The Cat’s Meow

We have three felines. I think their nicknames give you a sense of each personality. (When TS Elliot wrote that cats have several names, not just the ones we give them, he wasn’t kidding.)

  1. Lenka, aka “Cat-Face,” “Baby Guurl,” or, when she’s particularly naughty, “Lenka-what-are-you-DOING?!” (all one word).
  2. Sweetie, aka “Sweetheart,” “Skinny Minny,” “Vomit-a-tron 1” (yeah, gross, but apt).
  3. Violet, aka “Shrinking Violet” or, lately, “Miss Meows-a-lot.”

In my “about me” page, I mention that sometimes our cats photobomb these mini morning shoots. Usually it’s a casual walk through or sometimes they roll a ball at me to play. But, for some reason, this morning all of our cats decided that they wanted to hang out with me in front of the camera.

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Top: LOFT

Skirt: Stitch Fix

Tights: Target

Flats: TOMS

Necklace: The Knotty Owl via Etsy

Sweetie is the demure tuxedo I’m holding in the first photo, while Lenka is the photogenic Maine Coon. (Yes, I’m holding her on her back upside down: we’ve developed a weird gymnastic routine for her because she loves attention so much.) And Violet is the flash of black fur.

I don’t know why they wanted to join me today. Maybe it’s the skirt? Sweetie liked it last time I wore it. Or maybe they liked my raven’s skull necklace from The Knotty Owl?

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I really like this outfit because it’s a fun way to play with texture and pattern. The shirt has a great iridescent sheen to it, which plays well against the grain of the skirt: each light up in various ways as they shift. The skirt also has a larger, geometric pattern, which fly right up against the organic cheetah print of the shoes. And the tights? They provide a dark background for the shoes to pop and I like that the neutral color of top and the black of the tights are both picked up again in the shoes. Oh, and it’s autumn in New England and they’re part of the uniform now.

Finally: the necklace! I bought this stunner a couple of years ago when Ashley listed it on sale for 40% off. I simply couldn’t decline a beautiful hand carved replica of a ravens’s skull at reduced price. (I mean, really?!) When it arrived, B named this guy “Lookout” after the rook’s skull in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. I didn’t know the allusion readily, but I loved that there could be such a reference made. He “looks out” for those cats all the time, making sure they don’t bat all my other gems and trinkets around.

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Busted!

B and I were recently discussing the virtues of fixing things instead of automatically replacing them. Why? Because I feel like the past few weeks, all I’ve done is shuttle pieces of my wardrobe back and forth to various vendors for mending; two dresses to the tailors (one for a busted zipper, another a burst seam); my favorite watch to the jewelers — twice; soon, my best knee-high boots will visit the cobbler for some resoling. Oy.

Why do I bring this up today? Well. This dress.

When taking photos this morning, I was elated that I still managed to get another “summery” wear out of this frock. I jazzed it up with a cobalt blue belt, snow leopard print flats, and a blue-purple gem pendant (a slight variation from the last time you saw it). I thought these were fun, bright ways to wear it slightly differently before autumn weather really set in.

Then, while at work, my hand brushed against the side seam, above the trumpet flair of the skirt, and I felt it: a mass of errant threads that only means a burst seam. Ugh. I left it and thought, “ok, not too bad, I can fix that.” Then, an hour later, I thought to test the back seam — conveniently right on my butt — and, yes, you guessed it, another wider, uglier mess. Sigh.

With a work event this evening, I asked B to bring me another dress to wear at least. He’s a peach.

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Dress: Donna Morgan via Modcloth (sold out)

Flats: TOMS

Belt: TJ Maxx via another dress

Necklace: Global Odyssey

I love this dress. So what’s a girl supposed to do? I ended up Google searching “Donna Morgan dress red” and found it at Nordstrom Rack — the last one, one size bigger and for $45. After some debating, I decided to buy it (it’s thankfully a pay week!). While I’m dismayed at how fragile this dress it, I’m wondering (and hoping) that a slightly larger size will give me some ease on the more pressured seams (especially in the skirt). Also, despite buying this dress twice, I still haven’t spent the full retail amount. Damn you, Donna Morgan, on making such an addictive product! Gah!

My Intent: “Challenge” Accepted!

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A month or so ago, while reading about Joules’ experience at the BlogHer conference this year, I noticed a fun, customized bracelet she acquired: a simple metal ring with “joules” on it, tied on with a light cord. I just found it so intriguing that she had it made for her there that I had to track it down.

Turns out, the maker of the bracelet, My Intent, is yet another cool organization — like TOMS or Out of Print — that is in existence for more beyond consumers simply buying products. While there is not pay-it-forward quality to My Intent, their aim and goal is to create dialog: everyone has a word or phrase that synopsizes a story, mindset or intention for them. What would happen if you wore that word, almost like your heart on your sleeve? What if everyone could see this engaging, yet subtle, piece and ask you about it? You talk, you share, you connect. And I loved that idea instantly and couldn’t resist.

Within a day of reading through the My Intent site — looking at pictures, reading stories — I had to buy a piece. After thinking long and hard, I decided to opt for “challenge.”

I’m naturally a super quiet, shy person. I can certainly be open and giving in specific circumstances, like at work, but I naturally safeguard myself extensively personally, to the point sometimes of near debilitation. This piece is a reminder to myself to accept challenge in life — to put myself forward, even if it scares the hell of out of me; to take risks, despite that being against my nature; or, simply, to voice my thoughts and opinions to those who oppose, literally to challenge others. This is daily reinforcement to step up and out of my comfort zone, knowing it’ll be scary and wonderful all at once.