Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014

Disclosure: One item in the Fall Lookbook was sent to me by FitClubDesigns on Etsy to facilitate a review but all other items featured were purchased by moi. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

I cannot even begin to put into words how excited I am that fall is right around the corner! Cooler, crisper weather. The beauty of the changing leaves. The return of one Leroy Jethro Gibbs on Tuesday nights. Candy Corn M&Ms are back.The smell of pumpkin spice is everywhere. My birthday is on its way. There are just SO many things to look forward to!

I am in the process of overhauling my wardrobe. I have been pulling out things that either don’t fit anymore or things that I don’t need anymore because I am no longer working in an office so I have 2 massive bins of clothes that I need to list on Poshmark! In turn, I have picked up some new pieces when I’ve found good deals or have been inspired. I have definitely been on a journey of figuring out what my style is and being able to truly own it so I am very excited to open my closet and put some new outfit ideas for fall! While out shopping last week, I had one of the store employees compliment my style. Not my earrings or top but my overall style. That felt so good! I feel like I have finally arrived and finally feel like I know my style and can now fully own it. Its taken some time and trial and error even a few fashion flops but the endgame is worth it. If you are in the midst of trying to figure out your own style, hang in there. You will find it and when you do, the fierce confidence that comes along with it is such an amazing surge of energy. When you have chronic illness, it is so easy to lose yourself in the midst of treatments, doctors visits, and yoga pants but it is all part of the journey and the ups and downs are what grow us into stronger people and the moment you own that, you are on your way!

I have created 3 different looks for the first edition my Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014.

Look #1: Casual Fall Glam

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014 - Casual Fall Glam

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014 - Casual Fall Glam

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Casual Fall Glam

Outfit Details:

Black Blazer ~ Ebay

Disney Princess Tank ~ FitClubDesigns

Rockstar Skinny Jeans in Plum ~ Old Navy

Necklace & Earrings ~ ShopMissA.com

Quick Mini-Review: I had been searching for a Disney Princess shirt and when I came across this “I’m 99.9% sure I am a Disney Princess” I knew I needed it in my life! The variety of tanks and tshirts created by FitClubDesigns is amazing. This tank is a workout tank but since I haven’t been able to work out lately, it was perfect to pair with a pair of skinny jeans and a black blazer for a laid-back glam that is perfect for fall. The material of the tops is perfect, not too thin to be see-through but not too heavy to make you a soggy mess after a workout.I have worn and washed mine several times and have not had any issues. I hang dry mine because I was right on the line between a medium and a large and went with the medium but probably should have gone with the large. The “girls” would have liked a little extra room! LOL! Next time I will get the large because I know I will definitely be adding another to my collection!

Look #2: Feminine Edge

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Feminine Edge

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Feminine Edge

Outfit Details:

Black Moto Jacket ~ Old Navy

Blush Chiffon Maxi Skirt ~ Ebay

White T-shirt ~ Old Navy

One of my favorite things that I love to do is mix feminine pieces with more edgy pieces. I love to feel girly and feminine but I also like to keep my edge and spunk mixed in as well. I think the soft chiffon maxi skirt in the color blush was the perfect counterbalance to the black moto jacket. A simple top was all that was needed but you can also try swapping the plain white shirt for a graphic tee for some extra spunk. This look also leaves a lot of freedom to try different types of jewelry such as a statement necklace or a long, layered necklace. Definitely make time to play around and find what best shows off your fierce personality!

Look #3: Leather & Lace

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Leather & Lace

Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Leather & Lace
Fall Fashion Lookbook 2014: Leather & Lace

Outfit Details:

Moto Jacket ~ Old Navy

Lace Chiffon Dress ~ Forever21

Tights – Walmart

Lace-up Booties: Forever21

Abby’s Outfit Details:

Ever After Dress ~ Kmart

Denim Jacket – Old Navy

Boots ~ Marshalls

It would be hard to pick a favorite out of these three looks but if I was forced to choose, I think it would be this one! Again, I love the mix of feminine and edgy with the leather jacket (well, faux leather jacket) and the lace paneled chiffon dress. I liked adding a belt as it shows off a more defined waist and it adds some personality in lieu of not wearing a necklace or bracelets.

Here are the mood boards from these 3 looks that may be helpful making some modifications to make this look your own!

Casual Fall Glam

Casual Fall Glam by anewkindofnormal featuring h&m skinny jeans

Feminine Edge

Feminine Edge by anewkindofnormal featuring a chiffon maxi skirt

Leather & Lace

Leather & Lace by anewkindofnormal featuring nylon tights

Which of these looks was your favorite? What looks are you looking forward to rockin’ this fall? Are there any new trends you want to try that may be a little out of your comfort zone but you want to go for it anyway?

Disclosure: One item in the Fall Lookbook was sent to me by FitClubDesigns to facilitate a review but all other items featured were purchased by moi. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

11 Years Ago Today: Finding Purpose For My Pain

11 Years Ago Today: Finding Purpose For My Pain
When I think back to September 16, 2003, I remember two things. First, I remember how anxious and nervous I was about having my first surgery ever. When I was in high school, I took an Anatomy class and the teacher shared an article about a woman who woke up during her surgery but her body didn’t. Mentally she was awake and aware of everything they doing and can feel them inside her body but because her body was still sedated, she had no way of telling the doctors that she was awake. That story scarred me for life. When I woke up in the recovery room, there were all of the nurses buzzing around me that I immediately panicked thinking  I had woken up too early but thankfully, everything had gone smoothly and the nurses were just trying to warm me up to stop the shakiness from the anethesia.

The second thing I remember about September 16, 2003 was sitting on my bed giggling with my mom and talking about wedding plans as I knew John was in the next room asking my dad for my hand in marriage! We had already set a date and I may or may not have already had my dress but knowing it would soon be official was so exciting!

What I wasn’t aware of on September 16, 2003 was how much my life was going to change as the result of this surgery. Thankfully my journey from initial, constant pain to diagnosis was really short. I would say that within 6 weeks of meeting Dr H, she confirmed that I had endometriosis. According to the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, “in one study, the average time from the onset of symptoms to the surgical diagnosis of endometriosis was 12 years.” TWELVE YEARS. I cannot even begin to imagine!

As I went through college, my periods began to get worse as time went on. I would get terrible cramps, shooting pain down my legs, and awful GI issues. The summer of 2003, it became apparent that something major was going on. I was extremely moody and constantly exhausted. Pain in my lower back became constant just as I was starting my student teaching at a local elementary school teaching K-5 music. I thought that I might have had a UTI or kidney infection so I went to the local doctors office near campus. I had previously seen the PA for things like asthma flare-ups or sinus infections so I was expecting to pee in a cup and be sent home on an antibiotic to clear up an infection but instead I left with a referral to see an ob/gyn. It wasn’t a UTI or kidney infection. As soon as she said “female problem,” I lost it.

God knew what He was doing as Dr H was new in town so I was able to get an appointment quickly to get checked out. Dr H has become my rock the last 11 years. I honestly don’t think I could have made it this far without her. I had my first appointment in early August and on September 17 it was confirmed that I had endometriosis. It was a lot to take in in such a short amount of time but being the geek and researcher that I am, it didn’t take me long to catch up. I was able to find a support group for young women with endometriosis and still maintain friendships with some of the ladies I met in that group. I went on to be the program director of that group which I loved but when I knew it was time to step back from that role, A New Kind of Normal was born soon after.

So many things changed in that 24 hour span. There was joy and sadness with excitement and anxiety. My world was turned upside down but as things started to settle into a new normal, my purpose was revealed. God was going to use my pain for something bigger than I could have ever imagined. He was going to lead my journey of finding purpose for my pain. That purpose is A New Kind of Normal.


What comes to mind when you think about your diagnosis? How has that diagnosis changed your life and your purpose?