We’ve done a lot of Q&A posts here at Double Vision Blog, but this is our first interview with an eye doctor.  I’m pleased to introduce Dr. Kierstyn Napier-Dovorany, OD, FAAO, Associate Professor, Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry   I didn’t just choose a random eye doctor to interview.  This is “Kier”, a dear friend going all the way back to our days at Naperville North High School. I love that I can ask her anything eye-related and she will respond with experience, research, and honesty. Continue reading

There’s something deeply satisfying about completing a stack of thank you notes.  So I can’t help but continue to write more.  Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Thank you mannequins, uh, I mean, excuse me.  I mean, I’m sorry I bumped you.  Wait.  You’re not a real person?

Bashfully,
Lady Who Was Not Just Talking to an Inanimate Object Continue reading

My friends have always played an important part in my journey through life.  In college, time with girlfriends often involved dressing up in black pants paired with a flirty top to explore Seattle’s night life.  Over the years it evolved into meeting up for martinis after work, and flying to Vegas for bachelorette parties.  These days, we often opt for yoga pants and a bottle of wine in someone’s quiet, childless living room while pretending to discuss a book that no one actually finished reading.  And I picture my future self with these same “girls”, sharing photos of grandkids while drinking tea following a 4 o’clock supper date.   Continue reading

Last week, I reviewed Mobility Matters by Amy Bovaird.  This week, I am pleased to introduce a guest post by Ms. Bovaird, in which she takes a trip down memory lane to describe how night blindness led her into a very unique situation.  

With a quick wave to my housemate, I stepped out of the car. Early commuters sat on the bench under the flickering streetlights with the transit map behind them. Someone pointed and the bus lumbered into view. They fell into line just as the door opened. Hoisting my teaching bag over my shoulder, I showed the driver my pass and took a seat. Ingram Park Mall became smaller and disappeared altogether as the bus turned toward Loop 410. I settled in for the ride. My stop was last—Lackland Air Force Base. Continue reading

If you’ve ever wondered what the process of learning to use a cane might entail, then there is a book you should add to your personal library.  Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith by Amy L. Bovaird provides a detailed account of an adventurous woman’s journey from denial to blind rehab services, including braille and cane training.  

Audiobook  Continue reading

If there’s one thing our mom taught us, it’s to write thank you notes.  When we were kids, we absolutely could NOT play with our new toys until those thank you notes were sealed and dropped into the mailbox.  So when late night show host Jimmy Fallon started writing satirical thank you notes in front of a live audience, we knew our mother would applaud.  Then we read author and blogger, Jen Hatmaker’s mommy thank you notes, and we developed a conspiracy theory that our mother was somehow behind this thank you writing trend.

That got us thinking…has anyone written thank you notes from blind people? We haven’t seen any.  But if we missed it, please let us know, and we will start working on our apology notes immediately.

Thank you dishwasher, for always being wide open when I’m plowing through the kitchen.  I love how you announce your presence by pushing abruptly into my shins.

Yours Truly,
Bruised Blind Lady Continue reading

I’m thrilled to introduce one of my newest blogger friends, Stephanae McCoy from Bold, Blind, Beauty.  This post could not have come at a better time for me.  I was just starting the dreaded task of freshening up my closet in honor of the new year when Steph shared this post with me.  These are tips I definitely needed!

Wardrobe Woes? Conquering the Chaos
by Stephanae McCoy

Every day it’s the same drill: You shut off the annoying alarm, contemplate getting up, contemplate calling off work, get up, put on the coffee, use the comfort station (fancy description for toilet), take your shower, contemplate calling off work again, consume first cup of java, do hair, do makeup, inhale deeply, then open the closet.

It’s full of all sorts of clothes, yet you still have not a blessed thing to wear. “What to do?” you ask yourself for the millionth time, as you once again contemplate calling off work one last time. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is gonna work today. “I hate my wardrobe!” you mutter as you angrily stomp away to grab another cup of coffee while you think about what to wear.

If this situation sounds vaguely familiar you can rest assured this is a global phenomenon faced by women and yes, men, the world over. There are many reasons why we find ourselves in this predicament but today’s focus is going to be on how to rectify the issue and it’s gonna take some fearlessness. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Multi colored plastic hangers

The Assessment

Before diving into a full-blown evaluation of the contents within your wardrobe it’s helpful to have an end goal in mind. You can ask yourself questions like:

  1. What is it I’m hoping to achieve? Am I just clearing things out to make room for more stuff? Do I just want to be more organized?
  2. Where am I now or where do I hope to be in my career in the next 6 months? (For example if you’re a news reporter for a local station who doesn’t provide you with a wardrobe then you’re likely going to require more selections than the average consumer).
  3. If the long-term goal is a minimalist approach how will I be able to sustain the system I put in place? In the future for each new garment I buy am I planning to get rid an equal amount of items I currently possess?

After you’ve answered these questions begin the assessment in your closet by taking out all of your go-to pieces and set them aside. This is easy because you constantly use all of these  things therefore they are within reach.

You’ve Gotta be Ruthless

Go back to your closet and remove the remaining items, one piece at a time to decide if each will be tossed, donated and/or sold. It isn’t easy but this is where you have to be brutally honest.

Remember that gorgeous jumpsuit you bought two years ago that you just had to have but never wore? Well here it is, in pristine condition (with tags even), hanging there just as lonely and dejected as an extrovert in forced solitary confinement during spring break.

Then there’s those fabulous skinny jeans that are just a wee bit snug (originally retailed in the triple digits but you scored them for 50 bucks), every time you look at them they scream at you LOSE weight!! Who needs psychological abuse from a pair of jeans? Send them packing because here’s the thing, you understand that looking put together means wearing clothes that fit well.

Wooden drawer with one knob

Bottom line, you’re going to give, sell or toss the remainder of the closet. Yes, there can be an emotional attachment to the things you own, so to assist you in getting through this process it’s important to be objective, honest and do not linger over your decisions.

Do the setting aside of the go-tos, toss, donate and/or sell routine with your dresser, chest of drawers, armoire (wherever you store clothing). Depending on the amount of garments you own and how dedicated you are to change, this could take a few hours, days or (and I shudder to think about it), weeks.

Immediately toss the dated, damaged or otherwise unwanted clothing. You now have two categories left: sell and donate.

A word on selling: When you opt to sell your clothing there are several options available:

  1. You can do it online on your own through sites like ebayTradesy or Swap
  2. A brick and mortar consignment retailer like Plato’s Closet2nd Time Around (online too) or Consignment Pal Resale Directory
  3. An online consignment retailer who takes care of everything ThredUpMy Girlfriend’s Wardrobe Consignment StoreDelvage

If you are going to be selling any of your clothing to a consignment retailer, you’ll want to check their policies on acceptable items (some will only accept designer labels). Recently I chose to sell some clothing to ThredUp and because of the quantity of items, I took pictures (for my records) of each piece prior to shipment.

Okay, so let’s review: You’ve tossed the tossables, bagged the sellables and by now are packing up the donatables.

Bunch of full garbage bags

Remember how I said we would look at your go-tos in a bit? Okay, now’s the time to appraise your favorite clothes. Do they still fit well? Could they use some altering? Are they worn or damaged due to wear and tear? Ultimately you want to see what needs to be replaced and act accordingly.

If you keep only those things that you love you will be getting more value out of your investment. Plus, the added bonus of feeling fabulous is priceless!

Continue reading

Many of us spend the final weeks of the year in a whirlwind of plans, often leading to stress.  And after shouting “Happy New Year!”, we let out a long sigh, in an attempt to release the stress from the previous year.  We take a deep breath, and hope to breathe in a new sense of purpose, balance, and joy.  

Some of us make new year’s resolutions, and join a gym, or throw out all the crappy food from the pantry.  While others write down goals, hopes, and dreams for the coming year.

Most years, this is my pattern, too.  I try to “get through” the holidays, and then regroup in January.  But this December, I did things a little out of order.  I still bought Christmas presents for my loved ones, attended holiday gatherings, and watched endless Christmas movies while wrapping gifts.  But just when my busy month was getting started, and I began feeling anxiety between sips of eggnog, I made a conscious decision to carve out daily me time.   Continue reading

This is a pretty specific gift idea and it’s only for ladies who are blind or visually-impaired.  Sorry to be exclusive on this one, but once you read more, you’ll understand.

In lieu of exchanging presents this year, Joy and I have decided to give each other the gifts of travel, mental health, and personal growth all rolled into one.  Merry Christmas!!! Continue reading

I’ve always loved fashion, and I always will.  From trendy mishaps like the Blossom-inspired hats of my tween years, to the time I co-owned and operated Mapel Boutique, fashion has been an important part of my life.  But as my vision continues to deteriorate, I’ve often wondered how my relationship with fashion will be affected.  Can people still love fashion without sight? After chatting with fashion diva, Joy Ross, I know the answer is absolutely positively YES.  Not only is Joy Ross adorable, but she embodies everything I love about fashion – a strong sense of self expression and effortless style.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel Continue reading