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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm pleased

Don't I look really self satisfied? Don't I look stylish? Well, now we can get back to the looking good for Judy thing. I don't look like the girls that wear the tight jeggings, or leggings, or other leg things. I finally made the crossover to animal print. In my own way. And the second pic is to show that I am still not mixing prints with the leopard shoes.

I am focusing on what I have that I like. These are things that not all folks value but as long as I do, fine by me. For instance. I have a truly wonderful collection of jewelry. I sold my gold stuff for the most part because I didn't wear it. I still have a few precious things but my enjoyment comes from color, design, and uniqueness of the pieces. No I am not saying my stuff is unique. A lot of it came from tv shopping. Not unique. But I think the way I choose to combine the things I have shows uniqueness on my
part. For the necklace I am showing, it is a purchase from eBay that is made of citrine chips. I love it. I ordered it and when it came, I realized that jewelry must fit the outfit. I had
a gold outfit I thought it would work with. But alas, the color of the necklace disappeared when worn with my outfit. And it wasn't the right length. So I put it in the jewelry box and now it works with things I have.

That brings me to the styling thing. I used to get dressed. Or I got dressed up. When I heard the phrase "how I styled" I thought it sounded sort of "precious". But I've learned a thing or two reading the blogs and I think I get it now. Several new words and ideas have come to mean styled. Like Pop. Does it pop? A pop of color. And I realize that the styling is what makes things either pop or not. No, the outfit I have pictured does not pop. But the necklace sort of pops with the outfit.
I imagine that a lot of girls would have worn a number of pieces of jewelry with the simple outfit. And I may do that some other time. However, this time I am sticking with the Simple part of my simple boho style. It works for me.

I'm pleased with the way too many pieces of clothing I have bought this Fall. I used to envy the girls I went to school with when their moms took them out for a new Fall wardrobe. I have forgotten much of the time I spent at home. My therapist said that is a good thing. But one thing I do remember is NOT going shopping for school clothes. I reached almost my full height in the sixth grade and didn't grow much after that except in the bust. A benefit in that I could wear most of my clothes from one year to the next. And I didn't have to face the overwhelming consumerism that many young people think is normal. My tennis shoes were Keds. I carried the same purse all year. And I got a new winter coat every 3rd year. Basic.

I have worked my way through the name brand thing. I know that for a lot of the bloggers it means followers and advertisers when they can show the name brand things in their blogs. But for me, no one I know knows or cares who made my bag, how much I paid for my jewelry, or where my favorite clothes came from. I don't have to keep up with the more serious bloggers. But where I do want to be is with those ladies, young or old, who go their own way and want to be appreciated for their eye for fashion, for their color and style sense, and for the way they want to be present in life. Thanks to the blogs, we have an arena. A nice one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Moving forward

My recent post about discovering my style at this late stage in life has given me more energy than I had thought to have. For some reason I needed a label for myself to feel OK. And my label is Simple Bohemian. I explained the meanings of the label in the other blog post. But now I am showing how I've chosen to display it.

I can't/won't wear skinny jeans. I'd love to have a pair of straight leg jeans but I won't be happy with them till I have shrunk my big belly some. Hence, damned exercises for the stomach and a more stringent diet. So far I have been doing the easiest things to stay good with my blood sugar. But I love soups and I'm looking at some good recipes to help me maintain. I wish mom were here. She made the best soups.

Anyway, so many things have crystalized lately.The election has allowed be to ponder my liberal, feminist leanings. Having been in a relationship with a super controlling person, I'm over the idea of being controlled by anyone other than
myself. And I don't think any man should be allowed
to make any laws concerning women's bodies. And the thought of some of the candidates' opinions scares me to death. And I am an advocate for peace. I am not a hippie. But that 20% boho part of me says the testosterone levels in men have a lot to do with the wars and nasty rhetoric we have been hearing from men in the last 100 years or so. I'll let it go at that and just say that there are some beliefs that have caused just as much turmoil.

I do find myself in the position of trying to interpret the fashion side of simple boho. So back to jeans. I'm fat. In the belly especially. I have read and heard a lot about how that is very bad for the heart. I am also in terrible shape and have had real trouble making myself begin to exercise. In short. I just don't do it. I've been walking a little bit more. But my honey has recommended more shopping. Wait! What? Yep. That's what he said. Go to the mall and walk. Go to big stores and walk. Do anything to get moving. He is such a sweetheart that he doesn't even complain when I purchase things on my "walking"
trips. So I started to go to the mall yesterday. I had to return an item to a store nearby and then to the mall. But it was raining and cold and the mall was packed. I think I'll be going during the week in the mornings. That way there will be fewer folks to fight.

I have to mention the items I have pictured here. The top two tops were bought at Steinmart. I went on a whim to look for end of summer things when I found the first one. I have stated that I don't like the Missoni look and so when I found the top top, I thought hard about it. It has a lot of the zigzags that I am not fond of. But the overall look is, to me, boho. And I was so excited to find it. The minute I had walked into the store I saw
many items in the mustard color of the second top. I got a floral with mustard background. It was a little short and shrank a bit. So I'm not wearing it right now. I'm looking for some fabric to add to it at the hem and on the sleeves. Then I found the other top, again at Steinmart. I don't know why the mustard color gets me going but it does.

I hadn't intended to get into the leopard print. For the most part I don't care for animal prints and I see them overdone often. But the shoes are both comfortable and in style and cute. So I jumped on them. Thereby I opened a door. We'll see what happens.

I went to T J Maxx. For a long time I had stayed away from there because they didn't have much in the way of plus sizes. When I went there I found the bag by Le Sac. With a peace sign. And in leather. With woven handles. And did I mention with a peace sign? Love blossomed in the space of about 1/10 of a second. My Hippie instincts took over and the bag went into my shopping cart and my spirits hit the roof and I was on my way to a non-drug induced nirvana. Hippie bag, leather, peace sign. YES!!!

I've seen lots of recommendations for questions to be answered in blogs. One of the questions is "Who do you dress for?" And I am going to answer that one here. I dress for me. There was a time that if I wasn't wearing jewelry it meant I was depressed. For some reason wearing jewelry while depressed was not right. There was a time when I tried to wear clothing to attract male attention. There have been many times that I dressed trying to be in style. But then I found out that the people I was trying to impress with my style either didn't care, didn't understand my interpretation of style, or weren't drawn to me for other reasons. I couldn't fit in. Like when I was in college and wanted to get into a sorority. Didn't happen. But it wasn't my clothing. It was me. I just didn't fit.

So I dress for me. Now, my love says I am beautiful no matter if I have on makeup, fancy clothes, jewelry, or what. He has no sense of current style and could care less. And he wants me to be happy.
I'm happy when I dress for me. When I get up in the morning I will wear my favorite clothes no matter what my plan is for the day. I'm retired so no work clothing. And if I'm going to do something dirty or maybe paint, I'll change. Then I'll change back. It makes me happy to wear pretty things. It makes me even happier to have pretty things I haven't broken the bank to pay for. And I'm going to share that world with you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I finally did it.

 I have always hated to try on things in the store. The last group of bras I bought were in boxes and from WalMart. But they had long since passed their last legs. And they had long since allowed my front to sag and flatten. I put on a top and looked in the mirror. My grandmother looked back at me. I've always skimped on undergarments. I had a large chest from the 6th grade on and mom always took me to the store when those things were on sale. It was a guess as to whether we could choose the right thing. I wore a 36DD in high school. The pointy cotton things. They had to be ordered for me because evidently I was weird. Maybe that is where I began to want to hide my obvious assets.

I actually haven't had a bra fitting until I went to Penneys and a lovely woman showed me how to measure for a new bra. And for the first time in a long time I have bras that put the girls up where they belong. I don't plan on getting a lift or anything like that. Too expensive.

The price of the bras I got was cut by $10 from retails found elsewhere. I was able to find them online and can order them when I need new ones.

While I'm on the topic, I have to say the store was a whole new experience for me. I have not gone to the store much because of the problems with my back. I have to sit sometimes when it starts hurting and there aren't enough places to sit in most stores. I know to go to the shoe dept or a dressing room. But the items at the store were really nice quality and good prices. When I walked in the store manager welcomed me and asked what I needed. She took me to the lingerie department and introduced me to the sales person. The sales person had a certificate in fitting lingerie. It was a great experience. I was able to visit some other departments and had good luck with things on sale and nice quality. Checkout was a breeze. In other words, after a difficult period, I think JCP is turning around their stores. Service was great. I don't know if all stores are doing this, but the one at Turkey Creek in Knoxville, Tn is.

I can't show all of the brand names I own because I don't own many. I'm not able to afford Michael Kors, Chanel, and most of the things I see on the blogs. I do enjoy looking at them and then I try to take aspects of some of the looks and make them my own. For instance, I had seen mustard colored clothing in a lot of blogs. So I bought a top with mustard in it. It shrank a lot. Now it is destined for the redo bag. And I finally found another one I like. Yay. I saw some crazy super shoes online and found some cheap at a local store that looked like them. Yay. I finally saw enough leopard print that I actually like it now and was able to find some leopard slacks that fit and feel good. Yay. And yesterday I was finally able to find a navy/natural striped sweater similar to many I had seen. It was in the men's department at the local Goodwill store for $2. I am so happy to be doing things this way because I actually like a challenge. And if I had the money to rush out and buy the brand name things off the rack I don't think the challenge would be much fun for me.

I would like to thank those of you who read my blog and those who comment. I enjoy seeing the opinions of others and I often learn new things from them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This is a real eye opener

As you can tell I copied the pic from I came back to blogging in hopes of finally finding myself. Pinterest started the whole thing. I had choices of lots of different styles to pin. Both in clothing and in home decor. I found myself drawn to the Bohemian look. I've always said I wanted to be a hippie. I've always loved Ali McGraw, Joan Baez, Nicole Richie, and other women who go their own way.

But the more I thought about it, I found that while for a day I can wear boho fashions and lots of jewelry, I could never live with a house full of patterns, colors, and textures. That started when I found myself drawn to a white quilt. My bedroom needs a lot of tlc. I put the white things in there with beige, light aqua, gold, and some black. TV, lamps, etc. I have Asian accessories. I have light woods. It is calm, serene, relaxing. And I love it. It's also nice that the quilt is washable. Love that. Anyway. Much as I love my boho, I don't choose to cover my home in it. So the style issue came up again.

I found out why the issue was a problem for me. At first when I considered all the things in the book pictured here, I believed that simple bohemian was, in fact, an oxymoron. Bohemian isn't simple. It just isn't. But I went through the book(a print version) and learned more about myself and what I want than I have in any other self-help book ever. I'm generally not a fan of them. Self-help books seem to want to deal with the inside life. That of the mind and heart. This one talks about coming at life from another angle. From the choices we make about what to include in our wardrobe and home. I read the chapters, descriptions, and looked at the photos many times before coming to the conclusion that my style is simple bohemian. The bohemian part of me is not just about clothing. It's about my total refusal to run with a pack. It's about the times I have tried to fit into someone else's idea of what is appropriate. And failed. It's about the fact that sometimes I may be shallow. I love visuals. I tend to put a lot of importance on visuals. I mean color, art, nature, etc. I haven 't let go of the deeper meaning of things but I am reinforced by visuals. Calmed by them.

I've been talking about the boho part but according to the book, life is about an 80%/20% split. My boho is my 20 percent. It's the icing on my cake. It's the avenue to joy. And the other part is simple. Simple. Simple. That word does mean a lot. Simple often means the bottom line. It means not messing life up with trivial things. It means pragmatism. If it works, why mess with it. It means not overthinking. It means I need to stick with what works for me. During our lives, some of us learn from the opinions of others that we can't trust our own minds to decide what we should do. We may think we aren't capable of knowing what is right. I think that is the worst sort of BS. If I don't know what to do, I ask for an opinion. Otherwise, I take the simple way. The way of least difficulty. I have a conscience which will tell me right away if I am wrong. If not, my grown children will. But as an older person, I am really enjoying this. Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte wrote this book. I bought it in the mood to learn about fashion. And I learned about life too. I will always be grateful to them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I can't do a lot of the current fashions because of the way my body is built. I haven't seen a real beltable waistline in years. And yes, I should do something about it. I hate to exercise. I hate to sweat. Etc. But I'm trying to incorporate some of the things I see on the fashion blogs into my old lady wardrobe. In the days of my grandmother, dresses were the thing. The only grandmother I remember lived in Georgia and it was fairly warm there. I remember heavy stockings, what I call granny shoes, and dresses of somewhat flowy material. Belted. With the worst bras known to man. And my grandmother didn't seem to know there was such a thing as makeup. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with her. I admired her way with crafts, especially crochet, and with her African violets.

When my mother got older she had a problem with heavy sweating and wore no makeup, and mostly polyester shorts and t shirts even in the Winter. So I
didn't have much of an example there about fashion. When I was a teen we 
were still wearing matching shoes and bag with our dresses to church and of course there were hats, gloves, and jewelry to match. I loved gloves but I have such large hands they are hard for me to find.

When I was growing up we would visit my mom's aunt and she finally was someone I would drool over as a role model for growing into old age. Of course so many things have changed since then. But she curled her hair, wore makeup, and had some of the most beautiful jewelry I'd ever seen. I don't mean expensive stuff either. I mean shiny, colorful, pearlized, and
just beautiful. She had lots of colognes. And I thought she looked like an angel.
I may have gotten my start at loving jewelry from there. When we went to visit I would, with her permission, go through her jewelry box and repeatedly try things on. I think that for me that was the stuff of dreams. Aunt Mae lived in a mobile home at a motel where my great uncle was caretaker. They weren't even well off. They did live in a pretty setting and I loved the few visits we had.

When I was getting married, it didn't occur to me to follow my dreams. The person I married didn't like jewelry or pretties as I call them. He was not into fancy, though his mom did like her tea and lady sandwiches. For some reason I completely left the teen dreams behind. I did want a bigger engagement ring and I still loved pretty jewelry. I had pierced my ears in college and loved earrings. But lack of funds and frowns from the ex inhibited my purchases. So, for the whole 22 years of marriage I tried to put pretties out of my mind. I managed to
decorate a pretty home and take care of the three children and cook well. I was definitely not encouraged to do things to fulfill my needs. I did do some art and some crafts in spurts but that was not what I should have been doing. Guilt took away those things. When the marriage ended I was alone(he took the kids) and at wits end. So I bought some jewelry. I used pretties for a long time to make myself feel worthwhile. And now I have a collection of jewelry that blows me away. I made a lot of jewelry too. So I think the time has come to begin selling some things. After all it's dumb to have so much you can't use it all.
Glum face on the right is showing more of the bubbles. I fell in love with them and use them in some ways as an alternative to scarves. I have such a short neck and large chest that scarves make me feel stifled. So the bubbles. I see them all over the internet. I haven't purchased any of the expensive versions. These are from eBay. I was so excited when they came. I have always loved statement necklaces and one of a kind pieces. I will be showing some more of them in future blogs. I also have yellow and turquoise in the bubble necklaces. But now I am trying to turn more toward some other ways of showing my style. The tops you see are slinky fabrics and most are from Susan Graver at QVC. I love the way the fabric feels, launders, and the way they fit. It's time to move to more mixing. During the summer I had a uniform. Slinky top, slinky pants, jewelry, and shoes. I don't wear layers because of my tendency to heat up. But it's Autumn now. I'm so pleased to be able to put on more items and make my outfits more interesting. You see, I have become more interested in fashion as I get older. 

I have again been searching for "my style" and I think I have found the direction I want to go. I have become aware that I always have wanted to be bohemian in some ways. Since the divorce I am adamantly against anyone telling me how I should look and what I must like. So in the book I'll talk more about  later I have found that my style is Simple Bohemian. I was squarely into upscale country type stuff when I was married because that's what he seemed to expect. And it was fun to do the decorating. I still love antique stores. But I also have gotten to the point of not wanting so much stuff around. You couldn't tell it by my house at this point but I am drowning. I have enough stuff to outfit an army of young marrieds and I've already sloughed off a ton of stuff. Now in my old age I am yearning for organization and calm. Peace. And for me it is not possible with too much stuff around.

I am bringing this up because I know that from the pics you can tell that I am not hesitant to bring more stuff into the house. I think that getting carried away is part of the insanity of not knowing what I like. I went nuts over the bubble necklaces. So I bought 5 of them. And while I love them, I need to be more aware of what I want and what I plan to do with it. You see, I bought the necklaces because they were a good price and made me feel expansive and up to date. I still feel that way about them. But I am not going to buy the black one that I want. I have enough bubbles to last me.

I am looking forward to trying out some new things. One is shopping with a style in mind. I need to get away from getting something just because it will go on my body. Another is making things I have into things I want. That sounds like fun too. Am I ready? Getting there.

Monday, October 8, 2012

 Autumn. Fall. The colors rock. The leaves aren't coming down here or changing much. Today the weather is wet and in the 50's. I know, not cold compared to our Canadian friends. But even so, it's sort of cool to me. Here in Tennessee the temps go up and down like a jack in the box. At least for Sept and Oct. Just a couple of days ago it was nearly 80. I would have worn my summer stuff and been perfectly comfortable. And I sort of tried. It blew me away how wrong it felt. The turquoise top and light color pants are definitely summery. But I just couldn't do it. It is time for Fall colors. So on they went. I really am stuck in my behavior patterns sometimes.

Also I am enjoying the new jewelry even more now. In the heat of summer I have trouble making myself wear jewelry at all. The weight of it and the way it makes me perspire if it's hanging on me really bothers me. Also, there is something Fall and Winterish about heavy gold pieces. I associate silver more with Summer.

A few things transition well from one season to the next. One of them is red. It seems to work with both Summer and Winter clothes. Black is a Winter color that I wear year round. In the Summer, the companion colors are bright and cheerful-yellows, bright greens, etc. In the Winter, red, purple, gold, etc pop with black. As a whole since my hair has been darkened I have tried to wear more color and not so much black. I don't do scarves but I find if I put a statement necklace in a bright color near the face I look better. And when wearing black, for me, makeup is a must. I have to admit the red necklace has been worn a lot lately because I love red pants. And it's warm like Fall.

I've been wearing a sort of rosy color lately. It isn't rose in that there isn't a blue tinge. It's a warm color and I think it enhances my skin tone which tends to be bland.
Today, I am going to the Marshall's nearby. I loved my visit to TJ Maxx. The items I got will be useful and I'd like a couple more things in good quality. I try to find clothes that work on my body and with my age without being too young. It's  shame my body doesn't look and feel the same age that my mind does. I'd be in jeans and t-shirts. And moccasins. Oh! there I go again. Trying to get to that one hippie wild hair that I've always had.

I appreciate your attention to my ramblings. Bless everyone. And I hope your day is just super.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What to do, what to do

I am now in transition. From short to longer, from blonde to browner, from Summer to Autumn, from warm to cooler. And the clothing I have had for warmer temps will be used in the cooler times because of my tendency to be warm all of the time. I'm really in love with the tan and white top. But the sleeves are slit and I think that makes Winter use out. So it will go into the box for next Spring. And I'm thinking of the fun I'll have when I open the boxes for next year.

I'm wearing a necklace that has rhinestones in it. I got it from eBay. It isn't exactly what I wanted but I won't pay what the real thing costs. The next  
time I wear the top I think more color is needed.

Also I'm wearing the mustard color below. It has teal and cinnamon in it. I like the colors and the print. I like the fabric.  I don't have a single pair of pants to wear with it. Navy isn't working well and I have no jeans. Oh well. I'll keep looking.

I've lost a few pounds. Obviously not nearly enough. I'm not pleased. I have a body type that keeps weight around the midsection. I've seen the pics of what it looks like inside and I'm surprised there is enough room for my organs.
I continue to try to keep my eye on the prize. I was very lucky to have registered an A1c rating of 6 on my last blood test. The doctor said that was very good, meaning diabetes well under control. OK. Now I need to take the next step. That is losing more weight while not letting it mess up the diabetes.
I think this might be a little trickier. This week I'm going to try to do a lot of veggies. I haven't been good at putting them into my diet but I really want to drop some more weight and they are good for me.......

I am really missing going to the mountains. I have not been in a couple of years. We stopped going when gas became such a problem. Actually we stopped doing much of anything. I haven't been out to a movie in quite a while. So I've been reading a couple of books on saving money so I can add to the options. I've already started to do a couple of the things in the books. I am wishing to feel peace. Even in short spells.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The colors of Fall

A couple of months ago I began a closet purge. I was trying to be realistic about what I would wear and what had to go somewhere. I have a donate pile. I put a few things I love but are too small away for later. And I put my favorite black ballet flats in the trash. I loved them. For four years. Almost every day. So I put what was left in the trash. Anyway, the rest is in my closet. Since I have lost a bit of weight I'm hoping that those things that are snug will fit some time this winter.

Today I am showing a top and black slacks. The top is one I bought and hadn't worn. But I had order one of the bubble necklaces in peach. This is what I got. I thought about returning it(to China) and decided it has a Fall color cast to it so I'm keeping it. I've started hanging my statement necklaces up in the closet where they are more visible with the clothes. And I noticed that the top and the necklace look totally great together. Yesss! I'm pleased that I kept it.
This Autumn I'm trying to use more of my jewelry.  I have always loved jewelry and I'm not a brand snob. In fact, I actually like the handmade, unusual pieces best. I always have. So the statement jewelry trend is one that I am loving. And I got a compliment from a young lady that made it even better.

I mentioned Charming Charlie's. I am including a pic of a bag I recently bought there. The bags I have gotten there are not leather. But the styles and craftsmanship are quite nice. And I pay no more than $40. Nice.
I've been going through some self exams lately. I'm still wondering why I haven't been comfortable with myself. At least not until lately. So I suppose what I'm reading are self-help books. They include styles and they include being more thrifty. I will admit to having had some very strong overspending periods. Lots of them. And I also must admit that when I get interested in having or doing something I will go out and buy everything I can find on the subject.

I decided to learn to crochet. And I am slowly learning. I took a couple of classes but I'm a very solitary person so the rest of the learning process is going to be done here at home. I suspect that would be harder if it weren't for Pinterest and YouTube. Sometimes I don't know what I would do without a computer.

Anyway, this time I did buy a couple of books, a starter kit, and a couple of skeins of yarn. To practice with. And that was all. I'm extremely proud of myself for that. I have tendencies that are sort of compulsive. I see something on Pinterest and I want it. I have actually ordered 2 bags I saw on the site. And i like them. But that is all. The site has a lot of food stuff on it and I'm always wishing I could have some of the sweets. I wish I were less suggestible. And the dogs. The dogs that need homes or have been hurt or are just gorgeous make me want them all. All of them. Every one of them.

The books I've been using to find out why I'm nuts are interesting. I'll share some of the info from them in the future. I have already begun to deal with a few of my foibles. For instance, if something bad happens, I automatically assume the worst will follow and get really stressed. My children are glad that I'm getting a handle on that and don't call them all upset. And I'm glad because it's exhausting.
And I'm also pleased that I can quit buying clothing for a while because I lost some weight and don't try to make my body look better with new clothes. And this planning outfits is more fun anyway.

I'm enjoying the support I have gotten from followers. Thanks.