Friday, August 31, 2012

Critical thinking and your thoughts please

Shirt: F21 (thrifted)
Skirt: Old Navy (thrifted)
Shoes: Payless
Handbag: Vintage Coach (thrifted)

I've had this post on my mind for some time, but I've held off on it, I am not the best at expressing myself.  However, I think I'll give it a try today.  Here's the heads up towards this being a long post.

I think this outfit is in need of some critical thinking.  I liked how it felt today but after looking back at the photographs, I can see it needs some work.  The flowy top with the pleated skirt is just too much and would it have killed me to work in a print or something visually interesting?  There are flaws with this outfit.  But in the world of blogging, most will just say, "nice skirt" and not "ah, girl, too much volume today!  Try a structured shirt with this skirt next time."  It is not cool to offer advice or a critical thought. But you know what?  I will love you more if you point out my mistakes and take the time to give me feedback. 

When I first started blogging a long, long time ago, a whole eight months to be exact, I was really starry eyed and excited about it.  It was fun to start something created since I had dropped my art, writing and riding after I had kids.  It was fun to be creative again!  

But as the months have gone on and as I've slowly started exploring this blogging world, I've noticed a lack of critical thinking.  I wasn't sure at first if this was because it's personal style and therefore somewhat subjective, or maybe just not nice manners, but I was use to the writing and art community where critical thinking and critical advice was thrived upon.  I was surprised to see bloggers write in their comment boxes that "only positive thoughts and sparkles and rainbows and unicorns oh my!"  were allowed and that all "negative" comments would be deleted.  Okey dokey.  I get why people don't want cursing in their comments and negative comments means body-bashing or death threats, right?

Nope.  I personally learned this a couple days ago.  One blogger who I've followed for a while and comment on fairly often had a cute outfit that I really liked, but had something about it that visually threw it off.  I made a long, polite comment about what I really like about the comment, then noted that the belt placement threw it off a bit. (I even apologized for mentioning it.)  I liked this blogger and being that she seemed to be a lovely, mature lady, I thought she'd be okay with that.  Well, the comment was deleted.   I was really surprised and made a apology, hoping I hadn't offended her.  She replied saying she wanted her blog to be a positive spot and thanks for visiting.   I was really thrown and kind of shocked that 1)mentioning the placement of a belt was a negative comment when the majority of the comment was saying what I liked about her look. 2) She felt she had to delete the comment and unfollow me, then pretended she didn't know me and that my thoughts were that unimportant as a reader unless it was in fawning adoration.  

And this is a huge problem in the blogging world to me.  As readers, unless we fawn over a blogger, our thoughts are not important and we are "omg! Haters! Let's see your blog with millions of hits and followers, then you can talk!"  What?!  Since when did how many followers or hits relate to my importance as a reader and fellow blogger?  Are comments like "Love ur shoes, follow me back!" of more importance?  Is that really what it is all about? 

Heh, reading back, that does sound like a case of the sour appleson my part, but I've noticed this on many of the bigger blogs or even some of the smaller ones.  I'll read a comment above mine, go "yeah, that sounds right, these shoes aren't quite the right fit for this outfit" and then two days later be subjected allowed to a post from the blogger about the haters and negative comments.  It is made out to be that so many people are  leaving hate mail when one person made a comment about shoes.   I get that if you don't like something, don't read it. But don't write off your readers and your fellow bloggers for having a option or a thought in their head.

Critical thinking is how we improve.  One commentator left me a comment a week ago stating that my posts were hard to read because I did not spell check enough or edit my posts.  She was 100 percent correct and I thank her for taking the time to let me know that.  I had a problem with spelling and I'd been coasting lately, hoping no one had noticed.  She let me know that people had notice and that will make me step up my game. (Or at least edit.)  And not all bloggers write off  a reader's critical thought. Gracey over at Fashion for Giants is amazing in dealing with and respecting her readers and their opinions. (One reason I love you Gracey!)

If you've taken the time to read through my ungainly post and scattered thoughts, please note that I am not talking about you!  This post in not generated towards any one blogger in general but rather my thoughts on the watering down of opinions within the blogging world.

If I read or follow a blog, it is because you are a awesome babe whose style I like and you have something interesting to say.  I take my time to convey (hopefully) that to you because I like and respect you and I respect the time you take posting.    I don't comment on every blog out there because I want traffic to my blog.  I don't intend to monetize my blog so traffic isn't important nor is having hundreds of followers who say "cool boots" on every post. (Which none of you mega awesome babes do.)  I comment on your blogs because I like you.   Every once in a while I might comment that a different color might work better, but if I do it is because I respect you and I would hope that you would do that same and call me out on my mistakes. (And lordy, have I ever made some.)     I don't mean this post to be a hating on blogging or any one blogger, but rather, hopefully, opening up a line of discussion about something that is missing.  I hope that you will take a moment to comment on this, either to blast me and tell me why my head is stuck up my butt or to point out something you feel can be improved.  

All you fantastically wonderful women out there who take the time to talk to me, to leave me a comment, all of you who I love, thank you.  You are the reason why this is fun.  I enjoy  this so much, even thought this might not always be a "positive" place. Life is a mix of positive and neutral and negative and to represent only the positive is not a true reflection.  I might never get another follower or a new reader, but I've gotten to meet you lovely ladies who I respect and even if you want to tell me to get off my high horse, I respect you for standing up and saying it.  Thanks dears!

A note on the silly positive side,
a rare glimpse of the Isabel shark about to attack two unsuspecting victims: 

And I will still talk about the stupid weather.  I'm an Alaskan.  We're crazy about that stuff.

Good gravy on biscuits, this was a long post. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lace and Military jackets

Jacket: (thrifted)
Lace shirt: Fred Meyer/Kroger
Tank: Old Navy
Pants: Fred Meyer/Kroger
Shoes: Payless
Handbag: Coach (Consignment)

I''ll just admit that I love lace.  Lovely, old fashion what lace just gets me every time.  It pairs so well with my other love, military inspired jackets and this soft jacket works so perfectly with all of my lace tops!

I know I mentioned that the next time I wore polka dotted pants I'd be braver and step away from the neutral colored tops but that didn't happen.  I guess I haven't figured out how to wear patterned pants with bright tops and not have it look too trendy.   Neutrals at least keep this an outfit that I can wear a few years from now and not feel terribly dated in it.  I worry about that with every trend, I hate to buy clothes that will look dated in a short amount of time.  Unless it's something I can wear over and over again, I won't buy it.  I think this is why I still won't buy a pair of floral or animal patterned pants, they just feel a little too trendy for me.  (With the animal printed pants, it might be a safety related issue.  Hunting season is coming up you know.)

Last time I wore my hair rolled up like this a lot of people asked how I did this.  I got the idea from Elizabeth over at Delightfully Tacky.  She did a easy to follow tutorial on how to do this and while I mangled it quite a bit, it is really easy to do!   And while I'm talking about fellow Alaskan style bloggers, I want to give Lauren over at Introvet's Introduction a big shout out.  She headed off to college down in the lower 48 this week (to one of my favorite cities I might add!) and I wish her the best in this big new step in her life!  Have such an exciting time exploring Portland Lauren!

Izzy is so proud of her new shoes!  Sears had a huge sale on their kids shoes this weekend and since her and Gunnar have grown out of their shoes this summer (or destroyed them) they both got to buy new shoes.  Izzy found these cute pink tennis shoes and a little pair of girl high-heels. (She's going to give Suri a run for her money.)  Gunnar was so serious picking out his shoes, he had to go through each pair in his size before he settled on  a pair.  It was quite cute!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fading light in the woods

Vest: Old Navy
Shirt: Old Navy
Dress: F21 (thrifted, sad, I know.)
Shoes: Sears
Handbag: Vintage Coach (thrifted)

Well darn if I wasn't having a good hair day today.  I guess that totally makes up for me being tossed on my butt like a limp sack of potatoes earlier.  I was working on flying leads changes on the horse I lease, Mikkato and I did not set up for a nice lead change on one circle, which pissed him off and he promptly tossed me.  We both were so surprised that we stared at each other, me on my butt and him with the reins hanging down.  Ah, one of those days.  I was due for a non-rider approved dismount sometime this summer.

I haven't really gotten to do much photography work during the later hours of the day, so I was pretty excited that the opportunity came along.  The lighting was really fun to play with and I was so pleased with how my shots came out, I'm slowly progressing.

I tried this dress first with a cardigan this morning and it just looked very un-me.  (I guess I don't really wear cardigans that often.)   Since my love of denim shirts and vests is well documented, I layered these and ended up with an outfit I really liked.  It's great when that happens. (As opposed to all of the outfits I look back on and groan in embarrassment.)

Gray skies

Sweater: J.Crew Cashmere (Thrifted)
Skirt: Gap (thrifted)
Coat: Betsy Johnson
Tights: Sears
Boots: Black Poppy (Pacsun)
Handbag: Coach (garage sale)

Wow, this outfit is just bursting with color.  

I do really like monotone outfits and while I like this one a lot, I think next time I'll pair a sheer tight with these booties, the these just do not work with the black booties in the photographs.  Which is strange because they look okay in real life, but the tights just look so flat and thick in the pictures.   It's funny how some things photograph well and others don't.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The ponies told me so

Scarf: Fred Meyer/ Kroger
Sweater: Gap (thrifted)
Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters
Shoes: Payless
Cuff: Icings
Handbag: Vintage Coach (thrifted)

It's taken me three years to find a decent pair of boyfriend jeans but a little while ago I finally found the perfect pair.  I got these back when American Eagle had their big 40% off clearance sale and with a 20% off coupon, I got these for less than eight dollars.  That is so my kind of price point.   I've been wearing these almost every weekend, they are just crazy comfy.  I really have to take back everything I've said about American Eagle over the years, they actually make a pretty awesome pair of jeans, the pair of skinnies I got at the same time are comparable in quality to my JBrand pair.  I have a round butt, so I have trouble sometimes with the seat of jeans being cut flat through there, but the AE jeans are really fantastic for that.

In other news, it's cold.  The winter coats on the horses are growing in already, that does not speak for us having an easy winter this year.  (Just because I'm so sure that everyone in the world is waiting on the edge of their seats to know that latest updates of Alaskan weather.)  But the ponies and how soon their winter coats start growing in is a good indication of how the winter is going to go, so this provides endless conversation fodder for weather obsessed Alaskans.  Which is pretty much all of us.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That's a sweet Farmer's tan

Shirt: Sears
Pants: American Eagle Outfitters
Shoes: Payless
Handbag: Coach (garage sale)

I really love these American Eagle polka dotted pants, I'm surprised at how many tops they work with in my closet! (Note to self: this top does not tuck well with lower rise pants.)  I've been mostly pairing neutral colored tops with these pants so far, next time I'll try something a little more out of my comfort zone.  Even though polka dotted pants are already a bit out of my comfort zone.   

EDIT: This part of the post has been removed and edited.  I'm not comfortable with a search tag that came up for my blog to this post.  While I like showing off pictures of the kids for the people in my life who do read this blog, I am nervous about posting pictures of them on the net.  I am removing this part of the post and hopefully this search won't come up again, but from now on in my new posts, there will not be photos of the kids.  Their protection is the most important thing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yup, it's a denim shirt

Scarf: Fred Meyer
Vest:  (thrifted)
Shirt: Lands End (thrifted)
Pants: UK Style by French connection (Sears)
Shoes: Steve Madden
Handbag: Coach (Garage Sale)

I think fall had officially arrived up here.  The leaves are turned and littering the ground and it's starting to get cold.  Blah.  That means winter and freezing temps are right around the corner.  Double blah.

Church garage sales on the other hand are not blah.  We checked one out last Saturday since they're a great place for kids books and we've been on the hunt for a bicycle large enough for the husband.  While the big bike remains elusive, we did find tons of great kids books and I found something special!  Most of the time church sales are pretty meh for clothes, but I noticed a great structured handbag under a pile of clothes.  It looked like leather so I pulled it and after a moment of inspection, casuaaaaly walked over to the ladies with the cash boxes.

Me: Soooo, how much are the handbags?
Church lady: $3.00
Me: Including this one?
Church lady: All purses are $3.00.
Me: All of them?
Church lady: Yes.  $3.00. 

I'm pretty sure she thought I was crazy, but I'll take looking ;like a crazy chick in exchange for a great vintage leather Coach purse for $3.00.  Yes, Yes I will.   I think makes up for the dry spell at the thrift stores lately.  Although I did break my boycott of Value Village yesterday, since they had a 50% off sale for kids clothes, so we stocked up on jeans  for the kids.  (It's so funny, Gunnar actually likes clothes shopping, he slowly went through the pile of jeans in his size and picked out the ones he liked and found little sweaters to go with them.  He always tries to pick out clothes that look like his uncles' clothes, since he's pretty sure they're the coolest guys ever.  Izzy just goes for the pinkest shirts she can find, or anything that has a dog on it.)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

No Thanks Ma'am

Dress: Kardashian for Sears
Shoes: Sears
Necklace: Vendor from Fair
Bracelets: Garage Sale, Fred Meyer
Ring: Icings

I have a habit of stuff everything in my purse.   This leads to embarrassing situations, like this incident today.

We were picking up sandwiches at Subway.  I dug around in my purse until I found my wallet, pulled it out and flipped out the wallet for some cash.   Out of my wallet pops a Tampon, which rolls across the counter to the male cashier.  I'm too stunned and shocked by the fact that a tampon made it's way into my tiny wallet to even make a grab for it and just stare at it, laying on the counter.

"No thanks ma'am, we don't accept those as payment."

Awkward, feeble laugh from me, then an exit stage right to the door.

Today, I WILL clean out my purse!

As you can see, the sun burns from the lace dress earlier this year still haven't gone away.  Every now and then I check my stats to see where I get the most hits from and a good 40% of it is from goggle searches for "Bad lace sunburns."  I'm just all kinds of embarrassment today.