Back to School and Back to the Grind or Otherwise Checkin’ My Fresh and Gettin’ My Swagger Back!!!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a blog post.  My vacation was a little short-lived.  A week ago yesterday (last Monday) was the first day of dance class.  This year, I am going to ballet three times a week and jazz class once a week.  Also, new this year is a character class.  I had to buy a special pair of dance shoes and a character skirt for that class.  Character dancing is defined as “a style of ballet deriving inspiration from national or folk dances, or interpreting and representing a particular profession, mode of living, or personality. The movements used tend to be less stylized than in classical ballet, allowing greater individual expression and diversity.”  That’s exactly how my dance teacher described it – as a cross between folk dancing and ballet.  It takes place one night a week after ballet class.  This past Saturday, auditions for The Nutcracker were held!  I was in the audition for ages 11 – 13 year olds, but then me and three other girls in my age division got a call back to attend the audition for ages 14 and up.  I hope that’s a good sign and maybe we landed parts that are usually reserved for the older girls.  But like my mom always says, “manage your expectations and then you won’t be disappointed.”  So, we’ll see what happens!  Either way, I am happy that I got a call back and I felt like I was able to demonstrate more of my technique and what I am capable of as a dancer than in last year’s audition.  Also, Thursday of last week was the first day of school.  Yes, so soon……….summer’s over and school has started!  I can hardly believe it, but I’m in seventh grade this year.  I am not new to middle school anymore, so I’m glad that’s all behind me.  I have harder classes this year:  Pre-AP English, Pre-AP Eastern Hemispheres Geography, and my least favorite, Algebra I.  I’m still in band.  I’ll have to admit, I kind of neglected playing my clarinet this summer.  Now, I have to get used to playing every day again.  Well, I’ve got to get used to it again because it’s back to school and back to the grind!

There is one part of starting school that I love, love, love – shopping for back to school clothes, of course!  I have always gotten my clothes from big department stores like Dillard’s, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Kohl’s.  And if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I love shopping from catalogs and less well-known online stores that you won’t find in the mall – like Land’s End, Hanna Andersson, Chasing Fireflies, Garnet Hill Kids, CWD Kids, and Mini Boden.  Well, one of the things that I am begrudgingly coming to terms with is the fact that a lot of these stores with specialty clothing for kids tend to make clothing for girls up to about the age of 12.  And much to my fashion dismay, I’m 12, quickly approaching 13!!!  Just like in the big department stores, the girl’s department stops at sizes 12 to 14 for the most part, sometimes you can find clothes in a size 16.  I’ve been fighting it for a while now, but the tween fashions that I love so much – preppy, girly, and cute – are only located in the girl’s department.  And with a closet full of size 14 and 16 dresses, I have outgrown the girl’s department!!!  I tried the junior’s department at a couple of stores and I was really disappointed.  Where was the preppy attire?  The girly-girl clothes?  All the cute dresses?  The junior’s department was a real drag!  I couldn’t find anything that I really liked.  Nothing that represented my fashion style.  Blue jeans, skinny jeans, ripped jeans, acid washed jeans and graphic t-shirts are just not my style.  And jeggings, forget about it!  I love my leggings, don’t get me wrong.  I live in leggings, but jeggings, they just seem weird to me and we do have a dress code at my school.  Wearing leggings and jeggings with shirts that don’t cover your behind is a no-no and will get you sent home from school.  It would just make me feel uncomfortable anyway.  I like my leggings with dresses – preppy dresses, girly dresses, cute dresses!  And I don’t like my hiney hanging out either!  Junior’s department equal EPIC FAIL!!!  So, what’s a fashionista to do?  Well, after pouting and resisting, and trying unsuccessfully to squeeze into clothes that I am too big to fit into nowadays, and having no luck with junior’s clothes, I decided to do the only thing I could do – as my brother would say I had to “check my fresh,” you know “get my swagger back.”  I had to reassess my fashion sense and change up my style a bit.

So, fashionista girl talked to fashionista mom who had an idea.  Why not shop in the women’s department?  Hmmmm, old people’s clothes, I said?  How am I going to find anything preppy, girly, or cute there?  My mom said it’s also called “Misses,” which still means old, but not too old, just not too young either.  I was not sold.  So, after we found just one dress and one sweater in the junior’s department at J.C. Penney, I decided to give it a try.  And guess what?  We found the rest of my clothes at Kohl’s, in the women’s department!  We were shopping in Kohl’s for two hours, in and out of sections, trying on clothes that were younger looking so I didn’t look like I was going to work in a business suit, instead of to middle school.  Some of the things I liked looked too old for me when I tried them on, so it was hard work finding just the right thing.  But, we found a lot of really cute stuff.  Take a look at my first day of school outfit below.

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by&by Sleeveless Solid Chiffon Halter-Neck Dress with Tribal-Inspired Belt – J.C. Penney

Arizona Long-Sleeve Hooded Cardigan – J.C. Penney

Kimchi Blue Elastic Cross-Strap Flat – Urban Outfitters

Mossimo Supply Company Crossbody Bag – Target (2014)

Guess what everybody?  I got my fashion swagger back!

Easy Breezy Dresses – Great for Summer!

You know how much I like dresses – I like them a lot! I have quite a few dressy dresses, but I also have dresses that are pretty casual too. This blog post is devoted to my casual dresses. They are made of the same cotton as a tee-shirt and I can wear them in lots of different ways – with long sleeve tee-shirts underneath or without, with my Converse or with flats, but ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS with my signature pair of leggings underneath! Hey, that’s my look, okay! And yes, you’re going to notice that apparently I have a thing for stripes. These dresses are so casual that I am going to take them all to Disney World with me. It’s hot where I live, but it’s plenty hot in Florida this time of year too! I have some new leggings and they are capri leggings, so I can keep cool in my casual dresses while I’m riding the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! They are perfect for summer weather.

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Arizona V-Neck Drawstring Waist Dress from J.C. Penney worn with Copper Key Long Sleeve T-Shirt from Dillard’s, Lace Trim Leggings from Children’s Orchard and Dana Buchman Flats from Kohl’s

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Arizona V-Neck Drawstring Waist Dress from J.C. Penney worn with 2-Hip Leggings from J.C. Penney and Converse

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Arizona V-Neck Drawstring Waist Dress from J.C. Penney worn with Leggings from Justice and CL By Laundry Flats from Shoe Gallery

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Speechless Elastic Waist Dress with Built-In Jeweled Neckline Tank from J.C. Penney worn with 2-Hip Leggings from J.C. Penney and CL By Laundry Flats from Shoe Gallery

 

Bar-B-Que’s and Summer Shoes

Hi everybody! Yesterday was the official first day of summer and it was a really nice day outside – hot and sunny. We got an invitation in the mail to go to a bar-b-que at a cousin’s house. She just graduated from high school and her mom is throwing her a party. It will be a cook out and I spent some time yesterday putting together a cute outfit to wear – something “Country Cute!” I found the perfect look and paired it with my cowboy hat and boots, a wide elastic belt and a big pink bow. Take a look.

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Total Girl Horse Print Sleeveless Blouse – J.C. Penney
Beaucoup Tutu – Hanna Andersson

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And speaking of summer and fashion, I told you last month that it was almost time for some new summer shoes. Well, yesterday being the first day of summer and all, my mom kept her promise and we went shoe shopping. I went straight for the fashion sneakers and gladiator sandals.  See what we got.

Keds Eyelet -  Coral Keds Women’s Champion Eyelet Fashion Sneaker, Coral, by Keds

Keds Champion Eyelet Sneaker - Navy Keds Women’s Champion Eyelet Fashion Sneaker, Navy, by Keds

Keds Women's Champion Seasonal Solid Oxford, Bright Green Keds Women’s Champion Seasonal Solid Oxford, Bright Green, by Keds

Tandy by Mix No. 6. Tandy by Mix No. 6. in black from DSW

Steve Madden Trivol Flat Steve Madden Trivol Flat in coral from DSW

Report Signature Lauri Flat - Cognac Report Signature Lauri Flat in Cognac from DSW

Report Signature Lauri Flat - White  Report Signature Lauri Flat in White from DSW

 

 

 

Black and White and Polka Dotted

This is the dress that I wore to the Father Daughter Dance last year. The dress has a Peter Pan collar that kind of looks like a bow and it came with a plain black patent leather belt, but my mom bought matte finish grosgrain hot pink ribbon to tie around my waist to make a belt that matched my sweater. I love the black and white even more with my favorite color added – BOLD, BRIGHT, HOT PINK! See the flower on my sweater.

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Cropped Cardigan Sweater: Children’s Place

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