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Abby’s Reflections #13 | Holiday Loneliness

Insights on Beauty & Sight Loss

One of the loneliest places to be during the holidays is in a roomful of people when you’re not feeling the gaiety. It’s okay to acknowledge how you feel and to seek guilt-free solitude. It’s also okay to reach out for help. You are not alone.

There are many people who struggle with feelings of loneliness during the holidays. The challenges of daily life are real even in the midst of the most joyous time of the year. If you’ve experienced a recent loss of a loved one, job or are having serious health-related problems these things can impact how you feel. Try to remember this is one moment in time and though difficult it may be, you will pull through.

Description: A white, teal, and gray boldblindbeauty.com template utilizing the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Behind Abby to her right is a teal colored Christmas tree with a gold star and ornaments. She is sporting her signature explosive hairstyle while wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her. In the background are light gray snowflakes.

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How To Add Some Sparkle To Your Holiday Ensemble

‘Tis The Season To Shine

Who doesn’t like to feel and look glamorous? As we’ve touched on many times here at Bold Blind Beauty, even us blind ladies care about our appearance and for us, the holidays are no exception. Right now is the perfect opportunity to channel your inner diva and you can do it in a subtle yet stunning way with a skirt and sweater combo.

There is so much we can do to mix colors, textures, and pieces to create a sophisticated look guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks. For today’s look, I took a luxurious holiday red velvety soft sweater and paired it with a body-hugging black midi skirt adorned with large buttons down the left side.

If metallic apparel isn’t your thing you can get your sparkle on with a pair of silver pointy toe pumps and finish off with a silver faux fur jacket. A red mini tote bag, black onyx stud earrings, oversized shades and faux leather driving gloves round out this outfit. All that’s needed now is a red lip, festive manicure and you’re good to go.

Holiday gatherings can be a little unsettling when you aren’t aware of your surroundings and when you use a white cane it can get a tad dicey navigating a room full of people while balancing food, drinks, and handbag. I opt for a bag with a shoulder strap so I can wear it cross-body to free up a hand in addition to going sighted guide especially in dense group settings.

Cashmere & Fur

 Description (clockwise from the top left):

Holiday/winter collage with white/silver snowflakes and three white/silver slim unadorned trees each in a dark wooden base. Clothing and accessories are on top of this festive background.

  1. Cashmere Sweater – red, round neck, long sleeves
  2. Stud Earrings – black onyx
  3. Leather Driving Gloves – black, embellished with bow accent hardware at the top of the wrist
  4. Luxe Faux Fur Coat – silver faux fur jacket with a wide collar
  5. Metallic Pumps – silver, pointy toe, stilettos
  6. Mini Top Handle Tote – red mini tote bag with a handle on the top and a long shoulder strap and gold hardware
  7. High Waisted Bodycon Button Design Skirt – black midi skirt with buttons along the left side

How do you like to get dolled up for the holidays?

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Holiday Fashion Engages Senses From Head To Toe #2

Abby is on the job sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Houndstooth, Fur & A Little Sparkle

While you may not be able to see the forest for the trees, you can be a vision in an ensemble with multiple textures. In my second installment on engaging the senses through holiday fashion I’ve taken three knit separates added faux fur, velvet, reptile texture, and gemstones to create an overall glamorous vibe.

When we view the world through the narrow lens of the majority we can miss out on brilliant nuances. The beauty in being able to see can hinder our ability to fully engage with our environment.

Being born without or losing a sense like sight exposes us to a whole new world of sensory experience. The environment which the majority of us can see with our eyes is viewed very differently from a person who is blind or visually impaired.

Take today’s outfit for example, looking at it with physical sight we can take in the bold black and white houndstooth pattern. The sparkle of the gemstones would catch our eye but how about the shape, cut, edges, and smooth facets on the crystals?

From the perspective of blindness or visual impairment imagine how delightful the feeling is of running the fingertips through the fur on the vest or how this texture differs in comparison with the knit top. Taking in the smooth, bumpy surface on the handbag provides us with an added sensory experience by hearing the jingle of the adjustable shoulder chain or the magnetic closure.

Then we have the soft, luxurious feeling of velvet ankle boots against the warm and cozy opaque tights. Yes, there is no denying that seeing with our physical eyes is awesome but even when we cannot see we can still, and in some cases even more so appreciate the beauty surrounding us. The difference is in our perception.

Description (clockwise from the top left):

  1. Black rib knit sweater with gem embellished neck – funnel neck and long sleeves.
  2. Black and white houndstooth skirt – wrap-effect front, patch pockets, black trims.
  3. Shaggy vest in jet-black crimped faux fur – three-quarter length.
  4. Black opaque tights.
  5. Black velvet heeled booties – chunky heels.
  6. Silver-colored shoulder bag – silver chain strap.

Here’s a little something to think about: Many people view blindness as a loss but there is another perspective seldom considered, the minority’s view.

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Guest Post: Lisa Salinger

Reach! 3 Invaluable Tips To Endure The Holidays

Originally published on BlindAlive

If I said I’m here to tell you about three unbeatable moves for the entire holiday season, what would your reaction be?

Maybe your heart does a little happy dance because you love the holidays in any way, shape or form. Maybe you feel almost nothing, and you wonder if it’s worth your time to keep reading. After all, retailers have been pushing “The most wonderful time of the year” since before Halloween.

Or maybe you passionately hate it all. Maybe you’re dealing with a job loss, a break-up, a life-changing diagnosis, or the death of someone you love.

I’d like to suggest that whatever your state of mind, you’ll love these three moves. In fact, I find them unbeatable all year-long.

First, let’s talk about the equipment you’ll need. You might want to wear comfortable walking shoes, but slippers, party shoes, or bare feet will also do nicely. You can sit, stand, or lie down.

The most important skill you will need for each of these moves is to reach! Here they are:

  1. Reach In!
    While this sounds like an anatomically impossible stretch to do with your body, it’s vital to do with your mind. Reach inside yourself. Are you incredibly sad, but are doing your best to put on a brave face? Or maybe you are keeping up the facade of acting coolly disinterested or hassled by the entire scene when you can barely contain your excitement and enthusiasm? You may not feel like you can let your feelings show, and even though it would be ideal if you could, you owe it to yourself to be honest inside your own head.
  2. Reach Out!
    Are you depleted? Reach out. Chances are, there are family and friends who’d love to lend a listening ear. Do you have energy and excitement to spare? Reach out. It’s important to be flexible and patient with yourself. Some days, some moments, you may be giving. Others, you may be receiving. Just do your best to keep reaching out and connecting meaningfully with others, both for their sake and yours.
  3. Reach Up!
    Have you ever listened to a workout where the instructor abandons particular steps and says something like, “Just move! Just do what feels best to you?” This third move is one that leaves room for lots of interpretation. For some, reaching up means taking time to connect with God and think about the significance of the season. For others, it might mean reaching higher — putting on that last burst of speed to complete goals first begun in January. It might mean reaching higher within yourself, to emerge victorious from struggles that seem impossible.

Whatever you do this holiday season, Keep On Reaching In, Reaching Out, Reaching Up!

If you’d like to share your story, we’d love to hear from you at Support@BlindAlive.com.

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Holiday Fashion Engages Senses From Head To Toe

Abby is on the job sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Turn Heads In Blue Velvet & Ivory

What I love most about autumn and the approaching holiday season is the assault on the senses. From the sound of leaves delicately dancing across the ground on a breezy fall morning to the mesmerizing crackle and sizzle of logs in the fireplace, I can’t get enough.

I don’t know what it is about the onset of cooler temperatures, but it’s as if my senses come alive. It’s during this time of year when I especially take notice of the multitude of bold textures and I enjoy incorporating soft, smooth, plush, material with fabrics ranging from warm and heavy to hard, shiny, and sparkly.

Since the holidays are upon us, during the next few weeks I’ll share examples of outfits that offer tactile, pretty, and functional features that are especially pleasing to my bold, blind, and beautiful friends.

This week’s outfit is a classy combination of ivory and blue with red accents.

Blue Velvet
Description (clockwise from the top):
  1. Bejeweled flat – navy pointed smoking slipper enhanced with sparkly crystals at the toe.
  2. Reversible wool cape – solid navy one side, gray and blue striped on the other side.
  3. Ivory corduroy trousers – soft corduroy with zipped cuffs and shiny silver-tone hardware.
  4. Red patent round shoulder bag – metal feet, jewel details, tassel zip pull, convertible can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag.
  5. Cream lattice back knitted chunky sweater.
  6. Red graduated beads make up these drop earrings with post closure.

What types of special features do you look for in clothing and accessories?

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Freedom, Right & Opportunity

May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.  ~Peter Marshall

Description is in body of post.

Wishing everyone a Happy & Safe 4th of July!

Image: Design incorporates red, white and blue and includes the above quote with a black & white photo of Lady Liberty’s face.

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #9

Packing Trick For A Holiday Getaway

suitcase-468445_1280Packing can be a royal pain! Packing for a short-term holiday trip can be especially frustrating so I have a few tips to make it a little easier.

For quite some time now I’ve been rolling my clothing when I travel but then a couple of years ago I saw a demonstration that changed my packing life forever. Rolling an entire outfit with accessories is a beautiful thing for a several reasons:

  1. Carry-on. Enough said.
  2. Organized and efficient, rolling and packing saves time as dressing is a cinch because all you have to do is pick a bundle.
  3. Hotel cooties, Yikes!! While not a cure-all, keeping my outfits in my suitcase until I’m ready to wear them gives me a little comfort.
  4. Ironing is drastically reduced. Personally if I can avoid packing clothing that requires ironing all the better.
  5. Don’t forget to include what you wear to your destination. As you’ll note in my example I chose to wear my tuxedo jacket for extra layers.

Using the same outfits in my Blind Woman’s Guide To Easy Holiday Glamour, the following photo grids demonstrate how the process works:

photogrid_1481914132159

  1. Dress pants folded along the creases then folded in half
  2. Dress shirt buttoned folded in half lengthwise, sleeves folder under is placed on top of the pants
  3. Cami is folded in half lengthwise the placed on top of the shirt
  4. Jewelry is in a medium-sized drawstring pouch and placed on top of the cami

photogrid_1481914173904

  1. I begin rolling the complete set and place my clutch on top to be rolled in
  2. Roll with the clutch included
  3. Completed roll
  4. Carry on bag has three complete outfits (2 mentioned above) and a sweater and leggings along with a pair of heels. Unmentionables are placed in the bag,s pockets along with toiletries and extra bags for dirty laundry. You may have noticed I didn’t include the tuxedo jacket, read on…

photogrid_1481914259749

  1. Since the heels are black suede I store them in plastic bags which comes in handy when packing
  2. Three drawstring pouches. Before I had these I used to use clear sandwich bags.
  3. This is my travel outfit. Jeans, black sleeveless mock neck top, dangling fringe earrings, chunky bracelet, black tote bag and I’d wear black ankle boots.
  4. Tuxedo jacket is part of my travel outfit – BAM!!

There you have it. This example was for carry on but it could be applied to additional luggage. If I wanted to carry my toiletry bag I would simply pack my tote.

I hope these tips are beneficial. Do you have any tricks you use when traveling? Please do tell.

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A Blind Woman’s Guide to Easy Holiday Glamour

Blind Motherhood Feature by Yours Truly

Silver sequined cami, black rhinestone embellished hard case clutch, silver necklace, earrings and bracelet accented with crystals.Once again it’s the most wonderful time of the year or so they say. Ladies let’s be honest, if you’re like most people the stress you deal with on a daily basis becomes exponentially worse during the holidays.

With frenetic activities—from list making, decorating, gift buying, card sending, meal planning, oh, and let’s not forget those everyday tasks like taking care of our families, homes, and jobs—thinking about what to wear for holiday gatherings is nerve-wracking. So I came up with three suggestions to help you look your best for those highly anticipated soirees continue reading…

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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #5

Spicing Up A Pair Of Skinny Jeans

img_20161203_152505-2You cannot go wrong accessorizing with an animal print. Even though this past Thanksgiving was going to be a simple affair, to add a little zing I wore my Ann Taylor animal print cardigan with a cami and jeans.

My brother and I ordered a takeout family thanksgiving meal from Boston Market then the two of us along with one of my sons had dinner with our mom at the nursing home. We had so much to be thankful for this year because we almost lost our mom. She not only survived but thrived and continues to be her feisty self. I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to show her she matters to us.

I’m always saying that we all have an expiration date, we just don’t know when it will occur. This past year I’ve become more aware of how fragile life is and we only have this one chance to make things right with the people in our lives. I think all in all this was one of the best holidays in recent memory.

photogrid_1480600224777

Outfit Description: Ann Taylor animal print cardigan with black sleeves and back, black cami, blue skinny jeans, black oxford heels. Accessories included a silver medallion necklace on a faux leather strap, drop earrings and two bracelets.

Happy Monday!