Monthly Archives: April 2016

Anthems: Because We All Need A Fight Song

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Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 7.50.49 PMOn the first and fifteenth of the month, I’m going to be posting about anthems.  I’m going to start with one of my anthems (hint: Bruuuuuuuce!) and then share anthems of guest bloggers who have graciously offered to share the song that get them through.  I hope you’ll enjoy their stories of fighting through struggle and staying strong.

As an added bonus, please subscribe to my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems, where I will add each anthem, plus some of my personal faves.  I hope it’s a place you’ll go to when you need to be uplifted, fired up, and ready to go.

May 1 = Me!

May 15 = Vickie Bartkus, teacher extraordinaire with a heart of gold, a love of Idina Menzel and a hard-core Brooklyn accent

June 1 = Patricia Florio,  author, former court reporter, and a founding member of the Jersey Shore Writers

 

Le Tote Box #2: The Results Post

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After the disappointment of Le Tote box #1, I was looking forward to box #2.

I live on optimism, but it’s not getting me anywhere with my fashion experiment. Le sigh.

The scarf was great. I loved the pattern and fabric.

 

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The bracelet was cute.

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I LOVED the cut of the skirt. It was something new and I was surprised how much I like the flowing asymmetry.  Unfortunately, it was too big (XXL) and, like the dress in box #1, the material was cheap and too see-through.

 

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The sweater was one size-fits all, so I was dubious from the get-go.  See how long it is on the model?  It came to my hips, the arms were shorter, and it wasn’t as flowing.  Dislike.

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I adored the metallic pullover, but the  XL was clearly a junior’s size. It was too small everywhere.

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To paraphrase Ladies Love Cool James, the clothes are  going back to Cali, Cali, Cali.

Oh, Le Tote.  Let’s hope box #3 is better.

 

 

Le Tote Box 2: Update

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I was editing my next book (and pretty damn proud of a character’s soliloquy about her life) when I got the text saying my next Le Tote box was ready for my approval.  Le surprise!

I swapped out a shirt because the size only went to L – I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. I chose a cute silvery pullover to try something new.  Out of le comfort zone!

Here’s what I’m expecting later this week:

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And how nice to see a woman of color as a model.  Le diversity rocks!

I’ll fill you in as soon as it arrives. Back to editing in my decidedly un-stylish orange fleece and black yoga pants. Le comfort!

 

 

 

Le Tote Box #1: The Results Post

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Last week, I posted about deciding to try Le Tote, a clothing rental program.   My box of clothes arrived yesterday afternoon, taking four days to ship from California to Pennsylvania. Not bad. One point for Le Tote!

The good news: my cat loves to sit in the box.

The bad news: everything was placed in the return bag within ten minutes. (For your frame of reference: I’m 41 years old and a size 14/16, within Le Tote’s advertised size range.)

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The jacket was a gorgeous coral, but it was too small.  Let Tote advertises itself as having styles XS-XXL, so even though the highest size for the jacket was L, the website assured me it would fit.

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On to the cardigan. It was a nice, thick knit.  My husband’s reaction: You never look frumpy and that’s really frumpy.

But was so cute on the model!  But I’m not built like the model! So, again, nope.

 

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Can you make out the window and unmade bed through the dress?  Not good.

Time for the black dress. The length worked but the material was so thin you could see through it. Between this cheap fabric and unflattering cut, it went back into the bag.  Nope.

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Finally, the jewelry.  The ring and the bracelet were cute, but I wasn’t going to hold onto three pieces of unflattering clothing for costume jewelry.

I’m bummed  I didn’t have something fun to wear to a bridal shower today and an author panel tomorrow, but let’s face it, this is about as first world problem as you can get. I’m a fan of the three strikes and you’re out rule, so we’ll see what box number two brings.

Le Tote asked me to rate everything, so I was honest. After I rated, this is what ticked me off the most:

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In what universe are these pieces of clothing worth $225?  That comes out to $45/piece. $90 in costume jewelry?  $45 for an Old Navy quality dress?  Maybe $45 for the jacket, if I had a coupon.  $45 for the sweater?  Never. I’m rolling my eyes as I look at that image again.

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At least returning the clothing and jewelry was simple.

As with most things in my life, I remain optimistic. I’ll report back about box number 2 next weekend.

 

An Experiment In Style: Clothing Rental

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See this gorgeous woman?  She inspires me with her unabashed fierceness, intelligence and love of self.  I WISH I has been this self-possessed in my twenties.  This is why I love Millennials – they go for what they want and forge their own paths. So I need you to meet Fashion blogger, stylist ,and author Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 10.28.14 AMLeah Vernon,  who has made me  up my style game.  I’m 41 and too comfortable in my wardrobe  staples – v-neck tees, jeans, cardigans.  Simple and easy but I’m not feeling put-together.  After reading her blog posts  about styling on a budget and having received personal encouragement from her to stretch myself, I decided to try something different.

Yesterday, I subscribed to Le Tote, a clothing rental program. I get five pieces at a time (three garments, two accessories). I had a 50% off code, so I’m eager to see what my $32 investment brings me. The price was nice – $59/month, five garments, unlimited returns. On the other hand, Gwynnie Bee is $135/month for five garments, unlimited returns. Not in my budget. The quality and selection at Gwynnie Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 10.16.50 AMBee looks better, though. We’ll see…

I’m definitely nervous: I’m a size 14-16, which is as large as Le Tote goes, so we’ll see about the fit.  I’m wondering if they’ll listen to my preferences: no sleeveless tops or dresses; no earrings; no animal prints; no handbags.  Will I like the quality? For the introductory price of $32, I’m willing to try, especially because it will force me to get out of my fashion rut with a low financial risk.

So, thanks, Leah, for making this GenXer up her fashion game.  If you’ve tried Le Tote, let us know what you think!  I’ll report back when I receive my first box.