Week in Review: Week 62

Hey, my title rhymes! I love that 🙂

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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:

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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.

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

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Two days in a row of dead car battery.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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:

My Week in Review: Week 38

This week was so quiet (thank goodness!) that in retrospect it almost seemed like a short week, but it wasn’t.

I’d started getting sick the night before Thanksgiving the week before, but I kept pushing on…so finally by the weekend I was exhausted enough to just stay home and rest. The child stopped by with a treat for her old Mom…a lovely vegan lemon blueberry raspberry cake she’d whipped up. Yum.

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I really didn’t leave the apartment all weekend til end-of-day Sunday just in time to take a quick sunset walk with the dog by the water…

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I didn’t do much in the evening this week…we had two very rainy nights so I opted out of plans to stay home instead. I did go to the chiropractor one evening to see if he could help with my painful heel…and I started an Adobe InDesign class, which was very exciting. I’ve wanted to learn the program for ages but the ones I sign up for always get cancelled at the last minute for lack of interest. The teacher seems good and I’m liking the other people in the class, there’s even another blogger!

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Yesterday some friends and I made a quick trip into Brooklyn to visit the Bushwick Collective which is a several block area of “allowed” street art, that is always changing. We hadn’t been in awhile so it was nice to see some new artwork. These were some of my favorites.

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This yogi was randomly stopping along the road and going into positions along the interesting backdrops for selfies.

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I made it home from Brooklyn just in time to stop by the beach for a quick cold sunset.

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And arrived home to find a package, yay, a dress I’d ordered from Amazon…TOO SMALL, boo. It will go back in tomorrow’s mail. Sadly, this was the largest size. The search continues. Shoulda swept up the dog hair before taking pictures. OH WELL.

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And that was my week. JUST THREE MORE WEEKS TIL CHRISTMAS, can you believe it?? And VACATION, yay!!! I’ve done some Amazon book ordering so I’m sure to have reading material over the break. And I certainly have a lot of home projects and even some blog projects in the works, so it will be good to have the extra time.

Have a good week, y’all. xoxo

Nordstrom Rack Dressing Room Try-on

I’ve been working on my fall/winter wardrobe for the past few weeks. I’ve bought mostly on-line from Old Navy, ASOS and H&M. But I was in Nordstrom Rack on a shoe hunt (the ongoing shoe hunt!) yesterday so took a quick peek through the plus section and found a few things worth trying on (why do they keep stores So HOT?!?). Let me know what you think…

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Without really intending to, I’m winding up with a very black/white/grey monochromatic palette this season. I did buy one wine dress from JCPenney’s Plus Boutique but I’m having such a hard time finding the right color/style shoes for it I think I’m just going to return the dress!

I’m *always* on the hunt for white shirts – a basic tee and a button-down at the very least. It sounds SO simple, “oh, they’re EVERYWHERE!” But…nope. I thought this was cute with the added interest of the diagonal pleating…but it is too sheer and clingy. Nope. Pass. The search continues!

This one just made me laugh. I liked the color, stripes, and the irony, but…nope. Pass.

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I knew this was gonna be a little too schlubby for me, and the color was lighter than I like, but it was marked down super low, like under $10 so I thought it was worth a try. Pass.

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This one I’m a little on the fence about. I’m going to need a slightly warmer coat than my olive green rayon one (seen crumpled on the shelf here) in another month or so. This was like thick but soft and stretchy sweatshirty outside with soft grey plush inside. It was hard for me to judge because I was SO hot in the store that I was afraid it would be TOO warm for me (I run hot) even in the late fall/early winter…plus, it had no pockets. A jacket needs pockets. And I’m afraid that plush lining will be very static-causing. Plus, I’m trying to move away a bit from the handkerchief/sharkbite/high-low type things and towards more classic cuts that will still look good next year and even the year after that. So, I liked it, it was comfortable, I need something sort of like it, but…I feel there’s something better out there for me.

I DID buy a pair of chestnut brown slightly platform sandals that I’d seen a couple months back but didn’t want to spend the money when summer was almost over…but I found myself thinking on so many mornings when I would get dressed, “if only I had those sandals, they would be PERFECT with this outfit!” Well, they were STILL THERE, Miracle #1, and Miracle #2, they were now on sale, so I grabbed them up – even though I may not get any wear out of them this year, I’ll be ahead of the game for Warm Weather 2017!

So the white shirt hunt continues, as does the one for fall/winter shoes. I know what I WANT in my MIND, now I just need to find them in REALITY, NOT in leather, that fit and that I can afford 🙂

How’s your fall shopping going? I feel that I always have something in my mind that I can never find in stores, it’s very frustrating!

Fake Out!

My high school (and beyond) boyfriend used to call make-up “fake out,” which, really, I guess it is. We can say we’re “highlighting” or “accentuating,” but really we’re CHANGING. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s just interesting. That SO many women spend time and money on doing things to change the way we look. Talk about body positivity (which is a big topic for another day)!!!

I don’t wear MUCH makeup, not for any philosophical reason, just cuz I never really learned to apply things correctly and it’s all expensive and time consuming, yadda yadda yadda.

But I wear a LITTLE. Mascara is my “must wear” item, otherwise I feel like my eyes entirely disappear. WHO CARES? Apparently I do, ha.

And I went through A Lipstick Phase in the mid-90s. My (now ex-) husband would put a new lipstick in my Christmas stocking every year cuz he loved a RED lip. It was always too bold, too HEY!!! LOOK AT ME!!! for me, and I don’t think I ever wore any of the Christmas stocking lipsticks (sorry, ex). But it did get me to try OTHER (less in your face) lip colors…and 20-something years later I’m still looking for the right shade and formula!!!

It’s SO hard to tell how a color will look on you and it’s expensive to buy a new one, try it on and have it Not Be Right and be out the $4-25!!! Kate at The Small Things blog (this same post talked about how she researches makeup purchases online, I highly recommend reading it as I found it very useful) convinced me (well, not her PERSONALLY, but reading her blog, ha ha) to RETURN makeup and beauty products if they are not to your satisfaction. And boy, most of them are NOT!!! Amiright?!?!

Which is exactly what happened here. The pictures that follow may horrify you. You’ve been warned. They’re just crappy close-up cell phone shots. Again, YBW.

This is a lipstick, NYX (that I keep reading wonderful things about), they just didn’t have the shade I was looking for and I was in Lipstick Buying Mode, so I improvised. And things went horribly wrong. But I just want to point out HOW different the color looks in the tube (lovely) vs. on my lips (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane). Okay, here goes nothing (somehow this feels more terrifying to me than posting the pictures of me in the bathing suits!!!)

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Ha! How did THAT color come out of THAT tube? Egads! Not what I was going for At All.

So, what is the moral of this long story?

  • Do your homework before purchasing makeup/health&beauty stuff.
  • Know that you CAN return opened products! I’ve already returned the day-glo pink lipstick, No Questions Asked 🙂

What sort of experiences have you had with buying beauty products and having them NOT be what you thought they were going to be?

Plus Size Summer Outfit Review

I know, I know, I’m the leading proponent of SUMMER’S NOT OVER but…there will not be any new summer OUTFITS this year, so I feel I can do this now.

I think I did pretty well with my summer clothes shopping this year, I kept my “want” list tightly edited and really didn’t get anything that I wasn’t happy with or didn’t get a lot of wear out of. Usually there’s at least a couple duds that I have buyer’s remorse over. My only complaint is that I never got as *many* items as I wanted. My wardrobe is the opposite of many people’s, in that I don’t have too MUCH stuff, I have too little. Which is why the outfit posts got pretty spare for the past month, because I’ve already shown everything!

So I’m going to review my favorite outfits, and why they worked so well…and share one or two of my least favorites and why they got a little less wear than the others. I like to review like this, it helps me in shopping for NEXT season, in this case FALL WINTER, making note of lessons learned through success *and* failure…and what I might want to do differently next time.

My very favorite item was this black sleeveless swing dress from Asos Curve, “The Invisible Dress.” I’ve had it since March and it’s gotten a TON of wear, has washed well (hand washed cold water, hung to dry) and looked good both on its own and with secondary pieces over top. I would be very happy with this exact dress in navy and taupe and grey and…yeah.

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My second favorite item was this navy and white stripe dress from Rainbow. It was $12.99. Come on. I wore it tons as well, until I broke it 😦  I’ll explain that in an upcoming post.

My two other favorite dresses this summer were Denim 1 and Denim 2.

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Old Navy Pintuck Trapeze Tencel Dress 

I had a bit of internal fashion struggle before I could wear this one to work because it seemed so nightgownlike to me. If I didn’t have to go to a workplace every day, this dress would be on heavy repeat. Because it IS like wearing a nightgown!

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Rachel Roy Tencel High-Low Dress

This one was definitely more work-friendly, but if I had to choose (which I never did!) I would let this one go and keep the nightgown one.

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And a perennial favorite for like 10 years, seriously (though this may be it’s last summer)…this Target Mossimmo dress.

Some other summer faves were from Gwynnie Bee…

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Sangria Blue Dipped Floral Dress
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Alice & You Dress in Ditsy Floral Print

And moving away from dresses, the is the year I discovered I love tunics over leggings…and this was my favorite outfit of that type.

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Olive green sleeveless tunic from Bobeau via Nordstrom Rack. When it was still a little cool I wore this crochet knit black duster/cardi from Avenue, and as it got warmer and I learned the SO WHAT IF MY ARMS ARE FAT philosophy, I wore it sleeveless.

So what do *most* of my favorite items have in common? NO WAIST. No elastic or seam or belts. I feel so much better in a swing or trapeze style dress…no futzing all day with an elastic waistband or feeling like a maternity case when my belly protrudes out below an empire seam. They’re more challenging to find, but for me, worth the time and effort.

My *least* favorite purchase for summer was this sagey green knit dress from BooHoo…

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I fell for the color and the super-soft stretchy knit fabric…but see how the elastic empire waist right under my boobs makes my stomach appear to be BURSTING with child?? Ha. Not the look I’m going for.

So this fall I will be looking for leggings, tunics or oversized sweaters and blouses, and waistless dresses.

I think it’s valuable to assess at the end of each season and consider what worked for you and what didn’t, to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

What were your fashion failures and successes this summer?

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