Update: Real Talk-Legs

Remember how I opened up to you about my struggle with skinny jeans? 

Folks, my sister found a pair that fits me! She and her hubs are up visiting and she brought a pair to prove to me that, there are in fact, skinny jeans I can wear. 
You win, this time, Meghan.

For those interested, these are from Kohl’s.

image

Shocked and awed!

image

Miracle? Plain luck? We don’t know.


What is your biggest issue finding pants? Favorite brand of skinny jeans?</strong>


The Change Up

Life is pretty good right now.  Farmer Ben and I had an amazing time in the Big Apple celebrating his 30th birthday and are getting back to the daily grind.

That being said, we have some changes coming. All good things. New opportunities, if you will.

I’m the kind of person who likes to make lists, write down her goals, and check them off, slowly but surely…. I’ve started a list for the coming months and am adding to it as the month of December slowly slips away.

I’m feeling more confident than I have in a long time, in all aspects-spiritually, emotionally and physically. It’s amazing what hard work, relaxation, personal reflection and an amazing hubs can do for your mind, body and soul.

With all of these things happening, I’ve been itching to do something different. I can’t quite put my finger what exactly I’d like to change, so I decided to start with my appearance.

Some of my favorite tweeks to my appearance are very simple.

An eyebrow wax, for example; Great eyebrows can help a woman take over the world.

Color; I love power colors- Deep crimson red, royal blue, fuschia, even black or white. Deep/bright colors give me a major confidence boost and tell the world you mean business.

New shoes. Come on now, who doesn’t feel confident in a kickass pair of running shoes or a classic black heel?

Lipstick. I have never been really into wearing makeup. When I do wear it, I usually just focus on my eyes-smokey shadow, mascara and black eye liner, no cover-up, no foundation, and maybe some chapstick at most.

But as of late, I’ve been really into red lipstick. I’m loving Rimmel’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss, especially shade 001 (red, go figure.).  If you have the confidence to rock a bright lipstick like this one, you’re going places. It was an impulse buy at my local drug store and only set me back a few bucks.

There are other times when I make drastic changes.

A haircut. I’ve never died my hair, but I love changing up my style. Ben is always in for a surprise whenever I go see my amazing stylist (Lianna at Zeina’s in Plattsburgh-she’s a ridiculously talented genius).  

I bounce all over the board. I’ll go from having hair almost half-way down my back to just under my chin. OR I’ll go from having a super sleek style to something fun, funky and razored. 

This weekend, I opted for something short and a cross between sleek and funky.

So now, in an act of shameless self promotion, here’s my latest ‘do. Also, please note the red lipstick and the bright pink zip-up.

image

Thoughts?

Happy Hump Day!


Real Talk- Legs.

I’m back!

As much as I loved sneaking off to the city for a couple of days with the birthday boy man, I have to admit, it is nice to be home. It felt so good to put on my super-soft, enormous sweats (They have always been big, but now they are …even bigger!) and a t-shirt and crawl into my own bed.

Don’t get me wrong, NYC was great. We ate and drank and walked and walked and ate and watched and walked all over. But there’s just something about coming home, dumping your stuff in a pile in the middle of the floor and immediately putting on those previously mentioned sweatpants. 

Say it with me, “Aaaah…”

Anyway, I know we have a lot of catching up to do. I’m working on a couple of posts…one I am having an especially hard time writing because it’s something very personal…and I am honestly unsure how exactly to approach it. In the end, I’m sure I’ll choose my normal verbal-vomit, dump whatever comes to mind out on the page screen approach. And that’s fine.

Before I do that, there are a few things I really need to get off my chest.

Allow me to give you a play-by-play of something that happened to me on Saturday.

Prepare for a rant.

1. I love boots. Especially tall boots. I just love them. And how they look.

2. I have big calves and always have. This makes buying and wearing tall boots very difficult. Sometimes impossible. So, you know that when I found a pair at Target last year on clearance for $20 that I had to have them. It was the last pair, and I could actually zip them all the way…okay, most of the way, but it was close enough that I bought them. And wear them often…even though they only zip most of the way.

3. I really love the way jeans look with tall boots. But I hate that I have to stuff them inside my already over-flowing boot leg.

4. That being said, I decided that I needed to find a pair of skinny jeans.

4b. I currently own two pairs of jeans-one that I saved from a few years back and one that I purchased…so I figured it was okay for me to buy a few more pairs. Both pairs are boot-cut, size 8.

5. I’m not a huge fan of skinny jeans. I don’t know why…But I decided that if I want to wear my boots as comfortably as possible, that I should get a pair. Give them a go, if you will.

It’ll also save my boot-cut jeans from getting super wrinkly if I decide to wear a few times between washes…not gonna lie, this happens often.

6.  On Saturday, I went to the mall to find an over-the-shoulder bag for our trip and decided that I would also find at least one pair of skinny jeans.

7. Instead of finding a cute pair of skinny jeans, I discovered that my previously mentioned big calves prevent me from being able to wear skinny jeans. Period.

8. This discovery is really depressing. I can’t make this stuff up…and furthermore, who would make this up?!

Seriously, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gone down so many pants sizes or what, but most of the jeans I tried on I couldn’t even pull up all the way. Apparently if you wear anything below a size 12, you have chicken legs…or something.

I know what you’re thinking, Home Girl is in denial about what size she wears! 

For all of you thinking that,  I can tell you, every pair of boot-cut jeans I tried on, in the same size fit perfectly. But I wasn’t looking for boot-cut jeans, was I?

So no, it was NOT because they were too small or I couldn’t get them over my hips (which,yes, can happen and I am sure if you’re a bit curvy you can relate-you move up the size chart and move on with your life), but because apparently I have such monstrous calves that I could only get them up to a certain point until they got stuck.

9. Yes, the jeans got stuck on my calves, so much that I couldn’t pull them up all the way, no matter how hard I tried, and then I had to sit down and use both hands to peel them off. Try doing that in every store. Talk about a workout!

10. This initially made me feel like a freak! I had to do this little dance, not once, not twice, but over ten times in ten different stores…with numerous brands of jeans. I even tried going up a couple of  sizes in some stores, with the same result! I left the mall empty-handed (well, except for the bag I initially set out to get…which was also a huge disappointment–it broke!) and extremely discouraged. No wonder I can hardly ever find tall boots!

11. Why do clothing companies think that all women are created exactly the same? Why do clothing companies think that all women have tiny non-existent calf muscles?! Why does the “ideal” woman have to fit a certain image or set of measurements?! 

12. I’m 5’4″ and a size 8, however I’m also very curvy. And I have short legs. And big calves.

I have big boobs and a big butt…even after losing thirty pounds.  I’m not going to give you my measurements, because it really doesn’t matter and I think that would be a little creepy…but I will tell you that even after losing that much weight, my bra size remains the same… my hips and butt are smaller, but they are still very much there. And I am okay with that. So is my husband.

13. I run. Yes, I am a runner. This means that I have big legs. Big thighs and yes, apparently monstrous big calves. That doesn’t mean that I am “fat,” it means that I have muscle.  I admit, I was fat, but that is not the case anymore.

14. Growing up, I always had an issue with my legs. I wouldn’t wear certain things because I didn’t want to accentuate them and I was extremely self conscious–especially as a teenager.

15. Now, as a 25-year-old woman, I am embracing my body. This is what keeps me working to improve myself both physically and mentally. God gave me this body for a reason, but I know that He expects me to take care of it. This is why I work out and aspire to be better.

I know that I have my trouble spots, but I’m not focused on them. I know that I embrace my curves, my muscles, and even those giant calves.  I know that I am healthy.

My “big” legs carry me through long runs, giant hills, fast runs, mud and snow,  new challenges and every day life and I am so blessed to be able to use them to their maximum capacity. And I will continue to do so as long as I can.  

image

After an awesome workout... check out those gams!

So, I guess this is my way of taking a stand against those in the industry who try to make me conform to a certain size and shape. If you can’t make pants–or any clothing, for that matter–that work with my body, then I won’t wear them. Thanks but no thanks.

I am not a perfect creation, but I am perfectly me.


Bling Blingin’

So, I am writing this post for two reasons. One is to give you all an awesome gift idea, not only for Christmas, but for anytime. And two, I’ve had a ton of people ask me who made the jewelry for my bridesmaids. I figured this would kill two birds with one stone.

My gorgeous sister...wearing that awesome necklace!

Ben and I were very adamant about having a custom wedding. We did our own food, cake, and even had custom wine bottles made (I promise, I will do a post about this soon). I also wanted a fun gift for my bridesmaids. I know jewelry isn’t the most unique gift in the world, but I knew that they would love wearing something that wasn’t mass-produced and having something they could wear more than once.

After many emails, we came up with this necklace. It was exactly what I wanted and it turned out to be a huge hit.

Custom Made Bridesmaid Jewelry

That being said, allow me to introduce my friend Kate:

Kate and I ran track together in high school. After graduation, Kate moved to New Mexico to chase her dreams. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband. As the ranch keeps her pretty busy, making jewelry is a hobby…a hobby that she is really good at.  I asked Kate to answer a few questions about her creative process, take a look!

Noelle’s Notebook: How did you start making jewelry?

Kate:The way that I actually got into making jewelry was kind of funny- and I should say that I mostly owe it to my husband, Ben.  He and I, along with my mom, were on a trip back to NY to see family and one of my mom’s necklaces broke (not one from us, but another that she had bought elsewhere).  I have to give Ben credit and say that he is a jack of all trades, and she knew that at the time too; so she asked him if he could figure something out to fix it while she was there, seeing that it was the first day- it had broken in her luggage, and she really wanted to wear it while there.

Ben and I studied the piece and said if we went to an arts & crafts store we thought we could figure it out.  Sure enough, we gathered up what we thought were the correct pieces, re-strung her necklace and it’s been fixed ever since.  While we were there though, we saw all of the loose beads and we go the idea to grab a few strands and see what we could do with them.  We started out really simple and with cheaper beads and materials, but now have advanced to more technical and higher quality work.

One of Kate's earring sets

 NN: Where do you draw your inspiration/where do you get your ideas?

Kate: You know, it’s kind of funny because I’m not sure.  I love getting a huge order of beads and just playing.  I might envision something when I place an order, but then when I get it, it doesn’t look good, but something else does.  I pay attention to trends and do a lot of turquoise and western jewelry because we live in OK.  My main focus for this has been jewelry that is made for today’s western women and little cowgirls.  But since this is a glorified hobby for me, I changed that some because my biggest customers are my family and friends- and seeing how they span the U.S., I have changed my style from all western to a little bit of everything, but still with a cowgirl twist.

NN: What kinds of materials do you use?

Kate: As far as beads we use everything you could imagine from glass and plastic to genuine natural gemstones etc.   We use stones like lapis, quartz, and tiger’s eye, and then at other times, howlite and magnesite, turquoise, amethyst and everything in between.  Most of our hardware is silver but we have used some gold and tarnished gold for special orders.

NN: Will this ever turn into a full-time venture? Or is it just for fun?

Kate: Right now I call it a “glorified” hobby.  It has gotten much bigger than I ever imagined.  It started like I said, with just family and now some friends buy it too.  It will always be fun, but I would like for it to get bigger in the future.  As far as full-time, probably not.  Ben and I manage a 1,900 acre ranch, so that has most of my attention.  However, as a side business, I definitely would love to see a future in the jewelry making

NN: Any advice for fellow jewelry-makers?

Kate: My biggest piece of advice would be to have fun with it.  It is such a great thing to see people wearing your jewelry or have them tell you how much they love their pieces.  In having fun with doing it, don’t forget your roots.  Be playful with your creations but if have a common theme in what you make, that will help customers to develop a real grasp on what your  style, attitude, and personality  is all about.
NN: Where is the strangest place you’ve had to send jewelry?

Kate: I have shipped to a lady who lives in Australia, twice.  She is a repeat customer and has become a good friend.  Besides that, nowhere too weird.  Coast to coast though- NY to CA and lots in between.

NN: What is your favorite piece?

Kate: That’s definitely the toughest question you’ve asked.  I always make pieces and say “I think this is my most favorite, EVER!”  And then Ben reminds me how many times I have said that before.  I don’t have just one.  I love a lot of the pieces I make with pendants.

The funny thing is, I only own two pieces of my own jewelry.  We don’t go out and get dressed up enough for me to keep a lot of it, so I would rather see other people have some enjoyment with it.  I always joke and say “The cows and horses don’t care if I have jewelry on or how I look”, because they are majority of what we work with everyday.  If I had a job in town or an office job, that would definitely change though, two would not cut it!

If you’re interested in any of Kate’s pieces, email her at ktirwin12@yahoo.com I can tell you that she is great to work with, has VERY reasonable prices and is very quick to ship. Do it. Now!