Hi everyone, I'm going to be playing catch up this week. I have missed some posts, and not because the content wasn't there, I just... didn't put any of it up on the blog.
Honestly, and I like to think I can be honest here, I've simply been fighting with my husband a lot. A lot of old resentments that I thought had finally settled into the ground and started decomposing, have been exhumed. It's like a horrible zombie apocalypse of every bad thing that has happened in the past couple of years. I'm not here to talk shit about the guy all over the internet (though I have not always been spared the same courtesy on his end), but it's been an emotionally trying weekend. Some days, I just hurt. Throw in some drama with my inconsiderate ex (the father of my son), and my youngest daughter being sick, and I'm just tired, and needing some wine. Oh, wait, my husband is drinking my wine RIGHT NOW. WTF dude, you don't even LIKE reds!!!! Yeah, well, I AM EATING ALL THE CHEEZ ITS THEN, so there! (I'm super mature and not childish at all)
BUT, on the bright side, I bought myself a pair of new shoes, since this was the final part of the 30 Day Money Cure course I took (don't laugh, but we were told to buy ourselves a new pair of shoes, to walk in abundance, and I know that sounds kind of hokey, but I had invested fully into the program to fix a lot of my problematic viewpoints with money, and decided that I had to do ALL of it, so I bought myself "abundance shoes" lol). I don't think it counts against me in my #NoBuy365 challenge. Also, because I used store credit from my online referrals, and got a pretty substantial kickback credit from using my American Express for the purchase, so this was sooooo cheap. And I got a free dress and sweater out of the deal! (Abundance indeed!)
It's been a while since I've done a Thrifty Thursday post! But I saw these amazing shorts pop up on Amazon, by one of my favorite designers, Joie, and thought they were just really fresh and on-trend for spring and summer! Everything about these just screams "brunch"! Click HERE to check it out in more detail (and then sigh with me over the price tag). Why are these $148???
It's been 111 days since I've purchased any clothes, shoes, accessories, or fashion (makeup being a consumable was left on the table as okay to purchase, along with skincare and hair products, of course. I also have put things like my workout clothes as NOT fashion since they wear out faster, and are for exercise and health, and I did have to replace a couple of workout shirts that finally stank their last stank, the kind of stank that no amount of Tide with Febreze was going to be able to wash out).
I am doing okay. It's been surprisingly easy! I don't feel like I am living some deprived awful existence full of lack. I don't feel poor because of it, like I have in the past. I am still enjoying putting together outfits, even without that "newness" factor (I really love "newness"). I have a ticker on my side bar that shows that I have 254 days left, so even though 111 days might sound impressive, I have a while to go (I started this on my 35th birthday. My giant "reset" button on my closet and insane shopping habits).
Granted, I am in a program where I will have to purchase a pair of new shoes (or so I've heard), so I am allowing myself to not feel bad. It doesn't *count* if it's a requirement. After all, it's my RECREATIONAL shopping that landed me here, wondering how I blew tens of thousands of dollars on clothing that I don't even wear.
But I'm all about that full disclosure, so when those new shoes show up, it is because I was required to make that purchase! I actually considered just... NOT... but the program I'm in is important to me, and I want to fully participate. So new shoes it is. Does it help if I pretend to not enjoy shopping for it? I'm totally going to enjoy this one little thing I get! But I'm also going to exercise restraint and not just go on a full-blown ridiculous shopping spree, no matter how good the sales are! AND, since I have a store credit, I'll make sure to buy from that site where my credit is. That makes it more like just using my store credit so it doesn't expire, than "shopping". Okay, I admit, there are a lot of mental gymnastics going on here.
I refuse to feel bad for buying a necessary, required pair of shoes. That does not mean I failed at #NoBuy365! It's the same as buying new running socks because they all started getting holes. Some clothing purchases are required, like underwear. Just because the required purchase is something I also like, doesn't make it less required!
And thanks for those of you who have been privately checking in on me during my journey! #NoBuy365 is a big challenge, but I already feel like the way I view consumer spending has dramatically shifted, for a lot of reasons, and in a week or two, I'll share my experiences and insights in more detail. I have had to confront a LOT of my own issues and hang-ups when it comes to money. The ghosts of my impoverished childhood and homelessness and hunger. The ways my mother influenced my spending habits. The way the generations before me created patterns that my family continued to perpetuate. Even my own distrust of charity and douchey rich people who avoid taxes through their stupid self-named "foundations", and how that has made me not want to donate cash to charities at all. A lot of heavy stuff. A lot of reflection. A lot of resentments I didn't know I had. A lot of letting go of stories that aren't mine and patterns that have been holding me back. And a lot of realizing which viewpoints of myself were the ones that really pulled me out of my lack and poverty.
I knew I wasn't going to stay poor, I just knew it. And just that belief itself was powerful, as my mother did not believe things would or could get better for her, and I am not sure my siblings ever believed they could escape it either. It became a part of their identity, and I told them all, as a teenager and college student, that I'm going to have a million dollars in liquid assets before I'm 40 (and yes, I'm mostly there, and now think I've set my bar too low). In a way, my own so-called arrogance, opened up doors for me. I took "risks" that my other family members didn't, because I believed those risks weren't really risks, that I was going to be just fine, and I was. I was the one who "didn't know her place", and I'm glad for it. My "place" was being broke, poor, and unhappy in the ghetto, according to them. Like who did I think I was to think I was better than that, or better than THEM. In a way, yes, I didn't know my place. I didn't know that place as all, it was not mine, I refused to recognize it as mine. That was never my place. I refused to accept that place. I took no ownership of it. I am not a shareholder in my poverty.
I know that this is just the start of me really changing the way I use my money, and that I need to explore more ways to use it for the greater good, beyond just buying myself designer clothing in Europe. I can do better with the gifts I have! And I will. I can afford to be generous. I can give so much more than I do.
See you tomorrow!
You may have seen a beauty hack for making your own version of Fenty's Body Lava making its rounds on Instagram and Facebook and beauty blogs... but here's how I have modified that hack to take into accountability things like "transferring to clothing" and "who on earth needs 14 oz of body illuminizer?"
Did you catch me live today??? Here's the link to go watch the replay! (Video will open in a new tab)
Happy Hump Day! And now to the bad part. (Yes, wishing you a happy hump day was the good part)
Bad news, guys: I am DONE doing giveaways.
But let me explain why.
As of right now, I have literally ZERO participants in the Plunder Design jewelry giveaway. And it ends tonight. Not a single person who follows me left a comment. I don't think I make it hard to be eligible here. You follow or like or subscribe or whatever. Most of you are already doing that. The additional step is leaving a comment. I know you are an introverted bunch, but dang. I have a hard time believing all 2000 of you just really think Plunder's jewelry line sucks so hard it's not worth commenting on.
In addition to the nonexistent participation, I also have people who even when they win, do not claim their prizes (or block me right after sending me their address, and no, I don't bother paying for shipping for people who won't even let me message the tracking info or follow up that they got it. Geez, wait until you get the free stuff and THEN block me!). I have a lot of unclaimed prizes. Like that $50 Sephora gift card. The one-year-pre-paid Ipsy subscription. An entire skincare collection.
In the event of the winner not claiming their prize (either by never contacting me, or blocking me), I then pick one random back-up winner, and THEY don't follow up either.
I appreciate all of my readers and am glad you're here, but I'm not going to continue to put the time, effort, and sometimes my own money, into sponsorships and acquiring items to pass on to my readers when it's clearly not something that is useful or valued.
But, if you're reading this and thinking, "That sucks, give ME all the free things!!!" then guess what? I have TONS OF IT and you can freakin' have it! CLICK HERE for details on how all of that is going down. You want that year of Ipsy glam bags? The Sephora gift card? Do you actually like Plunder but hate participating in giveaways? Okay, if you are serious about snatching up a ridiculous amount of free stuff, HERE YOU GO.
I will not be blogging again until Monday (I'll tell you all about it later! <3 ) so I'll see you then!
In preparing for a guest appearance for an unnamed event (sorry, no deets until it happens), I am fighting the urge to be really, really sarcastic.
Apparently I don't have a "dramatic" before and after. But, the thing is, Tracy-Prior-to-Fashion does not look very different from Tracy-Currently-in-Fashion. I don't dramatically alter my appearance. I might sometimes do a makeup tutorial featuring some techniques as a teaching tool, but no, I don't wear dramatic makeup 99% of the time. Most people don't. Most of us have our "quick" face we can put on. I like how I look when I'm natural or wearing natural-looking makeup. That is me being true to myself as a person. Just because I own 7 different shades of red lipstick doesn't mean I'm wearing it everyday. It just means I like having them as an option when I DO want to wear it. But mostly, I like looking natural. Culturally, out here in the Pacific Northwest, heavy make-up is just not a big part of our socially accepted aesthetic. "Natural" is the key word! Except with some of the much older women perhaps. But most of us are a bit more "granola" than that.
In the midwest and south, I found that women wore TONS of makeup (in comparison), and they wore it everyday. It was as normal a part of their routine as brushing their teeth.
And that's fine too! In the midwest and south, that is what is more socially acceptable. Cultural context definitely plays a part here. And in the Pacific Northwest, we just adore that more natural, fresh-faced look!
But I'm feeling rather pressured here. I don't like being TOLD I have to basically go put on a full face of makeup, for dramatic effect.
1). That dramatic "after" then becomes forced and fake because it's not a look I even wear 99% of the time. It's not actually representative of me or my style.
2). Makeup is every woman's personal choice to wear it. None of us should feel pressured to put it on.
So, I am considering just putting a baby photo of myself as my "before". Or maybe putting on literal clown makeup for my "after". That makes it "dramatic" right? And authenticity isn't the important part here. It just needs to be dramatic. (They didn't specify that it had to be dramatically BETTER in the "after").
At some point I need to actually respond civilly. I'm not there yet though.
It's Friday, and that means it's VIDEO time! Now, that means that the post usually goes up later in the afternoon or evening as I embed my videos from YouTube and their upload process is sloooooooow.
This video is about how to find your personal style, even if you are pretty convinced you don't care about fashion or clothes. Spoiler Alert: You do.
I don't really "care" about food, or at least that's what I say to avoid having to cook, but you know what? With a little observation, you can see that I do have preferences about what I eat. I eat a lot of rice, I like carbs, don't get between me and my coffee or I'll shank you.... little things like that.
Every month I do a giveaway here on the blog, and I'm excited to give one lucky winner a piece of vintage plunder! The company is Plunder Design which features vintage-inspired pieces and I personally own several and LOVE them.
The winner will be able to choose any item they want valued at $35 or under! (I'm totally fine if you decide to grab a couple of earrings, or a set, as long as the total is within guidelines, as some of the earrings are as cheap as $8!)
Hey everyone, I'll be going live tonight in the group (Born to Be Beautiful) for the Affirmations Challenge. I hope you've joined us, but if not, you can always jump in now! (Send me a message on Facebook, and I'll invite you.)
In the meantime, I'm going to share a couple of make-up tips for some common problems! (If you're wondering why I haven't been posting many outfits lately, I am a bit swollen, a lot of my clothing isn't fitting, and that is something I'll still waiting to hear back from my doctor about. She's on freakin' vacation right now. WHAT IF I AM DYING? She is NOT allowed to be on vacation without having another doctor step in on her behalf to look at my scans, damn it!)
So, like a lot of women who are finding that their clothing is being unforgiving and finicky, I am just putting on my lipstick and feeling pretty in spite of stretchy pants.
Winter is definitely my season, so spring and summer usually finds me looking a little less put-together. I don't like heat, I don't like sun, I just want to wear cute sweaters year-round, but clearly I need to just move to the arctic for that.
Today's Outfit Of The Day is from the weekend, where I did ALL the mom-things. I mommed so hard this weekend. Track meets, replacing all the kids' shoes, shopping for towels at Target, ice cream shoppes and chicken nuggets, Pokemon... You wanna know how I know I'm lame and old now? I didn't even realize it was Cinco de Mayo until I saw an outdoor beer tent, and judged people for day-drinking before noon. And then I saw the Cinco de Mayo banner and thought, "I'm as old as the crypt keeper now." If the crypt keeper had a cute striped sunhat that is. I AM wearing penny loafers though. The crypt keeper WOULD wear penny loafers. (I love my grandpa shoes!)
I actually have an old post explaining how to do this, but I think seeing a video really shows the whole process WAY better! Plus then I can demonstrate their waterproofedness (is that a word?) on camera so you can see for yourself. This simple hack is a lifesaver out here in the soggy Seattle area! And the best part is that it is not going to cost you anything most likely! You probably have a candle (or remnants of a candle, you don't even need much wax) and a blow dryer already. So this is a cheap, easy, fast life-hack! Which is the best kind of life-hack.
Also, the Facebook group/challenge I mentioned in the video is invite-only, so if you aren't in Born to Be Beautiful and would like to be, please let me know! We are starting an Affirmation Challenge (You are Enough) on Monday. We are all about uplifting, validating, and supporting each other, but sometimes, we need to uplift, validate, and support OURSELVES, and that can be hard, especially for those of us who are mothers. We are expected to give and give, and sometimes, we lose a bit of ourselves in the process of constantly supporting the other members of our family. I hope the affirmation challenge will help you see how important it is for YOU to be your #1 supporter, and if that sounds like something you would like, I'd love to have you join us! Send me a Facebook message and I'll personally invite you.
Did you catch my live video last night? Here's the outfit I wore in case you were curious about it! It's definitely a bit daring but there is something about pairing leather and lace that I really like. Okay, leather and lace and SPIKES. Those shoes are probably my favorite. I mean, I'd definitely try to save them in the event of a housefire.
I'm trying to look nonchalant but I don't think it's working.
Anyway, I mentioned the fundraiser yesterday and today the event is up on Facebook! It's running until Friday, so you've only got a few days to snag one of the beauty grab bags featuring Tarte, Bite, Younique, Purlisse, and so many other great brands! They're only $19.99 by the way... message me in the event to pay for yours, and pick your option, either through Facebook messenger (preferred payment method) or PayPal invoice. I have personally curated the grab bags and will make sure that it works with your DYT type and/or your allergies/sensitivities! Just let me know if that's relevant when you message me!
Also, for an even better deal, you can purchase this month's Customer Kudos (which features the products you'll need to create that flawless complexion) at 30% off, and if you buy one of those, I'll donate the entire commission to Girls Who Code AND you'll receive a beauty grab bag for FREE! Which makes it all an even better deal! Here's the link to the Kudos, and a link to the fundraiser event! See you there! I'll be announcing how to enter the first giveaway soon! Be there for it!
Tracy is a sometimes-working software engineer, all-the-time mother and wife, long-distance runner, biracial, shoe-loving, multi-lingual, world traveling, wannabe fashionista who drinks entirely too much coffee. She lives in the Seattle area and enjoys making babies and judging people.
Favorite Brands and Resources
The Real Real
Rent the Runway
Colour Pop (Cosmetics)
Society 6 (art and accessories)
Deck of Scarlet (Make Up)
Ipsy (Make Up)
Joss & Main