Free’n’Easy

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I. Love. This. Kimono. To me it represents freedom, peace, joy, beauty…EASE. Things that have been sort of missing from my life lately. I’ve been so exhausted from treatments that my only time outdoors is pretty much walking from the car to wherever I’m going…and back again later on. I’ve missed beautiful spring evenings and beach sunsets.

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But this day I managed to spin a couple times…and walk in the grass barefoot…and feel a little easy and free.

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Fashion can do that for you. It can transport you, make you feel like a different person or like you’re living a different kind of life. And right now I need some of that.

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Do you have something special you wear when you want to feel better?

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And the good news is, I finished radiation last week…and I’m starting to feel a little more human again. Not SO exhausted all the time. Staying up past 7pm, ha.

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So here’s to feeling free’n’easy…whether in spirit or style.

What I’m Wearing:

  • Johnny Was embroidered kimono via Gwynnie Bee, 3x
  • Charlotte Russe skinny jeans, size 24
  • J Jill linen blend tee, size 24

What Did I Buy?! Plus BKLYN

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Me, owner Alexis Krase and Marcy Cruz

It’s my last week of radiation – yay. It’s a good thing, too, cuz at this point I am beaten down. Life is pretty much work, treatment, home to lay down. But this past weekend I dragged myself up and out, picked up my buddy Marcy, and headed into Brooklyn to a new plus size boutique I’ve been seeing all over social media called Plus Bklyn.

Plus Bklyn is a funky little shop at 455 Graham Ave., Williamsburg, that caters to trendy ladies from size 14-26. Owner Alexis Krase and colleague Ivy were so charming and hospitable when we visited. We tried on bunches of fun things – there were dresses, tops, bathing suits, sunglasses, bags, jewelry and so much more!

So let’s play What Did I Buy?!

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Junarose, size 24
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Junarose, size 22
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Magical Unicorn dress, size 24

What do y’all think?

It’s so nice to have a new in-person plus-size shopping destination, I’ll definitely be back!

Week in Review: Weeks 64-67

Wow, I’ve essentially lost the month of May. May was the bulk of my radiation treatments – I still have seven left to go so they’re reaching a little into June as well, but hopefully I’ll be able to reclaim some of June for myself. I’ve been too tired to do much of anything, but here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

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I photographed our 5k Jack’s Run for Autism up in Port Washington. It was like The Windiest Day EVER. We couldn’t hang signs or put out balloons to mark the course or anything. But the runners didn’t seem to mind. Those athletic types don’t let *anything* stop them. Respect.

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And then I went for my first chemo treatment. Scary. They kept referring to it as an “all day treatment.” SCARY. But in reality, it was a lot of prep, counseling, two hours of IV hydration and anti-nausea meds before and another two hours after…and the actual chemo was only one hour. But it *was* a long day of not really knowing what to expect so I had my bag well-stocked with activities, snacks, water, super soft kitty blanket, book, etc.

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I was anxious all day waiting to feel awful…but that really never happened. I felt *queasy* for the next week or so but never really nauseous. I will be repeating this procedure on Monday. Hopeful for same outcome.

Ugh. This dress. Not good. It went back to Gwynnie Bee immediately. You win some, you lose some.

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I brought some lilacs in from outside our office door. They smelled so so so so good. And I haven’t killed my succulent terrarium plants yet! Yay Me!

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Caleb is such a sneaky-peeker.

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I found a rock on the beach that looks like a heart. Or a butt. You choose.

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Ahhhhh. I need more of these.

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Don’t work too hard, Caleb.

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Sunrise outside my door.

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How fun is this beachy cake? I just looked, I did not touch.

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A family from the school brought me this card. They’re having their own struggles and yet they took their time to do this for me. HUGS TO YOU.

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My kooky kid.

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Her kooky mom.

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Sunrise out my girlfriend’s door.

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I dog-sat last weekend. They’re a tough pair to handle. Not.

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We had lots of lovely porch time.

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Some things never change.

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Ruh-roh. I killed one of the succulents. It rotted away. I think I overwatered. I put a turtle in its place. That will be harder to kill.

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Here is a pic of me at 10. It was part of a video I just saw for the first time, so I apologize for poor quality due to screen grab. I guess my father filmed this back in 1970? Isn’t it weird to see pictures of yourself from the past (well, duh, all pictures are from the past but you know what I mean) that you have No Recollection of? You know it’s you cuz you can SEE you, but. I have no memory of this day or this dress or even my father having a movie camera! And this is funny, in 1970 girls were not yet allowed to wear pants to school. But we were wearing dresses this short (you can’t see the groovy white Jan Brady knee socks I had on but they’re there). How did THAT make sense??

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For some reason this “I Am the Champion” muscle man bicep pose was my go-to photo pose around that age. Who knows. That’s my sister, cheery in yellow.

And there you have it. This month was a LOT of laying around, staying close to home. Hopefully I’ll be able to venture out a little more this month. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I have STILL not switched out my winter clothes for summer! It’s been just cool enough that I haven’t needed to. Maybe this weekend. I kind of think that was the same last sentence from my LAST Week in Review post!

xoxo Bettye

Keeping It Simple

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I’ve been keeping my life very simple lately. Work, treatment, home. That’s pretty much every day. Sometimes during the day I THINK I will go home and accomplish One Thing – wash the dishes or sweep the floor, etc. But no. By the time I get there I’m so shot that I get almost immediately into my nightgown and head to the sofa. I’m not even reading or watching tv, I’m just…resting.

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So this kind of outfit is my mainstay right now. A simple base with something over top. Easy peasy.

This dress is so easy to wear. It’s a rayon spandex blend that’s stretchy and swingy and feels like silky cotton. The blouse is Tencel which is a drapey lightweight denimy material. Both fabrics are very comfortable to wear.

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Fashion doesn’t always have to be fussy or fancy. It can be easy and relaxed and comfortable…and that is totally my jam these days.

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I’m kind of liking my life like this. I feel like the beginning of the year started with so much drama that I’m enjoying this simple time. Kind of weird, right? I never feel good anymore, I’m always exhausted, but overall, life feels good. Count on me to be contrary 🙂

What I’m Wearing

Photos by Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me – thanks, Marce! Make sure you check out her blog cuz she is a  BOSS!!!

Week in Review: Week 60

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The week started off with consults at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a second opinion on my situation and treatment going forward. I’m finally learning that “consult” doesn’t mean sitting in a civilized wood-paneled office, a desk away from a doctor, tissues at hand (like on TV)…but instead “get undressed and put on this gown and the dr will SEE you in a few minutes.” I’ve learned to wear loose-fitting dresses so I can by-pass the gown (how smart am I?) but I haven’t figured out how to avoid the endless stream of EXAMS. Ugh. “Hello, I’m Dr. Smith, nice to meetcha, now skootch down and spread your legs.” Hello to you, too.

Anyway, I was pleased with both the doctors, their treatment plan was pretty different than the first place (though they both had very good explanations for why they’d do things their way), and everything moved along at a good pace. Which is very important to me as I don’t want to be spending my summer waiting in a treatment center. I want to get in, get out, and go see a sunset, thank you very much.

Final decision has not been made yet.

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National Sibling Day was this week. That’s me (the short one in baggy ruffled tights) and my sister (the tall pretty one who is looking very Gidget-esque).

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Tuesday afternoon we headed down to a charter boat marina to do some blog pictures. It felt good to be out in the air and be doing a photo shoot.

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I wanted to show you my cute new EASY TO PUT ON sneakers but the dog wanted in the shot. I think it’s time to unmake the bed-sofa.

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Wednesday morning it was BACK to Sloan for a ct-scan. I drank the kool aid. I failed the test. After all the drinking, waiting, changing, trying to get an IV in me (I have tough veins), etc…they got the first picture then the two ladies came hurrying into the scan room where I was and said, “uh, hun, you still have your bra on!” Damn. I was so distracted by “where do I go next?” as I was changing into THE DREADED GOWN that I totally blanked on taking off my bra. Duh. They’d already gotten the first pic so now I couldn’t move, so I had two women, one on each side of me, trying to remove my bra without me moving. Someone should have taken a picture of THAT.

PS, the contrast dye they injected into me for the scan changed my taste buds for three days and everything tasted horrible. Someone should figure out how to market that as a weight loss aid. If eating Doritos is no more enjoyable than eating lettuce, well…

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There was a pretty little gifty in my grocery cart.

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Thursday night I worked our Adventureland event. Twice a year we rent out the amusement park and it’s closed to the general public and made available just to families of kids and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. It. Almost. Always. Rains. or at least threatens. But this night was PERFECT and we had a TON of happy people going on rides, playing arcade games and eating cotton candy. This picture was taken as the event prior to ours was just closing out, that’s why it looks so empty.

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I’m a little teapot….

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The next morning I was verrrrry tired and was wishing I could just climb on the tuffet with Caleb and Jane instead of going to work.

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Got my second wind by late afternoon and picked up a friend (this is her backyard, can you even?) to go to the movies. We saw Going in Style with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. Ann Margaret was in it a bit and OHMYGOD she looks UH-MAZING. She’s 76, she looks better than I do. She looks better than MOST people do, ha. The movie was cute.

And now it’s Saturday. I have no plans. Wanna do something??

More Gratitude

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Wow, it was fun doing a shoot again! I’ve had messages from several people saying not to worry about the blog and just focus on feeling better, but the blog is a really good distraction for me right now. I can’t just think about CANCER all the time – and believe me, it’s always trying to take the top position in my brain. I’m guessing the time may come during treatment when I. Just. Can’t. But for now, while I can…I love doing it.

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But I *am* lucky to have people who care enough to tell me to take care of myself. So…I’m feeling a gratitude post coming on!

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I’m SO grateful to all the wonderful people who have been there for me – emotionally, physically, transportationally 🙂 I generally live a pretty solitary life and I always worried about when I got “old and sick” (not that this is THAT, but…) how I was going to manage on my own…but people haven’t even made me have to figure that out. They’ve just been right there for me every step of the way. And that’s been really nice.

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I’m grateful that I had a pretty quick and easy recovery from surgery. Sure, I had a couple bad days in there, but for the most part I think it went pretty well. A month out and I’m feeling pretty much normal. The doctor initially didn’t want me to go back to work for six weeks! But this is my second week back and it’s all good.

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I’m grateful I found a dress to fit, ha! All my swelling has gone down, 20 pounds worth, gah, and I’m back in my normal clothes. This is a Gwynnie Bee dress, it’s cute, right?? I wanted something a little bright and springy and this definitely fit the bill. I love a dress with a slip layer and an outer layer like this – it keeps everything looking very smooth. It’s sleeveless but down by the water last night it was breezy and chilly so I wore it with this longline cardigan and some new chestnutty-brown flats. I have to see if I can pull out the insole and replace it with an arch support insert because otherwise GAHHHH!!!

I’m SO grateful that spring finally seems to be here! I feel I handle the cold less and less well every year and I’ve been really anxious for some COMFORTABLE (not HOT, but…) weather. And this week has been that – comfortable – and I’m appreciating the heck out of it. I’m grateful to be able to wear dresses with bare legs! Tights are the devil’s work.

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I’m grateful to My Friend Who Shall Remain Nameless for taking these pictures. I’m grateful for so many scenic places on Long Island to shoot!

I’m grateful that I’m remembering to be grateful. That has not always been my strong suit, so…yeah. If nothing else good comes out of all this, at least there’s that.

What I’m Wearing:

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?