Monday, August 11, 2014

As Boho As I Go


On the fly today with plenty of excuses why I'm still absent in from my usual haunts in the Blogosphere (only one of which is any good: I've got to redo our business website from scratch with a program I'm still learning and it's slow going. I've added that to trying to figure out the best use of various new-to-me social media as a replacement for traditional advertising. Whew. Yes, indeed. )

What I Wore yesterday for the Sunday trip to the Big-ish City



This is about as Bohemian as I've gone in recent years. In the late 60s and all through the 70s, I had periods of folky-ness with everyone else, and a full-on-but-brief descent into an Earth Motherish period in the 90s. But since then, not so much. So, just a touch of Boho here with the print and paneled construction of this feather-weight skirt. It has a smocked-elastic waist that goes several inches up under the crop top, so no cami is necessary for modesty. Nice for the summer heat and flattering at the waist.
The crop top is made with a substantial embroidered lace front that holds it's structure. It's also very soft and cool with a tee-shirting back panel. Easy-peasy and casual.



However, I did have to take up the hem 3 and 1/4 inches, which was a pistol because the skirt is made of curved hem panels, lots of them. But that little challenge pales compared to the amount of fabric that had to be hemmed. I measured it twice just to make sure, 'cause I didn't believe it the first time. The hem measures just a little over 33 feet around. Whew, again. I'm no fool. I used the machine to hem this mother.


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Back to the virtual grindstone. But first, I'm popping over to Perkily Printed Patti's Visible Monday .

Stop by if you can ... it's so much fun!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

White Dresses, Flowered Midis and Smartphones

I'm a party girl today. Pictures first, then, of what I wore to some lovely, summery linky-parties:

I'm finally getting to come out to play with the always- glamorous Sacramento of Mis Papelicos at the current Share In Style with her partner for this week, the very lovely Alicia, our own fabulous Spashionista. Their theme is Flowers. Yummy idea.




Of the skirts I've made for myself this spring and summer, this wrinkle resistant, faux-linen skirt is my favorite. I like my florals to be a little stylized, and although these big blossoms break the rules for petites, I love them anyway. They make me think of my favorite white-floral fragrances, an obvious choice to wear with this combination as well. As if I need an excuse. And the top is from Calvin Klein, happily had at a deep discount at TJ Maxx. I see why it was on sale; it was boxier even than you see here and hip length. I cropped about half of it off and I just love the effect of the drapey fabric and the tailored front detail .... nice to have a little breeze going to show off the movement. I wore this out to dinner with Dan, and I felt fabulous and smelled really good as well!


My  LWD ... for "How I Wear My ____"



And later in the week, you'll see this LWD at How I Wear My _____ , hosted by that ultra-chic and unstoppable team comprised of the fabulous Adrienne at The Rich Life on a Budget and the gorgeous Jill at Everything Just So. The theme this time is White, so I also submitted the skirt and top above as one of the ways I wear white; in a creamy shade combined with other neutrals.

 I've never had a LWD, and thought that this summer might pass without finding one. But my style-luck has been with me of late, and I found this Crown & Ivy eyelet embroidery dress at a summer sale. I wear white with trepidation, but I love the cut of the upper bodice of this very forgiving sheath style dress. It wasn't too short, too young, too tight or too expensive, and once I tried it on, it was true love. I liked it best with my little coral d'Orsay pumps (hope these stay around for a while, 'cause I have a mini-collection of them now) and a cute cork clutch.

When I wear this combination, I can't help remembering that deep down, under this old lady skin and psyche, there's still that California girl from 1968 who wants to dance in her dress, barefoot on the moonlit beach of a summer night.

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An update on my post mini-disaster phase:
After last week's Snicket-ish series of unfortunate events, you'd think that I'd choose to kick back and savor the simple absence of catastrophe.
But no. I just couldn't manage it. I was still too adrenaline-pumped to quit, so I let Dan draw me into further adventures with communication technology, right after the router debacle. Not really up to the level of adopting a Transformer as a pet, nor was it a mini-disaster like the flooded business, but still a little daunting; we changed mobile carriers and got our first smartphones.  Woo hoo.

Ch-ch-ch changes, especially for Dan. He has to bid his battered old flip phone goodby. We're learning our way around new phones in between doing everything else, but Dan is completely in love with the ability to do it all by voice. Voice texting, voice generated email, voice Google searches, voice generated grocery and to-do lists ... all that has eliminated his frustration with little buttons and big fingers. He maintains that phones are for talking, and it seems that technology is finally his friend. And our bill is cut in half (!!!) and we have tons of data and voice that we didn't have before. Worth the effort, absolutely.

As for me, I'm looking forward to being able to use new ways of communicating with customers and keeping up with so many of you guys that use Instagram! I have Twitter loaded, but no account yet. I will figure it out sooner than later.

But what I want to know from you, my style-and-tech-savvy friends, is how you use your mobile technology to support your personal style fixations? I need to make this little smarty-pants-phone work pretty hard for its keep. Obviously, it's easier than ever to shop on-line, but what else can a smart phone do to to make my life easier or more interesting in the wardrobe department? Any ideas?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Jan Interrupted or My Summer Mini-Disaster Saga (Continued)

Warning: the following is a long, only tenuously 
style-tethered story, so feel free to skip down to the photos.)

If I were less aware of just how tiny my minuscule place is in the Grand Scheme of Things, I'd be tempted to think the universe was out to mess with me this last week. Of course we have to take responsibility for what happens to us in life on some level, always, but it is also true that stuff sometimes just happens.

We had been been preparing for what is always our very largest business weekend of the year, and organization is critical. It seems, though, that the Fates needed a good laugh and chose us to be the butt of their joke.

Last Wednesday, when I foolishly looked ahead and imagined smooth sailing after some previous weeks of choppy cosmic weather, the actual weather blew up an unusually violent summer storm that flooded our restaurant. We were in the Big City at the time, trying to make our grocery run, so there was no one there to manage the damage until that evening when Dan arrived to open for dinner. It wasn't very deep water, but it doesn't take much to be a huge pain in the tuchas and do some damage.

As they say on the evening news, "in separate but related incidents" the storm knocked out our WiFi router, which took our credit card machine with it. So on Thursday, I spent some long hours on the phone with a very patient tech-rep, me clambering up and down step ladders to get to the router and carry out her diagnostics. In spite of our heroic efforts, she finally determined that we needed a new router.

That meant an 80 mile round-trip to another Big City for me, and another session of ladder clambering on my return. Once the router fix was accomplished, the credit card machine refused to like the new router enough to hook up with it, so another evening's dinner hours came and went without the ability to accept credit cards. (Imagine a big scowling emoji here. )

And in a "separate but unrelated" incident" that took place while the above diagnostic efforts were going on, Dan's business PC decided to roll over and die a very permanent death. I know at this point you are wondering if I am not just making this all up, but no. I assure you I am not. I spent a lot of that evening setting up my ancient backup laptop to be ready for Dan's use, with hours spent updating essential programs needed to get it up to speed.

After Friday morning and last minute joint efforts with the tech-rep from the credit card machine manufacturer, the machine was successfully rebooted just in time for the onslaught of the lunch crowd on the first day of festival. (Imagine happy emoji face here.) 

 The local wine festival is lucrative but challenging for our little restaurant. It happens in a block-long park right out our front door, and is held on what are invariably the hottest days of summer. And the local wineries (bless them and keep them, really) serve free wine to all the freebie-seekers that converge on our little town that day. So, imagine hundreds of hot and sweaty people, many of whom are already three sheets to the wind from the free wine and are in a something-for-nothing frame of mind, converging on our little restaurant that has eleven tables, and is not set up to do fast food. Always a challenging effort, always a mixed blessing, but this year a surprising success because of our tiny but really good staff.

Seems like the Fates decided to back off and cut us a little slack. Yeayyyy.

However, I'm still behind on my bloggy stuff, so I thought you deserved to know why. I'm trying so hard to come see you all and reply to all your so much appreciated comments for the last couple of weeks here. I probably should just lay down and beg off, but I'm stubbornly persevering, because chatting with you all is my great joy and pleasure, and am really grateful for your patience and support.

Sunday brought a little rest and our customary afternoon run into town for groceries and a bite to eat.
This is What I Wore.



Just before we headed home, I stopped by TJ Maxx for a quick look-see. And almost as if the Fates were trying to make up for being nasty, I found this pair of BCBGeneration black, navy and cobalt suede d'Orsay pumps for next to nothing and in my size. As you see, they'll be perfect with this same dress the next time I wear it, and I see this shoe carrying me on into winter with other things. Excellent. I'm quite sure I deserve these shoes.



Almost like a sweet little cosmic apology for all the craziness, wasn't it?

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I'm lucky to be able to link up with the ever-glamorous Plaid Mad Patti at Visible Monday
Come see what all the fuss is about!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adjusted Expectations and Overdressing

Perhaps not as much "back in it, on it and all over it" as I had hoped to be this week, but things are looking up and getting done. Just dragged away by an unusually tasky week again, so I hope you'll continue to be patient. I'm anxious to have more time to get around to see all my favorite blogs, and will begin catch up some tonight. Our little town has it's very largest wine festival happening this coming weekend (less fun than you might imagine in our industry) so I'll be able to carve out more time after that. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed.

Dan's birthday was Saturday, so we celebrated Sunday by driving north to a bigger Big City to dine. I had a little time to shop at the Pinnacle Hills mall Promenade, self-described as a "retail lifestyle center."

Well.

I had been there a few years back when it was new and tony, and at that time it boasted some nicer stores (Gap, Coach, Aldo, Fossil, Banana Republic, Loft, Sephora) but over time it's switched its focus to a younger crowd with the same-old Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and Payless Shoes as we have here. Sad ... all the interesting shoe stores are gone, and although it's still a pretty outdoor mall, post-modern and charming, only a couple of the better stores remain. I left Dan and his Kindle happily entertaining a hoppy IPA and a plate of calamari and took off on a tour around by myself.

 I was so overdressed. I chose this lacy little maxi with comfy-but-cute chunky sandals, a tote and minimal jewelry to take me shopping, but I stuck out like a sore thumb with everyone else in cutoffs, flips and tanks or tees. I was also the only old lady out and about, and most disconcertingly, the only woman shopping alone. Aside from a few moms with baby-buggies, everyone else was in a pack or in pairs.
Odd.



I was still empty handed after an hour in and was heading back to collect Dan for dinner when I found a Soma Intimates store. ( Does anyone else instantly think of the happy-drug called Soma from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World ... "a gramme is better than a damn" ? ) Arkansas is lousy with Victoria's Secret stores, but I didn't know we had the more upscale Soma. I've been looking for a good molded-cup minimizer bra to keep the boobage in check for a long time but have had no luck. Bingo! On a "twofer" sale, in my size and color and with a brilliant fit. Doesn't get better than that.

Before dinner and quick-like-a-bunny, I put on mixed-pair dangly earrings (fun!), changed into dressier coral d'Orsay heels and took the clutch out of my tote ... and voilà ! Fancier for dinner! Again I was overdressed, as I so often am, but I felt fabulous and Dan was pleased.



Everything just tastes better when I'm wearing heels and a pretty dress.

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A final note: I was pleased and surprised to find that this is my 100th post.  Time flies when you're having fun.
Thank you all for letting me feel like I have something
worth talking about!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Back In It, Back On It, and All Over It.

After over a week away to help make some important decisions about the future of our business, I can report that all is copacetic (or at least approaching it) and I'm at last comfortable coming back out to play. We had to do some serious thinking about how we want to continue since we decided to carry on with our little restaurant. And there's no doubt about it; some of the decisions were based on our ages.  Of course, that mindset has slopped over into my thinking about how I want to conduct my own aging generally and how all that affects personal style.


Consequently, I've been doing a lot of consideration of what I want to personally accomplish and how I want the rest of my life to be.  Some of that is inevitably about what I wear and what I want to say with my choices. I have no big conclusions to offer you, only an increased awareness that the process is really important to me. It can be good to reach for a modicum of control where there seems to be none. I hope to get much older, and hope to do it with as much consciousness and thoughtfulness as possible, for as long as it's fun.

I've missed you all, and am sorry that I'm so far behind in getting around to see what you all are up to. I owe all of my blog-buddies some catch-up time at your respective blogs and will make that the focus for the rest of my week.

So, here's a What I Wore photo for your consideration. 



Wasn't hard to make a decision about how to dress. It was bloody-blazing-hot and humid (your can see the indelicate sheen of sweat on my chest) and I dressed to go off to the Big City for supplies and a bite to eat with Dan on Sunday. Keeping it simple, 'cause it's serious summer-for-real now. A loose-waisted cotton dress ( that Dan especially likes) over jeans to keep it comfortably casual. But, true to form, I couldn't bring myself to get too casual, and chose minty high heels just because really wanted to wear them. No jewelry except the wedding rings and a plain gold and turquoise band, and lots of antiperspirant. Lots and lots of antiperspirant ....


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I'm off to say hello to everyone over at Festive Patti's Visible Monday . What cool a treat after a long, hot weekend!