Snapshots: Portland Fashion Week Day 1

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Last night was the first evening for Portland Fashion Week. I had the most surreal (and amazing) day in my role as a PFW Style Collective Member. Today I’ll be attending two shows–as a matter of fact, I am writing this post while sitting in the gorgeous lounge section at this shows!

I’ve been MIA on the blog lately, which tears me apart since one of my goals (and something I recommend) is to stay more consistent with my blogging. I honestly can say that I’ve been working on some amazing projects and have been working on a ton of content. I just haven’t gotten it up! But, in this busy time in life I am all about forgiving myself and starting anew. I’ll get back to regular posting ASAP.

On to some snapshots of my day yesterday. I first headed over to our local Lucky Brand store to get style tips from two Lucky Brand stylists. I couldn’t believe that I tried on the first pair of jeans to get an absolute amazing fit! I’ll share more about this experience with outfit details soon!
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After visiting Lucky, I hit PFW all dolled up in my new pair of complimentary plus size Georgia Weekender Jeans! I also wore an old, but favorite sparkly shirt from Old Navy and a favorite pair of booties… Also a few years old. I felt stylish (and comfortable) and didn’t feel out of place at all at Fashion Week. I’m hoping I am this happy with all of my FW looks! Also, super excited to spend time with other Portland area bloggers such as the lovely Sam Rosen (pictured below)
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Thanks so much for reading and keeping up with this fun and crazy blog. I absolutely owe these amazing experience to you, my readers, and I feel so lucky that my work is paying off in such an unimaginably awesome way.

Disclaimer: I received free VIP tickets to Portland Fashion Week after being selected as a PFW style collective member. I did not receive additional payment. I also received complimentary goods from Lucky Brand. I did not receive additional payment. The choice to post was my own and all opinions, as always, are my honest opinions and only reflect my thoughts. Thank you!

Curvy Girl Style: Fall Black & White with a Lolly Watch Pop

Disclaimer: I received a lolly watch with purposes of review. No further compensation was made. All opinions are my own and my choice to post was my own. Please see my policies for more information about how I approach sponsored posts. I’m not getting all the fun though… check below for a 20% discount that you can  use if you want a lolly watch too!

Curvy Girl Style Black and White

I don’t think black and white ever really goes out of style. But, seeing black and white designs becoming more available and getting the Fashion spotlight from Fashion bloggers, magazines, and the runway have made me super excited. I love black and white! This outfit has pretty much made its way into my weekly wardrobe I like it so much.

One way to make your black and white stand out is to accessorize with one or two brightly colored accessories. Don’t go overboard, but instead featured an item you really love. I paired my outfit with the bright yellow of the  Pineapple sentanite lolly watch.

Black and White patterned shoes to complement Fall's graphic black and white styles Black and white accented with bright accessories bright accessories to accent a black and white outfit

Excuse the silly poses in these photos. I was using my self-timer and running back and forth like an idiot hoping that the camera would focus. I seriously don’t know how so many people get great photos all by themselves! Maybe it is a practice makes perfect kind of situation?

Outfit details: I’m a walking Old Navy ad in this outfit. Shirt, pants, shoes, and necklace are all Old Navy from different seasons. The watch is a lolly watch. The red leather bracelet I received in a PNW Blogger goodie bag a long time ago and wear ALL THE TIME. The bracelet is from Flourish Leather.

Pineapple Lolly Watch // 20% Discount for Lolly Watches on A Well Crafted Party #sponsored

More About lolly™  Watches:

The thing that really drew me to lolly watch was that I a) sorely needed a watch and b) loved the bright colors and c) was happy to see that the watches were eco-friendly. I don’t always dress in an eco-friendly fashion… but, when I find items that are created with the environment in mind (recycled materials) then it definitely puts them a step up in my “wanna buy” list.

From the lolly watch website:

Made entirely from harvested sustainable softwood trees, the 5ATM water-resistant fashion watches do not contain any harmful elements and are hypoallergenic, giving you an entirely reaction free, comfortable experience.

Cool right? Wanna hear something even cooler?

The watches SMELL. Like, good. I didn’t read far enough into this part of the watch or didn’t remember when I received my super cool box with the watch inside. I wore the watch all day and kept smelling something sweet throughout the day. I finally thought, “maybe it’s my watch.” And, look at that, the watch smelled like pineapple. Sort of. I didn’t get pineapple so much as just a good-and-sweet-smell. I did think it was kind of genius though! The scent is very subtle as well so I didn’t have to worry about people sneezing around me. Each of the watches are said to have the smell of their watch name (ie Grape= grape scented purple watch).

Get 20% Off for a lolly™  Watch of Your Very Own:

lolly™  Watch is offering A Well Crafted Party readers a 20% discount on their lolly™ juice watches with the code: craftedparty20 . If you get one let me know… I’d love to see it on you and hear what you think of the watch! Oh, to make the whole thing even sweeter? Lolly watch plants a tree with each watch sold!

Want more curvy girl fashion and general fashion tips?

Stay tuned this month as I share lots of fashion related stories in honor of Portland Fashion Week!  I’m a member of the Portland Fashion Week Style Collective and am excited to share my experience and the fun. Portland Fashion Week begins Sept. 12. Tickets are still on sale and they start at just $20!

PNW Blogger Photo & Craft Event PLUS an Asymmetrical Haircut

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PNW Bloggers' Meet-Up

I feel so fortunate to be in a community rich with collaboration, networking, and support. For those bloggers who read my blog… I can’t even begin to say how important it is to find other bloggers to connect with off-line! It helps to ground me, inspire me, and put things into perspective for me over and over again. For those of you out there reading who aren’t bloggers… It is still important to find a great community to be involved in! Whether you enjoy crafting, reading, beer-making, biking, or something entirely different you can find a group of people that enjoy doing those same things. I google like crazy when I am looking for a community group. Other places to look are on Facebook and Meetup.com 

Pacific Northwest Blogger Craft

At the last Pacific Northwest Blogger meet-up I got to combine two of my joys together… blogging and crafting! I was able to meet a great group of bloggers who also enjoy the crafting. I also got my photo taken by the lovely local photog Cara Denison. I had JUST cut my hair off and was excited to get pics of my new ‘do!

We crafted a tote bag from Brit + Co, a macrame project from The Paper Mama, and (though we didn’t have time) a small party set from me! Click the “PNW Bloggers You Should Know” tab above to see a list of great PNW blogs that were in attendance!

Onto my hair cut…

asymmetrical short hair

asymmetrical short hair

Okay, so I’ve been wanting to do the Asymmetrical haircut for forever now. But, I just didn’t get the guts until recently. I finally took the plunge and got a cut where one side was longer than the other! I didn’t do as drastic as I could have… but, it was certainly a change. I mostly love the cut. It is a lot of fun and I’ve been getting a ton of compliments.

What I don’t like… photos of me with the cut! What!? I think it plays into the whole “beauty is symmetrical” idea and I just cringe at every photo I see of myself with this cut. So weird. I look in the mirror and LOVE it. See a photo and go, “meh.” I don’t know what to look at I think. I currently need a hair cut again and will still be going with the asymmetrical cut for a tad longer. I am going to keep my longer side as long as it is now and cut the shorter side short again. It will be just a tad more dramatic than before and I’m stoked. Hopefully I’ll also figure out a way to pose that shows off the haircut for its true cuteness. Next month I’ll share some of my favorite styling tips and tricks for asymmetrical short hair.

 


a well crafted party photo awellcraftedparty_zps3c8700b5.pngbob's red mill photo bobsredmill_zps46d9e373.pngbrit + co photo britco_zps63acd442.pngelmer's photo elmers_logo_zps16eece0c.gifDIY Mason Jars photo masonjars_zps08a0b6f2.pnggimbal's photo gimbalslogo_zps05c28eda.pngjourneys photo journeys_zps2aceb62b.pngmandipidy photo mandipidy_zps9bccd6fe.pngMelissa Phillips photo melissaphilips_zps984ca359.jpgmotormouth studios photo motormouthstudios_zpsa0b8e26f.pngthe paper mama photo thepapermama_zpse925cb2b.pngx-acto photo xacto_zps0f06340f.png

 

 

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PNW Blogs You Should Know

There are SO many awesome PNW blogs out there… this list doesn’t even come close to covering them all. But, these awesome people were in attendance at the last meet-up and have awesome blogs. Check them out and maybe you’ll find a few new blogs to follow! (Above photos by Cara Denison) (Also, I feel like a bonehead because I completely couldn’t remember a few of the bloggers blog URLs and didn’t put them here on the list. If you were there and didn’t get on the list I AM SO SORRY.. please let me know!)

PNW Blogs You Should Know:

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Featured On: Living the Fancy Life

I’m so excited to say that I am starting as a regular contributor at Live the Fancy Life over the next few months. I’ll be posting twice a month about a variety of topics. Today is my first post!

Featured on Living the Fancy Life

I’m posting about Five Ways to Feel Fancier Instantly over on Live the Fancy Life

Some of my favorite beauty products and fashion advice put together in a list. Hop on over to check out my five tips on feeling fancy. And, I’d sure cherish some comment love!

A Much Needed Ladies’ Night

I was REALLY into whatever story I was sharing. Photo via @motormouthmacey 's instagram

I was REALLY into whatever story I was sharing. Photo via @motormouthmacey ‘s instagram

Macey and Rachel instagramming and sharing stories

Macey and Rachel instagramming and sharing stories

Dr. Shannon in the house.

Dr. Shannon in the house.

Last night a couple of friends and I had planned on getting together to work on our goals and talk about some projects we had coming up. I was so stinking excited… I even told the cashier at Trader Joes. He looked at me like I was all kinds of crazy. I’m that kind of person. I like goals, lists, and plans. I like making them. I like tracking them. And, I love achieving them! I brought a binder full of spreadsheets, calendars, my January goals, and my current stats.

That folder never really made it out of my bag. I’m so thankful it didn’t either. Instead we had a wonderful ladies’ night!

Once five of us girls got together with a table full of snacks and several bottles of wine… no speaking of goals happened. (Should have guessed!) We chatted and chatted. We caught up on each other’s lives. We laughed our asses off.

It reminded me that I need to take some time off every now and again. It reminded me that I have some really wonderful friends. It reminded me that I had a supportive and amazing hubby that took yet another night of single parenting.

Today when I was freaking out because my server was down and the site was no where to be found, I had to remind myself once again that sometimes it is okay to take a break. The site is still going in and out as I type this and I’m not sure if this post will get up at all today. Boo.

In remembering that sometimes it is good to take a break and moments for making memories are fleeting…I am going to go spend a little time with my son and work on his second birthday party. If you want some really great reading then you should check out the blogs of the friends I hung out with last night— they are kind of awesome.

The Spicy Bee / Macey Perseveres / Kung Foo Feltus / Tossing the Script

Health & Fitness: College Years with Weight Gain and Accidental Anorexia

This post is a part of a series on my health and fitness journey. The series posts are coming along much slower than I anticipated… they are much harder to write than I thought they’d be! Confronting my past health and fitness issues as I am working on my present issues has not been easy. I still plan to continue writing about my story in hopes in hopes of reaching out to others, motivating myself, and confronting some hard truths about myself. Bare with me! My first post in the series was, “Childhood and Teen Self-Image and Food Relationships.” 


Junior Year of College

Junior Year of College (Sorry about the fuzzy image!)

My college years were likely similar to many other people’s college years. My freshman year I gained the freshman 15 as usual. I started college my freshman year at 130 lbs and left around 150 lbs. College was a hard transition for me because I was working three jobs, taking a full course load, and living eight hours from all my friends and family. By the end of my Freshman year I decided to move back to my hometown and attend college near family. The Summer of my Freshman year I spent working, losing some weight, and trying not to feel like a failure. (If you don’t know me by now… I’m a tad dramatic.)

My Sophomore year was a doozy. I worked three jobs, found many good friends, declared a major in Journalism, and met the man that would someday be my husband. It was a wonderful, whirlwind of a year. Throughout the year I became much more serious about my health and about writing. I’d write for hours and work out for hours. I rarely slept. My roommate never saw me.

How I Accidentally Became Anorexic

Unfortunately, likely due to not being well-educated in food and health, I didn’t understand much about calories and exercise. I *knew* I was supposed to eat 1500 calories a day. I *knew* that burning calories meant I was going to lose weight. So, I’d work out. I’d burn 500-700 calories a day while maintaing a food diary that would hover around 1500 to 1700 calories a day. I’d punish myself if I went over my goal by working harder. My mind was constantly counting calories. I was losing weight—I made it down to my goal weight of 125. (By *knew* I mean I thought it was a truth and later found out that while there is some truth to both those statements, there is much more to it all.)

I wasn’t happy though. I felt like I was hungry ALL the time. I began to have stomach problems, my hair started falling out, and I was tired all the time. My nickname at work was “Chiquita” because I bruised as easily as a banana. I went in and out of the doctor’s office several times until they discovered that I was anorexic. While I was losing weight, I was also losing muscle mass and making myself sick.

“Anorexic? Me? But, I eat!”

It wasn’t something I did intentionally— It was accidental anorexia. (I don’t think that is a clinic diagnosis!)  Not understanding how calories worked in my body made me make mistakes with my body that could have been even more harmful than lost hair and bruising.

I didn’t stop eating or begin working out because I was desperate to be skinny. I wanted to be thin, sure, but I thought I was getting healthy. My idea of health came from reading hundreds of magazines that explained the “way to lose weight and get healthy!” It was from well-meaning, but not understanding friends who would not so subtly suggest I not eat something. It was from friends handing me their “fat” clothes as hand-me downs all the while saying, “I’m never going back to that size.” It was from giving away my skinny clothes to a pregnant girl to wear around her round belly. It was from not understanding about the differences in people’s body types, how foods works in the body, and what burning calories does to the body.

I thankfully was able to catch myself in time to not do any permanent damage. In the end I maintained a weight around 135-145 throughout college. It was a rough realization that I needed to actually pay attention to my body and what I put into it. I learned to eat more for sustenance. I ran myself ragged in college. My senior year was spent prepping for a wedding, working four jobs, and going to school full-time. I didn’t have to really watch my weight because I rarely had time to even think about it. I was always on the move.

Me at my smallest adult size. Please excuse the bell bottoms!

Me at my smallest adult size. Please excuse the bell bottoms!

Looking back, I was a beautiful size. At the time I was fixated on the fact that my jean size was a 10 instead of an 8. Now I know that was likely be the smallest that I will ever be in my adult years. However, I still aim to be a healthy weight and to focus on my health.

Some notes:

  • Even at my smallest adult size I was not a small lady. I had size 9 feet, I had wide shoulders, I had hips that weren’t getting ANY smaller. Judging yourself (or others) on the size of their clothing is just wrong. I’ve learned I need to love my body without worrying about my clothing. I needed to learn how to make me HEALTHIER not smaller. 
  • It is funny now to look back and see how uneducated I was about something as straight forward as calories. I am a fairly intelligent woman, always did well in school, etc. Our food relationships and what we are taught as children matter when it come to things like body-image and weight loss. What people write online and in magazines matter. What we say to ourselves and others matter. It is complicated, but simple all wrapped into one.
  • I don’t believe that FAST weight loss is healthy unless under the supervision of a doctor. I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert in this field. Please talk to your doctor before making any huge life changes.
  • For more information on Anorexia Nervosa or related disorders visit the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders website. 
  • I’m currently writing about my fitness journey over on the East Side Athletic Blogas part of a partnership. I’d love for you to check out the blog or like the East Side Athletic Club Facebook page. 

What lessons about weight and health did you learn in your college years?

Summer Wedding Travel Tips: Women’s Travel Ready Wedding Attire

Planning what to wear to a bevy of wedding events is difficult enough without adding in the extra challenges of limited space and weight restrictions. I’m one of those people that will get EVERYTHING to fit into one bag rather than pay for extra baggage fees. In order to still be prepared for looking the part at all the wedding events and still being able to pack light, I’ve come up with a list of rules that I need to apply to my wedding trip packing.

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Fashion: Anniversary Dress and eShakti Review

I thought it would be fun to dress up a bit for my anniversary on Thursday. We didn’t do anything overly special (my poor husband had a bit of a cold) but, we did step outside and enjoy the sun a bit. It was the perfect opportunity for me to wear the eShakti dress that I was sent earlier this year!

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Fashion: Basic Jeans and Black Tee

Last week I was invited to a complementary lunch connecting those involved with this year’s Portland Fashion Week. I’m SO excited to be involved through the PFW Style Collective. The ideas that Jessica Kane and her team are bringing to this year’s event are worth getting excited for with her efforts to make the Fashion week bigger and better than ever.

Sometimes I feel out of my league with all the stylish people. But, that is one awesome thing about Portland’s fashion arena— it is everything goes! And, I’m not meaning in a bad way… not every person in Portland is fashionable. However, Portland has a way of accepting a variety of styles that I’ve seen no where else. You put a little effort into your look and rock it in confidence and you are on trend here in PDX. (Want to be one of the first people to know about news, parties, and events for Portland Fashion Week? Sign up for the newsletter!)

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{Beauty} Romantic Up-Do How To

This is a sponsored post through BlogHerTV and Olay. All opinions are my own.

I’m growing my hair out (again) and am always looking for new ways to style the awkward mop that resides on my head. It is currently several different lengths. It is too short to fit in a pony tail, but it is too long to wear down without some work. So, when BlogHerTV sent me a few videos on how to style hair for a promotion with Olay…. I just had to say yes! (Check out my first post for the promotion) I hope the videos help you out as much as they did me.

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Six Tips for Picking a Party Outfit

Disclaimer: The outfit in this blog post was a free-of-charge loan from Bettie Page Clothing in Portland, OR. I got to try on outfits and check one out for this event. I did not get to keep the outfit. No promises of a post were given and all opinions are my own.

Six Tips for Picking a Party Outfit:

Finding the perfect party outfit is as big of a deal to me as crafting the perfect party. Maybe it was just a weird thing that was instilled in me at a young age… but, special events got special consideration for outfits. Growing up I got a new outfit for every Easter, birthday, Christmas  and first day of school. When I was older and dating my husband, I would wear a new or newly styled outfit at every date we had. I don’t think he saw me wear the same outfit twice until we had been dating for a year. Now, I believe you NEED to buy a new outfit for each and every special event. It just isn’t practical. However, I do whole-heartily believe in putting a little extra thought into special-occasion wear. The below tips are what I think about when considering a party dress or outfit:

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No Commitment Bangs

Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post through BlogHerTV and Olay. All opinions are mine.

I’m an average, every day girl with a lot of interests. Part of my blog rebranding is to incorporate more of the everyday things in life worth celebrating. While I don’t consider myself super fashionable or trendy, I do love fashion, makeup, and hair-styling. You’ll be seeing more and more posts about fashion and beauty. I will still be posting plenty of parties… but, you’ll also get a little glimpse into the everyday (and special occasion) beauty and fashion secrets of an average lady. Hopefully they will inspire you or at least entertain. :)

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{Giveaway} My momiform, a dapper dude, and a Cushe Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Cushe shoes to review for this post and one pair to give away to my readers. All opinions are my own.

Lately it has been a challenge for me to get dressed most days. I often opt for sleep rather than getting up and showering before my son’s very early waking hour. I wait until nap time to shower and change, unless I have work to finish. Embarrassingly often, I’ll still be unshowered and in my yoga pants until my husband gets home in the afternoon.

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Want, Need, Wear, Read– My Wish List

Typically around this time of year I am thinking so much about what I want to do for other people that I get a bunch of messages from my family and friends asking me what is on my wish list. This year was no different.

And, while of course there are things I want (I like things)… very few items come to mind when people ask that question. I’m just happy to celebrate with people, especially this year. It has been a long, tough year and I just want to spend some good quality time with people I care about.

However, my sister and mother never, ever take that as an answer…. if you follow my Pinterest boards you might have seen me go a little online window shopping crazy with my wish list. Sorry about that!

A blogger I follow posted her Want, Need, Wear, Read list and I loved it…. so, I am mimicking her a tad and putting up my own list.

Want: I really want to get some pretty barware. I am in love with the twig barware kit and glass bottles with wood stoppers from West Elm. Seriously… check out that jigger! Lovely.

Need: Oh dear, oh dear… I need new underwear and bras SO bad. Pregnancy and nursing did a number on my body. I’d like to throw out all that I have and replace them with some pretty new things from Victoria’s Secret or something similar.

Wear: This area is always my biggest wants… I love things I can wear. Makeup, perfume, lipstick, shoes, purses, accessories, clothing. I love it all. Two things that are big on my want list are a pair of cute rain boots (Target) (I live in Portland, after all!) and a nice looking camera bag (Jo Totes.)

Read: It has been so very long since I have read something longer than a blog post. There are a couple of books I want right now. But, I’m also craving a magazine subscription or two. BUT, the one book I want the most right now is the 2013 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. I wouldn’t mind the short story and novel edition too!

What is on your Want, Need, Wear, Read Wish List!?

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