Posts Tagged ‘already pretty’

30 for 30 Winter, day 2. Goth girl.

02 Feb

Reliving those old goth days

“I’m an idiot.”

Actually, I’m not. I would venture to say I’m quite intelligent. This just happens to be what I say to myself when I’m being forgetful or mindless around the house. Let’s say I sit down and realize my glasses are still in the other room. More often than not I say this out loud with a little drama. I would never speak to you that way, it’s not really nice. It’s not even true which makes it the worse kind of message to keep carelessly tossing around. One of these days I might start to believe it.

A while back I decided to stop. I do not have any heart for this bad habit, I’m quite nice to myself otherwise. At least I try to be. Today I was contemplating the fact that not only did I not make any New Year resolutions I almost missed out on the timing of a much more clever idea. One which ties nicely to the start of the new year: acknowledging what I’m already doing right.

Erin of Design for Mankind did this. After making a list of resolutions, she focused on what she’s been doing right rather than what she needed to change. She called it her list of non-goals. I told her I was all over that idea, it’s more my style anyway. I think changing a negative affirmation is a great thing to nurture. It’s certainly not a bad way to kick off a new year. I’ve got the right idea and I need to keep at it. It’s a bad habit, not a core belief. If I ever make a list, this one will be on it.

It comes down to kindness. I recently posted about using kind eyes when looking at or judging ourselves. A similar thought was captured today by Sal of Already Pretty. Here’s a snippet of what she said:

“But I’m here to tell you that being kind to yourself is vital. It is vital in the original meaning of the word: It is necessary for the maintenance of life. Being constantly unkind to yourself erodes your confidence, diminishes your self-worth, and extinguishes your individuality. Giving all your kindness away and reserving none for your own body, mind, and soul leaves you dry and empty. Eventually, you’ll have nothing left to give.”

She’s on to something. Check out the rest of her post. And if you don’t get around to it, it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

- – - – -

Onto outfit number two. As my leggings happened to be winning at playing hide and seek, I incurred a last minute outfit change. You know what doesn’t photograph well? All black. Especially all black taken by hubby in a hurry.

I, Fabienne Jach, do solemnly swear to get an earlier start tomorrow morning. And hey, check out how many remixers there are!

Deets: Black empire waist dress/Max Studio, black turtleneck/Benetton, black tights/unknown, purple chiffon scarf/Georgiou, black ankle boots/Munro, black handcarved gingko earrings/Braindrops, tree of life pendant/gifted, plastic flower bracelet/Anthropologie.

Photo: Filip Jach


Posted in Fashion


Favorite body parts

26 Jan
A windy morning in the hills
The thrifted scarf was such a find

What is your definition of beautiful?

Merriam-Webster states: The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the sense or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.

A while back I read a thoughtful post on body image by Sal, from Already Pretty, which brought back to mind a topic of conversation I’d had this summer with some friends. When it comes to our personal assessment of beautiful it can be fleeting and subjective. How do we define our beauty? Is it spirit? Is it physical? Is it emotional? Can it be contained? It is likely to be all of those things and more.

I challenge each and every one of you to assess yourself; how are you defining your beauty? We are bombarded with how-to’s, tips, tricks, fixes and examples of ways to improve. One can’t improve upon something that does not exist; how can we define our beauty when there are so many messages reinforcing the ways with which we are falling short and require outside interference?

How are you using your eyes and mind to view yourself? Are they kind?

As I age I find myself navigating different phases of my body, mind and heart. Fascination has slowly replaced negative association. Nurturing has replaced self-deprecation. It has taken years to get here; it is not foolproof. We all have our days, after all. If we were to throw away every metric we use to judge physical beauty, would we still find the tonal changes of skin that come with age undesirable or would it just be different?


We strive to be unique and yet we want to belong. This is another example of an “either/or” scenario that clearly functions better as an “and”. After all, we’re just human. I checked in with some of my favorite humans not too long ago and asked them to share with me their favorite body parts. I asked that they not waste space in this post with humility, excuses or deflection; just name it.

I was impressed with the amount of attributes each person shared. We all inherently like certain, if not many, things about our bodies yet we’ve been conditioned to focus on the negatives. There’s a misconception out there that liking and appreciating ourselves is the great evil that is vanity. Here’s a sampling of what I heard, starting with my own.

“My butt. There, I said it. The shelf. It’s round! I like my skin, especially as it changes. I like the color and I have inverted freckles now, there’s a pattern of three on my right arm that always makes me think of dominos. I like my eyes and my smile. When I smile I feel more attractive. I get freckles and age spots on my face that one of my friends said looked like a heart shape. I like that! I love my legs, they’re really strong. I like my stomach area, too. And my hair. It’s naturally unruly but behaves really well with a little love” – Fabienne

“My moles. A lucky-placed one left and above my lip, a-la Marilyn, and three that form a triangle above my heart. My face. I use it all the time! It’s so expressive & zany ^,.^ The skin on my back and arms.  I’ve been told it’s soft, and therefore I get pet a lot by my friends and loved ones :)- Telene

“When it comes to describing just one particular body part that I like the most about me, I struggle to name one. Instead a number of body lines converging together come to my mind: especially the rear view of my arms, shoulders, hips and buns that melt together into my waistline. And as I’m writing this paragraph, I go through a list of my body parts again: hips, shoulders, arms, small of my back, my belly, etc. and  I’m realizing that, as a result of your survey, I’m getting closer to that ONE thing. So, I have to say that my waistline is my favorite body part because it is the place where my curvy hip and bun lines narrow down to a “deep valley” and then widen up again towards my shoulders and arms creating flowing curves of my female body. Now, put all that in motion with a sound of music and imagine it dancing!” – Barbie

“The obvious are my breasts. (Yes, I like them too) and my face, skin, eyes and hair.  I like my body shape as well although I tend to be critical about extra weight.  I like my hands and my fingers, feet and toes too. Wow. I didn’t realize I liked so much!” – Donna

“I like my hair, wrists, ankles and eyes. My hair (as you know) is wild and easy to wear. My wrists and ankles are actually fairly tiny and dainty. I need that since I’m fairly muscular (and round) and need the extra feminine touch. My eyes I’ve received compliments on over the years. Being almond shaped with brown into green (when exposed to the sun), they give me a little more of my Middle Eastern pizzazz-lol! Windows to my crazy soul!” – Ingrid

I have to admit I almost got teary-eyed reading my friends’ comments. I understand what a long road it was to get to this place of just liking who they were. I was surprised at my own list, I never thought it would contain so much. Did any of these comments resonate with you? Did any inspire you to see yourself differently? We’re never going to be completely above self-criticism but what if we changed the way we saw ourselves to be more realistic? What if we leveled our personal beauty playing field? 

Because you can dress it and undress and dress it back up again but you can’t detach yourself from your body. Why would we ever want to? The human body is an amazing organic machine. What are your favorite body parts? Make a mental or physical list and keep it handy. Refer to it every time you doubt yourself, any time you are comparing yourself to another. If you only make one resolution this year, change the way you see yourself before trying to change yourself.

There’s only one you: Fascinating, unique, one-of-a-kind beautiful you. I would love it if you shared with me and other readers what your favorite body parts are below. Say it loud and proud!

A special thanks to my girlfriends who made time in their busy schedules to participate. An additional thanks to Sal from Already Pretty for encouraging positive body image regularly. If you haven’t already checked out her site, I encourage you to do so.

Deets: Hot pink dress/H&M, scarf/thrifted, grey patterned tights/Hue, faux cowboy boots/ModCloth, silver belt/unknown, silver cuff and ring/Lois Hill, black gingko earrings/Braindrops.



Quick, shoe break!

21 Jan

My enthusiasm can no longer be contained! My shoes came in! Last week, Sal from Already Pretty mentioned that Tsubos were 75% off on A girl needs to exercise her free impulse shopping pass once in a while. These beauties were $36. You know what I did, I nabbed ‘em.

Keep in mind I never buy shoes. Most of my shoes need to fit my orthotics, I have arthritis in both feet, (enter snarky age comments here.) But I got a gamblin’ heart. Actually, I read how ergonomic they were supposed to be and thought I could wear them at work or on a date night, (hint, hint, hubby), just as long as I didn’t have to do any serious walking.

You know I’m wearing them right now. Yup. Just sittin’ in front of the computer wearin’ my new shoes. I’m gonna get up, make dinner and eat, wearin’ my new shoes. That’s just how I roll.

And you know what else? They look hot with what I wore to work today. ‘K, bye.


Posted in Fashion


FBFF Q&A: Blogger authenticity

21 Jan
Some authentic love and bad helmet hair from last weekend’s trip

Our favorite run of the day

Will the real Fabienne please stand up? 

Readers value authenticity in a blog but defining what makes it authentic varies greatly. Who are we? How are we coming across? Who’s doing it well? Am I trying too hard? Does this blog make my butt look big? (Oh, I just couldn’t help myself!)

It’s Friend Friday and the topic this week is about what we deem authentic and how we express that quality in our blogs.

FBFF: Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
FJ: I would say there’s a level of humility that comes through somehow. I don’t mean self-deprecation, but rather a sense that the voice used to speak to me as a reader conveys friendliness and a desire to connect. This also something that consistency brings with time. I often check out a blog several times before deciding to follow. 

There’s a lot going on these days about authentic products, authentic experiences and behavior, it’s the latest in marketing jargon. Honestly, staying true to your character is as authentic as you can get. If someone is a super sharp dresser with the discretionary income one only dreams of it’s not any more authentic of them to try to play it down just appear “authentic”. Work what you’ve got, don’t apologize. If you’re flashy by nature, be flashy. If you’re a mom, be a mom.

FBFF: When it comes to your blog how do you infuse it with that true authentic feeling?
FB: Firstly, I will say that I definitely censor myself. What sounds funny when you’re with close friends does not always translate in the written word. Nor do I want to be remembered for the bad day I had or the like. 

That being said, everything you get is 100% me. My goofy sense of humor. My propensity for storytelling, my love of colors, nature, food, and let’s not forget snowboarding! I choose to represent myself accurately and also mindfully. I don’t mind having a good laugh at what I wore ten years from now but it would upset me greatly if a vignette of a bad day remained in the blogosphere to haunt me forever, especially out of context.

FBFF: Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?
FJ: Yes. The blogger seemed to have a lot of negative energy. Maybe it was a bad or difficult time for her. By no means do I expect everyone to be a Pollyanna, that would be disingenuous, but the impression I got was that person’s outlook on life had a negative bent to it. Not only could I not do anything to help but it started bumming me out. I think it would have been different if she had reached out. Who doesn’t want to help a sister? 

FBFF: We can’t communicate effectively on our blogs, something we don’t live in real life… what are some ways you try to live an authentic life?
FJ: I don’t know if I can sum it up in just a few words! I’ll try. Honestly, I don’t find it too difficult to be genuine, I don’t let convention or assumptions bog me down. I’m probably a rebel in disguise! A rebel who can see both sides of the story. I try to live the life I believe in, I try not to pass judgment without in-depth knowledge, I try to stand up for myself when necessary and I’m not afraid of being super affectionate and letting those I care about know it. Lastly, I’m not afraid of being wrong, it happens to all of us once in a while. I think those are pretty good starting points. And I surround myself with quality people. Your peeps say a lot about who you are, I happen to think mine are the bomb!

FBFF: Give a shout-out… Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?
FJ: Lol! How many of us are going to say “Katy”? Ok, there are quite a few so off the top of my head:

Katy (YOU!) from ModlyChic. Why? Your personality shines through even while you’re giving us advice and sharing your know-how with the community. At no point do you come across as authoritative yet you are so well respected. That says a lot about your authenticity.

Jodi from day2daywear. I just love her personality and enthusiasm. I enjoy all the little life tidbits she throws into her posts. You get the sense that even if she has a bad day she’s going to find something to laugh about. And you’re invited to laugh along.

Kendi from Kendi Everyday. I love the one post where she describes the sound of her voice. I swear it changed how I read her posts now.

Emma from Daily Clothes Fix. So much of her character comes across in the photos and her outfits. It feels so genuine. She’s got great ethics but has never appeared preachy. It inspires me.

Rose from Lovely Ladypants McGee. Her voice comes across genuinely. She’s creative, funny, eloquent. She, too, shares aspects of her life that just make me like her more!

Mackenzie from Whatever, Gatsby. I don’t know how she wouldn’t come across as authentic, seriously! If only I were that cool when I was twenty. Or that fearless!

Yvonne from Fashnlvr. I just started following her after signing up for Style Nation. I feel like I can basically say the same things about all of these ladies. I dig how they come across: intelligent, inquisitive, fun, personable, creative. They’re all different but share a lot of the same traits on their blogs.

I could keep going on and on: Collette from Statements in Fashion, Vahni from Grit and Glamour, Sal from Already Pretty…) The coolest thing is that I will keep discovering more bloggers that will inspire me, and so the cycle will continue. Yay for blogging!

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic, a very authentic blogger, for putting together these questions. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!


Happy New Year! FBFF Q’s: New Year…

01 Jan
Winter wonderland

Happy New Year! It’s Saturday but I’m really comfortable pretending that it’s Friday which is why I decided to postpone Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday. If you saw yesterday’s post, you would understand why I opted not to subject you to the world’s longest post. Sometimes, there’s good reason to be tardy.

Before going any further, I just want to acknowledge how amazing entering the world of blogging has been for me. It’s because of you. Really, you! I like to think of it as well-balanced symbiotic relationship. Knowing me, I’ll expound later. For now, I’ll answer this week’s questions.

New Year, new blog, new you… resolutions and goals for 2011

FBFF: What’s the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?
FJ: I’m interested in making the switch to WordPress to allow for greater functionality and customization and learning more. One of the advantages of being a designer is that I know how to make stuff look great. The disadvantage of using blogging applications is that they are incredibly limited in order to be easier to use. I find myself frustrated by those limitations, however minor they might be at times. I still have a lot to learn. Hollering across the room for help from the hubby is not a sustainable long-term solution.

FBFF: What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?

FJ: Being active in the community. I’m still defining how much time to spend doing research, working on posts, connecting with readers and the community at large. It’s a very fluid process, some days or weeks are more or less demanding than others. In order to post almost daily, I’ve made peace with the organic scheduling fluctuations that will occur.

FBFF: Do you have any high-level goals for your blog in the coming year? Monetization? More comments? More connections with other bloggers? A new template?

FJ: I’m looking forward to refining my blog and connecting with other bloggers. I want to put more energy into writing more in-depth pieces and keep the content diverse. I also really want to improve my writing and photography skills. 

I’m a storyteller which I have probably known intuitively all my life yet had never acknowledged until recently. I come from a long line of storytellers, just ask my dad a simple question! Maybe it’s just a Mediterranean thing, but I feel like I’ve been surrounded by storytellers all my life. It was bound to get passed down.

FBFF: If you could collaborate with one other blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you like to collaborate with, and what would you like to collaborate on?

FJ: Oooh, tough question! I can think of a couple bloggers that I’ve connected with who’ve risen to the top for me. I like how their personality comes through and the creativity they exhibit. Those two would be Jodi of day2daywear and Emma of Daily Clothes Fix. I could see myself collaborating with bloggers I don’t know, like Sal of Already Pretty. She has so much great advice to offer and is such a great writer. 

As far as what we would collaborate on? I don’t have any specific ideas. Either a theme or writing a post together, who knows. 

FBFF: What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?
FJ: I want to keep checking out new blogs and providing support whenever I can. Either by joining groups or commenting whenever it feels appropriate.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic, along with Vahni of Grit and Glamourfor putting together these questions. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic.