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Freezing Rain on the Block

There seems to be a big debate out in the world right now concerning whether school gets delayed or canceled for weather more now than it did previously.

This debate seems to come up every year about this time. It takes me back to a simpler time. A time in Michigan between the Blizzard of ’78, caused by regular old winter and the large snowfalls of 2014, caused by climate change. It takes me back to a certain winter, 1989-90, when I was in 8th grade. There was not snow that winter, but endless freezing rain. Freezing rain caused by global warming that no one was talking about yet.

Freezing rain, in case you live somewhere without it.

Freezing rain, in case you live somewhere without it.

My life was very complicated at that time. I struggled every morning with what clothes and jewelry to wear so that I wouldn’t get teased once I arrived at the bus stop/bus/school. I desperately wanted to wear things that would be “in fashion”*. Instead, I tried for “blend in”. Usually, I achieved something just north of “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny”. (Although, I assure you, my mom was not dressing me at that time.) Luckily schoolwork came rather easy to me, because I spent most of my time stressing about all the different cliques at my school. And if any boys would ever like me. (Seems kinda obvious now that no boys liked me in 8th grade because I had zero boobs and looked like I was about 10.) Little did I know that my future husband was still in elementary school at this time. My school looked like a prison, with tall gray walls and few windows. Gum chewing was banned. I was lucky enough to be able to say I had 6 friends that year. That is probably the only time in my life I have been able to say that.

My bedroom walls circa 1989, partway through NKOTB-ification.

My bedroom walls circa 1989, partway through NKOTB-ification.

Now that I have painted the picture for you of my day-to-day existence, I must let you know that it was the year of New Kids on The Block. Their presence in every part of pop culture had sling-shotted me into puberty. My asbestos friend and I made a daily pilgrimage to the nearby pharmacy to loiter and read the teen magazines to gain all the knowledge we could about Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon, and Jordan. (I would marry Jordan, and she would marry Jon, and we would be sisters-in-law.**) When we had some money, we would buy the magazines for research purposes, such as the name of Jon’s dog and their bodyguards. We also hung up the pin-ups all over our rooms. What better way to memorize every line on their faces?

EVERY girl at school had a NKOTB T-shirt. So, of course, I had to get one. As all the fashion was still 1980’s-based, and I was fond of all things fluorescent. The New Kids shirt I bought had a black and white picture of each of them, accented with fluorescent yellow. On the back were hand prints in hot pink (presumably theirs), with a print of their autographs on it. I think only one or two other girls in my school had that particular shirt.

My NKOTB scrapbook

My NKOTB scrapbook

You might wonder what all this has to do with freezing rain. I’m getting to that.

I learned a trick. If you wore a risky article of clothing on a Monday, the other hellions at school teased you about it ALL WEEK LONG. So, I took to wearing risky clothing on Fridays. Then, it would be forgotten about over the weekend. By everyone else, anyway.

So, the winter of 8th grade, I always wore my New Kids on The Block shirt on Friday.

“But, they were popular?” you ask.

Yes, they were. And other girls in the school liked them too.

But just because the popular kids like the same things you did, that still didn’t mean you weren’t safe from getting teased for it. Especially if you had a reputation for being an easy target. (Please, kids. NEVER let yourself get that reputation. It will scar you for life and force you to use your blog as therapy for it.) Although I did once impress a group of girls a rung or two higher on the popularity ladder than I by showing up at school with the first known magazine of Jordan with his shirt off. Of course, they still didn’t let me be in their dissection group in biology class.

Jordan Knight showing off his chest.

Jordan Knight showing off his chest.

And I never knew if I would walk into school one day, and that would be the day everyone else decided that NKOTB were uncool. (It turned out that happened during the summer after 8th grade.)

So, I put on my NKOTB shirt every Friday, ready to head off to the hell that was middle school. And every Friday, for what seemed like all winter, school was either delayed, cancelled, or delayed until it was cancelled, due to freezing rain. I guess something about the roads being slippery and not thinking it was safe for the school buses to drive on them or something. I was a kid. All I knew was that my NKOTB shirt was my “lucky charm” to get school cancelled. If I wore it, I got to stay home! Or, in most cases, hang out with my asbestos friend all day.

Just because the roads were too icy to drive on, didn’t mean they were too icy to walk on, right? My asbestos friend and I would go up to the pharmacy to look at teeny bopper magazines, all the while clinging on each other as we slid along on the ice-covered sidewalks. One time the ice was so bad that she got out her ice skates and skated down the road of our subdivision (i.e. trailer court). I followed along, sliding in my boots. It was great fun, until the sun came out and melted the ice and she had to hobble home in her ice skates on concrete.

One day, I even fell down–which was AWESOME!!

You see, my mother wouldn’t let me cut holes in my jeans, as was the style at the time. But when I fell on the ice, I tore a tiny little hole in the knee of my jeans. I picked and picked and picked at that hole until it went from side to side, seam to seam. (She is still mad at me about that to this day.)

So, you see, that is how winter weather, New Kids on the Block, and fashion are all stored together in my mind.

Oh, I never got to see the New Kids in concert. Still kinda hoping my asbestos friend and I might go someday. But, I did meet one in person!***

* In retrospect, it is all so fucking stupid. We were a bunch of farm kids in Michigan. Why were we trying so hard to dress like the people we saw on TV and in magazines anyway? It’s not like we were going to grow up and be famous models or Miss Teen Michigan or anything.

** As an adult, Jordan seems very self-centered and egotistical. No longer appealing to me. And Jon turned out to be gay. I was always sure that with that high voice, Jordan would be the gay one.

*** I met Joe McIntyre! There is a picture of him hugging me to prove it, but I was unfortunately never able to actually get my hands on said picture. *sigh* Now I think Joe may be my favorite.

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Appearances

I didn’t give a rat’s ass about my appearance for, oh, let’s say the last 5 years.

In 2009, I was like, “Well, I might get pregnant soon, so I won’t worry if I gain a few pounds.”

In 2010, I was all, “I’m pregnant.  I’m tired.  Why should I bother to gussy myself up.”

In 2011, I was like, “I have an infant.  If I wear jewelry, he may rip it off.  If I wear nice clothes, he may puke on them.”

In 2012, I was all, “I don’t have a job.  When I leave the house, I have a tiny terrorist with me.  Why bother to look good.”

Now I find myself in 2013.  I have a job, albeit a part-time one.  I have a uniform shirt I am required to wear there, and black pants.  But I can still express my personality through my jewelry, shoes, and hair choices.

Problem is, all my clothes and jewelry are about 10-15 years old.  Some is from my “I am in my 20’s and just discovered Goth” phase.  Most of my clothes are from my pre-baby smaller boobs.

Oh, and I’m getting old.  It used to be fun when people guessed my age and they guessed way too low.  Now people are guessing closer to my actual age.  I no likey that so well.

HAIR

I miss my pink streaks.  And I miss the hedgehog.  But I don't miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

I miss my pink streaks. And I miss the hedgehog. But I don’t miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

When I started my job, I dyed my hair blond again.  I started out blond as a child.  In 6th grade I whined to my mom that I didn’t like how dark my hair had gotten.  She bought me some hair color.  So, from 6th grade through college, my mom dyed my hair blond for me every few months.  It was blond in my wedding pictures.  I experimented with pink and purple and red and black.  Most recently I kept doing blond highlights, because they were not as time-sensitive to keep up.  But I let them go when I got pregnant.  I really like my hair blond again, and so does my husband.  It is a pain to keep up with though.  I even bought special shampoo to try to keep the color more vibrant longer and keep it moisture-filled.

Before and after hair cut & color

And I keep reading in magazines how guys like “beach waves”.  My hair is mostly on the straight side, only showing signs of curl when the humidity gets above 85%.  I bought a weird curling iron contraption to try to give me the beachy look.  I haven’t found time to try it yet, and am afraid it will dry out my colored hair.

Medieval torture device?

Medieval torture device?

SKIN

I have never had a very good skin care regimen.  Dove soap is often my face cleaning product of choice.  For a short time I tried the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty products.  I liked them, but found I was using less and less of them.  Then they changed the moisturizer and added more SPF.  I got a terrible skin rash and discontinued it’s use.  It wasn’t long before I gave up buying the face wash as well.

A few months ago, I had to take my mom to the dermatologist for a skin rash thingy on her hand.  They had lots of free samples in the office, so I grabbed them all.  One I used and liked was CeraVe foaming facial cleaner.  It leaves your face feeling weird after you wash it, but I think that is because it isn’t stripping every single last drop of oil from your skin.  I have tried many moisturizers.  Without wanting to get pricey, the best I have found is Lubriderm body lotion.  It does the trick.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

JEWELRY

I bought myself 2 new watches the other day.  This can be tricky, due to my intense nickel allergy.  I also bought a new pair of earrings I haven’t had time to try yet.  The saleswoman claimed they were nickel-free, but she may just get paid to say that.  All my cool nickel-free jewelry I bought from Avon a few years ago is already tarnishing/losing color.  Makes me kind of sad.  I didn’t even hardly get to wear it much.

CLOTHES

Other than a few new T-shirts and a few new pair of non-jean pants, I haven’t bought much.  I have a desire to have a few clothes that aren’t jeans or T-shirts.  But all that stuff just looks terrible on me.  It just looks like I am playing dress up or wearing the clothes of someone’s grandma.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something--or not.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something–or not.

I have managed to score some new footwear, courtesy of thrift stores and garage sales.  Unfortunately, most are not comfy enough to wear for a full day of work.

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

So, ya.  My husband probably thinks I am a crazy, spendy mess.  And I am.  But I also may be going through a mid-life crisis.  (I have low expectations about my own life expectancy.)  When I was younger, I used to try to picture getting old.  I could never picture myself older than 26.  Ugh.  I am 11 years past that now, quickly approaching 12.

Hopefully some of these things will make me look younger/feel more confident/not frighten small children.  Time will tell.

APPEARANCE-mix-a-lot

StalkingWear

Official/original/one & only “I’m not stalking you.” messenger bag.


I found this messenger bag in my dresser drawer the other day. I made it before I had a website. Back when I thought that “I’m not stalking you.” was just a great catch phrase. Or would be a potentially awesome way to brand a clothing line.

The messenger bag in action.


To refresh your memory, here are some other hip looks.

The “I’m not stalking you.” hoodie.

The “I’m not stalking you.” hoodie.

The “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The toddler “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

The toddler “I’m not stalking you.” T-shirt.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

Wedding Jeans

The gazebo in the park we got married at

As a general rule, I do not wear dresses. Or skirts, for that matter. I don’t wear them on a normal day, to work, or to job interviews. The one exception I make is to wear them to weddings. Other people’s weddings. Not my own. Intrigued? Read on…(And no, I did not get married in the nude!)

My then-boyfriend and I had talked about marriage, but he wasn’t ready to propose to me yet. At twenty-four, he still felt he was too young to get married. But I was still thinking about my wedding, anyway. I was not one of those girls who day dreamed about her wedding for years and what white poofy dress she would wear. Nope. I think about high school age I decided my dream wedding would be to get married in Las Vegas by Elvis. I am still waiting for that wedding. *sigh*

So although my boyfriend hadn’t proposed to me, I was still wondering what I would wear to my own wedding. I knew a big white dress was out. I must have thought “If only I could just wear jeans”. And that is how the “wedding jeans” were born.

Reception


Do you remember how I like unusual sewing projects, such as the pharmacy giraffe, Christmas stockings, and the Werecart? Well, you can add wedding jeans to that list too. I bought all the white patches I could find. Most featured flowers or hearts. I put them on the legs and back pockets of the jeans. Then I bought thin white ribbon and iridescent seed beads. I sewed the ribbon along the tops of the pockets, and down the side seams of both legs. Then I sewed the seed beads on top of the ribbon. By hand. Sewing through a denim seam is no picnic. I bent several needles in the process.

Now, when I started this project, I kept saying I wasn’t really going to wear the jeans for my wedding. But once my future husband saw them being made and how cool they were, he told me I had to wear them. That he would make me. It is a good thing I started them like 6 months before he proposed, because I think I worked on them for a year. I had them ready a few months before we were married. My jeans were a little too big. Which was unfortunate, because I couldn’t try to wash and shrink them now, as it would have ruined the decorations. So I made a white and yellow ribbon braided belt for them. Sort of dorky, but it did the job.

Now, the hard part was finding a shirt to wear with it. I pictured something white and billowy, sort of like a pirate would wear. Not my usual style, but it was for my wedding day. I bought three different white shirts and I was unhappy with all of them. I ended up wearing just a plain white T-shirt. (I am still looking for the perfect shirt to this day. And if I found it I just might buy it.) On my feet I wore my favorite sandals–pretty basic, brown leather. In my hair, I had baby’s breath put into a half a French braid. The bottom of my hair was curled and hung free.

Ta-Da! The Wedding Jeans. (Front View)


On our invitations, we put “Casual Attire Suggested”. We had our wedding and reception outdoors in August, so it was a little warm. It was a sunny day, no rain. My husband wore a gray shirt and black pants. My bridesmaid wore a denim skirt. We got married in a city part that was just a block from our apartment. (We walked to our own wedding.) We had our reception in my mother-in-law’s backyard, with hamburgers and hot dogs. I didn’t have to worry about changing my clothes or “bustling” anything. I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions (although I am sure that I probably worried anyway). In our wedding pictures, my husband and I have genuine toothy smiles, not the kind we usually give for pictures where we keep our mouths closed to hide our crooked teeth. All out smiles.

Wedding Jeans (Rear View)…Hey, quit staring at my ass!


My advice to anyone is to have your wedding your way. And ask for lots of help. I tried to do too much on my own. No one ever said a word about my wedding jeans. Which means either everyone liked them or knew how to be polite. What happened to Vegas, you ask? Well, we didn’t have our wedding there because my husband wanted his family to be able to come and they could not have all made it to Vegas. So my plan was that we would go to Vegas to get our vows renewed for our 5 year anniversary. Didn’t happen. But we should definitely go do it for our ten year anniversary–8/23/2013.

HAPPY 9th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY TODAY TO MY HUSBAND!

Who doesn’t read my blog, but he supports me writing it, which may be even better.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

A Few of My Fav 80’s Pix (Fashion Extravaganza…or lack thereof)

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I guess I am glad I grew up in the 1980’s. It gave me a chance to wear some truly bright and strange clothes. I still got teased for wearing them. But I still think I looked good.

Here is a picture of my asbestos friend and I at a school dance. We must have been dancing hard because we look a little sweaty and gross. I look at this picture and think “No wonder no boys wanted to kiss me. I look like I’m eight years old!” And yes, I am wearing my Wild Puffalumps shirt that I got from the Kool-Aid Wacky Warehouse. I wonder if that still exists?

Two hot chicks at the middle school Beach Party Dance. 5/20/1988

This is my favorite 80’s outfit. I have never gotten to make my own tie-dyed shirt (I am lacking in so many essential life experiences). This shirt from Hill’s (the 80’s palace of pre-teen low-budget sub-standard style) was as close as I came. I am also wearing my jean skirt–everyone was required to have one. Notice how I am not just wearing 2 socks on each foot, but one foot has yellow/pink, and the other has pink/yellow. Ya, I knew how to rock it.

My favorite 80’s outift

This is my second favorite 80’s outfit. It was very colorful. And I was very into the color fuschia/magenta at the time. Notice the fake suspenders, where both ends are attached to the shirt. The jeans had multi-colored patches on them. (My mom didn’t put them on, they came that way. I know, stylish.) I think there were 3 patches in all, but only two can be seen in the picture.

My second favorite 80’s outfit


I told my husband “This is what teenage girls do when they don’t have boyfriends and they are at home bored.” He said, “What, masterbate?” I replied, “Well, that too. But they also put lots of hair spray and make-up on to see how awesome they can look.”

Maybe I was going for the Pizzaz from Jem & The Holograms look? Notice the Kirk Cameron T-shirt. (Man, I was a nerd.)


Final and lastmost. The pride of the collection. I present to you, the hightest my bangs ever got. They would have gotten bigger…but then the 80’s ended:( This was a school picture. Yup, I rocked the necktie in a school picture. I still totally have that shirt. I wear it now and then and tell people it is over 20 years old. (They are unimpressed.)

School picture time. Whoa, can barely fit those bangs in the picture-NOT!


OK. That is all the embarrassment I can handle for one post. Remember folks, these are the pictures I CHOSE to share with the world. There are many others that will never see the light of the cybersphere.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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