9.16.2014

A Little Pattern Play

I admire people like Natalia from In the Writer's Closet who can pull-off pattern mixing without a hitch. Natalia puts looks together with different patterns and textures and it works. However, for myself, I have always been intimidated by the whole idea. Each time I have made the attempt, I end up re-examining myself in the mirror and then removing an item in place of a solid piece.

Today I had to get in touch with my inner Natalia, so that I would have the courage to step out and enjoy a little pattern play. I played it safe and took the easy route with stripes and polka dots. But here's why I chose to first stick my toes in the water before jumping into the deep end...First, I realized I don't have many patterns in my wardrobe. Yep, much of my closet is based on solids. And second, though I like the look of pattern mixing on others, I'm not quite sure if this look is for me. Get where I'm going? I chose the subtlety of tiny dots and a finer stripe because I feel like this pattern play meshes much better with my style.


Today's Look - A-line skirt is by Willie Wear and was purchased from TJ Maxx ages ago (similar on Amazon); The top, which I've worn for you before, was purchased at Nordstrom Rack (also ages ago. Options on Shopstyle); Sandals are by Nine West (very old); Belt is by Michael Kors also purchased from TJ Maxx; Polish is Devil's Advocate: essie; Clutch is vintage; "G" Monogram: Swell Caroline; Apt 9 Open Ring: Kohl's and Crackle Quartz Bracelet: Urban Solstice Designs





 
Delicate jewelry to compliment the delicate dots and stripes.


By the way, these photos were taken at 8:00am this morning (Tuesday) and already the temperature is at 95 degrees. Our weather has been scorching hot with temps coming in at 115 by noon. So truthfully speaking, under these circumstances, I would much rather dive into the deep end; but I had to play it cool {wink}

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Photographs by Freddy

9.11.2014

A Fashionable HIIT

I am not a fitness instructor or health physician. 
Please consult with your doctor before beginning any type of physical fitness schedule.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you have been following So What to Twenty for some time, then you know that I am a proponent of the fitness B4 fashion philosophy. I strongly believe that we should take care of ourselves both physically as well as emotionally. Especially women of a certain age. During this time of our lives, we have given so much of ourselves, and our muscle tone begins to deplete at an accelerated rate. I am a strong advocate of the mind/body connection. There have been many days when I would find myself in a not-so-pleasant mood. Rather than sulking or enjoying a pity-party, I have made the decision to grab my workout gear and sweat the annoyance away. By the end of my workout, I always feel 100% better physically and emotionally. Exercise always clears my head and enables me to concentrate on what is important. In essence, you receive dual benefits by making exercise a part of your daily life.

Back on May 21st, I did a post called Sarong'd where I told you that I had slacked off a bit on my daily workout. That neglect showed up in my inability to fit comfortably into my clothing. Since I don't have the type of income that allows me to simply spend freely, and I wasn't happy with the idea of purchasing larger sizes anyway, I decided to up the ante and start a more aggressive workout schedule. So, on July 8th, after taking on the new schedule, I did a post called LEGZ, in which I shared with you my current workout schedule and routine.


Since the LEGZ post, I have stepped it up even further by participating in a very challenging program called HIIT.  HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): A training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. I'm not going to sugar-coat this type of training...It is very intense and not for the faint of heart. Let's put it this way, since beginning HIIT, I have dropped two dress sizes. But let me also add this bit of important information - I am not a big eater and my genetic makeup comes from a long line of petite people who were also very physically active. Because the HIIT training is very high energy, I have had to increase my caloric intake. On an average, I would probably consume no more than about 1200 calories per day. I have had to increase it by 2000 to take in at least 3200. This has been a HUGE challenge for me, because after working out, I tend to lose my appetite. So, when I eat, I dive into whole foods which consist of good carbs, and protein. I try my darnedest to stay away from processed foods.


As I type this post to you, I just completed Day 3 of a 5-Day HIIT. There are many HIIT workouts available on YouTube, however I have found that Fitness Blender works best for me. Here is Day 1 of Fitness Blender's 5 Day Workout Challenge for you to check out and perhaps try:


I know my workout is rigorous and may be intimidating to some. And I know some of you have stated you don't like exercise. I understand that sentiment. At one point in my life I didn't care for it either, but after the birth of my first son (17 years ago), I have since made it a part of my life. Experts say that it only takes repeating something for 28 days in order for it to become a habit. I suggest start small - even if it's a walk around your community, or stretching each morning...do something to get yourself started. Like I stated earlier, I just completed Day 3 and man do I ache! But like any fitness junky, I feel as if I didn't accomplish anything unless I have that muscle soreness. So yes, I view it as a good thing. Am I sad I dropped two sizes? Nope. The only negative is that I have had to dish out $$ in order to have my wardrobe altered. Maybe I should take up sewing{wink}

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Weekend Wind-Down Party
Photographs by Freddy

9.10.2014

Opposites

Opposite: a person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else.

I find, that when creating an outfit, by selecting opposing pieces, I often bring about a more interesting ensemble that melds together quite nicely. For myself, I find a person's outfit more interesting when the pieces weren't purchased as a complete look, and are not matchy-matchy. Tweet Worthy --> Having the ability to mix and match your way into an ├╝ber stylish look is super chic, and extends your wardrobe beyond belief. But you must have the imagination to do so. For myself, opening my closet and putting opposing clothing items together is the ultimate play time. Rarely do I purchase a complete look, but opt to by separates with the idea that I'll be able to wear them with other items in my existing wardrobe.

For today's look, I have put together an outfit in which the pieces were purchased from many types of retailers and different price points. In other words, nothing was purchased together, nor with the idea of being specifically worn together. However the look is harmonious. The photos were taken in a place that plays well with today's opposites. Enjoy!
Sturdy and Soft: Denim vs. Chiffon
Today's Look - Petite White Jeans: Loft (similar option), Top is super old purchased from TJ Maxx (option at Amazon), Clutch: Juicy Couture, Sandals: Nine West Vintage America Collection (limited addition), Cuff: J.Jill (old) (option on Amazon), Knuckle Rings: Everything Silver (options on Amazon), Polish is Mink Muffs by essie

Skinny and Billowy: Skinny jeans with a Billowy top

Black and White: Opposing light reflections

Bold and Delicate: Statement accessories mixed with Delicate accessories

Near and Far: Close vs. Distance

High and Low: High Heels with a High/Low top

Open and Closed: Open and Closed Door
 
Short and Tall: Glenda vs. Surroundings
Is it safe to say, that in life and in fashion, opposites are meant to be? What are your viewpoints on buying separates (with the idea of having an abundance of options in your wardrobe) verses wearing made to be worn together coordinates? Let's see if we have opposing views{wink}

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Photographs by Freddy

9.07.2014

Emerge!

Emerge is #5 and the final segment in a series: Stay Connected by following one or more of the networks at the end of this post.

Wrap me in your grace today as you 
remind me of your limitless love. 
Teach me to trust your assurances that you 
have made me truly and eternally beautiful. 
~Anonymous

The last few days have been anything short of miraculous. This past Thursday, I lay my head on my pillow, with a knowing, that it was time to emerge...


And emerge I did! I cannot say that the transformation was an easy journey. It was daunting, and audibly the most difficult challenge that I have had to face. It was a heavy experience that required times of solitude, deep introspective, and many tears, that I am positive, washed away much of the hurt. But in retrospect, the moments I spent in this process can be dubbed as priceless. I could never put a value on the exceptional importance of peace-of-mind. And though we see many quotes that instruct us to never look back, sometimes it is crucial to do so in order to understand what you may or may not want to repeat.


And though I had to draw back the curtain to expose my heart and reveal my past hurts (and in essence become vulnerable) the process cleared the way for me to drop my bags and make room for my joy. I am truly thankful that I made the decision to disclose my past to you. By doing so, it was as if I opened a flood-gate of healing. In my mind, I could envision every negative experience being washed away. Washed away from my present...and washed away from my future. And, it was your inspiring and encouraging words that provided replenishment for my soul.



For today, to represent my transformation and my wings, I have chosen to wear an outfit that represents the creative and bohemian side of Glenda - Since that was the side of Glenda which was suppressed for so many years:
  • An 80s floral dress, that I'm wearing as a duster, to represent my colorful and life affirming wings (vintage); 
  • A pair of Loft jeans that I recently removed the leg hem stitching to sport an unfinished look (because, after all, life is always a work in progress) (Options at Loft);
  • A basic white tank top to represent a blank canvas in which I can create (Loft); 
  • Booties are Mainstay by Nine West (available on Amazon)
  • A butterfly necklace that reminds me of what is to come in my new life (vintage).
  • Polish is A-List by essie





As I move forward in my new life, in spite of what my mind believed and regardless of what I was told, I discovered that I was already a butterfly (albeit a wounded butterfly). My wings needed mending, and because of this, I wasn't able to fly. I took this time of discovery to repair and heal. Now I am ready to stretch my wings and reach the sky...and perhaps one day I will soar. To begin my new journey, I will begin serving as a teachers assistant in the Fashion Merchandising program at my sons high school. This not only brings me great joy, but hopefully it will also serve as a catapult to new and exciting opportunities in the field of fashion. Oh how it pleases me to be able to give knowledge to aspiring young people in the field that I adore!


And on days of relaxation in my new life, I look forward to being a creature that flutters amongst the flowers; hovering about, in a peaceful place. The Beginning{wink}


No. 1 in this series is called Confident. Click CONFIDENT to begin the journey.
No. 2 in this series is called Dark Liquid. Click DARK LIQUID to continue the journey.
No. 3 in this series is called Road Closed. Click ROAD CLOSED to continue the journey. 
No. 4 in this series is called Shine. Click SHINE to continue the journey.

 
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Visible Monday
Personal Style Monday
Photographs by Freddy

9.04.2014

Style Project: I Can't Live Without...

I'm stopping by to share my feature on the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising blog. They have a segment called Style Project where they ask FIDM grads certain style questions. I'm very honored and proud to share that this is my second feature. You can see the first one by clicking HERE.

Today's Style Project question is: "What's the one thing in your closet you couldn't live without?" Can you guess? Find out the answer by clicking HERE to visit the FIDM blog. Enjoy!


Thank you again for the feature FIDM {wink}

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9.02.2014

If I Were Attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week...

Let's be real, 95% of fashion bloggers will probably never have the opportunity to attend the shows during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. A sad observation, but true. For we know that to receive a golden invitation to attend such a prestigious event, would mean that one has been spotted and recognized by the BIG fashion influencers. I'm not going to hide the fact that if I were one of the lucky few attending, I would be an extremely happy woman...even if I had to sit in the rafters.

Just before fashion week, there seems to be an onset of interviews where they ask fashion insiders what they're packing for the fashionable week. I enjoy watching these discussions. I'm always curious to what others would wear to endure such a rigorous schedule. There always seems to be such a sharp contrast between the attendees who are there to work verses attendees who are there as a show piece. Those working the events seem to keep their attire more streamlined, yet chic; while others seem to wear show-stopping pieces that require the utmost precision to get in and out of.  


Let's suppose I was attending, and I was there to work. I would most likely wear something scaled down to the minimum, easy to maneuver in, and comfortable, yet fashionable. With my experience in attending events for the various Southern California Fashion Weeks, I find it most appropriate to wear outfits that garner respect in my field as a writer, but also demonstrates my knowledge and respect for fashion. Today I'm wearing an outfit that is super easy to wear, is extremely comfortable, makes me feel relaxed and pulled together, and able to get the job done. A pair of drawstring, sport inspired pants, a pullover sweater, booties, clutch purse and my handy-dandy Galaxy Note (which I'm having a love affair with) to catalog pictures and take plenty of notes for my report.

Today's Look - Lou & Grey Drawstring Pants: Loft, Royal Blue Slouchy Sweater: Zara (sold out), Nine West Mainstay Booties: Amazon, Magazine Clutch: Amazon, Samsung Galaxy Note3; Aviators: Loft (mirrored option HERE), Polish is 'A List' by essie, Lipstick Chubby is Mightiest Maraschino by Clinique, Silver rings and bangle purchased in Mexico.





  


Sure, for evening events I would sport a different look, but for a full schedule of attending fashion shows, I would still keep my look streamlined. If you received that golden invite to report on or attend the shows during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, what would you wear? In the meantime, if a trip to New York just isn't in the cards, click HERE to see the schedule for the upcoming shows. Which designers are you looking forward to seeing? I'll let you guess mine. The initials are M.K.{wink}

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Photographs by Freddy

8.30.2014

Shine

Shine is #4 in a series: Stay Connected by following one or more of the networks at the end of this post.

The steps that one must take in order to improve their quality of life can sometimes be daunting. However, in spite of the rigor, I am confident that I am headed in the right direction. As I still remain somewhat submerged in dark liquid, I have begun to feel the positive affects beginning to take place. As I moved throughout my week, I was given glimmers of hope, gentle reminders that it's all going to turn out just fine. In other words, as I begin to make progress on my journey...as I begin to push the darkness aside...I am beginning to see the light! And, it is evident that wings are beginning to form.
 

Some ask what am I trying to improve? What is this journey about? I hesitate to share what the specifics are because it is my hopes that the writing would touch anyone who finds themselves wanting a better perspective on life. However, after much weighing of the pros and cons, I am making the decision to go ahead and release what has caused me so much angst in my life...what has caused so many road closures...


In a nutshell - I have lived most of my life in the past, and finding it very hard to embrace my future. I grew up in a two parent household with an older sister. However, I only received approval and love from my mother, and never from my father. Rather, what I received from my father was verbal bullying (a word that I don't use lightly), and a very obvious display of favoritism (with I not being the favorite). I grew-up feeling unloved and lacking self esteem. As a young woman, I didn't notice how severe his words were until my latter years; when I found it hard to move forward in life. Self doubt crept in, and I would talk myself out of pursuing many endeavors. There were times when I did manage to stand strong, but later sabotaging my own efforts because I never received a phone call from my father saying, Good job. So I adopted the philosophy of sitting on opportunities because I felt that I was never good enough. I sat and wondered why I didn't receive love and approval from my father. I sat...


Until one day I woke up and said, "Enough - I choose a better life!" And this is why and when my chronicled journey of self approval began. I am optimistic about my choice to move forward. Like I stated at the beginning of this post, this week has met with many gentle reminders of my new found freedom of living my life in the now and letting my life SHINE. 
  • First, I received a lovely gift from Artist and Blogger - Joni James - the beautiful and inspirational butterfly interpretation seen below. The art piece was enclosed with a note that read, "May the sun always shine on your horizon."
  • Second, on the same day of receiving the artwork, as I drove on a clear day, I stopped at a traffic signal and spotted a butterfly. It was so beautiful that it seemed unreal and out of place...Almost as if it had been photo-shopped into my reality. I saw it fluttering about in someones front yard, near a plush, green tree. Its yellow-orange hue with black details stood out with such magnitude that it seemed to be painted into the landscape. Just before the signal turned green, the butterfly made its way toward my vehicle and fluttered right over my front windshield. It was there to remind me of the great things to come.
  • Third, also on the same day of receiving the artwork, I received a much anticipated phone call. I'll tell you more about this later (suspense is fun).
  • Fourth, and also on this same day, I was reminded of the lyrics to a song by India.Arie called I Choose:
Because you never know where life is gonna take you
and you can't change where you've been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose.
[Verse 1:]
Here am I now looking at 30 and I got so much to say.
I gotta get this off of my chest, I gotta let it go today.
I was always too concerned about what everybody would think.
But I can't live for everybody, I gotta live my life for me.(Yeah)
I pitched a fork in the road of my life and ain't nothing gonna happen unless I decide.
[Chorus:]
(And I choose) to be the best that I can be.
(I choose) to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don't dictate who I am. I choose. (Yeah) 

Butterfly by Joni James


Just like a caterpillar, I sit in a dark, yet peaceful place, as the reformation takes place. I am beginning to sense what feels like wings taking shape...beautiful, light and airy wings that shine when the light hits them.

For today's post I wear an outfit that depicts my life journey:
An accordion (knife) pleat skirt that shines when the light touches it, and reminds me of wings.
A cropped leather jacket to represent the remaining reformation of the dark liquid.
A colorful, painterly floral top to represent my new life amongst the flowers.

Today's Look - Skirt: Talbot's via eBay (some still available), Jacket: vintage purchase, Peplum neoprene top: Zara (past season), Sandals: vintage purchase option at Nordstrom.com, Wallet by Bosca (options on Amazon). 




Soon, the reformation will end and a new Glenda will emerge. I can feel the warm sunshine on my face as I hold my head up toward my future, and there...



My wings will take flight and I will shine. To be continued...{wink}

No. 1 in this series is called Confident. Click CONFIDENT to begin the journey.
No. 2 in this series is called Dark Liquid. Click DARK LIQUID to continue the journey.
No. 3 in this series is called Road Closed. Click ROAD CLOSED to continue the journey.

If you haven't flipped through The Ultimate Fall Fashion Guide click HERE and enjoy (cannot be viewed from mobile devices)
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Photographs by Freddy