Category Archives: Hair & Fashion

What I Wore – The Parade of Hats

By now, you’re getting the idea that I love hats. Since my last post, the temperatures took a major nose-dive, and in an effort to stay warm (and raise my spirits), I pulled out a few wacky hats from my collection.

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This little number was given to me by my friend, Teri. Someone in her family knitted (or is it crocheted? Hmmm.) especially for her. Can you appreciate the feather and faux gemstone? I knew that you could.

Then I have this hat:

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I gave the original Spider hat to a dear friend, but when I had the opportunity to have another one, I simply had to do it. I have absolutely no idea why I made the Hang-10 sign with my hands.

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Now that my son is in 10th grade, my polar fleece jester hat rarely makes an appearance. Tech Support has never said he’s embarrassed to be with me, but I try to be sensitive and not push the dorky envelope too far off the table. My amazing fingerless gloves are from Baabaazuzu, a company that was born in late 1993 after Sue Burns, a gifted graphic designer, cut up the shrunken remains of her favorite sweaters, pieced the fragments together and made jackets with matching hats for her two daughters.

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I won this colorful skully in a blogging contest held by my friend, author, Kasey Mathews. Jen Wagner the Creator of JAMMS hats designs these great warm hats that are wicked stylish. I love having a pop of color on my head on gray days.

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This stocking hat comes from HandCandy. It’s super warm on the inside, as it’s lined in polar fleece, and the tail is wicked long and can wrap around the neck so the wearer doesn’t need to fuss about a scarf. And while I love the colors and the mix of fabrics, this thing is heavy and leaves me feeling choked. Truth be told, I would have probably done better to swap this hat for a scarf or a pair of mittens because I really adore the varied textiles and broad stitchwork.  For now, I wear this hat as a house-hat. A what?, you ask. Sometimes it’s just so darn cold outside that the chill creeps inside so I keep my hat on even while I’m inside.

And my fingerless gloves, too.

I know, right.

They don’t come sexier than me, folks.

I’m always looking to add to my hat collection, so if you have a hat you’d like to donate to the cause, or if you represent a hat company and you’re looking for a middle-aged spokesperson, I’m your girl.

Stay warm, everyone!

 

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What I Wore – A Furry Hat

Hats: you either love ’em or hate ’em. My husband will put on a scully to shovel the driveway, but he’d never consider wearing one into his office during the light of day. And the closest my 15 year-old son will come to a hat is a hoodie.

Me? I love hats, and I think I actually look better with a hat than without.

The hat featured is one of my favorites. I actually bought this “LIFE IS GOOD” hat for my son when he was in 5th grade. I thought the fluffy ear flaps would look adorable on him and keep him super cozy on freezing winter morning when he had to wait for the bus. I was sure he’d love the huge smiley face on the back. Alas, my boy never took to this hat, so I started wearing it. It’s probably a little too small, but I love it anyway.

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On this particular day, I also tried wearing a very bright lipstick and while it looked great in the tube, I don’t think I’m able to pull off such a bright shade. It’s good to try new things once in a while though, right?

What kind of fashion risks have you taken recently?

What I Wore – Red Hat

In the winter, I wear hats. Like every single day. It’s fair to say that my hair is generally unruly, so wearing a hat is truly the perfect solution for a girl who doesn’t like the expense of straightening her ‘do and yet never quite figured out how to handle her unruly curls.

This red polar fleece number is one of my go-to hats. It’s simple and bright and cheerful, and — believe me — people around here need to see a little color around this time of the year.

I am also a huge fan of fingerless gloves. In fact, I used to cut the tips of my old gloves before fingerless gloves were even a thing. It’s true! This crocheted pair came from author K.B. Owen. I absolutely love them, and they go with everything. Kathy sent this pair to me when I was in the throes of benzo withdrawal, and I’m grateful to finally be well enough to wear them out and about this winter. Thank you a million times, Kath. Now the world knows that in addition to being a fantastic writer you also have mad skills when it comes to the crochet needles!

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What do you wear to keep warm? What’s more important to you: looking good or keeping warm?

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What I Wore – Accessories

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s cold outside today, so I turned to a favorite scarf to wear over a plain ole black peplum sweater. Like my scarf? I got it from a friend who sells great accessories at Anything Goes Clothing & Consignment in Fairport, New York. Interested in buying one? Send Rhonda a message via Facebook or call her at (585) 223-3737 and she’ll hook you up with one for just $14! They come in every color of the rainbow!

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Remember those slouchy socks all the girls wore back in the 1980s? Well, I’m trying to bring those back. I know it’s hard to see it from the picture, but I have a pair of oversized black socks with turquoise flowers on them scrunched down around my booties. I’m telling you, if I have anything to say about it, everyone is going to be doing this. Unless they don’t.

Donna Sturges bracelet.

Donna Sturges bracelet.

It’s hard to see my bracelet in this photo, but it’s leather and enamelware made by the fabulous Donna Sturges. That woman creates magic with circles, I’m telling you!

The winner of my Hanukkah Hoopla giveaway is Suzanne because her comment about buying Hanukkah decorations at Hobby Lobby made me laugh aloud. Suzanne, please contact me within the next 48 hours so I can send you some of my handcrafted stationery! Just in time to write all those thank you notes for all the goodies you received over the holidays! And not a bad way to start off the new year, right? Winninnnnnggggg!

Oh, and one more thing. I started using this L’Dara serum stuff on my face. It’s supposed to minimize wrinkles. I’ll let you know what I think in a future post. Stay warm everyone!

What one accessory makes you happy when you wear it? Where did you get it?

tweet me @rasjacobson

What I Wore

So I really wanted to do my Friday Dance Party thing, but the Internet is like NOOOOOOO! We will not allow you to post any real music because of copyright laws.

So poop on YouTube.

Don’t worry, I have something else up my sleeve.

(Did you notice that I always have something else up my sleeve?)

Here is my first post in what will become a series of fun “What She Wore” posts.) And I promise that no matter what I’m wearing (or not wearing), I’ll post it here.

Today I tried to look well put together. I got this A-line skirt on the sale rack at Express and this awesome wrap bracelet is from WrappedinYou‘s Etsy shop. Renee (not me, another Renee) has lots of great stuff at reasonable prices. And, as far as I’m concerned,  a short skirt should always be paired with a pair of thigh high boots. So I did.

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Have a great weekend everyone! Oh, and if you really can’t get enough of me and you’d like to hear about how painting helped me heal during benzodiazepine withdrawal, consider hopping over to Michelle’s place at Steadily Skipping Stones. Her series of podcasts called “People I Almost Know” is a lot of fun, and it serves to remind us that no matter how well we think we know someone, there’s always another story to hear.

What are you wearing today?

 

A Hair Care #Giveaway From @VO5

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A while back, I wrote about how the hair care product I’ve been using for the last 30 years is being discontinued.

Since then, I’ve been doing some pretty extensive testing.

During this time, I went to BlissDom, a blogging conference in Grapevine, Texas where I kept getting sucked into one particular suite. Women were getting beauty makeovers and stylists were doing hair. I learned Alberto VO5® has a new Salon Series. Someone helped me figure out which shampoo and conditioner would be right for me, and I was given a deep conditioning hair mask and a styling cream to try when I got home.

I had low expectations.

You know, because I’ve tried all kinds of expensive hair treatments – mousses and gels and creams — and none of them has worked as well as my cheapie mousse.

Until now.

Y’all, I’ve been using VO5’s Anti-Frizz & Shine Cream for three months now, and it works better than any other product I’ve tried.

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This stuff is incredible!

After I shampoo and condition, I comb my wet hair and apply a quarter-sized amount to my fingertips and work it in.

Somehow, it tames my curls without making my hair crunchy or greasy.

The only bummer is that VO5’s Salon Series isn’t available in my area yet. (If you live near the stores listed here, you know what to give me for my birthday, you’re lucky! And no, Wegmans doesn’t currently carry VO5’s Salon Series.)

For now, I have to order the Anti-Frizz & Shine Styling Cream from soap.com.

Whatever.

I was already ordering my old stuff online, and I like the results I’m getting from VO5® even better than my old product.

After 30 years of being completely brand loyal, I can hardly believe I typed those words.

But it’s true.

And guess what? VO5® has been kind enough to offer a little pack of goodies! One lucky winner will receive one free VO5® Salon Series™ Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti-Frizz & Shine Styling Cream.

How can you win?

1. For a chance to win the pack of goodies from VO5®, SHARE a hair nightmare story. 

2. FOR A SECOND OPTIONAL ENTRY, TWEET THIS POST.

Of course you know I love to read your words, so feel free to leave any other comment, hair-related or otherwise! This contest is open to residents of the United States only. Enter until June 27th. One winner will be announced on my blog on June 28th at 7 AM, so be sure to check back. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours, Random Number Generator will select another winner.

NOTE: I received products from VO5®, and they are providing the winner with swag, but the opinions presented here are all my own. In other words, if I didn’t actually love this stuff, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

tweet me @rasjacobson

**EDITED: Congratulations to Faith Ertischek! Faith, please send me your snail mail address and phone number so that the good folks at VO5  can send you your products! Congratulations!

I Remember Prom

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That’s my niece up there. Could she be any more gorgeous?
Oh, and her boyfriend looks fab in his tux, too.

My niece went to Senior Prom with her boyfriend a few weeks ago.

As I stood nearby, snapping photos, I was transported back in time.

To the mid-1980s. To my own school formals.

TB and me. Junior Prom, 1984.

I went to junior prom with TB, a boy I  spent most of middle school trying to get to fall in love with notice me. Lord knows, we spent many afternoons in detention together as a result of misbehaving in French class. Before he moved to Philadelphia, I realized we were always going to be “just friends,” which was good enough for me. I sort of figured I’d never see him again, but he magically materialized to take me to prom.

First, let’s just establish TB looked awesome in his tux.

Done.

Okay, now let’s talk about my dress. Featured in Seventeen Magazine, my dress was a gauzy, white Gunne Sax for Jessica McClintock that covered me from chin to ankle; it had three layers of crinoline and 10,000 buttons up the back. I was hermetically sealed inside my dress. All I knew was that I felt like Madonna in that dress. Seriously, from the neck down, I looked like Madonna.

Shut up, I did.

Sadly, we must address things from the neck up. A few months prior, I’d butchered my long mane and had not yet figured out quite what to do with what was, tragically, a long brush-cut. Or a lady-mullet. In an effort to try to make people not notice my heinous hair, I stuck an over-sized silver safety-pin through the extra hole in my left ear lobe. Because I was that cool.

JMo and me. Senior Ball, 1985.

For senior ball, I was slightly better prepared. First, let us establish that JMo looked awesome in his tux.

Done.

Now, about my dress.  As it turned out, my poofy dress from the year before was really uncomfortable. The crinkly crinolines had filled the entire backseat; it had been hard to walk, and did I mention that I was decidedly not hot?

Senior year, I decided to tone down my attire and wear a simple yellow dress. Alas, there was no teenaged version of “Say Yes To The Dress” because somehow I ended up looking like I had been dipped first in a vat of French’s mustard and then into a second vat of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Seriously, I had no business wearing pastel yellow. I know you can’t tell from the pictures, but I looked jaundiced. Luckily, most people were blinded by my like totally radical Sun-In highlights and my tan, both of which I had been cultivating after school for weeks while  ignoring my upcoming Trigonometry final.

I didn’t do a lot of primping for either prom.

I mean, I showered.

I was clean.

I bought a dress and put it on.

(So there was a little extra room up top. What’s your point?)

All I’m saying is thank goodness there was no Twitter back in the 1980s, because I would have been all over that and it would have worked me into a frenzy! No, I was blissfully oblivious, so I didn’t stress out about prom in advance at all.

Time spent preparing my hair for junior prom: zero minutes.

For senior ball, I actually had hair, so I did use a little mousse which, thankfully, had been invented earlier that year.

Truthfully, I do remember a wee bit of mental anguish at both dances. Even though I wasn’t dating either guy, I still wanted the romance of the evening. I still wanted my dates to ask me to slow dance.

I mean I was scared, but I still wanted to be asked.

Ask me. No don’t ask me.

Please ask me. Wait, I don’t know what I’m doing.

At senior ball, I sang along with the lead singer as he belted out a new Foreigner tune: “I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me.”

Because, really, I had no idea.

But I so wanted to know.

I imagine some things will never change about formal dances: the grown up feeling of getting dressed up and “going out on the town” without one’s parents; the freaky-deaky feeling a girl gets in her stomach as she sees her prom date pull into the driveway; those awkward posed moments where parents hover, taking zillions of photographs from every possible angle; the worry that a zit could erupt at any moment.

Even though the dresses are better, I still think of prom as an awkward place, a threshold between adolescence and adulthood where no one really knows what to do.

So people just hold onto each other and spin in circles for a little while.

And so we did.

And it was good.

Right up until I learned I failed the Trig final.

What did you wear to prom? Did you think you were hot? Were you? Really?

tweet me @rasjacobson

In Memory of Lilly: Lilly Pulitzer Bag Giveaway

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Lily Pulitzer passed away last month, on April 7, 2013 at the age of 81. I’m confident her legacy of brightly colored fabrics featuring flamingos & seals & peacocks & turtles & elephants & hippoptamuses & flowers & flowers & flowers will live on forever. A believer in the power of whimsy, I like to think we would have been friends.

If you saw my post earlier this week about how I Have One Lilly Pulitzer Dress, you might want to go back and read it.

Seriously.

Okay.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you are here because to hell with that you want to win the Lilly bag, you’re in the right place.

*smiles*

Today, as I enter my 4th year in the blogosphere and publish my 500th post, I need to thank you, my readers. I appreciate that you read my words and that you keep coming back. You’ve celebrated with me and held me up during difficult times. You laughed when I confessed to being #SoWrong, and you play my silly language games.

You help to quiet the critical voices that live in my head and remind me believe in myself.

Bottom line, you inspire me to write.

Because of you, I want someone out there to have a little Lilly in her life.

Because no one should ever listen to a flat-chested girl named Courtney. 

Also because this bag is adorable.

Men, do not be fooled. This is NOT just a contest for women.

Check out how much Lilly handbags and clothes go for. You can enter and give your winnings a a deserving woman in your life. Or  *insert evil grin* if you win, you can stick the thing up on eBay and use the cash to buy beer and motor oil! So this giveaway is for you, too.

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There ARE MANY WAYS YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win this bag. (1 point)
  2. Read THIS POST and leave a comment THERE. (1 point) Did this already? Guess what? You already have 1 point! Yay!
  3. If you are a Lilly lover, email me a photo of yourself wearing/holding something Lilly. You can use Photoshop! Be creative. Include a short paragraph telling me why you need this bag. (5 points)
  4. Email me an image of your current sad-looking handbag. Include a short paragraph telling me why you’d like to win this bag. (5 points)
  5. Tweet this post. You can tweet your own way (just be sure to include my handle) or, if it helps, you can copy this text right into Twitter:  I just entered to win a @LillyPulitzer handbag. Check out this #giveaway http://wp.me/pViQq-3WX via @rasjacobson! (1 point)
  6. Facebook share this post. If you can’t tag me, copy the URL of the page where you shared the post and put it on my blog in a separate entry. (1 point)

The Rules

1. The contest is open only to residents of the United States & Canada. Sorry, I can’t spend 11.3 jazillion dollars shipping this bag abroad.

2. Photos should be sent to rasjacobsonny {at} gmail {d0t} com by Friday, May 17th at noon, Eastern. Be sure to include your name. If you’re a blogger, include your blog URL, so I can link up to you. If you’re on Twitter, please include your handle  — as that is the fastest way to contact winners! If you are neither a blogger nor on Twitter, don’t worry, you can still win! Just be sure to include your name with your email!

3. Entrants agree to have their photos appear in a future post. (You know, if I’m actually that organized… Because I think it would be fun to show a bunch of pics!)

4. DISCLAIMER: I have no idea how big or how small this contest will be, but I’m mentally prepared to put all names and associated points into an ridiculously complicated Excel spreadsheet. Every name will be associated with individual numbers based on a point system based on your number of entries. Random Number Generator will select the winner. You can do as many or as few things to win as you’d like. Obviously, your odds of winning increase if you do more things to win! And yes, you can enter every which way. You can comment on both posts and tweet and Facebook share! You can send a photo of yourself wearing Lilly and send a separate photo of your handbag. Just be sure to send separate emails.

5. One winner will be announced on May 20th, on my blog. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, I’m keeping this bag another winner will be selected. Please don’t do that do me. I think I may collapse after this giveaway.

tweet me @rasjacobson

I was not sponsored by anyone for this giveaway. I just want to make someone happy. Like Lilly did.  Also, please don’t be offended, but I’m not responding to people’s comments on this post. I have a feeling this is going to get crazy. You know, or not.

I Have One Lilly Pulitzer Dress

“Being happy never goes out of style.” ~Lilly Pulitzer

 When I was in middle school, the pretty girls took off their Fair Isle sweaters in May. They sloughed their turtlenecks with the little whales on them and switched up the covers on their Bermudas bags. Spring meant sunshine and tulips and daffodils and lovely lightweight dresses.

One day, I dared to ask a pretty girl where she found her colorful sleeveless shift.

“It’s not from here,” she said, crossing her arms in front of her very flat chest.

“But where did you get it?”

This particular pretty girl – let’s call her Courtney — flipped her hair and caught it in one hand, a move I could never master.

“It wouldn’t work on you,” she said. “It’s a Lilly.”

Cover of The Official Preppy Handbook

Cover of The Official Preppy Handbook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That night, I consulted my Official Preppy Handbook. It showed a photograph of a similar looking dress to the one Courtney had worn in school that day. The handbook stated that Lilly Pulitzer clothing was a “must-have” item for all “preppy” women.

In middle school, I didn’t care that my mother made kick-ass matzah balls.

I just wanted to be a prep.

Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought about Courtney’s words. A little Jewish girl with a big nose, I’d never look good in a casual shift dress. I’d never rock pale pink lip-gloss. At summer camp, when I got off the sailboat, my hair was a frizzy triangular mess. I’d never look like I’d spent the day relaxing on the yacht. Who did I think I was?

About five years ago, I was in Florida shopping with my friend, Jan, when we passed a Lilly Pultizer Shop. I’d never seen one before. We don’t have Lilly Shops in Western, New York. Why would we? We wear sleeping bag coats for most of the year.

Anyway, Jan encouraged me to go in. She may have physically pulled me through the door.

I didn’t think I had any business being there.

But I sifted through the yummy racks filled with whimsical fabrics.

How can you not love orange elephants?

How can you not love orange elephants?

I heard Courtney’s voice in my head.

What was I doing? I was still that Jewish girl. And now I had boobies. Big ones. How was I ever going to fit into anything Lilly? It was ridiculous.

Jan handed me a pile of dresses and commanded I try them on.

And there was this one.

When I came out of the dressing room, the Lilly ladies made a fuss.

{But, you know, they work on commission; they’re paid to smile and coo.}

Still.

I looked at myself in the mirror, and I liked the way I looked.

I’m no socialite.

And I’m decidedly unpreppy.

But I bought it.

Because screw you, Courtney.

It works on me.

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Lily Pulitzer passed away last month, on April 7, 2013 at the age of 81. I am confident her legacy of brightly colored fabrics featuring flamingos & seals & peacocks & turtles & elephants & hippoptamuses & flowers & flowers & flowers will live on forever. A believer in the power of whimsy, I like to think we would have been friends.

• • •

May 14th marks the beginning of my 4th year in the blogosphere. Come back next week because I’m giving away a Lilly Pulitzer handbag, baby!

In the meantime, tell me about something you never thought you could wear/do/be, but you did it anyway!

tweet me @rasjacobson

Are You Brand Loyal?

I’m probably the most brand loyal person out there.

I’ve been using the same deodorant for the last twenty years. {Thank you, Secret, for being strong enough for a man. Because sometimes I smell like one.}

Everyone knows I only drink Canada Dry Ginger Ale. {Don’t try to slip me any of that store brand stuff. I can totally tell.}

What can I say? When I find something that works, I stick with it.

Forever.

As my longtime readers know, I have a love-hate relationship with my hair.

Despite the fact that I have stretched and pulled it, given myself deep conditioning treatments, and slept in bandanas in an attempt to give myself straight, swingy hair, I have the kind of follicles that morph into a frizzy pyramid if combed or touched.

Seriously, sometimes it looks like this!

Exhibit A

In 1985, I fell in love with a hair care product.

You guys, they are discontinuing it.

Want to know what I’ve been doing since I heard the news?

Click over to Jess Witkins’ blog to find out the rest of the story. Be prepared to tell me about products you have loved and lost.

tweet us @rasjacobson & @jesswitkins