Sunday, January 30, 2011

MissusSmartyPants' Great Closet Clean Out Spring 2011 and The Style File

A picture of my closet door, just to give you a rough idea of how small my closet is.  The usual very attractive apartment white color.

 This is the top section of my armoire, with the drawer pulled out.  Bottom drawer, left to right: athletic socks, colored socks, black socks, laundry bags, hospital socks (useful for puttering around the house), wool socks.  2nd shelf: more athletic socks, sweaters and knit pants, more knit pants in dark colors.  3rd shelf: workout wear, light colored tops, dark colored tops, t-shirts.  4th shelf: The Unmentionables.  Top shelf: Fleece tops, wool sweaters, summer t-shirts.
 Inside the closet, left to right:  extra hangers and a hanger for belts, dress shirts, khaki pants, jeans, black pants, brown pants, brown jacket, tweed boucle jacket (seen in Albany picture), navy chino suit, dark rinse denim jacket, black dress with white polka-dots, blue robe, scarves on hangers.
 Mostly handbags.  In the white bags and box are my Steve Madden flats.  In the Dansko box, I keep the snakeskin that my Dad brought back from New Guinea, where he was stationed during WW II.  Because you never know when you're going to need a snakeskin, and it's best to be prepared!
 The whole enchilada.
 My Style File.
 Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow, one of my style icons.  She happens to be a summer in coloring, like me.
 The sections of my Style File:  Wardrobe/Closet Tips, Color, Fabrics/Textures/Patterns, Personal Profiles (from MissusSmartyPants), Lingerie, Hair/Makeup/Skincare/Scent, Outfits: Business Casual, Outfits: Casual, Outfits: Dressy, Accessories: Footwear, Accessories: Handbags, Accessories: Jewelry/Neckwear, Accessories: Belts/Hats/Gloves, Outerwear, Articles, Glossary.
 Closet organization tips.
Ms. Gabourey Sidibe, another style icon.  I think she is just so radiant and beautiful.
Ms. Reese Witherspoon, another style icon who is also a summer.  Yes, I would so definitely wear that outfit!
 From the Fabrics/Textures/Patterns section.  I love animal prints!
 Ms. Anne Hathaway from the Hair/Makeup/Skincare/Scents section.
 The donation bag for Vietnam Veterans of America.
 I am releasing this dreadful book to the donation pile.
This one, too.  Truly a stomach-turning adventure.

So now you've caught a little glimpse of my apartment.  It's getting there, it's getting there!  This is actually the smallest closet I've ever had.  If the housing program hadn't put the armoire in there, I'd have nowhere to put the rest of my clothes.  Still, I have to acknowledge that I have a lot of stuff for one person, even after getting rid of a lot of it.  Especially books.  I think I have a book-buying disorder, LOL - bibliomania.  I took the MissusSmartyPants challenge of not buying any clothes for a month (the month is up 2/26/2011) and so far I'm sticking to it.  I have everything I need, even clothes for Spring.  Now I just need shoes and a Spring/Summer handbag.  I need casual sandals, dress sandals, dress shoes and loafers.  I really want some Dansko clogs, too.  I had a pair back in 2003-2006, but when I moved in 2006, I thought I would never wear them again because I had such foot problems.  The foot problems are gone, but so are the shoes!  I got rid of them in the move.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


There is an online plus-size fashion magazine, which caters to models as well, which I mentioned previously in my post about plus-size fashion magazines.  Here's the link:

It's Plus Model Magazine.  It looks OK.  There's a cover of the magazine.  Click on the cover and it opens up the Table of Contents for the magazine and you can go to the articles from there.

Took me a while, but I figured it out, LOL.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Size Sexy, by Stella Ellis

Stella Ellis is a fashion model, born in Israel, who speaks eight languages.  She's a full-figured woman, and takes no crap from anyone about her size, or anything else, for that matter, which I think is laudable attitude, and one I could do with myself.  

I loved this book, with a few caveats.  Stella is unapologetically heterosexual, and she thinks the rest of the world is, too, apparently.  So throughout her book, she emphasizes the importance of being attractive to men.  Which is fine, but I wish she were a little more open-minded, and didn't assume that all women always want to be with men, and be attractive only to men.

Also, whereas she is a plus-size (or full-figured, or as she calls it "hour-glass and a half") model, she advises women not to "let themselves go" and weigh "300 pounds."  She herself says her largest size was size 22, which could mean anything, since sizes (as I have discovered) vary from brand to brand, designer to designer, and manufacturer to manufacturer.  There really seems to be no such thing as a "standard size" when it comes to plus-size clothing.  I would say I'm a 22-24, but in some instances I take a size 26, or 28, and some brands (Avenue, K-Mart, I'm looking at you!) don't fit me at all, no matter what size I try on.  So whereas she says that you should love and accept yourself as you are, and dress for the body you have, accenting the positive and minimizing the negative, she also says you should watch what you eat, eating healthy foods and not junk, and try not to gain weight excessively.  Which is probably good advice, but what if you weigh 300 pounds?  What if you have weight concerns that are not easily addressed, and you've tried losing, but nothing seems to work?  What if you take medication that has caused you to gain weight and messes with your appetite?  Not everybody sets out to weigh a lot, some of it is genetics, and life circumstances.  You shouldn't be shunned and judged harshly because of something that's beyond your control.

However, she does encourage women to take good care of themselves, not just by eating healthy foods, but also by getting some exercise, maintaining an active social life, engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy, and pampering yourself, either with mani/pedis, a trip to a spa, a massage, or a good long soak in a tub, and some at-home pampering.  She also emphasizes the importance of a positive self-image, strong self-confidence and a positive attitude.  I agree with her on this.  One cannot underestimate  the importance a positive attitude and belief in oneself have in making one's way through life.

Also, pleasantly, the book is well-written, well-edited and has few typographical or grammatical errors.  Stella Ellis uses language well, and her presentation is excellent.  There are quotes from famous people (Mae West is a favorite, and deservedly so), quotes from Stella herself, entitled "Let Me Tell You!" and little bits of advice on most pages.  There is also a section of gorgeous color photographs in the middle of the book, featuring Stella Ellis modeling.  One of the photographers is the designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier, who played a role in catapulting Ms. Ellis to runway fame.   I have to say, it's great to see a plus-size woman done up so glamorously and creatively, even if it's not something the average person would wear every day.  It provides a nice counterpoint to the utilitarian clothing and bad sketches that I've seen in some books lately.

There is the, what seems to be obligatory, chapter on sex and relationships.  Basically she says, don't give it up too easily, be picky, don't sell yourself short, don't settle, dress well, be glamorous, flirt, be interested in the other person and they will find you fascinating.  This was a pleasant change from the last book I read, "You Can Be Sexy at Any Size or Age!" also by a plus-size model, which suggested performing oral sex on your "man" as a way to keep him interested.  I may be naive, but I think it takes more than oral sex to encourage a partner to stay with you.  There are also factors like compatibility, mutual respect, love, emotional support ... you can have all that without breaking out the condoms!

Overall, I enjoyed Ms. Ellis's book and found it useful.  However, I flunked the test at the end, because I still do not feel empowered as a Size Sexy woman, but that is more my problem than the result of anything she did or didn't address.

A word of caution:  She encourages women to go to the makeup counters at department stores for makeovers and makeup and skincare advice.  I do not think this is the best advice.  I think Paula Begoun hit the nail on the head when she said the makeup counters in department stores are known as "Barracuda Bay."  There's a reason they are the first thing you see when you walk into a department store:  They generate tremendous revenue for the store, and those nice ladies behind the counters are there to make sure they sell you something, whether you really want it or need it or not.  They are experts in the soft sell, so be wary when you go there.  I avoid them at all costs, because I know from experience that when I'm in a certain, vulnerable mood, either too depressed or too happy, I will end up buying stuff I don't need and don't really want.  My friend Ange once convinced me to return $90 worth of product that I had bought at the Bobbi Brown counter in Macy's at the Staten Island Mall.  Thank the gods for such friends, right?

When it comes to makeup, I find it's best to rely on friends or acquaintances who have no vested interest in your purchases.  And you can do just as well at the drugstore or the independent stores like The Body Shop and Bath & Body Works and Sephora as you can in the "Barracuda Bay."

I would recommend this book if your mood needs a boost, and if you need some tips on makeup, haircare, skincare, and maintaining a positive self-image.  It's a pleasant, helpful read.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stuff Arrived Today

I kind of went on a big spending spree last week, and this week ... ta da!!!  My stuff arrived.

I bought 4 items from The Body Shop online:

Radiance Beads (see "Beauty Bonanza" post)
Matte It makeup primer
Lip Scuff
Shea Butter Body Scrub (yummy!)

Clothing arrived, too, from LL Bean:

Trail Model Fleece Drawcord Jacket, Navy
Navy chinos
Navy jacket to match chinos
Pink cotton V-neck sweater
Navy cotton V-neck sweater

Also my pre-ordered copy of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" arrived from  Since I can't wear it or slather it on my body, I won't address it here, but Lisbeth Salander's style is SLAMMING,  isn't it?  The Mohawk, the rings, the boots - some people would look ridiculous, but she makes it work!

You may notice a preponderance of navy in my LL Bean clothes.  I think navy is a good color for the spring and summer.  It goes well with black and gray, which I have in my wardrobe.  I have brown, too, but I think I'm going to phase out the brown.  I don't wear it that often.  I don't know.  I need to have a friend come over and help me clean out my closet and armoire, figure out what looks good, what needs to go, either to the donation pile, or to the trash.  I read articles about cleaning out your closets, and a lot of people seem to think that you should donate practically everything, but Peter Walsh wrote in "It's All Too Much" that organizations that accept used clothing receive more than they can possibly affordably get rid of, and a lot of it is clothing no one wants to wear.  It actually costs them money to dispose of all the garments they can't use.  So really, speaking for myself, if I wouldn't wear it outside because it looks too bad, I'm not passing it on to someone else.  If it doesn't fit, or I just don't like it, but it still has a lot of wear left in it, I'll pass it on, but case in point, my old LL Bean Perfect Fit pants?  They're going in the garbage when I'm done with them.  I wear them around the house now, but I'm going to replace them.  I've had them for over six years now.  I'd like to retire them someplace respectable for loyal service, but let's face it, they're only PANTS.

I'll have to post a review of The Body Shop products and the clothes at some later date, when I've either used them or worn them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Enell Bras

If you've ever ordered sports bras from Enell, you probably know this already, but I didn't, so I had to live and learn, then get corrected.  I ordered sports bras from Enell on January 13.  They arrived by UPS today.  I attempted to try one on, but to my consternation, it did not fit.  Too small!  Way too small!  So I called their 800 number and immediately got a sales representative on the phone.  She explained that since all apparel companies vary their bra sizing, and there is no such thing as a STANDARD SIZE (though I think plenty of women wish there were such a thing), Enell goes by your measurements - around the breasts and under the breasts, at the ribcage - to get the right size.  You check your measurements against their size chart and order your sports bra accordingly.  I wish I knew this before I ordered the bras!

I'll be returning the bras (another trip to UPS, and more money spent on shipping), but I'll also be measuring myself, and hopefully I can exchange the current bras for bras that will, hopefully, fit me correctly.

Being a woman - it's so much work!!!

Beauty Bonanza!!!

Since this is a blog about fashion, style and BEAUTY, I thought it would be a good idea to write about my expedition to The Mall, specifically to The Body Shop.

I've been a fan of The Body Shop's products since the 1970's, when they first had a store in the Mall.  My friend Diane and I were talking about it today:  It was the place where I was first schooled in the correct pronunciation of "Jojoba."  I was pronouncing the hard "j" and a sales associate corrected me and told me the "j" was like an "h":  hohoba.  It was the seventies, and my parents and I were very much into natural ingredients, organic farming and all that crunchy-granola earth-mama type stuff.  Someone asked me on the phone today if I wanted a People magazine dedicated to that great decade, The 70's, and I said, "No thank you, I lived through it once and that was enough."  She laughed.

Fast forward to now, 2011, and I'm still shopping at The Body Shop in the Mall, although in the 80's and 90's and 2000's, I used to shop predominantly at the stores in the city (Manhattan for you non-New Yorkers out there).  It was easier, since I worked in Manhattan.

But on to the goods!

I had a makeover today.  I wasn't completely happy with the makeover, since most of the stuff glided off my face, I had raccoon eyes and I looked (to my eyes, anyway) like a member of the TV show, "Jersey Shore," thanks to the bronzer one of the sales associates put on me.

The initial makeover worked out pretty well for what I wanted though:  the girl who helped me, Melissa, went through my cosmetics bag (which I asked her to do) and pulled out all the expired Body Shop product, which was EVERYTHING.  She tossed it.  I had two other products in there, too, a Stila concealer and a Glimmer pot, which is this sticky, glittery substance you put on your skin and it shines.  Cool for Halloween and New Year's, when you want to be outstandingly festive, but other times, not so much.   They were expired, too.  I tossed those in the trash when I got home.

She put makeup on me.  We went with a whole new look:  Tinted Glow Enhancer #2, instead of the All-in-One face powder, black eyeliner (which I DID NOT like), and two new shadows, Eye Colour #7 and #32.  One is a shimmery brown and one is a shimmery taupe.  We used my Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara, which was like, ugh, I hate it when people put mascara on me.  Some people are good at it, but most it's like, "My eyes!  My eyes!"  I ended up putting it on myself, I was so nervous.  We also used Lightening Touch concealer #1.  Melissa had a lot of helpful hints.  One was to pull the outer corner of your eyelid up when you put on mascara, and wave the wand down over the lashes, it really makes them stand out.  The other was to use primer or mattifying lotion on your eyelids and face before putting on tinted moisturizer, foundation, eye makeup or All-in-One face powder, to make the makeup stay on.  That should help on the hot, humid days when the makeup is oozing off your face!  She also told me to wash my makeup brushes in Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash.  It's more gentle than dish detergent (my modus operandi) and the Tea Tree has antibacterial properties.

I bought a whole bunch of skincare products from the Seaweed line (made from that trusty North Atlantic, Baltic seaweed, Bladderwack!).

In order of use, they are:

Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash/Combination/Oily Skin
Seaweed Pore Perfector
Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion, SPF 15

At night:

Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment

Once a week:

Seaweed Pore-cleansing Facial Exfoliator
Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

It's all for Combination/Oily skin, which I have.  I find it's gentle enough that it doesn't irritate my skin, and cleanses well enough so that I have fewer breakouts.  Because let me tell you, friends, since I stopped using this stuff back in 2009, it's been nothing but misery, in terms of breakouts, redness, dryness and irritation.  So hopefully, now my skin will calm down and start behaving.  You hear me, sebaceous glands?!  Start behaving!

All told, with my Love Your Body discount, and my birthday month $10 free product, it came to $140, which I realize is a helluva lot of money to spend on something as "frivolous" as skincare and makeup, especially for someone who was only two months ago wondering about where her next meal was coming from, but, heck, some of it was birthday money, and I really need to start looking better.  As you age, you realize your skin doesn't take care of itself, like it did when you were younger.  You have to work at it a little harder.

Later on, I went back to The Body Shop, because I realized I hadn't gotten what I thought was the bronzer Melissa used.  I had an almost-heated discussion with the other sales associate that was there.  She hadn't been there when I was in earlier.  She was kind of an ignorant girl.  She tried to convince me that the bronzer she used didn't make me look orange or yellow.  It did.  And it wasn't the bronzer Melissa used, it was "Radiance Beads."  They impart a nice, shimmery effect to your face, and even out skin tone.  Which, I learned recently, is the most important step in makeup:  Evening out your skin tone.  It may have been in the new book I'm reading, "Size Sexy" by Stella Ellis, which I will be done reviewing, as soon as I have finished the book.  Or it may have been online, from Beauty.  Yes, I think that was it.  Oh, if you're interested, has great articles and video tutorials for plus-size fashions and great makeup video tutorials and tips.  I recommend for just about anything you want to know, from Apartment Living to Zoology.  Well, I don't know about zoology for sure, but I'm sure you could find something related!

I hope if you have any makeover stories to share, that you'll put them in the comments, or in LJ or FB.  I'm Edith Scheie, if you want to friend me on Facebook!  You already know me from LJ.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Outfit and Plus-Size Fashion Magazines

This is a picture of the outfit I wore Tuesday, January 11, 2011, to the Legislative Education Awareness Day in Albany, NY.  At least I hope it is, I've been having a little trouble with my iPhoto.  My sartorial presentation is not all it could be - we had been marching and rallying in 30 degree weather, in addition to walking all over The Egg, a large building in Albany (shaped like an egg: hence the name, The Egg).  So I was looking a little frazzled.

That's my trusty blue parka on the chair next to me.  Note the hiking boots I'm wearing.  NY is very cold and snowy in the wintertime!  And not everyone shovels or salts their walks.

But anyway, I was Googling "plus size fashion magazines" and there is precious little out there.  Apparently there's still controversy over showing women of size in fashion photo spreads.  I don't understand what the big deal is.  People are acting like showing a woman with an abundance of flesh is like pornography.  And there seem to be two types of people:  People who think it's OK and want to see more of it (men and women, though probably for different reasons), and people who think it sets a bad example (everyone knows if you're large you can't possibly be healthy!) and is not fashionable.

I noticed three magazines.  I started on this search because I Googled Figure magazine and saw on their old website the announcement that due to bad economic times, they had to go out of business.  I wasn't crazy about Figure, but it was better than nothing.

One magazine I found was Skorch, another magazine was Pulse, for plus size models.  Another magazine, V, dedicated an issue to plus size fashion.  There was an online magazine, Diva, and that looked promising, but I found the website inconvenient and difficult to navigate.  They had a lot of information, but I wish they had organized it more clearly and effectively.  One thing I don't like about many women's magazines is that they seem to give women the message that their entire lives should be about catching a man, making the man happy, cooking for the man, cleaning for the man, blah, blah, blah.  Now, men are nice, I have nothing against them, but where do you see in men's magazines an obsession with pleasing women?  It is very rare, my friends, very rare!  Usually it focuses on how to make a woman orgasm 3 million times in one night or some such fantasy.  Do you ever see men's magazines with articles about "Can this marriage be saved?" and "How to talk to your partner" and "Lingerie that is sure to drive her wild!"  I haven't.  If you have seen these articles in men's magazines, please!  Let me know.  I'll be sure to run out and buy it and hang it on my wall in a nice frame.  Especially the lingerie one ... I could use some eye-candy around here.  Although, thinking about it, men don't really have fancy words for underwear like women do.  We have "Intimate Apparel" and "Lingerie."  Men just have underwear.  Oh well, until this imaginary article and photo-spread about men in sexy underwear comes out, I'll just have to make do with the Jockey catalog.

Anyway, moving right along, these plus-size fashion magazines did not look promising, except for the afore-mentioned online magazine, Diva, with the caveat about the website.  The plus-size model magazine was geared mostly towards the fashion industry.  It was really hard to tell what Skorch was about - the presentation was not clear.

In the absence of a good plus-size fashion magazine, I have resorted to books, which is a more expensive option, but there are some good ones out there.  I promise to continue plugging away at reading them and reviewing them.  Right now I'm reading "The Alienist" for a book club which meets on January 23, and it's a long book and fairly complex, so that's all I'm reading right now.  I like to read many different books at the same time and sometimes that works for me, but sometimes I get distracted and have to put one or more books down for a period of time and start them back up from the beginning when I get back to them.

It's 4:14 AM, and way past my bedtime.  Take care, and have a great day tomorrow (or today, as the case may be).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why Style?

This is going to be something of a soul-searching entry, so please, bear with me.

I've been asking myself, "Why worry about being stylish at this point in my life?  Does it really mean anything?"

I have to ask myself these questions because in my experience, looking good does not always add up to feeling good, or being in a good frame of mind.  In fact, the first time I was psychiatrically hospitalized, I was in full-blown psychosis ... and I was dressed to the nines.  I remember my outfit vividly, because it was my favorite suit.  The day I was hospitalized, I went to work wearing a black short-sleeved safari jacket and matching black wrap skirt, both of cotton sateen, and a black and blue striped t-shirt, black tights and black Roots shoes.  I was the cat's meow.  Everybody was telling me how good I looked.  I was feeling pretty good about myself (not uncommon when one is manic, which I was at the time) until my psychiatrist called me at my job and told me I needed to go to the hospital emergency room.  So I told my office manager that I had to leave to go to the hospital.  She was pretty disgusted with me already, so she just said, "Go, just go."  Apparently she was less than enthused about me and my pretty outfit.

So, in spite of my neat and put-together appearance, I was hospitalized.  No one was fooled by my "presentation."  That was when it really hit me:  What you look like really has nothing to do with what's going on inside.  While I was in the hospital, there was another patient.  She was older than me.  She was a very petite lady.  She always dressed with maximum class:  A silk blouse with a lace collar, pearls, slacks and Mary Janes.  You could look at her face and know she was in despair, but she presented herself very well, in this classy uniform, every day.  And it wasn't that she was wearing the same clothes every day, either.  We weren't allowed to - we had to shower and change every day.  She just had this very elegant uniform.  But she rarely talked to anyone.  She mostly just sat in the day room and stared into space.  So there was another lesson:  It really doesn't matter how well you're dressed - it means nothing.  You could be completely out to lunch, and still be the best-dressed person in the room.

So why make the effort, I have to ask myself.  Why, indeed?

I think my recent interest in fashion, style and beauty has to do with my experience of a change of fortune I had recently.  I went from being an heiress with a moderate-sized fortune to living on Public Assistance in four years.  That was definitely due to my mental illness.  Also, I lost a third of my wardrobe after I moved to this apartment when my sister came to help me do the laundry last March.  I had a massive amount of laundry to do, since I hadn't had money to do it before I moved, and my sister came to help me out, both with paying for the laundry and also with taking it to the laundromat in her car.  So we finished up the laundry, blah, blah, blah, get it home and I'm like, "Hmm, this is a lot lighter than it was going there."  Well, well, well.  Open the bags and find out ...  this top is missing ... these pajamas have disappeared ... these shirts are gone ... WTF HAPPENED????

What happened was that we left a good portion of my clothes back at the laundromat.  I went to the laundromat to get them back, and they denied having any knowledge of them.  Shortly afterward, the laundromat went out of business.  And my clothes are g-o-n-e, gone.  To top it all off, most of what was missing was my spring/summer wardrobe - tops, shirts, my lovely pajamas (don't get me started on the pajamas!).  At least four of my favorite shirts are gone with the wind.  Oh, well.  I ended up getting a bunch of summer tops from Freecycle from the previously mentioned Ms. Hebner-Akbar, but they fit badly and most of them were the wrong color for me.  Plus my ICM (Intensive Case Manager), Agnes, set me up with some clothes.  When I put the summer season clothes away in November, I got rid of most of those Freecycle clothes, along with a bunch of other badly-fitting, outdated, bad-looking clothes, so I am no longer cursed with their presence.  Then I got money, and I was able to buy new clothes, that fit well, look good and I hopefully will not lose them in the laundromat.

So, as you can see, I went through kind of a bad period of "clothing scarcity," if you can call it that, and like food scarcity, it leaves a scar on you, not as deep or as bad as food scarcity (if you ever had to go hungry for any length of time because you couldn't afford food, you know what I'm talking about), but it did make me want to look presentable, if only because I was tired of walking around in dirty, unkempt clothing.  Because I didn't have an income, I wasn't doing my laundry regularly.  I was having a hard time meeting my basic needs.

But things are better now ... I have an income from disability, I'm able to meet my needs, and even fulfill a few wants (like books!  Where would I be without reading material?  Not to mention this groovy computer), and I can do the laundry, so I have clean clothes, and I was able to afford new ones.

I think the urge to decorate oneself and one's surroundings is a very basic human instinct, like music, or communication, or the need for love.  As such, I think it should be honored.  But I personally would be leery of judging anyone by their appearance.  Einstein was not known for his sartorial presentation, but he was one of the world's geniuses.  And I'm sure there are psychopaths out there who are wearing the latest Armani suit, but you wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley.

So really, I'm doing this fashion thing just for me, because it's something I enjoy.  I think it's important to make a good first impression, but I also acknowledge that there's a lot more to a person than what they happen to be wearing or looking like on any particular day.  A librarian when I was little introduced me to the cliche, "You can't judge a book by its cover," and it's true of books and people.

Have a good day, my friends, and in the immortal words of Petula Clark in "I Know A Place":  "Put on your best and wear a smile."  And by best, I mean best attitude!