Thursday, August 16, 2018

Embroidery Love

I can't resist some good embroidery! When I saw LuLaRoe's newest release - the Deanne II - I was in love. It's a sheer embroidered maxi dress, so you can layer it over whatever you wish. I already had a few black maxi dresses so I was all set! You could use a shorter dress or even a tank and leggings (or tank and jeans). 
There are so many gorgeous patterns out there, but I was drawn to this one almost immediately. It reminded me of an embroidered dress from Anthropologie I lusted after last year - same color palette and types of flowers. I ordered it from a consultant in my home state of Wisconsin - love supporting the local ladies when I can! When I got it, I was so happy with it. 
I usually don't have problem with things being too long on me, but this one was a bit. There is a seam at the waist where there would be an opportunity to adjust the length professionally (so that you don't lose the pretty hem). But, I just belted it and pulled the fabric up a bit, creating a "blousy" look on top. I am feeling okay with that fix for the moment.
I remember owning a few similar dresses in the early 2000's....... I wish I had pictures of me in them just to look back on, so I guess that's one benefit of this blog..... it's like I am documenting my history. Of course I remember big life events, but I am also someone who remembers weird details about insignificant days. When I'm looking back on some of my posts, I can recall how I might have felt that day, how I love a particular photo location, a memory about purchasing an item, etc..... Today I was thinking that this dress deserves more than Arby's drive thru for lunch! LOL! Such is the life of a busy working Mom!
If there is one thing I know about this season of my life, it's that I can have my highest highs and lowest lows all within the same day. Every day. Some days the only person who can make you happy is YOU! So buy the special dresses and WEAR them! Even if you're just going to the Arby's drive thru.......


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When a Plan Comes Together

When I buy things, I usually have several ideas on how to wear them right away. But sometimes I buy something because I like it and know I will figure it out later. That was the case with this jean jacket and necklace. The jean jacket I bought back in the Spring..... a jean jacket is classic and I couldn't resist the peacock embroidery. While colorful, I just wasn't finding anything in my closet that I liked with it so it has sat for months.
The necklace I bought just last week. I went on a field trip with my son to a museum in Detroit, and I had a little time to kill before meeting the group. I was thrilled to see that The Peacock Room (recently talked about here) and their sister store Frida was only 2 blocks away from the museum! FINALLY I was going to get to go to these store in person. And they did not disappoint! All of the clothing and accessories are so thoroughly selected at different price points. I really restrained myself and only bought this necklace at Frida as a reminder of my trip. It caught my eye, but again I had no idea what I was going to wear with it. 
Over the weekend, I went to a LuLaRoe sale at my local consultants home. She had this peacock feather Carly that I knew had to be mine. As soon as I saw the purple and mustard yellow, I immediately thought of the colors in the peacock jacket. This is my fourth Carly and it's the most worn style of my LLR dresses. They are just so versatile and comfortable!
So I knew I was going to wear the dress and jacket together, and then I saw the necklace with it's wood beads and creamy white accents was perfect! The colors of this outfit will transition into Fall perfectly - I would just trade out the sandals for booties.
It seems to be more fun when an outfit comes together like this - unplanned. It can take months, it can take years. Buy what you love and trust that it will come together!
Jean Jacket - Aeropostale
Carly Dress - LuLaRoe
Necklace - Frida
Sandals - Rockport
Sunglasses - Target


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cross Stitch & Afterpay

By now, you know I like crochet clothing (granny square pattern to be exact)...... I like embroidered patches sewn onto clothes....... and now I am here to confess that I adore cross stitch! Yep, it's safe to say that if it has a handmade and vintage vibe to it I am into it. I used to cross stitch when I was pre-teen! 
When I saw this peacock jacket at Urban Outfitters, my jaw dropped. I knew it had to be mine. I also had recently noticed that my favorite shopping site - Anthropologie - and its sister store(s) Urban Outfitters and Free People  - had started to offer a new service called Afterpay. After reading the details (4 equal payments, each 2 weeks apart, no interest or fees) I decided to try it out. It seemed silly not to! You just choose Afterpay at checkout, and after a few additional clicks you are all set to go! Whatever means you sign up to pay with, will automatically be deducted in the two week intervals. They send you a reminder a few days before, as you can incur fees if the payment doesn't go through. 
You can check out the Afterpay website to see what other retailers are currently participating. I haven't tried it on any other sites, but I know the Anthro family of stores requires a $35 or more purchase to use it. It got me to thinking, with how retailers are suffering and constantly having to compete, this is a genius way to attract more shoppers. Just this year alone we are seeing the closing of Toys R Us and Younkers stores. I wonder who is next. Back to this service though, I am curious to know how it works with returns and/or price adjustments. Maybe I will find out soon.
Back to the jacket, it is so well made.... it is a thick cotton canvas like material and the stitching is so beautiful! It is an oversized fit, due to the dolman sleeves, but I will be thankful for that in cooler months when I want to wear bulkier layers. There is nothing I hate worse than feeling constricted in outerwear! Pairing it with all of my oldies but goodies!
Rock & Republic High Roller Jeans - Kohl's
Sonoma Shell - Kohl's
Sandals - Payless
Sunglasses - Target
Necklace - Francesca's


Friday, August 3, 2018

High End Hippie

I would definitely describe my main style as "boho". I love loose and flowy. I love print and texture. I love anything handmade or that looks handmade. I shop, or find my inspiration, at stores like Anthropologie, Free People, Johnny Was, Spell and the Gypsy. But man, the prices sometimes!?!?!? And for what you are getting too!?!?! I mean, have you ever seen a rack of Free People clothes at Nordstrom Rack? It looks like it belongs in the most unorganized Goodwill store! No way is a thin, worn looking thermal shirt worth $90 dollars, so that's what kills me is that the image is supposed to be "hippie" but there is no way a hippie could ever afford their clothes. 
Some pieces..... some pieces though are truly beautiful and worth it. I saw this dress on Pinterest last year and was smitten. The peacocks caught my eye at first, but then I fell in love with the bright floral print. I tracked it down to find out it's the Hotel Paradiso dress by Spell and the Gypsy. Yeah, outta my price range and sold out in most cases. Then I started seeing copies but was leery about buying one, fearing it would be a flop. Until one day when I opened my daily Zulily email and I saw the dress. My Zulily purchases are usually good so I decided to go for it, and for $24.99 it was a steal!
I was really pleased with the quality and fit when I got it, even though I have a wear a black tank under it for modesty. Off topic, it reminds me of the Day of the Dead holiday. Or going salsa dancing? That's probably one of the reasons I was drawn to it because I love Day of the Dead and Halloween! I was thinking if I ever needed a last minute costume, I could throw this on, put some flowers in my hair, and paint my face like a skull!
Dress : Zulily
Necklace : Loft
Sandals : Rockport
Sunglasses : Target





Thursday, August 2, 2018

Bric-a-Brac

Since I've always been a creative person, I am really attracted to clothing that has unique details. This dress caught my eye because of the ribbon and tassel trims! It also looked like it was going to be a really easy and comfy Summer dress. It has just enough fit and just enough flare for my body type. The color combo..... the thick straps...... just all wins in my book.
Unfortunately, it is sold out now, but if you search "Zara multicoloured trims" on sites like eBay or Poshmark, you should be able to find it. Pairing it here with oldies but goodies...... jean jacket from TJ Maxx, sunglasses from Target, and Rockport sandals from a few years ago.





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Light Layers

 When I do a more personal post, like yesterday, I have a hard time because I feel like I am not expressing everything I want to say. It's all in my head, but it's hard to get it out the right way. So I may revisit that post/topic at a later time. In the meantime? Some crochet!!! Earlier this season I did a post about how crochet was here to stay. Whether it's mass retailed, or a thoughtful personal gift, I just can't seem to get enough yarn clothing!
Some of the items in that crochet post are now going on sale. I nabbed this little top when Anthro was having an extra 40% off sale recently. Knowing that these pieces require layers, I've first paired it over a burgundy shell. I am excited to play around with other ways to wear it. The weather has been absolutely perfect lately for light layers!
Sonoma Shell : Kohl's
Rock & Republic High Roller Jeans : Kohl's
Sandals : Payless
Sunglasses : Target



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review & Thoughts : Good Luck With That, Dietland, I Feel Pretty

I recently had the chance to read Good Luck With That by Kristen Higgins before it hits the shelves in August. It's the story of 3 girls who meet at "fat camp" and remain lifelong friends. Now adults, one of them passes away due to her weight. Her final wish is for her two friends to complete the list of goals they wrote up at camp all those years ago. Going outside of their comfort zones, they work through how their lifelong struggle with weight has affected their lives. Both having two different types of family dynamics, it was interesting and encouraging to see these women find their own paths to happiness.
 
On a similar note, I have not read Dietland by Sarai Walker (yet), but I am enjoying the show by the same name on AMC. I was immediately immersed in these characters. The season finale was last night, so if you haven't watched it yet it is now bingeable (no pun intended)! The series started off revolving around weight/beauty standards but then at the end the main focus, I felt, was around the #metoo movement as Plum herself gets assaulted. Here is a summary below:
 
Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you'’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

But when Plum notices she’s being followed by a mysterious woman in colorful tights and combat boots, she finds herself falling down a rabbit hole into the world of Calliope House, a community of women who live life on their own terms. Reluctant but intrigued, Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.

Part coming-of-age story, part revenge fantasy, Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight-loss obsession from the inside out— and with fists flying.
 
On yet another similar note, I watched the movie I Feel Pretty this weekend. Similar to Dietland, Amy Shumer's character works "behind the scenes" at a popular fashion magazine (supporting the website in the basement to be exact). She envies all of the size zeros at headquarters and in her spin class. During one spin class in particular, she falls and hits her head. When she comes to, she "sees" herself as one of these size zeros even though nothing has changed. She starts taking risks and going after what she wants with her new found confidence. Everyone in her life already knows and loves her for who she is, and is confused by her new personality. She has another mishap and realizes her looks never changed. Distraught at first, she soon realizes how amazing she has always been and always will be.
 
These books, show, and movie have brought up a lot of thoughts for me so I thought I would share them as I am sure we can all relate. Not just about weight loss but also about society's expectations of beauty. My blog consists of 95% fashion, meaning, pictures of me in clothes. Is it because I enjoy posting pictures of myself? No. But I love sharing my shopping experiences and I know personally I would rather see clothes on a real person. I don't edit my photos to make myself look better, but, you can bet your bottom dollar I know how to stand or angle my face so that I "look skinnier". And even in doing that there are many photos I am not happy with but post anyway for the sake of getting something published (and for keeping it real)! I am currently the heaviest I have ever been, and some might scoff at that statement. In comparing Amy's underwear clad body to mine in her movie, we pretty much look alike! I know Amy is a comedian, and making fun of herself is something she does, but she is basically putting out the message that how she looks is fat and unattractive. I remember she caught some flack for this when the movie first came out. I, personally, think Amy is gorgeous - but does the rest of society not think so? If that is the case, then is the same thought about me?
 
I guess what I am trying to get at with all of this rambling is, I hate feeling like this. Ever since having baby #2, I haven't felt "like myself". It's a combination of a lot of things, but my body is playing a huge part in it. And honestly, it's not about what size I wear or what I look like (otherwise, I probably still wouldn't be blogging).... It's not about selling off beloved pieces of clothing that I painstakingly collected for years because it no longer fits...... it's also about pain. Pain I have not had previously. Fatigue. Moodiness. Skin problems. Worrying about my long term health. And the small sampling of entertainment I have recapped here further reinforces the issue of weight. Does entertainment like this help or hurt body image? The most important take away for me is that body image is being portrayed in interesting and thought provoking ways. And I love that women are banding together more than ever to conquer many, many, many issues! Jennifer Lives!