Friday, September 30, 2011

Skirt the 30th!

You guys, it's the end of skirt month. Are you extra sad? Don't be. I WILL STILL WEAR SKIRTS. I know! That's such a relief to you.

Get this: I'm headed to a conference next week and I strolled down blawgytimes lane and picked out my favorite outfits and am just wearing them exactly the same. Such a relief! Reaping of the blawging rewards!

  • Anne Klein charcoal full skirt with greens/ivory/bronze embroidery $5
  • White tshirt $2
  • Gray cardigan with embroidered flowers $5
  • Mess-o-pearls $5
  • Pearl clipons $1
  • Brown cowboy boots $10
  • Ivory sheer scarf $1
Not thrifted:
  • Belt. Old.
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • The cardi is a bitty bit long and loose. I like 'em tighter.
Total outfit cost: $29


Thursday, September 29, 2011

My life in dreadlocks

Shortly before my mother passed away, I went to see her in the hospital. She looked at me. Looked at my hair. Looked at me. Then, waving at my hair, "Do you have some sort of ... illness?"

Yeah, so, about ten times a month, perfect strangers ask me crazy questions about my hair. Maybe you are one of them? If so, this right here is The Blawg Post For You: My Life in Dreadlocks.

(Just here for the daily get up? Scrolly downy, friend!)

1. I have had my dreadlocks for more than ten years. Before that, I mostly bleached my hair blonde and tried to make it have hair-dos. Mostly unsuccessful. No flat-irons then, or at least they weren't popular.

2. I have no idea why I got them. Seriously. I can't remember what the heck I was thinking. I can't even think of someone who had dreadlocks that I was copying. Odd, no?

3. I started my dreads with a "dread perm." Basically, they separate your hair into bits, twist each bit, rat the twisted bit, and then perm that ratted twist into your hair. Ta-da! Instant dreadlocks. I got mine from the great people at Hair Police (on their traveling "spread the dread" tour).

4. My dreadlocks were short and platinum at first. Cute, but I couldn't keep up the bleaching without my dreads breaking. So as they were growing out, I decided to bring the color to my natural brown. Except I accidentally colored them black. There I was with goth dreads. Ha ha ahaha. It's only hair!

5. I started getting additional colors and extensions maybe a year after I got my locks. Never went back. Love the craziness.

6. I don't use any product to keep my dreads dready. No beeswax, no gel, no nothing. Every so often I go see the Hair Police folks and have them pull all the loose hairs into the dreads and then tie a thread around the base of each dreadlock. Sounds crazy, but it works. When I first got my locks, I needed this "maintenance" about four times a year. Now I get maintenance about once a year but that's only cuz my schedule is crazy.

8. Many people seem to think having dreadlocks is a lot of work. It's so so not. I don't do anything to my hair but tie it up in various ways using only the locks themselves to secure it. Almost every style you've seen on my head is just done quickly with some pushing and pulling. Very very few bobby pins even.

9. I wash my hair about twice a month with tea tree shampoo. I wash my bangs about once a week. Hair takes a while to get used to being washed infrequently - but once it does, it's actually great for your scalp and hair. (Washing more frequently would un-dread the dreads, btw).

10. I have had nearly every color imaginable in my hair. The colors are just synthetic hair, and now I have a drawer labeled "dreadlocks" full of synthetic dreads in every color imaginable. Except purple. I don't care for purple.

11. Somebody told me once that dreadlocks are a "lifestyle" NOT a "hairstyle." Not for me. It's just a hairdo. I'm not rasta or anything else.

12. Some people think my hair do is cultural appropriation. I understand that. Imitation is a sincere form of flattery, I'm told.

13. I have no plans to ever NOT have dreadlocks. They are so easy, and so much a part of my personal brand!

14. If you think your hair won't dread, you're wrong. Hair Police can dread it. I swear.

15. People say all manner of inappropriate and/or just plain weird things to me about the dreadlocks. Like:
  • the woman shortly after 9/11 that sat next to me on an airplane, stared, and reported me to airline officials. kooky!
  • the mother who told her child that he could like me even though i have worms on my head.
  • the many many people who admire my "hair piece."
Do you have more quesions? Put 'em into the comments!


Today, thrifted:

  • Ann Taylor Loft black jersey skirt with ivory trim $5
  • Monster t-shiert! $6 (i got it at a thrift store, but saw 'em at target) $5
  • INC black cashmere tie-in-the-middle shrug $4
  • Chunky black boots $10
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Every outfit ain't gonna be a stunner. This one...isn't. But hey! It's just for driving up to the inn! No makeup, no accessories, not much.
Total outfit cost: $24



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Date night

Yeah. So, for our birthdays, the mister and I decided to get new glasses and go to dinner at a wonderful restaurant. We did that. It was lovely. I kept trying to extend the night by going different places and such. Mostly because I wanted the part where I ate bread to last and last and last. Bread is divine. Good bye again bread! See you in a few months!

This outfit has been hanging on my ready-to-wear rack for awhile but it wasn't right. Then Alice came over and swapped the white t-shirt for mustard, the pink cardigan for charcoal, the silver chain belt for brown, and the shoes...she matched it with brown/polka dot wedges. What? What? I KNOW. Who knew?

  • Larry Levine embroidered white skirt $6
  • Mustard polyester mock turtleneck $3
  • Ivory/black floral blouse $5
  • Brown belt $2
  • Charcoal cardigan $5
  • Brown clip ons $1
  • Bangles $3
Not thrifted:
  • Not Rated brown and white polka dot wedges $20
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • This photo ain't right. I'm sorry. I can't can't can't take the photo late at night with a shitty camera and expect anything to translate. But...the mustard top was genius and brown with the black? Yes. Prevented any inkling of matchiness from ruining the getup.
Total outfit cost: $45


PS. Are you sad that skirt month is almost over? I am not. This was hard. Y'know, not hard in a "scheme of the world" way but hard to come up with a new skirt every day. And pictureize it. And blawg. You know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So, this.

Mister Cardigan: WHAT is going on with your clothes in our bedroom?
(surveying the remnants of Hurricane Will (the Good) currently ravaging our entire bedroom)

Lady Cardigan: What?

Mister Cardigan: Is there something I can do? Can I take some of the clothes away?

Lady Cardigan: What? What?

Mister Cardigan: I mean, it seems impossible to fathom that you could ever actually put away all of these clothes on your rack and in your drawers. WHAT is HAPPENING in there?

Lady Cardigan: Ummm.


Lady Cardigan: I'm taking my daily photo.

Mister Cardigan: Does this daily photo mean that you actually have 365 completely unique outfits strewn about our bedroom?

Lady Cardigan: Maybe.

You guys, I have a little problem with clothes. In that I like them. And buy them. And I have forgotten what I have and bought duplicate things. And even though Alice came over and lined up a week's worth of outfits, and that's cool and stuff, I am overwhelmed by clothes. I'm thinking about selling and/or giving away things that didn't work for me because of size or style or what have you. Are you interested? Let me know, and let me know what you dig. I will send you things!

  • Christie & Jill silk/cotton crimson cardigan $4
  • Black with tiny pinhead white polka dots straight lined skirt $5
  • Ivory t-shirt $2
  • Green floral/sequin full circle skirt $5
  • Pearl and gold necklaces $4
  • Bracelets $3
  • Pearl clip ons $2
Not thrifted:
  • Paris clocket $20
  • Seychelles orange mary janes $20
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Well, this feels close...but I still feel a bit thick. Is that my imagination? I'm not sure!
Total outfit cost: $66


Monday, September 26, 2011

Lessons in incorrect dressing, part 5000

So, this is not the outfit that Alice intended. She put it all together and on the hanger...unexpected! fun! charming!

Then came the part where I hadn't tried it on and then had five minutes to dress before racing to catch the bus and the damn blouse didn't button across the ladyparts. And, basically, that was a requirement of the blouse. Actually, it was the only fucking requirement of that blouse.

As it turns out, sometimes I don't ever try things on until their outfitulated. This is risky. See photo.

You guys, when am I gonna be good at this? I felt uncomfortable and stupid all day, bah. I only felt better when I got to play with a sweet pooch in my friend's cold swimming pool. We took off our shoes (Well, I took off my shoes. This particular dog doesn't wear shoes.) and waded around and the dog tried to bite the water whenever I splashed. That was cool and happy-making.

  • Dumb too-small sheer blue blouse with white embroidered polkydots $5
  • White-ish polyester sleeveless mock turtleneck $2
  • Pink linen pleated skirt $5
  • Brown Dingo boots $20
  • Chunky white clip-ons $1
Not thrifted:
  • Paris clocket $20
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
Total outfit cost: $53


Sunday, September 25, 2011

What. It's a Sunday.

What. It's a sunday. Short day. Much to do. Here's your update, and carry on.

  • Swingy black skirt $5
  • White polyester shirt with green polkydots $2
  • Pink cardigan $6
  • Frye motorcycle boots $11
  • Black patent wide belt $2
Not thrifted: Nothing. It's a sunday. No time for accessories!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Hey it's a sunday! Let's not get all fancy and call this an outfit, okay? Okay.
  • Also, I look wider than your average day. Whatever.
Total outfit cost: $26


PS. Maybe you will like this video about my goat:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frye, babies!

Howsie 'bout this score: practically new Frye motorcycle boots in my exact size. Yeah. I scored that!

  • Sears polyester shirt jacket $4
  • Blue and white gingham skirt with embroidered flowers $5
  • Ramones t-shirt $4
  • Frye black motorcycle boots $11
  • A necklace $2
  • M necklace $4
  • Beaded clipon earrings $2
Not thrifted:
  • Old black studded belt $0 (old-ness)
  • Deer clocket $24
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I'm looking and feeling thick these days. Rectifying that, I am.
  • Not sure if this outfit has too much going to capture the pretty embroidery. I kind of overdo things now and then.
Total outfit cost: $56


Friday, September 23, 2011

This is what sleepy dressing looks like!

Well. I woke up on the early side and drove up north and in the doing of that wore whatever was right by my bed. Not bad, yeah? Why the hell do I spend so much dang time when this works out just fine?

I never drive up to the inn during the daylight (I usually drive at night) and it was really quite special. September in northern california is the besty best. And then I got to see my baby goats and they are the freaking bomb. Of cuteness. And noisy bleating. Heart them so.

Okay, so, thrifted:
  • DKNY olive green with maroon/pink embroidered flowers short cardi $5
  • Tshirt $2
  • Way too big Old Navy floral skirt $5
  • Vibram combat boots $24
  • Pink belt $2
Not thrifted: Nothing. I had no time to wear new things. Or accessories. Or makeup. Or clothes that fit me.

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • It's not as bad as my sleepy brain thought. But I can't pull off the big skirt hanging on the hips thing that other people (AKA my friend Allison) can pull off. I'm probably gonna take this in.
Total outfit cost: $38


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Working girl

I love that movie. I do. Weepy McAwesomeness.

Anywaysies. I had a long day today and in fact am still in it. The plan is that I will land in three hours (am on a plane home from DC at this very minute), hop in the tracker, and drive my ass right up the coast. But...that's three hours away and by the time I arrive, I will have been up for nearly 24 hours, after a couple nights of four or five hours sleep.* Not sure that's wise. Stay tuned!

I spent all day yesterday in meetings all the way til 11:30pm, even pretty much having bizness meetings while drinking late at night with clients. That's how it goes. And I spent all day today with another favorite client. I have worked with them for nearly ten years, while at the last company and my current company, and there is absolutely no need to dress up for them. But today was a fancy biz-ness type day in which there were a Lot of Suits. So my colleague Jenn and I dolled it all up. She is always dolled up, actually. I am not. It's always a little nutty to be in these rooms with a bunch of dudes in suits. I am so not in my element. But whatevs, I do my best! And dress my best! I took this photo in their bathroom while on a break; that is how committed I am to YOU and THIS HERE BLAWG.

My Thrifted Best Bizness Style:
  • Red acrylic (!) beaded sweater $7
  • White t-shirt $2
  • Gray pin-striped straight skirt with pleats $5
  • No Boundaries black patent leather low platform pumps/ankle straps $7
  • Wide patent leather belt $2
  • Charm bracelet $3
  • Pretty mother of pearl flower clip ons $2
  • Sheer white scarf with gold edging and gold flower image $1
Not thrifted: Nothing. I'm that good.

What I think about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Man, nothing. Well maybe higher heels.
Total outfit cost: $29


*Let's discuss sleep, okay? Ten years ago, when I started working at my previous company and all the sudden had a bunch of east coast clients and a relatively new job, I would wake up at 5:30am, be on the 6am bus, and be at my desk by 6:30am. Which, btw, was usually before most of the east coast people were at THEIR desks. But that's how I liked it. And, I'm a night owl. So come 11pm, I'd get my second wind and work for awhile.

That meant that I would basically sleep from about 1:00am to 5:30am. I was seriously stressed the fuck out, I never dressed cute, I was overweight, and I was overworked. And, I got sick *all* the time. Like, for months at a time.

Then I got pneumonia. It was at the March for Women's Lives in DC in 2004, where I was part of a client's entourage and, of course, working. I was sick, whatevs, what else is new. But towards the end of the March, I hung back. My mister and some friends who had come for the March were off to the airport to go home, and I was flying back the next day. But, while my colleagues all got together at a local bar to figure out what we were gonna do next, I headed back to a friend's home where I was staying. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I was exceptionally ill. My dear co-worker, Rachel, took care of me and got me to the doctor. I shouldn't have flown home so ill but I did. And then I was out of work for about two weeks or so and for most of those two weeks, I couldn't speak.

Every day, I would wake up and try to talk...but no. Nothing. The mister would come home from work and I would be a mess. A mess. A weepy, heartbroken, desolate, abandoned, inconsolable mess. I had a pretty whack-a-doodle existential crisis, as in "If I don't speak, do I exist?" Ha ha ha ha. But not so much ha ha. It felt real.

But...something happened during that weird period. I slept. A lot. I used otc sleeping pills to stay asleep, too, so that fears of effing up with clients or becoming irrelevant to my workplace wouldn't keep me awake.

After a couple weeks, my voice came back and I went back to work...but something had changed. I took it a little easier. I kept taking the otc sleeping pills, and I slept. About seven hours every night. Sometimes, delightfully, a little more. And guess what? I have mostly not been sick since. A cold now and then. A day of tummy troubles once or twice a year. And last year I lost my voice for a week. But that's it. I like to say I never get sick, and that's not true, really. But it's mostly true. And I'm pretty sure it's because I sleep (and because I drink a lot of water, but that's another blawg post). It is the best thing I ever did for myself. Better than losing weight, fyi. The moral of the story is that I should probably get some sleep tonight and not drive three hours into the night. But, even if I don't, I know the real moral of the story: motherfucking sleep you silly ding-dong. It's not that complicated. The end.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It still smells like summer here in DC

And I like it. The cricket (or whatever the fuck makes that noise) sound is loud, it just summer rained and has the humidity factor but not bad like real summer, and I can smell the grassy grass. No fireflies, which makes me sad, but still. Summer smell.

Today was long, and I have had 5 glasses of wine over about 7 hours. Also, six wonderful oysters and a salad the size of my fist. Now, food the size of your fist sounds like a lot when you're talking about cake or butter. But salad? No. That is not a lot of salad. I am exhausted and a little bitty bit starving. But, I loved today and the clients and colleagues with whom I met and that exhaustion is the lucky kind - well earned after a day of hard work. All I ever wanted was to go to bed tired every day, and today I am for sure. But not before I blawged!

  • Mustard Liz & Co short cardigan with rad big collar $6
  • Floral western style shirt $4
  • A & W tshirt $4
  • J Crew blue pencil skirt with spanks-revealing-slit $4
  • Orange-rusty cowboy boots $10
  • Pretty mother of pearl flower clip ons $2
  • Bangles $3
Not thrifted: nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo: Hey! Nothing! I think!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I fucking hate traveling

I love seeing my clients and colleagues and am always glad to be there. But I hate the part where I am away from my mister, my dogs, my goats, my home, my office, and my...hmmm. My clothes. Yes, I even miss my clothes.

I wasn't on a plane with internets today or I would have posted this earlier. When the eff are all planes going to have internet? I am impatient for that future. It's sort of unbelievable to me that when I started traveling for bizness ten years ago, I barely had a cell phone. I still remember landing somewhere and needing to race to my hotel to get situated and check email. Oh the stress. Getting my treo - with email - changed my life! For the better! The minute you landed, you got email and could deal with the crises. I swear it reduced my stress ten million percent. And now I need internets all the time? Yes. It just makes it all so much easier to stay caught up. Some people don't dig that, but damn I sure do.

Today I was sitting next to a woman who was eating some sort of cracker tube type product stuffed with fake cheese and a sour gummy candy. And she was reading People magazine, and took quite some time to do the crossword puzzle in her magazine (did you know there were crossword puzzles in People? I did not). And then...she pulled out a sudoku book and I watched her read the instructions and scribble a bit on the first puzzle and then go back to the instructions and so on and so forth. And then she gave up. The whole time I thought, wow, I would never have (a) purchased those snacks, (b) publicly read people magazine and (b) let sudoku stump me. In the midst of my superiority complex, I switched it up and realized she was completely bold and didn't give a fuck what anyone thought about her. Hell to the yeah!

So, travel clothes...thrifted:
  • Black cotton full skirt $6
  • Gray gap tshirt $4
  • Bolero! $7
  • Orangeish/rusty cowboy boots $10 (which I saw a woman buying at the goodwill and then she grabbed them and put them back on the shelf and I immediately grabbed them for me and that is the very embodiment of a Thrift Store SCORE!)
  • Super nifty western style belt with silver embellishments $4 (not the smartest belt to wear when going through security)
Not thrifted: nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Perfectly comfortable for travel! All cottony and loose and stuff.
  • But that skirt is too long. I hate the long skirt with boots look and there I am sporting it.
  • I wore no accessories because of, y'know, the travelling.
Total outfit cost: $31


Monday, September 19, 2011

Dudes, my outfit matches my hair. I KNOW.

The lameness of this can't be overstated. And you can't see it in the photo, really, cuz my inability to capture my hair in the photo remains intact. The problem is that the outfit was already Overly Matched. Aka, matchy-matchy.

I feel that I can be forgiven for this matchtastrophe, though, because I only very recently adopted the lime green and red dread look with my "normal" brown dreadlocks. I wasn't paying attention to the fact that I put together a brown, red, lime green, yellow, and white outfit today. It wasn't until I went to the ladies and looked in the mirror and laughed out loud.

The good news is that it cracked me up all the damn day. I took matching to the extreme, man. What's that my pal Allison says - "theme to the extreme?" Yeah. Uh-huh. Nailed it!

  • Really lovely sheer brown cotton shirt with embroidered flowers on the bodice and sleeves. Lots of very nice details in the buttons and button holes etc. $5
  • Vintage yellow Bleyle polyester pencil skirt $4
  • White tank tshirt $2
  • Brown wide fake leather belt $2
  • Nine West strappy heels $6
  • Big fat red beads $3
  • White dangly clip-ons $2
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I would paint my fingernails red, add some yellow bangles, a lime green headband, and maybe a red purse and then, just maybe, I would own this freaking look. Yes? Yes.
  • Ha ha ha haaa ha ha.
  • I used to wear shirts over t-shirts all the time (instead of a cardigan, y'know). And I'm not that into it anymore.
Total outfit cost: $24


PS. I restarted Medifast today. I've been in maintenance mode for the better part of the last few months and have settled into a zone that is roughly 2 to 6 pounds away from goal. I want to reach my goal, get under and then waver UNDER goal for a few months. Also forever.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

These boots were made for mucking

There isn't anything that a weekend of hard work at the inn won't cure. Seriously. I defy anyone to find one damn minute to wallow in anything when you have an inn full of guests, a water system break down, 100 whoopie pies to make, amazing sunshine, shooting stars, and goats.

As a special treat today (mostly for me, but who knows, maybe you'll dig it too), today's photo shoot was in the goat yard. With the goats. After I had just mucked out the goat stable while wearing cowboy boots. At the same time! Ha ha ha!

  • Red tshirt $1
  • Beatup cowboy boots $10
  • High Sierra beaded cardigan $7
Not thrifted:
  • Odille cinch waist full skirt, on sale at Anthropologie for $29. Not really a deal, and I kind of regret it.
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Another skirt that ain't quite my style and the cardigan doesn't help things. Not sure WHAT I would wear with this skirt to be honest.
  • Never mind the outfit! Check out those sweet little goaties!

Total outfit cost: $47


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday is a better day, and I only cut off half my head in the photo

You'd think I would freaking know how to take the damn daily photo by now, yeah? No. Blarggh. Where is my head? Ha ha.

I woke up too early and too sunny this beautiful saturday and forgot all about my fucked up yesterday. A busy day, a Blondie t-shirt, a shit ton of stars including one magical shooting one, really adorable goats eating flowers out of my hand and dancing, a rad play list at the pub during dinner and an early (for me) bed time all equaled a clean slate. I'm lucky that way.

  • Yellow and aqua Blondie t-shirt $4
  • The Best Black Cardigan $5 (honestly this cardigan is so so simple but it's a good one - clingy, simple, good length)
  • Light blue/aquaish pleated full skirt $4
  • Black chunky Mudd boots $10
  • Chunky ivory clip ons $2
Not thrifted:
  • Old black fake leather studded belt $0. Old.
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I actually took the photo early today and decided to add the belt. But I didn't show that photo. I think the belt makes it look finished.
  • I wasn't sure about this outfit but I kinda like it! I ran around all day and even though the skirt is shortish, it was totally fine.
  • It even looked good in action. See:
Total outfit cost: $25


PS No, I didn't follow the Hunger Challenge today.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How I failed the hunger challenge and skirt month in one day

So I didn't actually fail the skirt month thing. I mean, I did wear a new (thrifted, duh) skirt yesterday. But the outfit was CRAP. Which is kind of how I felt after failing on the Hunger Challenge. And then my day was too long and at 1:38am last night I was too wiped to blawg all about it.

It's terribly embarrassing to fail the Hunger Challenge and I have no excuse. That's not just a trite phrase to me, but true. I have no excuse. I am busy, yes, but no busier than many. I had a stressy day, but no more stressful than many. I would love to blame the mister, but while he hasn't been doing the challenge with me, he has been totally supportive and asked me about nine times what we were doing for dinner - and would have eaten whatever I made.

No, I just didn't feel like it. I just didn't feel like continuing the challenge. That is all. The whole story, right there.

I almost didn't say a damn thing on this here blawg but my desire to not be a big ol liar outweighed my desire to not admit my fail.

And then to top that fuck up, I ruined a perfectly darling skirt with this outfit. It looked cute inside my head, but that is apparently all. I look like a pirate clown.

The skirt - the skirt is cuuuute. Cotton a-line, and those flowers are sewed on dealies. And putting a striped shirt with it was fine. But then the sheer eyelet shirt, TIED AT THE WAIST WTF WAS I THINKING, and then the polka dot knee socks. And necklace. Dear gawd.

You guys, I said the point of this blawg all along was to hold myself accountable and to learn. On the latter, I'm not exactly certain what I learned from yesterday's outfit other than that I can in fact go too far.

As for the former, I'm not really certain if claiming fail and moving on is actually holding myself accountable. But whatever. It's not a bad start.

Next post will be not so loserrific, promise.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another honey of a knit by Tony Bertram

That is what the tag says on my cardigan today. For real. "Another honey of a knit by Tony Bertram." Sweet.

Today was day four of the Hunger Challenge...and by now, basically, no problem. Coffee/medifast for breakfast, practically nothing for lunch, and chicken, green beans (from a can), and tomatoes for dinner. Probably helped that I was really busy and running around today.

As for the clothes - gawd, I'm from the 80s. I love combat boots with a fancy skirt. Umm, madonnaish. Ha.

  • Tepemeesure gold/silver full skirt $4
  • Another honey of a knit by Tony Bertram short sleeved cardigan with rhinestone buttons and pretty little peter pan collar (see below) $7
  • Square neck white tshirt $3
  • M necklace $4
  • A necklace $2
  • Peace necklace $2
  • Vibram lace up combat boots $24
  • Pearl clip ons $2
Not thrifted: Nothing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I was definitely comfortable, comfortable, comfortable in this outfit. But...a full skirt is not so flattering on me. I don't know if I care, actually.
Total outfit cost: $48


PS - here's the dear collar on that cardigan...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh crap. Sorry. Also I am a cheater.

Yeah. Well, I took this picture upstairs at night because rather than skip my month of daily-without-fail-documentation, I just phoned it in.

Also, we ended up at a friend's house for dinner tonight and I ate what they served. I didn't eat my Hunger Challenge meal because it was a pain in the ass to bring my spartan meal there. And also, lame. I mean, if I were living on food stamps and someone invited me to dinner wouldn't I say HELL TO THE YEAH? And, I think it's silly to think that that DOESN'T happen. It does. So, it felt most authentic and least fake to simply say thank you and enjoy the meal without overindulging.

Actually, that sounds like a good way to live overall.

The photo, yeah, crapass. Thrifted:
  • Brown and white cotton toile shirt. I Love Toile. $4
  • White tank tshirt $3
  • Homemade (again!) pink and white striped a line skirt with white net ruffle at the hem $5
  • Beat up brown cowboy boots $10
Not thrifted:
  • Fandamntastic turquoise jewelry from my friend Heather - necklace, ring, earrings. Love these, just as Heather predicted. Thank you friend!
  • Horsey belt $20, Modcloth
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I used to wear shirts over tank tops all the time Before. But now I think they don't provide the level of shape I've come to prefer. This is a good example of that.
Total outfit cost: $42


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A story about my high heeled shoes

(Hunger challenge day two way down there...)

I am wearing some truly grand shoes today. N.Y.L.A. nude mary jane 4 inch heels with a tiny detail that I love: a buckle with two prongs. Silly silly. I only wore them because I knew that my mister would take me to the train today and significantly decrease my strolling time from the bus station to the office.

I ended my day with a meeting in the next city over and hopped on the bus to take me a short stroll from home. Except that I was reading my book and lost track of where I was and got off the bus too soon, miles from home in a sketchy neighborhood. Oh, well, I can take the next bus the rest of the way home...but of course I have no more bus fare. Oh and I could call my mister to come fetch me...but in a stunningly typical move, none of my three - THREE - cell phones is exactly working (one I left at the office, one I left at home, and the one in my bag has a dead battery).

And that is how I ended up walking 40 minutes home in four inch heels.

It was a lovely evening and I do like a stroll.

And, well, yes, I do wonder how it is that I manage to function every day being such a fuck up and all. La la la.

Hunger challenge day two shenanigans below, but first...

  • NYLA nude mary janes $8
  • Charcoal pencil skirt with oatmealy type specks $4
  • Nude-ish cotton shirt with ruffles $4
  • Messy pearls (as opposed to mess-o-pearls because they've become tangled (shocking!) and now they are just messy $3
  • Pearl clipons $1
  • Pretty flowery bracelet $2
Not thrifted:
  • My mother-in-law thrifted and gifted this great cardigan - ivory with flowers and lace and pearl embellishments. Thanks Sue!
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I would make sure the phone in my bag worked and that I tucked a couple extra dollars in my cleavage.
  • The skirt is a little short for my taste.
Total outfit cost: $22


  • Coffee/medifast $1.40
  • Two hard-boiled eggs .34 cents
  • Spinach, sausage, yogurt $1.62
  • Chicken, yogurt, broccoli $1.47

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hunger Challenge Day One! Plus Skirt the 12th!

So the Hunger Challenge is this thing that the SF Food Bank does every year to draw attention to just how damn hard it is to live on food stamps - about $5 for one person per day. The deal is that you sign up to do it for just a week. Today is my first day. Everyone else started yesterday. As usual, I am late. (Hey are you just here for the thrifty time clothes? Scrolly on downy for that stuff!)

It's been a long time but this isn't my first scrimp and save rodeo. While in college, I remember many many times heading down the street to Cala Foods with just a $20 bill to cover my groceries for a week or so. Lots of pasta. Lots.

20 years later, and things are different. For one thing, I don't eat pasta. Or beans. Or rice. Or potatoes. Or ramen. Or bread. Or peanut butter. Or any of the other foods that are cheap as hell.

More importantly, though, the last 20 years have been lucky ones for me. I rarely pay attention to the cost of a bag of groceries. Oh, I stay away from fancy things and pay attention to price but not that much. I know that I am exceptionally and truly fortunate to have been born to this here life in this here incredibly wealthy country. Most of the world, not so lucky. And even here in northern California, lots are also not so lucky. I have the luxury to try this experiment and boy do I know it's a luxury.

For my Hunger Challenge, I headed to the decidedly not luxurious Grocery Outlet around the corner. Wise move! You can buy a LOT there with not so much dough. But I have to say - it was hard. Spending just $35 for the week on my pretty much only greens and proteins diet was limiting and, well, boring. And, I bought things that I would never ever in a million years buy normally. Like frozen chicken breasts and canned vegetables. I reached for my typical and delicious fake meat products but their price was precious indeed compared to regular ol' chicken.

Here's what I bought:
  • A bag of fresh broccoli 1.99 (4 servings; .50 cents per serving)
  • 9 oz fresh spinach 1.99 (3 servings; .66 cents per serving)
  • 2.5 lbs chicken breasts 4.99 (10 servings; .49 cents per serving)
  • Lg can green beans .79 (2 servings; .40 cents per serving)
  • Lg can collard greens .79 (2 servings; .40 cents per serving)
  • Smoked thai chicken sausage 3.49 (4 servings; .87 cents per serving)
  • Plain greek nonfat yogurt 1.49 (6 servings - use as sauce, dip, etc; .25 cents per serving)
  • Lg can crushed tomatoes 1.29 (4 servings; .32 cents per serving)
  • 18 organic eggs $2.99 (9-18 servings; .33 to .17 cents per serving)
  • Instant coffee $6 (15 servings; .40 cents per serving) Coffee medifast powder $7 (7 servings; 1 dollar per serving - this is half price because I bought some from someone who went off the program)
TOTAL GROCERIES $32.81 (which leaves me some change for condiments)

Here's what I did today...HUNGER CHALLENGE DAY ONE:
  • Coffee/medifast $1.40
  • Hard-boiled egg .17 cents
  • Spinach, sausage, yogurt $1.62
  • One very little tiny chocolate egg furtively purchased from co-worker .05 cents (I actually gave him a quarter and put the rest on layaway)
  • Chicken, tomato, broccoli $1.47

Verdict? I felt like I was right back in the throes of my hardcore dieting. AKA, craving a salty snack most of the time. I wasn't hungry per se, just conscious of how damn limited I was.

I did take my mind off thinking about food and how to make it last by further tidying up the thrift wardrobe. I'm thinking about giving away things that don't suit me. Maybe here? Maybe ebay? Not sure.

And of course, it's still 30 Skirts Hath September and I am here with Yet Another Skirt!

  • Homemade (I think) A line charcoal and white seersucker skirt with black eyelet kick pleats $4
  • Red/pink checked and ruffled Faded Glory blouse $9
  • Green nylon cardigan with black trim $5
  • Black patent leather wide belt $2
  • Black patent leather t-strap heels $7
  • Red and black fake rock bracelet $2
  • Gold vintage charm bracelet $3
Not thrifted: Nothing

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I am just loving a line skirts these days!
  • This color combination knocked me out in real life, but the photo doesn't really capture it. Still, even if the photo was fantastic, it seems to me that the getup is fine but doesn't sing as much as I'd hoped.
  • I was wearing earrings and such but I'd lost them by the time I took the photo.
Total outfit cost: $32


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tell me why I don't like Sundays

They are my most ridiculous day. That's why I don't like them. Wake up in one world (inn-land), go to sleep in the other (work-world). Too busy to take care of the outfit and makeup and cardigan. But I made a commitment to my very dear readers this month so I shall not skip a day! Not even Sunday.

I *should* be starting The Hunger Challenge today, but that is not the way my life worked and I am starting tomorrow. I will be one day behind my fellow challengers, like the awesome HB, who had an okay first day even though she slipped on dog poo. The Hunger Challenge, btw, is where I will join a bunch of other people in living on $4.72 per day for food - the amount that someone on food stamps receives - for one week. Should be fun. No, not really. I'm just saying that.

Okay, back to today. Thrifted:
  • Yellow cotton cardigan $5
  • Charcoal swingy skirt $6
  • Cotton stretchy tshirt $4
  • Black sheer blouse with ruffle and bric-a-brac. Bric-a-brac! $6
  • Yellow clip ons $1
  • Mess o pearls $3
  • Chunky black boots $10
Not thrifted: Nothing. Not one thing!

What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • I'd take the freaking picture during the day, wear some makeup, and check a mirror beforehand. Okay? Okay.
  • Also, hi hips. Blech.
Total outfit cost: $35


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Limits, no limits, what up

So, I ran into an acquaintance recently and she mentioned having some fab vintage things that maybe I would want since she doesn't wear them anymore. Digging in a bit, she said she was giving 'em away because she felt like she *couldn't* wear them.

Now, this woman is amazing, accomplished, and beautiful. I totally admire her. She runs one of the biggest businesses in the county (in inn-land) (which is not actually inland, ha ha) (it's on the coast). She's the face of this family business and feels like she can't dress any way other than relatively conservatively because of her role and the clientele of her hotel. I say pshaw to that.

But, what do I know? I mean, when I got dreadlocks, I felt like I needed to dress in a black suit and conservative top whenever I traveled back east, to DC in particular, to counteract the whacky vibe of my dreads. Because in DC, well, no offense to my DC pals, but people are generally not exactly whack-a-doo style-wise. Eventually I realized that HEY, I have dreadlocks and nobody gets beyond them. Ever. So, I can wear any sort of costume or a blue suit and the reaction is the same (that I am a martian).

Some may not believe me, but I never actually set out to be a freak. It just happened that way. And now, it's just who I am. I have multi-colored dreadlocks and tattoos (not many) and a nose ring and occasionally kooky (for some) clothes. And life for me, professionally and otherwise, is just fine. It's great, actually. Maybe I would have "risen higher" or been "taken more seriously" if I *didn't* have dreadlocks and the whole crazy rest, but damn, I feel pretty lucky and more than satisfied with my lot in life.

For that reason, I tend to think...hey, if I can be this guy, ANYONE can. Am I wrong?

I also have always just assumed that everyone is dressing pretty much however the heck they want. I assume YOU, right this minute, are dressing and presenting yourself in a way that makes you happy. But then when someone - like my acquaintance up here in inn-land - says they don't feel comfortable dressing a certain way, I say, REALLY? Why?

Today! Was a great day SO FAR! We went to an event at which we were playing the roles of Mister and Missus Innkeeper and therefore I was a tad more in costume than maybe a regular ol' day.

  • Red acrylic (!) beaded sweater $7
  • Blue and white gingham a-line skirt - handmade, I think $6
  • Chunky black boots $10
  • White beaded clipons $1
  • M necklace $4
  • Black/rose silver belt $2
  • Sheer scarf headband $1
  • Two super duper fabtastic costume bracelets, one red/silver/rhinestone and one milky blue/blue gem/silver, from the generous and wonderful HGM, a legacy from her apparently very stylish mother. Thank you Heather! $0
  • An old cowboy style shirt in white, blues, and lime $0 (old)
  • Deer clocklet $20
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Generally, a-ok! But maybe a short cardi instead of a long one.
  • That's all. Happy times.
Total outfit cost: $51


Also, I've been drinking at that aforementioned event. Wine. And a damn lot of it. It was so good! Yay, wine!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Skirt the ninth: Pencil

Yesterday I commented that I have previously viewed photographs of myself with a stupid blend of shock and sickening. When someone commented that that was sad, I almost edited the word sickening. But, then, no. It is indeed embarrassing to admit that I was shocked and a little sickened by photos of my previous heavier self.

To be clear, though, it's not that I felt sick. Or thought I was actually shocking or sickening. It was just the photo that made me feel that way. I never thought that the photos were actually and in fact ME. Me, myself, I - no, I'm not sickening. But the photos were. A little. That's all.

Onward we go.

  • Cabi pink/blue striped shirt with all kinds of embroidery $6
  • Tan tshirt $4
  • Minty green pencil skirt $7
  • Brown cowboy boots $10
  • Chunky ivory clipons $2
Not thrifted:
  • Cowboy belt $20
  • Clocket $20
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • It's kind of, I don't know, boring.
Total outfit cost: $69


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Practically perfect

I KNOW. This outfit is practically perfect! A little matchy, though, no?

Sometimes I have shitty clothes days in which not one picture isn't mortifying. And then today, voila, an extra lucky day. Every photo was perfectly satisfactory to me. And if you've lived for awhile with every picture of yourself shocking and a little sickening to you, you know what a freaking damn gift that is.

  • Sixties Smith's (Made in Italy) sweater jacket cardigan thing $6
  • Olive-ish scoop neck tshirt $4
  • Talbots white full skirt with black embroidered circles $6
  • Patent leather wide belt $2
  • White bead clip ons $1
  • White bead bracelet $2
  • White bead necklace $3
  • M necklace $4
Not thrifted:
  • Rocket Dog black suede maryjane wedges with a sweet bow $0 (onaccountof age)
What I would change about this outfit now that I've seen the photo:
  • Well, nothing. I mean, it's all a bit matchy-matchy for me...but, I did feel like a put-together-grown-up-lady and that is not a bad thing.
  • Also, good gawd, what the hell am I learning? I can wear full skirts? If I tuck in the shirt and belt it? I still feel like I don't quite have my own personal rules down yet. I will have to analyze the data someday and figure this out.
Total outfit cost: $28


PS: What is going on with the hairs you're wondering? Why that is a side ponytail, with some added twisty parts up top acting as a headband. You may click the picture for embiggening.

PPS: I do have newish colors in my dreadlocks. Yes. That is correct.

PPPS: More importantly, how are you feeling about my new color for bangs - yellowish greenish kinda like the shirt I'm wearing today?

PPPPS: Don't worry, even if you hate that color for bangs, I will probably do it anyway. However, I am still considering other colors if you have an idea.

PPPPPS: Seriously, don't fret! Bangs grow out fast! Too fast for me, truly.