A Tribute to Moms

I’m a mom. I know how hard it is. I HAD a mom. I know how hard I was on HER. Being a mom is H-A-R-D. It’s also a gift. I just wanted to post a tribute to moms everywhere – past and present – human moms, animal moms, “next door neighbor” moms – all the people who “mother” other people whether they’re related by blood or obligation or not.

THANK YOU to all the moms out there – for caring and driving and tolerating and wiping and buying and hugging…and loving. Happy Mother’s Day.

Here are some pictures of my mother and me…and of me and my daughter.

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Mommy 1922

D mommy daddywedding

D mommy

D mommy 1956

D mommy cigarette

mommy red dress
I still have this dress and the matching cape…and the lucite purse

D blr baby 2

D bettye mommy

mommy wendy bettye mitchell field

mommy me feb 1965

D mommy me

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And the next generation…

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kate first day school

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And me and my fur-baby 🙂

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(Otherwise it was an uneventful, slightly queasy, non-visual week…I’ll just lump the few bits into next week’s Week in Review).

Happy Mother’s Day xoxo

Week in Review: Week 63

Last week had a great start. My friend and I went into Greenwich Village for the day just to wander around, sit in parks, stop for snacks and dinner, and see what we could see. I love having a non-activity-based day, like we were not going there for anything in particular. We just parked and walked wherever we wanted and did whatever we wanted and it was a perfect day.

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At the end of the day we drove to the west side just in time for a beautiful sunset. It was the first really warm day of the spring and there were perfect warm breezes coming off the water, it was so so nice.

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The next day was May 1 and time to clear off my bulletin board from the past few months and start fresh.

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Janey matches the tuffet almost perfectly.

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The tulips are just about gone by at Sloan-Kettering. I hope they’ll replant with something else pretty. It makes it a lot nicer walking up to the building.

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Someone at the beach was not so lucky.

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I tried stepping outside my comfort zone with this top from Gwynnie Bee. I really liked the color and pattern but the flouncy hem is just not for me.

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WHOA MAMA. These are fierce.

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I started radiation this week. So far so good. Two treatments down, 23 to go. I lay on the table during treatment #1 trying to come up with a better alternative to crappy hospital gowns (shown below) and trying not to panic when I couldn’t take a full deep breath because of laying flat on my back and having a snug plastic mold attached tight around my belly. Day #2 I managed to meditate for about five minutes and only got distracted and antsy for about the last two minutes. The whole radiation part is only 7 minutes long. Who knew? I’m getting an education in something I never wanted an education in.

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Friday was my baby’s 26th birthday. My perfect little papoose baby is now an independent, self-sufficient, strong, smart, kind, beautiful woman. I could not be more proud. She’ll be in NY in a few weeks, I can’t wait to see her.

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I still need to swap out my winter clothes for summer, it’s MAY for crying out loud. Maybe this week I’ll get to that.

Be well, my friends. xoxo

 

 

 

Feeling Like Myself

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Well, I’m 6 weeks post-op and I’m starting to feel pretty normal again, which makes me very happy. But it’s this outfit that’s really making me feel like myself. I love this kind of simple outfit. Denim on the bottom, a simple tee on top, and a third item over both.

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It’s getting mild enough finally to not need a jacket every time I go out, so this very thin, lightweight longline cardi from Torrid is perfect.

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And I have been searching for SO long for a nice white tee and finally got this one from J. Jill. It’s a linen cotton blend so will be very nice in the warmer weather. I *do* need a new nude bra, though (mwerp!).

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And I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Superga sneakers! When you’re heavy, bending over for long enough to tie shoelaces can be SO uncomfortable, not to mention cutting off your oxygen (!!!) that I’ve been wanting a laceless sneaker. I tried some slip-ons and they just didn’t fit right on my high-instep foot. These velcro ones are so easy! Plus, the Superga is a nice solid sneaker with a thicker sole and that helps a little with my painful heel – AND they come up high enough that I can wear my inserts with them. With most of my shoes, the insert raises my foot up so high in the shoe that when I walk, the shoe just slips right off my heel! So these were a real win. AND they were on sale for $24.99!!!

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On this day we went to a nearby park that is very fancy with waterfalls and railings and whatnot. It’s a popular wedding photo venue with local photographers.

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After shooting these shots on this walkway, we went up the steps back to the main path. Well, My Friend Who Shall Remain Nameless did…I TRIED to go up the steps…but tripped on the top step and did one of those slow motion falls…first to my knees on the concrete…then down to my elbows (never letting the camera touch the ground, win!), then because I was at the top of a little hill and couldn’t get my balance, I rolled down onto my side…and started rolling down the hill…”ow-ing” and laughing hysterically the entire time. Thankfully a small shrub stopped my descent and I did NOT roll into the pond with the geese. But it WOULD have made A Great Shot!

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So, yeah, while sometimes I like to be a little “dressier” (ie, not in denim!), other than leggings, this is my favorite kind of outfit. Easy peasy, comfy, with endless combinations.

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In other news, it looks I’ll be starting radiation treatments as early as next week, so I’ve been enjoying my little “feeling like myself” break I had between surgery recovery and beginning treatment.

What kind of outfit makes *you* “feel like yourself”?

Weeks in Review: 45-53

I promised you a Week(s!) in Review, and here it is! Don’t worry that it’s 8 weeks long – I really mostly hibernate in Jan/Feb every year. It’s cold, it’s dark, bleh. Most days I’m home from work by 4:30, I take off my bra (OH, THE JOY), put on comfy clothes and just relax alone at home.

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In yesterday’s Catching Up  post I mentioned my highly technical “tipsy tripod.” I forgot I had a pull-back shot of it, so this is what I’ve been using when I shoot in the apartment. Fortunately Caleb usually naps  supervises from his sofa vantage point or I’d be afraid of him just touching these tables and toppling everything over. They’re very lightweight.

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A sample shot from “the studio.”

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I just thought this was a good message to be driving around in the world. Sometimes I can use a reminder. I was actually on the way to a friend’s birthday meetup that day and it *was* a good day.

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And then we went to Maine. It was supposed to be a 2-night stay, but due to WINTER it became a 4-night stay. So I wore this outfit A LOT. I had my long silk underwear on underneath so I was super sweaty cozy on the flight, but I was grateful when we got to 9-degree Maine.

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We discovered an awesome vegan restaurant called Green Elephant right around the corner from the hotel and we ate there two nights. You have no idea How Nice it is to actually have MULTIPLE OPTIONS in a restaurant. I had the Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie. It was UH-mazing. If you’re ever in Portland, even if you’re not vegan, you should have a meal there. My traveling companion is a confirmed carnivore AND amazing cook and she really raved about the food.

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The view out our hotel window. It was ALWAYS snowing. Sometimes harder, sometimes softer, but snow was falling from the sky the entire time we were there. Which is why our flights kept being cancelled.

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Good thing I brought activities!

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There was a cute lil park right outside our hotel with these fun lighted trees.

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Caleb (the tiny one) was hanging with his cousins back on also snowy Long Island while I was away. The ex sent lots of pictures so I could see how he was doing.

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And FINALLY there was a non-snow day on Tuesday and we hightailed it out of Maine by rental car. Just in time because they commenced having snow-storms again the very next day.

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I was happy to be home AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO WEAR. I had a Gwynnie Bee package waiting for me with this and another sweater in it.

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The kids were happy to be home as well.

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And yesterday, I finally got to a sunset for the first time in ages. It was windy and freezing and we only stayed long enough to take a couple pictures…but it was nice to see the sky again.

I was *supposed* to be blog photo-shooting this morning but I woke up to dense fog and misty skies…so we’ve rescheduled for tomorrow. So I *will* have some outfit posts up soon – one top I am IN LOVE with…and it’s even a TREND item and that’s not usually my thing, but. I’m excited to share with you.

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.

xoxo Bettye

Catching Up…

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Totally random picture of my dog cuz come’on. Is he not the handsomest ever? And there had to be SOMETHING good about this post….

So…February has been a very challenging month for me…I’m not seeing the end of the tunnel yet either, but…the show must go on. And I don’t want this to be a pity party post, but I do want to explain why I have been MIA.

To start, I have some health/medical issues going on, nothing So Serious, but painful and at times incapacitating…they have made it difficult to meet up with anyone to shoot blog photos. I have a vision for this blog and I get frustrated when I can’t make it be The Way I Want it To Be…so I put off and put off, thinking an opportunity is right around the corner, and before you know it an entire month has gone by and there hasn’t been a blog post in ages!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know about my trip to Maine and how we got stuck there in blizzard after blizzard and finally had to just drive home because if we’d waited for a flight to actually leave the ground we might still be there! I missed both Valentine’s Day AND my blog’s One Year Anniversary (Happy Blogiversary to Me!). I’d had plans for a special anniversary shoot, but that didn’t happen and I don’t see it happening in the near future so I’m going to have to come up with something closer to home. Like…right here in my living room 😦

That’s another issue I’ve been having. When I started the blog it didn’t really occur to me just how much I was going to have to rely on other people for blog photos. I’d been getting Outfit of the Day shots done pretty regularly, but One Photo in the parking lot at work, and Ten-ish Photos in an interesting location are very different animals. And my friends have been great…but a year in I’m sure they’re getting weary of me asking them to do photo shoots with me, and they all have their own lives and their own issues and I totally get it. I’m SO appreciative of the time they gave me over the last year…but I’ve got to come up with another plan. I know some people do selfies with their tripods but I have a cheappieceofcrap tripod that doesn’t support the weight of my camera and lens so I can’t trust walking away from it. I’ve taken some blog photos in my apartment by creating a “tipsy tripod” out of two end tables stacked on top of one another but I’m not a fan of doing blog post after blog post with pictures of me in front of the window in my living room. Yawn. It bores me just thinking about it. The photography is a very important element to me and I’m so frustrated that I’m being unable to achieve what I envision in my mind’s eye.

And last but not least, I’ve had computer issues for the past month. My computer got wiped out by a bad virus* (yes I have anti-virus software and no they are not foolproof). It was awhile before I could get that looked at (cuz money). The computer guy thought he had it fixed, but no. So he gave me a used computer from his business (I couldn’t buy new cuz money). That had its OWN issues and he eventually came back and brought me ANOTHER used computer this week, and knock on wood, so far so good. But trying to do ANYTHING on computers that keep fritzing out on you is very frustrating and eventually I just threw in the towel and Let It All Go.

So, that is my story. I’m sorry this was so unbearably long, but I wanted to explain my trials and tribulations. And as I mentioned while commenting on someone else’s blog, Life is Not Always Pretty in Blog-land. Sh*t Happens. Things Break. We don’t feel well enough to shoot. Blizzards. Photographers (shockingly, ha) are not lining up at my door hoping to take my picture. Wah Wah Wah. Poor Me. I don’t want to be that person…but this month…I really felt like that person. I’m hoping the new month ahead, the new season, *something* will bring about a change, cuz right now I can barely get out of my own way.

I’m not looking for “oh poor you,” I just wanted to explain my absence.

I’m going to stop talking now 🙂  And tomorrow will do a big “Many Weeks in Review” catch-up post and hopefully next week be back on track. Cuz I really miss blogging when I don’t do it. I’m always thinking of post ideas or things I want to share…and I miss you guys 🙂

xoxo Bettye

* Oh! The virus, just to give y’all a heads up. It was a phony “update your Java” pop-up. Computer guy said if you ever see that, don’t click it, but go to the Java website instead and see if there’s actually an update and download it from there if it is.

Wanted: A Plus Size Miracle

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This cardigan is one of my favorite purchases of the fall/winter. It’s soft and cozy and moozhy* and warm (love) without being overly thick and stiff and bulky (hate). I would love more like this. But here’s the thing – there are *very* few plus size options in the moozhy realm. Site after site, when you search on “sweaters,” there is a plethora of thin knits, mostly crew and v-neck, or cowl neck (a personal NON-favorite)…and they try and pass off jersey-type knits as “sweaters.” I am on the search for more textural knits, chunky knits. It’s like finding a needle in the haystack for this plus-size gal…whereas my straight size sisters have TONS of options. Maybe the designers think the plus size gals are fluffy ENOUGH, we don’t need fluffy sweaters ADDING to our “bulk”?? Ahem. It’s a hard cold world out there. This plus size girl wants all the comfy cozy FLUFFY she can get!

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Question: if the average woman’s size in the US is 16, then why are there SO many more sizes available UNDER size 16 and so FEW sizes available ABOVE 16?. If you search at, say, Nordstrom, which actually HAS a large plus size section (relatively speaking), on “sweater,” in the straight-size section you get 2000-ish results. If you search on sweater under plus sizes….184. Come on! And OF those whopping 184 plus size sweater options, how many are something other than a fine, thin knit?? VERY. FEW. Where’s the boucle? Where’s the chenille? Where are the super-soft chunky knits? Where are the big half-your-face covering turtlenecks? I’m not saying they don’t exist AT ALL, but there are very VERY few of them. I think there are two. And I own them both (funny not funny).

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And to complicate matters even further…I would like to start moving my grey cold weather palette towards blush, oatmeal, soft soft pink as we head (soon. right? soon?) towards milder weather. I see these colors EVERYWHERE online. In shops, on fashion bloggers, on Instagram. But guess what? That palette virtually Does Not Exist in plus sizes. WTF??? Is it too much to ask for a cozy soft textural blush knit cardigan? Is it? Apparently it is.

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Grr. You know what else is annoying (I’m on a roll now!)?? Going into a store that carries “straight and plus sizes,” and seeing rack after rack after rack after RACK of straight sizes…and I’m talking the LONG racks, like at TJ Maxx or Burlington or Nordstrom Rack or Macy’s Backstage…and seeing two racks – two SHORT racks for plus sizes. IF PLUS SIZE WOMEN MAKE UP HALF THE FEMALE CLOTHES-WEARING POPULATION, WHY DO WE ONLY HAVE LIKE 10% (this is an estimated “eyeballed” estimate) OF THE CLOTHING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO US??? How does that make sense??

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Sigh. I just want a pretty sweater. I’m not talking a giant miracle here. Or maybe I am. I’d like a plus-sized miracle, please.

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So  if you have been challenged by this same thing, there are some things you can do. When I get those little pop-ups on online shopping sites that say “how’d we do?” or “how was your shopping experience?” I take the time to respond. I say, “Gosh, you have so many great items! I really want to buy Item X but I don’t see it in a Size 24. Where do you keep the sizes for ALL the ladies??” Now I know perfectly well they don’t CARRY size 24 (or 20, 18, 16, 14 and maybe even 12…and CERTAINLY not size 26, 28 or 30), but I’m trying to make the point that MY MONEY IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS THE SIZE 0-10 GIRLS, WHY DON’T YOU WANT IT?

I’ve also been thinking about getting together a letter-writing campaign to straight size brands saying essentially the above “we want your nice things, we want to give you our money, please make this possible.”

Blogger Sara Chiwaya at Curvily started a hashtag campaign a few years ago called #PlusSizePlease…in which if you see a straight size item you wish was in a plus size, you take a pic and put it on social media with the brand’s name and hashtag #PlusSizePlease. Read more about it here . I don’t know how active this is any more but it could (and SHOULD!) be resurrected.

Vent over.

*moozhy: my word for soft, cozy, warm, textural, maybe a little puffy

What I’m Wearing:

Your Mama Ain’t Always Right

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I. Love. This. Dress. I love it almost as much as the invisible black dress I’ve worn 12,657,921 times since I bought it from ASOS last March. Guess where I bought this dress from? ASOS! ASOS Curve, to be exact. They have such a great selection of plus size clothing. I was asked the other day what plus size brands are my favorite, and I have to say if I had to purchase from only one brand forevermore…it would be ASOS (this is not a sponsored post! I just love them that much).

It looks kinda like a sack, you say? HELL YEAH IT DOES!!! That’s exactly what I love about it. It just skims away from my body, there’s nothing to shift or tug or adjust. It’s like wearing your nightgown out in public. And we all know that’s my Fashion Holy Grail 🙂

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In spite of it being sack-like, I think it falls nicely in the category of “minimal.” It has very simple, clean lines…the only detail being the ribbing on the body (the sleeves are smooth), which seems a little spage-agey to me. It reminds me of the Robot’s arms&legs from Lost in Space.

My mother used to say you couldn’t mix black and navy. I happen to think black and navy is very chic. Mama ain’t always right.

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What did I tell you?? There’s always one…

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We shot this in the West End of Long Beach, a charming beachy community. It turns out there’s a story behind this be-flagged box in the street. A resident of the street turned the car-blocking (it’s a narrow one-way street) planter into a memorial when he discovered that a neighbor’s daughter was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He painted the planter, added the flag pole and flags and put a protected September 11 remembrance flag on the base. He regularly updates the memorial with plants or flowers and decorations appropriate to season or holiday.

My friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me took these photos. We’ve been taking turns photographing one another for our respective blogs.

What fashion advice do *you* ignore?

What I Wore:

  • Asos Curve Ripple Stitch navy knit dress, size 26
  • Black faux leather moto jacket by Bongo, via Sears, 3x
  • Black footless fleece-lined tights from Maurice’s, 3x
  • Faux black leather booties from Avenue