Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ta dah! Almost 4 Months Later . . . I'm Boot Free! (Catalan Tee Outfit)

Well, so much has happened over the last few weeks. I've been swamped at work dealing with report cards and setting up my room from the move, along with doing physical therapy a couple times a week after work, so I've gotten behind on my updates. The good news is though, I am making a lot of progress and have gotten rid of my crutches and my stabilizer boot. I'm walking!! A bit awkwardly, but I'm walking.

So, let's go back a few weeks, shall we? I've been doing well in physical therapy and have now progressed from practicing walking to riding an exercise bike and doing one legged balancing exercises, leg presses and squats. Last Wednesday, I went to work without my stabilizer boot, with the aid of a crutch. I made it most of the day before I had to put my boot back on due to swelling, stabbing nerve pains and the lovely purple coloring in my foot. However, this was the day after physical therapy, so I was already sore from that. I tried to keep this in mind so I wouldn't get discouraged. On Thursday, I felt so much better! I made it all day without crutches or the boot. I was swollen in my ankles but not golf ball sized swelling like the day before, and I had no stabbing nerve pain. Woo Hoo! (More CCRP/RSD updates below the outfit post.)

So, I put real shoes on both of my feet Sunday morning and went to church stabilizer boot free for the first time in almost 4 months. I can't tell you how giddy I was. ha, ha. I wore the Catalan Tee for the first time with my Steamer Trunk skirt.

Catalan Tee, Steamer Trunk Skirt, Mia Pali Boots




Scavenger Hunt bracelets

Here's another way I've worn the Steamer Trunk skirt in the past. This was a popback purchase from last year. This poor skirt got horrible reviews because it isn't lined and has a tendency to show lumps and bumps. Luckily, it works fine for me and I love the shape of this skirt.

Steamer Trunk Skirt with Pansy Scoopneck Tee
I've got a couple of backlog outfits while still in my boot that I will try to post in the next few days. Now all I need is a tan. ha, ha. The upside of walking is that  . . . I'm walking. The downside is that I have to wear tennis shoes at work, so this limits what I can wear. My outfits will be boring until I'm ready to wear normal shoes again. I'm really hoping to break out the flats and boots in a couple of weeks. I can wear them for "dates" and short outings, but am not ready to do so at work. :(

CCRP/RSD Update:

I went to see the Pain Management Specialist this past Monday to discuss steps for helping to get the RSD into remission. He told me the same thing as my foot specialist: He thinks that of all the patients he has seen with this disorder, he feels I have the best chance of fighting it due to my attitude and the fact we caught it early. Yay! I now have a special cream prepared by a compounding pharmacy containing Ketamine, Clonidine, Gabapentin, Imipramine, and Mefenamic Acid-lidocaine that I rub on my foot three times a day. I now take two Lyrica pills and am continuing to take Tramadol for the pain. 

Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Block: 
Rebooting my Sympathetic Nervous System

While at my visit, the doctor suggested that we go ahead and do a nerve block that day as I had the day off and it is important to get aggressive in order to fight RSD. So, I did it! I really get nervous when I have to have procedures done, so couple that with the SUPRISE factor, and you can have an idea of why my blood pressure was 142 over 80 something. ha, ha. I was given some kind of IV sedation and some Versed to help with the nervousness. :) 

I rolled over onto the table and lay flat on my stomach with my head resting through an opening like on a massage table. They prepped the skin on my back and he then injected steroids and a numbing agent in my spinal cord. From what I understand, the procedure is similar to an epidural, but targets only the sympathetic nerves in my foot. (Yes, this is probably the lamest description of this procedure on the planet. ha, ha. Did I mention that it was a suprise and I was REALLY nervous? :) Perhaps, I'll have a better explanation after the next block.) It wasn't pleasant, but only lasted about ten minutes. I felt pressure and a little pain for just a bit and it was over. Whew! My blood pressure went down to a respectable 124 and I was set to go home. :D

The good news is that it WORKED! They put a temperature strip on both my feet after the procedure and almost immediately I felt a sudden warmth in my affected foot which they confirmed with the temp strip. This confirmed the diagnosis and meant that it will be possible to trick my nervous system into shutting off those pain sensations. I will get another one on Jan. 30, and then hopefully my last one will be on February 13. The hope is that each nerve block will turn off pain signals until I am pain free and the CRPS/RSD is in remission. I may need more than three blocks to achieve this goal, but hopefully not. I am so much more optimistic now.

My physical therapist works on improving the stiffness in the top of my foot in the ankle joint area, and so far there has been no improvement, but at my last session he looked surprised and said it had movement now and had softened up. I am also walking on my own and the pain in my toe pad area has improved. I still have good days and then VERY bad days with pain, color changes and swelling, but the good days are far out numbering the bad days now. I still can't make it without pain pills and often have to double up during the day, but hey, I'm walking!!!!

Lyrica and Tramadol update:

Both the Lyrica and Tramadol contribute to sleepiness throughout the day, but surprisingly, I'm getting used to it! I've never nodded off before, but I can go to sleep at the snap of a finger now, and then jerk awake suddenly. My husband bought me a Keurig coffee maker for my school room. I rely heavily on regular caffeine jolts to counteract the tiredness. :)

I'd also say that I'm a bit more forgetful and spacey than usual, so I'm relying on my wonderful teammate to keep me on track.

I weighed my usual weight until I started doubling up on the Lyrica. Now I've gained about two pounds and am in freak out mode. :) I am really watching what I eat, as I've read horror stories about major weight gain on Lyrica. My doctor said that it is mainly water retention, but apparently Lyrica also stimulates the old hunger response, so I'll just have to be careful, but ACK!, it is Girl Scout cookie season and I've ordered multiple boxes. What am I going to do? ha, ha. Other than that, and a cry session at school last week after a very bad day with pain and swelling, I'm not experiencing any more side effects -- knock on wood.

Hopefully yours,
V.B.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review: Made to Measure Tee by Weston Wear

Just a quick review and then a foot update for my RSD readers.

Made to Measure Tee
This will look better with a tan. I am so WHITE and pasty right now -- time to get out the self-tanner. :)


I bought this with my 25% off apology discount and with birthday money from my dad. I initially purchased the XS, my standard size in all shirts at Anthropologie and in Weston Wear dresses, but the ruching around the stomach area was very tight and unflattering on me, so I exchange it for a small. The small doesn't fit as snugly in the shoulder area, but fits much better in the tummy. It is still a bit clingy on me.


I do think the ruching on the sleeves, sides and stomach area adds interest to the shirt, and I love the pattern and the length of the sleeve. Wouldn't this pattern have made a great version of the Soft Structured Dress? I would have loved this in a dress, Weston Wear.




Unless you have a very small waist, you will want to size up in this shirt. I think in the six years I've shopped at Anthropologie, only a few XS tops have not worked out for me, so this top is truly clingy.

Helpfully yours,
V.B.



Foot Update (RSD/CCRP)
I hope these updates will be helpful for someone else contending with RSD. I have looked for something similar, but unfortunately and sadly, have found mostly accounts of dealing with the pain of RSD from people that have been suffering for years. Many stories are discouraging and shocking and I just can't read them right now because they freak me out. So, it is my hope that  since I was diagnosed within three months that I am going to beat RSD, and thereby offer up a success story in the months to come. I'm going out fighting anyway. :D

So, here is the latest news:
I've been on Lyrica for a week now and am still not experiencing any side effects. I was warned by my doctor about water retention and weight gain, but (knock on wood) I still weigh exactly the same as I did last week -- 108.8. What are the odds of that?

The spasms in my foot continued today but were more intermittent, thank goodness. However, during my faculty meeting this morning, they got so bad, I had to hold my leg because it was jerking from side to side. I asked my physical therapist about it today and he thinks the physical therapy is probably contributing to them. The stress of moving back into my room and getting ready for the kids to come tomorrow, probably isn't helping. :D The spasms pretty much stopped by the afternoon and haven't been as intense or as frequent tonight. :)

I was told by my physical therapist that the therapy will start getting more intense as there is research that intense physical therapy can really help RSD. He shared a DVD in which children with this disorder had great success with five hour a day therapy sessions. Well, I'm not going to that extreme, but we did do much harder exercises and he made me work through the pain. He told me that before I finish with P.T., I will end up screaming at him, hating him or screaming and cussing aloud. He told me that is the norm for RSD P.T. patients and that some give up because they can't take the pain. I reassured him that I am highly motivated, I don't cuss and I will not scream at him or give up. He gave me that knowing look like, "We'll see." Well, I did do a couple of minor UGHS during one of the harder exercises, but I did fine. I did a few major UGHS once I got home from shooting pain flashes, but that is the norm with this stupid disorder and the P.T. is just making it worse for now.

Today he began  by working on desynthesizing my foot by vigorously rubbing it and massaging it with a rough towel. Then I did the usual abc's, circles, stretches, toe scrunches and toe and heel lifts. The exercise that caused me to scream out and bite my lip involved leaning forward and holding onto the P.T. table, while shifting my weight from side to side. Then I had to do little marching type steps while holding the table. I also rotated my foot on this thing that was the shape of a garbage can lid with a ball underneath. (He would laugh at this totally stupid description.) I had to put my foot on it, and make the "lid" touch down on four sides. That was the hardest exercise that I did. It made my foot go into spasms.

Okay, gotta go -- it's a "school" night. :D

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stripes: Outfit from the Archives and Foot Update

This may very well be my favorite recent outfit. I wore this to work this fall and the construction workers seemed to like it very much. ha, ha. Everything was purchased on sale except for the Tom's wedges -- I don't think they make it to sale. I think I got my money's worth on this shirt!

jacket
Banana Republic outlet, fall 2010
Ann Taylor Outlet: skirt and shirt, fall 2010
Tom's wedges and looping lanes belt (tan)

Trying out belts. I decided I preferred the neutral looping lanes belt  over this chocolate brown one.

Here are various weekend looks.



AG Stevie jeans, Slate Saddlebag Purse

Till later,
V.B.

Foot Update:

I've now been on Lyrica for 6 days. I don't really notice an improvement, but I'm also not noticing any side effects either, and I don't think I've gained weight. I'll weigh tomorrow morning as that will be officially the one week mark. From what I understand, it takes at least one week to notice anything from taking Lyrica. I only take 1 pill at night. At first it made me very sleepy, but now I am getting used to it and I'm also getting used to taking a whole Tramadol pill without getting excessively sleepy. I'm not sure this is good news. (doper) Ha, ha.

I have developed a new symptom. Well, I've been experiencing twitches and spasms in my foot since the beginning, but now they are much, much worse and are quite frankly, driving me insane. I'm hoping that it is simply the physical therapy waking up unused muscles and causing them to go haywire as it seems to be worse at night after I've done my exercises in the afternoon. All of my toes go side to side and I feel it all down my foot. Then sometimes the muscles spasms are in my ankle joint area and cause my whole foot to jerk  to the side. I've tried every position known to man to try to get them to stop but nothing seems to help. The only time it seems to calm down is when my husband gives me a gentle foot massage. So, you guessed correctly, my poor husband is giving me a lot of those these days while he watches T.V. and I play on my iPad or read a book. :) 

The cold sensations haven't been as bad, but I have been feeling more warmth in the bad foot. It even feels warmer to the touch. This syndrome is so weird and I don't want any part of it. I have been diligently doing my P.T. exercises and have been making sure I keep up with my pain medicine.  I've also been doing a lot of praying and shamelessly asking all my friends to add me to their prayer lists and prayer groups at church.

Here is a really interesting diagram that explains the insane process of RSD/CRPS. 
Source International Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS. The diagram and text in blue were copied from the site.

Activation of the sympathetic nervous system following an injury is part of a fright-flight response to an emergency situation. This response is very important for survival. For example, firing of sympathetic nerves causes blood vessels in the skin to contract, forcing blood deep into muscle and enabling the victim to use his muscle to get up after an acute injury and escape from further danger. Also the decreased supply of blood to the skin reduces blood loss through superficial injuries that may occur on the surface of the body. 

Here's what I find to be interesting:
Ordinarily, the sympathetic nervous system shuts down within minutes to hours after an injury. For reasons we do not understand, individuals who go on to develop RSD / CRPS, the sympathetic nervous system appears to assume an abnormal function. Theoretically, this sympathetic activity at the site of injury could cause an inflammatory response causing the blood vessels to spasm leading to more swelling and pain. (See B, C, and D in Figure 1) The events could lead to more pain which triggers another response, establishing a vicious cycle of pain. And this is why I'm taking my pain meds regularly now!!

I go back to work tomorrow, so that should be interesting. I went to my room after P.T. on Friday and was unable to keep my foot down on the ground without severe shooting pains -- the kind that make you yell out "AAGH." If I kept my foot propped up I was fine. My foot also got cold, prickly and turned deep reddish purple. 

Oh, have I mentioned that I had to move my room over break from a portable into the building? My husband is there now. He wouldn't let me come and help. He's trying to unpack as many boxes as possible and at least get the furniture in place. We will worry about aesthetics later. 

I don't know what I'm going to do with 24 children now that my foot has gotten worse. :'( I work with a very supportive staff and have a great group of kids. I also have a rolling chair in my room so I'll make great use of that! :D  If I can make it through the room set up, and get report cards finished, I'll be able to breathe for awhile. 

Trying to be tough,
V.B.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Three Ways to Wear Cool Tones Top & CRPS P.T. O.O.T.D.

Do you like all my acronyms? :) Here are a few ways I've worn out my Cool Tones Top from Anthropologie taken from my outfit archives. I think I really wore it more during the fall and winter last year than I did during the warmer months. I prefer it layered over a shirt -- surprise.

Here it is layered over my favorite layering top, the Pure and Good Slub Tee. I've probably written this before, but I wish they had brought this tee back in more colors. It was ridiculously overpriced for what it is, so I had to wait for sale, and by then I could only get it in red, black and white. They are perfect for layering as they are thin, just low enough at the neck, and have interesting detail at the neck and cuff.



This time I layered it over a collared shirt with cuffs -- an old DKNY top. I had some WILD hair that night. I don't know the brand or name of these shoes. I got them on sale at the Gap. They are really cute and pretty comfortable for the height.


Then I threw on one of my favorite blazers, the Flipside Blazer. This is the year that Anthro had so many cool blazers, I had to pick and choose, and really wish I had gotten more because I love this style, and there haven't been any I've been interested in this season!



CRPS / RSD Update (Click here for more information about this condition.)
So far so good on the Lyrica. As I said before, it makes me extremely sleepy when I take it before bed, but it doesn't give me a lingering hung over feeling in the morning. I woke up with a horrendous headache yesterday that never really went away. I still had it when I went to bed, but no headache today. I'm not sure if this is even related to the Lyrica or Tramadol. So I hope this helps anyone else like me that was scared to take this drug.

In physical therapy today, we started with desentization exercises. She gently rubbed my foot all over for about 5 lovely, wonderful minutes and then she switched to rubbing it with a soft piece of material, then to a sheet, and then she rubbed it all over with a rough towel. Apparently, one of the nice symptoms of RSD, which I have yet to feel thank goodness, is extreme sensitivity to touch. So part of my treatment will be activities such as these to try to keep this from happening. We then moved on to the usual abc's, circles, and towel stretches, but she added heel raises, toe taps, and toe scrunches. I've been very impressed with both therapists I've seen. We laughed the whole time about one thing or another and especially when I would catch my other foot trying to go through the same motions as the bad foot. It was hilarious. I had to really concentrate to keep my good foot still. It's like the good foot was rooting on the bad foot, "Come on little buddy, you can do it! Like this -- see?" Yes, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a dork. ha, ha.

Here's my Physical Therapy OOTD. :)

My new and improved stabilizer boot. This one fits much better.

I love these Nike warm-up jackets. I have a couple, but wish I had gotten more. I really end up wearing them more as a shirt as I get cold very easily. I got these at the Nike Outlet along with the workout pants.


P.S.
I can't figure out why I am having to approve some of the comments. I have double checked my Intense Debate settings and am at a loss as I don't have anything checked like that and I turned off the filter. Rest assured, I will approve comments as soon as I see them.

Rainbows and kittens,
V.B.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More 50% Anthro Items for Review - Helpful for Popbacks?

More items that I scored during the 50% off sale at Anthropologie this December. Avery Pullover, Borderline Belt (with Tweedy Leaves dress), Renewed Folds Pullover, and Essentially Yours Top. That's all that's left except for the Glittering Persica Dress which I'm saving hopefully for a full outfit post.

I get better photo quality when I take the photos in the bathroom, but it is so much easier with my foot issues to just take them in my closet, so deal with the white specks. :D It's becoming my signature look after all.

Borderline Belt
In my humble opinion, this is the perfect belt to go with the Tweedy Leaves Dress. It has to be buckled on the 1st or 2nd buckle for the buckle to align perfectly, so you may want to size up. I tend to wear my belts higher so this works for me. When I tried to wear this with the Peppering Skirt, it sat lower and I had to buckle it on the 3rd buckle which made it off centered. It is actually a black belt with brown weaving, but still looks fine with this dress.

Tying it on with a dress to decide if the belt is a keeper.


Tweedy Leaves Dress, Borderline Belt, J Crew sweater

Renewed Folds Pullover
I love this top. It has shoulder pads! I'm still debating on whether to take them out.




Avery Pullover
I wanted this sooo badly. I was so worried I wouldn't get it during the promotion, but luckily there was one left in my size. I was sooo disappointed when I pulled it out and put it on. It did me no favors as it just seemed to hang on me and looked boxy. It also didn't flatter my small chest! 


So, I flung it to the top of my closet intending to return it. I only pulled it out today because I was going through what I wanted to take back and thought I would try it on for others who might be considering this as a popback item in their wishlists. 


Well, what do you know, now I think I like it, and when my husband came in from work while I was trying it on, he told me it was cute and he thought it looked good with the scarf. I still think it is boxy and doesn't do my bosom any favors, but I like the boho layered look. 


I got this for 50% off sale. Should I keep it or am I suffering once again from my well documented 7 Stages of Anthro Shopper Mind Control DisorderHelp! (You won't hurt my feelings.)

Avery Pullover, Iznik Scarf,  Renewed Fold Pullover
 P.S. I still don't know what I'm doing with wearing a scarf. I need to google it. ;)

Essentially Yours Top
Almost paper thin but very soft. You have to wear a camisole under this and a neutral colored bra as well. I love the slight cowl neck. This will make a great layering shirt, and will give my poor Pure and Good Slub Tee a much needed break. :) I would love to score a popback in the red.


Essentially yours,
V.B.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Advantage In Skirt Outfits and Foot Update

Advantage Skirt with: Thick and Thin Henley Top, Coral Petal Top, Borrowed Blazer, Bisected Bow Jacket and Redux Jacket.


Some of you possibly, maybe purchased the Advantage In Skirt last year. It didn't get the greatest reviews, but I had really been wanting a gray denim skirt to wear with my black Hunter boots, so I took the plunge. I like it, but I don't love it. Since I got it on deep sale, I'm fine with this. I don't love it because it isn't lined and is therefore prone to static issues when wearing it with tights, which leads to the whole slip issue. Who wants to wear a slip with a casual denim skirt? Plus, it tends to poof a bit if the pleats aren't ironed and starched. I'm much pickier about issues like this now, and have to really love something if I'm going to deal with a slip or ironing. (I prefer to steam.)

Anyway, I'm dredging these photos from the archives as today was my first day of physical therapy, so my outfit was not photo worthy and I was too tired to finish trying on the last of my purchases and returns. I promise I'll get that done soon.

So on with the outfits . . .

These are photos of one of my infamous try-on sessions last year.


Coral Petals Top, Redux Jacket
Coral Petals Top under sweater
Bisected Bow Jacket
Thick and Thin Henley. I love this shirt. It goes with so many different types of outfits

Borrowed Blazer


I'm going to update my foot stuff at the bottom of outfit/review posts from now on, for those who are reading for updates with my tendon/RSD saga. In that way, my fashion friends can just skip over that stuff. It's easier just to plop it all here in this one blog. 

Quick Foot Update:

Day 1 of physical therapy. Physical therapist measured foot, measured range of motion, felt for pain areas. I did circles, alphabet movements with toes, and stretching to improve range of motion. My poor foot can hardly move and it went into spasms almost the whole time. He told me this is typical of RSD. Yay! I don't want to be classic, typical RSD. Boo. I'm so out of shape that even with Lyrica in my system and a whole pain pill, my leg ached a few hours later. I mean, ACHED from just doing little movements with my foot. That's pitiful. :)

Day 1 of Lyrica (and taking pain pills the way I'm supposed to.) 

The doctor told me Lyrica would help trick my nervous system into thinking nothing is wrong and would help me with the spasms, pins and needles, cold sensations and shooting pains. I didn't want to take it because the side effects are scary, but he told me that taking it, and managing my pain might just be all I need to beat this as we caught it early. 

I weighed this morning -- 108.8. We will see if I gain weight or bloat up as I was warned I might. I am going to allow for the P.F. Chang's spring rolls, crab wontons, and chicken low mein that I had for lunch and then dinner today. ha, ha. 

Day 1 Results?
It's amazing how much better it feels not to be in pain all the time. I guess I should have been taking my pain medicine regularly this whole time. duh :) The Lyrica did not make me feel dizzy or tipsy as some have said. I felt fine today. It did make me very sleepy. I took the first one last night along with my usual Tramadol, and it helped me have one of my best night's sleep in a long time. (My foot usually bothers me all night and keeps me up even with a whole pain pill.) When I woke up at 8:00, I was sleepy, but not an unmanageable sleepy. After a couple of cups of coffee, I was good to go. Even after taking a whole pain pill, which I'm not used to doing during the day, I still wasn't so sleepy that I couldn't concentrate or felt like nodding off. It was just a normal, tired feeling -- the kind we all deal with at work after not sleeping well. I have been fighting taking a nap all day, but never felt like I just had to go to sleep. So, that's good. That means so far, so good. I'll be able to take these pills when I go back to work next week. I have high hopes now for Lyrica helping me with my issues. Hooray!

The physical therapy is starting to sink in now. My foot is really talking to me, but that is to be expected. I go back to P.T. on Friday and we will do more. He wants to start slowly because of the RSD and also, he couldn't read my doctor's directions for P.T. so he didn't want to do anything else until he got someone to decipher it. How hilarious is that? :D

Till tomorrow,
V.B.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CRPS: Watch Your Step! You better watch your step . . .

This is sound advice! I love Elvis Costello, and I wish I had indeed watched my step that fateful night because I got some bad news from my doctor today.

Watch Your Step by Elvis Costello & The Attractions on Grooveshark

The lovely culprit.
Well, if you've been following me, you are aware that I started this blog as a means of distraction during a period of bed rest following tendon/ligament/nerve damage in my foot from a klutzy near fall in my Tom's wedges. :) In between sharing outfits incorporating my stylish air stabilizer boot, I've been trying to document my foot woes in case this may be helpful for others out there with similar issues. :)

I've been dealing with pain, swelling, spasms, cold, numbness, color changes, and pins and needles sensations in my foot for 13 weeks. (Photo of foot at the bottom of this post.) Today I finally went to the foot specialist and received the diagnosis I feared -- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) formally referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD). Thanks to excellent doctors, it has been caught early, so my chances of beating this, or causing it to go into remission are much better. Lucky for me, my bones are unaffected at this point. A lovely side effect of this syndrome is loss of bone density and muscle atrophy.

My doctor got onto me for not taking my pain medicine at the full dosage, (I've been taking 1/2 a pill on an irregular basis, and a whole pill only when the pain is really aggravating. I hate how pain meds make me feel.) and he told me that I must take Lyrica to manage the nerve issues. My previous doctor suspected RSD, and prescribed Lyrica but I wouldn't take it. I mean, have you heard the side effects in those commercials? ACK! He reassured me about the possible weight gain with Lyrica, telling me that it is usually as a result of water retention and will go away when I stop taking the medicine. Of course, that's what I fixated on, not the "thoughts of suicide" part of the side effects. ha, ha.

Anyway, my doctor is hopeful that physical therapy coupled with Lyrica and nerve blocks, could have me looking at getting better in 2 or 3 more months. I'm to continue walking with the boot, but I did get a new, lighter boot. :) I start physical therapy tomorrow and will see a Pain Management Specialist to look at my next steps which possibly include sympathetic nerve blocks. He stressed the most important thing I can do right now is manage the pain, as pain sensations somehow tie into the whole wacky nerve response and this makes the RSD worse, as does stress.

I am naturally, very upset right now, but I will fight this and get through it as I get through everything through prayer and familial support, with a hefty dose of laughter and a side of goofiness. :D

Come back to me, V.B.!

After all, there are multiple rows of lovely, lonely shoes beckoning to me from my closet.

I CAN'T LET THEM DOWN!!!!

Yours truly, 
V.B.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas OOTD: What are you in for? Repeat Outfit Offender

Stick 'em up, I've got a gun in my pocket, AND I'm not afraid of repeating variations of the same outfits within a few weeks period -- just TRY ME! :)

Example of my DUH posing.
On a more serious note, I was so happy to attend service at my church on Christmas Day. We sang lots of Christmas hymns and listened to an uplifting sermon, which helped to put the day into perspective for what it is really meant to be -- a celebration of the birth of Christ. 

I was a multiple repeat outfit offender thoughout the day. However, no one I was with was harmed in the process, nor has seen any of the said outfits, except for maybe my dad, and that's okay. :) I wore a variation of the Lucerna Dress pictured here (with a cream camisole) to church and then changed into a Christmas version of the Arched Pleats Pullover outfit to hang out with my family at my Dad's house. This was a difficult year for all of us, as my mother passed away in February of last year, so this was our first Christmas without her. 

Arched Pleats Pullover, Ann Taylor Loft shirt, Sweeping Pips necklace

Gasp! A real photo without speckles. I tried to get my husband to take a few shots, but too late, I discovered that he zoomed in on all of them but this one, so you couldn't actually see the outfit, bless his heart, so here are the normal inside shots below. For some reason, these came out pretty decent -- I have no idea why. I was even tempted not to crop out my head, but I just don't feel comfortable having my face out "there."



Arched Pleats Pullover with Banana Republic coat, and part of my head




I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I finally get to see the foot specialist tomorrow, so here's to hoping for some good news . . . . 

Sincerely,
V.B.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Anthropologie Sale Reviews Part 3

Reviews of: Scavenger Hunt Bracelet in clear and grey, Peppering Skirt, Twisted Ascot Tee, Fleeting Seas Top, Borderline Belt, Arched Pleats Pullover, Renewed Fold Pullover

Just some quick photos of sale stuff. I'm not really going to do much commentary this time. For one reason, I'm not really sure if anyone is reading these posts and it takes a long time to put them together. However, I know how helpful it is for me to see items on someone that is similar in size to me, so hopefully this might help someone in deciding on some last minute 50% off sale purchases. 

I'm lucky in that there is a store about 30 minutes away from me, but I would much rather order from home, try on the clothes with what I have and then send back what doesn't work. Plus, when I do go to the store, most of what I am looking for isn't there or I can't find it in my size. That is why I love all the bloggers out there willing to put up photos and take the time to write up reviews for the community. It really helps me when deciding what to order.

All items pictured are XS or 0. I am on the high end of what is considered petite, at 5'4, and my weight fluctuates between 108 to 110. I'm not linking to anything because I'm pretty sure all of these items have sold out by now. 

These photos are up to my usual high standards -- enjoy. :D

Scavenger Hunt Bracelets
I am so happy with these. They didn't photograph well, (shocking) but they fit my twig wrists very well as is. The bracelets are adjustable but I don't want to mess with them! It is so hard for me to find bracelets, so I'm very pleased and happy that I scored these on sale. I'll probably get my crafty friend to trim the ends and reknot them as the ends are a bit dangly on me.

Scavenger Hunt Bracelet
Peppering Skirt and Twisted Ascot Tee
I just got this skirt and the bracelets yesterday. I waffled back and forth on the skirt and even deleted it from my wishlist at one point, only to put it back in. When I woke up bright and early for the 50% off sale, I couldn't believe it was sitting there in my wishlist for $35! I was worried about it being garish, but as others have said, photos don't do this skirt justice. I couldn't get any really good photos of the side or back, but the pattern continues and is just lovely. Reviewers around the same height as me, seemed to feel the length was too long, but I like the length on me. It falls just past my knees. However, it isn't a good length for boots. It needs to be longer or shorter, so it will be awhile until I can wear this skirt! :'(

I didn't want to take the time to decide between these photos, so I just threw them all on here. I always take photos of potential pairings with new items. It makes getting ready so much easier when you can grab your phone or iPad and look up potential outfits. It also helps me to see what I like and don't like together. For example, I tried on the Wispy Pointelle Cardi and liked it until I saw it in the photos.

I haven't been this enthused about an outfit in awhile. Excuse the awkwardness of the poses, but I was determined to try on this outfit with normal shoes so I had to prop my bad foot on my dressing stool. I'm wearing last year's Prized Peep Toe shoes in these pictures.

No belt


Awkward side view with Wispy Cardi. Look how sad my other leg looks -- the muscle is just gone after 3 months of no walking.

Borderline Belt
I really like the texture and contrasting colors on this belt, but it is one of those belts that doesn't center right with the buckle unless you are the perfect size. I'll need to try it on with more and experiment to decide if it is a keeper. 



Here it is with an Urban Outfitter's knock off  belt I got off of Ebay. The belt stunk to high heaven, but after airing out on my deck for a few days, the smell went away. These are easy to find. I think I paid around $12 or less, can't remember. I have it in chocolate brown as well.



Ta Dah! I wish I had a photographer to take a photo of this completed look because the photos don't bring out much, I'm afraid, but I love this with the Redux Jacket. 




Fleeting Seas Top
Ack! Not more gray! I swear I'm not buying anything else gray, unless it is really, really cool. I threw this in the cart because it was so cheap, I couldn't resist. It said Navy and in my hurry to be sure I got the skirt, I guess I didn't notice how very gray it is! It is really cute and I do love stripes. 



Arched Pleats Pullover, Renewed Folds Pullover
I wore this out last night. It looks kind of late 80's but I like it. :)



I love this jacket. I went into Marshalls last year to get some tights and walked out with three coats, all under $40 dollars each and very unique. I think the brand is Coffee Shop.??? I'm not going to pull on my boot or crawl to the closet to check the label. :) It was really hard to decide between all the cute coats they had that day. 


That's all folks for today. I do have more I can share if anyone is interested. Are these reviews helpful? Anyone out there? :) It's time to order the Honeybaked Ham.

Yours truly,
V.B.