Saturday, February 27, 2010

What's Your Sign & A Giveaway

The poll -

You may or may not have noticed my new poll on the left side of my blog asking you what your astrological sign is. Enquiring minds want to know! You see, I find it interesting because you may not believe in astrology but certain signs have qualities that are supposed to affect their spending habits, saving habits, and fashion habits. For instance, it seems like a lot of Anthropologie lovers are Aquarius (I'm one!) and we are supposed to be more eclectic in the way we dress which makes sense for loving quirky things from Anthro. Capricorns are supposed to be more grounded financially and would rather save money than spend it. So you can see how this piqued my interest in how this community ranks astrologically. Please take a few seconds and enter your sign in the poll!

Now for the giveaway!

The lovely Kim at Anthroholic is offering a giveaway of a pair of gorgeous Kensie 'Nicoletta' Sunglasses from the Spring 2010 collection. Go visit her blog for information and enter to win! I'd wish you good luck but I'm hoping I'll snag 'em!

Kim wearing her pair.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bad News Bears

I was going to try to turn this blog into an Anthro-only blog but it turns out I need to vent and ponder sometimes and it is my many musings after all… I received some bad news yesterday when I saw my rheumatologist. I’ve had this thing on the top of my foot since October (you can see it in some of my shoeless review pictures) and it has turned into some sort of hard mass/tumor with palpable nodules under the skin, subcutaneous edema, inflammation, swelling, occasional localized hives that do not respond to medication, etc. Sounds lovely, huh? I first saw an ER doctor about it in December when it would not go away and the entire top of my foot swelled up bad enough that I could not even bend my toes. He didn’t know what it was and told me it was probably cellulitis (deep tissue infection) and put me on two strong, horrible antibiotics which messed up my intestinal tract. Thankfully I took a lot of probiotics from Whole Foods and got that straightened out.

After a month the swelling went back down and it seemed like my foot was on the mend. I didn’t think much about it for a couple of weeks after that. It was still a visible mark but didn’t bother me. I made an appointment with my dermatologist who is impossible to see right away and of course it was on the mend by the time I got into his office. He didn’t know what it was and told me it appeared to be healing and just to put Vaseline on it to moisturize the area until it was gone. Then it grew! The swelling returned along with all of the other symptoms. It itched like crazy and nothing would make that stop except for my mom’s wonderful idea of what I will call “cowboy medicine” – damp tobacco applied to the area for 30 minutes. FYI, this also works on bee and wasps stings. A couple of weeks ago I saw the dermatologist again and he was still baffled. He said if it was a bug bite or fungus or any typical type of dermatitis it would have gone away by now and recommended a biopsy. I looked at the scar on my leg from the last biopsy he performed to diagnose my vasculitis and told him I wanted to wait and see. He gave me some steroid ointment to apply, “so I didn’t have to use the tobacco anymore.”

That brings you up to date and to my appointment yesterday with my rheumatologist. She told me that the mass feels and looks autoimmune but not like my normal vasculitis and that I should get the biopsy done to confirm what type. If it is indeed an autoimmune process, I will have to start the chemotherapy drug, Methotrexate, which we were putting off as long as possible. Of course I couldn’t get an appointment with the dermatologist for the biopsy until March 10th so I will be stressing out until then. But it had been a few months since I was diagnosed with a new disease so I guess it was time… meh! It seems there is something called Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome (MAS) where folks get 3 or more diseases. It happens to 25% of people with an autoimmune disease. This is my 3rd, 4th or 5th one depending on your views of fibromyalgia (autoimmune components) and pseudotumor cerebri (who freaking knows). I feel like an episode of House. Apparently my immune system went to the buy one get one free sale.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Curvy Girl Review

Dear readers, I learned a very important lesson this weekend - never do a dressing room review while it is that time of the month and you already wear the biggest size the store carries and cannot size up due to bloat! (Unless you are broke and want to dissuade yourself from buying anything.) I tried on a lot of things and nothing looked or felt good. I swear my boobs seemed like an entire cup size bigger and I was ready to chop them off! Don't even get me started about the belly...

Anyhow, I tried on a boatload of stuff and really wanted to review the Reed Shirtdress but I could not get the dang buttons to stay fastened over my chest and even on the hanger those buttons were just falling out of the holes so I'm hoping it was just a faulty dress and I can try one on again next week. I was also planning on trying on the Plains & Prairies Dress but got frustrated after getting caught up in the attached lining and gave up. So here are the good, the bad, and the ugly that made it onto this week's review list.

The Swinging Sweetheart Dress ($168) was the only thing I tried on that felt like it had any potential whatsoever. However, there were still some issues. I tried on a 14 and there was some bunching of material in the back right under the scalloped edge where the black section begins. I'm not sure if this is strictly a fit issue or has something to do with my swayback. Either way, I'd definitely say this dress runs a bit small or it could be that I was running big. The pink silk part of the dress is actually sheer but you can't tell in the front thanks to the pleats. In the back, however, you can definitely see back fat in action. In order for this dress to work I would either need to a) wear it with Spanx standing up only and never sit down, b) lose 10 pounds and possibly still wear Spanx at least for the back fat coverage. This dress is so pretty and although I don't currently have the occasion to wear it, I would like to have it on hand in case an occasion should arise, and because of its vintage appearance, it will always be in fashion. Maybe once it has been marked down twice?! The problem with this method of shopping is that I don't plan on staying this weight.

Here I am wearing the Collected Calico Dress ($138) in a size 12 because my store did not have it in a 14. I had way too much boobage for this dress and it felt like I was wearing a sports bra with all of the smashing going on. The print does look better in person than it does online and the dress itself feels soft and I think would be comfortable had it fit correctly. There was a lot of shaping happening in the upper half of the dress (including some elastic banding in back and boning) which means you could possibly go braless if you were so daring. Another plus is that it comes with pockets! The only downfall to this dress beside the ill-fit was that it seemed like something a 12-year-old girl would wear, minus the cup details on the breast. The Anthropologie website says that this dress is 31.25" in length so either that measurement is incorrect or I have shrunk a foot and am now 4'5" tall. I would guess it is closer to 41" in length.

I had high hopes for the Sunny Escape Tank ($68) and imagined myself frolicking about during spring in this cheerfully bright top, but noooooo it had to go and do horrible things to my body like creating an arrow that points to my belly fat and gaping holes that show my bra. I tried on a large and didn't even bother asking for the XL because even though it might have fit my bust better, I feared it would just look like I was wearing a muumuu. I was so disappointed! I envy the woman who can pull this off! You can see Roxy's recent review here.

Here I am wearing the Balletomane Tank ($78) in a size large. I think this top would look really pretty on someone with a smaller bust but I definitely did not need any extra weight in that area. Speaking of weight, this top literally felt like it added an extra pound of weight to my breast zone making me feel even more like a hunchback than I already do. Boobs are heavy my friends and I don't need them to be heavier! There were also some back-fat issues happening and like I said, this just wasn't a day where I was feeling pretty in anything I tried on. The material of this top is otherwise very light, soft and pretty, being made of cotton and modal with the outer layer being almost a superfine netting. I recommend this top for someone who is smaller on top and larger on the bottom as way to balance out your figure. This could also hide some tummy problem areas, which I think it would have done for me had I tried on an XL. You can see Kim wearing it here.

Why no, I'm not pregnant, nor am I smuggling a bowling ball under my top. That is just me wearing the Vermillion Flurry Blouse ($128) in a size 12. Although this top looks orange in my pictures and red on the Anthropologie website, it is actually more of a coral color in person, something in between red and orange with a hint of a pink hue. The airy ruffled collar on this blouse is lovely but the white cuffs on the sleeves along with the reddish color are reminiscent of Annie from a distance when combined with my red hair. Even if this top did not look horrendous on me, it would still be a pass.

The Celebratory Blouse ($78) looked pretty and festive on the hanger but just made me look like the number 8. It is also see-through and no one needs to see my belly bouncing around town! I really liked the buttons and the subtlety of the ruffles but this top was an obvious disaster on my body. I tried on a size 14.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

OOTD for Cirque du Soleil

Tonight was a very special night because I got to go see Cirque du Soleil's Alegria. I cannot tell you how much I love their shows! It also gave me the perfect opportunity to have my very first outfit of the day post and I managed to dress myself completely in Anthropologie. I'm not going to have many OOTD posts because I work at home in my pajamas and I promise y'all don't want to see that on a daily basis! This is also the reason why I tend to buy more of the casual style Anthro items than the fancier ones.

Unfortunately these are still iPhone pictures but I am charging my real camera's battery now so it will be available next time. Anyway, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Dress: All Seasons Shirtdress - Anthropologie
Shirt: Paramount Scoopneck - Anthropologie
Belt: Snakebite Belt - Anthropologie
Tights: Opaque Tights - Anthropologie
Boots: With-A-Splash Booties - Anthropologie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anthropologie Reviews for the Chubby Gals (some sale and some new)

This is my first Anthropologie dressing room review and I was inspired by Roxy at Effortless Anthropologie ( ) as well as many others who review Anthro clothes on their blogs and thought I would add my 2 cents for the chubbier gals out there who don't fall into the average size category or the super skinny category either. For reference, I am 5'5" and *gulp* 178 pounds. I wear sizes 12-14 or L-XL. I would normally never put my weight on the internet for the world to see but I'm hoping this will be helpful to other women who wear the larger sizes at our favorite store and somehow possibly be freeing for me at the same time. (Plus, this blog currently has zero subscribers so really what's the harm?) I am also trying to be brave enough to add pictures of clothes that I know do not look good on my size/body shape just in case anyone else out there is considering a purchase online without trying something on. So here goes and I must apologize in advance for my poor photography. It turns out it is very difficult to take a picture of yourself in a dressing room with your iPhone when you have shaky hands; kudos to you other ladies who do it so well! Hopefully I will get better with practice.

Meet And Greet Henley (Sold out online but still available in stores - $39.95, was $78)
"Gauzy plaids mingle on the sleeves and placket of one.september's tee, and get acquainted with the swathe of soft jersey below."
Style #913846

I actually own this top and it is what I was wearing today. This is a size XL. I love this top but I thought I would show its flaw, which is the buttoned section between the breasts does not lay flat and causes a tenting effect. It also seems to run a bit short but that could just be my boobs and belly taking up the slack...

Pins And Polka Dots Dress (Sold out online but still available in stores)
Scattered spots intermingle with lanky lines in Moulinette Soeurs' wrap-inspired frock of floaty chiffon.
Front pockets
Side zip
Polyester; acetate lining
Machine wash
Regular: 37"L
Petite: 35"L
style #933236
$79.95...was $158.00

Sorry for the slightly pornographic nature of these photos but this dress clearly needs a cami, pinning, or a stitch added to the top. This is a size 12 which was tight but they did not have a 14 to try on. I like this dress and if my size had been in stock I think it would be worth the sale price assuming I could discretely add a couple of stitches to close the bust-line.

Fragmented Pipevine Dress
So fast they flit! Mere glimpses of grand butterfly wings are visible on Maeve's sash-wound voile dress.
Side pockets
Button front
Cotton; cotton lining
Machine wash
style #030015

I really like this dress but unfortunately they did not have a size 14 in stock for me to try on and the 12 was too small in the bust. The colors are really nice in person and I happen to love cotton dresses. I do know that this style of dress tends to make me look shorter and I hate seeing my bare arms but I am willing to forgive my body's shortcomings because I really like this dress! The waist is nice and fitted and the sweetheart neckline is modest with just a touch of cleavage. Are redheads allowed to wear orange?

Sparrow softens richly hued sweaterknit with a mix of stitches and a flattering silhouette.
Pullover styling
Cotton, nylon, wool, angora
Dry clean
style #933167
$49.95...was $148.00

I knew as soon as I saw this dress online that it would look horrible on my body shape, but for the good of humanity or to convince you to stay on your diet, I decided to try it on in order to show you why you should think twice before buying if you are a larger sized woman. I don't even remember what size I tried on but I think it was a 12 and whether or not this fits true to size is hard to tell because it is extremely stretchy material. Two words come to mind: short and dumpy! I don't think I even need to explain why this dress doesn't work on me, the pictures are self explanatory.

Whether paired with a skinny turtleneck, a cozy cardi or just your favorite sandals, the small ruffles and pretty pintucks of Odille's flowy dress will see you through the calendar year.
Side pockets
Pullover styling
Machine wash
style #030013

I have to tell you that this dress actually looked good on me in the store. I even felt good enough in it to venture out of my dressing room closet to view myself in the 3-way mirror in front of other customers and staff. I even had a random customer compliment me in it. But now looking at these pictures I am wondering what alternate universe that dressing room is in! I swear this looks good on me in person.... I thought. Anyhow, this is a size 12 and it fit really well with room to breathe which means that it runs big, which is a good thing because as the Anthro description suggests, you can wear a shirt under it to layer in cooler weather. This is also advisable because the arm holes are very wide and you can see not only the lovely side of your bra but also the very attractive underarm chub around the side of your bra. This dress has had mixed reviews online and I do think it is one of the rare Anthro dresses that will probably look better on us curvy gals! But again, these pictures are making me second guess myself.

Dwarf Quince Cardigan
Hardy clusters and woody branches take root on Sparrow's finely knit open-placket cardi.
Front pockets
Dry clean
style #913663

This is a beautiful cardigan and I tried on the XL which was too big. As you can see in my pictures, the color of the flowers is actually more of an orange than red as the Anthropologie website picture suggests. There are also some sparkly silver lines mixed in with the flowers but they are subtle and not over the top. The sleeves have some really nice ruching on the inside area of the cuff which is supposed to hit somewhere mid forearm according to the SA in the dressing room. If my joints hadn't started hurting I would have tried on a smaller size and this is definitely going on my wish list.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bargain Shopping

I can't tell you how good it feels to have a sold out item suddenly show up as in stock on my Anthropologie wish list. It makes me feel like I am somehow cheating the system and finding a secret prize hidden just for me. Today I managed to score the Pondside Cardi in blue that I missed out on during its second markdown to $29.95 (originally $118.00). Yipeee!

Anthropologie may have some ridiculous prices but they are really good about marking things down 50% when they go on sale, and even further if the item sticks around past the first markdown. The only problem with their sale prices is that it makes me feel like I am required to buy things because otherwise I am missing out on such a great deal. There is also a "rush" I get from scoring something awesome at a huge discount or by finding something that was previously out of stock. Hmmm.. maybe there is more to this addiction than I'm acknowledging.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One Year Older & Possibly One Year Wiser

Today is my birthday, which I celebrated Friday since the super bowl is today. I had a nice dinner at Buca Di Beppo (first time ever in the pope room) with a small group of friends whom I adore and my wonderful family, followed by drinks at the Jackalope. Thank you Jason Burton for the birthday drink tokens and thank you Jasen for serving up those drinks! It was nice to have a low key birthday for once and this is the first one in years that I actually remember (I can't do shots on this current medication). I had a lovely evening!

Last night I was diving to Walgreens around 1:00 AM and a car drove past me with a girl in the passenger seat with her head hanging out the window and puke running down the side of the car. This gruesome sight made me realize that although aging has its downfalls (gravity, mobility, metabolism, etc), it is really nice to know that I am old enough now that I will most likely never be puking out the window of a moving vehicle.

This got me thinking about other things that my old age has taught me compared to who I was 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, hell even 2 years ago. Although I do miss my early 20's it is mostly my figure and health of those years that I miss. Sometimes I think that we should age backwards like Benjamin Button so that we have the most wisdom when our bodies are at their peak performance.

Turning 33 is not a milestone birthday but it has given me pause to reflect back on my life. I am not where I thought I would be when I was 23 looking forward 10 years, but considering what life has dished out to me over the past 2 years I think I'm doing pretty well despite it all. I have had many accomplishments and failures, many trials and tribulations and there are really only a couple of things that I would honestly do differently if I could go back and do them over again.

I have to remind myself not to think about the past too much. I still have a lot of wonderful things going for me and I would hate to look back in 10 years and wish that I had lived more in the moment at this age. My body might be planning a "coup de grace" against me with its multiple autoimmune diseases but it hasn't won just yet!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sad Feet

Why does Anthropologie insist on making my feet sad with envy? I have rheumatoid arthritis and will never again be able to wear high heels, the pain is just unbearable. I can wear a low 2 inch heel for about an hour if I put in my own arch supports and gel cushions. It is a sad state of affairs indeed! But to add insult to injury, Anthropologie is constantly rubbing it in my face with their delectable shoes which are generally 3 inch heels or taller. Sometimes I still have to talk myself out of buying them even though I know I cannot wear them. I just want to buy them and display them as art and gaze at them lovingly. (Not that I could afford them anyway...)

Here are some lovelies that I am currently lusting after:

Wilhelm Booties

An ancient tale speaks of a pair of burnished leather boots. With slender laces and a crackled finish, its beauty is so enchanting that frogs turn into princes and mermaids rise from the sea.

Side zip
Leather upper, insole, sole
3.25" stacked leather heel
style #940085
$149.95...was $300.00

Palm Shade Booties

Frond-shaped eyelets carve out the shadow and light of wavering island cover under the equatorial sun.

Back zip
Leather upper, insole
Synthetic sole
3" heel
style #043054

Midnight Sky T-Straps

Fringy chrysanthemum petals drip from a deep, dark stretch of starless suede. By Chie Mihara.
Adjustable buckle

Leather upper, insole, sole
3.5" leather wrapped heel
style #943096

To-The-Top Booties

It doesn't get any better than this stunning suede pair from Chie Mihara, crowned with three choice ties.

Tie closure
Leather upper, insole
Synthetic sole
3.75" leather wrapped heel
style #944139

Wishbone Wedges

It's ok to pin your hopes on Lucky Penny's twined leather peep-toes. With such rich color and classic style, they're sure to come true with each wear.

Adjustable buckle
Leather upper, insole
Synthetic sole
3.5" stacked leather wedge
style #940155