Thursday, June 20, 2019

undergarments



It's taken me years of trial and error to end up with a collection of undergarments that I think work really well for me, and I thought that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared what I've learned here today. I've spent countless hours googling "strapless bras that actually work" to no avail and I know I would have loved it if I had stumbled upon this post at some point instead of ordering 200 strapless bras over the last 10 years and sorting them out through trial and error, lol. (Also it took all of my willpower not to title this post "underpants!" and start with a gif of Cory from Boy Meets World)

BRAS

First of all, I have a small band size and a large cup size so I've had a really difficult time finding bras that fit me since I was 13 years old, let alone pretty bras. I can remember all of my friends getting cute ones with ladybugs and butterflies printed on them and I was always stuck with plain white or ivory. It was like the binders scene in The Trouble with Angels where all of the girls want the beautiful brassieres and bustiers, and then Mother Superior walks in and orders plain white bras for everyone. Except in my case Mother Superior was Mother Nature dictating that my bra size relegated me to a world of ugly frumpy undergarments.

So naturally I was over the moon when I found this Wacoal bra. It has really good lift, which is something I have a hard time finding, but it's actually pretty and comes in a ton of fun colors! It did come with a little rhinestone on the front that I thought was tacky, so I cut it off, but otherwise this is literally perfect. It's an "up front and center" look but rounded instead of pointy. It just creates the perfect lift and shape.

My other favorite bra is the Bali flower bra. This one creates a little bit more of a bullet bra look. VERY good lift and a slightly more pointy shape. I should note that most of the things I'm listing here are more for the look than the comfort. It seems like most new bras that come out now are geared towards comfort and yes, when I'm lounging around the house I usually switch to a more comfortable bra, but when I'm out I want the girls lifted and shaped nicely and I honestly don't think underwires are as painful as commercials for wireless bras make them out to be, lol.

Here's an example of what I look like when I'm wearing the Bali flower bra (left, brown dress) vs. when I accidentally left on my around-the-house bra for outfit photos (right, pink dress.) This is the bra I wear around the house (and, if I'm being totally honest, I also wear it to sleep. I know, you're not supposed to. I still do.) I also wear this one with sweatshirts or t-shirts since the high lift and pointy shape looks a little wacky in casual wear (at least in my opinion.)



For strapless bras, I have two favorites. The one that does the best job for me is the Carnival corset bra, which is like a longline bustier. The boning on the bodice keeps things lifted well and it doesn't slip down like a regular strapless bra normally would. In the summer, though, sometimes a full body bra isn't quite realistic. It may not be a real corset but wearing one in 90' heat sure feels like it's the same thing! So when it's super hot out I go for this Wacoal halo strapless bra. It provides lift and it stays put. Almost every strapless bra I've ever purchased has slowly but surely made its way down to my belly button throughout the day, and this is the first one that didn't really budge. It does have a slight minimizing effect and can create a little bit of fat roll under the elastic band on the back but it's a small price to pay for being able to wear spaghetti strap dresses, right? In the photo below I'm wearing my Carnival corset bra:



I also really like body briefers for creating a nice seamless, smooth surface. My favorite is the Bali Lace N'Smooth Body Briefer. If you've never tried one of these before, they're really a godsend. It has a nice low back which is good for low back dresses, and it's so seamless that you never have to worry about your bra lines showing on the back or side. Plus it's actually pretty comfortable and has snaps on the bottom for easy bathroom access.

SLIPS

I wear two different types of slips. The first kind are full dress slips with bras built in, like this one. These are perfect for when you want to wear a dress that's a little tighter or the fabric shows bumps and lumps a little too much. I prefer this way more than wearing actual shapewear since it's all one piece (but it's a dress so it's open on the bottom for easy bathroom access!) I mostly wear these for special occasions. One thing I'd note is that I tend to order a larger band size than normal for these since I have wide hips, and my regular size was just too small to fit over them.

On a daily basis I wear slip shorts or "pettipants." These are my favorite, since you can cut them to be shorter. I see so many reviews of dresses online that say things like "I had to return it because it was see through!" or "the fabric was so sheer you could see my underwear through the skirt!" and I'm like, you silly goose, that's what slips are for! I would take a translucent dress with a slip over a well-lined dress any day of the week. I think lining bunches too much and makes dresses feel too bulky.

Slip shorts are useful for so many reasons -- in the winter, they keep your dress from clinging to your tights. In the spring they provide modesty when the wind inevitably blows your skirt up around your head. And in the summer they prevent your thighs from rubbing together when it's hot outside. And all year long they allow you some freedom that you don't normally have wearing a dress. With slip shorts underneath you can ride a bike, sit cross-legged on the ground, or do a cartwheel. You've got shorts on! And, of course, they add some opacity to your outfit and prevent sheer garments from exposing your underwear underneath. If I could recommend just one thing on this list, it would be pettipants.

STOCKINGS

In the winter I usually wear black tights or these Capezio body tights in light suntan. They're warmer than pantyhose but still give the appearance that you're going barelegged in the winter, which is nice since not every outfit really works with black tights.

Depending on my outfit and which shoes I'm wearing, I do wear pantyhose pretty often in the spring and summer. There's a few reasons - I'm self conscious about cellulite on my thighs and I find that pantyhose really minimizes it, so I'm way more comfortable and confident wearing short skirts and dresses in the summer that way. It also seems to help prevent getting blisters on the back of my ankle. I never get blisters in the winter, and I realized it must be because I always wear tights. Bingo! I was right. So now whenever a particular pair of shoes is giving me trouble, I start wearing stockings with them.

I've never found a pair of full pantyhose that I really liked, mostly because they always either feel too tight on my waist or they start rolling down during the day. So I switched to thigh highs and I'm pretty happy with that decision. I've been getting the West Loop lace top thigh highs in the color beige mist from Walgreens, and they're perfect. They don't cut into my leg and they don't ride down or bunch at the ankle.

How I feel about an outfit can sometimes rest entirely on what I'm wearing underneath. When I buy new clothes, I always make sure I'm wearing the right bra when I try them on because it can really make the difference between loving the dress or thinking that it makes me look frumpy. Knowing that I have slip shorts in my arsenal erases the need for my dresses to come pre-lined. If a dress is clingy, I know that I can change into a body briefer or slip dress and erase any nagging lumps. Once you've figured out the best foundation for your garments it makes getting dressed and feeling good about what you're wearing so much easier :)

Friday, June 7, 2019

arms are for hugging



Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and to raise awareness for the cause Everytown for Gun Safety is asking people to wear orange June 7 - June 9.

In America we are TWENTY FIVE TIMES more likely to be killed by a gun than citizens of other developed countries. Every single day 100 Americans are killed by guns. 100. Every. Single. Day. That's unacceptable.

I've always been a proponent of gun control, but ever since the Newtown tragedy it's felt so much more urgent. No parent should ever be afraid to send their kids to school. Nobody should ever be scared to go to the movies, or to shop at the mall. Honestly if I had my way, I'd get rid of guns entirely. I hate that they are used for hunting animals, and I hate that they're used for killing people. I just don't understand the need for a machine thats sole purpose is to kill.

But most gun safety organizations, like Everytown, aren't actually trying to get rid of guns entirely. They're seeking common ground with people like me (guns are evil!) and people who are responsible gun owners that never want to see another American massacre. They want background checks and safety locks and reasonable, common sense laws that will keep guns out of the hands of people who might hurt innocent children or church-goers or college students.

Wearing orange today, tomorrow, and Sunday will help raise awareness for this vital cause. You can learn more, take action, and/or make a donation on Everytown's website, here.

And honestly the most important thing you can do is vote. Vote for candidates who will keep us safe, not the ones that are beholden to the gun lobby. Vote in primaries, local elections, midterms, every single time that you can cast a vote, do it! And if you aren't registered yet, you can do that right here.

Finally, this weekend I'll be donating the profits from my "Arms are for hugging" t-shirt to Everytown. You can find the shirt in my Threadless shop right here. I also have it available in pink lettering here.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

stars and stripes



First of all, do you see how long my hair is?? It's finally reached a length where I'm not anxiously tracking the rate of growth each week. I can calm down and just live my life. In three months I'll have been growing out that darn pixie cut for two whole years and I feel like I've finally reached the point where it's not driving me crazy anymore. The last two years have been so weird and dramatic and scary that it seems silly that I've been so hung up on my hair throughout it all, but it's like every time I looked in the mirror I missed seeing *me* looking back. The lack of normalcy probably just made me feel more unstable about everything else going on in my life. Ugh this is all so cheesy and #firstworldproblems I shouldn't even be talking about my hair but it's a little thing that's mattered a lot to me and I'm glad I have more of it now.

Secondly, I wanted to devote a few sentences to this beauty of a dress. It reminds me so much of vintage Biba, maybe more of their branding than their actual dresses, but I just absolutely love it! It arrived right after I had listed things for my closet sale last week and I can tell it's one of those pieces that I just know I could never part with. There are some dresses in my wardrobe that have been with me through every closet sale for the last 9 years and I had the same feeling about all of them when I first got them. Some are really unique and special, like this one, and some are just really versatile like this one, but as long as those threads hold together they're mine, all mine.



Thursday, May 9, 2019

shop my closet is LIVE!



My closet sale is LIVE now! Please note that even though I'm doing this on Poshmark this time, I priced everything as low as I'm willing to go, so I'm not accepting offers. I'm really, really hoping to raise enough money from this sale to give my mom a down payment for a car for Mother's Day so even if you're not my size or don't see anything you're interested in please pass on my Poshmark link to anyone you know who might be interested :) My mom is super awesome and I really want to be able to do this for her :)

Here is the link for my closet shop!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

shop my closet alert!



I've been planning this shop my closet sale for what feels like a year now, and I am FINALLY doing it!! Tomorrow me and my brother are going to shoot all the photos and I'll start listing them either tomorrow night or Thursday morning. I'm going to be using Poshmark this time, and you can keep an eye on my account here. I'll also put up alerts on all my social media accounts when everything is listed, too :)

I am going to be listing mostly dresses and tops in sizes US 8 and Medium. And shoes in a size US 7. I'm hoping to scrape up enough money to give my mom a down payment for a car for Mother's Day, so the items will be priced to sell! :D

Monday, May 6, 2019

when life gives you lemons



Sorry again for the unexpected hiatus! Right after we got back from vacation my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia, someone close to me had a mental health crisis, my dad got sick, and Arrietty gave me a scare that turned out to be nothing, but frightened the wits out of me. My mom is doing a lot better now, but she had some complications that we're still not sure are okay (and the doctors are being weirdly cagey about discussing it?) I also got sick, probably since my body does not handle stress very well, and ended up with the worst case of bronchitis and asthma that I've had since I was little. I'm going on week 3 now and I still can't shake it completely. At least I can talk without coughing now, though, which I couldn't do for about two weeks.

But things are definitely looking up from where they started. My mom was home from the hospital in time for Easter, so we had a quiet dinner at home and I still cooked and decorated. I'll share some pictures from how it turned out later this week. We were all just so happy that my mom was able to come home that it was one of the best Easters we've ever had. And luckily I felt healthy enough this weekend to make it to the Montclair Film Festival where I saw Mindy Kaling's new movie, Late Night (with a Q&A, too!!) It was a total blast, and such a nice respite after a pretty trying couple of weeks. Oh, and this outfit is what I wore to the event. I wanted to pick my most Mindy-esque dress for the occasion!

I know most bloggers manage to keep it together and stick with their schedules when things go awry at home and a lot of people have things way worse than I do, but for me when things happen offline I just like to log off for a while and not worry about the internet. And inevitably, even when I'm away because of family crises, that time spent away from the computer always makes me want to cut back when I inevitably return. I don't know where I'm going with all this. I've been going back and forth the last week thinking maybe I want to cut back on my blog schedule or make less youtube videos -- especially since I'm planning, once again, on trying to go back to school and need to make room in my schedule for tests and homework -- but also there's the reality that even if I get my degree I'm years away from another career. I don't know. The internet is such a double-edged sword. Working from home allows me to spend all day with my cat, it allows me to set my own schedule and work in pajamas. But I'm constantly tethered to my computer. My income is painfully erratic, and as much as I love being creative, my body consistently hums with the frequency of humiliation and self doubt when the things I create do poorly online. These feelings are constant for me, but they always seem to snowball when life throws me curveballs, you know? Last month I seriously grappled with the possibility that I could lose three of the people that I love most in the entire world, and that hurt stirs up so much inside of you. I want life to mean more, I want to plan my time more wisely, I want to be 100% there for the people I love.

For now these thoughts are all so random and I'm still getting over being sick, I'm not making any rash decisions I'll regret at some point later on. I'm temporarily nixing my wishlist wednesday posts because they are way more time consuming than you might imagine and yet I don't think anyone really even looks at them, lol. I'll still be updating my wishlist on pinterest here though. And for the time being I'm pausing the youtube videos (I honestly don't have much of a voice right now to be able to do them, anyway, lol!) And this week I'm going over to my alma mater to release my transcripts so I can apply for a few online BA programs.

When I look back through my blog archives I have written SO MANY posts where I was like "I need to change! I want to pursue a different path in life and I'm doing it NOW!" and then I didn't change a darn thing. I hope so badly that I have some follow through this time and I don't look back at *this* post five years from now, shaking my head like "Kate you dumb cluck, what is the matter with you?!"


dress - asos | shoes - bait footwear | belt - from another dress

Friday, May 3, 2019

DIY Mickey Ears holder



Sorry for that little unexpected hiatus! I'll let you know what's been going on in my next outfit post on Monday but I just wanted to pop in today to share this ridiculously easy DIY that I came up with. I was looking for a way to store all of my Mickey ears when I came home from Disney World with two more pairs. I looked at some headband holders on amazon and then it dawned on me that the shape I was looking for was about the same size as a roll of paper towels.

I took a brand new roll of paper towels, rolled it in a pillowcase, and then tucked the ends of the pillowcase into the holes of the paper tube. Then I just put all of my mickey ears on the roll, and the ends of the headband keep it from rolling off the table. That's it! SO easy! And now all of my cute ears are on display without taking up too much room. I think at some point I'll probably get some cute Disney fabric to wrap the paper towels in instead of a pillowcase, but for an impromptu DIY the pillowcase worked perfectly! :)



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Style Idol - Sharon Tate


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

wishlist wednesday



1  -  2  -  3  -  4  -  5  -  6  -  7  -  8

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Style Idol - Jayne Mansfield


Monday, April 22, 2019

the happiest place on earth



If you watched my Packing for Disney World video you'll know that I was very torn between dressing up or just being lazy and wearing leggings (or maybe dressing up and changing into jeans or leggings each night?) I decided to pack enough clothes to decide once I was in Florida, and I ended up splitting it about half and half - I wore cute clothes three days and went super casual the other four. It was the best of both (Disney) worlds! Total, complete comfort a couple days and photo-worthy cuteness on the others! :D



Saturday, April 20, 2019

recipe: roasted vegetable pot pie



I'm hosting my first Easter dinner tomorrow and I'm cooking up individual veggie pot pies for everyone! I decided to do a test-run of my recipe to make sure it would be peak delicious, and so I would have time to tweak anything that needed to be changed before I make the actual dinner tomorrow. One great thing about this recipe is that you can make the filling the day beforehand, and refrigerate it. So that will cut my actual cooking time on Easter in half! I also did my test-run with pre packaged pie crust but tomorrow I'll be using my mom's homemade crust recipe, which I'm including below.

This came out exactly how I wanted it to. The roasted vegetables make this different from a normal pot pie, but it still has the kind of classic comfort food feeling that I was going for. I think this will definitely be my go-to recipe for Easter every year now!

I wanted to make sizable individual pies, so I used these 24oz baking dishes. This recipe will make six 24oz pot pies.

Vegetables
1 bag of carrot sticks
2 large zucchini
2 pounds asparagus
2 bags of frozen green beans
2 leeks (white and light green parts only)
2 pounds of potatoes, skin on
1 pound of sweet potatoes, skin on
1 c. corn
1 head of garlic

First chop all of your fresh vegetables and garlic into small bite sized pieces. Toss them with a little olive oil and sea salt and then roast at 400' for 30 minutes. I pre-microwaved my potatoes and my frozen green beans and corn before roasting them so that they were fully cooked before going in the oven to get crispy.

Filling
3 c. vegetable broth
6 tbsp. flour (or corn starch)
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. parsley
pink sea salt to taste

Whisk the ingredients for the filling on low/medium heat in a saucepan until the mixture starts to thicken. Keep stirring so that it doesn't get clumpy! When it's nice and thick, take it off the heat and mix it with all of your roasted vegetables. Then fill your baking dishes with the mixture.

Crust
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. oil
3 tbsp. water

Mix flour, salt, and oil and then add water. Combine to form your pastry dough and then roll out. I cut out my crusts by placing an empty baking dish on top of the dough and tracing around the circle with a butter knife. Then just use a fork to create ridges along the edge of the pie crust in the baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 400' oven and let cool before enjoying!



I'm also making a gluten free crust for my Grandmom, who has Celiac. This is the recipe for the pie crust that I make for her:

Gluten Free Crust
2c. gluten free flour
4 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. water

It's difficult to roll this out so I just sort of piece it together. But it tastes very close to the real thing!

Friday, April 19, 2019

great big beautiful tomorrow



I'm back from Disney World! I enjoyed being there so much that it felt like my trip flew right by, but I also missed Arrietty so much that I felt like I was gone for 2 months. Isn't it weird how you can simultaneously feel like a substantial amount of time has passed, and that none has passed at all?

I really had a good time though, and I made so many wonderful memories. One of my favorites was on our last night in The Magic Kingdom when it started pouring rain, and me and my brother decided to buy ponchos and stay in the park while everyone else hurried out into the parking lot. There was no wait for any of the rides we went on, and the park was practically deserted! Even on our normal standing-room-only bus ride back to the hotel we were the only passengers!

I also had so much good food. Omg! The Epcot Flower and Garden festival was going on while I was there, and the Roasted Cauliflower that I tried at their honey stand was *chef's kiss.* I ate THREE of them!! And we had dinner at Tony's Town Square at Magic Kingdom where I got gnocchi with veggies and pesto and it was out of this world. They make the gnocchi on site and I don't want to be one of those people (or maybe I do..) but it was the best gnocchi I've tried outside of Italy.

All in all it was just a really beautiful vacation and totally worth the wicked sunburn that I'm suffering through this week (ouch!)


dress - modcloth (old) | cardigan - amazon | shoes - bait footwear

Thursday, April 18, 2019

video: my skincare routine



For this week's video I thought I'd share my skincare routine! I have very sensitive, very dry skin and I have rosacea, so finding products that don't irritate my skin is a battle. And finding ones that make my skin look nice and glowy and hydrated and healthy is even harder. But the routine I've been using for about six months has been working wonders for me, and I talk about it in this video. I also included links to all of the products in my video description box on youtube, here.

I hope you like this video, and please consider subscribing if you haven't yet! :)


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

wishlist wednesday



1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

suburban serendipity



A few days ago I had to go to Old Navy to buy a pair of flip-flops for my Disney trip (last time I was at a hotel with a swimming pool I totally forgot about footwear and had to make the impossible choice between wearing very nice shoes to go to the pool, or walking out of my hotel room completely barefoot) and when I got out of the car there was music in the air. It's one of those standard American shopping centers with an Old Navy, a Kohl's, and a Red Robin. The kind where you have to get back in your car and drive from store to store because they're spaced so far apart (I'll save my "indoor shopping malls were so much better than this!!" rant for another day.)

I walked around a little to try to see where the music was coming from, and saw a man playing an accordion outside of a Modell's sporting goods store. One of the things that I love about cities is how many times you're treated to someone playing their music outdoors, but I hardly ever get to experience that kind of beautiful serendipity in suburbia. It was so lovely.


dress - modcloth | sweater - amazon

Saturday, April 13, 2019

DIY easter bunny apron



This year will be my first year hosting Easter dinner for my family, and you know me.. I am going overboard. I'm so obsessed with the idea of forming new traditions with this dinner, so every decision has been something that I want to last for years to come. I got Beatrix Potter plates and carrot patterned cloth napkins, some incredibly cute wicker bunny decorations for the centerpiece, and little carrot shaped drawstring bags that I'll fill with goodies for each guest. Every year we go over my grandmom's for Christmas breakfast and I've always loved seeing the same decorations come out each year, the same sugar bowl, the same pastries from a local bakery. I want my family to feel that way about my Easter dinner. Ten or twenty years from now they'll be like "Yay! The Beatrix Potter plates!" or "I was looking forward to your vegetable pot pie all year!" I will definitely take photos and share details about my dinner afterwards, but today I wanted to show you a really easy quick DIY I whipped up!

I wanted a cute apron to wear on Easter while I'm cooking, since I'll want to be dressed in my Finest Pastels but I do not want to get food all over them. This apron is so incredibly easy to make -- and the only tools you need to make it are hot glue and scissors!



Materials needed:

Plain cotton apron (I got mine at Michaels)
Grey yarn
Wooden buttons
Pink and cream colored felt



Cut out two bunny ears from the cream fabric, and then two smaller bunny-ear shapes from the pink. Hot glue the pink shapes onto the cream shapes to form your ears!

Then simply hot glue the bunny ear pieces onto the straps of your apron (I attached the bottom of the ear to each corner of the apron, and then ran hot glue along the length of strap that the ear would be covering.) Hot glue the buttons on for eyes, and hot glue strips of yarn on to make a nose and whiskers. You could definitely sew this on, too, if you have the right needle for it! I just wanted to whip this up quickly and hot glue was easiest!

And voila - you have a cute little bunny apron for Easter!



Friday, April 12, 2019

six seasons



Every once in a while I randomly pick a month in my blog archive and re-read some of my old posts. I've said this so many times, but my blog is kind of like a diary to me and there are so many memories that I've shared here that I haven't written down anywhere else. Tonight I clicked on May 2013 and realized that was when I went to The Office convention in Scranton (six years ago?? REALLY?) Reading this post was the most wonderful stroll down memory lane. I had forgotten some of the details, like Rainn Wilson giving Dwight's speech on stage or how surprised Greg Daniels was when I asked for a photo with him. I'm constantly in the middle of rewatching The Office, but reading my post and reliving that amazing weekend just makes me want to go back to episode 1 and start all over again for the thousandth time!


sweater - amazon | skirt - modcloth
shoes - bait footwear | shirt - sammi's closet sale