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Friday, April 24, 2015

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit.

The response to last week's post made me mushy inside, guys. Thanks for indulging me and being supportive of my silly interests and hobbies. Y'all are the best enablers a blogger could have.

Now down to business.

On Wednesday, I left my house at 9:25 AM after putting the kids on the bus, knowing I would likely not be home again until 10 PM that evening. This is not my usual schedule, and the fact that it was non-stop back to back events kind of made me feel a bit ... dark.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

This may be a surprise, but I'm actually a bit of an introvert. I like my quiet. I need my down time. A day full of things where none of them were fun but all of them needed accomplished just made my soul weep.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

So I needed an outfit that was appropriate for not just one, but TWO shifts at work, as well as the day's errands and appointments. And as much as I love dresses, I needed something more utilitarian -- read pockets my phone actually fits into -- and less fussy (it was a super windy day, as you can see from my hair) and I guess my inner '90's girl is just taking this moment to shine in all of her angsty pre-teen glory.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

I was lucky enough to be able to pop home for literally 45 minutes mid-afternoon -- to let out the dogs, get the mail, get Tova changed for soccer ... and take outfit photos because after detailing my outfit for a friend via text, she practically screamed at me to do a fashion post.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

Et voila, Liz. Et voila.

A couple of things made this shoot more difficult, aside from the time crunch. Taking pictures in the front yard versus the back posed a challenge ... my neighbors are nosey, people walk by all the time, so I had an audience which made me nervous (please to notice, if you zoom in, my chronic resting bitchface in full effect). Also it was a weirdly overcast day and I forgot that the front yard doesn't get the best light in the afternoon. But this outfit felt like it needed a less cheery backdrop ... so bare cement stairs and front porch it was.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

I did manage to take some better detail shots, though.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

Also because Liz yelled at me that I needed to. Because details are important.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

I also experimented with some new Lightroom presets from VSCO. I love their VSCOcam app on my phone for editing photos, so when they released a free starter pack of presets for Lightroom, I got stupid excited. I wish ... I wish they just had a desktop app like the mobile one, because I'd use that in a heartbeat. But these presets were okay, probably more refined than the ones I've created myself. Slow learning curve, all this fancy photography stuff.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

Complete sidebar: I really need a name to call this series ... thoughts? And any other things any of you out there want to see, or questions you have about stuff? I feel a bit strange still being like LOOK AT ME WEAR CLOTHES so if this can be a collaborative effort, I'm all here for that.

Also this post's inspirational shout out is to Kaylah at The Dainty Squid because hipster life goals.

Moody Dawn 'Til Dusk Outfit. via sotabulous.com

Black flower-print lined blazer: Old Navy
Floral print tank: Old Navy
Black cuffed chino shorts: Old Navy
Black tights: Spanx (yep. no shame here.)
Neon green belt: H&M
Chandelier earrings: NYCO (I think, I can't really remember, I've had them for eons)
Rose gold single chevron ring: Vince Camuto (via TJMaxx)
Bracelets: Mantraband
Multi-chain necklace: H&M
Short moto boots: MIA (via Nordstrom Rack)
Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Berry (because I know someone's going to ask)

Monday, April 13, 2015

My Awkward and Official Foray Into (Feminist?) Fashion Blogging.

It often feels to me like the most vapid thing I could do with this space at this place in my life is to turn it into some drivel about superficial things.

And yet, I've been meaning for months to do a more regular fashion-esque bit, because, once you parse out all of the stupid crap around stereotypical fashion blogs, (which that does NOT include the lovely ladies with whom I've participated in link ups and challenges prior -- I'm talking more the super unreasonably priced, seemingly un-self-aware ones) when you're in a place like the one I'm in, you sometimes kind of find yourself in your literal closet.

At least I have.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

Over the last three or four years, I think I've really gotten a good grasp on how I like to present myself. And in my newish singledom, it's been really interesting to see how that plays out in the real world, outside of the cocoon of perceived safety that was marriage.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

I'm not really sure when I stopped giving a flying fuck about what other people thought about my appearance, but it was one of the greatest choices I've ever made.

So. I guess I'd like to open the floor up to talk about my moments of sartorial pride, if you'll grant me the indulgence.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

I mean, I know this isn't the first time I've blogged about the clothes on my body. But I guess this is the first time I intend to make it A Thing that is discussed here with some regularity, I guess. I don't know, I'm open to suggestions about how to go about this.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

I pretty much just really dug how I pulled myself together this past Friday. And finally got my shit together enough when the sun was still out and the kids would grant me a couple of moments of peace to actually do something to capture it.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

And I have this nice camera I've really done barely anything with since Christmukkah ... so why not take the feminist selfies a step further?

Pro tip: if you truly want to get comfortable in your own skin, a 365 selfie photo challenge is a great way to do it. Having to look at yourself every(ish) day for a whole year makes you way more comfortable catching your own gaze in mirrors and certainly lets you start to see yourself as more than just your apparent flaws. Even when it frustrates the hell out of you that you can't remember how to edit out some of those flaws in Photoshop and you're too tired to look it up and sloppily relearn it, at least tonight.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

I'm also going to need a remote for my camera. Because as fun as it was to run back and forth from my camera with the timer on and the rapid shot setting ... yeah I almost wiped out in some mud by the raised garden beds. That'd have ruined things a bit.

So yeah. I'm coming to grips with the woman I've become in this third decade of my life, the femme lady with the tomboy inner child. It's been an adventure, and it's far from over. And how I present myself, how I look, is a big part of that.

I don't hate what I see in the mirror hardly at all anymore. I don't worry about what people might say if I'm seen in public (unless it's street harassment, then I'll kindly tell you to STFU loudly and blatantly because fuck you I have every right to walk around this world looking as I so choose without having to face ridicule or propositions or, frankly, fear. So learn some fucking manners and back the fuck off, kthnxbai) or really much about the whispers and side eyes I do catch out in the wild. I like how I look. I've been graced with some good genes and I find fashion and makeup fun and liberating and are as much a part of who I am and how I communicate that with the world as these very words.
My Awkward and Official Foray Into Fashion Blogging. via sotabulous.com

Bicycle print fit & flare dress: Iska London (via Zulily)
Polka dot cardigan: Target
White faux leather perforated belt: H&M
Suede star print ballet flats: TOMS (via Zulily)
Sunglasses: Kate Spade (via Nordstrom Rack)
Star necklace & earrings: H&M
Bangle bracelets: MantraBands
Chevron ring: Vince Camuto (Via TJMaxx)

Not that all the words will now be about the clothes I wear out of the house ... but I just want it on the table more than occasionally, I guess. And please, if there's things of this nature you want to see from me or ask me about or whatever, DO IT. Let's steer this mermaid-encrusted ship together, lovelies.

PS -- solid shout out to Leah at Morning Ink for (a) her incredibly cute style and (b) unknowingly inspiring me to finally tackle this idea head on. I'm not sure how we stumbled upon each other on IG, but lady has some solid fashion sense, is super pretty, and is trying to make sure ALL women are represented in fashion blogging. My kind of girl.

Monday, March 30, 2015

On Doing The Work.

The hardest part is getting up the stairs.

Maybe I should have written my way through this, like I have everything else. Maybe I shouldn't have ever held back or thought twice, but put all my dirty laundry out there for everyone to see, unashamed of the permanent stains on all my threadbare items. Maybe I should have proceeded with the same reckless abandon I did ten years ago, not giving a damn who was reading what or where or how or really anything.

In so many ways, I miss that youthful naivete, that shelteredness despite the bad things that had come before, the inexperience with handling such events as some semblance of an adult. The freedom that was there, it was phenomenal.

But you get older, due to time never stopping and due to the bad things that begin to happen, things you couldn't dream or truly fathom in your not-so-distant youth. And with those come a hesitance, some superstition, and a bitter and wounded caution. And those things become the voices in your head, the inner monologue of constant doubt, of disbelief in the sanctity of good things, the constant dress rehearsing of tragedy that stops you before you can take one step upon the stairs that lead to the tiny corner you've tried so many times to carve out for yourself.

Because what if?

And so it is easier for me to not go up the stairs, to tell myself I will get to it later, after work, or when the kids are in school, or over the weekend sometime, or or or ...

And my chair sits empty. My computer needs an update again because it's sat so long, in perpetual hibernation.

You and me both, laptop. You and me both.

And through this, the thing I have come to realize is that it's not enough to just write. It's not enough to wait for inspiration or timing or quiet or space. It's not enough.

You have to do the work. You have to sit down and chain yourself to your machine of choice and just like any other endurance test you just have to do it, over and over and over, to ever make any progress. It will not be comfortable. It will not be convenient. It will cost you time and sleep and sanity but the only way out is through, and that means you must show up and hold yourself accountable and do the work.

Which means I guess I need to start telling my stories, not so much with reckless abandon, but with a cautious optimism and the hope of grace.

Today, I made it up the stairs.

Here's to doing it again tomorrow.