Gwynnie Bee Review

shipping

It’s a little unfair, and even presumptuous I suppose, to speak on matters in which one is not even a semi- or quasi- expert, but I am prefacing this now by declaring there’s a lot I still don’t quite get about Gwynnie Bee.

Gwynnie Bee bills themselves as a clothing rental subscription service for women sizes 10-32.  Which really, sounds pretty fantastic for people who are looking for services which cater to a wider range of sizes.  Depending on the brand, I can wear anywhere from a size 10 to a size 14, so I fall at the lower end of this spectrum, but in perusing the selections on the site, I still found a lot of pieces that might work for me, fit wise.

I think how it is supposed to work is that:

1. You open an account. Either by invite or referral? I am not certain. I got an invite.  It might be the same thing, and I think either way the person who invites/refers you gets some kind of credit. This post, by the way, is liberally peppered with referral links, so if you decide to sign up, I may get some kind of credit.
2. You choose what sort of plan you’d like  -one at a time/two at a time/ three at a time – it’s sort of like netflix, I guess. And then start browsing through their selection and adding things you like to your “closet”.
3. As I understood it, once your closet hit 25 items, Gwynnie Bee starts shipping things to you according to your plan… but I hit a snag when I couldn’t even find 25 things on the site that I liked all that much.  So after playing around with it for 15 minutes or so, I promptly forgot it.
4. They send you the stuff, you wear it for as long as you want, you either send it back for more stuff, or you buy it.

Imagine my surprise when, a week later, I received a shipping confirmation! I wasn’t overly concerned because the first month is free and I figured well, ok, they’ll send me some stuff, I will check it out and send it back, and there’s really nothing at all to lose here, right? Alright, then.

Right off the bat I like that although you’re guaranteed that what is being sent to you is something you’ve already expressed interest in, you don’t really know exactly what is being sent to you, so there is still an element of surprise.  I mean otherwise, it’s just regular online shopping and while that’s fun, it sort of loses the element of novelty that these services really capitalize on.

The box arrives via FedEx, neatly packed with several cards that I did not bother to read, a return envelope, and the three dresses are contained within.

IGIGI

igigi2

 

The IGIGI Francine Dress In Mulberry Tapestry is pretty much exactly the sort of thing I like to wear, even though I do suffer from extreme rhodophobia.  There’s something about this particular red that is lush and opulent and I really quite love it. The ornate, scroll-y pattern is right up my alley and the dress is very flattering. It’s long enough that I wouldn’t have to wear it with leggings or tights, although that would look quite nice, too.  The tie/sash thing, however, is really long. How are you supposed to tie this?  In the front?  In the back? Hm.  On the model they’ve somehow made it look like an obi, and I’d like to figure out how they’ve done this.  They are calling this size a 14-16 and I am not sure why I didn’t just go with the 12, because I think I could definitely afford to size down. It is $53.50 to purchase outright.

Sage and Spruce

Sage and Spruce2

 

When I saw the shipping email listing the SPRUCE & SAGE Eclipse Sketch Fit & Flare Dress I thought to myself “…um, why did I think I liked this?” but in person it’s really great.  I love the print, I feel like some manic toddler really went to town on it with some ill-advised Sharpies. The fit is absolutely perfect and I think it’s the first time that a dress waist hits my actual waist, as opposed to right up under my boobs, which is what usually happens.  It’s just a smidge away from being slightly snug, but since movement is not hampered and there’s no weird stretching or puckering, I think it is probably fine.  I also think I am probably just not used to having things actually fit me.  For reference, this is the size 10-12 and $30 to purchase.  Which seems like a fantastic deal, since I didn’t have to pay the box fee during this free trial month (otherwise it would be $80 +$30?)

karenkane

karenkane2

 

The Karen Kane stripe uneven hem dress is the one that I thought I might like the most and surprisingly it’s the one I am least happy with. I love the white stripes against the black, the asymmetric hem, all of it…but it just doesn’t add up to a very flattering picture.  I got the smallest size they offered (0X) and unfortunately, it’s still pretty baggy on me.  Which is makes me a little sad, because it really is adorable and it is so soft and comfortable.  I checked on the pricing and apparently I can purchase it for $50 which seems kind of strange to me, as this seems to be the most casual of the lot, with the least bells and whistles.  Ah well, you can’t win ’em all.  And this is not really an unusual style, so I can probably find it elsewhere.  Or else gain 20 lbs so that it fits better. Hey, I like pizza and bagels, I can make that work.

So…I am still not sure what I think about this, and at this point I am not even sure what to do?  Pack up the one that didn’t work, send it back, and continue to wear the others?  During this free trial month will they send me something else from my closet right away?  Or do I have to send the other two back/purchase them first?

And I see that a lot of people write on site reviews of the pieces they have received – do you receive some sort of credit for doing this?  I mean, I’d be all over that – I have stuff to say about things, and I can go on at length, believe you me! I mean have you read my yelp reviews?  I’m just saying – I have opinions and I like to share them.

Needless to say, I still have a few questions that need answering before I would fully recommend this to anyone, but I will say so far that the two dresses I have received in this shipment are some of the most flattering I have ever owned…for what it’s worth.

Thoughts? Suggestions?  Gwynnie Bee tips and tricks? Enlighten me – I am all ears!
And hips and bosoms, if you go by the pictures above!  Sorry to subject you to that, by the way.

Guest Post: Where I Come From

As I am currently traveling, one of my wonderful sisters has been kind enough to write a thoughtful guest post for Unquiet Things.  Read more about this brave, sweet, sensitive soul over at Under The Shadow Of The Mountain.

corn

“You’ve haunted me all my life
You’re always out of reach when I’m in pursuit
Long winded then suddenly mute
And there’s a flaw in my heart’s design
For I keep trying to make you mine…”
-Death Cab for Cutie

 

“Where do you come from?”

It’s a common enough question, and simple enough, too. So why don’t I have a simple answer? “I live in California,” I tell people. “But I was born in Ohio, and I grew up in Florida. But I’m FROM Indiana.” Why do I tell people that, when I only lived in Indiana for two years; when really, it’s my mother and her father and his father and so on, back to 1820, who are from there? How can I be from there?

I’m from there because, quite simply, Indiana has haunted me since I was a child. It haunted me each time I asked my grandparents to tell me about the “olden days” growing up on the farm in the Depression. It haunted me when I looked out at the humidity-choked Florida summers and wondered what it was like to experience seasons. It haunted me when I gazed up at at the popcorn ceiling in our 3 bedroom-2-bath Florida ranch-house, and imagined what it would be like to live in an old farmhouse or bungalow. It haunted me as I told people we came from “Good Midwestern farmer stock.” It haunted me and it never quit, until, when I was 24, I made the decision to move to Indiana for grad school and to stop wondering, dammit, and start living. And of course, I fell in love.

 spring

What wasn’t to love? I was besotted with a Hoosier boy, who was agreeably besotted back. I was enchanted by the silent, eerie glow of fireflies on summer nights. I got excited by cornfields, for god’s sake. I dragged Hoosier Boy around to just gawk at old houses. The often-dilapidated barns–hundreds, maybe even thousands of them–across the state never failed to impress me, the way they endured neglect for decades and still stood, quietly dignified. The unreal, vivid green of springtime dazzled me, even as the thunderclouds from potentially deadly spring storms roiled overhead and the tornado sirens wailed their weird warble across the countryside. The absurd county fairs, notorious for deep-fried anything, bemused and beguiled me in equal portions. Our family history began to intrigue me, especially when I found out that my great-great grandparents were buried one county over. I eventually made the cheesy remark to Hoosier Boy that I was “exploring the land of my past with the man of my future.”

But of course, love is complicated. And there has always been enough of the academe-trained liberal in me to know that there were parts of Indiana that would never, will never, sit well with me. The work ethic and the courtesy of Middle Americans are no myth, but neither is their stoic reserve–and for an in-your-face, say-everything kinda gal like me, I never felt like I fit in. There are strong conservative elements (I’ll avoid other, more judge-y terms) in Indiana that have definitely presented themselves on an embarrassingly national stage recently, that made and make me feel uncomfortable at best and ashamed at worst.

But I never stopped loving Indiana.

Not even when I had to leave to nurture my career and nurse a broken heart. That was almost ten years ago now, and believe it or not, my heart is still broken. Or perhaps it just yearns for what it can’t have–a settled, anonymous kind of life, in Middle America, in an Indianapolis suburb.

fall

The late and great David Foster Wallace once said, Every love story is a ghost story. And in its most basic, broken-down form, this is truth. When you love someone, you give them the power to haunt you, should you ever lose them. And if the people we love can haunt us, can linger and haunt places, I think it stands to reason that places can haunt people, too. Indiana certainly haunts me.

I wonder, will I haunt Indiana someday?

winter

 

this, that and the other thing (xiii)


US Map of Horror Movies: Around 250 horror movies (and horror themed thrillers) for 50 States plus Washington D.C

 

Do you know your tikbalangs from your duwendes? Says Mikey Bustos ““We Filipinos have some really crazy mythical beings. Imagine they were all rap stars!” I have seriously watched this video, like 20 times in the past 12 hours.  It’s fantastic.
(h/t Madeleine Spencer)

 

From Chanel to Valentino, a First Look at the Dresses in the Met’s “China: Through the Looking Glass”

 

Though I stumbled across Evi Vine only today, I am fairly certain just from this stunning teaser-trailer alone, that debut album, Give Your Heart To The Hawks, is going to quickly become a favorite.

 

This Sunday, April 26 2015, be certain to head out to Brooklyn Zine Fest from 11am to 6pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society and visit the Heretical Sexts booth, manned by brilliant mastermind, Tenebrous Kate. Copies of all HS zines plus buttons, stickers, and exclusive mini zines will be available! Also -debuting at the fest is the Witch Women zine, in which I am honored to have been a contributor.  (Images via Kate’s instagram)

How to be polite. An extremely worthwhile read. This piece really resonated with me, on so many levels. I have felt this way since always. (h/t Amit)

The soundtrack that made Twin Peaks. I was just trying to explain to someone yesterday that while I love the music for this show, the main theme in the opening credits literally, *literally* made me want to puke.  It was such a visceral reaction.  I love the rest of the music in the show, and I appreciate the different character’s themes, but there’s just something about the track for the opening credits that plucks uneasily at my guts. I can’t even describe it without sounding like a dummy, but it hits me right in the dummy feels, I think. Not something I can articulate on a higher-brain level. It’s like…bland, benign…yet blighted (?) hold music. And you’re on hold forever. It speaks to some fear I have of waiting forever for the other shoe to drop. The big, doom-filled shoe in the sky that you can’t even see but somehow you know it’s there and it’s a cloudless, sunny day…and you are just waiting…waiting…waiting…to be stomped into oblivion. (h/t Drax)

A role playing game about ghosts, in just 150 words.  You and your friends play spirits of the dead, each with something holding you back from crossing over. With a brief, structured question and answer set and a single die, you discover and resolve your unfinished business. That’s it. (h/t John H.)

Helpful Spring Cleaning Advice From Gothic Novelist Shirley Jackson
“You may not know why you do it, but it must be done for it has always been done and so it will always be done. Never question the cleaning, just give in to the gentle sweep of the brush and the delicate glug of the bleach slipping down your throat.”
(h/t Sarah )

Trash Twins Podcast: Italians Do It Better, part 2. Sarah Horrocks and Katy Skelly talk Milo Manara and Guido Crepax.

20 THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT WHEN YOU’RE TOTALLY STUCK. There’s actually some decent ideas here, or at least some good jumping-off points.

the consistency of empty space

A new mix, inspired Roland Topor’s psychological thriller, The Tenant.

Track list: 

Equilibrium, Kammerflimmer Kollektief | Undefined Black Hole, Low Orbit Drift | Hearing Weird Noises In The Back Room, Joel Fausto & The Illusion Orchestra | The Lady In The Lake/Killer In The Rain, Low Light Situations | Lucidity: Awakening (Nineteen 20 II), Somnambulist Quintet | Constant Fear, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore | Loops Haunt, Howl | ID Situation, Laica | Circumstances Quickly Became Questioned, Vatican Shadow | Roteano, Andrea Belfi | In Dreams I Offend Myself, Heroin and Your Veins| Being Human Being, Erik Truffaz & Murcof

That’s progress, sugar

Recently one of my sisters and I, along with our significant others, embarked on a road trip that involved a lot of car time. This was of course much different than the journeys of our youth where we relied on coloring books and sticker albums for entertainment; no, in present day we instead spent most of the time staring at our phones and ignoring each other.  My sister, however, rediscovered a website she had found ages ago, Cliquey Pizza  –  a blog focused on 80’s YA books series & pop culture – and we took turns scrolling through the blog, getting more and more excited as we unearthed beloved gems from when we were younger.

My reading was never censored as a child; I was encouraged to read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. By 5th and 6th grade I was reading Stephen King and Clive Barker and HP Lovecraft, Robert Heinlein and Richard Matheson. In retrospect…did I understand the nuances of the stories I was reading? Was I able to digest the philosophies or relate to the characters?  Probably not fully, but I certainly related to these stories more closely than I did to blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield from the Sweet Valley High books that most other girls my age were reading, that’s for sure.

Despite the fact that I could roam where ever I wished within the library, I often found my way back to the young adult section when I was that age – and I am glad that I did.  I was born in 1976 and the mid-80’s was rife with really phenomenal young adult writers – Ellen Conford, Lois Duncan, Judy Blume – these ladies knew how to tell a story … and they didn’t need a werewolf or a vampire to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my blood-thirsty supernatural creatures, but if I had discovered them in the “Paranormal Romance” section of Barnes and Noble, I might have an entirely different relationship with the creatures of the night than I do now.

 

Ellen Conford wrote YA in just a twisted enough way that you felt like more of an adult while reading it. The writing is sharp and sophisticated, and you really wanted to be friends with her heroines -they always had such a clever wit and a sly sense of humor.  The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial Highschool Handbook Of Rules And Regulations is a prime example of Ellen Conford at the height of her hilarity. I remember reading some passages and not being able to breathe because I laughing so hard.  If you’ve ever used Zoroaster’s birthday as an excuse to get out of gym class or penned shitty poetry just so you can get published in the school paper, then I really think you will appreciate the main character, Julie, who is just trying to muddle through her freshman year of high school.  I suppose it’s a little dated – I don’t think teenagers had crushes on Robert Redford even when I was reading it – but I don’t think those details really detract from the story.  To be honest, I am fairly certain teens are facing entirely different problems today than Julie did at AGGMH – but the story is so much fun that this is easily overlooked.  I am pretty sure that I don’t even want to know what teenagers have to deal with today. I doubt hilarity often ensues.

I don’t quite recall the other books I’ve read by Conford other than And This Is Laura, which was also pretty great, but I don’t think anything can ever top The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial Highschool Handbook Of Rules And Regulations. I was very sorry to read just today that Ellen Conford passed away last month.

The title of this post is taken from a poem written by one of the characters, and I can’t find it now because I no longer have my copy of the book, otherwise I would post it in its entirety. It’s awful and pretty batshit left-wing teen angsty, and the last line is “…that’s progress sugar.”

For all the Stephen King on my young person’s shelf, no  author gave me such intense shivers as Lois Duncan. Twenty five years later, I still try to pinpoint precisely why that is. Perhaps while King’s characters were often older teenagers or adults dealing with jobs and children (along with rabid dogs and killer cars) Duncan’s heroines were young women closer to my age and who shared my concerns.

In Down A Dark Hall, Kit is a young woman who is shipped off to a sinister boarding school while her mother and stepfather are away on their honeymoon.  That’s already a significant change for a young adult to process, in addition to the internal changes she is experiencing as well.  Adding to the mix a strange, new environment and eerie goings-on that literally made my hair stand on end as I read it – this became a book I would read again and again because I could picture myself so well as Kit with her myriad, mundane problems in the midst of a growing supernatural mystery.

It’s strange to admit, that other than Stranger With My Face, I’ve not read anything else by Lois Duncan, which is crazy when you consider that she is the lady who wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer!  I think I am going to make this upcoming June/July The Summer of Lois Duncan, wherein I read everything she’s ever written.

There are so many more of these books that I treasure for their humor and insight and wonderfully creepy suspense sans gore, and some of them which really gutted me on an emotional level as well… but Ellen Conford’s Alfred G. Graebner Memorial Highschool Handbook Of Rules And Regulations and Lois Duncan’s Down A Dark Hall are without a doubt, my forever favorites.

Tell me of the books and stories that you loved as a young adult. Are they stories that still resonate with you? Would you still feel that frisson of excitement flipping through those pages? Are those books still on your shelves?

I wonder if I have read them, too, and remember them just as fondly.

this, that, and the other thing (xii)

royalty

The Royal Dress-Maker game by sarriathmoonghost is inspired by old dressup stickers and paperdolls and features influences from historical clothing during the Medieval, Renaissance, Rococo and Victorian era. It is too much addictive fun. My creation (above) is just one of many that I spent an obscene amount of time playing around with.

 

Texts From Your Existentialist is my new favorite Instagram account

 

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015, by Bess Lovejoy over at the smithsonian.com, featuring haunting hotels, whaling museums, burial grounds and crystal caves seems like the perfect guide for a summer roadtrip.

 

Have you ever wondered what the play poster for Hellraiser would have looked in Victorian times? Ari Pramagioulis certainly has and his vision is really quite wonderful.

 

This Sailor Moon tarot by Deviant Art user sillabub429 is so perfect and spot on.  How I wish it were a real thing!

The Joan of Arc Museum Opens in France

The “incatatory”, “incendiary” poetry of Janaka Stucky, featured over at phantasmaphile

Dario Argento’s Suspiria to be developed into a television show?

Honey from a Dark Hive has the most exquisite screen captures from some beautifully intriguing films.  I basically have my “to watch” list for the next year.

Never enough photos of star trails.

Ethereal, diaphanous….pleats? Strangely, this works for me. Michael Lo Sordo – Runway – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2015

Oof.  Heartbreaking and informative. PTSD: The Wound That Never Heals (h/t theremina)

Jamie Dee over at WolfNWhisky has some fantastic Record Store Day Tips for us!

 

For your ears

A bit of a brain dump; some things that have been buzzing in my ears lately; whether you like satanic folk stylings, soft, warbly crooners, melancholy piano tinklings, pale, skinny melodrama, or doom-drenched dirges – I think there are enough relatively current earsounds listed here for everyone to find something new to love.

Plans

I like plans.

They make me feel less anxious about a situation.  It doesn’t have to be my plan, I don’t have to be the one to execute it, and it certainly doesn’t have to be perfect – but having some kind of plan in place does much to stabilize my comfort levels.

Of course, even the best of plans become fouled up and vexed at times.  Which has happened more times in my life than I care to count.

Last weekend, however, I found myself exactly where I wanted to be, at just the right time in my life and in the company of the very people with whom I would want to share the experience. This was a plan that had taken 12+ years to come together, but I would not have wanted it any other way.

The Decemberists at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, April 10, 2015

 

When I first found out about The Decemberists, I was 27 years old and at a strange place in my life.  I’ve written about it before and there’s no need to go into it again, but it was a state of crisis that would last for nearly ten years.  I think I had always loved music before that point, but it was during this time that I actively began to seek refuge in it.  One of my favorite things to do – and remains to this day – became finding new musicians to love and to share with others.  In 2003ish, through my very favorite webcomic artist John Allison, I stumbled upon The Decemberists.

I believe they make his “best of” lists every year, and lordy, if he doesn’t describe them perfectly:

2004

2004

 

2005

2005

2006

2006

It’s hard for me to articulate just why I became so enamored with their music; I’m not certain if it actually touches me on an emotional level, but I think that what is does do is speak to the dreamer in me. This is the dusty, dreamy band of musicians I would have created in my head: they conjure such an absurd, rag-tag world full of somber fables, melancholy allegories, and bizarre historical dreamscapes. Such snazzy wordplay, too; intricate hyperliterate lyrics, theatrical and clever.

I can’t imagine someone not familiar with The Decemberists, but then again – what do I know of what other people listen to? I still don’t know who Ed Sheeran is, to tell you the truth, and I can barely name one song on the radio right now. I suppose we all have our obsessions and the tunnel-visioned blinders that block out most everything else as part of that. However, if you’ve not listened to them before, peep in at this Tiny Desk Concert over at NPR that they did a few years ago.  It’s a nice, clear sound, and though it’s not exactly the freaky balladry that they are known for, I do think it provides a lovely introduction for the uninitiated.

 

 

But listening to someone go on about their favorite band is not always very interesting (unless they happen to be your favorite band, of course) so I’ll not draw this out unnecessarily.  Suffice it to say that the opportunity to see them live last weekend was not a chance that I could lightly pass on…even though the performance was to take place seven hours north of where I lived.

10 years ago I don’t think I could have imagined myself able to make such a trip, and I certainly didn’t imagine it with these people – but what fun we had!  Even when we were being mean and awful:

My boyfriend and my sister’s husband are talking and laughing with the couple behind us, as if they are all old friends.  She and I look back and then glance at each other in abject horror.

Her: I wish strangers who talk to me would just stop talking to me
Me: I wish they’d just drop dead.

We grasp each other’s hands and cackle like the mad harpies that we are.

At that moment, I had an out of body experience.  It sounds strange, but that’s exactly what happened.  I was myself one moment holding my sister’s hand, and the next I was outside myself.  I stood next to myself and felt a great sense of peace and happiness – a sort of state of being that I imagine you only feel a few times in your life, if at all.

And I realize that for all my plans, all of the plans in the world…well, good luck with that. Even if you think you know where you are going, sometimes you just end up somewhere else.  Sometimes it’s on a different path in a different place and it’s full of hundreds of screaming hipster dads and you’re trancing out like a weirdo, and things could not possibly be more okay.

And I am okay with that.

The Stitch Fix Report: Fix #3

group

After a weekend roadtrip, I arrived home Sunday afternoon to find a familiar package on the doorstep.  You’re probably thinking “…good grief, give it a rest, lady! Enough is enough!”  And you’d be right!  I told myself I would give Stitch Fix  2-3 times to see how I felt about it – and to build up a bit of a work wardrobe – and I think after this box I have hit my threshold. I am probably going to scale it back to every other month, or as needed at this point.

You’ve got to understand, though, that most of my clothing purchases in the past few years have been tee shirts, and I brought practically nothing work related with me when I moved back from NJ to FL.  I didn’t bring much with me at all, actually – only what I could fit in my car. “You even couldn’t find a place in your car for a cherry pitter?”  my boyfriend will incredulously ask me.  Well, no.  I’m a terrible packer.  And I was never any good at Tetris. So I stuffed everything I thought I could fit into my little car and a lot of it had to go – including work clothes…and the aforementioned cherry pitter.  I guess that could have gone into the glove box.

To review, or if you are unfamiliar with Stitch Fix: you pay a $20 a month subscription fee (which can then be applied to the items you purchase); if you don’t like any of it, you can send it back in a prepaid bag, but then you are out $20.  If you purchase all of it, you get a 25% discount off the total. Whew! I think that’s basically the gist of it!  You can read more about my first two fixes here: Fix One & Fix Two.

card

 

I got Macy again as my Stylist and she really did a fantastic job with the items she picked out this time.  A monochrome palette – black and white and grey.  I am starting to think of it as Summer Goth Business Casual. AND was included the very same skirt I had seen someone else receive in their fix a few months ago.  I pinned it to my pinterest board and she managed to track it down for me.

dress

Teren Dot Print Dress

The Teren Dot Print dress by Papermoon, size large ($68) was very similar to the dress I received last month, but this one is infinitely more flattering. I think if I had gotten this one first I might not have kept the other one, but eh, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose. The material up top has more give and it creates more of a waistline, I think.  And the material for the skirt is really interesting.  Keeping this for sure.

 

skirt

Lyla Skirt

The Lyla Skirt, by Gilli, size large ($54) was an item that I’d seen another Stitch Fix subscriber receive and although we have totally different body types, I know that this is the kind of swingy-not-clingy skirt I love and it probably looks good on just about everyone.  It’s a lovely light grey, jersey-ish material, and though on the card it looks pleated, the pleats seem really soft, not stiff or severe.  Super cute with a Danzig tee shirt and a cardigan, right? A keeper!

 

top1

Astrid Spade Print Tie-Neck Blouse

I am a little unsure about the Astrid Spade Print Tie-Neck Blouse by 41Hawthorn, size large ($54). I love the black and white spade print, it reminds me of elegant lattice wall inserts I saw in a movie, maybe a recurring motif in The Fountain? The fit is fine, and I am really starting to love these sleeveless blouses.  Not because I love sleeveless tops or because my arms are attractively toned, but because I am a strong believer in cardigans with everything and in Florida, sleeves on top of sleeves starts to get pretty toasty. It’s nice to forego that extra layer of sleeve.  That tie-neck, though.  If it’s too floppy, it might start to get annoying.  However, with the discount for buying all five pieces, I am thinking it might be worth it to just keep this one.

 

top2

Esten Split Neck Blouse

People who know me well might be surprised that I am keeping the Esten Split Neck Blouse, by Collective Concepts, size large ($58).  Well, that’s assuming that anyone really cares, which I suspect they do not. But I am pretty notorious for never wearing white tops – as a matter of fact, I hate on them pretty openly.  But how cool and unexpected is this tiny lightening bolt print?  I had to have it.  Guess I will need to purchase a nude bra now.  At my age I should probably have more than just black underwear, anyway.  The fit is almost perfect, except where it doesn’t quite sit right along the bottom. it sort of flaps open.  But whatever. There’s going to be a cardigan over it.  Definitely keeping this one. Also, I think this will look pretty snazzy with that grey skirt, above, and this mustard cardigan (which I actually ordered this week).

 

top3

Leticia Lattice Detail Top

The Leticia Lattice Detail top by Fun2Fun (god, I hate the name of that company, ugh) size large, ($44) is probably the most comfortable piece of clothing I have ever owned, except for these yoga pants I am wearing right now that are ten years old and the elastic is totally shot. But this blouse is so light and airy, it’s practically like wearing nothing.  The lattice detail gives it a bit of visual interest and I bet you could dress it up a bit with some jewelry.  Keeping this one, too.

Speaking of jewelry, I realized after my last Fix that I didn’t have many baubles that I would feel comfortable wearing around the normies, and I also don’t have much in the way of gold, which even though I don’t wear it much, I know it looks nice with my skin tone and coloring. I picked up a few really pretty gemstone necklaces from this etsy shop.  I thought the prices were reasonable and they have a nice selection.

baubles

Labradorite, aqua chalcedony, green onyx, & chrysoprase

 

So, getting back to what I said at the beginning of this post – I think this will be it for Stitch Fix for the time being. I guess it looks like I am quitting while I am ahead (I’ve been lucky enough to get a few stylists who really figured me out), but truthfully, I just have everything I need right now.  I scheduled my next one for sometime in June/July, as I have a family reunion coming up around that time and I might need a few appropriate summer things to bring.  One of the things I love about this service is that in your notes to your stylist for an upcoming fix, you can indicate things like that.  Or, as I demanded: “Please send me summery dresses but no gross, bright summer colors!”

Money details: my merchandise total was $278, but minus the upfront styling fee of $20, and another $25 credit I had for referring someone, PLUS the 25% discount for buying all five pieces, I paid $168.50. I think that will probably seem more budget friendly once I start doing this every other month, or every three months.

My conclusion with this particular subscription box experiment is that it was absolutely worth it, and if you hate shopping and trying on clothes under florescent lights in unflattering changing rooms – I highly recommend that you try it out, as well. Again, if you do sign up for Stitch Fix, please use my referral link!

Now!  I think I need some new shoes…

Mother issues, volume 1: The smelly edition

Sometimes, when my sisters and I get together and have had a few glasses of wine, one of us will say something like “Hey, do you remember Furry Lewis? And the weird black spots on his nose? We sure had a lot of cats when we were growing up, didn’t we?  Let’s see if we can remember all of their names!” At this point we are not counting or keeping track very well, and it usually goes nowhere and we have forgotten about it five minutes later.

If pressed to do that right now, I could name: Fritz, Leonard, Tibbytabby, Rosemary Kelly Denise, Bub, Chico, Chloe, Larry, Gypsy, Leroy Parnell, Simon Bisely, Dr. Bob, Furry Lewis, Tia Marie, Desdemona, Freddy Mercury, Clyde, Random, Mandy, Omar, Annie, Paddy, Georgie, Oliver, Bill, Ebby, feral garage kitty who later became Jenny Calendar, Ginger, Carrotcake, Abby who later became Hermione (actually I lied, I had to call my sister and ask who she could recall as well)

From the time I was 8 until right up until my mother passed away, she had no less than 5 or 6 cats in her house and for a good many years it was upwards on 20+. As a matter of fact, I believe the cat population was at it’s largest during my high school years.  If I had any friends to speak of, I probably would have been embarrassed and ashamed to bring them into our smoky, cat infested, litter-box odor infused home, but as it stood, my humiliation stemmed more from the fact that when I left the house, I brought all of these horrid smells with me.

I was picked on mercilessly on the school bus for my cat-hair covered clothes and my own hair, which seemed to smell like cigarette smoke and the faint fragrance of feline no matter how often I washed it.  Actually, the entire school bus experience was wretched for me anyhow, but that is a story for a different time, and not even really one I am comfortable telling because, well, racial stuff (I was the only white girl on a non-white bus). Most of these stories make my sister cry, so we’ll just forget about that.

As I grew older, I realized two things: I was never, ever going to start smoking – obviously because it’s bad for you, but mostly because I did not want a closet of clothes or an entire house or even/especially my person to smell like smoke.  And two: AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WAS NEVER GOING TO SMELL BAD AGAIN.

You may have noticed by now that I seem to have a fascination bordering on obsession with perfumes and fragrances.  You would not be wrong.  Now you know why. True, I may have inherited a bit of a hoarding gene from my mother – though I prefer to think of myself as a collector – but mostly I cannot stand the thought that there are anything other than pleasant smells coming from my corner.

My mother also loved perfumes. When I was much younger, my mother’s mirrored vanity tray held a great deal of fascination for me, with its jumble of shimmering glass bottles filled with fragrant fluids. It was a constant and forbidden temptation -as I had been told, more than once, to leave it be. And more than once, caught in a paroxysm of longing and naughtiness from which there was no return, I would spray one scent, then the next, and then perhaps high from the vaporous cloud of aromatics floating round my head, would proceed to spritz myself with the remainder of those illicit essences. When later interrogated, I would have the audacity to assert that I had been playing quietly in some other part of the house the entire time.

And yet, when I survey my  tiny scented kingdom I cannot locate one perfume that I think she would have loved (which were mostly funereal roses and heavy-handed chypres).  It somewhat saddens me to say it, but those she wore the most have always been the scents I like the least.

There you have it.  800+ words on why I blame my problems on my mother*, but it’s al really just a thinly veiled excuse to share and show off photos of my current perfume collection.
Don’t thank me.  Thank my mother.

And getting back to the names of all of those cats…well, I probably wouldn’t be able to name all of my perfumes if you ask me about them, either.

perfume9


perfume8

perfume7

perfume6

perfume5

perfume4

perfume2

perfume10

perfume11

perfume12

perfume13

perfume14

 

*When I think about it, the entire reason I created this little spot here at Unquiet Things is because of my mother.  I originally meant for this to be an offshoot of Death Cafe Orlando, wherein I could post topical tidbits, updates on future events, write-ups of past events, etc. Unfortunately, I came to learn that the folks over at Death Cafe aren’t thrilled with people blogging using their name (which I really do understand, it just honestly hadn’t entered into my perhaps overenthusiastic thought processes at the time.) So, I turned it into a personal blog. I’ve been journaling online in some form or another for the past 15 years, ever since the days of Livejournal, so why not? But the overwhelming reason I think I decided to start hosting Death Cafe in the first place is because of my mother’s death back in 2013.  So I suppose it just makes sense to air all of my grievances here, along with all of my other nonsense and ramblings.

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