Week in Review: Week 94

Busy week. Busy busy busy. I’m making myself busy with blogging and vlogging and vlogmassing (spellcheck wanted to change that to massaging and that sounds really good). I tend, when I get into something, to go all in. And I’m really really trying to learn video editing. And while my vlogs are still crappy, they’re getting a little less crappy each time (smile).

Did a photo shoot last Saturday with a new photographer. I look tired but the pictures are nice.

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Then I made a video about increasing your wardrobe by incorporating the use of base layers.

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Caleb and I made it to the little local beach.

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Sunrise.

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Designing a graphic tee.

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A walk in the park.

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Caleb makes friends wherever he goes.

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Katie went through TWO chocolate-filled advent calendars in about four days.

She’ll be home this Wednesday – yay!!!

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Santa Claus is coming to town.

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I did something a little extra this time cuz I heard about a new Adobe video app called Spark so I gave it a try. It’s basically the same as Animoto, but it’s free. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments!

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Using Base Layers to Build Your Wardrobe

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This week’s video is all about using a couple simple base layers to build your wardrobe.

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I did a little “fashion math,” and realized that once you start using base layers + third item, you will start increasing the number of outfits you have in your wardrobe, exponentially.

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For example, a black tunic and leggings as the base layer + 5 different “third pieces,” whether a cardigan, vest, kimono or blazer, creates 7 different outfits. If you add another base layer – say a black turtleneck and black jeans or slacks + the same 5 different third pieces, you now have another 7 outfits, just by adding 2 additional items. Add a white tee and a pair of denim to the mix as another base layer, and those 2 items add ANOTHER 7 outfits…and so on.

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It’s kind of brilliant when you think about it. Rather than just buying things willy-nilly…”oh, I like this so I’ll buy it,” ask yourself the question, does it go well over one of your base layers. If it does, then that’s a wise purchase.

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Of course, you’re always going to want to have some “wild cards” in your wardrobe to spice things up a bit, like this black floral print. But I try to limit the number of outliers I purchase and stick to “things that will go with many other things.” That way I can make the most outfits.

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I explain it more fully in the video and you’ll see the theory in action, as I make many different outfits from just a few items.

What I Wore:

* Pink chenille cardigan from Charlotte Russe, size 3x
* Black floral top by American Rag from Gwynnie Bee, size 3x
* Black skinny jeans from Charlotte Russe, no longer in stock, size 22

 

IS Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery??

So, a couple weeks back, Julia at When the Girls Rule posted a photo on her Instagram of this look…

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…and I commented that I liked it so much that I was going to steal it (and she said she was waiting to see it). And I did!

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I didn’t have a wine scarf or a gold bag…but I DID have a gold scarf, so I improvised there. But otherwise, I was able to pretty well replicate the look that I liked so much on her, with clothes from my own closet, with my own spin. I was inspired by her outfit.

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I think sometimes in fashion (and blogging…and photography…and really any creative endeavor) there is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. If I’d gone out and bought the same dress and bag and scarf and created an exact duplicate of her outfit, that’s imitation…and these days I don’t know that most people are all that flattered by that (imitation may not be the sincerest form of flattery) imitation. In fact, in most applications, direct imitation is a form of copyright infringement! It would be pretty hard to prove anyone guilty of that in retail fashion, I mean, all the stores sell all the same things, eventually you’re going to have some pretty similar outfits out there, purely coincidentally….but you get the point.

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While it’s nice to look to others for inspiration (and to copy someone for fun, as I did here), it’s best to use your own creativity–don’t just copy someone else’s look, create your own! Do you!!!

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This is a favorite easy-to-wear dress from Old Navy, in it’s second winter with me. It goes with a lot of other items in my closet. The black duster cardigan is also from Old Navy, but this current season and still available – it’s a fine knit, so very lightweight. With pockets!

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The scarf and crossbody bag are from TJ Maxx, last season. The over-the-knee boots are from Avenue, two winters ago. I’m really getting my money’s worth out of all these things!

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I wore my new Gorjana G Ring hoop earrings from Nordstrom. I have been coveting these exact earrings for a lonnng time – well over a year, maybe even two. I first saw them on Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper and loved the movement the hoops had – you know how hoops are usually sort of still and fixed in place on your ear? Because these hoops are hanging on the S-hook thingie that goes through your ear, there’s a lot of movement and I really like that. I never ever buy myself nice jewelry but I’ve been watching these for a long time and they finally went on sale on Black Friday and I snatched those babies right up!

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I shot with a new photographer this day, I’m really happy with the pictures – what do you think?

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Also, I’m still doing Vlogmas every day on my YouTube channel. I realized today from trying to film “the interesting parts of my day,” that most days do not have interesting parts! Not this time of year, anyway. In spring summer fall I get out a lot more and it would be much more fun to watch. Today the big excitement was scraping ice off the windshield, Caleb making new friends at the park, and new packages in the mail. But…hey, I’m giving it a shot. Stick around, maybe something good will happen eventually!

Photography by Robert Mitchell Photography.

ANNND…I’m linking up with the #IWillWearWhatILike linkup on Not Dressed as Lamb. Definitely take a look at the other bloggers sharing things – you might might find a new favorite!

Week in Review: Week 93

Thanksgiving is behind us and now we’re racing ahead to Christmas – and if not Christmas, what holiday (if any) will you be celebrating this winter? I feel like every year I hear about more different holidays, and really, growing up, I only heard about *my* holidays, and since that’s all my family celebrated, that’s all I knew there was. I’m so grateful that school-children these days are being taught about many different ethnicities and what they celebrate. That’s a big step towards future inclusivity.

It’s weird, in some ways I feel we’re – humanity as a whole – getting so much better about accepting that there are people that are different than we are and accepting them as just as valued? Entitled? Not sure of the right word there, but…that we ALL have a place here. No one is more entitled than anyone else…and no one is less entitled. In theory. Because in many ways I feel we’re going way off the rails as far as valuing everyone equally, and treating  them equally. And *I* certainly don’t know what the answer is – but education is a big part of it.

Whoa. That got real serious real fast. Just thinking of the holidays got me started.

Anyway. This week!  The highlight was definitely doing a photo shoot with Jennifer of Peanut&Pip Photography…with Caleb. Her photography is amazingly beautiful and I’m thrilled with the outcome (it looks like WordPress is mucking with photo quality here). My boy is getting so old and while I have tons of pictures of him, I don’t have any nice pictures of us. And I will treasure this forever.

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It’s getting more and more challenging for me to catch sunsets these days, but I did get to see this lovely sky on my way home that day.

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Work outfits for the week ahead.

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My weekly hair update, ha. It’s coming in…interesting how varied the color and growth rate is all around my head.

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Really making an effort to see as many sunsetty skies as possible. It gives me a chance to just take a moment and go, ahhhhh.

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I loved this cardi from Gwynnie Bee. You’ll see it more in an upcoming blog post.

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Up early working at the computer…and the kids were hanging out behind me.

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Another OOTD from this week. I realized I was wearing a lot of solids on solids and they needed something to break up the big expanse of “solid colored boob area,” either a necklace or a scarf. After this summer I certainly have no shortage of scarves, so…Plus, it was an exceptionally balmy day for November and I got one more day of bare legs in. Yay.

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Say it with me now….AHHHHHH.

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The current state of things. I’ve still got some boxes around but at least they’re pretty. My goal is to have the living room totally devoid of boxes before the Christmas tree arrives. I better get on that!

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And my Big News (ha)…I’m doing Vlogmas this month on my Fashion Schlub YouTube channel. Now, I’m almost embarrassed to mention it cuz the production quality is so so bad…BUT I really hope that by doing a vlog Every Single Day for the next 24 days I will have improved, at least in some areas. Anyway, the quality has nowhere to go but up, so…that’s something to look forward to! They’re short, just sort of a look at my day, a little fashion, a little miscellaneous. If you’re interested, here’s Vlogmas Day 1 (please have very low expectations, ha). And I would love if you would leave a comment on the page or a “thumbs up”!

Giving Thanks

It’s that time of year again where we’re reminded to be thankful for all that we have in our lives. Obviously that’s something we should be doing all year ’round but…we get busy, we have lives, demands on us, blah blah blah. And we forget. So I’m glad there’s a holiday. To remind us: Be Thankful.

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My Top Five Things to be Thankful For (sorry, My Top Five Things For Which I Am Thankful. Nope. Not doing it. I know its right. But I’m not doing it.)

  1. My health. After a difficult year, I am finally almost back to normal (well, health-wise, anyway).fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 11.12.17 4 resized
  2. The people who were so kind and thoughtful and helpful when I was sick this year. I felt an outpouring of love and support that I’ve never experienced before and for that I am thankful. Cuz I really needed it!fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 11.12.17 6 resized
  3. I’m so thankful that Caleb is still with me. Last year about this time I never would have expected it, but with the support of good friends and some miraculous meds, he’s still going. fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 11.12.17 2 resized
  4. I’m thankful that my daughter (while too far away from her Mama) is doing well. Well-employed, self-sufficient, making friends wherever she goes, traveling. She’s doing all right, that kid of mine. I’m so so proud of her.fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size fashion blogger 11.12.17 8 resized
  5. I’m thankful for my new apartment…and hand-in-hand with that, for my friend who bought this house and invited me to move here. I feel so so good here. It’s a wonderful sanctuary.

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What are *you* thankful for??

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This is a perfect “just slightly chilly” fall outfit. The floral top is a sleeveless summer top that is always flattering as it does not cling to lumps and bumps, it hangs away from the body slightly, which is perfect if you have a bit of a tummy. The duster cardigan is a lightweight fleece that is cozy but not too warm. Skinny jeans and taupe booties round out this easy-to-wear outfit.

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What I’m Wearing

Thanks to my friend/landlady/photographer Karen for taking these pictures!

I’m linking up today with Emma Peach over at Style Splash for her “Style with a Smile” linkup – go take a look at her site for great style ideas for us…uhm…EXPERIENCED ladies 🙂 as well as all the other linked-up blogs!

What I Wore This Week

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Monday: This is my favorite cozy, cold weather outfit. The dress is 2 years old from Alice & You, so no longer available. The thick cushy deep blue cardigan is last winter’s from Michael Kors at Macy*s. I can’t remember what brand the booties are, they’re pretty generic taupe, faux suede with a low rubbery heel. The rubber soles and heels are so nice to walk in. The plus size navy tights are from Amazon like 3 years ago and purchased through someone else’s account (oh, how did I survive in the olden days without Amazon Prime??) so I don’t have a link but I’ll try to get it for you. And my new hair, ha ha!

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Tuesday: Snuck in one more bare-legged day. The dress is THAT dress. The never-ending sleeveless black swing dress from Asos. That particular one is no longer available but there’s always something similar. This is a US 22 and the width and length are perfect. Then I put my new olive green fleece duster cardigan from Rainbow over top for some lightweight coziness. I’m wearing a 2x and it’s just right. I should never wear these shoes again but I’ve yet to replace them so…they’re Christian Siriano for Payless, like 3 years old. Nothing against the shoes but I need serious arch support at this point and these do not have that.

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Wednesday: I was a little casual because I knew I was headed to the storage unit after work and it’s dirty there. Karen Kane brown waterfall cardigan, 3x, this is it’s third winter. It’s looking a little sad and old but…I keep reaching for it, so it stays. In its fifth winter is my beloved Tahari merino wool camel/taupe sweater from TJ Maxx – and they always have comparable lightweight merino sweaters and tunics, reasonably priced – like this or this. Charlotte Russe plus size cropped high waist skinny jeans, size 22. I don’t think this exact style is available right now, but many extremely similar styles are. I wear these a LOT. They’re super comfy and stretchy but don’t stretch out. Same booties as Monday.

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Thursday. I WORE THE SAME JEANS TWO DAYS IN A ROW OH THE HORROR. The weather changed at the last minute and looked blustery and stormy and the dress I’d planned to wear this day did not look appealing at all, so I did a last-minute switcharoo. And lived to tell the tale. See above for info on jeans and booties. Cream-colored long-sleeve tee from Avenue, no longer available but it’s pretty basic. Plus-size duster-length draped waterfall cardigan from INC International, no longer available but similar here. And my cream cloche is from Headcovers Unlimited. This exact style is no longer available but this is similar.

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Fri-yay! Another blustery morning so I broke out the fleece-lined footless tights (sorry, I don’t remember where I got them) AND my brand new silk ankle socks from WinterSilks. Two-year-old black (it’s not navy, it’s NOT!) and white striped 3x dress from Old Navy (no longer available, similar here. And the wine-colored fleece duster from Rainbow. Last year’s black booties from Avenue.

My favorite was definitely Monday’s – every element is comfortable and cozy and I like the geometric print of the dress with the slightly textured look (close-up) of the cardigan – it’s a subtly interesting combination.  What was the favorite outfit that *you* wore this week?

I’m linking up today with Shelbee on the Edge and her Edge of the Week link-up!

What I Wore This Week

It was one of those autumn weeks that ranges from 70 one day to 50 the next! Add to that the fact that we had a power outage in our area for almost 48 hours on the two coldest days, and I got a chill I couldn’t get rid of! Suffice it to say the plan for my weeks’ wardrobe went out the window and I found myself pulling from the fall/winter bin before I’ve officially changed my wardrobe from summer to fall.

Monday: Junarose Tie-Dye Blue Dress from plusBKLYN; Avenue Thermal Knit Waterfall Hoodie (old; similar here and here); cotton bandana.

Tuesday: Cat in the Hat hat, borrowed :-); Avenue cream long-sleeved tee (old, similar here); Old Navy black longline duster cardigan (sold out, similar here).

Wednesday: Karen Kane polkadot plus size swing dress (old, similar here or here); Rainbow burgundy fleece longline cardigan; vintage headscarf.

Thursday: Torrid plus size grey spacedye longline sharkbite cardi (old, similar here); JJill woman’s white linen blend tee (old, similar here); Charlotte Russe skintight legging jeans (similar here); vintage headscarf.

Friday: Junarose plus size abstract bird print dress (old, similar here); Oatmeal cardi (old, similar here); Oatmeal cotton chemo cloche by Headcovers Unlimited (old, similar here).

What are you wearing now at the beginning of November? Still in warm weather clothes, all the way into cold weather clothes…or somewhere in-between??

Keeping It Simple

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I’ve been keeping my life very simple lately. Work, treatment, home. That’s pretty much every day. Sometimes during the day I THINK I will go home and accomplish One Thing – wash the dishes or sweep the floor, etc. But no. By the time I get there I’m so shot that I get almost immediately into my nightgown and head to the sofa. I’m not even reading or watching tv, I’m just…resting.

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So this kind of outfit is my mainstay right now. A simple base with something over top. Easy peasy.

This dress is so easy to wear. It’s a rayon spandex blend that’s stretchy and swingy and feels like silky cotton. The blouse is Tencel which is a drapey lightweight denimy material. Both fabrics are very comfortable to wear.

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Fashion doesn’t always have to be fussy or fancy. It can be easy and relaxed and comfortable…and that is totally my jam these days.

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I’m kind of liking my life like this. I feel like the beginning of the year started with so much drama that I’m enjoying this simple time. Kind of weird, right? I never feel good anymore, I’m always exhausted, but overall, life feels good. Count on me to be contrary 🙂

What I’m Wearing

Photos by Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me – thanks, Marce! Make sure you check out her blog cuz she is a  BOSS!!!

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?