Spring is here, but some of these cool mornings and evenings still call for a scarf! Here’s a quick review of a pretty black-and-white polka-dot silk scarf from Scarfarts on Etsy.
Top: Lane Bryant. Jeans: Torrid. Shoes: Croft and Barrow (Kohls). Necklace: From Lindley with Love.
This top came from a clothing swap and it’s really the best thing ever. It’s cute and flattering and polka-dotted, but also soft and super-comfy!
Here’s a closeup of my necklace. It’s made from vintage glass pearls, iolite and Bali sterling silver.
Domino Dollhouse’s spring 2013 collection, Nuclear Seasons, is for sale right now! Like all their clothing, Nuclear Seasons is super bright and fun and runs up to a 4X (70-inch hips).
Hot pink velvet? Yes please!
DD’s clothing tends to be a bit loud for me personally, but I love love love that they’re making trendy and edgy clothing in large sizes!
Here are my fave pieces from this collection. I’d list the pink velvet dress, but it looks like it’s already sold out!
And here are my favorite accessories:
What do you think?
Hi, lovelies! Spring is sooooooo close I can feel it. It’s still gray and cold here every day. I loved what a friend said on Facebook the other day: “March, you are drunk. Go home.” But the mini daffodils and narcissus in my front flowerbeds are blooming, and the cherry blossoms are out, and hopefully it will feel like spring soon.
I can’t wait to pull out my fun summer clothes and be WARM! There’s a vintage black travel trunk* in my living room that holds my out-of-season clothes and – thanks to the latest northern Virginia clothing swap – it’s full of new stuff I can’t wait to try out.
Speaking of trying things out, ohmygod I have to tell you! I found a Netflix for plus-size clothing! Really! It’s a site called Gwynnie Bee.** You pay a monthly fee and choose from a pretty wide range of good-quality pieces and add them to your “closet.” They send you selections from your closet and you keep them as long as you want.
Yeah, they’re essentially second-hand clothes, but I’m pretty impressed by their FAQ. They check everything for wear and tear before they send it out, and if you accidentally spill on a piece or snag it, they’ll take care of it. Shipping is free both ways and works just like Netflix DVDs.
The monthly fees aren’t super cheap, but it’s mostly higher-end designer clothing, so if you use the service to add fresh things to your wardrobe rather than buying new stuff it may work out better financially.
So I signed up and will be reporting to you lovelies on how it goes!
Also, some jewelry news: I’m working on my independent shop for a while, so I’m currently adding listings to my From Lindley, with Love Etsy shop instead. I’m adding all the pretty spring-themed items first to celebrate the impending warmer weather, as well as some sale and clearance pieces.
*Sounds kind of glamorous, right? I bought it at a Goodwill for $30 to use as a combination storage chest/desk in my first dorm room. I never thought it would be a trendy conversation piece years later!
**Yes, that is a referral link. If you sign up for a free trial and eventually become a paying customer, I’ll receive a free month of service.
I stumbled across the Lizzie Bennet Diaries a couple of weeks ago and got totally addicted. A modernized Pride & Prejudice with videos and tweets and Tumblr posts and lots of drama? With talented actors and a stunningly well-written script? What’s not to love?
[Spoiler warning: Mild spoilers for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries]
Quite a few things had to be adapted, of course, including Mr. Collins’ character. He’s still overbearing and pompous, but in this version he’s…already engaged. Yep, happily engaged to some girl in Winnipeg. Instead of asking Charlotte to marry him, he asks her to come work at his company, making boring corporate training videos.
Charlotte, a grad student whose family is struggling, accepts the offer, abandoning her studies and giving up her chance at a master’s degree in exchange for the money to help support her family. Lizzie, of course, freaks out.
I never thought about it much when reading the book, but the modern version made Charlotte’s dilemma come to life. She could have finished her degree and tried to fulfill her dreams of being an indie filmmaker, but there was no guarantee she wouldn’t have been forced to get a job making boring corporate training videos in the end. And just as in the book, she makes the best of the situation and finds as much contentment as she can.
I understand Lizzie’s viewpoint. How painful to see your best friend giving up, after all that work, and taking on the world’s most irritating sycophant as a boss. But unlike Charlotte, Lizzie’s not the oldest child, and her family’s somewhat better off financially than Charlotte’s; she doesn’t have the same pressure to help out with the bills.
(There’s also the fact that jobs, unlike 19th-century marriages, aren’t generally expected to last a lifetime. That’s one of the few places where the modernization breaks down a bit.)
I’d say that Charlotte is simply more risk avoidant than Lizzie when she jumps into a mediocre job rather than risking not having one at all, but Lizzie – in both versions – is just as risk-averse. She can stay quietly at home and her mother may moan about it, but they won’t all end up on the street. It’s all very well for Lizzie to huff about Charlotte selling out, but she’ll probably face the same questions some day in some situation: How much risk is too much? Is it okay to gamble with more lives than your own?
We all face those choices. Take the crappy job that’s available right now, or starve waiting for something great? Buy the $40 shoes that will last two years, or the $200 lifetime-replacement totally-unaffordable ones?
(And for those of us in plus sizes, grab the first thing off the rack that fits and looks halfway decent, or spend the next six months finding and two paychecks buying the one actually decent dress in your size?)
Next time you’re about to judge someone for their choices, take a step back and remember that that choice might have been the best for them in their situation.
“Just hold still,” the nurse said impatiently as she attempted to swab the back of my throat. My head was cocked at a strange angle, making the whole procedure rather difficult.
“But I don’t have—uurgh. Fine.”
It was December 1999, and I was sitting in the infirmary at my tiny college. The infirmary had exactly two remedies for any situation: a strep test, and a referral to the town doctor’s office for a mono test. Unfortunately, I’d walked in the door with neither ailment: My head was cocked to the side because I couldn’t straighten it. The muscles in my neck had gotten so knotted from tension they wouldn’t move.
Since I was young and without transportation or insurance, I went through all of exam week like that, writing and showering and sleeping with my head cocked to the side. A friend finally lent me her heating pad and with its help I was able to massage my neck muscles out of their cramp.
That was my first encounter with stress-related injuries.
The next year, I caught the flu the day before exams. In both semesters.
In my third year, I had my first desktop computer and was inordinately proud of it. (My roommate, who had to share the phone line with my dialup Internet, was not as impressed.) Due to the way our dorm room was configured, I spent that year sitting on the bed with the computer keyboard on my lap and the mouse on a mousepad next to me on the bed. And gave myself a repetitive strain injury that would haunt me for the rest of my life.
It seems that I have the exact combination of factors needed for stress-related injuries and illnesses: a not-particularly-robust immune system, muscles that tighten immensely under strain, and a workaholic, high-intensity, overachiever personality.
When I was younger, I shrugged it off. A little flu or chronic pain never hurt anyone, right? At a little over 30, though, my body is simply letting me know that it’s done. Sure, I could continue to juggle a full-time job and two time-consuming hobbies and a family and pets and et cetera forever, but increasingly I’m not willing to pay the price in pain, physical and mental.
Which brings us back to why I disappeared a few months ago. I developed another chronic, painful muscle injury and started getting sick again. I had strep throat for the first time since childhood and was sick for most of September and October. At this moment, I have the type of cold I only catch when I’m super stressed out.
Cutting back is hard. Our culture values the workaholic. Even at my relatively casual and progressive day-job office, working way over 40 hours simply so you’re not see as the office slacker holds strong.
This is particularly prevalent in the small business resources available online these days. Can’t find your audience? Well, you should be using Twitter and Facebook and a blog and a newsletter and and and. If that’s not working, then there are expensive blogging courses that promise to solve all your problems, as long as you’re willing to dedicate four hours a day to blogging. And so on. It’s a vicious cycle and it becomes so easy for you to blame yourself if you can’t squeeze out yet another ten minutes a day for yet another social media channel or blog technique or whatever. It’s so easy to lose sight of why you’re there.
I’m here because what I have to say about body image and weight and health is important. But it’s not more important than my own mental and physical health. And now that I’m not 21 any more, I’m discovering that packing every single minute full of activity isn’t as satisfying as it used to be. It’s nice to be able to read a book, or take a walk, and not stress over the fact that I haven’t written a blog post yet this week, or retweeted my latest post the prescribed three times at peak traffic hours. Beyond being nice, it’s increasingly necessary; my body just won’t let me overachieve while sacrificing it any more.
I’m not saying goodbye, not closing up the blog or the From Lindley, with Love jewelry lines. But I am accepting my limits and scaling back. The shop will likely move solely to Etsy. I love my current e-commerce site, but it’s expensive to maintain in both money and time. The blog may actually see more posts from me soon, since I’m more likely to post when I don’t feel the pressure to “do” every social media site in existence along with it.
Some days, scaling back feels like defeat. But increasingly, it feels like relief, the realization that I don’t have to work through pain and stress to feel productive or valuable. May we all, individually and as a society, reach that conclusion and find peace with it.
Have you ever found a pair of shoes that are so totally adorable you really, really want them to fit? And then they kind of do, and they look so fantastic, but they’re not really comfortable. And you buy them anyhow, swearing you don’t care and you’ll wear them no matter what…and then you don’t and they lie around in your closet for ten years until you finally, guiltily toss them in the Goodwill pile.
Yeah, I am so that person. I’m trying not to be, and I still make exceptions for special occasion-type shoes. But I just couldn’t justify keeping these amazingly cute White Mountain clogs with pretty cutout details and deep blue material and little brass buckles. I can’t seem to wear clogs at all – they either fall right off my feet or the tops of them rub, and these fell into the second camp. Alas.
If you’re a clog fan, though, you can see how these fit (and go buy them and wear them in my name, haha). Plus there are some fantastic shoes and boots by Naya, my new favorite shoe brand, and some fast-fashion wedge sandals by Soda in a great electric blue. Enjoy!
How’s your week going so far, lovely? I’m nomming on some cherries and blackberries for breakfast and enjoying the warm weather. Well, the warm morning and evening weather, at least – it’s been record-breakingly hot here near DC, and too many years of sitting in overly-air-conditioned offices has erased my tolerance for really hot weather. I still don’t like cold weather at all, though, so I’ll take what I can get. *laugh*
As the summer starts winding down, my audition season is heating up. I’m testing out a few audition pieces at two recitals in the next two months, and will be auditioning for the soprano soloist role in area performances of Handel’s Messiah. Also, I’m hoping to be ready to audition for the Friday Morning Music Club this fall. Phew!
As a performer – especially as a plus-size woman – it’s not just about the music. I have to spend quite a bit of time thinking about my demeanor and general appearance. That means learning how to act, which I’m terrible at, but also looking absolutely stunning. Thank God for online shopping.
Soon I’ll show you some of my performance outfits and share where I got them, but this week,
I hereby declare Accessories Week here on the blog!
For the next week, I’ll be posting about awesome accessories. I’ve got a couple of great review videos for you, and lots of other fun things to share.
To kick off Accessories Week, I’d love to hear your thoughts on an accessory we don’t see often today: fans! Pretty, fluttery, girly folding fans.
One of my audition pieces is from Mozart’s opera Die Fledermaus (The Bat). The aria is fun and a bit silly, and I’d like to use a pretty folding fan as a prop. I’m thinking more Marie Antoinette and less 20th-century mass-produced, but cheap is also good, you know? Here are three fans I’ve found on eBay:
Here’s candidate #1, a black plastic folding fan with a flower print and lace trim. This one is really nice; it’s ornate enough to look like a court fan from a distance and is probably the best fit for the character I’m playing.
Candidate #2 is a light blue and white bamboo-based folding fan with a nice little tassel. I like the flower design here, which has a hand-painted look that would go nicely with the overall look I’m going for. This one is simple, streamlined and unobtrusive.
Candidate #3 is a plastic flamenco-inspired folding fan with white material and gold accents. The big advantage of this fan is that it would go with any color outfit, though I’m not super crazy about it otherwise.
The catch is that I don’t know what color dress I’m wearing. It’ll probably be my burgundy Igigi performance gown, and it definitely won’t be full court costume, but I’m not quite sure about audition etiquette regarding dress yet. So, what are your thoughts? Which one would you pick? Would you ever use a folding fan as an accessory with a modern outfit?
We work-from-home writers have a hard life. That 30-foot commute is awfully challenging, and the workwear is so demanding.
Okay, not so much. *laugh* I do still go into the office one day a week, though, so I was testing out this outfit for that. I wanted to see how the wide belt and blazer fit together, and they actually worked pretty well. What do you think? This is also what I look like with no makeup, by the way.