Okay, first of all, forgive me as I have selfied. I had no available photographer this week so I figured out I could use a light stand as a tripod workaround. I always lose the little piece on the tripod that attaches the camera to the tripod, rendering said tripod useless. But the hard part of selfies isn’t where to put the camera or how to take the picture from umpteen feet away…it’s how to get yourself in focus!!! So, my apologies in advance for a high percentage of not-quite-in-focus pictures.
That said…I really enjoyed wearing this Karen Kane floral dress from Gwynnie Bee…BUT it was only wearable with a cardi over top. It was a little too clingy to my hip bumps and my tummy on its own…but a cardigan is magic and just glides right over those things and you’d never know there were any problem areas at all!
Aforementioned hip bumps…not quite as evident in the photo, but trust me, they’re there.
But with the cardigan all that just disappears…
Interestingly, my friend Julia over at When the Girls Rule just posted today about a top she calls “the fixer.” And I think a loose-fitting cardigan falls into the category of “fixer,” as it fixes whatever’s underneath. I’m borrowing your term, Julia, cuz it’s brilliant!
So if you have something that seems a little too snug for you in spots, don’t necessarily discount it. If you love it, you can “fix it” with a loose cardigan over top.
Plus, they’re wonderful for extending your summer wardrobe into the cooler months of fall. I’d had this dress in my Gwynnie Bee closet for some time, and it just arrived now in the middle of October. Layering the cardigan over it made it autumnal!
Speaking of autumnal, just some borrowed scenes from my girlfriend’s front porch…
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Caleb got a little goody bag to take home after dinner 🙂 Did you notice he has the same color and markings as Rosie??
Monday’s outfit of the day. Or is that what I wore to Easter dinner? I forget. Wow.
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.
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?
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.
My cousin sent me this picture of my mother as a baby. I think it’s hysterical! She was born in 1922.
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.
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.
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?
It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.
I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.
While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:
Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes
Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes
Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes
You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.
A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.
Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.
And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.
My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?
This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.
So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!
And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.
Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.
So, I know I’ve been sharing a lot of casual outfits lately…and especially “jeans’n’sneakers” looks, which is not really my normal MO, but….
a) I think I have worn every cold-weather item in my closet multiple times for the blog, I’ve mixed and matched just about every possible combination I can come up with. Soon I’m going to be wearing things inside and out and upside down just to show things in different ways. I keep a really small wardrobe and I’m still a couple items short of completing a couple different outfits (HOW CAN A PLAIN WHITE SHIRT BE SO HARD TO FIND???). I repeat outfits a lot in my daily life, but it would be pretty boring for you guys to see that on the blog, so…I’m trying to stretch it out as far as I can but we’re getting down to the bare bones. Pretty soon it’s going to be “you can’t see it, but I’m wearing a different bra today,” ha.
b) When I get items from Gwynnie Bee and they’re not something I would actually wear in my actual life, I don’t share them in an outfit post. My aim with outfit posts is to show what I *actually* wear in my actual life.
c) My heel really really really hurts! I have plantar fasciitis in my left heel and it is so so painful…that I wear sneakers a LOT more than I usually do just in an effort to keep my feet a little more comfortable. All day long I look forward to getting home and putting on my wonderful orthotic slippers (oh MAN do I sound old!) and getting some relief. Next is a pair of orthotic sneakers. Oh yeah, this is one sexy fashion blog 🙂
So, the point is, I’m just trying to keep it real. Bear with me. It’ll be spring soon and there’ll be some new looks…and lots of try-on hauls!
These pictures were taken on a cold day in Rockaway Park, Queens. Me and my blogger friend Marcy of Fearlessly Just Me were looking for an interesting spot and I just loved this old “Sea-Port” building. We decided we really need to do a behind-the-scenes vlog because shoot days are pretty hysterical with us changing clothes in the car, trying to sneak into places, climbing on things for “that perfect shot,” etc.
I love this soft Style&Co sweater. It has an interesting detail of cable stitch along the hemline and allover on the back. Kinda “business in the front, party in the back.” It’s nice and loose fitting so a silk tee or turtleneck fits easily underneath.
And this has been my favorite scarf this winter – it is so so long! Which is very nice on a plus size body (read: fat neck) because there’s actually enough length to wrap it around several times and not just have little stump ends left over like with normal length scarves.
I’m looking forward to maybe a big snow later this week! Ooh, and a super secret work trip…but I’ll share that when the time comes…
My ex-husband and his new wife and family are thoughtful enough to invite me to their house each year for Xmas Eve dinner and festivities (do you get it now? EX-mas Eve? How long do you think I’ve been waiting to use THAT title?!?). Modern Family, amiright??
It had been rainy all day but we had a little sun-show in the late afternoon so the girl and I ran out to do a quick photo shoot of my Christmas Eve outfit. I opted for low-key and comfy in this (favorite) black and white striped swing dress from Old Navy under the army green cascade vest by Ava & Viv at Target. A super cute infinity scarf from one of my sweet work officemates (the other one gave me Peppermint Moonshine !!! So no less sweet) kept my neck warm. I find that if my feet, neck, hands and ears are warm, I’m good. I can manage with just a light jacket. I think my knee-high brown boots would have worked here, too, but…they shrunk since last winter.
At what age is it still appropriate to sit on the floor with the animals at parties and social gatherings? Cuz I’d like to go back to that age, please and thank you.
Do you dress fancy or comfy for the holidays? Being plus size, comfort is paramount. I try to be color appropriate, but over the years I have definitely moved away from “dressed up” to more comfy. I remember the days of buying a “holiday outfit,” that would only get worn once or twice. Those days are gone! I prefer to invest my clothing budget in a coat or bra or something that I’m going to wear Every Day.
I usually bring my boy Caleb to the ex’es…but he’s just been so dotty, I didn’t want him to get in trouble for not hearing people tell him to move or go lay down or whatever. This is Hannah, the matriarch of the family. She’s the sweetest dog on the planet. And that’s my baby girl, fancy in a red dress.
I feel like I belong in the woods in this outfit. I am a Holiday Woodland Sprite. I may or may not have had a nip or two of Peppermint Moonshine this day.
I love watching the kids open their gifts.
These booties from Avenue are super comfy. They’re wide width and have like a tongue opening at the front so they’re not tight across the front of my fat shins like most booties are. I wish I could find something a little sleeker looking that also fit well but…such is life.
The universal sign for DON’T. TAKE. MY. PICTURE. Not hard to guess whose sister SHE is.
Do you ever shop online at ASOS? You should. Besides having amazing selections of both straight and plus sizes, they have a video feature called “Catwalk,” where you can see each and every item worn by a model and walked down the runway. In video you can tell much better what the fabric is like. Is it stiff and unmoving? Is it flowy and drapey? I love fabric that moves nicely like this vest.
Somewhere in the world is a picture of me at 9 years old in a weird bathing suit at a park overlooking the ocean in La Jolla, California…making That. Same. Exact. Face. Apples, man.
Thanks for joining me for Exmas Eve…I know I’m a little behind with this post but I’ve been busy. And sick. I have The Cough That Will Just Not Die. I think I need a milkshake.
I have to confess: I am not a positive person. My glass is not half-full. I do not easily see “the bright side of things.” Or rather, for every “good” I also see the “bad.” I see both. Everything HAS both. I don’t wish to be more “positive” if that means ignoring the negative. I hate being told, “smile, it’s not so bad,” or “look at the bright side.” To me “look at the bright side” means “ignore the dark side.” I’m here on this earth to experience *everything* – the good and the bad. Events, emotions, all of it. I consider myself a realist. I want to study the bad AND the good….and only then can I form an educated response or plan. Only that feels responsible to my “self.”
So a holiday like Thanksgiving can be challenging for me. Sure, I can come up with a list of things I’m grateful for. But as I’m making up THAT list in my mind, I’m ALSO making the list of things I’d like to change, to improve on, to better.
I know I have it better than SO many beings on this planet. I have a home, an income, I have my relative freedom, no one is going to kill and eat me. But I wish for so much more. There are things I’ve lost that I long for. And sometimes that wishing and longing, especially at a time like this, makes me feel ungrateful.
So I’m going to really make an effort to make a practice of being grateful. I might do some of it here. You guys will keep me honest if I forget, okay?
I am grateful for friends who support me, laugh with me, continue to ask me to be a part of something. I am grateful for my dog Caleb who has been a part of my heart for so many years and who keeps me company and keeps me active. I am grateful for family who, while they live far from me and I don’t often see them, I trust would help me if I really needed it. I am grateful for a job that not only helps me keep a roof over my head and food on my table, but also allows me some creativity and to work with really special people. I am grateful to be born into a country where I have freedoms and options as my birthright. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for a strong, brave, independent, healthy daughter.
Last Saturday I was grateful for a beautiful day spent with friends…and the ability to travel to interesting places. After a trip to a museum, we stopped at Cedarmere, the charming Roslyn country home of 19th-century poet, newspaper editor and civic leader William Cullen Bryant. On this day the foliage was really outstanding and we all took pictures of the trees, bridges and buildings. I wondered if you’d enjoy seeing some pictures of locations we go to to shoot – what do you think? Yes or no?
I am most certainly grateful for the people who help me with this blog as well as the people who read and follow it and post comments. That’s my friend Linda in the photo above who has photographed several sessions for Fashion Schlub, including this one. Linda, I’m so grateful for all your help!
I would like to end by wishing friends and followers a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all have things to be grateful for.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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…
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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I always loved Old Navy’s clothes and aesthetic…but since “going plus” (ha, I say that like it Just Happened. It DID Just Happen. In 1988.) and with me no longer able to find actual brick&mortar ON (Old Navy) stores with plus size sections for trying on, I’ve abstained from ON for quite some time. But recently I learned they’ve extended their sizing (they now carry up to 4x/26-28) so I thought I would give them another go. I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about THE DENIM DRESS, ha, but yes, they had a light wash Tencel (my heart, it’s the softest) dress in my size ON SALE, and as long as I was ordering that, I got a couple other things, too.
Here’s how that went.
Yes, Nightie has a little self tie which makes it look a little less nighty-ish but it also ruins the whole point of having a comfy loose-fitting dress. I’m still on the fence about this. Now I’m feeling bad for it and think maybe I’ll keep it. Maybe it would be good to start getting people used to the idea of me walking around town in my nightgown.
Now THIS was very disappointing. It’s super lightweight and stretchy, but too snug around the middle and upper-body. I definitely prefer the nighty style. I apologize for my grumpy expression, I was tired and it was hot and I was hurrying around to get a lot done that afternoon and I wasn’t really thinking that THESE pictures would make it into the blog. But. There ya go.
When I was in my early 20s I worked at several 7-11’s, back in the day when the clerk (ME) made the coffee for customers (not to mention SANDWICHES)…and I got a lot of “why don’t you smile? you’re so much prettier when you smile.” UGH. The fastest way to piss someone off and make them NOT want to smile is to say something like that. And I think of that Every Time I see a picture of myself where I’m not smiling. And you know what, I probably DO look better when I smile…but I’m not just gonna walk around town (in my nightgown) with a big dopey GRIN on my face! I smile when I have something to smile about. So there.
Anyway, that striped tee dress is totally going back.
And I saved the best for last…..
Gah! Shorts! But not just ANY shorts. No. These will be my BIKING shorts. So I can get back on my BIKE this summer. There. I said it out loud. ON THE INTERNET. Now I have to do it. And look….I’m smiling.
And here is the other denim dress (if you’re new here, see yesterday’s post). They’re actually both Tencel chambray, which is a lovely light super soft “denim” fabric.
Interestingly, after *wearing* them both for the photo shoot, I thought this dress was the clear winner. It has a little more modest neckline, flows away from my body a little more, just seems more like a “Bettye dress.” However, when I got home and looked through the pictures, I think the other one LOOKS better…and this one actually reads as a little “nightgownish.” Which is not *necessarily* a bad thing – who doesn’t want to feel like they’ve got their jammies on all day!?
I could keep both dresses, I think they’re different enough. Yesterday’s dress skews a little more modern, and would be accessorized accordingly. And this one is a little more “pretty/sweet,” and would accessorized very differently than the other one.
So what do you all think? Keep one? Keep both? Keep neither? Does the lighter one look like a nightgown to you guys, too?
I did finally get to wear my colorful earrings with the light dress.