Performancing Metrics

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{the week} I’m sad; I’m sick; I’m tired… but so proud.

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the week:
Still recovering from our team Regionals trip to Vermont. And the stupid sickness came back with a vengeance, so I’m now dealing with a sore throat, fever and aches, potential start of an ear infection… and the bonus of eating expired coconut flakes from the pantry.

Seriously. How does shit from 2010 keep ending up in our house?

My rookie season for roller derby is over, which makes me… all over the place in terms of emotions, but I’m really proud of all that I accomplished. Um, being rostered and actually PLAYING in regionals tournament games being a HUGE accomplishment. OK, a few jams, BUT STILL. I learned so much about myself, my teammates… and sadly, how sucky a major loss feels for everybody involved. Regardless, I’m so proud of my team this year!

I also learned that I can easily drive a 12-passenger van through the Adirondacks.

And I got to sleep in a bunk bed for the first time in… 25 years?

I came home in time for a few hours of sleep before serving my jury duty obligations on Tuesday. Which, in judicial terms, means sitting around for 6 hours doing absolutely nothing but watch my phone battery die until I’m dismissed and get 10 bucks (I donated it).

This week’s been really rough, now that I have some quiet to think about it. After traveling for so long and being away and aforementioned derby feelings, the boyfriend’s work trip to the west coast overlapped mine, so I’ve had to deal with being lonely and all that on top of it.

And then there’s the stinkbug invasion (I haven’t mastered the swooping-catch-with-TP-and-into-the-toilet with these things, and the boyfriend is not here. WAH.).

weekend:
I’m not up on what’s going down this weekend… I work most of it to make for my time off earlier in the week, but there will be lots of relaxing and recovering. I’m going to start the planning stages of an “easy” home improvement project. Goal: to finish by the end of October.

I also have to finish my freaking e-file and my taxes.

Don’t hassle the Hoff!

seven things, seven days:
1. {head in the clouds} Fantasizing about restorations like this and cabins in the mountains of Vermont. Seriously, Vermont was beautiful.
2. {wardrobe therapy} This season’s Cakestyle box was mostly meh. But a shopping trip to Pavement will do the trick for some Fall shopping therapy.
3. {makeover} Finally getting my hairs did tonight!
4. {sweet tooth} Pineapple cake for dinner. I’m sick; why not?
5. {the more you know} The plural of moose is moose, btw.
6. {full house} I need a place or organization to donate clothing. This is the biggest closet upheavel I’ve ever done… ever. And there’s more to toss. This is what happens when you have small closets!
7. {season’s greetings} CANDY CORN and sunflowers. Fall is my favorite.

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{the week} runners, skaters and more road trips

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{the week} runners, skaters and more road trips

Do you have favorite road trip foods? Mine have always been Nilla Wafers and 50/50. But since I’m becoming a LOT more annoying conscious about what I put into my body… well, frankly, both of those things SUCK. Also, why the hell can’t I find REAL ginger ale?! I did find some moderately healthy ginger cookies (which have an ingredient list that I can read and understand), but how do I replace my fizzy goodness? Meh.

I can't promise that I won't buy one of these if I see one.

the week:
I haven’t had cereal in over a week. Hold me.

weekend:
Good Luck to my friends who are running the Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend! How I would love to be on the sidelines cheering for you, but I’m off on another roller derby road trip to Lancaster. I’m SUPER excited about some highlights in the reviews for my hotel: all the crime scene, without all that pesky yellow tape and chalk tracings. o_O

If you stick around Pittsburgh this weekend, take advantage of Free Comic Book Day at your favorite local shop (ahem, New Dimension Comics), the Toonseum AND the Power game.

seven things, seven days:
1. {perky} My friend B from Florida home-roasted me some coffee beans and shipped them to me this week. Can’t WAIT to brew the awesomeness.
2. {therapy} OK, shopping therapy. I was initially looking for a pair of hot pink skinny jeans, but then I saw a pair of bright teal ones. MINE!
3. {obsession} Currently coveting SO MANY THINGS on NastyGal. Remembering that I’d like a new bathroom some time this year…
4. {bonding} Was fun to host some of my skating friends this week for an after-practice strategy session.
5. {melting} I hate the humidity. I try my best to adjust and be happy, but my hormones just won’t allow it.
6. {wrong way} One day I will learn how to navigate the east end of this city and remember its pervasive “no left turns” signs. One day.
7. {countdown} Officially counting down the days ON ONE HAND until my birthday. Excuse me while I do some impulsive online shopping to numb the pain.

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Exploring Pittsburgh in my blue shoes!

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I already had a friend who lives in Pittsburgh, prior to my moving here. I can’t tell you how nice it is having someone to recommend random places for services that I need or restaurants and bars in which to get drunk (classily, of course). Without being all strange-eyed, wondering why I’m asking if Pittsburgh has anything that resembles a penis.

So, we had a little girls night on Tuesday. She drove me around a few different neighborhoods, to get a small taste of where some things are located (including the dreaded DMV or whatever the shit they call it in PA). We now have a closer Home Depot (we’ve been driving up to the North Hills), a Whole Foods AND Trader Joe’s within an easy drive, another potential Farmer’s Market, a soon-to-exist Target, Vanilla Pastry Studio (must go back for the Pop-Tarts), cute creperie (yay, brunch!) called Paris 66. And a retro bowling alley. Must. Go.

And Pavement. Remember that whole idea about it probably being a good idea to find some new work? When it comes to this store, I will need a third job. Kill me now, boot season. Kill. Me. Now.

In any event, this was my GNO outfit for the night:

For the love of hair: I still despise mine, and I am actively looking for recommendations, please! I know I want color, but a good haircut would probably do me some good as well. I don’t want to completely chop it, but something more interesting. I feel… boring.

Seeing as how we were having delicious noms at the newly-open Salt of the Earth, the waist-cinching belt was probably not the best idea. Regardless, I got through four courses OK. You MUST go to Salt (and follow their delicious menu pictures on twitter), by the way, if you consider yourself a “foodie.” This restaurant is even better than most that exist in Cleveland — and we had a pretty solid foodie scene there. I’m even going so far as to say my entire meal was better than my best meal at my favorite restaurant in Cleveland. (And yes, that is a covert message, so bite me). I had the tomatoes and watermelon (omg, the hot pepper rings in this app are HOT, fyi), chicken livers and grits, pork belly (with an amazing pretzel polenta) and the parfait dessert — which was definitely one of the strangest desserts I’ve ever had, but every taste was something different, so I approve!

It was fun to have a spirited (and gossipy) night out. I don’t usually go out without the boyfriend because I enjoy his company so darn much, but since he was traveling so much before the move, I had to occupy myself with dinners with friends (you know, the whole not cooking for myself thing). And while I’m certain I will be back to Salt with AB, he would definitely pass on exploring cupcake shops and… *gasp* the location of Anthropologie.

Gulp.

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Shopping for things I don’t need. Like, compliments.

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I keep my relationship fresh by consistently updating my underwear drawer. Because of what derby and daily workouts has done to my body, once the boyfriend has returned from his weekly travels, it starts the “No Pants Weekends.” It only works while I can physically stomach the sight of my ass and legs.

Or I use this all as an excuse to get sucked into Gabriel Brothers with my sister for three hours because I’m pretty sure that all of my underthings to my boyfriend are synonymous to meh. Meaning: Just Get Naked.

THREE HOURS of shopping for a self-professed intolerant-of-public-places shopaholic. I have no idea how this happens, the time slipping away like nothing, but once I’m in a Gabe’s, it’s like I’ve met my fashionable higher power. I’m even relaxed and kinda enjoyable to be around. Likely since everything around me is less than $7 and OMG SO CUTE!

And then, I shriek and start undressing in the aisles immediately.

It’s really the ONLY time I think lingerie and table lamps are necessity items within a shopping cart. Only because the total still will remain under $100, and I have four dresses, a frilly jean vest, another cream cardigan, a shitload of accessories, two new pair of sunglasses, workout attire, cat toys and a corn butterer to show for it. YES a contraption that you place a stick of butter inside of it, and it melts onto the corn. Like, I was looking for one of these! Deal.

I can also rarely leave a Gabe’s without at LEAST two pairs of shoes. Report on those coming soon.

That said, check out my cute ensemble that I picked out ALL BY MYSELF to make me even cuter (still haven’t painted my fingernails either in over three weeks. I need to change this horrible lazy habit over the weekend):
Shopping Outfit Day at Gabe's

Like I said, I am comfortable showing my legs this summer after YEARS of hiding in capri pants and sweating in jeans. But hey, not shaving made more sense then.

Shoes: These are moderately comfortable (depending on the amount of walking or activity, of course), which I purchased on eBay for like $8.99. I wish I would have ordered them in eight colors, as they serve the purpose of cute, soft insoles and flat for easy maneuvering.

Outfit: dress is from Urban Outfitters (sale rack) a couple years ago and hung horribly unused in my closet for just as long. Everyone seems to love this dress on me, including the boyfriend — it’s even cute without the belt (from Target). Cardigan was also an eBay purchase (I bought three of them in different colors because, hello, POCKETS). White tank is a $2 score from the last Sisters Adventure to Gabe’s. Necklace and bracelets are old accessories from Claire’s.

My ring is from here.

Also of note: after shopping, I lopped two-and-a-half inches off that unruly hair at Teeze West Salon and Spa in the valley. Side swept bangs are finally back on my head and my hair feels so much lighter and breezier for summer. Why do I wait six months between haircuts?

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Of note: I heart shoes.

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I wore those damn Bass sandals around downtown yesterday — walked from my apartment to the Farmers Market on the 9th Street Pier and back — and the soles of my freakin feet are on FIRE. Like, rub-rub-rubbbbbbbb friction burn fire.

GAW. I cannot win. Shoes, you kill me. Literally. Well, my feet anyway.

That said, here’s the newest pair in my collection from Nordstrom:

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They’re Converse, so I’m safe. I hope. Although I’m gonna get pissed when they get dirty.

Also, I did NOT take the picture sideways, nor did it download sideways, so WTF is this picture uploading sideways?!

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What I wear to look hot. AKA: when it’s 90 degrees

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Check out this uber-cute black dress from China. I apparently only have luck finding the missing pieces of my wardrobe from online shops abroad. I mean, seriously, do you know how hard it was to find an ALL BLACK and ALL COTTON tank dress that didn’t cost three months of unemployment?
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Plus, I am a SUCKER for dresses with pockets. This is total love on a hanger right here.

Paired with a long, cotton white tank and Franco Sarto sandals. The necklace is from Brigade, from AB for one of my birthday presents (LOVE that it has a “9″ to match the date).

Also of note, my pedicure with OPI’s Jade is the New Black. Take a long, hard look because the likelihood of this lasting past Wednesday is nil. Nail polish tends to melt my polish once inside my roller skates. Weird. On my road trip to South Bend this weekend, my friend and I went into one of those Asian Mall nail places in Mishawaka (I didn’t look that up, so Spelling Gods, I curse you). I brought champagne in a can, with a straw, so we were prepared for the hilarity. Plus, I didn’t notice until the pedicurist removed my OLD polish, but I have a GIGANTIC bruise on my right big toe. It’s likely to last only a few more weeks.

I know, sexy. BUT LOOK AT HOW AWESOME MY LEGS LOOK! Even without a tan!

Who lost 4 percent body fat in one month? This sexy broad.

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Dress-A-Friend Monday: The Derby (Yes, MY derby this week)

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In spirit of my weekend festivities and birthday celebration, the Wardrobe Therapy girls are dressing one another for roller derby — either alter ego or as a guest (or both).

First, this outfit is sort of what I wore to the Burning River Roller Girls bout on Saturday:

Mel Went to Derby
Mel Went to Derby by MEL featuring Jessica Simpson jewelry
Items in this set:
DKNY Jeans – Cropped Moto 3/4 Sleeve Jacket (Black) – Apparel, $93
Splendid – Stretch Sheer Layers Tube (Black) – Apparel, $52
ASOS 80 Denier Opaque Colbalt Tights, $5.33
Converse Chuck Taylor ‘XX Hi’ Knee High Sneaker, $65
Jessica Simpson – Lady Rose Beaded Necklace (Blue) – Jewelry, $32

Fun, right? I loved the look of the Superhero-esque blue tights with MY NEW KNEE HIGH CONVERSE! Love AB for eternity for this birthday gift, even if they took me an hour to put on the first time.

I’m dressing Lead Paint Cookbook today. Her moniker is already derby-approved!

Lead Paint Goes Derby
Lead Paint Goes Derby by MEL featuring American Apparel accessories
Items in this set:
Floral Print Layered Chiffon Miniskirt, $18
Thigh Highs / Tights / Leggings – Hosiery, $8
Unisex Suspender, $16
Neon ‘Penny Spot’ Disign Tights (Green/Black), 7.50 GBP
Roller Skates by RollerBug Skate Co.

We’ve outfitted your standard gear with some lime green accessories! And yes, you will be the bad ass who glares back at the advancing jammer with your matching green contacts. Paint the town Lead, girl!

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Wardrobe Therapy: Little Closet of Horrors

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I know, I haven’t posted much else in my weekly tasks, other than Dress-A-Friend Mondays, so here are a couple photos to keep you on stand-by… until I can find which weeks I missed.

Below is another brilliant example of Lesbian Casual. Ironically, I was out with a group of ‘em for my Thursday night Bowl-A-Thon:

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As I’ve posted, skinny jeans are a staple in my current “look.” These are my Levi’s — the first pair I’ve found that actually fit my calves. Strange, right, for a skinny jean? I doubled-up (or down) on tanks (one is from Target, the other from Old Navy), paired with my new long-length, short-sleeved black cardigan (LOVE eBay) AND my recently-acquired BC green peep toed flats from Chicago. I’m kind of annoyed that I have a rub spot I didn’t realize when I tried them on (only on my right foot), but I’m holding out hope these don’t destroy my feet with blisters and broken skin. Seriously, how in the world do flats do this?

That necklace (from Kohl’s), by the way, I get compliments on EVERY time I wear it, yet… I’m not certain I really like it. It just goes well with almost all my outfits.

Also, Rudy in the background. He’s so curious. He cracks me up.

Here are a couple pictures of my revamped (and reorganized) closet space:

Camera One...

Camera One...

Here, you can see all sweater-like items are folded. Pants by casual are folded; dressy are hung. Jeans are folded on a shelf above (not pictured). I’ve separated all my jackets and cardigans, hung on the left there. Purses did not need a shelf, so I’ve stacked them on a cheapie closet organizer cube on the ground. Also pictured: the arm of the hideous (and too large) tweed suit that I recently donated.

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Camera Two

Ahhh, shirts and dresses, all organized by type of sleeve (starting with tanks and slips). It’s much easier to dress myself for certain occasions now. Pictured: step ladder.

Yes, incredibly OCD. And colorized. I needed a new layout for easy access to… well, everything — especially my summer dresses. Perhaps it’s the constant working out, but I’m more comfortable in dresses than I have been the entirety of my life. Maybe with age, we embrace more of our femininity. Stupid hormones. Regardless, living in downtown, closet space comes at a premium. The boy already claimed the bedroom closet (he moved here first), so I suppose I was lucky enough to have the same sized space — even though it’s practically in the living room. He installed the organizer — it really opened up a greater opportunity for spacing my clothing and accessories. (I keep all my jewelry in a “dresser” like piece that also contains drawers for my underthings and workout/derby attire… I fold my underwear drawer once a week. It’s almost certainly a mental issue).

Also, yes, I know. I don’t need any more shoes. Duh. Of COURSE I do. Those boxes on the shelf? They reach WAY above what you can see from the top of the closet doors. It’s a brilliant benefit of living in a loft space with high ceilings. As expected, I need a step ladder any time I need jeans, shoes, or certain jackets.

All that said, there’s a birthday outfit or two in there for this weekend.

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Dress-A-Friend Monday (on Tuesday) *groan* I KNOW.

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My task: Time to throw out Monday’s challenge: dress your partner for a picnic in the park. It’s picnic season, right? I mean, maybe not quite yet here in Cleveland, where we’ve been teased relentlessly for weeks with alternating bouts of lovely weather and crappy rain-filled chilly days, but being that May starts on Saturday, already, let’s start thinking outdoor fun!

For this assignment, I’m dressing LOJO:

LOJO Picnic
LOJO Picnic by MEL featuring James Perse pants
Items in this set:
DURAS ambient U-neck T-shirt, $50
Cropped cotton-poplin cargo pants, $195
Boxer flat leather sandals, $715
Lucky Brand – Another Roadside-Put On A Happy Face (Yellow) – Jewelry, $89
Sequin Beaded Flower Stretch Bracelet, $58

I took advantage of the vintage-y floral accessories recently acquired on your thrift trip and paired with uber-casual, comfy and classic pieces likely to be found in your closet. Those leather flips will let you chase after ducks for hours!

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Dress-A-Friend Monday: Derby Day (the “other” derby)

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I still need to play a lot of catch-up with purses, shoes and accessories for Wardrobe Therapy — oh my!

This week, I’m responsible for dressing Mella for Churchill Downs. The only thing I know about derby is big dresses and big hats with big attitudes and bigger Mint Juleps. After reading a few of her closet descriptors, here is what I selected for Mella:

Mella at the Derby
Mella at the Derby by MEL featuring Carvela shoes
Items in this set:
Oxford Halter Dress, $150
Oxford Halter Dress, $150
Oxford Halter Dress, $150
Phase Eight Pearl Bow Cardigan, 55 GBP
Nude Geranium High Heel shoes, 89 GBP

She is searching for a pair of nude pumps, which are necessary for every wardrobe! Here, a small flower accent makes them derby-appropriate.  With the simple lines of a modern twist on a shirt dress, keeping in mind her requisite knee-length. I accented the plaid underneath the halter collar with a green cardigan  for the Cardigan Queen, as well as a necklace that complemented the outfit without dangling or drawing away from it. With that neckline, you NEED a cute stone necklace to adorn those clavicles!

Hope you enjoy the derby, Mella. Cheers.

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Wardrobe Therapy: Shoes, Bags & Accessories

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Umbrella –  I have a slowly-breaking blue floral umbrella, which still works but is worse for wear. I should probably purchase one in an all-matching color and pattern. Especially since the boyfriend left his black umbrella in a Chicago cab this weekend.

Shoes – I’m still on the endless search for the perfect pair of black boots — all leather, low heeled, almost-knee-height and more “motorcycle” style for long-distance walking in urban settings, to be paired with skinny jeans, skirts, dresses… whatever. I found a pair of Stuart Weiztman boots this weekend on sale in Chicago. Alas, they were brown. Why is it so difficult to find boots at ANY time of year?

Also, some rain boots by Hunter are my dream. Burnt orange, hunter green or aubergine will do, please.

All that aside, I’m fine in the heels  and flats department. I have a good blend of comfort, trendy, stylish and necessary.

Bags – I desperately need a black clutch, which I’m hoping to find in perfect vintage condition. For Spring, I would also like a hobo shoulder canvas type bag in a bright color or pattern.

Accessories – recently updated with some teal strong pieces for Spring. I still need bracelets for spring/summer seasons. I have plenty in brown, and I’m bored.

The inside contents of my purse are ridiculous. I’m always packed for emergencies — as is the same with my car. I can fix rips, tears, dry hands, dirty hands, messy or fallen hair and make-up at all times. I carry huge bags so when I shop, I can use the bag instead of creating waste with shopping bags. Mostly, it becomes a vortex of lost items. I really don’t need any more purses for daily needs.

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Dress-A-Friend Monday: Rainy Day for Wende

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The Task:

This week, we’re going to dress each other for a rainy spring day. Think about your partner and how she would dress to go out in the April rain. Would she wear galoshes? What kind of raincoat? Would she go sans raincoat and only carry an umbrella? One of those old-lady rainbonnets? What would she be wearing underneath the layers? Are there puddles? Is she walking a dog?

This week, I dress Wende for a rainy day in *snicker* Arizona. Now, I’ve lived in Phoenix, so it’s not wholly improbable for mucky rainstorms (and freezing temperatures, but seriously, this shit only happens to me). And since nobody in Arizona knows how to drive in the rain (ahem, *dig*), I’ll dress her for a walking touristy day in Old Town. Let’s pick up some cowboy postcards and send ‘em to family and friends in the Midwest, shall we?

By the by, here is my rainy day outfit, courtesy of Kerry. LOVE the Fluevogs!

My problem (outside my lack of Polyvore skills) with this challenge is that Wende loves skirts — would she still wear a skirt in the rain? I know I would, so let’s assume I’ve talked her into them, and give her some chic slickers (on sale, of course, because you know those Westerners are only wearing those rubbers once a year). Maybe we’ll do some puddle stomping in the Desert Botanical Gardens later.

Rainy Day for Wende
Rainy Day for Wende by MEL featuring Radley accessories
Items in this set:
Old Navy Womens Pick-Stitch Slub-Knit Tees, $10
MICHAEL Michael Kors black button front belted hooded raincoat, $115
Black long skirt, 22 GBP
Hunter Women’s Original Short Glossy Rain Boots – Turquoise, $105
Necklace, Women’s Necklace, double heart necklace, gemstone necklace,…, $9.99

There’s a little aqua to brighten your rainy day, Wende. And a picture of rainy sidewalks, in case you forgot. ;)

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Dress-a-Friend Monday Challenge!

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I am horrible enough dressing myself, let alone someone else. Here goes my challenge to dress Esti from Sometimes Wendy Darling. The theme: Lazy Sunday brunch.

By the by, Wende did a FANTASTIC job of creating a couple outfits for my various Sunday Brunch shenanigans.

Here’s what I gathered from Esti’s WT so far: feminine clothing paired with sleek basics. Loves dresses. Skirt (maybe a slight ruffle), tanks, embellished headbands, ballet flats. Girly prints/color. Fun tights. Nothing straight cut. Interesting neutrals. Victorian or antique touches/accents.

Phew. And, here is what I came up with… (I’m still learning Polyvore, btw):

A simple tank dress with an accented ruffle skirt, paired with a floral open-cut cardigan. I’ve paired with either a bright blue belt for an accent for nude legs or the green belt with flowered antique-ish belt buckle matched with pink tights. Also, finished the outfit with an embellished headband and floral, ruffled purse. Depending on the situation, we got heels or neutral ballet flats.

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God Help Me. I cannot dress girly, and I cannot do matchy-matchy very well. Esti, thoughts?

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WT: Hair & Make-Up

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I think I’m all caught up with my Wardrobe Therapy assignments. Have I missed anything important, fellow WTers?

THIS week is all about the hair (eck) and make-up (even-more-eck). It has taken me a lifetime and a half to learn how to do my hair. I have chopped it, grown it out, dyed it every color… short of shaving it all off, I have to deal with its baby-fine texture and random patches of weird color growth (yeah, I have a Bonnie Raitt-esque blond patch at the left side near the nape of my neck). My natural hair color used to grow in almost-black. It now grows in an ugly medium brown. I don’t dye it as much as I used to — I went a fun red in February. I want to go back to a gorgeous warm brown again. Enough said about that…

My first problem, you know all those tips in regards to the face of your shape — I have never figured out for certain if I’m a heart or an oval. I have a widow’s peak, which leaves me to believe I’m a heart shaped. Who knows, maybe I’m a square. This causes me all kinds of problems from appropriate hairstyles to wearing the right shape of sunglasses.

Thoughts?

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I’m dressed up. Don’t let that freak you out. It happens MAYBE once a year because I get sooooo uncomfortable. This was for a black tie charity event. Thankfully, there are zero weddings this summer. That I know of, anyway. Happy Dance.

The rest of my “I Feel Pretty” routine has kind of screeched to a halt. When I lost my job in January and went freelance, I had to do away with a lot of indulgences. Number one was spending $50 on a face cleansing/moisturizing system (Murad, forever and ever. Amen). I know my skin doesn’t technically fit the hormonally aging requirement (yet), but this Murad Resurgence collection rocks my world… and my face.  This has been the only product line (cleanser, serum and night cream) in my life that has actually made my skin look amazing, less oily and less likely to breakout. I’m slumming right now with Neutrogena. It’s not horrible, but doesn’t give my face the same glow or elasticity repair. Sigh. One day, Murad, I’ll be back.

Cough. Ahem, birthday in May. Cough.

In evaluating the rest of my hair and makeup products, I certainly suffer from an over-abundance of product. I threw away all my old makeup after the Great Eye Stye of 2009, so I think most things in my make-up bag are OK. I had the awesome opportunity to do some PR and writing for a cosmetics company, which landed me a bunch of free swag. Love.

That said, my hairdryer is over ten years old. I might want to start looking into a new one. Might be the reason why it takes forever to dry my hair. I wish I didn’t have to use a hairdryer, but I have this annoying cowlick in the back and aforementioned widow’s peak in the front and a hopeless kink all over. How can I have baby fine hair, but be wavy-not-curly? It’s fug.

Touching back to make-up: WTF to Cover Girl in changing the formulas or quality control in regards to their mascara? I have religiously loved their Professional Mascara (in both regular and waterproof). Over the last couple years, I noticed most stores were having Closeout deals on my favorite item. Now, not only has the packaging and brush changed, the formula is HORRID. I have since tried four different CG mascaras — all with random brushes. I LOVE the brush in the new LashExact Waterproof – it captures all my lashes (even the tiniest) and doesn’t clump, and looks ultimately natural, like I want it to be. But in the same regular version, it is horrible.

I can’t use the waterproof everyday (and I have to wear mascara at all times outside my apartment) because it does not come off even with my eye makeup remover. What the hell, Cover Girl? I practically have to pull my eyelashes out to get it off. My other favorite mascara is by Estee Lauder, and going back to my alloted budget for such things, is improbable with every-other-month replacement. Halp!

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What to wear… this also stresses me.

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Now that I’m knee deep into my closets and Wardrobe Therapy, I’m checking out fashion trends. What I know already is that teal is big for Spring, weird sandals are the norm, my huge purses are still in vogue and maxi or print dresses remain ideal for upcoming warmer weather. I’m still not sold on stripes or nautical-inspired attire or cut-off shorts. And, pink: NEVER.

Backless though? YES, please! Especially after my newest addition of body ink.

And a glorious WTF goes to Allure magazine and all catalogs I’ve been receiving. There is no inspiration. I love to tear out pages to “shop” my own closet. This season is dull. And ugly. Or much of the same. By the way, do you find at a certain age you have grown out of a certain publication? I don’t need sex tips any more, and definitely don’t need similar inane bedroom advice. I am no longer a “single girl finding her way.” And I will not spend $1,493 on any piece of clothing. EVER. Not even a consideration.

We’re in the planning stage of our Chicago weekender at the end of the month, and with making plans and packing lists, I need to know in advance WHAT to wear and bring. I have shot down the suggestion of two separate restaurants because I fear their “too fancy” or “uncomfortably dressed” dress codes. I like to enjoy my food, but not feel pretentious doing so. I just don’t like to dress up — especially when it’s just for a meal. I think we found just the place though.

What have I learned about ladies fashion? That I still shirk from the ladies or misses sections of department stores. With my body shape/size, I am not quite a “lady.” I am thin and uncurvy, hence still shopping comfortably in junior sizes. I have to tread carefully as some of the trends are TOO trendy, therefore I don’t follow certain trends.

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WT: Tops & Bottoms

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I’m still playing a bit of catch-up on Wardrobe Therapy. I’ve combined my Tops/Bottoms posts below.

Tops! (includes tops, tanks, camis, bras, cardigans, vests):

My identifying colors are gray, green (more olive green than hunter green. eck), and navy blue. For obvious reasons given, they complement my eyes. My eye color is more a blue-gray, but I have a hazel-green ring around my pupil.

Torture Devices are finally gone — you know, those shirts that just fit too tight around my awesome arms. Heh. Also gone: anything that is cropped above my waist line — I love longer tees and tunics too much that I will not wear shorter tops any more. I have to keep a couple turtlenecks around for Cleveland winters, even though I HATE.

I have a great selection of staples — cardigans in a few colors and tanks and tees in colors that match the rest of my wardrobe. I’m quite happy about this, actually.

All my Velveteen Rabbits are repaired. Or tossed. And in this process, my boyfriend asked for buttons to be replaced on a couple of his shirts. I needed the sewing practice apparently.

List of Action:

I’ve said this a million and one times before: I need more short-sleeve tops. With the addition of a couple short-sleeve cardigans (in solid colors), I’m a step in the right direction. I either own too many tanks or too many t-shirts. Not enough regular “blouses” or tops that kind of dress up jeans when I need to.

I also recently invested in a couple new sports bras (which I needed for derby) and a new nude bra to replace the one-year piece-of-shit $65 Victoria’s Bra that already had malformed from hand washing and popped its underwire. Yeah, Hanes bra that fits AWESOME for only $12.99.

Bottoms Up! (includes pants, shorts, skirts, and garments worn under them for sanitary and/or shaping purposes):

Note: I definitely need more comfortable underwear. Luckily, I’m dating a guy who likes boy-leg. They are practical and comfy and hot — and totally convenient when changing into my derby workout clothes (for preventing rink rash in unusual places).

I have a pair of khaki dress pants that area a size 6 — but it’s a big 6. They’re too long (I currently have the hems safety-pinned up! It’s tragic), and the waist is too big. They were from H&M, so I likely spent less than $40 on these. Say hello to the Goodwill bag.

Now, I need a pair of khaki dress pants that FIT me.

I have a really good blend of short skirts, medium skirts, short pants (in casual & dress) and long pants. Plenty of jeans too. I don’t do well in ankle-length skirts — just makes my short frame look stumpy. I do like maxi dresses, but it needs to hit mid-calf to still remain looking cute. While once I thought I could do better in the bottoms department, I realize I’m doing alright. My problem was that I couldn’t wear any of my “cute stuff” because I was out of shape.

I have a lot of black pants. Maybe too many, given I don’t wear black pants too often. But in my defense, most of these were hand-me-downs from my cousin before she moved. One pair desperately needs to  be hemmed (they fit like black jeans, I LOVE, but they are like a foot too long!). Category: Stalwart Staples or Same Time Next Year? Latter, likely. The “You Never Know” Category.

I have one other pair of super-cool wide leg vintage Guess jeans that I can only wear with one set of heels — again, because they are tall enough to prevent the pants from skimming the ground. I need a tailor. Badly. I think I mentioned that I’m short, so nearly each pair of pants I purchase need hemmed. It’s annoying and expensive. Which is why I like to wear dresses and tights. Or the “expensive” jeans purchased at boutiques where tailoring was included.

On another “bottoms” note, I LOVE my tights and socks drawer. With its colored and solid tights and footless tights and knee socks — I have something to match every outfit. And with derby, I finally have a use for all those crazy fishnets!

I have a pair of black satin pants that ruche on the sides and tie at the bottom that I would categorize as Sentimental Journeys. I LOVE these pants; they remain because they are unique and I can still fit into them if needed. I love unique items that I KNOW nobody else will own.

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WT: Tossing & Piles

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If I have a “style,” it is Granola Chic. It’s about comfort and adapting trends (usually a season or two behind because I won’t do what other people do just like I won’t wear what others wear) with bright or chunky accessories. I’m a basic gal — I like t-shirts and jeans and an awesome set of heels. Throw in a giant purse (like the size of an overnight bag), a vintage necklace and a Pashmina and that is the sort of combination I roll with 70% of the time. That said, when I say “basics,” it does mean my closet is comprised of black and gray — quite the opposite — I LOVE colors and prints. And yes, crazy print shoes are my worst enemy. I cannot resist!

I briefly brushed on Lesbian Casual. I adapted my 90s grunge era style of simple, simple, simple (and a little dirty-esque). Meaning: casual top/tshirt, simple straight jeans and flat shoes and (cold-weather-permitting) a hoodie. If you find me doing chores or at a market on a Saturday, this is my wardrobe. Do lesbians wear this in real life? I hope so. Because it’s hot. Call me.

Example: lesbian-casual

What I finally threw away: a black/white/silver-threaded tweed skirt suit I purchased from Newport News catalog some three or four years ago. I loved that the jacket was three-quarter length sleeved (I truly hate long sleeves) and it was a modern twist on a classic vintage-styled suit. Alas, it was ill-fitted from the start (even when I was 30 pounds heavier). It’s not worth the cost of a tailor and with the intentional frayed edging. It’s not even feasible to hem without losing what made it cute in the first place.

The jacket doesn’t button properly — it’s WAY to big (with unnecessary built-in shoulder pads to boot. Blech). The skirt is too long and (now) way too big in the waist and hips.

Donation Bin, here you go.

I mean, Newport News, Mel. Really?

Also going, a pair of camel-colored heeled ankle boots with a block, stacked platform and heel. Didn’t I say this is what I didn’t like about the 70s?

  1. Velveteen Rabbits I had a stack of clothes in my closet that needed new buttons and fixed seams originally labeled for the cleaners. Nah, I can do it! As of today, these items are all repaired! YAY! And I likely saved myself $30-$40.
  2. Torture devices I cannot wear halter tops — they tug constantly at my neck and I’m not even full busted. Yet, every turn of the warm weather, I buy a new top or dress. Now, this Spring, I opted for the larger halter neck strap (instead of just a thin tie), hoping this will make a difference. I have one Gap dress that’s been in my closet for YEARS just like this, and has seen some summer days. Crossing my fingers again. Same goes for tube dresses/tops. I always wanted to wear them, but had a strange mole that was visible without straps. Now that it’s been lanced, I’m giving them a try this summer. I’m hoping I don’t eat these words come mid-summer. Also, I cannot wear wool. Ever (it gives me a rash). At least when exposed against my skin. I only two wool coats (that typically have many layers beneath). Do you know how hard it is to shop for sweaters and suits that are non-wool? With shoes, it is sling-backs. I cannot walk in them. Also, cannot wear silk or satin. It is the only fabric in the WORLD that makes my armpits sweat. I don’t even have to wear anti-perspirant when I work out, that’s how much I never sweat.
  3. Superstars Two pairs of jeans, depending on the outfit: my aforementioned J Brand skinny jeans or my Paige slightly flared leg jeans. And yes, I have two favorite solid t-shirts, a navy blue crewneck from Express and a heather gray v-neck from Target. It’s all about the accessories, jacket or shoes. Really.
  4. Orphans I’m not all about matching properly, so I can’t logically think through the orphan category, unless you count the fact that I have not a pair of flat (walkable) black boots to match all the black cuteness in my closet.
  5. Stalwart Staples Couple of collared shirts that are meh, but necessary and like eight pairs of black pants in all fabrics, shades and lengths. You know, “just in case.”
  6. Same Time, Next Year Black suit coat and turtlenecks. Both, I hate.
  7. Sentimental Journeys What if I still irregularly wear my Sentimental Journeys? I have a gray snap-button cardigan from Delia’s that I gave away to my sister like ten years ago, which ended up in a donation bag of hers. I reclaimed it, and even with the small holes in the sleeves (I fold them up), I wear it at least once a month. Love. Second, are my old Abercrombie jeans. I love these sunamabitches. They are torn, shredded and split. Yet, I’ll still wear them in the summer. Or holidays that I can wear funky striped tights underneath (eg: tailgating and St. Patrick’s Day). These jeans have been with me on EVERY vacation. I have looked into Denim Therapy. And yes, I know the cost or refurbishing will be three times the price the jeans. That’s not the point…
  8. Mysteries of the Lost Shopping Trip Oh, I think I answered some of that in Stalwart. Anyways, I have too many pairs of shoes that fit this list. I can tell you the one time I wore each of those heels though. And mostly, it’s because I feel the need to purchase “birthday shoes” every year. I also have a pair of cropped jeans that look almost like sailor pants. I kind of love them, and I don’t know why.
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WT: Wardrobe Therapy (the questionnaire)

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I’m a late participant of online Wardrobe Therapy, referred by Lead Paint Cookbook. I’ve been meaning to keep record of my outfits and wardrobe for a while, and since I don’t really have any posts in mind other than boyfriend and roller derby stuff, muddled with the usual penis postings — why not include clothing to piss off all my male readers?

I should have joined this group before recently dumping a crapload of well, crap from my closet and investing in some new, cute pieces. I’ll include some of those steps (and why I donated and rid my closet of those particular items), since I was sort of doing this already… Maybe someone can learn something from my insane Closet OCD and why I get rid of/keep certain items.

Thinking primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) about looks, who’s your favorite performer of your own gender and species? Why?
You can smack me later, but I LOVE the Olsen Twins’ style. You know, without all the frumpy crap. I love the simple dresses, overstated jewelry, large glasses… or just a simple t-shirt with a jacket. My kind of style: simple, pretty, chic, sleek/but messy, without all that Hollywood hoochie.

In a completely other world, my daily life is more like Brandi Carlile. Is it appropriate to call it Lesbian Casual? Sure it is. I have no other way to describe it.

If you could live in any historic era with a really good clothing budget (as well as soap, toothpaste, and delicing as needed), when would you choose?
No doubt, the 70s. But maybe with more classic and polished of a shoe than a block and platform heel.

What’s your favorite painting or other form of visual art? Why?
I’m a fan of abstract and impressionist art, like Hans Hofmann or Edgar Degas. Each artist is an opposite of the another. Hofmann, with his vibrant colors and lines; and Degas, with his muted, soft and “pretty” dance work. Thus, the dichotomy of my closet.

What is your first memory in which clothes are important?
My mother made our clothes as kids. We were total chic hippies (you know, we looked like it, but we were bathed and unsmelly). I look at old pictures, and wish I had some of those garments as an adult.

What is your favorite garment ever? Why?
No doubt, my grandmother’s vintage fur coat from the 40s. With its three-quarter length sleeves and rabbit fur color, it is a CLASSIC. I can wear it casual or dress it up. But never, never, ever wear it to a bar. I would be empty if I lost or left it.

What is your favorite garment in your wardrobe right now?
My J Brand dark denim, skinny jeans. Tailored. Fit perfect.

What is the worst clothing purchase you can remember making?
Anything that racked up credit card debt in my early 20s. More specifically, Express. Express. Express. Totally unoriginal clothing.

What’s your most embarrassing clothing-related memory other than a bad purchase?
It has to do with “that time of the month,” and I don’t want to discuss it here. That, or the fact one of my ex-boyfriends could fit into my clothes. Don’t ask me about that either.

What body part (no more than three!) are you proud of and expect compliments on?
I like my back. I like my legs. I even like my clavicle, but that’s a totally weird thing to compliment somebody on.

What body part (again, no more than three!) seems to require management, if not coaxing, cajoling, and sometimes outright begging if it’s to please you?
I have huge feet and large calves. It took a long time to find skinny jeans that fit right, and I have even greater circulation problems with knee socks and boots. My feet, I ask of them every day, please don’t trip me. I’m short, and somehow ended up with giant feet — while my mom and my sisters all enjoy the tiny feet of tiny women, I got an 8.5.

If you could dress however you wanted all the time, what might you include?
In layers! This is why I love Fall. I love cardigans and scarves and tights and boots. We get at least four months of warm weather here in Cleveland, and I get incredibly sticky outside of wearing tank dresses and flip-flops. There isn’t much alloted creativity when you’re melting.

If you could shop at any store (or from any designer), which would you choose?
I lurve Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang (and not just because of his euphemistic last name). So, either will do. So long as they throw in a pair of Louboutins.

Where do you ordinarily shop now?
I like Anthropologie and ModCloth, so I shop on eBay for deals and vintage-inspired pieces (and random cutesy pieces from Hong Kong — I LOVE their fashion culture layering and mismatched cutesy-ness). I’m incredibly cheap, and I loathe shopping in actual stores with real people (I KNOW, right!?) and crowds and ACK! When I pull my head out of my ass, I regularly shop at Urban Outfitters and American Apparel and Target (for basics).

What clothing, accessory, or prettifying need (if any) do you enjoy shopping for?
Shoes. That is all. The rest of which I hate because, well, I hate shopping.

Which one do you most loathe shopping for?
Makeup/Skincare. Nothing has worked for my oily skin (prone to breakouts, yet surface old-lady dry) other than Murad. But it’s definitely NOT in my current budget. Makeup generally sucks because of aforementioned oily skin — foundations discolor after a few hours and leave me with a neck line (I’ve tried buying lighter, it looks worse); eye shadows, liners leave streaks and crease lines; waterproof mascaras work, but NEVER come off — even with so-called makeup removers (again, within my budget).

I have so many products under my sink. Sad.

I’m not sure if this fits into “wardrobe therapy,” but you asked what I hated. This is it. 

Do you consider yourself low-, medium-, or high-maintenance?
Medium. I don’t spend a long time getting ready, but I will NEVER leave the house without mascara — if even that is the ONLY thing I’m wearing. Truth. And chapstick.

What are the two most frequent occasions that you dress for and how would you describe them?
Grocery shopping (ahem, Lesbian Casual) and nights out (kind of trendy but usually jeans & heels). I wear my PJs and slippers to work, so I rid my closet of almost all “work” attire. Whee, working from home! I only need to dress up occasionally for important client meetings, for which a black dress and a cardigan works wonders.

What was your favorite Hallowe’en costume ever?
Now, this is a tough question. No doubt, my mom has made some awesome costumes for me. Probably my MOST most favorite was a couple years ago, when I went as a paper doll. From the back, I had one of those vintage white pantaloony full slips from the back (and underneath) and my front pieces were interchangeable. Yes, even with those white “tabs” sticking out in several places.

What do you see as the current problem(s) with your wardrobe and/or look?
Covering up my tattoos? Heh. It’s not-so-much a problem anymore (again, that whole working for myself thing). I had a lot of ill-fitting clothes in my closet — you know, bigger clothes for if I ever gained weight again and skinny ones for when I lost it. Two years ago, I was in a size 9 pant. And four years before that I was in a size 2. My body has seemingly found a happy medium, but I was clinging on to clothes I didn’t wear so I didn’t have to invest in varied sizes again.

Note to self: MAINTAIN the proper weight and there will be no wardrobe fit worries.

Also, on the topic of having visible tattoos, I want to show them off. Especially my newest back piece. I can’t WAIT for tank top season!

At the end of WT, what lovely compliments do you want onlookers to give you?
That I look put together. (Hah, I see now that this is a popular response). I have a big closet, and I want to spend the time to put together full outfits, with matching accessories and purses and such.

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