Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: Feelin’ Fiona (Fine)

So I’m cheating a little bit on my “reaching out”/Link Ups for Lent series.   I found a link up for Thrift Style Thursdays, but there were a couple of problems for me.  First, it was a Thursday link up that clashed with the fact that I do fashion on Fridays.  That wasn’t such a big deal, because I figured I could use the prompt then link up the next day.  The second problem, and the (admittedly lazy) reason I chose not to formally link up, was because the link up’s rules involved sharing it on a Twitter account.

Confession time:  I don’t have a Twitter account.  Mostly, this is because I have a “dumb” phone (i.e., not a smartphone).  I love my phone, but it’s stuck in the past as far as cell phones go.  I do realize I can start an online Twitter account, and maybe I will one day, but I don’t really feel the need to do that just yet.

My solution was to use the Thrift Style Thursday prompts for my Friday inspiration, but not formally link up.

This Thursday’s link up prompt was “movie-inspired style”.  Honestly, that prompt couldn’t have been more perfect for my weekend plans!  There was a local production of Shrek the Musical here.  I’d seen it live a few years ago, and I enjoyed it enough that I wanted to share it with the hubby as an anniversary outing of sorts.*  Just for fun, I decided to give a little nod to Princess Fiona when I put together my sassy little outfit.

I combined elements from two different Fiona looks, as I love the combination of blue and green:


I’m not quite sure why I chose to do the ogre-version of Fiona in both these pictures.  She’s cute either way, though.  But ya know…true love’s form and all.  🙂

Here’s what I came up with:
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The breakdown:

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*blue sweater as a nod to her blue gown (Mossimo) //  *green dress as a nod to her green dress (Evan-Picone) // *green tights, not pictured (Merona)
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*heart necklace (??? gifted) looks similar to her blue gown necklace // *headband (Target) suggests silver crown worn with her blue gown // *earrings with dragonflies on them (local bead store), as I think of fireflies when I think of a swamp for some reason

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*hair in side braid, a modification of Fiona’s hairstyle

My favorite part, though?  My Shrek-inspired nails.

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*green=Sinful Colors “Happy Ending” // *lime green=Sinful Colors “Innocent” // *light blue=Sinful Colors “Cinderella” // gold=Sally Hansen Lustre Shine “Firefly”

I love how the intersecting dot motif turned out!  The pattern reminds me of a sludge, so that’s a nod to Shrek and the swamp.  The green nails should be self-explanatory if you’ve seen anything Shrek-related.  The ring finger accent nail matches Fiona’s blue gown look, and the gold part, besides looking beautiful with blue, reminds me of the color of Fiona’s hair.

Who knew an ogre could be such a style inspiration?  🙂

*So when we got to the box office, it turned out that it was sold out for the day.  I was pretty bummed about it, but when we got home, we found the Broadway recording on Netflix.  We decided to visit a friend who was on bed rest after suffering injuries in a car accident and we all watched the movie together on her big, comfy bed.  It was kinda like a slumber party.  We ate cupcakes and chocolate and chips & salsa and chatted so much during the whole thing that it ended up being more background noise than anything else.  It was absolutely wonderful.  🙂

To Having an Ogre-the-Top (in a good way) Weekend!

Violet

Posted in Uncategorized

Fashion Friday: If it Were 13 Years Ago…

It would be back to school time for me (freshman year of college).  Or at least back to school shopping time.  I realize some schools start in August, but I never ran across that.  It was always in September for as long as I remember (sorry for the accidental rhyme).

I’ve been seeing advertisements for back to school sales for clothes, which got me wondering what I would wear if I still had a “first day of school” to go to.  Here’s what I came up with:

back to school outfit

I used Polyvore to create this, but I own *a version* of this entire outfit, which is really what I was going for.  Quick breakdown:  dark jean jacket, light gray tank top, layered chain with stars necklace, burgundy jeans, brown boots, and messenger bag (so essential.  I love messenger bags and would totally rock them if I were still in school.  I currently have one for my laptop).

If any of you care one iota about your appearance, you know how time-consuming picking out the perfect back-to-school outfit.  Here are my criteria:

1) Look cute enough to attract any good-looking people in your class, but…
2) Pull off looking like you’re not trying too hard.
3) The outfit MUST be comfortable enough to last throughout the day.  (In college, for me that could be as many as 10 hours’ worth of class.)
4) It must be unique enough to stand out from everyone else.
5) It must look put-together enough so that professors/teachers don’t assume you’re just some teenybopper that doesn’t take education seriously, but…
6) Casual enough that you don’t look like a school marm.

I think I pulled it off quite well, and I would definitely rock this outfit!  In fact, I think I may just put it together for my first fall get-together with the community choir I belong to.  🙂

Full disclosure:  I was working on two different outfits and was going to choose between the two, but this outfit came together so quickly and easily (seriously, when does that ever happen?!?), and I was spending too much time on the other outfit (the base of which was a pair of gray corduroys and a denim-colored Jansport backpack) that I decided to go with the whole “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

What about you guys?  Anyone lucky enough to be going back to school soon?  What are/were your criteria for back to school outfits?  And did anyone else enjoy buying new notebooks and pens as much as I did?!?

To Presenting Yourself in a “Class”-y Way (eh? eh?  see what I did there?),

Violet

Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on Thursday: Thrift Store Style

Those who read this blog somewhat consistently know that I’m not shy when it comes to talking about thrift stores, so this post isn’t going to be any different.

For better or worse, thrift stores have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  One of my favorite stories is that I learned how to read in a thrift store.  It was a thrift store my mother frequented in Georgia, and I was reading Cat in the Hat, and apparently the sales associate tried to call my bluff.  I was only 3 1/2, and she didn’t believe I was actually reading it.  My mom was a little doubtful, too, so she flipped the book to a random page and pointed to a word, and I read it (correctly) out loud.  She did this several other times with the same results, so both her and the sales associate were convinced.

I got some of my favorite Strawberry Shortcake (the original, thankyouverymuch) items from the thrift store:  a toy refrigerator that I converted into a bookshelf, a sleeping bag, and a couple of pictures.

Growing up, I assumed that the thrift store was just another department store to buy stuff, like Target.  A one-stop shop of sorts.  I thought nothing of the discounted prices, mostly because at that age I had no concept of what was expensive and what was cheap, and had been to flea markets and used bookstores plenty of times to know that not everything I bought had to be brand-spankin’ new.  I was blissfully unaware of the stigma against thrift store finds until fifth grade.

I remember it well:  I was jogging around the track for P.E. class, wearing a floral pink t-shirt and jeans, both from the thrift store.  I thought I looked pretty cute, if you didn’t pay attention to the sweat pouring down my face from running.  One boy, though, decided to take it upon himself to try and make my day a bad one.

“Look at Violet!  Her clothes look like they’re from Goodwill!  She’s poor!  Violet’s poor, Violet’s poor!”

I’m sure there would be kids out there who would completely crumble under these taunts.  I, however, was a little sassy firecracker throughout my elementary school years.  Right then and there I decided this boy wasn’t worth my time, and I used my ever-present literary skills to quickly come up with an acronym.

“Thank you!”  I shouted back to him.

For a moment, he looked confused.

“I AM Pretty, Outstanding, Outrageous, and Radical!” (Hey, ignore the last word.  I was born in the 80s.  That word was awesome back then.)  I flashed him a toothy, confident smile, satisfied that I silenced him.

Even though I wasn’t about to let this boy bully me and let him think in any way that he got to me, I did start to ponder things when I got home.  What was so wrong with having clothes that looked like they were from Goodwill?  Why did he connect getting clothes from Goodwill with being poor?  What was I missing?

It was then that I started to realize that perhaps my mom took me to the thrift store because she might not be able to afford more expensive clothes.  Until then, it never occurred to me that I didn’t go the trendier, more upscale stores at the mall like my friends did.

I’m not gonna lie here.  After that incident, all the way through junior high, high school and most of college, I started to become embarrassed to admit that I shopped at the thrift store.  The one in our town is on a busy street, so when I went to the thrift store, I’d take care to hide my face in case someone I knew happened to be driving by.  One of my best friends in junior high’s parents were better off than mine, which didn’t really bother me much until we went to the mall.  For fun, we’d go and try on outfits at Macy’s.  One day, we both tried an amazing Unionbay shirt that we both fell in love with.  I believe it was about $30, which was much too expensive for me.  For that price, I could easily by at least six shirts at the thrift store.  But oh, how I wanted that shirt!  Imagine my jealousy when my friend told her mom about it, and she was able to get it when she got good grades on her report card.  Just like that!  She also got an adorable jean skirt to go with it.  A few months later, when the same friend and I went back-to-school shopping, I fell in love with a chocolate brown velvet t-shirt.  I called my mom to tell her about it, and she immediately said it was too expensive.  I respected her wishes (and her bank account) and didn’t press the subject, but my mom’s friend saw how upset I was.  She graciously offered to pay for it, and I wore it on my first day of eighth grade.  I felt guilty every single time I wore it around my mother.  I’m sure it made her feel a little inadequate.  It got to the point where I’d wear a sweater over it until I got to school so she wouldn’t have to see it anymore.

(Side note:  If you’re still reading by this point, THANK YOU.  And also, I promise there’s a point and a topic of discussion to come.  And pictures.  And a Macklemore video.  So hang tight.  🙂  )

Then, somewhere about halfway through my college career, thrifting started to become en vogue.  People prided themselves on their thrift store finds, even PREFERRED going to the thrift store instead of the mall because they could find something somewhat unique.  At the very least, they wouldn’t be going to where there are racks and racks of the same item of clothing in different sizes.  I thought immediately of one of my favorite Sweet Valley Twins characters, Mandy Miller, whose personal funky (in a good way) style was comprised of thrift store finds, and it got her into the exclusive Unicorn Club (if you don’t follow me there, don’t worry; it’s just that I was a little completely obsessed with the series growing up).  Shopping from the thrift store became cool and trendy.  I could finally come out of hiding and wear the fact that I shop at thrift stores like a badge of honor.

I still absolutely love shopping at thrift stores; possibly more so in the last five years or so than I can ever remember.  I find great things there, have identified my favorite ones in my area, and sometimes even get bored with the clothes at the mall because I know I could find something cooler at the thrift store.  I do admittedly indulge in classics that I fall in love with at higher-priced stores, but you better believe they get a lot of wear so that I can get the best value of them!

Anyhow, to prove just how much thrift store clothes are a regular part of my rotation, here is the outfit I wore for my latest birthday:
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(Sorry about the weird gray fuzzy background; there were some things/people that I didn’t have permission to publish online, so I hurriedly edited them out.)
The gorgeous-colored shirt and adorable skirt were both thrifted, as well as the pearl necklace that I’m wearing as a belt.  The necklace was something my husband made (he’s kind of embarrassed by it, but I think it’s adorable).  Cute, right?  Would you even guess that the outfit was from a thrift store?

Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is because I recently ran across this news story that happened in Utah:
Short version is that Girl A bullied Girl B for “dressing like a sleaze”.  Girl A’s stepmom was notified, and so stepmom decided to give Girl A a dose of her own medicine.  She took her to the thrift store to pick out the ugliest clothes she could find.  The next few days, she made her stepdaughter wear those clothes as punishment.  The girl cried and got made fun of and people talked behind her back.  In a news interview, she said the lesson was learned.  (I doubt it.  She probably just said it so she could wear her “cool clothes” again.)  As an aside, am I the only one who thinks the blue dress with the red fruit on it was kinda cute?
thrift store dress

As for the other clothes, it’s nothing that the Refashionista can’t fix, right?  (Still haven’t checked the website out yet, you say?  What the heck are you waiting for?!?  Do it.  You won’t regret it.)

Anyhow, I was a little offended by this punishment.  It gave thrift store clothing a bad name again, making it look like something someone should cry over to wear and be made fun of for wearing.  This shouldn’t be the case.  I felt as if I regressed a couple of decades.  And how did Girl B (the girl who was bullied) feel about this, I wonder?  If I were here, I would’ve felt mocked.  And the fellow classmates learned nothing in this whole mess.  If anything, it fostered bully culture by giving them more to make fun of.  Perhaps Girl A stopped bullying (again, highly doubtful), but people still bullied her.  What will be their punishment?  How is this a win?  I think an interesting solution would’ve been to have Girl A and Girl B go shopping at a thrift store for cool clothes.  Girl A may find that thrift store clothes are cooler than what she stereotypes them to be, and Girl B may feel better that they’re shopping at the same place.  Who knows?  Maybe together they’d be able to start a trend.  But that’s just wishful thinking.

What do you guys think?  Do you love thrift store clothes as much as me?  Do you think this punishment was appropriate?  Were you ever embarrassed to shop at a thrift store?

Personally, I think Macklemore’s got the right idea here.  So I’d like to close with his video.  (BTW, if you’ve been living under a rock, this song has explicit lyrics in it, so it may not be suitable for work.)

To Being F*ing Awesome, No Matter What You Wear!
Violet

Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: Fashion Went to the Birds ***Updated with picture***

Or just one bird, as it were.

I know what you’re probably thinking:  I thought up a clever pun to introduce all the things in my wardrobe with a bird theme to it.  As much as I like bird fashion, though, I ironically can only think of three things that I own that have anything remotely to do with birds:  two tops with feathers, and an owl necklace.

But nope.  That’s not what I’m going to talk about.  I was busy prepping myself to continue on with my clothing inventory–sweaters, to be exact.  I went through the trouble of making lots of room in my camera, freeing up space for 167 pictures (not that I have that many sweaters; not by a long shot).  As soon as I was setting up to take a shot of my first sweater, hubby came home and told me to hurry downstairs to the garage.

When I got downstairs, he pointed to the corner of the space.  Sitting there, still covered in new yellow feathers, teeny as can be and just-opened eyes, was a wee, chirping little bird.  It was hopping about, pecking at the holes in the peg board, probably wondering where it could get some food.  We couldn’t find its mama, and its wing looked injured, as it had trouble flapping its right one but could flap its left one just fine.  And it looked absolutely freezing.

So we took it inside and followed both instinct and the articles we found online, getting a cardboard box with holes and lining it with a towel so it wouldn’t get its beak or feathers caught, then placed half the box over a heat pad.  We found it a nice, juicy worm and dropped it in the box, just in case.

After about an hour, we went to check in on it (I named it Hopper because it hopped around when we found it), and it seemed much more alert and kinda hop-flapped, better than the shape we found it in.  We gave it some water (it was adorable watching hubby slowly drop some water into Hopper’s beak from his finger), I provided it with just a bit of seed (because I realized I didn’t know if it was a meat-eating bird, vegetation-eating bird, or seed-eating bird), then put it back into the box.

Our doggie Dexter is doing superbly, I’m proud to say.  He’s been giving Hopper space and staying away and being gentle as he can be around the box.  I think he kinda knows what’s up, and that what’s inside the box is fragile.  It gives me bright hope that when we finally get around to having a kiddo, Dexter will be wonderful with him or her.  🙂

Anyhow, since we legally can’t keep the bird for longer than overnight, we’re going to release Hopper tomorrow to see how it does.  If you could please spare a good thought for its little birdie heart, I’d greatly appreciate it.  🙂

**I was going to include a picture of it, but I didn’t want to stress the poor thing out.  Maybe when we release it tomorrow.  :)**

***Update, Saturday, April 13th:
When I woke up this morning and went downstairs for a drink of water, I heard much commotion from Hopper’s cardboard shelter.  There were energetic chirps and light thumps and scratches, signs of a much more alert birdie who couldn’t wait to move about!  So we decided it was time to release Hopper back into the “wild” (a nice, sheltered spot in our backyard).  As soon as we opened up the box outside, my heart swelled with happiness to see Hopper not hop, but fly beautifully out of the box.  I was able to get a few pictures of it before we had to leave and do our weekend social obligations.  Here’s the best one:

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“Thanks for the help, guys!  Now off to make it on my own.”

When we came back this afternoon, I stole a peek in our backyard in the off chance that Hopper might still be wandering about, but it was nowhere to be seen.  I’m telling myself that Hopper’s out there somewhere having grand adventures instead of perhaps shivering somewhere in the cold, or a worse fate that I don’t want to think about.  Anyhow, Godspeed, Hopper.  Feel free to come and visit sometime.  ❤

To Pleasant Interruptions That Open Your Heart,
Violet

Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: Tales from the Adventure Closet

Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve had a few shelves in a closet that contained seemingly-forgotten-about clothes:

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As you’ll see soon, there are quite a bit of clothes missing in this closet.  Don’t worry, all will be revealed!  🙂

They’re clothes that are definitely not fashionable, for many different reasons:  they’re much too baggy, they’re not the right color, they have rips in them, they’re stained, they’re outdated.  On first glance, one might assume I’m a hoarder when it comes to clothes.  “Good gracious!”  one might exclaim.  “Why in the world hasn’t Violet donated these yet?!?”

I never reach for anything on those shelves when I’m looking for something to look good in–something flattering.  So why do I even have these clothes if they look like they’re from a stylish girl’s nightmare?

I’ll tell you why:  because these clothes serve a very important purpose.  I do reach for them.  Not often, that’s true, but I do reach for them.  When I do reach for them, you know something awesome is about to happen.  Only these clothes specifically get to experience the awesomeness with me.

These are my adventure clothes.  They have seen me through many momentous occasions:  times of adrenaline rushes and times of leisure; quiet, reflective times and loud times where I didn’t have time to think.  These clothes are the ones that I don’t mind getting dirty or wet or torn because I don’t have an attachment to them.  They’re the paper plates of my wardrobe, meant to be used and perhaps dropped and not given a second thought when they’re thrown away or set on fire, as opposed to the fine china that are my favorite dresses and dry clean only coats.  They’re my clothing military, put on the front lines to do all the dirty work so as to protect my other precious clothes from harm.

The reason why my adventure closet is a little empty is because, as I’ve mentioned before, I just got back from Banff.  Not only that, but right before the Banff trip, I went on the annual weekend camping trip with friends and family that we go on to celebrate my and husband’s wedding anniversary.  So it’s missing quite a bit, as I haven’t done all the laundry from those trips yet.

So today I’d like to pay homage to the clothes in my adventure closet, since they deserve as much respect and time in the sun as the clothes that I reach for time and time again:

Plum t-shirt:

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Dressed up for an 80s-themed reading by one of my very favorite authors, Jen Lancaster.  Note the side pony, neon accessories, leggings, socks, and YES, that IS a slap bracelet!

 

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With my mother-in-law on a Mother’s Day bike ride.

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(seen here as an under layer, paired with my periwinkle hoodie):  See that grassy hill behind me?  Yeah, this was me when I was about 27 or 28, decades from the last time I rolled down a hill.  But I saw that hill and I was DETERMINED to roll down it.  So here I am, post-roll.  It was amazing, guys.  Simply amazing.

Periwinkle Hoodie:

(seen above, too!)

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This year during our annual anniversary camping trip, in front of the venue where we were wed (can’t really see it here; it’s sorta hidden).

Turquoise fleece sweatshirt:

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Me on my hardest and most epic snowshoe to date.  That grimace on my face was because I didn’t think I would make it to the top (it turned into hand-over-foot climbing, y’all).  But I did!  🙂 

 

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On my way to snowboarding.  In case you’re wondering, I do have a little bit of a black eye in this picture, because my clumsy self managed to accidentally drop the corner plexiglass cube square on my face.  Ouch.

Gray & Lavender Roxy Jacket:

Just as an aside, I absolutely love this jacket.  I think I’ve had it ever since I was in the 11th grade (except it was baggy on me back then instead of kinda tight), and it keeps me dry and warm like no other jacket I’ve ever had since.  I coveted it when I was in high school because I’d always wanted a Roxy jacket and I was so ecstatic when I saw one in my favorite color on sale and in my size.  It was fate, I tell you.

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On a recent trip that my hubby treated me to so I could enjoy the snow I so craved (we didn’t get much this year)!  So sweet.

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During last year’s road trip to sand dunes!  Such a magnificent experience.

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On a snowshoe trip that I took in honor of a tragic death in our community. Tying a ribbon around a tree in remembrance.

 

Thank you, adventure clothes.  Though you may seem forgotten about, you never really are.  You’ll have a special place in my closet, and heart, for years to come.

In Celebration of All of Life’s Adventures,
Violet