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!

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Week in Review: Week 90

Wow, the time change last weekend really threw me for a loop! It’s amazing what a difference an hour can make! I’m home from work by 4:25-4:30…and I think most every day this past week I was in my nightgown and cooking dinner by 4:45! I was ready for bed by 7pm. Ha. And I gave myself a week to just go with it. So, my apologies for being totally absent for a week. I just couldn’t get myself going. At all.

I feel like I’ve somehow missed so much “leaf peeping” this autumn…so I’m trying to get out on my lunch break from work a couple times a week just to see some prettiness before it’s all gone. In this outfit I sorta felt like *I* was autumn foliage!

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Floral top from Bobeau; rust fleece cardigan from Rainbow shops; jeans from Charlotte Russe; vintage headscarf

I did manage to see the tail end of sunset one evening when I raced straight to the harbor before even going home. I felt guilty going without Caleb 😦

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If you watched my plus size Fall Haul vlog on YouTube a week ago you’ll know I *planned* to send this Old Navy dress back, as much as I love it, because it was a little “hip bump clingier” than I like. BUT, once I tried it with the black cardigan, I decided to keep it. And I’m glad I did. It *does* need an old school full slip underneath as the brushed cotton fabric is going to really stick to tights once it gets a little colder.

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Plaid dress from Old Navy; black duster cardigan from Old Navy; oatmeal cotton cloche from Headcovers Unlimited

I did manage to get out one evening to see a documentary called “Swim Team” with some friends, about a swim team in New Jersey made up solely of young adults on the autism spectrum. The film covered their challenges, struggles and successes. It was very sensitively done and really a nice film. The film-maker was there at the screening to answer questions so that’s always an added bonus.

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It’s been a long weekend for me. And I STILL hardly did anything, ha! I’d had plans to do some blog shooting with a friend on Friday but when I woke up that morning it was like a mini polar vortex had swept in over night and I made the executive decision that NOPE, we were not going to stand outside all day in the freezing cold, taking pictures of one another.

OH – another little exciting thing happened this week for me…but you’ll have to wait til Tuesday’s blog post to find out about that. Heh heh heh. Don’t’cha hate when someone says, “I have a surprise for you…but I’m not going to tell you what it is” ??

Here’s hoping for a more productive week ahead! Did you guys get as set-back with the time change as I did??

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??

2017 Plus Size Fall Haul #1 (with video!)

I finally bit the bullet and purchased some new plus size fall wardrobe items online…and I thought I’d share with you my thoughts about the items I got.

I purchased items from online shopping sites: Full Beauty/Woman Within/Jessica London, Forever 21, Asos, Thred-Up, Rainbow Shops, Gwynnie Bee and Old Navy. These are all in size 2x or 3x. It wasn’t such a successful shop and most of the items have already been returned…and as soon as I get all my refunds I’ll give it another try.

I rant a bit about spending money on “basics,” when they’re really so simple and invisible…and about brands using inconsistent sizing.

I apologize for it being SO so long. I considered cutting it in half and doing a Part 1 and Part 2, but….let’s just move on with it, shall we?

I spent almost the entire day last Saturday recording this fall haul; this vlog stuff has a steep learning curve! It took me so long, by the last couple of outfits the video is so dark you can barely see the color of the items I’m wearing! I also committed the cardinal sin of videoing, which is filming in portrait orientation (instead of landscape) – GAH! I’m having some video/photography challenges in the new apartment still, so bear with me while I get my space and lighting figured out!

If you have any questions about the items, please comment here or in the comments section underneath the video.

Cardigans Are a Girl’s Best Friend

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!

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Aforementioned hip bumps…not quite as evident in the photo, but trust me, they’re there.

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And tummy…

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But with the cardigan all that just disappears…

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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! 

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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.

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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…

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What I Wore:

  • Karen Kane floral dress via Gwynnie Bee, 24
  • Old Navy black duster cardigan, 2x
  • Hat from Headcovers Unlimited

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 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?

Week in Review: Week 59

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

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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.

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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.

Just Keepin’ It Real

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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…

What I’m Wearing:

Exmas Eve

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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??

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I love watching the kids open their gifts.

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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.

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The universal sign for DON’T. TAKE. MY. PICTURE. Not hard to guess whose sister SHE is.

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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.

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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.

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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.

What I’m Wearing:

PS – This is not a sponsored post. No one’s paying me or sending me pretty pretty presents to say nice things.