All Aboard to New York City

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It’s funny, whenever I’m anywhere else and someone asks me where I live and I say New York, they always immediately assume New York CITY. I try to explain that NY is very large and diverse with beaches and mountains and farmland and suburbs…and that Manhattan, “The City,” is a VERY small part of it. They never buy it. They have their perception of what New York is like and they’re sticking to it no matter what *I* say.

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I think we all have perceptions and assumptions about places…and people…that are unfounded in anything other than our own minds and imaginations filling in gaps. I know my mind, especially, is prone to filling in gaps. Like, if you hear a description of someone without seeing a picture of them, your mind creates a picture FOR you! At least mine does. I don’t know if everyone’s does. That can be dangerous because it creates impossible expectations.

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I’m sort of going to the dark place today, sorry about that! This dress got me thinking about New York City with its great graphic print. Some might call it busy. I call it CAMOUFLAGE!!! A busy pattern does a great job of concealing lumps and bumps because it hides shadows and highlights. Your eye is drawn to the pattern. In a solid dress, fat rolls create highlights and shadows that are easily seen. I’m not saying you should feel ashamed of them and try to conceal your body…I *am* saying that some outfits create a little magic…and who doesn’t like a little magic worked on them once in a while!

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This is another Gwynnie Bee dress, designed by one of their house brands, Isabel & Alice. It’s called the NYC Belted Shift Dress. I had fun wearing it one time with this distressed denim jacket from Target. The outfit was just right for the touch of fall we’ve experienced so far.

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Whenever my daughter shoots my outfit there’s at least one shot with me throwing my hands up in the air. Those of you with Daughters Who Know Everything will know what I’m talking about.

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But fortunately there’s usually one of these, too. And life goes on.

Do you think you might like to try Gwynnie Bee? It’s a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. And the first month is FREE! If you want to give it a try (and you know you want to), just click the banner ad below. I’ve been a member for almost 2 years and it has helped me on the road to finding my fashion style because I can try so many different things without filling up my closet or emptying out my bank account!

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If you do join through this affiliate link, I will get a small commission (thank you!). But I wouldn’t recommend the company if I didn’t REALLY love them (and I do).

What I’m Wearing

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Boho: To Be or Not to Be

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This item is part of an ongoing personal exercise in “I like this style THEORETICALLY, but I just don’t Feel Like ME in it.” I’ve mentioned several times that I really like the boho hippie style. But I’m coming to realize that there’s a big difference between LIKING a style…and feeling RIGHT in it. And I’m finally really tightening my purchasing editing – I can LIKE things without BUYING them…because they’re just not right for me. I’m grateful for a rental service like Gwynnie Bee because I can wear items for a day that I liked the looks of…and decide over time, not just in a few minutes in a dressing room, whether or not I feel good in them.

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This colorful high-low vest from Hemant & Nandita was fun to wear one time. It was floaty and swirly. It made a great topper over simple jeans and a tee and served to elevate the basic outfit.

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Do you like trying things outside your comfort zone? I think it’s fun now and then…and helps me narrow down what my style *really* is. I’m getting there!

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Do you think you might like to try Gwynnie Bee? It’s a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. And the first month is FREE! If you want to give it a try (and you know you want to), just click the banner ad below. I’ve been a member for almost 2 years and I never stick with *anything*!

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If you do join through this affiliate link, I will get a small commission. But I wouldn’t recommend the company if I didn’t REALLY love them (and I do).

What I’m Wearing:

I Wore the Same Dress to Work All Week…and the World Didn’t End

I don’t even think anyone noticed! Maybe the girls I share an office with *noticed,* but they’re both too nice to say anything 🙂  But I do think the point is that maybe we don’t need as many clothes as we think we do – unless you wear really striking or outrageous things, most people don’t even really notice.

I wore the invisible black dress (MAN am I getting my money’s worth of that thing!!!) all week to work (granted it was a 4-day work week due to Labor Day Monday, but I wore the dress Monday, too – I just don’t have a picture), just accessorized differently every day. So the OUTFIT looked different even though the base was the same. And I did wash it in the sink Wednesday night…not that I’m rolling around in the dirt at work (usually), but I do spill food on myself a lot (I call my boobs “food catchers,” cuz that’s where stuff ends up).

And WHY did I do this, really? After a week’s vacation, one of the most annoying things to think about when returning to work is “WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR???” And I just thought it would be so lovely to wear my favorite, most comfortable, easiest to accessorize dress every day, so I thought I’d do this little experiment and see if anyone noticed, said anything, whatever. And it was a success!

Tuesday I wore the dress sleeveless with black floral sandals.

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Wednesday I wore a thrifted flax linen shirt over top.

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Thursday was Kimono #1 with a druzy pendant necklace from Charming Charlie.

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And Friday was Kimono #2 and flats

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So, the next time you’re in a quandary about what to wear and you’re tempted to wear an item from the day before…trust me, no one’s going to notice. Or care.

Now I’ve got to get ready to go to a fundraiser tonight…AND FIGURE OUT WHAT I’M GOING TO WEAR!!!

Plus Size Summer Outfit Review

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.

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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.

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Old Navy Pintuck Trapeze Tencel Dress 

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!

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Rachel Roy Tencel High-Low Dress

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.

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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…

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Sangria Blue Dipped Floral Dress
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Alice & You Dress in Ditsy Floral Print

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.

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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…

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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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My Week in Review: Week 24

As weeks go, this one was okay…my last week of work before VACATION (ahhh…and the angels sang from on high)…and missed two days due to kidney stone stuff…dog-sitting my landlord’s dogs while they’re in Portugal…and having evening outings with my girlfriend who’s staying with me while she looks for an apartment on Long Island.

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I went to my niece’s (really my ex’s *other* daughter, but niece is easier) 16th Birthday/Cousins Party…and got to see my baby for a bit. Isn’t she a pretty baby?? I saw a lot of my ex’s family that I haven’t seen in over 20 years. Wow.

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We went out for $2 Taco Night (but no tacos for me, just a sad pile of soggy steamed vegetables….excuse me I mean a GRILLED VEGETABLE TOWER – which is what they were calling it on the menu. Uhm…no). ANYWAY, we did a little photo-shoot beforehand along the dock…and there were DEER. I really shouldn’t be so excited, there are deer everywhere in Suffolk county (eastern half of Long Island). People refer to them as rats there are so many. But I still think they’re pretty and I still get excited to see them.

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On Tuesday I took Caleb to work with me for a little rest. He thought the deflated bounce house made a good dog bed.

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I went on a little road trip to pick up some invitations from the printer for our upcoming Wine Tasting…and saw this front yard. I’m practicing being less judgmental so I’ll just leave this here and not say a word.

I am truly a horrible person.

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Then our way to Beach Hut for $12 drinks, we stopped at my friend Jen’s house to check in on her cats Bowie and Jameson while they’re in Thailand (is everyone away but me??). Jameson made himself scarce but Bowie is my new best friend. He greeted us at the door and performed tricks for us on command.

Yes, I wear that dress A Lot.

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After two days of pain and pain-killer withdrawal, I finally felt up to a little art lesson with my friend Debbie. She’s an amazing artist. She can draw and paint ANYTHING. I can sketch a pretty decent cube. And therein ends my artistic talents. But we practiced some basic concepts like shadow and…other things. Mostly I just dipped my paint in stuff and made blobs on the paper. My favorite thing is the little blob of wavy sea grass at the bottom of the page. I might become a wavy sea grass artist. But I won’t quit my day job just yet.

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Made it back to work for The Last Day Before Vacation (cue angels), wrapped up some things I’d been working on…then to celebrate we headed down to Northport for some music in the park with snacks and wine. And iced tea. That I spilled as soon as we got there.

And now it’s Saturday and The First Actual Day of Vacation. But I’ll save that for y’all for next week.

What are *you* doing for vacation?

Oh, Deer!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

I feel like I say that a lot 🙂

Anyway, we did a quick photo shoot last night before dinner at a nearby marina…and there are deer there, too! This pic is not my favorite of me, but…DEER.

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My girlfriend Debbie has been staying with me for a little while, she’s between homes at the moment while deciding whether to return to Long Island after many many years…or to upstate New York after an absence of just a few months. Upstate seems to have many more items on the “pro” list, and yet…

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Long Island has beaches and marinas and parks and convenient shopping and roadways and it’s close to the city…and DEER. It’s a tough call. I’ve been pretty anti-Long Island for a long time because it’s not where I *really* want to be (Brooklyn), but…I have to say, after Brooklyn, it’s probably my second choice of places to live at this point in my life.

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Do you *love* where you live? Or is it just The Place You Ended Up…because that’s where your parents raised you or you or your spouse got a job or it’s where you could afford?

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Anyway…this is an easy-to-wear dress, perfect for an easy evening out with a friend. Super stretchy, loose swingy skirt. Kinda felt like a nightgown! I’m drawn to clothing that feels or looks like sleepwear. I’m my mother’s daughter.

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She’s so lovely!

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This dress is the Robbie Bee Multi Chevron Print Dress In Blue (size 3x) and I got it through my Gwynnie Bee subscription.

You can get a 30-day Free Trial with Gwynnie Bee by following the link below.

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There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you buy or join something as a result of clicking the link I get a little cash reward…at no cost to you.

The photographer du jour was my longtime friend and artist Debbie Bollman. She does amazing, animal, sport and landscape paintings. Take a look! Thanks, Debbie!

The Perfect Date Dress

Want to go out with me? Cuz I have the perfect date dress!

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What makes a good date dress? Anything that makes you feel flirty and pretty! It should be easy to wear and comfortable. No one wants to be worried about parts slipping out or having to suck your tummy in. It’s nice if it looks a *little* more special than something you’d wear to work or out with girlfriends. And I think a little bit of va-va-voom never hurts -it makes *you* feel a little sexy…and HIM feel excited and proud to be out with you. A bit of a neckline plunge, or some snugness at your hips showing off your curves, or a hemline that shows off your legs – pick one and have fun!

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This dress fills the bill for me with the bodice, the plunging v neckline and even the wide straps. It has sort of a “Marilyn Monroe standing over the heating grate” vibe to me. But then the skirt is pleated and full, very prim and proper – I like the contrast.

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I’m wearing a new bracelet I actually bought for myself (GASP). It was from a cute little “reclaimed and vintage” shop in Northport Village. I didn’t get the jewelry-maker’s card but the name of the shop is True Blue Village. They had home decor and gifts and really interesting handmade jewelry. I already know the piece I’m going to get next – maybe a birthday present to myself.

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This darling dress is the Sangria Blue Dipped Flower Dress and I got it through my Gwynnie Bee subscription.

You can get a 30-day Free Trial with Gwynnie Bee by following the link below.

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There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you buy or join something as a result of clicking the link I get a little cash reward…at no cost to you.

The photographer du jour was my longtime friend and artist Debbie Bollman. She does amazing, animal, sport and landscape paintings. Take a look! Thanks, Debbie!

 

My Week in Review: Week 22

I write with the scent of a marble pound cake baking in the oven. I haven’t baked in a LONNNG time, but I’m seeing an old friend today and this is a peace offering. So I’ve been up since dawn. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I have (so far!) No. Plans.

Last week I had a nice beach day with a friend. I like getting there before Anybody Else so I can pick The Perfect Spot and then the other 1000 people have to work around ME.

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I bought a bag. Cute right? It’s just like a fun weekend bag.

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This was on the impulse buy shelf along the check-out line at TJ Maxx. I managed to control myself and left it there.

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This week’s dress from Gwynnie Bee. Not a good fit. Sent it back, unworn. NEXT!!!

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I was getting ready for house-guests so had to make a trip to the ugh laundromat. This lil fella went along for the ride.

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Company’s here! This is Nora, 9-month-old Border Collie. You’ll be seeing a lot of her 🙂

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Made it to the end of the week and this was my reward. Ahhh.

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Thyme-garlic roasted mushrooms and asparagus. And a blackberry mojito. Goodnight.

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How was YOUR week??

 

Weightlessness

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Source: Pixabay

My favorite place to be is in the water. I especially love the ocean. I love the coolness of the water, the anonymity of it – even when there are thousands of people at beach, you’re just a faceless head bobbing in the waves. What I most love is the weightlessness of being in water.

It seems like “duh,” but it’s very “heavy” to be overweight. The pressure of the weight of your body on your legs and feet when standing, on your back and butt when sitting, and on your hips and ribs when laying down…is exhausting. Heavy. You get sore. You get tired. It is exhausting and heavy to just BE.

Being in the water is such a respite. You’re weightless. You float. You bob. There is no pressure on any part of your body. It’s cool. It’s silken. You’re LIGHT.

Even my mind relaxes as I float out just beyond the surf. I can let things go – weighty issues, heavy things weighing on my mind…and just…be…light.

It’s always a cruel shock to come out of the water, lifted by waves and carried to the shore, feet touching ground and you start walking again, supporting your own weight…and you feel heavier than before…bathing suit and hair heavy with water, struggling against the earth’s pull to keep walking forward, back to your little spot on the sand.

And I sit in my chair and wait for the next time I can be light in the water.

Multitasking Dress

I love a dress that I can take anywhere – from work, to a date (HA HA HA HA), to a fun weekend outing. This dress checks all three boxes. Plus, this print? You spill on it? No One Will Ever Know. It’s a beautiful thing.

The dress is from the new Hemant & Nandita line especially for Gwynnie Bee. Here are some of their other pieces at Nieman Marcus. I really love the boho hippie prints and colors and lightweight summery fabrics.

The dress is easy to wear, just throw a little cardi over top and it’s perfect for the office…

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For evening I would lose the cardigan and go sleeveless with a drapey necklace, some dangly earrings, and a little bling in a vintage clutch and some metallic sandals. I have a friend whose sister once told us “men like earrings that dangle and have a lot of movement,” and I’ve never forgotten that. I like that, too!

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And I would totally wear this for weekend gallery hopping in Brooklyn, with little white sneakers and a chambray shirt tied around my waist. Easy peasy!

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What I’m Wearing…

Look One

  • Hemant & Nandita dress in jewel grey print via Gwynnie Bee, size 24
  • Avenue electric salmon cardigan, old
  • Khaki Callisto platform sandals (they’re awesome! they stretch!)

Look Two

  • Hemant & Nandita dress in jewel grey print via Gwynnie Bee, size 24
  • Forever 21 green beaded necklace (old)
  • Vintage gold clutch
  • Gold Lauren Conrad flipflops from Kohls

Look Three

  • Hemant & Nandita dress in jewel grey print via Gwynnie Bee, size 24
  • Charlotte Russe Tencel chambray blouse, size 3x
  • Payless sneakers

Which is your favorite outfit?

Did you know you can get a 30-day free trial from Gwynnie Bee and have a month’s worth of different outfits to wear? I do the one-out-a-time (like Netflix) subscription and that gets me generally 4 different outfits in a month! That’s one a week! So fun! You know you want that, too! Try it…for FREE by clicking the link below…

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And just to be clear, if you do join through my link, I do get a lovely little commission from Gwynnie Bee. Everyone’s a winner!