Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout My Best Friend

“People, let me tell you ’bout my best friend…he’s a one boy, cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy.”

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I lost my best boy last weekend – my beautiful, gentle Caleb. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve seen him quietly slip into pictures, or heard me talk about an adventure we had. And I know it’s not fashion or body positivity or anything related to this blog…except that it’s about my life. And his loss is life-changing for me.

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People say “Oh, you lost your dog/pet/fur-baby, that’s so sad,” but he wasn’t really any of those things. He was my PARTNER. And that might sound…bizarre or dramatic or awkward, but…for the past 14 years he has been with me through ups and downs, losses, moves, new jobs, break-ups, my daughter moving away, cancer, happy times and sad. Until last year when I was sick and then he started slowing down, he went with me almost everywhere except work…and he sometimes went there! He is the one who has gotten me out of the house, out of my shell and my head, and out into the world, into nature. He helped me exercise. He trained for a 5k with me! I don’t understand “walking” without a dog! What are you supposed to do with your hands without a leash to hold or a silky head to touch? How do people go walking in the woods or desolate areas without the company of a Big Brave Dog? I can’t imagine just sitting in a park alone. He was such a great meeter. He would sit with me, so quietly, people were always drawn to his beauty and good manners. They would start chatting with me about him. Without him?? I’m just a weird lady sitting alone on a park bench.

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I remember so well the day I brought him home. I got him from an Aussie breeder upstate, Rising Star Australian Shepherds – he wasn’t a good fit in the show ring so they were looking for a pet home for him. She sent me his picture…

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…and it was love at first sight. They live quite far up north, so we agreed to meet mid-way at a dog show where they would be. When I got there, they introduced Caleb and I, gave me some instructions and handed me his leash and were like, “Okay, bye.” It felt strange and sad to be taking him away from the family and dogs he’d lived with for over a year, but he was such a good boy walking obediently off with me, a total stranger. I put him in the crate in the car with a soft bed, water pail and rawhide bone, then headed home. He sat quietly watching out the window. After about two hours of driving I got off the parkway for a bathroom stop. It was a mild day and I parked in the shade with the windows down, ran in quick to use the bathroom then hurried back out. I opened the hatch, opened the crate door…and he literally FLEW out of the crate, jumping up on me excitedly as if to say “YOU CAME BACK FOR ME! I THOUGHT I’D BEEN LEFT HERE! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! YOU’RE MY MOTHER!” and he has been my devoted shadow companion ever since.

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I thought I was getting a dog for us, for me and Katie, but he bonded with me in that moment – and by the time he met her a couple days later, he was My Dog. He loved her, she was His Girl…but I was The Mother.

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So I didn’t know him as a puppy but I have some pictures from the breeder

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From Day One, he was a total gentleman, and I credit his breeder with that, with starting him so well. But I also credit him, as he was always extremely intuitive, practically knowing what I expected of him even before did. Everything I taught him, he picked up so quickly, I hardly felt like I “trained” him, it was like he just knew. And I took him everywhere with me. I’m a big proponent of extreme socialization and taking dogs into every possible situation and because of that he was accepted everywhere we went because he was always so quiet and well-behaved.

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Everyone that met Caleb loved him.

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People and animals alike.

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But his kitties loved him best….

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…especially Janey.

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He loved going in the car anywhere….

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…and we were always on the lookout for new fun places to go.

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We loved going to the woods…

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…and the beach and into the water…

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…the muckier the better 🙂

He loved the snow!

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Or maybe it was me who loved the snow…and he just wanted to go with me wherever I went. Sometimes even to work.

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But it didn’t matter where we went or what we did…as long as we were there together.

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He was my beautiful boy…with the most sincere expression.

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I loved hurrying home after work to see my boy…and he was always right there waiting to see me.

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Around the house he was very quiet, and sometimes I’d look up and see him peeking at me from around a corner…as if just checking that I was still there.

One of the most endearing things he did, every night, was to come rest his head on the edge of my bed…I would stroke his head for a minute and tell him what a good good boy he was, how he would be my best boy always…and then I would say goodnight and he would lay down next to my bed and go to sleep.

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He was a good boy, a happy boy…and he brought Such Joy to my life for such a long time.

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He just had his 15th birthday earlier this year…I knew he wouldn’t be with me much longer.

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But there’s no way to prepare for this loss, this sadness. My lovely little family keeps getting smaller and smaller. Katie moved away years ago. Madison passed away two summers ago. Now my Caleb is gone. It’s just me and Janey.

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I know this is long. I hold no grudge for anyone who clicked away halfway through…or who scrolled to the end, skipping over bits. I had to share our story for me. To try and show why I am unbearably sad now. I feel sort of unattached from my life, like my anchor is gone. I feel like I’m trying to find way my back to…someplace I don’t even really want to be.

I’ve been saying goodbye to my friend for eight days now. I wanted to explain my absence from the blog and the internet in general. I have so many wonderful memories…things that are making me sad right now…and I had to just…let some of it out of my head…let a little steam escape.

Goodbye, my beautiful boy.

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The Quiet Season

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So, Q1 2018 has been a quiet one for me. Especially after last year – finding out I was sick, in and out of the hospital, surgery, treatments, a family reunion trip, packing and moving to a new town and apartment…yeah. A lot went on last year.

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This year, quiet. Feeling better, my scans and blood-work have all been clean, I’m more or less settled in the apartment. Caleb is not up to much walking so I don’t take him many places anymore…and my feet have been in such pain I’m reluctant to do anything that requires a lot of walking myself. My “special friend” up and disappeared so there have been no nice dates or outings. I’ve been reading a lot. A  LOT. And now with the MoviePass app have started going to the movies again.

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So it’s been quiet. And solitary. And I like spending a lot of time alone…but lately I’m feeling it’s a little too much. I really never get lonely.  But when there are too many days in a row of nothing but work, reading, having dinner alone, working on the blog, going to bed around 9pm…I start to feel the solitude. And the sameness to the days. And the feeling of “is that all there is” starts creeping over me. Hopefully part of this is just the winter doldrums…that even though it’s Spring and we’re into April, it still feels like winter outside and I’m more apt to come home and want to get cozy and warm indoors than to head out to find a sunset. Maybe when the weather actually breaks I’ll feel different and more motivated to be outside and do different things.

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My wardrobe has the winter doldrums, too! It’s been cold for so long so I’m still in my warm winter clothes…and I’ve had just about enough of them! I feel I’ve mixed and matched everything every which way and I’m really ready for some fresh items to wear!

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So you’ve seen all these items before – the striped tee, the skinny jeans, the army green cascade vest – just maybe not the blush pink Vans (I did wear them in California in February) – but I don’t think I’ve worn all these pieces together before on the blog. My apologies on more indoor tripod shots, hopefully I can get some photographer time in the weeks ahead now that it’s staying light later.

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My helpers. So, I’m not totally alone, but….

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What I Wore:

  • Black and white striped tee from New Look, size 3x. Sold out, similar here and here
  • Plus size Refuge Skin Tight Legging Jeans from Charlotte Russe, size 22
  • Ava & Viv from Target army green cascade vest, size 3x. Sold out, comparable here and here
  • Van’s Ward V velcro sneaker in Blush, here
  • Rainbow earrings – I got mine at Macy*s Backstage and don’t recall the brand. Search “pastel rainbow earrings” on Etsy and see a gazillion options!

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.

I’m linking up with Emma of StyleSplash and her Sunday Reflections link up.

Month in Review: March 2018

Since I *really* didn’t do much this past week and there are only a handful of pictures, I think, instead, I’ll do the MONTH in review, sort of a “Best of” kind of thing. And next week I’ll catch up with two week’s worth of review and then I’ll be all caught up!

My most popular post in March was the one where I’d lost my damn mind and bought the cactus scarf instead of the springy pastel one. It really all worked out in the end as it didn’t feel springy yet at all, and, in fact, still does not, with a forecast of 3-5″ of snow tonight and tomorrow!

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My favorite outfit of March was the denim jacket over the tartan plaid shirtdress.

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My top three favorite looks from other bloggers in March were:

  1. Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots in this “classic but trendy” mix of blue chambray, leopard cardi, high brown boots and fabulous spiked necklace! PS: if you have short hair, scroll down her page for ALL the inspo and different looks!

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2) Olivia of Livvy Land in this dreamy blush cardigan. She has about the most enviable cardigan collection I’ve ever seen – soft tones, yummy fabrics, and everything mixes and matches perfectly with her easy style of dressing.

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3) Sara from Stylish Sassy and Classy inspired me with her floral top and white jeans and now I am all about that look!

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And because life is not all about fashion…

My three favorite books I read in March and that I highly recommend (click on images for book descriptions or to purchase):

And the return of a long-time favorite blogger who had been absent since last fall, Un-Fancy. She writes about her relaxed capsule wardrobe and has such an easy, pleasing style that I always enjoy her posts and pictures, whether about style, home or life.

I’ve been enjoying an app this year called 1 Second Every Day and you post a picture or video to it daily (or catch up whenever you want, it doesn’t judge) and at the end of the month (or week or year or whatever time frame you select) it “mashes” them together as one-second clips that are savable and sharable. I’ve been posting them on Instagram but they fit into the Month in Review theme here, so…

What do you think about Month in Review as a regular feature? I can swap different categories in and out…favorite movies/tv shows, best new products, etc. Thoughts? I always enjoy seeing others’ reviews and recommendations. In fact, I will hardly buy anything anymore without some sort of recommendation, whether from someone I know personally, or a blogger whose taste I consistently admire.

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Well, that wraps up March…onto April…and maybe spring weather at last!!! Who am I kidding, this is what outside looks like right this minute…Caleb looked like the abominable snowman when he came back in after his morning pee.

Bye, then!

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 103

Greetings from beautiful California! I spent so much of my childhood here that, even though we never actually lived here, it has always felt like home. All my mother’s family was here so we came out every summer.

A few times she tried to jump the gun a bit and take me out of school even before the end of the school year in NY and put me in school here in SoCal for the remaining week or two. Oh, The Drama. I was very shy so to be plunked down into a classroom of strangers was just more than I could take and I would just cry and cry or complain of stomach-aches until they would call my mother to come get me. Eventually they just gave up and let me stay home. Score! Ha.

Anyway. I have not been back out here for 14 years. Which has made me very sad and I have missed people and places Very Much. But my darling daughter treated me to this wonderful trip and now here we are! We’ve only been here for 2 days so there will be more pictures in next week’s Week in Review, but let me get this show on the road, which starts back home in New York.

Last weekend some girlfriends and I got together and made vision boards. A picture of my completed project would have been a great idea, yes? Instead here’s a Valentines cookie. I’ve got my priorities.

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I had one intense errand day to get ready for the trip. Visited Avenue for new black leggings and the elusive perfect white tee. This was not it. But the leggings came home with me.

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I got my eyebrows threaded. They’ve filled in a lot since the chemo but while still a little sparse on the outer edges they were growing wide not dense and it was looking odd to me. Can you tell which is the before and which is the after? And why my face looks so crooked??

I’ve been sharing a lot of old pictures on my Bettye Rainwater Photography Instagram page and I’ve got a little “horse” theme going on.

Perks of early morning flights.

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I flew from NY alone but….

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Doing some sightseeing…

 

Met up with the amazing Annabelle (and, oh yeah, her mother and father) for lunch…

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Pretty spaces.

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Beach sunset.

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Visiting my parents, grandparents and Aunt Bettie at the cemetery.

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Chinatown.

Urban Lights at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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My apologies for the poor formatting and lack of links. I’m doing this on my phone and my phone apparently hates me today as it is being QUITE uncooperative. So, until next time…!!!!

xoxo

 

I Got My Own Back

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While you may be fortunate enough to have friends and family available to you when you need them, at the end of the day you really have only yourself to rely on. That realization always makes me a little sad, but…it’s true. It doesn’t mean people don’t love you or care about you or want to help you, but people have their own stuff. When and if they can help you, they will. But sometimes they can’t…and then it’s on you.

 

I have a friend who recently said to me, “don’t expect me to rescue you.” I was a little taken aback because I have certainly never asked him to rescue me…or anyone for that matter. Well, maybe when I was younger. I do come from a generation when women still expected to get married and be supported, more or less, by a husband. For better or worse, that’s the way it was at the time – I was just on the cusp of that changing, but…when I was young I did have that expectation. But it has been a lonnnggg time since I’ve expected to be “rescued.” I expect to be taking care of myself til the day I die.

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This is not to say that I don’t appreciate help. I like to say “someone in the boat with me.” Sharing the load of rowing. Sometimes my arms get tired and it’s nice for someone to take over for a bit. But if they fall overboard and get eaten by sharks (heh heh), I’ll just row alone. I am woman, see me row.

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And what on earth does all that have to do with today’s post? Well, I’m still without a photographer. Ha. And I was panicking that I posted no outfit post last week and I didn’t want to repeat that this week, so…I got up at the crackadawn on Saturday and me and the tripod went down to a little nearby beach (where I hoped I’d have no witnesses!) to shoot. One hour, 200 shots, less than ten usable. Not a great ratio. BUT…I managed.

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I call this my Carolyn of Un-Fancy sweater. It seems like in every outfit she has this chestnut brown color in something and I have coveted it for sometime…and searched high and low for something in this color. I finally found this poncho sweater on Ellos.com…and it was back-ordered. I’m usually too impatient for that sort of thing but I was so in love with this color that I ordered. And waited. And waited. And finally it arrived…in all its chestnut glory, exactly the shade I’ve been dreaming of.

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In all honesty it’s a little big. Ellos is a sister to Woman Within, my “everything is too big” nemesis, ha. That sizing, combined with the fact that it’s totally open on the side (a fact that, despite it being called a poncho sweater, was lost on me when placing my order. I was blinded by the color), makes it quite voluminous. Even on me. It’s a little like wearing a blanket with sleeves. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, I’d waited so long to get this one, I was certainly not sending it back and starting all over.

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So I love it. The color, the lightweight, stretchy cushy knit, the color, the open sides, did I mention the color? I think this color will go with everything. Blue denim, black, grey, white. All the denims. It does need to be worn over something (have I mentioned the open sides?), so here I have it over a black cami, but you could put it over a turtleneck or a collared denim shirt, etc.

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I’ve wanted to order from Ellos.com for a long time. They have Woman Within prices and plus-size sizing with a Scandinavian style aesthetic. A good combo. I will definitely be ordering from there again. Look, another first (a la my new year’s resolution)!

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So. I did my own shoot. I finally got chestnut brown into my wardrobe. I DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RESCUING!!!

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Pro-blogger tip: don’t photograph yourself seated in a really long top cuz it makes your legs look like they’re about 10″ long. Ha. Learn from my mistakes.

Bye now!

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What I’m Wearing

I’m linking up today with the lovely Catherine for her #IWillWearWhatILike linkup party. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who have linked up on her page…Not Dressed as Lamb. 

What to Do When You’re in a Funk

Note: I did not say “how to get OUT of a funk.” I have the utmost respect for The Funk and would never try to hurry one along. It’s there for a reason. You may not even be aware of the reason, but if your head/heart/body/mind says you’re in a funk, just go with it. Enjoy it. Revel in it. If you try to ignore it then you’re not honoring your Self. Honor your Self. Honor the Funk.

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I happen to be in a funk myself right now. I’m feeling out of my normal routine, I’m tired, I’m sad. Is there a particular reason? Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes you don’t know or can’t necessarily change the reason…but you can control how you react to it. Put down that self-help book, skip that yoga class, turn off the meditation app. Just be in the funk. It won’t last forever. If you try and resist you will never get the little escape your body is telling you you need. So have that pity party until you feel ready to shake it off and move on.

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And in the meantime, here are some tried-and-true tested (by me!) techniques for getting the maximum enjoyment out of a funk.

  • Get into your nightgown/pajamas. There is nothing better than getting home from work and immediately putting on your comfy cozy no-restraint clothes. Once you’re in your sleepwear you know you won’t be going out again so it’s easy to stay home alone and pass on any invitations that might come your way, eg., “Oh, I’d love to but I’ve already taken off my bra so I couldn’t possibly.”
  • As indicated above, accept no invitations. Unless someone offers to pick up ice cream and Chinese food and leave it on your doorstep without even knocking, your response to any invitations (if you have even actually answered the phone or text) should be, “I wish I could, but I don’t want to” a la Phoebe Buffet in an early episode of Friends.
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT wash the dishes or put away the Christmas decorations. They will all still be there on the other side of the funk.
  • Get into bed. Is it still light out? Even better. While in bed:
    • Turn out the lights and just lay there in the dark.
    • Listen to a podcast.
    • Read a book (NO SELF-HELP), preferably a sad one.
    • Watch a movie. See above.
    • Nap.
    • Talk to yourself. No one knows and understands your pain better than you.
  • Only get up to eat and/or feed animals. Or children. But they really should not be part of any funk plan. If there are children please try to pawn them off for a short while on someone who is not in a funk. You’ll all be better for it.
  • Eat super healthy…or super UNhealthy. This is the time for extremes. A giant salad…or a pint of ice cream. With Fritos. And sprinkles. Maybe even a little alcohol.
  • Go to sleep early. Sleep as long as you want. If you can manage it, sleep all day. Get lots and lots of sleep.

Follow these steps for a day or two, until you want to stop.  I know I’m done with a funk when I want to get dressed or talk to another human being or go for a walk in actual air. Take it easy on yourself the next day. Funks take a lot out of you. If you did the funk right, by Day Two you’ll be feeling back to normalish and maybe even pretty gosh darn good. Congratulate yourself on a funk well-done and move on with your life.

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Note: I am not a mental health professional, this is just how *I* like to handle a funk. Follow my plan at your own risk. It works for me. Your mileage may vary.

Week in Review: Week ONE HUNDRED!!!

Today, on a Very Special Fashion Schlub, the one HUNDREDTH episode will be filmed before a live studio audience. Oh MAN, why didn’t I ACTUALLY think of doing that! Before right now when I’m sitting down to write the post that’s ALREADY a day late! Oh I’m just a mess. But I did have a fun week.

Last week started with a trip to the greenhouses at a local arboretum. We’re very fortunate on Long Island to have So Many really good arboretums and public gardens. This was Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay.

Oops, you’re a little tipsy.

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Then onto Nassau County Museum of Art for the “Fool the Eye” exhibit.

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Brrrr.

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This happened.

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I swiped this off my niece’s icloud stream. Cuz come on…is my great niece not the sweetest???

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My family. Far far away.

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Sigh.

Okay…went to an art lecture (a first for me, so A New Thing) at Hecksher Museum of Art on Andy Warhol and the Pop-Art Culture. Very interesting.

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I guess it would have made sense if I’d taken pictures of the pop art on display instead of these. D’oh!

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Flower shop.

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The big thaw.

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Gothic architecture in Sea Cliff, NY.

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Cold Spring Harbor, NY. I really got around this week!

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Not one fashiony reference in this post, sorry! Sometimes I put some Outfits of the Day (OOTD) in the Week in Review, but I already put them all in the “What I Wore This Week” video so it seemed redundant to post them again here.

Tomorrow is back to work – and I have not one fun thing planned for this week yet, urgh. It looks like a lot of rain, so bleh. I really need to take down my Christmas tree…yeah, maybe that will happen this week.

Okay kids, have a good week! xoxo

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

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The Christmas season has arrived…I’m just a littttle behind (shocker) with my decorating and my shopping…but I’ll be getting it together this week when my daughter comes home for the holidays. We always get a live tree and I’m so happy that in the new apartment I’ll be able to have a full-size one again. For the past five years I had to have sort of small narrow trees to fit in the space. But I love a big tree with tons of lights and ornaments and ribbons.

Here’s some trees we’ve had in past years…

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I’ll share this year’s tree once we have it up.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying decorations around town and on other people’s houses. Most days I take a slight detour on my way home from work to go up and down a couple different streets to see the lights and decorations. I have many sweet memories of driving around the neighborhood with my mother, looking at Christmas decorations. I love when my daughter asks to do that with me now.

I think reading blogs are sort of like driving around looking at holiday decorations. You see things that you may not wear (or do) but it’s fun to see them on others. Whether they’re fashion blogs, or beauty, decorating, cooking, photography, crafting, etc., they’re such a nice way to get a glimpse into someone else’s life, passions and talents. Even if I don’t necessarily learn something, I still come away inspired or motivated to try something new or different. And sometimes (alright, a lot of the time) I just like looking at pretty pictures!

And onto this week’s outfit!

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While I love this color combo, the medium dark grey with the warm golden ochre color of this longline chenille cardigan, the too-long dress length really irks me! Isn’t it funny the difference just a couple inches can make??

Anyway, I’ve pulled the two colors together with this vintage skinny fringed scarf that was either my mother’s or sister’s, now I can’t recall. It’s 100% silk and drapes very nicely.

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I think I prefer a brown boot with these colors but I can’t zip my brown boots up these days!

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This is a super easy-to-wear, very comfy cozy outfit that I’m sure I’ll be wearing on repeat through the cold winter ahead!

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Do you like decorating for the holidays or do you have other special traditions, like baking or making presents for loved ones? I’d love to hear about them.

What I’m Wearing:

Believe it or not, I’m still plugging away with vlogmas…they may not be works of art (yet!) but you gotta give a girl credit for not giving up!

I’m linking up today with StyleSplash and her Style With A Smile link-up. Check out all the other bloggers linking up there!

Photography by Robert Mitchell Photography

It’s Almost December!

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So! I have been toying with the idea of doing another 30-day challenge in January – which is challenging myself to wear a different outfit every day in January, but now I’m thinking that, instead, maybe I’ll do Vlogmas (vlogging every day in December leading up to Christmas)! I’m SO not prepared for that, but I’m a big believer in just jumping in first and figuring it out later…and vlogging Every Single Day will help me get up-to-speed on All Things Vloggy pretty darn quick!

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It could be awful..for me AND you, ha! But I think I’m going to give it a go…if I can’t do it, I can’t do it…but I’ll certainly give it the old college try. They’ll be short, maybe 5-10 minutes a day, more or less. So…I know you’re excited, ha ha! If you want to witness this, just subscribe to my Fashion Schlub YouTube channel.

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That aside, this is another day of tripod/remote shutter selfies. On this day, a man walked his dog up to where I was shooting and proceeded to ask questions about what I was doing, including “would you like to take a picture with Miss Wiggles?” Uh, OF COURSE!!!

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Then a town worker truck pulled up, and they knew one another, so THAT guy got out of the truck and started asking me questions about what I was doing…and then they both stood there watching me. AWKWARD. Suffice it to say I didn’t get too many pictures that day. And they’re really not doing this outfit justice, because I LOVE this potato sacky dress from ASOS Curve (their plus size section) and faux leather jacket by Chelsea & Theodore via Gwynnie Bee…and I loved them together. But I didn’t get to check my car window reflection between shots so my wig was wacky and the jacket was askew and my tights are dirty. But that’s real life, so. There ya go.

Speaking of Real Life, I’ve just uploaded another video, “Switching Out My Plus Size Wardrobe from Summer to Winter: Part 2,” wherein I get all my cold weather clothes out of storage, cull through them to decide what stays and what goes, and add the “stayers” into my closet. It’s scintillating stuff, be sure to watch.

What I Wore:

* Asos Navy Ripple Stitch Dress, size 22
* Chelsea & Theodore Taupe Drape Front Faux Leather Jacket, via Gwynnie Bee, size 2x

Today I’m linking up with A Labour of Life and her Labour of Fashion link-up party!

Week in Review: Week 92

Wow, another week has passed! Yes, this was a “short week” but I managed to squeeze more out of it. I’m feeling so good I’ve finally gotten back to unpacking (yes, I am still surrounded by boxes!) and reorganizing the space. AND keeping a thought towards making room for a Christmas tree soon!

So, while I just moved here in August, I’ve had some things in boxes for…8 years! Oh my goodness! I sold and moved out of my house (where I’d lived for 14 years) in October 2009, and some things have not been unpacked in all that time. So it’s always a surprise to open a box marked “Kitchen slash pottery slash metal things slash living room not vital,” because after all this time, who KNOWS what’s in there?!? It’s fun to see things again after so long.

This picture my daughter colored for me when she was little little, maybe 5 or 6? Thank goodness she signed her last name to it or I would never have known who it was from!

I found my old wedding album oh joy. Everyone looks so young. And pink. And poofy.

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And my niece and daughter…when she was still young enough that I could dress her as *I* wanted. I think I have this exact outfit now.

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Dime Savings Bank is very generously doing a campaign where they’re donating $10 to nonprofits when people post what they’re thankful for on social media along with the hashtag #DimeGivesBack and tagging the nonprofit of your choice. Obviously I’m supporting Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, where I work.

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I couldn’t believe that Trader Joe’s had No. Fresh. Flowers. on Wednesday. Yes, I know it was the day before Thanksgiving, but still! I’ve never witnessed such a thing! For the record, I think Trader’s has The Best Selection of cut flowers at the best prices anywhere (except a wholesale market). They’re my go-to for flowers for the house and for gifts so this was a disappointment.

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On Thanksgiving Day I just hung out at home with the kids….

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Drinking tea and eating pie…

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Getting updates from my daughter, sister and nieces in South Carolina…

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From left to right: Niece, Grand-Niece, Daughter, Sister. Aren’t they all beautiful? I wish I could have been there with them. Maybe next time.

Late in the day we went for a ride (“IN THE CAR!” said Caleb excitedly)…

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To see the sunset.

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I had a friend over the next day for a post-Thanksgiving brunch. At 6pm.

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This morning I filled the kitchen with smoke…but look how pretty the light rays are coming through it from outside.

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And that’s my week! One holiday behind us, another one ahead. Have you started on Next Holiday Prep…whatever it might be?