Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Off Week

Can a style blogger be allowed an off week?
I'm not sure why but I'm having a stylistically uninspired week. Maybe it has something to do with taking a sick day Monday and not recovering wardrobe-wise since then. Plus I'm having the busiest week ever. The top outfit I wore while doing a little housework before a quick check-in at the office. Then I did a quick presto-chango to lead a Wednesday night parenting group at a church. I didn't want to be too dressy because people tend to dress casual for Wednesday nights, but it was part of my job which meant I felt I needed to look kind of professional. What's a girl to do?

Well, even my photography is off but, trust me, with the week I'm having, it's amazing I can even locate my camera and take a few lousy shots. Next week will be better, I promise. As a matter of fact, I think that's a good challenge for me to do extra-good outfits and photos next week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On the way home--Sick Day Edition

So, a couple of sick days has thrown my outfit photo schedule off because . . . well, frankly you DON'T want to see me in sloppy old sweats with no makeup on which is how I stayed all day Monday! Fortunately, I take an ADHD approach to outfit photos--sudden bursts of huge productivity followed by . . . whatever! That means I try to take lots when I'm in the mood and even, gasp, change into another outfit to go ahead and take pictures of that one when the mood strikes. I know I'll be consistently inconsistent and try to plan ahead for that. I generally try to use photos within a few weeks or at least the same season. So here's one from earlier in February.

On the way home, I always pass this place. The lake is way in the back out of sight, so I forget to stop here for a walk, especially in winter. Everything lined up on this day--warm weather, late afternoon sun and some spare time on my way home from work. Excuse the silly little tie around my waist.

I was wearing this lovely hand-crocheted tunic, but once I quit playing around with my camera and began walking, I took it off so it wouldn't get it too sweaty. After all, I put a lot of crochet hours into this thing and blocking it required more trouble than I could possibly imagine. I don't really want to do it again right away.

Backlit? Yeah, I meant to do that!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crochet Corner--Purple Tunic Adventures

This was one of those multi-purpose outings--photography/new camera practice, outfit photos, and exercise outdoors on a beautiful day. The lake behind Georgia Highlands College was surprisingly busy for February. There were people kayak fishing, walking, and even a guy flying a miniature remote control airplane.

I'm trying to branch out from the auto settings on my camera and the lighting was pretty cool. I'm still amazed at how much easier it is when you're photographing someone else than doing self portraits with a tripod. I can't tell you how many rookie mistakes I made that day. There were several with a giant tripod shadow in the shot, weird shadows across my face, backlit shots (not on purpose), etc. Each one was a learning experience I'm sure! My camera is a Canon SX230 HS and I'm loving it so far even if I am mystified by some of the settings.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Should I Wear . . . to a Small Town Theater Production?

If you are going to Theater in the big city, look elsewhere. But if you are attending a high school theater production in a small town, I'm your woman. Last night after work I coerced my boys into attending Darlington School's musical. No, they aren't Darlington students but I figured it would be a quality production.Their dad recently took them to a real Broadway production of Wicked in Birmingham, so I knew this wouldn't compete with that. I just thought it would be something different on a Friday night.  My parents met us there with plans to get coffee and dessert afterwards for a fun family outing. 

The twins wore their Alabama hoodies and jeans (which in small town GA is appropiate theater attire for teenage boys). I wore my red print dress, black cardigan, wide black belt and black boots with grey tights. 

Hmph! Apparently my boys aren't Gershwin fans. More drama went on in the parking lot than on stage with my boys exclaiming, "My ears, my ears!" Let me say quickly that nothing was wrong with the Darlington kids; my kids just have very high expectations! So we left my parents behind to watch the 2nd act without us and went to Starbucks.
I blame the Cedartown Community Theater which really are top notch, believe it or not. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised to see Elizabeth Arencibia and some of the Lundy kids on Broadway some day. I don't know much about theater but I know what I like. I'm blown away whenever we go to their productions. Well, you can't blame a mom for trying. More attempts at culture will come later.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are Dresses Really THIS easy?

Loving this soft dress so much. It feels just like my favorite t-shirt. Loving all the color possibilities too because it has some greens, blues, grays and black. It will combine with all kinds of things. This confirmed pants girl is becoming more and more of a dress girl.  After looking at my outfit photos for 5 months now, I'm often more pleased with the look of the outfits with dresses and skirts. Pants seem harder to fit but that's likely because my standards have gotten much higher. I have the fit challenges many multitudes of women have--a nice small waist with much larger hips, the dreaded waist gap, slight mommy belly, large thighs and short legs with a long torso. Sounds terrible when I put it that way,and yet somehow I manage to be cute!

In the past my approach was grab some comfy pants that were "good enough" to get by for work and make the best of it. This season so far my approach to pants shopping has been to try on a few, give up and buy dresses instead!

And for my photography moment I just have to comment it looks like I'm somewhere fascinating. Grasslands? Way out somewhere interesting? Nope, It's the slightly eroding grassy hill next to the parking lot of my favorite meat market in town. Ya just never know, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big-Boned and Big Bracelets

I fell in love with this dress at Target last week while attempting to find pants for work. It was a difficult color to capture because it's sort of a grey denim and looks silver in most of the photos. I wore it pretty basic for the first wearing but I can see all kinds of possibilities for layering, belts, scarves, etc. I had on a fuscia tee underneath that unfortunately didn't show up in any of the photos.

I know chunky bracelets can make someone with chubby arms look even more chunky but I love this bracelet. I'm big boned. No seriously my wrists and ankles, calves, etc. often don't fit in things sized for "normal" women. I don't think I'm some mutant, so sizing must be really wonky, but I do think there is something to the "big-boned" thing. While I want to be healthy and as active as my arthritis will let me, I really don't think I was meant to be a 95 lb. tiny woman no matter what. It's just not in the genetic cards.

My dad said his high school football coach saw his mom (my grandma) and exclaimed, "I wish you were built like your mother." Yes, and this is the grandma I resemble according to my mom. So genetics and all that . . . I think I can fight my genetic tendency towards obesity, but will never be super skinny.  But really, I'm O.K. with big-boned as long as I'm healthy. Now how did I get all that from a bracelet? It seriously must be bedtime!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Purple Blazer and the Silver Comet

One thing I love about living in this part of Northwest GA is that I live close to several towns with cool places to explore. I'm close enough to Atlanta if I want to enjoy the cultural advantages and far enough away  to stay out of traffic. On this particular day work took me close to the Silver Comet Trail, one of my favorite places to walk. I usually prefer more secluded hikes, but this is pretty cool when I'm traveling for work because it's so convenient. 

He I am showing off the necklace and earrings my loving husband got me for Valentines/Anniversary. He's so sweet! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rainy Day Blues, Dress and tights

Yes, I'm aware that there's an electrical cord coming from my head in this photo. Unfortunately, it's the best one showing the entire outfit. When you're using a tripod, it's a lot harder to spot things. I thought it was kind of funny, so what the heck, let's leave it in there! As I've said before, this is more of a blog featuring my process of learning than a "how-to" one.

This outfit was like a hug on a rainy, chilly day. You can't tell it but the dress was full of soft cottony goodness. And tights? This confirmed pantyhose hater is loving tights this year. I point back to my ballet years and blame that.

I layered a shirt under the dress and a button up shirt over it. Shoes are Merrill Allure and they feel like tennis shoes. Shirt--Worthington, Dress, believe it or not from Wal-mart. I had sworn off Wally World clothes, but this was just too cute to pass up.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Casual, yes casual!

O.K. Let's get real. On my days off I usually wear jeans and t-shirts even now that I have a style blog. I do tend to dress up more than I used to and actually consider if stuff looks good together and flatters me, but some days, I just want to not give it too much thought. Tuesday was one of those days. My husband and I took the day off to celebrate our 9th anniversary and we ended up checking out a local creek for kayaking possibilities. Since we got a little muddy, I was glad I went casual for the day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Husband Photo Shoot

Lets just say my husband doesn't like having his picture taken. I got away with a lot of these by taking them from behind or "just getting pics of those interesting rock formations, honey." I think he's adorable, but he claims he doesn't photograph well. I'm still learning how to get my outfit photos to be flattering, but I've come so far. I'm determined to figure out how to get flattering photos of men, especially him. The posing rules are a little different because I can't tell him to do a sassy hand on the hips twisted at the waist move. How do you get a manly yet flattering pose?

How I Choose to Spend My Lunch Hour is My Business!

 Here's proof that I actually wear the outfits I post to work. The weather was yucky one day last week. It had to be to keep me from taking outdoors shots. So I decided to take a few photos at my office. I think I cropped out all the clocks but I promise it was on my lunch break!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

At Work or In the Woods

I'm trying out posting from my husband's tablet. I'm of the generation where I love using technology but it doesn't entirely come naturally to me. Yeah, my kids were born with a smart phone in their hands, and they laugh at me. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Dress Up For the Movies?

On Friday I did a funny, crazy thing. Something so surprising, so unlike me that I can't believe I did it. I actually wore jeans to work for "casual Friday" and changed into a dress when I got home. I wanted to take some outfit photos while I had time and good lighting. The dress was so comfy I actually wore it to the movies with my hubby and grown step-sons. Normally I adhere to the "no one can see you anyway" rule for dressing for the movie theater, but this was as easy as jeans.

Yeah, the reverse of what I've done my entire life. I'm the woman who as a girl came home from church and immediately stripped off the dress and panty hose that we HAD to wear when I was younger. Yes, I'm old enough to remember having to dress up for church. Any time I could get away with pants, that's what I always preferred. Oh you know, I loved the once a year ballet recital tu tu, halloween, flower girl wedding dresses and playing dress up with mom's dresses, but generally for everyday wear, dresses were out.

 As a girl growing up in the 70's dresses seemed to me a symbol of weakness. Only in the last few years have I added pink back to my wardrobe. Apparently I had some kind of weird complex about femininity that I don't totally understand. Now I know leaving an abusive relationship in my 30's means I'm strong, not what I wear. Giving birth to twins and raising them means I'm strong, not wearing pants. And dagnabbit, wearing dresses is just kind of fun now. I think comfy boots and tights that make me feel covered helps a lot.  This summer dresses and strappy sandals were more about being perimenopausal and trying to stay cool, but that's a whole nother post!
 Somehow the rear view is way more pear shaped, but strangely I'm not too upset by this. It looks like I'm off on some fantastic adventure. O.K. So I was 200 yards from my house but we do have some cool woods!