Thursday, July 18, 2013

I think I may be done


I've become really frustrated and disillusioned over having an internet presence in general and social media in particular.  I feel like this morning I had an epiphany.  Basically, this isn't me and it isn't what I want to BE me.

My blog has become a mostly unenjoyable responsibility for the past year or more.  I don't regularly update and yet I find that I'm constantly thinking about things I "should" blog about.  It's crazy to literally THINK in blog posts, but that's where I am.  And what's even more crazy is that what repels me about blogging and social media is the very thing that's almost addictive to me.  So often, I feel like I'm the writer of my own "Truman Show", except that I KNOW everyone  some are watching.  And it just feels wrong.

I'm sick of myself taking pictures of the most menial things so that I can post them on Instagram.  I'm tired of needing feedback and comments to feel good about something that I do or write.  I'm embarrassed that I have gotten sucked into a need, or at the very least, a definite want of ego stroking.  I remember years ago when I got dressed and LOVED it and didn't give a thought to how it would photograph.  I remember doing things and enjoying things without taking a picture or giving commentary.  I remember when I just lived my life.  When I wasn't attached to the computer.  When I wasn't a perpetual voyeur.

The computer has become so much of my daily routine. Checking my blog.  My blog roll.  My twitter.  My Instagram.  Bottom line is......the problem is me. This online presence is just NOT the person I want to be. Others seem to be able to balance it all and take it in stride.  I'm not one of them.  I want to just enjoy my life and my family.  I want to learn some new things for the sake of learning them, not so I can post, tweet or Instagram them.  I want to maybe learn to knit.  Read more.  Take more walks.  Go do things with friends more.  Maybe volunteer at a retirement home.  I want to write.    I used to really enjoy writing, but along the way, I've gotten so self conscious.  I know me.  I'm at my best the fewer voices I have in my head.

So, I'm thinking it's time to step away from blogging AND twitter and maybe Instagram at some point. Maybe I'll be back with another blog later.  Never say never, right?  But for now, I don't even want to think about that.   I want to not NEED to be seen, to be heard, to be complimented, to be noticed.

No need to comment as I won't be checking back on here.  But I did want to leave my email in case any of you want to write and keep in touch privately.  Here it is:  serenesineath@gmail.com  

Love and hugs everyone!!


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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Because we have everything.....and so much of it....


Peggy Olson:  I look at you and think, "I want what he has."
Don Draper:  Really?
Peggy Olson:  You have everything.  And so much of it.
Don Draper:  I suppose that's probably true.

                                          From Season 3 of Mad Men



As Americans, we really do have everything, especially in the eyes of most of the planet.  I know what it is to be American broke, but I have no comprehension of what it is to be poor according to so much of the world.  Poor, to me, is that I can't afford our Friday night pizza or, (bad case scenario) I'd have to downgrade my iphone. Or (worst case scenario), I'd have to cut off my cell phone.  

Much of the poor of this world struggle just to eat.  They don't have the luxury of trying to realize their dreams or potential.  They're simply trying to stay alive.....keep existing.  They're not concerned about body acceptance or self esteem.  Their concerns are much more dire and are fatal by nature.  In today's social media speak:  #thirdworldproblems NOT #firstworldproblems.

I was fortunate to be born an American.  To be honest, I'm not the most patriotic.  I don't believe the US has been blessed and favored by God above all other nations.  I can't even say that I'm proud to be an American, because I had nothing to do with it.  I was simply born into this nationality and enjoy the privileges it bestows.  But I COULD have been born in Africa.  Bangladesh.  Central America.  Or any number of countries where poverty, disease and want are a reality of daily life.  

A few months ago, my husband and I started sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  What I really loved about it is that we sponsor a particular child (in our case, Diana) and the $38 a month that we give, helps provide her with food, education, and hopefully hope.  We can correspond with her and she, with us.  We've already gotten a handwritten letter from her telling us about her life and family.

I'm always so leery of charities, too eager to turn into corporations, from my cynical point of view.   But, with this one, I read, researched and felt very comfortable that the funds we are sending really are making a difference.  And you know what?  At the end of the day, I can blow $40 a month on Starbucks without even blinking.  So, sending $38 a month to help a child who didn't have the luck to be born in my situation, really isn't a hardship at all.  I'm not deluding myself that I'm Mother Theresa over here!

If this moves you at all, I'd ask you to check out Compassion International and consider helping. There are children who have been waiting close to a year for a sponsor, and some are in Aids affected areas and areas that are high risk for exploitation. Heartbreaking, really.   You can make a one time donation, sponsor a child, or meet critical needs.  They are very transparent with how the money is spent and financial integrity seems to be a priority.

Have a grand and glorious Fourth everyone and God Bless the WORLD!!

Again, if you're so moved, I'd be very thankful for you to Tweet or Facebook or move this post on in any way.  Hugs and love all around!


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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Sweet Wisdom of Bono

As I age in my physical life and my life as a believer in Christ, I'm more and more moved by grace.  Specifically God's grace and when I see grace in others, in my world, in relationships and exchanges.  In a "I worked for everything I got!" world, Bono clarifies so succinctly what it would take me chapters to express....

“The ones whose light will remain with me long after they have burnt out are the ones that had grace. Because it's rare that the gift comes with grace. Some of the biggest arseholes I've ever met are the most gifted. Because it's "pretty girl" syndrome. Being gifted is like being born beautiful. You don't have to work a day in a year in your life for it. You were born with it. In one sense, it's like blue blood, money, gift, or beauty. They are the things that should make you the most humble, because they are not the things you have earned. They are the things you were given. Yet, it is my experience that they male (sic) people the most spoiled. And the people who work the hardest, and who have overcome the most obstacles on their life, who have reason to beat their breasts are the most humble, sometimes. I can't get over that. it's bewildering to me. To make it through success and still have manners, to still have curiosity, intellectual curiosity, to still have some grace, to keep your dignity, that is really... rare.” 


― BonoBono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas



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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A good rule to follow (when it comes to dressing)

*Show your skin on the top or on the bottom....NOT both


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Via and via

So I realize I have a bit of a Pruddy McPrude living inside me.  And I'm totally cool with that.  However, this isn't coming from Prudy, but rather from a concern that we've crossed some lines of appropriateness in a rush to wear whatever we want.

Legs are gorgeous!  So is a bit of decolletage!  Not a thing wrong with showing both off.  But a good rule of thumb is:

If you're showing a lot of skin on top, be more conservative on the bottom.  If you're showing a lot of leg, keep the top more covered.

Too much at both ends and it's just and eye jarring barrage of skin.

This is a rule of thumb that I use for myself and  I've passed onto my daughter.

 But what say you?  Prudish or appropriate?

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Because I love the 70s and true love lasts forever.....

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Vintage Denim Dress:  Available on ebay , BCBG platforms:  thrifted

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Perfect wash and weight denim?  CHECK
Loose and sleeveless?  CHECK
Honkin' big silver hoops?  CHECK
Modern platforms?  CHECK
Wonderful 70s hippie chic-ness?  CHECK CHECK
Lotta look for a great price and supports ethical style?  CHECK CHECK CHECK!

I have had this listed for months now, and it's one of those pieces that I am surprised is still around.  I was playing dress up this morning with some of my inventory and fell in love with it all over again, and decided that if it doesn't sell in a couple of weeks, then it's meant to be mine!  When the weather starts to cool, I'll pair it with a tissue long sleeve tee or turtleneck and my favorite boots!

I'm happy to hook up with Patti for Visible Monday this week!!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Do you have "It"?

The original "It" girl, Clara Bow.  She wasn't the prettiest, sexiest, smartest or most talented, but she had "It".  It - that indefinable quality that transcends physical attractiveness and yet, is more compelling than sex appeal or modern day good looks.  Well, that's what the studio wanted the public to believe!  But maybe they were absolutely onto something!  

"It" is far more to be preferred than mere attractiveness.  Because, frankly, looks fade but "It" stays with you to the grave and beyond!


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"It" Qualities

Unapologetic

Humphrey Bogart was NOT traditionally good looking, but there's no question he had "It".  Can you picture Bogie wringing his hands over his overbite?  Did he ever give the impression that he wished he was a bit taller or more muscular?  Not on your life!  He was unapologetic about who he was.  He didn't try to hide his flaws because he didn't see them AS flaws!  BINGO!  That's "It"!

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Sense of fun

"It" people laugh!  They have fun!  They find humor in themselves, others and everything!  Probably because they're not overly self conscious, worried about how they look or what others are thinking.  They seem to be able to get outside of themselves and just have fun!  And that fun is infectious, making others gravitate to their presence!  Does ANYONE seem less self conscious than the Divine Miss M?  My favorite Bette Midler line?  "That's enough about me!  Let's talk about you.  What do you think of me?!"  She's hilarious and every girl's girlfriend!

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Not afraid to be different...

Though not TRYING to be different.  Anyone can be different for the sake of being different, but where's the originality in that?  How is that being true to oneself?  Johnny Depp could've remained just a pretty boy actor in a sea of good looking faces in Hollywood.  But he was different and he embraced those quirks.  It's obvious watching him, that he doesn't have an affected quirkiness.  His is genuine and real!  How else can a 50 year old man pull of the looks he does?!  Because he has "It"!

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An independence from the physical
Nowadays, it seems to ALWAYS come back to the physical.  In our struggle to stand out, we end up blending in.  We try to duplicate someone else's "It" only to lose our own.  That's why celebrity faces aren't as interesting as they used to be.  Because they've been morphed into an amalgamation of what the press says are the most desired and beautiful qualities.  Big lips are in, ergo every actress is running to get lipids injected into her pucker.  Youth is "in" and maturity is "out"?  No problem.  There's a doctor who can take care of that for you!  So you'll have no unique characteristics....who cares?  You'll look "young"!

"Beauty is what's on the inside, and it reflects in your eyes.  It's not something physical."  Sophia Loren 

Sophia Loren has never seemed to get caught up in her sex appeal.  She knows that there is far more to her than her figure.  And it shows.  It truly is captured in her eyes.  And interestingly enough, as she's let go of this dependence on and definition of sex appeal, she is even sexier than ever!  

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And what does the oldest woman ever to appear in the iconic Pirelli calendar (2007 she was 72!) have to say about youth and it's appeal?

"There is a fountain of youth:  it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.  When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

Listen, there's always going to be someone prettier, smarter, slimmer, more talented, more muscular, sexier.....basically more ANYTHING than you. 

 But "It" isn't in any of those things!  "It" is being unapologetically and unabashedly YOU! 


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Monday, May 27, 2013

NUETP of the Wide Leg Jean

Never UnderEstimate The Power: The Wide Leg Jean

It's no secret that I LOVE the 70s!  And while the reasons are plentiful, I think we have to send a Thank You note to the 70s for bringing us the wide leg jean.  Flares.....bell bottoms.....wide leg.......call them what you will as long as you acknowledge their total FABULOUSNESS!!  

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I thrifted these J Brand jeans for a mere pittance (seriously....a couple of bucks)!!   Paired it with another thrift find, a CAbi top, and Franco Sarto (purchased on ebay...."I'm not just an ebay seller.....") wedges.  Can you tell I'm feeling crazy cute right here??

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I think these are the same jeans, except here, I've paired them with a thrifted Nicole Miller blouse.  I originally got this blouse with the intention of selling it, but frankly, I love it so much, I just can't let it go!

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Kenneth Cole Wide leg dark denim with a thrifted blouse (THE most perfect fitting blouse ever!) and a vintage suede vest that's thrifted as well.

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My J Brand jeans again with a tagless thrifted blouse and men's leather belt.

While I completely understand the universal penchant for skinny jeans, my heart belongs to the wide leg cut! The skinny, to me, feels more trendy.  The flare is simply classic!!

BONUS:  All outfits are under $10 excluding the shoes!!  (I'll ALWAYS splurge just a little bit on shoes!!!)


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