Scent-imentals

Are you a fragrance fan?

I am. I’ve been a fan since I was little, cuddling up to my mother’s neck and smelling some sort of loveliness on her. Scent often plays a narrative in mood or gives us an extra memory for our five senses. Now that my sense of smell is gone more than half of the year, I internally weep for the delight I took in smelling food and fragrance. I find it’s more important for me to wear something now as I have no idea how I smell and I fear -although my hygiene is definitely in check- that my scentless self might be offensive.

As a teen, I owned some sunflower scent that I sprayed in my hair and a tiny bottle of Poeme I treated like liquid gold. On my 16th birthday, I was gifted a beautiful perfume in a glass bottle shaped like a lily. It traveled to me all the way from France. For my graduation, my auntie gifted me J’adore. It was so strong and I couldn’t distinguish the notes so it sat sad and untouched for a long time. I couldn’t understand the full beauty of those scents because my young nose was still wrapped around cheapie jellybean vanilla scents from the drugstore and 5 for $20 body sprays at Victoria’s secret (who hasn’t spritzed Love Spell in their lifetime?)

I lived in body spray land until college. That’s when my nose and paychecks offered me the freedom to sniff things in glass bottles rather than plastic. The first one that stood out to me was on the endcap at Target. Not only was it dainty, it was on sale. It wasn’t sweet or fruity like my usuals. It was heavier, woody, mossy, musky, spicy, but still toned down with a good amount of sweetness and some florals mixed with fruit. It was a little of everything. I think the complexity is what won me over. And yes, it was a celebrity perfume. By Hilary Duff. But it was an oriental and most other celebrity scents were sweet fruity scents. And I was shopping Target’s limited offerings. This perfume made me feel quite mature. It was a mental note I needed as I was exploring independence and individual thought.

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With Love by Hilary Duff

Nearly post college, I found two perfumes I gravitated towards because of their lightness. I think this was a combination of preparing for career-hood and office settings. I wanted to smell approachable and pleasant, and I found those qualities in the ever popular ‘Daisy’ by Marc Jacobs (who I just love as a designer) and the more romantic and unique ‘Giulietta’ by TOCCA. I’d say my nose is almost over Daisy. Everyone wears it, and in the heat of summer it’s sometimes sharp to my nose. But it tells a story, and is a gorgeous bottle – the first scent investment I made with a designer label. The first and only scent I’ve been gifted from a man is also from Marc Jacobs. Josh gifted me Lola our first Christmas together. That scent is a bit heavy and old lady, but in the most romantic and refined way. She doesn’t get spritzed much but she brings back happy memories when I see her bottle in my perfume tray. It’s like he gifted me an eternal rose and the contents are the bouquet.

Giulietta is my signature scent. When finding a signature, many people opt for something that connects with them or that is off the beaten path so they are distinct from the crowds wafting Thierry Mugler’s Angel, Viktor and Rolf’s Flowerbomb, and all the top sales from the Estee Lauder, Lancome, and Channel counter. I would say both come into play for me, but it’s the scent that really won me over.

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Giulietta by TOCCA

 

Giulietta is elegant and romantic without being stuffy, like the warmth of a kind hearted woman that is soft and sweet and considerate. The scent is rather clean but feminine and there’s a little fruity floral with a creaminess at the end that just seals the deal for me. She is perfect for the day into the evening, work or pleasure, and while she isn’t as lasting as some perfumes, she lingers on you just like a hug from someone dear. Her label tauts notes of apple, pink lily, ylang ylang, vanilla orchid, rose, and woods.

Now that my nose is dysfunctional, I’ve decided to add a scent to my collection rather blindly. I’ve been enamored by the bottles for years, and even if it doesn’t end up being something I love, it will be a bottle I’ll adore every time I pass by. It is Lolita Lempicka EDT. EDT, because I’m still wimping on the fact it might be too heavy for me as an EDP and the whole nose issue.  It’s supposed to smell like a fairytale, and if anyone knows me, they know my fascination with fairytales and and fables.

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Lolita Lempicka EDT

What scents would you consider signature, or if you’re not into fragrance, do you have any scent memories?

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Vitality Corner

I’ve done a few big projects to make my room a sanctuary and here’s a project I’d like to complete next: a vitality corner of encouraging quotes and pictures and many plants.

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I would call it a vitality shrine but some would take offense to that because of the religious connotations people assume with the word ‘shrine.’ It’s not religious in an idolatrous way, but it is reflective and meditative.

I want to use green plants as a reminder of all the things I want to be: 

– I want to bloom as I prepare myself emotionally, financially, and physically for mid-life. 

– I want to reach new heights.

– I want to seek the light even if I must bend and outstretch in one direction towards it. 

– I want to nourish my body with good healthy food and kindness so that my radiant outside reflects a well fed and cared inside. 

– I want to be growing in Christ. I feel tingling in my roots and hope to know and experience even more foundational truths about my God and our relationship. I need to be reminded that what I soak up in my roots helps me react to the world around me and feeds me substance.

– I want to prune and throw away the bad parts so that I can focus on what’s important and not feel inhibited. 

– I want to remember as I’m tending them that people who love me are tending me and to love them back fiercely with that devotion. 

– Like photosynthesis, I want to use good energy to fuel me and have that process produce beneficial things for my environment. 

– My assortment of plants may all look different and need different types of tending and soil environments for best performance, but they all work together to be beautiful although they are diverse. Similarly, I want to see my strengths and weaknesses more bigger picture and know that what I have works together to do even more good collectively.  I want to remember not to judge someone for not having similar outlooks, interests, faith, or personalities, but find ways to admire them and encourage our growth and relationships.

– Like potted plants, I want to accept help when I can’t get what I need from my limited resources. Plants need fertilizer, and I need other people’s wisdom, encouragement, and experiences to help feed me. I may need coaching, programs, and therapy to help me reach my potential at different times in my life and shouldn’t be afraid of needing these resources.

I think just a few years ago I would have thought this notion was silly, but perhaps that is a sign I’ve grown. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

12 Articles for 7 Days

Look what I put together!

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My outfit combo chart

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The doodle I started with

I’m an over-packer. I wholeheartedly admit it. That’s why I’m challenging myself to 12 articles of clothing this trip. The problem with overpacking is that nothing ever packs down quite as well on the way back. I’m also plus sized, so clothes already take more space. Add souvenirs and gifts to the mix and I’m smooshing and hopefully not smashing things just to try to get them all to fit!

In preparation for a future trip, I’ve configured my own packing mix and match up. As a visual person, seeing what I have to work with is really helpful. Thanks to pinterest, I’ve also found tips to make my outfits work out better.

1. Don’t go print crazy.
2. Stick to neutrals and a color family.
3. Use layering techniques.
4. Wear your heaviest outfit on the plane (but make sure it’s comfy!)

This just makes a lot of sense and saves tons of room. I’m also bringing a travel space bag with me to roll up clothes if need be to pack something bulky into my luggage.

The purpose of this trip is not sightseeing: it’s to spend time with my bestie and her family. I can get away with shorts and leggings which I don’t usually wear out because much of the trip will be hanging out around her place. It’s very laid back. Just in case the mid-may humidity kills me or makes me a sweat monster, which it might, I have the option of laundry at their apartment facility. I may cave in and throw a pair of black pants and an extra top into the mix. We’ll see. 🙂

The Cute and Comfy Shoe Secret

I have a secret to share with you guys. Maybe you already know this secret, but it’s something I’ve just slowly figured out and am excited to share. This shoe type is cute for ANYBODY. Tall, short, slim, plus size, and everything in between. It goes well with skirts, shorts, pants, crops, and even leggings. It has a chunkier heel and more toe support for better shock absorption and comfort. It holds your feet in place and often has some ankle support so there’s less klutz potential. And you can usually wear them for longer periods of time than heels.

Have you figured it out yet?

It’s clogs!

Yeah yeah yeah…the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear clogs is something like this:

 

And if that’s your thing, you keep on rockin’ them…

But these are the clog styles I have in mind. Clogs may be a bad word in fashion but these are incredibly cute!


Over the last 5 or so years I’ve finally figured out a couple things about my feet.

1. Having large, wide width and flat feet, shoes are difficult to find. Period.
2. Being over 250 pounds means flimsy shoes stress my feet. They have A LOT to hold!
3. Ballet flats are dainty but rub my heels and pinky toe. I feel the shock and no support.
4. Heels over 2 inches really hurt me and stress my toes if standing/walking past 15 min.
5. There is more to life than flip flops. Sorry, Havianas.
6. People really do pay attention my shoes and feet. It’s a noticeable part of my outfit.
7. Rounded toe styles squish my feet less. That makes them happy.
8. I have long toes. Deep cut flats give me toe cleavage. Toe cleavage is gross.
9. My big gal calves don’t fit longer boot styles. This makes me sad, but it’s reality.
10. I am a practical shoe person, but I like to keep sneakers to workouts and outdoor activities.

So booties and clogs to the rescue! They provide a comfy shorter heel and more support for my feet. They tend to be more roomy which makes my wide width feet happy. They usually have a little upward curve to the toes or extra padding, which minimizes stress. I can walk in them without feeling like I’m wobbly and keep them on for long periods of time and be comfortable. They tend to look cute with and without socks and tights which means I can wear them year round. They also tend to make my outfits look more put together and I feel more fashionable in them.

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This isn’t me, btw. Photo credit unknown.

So, there you have it. Clogs are my new best friend.

I feel like booties are fairly easy to find in several types of styles. And clogs have always kind of been around, they are just highly overlooked. Many of you who follow my blog know that I’m trying to keep a KonMari mindset for my belongings. So I’m nixing a lot of those cheap flimsy shoes I hoarded from clearance end caps and sales. Those DO NOT bring me joy. Once I get enough pennies saved up, I’d like to purchase a pair of Swedish Hasbeen clogs, and once I reach 50 pounds lost, I would like to reward my hard work with a pair of Frye boots. If I stick with timeless styles and practical colors these shoes should pay for themselves with how well they wear.

Do you have any shoe advice to give me? Have you figured out what you like on your feet for style and comfort?

New Clothing Muse – It’s made in the US!

I’m in trouble. I found a new brand of clothing I **REALLY** like. And no, I don’t sell them and I didn’t get any free products to review or anything. I was just invited to an online boutique event and liked what I saw. Haha. It’s called LuLaRoe.

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Here’s why I like it:

1. All their items except their leggings are made in the USA.
2. With that in mind, their prices are very fair!
3. They carry most items from XXS to 3XL.
4. They make leggings that flatter and fit large ladies like me.
5. Their clothing is modest but fun.
6. The shapes and styles are forgiving if you gain or lose weight.
7. The prints are unique to 1,000 pieces.
8. It’s a small business opportunity that helps women gain a side or full time income.
9. Their items dip lower in the back to be most flattering.
10. The models on their site all look happy and healthy and show a good range of sizes.

Let me clarify that when I say modest, I mean modest for my personal standards. I like to be comfortable and part of that comfort is not having to stress about necklines and hemlines. I personally do not like attention drawn to those areas as I prefer to wear clothing to express myself. And I think despite size and stretch, it’s an unwritten rule that bums should be covered when wearing leggings. Which they also keep in mind. And my fellow plus sizers know the struggle of a dress being perfectly cut for the front but riding a bit high in the back because of a well padded behind. That doesn’t happen here!

Keeping the KonMari mindset, I appreciate the idea of clothing that sparks joy and one of those joys is knowing that my tall and curvy leggings will not stretch out and will fit me at my current size of 20W all the way down to a size 12. It’s something that will stay in my closet even if lose an impressive amount of weight…which I hope to do gradually! It’s priced well but still enough that I consider each item I buy an investment piece and cannot impulsively fill my closet all at once. The leggings will definitely last me the longest in my journey to weight loss, but the other styles work well belted or cinched or tied too.  My favorite dressy pieces are the Amelias which are dresses with sleeves and hidden pockets with a flattering box pleat, and the Nicoles which are mid length sleeve dresses with a full circle bottom for twirling or swishing or heck, even sitting indian style on the floor. The Randys are baseball type tees which I think are really comfy but feminine.

Here are some pictures from LuLaRoe’s instagram:


There’s a lot of prints, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I love prints but even some of the ones I’ve seen have been too funky for me. But with the variety they offer, you’ll also see stripes, florals, and solids in the mix. See how varied the ladies are in their features and actual branding? I LOVE IT.

Here’s a picture of me modeling one of their funky tights. Unedited besides being cropped so you don’t see my toes which are in desperate need for a pedi!

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What are some brands you’ve found work well for your journey? I found City Chic last year, and LuLaRoe this year, and am very happy with those two resources. They make me feel good in what I wear.

Creating a Safe Sanctuary

I moved months ago but I’m still slowly adjusting. The largest setback is a smaller space and some space sharing. In fact, the space sharing is a large reason why I need to make my bedroom a sanctuary for my sanity.

I made a huge resolutions list this year and de-stressing and organizing are both on that list. Both can be in harmony, right? Right?

The truth is I’m still figuring things out. So walls are empty even though I have art to hang, and accenting/styling still needs to be done. Right now, it’s more like an extended stay hotel than a room.

My bedroom needs to be functional – it’s my office, study desk, library, and place of rest. It’s also weirdly shaped so my furniture doesn’t suit it well.

I’d technically do better with a smaller bed, but then again my bed is my de-stressing zone and my couch and book nestling area. I’ve also got a desk that barely clears the side of my closet and the end of my bed. But do I keep an awesome desk or try to sell it and spend a ton on a new one that has to be so small and so wide to fit better?

Here’s my layout [not accurately proportionate in scale]:layout

Can you see my plight a little? The bed ONLY FITS in one end really…it can’t go against the window because that window lets too much chill in at night. The random cut in the wall where my bed backs against is the closet of the room next to mine. Apparently my room used to be an office at one point and the closet for this room was in the space between my door and small dresser. The owners converted it from a room to office by closing up where my door used to be, and taking out the original closet. Because the door is now there, when this was reconverted to a true bedroom, a closet was attached to the inside wall. Thus my crazy little nooks.

I’m thinking at one point I may have to downsize my desk but in the meantime there is a writing leaflet that pulls out…see the thin dashed rectangle? I’m using that as a laptop desk for quick web surfing and stuff and as a keyboard and mouse area  for the desktop…while sitting on the end of my bed. I can technically move out my chair and carefully scoot in, but I’m not little and this is quite a hassle. I also don’t have an outlet where the folding bookcase is so I can’t just go buy a tiny laptop type desk and put it there unless I want to run cords across my floor from the wall  where my bed touches on the top.

ANY TIPS ARE WELCOMED.

Here are my basic thoughts for helping it transform despite being on the tight side:

1. Add a pretty privacy film to my window so I can let the sunshine in without having the street peer in on my life.

2. Place some plants around to give it some life and pep.

3. Decorate my walls some so it looks personalized and not so renter-ly.

4. Keep busy patterns and designs to a minimum.

5. Get some nice big pillows I can pile when my bed is in book nook or couch mode.

6. Whittle down miscellaneous knick knacks.

7. Washi tape a headboard?

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My walls are a powdery green blue. Brighter than the picture above. Very baby boy nursery in color, but I chose it. I wanted something soft and not white and not neutral. Blue has been my new mood color and I think some gold/yellow and silver accents will compliment it nicely. Blue is known for being calm and restful – in fact, it’s one of the colors recommended for a nice restful sleep. I think in the back of my mind that’s why I picked it.

What do you think? Any tips or suggestions?