Sometimes, you have to add a battery pack and twinkle lights

In June, I attended my fourth BlogHer conference. But this one felt strange. The last six writing conferences I attended all had a similar feel — one in which I knew dozens of people and was comfortable just…being me. That’s when I thrive.

This time, I started the conference off with a bang. After 3 flights in less than a week, and a truly amazing Disney adventure, my back was acting up for the first time in months. I was in pain, which only exasperated my desire to hide.

I know what you’re thinking. Chrissy? Hiding?

So, I’m an introverted extrovert. If you know me, you couldn’t possibly see me as shy. But if you don’t, you might think I’m the quiet one. Adding to that, I spent much of this year suffering from mild depression and anxiety, and now, I’ve got a recipe for disaster.

And so at BlogHer, only knowing a few of the several thousand people and trying to fight through pain, anxiety, and depression, I found myself hiding. Skipping sessions to nap in my room. Barely taking any photos throughout the events. Wandering the exhibitor hall by myself instead of sitting through full keynotes from really interesting speakers. Opting out of late night partying with new friends, and instead, I found myself floating down the lazy river with my roomie, Renee.

It was still fun, but it was a different kind of fun than one should have at a writing conference full of like-minded people. I found myself asking why I was even there.

On Friday night, I took a Valium for my back pain and crashed early.

On Saturday morning, Renee left, and my dear friend, Samara, was doing her own thing…so I wandered the expo for a while. I was interviewed for a Forbes podcast, and the guy looked at me — sporting a normal-ish blonde hairstyle and simple blue dress — with douche eyes and actually said, “Quirky Chrissy? You don’t look very quirky. Now, I saw this other girl who had rainbow hair and a unicorn horn. Now, THAT’S quirky.” Maybe it was the place my brain was hiding, but I wanted to simultaneously punch him and cry. But how do you defend your personality when someone mocks your chosen moniker?

I left the expo feeling down in the dumps.

The thing about being an extrovert who suffers from depression and anxiety is that you need people to help lift you out of the cycle, but you don’t want to be around people when you’re depressed or anxious.

By the time the closing party rolled around, I was ready to go home. But I told Samara I’d meet her down there. And I knew there would be snacks — I was starving, and I’ve yet to find a reason to say no to free food. So I decided I had one last chance to bust out my magic twinkle skirt.

And then I found some more of my people, and people recharge me the way the battery pack sewn into this skirt makes it light up. They bring me back to life (that’s the extroverted part of my brain). I met the unicorn girl, Elliotte, — who, by the way, is AMAZING — and she was kind and wonderful and inspiring…and she gave me a pink unicorn horn.

writers posing at the blogher17 closing party

Photo credit: BlogHer17/SheKnows Media

If I could have gone back in time and worn this fucking skirt the whole time I was in Orlando, I think I would have. Because there’s no better way to make 50 new friends than to wear a light up twinkle skirt. It was my superhero transformation and for a few hours, I wasn’t depressed or anxious or homesick. It wasn’t a REAL fix, but it helped me.

It was my superhero transformation and for a few hours, I wasn’t depressed or anxious or homesick. It wasn’t a REAL fix, but it helped me end the weekend on a high note.Twinkling Stars Skirt - Blue. 3X by ThinkGeek

I started seeing writing friends at the conference, some of whom I knew were there and that I’d said hi to, but hadn’t made a point to actually hang out with, despite my desperate need for more human interaction. I was shy and nervous. I convinced myself they didn’t want to hang out with me. I was afraid. But once I put on my magic skirt, and it was like I could hide my insecurities behind the sparkles and just illuminate the bright spots. It was a Band Aid, but at the time, I really needed a Band Aid.

selfie with writing friends at BlogHer

Eventually, I met up with Samara and she was ready to DANCE. And so I danced. And twirled. And shined brighter than I had throughout the whole conference. I felt glimmers of the me that I love to be, and I knew I had to get back there.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayCHIC A Night of Play and Fashion That Took Over Chicago

The stunningly beautiful Alhambra Palace in Chicago set the scene for an exotic night of play and fashion, as the third annual PlayCHIC commenced last Thursday night. The sponsors, ever-present Mayfair Games, Rainbow Loom, Women in Toys and Celebrity Name Game set in motion one of the most entertaining fashion shows I’ve ever been to…okay fine. All the fashion shows I’ve been to have been PlayCHIC. One of my favorite annual events.

PlayCHIC 2014

 

 

Michelle Tan – Mayfair Games Villainy

Michelle Tan has been designing the Mayfair styles since PlayCHIC’s inception three years ago, and with Villainy, she really made a splash. Her creations are whimsical, wicked and wonderful and looked great on both the lady and dude models.

Mayfair Games Michelle Tan

On another Mayfair Games note, I got to take a selfie with Mayfair president, Larry Roznai, who was a really cool dude to chat with.

 

Elda Delarosa – Celebrity Name Game

The elegant designs by Elda Delarosa were the start of this celeb-adorned gown. I’m not going to lie, this was probably my least favorite of the designs. It felt uninspired, as if the game was merely sewn onto the dress. I’m no designer, but I like to think that there are other ways to incorporate themes into clothing than sewing photographs to a dress. Sorry guys, you lost me on this one.

Elda Delarosa Celebrity Name Game

Peach Carr – Rainbow Loom

Made with the actual toy, this  Peach Carr original represents Rainbow Loom with a fun two-piece set. The creator of Rainbow Loom was even there wearing the jacket that Jimmy Kimmel wore! Brian would have been impressed. Probably.  My favorite part? The Rainbow Loom poodle. Who wants to make me one of those?

Rainbow Loom - Peach Carr Rainbow Loom

Gibeon Tolbert – Women in Toys

Representing a fantastic group in the toy and game industry, Gibeon Tolbert’s power suit represents everything I want to be in this world. Pink, powerful, stylish and fun. I seriously LOVED this design. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. If we all remember from PlayCHIC 2012, he created my favorite design, the Word Winder tie.

Gibeon Tolbert Women in Toys

 Which design is your favorite? What games or toys would you like to see mashed with fashion?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Vacation Fashion Fails

Good morning Blog Friends!

I thought today was as good a day as any to tell you of this year’s vacation fashion whoops moments…because I tend to have a lot of them.

I bought several new dresses and outfits to wear on our trip, as vacation seems to be my favorite time to get a new wardrobe. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t fuck it all up every now and then.

The first fashion fail entails our drive out of San Francisco, which is a wonder since it seemed to take 2 whole days before wrecking myself. This dress was a try-it-on-three-times-before-deciding dress, as I wasn’t quite sure I wanted it. I probably should have left it at Forever 21.

We had been through a whirlwind morning in an almost-failed attempt to acquire a rental car that resulted in a $50 town car ride to the airport and a significantly cheaper car rental than you’d find in Downtown San Francisco. We figured the town car would be nicer than a cab ride and it was the same price.

Of course, I was donning one of my never-before worn dresses, feeling all sorts of fancy. Until I ripped it getting out of the car.

image

As you can see, it’s a pretty bold and busy pattern, so you won’t notice that I continue to wear the dress even with a hole in it.

I’d like to tell you that this next fashion fail was a result of shot time with Pocketful of Joules, but I’d be lying.

image
And since there is Instagramic proof that I was having problems with this dress from the beginning…you wouldn’t believe me anyways.

This dress was the dress I almost bought a house in. It started the vacation at my mom’s house, where after one wearing, I required a seam fix in the arm pit and a stain removal from that one time I thought it was a good idea to cook with oil while wearing a new dress and a few additional spills…from wearing it once. Mom fixed it up and delivered it to me the day of our flight to San Fran. Best. Mom. Ever.

It was probably bad luck to bring it along as it was, but I’m a big fan of living on the edge.

As you may have seen on Instagram, I had problems from the moment I put the dress on.
image

The cutouts at the bottom of my dress were going to be the death of this dress. Somewhere between getting caught in the hair dryer cord and doing shots with Joules, my dress was ripped in q big way that Mama can’t fix…though she did offer to try.

Luckily, it’s a pretty flowy dress amd you can’t TOTALLY see where it’s ripped…so I’ll still be seen wearing it.

My final fashion fail wasn’t so much a rip or tear as it was poor planning on my part. I had planned to wear this saucy little black dress on a fancy dinner night with Brian…but things don’t work out the way you plan and it became my McDonald’s closing party duds.

It was strapless and practically backless, so wearing a bra wasn’t about to happen. Brian thought it looked spectacular, so I rolled out to meet with the Bloopies(a group of bloggers that I’m a part of).

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You can kind of see that the dress didn’t seem to be holding up as much as I would have liked…

Thankfully, I’m often surrounded by people who are smarter than me and one of these delightful women, the brilliant genius that is Lily Connelly, suggested that I use my scarf to hold the dress up after seeing my insecure struggle to keep it from giving all of BlogHer a free show.

So my fashion fail actually turned into a fashion hack, in which I wrapped the scarf through the center tie and back around my neck, thus keeping my boobs in place and out of sight.

Fashion hack: use a scarf to hold a strapless dress up. ALSO, this may be the nicest port-o-potty ever.

Fashion hack: use a scarf to hold a strapless dress up. ALSO, this may be the nicest port-o-potty ever.

Have you ever had a fashion fail? Do you rip holes in clothes as often as I do? What’s the best fashion hack you’ve discovered?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fashionista? Who? Me? Oh, Sure!

I’ve always been kind of a girly tomboy. I love pink and sparkles and fuzzy and cute. But I also love football and sweatpants and comfy and cozy. While I may not have the BEST fashion sense, I know a cute outfit when I see one. So when Meijer asked me to play dress up with their new fall styles, I couldn’t resist.

Meijer Fall Fashion Lookbook

 So last night, after a long day at the office, I made my way to Meijer, armed with a gift card (courtesy of Meijer), my camera phone, and my keen fashion sense. I had a plan.

Now, I’ll warn you right now, I’m a normal girl. I’m a REAL girl. I’m a slightly chubby-non-model-girl. So as adorable as these clean cut, wake up fresh lady models may be… They’ve got nothing on me.

Back to my shopping adventure. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that there was a nice selection of sweater dresses, which are my go-to fall faves. I love that if it’s still warm, I can wear them (sometimes) without pants (you know how I hate pants), and then when it gets cool, I can pair them with leggings (yes!) and flats. Once it gets Chicago blustery, it’s leggings or skinny jeans and boots. I tried on 3 adorable sweaters, that were all super comfy and very reasonably priced…And I felt kind of like Goldilocks.

The first sweater made my boobs look GIGANTIC. Which I thought was fun, but at the same time, not really for me (anymore).

The second sweater was comfortable, but it was too short for what I wanted in a sweater dress. Plus, no matter how much I want them to work, horizontal stripes have never been my strong suit.

The third sweater was just right. And perfect both with pants and without! Hair down, hair up. I could wear it on a train, I could wear it on a plane. In a house, with a mouse. I could wear it here or there; I could wear it anywhere.

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my little dressing room fashion show, I wandered through the collection of fall shoes and accessories. I loved the infinity scarves and purses (there was a TOTALLY cute owl purse that I ALMOST bought). I ended up getting several pairs of knee high socks to wear with my boots, because I never seem to have enough socks. (Something about them getting lost in a strange land somewhere between the washer and the dryer.) Plus, let’s be honest. I freakin’ love socks. I love them almost as much as I love not wearing pants.

What are your favorite fall fashion trends, Blog friends?

While I was compensated for this post with a Meijer gift card, all opinions are, as always, my own. Obviously.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Turning thirty-five scares me, but not as much as the cost of that dress!

Hi everyone!  It’s April from First Time Mom & Dad.  In case you do not know me, which I expect, I am a filterless southern belle turned filterless southern belle MOTHER with, SURPRISE – A parenting weblog.  Yes, I am one of the 4 Zillion mom bloggers on the Internet.  Trust me, if I knew there were that many moms already trying to peddle cute photos of their kids attached to advice and narcissistic stories, I would have considered a different genre… but whatevs… I’m a mom, I have a kid, and I love to write…

I am so stoked to be guest posting today for Chrissy! Besides the fact I love Chrissy long time, I love this weblog long time too!  So here goes…

I am fast approaching my 35th birthday with a ridiculous amount of apprehension.  It’s not so much turning 35, as it is turning 35 without a job, focus, style or sense of who the hell I am anymore.  I had my first child a year ago and am only now coming out of the haze that is post-partum mixed with becoming a mother.  Trust me, both will turn your life upside down then right side up so you can see the dysfunction and mess lying in front of you.

Now that the haze has lifted, I realize that I have actually been out of the social and fashion scene for two years now!  I got pregnant 8 days after my 33rd birthday and now here I am… turning 35 with a closet full of maternity clothes piled on top of my old pre-pregnancy clothes and not a damn thing fits me anymore. Yet, I still have this goal of showing up to my 35th birthday like a rock star!

This attempt at rock star status has been in full swing since New Years day.  I have created a mini goal for each month leading up to my birthday in May.  January’s goal was to create more “me” time… or to find the ME in MothEr. I did OK with that.  I go out on my own at least three to four times a week to shop, or unwind and managed to have a two lunches and a one girls night out a month.  Trust me that’s EPIC for me.

February was all about Dump the Frump. Throughout February I did my hair and makeup and dressed nicely regularly. I painted my nails (toes too!) and coordinated handbags.  I instantly began to feel renewed and sassy, even when everything around me looked winter grey and dismal.

March has been all about New Mommy Autonomy. I finally recognized that I no longer need the new mommy crutch. Even though my son is a year old now, I was still running around calling myself a ‘New Mother.’  Which clearly was not true, and imagine the look on the person’s face when they asked how old my ‘baby’ was.  My baby is a man-child now; there is nothing baby about him. I am a mother, but that is not my defining role and should not be the first thing I tell someone when we meet!

So, here I am on the cusp of April.  Closing in on my birthday… Shit!  The biggest transformation is still ahead of me, my new mid-thirties look and style. The goal for this month is, “All about April” – or ME!  This coming month I’m working on what image I want to portray.  Since I am no longer the 32-year-old ‘happy hour’ princess (nor can I wear those clothes), or the pregnant or post-partum frumpy chick (thank God I can no longer wear those clothes!), it’s time for a Mom to Fab makeover!

To find some inspiration for this final leg of my journey, I picked up my favorite magazine in the whole word… The Enquirer… KIDDING! Self Magazine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that glossy print Goddess! It is a perfect mix of my favorite things; food, fashion, fun workouts and quick tip sheets that I love to use to make false promises.

As I was flipping through the pages of my old friend, I came across a dress I loved! Most times Self publishes cute clothes I can afford, like a summer maxi from HM that only cost $30. So, I look over to the side for the info on the ‘Shift’ dress and see that it’s by Moschino with a price tag of $2,995.  I honestly did a double take!  WHAT THE FUCK??? THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! For a long t-shirt? (Or as my husband called it, a bloody tea towel!) Really?  To add insult to injury, the bracelet the model was wearing cost $600. For fuck’s sake! Thankfully she wasn’t wearing any shoes, because I am certain I would have dropped a load in my pants had this tiny outfit crossed the $4000 mark.

photo 1photo 2

I’m sorry, ok not really, but I have to ask, Does the dress give a happy ending? Does it clean itself?  Does it make you look three sizes smaller?  Is it made from a cotton that is so hard to find an entire village has to be employed to collect it from the caves of Neverland? Why is this short Shift dress $2,995????  I know I have been out of the social and fashion scenes for a couple of years, but what the hell has happened that we are now expected to pay 3k for a mini-dress?

We are still in a recession right?  Don’t get me wrong, I understand fashion coming at a price. Pre-baby I would pay a couple of hundred for a great pair of denim jeans or a few hundred for well tailored business suit, but never for a summer garden dress! I like to think before my days of becoming a mother I would still think that was crazy.

I admit, now that I am a mother I live on a strict budget so the value of money has COMPLETELY changed to me.  I can no longer, consciously, drop more than $50 on a great pair of jeans, and really that number is closer to $35.  Still, my financial situation aside, I just cannot ever imagine a day will come where I will justify that kind of a purchase when the world is still in the shits.  A donation of half the cost of that dress would feed 10 villages for a month! And possibly medicate the villages as well.

This whole in-and-out makeover that I have been undergoing these past few months has taught me that not only has my outward appearance and lifestyle changed, but also my outlook on life and the world in general. I still do not know for sure what I want to be when I grow up, but what I do know is I better figure it out and fast, because I am growing up quickly now that I am a mid-thirties mother.  I have no doubt I will ring in my 35th birthday like a rock star, but I can guarantee you even if I get a miracle financial boost between now and my birthday, I will NOT be wearing a $3,000 dress with $600 bracelet stumbling around in a $800 pair of stilettos, that life is not mine, THANK G!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

My brother and I are Irish twins. This means that our parents were super busy getting busy. And 10 months and 2 days after the birth of their first daughter, their only son joined the world. Bow chicka bow wow.

Reasons My Brother is Cooler Than Your Brother

My brother is awesome

No Mom, we aren’t ACTUALLY smoking cigars… (Yes, we are)

  • Even though I jumped on his head when he was a baby, he’s still really fucking smart. He reads voraciously, and plays strategy games, and is pretty much awesome.
  • He’s one of my favorite drinking buddies. Right up there with my dad. I’ll never forget, when I turned 21, he would always be at home waiting for us to bring the after party. 10 months later, he started bringing the after party, himself.
I have an awesome brother and sister

He’s a secret softie, you know…

  • Even though he wants me to use a crazy fucking amount of profanity when I talk about him, deep down, he’s totally got a sweet heart. (Go read that. It’s really cute.)
  • In high school, my brother was a participant in most of our shenanigans (including packing a huge crowd into Melba Toast and sneaking back into the house coming home from ‘da club).
  • We have matching tattoos. We got crazy drunk one St. Patrick’s Day and decided that we were going to do it. And several months later, sober, we still thought it was a great idea. And we did it. Whenever we show off our tats, one of us will say, “wonder twin powers, activate!”
Irish Twin Tattoos

The Irish Claddagh symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Cupla is Gaelic for twins.

  • He’s a total fashion whore. Whenever I need a new outfit, I take him shopping. Because he’s honest. And tells me when I look awesome and when I look stupid. And sometimes I don’t really care either way.
My brother is a fashion whore.

He put together that entire birthday outfit. At the mall. He pulled the shirt, the jacket, and the belt from different racks and said, “Go put this on. Don’t fucking argue. Just do it.”

Gratuitous Irish Twin Photos

November 2007 032

Awesome Brother

Hangover

The twins that party together get hungover together

NOLA

For my birthday, I told him, “I don’t want a gift. I want you to come to NOLA with me.” And he did.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because YOU Asked For It: The Fan Pants

I was having a  little bit of writer’s block this morning…so I posed the question to my pals in the social media world…what the hell should I write about today? And what I got back was brilliance. Today’s post is brought to you by the wonderful world of Facebook, Twitter, and my fucking awesome fashion choices in life. Among other things.

Katie says, “Write about the fan pants!”

Unfortunately, when Katie made that suggestion, she opened a can of worms that will likely take up the majority of the blog post. I can’t help it. We were fashion victims and didn’t even know it. Gather round Blog Friends, and listen to the tale of Bradley. You can backtrack to when I first met Katie (who I very briefly referred to on this blog as Penny…but then she outed herself in her first guest post about Cinderblocks) at Bradley…or you can just join in the fun here.

Katie and I were VERY different people. She was an angry bookworm who wore grunge tee-shirts and wide leg jeans…I was a peppy social butterfly who wore flared jeans with “party shirts.” I listened to pop music; she listened to 90’s and classic rock. She was a Mac. I was a PC. But somehow, we shared a brain. It was like she knew me before she knew me. She understood me. And even when she was secretly (or openly) judging me, she still loved me.

Katie is family. Katie is my butter-churning sister from a past life. Katie and I have had an on-going battle royale fight discussion about our differences in opinion when it came to fashion…She wore Jar Jar Binks boxer shorts with these hideous doggie socks (all. the. time.) I wore fan pants.

Secretly Judging Your WardrobeJar Jar Binks Boxer Shorts

Annnnnyways, what are fan pants? You ask…

Fan pants were a flared pair of denim jeans (my favorite for quite some time) that had pleats in the flares. I’ve always had a thing for jeans that are a little bit different than other jeans. When I was five, I stopped wearing jeans (FOR SEVEN YEARS) because I outgrew my favorite pair of jeans (that were splashed with bright colored paint) and couldn’t find an adequate replacement.

Sweet pants

Me and the sweet ass pants. Making things happen (and looking exceptionally skinny!)

So after plotting out the post about these pants, I came up with a plan. First, I decided that I would try to find them on the internet because the internet knows EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, the place catalog that I ordered the fan pants from more than a decade ago (Shut it. Shut the fuck up now. Stop judging me for being old.) is now out of business and their website is gone. But I did come across an AMAZING blog post about that company…Girlfriends LA anyone? There, I found the following catalog images…

Girlfriends LA Catalog  Bathing Suit

I had like…everything on this page.

Girlfriends LA Bag

See, there’s the bag hiding in this picture of me after graduating from high school…in Florida…

Girlfriends LA bathing suit 2

There’s the bathing suit…in Florida…BEFORE graduating from high school. I was a lucky girl to go twice in one year!

Girlfriends LA Bathing suit

There’s that bathing suit in Florida again. Check out the HUGE headphones.

Girlfriends LA Catalog Sweater

I had the long black sweater

At which point, I decided that it was time to dig through my photo box. And by box I mean giant tub ‘o pictures…

Memory box

This is as far as I got before I gave up and decided that you’re getting enough awesome for one day.

This is the best I could do with the fan pants. There was a better picture of the pants, but I didn’t think you would want to see Shawn til Dawn’s thonged-ass over them…

The fan pants

It’s an angle thing. I wasn’t ACTUALLY that disproportionate…

Alpha Phi Omega Burke Family

Same picture…WAY more proportionate.

And this is also where I found all sorts of glorious pictures of Katie and I. But I’ll only show you this one. And it’s really to make up for the less than flattering picture that I captioned above. But you know, that’s what happens when you secretly judge me.

College girls in party shirts

This was the same year. After we took Katie shopping for “party shirts”

OK, there were definitely more ideas, but I think that this post is quite long enough. Tomorrow I will be posting responses/answers to the rest of your suggestions and questions.

So what else do you want to know about me? Ask me anything and I’ll respond tomorrow!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

PlayChic: Where Chrissy Becomes a Nerd Fashionista (and Gets Cool Stuff)

So last night was a big night for me. My first big event as a blogger. I was invited to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair Inaugural Fashion Show: PlayChic, as part of the media/blogging world (so yes, I did attend this event at no cost to me). What a spectacular affair.

Gamer's Paradise

Happiness is…toys and games!

More Toys and Games

More Happiness

Glasses of red and white wine were waiting as guests arrived in the private room at City Winery in Chicago. Passed hors d’ oeuvres were available (and let me tell you, I’ve never had a better polenta cake in my entire life….oh. mah. God.)

Chicago Toy & Game Fair PlayChic

I met some really neat people, including the captain and commander of The Urbaness (check this shit out–it’s a new neat Chicago Guide Site), the hubs of fashion designer Elda de la Rosa (who designed the Annie gown and the Brenda Starr gown), Elliot from The Gaming Gang (a sweet review site with some majorly detailed game reviews. Seriously, I could sit on there all day…), Nancy from The Radio Review, and game inventor, Graeme Thomson of HL Games (who took a picture of me with the Word Winder tie model and made absolute sure that I didn’t leave the event without a Word Winder game!)

The concept behind the Inaugural PlayChic is pairing fashion designers with toy and game inventors to create toy and game-inspired fashion. I had to fight pretty hard to get a decent photo spot, and in the end wound up under some super tall guy’s armpit, snapping shots. It’s an armpit eat dog world out there, kids. Of course, it was worth it… and I’m bringing you a real photo shoot, to boot!

Moshi Monsters

Moshi Monsters and Be Fore team up to create this fantastic monster dress and adorbs kids clothes. (You’ll note the blue light in the corner—that’s armpit guy’s arm in my way.)

Word Winder

Word Winder inspired designer Gibeon Tolbert to create this stunning dress and tie combo. “Love. Heart. Love,” says the Word Ninja.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan and Miriam Cecilia bring you this gorgeous and shimmering dress.

Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan Man, also designed by Miriam Cecilia

Brenda Starr

The famous comic reporter, Brenda Starr brought out the inspiration for this Elda de la Rosa gown. This may be my second favorite.

Pony Royale Dress

One of Chicago’s newest fashion designers, Nade Baer designed this Pony Royale inspired dress. This model was the smiliest of the bunch, therefore I liked her best. And she was princessy with sparkles.

Annie the Musical

Annie the Musical was the inspiration behind this Elda de la Rosa design.

So the gamer in me had a great time. The foodie in me had a great time. The wish-I-was-a-fashionista in me had a great time. It was the coolest thing I’ve done this year… (OK, maybe not as cool as Disney World…but come on…Disney Magic? How do you trump that?)

By the way: I think that Brian NEEDS this tie. Don’t you?

Word Winder Tie

Word Winder Tie. Yes. Please.

Look, Ma! I’m famous!

Chrissy at the Fashion Show

Note: I was not paid to say nice things about PlayChic. I was offered an invitation to join in the festivities at no cost, and really really really enjoyed myself. These opinions and thoughts are my own and should not reflect upon the companies and entities mentioned in this post. I also received a goodie bag with some freebies.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!