Thursday, August 30, 2012

Denim – An Insider’s Guide!

Jeans.  They are a big part of my life.  I absolutely LOVE wearing them.  I love helping people find their perfect pair.  Basically, I spend most of my time being around and doing something I love.  Pretty cool, huh?! 

However, not everyone loves jeans, or, at least, not everyone loves shopping for jeans.  It can be more stressful than shopping for a bathing suit for many people.  I have talked many people off the ledge when denim shopping and a good denim education is the thing which seems to help the most.  Well, that and the customer actually trusting that after doing this for the past year and a half for forty hours a week (approximately 3100 hours), I just might know how a pair of jeans are supposed to fit better than they do (I don’t go into your work and tell you now to do your job, do I?).  So if YOU feel you can trust me, here are some tips to make your denim shopping experience easier! AG - Piper


Go tight or go home! Most denim stretches, so when trying them on, go for a snug fit.  If they fit perfectly right out of the gate, they will bag out, creating the dreaded “Diaper Butt” we all fear.  If you can grab a handful of fabric in the butt or crotch of the jeans, they are too big. If your jeans are touching your skin, that does not mean they are necessarily too tight.  If your jeans require you to literally jump up and down to get into them, they are not necessarily too tight.  If you can’t button them (at all), zip them, or sit down in them, THEN they are too tight.  Some jeans relax and conform to your body more than others, so trust the wisdom of the stylist you are working with who advises you to try a different size.  I have several pairs of jeans that I jump up and down like a fool to get into but relax like crazy after getting them on.  My kids think Mom getting her jeans on is hilarious.  It is always fun to jump around with an audience.

AG - Piper

When buying denim, I tell all my customers to wear the denim around for an hour before cutting the tags off.  Make sure they do not over or under relax on you.  You can also try your denim on first when shopping and keep wearing them around while you try on tops.  This will also give them a chance to relax and for you to see how they will fit in the long run. 

Be prepared to pay up!  If you wear denim every day, it's a small price to pay for a great fit.  So what makes that great fit cost so much?  Premium denim brands often retain their fit models (can you imagine being paid a retainer to put on jeans?  Sweet!).  These same brands also bring in better fabrics and focus on details such as distressing, which is usually done by hand, not by a machine.  It is details like this which may raise the cost of the jean, not just the name.  In my own experience, I have found my premium denim lasts longer, creating a better cost per wear than lower priced brands.  I recently consigned my first pair of premium denim, 7 for All Mankind, and they were still in mint condition after 8 years. 


Look in your rearview mirror!  Most people will see you from behind and that is where most people will judge how your denim looks.  Make sure you check out how your butt looks in a 3-way mirror. Ask a friend, a stylist, or a nearby shopper for help.  Make sure you look at where the pockets are placed, is there any sagging underneath, are they riding too low or too high. Ask yourself, does that tushie look like a cute little peach (YAY), a flat pancake (nay), or two pigs fighting under a blanket (nay).

Nip, tuck! No piece of clothing is meant to fit you specifically.  It is designed to fit a general body type.  With that being said, it is normal to get alterations on your denim. Most denim is meant to be hemmed (unless you are blessed with super long legs, which I was not).  Do you have a juicy booty and tiny waist?  Take it in and avoid gapping in back.  These are easy fixes for any tailor worth their salt.  If you are going to have the perfect pair of jeans, why wouldn’t you want to ensure the perfect fit for your body?


Try all kinds! When trying on denim, try all kinds of denim on. You may discover that you love boyfriend jeans.  Or skinny jeans.  Or boot cut.  There is a plethora of options when it comes to denim, colors, cuts, fabrics.  How do you know what you will work if you do not try things on?  Often, there is more than one option which will fit and flatter.  Try them all and find out which you love the most.  Be open minded with fit and fabric. Remember, the right fitting pair of jeans will make you look slimmer, the wrong pair of jeans will do the opposite or worse!

To bling or not to bling?  I get asked this question a lot.  Well, this one is a personal choice.  Since it is my blog, I am going to share my own opinion on this one, but you make your own decision.  I do not wear blingy jeans.  It is my belief that if you need to put diamonds and heavy decorative stitching across your rear, your trying to cover something up.  I prefer my ass to speak for itself in a pair of jeans.  Also, it is something a high school girl wears, not a grown woman.  Again, just my opinion.


So there you have it!  Some easy tips and tricks to remember when you are buying your next pair of jeans.  Hopefully, this will help to take some of the stress out of looking fabulous in your jeans.

*Special thanks to my booty-licious models, Emily and Lisa, who were kind enough to let me take pictures of their frontal and rear regions for my blog.*

*Denim featured above:  Nico Skinny by Hudson and Piper by AG via Hot Mama*

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Day at the Fair.

Five years ago, I went to the Minnesota State Fair with my seven week old baby girl.  While at the fair, which by the way was a completely miserable experience thanks to my husband who was on a conference call, realized he left his wallet in the car AFTER we had already gotten into the fair, started a fight with me, etc., I purchased a new piggy bank for my baby girl.  It was cute, very girly with little flowers and butterflies, and, of course, her name blazoned across the side.

Now fast forward five years.  Picture the same cute little baby girl and the same cutesy little piggy bank, as a five year old who is throwing a tantrum over her piggy bank being a “boy”, simply because it doesn’t have eyelashes.  Uh…..what?  You have got to be kidding me.  I know they are going to draw on that pig’s face with a Sharpie, which I could do myself for free, but I also know this will not be good enough for Biggest. So, needless to say, all summer we have been talking about spending a special day at the Fair together, just Mommy and Biggest, in order to go back and get a new “girl” piggy bank.  statefair

Now, we all know this post could go very bad with the things we saw at the fair.  Naturally, I could go on and on about the fashions at the state fair.  There is something about sending people into an environment like that which drives them to lose all sense of fashion (and in some cases, personal hygiene).   I will say, in their defense, that no matter HOW you dress for the Fair, you will end up stinky, sweaty and dirty.  Believe me, I know first hand and I was actually trying to pull off cute but casual.  Didn’t work.  All it earned me was a hot shower when I got home.  Yuck.

So, instead if going down the path of ripping others to shreds, I am going to share with you the fun and special moments I had at the fair with Biggest.  This being her first “real” trip to the fair, I was excited to share it with her.  Yes, Biggest has been there before, when she was a baby, but we also went when she was three years old with her sister who was about eighteen months.  Wow.  I would not recommend that.  So here are the moments which really touched me that day and I hope you enjoy them too.

donutsMoment #1:  The Food!  The food was terrific, as always.  We skipped breakfast at home in lieu of eating like crap all day long.  Totally worth it.  We started the day with Luigi Fries (basically a cheesy breadstick) and then had Sweet Martha’s Cookies.  Yup, it was about 9:00 am.  After that we had Mouth Trap cheese curds (a must for a true Fair goer) and a wild rice cheese burger.  Later, I got to split a beer flight with MY mom in the Ag building while Biggest shared a fresh squeezed apple juice with her Poppa.  Later on, she had a blue raspberry Icee and I had a Gizmo up on Machinery Hill.  Then we ended with the Tom Thumb mini donuts.  I was so full I could burst.  Normally, I am a mom who gets a little bit nutty about the kids eating junk or grazing all day, but that is the beauty of the state fair, right?!  It is a time honored tradition that I passed along to my Biggest and we can share year after year.  Honestly?  I did not eat for the rest of the day.  Biggest had a Happy Meal at McDonald’s on the way home.  Gross but at that point, what is the difference?


Moment #2:  The Sky Glider!  All day, Biggest and I talked about riding the Sky Glider, which is basically a chair lift you can ride from one end of the park to another.  You ride over buildings, streets, and all the business that is the Minnesota State Fair.  We had spent some time with family at the fair (grandparents and cousins) but this was time for just the two of us.  While Biggest and I were on the Sky Glider, we were lucky enough to see the daily parade pass underneath us.  We passed over bands, tractors, princesses, a couple big cows, you name it.  Biggest was bouncing in her seat!  I, of course, was trying to keep Biggest from bouncing too much and sliding out underneath the safety bar (42 inches without an adult, my ass).  We had time to talk, to snuggle and even snap a few photos of the fairgrounds (see above) and the two of us (thankfully, her blue Icee lips had worn off). 

Moment #3:  Some Girl Loses a Tooth!  While in line for the Sky Glider, a family was standing behind us chatting, a mom, a dad and two daughters.  Suddenly, we heard the younger daughter urgently saying “Mom, mom.”  She had just lost her first tooth.  Now, it was not my daughter who had lost the tooth, but it was such a cool moment to witness, especially with Biggest.  The little girl was full of a combination of pride, excitement and awe.  Biggest was fascinated by the little girl, who was about the same age as her.  She seemed to have a better understanding of what happens when you loose a tooth and was even more excited for it to happen to her.

Moment #4:  Dad Gets an Earful!  OK, so this moment happened the next day , but it doesn’t lose anything because of that.  It is the next day at 7:00 am and I am still in bed sleeping, since it is my day off (which really means I am laying in bed while my kids run around, slamming doors and yelling, my husband sings loudly in the shower, and 3 dogs are jumping on top of me, licking my face in an effort to get me up to feed them).  Biggest runs into the bathroom and starts telling her dad all about our day together, since he didn’t see her due to fishing the night before.  All I hear was snippets like this “This girl didn’t know how to drive her boat so I bumped her” and “I had cookies for breakfast”.  It was awesome just to her her replay the stories to him, knowing it was as special and fun to her as it was to me.

So in the end, our day at the Fair was a great success.  I got to spend the day with my Biggest.  We had food, we had fun, and we made some amazing memories.  And yes, in the end, we got a “girl” piggy bank.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Confessions of a Hot Mama Stylist

As a stylist at Hot Mama, I have mass quantities of fun while I am at work.  As I tell my kids, "Mommy gets to play Barbies all day!"  Pretty sure they take that literally.  However, as much fun as it is to go to work, it is not without its challenges.  Often, I run into shoppers who are not familiar with the Hot Mama experience that we provide.  People have become so jaded as customers, they have started to approach shopping as a war:  customer versus the dreaded salesperson.  Customer service that was once held to such a high standard has fallen to the wayside at many stores.  However, at Hot Mama (and a few others), we still believe in it and strive to provide it to you with passion.  So here are some confessions from the inside to make your shopping experience with us (or any other store like us) much easier!
  • When we start a conversation with you, it is not because we are trying to sell you.  Shockingly, I am actually interested in what you are doing today. Or where you got those amazing shoes (I might want a pair).  Or what you have planned for the weekend. Or just simply how your day going. I am truly listening - not planning my next move to "sell" you. How can I be of any help if I don't get to know you? Besides, shopping is much more fun if you are with girlfriends.

  • We don't make commission, so please do not call me a sales person. I am a stylist. I am at Hot Mama because I want to be here. True story. I am pulling tons of items for you to try on because I actually want you to look and feel hot. Seriously. That is the only reason.  Well, that and it is fun for me. It is my job and I love doing it. If I have to sell you on something, it is not a good choice for you, your lifestyle, your body type, or your budget.

  • Your children are really not bugging me. The whole reason we have a play area in the store is so you can bring them with you. So, your five-year-old is crawling under the clothing racks while your two-year-old is busy grinding animal crackers into the carpet. Whatever. Stuff happens. I am not bothered by it. Kids will be kids. I have yet to wish another parent would take their kids out of the store.  Usually, I just find them entertaining and fun.   Now, MY kids? They sometimes bug me when they are in the store. But they act like a couple of wild hooligans who have lost their brains and manners.  Oddly enough, everyone else seems to think they are cute.  Go figure.
  • No one looks as hard at your body as you do. Think about it for a minute. What do you do when you look in the mirror? Zero in on your "flaws." Now ask yourself this: what do you think everyone else is doing? They are looking at themselves!  Did you really think you were the only person to do this? Really? People are so focused on themselves, they do not notice whatever minor or imaginary imperfection you are finding with yourself. I wish you could see in the mirror what I see when I look at you, because I truly don't see whatever "flaws" you are talking about and trying to point to. I just see the fabulous woman in front of me.


  • Dress the body you HAVE, not the body you WANT. I would love to be three sizes smaller. But I am not. So I choose to rock the curves I have. Why deny yourself the feeling of being fabulous because you would like to lose five more pounds, or have longer legs or a bigger chest? Love the skin you are in and be the most fabulous YOU that you can possibly be.  It is extremely freeing and much more fun.

  • Yes, I am being honest with you. What good does it do me to lie to you? No good at all. If I lie and send you out the door looking less than stellar, that reflects bad on me and Hot Mama. Plus, why would you ever want to come back? Or tell your friends to come in? It is my job to be honest (in a very nice way) to help guide you to items which fit and flatter. Besides, I am a terrible liar. You would be able to tell. I have absolutely no poker face.
  • No, I do not spend my entire paycheck at Hot Mama. But I secretly want to.
  • I don't want you to buy anything you don't love. If you don’t want to run right home to put it on, why spend the money on it? We get more product in every day. It is like Christmas morning every day at our store, and our UPS guy, Bob, is Santa Claus. I would rather have someone come in frequently to shop than do it one or two huge bursts a year. It keeps your closet fresher and helps you find more things you actually are excited about.
So next time you are out shopping, think about the person who is approaching you.  You will know in a minute or less what their motivation is, simply by talking to them.  You might be surprised to find out, they have your best intentions in mind. Customer service is not dead, so give us a chance to prove it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where Do They Learn This Stuff?

Last week, my biggest and I got into a fight.  She wanted to wear a specific pair of jeans to school.  Not just any jeans, either.  She was insisting on wearing her new skinny jeans.  When I told her to pick a pair from her drawer, she began to cry because none of them were skinny jeans.  God forbid she go to school wearing a boot cut pair of denim? 
Cut to later in the week, same child and I are having an argument over a haircut.  I have been planning on cutting her long locks at the end of the summer into an inverted bob for back to school and am currently preparing her for the shock.  I have a terrible suspicion that she will go into thermonuclear meltdown, in her usual dramatic fashion, and would rather avoid this event at the hair salon.  So this week, we have been arguing about what said haircut will look like.  She is insisting on getting the same haircut as her friend at school.  Today, I saw her friend’s hair.  It is what I wanted to do anyway but apparently mom’s idea was not described properly.  I wonder if the stylist who cuts her hair will know what she wants when she asks for Lily’s haircut.
I don’t know where my daughters learn this stuff.  I cannot remember the last time I cried over skinny jeans.  Or braids versus ponytails.  Or chipped nail polish on my fingers (actually, I am often too lazy to even paint my nails.  Takes too much time to dry and I can’t paint straight).  I love that my girls have adopted a girly side, sharing my love of fashion (although theirs is much more……creative….than mine), makeup, and pampering.  likemother
But like all moms, I worry they are going to develop issues with body image and self confidence.  At what point do I draw the line with their love of pampering and style?  How do I keep them from thinking they need to be something specific as dictated by what they see on TV or in a magazine?
I think the answer is to show them balance in my own life.  Teach them to be their beautiful selves, develop their own sense of style, their own brand of sparkle.  Hell, I hope they will learn from me that you can be a fashionista one day and a Comic Con costume wearing geek the next (or even both in the same day!!).  You can love your skinny jeans one day and your yoga pants the next. 
Moving forward, I will continue encourage my girls to play with fashion and makeup.  Encourage them to be girly, if that is what they want.  I will let them continue to play with my makeup (well….some of my makeup.  That shit gets expensive), paint their nails when asked (or let my husband do it because he is better at it than I am) and have fun getting dressed in the morning.  But they will always be taught they can still get dirty when they want, read comic books, and dress up in nerdy costumes at cool events (like Comic Con, perhaps).  They can love every minute of being themselves, whether they want to be sparkly or not. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Want Candy!

I love candy, all kinds.  While chocolate will almost always be a good way to get to my heart, arm candy is another.  I love the new trend of layering, layering, and layering of bracelets.  Use all kinds of materials, metals, beads, leather, cloth, thread.  This is such an easy trend to get on board with and even easier to get “right”.  Even my kids love to play with bracelets, adding more and more until their little arms are laden down with jingly goodness.  Who knew my kids could be so on trend, without even trying? Sometimes,  I even let the kids pick out my bangles for me, although their picks can get rather creative.   Here are some of my favorite arm candy “flavors”:
This first assortment is from Stella & Dot as seen in real life, which means my sister wore them out one night when we met for happy hour)  The bangles from Stella & Dot are always super cute every season and provide a crap-ton of options for mixing and matching (Yup, crap-ton is a technical fashion term.  I have decided).
Bracelets via Stella & Dot
This next photo is a group of bracelets I picked up at a cool little pop-up shop in Hudson, Wisconsin called Sundar Imports.  I got a cute fistful of bangles for fairly inexpensive, plus Sundar Imports is a fair trade business.  Fashionable and globally conscious, that is a win-win for me!
Bracelets via Sundar Imports
Lastly, this is my absolute favorite layering piece in my own collection.  This rare bracelet is made of straw and pipe cleaner, by the finest craftsman in the land, my five year old.  I wear it with most of my bangles, especially at the request of its creator.  I am obsessive over this piece to the point where I become unsettled if it falls off and becomes misplaced.  Sometimes, I have been spotted at work, crawling under the racks looking for it.  It truly is my most treasured bracelet and layering piece. 
Bracelet via my oldest  <3

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seasons Change.

It is that time of year.  Nights are getting longer and cooler (hopefully).  Back to school shopping is in full swing and the Great Minnesota Get Together, the State Fair, begins in less than a week.  I am becoming torn between two seasons.  Well.....kind of.  Not really.  I am completely ready for summer to end.  Yes, I know this makes me a complete nutter to most people but it is my least favorite season.  I long for the days of layering thermals, snuggly sweaters with skinny jeans and boots.  It is worse when you are surrounded by adorable fall clothing all day long.  I have been living in September/October since July.
On the bright side, my customers are finally moving into fall shopping mode!  That  means I get to dress people up in my adored fall ensembles all day long.  We are having a good time figuring out how to make this transition from summer into fall together, giving us all the chance to start wearing our favorite fall pieces starting now. 
Yes, I know I should be saving my “back to school” clothes for later, especially since I have hidden my daughter’s new school clothes and let her cry over the skinny jeans she was dying to wear to school already in August (Evil Skinny Jeans and Yoga Pants – taking lessons from Evil Joy, perhaps?).  However, I am the mom so I make the rules, and I say that I can start wearing my fall yummies right now.
At this point, I am sure you thinking, get to the point: how are you incorporating fall during the middle of August.  It is easy.  With a little help from my friends (i.e. the stylists I work with at Hot Mama), we are all finding new and different ways to bring sweaters, jackets, fur vests, boots, layers into our summer wardrobes.  Add a pair of boots to a skirt or shorts (see photo below).  Layer a scarf over a T-shirt for an extra splash of fab during your back to school shopping excursions.  Toss a fur vest over a lightweight dress for a little extra warmth and style at night.  Add a snuggly sweater or sweatshirt to a pair of shorts for running around the playground with your kids.  Throw on your skinny jeans and roll them up to wear as a crop on days that are not blazingly hot (or be like me and do it any day it strikes your fancy.  Screw the thermostat).

My Hot Mama Stylist Models!
Emily (left)
Sweatshirt - Lavender Thymes
Shorts and Bracelets - Hot Mama
Socks – DSW
Boots – Nordstrom's
Leah (right)
Scarf and Skirt - Hot Mama
Boots - REI

So start pulling out your fall gear and find creative ways to make it transitional during this change of seasons.  I know I am.  Thankfully, fall will be here before we know it! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt.

Three days ago, my husband gave me his blessing to buy everything on my wish list at work.  What?  Seriously?  I could not believe it. My frugal hubby, who just last week was telling me I needed to keep an eye on my spending, told me to get crazy and spend some of our hard earned money on myself.  Friends told me to take the money and run, not to look this gift horse in the mouth.  It is 3 days later and I have still yet to spend the money.  I can't help but wonder why?

After thinking about it, it finally hit me.  Much like the episode of Sex and the City where Aiden and Carrie are getting along too well, I was missing the thrill of the hunt.  Not just the hunt for those amazing finds or deals, but the hunt for MAKING the purchase and bringing it home.  I was getting to shop without the drama.  No calculating, hiding, sneaking around, just smooth shopping on the horizon.  No need to hide part of the purchases in the closet or in the trunk until I can get it past him at a later date.  I was missing the excitement and drama that is usually attached to a big shopping trip!

OK, ladies.  Let's be real.  We all try to pull things over on our men, especially regarding shopping.  We know we do it.  They know we do it.  It is all part of what keeps our relationships exciting.  The excuses  we make, the half truths, and the outright lies are all the thrill of the hunt which is shopping.  Can you honestly say the following has never left your mouth?
  • "Oh, I have had that forever..." - Since when does forever equal one week?
  • "These never go on sale.  It was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up."  - Really?  Never goes on sale?  Just this one time?  No one really believes that, not you, not him.
  • "No, I only spent $XXX today." - Yeah, right.  You probably spent twice that and hid the rest on your "secret" credit card or used your cash stash.
  • "I just haven't worn that since before I had the kids." - This one was my favorite.   It doesn't work anymore, but it did for awhile.
There are hundreds, if not thousands more I could add to this list.  I am sure my hubby could even add a few of his own.

Really, it is by far not the worst problem to have.  I am sure most of you are screaming at your computer/iPad/phone screens that I am an idiot for waiting this long, even if my husband has spoiled the hunt for me. I am extremely thankful my husband desires to make me happy.  The way to a man's heart may be through his stomach, but my path just might start in the closet.  Happy wife, happy life, right?!

In the end, I will suck it up and go shop.  It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It is time I admitted one of my sad addictions.  I luv me some animal print.  I can't stop myself from drooling over every piece of animal print that we get in the store, be it reptile or leopard.  The girls I work with may think it is an obsession but I like to think I am getting back to my primal instincts. To be perfectly honest, I envision myself as a 80 year old lady, wearing a leopard print velour jumpsuit and way too much eye makeup; playing random poker games for quarters (and most likely cheating like my grandma did <3).  Even my daughters (ages 3 and 5) are currently begging for more animal print in their fall closets.  What can I say? Like mother, like daughters!

So how does a mom wear it everyday?  Well, that is an easy question to answer.  Treat it as the neutral  it actually is.  You can add little pieces with a shoe, belt, purse, or a scarf to add a little extra something to your ensemble.

Mom's shoe:  Me Too
Kids' shoe:  Gap Kids

Or you can go bolder by choosing bigger pieces like a shirt or jacket.  I have this leopard print dolmen sleeve top by Jolie, which is super soft and comfortable.  It looks great with a pair of jeans for schlepping around with my kids, yet was cute enough to grab a drink with my friend Marta after work!

Shirt:  Jolie
(via Hot Mama)

For the more adventurous ladies out there, go for animal print denim, which is VERY hot this fall.  Personally, I am holding out for a pair of reptile print skinny jeans from Sanctuary.  They WILL be mine.  Oh yes, they will be mine.  I have big plans for them, having created several outfits in my head while at work, often testing them out on my unsuspecting customers and myself.

Shirt : Michael Stars
Jeans:  Sanctuary
(both via Hot Mama)

So figure out what your inner animal style is and let it show.  Grab that animal print you have secretly been ogling and run with it.  Let yourself be bold, be adventurous, be RAWR!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dress for it!

My sister recently went shopping at La Rue Marche, a cute little shop in Hudson, Wisconsin.  As she was happily showing me her new wares,which included a super cute skirt I anticipate she will wear to death and meal planning guide which I would realistically give about 3 months max before she quits it (Sorry, Carrie), I noticed a cute label on the outside of her bag.

I was struck by the simplicity and truth behind the message.  Everyday IS an event.  We SHOULD dress for it.  Frequently, I run into moms, both at work and in my personal life, who tell me they would love to dress more stylishly but they don't go anywhere.  I'm sorry, did I not just run into you at Target?  Are you not out running errands or shopping?  Doesn't your husband see you daily?  These are the questions I find myself wanting to ask (and at work I frequently do ask).  Why NOT get dressed for life?

Am I saying you need to "put on the dog" every single time you leave the house?  Nope.  Do you need to "impress" your husband or anyone else?  Not at all.  I would be lying  if I said I always wear makeup and cute clothes when I leave my house or on my stay home days.  But I still try more often than not.  It makes me feel good to be presentable for not only my family, friends, or strangers but just for myself.  My confidence is lifted and I have an extra pep in my step. I feel like the days I "dress for it" are some of my best days, in and out of my house.

So, this morning I was feeling inspired by the idea of dressing for my day.  So I pulled out the yummy fall sweater (which I have been dying to wear for the past two weeks since I bought it) and paired it with some mom friendly shorts and sandals.  Add a scarf and some earrings, my look was almost complete.  I even felt inspired to get a little crazy with the new eye shadows from Sephora and create a little smokier eye than normal. 

Sweater - Free People
Scarf - Thirty Nine 42
Shoes - Dr. Scholls
(all via Hot Mama)

The few minutes of extra thought and effort must have paid off, because I kept getting compliments on my outfit and makeup, even from random strangers.  I will be honest, it felt good to have people notice!  To continue my good feelings and attitude, I have left almost the entire outfit on (except the scarf and shoes) while chilling at home after work.

 So next time you find yourself in  a "getting dressed slump" (you know you have them) or believing that you don't go anywhere or see anyone, think about the day ahead of you as an event and dress for it.  Who knows what could happen?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The monster in my closet.

There is a monster in my closet.  I know, because I have seen it.  Everyday it is there, lurking, waiting, taunting me.   No matter what I do, it is too scary to address head on, so I try to pretend it is not there.  Today, I am coming out and admitting my fear of the monster and what I must do to defeat it.  Here it is, the monster in my closet.

No, that is not a pile of dirty laundry (I wish).  Those clothes are CLEAN!  This is my dreaded ironing pile, which currently stands between 2-3 feet high.  Now, I know everyone is going to think, "Why the heck is she ironing?  This isn't 1950 and it doesn't matter!"  Unfortunately, I was raised by an ironer, probably the ironing master!  My mom would spend hours watching movies and TV shows in our basement while tacking the family wrinkles.  It is arguably in my blood.

Please don't think I have such a huge closet that this pile is 100% mine.  While I do have a clothing addiction,  the majority of this pile belongs to my darling husband.  His love of wearing button downs to work is the main contributing factor to this pile, because I abhor ironing them. Heck, even my daughters have an item or two in this pile.  How a 3 year old and a 5 year old get to wear clothing that wrinkles is beyond me.

Nevertheless, the monster lurks in my closet, taunting me daily with clothes I would love to wear but must first dig OUT of the pile, and then (horror of horrors) iron.  Truthfully, I don't mind ironing overly much.  It is something to do while I catch up on my DVR'd guilty pleasures (Deadliest Catch, EastEnders, Warehouse 13, etc).  It is just the size of the monstrous pile that terrifies me!  Even if I take out all of my hubby's button downs (which we have agreed I do not have to iron if I don't want to), it is still a daunting task to undertake.  

So I will do what I must do.  Tackle the mountain head on.  Make the effort to get out the starch and wrestle the wrinkles into submission! Act like the 1950's housewife my my tried to raise me to be!

Tomorrow.  Definitely tomorrow......

Or maybe next week.

 Maybe I should just buy something new to wear instead.  That would be much easier.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Well, I'm in trouble....again.

My husband is balancing the checkbook.  Yup, he still does this every month, sitting down with a pencil, highlighter and calculator.  I like to call those our "fight" days.  One time, he even tried to do it on our anniversary!

This month, he has discovered my early love of the new Sephora which is opening only a scant mile from my work.  What is worse, my cousin is the manager and has the ability to talk me into glorious pampering items designed to make me look and feel fabulous.  What is not to like about that?  You think he, of all people, would WANT me to be as amazing and relaxed as possible.  Happy wife = happy life, right?  Apparently, not in the eyes of my spouse, who would like me to curb my obsession with Sephora and my place of employment, Hot Mama (HA!!!!  Not going to happen).  It is times like this I must be reminded of the following:

 Yes, I would love to purchase every single Benefit, Philosophy, or Urban Decay product waived under my nose, but I must remind myself that it will disrupt the wedded bliss usually I experience at home.  It is up to me to reign in my own love of delicious products to sooth the savage beast I am married to tonight.

BUT, fear not, my intrepid readers!  Fall is my favorite season for fashion and my hubby has already been warned of and agreed to some shopping adventures for me.  I am now weighing my love of Sephora with my love of Hot Mama.  Hmmm.....which do you think is going to win????  So in the near future, I will be reminded of this following:

And I can't wait!!!!

To be continued......

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's the little things that matter.

A friend of mine posted this picture to Facebook today (thanks, Sonja!) and it got me thinking about the how much the little things that matter.  Who doesn't feel amazing when they are wearing their "good" undies?  Come one, admit it.  We all have them, that pair of underwear which make you feel sexy, stylish or just a little less frumpy.  Personally, I adore Hanky Panky underwear to feel good underneath it all.  It is like a secret that no one else knows about (except my kids, who most likely had a fight over who got to pick out what color or print my undies were that day). 

But it is more than just great undies.  It can be a great pair of jeans, a favorite mascara, quick brow wax, or even the simple act of tossing on a pair of earrings before you leave the house.  I find myself pondering, does it really take that much more time to slap on some lip gloss, a pair of well fitting jeans and cute cardigan before I leave the house than it does to slap on my husband's oversize T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants?  Nope.  Can I still be a comfortable mom-on-the-go in those clothes?  Yup.  Will I feel better about myself in those clothes?  Yup.  

I guess those little things really DO matter.  You just have to let them.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I admit it.  I heart Pinterest.  What social media obsessed person doesn't?  It is where I go to be insipired, feel like a domestic goddess and express my love of fashion and trends.  So naturally, as I was starting my blogging journey, I looked to my Pinterest boards for inspiration.  You know you have them....those boards which you pin your "pin-spirational" quotes and sayings to that either inspire you or just plain make you giggle.  Heck, I have at least TWO of them titled:  Yup and Just Makes Sense!

Here are some of my favorite pins that inspire me as a mom, as a fashionista, and as a mom fashionista who is paid to empower moms, making them look and feel hot (which I LOVE to do):

Maybe it is wrong (or slightly cheesy) but I try to live each one of these every day.  I am absolutely fruity, zany, imperfect yet very happy.  Is it a recipe for success or insanity?  Maybe a little bit of both.  You be the judge!  :)

Why am I here? Was it the wine?

It has been a long day at work.  And I find my self asking the following questions:  why am I here?  What was I thinking?  How much wine have I had?  Will people want to read this?  What do I have to offer to people who actually DO read this?  In order to get my head around my sudden whim to start this blog, I have decided to tackle each question head on!

Question 1:  Why am I here? 
Answer:  Why not?!  I spend all day long with women (mostly moms, specifically) helping them find clothes to fit their body type and lifestyle.  I am also a mom who loves fashion and trends but still LOVES her yoga pants.   It ain't easy to balance being ME and being MOM simultaneously. 

Question 2:  What was I thinking?  
Answer:  I am constantly amazed how women rip their own forms apart and envy those of others.  I am also amazed by how women talk themselves out of so many things which make them happy or don't fit the idea they have created in their own heads about how a mom should look.  I don't understand this!  Why in the world do we do this to ourselves?  Women are gorgeous and need to learn to accept it, no matter your perceived imperfections.  Hopefully, I can help women love themselves for real.  If not, we can at least have a little fun.  I can be kind of wacky, just ask the people I work with.

 Question 3:  How much wine have I had?
Answer:  2 glasses.  I swear.  But they were absolutely delicious and well deserved.  God bless you, Trader Joe's!

Question 4:  Will people want to read this?
Answer:  Maybe.  I hope so.

Question 5:   What do I have to offer people who actually DO read this?
Answer:  Hmmm.....good question.   Maybe readers will learn to love and accept themselves more, but that might be aiming high.   If nothing else, we will have a few giggles together talking mom and style.