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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She Works Hard for the Money

I frequently see posts about the pros and cons of using your blog as a source of income. I recently read this post on Nancy’s Fashion Style on that very topic and it prompted me to respond. I know I wrote briefly about this once before but I’ve wanted to go into a little more detail about my experience.

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As for “blogging for money,” all throughout my life I’ve had hobbies that turned into businesses – and I think that’s the best kind of “business” to have! When I was younger I was a horse lover turned riding instructor. Then I fell in love with graphic design and started a newsletter about gardening (another hobby!) which got me a job as a desktop publisher, creating newsletters for nonprofits. The love of gardening turned into a floral design business. My love of thrifting and treasure hunting turned into an ebay store, and then following my love of clothing, morphed into an online vintage clothing shop. I started more serious photography when I was shooting the vintage clothing on live models and then people started asking me to photograph them and their families and events and I had a photography business.

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Now all these things – graphic design, photography, writing, fashion – have come together gloriously as My Little Blog 🙂 And while I haven’t yet, I hope to someday get an income from it so that when I semi-retire I won’t need to spend my days collecting runaway shopping carts at the Piggly Wiggly.

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How lovely it is to make income from doing something you love to do! I’ve blogged for many years on other topics (photography, vintage clothing, lovely inspiration, my home(s), even a long-distance mother/daughter blog a la 3191 Miles Apart). For free. Just because I loved doing it. And I love creating Fashion Schlub. But I’m at a point in my life where I need to be considering additional income sources so that I can retire before I die. And since I LOVE doing this and there are ways to use it for income, why not? 

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I do see blogs that are like one big ad, and no, those are not much fun to read. They’re just like watching commercials on TV – who likes to do that?? But I don’t mind at all reading a blog I like and them telling me what clothes they wear or what products they use, if they do it in a non-selly way. I don’t mind seeing and clicking on affiliate links in a blog or reading a sponsored post…as long as I feel the blogger is sincere in their feelings for the product.

I know I’ve said this before – I would only recommend an item on the blog that I truly feel is good or that I would use or have used. I’ve gotten so many reach-outs that make absolutely no sense for my blog…and I have turned them all down. So know that when I do work with a brand it will be because I truly like the brand/item and feel good about sharing it with you.

lot of time and effort (and expense) go into producing a quality blog. Why would someone resent a blogger making money from it?

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So yes – I intend for this eventually to be an income-producing blog. I don’t expect the quality or character to change. I think it would only get better!

About six months ago I started sharing affiliate links – primarily so that readers can find items like the ones I show in the posts. If that exact item is no longer available, I try to find the closest possible match, or at least that shares some of the best qualities of the original item, just as though I were shopping for a duplicate item myself. I like to share several links for each item so they can be found at higher and lower price points, and in plus and straight sizes. I make, literally, pennies each time someone clicks on an affiliate link…and I won’t even get the money paid to me til it reaches $100….and I’m not even a quarter of the way there! So at the rate things are going now, I’m looking forward to getting a nice hundred-dollar check in about another two years! PAR-TAY!!! 

It was a hard decision for me to add the banner ads at the side and bottom of my posts because I have no control over what the ads are for or what they look like. And again, bloggers make very little money from them and, like the pay-per-click affiliate links, you have to reach a minimum dollar amount before you get a pay-out. I hope they’re not horribly offensive. If there’s just a few on other blogs, I barely notice them…I hope that is your experience here, too. I certainly haven’t noticed any decrease in views this month as a result, which is promising. But please let me know how you feel about them.

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All that said (!!!) let’s get to the outfit! I started the month in a kimono and I’m ending it one, too. It was another super hot day just like before, so I was hoping this easy-breezy kimono would be just the right thing, but…nope. Ha. See?? I’m being honest! It’s a Gwynnie Bee item, so not a keeper, but I’d thought it was more of a light chiffon-y fabric that air would pass through easily, helping to keep me cool. But it was actually modal (a rayon blend that feels more like a stretchy cotton knit). I’ve had modal dresses – winter dresses – and leggings, and it was a lovely fabric for them. But this just felt HOT. It was a fun print and shape, but it was a “one and done” item for me and has already been returned. I’m wearing it over an old, slightly too small (couldn’t find my usual grey tee!), Just My Size tank top and white Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans that you’ve seen many times this year.

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The End (ha ha).

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What I’m Wearing:

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you click on them.

Week in Review: Week 124

This was the kind of week I DON’T like – when every evening is planned up. While I liked doing all the things I did, I would have liked it better had they been spread over a couple weeks so I could have had a little more down/me time. AND, even worse, I didn’t even really get fun pictures from the things I did, so. It might be a bit of a boring Week in Review. As opposed to all the other ADVENTURE-PACKED weeks I share with you.

I went to the beach right after work again on Monday. That is a nice way to start the week, with something lovely to look forward to at the end of the day. The sun is a little lower in the sky by 4:45 and there’s a nice breeze. Most of the hordes of people have gone so we’re not all on top of one another (one of the cons of Long Island beaches).

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I had a little time to myself to read my book.

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Tuesday evening I went to the ALS Walk Kick-off event with my BFF. She lost her brother far too early to ALS a few years ago. The walk is actually in September, but the summer kickoff is a gathering with food and wine and fundraising updates and reports and telling people how to register for the walk and how to create their own fundraising pages. I know you don’t know me or my friend (who is the loveliest, most optimistic, warm person) or her family…but just in case you were so inclined to make a donation towards the cause…you could do that right here. Anyway, we met the loveliest couple who I actually kinda enjoyed talking to (“kinda enjoyed” is high praise for me, I have some social anxieties in person so tend to not do a lot of talking). And I got a mint 🙂

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Wednesday I did a little fitting room try-on at Loft. Unsuccessfully, as you know if you’re a regular reader.

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Thursday I got this dress in the mail from Gwynnie Bee. I kinda (that seems to be the word of the day) thought it was cute…in theory. In reality, the mock turtleneck was kinda (!!!) limp (don’t you hate when that happens??) and the arm holes spread forward into the side boob area…so I could only wear it under a cardigan, and then it’s just Another Dress Under the Black Cardigan outfit and WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP?!?!? Back it went into the mailer to be returned the next day. I should have something to replace it in a day or two.

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Friday night I went with some friends to Earth Arts, a pottery painting place, for “Ladies Night Out: Chocolate Edition.” I was not feeling too inspired so picked the smallest thing I could find and just painted a dopey flower. Ha. It’ll look better after it’s fired. Usually I paint sayings on dishes, like “Maybe I’ll Die Today” or “Hoping for the Best but Expecting the Worst” or some other profound but slightly (you say tomayto) pessimistic sentiment. The flower is a real departure for me. Oh, one time I painted a fertility bowl that I gave to a newly-married friend. They’re already divorced. Yeah. Pottery painting. I really want to go to a regular paint night but no one else wants to do that (MOCHI). Anyway, I’d wanted to get a  picture of the 4 of us but I hit the wall hard well before quitting time and excused myself early, so never got a pic.

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And this weekend has been weird because I based my plans/lack of plans around the weather and then the weather did a 360. But today I’m taking some boxes over to storage…I’ve been here almost a year (Aug 24) and I still have unopened boxes around. And I’m looking for something that I hope is in storage and I can find it. And maybe I’ll turn on the Uber app for an hour or so after storage. Oh yeah, I started that like 2 weeks ago, have only done 3 rides because it’s been such a busy time…but I’m trying to get all my blog stuff for the week ahead done today, then I can Uber for an hour or so every day after work this week that I don’t have other plans (and so far there’s nothing). Ubering is interesting, I might write a blog post about it soon.

And that was my week.

It’s a Wrap

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Wrap dresses are one of those items you see all the time on lists of Things You Must Have In Your Wardrobe. In reality, YMMV when it comes to these iconic dresses, but they’re definitely worth a try. A true wrap is very flexible when it comes to sizing and fit as you actually “wrap it” only as snugly as you like. The surplice top can be very flattering…or sometimes a little risque, depending on how low they go (or how adept you are at pinning!), and I have always found the skirt to be slimming. And this is from someone who typically wears non-waist-ed swing/trapeze/sack style dresses. But I like renting wrap dresses from Gwynnie Bee to try for awhile and I’m usually pleased.

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Diane Von Furstenburg created the wrap dress in 1974 (I’m so old I actually remember this and her Time magazine cover in the dress) based on a kimono design. She used stretchy knit fabrics in a ton of different fun prints and sales went through the roof! The design has been continued (and copied) to this day and her brand is as strong as ever today (GO #GIRLBOSS!). This one is So Amazing, but if I were to splurge on an actual DFV wrap, it would be the iconic chain print in this sienna color.

I actually had one back in the day. I would have been 15 or 16 here. I can’t recall if it was actually a DVF or just a knock-off but I remember I Had To Have It, even though it was like a whopping $28. I do remember thinking it made my hips look kind of big. Oh, brother!!! 

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Ha ha, nice keeping your eyes open, Bettye! Nice giant corsage, Boyfriend!

This cute stylized floral wrap dress is by London Times. I got it via Gwynnie Bee so it’s not a keeper, but we had a nice visit. I could have dressed it up with pumps or strappy sandals but I prefer “casual-ing things down,” which I did here with white Keds and a denim jacket. It also would have been well-suited to a cropped cardigan because of the defined waist.

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Have you ever tried a wrap dress? Did you like it?

I’m linking-up today with Shelbee on the EdgeStyle with a Splash and
Nancy’s Fashion Style. Be sure to pay them a visit and peruse through all the bloggers linking up and maybe find a new favorite!

What I’m Wearing:

Special thanks to Robert of Robert Mitchell Photography for the great pictures!

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.

What I Wore This Week

finally managed to remember to take a photo of my outfit of the day every day this week! Woohoo, Star Blogger right here! Ha. I like to keep the bar pretty low for myself at times so I can feel good about even my more meager accomplishments. Self Care Tip #21.

Anyway…

Sunday 6.24.18

A mainly stay-at-home day. I only got dressed because I ran out to pick up breakfast, but I kept it pretty casual and comfy. Not even any make-up. These items are all pretty old. I’m not actually a big fan of this color combo – it’s a little militaristic and dull, but…whatevs. Only the deli folk saw me in it. I could easily elevate it with a black tee and black slides.

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Army green tee from Asos, no longer available, similar here and here in plus sizes…and here and here in straight sizes. Khaki linen blend pants from Jessica London, no longer available, similar here. Footbed slides by Mephisto (LITERALLY 20 years old), no longer available, similar here

Monday 6.25.18

Back to work…but it’s camp week and a little more casual than usual, so this sleeveless boho top from Andree by Unit was perfect. Lightweight rayon, flowy fit – all good. In the picture on Gwynnie Bee I thought the embroidery was red and navy so I thought I might hang onto it for the 4th of July next week, but it was actually red and black, so back it goes after one wear. After reading Jodie Filogomo’s blog post about wearing red, white and blue, I realize I have no outfit right now in that color scheme! My mother is rolling over in her grave.

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Boho top by Andree by Unit, size 24, not available. Similar here and here in plus size and here and here in straight sizes. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, size 22W short.

Tuesday 6.26.18

I know this doesn’t look very summery, but the ac in my office is fierce. You need to dress defensively to get through the day. I always have a sweater of some sort to go over whatever else I’m wearing, just in case.

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Green lace-up tunic top by Bobeau, no longer available. Similar here and here in plus sizes and here and here in straight sizes. Black duster cardigan from Old Navy, 3x. Black leggings from Walmart. Cognac espadrilles by Aldo.

Wednesday 6.27.18

One of my summer favorites, the Grapes of Wrath dress. It’s very light and easy breezy.

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Indigo and white rayon dress by Junarose, size 22. No longer available, and to be honest, I can’t find anything like it! Navy cardigan from H&M, size 24, no longer available. Similar here

Thursday 6.28.18

Another “didn’t give it a lot of thought” day. Figures the week I finally manage to take an ootd every day was camp week at work, which is more casual than usual and I run around taking a million pictures so I dress for comfort and for being on my feet a lot. Still, I had to put on clothes, so OOTD! And next week I’m on (wait for it…)  VACATION!!!!  so there will be lots of leggings, bathing suits and nightgowns, ha. I might skip next week as far as ootd and not subject you to that! I promise the next time I do a “what I wore this week” I’ll make it a more interesting week!

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American Rag floral peasant top, no longer available. Comparable here and here in plus sizes and here and here in straight sizes. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, size 22w short…and really really old Mephisto slides

Thanks for visiting!

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: Week 120

Busy Busy Busy. Work was busy, evenings were busy. Busy so busy. Whoa. And yet, sadly, not a lot of pictures to show for it. OH WELL.

Monday I had dinner with an old friend. We ate outside on the patio and it was NINE MILLION DEGREES I am not exaggerating. After dinner we went down to the park by the harbor and a pre-storm wind-picked up, which was lovely. We just sat on a bench and chatted and caught up. Nice.

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Tuesday I got my hair cut pretty short for summer.

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Then we did a photo shoot outdoors at a museum, you can see it in its entirety here. It was another hot day but we were able to find shady spots to shoot in.

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Pink top by Andree Unit, similar vibe here and here in plus size, here and here in straight sizes. Super comfy cognac slides by Steve Madden

Wednesday I met some friends at Beach Hut, this is a franchise of beach-front spots that serve food, drinks and have live music every night throughout the summer season. You can sit in their dining area if you want to order their food or you can just plunk your chair down in the sand with your own refreshments and still hear the music. So it’s a nice low-cost summer option and we do this pretty often. Last year they got in trouble for tax evasion and this year the franchise is back with new owners and a new name but they’ll always be Beach Huts to me.

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Uhm, okay.

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I’ve been cleaning my car out for a long time now…there was a LOT of stuff in there. I’m finally down to the last of the Stuff That Shouldn’t Be There (as opposed to things like jumper cables, beach chair, water bottles, etc), and once it’s all emptied out I’ll get it super-duper cleaned at the car wash…in preparation for my new endeavor – I’m going to be an Uber driver, woohoo. Ha. I’m stalling a bit cuz I’m a little nervous but I think it will be a good way to bring in some additional cash on my own timetable.

Anyway, this week I found these items. I just don’t know how some things wind up in there! My daughter’s high school graduation program from nine years ago (note: she graduated on the day Michael Jackson died) and…

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…this weird little hot dog cookbook ?!? Ha. If you’re a hot dog lover, I saw this article online this week about spiralizing hot dogs.

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Friday was the last day of Secret Friend (aka Secret Santa) Week at work and I got my final gift (Starbucks gift card!) and found out who my secret friend was, whee!

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Another great surprise that day was a little chipmunk waiting for me on my steps when I got home!

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AND…getting to see MY BABY!!! She’s in NY for a little bit and we did a quick blog photo shoot (here’s a sneak peek) AND…

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…sat on the beach with spiked slurpees and watched the cloudy sunset.

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And I’m trying, ONCE AGAIN, to do Outfit of the Day every day. Even on casual days when I’m not really “dressing,” I’m just throwing on clothes to leave the building. Like today. I’m just running out to pick up breakfast then I’ll probably be home the rest of the day. I’m opting to skip the Fun Things with Friends (FOMO much?) to do some much-needed blog and apartment work. The day we went to the alpaca farm I had really intended to stay home and get work done, but…alpacas. So…if I get it all done today, I can play all the coming week without guilt. 

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Army green tee from Asos, no longer available, similar here and here in plus sizes…and here and here in straight sizes. Khaki linen blend pants from Jessica London, no longer available, similar here. Footbed slides by Mephisto (LITERALLY 20 years old), no longer available, similar here

And now it’s Sunday evening, time for some dinner, picking out my outfits for the week, then maybe a movie before bed. And tomorrow we start all over again!

What are you up to this first full week of summer??

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.

Happy 1st Day of Summer

FINALLY. I feel like it was just snowing a few weeks ago…and now it’s officially SUMMER. Do you have your summer wardrobe all sorted out? I mostly do…I have my warm-weather wardrobe staples, so now it’s time for a wild card or two!

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As much as we may plan to have a our closet filled with items that mix and match for optimal “outfitting,” it’s fun to have a couple items that are just fun, even if they’re just a one-hit-wonder.

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This top is like that for me. It really doesn’t mix and match with anything in my closet – it goes over white jeans or blue jeans. Period. But I feel like I’m wearing an outfit-and-a-half when I wear it, it’s Just That Fun!

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It’s swishy, swirly, lightweight and PINK. Not my usual M.O. But it’s good when you want to feel summery and festive.

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This is a Gwynnie Bee rental item. GB is great for those outlier items that add a little dash to your usual wardrobe without having to add another item to your closet…or your credit card bill. This is not a sponsored post, I just have so much fun with my Gwynnie Bee subscription, I want to share it! If you use my link here, you can get a one-month free trial! AND Gwynnie Bee now carries straight sizes, too!

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This top is Andree by Unit “Sharkbite Hem Embroidered Coral Top.” Such a fancy name!

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If you’re not a GB-er, you can find similar items here and here in plus sizes…and here and here in straight sizes.

I’m also wearing my beloved skinny jeans from Charlotte Russe, chestnut tan slides by Steve Madden, and sunnies by A New Day at Target.

What’s your favorite fun fashion splurge for summer??

Thanks to my buddy Linda for the great pictures!

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.

 

We All Make Mistakes

Right??

As cheap careful as I am, sometimes I end up making purchases I regret.  I try not to make impulse purchases and I try to stick to my lists of things I truly need in my wardrobe. But…I’m human (sigh) and sometimes I get it wrong. But hopefully I can take some lessons away from my mistakes…and maybe they can help you, too.

So, this blouse I really loved when I first bought it. But when I finally tried wearing it, it just wasn’t good. I tried it on over all my pants and it’s just too short. My “low” belly shows, my rounded thighs show…and while I’m not ashamed of them, it just looks nicer when something skims over them hiding them from view.

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Melrose & Market floral shirt, size 3x

The Lesson: Don’t get so caught up in a color or print or style that you overlook fit.

This next top was an in-person impulse item. The colors and print grabbed me. I liked the bell sleeves. And it was very inexpensive (like $11.99 at Rainbow Shops). So I didn’t pay enough attention to the too-revealing neckline. It’s too much cleavage for work…and the whole top is too frou-frou for going out with friends. So I’ve worn it One Time since I bought it last fall.

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Floral top, no longer available. Comparable here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Similar to #1, don’t get so caught up on color and print and price that you buy something you really have no place to wear.

I apologize for my wacky white balance here – the middle picture is actually the correct color. I just did the latest Photoshop update and there was a new color option and “vivid color” looked really nice when viewed in Photoshop, but is way too yellow anywhere else.

Here I bought a dress that’s really the same dress as one I already one. I’ve had the light blue Tencel “nightgown” Old Navy dress (far right) for two years and still love it. Last year I bought the Style & Co light blue Tencel dress when I rented it from Gwynnie Bee and I really liked it. But really, they’re the same dress. Light blue, sleeveless, lightweight Tencel dresses. They’re interchangeable. But because I really like the Old Navy dress better, when I feel like wearing a lightweight light blue dress, I always reach for the Old Navy dress. So the Style & Co dress is really underutilized and I’m not getting my money’s worth out of it. Not that it was a lot, I think it was marked down to $15 but that’s not the point. I don’t like having unnecessary clothes hanging in my closet.

blue dress collage
Dresses no longer available. Similar styles here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Don’t keep buying the same thing over and over.

This one is not a purchase, it just arrived in today’s mail from Gwynnie Bee. It’s too small, but besides that, it really is not a good style for me. It’s too much. Of everything. I’m already a lot just on my own. To add multiple colors and patterns and crinkle fabric and bell sleeves and lacey ties…it’s too much. It’s cute on other people, but it just feels like too much for me.

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Vintage America Blues top, size 3x. Comparable here in plus size and here in straight size.

The Lesson: Remember what works well on your body and don’t buy everything you “like.” You can like things without having to own them. Buy things you feel good in. There’s a difference.

So, I’ll continue to try to be mindful when purchasing. Hope my mistakes can help you make less of your own!

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.

Not Too Fancy

First I just wanted to say how saddened I was to hear the news today (6.5.18) of Kate Spade. We never ever truly know what is going on in the heart or mind or life of another…and even seemingly successful or happy people can be carrying heavy burdens that can just become too much to bear. So to take a lesson away from this, as cliched as it might sound, be nice to everyone you meet because you just don’t know what pain they might be dealing with.

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And onto today’s post…

My friend and I went to dinner last night in a popular nearby town. Lots of restaurants and people out on the street. I like busy areas. We went into a bar/restaurant that has been in business since 1912 that my friend remembered as having a 2-headed sheep on display. How could we miss that?? Sadly, the bartender told us it was not a 2-headed sheep but a 2-headed cat (just as good?) and it had not been there, but at a nearby bar that was no longer in existence. So much disappointment. BUT, we had a nice dinner and catch-up…and saw this fun mural in the alley next to the bar, so did a little photoshoot in my “regular” clothes.

I’m not fancy. I like pretty things…but not really on my body.

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I mostly prefer more basic clothing items. Not so much trendy.

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I wonder sometimes if the blog doesn’t show enough “trendy” items. I read a lot of blogs that do, and they’re fun to look at, like a fashion magazine. But when it comes to spending my money on clothing, I usually opt for an item that is going to look current for a long time. I do have fun with Gwynnie Bee and renting items that are unlike things I would normally buy and I guess that fills my need for “fancy.”

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My hope for the blog is that other women who feel “regular,” will see that they don’t have to be fancy to look nice or modern.

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This is a very utilitarian outfit, but it’s one of my favorites right now. It’s easy to wear, it’s comfortable, nothing is high maintenance, and it looks current. And it’s so easy to change up – I could swap out the green utility jacket for a denim jacket or black cardigan. I could change the stripe top to a white, grey, black or blush pink tee. Instead of the dark wash jeans I could wear white or black denim or faded skinnies. Or pink jeans (I’ve got my eye on a pair)! So many options with these very basic pieces!

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I don’t know that I’ve ever shown these jeans on the blog, though they’re my very favorite every day pair. They’re the Gloria Vanderbilt “Amanda” tapered jean. I’ve been wearing Gloria Vanderbilts for years and years (#notsponsored). It’s probably the first stretch jean I ever tried when I was looking for plus size jeans so long ago…and I’ve been a fan ever since. My white jeans (here) are also GV Amanda. They come in lots of washes and different colors – I used to have a coral pair (fun!).

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Thanks for the pictures, Linda!

What I’m Wearing:

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My Body vs. The Retailers

There are many posts out on the interwebz about body positivity and feeling comfortable in your own skin, etc. This applies to all body types, shapes and sizes. This is not purely the domain of the plus size person.

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Mostly, I do feel comfortable in my body. Emotionally comfortable. I don’t feel that I need to be thinner or different to be “better.” I’m neither less nor more than anyone else based on the shape or size of my body. And I’m proud of myself for feeling that way. I know many people struggle with their size, be it bigger or smaller than “the norm.”

7.24.18 –> This seems the perfect spot to interrupt and update this blog post and link to a quote of mine that was featured on SimplyBe, a UK-based plus-size retailer. I’m in the company of some real plus size powerhouses and I was honored to be asked to share a quote about body positivity. I hope you’ll go take a look and comment and wave…

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That said, I don’t always feel physically comfortable. I’m a lot of weight for my body (and joints and feet and knees and hips and heart) to support and carry around. It can be hard to get up, hard to move around, forget about steps or inclines, lordy! And especially after last year, a year of not feeling well and being very sedentary…and then this year when my feet got so painful…I have barely moved, and I am really out of shape.

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I don’t think you need to be “thin” to be “fit.” I know there are plenty of people who disagree with that, but I have seen overweight people run marathons (with no resulting health crises), I have seen fat people doing yoga, weight training, swimming, cycling, and more.

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To the title of this post, I see many debates about the clothing industry and how they’re not meeting the needs of every body out there. Do I think they can do more? Sure. Do I think every clothing line is ever going to accommodate every size and shape out there? Probably not. I’m normally a size 24. I see other women who are size 24 who are shorter or taller than me, have flatter stomachs or wider hips than me, who carry their weight all on the top or all on the bottom…there is no way One Size Will Ever Fit All! There is no way multiple sizes will ever fit all!!!

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And there are factors besides size when it comes to selecting clothing. I know several retailers who carry my size and even higher, and the clothes fit, but I don’t care for the fabrics, colors, or prints they use. Another couple of retailers carry my size and above and I really admire the styles, but the items are priced much higher than my budget allows.

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Can you see where I’m going with this? For any number of reasons, retailers may always fall short of my needs – size, style and budget-wise. And I can’t control that. What I can control is ME. While others may say “it’s not your fault” that clothes don’t fit, and that may be true, the fact of the matter is that if I want more than three tops in my closet <- gross exaggeration for purposes of making a point, *I* can be proactive and not wait around for retailers to cater to me. I know this may be an unpopular opinion in the plus size community, but I can do something about this. If designers can’t make a top to fit my stomach…I can make my stomach smaller to fit their tops. Is this right or fair? Perhaps not. But I would like more clothing selection than is available that fits me. So I can meet them part-way.

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This is my very roundabout way of saying I AM GOING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT. Ha, how odd is it that in the current environment I feel I need to defend that statement. The world is crazy, yo! But yeah, I have no intention of going nuts with this, but I want to get to a place where clothes shopping is not so frustrating and difficult…and where just getting from Point A to Point B is not so challenging and exhausting. It will not be the focus of this blog, but I’ll let you know from time to time how I’m doing.

PHEW.

Onto the clothes! As serious as my thoughts were this week, my outfit was anything but! I got this fun, bright, easy-breezy Johnny Was top from Gwynnie Bee and I love it! Johnny Was makes beautiful boho-inspired items – tunics and kimonos and dresses, in plus and straight sizes. You’ve seen me in other Johnny Was looks here and here and here. They always make me feel happy, but quite honestly, I could never in a million years afford them! So Gwynnie Bee allows me to rent them to wear and enjoy…and then send back, without the high price tag! If you’re interested in learning more about clothing rental service Gwynnie Bee and getting one month free (!!!), follow this link.

Beyond the beachy tunic, my new Target sunglassesYAY FOR NO MORE SQUINTING (!!!), my long-time fave skinny jeans from Charlotte Russe and Sam Edelman chestnut brown sandals (sold out, similar here) round out the look.

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My sister sent me this cool book called “Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir: With the lost photographs of David Attie” by Truman Capote. I love the black and white photographs of old Brooklyn. It’s sad to see the landscape so modernizing these days. Interesting side note re Truman Capote, my cousin was in the 1967 movie “In Cold Blood” as “young hitchhiker.” He must have been 12 or 13. I’ve actually never seen the movie. Someday.

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What do you think about mainstream sizing and retailers’ responsibilities to their potential customers? I’d love to hear in the comments. 

look a crab collage 5.22.18

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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.