Fashion {ish} With Jennifer

Fashion {ish}

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TR 2006 Class Clowns

The phrase “There appears to have been a struggle” comes to mind when describing my fashion sense. I have never and will never claim to be a fashionista. If you dug out my senior yearbook right now, you would not see me listed under the best dressed category.  In fact, the only section you will find me under is class clown, which oddly enough not only describes my winning personality but my train wreck fashion concept as well.

Back then (and now really) I would describe my fashion sense as meeting the minimum requirements. And no, I am not talking ‘minimum’ as in coming to school with daisy dukes, crop top and flip flops (Lord help us all with the imagine we now have floating in our head). Thankfully, fabric coverage was not an issue.

On any typical day you would see me in pants which were sometimes jeans but mostly athletic type pants even though my M.O. was more closely aligned with

The Infamous Hoodie
Trusty hoodie & tragic bangs

‘fake an illness to get out of PE’ than to be a participant on any kind of sports team. Shoes—if they would have let me go barefoot I would have, but #rules. A t-shirt with either the school mascot, (Go Warriors!) The Beatles or the Cubs. I would top this look off with my Relient K hoodie which I still have and still looks like it was worn every day for 3 years straight (because it was).

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I will wear it hear and wear it there I will wear it everywhere

The hoodie was multi-functional. It served as a pillow in classes where I could catch a nap (after my homework was completed of course). It kept me warm in classes that lacked the best heat in the Indiana winter. It helped me sneak in whatever banned item that I felt I just absolutely needed in class, although for the life of me I can’t remember what I would have needed. (It couldn’t have been a cell phone because not many of us had them yet) But If we are being completely honest here (this is my web page and I pronounce this a judgement free zone) the hoodie meant that I did not need have to wear a bra.

By the grace of God these items would match every once in a while, but most days you might assume that I got dressed in a small closet with the light off 5 minutes before running out the door to catch the bus. Those assumptions would be correct by the way.

College and dorm life did not help my fashion decisions at all. My 7:30 am freshman journalism professor told us on day 1 that she understood that her class was an early one and if having near perfect attendance throughout the whole the semester meant letting us crawl in the door at 7:25 with our pajamas and slippers still on, she was more than ok with that. (teeth brushing was non-negotiable as it should always be.) I took advantage of this generous request more times than I care to mention.

I think college only further confirmed my fondness with hoodies, and by sophomore year I was in a full blown committed relationship with one. (again, this is a

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New Hoodie, same unhealthy attachment

judgment free zone). Freshman year I bought a brown and teal overpriced hoodie (pictured on the right in various years of being worn) from the campus bookstore with left over textbook money I had. (as you can see my history of stellar decision-making skills goes wayyyy back) I wore that hoodie e-v-e-r-y-where. My room mates often joked that it would need to be surgically removed from my body (that is if it didn’t disintegrate first). In the end that hoodie and I had the last laugh. I bought that guy over 12 years ago and I still wear it as much as the Texas climate allows me to.

It wasn’t until I met a handsome, sweet guy in my junior marketing class, that I participated in a ritual that most girls practice and master while in high school. I believe the term ‘I have nothing to wear’ captures the mood best. I stood on a mountain of rejected clothes in front of a half-broken mirror propped up against my closet wall. I feverishly tried to learn the fashion rules that most learn in 4th grade (who says black pants and a brown shirt can’t go together anyways) in one night. Now, I can’t say for certain if my ultimate choice of pairing a pink empire wasted shirt with classic jeans was the reason why my now husband decided to ask me to marry him but I am sure it helped.

So where does that leave me now? I stated clearly at the beginning of this post that not now or ever have I claimed to be a fashionista, but I will say my fashion game has stepped up a little bit. (just a little bit) After analyzing pictures of myself from the last few years it appears that my fashion choices follow 4 clear guidelines.

1. Is it comfortable? I’m not saying that I should walk around daily in sweat pants and a hoodie just because it feels like a warm hug all day long, (although…that would be the dream) but in my mind Iimage1 (1) should be able to go a solid 8 hours of wear time before I have the urge to undress prematurely in any kind of way. I can think of several occasions where I have begun removing pieces of an outfit i.e. jacket, undershirt, bra (nope not kidding) because I simply could not take the torture anymore.  The only exception to this rule should be your wedding day and those times when your employer makes you dress up as the Easter Bunny (pictured on the right for your viewing pleasure) The kid and I in this picture had the exact same expression, mine was just hidden and lasted for 3 full 8 hour days.

2. Does it match? Gone are the days where my biggest concern was making sure I didn’t wear brown dress shoes with black dress pants. Now it seems with the popularity of Lularoe that pattern and print mixing is in. For most people this would seem like a no brainer, but yet here I am still seeking guidance from the powers that be on Pinterest trying to find out if certain items in my closet can be worn together. p.s. Pinterest says to wear small stripes with bold patterns or bold stripes with small patterns. One can safely assume that because of this I avoid most patterns and prints and stick with jeans and a black shirt. This way no one gets hurt.

3. Does it fit? This rule goes hand in hand

“Richard, what’s happening?!”

with rule number one and sadly the rule that took me the longest to learn. There should be no reason that I should have to lie down to let the laws of gravity aid me to fit into a pair of jeans. Nor should the jaws of life be needed to remove me from a pair of jeans after my body has become one with the skin tight material.  It is amazing the embarrassing moments one can avoid by making sure your clothes fit properly. (I’m looking at you, high school muffin top and plumbers crack)

4. Can I get by without wearing a bra?  We all have different rituals we practice when arriving home after a long day at work. Some people hang theirSee the source image coat up, put their keys on the hook, grab the mail or let their dogs outside. Well, my return home ritual is very similar except instead of hanging my coat up as soon as I walk in the door, I remove my bra. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “ but that is so un-lady like” and you may be right, but one has never experienced a joy as pure as coming home from a long day of work and removing the worlds most socially accepted torture device.  I know in most instances a bra is a best practice but if there is even a slight chance where I can get by without wearing a bra and not end up on the people of Wal-Mart website, you better believe it, I am there in a heart-beat.

I have been dressing myself on my own for at least the last 24 years and I think it is safe to say that progress has been made. I mean I’m not going to be featured on E!’s best dressed list any time soon but I also don’t see myself being arrested for indecent exposure either, what more could a girl ask for?

What are some of the fashion faux pas you are guilty of committing and what are some fashion rules you live by to this day? Leave them below and let me know I am not alone!

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HOW NOT TO PREPARE FOR A 18HR CAR RIDE..

….because being practical and flying is soo 1903..

Ahh, the great American road trip; hours of ispy, rock, paper scissors and STOP TOUCHING ME, that childhood memories and divorces are made of.  Nothing tests the strength of your patience and marriage more than sitting side by side in a car with someone for 18hrs.

4 years ago when I married a private pilot, I thought my long distance driving days were over. I could not have been farther from the truth. So today I bring you  6 steps to prepare for your long journey that will not only secure your marriage but your sanity.

1.) Proper sound is track required. Now I know I mentioned how important it is to save ones marriage in this impossibly long trip, but you cant win all the battles and in our house hold, music is where there is definitely a dividing line. We agreed when we left Texas that who ever was driving picked the music on the radio. If you want to listen to 5 hours of Jimmy Buffett and George Strait (I don’t care if you are honoring his last concert) that is fine by me, but you better be prepared for 7 hours straight of Streisand, Bel Biv Devoe, Neil Diamond (#sogood, #sogood, #sogood shout out to Amy Lambert) Frozen and Fiddler on The Roof. Nothing wakes your senesces up more than Singing shouting the hills are alive with the sound of music at 3 in the am.

Speaking of music….

2.) Scientists and country music artists everywhere have proven that your vocal talents really sound the best at three am. Its a mix of confined spaces, tired enthusiasm and deep tenor snoring accompaniments that make a Grammy performance . So don’t be afraid to turn that radio up…and find your favorite rumble patch along the road and give the best Bob Dylan impression you can do. (Ps for better acoustics or for more daring musicians/driver, the Bob Dylan effect also works great on railroad tracks.. preferably abandoned 🙂

3.)  Become better at recognizing the difference between deer eyes, large white wild flowers and road side reflectors. You know the game duck duck goose..this is similar..reflector reflector.. DEER!!!

Speaking of road kill….

4.) Issue all warnings and memos to wild life prior to departure, you know, just in case your “reflector, reflector, DEER, skills are rusty. I find that in cases like this a simple ‘form letter’ will work perfectly and can be adjusted to the particular state and wildlife you are aiming to reach. Feel free to use mine.

“ To the deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents of Arkansas, don’t think for 1 second that I did not see your beady little eyes staring at us from the side of the road. you stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Please let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning…good day” ©

5.) Scented sachets make your car smell great from just sitting there, but by placing them over defrost vents makes your car smell even fresher at 430 in the morning when your husband, who has been snoring for an hour, passes gas and you are left with no way out. Just flip the vent from air conditioning to defrost (full power for those hard to tackle stenches) and  BAM..your no longer in a stuffy dodge journey in the middle of Arkansas reliving last nights tacos, but now in the middle of a Kirkland’s, Bath and Body Works or  Yankee Candle Company.

And finally the most important step of them all…

6.) Have your imaginary brakes serviced. Even the most novice of back seat/front seat drivers, know the importance of fake brake control.  The imaginary brake is like the Schrödinger’s cat (Schrödinger who? read about him HERE..)of long distance driving. Unless you press the fake brake you may be either dead or alive.  

Hallmark has it all wrong…

Hallmark would like to tell you that the “traditional” 4th wedding anniversary gift is flowers and the “modern” 4th wedding anniversary present is an appliance of some sort (because nothing says true love like that automatic can opener or the toaster that makes crumb removal a breeze..)..well I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a happily married woman celebrating her 4th wedding anniversary, can tell you they could not be farther from the truth. 

28242_624694156064_5644683_nLet me start from the beginning..

For the past week, my lovely neighbors down the street have been “spring” cleaning, which in their world means..lets take the trash from our house and dump it in the front yard for the garbage company to dispose of. The flaw in this otherwise “genius” plan is that we live in a subdivision with strict trash rules…if it does not fit in the trashcan or in the bag next to it..they wont pick it up. This of course has not phased my neighbors at all. Normally I find this overly irritating, but this time it was different. The neighbors had thrown out a sad and abused dresser. Twice a day for a week I drove past this sad dresser, each time was more depressing than the last. Now, I don’t know if it was the 4 season marathon of rehab addict on DIY network that I just watched or if I was just tired of seeing the trash on the street, but I just had to have the dresser.

imagesCA3WP8TS Nicole Curtis makes “dumpster diving” look so easy on rehab addict. I, on the other hand, lack the nerve and boldness it requires to walk right up to one mans junk and make it my treasure. On two occasions Matthew and I attempted a dresser heist. The first one failed before it really began because my tennis shoes were in the dryer and honestly, who steals trash in flip flops..the second failed attempt happened the next night…and boy did we come close. We waited until midnight, then I, in my cat pajamas and freshly washed sneakers did a “drive by.” (I promise I left my 9mm and bandana at home..). The goal of the drive by was to ensure that all neighbors between our house and target house were asleep and then to make sure there was ample space for two fluffy people such as ourselves to lift out and drag the winning piece home. After I gave the all clear signal..I sent a less than trilled Matthew over to investigate the condition of the dresser and the accessibility of the item. This is where it fell apart..afraid the item was trapped under heavier junk we threw in the towel and called it a night. 

I am sure you already know where this story is headed..today I come home from work, pull into the drive way and open the garage door to find that my husband, in broad daylight no less, worked up the nerve to finally steal the dresser for me! I asked him how he did it and the 3rd and final attempt was better than the two before it. Basically he pulled right up to it and with the neighbors watching tried to stuff the medium sized dresser in the trunk of our compact sedan. When that did not work..he attempted to shove the item in the back seat, defeated and with a small audience now watching, he drove back home parked the car then walked over to the house in question. Matt knocked on the door and proceeded to pay the little kid 2 dollars for the dresser and then carried it home!! He finished off my anniversary present with a heat gun to help me refinish, a card and a beautiful ring, you know, to avoid sleeping on the couch  just in case stealing a dresser from someone’s trash isn’t romantic enough!

Now that my friends, is true love! 🙂 

 

dresser

Good Idea; Bad Idea

Over the last 10 months, I have been keeping a running list of all my good ideas that have ultimately ended in bad ideas. Today, I share with you my wisdom through experience. Please take heed….

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Good Idea: Stocking your bathroom with plenty of fresh clean towels

Bad Idea: Running naked/wet to other end of the house where the linen closet is. The cats are showing signs of bad vision and the neighbors will no longer look you in the eye.

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Good idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot summer’s day.

Bad Idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot Texas summers day, and forgetting it is in the car for about an hour.

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Good idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so

Bad idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so without sedating them first

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Good Idea: Plugging your phone in at night before you go to bed so it is charged for work the next day

Bad Idea: Plugging your phone in at night without first making sure that your cord is actually plugged in to the outlet

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Good Idea: Listening to great road trip songs like “Running on empty” By Jackson Browne and “Drivers Seat” by Sniff “n” the Tears while on a 16 hour car ride

Bad Idea: Being in the drivers seat in the middle of a 16 hour car ride, when the dashboard tells you that you are in fact running on empty and the nearest gas station is 30 minutes away.

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Good Idea: Keeping a fully stocked pantry with all essential staples such as tuna, ketchup and your favorite salad dressings.

Bad Idea: Only going through that pantry once every 5 years to find that the thousand island dressing was in fact ranch dressing with an expiration date past due more years than you and your husband have been together

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Good idea: Using generic house products like great value Lemon Pledge to dust your furniture, and great value cooking spray to coat your cooking pans versus the brand name versions, it gets the job done just the same.

Bad Idea: Laying both of these generic products next to each other on the counter leaving you 100% positive that your bookshelf will never stick to the pan if you decide to put it in the oven, and giving your salmon that extra splash of lemon you always wanted.

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Good Idea: Using a leash when taking your cat for walks around the block.

Bad Idea: Taking your cat for a walk around the block, with or without a leash.

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Good Idea: Driving through Arkansas to get to Indiana to save an hour on your total time.

Bad Idea: Driving through Arkansas at 1 am only to see deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents and their beady little eyes staring at you from the side of the road. You will stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning.

What Do You Mean There is No Internet For A Week?

This is the story of one girls heroic tale of a week without Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, how she survived, and her efforts to educate those who may find themselves in similar situations…

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I boarded the Carnival Magic with a kick in my step and a smile on my face, excited for what the week had to offer me, and then it hit me. No Facebook. No Instagram. No twitter. I was prepared for fun, sun, formal nights and long nights, but I was not prepared for this…

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Day 1:

Dear Diary,
Today I spent the better part of the afternoon writing and leaving notes all over my cabin for our steward to read. Appropriately so, I left room for him to comment below, circle like, if he found the note to be funny and worthy and an extra copy attached for him to take with him just in case he felt the need to share my thoughts with others. I race back to the room hourly for any new notifications. Fingers crossed for any written communication. As of now, he still only communicates verbally when our paths cross. Rude.

Day 2:

Dear Diary,
I keep clicking the Facebook button on my phone out of habit; scrolling down to load more, but sadly I see the same 7 Facebook status’s all day, every day. Thank you to Roberta H, Liz S, Debbie B, Erik A, Brianna c, Shelly P for your words that have given me soo much strength to survive these last 7 days. I only wish I had realized that my last status was it for 7 whole days. I would have said more, stalked more, given the people more of what they want…cat pictures. We never truly know what we have until we have lost it

Day 3:

Dear Diary,
Today I contemplated training one of the local birds we came across on Jamaica, to carry notes of funny status updates and beach puns back home to Facebook and twitter. but alas, I could not train the bird to “tweet” my messages in 140 characters or less. Back to the drawing board.

Day 4:

Dear Diary,
Last night I hit a low point as my husband awoke concerned that I was not laying next to him in bed, only to find me huddled in the corner with my cell phone rocking back and fourth murmuring #hashtag I can’t take this anymore…..I fear I won’t survive, my spirits are running low. Please tell my cats I love them..and should have never left their side.

Day 5:

Dear Diary,
Slight paralysis when eating as I’m not quite sure how to taste my food if it is not first captured in a Valencia filter and followed with the hashtags #yummyinmytummy #beefitswhatfordinner #nomnomnom #icanhazcheezeburger. In an effort to quench this insatiable “thirst” I have begun eating all the food available to me. My method is start on deck 10 and work my way down the elevator eating my way off this ship. I suspect others suffer from the same disorder, as I see the same people in line at every stop everyday. None of us seem to be full. When will this madness end.IMG_2364IMG_2423IMG_2365

Day 6:

Dear Diary,
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Furthermore, if you go swimming with a stingray, and u don’t post pictures of it immediately on line for all to see, did it really happen?

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Day 7:

Dear Diary,
I really miss my cats. In an effort to cope, I’ve begun naming/talking to the towel animals. I tell them of our adventures in port that day and they, like all towel animals should, listen to my stories before settling down for snuggling with me for nap time. …later that day… Dear Diary, Hello again, I know I already wrote today, but something particularly distressing has happened that i feels needs documentation. My phone battery has not died in three days, I don’t know what’s wrong with it. First thing I will do if I survive this week is to take it to the apple store. It’s a good thing I bought apple care. :(

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