For the Church Christmas Banquet

Unfortunately this picture doesn't show the little faux jewel embellishment on the neckline of this dress. The embellishment really makes the dress a tad more special.

I've had this dress for a while, but haven't had any opportunities to really wear it. I'm so glad I was able to pair it with this white shirt to make it more appropriate for church or other conservative events. This shirt has made this dress so much more versatile now!

I just need to get the shirt altered to fit properly - the sleeves definitely are a bit too long.

White shirt - JCPenney - $11
LBD - Express - $9
Red pumps - Target - $3.74
Glittery clutch - gifted
CZ stud earrings - gifted

Going to church in the rain...

Raincoat - Target - $9.98
Skirt - Old Navy - $4.99
Sweater - gifted
Bead necklace and earrings - Kohl's - $1.60
Tights - ?
Pumps - gifted


Black Friday shopping outfit

After seeing Nic's cute outfit for Thanksgiving I tried to compose my own version. I don't have boots or colored tights though...so it's just tights, skirt, shirt and long cardigan:)
Cardigan ~ Gap $30
Top ~ Ann Taylor Loft $24
Skirt ~ Gap Outlet $20
Tights ~ ?
Shoes ~ Kohls $15
Just for fun, my friends and I decided to go to a J.Crew Factory Store midnight sale last night. They had 50% off their clearance items, so it sounded good. The traffic was so bad, we ended up being 30 minutes late, and then we stood in line for about 30 minutes just to get in the store! Once in the store, you had to stand in line another 30 minutes just to buy something.

Neither of us were looking for anything, but we wanted to say we did it. So for the hour and a half of lost sleep that I got for our trip last night, the only thing I have to show for it are these cords that I'm wearing. Yep - that's right. I stood in line all that time just for a pair of pants! lol!

Stretch vintage cords - J.Crew Factory Store - $14.99
Cable knit sweater - Target - $3.74
Black booties - JCPenney - $9
Necklace - Express - free with a purchase
Jean jacket - gifted

What I wore for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
Cardigan - Macy's - $4.99
Tights - Target - I forget how much
Boots - Aerosoles - $29
Skirt - Tommy Hilfiger - $7
T-shirt - F21 - $3.50
Belt - Gap - $24.50
Medallion earrings - gifted
Cuff bracelet - Claire's - $1


My new hair cut

Here are some self taken shots of my new hair cut. I like it a lot, but I think in a few weeks when I go in for a trim I'll have the gal go a bit shorter with the style. For now, this is good though!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you all have a fabulous holiday!


Greeting Family

Some of my siblings are arriving from out of town today to celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend with us! I can't wait!
Swing jacket - Target - $7.48
Skinny jeans - Express - $19.99
T-shirt - Kohl's - $9?
Belt - Gap - $24.50
Beads - Kohl's - $0.90
Wedge sandals - JCPenney - $9.58

Drugstore shout out

John Frieda's Luxurious Volume collection is exactly what it says: Luxurious Volume! I just finished the last of what I had bought last week and my hair is already missing it. The product gave my hair lots of volume on top of shine! You should try this out if you want full-bodied/shiny hair!

A couple of months ago I splurged and got the new Venus Embrace. Wow! It's amazing! Not only have I not gotten a single nick since I've used it (about two months), but I still haven't had to change the blade! It's the closest, safest, smoothest, and most long lasting razor I've ever used! It's so easy to use, too! It cuts my shaving time in half, as I can do it fast and still get a perfect shave! Definitely worth the extra dollars!


Finding my style part IV - Wardrobe Essentials

The next step on my path to finding my style is to make a list of items that I need in my wardrobe. I've been working on a list for quite some time now using Isaac Mizrahi's, Tim Gunn's, and Stacy London and Clinton Kelly's lists. Of course, their lists are for the modern working woman. My list needs to be adjusted for what the average SAHM woman needs.

This list I've also gone over with Missi, and both she and I consider these items to be the bare essentials to a SAHM wardrobe. I'm sure many of you have less than this list, and many of you think I'm missing some things. But this is just my opinion of what you need as building blocks to a perfectly stylish wardrobe. Of course, I love dresses, skirts, tights, and ruffles, but ultimately I do not NEED that as a SAHM...so again, this list does not include personal taste and style - it just includes what you NEED to be begin a stylish and put together wardrobe.

Also note, this list does not include jewelry essentials.

Here is what I've come up with:

Every SAHM should have:

  1. 4 pairs of jeans (1 short pair for flats in dark wash for running errands, 1 short pair for tennis shoes in light wash for playing soccer with your kids, 1 long pair/dark wash for pumps or wedges for dinner out, and 1 long trendy pair for that night out with the girls)

  2. 1 button down shirt in a neutral color to be worn alone, layered underneath sweaters, or accessorized with big necklaces and/or belts

  3. 3 camisoles for layering (2 white or cream and one black)

  4. For the summer, 3 tank tops (2 in your favorite colors and one in a neutral color)

  5. 2 well fitting short sleeve t-shirts in your favorite colors for wearing alone in the summer and layering in the winter

  6. 3 well fitting long sleeve t-shirts - 2 in your favorite colors, 1 in a neutral color (like white) to be layered or worn alone in the winter

  7. 1 denim pencil skirt with plenty of stretch so you can move around easily in it - perfect for MOPS meetings or lunch dates

  8. 1 pair of casual flats you can walk in or go to the park in (think a Skechers mary jane)

  9. 1 pair of colorful flats for those short dark wash jeans

  10. 1 pair of neutral wedges for those long jeans or skirt (wedges are a great alternative to a pump for the SAHM - you get the height of a pump, but the comfort and walkability of a flat)

  11. 3 cardigans (2 in your favorite colors, and one in a neutral) for layering in the winter, spring, and fall

  12. LBD - every woman, SAHM or otherwise, needs a little black dress. Perfect for funerals, weddings, church, or a date night - this dress should be seasonless, versatile, and fit superbly

  13. 1 pair of classic black pumps for that LBD

  14. 1 trendy/dressy top for those trendy jeans and that night out with the girls

  15. For the winter - 1 v-neck sweater

  16. For the summer - 1 pair of denim bermuda shorts and 1 pair of neutral colored bermudas

  17. A trench coat - a trench is the most versatile of all coats. You can wear it in the winter over layers for warmth, you can wear it for the rain with less underneath, just to protect you from the water, and you can wear it in the milder months of spring and fall to add a little extra warmth. It is also flattering on every figure and can be dressed up or down (perfect for a SAHM).

  18. A neutral colored belt that can be adjusted to a waist belt or worn low on the hips (through jean belt loops)

  19. Proper fitting and good quality lounge wear (for those days when you never leave the house - which can be quite frequent for SAHMs)

  20. 1 pair of tennis shoes for those tennis lessons or aerobic workouts)

  21. 1 neutral summer bag, large enough for diapers and wipes, small enough to not kill your back

  22. 1 neutral winter bag with same specification as seen in #18

  23. For the summer, sandals you can walk in

  24. For the winter, boots to wear over skinny jeans, or under skirts and dresses (my preference is the wedge knee-high boot)

Just a few shopping tips:

  • When shopping for this list, pick a color scheme that looks best on you and only buy things within that color scheme so your wardrobe will mix and match seamlessly.

  • Never make the mistake of buying something just because it's on sale (a lesson I'm still trying to learn) - always go for quality over quantity - as adults we aren't growing, so one good quality classic piece can last forever

  • Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to search for coupons before you shop and pick stores that are having sales!

  • As SAHMs, we don't need to make extra trips to the drycleaners when we know our kids will be spilling on us and wiping their noses on us all day! Opt for fabrics that you can wash at home and do not need to be ironed frequently

  • To make your wardrobe as versatile as possible, choose fabrics and colors that are seasonless (sturdy knits and cottons, jersey, wool blends, etc.)

  • Create your own list of essentials. Complete the shopping for those essentials, and then (and only then) add to your wardrobe your own personal flair items (hats, scarves, fun dresses, and skirts, etc.)

  • If you get overwhelmed shopping in large department stores, pick one sub-department in that department store to narrow down your choices (i.e, just the petites section, or just the juniors section)

  • Bring a friend or spouse (someone whose opinion you appreicate) with you to get a second opinion on if the item really suits you

  • Don't try to shop for all these items at once! You are not on reality TV!

  • Remember to not buy anything that doesn't fit perfectly (no matter how cheap) unless you can get it altered, and it is worth the money it would take to alter it

  • Remember to buy clothes that accentuate the smallest part of your waist (whether that be under your bust, or right at your waist)

Feel free to add to make a comment of what you think should be added to Missi's and my "essential list" - or we'd love to get more shopping tips from you all as well!


I'm really loving my...

"look ma, new hands" lotion from Bath and Body works True Blue Spa collection. I bought it a week or so ago and I feel like I can already tell a difference in how my hands look and feel.
It is a bit of a splurge for me at $18.50 a bottle (I had a coupon for 20% off), but with how awful my hands normally look and feel I felt it was worth it. (plus I had some extra cash at the time).
At any rate, if you haven't tried this lotion before you should stop in the store and try out the tester, I'm LOVING how it makes my hands feel, and the smell is pretty good too!


Wishing I had an occasion to wear this...

My aunt passed down to me this vintage, sequined gown from Saks Fifth Avenue. She bought it to go to a gala to meet Jimmy Stewart. Later she wore it to the 1991 Academy Awards (the year Madonna sang live). I was hoping that the annual Christmas party the company I work for holds would be appropriate for me to wear this to, but the invite says "semi-formal or festive attire." I would definitely be overdressed in this! It's too bad since sequins are so fashionable this season.

I'm also wearing vintage gold earrings that my grandmother passed down to me. Wish you could see them better in this picture, because they really are lovely.


Upping my style quotient

Picked up a few things today at the mall and added them to my outfit right away! :-)

Fedora - Charlotte Russe - $5
Vest - Macy's - $9.99

Just another post

My husband bought me this top for Christmas last year. I think it's perfect for the holidays. Shiny and festive - colorful and Christmasy - and best of all...plenty of room in the tummy so I can eat a lot and not let it show! lol!
Blouse - Express - gifted
Beads - Express - free with purchase
Jeans - Express - $19.99
Pumps - gifted
Cami - Forever 21 - $2.50


Black and Red

Top ~ Ann Taylor Loft $10
Sweater ~ Kohls $19
Jeans ~ Ann Taylor Loft $30 (something?)
Gray Booties ~ Payless $19
Pearls ~ Gifted
Bracelet ~ Gifted
Earrings ~ Gifted

My turn to want to cut my hair

So I really loved my hair when it looked like the below picture. It was so easy to style (or not style), it took like 5 minutes to blow dry, a few more minutes to run a flat iron through and then a quick fluff with product. I also thought I looked "cute" with the short hair style and felt like a fashionable mom.
So I've been telling myself I'll keep my hair long until I have baby number 2 (not that I'm pregnant or anything). My reasoning...None. So, why not go ahead and get it cut again?

So I'm gonna mess around and see if I can find other short styles that I'd like to try. We'll see if I end up cutting it or not.


Going out in the rain to run errands

I wasn't gonna post today because I feel crappy. But then I was like...aw, what the heck. So here is my running errands in the cold and rain outfit:)
Jeans ~ Gap $50
Sweater ~ Gap $30
Tshirt ~ Target $5
Gray Booties ~ Payless $19.99
Scarf ~ Gifted

This 'ole toothy grin

Take a close look at this smile...in about 6 weeks it will soon be covered in metal. Yep, that's right - I'm getting braces! This afternoon is my first appointment. I've always hated the fact that my two front teeth stick out like a rabbit and am glad to know that in just a few years they will be pushed back inside my mouth where they belong!

Corduroy jacket - Gap - gifted
Jeans - Old Navy - $7
Red suede mary jane pumps - Aerosoles - $29
(under the coat is a grey cable knit sweater with a red long beaded necklace from Express)


Another answer to a reader question...

I noticed in the header of your blog, the picture has a woman in an apron. I'm wondering what your opinions are about wearing aprons. Lately, I think they are making a comeback. I just bought myself an apron and I think it actually makes some of my outfits look better. It does help make my clothes stay clean - and my husband thinks it looks cute. Just wondering your thoughts.

We LOVE aprons! If you click on the "apron" label on the sidebar of this blog, you'll see three posts we did on aprons. Or you can just click here.

Aprons are adorable, adding a little charm to any outfit! Aprons allow us to wear nicer clothes even while we clean the house so we look fresh and clean when company comes or the husband comes home. Yes, every retro housewife should have an apron or two!

Answer to a reader question...

Just curious about something though. In a few of your posts you've mentioned your husband and him oking your choice of clothes. Does he have a big say in what you wear? If you can't ''convince'' him of this skirt do you have to get rid of it? Just curious.

I've recently started to mention what my husband thinks, because in my attempt at streamlining my wardrobe and finding my style, I had to start analyzing everything I wear to determine if it was something I really liked or was just wearing because it was in my closet. Through that process I have realized that there are only two people's opinion I really care about. 1) My own opinion, and 2) my husband's opinion. So I went through everything in my closet first on my own, getting rid of what I didn't like; and then with my husband, getting rid of things he didn't like.

The short answer to your question is, yes, lately he does have a lot of say in what I wear. However, I don't have to get rid of the skirt if he doesn't like it, I just have no reason to keep the skirt if he doesn't like it since I care about what he thinks of how I look.

If my husband had no clue about fashion, or no taste in clothes, I might not care about what he thinks - but my husband really has a good eye, and we usually agree on everything, so it is easy for me to accept his opinion on what he thinks of my clothes. In fact, he takes me shopping fairly often and picks things out for me to try on - what he has picked out are some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe.

Also, it is not his idea to make me wear certain things, this is just me. He doesn't require me to wear certain things or to get rid of what he doesn't like - I have just been doing that lately in an effort to downsize.

Hope that answers your question.

Oh - and the combination I had yesterday with the skirt was a winner - my husband liked it so I will keep the skirt.


Finishing the Christmas shopping

My husband isn't so sure about this skirt yet, but he thinks it's because he just hasn't liked anything I've paired with it. I'm going to show him this when he gets home and see what he thinks in my last attempt to convince him that this skirt is worth keeping.

Have a lot to do today, one of which is to finish out my Christmas shopping. Even though it is chilly out, I'm going to stick to just this so I don't have to carry a big coat in the stores.

Hope you all are having a nice day!

Jacket - gifted
Shell sweater - hand-me-down (Banana Republic)
Skirt - J.Crew - $19.99
Venetian glass earrings - gifted
Bag - garage sale - $2.00
Boots - Aerosoles - $29
Scarf - Target - $6.48


My Husband Makes his debut

I think perhaps belting this cardigan with this outfit would have looked more polished, but I was pretty much just using the cardigan as a jacket, so I left it un-belted.
I took this shot so you could see the side of my shoes (since I think they are cute) but my husband got in the way. To "Get him back" for making fun of my picture I decided to include this picture in my post. hee, hee. So there you go everyone, that's my hubby!
Dress ~ Banana Republic $?
Cardigan ~ Gap $30
Tights ~ Nordstroms rack $4
Booties ~ Payless $20


Christmas Shopping

I couldn't help but try this dress on when I saw it. I love the colors and the print! I wore it for the first time today for my annual Christmas shopping trip. I shopped for at least 8 hours and got pretty much all of my Christmas shopping done. After shopping, I wrapped all the presents and also just finished getting two pumpkin pies in the oven for a church banquet for tomorrow. I love the holidays!

Houndstooth mini-dress - Target (Girls section) - $6.48
Boots - JCPenney - $9.99
Big silver hoop earrings - Target - $1

Hello, adorable

Woman's Cable ballet slipper from JCrew $49.50


Channeling J.Crew

I saw this picture in my most recent J.Crew catalog and realized that I had some very similar items in my closet, and should probably give it a try...

So yeah, not quite the coolest of color mix, and also not quite so thin and leggy - but the same idea at least.

My husband told me last night that not only did he like the jeans I wore yesterday paired with what I had picked out for it, but he particularly liked my shoes. Go figure!

So, why not wear the shoes again?

Puffer vest - J.Crew - $19.99
Corduroy bootcuts - American Eagle - $9.99
Platform sandals - Old Navy - $9
White t - gifted
Cuff bracelet - Claire's - $1
Medallion earrings - gifted
Scarf - Target - $6.48

Follow up on "finding my style Part III"

I've been reminded that some people can't do a short cut based on their hair texture (thank you Jules)! I thought I would mention that I meant to say short-to-medium cuts. Even then, I'm sure girls with spiral curly hair also like to keep their hair long, and yet, they don't have to straighten or curl their hair for it to look styled.

So I needed to follow up that last style post with the point that I think every woman needs to make sure her hair looks styled. A styled cut usually means a shorter cut, as styling shorter hair is easier than styling longer hair. For this reason, I think shorter is better to achieve a polished and stylish look. For those of us with wavy or full-bodied thick hair (like myself), or for those of you with super curly hair, you may never be able to wear your hair short! Nevertheless, you can keep it layered to give your hair shape and body, and as often as you can keep it looking styled, (whatever that may mean for you) keep it styled!


Still working on it...

I went through a lot of my wardrobe with my husband last night asking him his opinion on things. Most people tell me not to worry about what he says, since what does he know about fashion, etc. But, the truth is...I really only care about what two people think about what I look like. That is myself and my husband. Of course, I want to make sure he likes what I wear too!

I've tried not to make any new purchases without him for this reason, but unfortunately, these jeans I bought on my own a few weeks ago, and I'm starting to regret it. Since he wasn't there to tell me when I bought them how the whiskering and faded parts of these jeans make my hips look even wider and my legs look even shorter, all I could see was that the lighter color was something I didn't have in my wardrobe, and for $19, what a deal! Grrr...

I took the tags off already, so they won't be returned, and since I spent $20 on them, I think I'm just going to try to make them work for a while. I like them...I just know I look much better in my dark wash skinny jeans.

Learning to only buy what looks good is going to be a long and hard lesson for me to learn!

It's a beautiful rainy day, and I wanted to wear muted colors and a cozy sweatshirt to match the weather. I also love how J.Crew features looks that include sweatshirts and heels. This is my attempt at copying one of their looks.

Sweatshirt - Sisley (hand-me-down)

Tank - Kohl's - $3.99

Jeans - H&M - $19.90

Sandals - Old Navy - $9

Finding my style Part III

The next style issue I've had to address recently is that of a hairstyle. A woman's hair is the best accessory she owns. It is oftentimes the first thing someone notices about her, and really says a lot about her personality. If you, like me, are looking to polish your look and define your style, then after clearing out your wardrobe and determining what colors look best on you, a haircut should be your next step.

With the short cut being so trendy right now, I've really wanted to cut my hair. I've used virtual makeover sites to see which short cut would be the best on me, and have come very close to calling a hairstylist to make an appointment to cut it.

The bottom line is the shorter to medium-length cuts are almost always going to make a bigger style statement than long hair. Why? Because, most women with long hair don't do much with it, besides throw it in a ponytail. With a shorter cut, your hair looks instantly styled with minimal effort. Shorter hair frames your face, allows for bounce and movement, and keeps your hair healthy, which will give it extra shine. Longer hair can end up with split ends, leaving it dull and lifeless. Long hair can weigh so much that you will have no bounce or movement. And more often times than not, long hair is worn either pulled back from your face, or hanging in strings far below your face.

After analyzing photo after photo of really great short cuts...

I've come to the conclusion that everyone should wear a stylish short cut...UNLESS they are willing to take the time and effort to keep their long hair styled. If you have the time to wear your hair either perfectly coiffed, curled, or straightened, then by all means...keep it long! But if not, get a smart cut that will give you that instant style oomph!

But for those of you whose style is romantic (like mine), and if you are willing to pay the price, there is certainly nothing wrong with keeping your hair long...

After much thought over what my signature look should be, or maybe already is, I've decided that I just wouldn't be "me" without my long hair. I know at some point I'll cut it short, but for now I'm going to stick to my old look and just force myself to keep it styled so that it will look like a "style!"

And yes, the photo above is from our family photo shoot we had on Saturday.


A boring button down shirt.

Like Nic, I'm trying to figure out my style and only buy pieces of clothing that fit into what I'd like my image to one day be, as well as look good on my figure.
Ever since I can remember one of my favorite pieces of clothing to wear has been a plain button down shirt. Back when I was skinnier I use to wear them all the time. Since having a baby, gaining weight, and becoming fuller in the chest, I have opted to skip wearing button downs because they tend to pull and don't give me that longer, crisp look I use to think they gave me.

If I had to pick one person who I'd call my fashion icon or fashion inspiration I would say it is Katherine Hepburn. She wore menswear well and made some very boring pieces look amazing. I would love to be able to pull off that casual, classic style and bring a bit of "Diva" to it like she did.
My modern day fashion inspiration is Katie Holmes. Granted, she hasn't always been my fashion inspiration, but the past couple years I find myself adoring her style and I'd love to be able to copy it.
Today is a day at home, so nothing to fancy. I did recently buy this pink button down shirt and I was so pleased to find the buttons didn't pull! I'd love to start building up my button down shirt collection in colors that look good on me. My style is very classic and I'd really love to play that up more so when people look at me, they can tell who I am and what my fashion sense is.
Shirt ~Gap $8
Jeans ~ Gap $12
Earrings ~ Gifted
Dansko clogs (Blah, I need to replace these)


Sweater Dress

I thought this dress looked good on me until I saw this photograph. I think the silhouette is just not doing anything for me. So much for only buying things that look good, etc. Hmmm...
But the dress is fun and easy to wear. It's a knit that gathers at the neck and has a chiffon tie to match the flutter sleeves that are chiffon as well. The waist is a drop waist, leaving the bottom fairly form fitting and keeping the top part baggy. I think it is the drop waist that is making me look shorter and stouter. But it is very comfortable!
Black sweater dress - Target - $5.74
Tights - Target - $5.99
Boots - Ana from JCPenney - $9.99
Hoop earrings - Target - $1


Colorful Fall

I tried a couple different "experiment" outfits today. The first one, I decided just wasn't me, but this one I like. It's very casual - a simple t-shirt dress with a jean jacket, but has enough flair so that my creative side is expressed. Since the tights and scarf make such bold statements, I chose very delicate jewelry that you cannot even see in this picture. I'm wearing silver earrings with turquoise on them, and a turquoise and silver ring. Just to play up the turquoise even more, I'm wearing turquoise eye shadow (too bad you can't see it well in this picture).

Dress - Macy's - $4.99
Scarf - gifted and hand made
Jacket - gifted
Boots - Aerosoles - $29
Jewelry - gifted
Tights - Target (from the girl's section) - $1.89