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Friday, December 17, 2010

Need last-minute gifts?? (Or something cute for you?)

My mom-in-law and I have recently opened up an etsy shop called juniper + clover, and we have some REALLY cute things you should check out - get something for a last-minute gift...or get something for YOU! ;) 

They're reasonably priced and all handmade. It will mostly be a wedding and baby item shop once we really get rolling, but right now, we're featuring some adorable, stylish wintry staples she has knitted and crocheted. They'll keep you warm, cozy, AND fashionable! 

We have warm and fuzzy scarves, trendy fingerless gloves, and cute purses for sale right now, and we can also take custom orders. 

If you need your order in time for Christmas, make sure to buy today (tomorrow at the absolute latest) so we can get it shipped out to you in time for the USPS' holiday deadline! (Custom orders would of course take longer, though.)

As I've mentioned before, KameraWhore and I will also be opening up our own online shop for the closet narcissist soon...we've been working steadily to make, by hand, some really great things for you!! We really wish we could have had some of our stuff listed in time for the holidays, but we're still perfecting everything to make double sure what we're bringing you is JUST RIGHT. :) It's stuff that's so cute, we can hardly bring ourselves to sell it!!

In the meantime, you can buy some lovin'-yourself-themed shirts I designed here:

I can't believe Christmas is almost here and 2010 will soon be drawing to a close!! How strange!

Hope you're all enjoying this time of year and not staying too stressed out!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Announcing the L'Bri Rejuvenating Facial Peel Winner!

Congratulations, Kylee!!

You have won the L'Bri Rejuvenating Facial Peel! I know you're going to like it.

We will get it out to you as soon as possible once we've received your mailing address.

Wow, looks like a lot of us aren't doing so great with our nightly skincare regimen! lol I think it's the common consensus that we're just too tired at the end of the day.

Thanks SO much to ALL of you for checking out our blog and entering the giveaway...we hope you'll like our blog enough to come back often! :)

I took the number of comments and retweets and used to pick our winner.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Walk this way, talk this way...

Flickr photo by Pierre Mallien

What does the way you walk say about you? Have you ever thought about it?

When I was in high school, I somehow got it in my head that I had a weird walk. haha It's funny looking back on it now, but you know how if you really hone in on something you do or don't do, suddenly you can't stop thinking about it and judging it to a ridiculous point? I felt like the way I walked was too stiff or awkward or something; I'm not even really sure why now, other than the fact that back then I assumed I was being judged on every minute detail of my being by my peers. At some point, I stopped worrying about it, though I do have different walks for different situations...more on that in a minute. But the other day, I caught my reflection as I was walking down a hallway where the opposite wall was a reflective surface, and I tried to assess how I was walking in a normal, everyday situation.

Reminds me of that episode of "Friends" where Joey and Chandler are having a conversation about how Joey walks. 
Joey: Do you think I need a new walk?
Chandler: What?
Joey: Well, I've been walking the same way since high school. You know how some people walk in a room and everybody takes notice? I think I need a "take-notice" walk!
Chandler: Are you actually saying these words?

Anyway, there have been all kinds of studies done on body language and the way you walk, and while I don't think it's all 100% accurate, I think there's definitely truth in some of it. You can even pay a coach to train you how to walk differently so that you appear more professional or confident.

I will just admit it - I tend to get super frustrated with people who walk slow. I tend to walk fast and talk fast; I like to get where I'm going, and slow people are in my way! You'd never know I was born in the South to listen to me talk or watch me walk through the mall! (You can hear how fast I talk in our first video - I don't realize how bad it is til I listen back to myself.) Some might perceive slow walkers as lazy. But maybe they are just of a different mindset that they don't need to be in such a frenzied hurry and should take time to smell the roses.  And what's so wrong with that? Nothing. And people might look at fast walkers in a negative light as well. But the point is, people do tend to get an impression of you based on the way you walk and carry yourself, whether their impression is right or wrong. Joey's right that some people carry themselves in such a way that commands more attention.

If, internally, you aren't as confident as you'd like to be, if you tweak the way you carry yourself when walking around and externally seem more confident, it could very well end up increasing your confidence level. You've probably heard people say that if you fake smile, eventually you'll feel happier, and this is the same concept. If you walk with your shoulders straight, your head up with your eyes looking around  (rather than at the ground or fixed stubbornly on your destination point and without frantically darting, which exudes insecurity), and go at a natural pace, you will appear more confident and therefore more approachable. Once it becomes second nature to you after a while, you may just find that you actually FEEL more confident and in line with the way you are presenting yourself to others. If you allow yourself to believe anything for long enough, it will become your reality. 

I always make sure to keep my shoulders straight and my head up when I walk. I think that part has always come pretty naturally to me; part of it is confidence, and part is just wanting to be very aware of my surroundings, and plus, I like to smile at people I pass because it's just something I believe in. When I don't want to be bothered, I'll consciously walk faster with my eyes fixed ahead and make a beeline. When I'm walking in the dark alone, I constantly look all around me (yet without darting) to present myself as being aware and not vulnerable. I don't know if I'll ever master the sexy walk, though! 

So just something to think about if you want to appear (and become) more confident...but don't obsess over it like I used to! ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

One girl's guide to loving her "imperfections."

Along the lines of yesterday's post about being a Body Image Warrior, I wanted to share with you this great video by Caty. She found us on our new YouTube channel (due to our ONE and only mega-hit makeup tutorial, heeheehee), and my eyes were immediately drawn to the title of this video when I looked up her channel. 

If you've ever hated even just one part of your face/body/hair/whatever, and who of us hasn't, you really should take a look at this. She has a really interesting perspective. You might start to view those things in a new light. :)

Just for conversation's sake, since Barbie is mentioned in the video (and I'm not trying to be argumentative towards the video at ALL - just stating my own experience), it was never my dolls that made me try to live up to an impossible standard; for me, it was models in magazines, as I've talked about before. Actually, it was Niki and Krissy Taylor on the cover of Seventeen, if you want me to be specific. lol I was endlessly tormented over not looking like them. Oh, yeah, and Cindy Crawford's workout video. I was not a size 6 in high school, and every time she mentioned her size 6 jeans in that video, I felt fat, despite the fact that she was saying it wasn't a big deal not to be a size 6. Nowadays, I'm secure enough in myself (okay, MOST of the time) where I can look at models with appreciation rather than comparing myself, because I got older and started learning to appreciate me just for being me, but it wasn't always that way during those awful, sensitive pre-teen and teen years. Anyway, to me, Barbie was just a doll, not an ideal, and she taught me to hone my creativity by making up stories with characters, plots, and conflict resolution, as well as decorating, sewing, and improvising since I didn't have a "real" Barbie house and furniture. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of holing myself up in my room to play. 

Anyway, I guess maybe what I'm trying to say is that while I can definitely see why Barbie can easily be criticized, I think it's important to teach kids that she's JUST a doll and that magazines are JUST magazines. Appreciate them for what they are without internalizing it into your self-esteem. Easier said than done, but that's the goal. It's a weird, fine line, I think, between taking personal responsibility for how you feel about yourself and whether society has a moral obligation not to impose its standards onto you. On the one hand, I don't think society should impose beauty standards on us, yet I don't think it's completely unavoidable either, and I don't think Barbies should be banned either because I don't see them as inherently bad. It's all in how you perceive them, I think. I can feel myself beginning to ramble, so I will leave it at this. haha

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Be a Body Image Warrior!

I must be honest and admit that at times, it is hard for me to read other blogs regularly...I have a normal job that can make me sick of looking at a computer screen, a husband, six pets, co-run the closet narcissist, and a multitude of other things that keep me insanely busy...but if we follow your blog, we DO eventually read!! :) I LOVE reading other blogs and wish I had more time to do it regularly. I usually find myself going through several at a time when I'm not as busy so I can catch up since I can't always do it daily.

Anyway, one of the blogs I read is Bright Side Dweller (great outfits-of-the-day by Chelsea, with an underlying theme of loving your body, so right up our alley!!), and today as I was catching up, I found a post of hers that I wanted to share. Her post links over to another blog, Medicinal Marzipan, that I hadn't heard of before, thereby introducing me. It operates under the same philosophy of having a more positive body image in the face of a very critical culture. YES!!!

Here is an excerpt from Bright Side's post:

Maintaining healthy and positive body image is a passion of mine. The world is full of so many messages meant to make us obsess, detest, and reject our bodies. Instead of letting society, the world, the media, etc. dictate how I feel about me, I choose to fight against these influences and fall in love with my body and encourage you to join me. While striving to embrace, love and accept yourself is an ongoing battle, I am a body image warrior and will not give up, even if sometimes I give in to the negativity.

Once you've read her open and honest post, which I'm sure you will relate to, head on over to read the Body Image Warrior post she's linking to on Medicinal Marzipan. 

We have now added the Body Image Warrior badge above as a fixture on our sidebar, as you have probably figured out by now that this is something we very strongly believe in and promote! It's why we're here (though we also like to just have fun sometimes).

Be a Body Image Warrior for yourself...tape the picture to the mirror and be reminded as you're getting ready each day. For years, I have had a little sign taped to my own mirror (I think I have mentioned it before) that has these lyrics from a song by Joy Drop: "I am not beautiful like you; I am beautiful like me." Oh, and while we're on songs, "We" by my fave singer Joy Williams is another good 'un for you along these lines.

I think you will find both of the blogs encouraging and inspirational!

Happy reading, and happy loving yo' fine self!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

L'Bri Skincare Review & *Giveaway!* (worth $35.50)

As a part of the Business2Blogger network, I was asked to review a skincare line called L'Bri (pronounced luh-bry, not luh-bree) and write a blog post about it. I had never heard of the line before, but I am always up for trying new products, especially when it's free! ;) To preface, I have not been compensated for writing this review other than just receiving the free products, and I wouldn't say anything in a review that I didn't really feel! I should've reviewed them sooner, but they were patient with me when I explained that I was distracted with wedding plans and the honeymoon, and I wanted to use them for a while before reviewing them.

I was surprised at the amount of items they sent me - I felt like I'd hit the jackpot!! I received two cleansers (Deep Pore and Gentle), Gentle Moisture Lotion, Facial Masque, Rejuvenating Facial Peel, Smooth 'n Firm Eye Repair Gel, and Gentle Freshener spray.

I was first impressed with the ingredients in the products before I even tried them. I am no ingredients expert by any means. But I have always been one to read them and try to learn what they are for the most part. I always prefer natural and organic products when they perform as well as their "chemicalized" counterparts, so I was really excited to try these. The main ingredient in all of their products is aloe vera gel. Can't go wrong with that, right?! When I checked out their web site later, I saw that one of the things they promote the most is reading the labels on your skincare products. I try not to be paranoid about it - but watchful. Also, they do not test on animals, which is obviously very important to me.

My first question was whether or not the Deep Pore Cleanser ($15) would remove all my makeup, especially since it's not a foaming cleanser like I'm used to. It's hard to fathom, for me, that a non-foaming cleanser could do just as well for some reason. But it really does remove all my makeup. If I'm wearing heavier eye makeup, I might have to go over that area again, but really, that's par for the course with most cleansers for me (I wear several coats of mascara), and it only takes a small amount. Since it's not foaming, it's also not drying, which is a big plus in the colder months for my combo skin. The Gentle Cleansing Lotion ($15) also does a good job of removing makeup. I think I prefer the other one because this one doesn't feel like it rinses quite as clean...but that's probably because it's leaving a moisturizer behind, which isn't a bad thing. 

When I read the instructions on the back of the Rejuvenating Facial Peel ($35.50), I couldn't wait to try it. It sounds kinda gross, but you put on the orange gel (which has aloe, of course, and fruit extracts - smells citrus-y and nice), let it sit for 30 seconds, and then start rubbing gently - and you can literally see and feel the dead skin sloughing off! You're basically exfoliating your skin with your own skin - yeah, I know, gross, but you have to try it! My skin feels so soft and smooth after using it, and my pores look smaller afterward too. Even though it's a peel, it's not harsh or irritating to your skin. It's a peel that doesn't "feel" like a peel. 

I also really like the moisturizer, Gentle Moisture Lotion ($22). It's very light and satiny-feeling but does the job well. You are supposed to wet your hands and then apply the moisturizer; I also like to do a light spritzing of the Gentle Freshener spray ($15) and follow with the moisturizer. It's very refreshing (pun intended) to find a moisturizer that isn't full of long names of ingredients you can't pronounce and that actually works really well without feeling greasy. It feels clean and fresh. It's also supposed to reduce fine lines, which I'm glad about. I had been using Olay's Anti-Aging with good results, but it's full of chemicals I don't recognize. I feel better sleeping with this on since skin repairs itself while you sleep. I haven't tried it yet, but they DO offer a moisturizer with SPF as well, which is super important.

The Smooth 'n Firm Eye Repair Gel ($28) feels really nice when you put it on after waking up in the morning. It's also not drying, which many eye gels are for me. There is so much product in the jar that you are really getting a lot for your money since you only use a bit at a time. I really love keeping it in the fridge and applying it cold! It gets super cold in the fridge and is like an icy blast of "awakeness" when you're feeling tired, and it does reduce puffiness. It feels good at room temp too. It's a very soothing green gel with aloe, cucumber, and herbal extracts. I hope over time it will lessen my laugh lines!

The Facial Masque ($26.50) makes your skin feel softer and seems to minimize pores. It REALLY holds your skin tight when it dries! It almost feels like you've grown a second, leathery skin once it hardens, and you almost can't move your face...I kept having to keep myself from laughing because I looked kinda funny but couldn't move my face enough to laugh. But it easily rinses clean and feels nice afterward. The only thing I'd change about it is the bottle pull it upward to dispense the product, so it leaves some on the top of the lid that you have to wipe off. I'd prefer it with a top like the cleansers and moisturizer. I do like the formula, though. It's not drying.

I do think I would buy at least some of these products once I run out. I feel like the ingredients are safer and that they are just as effective as what I'd been using, so that's a win-win. Some of the prices are a little more than I would normally pay but not necessarily unreasonable, considering they do last a while and are effective. I like that they're not saying you have to do a 25-step skincare routine every day; who has time for that?! 

You can't walk into a store and buy these; it's similar to Mary Kay or Avon where you have an independent consultant to buy from (I'm not a consultant). That is sort of a drawback to me. I'd love to just pick them up at the store when I run out of something or order online directly from their web site. I just don't like when consultants constantly pester me to buy more, but that's not to say L'Bri consultants do so; I have no experience with them yet. You can also request free mini samples of their products here! Just pay $6.95 S&H.

If you want to buy just one of these products to start out with, I'd make it the Rejuvenating Facial Peel ($35.50). It's different from anything else I've tried. Or you may get your chance for free!!

We are giving away one full-size, unopened jar of L'Bri's Rejuvenating Facial Peel!
Just leave a comment letting us know whether or not you ALWAYS wash your face before bed (I'm not even gonna lie - I don't always), and we'll randomly pick one winner!
You can also double your chances of winning by re-tweeting my tweet about this giveaway! ( 
Contest ends Wed., Dec. 8, 2010, at midnight Eastern time.

Don't forget, you can also request free mini samples of their products here! Just pay $6.95 S&H.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Makeup Tutorial (our 1st video!)

If you're anything like me, this time of year makes you want to buy a new holiday party dress (even if you don't have a party to go to) and buy even more shimmery, sparkly makeup you probably don't need (because you've amassed quite a collection in years past already). 

I find it damn near impossible to resist buying makeup that promises to "highlight" or has the word "shimmer" in it. I wish to dip a big, fluffy brush into pink shimmer powder and cover my entire face in it with abandon, and then go back over it with a gold one, and then an iridescent glitter, without looking completely ridiculous! Am I the only one who has this urge to turn myself into a disco ball around the holidays?? I don't wear much shimmery stuff in the summer (except on my eyes) because my face is oilier in warmer weather, so the last thing it needs is extra shine. In the winter, my skin is drier, so I can get away with it a little bit more!

I thought I'd do a holiday makeup tutorial for you with all the traditional colors: red, green, silver, and gold. Shimmer and glitter galore but wearable to any office or family party. 

This is our very first TCN video, and I admit, I am exceptionally nervous about it!!! But maybe you'll get something out of it? I don't know if you can tell, but I was trying really hard not to laugh throughout the entire thing. I think next time I need to work on speaking more slowly! Oh, and hopefully next time, I won't have a big bruise on my arm.

And finally, here are some cute holiday party dresses we love!

Hope you're enjoying the season so far! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, pretties!

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your support! We really appreciate all of you for reading and commenting - you're why we're here!

Hope your Thanksgiving has been fabulous. In your list of many, many things to be thankful for, don't forget to be thankful for you, just the way you are. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Take THAT, rainy week!!

What do you wear when you're tired of it raining all blasted week long? You put together a super bright and colorful outfit and then make a face at the weather. Nevermind the fact that the sun finally started coming out just before my dad took the picture, lol. This outfit looks more like spring than fall (my white tights laugh in the face of the after-Labor-Day rule), but my fall wedding looked just like spring too! Ha! It doesn't look as bright in the pic as in person...I got some fairly odd looks while out and about.

(Dress and boots from Forever 21; "Sometimes it's OK to be a quitter" tee from Delia's.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outfit of the Day + Kiss Me Deadly Contest Entry

She is Sara inspired yet another of my outfits. :) I'd been needing inspiration for wearing T-shirts with the multitude of unworn skirts hanging in my closet. For a long time, just about all I wore was some kind of tee with jeans (granted, I at least made them cute tees and good jeans). I got tired of that, go figure, and started trying to dress up more, but now I'm trying to reuse my tees and just pair them with different things, like skirts. I think I'd been overthinking it and just needed to stick a couple different things together and see how it turned out without worrying about being too matchy. One of her recent posts kinda got me thinking again, so this outfit is what I wore yesterday. You may recognize the skirt as the one in a former post of ours where I wore it as a shirt...also inspired by She is Sara! ;) 

Hubby took these pics of me in our nighttime, there aren't a lot of decent places to take pictures inside because of lighting, so we made the most of what we had! The light fixtures, well, they couldn't really be helped too much. (And, I must say, I think his photography skills are improving after only six years of being with me!) I tried to play around with different, more flattering poses. I typically shy away from shots that are taken straight-on or from below; it seems more flattering to me when they're taken just slightly angled downward from the top of your head (can make you look thinner). But I decided to have him try it out from below for these shots, and I think it works when it's done right and when you're posed better. The first pic is what I actually wore during the day, and the second one is to show how it looks more casual. I'm not trying to make a statement with the last photo so much as it just coincidentally came out looking like I was posing like a superhero, so I ran with it. lol I think I need to start wearing other shoes besides these beloved boots! 

And here is my entry for Lime Crime's Kiss Me Deadly: Recreate-a-Look contest! If you hurry, you can still enter through tonight! Go here for details.

(You can click to enlarge all the photos. Blogger is condensing them to make them fit into the space, so they look a bit distorted here until you click on them. I have not edited them to make myself look thinner! lol)

Oh! And one more, just because it's funny. It's an accidental shot hubs took that I thought actually came out kinda artistic...Mom's feet and beagle child's feet (and butt!!). haha I love it!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to pose for more flattering photos!

Steph over at The Dashing Eccentric was kind enough to let me know today about a two-parter she posted on her blog about posing in more flattering ways for photos. Her email stemmed from my recent post about how you can look completely different in photos depending on the angles. One of the main things she points out in her guide is that it helps to pose in contrapposto ("an Italian term used in the visual arts to describe a human figure standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs. This gives the figure a more dynamic, or alternatively relaxed appearance."). If you look at my post, you'll notice that the super NON-flattering pics of me in the green dress are with me standing completely straight and rigid, and the more flattering pic in the brown floral dress is with me standing with my weight shifted. Well, no wonder! :) 

Fortunately, I've since run across some more pics of me at the rehearsal dinner that are much more flattering, but you know what...I'd still be glad I wore that dress either way! ;)

Here are the links to her posts on this topic (and read through her "about me," which I think is awesome):

Movies & Books: Dorian Gray

I've been wanting to read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde for several years now...I'm not sure what my excuse is! I'm an avid reader and also listen to a lot of audio books, but somehow this one has remained skipped over. My interest in the book was first piqued because one of my kitties, a gorgeous, long-haired gray tabby, was originally named Dorian Gray by his rescuers. (Though he is exceedingly handsome, he's much too laid-back and loving of a guy to have such a fancy name! :) So his name is Tommy, and it suits him to a T, har har.) 

MY Dorian Gray in the middle of a catnap. :)

When we started up the closet narcissist, I wanted to read it and blog about it because of the narcissism of the main character. When we signed up for Netflix a few months ago, I promptly put the old version of the movie and the new one in our queue, and because I wasn't paying attention, the new one arrived before I could read the book or see the old one, but I had to watch it anyway. I must say, I wasn't prepared for the darkness and eroticism in the movie. Not that I'm complainin'! But I thought it was just gonna be a story about a really narcissistic guy. haha And that he was, but his narcissism was more of the dark, dangerous kind because he wanted to stay young and beautiful simply so he could continue his life of indulgence. I'm still going to read the book and watch the original film eventually and see how they all stack up to each other. I've read that this new version is much darker than those. 

My husband fell asleep during the movie (he does this during almost every movie), and I had really wanted to have a deep conversation about whether men or women handle narcissism better. haha And no, I don't mean narcissism to the extent this movie takes it...more like "our brand" of narcissism (which you know is kinda tongue-in-cheek to begin with) or more so. Men and their stereotypical egos, on the surface, seem not to handle being extremely good looking (and knowing it) as well as women do. Makes me think of the scrumptious Christian in Nip/Tuck. Of course, there are some pretty bitchy, beautiful women too. Adding this in after the fact so as to give more detail behind what I mean... The whole time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking that a woman wouldn't sink to the same depths as he did for the sake of vanity, youth, and living it up without consequence...but I'm not sure what my basis is for thinking that, really, and it may be nothing more than a stereotype. It just seems like more women can be beautiful and still be sweet, whereas more men (but NOT all) who are hot are much too aware of it and are jerks you can't trust. Oh, wait, maybe this is just because I'm jaded! hahaha It seems like most women can always find SOME fault with themselves, though, which is enough to keep them more humble. Do you know what I mean?


So what do you all think?

Do men and women handle narcissism (or just simply knowing they're hot) differently, and if so, which gender handles it better? 

And if anyone's seen the movie/s or read the book, feel free to pipe in on those too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blogger Spotlight: Shybiker

Today I want to introduce one of my favorite bloggers and one of my favorite people in general, my very dear friend, Shybiker (the owner of the fabulous pair of legs above, heehee.) I have known her for a couple of years now, and many, many emails have been exchanged during that time! It's been my honor to get to know her. I love her compassion, kindness, understanding of human nature, honesty, and gentleness. She is a lawyer by day, a biker by hobby, an animal lover, and a true friend. And to echo the way she words it in her bio, "Oh, yeah...and she also happens to be transgendered." To those who may not know or understand, this (for her) means she was born in a male body but has always, from very early childhood, known she was distinctly female inside. Her parents were loving but didn't understand this, and as a result, she has spent most of her life trying to hide her true self from the world, save for a few exceptions. Over the course of our friendship, I have had the good fortune of watching her get a little braver every day and start broadening her network of support, and I've been so happy to see her blog growing and growing and to read all the positive feedback she is getting from so many people. I know it's gone a long way in encouraging her confidence. She has a beautiful spirit, and she deserves nothing less. She has a great blog in which she has recently started exploring women's fashion more and more, and she's doing a great job at it, mixing and matching and having tons of fun with it and lookin' good doin' it. I know you will really like her! 

I wanted to feature her blog today in particular for two reasons. If you're on Facebook, you've no doubt seen the status update going around about wearing purple today in honor of Spirit Day, which is today (10/20), a day to honor gay, lesbian, and transgender teens who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying. Countless transgender teens are either killed in hate crimes or kill themselves just because of the immense struggle to just be who they are, and the statistics MUST CHANGE. It shouldn't be this way; it's senseless and wrong. People need to be allowed to be who they are, end of story! I won't pretend I can completely understand because I haven't been there, but it is a constant struggle for them, and even a little bit of support goes a long way in keeping their hope alive. And today is also Love Your Body Day. Apparently, 80% of women are unhappy with their bodies. This is sad, just plain sad!! And it's one of the reasons KameraWhore and I started this little project called the closet narcissist, to get all of you thinking about how awesome you are! My pal did a blog post on Love Your Body Day, which you can find here:, and she was also featured in an interview in another blog about this day, which you can read here under "Ralph":  Let me tell you, reading through it, I was damn near tears because I know her and just beamed with pride over her words of wisdom and confidence. Her words are especially meaningful because of her situation but transcend her situation as well to impact anyone who reads them. We can all learn a lot from her perspective. She is learning to love and accept her body the best she can, and I have a feeling she'd LOVE to be in any of our shoes as women who have the luxury of disapproving of our female bodies!!

Follow her blog and go make friends! :) And learn to appreciate your hot, smokin' bod while you're at it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do you wear it even if it's not flattering?

We're baaaaaack!!!! Whew!! Planning my wedding was some of the most fun AND the most stress I have ever experienced in my life! I am so happy to be married, though, and it truly was the most perfect wedding and straight out of the vision I'd been carrying around; how amazing it was seeing it spring to life. The venue and weather were gorgeous, and the husband is equally gorgeous and wonderful. On my ugliest bad hair/bad skin/bloated day, I know I can at least look back on my wedding and feel like I was beautiful on that day, and nothing can take that away from me. I was just so happy!!!

Okay, so what is this weird phenomenon where you can have two photos taken of yourself within seconds of each other but look as though you've gained 20 pounds in the second one? I know photography is all about the angles, but sheesh! These pictures are from a few weeks ago when I got my second one, I look normal (or at least how I think I normally look), and in the second, from a different angle, dude, what happened?!! Suddenly my face is bloated, and I look bigger overall.

I've also been thinking lately about how I will wear something, particularly dresses, that I really, really love even though I know it is not the most flattering cut for my body type. (This started with the yellow dress from my previous fall post, which doesn't seem to be very flattering for me.) I'm not so narcissistic that I can pass up wearing something I love that much. ;) Now, for my wedding day, I was very lucky to have the best of both worlds...the dress of my freakin' DREAMS that also worked for my body type. YES!!! But the dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner, I think it's a bit of a different story. It's a beautiful, ethereal dress I ordered online from Forever 21. It reminded me so much of one that my mom used to wear in the 60s, and since my mom passed away a few years ago and couldn't be at my wedding (at least not in person), it was one of my little ways of honoring her to wear it during the rehearsal. I had lamented to KameraWhore beforehand that I didn't think it looked good on me, and she was probably too sweet to tell me I was right when I tried it on so she could give me her opinion (I thought it looked WAY better on her), but the dress was far too pretty and too sentimental for me to resist. I thought I was all cute pairing it with textured tights and low cowboy boots that also came from F21. People gave me lots of compliments on it even. But when I saw the pictures, oh, Lord!! I was aghast. The dress cinches at the waist, which I thought would be flattering, and I think it was okay from a profile view but not so much from the front or back. I thought the tights and boots were flattering to my calves til I saw the pictures too, and it looked like my calves had no shape whatsoever due to the line caused by the tops of the boots completely interrupting the lines of my legs. But so how do I know if that's what I really looked like or if the camera just happened to catch me from an unflattering angle (several times, lol)? Based on my experience with the tattoo pictures, so much can change when you move your angle even a few inches.  I'm not sure why any of this should surprise me; I've always known I look totally different if my face is turned toward the right vs. the left - there is a reason my nose is pierced on the right side. ;) Incidentally, Kam and I each think our right side is our "good side," which sometimes makes for challenging poses together! (Hint: she looks beautiful from both sides.)

How do we ever know if how we look in pictures is truly how we look? Or in mirrors, for that matter; I look 10 pounds lighter in Kam's full-length mirror as opposed to mine. In any case, because I loved the outfit so much and was so happy that I was probably beaming rainbows out my ass to be getting married, I probably looked better in it in person. And I think, really, that feeling good in it and being confident and happy are the most important things!


The first pic was taken the first time I tried on the dress, which is actually a slip with an overlay, and the little ones next to it are from the rehearsal. But compare it to this pic from my honeymoon, when I'd been eating non-stop and yet still look smaller in that outfit somehow. I'm sure I am the ONLY one scrutinizing the angles of my pictures to this level of shallow insanity. ;) But I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only one out there thinking about it in general.

So many questions...thus are the ponderings of a closet narcissist. ;)

What do you think? Do you still wear stuff you know isn't the most flattering cut just because you love it and it makes you happy? (I think you totally should!!) 

And what's your take on unedited photography showing reality?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catchin' up - Avetts concert and bridal shower pics!

Okay, so by now, most of you probably know that I have been in the throes of wedding planning for a while now, and we are swiftly coming up on our big day!!! After today, only 10 more days to go, in fact - wow!!! I've missed blogging, though, and have been storing away ideas here and there for when life suddenly returns to normal and I actually have time to write consistently! :) For now, I thought I'd just catch you up to speed on a couple things we've been up to lately.

I did get to have a non-wedding event to celebrate - KameraWhore and I share a huge love of  The Avett Brothers and got to see them in concert!! It was purely magical...sigh. We bought our tickets months ago during the pre-sale and couldn't WAIT til it was finally here. One of their songs, "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise," is sort of our anthem. We are just two girls trying to realize our dreams and make the changes we want in our lives without letting fear hold us back, and that's what that song is about. We really wanna take this "closet narcissist" project somewhere, and that song is so inspiring! Not to mention that, um, the bros are not hard to look at. ;) But more than that, DAMN, are they talented. They blew us away. Here are some pics from the concert! We had good seats too! Fans for life right here...

Pretty sure I wore the same expression when I was 8 going to my first New Kids on the Block concert! haha

And last weekend, KameraWhore threw me a bridal shower! The theme was pin-up, and we dressed to the nines and had a blast!! We painted and ironed indecent things onto undies ;) and played games and had fun with our friends. She's so good to me!!! She and her hubs, VainShane, are putting up with a lot right now since we're getting married in their backyard! Kam did all these photo edits, by the way.

Us being naughty 40s housewives. 

Yep, you guessed it...this gorgeous red lipstick is none other than Retrofuturist by LimeCrime. :) 

So you can see my hair better (you can click to enlarge if you like). Basically, all I did was watch YouTube videos (particularly this one by ilovegerardo) and hoped for the best! I've decided I really like it and wanna wear it more often! This style is actually REALLY easy to do. Kam's sis, Alana, did her hair and did a fabulous job!

Kam got her dress at Marshall's, I do believe. Mine was a gift from my might-as-well-be-sis-in-law, the awesome belt was my mama's, and the shoes came from TJ Maxx.

Hope to be back soon with some more posts I am itching to write!!!