Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stuff I Like

These things have been rattling around in my head for a while... I'm going to write two separate blogs about the things I like for me, and the things I like as a mommy. I'm starting with the me stuff, so without further ado,

Stuff I like as a chic:

Cheap long sleeve tees. Old Navy seems to be my best source for these. As stated in my last blog, I like to get the next biggest size up. I can wear a medium, but only through a couple of washes. Then the sleeves are WAY too short. I love the fact that they are inexpensive enough that if one gets ruined by one of my husband's "Sharpie in the washer" incidents, it's not a huge deal. The best part is the new colors and patterns several times a season.
I've also lucked out at Marshall's in the activewear department. They have more/better items of this type in their workout wear than they do on the regular "knits" rack. I found Green Apple Organics tees with designs on them for less than $15. They look a bit like these, but with cool designs:
24" L/S V-Neck Tee

Flared pants. Being a girl with a boo-tay, I like jeans and pants with a flared leg. Skinny jeans do absolutely nothing for me, as I am not, well, skinny. The flare gives me balance top to bottom. The best flare leg jeans I have found is the "Long and Lean" from Gap. Despite the name, they aren't skinny.
long & lean. mid rise, fitted in the hip and thigh, flared leg opening.

I'm also a fan of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brand flares but never buy these retail. They always tend to pop up at Marshalls at some point :)

Fuzzy socks... how could you not love fuzzy socks. Don't care about the brand, color, or print. Just gimme the fuzz.

Merrell shoes have saved my back. These too I buy at Marshalls, like my Moc clogs

But the ones I really want are full priced at Zappos.
But since this is all about stuff I like and not necessarily about what I own...
can you say Christian Louboutin????

But I digress.

Being a stay at home mom, I don't wear much in the way of makeup, but I do have some essential items in my repertoire.

The first couple are the "base coat" if you will. My mom turned me on to Cetaphil as a cleanser, and I haven't used anything else for 12 years. I also swear by Oil of Olay complete sensitive as my moisturizer. I've tried others, but it's so clean and non greasy I always come back to it.

For eyeshadows, I only have a couple colors but if I could only buy one brand for the rest of my life, it would be MAC. I got on the MAC train when it was just being acquired by Estee Lauder in 1996. The acquisition started in 94 and was complete by 98. (bet you didn't know Estee owned MAC, did you??)
I love their colors and finishes.

Mascara wise, I learned a long time ago that grocery store mascaras hold up better than department store brands. I've been through my share of brands and types and have finally found my happy place, lash wise. I wear contacts and have a bit of dry eye, so I have to be careful with "thickening" mascaras as they tend to have fibers in them. Once the mascara has been on your lashes for a while, it will flake. Right. Into. Your eyeballs. OUCH! That being said, if you throw out your mascara every three months it cuts down on this problem. I may be frugal, but I can't stand to have ouchie eyes. I decided to try Lash Blast Length as it was advertised to be anti flake. I wore it for a year when I decided against my better judgement to try Lash Blast Fusion which is the combo of their lengthening and thickening mascaras. I was pleasantly surprised. Little to no flaking, super black falsie eyelashes.
Last but not least is my nemesis, makeup wise. Lip stuff. I look horrible in lipstick, can't stand stains and hate gloss stickiness. I found my true lip love in Whole Foods years ago. Thanks to that wonderful bee-man Burt, I get soft color without icky lips.
Lip Shimmer - Burt's Bees

Hope this is helpful to a gal or too looking for some new stuff. Mostly, I just like blabbing about my favorite things!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Way I See Fit

So, the last time I checked, I'm a girl. I'm as typical a mom/wife/chic as any artsy person can be. So why oh why is it that I hate (and I mean with the fire of a thousand suns) shopping? Oh sure, window shopping occasionally is fine. I even like to load and unload online shopping carts ala Stephanie Mansueto. But when it comes to the real deal, the actual trying on and purchasing of garments, I want to run screaming from the strip mall.

I like pretty things, I like to look at them and touch them. And I'm pretty happy body-wise with myself these days. Could I lose a few more? Sure. But all in all, I don't have a bad body image. So with the combo of these two positives, how could clothes shopping be such a negative? Its due to the tweaking and shifting of standard sizes by clothing companies to make you feel better about yourself. One label will shorten their "regular" length to play to the just over petite crowd. Another will make their long really really long for... well, I'm not sure why. I'm 5'9. I shouldn't drown in a long when the average height for an American woman is about 5'4. And let's just touch for a moment on the subject of "rise." I don't want to wear jeans that are Erkle-licious. Whenever I try on jeans my mind wanders to the "Mom-Jean" skit from SNL.

HOWEVER, I don't need my arse crack to show. Low rise is for the thin and fit. I know this and don't go there. But there has to be a happy medium between low rise and under-the-booby jeans. This is where mid rise is supposed to work out, right? Not so much. Mid rise jeans (on me) tend to either expose the top of my arse or squeeze my hipbones to bruising. When I trying a larger size, I take two steps and they're around my ankles. *Sigh*

Aside from the pant problems, there are issues in the skirt, top and undergarment departments as well. With skirts, it seems you either need to be in your 20's or living in a nursing home. Due to heredity and child bearing, my upper legs are a bit of a road map of veins, so minis are out. That does not, however, mean that I want to be covered to mid shin. *double sigh* Tops typically fit well through the body at medium, but if I forget once and put them in the dryer, keeping in mind that I ALWAYS dry on low heat, the sleeves become 3/4 length. I'm not gonna touch the subject of bras, because if you are female and reading this, you can fill in just as many, if not more horror stories than I can provide.

My solution? "Large" activewear tops, designer pants, and screw wearing skirts. Designer pants just fit better. I hate to admit it as I'm as frugal as the day is long, but a good Calvin Klein cord is going to fit me 1000 times better than an Old Navy one. For the first time in my life, I finally see the benefit in paying more for a better label. They hug my curves without hip strangulation or danger of mooning the neighbors. The tops are less a department store's definition of activewear and more a yoga style top that is fitted through the body. I get length in the sleeve without looking like I'm styling the latest Hefty-bag. As for skirts? I crawl after a 10 month old all day. Who am I kidding?

Finally, the bra situation. Well, that's enough material (or lack there of) for an entirely separate post. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Final Countdown

Insert the cheesy Europe song here. Just by writing the title, I'm insuring that the song will now be cemented in my brain for at least a week. So what are we counting down to? Weening. Ohhhhhh yes, my friends. I'm kicking the Medela habit. I wish I could say that I had mixed feelings about weening, but as my readers know (if I have any left after the radio silence) Alex didn't quite do his part in the breast feeding tango. Instead of warm fuzzy bonding thoughts, all I can think of is putting together pump parts half asleep. A few people have asked me if I ever needed the pads you put in your bra if I hear a baby cry or think about Alex too hard. Not so much, folks. Maybe if I heard a straw squeak in a to-go cup in a methodical fashion, or any other pump type sound. So there are no mixed feelings.

Now the only problem comes from impatience. The little be-horned Amy on my right shoulder keeps whispering that I could just quit now. No harm, no foul. The halo'd Amy on my left knows (and reminds me) that it's just a bit too early, and I don't want to blow my freezer stash too quickly. So to placate the right shoulder, I remind my self daily, several times daily if I'm being honest, of how many days I have left. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with 2 to 2 1/2 extra hours in my day. Because when you add it up, that's the amount of time I spend chained to those evil plastic cones. I DO know that I'll be getting extra sleep. I think I better dedicate at least 30 minutes of it to exercise as I truly believe that the breast feeding has been the biggest contributor to my weightloss. Running after a soon-to-be-walking Alex will definitely help, but I refuse to shelve my hard won size 10 jeans.

I'm thinking I can use the rest to launch my promised website and make more jewelry. By February I want to have a torch set up at the local glass shop so I can start knocking out some original glass cabochons, beads and objets d'art. I'm going to try my hand at some teaching as well. Small stuff first, like byzantine chain weaving and 4 in 1s. Then maybe a hot head glass class. If all goes well, I'd like to take a weekend and go to Philly to get certified as a PMC teacher. Sorry if I lost some of you, but hey, isn't that what Google is for?

Thinking about all of this helps me get through the day to day yearning to be weened from the pump. In the meantime, Alex is cruising, walking with a push walker, and crawling like lightning. He is, of course, into everything and anything he's not supposed to have. He's an explorer and very brave by nature, so I'm sure he will take the "new milk" like a champ. I've been trying him on sippy cups, for which he has no use, but he'll get it eventually.

So keep the good vibes coming my way so I can make it these last few weeks!