Saturday, September 6, 2014

This Month's Fix

Stitch Fix is still coming regularly, but I didn't blog last month's picks.  Eh. I kept two things.  One was a dressy-ish blouse that I promptly splashed oil on.  Of course, it was dry clean only.  The other thing I kept was a peacock blue sweater with dolman sleeves (that's the third Fix in a row that included a top with dolman sleeves--what is their obsession with dolman sleeves?).  I kept it only because the color was gorgeous.

Here's the latest:

This skirt is really comfortable and flattering, but it is 6" too long.  I'm probably going to keep it and have a friend shorten it. The stylist wrote, "A maxi skirt by Market & Spruce for your model frame will give you modesty and also still flatter your model height,"  I would have to be a good 4" taller and still wear heels not to trip on it.  I've told her several times that I have a long body and short legs, but I guess it's hard to really understand a person's dimensions when you don't ever see them in person.

You can see how I feel about this top.  Just because I'm turning 50 next week and am going to be a grandmama in a few short weeks doesn't mean that I have to dress like one.  It's from a good company--Kut from the Kloth--but it's made out of icky polyester and has those roll-up sleeves with the tab and button that I loathe.  There are probably people who can wear this and make it look cute, but I am NOT one of them.  I just don't want to, is the thing.  It has too many elements that gross me out.


Both of these tops are meh, M-E-H, meh.  My t-shirt drawer is overflowing, and I can't justify paying $54 and $68, respectively, for them.

This scarf wasn't too expensive, it is soft, and it's pretty cute, so I think I'll keep it.  However, it's hard for me to muster too much enthusiasm for it when it is 91 degrees here today.  It doesn't ever get too cold here, anyway.  Maybe in January I'll wear it to work, or in my office when I am freezing.  I can also wear it in our travels.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nostalgia

There are some things that give me a nostalgic feeling that almost bring me to tears. Often those feelings are tied to books.

When I was a little girl, we had some book, perhaps it was
It had a picture of a little black-and-white cat in an English garden.  I loved that picture, and when I see Oliver in the yard, surrounded by flowers, my heart overflows with love for him--my sweet little kitten in the garden.

I like to read the blog Luxarrazi, which is all about the Luxembourg and Lichtenstein royal families.  These are Catholic countries, and they are often having big events with their cardinal or archbishop or something.  That august person usually looks like this:
with the big tiara (mitre?  beats me, I'm not Catholic), and the shepherd's crook.  And that, even though I'm not Catholic, brings me back to a book I really loved when I was little (and still love)

I think that's where I originally saw that kind of image, and it brings such a warm, happy feeling to me that I think I might try to hug that person if I ever saw him in person.  (Which would probably be creepy on a number of levels.)

Today, I had another strong feeling of nostalgia (non-book-related), and I almost teared up.  I was able to go into the OR and perform a procedure.  The IR suite isn't quite the same--we wash and gown up beforehand, but not in the same way as the OR.  There's something so special to me about the OR and surgery.  Perhaps if I had completed my medical training earlier in life, I would've become a surgeon, rather than an interventional radiologist.

As I was traveling home from work today, I was thinking about why I felt that way. I think it's because the OR is similar to the temple, and it feels sacred to me.  Here are the similarities I though of:

1)  You have to be worthy to enter.
2)  There is ritual washing.
3)  You are dressed in special ceremonial clothing.
4)  You are doing something that someone cannot do for themselves.
5)  If you're in the right frame of mind, you're in partnership with God.

Maybe that is why something about the OR reaches into my heart and tugs at it in a special way that I can best describe as nostalgia.  Don't get me wrong--my current job is perfect for me, and surgical training would've been a disaster for me to try to go through when I was a resident.  But I will always be just a little jealous of my surgery colleagues, and I will always have that tender feeling when I have the opportunity to join them in the operating room.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Being a Stepmother

Frans Schwartz, The Agony in the Garden
Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to view the Sacred Gifts exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art.  The centerpiece of the exhibit, in my opinion, is this beautiful painting.  It is so tender to see the angel supporting The Savior through the pain and darkness of the Atonement.

I started to wonder about the angel.  Who would be given the role of comforter for Jesus?  This is absolutely NOT doctrine in any way, but what if that was the privilege of Heavenly Mother?  She is the mother of Christ's spirit, but when you think about it, she's the stepmother of his earthly being.  Mary had the job of bearing the Christ, raising him, comforting his earthly hurts and calming his fears.  But in this moment when he also needed that mothering, she obviously wasn't there, or we would have heard about it.  I'm sure that she just couldn't have been there.

Stepmothers get a bad rap sometimes (wicked stepmother, anyone?), but it has been a sacred gift in my life to be a stepmom to my husband's children.  


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stitch Fix Nails It!

I really liked everything I got in this shipment.  Having credits from friends signing up, as well as the credit for buying the whole shipment made this a pretty easy decision.

Pomelo Gwendolyn Printed Mixed Material Sweater.  It matches the mint-green jeans I bought at bodenusa.com.  The jeans are Sold Design Lab Christopher Distressed Boyfriend Jean. 
Ellison Lena Contrast Striped Knit Shirt.  It is very light and comfortable.  I'm wearing it today with denim shorts.

I don't know how to pose without putting my hand on my hip, apparently.  This is the Pomelo Corinna Striped Heathered Dolman Top.

41Hawthorn Harper 3/4 Sleeve Jacket--Chanel-inspired, worn over a simple black tee.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stitch Fix April Delivery

Well, what can I say but I do love this service.  I wear the jeans from last month all of the time.  So I was very excited to find out what was in April's delivery.  Ahem.  Well.  Let's just say that the Stitch Fixers and I are going to have to work to come to an agreement on my style and tastes.

This dress is just a big piece of NO.  It makes me look like a rectangle with teddy bear legs. I'm having enough of a complex about my weight right now that this picture doesn't help.  From the side, however, I still am okay.  And that, my friends, is really a rope belt.  Who am I, Ellie Mae Clampett?  No, no, no.  Ugly, ugly, ugly.  I am going to ask them never to send me another shapeless dress that belts in the middle.

I was gleeful when I first saw these cute, mint green jeans.  Then I tried them on and realized they were more like jeggings.  Again with this feeling unhappy with my weight right now, so maybe once I wore them they'd look better?  Or maybe they just aren't right for me.  The top is cute from the front buuuuuuttt...

not garment-compatible from the back.  I'm not wearing another shirt under it.  It's just not cute enough to make me want to do layers.  But as an aside--check out that firm neck.  Nerium!

This top is pretty cute and comfortable (worn with last month's new jeans).  Anyone would have to wear a tank underneath, as it gaps like crazy when you lean forward, but I like how it is snug around the bottom.  The dolman sleeves aren't bad, either.

Finally, they included a pair of pretty cute chandelier earrings.  I'm not sure that I will keep them.  They're $48 and heavy enough to make me worry that the earring on the right will pull through my already-stretched hole.

So, one out of five, maybe two if I can convince myself that the green jeans are not completely unflattering.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shameless Commerce, pt 2

Okay, so the next thing I want to shill--I mean, tell you about, is this really cool, online personal stylist service called StitchFix.  R happened upon it and thought I would like it.

Here's the deal, you go to their site, fill out the personal profile where you tell them your size(s), your personal style, how much you would spend on certain items, and if you are looking for work clothes or casual or something for an upcoming event, etc.  Then you pay them $20 and wait a month.  A box full of clothes, and sometimes accessories, comes to your door.  You jump up and down and squeal  like a little girl, then try the clothes on.  You keep what you like, pay for it on the website, and return the things you don't like.  The $20 styling fee is deducted from your bill.  If you send everything back, then they keep the $20.  You can schedule regular shipments monthly, quarterly, whatever.  If you want to halt a shipment, you go to the website and halt it or reschedule.

They request links to your blogs, Pinterest account, Twitter, etc., so they can see what you like.  You can also send them photos, I think.  And if there's something you don't like, you can tell them on the website why you didn't like it.  It helps them refine their search for you.

I love, love, love this service.  My first box came last week.  It contained:  dark-wash skinny jeans; a tulip-patterned blouse; a long-sleeved tee with lace embellishment; a grey cascade sweater; and a black shirtdress.

I bought:

The jeans, because they fit great and were exactly what I wanted.
The tulip blouse.  This one gave me pause, because it's not something I would have ever purchased for myself.  However, I thought that it was something I probably should have.  I wore it the same night to a birthday party, and got lots of compliments, so it was a good move to keep it.

This is the untucked version.



I ended up tucking the blouse in and not wearing the necklace.  On Sunday, I wore it with a grey pinstriped skirt and a camel-colored cardigan, accessorized with my Young Women's medallion.  



I sent back:

The tee, because it was pretty boxy.  I have a rectangular shape from side to side, so things like that just make me look boxier.

The sweater, because I already have something quite similar (so it's a win for StitchFix that they chose it for me).

The dress, because I thought it was so beastly that I wouldn't even try it on.  It was a simple, black shirtdress, but it had a very 80's shape to it, with gold buttons down the front, kind of epaulet shoulders, and a skinny self-belt.  I knew it would look terrible on my shape, for one, and for another thing, I thought that I would have to have big, boofy Dynasty hair, too much blush and some gold hoop earrings to wear with it.

Maybe someone could style this and look really good, but I doubt I could.  Yuck!  It just reminds me of too many bad fashion choices in the 80's.  Note the always-stylish Mr. Oliver Hammond.  He did not give any opinion about the dress, except to sniff at it.


So, if you count the sweater, 3/5 things is a pretty good result, better than I usually do when I shop for myself.

If you want to try StitchFix, just click on this link:  http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3469648

Multi-level Marketing--Some Thoughts

Nerium, Shakeology, DoTerra, MaryKay, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Pampered Chef...these are a few of the multi-level marketing businesses friends of mine are involved with.  Personally, I have never been that interested in joining any of these businesses.  Sure, there are people who do really well, but I suspect that for every person that makes the "multi-six-figure income" the top sellers talk about, there are twenty or more people who never really make much on it and have a ton of product in their closets.  That's not to say that any of these products are bad.  In fact, I am a big fan of Nerium and DoTerra products (more on that later) in particular.  But I've always thought of these businesses as targeting the lower-earners and the stay-at-home moms trying to supplement their family income that are really, really hoping that they will be able to ride the MLM gravy train.  (And I really do hope that my friends that are selling stuff do just that, because they are wonderful people and I wish them every success.)

Recently, a friend of mine who is an aesthetician asked me to try Nerium.  It's an anti-aging cream.  I was really skeptical, for one, because I have very sensitive skin; for two, because really, how many anti-aging things have I tried and not been able to keep up with and not had results with?  And the MLM aspect was part of it, too.  Like, I have a kajillion Scentsy things in my linen closet that I bought from a friend and never use or give away as gifts like I thought I would.

But, the friend is a licensed aesthetician, and another friend of mine who is also a licensed aesthetician was the person who got her into Nerium.  So I finally said, "Sure, come on over and let's try this."  Sheila took "before" pictures with her phone, and I used the product for a week.  I wasn't sure that I was seeing results, but she retook the pictures in the exact same light, no filters or photoshopping, and there was a noticeable difference.  I signed up as a "preferred customer", and have been using the product for three weeks.  Here's the results so far:

Pretty amazing, right?  My pores are smaller and my skin tone is more even, plus my skin just looks finer, not as coarse as usual. So, I'm sold on the stuff.  And I have to admit that I'm considering becoming a brand partner, because so many of my friends are interested in trying Nerium.  They currently just have the day cream and night cream, but they will be coming out with an acne treatment that someone in the biz I talked to said is going to be "bigger than Proactiv".

Now some people just haaaaate Nerium.  My aesthetician, Theresa, went bananas when I told her I was going to try it, sent me a link to an anti-Nerium site, and all that.  She tried it a couple of years ago and didn't like it.  So, I'm not going to tell her right away what I've been doing when I go see her for my personal grooming needs on Tuesday.  I'll see if she says anything, and then I'll probably tell her.  She'll tell me I'm putting poison on my face or something like that, but whatevs.

Frankly, R and I don't need the extra income, but it could be something that could make us breathe easier when we take six months off and live in Norway.  Maybe it's a business that my daughter-in-law-to-be could do, being the go-getter that she is.  Maybe other family and friends can do it, and it will help them out financially.  You never know, but I will keep using Nerium and expect that I will continue to have good results.

Okay, and about DoTerra--I was skeptical about the whole essential oil thing, but in desperation I contacted my friend, Amberly, when I was having PMS/early perimenopausal symptoms.  I bought some Solace blend from her, and I find that it really works to ease my mood swings, bloating and stress levels.  It kinda also helps cramps, but it's not a cure for them.  Maybe it's just the scent that works as a reminder to just relax and breathe through it, but it does work for me.

I have another item of shameless commerce, not a MLM thing, but I will do another post for that.
My Rad Life!