Week in Review: Week 77

It was a decidedly NOT exciting week. I missed a couple days of work for not feeling well…there so many different side effects to chemo that every day can be something different. But…halfway through. I’m SO looking forward to just FEELING WELL again after all this nonsense.

The daily headwear is a fun distraction. I have quite a collection of scarves now, thanks to friends and coworkers, and things I’d saved of my mother’s…and a couple hats. I’m kind of a spazz about tying them so so far it’s a pretty basic – kerchief look or this sort of scrub cap look. This one’s a lot of fun, sort of boho hippie with elephants on it.

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This was the whole outfit. I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting “outfit of the day” on Instagram. I can’t wait to be in the new apartment and not surrounded by boxes!

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This is the cutest hat that my sister sent me from Headcovers Unlimited, I think it looks sort of 20’s flapperish. A co-worker said I was looking very Great Gatsby-ish. I’ll take that!

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I tried on some baseball caps at Charlotte Russe. I don’t like that they come up so high on the sides. I passed. I know I could wear it over a bandana kerchief but now that’s more effort and more HEAT. I love getting in my car at the end of the whatever and taking the head thing OFF and letting the ac blast on my bare scalp – woohoeee!

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Yeah. Making myself eat (and drink) enough is a challenge. HOW AM I NOT SKINNY?!? Anyway, I receive many lectures about this so when I saw this adulting sticker I knew I needed to have it 🙂

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A friend gave me this silk scarf. I love the roses and want lipstick to match.

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I did feel well enough one evening to have dinner with friends then go to the beach. They walked to the lighthouse to look for bucks…and I dragged my chair literally like 6′ onto the sand from the parking lost and just sat there and breathed the good air. Til I was freezing. Then I left.

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Had a very pink shopping trip.

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More lecturing pushed me to try Crystal Light in water in hopes I would drink more. Nope. I’ll keep trying. How can eating and drinking enough be the hardest part of cancer?

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And yesterday we had a new awesome work event at Great South Brewery – the two young women who put this event together did an AMAZING job. I was there photographing the fun but didn’t last that long. And after that I was DONE. Was in bed by 7:30, down for the count.

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Well, THAT was the most boring blog post ever! Ha, sorry, folks 🙂 This week coming up is PACKING, more trips to the new place to move stuff, and a kooky fun activity Wednesday that I’ll share next weekend.

What Did I Buy?! Plus BKLYN

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Me, owner Alexis Krase and Marcy Cruz

It’s my last week of radiation – yay. It’s a good thing, too, cuz at this point I am beaten down. Life is pretty much work, treatment, home to lay down. But this past weekend I dragged myself up and out, picked up my buddy Marcy, and headed into Brooklyn to a new plus size boutique I’ve been seeing all over social media called Plus Bklyn.

Plus Bklyn is a funky little shop at 455 Graham Ave., Williamsburg, that caters to trendy ladies from size 14-26. Owner Alexis Krase and colleague Ivy were so charming and hospitable when we visited. We tried on bunches of fun things – there were dresses, tops, bathing suits, sunglasses, bags, jewelry and so much more!

So let’s play What Did I Buy?!

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Junarose, size 24
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Junarose, size 22
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Magical Unicorn dress, size 24

What do y’all think?

It’s so nice to have a new in-person plus-size shopping destination, I’ll definitely be back!

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

More Gratitude

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Wow, it was fun doing a shoot again! I’ve had messages from several people saying not to worry about the blog and just focus on feeling better, but the blog is a really good distraction for me right now. I can’t just think about CANCER all the time – and believe me, it’s always trying to take the top position in my brain. I’m guessing the time may come during treatment when I. Just. Can’t. But for now, while I can…I love doing it.

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But I *am* lucky to have people who care enough to tell me to take care of myself. So…I’m feeling a gratitude post coming on!

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I’m SO grateful to all the wonderful people who have been there for me – emotionally, physically, transportationally 🙂 I generally live a pretty solitary life and I always worried about when I got “old and sick” (not that this is THAT, but…) how I was going to manage on my own…but people haven’t even made me have to figure that out. They’ve just been right there for me every step of the way. And that’s been really nice.

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I’m grateful that I had a pretty quick and easy recovery from surgery. Sure, I had a couple bad days in there, but for the most part I think it went pretty well. A month out and I’m feeling pretty much normal. The doctor initially didn’t want me to go back to work for six weeks! But this is my second week back and it’s all good.

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I’m grateful I found a dress to fit, ha! All my swelling has gone down, 20 pounds worth, gah, and I’m back in my normal clothes. This is a Gwynnie Bee dress, it’s cute, right?? I wanted something a little bright and springy and this definitely fit the bill. I love a dress with a slip layer and an outer layer like this – it keeps everything looking very smooth. It’s sleeveless but down by the water last night it was breezy and chilly so I wore it with this longline cardigan and some new chestnutty-brown flats. I have to see if I can pull out the insole and replace it with an arch support insert because otherwise GAHHHH!!!

I’m SO grateful that spring finally seems to be here! I feel I handle the cold less and less well every year and I’ve been really anxious for some COMFORTABLE (not HOT, but…) weather. And this week has been that – comfortable – and I’m appreciating the heck out of it. I’m grateful to be able to wear dresses with bare legs! Tights are the devil’s work.

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I’m grateful to My Friend Who Shall Remain Nameless for taking these pictures. I’m grateful for so many scenic places on Long Island to shoot!

I’m grateful that I’m remembering to be grateful. That has not always been my strong suit, so…yeah. If nothing else good comes out of all this, at least there’s that.

What I’m Wearing:

Weeks in Review: 54-58

Yeah, one of these days I’ll get back on track with regular weekly Week in Reviews. This year continues to just be Crazytown. I can’t believe it is April 1…and yet it is. February and March are dead to me. But let’s get caught up and hope for a better week!

I spent 15 days in the hospital between February & March. This was surreal and not so much fun…

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Except for…gifties and flowers and balloons and visits…

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…and a daughter who snuck in special treats…

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so we could have a little St. Patrick’s Day fun.

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When I was FINALLY released I discovered she (daughter) had gotten me a nice new bed set…what a pleasure to sleep in after the scratchy hospital sheets.

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I had some packages waiting at home for me – things I’d ordered before all this nonsense began. I’d been excited for this cute grey and white striped tee dress from Lane Bryant but it was kind of gigundo and I’ve returned it. Still on the lookout for soft comfy clothes for spring and summer.

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As soon as I was up to a little outing we drove to a nearby beach for a short sunset stroll. I’d missed seeing this.

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Janey has been thoroughly enjoying my surgery recovery time. For many days in a row I was just horizontal on the sofa from morning til night. Having sofa company pleased her no end.

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I had some more unpleasant news from the doctor this past week when they got the pathology report from my surgery. In a nutshell, they did *not* get all the cancer out with the hysterectomy. I have now been diagnosed with Stage 3 Uterine cancer and they’re recommending radiation and then chemotherapy. I’m getting a second opinion but I’m not expecting to hear anything radically different from the original recommendation. This doesn’t feel like my life. And yet….

Work sent me these flowers that day. And yes, Work Family, I COULD use a drink.

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The doctor cleared me for work and driving so I went and got a haircut. I went to a nutritionist to hear about things to eat and/or avoid during chemo.

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And yesterday I had the nicest day I’ve had in ages…just being NORMAL…a wonderful friend picked me up for a drive to the ocean…and in spite of the wind and rain, it was just so nice to be out of the apartment, not doing anything health related. I really value a day like that.

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So. I go back to work Monday. I think I worked 9 days in February (between snow days, the Maine adventure, winter break and being in the hospital) and like 2 days in March. I’ll have a couple normalish weeks now and then I start my treatments. So I’ll be here when I can. I miss the blog. I miss planning outfit posts. But against my will (ha) other things are pushing their way to the top of the list.

Hope you all have a great week.

PS – I just realized it’s April Fool’s Day. I wish this post was an April Fool’s joke…but it’s not.

xoxo Bettye

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:

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: