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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

While just reading style blogs, I never realized how much work goes into them. Doing my own outfit posts has shown me that it isn’t easy to do it well. You need a decent camera and/or a conspirator to take photos. You need to get comfortable in front of the camera and practice poses. You have to keep track of where your clothes come from. Not to mention come up with titles and a few pithy paragraphs to go with the photos. I respect style bloggers way more since dipping my toe into this stuff, and am pretty sure that I will never really be one. But I still hope to occasionally post my outfits and thrifting finds here, and I hope you folks enjoy them. If not, maybe someday my kids or grandkids will come across these posts and enjoy or laugh at my ensembles.

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This is my St. Patrick’s Day outfit. I know not everyone feels the need to wear green on March 17th, and that’s cool. But working with kids and a bunch of proudly Irish folk, I end up in green to some degree or another every year, to fit in and avoid getting pinched. Plus, I love green and have a lot of it in my wardrobe.

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Almost every bit of this outfit is thrifted. I’ve only worn the green, cabled sweater a couple times, and it may end up being a dud. I really love the color, and I am a fan of cable knits, so those are pluses. I’ve incorporated a number of long cardigans into my wardrobe with success in recent years (which I partly attribute to inspiration from Sally at Already Pretty who rocks those long over lean looks regularly), but I think this one might just be too long or too bulky to be quite flattering. But it’s also warm and comfy, so I may keep it around because sometimes comfort trumps a becoming silhouette.

Other than a bit of green, comfort was my main goal in this outfit, since I have a lazy Saturday planned. Reading (I am diving back into The Hunger Games before the movie comes out), blogging, maybe updating my online dating profile, and generally lounging about. I plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day tonight by staying in the house (Boston, being a hub of both college students and folks of Irish descent, tends to get pretty crazy on St. Patty’s Day), drinking some hard cider (or Bailey’s, mmm), and watching a movie. Perhaps I will even make some soda bread. I am such a homebody. 🙂

Outfit details:
Striped top: Gap, thrifted
Long, cable knit sweater: New York & Co., thrifted
Slim ponte pants: New York & Co., thrifted
Skinny wrap belt: Gap Outlet
Converse sneakers: Target (kids size, which saved me about 10 bucks)
Earrings: mall store (don’t remember which)
Necklace: Lavishy (It’s reversible! The other side has a khaki colored background and simple tree branch design)

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Sorry for my absence here lately. I am in the midst of special event mania at work, and I have some family stuff going on, so I have had little motivation or creativity to invest in blogging. I hope to have a cooking post and a Green Goddess Dressing post up in the next few days. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of links that I have found interesting and intriguing lately.

The Japanese government tried to discourage the tradition in Tokyo of picnicking under the blooming cherry trees, as the people should be mourning after the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami. I heard this story on NPR, and I thought the ban on the traditional picnics was loony. I don’t think anyone in Tokyo will be forgetting the disaster anytime soon. And in the midst of death and destruction, I think the people of Japan need comforting traditions, beauty, poetry, and the powerful inspiration of spring and renewal more than ever. I am glad that many chose to ignore the government’s recommendations.

I think it is human nature to make some snap judgments and assumptions about other people based on what we see, but that doesn’t make it right. Sal, of Already Pretty (which has in a very short time become one of my favorite blogs), points out that we can’t tell whether someone is healthy by their weight, and it’s none of our business anyway. Working in the medical field, I am conscious of the health risks and costs to society that tend to go along with being overweight, but people are individuals, not statistics, and the human body has an incredible ability to vary from one person to another. I needed the reminder that the specific person I see out and about with a bigger body may be in perfect physical health.

Dear Sugar is another website with which I am head over heels in love. This week, Sugar’s answer to a letter writer whose wedding preparations are making him/her crazy is an absolute thing of beauty. I want to shout it from the rooftops and write it in the sky over every single one of those conspicuous consumption driven wedding expos. If more people followed this philosophy, I think weddings would be more meaningful, more fun, less stressful, and probably way less expensive.

Speaking of consumerism, it always seemed odd to me that some chefs, cookbooks, and companies recommend getting new spices every year or so. Casual Kitchen has a post that validates my skepticism. If the flavor of your spices has faded, just use more. Sounds like common sense to me!

Did you hear about Easter eggs being renamed “spring spheres” at one school? What do you think? I’ve written here before about how I wonder how to best deal with the variety of cultural and holiday beliefs in our society, but “spring spheres”? Really? The nit-picking part of me has to point out that eggs are not spheres to begin with. And I kind of think that if you have a problem with Easter eggs, you should just avoid having them in the school, rather than renaming them. The whole controversy, though, has me wondering where the line can be drawn between religious customs and cultural ones. Egg hunts and Easter baskets have little, if anything, to do with Easter as a religious holiday, right? I’d love to hear from any readers who are non-Christian about whether you celebrate Easter or other secular versions of Christian holidays and why or why not.

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Contentment renewed

I am not really celebrating the Easter holiday, but I have had a lovely morning.  It is warm and sunny here in Boston – just a perfect spring day.  As I often do on a weekend morning, I walked down to a local cafe and sat down with coffee and a pastry and my book.  As I read and munched and watched the people walking by outside, I noticed that I was in a lovely mood.  One of those moods where I just feel sort of in love with the world and with life.  Do you ever have those moments?

Some of my mood certainly stemmed from small, simple pleasures.  I am reveling in the sunshine and warmth after a long winter and bleak, rainy early spring – I sometimes joke that I am solar powered, and as the days get longer and warmer in the spring, it really seems true.  I am wearing a soft, comfortable, pretty, flattering dress that I had bought back in the fall and been waiting for warm weather to break it out, and my hair was back in twisty braids that might make me look rather young, but are romantic and unique.   And I was enjoying my milky, slightly sweet, fair trade coffee, along with the pecan roll that was melting in my mouth and scattering flaky crumbs on my lap.

Little things like this are sometimes enough to put me in a happy place, but they were aided in this instance by the lingering memories of a wonderful day yesterday.  While basically having a babysitting orientation, I got to hang out with old friends and took their toddler daughter to the park.  The walk to the park was delightful, as the little one’s wonder and curiosity made for frequent stops.  “I see a bird!  It’s flying!” We checked out shadows and flowers and listened to cars, planes, and birdsong.  I think I have a touch of that wonder than overflows in children, so I actually enjoyed the way we had to stop and remark on so many things along the way.  At the park, the munchkin slid on the slide, worked on mastering climbing a panel with slightly tricky alternating cutout footholds (it is so cool to watch kids get the hang of a new skill!), and giggled when I demonstrated hopscotch on a grid someone had drawn on the pavement (“Again!”)  We also investigated an earthworm on the drying sidewalk and relocated it to a grassy area.  It was really fun.  And I got a touch of sunburn on my neck, which isn’t really a good thing, but it’s painless, and at this point in the year, I kind of like the reminder that it is actually warm and bright enough for a sunburn (but I will be more careful from here on out, don’t worry.)  In the afternoon, I went over to my brother’s place, where we kibitzed while participating in the live draft for the fantasy baseball league we’re in with our younger brother.  Hooray for baseball season being back on!  Afterward, we walked to a cute little restaurant that focuses on fresh, local ingredients, where we had lentil soup, fresh bread, maple roasted carrots, beet and blue cheese salad, and creamy mashed potatoes.  Yum!

Today’s happiness was definitely helped along by being preceded by yesterday’s, but it had a different feel.  Sometimes I get  joyful moods, the kind that make me practically skip down the street.  This morning, my emotions seemed more grounded.  Looking out at the world, while sitting with my coffee and pastry and book, my eyes actually welled up a bit.  With happiness, yes, but there was a bittersweet quality there, too.  The recognition that life isn’t perfect, that there are things I would desperately like to change, but that I am still happy and very, very lucky.  Maybe the Easter holiday, or simply the renewal of springtime played a role in my thoughts and feelings.  Subconsciously, I may have had sacrifice, renewal, and redemption on my mind.  This time of year is a reminder to me that we all have problems and failures, but that we are frequently given second (and third, and fourth) chances, to brush ourselves off and try again or make a new plan, to reinvent ourselves in large or small ways.  I have had a stressful couple of months, so that sense of spring renewal is most welcome right now.

This feels a bit like joy, but I think it is actually hopeful contentment.  A willingness, eagerness even, to embrace life and the world, flaws and all.  Simultaneously enjoying the moment and looking forward to what the near future may hold.

Happy Easter and Passover to all who celebrate, and happy spring to everyone!

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