No More Suffering for Fashion

You may have not noticed, but this blogger does not do high heels.  The highest I’ll go is a medium high wedge or platform, but definitely no stilettos!  I know that is not the case for most bloggers, particularly the much younger and on trend fashionistas.  Now that I’m pushing 50 and I work retail, high heels have no place in this bloggers life.  Sorry, I know they are sexy, but I can’t take the pain.  In fact, I think these are less painful than  pair of stilettos:

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So, I stay away from sexy shoes, but tend to go for middle-age cool shoes:

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So, while I can tell you I will never own a pair of these:

I can be grateful that I do have some really great shoes, because these images put everything into perspective:

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Shopgirl: Recent Outfits

Weather in Austin continues to rollercoaster up and down.  Typically, January and Feburary are the coolest months of the year.  We have 70 degrees one day and 50 degrees the next.  So here is my attempt to keep up with the unreliable temps.

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High waisted skinny, long necklace and tee from Madewell; Frye boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; other jewelry Kendra Scott; Sweater Coat Loft.

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Lou and Grey Dress from Loft (old); Kendra Scott Jewelry; Tights and socks Gap; Fossil watch; boots Clarks.

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Old Navy skirt and sweater purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; long necklace and vest from Madewell; other jewelry Kendra Scott; Fossil watch; ankle boots Clarks; Dooney and Bourke handbag purchased at Style EncoreIMG_2307IMG_0138

Jeans, cardigan, and long necklace Madewell; boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; tee purchased at The Home Tee.com; Dooney and Bourke handbag purchased at Style Encore.

The Slippery Slope

I was tooling on Amazon the other day, looking for various exercise dvds, which then led me to an exercise contraption endorsed by Marie Osmond, which then led me to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Osmonds-Beauty-Health-Touchstone/dp/0671253506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453511286&sr=8-1&keywords=marie+osmonds+guide+to+health+and+beauty

Marie Osmond’s Guide To Beauty, Health, & Style.  For me, this was quite a find!  I owned a copy of this book (once upon a time) and it was my first introduction to all things beauty and style.  At 11 years old,  I needed her sparkly star dust to guide me through the daunting mysteries of beauty, health, and style and propel me into young womanhood.  She was, after all, someone I could look up to-a Mormon girl, just like me whose head was full of pioneer histories, end-of-times prophecies, and hymns just like me!  Like me, she had probably already puzzled over polygamy:  since you had to be married in the Mormon temple to reach the highest level of our Mormon heaven, and since it was obvious to everyone concerned that righteous women out numbered righteous men, might God and our husbands ask us to accept a 2nd wife for the eternities?  No doubt, Marie was puzzling over that one, as I was.  But unlike me, she had mastered the intricacies of health, beauty, and style.  Who else could give me up-to-date information on “turning 12 clothing separates into 3 dozen outfits”, “10 hair do’s and don’ts, “skin care for 4 types of skin”, and my “3 make-up personalities”.    I poured over the beautiful photos.  The first one was of a long-haired, chubby Marie (which was where I was at), followed by the thin, Bob Mackie clad, make-up by Way Bandy (make-up artist to the stars), short hair-cut by Yusuke Suga who gave Dorothy Hamill her famous wedge cut.  Shit…this was going to be an up-hill battle!

And it was…with each photo the first seeds of inadequacy were planted.  I set out to follow her 62 minute morning routine, but then realized I didn’t have all the make-up, tools, and wardrobe separates that would turn me into a beautiful, desirable female.  I did have one thing, though…I had the short wedge cut that Marie had, not because of Marie, but because of Dorothy Hamill (I was figure skating at the time).  I also picked up tips (not from Marie) on how to get slim…a finger down the throat right after you enjoy a meal!  The weight came off so easily…and there started a slippery slope that lasted for about 16 years, until I became pregnant with my first child, who saved me.  Because of him, I started a journey of real health and fitness and…a little bit of body self love…

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Innocence…

 

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Me at 18…braces and frizzy hair!

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Outside the Mormon church on Sawtell Blvd in L.A.  Still not Marie Osmond glamorous!

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Ooooo…this one looks like I could be a Downton Abbey extra!  But alas, no match for Lady Mary…perhaps Lady Edith?  This is a costume shot for a play I was doing in L.A. back in the day.

 

This is a current photo of Marie.  I look at this photo and I have no desire to emulate her beauty routine.  From the looks of it, it includes injections and a lot more time than I’m willing to spend on hair and make-up.  I’ve read some of her more recent books (I think there are 3 or 4) and I actually feel sorry for her.  She spills the truth of how her life was really like when she put out her guide to health beauty & style.  You see that her life was far from perfect.  I wish that “Surviving Ophelia” and “The Body Project” by Dr. June Blumberg were available when I started adolescence.  I read them in my 30’s and had a “lighbulb” moment. If I had those books then, maybe the self-loathing would have been less…I don’t know.

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I guess some of us are late bloomers.  I’m closer to 50 now than I am to 40 and I’m just now starting to feel comfortable in my own skin because now I just don’t give a flying fig newton about things that I thought were so important.  I dress to please myself and no one else, not even my husband, because he truly doesn’t care what I wear!  He once told me I would look good in a potato sack (I think he meant that as a compliment…or he wants me to wear potato sacks cuz’ they’re cheaper).

I no longer read beauty and style guides for my personal use, but my intagram feed is full of fashion bloggers because you know, I work re-sale and I need to know what’s up, but I have to say…sometimes looking at my feed is so exhausting…all of these bloggers are so overly made up and done up!  They are so young and some of them you can tell that they’ve started their slippery slope (injections, surgery, excessive dieting) and I can empathize with them and I’m grateful that I’m not in that place anymore.  I can only hope that one day they will dig in their heels and stop the slide.

(Kut From The Cloth Boyfriend Jeans from Nordstrom Rack; Loft Sweatshirt, Kate Spade Crossbody and Faux Fur Vest purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Shoes Clarks, Kendra Scott Necklace, quilted Chicos vest purchased at Style Encore.)

 

 

Losing my Religion…and finding myself.

This was one of my earlier posts on my blog. I’m re-posting here because following post/s will stem from this particular one.

Graceful Middle-Aging

On yesterday’s post I mentioned that I use to have dress restrictions.  Part of that was because of body image and low self-esteem, but for this post I will focus on one source of restrictions…the religion I was raised in.  I was raised in the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Modesty is endorsed (which is a good thing), but something like this dress is considered immodest:

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Especially after I was married in the Mormon Temple, I had to wear the undergarments that are to be worn for protection and to serve as a reminder of the promises that you make and vow to keep.  I won’t go into what the Temple ceremony is like…you can see covert videos on youtube.com.

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If I showed up to church like this I don’t think I would be asked to leave, but I would get some stern glances…

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The Rise of Snobby Re-sale Shops

This is kind of a continuation of yesterday’s post because of the article link I’m going to post (Did y’all hear about Walmart?  Another retail casualty!).  I’ve worked for two of the re-sale companies mentioned in this article from Time Magazine in 2014:

The Rise of Snobby Secondhand Fashion Retail

So here are some looks from the last couple of weeks.  Again, no exotic locations…the pics are from my house or at work, but they utilize the re-sale ethic.  You can also see racks and racks of some really good merchandise in the background!

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Soma dress purchased Style Encore re-sale shop; Tights and turtleneck (old) Gap; Faux fur vest purchased at Clothes Mentor re-sale shop; ankle boots Clarks.

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Joe’s Jeans purchased at Style Encore re-sale shop; Plaid shirt (old) Old Navy; Frye Boots and Kate Spade crossbody purse purchased at Clothes Mentor re-sale shop; Vest from Splendid (a fairly transparant and ethical line); Jewelry Kendra Scott; Fossil Watch (christmas gift from my daughter, Chloe).

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Madewell slim-boyfriend jeans purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park re-sale shop; Ugg booties from Nordstrom Rack; Plaid shirt Old Navy; Gap tank (old); Jewelry from Mob Stubb and Kendra Scott.

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Jcrew High Waisted skinny jeans; Coat (old) Madewell; Frye boots from Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Plaid Shirt purchased at Style Encore re-sale shop; Sweater and long necklace Loft (old); Rings Kendra Scott; Michael Kors crossbody christmas gift.

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Turtleneck Loft; High Waisted skinnies and long necklace from Madewell; Gucci Boots, owl necklace and Kate Spade handbag Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Coat Old Navy.

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Joe’s Jeans, Consuela backpack, plaid coat, and JCrew shirt Style Encore re-sale; Loft sweater and long necklace (old); Code West boots Clothes Mentor Cedar Park re-sale shop.

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Cardigan, Tee, Long Necklace, rings, and flats from Madewell; JCrew pants; Kendra Scott earrings and short necklace; Consuela crossbody purchased at Style Encore re-sale shop; Beatles limited edition sunglasses purchased from Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

So get your phones out and use google to find the nearest re-sale shop near you!

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

Oh, thrift shopping!  You’ve come a long way, baby!!  So many beautiful stores to choose from!  This comes at the peril of standard retail shopping…Macy’s closing 30 stores, Gap Inc. has been closing stores.  The face of retail shopping has changed greatly.  This article, “It’s Never Been Harder To Sell A $60 Gap Sweater”,is very sobbering and explains the situation :

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/the-60-dollar-sweater-crisis#.xuaze0yjqq

So, comes the rise of thrifting, consignment, re-sale…whatever you want to call it, is rising rapidly, which is a very good thing for the environment. You have so many wonderful choices in these beautiful stores, definitly not the smelly, dirty shopping experience at your local Goodwill.  We have many in the Austin area (where I live).  I work for one, STYLE ENCORE.  Here are some pics of the North West Austin location.  It’s big, beautiful, has lots of natural light and beautiful merchandise!

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Yes, those are honest to goodness Gucci boots, size 8, for only $200!  They re-sale on ebay for anywhere from $600-$900!

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The above was my Dooney and Bourke shopper…

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I traded the Dooney for this beautiful Consuela Backpack from their Candy Crush collection.  I bet most of you are not familiar with Consuela bags…it’s a Texas thang that you might want to check out!  “Whimsical” is the word to best describe this line. IMG_2199

This is T.J. hard at work on a buy.  We buy our inventory from the community.  We look for styles that have been in the malls from the last 1-2 years, very gently worn, freshly laundered and folded nicely in a tub or shopping bag.  Our prices are about 70% of what mall prices are and we pay our sellers 30-40% of what we price an item at.  Pretty cool, huh?  You are helping the environment by extending the life of these clothes, you are not directly supporting the less than ethically produced brands, and…you can get honest to goodness designer items for a song!

I know I’ve posted this link before for “The True Cost”, but if you are a consumer, it is a must see.  It will honestly change the way you see retail, available on Netflix:

 

Have I piqued your interest?  I hope so!  See what re-sale shops are available in your area!  I think you will be pleasantly surprised about the new re-sale experience!

This is what this retail worker put together for a shift:

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Jolt vest and Paige Jeans from Nordstrom Rack; Plaid shirt Old Navy; Ariat cowboy boots purchased at Style Encore re-sale shop; Kendra Scott jewelry.

 

New Year’s Resolutions

I think for millions of Americans, the number one New Year’s resolution is to get fit and/or lose weight.  Am I right?  I know it ranks right up at the the top of our lists.  Thankfully for me, it’s not a resolution I need to make because I have made fitness a priority for most of my adult life.  I tend to view life as a marathon and I need to train for that marathon.  You need to be fit in body and mind for the hurdles life puts in your way.  I believe exercise is the holy grail for aging gracefully by keeping your mind and body fit, strong and alert.  An exercise regime got me through childbirth, helped me through depression, has kept the middle-age weight gain at bay, and helps me deal with the stresses of life.  Being able to walk, run, lift, swing, climb, push…whatever, is a gift that many people are not able to participate in and often the inability to participate is self-inflicted.

When I was younger, being the thinnest I could possibly be was the primary goal.  Due to lack of self esteem and an abundance of self-loathing, I would starve, binge, and purge to try to get down to a certain weight.  This cycle started in junior high, knowing I was nowhere near as cute and attractive as most of my female classmates.  I was smart and creative, but those qualities didn’t matter because I believed I wasn’t attractive enough.    I continued this cycle until I became pregnant with my first child at 27 and my priorities changed.  Even though I had a background in dance and figure skating as a youth, I set out to learn everything I could about nutrition and exercise science.  I started exercising from home when there became an abundance of home workouts on the market.

Fast forward 25-30 years,  I still continue to workout at home.  Since we moved to Texas, I’ve been able to have my own room for a home gym.

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I have exercise ADHD, so I have a wide variety of workouts.  It is what has kept me on course for so long.  I have Heavy weight lifting, endurance lifting, kettlebell, barre workouts, ballet/dance workouts, yoga, pilates…you name it, I’ve got it.  One of my favorite activities is to do my cardio on my mini-trampoline, especially since I’ve read up on all of the benefits to rebounding:

I use my rebounder every day either as a warm-up or cool-down to other workouts or as my main form of cardio for that particular day.  I swear, it never fails to put me in my happy place!

I also do more conventional forms of workouts.  I bet you have never heard of Cathe Friedrich, have you?  Well, she has been the high-priestess of advanced home workouts for many years.  She is a little over fifty now, so she is offering more low-impact workouts for her followers over 40.  Low impact does not mean low-intensity when it comes to a Cathe workout.  I did this one from her new series that I got for Christmas:

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I had a blast doing this one today!  The time just flew by.  This is from her newest series.  She has many others:

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Did I pique your curiosity?  Mosey on down to Cathe.com to see all that she has to offer.  I’ve done a couple of rounds of P90X, but Cathe is my go-to-girl for advanced workouts.  She can make Tony Horton look like a wuss.  Because of Cathe, I can still do boy pushups, military sit-ups, kick-boxing and I’m almost 50!  I also have more mellow workouts that I do when I’m not feeling 100%, but I do something every day.  Who needs a yucky, germy gym when you can workout at home with world class instructors?  Besides, you only get one body and life is hard enough without having to deal with health issues because of poor diet and lack of activity.

So, I obviously don’t need to put fitness down on my New Year’s resolution list, but there are some things I want/need to work on.  I want to become smarter, more patient, better informed, kinder, more caring , and more pro-active than I am.   Funny, I know that these same things will probably be on my list 20 years from now, because you can never be “too kind”, “too patient”, or “too caring” in my book.

I hope y’all had a good New Year’s!  Mine was very chill…went out to eat (a veggie burger) and picked up a couple of goodies at Half Price Books (my other happy place):

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And it was actually cold enough to wear a sweater today!

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Joe’s Jeans purchased at Style Encore Northwest Austin; Lou and Grey Sweater & Tee (old) Loft; Jewelry Kendra Scott and Madewell; Frye boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Dooney and Bourke handbag.

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Happy New Year y’all!!!!