Thursday, August 22, 2019

Out With a Bang

It's the end of an emotional week, topped by tonight being my last WW (Weight Watchers) meeting of my career with them. It's been nearly nine years!
One of my hallmarks as a leader/coach is that I always wear a special outfit. Today, the Firecracker Dress - 'cause I wanted to go out with a bang!

  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last worn here for New Year's Eve with fabulous booties
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last seen here in May as a picnic princess
  • Coat (below) - Club Monaco, thrifted; last worn here in May with stripes and regret-me-nots

This dress is a work of art - those are individual tabs of silk that are sewn onto the dress. But there are no seams down the sides, so those tabs were sewn on AFTER the black underdress was made. What an incredible amount of work!
"But what about meeee...?"

My coworkers and WW members variously called it post-it notes, confetti and Chiclets.
It's such a fun dress to wear - the flaps of fabric wave as I walk. It's also really comfortable - a jammy dress, for sure.

I needed that comfort today - instead of comfort food, it's comfort clothes!
 I've been emotionally preparing myself for a few weeks for tonight's meeting. I knew I wanted to share my story again with my group, and give them one last bit of inspiration. I also shared my blog with them for the first time, so hello! Welcome to my life. Thanks for swinging by!

Let me introduce you to my rotten cat, Vizzini, who ate 10 rubber bands this morning that he stole out of my purse while I was sleeping (they were for a tie-dye project). He eats a lot of things, including shoes *cough* here *cough* here *cough* here.
"All lies! This is not a good first impression, Woman."

We are keeping a very close eye on our little guy, though. We do love him to bits.

Edited to add: He barfed up a tangle of rubber bands this morning! Thanks to L for cleaning them up!

Outerwear - yes, once again, August strikes.
 It cleared up and got sunny later. Perhaps there's a little summer left after all?

The stuff:
Love these bright orange shoes. They're practically a neutral. That's one perfectly balanced heel.

Superfluous bling:
 The dress kind of accessorizes itself, but my additional big bold bling functions in the "Clothing as Armour" box for me today, giving me strength.

  • Cuff/ring - 60s vintage, Italy, vintage mall
  • Ring - c. 1996
  • Earrings - vintage fair

Forgive my indulgence, but just nine years is a long time to do anything!
Some of the concrete things that I have as memories of all of the wonderful people I've helped, inspired and guided. I send them all thanks for inspiring ME.

  • My 2013 award for Fastest Growing Meeting (received here, scroll way down; and gotten back here)
  • My five year Certificate of Recognition (woo, a certificate, hee hee)
  • My three name-tags over the years, oldest at the top to newest at the bottom
  • My "inspiration" picture that I keep on my fridge

Here's a better look at my inspiration picture. That's L in the bottom with his Goblet of Rock - this is in June 2006 and it's my guy's birthday party. I'm 38 there.
I lost 50 lbs, starting two months after that, and have kept my weight off now for 12 years (an early post about my story here, and another aspect of it, my Dad's inspiration, here). I also did a post for my 10 lb celebration here.

I have always done 1-2 meetings a week since my very first "own" meeting here in 2009 (I did my training and subbed in some meetings in late 2008), and have been at my Thursday group for 3-4 years, I think? I adore my colleague Betty and will miss seeing her every week - we have been together from the start. I will miss my members, but this is a small town, and I'm sure I'll see some of them around.

So, why leave?

Wellness is a three-legged stool - this is the analogy I use. The legs are:

  1. food: eating whole foods in proper portions; having occasional treats
  2. exercise: moving whenever and however works for you
  3. mental health: putting yourself first; doing that thing, whether it's art, music, whatever, that when you finish it, you go, "Ahhhhh...I need to do that more often."

When one or more legs is out of balance, your stool gets wobbly, or falls over.

My stool is wobbly.

I need to move more. One of the things I used to do on a regular basis is a weekly long walk, for about an hour, at a good pace (I used to racewalk - I've won a bunch of medals, pic here on our Bruins/Dolphins shrine). Since I now have my Thursday nights free, I'm going to do that walk then, rain or shine.

I also need to get back into my art. It has been years since I did my Zentangle (this is an example here, a fan I made for Mom), and my recent rediscovery of it (here), has reminded me that doing art centers me, helps me get my brain straight. I might even decide to start writing again (I used to host poetry workshops, have won awards and was published in a book sold at our local Chapters), although that is a bit of a treacherous deep dive, emotionally.

But right now, I need some purr therapy.
"Oh, so now the truth comes out."

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friends.
"Much love to my fans."

I'll be back on Sunday with the Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up and tales of adventure. Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Zebra and Sorbets

Today was a gloomy, rainy day - very typical for the we(s)t coast of Canada, but not so much in August! 
 I'd had this outfit waiting in the wings for a cool-ish day, and today was it.

  • Sweater - Lacoste, vintage, thrifted; last seen here (3rd outfit) in January for a weekend shopping trip
  • Skirt - Chapter One, thrifted; purchased here for $8.50
  • Shoes - Prophecy; first worn here in July in a shoe-fart-a-thon

First wearing of this new-to-me corduroy skirt. I know it's supposed to be a zebra pattern, but I always see the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings!
 It's a pretty bossy pattern, so I went with a solid colour to let it be in charge. I love this soft pastel green wool sweater - it's by Lacoste, and made in France so you know that a) it's old and b) it's KLASSY.

It's the colour of lime sorbet, which we grew up calling sherbet (but pronouncing sher-bert).
 And a lime sorbet totally goes well with raspberry sorbet, right?

Pink shoes and accessories!
I'd intended on wearing my pink salamander pin over the Lacoste logo on my chest, but it was too heavy for this sweater in that position, so I put my wee "S" pin there instead. Lacoste should pay ME to show their logo!

The stuff:
In addition to wearing a sweater, I wore nylons today to hopefully ameliorate the shoe-fart issues I had when I wore these bare-footed last time - and it worked! Not a single shoe-fart! These will have to stay out in my fall/winter wardrobe or be an early spring/late summer pair of shoes.

Pink bling:
I wish I'd worn more rings - my fingers felt naked all day.

  • Necklace/earrings - vintage 60s, Sherman, vintage fair

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pattern Mixing: Your Not-So-Basic Tropical and Windowpane

Pattern mixing again today! Some of you are a bit leery of doing this, but it's not as scary as it seems - really! 
You just mix a couple of patterns! No, there's a tiny bit more to it, which I will get to shortly, but that's the gist of it. Today, it's a tropical print and a windowpane plaid.

  • Shirt - Scotch &Soda by Maison Scotch, vintage store, Vancouver; last worn here (2nd outfit) in April with odd black pants
  • Trousers - Banana Republic, thrifted; first worn here in April with red circles
  • Shoes - Wonders; last seen here in June for a chilled-out Saturday

This shirt is one of my favourite kinds of patterns: a graphic print. This one has a flamingo, a couple of carp-like fish, water lilies and some greenery - it's very tropical. It's trimmed with a sporty black and white stripe around the edge and the blush pink sleeves and back are printed with a micro-dot and star design in black.
All the colours lend themselves very well to mixing with more colour. Of course, you could wear plain black pants with this top, by why be boring?

Do you know AllWays in Fashion*? Michelle is an expert in fashion and style, and writes excellent posts about her history in the fashion industry (seriously, she worked for THE fashion magazines for 38 years!), and often opines on the state of fashion, including a fun post today, "Basics are Boring."
*As always, linking 'cause I love! I've been reading Michelle's blog for years.

I tend to agree! For me, every single item I wear has to be special - where someone else might wear plain grey trousers, I'll wear a windowpane trouser.
These are fully-lined and are a fine summer-weight wool. Yup, a sweater yesterday, and now wool pants today. What kind of bogus August is this?

Do you know all the plaids? This is a useful post that I found, here, that explains them all. Wouldn't want to mix up our plaids, would we?
"Just mix them together" is not very good advice for pattern-mixing if you've never done it before, is it? So, here's a couple of guidelines that might help if you're feeling adventurous:

  • Make one of the prints a geometric pattern. This could be a plaid, stripes, polka dot. Here's another example of how I wore this top with a different, bolder plaid, and here's how I wore it with black-and-white (to match the neckline trim!) houndstooth trousers.
  • Make the other a more organic pattern, like a floral, paisley or a graphic print. Examples here (3 patterns!), here (two geometric patterns, but one is semi-organic looking), here (graphic print plus oversized gingham). 
  • Both prints should have at least one colour in common. In the above outfit, there's some grey in the pattern, but I could have also done pink, white, dark green, dark teal, bright orange. 
  • Two colours in common really sing, like in this outfit (a floral/polka dot mix) where both the jacket and the skirt have red and pale yellow. 
  • Don't be afraid to just TRY it. The worst that could happen is that you have a bad outfit day (we all have them). It happens! But if you never try, you'll never learn, grow and succeed!

Would you add anything to that? Do you have a trick that works for you?

The stuff:
 My love for these shoes is immense. Pink, shiny, white soles, wooden last, and very soft leather.

Intricate bling:
By picking out other, different colours in the shirt's pattern for the shoes and the accessories, it ties the whole look together.

  • Silver/aventurine ring - consignment
  • Crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery gift shop, Florence, Italy
  • Earrings - vintage fair

Of course, you could just go with black and white, like Vizzini.
"I match everything."

Well, he does have a point!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Silver Fox and Monday Blues

Everyone is on vacation, both at work and in the blogosphere, and things are really quiet. I'm good with that, as it's a good time to recharge the ol' batteries. 
It was a good time to wear this skirt again too. I apparently got the "blue memo" as it seemed like everyone in the office today was also wearing blue. Monday blues!

  • Sweater - Gap, thrifted; purchased here for $8.50
  • Skirt - JS, consignment; first worn here in April with more black and white
  • Shoes - Marc Jacobs, vintage, thrifted; last seen here in June with a black dress

Despite the dearth of people at work, I still had oodles of comments on this funky, sparkly fox sweater.
A few of my colleagues referred to me as the Silver Fox today, heh heh.

I know! I'm wearing a sweater in August, but it just has not been that warm this year. I can handle a sweater when it's only 21 degrees.
I love this skirt - another maxi!

I had to wear it with the matching shoes.
 How often do you find a pair of those that match a garment so perfectly?

The stuff:
 Such fun footwear! The ribbed sides are molded suede. These are surprisingly comfortable.

Bold bling:
 Simple, unfussy shapes.

  • Cuff - vintage fair
  • Lapis lazuli ring/ Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - local

This morning when I went out to do my stair picture, I spotted the teenaged seagulls on the neighbouring apartment building's roof. 

They're a sullen-looking lot, rather dingy and grey, not quite gotten their grown-up crisp white feathers yet. Ah, teenagers!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Friday Optics; Swooshy and Lace; Peachy Maxi; Bright Brollys

Hello, my friends! Are you ready for a bunch of outfits? I had a pretty quiet weekend, although I managed to squeeze in a couple of mini-shops.

Here's Friday's outfit. 
 The starting point was this new to me Jean Paul Gaultier optic cardigan.

This is my outfit for "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Go!

  • Cardigan - Jean Paul Gaultier Soleil, consignment; purchased here for $24.00
  • Top - Clover Canyon, thrifted; last worn here almost exactly a year ago in August 2018 with Versace mom-jeans
  • Cords - Banana Republic, thrifted; last seen here (3rd outfit) in June for a movie
  • Shoes - Wonders, thrifted; last worn here in July with my black jammy suit

Putting a solid colour with the cardigan was a gimme - I have a collection of solid-coloured bottoms for mixing with my prints, so that's easy. These acid yellow cords did the trick.
 Instead of the expected white or black top, I then mixed another optical pattern into the outfit.

I must completely mess with the vision of everyone who sees me!
 The cardigan had many admirers - it was light as a feather to wear. It's two layers of mesh (you can see how much sheerer it is on the arms where there only one layer); the inside layer is black.

I love this top but I always forget I have it. My simple tops like this live in a drawer, so I have to consciously remember to dig through it once in a while.
 Can you tell what the pattern is?

It's been distorted digitally.
 It's accordions!

And we are all in accord. With the accordions. And my cords.
 Ha! It's just too much!

The stuff:
 Super-comfy shoes for my busy day in the office.

Blue bling:
 I painted my big toenails a turquoise blue to match!

  • Fur pin - Catawumpus
  • Optic ring - thrifted for $3.95 (first wearing)
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - Mango's

L and I chilled out on Friday night, unwinding from our hectic week, and were up early to head to the field for our Saturday Ultimate Frisbee game.
As always, I change into my sport gear at the field, then back into my "real" clothes for brunch afterwards.

  • Lace jacket - faux Gucci (Gookey!), thrifted; last worn here in June with floral and pearls
  • Blouse - Dex, thrifted; first seen here in September 2018 with this same jacket
  • Skirt - LA Hearts, thrifted; last worn here in May with the jelly-deer sweater
  • Shoes - Softmocs, thrifted; last seen here (3rd outfit) with a ginormous skirt for Winesday

It was a cloudy but hot and muggy day - we had a good game, although my team lost.
Still fond of this fun lace bomber.

And I love the swoosh in this maxi skirt.
 I don't have a lot of maxi dresses, but I do have many maxi skirts.

This blouse was also in the drawer with the accordion top.
I needed a red top and there it was. Of course, I spilled down the front of it at lunch. Ya can't take me anywhere!

The stuff:
I didn't feel like wearing a lot of stuff.

  • Gold hoops - 5th anniversary gift from L

L had to dash down to Ditch Records to pick up a CD, so I had a quick browse in the Velvet Crease while I waited for him. I had waffled over this funky jacket the last time I was in, but it was too pricey for me at $50.00.
 I love the galactic print - so fun - and the double white stripes down the arms. The neck and cuffs are stretchy, and there are slash pockets on the front.

The back is just a s good.
 More stripes!

The lower sides of the jacket can be snapped up - there are 3 snaps per side.
 One of them is broken, but I don't care.

The snaps say "Subcrude" which seems to be a line of weird baggy skateboard pants.
The tags inside say Prosperity.
 I couldn't find out anything about this online, but it was marked down to half price at $25.00 so I was happy!

After a nice long nap for our sore and tired selves, L and I went to the local pub for dinner.
 Nothing too fancy, just a simple top and skirt.

  • Linen top - Gap, thrifted; last worn here in July on my trip to Hamilton
  • Skirt - BCBG Max Azria, consignment; first worn here in May with blossom pink
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) last weekend

This peachy-coloured linen top is lovely to wear - it really hasn't been warm enough this summer to wear it much.
 I quite like this pleated maxi skirt.

It's huge!
 I loved how it billowed in the breeze on our walk to and from the pub.

My little green neon purse went perfectly.
 And what's that hiding by my leg?
 My paper parasol! I get tired of wearing sunblock - when it's not too windy and I don't need both hands free, this is a nice alternative.

The stuff:
 I need easy shoes after running around in cleats for two hours.

  • Purse - Club Monaco, thrifted
  • Bracelet - thrifted
  • Earrings - thrifted

On Sunday (today), I did my usual weekly grocery shop and then had a quick browse at the WIN Boutique, and popped in at two garage sales.
It's sunny and windy, but not too hot, so this light sweater was fine.

  • Sweater - Bleu & Gray, thrifted; first seen here in July with ruffles and pearls
  • Skirt - SP; last worn here in April with copper
  • Shoes - Karl Lagerfeld; last seen here (2nd outfit) to the Ulti field in June

Another wearing of this fun print - I do love the brollys.
I saw at least two people wearing pajama pants in the grocery store.

 I would always rather dress like this than be extra-casual.
 Yeah, I'll stick with my sweater and skirt!

First time out with my new-to-me leather copper bag.
 It was excellent - I mostly carried it like this, but when I was shopping, I hooked it at my elbow.

The stuff:
 I love all these golden yellows together! The shoes are comfy enough, but they are wearing out quickly. I'll maybe get one more summer out of them.

Golden bling:
 First wearing of the parrot brooch ($5.00) and the wooden ring ($3.95).

  • Brooch - thrifted
  • Ring - thrifted
  • Ear-balls - Dior, consignment
  • Bag - Arcadia, consignment

Not much luck this time around with my shopping. All I found was a new-in-the-box pair of lace hosiery by DIM at the WIN Boutique.
 Regular $12.00, and they were marked at $1.95.

It's a really nice lace.
 These will be handy once we get back into hosiery weather. I do like a nice lacy pair of tights.

You'll have noticed a distinct lack of cat pictures in this post.
"I've appreciated that the paparazzi have been absent this weekend."

We've been giving Vizzini lots of attention, playing with him and brushing him, but letting him chill out too.
"Can I get back to my nap now, Woman?"

Yes, naps for all!