10 Articles of Clothing so UGLY You Won’t Believe They Exist.

Personally, when it comes to style, I like to think I can be a bit adventurous. Sure, there are certain styles that I don’t feel comfortable in, and absolutely will not wear (I’m still not a fan of the 2 piece bathing suit on me thanks to some large shingles scars on my abdomen), but, these articles of clothes below go WAY beyond adventurous, into the realm of hilarity and bad taste.

  1. The Balloon Ball Gown

UGLY BALLOON DRESS

I’m all for art, but let’s be practical here. How are you supposed to sit at dinner without popping your butt? If you drop a fork, you have a 1 in 10 chance of losing a boob. Also, what is that ugly wing on the top? Are you trying to look like some weird, bouncy house Statue Of Liberty? No thanks. I’ll pass on this one.

2. This Horrifying Spongebob Shirt

UGLY SPONGEBOB

Seriously- who would wear this? I don’t want some gross, yellow, crusty eyes placed where my breasts are supposed to go. Consumers can buy this tank on belovedshirts.com for $34.95, but you couldn’t pay me 10x that amount to wear this garbage.

3. This Free People Cashmere Romper

UGLY Jumper

I want so badly to like this, but from the back it looks like her hoo-ha is hanging down to her knees… I don’t think this would be a flattering style for anyone. Free People makes some beautiful items- this is not one of them.

4. This Guy Fieri One-Piece Bathing Suit

Guy Fieri Bathing Suit

Another gem from belovedshirts.com, this bathing suit is one of the most disturbing articles of clothing ever created. Let’s not even talk about the poor placement of where his beard ends up. Nothing against Guy Fieri- truthfully I don’t think ANYONE’S face belongs on a bathing suit, but his is a particularly hard sell.

5. These Chuck Taylor Pants

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Now I love me some Chucks on my feet, but that’s as far as they go. These shoes were NOT made to be worn as pants, and this picture is proof. Also, beyond them being so dang ugly, who in their right mind would want to lace those puppies up and down every time you wear them? I’m going to guess no one.

6. This Angry Dog Shirt

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This… just isn’t pleasant to look at. Give me cute dogs of any kind on any given article of clothing, and you get a resounding yes (let it be known that I believe ALL dogs are cute… they all make me swoon). Give me cute dogs making angry faces like this one, and It’ll be a hard no.

7. This Serial-Killer Ninja Clown Knit Mask

Ugly Knit Job

It’s like Ronald McDonald meets the Hamburgler, meets an ice-cream cone, meets Michael Myers. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

8. These X-Ray Vision Leggings

Ugly Leggings

The skin on our body has a plethora of uses. Apparently, one of ones I had taken for granted was hiding the gross ugliness that is the inside of our bodies. How about we just make a pact as a human race that we don’t wear clothing graphically depicting what our insides look like? Kthanksbye.

9. Whatever The Heck This Is:

UGLY BABY BUNT

This doesn’t even look like a practical article of clothing for moms. What are you supposed to do when the time comes to change a diaper, strip? That poor baby looks like it’s about to pop out of her chest and dance like that weird alien thing from the movie Spaceballs.

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10. This Party City Centerpiece

ugly centerpiece

This dress looks like a cross between a 99 cent dollar store centerpiece, and a weird fairy princess outfit I used to play dress up with. It doesn’t belong at any red carpet affair  (unless maybe your seat is smack dab in the middle of the table, and even then, probably not). This dress gets a hard no.

 

7 Ways To Beat Heat and Discomfort at an Outdoor Summer Performance

This week, I had the pleasure of playing two really amazing gigs in the NYC area with one of my bands, Danny Weinkauf and his Red Pants Band (we make rock music for kids and families).   For those of you who don’t know him, Danny is the Grammy-Award Winning Bassist of the band They Might Be Giants, and sometimes I still pinch myself 3 years later that we’re bandmates and friends. Anyhow, Tuesday, we played at the Clark Botanical Garden in Albertson, Long Island, NY, and the second show was just this morning, at Riverside Park in Manhattan, on a pop-up stage right on the Hudson River (as part of the Summer on the Hudson Concert Series).

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View of stage right from Clark Gardens

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The view behind us at Riverside Park. I could get used to these amazing views.

Both of these gigs, though immensely fun and beautiful, had me feeling like I was roasting in a sun-oven, as the temperature on Tuesday felt to be in the mid 90’s, and the temperature today felt to be over 100 F. After our 45-minute sets were up, it was almost hard to breathe (especially the one today). Luckily, concerts for children don’t usually last longer than an hour, but I found myself wondering what I would have done if this were a regular cover band set, with 3 sets of 45 minutes or more over the course of a few hours.

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Danny Weinkauf, and Steve Plesnarski sound checking before the show.

Here are some things to think about as a musician, if you find yourself in a situation where you’ll be outside in the heat playing for an extended period of time:

1) Bring a Fan

While this one may seem like an obvious suggestion, when you’re thinking about the millions of things you need to bring for your gig, this can easily fall through the cracks. It might be helpful to have a dedicated “gig fan” (as sometimes even indoor venues can get hot quickly, especially in a situation where there are lots of people dancing in a small room). My husband Russ has a dedicated gig fan, and he recommends this fan by Vornado

 

2) Wrap a Cold, Wet, Towel Around The Back of Your Neck

I have to be honest- I haven’t actually tried this one for myself, but today, one of the woman who we were working with at Riverside Park (her name was Zhen), was walking around with a cold, wet towel around her neck. It kept her much cooler on this super hot day. I found myself wishing I had one for myself, as it seemed like such a simple, cheap way to be a little more comfortable. Once or twice throughout the morning she would re-soak it in ice water, and cool herself off all over again.

 

3) Avoid Wearing Colors like Black, or Navy Blue if possible.

This could be tough to avoid for certain things like a wedding, if your uniform is a black suit or tux, but if you can help it, keep your clothing nice and lightweight, and light in color. Dark colors absorb the heat, and make you feel much hotter overall. For scorching days like we’ve had in NY this week, if I could have chose my outfit completely, a sundress would have been perfect. For this band though, our uniform is (you guessed it): Red Pants (this is still better than black pants, or dark jeans). I did my best with the outfit shown below:

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These pants are super thin, and light-weight (the brand is called Magic). I bought them a couple of years ago on zulily.com. They have some plus sized options for ladies like myself, with a little bit more to love. The upside to their site is that their clothes are super cheap, but the downside is that they don’t accept returns, so you need to be willing to take a chance. I got lucky with these pants- I absolutely love them (I’m being a super hypocrite though with my Old Navy dark blue shirt… take it as a lesson learned by how hot I was onstage today). The choker is by Swarovski. 

 

4) Bring Ice Water in an Insulated Cup

Water is ESSENTIAL in situations like these for everyone, but this goes even further if you’re singing. We singers tend to feel dehydration in our throats very quickly, and it takes time after drinking water for our voices to truly be helped by the liquid. Even though we feel it right away in our throats as we are drinking, our bodies take at least 45 minutes to properly hydrate.

Any kind of water bottle is great in general, but if you want to keep cool, I recommend something insulated to keep the cold in, like the Beast by Greens Steel. I own this cup in pink, and it’s amazing. This or anything like this is super helpful in beating the heat, and also keeping drinks hot in the cold months.

Side note- while cold liquid is actually not good for your vocal chords in the middle of a performance (it shocks them), on the rare occasion when you’re singing in 100 degree weather, I think it’s more important to not let your body overheat than it is to keep your water lukewarm for the chords. Just my opinion here.

 

5) If You Have Long Hair, Wear it Up

There’s nothing I hate more than hair on the back of my neck in the heat. Wearing it up will instantly make long-hair wearers feel better (and you’ll keep even cooler if you don’t blow-dry it after a morning shower… it’s going up anyway, so who cares). 

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Me, Danny and Steve at Clark Gardens. Pants and shirt pictured here are both by Torrid. Hair’s up, and I should also mention I’m not wearing any makeup here, except for lipstick and mascara… who needs more than that during an outdoor 90+ degree concert? 

6) Bring a Face Cloth, or Bandana for Sweat

Sorry if that’s a little gross, but this morning, while I was singing and playing my bass, within the first song my eyes were burning thanks to the sweat rolling down from my forehead into my eyes. It’s definitely an unpleasant feeling, so something as simple as having a cloth to wipe your face is helpful.

 

7) Bring a Change of Clothes for Before and After the Performance

Set up and tear down are both things that take time, and a lot of manual effort. Depending on how much stuff you have, and how far you have to carry it, it can be equivalent to a daily workout. I’ve had some gigs where all I bring is a microphone and a music stand. I’ve had others where the band is responsible for bringing all of their instruments, wires, amps, an entire PA system, (and all the things that go with it), and then, you can’t bring your car anywhere near where you’re actually playing, so you need to carry all of those things really far both before, and after the show. My suggestion? Come dressed comfortably to set up, and bring an extra bag (because at that point, what’s one more bag?), with the clothes and shoes you’ll wear for the show, and then some more clothes to tear down your equipment in. It seems like more effort, but trust me, overall you’ll be more comfortable.

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I hope these tips are helpful! Keep cool friends!

xx

Tina

 

 

 

 

 

Eloquii Shoot Pt. 1, with Katie Donnelly Photography… Fashion Friday!

So, I may be a little late to this party, but I’ve discovered a new plus-sized brand I’m obsessed with- Eloquii. After doing a Daisy Rock Guitars shoot a few months back for my Making Monsters Album (I’m going to have a throwback post about how much fun that shoot was sometime in the next couple of weeks), one of their brand representatives contacted me on my Instagram Page. Her name was Mindy Scott, of Mindy City Hair, and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in doing a shoot with their clothes (which, after seeing how amazing they were in pictures, I was 100% interested in trying them out myself).

The funniest part of all of this? My cousin (who is like a sister to me) is a photographer in Paris, and had done an Eloquii shoot with Mindy just a month before. This was not how we became connected, it was completely random. C’est la vie, non?

So after this stunning revelation (and realization that even when crossing oceans, the world is teeny-tiny), we decided to plan a shoot during my trip to Paris, with my cousin Katie Donnelly taking the pictures.

A bit about Katie- she is a NYC native, who met an amazing guy while they were both living in NY, who happens to be French. When they had been dating for a while, he moved back to Paris, and after some time long distance, Katie decided to take a risk, and move across the Atlantic Ocean to be with him.

Fast forward 4 or 5 years later, and I write this blog post after spending 3 weeks in France with them, and attending their wedding. Katie now speaks fluent French, is happily married, and her photography business is SO successful, that she’s up for Best Portrait Photographer in Paris 2017,  in Expatriates Magazine. Talk about living the dream.

Here is one of the looks Katie shot of me in Paris- I really adore this dress:

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Off The Shoulder Chambray Dress by Eloquii

I find it very flattering for my apple figure. I have a bigger bust, and I prefer clothes with some arm coverage, so this dress does it for me.

062017_eloquii_tina_kenny_002Embroidered Clutch, by Eloquii

I love how lightweight the dress material is, and it’s an outfit I could dress up for a special occasion, or down for a night out to dinner with friends. Also- that Bonjour bag is perfect for a France trip. It comes with a removable gold chain strap you can connect to the sides of it if you want to wear it over your shoulder, instead of using it as a clutch.

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Life’s too short to wear clothes that don’t make you feel as beautiful as you are. ❤ ❤ ❤

Tina and the Balance- a blog?

Before I go ahead and introduce myself to everyone as a “blogger”, I thought long and hard to myself about whether or not this was something I actually wanted to follow through with. I asked myself a thousand questions, many of them self-deprecating: “Why is this worth your time? Do you actually have anything going on worth reading about?”, or, my personal favorite “Why would anyone be interested in your life, or opinions?” I’m sure many of us can relate to feeling less-than-worthy. Not smart enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not manly enough, not fit enough, not unique enough, etc… the list of not-enoughs we create for ourselves could probably wrap itself around the earth 1000x if we all wrote them out on a piece of paper long enough.

Often, I feel like I have a lot to say, and lack the confidence to actually put it out there. Sure- if you were to meet me, I rarely shut up. Sometimes, I talk so much that I don’t even remember that I’ve already told you the story I’m in the middle of repeating, or I make a bad pun to fill up space awkwardly in a conversation. Point is- my spoken thought rarely includes the depth in which my inner dialogue speaks. I can more easily translate that inner dialogue into written words.

So then, I asked myself this question: “Would creating this blog bring more balance to my life?”

There’s the magic word- this elusive theme, that keeps popping up all over my life. Balance. Yes- honoring my TRUE inner voice, the one inside me that I keep stifling with those toxic “not-enoughs”? That will give me balance.

When I finally found the bravery to finish my first album “Making Monsters” (which, thanks to my awful case of the not-enoughs, took me almost 4 years to do), I had a huge sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense of pride- not just for the work I had created with the help of some amazing friends and bandmates, but for being brave enough to actually share my songs with the world. Some of these songs were so difficult and emotional for me to write, I couldn’t actually play them live without crying for the first 2 months of their existence. Still- I put them out there, and had never felt better.

Jumping topic for a second, I just came back home from a 3 week long trip to France (with a 3 day stop in Palma de Mallorca, Spain).

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St Emilion, France. Top by Torrid, skirt by Eloquii.

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A view of vineyards from a terrace in Chateau Isabeau de Naujan, Domaine de Naujan, Saint Vincent de Pertignas, Gironde. They also have gorgeous rooms in the chateau for rent, complete with breakfast every morning. Find the website here (In French)

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A view from our window at our Airbnb in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I would highly recommend the apartment for anyone looking to travel there. Find the Airbnb Here

This trip gave me the time I needed to reset, reflect, and find myself again. For far too long, I’ve neglected to put myself first. This blog is one of my first steps towards changing that. It’s my promise to myself that I will make give it my best effort to honor my inner voice, and give up my not-enoughs. I realize this won’t happen overnight, but I’m ok with the process.

So, with that… welcome to my blog!