal” at a time when so much of her life was not normal. She started getting facials monthly as a way of relaxing, which she felt was important in her recovery. After this experience, Afrodite found an online school in Atlanta, Georgia (The Skincare Therapy Institute, Corp) and earned a certificate in Oncology Skincare Therapy.

Afrodite plans to build her practice in this specialty of esthetics. She also does eyelash extensions for clients that lost theirs during treatment. She researched skin care lines made specifically for these special care clients and found a company called Hale & Hush, whose products she loves using.

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Fast forward to me lying under a sheet on a warming bed in her darkened studio, gentle yoga-ish music playing, soft scents filling the air…and rich lotions and potions being applied to my face with a feather touch. Products were brushed on, rubbed in and gently wiped off. Puffs of steam kept the air and my face hydrated. It all felt sort of mysterious as I mostly kept my eyes closed and never *really* knew what was going on, but it was extremely relaxing.

Afterwards, she sent me home with some Hale & Hush face wash to use on my newly hydrated skin. I’m not much of a “product” person, mostly I just wash my face in the shower with the same bar soap I use on my body, scrubbing hard with a Buf Puf to exfoliate, followed by Trader Joe’s antioxidant facial moisturizer. But I *am* using the face wash she gave me and it does feel nice.

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Afrodite said, “If I can make one woman feel better during this challenging time of her life than it was all worth it.” Well, she certainly made *me* feel better. I’ve had no acne breakouts since that day in her studio and the whole experience prompted me to make “pamper myself” my main resolution for 2018.

If you’re local and interested in a facial or eyelash extensions, or want to treat a loved one going through cancer treatments to a really special experience, reach out to Afrodite Boukas at (631) 645-0115 or by visiting her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Lash-Goddess-by-Aphrodite-1872189119763998/

I’m so grateful to Afrodite for noticing me that day in Posh and for extending this generous invitation.

Thanks to my daughter for taking pictures that day.

Top 5 Fashion Schlub Posts of 2017

Here we are at the end of the year that I thought would NEVER end…and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at what the most popular posts were from this roller coaster year.

In the #5 spot was a Week in Review post just after I got out of the hospital in April. Boy, I hope to never spend that much time in a hospital again!

The 4th most popular post was a much happier occasion, which was moving into my new apartment back in August.  That really was a great change for me and my life and I’m still grateful every day for the opportunity.

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In the #3 position was a post about gratitude for all the people who’d been so great during my time in the hospital.

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The 2nd most popular post was me getting cranky about starting to lose my hair due to chemo. That was a tough time. I feel like I’d been pretty stoic about all the cancer-related events leading up to this, but…losing my hair? Nope. I was gonna moan and complain about that.

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And the Top Post of 2017 was when I had my head shaved during chemo. Yeah, that was an interesting time…and I’m still living with the effects of it.

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Wow, what am I going to blog about in 2018 if I don’t get sick or move again? Haha (funny not funny)??

I am so thankful for all of you that have been reading my posts and commenting and sharing – it means so much to me and it’s been nice knowing I have friends along on my journey. I hope to have more fun adventures in 2018, so let’s look forward to that as we close out 2017.

I’m going to take the rest of this week off from posting…but I’ll see y’all next year!

 

The Perks of Being Bald

Believe it or not, I have actually enjoyed some benefits of baldness the past few months since going through chemo (read about that here).

  • Cost-saving: no salon cuts or colors or expensive products
  • No. Bad. Hair. Days. EVER.
  • No cursing the humidity, rain, wind, fog (see above)
  • No hat or bed head
  • Showers are *super* fast
  • No time spent styling
  • When it’s really hot, the car ac hits your SCALP and cools you like INSTANTLY
  • You don’t have to shave your legs. Ever. (cuz the chemo makes you bald *everywhere*)
  • No chin hairs!
  • You can drive with the windows down and not worry about messing up or tangling your hair

So many perks to baldness. And yet….

Way back in the beginning of September, about a month after getting my head shaved, I was getting weary of the head scarves I was wearing every day and I knew they were not going to cut it once the cold weather came. So my daughter and I checked out a local wig shop.

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There were a GAZILLION options. And people had been saying things to me like “ooh, you can really have fun with a wig – go crazy!” But…I didn’t want to be “crazy.” I just wanted to feel like ME again.

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I finally narrowed the options down to one…although I couldn’t try it in the color I wanted, so I had to order it just based on the style and HOPE the color that I selected from a teeny tiny little sample was going to be right. Plus, the name of the wig was Hunter, which is one of my wonderful past dogs.

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Then I waited. First the wig shop made a mistake on the insurance form and the claim was denied. I spoke to the insurance company who said well THAT’S a mistake, of COURSE you’re covered…have the wig shop people send a corrected form and we’ll expedite the process. Then I waited again. Eventually the insurance responded to the claim…denied again! WTH??? Now my work’s HR person got on their case…I mean, REALLY got on their case…and FINALLY, just last week, after two months of nonsense..I finally got my wig!!!

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It’s taking a little getting used to…it’s certainly not like having your own hair, and I won’t even wear it every day…but at least I can when I want to! And I finally feel like ME again, and that’s what I wanted.

PS: this was the surprise I mentioned in Sunday’s Week in Review post!

The Future of Fashion Schlub

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When I started The Schlub in February 2016, I was SO excited and had so many ideas. What I didn’t realize was how much support I would need from other people (GIANT THANKS TO ALL MY FRIENDS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS ALIKE!!!) to get good blog photos and how much time it really took to create quality content. But I still managed to meet all my goals in Year One – number of followers, regularity of posting, that sort of thing. And in the beginning of 2017 I created new goals…and then dum dum dum DUMMMM….stupid cancer, and the accompanying surgery and treatments and feeling crappy and exhausted all the time…and this year really just became about keeping my head above water. A lot of people would say “don’t worry about the blog, just take of yourself!” But I really needed something else to focus on so I didn’t just lay around feeling lousy and sorry for myself. So I tried my best to keep the blog going. I definitely had some slow spots but I feel I’m back now, at least where I was before. And now I’m feeling ready to grow again.

And I’m asking for *your* help. Yes, Fashion Schlub was started to follow my journey, but I would like it to be *your* journey, too. So if there are things you would like to see or learn about, please let me know. If there are things other bloggers do that you think are fun/interesting/etc, and you’d like to see me do it, too, share that with me.

That’s it. I just wanted to say I know Fashion Schlub was not all that exciting this year, and that going forward I plan to make it better. And thank you to all of you who continue to read and post comments, I appreciate every one of you and the fact that you’re still here!