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Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & Aspiring Unicorn Breeder

2.25.2015

Your Perfect Imperfections

Technical speaking I'm a gimp. Not the Pulp Fiction kind of gimp... Unless you're talking about in the bedroom with my husband and oh my God I am juuuuust kidding.

Seriously though, I'm a gimp. One of my legs is about an inch shorter than the other. 

When I was a toddler I wore what my brother refers to as my retarded shoes: big bulky white leather boots with soles of different heights trying to help me walk because I couldn't at first for some reason.

When I was a little girl my Grandma noticed something was "off" with the way I stood & walked and she mentioned to my dad that she thought I might have scoliosis. He immediately took me to an orthopedic doctor, who refered me to an orthopedic surgeon who proceeded to measure me and X-ray me and poke and prod me.

After several (no doubt expensive) visits the doctor determined that I did not in fact have scoliosis. What I did have was one short leg. He informed my dad that I would need surgery to correct it... a surgery that would involve breaking my leg bone and having pins inserted and some kind of key to turn to stretch it out out over time and a crazy metal contraption holding it all together so that my bone could grow the length it needed to, to catch up to the other leg. 

Obviously I was not enthused. 

Thankfully my parents divorced shortly thereafter and my dad got involved with a new woman and forgot all about me and my gimpy leg. (Silver linings, people. Silver linings...)

So anyway, as for as long as I can remember I've been told I walk like Betty Boop... or I've been asked why I shake my booty so much when I walk.... Is it for attention? Am I trying to be sexy? 

No, no, no. You see, I can't help it! My short little gimpy leg causes my hips to swing side to side in an exaggerated manner when I walk. And when I stand up straight, I never really actually stand up straight because one of my hips juts out to the side like I'm trying to be all sassy or something. It's an imperfection that I can never fix unless I have painful, expensive surgery. 

Well screw that! I'd much rather embrace my imperfections.

Did you know that Marilyn Monroe is reported to have shortened the heel of only one of her shoes to achieve that sexy wiggle she is famous for? Mae West greatly exaggerated her movements when walking and wore shoes up to 8 inches tall that helped her to achieve her sexy wiggle walk...

A sexy wiggle that I happen to come by naturally. 

Sexy wiggle... That sounds much better than gimpy walk, doesn't it? 

My husband loves my gimpy body. He tells me all the time how sexy my curves are... that exaggerated curve in the hip I get when I stand, thanks to my gimpy leg. 

And to be honest I've grown to love it too. It makes me unique. My gimpy little walk perfectly matches the cartoonish proportions of my curvy body: big old hips & thighs with itty bitty calves & ankles. I'm a living Betty Boop and proud of it! 

I choose to see myself as having a sexy wiggle, not a gimpy walk, and I think it reflects onto how others see me. No one notices that I have one leg that's a lot shorter than the other, most just see a Betty Boop walk. And if they do notice my gimpy leg, who gives a shit? How I see myself is really all that matters. 

So when you look at yourself and you see all of these imperfections, try flipping it around and seeing it in a different light: Your butt isn't too big, it's Jennifer Lopez luscious. You're not too tall, you're an Amazonian goddess. And honey, you are certainly not to thin-fat-hairy-short-bald-average-weird-lumpy-whatever... You're perfectly imperfect. 

Embrace that shit. 

Hey girl hey - Check out that smokin' hot gimpy leg! 

2.17.2015

Three Reasons Why Every Gal Needs a Pettiskirt Style Petticoat

I love vintage inspired clothing (obviously). It harkens back to a time when people actually gave a shit how they dressed. People really took the time to coordinate outfits and dress for their figures instead of throwing on a hoodie, yoga pants, and Uggly fur boots and calling it good.


I've been trying to put together outfits for my three days a week of dressing well that throw back to that marvelously fashionable time. One thing I discovered along the way are petticoats... and I'm positive that every woman needs at least one in her wardrobe!


I always thought of petticoats as hard, crunchy, stiff, itchy slips that women use to puff out their dresses. Well it turns out there are different kinds of petticoats. The itchy, stiff ones are actually crinoline petticoats... I don't care for those. However a chiffon petticoat is a thing of luxurious magic! You get the poof without the discomfort. And if you want a stiffer petticoat without the itch factor you can go with an organdy petticoat. Since I don't care for crinolines I'll be telling you about the chiffon and organdy kind.


There are several brands out there, but I've found that one of the best made, and best bang for your buck, is Pettiskirt Style. This brand is handmade in the USA, which is very important to me. It's also female owned and operated, which is also important to me. To top it off they can amake completely custom petticoats & pettiskirts (crinoline, chiffon, and organdy) for you, which some of the other companies out there don't do. Finally the customer service is second to none - which we all know plays a gigantic role in my shopping!!


Ok, so here is why every woman should own a petticoat...


Reason Number One:
The Shopaholic Petticoat. Yes, I'm using this particular petticoat as a reason because omg look at it... it's stunning and blows away every other petticoat in the universe... And this is the same petticoat worn by Isla Fisher in the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic."



Made of two lush layers of organza organdy (chiffon with an added stiffening agent), and with a layer of netting sandwiched in the middle for additional "poof-power", this petticoat is a technicolor dream!


Though it is a bit sheer toward the top (not see through) it can absolutely be worn as a skirt on it's own - if worn with coordinating petti-panties (shown here) or pettipants (a longer, thigh length panty). Lucky for us Pettiskirt Style offers coordinating panties for it!! Notice the rows of ruffles on my hiney... It's the little details that make this so incredible!!


As you can see it looks just as stunning, and even more dramatic, underneath a full dress or skirt. The colors are so vibrant that they're almost neon! Royal blue, acid yellow-green, and hot pink take my demure Ashley dress in black by Pinup Girl Clothing to the next level. Check out the waves and waves of organdy fabric.. I mean the fullness of this skirt is just so incredible!


And the detailing on this skirt is amazing as well... coordinating ribbon has been sewn in at each tier, and intricate ruching throughout the skirt ensures that it will never fall flat. Being constructed of organdy gives the skirt the fullness and super-poof of a traditional crinoline without being all scratchy and itchy. It's so silky and soft to the touch! If you love a touch of drama in your wardrobe, then this is the petticoat for you! It's also available in festive Mardi Gras colors... and of course Pettiskirt Style makes custom petticoats, so the only limit to this style is your imagination.

Reason Number Two:
Petticoats are old fashioned... and every girl needs a bit of old school glamour in their wardrobe. Seriously. I get more compliments on my clothing when I add a touch of retro flair with a petticoat than when I wear the same dress/skirt without one!


First, this chiffon petticoat is one of the softest, fluffiest things I've ever owned! Second, look at how it takes my Eshakti "Her 50's Dress" from just another cute dress to fan-freaking-tabulous!! I look like I could be headed to a USO swing dance... but really I'm just headed to the grocery store (in mega style).


Instead of the skirt just hanging flat, it poofs it out beautifully... Which creates an hourglass effect, giving the illusion of a smaller waist line... a secret of those well dressed ladies from our grandmothers generation. That's an old fashioned win/win in my opinion! 

Oh... and here's another reason two: they're also not old fashioned. It's a modern twist on an old favorite! Wearing a petticoat doesn't mean you have to look like a 1950's prom queen. You can head to the office just as easily as you could head to a swing dance. 


Styled with a modern button up shirt and black leather knee high boots, the same royal blue chiffon petticoat from Pettiskirt Style looks just as gorgeous, but completely different, under this lovely peacock gypsy skirt from Heart of Haute!


The vibrant royal blue is such a pretty pop of color and shouldn't be confined strictly to your vintage inspired outfits. As you can see it pairs just as well with a modern styled outfit as it does a retro one. So you should definitely NOT be scared to add this puffy new dimension to your wardrobe!

Reason Number Three: 
Dressing up. Let's be honest, most every girl loves to get dolled up and feel special... and a petticoat gives you that certain something, an "oomph" that you won't see on everyone else... because most everyone else doesn't own one!


There's no reason to get all matchy-matchy either. Adding a petticoat of an unexpected color adds a wow factor to your outfit! The purple Beverly dress from Heart of Haute looks like it was made to go with the kelly green chiffon petticoat from Pettiskirt Style. The soft green ruffles peeking out from under a skirt of contrasting color certainly turns heads and garners second looks!


These particular petticoats are made with yard upon yard upon yard of layered chiffon ruffles. Because chiffon is extremely light weight and so soft it adds poof without bulk, making it much easier to move about, and sit in, than a traditional crinoline. 


Not only are petticoats great for daily wear, but they're nice to have laying around for those special occasions when you need a costume. Think about how many times you've spent a ton of money on a Halloween costume only to never wear it again... This was my costume for a masked Valentine ball this past weekend. I didn't have to spend a fortune on an outfit because I already had several pieces to work with (including the Pinup Girl Clothing harlequin Jenny skirt). It's nice to have something so versatile as a permanent part of your wardrobe!


Even the cat likes my petticoat. Ha! Petticoats are unexpected glamour, sass, and straight up wardrobe drama... Because who the hell wears petticoats anymore? That's right... YOU do. You will definitely turn heads and make an impression when you wear one. So do yourself a favor, pick one in your favorite color and buy it for yourself!

There we have it... 3 really darn good reasons why every gal needs a petticoat in her wardrobe. Now if I haven't sold you, or you just hate layers of clothing (it's not overly hot, I promise), or if you're still unsure of wearing a petticoat you can always try a pettiskirt. Tulle type pettiskirts are really in this year and Pettiskirt Style sells them in a vast array of colors, lengths, and styles. From the wide ribbon waistbands to the soft cascading ruffles, they're a wearable confection like no other!

All photos by me or Lori Lucas of Drive-By Pinups.
All petticoats by Pettiskirt Style
Wardrobe Styling by Yours Truly. 

2.12.2015

My Amazing Daughter

Our daughter, who's the baby of the family, had her graduation plan meeting at school today. First off I can't believe she's old enough to start deciding what she should do with the rest if her life. She's still such a baby to me, ya know?! And second she had her shit together, which was like, so amazing to me. Who has their shit together at 15?? I'm 40 and literally just now getting it together (kinda).

Our oldest took a different route for his education and, like his mother, is learning at the school of hard-knocks. Our middle one has never been interested in a school and will be learning a trade after he graduates (if he graduates... fingers crossed). Those boys get their disdain for traditional school from me. I understand why they hate school and I know that they'll figure it out someday... Just like I did. I'm proud of the young men they've become and I have faith that they'll accomplish wonderful things in their lives!  But I'm also fairly certain that it'll take them a while to figure shit out because they have my hardheaded DNA bumbling around in their bodies. 

Which is why it's so odd for me to have a kid that does well in school and wants to succeed at it.

She inherited my eyes, my keen (if different) fashion sense, my artistic streak, my creative writing abilities, my appreciation of amazing eyebrows, and my over-dramatic flair. 

We share secrets, makeup, and accessories... But not the self discipline and tenacity it takes to forge through public school. That she gets from her father. 

She also inherited her father's super smart math & science inclined brain.

She doesn't just want to be in the advanced classes, she wants to be in all honors classes. Oh, and not just the honors 2 English they have her slated to go into next year, oh no... She wants to skip that and go into honors 3 English so she can take AP English her senior year. But, ya know, if she gets into The Fine Arts Center for violin next year she'll just stick with English Honors 2. Oh yeah, and she'll take geometry over the summer because "it's easy."

Where did this child come from?! My womb? No way!!! 

The guidance counselor asked her if she had any colleges in mind. "Juilliard and College of Charleston" were her replies. Mind you, 90% of the kids asked this question had no idea where the heck they wanna go... and one of her answers is Juilliard. And she's torn because she's not sure if she wants to go into a musical field or a mathematical field. 

So I, one of the biggest fuckups in the known universe, spawned a girl child with immense physical beauty (of course), crazy artistic talent (ok, I can kinda see that too), and majorly intelligent brains (really?!)... basically the trifecta of womanhood. How the hell did that happen?

Sometimes when I look at her I get overwhelmed with emotion. Again, how did I manage to create someone so amazing? 

Then she snaps me back to reality with, "Ugh MOM, stop looking at me like that!" And I'm reminded of when I'd say the same exact thing to my own mother for looking at me the same exact way and then I think, yeah, maybe it is possible that I could create her... after all, she has my sassy mouth. 

Anyway, I'm really proud of her... sassy mouth and all.


She's also a good artist... Here's a picture she drew when she was two. :) 

2.11.2015

On Being Needy...

I thought I'd have all this extra time with my husband once he took his leave from work to finish up school.... but boy was I mistaken! I see him less now than when I did when he was working and going to school.

Granted he's taking 6 classes now instead of 2 or 3, but again he's not working so I figured there would be all of this extra time. I had visions that we'd frolic in bed in the mornings, have quiet lunches in the afternoons, and take romantic strolls through the neighborhood during the evenings. And of course he'd do all of his class work in between those times. 

Haha.

What the hell was I thinking?! When he's not in class he's sequestered in his office from sun up till way past sun down. He makes his way downstairs to grab a bite to eat and then heads back up to work on math problems that seem more like brain torture than homework. He's frazzled and stressed out. He's not getting enough sleep because he works late into the night and when he does finally fall into bed his brain can't turn off. 

I don't like it.

And I miss him.

And I feel guilty for missing him and being needy because I know he has a shit ton on his plate and there's absolutely nothing more he can do. 

Ugh... (Insert string of profanities here) 

But there's always a silver lining, right? The above was my negative, pouty view. So here's my positive view of the situation: 

He's getting a degree... a degree that got him a better postion at his job. A degree that's been completely paid for by his job (no student loan debt). This degree will provide financial security and give us so many more options in the future. He's not having to deal with the stress of school and work. Going this route means he'll get his degree sooner, rather than stretching it out over another year. This degree means more money, which means a more comfortable life for our family. And when he studies he looks really sexy, which has lead to a wild afternoon rumpus or two. 

So there are good points. I just need to keep reminding myself of them. 

Only two and a half more months to go.
Only two and a half more months to go.
Only two and a half more months to go and then we're headed to the beach for a week for some much needed alone time! Trying to keep myself busy (and positive) until then... So any suggestions for new hobbies that don't cost money are welcome. Ha! 

Even the cat misses him... 

2.08.2015

Three Days of Eshakti

I'm really getting the hang of dressing well. Mostly because I've worn brands that make it impossible to look like a hobo. I mean you can't really screw up a look when you're decked out in Heart of Haute or Pinup Girl Clothing! And my latest looks from Eshakti have been no different.

I honestly own more pieces from Eshakti than any other clothier, for one reason: customization. For $7 you can have an item of clothing customized to your specifications. Let's say you love a dress but wish it came with longer sleeves, a shorter hemline, and a sweetheart neckline instead of that scoop neck.... oh and you're more pear shaped AND you're really tall (or really short) and traditional lengths don't work for you. 

Not to worry, they've got you covered!! With a few clicks of a mouse you can make the changes you want and have the dress you desire! It's amazing. And with prices comparable to other online clothing stores, (and NO additional alterations needed), it's a major bang for your buck! 

So here we go with my three amazing outfits from Eshakti...

The Dahlia Crinoline Skirt:
I had my eye on this skirt forever, but I worried that the fluff would make me look too wide. Tulle is really big this year though, so I got it anyway. And I'm so glad that I did!


It comes with a wider satin belt that cinches the waist. The belt is long enough to create a precious bow in the front that draws the eye in. The skirt is definitely full, but not so full that it's cumbersome. With it's soft lines and ever-neutral black coloring, it's simple enough for daytime wear, however with the right top and accessories it could easily transform into a formal piece. 


I paired the skirt with an adorable sunflower top from Doll Me Up Darling, a vintage thrift-find necklace, a coordinating hair flower, and tie-front pumps from Cato. I got so many compliments on this outfit from my girl friends. It's youthful, cute, and whimsical without coming across as juvenile... after all I am 40 years old now! 


The skirt is made of several layers of tulle and lined with satin, so there's no show-through or need for a slip. It's also the perfect tea length on me, which is normally impossible to find. But thanks to customization, it hit exactly where it was supposed to! 

Graphic Landcape Print Skirt:
I've worn this skirt every possible chance I've gotten! It's become a top contender for "favorite article of clothing in my closet" and it's easy to see why!! 


Not only is the styling of the skirt ultra-flattering, but the print itself is so realistic and extremely striking! A forest of barren birch trees dot a warm landscape, stretching their branches up to a cool evening sky... I can't even tell you how many compliments I get when I wear this skirt because it's so different than anything out there! 


This skirt brings out the romantic side of me, so I paired it with cream lace crop top from Target, for a touch of softness. A black cami from New York & Company, a black belt from Pinup Girl Clothing, a coordinating mint blue flower, and a pair of snakeskin kitten heels from Sam Edleman round out my "princess-in-the-woods" attire. 


The landscape skirt is full enough to accommodate a petticoat for a retro flair, but lays beautifully enough without one for more modern looks. It's detailed enough on it's own that there's really no need to go crazy with accessories, making it a great option for those "I-don't-have-a-lot-of-time-to-get-ready" days. Oh, and it even has pockets!! Perfection! 

Scalloped Neck Faux-Wrap Dress:
Being a bigger gal fitted/wiggle dresses normally terrify me! There's no full skirt to conceal bumps, bellies, hips, and rolls, and no dramatic waist to hip ratio that a flare skirt provides. But this dress kept calling to me, so I took the plunge.


First off, the color is amazing! It's a gorgeous true sapphire blue that looks great on my fairer skin. I ordered this dress off the rack with no customization, aside from my height (which is included and required in your order). It was a little large in the hips and shoulders, so I will have to get it altered to fit. Note to self: next time I'll stick with complete customization. 


To balance the brightness of the dress I wore a cardigan from Ann Taylor, a thrift store stretch belt, and a pair of peep-toe heels... all in a soft, neutral beige. I also added a multi-strand necklace in a coordinating blue from New York & Company, making this an outfit that could easily transition from day to evening in a snap!


As I mentioned before I was worried about my proportions in a fitted dress, but the detailing on the dress really draws the eyes away from my imperfection areas (i.e my midsection). Between the scallop neckline and the lovely tulip hem, you don't really notice a larger midsection. However I decided to play up my curves with a tight, waist defining stretch belt, which I think worked well with this particular outfit. This dress has really opened my eyes to the possibility of future fitted/wiggle dresses for me! 

There you have it, my three days of dressing well courtesy of the always fantabulous Eshakti! 

Now here's a little hint for you gals who are new to Eshakti: They send new customers a $30 off coupon if you sign up for their email. Also customization is free on your first order.... And on top of ALL that you get an additional 25% off of your order if you order via your mobile device! It makes that $80 dress you love wayyyy more affordable!! 

(You're welcome.) 

Happy shopping, ladies!!