Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Hi-jinx

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!


What do you do when you dislike costumes but are forced to go to a Halloween party every year?  You start out with super easy costumes that are seriously "punny"; like quarter back and smarty pants.

Then something happens to you and you decide that Halloween is actually pretty fun when liquor is involved and your costumes evolve with you!  For the past two years I have gone all out.  Not creative mind you....I buy my Halloween hilarity.  So as a reformed Halloween Scrooge; I give you a Halloween sampling from the last two years.

I was "Devil Wears Prada" and 12 was "Devil's Spawn"
(and I wasn't really in Prada, but you should have seen my shoes!)

This year...check out my accessories!
12 is Artemis 10 is Robin Hood


Evil Queen in action...MUCH later in the evening...

 It's What I Wore Wednesday so go see the link-ups at these sites to check out what everyone else is up to this Halloween!

Love,
Alyssa



pleated poppy
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy's a Bitch

Hello everyone.

I just can't do a real post today after watching 12 hours of coverage on the devastation happening in my home state.  I am a Jersey Girl and spent every summer going "down the shore" to visit my Grandparents who lived in Ocean City, NJ.  I used to rent houses with friends in Point Pleasant, LBI, and Cape May Point.  I had my first real "overnighter" with a boy at Sandy Hook.  To see the images of the entire beach coast, and know that everything I grew up loving is GONE is too heart-wrenching to get past.  Add to that the fact that our entire extended families are still there and ALL affected by this and it just doesn't make for happy blogging.


This is 15 in 1998 at Ocean City, NJ

I rode this carousel since I was a little girl; at Playland in Ocean City 1998


I know there are millions of people affected by this, and if you or your loved ones are--then God Bless.  I am praying for all of you.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Old Togs, New Tricks

Do you have that wardrobe item that you only ever wear one way?  I do.  I probably have a more than a few of those lurking in my closet, but this particular shirt is just the right length to wear with my standard summer bermuda shorts and so that is how I always wear it.  It is short sleeved, made of a soft poly fiber, has tons of colors and a great neckline and so I just never felt the need to do anything with it but wear it "as is".  OOOOHHHHH  As Is would make a great post title, no?  I digress.

10 had a soccer game yesterday morning and it was a little chilly out (80ish?) so I just grabbed the pants on top of the closet pile and they decided to beg to be worn with "the shirt".  I tried it on and hated it worn "as is" like I normally do, so I took Audrey's advice, and I tucked that bad boy in and threw on a cardigan.  Belt and Boots soon followed and a new outfit was born.

"the shirt"


When DH saw it, he said "you look great, but we're only going to a soccer game".   'Nuff said.

xo,
Alyssa


Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby Steps

At the beginning of October I made a mental challenge to go 3 whole months without buying any new clothes for myself.  Inspired by what I'm learning by trolling fashion blogs and playing on GCOGH I thought for SURE that it was going to be an absolute cinch. I am having so much fun in my closet.  Really, I am.  See how many things I can do with one dress? (one dress that I have only ever worn once, and wore like the first image in the set, no accessories at all)

I couldn't believe that a skirt over a dress could work, but it did!!!

Okay, so the reality is that I am finding it VERY difficult!  I am (apparently) a compulsive shopper.  I find it hard to turn away from a trend, and impossible not to buy something that is a good deal.

Case in point.  I went to Target to get a couple last minute Halloween things which should have totaled less than $20.  I left the store with over $150 of merchandise.  Among other things, my purchase included not one but TWO queen-sized, Thomas O'Brien sheet sets.  They were $15 and $13, and I was unable to leave the store without them.  They are of good quality and about 90% cheaper than they normally are.  Then I came home and hid them in my linen closet.  My husband isn't as appreciative of a good deal as I am.  He pays the bills.

Listen, I'm blessed with abundance in my life.  I want for nothing, and feel terribly lucky that this is so.  Why do I have this need for more stuff then?  Why do I think I always NEED that new shirt, or killer pair of shoes?  This challenge has really made me pause, reflect and so far, put back those clothing deals I used to believe I couldn't live without.  It is only October 26 and I haven't broken down yet.  Baby steps people, baby steps.

Of course, housewares and clothes for DH and my kids aren't included in the challenge so my lust for stuff is still being met.  Perhaps I need to redefine the parameters of the challenge?  Or I could just give myself a break and enjoy the luxury of not having to worry.  Hmmmm.  Food for thought.  Feel free to weigh in.

Love,
Alyssa


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dis-proportionate

I wore and outfit the other day to run errands.  I guess, obviously I wore an outfit as I'm not in the habit of streaking!  What I meant to say is that I wore an outfit that really didn't do much for me while running errands the other day.  Let me show you what I mean....


So, I LOVE the colors and patterns in this top...in fact it is one of the VERY few items that have come through my store that I paid "real" money for.  By that I mean I bought it before it went into final clearance because I knew it wouldn't last until then.  I was right on that front, we sold out of our stock within 2 weeks.  However....I really didn't consider how this top would look ON me.  

I am not a very tall woman...you can tell I barely top that armoire!  I'm only 5'3, wear between a 6 & 8 pant and I have a pretty big chest (D cup).  Those really aren't good proportions for this floaty top with elastic waistband as it adds a ton of bulk where I really don't need the help!  Were I proportioned differently, say a hell of a lot taller perhaps, my legs could balance out the poofy.  Pairing it with this length skirt was also not a good choice as my line is basically all straight and wide.  But, you know what?  It was 85 degrees out and I was only going to the grocery store and to pick the kids up at school.  I figured, even though it wasn't a totally rockin' outfit, at least I wasn't in yoga pants.  Small victories people, small victories.  

If I was going to attempt to visually lengthen my legs, and I worked a very short shift, I could perhaps make this top better for my frame with this bottom:


So, I still look big on top, but at least the slim bootcut narrows and lengthens overall.  Are you wondering why I would need to work a short shift?  Because these pants are really long and I have to wear 4 inch heels just to get them off the ground.  And, if you read yesterday's post, you know a little bit of what I have to do at work occasionally! ;o)

Kayley at Sidewalk Ready has a great post about proportions, go check it out.

'till next time,

Alyssa


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Workday Black and Blues

My post titles are really amazing, aren't they?  Insightful?  Captivating?  Makes you want to keep reading, huh?  LOL.  Sounds like I was beaten at work.

Consider this if you will.  Sometimes my work day begins with scrubbing toilets and ends on the sales floor working with my customers.  How does one choose and outfit that can withstand a good cleaning session AND translate to a relatively neat and on trend outfit?  Black and Blue of course.

 


Seriously though I work in retail and MY work outfits are different then your average office work attire.  Some might think that is a good thing, and would love the opportunity to wear jeans to work every day.  Some would be right, it is good and I love me some jeans.  But I also would love to wear pencil skirts, beautiful blouses and 4 inch pumps because those are the clothes I love the most.  Its just really hard to scrub a toilet when you're all gussied up.  

So when YOU are getting ready for work in the morning, in your lovely clothes and beautiful shoes (that you aren't standing in for 7 hours straight);  take a moment to think of me and be thankful you don't start your mornings with a toilet bowl brush.


Love,
Alyssa

Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Expectations

The post title says it all, doesn't it?

I have so many expectations and they are all (mostly) great.  I expect great things from writing this blog, although very little {nothing actually} has happened so far.  I expect great things from my self imposed "3 months without buying anything for myself" challenge, although its new flow time at the store and dammit I LOVE all the  product we are getting in.  I expect great things from my daily affirmations that "today" is the day I am going to get back on the weight loss/exercise/be healthy plan that I fell off of a few months back.

How can we turn our expectations in realities?  That is the question.  With so many expectations, where do you point your focus?  Can you split your focus to make them all happen or does that split cause none of them to be viable?  I certainly don't have the answer(s).  I ride a daily roller-coaster of emotions and usually end up spinning my wheels and getting no where, fast.

I wonder though, why do I have these great expectations for myself?  Maybe that is the real question, and finding the answer to that isn't so simple.  A blinking cursor assures me this is a question for reflection and that wisdom will be a long time coming.

So, for today at least, I'm going to pick one of my objectives.  I'm going to lower my expectations for it and give myself a little break; BUT I'm going to also focus on it and only it for the day.  Maybe, just maybe, my expectation and I can meet in the middle and come away successful.

So, I went to the gym today.   I expect that counts for something.

http://www.bubbyandbean.com/2011/02/simple-reminder.html

Much Love,

Alyssa


Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashback Friday

My DH has been out of town this week, leaving me with a DVR full of shows I can't watch until he returns tonight!  So what do you watch when your man isn't with you?  I watch decorating shows, but by Tuesday night I had gone through all the ones I had on tape.  I can't stand commercials any more so real time television is a torturous endeavor for me, and therefore out of the question.

Since there is no such thing as Blockbuster anymore (in my town) where I could stroll the aisles for an hour looking for great movies to watch, I was left with Netflix as my only option.  Are you a subscriber to their instant viewing?  We are, and my kids use the heck out of it on weekends for all kinds of kid's TV shows.  There hasn't been much available for the grown-ups until recently and a whole lot of the new options are television series.  Which is good if you missed out on watching series from the beginning, like Mad Men or Walking Dead and want to know what all the fuss is about.  But those are things he would want to watch too, and I'll be damned if I watch stuff twice and know what is coming!  So, I watched a few episodes of shows I know he wouldn't watch, Say Yes to the Dress  for example, but that gets old after awhile.

In desperation the other night I searched for RomComs and came up with an oldie but goodie; Baby Boom starring the lovely Diane Keaton.  If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  It was released in 1987, so I was almost 18 years old, and I remember loving her clothes.  Seriously.  My first thought in coming across this title was that I remember loving her clothes.  You know what?  I STILL thought she dressed great!!  Check out her pattern mixing!  Look at the baby's gorgeous coat!

Diane Keaton as J. C. Wiatt in Baby Boom


I couldn't find an image of the scene, but she also wears this fabulous, full length, white coat with matching Orchid colored scarf and leather gloves.  Stunning.  This character belted her suit coats too!!  Today, we would obviously tone down the shoulder pads and footwear has improved by leaps and bounds, but the fact remains that all fashion in the 80's wasn't as horrible as we remember it.  Don't judge us by Madonna alone, we had more than our fair share of working women!  Wait...isn't Working Girl another great 80's movie with awesome clothes??!!    Why yes it is!  Released in 1988 with Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver and my favorite actress Joan Cusack.  No good images for that one, but do you remember "Tess" changing into her socks and Reeboks?  Classic.

I guess I've always paid attention to the clothes.  So, thank you Netflix for reviving my love of 1980's romantic comedies.  Sleepless in Seattle was 1993, but I'm counting it anyway.  Search on faithful clothing hoarders, inspiration is everywhere!!  I'm bringing back the broach at the neck, you wait and see.  ;o)

Love,
Alyssa

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Circular Fashion

I got my haircut yesterday.   Is that relevant?  Why YES it is, I'm glad you asked!

Five weeks ago when last at the hairdresser, I said "let's do something different, how about side-swept bangs?".  Sounds great!  She gave me just what I asked for.  So for the next five weeks I constantly pushed those side-swept suckers out of my eyes a hundred or so times a day.  This time I went for the full on bangs, so as to keep my sanity from now until the next time I go in (with free bang trims if needed between then and now, why not?)!  The result....is basically the exact same haircut that I had as a child.  My Mom's favorite haircut of all time.  It's a classic, and since I am now old enough to be considered a classic myself I figured it was time to go back to my roots (pun not intended).

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of something to inspire creativity, and for me this week it was a haircut.  So with my free time yesterday afternoon and my newly minted haircut and a face of makeup, I set about to take some new outfit pictures.  

I'm planning a trip to the East Coast during the holidays and will be there for about 15 days.  That is a lot of outfits to jam into one suitcase that can weigh less than 50 pounds!!  It will require a good, workable, CIRCULAR, mix of clothes and shoes.  That is not my forte, as Matchy Matchy by its very nature requires specific pieces for each outfit and nary the outfits shall meet.  Remember though, I'm trying to learn to go beyond Matchy Matchy.  So I started in an outfit that I knew I would love, and then started trying on different bottoms with the same top...

The Original
A Small Change

The Unusual

Then, since I loved this bottom, I tried switching tops:

Another Matchy Matchy Winner

And then I remembered an inspiration photo so I changed into this:

Love!

And finally thought, well how about this?:

Ditto

So do you get what I mean about CIRCULAR fashion?  The reality is I will not be able to bring two different black boots with me, and three skirts that work exactly the same won't do either.   I'll have to tweak some things for my trip, but you see how it can work?  All because of a haircut.  Who knew?

See you AROUND!  (okay, I'm done now)

Alyssa






Monday, October 15, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Have you ever heard of the term body dismorphia?

Whoever put it on Wiki describes the condition thusly:

"Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD, also body dysmorphiadysmorphic syndrome; originally dysmorphophobia) is a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features."  

Basically, folks suffering from this condition spend an inordinate amount of time worried about the way they look which can cause a whole bunch of serious social problems and compulsions.  The condition stems from the person's DISLIKE about a certain part or parts of their body and how they feel the perceived imperfection makes them disproportionately unattractive to others.

After taking so many pictures of myself over the past few weeks, I think I have given myself a convoluted version of this disorder AS WELL as the reverse of this all at the same time!!  Now, I'm certainly not serious about having a disease but I do have to say that I see myself differently.  Does that happen to anyone else?  I look in the mirror, and while not 100% satisfied with the way I look (I could totally stand to lose a few pounds, and I have a serious case of hyperpigmentation on my face that needs some attention) I also don't think I look terrible.  Then I'll look at my photos and be shocked.  Not shocked in a good way either!  I've heard that the camera adds 10 pounds, but I don't really believe that.  I think the camera sees what I can not.  So, is this BDD in reverse?  I see things as BETTER than they actually are?  And what would that be called?  You Wish Syndrome?  Evil Queen Disorder?  You tell me.  Am I the only one? Until next time, I'll hide out in my cozy turtleneck...


Inspired by J Crew:

Love,
Alyssa

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adventure Day

Zoo Day was AWESOME!!

It was pouring down rain early this morning and I thought we were going to have to cancel, but the rain stopped which made the weather just right for our adventure.  12, her friends and 10 were all very well behaved and best of all appreciative of the hour drive involved to get there.  It's nice when the manners you try to instill in your kids are actually witnessed by someone other than complete strangers.  Did you ever notice that?  Random people will come up and tell you how great your kids are, and while you are beaming with pride and saying "thank you, we try" or something similarly obsequious, you're thinking to yourself "MY kids? Since when?!"

Regardless, it was a fun way to spend the day and the weather was nice enough to take off my jacket and go sleeveless.  Don't judge me because I wore Camo to the zoo, ok?

There is actually a pink and orange
Dragon embroidered on the back
of this skirt so the pink isnt' random.


Here are some of the animals the kids had to study for their projects, and some that were too cute not to share!

May I help you?

Just Hanging Around

Wadda YOU looking at?

Ghost Ocelot?

Well Hello There!


Momma and baby (2 days old)

The Cheetah Brothers

My favorite, the Squirrel Monkey

God's honest truth...out of the 46 pictures I took today (what did I ever do before digital?) there were children in 3 pictures.  Sad but true.  

Love,

Alyssa

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Break Failure

It is fall break week for two of my three kids, the 12 year old and the 10 year old.  Last year I was working full time and missed out on all the fun things they did with their Dad during fall break, so this year I took the whole week off in anticipation of FUN TIMES!

It's Wednesday now and so far our FUN TIMES consisted of a day spent fruitlessly in search of elusive Halloween Costumes.  12 knew exactly what she wanted, but no store had exactly the right Greek Goddess costume (Artemis, if you must know is not a popular costume.  Go figure).  I'm still not sure what she had in mind, but we did not find it out there in retail land.  10 didn't really have a clue what he wanted to be as usual.  He generally opts for costume that will require the purchase of plastic weaponry to complete the look.  He has done Policeman (handcuffs and handgun required), Army Ranger (a plastic rifle of some sort), Fireman (an axe), Ninja (multiple swords and throwing stars) and Gangster (another plastic rifle).  Eventually though, he spotted a Robin Hood costume that he thought looked pretty awesome.  Unfortunately for him, it was a Men's XXL.  Six HOURS and 10 stores later, totally not joking, we came home empty handed.  I went online and had 2 perfect costumes within 10 minutes.

Needless to say, we are sitting around the house today vegging in front of the TV (separately for some reason).  Tomorrow at least it's a day at the zoo and the weather promises to be no higher than 85 degrees.  I am very much looking forward to that, even though it is really due to a school assignment that we have to go in the first place.  I also get to bring two of 12's friends along, since they have the same project to do.  Hmmmm, I think that when I decided to go back to working only part time I MAY have made an error in judgement.  Perhaps.  Possibly.  Probably.  Alas, someone's gotta do it so it may as well be me.  At least I like the zoo!  (and the kids, but less so them)

Love,

Alyssa
What I wore for 6 hours of shopping.
It was 100 degrees
I was hot, but it looked cute!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blogvolution

I found out something important today, something particularly relevant to this endeavor.  There is already someone on the blogroll posting things as Mrs. Matchy Matchy.

Um, AWKWARD!!


If you remember, a whole two posts ago I explained how I am old.  I am going to blame this little mix up entirely on that fact.  You see, when I was young computers were virtually non-existant.  Rather, they existed but they were huge and room sized and did important things for who knows what kind of purposes.  There was no such thing as the personal computer and our word processing was done on the typewriter.  You heard me, a typewriter.  Let me be clear...in high school I took both Home Ec. and Typing as electives, which tells you a little something about me I guess.  I loved the IBM Selectric typewriter we used in typing class so much that when my Dad's office "upgraded" to the slimmer, more modern IBM Wheelwriter I begged him to snag me my own Selectric.

The thing weighed about 20 pounds and had changeable, metal font globes.  It was awesome.  I dragged that bad boy to college and happily earned money typing many a term paper for friends and boyfriends.  I know my school did have a computer lab where you could wait in line for hours to use one of the 10 computers to type your papers using the (now) archaic WordPerfect 4.5 program, but I was perfectly happy with my blue beast.  
This is what my Selectric looked like!
Font Globes

Eventually though I did come around and learn to love the computer.  I was even among the first (I'm sure) people who booted up that free AOL floppy disc and waited interminably for the dial up connection to be made.  I shamelessly abused my company's internet connection going on every pregnancy and motherhood website I could while pretending to do research for work.  I got involved in a very early social website called Moms Online and constantly checked for messages and feedback on posts and pictures.  

How then, HOW, with all this past history did I neglect something as important as a simple search to see if the name I was choosing was already in use?   Easy, I'm old.  There is really no other excuse.  So I apologize for not being original enough in choosing a name for my new blog and for not remembering to do a search first.  I have changed the name of the blog, and really it better reflects me anyway.  I will sign off as myself from now on--and hope to make fewer "old lady" mistakes going forward. 

Yours,

Alyssa



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Columbus Day Special

Boy were the stores busy out there today!  It is Columbus Day weekend and retailers everywhere are using it as an excuse to clear through their end of season merchandise and get you into their stores to see a preview of what is coming for "Holiday".  Did you ever notice how crazy retail seasons are?  Spring merchandise comes out in January when you'd sell your soul to find a puffy coat, but you missed those, they were in the store in October.  And in the end of summer when it is still REALLY hot in Arizona, our stores get in all their fall and early winter merchandise.  You're looking for a new pair of khaki shorts and we're going to sell you some nice jeans and sweaters!  Really though, if you are a smart shopper and know how things work in the stores you love to shop at the crazy cycle can help you score major deals.  You will just be getting those deals on clothes you can wear next year!  ;o)

Here is my helpful retail hint for the day.  ASK A SALES ASSOCIATE.  Ask them what?  Anything!  "Do they have other sizes of this item in the back"? More than likely, the answer is yes and they just haven't had the chance to replenish the floor yet.  "Is this on sale?"  Even if they don't know off hand, they can certainly find out.  And you know what?  They would rather help you out than have you leave the store without a purchase. "Can you help me find my size?"  YES!  PLEASE!  Because I just spent an hour refolding everything on that table you are now trashing.  Seriously shoppers, please remember that someone has to fix what you destroy and even your attempt at folding is better than tossing it into a heap.  Stepping of my retail soapbox now...

Have a great day!

Mrs. Matchy Matchy

Did you see me at my store in this today??



Friday, October 5, 2012

First Post Ever!!!!

Hello!!  Welcome to my new blog and the Mrs. Matchy Matchy family.  There aren't many of us yet but I am sure that will change once I get us fully operational.

So, who the heck is Mrs. Matchy Matchy (and what is WITH that name, anyway)?  I am a 40 something, married, mother of 3 who is managing midlife--with clothes.  Yep, you read that right!  I have decided that every midlife crisis can be dealt with using the right outfit and now that I have a good two decades worth of clothing to choose from I figured it was about time to put my closet to good use.

Why the Matchy Matchy in the title?  Well, I'll tell ya.  I'm old.  Not OLD old, but old enough to remember when my favorite stores (like GAP) used to sell racks of socks that matched every cotton item in their store.  I loved to match my socks to my tops and peg up my jeans so that they would show.  Come on, you know you did that too right?  Children of the eighties always had matching socks.  You know, we did neon first too right?  Although, I refuse to wear it the second time around since I was there for its first emergence.  I digress.  Matching socks with tops led in the nineties to matching my converse high tops to my tops with contrasting socks.  I should find pictures...then again, maybe not.  Then as I got older and became a (quasi)professional, I matched my suits to my shirts, belts to shoes, etc.  You get the picture right?  I LIKED TO MATCH.

Do you know that in "fashion" matching isn't really the goal???  Things have to GO together, not necessarily MATCH.  I, at 42, have just begun to understand what this concept means and so began my idea for this blog.  I am going to attempt to work out both my matchy matchy tendencies and my midlife issues right here.

I hope you stay tuned, I have lots to share.  I am a great listener and an avid fan of blogs in general so fee free to comment or send me a line.

Take care--I can't wait to meet you!


Yours,


Mrs. Matchy Matchy

This is me, NOT matching on purpose!