Friday, June 29, 2012

Ye Ole Standard

These red pants make getting dressed easy:

I'm trying really hard (and kinda sorta failing) at not shopping.  Instead of shopping I'm trying to pull out some items from ye ole wardrobe that haven't been used and abused enough.  Thankfully I have red pants that fit great and that I can pair with so many things - like this oatmeal top.  Oatmeal? What a gross name for a color, kind of like salmon.  (Both oatmeal and salmon are fine for eating but not really for wearing, me thinks).

Also-  I'm going to slow down the blogging for summer for 3 notable reasons:

  1. I'm feeling busy (who isn't?) and that I'm not getting in as many walks and lazy evenings as I should be for it being summer in Buffalo. 
  2. I have a BIG viola and violin summer with lots of things to prepare.  Yay!  But this girl needs to practice first.  Before blogging and summer walks/laziness and reading. 
  3. I also need to practice shutting down and shutting off from the digital connections.  I find myself obsessively playing iPad or iPhone games.  I'm choosing the computer instead of reading.  I sit at a desk (with my best friend internet) all day long.  Then I drive home, still sitting, and then usually spend another embarrassing amount of time sitting at the computer.   Yuck!  Save me!
I haven't decided how much of a lull I'll be settling into.  I've already slowed down a bit this month.  I plan to still read and comment on all my favorite fashion and art blogs - you girls rock!  I'm still reading every post because I would hate to miss something.  I hate missing things.  And you all inspire me.  Every day.

I'm really glad to get all that off my chest.  I'm shutting off the computer now.  Well, maybe in 10 more minutes.  :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's ALMOST a shirt dress

I don't own a shirt dress, although I think they are so cute.  (I just tried to search "shirt dress" on pinterest and nothing showed up.  weird.)

So, I'm going to consider this my version of the shirt dress:

I've been having a hard time with the dress lately.  It has an elastic waist that sits in the most unflattering place.  When I look down I just see gut.  But in this outfit I look down and see just a big belt and not said gut.  *Blogger Happy Dance*

Notice the shoe change?  I wore the wedges at work and wore my Toms for driving and my viola lesson.  I changed them half way through the photo shoot.  

Notice the weird tree + guard rail combo?  Yeah.  It's so urban + nature.  Maybe edgy?  Maybe sad?

Also - is this long button up shirt called a "tunic"?  *Blogger Bashful Blush*  Thx.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nerdy Schmo

My long checkered shorts came out twice last week.  This first outfit was for something after work - maybe drinks with a friend.  They are a comfy fit (a little loose) and pretty high waisted.  The cowl-necked tank is a little long in the torso so it helped to cover up the bulkiness in the waistband.

I also want to do a little shout out to the cowl neck.  This shape almost always works on me and it's hard for me to pass up a cowl tee, sweater or dress at the store.  Holla!

Unfortunately, I tried to wear the same shorts to work a couple days later for casual Friday.  They are definitely longer than a lot of the skirts I've worn and a lot dressier than some of the jeans that others wear any day of the week... but I still got called out!  My boss asked if I was pushing the dress code a little with the shorts.  Well, I styled 'em like a nerdy schmo, so maybe I deserved it:

I probably should have stuck with the pink cowl neck tank from before.  I probably should not have tucked in the tee.  Showering might have helped... and I should have stepped into some heels to make it more work friendly.  I had lots of strikes going against me on Friday... but! ~ I got lots of compliments on the kitty tee!  

Do you wear shorts to work?  What about the long variety?  (What are the long shorts called again?)

Friday, June 22, 2012

My First Friday's Fancies - Color Block

I was able to take some pictures before work on Wednesday!  The light is really different in the morning.  Hopefully the morning light will offset the quick make-up job I attempted before taking these pics.  If Adam and I carpool I will put make-up on in the car.  Otherwise I wait until I get to work.  I won't admit to putting on "my face" while driving.  I never do that.

This skirt has been "on deck" for a while.  I don't have very many pleated skirts, but I learned that they are fun to twirl in!  I loved the colors in the outfit but I need to work on the shape... I felt a little boxy all day.  It will be better next time!

This outfit was inspired by the Friday's Fancies link up on {long distance loving}.

I've been wanting to put together a solid color block outfit for a while but then I kind of forgot that I wanted to do that.  I am excited for the ideas and the link up!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Army Green and Turquoise

I wasn't going to post tonight - but it's so hot and I don't have AC so going to bed feels like a chore. I'm not complaining even though that last sentence sounds a little like complaining. I LOVE SUMMER!  Even in all this heat!  Yay! 

So, since I'm still awake I thought I would quickly post a dress from last week that never made it on the blog.  Army green and turquoise - I didn't know I would like the combo so much!

This army green knit dress has been in my closet for a few years.  I have worn it a couple of times but often pass it over when picking out a dress because I just don't know it very well, as if there's been something about it that makes me think it's not a good fit.

Well, I found out last week that it fits pretty alright.  And it has cute cap sleeves and pockets. Happy surprise! The one wonky thing is that the armpit holes are a little deep so the dress needs a tank underneath, no biggie. It's like I have a new dress. A dress that I paid for a long time ago!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thoughts On Meditation - from someone totally unqualified

My friend Samantha of SamaSutra signed me up for a meditation class at the Himalayan Institute, a yoga studio where she teaches and volunteers.  I've practiced yoga here and there and on and off (mostly off) for years.  Through all of those experiences the relaxation part at the end was the exercise that intrigued me the most.  It wasn't always my favorite part of the class, but it seemed the most important.

Ancient or Eastern practices such as meditation and yoga have never whole-heartedly pulled me in, but I also never doubted the experiences were beneficial and healthy and important to anyone who studied them.  Samantha and I have talked a lot about her practice and concepts such as being present and mindful and things and stuff like that.  

I've dabbled in my own relaxation, breathing and some self-guided meditation (I have a book, k?). I realize this doesn't make me an expert or practiced or enlightened or even qualified to blog about it. These internal self-realizing things are so personal and my experiences or Samantha's experiences or the author of the book's experiences are never going to replace your own experience with something like this.

The teacher asked why we were taking the class. Oooh!  I had lots of answers.  (It's hard to be zen and mindful if you already have lots of answers - but that's me, not very zen - yet!)  Here's my list:

  1. I want to conquer my performance anxiety.  This goes for both playing violin or viola and for giving speeches or presentations at work
  2. Clearness when practicing viola.  I'm usually a little amped up when I start practicing.  I rush through the scales and etudes and through the tough stuff and get frustrated pretty easily.  When I'm really good at practicing every day this gets better.  Sometimes I miss a few days and have to start over and I start right in with this "catch up" mentality. I think if I can calm down and be present in these times I can practice more productively.
  3. Dealing with difficult or emotional situations - especially at work.  When I come across conflict or bad news or criticism the only thing I have control of is my reaction.  And I barely have any control over that.  

My list remind me of topics I've come across when reading or researching performance anxiety;  which is just another byproduct of mishandled stress, so I say.  Physical symptoms of stress include increased heart rate and body temperature, shallow breathing and tensed muscles.  Learning how to control these functions through your breath and awareness seem like a great defense to the effects stress can have on any situation - performing, practicing or reacting.

So - if you are calm and centralized and can breathe with awareness and responsibility you can keep some composure when stress comes along... because through meditation you've practiced handling stress from the inside, right?!  This is what I hope to get out of the class.

Well, here now I have to admit that I feel like my beginners meditation class is a little s l o w.  That's a ridiculous thing to say, right?  Hello!  It's supposed to be slow. This is why I'm taking the class -because I don't do enough of the slow.  Also it's about practice, especially between classes, which I'm not really doing... I've got all kinds of excuses.  Nothing new here...

I keep toying with the idea of taking 1 night a week to turn off.  Turn off the computer and the phone and the Netflix.  Sounds easy enough!  Why can't I commit to it?  Hi, I'm Molly and I'm addicted to constant digital stimulation.  Slow down already!  Take a meditation class.  Practice more viola.  Stop writing this post.  Facebook and gmail and reader and blogger can wait.  

So Tuesday morning, to this end, I declared Tuesday night my unplugged night.  I got so anxious driving home from meditation class about not writing this post and not responding to a couple of emails and not taking care of some other home business that I decided I needed to start the "unplugged experiment" a lot more slowly (this word "slow" keeps coming up).  My newest decree is that I won't play games on my phone in bed - I'll read or relax instead.  That's a good start, right?  Yikes. Addictions are tough* and blogging about them is even tougher.

How do you reel in your internet addictions?  I'm sure you've got a little bit in there and I'm not the only one struggling to turn off out here!

* I have no intention of trivializing any addiction and I hope that's not how this post reads to anyone.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clutter Flea Market Finds, Part I

In my last post I mentioned how I spent part of my Sunday at the Clutter Flea Market.  I bought all kinds of stuff... maybe more than I intended - but I also found some great and local items and met some great people.  

First - I picked up this great wire wrap ring by Maddy of Alexandra Fashion Co. See her post (and super cute outfit) from the day here.  She is adorable, sweet and she's blogging from Buffalo (for now anyway)!  Score

I'm all about green these days!  Designed by Alexandra

Smiley Maddie!  I'm going to feature her and formally introduce her to y'all in another post!
When I got to her table I was overwhelmed by all the fabulous pieces staring back at me.  She told me to touch anything I wanted!  I love to hear that - because I'm thinking exactly that:  "can I touch it all - will that be weird?  I'm gonna try everything on and go back to the first thing that caught my eye.  or maybe the second thing...  or this pretty green piece over here that I've already touched..."

I also stopped by the Lily Pickford table and met Jan:

OMG - so much great stuff!  Do you see my lion's head??

I picked up this FABULOUS necklace - right?!!.  C'mon, I'm so excited!
Everything on her table was unique and interesting and I couldn't decide what I liked best.  She shortened this lion's head necklace just for me.  I also picked up a pair of earrings that will show up on here later...  

I can't wait to show more of the goods... I'll be trying to wear them and photograph them all week.  

Yay local Buffalo!!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Local Indie Flea Markets

Oooh Ooooh - I got out of the house this weekend!  In an effort to meet the more indy stylish people of my town I headed out to the Clutter Market, a bi-monthly curated Indie do-it-yourself market.  (Bi-monthly?  Oh man, I didn't even know about it until last week - see what I mean about not getting out of the house...)

Clutter on FB

I want to make this blogging thing (either here at More Charming or maybe something new) into something that involves me being a little bit more active in my city.  I love all the bloggers I'm getting to know - virtually, but a girl needs some real friends, too, right?  Actually, I'm not pouring out my loneliness issues on you here - this is more about jumping into a art and fashion community that deserves support.  And getting myself away from the damned computer.

Yesterday I headed on down to Clutter V:  Outside.  The weather was muggy and a little windy, but I'm not complaining - I love summer weather!  I brought my camera and got myself all braved up to talk to most of the vendors and take their pictures.  It's easy to type, "I'm more charming in person because I'm a little awkward online".  But to put on a smile and say, "my blog is More Charming in Person" and here I am in person... do you believe me?  Yikes - I never thought of this dilemma when I named my blog. 

I bought all kinds of jewelry and met all kinds of great people.  The market was a little small and a little quiet, but there's so much potential.  I'm going to wear, photograph and post all the great stuff I bought throughout the week!

I doubt there's anyone reading this that doesn't believe in supporting your local artists.  But sometimes it's easier to head to the mall or shop online than it is to head out to the markets and craft fairs.  I'm sure there is more going on Buffalo than I know about and I'm going to do my best to find it and support it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saratoga Springs!

I wasn't around on the blogging plane much last weekend because I took a road trip to Saratoga Springs, NY!  Woot!

What was extra special about this trip was that Adam and I went to hang out in 2 different far away places - but we got to share the first 4 hours of the drive!  I dropped him off at exit 29 at a McDonalds where we met our friend Brett.  They then went off to a cabin in the Adirondacks for a couple nights of studio music making.  After the "Adam drop off" I drove an hour more to my good friend Jenna's place in Saratoga Springs.
Road trip attire... also what I wore to work.

I got to hang with Jenna, her fiance Phil and her awesome dog Hayduke and help them make some decisions about the music at their upcoming wedding.  I've agreed to play some violin at the ceremony and brought the ole axe along to show them my skillz.  Eeek!! - I'm a violist, not a violinist... but I've got like 3 months to figure it all out.  I can't wait for a violin-filled summer!

She lives right on Saratoga Lake.  She keeps her kayaks on the shore.  (Mine are in the garage and have to be tethered to the car and driven to the water to work.  Totes Jel!)

View of the lake from the porch - not bad!
Nothing better than a couple of kayaks

Sailboat race.  Never mind us on our paddle-powered kayaks...
I have, like, 8 pics of this cutie-pie.  But he never looked right at me when I had a camera.  He knows I'm a cat person.

Saratoga Springs is a pretty neat place.  She has told me this over and over, but I was always so ho-hum about making the road trip.  I get so worked up over the idea of long car rides that I put off making plans to visit friends... but when I'm actually driving, it's not so bad. (I consider this a flaw that I'm working out... maybe I'll address it in a later post.)

We spent some time outside and on the water and in the woods and on the couch and at the bars.  I'm sorry I don't have any good pictures of my hosts or the actual city of Saratoga Springs.  I'm a bad blogger when it comes to taking pictures of anything but myself  :)

It was a perfect weekend. Thanks Jenna and Phil!  Your wedding will be amazing - even if the violinist gets a little drunk nervous.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Firsts

I did something new last night.  Something that I only tried because I follow so many everyday fashion blogs... Are you dying to know???  Ha.

Did you figure it out - what's a first in my little fashion experiment?? I wore a wide belt over the belt loops.  It's just sittin' there right on top of the jeans.  I'm so adventurous.

This is a new shirt.  A cropped shirt - a new shape for me. Also new: my belly. Well, it's new to the blog, not really to me.  It's shy and rarely comes out.  It's also white and a little scarred; I didn't really need that gall bladder anyway.

So, back to the belt.  Would you wear a belt over the loops?

Walking Like a Wallenda

There has been a lot of talk about Nik Wallenda and his upcoming walk across the falls and it inspired me to take my outfit pics as if I was that daring and coordinated and calm and graceful as him.  Actually, I just posed with my arms out and lined up my feet with the crack in the pavement.  The only balance stick I could find was that silly rusted and broken pitchfork.  So, I skipped that prop.

Safely balanced on the ground.

If you don't live in Western New York, do you even know what I'm talking about?  Nik Wallenda is going to tightrope walk across Niagara Falls!  Today!  At night!  In the mist!
Nik Wallenda - daredevil via BuffaloNews

I'm not going because I'm not a fan of big crowds.  But it's supposed to be a lovely night and I kind of wish I was going to be there!  I think daredevils are pretty neat and I love that he comes from a long history of circus performers.  

So the clothes:  I thought the shirt and skirt were the same color of navy when I got dressed.  I realized later that the shirt was much more purple than the skirt.  I liked the combo but would have never done it purposefully.  I love an unexpected color combo!  Sadly, I was in a pink sweater all day, so the purple shirt didn't really come out until these pictures were taken after work.  It's a much better outfit without the sweater and the purple and navy combo works pretty well.  Too bad it was too cold all day to really wear what I intended.