Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Outfit Post - Casual Tuesday

This is the only pair of shorts I own.  (Though I do have two "rompers").  I usually wear them to work in the garden, but since today is my last day of work before I head out for my mini vacation, I figured I'd be comfy ;-)

Hugs and Smooches,

Monday, July 30, 2012

The ConstantlyAlice Manifesto Revisted

Today, it struck me that it has been some time since I've done a Pin up Plan post.  I sort of left it off somewhere in the middle of the "Art of Seduction" series and haven't been able to motivate myself to finish the series.

This led me to think about the ConstantlyAlice Manifesto I wrote in January and all the plans I had for this year.  I decided to take another peek at it and track what I had accomplished thus far, and then tweak or revise the things that weren't working for me.

1.  30 Day Make Over challenge - I haven't started this just yet..I think because the fall is my favorite time of year, perhaps Sept. or Oct. will be a good month to tackle this project.

2.  Vision Boards and The Signature Style Project - The vision boards are ongoing!  You can check them out here on Pinterest. (The trick, however, is to DO something with them..more on that in future posts..I think I need to do something with them here for accountability ;)  The Signature Style Project is all wrapped up.  You can check out the series, if you haven't already, here.

3.  Home Ec Posts - These have slowed down a little..the most recent one being a paper necklace tutorial done over on the French Press Vintage blog.  I'm trying out a few new projects and plan to start adding a few more of these posts.

4.  Modeling/Pin up Plan - I have added an outfit post series and gotten in front of the camera a LOT more..however, I have revised my intentions for this particular goal.  Modelling for the shop itself seems a bit more than I can handle (especially since I'll require a photographer!)  I also prefer to be the "creative force" behind the camera.  SOO, I will continue to be the "head model" for the hats, etc., but the clothing will either be modeled on "Esmerelda" my dress form, OR, on my oldest daughter and her friends (depending on the outfit and the size.)  We'll see how that works out ;)  In regards to the Pin up Plan..I don't think my heart is in it right now.  I have so many other things to focus on (including my goals for the "Slim Down, Pin Up", project), that I don't feel I have the time to dedicate to really fleshing out this series..it's going on hold for a bit and I may revisit it later.

5.  Disney! - I went, I saw, I conquered ;-)  Here are some of the photos from our trip (and a lovely video of the "Bug Butts" song and dance).  I did not, however, manage to get around to making my wardrobe...I think this goal may shift to the fall.  I would like to make up a few new items for the cooler weather..more to come on this.

6.  Go Ask Alice - Finally, the "Go Ask Alice" feature, where I post responses to questions regarding, vintage, styling, sewing, and misc. "ConstantlyAlice" related features.  I'm working on the logistics of this and hope to launch it before the winter ;-)

Phew!  Not too shabby, considering that we still have another 5 months in the year!

Is there anything special YOU would like to see here on the blog?  Let me know by leaving your suggestions in the comments!

Hugs and Smooches,

Outfit Post - Rainy Days and Mondays

Hooray for haircuts!  I'm so relieved to have my hair back in some semblance of order.  I always THINK I want to grow it out again, but the truth is, I really love the ease and tidiness of a bob ;-)

Hugs and Smooches,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Outfit Post - Seafoam

This was a surprise sweater..I totally forgot I had it in my wardrobe :)  I LOVE this shade of seafoam green..I think perhaps I  need to find some more to add to my collection!

Hugs and Smooches,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Slim Down, Pin Up - Getting Your Mind Right

There are two schools of thought when it comes to weight loss. Get Thin, or Get Healthy. To my mind, the former tends to be a product of society. As the mother of a 13 year old girl, I see this in action every day. Just this morning, I was asked what "shape" she was..athletic, curvy, petite, etc., so she could figure out what clothes she was "supposed" to wear. I told her to wear the clothes that made her feel happy.

Sometimes she compares herself to her friends, and sometimes she compares herself to Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez. My response is always the same. You are beautiful because you are unique. Your shape is exactly as you were meant to be. Magazines and movie stars are great for inspiring fashion ideas and sparking your creativity, but they are not, and should not, be the final word on how to be yourself.

This is not to say I don't encourage healthy eating or athletics, but I don't want to her to think of them as a means to shape herself into the mold that society approves of. I want her to feel strong, empowered and good about herself.

Being a mother has helped me to develop a healthier mindset about my own weight. I can't tell my girls one thing and practice another..and all joking aside, while fitting into my bridesmaid dress is an excellent motivator for getting my butt out the door and running, my real motivator is that I suffer from an anxiety disorder that can be significantly reduced by a more active lifestyle. I want to feel great, to have more energy, to be around longer for my kids...not to look like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model. Because that's not who I am.

Sure, I have off days, but in the grand scheme of things, I simply want to be the best me possible. For myself and for my loved ones. My wish for you all is that you can love just how wonderful and unique you are right now and enjoy the journey without worrying about the end result.

Hugs and Smooches,

Outfit Post - Deja Vu All Over Again

This dress is a favorite in my wardrobe.  It's extremely light and sheer, so it works well as a layering piece.  (You can also see it styled differently here.)

Sometimes I wear it layered over a skirt or a slip, sometimes I wear it with funky bright purple tights and a long cardigan, and it even transitions well into winter under a dress like the one shown below.  I just unbutton a few buttons on the bottom so the dress can peek out!

Vintage 1940's Button or Zipper Front Simplicity Pattern - Etsy
Hugs and Smooches,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outfit Post - Humidity is my Nemesis

I almost didn't do an outfit post today...that's how crazy my hair was.  The humidity around these parts today is outrageous.  I'm pretty sure I could wring myself out.  As soon as my poor hair gets the slightest hint of moisture...POOF!  Thankfully, I have plans for a haircut on Friday ;)

Hugs and Smooches,

A Few of My Favorite Things - The Roaring 20's Version

I am anxiously anticipating the release of the new Great Gatsby movie this winter (how 'bout you?!)  I already have plans to go see it with my best friend as soon as it comes out!


I love F. Scott Fitzgerald, and have a long time fascination for his wife, Zelda, so can't wait to see this interpretation of the book!

Of course, like anything I find myself drawn to, it has suddenly bled over into my preferences for other things..A few of my outfits have taken on a decidedly "20's" feel, I'm making some new cloche hats (I've downloaded some neat knitting/felting patterns on Ravelry), some of the jewelry I've made recently has a flapper quality to it..like this piece:
So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite "20's" pieces!

1920's Temporary Tattoo - Flapperdoodle
How adorable is this temporary tattoo from Flapperdoodle??  She also has some sweet prints and cards!

1920's Cloche Hat Pattern
This pattern from D.L. Designs Hat Patterns is stunning.  I may have to try my hand at making this one for the fall..

It's Hip to be a Square Felted Hat Pattern
Fabulous felted hat project idea from Ravelry!

Vintage 1920s Sheer Navy Blue Silk Chiffon Dress Jazz Age Elegance Size Medium Large

I LOVE a drop waist dress (even though I have to keep the length relatively short because I'm so short myself!)  This one from FancyMeetingYouHere is lovely.

1967 Low Waist Mini Dress Simplicity Pattern
There are actually a good number of really cute 1960's drop waist dress patterns that could be made up and styled to look like the 1920's as well.  This one from pienzacal is perfect :)

(In fact..I may have to buy it and try it myself ;)

Hugs and Smooches,

Slim Down, Pin Up!

At the suggestion of some of my lovely readers (Thank you, Jennifer Dolph, for the adorable page name ;)  I have created a page on facebook to develop a warm and supportive group of like minded folks in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

Gil Elvgren

The page is called Slim Down, Pin Up! and I would be delighted if you would like to join us!  We will be sharing our knowledge with each other, offering up delicious, healthy recipes, exercise and work out suggestions in addition to some positive reinforcement ;-)

Lest you should all worry about the direction of this blog..I will be continuing with my regular vintage/craft/style themed posts here as well, with an update or two along the way about my healthy lifestyle journey (and my quest to fit into my bridesmaid's dress ;)

Thanks for joining me on my latest adventure!

Hugs and Smooches,

Monday, July 23, 2012


Well, friends...In the interest of jumping right in to this plan I have concocted to fit into my bridesmaids dress, I decided to go for a run (or a walk/jog hybrid that I like to call "wogging") with my eldest daughter yesterday.

Now, in my family, there are a few runners.  Real, honest-to-gosh RUNNERS.  Some of whom have offered to run with me in an effort to help motivate.

First, there's my Mom.  My Mom, who's ability to imitate the Energizer bunny (she keeps going..and going..and going) strikes fear into the hearts of my children when she asks if they want to "join her for a jog".  The woman runs 5 miles a day, all year long.  Neither rain, wind nor snow will keep her from her morning jog.  My eldest has joked that she can't even keep up with her on her bike (except she's not joking).

Clearly not an option.

Next is my hubby.  His legs are a million miles long (OK..he's 6'2"..so not a million.  But when you're 4'11", it sure seems like it.)  He ran track in high school and his endurance is impressive.  Add to that the fact that he thinks it's helpful to run behind me and push my back with his hand shouting "keeeep going!  Just  to that sign!!  It's not much further!!".  Last time I ran with him, I got such bad vertigo he had to carry me home..not one of my proudest moments.


Finally, there's my oldest daughter.  She's 13, and while she's 5" taller than me and an athlete, I figured I could ground her if she runs too fast..(I kid!..sort of..)  As it turns out, she was a great running partner.  She was encouraging, but not demanding, and she taught me some neat tricks (like, if you're having a hard time catching your breath, you can raise your arms above your head to expand your lungs and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  It works!!)  I got a little dizzy towards the end of our run, but I'm feeling encouraged.


This evening..we tackle yoga ;-)

Hugs and Smooches,

Outfit Post - XOXO

Most days I decide what I'm going to wear the night before..some days I dress last minute in a flash just before I run out the door.  Today was one of those days (hence the damp hair ;-)  Fortunately, I have a few standbys that are easy to throw on and accessorize!

Hugs and Smooches,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

..It's "go time"..


Well, friends, it looks like it's time to put up or shut up.

A few months ago, I ordered my bridesmaid's dress for my adorable cousin's wedding.  I had put it off a bit because I had just started eating gluten free due to my allergies and I had been losing weight.

It arrived today..and it won't zip over my bust (honestly, I've always been a bit larger in the ribcage area..but I have noticed that it's not entirely ribs of late..it would appear that my weight leveled off and adjusted to my new diet).  GAH!

The dress cannot be returned or exchanged, and (as my fellow sewists can attest to) it's nearly impossible to size a dress up.  There's about an inch gap where the zipper should meet between my shoulder blades.  This basically leaves me with one choice..lose weight.

I have 10 weeks until the wedding (and really, 8 is more realistic, since I'm going to need to be able to fit into the dress comfortably at least a few weeks prior to the wedding, just in case I have to come up with a plan B).  It's do-able..I figure a 10lb loss would be enough (15 would be even better), so that means about 2lbs a week, which is reasonable.  I don't really have too much trouble with the diet front..I can manage just fine with more veggies and cut out my sugar intake..it's the exercise that kills me.  And it's going to be crucial.

There is a silver lining, though.  My doctor has suggested for years that more exercise will help with my anxiety and migraines.  Maybe this will end up being the best thing EVER.

I've hung the dress on the back of my door as a reminder...I'll keep you all posted on my progress ;)  Wish me luck!

Hugs and Smooches,

(PS.  As a humorous side note, my youngest daughter just leaned around my laptop and said "Whatcha doin' Mom?  Writing on your blob?"  Ohhh, how appropriate, lol.)

Outfit Post - Hearts Ease

I have a dear family friend that owns a florist and gift shop in the next town over from mine.  (Her son took me to my 8th grade graduation dance ;-)

She has a passion for antiques, particularly from the 1800's, and she has unearthed some amazing treasures, including this beautiful vintage tortoiseshell comb that she gave me as a gift.

I stop by her shop often to buy little treasures, see what new items she's unearthed and to ask her advice on things like cleaning vintage garments, or figuring out the genesis of an item.

The little felted brooch is something she made as well.  In the 1800's, it was referred to as "hearts ease".  I just love that name and it's implications.  It always makes me smile when I wear it :)

Hugs and Smooches,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Outfit Post - The Exception

I'm making an exception to my "no outfit posts in above 80 degree weather" rule because I'm not wearing a dress today and that all by itself is an exception ;)  In general, I wear pants maybe once or twice a month (unless I'm working in the yard).  I don't find them particularly comfortable, but if I can find them in fun colors or styles, I'll wear them once in a while.  I just couldn't pass up purple pants :)

Hugs and Smooches,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Style It - ConstantlyAlice Originals Jewelry

Today, instead of doing an outfit post in the 98 degree (GAH!) heat, I am re-visiting the "Style It" posts and doing a few outfit suggestions inspired by three of the new pieces of jewelry listed in the ConstantlyAlice Shop. Necklaces can be purchased here.

Red Riding Hood

Snow White


Hugs and Smooches,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

..and the winner is..

Mary O'Reilly!

Mary, you have 24 hrs. to claim your prize.  Please send your mailing information to constantlyalice@gmail.com.


Hugs and Smooches,

Outfit Post - 19 "Something"

This weekend I attended an estate sale.  The woman who had resided in this home had more clothing that ANYONE I have ever seen.  Huge walk in closets, bureaus full of stuff, rooms filled with clothing, knitting, sewing..it was amazing.  Most of the items were 60's/70's (though I did find some great 1940's knitting patterns).  Some of the dresses I picked up will be going on my website, but I decided to keep this one for myself because I was so crazy about the color.  When I put it on this morning, my hubby told me I looked very "Nineteen-something".  He still gets bonus points for recognizing vintage ;-)

Hugs and Smooches,

Guest Post - The Paper Necklace Tutorial

Hey friends!  If you haven't already had a chance, head on over to Caught Frenching (my lovely friend Amber's Blog) and check out the guest post I did with a tutorial on how to make a paper bead necklace.  Funnnn!
Hugs and Smooches,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Outfit Post - Gatsby Girl

This dress is SOOO easy to wear and accessorize.  It has two giant pockets and zips right up the front.  I can wear it as a jumper over a blouse, or a dress, like I've done here.  Add a vintage collar, some pearls and a cute hat and it suddenly has a flapper-like feel to it.  The best part...it cost me $2 ;)

If you haven't entered the ConstantlyAlice giveaway, time is running out!  Only three days left!

Hugs and Smooches,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hooray! A Giveaway!!

Hooray a giveaway! My facebook page has reached 400 followers :)  I'm so flattered and humbled to have you all sharing in my passion for vintage and crafting with me.  In addition to the mermaid bracelet from my Sirene series that I had originally planned to give away, I am also giving away pretty matching green vintage gloves, a lovely vintage beaded clutch and some great 70's sunglasses. To enter, simply like ConstantlyAlice on FB and comment that you've done so below the giveaway post. If you'd like additional entries, you can follow on twitter, follow here on the blog, share this post or favorite the ConstantlyAlice shop on Etsy. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each! Contest will run till 7/15. Good luck!

Hugs and Smooches,

Outfit Post - Snow White and Rose Red

The necklace featured in this post is one that I created for the "Once Upon a Time" series.  I fell so much in love with it, that I decided I couldn't possibly part with it ;)

Hugs and Smooches,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Outfit Post - Under the Sea

This top is soooo comfy.  It's very light and floaty, so perfect for a warm summer day.  The thick lace on the bottom reminds me of a net, so I decided to accessorize with sea-like accents for a mermaid-like feel.

Hugs and Smooches,

My Inner Demons Look Like Telly Monster..

A while back, I posted about my anxiety disorder and what it means for my blog and my shop.  I indicated that I wanted to slow down a bit to allow myself to get a handle on it...instead, I added jewelry making to my repertoire and started moving even faster than before (if that's possible).

The thing is, I felt like the distractions were helping.  The more I do, the less time I have to worry (in theory).  In practice, though, ignoring my anxiety issues have only made them worse.  My panic attacks have become more frequent, and I agonize over things like planting my garden "on time" (a timeline which is created by me) or washing the outside windows on my house (something I didn't get to on Sunday that I will now obsess about until next weekend). 

Above all, I fear harm coming to my loved ones.  Not in the general way most people fear it (you hope they are safe and want the best for them), but in a way that makes me panic if I drive by an accident and don't know where they are, or I get sick to my stomach if my children are at the beach with their father (who is a wonderful, fully competent parent) because I'm afraid one of them will hit their head, or swim out too far and I won't be there to make sure they're ok.

The odd thing is, that as much as I hate the worry and the panic, part of me is a little afraid that if I let it go, I will lose a part of my personality.  I don't take any medications for anything..ever.  I'm afraid that if I need to go on something to help me "calm down", I will turn into a stepford wife, or become zombie-like.  I fear losing my creativity.

However, with the help of my loved ones, I have managed to take one big step and agreed to "talk" to a doctor about some tools I could use to manage my anxiety.

Why do I mention this here on my blog?  The reason is two-fold.  First, it may be a little quiet around here as I get my feet under me.  Not tooo quiet, because writing is really very cathartic for me (as is creating/crafting/jewelry making), but for a few weeks at least, I think my focus will need to be elsewhere. 

Secondly, I think it's important for these types of things to not be taboo.  This is part of who I am as much as my sense of humor and fondness for chocolate pudding.  I do not think anyone should ever feel ashamed about recognizing that they have challenges to face that may be a little different and I hope that by recognizing my challenges here, perhaps someone else who has been putting off getting help will gain a little courage as well.

Hugs and Smooches,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Outfit Post - Jiminy Cricket!

I love this little cricket brooch.  He was a gift from my Mum and he makes me think of Jiminy Cricket.  He's my conscience ;)

I put a picture of the back of my hair in this post because I wanted to share how easy it is to have an "updo" even with short hair!  I pulled it back in a banana clip (you recall those from the 80's, yes?) and pinned strands of hair around the clip to cover it.  That's it!  It even catches the shorter hairs at the base of my neck :)

Hugs and Smooches,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Outfit Post - Blank Canvas

My usual penchant for color mixing seemed absent this morning.  I elected to wear all white..but as it turns out, it's the perfect backdrop to display my necklace, and it's nice and cool on this almost 90 degree day!

Hugs and Smooches,
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