Category Archives: Fashion

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

The Liebster Award

I have to take a moment today and extend a very generous thank you to Ginger Ray of DailyLifeWithFibromyalgia for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

“This award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers, as a way to encourage them, as well as spread love around the community.  It also shares appreciation for fellow bloggers and the wonderful work they do.”

I can’t express my gratitude enough to Ginger Ray for considering me for something like this.  I started this blog as I was tackling a difficult time in my life and I am moved that others have found the topics I touch on to be entertaining and / or informative.

I tend to tackle everything from relationships, to management techniques, to running and now sewing.  I’ve got a very broad range of experiences and interests and I think my blog is a shining example of that.  I greatly appreciate the support of my fellow bloggers that I have received over the last year and half of my blogging journey.  In an effort to spread the wealth I wish to nominate the following 5 blogs for the Liebster Award as well:

The World According to Alexandra

Growing Up Senge

Have You Met Ken?

Under The Tea Cozy

The Dancing Runner

Congratulations everyone and keep up the good work!

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Filed under Culture, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Sewing

Bring On The Water Works!

Summer in Florida always makes me feel like the Wicked Witch of the West. “I’m melting…melting!” I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with my boyfriend recently playing in the theme parks like a tourist. It’s been nice to catch some of the evening concerts over at Epcot and enjoy strolling around the Magic Kingdom seeing some of the really obscure attractions that most people over look. Before each trip I have lacquered myself in sunscreen as I burn so easily, but I just can’t bear to cover everything up in multiple layers when it’s so sticky and humid outside.

There are several wet attractions that I tend to stay away from as I don’t enjoy walking around with soggy bottoms for a whole afternoon. However, I think I just found the perfect solution in the most recent Victoria’s Secret catalog. This is going to be my next summer clothing project! I think I can cut it so that it is a bit more conservative and it would be light, airy and perfect for me to tackle the wet attractions in.

I did really want to make some more flowy summer dresses, but I think I’ll take this project on first. I’ve really had fun working on projects that don’t have patterns. It’s more of a challenge for me to work this way and it makes completing the clothing feel like a huge accomplishment. Maybe it’s best if I just continue on catalogue surfing and picking each project that way. It’s saving me a ton of money and yet I’m still staying current with styles for a change. I’ve been known to still own some clothing that I wore in high school, so needless to say I’m not generally considered to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

Diving back into sewing has opened up a whole new door of endless possibilities for me. I might finally be able to have some of the items I’ve seen in windows and knew there was no way I would be able to afford them. With saving for the house purchase I’ve tried really hard to curb my shopping as much as possible this year. I never head out unless there is a coupon in hand for something I might even be considering. That includes fabric shopping, of course, so now I don’t feel so bad buying some bits of fabric here and there for a few small projects.

I think it’s clear that I’m getting plenty of use out of my first infinity dress as I’ve worn it at least six times that I can think of off the top of my head and only paid $16.50 for all the materials to make it. That’s made the dress cost $2.75 each time I’ve worn it so far so I think I will more than get my money’s worth out of it. Next on my list is some kind of a light summer shorts jumper. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to pass them along and I’ll check them out!

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Filed under Fashion, Sewing

Those Were The Days

After a rather rough day at work recently I called my mom on the way home and as soon as she picked up the phone I blurted out something similar to the following:  “Remember when my most challenging decision of the day was whether to eat the cinnamon pop tart or the smores pop tart?  Ya, I miss those days?”  Mom just laughed and told me it would all be alright.

I do miss those days.  In retrospect I now realize how things were so simple.  Now I face decisions that are much more stressful and can throw my whole world for a loop.  In March we started looking at homes to purchase.  Oh, now that’s stressful!  I’ve never had problems saying yes to a rental, but a home for purchase is a whole different story.  Then there is the daily stress of work and the stress of trying to keep up with friends as our schedules all keep getting busier.

ImageRunning is nice and peaceful, but I’ll admit that even that causes some stress in my life.  When I think about how much time I’ll need to run a few days a week then I realize how that is time that I’m not spending cleaning the house, cooking dinner or making sure Coda is getting attention.  Things were easier when decisions revolved around overly sugared breakfast choices and I’m not ashamed to admit I wish that it could all be that easy again.

I’ve let myself keep getting sucked back into a stressful state and it’s time to do something about it.  I can’t do anything about how long the home buying process will take, so it’s time to stop worrying about it.  We’ll get the house if it is meant to be or we won’t and we’ll go back to looking.  I’m putting everything in the hands of fate.  I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, so now it is time to stop worrying about what happens before I lose my sanity.

Instead I’m going to take on some more peaceful DIY crafting projects to distract myself.  With the coupons I used on my last projects I paid only about a third of what I would have paid to buy the dresses.  That seems totally worth the time and effort to me.  Looks like it is time to search the pattern catalogs to see what will be my next targeted creation.  The infinity dress was so easy I feel like nothing can stop me now.  That was the perfect project to get me back into the swing of things.  I’ll post pictures soon of the second dress I wore just recently to a more formal function.

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Threading The Needle of Family Traditions

Family traditions can be hard to continue on as so many things change from generation to generation.  From as far back as I can remember my grandmother has been stockpiling fabric for her amazing sewing projects.  When I was young I used to watch my mom and grandma work together on creating me a new wardrobe for school or dance wear for all of my classes.  It was always fun to go to the fabric store and get to pick out what kind of Lycra I wanted my leotard’s made out of for that year.  Little did I know at the time that many years later I would still have some of those dance wear pieces since they were made with such attention to detail.

As a child I took sewing lessons at the fabric store and then continued to learn more by working on projects at home with mom and grandma.  Earlier this year I was passed down my very own sewing machine for the first time.  It didn’t take me more than a few weeks to decide to tackle my first project.  It’s been more than a decade since I had sewn anything, but you just don’t forget the basics.  It’s a bit like riding a bike.  I took on a very easy project as a start to get my feet wet again.

I LOVE the look of those infinity (multi-way) dresses, but I don’t like the fact that they cost between $65.00 – $85.00 before tax to get them from most retail stores.  I found a few on Etsy that I had thought about considering, but they were just barely cheaper than the retail price.  After a little online research, my mom and I had a loose set of directions to wing it by.  Without a pattern I took on my first dress with none of the proper tools of the trade and managed to pull it together.  Without pins, weights, a pattern or even a cutting board I managed to turn a pile of fabric into my new favorite dress for only $16.00.

As soon as I made it I immediately decided I knew a good friend of mine that deserved a dress equally as awesome for herself.  After another trip to the fabric store and a few borrowed tools from mom I began her dress perfect for her measurements.  I found myself holding my breath while cutting as I knew this dress was actually going to someone else.  It was one thing to experiment on a dress that I knew was meant for me, but a whole other story for me to be making something for someone else.

The first dress for myself was made out of a casual summer material and the dress for my friend is as well.  A big online fabric sale prompted me to buy material that can pass the “little black dress” test.  I have enough for one whole black dress and another that will be black and kelly green.  I have an event to go to in July so the plan is to crank out both of these dresses soon so that I can wear one of them that evening and revel in the fact that I’ll be the only one there with an original dress, that I made with my own hands and spent less than $20.00 on.  While everyone else if flaunting their fancy designer labels I’ll be enjoying how my hard work will allow me to be comfortable and creatively stylish all at the same time.

Sewing is a family tradition that I’m so very happy that my grandmother and mother passed along to me.  I know that one day I’ll pass the craft along to future generations, but in the meanwhile I’ve got some more outfits to dream up.  What family traditions did you learn from earlier generations?  Do you think they will stand the test of time with future generations?

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Friends, Sewing

Can Your Dress Stand Up By Itself?

It’s been a while since I tackled female clothing in the workplace, but it’s time for me to bring it up again. However, this time it’s not due to some crazy outfit someone tried to pass off as “professional.” I would like to pose a question to all the ladies out there who work in an office setting that requires suits or an equal female equivalent. How often do you dry clean your work clothes?

I know many of us can’t get home fast enough to get changed into something that is less restricting…or at least that’s me. After a whole day of fitted blazers and dresses I can’t wait to rush home and thrown on something to run in. I’ll also admit that I’m not one to toss a dress or jacket into the dry cleaning pile after only one usage. Dry cleaning isn’t cheap and it’s hard for me to justify that my dress is all that dirty after a whole day of work inside a hotel that has the air conditioning set in the low seventies. Most people around me never see me without a blanket while at my desk. My Fibromyalgia isn’t too keen on the temperature gauge in the office and tends to start a war in my joints if I don’t bundle up during the times I do get to sit at my desk, but that’s a whole other story.

My detail oriented ways can slide into my life in the weirdest ways sometimes and it has most definitely entered my clothing selection process. I’m surprised that people at work haven’t noticed yet after a year of working in the same place, but I do have a bit of a clothing rotation. I do this to ensure I get the best usage out of all of my dresses and that I don’t wear out a favorite faster than any of the others. It also aids in me knowing when things need to go to the dry cleaner without me having to do a sniff check like a teenage boy.

During lunch recently a coworker admitted that she had owned her current work outfit for more than eight months and yet had never taken any of it to a dry cleaner. I will give her the benefit of the doubt that all of her shirts can be washed at home, but how do you explain the dresses and jackets? At first I immediately thought I wasn’t so weird for having my clothing rotation and taking an item to the dry cleaner after only one use. However, then I started to wonder how long is too long before getting work clothes cleaned.

Therefore, ladies I’m turning to you. How often do you wear an item to work before it goes into your dry cleaning pile? Once? Three times? Eight months?

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Female Management Skills

The End Is Near…

2011 was another year of rebuilding myself after the divorce and I think I did a fair job at keeping my resolutions to pay off my debt, get control over my health and make an effort to reconnect with my friends.  I can check 2.5 off of my list and that’s pretty good in my book.  I didn’t quite completely finish the first item, but I did make one heck of a dent and I’m just months away from accomplishing that goal despite the fact that I learned how to live a little this year.

Reconnecting with my friends reminded me why we all became friends in the first place.  I forgot how awesome it is to have people who truly understand you to laugh with.  Last night I was with one of my friends and she declared that she was going to help me start off 2012 on the right foot.  I thought I was about to get a calendar with all the dates we were going to hang out penciled into it, but instead her surprise was just proof of how well she knows me.

My early 2012 gift was a choice between two beautiful, designer purses that I have come to learn are classified as “hobo” bags.  I learned this not by reading fashion magazines, but instead when I was looking for a picture of the bag this morning.  That should tell you that I’m not the best at being all that girly.  The few things that I tend to pamper myself with once in a while are all items I picked for very specific reasons, but I’ve come to learn that my reasons are a bit odd compared to most ladies.  It seems as if my days wearing baseball caps and overalls left me a bit skewed on how to really be girly when I’m not at work and that’s a whole other subject we’ll get into.

For example, I like to get pedicures because I spend many years dancing and know that cramming my dancer feet into heels at work all day equals some gnarly looking digits if I don’t do something about it.  Apparently most girls like to do it so their toes look pretty and so they can enjoy a day getting pampered.  Who knew?  My trip to the nail salon includes acrylic nails so that I stop my bad habit of picking at the side of my fingers until they bleed.  I’ve been informed that other gals go for the nail polish choices and to bond with friends.  Clearly I missed the boat on this stuff somewhere.

In my personal life I tend to pick items for functionality and just recently began to learn how to accessorize.  Past jobs I’ve had always declared how long necklaces could be, how big earrings could be, how many bracelets you could wear.  That’s all fine and dandy but it caused me to pick out one necklace, one bracelet, one ring for each hand and a very functional watch and wear them all year so I didn’t have to mess with making any choice in the morning.  Then I started this new job and learned that with each outfit I needed to pick out accessories that would enhance my fashion choice each morning.  This is a world completely foreign to me, but luckily those around me are trying to break me into this theory.

While my mother any boyfriend have headed up the earring, necklace, and bracelet front my friend from last night decided that she would throw her hand into the game and start on the purse front.  I have a few purses, messenger bags and a briefcase for work.  Each that I selected was based upon function and not style.  Each that someone picked for me was based upon style and not functionality.  Laying them all side by side it is clear to see which ones I picked for myself in my sad attempt to be cutting edge.

2011 was the year I learned how to accessorize with jewelry and I guess 2012 is the year I complete the outfit with a proper purse.  After almost 20 minutes of her trying to explain to me the redeeming qualities of each bag, how you don’t lose items in bags that large and the fact that either of them would go with anything I wear; I made my decision.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet my newest (and largest) purse!

I don’t think I would have made this step on my own, but it looks as if I might just learn how to be a real gal after all.  Readers of my blog who’ve read my past posts about fashion (It’s Bootsy Its Got To Be A GoorinAlright Pooch Cough Up The Goods, Don’t Forget To Stretch Before Trying Those On, It’s A Matter Of Jacket Equality, or Is Ke$ha Her Fashion Icon) might find it odd that I don’t know how to pull that into my personal life, but my close friends know it’s possible to still teach this old dog new tricks.  Tomorrow night I will be meeting Miss Megan at my very first live basketball game.  It will be the maiden voyage of my new purse and my chance to thank her for being such an amazing friend through the years!  Now I have between now and then to figure out how on earth I’m going to organize things in this new bag so I can find it all later.

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