Endless Summer | August 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

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OMG, bring me back to the Cape. Please. These photos are from our end of June sojourn with the family. It’s been five weeks since we left that wondrous vacation house and a whopping, wholly unacceptable four weeks since our last beach day. Sure, we spent an impromptu weekend in Manhattan but summer is feeling not so endless with that much time between seaside jaunts. I need all the oceans and R&R and low tide sunset strolls and too-early morning shark sighting excursions.

We’re gonna fix that Singing Beach style tomorrow, but tonight we head to Boston’s mega-ultra-lesbian-dance-party-deluxe Dyke Night Second Saturdays at Machine (it’s a mouthful, I know) for St. Harridan’s Fashion Show.

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LONG LIVE SKAKET BEACH.

Best damn Cape Cod beach ever, hand to God.

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During vacation, I made the house these warm, drool-worthy, buttery scones for breakfast one morning. My girl KA hooked me up with her incredible chocolate chip scone recipe, and it turns out I can hook you up with it, too, because it’s a Smitten Kitten jam. If you’ve ever made a face at an offensively dry, crusty old scone, try these. They have the perfect structure and balance of light crunch and softness for dunking into coffee or tea, but are wonderfully creamy.

I will say this, though: definitely try either salted sweet cream butter or add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt, and maybe even a dash of vanilla or something to give them just a touch more dimension in terms of flavor. Then they’re absolutely perfect!

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More Skaket Beach, because it’s so magical and good and the snack shack rules and the sea grasses are so lush and the sand is ultra-soft and sandy.

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The massive wooden deck of the Cape house is surrounded by forest, and at night the frogs croak and fireflies glow and other winged critters sing and it’s just beyond dreamy and calming. Of course, beware the mosquitoes. They’ll suck your blood (they’ll suck your blood). Sometimes your dog might run into the woods and bring back the bones of some unknown previously living thing, but hey! They’re on vacation, too, right? I mean. Yeah. THEY ARE.

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This is like the horror movie shot of the stupid idiot girl who hears a noise and then follows it into the rapidly darkening and terrifying wilderness, “Hello? Hello? I can hear you! Hello?”

Pro tip: I am not that girl. I carry a knife and am much less polite.

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What in god’s name is a trip to the Cape without a community seating lobster supper? Nothing, that’s what. Arnold’s is an institution. You wait in line to order outstanding food and then another line to order an outstanding ridiculous rummy cocktail and then another line for the bring-you-to-your-knees raw bar. It’s for your own good. Pace yourself.

And then go play some GD mini golf with your GD family and work it all off because that is some TRULY WHOLESOME FAMILY OUTING MALARKEY. Allow it.

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I painted my nails this completely beautiful and artistic rendition of The Starry Night for lobsters and sandy dunes and Provincetown. Don’t question me.

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The house came with a big stack of mysterious and very, very delightful LPs and I just happened to bring my little portable turntable along. Thank god, can you imagine my state of torture if I’d happened upon these gems from the 1920s-1970s and didn’t have the Crosley? Pretty sure I would have driven home to fetch it if that had been the case.

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The tomboy took this one of my mama and I after a few rounds of mojitos and big seafood shack dinner. We were sitting in the sunroom listening to The Beatles and my mama’s many Beatles stories. This was a really, really lovely vacation.

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After a long and idyllic day at the beach, simplicity rules. This is an easy little striped cotton dress from Atwell, one of the in-house Gilt brands. It goes great with actual beach waves, a pile of bracelets, and neutral sandals or fuss-free heels – I chose a chunky-heeled leather pair. My little clutch is J. Crew, and ties in with the navy with a nice pop of deep sea green.

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That’s it for now! Did y’all see the FFAF shout-out in Curve Magazine from that dear and gorgeous sweet peach Anita Dolce Vita at dapperQ? She’s such a powerful voice for femmes, and especially femmes of color. Pretty great stuff!

Hope your summers are going swimmingly,

FFAF




SBJ @ 8:11 PM

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Mods vs. Rockers: Hair We Go | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

A sweet reader with a gorgeous head of shiny red hair wrote in earlier this week for some hairstyle advice:

“I’m going to this queer Mods vs. Rockers event on Saturday night. I have a black lace shift dress and white tights ready to go but need to do my hair, I was thinking a bouffant updo – which you are the queen of - any top tips/videos to share? I’d be very grateful.”

For research purposes, I clicked on the link she sent and immediately came down with a case of Duckie-induced FOMO. A “post-queer performance and events collective?” Can I have one?! If only my bank account allowed it, I would hop across the pond and attend myself! “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough,” the website taunts, “and take sides – Mod or Rocker.”

It sounds like an absolute riot ball and makes me wish parties like it or Bardot A Go Go were more of a thing here, where people went for the music and the style and each other, but it’s a good reminder to dance it out at Soulelujah and Heroes more often. Now, let’s get back to some 60s bouffant hair!

It is so darling that anyone would think I’m the queen of this style, so in the interests of giving the love right back, I’m sharing my words of wisdom in case y’all wanna give it a go-go for a summer event yourselves.

The foundation any gal needs for this look is in a good backcomb and hairspray (good old Elnett will do just fine, but here’s a natural, scent-free option that some femmes seem to like), as well as some nice, strong bobby pins that match your hair color. I have a Spornette Little Wonder and it’s really great, but this one is definitely on my wish list. The great news is that all that stuff is fairly cheap and stuff you’ve probably already got on hand.

My biggest tip with the bobbies is to let it pick up a few strands of hair where you’re going to pin, and then push it out a little tiny bit, and then “lock” it around and in the total opposite direction you started in – you’ll see the grip is 1000x improved that way.

“What the hell is FFAF even trying to say?” you ask.

Why, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a wonderful GIF:

I’ve linked to a few of her tutorials before, but Sidewalk Ready is an incredible resource for all kinds of hairstyles. Hers are super easy to follow and usually shockingly simple to achieve. This is a fast and easy twist, but it’s got a mini bouffant that could be bumped up to the next level, especially with bangs or a few wispy bits pulled out on the sides.

Here’s another for a big old 60s bouffant ponytail.

However, with a black lacy shift and this reader’s lovely hair color, I’m giddy about leaving the hair down with a bow-backed bouffant. Red locks against black lace will be too pretty to handle!

The Beauty Department gives awesome step-by-step instructions on how to get this look here. Gift shops like Paper Source or good old craft stores like Michael’s will usually have inexpensive rolls of printed grosgrain and solid satin or velvet ribbon, and sometimes vintage shops or boutiques will have baskets of notions tucked away in overlooked corners that can be a goldmine for hair accessories.

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.

XOXO,
FFAF

PS. Bonus tutorials for other days you feel up for experimenting, lots of every day hairstyles!

PPS. One last thing, a makeup tutorial for an easy 60s look:

 

 




SBJ @ 3:31 PM

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Friendly Reminder | July 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Here’s a friendly reminder that I only sporadically remember to give y’all regarding the fact that yes, indeed, Fit for a Femme has a Tumblr. It’s full of curious and pretty and weirdo things (hello, GIF of magnetic metal swallowing a piece of very buttery looking metal, are you even real?), usually related in some way to fashion, feminism or femmes. Enjoy!

Follow FFAF on Tumblr here.

XOXO,
FFAF

 




SBJ @ 11:40 AM

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The heart wants what the heart wants, and what the heart wants is a machine. | July 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

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It’s true we’ve had a busy and bustling summer, but I have a confession to make and it will be punctuated with Carrie Bradshaw JPGs: I’ve spent the last month living in a low-grade state of tech-related terror because my Macbook Air doesn’t seem to want to upgrade to the new OS without completely decimating the past two-and-a-half years of my life, electronically speaking. Including the guts of like half a dozen FFAF posts.

We’re going to attempt emergency partition reconstruction and a few other suggestions from very helpful friends in the next 48 hours, but I’m scared and thinking about all those times I took The Cloud for granted or squandered a shiny, brand new 1TB hard drive, letting its squished and unopened box gather dust in a neglected corner of the office. I thought I could fix it with an ethernet cable, I really did.

Hug your computers, today, guys. You don’t have to live like this. Okay? Okay.

Let’s talk summer favorites. Everlane is at it again with a new Everlane x Langley collaboration of pitch-perfect tomboy femme muscle tees ($28) and drape tanks ($24). I got my hands on the latter in a creamy slub cotton that almost gives it a softly heathered look, and now it’s waitlisted in the navy as well. The muscle tee, definitely a more androgynous but no less awesome version, is in stock in all sizes and colors. The weight and tailoring give them a lot of polish, and you can’t beat the cost per wear.

My new BFF: J. Crew’s Lillian Mirror Low Wedge in Metallic Gold. I have a few flat sandals for summer that are fine for schlepping around a beach house or on errands or a sunset stroll to the Charles, but fail to give an outfit the kind of polish I require to feel minimally presentable. (Weird personal preference, I know.) These definitely do the trick with a little lift and a lot of luxe, and are the perfect compromise between a casual flat sandal and a pair of bona fide heels. Yay!

A lot of skincare products talk a big game but deliver mediocre results, and I haven’t got the patience (or, frankly, the wallet) for all that. I had the chance to try the new Resynchronizing Skincare suite from Chanel back in June and wasn’t expecting any miracles. Well, damn it, now I’m hooked on La Nuit, the overnight product from the trio (the others are Le Jour and Le Weekend De Chanel).

The others were alright, but every time I went to bed with this on, my skin felt changed immediately, and even better in the morning. Softer, radiant and glowing. I used an even lighter hand than usual with my favorite CCs, and went totally barefaced more often. Considering how little I used, the $85 price tag doesn’t seem outrageous – I’d be surprised if the bottle didn’t last six months to a year.

Speaking of CCs, this is my summer jam (and might even be a year-round romance, who knows). I know Supergoop! isn’t at all the same as Gwyneth’s goop, but I always just kind of rolled my eyes at the brand because of the lazy name association, I guess. Which is really rude! I’m so sorry! I won’t do it again!

I was in Miniluxe, waiting to settle my bill one day when I decided to try their CC Cream. The swatch was so impressive that I tried it on my squeaky clean visage and went about my day. Hours later I did a double-take when I passed a mirror – I’d forgotten I had it on, my skin looked amazing, and I actually racked my brain for a second wondering what I’d done differently that morning! Derp. That kind of gorgeous-but-natural staying power plus SPF35 in one clever package? Sold. The only downside I can think of is the limited shade selection. I wear the darkest shade, Medium to Dark, and that’s absurd. I do love it for how it lifts and brightens so dramatically. MAKE MORE SHADES, SUPERGOOP!

We’ve all been here, right? Don’t lie. My ultimate black liner evolution started with Laura Mercier’s Tightline Cake Liner, moved to various dalliances in potted gel versions, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (first in Zero, then Perversion, which I still love), a fling with Eyeko’s Skinny and Eye Do liners, and then, once it seemed I might never find The One, the lash boosting safety and idiot-proof awesomeness of Physician’s Formula Eye Booster™ 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum brought me to my knees, and for a cool $10.

It made me wonder what the hell I was ever doing with Laura Mercier. Just like we all have that weirdo ex that makes us cringe, so it is with makeup. My “beauty uniform” involves ultra-light coverage, Benefit PosieTint or Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter in Spicy Coral, and a swipe of mascara and brow gel with a kitten eye, so a good liner I can throw on quickly is non-negotiable.

I was very intrigued by the new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner. I find the mascara brittle and hateful, but the crazy concept of the liner was too exciting not to try. After the first few attempts to do it myself at home, though, I completely gave up. The clicky part was weird! It came out all funny! What the hell angle are you supposed to hold this doohickey at, anyway?!via sharonthemakeupartist.com

HINT: There is way too much product coming out of the tip in this photo!

I ignored it for two weeks, and then picked it up again. This time I clicked and no product came out, so I squeezed the rubber bit gently angrily and lo! the tiniest amount of liner peeked out. I started a cateye. It was perfect. Completely pitch black, a beautifully clean line, and it doesn’t budge. So that’s the trick! For every click, I squish appx. 3-4x, and I’d estimate using a single click per eye.

I think it’s a total game changer because it makes the retro runway cateye look really accessible, and pops like crazy in photos. With a killer mascara - I’m in love with Kevyn Aucoin’s ‘The Essential’ Mascara – you don’t need falsies at all.

Last and definitely least, we’ve fallen into the kind of stupor that only binge-watching The L Word from Season One can provide. I am ashamed and horrified to tell you that we are somehow starting Season Five. THE HEART WANTS WHAT THE HEART WANTS.




SBJ @ 9:31 PM

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Old Glory & Gingham | July 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

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Since my last post, a very comfortable June sailed into July on a hot slick of humidity. We escaped the brunt of it last week in a marvelous little Cape house and on a handful of fantastic beaches – one on the bay side, one planted firmly at the easternmost point of Cape Cod, braced at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and finally in Provincetown proper. It was probably our Cape Coddiest vacation yet, with lobsters the hue of Stila’s Tesoro, body surfing, wishful shark sightings, big family meals and games, historical points of interest visits and treks to the lake down the road. Dreamy stuff.

We left yesterday (quite reluctantly, even with a tropical storm hurtling toward us) just in time to escape that patriotic party crasher Hurricane Arthur, and barely made it to the banks of the Charles River for the Boston Pops fireworks show last night. Phew! Happy 3rd of 4th of July, then?

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Now I’m not the world’s most patriotic gal (and considering the current war on women that is quite the understatement), but I do love a good theme outfit. Why not throw on a good old red gingham ruffled Americana frock with a glittery, star-spangled twist on the Statue of Liberty crown? Even if she might’ve gone whole hog and worn red (or blue?) glitter heels instead of the conservative nude wedge route, I feel Dolly would be proud.

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When I say we barely made it to the fireworks, I mean barely. We were a group of seven and driving and parking would have been madness and really expensive, so we crammed into an Uber SUV and got dropped off as close to the barricades and blocked-off streets as we could. We stopped just before the Mass Ave bridge, spread our blanket out on the lawn a few feet away from the river, and just as we settled onto it the first firework went soaring overhead. We were so close that we could see the great big flashes from where they were launched off the barge on the water. Some crazy dude on a floatie for a tiny child braved ‘that dirty water’ and floated away, followed by his equally crazy girlfriend on a shark floatie (which promptly capsized) in her bikini. The crowds were tame and polite and didn’t feel very crowded at all, and a couple of youths raising money for school cooled us off with bottled water and happily took our photo.

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The finale was awesome but felt a little rushed, which it turned out to be, and almost as soon as they ended one of us spied a flash in the distance and wondered if it was lightning. Worried that it might be, we decided to hightail it to the nearest hotel lobby, and with every step we took the lightning strikes came down faster and closer, thunder rumbling. We had no idea whatsoever that police were evacuating crowds to seek emergency shelter on the Boston side of the river!

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Just as we stepped under the hotel’s awning, one final crack split the sky open, we heard people screaming nearby and it started to absolutely pour. A few seconds later dozens of already-drenched people started to stream toward the hotel, most of them laughing and giddy (it was insanely hot out), a few brave souls stopping to just reach for the heavens and let it happen. The bellman rushed out with a massive stack of fluffy white hand towels, issuing them to grateful guests. I checked Uber obsessively as the pricing surged to 4.0x and the storm raged on, but we just sat and waited awhile and eventually got home safe and dry and utterly exhausted.

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Since we had such a great big week with a grandiose finale, and with rain forecast for the entire day, we’re having a much-needed day of restful vacation. World Cup is on, the A/C is on, the daiquiris are made, and if our patio umbrella hadn’t smashed a hole in our dining room window while we were away last night, we’d open that sucker up over the grill and BBQ in the rain. ‘MURRICA! Plan B! There’s a sickening Hobby Lobby x Supreme Court joke in there somewhere! Hope everyone has a great (and safe) 4th out there today!

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Gingham Seersucker Dress (here’s a cute one in black, and a few under $40) – Tulle | Star Crown Headband – J. Crew (similar here) | Nude Patent Wedges – BCBG Generation

Here are some fireworks from last night!

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XOXO,

FFAF




SBJ @ 1:48 PM

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From Sea to Shining River | June 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

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We wanted to shoot this outfit on the Nantucket Sound at the beginning of the month, but one of the Sony A7′s very few flaws is its bloody short battery life. My old Panasonic Lumix G1′s battery could endure several days’ worth of rigorous shooting (vacation or back-to-back FFAFs, for example) before giving off that fatal beep of temporary death – I can easily exhaust the A7′s in a day. I clearly need to invest in a backup situation, but for this outfit we just took a golden hour sunset stroll to the river later that day instead.

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I am by no means a shoe snob but I never really thought I’d find myself in a pair of Jessica Simpson heels. I am still having some feels about that (alright, maybe I’m a little bit of a shoe snob), but we’ll move on. I snagged them before Camp Autostraddle last month because I knew I’d need something chunky somewhat ankle-supporting for running all around Mt. Feelings, and these peep-toe cutout platform booties (shooties? that word is awful) were perfect and a really pretty cognac leather, a nice alternative to more traditional neutrals like black or nude.

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It’s been a whirlwind week! Yesterday was M’s birthday, and we had a nice, low-key celebration after she got home from work, but on Tuesday I pulled off the ultimate surprise gift for her – she came home to an early birthday treat in the backyard: a massive hammock that can support up to 450 lbs. strung up on an even more massive wooden hammock stand that I put together with my own two bare femme hands! She loves it. (Of course she does, this is a person who makes vacation decisions based on whether or not a destination will meet her hammock quotas.) Furthermore, all the animals are very curious and want a turn in it.

Speaking of animals, how darling are these little Charles River goslings?!

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The mamas weren’t even all that nasty like the ones around Lake Merritt. Cute, cute, cute. Totally made up for the dead battery.

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After seeing so many super fly queers in their fancy, festive playsuits at the mountain wedding in May, I knew I had to find one for myself. (Especially yours, Carmen Rios!) Screw all the practical cons like having to completely disrobe every time you need to pee! If they could do it, I could suck it up, too. I found this one at Asos and loved the old-fashioned floral against such a deep blue, and knew my leather chain belt would look awesome with it. With gold heels and an updo, this could easily be summer wedding guest or fancy date night attire!

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I do really love our little bit of the Charles. So calm and peaceful, with footbridges strewn around and a damn with tons of great birdwatching and paths.

Floral Playsuit – Asos | Leather Chain Belt – Zara (similar here) | ‘Maizy’ Bootie (currently half-off at Nordstrom in black and cognac leather!) – Jessica Simpson | Hat – Target | Mixed Bracelets – Madewell | Statement Necklace – J. Crew (similar) | Ring – House of Harlow 1960 (I love their jewelry a lot)




SBJ @ 1:25 PM

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FFAF’s 6th + Tomboy Femme | June 23, 2014 | Comments (7)

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Get this shirt here, friends. LIKE, IMMEDIATELY. Sizes XS-2XL. 

June, June, June. I don’t even know where it’s gone, but I do know that FFAF turned six years old two weeks ago. Going to camp last month was really affirming, in terms of why FFAF is still here, and so was my (surprise) inclusion on a recent Fierce Femmes roundup from fellow New Englander, Jack Tar 207, which prompted a lot of important conversations on femme recognition and femme invisibility in many of my online “neighborhoods,” if you will. Some that tip-toed, some that pricked, some that praised.

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I’d love to say we’re all drowning in a sea of myriad femmes – especially femmes of color and trans*femmes - blogging about their incredible style (and work and lives), but that doesn’t seem to be the case just yet. While it’s definitely better than it was way back in 2008, and I feel personally connected to femmes of all kinds in my public and private life, until we femmes hold a bigger corner of the internet, I think I’ll stick around a little while longer. We’re getting there.

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While I am many things – a multiracial femme in a mixed race marriage and one half of a butch-femme couple, a lesbian mom and feminist, someone who has worked for the better part of the past 20 years and is toeing the line of her mid-30s and still exploring; in my writing, in riding horses, in styling others, in pouring blood, sweat and tears into a project that hasn’t yielded one red cent but has been incredibly meaningful in ways that can’t be quantified, among a slew of other things - femme is vast, and no one of us can represent it alone. One of my favorite things about us is how we need only to claim the word in order to be it. Femme. There are no rules or hard stops or mean edges. Say it and we’ll see you. Say it and we see each other. All open arms and do-not-mess loyalty and multifaceted strength and wonder.

It’s the most incredible, boundless thing. I trust it, and I’m glad of the femmes and other folks, known and unknown, who’ve trusted me along the way. To another year of FFAF!

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In other news, summer’s here and the kid is officially halfway done with high school and my wife’s birthday is this week. She and I have been gardening like crazy. I’m cranking up the dial on my riding lessons this summer. My parents are coming to visit Sunday, so we’re taking them to a house on the Cape for a bit, and returning in time for fireworks on the Charles. Very welcome house guests will keep parading through the month of July, and I’m excited and trying not to fret over how there never seem to be enough hours in the day – I wish I was posting more often, alas! Now you see what’s been keeping me. Life’s been full!

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This outfit was fun. Big old ball skirt in ballet pink, this fantastic and highly recommended Tomboy Femme t-shirt from Autostraddle, and insanely comfy and simple mules with the tiniest baby platform. Wore it all Sunday for everything from cruisin’ around some yard sales to a matinee with the kiddo (MALEFICENT!) and strollin’ around the neighborhood, meeting cool new cats. Here are the details:

Tomboy Femme’ T-Shirt – Autostraddle | Ball Skirt – H&M (similar cut in white denim here) | ‘Raceway’ Platform Mules – Aerosoles (similar here, like walking on poofy little clouds and Mt. Feelings-proof) | Polka Dot Crossbody Purse - Madewell (similar here) | ‘Samantha’ Necklace – Jewelmint

Gratuitous cute stray cat segment:

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SBJ @ 12:19 PM

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