Let’s talk accessories

I’m back at work today, so jeans and sweatshirts weren’t an option.  Trust me — I would live in jeans in sweatshirts if I could, but we all have responsibilities and an adult life to live, so today was more of a dress up day than  other recent days.  Ignore the mess behind me, and notice the scarf.


And the bracelet.


And these bracelets too. Not the metal ones, but the beaded ones.


Do you notice any similarities?  If you go back up and look closely at my glasses, they will also give you a clue.

It’s color.  The scarf, glasses, and bracelets all have similar colors, primarily purple.  I don’t think you can see my earrings, but they have purple too.  I’m a huge believer in finding colors that make you happy — colors that sing to your heart — and focusing on them throughout the seasons and eras of life.  Purple is my go-to.  It’s happy.  It’s rich.  It’s brightens my spirit and heart when I see it.  Colors come and go with the fashion industry, but your color — the one that sings to your heart — will always be beautiful on you.

When you see a beautiful sunset, which color speaks to you?  When you notice flowers and birds, what stands out to you, takes your breath away, and makes you feel alive?  That’s the color that sings to your heart.  Find ways to add it to your clothing choices and your accessories and you will always feel strong about what you are wearing.

There’s meaning behind the other aspects too, but we’ll save that for another time.

Big Girl Postscript: Don’t be afraid of colors.  I’m sure you all heard the things I did growing up, that we shouldn’t draw more attraction to ourselves than we needed to and that solids were “slimming” and “helped you blend in.”  Baloney.  You are amazing and deserve to stand out as much as you choose to.  Wear the bright blouse.  Choose the big, chunky, colorful accessories.  It’s OK to wear clothes and fun things that say, “Notice me!  I am here!  I am not too much!”  Find what makes your heart sing and share it with the world.  The world needs your presence and beauty. 

Style for sick days 

Today, I’ve been home sick. All last week, I thought I was just tired and that rest would help, but I finally went to an urgent care clinic yesterday and learned that I have bronchitis and a double ear infection. I started antibiotics and got a steroid shot in my hiney, but am still coughing up a storm.

This was my choice of shirt for the day. I’m a big believer in wearing clothes that share who you are. I love yoga. I love the thought that namaste brings to life. The spirit of God in me honors the spirit of God in you. I also love having a sense of humor about life.

Hey, Lisa — you going to work today? 

Nope. I’m sick. Nama-stay in bed. 


But seriously — your clothes, especially your fun and casual clothes — can be an amazing way to bring your personality to the world. I have librarian sweatshirts and tshirts. The namastay sweatshirt. Wonder Woman tshirts. Be who you are.

Big Girl Postscript: Don’t be afraid to go up a few sizes in sweatshirts and hoodies. They’re so much fun. Make them comfortable. Get them extra long and push up the sleeves if they’re too long. You deserve comfort and joy as much as anyone else does. 😘😘😘

The heart of style 

Over the years, I’ve struggled with self doubt and a lot of insecurity about my appearance. Abby helped me realized I needed to talk to myself like I talk to others. I’m genetically predisposed to being an encourager, but needed to do that for myself.

What I’ve learned is that if I feel good about myself, I will feel good about what I wear. If I don’t feel good about myself, I can wear the same thing and feel yuck.

You are enough. You do so much for others and yourself and you have everything you need to feel good about your appearance. If you have a spirit of love and acceptance for self and others, you will look amazing no matter what you wear. You will shine with beauty; the kind of beauty that lasts throughout a lifetime.

Big Girl Postscript: I know that we often struggle with feeling like we are too much. Too big. Take up too much space. You are not too much. The best thing you can do is live your life the way you want to today. Don’t wait until you lose 20 pounds until you wear leggings. Don’t wait until you’re at your goal weight to buy that dress. Buy the size that feels good on your body and own it. Yes, I really do have that mirror hanging in my house. You look amazing today. I look in that mirror every day before I leave. Some days, stopping by that mirror makes the difference in whether or not I smile before I leave the house. Find a happy thing that can make you feel good before you leave the house and give yourself the gift of looking at it every day. 

Styling at home

This is a very typical choice of outfit for a day at home that may include running an errand or two. Yes, those are the same skinny jeans I wore yesterday. This is a judge free zone, so don’t judge me.

And my flannel shirt. Oh how I love my flannel shirt. A couple of years ago, my best girlfriends and I had a weekend away in a cabin in Mountain View, Arkansas. We went to Walmart and saw these flannel shirts in the men’s section and all got one in different colors. (As a former seamstress, I love that the plaid stripes match up.) So this shirt brings me great joy because it’s comfortable and full of great memories.

And here’s the close up. I have a no make up rule on my days at home. Moisturizer is a must, though, ladies. Use your moisturizer and give your face a break from the make up. You are beautiful. Each and every one of you is beautiful, so don’t be a slave to make up.

Big Girl Postscript: When I picked out this shirt in the store, all of my sizing insecurities came through. My friends are all smaller than I am and I was very aware that they were grabbing smalls and mediums while I was looking for an extra large IN MENS! When I got it on, though, it was a reminder of how I often overestimate the size I need because of my internal dialog of “you’re huge and nothing will fit.” But it did. It’s even too big, which was a huge surprise for me. 

It’s hard for us to see ourselves as we actually are. Well, it’s hard for me. Maybe it is for you too. I would encourage us all, though, to work on setting that internal dialog aside and trying on the clothes we love and see how they look and feel on our bodies. You might be surprised. 

Styling, part 1

My friend Abby said I should start a style blog. This confused me because A: I have struggled with clothing all of my life and B: Abby has heard more of my angst about clothing and what to wear than just about anyone else.

I though, though. “Hmm…that lady in the student center did say she liked my hair and hmm…a student worker asked me where I buy my clothes and hmm…a young friend asked me to teach her how to dress when she becomes a mom.”

If nothing else, I decided, I could post pictures of what I’m wearing and why I’m wearing it.

So here goes.

The picture is dark, but I’m wearing tall, brown boots, skinny jeans, a plain black shirt, and a leopard print scarf. Today is a family day and get things done day, so the most important thing was comfort. Hence the skinny jeans/leggings, whatever you want to call them. Y’all can hate on them as much as you want to, but they are super comfy and so I wear them.

The black shirt was Jason’s but we decided it looked much better with boobs in it so it’s mine now. And it’s also super soft and comfy and warm.

The scarf was given to me for Christmas one year by my dear friend Becky who is much more stylish than I am. She teaches it, for pity’s sake. I always know I’m doing ok if Becky oks an outfit.

My hair is short and spiky these days because it’s easy. I learned a long time ago to let my hair call the shots. It takes me all of five minutes to do my hair and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is full of way too many good things to spend a lot of time on hair.

My girls and I used to spend a lot of hours watching What Not to Wear and at one time I think they considered sending me in to be on the show. However, I was emerging from my mommy phase of life then and my clothing choices finally gave them some hope. One thing I learned from WNTW was that any combination of neutrals will work. Hence, the brown, denim, and black together. My glasses are red and add a splash of color to shake things up a bit. 

The best thing about all this? Cheap. Payless boots. Clearance rack jeans. The shirt was ransomed from Jason and the scarf was a gift from a friend and is full of a lifetime of memories.

So today’s style tip? Be comfortable. Shop sales. Wear things you love from people you love and don’t let your hair control your life.

Big Girl Postscript: I have really thick calves and Payless has boots that work for me. If you also have thick calves, I’d recommend trying their selections, but add some Dr Scholls gel insoles for more support and walking comfort. 

The ABCs of gratitude

As I journey through life
By your side, I
Cannot help but
Dwell on the goodness you bring to
Every day.  The
Fun, the
Giggles, the
Hand holding . . .
I don’t know how I managed before.
Just sitting next to you doing nothing. . . it’s your
Kindness. Your
Laugh.  You
Make my heart happy every day.
Nothing prepared me for the feeling
Of safety.  Of knowing I was with my
Person.  I feel like a
Queen and our home is our palace.  Our
Refuge.  Our own fortress of
Thank you.  And yes, I will continue to marry you
Under the moon each time we are beneath it. The
Very nature of the moon mirrors life.  It
Waxes and wanes, but is constant. Always there,
eXpecting to change and shift with time.
You are my love.  My best friend.  My person. My
Zoe (my life)

iPhone 005

The best laid plans

A couple of days ago, I found a 21-day gratitude project and printed it off.  My plan was to start today and use this space to intentionally be grateful through the rest of the month.  Today is the ninth, so the math added up, and I thought — perhaps foolishly — that I would be able to begin my gratitude and Thanksgiving with the fact that the glass ceiling had been shattered.

More importantly, I thought I would be able to express thanks that my country had been able to see through the hateful rhetoric of a bully and not elect him as president.  When I woke up this morning, I knew that was not the case.

Today, I cannot give thanks for those things, but I still choose to be thankful.  I am setting my intention to come to this space every day and be grateful.  Not only that, but I will carry out acts of expressed gratitude throughout the month.  I’ve been in a bit of a writing desert for a while.  It’s hard for me to express the reasons for the desert, but I’m no longer willing to stay in a place of uncertainty.  I want to write through it and define it and move past it. By using gratitude as my tool, I will improve my writing and my attitude at the same time.

And it is my hope that I will rise in the process.


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