Why did you start this blog?
I began the blog as an outlet for my creative side. I graduated with a Masters Degree in Jazz Guitar,so I have always loved creativity.However in 2010, I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility Syndrome, and have daily chronic pain. Symptoms since 2008, I was in terrible pain, and didn’t know what I had. I went to the Mayo Clinic and they also missed the diagnosis. However,through many hospital and doctor’s visits, my own research, and physical therapy tests, I was diagnosed with this rare and incurable disease. For about 3 years, all I could do was take my pups out to use the bathroom, and lay in bed. Presently, I have my pain managed, and am able to do more than I was able to do, much more due to physical therapy, eastern medicine and my own determination to get better. For many years, particurarly in the beginning my sister was convinced I had a wardrobe full of black cotton pants as this was my “uniform” for years, as it was comfortable for me, and I was more focused on my pain and lack of pain control, than what outfit I was going to put together. This blog I thought, would be a good outlet for my interest in fashion, creativity, and also show that one can wear nice clothes and get dressed up even with a chronic illness. Elegantly dressed and Stylish, is an acronym for EDS, my disease, as I thought it could be a reminder of what I can do now, and how I can feel better about myself by dressing nicely and taking care of myself.
Where do you live?
I live in the Lake Norman are, North of Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband, and my two sweet shih ztu puppies, Truffles, my shy girl chocolate-haired 4 year old, and Gibby my red-haired rambunctious 2 year old. We moved here 10 years ago, when I got tired of scraping snow off of my car in Pittsburgh, PA. I always had a vision of living in a cabin in the woods, however, this is close with a lovely house, with only a 3 hour drive to the mountains or beach.
How old and tall are you?
Currently, I am 49 years old. I can do some things, without the constraints of EDS that I used to do. ( camp, swim, movies,out to dinner etc). I am 5 foot 9, so not being able to wear heels now doesn’t bother me too much, only that there are some very beautiful styles, but companies are coming around to fashionable, comfortable shoes as well. Update: I am now able to wear a heel- prefer a block heel generally around 2.5 inches or lower. As far as size, I am 121 pounds, 5 foot 9 and wear a 4 in dresses, 2 or 4 in skirts, and a small or xsmall in tops.
Who takes your pictures?
My hubby takes the photos, and we try and take advantage of the weather here, and many of the beautiful surroundings in the Carolinas. I may need to have pictures taken with the tri-pod if necessary.l This is more challenging! There are many areas that one can find to take pictures. We do love the many vineyards and wineries the area has to offer, so I am sure you will see me in this landscape in one time or another. We also love Savannah and Charleston SC, and there are many opportunities, with their cobblestone streets, and historic homes.
Describe your style.
I really think women and men in the 20’s knew how to dress. AKA Boardwalk Empire. Love the suits, the hats, the gorgeous dresses, and the hair jewelry.(Think of zoot suits and flapper dresses.) As far as my style, it is part trend at times, feminine and then classic. Let’s put it this way, when I go in to Ann Taylor, I am like Norm of Cheers. I walk in , and they say ” Jess!”. I do like well-tailored pieces and a mixture of some more expensive pieces. I find you can mix budget with pricier if you look for coupons, sales, and wait until out of season. I don’t buy too much that isn’t on sale, unless it is a must have, with only my size left, I find that there are coupons and promos and other sites one can visit.
Is it hard to dress up with a chronic pain disease?
Yes, there are times when I swear I would love to go out in my pajamas but people would stare at me funny, for all the wrong reasons! I basically make sure that I do pick comfortable pieces that are not constricting. I have a difficult time wearing anything conforming, like tights, due to systemic GI issues, so I cut half of the waist band out to make it more comfortable. Since I am tall, 5’9″, I find that sometimes even tall tights are not long enough, so my trick is to cut off the feet, put on ankle socks, so I can pull them up as high as I want, and then wear boots. You can’t see the socks, and that way you have all of the length you need!
I have some pants that are comfy, some loose-fitting cargo pants, and would just love leggings or slim fit jeans, but the sensitivity bothers my legs, so I wear a lot of dresses and skirts, cargo pants, cotton black pants.. so you will see me more in skirts and dresses. I also used to have quite a shoe collection, but can’t wear high heels anymore, so I find fashionable flats with cushioning to wear, and there are a ton of shoes and boots that are now stylish and comfortable!! I just bought two pair of brogues ( oxfords) I love that are Born. I also find stylish boots in Dansko and shoes from the company Sofft. In addition, I add over the counter orthotics that are soft as insoles and that usually acts as enough cushion.I have enjoyed buying more 1″ boots this year, as I love fall fashion and being able to wear boots anyone can wear. I will do my best to post when I can, however, there may be “down days” when I am unable, so just bear that in mind.
Leibster Award: This award was given to me by Lura , a lovely girl who is also a Southern Blogger.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator has set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer.
3. Choose 11 people (with 200 followers or less) and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!
4. what are two things from your bucket list? I would love to go and see Ireland, the land of my Ancestors, as well as get up on stage in a well known venue to play my Jazz Guitar, or sing jazz vocals. ( I Graduated in Jazz Music)
5. best birthday you’ve had? My best birthday was probably my 40th. I remember it being a lovely birthday with my parents and hubby, no “Over the Hill” signs, but the year before my illness was showing symptoms .
8. would you rather be indoors or outdoors? I would love to be outdoors! I met my husband 13 years ago in a rock climbing class. He was belaying me, so I figured, ” I better get to know this guy”! I have always loved being with nature, camping, climbing, hiking, canoeing, biking. I just love to walk in the woods, there is peacedulness and serenity there.
9. boxers or briefs? just kidding. to you, what’s the most attractive trait in the opposite sex? For me, it is someone who is passionate about what they do. There is nothing more unattractive than seeing someone who hates what they do, or has no ambition.
2. What is your goal with your blog?
3. What is your favorite food?
4. Who would you like to meet in life if you could?
5. What is your favorite hobby?
6. Favorite place to visit?
7.If you could keep two articles of clothing what would they be?
9. Are you a homebody or do you like to go out?
10; Name one of your favorite blogs, what do you like about it?
11. When you leave the house, what can’t you be without? Why?