I love clothes. I’m not a fashion blogger but I’m a blogger who wears clothes… so that’s kinda the same thing, right?

I also love capsule wardrobes and that whole KonMari method of less is more.

Well, in theory anyway.

But I am babystepping toward bringing this idea of capsule wardrobes and making less be more instead of buying all the things on sale and stuffing them into my closet and dresser drawers because I like to have all! the! things! I think I might need a less is more injection in my life.

While considering how this *might* be for me, I decided I needed to “shop my closet” instead of going out and shopping (being in between freelance gigs is a contributing factor there), and I’m choosing items that I don’t wear maybe as often as I should.

In July, I dipped my toe into Polyvore, a super fun fashion website that I assume everyone else already knows about, to see how all of that might work. I chose a hot pink shirt and picked a few different ways to wear it. But I really got into it in August.

For my chosen item, I picked out an AVA & VIV sleeveless denim dress from Target. I put together six different outfits over the course of the month, and I’ll share them with you here.

Outfit 1: Cowboy Casual

1I love when I find things that I actually own on Polyvore. Mostly because I don’t know how to add things to the collages! in this case, I own the boots (love them) and very similar accessories.

I chose this because I really like the way denim and leather go together, I like pairing high and low items (in this case, fancy accessories with this casual dress), and I love cowboy boots.

I also love the blue stitching on the boots and how it ties into the blue of the dress.

Outfit 2: Punk Rock Girl

2Okay, punk rock girl might be a bit of a stretch… but kind of, right?

I wanted to think of ways to layer under the dress when/if it got chilly. I mean, in theory it could, right? Even though it’s August… in Oklahoma.

I love black and white and red together. I have a red bag (though not this one), a similar bracelet and these shoes.

* Pause for you to admire those fierce Chucks. *

This one is more casual and I would probably also wear tights with it

Outfit 3: Hi! I’m Brian Fellows!

3Brian Fellows? Yes. Because this is my outfit that looks inspired by safari wear. Like the Tracy Morgan character on SNL. You’re either laughing or shaking your head at me right now.

I used to have a pair of boots like this, they were from Victoria’s Secret and were a bit more chunky with a lug sole, but they were cute. I no longer have them but they’re cute. I have a green sweater like this and really love that tortoiseshell necklace. I might need to find something like that.

The bag? Well, that’s just wishful thinking. Every girl needs a dream, yeah? And right now, mine is a Dolce & Gabbana Duaphine Escape textured leather tote.

Le sigh.

Outfit 4: The Weekend Look

4I like a clog but I’m never completely sure about pairing them with a skirt or dress. But I do like how this outfit comes together.

I wore a very similar look this weekend, pairing a leopard cardigan with this dress and a statement necklace. However, I wore the look with tall brown cowboy boots (different from the other ones) and a sweet gold clutch bag that’s actually a pencil case by Mead.

Seriously $6 pencil case. And I was complimented on it. I picked out the pencil case clutch because it was a good value and because it was similar to a bag I was looking at for another outfit. Also, I don’t have a newsprint tote but I did pick up a composition bag printed tote when I saw it in the store. I was reminded of this outfit and selected it for that, but I think the color and print would work better with outfit #2.

Outfit #5: And Now For Something Completely Different

Flannel. It’s big. I guess grunge is coming back. Again. 5

I like flannel in a not-s0-dressy application, and think this lightweight flannel (similar to one I own) would pair nicely over the dress for a casual look.

The boots are inspired by a pair my 11-year-old daughter has and the purse? Seriously. How fierce is that thing? Another Dolce & Gabbana treasure. The gold clutch I found made me think of this—a little sweet, a little edgy.

I think this is a great casual fall outfit.

Outfit 6: And Now For Something Completely Different

6As I was considering these various outfits, I realized that they were all pretty casual or definitely not work-focused, so I set myself on a course to find a more businessy type outfit. I mean, the tshirt bottom of the dress doesn’t really lend itself to business wear, but stay with me here.

Who doesn’t love a crisp white blouse? I think this could go over or under the dress—I prefer it under, so the shirt tails aren’t hanging out, free and easy. I love the color of this jacket with the rest of the outfit also.

Then, since this was more of a not really my reality outfit, I really tried to have fun with it. I guess I prefer this dress with funky footwear (like boots). And this little clutch looked adorable, punching up the feminine and flirty outfit.

So, that was my Polyvore adventure for August! Though we are already well into September, I haven’t selected the piece to focus on for this month, but I look forward to styling more outfits with things I have and things that I find inspiring. I hope that my future on Polyvore helps me to find things I love and see them in a new way. I also hope it gets me a meet cute with Melissa McCarthy so I can try out her new fashion line, but, baby steps, you know?

IMG_9897Mari Farthing is a freelance writer and editor who blogs at MariFarthing.com when she’s not breaking it down in the kitchen during a dance party with her kids (who, as a tween and young teen, will deny participation in said dance parties).

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Sunday Potluck

August 30, 2015

Firstly, I’d like to give a shout out to all our OKWB ladies in Arkansas this weekend for the AWBU conference! I hope they’re learning tons, making great connections, and hopefully not partying too hard.

Can you believe that it’s the last Sunday in August? I sure can’t. I think 2015 is actually speeding up as we go. At this rate, December will probably only last 15 minutes. Or maybe we all just need to sit back, slow down, and take stock of the world around us a little bit more. I know I sure could stand to do that.

So, let this Sunday Potluck be a place for you to slow down and take stock. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea–or heck, a margarita if you have a pitcher handy. Add your post from last week to our link up, and then read through the others that have posted. That’s just the ticket to get you ready for the week ahead.

-XOXO Marisa



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I heard of a thing called Cizel — I’m assuming the word rhymes with “sizzle” until someone tells me otherwise — and it sounded like crazy fun. It is an exercise program utilizing “everyday motions, like rowing”. I don’t row even twice a year, much less everyday, but after watching the YouTube video of “something similar” that my friend the instructor directed me to find, I thought, “Yeah, okay, I can row. I can do (fluttering my hands at the screen nonchalantly) thaaaaat…” For three weeks, I gathered a group of friends to join me with the sizzling. “Come! Let’s Cizel!” So many of us were ready to do the Cizel! And on the day before we hit Go on the Cizel-ing, the instructor moved away, to another town, far, far away, and was reluctant to stop unloading U-Haul boxes just to Skype with my group of Cizel Ready friends. Huh. “Fine!” my stubborn nature screamed. “Then I’ll Twerk!”

I had recently learned of an instructor in town who taught The Twerk. During the original conversation, I had laughed maniacally at the thought. But with Cizel out of the question, Twerking suddenly sounded do-able. Alas, no Twerk was slated any time soon for the local Twerk-ist. “Fine!” my stubborn side screamed louder. “I’ll do Fit!” Fit Class is a form of torture constructed by my son’s Tae Kwon Do instructor at Summit Martial Arts in the City. He’s fabulous with children. He’s nice to them and doesn’t try to bend them into  figure eights.  Adults are not so lucky.  I’ve endured the forty-five minutes of pain before, but, gee, it had been a number of months since I last threw myself into that fire. I remember activities like Flip the Tractor Tire, and Jump Rope with Fifty Feet of Four-inch Cording. Run and Kick and Hit Things — Hard! — Eight Hundred Times. Burpees. Squat Jumps. Vomiting.headcoach

That last one was a section I added myself.

“But I can do it!” I yelled internally. “I will do it!!”

The Tuesday evening came, when I would go to Fit, darn it, and when the time came, I drove to the gym, mad at Myself for honoring the promise I made to Me to go. Class started with a series of fast-as-you-can push ups/sit ups/jumping jacks, at which point my bladder gently reminded me that two kids produced one loose set of innards, and that if I didn’t jump into the restroom soon, things would get embarrassing quickly. This is why I always wear black workout pants.

Once I returned to the exercise floor from the bathroom, I realized I was behind the other seven adult students who were already glowing and blushing from strain. Doggone it, I caught up, but at a cost of a bottle of water and a feeling that the lights had dimmed, so I bent over to avoid fainting and hoped I looked casual, like, “Sheesh, bring it, that was nothin’, so I’m going to bend and pretend that my knees are interesting.” But see, then the actual hurting came, with the Head Coach prefacing the agony with catchy phrases like, “This is where we talk about our feelings,” and “This is going to be fun,” and using phrases like “cake walk” and “no problem” while wearing a Jim Carrey Grinch smile. I know sarcasm when I hear it, and Jim Carrey’s Grinch? Shudder. So creepy. For thirty minutes, my wee little limbs did their thing. My brain doesn’t remember much — it’s my self preservation mechanism — but the madness involved at least one five-minute wall sit (I know! five minutes!) and lots of Suicide Drills, which is the proper name for such a horror. I believe I lived. Adrenaline flooded my cortex and tricked me into believing I even felt okay afterward. I didn’t vomit, this I know, and that deserves big points. But for the next three days, movement in my calf muscles was restricted to the Octogenarian Shuffle, a sort of scoot/slide motion with the feet. Heights were an impossibility –things like curbs, stairs, wool rugs — but the world has lots of blessed ramps for those of us with limited  mobility. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to go back. I could strangle myself for entertaining the thought.

But until then, I had a yoga session lined up for Thursday! MisSTEVIEous in Piedmont, America, offers a full line of Things to Do with Other Adults, and all of them sound fun! Yoga! Dance! Boot Camp! Well, not Boot Camp, and certainly not at the allotted 5:15am. Five in the morning? Even the rooster living outside my bedroom window is still asleep at five. But yoga? Well, heck, that’s at 8:30, just after dropping my son at school and before my second cup of coffee. And what is yoga, bendy stuff? Calmness? Slow music? Done!

I signed up, I showed, and I dropped into a full group of like minded women who wore Athleisure much more effectively than I. Thus I was nervous from the get-go. After all, I say “yoga” with an Eskimo Joe’s shirt and my trusty black, aged, pill-ridden workout attire circa Late 1900‘s. Nonetheless, I stuck. I bended, I enjoyed the music, I pretended I wasn’t perspiring like a high schooler after a two-a-day. I held my own for a middle aged woman with too much skin selvage in the upper arm area. (Truly, get those things going and momentum carries me upward a good two inches. Levity is fun, but aging stinks.)

yoga

 

Then came the Cool Down, with the Corpse Pose and the soundtrack of Chanting and Meditation. I lay there, eyes closed, palms up, feet flopped wherever feet flop when they’re deadened, and chanted to myself, “Don’t fall asleep, you have to go to work. Don’t fall asleep, you have to go to work…” for five full minutes until I grew so exasperated with myself that I rose and left the others to their delightful rest. Really, I annoy Me sometimes. And what do you know? How does one round up a solid week of torture and pained muscles? With Dance!

Two days after yoga, I found myself right back with Ms Stevie under the lights of a rotating disco ball, with louder music and far less confidence.

I was moving like an iguana on a hot plate, limbs all flappy and confused and high stepping to find a cool spot for its feet. It was ugly. Twice I tangled my own legs within themselves, but aside from the scant light of the twirling glittery ball, I told myself I was practically invisible.

Free to move and guess what? Stevie Twerked. And gee, it didn’t look so hard, right? I could move my hips…that way! I could…shake…things! Right? No problem! Things were shaking, yes, and hips were moving but…oh, it wasn’t right.

Things I learned this week:

I can do squats; I can’t Twerk.

I can do Burpees, but I really don’t want to.

I can sweat like a race horse rounding the last corner of its twentieth lap.

I can drink two bottles of water without realizing it.

And I need a new hand towel. Mine washes fine, but it’s rough as sandpaper. If I’m going to maintain the insanity of Actually Exercising, I need the pampering of a Pima Egyptian Cotton 12,000 thread towel. (I’m sure that’s a thing.)

 

worthallthewhile Michelle blogs over at Worth All the While. When she’s not blogging, she’s living life in her tiny Oklahoma town with her son,

affectionately called, “Bubs”.

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Blogger vs. WordPress

August 24, 2015

Contributed by August Blogger of the Month, Constance Burris I’ve been using Blogger for years. The blogging platform is user friendly, and it took less than five minutes to set up and start posting. But over the past few years, more blogs have moved to WordPress. I’ve been envious over the simplicity and the social […]

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Sunday Potluck

August 23, 2015

Happy Sunday, bloggers! I hope you have a good day of rest and relaxations before we all tackle the last week in August. Go ahead and pour yourself another cup of coffee. We won’t judge. As always, here’s your Sunday Potluck linkup. Make sure to link up with your post from the week before, and […]

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Fabulous Foodie Friday: Oven Fried Okra from 918 Plate

August 21, 2015

  Hi! I’m Hillary from 918 Plate. I’m here today for Fabulous Friday at OWB! I joined the community a few months ago, and have already had such a great experience interacting with everyone and their blogs! I thought I’d bring you a simplified version of classic Oklahoma dish today. I actually found an article […]

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Oklahoma Books

August 17, 2015

Contributed by August Blogger of the Month, Constance Burris On a recent Twitter Chat, the participants mentioned how there weren’t enough diverse locations in urban fiction. I wholeheartedly agreed! This is why all of my stories are located in Oklahoma or feature characters from Oklahoma. My online beta readers are always shocked when they discover […]

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Sunday Potluck

August 16, 2015

Good morning, bloggers! If you were able to make it out to our 2nd Friday Art Walk meet up in Norman, we’d like to thank you for coming out. And if you weren’t, we can’t wait to see you at our next event! With all the back to school hustle and bustle, hopefully this coming […]

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Blogging and One Note: A Match Made In Heaven

August 9, 2015

Contributed by August Blogger of the Month, Constance Burris Writing is hard. Blogging is hard. So when I find a piece of software or website that makes it easier, it’s like finding my body weight in gold. In last week’s post, I mentioned I how I use Microsoft’s OneNote to keep track of all of my […]

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The Secret to Blogging Consistently

August 3, 2015

Contributed by August Blogger of the Month, Connie Burris Anyone will tell you, the secret to a successful blog is not how often you post, but to post consistently. After six years of trying to blog consistently, I’ve finally found the secret. It’s keeping a physical calendar. I’ve been trying to blog on a regular […]

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