I was planning on posting this month all about my average eating plan, my exercise regime and maybe adding a recipe or two, but what is that old saying about the best laid plans? The first week of this month ended up thrown completely off with not one, but TWO graduations for my youngest son, vo-tech graduation at the beginning of the week followed by his regular high school graduation at the end of the week. In between, of course, being filled with rehearsals and picking up of this and dropping off of that and all the what not that signals the end of a long and glorious school career. Then we topped off the week by leaving the very next morning after graduation to celebrate the wedding of our nephew in beautiful Cape May, New Jersey. My whole life I had never been a “beach person”, but then I set foot in this absolutely charming town and I was hooked! It was a beautiful wedding and a fabulous weekend! I had a great time “boogie-ing” the afternoon away with my sister-in-law – even though we were often the only people on the
dance floor! But, by the time my bottom hit the seat in that car for the trip home, I was out cold! What a wonderfully exhausting week!
What was my excuse for not tracking my food and exercise for you this week? This week old age took over and I had to have a “procedure” done – lucky me! This requires me to eat a COMPLETELY off my normal eating plan for two days – white bread, crackers, white potatoes, rice and cereal… I have felt absolutely gross! Bloated, headaches, extra tired… And then – nothing but clear liquids. (I’m STARVED, by the way!) So, I guess next month we’ll have to re-visit the eating plan idea.Continue reading
Ruby lay still upon her bed, afraid to take even a deep breath for fear it would awaken the enemy and her mission would be blown. Silently, deep into the night, she waited until she knew the others had fallen asleep. She slid one foot carefully from her lower bunk, …
My Next Thirty Years by Tim Mc Graw I think I’ll take a moment to celebrate my age End of an era and the turning of a page Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here Lord have mercy on my next thirty years… Maybe some …
Imagine with me if you will traversing scorching desert, blistering heat, climbing mountainous heights, fighting through the dangers of the jungle for two long – torturous weeks and then finally, FINALLY discovering that spot, that giant X. Digging for hours on end and hitting that solid object! The box! Your treasure chest! You found the chest! You don’t know what’s inside, but you know it’s going to be wonderful!
That’s EXACTLY what happened to me this week! Ok, well, kind of… sort of… in my mind it felt like it! For me, it was two long, torturous weeks of pacing back and forth to my front window waiting and waiting for the mailman to arrive with my Thrift Box from Designing from My Closet! And when it arrived, let me tell you, I truly felt like I had found a treasure chest!
For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you probably saw me post about the Thrift Box, it’s anticipated arrival and my excitement when it got here. But, for those of you who don’t, or who missed those posts, let me fill you in. The Thrift Box is a wonderful service offered by Janeane from the blog Designing from My Closet. Janeane is a professional interior designer turned professional stylist. She offers a variety of styling services, but the Thrift Boxes are one of her newest. For a very reasonable fee of $100 she will be your personal shopper, but at Thrift Stores. (I am a HUGE fan of thrift shopping!) For your $100 you will receive sufficient items to create 3 styled looks, created by Janeane, a style sheet from Janeane, Janeane’s personal shopping and styling service (something most of us can’t normally imagine affording) and your shipping is included in the cost, as well. I was so excited by this service, I couldn’t wait to try it out!Continue reading
“Oh the weather outside is frightful…” and it certainly is! mid-March and I’m staring out the window at a blur of white as far as my eyes can see! But, my heart is NOT singing “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”! I’m more of the the “winter you had your chance and blew it – move along now!” mind set. Frankly, that’s not even true. Honestly, I’m more of a “winter if I never, ever have to see you as long as I live, except in other people’s pictures, I’d be perfectly happy” kind of person! So, no, I’m not one of those disgustingly cheerful people on Facebook today posting “yippee, snow” pictures and taking their kids and grandkids out to play in the piles of frigid fluff. I’ll just sit here at my computer with my cup of tea, my blanket and my Morkie, groaning mournfully each time I look out the window and dream of Spring!Continue reading
“Maybe Daddy just went to be with Jesus.” Those words spoken by my angelic five year old pierced my heart like an arrow. Not because of the shock of them, but because of their truth. The words spoken so casually and matter of factly by little Heather, as we raced …
It’s just two weeks from your “blessed event”, the nursery is decorated, diapers are stacked neatly in piles, baby clothes are collected and sorted. You are out for what could be one final quiet day of shopping alone before your precious little one arrives. But, then SHE appears. We all …
Melissa raced into her room, slamming the door behind her. It was too much! It was all just too much! Throwing herself onto the bed, tears fell from her eyes like the torrents of rain from the clouds outside her window. It was as if even the heavens could feel her pain and wept along with her.Continue reading
When does it start, our love of clothing, of fashion, of style? Is it the first time we see Red Riding Hood’s cape, Cinderella’s glass slipper or Dorothy’s ruby slippers? (Ahhhh, what is it about a great pair of shoes….) Is it the first time we play dress up with our mom’s old clothes or rummage through her jewelry box? Who can say for sure. Though you can find the occasional woman who just doesn’t care at all about beauty or fashion, for me, I’m sure I came out of the womb critiquing whether or not the doctor’s scrubs clashed with the nurse’s!
Since the onset of the internet, one of my favorite ways to feed my inner fashionista has been fashion blogs – and there are some wonderful ones out there! Pick a style and there is one to meet all of your fashionista-ing needs – whatever they may be. Into vintage clothing? There’s a blog for that. Plus size? There’s a blog for that. Extra, extra petite? There’s a blog for that. Over 40 or 50 or 60? There’s a blog for that! Into Gothic? There’s a blog for that? Into conservative modest fashion? There’s a blog for that! Into over 50 boho? Believe it or not, there’s a blog for that! Get as general or as specific as you want, and there’s a fashion blog for you!
But, I have to admit, one of my favorite blogs, one of my “I never miss a post” blogs is Designingfrom MyCloset run by the lovely Janeane Pittman! Janeane is an Interior Designer turned Fashion Stylist, and there is nothing about her or her style that I have not fallen in love with. Her style transcends age or size, and seems to have something that would appeal to everyone. So, when Janeane recently offered a week long DesignfromYourClosetStyleChallenge Course, you can bet I signed up as quickly as I could! And, I was not disappointed!
The premise of the course is to teach you to be able to go into your own closet and put together an attractive and stylish outfit… without the stress, without the bemoaning “I have nothing to wear” and without the inevitable piles of clothes lying all over your bed! All of this using the clothes you alreadyown. No shopping required! (Though I admit to breaking this rule! But, with GOOD REASON! more on this later…)
Day 1 started out with what on the surface seemed like a simple challenge. Go into your closet and find your five favorite pieces. These didn’t have to be just “clothing” pieces, they could also include shoes, jewelry and other accessories. Though it was still technically summer, we were working with our upcoming fall wardrobes. This is what eventually led to my “unauthorized”, but understood and forgiven, shopping trip! As I looked through my fall “wardrobe” – and I use that term loosely – I realized I basically didn’t have one. My recent weight loss journey started when? Last fall! The vast majority of my fall clothes no longer fit! (I know you all feel really sorry for me. I can feel your sympathy coming through the screen!) The few clothes I had were random little items I had picked up at thrift shops throughout the summer when I’d see them drastically reduced and had never even been worn. So, not only did I have very few clothes to work with, but I definitely had no “favorites”. But, I muddled through and put my group of clothes together and uploaded my picture. Janeane then used our pictures to get a “feel” for our fashion style. Interestingly, I had never been able to pin down my own fashion style because it tends to be all over the place. Like my taste in music, books and most everything else – I like a little bit of everything! But, Janeane proved with me, as well as with everyone else, to have wonderful instincts when it came to reading people and their clothing choices, therefore, I was dubbed “Eclectic Edgy”! I loved it! That is absolutely me and I owned it right away.
Day 2 Janeane armed us with perhaps one of the most powerful weapons I have ever been handed in my style “aresenal” – The Outfit Formula. A simple, but outrageously helpful, formula for putting together an outfit that looks polished and “complete”. Our Challenge for that day was to put together two outfits using that formula and using at least one piece from our “favorites” list from the day before. This was one of my favorite days and challenges as things started to really start getting creative – AND FUN! I came up with two outfits that I was very happy with, and I got some great feedback on them from the other ladies in the group!
By Day 3, Janeane was taking us into more complicated waters, teaching us how to work with Prints, Colors and Textures and how to combine them . For our Challenge that day we had to put together an outfit still using The Outfit Formula but also using a combination of print, color and texture and explain how we used it. This was one of my favorite outfits, as well as one of Mr. T’s!
Day 4’s Challenge was really an interesting one! Janeane pointed out that we all have some items in our closet that we just NEVER wear – be it clothing, jewelry, or some other accessory. She challenged us to put together an outfit, using, of course, the concepts we’d already learned – the Formula + print, color, texture – using an “unused” item. I chose a fabulous pair of Betsey Johnson earrings that Mr. T had gotten me for Christmas one year, but that are such a statement piece in and of themselves, that it’s hard to find things to go with them. Not only was I able to find something to wear them with, but I got some wonderful suggestions from other members of the group of things I could wear with these great earrings!
Day 5 was actually one of my most challenging days. Our lesson for that day was working with color more in depth than we had previously, working with the color wheel and 4 main color schemes. Our challenge, to pick one of these color schemes and put together an outfit. Here I really began to see where the holes in my wardrobe exist. I began to see where, as I had been rebuilding post-weight loss, I had been neglecting my wardrobe and where I had been leaning too heavily. I really struggled to find a color scheme in which I had all the elements. In the end, I finally found something I was relatively happy with and that got a good response from my fellow course-mates.
Day 6 and 7 were both “easier” days for me. Challenge 6 asked us to find our ultimate work outfit. Being a stay-at-home mom, in some ways, left the field wide open for me. Sure there are days where scrubbing toilets and floors fills my day and so sweats or yoga pants are my uniform. But, there are many days when I’m out running errands, going to appointments or shopping and
I enjoy making sure I look my best. I chose to do 2 outfits for that challenge, simply because I do skirts/dresses as much as I do pants, so I felt this gave a more realistic representation of my day.
For Day 7 Janeane made it a little more special – we were asked to put together an Occasion Outfit. Well, for any of you who have been reading my blog, you can probably guess what outfit I chose… my Tahari dress, of course! With a little added bling, a velvet clutch and a bolero jacket for warmth, I think it showed very nicely!
And then the week was over. And I was sad, truly sad. I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve spent in awhile. Yes, I’ll admit, I love to play with clothes, and I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of it. But it was more than that. It was the learning, the creative outlet, the friendships built with the wonderful women who joined me in the course, the level of self-understanding that came throughout the week.
From a purely style perspective, Janeane, completely hit her objective on the head! I did come away with an understanding of how to work within my closet. Her formula, which is so universal, working for young, old, plus size, petite, functioning completely independent of style taste, as well as the other charts she gave us, have become an invaluable part of my everyday routine. They cut my time, and my frustration, in half because I’m not just “eye-balling” an outfit or going on my intuition as to whether something looks good or works well as an outfit, but I have an actual formula to look at and say “yes, this, this and this work together”. It’s freeing – energizing! And it’s liberated my shopping. I’ve always thought of myself as a “good” shopper. I certainly know and can find a bargain. But NOW I know and understand my wardrobe so much better. I know what it needs. I know what I need to make it work, so that when I shop, I shop intelligently. Facing now this new page in my life, my “post-surgery” life, as I’ve been re-building my wardrobe, this course has helped me to stop and think about what image I truly want to portray with my wardrobe. It’s helped me to step out more confidently, knowing that I have the tools it takes to make the right choices FOR ME and that I know how to use those tools!
This is a “beginners” course. It takes no special skills or knowledge or abilities when it comes to fashion, just a desire to learn. For anyone who may be interested, I know that Janeane will be starting another round of this course on October 2. Please, check her out at https://designingfrommycloset.com/