Dressed For Success

You may recall that I am a panelist for BlogHer’s Life Well Lived campaign. That sounds really important, but what it really means is that they pose a question and then ask me to write about it.

This week’s question is: How do you dress for success on your first day?

I haven’t had any first days in a long time since I am no longer employed, or attend school, but if I were starting a new job, I would follow the same rules I followed when I did work.

COMFORT: I worked in a jail. That means I walked and walked and walked the long corridors all day long. The most important issue for me was to be comfortable. That’s the case no matter what day it is.

COLOR: Because first impressions are so important, I find it best to make a statement. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to choose a bright solid color that looks good on you, and take it up a notch with some shiny accessories. (My favorite!)

LAYER: The older I get, the more temperature seems to bother me. I remarked to McDaddy over the weekend that I will never attend another conference of any type without some sort of light sweater. We attended a marriage conference at a hotel and either I FROZE MY FRIGGIN BUTT OFF, or I SWEATED LIKE A PIG. Thanks to the hormones, I was truly a hot mess. If you’re headed out for a first day, it might be wise to bring a sweater or cute jacket along.

AGE AND SIZE APPROPRIATE: If you are a forty-year old woman, you should not be wearing a short-short skirt and tight shirt. Likewise, if you are a plus-size woman, (and yes, I can say that because I am one!) you should not be showing back-fat. Nor should the girls be ready to bust out the top of your shirt.

For more tips on how to dress for success on your first day (or any day for that matter!) visit the main post over at BlogHer.

Also, be sure to enter the current Life Well Lives sweepstakes over here where you could win an iPod Touch and a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it!

Any tips for dressing for success on your first day?

Keepin’ It Classy

I have been asked by BlogHer’s Life Well Lived panel to answer the following questions:

What are your favorite ways to dress well for your size and shape? How do you make your wardrobe work through transitions?

First of all, the only transitions that come to mind, was the transition from employee to stay-at-home-mom, and the transition from regular clothes – to maternity clothes – and back to regular clothes.

The transition from employee to stay-at-home-mom, meant that I no longer needed to “dress up,” on a daily basis, so of course I was able to go for a more casual look. The very first thing I look for when shopping for clothing is comfort. If it feels uncomfortable, tight, or looks like a lampshade on me, I move on. I typically look for comfortable, stretchy jeans. I have a FAVORITE pair and kick myself for not buying five pair when I had the chance. I lovingly refer to them as my “buffet britches”. And I am a firm believer that “if you can’t lose it, decorate it!” so I often buy jeans with bling on the pockets.

Just keepin’ it classy, folks.

I CANNOT stand wearing anything at all that is tight or restrictive. I think tight clothing looks trashy and straight-up-redneck.

I prefer bright colors, “flowy” shirts, boot-leg jeans, and capri pants. And as an added bonus, I try to purchase clothing that is appropriate for PTA meetings, church, and events that require me to dress in something a little more stylish than my yoga pants and a Women of Faith t-shirt.

As for the transition from regular to maternity and back to regular clothes, I must admit that the only maternity items I have left in my “wardrobe” are panties. And yes, when times get tough, I bust them out. And by “when times get tough” I mean when the laundry is backed up and its either maternity panties or no panties.

Like I said, classy.

You can check out what everyone else is saying and join in on the topic on the main post at BlogHer and while you’re there be sure to enter to win a iPod Touch and a $50. iTunes gift card.

My Fashion Voice

Anyone who knows me IRL would probably tell you that I am rough around the edges, have OCD, talk loudly, and that I love to laugh. I enjoy having fun and I love it when people are laughing. They would probably also tell you that I am a rare bird. I don’t comform to an expected sense of fashion or style. People don’t normally visit my blog to read about my fashion sense, and that’s probably a good thing.

As part of BlogHer’s feature on looking your best, the folks at BlogHer have asked its Life Well Lived writers (that’s me, in case you were wondering!) to share “How I find my fashion voice and cultivate my personal style.”

The short answer is, I take my cues from comfort and cost.

I am a 38-year old stay-at-home-mom (who rarely stays at home). I make popcorn at the kid’s school on Thursdays. I attend church. I have breakfast or lunch with a girlfriend once or twice a week. I shuffle boys to and from the baseball field about five nights a week. My fashion voice speaks volume when you consider I can rock a pair of yoga pants or comfortable jeans. I have not jumped on the scarf bandwagon because I can’t stand anything around my neck that feels like it might choke me. I also do not wear an item simply because “everyone else is wearing it”. I have no doubt that if I were still in school, I would be kicked off the fashion train in a hot minute. And that is perfectly fine with me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love clothes. It’s just that my main goal when shopping is comfort and savings. My personal style includes comfortable jeans, yoga pants, Capri pants and loose, long shirts that cover up all that should be covered. I DO, however, love, love, love accessorizing with [silver]  jewelry and [cute] flip-flops. And cool sunglasses. I could talk for days about jewelry and shoes. I have more jewelry than I will ever wear and more shoes than any one person needs. Still, I buy more. And no matter what I’m wearing, I always, always, always have my jewelry on.

So, how do you find your fashion voice and cultivate your personal style? Visit the main post on BlogHer.com and join in on the comments here.

And don’t forget to enter the NEXT Life Well Lived Sweepstakes here.

Ready For Spring

I don’t consider myself to be a fashionista.

Shoot. I can barely spell the word.

I am a stay-at-home mom who rarely stays at home, and I rarely have a need to dress up. Occasionally I work in the office at the boys’ school and on those days I try to kick it up a notch in the wardrobe department. You know, to at least look like I belong in there. I also try to make it a point not to wear my yoga pants to the Lord’s House on Sunday.

I have been asked by BlogHer to share with my readers what I will be wearing this year? And also, what are my spring trends.

Before I begin, I should tell you that there is nothing in my closet that I paid more than $50. for, with the exception of my favorite jeans and a couple of fancy sweaters and shirts that I splurged on because I got a great deal on them.

With spring peeking its head in the door, I go for comfort above all else. Well, comfort, plus making sure the girls are properly covered. I have a couple of cute dresses that I enjoy dressing up with cute accessories, but my first choice is a comfortable pair of capris. Denim capris are my favorite because you can pair just about any shirt with denim. And also, you can dress them up or down depending on your shoes and accessories.

And speaking of shoes and accessories…

Two things that I enjoy shopping for are sunglasses and shoes. I have a bad habit of buying sunglasses every single time I’m out shopping. I wore eyeglasses for years, so when I had Lasek surgery in 2010, I immediately started buying cute sunglasses. In fact, McDaddy rolls his eyes at my massive collection. I have at least two pair of sunglasses in each vehicle, and I generally try to match up my sunglasses with whatever I’m wearing.

I have more shoes than any one person needs. I prefer comfortable shoes but have been known to buy shoes simply because they are cute. I long for the 75 degree steady temperatures, just so that I can wear flip-flops or cute sandals.

What are YOU wearing for spring?

To find out what others are wearing this spring, you can visit the main post over at BlogHer.

And be sure to go here for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and a $50. Amazon gift certificate.

Life Well Lived

I am so excited to be a part of the Life Well Lived Blogger panel. I am even more excited that I am learning some great tips about beauty and accessories.

The question posed this week is:

What is your favorite way to add a bit of sparkle to your holiday look? Is it with make-up, clothing or accessories?

If you know me, you know that I am an all-out jewelry lover. I never leave my house without at least two rings, my watch, a bracelet, earrings in both upper and lower holes, and most always a necklace of some sore. If ever you are looking for the perfect gift, (and can’t afford a Saturn Sky) you should know that my jewelry motto is “the bigger, the better!”

A cheap, easy way to add a bit of sparkle and breath new life into an old sweater for a great new holiday look is to purchase some cute accessories. In my case, I did this just yesterday. I wore gold jewelry for most of my life. Lately though, I’ve been buying /wearing more silver jewelry. I had a rust colored sweater in my closet and thought it would look nice with a necklace that added a little something extra than a plain silver necklace. I found a beautiful tri-colored (gold, silver, bronze) necklace/earring set that made the sweater pop. I received numerous compliments on it, and the best news is because it is tri-colored, it will look great with most anything!

Of course, a GREAT pair of shoes would be fun, too!

Head over here to read about five easy ways to add sparkle to your holiday look from beauty expert, Erin Bailey, and be sure to offer up your best tips.

Life Well Lived is also sponsoring a give-away. Go here to enter the great giveaway of a Kindle Fire AND a $50. Amazon gift certificate to go with it! 

Now it’s your turn! What is YOUR favorite way to add a bit of sparkle to your holiday look?

The Price Is Right But The Fashion Was All Wrong

One day last week, I spent an entire afternoon looking through old photo albums and scanning pictures that I thought I might use someday on ye olde blog. It was during that whole pulling out-laughing-scanning-and putting back in the album- process that I just knew that I would eventually write a fashion post about some of the unfortunate fashion decisions I made back in the 90’s.

I have always been known to push fashion to its limit. In other words, my wardrobe has always mirrored my personality.

Unique and loud!

Oh internets, please be easy on me…..

Let’s start with this mess, get-up, fashion statement.

I KNOW! I KNOW!

What was I thinking?

While I have no idea what I was thinking, I can pretty much assure you that I wasn’t thinking. Because not only did I wear THAT star spangled mess…. I happened to wear it on the top rated nationally televised game-show on the same day that I was in the audience of a game-show that you may or may not have heard of.

The Price Is Right.

While the price might have been right. The fashion statement I made that day was all wrong.

Why? *shaking my head in disbelief* Oh why did I do that?

Granted, it was 1994.

Obviously, I didn’t have nearly the sense that I have today (ahem!), but for the life of me I cannot figure out how or why I could have ever believed that is was okay to make such a horrendous fashion statement on national television. NATIONAL TELEVISION. Clearly, not the best fashion decision I ever made. Thankfully, the producers did not call on me to “Come On Down!”

[As a side note: I am pictured with the showcase showdown winner, Masis who could have dressed a little nicer for the occasion in my humble opinion.]

For the better of part of fourteen years, I have tried to figure out why I wasn’t chosen by the producers to go to contestants row.

Today, I figured it out.

AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH, while visiting relatives in California the very next summer we decided to attend another taping of The Price Is Right.

I used a little more discretion this time.

In this picture, I am posing with the wonderfully talented and humble Bill Bell.

For those of you not familiar with the number one soap in America for the past hundred years soap world, Bill Bell is the creator of The Young and The Restless. [And also The Bold and the Beautiful]

He has since passed away, but I do appreciate the many hours days weeks years of entertainment, drama and sorrow he has provided for me and millions of others.

May he rest in peace.

Right alongside that bedazzled mess I’m wearing.

Sheesh.

As badly as I wanted to be called to “Come On Down,” I can’t imagine the horror I would experience watching that tape sixteen years later, as my 22-year-old-self strutted across the stage in my best bedazzled shirt and hot pink shorts.

Oh yes.

I said hot. Pink. And shorts.

All in the same sentence.

Unique. And loud. Isn’t that what I said?

You cannot understand how thankful I am that there is not a full length shot of me from that day anywhere on the planet.

Oh, except maybe in one of Bill Bell’s fan albums.

I can only hope that The Bell’s keep the album buried deep in the Hills of Hollywood.

As I recalled the fun I had attending two tapings of America’s number one game-show, I considered what I would wear today if I ever decided to pay CBS Studios another visit. It would take me weeks to plan a fashion ensemble for such an event.

I would definitely go with something a little more low-key and slimming and flattering.

Perhaps this really basic tunic… (does anyone really use the word tunic?)

Cathy Daniels Scroll Top

With a cute air of white capris.

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Or more likely this, paired with black capris.

ELLE Crochet-Trim Babydoll Top

I’d look fabulous on national TV in that, don’t ya’ think?

In actually love this shirt.

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Or maybe something like this with a pair of white capris and a fabulous pair of black sandals.

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Let’s hope my next television appearance finds me looking more fabulous than the last!!!

Head over to Jo-Lynnes’s place for some sound, fashion advice.

Enjoy your weekend, ya’ll!

Let’s Talk About Fashion

If you are visiting here from Big Mama’s Fashion Friday, I’d like to welcome you to my humble abode. I’m so glad you are here. Before I get started though, I should let you know that I am playing fast and loose with the whole ‘Fashion’ part of this title. The truth is I am a stay-at-home mom who no longer has any idea about fashion or all it has to offer.

When I was employed, and you know, receiving a pay-check, I pushed high-end fashion to the limit and went to jail each day decked out in the best that Kohl’s and Goody’s had to offer.

Or Wal-mart and Target.

I enjoy looking nice and orderly but quite frankly, when your knocking around town in your minivan with a three-year-old in tow, its hard to get past the comfort of the yoga pant and t-shirt. (Oh yoga pant, I do love you so!)

It would be a sad state of affairs if I returned to work today because I would have no idea where to start to get my closet in tip-top fashion shape. I have some good-church-clothes that could get me started, but aside from that, I’d probably have to call in the fashion police.

The only thing I know for certain is that I would not be jumping on the scarf  band wagon. I don’t get the whole scarf thing. Its just another thing to deal with during my already hectic day and if I’m being honest, I can’t stand the thought of something hugging my neck like this.  I doubt seriously I could even tie the scarf properly. 

I just don’t understand the appeal of the scarf. If you happen to be one of the thousands of gals who enjoy a scarf, you should totally ROCK ON! Each to their own I guess, but quite frankly, the scarf just doesn’t appeal to me. If it takes a scarf to be in fashion, you know where I’ll be. I’d much rather throw on some bling.

But enough of that rant.

I am hoping to visit McDaddy in May and would love to arrive at his 6-month vacation locale looking fabulous and flirty in a new outfit. I thought it might be fun to let ya’ll join me on my shopping extravaganza as I try to find just the right outfit to knock McDaddy’s proverbial socks off as I step off of the plane.

Let’s start with this little diddy that I found at Macy’s. The whole thing just screams cute to me. And, the best part is that it looks oh. so. comfortable.

I also liked this, and this.

Next, I headed to Target where I found this cute little number

Product Image

although if I’m being honest, I can’t see me dragging two kids, two car-seats, half the house and my lap-top through customs dressed like this.

Just keepin’ it real.

My last stop was the Mart of Walls. I’m sad to say that as hard as I tried, I came up empty handed. If you happen to be one of the thousands who destest Wal-Mart, may I just say that Wal-Mart is a fine establishment. There’s not another place on the planet where you can get your taxes prepared, your nails done, your hair cut, your tires rotated, a check cashed and a Subway sandwich all in one stop.

Sam Walton is was the man. I donate to his empire weekly. I’d donate even more though if he started offering these fabulous shoes that I may or may not have displayed in last week’s fashion post.

What can I say? I love me some cute shoes.

Thanks for stopping by Inmates. For some real fashion advice, you should head over to Big Mama’s place.

Retail Therapy

For the past year or so, I have been following what is in my humble opinion, one of the best blogs in blog-land. I don’t remember exactly how I found BIG MAMA, but I was a fan immediately and I read her blog often. I don’t say daily because at this point the only thing I do daily is pee and feed my kids. But, you get my drift, right.

Every Friday, BIG MAMA posts Fashion Friday and each post is lovingly filled with tons of wonderful fashion information. It’s just sad that each week her posts remind me how terribly out of the fashion loop I truly am. I enjoy them none-the-less and know where to go if and when I need fashion advice beyond which color athletic pants best matches my Casting Crowns t-shirt.

If you’ve spent any time at all around Inmateville, you know that my wonderful, delightful, sexy husband is currently on a 6-month vacation to an undisclosed location. [Actually, it is only undisclosed to all four of you, my loyal blog fans. I know exactly where he is but have been sworn to blog secrecy.] Deployment is tough. It sucks, actually. I’ve had a really tough time coping the past few weeks. Today, I decided to did something about it.

I totally thought long and hard about visiting my family Doctor to see about getting some type of drug. Paxil or xanax could probably bring me right out of this funk, but I was hesitant to get that started. So, I decided on a different type of therapy.

Retail. Therapy.

You can’t imagine how much better I feel today.

Here’s a look at what I bought.

First, I needed some new work-out pants. You should know that my work-out pants do double duty. I like wearing work-out pants even if I’m not at the gym working out. Before I show you what I bought, I need to tell you that I am not one of those gals who goes to the gym with her hind-end hanging out of her gym shorts. (yes, it happens).  I am also not one of the gals who wear those cute halter type workout tops. I guess it’s entirely possible that if I looked like that girl, I might wear that cute top, but the truth is I look nothing like her or her girls.

Instead, I usually wear something like this matched with these or this worn with something like this.

What can I say? I am a simple girl.

I also bought several pairs of these socks because really, have you bought new socks lately? Oh my word! New socks can make you feel like a new woman. That, and because they were on sale.

Perhaps the item that stopped my mood on a dime and put a big smile on my face was this fabulous Fossil Purse.

 

With this almost matching wallet.

I say almost matching wallet because the purse and the wallet are about 1/2 shade off. In fact, the wallet is red and the purse is called fuscia. My OCD would not typically allow for me to purchase such a set, but my ‘have to have it right here right now’ attitude trumped my mismatched OCD requirements.

I had fully intended to buy a Coach purse because really nothing says ‘get out of your funk’ like a new Coach bag. But, I couldn’t find one that I really liked. I did find this Dooney and Bourke though and I came within a second of bringing it home. In the end though, I knew in my heart of hearts I would not be happy with it.

So.

The cute pink fossil purse won out and for now I’m a happy girl.

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My smile turned upside down when I saw this next item. They made me cringe and I couldn’t let this fashion advice opportunity pass me by without introducing you to them. [sidenote: prepare yourselves, this could get ugly]

Croc.

Meet.

Wedge.

I KNOW! I KNOW!

Seriously. Who. would buy. these?

If you have these shoes, please accept my apologies. Run. Right now. And bury them.

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Now, had I run onto a pair of these babies in my size, my woes would be no more. And, I would have added yet another pair of shoes to my already out-of-control-shoe-collection.

These shoes make me smile and I will definately be on the lookout for them. Add some pretty bright pink pedicured toes and these would take me right to my happy place.

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Okay. My fashion well is dry.

I’m happier than I was when I woke up this morning, so, all in all, the retail therapy was a success.

Enjoy your weekend, ya’ll.