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?

Gwynnie Bee Try-on Haul

So…before I get into the trying on, I wanted to share with you one of my goals for the blog for 2017 – VIDEO. Not instead of the written blog, but in addition to it. I think it’s nice to feel like you’re sort of having a conversation with a person (albeit one-sided) and video can help things feel more like that. Also, it’s helpful to be able to see the movement in clothes – how does the fabric fall and drape, what happens to the dress when you move or sit…all shown better in a video than a still photograph.

My defined goal was to have a YouTube channel up and running with some decent production quality vlogs…by July. But it’s all harder than it seems (!!!) so guess who gets to be my test audience? YOU! Ha. I don’t know if I should say “You’re Welcome” or “I’m Sorry,” but I’ll be sharing short videos here as I practice this new skill. Please share any thoughts or critiques. I know in the beginning these will be pretty rough – I don’t really have proper videoing equipment or lighting or anything, I’m just using what I have for now til I see if this is something I even really like doing.

So. That brings us to today’s post. I hadn’t really meant to share anything so soon, but…I video’d two Gwynnie Bee items that arrived this week for a Gwynnie Bee Facebook group I’m in (we like to share our “try-on’s” with one another so other people can tell if the item is something they’d like to put in their online closet), so I wasn’t thinking of things like, oh, sweeping up the dog hair off the floor, or maybe brushing my hair or putting away all the mess in the line of the camera. But I just had a little fun with it and then thought, you know what? I could use this on the blog with the caveat LOW EXPECTATIONS = SMALL DISAPPOINTMENTS, ha. It’s really a mess. But that’s why this blog is called Fashion SCHLUB and NOT I’m A Pretty Pretty Princess.

So here you go. Note: I don’t always hate *everything,* ha. And pardon my voice, I’ve been on and off sick since Thanksgiving.

SCARY.

Stepping Outside the Box

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I am normally a pretty basic dresser. Solids, neutrals, limited palette, that’s my usual wardrobe. And then THIS happened. This floral tunic by American Rag that I’ve rented from Gwynnie Bee. I feel so HAPPY in it! I felt a little like a Matryoshka – those brightly painted Russian wooden nesting dolls. In a good way!

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Sometimes you just have to take a little walk on the wild side, try something new, step outside your box. It’s so interesting to me how *difficult* that can be with something as seemingly insignificant as clothing. Yet sometimes wearing something DIFFERENT…in PUBLIC…can be The Most Terrifying Thing.

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But it’s a good thing to slip a little strange into your normal routine, know what I mean? Don’t dress and live The Same Exact Way day after day after day. There are just so many days. Explore, adventure, spread your friendship wings, wear a brightly colored blouse.

LIVE.

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What I’m Wearing:

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

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

My new friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me was my photographer once again – thanks, Marcy!

One Dress: Three Outfits

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a) HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Okay, so, one of my requirements for new items to be added to my wardrobe is that they must be versatile. I ask myself if an item I’m coveting can be worn three different ways. If not…it has to REALLY have something else going for it. I especially like pieces that can be dressed up *and* down just by switching out accessories.

This is one of those items. I got this dress from JC Penney’s Boutique+ plus size line. I love the fabric and fit, it floats across my body barely touching it and has a lot of swing and movement when I walk. And it’s simple without being boring – the lace-up detail at the neck gives it a little sumpn-sumpn. And it dresses up and down very nicely. I’ve styled it here for a date look, out for a drink with friends, and a comfortable work look.

For the date look, I’ve worn it with over the knee boots and a slightly sparkly cardigan…some swingy earrings and a little arm bling.

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I would wear the next look out in the evening for cocktails with friends (anyone wanna go out for cocktails?), with my faux leather moto jacket, black booties…and dangly brushed silver earrings that I forgot to photograph. Bad blogger. Bad!

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And lastly, a comfortable work or afternoon at the coffee shop outfit. A cozy longline cardigan, low-heeled booties and this darling ring my daughter got for me.

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I’d like to thank my new blogger friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me who took these photographs – she did a really good job, don’t you think?

What I’m Wearing:

  • Wine swing dress, 3x, JC Penney Boutique+
  • Black sequin cardigan, 3x, TJ Maxx (old), similar here and here
  • Black boots, Avenue (old), similar here
  • Black Bongo faux leather moto jacket (old), similar here
  • Black faux leather Myla booties, Avenue
  • Taupe longline duster cardigan, INC from Macy*s (old)

Product Review: Land’s End Plus Size Silk Underwear

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Yes, this is me standing in my ‘wares in front of the whole internet. No, I have not lost my damn mind. I’m sharing something wonderful with you.

While every other fashion blogger is writing about sequins and glam and party dresses…I’m here to talk to you about COMFORT. That seems to be a theme recently!

Baby, it’s COLD outside…and I have a secret tip about staying cozy all winter-long.

Long. Silk. Underwear. The super super lightweight THIN THIN long underwear that you can wear under everything and never even know it’s there, except that it keeps you super warm and cozy AND acts as a “slipping agent” under your clothes. Know what I mean? I love when fabrics just slide over my body, instead of getting hung up on spots like hip bumps and fat calves. Long silk underwear is like wearing a slip. But it’s pants and a top! And it is NOT. BULKY. As a plus size gal, I’ve got enough bulk all on my own…layering is a challenge and often a little uncomfortable for me. But this is like a nonexistent layer.

There are not a lot of plus size brands of true silk underwear…and it’s been years since I had a set…but I find that each year my body handles the cold winter weather a little less well and I knew I needed a little assist this year, so Santa came early and brought me a set. I got them on sale, $29 each piece, though now they’re back to normal price of double that 😦 But I bet if you keep watching you might find them on sale again as we get closer to the holiday.

I highly recommend the Land’s End set. I was afraid they were going to be too small and I was going to have to just Make Them Work cuz I am COLD, but I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived. The top is just right. The pants are actually a little loose and long, but I’m sure they’ll shrink a bit in the wash. They are super comfortable and they are amazingly warm. If you’ve never worn long silk underwear and you think it can’t possibly be as warm as a thick downy padded layered thing, I’m here to tell you otherwise – they are WARM.

PS – this is not a sponsored post. I bought the underwear myself and my opinions are my own.

What I’m Wearing: