rachel dahl

Finding Your Constant During Seasonal Blues (SAD)

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Winter is a time when many of us are feeling sad and lonely, regardless of circumstance. I find myself feeling most vulnerable on winter nights—the combination of cold weather and early darkness just tears me down. I am mostly introverted, but when the sun goes down, I am often needing and wanting company. I have my husband, and he is delightful and so much fun, yet I still get the blues. Didn’t I say, no matter the circumstance? Listening to music helps somewhat, but the songs that find me end up complimenting my mood. I don’t know how long I’ve been like this. but it just further reminds me of the importance of getting sunshine!

When the sun is bright, I just feel like everything is or will be okay. The feeling I get when I’m basking in the sun is like the feeling of having someone’s arms wrapped around you, keeping you warm. In that moment, I feel loved. Secure. Protected. Special. Beautiful.

No matter what kind of woman you are, no matter your figure or profession, I think we can all agree that sometimes we feel like we’re not enough. It’s a joy to be a woman in many ways, but it also feels like a curse. In particular, our desire to be pursued and appreciated never ends. We are trapped in the illusion that our worth equates our beauty. Even after life settles down in a societal-familial sense, things never really settle down. Men on the other hand will always want to keep pursuing women, no matter what circumstance. It’s human nature—but not necessarily the good kind.

This is how I feel during the winter:

Note the underlying sadness.

When things change in your mood, your career, your happiness… find your constant and be grounded in it. What doesn’t shake, even amidst all things that do? Even when the sun goes away from our view, it is always there. It’s always working in the background even when you blame it for seasonal sadness. Dig even deeper, and you will find true joy at the source of it all, our Creator, lover of your soul and appreciator of your beauty.

Wearing: Vintage layering bib (fake collar) – Banana Republic 3/4 sleeves top – Ross high waist plaid skirt – Boohoo Chelsea boots – Burlington coat

The Clash: Black, Brown, and Blue.

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When I wore this ensemble to one of our holiday parties, it was in the evening. The skirt looked more like a darker navy blue, and these photos made it seem much, much lighter! If you would like to see how dark this really is, take a look at my previous outfit. I couldn’t be more obvious with the clash in colors than wearing black with brown and blue!

I honestly don’t even really care about what colors don’t match together. I like to mix patterns as well but not as bravely or as often as others do. As long as I feel good in the outfit and carry it with confidence, others don’t seem to mind. I’ve seen others put together known no-nos with clothing, like jean on jeans or socks with heels and just rock the bejewels out of them.

It’s my hubby’s birthday this weekend, and I’ve been extra busy organizing his surprise party along with finishing up work. Shhh…I’ll get back to the swing of things next week and reply to messages I’ve put on hold! Speaking of, there will be surprises for YOU in the weeks to come as well! Think free + fashion.

I envy you all who have time to document your lives along with your message to send out to the world. I’m thankful that whatever little time I got to blog, there are a handful of you who keep up with my posts, however few and far between!

Wearing: Vintage style skirt w/ suspenders (Sammy Dress) – Chelsea chunky high heel boots (Boohoo) – Faux collar top – 3-in-1 ring (Bikini Luxe)

I leave you with… The Clash.

Big Scarves Are Like Warm Hugs & Sony’s The Interview

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Scarves to me are the ultimate accessory. You can wear them in so many different ways. They also protect you from the cold and harsh winds of winter. I remember a few years ago when my husband and I went around the streets of Chicago in early February, I was wearing this very scarf on my face, covering everything but my eyes! I don’t remember why we chose Chicago in the dead of winter. It might’ve been a tempting Groupon offer, but this scarf definitely was a lifesaver!

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How was your Christmas? Some of my cousins and their friends went to see The Interview with Rob and I on Christmas day. I really wish the funniest people in the world didn’t have to be so crass, because they would still be the funniest people in the world without being so. Truthfully, I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the movie. I loved it except for the long stripper scene and of course the overall crassness you’d expect from Rogen-Franco taken to the next level.

I don’t care what Greta Van Susteren or any of the real movie critics say about it. It’s not so much about your taste in movies or humor that’s in question, but more about supporting and positively reinforcing the freedom of speech aspect of it. You might not want to see it, because it’s definitely not a family-friendly movie! However, there is freedom in choosing. Once we allow someone else’s rights to be taken away, we are allowing ours to be taken away as well. Anyway, we are still alive and didn’t get blown up. In times like these when you’ve got a dictator like Kim in the world, it’s especially unnecessary and cowardly to be politically correct. Rob wrote about censorship and freedom of speech recently on Modern Life Survivalist.

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Despite the holiday cheer and merrymaking, many of us feel lonely at this time of year. It could be the lack of sunlight, imbalanced immune system, materialism, or the expectation of good feelings or of company. No matter how much we direct our focus for this season on the birth of Christ (even though many of you know December 25 isn’t actually when Christ was born), we are still sad. This feeling happens a lot on Valentine’s Day for obvious reasons, or on birthdays when barely anyone remembers it unless you’re on Facebook. What helps me to feel happy is to stop thinking about myself and give love and attention to someone else. Big scarves are like a warm embrace. Be that scarf that someone else needs on a cold night.

 

Rainbow Tron & Being Loosey Goosey

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I just love big sweaters, don’t you? This is a vintage 80’s Liz Claiborne Sport (which I call “Rainbow Tron” because of the pattern) in a small size! I usually wear a medium (US 6-8) in today’s clothes. This, however, fits like a large, but it was designed to be loose—just like many of the clothes around the 80’s and 90’s. Though we still have clothing designed to be baggy nowadays, a lot of trendy girls seem to like to pair anything loose with something tight, like it’s some kind of requirement or must. I know it works well for the self-esteem to at least show off something, but it really doesn’t always have to be that way!

I’ve just at this point in my life realized that a loose top and loose bottom paired with some dainty heels can look oh so good. I’ve been watching classic Hollywood movies for a few days straight now, and I picked up a style perspective that I could apply to modern clothes. Big puffy sleeves and dresses are usually paired with dainty heels.

Back to the modern world, I’ve been inspired seeing girls wearing ragged & ripped boyfriend jeans with a classy loose button-down top or an executive-looking blazer with stilettos and just rocking it. The boxy shape isn’t necessarily bad or frumpy. Think 60’s shift dresses or straight-legged or boyfriend jeans with baggy sweaters and skinny heels. The contrast is so awesome, so it’s a win situation for the modest crowd. For the dainty part, I wore short grey socks with my 90’s Mary Janes to get that tasteful Japanese schoolgirl look ;-)

Be a loosey goosey.

You might not want to be a loosey goosey according to its typical definition! However, I found another definition for it on Urban Dictionary that is ironically quite notable: “not following prescribed guidelines or general societal expectations.” Absolutely! That is exactly how we must live our lives, especially if you’re either a Christian or just a red-blooded human being. So regardless of the pattern you choose to wear on your clothes (Rainbow Tron or otherwise), “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2

Wearing: Liz Claiborne sweater (selling on Etsy)- Kosher Casual shell dress – vintage 90’s pumps