Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Future Is Amazing













   Okay...I’ll admit it.  I took these pictures months ago and that’s why I suddenly have shorter hair and bangs again.  However, despite the current time of year, it’s fairly chilly out today and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to post the fall pictures I never had time to feature. 
   At one point in my life this act would be unthinkable.  In fact, around the time I took these photographs I would have never considered posting images out of chronological order.  However, as I’ve stated before, I aim for this to be my carefree hippie summer and damn it, you have to start somewhere…right? 
   As a result, I no longer feel restrained by the stupid little rules I make up in my head.  If I want to post fall outfits in May I’m going to.  Especially when the weather outside is perfectly appropriate for this type of outfit.  In addition, I’ve given up strictly posting on Sunday mornings.  Look at me world!  It’s Saturday afternoon and I’ve got some free time.  I don’t think a lightning bolt will strike me if I publish today?...nah!…no?
   Most importantly, I no longer feel like I have to blather on about nothing for at least one Word Document page’s worth simply because that’s what I randomly decided my standard essay length should be.  I've finally decided I can write as little, or as much as I want.  No one cares!  Okay...actually that might not be true, considering there are a few friends of mine that have loyally kept reading this thing despite the drivel I’ve continually spewed out.  These kind and patient individuals might be delighted to hear I will be allowing myself to write less if there is simply nothing worth saying. I want to state I remain ever so grateful to those people.  You have kept my hobby alive, which in turn has kept me happy with my life. 
   …and that’s about all I’ve got.   Honestly the day so far has been pretty mellow.  I took the dogs for a walk…oh, I guess there was all those ticks I got to pick off everyone afterwards.  That was pretty exciting.  Then we got some tacos and now I’m trying to write about nothing.  Of course, this no longer stresses me out since I’ve gone through my, “Frankie", (Grace & Frankie) transformation.  My current self wants to go back in time to the perfectly coiffed individual in the above pictures and yell, “Hey!  Snap out of it!  Don’t worry!  A few months from now you’re going to be so laid back you’ll be posting crap on Saturdays!  Also, and this is the most important thing, you’ll be wearing a lot of cool hats!  The future is amazing!”
-r.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Screaming Into The Void












   I’ve recently decided there's nothing that pisses me off more than a bad internet connection.  I can hear it now, “Poor Raine…this is what my special man friend calls me...the worst thing in her life is that she can’t sign into her Instagram account to see how many, “likes,” her latest blog picture got.”  While I get seriously annoyed by the endless teasing I’ve had to endure from my totally, "unplugged," companion, I have to admit his comments regarding my addiction to the interwebs are quite valid.  It’s true…if I can’t access my social media accounts I feel panicked.  God forbid people are allowed to forget about me for a day!
   The whole idea of this obsession with socialization is quite strange for me considering most of my, “real life," free time is spent either alone or with the aforementioned gentlemen…who I noticed today can annoy me with simply the sound of his chewing…who knew fried chicken could be so freaking LOUD?!  Side note:  if the simple act of someone else’s eating is starting to push your buttons you may need to spend an afternoon apart once in a while.  Of course it’s…wait, hold on a second…what was I writing…huh…, “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN DOWN THE TV!!!  I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINKING ABOVE THE ROAR OF YET ANOTHER, “LAW & ORDER,” EPISODE!!!”  My God, I think the chewing noises were less irritating than Sam Waterston’s voice turned up to way above 11.
   Mentioning Sam Waterston reminds me of an episode of, “Grace and Frankie,” where a computer technician is attempting to explain the concept of the internet to the oblivious Luddite character of Frankie.  Basically, the technician states that posting something online should not be perceived as a personal conversation, but rather something more like screaming into the void.  I found this idea rather profound… and embarrassing since this technology amateur has always considered posting a much more intimate experience. 
   Unfortunately this concept of, “force feeding information to anyone who will listen,” has stuck with me. As a result, my blog writing experience has changed.  The whole thing just feels less special.  In addition, there's nothing more lonely than realizing you’re actually speaking to nobody…for like years. 
   At the same time, there's a certain sense of relief that comes with the idea that it doesn’t matter what kind of gobbledygook one comes up with while blogging.  Yes, there's a freedom one feels with the realization that this is not a conversation and things don’t have to make sense.  In addition, it's fantastic to be able to blather on about a bunch of opinions without anyone else interjecting their… “okay, now what the hell was that noise?!  Great..yep…that is definitely the sound of one of my animals barfing…probably from the fifth consecutive, “Law & Order,” episode they’ve had to endure watching.  I’ve got to go clean that up…but how was I going to end this thing?  Did I even discuss the outfit I’m wearing in the above photographs?  Man, that sounds kind of bad.  How much grass did Shelby wolf down the last time I took her potty?  I better wrap this up quick.  Uh...yep, it sure is nice to be able to scream into that void with no unwanted interruptions from the outside.”
-r.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

"There is a season"...













      I think it’s only fair to admit that this is a cop out post.  Honestly it seems like a tragedy, considering the above images are some of the best I’ve taken for quite some time.  However, it finally feels like summer and I can’t help but feel like I’ve got better shit to do than sit indoors and write! 
   Keeping the beautiful weather in mind, I want to state that I now feel inspired to skip over my profane back stock of winter photos. I want to start posting some current stuff!  Who made the rule that all of my blog pictures have to be posted chronologically?   While I know my OCD brain will struggle with this, I can’t help but feel more satisfied celebrating the long anticipated arrival of the sun.  However, don’t be surprised if once in a while I throw in a post featuring mittens.  Yep, all hell has broken loose in this lady’s world.  I’m going to post what my heart tells me.  It will be so nice to finally give my annoying head a rest!
   However, before we get into my carefree hippie summer I do need to address the images in the above post.  I can proudly state this is an outfit that was composed almost fully of secondhand items.  The result is definitely one of my favorite ensembles…like…ever.  I can’t believe all of the amusing comments I’ve gotten from acquaintances regarding it.  So far I’ve had people state it reminds them of a Russian spy and a WWI soldier.  I also had one friend write it looked like I was some sort of woodswoman who was about to ride off on a moose.  I guess the reason I enjoyed all of these reactions is simply because everyone had an opinion of who I looked like, and it seemed unanimous that it wasn’t Rayna. 
   In my opinion, one of the best parts of fashion is the ability to transform oneself into another, “character,” simply through clothing.  I find it very liberating to think I can choose to be someone else for a day.  Looking back at these pictures I almost think I was a different person at that time.  I can’t think of a more introspective way to say goodbye to a rather depressing winter.
-r.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Just Bloody Wear It!











   It’s finally that transitional time when the seasons are changing and my ensembles are going to stop making sense.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely thrilled that winter seems to have left the Midwest.  However, I still have sweater clad pictures to post!  You can bet this narcissist will not be trashing any of her hard earned glamour shots in the name of featuring weather appropriate apparel.  As a result, I apologize in advance to the few readers I have.  Once again Rayna is going to be dressed a tad odd.
   Of course looking different is certainly not a new concept for me.  In fact, it seems to be something I encounter on a daily basis.  I find this odd considering I don’t think my personal style is really that outlandish.  In addition, I have no notable rebellious or shocking alterations to my appearance.  By this I mean I have absolutely no tattoos…no florescent hair…and my ears are the only things I’ve ever pierced…and that was once, when I was in 2nd grade…which, I guess at the time made me feel pretty bad ass.  Considering all of this, I can’t help but wonder why I feel so darned out of place when I go out in public.
   Not that feeling out of place is necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, on most occasions I quite like the attention.  However, I’m often confused on why this happens.  There have been several times that I've dressed in what I considered very, “meh,” ensembles and people have responded enthusiastically about, “my quirky style.”  I always take these comments as compliments (whether they are intended to be or not) while thinking , “Whew!  I guess I still got it!”
   Of course there is always that rare occasion when I do find myself self-conscious of something I’ve put on.  Now mind you, this is not something that happens often.  I'm fairly confident wearing any ridiculous outfit I put together as long as it photographs well against my magic barn wall.  If you’ve read this blog before you know the wall I speak of.  Again, I find myself apologizing to my readers for lack of creativity when it comes to background scenery in my portraits.  However, this is supposed to be a, “fashion blog,” so technically I feel I could argue it’s solely the outfit that should carry the image.  
   Of course, there have been several occasions that my ensembles have looked severely questionable in my pictures, and depending on my motivation that particular day I’ve either opted to change or simply, “just bloody wear it!”  That last quoted bit I had to throw in due to the fact that it's my new favorite hashtag to troll on Instagram.  Of course, I don’t feel near worthy enough to actually use it on my own posts…sigh…
   Interestingly enough, even though I don’t feel the confidence to post with this hashtag, I find myself repeating these words in my closet often.  I pick up, yet another weirdo piece of clothing, and brood, “Why don’t I have any normal grown-up clothes?”  For example, in some of the pictures above I’m wearing a vintage Playboy turtleneck sweater.  Upon finding it at a local antiques store I was absolutely stoked.  Unfortunately, the day I put it on I suddenly felt self-conscious.  “Is this really what a mature adult woman should be parading around in?” I silently fretted.  “Does this sweater just make me look like a desperate almost middle aged woman sadly clinging to the concepts of youth and beauty?”  “Ah well,” I caved.  “Just bloody wear it Rayna!”  Of course, a few days later I found myself showing these pictures to a very attractive and much younger acquaintance of mine.  “Is that a Playboy sweater?!" she screeched.  “Uh...yeah," I answered rather sheepishly.   “I LOVE IT!!! You have THE BEST clothes!”  “Score one for the desperate old lady,” I thought smiling.
-r.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Little Girl Blue











   Sometimes it just feels so darn good to be right.  I’ve always been a big advocate of the idea that accessories can carry an outfit.  Deep stuff to ponder, I know.  However, when one is working with a limited wardrobe this concept can be super handy.  I can hear my friends now, “Limited wardrobe?!  Who is she trying to kid?”  While I’ll admit to having more choices in my closet than the average bear, I have to argue that none of that matters when the bear in question is battling the frozen tundra I've been living in.  Basically, while spending one's winter on the plains, an individual  should be solely concerned with finding a durable look that endorses survival.  No wonder a polar bear has the gall to wear white after Labor Day!  Okay yeah…that last comment was pretty lame.
   Anyhow, it’s usually during the cold weather months…which where I'm at largely outnumber the warm ones…that I start to feel unworthy of labeling myself a, “personal style blogger.”  I mean, how much styling is really going on with the, "jeans and sweater look?"  This last statement makes me think back to an article I once read regarding style blogging that stated something like, "Concerning blogging, there is very little actual fashion being shown."  The writer continued by commenting that many so-called, "fashionistas," are actually just attractive people taking pretty pictures in rather, “meh,” clothing.  “Uh oh,” I thought.  “Well, I guess I better hope I’m good enough looking to at least pull that off!” 
   While I’m aware that there are much more compelling personal style blogs out there than, “Little House Of Haute,” I have always felt like I possess, at least a small amount, of skill when it comes to constructing my outfits…even if they do only consist of jeans and an overcoat.  I’m reminded of a time when a total stranger approached me and stated, “You have a real talent with accessorizing.”  I delighted in the idea that my style sense inspired someone I didn’t even know.
   This being stated, many of my ensembles lately have been totally constructed out of functional boring crap.  Due to the miserable weather this has pretty much been my standard winter uniform.  The only way I’ve been able to make my outfits even remotely interesting has been through accessories.  For example, the concept of belting my winter coats was something I recently stumbled on.  I saw this idea featured in a, “Hugo Boss,” campaign and I swear it’s changed my life completely.  Suddenly my frumpy wool frocks have transformed into something a tad more, “fashion blog worthy.”  It’s like, “Hey, that girl has some style!  Look at how she belted that thing!  She had to put some thought into that!" Yeah, I know it’s a stretch but please give it to me.  My blogger confidence is clinging to this idea.
   Lastly, I believe there’s really nothing more effective than the basic, “matchy-matchy,” concept.  For instance, regarding the pictures above, I had a pretty boring outfit until I threw on an oversized scarf that's color complimented my eyes.  I then color coordinated that scarf with my favorite Michael Kors bag and suddenly I had something to work with.  If anything, I can simply hope to get a compliment on the purse alone.  You see, it’s just that one compliment that can encourage this fashion enthusiast to keep going…or at the very least to continue the quest for designer purses.  Who knows, maybe that next handbag will be the one that truly transforms me into a real fashion blogger.
-r.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Is the cabin causing my fever?













   I have such a bad case of cabin fever I just trudged out to my dumpster in an attempt to entertain myself.  Unfortunately, this is as far as I will go for what appears to be an indefinite amount of time.  Yes folks, my neck of the woods is experiencing another, “spring,” blizzard, and this one is a real humdinger.  It’s so severe out there that during my morning constitutional it dawned on me that I may not want to walk all the way to the side of the barn where the dumpster is located.  Basically, when visibility is so poor you find it hard to see something the size of a barn it’s probably time to call it a day.  However this manic lady was determined to throw away her trash while spending some time outside....even if I had to tie a rope around my waist in order to find home again.  I’m considering taking another stroll later when the dog has to go out.  That journey should be less perilous, considering I believe she has a much better sense of direction than I ever will.
   All joking aside, this weather is terrible.  As a result, town has almost completely closed down.  Considering where I live this is almost unheard of.  We are people of the northern plains for God’s sake!  A place where every local wears a Carhartt and Mad Bomber hat while driving their pickup truck made snow plow.  Admittedly, my household alone has all of these things plus a couple of skid loaders.  Considering this, my boyfriend and I still aren’t attempting to leave home today.  I repeat, the weather is so foul it's keeping two people at home who brave every blizzard in order to slack off at the cheap seats.  People...there is no better proof that it’s bad out there.
   I suppose the upside to this weather is that it's giving me the opportunity to catch up on posting my stockpile of winter ensembles.  I was starting to become concerned that I would be featuring fur coats during seventy degree weather.  Looking at the above images now, I’m reminded that there are a few advantages to colder weather.  For example, the vintage faux fur coat I’m wearing in these pictures was an extremely lucky Savers find that still leaves me on the edge of hysteria.  I scored this baby for only twenty bucks and I can confidently state I don’t think any article of clothing makes me feel more glamorous. 
   I look at these pictures now and marvel at the fact that I haven’t taken one self-portrait since Easter Sunday.  Seriously, the weather on the weekends has been so bad I’ve barely even bothered to change out of my jammies.  For a minute, I feared I may be losing interest in the art of personal style.  However, then I found myself in the middle of another blizzard Netflix binge of, “Grace And Frankie,” and I happily acknowledge that I’m just biding my time until I can construct the perfect hybrid look of modern hippie meets nautical.  Needless to say, it’s most likely going to be an odd looking summer. 
   Of course today it’s probable that I will be sporting jammies with my old Mad Bomber hat…a little gem in my closet that pumps my personality with something more like grit than glamour.  If I find myself outside later I anticipate trying to find shelter in the barn, rather than using it as a picture backdrop.  Lastly, I hope to endure this…what I hope to be…last little bit of winter with some style and, “Grace,” because as soon as summer hits it’s most likely going to be a mess of, “Frankie,” all over this place.
-r.