The ConstantlyAlice Playlist

The ConstantlyAlice Playlist

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Happy Tuesday!  Here are a few things I’m listening to right now..if you click on the title of this post it will take you to the playlist on youtube 🙂

  • Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
  • Lisa Loeb – Taffy
  • Counting Crows – Mr. Jones
  • Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
  • Young the Giant – Cough Syrup
  • The Shins – Caring is Creepy
  • Joni Mitchell – A Case of You
  • Suzanne Vega – Caramel
  • Husker Du – Don’t Want to Know if You are Lonely

Hugs and Smooches,

D

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Pin up Plan – Pretty Smart

Yesterday, my 12 yr old daughter had an incident at school.  When she asked her teacher for extra work because she had finished early, she was told there was nothing for her and she should just “Go sit at her desk and be pretty.”

Friends, I had steam coming out of my ears.  I could subject you to the lengthy tirade that followed, but this post is actually about something a little different…

After I had some (lots) of time to cool down, I started mulling over my reaction to this incident in relation to what I “do”.  I sell vintage clothes.  I share style tips and photos on my social media sites.  I write blog series with titles like “The Signature Style Project” and  “The Pin up Plan”.  One could argue that these things send a message that I value appearance over substance.  One would be dead wrong.

These things are driven by my intellect.  I choose to wear (and sell) vintage clothing because I appreciate the history, the craftsmanship and the art of the garments.  My love of vintage is inspired by my love of history.  My personality and how I present myself to the world has been formed in great part by what I have studied and what I choose to read.  When I get dressed in the morning, my concern isn’t “How can I look appealing to others?”, it’s “What can I choose to visually express to the world who I am and what I’m about?  What will make me feel true to myself?”

All of this stems from the people in my childhood who chose to show me the magic in a book, the character development that comes from acting out a play, dancing or performing, the lessons to be learned from the people who have come before us and it has continued to be self driven by my love of knowledge.  These are things I hope to share with all of you here on this blog (and most importantly, with my children.)

Your intelligence is the most remarkable thing you possess.  Beauty is incidental to the confidence it gives you.

Hugs and Smooches,
D

My Afternoon With the Crypt Keeper – An Anti-Aging Tale

This afternoon, I had the dubious pleasure of shopping for undergarments for myself.  (The underwire had finally poked out of my favorite white bra and a gal really can’t be without at least ONE white one!)

On this particular day, I was shopping all by myself.  Kids were in school, hubby was at home.  It was just me and my debit card.

In hindsight, going to the mall was probably my first mistake.  First of all…I wear vintage.  Second of all… Even if I didn’t, I feel like my age group (the 30-40 something bracket..ok, fine.  37.  I’m 37.) is skipped over altogether when it comes to the mall shopping experience.  This is likely because the great consumer analyst powers that be recognize that we are usually traveling with small people who divert our attention to places like “American Eagle”, “Gap Kids” and “The Great American Cookie”.  This leaves us with a choice between purchasing the same top as our daughters, or wandering into the generic “one color/shape/size” fits all styles geared towards Mom-types.  Bleh.

Anyway, I digress.  I headed directly into the nearest large department-store-that-shall-remain-nameless in the hopes that I could finish my errand quickly and move on to bigger and better things.  You know the store.  LOTS of perfume samples right near the door, bordered by phalanxes of brightly colored make up counters and sales gals in lab coats looking clinical, as if they have their doctorate in eye shadow application.  I tried to run.  I really did.  But I was brought up short by the “Free Gift with Purchase”.  If I am ever on the run for a crime I clearly did not commit, all the police would have to do is announce a free gift with purchase and I would turn myself in.  I’m that bad.

So I stopped.  I picked up a lipgloss.  And that’s when it happened.  SWOOOP!  (I mean it.  She swooped.)  A salesgirl was right there, asking me what I was interested in, if she could help and, oh, by the way, what sort of skin care regimen was I using.  Now, the honest truth is, I lied.  I would not tell this highly made up woman with the curiously dark eyebrows and official lab coat that I mashed up an avacado once a week as a mask and applied vitamin e oil at night and (gulp) $10 sunscreen in the morning.  I’ve dabbled in (lots) of other moisturizers…usually from free gift with purchase sets..so I picked one and told her I was using it religiously.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Did I not KNOW that in my “late 30’s” I should be concerned with stretching pores?  Dry, crepey skin?? WRINKLES???  I needed to begin preventing this now.  Right.  This.  Second.

Truthfully, friends, I am not usually susceptible to this kind of manipulation.  I’m pretty comfortable as I am and I like to think that I’ve got more to offer than a face.  But in the glaring light of the department store and the magnification of the mirror, I began to panic.  I AM swiftly approaching my forties.  What if I wake up one morning and it isn’t my face looking back at me in the mirror anymore?  What if I DO need this “magic lotion” to retain my identity??

I bought the damn lotion.  And immediately had buyers remorse.  I went out to  the car, photographed my face and sent out a plea to my facebook friends asking if I appeared to be “10 years younger” as the lotion had claimed.  This is that picture.

I made it super big to prove a point.  Get a good look.  There is nothing wrong with my face.  In fact, for a 37 year old woman, I manage ok.  So WHY do the cosmetic companies continually try to tell us we need to be eternally 25?  Money, that’s why.  I will not tell you the embarrassing amount of money I shelled out for a small bottle of lotion.  I will tell you that thanks to the support of some lovely friends who managed to snap me back to reality, I marched right back in that store and returned the lotion.

Then, I took myself over to the nearest book store to further develop my lovliest feature…my brain.  I purchased some books, a magazine, a delicious latte, this super cute owl mug for my daughter..

..and on the way home, I purchased an avacado.  For $.99.

Hugs and Smooches,
D

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What, Me Worry? Actually…

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I know I’ve been slacking a little on the blogging front of late.  Here’s the thing.  Does anyone remember the fellow pictured above?  This is Telly Monster, the ultimate worry wart..and he could be my emotional twin.

I’ve always been a bit of a worrier.  I like to know that my people are safe, that there is a reason and a method for things.  I tend to be empathetic, so I feel better when I know the people around me feel ok.  Plus, I have a big imagination and while that can sometimes be a bonus, occasionally it will bite you in the butt (like when you obsess that the smell coming from the car in front of you is actually coming from YOUR car and it must mean your engine is going to explode.)

In the past, I’ve had a pretty good handle on it, however, the loss of several loved ones for myself and my little family over the last couple of years has rocked my world a bit and set me off kilter.  The result..I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  It started with panic attacks, and over the past weekend manifested itself in a really debilitating bout of vertigo (sadly, not the kind involving my crush, Jimmy Stewart.)

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I don’t do well with slowing down.  I am a perfectionist.  I work a full time job in addition to my blog and my shop.  I’m a wife and mother (with all that entails).  I’m also an insomniac and in the wee hours of the morning, I sew, knit and mop my kitchen floor.  As you can imagine, this does not help my condition.

After spending several days not being able to stand up without the room spinning and stumbling around my home like I didn’t have my sea legs, I’ve decided I may need to *gulp* slow down a little.

What does this mean for my blog?  Well, for starters, I have next week off for the holidays and I plan to use the bulk of it to recuperate.  So you may not hear much from me.  After that, I plan to be a bit more focused here.  In addition to continuing the Home Ec feature (which I’m kind of in love with) I will be adding a feature related to my last post on discovering my signature style.  I’m still fleshing out the concept, but it will involve style vision boards, a comprehensive coverage of the styles of each decade and how they can be worked into your style, and a 30 day challenge to try a different hair/make-up style each day.  There may be a book review or style-it feature sprinkled in as well, but these will be my focus.  There may not be as many posts, but they will be informative and fun.  We’re going for quality over quantity!

I hope you all have a wonderful (and healthy!) holiday season.

Hugs and Smooches,
D

Style Inspiration from Classic Holiday Movies

I have a confession to make.  I am totally addicted to Christmas movies.  While I have a soft spot for the Hallmark Channel originals, and the hysterically funny A Christmas Story and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, my favorites have always been the classics.  Miracle on 34th Street makes me believe in Santa again each year, I always cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, and I know all the songs in White Christmas..and of course, I sing along!

It’s not just the stories, which are so full of wonderful, positive messages, it’s the actors (I have a crush on Jimmy Stewart..and I totally love Bing..) and the beautiful clothing.  (Oh, the clothing!!)  I was so inspired by the lovely hair, wardrobes and make up that I decided to do a few style boards with these three movies as inspiration.

First up, Miracle on 34th Street:

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Maureen O’Hara has the right look for a professional!  Her outfits in this movie are classic, beautifully tailored and timeless.  Here’s my take:

Miracle on 34th Street

Next up..  It’s a Wonderful Life:

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Now, I know the obvious choice here would have been Donna Reed, and I do think she’s lovely, but I have a soft spot for Violet (played by Gloria Grahame).  She’s a bit more flamboyant and the dress she’s wearing in this picture is gorgeous!  Here’s my take on Violet’s Style:

It's a Wonderful Life

Last (but certainly not least) White Christmas:

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I am insanely in love with the shape of these gorgeous red velvet coats and the luxury of the thick fur trim!  I would love a full skirted wool coat in a bright color like this with a big fur lined hood.  I’m constantly on the hunt!  Here’s my take (no fur collar, but a scarf makes a good stand in!  And of course rosy cheeks ;):

White Christmas

White Christmas by constantlyalice featuring napa gloves

What are some of your holiday movie favorites?

Hugs and Smooches,
D