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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adventures in a Shirt Dress

I  recently ordered my first top from eShakti, and it didn't go as planned. I was expecting a cute peplum style top I could wear with jeans. It's probably my mistake as I ordered my usual size and ended up with a tent. I was upset at first, but I really liked the print and material of the top, so I decided to see if I could belt it and turn it in to a shirt dress. It's a bit out of my wheel house, as my usual look are fit and flare style dresses, and this is a large belted shirt that arches up on the sides and is longer in the back than front. Once I paired it with leggings, I really liked the look, so I took it for a spin this weekend.

OOTD Details:
Shirt/Dress- eShakti
Belt: Torrid
Leggings: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

I'd never be able to wear this to work, which is a bit of a bummer, but the sides just cut up too far. This outfit was so comfortable and I'm going to be wearing it a ton. I'm not sure I could replicate this mistake in ordering again, but I'm going to try, because I love this look.

On Saturday, my parents and I went on a day trip to the eastern part of central Texas. We went to a few places we had been before and a few we hadn't. It was such a great day with beautiful weather.

One of the places we went was Longhorn Caverns. We'd all been to the cave before, so this time we just walked around to enjoy the weather.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stretchy Style

As I've mentioned before, I took advantage of all the holiday sales. I'm still waiting on a couple of orders to come. I bought a few dresses from Modcloth during their sale, so I thought I'd share them, since some are still on the site.

The first one was the Spontaneous Slow Dance Dress. When I first ordered it, there weren't any reviews and when that is the case I'm always a bit reluctant. In fact both dresses I ordered didn't have reviews, so I had to make peace with the idea that they may not work. This dress however, fit like a charm.

OOTD Details:
Dress: Modcloth
Cardigan: Old Navy
Leggings: Walmart
Shoes: Target

The dress is unlined and the material is very stretchy and knit like. It is a nice heavy weight, which I always love. It's also great because it's so neutral that you can pair it with any color. I'm super happy with the way it turned out and I most certainly left a review to help anyone on the fence about it!

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Over the autumn I ventured into the wonderful world of chambray and I love it. I bought 2 shirts from Old Navy, one lighter and the other darker. I have worn them so much over the past few months. They are perfect to layer with sweaters and dresses.

Not really sure why these photos have soap opera soft lighting.

I will say that the darker shirt's dye has a tendency to rub off on my skin where it makes the most contact with my body. The first time after I took it off, it looked as though I had been in a fight!

Oh, and I have to share my first Modcloth shoe purchase. I bought these during the winter sale and they are so cute! I can't wait to break them in a bit more as the heal is a bit stiff, but other than that, they're great!

OOTD Details:
Dress: eShakti
Shirt: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Shoes: Modcloth
Glasses: Coastal Contacts (Derek Cardigan)

Every time I wear this outfit, I get lots of compliments. The only major issue is the dress rides up quite a bit, so I'm always having to check and tug it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Teal Smoking Shoes

I took advantage of all the holiday sales this year, picking up things for myself and family. One of my favorite purchases of the season are my $4.oo teal smoking shoes. I had never been a huge fan of the style, as they always reminded me a Hugh Hefner type in a smoking jacket, but boy am I a convert. They are so comfortable and the fit is spot on.

*As a side note, my camera has been a bit sickly as of late, so sorry about the dramatic color difference in the photos. I think the ol' girl needs some tweaking.

I'm a bit late to the party on the whole We Love Colors thing, but holy hell do I LOVE Colors!!! I bought 2 pairs of their tights to try out and the saturation of the color is amazing. I was a bit disappointed that the pair in these photos tore really badly the 2nd time I wore them, but I think it's because I rubbed my thigh against something pointy which shredded the back of the thigh. Oh well, I'll have to buy more I guess.

OOTD Details:
Dress: ASOS (a few years ago)
Cardigan: Target
Tights: We Love Colors
Shoes: Old Navy
Glasses: Zenni

I also recently bought some new glasses. I've spoken before about how a few years ago I used to be a one pair girl. However, times have changed and I wanted some cute new pairs that I can rotate. My old Derek Cardigan big cateyes are still my favorite, but I wanted to go back to the days of my early 20s when I used to wear more flamboyant frames.

I had these in my basket for a bit, but wasn't sure if they'd fit my face. I finally saw some photos of other people with similar face shapes wearing them, so got them. They fit great and are the prescription cam out beautifully.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Small Town Adventures

Almost 2 years ago, my husband and I moved to one of the small towns we used to visit. I am constantly on the hunt for another favorite little place and love to drive around and explore. During the research phase of my upcoming exhibition, I was looking for 19th c. cemeteries and in the process came across another little gem of a town. What I like are places that are beautifully preserved and often economically depressed. I took my husband there during my winter break and it's just wonderful. The cemetery is incredible as well. It's off of the highway back in the woods and the earliest grave bares a birth date of 1786, which in Texas is quite impressive.

There are amazing murals all over the town and I couldn't resist stopping at my favorite.
The cemetery in the woods.
I was pretty fond of my outfit that day, so no harm in a quick OOTD.

Dress: eShakti
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: ASOS
Leggings: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

If you ever have the time, I cannot stress enough how important it is to know about the history and space of places around you. It's amazing how doing so can put everything into perspective.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Brooke Bader Ginsburg

Every year during the holidays I buy myself specific outfits to fit each occasion. My Thanksgiving dress always consists of earth tones and is a bit understated. For Christmas I usually stick with the traditional colors of the season.

This year my Thanksgiving dress was a bit of a departure stylistically from what I usually do, but I liked it. Granted, I think it made me look like a member of the Supreme Court and my husband calls it my Ruth Bader Ginsburg dress, but now it's one of my favorites. Every time I've worn it since Thanksgiving I've received many compliments. So it shall now cease to be a holiday dress and be worn when I need to summon the power of a feminist icon.

Ernie kept trying to get in on the action.
OOTD Details:

Dress: eShakti
Cardigan: Old Navy
Glasses: Derek Cardigan at Coastal Contacts

Ernie's OOTD:
Sweater: Petsmart

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pictoral Year in Review

Hello again, it has been a while since my last post, so I figured it was time to check in with everyone! 2014 was a great year in our household. Everything went relatively smoothly, which is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2015 has to offer. Instead of doing a whole long winded write up to review my year, I thought I'd share some photos instead. Hope you enjoy!

Went on a road trip with my dad to the state of my birth and fulfilled a childhood dream.
Visited abandoned places while there.
Started painting again.
Saw my Papa skydive!
Met a donkey named Snickers while there.
Turned 30 and saw Steve Martin for my birthday.
Participated, for the 3rd year, in the ALS 5K in memory and honor of my Mimi.
Was commissioned to curate an exhibition on 19th c. mourning, which will exhibit this fall!
Ernie turned 2!
Thanksgiving with the family.
Visited one of my childhood towns for Christmas festivities.
Had a lovely family Christmas.
I hope everyone had a great 2014 and will have an even better 2015!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello 30, It's Me, Brooke

This week I turned 30 years old. I'm going to be honest, I had a bit of a freak out. Granted, I've always been prone to an existential life crisis here and there, so it was of no surprise. I had very rigid clear cut goals for myself to accomplish by the time I reached, what I considered milestone, and needless to say, I reached very few of them. I am well aware that 30 is young and I have my whole life ahead of me, as I've parroted these exact words to my husband 6 years ago, but telling yourself that is something quite different.

For the most part my 20 were wonderful. They were filled with education, art, adventure, travel, love, and friends. They were also filled with mental turmoil and immense heartache. I can honestly say I embraced them to the fullest extent.

Twenty-nine was one of my favorite years out of the decade. I got to take a once and a lifetime road trip with my father back to the state of my birth, we settled in a bit more into our house, and we added a new addition to the family, our new rescue dog Ernie (who Penny thinks is the best thing on Earth). Twenty-nine was a good year. I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos of the past year, while looking forward to whatever lies ahead in the future.

Fulfilling a childhood dream
Daddy & Me


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Why I Haven't Recently Blogged

Hi Everyone,

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted since March, 4 months ago! I think that might be a record for me. I have received a few emails from really lovely readers asking if I'm alright or if I've stopped blogging altogether. To them I say, thanks for checking up, I'm just fine, but to the blog question, it's a bit more complicated.

I started my blog 4 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long!) after I lost my job and had a good deal of free time on my hands. I was interested in plus size fashion blogging and new to the world of blogging in general. I wanted to create a place where women could see another woman that looked like them wearing clothes on a body that looked like theirs. I was searching for shops and sites that sold the kind of clothes I wanted to wear so I figured a blog would be the perfect way to share what I found with women looking for the same thing. I never thought of myself as stylish or even a fashion blogger. I still don't which is where I think the disconnect is. I met a bunch of lovely people through this blog, but over 2013 & especially 2014 (you'll notice the total of 3 posts) I felt like I was becoming something that I loathed, materialistic. I found myself buying things for the blog and not for me. I have never been a materialistic person, so when I began noticing this in myself it bothered me. I felt like putting things up on my blog was me saying "look at this thing I have", and it felt dirty and out of character. I read other folks fashion blogs all of the time and those thoughts never cross my mind, so I don't know why it did when it was mine, but they do, so I stopped.

I haven't bought any new dresses in months even though the itch is there and boy do I want to scratch it. I miss blogging and I want to start again, but it doesn't feel right as of yet. I think I may have to reformat a bit and incorporate something other than fashion into my blog, something that is a bit more of who I actually am. I still want to be a visible body for those of the same size and shape that think they can't find clothes that will look good on them, so I'll do that from time to time, but it just won't be the focus.

In the meantime you can follow me on Instagram at PrettyPennyMae to keep up with my life if you're interested and I can keep up with yours. I update that all the time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pattern Clashing: Hit or Miss?

Today I decided to play around with my new $8.00 dress. I own two black dresses, both with white polka dots, but this is the newest of the two, and the dots have quite a different pattern than the other. Because I tend to wear more color and patterns, I have a hard time dressing black. Simply choosing a cardigan and pair of tights to go with the dress seemed rather daunting. I decided on one of my favorite cardigans that oddly, rarely makes it out of my closet.

To be honest, I'm not totally sure it worked, but I tried! Color-wise it went well together, but I did notice more than a few side eyes today. Oh, well!

OOTD Details:

Dress: eShakti
Cardigan: Old Navy
Tights: Walmart

I had a $30 off coupon for eShakti and this dress was on sale for $38.00, so I decided to go for it, even though I wasn't totally sold on the pattern. I wanted more black in wardrobe since I don't have any and I figured I'd step out of my box and try something different. Plus at $8.00 I figured, why not? The cut and fit is great which works out nicely, because they have solid dresses in the same style that I may have to get. Overall, it's definitely more of a graphic print that I'm used to, so I'm going to have to get used to it, but I like it. I'm not sure whether or not the cardigan choice was a hit or miss though. What do you think?
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