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Author Archives: Julie
I like clothes and shoes and pretty adornments of all types. I used to hit every sale rack in every single store I went into, hunting for a deal, looking for something cute that I never knew I needed. After I turned 30, I looked at a wardrobe full of “stuff” vs. curated pieces and thought that it was time that I started being more selective about the things that I purchased. I still enjoy the hunt for the bargain, but now I try to make sure it’s an item that I would either 1 – be willing to pay full price on if I had the resources, 2 – something I don’t already have, 3 – something I could honestly see myself wearing. It’s made my closet feel more special, if less full. Now I am trying to take things a step further and see if I can stretch myself a little more and try to minimize the amount of waste my consumerism is generating. One of the things I wanted to do in 2020 was decrease the amount of “fast fashion” I purchased; with reputable second hand and consignment shops popping up all over the internet I wanted to see how much a woman who falls into the plus size category could utilize these options and participate in the mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. My first foray into this world was Poshmark. Of all the sites I visited, they seemed to be the easiest to navigate and carried a lot of brands I was already familiar with. After much searching, waiting, and bargaining (aka months of keeping an eye on various items) I curated what I am calling my very first Poshmark haul. I started with shoes -I wear between a 10 or an 11 depending on the shoe-, and it felt quite luxurious to find so many options with a few simple clicks.
Wooden Stacked Heels $18: These heels were my very first purchase from Poshmark. I used to wear heels as much as every other type of footwear, but somewhere along the way I started to feel self conscious. I’m 5’10”, and with heels of any substantial height, I usually tower over most people. I had a boss that used to like to make fun of me, probably because the heels made me taller than he was, but between his comments and a few of clients I was meeting with greeting me with a variation of “Jesus, how tall are you?”, I just stopped wearing them. My therapist pointed out that this was absolute bullshit so I’ve been working my way back into taller kicks.
Kenneth Cole Lania Open Toe Booties $28 – I stalked a similar pair on ALTO for months, but they never had my size, in the color I wanted, at the price I wanted, so I thought I was out of luck. Then I found these, and they are even better than the ones I lost out on.
Torrid Gold Brocade Ankle Booties $14: These were a late night add to my “like” list, and I wasn’t sure about them. I would add them, remove them, add them back… far more hand wringing than the situation warranted. Then the seller offered me the discounted price and reduced shipping, and I just did it. They are surprisingly comfortable, and I regret nothing.
Bamboo Brocade Sneakers $18 – Of all the shoes I ordered, these were the only ones that didn’t really fit. The bad thing about the second hand sites is that returns aren’t always possible, but they’re still beautiful and I will find them a good home.
Mossimo Supply Co Satin Sneakers $8 – I actually looked at these when they were at Target originally, but they never stocked my size. I was so pleased when I found these new and at a very reasonable price.
Of all the shoes I’ve ordered, I was most excited to get my hands on these. I bought a pair years ago when they were on store shelves. I believe I even paid full price for them. I wore those bad boys until they literally fell apart, then I glued them back together and wore them some more. I did this multiple times until the feathers and one of the tassels started to come off and no amount of E6000 could hold them together. I thought I’d never find anything like them again. THEN I happen to find a never worn, in the box pair IN MY SIZE! They even had the cardboard inserts still in the shoes. I was FLOORED. I haven’t been able to bring myself to wear them yet. I put them on the top of my “special shoes” rack, and I touch them reverently whenever I am in my closet.
As we slide into May, things seem more uncertain now than ever. How am I doing? Oooof… that is a very complicated question that usually changes several times a day. I imagine I am doing the same as most everyone else right now. Some moments are great – I feel like I am making progress on my different projects and can maintain the illusion that things are at least somewhat “normal” -, and others? Not so much. I typically present as this laid back go-with-the-flow kind of person, but in reality, I am a planner. I like knowing what is happening when so I can have contingency plans. Having established that, to me, like many others, the struggle is very real; here is what is going on in my life currently.
Cleaning – I’ve been on administrative leave for the past few weeks so I have been working on larger projects around the house, but I found out late last Friday that my department is being set up to telecommute in an effort to keep us all at home and safe for a little longer. Which is fantastic news frankly. I am going to miss admin leave, but I am 100% behind making the telecommute work if it means I don’t have to go back into a government building with hundreds of other people.
Wishing – Things weren’t so crazy. Usually my mom spends Mother’s Day here in Tallahassee, but even though Andy and I are both honoring the “stay at home” directive, Tallahassee has a much higher infection rate than where my mother lives. She is in her sixties, and as much as I miss her, I would rather her be as safe as possible. We are hopefully going to be seeing her in late July, early August for her birthday. For now, we make do with phone calls and text messages.
Craving – Face time! Not the sort that comes with your phone, but legit sitting across from a friends and inhabiting the same space. Missed birthday celebrations, postponed projects, cancelled trips… it’s nice that we have so much technology to keep us connected, but I want to be able to hug my friends and throw a big catch up party. Safely though: as strong as the urge is, I won’t be doing any of these things until I can be sure we won’t be putting anyone at risk. We gotta keep each other safe.
Wearing – All of the comfy clothes. I have two baskets in the bottom of my closet for “house clothes” which are mostly stretchy shorts and yoga pants and old tank tops and t-shirts. I don’t know if they’ve ever gotten this much of a work out. I put on real clothes maybe once a week? I recently heard someone in a similar situation, refer to their regular jeans as “hard pants” and had to grudgingly acknowledge that it is going to suck when I have to start worrying about things like zippers and waistbands again.
Sending – Snail mail. Along with texts and Facetime, I have been sending letters and care packages to loved ones. I don’t care how old you are, it’s still exciting to open your mailbox and find something unexpected and positive.
What is going on in your life currently?
I don’t know about you, but with the quarantine days bleeding into one another, I find myself constantly looking for things I can read/do to distract myself – especially on the weekends when I would usually be out running errands and having brunch with friends. Since I’ve gone through so many articles in the last few days, I decided that I would share some of my favorites with you to help you find some inspiration for your weekend. Enjoy!
I love Kickstarter. While of course there are some really odd/dumb ideas, there are many wonderful projects to be found. I recently discovered this botanically inspired tarot deck. These beautiful illustrations feature “traditional paintings rooted in classical tarot interpretations that delve into the lore and mythology of the plant kingdom.” A fantastic gift for any tarot or plant lover or just for yourself.
I know there are so many articles being passed around on how to use this time to do all of those cleaning projects you’d never normally get to, but I really enjoyed the perspective of this closet cleaning breakdown. It acknowledges the importance of making the most of what you’ve got as well as keeping items that hold sentimental value.
Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting, need I say more?
Considering how much online stress shopping I have done in the last few weeks, I needed to read this article on how one woman managed to not shop for clothing for an entire year. Food for thought as well as a much needed reminder to be more thoughtful about my purchases.
Mother’s Day is only a week away. Since going out shopping isn’t a great option, these free printable cards could be a great option.
“You know what they say – when life gives you quarantine lemons, make real crepe paper lemons to decorate your front door!” This cute little crafting kit is perfect since it not only give you something to do, it also livens up your living space.
As I am dabbling into crafting my own bath products these days, I thought this article on the benefits of different types of salts was an excellent resource to help me up my game.
Hanging a hammock to enjoy some time outside is nice, creating a hammock oasis is even better.
I’ve done silk dyeing, shibori, tie dyeing, and resist dyeing, but I have never tried tissue paper dyeing, and after seeing this tutorial, I can’t wait to give it a try!
….sort of. After watching dozens of soap making videos on YouTube over the past few weeks, I decided to use the birthday cash my mom gave me (plus a little extra) to purchase some very basic soap making supplies from Bramble Berry and see what I could come up with.
In my opinion, melt and pour soap is the easiest way to dip your toe in the soap making pool. The oil base and lye solution have already been emulsified, so all you have to do is melt it down and combine it with any colors, fragrances, or additives you chose. To make things a little more interesting, I decided to do a two tone soap bar.
Am I soap making savant? Not at all. Did I have a good time? Heck yeah, and I’ve already ordered more soap base so I can use some of the other samples from my first order.
I did learn some tricks to help me get a better bar of soap next time. First I need to spritz each layer with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles and prevent any soda ash from forming. Secondly, I need to leave my soap alone while it sets up. I tried un-molding the soap way too soon and one of the bars started to split (don’t worry I was able to save it). Finally, I think I will press the flower petals in a little more firmly. They looked lovely, but I lost more than I’d like taking the soap out of the molds and wrapping them to give to people. I can’t wait for my next order to arrive!
I think quarentine has warped my sense of what things are worth me spending my time on. Usually, between work, friends and life in general, my down time is very limited. So if I am going to do something extra during that time, the bar is fairly high. These days, I am at home, on admin leave and aside from cleaning, laundry, and slowly whipping my home office into shape, there really isn’t anything I HAVE to be doing, and I’ve found myself indulging in my whims, just for the sake of doing something that isn’t one of those previously mentioned activities.
*Side note, I am cool doing more of cleaning activities around the house since Andy is still having to log on and work everyday, but no matter what, having to do the dishes is still the WORST. I hate it so much and I have to fight myself to do them every GD day.
Anyway, back to my whims. I am finding myself more likely to indulge my whims these days. For instance, they other day I was putting together an Amazon order and I happened to be watching a video about Japanese candy and the insane amount of KitKat flavors that are available. Before I knew it, I had added a sample pack of random KitKat flavors and completed my purchase. Then I completely forgot about it. Three days later I am pulling things out of the big cardboard box and I have a momentary “what the hell?” moment when I pull out a bag of colorful fun size KitKat bars.
Of course, these little guys came with no information regarding flavors so I had to do a bit of research so I could find out what we had. Here is the list from left to right: Green Tea (Sweeter), Chocolate Mint, Sweet Potato, Strawberry, Strawberry Mochi, Mixed Citrus, Hojicha Tea, Sweet Potato Apple Pie, Red Bean Paste, White Chocolate, Chestnut, Dark Chocolate, Green Tea(Slightly Bitter), Maple, Original, Chocolate Orange.
My Top Three: Maple, Green Tea(Slightly Bitter) & Chocolate Orange
My Bottom Three: Sweet Potato Apple Pie, Sweet Potato, Chestnut
Andy’s Top Three: Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Orange & Strawberry
Andy’s Bottom Three: Maple, Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Apple Pie
This group had some high highs and some very rock bottom-y lows. I think Andy had more fun watching me try the flavors than he did actually trying them himself. I will admit that it was late and I may have been slightly more dramatic about my dislikes than the situation warranted, but I gotta do me, right? I also thought it was interesting that there were two different Green Tea flavors, but I read an article online that said that the lighter sweeter green tea was geared more towards children, and the darker earthier flavored green tea was for adults with a more developed pallet.
The Takeaway: This was a whim that worked out pretty well. We had a good silly time researching and trying out KitKat flavors. I would absolutely recommend trying this, especially if you have a quarantine buddy to share with. I think I will probably even order another blind box of KitKats once this insanity is all over and have a try party with my friends.