Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When I'm Grown-Up

When I was in school, my mom kept a memory book. The book had pages for each year of school, and a place for information like favorite subject, best friend, and my favorite, "What You Want to Be When You Grow Up." Each year best friends and favorite subjects changed, but I held fast to my future aspirations. I wanted to be either a writer (wrtir) or a model (modle).

Sadly, at some point, once puberty hit, with a merciless fury, I had no shortage of people willing to tell me that I was in no way,shape, or form "model material." Although one kind soul did say I had nice hands- so I guess I could have pursued hand modeling... I read lots of bloggers who make fun of bloggers like me- who pose and "frolic" in fields. They think it's cheesy and stupid.

But for me, this is my chance to be a model. Let's face it- I am too old, too short, and too heavy to be a "real model". I enjoy scouting out places to take pictures. It's one of the things I look most forward to about summer vacation. I won't be rushed and I will be able to explore my town and surrounding towns for cool places to shoot. Well, I'm also looking forward to a break and sleeping late, but you know what I mean!!

I was really excited Saturday afternoon when Curtis, Sean and I stumbled open this rocking alley! I will be back here a lot. And I couldn't help but giggle at the name of this old department store. I'm such a teenage boy sometimes!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Like Riding a Bike...

The old adage that you never forget how to ride a bike is a load of crap.  I know this first hand.  Last year, I had a bit part in my school's production of "The Wizard of Oz". As a teen I was entirely too shy to audition for plays, but when they opened auditions for teachers in the spring productions I decided to face my fears of being in front of an audience, so I auditioned.  I was actually in two plays- both "Oz" and I played Mrs. Webb in the production of "Our Town". It was equal parts of terror and joy. The plays truly were life-changing experiences for me.

Back to the bike. So, rather randomly, Curtis's grandfather collects old bikes (among other curiousities) and the play used one of his bicycles for Ms. Glutch's scenes. After the play finished its run, I was responsible for getting the bike back to Paw. I packed it up and brought it home with me. After watching teenagers cruise around on that bike for weeks, I couldn't resist giving it a shot. Now granted I was in a maxi dress, and it had been twenty years since I had been on a bike, but how hard could it be?

Just like riding a bike, right? Yeah, right! I mounted the bike and it immediately toppled over, scrapping my arms and legs and severely bruising my pride. I was so embarrassed. And so happy I was home with just my husband and son as witness to my humiliation. Plus, Sean is terrified to even try to ride his bike after seeing me fall.

Now that I've shared that humiliating story with you, I need to share something else a little embarrassing with you. A month ago my sweet sister-in-law persuaded me to enter a "HomeTown Model" contest through the clothing company Maurice. This is the first competition I've ever seen where there was no WEIGHT, AGE, or HEIGHT requirement. But I was still hesitant. Then she reminded me that each of the winners gets to donate $7.500 to the organization of her choice. I immediately though about my local library. Last year the library was damaged by a tornado that killed several people in the community. I know that they could really use the money to update their Young Adult reading selections. So I decided to enter.

You may be annoyed with me over the next three weeks. Heck, I know I would be! And I promised I would never enter a cheesy popularity contest and then beg daily for votes, but it's not just about me! It's for the children!! If you can find it in your heart to not be totally annoyed by me, then I ask you to vote for me today. Here's my link! It's really easy, I promise. On the plus side, if I win, I'll totally owe you for helping me out.  I'll even let you watch me fall off a bike. If you are into that kind of stuff ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shop Cheap, Look Chic

 My mom is an avid thrifter, not usually successful, but God love her, she is constantly bringing me "finds". I usually beg them off as not being my size because I don't have the heart to say I think something is ugly. However, as soon as I saw this dress, I loved it. It's not just the beautiful jade green color, but the cut was very flattering, and it's a really lightweight jersey material. I know I will wear it often in the summer months and stay cool and look polished.

Funny thing is throughout the day I lost count of the number of women who said, "Hey, I own that dress." I mean they were coming out of the wood work. A sub at school. The drive-thru worker at McDonald's. Everybody and their mommas appear to own this dress.

When I took it off later that day, I immediately looked at the tag to see "who" I was wearing! Wal-Mart! Good, old-fashioned George brand from Wal-Mart. I wonder if it comes in any other colors? And I wonder if I can find more. I get aggravated at people who think you can't shop cheap and look chic.

Growing up, we were pretty poor. Thrift stores were really our only source of clothing; Wal-Mart was a rare treat, and I remember the shame of wearing something that other students may recognize as "off brand" because I knew I would be teased mercilessly. It's funny how the tables have turned. Now I love to see the looks on their faces when I say I got something at a thrift store or at Wal-Mart. So I guess my fashion lesson today is to not be a snob! Look anywhere for inspiration, and flaunt it proudly1

Friday, February 24, 2012

Occasionally Stylish : Guest Post- Marissa's Weekend Getaway

I am so excited to have Marissa guest posting with me today! She was lucky enough to be swept away on a romantic weekend with her husband, and she's showing us how to avoid the dreaded "tourist trap" of fashion! I know you will love not only her sense of style, but also her sense of humor!

Hi I'm Marissa from Shabby, Chic, and Chic and I am a shopaholic...oh wait, this isn't my Wednesday group meeting! Let's start over, Hi I'm Marissa and I am from Shabby, Chic, and Cheap and I also happen to be best bliends (that's blogger and friend combined, and yes I made it up) with Kate and because we're both addicted to Old Navy {*ahem* we're still totally open for sponsorship}, fashion, and we have the two cutest kiddos we instantly clicked! 

I love reading Katie's blog and one of my favorite series she has is the Occasionally Stylish post, when we decided to do cameos on each others blogs I knew right away I wanted to do a guest post for that series. I figured the perfect time would be my anniversary weekend. What's better than going out of town? No one knows you so you can dress any way you want, pretend your a professor from Harvard, and talk with an English accent. I may or may not be guilty of those previous statements. 

Seriously though, just because you're a tourist and going to be exploring new places doesn't mean you can't be stylish and comfortable at the same time. Yes, it really is possible. Now I have to admit I have been guilty of the typical 'tourist uniform' ie. jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt but even those staples can be dressed up a bit, this is my version of a chic, comfy, yet stylish tourist outfit. 

The Receipt:
Jeans - Old Navy {similar}
Tank - H&M {similar}
Cardigan - H&M {similar}
Purse - Old Navy {similar}
Booties - Old Navy (see why they should sponsor us?) {similar}
Necklace and Earrings - Forever 21 {similar necklacesimilar earrings}

I hope you guys will stop by my blog and visit some time for some outfit inspiration!

In case your wondering after walking all around downtown Charleston, I was VERY happy to see a Rack Room Shoes on King Street, so I could get out those wedges and into these...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

That's a Dirty Trick!

Don't you hate when you wake up and you think it's Friday. But then as your senses reawaken you realize that it's only Thursday? Crushing disappointment and dread. The only plus I can come up with is the weather. Wow! It has been beautiful out here lately- nothing to complain about on that side of things!

I've been dragging out spring clothes and reveling in open toe shoes (though I desperately need a pedicure- so don't look too closely!). I'm sure you will have another cold snap but for now I am baring my legs and arms, and loving it!

This dress is currently available at Old Navy, and it is a winner. I NEVER do on-line reviews, but when I put this one on, I immediately logged onto Old Navy for a review. The fit is flattering. The colors are lovely. I know this one is going to get a lot of wear this summer and spring.

One last thing- I *may* be on the market for a new camera, so I am asking for suggestions. What camera do you use? Do you like it? I am on a budget; I can't spend anymore than $700- and that's reallllly pushing it. All suggestions are welcome, especially if you are knowledgeable. I can barely work my point and shoot!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

... Nothing like the Sun

Believe in yourself. This is the easiest lesson to teach, yet the hardest lesson to learn. We are our own worst enemies. We are our own worst critics. We find flaws that no one else would ever notice. We nitpick and tear down. How are we ever to trust ourselves and believe in ourselves?

I spend a lot of time writing about self-confidence and self-esteem because it's something always on my mind. I don't know if it's working with teenagers all day or my own self-esteem issues or a combination of the two, but it's always there. I feel like I have to push any self-esteem issues I may have down for the sake of my students with their own burgeoning self-esteem issues. They need to see someone who exudes confidence and self-assurance.

I am constantly self-deprecating, and while in some people that can be really charming and precocious, for the most part it's just low self-esteem disguised as humor. Look at these pictures. They are beautiful, right? I'm not just talking about that totally hot model. Look at the composition. Look at the setting. Look at the background. Look at the lighting. Beautiful, right?

My friend Tricia took them, and while she said she was excited (well, as excited as you can be about taking an overweight, over-aged woman's photos for a fashion blog- see self-deprecation: not so charming now, huh?), she doubted her ability. She was afraid the pictures wouldn't be as good as pictures other people have taken. She doubted herself. And she totally shouldn't have. I didn't crop and of these photos. I didn't filter or edit any of them. They were perfect just as they were. Just like we are.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Clothed Much Guest Post

Tuesday totally sneaked up on me (that's what happens when you don't have to work on a Monday!), so I didn't have time for pictures today. I did, however, guest post over at Clothed Much yesterday with the inspiring Elaine. Some of you may have already hopped over to check it out :)

Here's what I had to say:

This is not a blog post about losing weight or disguising your extra pounds. I am not going to tell you how to lose ten pounds in ten minutes or how to reduce the size of your waist in minutes a day. This is a post about loving your body the way it is now, embracing the shape that you have, and working it to your advantage.

Wanna read more, check out Dressing for Your Body Type at Clothed Much

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bangin' New Looks

I've got a couple of new looks to share with you all today, and I am SO excited! Over the weekend, I decided to take the plunge and get some bangs! I've always been convinced I couldn't pull bangs off, but my BFF (and hair genius) disagreed. So here I am with a new look. I like to imagine myself an older, wider Keiko Lynn or Miss Melissa or Jennifer Love Hewitt ;)

I am still getting used to them, pushing them out of the way and touching them way more than I should, but I pretty much love them! I have a feeling I am going to get a little braver and you will eventually see major "bangage"! My point is change is good, experimenting is good! We should never be afraid to try something different- even if it's something as shallow as new bangs or red lipstick. We can't spend our entire lives being too scared to try things, that's no way to live!

The other major change, you may have not even noticed- it's up there in the address bar (I'll give you a chance to look up). Yep, that's right! You should be reading this from my new domain For Valentine's Day my husband surprised me by buying my domain name. I had mentioned it several times, and he's clearly a good listener. I was really excited about this gift, but also very touched. He has been super supportive since the beginning, and if you blog, you know all to well how time-consuming blogging can be. He never complains about the almost constant companion of a laptop in my lap, at the dinner table, the couch, the bed. He never complains about taking pictures, or retaking when I don't like any of them. He wants me to succeed and follow this through where ever it leads, and owning your domain is the first step.

I'm also working on adding a Blog Lovin' subscription link to my right hand tool bar, that should be up soon, and I invite you to follow me using any of those links! I know how tough it is the keep up with all the blogs you love to read. I follow my favorite bloggers in as many different ways as possible- Facebook, Twitter, Blog Lovin', Google Friends Connect, Pinterest, RSS, am I leaving anything out? Anyway, without sounding shamefully self-promoting... I shamelessly self-promote.

Here's hoping you have a bangin' Monday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fashion Flashback: 1980s

I've always been told to do my shoe-shopping late in the day when my feet are at their biggest, that way the shoes will be comfortable all day. On my never-ending quest to find the perfect pair of nude pumps, last night at 8:00 P.M. I found the most perfect pair of shoes ever. They were only $7, and they were a half-size larger than what I usually wear, but after being on my feet all day the fit perfectly.

OK, so maybe not "perfectly". I have a tendency to get all wrapped up in a good deal, and ignore things like, oh, shoes being too big. These shoes reminded me so much of Barbie that I couldn't resist them. I LOVED Barbie growing up, I played with them well into junior high. I excused it by blaming my little sister, but really I loved to play. We were pretty vicious, stripping all the dolls bare and taking turns picking dolls and outfits. So clearly there was some nostalgia at work when I bought these pumps.

Adding to the nostalgia was the fact that I clomped around like a little girl playing dress up ALL DAY because the shoes would not stay on my feet!!! By the end of the day my feet were killing me, but I felt oh so pretty! A student said I looked like I had traveled straight from the 1980s with today's outfit, and I said, "Yeah, I know! Like a friggin' awesome Barbie doll!" I don't think he meant it as a compliment, but Barbie shoes  just change a girl's perspective. Even if they are too big!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Not Easy Being a Green Coat

I've already waxed poetic about my love of the color gray, but my other favorite color is bright lime green. It's so bright and cheery, and it is found throughout my English classroom. However, I don't usually wear it because I don't think it's a very "wearable color". This coat is the exception.

I love this coat. I bought it at Old Navy (go figure!) over four years ago, but I had a particularly mean-spirited student my first year teaching who teased me saying the coat made me look like a leprechaun. So for the past four years, the beautiful coat has been pushed to the back of my closet- hidden and unloved.

This week we've finally had a cold snap. I knew I would be outside taking pictures, and I knew it was going to be cold. I've already featured my beloved red coat on this blog, so I didn't want to wear it again. But as I was browsing through my closet, in a dark, dusty corner, I saw it. My forgotten green coat!

And boy is it a beauty! It was so cheerful! No one called me a leprechaun. In fact, a sweet little old lady at the pharmacy said I looked "cute as could be". Of course she may have been nearly blind for all I know, but I'll take it!

I've linked up with "What I Wore" Wednesday at Transatlantic Blonde! Check out what Melaina's wearing and the others who linked up!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sick House

And the punches keep rolling in. 2012 is shaping up to be the most tiring and trying year of my life thus far. Every weekend has been one mini-disaster after another. Every day has been a challenge. I know things could be so much worse, so I shouldn't complain. But I also know things could be so much better, thus the complaining.

I was nearly knocked out by a sinus infection late last week. Now either I am getting older, or my sinus infections are getting worse, but I felt like absolute death! I couldn't even get out of mind, nor could I depend on Curtis to baby me because he had to have oral surgery to remove Nasopalatine Duct Cysts (yep, as awful as it sounds), so he was recouping as well. A shot in the butt and $100 worth the various prescription and OTC meds and I'm on the mend again (albeit temporarily, it seems to me that my sinus infections are getting more consistent, I know this is the second time I've blogged about one!)

Suffice to say, I didn't feel like taking pictures the latter half of the week! Hopefully this week will be better! Since Valentine's Day is this week, prepare yourselves to see lots of one of my favorite color combos- red, black, and gray!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Occasionally Stylish : Taking Pictures

I have a dear friend who is a phenomenal photographer. She contacted me recently and said her resolution for 2012 was to expand her portrait business to include more weddings, and she wanted some help with some outfits that would be both stylish and functional.

As a photographer she will have to be in clothes that are both comfortable and flexible. She also wants to look professional and dressy as she is mingle through reception crowds and meets with clients.

My basic formula for these outfits are a pair of black pants (straight, boot cut, or wide leg depending on body shape and preference) with PLENTY of stretch and a colorful top. I tried to include tops that were longer in length, since as a photographer, she will be squatting and leaning and stretching a lot, and she doesn't want to overexpose herself!

What to Wear Photography

What to Wear- Photography

What To Wear Photography

What To Wear: Photography

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