As I am writing this, I just learned that Phil saw his shadow. You know what that means. . . More sweater weather. Fashology and I had a lot of fun shooting with Femme Boutique Boston towards the end of last year and I have been itching to show you this “Pink Pleated” look for some time! The pink is perfect for Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day) this month. And the best part?! The back!! I just love the delicate, feminine details of the bow and the pleats. What’s awesome about this piece is that it’s lightweight, so it can easily transition into spring. It is now is marked down from $59 to $20! Femme Boutique Boston offers great prices on all types of pieces and their inventory is constantly changing. Spend $75 or more to take advantage of free shipping!
You may remember that I wrote about the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation back in August of last year. This Sunday, January 21, the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation is hosting a very special event, STRIKE for Vanessa, at Boston University’s George Sherman Union at 10 AM! The event is nearly sold out and will be attended by over 300 women! STRIKE is a female empowerment and self-defense seminar hosted by celebrity trainer and founder of the Soteria Method, Avital Zeisler. The Soteria Method is a form of exercise and self-defense that has been featured in Glamour, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, “Good Morning America” and more.
Zeisler is an incredibly inspirational and impressive figure who is the perfect person to lead an event in Vanessa’s honor. Zeisler is not only a self-defense/exercise instructor, author and speaker, but also a survivor. In her Ted X Talk, she discusses her own experience.
I hope that you join me at the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation’s first STRIKE for Vanessa event this Sunday, January 21 at Boston University’s the George Sherman Union! To learn more about the event’s background, be sure to read this blog post by Vanessa’s friend and roommate, Leah. The event is almost sold out, so don’t delay getting your tickets here!
Merry Christmas Eve to all who celebrate! Perhaps you are taking a break from shopping or wrapping Christmas gifts. It can be a super busy time of year, but try to enjoy the holidays! Despite the craziness, I recently got to spend some time in Chatham earlier this month. While there, I got to wear this gorgeous Sail to Sable Keyhole Sleeveless Dress in Black from Shift Stores and check out the beautiful Christmas decorations at the Chatham Bars Inn. I absolutely love this dress! It fit like a glove and is perfect for the holiday season! You can check it out at the Shift Chatham location (open until January 3) or the Mashpee location (open year-round)! How will you be celebrating this holiday season?
*This gorgeous dress was provided by Shift Stores. All views and opinions are my own.
I hope that everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! We are officially into the holiday season! That means lots of festivities and shopping!
Today marks Cyber Monday, so I wanted to share my second look from Femme Boutique Boston. They have two physical spaces, but also an awesome website! For the remainder of the month, if you use code ‘BUSYASABEE25’ you’ll get 25% off of your order!
I absolutely love this cozy sweater and just look at the awesome details on the sleeves! Camel is a great basic color to have in your wardrobe. I also can NEVER turn down a good blanket scarf. I love the deep red and orange hues in this one! Happy Shopping!
Are you planning on grabbing any Cyber Monday deals?
Recently, I got the chance to model some of Femme Boutique Boston’s fun fall clothing with Gigi of Fashology! The store has two pop-up shops; one in Wakefield and the other in Wenham, as well as an extensive online store!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner (ahhhh next week!). I look forward to going to my parents in the Cape, relaxing and catching up with family. My two favorite things about Thanksgiving are a) planning what I am going to wear and b) planning a stellar tablescape (got any good ideas?).
This first outfit that I modeled has FALL written all over it to me. Just look at the colors in this peplum blouse! I love the fun bell sleeves! Another thing I loved about this outfit were these leggings! They are super stretchy, comfortable and perfect for Thanksgiving. I love the moto vibe. I am a size 4 and wore a medium, due to my height. They also are in stock in burgundy and olive.
If you shop on Femme Boutique Boston’s website through the month of November, you can receive 25% off of your purchase with the code ‘BUSYASABEE25.”
Thank you so much to the folks of Femme Boutique Boston for allowing me to model their beautiful clothing!
Recently, the two-year anniversary of my hip surgery passed. I have referred to my hip surgery in a few of my posts, but have failed to explain it in depth until now.
When I was a teenager, I went to a podiatrist who advised me to use inserts in my sneakers, due to over pronation in my feet. In my college years, I experienced pain in my right knee. I was told I had “runner’s knee” by a doctor (which is ironic, because I wasn’t a runner, largely due to the pain in my knee) and sent with a script for physical therapy. I fit in physical therapy whenever I could during my busy college schedule, and I finally felt like it was making a difference during my last semester.
Shortly after the Holidays and my unofficial graduation (I graduated mid-year), it was off to New York City for a dream fashion internship. One of the things that I love about New York is that is is such a walkable city. This is where I first noticed pain in my hip. I would notice it after climbing multiple flights of stairs (I always make myself take the stairs instead of the elevator) or walking many blocks in shoes other than my inserted sneakers and it really aggravated my hip.
I ignored the problem for a while, hoping that it would go away. But it just got worse. In 2014, I found myself in a chiropractor’s office. He instructed me to go get an x-ray done on my hip. Once he took a look at the x-rays, he told me I had hip dysplasia. Basically, my right hip never grew into its socket 100%; a condition that I was born with.
The chiropractor referred me to another doctor. He took a look at my x-rays, and prescribed physical therapy and injections. The physical therapy really didn’t help and the injections only relieved some of the pain for a few days. Given this was an anatomic structure issue, continuing with physical therapy wasn’t going to fix the pain. Thus, this doctor sent me to Dr. Millis at Children’s Hospital (yes, even though I am in my late twenties).
After looking at my x-rays, Dr. Millis said that surgery was basically my only option. I already had signs of arthritis starting in my hip. The surgery he was talking about was periacetabular osteotomy. Basically, they would cut into my pelvis, twist it, put screws in and wait for the bone to grow back. I am lucky to be a Bostonian; there are two surgeons here who do the surgery. Only about 6-12 doctors in the country perform this surgery.
Given my level of pain, I knew that I had to get this surgery; there wasn’t really a decision to be made. I scheduled the surgery for October 8, 2015. I was actually excited to get the surgery done, because I wanted relief from the pain. I would have to move home with my parents for the initial recovery.
My mom picked me up in the early early morning of October 8. It was a Thursday. I had to pack for the month that I would be staying with my parents. I remember getting some well wishes texts from friends before the surgery. Obviously, in pre-op, they gave me anesthesia. When I woke up, my parents were there. I just remember being incredibly thirsty when I woke up. I was then transported into a private room at the hospital; I got lucky. The room had all the TV shows I could ever want and even Playstation. The only time I was in pain while there Friday night; I remember almost crying from the sharp pain in my hip.
I was supposed to be on crutches for about five months, but it ended up being twice that, as it took my body an abnormally long time to heal. Those ten months were extremely challenging and I was basically on my own for the last 9 months of it. I had some friends help me out here and there, but without my parents or a spouse, the littlest tasks were really difficult. I couldn’t grocery shop (thank God for Instacart), do laundry, clean my room, climb more than a few stairs, take public transportation and even getting together with friends was a challenge. Any physical activity was out of the question. Just going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I would have to grab my crutches. Making meals was a challenge; I would hop around, trying not to put any weight on my right leg. I didn’t realize how hard little things like this would be.
For a while, I was permitted to use one crutch; this put me in kind of a weird limbo. Yes, I was recovering, but not at the rate that I was hoping to. Things in my life felt very stagnant at this point; I felt like my life was on hold. Though I had friends help me here and there; it was really challenging having my parents two hours away. My mother did come up for all of my doctor appointments and come help me with a few times with grocery shopping and laundry.
Every appointment I had, I was desperately hopeful to be cleared off of my crutches. Those ten months of my life were extremely challenging, but I did get a few things out of it. I got some time off from work, spend time with my parents, (I stayed with them the first month after surgery), catch up on my TV shows (and discover some new ones) and most of all….Start “Busy as a Bee!” In terms what I got out of it mentally and emotionally, it taught me resilience and patience.
How is my hip now? I have days where it hurt, but it is significantly better than it was before the surgery. It doesn’t randomly click that it used to. I hurt my hamstring trying to get back into working out, and that hasn’t been the same since. In an ideal world, I would be going to physical therapy twice a week and trying to strengthen my core (hey, I’m trying!). Sadly, I probably won’t be able to do yoga as intensely as I used to. I won’t be able to be a runner (given the impact). But the alternative was arthiritis and constant pain. I have forever grateful to Dr. Millis for improving my quality of life.
I hope that summer 2017 treated you well! I personally wish that I took more time to savor it! Can you believe that I only went swimming twice this summer; both times in August? Looking forward, I want to slow down and take in the things that give me joy.
I saw a quote recently that we often complain about our problems, but don’t talk about our joys in life. I admit, I have been very much in that mindset lately, and I need to work on changing it. So much easier said than done when we don’t know what is going to happen or don’t know how to react to a situation, and anxiety kicks in.
But as my father always says, worrying isn’t going to do any good. So, as hard as it is, it is better to focus on other, positive things in life. I find that it always helps to have something to look forward to, so here are my Top Three things that I am looking forward to most this fall:
1) Apple picking: I haven’t been able to go the last two years (in 2015, I had my hip surgery in the fall), and can’t wait to go this year! The key is to go in September, I think, when there are still plenty of apples. Many people have told me they don’t understand apple picking, as one can just buy apples at the supermarket. But it is all about the experience; crisp fall weather, turning leaves, getting out of the city and of course some delicious treats!
2) Fall Fashion: Though I am on a budget right now, I can’t wait to transition my wardrobe! I love cozy blanket scarves and can’t wait to pick up an affordable one from ilymix.com (if you use the code “busyasabee” you will get 20% off your purchase! I also love me some cozy flannels, boots and sweaters!
3) Halloween and Thanksgiving: I have always been a Halloween person! I’m not particularly into scary movies, but I love the tradition of watching Hocus Pocus every year and doing some fun DIY crafts. Also, a visit to Salem is always fun around Halloween; I just love soaking in the history and I am fortunate to live so close to it! Thanksgiving is another great holiday, because the focus is completely on family. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but Thanksgiving is so much more low key without all the commercial and material noise in the background.
What are you looking forward to this season?
(Outfit in photo courtesy of Shake the Tree).
Since I was a Women’s/Gender Studies major in college, I have always been super passionate about feminism. Women and men should have equal opportunities and equal rights. And one of those rights is the right to safety. When I heard my friend Caroline Tocci was trying to raise money for her non-profit, the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, I knew that I wanted to learn more.
Caroline started the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation in honor of her late cousin. Vanessa was tragically murdered last summer at the age of 27 while out on a walk in Princeton, MA. The Foundation fights for a world where women can feel safe. Its mission statement is the following:
We strive for this goal by partnering with organizations that deliver educational programs to promote female empowerment, challenge and undermine gender stereotypes, and provide mentorship opportunities. We believe these efforts will ultimately help reduce violence against women in our society.
On June 17, the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation held a 5k run/walk at Mt. Wachusett, where they were able to raise $95, 000! Next up is the Falmouth Road Race on August 20! Vanessa ran the race in 2014 and 21 runners, including Caroline, will be running in her honor this year. I figured this was a great opportunity to sit down with Caroline and learn more about the Foundation.
1) How long has the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation been in existence?
The Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation was established in the winter of 2017. Although we (Vanessa’s friends and family) knew we wanted to memorialize Vanessa and keep her legacy alive, it took some time for us to decide on the Foundation’s mission. Vanessa loved giving back to the community, so we wanted to make sure we would be establishing a foundation that connected to her passions as well. By February of this year, we were officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
2) What was your role in starting the Foundation?
A few months after Vanessa died, I started to discuss the idea of starting a foundation with Vanessa’s family and friends. I knew that if this tragedy had happened to me, Vanessa would spread awareness so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else. I felt like I needed to share her story and help others so we could help reduce violence against women in our society. I am the President of the Foundation, but every board member has had a significant part in the Foundation’s establishment.
3) Can you give some examples of the educational programs with which the foundation has partnered?
We have partnered with Tutoring Plus, a nonprofit organization that Vanessa volunteered for which supports and encourages the academic, personal, and social growth of youth in Cambridge, MA. We’re specifically funding their gender programs because we believe the objectification of women in our society is a significant factor in the violence against women. There are many factors that contribute to the objectification of women, including gender stereotypes, so we’re doing work that focuses on educating youth on these topics. We believe that investing in these areas will have an impact on reducing violence for future generations.
4) Can you talk a bit about the preparation/work that went into organizing the 5k earlier this summer?
Well, we were very fortunate that Vanessa’s former employers, Google and Vistaprint, as well as local organizations, wanted to help us with the 5k. After securing the venue, it took many hours of reaching out to different businesses and organizations for sponsorships and donations. We hired a race manager to help with race registration and logistics on race day. There was a lot of coordination and planning involved, from food to t-shirts to signage, but everyone on the board helped make the day a success.
5) Have you run the Falmouth Road Race before?
Yes, in 2014 I ran the race with Vanessa on the Dana-Farber team, so this race is very significant to me.
6) Who else is running on the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation team?
The runners range from family, friends, my former high school and college classmates, and others who were just interested in the Foundation and wanted to take part.
7) Have you trained for the Road Race at all? Are you an avid runner?
I run a few times a week, so I’ve done some longer runs (4-7 miles) in the last few weeks but I’ve been traveling so it’s been difficult to find the time.
8) What do you see for the future of the Foundation?
I’m really excited about the future of the Foundation and see big things ahead for us. I see it eventually being a nationwide organization that helps women live bold and fearless lives. We plan to go into the schools to share our story and help young women feel safe by learning self defense and wearing safety tech devices, such as the device Athena, created by our 5k sponsor Roar For Good. We think this device can help save lives. Not only do we want to help promote female safety, but we believe it’s important to educate youth on gender stereotypes to help redefine gender roles in our society. As I said before, the objectification of women is one factor of violence against women and it’s important for us to take part in this bigger societal issue as well so that we can truly make a difference.
Thank you to Caroline for sharing her story with me!
If you read my Summer 2017 Bucket List , you remember that one of the trips I wanted to take was to Portland, Maine. Portland is the foundation of my mother’s side of the family, as it is where my grandparents grew up and met one another. We still have a family home there (more about that later). My grandparents passed away back in 2015, and my extended family decided to all get together to bury their ashes in the family cemetery up in Portland last weekend. My grandparents lived well into their 90’s; long and happy lives. It was great to see all of my family and celebrate my grandparents’ legacy. Simultaneously, it was great to be in Portland to do that.
We all gathered for a short ceremony at the family cemetery with my grandparents ashes. Afterwards, we headed to the Victoria Mansion. The Mansion was owned by two families; the Morse family, as well as the Libby family (my mother’s family). In fact, my middle name is Libby. My great-grandfather actually owned this home, and my grandfather lived there as a very young boy. We got a tour around the house. I wish that I could show you pictures; but no photography was allowed. I could see the family resemblance in all the Libby photos scattered throughout the house. I would love go back and see the Mansion when it is decorated for Christmas.
Downtown Portland was really cool; we went to a great seafood restaurant. I wish I had more time to explore the cute shops down there.
Another restaurant we went to was Rising Tide in Scarborough, Maine. Rising Tide was a favorite of my grandparents. Set on the water, the restaurant is what you think of when you think of a stereotypical Maine seafood shack. I got to experience my first lobster roll of the summer (quite late, I know), and it was delicious of course! When in Maine. . .
We closed out the weekend by going to Portland Head Light. Based on Instagram pics, I have been itching to visit the lighthouse and finally got my chance! Portland Head Light is on a beautiful property; Fort Williams Park. The Park includes short trails and gorgeous cliff views. The drive to Portland is worth it just to see Portland Head Light!
Have you done any traveling this summer?
After a long period of rain, Boston is finally experiencing a bit of a HEAT WAVE!!! Be careful what you wish for, right?!? Summer is FINALLY here! I try to do a Top Three series every month, BUT due to my recent absence from blogging, I decided to do one for Summer 2017! Read on for my Top Three Summer 2017 bucket list items.
1. Day Trips: There are so many awesome places to check out throughout New England! Scrolling through Instagram, I am always wanderlusting over other bloggers’ travel pics. Two of my fav bloggers to follow for New England travel are The Lilac Press and Shell Chic’d (her blog features a FAB New England Travel Guide)! Some of the places on my list? The Berkshires; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; Newport, Rhode Island and Portland, Maine. Of course, trips down to the Cape are a most as well. I am excited to share with you where I find the best lobster roll this summer!
2. Reading: Almost like a good work out, I often feel proud of myself after finishing a book. I can have a tough time relaxing, slowing down and staying focused. Basically, it is very hard for me to get sucked into a good read. I have a summer reading list that I will be sharing soon. But one of the items on it is Big Little Lies, which I was intrigued to read after the HBO series launched (and I LOVE Reese Witherspoon).
3. Get organized: I know this sounds silly, right?!? The reason that I am putting this on my list is that my mood improves SO MUCH with the sunshine; it is so much easier for me to get things done! Give me a grande iced coffee and I am ready to take on the day! I feel like since this weather warmed up just recently, that I have gotten my room more organized than I did over the entire winter. In addition to organizing my physical space, I would like to get more organized financially; updating that Excel spreadsheet that I made in the fall. Do you have any tips for getting and staying organized? Recently I have learned to break tasks down into steps when it comes to organizing.
What are you looking forward to this summer?