Free’n’Easy

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 5 resized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 4 resized

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

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 3 resized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 6 resized

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

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 2 resized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger johnny was kimono 5.27.17 1 resized

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

IMG_7155
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?!

IMG_7146
Junarose, size 24
IMG_7142
Junarose, size 22
IMG_7147
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: Week 62

Hey, my title rhymes! I love that 🙂

IMG_6759

My week started with a super nice day out with friends. We headed out east to Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton, which is one of my very favorite places to visit on Long Island. Not only do they have an abundant sales area of anything you could want to plant in your garden or yard, they have all these lovely little spots to enjoy or sit and appreciate the quiet and nature. There’s a little wooden rocking swing thing for two down by the river, I could sit there for hours.

I dressed for walking in my favorite Avenue leggings, grey long-sleeved tee, and super soft and cushy Adidas trainers…and instead of my usual grey hoodie, I wore a very light oversized button down blouse from Walmart. You can’t really tell from the pic but it’s a narrow vertical blue and white stripe. I’d originally gotten it to wear under cardigans, but the fabric is too drapey which makes the collar and neckline all loosey-goosey and a fail. But I finally found a use for it here.

Here are some sights from around the farm:

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 2

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 12

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 6

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 14

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 9

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 17

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 3

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 13

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 7

peconic river herb farm 4.23.17 10

Strolling in the the warm sunshine made us hungry so we went to this super nice spot in Riverhead…if only I could remember the name of it (!), I’ll fill it in later when my girlfriend reminds me in case anyone wants to go. It was just an average looking roadside pizzeria…but out back was so so lovely. It, again, is right on the river, and there’s a soft grassy lawn with charming red picnic tables and a never-ending show of ducks and geese and swans drifting by…and sometimes marching past to get to anyone who ignores the signs and FEEDS THE BIRDS.

IMG_6754

IMG_6751

That was such a nice day and way to start my week, because it was sort of downhill from there. Ugh.

IMG_6760

Two days in a row of dead car battery.

IMG_6761

An unpleasant set-up thing for my radiation treatment which starts this coming week and sadly, did NOT include “Easy Air.” I think all medical visits should include sweet air like you get at the dentist. Why is that not a thing?

I got a bit of a runaround this week from the cancer treatment center…appointments were made without my knowledge, a 7-hour chemo treatment was scheduled without anyone talking to me first, we’ve never even discussed the chemo schedule At All, you can’t just spring that on me! One nurse (in the endless stream of phone calls) made me think my whole protocol was going to be vastly different from what we *had* discussed…and the doctor was unreachable while away on vacation. Boo. It was an anxiety-filled, non-fun roller-coaster week, medically speaking. But that week is behind me, I have a consult with the dr first thing Monday morning and hopefully all will be sorted out.

IMG_6775

On a brighter note, Caleb is feeling SO well. He was treated to a vet visit and now has more pills than me but he has not scratched or bit at his skin in days and his hips seem stronger and more pain-free and he’s like a FIRECRACKER. So I’m trying to up my walking game so he’s not jumping out of his skin…but I overdid it on my bad heel so that was in A Lot of Pain for a couple days.

IMG_6772

The Big Boss treated us to some lovely daffodils (will take a better picture this week while they’re blooming) for Administrative Professionals Day. That was very thoughtful.

FullSizeRender

I stopped into Avenue to pay my bill, repeating to myself as I walked from car to store, “DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOTHES, DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOTHES.” Sigh. I’ve been loving this dress from the website (WHY DO I KEEP LOOKING AT THE CLOTHES???) and it was hanging front and center when I entered the store, so. Come on. I’m only human. Sadly the largest size they had in stock was more snug than I like around my belly&hips (helly? bips?) so it was a pass and I managed to just pay my bill and escape with no new purchases.

Friday I was back to the podiatrist where I got more cortisone in my heel (which did not work last week at all) which made me very jittery so my evening plans were dashed. In the meantime he’s sending me for an MRI because he suspects a tear in a ligament. And what does one do for a ligament tear in the heel? One wears something called a WALKING CAST. For 6-12 weeks. Yay!

I hate that I’ve become this person that talks about her aches and pains and maladies all the time. I remember saying to someone when I first went into the hospital back in February that I need a new hobby so I have something else to focus on. I just haven’t found it yet. I’d love to spend more time blogging but am still looking for an Instagram husband (or wife, I’m not picky) to help me shoot more often.

I was thinking of doing a “what’s in my closet” post as I change out winter for summer, showcasing the win and fail purchases of last season, in hopes of not making similar mistakes in the future. Any interest in seeing that?

Anyway, this felt like a very long Week in Review post, hope you all  enjoyed the herb farm pictures. Speaking of pictures, are we all friends on Instagram? We should be! I’m at @fashionschlub…and if you’re interested in more life and sunsets and animals, you can follow me at @bettyerainwaterphotography.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful week!

xoxo Bettye

Week in Review: Week 61

Was a pretty full and busy week – had several doctory appointments, went to dinner with friends two nights, had a little photo shoot, work is getting busier…

But we started the week with Easter at the Ex’es. I went to meet the new horse, Harley (spotted horse on the right)…and Amaretto (“Retto”) on the left.

IMG_6663

And said hello to Beau (horse) and Rosie and the goat whose name is NOT Cinnamon but that’s the only name I can ever THINK of for her. Wait, Ginger? Is it Ginger? It might be Ginger. Anyway, this is Rosie in the pic.

IMG_6651

Caleb got a little goody bag to take home after dinner 🙂  Did you notice he has the same color and markings as Rosie??

IMG_6674

Monday’s outfit of the day. Or is that what I wore to Easter dinner? I forget. Wow.

IMG_6675

Had a meeting with a social worker at Sloan-Kettering to see what kind of helpful services and programs they have. But I jumped the gun a bit as you can’t really apply to anything til you’re actually in treatment and have accrued $300 in co-pays. Which I have, just not with THEM. But I got applications to fill out so I’m all ready when the time comes. Everytime I go there’s something new blooming at the entrance.

IMG_6683

Wednesday’s outfit of the day. A second season dress from Alice & You and a sleeveless knit duster from CityChic. Both items via Gwynnie Bee. Maybe it’s time to say bye-bye to Hello Kitty. Goodbye Kitty?

IMG_6701

Had a follow-up visit to the blood doctor. They found a blood clot when I was in the hospital…it partially divided and became several blood clots in my lungs as well. So I’ve been on blood thinners and had a clot filter inserted prior to surgery. Which they now want to remove. THROUGH MY NECK. Gah. That just sounds horrible. I feel the medical profession as a whole could endeavor to make things a LITTLE more fun. I don’t know how, but they’re the ones making the big bucks, let THEM figure it out.

IMG_6704

My cousin sent me this picture of my mother as a baby. I think it’s hysterical! She was born in 1922.

IMG_6705

A package arrived from Old Navy. I’d been so excited for these items but….MEH. I’ve seen the blue floral off-the-shoulder (OTS) dress on a couple bloggers and was just in love with it…until I put it on. I knew it was a questionable choice for me because of the elastic waist. And sure enough it was just not right and I felt very fidgetty in it, constantly fussing with the waist. The OTS part was also not cooperative and I don’t even OWN a strapless bra (oh my gosh the dog just burped in his sleep and it sounded like a child said “hi”) so what was I even thinking?? It was a size 4x. I’m still addicted to striped tops and am looking for a new favorite. This was not it. Too big in the chest and shoulders, too snug at the hips. Sigh. Story of my  life. Size 4x. And I’m looking for a couple pairs of slouchy (BUT NOT SLOPPY!!!) soft fabric, like a rayon or linen blend or tencel, ankle length pants for summer. These linen blend 4x pants were just too big. I couldn’t tie them tight enough to keep them from slipping down my hips. The last dress, the mustard yellow dress is just like the light blue Tencel “nightgown” dress I had from last year…but it’s more of a gauzey rayon and a little snugger fit. Size 4x. Pass. Everything is already on its way back to Old Navy and the search continues. I can spend the same $100 on clothes for MONTHS, buying and returning, lather, rinse, repeat.

4.22.17

And last (lastly?) I paid a visit yesterday to the podiatrist, FINALLY, after suffering with heel pain for almost 8 months. I’ve done the stretching exercises. I’ve rolled my foot over the golf ball and frozen water bottle. I was “off my feet” for as much as I could probably ever be between my time in the hospital and then recovering at home after the surgery. I’ve iced it. I went to physical therapy three times for stretching, massage, laser treatments and electronic stimulation. And it’s been 8 months and the pain is bad and not getting better. He took a digital x-ray which showed a heel spur and inflammation, gave me a cortisone shot (youch) and then wrapped my foot up with this cushiony pad and said to leave it on for three days. It’s already off. Ha. It was SO tight, it was as uncomfortable as the heel pain! I’m going to say the edge is off the heel pain but it’s not entirely gone. I also haven’t walked a lot since. He said it could be 4-5 days before it takes full effect. And I go back Friday to follow-up and get another shot if needed.

IMG_6732

And now it’s the weekend YAY. I have errands and apartment cleaning planned for today…and something FUN planned for tomorrow. And when I say PLANNED I mean, we plan to have FUN, we haven’t actually planned yet what exactly we’re doing. So it’s still a surprise.

What do YOU have planned for the weekend? And have any of you ever had success with ANY sort of treatment for heel pain/spurs?

Week in Review: Week 60

IMG_6572

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.

IMG_6593

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).

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 3 resizedfashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 7 resized

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.

IMG_6622

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.

IMG_6618

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…

IMG_6623

There was a pretty little gifty in my grocery cart.

IMG_6635

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.

IMG_6632

I’m a little teapot….

IMG_6644

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.

IMG_6648

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

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 5 resized

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.

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 1 resized

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!

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 3 resized

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.

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 6 resized

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.

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 4 resized

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.

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 7 resized

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:

Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

IMG_6504

While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

IMG_6512

A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

IMG_6513

Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

IMG_6534

And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

IMG_6549

My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

IMG_6552

This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

IMG_6553

So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.