Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Strep Break

Yep,  I've got strep throat. For some reason I always get sick in spring when the weather first gets really hot. Usually it's allergy-related. That's what I thought this was when one of my sons and I both had sore throats and muscle aches last Sunday night. His rapid strep test on Wednesday was negative. However, yesterday the doctor's office called and said the longer test grew out strep. Great! I had just sent him to school for 2 days with strep. Of course this means now I need to get swabbed. Yep, strep. Ugh!

Please enjoy this lovely photo of one of my flowers and maybe by tomorrow I'll feel like getting dressed enough for an outfit photo.

Carolina Jasmine

Friday, March 30, 2012

Greening Up

Everything is greening up for spring and I decided to follow along. The old timers tell me the sap's rising. I laughed the first time I heard my mother-in-law attribute someone's behavior to sap rising, but now I'm beginning to think there's something to it. If I look a little pale and peaked, I didn't feel too great and did a rare indoor photo session.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot Pink and Red

Put on your sunglasses folks. I'm on a bright color kick.
And the back view, lest anyone doubt my claim of being pear-shaped. I laugh at some other very slim bloggers who claim to be curvy or "bottom-heavy". Really? If they're hour-glass shaped, that would make me 2 1/2 hour-glass shaped! I suppose I should stop the comparisons at that because comparisons are part of the body image problem. All these daily outfit photos help me see myself as a whole instead of focusing on "flaws" and that alone may be worth the time and effort I put in. 

Pink Blouse--Chico's
Red Sweater Vest--Thrifted
Red Belt--Thrifted
Pin-striped Pants--Worthington
Brown Wedges--SoftSpots
Other accessories--lettuce mix, nasturtiums, pansies and an ornamental cabbage that bolted big time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meeting Time

I wasn't feeling too well today but you'd never know it by these photos. Since I had to preside over a meeting I propped myself up with Ibuprofen, left my sick teen at home and went. When I have to "fake it", energetic colors like this hot pink and comfy clothes like this soft sweater and trouser jeans keep me going. Now for a quick nap before teaching a class tonight. Since it's the final one, I really can't call in sick.  So it's up to my happy clothes to make me look ready to go.
Crochet Collar T-shirt--Thrifted
Ruffle Cardigan--Cato
Trouser Jeans--Cato

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Shorts and Florals

The cat seems fascinated by it!

Floral Blouse--Cato
Bracelets--My design

These black sandals keep appearing and I have considered buying more just so I won't have such repetition in my footwear in outfit photos. Before I started this blog, I wouldn't have given a thought to wearing the same things over and over. Does style blogging feed shopping addictions?

This blouse has proven extremely versatile but I don't think I've used it to its fullest potential. It has a black background with brown, turquoise and about 3 different shades of purple. In other words, it can go with all kinds of things. Mostly I've paired it with neutrals, especially black. I need to branch out and play with the other colors in it.

Because I'm sensitive to clothing, I usually only wear extremely soft shirts and this one has more structure than I normally tolerate. It gaps out and shows cleavage is I lean down and the elastic has to be tugged back down to waist level pretty frequently. Most people probably wouldn't care, but I'm really funny about clothes. Perhaps I shrunk it or should have bought the next size up? It's so pretty and flattering that I keep it where normally I ditch any pieces that aren't completely easy to wear. What about you? Are their pieces in your wardrobe that are difficult that you keep anyway?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photographer vs. Tripod

I just realized my title could also refer to the death match struggles I have had with my tripod as it attempted to kill my camera by tipping over on a windy day. Then there was the time it tripped me. No, I didn't trip over it; it tripped me with one of it's three spindly, tricky legs! No, my intention is to discuss the experience of being photographed by someone else vs. taking self portraits.

These outfit photos were from Saturday when I actually had my husband at my disposal. We ate a ridiculously unhealthy breakfast at Huddle House, spread mulch in our garden, and took outfit photos. While I'm getting better at posing naturally in self-portraits, I can still tell a big difference in my body language and facial expressions. With a human photographer, I am much more relaxed, happy and just acting like myself. Excuse the pun, but with a tripod, I kinda feel like a poser.

My husband and kids are not trained in photography at all and I set all the camera settings for them, make suggestions, etc. Then I pretty much let them go except to check after a few shots to see if I've messed up the exposure or something. Not long ago my husband literally had his thumb in any picture he took. He's obviously improving.

Pros: I don't have to work around anyone else's schedule and my tripod doesn't complain when I take a million shots trying new things. A human can't
comfortably get some of the angles my tripod can and I never have to work around his schedule.

Cons: I'm not as relaxed. I'm self-conscious in public places. It feels more presumptuous and arrogant to be snapping repeated pictures of myself. I imagine passers by saying, "Who does she think she is?" Whereas a husband wanting photos of his wife seems normal. Once in my small town some people in a car did circle the block to get a second look at me snapping outfit photos. However, I'm pretty sure people aren't really all that interested. I'm just paranoid that way and really quite shy.

Human Photographer
Pros: Natural smiles and body positioning. My husband or kids can get a real smile out of me anytime. I have trouble making eye contact when my camera is on a tripod. Weird, huh? Security--this pretty much speaks for itself. I've had moments where I've skipped awesome locations or where prisoners started working on the park where I was photographing, etc. A different perspective--my husband and kids don't think the way I do and it gives a fresh look to my photos when I get bogged down in the same old things.

Cons: When they are tired of taking photos, they are done even if it's after one really bad photo. I'm not the boss any more. There I said it; I want to be in control.

So tripod or human photographer, which do you prefer?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Mentally Unstable Mom Day!

One of the twins was kind enough to create labels for me in case I forget who I am. He loves to mess with me! It's so great when they're this age because their expectations for you mental abilities are so low. My parents were really dumb when I was 14 too, but turned smart about the time I got my first job and first apartment. I figure I have around 4--10 years before I get smart again. Meanwhile, I intend to enjoy being stupid and embarrass them a little. It's fun!

Note the ever-present coffee cup in the background. I love coffee!

I'm not sure what I was thinking with this outfit but for some reason grey and white were calling to me. I've been so much about color lately that I needed a break, I guess. Note that my hubby has a grey uniform shirt on with greying hair and doesn't he look cute? Grey can be quite cool and relaxing. This particular day I had morning meetings and the rest of the day off, so I grabbed this with my dark wash jeans and brown sneakers. We'll get back to colors tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2012

White On Casual Friday

White blouse--New York & Co., thrifted
Grey T-shirt--thrifted
Dark wash jeans--Lee
Brown sneakers--Champions, Payless

The view from my back deck. Grow little lettuces, grow! Bloom dogwoods, bloom!

Fine, I will Wear Walking Shorts!

A pretend letter I would write if I were brave:

Dear Stacy and Clinton,

I am your biggest fan. When I started watching your show 9 years ago, I know I could have qualified to be on the show. I have made every mistake you highlight including wrinkled clothing, baggy elastic waist pants, horrid bold prints, etc. I was just generally careless about clothing from an early age up until about age 40. I'm really sorry about my last two blog posts showing me wearing cropped pants or capris. To make up for it, I will wear walking shorts instead play by the rules . . . most of the time.

Yes, I can see where walking shorts are cuter, more slimming, don't chop you up in awkward places and don't make you legs look like odd wide, short tree trunks. However, in certain circles (mostly around older women) wearing capris would be socially acceptable and shorts would look too casual and seem like I'm dressing too young. Some ladies I have spoken to are already mystified that I have given up panty hose entirely and that slips have almost disappeared.

The horrid cropped pant is ubiquitous in the south where soaring temperatures and humidity would melt you. Just, trust me on this. I can see from your perspective, they do look sort of stupid looking, but they feel much cooler than long pants without showing off aging legs. So I will wear them sometimes but with the knowledge I'm not looking my best or dressing to my full advantage. Just be dazzled by our lovely azaleas and dogwoods in the background and maybe you'll forget all about it!

                                                                            Your biggest fan,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If a Monet Painting Was a Shirt . . .

 I would so totally wear it!

 I am in love with these sandals. No really, I think I've been wearing them every day. Crop pants again? Yeah, I promise to behave better, but the sudden heat wave hit me really hard. Yes, I can see that my legs look stumpier than when I wear nice long trousers. However, my goal for this week was not to die of heat stroke while I wait to get my car's air conditioning fixed.

Here I am teaching my class. White boards. Hee hee. I love whiteboards and flip charts. I don't know why. And the final picture shows the giant water tower looming over the building. They tell me it actually leaked and flooded the building before. Hopefully this won't happen again, especially while I'm teaching!

Beaded jewelry--me
Crop pants--Cato
Shirt--Fashion Bug

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Painting a Style Picture

Or "Dances With Murals" day on Sensitively Fashionable.  
No, I did not actually paint these, although I painted a similar underwater scene in my kids' bathroom. Mine did not have a purple octopus though. The center where I teach this class was just chock full of nifty murals. I was meeting someone early tonight and they didn't show leaving me an hour to kill before class. So what's a blogger to do?

 Cake? Why yes, I do believe I will!

Our style paints a public picture of who we are. Like it or not, we are judged on outward appearance. I think we can take it to extremes in either direction by obsessing about our appearance or by rejecting any concern about it. There's a balance in there somewhere. Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy my pretend cake with my friend here. How does your style paint a picture of you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's 85 degrees. I'm wearing crop pants!

Yeah, that's right, you heard me. I have watched Stacy and Clinton on What Not To Wear rail against capris or crop pants. Yes, I know, I know. But see, the thing is I live in a tiny town in the deep south where this would be totally acceptable casual work wear. No, I would not wear them to testify in court or wear them should I ever visit New York City for fear I'll run into them on the street. Today it's 85 degrees and it's only March 19th.  Mondays are usually my days in the office to do paperwork without seeing a soul but one co-worker. So they end up being my fashion risk days where I try out new things or break a few rules.
I have some of the recommended walking shorts I wear too. I'm aware that at 5'4" with all my height in my torso, my stumpy legs may look even more stumpy. Thing is, sometimes I don't care and just want a breeze on my ankles. I really think I can get away with it paired with these cool sandals. So crop pants--yes or no?

BTW, Whiskas and I match today and she's always in style even when perched on an old tire.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not According to Plans

The day started off pretty well. After church I drove to Birmingham, AL and stopped to take a few outfit photos in a Garden. Everything is looking all rosy and perfect so far.
Azaleas, dogwoods, cherry trees--all my favorite spring flowers all in one place.  It's looking like a perfect day so far. But then, I realize I left the thingy you screw onto your camera that clips to the tripod. Anybody know the name of that thing? Also, can somebody please tell me where mine is? Anyway a quick walk back to the truck to retrieve it. Nope not there either. I had my husband's truck because the air in my car went out, and maybe left it in my car (This vehicle swap is important in how the rest of the day unraveled).

For the next part, I can't tell you exactly what happened as it's a bit fuzzy. Not to be foiled by the lack of my tripod, I decided to hang my camera on a dogwood tree branch as an experiment. So I back up to make sure I'm in the shot and get the sudden inspiration, "Hey look at those lovely purple flowers. These would look cool in the shot" and I back up even more. Now, I'm not a rule breaker, really I'm not. I always stay on the path in places like these, always. As a gardener myself, I would never, ever hurt someone's flowers. I don't know what got into me. All I know is next I heard a security guard say,"Ma'am, we don't allow people to walk in our flower beds!" Holy cow, I'm standing right in the middle of a flower bed! How'd I get here? So totally embarrassed! I slunk back to the truck in shame . . . but not before one more shot by the pink azaleas! But the trip to Birmingham from Hell didn't end there. 

After my shameful experience in the garden, I picked my kids up from their dad's and jump on the interstate headed back towards Georgia. Suddenly a large piece of metal bounced off the car ahead of me and bounced off the truck. I get a sinking feeling as a guy pulls alongside me pointing down at my tire. Sure enough, the metal pierced the tire and I'm stranded far from any exit with my two kids. My hubby can't rescue me because I'm 2 hrs away and driving HIS TRUCK that I've successfully pierced. Oops! Thankfully  a wonderful police officer from Springville, AL stopped and put on the spare for me. Less than a mile from home we narrowly, I mean narrowly avoided hitting a deer. I made a mental note never to drive hubby's pride and joy ever again.

What did I learn today?
1. Pay attention when you're shooting outfit photos and still obey normal rules of behavior.
2. Cops are nice in Alabama, especially if you're trying to change a tire in a dress and sandals.